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Somewhere Far Beyond



Posted by Rache , Jul 26 2016 · 340 views
x-men, movie, thoughts and 1 more...
So, I liked X-Men Apocalypse. Haven't had more than a few hours for it to sink in yet, but, you know, so far so good.

I like how the main villain's early actions make it understandable how someone could choose to follow him without personally desiring the end of the world. I mean... nuclear disarmament? Good start, buddy!


What if

What if there were a story where some mighty immortal, trapped under rocks for literally thousands of years, woke up, got to see the world

And had an overall positive reaction at first? Like,

They saw cars, and were impressed with the speed at which a machine, unaided by any beasts of burden, could move

And they saw trains, and got excited about trains, because trains are exciting

And then planes. Wow, planes. Planes! If I were that old, and had been asleep that long, planes would blow my mind.

And then someone tells them that smallpox isn't a thing anymore, and oh my good golly gumdrops, smallpox isn't a thing anymore! Again, coming from that far back in history, I'd be blown away.

So they're impressed by that, and by the scale on which people live now (because Cairo ca. 1984 is much, much bigger than Cairo back when there were still working out the issues in pyramid-building), and at first this mighty, immortal ruler, this ancient world-ruler, is just walking around, taking in the sights, and they're thinking, y'know, this is good. I like what you've done with the place. A+ work, kids.

And where they go from there kind of depends on the tone you want to set. Do they remain impressed? Do they decide that humanity, while it has progressed, still needs them at the helm for some reason? Do they see something, some darker side to this advancement, that convinces them that they need to do something big to change things?

Can't really get into that last one without discussing what it is that would convince them that the world needs re-making, and I'm not in the mood to make it something ridiculous like Adam Sandler movies (though, to be fair, "burn the world" is a perfectly understandable reaction to Adam Sandler's financial success), so... yeah. Fun thing to think about.


It's More Likely Than You Think

Posted by Rache , Jul 21 2016 · 363 views
status update, been a long time

It's been a while. Things have gotten... kind of weird, since the last time I made a blog entry.

I haven't composed a new piece of music in more than a year, thanks to my computer's speakers and headphone jack breaking - followed, back in May, by the computer itself. About to go ahead and install a couple of programs for that on this borrowed computer, once I can verify that the owner is cool with that.

In less aggravating (but probably more important) news, some of you might have noticed I've flipped the gender marker on my profile. Not joking about that one, in case you were wondering. To be honest, I should have figured it out a bit before I did, but hey, I was busy.

Lastly, to leave things on a light note, finally bought and played through The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Ghirahim's a pushover, Demise is a filthy cheater, the game itself honestly talks too much, and the whole thing leaves me yearning for Skyrim's world design - not heavily-modded Skyrim, either. Pure vanilla, with all of its failings and, as I judged it at the time, emptiness.



Posted by Rache , in Minecraft Diaries Jan 31 2014 · 530 views
minecraft, lava, death, skeletons and 1 more...
So today I took my shiny new diamond pickaxe down into a cavern to mine some obsidian (and maybe more diamonds, because hey, I'm an optimist like that).
Instead, a group of skeletons decided it was high time for me to take a good long time-out in a column of lava, beginning today's adventures in messy death.
Next, I went back into the cave, recovered what I could (which did not include the diamond pick, because of course it didn't) and set out to mine some more - this ended with me using water to pillar up to a lava source and get shot into it by a skeleton. Dead again.
So I set off on another rescue mission, climbed near where I died, lagged out, and logged back in. Dead again.
So I dropped back into the cavern with no tools at all, ran past a bomb-shop quartet, and finished climbing to where I died and lost the rest of everything.
I recovered nothing but 19 redstone, a stick, and a bucket.
So, at this point, I'm sitting in a cave with 21 melon slices, and I'm pretty angry. I'd just used most of my iron reserve trying to save my own precious behind, and I had exactly nothing to show for it.
So I start dismantling the planks of the mineshaft I'm in, and I make a wooden sword and a wooden pickaxe, and I declare to the server at large my intention to maul every living thing underground.
An hour and a half later I bob to the surface of a river, hauling 3 stacks of rails, 2 stacks of iron, a stack of coal, 16-ish gold, a bit of redstone, some lapis, and various other odds and ends.


