I’m giving Medium another fair shake.
Please see me over here: https://medium.com/@gamerchick02 for more longform articles. Let’s see if I write more.
I’m giving Medium another fair shake.
Please see me over here: https://medium.com/@gamerchick02 for more longform articles. Let’s see if I write more.
I’m no stranger to task apps and todo apps and tracking apps. I’ve tried a bunch.
And I’m trying another one: HabitRPG.
This takes all the crap you have to do in a day and turns it into a game. It allows you to define Habits, Dailies, ToDos, and Rewards.
Let’s take a look at my HabitRPG screen:
From what I can gather, “Habits” is the section where you can define things you want to do better at and then track how you’re doing, sort of like the “don’t break the chain” method of productivity or whatever.
Next we have the “Dailies” section. If you’re familiar with WoW, “dailies” are something you can do every day to get a reward (experience, rep with a faction, etc) and you kind of want to do them as much as possible so you can increase your skills or reputation with a certain faction. I’ve added the following to mine:
I didn’t want too many dailies because I’d end up just doing chores when I got home from work and things wouldn’t be flexible. I need to make sure I actually DO this stuff and not let it languish.
Next is the “ToDo” section and holy cow is it long for me. I’m not going to type everything out, but suffice it to say, it includes some of the stuff up on my board as well as blog posts I want to write. I think these are things that have no time limit on them, and I think they give more EXP and coins when you complete them, especially if you bump them up to “hard”. I’ve done this on a couple of the items since I’m not sure how much time they will take. If it’s a complicated project, you may want to break it down into more steps so it will be easier.
Rewards, of course, is where you can go to spend your hard-earned gold. Seriously, if you didn’t have something to reward yourself with, then what’s the point? Anyway, I have some choice things on there.
As you can see, I didn’t put vague things on my lists. You have to be concrete. Also, I didn’t put things on there that I already do, like “Do Dishes” as a habit. I am good with doing my dishes every day, so I don’t need to track that aspect of my life. I do need to track things I want to get better at, so that’s why I added so few to the habits. As soon as they become habits, I think I might move them to the “Dailies” section so I can still track them but they won’t be under “habits” because they already ARE habits.
I think this is for someone who is already somewhat disciplined with their time but needs some more motivation. I wish we had something like this for work. I would love to “level up” by doing X AFP grinds or cleaning X codes out of character for model.
I hope a mobile app comes soon because I want to track my food thing and the stairs thing and the parking thing on the go. I’ve a bad habit of forgetting to log things.
I have sadly neglected this blog since I transferred it over here from Posterous. For that, I apologize.
What is up in my life? Well, let me make a list:
Wow, what a list!
Review of some of those things will be forthcoming (the Portland trip and my Air).
The TV is awesome in general; it’s large without being too large.
Well… that’s it for now. I have some things to write about the Air and my Portland trip, but I’ll tackle those when I’m not as tired.
I’ve decided to move to Posterous for my main blog.
The URL is http://gamerchick02.posterous.com
Posterous was able to pull in all my comments, so that’s pretty cool. I’ll leave this as a archive.
I’ve been following all of the concerns surrounding the Ubuntu and Banshee profit-sharing “kerfuffle”, as Greg puts it here. Craig Maloney (aka snap-l) responds here. Mark Shuttleworth responds to everyone here. Also, I can’t forget about Jono’s post about it as well.
So, I guess this is my response:
I think the whole thing is embarrassing. Canonical shouldn’t have suggested what they did, nor should they have backpedaled in the manner they did.
Banshee is an awesome application. I use it every day to manage and listen to my music and download new tracks from Amazon (mostly free individual tracks and album samplers). I have never used the Ubuntu Music Store, but I think it’s a great idea. (Note: I get most of my new music from actual CDs or through Jamendo or other CC-music websites.)
Now, I’ve been a part of the Ubuntu community since about 2006 (yes, I’m old) and seeing something like this pains me. It makes me feel like I should be embarrassed to use Ubuntu and Banshee. The Amazon store should never have been an issue; Canonical should never have offered to mess with it, instead offering their own store with a choice of stores (even enabling both!) at the startup of Banshee.
