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Friday, February 28, 2014

SHTFriday: Your Apocalypse Arsenal

I am talking about guns on the internet! Quick, someone needs to tell me that I'm wrong!

Also, my gun sucks and I'm not holding it properly. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Salem phones it in

Per Salem, from Facebook:
On mobile. Either cannot comment or don't have permissions. Please comment that i have said the following: my ability toucan has flown away.
I've got nothing today, either... Thursday is my "Get annoying chores done" day, which is why I gave it to a guest poster. So apparently this entire week is full of suck and fail for the entire Lurking Rhythmically family. 



Come back tomorrow, and hopefully I'll have a SHTFriday post over at Blue Collar Prepping. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Currently in allergy hell

These last few days have been miserable. If my nose hasn't been completely blocked, then it's been running like a case of Montezuma's Revenge...

... look, on the one hand I don't want to get all gross, but on the other, I have sort of made a career out of being Inappropriate Comment Girl, and so if I don't deliver on that promise of TMI then at least half of you are going to be disappointed. So if you're at all queasy, just skip to the funny video below.
Okay, so you know that Failure to Fire comic, where Mick is cleaning the cosmoline off a Mosin, and he's all "My entire world is cosmoline!" ?  Yeah, so, replace "cosmoline" with "snot" and you've got an excellent idea of how the past few days have been, and why I didn't post yesterday. I was finally able to get some relief today through a combination of double-dosing on antihistamine, DayQuil, and the rain coming in to clear out the pollen. 

On to the video. Apparently something has happened to Kapitan Von back in Old Blighty, as he's been rather good about posting regularly. Therefore it falls to me to provide you with something because I don't want to go 2 days in a row without a post.  However, because I feel like crap, I can't really be creative or entertaining... so enjoy this funny video (hat tip to Uncle Jay) and hopefully the ice cream machine will be working tomorrow.


Monday, February 24, 2014

I Bask in the Light of Forever

Dedicated to Brigid, upon the loss of her beloved Barkley, 
in the hope that this brings her peace. 


I Bask In The Light Of Forever

I know my owner misses me,
And I sure miss her, too.
I hope she knows I'm doing fine,
And I know I'll see her soon.

You made me feel so safe, mom,
You surrounded me with peace.
Going to sleep within your arms
Was the way I'd choose to leave.

I woke up in a lovely place,
And all my aches had fled.
Waiting there was a kind-faced man
Who scratched me on my head.

"Welcome to heaven, young pup," He said ,
I hope that you don't mind
Staying and playing with me for a while
Until it's your master's time."

Jesus is so good to me, mom,
He plays with me every day.
I run and I chase and I play ball and dig
And eternity just melts away.

I don't lack for playmates, mom,
There are so many friends for me here;
Doggies and kitties and children and birds,
And we romp, all love and no fear.

I bask in the light of forever,
Resting at Jesus' feet.
But every day I ask the Lord,
"When will my mom and I meet?"

He smiles and then pats me kindly
And He says "Oh, it won't be long now."
I know that He is telling the truth
Because time here flows different, somehow.

Heaven's a wonderful place, mom,
It's the perfect doggie resort.
So while I can't wait to see you,
Don't you dare cut your time on earth short!

When your time comes I will be waiting,
All wagging tail and kisses and love,
And together my joy will be complete:
I and my master, with the Master Above.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pucker Factor: 10.0

This video is mildly NSFW due to some of the language. I'd be swearing up a storm, too, if I'd almost been hit by a 500 pound bomb:




From the "About" section:

Paktika Province, Afghanistan - After spotting Taliban forces on a distant ridge line, U.S. Army mortar teams engage with 60mm mortars. A simultaneous airstrike is called in which accidentally drops a 500 pound bomb on a U.S. Army infantry outpost, mistaking the position for Taliban fighters.
Luckily there were no friendly casualties in this rare incident, due to the First Sergeant's decision to bring everyone to "stand to" before the drop. It is still unclear what caused the pilot to target the wrong position.
"If it wasn't for the decision of our First Sergeant, three of our guys would have died in that wooden building which was shredded by shrapnel."
Click here for my full interview with the cameraman.

Friday, February 21, 2014

SHTFriday on Blue Collar Prepping

Over at BCP, I have completed my three part "Zones of Assessment" series with an entry about prepping with things that are in your environment yet outside your control. If you are interested in how this is possible, I encourage you all to go read more about it.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Humans, A Love Letter

     I often refer to the human species in the third person, instead of the collective pronoun of "we." This is partly due to extremists on either side of the socio-politio-religious (yes, I made up a word) spectrum that tend to be quite vocal about things that really shouldn't matter so much. Humans can do and say a lot of really disgusting things that make me ashamed to be included in their number.

     On the other hand, if I may borrow from one of the greatest audio shows of all time, the words of Spock, portrayed by Leonard Nimoy:

"Humans drafted the Magna Carta, invented the abacus, composed Injubulus Symphony, painted "Starry Night", danced the Dying Swan, built Stonehenge, the Empirial City, the pyramids of Giza, discovered radium, spun sugar into cotton candy, fashioned gutta-percha put into a boll, and cast it in dimpled white, hit it with a long stick five hundred yards into a tin cup and made the practitioners of this feat rich men."

