Caster's Corner - Livestreaming on Twitch

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Around The Web - For The Love of Aviation

I ran across The Dreamy Dodo while searching for pictures for one of my previous blogs. He's now a daily bookmark. I don't know where the guy finds the photos that he does, but practically never do I see something there that I've already seen somewhere else.

A couple of examples to whet your appetite:

Seriously, The Dreamy Dodo is well worth a few minutes every day.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday Vlogging - General Update (Vlog 2018-30)

Not much to talk about this week. Oldest two kids were at camp, I'm almost to my half-marathon distance, and things are ticking along.

Some interesting things in the pipes right now, but nothing I can talk about yet. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Let's Play Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - Battle 5, Mission 4 - Retreat!

It turns out that rescuing Emon in the last mission was only the beginning. The Imperials tracked our rescue to Dunari's casino, and now they're going to make Dunari pay for his insolence.

Fortunately, the Alliance has Dunari's back this time, and instead of a court-marshal for bringing an Imperial fleet down on everyone's heads, you're jumping back in an X-Wing to cover Dunari's retreat. Good luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

A Professional Readme - An Aid For Joining New Teams

 I recently changed teams at work. Inspired by the manager.readme posts I've seen by Alan Page on The Tooth of the Weasel and other sites, I figured I'd do my own readme for my new team. It seems like a pretty useful thing for folks to do, especially when they're changing teams or jobs, so I figured I'd reproduce it here.


Hi, I’m Aaron

I’m looking forward to meeting and working with you. This document is not intended to override or replace anything official, but to give you an idea of how I think and work.

My Role as a Test Engineer

Test Engineer, Software Test Engineer, Software Development Engineer in Test, whatever you want to call it, they all mean the same thing. I like to think of my role as a developer whose only client is the rest of the team. That means that when you run into some process that you hate, and you have to do it multiple times, and it’s highly repetitive, it’s time to call in an Aaronstrike! I don’t believe that automation is the answer to every problem, but I do believe that it is incredibly useful in freeing up humans to do creative human things, while computers do the boring repetitive things.
Most often, I will be working closely with my Test Analyst(s) who identify test criteria, write test plans, and create test cases that I can turn into automation. However, I very much enjoy writing one-off tools as well. Sometimes I’m kind of like a dog with a big bone – give me a big problem to chew on, and I’m happy!

If you’re looking for some more specifics than that, here’s a few examples of past work that I’ve done.

  • There was also the time I had to learn Unity to develop the BVT for RoboRaid, and received a crash course in asynchronous programming.

I’m also a big proponent of SpecFlow for automated testing where possible.


Is the tool I wrote missing something? Do you have an idea that could make it better? Do you feel I need to speak up more in meetings? Whatever it is, if you’ve got feedback or suggestions for me, please let me know, preferably in an IM, text, email, or phone call.


I’m located in Sioux Falls, so I’m generally in the office from 8am – 5pm, Central time, with lunch between noon and 1pm. I do have five children, so sometimes I end up working from home. Usually that’s because my wife needs to be somewhere with one or more of the kids during work hours, but my four-year-old daughter is alarmingly persuasive when she gets up early, gets a sad puppy look in her big, blue eyes, and says “Daddy, I want you to work from home today so I can be in your office with you.”

I’m also a big proponent of Bullet Journaling, and translating Agile development principles into other areas of my life. This means I tend to work one task to completion, but jump from topic to topic as needed throughout the course of the day.

If you have an idea

Let me know! The best used tools that I’ve ever developed have all come from someone telling me they had a problem, and asking me if I could build a solution.

My interests (or The Fun Part With Pictures!)

Having a big family means I spend a lot of time at sporting events, and other kid-centric functions.
(Seriously, how do you turn down the opportunity to share an office with a princess?)

When I’m not doing child-related things though, I like to ride my motorcycle. Fun fact, if you happen to see one lonely motorcycle sitting in the office parking lot on a day with crummy weather, it’s probably mine.
 I also do a bit of writing as a side hobby, wherein I’ve written for a gaming website, an aviation website, a motorcycle enthusiast site, and occasionally manage to get a short story published somewhere.
Oh, and I run distances. Because I had to work this in somewhere.


Take this document with a grain of salt: I wrote it! I have never had the experience of working with me, (although my oldest son seems to take after me to an alarming degree). If I’m your team’s TE and something seems off, bring it up to me over coffee or on Skype.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Let's Play Ash of Gods: Redemption - It's Not Easy Being Hopper

Chapter 4a - Hopper

We rejoin Hopper as he tries to chase down Thorn's party. Hopper's not having much luck, but he is learning more about the Reaping.


