Ocean travel without a boat

Journal of Peter Greenwell

Author: peter (page 1 of 23)

A day out in Loadstone

I went ahead and installed Foo Gallery. It seems to be the most lightweight of the ones I looked at. Anyhow, my wife, my youngest daughter and I went for a drive to Loadstone today, a location about 25 kilometres north of Kyogle along the Lions Road for her equine psychotherapy.  It is very scenic country, and i’m familiar with it as I had relatives living a bit farther south of this location at Mt. Lion.

Site update: a gallery

Just a brief update on a plan I have – that’s to introduce a photo gallery to this WordPress blog. On one of my other sites, I have a Gallery gallery (yes, Gallery is its name) but it lacks integration with any other CMS or blog etc. I’m currently looking at a few that are purpose-built for WordPress and will decide on one soon.

The theme for 2018

Oh dear, it’s one of these resolution thingies, you know, the ones all the rage this time of year. Yeah well, it’s a good enough time to reset as any other.

Theme: to get my weight and health where it needs to be. Health covers the mental side of things too.

Goal: I will have lost 35 kilograms by 31 December 2018.

Projects:

  • Obtain gainful employment in environmental science – this could be bolstered by volunteering for various enviro groups and concerns, lending aid as a scientist. Also by making myself known (and useful) to council enviro officers. It’s obvious to anyone in this industry it’s who you know that gets you in.
  • Adhere to a low-carb diet. My previous experience with these is that they both are great for weight loss, and I get to eat foods I like. Sorry vegans, I can’t be one.
  • Use MyFitnessPal to track daily intake and weekly weight loss.
  • I have an Honours degree in Gothic literature. Not going to let that go to waste. I need to keep in touch with the scene/genre (lifelong learning!), Tentatively – keep the option of a PhD in mind.
  • Keep calm and…keep calm.
  • Maintain and adhere to a to do list.
  • Choose a story, complete it, and submit it for publishing. I have a few options here.
  • Learn the Welsh language.
  • Work towards buying a Mazda MX-5
  • Work towards giving coffee the flick (It’s not a priority, but I drink too much of it).

Will update this as things change and/or come to light.❖

The most beautiful mechanical thing

The most beautiful mechanical thing

The year in review

Obligatory cynicism in 3…2…1

cynicism

 

OK, with that aside, let me commence the year in review. Or y flwyddyn yn yr adolygiad if you prefer.

These questions have been adapted from here. This guy writes some very pertinent stuff.


General reflection about the year

Finished my enviro science degree, stop-start with the weight loss, oldest daughter graduated school and got accepted into uni. Youngest daughter completed Year 11. Despite somme up and downs, it was another relatively painless and serene year.

Significant events

Oldest daughter being accepted into uni.

Biggest accomplishment

Graduating with my enviro science degree. Staying alive?

Challenges you encountered

Procrastination, couldn’t be bothered syndrome, laziness, muddled thinking, unfocused intelligence, envy for other people’s successes, being overweight. A few suicidal imaginings here and there. Fear not, they were nothing I was going to act upon. I’m still here, no?

Learning lessons

That using an application such as MyFitnessPal is beneficial (if not essential) to proper, sustainable weight loss. That positive things rarely happen by accident – they need to be created. That, to paraphrase AC/DC, waiting around to be a millionaire is neither fun nor productive. In summary – something *needs* to be done.

People

My family, and a few friends. My psychologist Neill.

Most common mental state this year?

Meh. That’d be it in one word.

Me on the 1st of January 2017 vs. me right now

Pretty much thinking the same things though I wasn’t at home this time last year. Now, I’m somewhere more comfortable and can dedicate myself to introspection better. There’s far more grim determination this year.

Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg

Or rwy’n dysgu Cymraeg – I’m not certain which one is more correct. In plain English it means I am learning Welsh. Just started mind you, but so far I’m having fun with it. Yes, the “ll” digraph is a horror to get right. Nonetheless, it’s all good stuff and someday, I’ll actually contribute to this blog in the language. Wouldn’t that be something?

A new grimdark fantasy story – some basic facts

I always have ideas for new novels germinating in my head. I guess most writers do.  There’s quite a few false starts in my repertoire of tales; a few excerpts and doodlings that haven’t gone beyond the 5000 word mark. Lots of incomplete material that I occasionally cannibalise for other projects. What I’m about to put down here is one such thing.

