thistlechaser: (tree)
Paging [livejournal.com profile] teaandfailure and [livejournal.com profile] orangerful: [livejournal.com profile] tersa is just starting to play Stardew Valley, and it's really fun to see posts from a new player!

I loaded up the game to get a screenshot, and I found I kind of missed it. Yay maybe my burnout is over? Maybe I'll give it another go. :D

I haven't played since the big patch, so there should be lots of new stuff to check out. Maybe I will this weekend.
thistlechaser: (tree)
I realized this morning that I haven't yet had any stress dreams/nightmares about my upcoming vacation. That's especially odd, as I'm flying off instead of having my mother fly in. I guess it almost feels like it's not real? Even though it's less than a month away? (New readers: I'm a complete and utter stressball, and as I remember multiple dreams a night, it tends to really come out in my dreams. Any changes in my life, even things like vacations, tend to stress me out.)

I don't know if part of it is that I'm distracted by my eventual-move (two stressful things canceling each other out instead of feeding each other?). Once I'm back from my vacation, I need to make more progress on that. My lease is up early in September, so it's not pressing yet, but it will be before long. (And boy am I happy I was able to save most of my boxes from the last time I moved -- I knew I would be!)

I made the mistake of starting a new farm in Stardew Valley. That game is such a perfect trap for me -- I can accomplish things in it, which makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing things in real life, which means I feel okay just sitting there and playing instead of actually accomplishing things real life. (But boy, is this second play-through going amazingly well. By Spring 10 Year 1 I had both backpack upgrades. By Spring 15 I had my first house upgrade and three tool upgrades done. While it feels evil of me, I'm going to back Walmart JoJa Corp instead of the community center -- I'm swimming in money, so it should be faster and easier. I'm going to totally avoid the moneysink of farm buildings, since I don't like interacting with animals anyway. Except a slime hutch. I seem to like slimes a lot and miss the feral one from my first save.)

I think/hope my toe has finally actually healed up. I've been off antibiotics a couple weeks now, and it seems to be mostly the same. Now and then I get a twinge of pain from it, which worries me a lot, but it's not reopening nor is it getting hot. (It's especially a worry now, because if it does get bad again, that means IV antibiotics... and my vacation in less than a month.)

Sadly, yet not unexpectedly, my weight has gone up a little. SIGH! Not surprising, since somehow I went down almost five pounds last week (and I'm 98% sure I'm in PMS). Only three pounds as of this morning, but it still depresses me.

I started running, but as I just barely started it (last week), I can't do all that much yet. Other than yesterday, I've been enjoying it. (This whole week I've felt tired and down, and just didn't want to do it yesterday. For the same reason, I've skipped doing pushups twice in a row now.

This whole week I've just felt physically down. Blah. Tired nonstop even though I'm sleeping the same amount of house. Super duper extra hungry, too. Really, all this goes with the PMS thing, I think. (Edit: You know, it's amazing that, at this point in my life, I still have to add "I think" onto that. I'm approaching the point of not having to deal with it anymore, and yet still I don't know for sure. Bodies...)
thistlechaser: (Cat with book: Toy)
Tiger Born (Demon Age Book 1) by M. A. Nilles and Melanie Nilles
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)



As I've mentioned before, I have really, really bad luck with self-published books. Outside of comments I left in others' LJs, I haven't written about Smashwords before though. Where 98% of self-published books are bad, 100% of Smashwords ones are just awful. That makes sense, as Smashwords was offering self-publishing before it became a big thing. (Also, interestingly, apparently the Smashwords company is located just a few miles from me...)

So, that this book was both self-published and a Smashwords book means I almost deleted it before starting it. That would have been sad, as it turns out this book was actually sort of readable. Not good, barely okay, but not god awful as I had expected it to be. However, that being said, a book being "readable" isn't enough to keep me going, and I gave up on it at the 28% mark.

This book was billed as a story set in the Demon Age series, so I had written off the lack of background and worldbuilding info as my fault, since I hadn't started at the beginning of the series. Yet when I checked Amazon for the full title, I see it's listed as Book 1. Also, there were a number of writing/grammar/editing issues, including basic ones like your/you're, but I've seen worse.

