Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Nu Thang"

For anyone wanting some giggles, especially people who are creeped out by Jesus freaks...
You HAVE to see this.
This was posted on last night, and I laughed so hard.

But then I was reading the comments, and someone recommended turning on the captions.
There are no official captions, but YouTube offers an experimental speech-recognition transcription service.
Let me tell you... at 2am, there was nothing more hilarious that reading the horrible machine-transcribed lyrics to this little kid's rap. I managed to wake up half the house with my laughter, and possibly creeped out my boyfriend.

For your viewing pleasure, I've typed out the computer-transcribed lyrics for all of you to enjoy... since really, this can be way too painful to watch in its entirety.

Nu Thang

Bracing girl, so learned, she says Christ is still one,
Who gives says newline and he's doing, and you think for...

Goes down Phil, and they're back!
You know is down at out of town actor,
You know I was going to, who's doing it?
Distillate under that! You know we've started, now who's doing it!
United's Valentine Day finds that he's doing.
Since time began remained este faithful omitted,
To reason why I think that a crystallized earth unaffected,
Eighteen, anymore five dot doesn't change,
But also tab Paul began to talk back...
You know dot but so much and I left the supply,
Do you still in had used bank.
On slip-up went to London into capitivity,
Doing at noon, our news at we're doing it,
So he can use it dot.
This means gap coming throughout my complexes housing,
It is soft today keeping fine footage of women,
And you know crisis is a wonderful kids!
First in your heart, uninstalled carnarvon,
Though I don't do we spot manufacturing of agony.
Lofty might just matched up to the develop soft,
Dot he's still alive!
And I won't stop week in Lebanon!
Thank you Gene Saks, grad night auctions do it,
And in fact no on newsday.
We do in any inspections so he, Kaelin, using it of off.
Opening apple folks' opiate, depart!
Oh union or pH, going to get out, we've still ahead!
Who's doing it days ago, and I know bank you know restored,
It gal who's doing it!
That is done and their baggage, it always done that goes down under,
Yet we still have to have a right on that flight is gone,
And at that Mackenzie unhittable counterclockwise Joey,
Is a top Somalia proud of the gas tax because they keep widow.
He got no braces every year for Michael Plant,
Species of both G-7.
Feeling blocked off, menagerie nominate,
But you've got to go to a tiny fraction, Townsville!
And news bad, time not so...
We do and then Eugene Pack Dot is doing it,
And it does the high view,
And we do in the news that Phil, he K!


Productivity Week - Day 5

Time to write up Friday's little accomplishments and whatnot.

Friday morning we left the house at around 8:30am to drop my sister off at school, and then drove to pick up Jon. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to see him. Even though we're apart for only 4 days, it sometimes feels like an eternity.
When we got home I showed him my new work and began the glazing process. Unfortunately my glaze is starting to get excessively thick, so I thought adding some water would remedy it. Well, it turns out that things don't work like that, and though it did make the glaze thinner, it dulled the shininess of the glaze.
I had to glaze it all over again to make the glazed surface uniform in sheen, but all three are finished and ready to photograph/upload.

I didn't really do anything else the whole day... I could go on and on and talk about how we watched The Biggest Loser with my family, how hilarious it is to watch Jon play Mortal Kombat, and the horrible customer service both eBay and Etsy have, but I'm much too lazy and those subjects would probably be much too boring.

Until next time...

The Funny and the Scaly

Got some screencaps today, Productivity Week Day 5 entry tomorrow... (or today because it's past midnight here.)

Oh, Swagbucks... :P Got this as my captcha when searching about the "Toasty!" guy from Mortal Kombat. Jon has been playing it on the flatscreen in our basement, and once in a while this guy pops out of the corner saying "TOASTYYY!" in a womanly voice. 

See what I mean? (Warning, there is a spray of blood. But seriously, it's a GAME.)

Happy colorful grendels! I started a new feral run after my norn run reached Generation 140.

