rogue_cricket's recent activity

  1. Comment on If you have pets, what is it like? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
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    I have three cats and one dog. All the cats are rescues, but there aren't really any stray/rescue dogs in my area, so I got the dog from a breeder. My oldest cat is Spud, short for Sputnik. She is...

    I have three cats and one dog. All the cats are rescues, but there aren't really any stray/rescue dogs in my area, so I got the dog from a breeder.

    My oldest cat is Spud, short for Sputnik. She is 7 years old, a tortoiseshell girl and is by far my most nervous cat. She's the first pet I had as an adult and I got her at a real low point in my life and she helped me out of it. I have kind of a special relationship with her, I don't think she really likes anyone else besides me. Her favourite thing is when I'm making the bed, she likes to play with the sheets.

    My second cat is Millicent Vanillicent, or just Milli. Milli is a fat, clumsy, fluffy white-haired cat of unknown age (<5) who is quite possibly the friendliest cat in the world (she is the only cat I've known to enjoy belly rubs). She has silky fur that's almost more like a rabbit's than a cat's. She will harass you until you pet her - using techniques such as repeated meowing, aggressive head-rubbing, and little gentle love nips on your hands. She has no decorum and will do this even to people she has never met before. Her favourite thing is sitting between me and my monitor while I am trying to work (she has a special chair next to the desk just for her).

    My third and youngest cat is really my fiancee's cat. She's a short-haired white cat named Maeby, after the character from Arrested Development. She is by far the smartest one of all my pets, but she only uses her gift to be an awful little gremlin. She screams when she disapproves of something and destroys every single plant I bring inside. She hates being picked up and spends most of her time figuring out how to break into the pantry to steal bread and knock over cans. Her favourite thing is to sit on the arm of the couch like a little monorail.

    My dog is Josie (for Josie and the Pussycats). She is a 2yo golden retriever with endless energy and what she lacks in cleverness, she makes up for in pure charisma and enthusiasm. I think her favourite thing is whatever thing she is currently looking at, although she goes nuts for baths and chasing leaves.

    Growing up I lived in a lot of different households so I kind of "went through" a lot of pets because I stayed with so many families - I have lived with so many animals it would take me forever to list them all. I think I remember them more clearly than the humans I lived with though. I even used to have a cat I would walk on a leash!

    I love having pets, and I don't think I'll go without them again if I can help it. Only problem is that everything is covered in hair all the time now, but it's a small price to pay. Honestly three cats is kind of a lot, though!

    Pet tax:
    Maeby "monorailing", bread-obsessed
    Maeby and Spud
    Spud, note that the plant in the background has since been ravaged by Maeby
    Milli in her favourite spot, in need of a brushing
    Josie, more typical Josie

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of August 3 in ~health.coronavirus

    rogue_cricket
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    More tangential, but my aunt has been posting a lot of concerning things that are a bit on the "hoaxy" side, and today I had to say something about one of them. It was a series of pictures from a...

    More tangential, but my aunt has been posting a lot of concerning things that are a bit on the "hoaxy" side, and today I had to say something about one of them. It was a series of pictures from a protest in Berlin... the protest was real, but the post claimed it had been nearly a million people (it was closer to 17,000 per most sources I could find) and the photo in the collection with the biggest crowd was from an unrelated event in 2019.

    I very gently pointed it out to her and she took it really well. I explained how she could use a reverse image search to check for herself next time and she seemed receptive. We affirmed that we loved each other at the end, it was a really good talk. I don't think she buys into the worst of the conspiracy stuff and she is certainly not malicious, but she's always been kind of an odd bird and I hope I can bring her around a bit.

    I think some of it is that she lives away from the rest of the family and it must be very lonely and very frustrating - she really wants restrictions lifted, and NB is one of the stricter areas for travel and for gatherings so she's missing a niece's wedding as well. :( I'm going to take it as a reminder to check in on her more often.

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

    rogue_cricket
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    I've been playing three games primarily for the last couple weeks. I'm still chipping away at Outer Wilds 20-40 minutes at a time and it seems like I'm probably getting to the end of it. I really...

    I've been playing three games primarily for the last couple weeks.


    I'm still chipping away at Outer Wilds 20-40 minutes at a time and it seems like I'm probably getting to the end of it. I really like the game, but I'm recalling now that I actually wasn't into it immediately! I made some assumptions about the game world on my initial exploration, and I was worried a bit that the game would be smaller than it looked or that it wouldn't really be able to deliver emotionally. Those assumptions were absolutely blown out as I got more and more into it. Discoveries unlock information for more discoveries and they go deeper than they look. It's also been charming, upsetting, funny, and sad. Anyway, do yourself a favour and play this game blind, the big joy of it is feeling like your discoveries are your own.


