Geeky Spring Cleaning, 2013 Edition

It’s finally spring. It’s finally stopped snowing, and temperatures are inching their way into the 50s. The kids respective softball and baseball practices are underway, and – if we are lucky – we might just see some plants beginning to sprout and trees starting to green.

It’s time for spring cleaning.

Around the house, this means getting a handle on the disaster area that is our basement, but for me it’s also about cleaning up my geek mind space. I’ve got a four or five half-read books that I need to finish, two or three video games that need to be brought to their epic conclusion, organizing the game room, and cleaning up a debris-filled Nuketown database.

The Half-Read Prince

Print books

  • Reamde: Neal Stephenson’s technothriller is my current print book. I’ve been reading this book on and off for over a year; I need to push through and finish it.
  • Existence: David Brin’s pet philosophies and technological concerns are telegraphed through talking head characters; I got tired of the lectures paused the book. I’m reading the Kindle edition.
  • Bowl of Heaven: My Big Science book of the moment. It’s holding my attention, but reading it keeps me from finishing the first two books on the list. I may put it aside and use it as the dessert.

Audio book

  • The Final Empire, Mistborn Book I: Brandon Sanderson’s earlier work, which I put aside to listen to A Memory of Light, the final Wheel of Time book
  • The Swarm, Star Force Book I: An Atomic Age style tale of warring robot factions using Earth as a battlefield. Not a bad read, but not nearly as attractive as A Memory of Light or Mistborn.

The Video Game Agenda

  • Skyrim: I’d finished all of the story lines except for the main one. I finally returned to slay the dragons that needed slaying, but the game’s Civil War story was far more compelling.
  • Left4Dead 2: I’m not sure why I stopped playing this; I think it was because I’d had too much of a good thing, coupled with my friends moving on to Halo Reach. Left4Dead isn’t as much fun on your own, but I’d like to finish its campaigns.
  • Mass Effect 3: I got stuck, pure and simple. I had to fight this massive reaver machine, and I simply couldn’t dodge/roll/fire fast enough. After a year off I finally beat the monster and am now on my way to finish the game.
  • Grand Theft Auto 4: Not as good as Grand Theft Auto 3 or Vice City, but still a worthwhile sandbox game. Unfortunately I got stuck here as well (first on a car race, then on a construction yard assault

Gameroom De-cluttering

The game room’s actually in pretty good shape, but it’s also at capacity. I don’t have any more room for game books, and that means I need to get rid of stuff. Mostly this means eBay’ing board games and a few RPG rulebooks. Not a lot, but it’ll give me some breathing space.

Nuketown Cleanup

Quite a few years ago I migrated Nuketown from a home-grown CMS I made to Drupal. The process went pretty well, but there were some hiccups where improperly encoded characters caused the insertion of the new Drupal nodes to fail. That means that we ended up with half-finished articles in the database (sometimes little more than a stub).

The effect wasn’t catastrophic, but it did mean that I lost some content, like my review of the original Delta Green source book, The Grand Theft Auto School of Campaign Design, and my thoughts on running an urban-style campaign.

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