Monday, December 28, 2015

Reflection

I've been thoughtful the last few days. Not because the year is ending. I enjoy my understanding of our planets behavior around its solar anchor. However, I don't find the circle to mean that I have to look back at the days. My reflective point comes instead from the approaching change to my life.

Four months until CSMX is done. CSMXI is spinning up with positive and negative press. I find that I am enjoying being a step away from that. Perhaps, the hardest part of the CSM was the election phase. The second hardest part was wading through the negativity. The election period, however, was the worst. Even if I wanted to do a third year, I'd not be able to put myself through a third election.

Also, in seven weeks, I have the second summit. I have a lot of things to put together and to throw on the table one last time. I have developers to reach out to and topics to bring attention to. For the most part, I'm sorting through my notes from the last two years and condensing them down into the things that have not been answered or addressed or put on the table.

At the same time, I'm gearing up to use that energy in some personal ventures. My new work schedule has been very healing. While Thanksgiving through Christmas was a hot mess at work, the general ebb and flow of my new position has been great. I no longer get up at five in the morning. I no longer struggle to get to bed by 2200. That schedule was making me ill. Three years of it and I struggled, every single day to get to bed soon enough and I woke up every shift hating my awareness. I'm much happier working 1000-2200. I wake up naturally. I am tired normally. Its great.

Also, in five weeks the new puppy comes home. I shared my loss of Nyx. I've talked about my pets on and off on this blog and twitter. However, I've not much shared how vested I am in the creatures that share my life. They are not my children. I've always enjoyed dogs. Or, as someone notices, lean, skinny headed, fast dogs for the most part. I'm looking forward to the obedience and agility classes in my future with the new pup. It is good that my CSM term is winding down for that because he will require a good bit of attention.

It might seem that I'm set to leave Eve behind. That I'll finish my term and walk away. I have in game plans as well and I absolutely expect that I will have a period of down time just to savor the quiet after fanfest. I have plenty of Eve projects in game and out. I'd like to finish my history posts for instance. I have things to write and ships to fly.

Yet, as I reflect upon what I'm going to do I realize that Eve and the things I have gained from Eve are very important to who and hat I am now. I chat with Eve players across all of my messaging systems. I Minecraft with a server full of Eve players. And, I've come to most love co-op gaming where I play with other players. That too is a taste I've gained from Eve. Eve, after all, is my first serious MMO.

It is easy to fall into the negative. So, very easy. It is easy to call up the hurts and the pains and the frustrations and the anger. Those things soak and simmer and burn in the background. The good things, the fun things, the things that change the very way I look at a hobby are softer, sweeter, warmer, and comfortable. That comfort is something that I try not to become complacent over. That is the road to bitterness and its not one that I plan to walk.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

CSMX - Post #40

In truth, this post is little more then a place holder. It is the week between Christmas and New Years. It is a quiet week. I could make up some stuff to fill space and listen to myself talk. Instead, see you here next week. I figure things will pick up the week after.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Wash. Rinse. Recycle.

I received a good suggestion about the Archon that I won in the Pod and Planet contest. I'm going to send it back to the contest to be liquidated as part of the future prize pool. I'm not doing it for credit. I am not big into donations. I don't want a sign that says 'Sugar donated X amount of ISK'. I don't care about those things.

I don't want the ship. The reason for donation is that I believe in supporting things that I want to happen. Of course, I could just give ISK. However, I'm a bit of an ISK hoarder. It is easy to give stuff then to give ISK for me. The Pod and Planet contest is, perhaps, one of my favorite things. Over the past four years it has cleaned up my writing in ways nothing else has.

I've often dreamed of becoming an author simply because of love of books is so incredible. Its been a long struggle. Over the years I've had to gain life experience and then writing experience. It is a side effect of Eve that I started to appreciate around the second year I started to blog. The efforts of writing this blog and the things that I have put here over time have improved my writing.

I'm far from good. I'll never get over my spelling hurdles. For every paragraph I have, perhaps, a half dozen corrections. There are some words that I cannot wrap my mind around to spell correctly. Experience is one of those. I mutilate it every single time. But, that is my personal hurdle and no amount of wishing is going to make it go away.

The other hurdle to writing has been life experience. I've gone back, in recent years, and read books that I enjoyed when I was younger. I have found that my understanding of the book changes as I age. In my day to day interactions with people I have learned that behaviors and events that I find ridiculous are in fact, real. While I would have loved to have produced something ten years ago, I've learned that I was not capable of producing anything with the dept that I need for the things I want to write ten years ago.