    I've been playing Paper Mario: The Origami King and it's... fine. (For context, I've only played Paper Mario 64 and Paper Mario: TTYD.) Like most Western fans what I'm really waiting for is TTYD but more, so the game doesn't really deliver there due to its battle system. The battle system feels like a chore and I avoid it as much as possible. There's lots of collectibles, which I like, but there's so few options for character customization and progression that the collectibles feel kind of useless. You can get trophies to look at, coins & items, or a marginal improvement on one of your battle abilities.

    At the very least, the writing is cute and the environments are fun and they look great. It's honestly a real shame about the battles. I don't think I'd mind the circle positioning system itself even - it's more the heavy focus on solving the "puzzle" in one specific way (the ideal solution is a single turn, and if you fail your punishment is the battle lasts longer) that makes it feel tedious. I think it'd be so much better if you had more variety of attack AOEs besides a line and a square, and the battles would be improved by not having an "intended" solution. It also needs a better sense of character progression.

    I've heard that Bug Fables has a similar battle system to TTYD, so I might give that a shot next.


    Finally, I've picked up the game Outward for PC and I've been playing with my brother (who is more experienced than me at it). It's an open-world survival adventure game with a retro PC-game feel... the first few hours were straight brutal while I learned the combat. Progression is tightly tied to money and items and not only do you start with nothing, you start in debt. You purchase skills and recipes with money, and consumables are vital to combat, which means there's a real incentive to take on fights that you think will be net profitable for you and avoid them otherwise. Being outnumbered is often a death sentence and a big part of the game seems to be using the environment to your advantage (leading mobs away, setting traps, etc).

    My main complaints so far are the UI and the AI. For a game with such a heavy emphasis on inventory management, the UI is occasionally cumbersome. Just small things here and there that add up. No tooltip hints to remind beginners of keyboard hotkeys. I can't check my cooking recipes until I am at a cooking station. Stuff like that.

    As for the AI and NPC routines - the AI itself is OK when in combat, and enemies will try to combo and flank you. They will keep appropriate distance depending on their weapon type and they will try to run away if they get too hurt. But pre-combat it seems like they generally stand around waiting for you until they spot you, and then run at you in a straight line if they do. It just feels incongruent: the rest of the game world has you worried about stuff like boiling river water before you drink it, but shops are open 24/7 and NPCs/enemies stand around waiting dumbly for you at the same spawn points.

    I still like the game a lot so far, but I also feel like if the studio had more resources to really polish the game it'd go from good to great. It is fun and there's a lot to love about it, but there's also a lot of unrealized potential. I would 100% buy an Outward 2 because this game feels kind of like "first game clumsiness", and I think a sequel could be absolutely awesome.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on What are the most iconic video game sound effects you can think of? in ~games

    rogue_cricket
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    In my defense, many of these sound effects have been moved forward through time and re-used and remixed for sequels! Or they otherwise attained meme status on the internet and would sometimes get...

    In my defense, many of these sound effects have been moved forward through time and re-used and remixed for sequels! Or they otherwise attained meme status on the internet and would sometimes get pulled out of context. You can still make Google spin around by searching "Do A Barrel Roll".

    And hey! That Mega Man sound effect is older than I am, though I think that may be the only one. :p I've been into gaming for ~25 years.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on What are the most iconic video game sound effects you can think of? in ~games

    rogue_cricket
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    Most of the ones I thought of have been listed, but Street Fighter 2's Hadouken! and to a lesser degree, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku are super recognizable. EDIT: Oh, and probably Round One! Fight!,...

    Most of the ones I thought of have been listed, but Street Fighter 2's Hadouken! and to a lesser degree, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku are super recognizable.

    EDIT: Oh, and probably Round One! Fight!, although MK's fight intro voice is pretty iconic too. (As an aside, I've always loved Guilty Gear's "Heaven Or Hell! Let's Rock!" fight intro, it's stylish and just a little bit silly.)

    EDIT 2: Just adding as I think of them.
    Megaman's death sound! The blaster sound too, probably. Pew pew!
    Legend of Zelda's redead scream!
    Star Fox 64's "Do A Barrel Roll!", although whether that's more "dialogue" is debatable.
    Unreal Tournament's "M-M-M-Monster Kill!" has meme status at this point too.
    Phoenix Wright's "Objection!"
    Many sound effects from Banjo Kazooie make me nostalgic, the game had really fun sound design. The voices especially. Then there's the little jinjo's "help!" and the Jiggy fanfare.

