Doors Open and life

Life goes. Things happen. Climbing and game photos from the past two months have been posted. Machi Koro seems to be a winner, but Lupin III seems to be a dud. We also broke out Concept again for the first time in a while… had forgotten how much fun that was.

We recently went to an escape room, the Imaginarium, and it was pretty fun. We got out, with not much time to spare, but it seemed we actually left a ton of puzzles unsolved since there were several locks and a door that we never got open. Oh well.

ITG has also been happening again, which is nice.

This weekend was Doors Open in Pittsburgh, where various downtown buildings open up and let you explore them (with cameras!). We went on Saturday, and saw a variety of buildings… most of them were apartments and hotels, but we also stopped in the Dollar Bank and Engineers’ Society, the former of which was really pretty and the latter of which was rather uninteresting. We also stopped in the city council chamber and mayor’s office, which included a stop in their vault that held pretty much all historical paperwork for the city.

The hotels were also interesting. Two of the three were setting up for a wedding at the time (the third may have been, on some upper floor we didn’t have access to), and seeing the William Penn ballroom all dressed up for a wedding is rather special. Also we got to see a $3000/night suite at the top of the Fairmont, which was also spectacular.
















The PSO was also on strike due to salary and benefit negotiations falling through. That was sad.

Also I am strangely obsessed with Rebecca Black’s new single (apparently she’s gotten rather good at singing) and The Sound of Silence cover by Disturbed.
Relatedly, Rock Band released the latter as DLC this past week, and we tried it today… the game rates vocals as a 3 (while rating Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger as a red 5, and Billy Joel’s Uptown Girl as a 4), which we think is utter bullshit. Yay for bad video game ratings.

I finished FFX Remaster this past Thursday, and the ending never fails to make me cry. I started FFX-2, and I’m just not feeling it, for some reason. I’ve never been a big fan of the ATB battle system, and I think coming to it from FFX’s super strategic battle system, I’m not enjoying combat at all. The music is also rather lackluster compared to X, and so many concepts are thrown at you all at once in the beginning (like dressspheres, skill learning, monster capturing) that I’m feeling rather overwhelmed. I don’t know. I guess at some point I’ll return to it, but unlike FFX, which was occupying much of my free evening time, I haven’t felt the same pull to play X-2.

Here’s weird soda flavors (corn, buffalo wing, bacon, ranch dressing, dirt, and grass) at a soda and candy shop in the Waterfront.

ITG, 7 Blunders, BBQ, and Keith Manor

Life has been full of stuff recently. In roughly reverse order:

The ITG machine at the storage facility in the South Side exists, and it is awesomely full of charts I love. In the year-ish absence from ITG, it seems my reading has not suffered at all but my stamina is gone. I can’t even make it to the jacks in Perfect Cherry Storm anymore, and probably generally can no longer pass an 11 (although I didn’t try). The fact that the place is a small, enclosed space with no cooling other than fans probably doesn’t help either.
It’s good to have ITG machine access again, even if it means a bit more work than previously to access.




7 Wonders is one of my favorite board games, and it gets played around once a week. I already have the Leaders and Cities expansions, as well as the promo leaders, wonders expansion, and extra fan-made boards from board game geek (for a total of 23 wonder boards). We decided to try a variant of it last games night that Max affectionately titled “7 Blunders”. The goal is to get the lowest score possible, but you’re subject to the 2-player-style rules where you can’t sell a card unless you are forced to, cannot buy resources if you could make them yourself in some way, and must build for free if you can. It makes for a very interesting game, especially depending on whether your wonder gives you lots of points or not… do you save the wonder stages for burying large-point-value age 3 cards, or do you take care of them early so building is harder for you due to lack of resources?
We’ll certainly play it again and see how that goes.

Chris and Rob hosted a last-minute Memorial Day BBQ, and it was tasty.


In other other things, Keith’s kitchen is sad. His ceiling had been cracking (I guess one of the screws holding the ceiling up came out or something…?), so we spent a Saturday helping him remove his kitchen appliances and stripping the wallpaper from the room (which ended up being quite the experience due to the painted double layers of wallpaper, going as far as 4 layers deep at the top where there was trim). Apparently his ceiling came crashing down on Monday (which was the alternate day for wallpaper removal), so it was a good thing we did it when we did.




Also here’s us being crazy after midnight at IHOP, attempting to recreate various bad stock photo scenes.





Yay life

Life has been full of nice things lately.

I went out with Allison to the Brew Gentlemen and took photos, one of which was used as the front-page photo for one of the sections of the paper. (They used one of the ones where the people were out of focus though, so meh.) But yay for my first Pillbox cover photo.

We got some nice new glass tupperware to replace our random collection of plastic stuff. I feel much better about putting food into these and sending Greg off with lunch in them.

We got a new Carcassonne expansion that came with “giant meeples”. However, the meeples weren’t easily distinguishable from the regular ones, so we added smiley faces to them. Yay happy meeples.

