Fogey Fones

John Stockton and Karl Malone still use flip phones

Just had to laugh. In case you’re wondering, my wife and I are using what look like the exact same phones, with $20 pre-paid cards from Verizon. For a computer science / operations research guy, I’m amazingly low tech.

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Shopping for toys

No, not an EVE post so no new shinies.

My wife and I have recently been looking at Transformers toys for our 4 year old son. I used to be a big Transformers fan when I was a kid (ok fine so was every other male kid in my generation) so yeah my wife blames me for getting him all nerdified even at 4 by showing him the animated 1986 movie, which he has watched like probably 200 times. All the kids in his school probably don’t understand him because he keeps going on about fighting Decepticons all the time.

Originally we weren’t really planning on getting him these kinds of toys, at least not at this age. But during our Christmas trip to my sister’s place her neighbor gave him a Transformers Prime Wheeljack toy, and he was super delighted. Kept playing with it for the entire trip, even though he can’t really transform it by himself (does a credible job but honestly these things are like Rubix cubes…)

Wheeljack

What really cinched the deal though was that his grandparents promised to buy him a toy when we go back to visit them in Singapore, and his eyes lit up and he immediately declared that he wants OPTIMUS PRIME! and now every time he talks to them he gets reminded about it and he starts muttering about how he can’t wait to get OPTIMUS PRIME!. So we had to start looking for a nice figure that would look recognizable to him, given that he basically only knows the G1 Transformers instead of the newfangled movies or cartoons.

Looking through modern Transformers toys, it’s really amazing the kind of work these toy designers have done. I remember my old Transformers as these mostly blocky things that tended to look pretty good as vehicles but you had to kinda stretch your imagination for some of those robot modes. The stuff nowadays… by golly the arms flip out and rotate and this hinge opens and this part slides out and tabs in here and you rotate the body with these two hinges and they tab together … these things make a motherboard look simple. I’m guessing that the target audience has shifted from little kids into essentially big kids like me who grew up with Transformers. Probably works too because man I think these new toys are cool, maybe that’s why I kinda want to buy them for him (so I can play with them myself).

So anyway we’ve kinda decided on this Voyager Optimus Prime, mainly because his truck mode looks kinda like the G1 truck mode (kinda) and also because it’s not ridiculously expensive like most of the other Optimus Prime figures. Seriously triple digit prices are insane for a toy figure. The other figure is the triple changer Generations Springer, mainly because Springer was in the movie and it does look a lot like the G1 model, at least in robot mode. Plus, triple changer, value for money!

Voyager PrimeGenerations Springer

Still sorta undecided on the last figure to get (need to get a $50 order for free shipping). We were originally debating between Grimlock or Blitzwing, but now we’re leaning towards getting this Mini-Con assault team set of 3 mini Transformers that combine into a bigger robot. I’ve never heard of them before, so obviously neither has our kid, but the combining thing looks fun and the transformations are relatively simple enough for him to manage on his own. So hopefully that will avoid a reprisal of the 1)”papa can you transform Wheeljack into a car” 2) five minutes later : “papa can you transform Wheeljack into a robot”

Mini-con assault team

March already… and war returns

Wow it feels like February has just completely flown by. I was originally working towards getting my PhD proposal out by the end of February but unfortunately it has not happened. It’s been a real slog writing up my proposal, and sometimes I spend hours at my desk and end up with just half a page of stuff. My difficulties in writing my proposal have also translated into a reluctance to write anything on this blog as well.

Not that anything happened to write about… but still…

At the end of February, my trading earned me 2.8 billion ISK, which was a touch down from what I originally estimated. But also not surprising given that I didn’t even update my orders every day. I had been speculating on a few Stratios hulls a while back and it looks like I’m going to make a slight loss on them now that the price seems to be very reliably trending around the 300 million ISK mark. I knew that the ridiculous prices were not going to last (in fact it’s still ridiculous, just slightly less so) so it was a bit of a gamble but oh well. I’m probably going to lose about a 100 million total, or I could just keep the hulls for personal use since I really like the combination of firepower and covert ops cloak.

Since I wasn’t really doing anything in the wormhole, I took advantage of a high-sec static that dumped me out 5 jumps from Amarr to move both Drakes back into known space. For a while now I’m been pondering what to train, and I thought that I might need to pick up some skillbooks in the near future. Right now, for lack of better options Noork is finally training Large Hybrid Turrets 5 to complete his T2 gunnery skills. Even though I generally dislike both blasters and railguns, I guess I might actually want to fly a Kronos at some time just to round out my Marauder collection. Another alternative would be to train every sub-cap racial hull to 5, but I just don’t see the use of a lot of them. I have Caldari and Gallente Cruiser to 5, and Minmatar frigates to 5. How useful are the Amarr and Minmatar T3s and T2s in PVE? I could also actually train for my Archon that’s still packaged in low-sec…

Unfortunately, it also looks like I won’t be doing that much in EVE for a couple of weeks more because the corp is now under 2 new war-decs. Sigh, such is life in a biggish corp I guess. At least I finally passed the 80 billion “milestone” (all cash and assets combined) which I’ve been hovering near for a while. Until I need to buy 2 more PLEX, that is.