123123

…or in Europe, 231231.

There are approximately 8 hours and 19 minutes until it’s not 2023 anymore, in my time zone. Hawaii gets 4 more hours, and the uninhabited Baker Island and Howland Island another 2 beyond that. So that’s how much time remains before the early access release of Sumu is overdue… it’s not looking real likely to come in on time, is it?


2023 was… a year. Was it especially weird? Was it typical? I think the idea of a “normal” year either was always an illusion or it’s been broken.

I can’t really get aboard the “it’s finally over, fuck you 2023” train because it wasn’t all bad. It had some difficulties and some good stuff. There are reasons to be terrified of the future and reasons to be hopeful and no way to know how it balances out. I don’t want to make a list of either good or bad things, though.

Our calendar is arbitrary; January 1 isn’t really synchronized with any particular celestial alignment. Like so much in human life, it’s a thing that has importance because we collectively decided to give it some. But hey, celebrating is fun, and reflecting is useful, and considering the future is also useful. So, do those things, I guess 🙂

gray Christmas

Like I had said, we generally spent our Christmas vacation at home. There have been several days of rain and mist and fog and general grayness, and that’s fine, except I’ve missed any opportunity to go for a nice walk. Yesterday there was a pretty good snow but the air and ground temps were too warm for it to persist. There’s still 4 more days off before I have to go back to work, but it’s going to be snowy tomorrow and still quite cold for the rest.

We made ourselves a feast. Slow cooker turkey with apples & onions, spiced root vegetables with walnuts & goat cheese, roasted brussels sprouts & butternut squash, roasted yellow beets for her (I am not into beets at all), garlic mashed potatoes (skin on of course!), dressing, canned jellied cranberry sauce for me, pumpkin chocolate brownie bars, and apple spice “pie cake” (pie filling with cake mix, normally done in the slow cooker but since that was busy, it was in cupcake form instead). The plan was to eat it for three days. We knew it’d be too much, we just didn’t realize just how too much it was, somewhat exacerbated by the fact we couldn’t get a turkey smaller than 7.1 pounds.

Today, to make up for missing our chance at the Georgia Aquarium, we visited the more humble but still pretty nifty St. Louis Aquarium, followed by lunch at The Fountain On Locust, which is a must-try if you’re ever in the city and like ice cream, booze, or boozy ice cream (and the non-dessert food’s good too).

Since our plans had changed at the last minute, my mom shipped our gifts two days before Christmas. The package got as far as the St. Louis regional post office and have been delayed. But we had the stuff sent by my brother, and by the other side of the family, and each others’.

The musical toys were a pair of Otamatones (probably an Amazon wishlist flub), which are trickier than I would have guessed to play, and the Paper Jamz “Pro Microphone” I had put on my list. This seems like a toylike karaoke machine with autotune, but it has mic and headphone jacks so what I see here is a lo-fi granular pitch shifter that does vibrato, chorus, autotune and harmonizer effects, which can get pretty wild with synth input. It’s even fun just using the included mic and built-in speaker for feedback howls, or applying the chorus effect to a desk fan…

I’ve generally been in a phase of trying things out. Plugins I had never tried before, most notably including the Sinevibes stuff (I wound up getting Whirl), and Madrona Labs Virta. I’m definitely going to have to test the latter on bass, but I was surprised at the things I could get from it with synth patches and will probably pick it up even if it doesn’t track the bass that well. Not sure what stopped me from trying it out before, it’s very cool. I’m spoiled by full modular environments and would like to add a slew limiter to it, but it’s still super neato. I’m hoping that “early access” version of Sumu is released in the next few days as promised, too!

I tried AudioThing’s updated Space Echo emulation, and… it sounds great, sure, and I think it sounds better than Cherry Audio’s take on the same device. But I realized I really don’t need either of them. I’ve got Twangstrom for the spring reverb, and plenty of nice delays.

Arturia gave away a very cool new effect called Refract, which split voices in a “super unison” method of some kind and then optionally filters and processes each a little differently, with a choice of bandpass filter, comb filter, distortion, bitcrusher, or harmonizer, making for a surprisingly cool and versatile plugin that… might actually be my favorite new effect of the year, coming in late as it did.

I may make myself a list of things I want to go back and explore in more depth. I’m feeling like I have a lot of tools that do a lot of things, and most of them deserve a more thorough exploration. Kind of continuing what I did with Synchrodyne, Shapeshifter, and Akemie’s Castle last year but extending it further.


