Inside Out: Didn't completely forget that I do movie reviews! Very cute, nice characters, very Pixar.

Turns out Nick's quest is kind of irritating and high level. Saw Strong but didn't pick him up, still want Curie, Deacon. Keep getting side-tracked. Set up trade routes, but this time took care to make the shortest possible paths, and extravagantly armed my traders. Still planning to not set up routes to the south. Got nearly an entire level out of crafting once I had access to all the stored goods. Tried to get the Vault-Tec guy as a level 4 trader, but he seemed to refuse to assign to the store. Went on a spending spree I now regret because I can't buy more level 3 stores, and I'm not even using the Overseer's weapon.

I got Nick's quest, then switched to MacCready for Killshot. I found the alien, did the Constitution quests. I found out about the Ballistic Weave and the 2 full X-01s, so I'm going for that before talking to the BOS.


I've been collecting companion upgrades, but I've now got access to 4 more companions, all with better perks than Nick, and I'm not really sure what he likes.

I have been trying to live within the limits of the initial character stats, but it is kind of irritating. Science! and Local Leader are big money makers, and Strong Back is a big convenience. With the Bobble-head upgrades, it's only 1 more point away in each. I may do trade routes, but only up north, where it is safe, or possibly only if I give the provisioners the best possible armor and weapons. I'd give them power armor, but I think they'd just run out of power in the middle of nowhere.

Sette has made Hangman's Alley her home base. Ha ha. I need more crafting stations though, and will need to move the scrapping workbenches around. It's getting crowded up front.

More Fallout. Started a new character named Sette, high agility, perception, moderate int and luck, low charisma, strength, endurance, with lock picking, pickpocketing as mandatory perks. Turns out Int might have been the easiest spec, after all. Leveling is so much faster. Too tough? Do one other quest and come back and out level things. I wanted to take it slower this time, anyway. Agi is fun once you get enough stealth stuff, clearing out a room with just a knife. Commando and Local Leader made things much easier, though. I have to VATS everything to make sure I'm getting the headshots or stabs. I don't have full auto on anything. While I did kill a legendary skull deathclaw, I had to taunt it within range of a settlement's defenses. Before I could machine gun it to death myself. I will eventually get Leader just for the stores, which I still think should just be part of the settlement options, not a perk. ( the level 2 stores could be a perk. Level 3 is already 2 perks. ) I will also need to get Science! for the water farm, and probably Strong Back, just because I'm already making 2 trips to some sites, but I've been trying to keep it to the original limitations.

I could have sworn there was a component view. Because I can't just use any ingredient anywhere, and have been trying to not fast travel across the map all the time, I need to move all the bones to a chem lab, but I forgot where they ended up.


My insurance company seems to have forgotten my automated withdrawal details. I got an overdue letter, and was going to send them a stern note about how I had ACH set up, but sho-nuf, there's no December withdrawal.

One issue: Fallout 4 is usually pretty good about this, but during the attack on the brotherhood, at certain points knights just appear out of thin air (as opposed to synths, which teleport in). This is irritating in that I was only trying to duck through that door to escape the ones behind me, and I had just dropped artillery on the area, so if they hadn't all just spawned, they would have been dead already.


I have to choose a faction now. So exciting. I'm already considering a ninja build to choose the other way.

Fallout4 wishlist:


Been playing Fallout4. When does Dog become Dogmeat? The name tag was always Dog, and then one cut scene offhandedly called him Dogmeat, and the name tag changed. I may just be spoiled by WoW's carefully curated experience, but the leveling is quite confusing. You get a quest to go to Diamond City, pass a trader with directions to Diamond City, then raiders with laser rifles shoot at you from a mile away. I got there, but died a lot, and missed all the lower level stuff up north. I have a high Int, Gun nut, Commando build named Colbert. A maxed out incendiary .45 machine gun is taking down deathclaws, while the power armor and minigun couldn't. I don't have much cargo capacity without the power armor, but I'm almost bullet proof with heavy armor. A max stealth, pickpocket, with light armor build is probably the best, though. A melee weapon and Blitz will kill a lot smaller enemies, and not use ammo, which my full auto weapons need in massive amounts. I have Local Leader, but I regret that and Chr in general. I see my poor Provisioners getting attacked out on the roads, just so I don't have see the loading screen while I fast travel around. I have been equipping them with rockets, though. I don't need them as much as I need .45 ammo, and I enjoy thinking the super mutants are surprised. Also took me a while to figure out VATS. And the talent tree, which is not a tree. And the mines/power thing. And the placement of turrets. And the barter thing. It says barter, so its not like it is a secret, but you can't just buy things from vendors, or sell them the expensive stuff you pick up. Some weapons alone are worth the 2k cost of the house in Diamond City, which I think is the single most expensive cap transaction, but there's no vendor who has that much in caps. So sell the weapon to one vendor in exchange for everything they have, then sell that to 10 other vendors for their caps.


