Cat: Techy and Thinky

Technical Difficulties

It turns out the hard drive on 😻’s computer is shot. Other computers read it as an unformatted or incorrectly formatted data structure. It does a partial boot which ultimately BSODs even in safe mode. At this point we’ve decided that data recovery on this drive is a project for a later date, but for now we’ll get a new drive and do a fresh install of Windows and essential drivers, apps and games. It’s about a week’s worth of work, though typically the system has limited operability during this time. Sadly 😻 won’t be here to enjoy that limited operability.

The good news is that the graphics card survived, or at least appears to. If it can show startup screens, then it probably can do everything else. Right?

More Strange New Words

In a recent conversation lamenting our mutual frustration trying to suffer fools, Problem Machine gave me a useful phrase. I was complaining about the hypocrisy intrinsic to the recent Julius Caesar affair and how the umbrage over Trump-Caesar conflicted with general dismissal of political correctness, to which Mr. Machine noted It’s not really a consistent ideology.

Ideological consistency

Or Internal consistency within an ideology, if we want to be pedantic.

Consider for example a biblical literalist who thinks building a replica Tower of Babel tourist attraction is a good idea. That’s not ideologically consistent. NOT IDEOLOGICALLY VIABLE!

At this point I don’t know if developing language useful to statecraft is useful. It’s useful to me, but I’m no statesman, and this era has trashed my expectations of humanity. Still, I will continue to endeavor to collect a list, and see if it turns into a cohesive set of rules for structuring government. Or a cohesive set of rules for creating structured government. Something like that.

Is it possible to create an internally consistent ideology by which to run a state? Our constitutional framers believed so, though they expected the people of the US to be more self aware and more consistent about pushing their own self interests. At this point we can see that we humans have too many biases that can be exploited. Industrial psychology is being used like a mind-control superpower (with a little help from exploitable foibles of our electoral system).

Are these challenges we can overcome? I don’t know.

Can we reform US government, or will we have to demolish it through violent revolt and start again? I don’t know that either.

Violent revolt generally doesn’t end well.

Cat: Crises, as in plural.

In which Uriel details his stress inventory again.

Troubles, Foreign and Domestic

A refugee from a troubled household is sofa-surfing on our couch. And a critical computer hardware failure over at 😻’s place has caused an inability to game, or cope.

When the latter happens to me, I have a clear-cut response, specifically I focus all my efforts to getting my computer working again until it does. (This blog has followed this process before), in cases of grand mal failures, I resort to upgrade therapy, which is retail therapy focused specifically on making a bigger, better, happier system. And that’s what I’m doing for 😻

Regarding the former situation for me it’s a matter of exercising self-awareness. Truth to tell, I enjoy living in an active household, and was a participant in one in my late twenties. And yet, then I always could go home, pet my cat, say hi to my roommate and otherwise have quiet time in solitude. Now that I’m fifty (or will be in months), I require more quiet time, and yet my space for it is not a three-mile bike ride away. Easier to crawl to, yet easier to interrupt.

But what makes it a crisis situation is not that there’s a person on my sofa, or even adjusting while the new social dynamics become routine, but that she left her old place on contentious grounds, and there’s children involved. And other involved parties don’t entirely understand the gravity of the situation. And… and…

As such, I’m willing to endure a surfing guest until I go mad from overcrowding or whatever complications occur from extra people. If past experiences serve, that interim can run months or even a couple of years. For now, my concern is about our surfer’s life stabilizing enough to where she can make sane decisions about permanent habitation. I’m worrying about a situation over which I have no control.

The Decline and Fall

Also, Trump continues to be President. Sadder still is the realization that the Democrats are still up to their old tricks of slightly being less bad than the Republicans. Granted (as I mentioned previously in passing) Trump actually serves the resistance better in office disrupting the Republican agenda of dismantling public services with his self-sabotaging shenanigans, so we have until the elections of 2018 at least for the DNC to get its act together. But their representatives still seem to believe their problems is messaging, rather than their mostly-corporate-decided platform.