Soulstone Survivors was by far my most-played game of 2023; it more than adequately distracted me from Diablo IV, which is great because I didn’t want to support Activision-Blizzard after the sexual harrassment and union busting stuff (and reviews are not super positive anyway). I think I’m cooling on Art of Rally, and still hesitating to buy the new WRC game even though it’s already discounted. EA apparently laid off most of the Codemasters developers shortly after release, it’s still reportedly got performance bugs to work out, they’re doing that season pass thing in some way and it reportedly has some form of unpleasant DRM.

So lately I picked up New Star GP a bit more, and Guild Wars 2. I never finished the Heart of Thorns expansion stuff because I found it a bit tedious and directionless. I never even started the End of Dragons story, after buying it on discount. But I picked up Secrets of the Obscure — mostly because it offers the Weaponmaster account-wide thing that unlocks more weapon types for each class, as well as a reportedly easier way to get the Skyscale mount. In reality… right now there is an issue preventing characters below 80 from using the Weaponmaster weapons, which is supposed to be fixed in January, and the non-temporary and account-wide Skyscale thing seems to be a tedious collection full of random dumb luck. I went to all of the mapped sites for skyscale eggs and searched them all to find nothing, and even if I’d found an egg I’d be looking at weeks (probably) of collecting stuff. And weeks from now my interest in the game is likely to have tapered off anyway, and I’ll wait for several more months before playing again… so it goes.

reflecting and refracting

We’ve just found out our usual dog sitter needs serious dental surgery and can’t do the thing, so we’re cancelling our Christmas travel that was previously in some doubt for other health reasons. So it’ll be mostly several quiet days at home, not working, with maybe a trip to the St. Louis Aquarium which we haven’t seen since the pandemic.


For the past few years, I’ve made a point of setting goals for the year, sort of a variant on new year resolutions. And then, for the most part, I just end up following whatever path seems right or fun or necessary at the time, or (let’s face it) kind of lazing out a bit. So they don’t always work out, partly because I’m just not that resolute, and partly because I couldn’t see the future. And most things more or less work out okay.

For 2023:

  • I kind of sometimes remembered not to participate in threads where it wasn’t going to lead to any positive result. I also stepped in a few minefields.
  • I did not manage to ride the exercise bike any significant amount. I took a few, but far too few, walks.
  • I really didn’t cut back on snacks.
  • I did work on technique and understanding of my gear, and of theory and practice (especially microtonal and MPE.) I did end up shaking the gear tree anyway, and I have no regrets with how that has worked out.
  • I did not get into any sort of consistent bass practice, or in any way elevate my bass playing. I played bass quite a bit less in 2023 than 2022. This… is okay. I shouldn’t force myself to pick up the instrument if what calls to me for that part is a synth, and it usually will be. Still, this is an area that I can explore more.

So how about 2024? It’s short, and it’s less formal — more just stuff I am keeping in mind than anything I’m especially committing to.

  • I have a ton of excellent options where it comes to reverbs and delays, particularly in software. In recent years, I’ve let myself be tempted by interesting and characterful plugins in these categories, but at this point I probably have too many options. So unless something is REALLY unusual and excellent I’m going to pass.
  • That is probably a good approach for nearly everything, where it comes to music gear.
  • I also don’t really want more stuff that is going to have to take up space, be stored somewhere, collect dust etc.

However:

  • Spectraphon in 2023 was special and worth making an exception for — a real game-changer that also fits extremely well into my setup. Anything like that that comes along in 2024 is certainly fair game.
  • I’m already planning to grab Madrona Labs Sumu and Dawesome Myth when they are released.
  • Some other FX types that I don’t have as thoroughly covered might get in. Sinevibes has both a phaser and chorus that I think sound cooler than anything else in those categories, for instance.
  • A little utility shuffling is likely to happen with the updated Ana, and maybe swapping out Blinds for a Toppobrillo Cluster.
  • I’m leaving myself the strong possibility of getting a Noise Engineering Alia, particularly once Cursus is available. It seems like the wave of the future, and even though the NE oscillators tend to be an occasional thing for me, having all of them on tap in Eurorack form will be nice. The plugin versions are good but in many cases, lead to different inspiration and different results.
  • I had been considering an EHX Attack Decay pedal. I’m doubting this more though; this would specifically be for polyphonically rounding off the attacks of notes on the bass, which I’ve just said above, I’m not getting a lot of use out of. If I didn’t care about the polyphony, a cheaper pedal or software could do it, or I could just keep using Velvet Machine or granular synthesis which is probably the smartest thing to do.

released: Closing Our Eyes…

The new album is out!

