July 18, 2014
We’re now in Columbus, Ohio! We have one more day of driving left, and finally we’ll be at our new home. We took our time on this drive to give us a chance to enjoy some of our stops. It’s still pretty rushed, but it hasn’t been that bad at all.
We stopped by Denver the other day and had a quick lunch at Ling and Louie’s in Northfield, and then it was back on the road. We decided to play A Game of Thrones audiobook to keep us entertained. I was never that into audiobooks since they put me to sleep all the time, but Michael enjoys them and now I appreciate why. It’s a different experience, however still enjoyable and I was able to visualize the narrative more easily. When I read, I tend to gloss over the finer details especially after a while when I zone out a bit.
Spent one night in Kansas (which is… an interesting state), and then another day of driving till we reached St. Louis.
July 15, 2014
I’ve mentioned a few times that we’re moving to the east coast this summer, and it’s finally happening! We left Vegas this morning to start our four-day drive to Philadelphia. I’m typing this entry from Grand Junction, Colorado!
It was a good drive today. Uneventful, but good. We had music on blast while driving through the canyons in Utah with clear skies above us. I’m always amazed at the sight of canyons. Those things have been around long before we came to be, shaped by thousands of years of weathering and erosion, and they’re absolutely gorgeous. That right there, that is nature.
This picture is actually taken in Red Rock Canyon in Vegas. I couldn’t take a good one of the ones in Utah because we didn’t want to stop. So here’s a generic canyon picture!
I’m going to miss driving out and hiking through canyons. I’ve always felt invigorated after walking through Red Rock, and I don’t know when I’ll get to do that again. Of course, I’m excited to be moving back to a big city, and I’ve always told people I’m a city girl, but I’m just as well a desert rat.
July 6, 2014
Steam’s summer sale ended on June 30, and if you’ve been following my Tumblr, you’d see I was posting some sweet deals while it was happening. I hope I managed to convince someone to buy because they had some really awesome games on sale! For their own benefit, of course. I’m not trying to recruit anyone into my fandoms so we can geek out together or anything. Completely for their own benefit.
My own purchases this year are pretty modest because 1.) whenever I’d place a game on my cart, it’ll say I already own it oops, and 2.) Michael already owns it so there’s no point buying a game I could access already. I did pick up a few recent titles. I spent less than $20 for these which is not bad at all.
Game Dev Tycoon was my first purchase. I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled into this game, but I sank an entire day on this. I had so much fun developing my own games, even though my success was very hit or miss. I did really well in the beginning (the “Game Boy” era), but I stumbled a lot once the game’s equivalent of Playstation came around.
The game aligns its events to things that actually happened in the gaming industry, such as Sega’s downfall and last year’s Xbox One mess. That was helpful because I knew to completely ignore consoles that were inevitably going to croak. I tried developing games after actual games too. Not all of them worked out, but I’m happy to report that in-game players also enjoyed Elder Scrolls and Fallout. By the way, I named my company Bacon of Light, after my friend’s WoW guild. :P
June 30, 2014
Today, I’d like to share how I dye my hair! This isn’t meant to be a full-blown tutorial, but I hope it answers some questions or at least encourages some of you who’ve always wanted to try a new hair color but were too afraid. That was me when I was younger but after a lot of research, I felt comfortable enough to give it a go and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
I do dye my hair by myself, if only because I’m a cheapskate and much prefer to do everything on my own. I’ve tried various way of lightening my hair, and so far, the easiest way I’ve found is by mixing hi-lift dye with 30 volume developer. You should be able to get these at any beauty supply store. I’ve tried dyeing my hair with the lightest blonde I could find (level 9) to get my hair brown (level 4 or 5), and it came out a bit too red for my liking. I’ve also bleached my hair and then used a box dye right after, but it took too long. I had to wait a day in-between steps which I can’t always afford. My color also faded after two weeks.
The great thing about mixing hi-lift dye and 30 vol developer is it lifts and dyes my hair in one step, and it’s ultimately cheaper than buying box dyes all the time. After the initial investment of acquiring the tools and developer, all you have to buy afterwards is the dye which is only a few dollars with a Sally’s club card. Plus my hair comes out a lot more even than bleach, the color doesn’t fade as much, and you won’t make as much mess using a bowl and brush as opposed to squirting dye out of a bottle.