    9 votes
  6. Comment on Share a true story from your life in five lines or less in ~creative

    rogue_cricket
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    It is a warm and sunny day and I am working in my front lawn when a stranger approaches. "Would you like a kiwi?" she asks. Before I can answer, she reaches forward and I reach to meet her. A...

    It is a warm and sunny day and I am working in my front lawn when a stranger approaches.
    "Would you like a kiwi?" she asks. Before I can answer, she reaches forward and
    I reach to meet her. A reflex, maybe. The fuzzy fruit lands in my palm.
    She smiles, turns, and disappears back down the trail. Silence.
    I don't even like kiwi.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on What's something that creeps you out more than it should? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
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    It is pretty funny in retrospect! It didn't help that even to this day people think the "invisible fire" glitch as more of an urban legend (I think because it was very uncommon and only in the 1st...

    It is pretty funny in retrospect! It didn't help that even to this day people think the "invisible fire" glitch as more of an urban legend (I think because it was very uncommon and only in the 1st version), but the memory imprinted on me really strongly. Even if it wasn't spontaneous combustion, something caused my sim to scream and die outside her front door.

    I have always been the type of person to ascribe feelings and desires to inanimate objects and it was especially strong when I was young, stuff like Neopets, Tamagotchis, and Pokemon were like crack to me. So the idea that the sim could be angry at me had a basis for sure, and my... loose understanding of how computers worked at the time (they seemed kind of magical) made me worried that somehow there was this consciousness was still on there and able to mess with the PC. I had nightmares about getting AIM pings in the middle of the night and finding messages from the "dead" sims. Phew!

    I think the house-building aspect of the more modern sims games looks really fun, and I actually did grab a couple of the free games from Origin last year although I didn't really play them. The sims themselves look a lot different now; the new designs have this clean and cartoonish look that comes off to me as aggressively friendly and over-the-top. Like a doll or fashion mannequin that's come to life. No thanks!

    3 votes
  8. Comment on How much time do you spend online and how do you spend it? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
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    My entire job is online, so that's 8-9 hours by default every weekday using the internet to chat with coworkers and to do work. Generally my "social online time" takes place kind of on and off...

    My entire job is online, so that's 8-9 hours by default every weekday using the internet to chat with coworkers and to do work. Generally my "social online time" takes place kind of on and off throughout my workday where I'll shoot off the occasional discord message or post to break up the day (like now! I'm waiting on code deployment!).

    I do a lot of non-entertainment stuff via the internet, like shopping, counselling, occasional mentoring/tutoring, planning meals, and just general organizing. For entertainment I use it to watch things I'm interested in, like Netflix or the occasional YouTube video, and I consume maybe about an hour of podcasts a day while out walking or exercising which I guess sort of counts? Sometimes I'll check a blog or read an article from either here or from MetaFilter too.

    I do some PC gaming as a hobby, although I tend to dislike online games and I only really play with a couple IRL friends or my brothers, so I'm kind of offline throughout that experience.

    I used to be Really Online as a teen and in my early 20s, and looking back I have mixed feelings about it. I've tried to cultivate a lot of other non-computer hobbies - I got back into piano, I have a dog that can not possibly ever be walked enough (we've tried), and I have flower and vegetable gardens. I think it's been better for me overall.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on The last time you'll buy shoes (Thought experiment: You'll get to a point in life where mundane objects might last longer than you do) in ~life

    rogue_cricket
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    I don't think about this so much in terms of objects, but I have thought about it in terms of my favourite art and media. At some point I will get to an age where there will literally not be...

    I don't think about this so much in terms of objects, but I have thought about it in terms of my favourite art and media. At some point I will get to an age where there will literally not be enough time left in my life for me to go through and listen to all my favourite albums and songs and pieces. My fiancee and I have a substantial music collection and at some point its collective length will be longer than the time we have left. It makes me melancholic sometimes.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Novel Idea: The Apartment in ~books

    rogue_cricket
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    The short comic Here by Richard McGuire comes to mind. I think I've read a short story to this effect as well, but I can't bring specifics to mind in the moment.

    The short comic Here by Richard McGuire comes to mind.

