Category Archives: Musings

One of My Current Projects: Jfadeworld 2.0

Back in February of 2011, I created and release a new neighborhood for The Sims 3 using the Create-a-World tool. Not wanting to bother coming up with a new name, I coined it “Jfadeworld – A New Pudding Destination“. I still really like that neighborhood, and it has received a ton of downloads. I’m the first to admit, though, that it has a ton of shortcomings. Very little attention was paid to decor, such as, say, TREES. I also left the dead space at the edge of the world just sitting there. Uselessly. Not very attractive.

But certain elements of this world were just awesome. I loved the military base, and the trailer court seemed to be everyone’s favorite aspect. The tight, central core allowed for “city” living without the entire neighborhood feeling cramped or cluttered. I liked the idea of the west side of town being where all of the rich Sims could live, without needing to venture into the city for anything. This reflects (for the most part anyhow) the reality of the city I currently live in.

I always wanted to produce an update to this town to fix the issues, but I never got around to it. Despite having a very nice computer, the world was built on the largest map, and as more and more expansion packs came out, the world ran much slower. I concluded, finally, that it was necessary to create a new hood. I’ve been play-testing this hood myself for a while now, and hope to release it soon. Here are two preview shots (click to enlarge):

Look for a download of this neighborhood soon!

Forbes: “People Without Facebook Accounts are ‘Suspicious’”

I’ve been away from blogging, but decided recently that it was high time to pick it up again. Partly because I want to have a place that isn’t Facebook or Google+ to share my photos, and partly because I like to have a place to rant when I come across things that get on my nerves. That said, here’s one of those very things: according to an article on Forbes, “People Without Facebook Accounts are ‘Suspicious’”.

It’s not just love seekers who worry about what the lack of a Facebook account means. Anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?

The idea that a Facebook resister is a potential mass murderer, flaky employee, and/or person who struggles with fidelity is obviously flawed. There are people who choose not to be Facebookers for myriad non-psychopathic reasons: because they find it too addictive, or because they hold their privacy dear, or because they don’t actually want to know what their old high school buddies are up to. My own boyfriend isn’t on Facebook and I don’t hold it against him (too much).

But it does seem that increasingly, it’s expected that everyone is on Facebook in some capacity, and that a negative assumption is starting to arise about those who reject the Big Blue Giant’s siren call. Continuing to navigate life without having this digital form of identification may be like trying to get into a bar without a driver’s license.

Now, before I begin my rant, let me preface this by saying that I do have a Facebook account. No, I’m not sharing the link. For me, Facebook is a necessary evil. I use it primarily to moderate the Facebook page of the company I work at. It can be useful in other ways, such as the fact that some companies insist on you liking them to be entered into a contest, or to get a coupon of some sort. (I sound so old, but I like saving money, OK?) I will admit that I do sometimes enjoy seeing what other people are up to, but most of the time that consists of Instagrammed photos of what they’re having for lunch. (I will never understand that.) The family vacations, random road trips, and cool photos from festivals and the like are what I enjoy seeing.

The flipside to this is that I also hate Facebook for all the same reasons. Their privacy controls are terrible, and I find myself never knowing if my content is going to be seen by a close circle of friends or by everyone and their dog. (This is made worse by the fact that previous articles I’ve read have detailed how the privacy controls have been known to revert at times when they make a change to the system.) I hate seeing nonsense posts from people, and despise most things posted via Instagram. And why should I have to like Nabisco (or whoever) just to get a coupon for a box of crackers? All of this is why I prefer Google+, partly because of the more intuitive privacy settings, but mostly because the annoying people don’t use it. Yet.

The bottom line is that while I use Facebook, I don’t use it like everyone else. My privacy settings have been set to pretty high levels. I don’t post much personally, but prefer to interact by commenting on other posts. If you annoy me by posting nonsense, I will either hide your posts from my stream or remove you as a friend. And no, I’m never going to make my profile completely public. If you want to learn about me, sit me down for an interview, or invite me out for a cup of coffee. It’s not “suspicious”. It’s common sense, mixed with a preference for one-on-one human interaction. Nobody should have a problem with that.

“All My Friends Are Dead”

I stumbled across this book cover on Reddit and instantly fell in love. According to the website (hidden in very tiny print near the bottom), “It’s either the saddest funny book or the funniest sad book you’ll ever read. Promise.”

Well, I’m leaning towards funny, but some of you might not feel the same way. What do you think? Is this funny? Tasteless? Cruel? Perhaps it could be considered tragical?

I don’t have any kids, but I’m really tempted to buy this and give it to someone who does. I’m just afraid they’d consider it tasteless and be mad…

If you want to read the first 10 pages, (it’s 96 pages altogether!) click the picture on the left or the link above.

