When your neighbour knows you too well…

 

New Pokémon Snap, Source: Nintendo

The end of last month saw the release of a new Pokémon game for the Switch. #1 had asked for that game for Easter and was damn happy when it was released. And, to be honest, it’s a really nice game. No hard storylines, fights, tournaments… You travel on a fixed course and take pics of Pokémon, like on a Legoland Safari.

Anyway, my neighbour, who’s just as massive a nerd as I am, asked me how the game was, and if I had taken nice pics and if it was worth the money. We chatted a while and I offered him to come over and try it out. Inside again I asked #1 if she’d talked with B about the game, since he knew that we had it.

“Mum, do you really think I’d voluntarily talk to other people???”

Seems like our neighbour knows us quite well by now….

The Art of …

… styling hair, by Macedonian artist Trendafilka Kirova

Today’s art comes from a story at My Modern Met. If you’re interested, you can see more of Kirova’s work at that link or at the artist’s Instagram, Trendafilka Kirova.

Braiding by Trendafilka Kirova. Image from My Modern Met

Braiding by Trendafilka Kirova. Image from My Modern Met

Braiding by Trendafilka Kirova. Image from My Modern Met

Braiding by Trendafilka Kirova. Image from My Modern Met

Braiding by Trendafilka Kirova. Image from My Modern Met

In which I declare my love for Pokémon Go (instead of a end of year review)

Several Pokémon around the Pokémon Go logo

Source: Pokemongolive.com

Well, let’s not do a usual “end of year” review, shall we? We all know what happened this year. Instead I want to focus on something that really helped me through the struggles of this year, and like many other people I turned to video games. Now, while I played too much Animal Crossing in spring, to the point that the kids were upset with me digging out all the fossils and catching all the rare fishes, Pokémon Go made me happy all year long.

For one thing, it regularly gets me out of the house. I don’t have a dog for good reasons, so there’s no wet nose that makes me get off my ass, and like for many people, “I should go on a walk because the movement in the fresh air will do me good” just isn’t enough for me. But “I should go outside to catch Pokémon” amazingly is. And since Mr plays as well, we go on walks together, spend time together on our hobby and get some mild exercise outdoors.

For another thing, it keeps me connected. The social aspects of the game are carefully crafted. There is competition, and trainer battles, but they tend to be anonymous over the internet. Real life encounters tend to focus on cooperation, as all players focus on battling the same boss together. Just last week we met a family on our walk who had mostly just started playing and the little kid of some 8 years or so was super happy to find some advanced players to play with and get the big bad monster. Those little things make me happy.

Of course it’s also something we do with our friends, as restrictions allow, so we plan whole weekends around Pokémon events, with food and drink and everything. Even when we cannot play together, we have something to talk about via video chats or messenger services, so we keep talking with each other, having some light hearted chats or rants about some thing or other that isn’t working (what, did you think the game didn’t have glitches?) without having to talk about serious matters.

And finally there’s the people we met via Pokémon Go who have become friends. Sometimes life puts somebody in your way and then you notice that it “clicks”. About a year ago we met a woman who was hoping for others to join her in a Raid, and we did, and we connected on social media, and we noticed that we actually like each other and now I’m looking forward to our Wednesday night raids and chatting for a while with her and her husband. So much for the people who say that video games make you lonely.

Oh, and as an addendum: It also provides and outlet for all the judgemental people who have nothing better to do than getting upset at other people playing some harmless game on their phones in public. I wouldn’t want to disappoint them, would I?

©Giliell, all rights reserved
Look at what we got for Christmas!

So, what is your favourite (video) game and why?

It’s almost Winterfest and we want your photos

Ugh! ©voyager, all rights reserved.

©

The Freethought Blogs Winterfest is coming up on Saturday, December 5th, and we have all sorts of good things planned to entertain you. For the full schedule of events, you can click here or on the Winterfest logo at the top of the left sidebar on any of our blogs here at FtB. The schedule is still being finalized, so be sure to check back often to see what’s up and when, but there are lots of good things being planned. Here at Affinity, we’re hosting a Winterfest Photofest beginning Monday, November 30th, and we’d like to add your photos to the collection. You can submit your pictures to affinitysubmissions@gmail.com and please let me know what name or nym you’d like them credited to. That address is permanently in our left sidebar underneath the colourful, percolating head, and if you click that link, it will open up an email form for you to conveniently use.

Why do we do all of this? That’s easy; it’s because we love you. Also, we’re celebrating an important anniversary. It was one year ago that we celebrated our legal victory over Dr. Snowflake, Richard Carrier. We’re still digging out from under the legal bills of that mess, and we would greatly appreciate any support you’re able to provide. You can donate directly to our Paypal account here or with a credit card here. I know this is a tough time of year for many folks (especially in 2020), so an appreciative audience is also plenty of support. Please tune in and let us entertain you.

 

I could not get it done, but maybe you can help

A bit of a mess.©voyager, all rights reserved

I had agreed to read The Masque of The Red Death for Hallowe’en, but I’ve never worked with audio or video files and got myself in over my head. By the time I realized I needed better equipment, and way more knowledge (way, way more knowledge) it was too late. I simply can’t get it done for tomorrow.

