Waterrr, Photo Firsts (Maja, Russell, Ryan, Kartik), People Wars

So we’re watching Austin’s apartment over the summer while he’s gone, and as I am alone for a couple weeks, it falls to me to make sure things haven’t exploded and to move his car a bit so it isn’t unhappy.

So I go to do that today, notice his kitchen sink is smelling a little funky again, and run some water down it and run the disposal to clean it out. And… water everywhere! (I guess the drain pipe somewhere under the sink leaks…?)
Which would be bad enough on its own, except there’s apparently some water sensor under his kitchen cabinetry that started going off. Loudly. Loud enough to hear from the elevators with his door closed. So that was clearly not going to work.
Of course, given that Austin is currently in Japan, calling him was not an option. (Called Max and asked him to poke Austin on IM for me, but no luck there either. Sorry for waking you, Max. D:) Checked downstairs in case there was a maintenance dude or some office or something, but no luck there.
I tried finding the source for a while, and unplugging every plug I could see in case that helped. No luck, so I started tripping his circuit breaker circuits to see if that would do anything. Still no luck.
I managed to isolate the sound to a specific area of the cabinets, which happened to have a little access panel cut out, so I went to ask a neighbor for a screwdriver, got it open, and found the alarm. (And dried it off to shut it up.)

So that was my morning, which was rather “fun” for some sense of the word. I’m just glad Austin wasn’t super upset about it… apparently it’s done this before to him, and he was never able to identify why. But I guess I’m not running the kitchen sink again. (He gets back in a week and a half anyway, so that’s not an issue.)

Anyway, in entirely unrelated news, I figured photo stats needed more people I interact with regularly, so here’s photo firsts of four new peoples. Stats has been updated with them as well.

First photo of Maja: July 26, 2013 at the climbing wall, with Michael.

First photo of Russell: September 5, 2013 at Max and Yubin’s (for board games).

First photo of Ryan: September 24, 2013 at our apartment (for board games), with Austin.

First photo of Kartik: December 6, 2013 at the climbing wall.

In other other news, I’ve started some preliminary work on the next People Wars expansion: Juxtapositions. (It’s getting weird to come up with good expansion names for letters…)
The expansion is themed around “Dream” cards, which play for free (with no limit) and act like characters once in play, but are discarded at the end of the turn. They’re intended as powerful one-shot things, with more powerful attacks and more traits, with the tradeoff of taking up deck and hand space for a single turn’s benefit. Of course, there are effects that let them stay around and such too.
(Conceptually, they’re supposed to be alternate universe versions of people, if they had gone on entirely different career paths, taken different paths through life, or generally had different personalities.)

Here’s a sample card. Since it’s a new template (for a new card type), let me know if you have any opinions on it.

Life, Photo Firsts (Austin, Max, Yubin, Michael), KoL, wedding

As it’s the end of yet another 4-month interval, life‘s photo journal and photo stats pages have been updated. The stats update includes stats for Pittsburgh people as well, so here’s some photo firsts:

First photo of both Austin and Max:

April 26, 2012 at Yubin’s apartment after Greg and I were invited to their weekly games night.

First photo of Yubin:

Also April 26, 2012. Same place. Same event.

First photo of Michael:

August 9, 2012, also at Yubin’s apartment at a games night.

KoL has been going. I’ve been ascending more and feel like I’ve gotten better at runs (thanks in no small part to the terrible overpoweredness of the Smiths tome). I fell short of a 3 day Heavy Rains run today by less than 20 turns (hit the hedge maze). The run will definitely be under 800 turns. That’s a rather large improvement from what my runs used to be like.

I’m also really enjoying the new path. The path itself isn’t actually that hard… the extra ML granted by the water is actually super beneficial (at least to me, with like 150+ permed skills), and the path-specific skills granted mean turncount goes way, way down by granting an infinite-use fax machine, a banish, a stunner, a deleveller, item drop, a yellow rain, summonable equipment, and more. Crazy.

As far as weddings go, Susannah’s was last weekend. It was a fairly nice wedding and reception… photos of it are up at photos. This means we’re halfway done with weddings now, at least for this summer. I hear that there will another one early next year. So whee for that?

Life, friendships, photo firsts (Kathleen, Ty), and photo stat graphs

life has been updated to go all the way back to my first photo.
It’s really interesting to look back and see fragments of my life from back then, and it’s also interesting how little I used to take photos. The “Photos taken today” value starts out in the single digits, fluctuates wildly (depending on the day and event) between ~150 and ~30, and then starts to creep upward in high school.
Much of this is probably due to the cameras (slower to react) and storage (small internal memories only, small memory cards). But as you start going forward in time, you start having more and more documentation until my senior year of high school hits and I have photos from almost every day of school.

Anyway, the stats page has also been updated, so it’s time for more photo firsts.