     I'm really kind of a fan of humans. This translates into my gaming habits, as there's many games out there that let you pick not only male or female, but species as well. I always roll human. Sure, Dwarves might be stronger, Krogans might be more resilient, Asari might live a thousand years longer, and Elves might be bastards, but give me a human any day. Us humans, we can do anything. I can't, for the life of me, remember the source of the quote, nor can I the quote itself, but on Star Trek, probably Deep Space Nine, there was a quote about humans that's stuck with me. You take 10 Klingons, you've got 10 fierce warriors. 10 Ferengi, you've got 10 shrewd businessmen. 10 Romulans, 10 expert spies. But you take 10 humans, you don't know *what* you're dealing with. They could be anything. You can't plan for humans.

     We're so unpredictable that we even buck our own science sometimes. According to the food chain, we should be at the mercy of Lions and Tigers and Bears (oh, my), and on an individual level, there's very few humans that could survive an encounter with one of these higher-order predators unarmed. Only, we're so sneaky and unpredictable that we're more likely to, instead of facing one head-on, see the threat and do something like spend a few generations breeding a loyal pack of canine like a wolfhound or mastiff that will fight that predator for us, or build a tool that will propel bits of metal chemically at lethal velocity from a safe distance.
  • Rule 1: Humans cheat.
  • Rule 2: Humans cheat better than anything else that's ever existed within our environment.
  • Rule 3: Humans cheat so well that we've established verbal and conceptual constructs to describe cheating, as well as a library of symbols with which we can communicate these constructs to other humans, and machines that can carry those communications anywhere in the world at the speed of thought.
     So yeah. Humans suck sometimes. But I think, given the choices, I'm really happy to be a human.

     Sometimes.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Game Store: Floodland



Floodland

Inspirations: It can't have escaped your notice that much of the UK is currently, not to put too fine a point on it, soggy as hell. Combine that with my known love for gothy dirges and here we are. Yes, it is another scenario about rain. What did you expect? I'm British!

Systems/Genre: Let's keep the fantasy focus for a while; this is good for any game where killing everything you can reach isn't necessarily the wise option. Blue Rose or Novarium immediately spring to mind, or - if you ratchet up the darkness and situation-as-puzzle quotient - Lamentations of the Flame Princess. And, of course, any situation which starts with "so it's a fantasy world and everything's gone to crap" is perfect for Warhammer Fantasy Role Play. For your conventional 'murderhobos' game (this would really work for Iron Kingdoms or Pathfinder in that respect), I suggest statting out the Witch in more detail and going for a straight up 'wizard's tower with a twist' approach.

Which Witch?

This Witch.

I swear I'm not just looking for excuses to post pictures of Chelsea Wolfe.
The Witch moves seemingly at random through flooded forest and foetid fen, flitting from field to field in a semi-submerged sandbox environment. Low buildings are uninhabitable; taller ones are slums and shanties dwelt in by the desperate and despairing; life is a matter of fish-snatching mushroom-gobbling subsistence, treading carefully over wet rot and carnivorous oozes, fighting off swamp goblins and existing in uneasy co-existence with the local ghouls. What? Those corpses have to go somewhere and it's not like we've been able to bury them for six months.

Six months? Yep. Long enough for people to adapt to this way of life, even if it's not quite normal; long enough for things to have settled down into drudgery after the first sudden manifestation. Or maybe it's always been like this; maybe your campaign world has room for undiscovered pockets, isolated sub-communities - if it's Iron Kingdoms, dump it in the Thornwood, if it's WFRP, head for the Wasteland or the deep Drakwald.

Anyway. Back to that Witch. She's flooded and isolated the lands for miles around as a punishment. Maybe she's a druid who wants to reclaim the land for the sake of the Balance; maybe she's a new twist on the Dark Emissary, a figure of beauty as well as horror; maybe she's just powerful and lonely and scorned; maybe she's feuding with your Novaria. The floods won't go down until she sends them down, but of course, you have to find her first.

The Floodland is not easy to move through. Progress will be slow, and hazards plentiful. Oozes, goblins, ghouls, Gatormen, Fimir, carnivorous plants, shambling bog-horrors, myconids allied with the Witch who like everything all dingy and wet thank you very much - she doesn't have 'minions' as such, but she stirs up hazards wherever she goes.

And how does she go there? Maybe she's on a simple, spartan raft, unknowing and uncaring of the havoc that's wrought in her wake as the monsters are riled up and unleashed. Maybe she's on a steamboat - a ramshackle, unsteady environment that collapses under the PCs' feet as hostilities begin. Maybe she has a floating house pulled by a dozen 'tame' alligators, or lashed to the back of an immense and hungry water-worm. Maybe she's gone all Baba Yaga and her home moves on stilts.

'Stopping' the Witch could - and in my opinion should - be more about finding out why she's done this and what she wants than about simply smacking her over the head with a guisarme and checking out her loot table. I really think of this as a Blue Rose scenario; someone's done wrong by her, she's over-reacted, and if you can just persuade her that there's another way, she'll settle down and dismiss the waters before moving on or coming quietly. In something like Novarium, it's more about eliminating her rivals; once she feels safe, no longer pursued and hounded by her former peers, whether because they're dead or because they've been persuaded to reconcile, the waters will be suffered to fall. Of course, you could just peg her as 'overzealous minion of the Devourer Wurm' and shoot her, but I happen to find that sort of thing a little dull.

