wombat1138: (Default)
Some thoughts on HatoFic:

1.) Sakuya is weirdly difficult for me to pin down, at least into the mood I'm trying to get him into. He's very high-strung and skittish, with a brittle arrogance that can quickly flare from ice-queen snobbery into rank-pulling snitfits. Under physical strain, he goes into wild-eyed panic mode. He's bossy and rude and I have no idea why I have this weird affection for him. The only things that bring his vulnerability near the surface are music and exhaustion, and even then he has that brittle self-protective facade. Firm confrontation can win his respect, as long as it's resolved calmly.

2.) I'm basically pigeonholing (haha) Yuuya as a calmer, saner Enishi. Whatever that means is left of Enishi after that filtering process. He is fun. It's nice to reconfirm that he survives Sakuya's extended ending.

3.) I adore Nanaki as a character, but I can't seem to envision writing him at all. I can't get much of a grip at all on Nageki. I like Anghel, but I'm just feeling automatic warning bells about trying to get anywhere near his madness place.

4.) Ryouta is sweet, but a bit bland. "Yasashii boy," the wombat-consort usually calls this type. He's just kinda there.

5.) Apparently I can project Dr. Iwamine's mindset with disturbing efficacy. I don't really get the squeeing directed *at* him... it's more of a sense that it would be unfortunately fun to *be* him.

6.) If birdified, Miles Edgeworth would totally be a fantail pigeon. I suppose Phoenix Wright would make a good blue jay. Now that I've refilled the birdfeeder out on the deck, bluejays have been objecting all over the place all day.
wombat1138: (Default)
Not much more to be said, really :b

It is horribly bad so far-- the usual structural stereotypes of backfill, description, and internal monologue with almost no actual dialogue or ongoing action. Dammit.
wombat1138: (Default)
And so the spiral continues downward. ("DATING PIGEONS IS NOTHING BUT SUFFERING AND MADNESS.")

I am actually having plotbunnies god help me.Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
Finished the BBL ("Bad Boy's Love", which is how it was teased from the demo version) true ending or at least some version thereof; I gather there's an epilogue section which I can't see until I finish clearing the remaining preliminary routes.

"Hatoful Boyfriend" is seriously some of the best entertainment I've had since playing 999. It doesn't have the puzzle-solving aspects, but it's easily just as good of a visual novel. The translator did a great job, overall-- I wish the text spacing was more graceful, and there are som stray proofreading errors here and there, but the prose flows smoothly and naturally in conveying the desired moods.

Yes, the initial premise of a pigeon dating sim sounds joyously ridiculous, and it does have multiple ROFL moments esp. in the preliminary character-introduction/dating routes. But once you've cleared enough of those to open up the BBL option-- and even during some of those intro routes-- the plot starts diving into apocalyptic conspiracies and interwoven tragic backstories. Over the weekend, when I hit one point in the game, I just sat there staring at the screen for several minutes, saying slowly to myself, "Oh. Oh. That means-- oh, no. Oh, crap." And not just out of concern for the human girl PC-- this game somehow makes you *care* about almost every one of the major bird characters by the time it gets through with you.

And now I still have to scoop up two more intro routes, including one for which I've already read a partial playthrough description which ends up in a double-suicide-by-cop scenario. ("Bad birds, bad birds, whacha gonna do-- whacha gonna do when they come for you...")
wombat1138: (Default)
Okay, got the game settings to more or less where I wanted them and whipped through enough of them to trigger two new options and unlock the "BBL" ending, which I'm now about three "class" levels into out of at least five.

This game is exploding my tiny little mind. It's by far the best entertainment for $5 that I have ever had. Almost anything else I can say would be a spoiler.

...other than, I guess, to acknowledge that this is a dating game where the (female) protagonist is the only human at a high school for uplifted birds-- mostly doves, plus a narcoleptic quail mathematician and an ominous patridge researcher.

(I have no idea who applied the ratings tags over there-- there's no sexual content, but I definitely don't think this is rated G. There's occasional swearing, and several paths have bloodshed, mayhem, and/or general dismemberment.)

I was originally hooked by reading this playthrough thread of the free demo, but the full game is... more fuller. Yowch.

My brain hurts. But in a good way. I think. Maybe.
wombat1138: (Default)
After reading some hilarious playthroughs, I decided to buy the English-patched version of the game, and I am getting very frustrated with the setup.

Hurdle #1: defusing my brower's flashblockers to allow download.

Hurdle #2: making sure I had all the auxiliary programs needed to play it.

Hurdle #3: looking up the proper file-permissions tweakage necessary for Mac OSX.

