In beer there is truth?

I know there’s a Latin phrase “in vino veritas”, or “In wine there is truth”. I’m not sure what the equivalent is for beer. Fun fact: Today is my ex-girlfriend’s birthday.

In February, after a few weeks of no contact, my ex-girlfriend sent me a text message asking if I had seen Umbrella Academy, a show on Netflix. After I replied that I hadn’t, she asked if I’d be interested in watching it with her. I said sure, asked if she wanted to come over to my apartment, and when she asked when, I said that I had that night and the next day off work, and she said that that night wouldn’t work because she had gone home for the weekend. I said something about how I had figured she might have gone home to take advantage of the long weekend, and she didn’t reply. At some point during this conversation, I think she asked if I could get some things for her from Wal-Mart, I said I suppose I could, and if I remember correctly, that was when she asked (for the first time in over a year) if I’d be interested in watching Netflix with her.

A few days later she texted me again about getting her stuff. I got it on a Thursday, and due to a minor scheduling conflict (she wasn’t going to be at her room until 4:30 PM, and I worked at 5 PM that night), we arranged that I was going to drop it off at her room Friday morning. Friday morning, I showed up at her door, handed her what she had requested, and the only words exchanged were “Thanks”. Incidentally, this is the last time I’ve seen her in person. While walking away from her dorm room, I sent her a text asking if she was still interested in watching Umbrella Academy together, and she replied “Already watched it.” That evening while I was at work, she texted me to ask when I got off work, I told her, and she asked if I’d be interested in picking her up after I got off work so we could watch Netflix together. I said sure, and then she said that actually I could come to her room the next day, and she would buy me lunch.

That night, she asked if I could bring her a drink, and after I asked what she liked, she said she liked Samuel Adams Winter or Boston Lager. Saturday morning, after picking my car up from the dealership where I had left it to get a recall taken care of, I stopped at a gas station to buy a bottle of Boston Lager, went to campus to work on homework, and continued the text message conversation with her.

Originally she had asked when I might come to her room, and I had thrown out a randomĀ  time and said 11 AM. I wasn’t sure if that would work, but she said it would. Around 10 AM I think she asked if I could come later, and that it might be 1 PM. I think this was around when she asked when I had to work, and I told her 5 PM, and she said that was plenty of time. I had said that coming after 11 would be fine, since I had stuff I could work on.

A few minutes after 11, she texted me (paraphrased) “never mind, maybe we can do it another day.”

At first I had thought that she had slept in until after 10 AM, and wanted some additional time to make herself presentable. I wouldn’t care, but I remember when we were dating she usually wore makeup and styled her hair. I’m sure if she was going to have me come over, she would want to clean up her room, apply makeup and style her hair, and probably put on “real” clothes (say, jeans and a t-shirt), rather than roll out of bed (without styling her hair or applying makeup) and open the door to greet me dressed in an old t-shirt and pajama pants (or whatever she was sleeping in at the time).

At some point after she canceled, I wondered if there was something going on (like her roommate being in the room, a family crisis, or an argument with her boyfriend) that she didn’t want me to be in her room for. I also think, though, that if she was genuinely interested in watching Netflix with me, she could have suggested a time to reschedule or, if needed, an alternate location. Maybe it’s because, as she said in her most recent e-mail from last month, I’m dependable, but if she had been genuinely interested in watching Netflix with me she could have offered an alternative, like “Today won’t work, what about tomorrow/next weekend/this specific day?”

I still suspect that her asking me if I’d want to watch Netflix with her for the first time in over a year is due to her wanting emotional validation after conflict with her boyfriend, but now I wonder if she was considering her options that morning. Maybe she was arguing with her boyfriend while also texting me and weighing her options.

Anyway, after she canceled, I took the beer home and it sat in my fridge for a month. After a month had passed, I sent her a picture of the bottle of Samuel Adams Boston Lager via Snapchat with a caption that said something along the lines of “It amuses me that this is still in my fridge after a month. I hope you are well.”

A few days later I sent her an e-mail, which was probably a mistake, but the ensuing week of e-mail exchanges (where I told her I had a new phone number and she told me about making plans with her boyfriend) remains, thus far, our last contact. (not counting her finally opening the Snapchat message a month after I sent it, but I’ve noticed she doesn’t seem to be a very active Snapchat user- of course, neither am I)

I decided to drink the beer I bought (originally for her) today, since it’s her birthday. A couple days ago I was a little sad remembering memories from celebrating her birthdays when we were dating, but in hindsight that seems ridiculous, and now this is just another day. She didn’t ask me to take her out for her birthday, and I haven’t heard from her for a month. There’s always the possibility she might reach out, but I’m sure at this point, she’s looking forward to moving in with her boyfriend after she graduates from college in a couple weeks and she probably has no desire to talk to me.