I understand that Canonical needs to make money. All businesses need to make money. If UbuntuOne was available for Windows and was a comparable price to Dropbox, I would probably be using UbuntuOne instead of Dropbox. Selling cloud services is a great idea for Canonical. Same with selling merchandise through their store, and CDs with Ubuntu on them. Heck, I’ve bought stuff from them.
I guess my question is, couldn’t Canonical come up with a better way to deal with this profit-sharing or whatever? What about offering 85/15 (85% to Gnome, 15% to Canonical)? Heck, even 50/50 would have been more fair. 25/75 for doing no work whatsoever doesn’t seem kosher.
I decided to take the plunge and try out pinboard.in.
At the time I signed up it was something like $9.17, but it’s gone up to $9.22 (due to go up with more subscribers).
Well, I did an import of all my delicious bookmarks, and found that it was a much faster process than importing into diigo. After importing, I noticed that my private bookmarks were kept (very important to me) private.
The look of pinboard.in is very similar to delicious, but it’s cleaner. I love the way it integrates with my Shareaholic extension for Chrome/ium. To save to Pinboard is the first link in my drop-down menu.
Anyway, how about a picture?
The default Pinboard.in look. Very similar to delicious.
It’s almost easier and faster to send to Pinboard than it is to send to delicious. First off, there’s really nobody to share with, so you don’t have to pick who you send links to. Second, it doesn’t have automatic twitter integration, so you don’t have to deal with that (I have twitter integration though Twitterfeed and my #pinboard hashtag). It’s simple, quick, bookmarking with tags and privacy options. Nothing else.
The navigation is really, really simple. A picture says a thousand words, so here’s a picture:
As you can see, there’s a way to choose what kind of tags you want, a search box, and a way to get to popular places in your account. I haven’t tried the note-taking functionality yet, because I have tomboy notes on all of the computers I use, so I don’t really need them. I guess if I got a Cr-48, I’d need the note functionality.
You’ll also notice that there’s “recent” and “popular” links up top. I’ll go over there sometimes to see what’s been bookmarked, just like I used to when I was on delicoius. Sometimes there’s some cool stuff in there, and if you explore other popular tags, you’ll find even more websites that tailor to your interests. There’s also a networking aspect to pinboard.in that I really haven’t had a chance to explore. I’ve added a couple of people who seem to post linux-related sites, but I’m not sure exactly what the networking will amount to. Pinboard sells itself as “antisocial bookmarking” and to an extent that’s fine. I’m using it as a repository of my favorite links, and I’m sharing through twitterfeed.
The actual bookmark list is very clean and easy to follow. How about another picture?
The bookmarks themselves.
Easy to see tags, when you posted the link, the link itself, and in light grey, you can make out “edit” and “delete” links. I seem to have a lot of GTD stuff in this screenshot. Ahem.
Onto tagging! I’ve gotten used to tagging my bookmarks, photos, blog posts, and pretty much everything else. I like the idea of tagging as opposed to folders. I can assign more than one tag to something and that something will show up in both of those categories; for instance, I have many links that deal with Ubuntu, Gnome, KDE, and Linux. I can assign the general tag of Linux, and have everything Linux-related show up, but if I want to narrow things down, I can go Linux -> Ubuntu -> KDE and get all the KDE links relating to Ubuntu. Simple.
Anyway, here’s what the tags look like:
Tags, oh, how I love thee.
So, pinboard.in is a great service to replace delicious. I’m sure Yahoo is regretting the decision to have that slide show up. I think they’ve lost a lot of their userbase. It might put some people off to purchase the initial login, but it’s well worth the $9-ish for it.
I’ve been meaning to put together a tech bag/urban assault bag/art bag for awhile now, and I found the perfect bag for it: a Swiss Gear small messenger bag. I can’t seem to find any pictures on the web for it, so I suspect that it’s a discontinued model, which is fine because I got it at Meijer for about $25.
