punktiger: (down)
2017-09-01 06:57 am
Entry tags:

Birthday plans scuttled

Yup. Par for the course. I just found out a little while ago that the Pinball Wizard arcade in Pelham, NH closed down sometime in April. So, no more pinball getaways for me. This week's been kinda lousy, and the arcade closing was the dingleberry on top of the shit sundae.

I'm at a loss. A friend suggested another course of action for tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll take him up on the offer. I need some time to figure if I'm able to change gears.
punktiger: (rawr)
2017-08-21 05:22 pm

Flea@MIT Haul

So yesterday was one of the monthly Flea@MIT events in Cambridge, MA. A friend and I usually head up there each month for a myriad of reasons. This time, I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but I managed to score some deals this time around.

First was some unopened Maxell 7" reel-to-reel tapes. Not exactly a deal at $10 apiece, but on par with the prices on that popular online auction site.

I also picked up a few CDs. Peter Gabriel's "Us", David Byrne's "Look Into The Eyeball", and a surprisingly delightful compilation CD called "Nordic Roots (1)" on the Northside label. All three for $5. Not bad.

But the big money (no Whammies... STOP!) deal of the day is what I call "the Instant MiniDisc Collection." Three fully-functioning, portable Mini Disc players, two headphones with remotes, NOS (New Old Stock) rechargeable battery, AA battery adapter, and 52 mini-discs with case for $20. I've been auditioning some of the discs, and the music on them are a real mixed bag. So far, I've only found one disc that I'm going to be erasing, as the music is NOT to my taste (it has Christian rock on it... bleh.)

As a side note, I just now looked up MiniDiscs on that popular online auction site, and my eyes have been opened. I didn't realize just how MASSIVE this bargain was. Some of these things are going for STUPID money.
punktiger: (pinball)
2017-07-19 09:48 pm
Entry tags:

Pinball, Party of 1

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to think about heading up to the Pinball Wizard Arcade for my yearly sabbatical of pinball and aging. My birthday (2 September) falls on a Saturday this year. These days, that usually means nothing to me, as one day blends into the next. But apparently, this increases the chances of something else showing up to the arcade instead of a crushing lack of enthusiasm, crippling depression, and another day of solo playing (it's more boring than it sounds, honestly).

What, as they say, ever. It's my "party" and I'll tilt if I want to. These plans are set in cream cheese, so who knows at this point if I'll even make the half-arsed attempt to do it again this year.

This journal is just serving as a heads-up for those who might be interested (not that there's many).

More later... perhaps.
punktiger: (Covin)
2017-07-09 04:33 pm
Entry tags:

Banning Awoo

This subject gets brought up every so often, and has been debated upon constantly in recent months. As an older feline, I feel I should give my opinion on this touchy subject.

Banning awoo has got to be one of the most patently ridiculous ideas I've ever heard. Awoo is chiefly a lupine form of communication, but to ban it, or silence it, is to silence the ancient voice and culture of an entire race. This is not right, this is morally repugnant!

Awoo has been used by lupines and other associated races for millennia. Even before the time of the Great Sentience, awoo has been heard echoing throughout the forests, hills, and mountains of the land. It was a call to action, to ready the hunt, to warn outsiders, to keep the pack together, an exuberance in celebration, among other more nuanced reasons.

In today's society, other races hear awoo as merely a cacophonous racket; a headache people are better off without. This mindset sets a dangerous precedent for the start of a slippery slope. If awoo is banned, then what's next? Banning roar? Banning meow? Banning trumpet? Banning chirp or caw? Banning whalesong? If one form of ancient communication can be silenced, then what is there to stop other forms of communication that are deemed to be outmoded, outdated, or simply annoying in today's world to be silenced?