That may not be the most uplifting note to end on, but it’s the end of this particular entry, methinks.

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Pathfinder-inspired pondering

Pathfinder is a tabletop roleplaying game based on Dungeons and Dragons revised 3rd edition (or D&D 3.5).

Last night at work I was remembering the game of Pathfinder I ran when I was dating my ex-girlfriend. The party was composed of my ex (playing a half-elf sorceror), a couple coworkers (I think one was a ranger and the other was a paladin), and the human bard I was running in addition to acting as DM/GM.

The plot was that a group of bandits had been causing trouble in the area, and the captain of the city watch had tasked our party with taking care of the problem. The reward was a few hundred gold pieces each, I think- I don’t remember if I said a firm number, but I mainly seem to remember not thinking about a reward until someone asked what the reward was. Oops, the perils of being a novice DM.

At one point, I had this idea that a human adept could be in a relationship with the bandit leader, and that she could escape the party’s assault on the bandit HQ (an old mansion in the forest) and become a recurring villain causing trouble for the party in the future. This plan didn’t work out- if I remember correctly, the ranger got a good attack roll and shot her with a longbow. In any event, she didn’t survive to escape after the party stormed into the mansion, so I think my loose future plans adjusted to make the adept’s sister the possible future villain.

Anyway, thinking about that game reminded me that I still have the character sheet for the half-elf sorceror my ex had made, and I think when we broke up I asked if she wanted her character sheet and she didn’t, so I put it with the rest of my notes from that game and I haven’t looked at it since. Continue reading

“What D&D Character are you?” results

I Am A: Neutral Good Elf Wizard (4th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength-13
Dexterity-13
Constitution-13
Intelligence-16
Wisdom-15
Charisma-12

Alignment:
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4.5 to 5.5 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many others races find them hauntingly beautiful.

Class:
Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard’s strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

The end is nigh

At first, I chose the title of this post because I turn 28 in less than a week. On further reflection, I suppose it also applies to this semester.

Apparently it’s been a few months since I wrote anything here? Let’s see, what’s happened since then…

I got a new phone and phone number last month, after 4 years of using the same Samsung Galaxy S5 and nearly 13 years with the same number. The Samsung Galaxy S7 I have now is quite an upgrade, or at least it seems that way.

I’m still working at a convenience store, and I need to be working a bit harder on finding a different job, whether that’s advancing to being an assistant manager (the idea of which does not excite me) or finding something more white-collar. Filling out job applications is more than slightly soul-draining and frustrating, but I guess that’s what I have to do (and it’s certainly what I’ve been told to do for a while now). The alternative, I guess, is cooking or being a cashier, and I’ve more than had my fill of that in the last 6.5 years.

Earlier this semester my ex-girlfriend texted me a few times, mostly asking for favors, but it’s been nearly a month since she texted me. I e-mailed her last week to inform her my phone number had changed, and after talking to her, it’s only reinforced the feeling of dodging a bullet (or an arsenal). I’m confident that one of, if not the main, reason she’s texted me in the last 6 months has been for emotional validation. It probably took me longer than it should have, but I noticed at some point last fall (about 8 months after we broke up) that she wasn’t interested in talking to me unless she initiated contact. She told me in our recent e-mail correspondence that she’s making plans for the future with the guy she’s been dating since a few weeks after we broke up, so good for her, I guess. I didn’t want the same things she did, but it sounds like she’s getting what she wants, even if it’s been delayed by a year since we broke up over a year ago.
I have had no positive developments on the dating or meeting people front, but I also don’t do anything or go anywhere, and online dating apps are not particularly exciting.

Maybe I’ll rant about it in another post, but to me, the profiles I’ve seen where young women write that they like dogs, beer, tacos, wine, coffee (or any combination of those) is not exactly unique. I’m sure the idea is that they’re marketing themselves (“look, we have common ground!”), but I think at least 50% of people like dogs, tacos, and beer, and depending on the exact interests and demographics, I bet most twenty-something people enjoy dogs, alcohol, sports, and/or live music. Sad to say, you’re going to need something a bit more unique for me to have any interest. “I like the same things as most people” does not pique my interest the way that a good line about Star Wars might, as an example. Sure, some of the bios are occasionally funny, but “looking for a doggy daddy” or “my dog is just using you for your backyard” or “looking for someone to touch my butt and buy me tacos” is basically just variations on that same theme. Maybe it works and I’m just a cynical misanthrope, but I’m increasingly convinced that I’m not going to find my next relationship through online dating and/or dating apps. On the other hand, I’ve had some recent superficial conversation with a fellow graduate student, so who knows, maybe I’m just grumpy.

