antimony: The text "With what, your bare hands?" and a blinking cursor, as if at a computer prompt. (with your bare hands?)
And here we have it; the last few games of the Comp.

Sigmund's Quest )
Krypteia )
Jesse Stavro's Doorway )
Paradox Corps )
Begscape, also contains more thoughts on With Those We Love Alive )
Origins )

And now to score stuff; I am one of those folks who curves scores; I always give 10s to my favorite game(s) even if I don't think they're perfect, and I generally use the whole range; I will be giving a 1 this year. Basically I put them in order from Best to Worst and then start assigning numbers. The number of really small games in the Comp is throwing me a bit; how do I rate a very good, completely bug/issue free, very short game compared to a mostly very-good long game with one or two issues? Not sure, but I have a tentative list.
antimony: an entry for antimony in a periodic table (Default)
Next to last batch, and I have now played all but one game that I can play on my hardware, the reviews are just still to-be-edited. ETA: Milk Party Palace requires OS X 10.6 or above, so my little 10.5.8 laptop is no good. (That's kind of true in general, really, but I've been buying bike crap with all my disposable income, lately.)

Creatures Such as We )
Hunger Daemon )
Enigma )
HHH.exe )
The Entropy Cage )
Ugly Oafs )
Laterna Magica )

Last batch will be: Begscape, Origins, Sigmund's Quest, Krypteia, Jesse Stavro's Doorway, Milk Party Palace, and Paradox Corps. Milk Party Palace is the only one I haven't played yet; maybe tonight, maybe not until this weekend. I'll do a no-spoilers rec list then too. (I will be skipping Slasher Swamp, Jacqueline, Jungle Queen!, and Building the Right Stuff due to platform limitations.)
antimony: Spark Brushel dressed as Spider Jerusalem (spark jerusalem)
I think these reviews may be coming off crankier than I am; I'm a software quality engineer and thus my reaction to "here, try this" is to list flaws. It's what I do. That said, this was not my favorite batch of games, so this batch is pretty harsh.

One Night Stand )
The Black Lily )
Following Me, also has spoilers for The Urge )
Hill 160 )
Tower )
Inward Narrow Crooked Lanes )

Next up: Creatures Such as We, Hunger Daemon, Enigma, HHH.exe, The Entropy Cage, Ugly Oafs, Laterna Magica.
antimony: The text "With what, your bare hands?" and a blinking cursor, as if at a computer prompt. (with your bare hands?)
I'm...probably going to make it through all the games that will play on my machine(s)! I'm not sure I've ever managed that while judging before. (And I don't care to dig up my old posts to to find out.) I'm about 3/4 through the games, though the ones I have left are larger parser games. These posts are just lagging as I polish them up from raw reactions.

The Secret Vaults of Kas the Betrayer )
Tea Ceremony )
Transparent )
AlethiCorp )
Arqon )
Icepunk )
Excelsior )

Next up: One Night Stand, The Black Lily, Following Me, Hill 160, Tower, Inward Narrow Crooked Lanes
antimony: the Loeb Classical Library logo (loeb)
I feel like perhaps I should say more on how I rate games; I've scored a bunch of these competitions before, but the last time was in 2000 or so. And I haven't played much IF from the years in between; I've missed many chapters in innovation, both technological and artistic, and so I don't always know where a competition game is doing something new and where it's doing something that was done better in 2008 but I haven't seen before. I am not worrying about that, and am scoring on whether I liked it.

Also, I have two platforms to play on: an aged Mac laptop running OS X 10.5.8 and the corresponding version of Safari, and a version 1 iPad, also running its corresponding Safari. Both can be bogged down by very basic websites, and both are a little flaky. I've been playing most of the web games on the iPad while commuting on the T, and the interpreter games at home after I write down notes on the web games. (I have, at the point, played almost all the web games, but actually editing my notes hasn't caught up.) (And the numbering sequence of these reviews reflects the original shuffle list I had; if I was at home I played the next interpreter game on it, but I was playing web games as I felt like it.)

The Contortionist )
Fifteen Minutes )
The Urge )
At this point I got tired of doing the cutesy summaries, plus the next group included some games that felt like the author's first IF, and being snarky about the shortcomings of a first game isn't something I want to do, because all of them had something good about them and I'd like to see their authors keep writing.