Awoo should be considered as an intangible cultural heritage to the lupine (and associated) races, like flight is to our avian friends, or the gift of water-breathing is to our piscine friends. To silence a voice is to silence a culture. Who among us would want that to happen to them?
punktiger: (egg)
2017-07-07 02:40 pm

Punk's Totally-Out-Of-Cotrol Cheezy Chicken Mac Casserole

So there I was, doing a little food shopping a few weeks ago, when I was suddenly hit by a flash of inspiration. A casserole! But not just a casserole, an abomination of fat, carbs, empty calories, and flavour. Like a man possessed, I wandered the aisles of my local Stop&Shop hand-picking the groceries I didn't already have to create this horror.

Today was the perfect day to set about bringing this mad concoction to life. Here's what happened...

2-3 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
1 package/block cream cheese
1 jar (24oz./680g) three cheese pasta sauce
1 jar 505 Hatch Green Chile sauce (your choice of heat, I used "medium")
1 lb. box elbow macaroni
2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
(optional) Anthony Phillips' "Field Day" album or background music of your choice

Season and cook chicken breasts ahead of time (I did it the day before, it's summer and I hate having the oven on all day), and dice them (or somewhere thereabouts).

Over low heat, melt cream cheese in a saucepan big enough to hold the jar of pasta sauce. Stir until smooth (more or less). Add in pasta sauce and stir to combine well. Resist just eating spoonfuls of sauce, because that stuff is GOOD!

Boil elbow (Spanish for "The Bow") macaroni to al dente firmness. Drain, add sauce to macaroni, and combine well. Resist eating spoonfuls of the now heavenly macaroni, because DAMN that stuff is good!

Prepare a 13x9 casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Pour macaroni mixture into casserole. Evenly distribute chicken over the mixture. Evenly pour 505 Green Chile sauce over chicken. Finally, top casserole with the cheddar cheese.

Bake in "350°F" oven (180°C) for 20-25 minutes to warm up chicken and melt cheese. I put my temperature in quotes because my oven is screwed up. I'll set it to 350°, but my oven thermometer reads 425°. I need a new gas stove.

Remove from oven, let it rest for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy!

This turned out surprisingly well, considering I essentially mixed Italian and Southwest spices. If I could have done anything differently, I would have added a bit of diced tomato to the pasta sauce, as I think it needed just a touch more acidity to the mix. Still, it's a very tasty dish that I'll have leftover for the next week or so.

Yeah, the plate size in the second pic. I was going to put it in a bowl originally, but because it held together so nicely, I reached for the nearest plate in my dish rack, and uhh... yeah. Small plate. Oh well, so much for classiness (not that the bowl would have been more classy).

punktiger: (card)
2017-06-25 01:39 pm
Entry tags:

AC is coming up...

Yup... Air Conditioning! There's nothing like the refreshing feeling of coolness on a hot summer's day. The miracle of freon is one... huh? Not air conditioning? Well then what...? Oh!

Anthrocon! There's nothing like the refreshing feeling of coolness on a hot summer's day. The miracle of R134a is... What now??

Yeah, yeah, old joke. I'll be making a rare (these days) appearance at AC this year, as it'll be the first time in 7 years that I've attended.

So, what can you expect from me there? Absolutely nothing! No lame-o "air guitar" fursuit performances, no half-arsed attempts at singing "Rock And Roll All Night" accompanied by an Autoharp, not even outbidding The Gneech on Vince Suzukawa's artwork in the Charity Auction! No, I'll just be some old, limping fat man wandering around the con making people whisper "who's that old fat weirdo with the flat cap and Hawaiian shirt? Best not make eye contact with him!"

Although, if you DO recognize me, please make a proper introduction. I'm totally useless at remembering names and faces. Coming up to me out of the blue and saying "Hi Punk! Remember me?" will be rewarded with a horrified look while my mind goes "Oh shit! Who is this person?? I don't know this guy from Adam, yet he knows me... Quick, look for a name badge or something... DAMN his badge is flipped over... Uhh... Uhhh...." then try to start up a conversation using terms like "Hey, guy, it's been a long time," or "Dude! It's been ages" and not once using your name BECAUSE I'M GARBAGE WITH NAMES AND FACES!! Making me play the Guessing Game with you is flat-out cruel to me, so please don't do that. I haven't seen many of you since FurFright 2013 (if you attended that con) or longer, so please don't be insulted if I don't remember you; it's just the way my brain works (or in this case, doesn't work).

