The Ordinary Decent Office, and Other Nonsense

I was back in Northern Ireland for a short trip hence the lack of writing last time, but this one is coming to you from inside the new Ordinary Decent HQ.

I thought I should take some photos with my camera as I find my phone rarely does a scene justice unless lighting conditions are perfect.

I am really happy with the end result; it’s a much more pleasant place to work. And edit videos. And play music. And games. In a bigger room I would have made a reading nook, but it wasn’t really a good idea given how limited space is. The book shelves are much easier to organise so there’s no excuse for not finding an obscure title. The Synology NAS has found a home on a lower shelf, although it may be relocated to the floor as it’s a little bit noisy and runs all the time.

The Model M is out on display on the broad bookshelf, and the blackmagic cinema camera is hanging out down below.

Another Day, Another Project

Our garden is currently lacking a water feature. Once you’ve finished panic calling the police and reporting me for crimes against fabulous garden design, we can carry on. It’s something I would like to explore but it has been pretty low down on the list of priorities given the number of exams and rooms that were in tatters in our house (one, really).

If you’ve seen Kill Bill, you’ll likely be familiar with the battle between the Bride and O-Ren Ishii which takes place in a snow-covered Japanese garden. The shishi-odoshi water feature is prominently featured which consists of a piece of pivoting bamboo which is filled by water until it spills over then springs back into place. The sound is rather distinctive and traditionally it is used as a deer scarer. Thick river cane bamboo can be tricky and expensive to source in the UK, but our local charity shop has come through.

Slightly tatty bamboo ornament

As we were walking past, I eyed it through the window. It didn’t look like something which would sell quickly, but nevertheless I made sure I went back and secured it for myself. I parted with the grand sum of £4 for three pieces of pretty solid-looking bamboo. Now to figure out how to do the rest! It might require some experimental engineering.

To the depths of Hell (just for fun)

We’re headed to the Underworld, to be precise, to visit Hades. I picked it up for the Nintendo Switch in a recent sale after hearing the gang on the Triple Click podcast rave about it. Hades is a roguelike dungeon crawler set in the Underworld of Greek mythology, where you play Zagreus, son of the titular God. Not content with his lot in the Underworld, Zagreus spends the game trying to escape to Olympus and is aided along the way by his godly relatives.

The game involves fighting your way through room after room of dungeons collecting a variety of powerups as you do so, and interacting with other gods. Dying is not the end, and is actually an important part of gameplay. Experience points acquired during crawls can be exchanged in front of the mirror in your room for character upgrades, and other points can be used to upgrade the dungeons. The story is fed to you in snippets as you interact with each of the Greek gods

I’ve only started to scratch the surface of Hades, and beaten the first boss and it’s a very intriguing game. The appeal is further boosted by the portability of the Switch. Otherwise I have been playing bits and pieces of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, and it’s still as fun and weird as ever.

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