Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

«Minecraft Screenshots»

Just figured I'd share some screenshots of my Minecrafting. This game is like playing with Legos; you mine material and build stuff with it. Click an image to view full.

I have a tower down on the beach and one on the mountaintop over there. They act as beacons so when I'm out exploring I know how to get back. The mountaintop is also the location of my current home. It's just made of cobblestone, but it does its job.
Distant view of mountaintop beacon
The entrance to my main mineshaft. What you don't see is the labyrinth of passageways I've created down there. I have a spiral shaft that goes all the way down to bedrock (the bottom of the map) with all sorts of horizontal shafts that branch off of at various levels.
Mine entrance
This mountain is the location of my future home. I have plans for an epic castle up there, but so far all I've got is my glass observation sphere built. It's built of glass (duh) and obsidian. It's going to take a while to mine the resources I need for the castle. It's a long term project.
Obsidian and glass sphere

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

«Urban Ninjas»

Professor Longhair, Big Chief

Friggin' urban ninjas man... They'll scale the side of a 2 story apartment building like it's nothing. If these guys were running from the police, they'd be gone in a flash.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

«Motivational Monday: Minecraft»

The exploration is fun, but so is the building. It's like Legos.
Minecraft / Because going to real cave systems and doing the hard job of exploring them is not satisfactory enough

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

«Addictive Sandbox»

Minecraft... It's addictive like crack if you like sandbox games (and I do).

Yes it's all blocky, but you don't even notice it after a while.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

«Moon Place»

I was out riding my bike again and I ended up on the Moon... Place.
Intersection of Orbit Drive and Moon Place.

Click image to view full.

Yup, I rode my bicycle to the Moon.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

«Old Spice Guy»

Hello. If you're reading this you'll soon realize something is happening to you... Look down, now look up... Where are you? Are you still here? If you are you'll soon come to realize that I've taken over your inner voice. Oh yes, I just did. You now have a deep sultry man voice as your inner dialog. Now look back at me. I'm in your brain.

Click image to view full.
Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

This post is now diamonds.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

«QR Codes»

QR Code containing website informationI updated my About page, it was about time I did so. Now it no longer says I live in Ketchikan, and I changed the picture of myself. I also changed some details and wording a bit.

Yes, the DMCA copyright notice is more prominent now. It's really a pain when someone files a complaint on some picture I used in an old post without contacting me about it first. QR CodeI added another way to get my email address, by decoding a QR code. It may look like its listed in plain text on the page anyway, but in fact it is pieced together with javascript. Most spam bots that scrape pages for email addresses don't bother running javascript. If you have javascript disabled it won't display the email address, so I added another way to get it. I don't expect spambots to recognize and decode QR codes anytime soon.

What does this one say?So just how do you decode a QR code, and what are they anyway? A QR code is a lot like a barcode, except it supports alphanumerical text instead of just numbers. They look like the checkerboard images that I've included in this post. If you have a smartphone with a camera (iPhone or Android for example), there should be a free app that you can use to decode them. Just search for "QR code" in your app store. They're great fun. Over in Japan they are used everywhere in advertising and catalogs.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

«Boise Bugs»

There's a few bugs I'm seeing around here that I didn't see in Alaska. Click an image to view full.

This praying mantis was just hanging out on the balcony railing outside. It was about 3.5 inches long.
Praying mantis
It let me get my camera lens right in its face. The last creature to allow that was a deer.
Praying mantis head
I admit, after I had taken enough photos of the mantis I started to poke and prod it instead of just leaving it be. I thought it would be cool to get it on my hand so you could see the scale of it. I'm sure for some of you a praying mantis is a common sight. But for me this was about the biggest bug I'd ever seen. I started to grab it and it turned to grab me. I freaked out and threw the thing, and it flew away.

