12/12 And Bonus Nerd Content!

Hello! It’s my night off! Hooray!

I went over to see my mom and dad, and we watched A Christmas Story (1983) and it’s by far the best version of that film. Truly intelligent satire on a time of our evolving American family. So it was my request and I just had to see it. I had Scott Farkus stuck in my head for some reason.

Anyway, I’m listening to The Nutcracker (composed by Andre Previn and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) and relaxing. I just had a splendid game against the AI, but I will get to that shortly. We had salmon for dinner and a salad, and boy was it yummy. Then my mom brought out the peanut-butter fudge, and holy shit, is that some goodness. Made with peanut butter, but still rich and chocolatey like fudge should be. I was not silly and had a mere two chunks, but I could have had more blog, there was a whole jar of it sitting right there. Sigh. It just doesn’t even sound good to scarf on it, it’s like liquid nitrogen that shit. Only in small doses can I handle thee, for the sake of this sadly out of shape body I must. And my mom was suckering me in to indulging by eating a shitload of cookies this weekend. I’m going to have to seriously bust my ass if I’m ever going to gain any ground this winter. I feel like it’s appropriate to insulate the body against harmfully cold weather, but I live in Southern California, so I have no reason to be bulky. Maybe in some colder climate it would be acceptable… winter here is almost always a laughably mild event, with perhaps 3 inches of total precipitation, more in the mountains. It might be more, I haven’t fact checked, and I just gave it a google and nothing conclusive came up. But whatever, my point is, I need to continue to push myself every morning to be active until I become exhausted and my muscles are “done.” I intend to increase the amount of this as I progress through the slow trudge out of the pit of obesity. And Christmas could easily equal my doom if I am not SUPER CAUTIOUS. Remember, I take lithium, and I will grab on to every single carbohydrate that comes into my body and somehow turn it into fat. I live a primarily sedentary life, spending 8 hours a day in a small office chair sitting answering the phone. So I’ve got to! Right?

 

Mood wise I’m doing great. I have a day of catching up on my chores and watching football sporadically. Hopefully the Chargers don’t get annihilated tomorrow night. I don’t know how that one is going to go down. But the Niners have nothing to play for. Thanks for all of your positive comments lately, they have been super helpful and complementary as well. I pride myself in my coherency, despite huge handicaps. I appreciate you guys.

 

**NERDS ONLY EXTRA**

The Aztecs on Large Carolina (Age Of Empires III – Game Notes)

Tonight, I was hell bent on slaughtering someone. So I blasted the French away with my trump card, the shiny, beautiful, deadly, Aztecs. I Had the lead right from the get go, as I got a fire pit and warrior priest on production speed immediately. It never let up. There were three trade posts, two native settlements (One Cherokee, the other Seminole), and lots and lots of trees. I had the center early with just a few coyote runners and puma spearmen. Nothing major. But About half way into age 3 I lost my entire standing army in the center, and my trading post there was destroyed. I quickly switched my fire pit from xp back to unit production rate and had a standing army again in no time.

 

I ended up with a ton of villagers, had 30 on coin for most of the second half of the game (plantations). I saw their army sneak around behind my houses, where they began razing buildings. They tried, anyway. I didn’t lose another building the rest of the game after surrendering that trading post in the center. I rallied, took it back, and then began sending units there in waves. By age 4 I had farms and plantations-a-plenty. I had 25 just hacking trees because the unit upgrade requirements for the units are all wood, and lots of it. I had just WAY too many good units by the time I marched. I had the fire pit with 20 dancers producing just skill nights every 12 seconds or so. I had a sum of them ready at hand when it came to burning down the perimeter defenses. They had a fort, which I demolished rapidly with the first wave (which I was not at all expecting, thinking that I had WAY too few units to bring down a fort…). Next I brought the jaguar prowl knights, and they obliterated artillery and standing units. They leaned on falconets early, but those fast jaguar prowl knights just burn those units down, and their fire rate is every few seconds, whereas the knight has hit you three or more times already. It’s not reasonable to expect the artillery to survive in those conditions, and they did not. This was their downfall, because they had completely run out of standing infantry, and were down to the structures with me keeping them from gathering resources to fend off the attackers. Skull nights have an area attack, which damages multiple units with one swing, and I just think they might be the best infantry unit in this game. They’re really ahrd to stop, like and AOE cavalry unit that doesn’t move as fast as a cavalry unit. Just thinking out loud here. I had gobs of units sacking the ciy, but ended up with more prowl knights than anything else. He was down to the last few coureur des bois as they emptied from the down center in the fall of the capital. They had no chance… death ensued. Victory.