Currently, the two party’s campaigning statements go something like this:

Vote Republican: Because the Democrats are pussies and they suck.

Vote Democrat: Because if you don’t you get Republicans.

This messaging is essentially the hope and change campaign that Obama ran in 2008, minus actual hope or change. It’s what some have described as the race to the bottom. It means our DNC candidate is going to throw a bone or two towards social equality, but otherwise follow their corporate masters as per the status quo.

This presumes hate-based campaigning in order to sustain a monied-interest agenda. The thing is, the Republicans are better at it. They have better memes, and some hate non-white-males so much they’re not willing to accept a government system implemented by a black guy. And curiously, they’d rather die without healthcare than use a black guy’s system. It’s kinda culty and scary and really not the kind of people I want to share a nation with. (I will, but I won’t like it, and I want policies that neutralize such prejudices.)

We need — we want — an issues based administration. Bernie Sanders sometimes seemed to be that, or at least closer to that than anyone else. Not that I trust him. Neither Obama nor Bush were who they campaigned as once they became President. Trump was not who he promised he’d be, but he is exactly what I expected.

Until we choose to campaign and govern based on issues rather than hatred, we’re just going to see more Trumps as President, and worse Trumps. They’ll be meaner, more self interested, more corrupt, more misguided. And we’ll resist them and resent them and crack jokes at their expense, but they’ll sometimes get stuff done that continues to wreck the United States.

Our future presidents will make Donald Trump look not-so-bad the way Trump makes George W. Bush look not-so-bad. All the while, America’s aristocracy is siphoning off the people’s assets and dumping their profits into offshore bank accounts.

When the US collapses under its own bankruptcy, our wealthiest one-thousandth will shuffle off to Monaco while our various races, religions and ideologies blame each other and we go to civil war based on spite.

…Unless we can do something to fix it. Can being an operative word. It may be too late already, I’m afraid. And I don’t know what would make the difference. This is a problem I do not know how to solve.

Yahtzee’s Dream

In 2008, Yahtzee Croshaw reviewed Saints Row 2. In his critique, he imagined a yet-to-be-developed sandbox game in which the player customizes a supervillain fit for the Batman rogues gallery. Said villain would go on his rampage of mischief and mayhem until the police and eventually some Batman expies come to stop him. Mr. Croshaw’s point was that SR2 was pretty close to that game as it stood. There wasn’t much in supernatural stuff (a little voodoo and a flyable flying saucer) but the Boss (the player) had access to gunships and sewage tankers and countless other engines by which to cause explosions and otherwise make his mark on the city.

Saints Row, The Third very much defined the world as one of superheros and super-powered hijinks. Saints Row IV put the player in The Matrix which justified not only the Matrix style abilities via exploits of simulation glitches but also keeping the Boss and the Saints hostile to the environment and the systems of authority that preserved its status quo. So SR4 essentially is the supervillain game that Croshaw imagined.

Cat: Waning Hopes

I’ve been writing about the Julius Caesar controversy in which Shakespeare in the Park put the play on featuring a very Trump-like Julius Caesar (played by Gregg Henry), and the resulting outrage, and pull-out from sponsoring companies.

I find the aftermath and umbrage by the pro-Trump and alt-right to be itself outrageous and frustrating. These are the self-same voices that ridiculed the outrage and sensitivity of others during and after the election campaign, and criticized the culture of compassion as political correctness. And they demeaned uproar not just for a play in which a president expy gets assassinated, but for hate speech against immigrants and Muslims and for incitement against minorities, women and the opposition. Incitement from the Trump’s campaign was acted on not by a single gunman, but by countless vandals and assailants that created an observable increase in the rate of reported hate crimes.

So apparently, the alt-right / Trump-supporter position is not that hate speech and incitement count as free speech, but that their speech is acceptable and any other speech they don’t like is wrong.

In short, they’re not interested in a fair society. Much like the Tea Party and the Anti-abortion movement, they’re not against all benefits or all abortions, just any that aren’t specifically their own.