Outside of writing, donating things always leave me with the worries that I cannot participate after the donation. Etiquette. A beautiful word but a frustrating concept. In a game full of scams and cheating, back room deals and manipulation, I find that I prefer truth and clarity. I may just be being obstinate.

Maybe, I should lay less out on the table. Something to think about. But for now, hopefully I can help support the contest that I want to enter next year.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Nontraditional

This has been an odd week for not writing. Sometime, earlier today I realized that someone out there might take it wrong. The reason has been because I've been working. I've been getting home late every day as well thanks to the holidays. As, for the most part a holiday Grinch, its left me with about 2 hours to eat dinner, walk my dogs, and hit the bed before I have to be up for the next twelve.

Now, I have some days off. Not because of Christmas. It is just my normal set of days off. However, work should improve now.

I also learned from Epi's latest post that its normal to reflect and such things. I'll stand up and say, "No thanks!" I normally skip the holidays but people have been super kind to me this year. I even got gifts which leave me feeling a bubbling warmth and a bit of embarrassed lack of worth. I do appreciate it. That someone has taken the time to work through the things that interest and delight me is uplifting in a way few other things are.

Reflection is a useful thing. If taken properly, it lets us not repeat our mistakes. But, I spend a bit to much time in reflection. So, for today, its going to be looking forward. Not New Years promises. That falls under my belief that if something is worth doing its worth doing any day and not one particular one.

When it comes to Eve I will reflect later. For today, I'm going to take pleasure in those that have thought of me. I don't appreciate them enough. So today is for savoring friendship that made them reach out to me, despite my Grinch nature, simply because they like me. Of all the things I have searched for in Eve, that is the thing I have most wanted. I'm going to enjoy it and not worry about the what ifs and what weres.

It also reminds me... I won an Archon in the Pod and Planet contest. I think I'd like to give it away. I just have no idea how or who'd like it. Ideas?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

CSMX - Post #39

We're just under a week out from Christmass. On the 16th, CCP aired the o7 show. From what I gather there were no huge reveals. That is not surprising. Things are quiet but busy as they work towards the expansion.

The new launcher is out of Beta.  I haven't installed it yet. The long list of changes and updates makes me happy. I'm not one to opt in early to new tech. I like my access to my hobbies to work and not give me amazing surprises.

The new camera is also in beta. So far, I've heard mostly horror. It is not that the features the new camera give are bad. It is that the new camera does not have a 'classic' camera. Opinions?

With Christmas in the air, some rebalancing was done to the project Frostline sites. Get them while you can. It won't be forever. I had wondered if Project Frostline would be all of Christmas. I refused to dig any deeper. Christmas presents are not a CSM thing in my opinion. I have also found myself rather upset with people the last few years as they complain about the free extra stuff CCP gives out. Per the dev blog, this year it will be snowballs and fireworks, some clothing and trinkets that have no value but for memories. I'm fine with this but I expect to see very angry people at not getting something in particular. Signal Cartel should be quite happy and Mynxee's snowball orders filled for another year.

With Christmas in the air there is no Eve store in time to sit under the tree. CCP Spitfire released an update. We've been poking about the Eve store for a bit and I am glad to see the update. It is disappointing that it is not here now. I've put some time into this one, as have some other members. I hope to proudly display my Eve keychain soon and I'm hopefully that some of our discussion and feedback will come to fruition for something that makes me want to empty my wallet. I am a t-shirt wearing, mug loving, key chain wanting, gamer geek having stuff.


(A quick snapshot over my desk as I write this. Yes, I know they are not even. I didn't want them to be.)

Another change to trials. This one I found interesting. There is no the trial for 14 days. The buddy invite for 21 days. Or the starter pack with an extended trial for 20 extra days. We've discusesed the trials a few times and the starter packs. Starter packs had a problem of not having an actual value. A skinned ship is a skinned ship. Under the old system it made a new player a target. Under the new, its just a skin. It doesn't do much for them. The trial extension is a new venture. We will see how it goes.

And now to address a handful of other stuff.

