Wednesday, April 27, 2016

To Cherish the Past

With my future in game swirling around in circles, I've let most of my accounts lapse until I know what I want to do again. I have plenty of skill points and skills. I can do the things that interest me as well as the stuff that does not but I have been told to learn.

I've been pretty comfortable that way. My stuff is safe in its stations. I'm saving cash every month. Things are good.

And then, six hours before down time and the Citadel launch I clicked on a link for carrier pilots.

It may have been because I was logged in. Whatever it was, I realized that Chella is a carrier pilot. I have a carrier. I have two carriers. Or maybe three? But at least two.

And one has a triage module.

I have given zero thought to the fact that my carrier would become a force auxiliary.

In six hours.

Did I want that? I didn't know.

Did I care? Why yes, yes I did.

With caring came my answer. Snowflake was purchased when I was six months old. I was ambitious. I would learn to do level 5 missions and be a useful member of the corporation. I never learned to do level five missions. I never became a useful carrier pilot for any group I joined. Perfect skills do not mean a thing when you don't have experience and when I might have reached that point, Thanatos were not the carrier of choice. He isn't even fit for anything but a move long ago. I could have remotely repackaged him but those sweet, sweet, large rigs to remind me of the past...

Snowflake, my flat ship with its weird little knobby head had been with me for years. Sure, he was stuck in low sec and would probably never move again. That didn't matter. He was mine. I'd miss his flat weirdness. I never found him to be an attractive ship but that never mattered. He was mine. A symbol of many things that never happened but I wish had.

I activated some game time, logged in Chella and set my course for Snowflake's place of rest.

Then I remembered gatecamps. Smart bombing ones. The things that make little shuttles go poof? Where they still a thing? Had culture shifted to some great extent of late? Could it be that... nope, gatecamps. I scanned zkillboard and saw that my most obvious path was barred.

I rerouted and made a deal. If I died, force auxiliary would I be. If I lived, Snowflake would remain in his birth state. The toss of a gate would decide.

One person... on to the next system.

Three people here... but I'm just passing through.

Twenty-five in system but no camp on the gate I used or the station.

Hello, Sujarento. It's been a while. I doubt I will ever see you again. Thank you for taking care of my carrier.

Intuition at Six Months

Inty is hitting that six month point soon. My husband and I have had disagreements. I say things like 'he is six months by weeks' and my husband tells me it doesn't work that way. I tried, "six months worth of weeks" and he still said no.

Intuition's birthday was November 13th, 2015. That makes him almost five and a half months old. But, if you count the weeks he has six months worth. It makes sense to me but my husband has assured me that I am wrong and making up calculations.

Whatever! He is growing up and I wanted to share.

Three Months

Six Months

He has finally gotten lean and lanky. He will fill back out around 12-18 months.

My yard is nice and patchy from heavy dog usage.I mowed and reseeded after this shot. We've finally convinced him that he can potty on walks. For those without dogs, dogs do not automatically go potty outside. They do not automatically go potty on walks. Dogs are institutional learners and not generalists. A few breeds are generalists such as German Shepherds, but most dogs are very situational. Inty learned to potty in the back yard. It was many, many trips downstairs. Once that was well and truly learned, we had to pretty much walk him when he was about to pop and praise him for going on the walk. Because he is smart he picked it up fast but we had many walks that ended in the back yard for him to go potty.

He is a smart, affectionate dog. He is also quite the bold, sure asshole. He harasses the cats just to get them to chase him. We have created the great wall of separation to save Sage and Autumn from him.

We gate him off from them because he has no off button. Sage is 11. Autumn 6. They get tired of playing. He does not. We are working on it and he is improving but he still dissolves into assholeness quickly.

Next week he starts puppy kindergarten.  His training schedule will be six months of puppy kindergarten. Then he will take six weeks off while we reinforce that learning. Then basic obedience for six weeks. After that, the holiday season will kick in and my work load will increase. In January I hope to move up to advanced obedience and by next summer get ready to try some trials to get his obedience titles. He is a dream dog to work with once he grows up a bit more and learns to focus and contain himself. The asshole pushy nothing bother's me personality is exactly what I wanted.

10 weeks on the way home for the first time.

Sixish months old and needing a nail trim.

He is a big boy and getting bigger. He isn't oversized but within the breed standard. Still, sometime a week or two ago he managed to morph from puppy to dog in his size. A few times in the last week, when I have changed his posts on his ears and left them down, he has been a shadow of Nyx. Right now he is the same size that she was. He will be a good bit larger and I'm thankful for that.