Then there's these little red bugs. I found one inside the house the other day. They are Box Elder nymphs (Boisea trivittata). I think it's just coincidence that Boise is part of the bug's species name.
Box Elder nymph
They seem to come in numbers. They were literally everywhere on this fence and the ground near it.
group of Box Elder nymphs
And then there's this spider. Hanging out with lunch in its mouth. I noticed some kids from across the street looking at something on a reserved parking sign in our yard. The kids scattered when they saw me. Evidently I'm scarier than the spider.
Bold jumping Spider with a fly in its mouth.
After Googling it, I think it's a Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax). That's right: jumping spider. It can jump 50 times its own body length. Oh, and it can bite. Lucky for me (and the kids) I think it was content to just sit there with its meal. I learned my lesson from the praying mantis, and just let the spider be.

I see what you did there and I do not approve.
I couldn't resist...

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Monday, September 20, 2010

«Motivational Monday: Private Sign»

Heh, someone wanted to be clever with a private sign. And this other one above it? Warning: unattended children will be sold- wait, what?

LOL / Wait... wut?

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

«Achievement Unlocked! (Photo Heavy)»

Achievement Unlocked! Ride a bicycle at least 50 miles in 1 day. Click an image to view full.

I am such a nerd. When I saw this street sign I just had to take a picture of it.
Achievement Drive sign
It took longer than I expected. I rode about 52 miles1 on Friday on my bicycle. I was gone for 6 hours and 40 minutes, but that includes the time I spent at my destination and a meal.

Speaking of my destination, it was Lake Lowell.
Lake Lowell, Idaho
The lake has some algae bloom issues.
Lake Lowell's shoreline slime
Even with the slime issues, it seems to be a popular recreation area. I saw personal boats and jet skis out on the water.
Boat launching ramp
The lake is man made for irrigation purposes and as a bird sanctuary. Here's one of the intakes for the irrigation channel.
Irrigation tower
The dam is named Deer-Flat Upper Dam.
Deer-Flat Upper Dam
I had just rode 26 miles on my bicycle to get here, and I bounded up these stairs like they weren't even there. I got tired on the return trip, though.
Stairs up the Deer-Flat Upper Dam
My bike, locked up for when I was off exploring the dam and taking photos of Lake Lowell.
Marf's bicycle
Returning home I stopped on this hill to take a photo of Boise. This is the exact opposite side of Boise of the photos I took at Table Rock. In the full sized image you can see all the cell towers that are up on Table Rock.
Boise skyline
1: 52.1 miles if I trace the route I took on Google Maps

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

«Caturday: Packaged Teach See»

Best idea since individually wrapped candy bars!

lolcats now individually packaged to help preserve lolness
Nxt we teach it to use the litr box
I see what u did there (but not over here)

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Friday, September 17, 2010


This video gave me lulz to no end... I'd try to be more empathetic, but somewhere inside I'd be a lot like this:

Words, Episode 2: Okay

Is it bad that when someone kills themselves, I want to know the method they used? Maybe I'm just a little sick in the head...

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

«Vaccinations in General»

Penn and Teller on Vaccinations

Yes it's kind-of gimmicky. But the point is sound. Even IF vaccination did cause autism1, it would still be worth vaccinating every child in the world.

I'd like to note that when he throws the bin the plexiglas shield moves a little and knocks down another yellow pin. This is the child that is allergic to chicken eggs or another component in the vaccination.

1: Which it fucking doesn't!

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

«Flu Vaccination»

I got a flu shot yesterday, you're welcome.

There's all these idiots in the anti-vaccination movement now, herd immunity is being weakened. As much as I'd like to allow natural selection to weed out the idiots, they put the rest of us in danger as well.

I usually don't get flu shots. I lived the life of a hermit in a small town on an island in Alaska. But now I'm in the Boise metropolitan area with 587,000 other people. I hate needles, the color drains from my face and I get light-headed when around them. But I hate being sick even more.

So I got my flu vaccination to protect myself and those around me, as well as the people around them and so on. If some of those people happen to be anti-vaccination idiots, they still get the benefit from the vaccinations of those around them. I won't be spreading the flu to anyone.