I was asked to sum up the CSM in one word on twitter. Normally, I avoid those types of questions. I told people during the election cycle that I'd not answer, 'yes' and 'no' questions after they loaded them. But, some words are broad and encompassing. The CSM is exhausting to me. Exhaustion however is not a bad thing. It is exhausting to succeed and to fail to fight and to win. The CSM is about energy. It absorbs it.

I was also asked to answer some questions on reddit. I was mildly amused that several people stepped up to politely tell the poster that I'd probably not answer. I've always turned down the AMA (ask me anything) posts people have suggested I do. I am not a regular to reddit and walking on expecting people to want to hear what I say when we've never talked before seems a bit arrogant. I'm happy to speak when invited to do so, and I did.

"Oh, Sugar. Please don't make me read reddit!"
I understand. To my surprise, the thread did not go poorly. And yes, I was expecting it to. With each response I decided to be honest, open, and complete and take the fall out for it. I think I bored people. My earnest and sincere responses creep some people out. It boils down to: Yes the CSM has value, no I don't think its dead, no I don't think it should be headshot, I hope that I can leave something productive behind me, but shit is broke, yo.

I've seen the strangest thing. People have suggested that I don't waste my time fighting or that if I am upset I should resign and go away. That puzzles me. Am not I here to fight for these things? Am not I here to use this time to try to bring change and tackle topics? When I sit down and write and write honestly, I'm not in a rage like spiral. I'm not particularly mad. I'm frustrated that we are still struggling with the same communication problems. I'm disappointed in the behavior I have seen around me. What I have learned is that my issues with CCP are not what drain me and wear me down. To some extent, I've always expected them. It is the ugly, negative vibe that resonates across the player base that saps me. I've been told I'm supposed to just ignore that as well.

"Sugar, you seemed burned out," I was told. In another thread someone basically says I seem not as engaged or enthusiastic. The answer is that I am very tired. There are a lot of things that I have given up that I miss. I miss them because I miss playing the game. That is also my fault in how I approached things. Each day I am often met with a choice of what to do with my time and there is always stuff to do on the CSM side. I do that because my time in office is finite.

I've been chastised for honesty before. It is one of the many things that has happened over the last two years that puzzles me. During the elections for CSMX, one of the review shows said that they don't want to see behind the scenes. They want results. The analogy was sausage. That particular topics hit me pretty hard because I've been functioning on an open book policy. I try to lay things out as they are. Yet, maybe that too was wrong. I do believe that by telling people the bad stuff, the failures, and the things that are a struggle or painful, I've made myself appear weak and incapable to some. I know that you are not supposed to share that stuff but its the other side of the good.

Perhaps I am burned out. Maybe burned out doesn't mean what I think it means. Because I am not bouncing around cheer-leading? Because I am not smiling and pretending that things are fine when there are problems? Is it the honesty? Is it not enough honesty? I ask myself a lot of questions these days and often walk away saying, I don't know. I don't know if that means I'm dried up and about to be blown away with the wind. I feel pretty solid. I always viewed burn out as dropping and walking away. Maybe that was my fault for sharing the loss of my dog and how badly it has shaken my every day. Maybe I should have been lying all of this time about what an endlessly badass baller I am about everything.

Burned out or not, y'all are still stuck with me for another three or four months! I have a bit more to do and stuff to finish up. And a summit in February. If it helps, I'm gonna take my mom to see Star Wars on Christmas day since I managed to get it off of work. And I get to go visit my soon to be new puppy in two weeks.

Peace out.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Pod and Planet Contest YC117 results!

The results of the Pod and Planet contest are out. I placed first in the 8,000 Sun's category for my story, "Cortex."  That category is for cannon and I find I've become really interested in trying to write true Eve fiction. I'm surprised that I placed and super happy.

I only had one entry this year. With Eve Vegas and CSM stuff and my new work schedule I didn't have enough extra juice to write more. I did pour everything into it and I'm thrilled with the results.

Contests are hard for me. I really want to do well. I don't like direct competition. Things like the writing contest allow something to stand on its own and be judged. I'm more comfortable with that. And it pushes my comfort zone but I can still kind of drop my story on Telegraph Sam's desk and run away squeeing into the night.

I'm thrilled. My writing has really progressed over the last few years and I have really enjoyed these contests. Next year, he just has to not run it during Eve Vegas!

Here is the link to the contest winners!

