• Do I need a Playmobil Bird of Prey?

    With PLAYMOBIL’s new Star Trek ship – Commander Kruge’s Klingon Bird-of-Prey, Star Trek fans can travel to different worlds in the Federation, the Klingon Empire, or even the Genesis planet. PLAYMOBIL`s Bird-of-Prey with Lights and Original Sounds is based on the movie from the 80s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and expands the PLAYMOBIL Star Trek universe.
    Explore the legendary starship with many mechanical and electronic functions and meet one of the most notorious Klingons, Commander Kruge.
    Kruge’s crew, Admiral Kirk and Mr. Spock as well as the planet Genesis are also included in this playset.

    Need? No. Enjoy? Yes! Star Trek III merchandise? Sign me up.

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  • AI is coming for the DM

    A group of five men, each wearing robes and carrying staffs, are walking across the desert. They are looking for something or someone. If the players approach, they will ask them if they have seen anything strange or out of place. They will then ask for directions to a city. They are actually cultists looking for a lost temple to their god.

    Random Encounter Generator for D&D 5e+ (AI RPG)

    This is actually a pretty cool tool. And everyone knows cultists are just strewn across the desert.

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    iOS 16 first thoughts

    I updated my iPhone to iOS 16 in the car as we were driving to the little place we rented at the beach. I like to live on the edge.

    The experience reminded me a bit of how Sammy and Declan react to ANY package that shows up at our house.

    They see it. They start to hop around and yell, “Package!”

    I warn them that they shouldn’t get too excited because it is probably something boring.

    They reply, “WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!!!!”

    The package ends up being a box of beans or something. The boys excitement was a bit misplaced.

    iOS updates are, generally speaking, my box of beans.

    Once I installed iOS 16 I noticed… nothing much had changed. But I was excited about the idea of widgets on the lockscreen, so I checked that out.

    It is both a very good idea and a very limited (and disappointing for the moment) implementation.

    Also, am I the only one who thinks the font choices for the time are not great? At least we have some choices now, I suppose.

    It also too much WAY too long to figure out how to have different lockscreen images and home screen images (though I am an old, old man… so some of that confusion could be my fault).

    Anyway, even without any additional features iOS is the operating system I use the most every single day by far. And generally, I very much like it! And perhaps as I fiddle with iOS 16 I’ll uncover some great new features.

    But for the moment, I’m just going to pop these beans into the Instapot and feast on them in a few hours.

    Update: I just remembered a feature of iOS 16 that I like, a lot! Displaying the battery percentage in the battery icon:

    The one thing I don’t like about it is that the icon remains solid no matter the percentage. I’m very used to the battery icon “draining,” but that’s a quibble!

    You do have to enable this: Settings > Battery > Battery Pecentage.

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    The Free Library of Philadelphia is great

    Even under ordinary circumstances, Philadelphia’s library system is fragile.Recession-era budget cuts and ping-ponging funding levels mean the number of workers getting books to Philadelphians has steadily declined from about 1,100 people a decade ago.ADVERTISEMENTAnd then came 2020. With the city staring down a massive budget hole, it slashed the library’s funding and laid off more than 200 people. The director resigned amid a staff revolt and complaints of racial discrimination. People quit in droves and hiring was frozen. Skeleton crews reopened branches without enough help.It has resulted in a staffing shortage that means the Free Library of Philadelphia, more than two years after the pandemic cuts, has about 600 employees and needs to hire about 350 more.

    Free Library of Philadelphia hours still lacking amid staff shortage

    I knew it was struggling, but I had no idea how bad it was. I use the Library all the time, and I love it.

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  • Remember that time someone wanted to turn my picture into a meme?

    My reaction to all this? Amused befuddlement. I did create a Reddit account so I could comment and say, “Nope, I didn’t post this,” knowing full well that it doesn’t really matter if the story is true. To channel Steven Colbert: it feels true, and that’s good enough.

    Meme me? – Blankbaby

    I was looking in my inbox for something, and the email mentioned in the above post turned up.

    I feel like 9 years later people wouldn’t have been much kinder to me in the comments. Though I still have a hard time believing so many folks thought I was trying to make myself a meme!

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  • I need to stop doing crimes

    Or maybe I should stop giving out my social security number when I commit those crimes.

    Such a rookie mistake.

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    Skyward Inn by Aliya Whiteley *****


    It would seem this book is either a retelling/reimagining of another book called “Jamaica Inn,” or at least inspired by it. I’ve never heard of, or read, Jamaica Inn, but I can tell you that if it is half as good as Skyward Inn it is very good indeed.

    I haven’t read a really good sci-fi book in awhile (I’ve been stuck on mysteries as of late, so I haven’t read much sci-fi in general to be honest) and Skyward Inn hit the spot. It is one of those small stories that gives you tantalizing glimpses into a much, much bigger world the author has hidden away just around the corner.

    I didn’t see the end of the book coming, but I suppose I should warn folks that it does involve some “body horror” so if that’s not your cup of tea you should skip this book.

    Everyone else should pick it up and then open it to the first page and scan the words with your eyes… well, you know how to read!

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  • Sometimes I despair and think that civilization is collapsing…

    And then I remember that civilization is in a constant state of collapse.

    That makes me feel better.

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