Besides, who'd shoot someone who looks like Chelsea Wolfe?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Not sure if I'm professional enough to have a business card...

... but fortunately for me, these cards are entirely UNprofessional.

You had to have known that there was going to be a pony involved. 

While the internet may be SRS BSNS, I've pretty much made a brand out of being off-kilter. I mean, I'm a queer gun-toting gothic My Little Pony fanatic, which is a pretty small subset of oddity. In short, I am weird, and I luxuriate in my weirdness.

Apparently the internet likes my weirdness. That was how I scored my first review, after all: who else but a weirdo would think to ask "Hey, why don't we give this laser sight to a novice shooter in her 70s and see how well she can install the thing?"

It worked, and now people give me things and in return I write words about them. While I don't know if people make purchasing decisions based upon my advice, I do know that my reviews are pretty darn popular, if pageviews are any indication.

So, weirdness is my stock-in-trade, and I honestly don't care how "professional" I look. I am me, and that is sufficient.

I'll be passing these out at NRACon in Indy this year (April 25-27). If you see me, I'll happily give you a pocket full of weirdness to take home.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday Gunday: Riflemods' Mosin-Nagant Magazine Extension (Palette's Product Reviews)

Back on February 8, blog-buddy Awelowynt posted this video to my Facebook wall:





I was immediately thrilled by this, because not only is my love for the Mosin-Nagant well-known, but also because various people have been promising magazine extensions for my beloved "nugget" for quite some time now, and yet none of them have followed through on it. (Datamancer, I'm looking at you.)

And then comes along Bryan Cathey of Riflemods, who in the span of less than a year has gone from idea to prototype to purchasable product.


It Must Be Mine

http://www.dorktower.com/
Naturally,  I had to have one of these.

I sent Mr. Cathey an email asking if I could get one for review, and not only did he send me one, but he talked to me on the phone for over an hour, telling me the history of how he developed the Mosin Magazine Extension, and what it's made from.

Let me tell you, friends, this is a seriously well-built piece of kit. Per the inventor, this magazine extension has:
  • all steel construction
  • every piece precision laser cut
  • all TIG welded construction
  • a heat-treated spring clip
  • high quality hardware
  • black oxide coated finish
  • the adjustability to fit tightly to variations in the Mosin mag/trigger guard
Best of all, it's 100% made in the USA !


Unboxing & Assembly

A few days later, I received a package from Riflemods.  Top to bottom, left to right:  magazine latch and hex key; magazine extension in shipping configuration with spring held down with a rubber band; a spare spring.

It must be noted that a regular purchase does not include the second spring. It was included with mine so that I could test its durability without damaging the extension itself.

My initial impression is that, just like the Mosin-Nagant, this is a durable piece of equipment. Everything is coated, even the spring, and while I am not a believer in "testing to destruction" I feel it's safe to say that this extension will handle just about anything you can throw at it, with one possible exception:

If you dropped a fully-loaded magazine from waist-height or higher, and it landed such that there was lateral (shearing) force on the connection points, it could possibly bend or break. However, looking at how this beast is installed -- hinge in front, latch in back, and the flanges on either side to prevent wobble -- it might just survive even that.

(One square = 1 inch)

Here is the magazine extension  in its natural configuration. You will note that the spring extends upwards into the receiver, which means that it cannot hold ammunition while detached. This is why I have been very careful to refer to this as a magazine extension and not a magazine in its own right.

The good side of this, however, is that you can still perform an ammo dump with the extension like you could with the stock magazine; you just need to rotate the body of it out so that the spring clears the magazine, and the rounds fall right out.

It was very easy to install the extension to my Mosin. Given the differences in tolerances between models, years of production, and countries of origin, any "one size fits all" product will require room for adjustment. Mine was ready to go in under 15 minutes.

When you buy this extension, you also receive an email with a link to a private video which shows you how to install it. As it is private I will not be posting the link to it here. However, I have received permission to share it with anyone who is seriously considering this purchase. If you are so interested, let me know and I will send you the link.


How It Performs

I took it to the range yesterday, and fired 65 rounds through it. (I had intended to shoot 100 rounds, but my shoulder pulled a Will Smith and went Aw HELL naw! after I tried to load the next 10.)

Between my first volley of only five rounds (I wanted to make sure the spring would feed properly) to my final volley of 55-65, I did not experience a single jam, malfunction, or failure to feed. 

I didn't have any problem charging it with two stripper clips full of cartridges. I didn't  have any problem dumping the unfired rounds when the range went cold, nor did I have a problem when I put it back in place after going hot.

I can't think of anything better I can say about this magazine extension. It makes a promise, and it delivers on that promise with 100% effectiveness. It does what it says it does. It just works.

This is bad. Never do this.
There is, however, one thing a user needs to know:  when inserting the bolt, the spring has a tendency to catch on the lip of the bolt face. If the operator were to slam the bolt forward without first checking, this could result in damage to the spring. However, this problem is easily alleviated by simply waiting to insert the magazine extension until the bolt is already in place.



This is proper position. 


It is worth noting, though,  that simply cycling the action will not cause this problem. It only occurs when removing the entire bolt from the rifle's action, and not when cycled back to the loading position.



Is It Worth Buying?

