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Jul. 2nd, 2018 @ 08:18 pm Second foodtruck festival
Current Mood: fullfull
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So I sent the photos of our haul at the foodtruck festival to my parents, and they were making appreciative noises at how good the food looked. So I checked their agenda, and I saw that the same festival was taking place in Eindhoven, near my parents, this weekend. So we invited them to check it out!
This Sunday was (and had been predicted to be) very hot: more than 30 degrees, and it would be held on an open field — so we were doubtful if we’d be comfortable enough. We decided to go anyway, and if one of us wanted to go, we’d just pack up and leave right away. We also went early on the day: the festival opened at 14:00 on Sunday, and we were there at 15:00. There was ample space, and we even managed to find a table and some (rickety) chairs with a little corner of shade — and as the sun rotated, all of us ended up sitting in the shade!
We started out with a tour of the site, to see what was on offer. About 50% of the trucks were also at the festival in Nijmegen, so there were some new options for us too.

My parents started out by sharing a ‘hotdog’ from the chorizo place where I got my starting hotdog in Nijmegen too — but they went for the less spicy option!

We started out by sharing a rendang sandwich. The bread was lightly toasted, which added a really nice crunch to the Indonesian beef stew.

Next round, we got duck confit on a hamburger bun. On the left the blue cheese variant (for my dad) and to the right the goat’s cheese variant that me and klik shared. We had this last year, and it was still as good as we remembered.

Meanwhile, my mom had been to the same Indonesian place to get a taster plate. She got extra because she got her food late because of a screw-up on their side. When I was there, I too noticed that they didn’t have their ordering process in order… But the food was very good — but since it was a large plate, my mom didn’t get to eat a lot after all that, even though we shared, and we didn’t touch the rice!

Me and klik shared a ‘crispy sushi’ roll. Came with a packet of wasabi paste and a pipette of soy sauce. The sushi itself was very mediocre, but the crunchy layer added a nice touch to it.

After sitting around for a bit, watching the people and having a few drinks, I went to get a serving of Thai-style satay. The meat was so tender! Really delicious, and I appreciated the pickles after all that bread and meat…

By then we were quite full, but we did get a portion of churros with caramel sauce to share!

We were back at their house at 17:30, and enjoyed coffee and tea before heading back home. Everyone had a great time, and it definitely wasn’t too hot. We’ll take them again next year — and next weekend, we’re taking klik’s mother to a foodtruck festival near her! I had to promise my mom to send photos of the things we eat there!

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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eten
Jun. 25th, 2018 @ 07:17 pm The most Buddhist movie ever
Current Mood: calmcalm
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If you think about it, Raiders of the Lost Ark is the most Buddhist movie ever. Of course, Indiana Jones has a lot of desires — the one that drives the movie is his desire to stop the Nazi’s from getting the Ark of the Covenant. And he does suffer because of his desires: he gets shot at, stomped, slapped and kicked — he takes a serious beating throughout the movie in his pursuit of this desire.
And yet, if he had done nothing, the end result would have been exactly the same: the Nazi’s would have opened the Ark and got their face-melting and head-exploding just rewards anyway. So if he would have learned to let go, he would have suffered a lot less, and things would have resolved themselves in the best possible way.

If that doesn’t tell us that desire begets suffering, I don’t know what does.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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hand-eye coordination
Jun. 24th, 2018 @ 09:13 pm Fire Emblem Heroes
Current Mood: calmcalm
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Yesterday, I installed Fire Emblem Heroes out of idle curiosity. I’ve never played a Fire Emblem game — I do know that they’re tactical RPGs, and I did see someone stream Awakenings. I’m not big on tactical RPGs, because I tend to do bad at them, but surely a little mobile game wouldn’t be so bad?
The backstory of the game is nuts: the idea is that someone is opening portals to the worlds of all the different worlds where the Fire Emblem games are set, and all those heroes are forced to fight, in order to invade ‘our’ world/kingdom. You assemble teams of 4 heroes, and a battle is indeed a tactical fight, similar to the games — except much smaller in scope because of the reduced team size and because the map has to fit on a cellphone screen!
There is a lot of artwork, which I assume is all recycled from the games: all very detailed and with lots of the usual anime aesthetic. The sprites are quite cute too!
You can get more heroes by summoning them, which costs ‘orbs’. You earn orbs by completing maps, but of course you can also buy orbs — and of course I’m not doing that, they’re quite expensive!