I have been describing it as “moody, noisy, droney, dark ambient-adjacent cousin-to-Berlin-School occasionally-shaking-hands-with-industrial, improvisation.” As always it’s free/pay-what-you-want.

The patch notes are here.

As I often do, I went through my notes and tallied up usage of various bits of gear. The distribution came out flatter than usual among both Eurorack modules and effects plugins, with no clear favorites and nothing getting neglected. Blades and Beads were just a little ahead of others, and on the plugin side, Imitor. My Dreadbox Hypnosis as well my Strega/Minibrute 2S pair got a lot of action though. The K.O. II and Zorlon Cannon which really only arrived at the end didn’t have that much of a chance, but I enjoyed incorporating them. I didn’t have that much bass guitar on this one, but the Miezo got a lead part and the uke bass contributed key elements to a couple of tracks. So everything is in balance, pretty much.

busy, cont’d.

Yesterday during work hours while stuff was compiling (sssshhh don’t tell) I set up the album art for the next one. Last night after getting back from Casa Nueva (not our actual nickname for it) I mastered a couple of tracks. Then today while compiling stuff, I did some editing of the tail of the final track, which involved playing it through headphones and resampling it with the K.O. II’s microphone and looping it. Fun and easy 🙂

AT&T sent a “self-install kit” (e.g. just the modem/router) for a fiber connection to the new house. The house isn’t wired for fiber, just cable TV coax. So they’ll be coming by tomorrow to actually wire it up.

One of the things the occupancy inspection required to be fixed was reinstalling the basement stair railing — probably removed to make it possible to remove the old washer and dryer. Well, now we have to remove it again so the Home Depot folks can install the new washer/dryer, and then put it back afterwards. Just more stuff for the to-do list.

New Spectraphon firmware dropped today. I updated it, played with it about 3 minutes, watched the short video during lunch. Noise mode is pretty neat and may be a once-in-a-while thing. Chaos mode is SUPER FREAKING AWESOME and I look forward to diving much deeper into it.

New Bitwig release also dropped today. I installed it, ran it and it crashed immediately, just disappeared. Ran it again and it offered to send a crash log, and then it crashed again. Ran the previous version instead. Tried the new one a while later and it seemed to be OK. The new filters and shapers seem quite nice. I didn’t look at anything else. Will check it out in more detail later.

Waiting on the Christmas gifts I ordered to arrive, then a few of them need to be wrapped and shipped, the rest wrapped and brought with us. We’re also traveling for Christmas in a couple of weeks, so we’ll need to get ready for that as well.

busy busy busy

My parents closed on the house, and I have now been there 5 times in 4 days. The final walkthrough before closing, running over during my lunch break to pick up the hidden keys, going back that same evening to deal with a furniture delivery, and another Saturday and another Sunday. Today is another furniture delivery and the ADT guy. Tomorrow is, probably, another furniture delivery, and we have to put out the trash cans. Saturday the washer and dryer will be delivered and installed.

It’s about a 15-40 minute drive depending on traffic conditions, usually closer to the latter though. That’s still a lot less than 11 hours and I’ve resolved to try not to complain about it too much, but when you’re going every day (on top of a day job, upcoming holidays and regular life stuff) it can add up a bit.

We’ve been cleaning kitchen appliances, replacing light bulbs and the filter, fixing a grille in the wall that the inspector messed up, moving 120-pound boxes of furniture inside, assembling the needlessly complex furniture, figuring out cable TV/internet cabling, etc. There are two more dressers and two bed frames to assemble (one of which is an electric, adjustable bed) plus whatever other surprise furniture Mom hasn’t told me about. We’ll probably have to get a junk removal company to deal with the stuff the previous owner left in the garage and basement. I told Mom that she should probably get someone to look over the generator, make sure it’s working and up to date on maintenance, and tell us how to use it.

So yeah… busy! But it will be worth it to have my folks nearby where we can help them out, see them much more often, and not have to drive so much, and for them to be in a place where there’s a lot of medical care and not just a small regional hospital, and where there are social things they can do.


I believe I’m done with recording for the next album. There’s 58 minutes of stuff, and it seems to be flowing nicely as I listen to the not-yet-mastered version. I’m going to choose a different name for the album than I’d originally planned, but it’s important to me to follow the music as it happens and not try to dictate its course in advance, so that is fine. I’ll need to make myself some time to master it and do the artwork, but should be on track for a 2023 release still.

