aphoenix's recent activity

  1. Comment on What creative projects have you been working on? in ~creative

    aphoenix
    Link
    My daughters have been working on a cover duet of "A Beautiful Noise" by Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile. I've been playing some guitar and backing them up. I think we're going to actually record...

    My daughters have been working on a cover duet of "A Beautiful Noise" by Alicia Keys and Brandi Carlile. I've been playing some guitar and backing them up. I think we're going to actually record it, so that's been fun.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Dumbdown - The dumb alternative to markdown in ~comp

    aphoenix
    Link Parent
    I think that your points about symbols or words and their meaning over time is one of the most interesting discussions currently going in linguistics, but I think that it's tangential to this...

    I think that your points about symbols or words and their meaning over time is one of the most interesting discussions currently going in linguistics, but I think that it's tangential to this specific software. Markdown doesn't hinge on these symbols qua symbols; in this case, the symbols that are used are not being overloaded with an alternate meaning, or an alternate concept. They are being used in their most generic sense. = signs are just being used because they are two lines and they represent "this is a line". * is used because it's fairly round and it represents "this is a round point". There is no overload of meaning, and I don't think that in 50 years, the english language will change to the point that people don't understand the concept of underlining, or the concept of putting points in front of a list.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Dumbdown - The dumb alternative to markdown in ~comp

    aphoenix
    Link Parent
    I think that this misses the point of markdown, or only considers it with respect to writing comments online. Markdown will certainly be more understandable in 50 years than Dumbdown, because the...

    I think that this misses the point of markdown, or only considers it with respect to writing comments online.

    Markdown will certainly be more understandable in 50 years than Dumbdown, because the symbols are there to aesthetically add to documents. Consider this example:

    gollum -- A git-based Wiki
    ====================================
    
    ## DESCRIPTION
    
    Gollum is a simple wiki system built on top of Git. A Gollum Wiki is simply a git repository of a specific nature:
    * A Gollum repository's contents are human-editable. Pages are unique text files which may be organized into directories any way you choose, as long as they have a recognized file extension. Other content can also be included, for example images, PDFs and headers/footers.
    * Gollum pages:
    	* May be written in a variety of [markup languages](#markups).
    	* Can be edited with your favourite system editor or IDE or with the built-in web interface.
    	* Can be displayed in all versions, and can easily be rolled back.
    * Gollum supports advanced functionality like UML diagrams, macros, metadata, and [more](https://github.com/gollum/gollum/wiki).
    

    Here it is in my admittedly terrible Dumbdown:

    title gollum -- A git-based Wiki
    
    subtitle DESCRIPTION
    
    Gollum is a simple wiki system built on top of Git. A Gollum Wiki is simply a git repository of a specific nature:
    
    list
    item A Gollum repository's contents are human-editable. Pages are unique text files which may be organized into directories any way you choose, as long as they have a recognized file extension. Other content can also be included, for example images, PDFs and headers/footers.
    item Gollum pages:
    list
    item May be written in a variety of [markup languages](#markups).
    item Can be edited with your favourite system editor or IDE or with the built-in web interface.
    item Can be displayed in all versions, and can easily be rolled back.
    item Gollum supports advanced functionality like UML diagrams, macros, metadata, and [more](https://github.com/gollum/gollum/wiki).
    

    The marking of this document is clearly readable in Markdown, but adds cognitive load in Dumbdown for the reader. The marks used in Markdown are not esoteric; they are there to make the document more understandable to be read in Markdown itself and not just for translation into HTML.

    Dumbdown misses the point of markdown completely, which is that if you give a document that uses Markdown to someone to read, it is perfectly readable in the Markdown format without needing to have an understanding of the Markdown syntax.

    8 votes
  4. Comment on Dumbdown - The dumb alternative to markdown in ~comp

    aphoenix
    (edited )
    Link
    It's cool, but I think it misses one of the key things about Markdown, which is that documents written in markdown are very readable themselves, without having them changed into HTML for display....