The 100 #1: was bored enough to check it out. Once you get past the teen drama, it is surprisingly gruesome. Keeping it 100!


Continuum 4: I liked it. I was not expecting it to end. Also thought the boy would grow up to be the traveler.


Blue Submarine No. 6: With all the discussion about global warming, nobody has thought to ask: would it involve aquatic cat girls?

I was trying to see if I could get caller id to block the people who keep calling me and hanging up, or at least get the phone number. The Verizon phone account manager doesn't know who I am, and the phone section of the fios account doesn't think I have a phone line. It tells me I have a voice mail account for the nonexistent line but won't let me check it. Aside from the fact that they wouldn't let me get a data line without the phone line, there is exactly 0 reasons to use any verizon phone service. I was just reminded that they don't let me put the url of this website in outgoing mail, either. I was reminded by a letter saying they are canceling my email account if I don't use it once a month. This is the account they do no incoming spam blocking on. What exactly do they do for me?


Stretch: unfocused, but odd in a good way.


Z Nation: like World War Z, plays a bit loose with my local geography.


I Zombie: TV fluff, but nice enough

Fall 2015 Anime:


Seeking a friend for the end of the world: far less cutting than "These Final Hours".

Wakfu: Good stuff. 3 double episodes, but without the filler it is basically an entire season. The kids are cute.


Dark Matter: very gritty Star Trek, include the "Captain, you have to see this" thing, but like most Star Trek, the first season has a lot of odd bits. Android best crewman.


Kung Fu Killer: bad cgi in spots, but the fight at the end is insane.

Time Lapse: possibly overly long, but nice well plotted time travel story.

The upgrade freed up 2G, but the Other is still using a 1.7G of mystery data. iOS9 isn't noticeably slower for the limited things I do with it, and the low battery mode doesn't seem to stop anything I use.

I'm going to have to upgrade the 4s, anyway, as now it no longer syncs to the notes in OSX.11, which was one of the 3 things I need it for. I know it doesn't have enough space in there to do the upgrade itself, and reports are it will be slower. At least the 3gs will never let me down.


Is it just me, or did browser windows go from having the title in the titlebar and the search and buttons beneath it, to having the search and buttons at the top, and the title under it?

Cowspiracy: As much as I wanted to believe him, he comes across as a tremendous douchebag who is a bit loose with numbers, highly selective with data, and appears to take Greenpeace's not giving him a filmed interview as a sign of the end times, then turns out to be a colossal wuss. Also, maybe none of these organizations want to appear to be rich white people removing food from poor people, while restricting America's energy and plastic use is palatable?

Inifini: does actually contain a story, but way too much shouting

Ascension: Nice story. Even if there is not a second season, one could imagine the conclusion. One might note that Alfred Bester was listed as one of the founding scientists.

Old iPhone problems: deleting every app you can on the phone and all the logged data only frees a couple hundred MB, which is enough to let it sync again, but nothing, not even a really sketchy app, can see what is taking up the "other" space, which at 5GB at this point is pretty much the only thing on a 6GB phone. Doing a factory reset will apparently install the latest version compatible with the phone, which could be ios 9, which is compatible, but not really recommended for a 4s.

Repo: a genetic opera!: weird, but couldn't sit through it.


Muay Thai Warrior: Enough elbows to the head to be entertaining.