And a link to the stories! (I don't want to link individual ones)

Grand Prize
Voodoo Williams, "A Spider in Her Web"

Eight Thousand Suns in New Eden (Lore-Based Stories)
First Prize
Sugar Kyle, "Cortex"

Second Prize
Rhavas, "Decoherence"
Callista Dallmore, "The Gate"

Third Prize
Tiberius StarGazer, "Different Bodies"
Niden, "Rapture"
Nomistrav, "He Saw Infinity"
Torsnk, "fleet logistics"

A Day in the Life (Gameplay/Freeform Stories)
First Prize
Archangael/Jason Jones, "The Best Sport"

Second Prize
Oreamnos Amric, "Blood Frenzy"
Tom Hawkins, "The Hunt"

Third Prize
Rhavas, "Emergence"
Tom Hawkins, "Fabled Beauty"
Yuri Serafim, "Split Decision"

Other Things Just Make You Swear and Curse (Humor)
First Prize
Abavus Durden, "The Allure of the Damsel"

Second Prize
Drackarn, "Into the Breach"

Third Prize
Sleightz, "From Riches to Riches"

Honorable Mention (from all categories)
Islana Deepsorrow, "The Proteus: LC-K-114"
Drackarn, "The Journey"
Islana Deepsorrow, "The name of the capsuleer"
Da'iel Zehn, "Infiltration"
Dirk Magnum, "A Code Like No Other"
Sera Kor-Azor, "Ole' Time Religion"
Regalas Davaham/Ben C., "Stargate"
Rusty Boon, "A Longing for Loss"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Outside!

Sugar is poor. The person that plays Sugar has ISK across several accounts but Sugar, as an individual character, is poor. That was to keep my ISK safe from an oops. She rarely had more then a hundred million on her and normally less then that. It let me safely handle scam contracts and such things.

That got in the way when I decided to undock and get the new Command Destroyer skill book. I pried myself from the warm seat I had made in Jita and after much whining, was directed to a skill book store. Such was my glorious undocking into the wilderness of the Jita undock.

Shuttles are very cool. They are cheap and they are fast. But, in Jita they are also targets. I find myself feeling rather stupid that I want to fly around in a shuttle. Someone can pop it just for the hope that I've stuffed my cargo full of goodies at not great loss to themselves.

I docked up. Then Eve crashed. Then it came back up. I sniffed about the corners of my Jita hangar and pulled back the dust cloth on Ecstatic Cider. Ecstatic cider is an Orthrus that was gifted to me to lure me into trying out missiles. I don't deserve such a sweet gift and to show my thanks for it, I learned missiles. I never flew it. 

Today is the day. I might not do anything with it but I had learned missile skills for this moment.


My completely technical method of what ships I do and don't like is done by an puttering around and seeing how it handles. I spun off the undock and wheeled around the arch under the station. The Orthrus is responsive and smooth with enough speed not to leave me grinding my teeth.

The only question is will I like missile combat. Everything I have read about missiles makes them sound exhausting and unfun. I like going, "Weeeeeee!!" as I shoot things. Maybe I've listneed to to many endless, circular arguments about stuff and missiles will be fun.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Perspectives

On Sundays, I try to attend Seamus Donohue's weekly game mechanics class on Eve Uni's public mumble. I started attending a bit before CSM9 started. It was a good way to connect with newer players and see what questions they brought forward. Over the last two years, it has also been a place to look at Eve in different ways. Seamus is a self described carebear but his knowledge of mechanics and game design is in depth.

I've had people express surprise that I attend this. I learn a lot in these discussions. There are so many areas of the game I have not played. It also moves me outside of my familiar circles. People are not ashamed of running missions and mining here and the questions are broad and the topics interesting.

This afternoon, before I had to scoot to pick the husband up from the airport, they were discussing grid sizes. In this discussion, Seamus casually discusses grid size and pulls out a calculator for a few square root multiplication processes to discuss potential maximum ranges. I understood what he was saying but what struck me was how that is not a process I'd do in day to day life. It is something I find enviable but also fascinating in how we break down and process information. I do not think I have ever had a day to day moment where I needed the square root of a number. I'd probably ask google if it did happen after I finished being excited.

A bit later, while sitting at the airport and reading Tweetfleet Slack, someone asked about changing market skills that allow access to distance to a cost based formula. The further people can see it, the more it costs. This discussion broadened a bit into what is a market and a hub and what motivates people to go and buy something.