So now I've been able to get the game started, but the text display looks weird. There may be some option within the game to adjust the fonts and sizes, but it doesn't look like there's any kerning... and all of the command menus within the game are still in Japanese.

There are definitely options for tweaking the text speed and setting the text to auto-advance. (O--TO proves to be "auto-(advance)", not "sound"). At least I think I found the options for adjusting the music volume. There's also one to temporarily zap the text box and admire the artwork.

So far, I've quit and restarted about three times because I buggered the text speed and started fast-forwarding through the game, which is probably useful for the opening sections on replay but not on initial playthrough. Also, the save menu options are also in Japanese.

Why haven't I ever finished memorizing katakana why oh why D:
wombat1138: (Default)
It's been ages since I've read these books, but I've started to wade back through the series what with the Ghibli Arrietty movie about to come out in the US. For that matter, there seem to be more "Borrowers" books than I remember; it's possible that my hometown library system didn't have them all or I just wasn't able to locate them at the time.

Finished the first book this morning; have all of the others checked out except for book #2, which I'm planning to pick up from another library branch tomorrow.

Something that I hadn't really thought about in my childhood was exactly what happened to Aunt May's brother. I think I'd vaguely assumed that he was killed in the Great War, but this time, I thought, "Wait a moment-- from the British perspective, did the Great War really have a 'North-West Frontier'?" Turns out the "North-West Frontier" was a province of the British Raj in what is now Pakistan; its administrative capital was the city of Peshawar.

Also, there's a mention that Aunt May and all of her siblings had been bilingual in their childhood, growing up in the Raj and nearly illiterate in English (though conversationally fluent)-- I wonder what their other language was?
wombat1138: (Default)
Fused this previously-mentioned recipe with this new one, in an attempt to get more chocolate flavor into the main custard section of the little custard cups.

Result: Tasty, but the texture is much less custard-like and more like a moist cupcake, which makes sense wrt comparison to standard recipes for flourless chocolate tortes. It's probably because of the high volume of cocoa powder bulking it up.

I only made four of them and two are et now, so maybe I'll try reverting back toward the original "chocolate chai custard" recipe but substituting cold-brewed coffee concentrate for the chai. (Yes I am terrible at following directions normally why do you ask :b )

Unnecessarily[*] detailed procedure/notes after cut.

[*: considering that I don't think I'll be making this again in the imemdiate future, but I am awake in the middle of the night and garrulously woozy.]Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
Finally got around to making another batch of cold-brewed coffee concentrate. It's been a while since last time, but I vaguely remembered that I found the usual recommended proportions a tad weak wrt tasting a bit watery after diluting it ~1:1 with milk for actual consumption.

I don't actually drink coffee that much, but when I do, I tend to add a lot of dairy product. Or just stir a spoonful of instant coffee into milk. The flavor profile of the previous coffee concentrate was fine; it's just that the liquid carrier tasted like, well, rather watery milk. I also haven't been consuming quite as much caffeine recently, so figured I'd better go for decaf this time.

So yesterday, I saw a nice big can of rotgut store-brand decaf coffee on sale, and bought it. (It's an odd size-- 1lb 10oz? which probably represents a size/price category that used to be 2lbs and may be on its way to 1.5lbs.) Last night, I put the entire can into a large bowl with about 3-4 qts cold filtered water and let it sit covered in the fridge overnight.

Just strained off the coffee slurry this morning, in 2-3 filtration passes-- a two-tiered rough first sweep through a small colander with a wire sieve underneath, followed by pouring the resulting liquid through a fine-meshed jelly bag to catch smaller coffee grains. (I thought about using paper coffee filters instead, but didn't.) I now have about 5 cups of containerized glacial fuming cold coffee concentrate and have two different jelly bags eking out a last few ounces of drippage into recovery containment on the countertop.

So far, I have experimentally tried *one* serving of coffee, involving maybe an ounce or less of coffee concentrate into a glass of milk. Very strangely, it isn't that assertive while in the mouth, but once you swallow it, there's a huge delicious impact of COFFEE!!! on the tongue like the kick of a mule. It's possibly even stronger than Vietnamese iced coffee. I quail to think of what would happen if this weren't decaf-- I'd be bouncing off the walls for months.

The entire can of coffee grounds measured about 8 cups dry, and indicated that a large normal-strength batch should be brewed with 1/2 cup coffee in 10 cups of water. So this means that the ~5 cups of concentrate represent the equivalent of about 2.5 gallons of coffee, and the proper dilution factor should theoretically be... ~1/2T per cup?

Oy. Guess my trial serving really was ~3x more concentrated than a normal Vietnamese iced coffee.