    It's cool, but I think it misses one of the key things about Markdown, which is that documents written in markdown are very readable themselves, without having them changed into HTML for display. Markdown is itself good for display and is quite understandable.

    19 votes
  5. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    aphoenix
    Link Parent
    My creality SR10 came with a laser burner, but I haven't really put it to much use. This is inspiring though, maybe I'll give it a shot.

    My creality SR10 came with a laser burner, but I haven't really put it to much use. This is inspiring though, maybe I'll give it a shot.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    aphoenix
    Link
    I finished reorganizing my office, including sorting a bunch of computer parts - some of which I ended up taking to the electronics drop off - and containing my magic cards to two large...

    I finished reorganizing my office, including sorting a bunch of computer parts - some of which I ended up taking to the electronics drop off - and containing my magic cards to two large containers. My workbench is mostly organized now, and I have some pegboard to put up for more tool organization. I'm going to cut this pegboard up and use about 2/3 of it for Nerf Gun storage / hanging in the kids' playroom.

    Did a lot of "spring cleaning" sorts of things. We ordered a new couch about 10 weeks ago, and I think it's probably going to show up soon. They said it would be about 8 weeks for delivery, but not more than 14, so some time probably in the next month. To get that in, I've been sorting out the kids' playroom because we're going to put the old couch in there.

    Really, just loads of sorting is what I did this weekend.

    Oh, and we had a big family game of Among Us, which my son has been desperately asking for us to do. Got the 5 of us here playing plus my brother-in-law and his lady friend, and some cousins for a 9-person game, and it was a ton of fun. The highlight was certainly when my youngest (6) and second youngest (9) were the imposters, and still managed to beat all the geezers.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on In 1814, British forces burned the US Capitol in ~humanities

    aphoenix
    Link Parent
    Oh yeah, absolutely. We take credit because credit is due! British in name only at that point, and only because we hadn't gotten around to respectfully forming the colony into a country in its own...

    Oh yeah, absolutely. We take credit because credit is due! British in name only at that point, and only because we hadn't gotten around to respectfully forming the colony into a country in its own right as part of the commonwealth.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on In 1814, British forces burned the US Capitol in ~humanities

  9. Comment on What are your best memories from 2020? in ~talk

    aphoenix
    Link
    My sister announced her engagement. That was the highest high point for me. We love her partner; he's a wonderful fellow, and is also my business partner, and all my kids think of him as their...

    My sister announced her engagement. That was the highest high point for me. We love her partner; he's a wonderful fellow, and is also my business partner, and all my kids think of him as their uncle already, but it's nice that they're "making it official".

    My brother and his wife announced that they're expecting their second son, which is similarly wonderful. My siblings did the best they could to keep 2020 positive.

    My family rented a cottage in August, and took a nice week away from the stresses of life. We played board games, went to the beach every day, kayaked a lot, and generally had a great time.

    Those are probably the highlights. Oh, I guess I scraped together enough money to buy the software development company that I formerly worked at, which is also nice.

    9 votes
  10. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    aphoenix
    Link
    For Christmas I got Azul, which is a delightful board game. The general idea is that you're trying to tile a wall, while racing against other people also tiling walls; the first one to have a row...

    For Christmas I got Azul, which is a delightful board game. The general idea is that you're trying to tile a wall, while racing against other people also tiling walls; the first one to have a row on their wall done triggers the end of the game. Placing tiles in certain configurations awards points, most points wins. It's a deceptively simple, but relatively deep game, and it's especially entertaining for me because everyone in the family, from my six year old through to myself can play and be competitive - my six year old son has won twice, and we're not the sort of family that takes it easy on kids just because they are six. At the core, the game is about pattern recognition and identifying how best to fill out your board. Overall, this has quickly become one of our favourite boardgames to play.

