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Messages - ironmage

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General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 10, 2017, 12:47:13 AM »
There was smoke in the air today; it seems we're downwind of some forest fires.  The most obvious effect is orange-tinted sunlight.

Garden Log:  Ripped out the remains of the cucumber plants, dug the potatoes, got swarmed by ladybugs.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: September 06, 2017, 07:06:01 PM »
Garden Log Special Edition:

(official rules)

1.  Identify a victim.  This can be a friend, neighbour, or random person on the street.  Avoid known owners of plum trees, uniformed officers, people who live in the same house with you, very small children*, or people you have already victimized in the last fifteen minutes.
2.  Approach victim casually.  Try to avoid making the plums easily visible, but you don't want to look like you're concealing a weapon, either.
3.  In a loud clear voice, yell "FOR THE GLORY OF THE PLUM GOD!  NO BACKSIES!"  Thrust the container of plums at your victim.
4.  Run.  Run fast.  Don't look back.  The "no-backsies" rule is fairly widespread, but may not be acknowledged in all jurisdictions.

*If they're too small to carry the plums, you should target their parents instead.

(With the exception of the yelling and the running away, this sequence has played out several times over the last couple weeks.  It's frightening how much a single plum tree can produce.)

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: September 04, 2017, 10:29:06 AM »

Time to roll a new account then.

I need to reconsider what I want out of this game.

Sure, rerolling a few dozen times would practically guarantee better starting cards, but it's not like I'm going to get a complete set of Pendragon/Jeanne/Tamamo-no-Mae/Gilgamesh/Zhuge Liang.   There will always be a few really good cards that I can't get, or a limited time exclusive character with a really low drop rate.  As long as my objective is getting a perfect party, then I'm approaching the game on its terms, rather than playing it on mine.

I'm more than a little inclined to say "Screw you, Saber.  Screw you, RNG!  Jing Ke and I can beat this game without you."

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: September 03, 2017, 11:17:11 PM »

Fate Grand Order:  Why am I still playing this?

The writing is third-rate VN schlock.  A virtual reality simulation of future-Earth is predicting imminent disaster, so we're going back in time to fix some sort of damage to history.  Also, all famous characters in history apparently had personalities based on anime cliches.  The translation is abysmal.  I can't imagine a native speaker was involved at any level.  Fortunately, the writing being crap, it doesn't matter.

The gameplay is a vast improvement over Fate/Extra (which isn't saying much).  It's at least challenging enough that you can lose a character now and then, but it's still mostly a matter of preparation.  If you go into a battle with the right servants at an adequate level, you win.

So what's left?  Getting the party you want, which is pure gambling.  Humans are highly susceptible to inconsistent positive reinforcement.  And that's probably what's keeping me around...for now.

Let's Math.  The probability of a 5* servant summon is reportedly 1%.  Let's be optimistic, and say the chances of that 5* being Mai Waifu is 1/5.  The expected number of summons to get what you want is then 1/(.01/5), or 500.  500 summons costs 1500 spirit quartz, which at current rates, would run ~$1178.57On average.  It could easily be more.  If you pay $1000, and don't get what you want, it's not like you only need to pay another $178; the expected cost is an additional $1178.  No matter how many times you fail, the expected cost is always $1178.  (This assumes stochastic independence.  The server software might take pity on you.  Or mark you for a sucker.)  So far, I've paid $0.

There's currently a limited-time event on, which has increased drop rates for several 4* and 5* Saber units, and besides some of them being waifu material, I don't have any decent Sabers in my deck.  So, I spent all my free quartz / mana prisms / summon tickets, hoping, maybe, for an ArturiaAltria Pendragon, but any Saber would do.  Result?  I got a 4* Martha (a slight improvement over my current Rider), a couple 4* CE cards I don't care about, no Sabers, and my Robin Hood count is now five.

Conclusion: sticking with F2P won't get me the party I want on any sane timescale, but it would be absurdly expensive for me to try for the party I want via whaling.  There is no winning strategy.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: August 30, 2017, 06:39:44 PM »
Tomato plants don't live for more than half a year

What bleepery is this?