The story was about a "halfblood" -- the world was full of demonlords and humans, and apparently the two could interbreed, though it was something both groups frowned on. The main character halfblood was a super human, thanks to his half-demon blood. The character, though unreasonably overpowered, was interesting enough to keep me going for a while, until the plot just seemed to lose track of itself. (The halfblood was captured by humans, and a demonlord showed up to free him on the condition that he'd hunt for some magical item. He got free of the humans*, and suddenly the story was talking about how he had been looking for that magical item for his whole life...)

* The escape was perhaps the biggest cop-out I ever saw in a book. He was captured, no way to escape... then he was just escaped. He had gone into a "blood rage" and couldn't remember anything during it, so the writer got out of having to explain how he escaped from the impossible situation!

While checking Amazon for the official title, author's name, etc (the cover is too small on my Kindle to see those things easily), the authors' names caught my eye. M. A. Nilles and Melanie Nilles. Why M. A.? I wondered if they were maybe a same-sex couple and wanted to hide it for readers of who weren't as accepting of such things. Nope. They're the same person. Melanie Nilles wrote that M. A. Nilles is her "dark side". She gave her "dark side" credit for writing the book...

---

Game of Thrones: Spoiler for last week's ep (not this week's). It all makes sense now. I bet the show runners wanted to somehow free Jon to go elsewhere and be a bigger part of the plot. How to do that, when he's stuck at Castle Black, wouldn't break his "until death" vow? Kill him! Thus his vow no longer applies and he can go south once he's alive again.

Fear the Walking Dead: I finally gave up on The Walking Dead. I was in the middle of the last episode and realized that I didn't have one tiny bit of caring left about what happened to the characters, so I turned it off and never went back to it. Yet somehow I was still looking forward to Fear the Walking Dead. (Stupid me.) It's by the same people, of course the same issues are going to come up in it.

Apparently my patience for Fear the Walking Dead was seriously shortened by The Walking Dead. Last week's "characters acting like idiots just for Drama" was enough to kill my enjoyment of it. I got halfway through this week's episode and realized I no longer cared, so I stopped watching and I seriously doubt I'll be returning to it.

---

Stardew Valley: Now that I'm no longer worried my save file is corrupted, I'm really enjoying the bug that hit my game. I was in the dungeon, grinding slimes for the "kill # slimes" achievement and special ring. I warped back home to my farm and had to laugh -- I had been killing slimes for so long, I was hearing the "slime attacking you" noise on my farm! Then I noticed it...



A slime had somehow followed me out of the dungeon... You can't see it in this shot, but it nonstop tries to attack me. I hit it with my axe by mistake, and that damaged it, and as I have no idea if it regenerates health at any point, I had to be sure not to kill it. I ended up building a pen for it. Right here, next to my greenhouse, so I could see it every day (screenshot taken pre-building pen). I have no love of farm animals, but an escaped monster that wants to kill me? COOL! *pets it endlessly*

I'm headed into Winter #3 now, which makes me sad. Winter is such a boring, blah season in game. I keep thinking about starting a new farm, it'd be fun to play from scratch again, but I don't need to be more focused on this game and spend even more time on it. :P So I'm resisting making a new one for now, trying to finish the game on this one (all hearts for neighbors, finishing the museum). I'm up to almost four million gold, so it's kind of silly to make more, but I do it anyway. (Once you have your greenhouse full of ancient plants and make wine out of it, you make about 300K every six days, so your money goes up fast -- that's not even counting all your other crops and such.)
thistlechaser: (tree)
[livejournal.com profile] orangerful originally posted a link to this. 273 million passwords stolen from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft in major security breach.

The hacker "has up to 1.7 billion email account passwords in his or her possession." And "personal details relating to an estimated 273 million email accounts. These include the email address and password for some 40 million Yahoo Mail, 33 million Hotmail/Outlook accounts, 24 million Gmail accounts, and tens of millions more."

So go change your password now, while you're thinking about it. Blah, I hate to change all of mine...

