I picked up Outer Wilds again now that the expansion dropped and finally finished the endgame. …

I picked up #OuterWilds again now that the expansion dropped and finally finished the endgame. (No spoilers since the game is all about discovery. I’ll just say that it involved revisiting one of my least favorite mechanics in order to get to it, which is why I set it aside for so long).

The ending is a perfect, bittersweet coda to the story you uncover over the course of the game.

On Wandering.shop

(longer thread on Wandering.shop incorporated into blog post)

Expanded on K2R
Link on Twitter

Musical instrument acoustics

Interesting: I went to look up exactly what a sound post does, and it’s not so much transmitting vibrations between the top and bottom plates as it is providing a fulcrum so that the bridge can transmit the sideways vibrations of the strings (constrained by the bow pressing on them) to vertical vibrations in the body. Plucked instruments like guitars don’t need that because the strings can vibrate in all directions

Music StackExchange: What’s the purpose of a sound post?

Diagram of the bridge, sound post and body of a violin, showing how the side-to-side motion at the top of the bridge (where the strings pass over it) are transmitted to vertical movements on the body of the violin via rotating around the point where the sound post and one of the bridge supports meet on opposite sides of the top plate of the violin body.    Image via the stack exchange answer linked here.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

Parenting music lesson snafu

Kid’s gotten interested in playing music & has been trying out various instruments over the last few months. (Yay for rentals!)

The latest is cello. When we got it home he noticed the bridge was off-center. He can replace a string, but we all agreed to wait until his first lesson & let the teacher adjust it.

He had his first lesson yesterday, with the same teacher he took violin from a few months ago. First order of business was to adjust the bridge…

So the teacher started carefully loosening the strings while holding the bridge (which is held in place entirely by the tension of the strings) until she could shift it into place. And as soon as it moved, we all heard a loud *THUNK* from *inside* the cello.

The sound post, which both provides structural support and transfers vibrations between the front and back of the instrument, had fallen out.

And was rattling around inside the cello.

(He wants me to point out that when it happened, he reacted immediately saying “Oh no! SOUND POST!”)

So she immediately had to retool the lesson since he couldn’t, you know, play an instrument that was his size (he’s tall for his age, but it’s all in his legs) and just kind of introduce him to bass clef and the basics of how violin and cello differ.

Amazingly, we were able to make it to the music shop before closing (10 minutes to spare!) and swap it for another one.

So in theory, he can actually practice before the next lesson.

Thread start on Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

Looks like it’s the CPU cooling.

Looks like it’s the CPU cooling. Started monitoring the temperature and found that under heavy load it was climbing up to 70 C. Max operating range is 61.

So tomorrow I get to open up the case, clear out the dust, make sure all the fans are working, etc. I’m hoping either that’ll be enough or just putting new thermal paste on the heat sink does it.


A voice in the back of my head wants to use this as an excuse to upgrade & I keep telling it “no, only if it’s actually necessary.”

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

Meanwhile the laptop has been experiencing major lag on Minecraft over the past week. More or less since Apple released the latest security update…which didn’t actually install.

Hoping it’s just a case of the stuck update slowing things down. I’ve had that happen on my work computer too.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

I really don’t want to spend the 3-day weekend fixing computers 😟

On Wandering.shop

Ugh…my home computer clearly needs some hardware help.

Ugh…my home computer clearly needs some hardware help. No Man’s Sky isn’t the only game causing it to shut down under load.

I guess it’s time to figure out whether the power supply needs to be replaced or I just need to blast a couple year’s worth of dust bunnies off of the CPU fan.

On Wandering.shop

Actually it can’t be that long, I replaced the graphics card last summer just before the chip shortage started driving prices sky-high (damn that was lucky timing), and I’m sure I would have cleaned it out at the time.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last macOS security update. There’s no …

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the last macOS security update. There’s no possible way there are 2.3 GB worth of changes between that one and this one.

Did Apple just give up on delta patches a while back and start shipping the entire OS every time there’s a bug fix?

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

Covid vaccine, side effects

Ok, definitely stronger side effects to this one than the first shot.

Chills, loopy, fever, headache on top of the sore arm & fatigue.