So far, I enjoy it for some low-blood pressure games. I’m not sure how long it will keep me occupied, but we’ll see.

If you play the game too, send a Friend Request to ID 2742473216. Not sure what that actually does, but I’m sure it’ll be fun.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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Bishoujo squad!
Jun. 23rd, 2018 @ 08:14 pm Hacking Tachyon Squadron
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

I backed the Tachyon Squadron Kickstarter for 1 dollar, which gave me immediate access to the text-only version of the rules. It’s called “text-only”, but it is a fully laid-out PDF which looks gorgeous. There are empty spaces where the art will go, but other than that, it’s the complete game. A pretty good investment!
And it’s really good: lots of good systems to emulate dogfights in space, like we know from movies and TV series. I also note that in the list of inspirations Robotech is mentioned… The only drawback is that it uses the FATE Core system, which I like in principle but had not gotten to ‘work’ in my own campaigns. And looking at the play examples, the players are busier with the mechanical aspects than with the fiction. And it’s the fiction I’m interested in…

So maybe I could port those excellent systems to the narrative dice system that FFG uses in its Star Wars games? Or maybe the Apocalypse World Engine? The Star Wars games obviously already have space battles, so I might read up on those first.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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UN Spacy
Jun. 17th, 2018 @ 10:34 am Foodtruck Festival
Current Mood: fullfull
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Last year, we went to the ‘Trek’(*) foodtruck festival in the city and had a great time (and great food)! This weekend is this year’s edition, and we invited babarage to come with us. We still had the (branded) hard plastic ‘glasses’ they use for the drinks over from last year, so we simply swapped our glasses for new ones when I went to get drinks. Good to know that those glasses carry over from year to year.
We did a circuit of the grounds to take stock of what was on offer, and manage to score two little crates to sit on. We installed babarage there, and then we went on various foraging trips!

First course: I had a chorizo ‘hotdog’ (though much larger than a regular hotdog) which was delicious! The others had an asian tasting platter to share.

For the second course, we shared a grilled steak sandwich with the three of us. The people selling it warned me that someone with an allergy to nuts shouldn’t eat the sandwich, but babarage ate some of the steak pieces without any ill effect.

For the third course, we shared two steamed buns filled with grilled duck with hoisin sauce. Delicious!

Fourth course: a taster with pulled pork, pulled chicken, brisket and a miniscule amount of coleslaw…

Finished up with banana/caramel/sea salt pancakes![/spoiler]

So much food, and there was more delicious stuff that I would want to try, but by the end we were quite done with eating! We’ll be sure to come back next year.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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eten
Jun. 4th, 2018 @ 07:23 pm Lillies
Current Mood: happyhappy

This year is the first time when one of the lillies in our pond is not producing any flowers. But the other one is making up for it by having four flowers! This is the first year it has more than one, too.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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haiku
Jun. 4th, 2018 @ 10:11 am Descent
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful

I’ve let the Dungeon World ‘campaign’ that we played with my university friends lapse, and it is now defunct, tossed and forgotten. We haven’t played with this group for more than a year now, I think. So when one of them sent out the call to play something together again, everyone was chomping at the bit. So yesterday, we went to visit him and we played Descent, a “board-RPG”. Everyone plays a character with their own attributes and class, and you get to choose a specialisation. So kitted out, you enter a scenario, consisting of a board layout (set with a grid for tactical movement), a ‘mission objective’ and several monsters that seek to keep you from fulfilling said objective.
Then there’s movement, attacking and special abilities, all the while keeping an eye on your fatigue and hitpoints, and of course you can combine your character’s abilities with those of your teammates to create spectacular chains of mayhem! Finishing a scenario yields XP, which you can use to get additional abilities. You can loot equipment caches and find gold, which you can use to buy equipment from a ‘store’ in between scenarios.
We had a lot of fun, and since the scenarios are linked into a campaign, it’s easy to just set up and go. So much fun to discuss who is going to do what, and how that would play into another character’s abilities.