The market discussion flared out into "this won't start a market" and "that will" and "I run markets." I found myself thinking, well so do I and I wouldn't do it that way. The opportunity was there to make it into an argument but instead there was more pleasure in seeing others opinions on the topic. The differences fascinate me. When I look at how others play Eve, I very much play Eve in a different way that shouldn't be successful.

However, I am successful. I may not be as successful as others. But, I don't need to give my success special qualifiers such as, "I made my markets that matter," and etc. When I lay out what I have done and gained, it qualifies neatly as successful. Sure it could be more so but at that point we are nit picking.

The chances are quite high that I will never see the game in the technical breakdown that Seamus does with such smooth, casual ease. I'm okay with that. Seeing how he sees the game enriches it for me. Somewhere, in the back of my creative mind, I break down what he says into something that makes sense for me. Eve gets a bit deeper and richer.

In that same area, I take the discussions about markets and use it to learn more. Instead of arguing with people that my market did fine being different, I look at the people. Where are they? What space? What play type? It is a moment where I can argue or I can learn. Learning is less stressful.

Of course, this may all be a glorified excuse for being bad at Eve as well. Who knows!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

CSMX - Post #38

I'm out of the loop these last two weeks. I had to step back from Eve for a bit. It is to easy to let the emotions of one thing filter into everything else.

I hope you read the patch notes. I undocked and peered around Jita for a bit to eyeball the changes to the grid sizes. It seems pretty cool. I know that there has been some chatter about changing the warp distances with the increase to grid size. Opinions?

As I open up again, I see a lot of chatter about Operation Frostline. In one way I want to participate and find cool loot. In another, my anti-holiday spirit makes me want to huddle in my hangar and be grumpy.

The updates for the new Tranquility cluster continue. This is something I am still very pleased is happening. There used to be more technical information sharing between CCP and the players. Eve's server cluster has been featured time and time again over the course of the games existence. The player base has taken pride in that before and it is a healthy pride.

The CSM to CCP front has been a bit quiet. We've been chatting about the maps and structures. The sov guys have brought some iteration points forward. They may do some public feedback about that. Corbexx is also working on map feedback. The new map and new scanning are storming along but we are still getting a steady flow of negatives and frustration for missing features and usability.

Here is the beta map feedback thread. Leave your feedback there. CCP Golliath has been very interactive in these threads about the map and scanning. Please, please, please, bring your complaints about the map. Snarling at me that it is 'unusable' isn't helping to get this feature where it needs to be. Please help me help you.

Christmas is around the corner and people are starting to take off from work. Those that are in the office are working towards the major projects such as structures and capitals.

I admit that I am not as animated as I normally am. This post probably isn't up to snuff. I won't apologize for it but I do recognize it. I haven't been logging in much. My focus for everything is terrible. You should see me burn dinner right now. But, I am around. If you don't do other media just send me an eve-mail. I'm just not ready to wade back into the same circular battles about the same topics right now.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

It simply is

Last week, I was going to sit down and write about passion. Then life happened and the idea floated in the limbo that is the back of my mind. Now, as I start to resurface into Eve, I see that the world is again on fire for the sake of watching itself burn.

I find it weird but I'm going to let it go by as I see myself not interested in involvement. It did remind me of my earlier thoughts and kicked the topic back out of limbo.

Passion is nether good nor bad. It is an intensity. What we are passionate about may be good, bad, or neutral. I consider my passion for the color blue to be neutral. I consider my passion for sweet drinks to be bad. My passion for my dogs is good. 

Passion is not a casual feeling. Passion is not love. It is not hate. Passion amplifies these things. I greatly enjoy my favorite restaurant but I am not passionate about it. It grabs us and acts almost as if it is a propellant for our emotions. That's what makes it so dangerous.

The intensity of our passion is where it can move outside of the realm of positive influence and into negativity. I am passionate about Eve. It motivates me most of the time. Sometimes, it gets repressed, but the deeper energy of the emotion tends to burn off the negative energy given time. To harness that passion is to give myself the energy I need to do the things I do. That may be working through a complex situation, creating, playing, recovering, or any number of things. It may be my writing, or a drawing, or entering the Pod and Planet fiction contest.

It is a type of energy must be directed. Undirected, it can create, power, or destroy. It is something that we have to take responsibility for. It is ours, after all. As are the things we do with it.

