Status Updates posted by Lüt
Well, looks like another few months have passed without me realizing I hadn't made a visit. I know this has become routine for a while, so for those interested or concerned, here's the main things that have been going on:Spoiler
1) Mom's failing health - In late 2018, my mom developed a severe case of pneumonia and had to go through a months-long recovery period to fully eliminate it. During her hospital visits, a diseased aortic valve was discovered. Because the valve was weakening and not pushing enough blood through, she would randomly faint and drop throughout her day. With the condition having a 2-year life expectancy if left untreated, a surgery was scheduled as soon as she recovered.
The operation started well, but upon preparing to insert the new valve, the old one turned out to be extremely calcified and cracked into pieces when the replacement was being fitted. The surgeons got the bleeding under control, but by that point 90% of her organs had shut down, including her brain, so it was either keep her on life support while the rest of her body gradually shut down over the next 2 months to 2 years, or just let things continue naturally. The choice seemed obvious, and she died last 2 years ago today.
2) Dad's moving on - If there's one thing my dad will tell anybody about this, it's that the death of an immediate family member is 95% practical matters and 5% time to actually process it. Finances, paperwork, certificates, insurance, belongings... I could summarize every expected and unexpected thing that came up, but I want to finish this update sometime this year.
The main issue was selling their property. My parents bought a large condo in 2008 with the intent of taking care of my grandma, who then suddenly died when she was due to move in, so the place was already bigger than both of them needed, and definitely too big for my dad alone. It finally went on the market in March 2020, but thanks to COVID immediately following, it took until November to find a buyer. So we spent most of November and December moving my dad into what's probably going to be his last place - a little apartment near our old home.
3) My moving on - For me, the personal aftermath was a mixed bag. I'd been living on my own for 15 years, so it's not like my mom and I saw much of each other, and when we did live together, it's not like there weren't routine struggles. In the end, the whole ordeal wasn't exactly a devastating emotional impact, as much as it was simply exhausting. After everything settled, the time came to get my own place fixed up for sale and figure out where I wanted to go next.
People have been hearing me talk about selling this condo for years now, but for all the effort I put into it, the process continues to be one step forward, two steps back. I had set aside the rest of winter and all of spring to finish working on it and get it on the market, but two things got in the way.
1) My old boss showed up at the end of August last year, once again homeless, starving, broken vehicle, and needing money. He spent the next month draining me for "just a little more," telling me "it's all coming back" and detailing how he was connected with different charity organizations who were all set to reimburse me. And one of them actually did (despite questionable circumstances), so I went with it. However, the others didn't, and after he borrowed me down to $5, he disappeared.
2) The stomping silbercunt failed to make its usual journey to Florida this winter. Every May through December, this wretched 90-year-old thunderdemon claims dominion over my ceiling and rains down daily riotous insanity. My quest for peace has taken me to lawyers, social workers, two homeowners association leaders, the police depart, and the village hall, along with bringing officers to the scene for direct intervention. But behavior that would get anybody evicted from an apartment in days can continue in a condo for years "because owner rights," so for 7 months every year, this decrepit shrieking hag continually makes the case for euthanasia at my expense. I only survived this long because of the winter/spring reprieves, so this is the last complication I need.
And thus unit repairs have fallen into limbo until either my old boss pays back my repair budget or I convince family to bail me. It's looking like the latter, and once that's set, I'll probably spend a few more months restoring and marketing the place, then finding where to move to next.
So, that's why I've been continually absent the last few years, and why I'll probably remain sparse for another chunk of this year. Even though I'm at the PC a lot of days, I'm finding myself easily overloaded by large-scale projects and interactions due to the amount of RL things still up in the air, so idle chat in smaller Discord servers or PMs is about all I've been good for lately.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to get at is that it's been the perpetual dilemmas of daily living that have kept me away, and not a lack of interest in Doom or the community. In fact, I've been genuinely enjoying the time I've been able to spend working on maps and other resources, as well as doing testing for other people. In particular, being able to go at my own pace with no public releases or deadlines looming has been quite relaxing, and helped turn all this back into a hobby. It's been fun exploring Eternity Engine's possibilities, and I'm getting so many fresh ideas now that I've set aside time to learn the new features, tools, and formats that have become available over recent years. I really do look forward to the time I can return as a regular participant around here, and hopefully that comes sooner than later. Until then, feel free to tag or DM me on Discord - I might even reply within a week.
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Hey Lut. Your 'exodus family' is missing you too if you know what I mean. Check in there sometime, some names are no longer present here and they'd love to hear from you. Take care bud.
I'm glad you're here.
