Firewatch.

Campo Santo’s Firewatch made it to the top of quite a lot of Game of the Year lists back in 2016. As always, I’m a little late to the party, but here’s my quick and dirty Firewatch review.

Firewatch is a first person, mystery adventure game. Released in 2016 – like we’ve already established – it raised quite a few eyebrows, and developer Campo Santo got a lot of awards thrown their way for the effort. One of the things that made Firewatch stand out, was the stunning visuals. The game looks absolutely gorgeous, there’s not doubt about that.

The game sets the scene in the summer of 1989, and you play as Henry, a 40-something who takes a job as a fire lookout in Wyoming. Why would someone want to spend months in the middle of nowhere looking for smoke? In Henry’s case, it’s because he’s having some family issues at home. Reluctant to face these issues, he decides to escape into the woods instead. Very mature, Henry!

But he is not the only fire lookout in the area. On arrival in his tower, Henry is hailed on his walkie-talkie by Delilah, who is working in one of the other towers. They start talking, and after a few days it gets very friendly, as in “don’t-forget-that-you’re-married-Henry”-friendly. But what happens in the middle of the Wyoming wilderness stay in the Wyoming, right? Not when they discover someone is listening in on their conversations, writing down everything they’re saying.

Dum, dum, duuuuum!

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The Long Dark.

Welcome to the quiet apocalypse. Here’s my quick The Long Dark review.

The Long Dark is a first-person survival video game developed by Canadian Hinterland Games. Despite the survival genre being amazingly popular, this is my first real go at a survival game. Back in 2012, I dipped my toes in DayZ, which was one of the genre-defining titles, but it didn’t sit too well with me.

Most of the popular survival games are multiplayer. Hinterland has decided to take a different approach with The Long Dark, making it singleplayer only. This suits me just fine, because multiplayer stresses me out. I prefer to wrestle with fairly predictable NPCs, instead of having to worry about other players bashing my head in for the lulz.

The Long Dark features three game play modes: Story, survival, and challenges. So far, I’ve only played the story mode – Wintermute – for about 12 hours, and I’ve not touched the survival mode, or any of the challenges. So this is basically a review of game’s story mode, and not even the entire story mode. After 12 hours, I’ve got the feeling I’m roughly 2/3 through. That might, or might not be the case, through. At any rate, 12 hours of entertaining gaming is quite good value for money. And there are still the two other game modes to explore when I’ve finished Wintermute.

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January One-liners.

The new year is here! Let’s celebrate by adding some brand new one-liners to the ever-growing collection. This month, it’s a mixed bag of one-liners, with a little programming wisdom that has overflowed1 from December’s Programming Special.

  • When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.
  • “Don’t worry if it doesn’t work right. If everything did, you’d be out of a job.” – Mosher’s Law of Software Engineering
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
  • “A good programmer is someone who always looks both ways before crossing a one-way street.” – Doug Linder
  • All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.
  • I asked my North Korean friend how it was there, he said he couldn’t complain.
  • What’s the difference between men and pigs? Pigs don’t turn into men when they drink.
  • My dream woman has a special combination of inner and outer beauty and is, most importantly, too naive to know she’s way out of my league.
  • I tried to explain to my 4-year-old son that it’s perfectly normal to accidentally poop your pants, but he’s still making fun of me.
  • Don’t let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.
  • It’s just a bad day, not a bad life.
  • Thanks for explaining the word “many” to me, it means a lot.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in, even if that means standing alone.
  • She wanted a puppy. But I didn’t want a puppy. So we compromised and got a puppy.
  • Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
  • The most dangerous part of a motorcycle is the nut that connects the seat to the handlebar.
  • We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
  • Don’t worry guys, my wife just turned the car radio down so we shouldn’t be lost much longer.

2017.

It’s the last day of 2017. Somehow time managed to move at a relatively steady pace for another year.

In summary, MMXVII was the year that…

  • I wrote the lowest number of post since the beginning of recorded history. With 39 published posts, I’m way below an average of a post a week, which is embarrassing. I started quite a few new posts that never saw the light of day, though. Currently, I have 21 different drafts from 2017 laying around. But what’s the point if I don’t manage to follow through and finish them? There are a lot of relatively good reasons for that, however, and they’ll become apparent as you make your way through the rest of this list.
  • The A Picture A Day project made it through the year. 365 shiny new photos added to the history of la familia and I.
  • I also managed to keep the A Book A Month project alive, and finished 13 books. Reading takes time, and this site suffered a bit because of that. I would have finished 14 if it wasn’t for the fact that December book turned out to such a drag. I wrote reviews of three of this year’s books. Any diligent reader would also have written a year-in-review post about the books he’d read, but no.
  • While we’re on the subject of reviews; I managed to cram out 12 new ones this year – roughly 1/3 of this year’s posts.
  • The one-liners collection continued to grow in size, with six new batches being added this year.
  • I spent more time gaming that I usually do this year. Stellaris and Euro Truck Simulator 2 got most of that gaming time. And this site suffered a bit because of that.
  • The bucket list got revised, and went from 100 to 87 items.
  • Our little family grew from three to four members. Hedda is 7 months old already, time sure flies. Having two kids sure takes a lot of time, and life becomes – if possible – even more characterized by routine and planning than with one kid. And this site suffered a bit because of that.
  • The whole family went to France this summer for the wedding of my sister-in-law and the French love of her life. Traveling with two tiny people who can’t take care of themselves was interesting.
  • While in France, we spent a week in a mold infested Airbnb. I wrote a damning review of the place! Of course I did.
  • I ran a few kilometers on the treadmill. Running takes time, and this site suffered a bit because of that. But I ran far from as much I’d have wanted. For that, too, I have loads of good excuses: With the birth of Hedda, normal life came to a halt. Then, as things normalized, it got too cold in the basement for the treadmill to work properly. When I finally managed to drag it into a room with heating, I came down with a long lasting cold. All good excuses.
  • Work started to clear out the jungle that took up most of our property. The plan is to make a proper garden next spring.
  • We discovered that there are tasty alternatives to meat.

All in all, 2017 was a good year. While nothing out of the ordinary happened, and historians won’t be writing many books about my year, I wouldn’t say it was uneventful. With two little kids, life is never uneventful. Or even remotely predictable even if we tried our best to make it so.

Here are summaries from previous years: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004.

A Picture A Day 2017.

As we’re slowly edging closer to the end of the year, it’s time for another of the classic summaries: A Picture A Day 2017.

I started taking a picture every day on January 1st, 2013. By the end of 2017, I’ve posted 1461 pictures, but taken far more than that. From time to time, I’ve toyed with the idea of updating the A Picture A Day calendar to allow for multiple pictures to be posted on a single day. But I suspect that one glimpse into my life per day is more than enough for most people.

Like I do every year, I’d strongly recommend, nay, urge everyone of you to start taking a picture every day as well. Looking at the pictures is a great memory booster, and I often remember other events from the same day as well. Most of them are quite fond memories, which is perhaps why I go on about everyone having to take their own pictures every year.

But enough about that. Here are a few selected, and randomly ordered, highlights from 2017’s A Picture A Day:

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