It's a good thing this stuff keeps, because it's going to take forever to work my way through th batch unless I can recruit the wombat-consort into drinking some too.
wombat1138: (Simpsonized)
Trader Joe's uncrystallized candied ginger finally reappeared, a bit after I'd bought a huge bag of fresh ginger from Costco to scale up the candying recipe.

Tonight I finally embarked on a multi-step process to deal with all of the fresh ginger, though I'm still not entirely certain what to do with it in the end.

The ginger itself has been peeled, sliced into ~1/4-1/2" slices, and is simmering on the stove until it gets tender. All of the ginger peel scraps are simmering in a neighboring large pot with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns to start a new batch of chai concentrate. Once the ginger slices are tender, I'm going to drain them, reserve ~1 cup liquid, and pour the rest of the ginger liquid into the chai concentrate batch. Everything then gets to sit in the refrigerator or at room temperature overnight (there's no sugar involved yet and everything's going to get brought back up to boiling again).

Tomorrow, I'm going to add tea and sugar to the chai concentrate, bring it back to a boil, and then strain it into a pitcher. The semi-depleted chai spices will then go into a large stockpot with several bags of scraps and bones fom the freezer to make stock. (Last week, after I noticed that the wombat-consort had stopped drinking the existing batch of chai concentrate because it had gotten to the fine spice-particulate sediment level at the bottom of the pitcher, I impulsively chucked the sediment into the oxtails I'd just started stewing, since the pho-related seasonings I'd already put in were pretty similar. The result resembles a five-spice mixture with a touch of orange, which is what cardamom strongly resembles to my palate. And the freezer bags already contain all of the oxtail bones from that as well as some assorted roasted pork knuckle bones, so I think it should work out pretty well.)

As for the ginger itself... it seems superfluous to candy it at this point, though OTOH it's a pretty easy process and easy to store afterward. I could try turning it into ginger-lime marmalade, except that would take up room and we'd never eat it all (esp. since the wombat-consort still shies away from bread most of the time). I'll figure something out.

Meanwhile, once the chai concentrate is done, some of it can get funneled into re-making that chai chocolate custard from a while back. Eventually.

And all the poor wombat-consort did tonight was suggest making custard. Custard will appear eventually. But not tonight.
wombat1138: (Default)
Watashi wa neko(tachi) darake: I am plastered with cats.

(In the sense of "covered by", not "intoxicated in the company of". I think. Optional pluralization suffix is optional.)
wombat1138: (spot)
Way back in my early teens, I read Stephen King's The Dead Zone, in which the main character gained the talent of psychic telemetry-- the ability to read existing knowledge or future events in the life of anyone he touches. Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
Have watched the first eight or so episodes so far. It's almost kinda like Snow Crash filtered through Miyazaki, or something.

The art style is a bit odd, but effective. The voice work is excellent, and the characterizations are great fun, esp. the l33t h4x0r grade-school grrlz.

The VR/RL plot interplay is a bit odd sometimes, but otoh when the wombat-consort plopped down his laptop and started plugging the funsubs into the tv, he skipped the first episode (which he said was just setup), so I don't know how much I may've missed there-- and some of the apparent inconsistencies are gradually explained away as the series continues.
wombat1138: (Default)
Well, perhaps not all that random-- specifically, I've become fascinated by looking up different translations of the Costa Concordia transcript line, "Vada a bordo, cazzo!"

Language Log points out that one aspect lost in English translation is that De Falco is using the formal "you" pronoun/verbs throughout the conversation.

The reputably-sourced translations of "cazzo" in this context mostly seem idiomatic rather than literal-- emotional/rhetorical emphasis, rather than a personally-directed insult. There are some exceptions, though.

English versions from various news media are mostly sentence-final words/phrases: "Get back on board, dammit!"; "...for God's sake!"; "...for fuck's sake!".

Japanese: 船に戻れ、畜生 (chikusho) or "船に戻れ、ばか野郎" (baka yarou)

German: "Gehen Sie verdammt noch mal an Bord!"; "Gehen Sie an Bord, verflucht nochmal!"

Dutch: "Ga aan boord verdomme!" or "Ga aan boord, klootzak!"

French: "Bon sang, retournez à bord !" (Paris); "Allez à bord, bordel de merde!" (Quebec).

Brazilian Portuguese: "Volte a bordo, porra!!" (from online headlines; no link) or “Volte a bordo, caralho!”

European Spanish: "¡Suba a bordo, coño!"

Russian: "Идите на борт, черт побери!"

Ukrainian: "Быстро вернулся на борт, бл...ть!"

Hebrew: "חזור לסיפון זין!"

(I can barely limp through Cyrillic script one letter at a time and can't read Hebrew at all, so I have no real idea what those say.)