Thanks for the warm replies :)Quote
Hey Lut. Your 'exodus family' is missing you too if you know what I mean. Check in there sometime, some names are no longer present here and they'd love to hear from you.
Ah, so sorry. I've lost track of so many groups lately. Connections have gotten so fragmented that I'm on like 15 different sites and services trying to keep track of everybody, and I'm not doing very well at it. I really need to work on consolidating things this year.
Admittedly, part of the lack of communication is that I don't like to dump issues on people that they can't do anything about. Like, if I write something and I realize the only possible response is "sorry man that sucks," I usually just drop it.
Of course, the problem is that when such issues go on for a while, I tend to disappear entirely.
I've had this discussion with people in private before, and the general concensus is that it's better to hear potentially negative news than to hear nothing and be left wondering, especially if it's for such extended periods of time.
Still, I can't shake the feeling of not wanting to share an issue that only leaves people hanging. But, it's not like people don't know everybody has ups and down, and it's probably presumptuous to decide for others that they don't want to hear certain things from me. So, I'll try to be a bit more active and open like I used to be.
Maybe I'll turn my status updates into "Carpenter Lüt's Home Repair Bitchfest Feed" for the next few months :P
Speaking of which, I got some potentially good news regarding that money yesterday. Since my mom worked at an insurance agency for most of her time, we always used one of their agents to do our taxes. But last year, my dad tried to do something that would save us money on his own. It apparently worked, but it also disqualified me from receiving the first $1200 stimulus. I haven't been in the registry for the new stimulus either, but we talked with the agent again and he said we should be able to do my taxes in a way that qualifies me for the new one. So if that works, the $1400 should cover all the supplies and labor I'd need to finish here, and I won't need to borrow anything from anyone. Sending in the last necessary info this morning, fingers crossed.
Hey, I cleared the bump, thanks for noticing.
Though that discussion is dead and nobody's likely to port Mac-Wolf to ZDoom, you can still visit the main site that's hosting the download you were asking about: http://www.brlowe.co.uk/
There's an email address at the bottom of the page - that's probably the guy who's best able to answer your question regarding the graphics display on Win 7, so try asking him first.
First snowfall of the year, first rear-ending of a lifetime.
Guess I finally get to meet my insurance agent tomorrow.
So my studies took a rather unexpected diversion this semester.
See, I wanted to take this Fiction class for my last humanities credit. I also needed one more honors-section class to graduate with honors.
Imagine my happiness when I got the honors newsletter saying Fiction would run in an honors section in Spring 2015.
Cool. The letter came at beginning of the Fall 2014 semester, so I dropped my section of Fiction that semester so I could save it for Spring 2015, therefore avoiding a needless honors-section class solely to graduate with honors.
Then 3 weeks into Fall 2014, and 3 weeks after dropping the regular Fiction, I get the update to the newsletter: "Sorry, we changed honors Fiction from 2PM to 11AM." Wonderful, except I've got on-site training that day from 9AM-1PM.
Go through a bunch of hassle, come up with one solution: "Study Abroad."
So I ended up in Paris over spring break.
Got to see the cool stuff, got to see the ghetto stuff, got to be a Dumb American™, got to meet Julian again (nearly 10 years later), got to have real wine, got to eat real bread... (I have to say, France certainly has the French Toast market cornered.)
Got my humanities credit, got my honors credit.
All in all, we had a very French time.
Alright, I suppose my rather obscure presence here over the last 2 years demands an explanation - particularly for those who've been expecting input by me or feedback from me - so it's time for a little point-by-point catch-up. A number of things have gone on, but they're best summarized by a single word.
* School: I started taking college classes in fall '08. Self-education was getting me nowhere, and the inability to have real-time interaction with books or online tutorials was growing increasingly frustrating. I was tired of having to search through novels of information to answer a simple question, or waiting days or weeks for the authors to clarify something they wrote (if they responded at all), so I decided I'd turn myself over to the education professionals.
I had no concerns regarding academic standing or acquisition of degrees - I only wanted to learn practical knowledge and application. I started taking classes for stuff I was interested in or stuff I thought was practical for daily living - music, english, graphic design, dietetics, people & society, etc. - without wasting any time on gen eds. I also figured I'd focus on the relevant material in those classes and ignore any obnoxious or unnecessary academia - eat the meat, spit out the bones, so to speak. As long as I didn't fail, I could keep moving up in the areas I wanted. Like the collegiate work ethic says, "C's get degrees."
Then something stupid happened. I didn't get C's, I got A's. After that, the local honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society asked me to join. So I did. Which is ridiculous, because I barely made it through high school. But I figured, well, maybe I should try to keep it up. And for the last 3 years, I pretty much did exactly that (fuck aural skills, "absolute pitch memory" my ass).
