Shopping day and other things
Posted on October 13th, 2010
Lately I've been having trouble sleeping, so last night I just stayed up doing stuff on the computer later. This allowed me to wear out and thus fall asleep shortly after going to bed.

Today we did the biweekly shopping. The grocery store has decided to rearrange everything for no apparent reason and without much of a design humans can understand. For example, the sugar is being moved four feet to the left, while soup is on the other side of the store.

Adding to the mess was a number of children who were either screaming or wandering about. All in all, the chaos was getting to me. It didn't help that there was little space in the kitchen after bringing in the groceries; constantly tripping over or bumping into things is an excellent way to trigger an explosion if one has already been building up. I managed to keep my cool, but I was clearly borderline for a while.

While we were shopping I noticed that the lunchmeat I prefer is $5.39 for 3 servings. I'm not sure that's the wisest way to spend my food money -- that's $25 for two weeks just for the meat. The main benefit this brand has over other brands is that the packaging makes separating the servings easy. With the exception of that Tofurky sh*t, the meat is the same quality. Other brands run about $3 to $4 with up to 5 servings per container. At the Acme I picked up a package of no-fat bologna; 12 servings per package and only $3 something. It's inferior to the other lunchmeats but that's expected from a meat by-product.

In other grocery news, the last time we stopped that the Acme I picked up some salsa. This isn't particularly newsworthy in and of itself. It turns out that Acme carries several kinds of the salsa brand I like best. Importantly, they carry my favorite kind. However, they also carry some kinds I've never seen before. The usual grocery store only carries the medium chunky. One of the new kinds is hot chunky, so I picked it up. Today I tried it. It's good and probably around 5,000 SHU. I read the ingredients and the only real difference between medium (2,000 SHU) and hot is that medium contains water. Hot has a stronger flavor too, so I'll keep an eye out for it from now on.

I spent some of my time this afternoon and evening working on Image Puzzle. To make things work like I wanted I ended up re-coding the entire message handling system to use a complicated stack system. Over all, progress continues to be made.

My evening was spent getting the world's favorite crowbar wielding scientist through Ravenholm and progressing several other games.

In DFO news, tomorrow is the Big Day. The long-awaited Priest Patch becomes live, giving the game a complete and total overhaul. It will be a fresh new world once the maintenance is over. I'm not going to rush in and start playing though; I'm going to wait until Friday as everyone on Earth is going to be playing the game at once for a day or so. Lots of people playing means bad lag. Bad lag means less fun.

In other gaming news, Dragonica Online has had a name change: it's now called Dragon Saga. The NA version is about to go into open beta. I'm not going to go back to it until it goes live. I use enough beta software as it is. Also, I had really bad lag on the previous US server and the Singapore server. If the lag is bad on the new server, I'm not going to continue playing.

Here's some figures for comparison:

I average 50ms pings with Nexon's games.
I'm getting 85ms pings from Dragon Saga's site (a potential good sign).
I used to get 250ms pings from the US server, and I'm getting 285ms pings from the Singapore server. Over 150ms is a very poor quality signal.

In other DFO-related news, I was going to buy some more music from an import site I use and thought I'd get some neat DFO nicknacks too. However, the import site doesn't have anything other than the soundtrack and the anime's DVDs. So I googled for DFO merchandise, as I'd seen lots of it somewhere. I found the place and was looking the site over when I thought I'd better check and make sure the place was legit. After all, I've never heard of this site and the legit import site had none of these items.

At the bottom of the front page were the typical "Trusted By Verisign", "Paypal Verified" badges that many e-commerce websites have. These badges are always links: click the badge and you'll be taken to the site that issues the badge and this trusted site will tell you about the site you came from. For example, if I click the Paypal Verified badge, I'll go to the Paypal.com site and Paypal will confirm the site is safe and trustworthy. So I clicked the badge.

...and ended up on the page I was already on. Finding that odd, I tried the Verisign badge and got the same result. I then highlighted the lower portion of the page and found that all of the badges were in fact one large graphic. This is a red flag, so I did some googling and found a site that provides ratings and feedback on e-commerce sites. The site with the DFO merchandise is a full-tilt fraud site: known to take you money, deliver nothing and sometimes do very inappropriate things with your personal details.

So I ended up without a DFO nicknack. I did however order the soundtrack from the legit import site.

The same website feedback service gives my import site of choice a very high rating BTW.

The link for today is the opening theme of Arad Senki (the DFO anime), which was the reason I wanted the soundtrack. It's called Sokujin no Pandora.
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