So I’ve been writing about it, trying to find a rational angle. Democracy Civilization depends on a certain degree of reciprocity, of the notion that rules are the same for everyone. The more we are able to respect and honor (and if necessary, enforce) this equality, the larger, more populous a nation we can have, which is needed to develop bigger infrastructure. So when people expect special dispensation for themselves, and not others, that is poison to our civilization. Our foundations molder from within, and we start separating into small distrustful subsects. Given we’re willing eager to gun down fellow Americans not from our own tribe, this is the corrosion of society as we watch it, dissolving like coral reefs.

My fellow humans are ignorant or unsympathetic or easily manipulated or displacing anger or whatever drives them to continue to be terrible. And seeing this, it crushes crush my hopes for a spacefaring future, or even a future of humankind at all.

And all this makes me angry and sad and depressed, and then I can’t write much, or very well. And I post cats.

Tips For Revolutionaries and Rampage Killers

In which Uriel engages in incitement.

Yesterday morning James T. Hodgkinson went to Eugene Simpson Stadium Park in Alexandria, Virginia where twenty-plus Republican congressmen and staffers were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game charity event. Once there, he pulled out his M4 Carbine rifle and shot up the game. Five people were hit and injured. A sixth was injured as well, but not from a bullet wound.

Although the police haven’t determined motive, the guy was a Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer and frequently expressed his outrage of Trump and the Republican party on social media. He had been monitoring the Eugene Simpson Stadium Park schedule, and is believed to confirm with the players that they were Republican representatives and interns before mustering his firearms and attacking the players. A garage mechanic who talked to him Tuesday was a bit concerned, considering how enraged he was.

Hodgkinson, you tool.

To be fair, anyone who engages in political violence is a tool with very few exceptions. Rampage gunmen, rampage truckers, suicide bombers, all tools. US employees within CIA drone-strike programs probably recognized they’re tools (…of the United States — It doesn’t help that Predator pilot team members are not treated well). But they too, like the rampaging singletons, only weaken the causes of interest to the United States and strengthen the ones they attack.

After considering a number of approaches for this topic I considered making a list of tips for would-be revolutionaries and rampage killers looking to further an ideology or political cause. But really they all come down to one working tip:

Ideally, Don’t.

Before you plan your attack, or if you’re already planning, before you further devote any more time and energy to your effort, consider the following:

Violence does nothing for your cause. Bertrand Russell, perhaps at his cheekiest, said War does not determine who is right, only who is left. When we go to war, it is, in fact, at the expense of our own causes in favor of the destruction of someone else’s, typically a rival cause, or one that is in direct opposition. War doesn’t destroy an enemy cause, rather it attacks those people currently actively pursuing to further it. Like the heads of a mythical hydra, others come to replace them, oft in greater numbers, more determined, more clever, more devoted to their ultimate triumph.

Targeting innocent civilians (even if incidentally or accidentally) is terrorism. (United States CIA drone strike programs, I’m looking at you right now.) No matter how righteous your intent is, innocent casualties are going to be seen as delegitimizing you and your cause and anyone else that identifies or associates with it. Yes, this is logically a tu quoque (you also) fallacy, but that doesn’t matter. A cause’s base will love it unconditionally, but the public will only regard a cause as having righteousness or the moral high ground so long as it doesn’t have a history of psychos killing innocent civilians in its name. Hint: Disparaging the fallen (say, calling them militants) doesn’t make it all better (especially when your militants include grandmothers and children. This insults not just the victims but also the public you’re trying to fool.)

Attacking the enemy vindicates their cause. There’s a saying that dates (at least) back to the 1960s and the assassinations of JFK, of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. If they’re shooting at you, you must be doing something right. Shooting at people is one of the fastest ways to draw to them (or their colleagues) a rush of new recruits, monetary donations and new resources. Seriously, even punching white supremacists (as entertaining as that can be) ultimately gives them more public sympathy.

