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Messages - ironmage

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1
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: Yesterday at 12:32:42 AM »
There are two kinds of fool. One says, "This is old, and therefore good."
And one says, "This is new, and therefore better."

My complaint with discord is that most of the conversation happens during the day, while I'm at work.  In the forum format, if I want to reply to an old comment, I can quote it for context, even a few days later.  In discord, that's pretty much impossible.  You step in the stream, but the water has moved on.

But, I like the people in the community (most of you, anyway) more than I care about the details of the communication medium.  I guess I can hang around both places.

I need the forum, to post my quarterly anime season post that I'm not really sure if anyone actually reads =P
Hey, I read it.  ....you read mine, right?  Don't answer that.

2
I hope the main female in this one is just completely naked (save for just a cape).
Day 1 purchase for me.

...I thought we were already pretty close to that?  I guess neither of you unlocked Velvet's jacketless costume.  :P

3
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: June 13, 2018, 12:08:29 AM »
I don't consider a character being KO'd occasionally during a boss fight to be "having trouble".  If I were sailing through the game without anyone dying, I'd be complaining it was too easy.

I could spend a little extra time optimizing Quartz combinations and farming for sepith, and that would doubtless make the game easier, but I'd rather face a challenge every once in a while, and spend that time exploring instead.

What I don't like is squeaking out a win by a narrow margin against a boss...and then having to do the whole thing over again because someone got killed in the interval before an Art landed (for example).

For the moment, I'm getting along well enough buying whatever Quartz is cheap relative to my current sepith inventory, and not worrying about the best combination, as long as everyone has some decent healing and attack Arts available.  I generally don't bother with exploiting the full range of options in a system unless a game forces me to do so to make progress.

4
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: June 11, 2018, 10:46:21 PM »
I have volunteer dill coming up all over the garden...except in the small patch where I actually tried to plant the stuff.  Why is it that this stuff grows easily when I don't want it, and refuses to cooperate when I do?  Even the tomatoes are better behaved.

I must travel once again to the Northern Wilderness, and consult with the Great Sages, there to learn the Secret of Dill.

5
Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: June 11, 2018, 10:34:05 PM »
After an involuntary break from gaming, I've picked up Trails in the Sky again.  I've just reached Zeiss.

I quite like the style of writing in this game; somewhat tropey without being cliche, it feels like a more mature Tales installment.  This is the first game in years where I actually walk around and talk to random NPCs, just to hear what they have to say.  The localization is bloody brilliant.

Neutral things:
I like the battle system--turn based RPGs can do a lot worse than this--but it hasn't been giving me any "moments of awesome" as sometimes happens with an SMT/Persona title.
I'm currently neglecting the whole quartz/orbment system, and likely won't bother with tuning my lines for specific abilities unless I start having trouble.

Bad things:
Kloe left my party.
The treasure chests mock me incessantly!  But I will have vengeance.  I'm gonna open the hell out of every chest I find.  I mean, I was going to open the treasure chests anyway?  But now...it's personal.
I guess I don't like it that characters have to be alive at the end of a battle to earn experience.  Since I seem to be earning most of my experience from bosses, this has forced me to replay a couple of battles, even though I won.

The chest is empty.
I wonder whose fault that is...?

6
Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: June 11, 2018, 10:27:16 PM »
Citizen of the Galaxy (Heinlein):  This is the story of a slave who finds himself entangled in interplanetary intrigue, and eventually rises in society to the point where he has the opportunity to strike back at the institution of slavery itself.  There are some interesting bits here (the culture of the traders, and some of the glimpses into alien civilizations), but I liked Starship Troopers better.

I still have a couple more Heinlein novels in my stack, but I think I'll start on some Guy Gavriel Kay first.

7
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: June 06, 2018, 06:42:27 PM »
The pan was a pain to clean.
You didn't use soap, did you??  :concern:
Of course not!  Who do you think I am?

I used an angle grinder.  When that proved inadequate, I applied chlorine trifluoride.  There's still a little bit of gunk on it, so later I'm going to take it into the backyard and employ the second most powerful force in the universe:  My right arm and a scrubbing brush.

8
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: June 05, 2018, 07:53:19 PM »
You remember that bit in FF4 where Yang's wife describes defending herself from a soldier with a frying pan?  Funny scene, huh?  Well, yesterday I got out my grandmother's cast-iron skillet to try cooking some teriyaki steak.