FINAL SCORE 2 (34:50 gametime)

Egregious (Aztecs) = 912

French = 171

 

RESOURCES GATHERED

Egregious
Food: 33466
Wood: 25853
Coin: 23970

French
Food: 11194
Wood: 24724
Coin: 18302

MILITARY

Units: 315 (79 Jaguar Prowl Knights)Enemy Units: 172
Units Killed: 231
Units Lost: 192
FINAL SCORE (39:49 gametime)

Egregious (Aztecs) = 846

Ottomans = 240

 

RESOURCES GATHERED

Egregious
Food: 29495
Wood: 23436
Coin: 19714

Ottomans
Food: 7050
Wood: 28947
Coin: 13916

MILITARY

Units: 327 (64 Jaguar Prowl Knights)
Enemy Units: 143
Units Killed: 206
Units Lost: 99

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The Portuguese On Large Saguenay (Age Of Empires III – Game Notes)

I decided to play a game tonight and I’m glad I did. It was a basic tutorial on effective countering. The AI made armies comprised of units that I had a response to. Every time. Allow me to elaborate…

The AI was the Chinese and for army composition they amassed chu-ko-nu archers and mortars and that firework rocket artillery thing. They had a mix of those units, and just dialed up the quantity. I had only to build units which put a stop to those three.

I was not the initiator, my troops were holding ground when they were engaged. The attacks started late age 2 and continued in regular six minute intervals. They brought some cavalry later (maybe 20:00 in), but not with any support; about six in a single grouping.

I had an ever increasing sum of units at the choke point, coming out of two barracks, a command post, and a siege building. Nothing ever got through them. I divided my infantry into two groups, melee and ranged, and had a ratio of 1:3 respectively. The ranged were musketeers and cassadors. The melee was halberdiers and crossbowmen (who, in truth, I was using as meat-shields for the ranged units). This worked surprisingly well on everything they ran into. I began adding culverins and upgraded grenadiers later on, and that was the frosting on the cake.

When I went on the offensive, I was surprised that The AI had villagers gathering wood on the forest nearest to the battle line. I can’t think of an easier way to lose a bunch of villagers. Why he should not have been gathering out there that late in the game is clearly something only a human would understand. You can’t teach the computer to gather on the fringes from the start and work your way in as the ages go by. By the 4th age, he should have been down to farms and plantations, or rice paddies in his case. Whatever.

That example is a microcosm of the mistakes the AI made. I flanked his villagers and 6 buildings in to demolishing his base, he surrendered. I’ve had a European AI go down to the last few unit producing buildings and four villagers before giving up. But I guess he knew what was coming. I had six or more culverins making short work of opposing artillery and standing infantry units (who, as it turns out, don’t like being hit by a cannonball).

The final score:
The Portuguese (Egregious) = 825
The Chinese (AI) = 209

My collected resources in 38:37 of game time:
Food = 26064 (beat AI by about 10000)
Wood = 24191 (beat AI by only 1000)
Coin = 21949 (beat AI by about 7000)

My military stats:
Unit count = 221 (68 cassadors)
Units killed = 236
Units lost = 90

That map eliminates any sort of northern approach because of the body of water between the bases. I set up at the trough of the lake and started mustering units there. I grabbed the southern second trading post between the bases and he never challenged me down there. I had 7 halberdiers garrisoned; he would have crushed them. But like I said.

So a good game because I managed to hold the score 90% of the game. He had me momentarily between age 1 and 2. But once I had it I never let go until 825. So the Portuguese are just phenomenal at range. They have a full set of special armory improvements and three easily available ranged units, which includes a mercenary. They combined to kill most any unit with four or five of them in individual targets. Their DPS was fantastic. I wish the game kept track of that kinda shit.

I’ll try this faction again and hopefully draw a European civ.

Venom’s Diary

Entry 104, Act I: The Rogue’s Encampment, Sanctuary

Is there no end to this madness? I recall that but a few short days ago, I vanquished the demon lord Baal on the floor of the Worldstone chamber, only to find myself here, back where it all began, with Andariel. She who I mercilessly slaughtered in what seems like a lifetime ago. Now, I’m returned unceremoniously to the Rogue’s Encampment with Akara acting as though she had never met me. And Warriv saying “greetings stranger” to me as I walked near the bonfire. Is this some form of new devilry? My first thought was that this was a trick of time, and that I had been cast backward in history… but I have come to find that lands I crossed as a fledgling hero are now full with evil, and on par with my evolved strength. These minions would have destroyed me if I had met them before, but now they fight anew with enhanced vigor and fortitude. I can’t explain how all the days and weeks of labor I poured into cleansing this land of the shadow of the three can suddenly be undone. I am back. And Andariel is my foe once more, and THAT is my reality; some form of living nightmare to which I am bound.