    My son and I have also been playing a fair amount of Terraria lately, which I think is one of the all-time great video games. A lot of the time people describe it as "2d Minecraft" which is true-ish, but maybe doesn't give you the real feel for the game. There are a lot of differences, but I think they're certainly in the same genre. I haven't played much Minecraft; from what I did play, I preferred Terraria, for the sidescrolly feel. My son mostly enjoys setting things up so that he can kill me; one day he asked me to play and when I logged in, the spawn point had a lava pool filled with spikes right under it and he immediately started giggling his head off. He also likes to pour lava into whatever I'm building, or drop dynamite on my head. He does get into building things though - we have a roller coaster that he's spent a lot of time on, and a jungle gym, and a prison. It's interesting to see what he thinks of building, and he's gotten the hang of wiring pretty well, and figured out how to make fountain that pumps real water all the time, which was pretty impressive.

    6 votes
  11. Comment on Do you carry a knife with with you? If so, what type/company? in ~hobbies

    aphoenix
    Link
    I have a bunch. The one I'm current carrying is a Boker Urban Trapper Gentleman. It's a pretty nice knife; elegant, sturdy, lightweight, generally a good clip on it. The build quality is not as...

    I have a bunch. The one I'm current carrying is a Boker Urban Trapper Gentleman. It's a pretty nice knife; elegant, sturdy, lightweight, generally a good clip on it. The build quality is not as good as I would hope at the price point; it gets loose sometimes and I have to tighten things up. The blade is exquisitely good and holds an edge really well.

    The other one I have been carrying lately is an Ontario RAT folding knife, which is not a "nice" knife, but it's a very good knife at the price point, which is about a quarter the price of the Boker. It's heavier and clunkier, but it also holds an edge really well. It certainly feels sturdier; if I'm going to be doing something I usually favour bringing this one on camping trips or other places that there'll be lots of use.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Ask Tildes: How do you organize the files on your computer? in ~comp

    aphoenix
    Link Parent
    I treat my desktop like I treat the top of my desk. It houses things that I need to sort that I may be working on, but haven't dealt with. With some frequency, I move sort and move things into...

    I treat my desktop like I treat the top of my desk. It houses things that I need to sort that I may be working on, but haven't dealt with. With some frequency, I move sort and move things into their required folders / places. This is not how I deal with work related things which are always in a repository and in a particular folder.

    Much like the top of a desk, it's convenient to keep things there that haven't made it to their final organized location.

    My windows desktop machine, for example, has 2 icons on it: Recycle Bin and "wall_tile_bricks_28385.png" which is... probably going into the recycle bin right now.

    My work desktop has about a hundred things on it, mostly screen shots, but there are a couple of other photoshop files for personal stuff, and a few folders of test data for some projects.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    aphoenix
    Link
    World of Warcraft: Shadowlands for the most part. This is a very good expansion; the dungeons and raid are good, the leveling is delightful, the story is ok, the art direction is amazing. The...

    World of Warcraft: Shadowlands for the most part. This is a very good expansion; the dungeons and raid are good, the leveling is delightful, the story is ok, the art direction is amazing. The Warcraft team is doing a good job keeping their attention on the community and knowing how the community is feeling and have pivoted on some key game concepts quickly, which feels good. Torghast is a new system and the easiest way to explain it is that it is kind of roguelike minigame within the overall game. It has had its and downs, and is the place most of the aforementioned attention from the devs seem to have been. Overall I don't think I've felt this good about an expansion since Mists of Pandaria.

    Terraria is the other game I have devoted a bit of time to. Two of my kids have discovered the game and I have gotten to spend a bit of time playing with them. There is something truly wonderful about playing a game with your kids for the first time; it really helps you remember the feelings that you first had experiencing the game, but even more pure and joy filled. We have built spaceships, bridges, traps, explosion caves, towers, and more.

    6 votes
  14. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    aphoenix
    Link
    We had a very strange Christmas gathering with my in-laws. Luckily there was some respite from the weather, as we were outside; it was a lovely day for mid-December. We did a gift exchange, and...

