Welcome to my home-cooked journal.
Here you will find my rants about every day life and things that keep me busy.
In the past I have frequently written, but there's no saying if I'll continue on that path. It all depends on how busy I am.
Have fun reading my scribbles.
Long time silence
As Jojo pointed out in a comment it has been a long time since I blogged. Life's still busy. This is the last week of the guitar course that I'm taking at Coursera. It's been rather stressful. Learning to play the guitar in 6 weeks is hard. You do not have enough time to really get your muscle memory up to where it should be. The barre chords and power chords have been most vexing. However, I just handed in my last assignment (2 songs consisting of 2 separate recordings each; one for the chords and one for the melody) so all that's left is peer reviewing after 23:00 today and waiting for my final grade. I did well on the quizzes but on the assignments there's no doubting that I'm a beginner still.
This is also the last week of the Interactive Programming in Python course which Matthijs is doing as well. Two quizzes and a mini project plus peer reviews a week takes careful planning. But we managed. I still have to do the last quiz (before tomorrow 07:00 preferably) and the last mini project. I'm so glad the Friday is my day off. So far we've built a Stopwatch game that you needed to stop at the exact seconds. On every whole second stop you got a point. We also programmed Blackjack (including drawing the cards of course), Memory, Pong and now we're at the final project: Rice Rocks. It's a version of Asteroids. Last week we fleshed out the Ship class and spawned rocks and missiles. This week we're going to do collision detection, blowing up rocks and such. It's fun, but it takes quite a lot of time. And after you've finished your project you have to review 5 peers and yourself. So the actual end of the course is Wednesday next week, when the last peer reviews are due.
There have been times that I was able to 'slack off' at work, with just no work coming in. At this moment we're still working on a major project without a clear deadline (as soon as possible, of course) and no complete functional design either. The functional design is still in progress while we're already building stuff. You may be able to imagine the frustration after you've built a piece of the interface and it gets rethought again and you have to go back and adjust stuff. It's like 2 step forward and one (or one and a half) step back. It's not only frustrating for me but also for Jeroen,my project manager, or more accurately the toilet of the company: all shit goes there. So, not so much fun all around.
This Saturday morning there's the last rehearsal for our belly dance performance on Monday. Last minute some people requested that we add another piece of music to the already 6 minutes long tune we're dancing to. It's no problem for me because all the moves are alike... a bit boring perhaps even. However, I really enjoy performing and there's about 10 people that will come to see me. Exciting!
After belly dancing we'll have the general meeting (? ALV in Dutch) of Amersical with a barbecue at the end. I'm very curious as to which musical we'll be doing next year and who is going to quit Amersical and who will stay. Then on Sunday we'll go to my father's place to cook and have diner together. Matthijs and I are making the desert: apple crumble. I would like to visit the Hip en Handgemaakt market before we go to Ermelo on Sunday. I've seen advertisements before but up till now I was always otherwise engaged. Here's my chance!
There's lots of work to be done still for Xenophobia and Taboe is closing in too. I need to check if my Taboe costume is complete or if I still need to make stuff. I'm playing in a different tribe now so I can not reuse everything from last time. Matthijs and I will cook (on a campfire) for a group of 15.
Well, there's still a python quiz to do, so I'd better stop blogging now. Hope the next entry will not take a month. ;-)
Too much to do!
Let's see, what keeps me busy at the moment?
Well, that explains why I feel a bit 'wrung out' at the moment...
We celebrated Queensday (the last, we now have a King, shame on me for not watching any part of the ceremony) yesterday by walking through the heart of Amersfoort, buying mostly LARP proof cutlery and looking for (but not finding) a nice oil can for my 'Tin Man' role.
And now let's get back to business or I'll get swamped for sure.
The attic is finished! We've already started to fill it up with furniture of which we have way too much that does not exactly fit where we want it. Damn whoever thought it a good idea to have the chimney enter the chamber left of the middle and exit the roof on way right of the middle... As if slanted walls are not enough of a nuisance. Anyway, Matthijs has his own desk for soldering stuff now. We have a table for our sewing machines with underneath a cupboard with 4 drawers. There's a make-shift construction on the left of the chimney which holds all our boxes with fabric. On that construction there's a cabinet with 9 drawers in which my paints, card making equipment etc. lives and there will be another one of those cabinets stacked on top of that after Matthijs has made a top on it (it was one of those Lundia blocks, meant to be put into a bigger whole).
Work is busy-busy with translation of a rather big project and another huge thing coming up. Working on a new html 5 mediaplayer is my main fallback task. Then there's Amersical for which the last crafts day has passed but my costume is not finished yet. I get swamped by Xenophobia mails (mostly concepts for characters) and my head is stuffed with goo because of another major cold. *snirf*
The dansstage was great! No knee troubles this time, lots of relaxed workshops and nice dances at the balls. I was totally exhausted after the cleaning up on Sunday but the concluding dinner at De Fusting in Enschede was hilarious. Then there was a Glee night again, always good! A Paja Dhani meeting to get our metaphysics straight... don't know if we succeeded in that, I've seen no feedback so far. I'm already preparing a bit for the Moots, getting stuff off my to-do list that I made after the last Moots last year. Mainly more decorations but also a hat that is to be sold. I think that hat turned out epic, let's hope that the (IC) buyer thinks so too. Since there's no OC money involved he does not have the right to complain much as far as I'm concerned.