My character, with its miniature. She’s an Elven Fighter, and I chose the Knight specialisation for her.


Our bard and our wizard tanking it up against a band of goblin archers. The wizard gives each monster within 3 squares a -1 on damage, and the bard stuns all the white monster miniatures (which are the ‘normal’ mobs) at the start of their turn, rendering them effectively incapable of attacking! We’ve made good use of these two abilities all throughout the game, sometimes to the frustration of the ‘overlord’, who manages the monsters!


A goblin archer luitenant having a very bad day, surrounded by three heroes and our Shadow!


End state of my character at the end of three scenarios. We will pick up where we left off next time!

The system itself is a toned-down version of Fantasy Flight Game’s Genesys system, which they also use for their Star Wars tabletop RPGs, with successes/damage and advantages/surges separate and determined by the roll of different types of dice together. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that one of the first expansions for their generic Genesys core book was Realms of Terrinoth, a sourcebook for the world of Descent — it’s a nice up-ramp towards full-fledged pen-and-paper RPGs. But it’s also a lot of fun in its own right!

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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hatsukoi
Jun. 1st, 2018 @ 11:26 am “Fun” spaces
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
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One thing that I noticed with most streamers with a large audience that I watch (mainly CohhCarnage, Sacriel and P4wnyhof) is that they have a rule to not engage with “politics” on their channel, because they want their stream to be a “fun space” that we can get away from all of the stuff that’s happening outside of our door. And I get that — you’re providing entertainment, you don’t want to set off a flame-war in your chat. And for professional streamers, your income is also dependent on the continued support from your community: every month, your subscribers can decide to take their support elsewhere. So you don’t want to be too controversial, I guess.
But refusing to talk about politics is a political stance in itself. It normalises (and therefore reinforces) the status quo. And that makes it automatically less inclusive, because the current state of things is far from balanced. That is extra problematic when you look at the streamer demographics: most are white males in their 30’s — a most privileged group. It makes sense: streaming equipment doesn’t come cheap, and you have to be in a place with a great internet connection too. And in the case of people trying to make it as a professional streamer, you also need a support network — you need time to grow your community, during which period you won’t earn any income off of it. Only people who are already nicely set up can do so.

So they’re all in their bubble of privilege, and if they are aware of the plight of others, they make a point of not making a point out of it — because it’s not “fun”. That reasoning is also used as a weapon to exclude others. “I don’t want gays in my entertainment, I’m just here to have fun, not to get all political!” is one of the things that were commented when Paizo introduced homosexual NPCs in some of their modules. In other words, this commenter doesn’t want non-heterosexual people to be in that space and enjoy the same things they enjoy. It’s used to exclude people, and if you want to discuss this (or even mention it), you are accused of bringing in “politics” into a “fun space” — it could even get you banned!
This is also how people who have suffered abuse are punished by bringing it up: they are harshing the mellow of the “fun space”! But if you have an abuser in your space, then that is the problem, not that someone is pointing it out. Alas, it seems that not everyone has realised that fact.
I’ve had a shitty white dude (somehow, the shitty people in this context are always white and always male) shout at me because, while he was ok with a world literally created by the dreams of dragons, having a female mayor for a farming village was somehow “unrealistic”. If you’re ok with fantasy but somehow not ok with gender equality, then realism is not the problem there…

When someone mentioned the repeal of the 8th amendment in Ireland, CohhCarnage told his audience that he definitely had an opinion, but that he was not going to share it on stream, because it is so “political”. And sure enough, abortion is of course a hot-button issue for a lot of people. Do you really want an 11.000-person flamewar in your chat?
On the other hand, he could have just answered the question that was posed to him. Because in his channel, he is in a position of power, and he had a chance to speak out to his viewers, and thereby move hearts and minds into the right direction. And he didn’t take that opportunity. None of those big-name streamers do.

That disappoints me. It really does. I think a position of privilege gives you the moral obligation to try and be more inclusive. It is certainly something I keep in mind when deciding who and how to support the streamers whose content I enjoy.