Though the next game wasn't one of them; in fact, it wasn't the first game from this author in this competition.

Zest )
Unform )
Raik )
Missive )
And yet it moves )

Next up: The Secret Vaults of Kas the Betrayer, Tea Ceremony, Transparent, AlethiCorp, Arqon, Icepunk, Excelsior.
antimony: "Want some Rye?" with animation from Beyond Zork (want some rye)
So the annual Interactive Fiction Competition just started, and apparently we don't have to hold reviews until the end of the IF Comp any more, so I might as well post these as I play. (Feel free to wait until after to read if you're going to; I am going to do that with other people's reviews after feeling odd about reading a few which disagreed with me on games I've played.)

I'm not putting numerical ratings on now, as I do tend to grade on a curve for the comp. Instead, I'll just do pretentious hipster-restaurant menu descriptions. :)

I've mostly stayed spoiler-light with these reviews, so that they won't spoil the experience if a description sounds intriguing, but they're not spoiler-free.

With Those We Love Alive )
Eidolon )
Venus Meets Venus )
Caroline )

And those were the games I played on my first day. Next up: The Contortionist, Fifteen Minutes, Unform, The Urge, Zest, Missive.

Note: if linking, link to my ifcomp 2014 tag so that the spoiler cuts are intact.
antimony: photo of the goodyear blimp over Cleveland, OH (goodyear blimp)
Ugh, this spin class substitute instructor.

If I come up to you after class, pull you aside where there are no other people, and quietly tell you that the reason I asked if we could have the lights on wasn't because I wanted to see the readout on the bike (which is also nice to be able to do) but because I can't hear you over the music without lipreading and didn't want to shout that with everyone there (work gym, so these are coworkers), the correct response is:

1. Turn away from me (music still on) while replying.
2. Walk back into the group of people.
3. Shout, oh, you wanted to LIPREAD, you should have said something then.
4. All of the above.

hint: none of these answers are correct.

I could have gone to gaming at lunchtime and then done one of my podcast spin sessions and had a better workout, blah. Especially since she was big on having us grind in very tough gears while seated, which is a quick way for me to re-tweak my knees, because I can push them harder than they can really take and not feel it until later.
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
literally all I have done this weekend is eat, sleep, and ride my bike. (Well, okay, not quite literally all, but about as close as one can come and still post to LJ to mention it.)

now to decide: more food or more sleep? no more bike. ow.
antimony: photo of the goodyear blimp over Cleveland, OH (goodyear blimp)
spoilery Captain America: The Winter Soldier question behind the cut )

Icon in honor of how Cleveland is blatantly every city ever in the MCU, and it cracks me up.
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
I decided to go ahead and create a separate journal for bikey stuff, even though everyone who commented assured me they wouldn't mind more posting. I just sort of feel like keeping it separate, like I used to with my fandom and my regular journal, until the whole LJ/DW split made it four journals to keep up with and that turned into too much. We'll see.

I did, however, put it on LJ/DW so people can just add it if they like. (Also, the username I wanted was already taken on several other blogging sites. :) ) [personal profile] bikingandbaking/[ profile] bikingandbaking. Also [ profile] bikingandbaking is me if anyone cares. Although I mostly used that as a training log before switching to GDocs, and plan to port the ride reports over there to this new journal.

Inaugural post is up, rambling about running errands, with a lack of pretty pictures because my camera batteries were dead.
antimony: "Course ya do." with animation from Beyond Zork (course ya do)
today was a dubious milestone: the first time I failed at the bench press and had to awkwardly wiggle out from under the bar. oops.

it is possibly the world pointing out to me that it is beautiful out today and it is time to stop lifting so much and riding more. 5+ pounds of upper body muscle are 5+ pounds to carry up every hill, after all. except that I hadn't brought the bike with me because I needed to stop at the drug store on my way home, and it's on my T ride home and not my bike ride home. and then I completely forgot to stop.

alas. I could go now, but I'm home and took off my shoes.
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
(title from an actualfacts sign -- which was accurate, though several other locales along my way could have contended for it)

It was nice to get out for a ride today that was just a ride -- not training*, no specific goals, just pedaling through new countryside. [ profile] dphilli1 had to be out at Purgatory Chasm this morning at early o'clock, so I dragged myself out of bed and went with him, plus bike. Which meant I was 60-odd miles from home without having to ride out and back, which was nice.

