Ate Ate Ate Teen

Oof. I certainly did not follow through with my half-repurposing my blog to tackle more politically charged topics. In hindsight that may have been a good thing. I still have many opinions, but needless to say stewing in that shit would have been extremely unhealthy for me. Hell, I even took a 3 month hiatus from all social media and still haven’t consumed it the same since.

It has been just over 4 years now dealing with my degenerating nerve condition and things and things have only become more difficult. Not only in the physical but also the mental and emotional. Often I feel defeated by my condition which has led to me not pursuing seeking medical advice and exploration as I should be.

Why should I toss money down the drain when the medical world has no clue what is happening to me? Exploration and treatment is not cheap and I only fear that eventually I will be denied healthcare period for having a “pre-existing condition.”

What then?

Suffering. Essentially.

Perhaps subconsciously I’ve been avoiding medical help simply because I know that at some point my only options will either be alternative medicines which I have no faith in (have tried many options and nothing has helped in the least) or financially ruining my family.

It’s a source of much frustration for both myself and my wife. Would I love to have a higher quality-of-life? Of course, but it’s hard to properly convey just how exhausting being in constant nerve pain. I have my good days, but even those are often punctuated with acute flare-ups and that doesn’t even begin to speak to the mental exhaustion I routinely feel from rarely getting restful sleep.

It’s very distracting and consuming. Yet I would be doing myself a disservice if I did not acknowledge that by writing this blog entry that I’m exhibiting a desire to fight my condition; to not completely roll over and give up — though there has been plenty of that. Small victories, right?

I don’t mean to downplay it as I honestly hope to string enough productive days together to get things rolling back in the right direction. My life does not need to be defined by my growing disability. My life does not need to be …

But what do I do? Returning to art and design seems the most logical option even though I face challenges of feeling inadequate in that realm these days. Those challenges are not from a lack of ability or talent — certainly strong in both — it’s from the mental clarity and motivation that I struggle the most with.

How do you mentally psyche yourself up and steel your resolve to see a project through while exhausted from unending nerve distress? My hands have not been spared from my nerve degradation and that makes everything difficult. Which brings me back to seeking medical help and needing to feel confident that I can be helped.  How do I get that back?

Maybe I need to change my frame of reference and not expect myself to being capable of adhering to what I would previously consider a satisfactory timeline for projects. To just allow myself to make a small amount of progress on a project while physically able and mentally clear.

Will that be enough to sustain my motivation? Currently that answer is a resounding no given the past 4 years. Clinging to how things were prior to my nerve disease has kept me in this lurch and I need to let go of that. Only after allowing myself to do that will I be able to start to make progress towards leading a productive “new” life.

Let’s hope I can convince myself.

 

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Sitting Down to Nothing

Ever have those semi-extended periods of time where you have every intention to do something semi-productive only to sit down to do said thing and lose all motivation or focus? That’s been my week so far. I have a semi-excuse in that I’ve been sick for what seems like weeks if not months now with a sinus cold that WILL NOT DIE.

I have projects and games piling up that I need to get to and it seems like I can’t get anything done. It’s super frustrating and the energy that I’ve been able to scrounge up has be devoted to pulling my ass into work and trying to be a parent to my two young children. There have been moments when the cold ebbs and I do get something done, but never as much as I would like.

This blog post in of itself is a miracle and yet at the same time is another sterling example of my lack of focus. I should be editing a 90 minute interview that Lanntonio and I of the Shattered Soulstone conducted with the awesome Sibcoe and Dred of Red Team Gaming and Diablo Expressions respectively. Then there’s the fact that episode 35 of the Shattered Soulstone is still need of being setup to record. OIDS.

Alright, enough whining and/or bitching. Time to be productive as much as I can during this lull in the “storm” as provided by the miraculous medication known as Sudafed. *snort*

Tedium

There are moments where STO is extremely enjoyable and I find myself thinking that I’ll be in for the long haul. Then there are moments where STO falls apart for me and I struggle to keep going and find the motivation to log back in. But I am committed to giving STO a fair shake, so until something happens that is utterly game breaking for me, I’m all in … at least for another month.

So I’ll start with the bad and work my way towards the good.