I’m not giving up, though. I believe I can do it. I have a better mic on order (not much is getting through the border right now) and I’ve downloaded editing software. I tried using it today, but everything still sounded raw and echoey, and it was terrible. Rather than limp along with bad audio and then adding to it bad video or a photo still, I’m ceding defeat.

There are other bloggers here, though, who are better at these things than me and they will be reading stories, so please tune in to hear them. PZ at Pharyngula, The Bolingbrook Babbler and Abbey from Impossible Me will all be reading for you. Plus there’s the story chain and the quiz show scheduled for tomorrow evening. Why do all these things? Because we love you. And we need money. Nasty ass lawsuits are expensive and we want to get out from under the Richard Carrier nonsense. We really do love you though, and if you’re able, you can help us by donating to our Paypal account.

I’ve been wanting to try a small video before this, in order to share a bit of Jack and I singing for you. I’ll make you a deal. Jack and I will sing for you in November and if that isn’t a total disaster, I may try reading you a fairy story for Christmas. Or, I could still read the Masque of The Red Death. I’ll leave it up to you. Let me know in the comments. And if you’re able, even a small donation to our Paypal is helpful.

Thanks. For everything.

 

 

 

Marcus Gave Me Wood, Here Is What I Did With It

Marcus sent me a piece of stabilized maple burl last year. It wasn’t very big, not enough for my usual chunky knife handles, but it was big enough for two badger knives, so I used it for the last two blades in the current batch.

I did not do the brass bolsters and pommels very well, I am afraid. The pins refused to blend in – they do so so seamlessly in aluminum and stainless steel, but so far I did not have any luck with brass. And since this blade is stainless steel, some artificial extreme patina would not look proper. I tried to make the heads rounded this time, but I did not like the look of it at all, especially because I did not position them correctly for that kind of look. Nevertheless, the extremely beautiful wood from Marcus, when polished with beeswax, does redeem the knives a little. And when I saw how pretty the wood is, I have decided to make better and nicer sheaths for these knives too.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

This is the better of the pair. Making the silver maple leaves was real fun, and I have managed to get the colors very close to what I have originaly designed in Photoshop.

It looks pretty, but silver maple is not native here so for the second one I have used a different design and color palette – yellow small-leaved linden leafs.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.

The small-leaved linden tree is pretty common here and it is also Czech national tree, so I have been intentionally a bit patriotic with this one. Unfortunately, I run out of the medium thickness leather so I had to use the thicker one and it was just a tad too thick for this small knife design. It is not a functional problem, only the leather could not be formed so snugly around the knife, because the knife would not get out.

I think my leatherwork is improving and I like these leafs-designs. I shall definitively use them more, even though they are a bit labor-intensive, especially since I do not intend to use the same design twice. I might use the outline, but I will always at least mix up the colors differently.

It’s September Fun, Fun, Fun(d raising)

Freethought Blogs is creatively trying to raise funds to pay off the sizeable legal bills incurred in the fight against the SLAPP suit brought by Richard Carrier. SLAPP claims are nuisance suits, intended to shut down free speech by making it expensive, so even though we “won,” we still have large legal bills to pay off.

That’s where you, Dear Reader, can help. We need your donations, and we’re prepared to earn them! We’re hosting a series of events, The Carnival of Curiosity, beginning on Friday, September 25 and running through the weekend of Sept. 26 & 27. You can click the link above or on the large banner on the top left side panel to see the schedule of events, and we’re sure that you’ll find something that interests you. It’s going to be a full weekend of festive fun, and any donation is helpful. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so at PayPal.me/freethoughtblogs.

In addition to the Carnival of Curiosity, several bloggers are having auctions with all proceeds going to the fundraiser.

  • Iris at Death to Squirrels is auctioning off a chance to interview her or be interviewed by her.
  • Marcus at Stderr is auctioning 4 of his beautiful art pieces.
  • William at The Bolingbrook Babbler is auctioning a PDF collection of Babbler articles from his pre-Freethought Blog days that looks deliciously interesting. He is also planning to read an excerpt from his in-progress book  The Rift: A Bolingbrook Babbler Story if donations reach $200.00, and if donations get to $500.00, he will read it live.
  • TD Walker at Freethinking Ahead is auctioning a half-hour creative coaching session via Zoom.

Doesn’t all that look like fun? You bet it does, and we want you to join us and make a donation if possible. More events may be added, so be sure to check for future announcements.

Mushroom Hunt Pictures – Ant Venturer

Deep into the woods, an ant did venture.

Over the mossy hills, seeking adventure.

© Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


Edit: I bloody well wish that when I click “delete permanently” in order to re-upload badly cropped picture WordPress really deleted it. As it is, it does not allow me to re-upload a picture unless I also rename it – otherwise, it just un-deletes the wrong version over and over again. The button “delete permanently” is thus without real function. AAARGH.

TNET 39: Jelle’s Marble Runs

Previous thread.

I never was into sports of any kind, neither watching nor doing. But about two months ago I stumbled across this YouTube channel and I did watch quite a few videos of theirs. They are strangely captivating in their resemblance to real sports events, despite being decided solely by chance.

And yesterday I was reminded about its existence when watching John Oliver. He mentioned that if you are starved for sports events right now, then this might be something to satiate that hankering somewhat.

Open thread, talk whatever you want, just don’t be an asshole.