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October surprise (31 Oct at 21:15)
Hi! It's the busy time of year again and I feel behind on a great many things.

BUT! I did actually get a lot done this month. First, we finally got some some Dangerous Material Experts to come out and properly abate the asbestos-containing vermiculite in the attic, which had been up there not causin' anybody any problems, but whose undisturbability was blocking a whole series of home improvement projects (e.g. get better insulation in the attic) that had been cumulatively weighing on my mind for years. Even though I'm willing to do a lot of work myself (I prefer it, even) asbestos abatement is a rare example of something I don't even think about trying. So that's great and now I have a new urgent problem, which is an uninsulated attic as freezing temperatures approach, but this one is something I can manage to do myself with some grind, which as you know is my cup of jam. The hardest part may be getting all these huge bags of fiberglass Home from the Depot:

Mininsulation
Mininsulation


but the Mini is barely big enough to take two "passengers" at a time with the top down.

And speaking of grinding being my tea, I finally finished the Pac Tom Project! Well, finished in the sense that I did the final run and all the streets are now completely complete. The reason I took so long to actually finish this thing (it's been one street away for over a year now) is that I wanted it to have a fitting finale, with a costume and help from friends to commemorate and film that finale, and the costume's construction was ambitious and hit some snags relating to physics and so on. But this last few weeks have been perfect fall weather in Pittsburgh (and it's about to get Not Perfect Weather real soon), so that was enough motivation to solve the problems and get it done. I will put together a video shortly for this project, so I don't want to say too much more or officially celebrate here, as the video will be the right way to experience it (unless you are one of the gang who helped out, and then: Thanks!!).

And speaking of running, I did do the Detroit Marathon a few weeks before that. It was a fun course, with the bridge into Canada at sunrise being the highlight (I found running through the security checkpoints to be weird and funny, too). We had perfect conditions (cool and dry) and the hotel was right on the start line, and the course is very flat, so it could have been a good opportunity to set a PR. But I'm definitely still not feeling recovered from COVID (but I ran a whole marathon; I know, cry me a river right?), and relatedly did not train enough, so I did not push myself (and also Walled pretty bad around mile 18). 3h52m05s is not that bad given the circumstances.

Finally I did play some more games. I was in the mood for a low-stress one, so I played Need for Speed(TM) Heat on sale for $3.50, which was definitely worth $3.50. Imagine Grand Theft Auto V but you can't ever leave your car. I liked the day/night mechanic and running from the cops was actually stressful and hard (until you figure out the tricks). Humorous to me is that almost my exact real-life car is in this game, but for a long time I was not high-enough level to drive it (which is also silly because it gives you like a Ferrari first), but that was a good goal to unlock it. I'm done with that one now and now I'm midway through Manifold Garden, which is pretty neat. It reminds me a lot of Antichamber, whose puzzles and general vibe I think I liked more, but some of the graphics effects in M.G. are quite unique and impressive. Meanwhile one of my side projects for this video involves some very simple 3D graphics programming, which I suck at, and so when my brain sugars run out and I give up on the graphics programming to play video games instead, it's like an extra humiliating experience.
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Ceri Morgan (100.6.68.113) – 11.01.22 21:04:24
Congratulations on finishing Pac Tom! I've done Level I, but don't foresee Level II in my future. Definitely agree about the weather lately, it's been the longest stretch of running-friendly weather that I can remember.
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jonas (89.134.12.186) – 11.03.22 07:22:35
Update the Pac Tom website with an Achivement unlocked box, you deserve it.
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Tom 7 (74.98.225.43) – 12.01.22 10:15:58
Ceri: That's awesome, congrats! I remember you telling me that you were working on it long ago :) Level II does have a lot to offer, for what it's worth...

jonas: Agreed but I am withholding the achievement until I post the video!
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