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1st-Aug-2015 04:41 pm - This is, alas, entirely typical
I have just replaced my increasingly unreliable 13-year-old printer with a brand-new Epson inkjet. It prints, it scans, it copies, it makes a mean strawberry daiquiri*.

Setup was fairly smooth, but when I installed the printer drivers, I got a little popup that said something like, "Print queue was not added. Please consult the User's guide for instructions on adding a print queue manually." So, I found the online User's guide, found its nice search box, and put in "add print queue."

No hits.

Okay. I tried just searching for "queue". No hits.

Scanned through the table of contents looking for anything that resembles adding a print queue. No hits.

Memo to all those software developers out there: if you're going to put text in the user interface of your software telling people to look in the manual for something, please tell the person who writes your manual that you've done that.

* Okay, it doesn't make strawberry daiquiris, but in this weather, it totally should.
30th-Jul-2015 10:52 am - Unleash the Archers!
sunglasses, south-park
I'm really liking Spotify's new "Discover Weekly" playlist. Every Monday, I get a new playlist of about 2 hours of songs that Spotify thinks I'll like, based on my previous listening history. It's much more varied and interesting than what I usually get out of Spotify radio, and requires less effort than manually clicking through a list of recommended artists and albums. It's kind of a stupidly simple idea, but it works.

One of my favorite discoveries to come out of this so far is a band called Unleash the Archers. Like all my favorite power metal, they go straight for that part of your brain that wanted to be your D&D character when you were twelve. Plus, lead their singer is pretty impressive.

Plus, they are totally rocking a Mad Max thing in this video:
wirrn, FTW
Today's workout: deadlift + hang clean + split jerk. Just using the barbell with no additional weight. Kinda hard to get the timing on the split jerk right: holding the bar at shoulder height, you squat down slightly and then use the momentum of straightening your hips to shove the bar upward while you jump your feet forward and back so that you land in a split stance. Time it right and you get a nice satisfying clunk out of the bar as everything locks into place at once. Time it wrong and you land in a split stance and still have to muscle the bar upward another few inches using sheer strength. It actually feels pretty badass even if you do it wrong. Doing it right feels amazing. Also exhausting. I thought the deadlift was a full body lift, but this is something else.

The eventual progression from this is being able to do a proper Olympic clean and jerk. Which would be super awesome.
27th-Jul-2015 10:06 am - Yay for lack of typecasting, I guess
evil_laugh, minimaster
I was quite...startled is the word, I suppose...to discover that the actor who voiced Blackwall in Dragon Age: Inquistion is voicing a mohawk-wearing tattooed dwarven crime boss named "The Cleaver" in The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt.

Though a real lack of typecasting would involve a fantasy game where the guys with Northern accents all got to be well-dressed posh bastards. I won't hold my breath.
talent, pencil
I got an email from my engineering support services guy yesterday saying that my shiny new laptop was ready, but I didn't pick it up because I was too busy working on a presentation for a group of interns that I had to give this morning. So I went to my presentation to this room full of enthusiastic fresh-faced twenty-somethings with a shitty old borrowed loaner laptop, which then proceeded to Fail to Work all over the place, until one of these twenty-somethings rescued me by downloading my presentation from the engineering wiki and allowing me to project it from his shiny new MacBook.

These interns are either immaculately polite or I still did a decent enough job on the presentation, because they did not treat me as if I were the complete chucklehead that I felt like.

The kids are alright. The grownups would like their tech to stop inexplicably breaking at inconvenient times, thanks very much.
20th-Jul-2015 12:19 pm - Progress!
running, shoes
Pyramid set on the deadlift today:
8 reps at 115lbs.
6 reps at 135lbs.
4 reps at 145lbs.
3 reps at 150lbs.
5 reps at 135lbs.
8 reps at 115lbs.

Then we did some dumbbell clean and press and 3 200m sprints on the rowing machine.

If you see me tomorrow, and I'm walking funny, that's why.

It wasn't all that long ago that 150lbs was my one-rep max, so that's progress!
19th-Jul-2015 03:08 pm(no subject)
pondering, bowie
So, I decided to entertain my Youngest Niece at a family get-together by letting her look at photos on my phone.

(Niece brings up a photo of me.)
Niece: That's you!
Me: Yup.
(brings up a photo of Younger Nephew)
Niece: That's my brother.
(brings up a photo of Ferrett Steinmetz reading his novel _Flux_ at Borderlands)
Niece: Who's that?
Me: That's my friend Ferrett reading his book.
(brings up a photo from FOGcon last year)
Niece: Who's that?
Me: That's my friend Liang.
(brings up a photo of Behemoth performing at the Fillmore)
Niece: Who's that?
Me: That's Nergal.
Niece (laughing uproariously): "Nurggle?!"
(brings up a photo of the band Triptykon)
Niece: Who's that?
Me: That's...Tom.
(swipes, brings up another photo of Triptykon)
Niece(triumphantly): It's Tom!

I'm kind of amused that as far as I could tell, she found the photos of heavy metal bands in stage gear no more or less remarkable or interesting than ordinary candid shots of me and my friends.
totally_sane, suzie
Tonight I came home from work with the full intention of having dinner and then playing The Witcher 3 until the wee hours. Instead, I had a lovely after-dinner conversation with Daniel, paid some bills, made an appointment I'd been putting off for weeks, worked on a writing project I'm doing with a friend, edited some video, and am now planning to go to bed at a semi-reasonable hour so I can get up at a decent hour tomorrow.

What is this adulting? I can't even.

Geralt of Rivia and I are definitely going to have some quality time sometime this weekend, though.
The Coroner"s Lunch (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #1)The Coroner's Lunch by Colin Cotterill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This comes pretty close to everything I could want in a mystery series. It has an interesting historical setting (Laos in the 1970s, just after the Communist takeover). It has a protagonist with a sharp sense of humor, and a supporting cast of characters who are interesting and likable. The crimes to be solved range from personal crimes of passion to political intrigues. And there's an interesting hint of the supernatural which manages to walk a fine line between "yes, something that can't be explained by science is happening here" and "this guy's intuition has really interesting ways of operating." It's something I've seen other writers attempt, and it's often annoyed me, but in this case it works.

I don't think these books are nearly as well known in mystery reading circles as they deserve to be. If you like mysteries, check this one out.

View all my reviews
I'm posting a Finnish heavy metal video every day in June in support of the Helsinki in 2017 Worldcon bid. Longer explanation here.

Whew. Here we are at the end of this series. I hope you have discovered some music that you enjoyed, or at least been amused by the quantity and diversity of Finnish heavy metal. And that you'll consider voting for Helsinki as the site of the 2017 Worldcon!

I won't say I saved the best for last, but I saved a good one for last. Swallow the Sun are titans of the melodic death doom scene. This is "Descending Winters":

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