Blaugust retrospective, Baldur’s Gate 3, videos, vacation, and more. A fairly bland and uninspired effort.

Vacation - August 2023

1,368 words.

Vacation - August 2023

Blaugust Retrospective

Blaugust is over. It was what it was. I’ll leave future historians to judge how I did.

I put in the minimum amount of work that is possible to do, and it didn’t consume very much extra free time, so I don’t feel like I was “working overtime” at any point (except for a couple of posts that reminded me why I wouldn’t write and publish blog posts every day without a living wage), or feel burned out in the slightest. So in that sense, it was pretty successful.

I count some 35,000 words of original blog-related writing during the August time frame, including Blaugust posts and the Baldur’s Gate 3 story-so-far page, and 40 RSS feed entries during the month of August, including this one.


I haven’t played anything but Baldur’s Gate 3*, every weeknight, and every weekend, since my last post. As of this posting, I’m in the Shadow-Cursed Lands in Act 2, heading north from the Moonrise Tower to find Balthazar.

I won’t belabor it here, since I’ve written about it extensively in daily microblogging bits, and, of course, there is the developing story over on the progress page, which is now over 10,000 words long.

I really enjoy how every combat encounter on Tactician difficulty is a deeply engaging intellectual chess match of man versus computer. (Well, man versus computer and bugs.) The D&D 5E combat rules are well-suited for use in video games. It’s way better than X-COM, for example. (But still, the UI and ruleset isn’t as good as Solasta: Crown of the Magister. However, there’s a lot more variety to the encounters in BG3.)

In other news, I pre-ordered the collector’s edition of Starfield, so I could play a few hours of early access time during my Labor Day vacation. I don’t expect it to displace Baldur’s Gate 3, though, so it’s entirely possible, if the game is just high-quality graphics papering over a mediocre or recycled game (the standard AAA game model), that I’ll end up playing just those few hours and never play it again. I rather hope not, though.

Armored Core VI launched recently, a game that caused some buzz. It’s another From Software game–I believe the first since Elden Ring–but this one is more of an arcade mech fighting game. It looks cool but it’s not my kind of game. Maybe I’ll get it someday in a sale.

* Oh, I take it back, I did launch Stray Gods: The Role-Playing Music a second time one night, and got to another song. The voice lines are recorded weird. Like there’s no compression on them at all. Big dynamic range, always varying between too loud and too quiet.


I’m not sure what I think of my microblogging solution yet. I like it, but I also don’t like it. It’s going to become too much of a burden to maintain unless I think of ways to automate committing those posts to git without manual intervention. But I still have to manually set the tags and a summary. Post-Blaugust it’s likely to change, perhaps even moving to a weekly cadence.

Video Production

I had an idea that I might make edited videos of the combat encounters I’ve been having in Baldur’s Gate 3, cut out all the boring parts where I sit around thinking about my next move, and tighten it up into a concise, exciting, thrill-a-minute … um, thrill ride. The idea isn’t without merit, it’s just tedious and it quickly became not-fun. Sitting in front of a video editor for hours on end to tighten up a long series of 30-minute videos is a paid, full-time position, not a hobby.

Otherwise, my automated uploading script ran out of Pathfinder: Kingmaker videos to upload in its first batch, and it was dormant for a while, but I finally started the second batch of videos uploading, for the … (checks notes) … nobody waiting for those.

I’m also considering uploading Baldur’s Gate 3 videos. It’s less cut scene-heavy than I expected it would be, and a significant portion of video time is devoted to the combat encounters and tactical decisions that are unique to my playthrough.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Huh. Remember when that was the best turn-based RPG around and I was completely focused on playing it? It seems so long ago.


I completely fell off the wagon with good nutrition habits. There was one weekend where I just couldn’t be bothered to think about the stuff I needed to buy at the store to make decent food, so I just grabbed a bunch of pre-packaged and pre-prepared stuff that’s generally bad for you.

But it’s okay, because my personal goal when I started my nutrition reset was only to try to get decent food at the grocery store in at least 50% of the remaining weeks of the year, and I think I’m 3 for 4 right now.

I did a little bit better last weekend, though.

Day Job

Another fairly mundane sprint of writing fairly mundane enterprise-style Java Spring code: The classic task of taking data from one place and putting it in a database. I keep learning new tips and tricks about Java though. Like, for example, I didn’t know there was something called a record in Java now, which is a lighter-weight, immutable version of a class. Classes are great and all but sometimes you just want to stick a couple of properties into a handy object to pass around in function calls.

I took a week off before Labor Day weekend, so it was a short sprint for me.


As I write this, I’m about halfway through a week off prior to the long Labor Day weekend, the most time off I’ve taken in quite some time. I genuinely don’t know what to do with time off. I haven’t really been playing more games. I wrote a big blog post, which took most of one of those days, and revising it took a chunk of another day. I did some work on my video scripts, adding a Python library to parse video files so I can add video durations to the index file, which you can see in the Baldur’s Gate 3 progress page now. I have a dentist appointment coming up later today, as I write this. Exciting vacation stuff.

Media Consumption

Forgot to update everyone on the exciting world of not watching much television. I still watch Critical Role, although I’m a bit behind now thanks to Baldur’s Gate 3, and there’s a new Dimension 20 season out. Sometimes I click on a recommendation from one of my favored channels on the YouTube front page, instead of instantly (and uselessly) blocking channels that are just copying better stuff.

Otherwise, the “just put something on in the background” show du jour right now is every episode of American Dad from the beginning on Hulu. Now that would be an epic blog series for the ages: The best sound bites from every episode of American Dad. One of my personal favorites, from the mind-boggling vocal cords of Scott Grimes:

How that guy still has a voice after doing that is beyond me. (I think I remember a story where he actually did hurt himself doing the voice.)

World Context

  • India successfully landed on the southern pole of the moon, the first to do so, and only the fourth country to soft land on the moon.
  • Republicans held their first primary debate for the 2024 Presidential election, sans Trump. I didn’t see it, but I’ll just assume it was as embarrassing for the country as every other U.S. election debate ever.
  • That Wagner Group guy who led a mutiny against Putin some months ago died in a plane crash, and everyone totally believes Russia’s denials of any involvement.
  • There was yet another coup after an election in Africa, this time in the country of Gabon. Democracy’s really thriving. But on the plus side, maybe we Westerners will finally learn the names of some countries in Africa.
  • Ongoing Trainwrecks of the Year: 2024 Presidential Election, War in Ukraine, Hollywood Strikes, Nigerian Coup, Sudanese Civil War.
  • Celebrity Deaths: Bob Barker (game show host).

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