I’m going to finish it, but I am a bit let down because the course is all, “Build something to work in the Command Line”. Which is cute, but I really want to get more into building things with GUIs and things that aren’t just cute automation scripts.
Which sort of touches on the other learning I’ve been doing, which is explicitly graphical, because I have been learning GODOT, the game-making engine. I’ve only done one course, but I picked up the recent Humble Bundle package. It’s a rerun of Zenva courses, and I thought I had picked it up previously. With the whole current Unity controversy, it’s come back for an encore. I rather like it so far, granted so far it’s been a crash course of the basics and then build simple little coin-collecting game.
I did already modify the tutorial code a bit because I didn’t like that the character could leave the screen. I may mess with it a bit more. I kind of want to build Pong, again, with it. Pong has sort of become my own personal “Hello World” of game-building projects in different types of code. So far I’ve done it in Python using Turtle, and C for the Arduboy. I’ve been thinking a bit lately about if it could be done using CSS and HTML since CSS can handle some variables and do dynamic actions. I’ve also been thinking of how to make it using prims and scripts in Second Life.
Back to GODOT, it has some advantages because the scripting is similar to Python, which I am most familiar with. The courses are all fairly quick too, which is nice. It seems kind of corny, but I do really get a kick out of these basic simple games on these various platforms. I think it’s just the whole “I made this”. Even when it’s like 90% some tutorial, it’s still neat because, “I made this, I put this together and now when I press the WASD or Arrows (another mod I added), the little character moves and collects the little coins.”
God knows if I’d ever actually produce anything to “release” but I’ve always loved the idea of making a game sometime. I used to draw out elaborate platformer levels based on other games in a sketchbook when I was younger.
The other real big event this week was my wife’s uneventful (her choice), 50th Birthday. We didn’t really do anything on the birthday itself, I went to the store, so exciting. There is a party the following weekend (today), but I’m not sure she is super excited for it.
I didn’t acquire anything really beyond the GODOT Humble Bundle. Oh right, I did pick up GI Joe Classified Shipwreck. Then I picked him up again, after returning the first one, because the hand broke off, with barely a touch, right out of the package. Lousy shoddy QC there Hasbro.
I am bad at selfies. I added one last week to these little journal posts and I wanted one for this week but they are kind of bad. Or maybe I am just bad at looking excited.
Anyway, I’m not late, I am intentionally not on time, because I was busy yesterday. I spent almost all day in Champaign (Urbana technically) at the Pygmalion event at the Rose Bowl Tavern. I’m actually not sure if there is one of these or more of them per year, but it’s apparently the 19th year. It’s a little craft vendor fair alongside a bunch of musical acts both indoor and outdoor. I primarily went to see Lauren Mayberry’s first solo tour. But I also like music, so I went early to see all of the outdoor shows. There was swap flip-flopping between in and out on the schedule, I didn’t want to lose my spot up front, so I just stayed outside. There were other Lauren/CHVRCHES fans there doing the same, which isn’t surprising.
Overall I saw 6 acts total, one of the scheduled outdoor acts, ggwendolyn, had to cancel. This also meant the schedule got compacted up and while it was originally supposed to start at 1:45, things didn’t start until 2:45. So I got there early, and then got to wait a bit longer than expected. Not a huge deal. I got to watch them doing the soundcheck, which, at least for me, was super interesting. This guy, we’ll call him Bob, because that was his name, everyone on stage called him that, would go around checking mics and making sure things work then he’d head into the “crowd” and have band members do tests to balance things out. Then they would all adjust their little personal directional speakers for levels on the various tracks (vocals, drums, guitars, etc.) on a personalized basis. All from a little portable wireless pad. It was neat.
Also, I say “crowd” because at this stage of the day, there were, maybe 20-30 people mingling around the small parking lot area where the shows took place. As the day went on, the bands became clearly more and more professional about how they operated, and basically just, produced better and better sound. As as that progressed, the crowd size grew and grew. It was fun to watch actually. From fairly basic setups to more and more complex setups, from using the house speakers for the feedback audio to using in-ear headsets. From just, checking the watch after every song to see how much time there was to play, to having a full-on set list, ready and set up and available. From random comments about writing up songs because of “X”, to having full-on fun little stories.