#NoEstimates rebuttal (sort of): It is much easier to provide an accurate estimate given a prototype you wrote than an estimate accurate to an hour for improvements on code you are not allowed to see without the contract, which is what I get asked for. If #NoEstimates gets just one of my clients to live with best case/worst case, it would be worth it. Take a client I will refer to as Bob Loblaw's Law Blog: leaving aside the issues with the site setup ("vagrant up" sure is simple, except when it doesn't actually work, and every fix involves another 2 hour install process), the code itself turned out to be a marvel of obfuscation through encapsulation. Nothing actually did anything. So you could see the web page, find the route, find the controller action, find the api call, find the api route, find the api controller action, find the data manipulation, find the transformer, and then you have output. No two of those things would have the same name. Data manipulation would be a Command, Repo function, or a model which gets operated on by the framework behind the scenes. The Repo function is probably an ORM call 8 levels deep. So glance at the code, which is certainly pretty, nerd friendly pop culture references in the variable names (no comments, though, they "belong in git", as I found out later) and has a dinosaur with a flag, and make an estimate: sure, it seems easy! I can see a web page with the data we need. It should be no problem to make a new page with just that data. Shouldn't take a week just to get vagrant working, or git access to the right repos, or get the build commands, or fix the file permissions, or get the name of the secret table that appears nowhere that we were supposed to use. It shouldn't take two hours to hunt down how to hijack the users because we didn't get any logins. Estimates are simple, if you just take the time to break the problem down, right? (Bonus: the big problem the client found with the code was that didn't match his unpublished style guide. We figured out his bosses were the ones pushing for outside help and the project was set to fail at the start. The bosses wanted the outside help probably because creating such a perfect code base is too time consuming for the developer to get around to the actual problems.)

Orphan Black #2: New scene! "Hey, how is your suspension?" Wait, what? When did that happen? "Yes, as a result of that last scene I was in, I've been suspended". I should probably just be paying more attention, because the coming attractions also threw me.


Firestorm: slow and complicated in spots, but a gritty NYC cop thing, in HK.

Why Star Trek should be re-rebooted as a TV show again by people committed to ideas, and less to lens flare.

The Dead Lands: like watching orcs.

Justice, my foot!: the subtitles do nothing for the fast-talking wordplay.

Princess Arete: kind of slow, but I liked its perspective and the "magic".

Kon! Kon!

Sette makes the sushing fox sign
Like the best jokes, only 3 people will get this.

Longmire #4: good stuff, though the Indians didn't come off well, being racist, stupid, or pimping out her daughter. I've also read Indians not using contractions is a now offensive stereotype. Nighthorse has a lovely house.

Got a new battery for my nerd watch. Still ticking down (or up) to the point where the year is too big year to fit in its memory.


Blacklist #2: I liked it.


Disciples Of The 36th Chamber: kung fu ensues.

Kundo: Age of the Rampant: I got into it, eventually.

These Final Hours: bleak pre-apocalypse, featuring Not Tom Hardy. Also had a nice compound I'd like for my shack.


I got a bill for blood clot scan from "North Jersey Surgical Specialists, PA". The one from 2 months ago? That seems late. Turns out it is from 5 months ago. They are as on the ball as their name suggests. I'm pretty sure they didn't even try to bill the insurance, either. I overcame my natural hatred of talking on the phone, but still can't even be bothered calling them about it. Are they really going to explain why they sat on it for 4 months, then did "SERVICES N", sat on it for another month, then emitted a bill?


Knights of Sidonia 2: Cliff hangers everywhere! Much faster moving than I recall the first season.

Longmire 1-3: Got a bit soap opera-ish, especially in the middle, but I like the landscapes, shacks. Hollywood's decent into madness was nice.



I went back to Ramapo mountain, got lost again getting there, lost the trail in a gas pipeline site trying to get to one scenic overlook, plus my picture of the map didn't go up that far, then couldn't get to another overlook because I didn't want to get into the bush. I found some unmarked trails that were clearly used by somebody, but those involved a lot of hills. I did get back without getting lost, so there's progress.

Extreme Selfie!

Do De Do De De Dooo
The middle 2 are dental implants. The third?

Extreme Selfie!

I found an app that reads cat scan data, and turns it into 3D.

