Archives for July 2014

Poor Uschi

I like to think I’m a competent guide dog handler and then things like today happen.

I forgot to feed Uschi this morning.

Okay, no, that’s not entirely true and the reality is even worst in my opinion.

Every morning I have the same routine. It’s been pretty much unchanged since her first day here. Primarily the part where I prepare her breakfast while I make my own. This morning was no different except for whatever reason I just left her bowl of food sitting on the counter.

A fact that didn’t go unnoticed by the shepherd. She didn’t bother me about it, which I find really surprising, but instead just kept going into the kitchen and then coming to lie down near me. After a few trips she gave up and just crashed in her crate.

I discovered my blunder when I went to make lunch. Uschi was definitely confused when she finally got a meal and just kind of stared at me as if to ask whether she were allowed to finally eat even with me urging her on. Hunger finally overtook any confusion she might have had and she gobbled her food down like the famished beast she no doubt was.

So, yeah, I kind of broke her and I feel most awful about it.

iTunes Says I’ve Lost Six Days

Got my replacement external hard drive and restored a backup onto it. And everything is back in order.

Except my iTunes library:

Status bar in iTunes reads: "2363 items, 6.3 days, 55.79 GB"

My iPhone was very happy to have iTunes open and immediately tried to sync, which produced a string of messages about missing files. None of them were actually missing, they just weren’t where iTunes was looking for them. And it tunes out those half dozen files weren’t the only ones.

Fortunately, this was a relatively easy fix. If you change the default location for your iTunes Library and it ever becomes inaccessible, iTunes will revert to the default. Resetting that and letting iTunes “clean up” almost completely fixed this issue. The exception seems to be some files that have an extraneous “localhost” appended to their location. I’m not sure what caused that particular issue but it was only a very small number of files and, amusingly, none of them from that six-days-long list.

Nonetheless, it’s no wonder I have a wicked migraine. Joy.


Screenshot from Persona 3 Portable

Really, game? One experience point?

Anyway, while I debate taking on this crazy idea of mine, I started playing Persona 3 Portable. I definitely miss the search feature in the Compendium1, but otherwise I’m enjoying the heck out of this game.

  1. An addition made in Persona 4 Golden.

“Bleu, why you no blog about Firefly game?”

Those with a keen eye might have noticed that my birthday went by with almost no mention on my part. This should strike you as odd because usually I am all about my birthday to the point of bordering on being obnoxious. I know it’s just marking the fact that you’ve survived the Earth rotating around the sun yet again, but really, I love my birthday! Seriously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating that you aren’t dead yet.1

Maybe it was part of the aftermath of major depression, but I was just blasé about my birthday this year. I didn’t have any plans in mind and in the end it was a pretty ordinary day, which suited me just fine. But you might have caught the passing mention of receiving some Firefly-related goodies.

Among this haul of fandom glory was the card game Firefly Out to the Black. Here’s a shiny picture:

Firefly Out to the Black

I’m not entirely up on all the details, but the long and the short of it is this game was a Kickstarter that got pulled at the eleventh hour. I vaguely recall someone linking me to it last year and that is only because the board game and role-playing game were announced not long before that. Honestly, I all but forgot about this until it was gifted to me.

So, why haven’t I gushed about it before now? Well, that’s simply because I’ve only played it the one time, which probably wasn’t the best experience to use as an example.

First, none of us had played before so it felt like it took us until 2517 to actually get everything set up. As you can see in the picture above there are a lot of pieces to this game and the rules are just slightly different depending on the number of people playing. And nothing is labeled even though the instructions list a number of what you’re supposed to have of each thing.

Also, while the game is advertised as 3-5 players, it’s really does not seem intended for three people because the one big rule change in that particular setup is you play two characters rather than just one. And, you guessed it, it was just three of us playing. Two characters makes an already confusing first playthrough doubly more confusing. Also, it should be noted that there had been a not small consumption of wine beforehand so we were all of us maybe not at our peak cognitive abilities.

So, you have your character(s) and you get cards and then you put a bunch of other cards in the middle to be drawn. There is no board or anything to move around and instead it is all the various cards that are drawn which dictate the events and vice versa. It’s fairly straight forward. Each character has various skills and strengths and all in all the whole game is quite well thought out. I can’t say I was disappointed by it since I had no expectations at all, but for the most part the enjoyment was more about the Firefly references than the actual gameplay.

However, I will say that it was maybe just a bit over the top. The entire instruction book, for instance, is written in a style emulating slang from the show which sounds cool. But personally I found it difficult to follow, like trying to decipher netspeak or something. Certainly, there’s a great attention to detail here and everything is very nicely designed, but it’s not a sturdy game since everything is made from card stock.

Anyway, I’m just waiting to play with some more people before I can comment with any confidence. It’s definitely not a bad game, though.

  1. Plus, I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday as a kid.

DQ Series Playthrough

I’m still sans a computer. It is sad times.

Nevertheless, I said I would strive to be more consistent with updating and so I’ve given a lot of thought as to how best to approach this. In the past I’ve done posting challenges to force myself to accomplish such things. If you only count actually completing the challenge when determining success, then I’ve managed that perfectly. However, I would hardly agree. True, I always start off well and have gone entire months before hitting a roadblock. Usually it’s that I can’t think of something interesting to write or share, but sometimes life gets in the way and I end up with a backlog of posts to churn out. In any case, the result is the same: I feel forced to blog.

It’s far more natural to me to just blog when I feel like it. I’m not dreading the task or finding it burdensome. At the very least I don’t end up casting about randomly for something, anything to post. Of course, the drawback is that many times over the dozen plus years this blog has existed in its various forms, it has gone dormant for weeks, even months, at a time. Oops.

All that said, I am debating on undertaking a project that will likely end up being mentioned here at least occasionally. Recently I stumbled across Robyn Plays Final Fantasy, which is a Tumblr devoted to a full playthrough of the main Final Fantasy games. It immediately had me thinking about doing a similar thing for Dragon Quest. I mentioned I’ve been playing DQIX. I picked it up at a yard sale awhile back along with a handful of other DS cartridges. I never bothered with the Nintendo DS for a bunch of reasons so this is my first opportunity to play all the DQ titles that were released on it. So, I’m definitely going to be playing all of those at some point and I’m giving serious thought to playing the entire series straight through even though it would be a gargantuan task that will take a very long time.

On the other hand:

  1. I have never played V and VI;
  2. I have a fan translation patch for the Super Famicon1 remakes of I-III that I have been meaning to check out, and;
  3. Evidence suggests that it would provide ideas for future content here.

So, we’ll see . . . At any rate, I’m brainstorming some other things I could do to facilitate future blog content. It is highly possible these things will involve pictures. Also, food.

  1. Japanese SNES.