If anyone wants to contribute more, I'd love to see them.
wombat1138: (Default)
1.) Evidently, "default" bags of sugar at the grocery store have shifted from 5 lbs to 4 lbs since the last time I went shopping for sugar. This isn't entirely surprising, considering that (frex) a few years ago, "half-gallon" tubs of ice cream gradually shrank from 8 cups to 7 and are now at 6, but this is the first time I've noticed it happening with a high-volume basic commodity. Will be eyeing milk and eggs next.

2.) Got a downloadable installment of "Art Academy" for the DSi yesterday and had loads of fun with it; now bidding on a complete version on eBay. My drawing skills (such as they are) stalled out and/or were abandoned years ago, and were self-taught anyway; most of my "technique" was limited to unshaded monochrome line drawings. But this seems to do a creditable job of walking you through simple shading with lead pencils and the basic concepts of layering opaque paints. Today I noodled around with replicating some of the lessons IRL with colored pencils and was reasonably happy with the results-- not blown away by any means, but at least feeling semi-competent. My one misgiving is that it relies a lot on using a grid tool rather than learning to sketch freehand, but OTOH I could just try ditching the grid tool. (I did leave the grid off for most of one lesson, until finally concluding toward the end that something Did Not Look Right and turning the grid tool back on to pinpoint the proportional error.)

3.) Still haven't quite finished "Scribblenauts", in that I'm continuing to crawl through the gold-star threepeats while trying to minimize thesaurus hits-- e.g., if the puzzle is solvable by flying up on a pegasus and shooting something with a rifle, find some completely different methods instead of just doing the same thing with "roc/shotgun" and "sphinx/crossbow".

Knee glee

Jan. 13th, 2012 05:17 pm
wombat1138: (marker sketch)
I may seriously need to do this to some of the growing pile of de-kneed jeans in my closet. At least if I can either thread needles again or find the automagical needle threader I bought a while back.
wombat1138: (Default)
Bought just before Xmas; have been playing lots since then.

I have a vaguely guilty feeling ahout using the chain/rope quasi-teleportation glitch so much, but hey, it's there. Also, discovered that chains (and probably other metal objects) can be used to destroy lightning clouds, which is highly useful to know.

The movement controls are really frustrating, though. ISTR hearing they were fixed for Super Scribblenauts, which I bought at the same time but haven't started yet.
wombat1138: (spot)
For some reason, I've been on a sardine-buying kick for the past few months, but not so much with the sardine-eating since the end of summer. I mean, I'm perfectly happy in hot weather to peel open a can and eat it plain, but cold weather seems to call for something more substantial. I kept thinking about combining them with noodles in some way, but something else still seemed to be needed.

While looking for sardine recipes, I came across some mentions of Alton Brown's sardine'n'avocado sandwich, which seems to be amenable to all sorts of minor ingredient modifications (and incidentlly, is ascribed a major role in his comfortably shedding 50 lbs). I'm not a big fan of avocados, but I figured I'd give it a try. (Recipe tweak below.)

Wow. It's tasty and intense (like a tuna salad turned up to eleven) and very very filling. And reasonably cheap, depending on your ingredient choices/sourcing. One small sandwich, made with a Trader Joe's michelette roll, was quite sufficient for lunch, and there's definitely enough left of the sardine/avocado mix to make another sandwich for dinner. Though on the way back from TJ's, I aslo stopped by Safeway to hit the ATM and they had chicken on sale, so there's also 5 lbs of chicken thighs waiting to be baked for dinner and later application toward pot pie or soup or whatnot. And I've also creamed together enough butter and sugar for the seasonal batch of the wombat-consort's ancestral orange cookies, which I'll finish mixing up after the chicken is baked.

Hmm. Perhaps I should remember to eat breakfast before making food production plans.

Anyway, my modified sardine/avocado stuff follows the cut. Read more... )
wombat1138: (Default)
Yet another reformat, with some added notes.Read more... )
wombat1138: (narbat)
I was going to add this to the snowstar notes on dA, but it started getting too wordy. Quick reference pic:



The actual dimensions I listed in the original notes (N = 3") were chosen more for cutting convenience than strict accuracy, although they're reasonably close. I'm also providing a second set of approximate measurements for N = 3.5", since that's what most of my pre-cut paper supply is.

I'm also reverting a bit to the terminology from Lew Rozelle's Origami Ornaments, which I just bought a Kindle copy of and am not entirely happy with-- it leaves out the very useful supplementary table of contents that lists all of the individual modules.

(Hm-- what's with the huge space preceding the table in preview? Guess I'll see if it's still there when I actually post... aha, it's a linebreak artifact.)Read more... )

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