Wow, that's a lot of color variation! Unfortunately my purple ones died, and still no sign of a blue one... but hey, almost have a full rainbow.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Productivity Week - Day 4

Day 4 is over, and I'm feeling better than ever.
I could have never imagined what a sense of well-being could be achieved just by... well, achieving things!

I started out my day pretty oddly. I somehow woke up at 7:30am and couldn't for the life of me fall back asleep. My body was aching and I felt like I absolutely needed to just leap out of bed and start my morning.
Needless to say, that's what I did.
To be completely truthful, I have no idea what I did this morning. Maybe my brain is just fuzzy from it being late at the moment...
From what I DO remember, I kind of just messed around with Creatures 3, chatted with Jon through Steam, and tried to clear some space on my hard drive. (Apparently World of Warcraft won't run if you have less than 7GB free. Weird.)

Being the optimist when it comes to gaming, I decided to try out the new dungeon again.
I had a 15 minute wait time in the dungeon queue, which is nothing compared to the pre-patch wait times. (50 minutes waiting to play, oooh boy!)
All seems to be going great as we hack and slash some trolls, but once we get to the first boss encounter, we realize there's a problem.
See, the first boss is a troll adorned in vestments that look like an eagle. He's able to summon the powers of the eagle god, which allows him to control a bunch of eagles to do his bidding, and lets him create violent lightning storms. In other words, when you engage him in combat, you get divebombed by dozens of brown eagles, one of your teammates will get picked up carried around by a giant albino eagle (with very pointy talons), and then there's the occasional deadly storm.
We were doing great until it was storm time. During the storm summoning, he'll lift one teammate into the air as a "lightning rod" to draw the storm's power to the surrounding area. If you aren't directly below the hapless floating teammate, you're going to get fried.
Our healer and another team member failed miserably and got roasted... not once, but TWICE. This led to the rest of the group not getting any heals, leading to lots of dead bodies around a happy eagle man.
After the second wipe, the tank and another member bailed. I followed suit.

So I tried again.
11 minute queue this time, which was quite refreshing.
We die no more than once on particular bosses, but the first boss fell like cake to a fat kid.
Some people go, some people come... by the last boss, the only original members were me and the healer.
I might also mention that I had lost every loot roll to that damn healer, who didn't even NEED it as a healer. He just wanted it for his damage-dealing set. Me on the other hand... I play a hunter. All I can DO is deal damage, therefore I should have had first priority. That's proper WoW etiquette right there, and when you do win at least 2 rolls, you usually pass the third so the the other person gets something. Nope.
But I was willing to let that slide. WE WERE AT THE END!
We jumped into the battle, and unfortunately we wiped. We tried again and...
We all log back in swearing and cursing, and I just shut off World of Warcraft and storm upstairs with my tray of polymer clay.

So here's where the productivity actually begins.
I was really bummed that I had wasted nearly 3 hours in that darn dungeon, but I had tons of clay before me.
So I decided that today was the day where I'd finally try working on a larger scale. No little quarter-sized charms. I'm talking 3 inch tall figurines!
...okay, that's still quite small, I know. But you have no idea how much easier it was!
I really ended up enjoying myself, and it amazed me how much more detailed I could make my work.
When working on a small scale, it's easy to accidentally squish or deform the clay you're trying to shape. A perfect circle can easily become flat-sided with just a small amount of force.
When working on a bit of a larger scale, the clay is thicker, leading to less mess-ups. You can also attach parts a lot more easily since you don't have to worry about squishing something else in the process.
I ended up making a strange little quail popping out of a half-eggshell, a lily with two leaves that I want to turn into a pin, and a strange rooster.
I was overjoyed with the amount of artistic liberty working on a larger scale gave me, and immediately popped them in the oven the moment I was done making them.

Even better... while I was working, I got a phone call from the person who had posted the job listing for the part-time nanny job.
He told me that the position was already filled since it was posted more than a week ago. He had, however, read my email and noticed that I live in the same town, and that proximity was of high importance. If things with the person who currently holds the position don't work out, he said he would definitely give me a call.
So, I didn't get the job... but I am basically next in line if anything goes wrong.
And who knows? Maybe the nanny can't show up one day, and they need somebody on short notice... it could happen, and I could work for the day!