Not so nice was that it started with the climb to Sutton, while my legs were cold, and it took me a good 25 miles to really feel warmed up and loose. Which has become par for the course, which is just honestly kind of ridiculous -- legs, really?

It was good to be riding by myself -- I ended up doing a ride with a group ride two weeks that I hadn't intended to be a group ride, it just happened that way. That was an organized ride but go-at-your-own-pace; I was just barely fast enough to hang onto a group for a while, and once I started to falter they had decided I was Part Of The Group and they were keeping me, which meant a lot of hill-sprinting and pushing hard. All good things, but it was also nice to be beholden to no one but myself. Especially as I wasn't pushing the pace today -- I just rode until I was back at my front door.

Looking forward to the time change; after getting clipped last fall I haven't wanted to do my commute end-to-end in darkness, and it's been too cold for it to be fun anyway, but that should be changing.

* Well, right now time in the saddle is an important thing to train, because I need to get certain delicate anatomical structures used to sitting on a small brick for hours on end again after months of nothing longer than errands or spin classes. But I wasn't deliberately training anything.
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
So I'm trying to be more proactive about posting bike ride reports & commentary. Do people want:

1. Me to post stuff to LJ/DW (everything is crossposted).
2. Me to post stuff to a new LJ/DW (crossposted) that you can add if you want.
3. Use another blogging site (wordpress, tumblr, blogspot, whatev) I would link posts here.

IDK if I'll actually post more, but I'm going to try to. Pluses for splitting it off mean that if I link it places specifically to highlight the bike content, I'm not also linking random LJ rambling. (Though that would require me to actually post rather than lurk.) Minuses mean more work, at least in terms of linking -- posting images may actually be easier anywhere else.

(This is not a poll b/c my personal DW isn't paid right now, only my RP accounts.)
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
Most of the time, I don't think about my right knee. It's come up a few disparate times, though, lately, and then I realized it's been twenty years since I fell skiing** and partially tore the ACL in it. No surgery, just rehab, and it's been mostly fine ever since.

I still remember learning how to walk normally again. I'd been young and teenage and fearless (and stupid), and suddenly I didn't feel immortal any more. It made me a much better downhill skier in the long run. Not a stronger one, but a more controlled one. But it took a long time before I was comfortable again.

I've been feeling like that a lot lately on the bike, since getting in those two minor fender benders at the end of the summer (one completely my fault, one completely not, nothing more than bruises in both cases). I feel fragile, and then I feel silly for it, because I'm no less/more fragile than I was before, and I was much less injured than everyone else I know who got in a bike accident this past summer.

So I've mostly been riding indoors this winter, because I want to stay in shape, and the idea of going out in heavy traffic on slippery roads in the dark is less appealing. And massively overdid it this week, and I knew I was overdoing it as I did so, too. Now both knees hurt, the right much more than the left. And I don't know exactly how much strength it has. Or if this particular injury is even related; I do several things asymmetrically when riding, mostly because the curb is on the right, like which leg I start/stop with up/down, and that could be how I tweaked one more than the other.

That is to say, tl;dr, I'm whining that I can't go for my planned a long ride in the warm-ish (warm for January, at least) rain tomorrow, because being many miles from home and having my knee conk out would be double-plus ungood.

* Well, not exactly today, I don't remember what the date was, but it was early January some time, right before the big midwestern cold snap of '94 that everyone is comparing this year to.

** Well, not exactly skiing. More like, uh, getting off the chairlift at the top of the slope.

100% cotton

Dec. 1st, 2013 07:36 pm
antimony: photo of the goodyear blimp over Cleveland, OH (goodyear blimp)
Why did I keep saying I should try to find men's jeans that fit but not actually trying any on? Now I have jeans that have proper pockets, and are 100% cotton, and fit. And didn't take any more dressing-room failures than finding women's jeans that fit properly, either.

