Or so I’m assuming. They drywalled over the hole, told me it would be drying for 2 days, then came back the next day and painted it. It is still a disaster area, but the ceiling is sealed, so that is pretty much all I need. You can clearly see the difference between the drywall and the plaster ceiling, and not just because water stains have bled through the new paint. They are not doing the living room at all. There are the water stains, but also chipping and bubbling.
There is a tie-in to Roswell Studios and software development in general, but you might not like it. The key point there is I made an economic decision that it was good enough. Yes, I could have spend more time and money to get the ceiling the way it was, but all ceiling needs to do is stop the insulation from wafting into the house. When we give you an estimate, it is for a version of the application we have in our head. It is probably not going to be the same thing you have in your head. It is still a fair deal for the price, though. If you look at the development costs for popular websites, you’ll find they cost 10,000$ to 10,000,000$. If we give you a quote closer to 10,000, or even less, you’ll have to accept that the end product is probably not going to every bell and whistle.
But it will keep the draft out.
So, finally, 4 months later, the management company is sending somebody to repair my ceiling. Only when the repair people call to set up an appointment and say “painters”, I had the foresight to ask if they are going fix the giant hole before they paint. Of course, they do not do that. The new management guy never got any of the previous emails or photos of the gateway to a shadowy realm of horrible smells and drafts.
So, the adventure continues.
I took some more pictures and put them up on Photography, one of our Drupal test sites, to show the management guy. The real point of this post: you can have your twitpics and instagrams and dropboxes, but you really want to have your own content management system. Every Roswell Studios project includes some sort of CMS. If it isn’t built on WordPress, Magento, X-Cart, or (someday) Drupal, we add one. Nobody has asked us for a Drupal site yet, and I’m the only one who really likes it, but it remains an option.
Speaking of disasters and frameworks, we’ve encountered another PHP framework that proudly announces it is based on Rails. Yes, it has no documentation, isn’t the Rails API, and uses php code as config files. As a bonus, it has round-a-bout SQL injection issues and the models seem to exist just as holder for ->query(‘sql’). I have a “framework based on Rails”, too, but the framework is Zend, so it is documented (more or less), debugged, and commonly used. The “based on Rails” bit is a script called sql2zend.pl (yes, perl. It takes me 3 programming languages just to wake up in the morning.). It takes the Rails E-Z Bake concept and turns sql into a functional website. So for the cost of defining the database, which you’d have to do anyway, I get all the admin functions I need to make a basic CMS, and the DTO/DAO models for creating the requested application. Another key point: once sql2zend.pl runs, it goes away. Everything after that is straight-up Zend Framework (sort of, I have a few favorite libraries), so if you, the client, want to edit your Roswell Studios project in the distant future, all you need is any PHP/ZF programmer, not somebody who has the ability to delve into a completely new framework and discover hidden gems like “it won’t boot until you define() the database name in a file that doesn’t exist in the distribution”. (Bonus: it isn’t config/database.php. That has an array() of databases.)
Fox kits: some assembly required.
The fox kits are out of the den over at the Fox of the day. See more and some video on their debut photo page. The mist has matted down their usual fuzz. There are 4 kits, and both parents show up in the videos. They are already much bigger than the first appearance in the trailcam video.
Giant robot SF seems to be the stand-out theme this season. Suisei no Gargantua is all around solid, and Valvrave the Liberator‘s surprise ending makes up for the Curse of Shinji it demonstrated up to that point.
Humor is a mixed bag. Hayate the Combat Butler seems to have given up making anime inside jokes altogether (or any kind of joke), ceding that territory to Nyarko W, who managed a Sasami@Ganbaranai reference, impressive considering Sasami just finished airing. Yuyushiki is weirdly similar to “Kill me, baby”, but without any of the humor (or legendary ED). Aside from the unexpected appearance of Steve Jobs in the crab-tastic opening, Aiura contains exactly one actual joke. Sparrow’s Hotel is 3 minutes of nothing. The Severing Crime Edge made me laugh, but I’m not sure it meant to. Azazel-san remains foul. Zettai Boei Leviatan has a number of subtle digs at RPGs and goofy action, but I’m not sure you can make a series out of that. While Ika-chan is still the invader from the sea for me, Muromi-san had a few moments. I try and stay away from anime involving western religious imagery, and the last demon lord left a bit to be desired. However, The Devil is a part-timer had humor, production values, and most importantly, some sort of plot. I’m looking at you, nameless Maoyu! In the eyes!
