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Much Jingling Of Auspicious Bells

It was a strange week, one of those that has me backtracking to pick up the pieces.

On Sunday, I called in sick.  The reason was fairly awful: I allowed my sleeping schedule to slip as the weekend began, and failed to correct this for long enough that it had been adding up for days only to come to a head on Sunday morning.  The illness was real in a way, as the fatigue was too overwhelming to do a good job at work, but it was one caused by my own foolish lack of foresight.  Recent events have me wondering if there might be more to that, a real bug complicating my fatigue.

Regardless, I made fair use of my time off, doing a solid 2-4 hours of development on my little Unity Roguelike pet project in between various errands, plays of The Division, and Elite: Dangerous.
Four medium pulse lasers drain the battery a bit too much to get much use out of that huge plasma accelerator, but it is a pretty effective way to drop their shields without having to get them into gimballed orientation.
On Monday, after work, I was still well on the wagon of indie game development, but it was more in the conceptual phase of things because I couldn't quite figure out how to do my procedural generation.  Instead, I revamped the game processes, which previously were "opening, game is running, closing" to be "opening, character generation, take player input, process turn, display turn results, closing."  

Then I played more Elite: Dangerous where I made a miserable 750k trolling asteroid belts for pirates before bed, developing doubts about sticking 4 pulse lasers and a plasma accelerator on my Fer De Lance.

On Tuesday, after work, I pretty much just played The Division.  I couldn't figure out what I wanted to do in my project anyway.

On Wednesday, it was a rather icy morning, but instead of staying home I stuck around the house an hour later than usual.  A new furnace was being installed this day, since our last one had given up the ghost, and this was rather a major utility that might have required my presence.  I finished my Christmas shopping that morning thanks to the fair miracle that is Amazon.   

After work, I managed to get distracted watching somebody play Jalopy on a stream until bedtime.  Very interesting game concept, an open world junker car traveling simulator where your income is in the from of recovered boxes and crates, your car breaks down constantly, and so you are constantly repairing it.  

An announcement went out that all schools would be closed the next day due to a strong weather storm that was going to hit, but it was strange considering it was not even freezing outside that night.

On Thursday, it was indeed a snow day, but it arrived late into the morning.  Until the very last moment, I thought I might well end up going to work after all.  But the unusual weather front arrived just an hour after I decided I would heed the weatherman's warning, and was severe enough that I would only have been able to work a small fraction of my time before the place closed due to weather anyway.  

I played another four hours of Elite: Dangerous, experimenting with different weapon layouts on my Fer De Lance, and eventually settled on one huge gimballed multicannon, two medium gimballed multicannons, and two medium turreted burst lasers.   This configuration proved much more adept at burning away hull points, but predictably suffered in terms of shield elimination.  

Then I spent the rest of the day playing Divinity: Original Sin, which is quite the timesink.  

I felt weird, headachy, sneezy.  I wondered if I might have a bug, but realized I had pretty much been sneezing all week, so perhaps as early as last Sunday I was feeling the vestiges of something.

On Friday, I still felt a bit under the weather, but the weather itself was quickly melting off.  

I continued to play Divinity: Original Sin until the evening, where I joined my mom for her company's Christmas shindig.  Shook hands with a former state senator (of course I wash my hands often so as to not be contagious) ate some good catered food, went home.  

That evening, I wisely rekindled my efforts working in Unity, starting with an easy goal of adding more flexible tile rendering rates, then adding some rudimentary work on my post-turn resolution phase.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered a 2008 game had native support for ultrawide resolutions.  It is slightly buggy in places, but so far it seems to be fully playable.
On Saturday, I was mostly watching the niece and nephew, but I managed to get a bit of Elite: Dangerous and Divinity: Original Sin in between the nephew's usual preference of Spore, Minecraft, and (more recently) Kaiju-A-Go-Go.  

Alas, there was absolutely no time to do any development in Unity but, having had two extra days off, I can't complain.

Sitting here at the end of my weekend, I feel a tad disoriented.  Despite having two extra days off, I do not feel I accomplished much with it.  It seems wholly inadequate for my needs, and that bothers me just a bit.  What went wrong?  

Grasping at straws, the following might have been at fault:
  • I am sick.  Probably.  I've been sneezing more than usual all week, and had a headache coming and going since Wednesday.  I seem to be just now recovering at the end of Saturday, but we'll see how I feel by morning.  I theorize that it is either a low level cold, my flu shot is defusing the worse parts of a flu by stretching it out into a minor week-long malady, or possibly I am suffering consequences for having an active cat box not 10 feet from my desk.  I got rid of the cat box today.
  • The weather was treacherous, resulting in a lot of fear and apprehension about whether or not I can get to and from work, as well as introduced a change in the usual schedule, which upsets the inner ape.
  • I don't really know what I am doing in Divinity: Original Sin.  I had the feeling I would have liked to take the Scoundrel companion because I think the Scoundrel's abilities are more interesting in a fight, but instead I ended up rolling a Crossbow user and a Wizard who is supplemented by the Man At Arms companion and the Enchanter companion.  It seems that the four character limit does not really permit you to create a party that can truly do everything in this game.  I have already restarted the game about five times, it is time to push forward and finish the damn thing so I can move on to the sequel, which is out in the latter end of early access.
  • I don't really know what I am doing in Elite: Dangerous.  It seems that I have decided to save up for an Anaconda, a decision made when I bought a black friday skin for it.  The current trade-in value of my pretty-much-fully-upgraded Fer De Lance is 77M, and I will need about 200M before I can get the Anaconda.  I can make roughly 1M an hour in the game from grinding pirates in asteroid belts, and I have 16M in the bank, so I am basically looking at 107 hours of grinding.  I am not at all sure it is worth my time... but the Anaconda would probably be the last ship I need, as I have deemed it better at being a true multirole ship than the Imperial Cutter or Federal Corvette due to its well-rounded armament and superior jump range.
  • I don't really know what I am doing in my own little project in Unity.  I suppose it was conceived out of my lack of satisfaction of meaningful ramifications in open world roleplaying games, so there's my primary goal right now: add that missing context.  However, there is no one best way to do it, and I am fairly bad at making decisions when I can see so many different ways could apply to accomplishing the same aims.  I am trying to make at least a half-hour each day to work in Unity, and I have done a reasonable but not consistent job reaching that goal.   This is a bit of a life's work for me, so it is a bit soul crushing to reach so desperately only to fall short.
What a potent mix of discombobulation.  What an utter waste of two extra days off it is when I am too out-of-sorts to really make good use of it.  I'll get my feet back under me yet, but this whole scenario smacks of an ill wind blowing.  Yep, it is beginning to feel a lot like the holidays.


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