What caught me off guard was the workloads. First semester, I took 4 classes - 12 credits. The counselor told me that was a full-time enrollment, but I didn't quite believe her. 1 hour on Monday, 6 hours on Tuesday and 3 hours on Thursday didn't seem like much, especially since high school was 8 hours a day 5 days a week. What nobody told me was that to get an accurate estimation of the time you'd spend on a class, you're supposed to multiply the credit rating by 4 - 1x for the actual class time and 3x for the amount of time you'd spend doing homework. Once that was in perspective, it became clear that this wouldn't be something I could casually tack on to the rest of my daily activities.
So I put those on hold and jumped into academic mania. 5 to 7 classes most semesters. Best to get through it as quick as possible so I can return to my personal interests as quick as possible. Ultimately, as it became clear that these people actually put good time into developing relevant programs, I decided to get on the degree track after all. I'm planning to wrap up an A.A. in General Studies w/ Psychology focus, an A.F.A. in Music, an A.A.S. in Graphic Arts w/ Creative Design focus, a Digital Photography certificate, a Web Design certificate, and a Dietary Manager certificate by 2013. 5 years at a 2 year school. No idea what I'll do with all that, but it's good to have options.
So it's been a hectic time lately.
However, the madness will be slowing down soon. One more semester and I'll have most of my core courses out of the way. Music theory, aural skills, music lit and class piano will be done; all I'll have left are some lessons and ensembles. Nutrition planning, sanitation standards and medical nutritional therapy are done; all I'll have left is an internship at a food service facility. Graphic design and desktop publishing will be done; all I'll have left is... well, the other half of the program. And some gen eds.
But the point is, the brainbusters will all be out of the way by the end of this year, and I'll finally be able to return focus to completing personal projects and getting back in touch with the people and communities I've put on hold.
In the meantime, things have been going fairly well. Since I did good enough in the core music courses, I'm currently in talks with the music department to become their private tutor for music theory and aural skills this coming school year. I'd see people one-on-one for an hour at a time. The pay wouldn't be great, and would depend on how many people decide they need my help. But it would still be the first job I'd have any satisfaction in doing, so hopefully it goes through.
And to think I didn't even know what a triad was before I started the music program. Honestly, it's a bit troubling how much of an academic nerd I've become. Last year I even got nominated for honors president by the original president and the PTK president, but I turned it down because I wouldn't have time to take the classes I wanted. I wonder if that makes me a bigger nerd than the actual president.
Anyway, now that I've got a little downtime during my 3 weeks of summer break, I'll address a few Doom/DW-related issues.
* The Espi Files: When Espi passed away, it was publicly announced that I would receive his Doom directories from his family, and that I would sort through them to find any noteworthy unfinished or unreleased projects of his and pass them on to the community. The DVD of 7,606 files totalling 4.08GB arrived a few weeks after his funeral, and I spent another few weeks doing an overview of the contents and learning his somewhat haphazard organizational schemes. Though I still haven't opened or played every single file, I've found everything I believe to be his, based on his filing methods and the things he told me about in IM conversations. I told my findings to a few close contacts, but never publicly announced them to the community as a whole.
The reason for my silence was simply that there were no noteworthy unfinished or unreleased projects of his to pass on.
That isn't to say that there were no items of interest. He kept multiple in-development versions of his maps, a number of which have alternate scenes. The EDIV Map27 development history is incredibly thorough, and it's intriguing to see it progress from a linear river with 2 block piles at each end to what is now known as one of the most epic maps in Doom history. There are a few higher-detailed scenes in B2B that had their designs reduced to make it a vanilla-compatible WAD, the most notable being a version of E2M9 with all the buildings in one open space instead of multiple separate spaces. And there's the beginning of an E3 replacement, which has a whopping unfinished 2 rooms and a hallway. But since his final and preferred versions of all these maps are already available, and since he had no concern for his little E3 brainstorm, I didn't consider the release of his development histories to be an item of priority. I'm still going to sort and post them eventually, but for now there are more important things than these mild curiosities.
* Millennium: It still exists. I'm still making plans for it. I haven't had the time or energy to focus on it. When I last did, the engine had developed a glaring portal bug that rendered all our maps quite broken. I was putting together a Hub 1 all-up at the time, and I decided it would be a good time to update to the latest engine. I overwrote an old custom build from SoM for me, and it ruined the entire all-up. Since it was a custom build, the earlier public release was missing some of the necessary features entirely. The all-up fell into limbo while waiting for the engine to be fixed, and by the time it was working again, I was buried in classwork.