Edit: Oops, apparently this might not be true. But you're supposed to change your password on a regular basis anyway, so might as well do it.

---

I swear, my weight is SO wacky. Yesterday 199.6, today:


Losing a pound and a half in 24 hours? When I went so many weeks without losing an ounce? Ah well, I'll happily take the loss now. And yay this is my official weighing for the week, so it counts!

---

After my comments about my Stardew Valley farm being sucky, I've had a renew drive to play and make my farm nice. The website stardew.farm really helps with that. Each time you save, it uploads a screenshot for you. So game day by day, you can see how changes are being made. My page has 22 days as of this post, it's fun to see how it changes in time. (Click once on the farm image on that site to bring up the slideshow.)

I'm neither done nor fully happy with it yet, but here's the first step of improving things.

Before:


After:


The space isn't still too well used, but I'm early summer right now, so more major changes will likely have to wait until winter. I'm going to chop down all the normal trees, since I have ones out in town tapped.
The lower left corner is all fruit trees, but I might off those as well since you can plant them around town. (I probably really should do that, the space would much better be used for crops...)

(Edit: And by the way, "Where's your stable?" you ask of the After view of the farm? You can destroy the building and the horse just stays there! It stands in the same place, as if the stable were still there. So you get the land back and can keep using your horse!)

The small plot closest to the house is flowers, and bee hives line its wall. I'm in love with my growing mushroom forest, even if it's a waste of space.

More happenings and screenshots, including proof the Stardew Valley adoption agency is insane. They gave Haken another baby to throw into the air, a girl... )
thistlechaser: (tree)
For some reason, I like to keep my book review posts on their own, so there will be another post sometime later today with a couple of reviews.

First off, exciting times! While this DOES NOT COUNT, as tomorrow is my official weighing day, I couldn't help but take a picture anyway. The first time I've been under 200 since I went away to college (multiple decades ago).



Now I just have to eat really, really good today so it doesn't go up for my official weighing tomorrow. :D (And yes, I'm bad, I can't help but weigh myself every single day. Yes, it makes me crazy. But I also think it makes me more accountable for my day-to-day eating.)

For a couple reasons, I think I'm going to move to Kaiser insurance when we're able to switch. Money is part of it (they're the cheapest plan by far), but also [livejournal.com profile] gonzostar posted some information on coverage of skin removal, and it seems like it will be a much easier process there. I'm not 100% sure I want to have it done (surgery, eek!), but my surgeon said I have about 15 pounds of stomach skin (can you imagine?), and getting my breasts done would be another big chunk, so I almost want to have it done for "easy" loss off ~25 pounds.

---

Stardew Valley people: I found an easy way to get a screenshot of your whole farm. Go to http://upload.farm, upload your save file (open Windows Explorer, enter %appdata%, and you can find it from there), and you get a page like mine, scroll down to the bottom for the map. You can see my farm and all my game stats there.

[livejournal.com profile] orangerful had said I had a had a good farm, which started my quest to make that screenshot. As you can see, my farm SUCKS. I hadn't even realized how bad it was until I saw that overhead shot. So much wasted space! I think I'm going to scrap the whole thing and start over.


---

I'm spinning my wheels right now on so much stuff. My vacation is coming up in less than a month, and there's so much I have to do/plan, I'm so nervous about so much. (I really hate my brain sometimes.) Even though I'm planning on leaving my apartment four hours before my flight (leaving two hours for what should be just over a 30 minute drive, but it'll be rush hour, and two hours for security and such), I'm so worried something will happen and I'll miss it.

Also, I had thought I wouldn't have to check my bag, but it's a couple inches too big, so I guess I'll have to. That's not such a big deal on the outgoing leg, but onto the returning home leg, I have a 45 minute layover (shorter than I'd like), so I have no idea if I or my bag will make it... Plus there's always the worry that someone might steal your bag during luggage claim.

---

Though it's still early, I'm plotting and planning things for my move. I'd like to be rid of my sofa, but I had no idea how hard of a task that is. If I have someone come in to haul it away, it will be a minimum of $150! It's way too big for me to get out of my apartment myself, otherwise I could sneak it into the apartment complex trash (not supposed to dump furniture there, but people do).