Plus my brain decided to throw out a migraine aura and my foot decided to cramp just as the chills were starting, which was extra fun.

At least it should run its course in another day or so.

On Wandering.shop

Finally tried out No Man’s Sky. Starting planet is not only overheating my character, it’s …

Finally tried out No Man’s Sky. Starting planet is not only overheating my character, it’s overheating my CPU too!

On Wandering.shop

I guess I’ll have to turn down some of the settings in order to play more than 30 minutes at a time.

On Wandering.shop

Really disconcerting when the computer abruptly shuts off in the middle of a game

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

Huh, Verizon has sold Yahoo and AOL. For half of what they paid for them…

Huh, Verizon has sold Yahoo and AOL.

Verizon sells AOL and Yahoo for about half of what it paid

For half of what they paid for them. 🤦‍♂️

To a private equity firm. 😬

Flickr and Tumblr REALLY lucked out that Verizon put in the effort to look for a photo-sharing company and a blogging company to sell them to instead of just muddling along with no idea what to do with them until they just wanted to unload them.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R: Ya-who? Flickr and Tumblr Were Lucky!
Link to blog post on Twitter

Food, covid-adjacent

Grabbed a coffee and muffin while out walking, and found an out of the way outdoor place where I could unmask and eat without being near anyone else.

It was WEIRD.

It felt like I was getting away with something.

On Wandering.shop

I mean, I haven’t eaten at a restaurant in nearly a year. Not even outside on a patio. This is the second time since last March that I’ve eaten anything away from home except the occasional travel mug of coffee in the car, when I’m actually going somewhere farther than the grocery store.

I’m not used to it anymore!

…this used to be normal, and now it’s not, and the fact that it’s not normal is weird too.

I think the last time I ate at a restaurant was when I went out to lunch with some co workers the first week of March, and we were talking about whether we wanted to switch to working remotely early, before the order came down. Cause we all knew it was coming sooner or later.

And as it turned out, all of us who were there ended up doing just one more day onsite. Two of us switched early voluntarily, and I got the flu & didn’t recover until the office closed.

At least, I thought it was the flu. The symptoms I used to determine it wasn’t Covid have since been found to be associated with Covid too, and I had a long, lingering cough after I’d otherwise recovered. And while my wife didn’t get the full on flu symptoms, she got the lingering cough too.

Whatever it was, I isolated right away and we didn’t give it to anyone else.

I guess at this point there isn’t any good way to tell. And it probably doesn’t matter anymore either.

Anyway, it’s weird to think that even though I still have the same job, I’ll never go back to that office again. The lease expired last month and they decided to move to a new location once onsite office work is actually a thing again, and the new building isn’t ready yet, so they packed everything into storage.

I guess it would be different if I’d had a chance to grab some key items and/or clear out the clutter on my desk (at least now I know I don’t need those hand written notes after all), which I would have done if I hadn’t been sick when the work-from-home order came down. But as it was, I just had my work laptop at home and that was it.

Expanded on K2R

fan conventions, covid-adjacent

And there’s the official WonderCon@Home announcement

Sounds like they’re still hoping to do San Diego in-person. We’ll see. Well, other people will. I’ve already read the Last Stand of the California Browncoats.

And Long Beach Comic Con’s website’s back online, which is a good sign. I guess it was just bad timing as far as when I happened to look.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

fan conventions, covid-adjacent

WonderCon’s website still shows dates for March, but I don’t think there’s any chance of holding a convention in Anaheim that soon, and I wouldn’t go even if they did.

They also haven’t been selling tickets. I’d guess they’ll announce soon that it’s been cancelled again.

I doubt July will be feasible for San Diego, either. And SDCC feels unsafely crowded in *normal* years. Even in the best-case scenario, my anxiety would go through the roof.

Fall, maaaaybe. Depending on how well the vaccines ramp up and how bad the variants get.

Long Beach was scheduled for September, but their website’s not responding. I’m a bit worried that as a smaller con, they just aren’t able to keep the business side of things intact for two years without events.

