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Thursday, August 30, 2012

WUMF: August 2012 Edition

It’s the end of the month. You know what that means?

Hurricane Isaac
NOLA just can’t catch a break. Almost seven years to the day from Hurricane Katrina, Isaac comes knocking on New Orleans. Meanwhile in Tampa, the RNC is holding their event and unless Governor Christie comes out onto the beach in a speedo, telling everyone to GTFO, I think they’ll be fine. Even if Isaac becomes a Category Cantore, it will be OK for them. Now, not that I want anyone to be harmed by such a destructive force, but it begs the question that if the Republican Convention were to be hit by the full force of the hurricane, would Pat Robertson say they deserved it? Somehow, I think not.

And Isaac? Come on, Isaac is not a hurricane name. Isaac is a cruise ship bartender. He’s a scientist. He’s not a hurricane. Just like Andrew, which was a really destructive storm was not a good name. “Hey everyone, Hurricane Andrew is coming.” No one flinches. “Hurricane Katrina is coming!” You get your shit and move. Hurricane Bill? That sounds like something you get from the insurance company.

Fat Guy At the Water Park
This weekend I will be going to Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky. Now, last year, at this time we went to Splash Lagoon and I think they might have recovered all of the lost water. You can always tell when I am next on the water slide. Just look for the water to stop flowing at the bottom. Then comes the sound of a submarine collapsing under the pressure of the deep water. Then, you see the tsunami appear at the opening of the slide and WOOSH!

Now, my wife insisted that I book us a King bedroom with whirlpool tub. This is the same woman that drug me camping in a tent last weekend and now we have a fireplace in our hotel room. Go figure.  BTW, Is it coincidence that they just aired a Fat Person On A Waterslide segment on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo Child?   People are going to be looking at me, all judgmental and shit.

Kindergarten Blues
My daughter started Kindergarten this week. Now, there was a lot of hesitation and nervousness about going to the bus stop, getting on the bus, spending a whole day at kindergarten, and then riding the bus home, hoping to get off at the right stop. But, a brave front was put up and only a few tears were shed over the whole event. My wife got through it. :)

However, I’m not exactly sure I like all these new rules for school kids. I understand, 1980 is a far cry from 2012. The kid had homework the first day?!?!? Granted, she had to color in stuff. She does a good job of staying inside the lines but she did have one bad screw up.

Now, the handbook was pretty strict about absences and such which got my wife and I a little miffed. The kid is only five. If she were to miss a day, not due to illness, she might not learn that Friday is the last weekday. I think we can make that lesson up at home. However, there was a lot of speak about records and courts and I was thinking, “This kid is going to have a record because we went on vacation a day early?” I can see her future, “You daughter cannot be admitted to Harvard because she missed out on Yellow day back in Kindergarten.” So, apparently, there are five year olds smart enough to skip school and go do Pixie Sticks under the stadium bleachers. How do you punish a five year old for what their parents did? I guess, ask the folks who think the deportation of illegal kids brought over the border, by their parents, is a good idea.

OK, so I have already talked about my Minecraft addiction. But, as of late, the game is somewhat lax in exciting features. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still an awesome game and some of the latest features, like temples and trading with villagers is really cool, but having to start over on a new “world” to get these things to generate is a bit problematic.

However, I’ve been watching the Yogscast videos for a long time and apart from being hilarious, they’ve got me wanting to try Tekkit. The idea behind this is that I thought, “Man, wouldn’t it be awesome if I could build some kind of power plant, only primitive.” Nothing like a nuclear plant, but perhaps a water wheel to generate power for furnaces and mine carts. Redstone mechanics still escape me.

So, as I got into the later videos, I saw that they were starting to build stuff in Tekkit, which is a collection of mods, I guess. One of them is called Industrial Craft. These mods, bundled with a launcher and a kick ass texture pack like Sphax BD Purecraft have made the game extremely fun, if not infuriatingly complex.

It took forever for me to remember how to build some of the machines like a piston or enchanting table and now, with a whole bunch of new ores and minerals, it’s like learning chemistry all over again with a third grade level education.

You can literally automate an entire process of macerating an ore block into dust, smelting it into a bar, and placing it into a chest with a few cables, pipes, and basic engines. Not only that, but you can automate all of this further by building a quarry that will dig a large hole in the ground, sucking up all the blocks, passing them through pipes that can filter out items like dirt and rock from Iron and Diamonds and then pass them through the process or into chests.

It sort of breaks the game, though. There is a lot of setup to doing all of these wonderful things, but once you accomplish setting up a quarry that runs on fuel derived from an oil well or volcano and it automatically processes everything into chests, you don’t have to leave your house. You don’t have to fight monsters. You don’t have to mine. It’s like playing an RPG and once reaching level 20 or so, you go back to that first area that kicked your ass with your leather helmet and dagger and you say to the little bug monsters, “Who’s the bitch, now?”

Still, I will probably waste a lot of hours doing all this. If you are even the least bit interested in this, look up the Tekkit Wiki and go watch these videos.

Duncan is a member of the Yogscast and even though I do recommend watching the funnier Simon and Lewis or Sips and Sjin videos devoted to Tekkit, Duncan is more focused on showing you how to setup all of the machines and wiring associated with Tekkit.

OK, I’m out like a light. Have a good Labor Day.

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