Games. Rather, game.

Games 2 Comments

I’m going to buy a game tomorrow afternoon. Technically I’m going to go buy an extension to a game. A game that’s been around for years and years which I have played many, many times before. In fact, if I can find them all (there will be three as of tomorrow), I’ll probably by all of the expansions to this game. The game is The Sims2, and the expansion that’s coming out tomorrow is Sims2: Open for Business.

I’ll be getting this game for two basic reasons: 1) Sims2 is fun to play in fits and starts, although on the whole it’s sort of frustrating and a little boring — maybe this expansion (and the others) will make it a little less frustrating and boring; 2) As far as I can tell, all new games suck.

Raph Koster, who is apparently some sort of MMORPG guru or something, wrote a little ranty blog post today called What are the lessons of MMORPGs today? If you’ve played any of those sorts of games you will laugh. Bitterly. And when you stop laughing bitterly, you might look grumpy for a little while when you think back to how much damned time you wasted playing the blasted things, trying to find the “fun” that you lost when you figured out the game mechanics. (Once you figure out the core mechanics it’s all just rote time-filling, which is a lot like, oh, work.)

Anyhow. As I said to someone yesterday, “if they’d just create a site full of strange little web-based Tycoon style games, I’d happily subscribe”. There are caveats, of course — each game would have to have different base mechanics and influencing variables so solving one didn’t solve them all — but otherwise I pretty much stand by that. I like puzzles. I like games that provide me a sense of accomplishment commensurate to the amount of effort (be it time, brain power, or ideally a combination of both) I put in. I really like games that I can pop in and play for 30-60 mins, by myself, with a sense of having accomplished something.

For what it’s worth, one of my favourite games of all time is, to this day, Ragnarok. I’d just about kill for a Rogue-like game for the Nintendo DS. Sigh.

Stupid games.

Today’s Links

General No Comments

I can’t count that high

Writing No Comments

I just read that, every year, around 60,000 books are published in the USA. That’s 160 or so every single day.

I don’t really have anything useful to say about this, it just blew my mind. If 60,000 are published, how many are submitted to publishers and rejected? Good heavens.

Beef Short Ribs

Food No Comments

Long story short: they were yummy, but not yummy enough to justify the effort (and mess) involved.

Longer version: 4lb beef short ribs marinated for 24hrs (turned three times) in a bottle of wine boiled with orange zest, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic. Browned in a stand-in dutch oven in three batches. Marinade reduced (twice) and combined with chicken stock and veggies, then the whole thing in the oven for 3.5 hours. Post-braise, strained the braising liquid, defatted (which is a pain), then boiled some more to reduce. Etc etc. Good, but not good enough to do again.

Next time I’ll forego the ribs and just get a bunch of stewing beef (less fat, no bones). Marinate for half the time then cook it up in the slow-cooker all day. Less fuss, less mess, less fat, probably just about the same result.

As I’ve said before, if it’s not simple, I probably won’t bother doing it more than once unless the result is spectacular. This one I won’t bother doing again. I should have known from the recipe, really — a half page of ingredients and a three stage process that (done properly) would have happened over three days.

For half the price and a tenth of the effort, I could have done pork ribs, and probably enjoyed them more. Definitely a learning experience :)

Random Kitchen Gear I Want/Need

Food 6 Comments

I’m missing some fairly basic kitchen gear:

  • A rolling pin.
  • Muffin tins.
  • A large, shallow, oven-proof dutch oven for braises.
  • A wok. And not the $300 La Creuset one.
  • An 8″ oven-proof non-stick skillet.
  • Flexible cutting mats (2).
  • An immersion blender. I might go get one of these tomorrow.
  • A very accurate digital kitchen scale. So many recipes call for weights rather than measures. I’d also like to be able to weigh my coffee rather than use the less-accurate “scoops” measuring method.

There is other kitchen gear I want but don’t really need:

  • More cutting boards. Ideally large plastic ones. Wood cutting boards look nice but they weigh too much and require too much maintenance.
  • More jars and bottles. I want to start making infused oils and (believe it or not) preserves (preserved lemons, tomatoes, jams, etc.).
  • Actually air-tight small spice jars/bottles. A couple of dozen would do.
  • More bowls of all shapes and sizes.
  • Nice big, white, shallow pasta bowls.
  • More chopsticks.
  • More air-tight canisters that will hold a pound of coffee beans. I have one. I think I need three.
  • A full-size food processor.
  • A bread machine.
  • A mortar and pestle.
  • A microplane grater. (This might graduate to the actual “need” list soon.)

Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman

Movies 17 Comments

We’ve been watching the Zatoichi movies lately (we’ve watched the first three now), and they’re awesome.

Today’s Links

General No Comments website content licensing, revisited

Mozilla, Work No Comments

Last May we went through the process of finally getting all of the content on the and websites under a single license. That license is the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike License version 2.0. What we neglected to do at that time was get contributors’ permission to update that license to the newer versions as they came available.

As it stands, the Creative Commons Attribute-Sharealike license is up to version 2.5. We would like to update our relevant license texts to include the phrase “or any later version”, so we do not have to continue going through this process each time the Creative Commons issues an updated version of the license.

As was the case last May, we believe that legally we can do this without obtaining individual permissions from each contributor, but we want to respond to concerns people may have. If you have contributed content to the or websites in the past, and if you have any concerns about the content license being updated in this manner, please contact me ( at your earliest convenience. If you are happy with this plan, you need do nothing.

We intend to finalize the new license text on March 15th, 2006, so please make your concerns known prior to that date.

Today’s Links

autoposts No Comments

Read Print

Books No Comments

This looks pretty cool.

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