Nathan Alter lives in Albuquerque with his wife and kids. He currently develops in C#/.NET, but is learning all the time and has enjoyed computers since programming in Basic on an Atari 400 as a teenager. He started blogging in 1999.
I’m finally learning how to do a Rubik’s cube after all these years. I just googled how to solve it and am learning the simplest one. Even then, it’s a lot of memorization of patterns and rotations. To commit moves to memory, I memorize odd phrases like “fful riff l’ ruff” (Front, Front, Upper, Left, Right Inverse, Front, Front, Left Inverse, Right, Upper, Front, Front) Once I learned it, it’s more fun than the usual “I can only solve 1 or 2 sides” thing…more of a game than some impossible puzzle. Interestingly, you can go to a site to give you the best solution. You enter the configuration of your cube and it tells you the moves to make. Instead of the 100 or so moves I’d make, it’ll do it in something like 20 moves.
The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974, so it’s almost as old as I am. The cubes you can buy seem to be a lot better quality than they used to be. Sean bought a set of cubes with different numbers of faces. They turn really smoothly even though they seem to be unlicensed.
A while back, a friend of ours was telling me about their business in bee extraction in the Albuquerque area. Sometimes, a hive will split off and form a travelling ball of bees that they are sometimes called about. They’re sometimes able to re-hive them.
When a store sells something a combo pack of things, why do they always put in something nobody would ever want? Are they trying to get rid of it? If you Costco cookie combo pack, you get white chocolate macadamia (awesome), chocolate chip (awesome), and…oatmeal raisin (what?) Guess which ones are always last to be consumed? If you get the Starbucks Frappuccino combo pack at Costco, they have mocha, coffee, vanilla, and caramel. Caramel always seems to be the last one consumed, I think…or is it vanilla? Somewhere out there is a person who loves oatmeal raisin cookies and caramel frappuccinos. This person is ruining it for everybody else.
We went inner-tubing this winter in the Santa Fe mountains at the Big Tesuque stop. We realized that inner-tubing is awesome. Lots of cushion. We have a 2-person joined tube with handles that works pretty well. I don’t see it in stores anymore, though. Sledding on a plain plastic sled looks like it hurts a lot more. (We watched people slamming into the ground without any padding and getting the wind knocked out of them.)
I got to play Job Simulator in VR the other night at the mall. It was a blast! They had an HTC Vive set up. In the game, I was working in a small kitchen at a restaurant fulfilling orders. You can move around the small room and the motion is all realistic. I put my head into the freezer and started eating the food in there. I picked up some food and moved it to my mouth and started eating it. I moved things around with my hands to cook whatever was ordered. On the last order, I’d done something wrong and was about to run out of time so I just started playing around and throwing things on the stove, causing a fire. The display was a little more pixelated than I was expecting. And afterward, I was using my phone and had this weird feeling like I was still playing the game.
Why do games that seem to be kid-friendly suddenly ramp up the difficulty to an insane level? Super Mario Galaxy, Rayman Origins, and Ori all have this friendly cartoony look to start…by the end of the game, you’re lucky if you’re getting through the game just by luck, trying the same level over and over again.
Well, anyway, as we just finished Rayman Origins, here’s the best song in the game. Catchy
A guy set up a service called spamnesty where you can forward a scam email and a bot will attempt to waste as much of the scammer’s time as possible, expressing interest in their scheme and asking for more info. Here’s one that I forwarded to it.