This is “high-falutin'” fantasy, full of big words, purple prose and passive sentences. It’s a self-indulgent workout, but it’s fun to do. It’s set on a world I haven’t named but gods and dark magic rules. It’s definitely “grimdark” to use a modern term, and the emphasis is on grimness and darkness. An assassin’s spirit gets resurrected inside the body of a powerful woman who died several thousand years prior to events in the novel. Ostensibly, she is raised to hunt down another woman, but that’s a front for something far more sinister.

Characters

Tila – I’d used this name in another story, but am appropriating it for this one. The other Tila will need to search for another name. The assassin who is reincarnated; the protagonist.
Sosophra Ikananyar – the body into which Tila is resurrected. Sosophra was the last Empress of Girsadea, and her war with the alien alfen race almost destroyed the world.
Chieftain Quana of the Yssusois – the ruler of Quscec. An evil, tyrannical necromancer. I’ve taken this name fro ma character in another story..
Ydrys – the god of secrets and shadows. Ydrys is a transplant from my Fels milieu.
Maorth – the goddess of death.

There’ll be more characters but these five take up the first parts of the novel.

Places

Quscec – once the holy city of the Empire of Girsadea, now the largest city in the world. A grim, horrible place where millions struggle against the evils of crime, sorcery, the undead, and poverty.
Blackfire Abbey – the abode of Maorth, the goddess of death. It is a dismal place.
Felltower – the stronghold of the Chieftain of Quscec, the ruler. Aptly named.
The Craeft – the realm of the Mages, the sorcerers of Quscec

Some action also takes place in “extraplanar” realms, such as the one of Ydrys.

I’m imagining this story as a precursor to a more traditional fantasy I have in mind for this milieu, that I’ve written about 7500 words for. It’ll be less wordy, more character driven than what I’ve outlined above. Anyhow, stay tuned!

Mass Effect 2 – crashing after Stolen Memory mission

Once you’ve completed Kasumi’s loyalty mission – Stolen Memory, and gotten the mission rundown, your game may crash. This is what worked for me (Windows 7, 64 bit, Origin edition).

In Windows Explorer, navigate to the ME2 folder – the default is C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\Mass Effect 2\ and go into the Binaries folder. There, make a shortcut to ME2Game.exe on the desktop and in the properties of that shortcut, add -nomoviestartup to the end of the Target section. Make you sure you put it outside the quotes.

Load the game and it should work. If not, try the above with MassEffect2.exe instead.

Edit: this fix works for the crash at the end of the Lair of the Shadow Broker mission too.

Thanks to the various posters here for the tips.

Aswell, dissapointed and alot

More non-sequential musings


It kind of irritates me to see the above in text. Even in notepad++ all three come up as spelling errors, which of course they are.

It’s lazy and/or ignorant writing that leads to these horrors. I suspect that lessons learned in school were promptly forgotten amidst the madness of the Internet. Logically, I’m standing in the way of a tidal wave if I think this small homily will change either jack or shit. But it’s nice to give voice to it.

Folanae fanlo

I love putting obscure gaming references into the things I write. The title of this page is the password you need to get into the Mountainmen’s treasure room in the game Ultima Underworld 1. The heading of this section is the password you give to Illomo the Seer in the same game, who then gives you a mantra you need.

It’s not difficult to feel nostalgia for these old games, but when I load them up and look at those blocky, 8-bit graphics, of course I wonder how I ever played them at all. Well, it’s what I was accustomed to at the time. I genuinely believed back in the 90s that they were wonderful.

Incredible thing, nostalgia. I look back upon a lot of games I played 15-20 years ago with a wistful fondness. The first MMO I played to any length, Everquest, I often reflect back on with attachment. Gaming online – cooperatively – was very new then. I say cooperatively, as most of the online gaming with human interaction was with shooters such as Quake etc.

So I didn’t quite know how to react to certain people and occasions and I was a bit of a blowhard back then.

I got into it with a few people in Everquest, especially with one guy who had an interest in my wife. There was a hell of a lot of acting tough and hot-air generated threats, and I perpetrated some of it. Nowadays, people online laugh at that sort of thing – internet tough guy detected – or they make memes out of it.

