Friday, July 18, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Take-Noko!

--- 1 ---
Urban Exploration Phototime
The fact that I'm doing a link-up of any sort pretty well tells you I'm not very good at coming up with ideas on the fly anymore. Truth be told I spent most of my mental energy on retaining a number of things I promised myself (and have been told by wiser folk than I) not to hold on to anymore. While I'm pleased to learn my memory is much more voluminous than I give it credit for, I'd really rather use it for other things. I suppose the only thing for that would be to finally offload some of the memory-kruft into other formats. Speaking as someone equipped with a reasonably broad pallet of paper-based and digital storage media, you'd think I'd be able to get a handle on all this junk... but no, not so much.

--- 2 ---
Over a year ago now, I had a particularly bad week at the old Pet Store, where i used to work at the time, as many of you will remember. There was a spree of bad luck involving a number of digital devices - my phone and my iPod Classic among them. Screens were broken, nasty words spoken to nobody in particular, and the up and down of it is that I wound up with no real motivation to replace them.

It wasn't that I wasn't replacing broken things. I have replaced, since then, several pairs of headphones (including a very expensive computer headset I use for doing audio-video work and gaming, the five minutes a week I have to myself). But the thing is, I have always been bad with my electronics, since I was very young. I suppose a factor in that might have been my generation (I had a freakin' palm pilot in 1999. When I would have been in the fourth or fifth grade. That's messed up), but the factors don't mitigate the problem.

I figured if I could go a year, limping along with equipment that was in less-than-perfect condition, I could make do. The iPod was a relatively easy fix - set single playlists of a manageable length and change them out when they get boring. The phone itself was a non-issue. I can't always see the screen as well, but the touch functionalities still worked fine, and I could still bank, hammer out a text message, or dial as I saw fit. It wasn't until recently, when dust and moisture started being able to get their way into the phone, that the broken glass really became an issue. If it wasn't for that, honestly I would have waited another year, until my contract expires and I can get a new phone at reduced cost.

Now, I'll probably do an early upgrade - renewing my contract on new terms - or buy a used phone of a similar model. The iPod itself as simply stopped working altogether. The four or five days I went without it were so torturous that I'm borrowing a spare one of The Lady's until I can replace it, or at least ween myself off of having total audio control.

--- 3 ---
Fredericton, where I now live and have for several months, was recently struck by the tail-end of Tropical Storm Arthur. This is not an unusual occurence in this part of Canada, and in fact, living closer to the ocean as I used to, I became rather used to the odd bit of high winds and heavy rains that such storms represented. That's why I was surprised to not only lose power on the day of the storm (a Saturday), but to not get it back until Tuesday of the following week. While I freely admit that nothing in my fridge was quite so "correct" as I would have liked it to be, the loss of a few pounds of salmon, half a pork tenderline, a bit of leftover roast duck, and all told about another $80 worth of condiments, long-storage dairy, and other munchables was sort of an unexpected kick in the gut.

The part of the storm I can't stop laughing about, though: Literally two nights before, I threw out my best-and-only piezoelectric flashlight because some impact or another had cracked the casing in a way that rendered it inoperable. They say it never rains...

--- 4 ---
Beautiful work patio often leads to late nights after-hours.
I just can't get enough of this new game I've been playing. It's supremely irritating when my brain does this sort of thing, in some ways, though there is a great and satisfying itch in the childlike enthusiasm for the latest whateverthehell has my attention now.

I suppose in large part I have been overly luxurious. I was rather showered in books at my birthday, but the lucky chance of cheaply acquiring the recent Bravely Default (Nintendo 3DS by SquareEnix) was surprisingly welcome. The game is very good and I recommend it to fans of classic RPGs. It turns away from Square's millenial fascination with ATB-style systems to take a trip down memory lane to turn-based, but also includes some interesting new features to take advantage of the 3DS's sleep mode, passive wireless functionality, and Augmented Reality architecture. Very good title.

--- 5 ---
In one of those never-say-never moments, I've learned I actually have some level of skill in pastries - just so long as no actual pastry is involved. My day-to-day work, until very recently, was entirely concerned in the perparation of small, bite-sized desserts. Vault 29 has me, after consulting with a few highly-qualified chefs, making their desserts-in-miniature. So I've acquired some real chops when it comes to no-bake cheesecake, fresh lemon curd, vegan desserts, chocolate mousse, panna cotta, and, of late, Key Lime Pie.

It's almost a shame that I won't be doing pastries much longer, though I never really intended to be a pastry cook forever. Still, having a section of my own to run independently and with a minimum of supervision, and rather a lot of lattitude as far as creative control, has been really, really good for the ol' mental health.

--- 6 ---
I've taken to eating breakfast again! Neat trick - if you eat breakfasts that are good cold, there's absolutely no reason not to make it the day before. Lately: Lemon Greek-Style Yogurt, Grapefruit, mini-doughnut and water.

Also, gigantic fan of random beverages - today I had the juices from a somewhat-too-juicy berry compote cut with soda water.

--- 7 ---
Apart from bravely default - of which I've played about an hour this week, I really haven't had much time for any other gaming. Any other free time has been eaten with plans for a big move that's upcoming, or recouperating from being alive with beer and books.

Lately: The Lord of the Rings, and a lovely little HP Lovecraft anthology.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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