Achievement unlocked

Ahem, it’s been a while. For some reason I haven’t had proper inspiration to write — all the drafts I’ve started have shrivelled at the beginning. The topic of this short “I’m still around” post is not to blame, however. :)

Titanium rings

Achievement unlocked May 31

Announcing Minna 3.0, 32-bit version

It’s that time of the year again: I have to update my About page and footer to age++.

Christmas and New Year’s was snowless but I’m glad we finally got snow in January. It’s beautiful outside and, to top it off, there’s a full moon today! (Sorry to say I encountered a different kind of full moon yesterday… some people don’t wear belts or suspenders even if they should)

I’ve spoiled myself with too many Christmas (Saints Row IV) and birthday presents (limited edition Splinter Cell Blacklist) so I didn’t splurge today. (I’m not too old to be playing, am I?) It’s a workday today and tomorrow but maybe I’ll celebrate somehow someday…

Nice to see you here!

This is just a small post to let me know when the domain points to my new home.
It might take awhile when I iron out the bumps. Let me know if you notice something odd. I mean, with the way the site works… But you can also tell me about anything odd. I’m curious.

Found & irreversibly lost

I like to imagine different scenarios. I’m really good at the coulda shoulda woulda and I often plan possible scripts of conversations I know I need to have (face-to-face or, especially, on the phone). I like to “plan” beforehand so I can more easily think on my feet, in a way, even though the real situation is of course different from what I had imagined.

Yesterday I found a cellphone on the bus on my way home from work. I took it to the driver because I figured they must have a lost&found. Later that night I started wondering what will happen to the phone: will they try and find the owner or will they just chuck the phone in a box labeled “Phones” and wait for the owner to contact them?

What if I would’ve tried to play Sherlock Holmes and investigate? Would the phone have been accessible and not locked? Would I have found the owner’s details in the phonebook or by calling myself to get the number and then by checking the directory service? Would they have lived nearby so I could’ve taken the phone straight to them? I would’ve walked up some stairs to their apartment, rang the doorbell, and asked if they’d lost a phone. Then I would’ve asked for distinguishing marks before giving them their phone back.

It was a nice phone, too. A black Nokia Lumia 920 (I think), just like the one I have, in a nice leather case. I wonder if the owner would’ve been nice too.

Now I’ll never find out.

The world is in high definition

When I was starting senior high school, my dad and I went to get ourselves new glasses (my first pair). I had trouble seeing far and I was supposed to wear the glasses to school. I never did. I ended up wearing them only for driving after my driving instructor asked if I had glasses when I had had trouble seeing a road sign in time at an intersection. Then in university I had to start wearing the glasses because the lecture rooms were big and a lot happened through the overhead projectors or on the chalkboard.

I’ve never worn the glasses outside so my world’s been slightly blurry. I have trouble seeing faces clearly and recognising people until they start waving at me. I luckily can catch a bus in time so I’ve been content. I sort of like the gentle blurry outlines of things.

A week ago I went and got new glasses because my old ones had burrowed a groove on my temples. (Although I don’t wear glasses all the time, I’ve got used to wearing them in front of the TV — which is quite often.) I had my eyes checked and was shocked when I heard the optometrist say “that’s bad.” I think — and certainly hope, because I don’t think my new numbers for correction are really that bad — he meant my eyesight had got worse (compared to 12–13 years ago!). It probably has but I think my first checkup might not have been as accurate as it could’ve and should’ve been: As crazy as it sounds, I had wanted to do well in the exam. I don’t know if it’s even possible to cheat in an eye exam because I don’t know what kind of things they really pay attention to, but I remember having to determine which way an E symbol was pointing and since I was able to see whether it was turned horizontally or vertically (albeit not seeing it clearly), there was a 50-50 chance I guessed correctly. Not once did I say that I didn’t see it properly.

This time the exam made more sense to me because I had to tell which lens out of two possibilities made texts clearer, and only once or twice did we check the board with alphabet to see whether I could read the bottom line (and boy, could I!).

Now I have brand new glasses. I tested them at home right away and for a while felt like I couldn’t walk a straight line (probably due to the slight astigmatism correction in my right eye which made everything wobble as I turned my head side-to-side) but luckily I soon got used to them. It’s weird to be able to read the backs of my books from far away and see the several digital clocks around the apartment without squinting.

Yesterday I took the glasses out for a spin — once I was pretty confident I would pass a test of walking in a straight line. And jeez how I was freaking out: I can see each individual spruce needle on the ground! I can see the faces of people standing far far away! I can see the bus’s number as soon as it appears from behind the trees! I can read small street signs! And at home, my god the standard definition channels look crappy and pixelated on my lovely HD TV! (Luckily, I found out that the DVR is to blame so I just have to get a new HD box which doesn’t cost much. Phew.)