This is always a loaded question, as there is a certain amount of disdain for Mosin modifications by the purists.  "Why would you want to bastardize a perfectly good piece of history?" is a frequent critique, as is "Why would you spend X amount of money on a cheap rifle that's only worth a hundred bucks?"

Generally, these boil down to either "You're polishing a turd" or "Stop doing this thing I don't like."  With this made plain, I usually ignore and/or mock the people asking the questions. However, as this is a review (and I've been lectured told that I have a responsibility to my readers to tell you if it's worth buying, and so I must address these concerns.


Really, the only strike this product has against it is its price tag of  $140. Yes, that's quite expensive, but in return you get a 7.62x54R rifle with double the ammo capacity, and given that Mosin-Nagants are cheap, you could look at the situation like "Well, I could spend $600+ on a 10-round .30-06 rifle, or I could spend $100 for the rifle and $140 for the magazine extension and still have $360 to spend on ammunition and other fun things."

If you like having increased ammo capacity for your Mosin, it's worth it.

If you enjoy modding your Russian beast, it's worth it (and a quick and easy mod to make, as opposed to bedding the action).

If you like the idea of other people looking at your rifle in awe, going "Is that a Mosin with a ten-round magazine?", it's worth it just for the expression on their faces.

But if you're a purist, or you can't abide spending that much on a $100 rifle, then it's not for you.


My Rating: A+.  I wish the price was lower, but given the quality of design and the fact that's a specialized item without a lot of demand driving the price down, I can't argue with Mr. Cathey's decision. I sincerely hope that he achieves great commercial success with his products  (he makes muzzles brakes as well), and perhaps that increased demand will reduce cost somewhat.

If you wish to order either a magazine extension or a muzzle brake for your Mosin, you may reach Mr. Cathey at info@riflemods.com.



Obligatory FTC disclaimer:  While I received this product for free, when I contacted the manufacturer I inquired as to the price and offered to buy one. The manufacturer chose to send me one for free and in no way required me to give a good review in exchange for product. If you've ever read my reviews, you'd notice that if I have a problem with a product I will say as much. Now go away. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Meanwhile, over at Blue Collar Prepping...

Because I'm still wrecked from my 8+ hour headache yesterday, I'm calling an audible and running a guest post.  It's still worth checking out, even if I didn't write it.  Remember, we have new posts every Monday through Friday, so if you're not a regular reader, Fridays are a great time to get caught up with what happened during the week.

I really ought to confess...

... that at this point, I'm doing this to troll the purists as much as any other reason.




What's Russian for "My Mosin goes up to 10"? 


I'll review it after I take it out to the range. Oh, the horror that is my life...

Happy VD

These are still some of my proudest creations.

The first rule of Valentine's Day is, you do not celebrate Valentine's Day.

I call them "Fightentines". It would do my blackened heart good to see them shared.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ms Temple, You Have My Apologies.

     There's a pretty solid consensus on the topic of black-face. At the very least, its insensitive. A relic of an outdated period in entertainment history that's no longer necessary. It definitely qualifies as the big "R." The word that's casually thrown around these days on Tumblr. But I'm not saying anything here that's new. That's pretty well accepted in the world today.

     Eighty years ago, Shirley Temple starred in a movie called The Littlest Rebel. She was seven years old at the time. A seven year old actress in 1930s Hollywood. I can only imagine, given the stories I've heard from modern-day child stars, just how little control Temple had over her own life at the time. She appeared in black-face in a scene in this movie. Shocking as that is nowadays, that was, if not normal, at least *not* shocking for the time.

     Three days ago, Shirley Temple passed away. The majority of the world, I'm happy to say, remembered her as that cute little pixie from the 1930s. Some people remembered her for the good she did outside of her acting career. Some people are utter bastards. If anyone's still entertaining the thought that the modern 'social justice' movement is filled with well-meaning people who are upset about actual injustices in the world, put aside that notion. I'm not linking to anyone's specific statements, but feel free to Google the words if you really want to.

     "How freaking sad it is that this precious gem won’t live another day to denigrate my people with racist, minstrel bullshit"

     These were actual words that were written about somebody who was the US Ambassador to Ghana. About someone who was one of the first celebrities to go public about breast cancer. About a woman that ran for Congress in the 60s. The first white girl to dance with a black man on film. I take heart in the fact that there are far more voices decrying this disrespect than there are voicing it.

     But the thing that bothers me the most is that the people who wrote these things likely didn't give a second thought to Shirley temple in the days, weeks, even decades leading up to her death. They saw it posted on Yahoo! News and got a instant rage-boner when they saw a new excuse to be edgy and offended. Because being offended like this gives them yet another excuse to be.. I'd say "Holier than thou" but then I'd be insulting the moderately religious. If you're going to be this shitty of a human being, you should go picket funerals like your ideological colleagues on the other side of the socio-political horse-shoe like that cult in Topeka. You'd be in good company. And if I may be allowed to predict their response to this: I'm not apologizing for racism. I'm apologizing for your behaviour, to the memory of someone who worked for a lot of good in this world.

Next week, you'll see what I had, ironically, to say about how great humans are!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Game Store: The Day The Monsters Blew Away



The Day The Monsters Blew Away


That's the question on the lips of every hired sword/gun/blaster in town. It might be considered a good thing in the cities, but out here in the edge-lands, on the wild and woolly borders of civilisation, it's something of a mixed blessing. Farmers and prospectors and outdoorsy working-folk are A-OK with it, but the economy doesn't turn around subsistence, hoo no. Round these parts, the big money is in the summer's adventuring season... and this year, there's nothing out there to kill.