What it is not, is an excuse. How many times have I seen behavior excused by, "They are passionate about it." It is not restricted to Eve. I've been reading dog forums again, preparing myself for a puppy. I've not had one in six years. And, as I read, I'm reminded why I stepped back from the animal world. So much negativity is excused by the passion of the author. "I didn't mean to come across so nasty but I get so worked up when someone does ... with their/to their dog..." they will apologize time and time again. If they apologize.

The same happens in Eve. Vicious and foul behavior is excused away as passion. "He is just passionate about it," I have read dozens of times. "Don't take it the wrong way."

It has often been a question of mine when it comes to excusing peoples behavior. It rarely seems to be, "I should step back and remember that I am talking to another person or to a public forum and my words and usage of language can cast an imagine or representation that I do not want." It more often seems to be, "You should excuse that person's behavior, word usage, image, and representation because they are passionate about the topic."

Perhaps, spending some time with other communities reminds me of how wide spread this is. But passion is not an excuse. Passion is not a right to treat others in whatever manner you may wish.

Someone can be passionate and not treat other peoples like shit in the process. Passion does not have to be loud, rude, crude, and edgy. It can be calm, polite, and clean in its intensity. Passion is not about volume and last words. It is about the energy that motivates and propels us. It is a raw, primitive, powerful emotion that can consume us.

We are responsible for what we do and what we say with that passion.

It is not an excuse.


Monday, December 7, 2015

When There are No More Choices

It is interesting, in the end, the way choices come and go. Choices that you expected to make are not made. Decisions parade past you and toss their heads snickering as they lunge out of your grasp. Even choices made that were good choices reek of failure and hindsight.

On Friday, I knew where I was in regards to Nyx. I had some heavy thinking to do. One of the most painful parts of pet ownership is financial limits. We have worked to reach the point where we can get the care needed for our pets at short notice. The question is, "Will that care do anything?" Will it make a difference of a day, a week, a month, or a year? It is an ugly question. It fights against wants and reasons. Emotional minds and rational minds clash. We must acknowledge our limitations and potential futures. With that comes a layer of guilt and a feeling of inadequacy that almost drove me to my knees.

It makes you question the want and the reality of "I'd do anything."

When I wrote on Friday, I knew I had days. My husband had just boarded his plane as I spoke to the vet about the possibilities. I was faced with the simple realities of life. It was Friday night. I had to work Saturday. My options were the local emergency vet clinic where I was looking at 800-1000 USD a day for care or trying to get to a college veterinary school four hours away for maybe a third less. All of this was to maybe struggle to keep her going just to get to the point of a major surgery that would just hopefully give a diagnoses of what liver problem we were facing. One of those three potential problems was always fatal. The other two might be treatable if we could keep her going and responsive.

But that choice too, was taken.

On Friday night she was wobbling when she walked. She still wanted to go out and she used the bathroom. But her stool was solid black and that is never a good sign. She crawled onto the sofa-chair  (and I had to help her) which she has never done before and Autumn, my other Doberman refused to lay with her. That to, has never happened. Autumn was 6 to Nyx's 8 and the two have always been like Velcro to the other.


I knew what was going to happen then. She struggled to drink water. In less then 24 hours she had gone from pretty normal to an almost non-functional dog. She drank, settled down and I let myself think of what I could and could not do.

But with the morning came death. From active to unresponsive. Rational mind won against emotional. I had watched this happen to many times during my time as a veterinary assistant. My dogs body functions were shutting down in front of me. When the vet office opened my mother and I created a stretcher with her blanket and took her into the vet to be euthanized on Saturday morning.

How did it happen so fast? Liver failure is often that way. If there are no other signs, it can be days after the first ones appear that we stand before the gates of death. But it is hard to accept. Last week, we decided to get a puppy. We had talked about being dogless, getting a different breed, but we finally decided to add another Doberman. Sage, my afghan hound is 11. Nyx was 8 and that was young enough not to be bothered by the puppy and old enough that we needed to think of the future while she could still teach the new one things. Last week, not having Nyx at the end of January when the new puppy comes home never occurred to me.

None of this really makes sense although I understand it clearly. I sat with my girl even though I do not believe she knew anything at that point. I did it because it is my responsibility. She has been mine since I first met her at 7 weeks of age. She followed us around when we went to meet the litter and sat on my feet. She came home at ten weeks of age and she was mine till I sat on that floor with her head in my lap and let her go.