I'm semi-considering buying a saw and, assuming it's made of wood inside, breaking it down into smaller pieces that I can take out during the night myself (putting a sheet down to contain any mess). However, I have no idea of a number of things: How expensive a saw is. What I would do with the saw after. If it's made of wood inside or if there are metal bars. How big of a job it would be to saw a sofa into pieces myself.

I will NOT be buying a new sofa to replace it. :P
thistlechaser: (tree)
Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?



I've caught glimpses of the owl before, but never as close/well as this!

Also: I HATE wine day. It may be good money, but ugh. So much clicking! I have about 175 kegs, and 40 of the kind for veggies, which keeps me from having to sell my produce "raw", but man. I dread having to deal with all that wine!

Related to owls and things that come in the night: The witch finally* visited me, so I got a void egg! Now I have chickens again, cause black ones are fun. (She actually came my second or third day of playing, but of course I had no chicken coop then...)

While I don't have fun in the dungeon anymore, I made another trip today to try to get the second prism shard I need. I was out of bombs, out of food, so on my final floor, and was just clearing all the rocks since I had the energy to do so. I got one from a rock! YAY!

I don't think that's the end of my dungeon trips though. I need 12 more items for my museum, and I think some of them come from the mines. (I had thought I only needed two more items, but then I discovered there's a mini-room in the museum. Sigh!)

I passed it on my first try, which I was confident wouldn't happen. I think the wiki's numbers must be way off. I thought I would have to finish my bundles and do lots of friendship work to get for candles lit, but I got all four on day one... Guess they nerfed it at some point. I was kind of sad about that, because I would have liked more to do in game.

So the last things I have left to do in game:
Catch one fish (summer, it's spring now). Not even a rare one, just common one I had missed.
Finish the museum? I guess that's reason to keep going, even if it seems like it'll be a pain.

In the 1.1 update, Shane is going to be able to be married, and there's no word of divorces, so I might be starting a second farm. I really cannot recommend Sebastian as a husband. He wants to lay around at home all day and read comic books. GET A JOB, YOU BUM
thistlechaser: (tree)
I had an amusing moment yesterday. I read ahead and found out what happens in spring of your third year, and so wanted to get ready for that. I was trying to max out my last two skills (mining and adventuring were both at 9, everything else 10), which meant lots of trips into the dungeon.

When I had animals, I made lots of omelets, and had kept them on hand to use as food for adventuring.

Eventually I had spent so much time in the mines and dungeon, that I ran out of food. I had never cooked anything else, and saved no produce for cooking, which meant... no food for adventuring. Which meant no adventuring.

I discovered that I could turn my maple syrup into maple bars (mmm) and so when I had a handful of those, I went into the dungeon.

In addition to wanting to max out my skills, I still did not have a prism shard. That was really bugging me.

I only had a couple bars, but nothing else to do that day, so I went into the dungeon just to see how far I could get. First level, I killed one of those bat things, it dropped a shard (!!!). There's like a .01% chance of that!

I left the dungeon immediately and went home to sleep so my game would save. And overnight I hit max rank on mining and adventuring.

Ha.

So suddenly, with one bat killed, I had accomplished all my goals. Except I didn't. When I read the shard's flavor text, I saw that I need a second one for the museum. *sob*

Back to the dungeon with me.
thistlechaser: (chomp animated)
All my life, I've wanted to be able to run. As a very heavy person, running even a couple steps was a bad idea. But [livejournal.com profile] gonzostar does lots of running now, and instead of just admiring her for it, why can't I try it too? I still haven't gotten the app issue worked out yet, but I figured I could just try it some and see how it goes.

Odd thing #1: It doesn't hurt my knees. It doesn't hurt anything. It doesn't feel at all like running when I was 130+ pounds heavier. :P Duh on me!