All anyone remembers is the storm; the unseasonal winds that lashed the land for a hundred miles around, the rain that fell like a million tiny hammer blows and drove all but the most foolhardy indoors. When the sun finally came up, on or about day three, even the smallest of dire rodents and overgrown household pets had gone for a Burton, let alone anything at which a seasoned and moneyed veteran of the sword-and-sausage brigade might take a swing.

In a moment's desperation, one local landowner turns to rather desperate measures, encouraging the adventurers to turn their equipment on one another (and before you laugh, this is how some Britons deal with our ban on hunting with dogs), hiring some to assume contrived (and dangerous) monster costumes and be targets of others. One or two local loonies get the wrong end of the stick, of course, whether accidentally or on purpose: the result is a bizarre, colourfully-costumed massacre, and a fourth group of adventurers/law enforcement semi-professionals are drafted in to bring them down. Not, of course, that they can necessarily tell the difference between the groups... after all, a lunatic in a costume becomes quite hard to spot if they just put on a different costume. Things come to a head when someone seriously proposes that a disliked local figurehead should put on an outfit of their own - after all, what are monsters without a boss fight?

In the end, the search is on for whoever took the monsters away, and here's where things get interesting. God did. Or the gods did. Or, if you've decided that this gonzoid mess is fit only for Paranoia, Friend Computer decided to withdraw the provision of monstrous threats from Outside on the grounds that Communism comes from Outside and therefore stage-managing intrusions from Outside could propogate Commie propaganda.

The point is, we've been asking for the monsters to go away for so long that someone finally noticed. It wasn't until they went that we realised how much we expect them to be there, and how strange our stories turn when they're gone.

Resolution? Perhaps there isn't one. Perhaps the divine must be petitioned to return the offending articles. Perhaps it's a thirty-days-and-thirty-nights kind of deal to teach us a lesson?

This Session Brought To You By: A slow news week, half of Berkshire being underwater, and a terrible day's teaching.

Recommended Systems: particularly bizarre one-off D&D, Advanced Fighting Fantasy, Savage Worlds etc.; possibly Deadlands, with a Western twist that the monsters have been yanked back out of the world by some metaphysical twist; Paranoia, obviously, because ordering four teams of Troubleshooters to respectively stage, thwart, misinterpret and shut down a monstrous incursion, with a briefing issued by a higher-grade officer's cat, is just par for the course in that game.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Languages of Pellatarrum: Elven

Imagine the sound of water: sometimes flowing, sometimes raining, sometimes crashing. Sometimes it is the gentle lapping of waves against the shore; other times it is the thunderous roar of the tsunami.

Always, though, is the universal constant of motion. Trapped water is unnatural, either artificially constrained (by man) or of dubious health (a still pond where nothing lives).

So it is with elves; so it is with Elven. Always moving, always fluid, be it a babble or a murmur or a roar. A still elf is a dead elf, and a silent elf is either dead or trying to kill you.


"Patience, Corwin. Sequence and order, time and stress! 
Accent, emphasis... Listen." -- Brand, Sign of the Unicorn


Spoken Elven is a syntheticmoraic language, delivering syllables in a manner different from English. Stressed syllables are pronounced for a longer period of time (and with a higher pitch) than unstressed syllables. So while an articulate speaker might put stress on some syllables, the timing for each mora remains the same regardless of the stress or pitch.

    Elven has three "dialects": field, familiar and formal, used for hunting/combat, relations with friends and family, and the polite language of court and law, respectively. The spoken versions are a strictly atonal moraic double-marking fusional languages and use a dizzying array of prefixes, infixes, simulfixes, transfixes and suffixes, although only the field language uses duplifixes (children may occasionally use duplifixes in the familiar speech; it is considered a mark of immaturity, much like human children saying "me want" instead of "I want"). All three versions are atonal, however, and use virtually no stresses to distinguish between different words. 

While the language is atonal, tonality may be used for other purposes. Usually it is decorative embellishment to make the spoken word more pleasing to the ear, but tonality can also be used to cast a spell's verbal component while chatting about a completely different thing -- it is often said that elven sorcerers can cast glibness before they've stopped saying "Hello"). In battle it can also be used to frighten and terrorize the enemy, and it is no coincidence that most banshees are elven. All of this makes it very hard for non-native speakers to gauge tone or intent, which leads to the common conception that all elves are even-spoken madmen who can go from calm to murderous without raising their voices. 

    Elven poetry has a smooth, flowing sound, but their spoken language is more like waves against rock, or dripping water with a steady and definitive (sometimes even hypnotic) rhythm. Most non-elves regard it as "beautiful but boring", and more than one famous political soliloquy has been mistaken for a lullaby.  The elves think that the idea is ridiculous, to the point that a frequent elven proveb on ignorance -- in fact, the sentence that non-elves hear the most when in contact with elves --  is "To hear the wind and think it water." 
     
        Conversely, this confusion also means that human poetry is also meaningless to elves ("What's a pentameter?" "Syllable weight." "Huh?") and explains why they consider humans to be artless savages. Elves are capable of understanding the art of dwarven verse (highly structured, like haiku or old Norse poetry), but consider it dull and formulaic.
         