Regardless, evil stands before me once more. I can rise to fight, or I can die, along with everyone who calls Sanctuary their home. I can’t let that happen. If I must do it again, I will.

My companion Tylena, a Rogue archer, has come with me into this madness, and somehow all the world has forgotten us. Yet she still wears the runeword armor I crafted for her, and still carries The Breath Of The Dying, which I inscribed on her longbow for her, just before we were to face Baal. She and I will stand beside the archangel Tyriel once more, but we must earn our way there… all over again.

I am unsure what new challenges we may face, but upon coming here, I felt my strength lessen, as I am hurt quickly my magic and elemental attacks, much as I was when my hero’s quest began. It would seem there is no end to this punishment, and evil is strong in Sanctuary once more. But not for long. Even as I write, Deckard Cain sits by the fire, having been freed (again) from Tristram. When I try to explain that this has happened before, he becomes cross with me and demands I focus on Andariel. I had hoped he, in his wisdom, would have an answer.

I must go on. There is no return to Horaggath for celebration. No Mala to cheer for the demise of Baal. Nothing but a world once more replete with evil. And Tylena and I must face it together, again.

Paleolithic Shorelines

I feel like a dry lake sometimes. At this point you’re going: “I’m sorry, what?”

You see, I have been full of life, people, places, generally speaking. I have had different lives, in various cities, with varieties of relationships and love. Every time though, I lost it, and the water receded, and my smaller life took on a new shape, and had different edges than before. But my lake has slowly been running dry. And everywhere I look, I see where all my water used to be, the old shape it once had still etched in the land. I’m reminded of how full it used to be. How deep my waters ran. But this metaphor is an illusion.

Maybe now you’re not saying “I’m sorry… what?” But instead: “ok, so what does this have to do with anything?”

I’m always looking for a new way to articulate my experiences. And I live in the shadow of my past, which I have not forgotten, because reminders of it are everywhere. But now, in this outstanding direction, I’ve revitalized my lake and filled it right back to capacity, burying all the memories of shapes it once had below the surface forever. I don’t live haunted by my failed lives. They are subject to erosion, not preservation. I am still with that past, but I vow never to let my life take a shape that is less than what I deserve. Now you might be going: “I still think the post about the muffin metaphor was better.”

31

On a note vastly different from the last post, I turn 31 tomorrow. Or, in a little over 5 hours. I really like being in my thirties. I am of the somewhat insane belief that no one takes you seriously in your twenties. Might as well have stayed a teenager for all the respect my age managed to garner. So an unceremonious transition to 30 a year ago tomorrow was nice, but now I’m officially not a “new arrival” to the 30 plateau. I’ve taken up residence and fully intend to stay frankly, I’d like to be turning 40. There’s no fucking around with a 40 year old. You mean business at forty. And at fifty you might as well fall over and die because it’s all downhill from there. It has been my intention to live, even though I have endangered my own life on multiple occasions. I’m not of sound mind and body at times. And like I mentioned before, deteriorating relationships have been the primary cause of my past suicide attempts. I gamble big on the success of my relationships, and when they fail, I feel like my life is over. So, maybe it’s time to go solo for a good long while. Hopefully.

Blog, you just turned 2 about six days ago. I don’t take you very seriously. You have a long way to go before you figure out what the fuck is going on around you. It’s all puppies and rose petals in your inexperience. Me, on the other hand, a formidable veteran of the psychic wars, first mate on the starship whatthefuckjusthappened. I’m going to let you off with a warming this time, but if I catch you alone in the carpool lane again I’m writing you a ticket.

Happy birthday eve!

It’s Friday!