Comparisons - Thick As A Brick 2 vs. The Whirlwind

Posted by Rache , in Music Jan 17 2014 · 613 views
prog rock, ian anderson and 2 more...
As I sit here, listening through The Whirlwind for the first time in a couple of years, it strikes me that the vocals on this album compare rather unfavourably to those on Thick As A Brick 2, Ian Anderson's follow-up to Jethro Tull's legendary single-song album, released forty years late.
It's not so much anything about the quality of the voices involved - years of smoking certainly were not kind to the pipes of Ian Anderson - but the technique of the singing. With Transatlantic's 70+ minute outing, while the voices don't sound bad, the phrasing and inflections leave much to be desired, lacking, for the most part, the confidence and impact heard from the very first track of TaaB 2. When the 1:37 mark of an old dinosaur's follow-up project is, vocally, stronger than the first fifteen minutes of a prog rock supergroup's intended magnum opus, someone hasn't done their job right.
I have, thus far, enjoyed The Whirlwind, but if what I've heard so far is any indication, I rather doubt that my reward for reaching the end will be anything like as powerful as the pairing of Confessional and Kismet in Suburbia. Anderson's vocal work on TaaB 2 may not come close to the original album, but it's still miles ahead of Transatlantic so far.
EDIT: I was going to cut this album so much more slack before they started padding the length with mindless repetition. I can only hear "Is it really happening" so many times before I conclude that you've run out of ideas.
EDIT 2: I was right. In summation, The Whirlwind is an instrumentally fun/kind of impressive album/song with merely okay lyrics and mediocre delivery of those lyrics.


Album of the Year So Far

Posted by Rache , in Music Jan 11 2014 · 453 views
necro, rock, new release and 1 more...
So, yesterday, everyone's favourite guitar-playing undead penguin released a new album - his third, if you don't count the EP released under his metal side project, the name of which I can't even type right because Windows refuses to believe that you can put an Ümläüt over a t. You can follow the link above to the album's Bandcamp page, where you can pick up this shiny new album for a very reasonable seven bucks - not bad for 45:18 of instrumental rock. The cover art might be a bit sketchy, and there are no actual grenade launchers included with the album, but that doesn't change the quality of the music within.
I could take the time to review the album in detail, but that would be time you're not spending checking it out yourselves - so go have a listen, buy the album, and pay special attention to the tracks Underwater, The Snake Charmer, and Hitchhiker.


Well Someone Can't Limbo

Posted by Rache , in Minecraft Diaries Jan 10 2014 · 393 views
wither skeletons, cheating and 2 more...
Turns out - and I am ashamed for not figuring this out earlier - narrow hallways are the perfect place to fight Wither Skeletons. You just string three blocks along at their head height, stand back, and hit them until they die. The only way it could be simpler is if someone had already placed the blocks for me.


Oh, yes. He's a real beast! It's a wonder you're still alive.

Posted by Rache , Jan 09 2014 · 513 views
oh wow, shark, arctic and 1 more...
So, I found the most adorably stupid Daily Mail article today - yes, I know, that's a tautology, but bear with me.
The article, you see, was about the Greenland Shark, a large, cold-water shark most closely related to dogfish, that looks like this;
Posted Image
Now, most of what the article said in describing this "fearsome creature" isn't factually incorrect - they have indeed been found with the remains of polar bears, reindeer, and seals in their stomachs.
The article just failed to mention one thing - the top speed of the Greenland shark is about 1.6 miles per hour - somewhat slower than a live polar bear, but considerably faster than a dead one. In keeping with the tendency for these sharks to be mostly or completely blind (due to a parasitic copepod that feeds on their corneal fluid), and their goofy, mostly-harmless appearance, the Greenland shark is believed to primarily be a scavenger.
As the delightful Wikipedia article on this shark put it;

 Additionally, the shark's slow speed (max speed of 1.6 mph) limits its potential predation of seals to those that are asleep.

Fearsome creature, indeed.


Well Then

Posted by Rache , in Minecraft Diaries Jan 05 2014 · 438 views
Black Mesa, Not a Mesa, Dont Dead and 2 more...
Decided to try my luck at finding a mesa in another world, just for giggles.
Given the known incident with the 'indianajones' seed (spawned the player in a jungle, I thought maybe, just maybe, blackmesa would spawn me in, you know, a mesa.
Nope, zombie dungeon.
Posted Image


Somebody Down There Likes Me

Posted by Rache , in Minecraft Diaries Jan 03 2014 · 515 views
Ia! Ia!, Cthulhu fhtagn and 3 more...
In an effort to get some more productive work done than wandering and dying in search of a mesa biome, I elected to hunker down by my river and fish.
This was, on the whole, an excellent idea, considering the fishing rod I dredged up - Unbreaking III, Lure II, Luck of the Sea II.
Clearly, great Cthulhu would like a favor in return for his generosity. Perhaps a temple is in order.


You Know...

Posted by Rache , Jan 02 2014 · 426 views
minecraft, temple, explosions and 1 more...
When you drop into a desert temple to loot the chests, and a creeper follows you down, it really starts to feel like the universe has it in for you.

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