Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Friday, September 22, 2017

Don't think this will work - a little midweek humour

I love snickering reading organisational help pages. The information is so out of touch with the way I cheerfully function: 

Photo from organisation help page suggesting people throw out all mismatched dishes etc. My response is "there will be nothing left in my kitchen"


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Do I see mammoth burgers buried under that ice?

I needed  tea on Sunday and zipped over to the local Sobey’s to grab a box or two.  Don’t go there often for a variety of reasons, but they’re the only ones in the area that carry the tea I like, so needs must. While whipping down the aisle to the tea section,  I spotted this: Photo of malfunctioning freezer unit with ice buildup

I had this irrational desire to knock on the freezer door and ask if Philip J Fry was there. Oh come on, admit it, there's never an inappropriate time for a Futurama reference.  It wasn't just one freezer unit with serious issues in that store. Freezers in the front and the back look like this. After poking the packages I figured out they weren't cryogenics units but the frozen tundra.  

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Dear Business Insider - can you spot what's wrong with this photo?

Not sure what the Business Insider editors are smoking, but they need to lay off when it comes to fact checking time.

Photo of a pot plant on flag under headlines dealing with Canadian Interest rates

Hint:  This is not the Canadian flag.


Original article here 

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Gaming 101 - don't kill off your colonists in the first 15 min

I am one of the worst video game players on earth.  Despite my utter ineptness, I enjoy playing and occasionally, idly, think maybe I should stream my attempts live. I could call myself “Captain Disaster” or “Your Colony is DOOOOOMMMMED”.  I don’t enjoy shooter games and war games much. I prefer sims, strategy and the odd dungeon and dragon style game.  I enjoy the mechanics of governing and the minutia of dealing with the economy etc so tend to gravitate towards games that allow me to micromanage the smaller details. I'm not good at the management, but I do have fun.

The problem is, I tend to get into weird moral dilemmas’ while playing. One of the reasons I don’t do well at games like Europa Universalis or Civilization is the mental gymnastics my brain gets wrapped around. I start thinking “I can’t just declare war, they have the right … “ or “well why can’t there be universal suffrage or freedom right now … oh that was quick” and the game goes to hell in a hand basket.  Inevitably, my little kingdoms get swept away. Often, shockingly fast. Once in awhile I’ll throw ethics aside and play the role of despot or whatever and .. nah, never lasts long.  I know, it’s just a game, but the little running commentary in my head harkens back to my days as a political studies student at Queen's discussing the historical ramifications between this act or the political maneuverings that led to that disaster. Eventually I end up looking up some arcane bit of history and forget I have the game playing. If it’s real time based, I return to find everyone dead.

I’m working on a new game now – Planetbase by Madruga Works ( Steam is running their summer sale and I picked it up to try out. The premise is straightforward. I’m in command of a new colony on some distant planet. No wars, no moral dilemma, not a rival colony to be seen. Just me and my little colonists. I’m in charge of setting up the colony and making it sustainable. Planning things out properly will attract new colonists, opportunities for trade and expansion.  What could go wrong?

Colony one.  Even for me, it was a stunning record of 15 min worth of game time.  Need to plan a better layout. Oh and get the oxygen maker running faster. Much faster.  

Screen capture of second colony in Planetbase

Colony 2.  Not too bad! Lasted long enough to grab a screen capture. 

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"Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life."

- Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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