Did you get your flu shot yet?

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

«City of Boise Survey»

So yesterday I got this letter in the mail from the Office of the Mayor. They want each household's opinion on how safe they feel they are, how the city is spending tax dollars, and how they perceive Boise as a place to life. It's an online survey. They ask that the adult in the household who has had the most recent birthday take the survey. That would be me.

So they sent out a letter, they obviously want people to take the survey. The best way to get someone to do something is to make it simple. Right off the bat they hit you with a rather long URL that you have to type in by hand. After mistyping it once, I get there and I get this:

We are experiencing technical difficulties. This survey will be back online later this afternoon. If you would like to be notified when it is back online, you can send an email request to [address removed]

Do note, this was about 9:00 PM that I tried this. Exactly when does "this afternoon" refer to? Remind me again, do they really want people to do this servery? Or did they just feel like wasting envelopes and paper?

I planed to answer fairly well on the survey. I'm quite happy with Boise as a whole. I love the Greenbelt (a bicycle path that runs along the river). They seem to maintain it well; there's construction on the Greenbelt now, and they are building a new bridge in another section. The parks are numerous and well maintained. Road construction doesn't take forever... Maybe I've just got a skewed perspective because I come from the craptacular town of Ketchikan, where everything is half-ass patched and takes forever to be completed.

In fact, I'd say the survey website is about the worst thing about Boise so far. They made a point in the letter to make it clear the survey is hosted by ORC, an external and independent website. So the only fault of Boise is contracting their survey out to the wrong company!

EDIT: Just want to say the survey is working today.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

«Motivational Monday: It's Horrible»

I admit, I've been waiting for most of the year to use this one. Joking about something is the best way to get over it. I mean really... It's been 9 years. Yes, it was a horrible tragedy. Stop dwelling on the past, stop quibbling over petty things like the mosque. Just get over it and MOVE ON!

It's Horrible / But I can't stop laughing

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

«Facebook Page»

Master Marf now has an official Facebook page!

Actually, it's been around since August 29th, 2010. Still fairly new, I just haven't announced it here until now. The whole point of it is to drive more traffic to here. Why would I direct you (already being a blog reader) to the Facebook page just so you can come back?

Oh, I know why! You can "like" the page while you're there. That way when others that haven't seen the blog go to the page, they'll notice other people like it. Maybe then they'll take the time to check out the blog. It can't hurt...

I know a couple of you already have. Most notably piper.secrets who left a comment on the wall there. Thanks!

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

«Caturday: 9/11 Emergency Lulz»

Well, that title turned out a little inappropriate...

ZOMG!! 9/11
"911, what is the nature of your emergency? "It's my cat, I think he's trying to... "Hello? Hello?"
no lulz just sads

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Friday, September 10, 2010

«Sims 3: New Accomplices»

Grim can be such an ass.

Since I installed the newest update for the Sims 3, story progression has been actually working and there's a flood of new sims in the neighborhood. So Grim (being the Emperor of Evil) has some new "employees" (accomplices in crime).

One evening Grim went over the the house of one of his new employees (we'll call him George) and peered into the window. The wife spotted him. She wouldn't let Grim in the house at first. I suppose I don't blame her. You see the Grim Reaper peering in your window at night, inviting him inside isn't the first thing on your mind. George though had little choice to let Grim in. It's the equivalent of your Mob Boss coming for a visit, you don't turn him away for anything... Unless you want to "disappear".

Grim helped himself to dinner, and chatted with George's wife a bit. They got into a bit of an argument about what direction the moral compass should point... Turns out she had the Good trait and Grim has the Evil trait. Grim attacked George's wife, stole candy from their 3 babies, then proceeded to keep everyone up all night.

George's teenaged son thought Grim was pretty cool. Being the mean-spirited bastard that he is, he laughed as Grim beat up his mother. George didn't seem to mind, either. Or if he did, he wasn't about to show it. In the morning Grim returned home, with a better picture of who he has working for him.

