I have nothing to say.

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     I fell asleep at 10 last night, was up at 3 for about 5 minutes, then slept until 9.  Perhaps my “force myself to get into bed at 10” thing is starting to work.  Of course, the fact that I was in bed at 10 but asleep at like 2 the last 4 nights may have helped, but I’m trying to practice optimism.  That’s another thing which is exceptionally useful to me at the moment …

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EVE Online Gallery, Beacuse I’m a Nerd

     Not necessarily a capital-n nerd, but it’s the title, so it should be capitalized anyway.  So yeah, EVE has a decent built-in screencap function, and because I find the look of the game to be not only well-done, but simply beautiful and amazing (mainly the “backgrounds” one passes, the various planets and other celestial bodies one comes across), and I sometimes find myself not necessarily going to or doing a mission as fast as I could, simply because I’m looking around at all this cool stuff.  Combine that with the recent discovery of sort-of-dual monitor support (it’s just stretching the screen across 2 monitors and rearranging the interface), but it results in a widescreen-esque display, which can make for some amazing pictures.  Every now and then, I capture something because hey, why not?  And I figured I’d toss them up here because I know “you all” (because I”m sure so many people visit this site) are just dying to see them as well.

     The gallery is here, and a couple of examples of what’s in it are below.  Sweetness.



The above is a “widescreen” shot.  Muuuuuch nicer!

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EVE Online

I’ve tried a few MMOs, and never found one which I could sink my teeth into.  It was all the same stuff, populated by people far better, more interested, and more obsessive than I was, making it not too much fun.  Besides, after about 3 of them, they all looked the same.  I finally stumbled across/remembered (since I remember when it came out, I took notice but ventured no further) EVE Online.  It’s a space-based MMO, but it is/it at least seems to me to be more cerebral than most MMOs.  Not only is it in outer space, making for some very beautifully-designed scenery, but the main foci of the game are the economic system (meaning trade between various locations), space combat (of course) and mining.  It’s one of the geekiest and number-heavy games out there. 

And I love it for some reason.  There are parts which are full of nothing, while you wait to warp to a solar system or something. But while that’s going on, you can organize what skills you learn, or something unheard of while playing an MMO – do something ELSE ENTIRELY!  Read a book and leave EVE on in the background – it’ll tell you when you’re there.  Or work on some other program – it’s not a super memory hog and still looks great.  And the community is amazing; so far I’ve had plenty of offers to help, and one guy even gave me a large sum of in-game currency as an apology for one of his team members killing me unprovoked.  That’s a far cry from the profanity-spitting 15-year olds of most MMOs.

Yup, it’s chill.  And fun.  And has apps for your computer and/or phone to optimize your training and trade.  Like I said – it’s geeky.  For all I know every MMO does this kinda thing, but I never noticed it.  Nor would I have cared.  So I leave you with some gratuitous screenshots of one of my ships mining an asteroid for ore.  Click the image for full-size goodness.


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How Fitting

Yesterday was my birthday.  Whoopie.  Today I got a fortune cookie:


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Because it took only a few minutes and I’m a geek who does these kinds of things despite the fact that nobody will probably ever click the link and visit it, I added a link at the top menu to my page.  Every so often you may catch a glimpse of whatever I happen to be playing at the moment.  Hooray … ?

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     For some reason I just remembered this game I had a long time ago on my first (I believe) computer, a TI-99/4A.  It was called hunt the wumpus, and was sort of like a weird and/or disturbed version of minesweeper.

     This is what the actual game looked like.

     You’re in this maze of caverns, and you can only see whatever circles are next to the one you’re at.  While you’re in there exploring, you’re trying to avoid the Wumpus, a generic monster who eats people.  I don’t think the wumpus moved, but you had to make sure not to bump into him.  Those orange dots are supposed to be pools of blood, and if you encounter 2 in a row, Wumpy is somewhere in an adjacent circle.  

     If you DID bump into him, the screen turned into this 8-bit set of teeth which closed down from the top and bottom of the screen like you were getting eaten.  I remember that genuinely scared me, but sort of made me get really good at the game, since I still played it, but genuinely did not want to see that screen again.  Ah, oldschool crappy games.  Someone faithfully remade it for windows.  I’ll let sleeping dogs lie.


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Little Stars, Auralux, Eufloria …

I’ve been getting into a … not a genre, but I guess a type of strategy game, the name of which I do not know (if it even has a name).  Simple gameplay involving moving units from one place to another, competing with other AI players who are trying to do the same thing, with the goal of capturing all of the places on the map.  An example is below, Little Stars for Little Wars, which I’ve added to a Games page accessible from the top menu bar.  Just easier that way.  Enjoy, and be warned, these can be quite addictive, and between us, I think Auralux is the best one, both visually, audibly, and gameplay-wise.

Note: Make sure you zoom out far enough to see the words “Music on” in the top left – click this once to turn the music off.  This file does some weird scaling with your browser’s zoom settings, so you may not be able to see it at first.