I went to Ramapo mountain. I got lost going there, got lost there (sort of), and got lost coming back. I did see the Foxcroft ruins, then started to come back, but got on the Foxcroft driveway and missed Cannonball Run. I had to come back up that steep rock face on the Castle Point trail, which I'd hope CR would have avoided. I was going to visit Fox Brook as well, but it was really hot and I thought I might have twisted an ankle. I saw the lake from the hill, but didn't get to that or any other water feature.


Advantageous: Nice pre-singularity SF. Bonus points for bringing out the sad puppies in the comments. Also, never buy version 1.

I went to the beach. Technically, my first vacation trip ever. Had a nice time, didn't fry in the sun, though I did leave at 10. 7-10 didn't even give me a tan. Made some sand art, enjoyed floating. There was some sort of subduction zone in the surf, where stepping in the pebbles just sinks straight in, and the beach is really wide then drops off really fast. There were way more people than I'd have thought for Wednesday at 7, but it was still very quiet.

Jim Phillips, the person who taught me Pascal, is retiring.



Summer 2015 Anime

Winner: tricky: S-L's amazing twist was only 1% of the episode. Was it better than GATE's episode, which delivered with orcs massacring Tokyo, machine-gunning those orcs, and finally promising cat-girls? Just to keep things simple, I'll say yes.


Public shaming: NYC TLC plate T410144C, listed as registered to Abram Tagmizyan, cut off my mother in hospital parking lot, stopped, spat and swore at her repeatedly, then blocked the way out of a hospital by driving at 14 mph in the middle of the road all the way up the hill to the main road, while continuing to scream obscenities and gesture out the window. (Update: while I only got as far as the web complaint form where it requires the borough of the office of the driver's company, my mother called them, and on 9/21, the TLC commission reported that the driver plead guilty to "the threats, harassment, and abuse charge". So there actually is somebody listening.)


Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead: and you thought the first one was weird.


Another X-Day has passed. Any year now!

Unbroken: could have been tighter


A nice article about A World Without Work. Project Binchou-stan touches on a lot of these concepts.

I hope the next MacOS does something about the number of error messages logged. Even though things seem fine on the surface, things seem to be in turmoil inside. Thousands of error messages, for things, like opening a new Safari window, that you'd think they'd have tested.


Right as I was thinking Netflix's streaming hasn't had any of the movies I tried to find on the service, and that the recommendation service is getting worse, they spring this re-design on me. Hey, lets combine the worst parts of the Apple store, the Netflix mobile UI, tiny unreadable text, and a batch of new bugs! That wouldn't fester into something unpleasant! Speaking of festering unpleasantness, Unsounded has gotten nasty, and I mean that in a good way. Poor snotty Sette.

Paddington: obvious pro-bear propaganda, though very smartly written.


Sense8: disappointing. Might be summed up in its 2 minute opening sequence: lavish, extravagant, more than you'd want or need, and kind of empty. I only liked Sun.

The Divine Move: Confusing. Might have helped if I could play Go.

Expelled from Paradise: loads of sci fi goodness. Only slightly pervy.


In a World...: I liked it, very modern.

The Rocket: a people seemingly devoid of civilization.

Nerd art. If I didn't already have a wall of Mini-Squid, I'd consider these.

The Cold Lands: Not Project Binchoustan approved, but probably more in line with Binchou-tan, the show, as it is about making friends over shack-based self-sufficiency.


Kung-fu Gold: mostly giant fight scenes. not even sure what the plot, if any, is.

Kids from Shaolin: kung fu and dick jokes.

Grabbers: meh


Mad Max: The Toe Cutter bears a certain resemblance to Wilfred, telling Johnny to do things.

Mad Max Fury Road: Tom Hardy is his usual lumbering oaf character. For the one coherent line he has, "My name is Max", he isn't facing the camera, so I assume it was dubbed. Other than that, pretty good. The movie theater was really loud, possibly too loud for the speakers, but the soundscape was very nice. The 3D was good, mostly not used to throw things directly at the viewer. For the actors that can do emotion and character development, there was some of that. I enjoyed the paint huffing/odin religion.


Residue: nice enough for a first mini series, but as such, no resolution.

The Defender: aka Bodyguard from Bejing.

Gor: No budget fantasy, bears no relation to the books of the same name.