I unfortunately haven’t been gaming much recently, thanks to this semester’s computer forensics class keeping me busy, but it’s been kind of interesting. My study habits could be better, but I think I’m doing okay, and hopefully will finish strong.

I still haven’t decided what I want to do for my birthday next week. Unfortunately I work that night, since I didn’t get around to requesting the day off, but maybe I can treat myself that day and go out to eat or something.

Auf wiedersehen, fair readers.

Thoughts

I completed my bachelor’s degree last semester, and this semester I only registered for one graduate class- computer forensics.

The job search is underway- I’ve submitted a couple job applications, and I need to submit a few more. One of my coworkers has been promoted to kitchen manager, which is fine, since I’ve not been interested in being a convenience store manager, but I do need to find something better. Another coworker, who has been wanting to be kitchen manager, is predictably annoyed by this development.

Nothing happening on the relationship or meeting people front- I deleted Tinder off my phone and reinstalled Bumble, but other than a few ‘likes’ nothing has happened. I suspect my pictures might be part of the problem, but I also wonder if the religious beliefs (or lack thereof) and politics are a problem. Maybe I notice it because it’s in contrast with me, but it sure seems like I’ve seen a lot of “Christian” and “Conservative” in contrast to my “Liberal”.

Anyway, the main purpose for this entry is writing about a Stellaris game I’ve been playing. Recently I’ve been playing with the idea of specializing planets to produce particular resources- an energy planet, mining planet, farming planet, industrial planet, research planet, etc. which seems like a good idea, to take advantage of bonuses, but I’m also hesitant to put all of my figurative eggs in one basket and have to deal with resource deficits if an enemy occupies the planets. On the other hand, my recent games have been at the lowest difficulty level, and it’s not hard for me to pull ahead of the AI, so maybe I’m just being overly cautious.

In the game I was playing last night, I was playing as the Holy Cevantian Empire- a militarist xenophobic spiritualist theocratic monarchy of ‘space elves’ that are native to the alpine world of Cevasia.

Near my northern border with a spiritualist “fallen empire”, there’s a desert planet that has a strategic resource- volatile motes, which I currently have a slight deficit of due to having 1 unit per month income and some industry that uses slightly more than 1 unit per month

It’s slightly funny to think about what that colonization project would be like- I can’t imagine getting a few thousand people to colonize a planet that is marginally habitable (a desert planet when you’re native to a cold, mountainous world), in addition to being far away from the other planets in the empire (6-8 hyperlane jumps, depending on your route, so that’s like a minimum of 6 months travel from Cevasia).

The Empire is, after all, a theocratic monarchy, and I imagine there would probably be some element of a “command economy”, as in “Congratulations, the Archprophet has chosen you to colonize a new planet”. Even if it’s not direct conscription, there would also probably have to be some incentives, like subsidies to lower the price of imports or lower taxes or some other, boring, financial/governmental bureaucratic measures.

I don’t have the technology yet for a prison colony (the most recent patch added the ability to designate a planet as a prison colony), but it’s also amusing to imagine this desert planet serving as a sort of prison colony or like the Soviet gulags or something.

Realistically, due to it being the closest to another alien empire (as well as the distance from the capital and home to a strategic resource), my plans for this planet, other than building the strategic resource extraction facilities, are to add fortifications and other buildings to ensure the populace doesn’t stray too far from the Holy Imperial Government.

In other news, we got a bit of snow this morning, but I don’t think the couple inches we received will stick around for very long. It might be a hassle to drive to and from work today, but I imagine before long the snow will melt.

A winter’s day

Originally, I was going to title this post “Hello, world” a la programming, then I thought of “Hello again, world”, which led to “Hello darkness my old friend”, from Simon and Garfunkel, which in turn led to their song “I Am a Rock”: “A winter’s day/in a deep and dark December”. Today being the winter solstice, it seemed particularly fitting (though the sun is shining, and recently the weather around here hasn’t seemed particularly wintry).

So, what’s been happening? I don’t remember offhand when I last wrote here, but I’m sure it’s been a minimum of a few months. In lieu of condensing six (or more) months into a post, I’ll just say that I ended this semester (and my college undergraduate career) on a strong note. Despite unexpected car trouble (after retrieving the book I loaned to my ex-girlfriend), I did well on the final presentation for one class and I apparently did well enough on the final paper for my other class, so I’m satisfied with the results.

I’ve been working less lately, which has been a nice change, though I still need to spend some time over this winter break looking for a new job, or an internship, or something. I think I’ve been burned out on my current job since at least the start of the school year- possibly, if not probably, longer than that. Continue reading

Stubborn

The theme of my gaming this weekend seems to be “Endurance”.