[jj-swfobject path=”/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/f-Little-Stars-Little-Wars.swf” width=”640″ height=”480″][/jj-swfobject]

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Well, they definitely fixed the power problem

So there was that power problem I had a month or so ago…  Where they discovered someone had miswired the 220v power lines used for the air conditioner outlet, switching my line and some other apartment’s line.  Then they rewired it and fixed it or whatever?  

Yup, they certainly did, as my power bill doubled for this month.  At least I got some cheap power for awhile, right?  It sucks, because since I’m on the second floor, the whole building heats up during the day and it’s tolerable in my place, but around … 3pm, all that heat makes its way up, and even with the a/c going on low, set to 68 degrees, my apartment can get up to 80-82 if I’m not watching the temperature.  It’s weird – I can pretty much tell if it’s over 77 degrees in a room, and that’s about my limit. 

Ah well, it’s a necessity, but I’m amazed that it went up that much… at least the apartment who was wrongly billed is getting their money back from the apartment complex (even though we pay LADWP directly; I guess because the apartment complex screwed up …), so in the long run they won’t get too screwed over …

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Fitbit Health Monitor … Oh, and I’m friggin’ _FAT_

Soooooo… yeah, the long and short of it is I’m fat.  I mean, far fatter than usual.  I’ve always been … portly, but it wasn’t really that bad, at least for awhile.  And no, I’m not quite ready to start announcing just how much I weigh, but for those just chomping at the bit to know, you’ll know soon enough.  For awhile, even after the neuropathy started and my activity level went into the toilet, I still maintained my weight.  Granted, I was still overweight, but it was stable.  

However, last year I crossed that line where my meager level of activity just wasn’t quite enough to counter my calorie intake.  I don’t eat like I used to, usually having maybe 2.5 meals a day nowadays, few snacks, etc.  But combined with a lifestyle which makes a wet rag look athletic, the combination eventually caught up with me.  I’ll give you this much for the moment:  last year, in a single year, I gained an extra 22% of my starting weight .  Yeah, a LOT.  

Obviously I need to lose weight, it makes complete sense, especially given my neuropathy situation.  Why add extra weight on a pair of already mangled limbs?  Why have extra body mass which will make medications less effective simply due to the ratio of medicine:me ?  I wear the same outfit just about every day (the joy of having 5 pairs of the same black shorts and 8 of the exact same black shirt and 4 overshirts – I love it), but I had to get some new clothes because I couldn’t fit in my older clothes.  Blech.  

So I will be starting a weight loss program soon, one which I tried awhile ago and failed at miserably, mainly because my fatigue and leg pain really messed with my ability to simply go shopping for food and whatnot.  This time around, I have everything all planned out, since it’s a complete roll of the dice whether or not I’ll be feeling able to drive to the supermarket and pick up what I need.  I’ll have to always be ahead of the game by a bit.  This is a massive behavioural change for myself as well, as I stopped cooking most of the time due to pain and/or just uncomfortable psychological associations.  As in it would not only remind me of when I could work in a kitchen, but would make it just that much more frustrating.  Anyway, I digress.  I have a massive psychological resistance to dieting, partly due to the fact that while I don’t necessarily consider myself a comfort food person, eating is one of the few pleasures I have now,  but it’s not like I crave food all the time.  

My father’s been getting pedometers (small thing that clips onto your belt and counts the number of steps one takes in a day) for awhile, but I never really liked them.  They still seemed kind of big for what they were, they looked cheaply made, and despite being moderately accurate, I wouldn’t really use the information in there.  However, a little while ago, he somehow came across this thing called a Fitbit which is like a pedometer on speed.  Main thing is it isn’t clunky – it’s literally the same length and almost the same width as the cap to a Precise V5 pen.  I’ll include photos below, but here’s what the site says about this nifty little thing:

Features for the Fitbit Ultra:

  • Accelerometer
  • Altimeter
  • Measures steps taken
  • Measures calories burned
  • Measures distance traveled
  • Measures vertical climb up stairs
  • Measures sleep quality (!!!)
  • Syncs wirelessly with a base station which then sends the data to a web-based dashboard for analysis
  • Recharges in the base station

This is exactly the kind of pedometer-like device I would get.  The wireless syncing is especially handy, since you don’t even have to put it in the dock to do it.  This means that when I need to recharge it, I just stick it in the base when I’m sitting at the computer and not moving around anyway.  It seems to work when clipped to my necklace as well, which is awesome because I hate having to clip crap to my belt.  Never been a belt-clip-item kinda guy.

Hopefully this will help out with the weight loss thing, either in terms of simply using the data to change my routine, or simply for motivation of some sort.  Either way, it’s nice having this extra layer or three of information coming in to fine-tune what I know is going to be a real challenge and pain in the ass for me.  It can connect with a host of on-line health websites, as well as having apps for your phone.

Oh yeah, and it can automatically post either weekly or daily stats (steps taken, distance, calories)  to Facebook, Twitter, or a WordPress installation.  

I told myself once I started on the diet plan and really started it, like for REALS, I’d be posting my progress as a form of public accountability, or what some would consider self-mandated shame-motivation.  Heh.  I’ll know more about how well this thing works after a week or two, but if you happen to be looking for something akin to a pedometer or some other type. of exercise/health monitor device, definitely look into this thing.  It’s amazing.  Pics below:

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