Icetastrophy: the cast of Continuum over summer break. Being Canadian, they film Icetastrophy. And is that a Tercel hatchback?

Scenic Route: annoyed me instantly.

Wu Dang: Kung fu Indiana Jones

The Great Magician: slow and a bit confusing.


Wilfred 4: Time to take the old dog out back.


Binchou shows the garrison to Sally
One day, all this will be yours.

Wolfcop: terrible B movie, but never claimed otherwise

Pioneer: skipped a bit of it. Almost all of it, actually

Flu: about what you'd expect from a virus movie, with some weird political bits near the end.


I'd like to complain about the quality of the latest call from the "Microsoft" tech support. I think his mike was pointed directly at somebody else, because I he could hear that guy giving the same opening line repeatedly. I was trying to keep my guy on the hook, but I could barely hear him.

The "Microsoft" tech support people and I had a nice chat. The lack of the windows key brought a senior support person this time. This time, the sticking point was their inability to explain what exactly was sending them error messages.


Molly Wood has descended on Marketplace.


Spring 2015 Anime


Geneshaft: slightly odd, sexist ScifFiWeirdness, and scores highly on the "nice butt" scale, up there with Solty. Bonus points for having an end.

The collection agency (Accounts Receivable Technologies) that is harassing a Jamie or Randy Rubin on my cell number has taken to leaving EULAs on my voicemail. The first one was so garbled I couldn't really understand it, but the last one was very professionally delivered. I can't listen to the entire message because I'm not Jamie Rubin! I did anyway, because they didn't listen to my outgoing message, which says they have the wrong number. The collection agency's idiot messages have taken over from the California tax people, informing Jamie Rubin his house is behind in payments. Phone fun: I set the default ring to the sound of silence, so you'd have to be in my address book to make it ring.


Mr. Nobody: excellent

CSA: Confederate States of America: You'll laugh, then feel bad about it. My family history includes the first plantation west of the Aliganies to not have slaves, so there.

Ultra-small-government Ted Cruz's wife works for Goldman? The center of the Government Financial Complex?

Woochi: enjoyable


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Not 30 Rock.

The Guest: takes a while to take off, then does.

Wave Twisters: surprisingly coherent, but not ground breaking

The "Microsoft Tech Support" people aren't even making personal calls any more. Now the robot tells me to press 1. I miss the personal touch in trying to convince me I have Windows.

Knights of Badassdom: Somewhat disappointing.

Fury: did not finish, dreadful.


A Walk Among the Tombstones: meh


The Scribbler: visually true to its comic book roots, reasonably fun.

LFO: The Movie: could not get into it.

Bounty Killers: end irritated me. Credited Kickstarter for something. This would explain much.

Lawless: detracts from the movie if you spend the whole thing trying to decide if a protagonist is mildly retarded, Southern, or just Tom Hardy.

Shout-out to startssl.com. Painless way to get an ssl cert for free. Also a personal cert, for that glorious future day when you can encrypt email.

The Last Man on Earth (TV show): contains post-apocalyptic Kirsten Schaal. No more need be said.


Madoka movies 1-3: 1 and 2 just recap the series. 3 complicates the Madokan theology a bit. Also, nobody likes QB. I still think the Incubators are related to the "Bokurano" universe. Deprived of magical girl angst, they turn to child mech pilot angst, this time collapsing timelines before it can build up to toxic levels, or grant the livestock random and inconvenient powers.

The Drop: detracts from the movie if you spend the whole thing trying to decide if the protagonist is mildly retarded, autistic, or just Tom Hardy.


Wakfu: The Animated Series: Season 2: Better writing & jokes, but sometimes more Flash-y 2D animation. More complicated story, plus acknowledges the filler adventures as filler, but also heroic necessity. Liked it more than the first season. Also, Eva appears to not be wearing clothes.

I just found out about Death Parade, which I somehow missed the first time around, when it appeared on somebody’s best of list after Aldnoah. It is deserving of such honors. It is quirky, has some humor, but episode 3 almost made me cry. I retro-nominate it as the season’s winner.


Automata: admirable in attempted scope, but falls down on nearly everything. There are spots at the end where the film is just reversed left to right for no particular reason. Or the cop's "acting".