However, even though I haven't done much editing on the computer, that doesn't mean I haven't had it under consideration. I've been looking at the maps in what little spare time I have, paying attention to consistency issues and getting an idea of -exactly- what needs to be done. I've been making sketches of design options to implement when I have the proper time. I've learned a lot of good file management practices in the graphic arts curriculum, and I'm currently organizing the absurd amounts of resources and their various versions into an easily navigated archive. A lack of organization has caused numerous inconveniences and a few outright disasters in the past - now this will no longer be a problem.
Additionally, one of the discoveries I was happiest to make in Espi's archives was a set of completed metal textures. Earlier in Millennium's development, I put a variety of Quake2 textures into the resource. They were meant for a few specific scenes in a single map that were distinctly separate from the rest of the map. Of course, when I had a crew of designers revamp certain sections of the game during the work rush so many years ago, they plastered these textures haphazardly amidst scenes full of standard Doom2 textures with no regard for the stylistic clash. Replacing them with Doom2's Metal# textures left the scenes too plain and overwhelmingly redundant, so one of the reasons I was organizing the all-up was to pass it on to texture artists who could look at the context and recreate them to match Doom2's style. It seems Espi went ahead with this anyway, and now I can eliminate one of my biggest irks from the maps.
I'll look forward to resuming proper management of the project next year. The time away has given me fresh perspective on essential elements vs personal preferences, and the time spent working other projects in the graphic design department has given me a much better grip on handling large multi-faceted undertakings. It probably won't go as quick as I'd like, but constantly chipping away at something really does add up eventually.
* Eternity: I was anxious to try out the first official release of Eternity in a very long time, so I unzipped it into my Heretic directory and booted it up. Skipped to E4M7 and found myself shooting gargoyles and disciples with invisible shotguns and chainguns. Seems not too much has happened regarding Heretic development. Isn't this what the big GPL debacle all those years ago was about?
More importantly, is this engine still capped at 35 FPS? I looked through the menus (nice redesign btw) and couldn't find anything related to framerate. I think I've become spoiled after using ZDoom all these years, because this is... quite unplayable. I can probably get used to it for testing purposes, but... I doubt it will be too thrilling an adjustment :\
Still, I'll be trying it with the levels made for it soon, and I'm looking forward to seeing all the portal improvements in action.
* Team Insanity: Even when I was active years ago, the site was on indefinite hiatus. As of now, I have no plans to re-initiate it. The /newstuff chronicles dissipated any urgent need for WAD review teams when they began, and now that they're open to anybody who wants to write a review, I see no point in resurrecting a less efficient and exceedingly redundant review system. Safe to say, the site is retired. It was fun while it lasted.
Alright, that's it for now. I'll be going ninja on everybody again in a week. Beware :o
Seriously, I didn't know this stuff even existed.
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So, over the last few months, I've been looking for affordable housing around the Chicago suburbs. In any other year, that kind of oxymoron would have stopped any searches before they began, but thanks to the so-called economic collapse, low-class bums like me were able to scour the bottom end of the housing market for possible purchase options.
Absurd property taxes put even the cheapest houses out of the question, which left condos. I looked through about 20 tolerably-sized 2-bedrooms, most of which were $130,000 - $140,000. The few that were cheaper needed about $20,000 of maintenance and more time than I had to spend working on them.
The best floorplan was the smaller Tricks And Traps layout in the complex where my parents moved 2 years ago. The 2 largest models have an octagonal foyer that has 6 or 7 doors leading to the various rooms. The one they got is this epic 1850 square footer. Most condos are glorified apartments - these are stacked houses.
The smaller version is 1450 sq ft. Still felt like a mini-house rather than an apartment. I knew it was the best layout when I walked through it, but the price of the 2 crappiest units I've ever seen in my life were $134,000 and $140,000. The first one had orange stains on the carpet around all the furniture, grout that randomly transitioned from white to black, cracked plastic cabinets, suspended ceiling light tiles turned yellow and brown to match the shape of the lights above them, a collapsing ceiling in the hallway, and half the entire master bedroom ceiling was bloated with water damage. The second had wallpaper. Everywhere. On every wall. Over half the baseboard. On the front door. On the closet doors. On the metal bi-fold doors. On the cabinets. On the sink. And I doubt the carpet had been cleaned since the complex went up in the '70's.
Looked at a bunch of other stuff in the range of 800-1100 sq ft, also running an average price of $130,000. Saw lots of nice decorating and lots of crap, but they were all just apartments that people decided to sell instead of rent.
