Boob Tube

Well, they finally came and chopped down our Ash tree. The neighbors had their own Ash tree that needed removal, so the arborists were pretty busy until 2 or 3 pm. Luckily I didn’t have a lot of meetings, because the only thing anyone would be able to hear is the constant refrain of several chainsaws and the occasional house-rattling thump. It’s really a shame to lose shade trees to invasive pests, and it’s not like they’re easily replaced.

I was watching a podcast a couple weeks ago and one of their sponsors was iTarget Pro. The idea of a laser bullet for practice and for adjusting optics seemed really useful, so I did some searching to see what other laser bullets were out there. After a bit of research, I finally settled on a LaserHIT instead. The main reason was that the LaserHIT has a replaceable rubber primer cap. It’s pretty unlikely I’d exceed the estimated 3000 shot lifespan, but I’m a High Availability guy, so the redundancy was hard to ignore.

Laser Tag!

Laser Tag!

I’ve finally completed Shadow Bringers in Final Fantasy 14. I took a slight detour to finish the Coils of Bahamut because being so over-leveled made them almost trivial to dominate solo. I had to use Party Finder to finish a couple of the notorious points in the Second and Third Turns, but it was an interesting bit of story. I’ve been in the subsequent expansions long enough that I’d forgotten how the original voice actress of Alisaie sounded; it was pretty jarring.

Once I reach the terminus of Endwalker, I plan on addressing all of the sidequests I’ve been ignoring. Lots of blue quest markers that launch into 20-30 quest chains I don’t really want to spend time on just yet. That content was added in patches for players while they waited for full expansions, and since I started basically right before Endwalker was released, I never needed the filler. Several of these looked interesting while I accepted the quest to unlock the chain, but it would take weeks to wade through all of them, and I’d rather experience the main storyline for now.

I’ve also been on some kind of horror kick recently. I don’t know if it’s because Netflix had Annabelle: Creation on their banner or what, but I spent last week watching terrible horror movies like I used to back in my 20s and had plenty of exercise rolling my eyes. I also stumbled across Archive 81 a couple weeks ago and enjoyed it too, even though Netflix is serving up more misses than hits recently. The aspect of found-footage mixed with a horror mystery was engaging and I loved the characters.

I’m almost done with Knight Rider as well, though I’ve stopped binging several episodes per night. I’m not quite sure if it’s because I’m tired of the formula, or the fact that the “Super Pursuit Mode” looks way more awful than I remembered, but now I can see why it only lasted four seasons. I guess I could only stand KITT being a Deus Ex Machina for so long before the threadbare plots overcame my nostalgia.

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

On the more positive side of things, the Deepcool Castle 280EX liquid cooler I’d had my eyes on for months inexplicably went on sale. It’s probably overkill for my needs, but the included Wraith cooler on the AMD 3900x gets pretty loud when I’m gaming. A 280mm radiator on an AIO is probably much quieter and will maintain a more stable thermal profile overall. Now I just need to find the necessary time (and permitting weather) to blow the dust out of my case and decipher the mounting system for the water block. I also have to rip the front fans out of my case and reverse the mounting brackets for 140mm orientation, so it’s not a trivial operation.

Unhelpfully, the weather this week has taken a turn for the worse. We’re expecting 8-10 inches of snow between Tuesday and Thursday night, which will make finding a dry spot on our deck somewhat difficult. I may have to just use the garage for the dust-blowing phase and hope for the best. Still, I’ll never get tired of fiddling with computer guts, so that’ll be fun anyway.

It’s definitely been an eventful month!