So today, progress has definitely been made.
I have a faint hope of getting a nanny job, and I made some interesting clay pieces!
They're currently sitting upstairs unglazed, but that'll change tomorrow.
Best of all, though... Tomorrow Jon comes for the weekend!!!

That's all for now! Time for sleep, at last...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Productivity Week - Progress by Day 3

A quick update on the progress I've made this week... so far, at least!

Things I've done:
- Glaze clay items
- Look at Craigslist to find some possible jobs
- Make a resume
- Apply to 2 jobs
- Photograph new clay items and Jon's LOST DVD sets
- Post LOST DVD sets on Ebay
- Post clay items on Etsy
- Upload birthday photos to Picasa and Facebook for relatives

Things I still want/have to do:
- Go through old notebooks to find drawings to edit on the computer
- Try to make sprites for a plant for Creatures 3
- Try making larger clay pieces
- Make something for next month's April's Army charity sale
- Post my daily progress on this blog! DERP!
- Try drawing on paper again
- Hook up tablet and try drawing on the computer again
- Read a book

Productivity Week - Day 3

Okay, so Day 3 was yesterday.
Yesterday was pretty busy and stupid at the same time, but I did get a little bit done in terms of the list. I also made some strides on a more personal level.

I woke up at 11am, don't ask why. I don't have a clue either.
I had a 1:45pm appointment with my psychiatrist, so I had breakfast... err, lunch... brunch.... yeah, and got washed up and ready to leave.
My psychiatrist appointment went really well.
No, I'm not crazy.

I've been seeing a psychiatrist since I was 16, when I got tested for a multitude of learning disabilities and my IQ after complaining of having trouble at school.
I initially was diagnosed with pretty intense ADHD, inattentive type. I was referred to psychiatrist for both therapy and medication, but within a month I was sent to the hospital for a heart ultrasound. Needless to say, ADD meds did not get along with me, and did some crazy things to my heart rate. The chest pains were pretty bad too.
About a month or two later it was apparent that my problems were worse that imagined... I had severe major depressive disorder, the fancy name for depression. Therapy and psychiatrist visits became more frequent, I had to take and test a lot of medications, I had a brief stint in a psychiatric hospital, blah blah blah.
Eventually my psychiatrist retired, but he felt horrible for not being able to cure me. I was referred to a new and younger female psychiatrist, and she had an idea to try a medication that tackled two different neurotransmitters. During the summer of 2008, I was finally cured.
Of course, having lived a portion of your life with depression still has some lasting effects.
My life's timeline often confuses me because your mind simply deals with memory differently when you're depressed. You remember a lot of the horrible things, but can't remember any good things. You still have lingering emotions that emerge when reminded of the past. Most of all, it's hard to figure out who you truly are when you find yourself again.

I see my psychiatrist a lot less often now, only once every two weeks. She is more of a mentor now, and I look to her for advice regarding my troubles in life. She's the one who has really pushed me to find a job, and this week was no different.
This past month we have been working on two things: reducing my medication, and figuring out what is holding me back from moving forward.
I've dropped my medication from 250mg to 200mg, and am going to now reduce it slowly over the next two weeks to 150mg. There have been no adverse affects, so I'm delighted that I might be able to live without medicine. I've been taking the same medicine for 3 years, and I'm glad to see that something has changed in me.
We also had a long talk yesterday about why I am so hesitant to get a job and move forward in my life.
A lot of people think psychiatry is bullshit, but they really know how to bring out emotions that you subconsciously have buried in the back of your mind. They ask tough questions you've never thought to ask yourself.
Through talking I realized that the thing holding me back is an intense fear of failure.
After dealing with depression and problems in school and college, I really am scared of not being good enough. I'm scared of not living up to my parents' expectations, and embarrassed in front of my friends, family, and peers.
The worst part is that the more I fail, the more I start to believe I'm a failure. That makes me feel like my only option is to give up.
The thing is, I WANT to move forward in life. It's like two sides constantly warring...
If I put myself out there, get a job, go to work, there is a chance that I'll be happy and successful. There's still that fear of doing horribly and getting fired, though. I've failed in the past, haven't I? That's what my mind keeps saying...
So this week I have to really try and shut out those doubts. I need to try instead of saying that I will try, and putting it off because of fear.