Why not win a copy of your own?
Follower Goal Giveaway! - Ash of Gods: Redemption

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Around the Web 7/24 - WoW!!!

Over at Marooners' Rock, I've been doing a retrospective of sorts on my time playing World of Warcraft. Well, I've got the past and present ones done, the future, though, is going to require some further playing.

Azeroth Arrival - Part Two - WoW at PAX East 2018

Oh, and did I mention I'm giving away a copy of Ash of Gods: Redemption?

Monday, July 23, 2018

Game Giveaway! Follower Goal Achieved! Vlog 2018-29

We did it! It took three years to hit seventy-five followers, but when the time finally came, we blew by that goal like it wasn't even there. On to 100!

Follower Goal Giveaway! - Ash of Gods: Redemption

I'd say I wonder what I"m going to do when I hit 100 followers, but I guess I already announced it in the video.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Let's Play Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - B5M3 - Surprise Delivery

Another family business mission, this time to rescue Ace's brother Emon from Imperial imprisonment!

The mission isn't especially difficult, provided you can have some patience, and keep the Assault Gunboats away from the rescue ship.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Water is Wet, And Other Controversial Statements About Marriage

It's not really a surprise when my Facebook feed lights up in outrage about something anymore. My youth in Southern California, college years at a Fundamental Baptist Bible college, career in and around Seattle, and now career in South Dakota all ensure that my friend list is rather diverse. Annoyingly so at times. Still, I was surprised both by the topic of the latest outrage, and by its target.

"Men Prefer Debt Free Virgins (Without Tattoos)" shouted the headline of the article. "That's judging the exterior, and what about the boys?" grumbled the response.

Now from my perspective, there's really only one response to a statement like that of the original article.

That marriage minded men would prefer women who are debt free, child free (with minimal prior sexual partners), and capable of making the kind of sound judgements that preclude getting lots of tattoos or piercings at an early age should be self evident and uncontroversial. It's right up there with other uncontroversial and incontrovertible statements like "Water is wet.", "The sky is blue.", and "Hillary Clinton is a lying shitweasel."

But, apparently this isn't the case. Look, I get why the bitter, loveless writers for Jezebel would hate on the article, but that's not where the fire was coming from this time. Instead it was from some of my old classmates from Fundie school, who apparently took issue with a number of things in the article.

The original article can be found here. At this point, I should probably note that I had not previously heard of The Transformed Wife. This may have something to do with the fact that I am not a housewife, not female, and not a Transformer. I do, however, like to make up my own mind about things, so I checked out the original post and site.

Okay, look, I have a few problems with The Transformed Housewife. Most notably, she's a big fan of the Duggers, whom I absolutely can't stand for their fake as Joel Osteen brand of prosperity gospel, quiverfull BS. But that's a rant for another day. If Herron Walker can get something right for Jezebel, then Mrs. Alexander can definitely be right just as often, if not more.

So let's dig into the substantive criticism of the article, shall we?

The first argument that I saw was that the article focuses too much on outward appearances, on being debt free, and doesn't present a salvation message, or hope for ladies who aren't debt-free, aren't virgins, or have tattoos. To which I can only respond with "Do you get mad at a can of Pepsi for not being an ice-cold lemonade?"

God's grace is for everyone. No matter who you are, where you're from, or what you did (and if you were a teen in the '90s, I bet you've got that song stuck in you're head now), God's grace is for you. But this article isn't for that group, it's advice to teenage young ladies for what to do or not do, if they'd like to be married before they're thirty-five. And it is absolutely, statistically inarguable that being debt free, and not having children before marriage are choices that tend to lead to a happier, more successful life. This applies to men and women, too.

Tattoos, well, one can argue that's more of a preference than anything else, but it seems like most eighteen- or nineteen-year-old folks who get tattoos tend to regret them later in life. Why mark yourself up in a permanent way for the kind of impulsive decision that most college-age people are known for? I'm not even arguing against all tattoos here. If you want ink, go for it, but do it as a calm, thought out, sober process, not as a drunken dare.

Which brings me to argument Number Two, which is the claim that there's a double standard between what the church teaches young women, and what they teach young men. Which in my past experience as a young man, I consider to be utterly absurd.

All right, story time. Cue DC Talk's I Don't Want It for some background music as I go back to the '90s as a church kid. We all got the same talks: God's best is that you stay a virgin until you get married. Don't look for the right one, be the right one. Everyone was reading Josh Harris's book I Kissed Dating Goodbye (which turned out to be a bit of a mistake, in hindsight). As I recall, a roughly equal number of both guys and girls stood up at the front of our church one Sunday morning and made a purity pledge, putting gold bands on our left ring fingers and promising to not remove them until we could give them to our future spouses as physical symbols of our purity.