- It’s helpful to learn about shade levels if you’re serious about hair coloring. It’ll help narrow down what you’re looking for, and a lot of dye brands go by this naming scheme.
- I’m not a hair care professional so I’m not always right. Everything I’m sharing is based on my own experiences. Always do your own research and do a lot of it!
- My knowledge is limited to my own hair type (typical black Asian hair). It’s hard to lift and tends to get orange when dyeing so my process works with those things in mind. If you have lighter hair, it’ll be different for you. For example, you may only need 20 vol developer instead of 30. Research is your friend!
- That said, you can’t turn Asian hair blonde without bleaching. My way only takes me to shade 6 or 7 which is light brown/dark blonde. It’s a weird in-between shade and that’s all 30 vol developer can do for it without bleaching first. In fact, if you want to take black hair all the way to the lightest blonde, you’ll be jumping at least 6 shade levels. You might need to bleach more than once for that.
- Don’t forget about aftercare once you’ve dyed your hair! In general, go for sulfate-free shampoos and other color-safe products. My favorite line is Shea Moisture. Not only does it make my hair feel good, it smells absolutely amazing.
Okay, so here we go!
June 23, 2014
Over a week ago I posted a Tumblr theme made after one of my favorite game series, Fallout. I’ve always wanted to do fandom themes, but there’s plenty out there and I wanted to try something different. I had this idea of converting actual in-game elements into a working theme for a long time and so, here is my first attempt. RobCo Terminal is an almost accurate port of the terminal seen in Fallout.
View demo →
Get code →
The entire process was fun but challenging. Then again, what project isn’t? That’s how I feel anyway. I always stumble with these kinds of things, so don’t feel too bad if you’re the same way.
The first thing was to get a screenshot of the terminal. I had to use Fraps since the game’s built-in screenshot doesn’t work when you have a terminal open. Then, it was all a matter of editing out the background in Photoshop and slicing the terminal into appropriate parts. There are a lot of divs involved in the code, and it does bloat it up a bit but I tried to keep it organized and not too cluttered.
Now that I think about it, I probably shouldn’t have done the slicing. I’m sure using a CSS sprite it would work just as well and maybe even better. I did some math and slicing it into GIFs added up to a smaller file size altogether as opposed to one large transparent PNG, but then again my code might be cleaner. I’ll have to test it sometime. I’m so stuck to the past.
I ended taking some other screenshots while I was at it too. Gosh, this game is beautiful (with mods heh).
I wanted to keep the theme as close to the actual terminal as possible, so I regularly referenced screenshots on Google image search. I kept inline divs and images minimal as well as avoided special symbols to preserve the terminal look. The in-game font is Fixedsys, so I implemented that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work on Firefox and Mac (someone please confirm the latter, I only tested on an iPod Touch). Tumblr isn’t a fan of custom fonts not available on Google Fonts, and all elements need to be hosted on their site which doesn’t accept font files. And so, Courier New is the backup font, and then whatever monospace font available locally.
I then used jScrollPane to make a colored scrollbar since I felt the normal one pulled you out of the theme. Its color matches the text color which you can change (just like in the game). My favorite feature is the power button. Pressing it will take you back to your Tumblr dashboard (also changeable). It was very simple to do but added so much to the immersion. If I had to choose a buzzword for gaming layouts, I guess it would be “immersion theming.” Sounds snappy, don’t you think? You saw it first right here!
The biggest challenge was to make the theme work for different resolution sizes. I play my game fullscreen, and my desktop’s resolution is 1920 x 1080. It makes for a nice, large screenshot to work with but it didn’t look so hot in smaller displays. I tested it out on my laptop at first (1366 x 768) and it didn’t fit at all. I attempted to use some css scaling so that it’ll resize accordingly without me having to do too much, but it barely worked so I resigned myself to writing five different media queries.
That worked out just fine, but to be honest, I really don’t like the idea of so many queries. I wonder if that’s normal. I know responsive design is supposed to streamline your theme’s appearance so it can look good in any type of device without compromise, but mobile-first is hardly feasible with this type of theming. It’s a very specific idea. I’d love to hear any input on the matter.
So what do you think? Yes/no/lolnoob? I love feedback and if there’s anything you think I can do to improve on this theme, please don’t hesitate to say so. And tell me if you’d like to see other
gaming immersion themes too! I already have a few more ideas tossing in my head right now. A Skyrim UI theme might be up next.