I came back home at 3pm, feeling better having been able to uncover that fear. I vowed to face that fear... later in the day. At least it wasn't later in the week.

I hopped on World of Warcrack... err, Warcraft, to test out the latest patch release.
It was a lot of fun, and we were on the second to last boss in the new Zul'Aman dungeon when we all got disconnected.
When all my group members logged back on, to our horror we were no longer in a party together, meaning we would be kicked out of the dungeon.
A lot of swearing took place, and we all dejectedly said goodbye to each other knowing that we had done a huge portion of that dungeon all for nothing.
I managed to leave with a shiny new piece of wrist armor and a ring, but the other people weren't as lucky.
That was the end of my little gaming break.

At about 6:30pm I finally decided to keep to my word, and I checked Craigslist for local jobs.
I have to admit, I had a bit of a panic attack.
All of the jobs had an experience requirement, a degree requirement, or just were jobs that I wouldn't ever want to do, like line cook or telemarketer.
In my panic I realized that I didn't have a resume. Thankfully Jon sent me his, which I used for a template to make my own. (Thank you Jon! <3)
I managed to find two jobs to apply to: a local part-time nanny job, and Crumbs Bakery.
I submitted my resume, and am awaiting a reply. Yay!
So that's 4 jobs that I've applied to... Gamestop, Barnes & Noble, Crumbs, and a nanny.
Let's hope I hear back from someone soon...

So that's about all for Day 3.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Productivity Week - Day 2

Being productive isn't very easy this week...

I woke up at about 9:30am this morning, and was feeling pretty zombie-like.
I had an 11:20am doctor's appointment, so went and got washed up, had breakfast, and listened to music during the 20 min drive.
The appointment went well, and we got out at about 12:25pm. From there we went immediately to my sister's school to pick her up, then back home.

Let me tell you... today was BEAUTIFUL outside.
It was a comfortable, sunny 78 degree Fahrenheit day, so I decided that today would be perfect for taking photos.
I photographed all of my new clay items except for the snocones, which needed another layer of glaze. (I'm still unsure if it'll work, or start another chemical reaction over time... It seems to be working, but who knows how it'll be the next morning.)

By the time I was done taking photos, I was exhausted from the bright sun, heat, and just being awake.
I plopped down on the bed downstairs at about 2:30pm, and took a nap...
...only to wake up at 6:30pm.
You can just imagine my dismay when I found out I had slept 4 hours of the day away. (Too many unintentional rhymes, ahh!)
After spending some time with my family, I ran downstairs to my laptop and began the tedious process of posting things on Etsy.

You can see the new listings over at my Etsy shop right now!

Mmm, delicious!

That just about wraps up Day 2 of Productivity Week.
Got another doctor's appointment tomorrow, so probably won't be accomplishing anything major tomorrow either. 
Ah well, such is life.

Productivity Week - Day 1

Well, it's REALLY been getting to me that I basically do nothing all day. Obviously complaining about it isn't going to do me any good, so I've decided to push myself to be productive this week. In a way I'm testing the waters by trying different things, and in a way I'm just trying to prevent myself from feeling any more useless.

So! Today was the first day of my Productivity Week.
I didn't do too much today, but at least I got something done.
My day started out with having to drop Jon back off at UNH, so by the time we made it home, it was about 11am.
I only got about 6 hours of sleep last night because my crazy and restless mind wouldn't stop its nonstop train of thoughts, keeping me from falling asleep for a while. As a result, I was dead tired when I got home. I tried to stay awake as long as possible, but ended up passing out until 2:30pm.
When I woke up I immediately set up my laptop to play music, and got to work on something I've been putting off for a while... glazing my latest batch of clay goodness.