The thing about the place where my parents live is that it went into construction around 1970 and was marketed as a luxury complex, so a lot of people who were either retired or at the end of their careers sold their house after their adult children had moved out and moved into that complex. Now 40 years later, they're all making their final move to the graveyard, and half the units for sale are being sold by the children of people who've either died or been moved to a nursing home.
Last Thursday, one such estate sale comes on the market - $119,000. Owner died, kids wanted to ditch it ASAP. Saw it on Friday. I was certain from the price it was this other 1150 sq ft model, but turns out it was the Tricks And Traps model. And not only was it not trash, but it was good. They cleaned, patched, repainted and recarpeted. Nothing for me to do but bid. Offered $110,000 on Saturday. Prayed a bit. They returned with $115,000 on Sunday. Took it.
And behold: The Chateau
Of course, I'm too lame to manage the downpayment and credit check myself, so it was joint venture between me, my parents, and my recently deceased grandmother who left us a fair bit of savings. It'll run about $1,100 a month after association fees and taxes, but for the upgrade from my 558 sq ft 1-bedroom apartment which is up to $790 a month and heading past $800 at the next lease renewal, I'd say it's worth it. Especially considering somebody just paid $141,000 for an 1150 sq ft unit on the floor above me.
Now I just need to add 2 more doors to make it a true Tricks And Traps setup. I could add a secret entrance to the bedroom closet - it would be more of a shortcut than a secret, but it would work. I could also add one to the right wall, but that would open into the shower, so I'd rather not. Maybe I should just install permanently locked yellow and red skull doors on the walls instead. And turn the hallway into a crusher :D
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Condos work more like buying a house, but there is an aspect similar to renting an apartment. You own the unit and everything inside, but you're also located in somebody else's building and on their land.
To buy, you go through the standard homebuying procedure: place a down payment and take out a mortgage loan for the remaining cost of the property. However, the building and land are typically maintained by an association, which charges an association fee that can vary from year to year.
You also pay property taxes like you would in a house. When you rent an apartment, the landlord splits your rental money between building costs and tax costs, since he owns the properties. When you own the condo, the association fee covers the building costs and the taxes go to you. This can be a benefit if you're eligible for tax discounts - a lot of these old fossils were paying only a few hundred in taxes for the entire year, so their only monthly property costs after the mortgage was paid were the $300-$450 association fees (rate based on the size of the unit).
At first the association fee seems like an extra hassle, but you have to remember that when you pay the tax, you pay only for the space of the unit you occupy and nothing else. For houses, your property tax covers not only the house, but the total amount of land you own as well. Out here (and I suspect most places), the amount of money you have to dedicate to taxes when you own a house is considerably greater than the combined property tax and association fee of the condo.
Plus at this place, the association actually works for their fees. We get heated garages under our buildings, private parking lots for guests to use without cops ticketing and towing, landscape maintenance (including snow removal in winter), each building has its own maintenance guy and there's 2 head maintenance guys covering the entire complex, and there's also this pavilion that has a party room, game room, pool tables, exercise facility and indoor swimming pool. So it's not like some associations that just leech off condo owners and use the fees to increase their personal benefits.
Getting free maintenance is a bit tricky - you own the unit and everything in it, so you're responsible if you break your own stuff. However, if there's any damage to the unit either due to building issues or other people, the maintenance guys will fix your unit. For example, the people living below my parents' unit had a pipe break in their foyer ceiling last winter and the owner had to drill holes in it to let the water pour into a bucket. Maintenance fixed/replaced everything for no cost. If you own a house, that's your problem.
Anyway, that's about how they work. So no, I don't have that kind of money; I'll be expected to get it each month or face a foreclosure or bankruptcy. The downpayment of $25,000 was possible because of what was left after my grandparents died. The other paperwork was tricky and I'm still not certain what it was all about. Because it's a 3-way ownership split between my parents and I, we were able to do some kind of hackjob on the mortgage and taxes. First, they got a tax write-off for owning a second property (even if only partially), so we (I) save something like over $1,000 a year there. We also had enough combined credit to delay the mortgage payments 5 years and only pay interest until then. During that 5 years, I can put extra money toward the premium to decrease it. It's currently $90,000, but I'm hoping to get it down to at least $40,000. I could just pay the association fee and discounted tax for 5 years, which would be cheaper than my current rent, but that would be stupid and burn me when I least need it.
So yeah, guests are welcome. I'll have plenty space and stuff to do. Sandy'll be at the top of the list.
I'll get pictures when I move in. The deal doesn't close until December 18, so I won't have keys until then.
I got pulled over by a state trooper while on my way to pay for classes this morning.