Now, don’t get me wrong: none of these streamers will tolerate bigotry on their channels. Racial slurs, homophobia and other things that bring other people down will get you banned in their channels. I’m not saying they are bad people — they are not. It’s just that they actively dodge the chance to make a positive difference.
Luckily, there are also streamers that are explicitly inclusive — but their audience is a lot smaller. Take for instance AdamKoebel: he is explicitly queer and advocates for minorities at every chance he gets. But he has 40.000 followers, and CohhCarnage 962.000… There is a definite difference in impact.

(OK, this has turned into more of a partially-coherent rant than I had intended, but this is all that I have to say at the moment.)

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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net zombie!
May. 29th, 2018 @ 09:07 am Rose knows best
Current Mood: calmcalm
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I guess the rosebush in our front garden doesn’t need us to tell it how to grow. We haven’t done anything about it for all the years we live here — no trimming or cutting or anything. The rose knows best how to grow big.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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haiku
May. 26th, 2018 @ 03:58 pm Just chillin’
Current Mood: lovedloved
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The best thing ever is to sit on the couch and chill with the kitties.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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kitty tongue
May. 24th, 2018 @ 08:18 pm “The hardest game ever — why would you do that to yourself?”
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
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A friend of mine is a journalist for a Dutch newspaper — the one my father has been subscribed to as long as I can remember, so I’m going to say it’s a quality newspaper. My friend is also a gamer, and one of the games that speak to a lot of gamers is of course, Dark Souls. Tomorrow, the remastered version of the first Dark Souls game will be released, and that warranted an article. She got me and two other friends in a video chat and interviewed us about Dark Souls.
So now I’m in the newspaper! I quite like the article, and apparently it has gotten some very positive feedback too.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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bonfire
May. 18th, 2018 @ 09:09 pm Wisteria
Current Mood: pensivepensive

To say that my grandfather had a green thumb is an understatement — at least his whole forearm was green! His garden was his pride and joy. But to the side of his house, there was very little room for a garden, but that didn’t stop him. There was a yellow wisteria growing all along the side of the house, and when it bloomed, it was absolutely filled with thick bunches of flowers!

All those green thumb genes went to my sister though: I’m not much of a gardener at all. But when I had the chance, I planted a wisteria to grow along our shed. It’s been doing okay, and every year I look forward to the flowering of our wisteria.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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kodama
May. 11th, 2018 @ 10:34 am Greenscreen
Current Mood: bouncybouncy
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Last December, I invested some money in a desktop gaming system, using as many left-over components as I could. This also allowed me to stream with a face-cam, because I would be sitting at my desk (instead of in the living room, where my gaming system sat before). But my desk is oriented towards the window, with my back to the rest of the house. So I used a folding screen that we had lying around to block out the view behind me — we wouldn’t want accidental domestic scenes to be streamed to the internet, right?
But that means you got to see the off-white fabric behind me during streams. Not that terrible, but it could be better. So I ordered a large piece of fabric in that chromakey colour — the colour they also use for the weather report on TV. After a bit of ironing (the fabric came folded in a box, so creases everywhere!), we smoothed the fabric over the folding screen, using safety pins. It took some fiddling to get the lighting all set up correctly, but setting up the greenscreen effect in OBS is just a single mouse-click! So now I obscure less of the screen, and it looks so much more professional. (Not that I want to be a professional streamer, but for less than 20 euros this is certainly a fun addition to the setup.)


A screenshot of a previous stream. You can see the white folding screen behind me.


Pinning the fabric to the screen. We made sure to have as few creases as possible, because a too high difference in hue will defeat the effect!


A screenshot of yesterday’s stream. Now it is as if I am in front of the computer screen!

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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display
May. 7th, 2018 @ 08:26 pm Amazing progress
Current Mood: impressedimpressed

I think my last electronics project was about… ten years ago? I used the PIC microcontrollers from Microchip, which I programmed in assembly and that I used a cobbled-together serial port programmer hardware to transfer the program to the microcontroller itself. There was the BASIC Stamp, which allowed you to program the PIC in BASIC, but that was crazy expensive, as were the C compilers and USB programmer boards for the chips. So it was all quite low-level stuff that I did, because it was hard work.
There were competing microcontroller platforms, but those were pricier and I had already invested in my PIC development environment, so moving to another platform was not trivial.

