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I’ve come to the conclusion these don’t work

Stove fan. By the time it’s hot enough to turn, the room is already warm.

That may be the fault of our particular stove. We opted for the hood (my fault; artard decision) which means the base of the fan isn’t touching the surface, and the hood doesn’t get as hot as a stovetop anyway. Maybe it would do something on a conventional stove.

Uncle B lit the stove super early and we have retreated to the livingroom. It was brutal in here today. A bad combination of windy and cold out. IT SNEW, even!

Today was the last day to get in a meter reading before electric rates rise by an average of 54% overnight. The websites of several of the major electric companies fell over under the strain.

The CEO of one energy company said on the radio they usually get about 200 meter readings a week. In the first six hours of today, they had 40,000.

Mark my words: Brits are going to freeze to death over this.

March 31, 2022 — 9:56 pm
Comments: 13

More of this, I see.

Oof. That little snowflake symbol isn’t snow – it’s sleet. I’m listening to it click against the windows as I type.

When this Ukraine thing hit, we were caught out without enough home heating oil to make it through the season. Overnight, the price rocketed over twice what we’d last paid and even if you were willing to pay that stupid money, you couldn’t get any delivered.

Hence, we haven’t had the central heating on for a month.

Doing okay, though. I have a stock of hot water bottles and an electric throw blanket and Uncle B has…a high tolerance for pain, I guess.

We have plenty of wood and solid fuel. At night, he builds a big fire and everything thaws.

Forget warmening, I honestly live in fear that we’re moving to a time of increased cold. This is not the way I want to see myself out.

March 30, 2022 — 7:00 pm
Comments: 7

There’s someone’s relaxing afternoon ruined

Spotted in the parking lot at Aldi. We’re back to going in person every couple of weeks now and I would be embarrassed to admit how much of a bright spot that is in our lives.

I have found a fishing game for VR. A friendly redneck with a down home accent sells me gear and sends me on fishing missions. It’s fun and all, but I had to quit after a while last night. I kid you not, my arms got tired.

There’s a weird, not-ready-for-prime-time quality to most of the VR applications I’ve used so far. A lack of polish. Not bringing the A Team.

I think that’s a sign it’s still a young technology. So many products rely on, “gosh, it looks so real!” that not enough has been put into making it look good. Or be fun to play.

To be fair, though, I’m mostly consuming free content right now. Having splashed out for the rig, I’m not comfy splashing out on a bunch of AAA games yet. Some of them are very pricey!

Wait until Skyrim VR hits the Steam Spring Sale.

March 29, 2022 — 7:38 pm
Comments: 14

Musta thought I needed it

This came through my mail slot at work today. Alas, it turns out the Apostolic Fellowship of Christ is a tame lot of serious Bible scholars. I was hoping for something fun and nutty.

There are a surprising number of odd Protestant denominations around here. Lots of Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example. The Strict and Particular Baptists, though I think they’re more of a historic footnote now.

Uncle B says it’s because the Church of England was for toffs. Rural working people wanted something different for themselves.

Oh, WORDLE 282 really pissed in my corn flakes today. I couldn’t believe my luck when my first guess had four hits. I couldn’t contain my rage when it took me four tries to get the correct first letter.



March 28, 2022 — 7:09 pm
Comments: 8

This is cool!

No, no…not VR this time. Well, kinda, but not *my* VR.

I was searching YouTube for a version of Hungarian Rhapsody (yes, I’m that bored. I must be getting better) and I found this guy’s channel. He plays piano, and the music unspools above him like a glowing player piano roll.

Seriously, go look. It explains itself. Start with a piece of music you know well and then try one you don’t. I almost feel like I could read the notes after a while.

I failed badly at piano lessons. People who can read music are witches, simple as that.

I tried to work out how he does this. He mentions at one point that his LEDs had failed him, but I think the stuff at the top is post-production voodoo. He linked to a friend’s channel who does the same thing, but on a much smaller scale.

I’m kind of hypnotized by it, to be honest.

Feeling much better today. I’m sure I’ll be back hard at it Monday. Have a good weekend, everyone!