              Elves are practitioners of circular breathing, and because of this they can talk for what others races consider an abnormally long time. Indeed, it is a common rhetorical practice for elves to talk at the same time as their opponents, obscuring the debate with a torrent of conflicting verbs. Skilled elven courtiers are able to listen to both sides simultaneously, positioning themselves such that each debater speaks into a separate ear. This makes elven debates a physically fluid affair, as a debater maneuvers for position such that his audience can only hear his argument; his opponent doing likewise; and the listeners jockeying for the prime position between the two. Human diplomats have observed that an elven debate is somewhere between "an opera and a soccer match, with no way to keep track of the score until the audience indicates who won." 
               
                  This long-windedness serves them well when dealing with other races: they talk over their opponent until he has to take a breath, in which case the elf dominates the conversation. The only race on whom this does not work are the dwarves, who simply wait with the patience of stone for the elf to exhaust himself after talking for hours and then make their point. Unfortunately, by this time the elf is too fatigued to listen, and so the conversation accomplishes nothing. After too many such failures, both sides created ambassador races, designed specifically to communicate more effectively with the others. 
                   
                      This decision served the elves far better than it did the dwarves, as no elf wanted to be an ambassador to the orcs or the dragons;  orcs had a distressing tendency to strike (or kill) the diplomat in a fit of anger, and dragons were either amused by the longwinded audacity of elves and refused to take them seriously, or exercised their fearsome presence and scared the elves into quietude. 
                       
                          It is believed by many (mostly dwarves, but some humans as well) that Elven is madness in a linguistic form, an insanity that is transmitted by reading or listening, and that if they learn the language, it permanently alters the brain, leading to erratic (chaotic) behavior. While there is no physiological reason why dwarves cannot learn Elven, there is tremendous social and psychological pressure to shun it, and so they tell themselves that they are physically incapable of speaking or understanding it, and thus will not abide it in their presence.

                        Specifically, there is no real-world language similar to Elven. There is no such language on earth, or anything even remotely close to it. The closest approximation is "imagine the drunken love child of Gaelic Irish and French, with perhaps a bit of Hindi and/or Arabic thrown in."


                        Written Elven, on the other hand, is strictly analytic. In order to conserve space (and because the reader can go back for clarification if necessary), any grammar notifications are done at the beginning of the sentence. Needless to say, elven use of punctuation is also maddeningly complex, and non-natives tend to feel a bit dyslexic when reading it. Reading it aloud is nearly impossible for reasons which are difficult to explain, but can be illustrated by means of analogy -- look at the picture below and try to read it aloud without first studying it:



                        Written Elven shares the same root words as spoken, complete with field/familiar/formal dialects. What is most curious, however, is that elven culture despises writing. Like Celtic bards and druids, elves view the written experience as something that can never come near the oral presentation. As suchs they only write down instruction manuals, legal documents, and the like. Their sacred texts are never written down, nor is any of their art; the former would be profane, the second barbaric. However, this has not stopped non-native speakers from making such transliterations.

                        Visually, Elven bears a strong resemblance to Diwani Arabic, and is notable for three defining characteristics:
                        1. There are no straight lines within its script.
                        2. It is "more cursive than cursive," in that there is no need for the writer to ever pick his pen off the paper, even for punctuation. Letters never have dead-ends or dots or crosses; everything loops. 
                        3. It utilizes the boustrophedon style of alternating sentence direction. There is no standardized starting direction of written Elven and is a matter of individual preference; reading direction is indicated by the position of grammar notifications at the beginning of the first sentence. 




                        This concludes the "Languages of Pellatarrum" series. 


                        This article would not have been possible without the contributions of Demonic Bunny. 


                        The answer to the sentence diagram shown above is:  "Using a new kind of stroke rehabilitation therapy, scientists have shown for the first time that the brain can be coaxed into reorganizing its circuitry so that people regain nearly full use of partially paralyzed limbs, even if the stroke happened years ago."

                        Monday, February 10, 2014

                        Monday Gunday: Amateur Gunsmithing

                        So, a while back (June 2013 to be precise), I took a young man -- the son of a family friend -- shooting. He did very well for his first time at the range, shooting better than I did when I first went shooting. (I took this as a compliment on my skills at instruction.)

                        This was him at 25 yards. 

                        Towards the end of our session he was complaining that the rifle (Rev, my bolt-action .22) wasn't properly feeding the rounds and that the nose of the bullet was getting caught on the upper lip of the chamber. I wasn't terribly surprised to hear this; I've had this problem with Rev before, and it was pretty damn expensive to fix.

                        This time, I was determined not to go through a month-long process of waiting for some semi-retired gunsmith to allegedly "fix" my rifle. Instead, buoyed by my success at amateur gunsmithing when I modded my Mosin-Nagant, I thought to myself, Fuck this noise, I'll figure out what's wrong with it and fix it my own damn self. 

                        The first step in fixing it, of course, was figuring out why it was doing what it was doing. In my family, this is known as "knobdicking," and thus I knobdicked with the action to see if I could determine what was wrong. 