We went to Dave and Buster’s with Yubin and Max to play Pump It Up. It was a lot of fun and good exercise (especially given that the ITG machine has been out of commission for a while). I also got my first full-perfect combo in any dancing game. The accuracy ratings in PIU are much, much more forgiving than ITG or DDR.

I’ve also been cooking more, which is generally an indicator that I’m happier. I made a huge pot of curry over the weekend, and have been making things like burgers, quesadillas, pasta, and salmon throughout the week. Nice things there include a nice hunk of romano cheese to freshly grate over pasta and lots of fresh vegetables (in salad or steamed).

I’ve also been eating a lot this week, which is a good thing. Food is tasty.

Tomorrow is (supposedly) the usual board games with Yubin and Max. Board games are awesome and playing them with awesome people is even more awesome.

I’ve been feeling like rewriting CMU adventures lately and continuing to build it. I just need to get motivated to write code outside of work again.

Yay life. :D

Meme: ITG and comprehensive camera stats

It seems that 8 will be moving to the bay area at some point in the near future. This makes me sadder than it should. Meh.

As for meme topics, we have ITG. Which I’m actually not quite sure what to say about.

The first time I played DDR was in a Gameworks in Arizona Mills, probably in middle school or so. I didn’t know what I was doing and stepped on the arrows pretty much as they came on screen. Then I added another player after the first song (which that machine apparently let you do), wasting some money because player 2 only got two songs instead of three.

I think I started being interested in it in high school, when we went to a Fry’s Electronics and they had the PS version of DDR set up with pads. This was intriguing, and my parents bought me a PSOne, DDR, and two mats with the promise that I would play it for exercise fairly often. (Of course, this didn’t really happen. I was such a horrible kid. :P)

My first real experience with the arcade machine (and hard pads) then was in college when I came to CMU and discovered the DDR machine in Scotland Yard my freshman year. From photos, it seems the ITG machine appeared around December 2005. I remember the brief period of time when the machines existed side-by-side, and I remember being annoyed at the “elite” ITG players who wouldn’t alternate with DDR players (like myself) since you couldn’t play both machines at once (the music got mixed up and way too confusing and threw everyone off).

I think I really got into ITG the summer I had the PLSC internship in Pittsburgh (2006). I played with 8 at least once a week every week that summer, and managed to progress up to 10s. (I think the desire to avoid my room and my horrible roommate at the time had a lot to do with this.) I’ve pretty much been playing since then, although my general interest in it seems to have lowered somewhat.

At this point, I’ve stopped trying to improve on song difficulty, and have mostly resigned myself to playing casually in the 9-11 range. I also really, really like marathons and mods, so I’ll do that a lot. But the ITG machine at CMU has been having issues lately, and the stupid company in charge of it keeps screwing it up, so I don’t know if it’s really something I’ll continue doing regularly.

Also, wow… I’m making a lot of posts this month. This is weird.

I now have 296,595 tagged photos in Photoshop organizer. I think we’ll break 300k by the end of August. Or maybe not, because I’ve been taking fewer photos lately. We shall see.

I went through and tried to find the first and last photos taken by each camera. Photoshop organizer doesn’t let you sort by filename, and I have way too many files to do EXIF data searches, so some of this may be off by a few. (In particular, finding the “last” photo my Intel camera took is a pain because it still works, and I was using it for its portability even though high school even when I had gotten the Kodak camera. And it didn’t even record any EXIF data, and you can’t do a “negative” search in organizer. So blah.)

And it turns out the photos aren’t all that interesting anyway. So here’s just the dates of each camera’s first and last photo.

Intel Pocket PC camera October 6, 2000 September 18, 2003 1077 days; 2.95 years
Olympus C3000 Zoom September 28, 2001 December 5, 2003 798 days; 2.186 years
Kodak Easyshare DX6490 December 8, 2003 March 17, 2006 830 days; 2.274 years
Nikon D50 March 22, 2006 November 15, 2009 1334 days; 3.655 years
Samsung SL30 July 27, 2009 Current (last July 20, 2012) 1089 days; 2.98 years so far
Nikon D90 February 26, 2010 Current (last July 25, 2012) 880 days; 2.411 years so far

Getting numbers for how many photos each camera shot would also be interesting, but not easy to do.

Edit: Searching by filename and using the power of maths should give reasonable estimates of total photos. Therefore:

Intel Pocket PC camera 15,829 photos $200 14.7 photos per day 1.26¢ per photo
Olympus C3000 Zoom 10,647 photos $450 13.3 photos per day 4.23¢ per photo
Kodak Easyshare DX6490 49,413 photos $500 59.5 photos per day 1.01¢ per photo
Nikon D50 105,067 photos $570 (+$250 repair cost) 78.8 photos per day 0.54¢ per photo (0.78¢ per photo including repair cost)
Samsung SL30 18,571 photos $70 17 photos per day 0.38¢ per photo (so far)
Nikon D90 97,068 photos $780 110.3 photos per day 0.80¢ per photo (so far)

Cost estimates don’t include charges for accessories (extra batteries and lenses in the Nikon case), electricity, or memory cards.