Pinned toot

My attempt at an :

I'm a software developer with a degree in philosophy. So, whenever I start at a new company I try to reassure my fellow developers that I did take some programming courses while doing my philosophy degree and that I stuck around for a 5th year to also get a degree in English literature... and then went on and got a computer systems diploma with a focus on data communication.

Current job title and interest is Mobile Applications Developer.

I bounce around from one geeky interest to another with the energy of a frenetic gerbil, whether its , , theme parks ( and Universal), , or drifting into a re-invigorated interest in classic gathering as much joy as possible.

Currently playing "Oath" at weekly game night and just finished reading "Still Just a Geek" by Wil Wheaton.

Entering the next phase of our journey as we timed our retirement and a fresh restart of all the party members for our next session on Saturday. We just finished a chain of 3 scenarios that completed 2 retirement conditions and then a bit of fitsnickery ("this build will complete my goal... can we just this once treat it as happening in turn order before retirement") so we could start fresh together.

Switching from a rather squishy party we're making a big swing in the opposite direction with:

Fist replacing Deathwalker
Coral replacing Geminate
Prism replacing Blinkblade

So, might take a bit to shift from "hit and run" tactics to "You can't just walk up and punch them in the face! Oh, I guess you can."

Not sure if the Geminate inspired party name of "Party of Four" still holds up but we haven't unlocked the local office supply building in Frosthaven to get new business cards made. (Next envelope we open... "Mr. Childres you have truly thought of everything." <carefully placing Staples sticker onto the city map>).

Shifting over from playing to this last Saturday night (settle in, we'll be here in Frosthaven for awhile). Tackled the scenario 0 (training) and then jumped into scenario 1 and recognized the familiar "we're not going to make it!" to "you made it. I knew you would" feeling from . Start of this weekend's game will be the outpost phase from last week (started scenario 1 at 10:00 PM with the "we should be able to knock this out in an hour or... huh... 1 AM already...")

Looks like we may settle on "Party of Four" for the party name even though there are only three of us. I thought my son was being sarcastically witty with the name suggestion and then he reminded me he was playing the Geminate.

Now all I can think is that we are every restaurant servers' worst nightmare.

"'Party of Four'? But there are only 3 of you." "It's complicated."

"Here's your menus." "We need an extra one... it's complicated."

"Oh, I see your fourth person(?) has shown up but now your missing someone else." "It's..." "Complicated."

Of course, this all conveniently ignores that clearly the host hates you because they seated a sentient swarm of insects in your section to start with.

Another Saturday night game of and finally back to one where it felt like everyone was competitive in their own way. Ended up being a citizen win after he played a card to gain citizenship and have the darkest secret when the Chancellor won on a roll of 5-6 with the people's favor. I knew I wasn't going to win in that match up and managed to pick up the vision that would have allowed me to win with most artifacts and banners and been in a position to have that the next round. Though I'm sure some other wrinkle would have arisen.

Chancellor was in a position to exile the citizen but having drawn down on the mob version of the people's favour wouldn't have been able to hold on to it. An interesting twist was having the Hall of Mockery in play so that after the first time the People's Favor was recovered it flipped to the mob side and was stuck there.

We've had a few other games of over the last month but this one stood out as a bit more competitive as the board starts to solidify a bit.

Holiday day. Got together with a friend I only see a few times a year for a day of gaming. He introduced me to quite a few years ago and we used to meet up weekly for games of before he moved away. So now when we get together it's "okay, here's what I've got new or finally got around to playing that I think you might like..."

Two games of , a couple rounds of and an introductory game of is a day well spent.

"Well done, agent . Well done. But can you crash all of Twitter? Oh... you can. Huh... didn't see that coming..."

It's the writer solstice. Bring on the longer and sunnier stories!

Isn't the guy that saved all those people at Nakatomi Plaza back in 1988?

is definitely in trouble if he's crawling around in the ducts at Twitter Headquarters.