So there you have it. I'll be around AC for the duration doing my own thing. See you there!
punktiger: (grrr)
2017-05-11 06:21 pm

Pet Peeve #6

I'm not a dummy... At least, I've been told for years I'm a rather intelligent person. However, there's one area that sometimes gets me so flaming riled up that it makes me doubt my intelligence: building Linux apps.

My biggest peeve happens when when I'm building a complex app. I'll follow the instructions carefully, make sure there's no errors along the way, insure I'm typing in various configurations properly... and the end result is I have an app that was built without any show-stopping errors and is apparently ready to go. Great! So how do I run it? Hmmm... I get "command not found" errors and the like, until I search around to find that I have to be in a specific directory, then set the one file in the hundreds there to "executable", then make sure this executable is in the path to RUN executables... THEN it works... hopefully without adding "sudo" to the start of the command.

So, when I see instructions like After seafile.sh start and seahub.sh start, you can login from a browser without telling me specifically HOW to login from a browser, that makes my blood boil. What address do I type in the browser? Is there a specific port I have to go to? So, OK, fine. Google (actually, DuckDuckGo) is my friend, so let's see if I can find general instructions on logging in.

Nope. Nothing.

Apparently, it so blindingly obvious to everyone and their twin grandmother what needs to be typed in to login, there's no mention anywhere on what to put... even in template form.

It just ticks me right off that I spend an hour or so making sure I get all the libraries and archives, building the program's myriad pieces, and dealing with errors to finally have a working application, then finding I don't even know where the key is to the unmarked door, finding no help online, or even with friends (because they've never used that program before, and don't even know where to start) is a real headache.

Can anyone suggest a good but inexpensive NAS device?

Oh yeah, this is about building a version of Seafile for Raspberry Pi. I don't know how to access it/login, or even if it's working.
punktiger: (Amiga)
2017-05-02 02:44 pm

Android? iOS? A choice...

And now, Chapter 834 of "Shit No One Cares About"

My current cellphone is a Nokia Lumia 830 Windows Phone (WP10). Say what you want about it, I still find it a very quick and secure system (when MS isn't moving things around when certain updates hit). It makes and receives calls and texts, has some decent games and other apps (an ever-shrinking number, admittedly), and most times, the OS doesn't get in the way of what I'm trying to do. I like it quite a bit.

However, the problem was mentioned above. Very few developers are creating apps for WP, and those who have made apps for it in the past are pulling support for them. Amazon, eBay, Amtrak, among others have already removed their "official" apps from the Windows Store. The lack of apps is disheartening for those who still utilize those phones. Even MS believes their phones are on their last legs, and only a select few models will be getting future updates (more specifically, those phones branded "MicroSoft" and not "Nokia").

So, if a person like me wants to stop being on the outliers and join a pack, there are two main choices: Android, and iOS. So what matters to me? What am I looking for in a phone?

Historically, before I got the Nokia, I was using a Motorola V600 from about 2005 to 2016. That is a LONG TIME in phone years. It served me well through my job, cons, and life in general. In today's world, I fully realize expecting a smartphone to last 11 years is a bit unrealistic (although it shouldn't be). That said, longevity is fairly important to me.

With smartphones, like many other computers, comes OS updates/upgrades. having the latest patches and updates in today's connected world is crucial. To me, Android fails pretty harshly here. There are still Android phones in use today that are two or more versions of the OS behind, and very rarely do they get patched (if ever). Even then, support usually ends within two years from the phone's release date. Granted, the Android market is larger and has more diverse hardware to try to manage with their updates; even phones with a direct line to Google can have a difficult time getting relevant updates and, more rarely, upgrades.