Europa Universalis 4:
I started a game the other night as Portugal, which starts with the territory of modern Portugal (Portugal, the Azores, and some other islands) as well as Ceuta, a single province in modern Morocco that was conquered by Portugal in 1415 and, in our timeline, became Spanish territory in 1668.
After starting this game recently (possibly Saturday morning?), Sunday night and early Monday morning I played as the Kingdom of Portugal from June 1, 1450 to July 1, 1480.
At one point, Burgundy attacked my ally England to seize Calais (in northern France), so I joined the war to aid my English ally.
To make a long story short, somehow about 20,000 Burgundian and Dutch soldiers appeared in Portugal (I don’t know how- possibly they marched through France and Spain), I tried attacking them and lost, and at some point made peace in exchange for a lot of money.

In 1455, Morocco declared war on me wanting Ceuta. Unfortunately my English and Castilian allies dishonored our alliance and did not join the war. I think England was still at war with Burgundy and Castile was at war with France. Anyway, the ensuing war lasted 22 years and resulted in 81,000 Portuguese casualties and about 60,000 Moroccan casualties. Highlights include Portugal winning victories at sea (I only lost 1 heavy ship and captured several transports) but being unable to win in Morocco- I’d occupy a province, or even a couple provinces, but then the numerically superior (and, at one point, technologically superior) Moroccan army would stomp my army, and it was very frustrating. After taking out a bunch of loans and debasing my currency (both of which earned me 62 ‘ducats’ each time, but with varying long-term effects), finally Morocco offered me a “white peace” where neither side gained or lost territory (despite me being at -60 war score). Before that peace offer, every peace offer they sent would have resulted in my ceding Ceuta and Algarve (southern Portugal), and I refused to cede Portuguese territory. I was willing to give up Ceuta if I absolutely had to (if nothing else, it would probably allow me to focus on the exploration and colonization game), but I didn’t want to give up any Portuguese territory just because Morocco had fabricated a claim on southern Portugal.

Portuguese victory was also aided by rebellions breaking out in Morocco- a peasant revolt and a pretender revolt. I supported the pretender rebels, and both rebellions occupied several provinces. Shortly after the Moroccan-Portuguese peace, there were notifications that Morocco had gone bankrupt and the rebels had broken the country. The pretender rebellion won, though the new Moroccan regime still hated my guts (despite my support after they had rebelled).

After the war, with the explorer I started with and continuing technological development, I’ve begun to explore off the coast of Africa and North America.

Mount and Blade: Warband

In my current game of Mount and Blade, I recently entered a mercenary contract with the Kingdom of Swadia, which is currently at war with all but one of the other kingdoms in the game. As a condition of my contract, I’m supposed to serve the Kingdom of Swadia for a month.

There have been a couple occasions where I meet a superior force and, by sacrificing a few men, am able to escape.

My proudest moment of this weekend was fighting a battle against a nominally equal foe- I had 42 soldiers against 37 (I believe they were Rhodoks). If I remember correctly, I lost 5 men and had several wounded while killing 32. Granted, I think I’m currently playing on an easier difficulty, but absurd odds like that are always enjoyable.

I haven’t been defeated and captured yet, though I’ve had a few defeats and, like I said, a few times where I’ve had to sacrifice a few men in order to escape.

Empire: Total War

This is the first time I’ve played Empire: Total War since July, if I remember correctly. In my last game I was playing a campaign as Sweden and had taken Moscow and was working on defeating Russia, Denmark, and Poland-Lithuania.

In the campaign I just started, I’m playing as the Ottoman Empire. I just defeated Georgia, making them a protectorate after defeating their army when they tried to break my siege of their capital, but I’m still at war with Venice (who has sunk most of my fleet), Russia (I’m not sure if I’ve actually faced them in battle yet), and Morocco.

I’ve defeated the Venetians in southern Greece, and I’m currently laying siege to the capital of their holdings in southern Greece. Unfortunately they have a more powerful fleet, and I’m not sure what I can do about that short of spending treasure and several turns building up an equivalent or more powerful fleet. Unfortunately, I haven’t quite got the hang of naval battles in Empire, but it’s particularly annoying when the enemy has a superior fleet and you don’t know what to do about it. Venice had 2 frigates (1 5th rate and 1 6th rate), several smaller ships (brigs and sloops, maybe), and a couple galleys, while I had 1 frigate (my admiral’s 5th-rate flagship), a galley, and 2 light galleys, for a grand total of 50 guns and about 250-300 men against Venice’s couple hundred guns and several hundred men. After losing my galleys in the Black Sea and retreating, I lost my flagship when Venice caught up with my admiral’s flagship and a sloop in the Aegean Sea.