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Time Compressed, Space Expanded

Though I've been bemoaning having worn my bank account down to bedrock by buying this Nintendo 3DS XL, this has otherwise been the best month I've had to be a library substitute.  Summer brings two major things:
  1. Nice climes, enticing the incumbent staff to take their vacation (which is the classic reason why you would even want a substitute around).
  2. A ton of kids on summer vacation, and the library is a great place for voracious young minds craving stimulation (which means you need more staff around the library to counteract the damage of idle young hands, which means more hours for substitutes).
Kids, don't try this at home.  (Your parents would want to sock you!)

As part of my employment conditions, this substitute is normally limited to so many hours a month but, for three months out of the year, I am allowed to take as many hours as I can get (provided it does not trigger overtime).  Given the limited number of substitute opportunities available, it's improbable I will reach full-time, or even part-time, hours overall.  Still, it seems likely to me that the Summer season will get me enough hours to take up the full quantity of months I'm allowed to go over my limit.

Today, I am blessed with a day off to rest my circulatory-duty-stressed laurels.  However, since I have been so busy lately, what's going on is pretty much the same thing that was going on since when I first bought this Nintendo 3DS XL:
  • My daily Brain Age: Concentration Training sessions.  I don't know if it is truly producing any better mental acuity on my part, but it only takes about 10 minutes a day to do, and I suppose sparing at least a token effort towards brain fitness makes it worth doing despite the inability of science to prove its effectiveness one way or the other.
  • My daily Animal Crossing: New Leaf grinding for bells.  In fact, I just finished instructing Tom Nook to install a second story on my little virtual home after earning some 150,000 bells today! To think that the animals in the game start recommending I take a break from playing after the first hour: pshaw, those lightweights!
Friend of mine wishes I would play more Planetside 2 with him, but my dance card is full!  Between work, playing those two 3DS games, and stopping by forums to see what's up, I have managed to barely even think about being more productive in my free time.

In fact, I'm getting games sent to me from GameFly and simply not making the time to play them.  Maybe, if I have a few days off, I should actually try to finish Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon!  I just received Paper Mario: Sticker Star, that might be fun, I wonder when I'll make time to play it!

I should consider canceling my gym membership.  Under a personal policy of not going to the gym when I was anticipating I might have work the day afterward (so sore muscles do not interfere with my work), I have not had time to go for the entire month of June!  Thanks to my legging around the library 5-8 hours a day on most days, I can't say I'm lacking in exercise overall.  (Now, I just need to do a better job of managing my diet!)
The HP PhotoSmart C4850.  I've love to link you to a page about it, but apparently this model is so ancient that HP can't be bothered to maintain one anymore.  Mine probably works just fine, but gets so little use that the ink kept drying out whenever I had something to print.  These days, I do most of my printing an a much-more-reliable older HP laserjet printer whose toner is not particularly liquid.
I've received my new Sandisk 32 GB SDHC Extreme SD card, and am happy to see I am apparently able to access it on my old Photosmart C4850 printer's SD card reading port, which saves me about $20 from having to buy an SDHC card reading adapter.  It's taking quite some time to do a complete format of this tiny RAM disk... hopefully its performance will actually be better on the 3DS, which shipped with a "Sandisk class 4 SDHC 4GB" card.  Yes, this new card is a class 10, it should be faster.  [Edit: So far, it indeed does seem to be quite a bit faster than the class 4 card, but I am not sure how it wold compare to a Sandisk 32 GB SDHC Ultra.]
I have scoured the entire Internet, but nobody seems to know if there's any point to shelling out for a SanDisk Extreme when a SanDisk Ultra has the same capacity for a cheaper price.  The question is whether or not the Nintendo 3DS XL actually utilizes the additional bandwidth, and no one seems to have run such a benchmark.  Still, the difference in the case of this purchase turned out to be about $10, a price in which I feel I can err on the side of the unknown.
I will need the greater capacity because, as I mentioned before, my plan is to download a lot of my games from the Nintendo eStore, and it seemed the included 4 GB capacity of the stock card was not going to be enough.  It is not even specifically related to games: a lot of the stuff that ends up on my SD card is streamed off my wifi, and consists of videos and more.  I know I had over 2 GB of stuff already on the card, and I only owned this device for a couple weeks now!

Ah, I just finished copying over my data and it booted up on the 3DS without a complaint... 227,212 open blocks, that's what I like to see!  Lets see, putting that into perspective:
  • The entirety of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a game with a huge amount of content by Nintendo 3DS standards, takes up 6,000 blocks.  Having 227,212 open blocks means I could fit 37.833... more copies of it in the remaining space on this SDHC card!
  • I downloaded every single demo available on the Nintendo eStore, most of them were between 200-800 blocks,  and I still have 209,404 blocks left.
Yep, this 3DS won't be having any issues with capacity in the near future.

On a final note, one might observe that, as a card-carrying brony, I have absolutely no machismo-related hangups when it comes to appreciating things of finer quality.  I saw this cover that practically screamed at me at the library, and I had to give it a read:
That's right, it's Sybil: the Backpack Fairy, a book that virtually no one has particularly heard about, as it does not even have its own wikipedia page yet.  Despite clearly being intended for a younger (and female) demographic reader, it should be noted that, to my credit, this product of Belgium joins the Papercutz brand name with such prestigious titles such as Geronimo Stilton, Disney Fairies, Bionicles, and Annoying Orange... okay, so that last one is not particularly prestigious, but my point here is this product is actually fairly high tier, professionally speaking, and the three creators actually have a work history that includes some of the top studios in the biz.

I think what really grabbed my attention about this graphic novel is that the artist is brilliant.  The character design is original, the characters are unprecedentedly good at emoting, and nearly each panel is rich background action, which is a feature you usually will not find even in the manliest of Marvel or DC comics.  The story is not half bad, either: it's basically a spin on the best part of Henry Potter: that of a kid who finds herself inducted into a special role within a secret magical world that exists hidden in the undercurrents of our own.  Granted, the way the plot unfolds is somewhat Saturday Morning Cartoon in execution but, overall, I find this series to be an unusually great creative artifact.

There's a goodly possibility I may well shell out the $10 per hard cover issue needed to have a copy of this for my very own just for the sheer craftsmanship of the thing.  Well done, Rodrigue, Delena, and Razzi.

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