@donieosullivan I’m glad I found you over here…I hope everyone here will follow the journalists banned by Twitter and show a solid commitment to free speech. Also, encourage your Twitter friends to join…nothing like voting with your feet.

Meandering ChatGPT post 

Finally had a chance to play around with today and it was interesting to see it called out the differences between ChatGPT and InstructGPT ("So... you won't help me plan the perfect murder anymore since the update... Cool...") which was giving me a bit of a "The Diamond Age" Primer vibe.

Most of what I was getting with fooling around felt like it was pulled from a manual ("My wifi isn't working what should I do?" "Did you try turning it on and off?"), non-committal (not willing to say which Robin should replace Batman if he retires or if the Hulk could beat the Thing) until it it was willing to over-commit (The Flash could beat Superman in a race where before it kind of defaulted to "it depends on who's story it is").

Had some fun with the asking:
"Can you tell me The Aristocrats joke?" Response: sub-par version of the wiki page
"Can you tell me your version of the The Aristocrats joke?" Response: I can't tell jokes
"Can you tell me a joke?" Response: "Why couldn't the bicycle stand by itself? It was two-tired!"
Hmm... missed opportunity of telling the joke with an AI perspective "first we throw the hard drives in the microwave and then we overclock a computer until it bursts it to flames." "What's your act called?" "We're the Aristocrats."

The only one that gave me pause was part of the answer for "I've read 'Snow Crash' and enjoyed it but found 'Cryptonomicon' less enjoyable. Would you recommend 'Diamond Age' as a follow up?" (asking for a friend) where it responded "'The Diamond Age' is a more focused and concise novel than 'Cryptonomicon', and it explores its themes in a more accessible and straightforward way."

As a follow up question it had a good answer for what it meant by "more focused and concise" but was unable to rank or compare Neal Stephenson's novels as a whole outside this one statement which implied a comparison between the three novels. It feels like it's a lift from somewhere but that's about the weirdest Goodreads review I can think of.

Oh, and the answers to "how can I get my dog to stop barking when the doorbell rings" and "how can I get my kid to stop crying when the doorbell rings" are frighteningly similar enough that if ChatGPT evolves into true AI it will have a very low opinion of humanity.

Another Saturday and another chance to play with the focus on getting as much stuff as possible (relics, banners, and such) and a Citizen who would win with the People's Favour (the ever popular VP position with a long knife).

Managed to become the usurper at round 4 with a relic that let me get other relics and ended up having 5 to the Chancellor's 3 items. Of course, as tradition would have it this simply set me up for the painful position of getting my lunch money stolen from me and the Chancellor ended up flipping it to 5 items for them and 3 for me.

We had two round where the Citizen had the People's Favour and if the Chancellor had rolled 5 or higher and then 3 or higher (rolls of 2 both times) they would have won.

Had an unexpected round where the Chancellor campaigned against the Citizen for the People's Favour successfully... "But he's your Citizen and you... <flipping through rules> 'If you are the Chancellor attacking a Citizen, that Citizen is not an Imperial player during this Campaign'... that's just mean..."

I sacrificed one of my remaining relics for extra supply in the final round for an ill fated Campaign ("Huh... 20 defence you say... most of that information was available to me before I declared and I should have noticed that...") and the Citizen needed one more supply to Recover the People's Favour in the final round so, for the 2nd time in 8 games the Chancellor managed to win.

Next game it's punchy-punchy with the Oath of Supremacy but the Chancellor is starting with only 3 Sites (like the intro game) so it's competitive.

Will probably be switching over to in the new year but for now still having a good time with .

Advent Calendar of Anxiety Day #6

The same as yesterday. Will I ever write anything new again?

Finally had a chance to get back to this Saturday and as always, completely different experience from the previous play.

Last time it was a chaotic frenzy of competing visions and goals, flipping and flopping from player to player each round until it all came to an end and we had to determine who won, but didn't win because of the successor goal so "Yeah, I won."