So if I give that nostalgia close examination, my time in Everquest wasn’t as idyllic and fun as it initially seems. The game was also an horrific time sink requiring a major investment of time – it took a long time to do anything worthwhile in it. But that’s the allure of nostalgia. Some time ago, four of five years, I installed the game again and ran around on my wife’s wizard. Mixed feelings abound.

Cytherea alive

Random thoughts


Imagine if you will, that you get a new job somewhere…say, a baker in a bakery. You’re there for a few days and you get to meet the cast and crew of this workplace – some are new, some have been there maybe a year and others are veterans of the bread and cake making trade. Grizzled, hoary things of unenviable vintage.

One day, you turn out seventy loaves of new white bread and boy do they smell good. Your nearest workmate – let’s call her Alice – Alice has churned out ninety loaves of bread, and that’s the record she thinks a neophyte like you needs to better. But there’s another workmate – we’ll call him Gerry – Gerry points subtly to the old baker veteran up the end of the row and whispers, “But Harry there baked one hundred sixty loaves in one hit! and nobody else has ever come close to that.”

Everyone becomes reflectively silent as they take in this bit of breathless news. A quiet yet magnanimous respect for Harry descends on you and you regard him with new-found awe. One hundred and sixty mo-fucking loaves!.

160! What an unsurpassable effort! Insuperable! Harry is top dog in your smitten eyes now, big chief baker amongst bakers.

Of course, you’re no longer cognisant of the fact that before you joined the ranks of bakers, you wouldn’t have given a second’s thought about such an achievement.

I’m sure sociology has its own term for this, but I’m creative and made one up. This is a phenomenon I define as “relative heroism” and it occurs in nearly every workplace on Earth. The guy or girl who’s baked more in an hour, or arrested more criminals in a week, packed more cartons, sheared more sheep, cut more hair, served more beer, did the Kessel run quicker than Han Solo…

Elder Scrolls medals of valour

Relative heroism goes beyond the walls of the mundane workplace. It’s online too; ensconced in the virtual world. I was in a beta test for the game Elder Scrolls Online, and like most who applied to test it, I came into the beta fairly late, like a year after it commenced. Quite a few people had been accepted into the initial round of invites the developer issued, and some of these displayed the relative hero attitude. They’d been in beta for a year, therefore they were veterans; dogged, hardcore, burned-in veterans at that. So there was some condescending resentment towards the likes of myself, who was a “scrub”.

One went as far to suggest he had entitlements and perquisites with the game’s makers beyond what is probably normal in developer-tester relationship. He reasoned that the developers of the game owed him something for the time he’d put in.

He and his kith were heroes, almost of the war veteran kind, and felt they deserved some variety of reverential respect from beta-testing “scrubs” such as myself. Logically, and to the surprise of few, they didn’t get it.

Relative heroism.

Mee-gan

A piece of a free-form doggerel


Imagine if Megan went wandering somewhere…I don’t know, she left home one day, told her mother that it was too nice a day to sit inside and surf Facebook. So I came along and gave Ms Muffet oodles and acres of curds and whey.

The text editor I’m writing this with marks “Megan” as a spelling error. None of the variants I know render as acknowledged spelling either. Well, buggeration to that.

There are lots of Megans in the world, some taller than the others. Some live in the US, some hang out in the Ust Urt (or Ustyurt if you like). I wrote a story about a Megan, which is here for your pleasure. A rather salacious kind of Megan too, maybe for reasons that are mentally and socially unhealthy. I’ll revisit the life and times of that young lady one day(™). Or soon(™).

It’s a sere day

There’s this one expression in the English language that keeps an unwanted currency – all over bar the shouting. Really? If there’s still shouting in reference to the thing allegedly over, then – wait for it – it’s not over. So, it’s an inherently absurd statement. You hear it frequently with regards to sports, at least here in Australia. A team wins a close one and it spews forth: “all over bar the shouting”.

I’d dearly love to hear a commentator with wit take this execrable trite thing apart; something like “it’s all over bar the post mortem on the slab” or “it’s all over bar the post-coital cigarette”. But unfortunately we have no commentators with wit in Australia.

Older posts