Category Geekery

115 posts

My Summer Looks A Lot Like Ruby

I never had a summer break as a kid, the whole concept of taking like 2-3 months off and just doing whatever you wanted was never something I grasped until I was an adult. We had “winter break” which basically meant we were too busy for school because we were doing “outreach” and cleaning. Fun was…not really a large part of consideration.
Over the last couple years I’ve implemented a sort of summer break of my own, usually I take a few months off of making the things I usually do to reflect, work on new projects, and keep myself from being burnt out. Do all the things I didn’t end up doing because I was busy, read, and take a lot of naps. I suspect much of that will be happening over this summer too, but during my break and reflection, I really really really want to make some headway on all those Ruby projects calling my name.
I feel kind of stuck with where I am, language wise, and I feel like I really need just a block of time that I can spend focused on working on that. I not-so-secretly want to start working on Ruby projects in June and emerge a full-stack butterfly by August. We’ll see how that ends up going, but I feel like it’s a good goal.
I’ll probably start off with Code Academy, then get in to making my apps, and then finish off with this script project I know how to do but don’t know where to start on. And a greater goal with the finished projects is to open-source them and put them all on github.
Which means I have a few weeks to make a lovely cliff-hanger in E.R.A. for everyone to keep you on the edge of your seat until I’m back to balancing comic-ing and internets again in the fall.
 
Note to self: don’t forget to rest. and go to Pride. and have fun.

#KieryPlaysDestiny

WarlockSo I’ve been playing Destiny, and it’s not usually my kind of game. It’s FPS for one thing and Multiplayer for another, and I usually like soloing and not playing with people – so when the only way to level is to raid with 5 other people……it can make for a frustrated Kiery. However, in a surprising turn of events, I’ve really enjoyed it. The100 is a great way to find groups, and mine is really low-key and nice and have been pleasant to game with and I don’t feel unsafe with them.
All that to say, I finally got my Warlock to level 32, and yet…AND YET…still have not gotten ONE exotic weapon drop from ANYTHING. I’ve been working my butt off doing bounties and crucible but Iron Banner and buying helmets from Xur are the only reason I’ve made any progress at all. I got my first exotic bounty on Saturday night because apparently I just finally turned enough bounties in (IDEFK) to get one, so I’ve been playing through the Strike Playlist to make progress on acquiring my first-ever exotic weapon, which will be Bad Juju.
I also started a Titan in hopes maybe it’s just my main that is somehow under a Bungie Curse Of No Loot and to increase my chances of exotic drops, but that little Exo is only level 2.
Anyway, I had to hit cap before I got a fucking exotic bounty and have yet to receive ANY drops, but I FINALLY have one, and I’m happy about it. Hopefully this ends the no-drop curse and I actually start getting things now, because seriously……

RubyArt

So, I talked a little about this comic project I want to make. Originally I thought I was going to build the entire back-end from scratch like I did with E.R.A. but after falling down a google rabbit hole I found Refinery CMS, which is a Ruby on Rails CMS where you can add extensions which means….
drumroll
Instead of putting most of my time and energy into creating a backend that does basically the same thing refinery does, I can just make the comic extension and put all of my effort into that!
People who don’t program probably don’t understand the excitement I’m feeling right now, but it’s pretty huge. Building your own CMS from scratch is HARD (good to do at least once, but still, hard), there are still things I could improve with E.R.A. changes I was planning on having to make and setup with what I’ve been calling “RubyArt”, which, for just wanting a comic platform…involves so much more than you would imagine.
It’s an interesting mind shift – I mean, I have to do my own tweaking and setup with the CMS, get the gem that imports wordpress xml files, but for the most part I can focus on the actual functionality I want to add with the comic feature (the fun part) instead of building an entire system over again.
But still! I’m excited to try this out. I’ll be putting it on github and stuff when I’m done and sharing it with the refinery people so other cartoonists can use it too.
 

GamerGate Part 2

They Doxxed Felicia. I made a video and disabled comments but screenshotted all the responses I’ve recived. I locked down everything I could because I was afraid of being doxxed and while the responses I’ve gotten could still be classified as polite in comparision to what I’ve gotten on twitter, at the core, it’s condescending mansplaining at best – thinly veild threats disguised as cautious advice at worst (lets not even get into the whole operating under the assumption I don’t know what I’m talking about/am impressionable BS).
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TxvEQvvqSw]





The moral of her story is essentially the same as mine: I’m not letting fear shut me up. That doesn’t mean the fear isn’t real though. Felicia was doxxed almost instantly after posting her really great piece on it. Just for saying she disagress. They target the people they identify as women or other marginalized people. Notice how other men who have also called out GamerGate’rs for their behaviour haven’t been run out of their homes?
GamerGate supporters, Go fuck yourselves.

