2015’s End

It was a busy year.

I spent the year doing this stuff:

Life:
Changing diapers and making baby food.
Budget, data storage, encrypted backup

Travel:
Florida Keys, enjoyed Islamorada and Bahia Honda beach, not so much Key West; however, I did have a Sloppy Joe at Sloppy Joe’s.
Port Orleans – French Quarter (Very impressed)
Animal Kingdom Lodge (Unimpressed)

Tech, Software & Gaming:
The Long Dark (253 hrs on record)
Cities:Skylines
Slack
TAILS
Configured dedicated HTPC running Plex, Sonarr, and CouchPotato.
GoPro Hero 4 Silver
New Gaming Rig (i7, 12GB, 1TB, GeForce GTX 750), upgraded to SSDs, would like to upgrade video card in 2016.

TV, Music, and Books:
Active Child
Fargo
The Weeknd
Back to Back
Kindle Voyage & Calibre

Cities:Skylines Copper Creek

I’m working on a new city. I tried to go with a more rural plan, but the intrigue of skyscrapers creeps in every time.

From the rural riverside:
Copper_Creek-Rural

Skyline shot with bonus bridge:
Copper_Creek-City

The hustle and bustle of downtown Copper Creek:
Copper_Creek-Hustle

Map: Copper Creek by Scotland Tom.

I’m going to still build up the downtown area and keep up my satellite rural areas.

My next adventure is starting St. Louis, MO on a 1:1 scale, using this map, like this guy did.

Hours logged at this point: 110.

Michael Jackson’s Neverland for a Cool $100 Million

The 2,700-acre California estate no longer has amusement park rides or many exotic animals, though the train station is still in place.

Neverland

The property spans about 2,700 acres and has about 22 structures on it, Ms. Perkins said. The Normandy-style main house, which sits between the property’s two lakes, measures about 12,000 square feet, with six bedrooms plus an attached staff quarters. There’s a four-bedroom guesthouse near the main home and a two-bedroom guesthouse a little farther away. There’s also a swimming pool with a cabana, a barbecue area, basketball court and a tennis court. A 50-seat movie theater has a private viewing balcony, and a stage includes trap doors for magic shows.

Cities: Skylines

I’ve logged over 30 hours on Cities: Skylines in the past week. I think I’m addicted. Below is one of the main open air skywalks I built for my current city. It’s greatly reduced pedestrian traffic on the road, thus improving the flow of vehicular traffic. Never underestimate the power of an amazing skywalk system. Time Magazine says, “You Need to Check out Cities: Skylines,” and I agree. It’s not the old Sim City that we all loved growing up. It’s so much better.

Click to see in all its glory
Click to see in all its glory

2015 Reading List Update

I’ve been terribly busy with travel and getting this house in shape for Mouseketeer’s arrival. There are only a few weeks left!

I have read, though, as I’m on a quest to read 50 books in 2015.

Over the past few weeks I have read the following:

Think Like a Freak – Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute (Fantastically strange read and a real page turner. I’m not even kidding.) -Zac Bissonnette
How to Use the GoPro Hero 4 Silver (as I picked one up) – Jordan Hetrick
GoPro: Professional Guide to Filmmaking – Bradford Schmidt & Brandon Thompson
How to Shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck – Steve Stockman
Three Cups of Deceit: How Greg Mortenson, Humanitarian Hero, Lost His Way – Jon Krakauer
13, 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 / 50 – Freakonomics, Beanie Babies, GoPro, Video Editing, Krakauer

This was just released today so I am starting it this evening:

Missoula-Krakauer-cover

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town - Synopsis

In Missoula, Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula — the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them.

Some of them went to the police. Some declined to go to the police, or to press charges, but sought redress from the university, which has its own, non-criminal judicial process when a student is accused of rape. In two cases the police agreed to press charges and the district attorney agreed to prosecute. One case led to a conviction; one to an acquittal. Those women courageous enough to press charges or to speak publicly about their experiences were attacked in the media, on Grizzly football fan sites, and/or to their faces. The university expelled three of the accused rapists, but one was reinstated by state officials in a secret proceeding. One district attorney testified for an alleged rapist at his university hearing. She later left the prosecutor’s office and successfully defended the Grizzlies’ star quarterback in his rape trial. The horror of being raped, in each woman’s case, was magnified by the mechanics of the justice system and the reaction of the community.

Krakauer’s dispassionate, carefully documented account of what these women endured cuts through the abstract ideological debate about campus rape. College-age women are not raped because they are promiscuous, or drunk, or send mixed signals, or feel guilty about casual sex, or seek attention. They are the victims of a terrible crime and deserving of compassion from society and fairness from a justice system that is clearly broken.

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19 / 50 – Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town – Jon Krakauer

The science of anti-vaccination

Once their mind has been made up, confirmation bias sets in. Confirmation bias is simply our tendency to more readily, and with less scrutiny, accept information, anecdotes, and world views that confirm our existing beliefs. And, again, it is a completely normal thing that every person does. Indeed, trying to convince someone that a previously held belief is incorrect has been proven to actually increase their affinity for that idea. And so a community is born, and the safety of vaccines is called into question. And once the procedure for getting a vaccine goes from the doctor telling you that it is now time for a vaccine — and 99% of parents agreeing because that person went through medical school — to it being a question to ponder, vaccination rates will go down.

Via Kottke.org

The Florida Keys Babymoon

I am taking my wife on a Babymoon in April to the Florida Keys after finding an amazingly priced flight last night. I was up until almost 4 in the morning reading, booking a resort, and seeing what we can get into down there. I love to travel. I also really love to read guidebooks about where we’re going. I use them to choose things to do while we’re there, find neat little places to eat, and find hidden beaches, authentic experiences, and off-the-beaten-path places.

So, I added a few books to Calibre and pushed them to my Voyage to read over the next weeks including:

I’m on a quest to read 50 books in 2015.

8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 / 50 – Key West Travel Books