Going on a murderous rampage only shows the world you’re a kook. This is to say, when Hodgkinson decided to shoot up a Republican baseball practice, he was driven more by personal problems and internal conflicts than he was by political identity or affiliations. Some of this is hinted in his unemployed, homeless conditions. Much like Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver, 1976) it was only a matter of luck and opportunity that he targeted Eugene Simpson Stadium Park rather than a Starbucks or a university or a Christmas party.

Yes, right now the public is still trying to process why he did it, to find order in a maelstrom of circumstances. Those who want to use him to disparage Democrats or liberals are eager to declare him sane and with clear intention. But this is the same line of logic that tied Scott Roeder’s assassination of Dr. Tiller to Bill O’Reilly’s ongoing campaign to discredit Tiller’s practice. Lone wolves are driven to lone-wolfdom long before they choose a particular target. And as Syed Raheel Farook and Omar Fateen have shown us, circumstances, opportunity and psychosis are typically what decide a killer’s target than the influence of media or ideology or political cause.

Murdering innocent civilians shows you’re one of the worst kinds of asshole. Specifically, it shows that you don’t give a fuck about the interests or basic rights of the human beings around you, to the point you don’t even respect their right to live. According to Nietzsche, Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. (Take care when fighting monsters, lest you also become a monster.) Whether you hate most wealth-and-power-pandering politicians, or Islamic-extremist terrorists, or abortion-clinic bombers or white-supremacist bigots, in resorting to a violent attack you are debasing yourself to their lowest level. And yes, this includes everyone along the Predator drone-strike change of command from the guy that insists some village has to be firebombed down to the pilots who pull the trigger. You are monsters, the lot of you, for what you do.

Alternatives To Shooting Up a Venue

Seriously, there are way better alternatives than driving a truck through a parade, or blowing up a plaza, or firebombing an abortion clinic, or barraging a village with hellfire missiles, no matter what your objectives are. We are driven easily to anger, considering how many people are out there being dicks, and we are fed the message continuously that violence gets results (usually because violence makes fictional stories far more entertaining than non-violence. But fiction really goes by a lot of crazy rules that are different than reality.) But it really doesn’t. It only makes matters worse for everyone and everything you hold dear. (Or more accurately, everyone and everything that you once held dear.)

As a point of disclaimer, part of the problem, of course, is understanding what your motivation is. In the Muslim tradition of Jihad (meaning struggle or effort), military or violent jihad (jihad bis saif) is regarded by most scholars as a fast-track jihad in contrast to the alternatives. It takes more work to pursue jihad over a (long) lifetime than to martyr one’s self (or to risk early death on the battlefield)*. That said, rampage killings typically have the subtext of suicide behind them. Survivors from the IRA have reported that arriving at a suicidal mental state was a natural part preparing to follow through with an attack. And provoking law enforcement responders is an effective means to accelerate circumstances that eliminate alternatives to suicide… or to get someone else to finish the job.

Notably, the greater jihad is regarded (though not by all Muslims) to be the struggle against one’s self. The struggle inward, of the heart and soul, rather than outward, by the sword, so these two tend to express themselves as diametrically opposed to each other.

That said:

Consider seeking consultation. This should be obvious, but it isn’t, and the suffering that brings about suicidal states can be disorienting. Suicide is typically considered by those who suffer from a lot of pain or anxiety or concern for their own well being. (Often justifiably so!) If you can spare the effort to do a websearch, you may find you have access to benefits advocates, psychiatric personnel, support groups, religious advisors and so on that might be able to help you out of dire external circumstances or process any internal ones. There’s a common phrase (now a tired one) in the suicide support community Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. In my own experiences with major depression, the gloom seems not only permanent, but retroactive, so even the effort of looking can seem insurmountable. Yet, if you can muster the energy, or find a friend to help, or call a suicide hotline and get them to do it for you (many suicide-prevention services will!) see if you can find and rule out support services before checking out of life permanently. By recovering enough to work for your cause, you can do far more for it alive than a single spectacular rampage ever could.