He asked me who legally owned my car. I honestly wasn't sure, but I thought it was my dad. I used to own my car when I lived at the house, but it was a trash heap that was always causing both of us trouble and one day I came out to find it had been replaced and somehow it never got discussed, so I just went on driving the new one.
Anyway, the guy tells me, with no lack of a compulsive superiority complex, that neither of us own the car and spends 10 minutes going through all my IDs and insurance and registration and a list of questions about where I was born and grew up etc. before letting me go and telling me to get the car in my or my dad's name if I wanted to stop getting pulled over because the car's on some kind of list that he didn't specify.
It already WAS in our name and we'd been paying insurance/license plate fees and all that for like 5 years, so I have no idea what this is all about. At least he didn't seem to notice I never went to traffic school when I got my last speeding ticket over a year ago.
Thats a weird story.
Could be a case of mistaken identity or something. I had that happen to a friend of mine a few years ago. He got pulled over and arrested and spent the night in a cell and had to have family come in and identify him before they let him go. He had all his ID on him, but in certain situations apparently, even that is not enough. He found out later that whoever he was mistaken for had done something pretty serious.
I wonder what this 'list' is.
At least he didn't seem to notice I never went to traffic school when I got my last speeding ticket over a year ago.
So in the States you gotta go to to driving school if you get a speeding fine?
Well I was doing 90 in a 55 zone, on the tickets they have something like 5-10 over, 10-25 over, 25+ over, most 5-10's are just a fee, I think 10-25 can be court appearance depending on the situation, and 25+ is mandatory court appearance and the officer usually shows up too.
Not that I've gotten enough tickets to know for sure.
So in the States you gotta go to to driving school if you get a speeding fine?
I have no clue how it works in other states, but in Texas, if you go to Driver's Ed, you get the ticket expunged from your record (so your insurance doesn't go up, you don't have to tell a future employer about it if a job your applying for requires driving a company vehicle, etc).
IIRC, you can only do it once every 2 years, though.
Espi finally explained to me how to configure Photoshop to color in line-drawings without either coloring over the lines or having the edges remain uncolored along the transitions from black to white, so as a test, I colored one of his old drawings, Mae:
It didn't turn out too bad, considering I really had no idea what I was doing and just wanted to see how different colors turned out with the multiply settings. It took a little over an hour. I kinda got carried away trying to do the wing's color transition. I was hoping to fade them from blue to silver, but I couldn't find a way to create silver nor transition it, so it only ended up going from dark to light blue.
Floof & Sap Art Images presents:
3 Steps To Nowhere
A photograph of mine...
A photoshop of Espi's...
And a complete reliance on a picture being worth a thousand words for the sake of avoiding another long drawn-out introduction:
(10 steps short of a Pantera song, but I don't think it would suit the scenery very well anyway.)
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Hah, so it was a riddle and I was almost there (no lake, just nothing). Indeed a public place not one's house.
Heh, I suppose that counts, but the only riddletastic intention I had was a spin-off on the Pantera song 13 Steps To Nowhere.Grazza said:
Yes. It's at Colesbukta on Spitsbergen, which was originally a whaling station, and later used by the Russians as a port for the mining settlement at nearby Grumant and for exploratory coal drilling.
Heh, should've known, you've only photodocumented like half the world :PGrazza said:
I've also had some problems with trying to take photos in very bright light recently. The more manual control the camera gives you, and the bigger the range of settings it is capable of, the better. And of course you can use filters too.
Yeah, the one area digital have always been severely lacking in (at least up to the point I last looked) is aperture control. Mine was one of the top models 3 years ago and it only has 2 aperture settings. It's often been a hassle for taking shots of indoor action in large open arenas, but for once I could have used a smaller size instead of larger. Still, I suppose the snow-burn is accurate of the lighting if nothing else.
I don't have any filters either. The first thing on my purchase list for camera supplies is a tripod. I've been having a lot of fun taking nighttime pictures the last few months - only problem is the necessary exposure time for such shots makes it impossible for handheld photographing, so I've gotten more than a few odd looks walking around town at night carrying my laundry bin to use as a makeshift camera support.insertwackynamehere said:
First off, I love bright days whether they are in summer or winter (summer especially since I like warmth but if there is snow then winter also). Also, I love the picture and it's photoshopped one.
I could go without, but they do make for great pictures. I'll get some of the other pictures posted later - there's much better ones in the series, I just thought the dead-end steps were the most amusing.insertwackynamehere said:
The photoshopped one actually made me just sit there staring for a few seconds.. it's like some sort of surreal heavenly place or something. It also reminded me of the album art for Supertramp's Even in the Quietest Moments.