Glazing seems simple, but it's really a pain in the rear.
You paint the glaze on one side of the clay piece, put it down, wait for it to dry, flip it over, glaze the other side, wait some more... and usually you have to put a second coat on, or fill in parts that you might have missed.
In other words, it's time consuming, and best to do when you have a lot of things to glaze. That way you glaze a bit of one piece, move to the next, and just continually rotate through all of them until they're finished being coated.
Unfortunately I was a bit impatient, and got myself in a few... sticky situations. (Pun totally intended.)
I flipped over pieces that weren't completely dry, had to glaze over a few fingerprints from touching wet glaze, and basically had glaze-coated thumbs by the end of it all.

Overall, everything came out okay except for my snowcone earrings.
I tried glazing the tops of the earrings and dipping them in salt for realism, but it seems that the salt and glaze had some weird chemical reaction rather than dry together.
The glaze is now cracking off and has become greasy. Definitely not good.
Unless I can get some glaze on top of the layer of glaze/salt mix and get it to dry, they're most likely not going in the shop.

At 8pm I was finally done. (I had spent some time talking to my boyfriend as well, so I really wasn't working for 6 hours straight... that would be brainmelting.)

So that's about it for today.
Some other things on my list for this week...

Things I NEED to do:

- Look at Craigslist to find some possible jobs
- Photograph new clay items and Jon's LOST DVD sets
- Post LOST DVD sets on Ebay
- Post clay items on Etsy
- Try drawing on paper again
- Hook up tablet and try drawing on the computer again

Things I WANT to do:
- Go through old notebooks to find drawings to edit on the computer
- Try to make sprites for a plant for Creatures 3
- Try making larger clay pieces
- Make something for next month's April's Army charity sale
- Post my daily progress on this blog! DERP!

That's all for now. Sleepy time for Maddie...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Quickly visiting Blogger to wish everyone a Happy Easter!
I'm not religious at all, but I still celebrate the typical Christian holidays... not for their religious significance of course, but just for fun. It's a habit, I guess.
This morning we opened some adorable little bunny boxes that Jon's mom had made completely from scratch, ate some candy, and generally were in good spirits. My father was wearing a sea-green polo in the pastel-color Easter spirit, and joked that he was being an egg. Unfortunately he can flex his gut enough to look like an egg, which was a little disturbing yet funny at the same time.
He needs to lose 15 lbs... shh, don't tell him I said that. :P

Not much else to say, but I'll leave you with some more screenshots of my Creatures world.

Look at those happy little guys... okay, so maybe they were all complaining of protein hunger at the time, but whatever. I have taken away all continuous sources of protein and turned off the automatic vendor, so now they will have to actually learn to push the dispensers themselves to get their precious protein-filled fruit. That wooden box is filled with nutritious eatin's of all types, for instance. The Magma head and Bruin body have showed up again, and both types of pigment swaps continue to appear in the male population. The females continue to have a slight pigment swap and various color tints. Purple seems to still be the most common tint of males, though even females are appearing with purple tints now!

Here's a small treat for players of Creatures!
Wulfrin is up for adoption at Creatures Caves! :]
He's a generation 102 norn from my feral run, and is 2hours and 20 minutes old. He's in perfect health aside from a lingering protein hunger, and he rarely feels crowded.
You can download him HERE!
(You may have to scroll a bit to find him as time passes from the original posting of this entry...)

That's all for now!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Generation 85+

My feral run has reached Generation 94 as of now, and no signs of idiocy yet.
They seem to like resting often, and have a penchant for eating large amounts of fruit. Their bodies seem to always require large amounts of protein, and I've seen a few die from protein starvation. I think the next step of improving their gene pool is taking away major sources of protein from their environment. Hopefully natural selection will take care of this little problem.
The excessive resting really hasn't become a problem yet. They will get up when they actually need something, they just prefer to rest when they're content.

