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Well…it’s time to get something down, even if it’s, as I said on twitter this morning, just a bullet list of things I’ve been thinking about writing and all the false starts I’ve made over the last month and a half.

Because you see it’s not that I haven’t been writing, though my word count has been pretty disgraceful. I just can’t seem to get much in the way of traction on any of these damned topics. Ah well, fair enough. It’s already a too-thoroughly groped elephant for me to start getting wound up about.

So here’s a bunch of the topic ideas I’ve started writing about or just flat-out ignored but thought was a good idea.

  • Imprurience
  • Believe your first impressions
  • All about The Hang
  • Purpose, inside out
  • Tolerate Less
  • “Friends” don’t do that.
  • Preemptive deweaselification

I’ve restarted my goofy little practice of taking a month at a time.

May was “No video games” and June is “No Soda” (flavored seltzer is allowed.)

I’m starting to realize how far I’ve fallen out of any sense of discipline at all. I’ve suspected it was true for the last couple/few months. But I’m just not getting ahead on anything.

There are a few things going on that I’m pulling in the right direction on, but for the most part I’ve been languishing, if I’m being honest about it.

It’s easy to think of anything that gets me out of the house as “something productive” and every time I come down here and hang out with the guys as “time well spent.”

But the fact of the matter is it isn’t always the case. An awful lot of the time I’m just sitting here making smalltalk, puffing on a cigar or two…or three when I should be doing something productive. Fortunately I don’t drink the way I smoke.

So I’d been fantasizing about yesterday, being the first, as the day I was going to, at 12:01, boot into the windows drive and start playing something. I don’t know, either Fallout 4 or Skyrim. Some bog standard favorite time suck.

But I couldn’t really be arsed when push came to shove. I went to bed. Got up the next day and figured, “Well, let me boot over into windows and at least make sure everything is updated.”

And that’s where the trouble started.

After 90 seconds the machine kinda froze. Weirdly. Mouse still worked, but eventually it would flood the UI message queue and just beep at me. So I rebooted a couple times, tried to run diagnostics. Same thing every time.

Went in to “safe mode”, ran more diags and of course there was nothing wrong. I tried uninstalling the last couple windows updates, patches, and applications I’d installed but…nothing.

le sigh

I tried “Reset this computer” which does a half-assed job at reinstalling windows such that you don’t lose anything. Nope. Can’t do that from “safe mode.” Okay. I’m quick. I booted into windows normally and got it started. Took about a half hour, 45 minutes to get it reset. Started up and…1-2-3-death.

I had to reformat the whole damned thing.

BUT…I have 2 drives in that box. One has linux and one has windows. I thought about it a few seconds and realized I didn’t trust the windows installer as far as I could throw it not to fuck with the linux drive. So I powered down and popped the M2 it was on.

Reinstalled everything and spent a couple hours building the box back up from the metal, installing Steam, Fallout 4, Skyrim, and Cyberpunk 2077.

Now I HADN’T, as I said, planned on playing anything. I’d actually figured that it’d be fun to just bail on the idea, long as everything was up to date, then swap back over to linux (one ‘oh shit I forgot to reinstall the drive. gotta do that’ later) and write some code.

But by this time I was so fucking pissed, having accomplished nothing all day other than getting the damned install back to baseline (and…burning about 75 pounds of boxes I’ve been accumulating, thus pissing off an awful lot of hornets, leading me to run around the back of my house waving my hands in the air yelling “fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK” more than once) that I just wanted to kill some bad guys.

So I killed all but one of my Fallout 4 save games (because why bother not starting from scratch, right? After all, it’s the first third to half of the game that’s the best anyway) and set off in to the Commonwealth.

It was minutes, a very few minutes, before I was wandering around Sanctuary, looking at the furniture and structures, taking screen shots and just generally indulging in dicking around.

And while I spent a couple hours following the general plot line to get things to a stable enough state where I could abandon it and continue with settlement building and such, I realized that I was getting something out of it that I hadn’t quite realized.

Or, more properly stated, I knew it. But I never quite realized how important it was to me. Part of it was how damned calming it was being back in that headspace. You’d think that something like that would be good for getting wound up and cathartic.

But between the dopamine hit joy of the little explorations even when I already know what’s around the next bend and the weird inspiration I get from the settings of the Bethesda AAA games. They make me want to make things.

The furniture and decorations in both Skyrim and the Fallout series both get me itching to head down to the shop. I can’t help but take screen shots of this bed or that cabinet from every possible angle and wondering what it would take to make them.

And I realized I’d been doing myself a horrible disservice by not playing for a month. I’d felt a bit lost partially because I’d fucked with my own behavioral pattern in a massive intrinsic way. But also because I’d tossed some baby out with the bathwater.

Fortunately I didn’t get completely sucked in to the thing and spent about three or four hours killing bandits and building settlements.

But it was enough. And I got all the screen shots I’d lost in the reformat process of the bed I want to build.

Next up is trying to take those pics and turn them in to a set of woodworking plans. That oughta be some fun.

But…I think I’ve got something else kicking through my head. For June I’m “not drinking soda” as I said. But…that’s not enough. I’ve set myself up a new bullet journal insert for my home-made midori traveler clone, and I’m tracking everything; expenditures, cigars and liquor, writing, coding, cleaning, mowing, reading. And I’m tracking the things I do that I shouldn’t as well, gaming, eating whole frozen pizzas, etc.

I thought maybe…maybe that wasn’t enough. Writing 3 pages every morning as I did in Q1 was ROUGH. But…I’ve got to do something like that.

This is pretty incoherent as it is. But it’s the most words I’ve put down in a single sitting in a bit too long, so I’m just gonna go ‘head and hit post on it. Let y’all sort it out.