                        The bullet isn't nosing in like it's supposed to, I mused, so therefore there's a problem with whatever makes it nose in. What here looks like a nosey-innie thing? Ah, I bet it's this strange little flange thing sticking into the receiver just in front of and on top of the chamber. Let's fiddle with it a bit, shall we?

                        Huh. It's wobbling. I would think that this kind of thing shouldn't wobble. Can I make it stop... oh, look, it seems to have broken at the point of wiggle. Well, THAT can't be good. I'm 99% certain it shouldn't do that. I believe I've found the defective part!

                        Suitably encouraged -- seriously, I've never been happier to have found a broken part, because for once I knew exactly what was wrong, and it looked inexpensive -- I went online to see if I could determine the name of the broken wobbly flangey thing. 

                        God bless Numrich Parts Corp. They had a handy exploded diagram of my rifle, and I was able to determine that the broken part was called a "bumper" and that it cost all of $2.35 (plus shipping). 


                        Hooray! I ordered the part, and when it arrived I eagerly took my rifle apart to install it. Okay, huh, it looks like this hinge-y bit here locks into a crevice on part 18 -- that's the barrel -- so I just need to detach the barrel from the receiver. Okay, it looks like it's held in place by two screws. Okay, no problem...

                        Problem. They aren't screws, they're pins. You have to drift pins out with a hammer and a punch, right?

                        I don't have any pin punches. Damn. Off to Amazon I go...

                        After getting advice on Facebook for what I needed, I went shopping and came back with a Wheeler Universal Bench Block and a set of pin punches. This is when I definitely went down the rabbit hole of being a tool owner




                        Fast forward past the hammering and the obligatory swearing, and we get this: the receiver sitting on the bench block, the (finally!) detached barrel below it. 









                        New bumper on the top, old broken bumper on the bottom, broken piece extracted from detached barrel to the right. 












                        New bumper, freshly installed. 







                        More hammering (and swearing -- the swearing part seems mandatory) and I had the barrel re-pinned to the receiver.  Now for the moment of truth:  does it work?

                        Of course it works. This isn't rocket surgery we're talking about. Hell, this isn't even true gunsmithing; this is basic disassembly/reassembly. A trained ape could do this (probably easier than I could); actual gunsmithing takes actual knowledge and skill.

                        Not only do the bullets nose in every time, I seem to have conquered Rev's ammunition pickiness: he'll now eat any .22LR round I have. The bolt is a bit sticky when ejecting the spent cartridge, but I imagine that's just newness and it'll smooth out before long. My only real concern (and this is where the input of real gunsmiths would be appreciated) is if the bumper is going to chronically fail, because if so, I should probably buy a half-dozen or so, just in case.

                        So, compare and contrast:
                        • When taken to a gunsmith:  $50 parts and labor, and no access to my gun for a month. 
                        • When I did it myself.: $44.33 in parts (plus whatever shipping was), but I got to keep all the tools, and it was fixed within 2 weeks. 

                        Winner: Doing it my own damn self.  Even though the difference in price was negligible, keeping all the tools was a definite bonus (and I've used all of them multiple times since then), and of course I got the satisfaction of doing it myself and learning something new. Useful idiocy, ho!

                        Friday, February 7, 2014

                        Hey, Erin, you forgot to write a post...

                        ... huh?  What do you mean I didn't post today?  I clearly remember posting something this afternoon.

                        Crap!  I completely forgot that I have two blogs now!   Sheesh. Whose crazy idea was it to add a second one?

                        Oh.  Right. That would be me.


                        In that case, how about you folks heading over to Blue Collar Prepping and checking out my SHTFriday article where I continue my discussion about Zones of Assessment (Les Stroud is totally gonna sue me for using that without his permission)  and I dissect my Get Home Bag for your edification and pleasure, along with accompanying photographs and many fine hand-crafted HTML links.


                        Thursday, February 6, 2014

                        The Something-or-Other Games of 2013(ish): Part the Second

                        The Somebody Made an MMO I'll Play award: Defiance
                        Honorable Mention: The Secret World


                        I've explained this before. It's usually just a couple of things that bother me most. Having to hold down a mouse button to move the camera, and spamming number keys to attack. Defiance, by merit of it being cross-platform with consoles, includes gamepad support. I didn't feel like a puppeteer, I felt like I was in the game. I wasn't spamming keys for 11 different powers, I had one power that I specialized, and I was pulling the trigger of my gun. The first night I played, I was a punky, red-headed alien girl with a shotgun and a cloaking device that was running around a terraforming-gone-wrong apocalypse turning heads and blasting mutant creatures.

                        teehee Not-Han Solo just hit on me. Totally not flustered.

                        I've tried several times to get into the honorable mention game, The Secret World. Despite the highly interesting conspiracy theory meets supernatural monsters world, the fact that it plays just like every MMO that's frustrated me turned me off again and again. I so wanted to like it, but I just can't wrap my head around how to play these games.


                        The Nostalgia Done Right award: Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon
                        Honorable Mention: DuckTales


                        Far Cry and Far Cry 2 were very pretty games, but somewhat frustrating in their save mechanics, and a bit hollow on the gameplay/story ratio. As a result, I was holding off on Far Cry 3, even though I'd heard it was a much more captivating game than its predecessors. In the meantime, a small spin-off game happened to be released; a low-priced title unironically named Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. This is a game that takes a hazy memory of the 1980s, wrapping it around Terminator and Aliens star Michael Biehn and throwing everything from neon animals to dragons with lazer vision to collectible VHS tapes, book-ending sections with 8-bit style cutscenes and over-the-top guitar solos. The 1980s may never have *actually* been like this, but this is how I'd like to remember them.

