Try, Try Again

It’s been a while since I’ve felt like writing, I pushed too hard to make things happen and wound up spinning my wheels. Things have settled down a bit, overwhelming pressure and dread have subsided to the more familiar friends of gentle frustration and general apprehension.  I’ve been catching up on a lot of small things around the apartment, taking care of all the little (read: big) things I let slide, and I’m just trying to make a concerted push in a few select directions.

Stratios and Astero - don't fly what you can't afford to lose.

Stratios and Astero – don’t fly what you can’t lose.

My sleep’s been pretty broken, with my biological clock falling into some sort of halting 32-hour pattern. There’s a lot of watching other people drift by. I’ve been retreating mainly into time-independent, solitary tasks. I got a copy of EVE Online from their recent Humble Bundle and it’s actually a lot more fun this time around. The first time I played, most of my time was spent doing things like learning skills to improve your learning, which when you’re just starting off, projecting two years into your character’s theoretical future isn’t necessarily the most compelling gameplay. Some comparable skills remain, boosts to faction rewards and NPC interactions and annual stats remapping give some small echoes of the previous system. For the most part I’ve been doing Exploration, Manufacturing, and Trade which has been pretty fun in spite of my lack of corporate affiliation. I’ve only run into 1.5 of the dreaded sociopaths that EVE is nefarious for housing. I wasn’t paying attention, working on my soft bricked phone and typing this post and a guy slapped my fast hauler fitted Nereus to the tune of maybe 20+ million of wreckage. Fortunately I had dressed appropriately for the mission I was running and had mitigated the complete disaster it could have been. The idea that not only is punishment for stupidity is not only likely, but encouraged, is one of the main draws of the game. Cutthroat I know, but actions having consequences is something I’m kind of down with. I’m having fun due to being able to step away from the computer to take the dogs out or double-check on food that’s on the stove, and boning up on my webpage scraping abilities, importing XML into spreadsheets, and just general organizational utility are useful, if relatively relaxing and mindless skills. I’ve stalled out a little bit as both my free agency as well as my lack of concrete goals have left me with the usual sandbox trap of having too many options to choose from. So I think I might take the plunge and actually try one of the more open teaching courses, so I can build up my knowledge and skills a bit more so I’ll be comfortable enough to dive in to a wormhole.

corwin_rpg

Good Ol’ Carl

I got a few books out of the Library in the supermarket sweep that was the 10 minutes before closing. A couple of Roger Zelazny anthologies that were put out in recent years along with Dan Simmons’ Hyperion. I’ve read parts of the former and several books in the series of the latter, so it shouldn’t be too hard to get few pages under my belt. As seems to be the theme, I think if I start small and simple things will hopefully pick up some momentum. I’ve been having a hard time finding books that I give a crap about, add to that the lack of time, and the literacy thing just wasn’t happening. I’m gathering materials for several electronics projects – milling down soda cans into raw material for solder paste stencils, breaking down batteries into their corresponding electrical or chemical components, terrorizing the dogs with chip deliveries, and gathering all the tools and components I’ll need on this end. I’m looking at starting low chip count, relatively large circuits, that should be pretty straightforward to simulate and troubleshoot. My efforts to get some of the most basic pieces of equipment yielded a really shitty experience at Harbor Freight. They were running a bunch of coupons for Father’s Day that I thought I would take advantage of. I decided I’d get a LED-lit “Helping Hand” for 8 bucks and I’d use a coupon to get a multimeter (which surprisingly I don’t have) for free. But they pulled some pretty shitty bait-and-switch and started to say how even though it was the exact same multimeter, it was a different lot number so I guess I can just go fuck myself. And to top it off, they’re overdriving the two 1.5V LEDs with a whole extra battery. As solid state physics tells us, all that does is provide a slight increase in output, before breaking the LED.  So I’m going to have solder in a bridge over the third battery compartment.

I think I’ve got a heat gun candidate picked out and I filled out one imaginary job application just to spice things up a bit, so we’ll see how all that goes.

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