Thursday, October 8, 2015

Three Things Thursday - Internet

Comcast sent us a letter, saying how to get the best Internet speeds from our router.

First, don't put the router by a window. Half of the Internet goes out the window and doesn't help you. So...routers send out Internet signals in all direction? Is there any way to set up my computer as a beacon, so it sends all the Internet in that direction, instead of sending it out equally in all directions?

Second, don't put the router by a TV. The TV will interfere with it. That's great advice, Comcast, but you drilled the special Internet router hole right next to the TV so we could get digital cable. Or something like that? Anyway, the point I'm making is that every house I've seen with Comcast (all two of them) has the specially-installed router hole right by the TV. Why would you do that, if it makes Internet slow?

Third, don't use your computer in a room other than the room with the router. Internet slows down, if it has to go through walls. Again, that's great advice, if I wasn't forced to keep the router right by the TV. Most people don't keep computer desks under their TV. If I could move the router, I'd set it up on the end of my computer desk, to get maximum Internet speed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Love Chronicles: The Spell

Hey, Mary and I played Love Chronicles: The Spell for a livestream!

The last livestream was Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers. The game is okay, but the hidden objects challenges are a bit too tough for me. Sadly, I don't have a copy of that livestream available; the game recorded without my audio commentary.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


The new recipe this week was Broccoli-Mushroom Scallop. It's basically cooking mushrooms in butter, then adding milk, flour, and onion powder. My thing of onion powder is all hard and stuck together. Is there a way to fix that? I tried stabbing it with a knife, but no dice.

Once you've got the mushroom mix, you pour it over the broccoli, then cover it with cheese. It basically tastes the way you'd expect: broccoli mixed with cheese and mushrooms. My family didn't like it.

The other recipe I made was enchilada casserole. I've made it three times now, and my family likes it, so I'm adding it to my official cookbook. Katie was surprised that she liked it, even though she's had it twice before. Shows how much faith she has in my cooking! The other repeat recipe I'm doing is sour cream chicken. I keep messing up the cooking time on that. This time, I'll try baking it for 30 minutes. Maybe that is the ideal cooking time.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nancy Clancy Super Sleuth

Nancy Clancy Super Sleuth is the first book in a Fancy Nancy spinoff series, aimed towards older readers. It's about 125 pages, with black-and-white illustrations.

Nancy has decided she's a huge fan of Nancy Drew books, and of course, she's talking about the original Nancy Drew series. Nobody ever talks about the modern Nancy Drew series in that context. She starts a detective agency with her friend Bree, and they solve two mysteries.

The first is the mystery of the twins next door. Nancy and Bree spy on the twins, while they're fighting. One twin gets mad and says, "I'm going to tell Nancy what you did!". The mystery is, what did she do? Nancy goes completely off-base for a while and deduces that the twins are building a giant pit to trap detectives, but eventually she figures out that the twin left a huge, dirty fingerprint on her Nancy Drew book. Nancy figures this out, by using a magnifying glass and fingerprinting kit; it was a pretty good chapter of her being clever and hardworking.

The other mystery is at school. Everyone brought a keepsake to school, for a display during parent day. The teacher's marble goes missing, and Nancy is falsely accused to stealing it. She tries to solve the mystery, with the help of some photographs. I won't spoil the ending, but I'd say it's about as good as can be expected. It's possible to solve the mystery before Nancy does, and there's a joke about how in Nancy Drew books, the culprit is always the mean, ugly person. There's also a somewhat grim joke, about Nancy's investigations never getting interrupted by Mom, because her mother is dead.

Overall, I'd say it's an okay book for third graders. There's a lot more to it than the third-grade Nancy Drew books, because it's longer. The story meanders a bit at parts, but the book definitely falls in line with the Fancy Nancy books for younger readers. Mary wants to read the other books in the series now.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Synod on the Family

The Catholic Church is having a Synod on the Family this year, from today to the 25th. It's more or less a continuation of last year's synod, with a lot more people attending.

For a long time now, people have been trying to hijack the Synod and change the agenda, so it focuses on their particular issues. Common topics people keep bringing up are divorce, adultery, polygamy, gay marriage, birth control, and...yeah, mostly things dealing with sex. People seem preoccupied with getting the church to change its rules on sex.

Last year, the first week of the Synod was an open discussion with everyone, and there were many presentations. They wrote up a midterm report over the weekend. The second week, they broke up into small groups, based on language, and discussed the midterm report / made changes to it. In the end, everyone voted on what the report would say. I believe this is the final copy of the report, although, it's obviously going to become outdated later this month.

This year, they're going to have an open discussion on Monday/Tuesday, with small group discussions for the rest of the week. Each small group will write observations/summaries, which will be released publicly. They will repeat the process for three weeks in a row, tackling a different theme each week. I wonder what the themes will be!

In the end, everyone votes on the final document, paragraph by paragraph.

There will be 13 different small groups. We know German, English, Spanish, Italian, and French are five of them. I couldn't find anything which said what the other 8 languages groups will be. In the past, the Church avoided language barrier problems by doing everything in Latin. It's a shame they're not doing that now, because I can kind of understand Latin.

Last year's synod was kind of messy, in that there was an ineffective media ban. Also, someone robbed the Vatican mail office to prevent Synod attendees from receiving books. The media ban has been partially lifted, in that Bishops are now free to talk to the press at the end of each day. And we're getting more regular reports, so that's good. The discussions are still going to happen behind closed doors, so it's not completely transparent.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

YouTube Schedule

This week, I'm releasing more videos for Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I've recorded videos 14-20. I think I'm six videos away from finishing the game, so I might just go ahead and do a second week of videos. It depends on whether or not I can record the videos in time.

