Guild Wars 2 - Best Business Model

Certainly (I'm prejudiced) Guild Wars 2 is an incredible value for a small amount of $$ !

"Brianna Royce: Guild Wars 2. This has been my nomination for the last many years now, and it’s still true: There is no MMORPG on the market right now with this much content with a cheap buy-to-play model and a totally skippable cash shop and no sub. It’s a low price with extraordinary value, and that makes it perfect for families, which is exactly why my kids play with me. The only other MMO that comes close is Guild Wars 1, and that’s not an accident."

A shout-out to OG Guild Wars as well!


Ice Drizzle


The shiny river looking area in the photo is the smoothest ice I've ever experienced.  It looks textured BUT IT IS NOT.  It is smooth AF.  (The texture is from the surface underneath.)

We had the biggest ice storm in our area since 1996.  I kept expecting a lot of rain, but really it just drizzled.  But it was drizzling super-cooled water which turned to ice when it hit the ground.  The result of this drizzly super-cooled water was 3D printed smooth AF ice that was impossible to walk upon without slipping. 

We had to break some of it up our driveway so a car could get back into the garage.  We were only able to clear a path for the tires of the left side of the car!  That took two of us two hours.  We had to use a pickaxe to break the ice.

Maeslantkering, the Netherlands


In Termination Shock, by Neal Stephenson, he writes about a structure in the Netherlands designed to prevent tidal surges from destroying inland property.  I thought it was something he'd made up until he mentioned a date when it was constructed that predates today (the book is set a bit into the future).

As I read his description, my brain kept saying, "He can't mean that, no, what?", but apparently, he did a rather good job of describing this thing in words, because when I looked it up, it matched what I had imagined!

Those big arms rotate out into the water, where they join up, and then sink, to create a barrier.

It's waves all the way down

This article called The Double Slit Experiment convinced me there is no wave/particle duality.

It's all waves and the particles are in fact an artifact of measurement - not as, in causing the wave function to collapse into a particle - but an actual artifact of the equipment used to measure the photon.

Also mentioned in the article is the "many worlds" explanation, which I agree, is nonsense.  For one thing - if universes are splitting right and left, then where does all the energy come from to power these universes?  It requires infinite energy.  And likewise - how fast do these universes come into being?  All of the universe as we know it splits?  How can you tell?  Observations are still limited by the speed-of-light.

It's waves.  Matter is waves.  So simple. 


Iced Tree


ArenaNet - more recognition!

 MMO Studio of the Year!  Two years running!

Congratulations everyone!

The not-a-bank bank

I went to one of Bank of America's newly remodeled branches.  It doesn't look like a bank inside.  There are no teller windows.

A woman with an iPad greeted me as I went in.  "This is a very confusing bank!", I said.

She said, "I've been in banking 15 years and once you get used to it you'll really like it."

I have no reason not to believe her.

But!  I would suggest that for people like me going into the not-a-bank for the first time a little map or sign suggesting where to start would be good.  As it was, the iPad woman was engaged with another customer when I first entered.  I had no idea what to do or where to get in line so I just stood there.  Which worked.  But what if there were two of us waiting?  Where do we wait and keep ourselves in order?

These are important UX questions.


5G - fast if you can find it for realz!

T-Mobile has a "test" installation of fast 5G in downtown Bellevue, Washington, on Bellevue Way.

Holy moly!  That's fast!

(Google Fi is T-Mobile in WA.)


 I had most of the Cinefix issues.  I gave those away a few years ago.

The papers on the left are very early reprints.  Cinefex would sell back issues and in the very early days they sent you these paper manuscripts.  Now all of Cinefex is available in an app.

What I loved about Cinefex was the articles where people did clever physical effects.  For instance, James Cameron mounted an airplane on top of a tall building so that he could shoot around it from certain angles and it looked like it was flying over the city (that was in True Lies).  He did a similar thing with his 9/10th's scale model of the Titanic - it was built next to the ocean in Mexico so that from many angles you would see the real ocean stretching out in the distance.  No CGI necessary!

And the early days of CGI were interesting but pretty soon it all became more of the same - just more computer horsepower.  So I lost interest.

But Cinefix in its prime ... glorious!


There is no I in Teams

I've been working on a joke based on the saying "There is no I in TEAM."

The joke was "There is no I in Teams, because I got disconnected."

But I think a better version is "There is no I in Teams, because I'm muted!"

Guild Wars2: MMORPG of the year!

Scroll to bottom after following link MMORPG of the Year .

Awesome work ArenaNet!

FancyZones Hack!

I often remote to another Windows desktop machine (or something that looks like one!).

A common problem is how do I remember what machine I am currently using?  They tend to look terribly similar.

Introducing my FancyZones hack.  Basically you install MS PowerToys and start using FancyZones.  

  • Create a layout that is two zones:  one is most of your screen, and the other is a small strip along one side.  I chose the right side for the thin vertical strip.  
  • Set your desktop background colors to something obviously different on each machine:  I have blue for home and red for one of my remote sites.  
  • Put all of your windows into the big zone (using shift-drag on the title bar).  This will leave a colored outline around your desktop and you can quickly see which machine you are on.  
  • Bonus - take the second small zone you made and put Wordpad in there and in big vertical letters put the name of the machine.