Harlock: Space Pirate: meh

Escape (Flukt): I liked the filth and the landscapes very much.

The Fox and the Child: Isn't the fox deliberately trying to kill the child in certain spots? Many points for the foxes.

Wakfu: The Animated Series: Season 1: the animation transcends its flashness. The overall story is a basic hero's journey and slow in spots, but I'd say it deserves its hype. Glad I made an exception to my No French Movies rule.

Radio Free Albemuth: Reasonably faithful retelling.

Thale: Horror for fans of the tailed thingie.


Winter 2015 Anime: A lot of continued older series. I assume you'd start at the beginning, so I don't review them. If you did not see Aldnoah.Zero, you should have. And if you are in Dog Day's target audience, it is also a must watch. Related news: Netflix has gone on one of its periodic anime buying sprees.

Winner: none of the above.

Is Apple Messages having issues? Purely anecdotal, but the family chat is increased with the illness, and messages are arriving in the wrong order, or not arriving at all, at least once a week. And that's only for the messages that break the thread. Individual messages could easily be lost and unnoticed.

GitS: Arise: #3 What happened to the art?

Crunchyroll has season 1,2 of Dog Days, but not 3? Madness. Who will fullfil my quota of royal tummy rubs? (They certainly pulled out all the stops for that first episode.) I'm behind on the new season in general. Looking forward to Aldnoah.Zero, but also not looking forward to breaking that perfect moment of complete despair the last season ended on.


Archer S2 E 8,9: just cause.

Star Trek Enterprise Season 4: The Vulcan bits were the weakest, and, of course, the only bits I had seen before. The arcs were pretty good. I liked Shran. Although the mirror episodes were good, they were kind of disconnected to the rest of the series. This is good, in that the rest of the series was terrible, but bad in that it doesn't fit in with the rest of the season's mini-arcs which built to the Federation meeting in the (real) last episode.


Cleanskin: don't mean to sound racist, but seriously, all the arab dudes at the start look alike.

Star Trek Enterprise Season 4: Supposedly the good season, so I'll let slide the fact that the Previously On irritated me. Then the song irritated me. Has Brent Spiner in it, so it can't be all bad. Let's see how far I get!

Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles: The uniquely Japanese parody that is far better than its source material. Much in the same way Card Captor Sakura is both a parody of and the single greatest magical girl show, this made me hungry, had some fights, and a completely deranged ending.

Star Trek: Voyager: S5->6: Supposedly one of the better episodes, but still laced with the casual racism I found objectionable about Voyager.

Star Trek: Voyager: S1E1: I misremembered that Janeway was not the captain to start with.

Korengal: didn't like it as much as Restrepo

Black Mirror: wonderfully dark, but really could use a bit of compression. That might also be a commentary on modern society's inability to dwell on an idea for more than 22 minutes, but if you are aiming to get compared to "The Twilight Zone", you should learn that show's succinctness.

Binchou-tan is sick
Project Binchoustan isn't dead, but it does feel bad.

Bit of a financial set back with the health problem. Not sure if buying a shack in the middle of nowhere is a good idea if I could get a blood clot and die at a moments notice, nor is hiking possible with the leg-clot and cankle. Not having insurance might cost the Apple stock, not that the insurance I'm getting would have covered anything. (They are supposed to be on the same network, but I'm getting bills from a dozen different entities.) The Early Retirement Nest Egg should still be there in full, but I might need 2 years to re-fill the Emergency Medical Account. (Please state the nature of your medical emergency.) Or not. It would refill itself eventually, assuming I don't actually empty the account. Not like this is an annual event.

There were a couple of properties up against Highpoint State Park I thought were nice, if too expensive to splurge on. If I get to the point where I can hike, I might rent a cabin for the summer, and see what I can afford next year.

I did have another site design planned, but didn't get to it.

2014 Drivel

My sole remaining career goal is to live in a shack in the woods, but here's a resume for historical purposes.
Patrick Phelan's Resume, featuring PHP, JQuery, Linux.
Patrick Phelan's Resume, in pdf.

Site built with pSpace, the final frontier
Patrick Phelan, now more than ever.
w____\\W//___w       Te Hupenui
Lesson lesson: If you see a stranger, follow him. -Ed