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Megafest 5.1

Started: 2007-01-01 15:43:09

Submitted: 2007-01-01 16:56:52

Visibility: World-readable

Megafest 5.1 is drawing to a close. The Megafest featured movies, music, snow, numerous games of Catan and Star Munchkin.

Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Kiesa and I landed in Denver at 1415 MST. She claimed our bags and I headed to the shuttle parking lot to retrieve Motoko; we ended up cutting a reasonable amount of time off our return. At home, I found Christmas gifts on the porch. After unpacking, my mission was to clear enough space in the snow for all the cars to park. I thought about creating a parallel parking spot in front of my yard but didn't want to move that much snow; I concluded we could fit two cars in my driveway and two cars straight in right in front of the driveway. This wasn't optimal, but it worked better than pushing all of the snow I would have to move otherwise.

bouncing arrived first. As I showed off Motoko, I extracted an almost-admission that he and Scott applied the "Property of Cat5" sticker that spontaneously appeared on Yoda in March. Yanthor and Anya arrived, with Bitscape close behind. bouncing departed, and Humblik arrived shortly before midnight, localtime.

At some point during the evening, I broke out Star Munchkin, a Steve Jackson game (like Illuminati) that's great fun, if entirely irreverent with the sacred tenants of science fiction. Kiesa wouldn't touch it, but everyone else thought it was great.

Thursday, 28 December 2006

I cooked breakfast and we contemplated our options for the day. We headed across town to our local movie theater for a 1150 showing of Eragon. Since my last visit a year ago, they managed to turn down the volume on the pre-showtime ads, making them a bit less annoying than previously. The movie was better than most of the reviews indicated, but I'm still torn between comparing it to the book (which is reasonable fantasy, but nothing groundbreaking); obviously novels and movies are different art forms with different narrative styles.

Anya departed for Lincoln; she had to work on the weekend and didn't want to get stuck in the upcoming snow storm. (This involved a good bit of shuffling of the cars in the driveway and garage; Motoko gave its garage slot to Tobias and moved to the driveway so she could be used for off-site quests.) No one was sure how much snow we'd get; after last week's two feet, the media was paranoid. Those who remained arranged meals and went on a fortifications run, starting at Vitamin Cottage and continuing to King Soopers.

I amused myself ripping trailers for movies that were likely to be nominated. We discussed movie voting and decided to nominate just one movie each for viewing that night only. This seemed to work well; we watched Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Friday, 29 December 2006

My sleep cycle pushed half an hour later each day. The epic snow storm arrived late Thursday; by Friday morning I had about six inches on the driveway. Shoveling between Motoko and Humblik's unnamed vehicle was a bit trickier than would have been optimal. I cleared a bit of a parallel parking space in front of my yard but didn't complete it. We headed to our local Best Buy, newly open in Longmont. I didn't expect to find a Wii on the shelf; they didn't surprise me. I spent the rest of the day working on the video for Megafest 4.2 (from over a year ago); we watched the video after supper.

Saturday, 30 December 2006

Late the previous week, Kiesa wrote our Christmas letter, which seems likely to be the first holiday letter we'll send out. Saturday morning I edited and formatted the letter and added exciting photos from London and of our house and cats. We didn't let the Internet cast guilt on us for not sending the letter out in November; mailing it the first week of January should be fine.

I did manage to write code this Megafest; all appearances are that all of the Megafestors wrote more code than several of the previous Megafests combined. I thought about writing a Nautilus (the Gnome file manager) extension to assist me with my photos; the first incarnation would keep track of which photos I've cropped, which photos I'm ignoring (because they're inferior to other photos of the same subject), and which photos I haven't yet addressed. (This is harder than it sounds because I have some rounds with hundreds of photos that I deal with at different times; I may ignore a handful of photos in the middle of the round and come back to them a month later.) I quickly learned that Nautilus provides a framework to do what I want, but I couldn't find quite as much documentation as I would have preferred. I did find the source for other extensions, and I could have slogged through it and eventually accomplished my goal, but slogging isn't something I want to do on my recreational code.

Frustrated with extending Nautilus, I switched to web software; I expanded my photo archive to show groups of photos in a "slide show". This feature is still in beta, and I need to complete the one slide show I have, but you can take a look at Slide show: London 2006.

I had grand plans to attract a wide variety of extra attendees to play table games on Saturday night, but my schemes failed to come to fruition. We ended up playing a five-player game of Seafarers of Catan; by the end of the game, I was one victory point short of winning. (Since I didn't win, I repressed the memory of who did win.)

Sunday, 31 December 2006

Yanthor and Bitscape contemplated hunting down a local unitarian church to see how churches outside Lincoln worked, but they didn't make it up early enough. I headed out on a mission to print our Christmas letter and ended up at Kinko's, which would let me print double-sided color prints for US$2 each. That was far more than I expected to pay, so I returned home to investigate other options. (Kiesa's library patrons pay US$0.25 for a color printout; this sounded like a superior option.)

For the past several months, our old LaserJet 4 has been having paper feed issues; when the paper makes it into the output tray, the bottom was horribly crumpled. More often, it simply jams. We had resigned ourselves to getting a new printer but hadn't taken the time to hunt one down until I noticed that the printer was behaving perfectly during the Megafest. One hypothesis sprung to mind; normally the basement is much colder than room temperature, but during the Megafest we turned up the heat; the basement maintained about 22°C. I hypothesized that the printer didn't function well in the cold. This means we'll need to move it upstairs, so I shopped for JetDirect cards on eBay.

I suggested scheduling a time for gaming and convinced everyone to be done with their individual activities at 1600. We played Settlers of the Stone Age, which was entertaining. I settled all four continents first (after Yanthor realized that he shouldn't have been able to make the crossing to North America), and made it to within one point of winning when Humblik managed to win.

Kiesa made cheese fondue for supper, using the new electric fondue pot she got for Christmas.

After supper, we played a five-player game of Cities and Knights of Catan. I started especially slowly but managed to get the coin-funded citadel. Kiesa would have won had she had more than four cities she could build; Humblik ended up winning less than a turn later. The game took us up to 2315, with forty-five minutes left of 2006 in Mountain time. I suggested watching Futurama until midnight (episodes "A Tale of Two Santas" and "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid"), then pointed Safari to time.gov and watched the new year arrive, accurate to within 0.6 seconds.

Monday, 1 January 2007

Yanthor suggested watching The Matador; Humblik and I joined him. It was amusing and continued the gradual trend of staying up later and later; the movie kept me up until 0200.

We didn't finish breakfast until noon. I wandered around the house, folded laundry from yesterday, surfed aimlessly, and documented the Megafest. In a few minutes we'll play what will probably be our Last Big Game. Kiesa and I return to work tomorrow, Yanthor and Humblik return to Lincoln, and Bitscape does as Bitscape will.