First photo of Kathleen:

October 29, 2000 in front of my parents’ house after she came over.

First photo of Ty:

December 21, 2000 when he came over for a sleepover. (The photo is tiny because that’s the resolution I took it at. Yay old digital cameras!) It’s a bad photo because he was doing silly poses for the camera.

I might post more old photos later, but for now, you can go and look at them in life.

In other things, going back and looking at old photos has made me feel kind of nostalgic.
I read an article a while back about why it’s hard to make friends when you get older, and have been pondering the idea in general.
I left my friends group in middle school to go to a special high school (and was later completely abandoned by them when there started to be conflict between our schools over funding), and didn’t have trouble making new friends.
In college, I was thrown into a new situation in a new state and didn’t have too much trouble making new friends. (Took me most of the first semester to find my group though, rather than just latching onto people I knew or lived with.)
When I moved to San Francisco… pretty much nothing. The people I interacted with were people I had already known from college, and it wasn’t until Greg visited me and introduced me to Sharon that my social life there started to exist.
I think the big difference is that, in high school and college, a bunch of us were thrown into a new situation together where we knew very few people (if anyone). We were all forced to meet people and make friends. When you start work though, you’re entering a situation where most people already have lives and friends, and it’s harder to work your way into an existing group.
This is probably also why I am not having much success at making new friends in Pittsburgh. Not that I’m really complaining though, because I do a lot of fun things with the people who are here. But it’s worrying all the same since the people I know here are continuing to move away.

Edit: Here is a graph of number of photos taken by month. The y-axis scale is logarithmic because early months had double- to triple-digit numbers of photos taken, and later months regularly had thousands (and the extreme had over 12,000).

Here’s the same graph with a linear y-axis scale.

Here’s a graph showing number of photos over time.

And here’s a slightly more obscure graph on number of days it took to take another 1000 photos. The x-axis is number of photos, and the y-axis is number of days elapsed between the 1000 photos. (Basically, this measures how often I took photos.)

Tartan, games, People Wars, photo firsts (Owen, Charles, Mark, Justin)

Today was Tartan production. I was supposed to do layout for sports. What this meant, in practice, was staring at the intranet and its distinct lack of sports articles that were ready for layout. I did manage to get the first broadsheet page to copy though, but that’s because it was a page 3/4 full of ads, so I just filled the remaining 1/4 with a sports commentary and submitted it. Instead, I did some copy and some photography and did some early layout for the special section. Because, oh yeah, the TOC is this week. (I’m not going, thankfully… but this means that some awesome people are back in town and hopefully I will get to see some of them again.)

Afterward, Keith, Dan, Marina, and Owen came over and we played games.

I won the game of Ingenious against Owen in a tiebreaker… up until my last play, we were completely tied (lowest color at 9, next at 11, next at 12, next at 14, and two maxed out). I ended the game with a play that increased my third-lowest color by one and won the game. It was amusing.

Won the (very short) game of CMU Chrononauts when other people patched the timeline to my character’s desired state. It lasted less than four times around.

Lost the game of 6 nimmt to Dan by one point (16 to 17, with Greg in third place at 34).

Then I won the game of Bohnanza by tiebreaker (cards in hand). Dan, Marina, and I all had 14 gold and Owen had 13 gold.

So it was a night with many (very) close games, which was a lot of fun. Friends are awesome, and games are awesome, and I’m glad that games with friends are becoming a regular part of my life.
(There was also an awesome gaming marathon with people last weekend.)

There was interesting funness Friday night when there was a party celebrating Patrick’s successful thesis defense. There will likely never be photos posted from that, because yeah. It’s amusing to me how much grad students can act like undergrads when it comes to alcohol and partying. But there were board games at that too, so I have played lots and lots of board games this month (plus the usual Thursday board games at Yubin’s), and it’s not even 1/3 of the way through the month.

I’ve been working more on People Wars’ new expansion set: Exchanges. The theme of the set is effects that hurt you but grant some larger benefit (like reducing your hand size to 1 but letting you play more items each turn, or reducing work on tasks by 1 but not working when exhausted and letting other players use the character to play cards). I’ve been really happy with how People Wars is coming along… as a game, it feels more mature than its previous variants (PPA TCG, Student Wars), and I also feel like each expansion set has a distinct theme and feel.

In any case, it occurs to me that I never bothered posting the first photo I took of Owen, Charles, Mark, or Justin even though I added them to photo stats, so I should remedy this.

First photo of Owen:

November 2, 2007 in Scotland Yard (with Sully, Sam, and Josh)

First photo of Charles and Mark:

April 27, 2006 at the SCS BBQ (this was before I knew them; can you find them both?)
My first photos of them after actually meeting them were in San Francisco on July 12, 2009 and August 4, 2009, respectively.

First photo of Justin

August 31, 2008 in front of my apartment building (when he was coming over for games)