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Everything posted by efaardvark

  1. I went for C&IS at the CC as well. At least to start. The local CC offered transfer credits towards the University of California system and UC Davis had a good C&IS program. The CC was a lot cheaper however, both tuition-wise and because it was close enough that I could save money by continuing to live with the parents, so my plan was to get the general-ed and low-level degree-related stuff out of the way at the CC and then transfer to Davis when I got to the higher-level material. It didn't quite work out as planned but I'm not complaining. I've only owned 3 cars in my entire life, including the one I'm driving now. And that one I only bought because a tree fell on my last one! I tend to take pretty good care of my cars and drive them until they wear out. Or a tree falls on them, whichever comes first. As it turned out things didn't go as I'd planned either. I was 2 years into classes at a community college (see above) when I took a job doing work a trained monkey could have done. It was only a summer job and was only supposed to last for 90 days, but it led to an unexpected job offer, which led to what is coming up on a 40 year career. Never did get around to attending UC Davis.
  2. Eating all those funny plants will do that to you.
  3. The question was posed by one of the younger crew at work today, "Why do they call it 'spam' anyway?".

    To which I of course replied, "well, you know that Monty Python sketch?  That's where it comes from."

    To which he replied, "what's Monty Python?".


    Oi.. don't they teach kids anything in school these days?!

    1. Myouya


      I had no clue that was the origin of the word, fascinating

    2. Animedragon


      Education in some subjects is sadly lacking in today's schools.

  4. What were you doing when you were half as old as you are now? If you are 10, what were you doing when you were 5? If you are 30, what was going on when you were 15? This topic started a lively lunchtime discussion at work so I thought I'd drop it here and see if it has similar effect... I'm coming up on 60 (in September) so to keep the math simple I'll go with that. That means I was 30 in '94. All I can remember offhand from that year was Commodore International going bankrupt and NASA crashing the Magellan spacecraft into Venus at the end of that mission. My first computer was a Commodore AMIGA 1000 and I'd just upgraded (at considerable expense) to an A3000 model when I heard the news about Commodore so I was a bit bummed. Magellan I remember because I was working on the Ulysses project at the time. They were just starting the first of their fast scans of the mission so they had some years yet ahead but I knew a few people on the Magellan project who were going to be looking for work soon. Those two lawyers inventing spam with their "Green Card" mass-marketing scam on usenet I think was around then as well, give or take a year or two. Likewise for Amazon and Yahoo going public. Mid-90s in general were growth years here in the US, which was a welcome change after the economic disaster that was the 70s and 80s*. The 'Net was just getting started. The WWW as we know it had only just been invented in '91 and we hadn't yet hit the dot-com bust so everyone was still upbeat and trying to cash in on the boom. I seem to recall the first pizza was ordered over the internet in or around '94 as well. Must have been over a dial-up modem connection because things like DSL were still a few years in the future and 'Net-connected smartphones didn't exist yet. So what was going on when you were half as old as you are now? * a note on the 80s.. People complain about mortgage rates popping above 5% in the last year or so. How about the standard 30Y, fixed-rate mortgages ABOVE 10% for 7 straight years, from '79 to around '86. The peak was over 18% in '81! Even higher if your credit wasn't so hot. Even t-bills were pushing 20% yields. Great if you had cash left to put away. Not many did. Massive inflation and rampant layoffs and corporate cutbacks had taken their toll in a failing economy. The word "stagflation" was invented to describe that era of high inflation combined with a stagnant economy. I graduated HS in '82 so that was the world the newly-minted adult me started out in.
  5. We're supposed to get another big storm this weekend but for now it's sunny and Spring(ish). The pear tree out front has gone from leafless sticks last week to full-blossom mode this week, and you can smell it from a block away. So can the bees apparently. There's a continuous hum coming from the tree during daylight hours.
  6. Iris shader support in Distant Horizons is awesome...
  7. Diggy Diggy Hole - Gawr Gura cover ( Know Your Meme )
  8. I prefer to pay in cash. The ATMs around here still only give out $20 bills however, and most places have a $300/day withdrawal limit. That's ridiculous with everything costing so much these days. Just driving past the grocery store can suck $100 out of my wallet! Even if I could get past the daily ATM limit that would mean carrying around a huge wad of cash everywhere. And ever try to pay for anything with a $100 bill? They look at you like you're a drug dealer. They smell the bills, hold them up to the light, call the manager over.... If I pulled out 4 or 5 to pay for groceries they'd probably call the cops. Takes way longer and more trouble than just using the CC so that's what I usually wind up actually doing. That or my phone. I use the card only as a convenience tho and I don't carry a balance. I don't spend money I don't already have in my checking account and I pay off the whole CC balance every month. Credit card companies probably hate me.
  9. So I thought I'd experiment a bit with Litematica. Litematica is a fabric mod that lets you place virtual builds in your world. In survival it doesn't build them for you but in creative it will actually place the blocks. Pretty handy and since I already have fabric installed for Iris/Sodium and the Distant Horizons mod installation of Litematica is just dropping 2 files in the "mods" folder. As an experiment I decided to add an area to a town I'm building / fortifying as a base in a survival game. The newly-created area looks like this in stock MC: For the test I copied an existing house (the one whose roof is barely visible at the far right under the BetterF3 overlay) into a Litematica schematic, then pasted two of the copied schematics into the world. (Below) As I said, Litematica won't build things for you in survival, but it will let you place and orient "ghost" copies like this. The two buildings with line-boxes around them and with a greenish glow to them are the copies. I rotated one copy around 180 degrees to get the doors on the two copies to face each other. Once the placement is as desired you can lock the image in place. The images are slightly transparent and completely virtual. I mean, everything in MC is virtual, but you can walk through the walls of the placed schematics in-game. (note this means you can't do things like open doors or climb stairs.) Then you can go back and place the blocks to "fill in" the schematic with actual blocks. This mod looks like it'll be pretty useful. Especially since you can import / export builds from the game. You can save a schematic, which then appears as a file in the computer. You can upload this file online just like any other file. You can also download other peoples' schematic files for placement in your own worlds. Of course you can also do stuff like build something in a single-player, creative-mode game then save the build as a schematic, and load it back in to a survival world game to recreate it there.
  10. Finally got some more time to play minecraft. (Albeit with laundry going in the background, but hey, I'll take what I can get. ) Used the time to cure my zombified merchants. They were apparently very happy to get back to normal. I got some really nice trades out of the deal, especially for the librarians!
  11. Still employed.  Know of a couple people who aren't.  Still working through it all but one thing I'm sure of at this point is the US Congress is made up of self-centered, irresponsible idiots.