Heh, so I wasn't the only one who thought 'album cover' when I first saw it. After Espi sent his version to me, I told him that I hoped he realized he was going to do the entire album art for a winter EP he just inspired me to record. He was a bit D:, but I know he'll pull through :Djanitor said:
uhhh... where's the focal-point?
I'm sure it's in somebody's pants somewhere.
OK, so I finally figured out what I was going to get for my new computer (thanks for all the replies in that old thread BTW, I got too carried away researching to reply before it expired). All 3 major component packages arrived today, now I'm just waiting for some cooling supplies. Current purchase list:
1 Core2duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 45nm CPU
1 Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L MB
2 2x1GB Mushkin DDR2-800 4-4-4-12 SDRAM
1 WD Raptor 10000RPM 150GB HD
2 WD RE2 7200RPM 500GB HD
1 SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe
1 PowerColor Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 Passive-Cooled VPU
1 SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus 550W PSU
1 Atrix CSCI-L8033-C43 Black Steel Mid-Tower Case
1 Thermalright XP-90 Heatsink with Arctic Silver 5 tube
1 Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm
2 ARCTIC COOLING AF8025PWM 80mm
2 Nexus Real Silent 80mm
2 Nexus Real Silent 92mm
Still haven't decided a soundcard, but I'm looking at the E-mu 1212M. Its interface is a bit annoying though.
Anyway, this turned out to be a rather satisfactory hardware selection. For once, my excessively slow progress at accomplishing anything turned out to be a good thing since the E8400's came out while I was putting the rest of the unit together. Hopefully I shouldn't have any troubles running it at 3.6GHz like most other users. Espi had a good idea of putting Windows and all other all HD-intensive items such as programs and perhaps a few newer games on a superspeed drive while storing large data like music and video archives on standard supersize drives. So I did. Once again my slow progress allowed the 500GB enterprise drives to be updated with PMR, so now these run about as fast as the new 750GB enterprise drives which I was hoping to get but ran short on money for. I wasn't planning to get such a decent video card, but I got talked out of the EN6800GTS for a more recent Radeon 3850 once somebody showed me they had passive models (the stats comparison helped too). Oddly enough, I was forced to upgrade when I found out the 3850's heatsink might cause some spacial problems with the northbridge and RAM but the 3870's would fit perfectly.
Now I just have to make it all run :|
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1). DIAF...I'll never shop at Wal-Mart. I've been boycotting them for a myriad of reasons for years now.
2). I have a pretty good rig right now with tons of RAM and some kind of sweet dual-core CPU, just I've only got onboard video with limited 3d card compatibility. All I need is a video card.
3). I have no money right now. In fact, I have negative money.
So Erik was over last night, and he brought the result of his very first home brew.
It wasn't too bad, but I think the foam to liquid ratio was a bit off...
...especially considering it was poured less than a centimeter from the tip of the angled glass.
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I think I've probably heard no more than single person call it a kiwifruit.
But you don't live in a country with birds called kiwi, which is the national symbol, and where the people are informally referred to as Kiwis.
Saying "kiwi is delicious" there, people could take you as an endangered bird eater or a cannibal :p
The subjects; old. Propinquity; consanguinity, commonwealth, and principalities. Egalitarianism; kindred, heirarchy, gender, and fidelity. Dichotomies; social ethics and material acquisition. Rectitude; liberty, justice, virtue, and armistice. Humanity; the origin, antecedent, contemporary, imminent, and lattermost posterity; indeed the consummate purpose of existence, within the multitudinous frameworks of lineage, community, society, the prevalent domain of this world, and the omniverse as a whole. Immortal souls conceived of transmundane spiritual faculties underlying physical reality, or mere byproducts of a thermodynamic system, striving to maneuver through their fleeting lives with maximal delectation and minimal affliction, all spiraling collectively through recurrent paradigm shifts into matrices of dynamic activity in persistent yet deficient attempts to define their simulacrum of capability and effectuate an incorporeally exotic purpose in pursuit of indubitable enlightenment and the quintessential society, either a future destination yet unvisited or past Golden Age purportedly realized long ago.
Yet the take; new. Through abstract art and symbolism within the dialectic interactional parameters provided by the hermeneutical synthesis and total transitional flexibility of the motion picture, Espi and I shall attempt to explore the nature and identity of humanity and its palpable and platonic constituents and their derivable capacity with functional differentiation of classifications within a variety of contexts and essences ranging from the modern distinctions of the psychological and the sociological to the ancient cultivations of the philosophical and the theological. To begin, we present our first look at the dichotomy of volition and destiny, choice and fate; free will and predestination, as it were:
Molasses: Equestrian Bravado II: Knights Of Further Distance
While by no means an exhaustive analysis, it does, as the description states, quench any ambiguity regarding our elucidation of the subject. At any rate, we trust we have provided you with an informative, insightful, enlightening, edifying, arousing, impelling, and inspirational presentation. And join us, as we continue to unveil and traverse new mysteries in our enduring social exegesis.