I picked up one more piece of software — Rolling Sampler by Bird’s. It continuously records audio to a buffer of fixed length, and you can select and drag out of it to save a segment as a .wav file. The interface isn’t completely ideal but it’ll do; it’ll be a handy preroll recorder, a way to record live independent of the transport, and a simple way to sample something, drop it back in and play/manipulate it.

I still want something like the ER-301 Sound Computer’s audio buffers in Bitwig, where you can record to a buffer while also playing back from it with multiple independent playheads. It was nice for delays, loopers, and granular stuff, and I’d say it was the main thing that made the module powerful. Having access to that functionality in a much friendlier and more powerful and flexible DAW would be great.

mama said…

We had a nice Thanksgiving trip to visit my in-laws. They have a very entertaining 5-month old puppy who defies gravity to lick faces and ears, and we’ve got a cute nephew, and the food was all good and the drive wasn’t too bad. So that was pretty pleasant!


Teenage Engineering announced some ridiculous, mysterious overpriced thing (executive desk toy maybe?) called the Grip Car that caused people to make fun of them again… and then the very next day, announced the “EP-133 K.O. II” sampler/drum machine, which expanded on the very small, flimsy, toylike Pocket Operator sampler. But this incarnation is a hybrid of retro desktop calculator, toy, and modern groovebox. Compact and yet generously sized for playing. Those buttons have velocity and pressure sensors, and there are built in effects, the ability to record unquantized, record fader movements, built-in filters and effects and a live performance sort of attitude overall. It is exceedingly clever, and priced at the bottom end of sampling grooveboxes. The first production run sold out very quickly but I went for it. It also shipped almost immediately and was waiting for me when we got home from our trip.

Apparently the project was conceived by buying a whole bunch of available off-the-shelf parts while hedging against parts shortages, then designing something around it. So that’s part of how they kept costs down. The display, aside from the text segments in the center, is just plain LEDs with a color overlay. (There’s kind of an overwhelming amount of status lights going on at times and I end up tuning out most of it, but it doubles as a fun light show when using the punch-in effects.) Weird as this is to say, it is partially Lego-compatible — the pot shafts and slider are axles, the nameplate/battery cover and the speaker grill are attached with Lego-like studs and there are holes on the side where connectors could snap in (maybe for a stand or to link multiple units together — this is supposedly the first in a series using this form factor).

There have been several reports about non-working faders. This is probably due to the packaging — it’s an extremely tight fit, single-wall thin cardboard box, not as rigid or generally protective as it should be. Some people have been able to DIY a repair with a bent paper clip. Thankfully mine works without issues.

The sound is great at the price, and it’s a lot of fun to play and put stuff together. Hip-hop producers are having a field day with it, and I’m able to get some wonky droney ambient stuff going as well as deep dubby beats and the like, just with the included samples. Sampling the modular, DAW, and other toys should work out very nicely.

It doesn’t do x0x style sequencing, where you pick (for instance) the hi-hat and press buttons to choose which steps they land on. Instead, if you don’t want to record live, you can navigate to the step you want using the +/- buttons and then choose which pads are played on that step. It kind of makes sense, it’s just like live recording but paused. For live stuff, it’ll record unquantized if you want it to, and you can punch in time-correction and even swing, which is pretty unique but really nice to have. You can also manually and very precisely shift steps to nail down just the right groove.

There are a few things that seem weird until you get used to them, but the adjustment period is pretty short. There are also inevitable hidden button combos and config settings with cryptic code numbers, so it’s not a 100% manual-free experience by any means. But for the most part it’s simpler and more immediate than Elektron boxes tend to be.

There are limitations, most of which don’t concern me. 64mb of total memory, which is tiny in 2023 but is really more than sufficient for what the box does. Apparently no way to transfer patterns/scenes to a computer — since I’ll just be using this for screwing around or for temporary things I don’t mind that. No resampling but that’s not common in cheaper devices anyway. No sample loop points for sustained sounds, but apparently that’s coming. There’s only one master effect at a time (delay, reverb, distortion, a resonant LPF, or compression) plus the LPF/HPF per group and live punch-in FX; I feel like the distortion and reverb would have complimented each other nicely, but since I’ll be integrating it with my other gear when not just goofing around with it, that’s no big deal anyhow.

The only real shame is the way the packaging has caused all these slider failures in transit. They probably paid a good bit to license the Muhammad Ali photos and make the box look very nice, it’s just not functionally protective enough.