Apple has a pretty tight say on what devices run iOS... namely, only Apple products. This "walled garden" approach means the OS developers know what hardware is out there and can program accordingly. My research tells me that support for iOS devices can be upward of three (or more) years. And yes, I know it's not all sunshine and roses there, like that whole "Home button error" thing after an update came out that one time. Still, there's that longevity thing again.

As for apps, there's really very little difference between the two camps. Apple's App Store vs. Google Play, iTunes vs. Google Music, etc. Whatever app you want, you can usually find it regardless of which one you own. You see signs and commercials for "Get [Our App] in Google Play and the App Store!" Car audio is supporting both Apple Play and Android Auto. Whatever one can do, the other follows quickly afterward. Something I just can't say with my Windows Phone.

So after all that, I think I can say the next phone I'll probably get will be an iPhone. Not that I'm an Apple fanboy (I'm not), not that I dislike Android (I don't), I'm more interested in keeping my phone a little more secure than if I have to wait for a patch to a vulnerability that will never come because my phone is no longer supported (or at least to hold off that occurrence for a bit longer).
punktiger: (Doofenschmirtz)
2017-04-22 04:28 pm

Science is Real!

Of course it is! How else would Thomas Dolby and Magnus Pyke have been blinded?

punktiger: (rawr)
2017-04-20 11:04 am
Entry tags:

Obscure 90s

A really good album that hardly anyone remembers is the 1996 debut album from the Liverpool group Space entitled "Spiders." So, here's the lead track from that album.
punktiger: (destroy)
2017-04-14 02:31 pm

Ties severed

My replies (and now icons) have been transferred from LJ. I have already put the deletion of my LJ account in motion. I had a permanent account there since 2003, but I'm saying goodbye to that now. It's for the best, I know. Oh well.

Let's see where this road takes us.
punktiger: (Default)
2017-04-12 01:31 pm
Entry tags:

Happy Song, Creepy Video

I can't say that enough.

Yeah, the guy who posted the video couldn't spell the first name.
punktiger: (Default)
2017-04-11 08:07 pm
Entry tags:

GTA 5: favourite car(s)

After playing GTA 5 for a while now, I realize I don't have too many jobs I go on, so I waste time by either driving, stealing cars, or stealing cars and driving. I don't have the most impressive fleet of cars at this point, but I have been slightly selective about them.

By far, the most fun I have with cars in the game is with my (nearly) dead stock BF Injection. I stole that car early on in the game, and it's just the perfect car to thrash around if you just don't care. It's made for off-roading. The acceleration is OK, the brakes just about work, it has a truly prodigious amount of understeer (meaning you take corners WIDE at speed), and the styling takes obvious cues from the VW Beetle, so that just warms the cockles of my heart.

I've named him Beefy, for obvious reasons. He was originally painted all over with that orange peel paint, but as I was choosing what colour to respray him, the red secondary colour, strangely enough, looked really good to me. Normally, I have a strong dislike for red, but the combination just worked in matte paint. Here we are in my garage.

Me and Beefy

Also note the companion, clapped-out BF Surfer van to the left. Similarly, it takes cues from the VW Type 2 microbus.

So, GTA 5 players, what's your favourite car in your fleet?
punktiger: (Default)
2017-04-10 08:58 pm
Entry tags:

Please pardon the mess...

...as Tiger Tracks makes tracks for greener pastures... namely, here. I've just painted the walls and set the vibe for a cooling and relaxing place from the everyday struggles and drama.

Things are still migrating, and as soon as they finish, I'll sever the cord to LJ and close up that shop. It's a shame, really, as I managed to get a permanent account there ages ago; well before it fell into the hands of a more, shall we say, draconian leadership.

Anyway, stand by for more content. Right now, please feel free to funkify yourself with this P-Funk classic.

punktiger: (Default)
2002-06-28 10:38 am

Journal set to LJ Friends ONLY!

My journal has been locked so that only my LJ friends can read it. I've had enough trying to deal with idiotic Russian spam on old entries, so this change was necessary.

I apologise to my non-LJ friends who liked keeping tabs on me here.