In other news, family are back on their ways home after Thanksgiving, although with some of the pictures I've seen tweeted around, may be a long road home for the ones going west on the freeway. (They left late enough I'm not worried they were in the big swathe of accidents, but they'll get snarled by the traffic.) And our house is quiet and full of food.
antimony: an entry for antimony in a periodic table (Default)
Reasons for distracted driving I will accept:

1. Running chase on an ambulance carrying your kid to the hospital.

I.e. I got clipped riding home. I'm fine -- nothing more than bruises, no damage to the bike -- I think the only thing that touched the car was my thigh, and I wasn't hit hard enough to lose control of the bike, either. Guy stopped, pulled over, and my incipient WHAT THE HELL DUDE was cut off by the blank look on his face. He explained that he was following the ambulance with his kid (an ambulance had passed me a minute ago, so this made great sense), and I told him to go. At this point he realized he should ask if I was OK, I said yes, and waved him off.

I rode on for a bit, but I was feeling nervy at all the intersections where I have to make the same maneuver I was doing (right turn only lane, I'm going straight, have to merge across), and there were more coming, so I called [profile] dphilli1 from a Whole Paycheck parking lot and then got some dinner while I waited. Hopefully I'll get over the twitchy soon -- that move is safer when done aggressively.
antimony: a black eye of horus (horus)
I guess it was too much to ask to have a beginning "improving balance workshop" talk about mental training as opposed to very basic lunges and squats that anyone who does any amount of calisthenics has probably learned already. Oops.

Eh, being neurotypical is overrated. Although staying upright and not falling down is not.

It was also probably too much to ask to have the instructor not a) make assumptions about everyone's fitness based on their appearance* and b) understand that not everyone in the class is a dude**.

* He asked me "what my training background was" which I just went ...wut? to, because trying to list the athletic endeavors I've done at least semi-seriously for any significant time would have taken longer than the workshop. I tend to go through sports like fandoms, lol -- a few that I have loved forever and keep going back to, a few that I get WAY INTO for six months to several years and then walk away from. And then I visibly saw him reconfigure his assumptions when I winced at one exercise, he made an "aww, it's OK, poor unfit person" face, and I nonchalantly said I'd toasted my quads doing hills the previous night.

** In two senses: the primary one being that how athletics are taught/promoted in the US is highly gendered -- he had us doing toe-touches but prefaced it by saying "now do dead lifts", which I've seen as a thing written down in workout plans that involves heavy weights, but I've never actually been shown what one is, and he assumed people did basically no core work, which most intro-to-workout plans for women stress heavily. Actually, even his opening question about "training" -- I associate that word with weight/bulking-up-strength type workouts, and am still not sure exactly what he would qualify for the term.

And secondly, a minor assumption about relative strengths of core and biceps for not-especially-fit people, which in my experience differs wildly between men and women and I assume it's both part socially based and part physiological (on average, obviously).
antimony: photograph of my road bike (bike)
I haven't been posting, because all I've been doing is working and riding my bike. Work is good to do but boring to talk about, and riding is better summed up by (terrible cellphone) pictures.

Pictures, and an attempt to keep the word count down )

And then the next morning I got to see [ profile] sofer and [ profile] sheepboyofchaos and meet their adorable daughter. Plus they gave me home-grown rhubarb, which is now strawberry-rhubarb shortcake. Although I managed to buy half-and-half instead of whipping cream and didn't notice until it wouldn't whip. Alas.

Now that I've hit my big goal, though -- anyone want to go riding? I'm going to be a lot less training-focused and more about just riding around for the rest of the summer. As long as you're OK with a max speed of about 14mph average -- I'm still not a speed demon.
antimony: a black eye of horus (horus)
So I saw the Hobbit, as our winter celebration with the group at work (along with lunch out). And now I am home and kind of cranky from the 3D headache (which I have gotten with 2/2 3D movies that I've seen, so I don't think it was Hobbit or high-frame rate specific).

Comments on the HFR 3D, my general feelings, and a little about the adaptation from books to movie, but no major spoilers (including for the book) inside:

mild spoilers (see above) behind cut )
antimony: a stone twenty-sided die from roman times (roman d20)
\o/ because nothing could make being home sick better than being audited on my 2010 taxes. argh. for something I have full documentation for, I just don't want to deal with the hassle.