This bag has padding in both of its sections, and the main compartment is expandable with a zipper to accommodate the extra room. I can easily carry my netbook, a regular book or my Nook, my sketchbook, and other things.
So, let’s see what I might carry for what applications.
I don’t know. This bag is very versatile, and I’m hoping to use it for one of these applications. I’m almost keen on replacing my purse with it, but I feel that it’d be too heavy for regular purse use. Also, I have a tendency to load up my bags with too much stuff; this is why I carry a relatively small purse. If I didn’t have a small purse, I’d probably load it up with everything but the kitchen sink and have major back pain as a result.
This album is great on many levels. I’m no musician, but I guess I know good music when I hear it, and this is complex. I like the way everything is layered. Anyway, that’s the way things sound to me; the sound seems layered, one on top of the other, with a really nice build. I’ll pick out a few of my favorite tracks to highlight…
The first track, Crystallis, is a nice introduction to the sound on the whole album. While listening, if you close your eyes and relax, you’re almost taken away to a different place. The beat can be sort of repetitive, but it is relaxing in a way.
The third track, Inside the Beat, is my favorite off of the CD. I love how the song is about being inside the music and now nothing bad can happen when Partition36 is inside the beat. The beat is almost like a safe house where the evils of the world can’t hurt anyone. Also, it’s about concentration and working on something that you want to. Great song, great message.
After track two and three being upbeat, Hirakatashi (track 4) is kind of relaxing and puts you in a neat trance. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but I really like it.
Cyberpunks (track 8) is my second favorite song. Kind of political, and very relevant to today’s laws regarding the digital world.
The whole album is one of those that really flows together. It’s almost like Partition36 created this to be a whole experience. If you listen to each track on it’s own, they’re great. If you listen to the whole album together and take it as a continuous piece of art, then it’s incredible.
For the record, Partition36 is the artist that got me into electronic music. I wouldn’t think I’d like it, but I’ve listened to several different albums, and it’s a genre I’ve really gotten into recently.
This album can be downloaded via the website, or you can purchase the album. I really recommend purchasing a physical CD. The album art is great too.
Note: This is going to be a rambling, navel-gazy post talking about games I’ve been playing and the systems I play them on. Feel free to skip, if you so desire. Cut for obvious reasons.
It’s incredibly addictive. If you just play the standard “Brew” option, you’ll find plenty of opportunity for improving your score. This is fun enough, but the even more addicting part of the game is the story mode. You play as three wytches who are wandering the countryside to find out where the Grey Brothers went. They help people by brewing different potions.
The game is like Bejeweled in that you move the flowers (jewels) around the board. The difference is that you can sacrifice some of your “candle wax” (life) and move the flowers farther around on the board, as opposed to only adjacent ones.
You have a cookbook to guide you. Once you figure out what flowers go in what combination in what order, the game goes from being slightly confusing to seriously addicting.
I’m about a third of the way through the story mode, and I’m loving it. This game is fun and complex, but simple enough to pick up quickly.
It’s kind of frustrating when the wytches throw more flowers out onto the board and it creates a 3-in-a-row that messes up your recipe! Frustrating, but you still get points!
Another mechanic that makes the game a little harder is your cauldron at the bottom of the screen. If you try to fill it up too much, it will overflow and your game will be over! So, you have to keep your eye on your candles, your cauldron, and the flowers that you’re trying to match up.
How about some screenshots?
This is the start screen. If you pick “brew”, you can play the standard matching game with no story and try to rack up as many points as you can.
This is the screen you get when you pick “quest”.
A story screen. The models aren’t anything to be excited about, but this is a puzzle game. There also don’t seem to be any consequences for messing up in the puzzle play; if people don’t get their potions, they’re disappointed, but not pissed off.