The TV is a nice segway here: I had told the optometrist that I rarely wear my glasses, and he said that once I experience what it’s like to see clearly, I may change my mind about wearing them. He may’ve been right. Just like nowadays I can’t really stand watching an old tube TV (like the one my parents have), I think I may prefer the world in HD, too.

(Also, the frames are really cute :) )

Unintentionally rude?

I feel terrible!

I went to buy a coffee grinder today and eventually had to ask a store clerk for help because I didn’t find them. I said I was looking for a specific one but since there were a couple of others available, he told me a little bit about them. At one point he used the word “user interface” describing the different knobs and dials on the appliances. I chuckled (because computers and things are near and dear to my heart and any nerd reference is delightful) and asked what OS they used. While I chuckled I actually was thinking “wow, what a clever use of vocabulary!” but later I thought I probably came across rude. I hope they thought nothing of it.

Another time, when I was shopping for accessories at the Nokia Flagship, they had a “buy 3 get 1 free” deal and I was trying to decide which ones to get. The sales person suggested a cover for my Lumia 920. I said “tsk, tsk,” (god, I may’ve even shaken my finger…) “the phone is unbreakable, isn’t it?” I of course didn’t say it seriously (probably gave a big smile) but who knows what they thought.

I don’t think I’m a malicious person. I’ve actually been told I’m one of the most sincerelly kind (as opposed to only superficially) people — sometimes to a fault. So, where does this snideness come from!? (A widely shared sense of humour at the work place and a couple of running jokes maybe; I constantly make fun of Apple without thinking.)

How do I stop?

That’s not pluperfect!

Aaaaagh, this is driving me crazy and I need to vent somewhere!

There was this dialogue in episode “Parent Trap…” of Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23:

— It’s a ton of work, and, frankly… Me encuentra un peu bukan zhongfu.
— Huh?
— That means “I’m feeling overwhelmed” in Spanish, French, and Mandarin. I really wanted to wing some Tagalog at you, but I don’t know the pluperfect.

There’s no pluperfect there! Or am I misunderstanding something?

Don’t get ahead of yourself

In this morning’s newspaper I noticed an unusual announcement for a baby boy’s christening:

Announcement for christening

Ouch, the lightsaber must’ve hurt

“Our dear Jedi knight
<name here>
was born <birthday here>
Happy parents
<names here>

I suppose the parents are trying to be geeky…?

My first thought was, “hmph, he’s only a Padawan, at best.” (Right?) And I’m not even a Star Wars geek.

I knooooow, I’m an incurable nitpicker. Sorry.

Fine line between gamer and crazy

It happened again: I’m walking home and see one of those cute compact cars drive by. My first thought is “Oh, oh! Where’s my rocket launcher?!”

“What?!” you may ask.

See, I’ve been playing this game, Saints Row the Third for quite a long time now and there’s a challenge where you have to destroy 50 Emu cars. I’m on my second round of the game now. The Emu challenge was one of the last ones I finished on the first round — not because it’s difficult but just that everything’s a blur when I’m usually zooming by in a fast sports car — so this time I’m making a conscious effort to keep my eye out for them as I’m moving around Steelport. That way I won’t have to resort to driving one out of my own garage just to blow it up to get the few remaining ones I’m too impatient to search for…

Emu in Saints Row the Third

Kuh, Boom!

It also happened with Saints Row that first I had spent a long time trying to finish a difficult Insurance Fraud where you have to hurt yourself by getting hit by cars for instance, the more extravagant the manner the better. (It doesn’t damage the character.) Once the fraud was at last completed I was still in the accident-seeking frame of mind and started hurling myself at cars in the normal game world. (That did some damage…) No chance of that happening in real life, thankfully.

It’s been a while since I’ve played Portal but I do remember that after having played through some tough Advanced levels where a “portalable” wall was difficult to find, I looked at the narrow bit of white wall between my fridge and bathroom door and thought “hm, that’s a great spot for a portal.”

Should I be worried…? Nah.

Saints Row also has you do 500 headshots (and, ahem, 25 nutshots) but that doesn’t mean I think about doing them when I see other people. That would be just… crazy.

Woman’s logic?

A chat with a co-worker today reminded me of this.

For our written exam in driving school we had to answer some questions based on photos of different traffic situations. There was one question I remember quite well: There was a photo of a two-lane gravel road in the middle of a summery forest. The road went straight ahead and turned left, and there was a traffic sign on the right telling that motor vehicles are allowed on the smaller road that followed.

The question was “can you drive straight ahead?”

I answered no — because there also was a bird on the right lane.

It was the wrong answer. Apparently I shouldn’t have paid attention to the bird.