Anyway, here's some screenshots of some more color mutations and stuff like that.

A new color mutation that has emerged... A lack of green pigment, and increase in red and blue, which results in a purple tint. (The pigment system is RGB based.) This mutation is present in three norns at the moment... Without the pigment tints, the norn on the left would look just like the one to the right. (They both have a pigment swap of 72 to begin with.)

For a little while, the Magma norn head and Bruin norn body made a reappearance. It was pretty random because the population had been homogenized for at least 30 generations. Strange how things work that way, but I guess some sort of recessive gene made its way through or something. The Magma and Bruin parts have since disappeared from the population, but they were pretty while they lasted. These are two males with a pigment swap of 44 and 72, respectively.

The game developers must have had a secret love of Pokemon... The autonamer apparently named on of my male norns "Pikachu." 
Well, at least he wasn't named "Derape." I've seen a norn autonamed that before... I can just imagine a male norn being all sketchy and being like "Heeeeyh babeh, I'm DERAPE!" and forcefully kiss-popping. Yeah. Bad autonamer, baaaad.

That's it for now...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Brutal Honesty

Okay, I'm going to be horribly and brutally honest right now.
I am a lazy fuck.
Am I proud of it? Hell no.
There's something slightly disturbing about the fact that I can be completely content sitting in front of a computer just about all day, browsing the web, screwing around with Creatures 3, and playing computer games.
Am I going to do something about it?
I try, but nothing ever seems to stick.

This weekend I'm finally going to turn in my job applications to Gamestop and Barnes & Noble. I've been putting it off because I don't want to go to the mall for 5 minutes just to drop off the apps. Since I can't drive, I'd probably be dragged off to a million other stores with my mom anyway.
That's something else I've been putting off... getting my license.
I kind of get the feeling that I'll have to run a lot of errands for the family if I get my license... once again, I'm lazy.

I have to figure out what the hell motivates me.
I'm getting sick of my complacency with my current lifestyle.

I guess I'm going to force myself to work on some clay things today. I made a sale on April 6th, and that made me incredibly happy.
Maybe if I work a bit more I can get another, and that happiness will motivate me to work harder?
I hope that logic works.

More Color Mutations

Been being my lazy self.
So here's some more screenshots of colorful Creatures that have been born in my feral run.

HAHAHA his ridiculous mutated legs.

The common mutation has been the purple and green, which is a mild pigment swap. The turquoise and purple mutation is a more intense pigment swap, and showed up just recently in the population.

The one on the left has a pigment swap. The one on the right has the same pigment swap, but also has a pigment rotation, making the parts that would normally be greenish a dull grayish purple.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Feral Run - Day 6

It's Day 6 of my Feral Run!
My population has started to homogenize in the sense that they nearly all have the same body parts.

Body Makeup (estimated):
Head: Chi Chi 95%, Porcelain 5%
Arms: Bruin 60%, Emerald 30%, Plant 10%
Body: Magma 80%, Dodgy 20%
Legs: Civet 85%, Dodgy 15%
Tail: None 55%, Butterfly 45%

Here are the two new video logs from today showing the run's current progress:

Was interrupted by a birthday phone call... yes, I'm 21 today! :P
Part 2!

I also took a few screengrabs of some color mutations.

Also, just as a note, this blogs is NOT becoming a Creatures-only blog. I'm just excruciatingly lazy and haven't posted about anything else lately. I will try to get back to the swing of posting non-Creatures things later this week.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quick Creatures Update

A quick update on what's going on with my current little project!

My world is on generation 35 now I believe, and going strong.
Since implementing an IQ test for all new hatchlings to go through, I've noticed a drastic difference in behavior.
Unlike with my failed Fallow Norn project, the norns that make it to the Norn Meso are lively, curious, interactive, and mobile.
They have lost most of their motivation to listen to my commands as they get older, but they aren't nearly as idiotic as the fallow norns were.
In other words, they aren't mindless breeding machines. They'll get up and walk around, look for food, approach each other, give each other suggestions and occasionally act upon them, and generally act like first generation norns.