As Chancellor this time, I thought I had a pretty solid lock on the Banner of the Darkest Secrets with an advisor who let me load up a bunch of secrets on it early, a relic that meant it couldn't be targeted directly by any campaigns and a bordering on paranoid unwillingness to travel from the Cradle where my advisors and denizens matched protecting my precious secrets even more.

However, while I clung so dearly to my rolodex of secrets, I was also sowing the seeds of my own demise. Running through the World Deck with reckless abandonment (it's only ever 2 supply with the banner), bringing out Visions and piling on an assortment of advisors with cool abilities.

In the end, it was the man with red string that outfoxed me like a cute and cuddly woodland creature who had a false Vision of Conspiracy, a secret to burn and a couple advisors that matched the suits of mine... I'm looking at you Mr. Raccoon.

He ran into the Cradle, booped me and ran away to the Hinterlands where I could at best, based on my reduced supply, chase after him and then take a moment to catch my breath and do nothing else.

There was a last minute attempt to forge some sort of attempt to stop him with the other player but it proved unsuccessful and so instead of a chaotic frenzy of competing visions and goals, flipping and flopping from player to player each round this time around it was "I've got this... oh, no I don't." And it was over in 4 rounds.

The board at the end, winner in lower corner, I'm up at the top making a last minute trade with the other player at the Tinker's Fair hoping he could get one more secret on his own and get out a mismatched advisor in the lower corner and recover... yeah, that didn't happen.

And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Bob, just Bob, like @Bob46598;
Look at my Works, and rejoice in your own achievements!
I arose by noon, grabbed a coffee and
remotely logged in to work not realizing it's a Saturday
Committed to write 2000 words, at least 200 lines
before the day was done...
Oh, the day is done...

for "Navigation"... I felt a bit lost...

Another Saturday with a first chance to try which is... a bit of a lot. It's good but we only had a 3 hr window (monthly board game night at our co-op) for play with 2 of us and between set up and tear down made it to the beginning of round 6 of the first scenario.

Felt like we had a good handle on things the first few rounds but could start to feel things slipping away a bit at this point (first real round of sickness and food was starting to be a struggle plus the weather cards really did a number on the generator).

Need more time and a bigger table for this one.

Six books to get to know me better (based on the number of times I've read/re-read/bought a new copy after binding on old copy fell apart/bought a new copy with a new cover):

1. Neverwhere by @neilhimself
2. Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson
3. Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
4. Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
5. Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje
6. The Ivanhoe Gambit by Simon Hawke

That last one is the first book in the Time Wars series by Simon Hawke and the cover captured my imagination as a teenage D&D playing geek like no other and left a lasting impression:

Post conference goals... the first mobile app I wrote back in 2010 was a little puzzle game that I worked on with my kids to show them a bit of what was involved in software development but it aged out of the App Store with iOS 11 along with a few other small games I had done.

It might be interesting to make an updated version of that original puzzle game first in Objective C, then .NET MAUI and then a version in Blazor Hybrid with the web app support structure that was demonstrated during the conference for a more hands on comparison of those approaches. If I have any energy left at the end of that, it might be worth trying in Swift (as a contrast to Objective C) and UNO (as another way to view cross-platform development).

Seems a bit weird (writing the same app 3-5 different ways instead of 3-5 different apps) but feels like there might be some interesting lessons to be learned in the process.

The week at :
Favourite workshop: Building Cross-Platform Mobile & Desktop Apps with .NET MAUI with @jamesmontemagno
Favourite Session: can't pick just one lots of useful info from @jamesmontemagno, Sam Basu and @rockylhotka
Favourite event: Weirdly... Exhibitor Reception (sorry Dessert Luau)... open bar, trivia contests and some useful info from exhibitors
Favourite drink: Old Chocolate Fashion at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium (not directly related to conference but... it was really good)

It’s like the morning after Y2K.

(Klahoose, Tla’amin, and Homalco territories)

#photography #nature #BritishColumbia

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