The Anthony Wayne Building Luxury Condos

Tony Frantz, photographer/videographer extraordinaire and all around cool guy, took some awesome pictures at the Anthony Wayne Building. The building is to be completely renovated and the owners are adding 40 condos, 14 of which are sold already:

John Nichols, a principal with AWB Holdings, said his company has already sold 14 of the expected 40 condominiums to be constructed. This included the four units on the top floor, three units on the sixth floor and all the western units on floors 9 through 14.

Nichols said he expected to need to build model units and complete the installation of the large windows – work that has just begun on the top floor – before garnering so much interest.

“We’ve been overwhelmed and pleasantly surprised with the response,” he said.

The 100,000-square-foot building – constructed in 1961 – was originally home to Anthony Wayne Bank and most recently housed Chase Bank. For the past several years, it has been about 90 percent vacant. The project will build condominiums on floors 6 through 15 with retail space on the first floor. Floors 2 through 5 will remain a parking garage.

They’re out of my price range, and I’m pretty sure, at this stage, that I don’t want to own a property. Still, after seeing Tony’s photos, it makes you pause and reconsider, for a moment at least…

Check out the rest of Tony’s photos on Facebook.

Pączkis are Back!

Pączkis (pronounced punch-key) have returned to Meijer! These awesome, tasty things pop up every year near lent. They’re Polish treats of awesome deliciousness. Read more about them on Wikipedia, if you’re so inclined. Meijer usually carries a variety of them with lots of filling choices. My favorite is cherry, but they were out, so I picked up raspberry instead. I’m glad they don’t have these available year round, because if they did, I’d be in trouble…

TL;DR: Pączki – OM NOM NOM NOM!

Roundup of the SOPA Blackout Fun

So it’s old news already, but I still wanted to share these things because they were so out of touch that it was both hilarious and sad:

Dodd Calls Internet Blackout “An Abuse of Power”:

MPAA chairman Chris Dodd says that Wednesday’s planned protests of anti-piracy legislation are not only “irresponsible” but an “abuse of power.’

Read more at Wilshire and Washington.

Yes, because an independent organization turning off their website for a day to draw attention to the fact that your organization wants to be able to turn them off whenever it pleases is such an abuse of power. How dare they challenge your ultimate authority!

RIAA Reminds Us Why We Hate Them With Obnoxious Smartass Tweet:

“After Wikipedia blackrout [sic], somewhere, a student today is doing original research and getting his/her facts straight. Perish the thought.”
Read More at Gizmodo.
I know Wikipedia isn’t the best source in the world–especially not one you’d want to cite when you’re writing a paper (at least you SHOULDN’T cite it)–but it’s convenient, easy to use, and accurate enough for quick overviews on most given topics. You’re just upset because the world’s largest online encyclopedia disagrees with you. Perish the thought.

Stupid High School Kids (and Teachers) Freak Out Over Wikipedia Blackout:

My favorite: “What is happening with soap omg wikipedia and google”
Read more at Gawker.
The best part of the blackout was the number of people who found out about and read up on SOPA. The worst part of the blackout was the number of people who were apparently too stupid to read the explanation of SOPA that was RIGHT THERE on pretty much EVERY blackout page and the homepage of Google. I watched the stream of tweets live at one point and it was funny at first… then it became sad.
Those were the highlights (IMO) of the day. Enjoy!

It’s December 29th, “Move Your Domain Day”

In case you’ve not been following the drama, GoDaddy came out and said they support SOPA, which is a very bad thing. Reddit responded by proposing a boycott of GoDaddy, which was successful, and a larger boycott day was arranged for today, December 29th. GoDaddy backpeddled and said they no longer support SOPA, but this is too little too late. This is especially true since it is just a calculated PR move, and they still support SOPA. So far, today’s boycott seems to be going well, and even NPR reported on it.

Why is SOPA so bad? CNET has a rather lengthy–and informative–article on the matter, which I recommend reading. As for me, my domains are hosted at GoDaddy, and today, I moved them over to Namecheap. At least, I’m in the process of moving them over. So the site may go down for a bit over the next few hours, but it’ll be back up soon, and then I can keep working on moving my sims stuff to here.

Hooray for boycotting!

Changes to My Sites Soon

So, as has been established already, I have lots of projects that I don’t do the best job of maintaining. (Pescado on MATY says this is because I’m a lazy crapsack. He is probably at least partially correct. :P ) For almost a decade now (Wow… That’s a scary thought.) I’ve made all manner of Sims-based custom content, hacks, and programs. I made a Sims-based webcomic. (And have aspirations of bringing it back, again!) I wrote a book. I also maintained a number of smaller project sites and have hosted several other Sims websites over the years. Some are still around, such as the Neighborhood 99 forum paks site. There are a few others last time I looked on my FTP server. I could probably safely delete a few, especially the ones that haven’t been updated since djssims.com lapsed… I just don’t have the heart to.

