How are you?
It's been a while.
Sorry about that.
I fall out of touch with this blog for bouts. I never mean to.
It has mostly involved being thrown an extreme amount of work at the office. While only forty hours a week, it is amazing how much stress you can cram into forty hours. One project I was asked to do was higher profile than usual and, to top it off it was one of those projects which sounded simpler as described than how it existed once I got into it -- so I'd underquoted the initial time required by a lot.
While I generally am able to leave my job behind when I exit the front door, too much stress leaves me emotionally and physically exhausted. Stress is your body on high alert with nothing to do but stew there in a hormone cocktail of alertness and forced ignorance of fatigue. Being an extreme introvert in a job setup designed for extroverts (open desk plan, multiple means for people to interrupt me, influx of telephone calls that have nothing to do with me) this generally means that once I become stressed out at work I stay stressed out until I leave -- usually no "down time" to recharge.
Also, though, when I've been able to pour out some creative energy it has gone into painting or composing. Nothing presentable. Yet. You'll see something out of me soon enough. I will say that there are technical difficulties in creating a longer piece that I'd not encountered in even fourteen minute pieces and I'll have to adapt my workflow to something different to make it work out. Having my composition software crash out on me and grovel badly while trying to listen to a thirty minute piece that's still fledgeling isn't satisfying, it's frustrating, and it isn't making very good music yet. I'll figure it out, though. It has enough bits in it I'm finding I love about the piece to keep me going on it, which works for me.
As for my main vice of gaming too much, well, I can report that WARP is indeed great fun, especially if you treat it mostly as a puzzler more than anything else, though a bit ... gooshy ... if you don't play it perfectly non-lethally. (Non-lethally takes extra practice at timing and is actually more difficult, something I always love as an option though. Frankly, having a non-lethal option be more difficult has its own little subversive message I've always loved in the games that show it: you have to be twice as clever and badass to get through a tough situation and not hurt anyone. Though outside the context of that situation (game or real life) there are usually more consequences that make not assaulting people with lethal or even non lethal weapons much easier.) And I can say that Fallout: New Vegas is completely engrossing.
Not entirely content to just leave all entertainment to computer games, I also dove in and did an extreme week of reading as much as I could and finished two books. The first was Quiet. The second was Liars and Outliers. Quiet kind of nudged me to feel more like I should feel entitled to bend the world about me to my introversion just a little. Liars and Outliars was just thought provoking in general and additionally has quite a few unexpected bits to bring to bear on my simulation. Speaking of which...
I still owe you that third post in the last series. What happened? Well, I realized it would be extremely abstract without a working model to look at, so I've also been spending some time on making a working model to look at. I'm postponing that third part indefinitely until I have video for you. Actually trying to make a working model that doesn't merely work but also can be inspected in a way that reads in video will be a good project, not merely for here but also may hep build a better product -- if I can see for myself, poking around and inspecting individual actors in the simulation -- that I'm getting a simulated society working and some drama out of it then I've done it right. On the other hand, and this is far more likely, I can see that it isn't working out exactly as I'd imagined and I need to do some work to tweak how things are working in order to make this work out then I'll be far better off with some tools that let me quickly diagnose and monitor what's going on.
Plus, frankly, it will probably look like I'm an evil mastermind with a simulation of the world running and am making all the puppets dance to my tune. I mean, there's a certain wicked satisfaction in that. Most people who have played with simulation games know what I'm talking about, regardless of whether you are or aren't the type to kick over the simulated society like an aggravated anthill.
The last thing that's been in the way of keeping this blog up to date has been, ironically, the fact that I stalled on writing the third update in the series and failed and then developed a fierce case of writers block. Simply because I was behind and felt like I owed myself a post yet hadn't followed through on it. Yes, the nagging wheel of guilt is a mighty bitch to find yourself orbiting when you're not writing because you haven't posted and feel you ought to have.
So there's the unvarnished reasons. I don't feel that puts me in a great light, but I'm human, and I suspect many of you who have tried to keep something regular online going may relate. Especially if you don't do it for a living. Maybe even if you do, though if that's so I hope your cycles of getting stuck are much shorter.