After that, I've got a walkthrough for Miss Clue: Formula for Danger. That's 27 videos long, so I'll probably release three videos a day, for nine days.

Next on the list is Detective Barbie and one of the Nancy Drew DS games. I figured out how to record Detective Barbie! Kind of. Only the video will record. I'll have to record the audio separately, which will hopefully not be a problem.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Castle Malloy, Speedrun 4

Does anyone know a fast way to get coins, in Haunting of Castle Malloy? From what I can tell, these are the various ways.

1. One next to the Madame Isbael machine
2. One after solving the leprechaun puzzle
3. One after moving the rocking horse = about ten seconds to get
4. One from doing the first doll puzzle = about eight seconds to get
5. Two from the slots of the machines in the pub = about ten seconds to get
6. Playing mix maid

Is there one I missed? Maybe there's one in the bog hut, or in the sheep-shearing area? I dunno.

You need three coins, in order to get a weight from Madame Isbael. Right now, it looks like the fastest way to do that is to play mix maid, which you have to do no matter what. If you get the coins from other locations, you can put off seeing Donal until 40 minutes into the game or so. That's a minor timesaver; it saves you an extra trip to Donal's place.

The first two coins on the list are easy to get. They only take about a second, because they're in areas you'll already be in. Coins 3-5 require you to go slightly out of your way. I wonder what takes more time: getting the coins from playing mix maid (and therefore taking an extra trip to Donal's) or getting the coins from other places?

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Message in a Haunted Mansion Speedrun

I need to redo my speedrun for Nancy Drew: Message in a Haunted Mansion. My original run has become...outdated! Shock, gasp, this was probably inevitable.

There are three main reasons why it's outdated.

#1, someone discovered you can skip the opening cutscene!

#2, someone discovered you can skip talking to Abby about gum bo fu.

#3, there's a route improvement! My route was centered around only using Nancy's alarm clock once. It's about seven seconds faster to use the alarm clock twice, with the second time setting the clock to 5:00 to make Louis disappear.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Job

At the start of the month, I talked about getting a new job. Well, I finally got one! I'm a delivery driver for Round Table Pizza.

It's an okay job. The downside is that if there are no deliveries, I have to stay inside and wash dishes for hours. And take care of the salad buffet. And now they want me to learn how to work phones and the ordering system, which must have been designed by an outside company, because no way someone who takes pizza orders for a living decided this is the best way to organize orders.

Actually, no, the downside is that wages, tips and gas reimbursement are three completely different pay categories, according to the IRS. So I need to keep separate records for all three. It's pretty rough.

Currently, I'm working during the daytime, which means I don't get to watch my soap operas anymore, and I have much less time for YouTube stuff. That's kind of a shame, actually. A lot of my livestreaming stuff has been geared towards speedrunning, 'cause that's what I'm into right now. But I could use another hour each day, just for speedrunning stuff. Like, Segment 1 of Haunting of Castle Malloy is about 40 minutes long. How many tries will it take to reach optimum time on that? I dunno, but if I want to do it, I need more practice time than just "maybe one attempt per week".

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Was Jesus Married?

Q: Was Jesus married?

A: Almost certainly not. None of the biographies, written in the century after his death, mention him being married. Some people think that Jesus was married, and everyone knew it, but there was a massive coverup when Pope Saint Gregory VII made it mandatory for all priests to be celibate. This is impossible for two reasons.

#1, there is a 900 to 1000 year gap, in between Jesus' death and the Gregorian reforms. That's way too long for any coverup to be plausible; there's just too much that would have to be suppressed. Imagine launching a coverup program, to conceal the fact that George Washington was the first United States President. Now multiply that difficulty by four. That's how impossible it would be.

#2, the Eastern Orthodox Church split from the Catholic Church, before the Gregorian reforms. There's no way that they would have gone along with a huge cover-up by a Catholic Pope. Also, they have married priests, so if anyone would have promoted the idea of a married Jesus, it's them.

I know they made a movie (movies?) out of the idea that Jesus was married. I'm told the inspiration was an old piece of paper with chunks missing. It read something like "Mary Magdalene [gap] kissed [gap] Jesus".

Um...yeah. I think it's jumping to conclusions, to say they were married based on that. I want to see what the missing parts of the sentence are, first. I bet five bucks that it's a version of the story, where Mary washes Jesus' feet with fancy perfume, then dries them with her hair and kisses them. (John 12, Luke 7).

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Castle Malloy Speedrun, 3

When you talk to Kyler about the wedding program, the conversation changes slightly, depending on whether or not you've talked to Kit. If you know Kit, Nancy asks why he's not the best man. If you don't know Kit, Nancy asks when Alan will arrive. It takes three seconds more to talk about Kit.

Another difference? When you make programs, Nancy says something along the lines of "looks like the best man is Alan Payne". If she knows Kit, she adds something along the lines of "That's kinda weird.". It's not a timewaster, because you can skip Nancy's line of dialogue by trying to back away, mid-sentence.

The conversation with Alan does NOT change, whether or not you know Kit.

Overall, it looks like it's faster to ignore Kit in the first main part of the game! It only saves three seconds, but that's better than nothing, I guess.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Detective Barbie

I was going to play Detective Barbie, but the video came out weird. Here's the startup screen:

I should note that the game looks perfectly fine, on my computer. I see this as a normal rainbow. The recording equipment turns it into that weird form.

The walkthrough is getting put on hold, now. I have one final recording method to try, which is to trick the computer into thinking it's duplicating the screen onto a projector. The "projector" will be the machine I use to record Wii games. Maybe that'll work? That's how I recorded The Pagemaster, but that was seven years ago at this point.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Saturday Streams

I'm trying out Saturday Streams. That is, I'm going to livestream every Saturday this month. If it's popular, I'll probably continue. If it's not, I'll probably stop.