I no longer find that scene funny.

This frying pan is two-hand wield, requires 45 STR, and is as black as Walt Disney's heart.  This is not a joke weapon; you land a clean hit with this, it's going to shatter bone.

The teriyaki turned out well.  The pan was a pain to clean.

9
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: May 25, 2018, 08:37:52 PM »
Did you know:
  • 5% of people get kidney stones.
  • 50% of people with kidney stones get more than one.
  • When a doctor says "this might make you a bit loopy", she really means "these IV painkillers are going to make the dots on the ceiling flow continuously in a north-south direction".
  • If I watch a heart-rate monitor, and focus on relaxing, I can reduce my heartrate by 10 bpm, but it jumps back up when I get distracted.
  • ER doctors at teaching hospitals are so much in the habit of giving verbal quizzes, that they do it even to patients.
  • IV drips now have electric pumps with backup batteries, so when you get bored out of your mind, you can unplug them from the wall, and have a little whirring friend accompany you on your rambling through the ER hallway.

Anyway, I woke up yesterday at 2:20 am, drove myself to the ER around 3:00, and was mostly okay by 5:30.  Then I waited for two-and-a-half hours to be discharged.  I got to work by 9:30, but didn't get much done.  Four hours of sleep isn't enough for a job that expects you to think.

I guess I should drink more water, because that really hurt.

10
Brush and Quill / Re: Book Thread Continued
« on: May 25, 2018, 08:26:01 PM »
The Forge of God (Greg Bear):  An interesting take on first contact with an alien species, but it didn't really take me anywhere new.  Despite the claims on the cover, I wouldn't classify this as "hard" science fiction.

GOod OMeNS (Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman):  What if Armageddon was run by incompetents?  It would be pretty damn funny, that's what.

Caves of Steel (Isaac Asimov):  This is one of Asimov's "Murder mystery...in Spaaaace!" stories.  An entertaining read, but I prefer Asimov when he writes more traditional science fiction.  I'm not much of a mystery fan.

11
Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: April 30, 2018, 10:49:28 PM »
New season notes below.  TL,DR:  I recommend Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Hinamatsuri, and Megalobox.  I'm not including any comments on continuing series.  This post is long enough as it is.

Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These (3 episodes, continuing):  The older incarnation of this is one of my favorite series, so I was bound to have strong feelings about this remake.  Although I won't call it an unqualified improvement (I liked the old character designs better), it's good in most of the ways that count.

Megalobox (4 episodes, continuing):  The artwork looks like it's from a late-90s sci-fi anime movie, and the writing wouldn't be out of place in a noir-era film.

Hinamatsuri (3 episodes, continuing):  A biological superweapon moves in with a yakuza boss; hilarity ensues.  If you liked Alice and Zoroku, you might like this.

PERSONA5 the Animation (4-episode meh):  If you haven't played the game, I expect you would find the pacing of this terrible; without any gameplay to break up the scenes, it feels really rushed.  If you've already played the game...this doesn't provide much of a change in perspective.

Golden Kamuy (3-episodes, continuing):  The insight into Ainu culture is interesting, but it feels a bit too didactic in tone, and the character development is a bit lacking.

Steins; Gate 0 (3-episodes, continuing):  There's potential here, but it's starting a bit slow.

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online (1-episode drop):  An MC wearing bright pink combat gear was silly enough, but when I saw the "professionals" advancing down the middle of the street, completely out of cover, I knew this was going to be too stupid to bother with.

Umamusume: Pretty Derby (5-episode drop):  Horse-girls (as in, with ears and tails) race each other in this decidedly odd series.  I assumed this would be a complete disaster, but since P.A. Works is involved, it's actually not that bad.  Unfortunately, there's no plot to speak of.

MAJOR 2nd (4-episodes, continuing):  Not bad for a baseball anime.

Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- (2-episodes, continuing):  I've seen this pattern before.  I expect them to run out of material by episode four.

Space Battleship Tiramisu (1-episode drop):  Was this supposed to be funny?  I didn't find this funny.

Fist of the Blue Sky: Regenesis (1-episode drop):  I'm not really a fan of the Fist of the North Star, and nothing here gave me reason to reconsider.  Decent animation, I guess.

Comic Girls (1-episode drop):  Yet another slice-of-life with recycled characters.

Love To-LIE-Angle (1-episode drop):  Three minutes of pointless fanservice in a three-and-a-half minute episode.