The game board screen. This is where all of the gameplay happens. You can see the flowers on the board. Each wytch has a section of the board, and if you move the flowers around too much, you have bits of your candles melt. The cauldron is on the bottom, and that’s where the flowers go when you line up three or more. If you try to stuff too much into the cauldron, it’ll overflow, ending the game. If your candles burn down completely, your game will end. The box to the left of the cauldron is your cookbook. I don’t have any recipes up on there, but you have to get the flowers in the right order.
See some official screenshots here.
I got the game for free through this offer. It’s a very solid game, and for free, it’s even more awesome.
I guess I’ll get to a rating. Overall, I’d say this is a 4/5. The story mode is interesting enough to keep you going, so that’s a 4/5; the gameplay is addictive, so that’s a 5/5; and the graphics are fine for what you need them for, a 3.5/5. The models of the wytches and other people are kind of goofy looking and they’re not animated, but for a puzzle game, kick-ass models aren’t really expected.
This is a great game; go out and get it and give it a whirl. It’s very addictive and free ‘til January.
Synopsis by Wikipedia (WARNING, SPOILERS!!):
John Watson, an ex-army doctor injured in the war in Afghanistan, meets Sherlock Holmes through a mutual friend. They become flatmates, sharing rooms at 221B Baker Street owned by landlady Mrs. Hudson.
There have been a strange series of deaths that Inspector Lestrade supposes to be serial suicides. Sherlock is consulted by Lestrade to look into the latest crime scene which is of a woman wearing an "alarming shade of pink". Sherlock deduces that the woman is an serial adulterer with an unhappy, decade long marriage. However, this victim, unlike others, left a note: she clawed the word "Rache" into the floor before dying. Sherlock quickly ignores the suggestion of the forensic expert, Anderson, that it’s the German word for revenge and settles on "Rachel", deeming that the victim died before finishing the scrawl.
Examining the woman’s clothing and accessories, Sherlock reveals that she’s from out of town, intending to stay over for one night which he deduces from splashes of mud on only one leg, thrown up by the wheel of the case. However Lestrade explains that no suitcase was found in the premises. Sherlock flies off, searching for the spot where the murderer might have ditched the case. It turns out that the murderer threw it into a nearby garbage container.
Meanwhile, John receives a call from a public phone. After the subsequent conversation, a black sedan arrives, taking John to an empty warehouse. There, he meets a man claiming to be Sherlock’s "arch-enemy" who proposes money in return of information about Sherlock’s activities, which John refuses. The man warns John to "choose a side" and walks off.
John finds Sherlock in 221B, where he asks John to send a text message to a number which he reveals to be the fourth victim’s. The two then go out for a dinner in a local Italian restaurant where it strikes Sherlock that the murderer must be someone who can stalk and approach people without raising suspicion on the streets of London. That instant, Sherlock perceives a cabbie across the street with a passenger. They give chase with Sherlock using his profound knowledge of London’s streets and alleys to run into the cab via various detours and backstreets. Eventually they catch up with the cab but the passenger turns out to be a newly arrived American; a perfect alibi.
Back at Baker Street, Sherlock and John find Scotland Yard executing a drug bust, in retaliation for the fact that Sherlock withheld evidence by chasing after the suitcase himself. In a chain of deductions, he reasons that the last victim planted her mobile phone on the murderer and clawed her mail address password upon the floor, allowing the investigators to trace the GPS signal. John sees that the signal is coming from 221B at which point Mrs. Hudson tells him that there’s a cabbie waiting for him downstairs. Sherlock, in a moment of epiphany, realizes the plot. It was the cabbie approaching people without suspicion and taking them to irrelevant locations where they’re found dead.
Sherlock leaves his apartment, facing off the cabbie who confesses his doings, but also proclaims that he doesn’t kill – instead, he speaks to his victims and they kill themselves. He challenges Sherlock to solve his puzzle instead of arresting him then and there. They drive around London and finally arrive at a school building. There, the cabbie pulls out a gun and two bottles he claims contain one harmless pill and one poisonous pill. Sherlock and the cabbie have a dialogue about motives and consequences after which Sherlock reads that the cabbie is dying. The murderer confesses that he has an aneurysm. To secure his children’s future, he kills people and is paid by a "sponsor" to do so; his ‘victims’ can either take a 50/50 chance at picking the right pill and surviving or get shot by the gun. Refusing to play the pill game and calling off the cabbie’s gun bluff (which in reality is a novelty cigarette lighter), Sherlock walks off, but he’s challenged once again to choose a pill to see if he’d got it right.