The Sims 4

So I pre-ordered The Sims 4 because, reasons, and I thought, hey, I should write about here, also because reasons!
So first of all, the sims themselves and the graphics are dramatically improved and I’m not even running at the highest settings.
Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 12.57.57 PM
Overall, I’m really happy with it – I can tell EA put a lot of effort into making the sims super interesting to play and create – they even made the build tool better, which is great. They also changed a bit how skills work – the skill log is a pop out section of the UI that you can scroll down, with progress bars on where your skill is within the level, and the level number on the side. It’s harder to tell what level your sim is at when you’re looking at skill books – in fact, they can read books above or below their skill level, but they’ll get grumpy.
Some of the controls are different and take a little getting used to, but that’s not anything super new. The sims themselves are more interesting to play, but there are some things from the Sims 3 that I really miss.
In order to leave your house/immediate lot area, you have to travel, and in the Sims3 this meant you biked, walk, took a taxi, or drove…
But in the Sims 4, you use your phone and then you are literally taken out of the game and to a loading screen just to get to the library. If you want to get to the library to the park, same thing, and the same thing for the park to home.
On one hand, from a work level, I understand why it takes you out of the world, to a loading screen, back to the new location (so much less to render). But, the rest of everything else is lovely and immersive and being taken out of it is jarring just to switch locations. It kinda ruins the illusion.
I also miss being able to follow my sim to their work building. The towns in the Sims4 starter are a lot smaller than in the Sims3, which is fine, but you don’t go to the science center to get the science career – only one of the towns has a library, there’s restaurant/night club/lounge in town, and you don’t go there to work in the culinary career…
I feel like there’s a bit of lost opportunity because the careers are so much more interesting, and you have to train your sim in their career to advance, that I wish we could follow them to their building and see what that was like, and be in a location where some or all their careers are visually accessible.
I’d like to see where my comedian goes to do stand up, and where my mixologist goes to practice, it would be so much more interesting than watching them walk out the front door and disappear on the sidewalk, while I stare at a dark house for 3 minutes.
I also miss pets.
But, the environment in The Sims 4, so long as you don’t leave the location, is a lot more immersive, the sims a lot more interesting with being able to see how their emotions work, and I can have the sound on without driving myself crazy. I also love that they have a programming career and geek traits mean you have to play games….
There are a lot of little things that really make the game, and I suspect that all the things I miss will be addressed with future expansions (not unlike The Sims 3, tbh).

Summer Games

KieryGeek has been on break, I’ve been playing a bunch of games and making liberal use of my PlayStation Plus subscription. I started with Trine 2 and I’m stuck on this one level where I’m trying to get through this witch’s lair and there’s a gap I can’t jump across… So, then I discovered PixelJunk(tm) Shooter Ultimate which is a fun little game where you fly in this sort of ship and rescue scientists and try to not to explode from being hit or overheating. PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate Logo
Which is actually a fun killing-time game where you get to shoot things and you can also get a suit to shoot lava, water, and pull at ice. Probably more, but I haven’t made it past the Ice Volcano expedition thing. Mostly, because I got distracted with Doki Doki Universe, which is crazy and weird and fucking enchanting. It’s basically like taking a very thorough and cute personality test, since you’re a robot who has to prove your humanity and you’re placed on worlds to learn about being human, and…it gets kinda deep, or can, weirdly, and then there are these asteroids you stop by on your way to other planets that offer quick little personality assessment quizzes. After you fill out enough of them you can go to Doctor Therapist to see if you’re any closer to improving your humanity and therefore, not dooming your entire model class to be scrap metal.
For me it was remarkably accurate and weirdly validating. But I’m the kind of person who likes taking personality tests because if there’s a name for it, it means I’m not crazy, right? Or at least not the only one. By the end of the game and expansions (I bought them for like $10 total, and played through them super fast), My robot has extreme baby anxiety, is bored with reality, and likes magic. My QT3 is also really mellow, sensitive, and creative with a bit of a rebellious streak. So yeah. Not to mention the art is just beautiful. Friendly little simple stick figures but remarkably emotive and cute. Then, Lego Marvel was on sale for like $10 for PS+ members and I have been waiting ages to play it, so I snagged that and played it and it’s my favorite lego video game that I’ve played. You get to play EVERYONE. I kept squeeing as more and more Marvel characters came into the story, and also, the story was incredibly detailed and interesting. Lego Games are games I play because they’re not intense, most of the time I’ve seen the movies they’re based on or know what the story is, but this one kept me on my toes. Probably nothing new for people who read the comics, but I had fun.
So I finished that, and The Last of Us: Remastered came out.
I’m not very far. Intense game is intense. We did write a comic about it, and I am ashamed to say, I haven’t played beyond that yet, still. TLoU isn’t really a game you can play to escape, because it’s just a brutal reminder about…humanity in all it’s nuance, even though it does take place in a weird zombie apocalypse.
Existing the last couple weeks, as an extremely sensitive/empathic person has been hard, so I haven’t wanted to touch anything that draining. I saw Road Not Taken on the PS+ lineup for this month and downloaded it because it looked so pretty and I love puzzle games…
That was not the game I needed to be playing this week! I realized as I just kept feeling worse and worse and unable to rescue freezing kids picking blueberries. It’s beautiful and addictive and fun, but it’s also draining, so, I’m looking forward to playing these two feels heavy games when I’m not already emotionally empty. I also downloaded Fez for the PS4, because it’s in the August lineup even though I got it ages ago for the Xbox 360. Since I play my PS4 more than the Xbox right now, I figured it’d be fun to have available…maybe I’ll get further this time. Other things I’m looking forward to are The Sims 4 (which I may or may not have spent way too much time in the CAS demo) and the new WoW expansion, Warlords of Draenor. I actually re-upped my WoW subscription in anticipation of the expansion after not playing WoW since last fall. I did miss it, honestly, it’s like my MMO home, I’m familiar with Azeroth and I have a lot of badass mounts there…