Consider suicide as a political statement. I hesitate to suggest this because we in the United States are not used to the idea of suicide as protest. We don’t even commit ourselves to death-by-starvation when it comes to our hunger strikes. When Charles R. Moore set himself on fire in Grand Saline, Texas on June 23, 2014, the public just shrugged at it. It would require a critical mass of such protests before they’d be effective or even recognized as protest. Still, China freaks out over incidents in Tibet, and self immolation as political protest remains a contemporary practice, worldwide. Enough incidents toward a cause might draw attention to the intolerable suffering caused by the status quo.

Consider sabotage. Sabotage of infrastructure, not terror attacks are the meat and potatoes of a resistance campaign against an occupying enemy. Revolution and resistance are not war against the people, nor war against the soldiers who defend and protect the establishment, but war against the system and the elite few who benefit from it at the expense of everyone else. Hence partisan activity against an occupying enemy tends to center around sabotage of the infrastructure on which that enemy depends. Ideally you would aim to cause damage that inconveniences the enemy more that it inconveniences the people, but the point is to get them to spend more on trying to stop you than you spend evading them (in proportion to your respective budgets). Volumes have been written about the philosophy and methods of sabotage campaigns, of revolution and of counter-insurgency, so it’s worth a trip to the library (or your web-browser) to bone up on what you’re doing and how. Destroy things, not people. Expect a long, high-risk road to victory.

Consider assassination. (Again, United States, I’m looking at you.) Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln (War is merely the continuation of policy by other means) according to Carl von Clausewitz. While violence should be a last (or at least late) resort, it is sometimes necessary, especially when opposing belligerents are bent on violence, themselves. The lesson of the chess (yes, the game) is that only the king matters. Capture the king and the game is over. Only he’s going to use all his available resources to obstruct that effort. So it is with anyone that holds power: Few are willing to give it up willingly, even if doing so is better for society as a whole. And in response to that Assassination is the art of bypassing all those pesky units and pieces and resources through subversive action to attack the king directly. And by doing so, (in theory) one circumvents the whole war.

The problem is, in most matters of politics, individuals are replaceable. Kings have heirs. Officers have subordinates eager for a chance at leadership. As much as The Allies fantasized (and historians still fantasize) about the assassination of Hitler during WWII, the Führer would be replaced, likely with someone more competent.** (Hitler was egotistical, temperamental, opinionated and by the end of the war beset with Parkinson’s. And still, few would dare contradict him.) Similarly, in current times, while many Democrats (and no small number of Republicans) want to see Trump impeached, he is likely to be replaced with someone more useful to the Republican legislature while they have majorities in Congress. In the meantime, Trump’s ongoing shenanigans serve to slow down the Republican agenda to a crawl and make an ongoing mockery of the GOP. My point being: Be extremely careful who you target for assassination, because it can easily backfire.

In military terms, assassination is a matter of force-decapitation, that is, attacking command so as to leave the troops without organization. In the short term, killing an officer disorients as the ranks reorganize, but in the long term, assassination can weed out reckless officers for cautious ones, and supply the force with dead heroes from which to draw inspiration. Assassination is the flip side of that quote above about If they’re shooting at you..: if you’re considering assassinating someone, it’s because you think they’re doing something right, and you hope their successor going to fail to resume that policy.

This means you will need to study your target, and be very sure that he’s the one that’s irreplaceable.

And don’t miss.

And minimize casualties, ideally to zero. The United States has a policy against assassination thanks to some botched attacks on Fidel Castro which were super embarrassing. Instead we use a policy of Targeted Killing which is to determine where a target is, and bomb that zone.

Don’t do this. Once you have civilian casualties, you’re back to rampage killing again, and being an asshole to the rest of humanity.

* As a westerner, a skeptic and an atheist, I still feel insecure about my (limited) knowledge of Islam. This explanation of Jihad is at best second hand: My understanding of matters Islam are the culmination of internet research and occasionally asking a practicing Muslim at the local grocery store. Similarly my Tai Chi instructor found my attempts to rephrase Tai Chi concepts in more California-dialect-friendly terms to be quaint and amusing but invariably insufficient. So it’s quite possible that I completely jumbled up the concepts regarding Jihad as well.