Attack on Titan / Shingeki no Kyojin leads action pack. Being something of a giant myself, I did not sympathize with the brat. High energy, though. The opening is nearly seizure inducing. At least they avoided the old Dr. Manhattan, IYKWIM. Comments say the Arata Kangatari manga’s characters are never developed, but the first episode seemed ok. Still had more development than the shouty series, like Mushibugyo or DEVIL SURVIVOR 2 THE ANIMATION. (Even the title is shouting.) Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride turned out to be a sequel to something I didn’t see, and while the art is at least an interesting style, the content didn’t win me over.
Drama and Slice of Life seems formulaic so far. The pretty boy show: Karneval. The useless girl show: Red Data Girl. The group of people who have few friends: My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (aka My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected.) (Rare case of the Americanization being more obscene than the original). Shameless panty shot show: Date a live edges out Photo Kano in shamelessness. The magical rock trolls a bunch of kids (which at 2 shows is now a genre): The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat.
Horror’s winner by default is a great first episode. Unlike many horror series which are inadvertent comedies (because I laughed at it) (Another), or are mostly comedy/moe with contrasting horror elements (Higurashi, even Elfen Lied), Flowers of Evil sets an unsettling tone and just stays there. Key point: absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened, but the show still manages to forebode the hell out of of the scenery. The rotoscoping effect might take some getting used too, but every background image is a work of art. I could see this going bad if it can’t deliver anything (people say the manga doesn’t), but I’m at least willing to find out.
This patch has been good. The “learning epic patterns through daily practice” is nice, although Haunting Spirits are very expensive right now, and I don’t have many chain mail patterns. The gated and phased assault is sometimes annoying, as when you open the new phase and get exactly the same daily quests, but there are loads of little touches, like the guy yelling at the construct that it if drops one more thing!, and then the next phase has a construct on the ground being dismantled. Or the pterodactyl you caught and has been growing up in a corner and is now used in scenarios. That’s one thing I thought the old venomhide mount quest chain had that the new sky serpent mount did not have. You don’t interact with it at all, or see it get bigger. I still feed my hunter’s pets, just to keep them happy, even though they took that out ages ago, so I enjoy that kind of interaction with the NPCs. The new art is really nice in spots, though the thorns in the Court of Bones are really dark and hard to see in strong sunlight. When the trees get hit by lightening is a nice effect. The new scenarios are good, though I’m glad I don’t have a heals-only character.
The new raid is huge, with loads of new fights, though mostly punishing to our raiders who stand in things while drunk. At least Binchou has enough health to live through a fissure explosion now. Still can’t get enough people to stand in the healing rain. I have mastered the nests and turtle shells on LFR. Still need to tank an LFR. It is just always so bad with somebody who can’t taunt or shield at the right times, and I don’t want to be that person, but there is no way to train for that. I tanked a heroic Firelands, but we mostly just blew stuff up. I died once on Balroc, with 10 stacks. He had only hit me with that strike once in 9 attacks, and it didn’t do much, so I didn’t have any any defensive cooldowns up.
I have Messages speak the incoming messages. I am frequently zoomed in on something, as I still have not gotten new glasses or moved closer to the screen, so I might miss the dock bouncing or the actual text showing up in three places. The built-in speak messages is nice, but it reads everything and can not be turned off (so far as I can see), which can be annoying for large blocks posted code.
I found a few old examples for iChat, but there were a couple things that are new.
Save this as a script, then select it in Messages Preferences for “Message Received”. (Side note: selecting it from the “Choose Script…” actually copies the script. If you edit it, make sure to edit the copy, or select it again.)
using terms from application "Messages"
on message received theText from theBuddy for theChat
if name of theBuddy is "hugh" then
set theVoice to "Alex"
set theVoice to "Bruce"
say (name of theBuddy) & " says " using "Victoria"
if length of theText > 150 then
set myText to text 1 thru 150 of theText
say myText using theVoice
say theText using theVoice
end message received
on chat room message received theMessage from theBuddy for theChat
end chat room message received
end using terms from
The “on chat room message” probably isn’t needed, but it complained about its absence at one point. It also does not display the text until it finishes speaking. This limitation does not effect the built-in speech. I don’t know enough Applescript to get it to speak asynchronously.
So, to celebrate the 2 month anniversary of my ceiling collapse, nothing has been done. There is still the tarp covering some the holes, but the water damage (peeling paint and sagging plaster) has spread the width of the bedroom and stains have spread the length of the living room. The whole place smells now, and I assume when it gets warm, mold is going to be a big issue. Half the bedroom ceiling looks like it will need to be replaced, and that’s just the obvious damage. It is clear in the section that collapsed that the screws had rusted, so it is possible to probable that the water was up there for quite a while, and would have had a chance to spread out. The entire ceiling may have rust.