Meanwhile, John has traced the GPS signal from the victim’s phone and followed Sherlock. He perceives him to be in danger when he spots him across the building where he is about to take one of the pills. The cabbie is shot by a bullet piercing through a nearby window. He lies there fatally wounded as Sherlock questions him, first about whether he got the pill game right, then, realising it’s not important, about his sponsor. Upon his reluctance to tell, Sherlock stomps on the cabbie’s bullet wound and manages to get a name: "Moriarty".
Outside, Scotland Yard has surrounded the perimeter and Sherlock is treated for shock. Lestrade questions Sherlock about the shooter and he starts to make some deductions before realizing it must be John. Sherlock feigns shock to cover for John and tells Lestrade to ignore everything he has just said. Sherlock and John leave the scene but run into the man who abducted John earlier in the episode, who turns out to be Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s elder brother, with whom he has a grudge. After a brief conversation, Sherlock and John return to Baker Street, and Mycroft instructs his secretary to increase their surveillance status.
According to the Wikipedia article, it’s loosely based on "A Study in Scarlet" but I don’t see a huge connection. I like how this refresh is taking new cases and using the actors to portray Holmes and Watson true to the canon.
There are some serious deviations from the canon in that Sherlock uses nicotine patches for his main habit ("It’s a three-patch problem.") and there seems to be a reference to an earlier drug habit when the cabbie challenges Sherlock to his puzzle.
I love the way Cumberbatch portrays Sherlock, and while Martin Freeman has no mustache, his portrayal of Watson is spot on. The writers have gone back to the canon and have tried to take the characters and put them into a modern-day setting without ruining the premise.
Sherlock is as anti-social as ever (even more so than Brett’s version), preferring to text instead of meeting face-to-face or calling someone. The series writers haven’t made him up as sexual (like they did in Sherlock: Case of Evil) and they haven’t made him steampunk (like the the 2009 Sherlock Holmes film). They also don’t seem to be focusing on Sherlock’s "dark moods" like they did in the Jeremy Brett Granada series (which I enjoyed immensely). Maybe the next episode will focus more on Sherlock’s dark moods. I liked that depth to Brett’s Holmes; though I think that’s one of the things that contributed to his early death.
Like I said in my opening, I’m hooked. This is a great "re-hash" of the original canon, and the writers are keeping true to Holmes’ and Watson’s personalities. If you have a chance to watch, I highly recommend it. Stars: 5/5.
Had an amazing day today.
Hung out in the morning and relaxed and had a late lunch.
Wow. We saw lots of different acts. There were only a couple of duds but you kind of have to take it in stride. I like listening to different folk music, and I especially love dulcimer music. The hammered dulcimer is a precursor to the piano and played with little hammers that you hit the strings with, and the mountain dulcimer is strummed.
I love Muzyka, the Jolly Hammers and Strings, Doug Berch, and Off the Wall. Amazing music and fun. We left about 8:30 pm because we were tired and our posteriors were getting sore from sitting on our lawn chairs. I can only sit in one spot for so long and we’d been sitting there since about 2:30 pm or so, with a brief break at 5 for dinner at Applebees (within walking distance).
I picked up a CD by Mustard’s Retreat called The Wind and the Crickets. It’s country, folk, and Celtic music. Very nice blend of music. I also picked up a CD for my mom for her birthday. :) I’m sure she’ll love it.