The closing for my parents’ house is Thursday. We need to do a lot of little things to help out — the final walkthrough, getting the keys, changing locks, taking some detailed measurements, picking up packages and delivered furniture (from Black Friday sales), being there for the alarm guy, etc. I’ve also got to do a bit more Christmas shopping, and take my car in for service this weekend (Check Engine light, but it’s also nearing the 80K mile service.)

flavors of beauty

In a discussion of Seqund over on Lines, the concept of polyrhythm vs. polymeter came up. This is terminology that people often get wrong, including myself if I’m not thinking about it too hard. In both cases, you’ve got concurrent musical stuff happening, but they are counting to different numbers.

In polyrhythm, you’re dividing the same amount of time into different-sized steps — e.g. 8th notes and triplets simultaneously.

In polymeter, each step is the same amount of time, but the length of the pattern is different. The patterns get out of phase, eventually lining up again after both have repeated enough times.

This is nicely illustrated here. I wanted to point that out because it’s the best explanation I’ve seen, and I feel like I’m less likely to make this mistake in the future.

Tangent: (Polyphonic is something else — it means playing more than one note simultaneously. Paraphonic means it can play more than one note but not independently — they share the same articulation. And multitimbral means the synth that can create completely different sounds simultaneously and independently, controlled by different MIDI channels or whatever.

To add to the confusion, monophonic can mean the opposite of polyphonic — capable of playing only one note at a time — or it can mean the opposite of stereo, a single audio channel instead of two.)


The KVR forum has been having a fit of silliness over a recent spate of “what’s your favorite reverb?” threads, with the parody threads now outnumbering the (possibly) serious ones. Many of them are dumb and it’s getting tiresome, but some of them are a bit clever (e.g. “What’s your favorite winter reverb?” after a “What’s your favorite spring reverb?” thread.)

But I do have some new favorite reverbs. Native Instruments Raum has been at the top of my list more recently, but I just picked up Audiority Xenoverb in a ( s i g h ) Black Friday sale. It’s got a number of algorithms, some of which I don’t much care for but some have a really nice ambient/weird vibe to them.

Bigger though: Valhalla Room, a reverb plugin dating back to 2011, was just updated with a 2.0 version that adds a Space control as well as low-cut EQ. Space is an incredible addition — adding a feedback loop for the predelay and early reflections, which means you can get all kinds of echoes with varying diffusion and modulation. This is part of Raum’s appeal but here it’s better and more varied — you can get a nice retro vibe or a crazy ambient wash just from the early reflection section, and can still blend in the late reverb. This has pushed the plugin to my personal favorite reverb, above Valhalla Plate, Raum, Desmodus, Xenoverb, Twangstrom and the rest. Of course there’s still room (if you’ll pardon the pun) for a variety of different reverb plugins since they all have their own characteristics.

Also Valhalla Supermassive was updated too, with two new algorithms — I missed that originally. One of them is particularly good for me, with relatively sparse taps, putting it in that Imitor/Desmodus space that I like but with its own twist.

And… not a reverb, but the Make Noise Spectraphon is supposed to have a new firmware version tomorrow with two new oscillator modes! It’s like Christmas, but on Thanksgiving!


Zorlon Cannon mkII arrived, and I played with a bit. I actually forgot how great it is. It took a little time to reacquaint myself with its features and I think I actually understand it better now than I did before.

Oh man, I love this thing.

Without getting too deep into details, this has two identical sections. Each can be clocked externally or internally, slowly or at audio rate. Each section has four binary pattern generators with editable pattern length and a tap scheme for generating the pattern. At audio rate, more regular patterns create square/pulse waves while longer and more irregular patterns give crunchy digital noise. There’s a mixer to blend the four patterns into a single CV or audio output. Combinations of different patterns can create octaves or chords…

It’s great fun to mix those four outputs externally with Planar, or crossfade them or treat them as individual voices. I had a patch going last night where the top section was providing the pitch sequence for the bottom section as well as four envelope triggers, so there was a coherent but complex, polyphonic ensemble going on that sounded a lot like Karplus-Strong string synthesis, thanks to sitting somewhere between noise and square waveshapes.

For use as a pitch sequencer, it’s a little more fiddly to dial in than Enigma. The loops that are produced can be more complex, since they come from mixing four different patterns with independent lengths (there’s that polymeter thing again). But overall this is so much more capable and inspiring to me, and I’m glad to have it back in my rack again.


