Busy Year

I always feel like I life the Nine Inch Nails song “Everyday is Exactly the Same”. I would be content eating the food, watching the same shows, and reading the same books over and over again. But this year, a few things have changed: the wife and I bought a house, we got two adorable cats, we bought a new van for the wife, and I got a slight promotion at work. Amusingly, I have pulled everything off this site and reposted it more than once. It isn’t all back as of this post, and I will be pulling down more later (probably). I just sort of miss it being here.

Not a lot of gaming for a gaming post

I go through bouts where I game a lot, and times where I really don’t. I had expected to spend a lot of time playing Skyrim, but according to Steam, my total time played clocks in at 12 hours, which is really only a couple of hours here and there. Playing the game has actually made me want to write about my character in the game more than actually playing the game. And despite it being the final Elder Scrolls Online beta weekend, I probably only logged in about an hour there. I just decided I didn’t want to take away from the discovery when the full version comes out, since I know I am going to be playing. Oh, and Star Trek Online is getting the same lack of love it has been getting for the past couple of months: I log in to check on two duty officer missions, queue them up if available, log out.

I did manage to finally get around to playing Mark of the Ninja. I bought it months ago when the price dipped down to tiny numbers, but didn’t touch it. I have been missing out on a lot of fun. It is a 2D scroller in the vein of SNES games but with modern graphics, puzzles, and intuitive controls. The plot is thin and fairly predictable thus far, but I think that is for the better. A deep, weaving plot would have detracted from the feel and tone of the game. I can tell I am going to be playing/replaying this game for awhile.

Computer housekeeping.

I think it was on Facebook, but I remember joking recently how I was trying not to be excited about a new game was coming out because I wasn’t in the mood to buy a new computer. I was pleasantly surprised that my computer handled ESO as well as it did, despite my processor and video card not meeting the recommended specs. After the beta was over, however, I ran out and bought Skyrim in order to play something in the Elder Scrolls universe to hold me over till ESO came out…and it had problems with my new machine. So, I bought a new one (mostly).

Case, power supply, motherboard, processor, ram, and OS. I have a ceiling on how much I allow myself to spend in a given amount of time and buying the other components I wanted would have pushed me way over that, so I pulled the video card, hard drives, and DVD burner from my old machine. The video card is a must, but it can wait a couple of weeks. Everything else I want to do will have to wait until summer, unless overtime picks up something fierce at work.

Everything came in on Thursday. The wife had scheduled a full day at work, so I took the day off just to make sure the parts didn’t sit on the porch all day (In the future, I am going to make use of the Mailboxes & Parcel Depot so I don’t have to take off work.). But I am glad I did. It gave me plenty of time to build. I spent 3.5-4 hours meticulously putting everything in its place, wrapping cables, etc. You wouldn’t be able to tell that I hadn’t done this in years.

Tomorrow, I am going to pull the computer open and retie everything using more permanent ties. Or at least I plan on it. Of course, I might spend all day playing Skyrim.

Slept about an hour…

I hate nights like this. My body is doing its best to pass out on me, and I want it to do so. I am tired enough that I even went to bed about a half-hour earlier than normal. The last few nights I had been up a bit late, and it is catching up with me. Between the tossing and turning and the eventual giving up, I probably only got about an hour of mediocre sleep. I normally sleep like a coma victim, just a taste of mediocre sleep sucks.

Tonight, I am a bit nauseous. I feel like I drank too much, because when I drink too much, I eat too much. But that isn’t the case. I had one drink with dinner, then totally ignored both alcohol and food for hours before making a cup of coffee. A couple of hours later, I decided to pass out, and I had felt find the entire time. Maybe I tossed and turned too much and it got my stomach moving around too much.

Need moar sleep.

Net Loss

I finally got around to finishing our taxes. I have been doing my own taxes since I moved out of the parents house, and when we got married, I started doing it for both of us. It was easy until the last couple of years. Our financial lives were so…pathetic…that it didn’t take any effort. Sit down and be done within an hour. Of course, now we are doing better, have insurance, HSA, medical bills, etc so it is getting more complex.

