This is going to be a rather random post–just a list of some of the cooler things I’ve been up to. I’ve been noticing how this feels more and more like a blog, but I do try to keep the personal details out of it. I don’t think anyone (maybe Kaylen) cares what I had for dinner last night (Pork Lo Mein), what I last watched on TV (CNN), or when I stumbled out of bed today (3PM).
Since the spring semester of college was over a couple weeks ago (one A, two B’s, and a C), Kaylen and I finally got a chance to go camping. Her school, UVA, is only 30 minutes from the lovely Shenandoah National Park, so we went there and stayed at a centrally-located campground called Lewis Mountain. It was a decent campground (well-maintained), albeit pricey (want a 10 minute shower? 2 bucks). It was surprisingly popular, too; most days there were almost no free spots by the evening. I enjoyed making fires and gathering firewood so we could cook the food, but the low abundance of good wood meant short-lived fires. The second day, we went hiking on a trail called White Oak Canyon, but alas we turned around not far from the actual falls and only saw cascades; we’ll be sure to carry trail maps in the future. I’ve uploaded most of the pictures we took (including some impressive panoramas) to the photo album in this directory.
When we got back home, I uncovered a set of popsicle makers in the basement. Kaylen and I had much fun trying out different frozen snacks such as Dr. Pepper, Code Red, apple juice, orange juice, pudding, and raspberry snowcone syrup. The only problem is the amount of water in the substances. Many of the drinks just have too much water; causing mostly ice crystals and little flavor. So we tried experimenting with reducing the water by heating the beverage on the stove; it works perfectly for sodas. About half syrup and half water is the best blend. Delicious.
With my new time off, I’ve been back to work on several things, of course. I dabbled with the code to my as-of-yet-unreleased alarm program some a few days ago, mainly touching on a few bugs and missing features (buttons that go to nowhere). It’s been a little hard going back to it since I haven’t really looked at the code much since last summer (it’s a shame); I’m wishing now that I had commented the code more. But with any luck, I might be able to finally get the few kinks out of it and release it publicly, maybe even to some download sites. The reason I only gave it out to a select few beta testers previously is that it was proving to be unreliable in a few rare instances, and an alarm that’s unreliable is no good.
But for the last few days, I’ve been putting together a new column on PC air cooling. I took some logs from MBM and turned the data into some pretty graphs in Excel and then analyzed the results. It’s mostly just neat to see how the temperatures interact to certain events, as my conclusions are pretty obvious for any computer professional. You can find it here.
As for entertainment, I’ve been getting back into Rise of Nations after being disappointed with Stalker’s linear, buggy gameplay. I finally finished Alexander the Great’s campaign for the first time and now I’ve moved on to a mod version of the Entire World (Baryonyx’s Extended mod). This could be good news for anyone still playing RoN as I may get into making some more scripts and improvements to my ScriptMaker, as well as finally releasing my map pack mod.
I’ve also been having some fun with the new Sam & Max season. I tried playing some adventure games before, but just couldn’t get into all the walking around and trying every combination of things to progress the story. With Sam & Max, either the puzzles are easier than they used to be or I’m just more intelligent enough to figure them out now. Either way, it’s an amusing little game that I can’t get enough of.