On top of that, I have bits and pieces spread at other websites too. MATY hosts a neighborhood I made, for instance. I’m sure I’ve got crap other places too that I could find if I looked.

So, the point of this is that I’m tired of having so many projects in so many places that I fail to maintain anyhow. Having one place for everything (well, mostly everything) will be good. Thus, I’m going to start working on things here. I’ll probably start with the Sims 2 content because there’s so much of it, then move on to the Sims 3, and go back to the Sims 1. To the best of my ability, everything will be set to the date on which it was created. If I don’t have record of that, I’ll just go with the date the file was modified. Once everything is set, I’ll start redirecting forum.jfade.com to here.

Hopefully, after a time, I’ll go back to making custom content for the Sims 3. I miss having the time to do that, and while I’ve not got anymore time than before, it’ll be nice to create when I can. Stay tuned…

An Unintentional Insult

Well, since the rapture didn’t happen (as expected), I figured I needed to blog something to recognize that fact and share a story. With the first goal accomplished, here comes the story:

This was a very insignificant event, but it made me laugh so hard at the time. It was the end of the day. We were trying to get everyone packed up and ready to go, and we were running late. That morning was cold, and most of the kids had come in jackets. Now, though, it was in the upper 70s, so all these coats were complicating things. It doesn’t help that a lot of these kids have a bunch of junk in there already. So here’s the set up: I’m running around the room trying to load things in bags for the kids who can’t do it themselves. One of the kids (we’ll call him Joe) who is higher functioning is at the table, trying to load his bag. The teacher is writing notes home to parents.

I walk past Joe, and he initiates the following conversation:

Joe: I can’t get my coat in here Mr. Josh!

Me: Shove it, Joe!

Teacher: [Laughs uproariously]

Me: [Laughs as well, realizing what I just said]

Joe: What’s so funny? (It was completely lost on him.)

Predictably, this just made things worse, and made us even more late because we were laughing so hard we couldn’t work. It’s those types of events that make me enjoy my job.

Coming Soon: What happened at Spamalot, a review of the CD I got at Borders, a snippet of the reviews I got from Strange Future on the iBookstore (I just saw them today for the first time on a friend’s iPad and some of them are dead on, some are cruel, and some are unintentionally hilarious), and a few other random things I’ve been meaning to write about. So, yay. Stay tuned, etc.

Loot from Borders

The Borders bookstore on the north end of town, near Glenbrook Mall, is one of many targeted for closure as Borders continues to go through the bankruptcy process. As usual, I waited till the last minute due to go and buy something due to my tendency to procrastinate and be cheap. I’m glad I did, because what I got was totally worth it. All 60-80% off. So here’s the loot:

Keep Calm and Carry On – Stereophonics: I have a few songs from the Stereophonics that I really like, and for 70% off the normal cost, I felt comfortable blindly buying one of their CDs. Hopefully it’ll end up being good.

Origins of the Specious – Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman: I’m a bit of a language nerd, and I’ll read books about etymology, language, and so forth if it is written in an interesting and semi-entertaining way. I really enjoyed several books about English by Richard Lederer, and this seemed like another book from that same vein. Hopefully it turns out as good as I expect…

The United States of Arugula – David Kamp: Having read Fast Food Nation, my interest in books about food (not cookbooks) has increased. While the subtitle (How We Became a Gourmet Nation) isn’t exactly accurate in my opinion, I think it’ll be interesting to see how things did evolve to the point where so much emphasis is on flavor and unique ingredients. I can see this being the case just from the different ways my grandma cooks (pretty bland), my mom cooks (pretty flavorful), and the way I cook (SPICES! HERBS! FRESH STUFF AND VEGGIES!). As a side point, I want to read all of Michael Pollan’s books. All of them.

The Thieves of Manhatten – Adam Langer: I picked this one up on a whim. It was the only fictional book I grabbed. We’ll see if it’s any good. The premise sounds fun though.

Train Go Sorry – Leah Hager Cohen: A book about the deaf. Pretty self explanatory as to why I’d get this. I’m in the process of reading another book about interpreting so I can pass the NIC written exam in a month or two, so this will probably be shelved for a while.

The Forest for the Trees: An Editors Advice to Writers – Betsy Lerner: I want to try and get my manuscript from NaNoWriMo edited, revised, torn apart and put together again, etc. this summer. Eventually, if I deem it good, I will try and query some agents and publishing houses. This seemed like a good book to read as I get started on that.

So that’s the haul. Total cost for everything: $22.32. Awesome. I’ll let you know how the books and CD are as I get around to listening to them.