Now, I'll admit that's it's been almost eighteen years since I last paid any attention to advice about dating. I stopped needing that kind of advice once I slipped my grandmother's ring onto the finger of my Beloved after she agreed to be my future wife. But it seems highly unlikely that churches have done a one-eighty degree pivot on the topic of sexual purity since that time. Oh, there may be a few that have unspoken double-standards, but I don't believe those are a majority. Perhaps I simply wasn't cool enough as a teen to be invited to the double-secret meetings in the secret cave under the baptismal where the youth pastor read the Secret Eleventh and Twelth commandments from the forbidden book of Hezekiah, advising the teenage boys of the church to ignore all publicly taught lessons and instead nail every hot piece of tail you can find, then complain that the only women you can find are sluts when you're ready to settle down.

But somehow I doubt that. Let me phrase one of the oft repeated dating lessons of my youth - "Don't look for the right one, be the right one" a different way. Law of Attraction. Like attracts like. For guys this meant (and still means) that if you want to find a moral, family minded, debt free woman with few prior partners and no kids, be that kind of person yourself first! Conversely, if a guy plans on getting enough ink on his skin to make a sailor blush, run up massive debts, and sow wild oats whenever and wherever he can, he shouldn't be surprised when his dating options have all made similar choices in their past.

What's the conclusion. Primarily, it's that The Transformed Wife is right on the money with this one, whatever her other issues may be. And secondly, for women protesting this, well, as Shakespeare once wrote: "Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Let's Play Ash of Gods: Redemption - Never Tell an Angry Woman To Calm Down

Chapter 3c.


We rejoin our Eikon friend, to find that he's acquired a following. A band of female warriors sees teaming up with him as their best option for getting out of the country. This is probably going to be trouble, but company is nice.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lounging Like An Admiral!

Part Two of my PAX East trip story for Airline Reporter is now up! I got the chance to explore three of American Airlines' Admiralty Lounges on my way home, and draw some value conclusions.

Sometimes you just want a quiet place to read, watch airplanes, and sip a glass of wine between flights.

A lot of the discussion over on the article has been around how regular travelers, especially those who go overseas or have the opportunity to fly on foreign carriers perceive American's lounge product as second rate. I can't argue too much, having read other articles about the big international lounges that a lot of other airlines have. But, I do feel that I should defend the Admiralty lounges a bit. For the price, they're a solid value for a traveler going through multiple layovers in a single day, offering a reasonably consistent experience, a decent drink, and a bite of food as an oasis from the typical airport craziness.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday Vlogging: Big Channel Announcement - Vlog 2018-28

I finally figured out what to do with all of that The Crew 2 footage I've been accumulating.

Surprise, it's going on my Youtube channel! Essentially, I'm going to add Tuesday and Thursday video releases of my The Crew 2 playthrough. How long this will last, I'm not really sure, but it'll be an interesting ride.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Let's Play: Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - B5M2 - Not The Help We Want!

This wasn't the help we were looking for. The mission today is to attack a civilian convoy that's carrying supplies destined for Imperial garrisons. Being that we're ostensibly the good guys, the plan is to disable the ships, grab the cargo, and leave no civilian casualties.

Unfortunately, our new "allies" have some different ideas.

The capture op abruptly turns into a rescue operation, as the friendly escorts abruptly turn unfriendly. Only once they are out of the picture can the rest of the capture operation begin. After that, there's Imperial reinforcements to deal with.

I ended the mission early as soon as I got a success notification, after a couple of attempts went from success to failure when a cargo transport was destroyed by Imperial fighters. This isn't an extremely difficult mission, but it can definitely be frustrating to the unwary.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Progress is Not A Straight Line

I've written about my fitness journey a fair bit, and I still have a ways to go, but here's a good reminder for anyone struggling with progress on a goal.

That right there, is almost three years of ups,downs, and sideways ignorance. But the real takeaway is that even when I've been focused on eating right, running, and getting my weight down, the bar graph is still a jagged sawtooth, not a straight line. But that's not the point. The point is that the trend is in the proper direction, and that it's important to not get lost in the day to day ups and downs. What's important is the goal, putting the bad days behind you, and not getting too excited by the good days.

My fitness journey still has a ways to go, but I know it's possible.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Let's Play: Ash of Gods: Redemption - Chapter 3b - Kreiger? Kreiger!

At some point all these threads are going to connect. But for now, we rejoin Captain Thorne and his party as they try to find a cure for the Reaping. Thorne is going to find something, that's for sure.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Around The Web: Trying American Airlines' First Class Product

Woo-hoo! New trip report article up on Airline Reporter!