** The July 20 plot (in 1944, attempted by Claus von Stauffenberg) was the closest anyone ever came to assassinating Hitler, and is the topic of numerous movies, documentaries and books. A secret civilian sect within Berlin realized they needed to overthrow Hitler’s regime from within Germany before the Allies came, lest all Germans get associated with the evil fucks who were gleefully massacring Jews. (They were right and were blamed along with the party-line Nazis.) The plotters organized and implemented several attempts on the Führer. But Hitler evaded many attacks by pure luck. Eventually security was tightened so as to make assassination nearly impossible. Only in the Stauffenberg plot did they arrange a large enough coup to replace Hitler’s regime with their own. Interestingly, Stauffenberg was a Thulian as per Nazi mythology, and believed in German racial supremacy. He just believed that massacring the lesser people was taking things (way) too far.

Cat: ER Visit.

We (my household) had an ER visit Thursday morning. It actually was an urgent care visit that was misscheduled by the hospital but couldn’t wait for a reschedule hours or days later, so we had to go to the ER. Emergency room visits are always long and never fun, and I still resent the urgent care clinic for getting our appointment wrong and forcing us to go there.

From the ER waiting room I watched the Senate hearing of recently-dismissed FBI Director James Comey…more or less. I couldn’t hear it whenever someone came through the double automatic doors (often!) and Senator McCain’s entire line of questioning was drowned by a zombie moaning loudly while wandering around the waiting room. Stupid zombie.

So after an emergency room visit on half a night’s sleep, I was laid out for the rest of Thursday.

Then there’s this sore throat. My sweetheart had it. Now I do. Fearful of another cold laying me out for another week or two, I’ve been binging on vitamin C and zinc tablets and minding my bedrest. Sometimes its gone but I can still feel it. No other symptoms, though. My sweetheart lost her voice today, but she is not feeling fatigued or achy as would be expected with an infection. Dry air and pollen? Not sure.

Still Depressed

So I still am mopey. I suspect it has to do mostly with feeling not-quite-right, dreading yet another infection (is it or isn’t it?) and still the emotionally-weighty burden of cleaning up my room and installing my keyboard. There’s a chunk of work that’s going to be several hours, during which I won’t have a running computer. I really don’t like having my computer down. Yes, I’m that geeky / techno-addicted. In my defense, people accustomed to having their smartphones on hand will commonly freak out when the device is suddenly absent or unpowered. Having contact with the world at all times is very assuring. Still it’s a source of resistance and I’m struggling to write.

So what to do? What I may do is continue with the housekeeping I started in May. This blog has gotten long and unkempt and I need to sweep up a bit. That is to say I need to append my index so it’s current and comb through looking for appropriate tags and keywords. Doing this may also remind me of loose ends (such as some thoughts regarding Scalzi’s Redshirts) that worthy of following up on.

For the weekend, the plan is to get my keyboard into my room (even if not in an optimally-ergonomic configuration), then write to a parent and also continue my SR4 binge, featuring Diane Michelle as the Boss (aka Female Protagonist 2). I first played SR3 (the Third) and SR4 with Laura Bailey as the boss (IMO the best Boss voice in SR3 that’s not the Zombie). And yet Michelle’s adorable French dialect is doing something special for me, possibly in that Judi Dench as M kinda way.

Cat: Slow News Day

I’m less wanting to write than report local news. And gripe more about Uplay. So…

Curious Design Choice

😻 advised me of a new large update for The Division, so I launched Uplay this morning in order to update it. Curiously, Uplay doesn’t update my games automatically. Nor is there an Update My Games Now! button. There should be.

With Steam, games update automatically once Steam is launched. This can actually present a problem if the game is multiplayer or requires an online connection. Steam actually tries to detect these or other bandwidth usage and throttle back its own accordingly, but that doesn’t always work, so I just go into my downloads page and pause updates until I’m done playing.