"Determinate" varieties of tomato generally die after producing their fruit. "Indeterminate" varieties can last longer, but frost will kill them.  Unless you've got a greenhouse, or are in a really gorgeous climate, tomatoes are an annual.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: August 29, 2017, 07:16:47 PM »
So, my tomato plant/vine went crazy producing a bajillion grape tomatoes, and then it died.  Why?

It was either old age...or murder.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: August 28, 2017, 08:52:50 PM »
Garden log:  I picked the onions on Saturday.   The white onions were, almost without exception, small, soft, wormy, or misshapen.  The yellow onions were almost all fine specimens of onionitude.  I'm not planting white onions again.

Cucumber production is ramping down (that's fine, I'm running out of refrigerator space for the pickles), and tomato production is ramping up.  Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes are completely unlike the cardboard you find in stores.  Juicy and salty and sweet....putting them in a sandwich would just be a waste.  Unfortunately, these tomato plants were gifts from a friend of my mother (I hadn't originally planned on planting any), and I don't know what variety they are.

There was also a gift eggplant...plant.  It looks really healthy, and has some small purple flowers, but I'm not sure if there's enough summer left for it to mature.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 26, 2017, 09:30:22 AM »
I tried some mobile games.

A Girl Adrift:  This is a post-apocalyptic Korean fishing RPG.  It was amusing for a little while, but the gameplay was literally just "tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap".  Aside from being kinda boring, playing this sort of thing would make me lose any remaining self-respect.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper:  The production quality isn't bad, for being a melange of characters, settings, and music from the series.  But there is no story to speak of, and really, if I wax nostalgic, I'd rather just play FF4/5/6/T again.

Fate: Grand Order:  On my first summons, I got Mephistopheles (bleh), Robin Hood, female Jing Ke (gender flipping is clearly endemic, here), Robin Hood (whoa; deja vu), and a 4-star Tamamo Cat.  Tamamo Cat (apparently the feline Berserker incarnation of Tamamo-no-Mae) is turning out to be the powerhouse of the party, but unfortunately, her high damage output is paired with poor defense.  I wonder if I can buff her somehow, or if I should try to summon a better servant.  Maybe Gilgamesh, or Jeanne d'Arc....

...oh.  Oh, no.  I think they got me.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: August 25, 2017, 08:27:15 PM »
They end up as overheated overcooked Turkey steak dinners with too little mustard sauce and way too much mayo, if you catch my meaning, which would be impressive, because I myself do not know the meaning of that phrase.
"Because it is repressed, otaku culture is insular and self-involved, which results in the members of that culture focusing on what they consider to be their defining aspects, while discouraging individual variation, and sometimes losing touch with the aspects of that culture that drew them in to begin with."

...or something.  I don't like mayonnaise, anyway.

Theory time, Artimicia was MeshGearFox's alter-ego the entire time.
MeshGearFox hasn't posted in a while.  Hope he's doing okay.

General Discussions / Re: Artimicia's Food aid plea
« on: August 22, 2017, 06:46:01 PM »
What I find odd is that fruit juice often has around the same calories (by volume) as soda.  I guess the fruit juice is better nutritionally, but if you're trying to lose weight, it's not like one's automatically better than the other.  Although I love me some Boylan black cherry soda (their birch beer is good too), I try to keep my soda drinking down to once or twice a week.  I avoid diet drinks like the plague.  I think I'm allergic to aspartame.

...what was this thread about again?  Oh, yeah.
Breakfast is either greek yogurt, a muffin, or any suitable leftovers (if I eat the leftover dessert for breakfast, it won't be there to tempt me later).
Lunch is usually a peanut butter & honey sandwich, cheese, carrots, and celery.  I used to use the cafeteria at work, but they served manufacted chicken once too often (it doesn't matter how good the chef or the recipe, if the main ingredient is rubber).
Supper varies widely, but there's often meat and green vegetables involved.  I rarely go out to eat more than once a week.

Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn
« on: August 21, 2017, 09:47:26 PM »
Don't think I see a point leveling any "story characters" since they're way behind in JP...

Even Agrias?  True, the story characters aren't always useful:  Rafa and Malak are unreliable, and Meliadoul's break skills are obsolesced before she even appears.  But Agrias joins up fairly early in the game, and her long-range sword skills are pretty handy, even as a secondary ability.

Definitely didn't like how characters were basically forgotten once they officially joined your party.
An extra line or two of dialogue, if they were present for a storyline battle, would not have gone amiss.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: August 20, 2017, 02:45:30 PM »
I watched Log Horizon a few years back, but, like Hathen, forgot most of it.  According to my notes, the first season was "entertaining fluff", but the second season had very slow pacing, and lacked an interesting conflict, so I dropped it.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: August 20, 2017, 02:41:19 PM »
Being familiar with Lovecraft's life and work, that does not make me feel better :(
Sorry (>_<).  Some of Lovecraft's earlier writing relied on a sudden twist at the end, and he had several stories which centered on discovering things underground; that's what that section reminded me of.

You seem like a pretty un-Lovecraftian person in general (Lovecraft surely never dreamt of anything cute like Pokemon), so as long as you don't start roaming the streets at twilight in search of antiquities, you're going to be okay.

I'm not going to post about my Strudel nightmare.  That still makes me cringe.
Now you have to post it.
...I honestly don't know if I actually wanted anyone to call me out on that, or not.

This is hard for me to write about, partly because it's just so ...mundane.  It not proper nightmare material at all.  I had this dream while I was under a fair bit of stress at work, and it was affecting my health.

When the dream starts, I'm driving alongside the river, but this transitions into walking.  A woman appears and takes me by the arm.  We seem to know each other.  Maybe she's my girlfriend?

It's summer, and there's some sort of festival going on near the river.  We go to a food stand, and she hands me a plate with some strudel on it.  But my hand starts to shake, and the shaking gets so bad that I have to put the plate down on the ground to keep from dropping it.  I start to explain to her that this is because I'm stressed at work, and then

I wake up in a state of panic.  Heart pounding, cold sweat.  Just because I had to put down a plate.

What bothers me is not the dream itself, but that I reacted so severely to it.  Even now, something in my brain fights back when I try to analyze it.  What am I repressing?  Have I not come to grips with my own mortality?  Is my job really causing that much damage?  Better not to think about this too much.  It's just a dream.

General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« on: August 19, 2017, 10:56:08 PM »
They say that horror writer H.P. Lovecraft derived some of his stories from his dreams.

The perspective switches and I'm now a police detective being carefully lowered into a dark hole. It resembles a well. They suspect there might be some sort of old criminal hideout down there, but all other entrances have been buried. And then I find my own several months old corpse.
^That is quite reminiscent of some of his work.

I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do, there usually isn't much of a plot.  I'm just travelling through labyrinthine areas (sometimes familiar places, but with drastically changed layout and upgraded architecture).  It's not often anything significant happens.

I'm not going to post about my Strudel nightmare.  That still makes me cringe.

Anime, TV, and Movies / Re: Anime/Manga Journal
« on: August 19, 2017, 09:55:38 PM »
...and Spicy Wolf can best be described as "Come for the moe, stay for the dissertation on ancient Japanese economics."
Sounds like an endorsement to me.  I tend to enjoy anything that exposes me to new subject matter.

Aw... Don't be mean to Romeo x Juliet... It's a enjoyable fantasy series as long as you pretend it's a JRPG for the 90s that just uses Shakespeare as a motif. It even had music by Hitoshi Sakimoto.
A couple months ago, I watched Orson Welles' 1951 production of Othello, and it sorta skewed my expectations for Shakespeare adaptations.  I probably wouldn't have been happy with anything below the level of Jin-Roh.

I'm a Sakimoto fan, though, so I should probably hunt down the soundtrack.

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