She is not the first pet that I have put down. She won't be the last. It is terrible. People always say that they don't want to think about it and they don't think they could do it or handle it. My opinion has always been that the time we have them makes it worth it. It is a terrible, terrible pain when it comes. But, as lost and empty as things are right now without her, the eight years prior to that day give the strength to make it through those last moments.

And then we just keep going. Life isn't only about the good things. It is also about the unpleasant ones. We can let it make us who we are. Or we can use it to mold ourselves into what we want to be.

I miss my dog. I appreciate what she gave to me all of these years. I've spent a lot of time looking at my mistakes. Those moment loom up brightly right now. From them I will learn. I'll endeavor do better next time and, hopefully, I can improve myself as a person.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Personal Days

Hey there,

I've had a crazy week. Last Friday my hot water heater died. It made for a long, cold weekend until it was fixed. At the same time, one of my dogs started acting ill. I got her into the vet on Thursday and spent a lot of money running a lot of tests.

I also posted a picture of her at the end of testing day on twitter. Her entire chest and belly are shaved from ultrasounds so she got her jacket to keep warm and a place on the heated blanket on my mother's bed.


I discussed Nyx's name a few months ago. I post pictures of her pretty regularly.

She is an eight year old Doberman Pincher and I named her before I knew anything about Eve. She is named after the goddess Nyx. She is also named after my German Shepherd, Nox. Nox's name was the roman translation of Nyx. Naming Nyx after Nox appealed to me because she would grow to fill his shoes.

There is a lot about me I've never shared with Eve. Nothing weird or nefarious. My closet is skeleton free. However, my passion for dogs is not something I've often discussed. I've spent most of my adult life working with dogs. They are my hobby. From conformation shows to working dogs, its always been one of my major passions.

Dogs are dogs. It makes working with them easy to remember. No matter how good they are. No matter how good they have been. You always have to remember that they are dogs. They are not people and while I may call my dogs my babies and refer to us as Mommy and Daddy, I don't think my dogs are human. They don't replace children. They are dogs and I appreciate them for being dogs.

The side effect of dogs being dogs is that they are dogs and not people. And that's what brings me to write today.

Nyx is dying.

I am looking at the fact that I will probably be putting her down next week unless heaven opens up and vomits out a miracle. She is only eight and that makes a hard thing harder. In my mind, I had placed Sage my eleven year old Afghan Hound as the next pet I would have to deal with losing. She's tied with Qwinn my cat that turns 15 in March. In my own way I had started to process and accept their age and what that brings with it.

But, not for Nyx. No. Nyx is eight years old and vibrantly full of life. Or, she was until two days ago. When I got her into the vet and then the specialists for changes in eating and drinking and discovered she is in liver failure after eight years of perfect health.

I don't write this for pity. That may sound bitter but please know that it is not. When you take a pet into your home you also take the end of that pets life into yours. I have always asked myself if it will be worth it to deal with the pain when I have lose them. The answer to that is yes. That does not stop it from being is a terrible thing. There is a lot of guilt involved each time. I always wonder if maybe I was a better owner bad things wouldn't happen. I know better. I worked for years as a vet tech soothing people who where in my place. But its easier to hold someone lose through their pain then experience it myself and know that someone that has existed in my life for almost a decade will be gone. I wonder if I had more money would I be able to throw it at endless diagnostic work in the slim chance that something could be done. It is a lot to think about and none of it is fun.

I do write this to work through my own thoughts some. It may not be fair to share such personal anguish with others. Many of us have lost a pet or will lose a pet. It is not the type of memory that one wants to have.

This is probably not going to be a very good few days for me. I'm not going to try to wrap my head around the patch notes and weekly updates. I don't think I have the emotional energy to listen to the problems of others at the moment. I have some hard decisions to make and I keep hoping that maybe it will all go away and work out fine. Maybe. The chances of that are unfortunately low and I am struggling with accepting that right now.

I won't be thinking much about Eve until this is resolved. I felt it was only polite to let people know why I was suddenly inactive. Right now though, I can't think of anything else but the next few days. The world does not stop because we have personal loses. You still get up. Go to work. Pet the dogs. Pick up the cats. I'll probably mindlessly do things and pet the dog while we see what options are available and how she handles each day.

Reach the patch notes. A few changes are coming in.

And... I'll talk to you all in a few days we will see what happens.