March 25, 2022 — 6:40 pm
Comments: 15

Another day in ‘ronaville

Bone idle. That’s me.

I really don’t feel awful, but I’m snuffly and gross. I wouldn’t appreciate me snotting all over the place, if I wasn’t me.

So I stayed home today. And I’ll stay home tomorrow, too.

I’m good at this.

March 24, 2022 — 8:12 pm
Comments: 4


The Oculus headset has cameras all around the edges. This means, for example, you can “pass through” a ghostly image of the room you’re in by double-tapping the side of the headset (that’s right, Uncle B – I can *see* you make fun of me).

It can also do pretty good hand tracking. Usually, you control the beast with those Jetson’s-looking controller doohickies, but you can also set them down and use your hands.

Hand Physics Lab is a game built around hand tracking. It’s freaky. The tracking is imperfect enough to make it a challenge (man, I was throwing them apples all over the place instead of placing them in the bowl). But it’s a lot of fun.

I am assured I look amazingly stupid wiggling my fingers in the air. I mean, nobody looks good wearing a VR rig, but this is exceptionally ridiculous.

Ironically, because of the cameras, you can’t play Oculus in the dark. I’m’a wait for daylight to get better tracking.

Covid? Pff! I feel like I have a moderate headcold. I think I’ll take tomorrow off, though, and then see about Friday. No sense spreading my germs around.

March 23, 2022 — 8:33 pm
Comments: 14

Indulging self

I think I’ve mentioned this secret vice before: watching YouTubes of wretched miserable street dogs taken in, cleaned up and transformed into handsome, loving puppers. I’m not really a dog person and I do like the cat version of these videos.

But dogs, man. When they’re miserable, they pretty much melt bonelessly into the ground and when they’re happy, they laugh with their whole bodies. I’m too lazy to own one, but it cheers me up to watch them.

I am indulging self on account of two people in my inner circle tested positive for the ‘rona today, including the one I share the office with all day. So that’s that, then.

I feel fine. I certainly haven’t lost my sense of taste (or the appetite that goes with!), though Uncle B is considerably miserabler.

Any excuse to mooch around the house.

March 22, 2022 — 7:00 pm
Comments: 8

This changes everything!

Wait, wait…nobody told me you could passively consume VR. I mean, just sit in the comfy chair and gawp as stuff flies or swims all around you! This…this is what I was born for.

I started with Attenborough’s First Life, an animated exploration of the very beginning of life on the planet (no, he did not conclude life was a mistake) and then just let it autoplay from there.

I got a couple of roller coasters, some horror experiences (including a VR section of King’s It), a couple of guys in wing suits gliding through a glacier, a hang glider who operates in my neck of the woods.

All the clips are five to ten minutes, so it’s either expensive to produce or they haven’t figured out how to charge extra for full-length features yet. I could do a lot of this.

Especially as it seems Uncle B and I have caught a lurgie.

March 21, 2022 — 7:27 pm
Comments: 7

Exotic sands

Everything in Sussex is coated in a fine red dust at the moment. You only really notice it on the cars and window glass. This happens every few years.

What is it? Sand from the Sahara Desert! It gets into the upper atmosphere and then blows over on a storm (Celia in this case).

It also turned the sky a weird color.

My dudes, I have discovered something that has nothing to do with the sands of faraway North Africa. I don’t drink and play computer games. After only a few sips, my fine motor control goes to shit and it stops being fun. But I thought I’d try my new toy after a couple of G&Ts.

I have come to realize that VR isn’t fine motor control. It’s gross motor control. In Angry Birds, you hold a slingshot you can feel in your left hand and pull back the bands with your right hand. You can even stand up or lean over to get a different view. I was *awesome* at it after a few.

I don’t mean I was noticeably better. I mean I was hilariously, ridiculously good. I mean I was an Angry Birds Olympian. The more alcohol reached my system, the better I got.

I went back and easily three-starred all the levels I’d missed. Except one. It was well past my bedtime by then and I was in danger of over-slosh on a work night.

Guess what I’m doing tonight. Good weekend, all!

March 18, 2022 — 6:49 pm
Comments: 6