I’ll probably get the Digital Deluxe edition of the Sims 4 because, who am I kidding, I will want it and it will be worth the extra monies.

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On Youtube

dick move to indie artists, even taking away their content if they fail to sign on to the new thing. My love of indie music aside, this whole thing really angers and frustrates me as a youtuber. I know my content at the moment isn’t and won’t be affected with this decision at all or directly, but I feel less safe if this is going to become a thing. If they start shutting out the voices of independent musicians, what happens if they start shutting down the voices of small filmmakers like me? I feel like that would be horrifically stupid…but if this thing with the music industry flies, it wouldn’t be unprecedented. It feels an awful lot like google took the sort of level playing field that was youtube, and just sliced it. It’s not even any more. Not just anyone can share their content anymore, you can’t just go here to start out anymore – not unless you meet X, Y, and Z.
Which, in the face of everything with net-neutrality, just feels so…. wrong. The thing that is beautiful about the internet and places like youtube (well, until recently) is that anyone can do anything. Anyone can make content, and it’s the one place you can go and just make your own platform, and if you work hard enough at it, you can sometimes get pretty far. Now, it feels like youtube, the place everyone goes is just taking that away, and as a creator, it terrifies me. To the point where, I’m seriously reconsidering using Youtube for the next season of KieryGeek and I’m about this far away from switching to vimeo or creating my own platform. In fact, if they do decide to start censoring content depending on who pays, I don’t think I will be going back to youtube. I hope that if this does continue – that there’s such an uproar that google retracts their plan, or we all move on to other places and make something better.

I love the internet. I don’t take well to people – google, or the FCC, or anyone, fucking with it.

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Knack & Trine 2

Knack this week! I really loved the game and will likely be talking more about it in the future. The world is so pretty to look at and fun to be in – I managed to archive some of the gameplay to twitch so you can see for yourself.

So now that I’ve finished that I’ve downloaded Trine2 and started working through it. I haven’t played Trine so it’s all new to me, but so far it’s really gorgeous and amazing. I think I’m definitely finding the style of games I like to play and that I find relaxing. Child of Light, Knack, and Trine 2 are quickly becoming my favorites this year.

Watch Knack from kierygeek on www.twitch.tv

This Week in Art & Life (But Mostly Pictures)

Last weekend Alex and I went to New York to see some comedy shows as an early anniversary thing and it was awesome.

We saw The Thrilling Adventure Hour and Comedy Bang! Bang! and went to a movie and checked out central park and generally had an awesome weekend. Then we drove all night Sunday night and got home at 5:30 am Monday morning, which actually wasn’t all that bad, although I’m not sure my neck appreciated it.
I also consumed unheard of amounts of caffeine, which has been exciting this week. When I went to Planned Parenthood to get my shots on Monday I was still buzzed and slightly shaky, so…I warned the nurse about that when she took my blood pressure, because I was also over-tired and talkative.

One shot in each shoulder
One shot in each shoulder

Gardasil? NO BIG DEAL. My arm was slightly achey for a day or two, but nothing more than mild irritation. Tetanus, on the other hand. Dude. My left shoulder is still sort of sensitive – much more sensitive and irritated than Gardasil arm, so, if you’ve had tetanus and are skittish about Gardasil, Tetanus is worse – but still not in the horrific “I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN” category, so if you’re due for a booster, you should get it. Achey arms hurt less than dying, I’m pretty sure.
 
 


A lot of media attention is finally being given to the craziness that is modesty culture in homeschool circles, thanks to Hännah’s sister, Clare (who is amazing).  Which has made this week very Patriarchy crushing and awesome (albeit intense).
I’ve needed to paint for a while, and I felt like this week called for all of the art to happen – including a rage-comic I haven’t written yet, and one I have. I channeled all of my feelings of rage and patriarchy-crushing into paints and mirrors and canvas, which did wonders for my mental health (as it usually does), and I feel like I can breathe again.

Fuck the Patriarchy
Fuck the Patriarchy

Rage
Rage