I haven't seen too many interesting color mutations aside from the occasional pigment tint, but I did catch a glimpse of these guys.

Pigment swap in a baby norn... The guy on the left has norn pigmentation, while the one on the right is visibly different.

This guy was named Gerald, and he was quite pretty! He had a pigment rotation I believe? Either way, he was almost completely monochromatic, save for an amazing sea green coloration. I sure hope he had a few kids...

In other news, today my family and Jon celebrated my birthday!
I got some incredible gifts and had a great weekend overall. :]
More on that another time!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is my bored face

I had a weird sleep last night, fell asleep at 7:30ish and woke up after midnight.
In other words, I'm EXHAUSTED right now.
Going to go back to sleep for a couple hours and then officially start my morning...
Before I do that, however, leaving you all this little screenie.

Oh... I should have guessed. I mean, clearly your face just screams "bored."
(Sister on the right was bored too when I asked, just couldn't get them to say it at the same time. :P)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fallow Norn Project - FAILURE

Well, the Fallow Norn Project has officially FAILED.
Yep, they are ALL DEAD.

Because I tried to put them all through an IQ test overnight, which really only involved opening two doors.
I had hoped that the smartest ones would make it to the food-filled paradise on the other side, and breed smart little babies.
Turned out that most were too stupid to even do that, because I woke up to having them all gone.

Watch the video log for more info...

And wow, do I sound like a dork in this video.
Time to go sulk.

Nah, just kidding, no sulking. :P
But new project?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fallow Norn Project - Day 5

Here's the latest video log from my Fallow Norn Project!

In other news, I made another pair of earrings yesterday!
I'll be working on more clay pieces this week, and will hopefully bake and glaze them this coming weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Fallow Norn Project - Day 2

So, I just figured out how to download videos off of Livestream and put them on Youtube today!
Livestream has a really good recording program that comes with it, but playing back video can be a pain in the butt with those irritating ads.
Plus, I can't do something like this!

That was my first little daily video about my population's progress in my Fallow Norn Project.

Today's video log is here for your viewing pleasure... or boredom. :P

I actually managed to make my voice record a bit louder with this stupid built-in mic... You'd think Alienware would provide a good mic for the crazy price I paid for this laptop. Needless to say, I'm not buying from Alienware or Dell ever again.

Leaving with a random screenshot I took earlier... One of my norns was autonamed Hamlet last night.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Norns Norns Norns! About Creatures

I just recently got back into a game I used to play back around the very early 2000's called Creatures 3/Docking Station. I used to have quite a bit of fun with it, but I could never really understand some of its features since I was too young at the time...

Let's just start by saying that this game isn't really a game at all. It's an artificial life simulator, evolution simulator, god game, whatever you prefer to call it... and it's far from being simple.
It's extremely complex for being such an old game.

In the game, you hatch creatures called Norns. These little guys grow from being babies to children, to adolescents, youths, adults, and finally they are classified as being just plain old. (If they live long enough they end up being classified as ancient)
Their appearance changes as they grow up, from size to defining features on a breed basis.
Once they get old enough they will begin to "kisspop" (their form of mating) and create eggs that eventually hatch into more norns.

Oh, those little buggers...

Now this is where it gets complicated.
Norns aren't just little characters that walk around, eat, breed, and die based on a simple script. They have "brains," so to speak.
Creatures isn't just your run-of-the-mill commercialized game. The development team actually consisted of many scientists in addition to game developers and artists. They managed to create an extremely advanced form of behavior for these creatures by designing "DNA" and a "brain" based on levels of "chemicals," "drives," and outside "stimuli" of other objects in the game.
As an example, if you hit a norn, it will get visibly upset. It isn't just getting upset however. The hit registered as pain, which triggers adrenaline levels. It may stand with its head in its hands unable to decide what to do, or may start fleeing from your hand. Hitting also adds to the norn's injury level, which might lead to death if repeated. It adds to their stress levels and fear levels.
To make a long story short, many different things are going on regarding the norn's overall health. They'll most likely remember the treatment you gave them as well, and might even become conditioned based on when it was hit. (Imagine hitting a hungry norn when it's on its way to get some food.)