While he looks like he doesn't want to be up there, that is a lie. He is the one that climbs up us at every opportunity. My mother is 5'4 for reference. It used to be that I could lean back in my chair and escape him. Not anymore. He just climbs up and slaps me in the face. He also loves to sit in laps so I tip my chair all the way back and scoop him up. He will chill, sprawled across me from knee to head and go to sleep. It is terribly uncomfortable and I try to do it every day.

We celebrate the loss of our last puppy tooth with a blotch of blood on our new chew toy. The blood washed right off. I'm happy all teeth are out. Sometimes they need to be pulled.

In general, things are going great. I'm hoping that one day soon he can come take a nap on the bed with me. But hes still so puppy. It may be a while yet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

That was a weird little ripple

It may be an interesting week. I've cheerfully run about scrubbing the CSM stuff off of most links. I'll leave it on my forum signature. I may respond to something one day and then someone will ask me who am I to comment. I kind of hope that I'll have someone sneer at me and tell me that I should try to run for the CSM if I am so opinionated or think I can do a better job. That is my secret dream.

It seems my ending will be weighing in on this weird name change thing that happened to Goonswarm. Love them, hate them, be indifferent to them, I don't think they should lose their corporation history and a CEO from ten years ago get control of the corp name.

Player names, corp names, alliance names those are all things of power in Eve. A book was just written about Eve's empires. A book that could only have been written if our history is allowed to be history. I'm one that is rather interested in Eve's history and preserving it going forward. I've felt a lot of loss has happened recently. CCP may be updating image and shedding costly resources but there is so much tangible history that we are losing and I wonder if it represents a cultural shift.

Beyond that, I reminded CCP Logibro to hand over the CSM in game channel to the new CSM. Sure, very few members of CSMX used it. No one in CSMXI may have any interest in public outreach or just hanging in a spot where people can reach them. That doesn't mean I think the channel is a bad idea. Someone may use it. A good thing may come from it.

The noncompetitive stat of my personality is to blame, I fear, for my lack of understanding in some things. The CSM has placed me in numerous situations where someone did not wish to put effort into something or make a risk because it was not guarantied. Do things have to be guarantied before they are even approached? Sometimes we have to walk to make the path even happen. Not everyone and everything can already be well used, well known, or the best option.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

All Done

Today was the last technical day of CSM10. Someone sent me a message to tell me that the election results have happened.

Off and on since January I have thought about what to write here. I've pondered bitterness and snark. My bitter explosion was ruined by a typo on twitter to become a butter explosion. I've debated the polite, social face where I bow and thank people and wish everyone good luck. And for a while I wondered if I'd even say anything and just fall off the map into silence.

The problem with giving into emotional responses sit hat a lot of people have the potential to be harmed by them. People who supported me and worked with me would get shat on. That is the side effect from just letting all of the pent up stuff go.

Its been two years. I'm sorry that I've flopped along these last few months and slowly died on you. After February, after everything that happened and was done and the choices that were made for good and for bad, I had nothing left. In a way that was good. I had tied up most things and finished most projects. All that was left was hobbling along to the end.

The CSM can be consumptive. It doesn't consume everyone. I'm regularly fascinated by how many people join it and never do a damn thing. They don't participate. They don't create. They barely speak up and then they put on a public face and get praised and sometimes reelected. I tried to avoid that myself by laying myself out to you all each week. I tried to be honest and clear about others. I don't know if I did a good enough job but I did make the effort.

The strangest thing about this election process is the fact that many people want us to be politicians. On one hand we are cursed for being politicians. As you learn to make neutral statements to not break the NDA (for those that don't just hide behind it and use it as Captain America's shield whenever someone tires to find out if they do anything) people curse you. They get mad. I think we're supposed to break the rules if it is convent tot he listener. On way or another, no matter how honest you are and transparent and how much you share, people will accuse you of being a politician.

But they want you to be one. We're treated like it. The shit storm of american politics this year has been eye opening in that regard. For reasons I do not fully comprehend, people want members of the CSM to be politicians. If for no other reason, that expectation is one of the things that destroys us. We don't have any actual power or agency but we are treated like we do. It is a remarkable burden to carry and try to overcome. It is one that we fail at doing year after year as the candidates flare and burn out.

Somewhere, in that, stuff has the potential to happen. I'm walking away, proud of a lot of things that I started, supported, or had a hand in. It may not be as spectacular as some people expect. But, again, we don't have that power or ability. We never will.