I had my first taste of a ground fleet action (Ice Mining) which at first seemed like a lot of fun. It was great to run around with other captains without fear of poor AI pulling groups accidentally and being able to exercise crude strategies against the plethora of AI controlled Klingon enemies. Achieving the first and second mission objectives was easy enough, but by the time we faced a third objective things started to fall apart and I decided that I had enough.

Probably the largest issue that faced me was the endurance to tackle each tedious task after another. It wouldn’t have been as bad if the respawn rate of the Klingon AI mobs been a bit slower. It wasn’t so bad in the beginning because the first objective targets were close to your spawn location, but once you made it to the third objective this became a brick-wall. Any death at that point pretty much meant re-clearing all of the mobs to get back to where you were.

So yes, to say that I did not enjoy my first ground fleet action would be somewhat of an understatement. I’ll have to give another ground fleet action a chance, but I don’t have much faith that any ground fleet action will be able to sway my opinion on them.

Another oddity that I discovered that gave me pause came in a deep space encounter I joined in the Regulus sector. I don’t think I meant to join the encounter, (I was four beers in and just travelling to Memory Alpha, I think) but when I first joined, the Gorn ships were a -5 con to me. “I’ll cut through these guys like a hot knife through butter” I thought to myself until I saw an escort fly into a group and get vaporized.

At first I thought this escort was vaporized because of his stupidity for flying directly into a group without his big cruiser buddy to get that initial volley of disruptors and torpedoes. I thought this as I nonchalantly flew in and proceeded to get vaporized as well. WTF?

After I respawned I was able to ascertain what had occurred; I flew into a group of Gorn that were a +27 con to me. I’m not sure how it happened, but the deep space encounter had gone from a -5 con to +27. The only thing I can think of was that a Federation admiral had joined the encounter and caused the enemy ships to adjust accordingly.

I’m hoping the enemy level change was merely a bug and not a design decision on Cryptic’s part. Having enemies go from level 7 (I’m Lt.Commander 2nd grade) to level 39 in a beginning sector deep space encounter on account of a level 40+ player joining is a horrible idea. I really hope it was bug. I really really hope it was.

While there are still plenty of bugs in STO, there is one thing Cryptic put into the game that I am having a hard time understanding the implementation of. I am of course speaking of the Exchange, or in other words, the auction house. Simply put the Exchange is a disaster. Why in the world did Cryptic think it would be okay to implement an auction house without allowing you to sort the items based on price, quantity or name? I’m sorry Cryptic, but you need to improve the Exchange as soon as possible. Sure it might be functional, but it is a nightmare to use effectively.

The beginning of a 20 min epic battle.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten my gripes out of the way, let me move onto a moment I had that gave much pleasure: epic space battles.

Let me set this up …

It was your standard deep space encounter with 4 other captains; a mix of cruisers and escorts. We were cutting swathes through the enemies as a group until the fateful moment where an escort and I zigged where everyone else zagged.

As usual, the escort felt cocky and flew into a group ahead of me which consisted of a battleship, a couple of cruisers and a handful of frigates. Needless to say the escort didn’t stand much of a chance and was swatted down in a matter of seconds. My attempt to save said escort obviously proved fruitless, but I did manage to gain the attention of the group and thusly began my own epic encounter.

It wouldn’t have been quite as epic had I not mistakenly flown close enough to another group of ships with a similar composition. When I noticed what had happened, it was already too late and I began burning cold-downs just to stay up and pray for help.

Unfortunately that help did not come until I managed to aggro a third group. I somehow managed to limp away from the epic 20 minute fight-for-my-life battle with my hull sitting at a precarious 4% integrity. I managed to take down a number of smaller ships, but it wasn’t until the cavalry arrived that the larger ships started to fall.

So let this be a lesson: always be aware of your surroundings so that you don’t accidentally flee into another group. Taking on multiple groups of ships can be very hazardous to the well-being of your crew ^^;

I’ll conclude with the admission that I’ve been meaning to blog more frequently about my STO exploits. Between continuing Comcast HSI issues and real life responsibilities opportunities to blog have been few and far between. Hopefully I’ll get more opportunities to blog more frequently, but at the very least I’ll try to blog once a week.

Until next time.