And it gets more complicated.
As generations go on, their genome can mutate.
For example, their colors might change or they can gain a color tint. (Not the same thing)
Their reactions and urges may change. For instance, a more aggressive norn could be bred, or norns that can survive longer without food. You might breed a norn that loves being alone, or one that calms its fears by eating uncontrollably. Some norns might end up having a longer lifespan, or have an addiction to pressing buttons.
Of course, these mutations are all random, and can be influenced by natural selection based on their environment.

So, you can see why this game would become a lot more interesting as you get older and have quite a few years of high school science behind you.
It's like having your own little laboratory on your computer for you to experiment with to your heart's content!

I've been leaving my computer on overnight for about a month now to see how my population progresses, and have started up many different projects or "worlds" to fool around with.
My most recent project is leaving a bunch of Fallow Norns in one locked room full of food, and seeing how the population progresses.

They're kind of deer-like... and apparently they love to breed, because there's dozens of eggs scatted about.

I only started this morning, so nearly all of them are second or third generation. I have an automatic exporter set up to move any norns older than 2.5 hours out of my world to keep the generations moving along. (Most norns reach the "old" stage at 3 hours, and die at about 5 hours. In between this time they breed a lot less often, and take up space since I have a population limit set up to prevent my CPU from lagging.)
I'll add some updates as my little experiment moves along.

In conclusion, here are some links!

Docking Station is a Creatures game that can be played for free, and can be combined with Creatures 3 for a larger world to roam. It can be downloaded HERE. The system requirements are extremely low and I know some Windows 7 users have problems running it. (I'm using Vista, and I have no problem)
If you want to watch some Norns go about their everyday business, Live Nornish Action is a live video feed of Norns that have been sent in from the community.
Lastly you can see my dabbling in video recording on Livestream. I have a video or two about my Creatures experiments.

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

21 Years Old?

Oh gawd, the big 21 is coming...
On April 18th I'll officially be 21. I'm a little nervous to be honest.
It seems silly because the only thing that changes is your legality regarding drinking, but despite what laws dictate, I feel like 21 is the real transition into adulthood.

When I turned 18 I had just been discharged from a psychiatric hospital for major depressive disorder, and was brooding over my current situation in the middle of Disney World.
Yeah, I definitely didn't feel like an adult at that time.
You really don't feel like much of an adult when you're still in high school finishing up your last few credits, either.
18 definitely wasn't my coming of age, even in the slightest.

How is my life like now that I'm approaching 21?
Well, I've got job applications scattered over my floor.
Depression has been completely under control for about 3 years.
I've experienced some college, though I'm taking a break.
I have an incredible boyfriend who I've been with for a year and a half. (Our year and a half mark was officially yesterday!)
As a bonus, I've picked up those "If it's not on sale, I probably won't buy it" and "If it's not broken, and can't be fixed, don't replace it" attitudes.
Guess that's what happens when you haven't had a real job yet and are strapped for cash.

To sum it up simply, I feel like I'm finally becoming an adult.
It's a weird feeling, and kind of intimidating.
This is the beginning of the rest of my life...

Anyway, in the "oh wow you can finally drink legally now" spirit, here's a link to a blog that I discovered through another blog!
(Regretsy, of course. Where else could you find links like these?)
It's a blog called Jelly Shot Test Kitchen.
Think Jell-O shots, but a lot more fancy and sophisticated.

I have NO IDEA what any of these taste like, because I'm a dork and vowed not to drink underage, and have actually managed to keep to it... but DANG do they LOOK good!