Anyway, I saw, in order:
Emily the Band – She mentioned that she went to school at U of I in Champaign and had played at the Rose Bowl Tavern a few times, so they seem to more or less be a local band. It was the first time they got to play on the main stage. I enjoyed their set and they seemed like they were having a fun time all around.
Fiona Kimble – She was alright, though probably my least favorite of the day. The easy comment here is, it felt like there were too many people on stage, but then she said the pianist had come in special and they did a couple of duet songs, so well, maybe it felt like too many people because they had a bonus person in their set.
Lutalo – I really enjoyed his set. It was very low key, basically finger-picking folk music on an electric guitar. Dude seemed to really get into his songs too.
Tim Atlas – Dude was really good, and they hit all the right notes of having a band that felt like they all were really having a good time while putting out some good, varied music. The guitarist also had a talk box (think Peter Frampton, Do You Feel Like We Do), for one song, which was fun.
Claud – The only artist I managed to get around to listening to before the show, and it’s funny how much that changes one’s perception. I also found that I really enjoyed Claud’s music, from my before the show listening, and I was already kind of a fan, because it’s enjoyable. I don’t really know why but it kind of reminds me of sort of, toned down a bit King Princess. Just the vocal styling, the lyrics, and all that. I want to listen to more of the artists I saw but probably Claud most of all.
Lauren Mayberry – Ok, Claud most of all, behind the obvious. I tried to mostly avoid watching other people’s videos of Lauren’s solo tour, so I could mostly go into this show blind. I had already listened to the one single, *Are You Awake*, and I had listened to *Crocodile Tears* beforehand. It was all great, and definitely a good different feel from Chvrches. Kind of reminds me a bit of Wolf Alice maybe. Probably my favorite was the final track, *Sorry Etc*, which is one extreme end of the styling and very very “screamo punk rock” style. The other end probably being *Are You Awake*. Also, probably just because of where I ended up standing up front on the end of the stage when she came to my side of the stage, she seemed to be “angry face screaming” a few times like right at me.
Please don’t want to kill me Lauren, I’m sorry, etc.
Anyway, I’ll probably make a gallery of my photos at some point, though they aren’t real amazing, my phone’s camera isn’t super great. I had asked them about bringing my proper camera and it was in the car but I decided it was too much of a hassle.
I did have a fun good sign moment before the show. I had stopped in a few stores over in Champaign before the show, and when I walked into Five Below, there was a familiar voice on the radio, with the CHVRCHES/Marshmallow collab track Here With Me. It took me a minute to place the song because I don’t really listen to it, basically ever. I keep forgetting it exists, which is funny because in some ways it may be the most popular CHVRCHES track due to the Marshmello exposure.
The rest of the week was relatively uneventful aside from Friday evening. I went and met up with my parents and brother and a couple of my nieces and we went to watch the Route 66 Carshow parade in Springfield. I didn’t end up taking any photos, but it was fun. Basically, a lot of the classic cars that are in the show itself all just, drive to downtown. They go a pretty good distance, as they start down near Dirksen and Stevenson Drive and go downtown. I realize this is meaningless to most people but this means they go 3 miles or so up Stevenson and then 3 miles or so up 6th Street to downtown Springfield. It’s a good distance on some main throughways in the city, especially for a bunch of classic show cars. Also, there is a police presence, but they also don’t block the roads, so there are just, regular cars driving around them.
I’m sure I’ll write up on it eventually, but I also kind of spur of the moment updated my PC from Windows 10 to Windows 11. It’s mostly the same honestly. I hate how I can’t dock the taskbar to the side though and I immediately changed is the centering on it though because the centered icons is functionally garbage and it’s ugly as shit. I also found a cheap price to update it to the Pro version from Windows Home. There are a few virtualization things that are only in Pro, but also only Pro allows for Remote Desktop access. It’s actually something I have been wanting to do even in Windows 10, for the same reasons. Also, in theory, I think Pro has fewer ads stuck in it, because well, you’re paying for it.
On Friday before going to Springfield I had the day off so we also put out the fall decorations around the outside of the house, though they aren’t completely finished. Also a few indoor ones but my wife does all that, I just haul totes around for that.