    I think I've read a short story to this effect as well, but I can't bring specifics to mind in the moment.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on What's something that creeps you out more than it should? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
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    I have a few holdovers from when I was a kid, but the most inappropriate thing I find spooky is probably lighthearted PC game series The Sims. I think I played The Sims for the first time the...

    I have a few holdovers from when I was a kid, but the most inappropriate thing I find spooky is probably
    lighthearted PC game series The Sims.

    I think I played The Sims for the first time the summer after it came out, I got it as a gift from my uncle one day when he came to visit. The absolute first thing I did was move the two pre-made "Roomies" sims into a house and get one of them trapped behind a couch like a lost remote. I think some kind of queued action prevented me from moving the couch, or maybe I was just really struggling with the interface, but she got stuck there long enough that she died of either exhaustion or starvation.

    The second Roomie sim was upset and began wandering around, weeping, until then the ghost of the first one appeared to haunt her that ingame evening. Now - that alone was a little spooky, but would be entirely manageable for sensitive young me. But did you know that in the original unpatched The Sims game, there was a small chance for a Sim to spontaneously combust? And there there was also a glitch which occasionally caused fire to be invisible?

    So wouldn't you know it, but shortly after the ghost appeared on my very first attempt at the game, my remaining sim triggered both these uncommon effects at the same time and started screaming and thrashing for what appeared to be no reason. The little chat bubbles indicated "fire!", but no fire was otherwise visible. She quickly died and I was left with an empty house.

    This was all within maybe 20-30 minutes of me playing this game for the first time and I was convinced my game was fully haunted. For years afterwards I couldn't find any explanation for this (this was before search engines were any good).

    The very same summer I could play Diablo II late into the night, but The Sims? Nope, had to be lights on, had to have my brothers or my dad in the room with me. The Sims was way too spooky to be faced alone.

    To this day I'm still a little creeped out by them. They're just a little too autonomous, and they have that weird sim language. I just don't trust 'em.

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

    rogue_cricket
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    Thanks for this! I didn't realize the landing camera would actually help stabilize the orientation, I thought it just showed you what was below your ship.

    Thanks for this! I didn't realize the landing camera would actually help stabilize the orientation, I thought it just showed you what was below your ship.

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

    rogue_cricket
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    I've been playing The Outer Wilds. I like the idea of it so far and I'm experimenting a lot now that I have more of an idea of what it's all about. I like the aesthetic, I like that it doesn't...

    I've been playing The Outer Wilds. I like the idea of it so far and I'm experimenting a lot now that I have more of an idea of what it's all about. I like the aesthetic, I like that it doesn't hold your hand, and I've taken a couple small notes. But I'm still pretty bad at navigating the ship... I don't know if it's the way gravity is tuned or the controls to roll the ship or what but trying to land it can feel very chaotic! I definitely felt a little dizzy when I stood up after playing it yesterday, too.

    EDIT: I just shot my spaceship into space without me on it, entirely by accident. This game is great.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on What single-purpose, minimalistic web or mobile apps do you like? in ~tech

    rogue_cricket
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    I like: Is It Down For Everyone Or Just Me? (checking website availability) SavvyTime (The easiest comprehensive timezone/date conversion site I've found - been relying on it A LOT lately to...

    I like:

    Is It Down For Everyone Or Just Me? (checking website availability)
    SavvyTime (The easiest comprehensive timezone/date conversion site I've found - been relying on it A LOT lately to verify results for a project)
    TinEye (reverse image search)
    Blogtrottr (regularly emails you aggregate RSS feeds for free, can choose to compact into a daily digest)
    Zombocom (You can do anything at zombocom)

    5 votes
  15. Comment on Male dominated fields in ~life

    rogue_cricket
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    I am a woman in SWE in audio/video communication. I also have a job that's got a lot of those perks and it's great, but I also sometimes worry about whether my belief that I am being compensated...

    I am a woman in SWE in audio/video communication. I also have a job that's got a lot of those perks and it's great, but I also sometimes worry about whether my belief that I am being compensated fairly lines up with reality. I can definitely be reticent about salary stuff - even though I know intellectually it's better for employees collectively to know this stuff I struggle with the execution. The norm of not talking about it is really hard to get through.

    I think right now there is one other female developer in my office, although there are many on the documentation team and a couple project managers (who, holy crap, are tough as nails). It'd be nice to get together more and chat with each other.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on What is something that you consider a "necessary evil"? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
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    For me the issue isn't so much a worry about who specifically is collecting data on me and why in this particular moment, it's more about the potential for harm that this data could do versus the...