We have also been getting less and less the past couple of years. I can’t really complain since it just means we have more throughout the year instead of a big check once a year. This was our first net loss year. The difference between what we owed and what we got back was $44 in our favor, which was less than the cost for TurboTax and e-filing.

Net loss…oh well.

Elder Scrolls Online Beta

I took part in this weekend’s beta for ESO. I had known the game was in development, but I hadn’t realized that it was so close to being released until a friend asked if I wanted a beta key. I am glad I said yes.

Initially, it felt a little rough, and the game is still riddled with bugs, but it was a lot of fun. It was a refreshing change from the standard MMO grind. Instead of a myriad of quests focused on killing a number of mobs or obtaining a number of drops, the quests focus on a series of sweeping adventures. The time commitment is much greater per quest. In about 20 hours of play, I completed less than 25 quests, yet finished off three play zones and only hit level 8. The only major drawback to this is that the quests are incredibly linear, and you can’t advance until you finish them in the correct order.

The crafting system is pretty unique as well, or at least what I have experienced of it. Amusingly, the unique thing about the system is that it is fairly straight forward, and crafting systems in MMOs rarely are. A level 1 robe requires 4 pieces of cloth, 1 racial piece (to set design), and an optional bonus stat piece. To increase the level of the robe by 2, you add another piece of cloth, and so on until you have capped the level for that cloth type. Increasing the rarity of the items follows a similar straight forward progression. It is kind of awesome to know what to expect. It also eliminates a couple of problems World of Warcraft had where there would be huge gaps between craftable items for a slot, and a frequent disparity in visual styles.

There is quite a bit I didn’t experience, but I will. I do plan on getting it. I plan on playing on release.

Something different.

I have been wanting to do something with the page. I hate to say reboot, but I can’t think of a better description. I am not the same person I was when I started this site, and I don’t live in the same world either. I have lost something of myself, and until I find it (or something to replace it), I don’t feel like having all this past me cluttering up the place.

Here is to fresh starts…and fucking reboots.

Quick Edit: had I not been lost playing the beta for Elder Scrolls Online, I would have gotten this post out on March 1st, like I wanted, ten years and 1 day after first launching toomucheffort.com.

Love my Logitech: Bluetooth Keyboard

I am kind of a Logitech whore, which is funny, because I normally eschew the idea of brand loyalty. Logitech is a company I rarely have issues with.

I nabbed the Logitech Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard K810 a couple of months back, and love it more every day. Being able to easily bounce back and forth between devices with a click of a button is awesome. And having only one keyboard means I am not taking up valuable space on my desk.

The Fucking Forever Update

I know, it has been forever. I have had several posts that I cut short and decided to delete. It seemed that the “when to post” and “what to post” never quite meshed. Add into that the fact that my life is pretty routine and you get a lack of posts.

So here is a sum up of what seems noteworthy:

I finished NaNo, and won, but it didn’t really feel like a win. I have touched the fantasy stuff from time to time, but not been able to focus.

I have slightly changed jobs at work. I am still in the same building working for the same company, supervisors, etc. Only now, instead of making/dealing with finished parts, I cut the rubber that goes to the presses for said parts. I basically work in a big Play-doh fun factory.

My diet has mostly changed. The wife and I are doing an almost paleo diet. The gist of the paleo diet is eating a pre-agricultural diet. It drops out grains, seeds, legumes, dairy, and refined sugars. My goal was pretty simple: get away from all the overly processed foods I was eating. The wife decided to join in. I am having difficulty with the sugars, but the rest is pretty easy, and I generally feel much better. Of course, alcohol is also out, which I am pretty terrible about.

I have a new desk. I was all excited last year about building my own standing desk. I loved my desk. It did have it problems. I missed having drawers. Typing, real hardcore typing, was sort of awkward. I also found myself sitting far more than standing, thus defeating the purpose. I re-purposed the old desk as a set of large shelves holding appliances and recycling bins.

Kitty left us. It was sad, and I won’t dwell on it here.

I have added and taken away a few games in my play routine. Right now, my WoW account is active, but I am not really playing it.

And that is it for now.

Pointless and Happy About It.