So it’s looking like another year without going to any cons. Maybe just as well – I’m sure I’ll have to ramp up my sense of what size crowd feels ok anyway.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

I like Minecraft Earth, but it didn’t quite hit its stride before the pandemic…

I like #MinecraftEarth, but it didn’t quite hit its stride before the pandemic, and didn’t adapt as well as Pokemon Go has *to* the pandemic. I mostly stopped playing after I hit the level cap because gameplay was still too awkward, and it wasn’t *enough* fun to overcome that when I didn’t have a goal to work toward.

So while I’m sad that it’s shutting down later this year, it’s more “what could have been” than wishing I could keep playing it.


On Wandering.shop

Adventuring in AR is the obvious highlight. The main problems are that (1) it requires space, which not everyone has right now, and (2) you can’t choose the *type* of adventure when you activate one, only the complexity. So you’re never sure if you’re going to get a puzzle, a battle, or just a lot of blocks to mine.

On Wandering.shop

Build plates are a cool idea, but the space is very limited, and actually building them in AR is awkward. Sometimes I think it would’ve been nice to be able to build in standard Minecraft UI, then play them in AR. Plus when the pandemic hit, that ruined the plan to let you share the build with other players.

I ended up mainly using build plates to farm. It’s cool that you can, though! Crops and trees grow, you can milk cows, shear sheep, etc. All on your dining table!

On Wandering.shop

Good on them for releasing the rest of the finished-but-unreleased content, discounting what’s there, and giving us time to play the new stuff before shutting down. Plus transferring purchases and character items to Minecraft proper.


On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

Les Mis, history, slavery

Years ago I saw a mention of Les Misérables being popular with Confederate soldiers, who were nicknamed “Lee’s Miserables.”

Even though the book is about why you shouldn’t treat people horribly even if they’re on the lower rungs of society.

Even stranger, the rare times America is mentioned, it’s to condemn slavery.

It turns out there was an 1863 edition published in Richmond that “fixed” the “Yankee” translation from the year before.



They claimed they were trying to fix up some of the idioms, but decided while they were at it to remove all the abolitionist references, insisting that the anti-slavery remarks were somehow off-topic for a book about *European* oppression.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on Re-Reading Les Mis

Yesterday: Talking about cosplay ideas for when we can finally go back to comic conventions….

Yesterday: Talking about cosplay ideas for when we can finally go back to comic conventions.

Today: “L.A. Comic Con says it is moving forward with its plan to hold an in-person convention in December”


I don’t care if they’re limiting it to 10% of capacity and requiring masks. Knowing what we know now, December is going to be way too soon.

On Wandering.shop

Honestly I’m not surprised that of the various LA-area cons it’s them that wants to jump the gun. (As the article points out, there’s no provision in the state’s reopening plan to re-allow conventions even in the least-restricted tier. Which LA County definitely isn’t in now, and I wouldn’t count on it getting there by December.) They’ve always struck me as kinda snake-oily.

On Wandering.shop

Admittedly it’s been years from the worst, back when it was Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo and they had a reality show on SyFy, but still…

Planning a convention for the middle of winter during a pandemic when there’s no provision for actually *holding* a convention within public health regulations? Might be a new low.

On Wandering.shop
Expanded on K2R

Interesting point about Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda: for the most part, MS doesn’t care what …

Interesting point about Microsoft’s acquisition of Bethesda: for the most part, MS doesn’t care what hardware you run their stuff on, they just want you to buy the software. So it’s less likely to be about trying to gain Xbox exclusives and more likely to be about getting more games for Game Pass.


On Wandering.shop

It reminds me of a blog post I read a few years back comparing the core business of various major tech players:

Apple sells hardware, and they sell software & media to give you something to do with the HW.

MS sells software, and the HW is to give you something to run their software on.

Google sells ads on services, and provides HW & SW to connect to those services.

Amazon sells stuff, and their HW is a way to sell you virtual stuff.


On Wandering.shop

And that’s why, for instance, you can run Gmail on anything, MS Office on almost anything, but the main Apple program that runs on other operating systems is designed primarily to hook you up with an iPhone (previously an iPod).

It’s an older post and predates the rise of smart speakers, but it still fits remarkably well. Remember how the Echo originally was mostly a way to place orders through Amazon?

On Wandering.shop