    For me the issue isn't so much a worry about who specifically is collecting data on me and why in this particular moment, it's more about the potential for harm that this data could do versus the benefit. I do not think that maybe a, what, 10% additional click-through rate for an advertiser is worth having this "toxic waste" in the hands of strangers.

    It is stored indefinitely, or at least there's no reason it can't be. And there is no guarantee that the people who have this data now will always be the sole proprietors of this data. The company may sell the data, or the company itself may be sold. The data could be leaked or stolen, an employee could get access to it inappropriately, or they may be compelled by a government (not even necessarily MY government - stuff that I do that is legal in my country is definitely illegal elsewhere) to hand over that data.

    I don't like, regularly commit crimes or anything. Certainly most reasonable people would take no interest in me. But not everyone is reasonable. And the political and social climate lately has really drawn into sharp focus that there is no guarantee that the freedoms I enjoy now will always be in place, or that the norms of behaviour now will remain so into the future.

    10 votes
  17. Comment on Teachers are ready to quit rather than put their lives at risk: "Most parents have no idea how bad this is going to be" in ~health.coronavirus

    rogue_cricket
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    I am so frustrated on your behalf, and so sorry that you have to deal with this mess. It's clear to me that you are a person who is absolutely a benefit to your community and to your country and...

    I am so frustrated on your behalf, and so sorry that you have to deal with this mess. It's clear to me that you are a person who is absolutely a benefit to your community and to your country and instead of being rewarded, you are being treated like garbage. You are being asked to sacrifice so much for a government that clearly values the short-term "economy" (which may as well be the "rich people feelings graph") and partisan political optics over your safety, your life, and the reality of the important work you do in education.

    There are huge, gaping cracks in the education system left by the government, and I get the feeling that if teachers didn't take it upon themselves to go above and beyond to try and patch these holes, the whole system would fall over. This should not be your responsibility and it is unconscionable that it falls to you and your colleagues.

    This reads to me almost like being in an abusive relationship that stays together "for the kids".

    6 votes
  18. Comment on What are three things you wanna do once the pandemic is over? in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
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    Where I am the virus is more-or-less under control, but we still have restrictions on large indoor gatherings and on travel. I was allowed to visit my local family & friends again starting last...

    Where I am the virus is more-or-less under control, but we still have restrictions on large indoor gatherings and on travel. I was allowed to visit my local family & friends again starting last month, in gatherings of 10 or less indoors and 50 or less outdoors. I definitely cried A LOT. I hope anyone who is still waiting gets to visit soon.

    I think the first thing I'll do is go to a restaurant. They're technically open now, but I'm still leery about them personally so I'm putting that off until we have more medical breakthroughs with the virus.

    I hope that eventually going to a concert or festival is feasible again, that'll probably be my first "PANDEMIC IS OVER FOR REAL" act. I used to travel to the USA a lot to go to concerts, but I'll be sticking with Canadian concerts for a while.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on Confessions of a Dumb Person in ~talk

    rogue_cricket
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    Was the coffee maker one of those commercial-style ones with the cylindrical carafes? 'Cause those things are straight up treacherous! Once I was making coffee at the office with one and I...

    Was the coffee maker one of those commercial-style ones with the cylindrical carafes? 'Cause those things are straight up treacherous!

    Once I was making coffee at the office with one and I accidentally offset the carafe causing a huge mess when the coffee spilled down the side. When I heard it splattering on the floor I ran out of my adjacent office and tried to move the carafe to stop coffee getting everywhere, but in the process I made everything way worse and hurt myself. There's a divot on top and boiling hot coffee that had collected there - TERRIBLE design by the way - spilled onto my hands. It wasn't a serious burn, but it was one of those burns where the pain just keeps ramping up over time for a while. I ended up having to go home because it hurt so bad!

    I even used to work at a coffee shop. I had pretty good heat resistance in my hands for a while but I supposed it faded with time, so I overestimated my ability to touch the hot carafe. Bleh!

    3 votes
  20. Comment on What, if anything, did you do for Pride Month this year? in ~lgbt

    rogue_cricket
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    Well, events were cancelled mostly but I bought a pride flag for my porch and I flew it for a few days (it didn't arrive until towards the end of the month). :) It's since been replaced by a...

    Well, events were cancelled mostly but I bought a pride flag for my porch and I flew it for a few days (it didn't arrive until towards the end of the month). :)

    It's since been replaced by a Canadian flag but I got a nice one so I'll probably put it up in my office or something.

    2 votes