I have an idea for a project, interfacing with a PC, and a bit of searching around brought me to the Trinket by Adafruit, which is an Arduino-compatible microcontroller development board that is cheap enough that you could simply leave it inside your project! It connects to USB, and the Arduino software is a free C compiler and programmer driver. Ok, you need to install a special USB driver, but then you can just connect the microcontroller to the USB, load up C code in the IDE and click a few buttons to upload the compiled code to the chip. Press a button on the chip board itself, and it connects as a USB keyboard and starts typing out messages (if that is the code that you uploaded).
That is amazing for only about an hour of work. I can’t even begin to imagine how that would work out with the “old-fashioned” PICs I used to use. And it’s all open source and open hardware, which I think is a big factor in how popular the platforms are, and thus how much development is done on the supporting technologies.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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Glowing LED
May. 5th, 2018 @ 08:41 pm They’re back!
Current Mood: happyhappy
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The frogs are back in our pond, like every year. Our record is eight. So far, we counted four, in various sizes. (There’s two in this picture…)

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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haiku
May. 1st, 2018 @ 06:11 pm Frisian funeral
Current Mood: pensivepensive

Today, we attended the funeral of the father of a friend. It was a two-hour drive (which in the Dutch scale is actually quite long: we literally crossed half the country) to a small village in Friesland — and the weather was dreadful. We feared that we’d have to gather around the grave in the pouring rain, and we prepared by having spare dry socks and shoes in the car. (Klik’s grandmother was very specific: she wanted to be cremated, so that there was no need for us, her children and grand-children, to stand in foul weather around a grave on her behalf…)
The service was in the small village church which had been restored very handsomely indeed. And there were so many people that not everyone fit inside… The mourning card was all in Frisian (the second official language of the Netherlands, and spoken only/mainly in Friesland), and so was the service and even the psalms! I guess it’s to be expected for the funeral of the man who wrote the Frisian dictionary. I could understand some parts: the pastor spoke very clear and (I suspect) a Dutch accent, which certainly helped, but there were also parts that went completely over my head. There were some anecdotes that made people laugh, but I didn’t get any of the jokes…
By the time we stood around the grave, the rain had stopped and the sun broke through.

After the service, we talked a bit with our friend. We were almost the last to leave, and it was kind of late when we got back home. But it was good to be there for him.

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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Readman
Apr. 29th, 2018 @ 11:32 am Friending Frenzy!
LiveJournal hasn't become a lonely place, even though it might feel like that sometimes when you look at your empty friends feed. What you really need is more/better friends!
So why not participate in the Friending Frenzy that my pal spiral_meter is hosting right now? It really works to brighten up your feed!
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net zombie!
Apr. 27th, 2018 @ 09:41 pm The big Spring 2018 season review post
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished

Instead of making multiple posts with a few reviews here and there, I’ve decided to collect all my first-episode reviews in a single entry, to make it easier for you to skip if you’re not interested. But it’s also easier to find my review for that one series!

Reviews of 39 first episodesCollapse )

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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azumanga
Apr. 25th, 2018 @ 08:22 pm Leafbook
Current Mood: amusedamused
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So yesterday I was playing Ni No Kuni II, and it’s a rather standard action RPG with some really smart (and cute!) mechanics and a good story. It also looks really cute: it makes the most of the cell-shaded engine it uses, making everything look like hand-drawn animation even though it’s all CGI.
Anyway, I was following along in the plot, and I met a merchant in a dungeon. And they give me a ‘Leafbook’. This turns out to be a Facebook equivalent for this magical fantasy world! Plot-events are shown as posts, complete with comments! Every once in a while, you get a notification there are new posts, and you can go read them. You can even ‘like’ the posts!

The posts themselves give little hints and a view of the world beyond your adventure, which is quite cool. But imagine the design meeting for this game, a big-budget number, and highly anticipated. And then someone says: “You know what? We should totally create something like Facebook in our game! Come on, it’ll be fun!”

Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
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Kashira? Kashira? Gozonji Kashira?
Apr. 23rd, 2018 @ 07:02 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: festive
Happy birthday, luna_puella!
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eten