It's all about keeping your underlings in check. They need to know who's in charge.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

«Table Rock»

August 18th I rode my bicycle up to Table Rock. It's a viewpoint that looks out over Boise Idaho. Click an image to view full.

Here's what it looks like up on Table Rock. The heat that day made getting up there tougher than it should have been.
View from Table Rock
Zoomed in on Boise, if you look a bit you can see the dome of the Capitol Building.
Boise Idaho from Table Rock
There's a path that goes down and around the cliff face. Every square inch of that cliff is covered with graffiti. Not just spray-painted, but carved into the soft rock.
Cliff, with Boise beyond.
There's also a cave under Table Rock.
Table Rock cave
Because you can see most of Boise from table Rock, it's a good place for cell antennas. Ironically, I had a rather poor cell signal up there. Must have been all the interference.
Antennas galore
Also something you can see from most of Boise is the giant cross they light up at night. I don't know who owns the land, but it just seems wrong... And why are the other religions neglected? I demand a giant Flying Spaghetti Monster to be lit up at night on Table Rock, that would be sweet!
Cross on Table Rock

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

«That Time of Year Again»

Now I'm going to need to remember to answer 24 instead of 23 when someone asks me my age. Crap. Birthdays come too quickly.

Anyone want to get an AR.Drone for a last-minute birthday present for me? Anyone? No? Well... I may have to buy it myself then. I've been looking into getting one since I first heard of it. I already have the iPhone to control it.

Parrot AR.Drone : Flight Demo (HD version)

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

«Back to The Sims 3»

My last post about my Sims 3 Legacy was way back on November 24th, 2009. That was a longer than intended break. It took me a little while to figure out where I left off with my Legacy Challenge family.

Although I'm playing with the Matriarchy rule, the immortal Grim Reaper is still the silent head of the family, and has been since the 3rd generation (I'm up to the 8th generation now).

Richard achieved his lifetime wish of being a Chess Legend yesterday. He really has turned out the be the family Genius. I plan the 9th generation to be small, so I won't get all the lifetime wants before the 10th generation. This means I won't have a perfect legacy score. But at this point, who cares? I'm holding off on any expansion packs until I finish the legacy.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

«Motivational Monday: Marf and Looney»

A very special Motivational Monday today. Yesterday I met Looney for the first time in real life. Looney and Mrs. Looney were passing through Boise Idaho, so we met for breakfast.

Unity / We are separated by opposing ideologies, yet we stand united in friendship.
Looney is the first person "from my blog" that I've met in real life1. It may seem that we're always at odds in the comments, him being a fundamentalist Christian and me being an atheist. But that's what keeps it interesting. I have a lot of respect for Looney, he's a brilliant guy.

Here is the full photo.
Marf and Looney

Click image to view full.

They were very kind, Looney even paid for my breakfast (now I feel like I owe him!). The topic of religion didn't even really come up.

1: He's the second person I've met in real life that I first met online. The first one was a freak 1-in-a-billion chance that they were also in Ketchikan.

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

«The Day I Left Alaska»

Let's step back to the day I left Alaska; July 28th, 2010. I left on the M/V Columbia, the flagship of the Alaska Marine Highway System. Click an image to view full.

This was the last picture I took of Ketchikan, leaving it far behind me. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
Marf's last picture of Ketchikan
I took one look at this and it just didn't seem right... Is it an Alaskan flag? Or a United States flag? It's BOTH!
Alaskan flag and US flag combined.
That wasn't the only thing that seemed wrong on the ship. For instance, you go downstairs to get to the Upper Deck.
Upper Deck sign, pointing down.
No land in sight. Calm waters though.
Only water to the horizon.
One of the many life rings on the ship.
M/V Columbia orange life ring
In case of emergency, the emergency gear is locked up and you're screwed.
Emergency gear locker.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

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