The only bad thing was that it was incredibly hot. About 86F, but with a decent breeze. The sun was on my back through the early evening and made me kind of too warm. It felt nice to come home in the air conditioning though! :)
I had fun today, and if you’re in Michigan the last weekend in August, make sure you check out the Dulcimer Festival. Oh, bring your own lawn chair, even if you stop by Home Depot beforehand and pick up a $10 one. There are metal folding chairs there, but they are very uncomfortable to sit on for an extended period of time! My mom and I forgot to bring lawn chairs the first year we went, and every year since, we’ve remembered our folding lawn chairs. We can sit for a much longer time. Oh, another thing you need to remember is an umbrella and a sweatshirt. Seriously; it’s been rainy and cold before. One year it was just cold (we had a strange cold snap in late August) and last year it poured with a massive thunderstorm. It’s all inside, but you want to be prepared to go from your car to the building. Downpours in latesummer in Michigan can be wicked!
Edited to include some links to the bands we saw.
Well the title says it all.
Well, can anything else go wrong? This is usually a bad question to ask, but it seems that everything goes bad at once. Forgive me while I put my ranty-pants on for a sec.
Well, I managed to get a hard drive from my brother to replace the one that click-clacked itself to death. I’m pleased with it so far, but I’m not pleased with the amount of space; only 200 gb. It’s working just fine. I’ll probably end up getting a 500 gb drive sometime and upgrading. I want 100 gb to devote to Windows 7 so I can keep my skills current, as well as test things like Flock and play games. I’d like to play some more Sim City 4 and The Sims, as well as World of Goo.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the netbook battery. I posted something to the Ubuntu Forums, but I don’t know if I’ll get any help. It’s taken about a day and a half to charge.
~Some Good News~
I got a call today from a recruiter about an interview. So I have a phone interview with a company that does plastics processing and whatnot. The job is for a Product Engineer, which is something I really want to do. Sounds good, and I hope it works out. It’s in Ann Arbor. Not a bad place to live, and I’m not too far from home. What I’m looking forward to is paying off my car. Probably that’s what my first thing I’ll “buy” if I get the job. I’d love to get that taken care of so I don’t have to deal with it and worry about it.
So, wish me luck. I hope something happens with this.
Got an email from one Mary Ann Rementilla:
E-readers – Reading a book will never be the same again. I will miss the days where I ran my fingers through every page and the anticipation and wonder, that one single book has to offer.
Nonetheless, I’m writing to you on behalf of Starbucks. They’ve recently introduced a brand new flavor to their lineup – Vanilla Frappuccino Light. This rich beverage contains 50% fewer calories and 60% less sugar than their classic Vanilla flavor, making it that much easier to justify the indulgence!
In our busy lives, it’s hard to remember to stop and take a moment to ourselves every once in a awhile. Our new campaign with Starbucks is about indulgence and encouraging people to cherish their personal moments, whether it’s curling up with their favorite book or tucking their kids to bed.
Every Monday, we’re asking our blogger friends to post an image dedicated to the time in the past week that they were able to sneak away from their hectic life for a bit of relaxation – even if only for 5 minutes. It could be a photo of yourself, an illustration, a picture of your cat- anything.
Your Monday Moment post doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with Starbucks, but the drink might help you to find that special moment!
Let us know we’d love to send you some Frappuccino Light to try out. I look forward to hearing from you.
All the best,
*At YouCast we support ethical blogging, WOMMA best practices, and strict adherence to the new FTC guidelines pertaining to free samples and gifts. Participants in our campaigns are expected to do the same and we are here to assist and guide you as needed.
Mary Ann Rementilla
401 Fifth Ave. 4th Floor
NY, NY 10016 USA
Nice. She wants me to whore out my blog for a shitty Starfucks Frap. All I can say is NO WAY. This blog is advertising and sponsor free. Anything I write about is MINE, not some company’s.
Ethical blogging my arse. You can’t blog ethically about something you got for free.
Besides, I don’t like vanilla frap. Blech.
I’ve enabled posting without moderation again for people who’ve posted before on this blog.
I won’t have to follow email as closely and approve comments.
It seems like the spam issue is resolved.
Please refer to my comments policy for information about comments. The TL;DR version is basically, “don’t be an ass”. :)