I remember back in the day we would do something similar with coloring the title bar, but Windows changed so that it's harder to edit the title bar color and it tends to lose its color when it is not the selected window.  This new approach is more "in your face" which I find helpful.



I realize I failed to mention my goal before I started posting about the optimizations to my process in support of that goal (skipping labels, fewer hyperlinks).

My goal is to post a new entry every day during 2023.

Well, more likely to post a new entry every day on average during 2023.

Here's a guy who posts every day:  Seth Godin.

I guess he's a marketing guy?  Somehow he comes up with these pithy posts every single day.  I imagine he has some stored up in case he misses a day.

He had a cameo on the TV show Billions.  Seth's blog was recommended to me by KM (formerly KB).

One trick I have in my back pocket is that if on a day where posting seems like too much work then I'll just dig through my 50,000 photos using Google search and just post a picture and call it a day.

Oh - it's not 2023 yet?  Yeah, I thought I better get a running start and work out the bugs in my process.


Credit (or not)

As a rule, I think it is beneficial for people to get credit for their work and ideas.

But the current Internet is not necessarily a friendly place and privacy is increasingly important.  (That is one of the benefits of micro-blogging on Facebook - limited reach.)

So as I blog I will frequently refer to people by their initials rather than their full names.

A series of tubes

It's not just the Internet that is a "series of tubes".



Another feature of blogging on Blogger that I won't be using:  labels.  It just takes too much time.  One reason I switched to making little blogs or notes on Facebook is that I didn't worry about any of that.

Simplification FTW!

Guild Wars 1 uptime

Guild Wars 1 Uptime (clip from Extra Life) - I don't have a complete list of outages ... but I believe that the total Guild Wars 1 downtime since launch is about 30 hours.  I wonder if a fan knows the actual number?

(More fun GW1 clips from Extra Life.)

SCW shoutout

I got a shoutout!

Here's the official status update on Guild Wars from February, 2022.

BTW, the clip is from the awesome Extra Life effort from ArenaNet.


Back when I blogged a lot I was quite proud of all the links I would put into my posts.  "See, I'm talking about a real thing! Just follow that link!"  Now, with over a thousand really old posts in this blog, many posts have links are that broken.  So mostly I'm dropping the effort to put in hyperlinks unless it is a link likely to survive the decades (like a link to Wikipedia).  As it is, if you use Chrome, you can highlight a term, right-click, and choose "Search Google".  That's a good enough link substitute.  

Manufactured Landscapes

Manufactured Landscapes is a documentary about the human impact on huge swaths of the earth; such huge swaths are so large they can be considered landscapes.

I first saw this film many years ago (it came out in 2006) while channel surfing; or more likely, now that I think about it, my TiVo thought I would be interested in it.  It starts with an eight-minute, slow tracking shot through a factory in China, which left at least one viewer, me, stunned at the scope of the endeavor.  Later, like a year ago, I remembered that tracking shot but that was all I remembered about this movie I had seen oh-so-long-ago, and my attempts to google various terms to find it failed.  As often happens, sometimes months or years later, I'll try a search like that again, and the result pops right up.

If you liked Koyaanisqatsi I think you'll like Manufactured Landscapes.



This photo just hit 33,000 views on Google Maps!

How fun is that?

This next picture was previously my most popular currently at 23,000 views.

That's in Fredericksburg, TX.


reddit math error


I agree it's saying something.  I think it is saying there is a math error, because I can't imagine that whatever karma I earned put me in the top 11%.

This one I believe:

Toxic resistance is a requirement for survival.  Kewl.  But ... how did they know to add a beard to the bunny suit?



Nintendo Power!

All issues of Nintendo Power are available at archive.org.

I used to own all issues but the first ten.

I gave them away to a kid whose mom drove across the Cascades to get them for him.

I love how some forward looking person had a multi-year plan for the spines.

10,000 Enya

We go to sleep to music almost every night.  It's Enya on repeat.

We started in 1991 when we had a kid and put the kid and ourselves to sleep to it.

Let's conservatively say we listen to Enya's debut album Watermark 10 months of the year.  Let's assume about 30 days in a month.  That's 300 "listenings" a year, minimum (probably more, since the music is set to repeat).  That's about 30 years of Enya, 300 times a year, or 9,000 listenings.  Probably over 9000!

That's a lot of Orinoco Flow.

Sail away!


The most wonderful time of the year

I was listening to some Christmas music and it seems I never really paid attention to the lyrics before.

There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of
Christmases long, long ago
It's the most wonderful time of the year

from It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I thought I heard that there will be scary ghost stories!  WAT?  Since when?

I mentioned this to my family and they said, WAT, no, it can't say that.

I guess one benefit of HD music is you can really understand the words.

When I was a kid, I listened to music on a 3" by 3" by 1" blue Sony portable radio that ran off one 9V battery ... and I loved it!  But I probably appreciated the music more than the words, since I have learned over the years I misunderstood many many lyrics.

And this business about the tales of glories of Christmases long, long ago.  What, was there fighting?

It was better when I didn't know the lyrics.