🐷 Animal Crossing, large companies, baking 📊

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 :: Tagged under: blurb culture games video_games. ⏰ 4 minutes.

🎵 The song for this post is Animal Rights, by Deadmau5. 🎵

Our Animal Crossing island has a north beach, which was hard to see and only accessible in the second week or so of the game, since you needed a ladder to climb to it. Karen, in love with secrets and mischief, set a scene there involving a campfire next to cardboard furniture, as well as a town bulletin saying "come to Bad Idea Beach with 50 bells for a gud time — acab."

Turns out that Bad Idea Beach is on everyone's island, and it's how Redd, the fake-art peddling shyster, visits your island. Suz Hinton hates Redd (as do I), but he apparently has a following. Someone responded to her tweet with this Tumblr meme, which is super accurate:

graphic of text saying "animal crossing players are like I HATE Bill Wibbly!, he's a BASTARD and I want him OFF my island, he KILLED my family and BURNED my crops but then I look up Bill Wibbly or whatever and he looks like" with a picture of an adorable animal.

Our "Bill Wibbly" is Maggie. idk man, she's just boring, schep. She's never crafting cool things and her house sucks. In a display of Animal Crossing karma, we got Maggie after Karen mounted a campaign to drive away Nan, who I liked but somehow offended Karen with her unassuming demeanor. "I want birds!" Karen said, kicked out the sweet lamb, and now we've got a pig who sucks.

(in Karen's defense, we also got Phoebe later, who fucking rules. Look at her house!)

Anyway, you should come by. Our native flower is the lily, our "sister" flower is hyacinths, our fruit is oranges (though we have all the fruit, happy to share). We also have nearly every hybrid flower (and copies of some of them you can take). Or invite me over, I'd love to see your house. Switch friend code SW-0499-8526-0009.

Big companies

Patrick McKenzie has a good, succinct list of why things take longer and require more resources at big companies:

Inspired by a thread on HN incredulous about engineering headcount at a large software company:

The biggest thing people don’t appreciate about large companies is the basic productive unit isn’t an individual it is an engineering team with about ~8 members.

You need a team, and not an individual, because you need to be able to:

  • give vacation
  • rotate a pager
  • mentor junior engineers
  • do professional development
  • interface with other teams
  • maintain existing systems
  • do speculative development
  • pay the “organizational tax”

someone in a response linked to this Dan Luu post, which is excellent supplemental reading. The classic (from 2003!) is Eric Lippert's "How Many Microsoft Employees does it take to change a lightbulb?".

(Also, when reading Dan Luu posts, I'm super grateful for Firefox Reader View).

My eyes roll pretty hard hearing a certain class of complaints startup kids throw at large employers. I get that they can't help it since they don't know any better. It's worse because it usually contains a healthy bit of ageism and/or hustle porn for good measure ("employees at [X] aren't serious about their work" they say, looking at exactly one employee who goes home at 6:00 to spend their one and only life treasuring their time with their kids, or cultivating a different passion).

This isn't to say you can't or shouldn't criticize large orgs! Playing the large org game well is its own kind of hard, and even accounting for all 👆 a company can still have terrible practices. For my part, I really prefer the increased ownership and velocity of smaller companies. And if getting rich and/or getting on Fast Company covers and/or spraying your seed to be felt across the world is something that matters to you, doing it as an card-carrying employee of a big company is a long and uncertain path by which to do it. But please understand that the reason large companies work the way they do isn't because someone as clever as you hasn't shown up to tell them to do it differently. This shit's hard.

Cooking

Made some biscuits which were… not great. Recipe called for unsalted butter and let you add salt to the batter "so you have full control," but as a result these really only tasted like baked flour. Got the layering right though, they did flake and split the way they should.

As my first foray into biscuits, they were okay. Fine enough jelly-delivery vehicles. But future biscuits will be buttery, fluffy and enduring. I will soon be One With the Biscuits.

Biscuit dough with the first cut out. Click for full size. Unbaked biscuits on the sheet. Click for full size. After baking. A little higher, though not too toasty. Click for full size. Baked biscuit with butter. Click for full size.

Also made some banana bread that I was super skeptical about (the muffins from last time didn't come out fantastic), but this may be the best thing I've ever baked. Moist, just the right amount of sweetness, it didn't last the weekend.

Banana Bread ingredients in multiple bowls. Click for full size. Batter with sugar on top, ready to bake. Click for full size. Baked banana bread "loaf". Click for full size.

What's interesting is to compare the batter of this and the "muffins" I made last week. Mostly the same stuff (and in even roughly the same quantities!) but the banana bread recipe called for the sugar in the wet ingredients before mixing with flour, but the muffin recipe put the sugar in with the flour. The texture difference was wild.

So you heard it here: sugar is not to be treated as a dry ingredient.

Thanks for the read! Disagreed? Violent agreement!? Feel free to drop me a line at , or leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you 😄