Hey, my work week has just ended! Hooray! I deserve some time off, for sure, with how hard I work. Today was a game changing day for me. I finally had enough of the profanity, youtube videos of carnage and gore, and constant violation of company policy and took my complaints to Mike. Naturally Mike was alarmed, and took it to Dave, who then wanted to have a meeting with me. So they pulled me aside and asked me what the hell was going on, and I was totally frank and honest. I can’t stand the way Dominique says “Motherfuck this” and “motherfuck that” every few seconds, and how Kevin will ignore a call, let it go abandoned, go red cup in Zeacom autologing him for ignoring a call, and then putting himself on Order Entry so he can’t take a call. Then he’ll get up and go talk with someone about some game they play where they shoot people a lot. And he talks about how great he is all the time, like it’s something he thinks he can convince me of. Like HE is getting over on all of us because he thinks he’s getting away with it. Well, he’s not getting away with anything, nor will I be a complacent enabler of dreadful behavior. Eliminate him. He’s fucking useless, and is SCAMMING my company by not working for them, putting in as little effort as possible, and making MY job harder. And he thinks he’s just so fucking good. Like Kevin is the authority on ANYTHING? So, Dave had no idea the youtube shit was going on. I’m fucking terrified that I’m going to be on the phone with a customer and someone will motherfuck a little to loud, like he always gets, and I’ll have an escalated call in 1 millisecond. And it looks bad on us. SO BAD. TO be represented by that level of stupidity is a blemish that does more damage than most, because it is rapidly distributed through word of mouth, and a bad reputation is a terrible thing to lose. So, I’m not putting up with that shit. They fucking move me all the way across the room today, right next to Ryan, Oscar and Reggie of which there are two. One in front of me, one on my diagonal.  Oscar has a big personality. I think we’re going to get along really well. I was already speaking Spanish with him earlier. That took him a bit by surprise, I think. Amazingly, a game-changing variety of day. It’s unacceptable to tolerate delinquency; ineptitude is not rewarded with consistent pay. I hope I am the hammer of fucking justice on them. And Stephanie is gone, thank the Jesus. It’s going to be desolate in the lower half of the room, and Dave doesn’t want to fire people, he said, he wants to help them quit if they don’t like what they’re doing. I think these people can perform the basic function, but are they decent? Are they respect-worthy? I’m a sensation on the phone, charming, hilarious, confident. It’s fucking comedy hour over here. I’m damn good at what I do, and I sure know it. And frankly, so must the customers I interact with, because I know what the hell I’m doing and I get shit done, without mistakes. It’s a good day today, because I am earning the respect of the right people, in the right places, where I am already very valued, and clearly the very first employee they will hire on to Mood Media. I imagine there will be some sort of pay increase, though I know not how much. I’d be shocked if they kept me at the same rate. I need to live fellas. I don’t know what’s coming, but I’d be surprised, truly, if I ended up in a pickle. I think good, excellent and bodacious things are headed my way. And I’m already earning “Mike’s favorite” status. Which is a thing I like. Good Friday blog peoples, I hope you go forth and have fun tonight, as I will be trying my hardest to enjoy every vibrant moment on cloud 9. See you later.

A Really Positive Thing!

I’m having a really fantastic conversation with a stunningly beautiful woman right now. It’s been really open, straightforward, and honest. I’m not at all inhibited, as we pretty much are going through the exact same life event – a start from zero in life. I’m so stunned that I’m even talking to this wonderful person, boy, and I mean WONDERFUL. I just feel like we already have so many things in common. I bet I could play the song lyrics game with her that I play with Mike at work. Did I mention that things at work are going really well there also? Yes? I’m on Google Chat with Mike sending him song lyrics, and awaiting his reply of the next line. So far, I’ve only nabbed him on one, but that will change when I get into knowing what music he listens to. So far though, WE have a lot in common. Hence my arrival on the late shift. He wants to hang with me! I feel like, because I found my confidence, that people are coming to me in the universe and realizing I shine brightly, and I want to spread warmth to all the moth-people who come to see me. La la la la!

 

Ok really though. I have pride, confidence, and I have begun to establish my life over again, and that’s fucking rad. I hung out with the boys tonight too at Wing Stop like I said I was gonna. And I did, and we cracked jokes, and had a laugh about this and that, and all the weird shit we go through on the phones. We have to have a sense of humor about it, right? Or else, I bet you’re going to fucking hate your job. I’m elated though guys! I’ve met someone really neat, and she seems at least willing to listen to my arbitrary story that is so much liker hers it’s freaky-weird. I really like talking with her. Boy is it refreshing to be just straight dope with someone. I bet we have no tolerance for ze bullshit. She’s clean of thought, concise with her words, intelligent! Very bright, and an ideas thinker-type.  I can tell she has the curiosity, and she has it good. That’s just so unbelievably attractive. I mean, a smart CURIOUS girl? No, seriously, sit down.

 

I don’t know what to say blog. I told her I am mentally ill, and I told her about Jax and the whole sad little way it went down. Hopefully I am not immediately rejected like I have been in the past. But blog, I want you to know, that no matter what happens at this point, my faith in chance and finding the right sort of person  is possible, and achievable, and even these steps of measured success, I have a restored belief that if not now, eventually. That I will not have to be alone anymore; that my feelings of emptiness and solitude might have a chance to be recognized and appreciated, and a little fire may start in me again like it did such a long time ago. I have hope again blog! And I’m happy to have come as fat as I have with her, because I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, and it was on my mind while I went to work all day and kicked ass. I tried my best to touch base with her through the day, it’s been really charming and fun. I don’t know what else to say, it’s Friday night and I intend to hang around and have fun with my night. FUCK YES WEEKEND BITCHES!