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2019 September

  • I finally got around to watching X-Men Dark Phoenix which I skipped when it came out mainly because (a) poor reviews, and while normally I'd have watched it anyway since I have not missed any of the X-Men movies in the cinema, not even the horrendous Wolverine Origins, there was also to consider that (b) I was in the US at the time and was only willing to spend my precious dollars on one expensive American cinema and Spider-man Far From Home won out. The movie wasn't that bad really, at least I felt better about it than the aforementioned

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  • This past weekend was supposedly some global climate strike, led by young activists. I don't actually know if there was a local counterpart to these activities, as obviously I did not participate. Good for the young though. Between the climate activists and HK protesters, the modern youth still give me some hope for humanity. Anyway, I'm gonna step into the melee here and start rambling about things I may or may not be fully informed about, feel free to correct me or tell me I'm being an idiot or whatever. Hope to be able to resolve climate change? Not so

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  • So I recently reinstalled Windows 10. This reminded me that there used to be a time that I reinstalled Windows so often that I would maintain a standard "installation list" of software that I would install afterwards. (I'm sure I have at least one of those old lists somewhere in my backups, too lazy to look for them now.). I thought I'd post an updated 2019 version, based on the recent episode. General: Firefox (web browser) Sumatra PDF (PDF reader via Windows store) Dropbox (cloud storage) hp deskjet 3630 series (Printer/Scanner software) QBitTorrent (torrent client) Gaming: Magic Arena Steam

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  • Despite my desktop PC being generally more stable after the events of the Great Memory Scare of 2019, I was still encountering occasionally crashes when playing games. And by crash I mean the displays dying although the PC continues to run for a short while thereafter and after which they proceed to apparently stop operating completely. It only happens when playing games, and most often when playing Magic Arena and sometimes (rarely) when playing Starcraft 2 or Borderlands 2. Given that I didn't want to try swapping out the video card just yet, and I had already tried doing all

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  • The following article made the rounds recently: I Quit Social Media for a Year and Nothing Magical Happened. It's interesting enough not only on its own, but also for the discussion generated around any piece about qutting social media. I will admit I've been flirting with the idea myself, but that's a topic for another day. Of particular interest to me at the moment is this comment about the article on Hacker News: My biggest issue with social media is less that it's distracting (IMO not necessarily an unhealthy thing) but that it has, for me, more than anything else

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  • I am aware of the existence of Pauper as a format in MTG, but I never paid too much attention to it before. A couple of weeks ago, a friend pointed out that I might enjoy playing the recent Jeskai Nuneca decks that had become popular recently. I checked out a sample decklist, and you bet I jumped at the chance to play Mulldrifters again lol. We set about to gather the cards. Since we almost never sell cards, even draft chaff, we had most of the cards available already. The only exception was red elemental blasts/pyroblasts for the sideboard

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  • I recently imported my old reviews from Goodreads into this blog as posts. These days I generally prefer just writing my book reviews here anyway, so I will likely stop using Goodreads as a service completely. To facilitate tracking of my read/unread books (and perhaps to inspire me to read more, as I really should), I've published an old file which I've been using as a sort of "to-read" list since 2010. I don't restrict myself to reading items from this list, but it serves as a helpful reference should I feel like picking up a new book. I don't

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  • Magic Arena's community was in an uproar this past weekend over the latest state of the beta, mostly over the announced plans for Arena's eternal Historic format that will become relevant with the coming rotation. It's likely that Wizards will backpedal in some way in response to the community, but here are my thoughts for now: Historic cards to cost double wildcards to craft This is the universally-reviled bit and has been the target of much outrage, accursing Wizards of being greedy etc. On this point I am in agreement with the community that yes, this sucks. On the other

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