    We had a very strange Christmas gathering with my in-laws. Luckily there was some respite from the weather, as we were outside; it was a lovely day for mid-December. We did a gift exchange, and that was a bit weird - we bought and wrapped the gifts from my in-laws for our kids, but they still had some other care packages for us, so we had to carefully look at them before we could take them and disinfect them later.

    We also had a socially distant event on my little 1-block long street. Most of the houses with kids got together around dusk on Saturday, and we walked up the street and sang christmas carols, all about 5 meters apart. We didn't really get that choral sound that most choruses go for, but it was still lots of fun. There's something lovely about a neighbourhood getting together and saying "We might not be as physically close as we could be, but we'll all join our voices together and try to spread a little cheer". There are 22 houses in total on our street, and 8 of the homes came out to sing, and 10 of the homes had people come to the door and clap and cheer for carolling. Because the group was so big, we had family groups covering most of the space between both sides of the street, so we were carolling both sides at once. Rum was also involved; generally it was a really nice event. I hope we continue it next year. Earlier in the day I had to scramble to put up our Christmas lights; we just hadn't got around to it yet. I guess I haven't been in much of a holiday spirit yet.

    I spent some time thinking about that lack of spirit. The run up to Christmas has a lot of "ritual" for my family. My birthday is on the 15th, my father-in-law on the 18th, so we have these built in mini celebrations that lead up to Christmas. My mom usually has a big get together about a week before my birthday for the extended family for our Christmas kick-off, which was cancelled this year. Birthday parties were mostly cancelled - we had a virtual "jackbox game" get together which was fun, but was briefer than most other family get togethers. My father-in-law's birthday was celebrated remotely. These things missing have been a big drain for me, and have made it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. The events of the weekend were both helpful in that regard; I feel a lot more connected to the idea that Christmas is this week, and that we can still be celebratory, because there are a lot of things to be thankful for around here.

    Anyways, that's what I did - two christmas events and some introspection.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on The Tildes' Make Something Month (Timasomo) 2020 Showcase Thread in ~talk

    aphoenix
    Link Parent
    Thanks! It's still a work in progress, but Timasomo helped spur on that work that I haven't done in 8 years because of other things. So thanks for getting that set up.

    Thanks! It's still a work in progress, but Timasomo helped spur on that work that I haven't done in 8 years because of other things. So thanks for getting that set up.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on The Tildes' Make Something Month (Timasomo) 2020 Showcase Thread in ~talk

    aphoenix
    (edited )
    Link
    Aphoenix.ca - a simple blog and photo album site. Most content is quite old; I'm planning to move more of the writing that I've done in the last few years into here over Christmas. I also plan to...

    Aphoenix.ca - a simple blog and photo album site. Most content is quite old; I'm planning to move more of the writing that I've done in the last few years into here over Christmas.

    I also plan to go through and add tags to the content, remove some of the more jejeune things that I wrote and no longer agree with and get some of the other content pieces active. This was mostly a good opportunity to use Zola to build a site, which I'm also doing with my company's website, with a plan to launch in the next week or two. I also experimented with some CSS things; I was trying to minimize the amount of CSS needed to get a functional website.

    The one place where I went "overboard" is in font selection; there are inarguably more web fonts than are necessary - ie there is not zero web fonts.

    10 votes
  17. Comment on esoteric board game rules templating review, please in ~games.tabletop

    aphoenix
    Link
    I'm pretty adept at reading and understanding rules from rulebooks and implementing them. I don't find this easy to comprehend. If part of the game is deciphering rules, then maybe that's...

    I'm pretty adept at reading and understanding rules from rulebooks and implementing them. I don't find this easy to comprehend. If part of the game is deciphering rules, then maybe that's acceptable, or maybe one needs the accoutrements of the game for this to make sense.

    Join a game by selecting a central objective from among its currently apparent contests.

