So Much Has Happened!
No post last week. My friend was very sick. He seems to be better now though!
These past two weeks have been very very busy for me. I had a lot of fun, but also a lot of stress and even fear. I’m going to focus on the good times here, although some of those were stressful in their own way.
One of my friends had a birthday this weekend. We went out to a bar at peak times for the first time in years. It was really nice to see everyone again. There was one point where we were in actual danger - a prolonged shouting match between other patrons culminated in a tiny bit of violence and a police visit. Even with that though, I’m glad we went out.
I have continued to game intensely. I finally got my installation of Trackmania 2020 working (it turns out it has to be started directly with admin privileges instead of via the Epic launcher on first run… ug). Most of my game time though was still focused on Destiny.
A lot happened in my Destiny 2 life. It was intense but satisfying!
Vow of the Disciple
This weekend I finished Vow of the Disciple, the latest Destiny 2 raid, for the first time. In fact, this is my first raid in Destiny 2 ever, and only the second piece of multiplayer end game content I’ve ever participated in. The previous one was the first raid in Kingdom of Loathing, which was a VERY different experience.
I had watched quite a few guides on how to complete the raid. So I was pretty prepared. I had also watched a video about how bad the solo player LFG - Looking for Group - experience is. So I was prepared for that as well.
It took me a while to find a group that sounded good. When I did find someone though, they were excellent. We had some trouble with leavers as we wiped multiple times on the first major encounter, but everyone stayed civil and we got closer each time. I only made a few mistakes. I still need to work on my add clear build.
Disaster struck for me during the second encounter. After we almost made it to the damage phase and wiped, my controller disconnected and would not reconnect. My headset runs through the controller. I couldn’t even tell them what was wrong. I was totally freaking out. Here I was with a great group making good progress on the raid, something I thought I might never be able to do, and I dropped because of a tech issue. It took me two resets of my xbox to reconnect my controller. At that point they had found a replacement and moved on without me.
I was kind of in dispair at this point. I had spent hours with that first team. I felt just like I had felt when we were struggling with Vox Obscura. I started looking for a group again anyway.
I eventually found a group that was actually already on the Caretaker encounter. This group had a few additional communication problems compared to the first, but we overcame them eventually. They used checkpoint save cheese liberally - we skipped the third encounter entirely, and did the Caretaker twice. We tried to repeat the final boss as well, but everyone from Europe had to drop to go to sleep. One player got left in the dust a bit. They had only continued so that we could redo the final boss for a quest they had. I felt kind of bad about that, but there was nothing I could do.
I was so happy to complete the raid! I’m not sure that I will return to the LFG experience, but I’m happy to be able to say I did it, and I even had fun! It did take something like 7 hours though O_O
On Saturday my best friend and I finished the Beyond Light main campaign. That means that two of the three remaining items on my Destiny bucket list are complete!
This campaign was pretty good, but not nearly as good as the Witch Queen was. I think some of that comes down to not having a Legendary difficulty. It didn’t feel like as much of an accomplishment. Still it was fun to use the stasis abilities for the first time, and explore some new locations in depth.
Finishing that campaign unlocked something like 5 more quests. Some of which are somewhat involved. So there is tons more to do. I’m going to try not to push as hard as I have been, but I do think I will be continuing to play for a while!
At the start of season 2, 343, the developers behind Halo, announced some changes that were pretty upsetting. I talked about these in my defect I opened, which I cross posted here.
343 has since posted a response to community feedback on these changes. I’m very happy that they are putting some of these things back, especially pizza jump and the tank gun. Destiny has kind of stolen my attention, but I do think I will return to Halo at some point. Although the fact that this happened at all has me worried for the future of the game in a way that all the delays did not.
Between all the gaming sessions I was able to do a lot of reading.
Two of my favorite creators @thejaymo and Van Neistat have created zines in the last few weeks. Unfortunately it looks like I missed Jay’s since I was in my Destiny hole and not checking email. Van’s is available as a pdf on his Patreon.
You can find more info on Jay Springett’s zine here.
I’ve always loved zines. I’m always excited to find new ones. Learning of two new zines, both from creators I already follow, in the same month, is huge for me! In the past, I created a tiny 10 print run zine that doubled as the insert for a handmade dvd. I also turned my Sense Scanner article into a single print booklet for my girlfriend’s step-dad. In addition to finding new zines I hope to return to making them too!
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
I started and finished The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers since my last weekly post. It was absolutely excellent! I had previously read A Psalm for the Wild-Built which is probably going to find itself on my top books list when I update it next.
Something about Chambers’ style gives me some slight anxiety during reading. I actually get the same thing when reading Flying Witch from time to time. I think it is because thee characters end up in situations that, with any other writers, would lead to some kind of lasting trauma. But these stories aren’t like that. And that is refreshing in a kind of incredible way. Both of these Becky Chambers books and Flying Witch, at least for me, seem to be Iyashikei, which I have written about a few times in the past. I love the genre, and will continue to seek out more works of this type.
Ascendance of a Bookworm
I’m now on Part 3 Volume 4 of Ascendance of a Bookworm and the series remains amazing. Bookworm is part of another genre I continue to grow into - merchant light novels. Works where a big part of the story is centered around running a business. Highly highly recommend this one. Or you can even watch the anime first like I did!
I read The Dip by Seth Godin. I did not like it, and I did not agree with Seth’s conclusions. There are plenty of reasons to do things that you are mediocre or even bad at. The book is kind of old at this point. I think it comes from a place of extreme over-achievement that we are now starting to understand is bad. A real honor student mentality problem. It does have some interesting bits on the shapes of learning curves and how to reframe a business for different market niches. It felt a little weird after reading Wanting which I wrote about last week. Who is Godin modeling himself after that he needs to be #1 in everything he does?
The Crew lost at home but we were not there to see it. We had to leave 4 hours into the 5 hour lightning delay. I’m sad we missed the game, but we still had fun hanging out in the stadium and eating the expensive food! They have Timbits (donut holes) now!
YouTube fed me one of Thinking Basketball’s game breakdowns. I think this is the first time I’ve ever really been able to appreciate basketball. It is a sport I’ve never fully understood. This is great example of the “learning to enjoy” concept I have written about before. This YouTuber’s explanations of the ins and outs of specific plays, and the games within the game, has me excited to watch more basketball in the future!
I made a couple of technical updates to the site as a whole. I hope they deploy ok!
- Switched to a nav tag in the navigation section (previously a div)
- The first few sentences of each blog article are now included in the open graph description
- Blag article titles are now included in the title tag and the open graph title tag
- I continued futzing with categories, keywords, and tags (which I hope to use at some point in the future).
The Journey Continues
I also have a post out today about the replacement part I made for my girlfriend’s sunglasses. Please take a look! I had a lot of fun working with CAD Sketcher for the first time to get this done.
This has been a crazy couple of weeks. We’re all working through things and trying to get by. Take care of yourselves. Put in the extra effort to do the thing you really want to do instead of the thing that’s easy.
Stay chill and enjoy