Unrelated disaster news: I took the BingItOn.com challenge. I picked the Google results 4 and half times out of 5. The fifth was a draw, because there wasn’t any really obvious difference and I was too bored to care any more. The differences were sometimes telling. For example, for ‘cheap mac app’, Bing listed various apple.com pages, but Google listed pages with reviews about cheap Mac apps. In general, Bing returns official corporate information, even when unwarranted. For an anime character, they both listed the same wiki page first, but then Google listed images and youtube results. For a Japanese phrase written in romanji, Google returned pages in English, but Bing returned pages entirely in Japanese, unreadable to the sort of person entering data with English characters.
Other disaster news: People (well, 1) are complaining the media is talking too much about Yahoo canceling telecommuting. For all the discussion, the media has not explicitly pointed out that a company that sells communications services could not manage to think of any way to promote chance discussions between random coworkers. Almost as if giving people a place to vent on random topics, which enables other people to read and comment at their leisure, but not require people to travel to an office park, is not something all the brains at Yahoo could manage to replicate. Almost as if you started reading something about my ceiling, and ended up with a free stock tip: dump Yahoo now, dump any company that picks up their management.
Only a few shows this time: most of the series are second seasons or sequels. (of them, Shin Sekai Yori is excellent scifi weirdness.) I don’t generally review them. You either saw the original or didn’t.
Maoyu was nice, but draws the inevitable comparisons to Spice and Wolf (same cast, economics), and loses. Holo’s obviously fine ears and tail are superior to the Demon King’s obvious attributes.
Speaking of wolves, Inaba gag comedy didn’t win me over. Again, compared to 2 other demon detective agencies I can think of off hand, it loses.
I am not the target audience of Amnesia.
I did like Ai-Mai-Mi, the first 3 minute episode I wanted to see more of. Possibly because it didn’t start with a 90 second opening song.
I would like to point out a sequel to spin-off, Saki Episode of Side A, about the competitive world of high school girl’s mahjong. It is immensely silly. Imagine something like Naruto, but no years worth of filler episodes, and instead of ninjas with deadly techniques, it’s girls playing mahjong with the some degree of seriousness and secret techniques. I enjoy the shouting. Plus, one of the girls is not wearing any pants. Unlike any of the many, many other shows featuring pantsless girls, Saki never mentions it. It goes out of the way to avoid mentioning it. Everything is perfectly normal. She is just there, unlike her pants. It is a mystery.
Speaking of no pants, Vividred Operation is one of those shows. Continuing a trend of adding science to magical girls, it gets creepy with the sheer number and length of shots of bloomers. Another show, Senran Kagura, upholds anime’s other obsession, huge breasts. That’s pretty all there is in the show, except possibly the fact that it looks like it was animated in the 1980s.
Possibly the best new shows of the season combine magic and bunny girls and yet manage to not be creepy. Koutoura-san, a girl with ESP, encounters her perfect companion, a boy with no thoughts. This and Mitsudomoe’s reversal of expectations are possibly the funniest openings ever. That still cracks me up. Problem Children are Coming from Another World, aren’t they? appeals to the fans of animal ear characters. A slightly edgier Dag Days, perhaps.
So, this morning, I heard water running. It sounded more splashy than the water from next door, so I went to check the shower. It turned out to be a stream of water dripping out of a crack in the ceiling in the bedroom. There were several other watery patches. I got the bucket, and stuck a knife into the crack to let all the water out into the bucket. I sent an email to the condo people (10:30) and went out to check the roof. There was a bit of damage there, and more over my kitchen. I found damp spots there too, and sent another report to the condo people.
At 11:30, after a titanic crash, I opened the door a crack and saw a cloud of insulation. I shut the door, and reported that to the condo people. At noon, I got a reply to the first email, telling me to call them. I did, but she was out. I reported that to the condo people. At 12:30, I got a reply telling me to call again. After spending some time on hold, I read my first email out loud. This impressed them enough to call a roofer, who will arrive at some point between now and January, and not this weekend. Because the mess is now inside my unit, I’m responsible for cleaning it up. And while they will put the ceiling back, only after the roof is repaired and after it rains, so they can see the roof still doesn’t have dozens of huge holes in it. I think they just didn’t want to deal with it before a 4 day weekend.
I’ve cleaned up most of the filth, put a drop cloth up over the hole, but I don’t know if the room is habitable. It smells, there is still detritus embedded in the floor, and the seal isn’t air tight. Plus, it breathes in and out, and crinkles every time.