Dances with the Dragons (1-episode drop):  I really don't care whether your magic is based on quantum physics, or unicorn feathers.  If your world and your characters are boring, it doesn't matter how clever your exposition is.

Gurazeni: Money Pitch (1-episode drop):  A slightly bland slice-of-life about professional baseball.

GeGeGe no Kitaro (2-episode drop):  I'm okay with Japanese supernatural fare, and although the production quality is decent, nothing here really caught my attention.

You Don't Know Gunma Yet (1-episode drop):  Doesn't seem like a great tourist destination.

Libra of Nil Admirari (12-minute drop):  Anime based on otome games are almost invariably garbage.

Caligula (1.5 episode drop):  It isn't immediately obvious if this is high art, or pretentious, incoherent crap.  I'm assuming the latter.

Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori (14-minute drop):  Host cafe series, possibly with reverse harem elements.  I'm not the target audience for this.

Last Period (6-minute drop):  Fantasy anime doesn't get much more generic than this.

Isekai Izakaya Nobu (4-minute drop): I really don't think we need two series about a Japanese restaurant that connects to another world.

Butler X Battlers (8-minute drop):  After eight minutes, I didn't know the premise of the series, hadn't been given any significant plot points, and had no interest in any of the characters.

My Sweet Tyrant (3-episode drop):  The episodes are 3.5 minutes, and they used up most of their ideas in the first one.  Also, the idea of a male tsundere is somewhat creepy.

12
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: April 30, 2018, 09:32:03 PM »
Thanks for your encouragement, everyone.

Just be careful not to fall into the trap of "I feel just fine, I don't need meds any more" because it's the meds that are mimicking neurotransmitters in your brain to make you feel normal, and that feeling of normalcy is subtle. 
Absolutely not.  It took three months and two dosage increases before this stuff started to work, I'm not going to mess with it.  I've been dealing with this most of my life (I'm ~39.5), so my standard for "normal" is rather skewed, anyway.

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Psychological/mental health is no joke and I'm glad that progress is being made to have it not be a stigma.  We take sick days and medicine when we have the flu, yet we don't when our minds are sick?  You can't just "snap out of it" when it comes to anxiety or depression.
Part of me still thinks that if I was just a bit stronger I could have fought my way clear on my own.  But the fact is, I'd have to be waaay stronger.  Like, bench-pressing 1200 lbs stronger.  But when someone needs to lift 1200 lbs in real life, they're probably not embarrassed to use a forklift.

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Instead of reflexively resisting, utilize the Bruce Lee wisdom of water becoming the cup and teapot.  Instead of seeing the crisis as a liability, how can I turn that into an advantage?
True, but keep your options open.  If the crisis comes at you with a broken bottle, sometimes you just gotta knock it down and stomp on it.

I also have my own share of anxieties, coupled with sensory issues. Isn't the human brain fun?
My brain knows when I have work that day, and wakes me up well before the alarm goes off.  I'd give good money to shut that feature off.  I need that sleep, dammit!  Quit trying to be helpful, brain!

From my experience, just having your problems acknowledged and having some sort of plan for dealing with them removes a lot of pressure, because then you can actually get somewhere.
Simply doing something helps me a lot.  I don't know if the coping techniques I learned from the psychologist are directly effective, but having something to do when my nerves start to take over at least makes me feel like I have some control over the situation.

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I'm terrible at meditation. I can do the whole 'emptying the mind' part (and there are EEGs to prove it), but after that all the 'not calm' comes crashing down again. Fortunately, I've found some 'reset buttons' that work a lot better for me, like a few games of fast-paced Tetris or a hot shower. So, uh, don't worry if typical meditation fails at more than just superpower-distribution. There are other methods to achieve an atleast similar effect.
I'm not very good at clearing my mind (my inner monologue practically never shuts up), but the relaxation effect seems to persist for a little while, anyway.  I've also had some success with focussing on the sounds around me, even if it's only the sound of my own footsteps.

Haps:  I'm going to try starting tomatoes from seed this year.

13
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: April 25, 2018, 09:47:26 PM »
I hit a rough patch a few months back.  The whole depression/anxiety thing compounded with work-related stress started to have significant physical side effects, and although desperation isn't in my repertoire, the situation became a bit much to deal with.

I ended up asking for help throwing myself on the mercy of the system.  I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, with some OCD on the side.