    1. Animedragon


      Sadly, I think a lot politicians and government members are like that whichever political party they belong to.

      Anyway, I'm pleased to hear that you still have a job.

  12. So there's a spacecraft named JUNO that's in orbit around Jupiter. There's a camera on the JUNO spacecraft called (strangely enough) "JunoCam". JunoCam images are downloaded and made publicly available on a web site almost as soon as they reach the ground. The public is encouraged to download these images, process them, and re-upload their creations to share with the rest of the world. "We invite citizen scientists to explore new ways to process these images to continue to bring out the beauty and mysteries of Jupiter and its moons." The spacecraft is primarily interested in the main planet so of course there's tons of detailed pictures of Jupiter. Recently the spacecraft had a close encounter with Io, one of the larger, volcanically active moons of Jupiter. The spacecraft passed within 900 miles of the surface so now there's a bunch of good pictures of Io on the site as well. for instance:
  13. Seems the other shoe has dropped at work.  Employees have been instructed that the Lab will be physically closed and everyone should plan to attend a virtual meeting with management where they'll discuss the (lack of a) federal budget and what that means for NASA centers like JPL.  Afterwards around 600 employees will be let go.  (That's ~10% of the Lab's total workforce.)  This all according to an email from Lab management earlier today.


    1. Animedragon


      I hope you're not affected by this sad news. It always amazes me the lengths employers will go to to avoid using the "R" word, they use terms like "let go" which makes one wonder if they've been holding on to people. Then there's the wonderful phrase one of my former employers used "we're offering you the opportunity to take early retirement".

    2. efaardvark


      @Animedragon Thanks.  We got an informal pep-talk from our "group soop" (group supervisor) after the official email from upper management came out.  The soop said he said that he doesn't think that the DSN (deep space network) that I'm affiliated with will be hit too hard.  We've taken cuts in previous years and we're already at our limits.  Any more and we'd be cutting bone.  We also have a lot of customers and commitments, including with high-profile ones like JAXA and ESA.

      The counter argument to that is that a Mars sample return has been at or near the top of the planetary scientists' wish list in NASA's decadal survey for literally decades yet that has been one of the programs hit the hardest.  This is all driven by DC politics too, so logic need not necessarily apply.

      Well, I'll know later Wednesday afternoon.  One way or another.

  14. I’m a night-owl too. I hit my stride around 8-9pm. Left to my own I will stay up until 3am. And then get up at 10.. I don’t get along with mornings too well.
  15. Local stations are reporting that the current storm made today the wettest day in 20 years for downtown Los Angeles. The record to beat is 5.5 inches in 2004. The current stalled front has dropped 4.1 inches (10.4cm) on us in the last 24 hours and it’s still coming down.
  16. Had one of those !^$@!^%@ baby zombies somehow get into a town I'd fortified! No idea how he got in. I thought maybe a glitch in the wall I put up around the town. I was pretty careful putting it up and I went around and checked again but still couldn't figure it out. Must be a patch of darkness somewhere inside where he can spawn. Worse, it managed to zombify a cleric and two librarians that I'd leveled up before I managed to find and kill it! Between them the librarians had trades for enchanted books with Silk Touch, Unbreaking, and Mending, plus a couple others. Fortunately the newly-zombified are all enclosed/covered so I can keep them safe and away from me and the rest of the villagers. But they're not going to be trading anymore any time soon. I don't think they'll despawn either but I gave them all books to make sure. Going to have to cure them somehow.
  17. Just tried the Voxlands demo on Steam. Had to run it under proton on my linux box but it seemed pretty solid for a demo. Played a couple of levels and a bit of the crafting tutorial. Looks promising. Definitely be interested in seeing how the full game turns out.
  18. This isn't exactly about my recent gaming activities. I've been too busy to play (or post much) lately but I have to comment on that SLIM landing. It was so Kerbal! I don't know how many times I've gone for a landing in KSP where something happens and the lander I'm piloting winds up on its side or top - usually after rolling/sliding down the slope of a crater - instead of upright on its landing gear as designed. SLIM is real life imitating typical KSP game play. The KSP load screen even reflects this (pretty much central) aspect of game play. In KSP things often don't go exactly according to plan. If you're lucky and things don't simply blow up then you can wind up in some pretty silly situations. Compare.. (screenshot from my computer) .. with.. (Pic from JAXA site.) Too perfect! Well not really, but you get the idea. Been there, done that. In game at least. So here's to JAXA successfully completing the mission. Even if not exactly according to plan.
  19. They finally sentenced the guy who set fire to Kyoto Studios. Sentenced to death! https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-68090388
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