Coming up: the birthday party of C&R, visiting my mom on the first day of Easter, a Sibbe day themed 'textiles', an Amersical rehearsal day and I'm also following extra belly dance lessons on 6 Saturdays up to June (so not every Saturday) for a new performance on the 17th of June at Dara. Oh... lessons.. that's right, this Monday the Python 2 course will start at Coursera so that's going to take up some time too. So, enough to keep me busy.
Attic, attic, attic
Is that all you can blog about? Well, no.. but it's one of the big (nagging) things on my mind right now. However, there's much rejoicing because yesterday we finished the floor in the front part of the attic. It's not entirely finished because Matthijs needs to do a fancy finishing edge where floor meets stairs, so we need to place 2 more boards and then the floor is finished. Then we need more skirting but the main part of the skirting in the back room of the attic was finished by Matthijs this Saturday when I was at BlackHackz. He also painted the details that needed a bit of coloring so our loft is all done now. Though before we can move stuff there from our guestroom we need to put some silicone glue along the board in the nock while we can still reach it.
We've got one pack of laminate boards left unopened so we can return that to the store and get a whopping 6 euros returned (or less, because we bought it with a discount). When we go back to the Kwantum to return the pack we might just also buy this lovely carpet which makes me happy every time I look at it. Is it weird to put such a bright thing way back in the attic? I'm planning a little cosy corner in the front part of the attic with this carpet and a bright green with blue beanbag that I made some time ago (which is huge and cluttering up the guest room even more). The carpet will be a late housewarming gift from my mother, so yay! But we'll need to take some measurements first to see if it will actually fit. *fingers crossed*
I really want to have the guest room ready by the 22nd of this month so Cora and Rene can actually sleep there (after going to the Amersical Bal Masque, you should come too!) instead of on the floor in the work room. However, I don't know if we'll manage that since the only full day we have left for attic work is next Sunday (17th) because Amersical has another day of working on costumes and decor on Saturday the 16th. The third such day already and there's still so much to be done!
The larp itself was different from all things I had done so far. The larps I do are usually not about computers and techy gadgets, now it was. I brought my old laptop, Rain, with a recovery of windows XP (ugh...spent more than 2 hours getting it updated again) and though she had some glitches (firefox freezing after loggin off and on again) she held out. H3cat3 (me) teamed up with @lm@ (Cora) almost immediately and it didn't take us long to find out how to get the IP addresses of the other people in the room so we could scan and hack all we wanted. The TASC system had a glitch/bug/feature (?) that cycled through all usernames and put their IP address behind it on the Avat0rz display page. So F5, ctrl+f 'IP' for a while and copy paste all info to a text file for future use. This also made it possible to see who had scanned and (tried to) hack you by looking up the name with the IP from the 'you are hacked by xxx.xxx.xx.xx' messages. I even confronted two ladies who were teaming up to hack me (after I had hacked one of them) face to face. Haha, the looks on their faces!
So, why hack all who were present? There were infiltrator amongst us (I was a loyalist) who needed to be stoppend and once every hour we could use our 'shell' to vote for a root account that we wanted disabled. (Much like the 'Weerwolven van Wakkerdam' game) Those root accounts however were not public so you had to hack someone to find out his/her root account. With your social skills, or hacking and reading your targets messages and files, you had to find out who the infiltrators were. In the first hour my root account ($hydra) was disabled by a random vote, I think. So I could no longer vote on root accounts to be disabled. However, later on in the game someone with special shell powers brought me back again, yay!
I won't go into hour by hour detail but let's just say it was a good day. I hacked a baker who sent a cake (who ordered him to do that?!) to our meeting and had a really nice time with Scaramouche (Susan M.) solving riddles and puzzles and happily scanning and hacking away. In the end one infiltrator won (Ork) but he 'rebooted' the system by trashing all files and user accounts and setting up new ones. So our secret data is save (deleted..) and we'll just start over again. The AI named Melaina (big plot thingy there, sender of the cake too) will watch over BlackHackz and all is well.
Progress with the attic
We're getting somewhere!
I've started on a mural on one of the dormer sides. We're going to have a painting of our two kitties on a field of flowers (colorscheme pinkish/red, yellow and purple) in the style of Rosina Wachtmeister. We still have to think of something for the other dormer. These sides are only a plasterboard layer on top of the insulation so we can't screw anything onto the walls there, so we might as well use it as a canvas. Actually, every time I walk into the room I see so much white surface that just screams 'paint something unto me!'. ;-)
What still needs doing:
Unfortunately our next weekends are all planned full. First we have the annual EE weekend, after that we have rehearsal weekend with Amersical, then on Saturday the 9th I'm going to BlackHackz (aahh! Need a costume!) and on the 16th we have another decor/costuming day for Amersical (need to make my own costume for that too...).
Why there are no pictures yet, you ask? Because I hate the camera and it hates me back. It eats batteries for breakfast and everytime I want to use the thing it complains that the batteries are dead...