I don't think any of the personnel involved understood exactly how bad it was--I'm really good at concealing my internal state--but I guess that doesn't matter.  I got myself a prescription for happy pills and a few sessions with a psychologist, and I'm feeling better.  Better than I have in years.

Now just because I've had a couple good weeks doesn't mean I'm out of the quicksand.  But y'know?  I think this might turn out okay.

On the downside, the meditation exercises haven't given me any superpowers yet.

14
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: February 17, 2018, 11:15:53 AM »
I always thought people "enjoyed" curling due to it being so different from most of the other events, and so people who weren't so into sports would be into it ironically.  I have absolutely no idea if that's true or not.
I find curling interesting because it alternates a tactical element with a skill-based element.  In the planning stage, you try to figure out how best to get your stones into scoring position, while blocking your opponent from doing the same thing on their turn.  In the execution stage, you throw the stone as accurately as possible...and then desperately try to fine-tune its trajectory without touching it.

Since I live in a part of Canada where curling rinks are as plentiful as bowling alleys, I went on a curling field trip in elementary school.  It's not really the sort of thing I'd do for recreation, but I got enough of an appreciation for it to enjoy watching it occasionally.

So curling is a "hipster" sport then.
Curling is about as hipster as golf.

15
Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: January 23, 2018, 07:09:34 PM »
Yakitate Japan (28-episode peacock):   I guess this captures my sentiments.

A Place Further Than the Universe (3-episodes, continuing):  A girl plans a trip to Antarctica to search for her mother; the problem is convincing an expeditionary team to take her along.  This is my surprise hit of the season.  Likeable characters, quick pacing.

Darling in the Franxx (2-episodes, continuing):  *whistles*  Now that's good giant robot anime.

Record of Grancrest War (3-episode provisional continuance):  This looked to be a decent fantasy series during the first two episodes, but the third felt a bit rushed, and the animation quality began to drop.  I'm cautiously pessimistic.

citrus (3-episode no-comment):  This is something I'm watching.  It belongs to a particular genre, and has characters and plot elements. *cough*

Pop Team Epic (3-episode what-is-this-I-don't-even):  You will either find this very funny, or consider it a complete mess.  Both viewpoints are correct.

Laid-back Camp (2-episodes...so far):  I'm enjoying this slice-of-life highschool-camping-club series at the moment, but I usually get bored with slice-of-life around episode four.  Let's see how it goes.

Hakyu Hoshin Engi (2-episode drop):  I liked the Chinese mythological setting, but the writing was a bit of a mess.  The abrupt scene changes gave me brain whiplash.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (2-episode drop):  I'm not looking for an isekai with an absurdly overpowered protagonist right now, thanks.


And here's the rest:
Spoiler: show

Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles (1-episode drop):  If you thought a series focussed on eating ramen would be boring, you'd be right.

Working Buddies! (1-episode drop):  In the first episode, some cats delivered some packages....and that was basically it.

Katana Maidens ~ Toji no Miko (1-episode drop):  It started out as a "schoolgirls with katanas battle generic monsters" series, but after a brief onsen scene, transitioned to some sort of tournament.

Junji Ito Collection (10-minute drop):   I guess this was supposed to be horror, but I found myself laughing at how silly it was.

Sanrio Boys (5-minute drop):  I'm not the target audience for this.

Slow Start (6-minute drop):  Vapid slice-of-life loli something-or-other.

School Babysitters (1-episode drop):  Too cutesy for my taste.  Sometimes I get the suspicion certain anime series have social engineering as an underlying motivation (e.g., Japan's birthrate is dropping, so let's sponsor a series that makes young children seem cute).

The Ryuo's Work is Never Done! (1-episode drop): Another Shougi series?  But far from being a potential competitor to "The Lion of March", this is just another crappy harem anime.  I'm somewhat insulted that this even exists.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san (1-episode drop):  A boy gets teased by the girl who sits to him in class; his attempts at turnaround invariably backfire.  This could have been funny, but the execution wasn't strong enough.

Mitchiri Neko (1-episode drop): Well, that was stupid.

Maerchen Maedchen (1-episode drop):  Having a female protagonist in an isekai isn't all that common, but this is otherwise pretty generic.

How to Keep a Mummy (12-minute drop): Saccharine.

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens [sic] (1-episode drop):  If you're a professional hitman, hiding in someone's house, waiting for them to come home so you can kill them, why would you answer the doorbell?  That level of stupid can't come naturally.

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