December 27, 2015


I finally finished KOTOR 2 today. I was insanely excited when they released this game for Macs, since I loved the first one, Knights of the Old Republic. It's a Star Wars game, and in this one, unlike the first, you start out as a Jedi. I had heard that this game was kind of unfinished because its release was rushed, so I installed some fan-made extra content (the Sith Lords Restored Content Modification) that was supposed to smooth out the rough spots and fix fan complaints. Here's my character, Coraline Magnus.

Coraline Magnus
When I first started playing it, I couldn't stop. I'd stay up late. I'd play any chance I got. And then I stopped. Because here's the thing- in KOTOR 2, there are times when they force you to play as your companions. I'd rather just play as my main character. When yet again I thought something exciting was about to happen and it cut to me having to play as someone else again, I got a little disgusted. So I took a bit of a hiatus through the fall, while I moved and settled in to the new place. I took it up again this week and finished. I was almost done when I stopped.

It's a great game, and I enjoyed it. Using Force powers and wielding a lightsaber is a lot of fun. While I didn't play without the modded content so I can't compare, the end was completely anticlimactic. I'm asking myself, that was it? Hm. I'd still recommend playing. The journey is great. But the payoff just isn't there at the end.

December 19, 2015

Doctor Who: The Smugglers

The Whoathon returns with a short entry. This story is missing all four parts, so I had to watch reconstructions- still photos with audio from the episode.

At the end of the last episode, Polly and Ben went into the TARDIS to return the key to the Doctor. He dematerialized before realizing they were inside (how?), and he was NOT HAPPY about them being there. They end up in Cornwall several hundred years ago, running afoul of pirates and smugglers. Cue pirates looking for booty and the TARDIS crew getting into trouble. And that's about it. Not a good episode. There's only one 1st Doctor story left!


Doctor: First
Companions: Polly, Ben
Episode: #28, "The Smugglers," four parts
Adversary: Captain Pike
Classic Lines: the Doctor, to Polly: "You may know where you are, my dear, but not when!"
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: The pirates are looking for the deceased Captain Avery's gold. The 11th Doctor meets Captain Avery in the episode "The Curse of the Black Spot."
Next Up: "The Tenth Planet"

December 16, 2015

Merrill Creek

Dave and I go walking around Merrill Creek fairly often. It's a reservoir/environmental preserve/woods. One of my favorite places is the flooded forest, and I've been wanting to try to capture it using my ND filter. I finally did.

ND filter at sunset with a long exposure

There's a story behind this. This story involves me plunking myself into the lake, not once, but twice. When Dave comes with me, it's his job to make sure I don't do things like this, but he was too far away each time. (If I could actually be in danger, like at the edge of a cliff, he tends to stay close.)

I spotted a heron- I think it was a great blue. I really, REALLY want a pic of a great blue heron. Or any heron. Or egret. I like them. Here one was, hanging out in the lake. I decided to sneak closer, so I crept along the edge of the lake, eyes on the heron. He stepped behind one of the trees. I thought- perfect, I'll catch him as he comes out the other side. I edged closer, looking through the lens...PLUNK. I lurched right into the deep mud at the edge of the lake. That startled me, I yelled, and my heron flew away. I'll get you one day, heron.

ND filter at sunset with a long exposure b/w

Then I was at the end of the lake, looking through the lens to set up for the above two shots. The following photo was taken with my phone from where I was standing.

I decided to crouch down and get a perspective from right above the water...

pic courtesy of Dave

And when I stepped to my right to adjust my footing and the tripod...PLUNK. This time my whole foot was soaked. That was not a fun walk back to the car.

If you want to see bigger versions of the first two pics, you can find them here and here.
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