Uplay, in the meantime, requires me hit the Play Now button before it updates The Division, so I have to wait an hour (on high bandwidth) after I just said I want to play now, before I actually get to play. This interaction seems to affirm resentment by the company that we end-users expect to be able to play the games we buy.

Incidentally, in this case, I didn’t want to play. I just want to update the game so that I won’t have to wait when I do.

Also curious: The Division window tells me the update is 2.8 gigabytes. The Uplay window tells me it’s 4.55 gigabytes. What gives?

To be fair, Steam during its dial-up years had a similar problem, just in that one didn’t actually connect to Steam except when they were going to play Half Life 2 or one of the auxiliary Valve titles. It was really annoying then, too. Steam got better. Maybe Uplay will as well. Or better yet Ubi will start allowing its games to run without Uplay, maybe on Steam.

The End of (Domestic) Apartheid

Ren and Stimpy now have full access to the house again. For a long time, Ren lived in the common area and Stimpy in the master bedroom sweet. Stimpy’s food was blocked from Ren (who would eat it all) by a selective pet feeder, though Stimpy has forgotten how to use it (Walk up to station. Look around until lid opens.) Still, Stimpy is glad for commons access, and Ren always felt left out by his restricted bedroom access, even when no-one was in the bedroom.

Ren’s weird move of the day: He’d hang out on the bed (He’s not allowed on the bed) and then, upon hearing a noise, he’d bark loudly. Usually his barking routine was to charge the door and bark, but this time he wouldn’t leave the bed. Consequently, I’d get up, see what was going on, and there Ren was, where he wasn’t supposed to be. Ren needs to figure out to be quiet when he’s where he’s not supposed to be, and bark only in dog-permitted zones.

In the best of all Ren and Stimpy worlds, Ren would be allowed on the bed again (now that he’s mellowed out, thanks to our biological intervention). Maybe if he’d be content enough to stay above the covers and not flip out. And give Stimpy wide berth.

Not yet, though.

Cat: Clutter Woes and 😻

This page is an index page for my gaming buddy, 😻. See the footnote below for details.

I’m depressed again. Perhaps I’m daunted and anxious about my room. Again, even baby-step progress is progress, and so I’m only focusing on what to do next. Really, I just want to play Saints Row 4 with 😻* and Ashly Burch all day. (Ash is a homie in the game.) Maybe occasionally eat or sleep or cuddle my sweetheart.

It also means I have little motivation for writing. I always fear these phases are permanent, but then I get over them. I’ll probably be better once my piano keyboard is in place. Maybe.

* 😻 is my bestie and my most common gaming buddy, so emojified by a cat-related Steam identity. Long before Steam existed, I was her Wookie co-pilot in X-Wing Alliance way back in 1999. We’ve been gaming together ever since.

Emojipedia notes of smiling cat face with heart eyes that no one knows why we need a cat variant of this. I know why, Emojipedia. I know.

I’ve mentioned 😻 numerous times before:

I’d been playing The Division with 😻. I’m annoyed with the persistent online connection mandate by Ubisoft, unnecessarily occupying bandwidth even when I’m housekeeping on my own.

More The Division gaming with 😻 but cursing its rhino-skinned enemies in a tactical setting.

Still More The Division. I lament The Division’s very restrictive trading rules. I fantasize a game where I can craft stuff (as I can in The Division) and then share those crafted items with friends (as I can’t in The Division).

😻 got me Grim Dawn which I’m almost eager to play. I’ve realized I like first-person games more than third-person games, and third-person (behind the shoulder) games more than top down, even though Grim Dawn does have a nice steampunk western (frontierpunk? six-shooterpunk? corditepunk?) feel. At least at the beginning. 😻 and I haven’t played it yet.

Though not mentioned by name (emoji), I’m playing SR4 with 😻 after a team-run of playing Saints Row, The Third wrapped up.