Odd thing #2: And, unlike #1, this one really is odd. I don't seem to know how to run. You'd think we could just... run. It must be in our genes. I had to run a couple times for gym class in high school (decades ago), but I haven't run at all since then. I'm 100% sure I'm doing it wrong, as I only land on the balls of my feet and never put the rest of my foot down. Also, perhaps related to that issue, I seem to... bounce? too much. Like I'm not running smoothly, I think I must be going up and down more than other people when they run...

I watched some videos on Youtube, but unsurprisingly there are no "how to run" videos out there. I did learn it's rare to land on the balls of your feet instead of your heels, and that it's safer/better for you to land that way, so go me?

I didn't run for long though, because it just felt so wrong. I have no idea how to force my heels to drop down and touch the ground too, it feels natural to stay up on the balls of my feet if I'm running. I didn't run for long outside, because I worry I look like I'm running oddly, so I ran back and forth in my apartment (I have one long hallway that goes from one end of it to the other).

I have no idea how to figure out how to run right though...

Stardew Valley: I haven't been posting about it much. I'm back into winter again, which is just the worst season of them all. So boring. I'm trying to max out my mining and adventuring ratings (both 9 now), which means I have to keep going into the Skull Dungeon (which I really dislike, it's stressful to me for some reason, I guess maybe because the mobs are so much harder). I wonder if I could max out in the mines or if the XP there is just too low?

Finally, after having a baby for like three weeks, it woke up. I think we can all agree that Haken should not be permitted babies and/or needs some better way to paint the ceiling.


Stop throwing so hard! D:

And lastly, the perfect food for the next time you go to the strip club. Sexy snackfoods? (Work safe on that link? I think?)
thistlechaser: (tree)
It's been three days since my last post about Stardew Valley! So this is so totally not a daily post~

Game stuff back here: Spring has sprung! )
thistlechaser: (tree)
Quickie post, mostly because I got the screenshot I think [livejournal.com profile] teaandfailure wanted.

Screenshots back here. )

I'm definitely slowing down on my gameplay now, which is good, as I was falling behind in all sorts of other stuff.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: Litterbox)
Three failed books in a row. Blah! I didn't reach the 50% point on any of them, so none of them count towards my total for the year.

Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)



I was excited when I spotted this ebook. I remember reading Thimble Summer as a child, and it was the first audio book I ever listened to. I still clearly remember the woman's voice crying out "Thimble summer! Thimble summer!" at the end of it.

But memory is a strange thing sometimes, and somehow my brain got the plot of this book (this childrens book) mixed up with the first online "adult" story I ever read. Not the sex part of the story, but somehow everything else that happened in the adult story I thought took place in this book. That made for quite a bit of confusion and then amusement once I realized my mistake.

Thimble Summer was set in the Depression era of early America, and told the story of a nine year old girl. First published in 1938, it's no wonder the text felt so dated and the story boring. Somehow my brain bringing in the plot elements of that adult story improved my memory of Thimble Summer -- the real version of the story was boring enough to not hold my attention at all, and I gave up on it at the 25% point.

Cat Running by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)



After Thimble Summer, I picked a different book at random to try. What are the chances that I would pick another one set in the Depression era? Especially when this sort of thing is very much not to my reading tastes and I would have thought I didn't own a single book about that time, let alone two.

Though a modern book (published in the 90s), this book felt much the same as Thimble Summer. A young girl in the hot summer. She was a runner, but her father wouldn't let her wear "slacks" so she had to run in skirts. I read up to the 20% point, and though this was written by a "three-time Newbery Honor-winning author," the plot never seemed to get more complex than that.


Simon Thorn And The Wolf's Den by Aimée Carter
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)



This book was SUCH a disappointment. I was saving it for when I'd need a good book to read. It was exactly to my tastes, I thought it would work for me...

In it a boy was able to talk to animals, and eventually learned he has the power to transform into them. Blah blah big plot, he has to save the world. The plot wasn't what mattered so much to me, but talking to animals? Sign me up!

Unfortunately this was an example of a really bad YA book -- the writing was so immature, the writer had no trust in her readers, the adults were generally bad/untrusting just because they were adults in a YA story, etc.