    In this sentence there are several words which could mean several things, and it's very difficult to understand without more in depth clues about what is meant. Game has several meanings, objective is not obvious, and contest is not obvious, though it's possible these are all explained by the game itself. For example, if there are multiple decks and one of them has the word "OBJECTIVE" on the back and one of the decks has the word "CONTEST" on the back, then this may be obvious in the context of having received the actual game and pieces.

    It gets murkier in the first paragraph as you continue, and I don't actually have any concept of how this game could progress. I don't even know if it's online or in-person.

    In the second paragraph, when doing the "almanac" style example, it's generally accepted that you use example players and omit putting the reader as one of the players. I would also recommend using real names; Alice, Bob, Cathy, Dave, for example, instead of Ah, Bo, Ci, Du. This paragraph does give a bit more information, but also indicates that you may be overloading the word "game". Since it already means the entirety of the system - "let's play a game of Qisgame!" - to use it as a mechanic within the game is not a great idea if it can be avoided.

    These are all generalities, and it's possible that you might want to have figuring out how to play to be a part of the game itself, in which case everything I said may not be relevant.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    aphoenix
    Link Parent
    Good call! I did that last week, but appreciate the reminder.

    Good call! I did that last week, but appreciate the reminder.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on What did you do this weekend? in ~talk

    aphoenix
    Link
    I did a load of winterizing in the backyard - picked up what felt like a zillion things and put them in the outdoor play bin, stacked the patio set, raked the sandbox, found the air conditioner...

    I did a load of winterizing in the backyard - picked up what felt like a zillion things and put them in the outdoor play bin, stacked the patio set, raked the sandbox, found the air conditioner tarp, threw out an old decrepit air condition tarp, prepped the lawnmower for storage, prepped the winter storage shed for all the long term storage stuff, especially the bikes, cleaned out the good shed and put the summer stuff in the rafters and the winter stuff at a reachable spot (mostly toboggans, but some snowball makers and a snowman kit), put away all the spring / summer tools, got out the winter tools, filled the de-icer receptacle, added winter windshield washer fluid to the van, got out the Christmas decorations. That mostly was not fun. I also worked on some of the drywall / house fixes that are now almost complete.

    I did some work on my Timasomo project, which was my personal website. It's mostly "done"; I finally finished the script to parse the WordPress entries into markdown and import all the photos, and I finished off the blog and photos section. There are some other sections that I'll add, but I got things to the point that there are working taxonomies, and I started categorizing / tagging photos and blog posts. The front page isn't quite done yet, and there are some rough edges, but I'm overall fairly happy.

    I played a game of Ticket to Ride - Nordic Countries with my wife and annihilated her. Final score was 160 - 105.

    I did the normal weekendy things - grocery shopping, meal prep, cleaning. And I played a bit of World of Warcraft, which just had a new expansion released last week. It's okay thus far.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on Timasomo 2020 Thread #5: Final Update Thread in ~creative

    aphoenix
    (edited )
    Link
    I have a mostly working site locally. There have been some deviations from the original, but in general things are working, and I'm relatively happy. I will be working on launching the site, and I...

    I have a mostly working site locally. There have been some deviations from the original, but in general things are working, and I'm relatively happy.

    I will be working on launching the site, and I have a list of To-Dos that I want to figure out over the course of the next week that's relevant both for my personal site and for my business' site, which I used the same technology to revamp.

    I didn't get all the icons I want turned into SVGs, but the barebones of the site that I wanted is here, and working on it is relatively delightful.

    For my "main project" (ha ha, if nobody was following updates, I've also done a boatload of home renovation this month unexpectedly) things are almost entirely finished. I might put on another coat of primer - there are a few places that I missed, and fresh drywall drinks up primer like that's its job. I guess that is its job. Most everywhere is looking good, and it's nice to have a second functional washroom in the house again, especially five people.

    Edit: Also - I just realized that the home page needs a bit of polish, so I'll be working on that.

    Edit 2: The site and the repo.

    3 votes