It isn't so bad. To speak for people is important. A lot of those conversations are not flashy. They are reminders that the players are people and not just business metrics. There is more involved then the developers and the fantastic gameplay that they make. There is also CCP's interaction with their clients in general across all levels. They have included us in these things and that is probably where the bulk of the head beating frustration happens.

Maybe we do to much. Maybe we don't do enough. To some we are just laughable for caring and trying in an unpaid position. I don't have a comeback about laughing last and how amazing I am despite it. To those that mock me and what I may do or try to do, be it as impotent as a student council or not, it mattered a lot to me.

The trust that was given to me these past two years mattered to me. It kept me motivated and it kept me going. That people would honor me with that belief and faith has been utterly humble. And I know that I have not been strong enough or capable enough to give back as much as I have been given. Still, I will stand here and say that I tried. Even as things imploded and I knew that my second CSM term would be met with ridicule and scorn, I tried to help the future that we could potentially have.

After all, trying is what I promised to do. Oh, I know it has not been enough. How often I have been told that. But I put myself out there. I tried to make happen what I believed in and I sacrificed myself to do it. That, I am proud of.

I am happy to be done. I do not regret the choice that I made. I am not sorry that I ran for the CSM. None of that stops the bittersweet longing for things as they were two years ago. I miss those times. I miss myself, then. I am tired and burned. I really never had the personality to do this job and do it well. I did not blossom in the public eye but instead steadily wilted. Its a disappointment but one that I expected. I do know myself reasonably well and I knew that the having the public's eye in this extent would leave me tattered at the end.

I do apologize that I don't have those pretty social platitudes to give. I don't have long winded stories about my love for the rest of the CSM and the special relationship that we never had. I don't even have drinking stories for you because I gave up on socializing at the end. It may be unfair to offer this exhausted truth but it is all I have to give. To try to spin light and the soft laughter of warm memories across the top feels to much a lie.

This has been an amazing journey. There has been joy and incredible pain. I have met amazing people at CCP. Some that I hope I will in contact with. I've met others in the Eve community I would have never known tucked into the sordid red spaces of Molden Heath. I'd have never known the beauty and terrible pain of flying to close to the sun and the long fall back down.

I regret none of it.

Thank you for having me.

P.S. - If you have questions, ask them. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Missing Getting There

Around sixty million skill points I stopped paying attention to my skill points. I remember my joy at forty million. Forty was a big step for me. So was thirty. I had a skill set that sculpted Sugar into a capable combat pilot. I felt fluffy and real.

For a long time, I had placed a huge importance on skill points. I had used them as distant beacons. Points where I could stop and say, "I am here. This is me. I am this thing."

While skill points have lost their meaning, those emotions are still persistent. We will never see announcements made to celebrate the player that has reached the most skill points again. That era of Eve is gone and not what I speak about.

Skill points used to define me. Then, I stopped caring about them. It seems that happened when I was able to fly the things that I wanted to fly. My needs, it turned out, were rather light for a combat pilot. My foray into capitals has given me no love for the unwieldy monsters. My time in battleships has created a deep set distaste.  Somewhere between forty and sixty million skill points, I had enough.

Today, I opened my skill queue for the first time in a while. I have 292,914 unallocated skill points. My queue is down to twenty eight days. I think I last set it up to run somewhere around a hundred and fifty. And I complete Caldari Cruiser V before I wake in the morning.

I never wanted to learn Caldari Cruiser V. Caldari ships and I just don't fit together. Yet, here I am, learning it.

Here I am with eighty seven million skill points. I want to ask, "How did I get here?" but I kinda know how.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Oh Bounty System

[03:18:15] Kaliean Thorson > Sugar Kyle sets her own bounty on herself if i remember correctly

That was something I had to correct. I have never set my own bounty. I have never set a bounty on anyone else. I consider the bounty system in its current form to be a waste of ISK. How my feathers ruffled as I politely responded, "I do not set my own bounty." It is a good thing we can't see clearly through these screens.

Ever since the changes to the bounty system, it has been most frustrating that I can't rant about the bounty system. That is because to rant about it is to bring bounties onto oneself or to be accused of begging for bounties. It drives me bonkers.

I love the idea of a bounty system and a mercenary system. Sadly, those stalled out when the bounty system was changed. I never thought I'd somewhat wish for the old one but I do. In these days of gate camps to pod everything and everything, we'd be cleaning up. Of course the entire, "Use an alt get the money thing," we really bad.

Still, this incomplete system is bad.


HOWEVER! It is still enough to make me giggle to be accused of being a bad person in Eve Uni Chat for having a bounty.

It is fun to be the bad person again.