Years ago I had a friend (and coworker, roommate, co-religionist) who was into essential oils — not aromatherapy as in “this will cure cancer” claims, but the art/aesthetics of fragrance, a beautiful thing that makes you feel good. I got into it a little bit, different oils and incense and whatnot. Several years later I tried some stuff from Bath Sabbath, a heavy metal/pagan themed brand of scents and beard oils, and that was fun. But it’s been a while.

In a search for synth stuff on Etsy, I accidentally came across a fragrance named Synth by Cinis Labs. Curious, I looked into their other stuff and wound up getting a sampler pack of four.

  • Synth itself I’m not sure about. I don’t feel like words are a good way to describe fragrances unless you can compare it to something familiar, but even though this a synthetic fragrance (mostly Iso E Super) it seems “perfumey” though not quite floral, almost powdery. It’s not going to be a favorite… on its own. The description does say it can layer with other things, and right now I have it with FNF (below) and that seems to work.
  • This Splendid Vertigo was described as being somewhere between masculine and feminine, so that intrigued me. Mostly I got the floral aspect of it rather than the leathery notes. I feel like it got better as the day went on, though.
  • Forgive Not Forget is better, more incense-like (well duh, it’s mainly frankincense based). I can get behind this.
  • Black Sheep isn’t the fourth one I ordered — that was supposed to be Nibiru, which is vetiver-based. But this is probably my favorite of these four. It’s not even listed on their site but apparently is birch and vanilla.

Other stuff they have is Absinthe IX (I don’t think it’d work for me), Nibiru (which I’d still like to try), Unholy Water (citrus/incense, could work) and… oddly, Fueled Up which is supposed to smell like gasoline, motor oil, metallic notes and some woods and spices. I’ll skip that one.

Fragrances, it strikes me, are a bit like music in that they are non-verbal, non-visual and abstract, but have a deep connection to memory and emotion. Music for the nose, if you will.

title goes here

Starbucks isn’t a habit for me, just an occasional thing. Forget PSL, for me it’s the chai. They are known for getting peoples’ names wrong, and this morning they decided my name is “Dae.” I’m finding it kinda cool actually. I’ve occasionally contemplated what I’d want to be called if I were really going to present myself as nonbinary (instead of just quietly being nonbinary and not really thinking about it that much) and that could maybe work. Maybe. But since I’m not really doing that, consider the idea filed away.

I’ve gone and bought a used Zorlon Cannon mk2. I’ve missed mine ever since dropping it for the Drezno — but as much as I like Drezno, what it does is too different to act as a substitute. All the older Harvestman stuff is hard to find and has only gotten more expensive, but this price was significantly less than what it’s been selling for on Reverb. I’m going to let go of the ALA Turing Machine trio, because it hasn’t turned out to be the continuous inspiration machine I’d hoped for based on playing with the VCV Rack version.

Once I manage to resell everything I’ve got posted, I’ll have spent less on synth hardware than software this year. But that reselling is going slowly — people aren’t buying nearly as much as they did during the height of the pandemic, and that includes used stuff. I’ll wait until after our Thanksgiving travel and lower the prices a bit more, but thankfully I’m not in that much of a hurry.

The next album is progressing, in fact I’m pretty close to done, I think. Even after a couple of tracks I decided not to include. I’m still thinking about how to handle Bandcamp, but the tentative plan is to go ahead and release this one there, while holding off on rereleasing my Ambient Online contributions.

My parents’ house purchase seems to be marching on. The details of the final walkthrough (with me) and closing (remotely, via notary) are arranged. I guess the seller did wind up responsible for some repairs as a result of the occupancy inspection, but I haven’t gotten the details on that. It’s unlikely they’ll move during the winter, so we’ll probably still drive down to Georgia for Christmas (and might end up hauling some boxes with us for them on our way back up).

In the world of games, I’ve been continuing to play the same old stuff. Art of Rally got its first (and probably last) DLC, Australian stages plus four new cars, as well as an update which fixes a few things — hopefully including the Unity crashes I occasionally experienced even after resolving the XBox controller driver mess. Soulstone Survivors got a huge update that reworked runes, the Chaos skills, and some interface quality-of-life stuff including the ability to assess skill performance in the midst of a game — so I’ve been remaking my notes on that. The new WRC game by Codemasters, unfortunately published by EA, has been released but I’ve held off — leaving it both as a wishlist item and something to grab once they’ve worked out more performance issues and bugs. And I’ve been thinking about doing another round of Guild Wars 2, probably not bothering to finish Heart of Thorns but I might jump into the third expansion and claim my boat. After that I might get back into Elder Scrolls Online, since I seem to recall they’ve got some new stuff.