Month: October 2015

Destiny is a lifestyle

Ever since Destiny came out, it’s all I’ve played on the Xbox. I could get into why and what has captured my attention about the game. But it’s simple.
It’s about community. It’s about friendship. I’ve made a lot of great friends online (and one I knew in real life.)

And we have fun together.

Comparing Swords

The story of Destiny is a mess. The new expansion, The Taken King is a new game more than an expansion.

Michael Lopp, aka Rands is still playing Destiny. He also wrote a post that I immediately related to. Be Unfailingly Kind is a love letter to Destiny and the friends he plays with. He talks about DJ. The leader of their raid group. In a raid, you need teamwork, communication and most of all patience.

Chilling in the Ward of Dawn.

Everyone screws up. Everyone shoots a rocket into the back of a teammate or spends a little too long before running for cover. Rands talks about DJ and I see a lot of my clanmates in his praise.

Rands says this about DJ:
* He clearly explains the situation. As many times as possible. Calmly.
* He has an insightful answer ready to any question. He’s done his research to become an expert in his field.
* Once the raid has begun, he monitors the situation, provides real-time feedback, and updates to the other players in a helpful and educational manner.
* In the face of disaster, he never loses composure.

We all have our own DJ. Our group leader that keeps us together and helps us through. Destiny is not just a grind. Destiny is about friendship and teamwork. I’ve played the same mission countless times. But each time with a different team of people who needed help getting through it. And I knew when it was time for me to run through it, they would be just as willing to help me out.

As of this morning, the Destiny iPhone app tells me I’ve spent 21 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes of my life playing it. I play because I have fun. I play because of the people I can have fun with and that will always keep me coming back.

peroty at rest
Why can't I take this gun with me?

Games should be fun and not take themselves too seriously. For Halloween, the Tower, where Guardians hang out, dance, shop and access their vaults was turned into a creepy wonderland with a series of quests to complete wearing masks. We’ve been collecting candy to fill bags to exchange for masks and other items. It’s fun. And hilarious.

Crota: Pumpkin King!

We are the Fr0zen Clan. Our motto is Let It Go!

Remember when I said games are meant to be fun. Here is our clan description:

Are you an orphaned princess who likes to sing her emotional status? Do you have super powers that should terrify your local serfs and merchants? Are you unaware of the number of plates in your house? Can you build an ice castle and create life (both terrifying and wildly annoying) from snow???? THEN THIS CLAN IS FOR YOU!!!!! We’ll also accept whalers from the moon, cannon fodder, bullet sponges and anyone that throws panic grenades.

We play on the Xbox One and are always looking for new friends. If you understand life comes before games, children exist and need to be cared for and like laughing and having a good time. Look us up.

The Setup / Michelle Vandy

I’ve written about The Setup before. But today’s entry made me look further. It features Brand Designer Michelle Vandy. She designs with her nose.

Michelle Vandy

Here’s her setup:

The last few years my arms have largely shaped my work setup. I used to struggle with severe pains and cramps in my lower arms and couldn’t design unless I had my special equipment. Basically I assembled a device from a Manfrotto Table Top Tripod Kit 209, 492 Long, tripod adapter plate and an Apple Magic Trackpad and placed it in front of my 15 inch MacBook Pro. I then used the tip of my nose to draw and maneuver the mouse, while my arms were resting in front of me. Yes, it was pretty frustrating at times and yes, it looked ridiculous and yes, it took a long time to increase my precision and speed, but somehow I ended up becoming extremely efficient!

Check out her site with a great domain name. She has full details on the hardware, photos and video of her using the setup in action.

Apollo Three Ways

Recently, NASA released photos from the Apollo missions. This is a treasure trove of 13,911 photos.

The photos themselves are wonderful to be able to see through the eyes and cameras of the astronauts. The photos are the originals without any post-processing or color correction. Which means someone took it upon themselves to do so.

NASA Apollo Images : Exposure & Color Corrected | Light And Matter

Unfortunately, the scans have not been corrected for color and exposure, so they tend to be flat and tinted. For those of you who like the Instagram-filter look, they’re just fine; it does add a bit of vintage charm. My instinct, though, is to repair them… to try to give them them accurate color and the crispness of a full-tonal range.

There are just a few of the more interesting photos with a before/after color correction applied to them. It gives new life to the photos.

And we couldn’t stop there.

Apollo Missions on Vimeo

I was looking through the Project Apollo Archive ( and at one point, I began clicking through a series of pics quickly and it looked like stop motion animation. So, I decided to see what that would look like without me having to click through it. Enjoy!

Sit back and enjoy almost three minutes of frantic space exploration.

Header image: Apollo 7 Hasselblad image from film magazine 4/N – Earth Orbit

It Just Worked

I installed the latest Mac OS this weekend. It was uneventful. I sat down to play Destiny on my couch. It was an afterthought. I had heard El Capitan was out so I figured what better time than a lazy Sunday afternoon to install it.

I pulled up the Mac App Store, clicked the big banner announcing its arrival into the world and let it start to download. I forgot all about it as I ran around the planets of Destiny chatting with friends and slaughtering aliens.

I finally noticed my computer was needing my attention. So I agreed to reboot it and it did. Installing the new OS in the process.

When it finished, it looked and acted exactly as it had before. I noticed nothing different. If I hadn’t sat through the download and upgrade cycle, I would not have believed it did anything. I did check the version number to be sure.

And there it was. A new Mac OS.

No fuss. No mess. My computer might as well be an appliance. It works as its supposed to. It does its job admirably and doesn’t cause me problems.

Besides adding syncing to the Notes app on iOS. I don’t know what else the new OS gives my aging 201 MacBook Pro. But it doesn’t make using it any worse. And that is the point I’m at with my technology.

If it doesn’t give me anything new, at least don’t break anything.