I’m not going to go into it all, but one of the stores I went to was Ollie’s. Which I’ve been to elsewhere years ago when traveling, but this one opened up recently, closer to where I live. It’s basically a closeout store, lots of stuff for like, 75% less than what it would have been originally. They had a ton of Marvel Legends I didn’t care much about, and a few Star Wars Black Series I didn’t care about. What I did pick up was a pile of Fortnite stuff. Also, they had a bunch of Eternals Marvel Legends, which I have most of from previous markdowns, but I picked up Ajak, which was the only one I didn’t have. I kind of really like the design of the Eternals, but I they are also all very samey looking, with almost no accessories, which made the figures a huge turn-off at the standard ML pricing. I’ve managed to collect them all at like half price or below, which is just fine for me.
Part of the pain of these posts is, I don’t really keep a log, so I have to go back and remember what I did the last week.
Part of the point of these posts, is I don’t keep a log, and I have to go back and remember what I did during the last week.
It’s all a sort of, purposeful, mental health exercise. Try to reflect on life and the good or whatever I suppose. Some weeks are in fact, truly uneventful and boring. Which in theory should be the time to spur some sort of reflection and appreciation of “the little moments”. I guess. I have a vaguely passing interest in the whole Zen mindset like that, or whatever it would be, but I also am generally pretty negative in mood lately, so it’s hard to really give a shit.
See, this is me, trying to free-flow write while I remember what I should write. I used to be pretty good at this. I really need to start doing it MORE I think. For some weird reason I often get caught up in this weird, bland, technical style of writing, where in the end, I certainly did not write about myself or my thoughts, but what I think some hypothetical, reader might give a shit about. This becomes a problem because, especially when I’m feeling pretty down, which is basically always, that “hypothetical reader” is someone who will never give a shit about anything I write because why would they.
And I feel like I am pretty good at coding. I mean, next to a lot of folks, I am absolutely awful, but I like to think I am pretty good.
I should stick a meme in here, I keep meaning to use more memes to inspire more self-reflective posts.
Anyway, the “Activity Log” is a bit lengthy this week, so I’ll move on to that.
This really does occur in waves, it’s funny. Also, I mentioned last week, for a variety of reasons, I’ve basically gotten some bonus money through work, so I’ve been doing a bit of catch-up. Plus I had some pre-order stuff come in (one has not arrived yet). I actually thought I had more but I put the Humble Bundles on last week’s list. I also renewed several domain names and paid for my web hosting for the rest of the year (and then some).
Just one this week, my pre-order of the Tron Legacy 10th anniversary vinyl came in. It’s very nice, I love the way the arcade cabinet slipcover works with the inner cover, but with the slipcover on, it makes it too thick to fit in the grooves on my Vinyl shelf. I wonder if I could carefully chisel a slightly wider slot without taking the whole thing down. Also the second record is orange colored. There are two records and they match the colors of the Tron world. I’ll eventually do a Friday Album post on this album, I am sure.
One I forgot last week, Corey Doctorow’s The Internet Con Kickstarter. I have not read it yet, and I’m not real sure why I went in on this Kickstarter because I honestly find Doctorow to be a bit insufferable at times, though he also makes some good points at other times. There isn’t a lot of in-between on it. I am blaming peer pressure.
And then there are the usual, random Kindle Deal pick-ups.
The Numerati by Stephen Baker – A random interesting-looking math and computer science book.
It’s also worth mentioning that we also subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. I’m not sure if we’ll keep it long term, but for at least two months we have it. My wife has been talking about getting ads for books she wants to read but they are all Kindle Unlimited, I told her to just subscribe if she wants it. Especially with the small pay bump. She’s kind of bad about never wanting to do things like this that she wants.
Toys and Stuff
A while back I picked up a few Dungeons and Dragons figures on clearance from Amazon. I want to finish the set, but I’m waiting for another markdown. Except in the case of the two-pack for Venger and the Dungeon Master. It was marked down, but also, more importantly, it was I think the first release for the set, and I am worried it will eventually sell out on my. So I went ahead and picked it up. It’s a nice-looking set, I feel like it’s not worth “the price of two figures”. The Dungeon Master is small, and essentially a lumpy statue. Venger is quite large, but he is also, effectively a statue, because his neck joint is useless, and his legs, while articulated, are enclosed in a long plastic skirt.
I also got this neat Recycling truck on super clearance. I pick up these sorts of things because they make good props for photos (that I never actually take). It’s a bit small for 6″ figures, but it’ll work.