Currently reading: A Fisherman of the Inland Sea (short stories) by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Stardew Valley: I think I've finally played enough that I don't feel the need to play it every free moment. I'm up to early winter now. I reached the bottom level of the mines and opened Skull Dungeon. Unlocked the desert. Completed most of the bundles (except the greenhouse one *sob*). I guess I'm going to do the last upgrade on my house next and then get the horse.

This screenshot amused me. I fish a lot. NPC was standing there, staring at me, making notes. He claimed he was taking scientific readings on the river, but I think he was more interested in a death knight fishing.



It's strange, but when you're playing, you don't really notice how bad the graphics are. But in a screenshot? I boggle that I (who value graphics so much) play it.
thistlechaser: (tree)
I skipped a day! Here we go, catching up on this Death Stardew Valley game...

Speaking of death... )

This is the best gift I've been given in a long, long time. I'm very glad [livejournal.com profile] teaandfailure didn't listen to me when I told her not to get it for me. :D
thistlechaser: (tree)
Once more behind the cut. Short and sweet. A sad lack of screenshots.

How many days have I been lost in this valley? )
thistlechaser: (tree)
Putting it behind a cut for folks who don't care about games. :)

Stardew Village. Not a daily update. Really! )
thistlechaser: (WoW: Thistle with carrot)
This icon is actually a WoW one. I had two different 'farmer' kind of characters, this was for the other one. (Supposedly that silhouette is a blood elf, ha. Looks more like a demon of some kind.)

Anyway! I'm not going to make these Stardew Valley posts on a nightly basis, but I started the game over, so that's worth mentioning.

Game details and a couple small images back here. )
thistlechaser: (Chocolate dessert)
Last year I made sure not to go shopping today (or November 1st). The day after Easter. The day after Halloween. Half-off candy day.

To be honest, I actually forgot about it this year. Thus I walked right face-first into displays of it when I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. Sigh. All my favorite candies, 50% off. Easter baskets. Hallow chocolate bunnies! I almost lost it. I almost grabbed a basket and filled it up and to hell with any later issues. (I've not had a chocolate or sweet in 19 months, not a single bite, yet this reaction was so strong I stopped walking and stared at it all.)

Luckily I only had to be strong enough to get out of the store. I told myself that, even though I'm supposed to not spend money, and even though I've not lost weight in more than a month and thus have to eat good, that I'd stop for lunch if I just left without buying candy. Surprisingly, once I was driving away from the store, I found I really didn't want the chocolate anymore. I was hungry, yes, but I wanted food, not chocolate. I miss... the feeling of it. Of being able to buy a whole entire shopping basket of chocolate because it's my money and I'm an adult and I can buy a whole shopping basket of chocolate if I damn well want to. Of owning that much "good" food. Of it being MINE. Of having a pile of it at home, that I could look at and eat whenever I want and as much as I wanted. That I do miss. But I don't miss the chocolate itself.

Brains are odd.

---

Because [livejournal.com profile] teaandfailure was too kind and totally did not listen to me when I told her not to get it for me, I now have Stardew Valley to play. It's sort of a cross between Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon -- you make a farm, tend it, and if you like, get married to someone once you've built up enough of a relationship with them.

The graphics are very simple, but the colors and music are very attractive. I love the colors of the grass and land, so soothing somehow.



I'm on my 12th day now, though multiple times I was tempted to start over because I made some mistakes. A couple minor mistakes, but also two big ones, and one I thought was going to be a deal-breaker...

More images and game info back here. )

All in all, it's a very satisfying game! It gives me that 'accomplished' feeling to get all my game-tasks done for the day.

Now I have an egg festival to attend in-game. :)

Edit: BOOO the game glitched somehow. I woke up at 1 AM gametime, left my house, and the game said I was exhausted and sent me back home, charged me 150 game-dollars (ARG) and I missed the egg fest. ;; Hopefully it wasn't too important... I suppose there's always next game-year. :(

Edit 2: Got a fishing quest, noticed my fishing pole is gone. Guess I lost it when the slime monsters killed me. I had been wondering what else was missing from my bag after I died...

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