My first flight of the day waited in the cold.

Covering my trip to PAX East in Boston in April, it was another trip where I flew in the rear of the bus on the way there, but got a front row seat for the way back.

One interesting note, I may have ridden one of the last American Eagle branded CRJ-200 flights. Shortly after my trip, Air Wisconsin became a United only feeder, with American Eagle flights out of FSD now being on CRJ-700 or CRJ-900 aircraft operated by a couple of different regional airlines. Will this warrant a future re-review? We'll see!

Monday, July 9, 2018

The Best Run Ever! - Vlog 2018-27

What's better than finishing a run with a free beer and making some new friends? Tough to think of a better way to end a six mile jog.

Now I just need to make a few more friends for a beer marathon.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Let's Play Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance - B5M1 - Smuggler's Rendezvous

Welcome to Battle #5! Getting ever closer to that grand finale, and the Rebel Alliance is running out of supplies (again). You know, you'd think maybe they'd learn a thing or two about logistical supply chains from the Imperials, but based on The Last Jedi, nope, never happened. Sigh. So once again, it's up to a motley group of smugglers to come help save the day.

Of course, this meeting needs an escort, and that's where we come in. Someone dug a few Z-95 Headhunters out of storage, so that's what we're going to fly, to make this look like just a random meeting of smuggler groups. Surely that will fool the Empire, right?

The only major problem in this mission is the fragility of your Z-95s. Other than that, it's a fairly straightforward escort mission. Make sure everyone gets away, then get yourself safely home.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Ride Report: June 2018

Well, that was a bit of a letdown. Tallying my riding miles for June this year gave me an even 225. That's kind of sad, especially considering my totals for June last year. Granted, last year featured my first Iron Butt ride, but still, 225 is pretty low in a month for me.

Then again, as I noted in the only long-ish ride I did last month, this just isn't the right time, at the moment, for me to go blasting off for hours at a time on a regular basis. That time will come - when kid sports, household maintenance, and other necessities aren't limiting factors - but I'm not in a terribly big hurry to get there. It's like riding anyway - if you're hurrying so fast to get to the destination, you're not enjoying the journey along the way.

But I'll still try to put in a few more miles in July...

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Let's Play Ash of Gods: Redemption - Chapter 3a - Hopper's Tower

We're back to Hopper now. When last we saw him, it was in the prologue as he realized where he needed to go. Unfortunately, he's not able to do much more than find out the mess that we made in Chapter One.

Chapter 3 is rather long, segments for all three of the groups we're managing now. Hold on to your seats, we're going to be here for a bit.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Around the Web - Journalism Through Malice

Hey, let’s see what the joyless, cat hording harpies over at are worked up over right now!

Huh. That’s actual journalism there, blowing the lid of another example of collusion among leftist media sources. For previous examples, see the “JournoList” news from 2007, or the multiple instances where a new word or phrase gets “randomly” picked up by a bunch of major news organizations all at once.

But that can't be right, because normally real investigative journalism and Gawker-spawn websites go together like sauerkraut and chocolate cheesecake. There must be something else going on here. Oh, wait, here it is.

It seems Miss (Ms.?, Mr.?, whatever, I don’t care whether Harron Walker is a dude who thinks he's a chick, or a chick who thinks she's a dude) Walker’s pet issue is Trans rights, and Jesse Singal has, for whatever his other leftist virtues, been rather critical of adolescent transition, up to and including writing the cover article for the latest issue of The Atlantic. For this, Walker deems that he must be destroyed, and the secret cabal of straight, left-wing journalists exposed.

In short, it's not investigative journalism motivated by a drive to get at the truth, uncover the hidden secrets, speak truth to power, or any of those high-sounding phrases that journalists like to bandy about. It's revenge, plain and simple. You hurt me with this article, now I'm going to hurt you back. There's the Gawker pettiness I recognize.
As for me, I'll be over here with the popcorn watching this unfold. I don't have a dog in this fight, and to quote Maxim 29: "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more, no less."

Monday, July 2, 2018

You Are Now Watching IGTV - Vlog 2018-26

Halfway through the year! I can't believe I've actually succeeded in shooting a vlog a week (more or less) for six months. So far so good!

Instagram TV launched last week, so I shot my video in their preferred format. I'd love for them to be an actual Youtube competitor, but designing towards vertical video has got to go down as one of the dumbest formatting decisions of all time. It just looks ugly, and naturally limits what can easily go on the platform.

Maybe that's by design? Whatever, I'll be back to my normal format next week, and back to feeding IGTV scraps, I guess.