Strings - Fantastic movie. See it. Thanks, Tall Guy!

9 - Not to be confused with District 9, which I did for a long time, much to the bewilderment of those to whom I was speaking. It's an interesting contrast to Strings, because while Strings let me have the (to me) supremely satisfying experience of saying "I wonder why that's... oh... oh right, of course things would be that way!", 9 did the opposite. The more I thought about it, the more I was going "Wait a minute, how is that even... why would..." There's also the whole CGI versus "real" thing, and I'm glad people are still experimenting with the real. At the risk of sounding like those audiophile snobs who only ever listen to vinyl on tube amps... I like the real stuff better.

Scribblenauts - Really quite fun. I can't believe I didn't think of this. For the record, it doesn't work (you get the Starite but it's inert. Though if you throw it at a muskox you will anger the beast and it will trample you).

STOnline - Got a good response at PAX. I was very pleased to hear that the space UI isn't as impenetrable as I'd thought.* Friends and Family is going gratifyingly well for what is basically an alpha test... it's good to see that we try and improve on the past. Champions learned a lot from CoX, STO is learning a lot from Champions. Onwards and upwards!

Art You Can Eat
- Just cool. I think the last one's my favourite. Again, setting up the real thing and taking pictures of it is (to me) more viscerally satisfying than if the whole thing were Photoshopped.

* I'm having to adjust my design principles slightly; having someone say "it was hard at first, but I figured it out eventually" usually triggers a redesign in "grownup" UIs. In games, having someone say this can be a good thing. Which is sort of ironic; people usually have to learn to use a UI for work, yet those UIs tend to be underdesigned (to say the least) exactly because the user doesn't usually have a choice. People will adapt to just about anything. Games, which are entirely discretionary, have to have UI that carefully steers between hand-holding (insulting) and impossible (why bother?) and tries to hit the sweet spot of overcoming-an-achievable-challenge and giving a sense of accomplishment. It's a challenge.

We're safe back now from the Pride, Prejudice and Zombie event of the year. It was a veritable hoot and a perfect celebration of the union of two charming and... distinctive people.

I really do like driving (or even being a passenger while someone else is driving) across the prairies. I miss being able to see all of the sky. I don't know if the GPS display is visible in the picture, but it's basically a blank white rectangle (the landscape) bisected by a vertical purple line (the road). Between Calgary and Saskatoon it stays that way for about 500 km. As you can see, except for colour it's an exact representation:

We unfortunately didn't get to spend as much time in either Calgary or Saskatoon as we could have wished; we have too many other commitments coming up so it was rather a whirlwind tour and mostly taken up by The Wedding. But we did manage to see quite a few people we've been missing, and we really appreciate the friends who hosted us in both cities.

It was exciting to see so many wedding guests throw themselves into the the Regency theme, the zombie theme, or both. I am the World's Most Neglectful Photographer even with an iPhone, so I'm glad R:tAG got some good pictures.* You can apparently see more on this "Facebook" thingy.

Favourite quotes:

(Zombie dabbing at his eye) "I always lose flesh at weddings"

(Father of the groom beginning his toast to the couple) "Aoooohhh! Uhhh, aaaaooorrrooo uuunnnh!"

"I love Regency. If you insult someone all you have to do is nod afterwards, and it's OK"

(at the Tim Horton's in Kindersley, from a stranger) "That hand dryer in the washroom is so weak it's like having a mouse fart on you." (stay classy, Saskatchewan)

* Pattern sources: My dress, bodiced petticoat and reticule from La Mode Bagatelle. The dress is the View D bodice without the mock drop front bit, View C sleeves (the longer ones) and skirt. The pattern is spendy but you can make a complete customized Regency wardrobe from it. I'm wearing white ballet slippers. R:tAG's jacket and trousers are from Butterick B3648 and his vest is from Butterick B3721 (View B with an added stand-up collar). His shirt is from J. Peterman's because it was on sale for $25 and that's cheaper and easier than me sewing it. His neckcloth is just a triangle of cotton, 55" at the base, 11" high, and his shoes are split sole jazz shoes.

All planned Regency items complete.* I didn't finish the spencer, but that's probably OK 'cause you don't wear those indoors anyhow.

I like making bonnets. I regret that one cannot support oneself as a milliner these days, or at least I couldn't. Mind you, that bonnet did take me about 8 hours to make but a lot of that was trial and error and bad language because I seem to be incapable of following instructions as given.** But I was clever and made the permanent bits of the bonnet in a neutral dark beige. The blue ribbons and trimmings are detachable, so as I expand my Regency wardrobe I can re-trim the bonnet to match.

Sunday was odd; I woke up early full of jittery energy. My first thought was that I was dying. But I'm still alive, and I managed to get a lot done. Including buying art. Fantastic art. This kind of art that when you see it you think "I will regret forever not making this part of my environment."

It's from a series called "Millennium Birds" by a pair of artists whose names I forget and I don't have the info with me. It's fantastic. It's got so much detail, and all the found objects just mesh so nicely, and it just makes me so happy every time I see it. There are a couple of more pictures here.

It's my 10th anniversary present to us, and a celebration of Champions Online going live and doing pretty well, and just a commemoration of being happy.

* Aw, crap, I forgot I still have to hem R:tAG's neckcloth. OK, 99.9% complete.

** And have good ideas at the point when it's almost-but-not-quite too late to implement them. For example, the brim of the base hat I used was too wide; it stuck up like a satellite dish when the hat was on. So I ripped off the three outer rounds of straw braid, but I did that after I'd cut the hat up, so the force of the ripping also ripped apart several other seams that oughtn't to have been ripped (this was not a quality hat) so I had to fix them, which meant undoing other seams and gluings.

Also, I used organdy as a lining instead of nice drapy lace, because I had some lying around. But it's a lot poofier, so wrangling that into the hat took some doing. I ended up cutting it into a sort of shallow tombstone shape because it didn't want to gather without a fight. Organdy is the soccer hooligan of fabric.


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