I think it's been there a while.
So I found a letter from management in my door last week saying that somebody tried to burn the building across from me. They first tried to light the 1st floor hallway and staircase on fire after dousing with kerosene, a feat made somewhat easy due to the lack of locks on the main doors, then kicked in a dryer pipe from the laundry room and used the kerosene trick again. I suppose I should be concerned, but somehow, somebody who tries to light ceramic tile and concrete on fire just doesn't seem like much of a threat to me.
When's the last time you saw something like that? :o
Well the first half of this year was a rather epic waste.
Couldn't find a new roomie for the Streamwood townhouse after essentially going broke paying for 2 people for 8 months straight. (No it had nothing to do with the sink.) Had to move back to the greater Action Heights area in July with little notice.
At least everywhere I need to go isn't 30-45 minutes away anymore.
Got a decent 1-bedroom pad. 3rd floor, finally. Took a few weeks to get everything situated and ready to go, then the PC died. Need a new one ASAP; help here plz.
Also missed the community college registration. Guess that gives me more time to work. So happy I could hang myself. Insurance; the most worthless occupation ever. Been there 2 years now and I don't even know what the company does. At least I can listen to the MP3 player all day uninterrupted.
In other news, I'm starting a serious album for once.
News as it progresses.
Check back in 2010.
This is odd. Usually the top of the water doesn't harden like that.
I just realized my registration date is 7 years ago this month. I've been here nearly twice as long as I was in highschool.
I should probably do something retrospective, but I tried that at 10,000 posts and I don't seem to have gotten more insightful since then.
Though, looking at the date on that thread, only some 15% of my spam was posted during the second half of that time. That's probably an improvement.
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Besides, Danarchy's posting lead goes to danger because of Lüt, Fredrik, and Naked Snake, all having over 11000 posts and less than 12000. Let's see if Lüt can finally end Danarchy's lead. ;)
Heh man you're new. I retained the lead from within the first year until this, which I just noticed is actually 2 years ago from this topic O_omyk said:
Your stay here (not literally, unless you're Max Headroom's cousin) has been longer than that, if you count Team Insanity, and the previous news comments and forums.
Yeah but I think that was around the time I was boycotting DW because it was moderated. Plus I never actually had access to the TI or Millennium sites until a fair bit of time after the forums came up. I wrote some content of course, but it was all webified and uploaded by Chief.
But actually, I do remember posting in news comments occasionally. I think there were separate forum and news comments for at least a year. I remember AndrewB made a toast to somebody for a project they did, and Chief and I alternated posting as AndrewA - AndrewP making toasts to various things, and reposted the entire collection as "The Andrews" when they got deleted :PBucked said:
Does this account for people who had their postcounts changed to -666?
If you mean pritch, I reset that like 2-3 years ago.GGG said:
I'm sure it's healthier not to be posting on average of nearly ten times a day for three years.
Or using 7% of the entire site's bandwidth.
I just got a check from the United States Treasury for $396.00.
Apparently they refunded my entire year's taxes because I'm now officially in the poverty bracket.
Take that AndrewB >:|
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I think I might have found your problem.
Yes, I realized that problem a year or two ago. I used to think that kind of greed was just a human condition that every society would have to deal with, and I suppose it is, but it's considerably farther out of control here than almost every other country I've looked at moving into lately. The huge focus on drug addiction here is amusing, because everybody puts so much effort and resources and laws into that but does nothing about wealth addiction, which I would argue is by far the bigger threat on a national level.myk said:
Oh, I wouldn't understand this stuff; I've never seen anybody with any returned tax money over here.
You tricked me! >:(
So what action are you currently involved in to help fight the problem?
Oh I'm saving up my millions so when I hit $5 billion or so I can donate it all to fixing the problem. No more than that though, I'm trying to be realistic.
Seriously though, it's like Lüt said. I'm spending nearly all my energy working and trying to not go into debt, so I have little time for anything else. The government itself is what's fundamentally flawed. Every third bill they sign into law only makes it worse and they pass the blame so the poor end up fighting each other, thinking its the other guy's fault. Revolution is the only way that's going to change, and that's not going to happen because they make it so fucking expensive to own a gun.