                        It's like a He-Man playset had sex with a Def Leppard concert
                        Speaking of the 1980s, one of the finest platformers of its day makes a stylish return with the new Ducktales game. The maps and mechanics are preserved exactly, and  the 8-bit graphics have been updated with visuals that look nearly hand drawn, faithfully recreating the popular animated series. Tying it altogether is the soundtrack, which takes the original catchy MIDI tunes (including the greatest earworm of all time, the main theme), and recreating them as well with modern musical software.

                        The So Boring Its Painful award: Terminator Salvation
                        Honorable Mention: Kane & Lynch Dead Men


                        There's good games, there's bad games, and then there's games that perform the worst sin of all. There's boring games. Terminator Salvation is, possibly, the most boring game I've ever played. I've heard that it's only about 4 hours long, with no extra features at all. I couldn't tell you. I had originally planned to play the game at a high-visibility time of day, with the non-steam shortcut renamed to something cheeky, like HL3.ReleaseCandidate.exe and troll my friends list. I made it 30 minutes. Stiff, floaty animations. Weapons that had no impact. Dull, lifeless voice acting. A desaturated color palette. The entire 30 minutes I spent playing this game, I just wanted to be doing something, anything else. In a year that included the release of Modern Warfare 2, Street Fighter IV, and Batman: Arkham Asylum, Terminator Salvation is a shameful waste of a good license.

                        Instead of subjecting you to this game, have a screenshot of something more exciting.
                        Kane & Lynch Dead Men had been on my radar for a while, partially due to the Great Gamestop Incident of 2007, in which Jeff Gherstman gave the game a 6/10, and was summarily dismissed due to pressure from Eidos. I am happy to report that this shining beacon of mediocrity is deserving of the 6/10 score that it received. Avoid it.

                        The Oh My God They Went There award: Saints Row IV

                        Oh, Saints Row. You were the first series I finished after my aforementioned GTA incident. Saints Row II was a monumentally terrible PC port, with confusing controls and terrible optimization, but damn it was fun. Saints Row The Third upped the wackiness of II, and improved the port quality. Saints Row IV has gone completely balls-to-the-wall insane. It's referencing things with such frequency that, were it not still keeping the gameplay fun, would be annoying in another game. The opening of the game alone has everything from Pride and Prejudice to Conan to Zero Dark Thirty. The tvtropes page for Shout Outs is possibly the longest one I've seen. And just when I thought it couldn't get any more ridiculous, it throws the doorway scene from Love, Actually at you.

                        I missed you, Fun Shaundi!
                        The First Game To Make Me Realize Its Time To Updgrade award: Metro Last Light

                        So my rig is going on 3 years now. It's still pretty capable, and if I start turning down graphics options, I can run pretty much anything in my collection (almost.. looking at you, Crysis 3..). When I got Metro Last Light, the sequel to the critically acclaimed but sadly overlooked Metro 2033 (seriously, go play these games), it was the first time that I'd had to bottom out my graphics settings. This is a magnificent looking game, but it is SO demanding. You've heard me complain about optimization before? Perfect example here. I was managing to keep it in the 45-50 frames per second range, until I went onto the surface from the underground metro tunnels. The fog on the surface sent me plunging under 20 frames per second. I'm showing my PC Gamer Problems side here, as I'm fully aware that an 'amazing console game' like GTAV will drop into the teens periodically, but I can't do that. I expect more out of my games, and Metro Last Light was the first game to push my system so hard that I decided to upgrade.


                        Some of that GPU-killing Fog
                        The Surprisingly Not as bad as I'd feared award: Batman: Arkham Origins

                        I'll be brief, as I spoke about this one previously. Given the change in development studios, voice actors, and visual redesigns to look more Nolan-verse, I was dead set against this game, and only picked it up because of the deep, deep sale I managed to find on it. I was blown away by how good it actually was. I still think Roger Craig Smith is the least convincing Batman I've ever heard (stick to Ezio, my friend) and Troy Baker is too talented a voice actor to just be doing an imitation of Mark Hammill. I'm of a mind that the Nolan-verse aesthetics should only be applied to live-action works. But the game still won me over by the end.


                        The button prompt says it all. Beatdown.
                        The Most Adorable Love Letter to Gaming: Evoland

                        This is seriously the most adorable game I've ever played. I won't say much on it, because you should all experience it yourself, but it's a short little romp of a game that starts out looking like a Game Boy RPG, and slowly evolves and upgrades the world until you end up with a late-PS2 era RPG, and every step of the way it shows you just how much it loves the genre.

                        Hell of an unlock, if you ask me
                        The I Feel Terrible that this game was so underrated award: Remember Me
                        Honorable Mention: Mars: War Logs


                        Why am I so frustrated about Remember Me? Because it was a decent game. Because it got so little attention. And because the usual social justice bullies should have been celebrating a game with a mixed-race female protagonist that's out to take down an corrupt corporation in a class struggle set in somewhere that's not America. But I see no praise of Nihlin and the story here. That just cements it for me: that crowd doesn't care about progress, because it ignores what progress is made. Play this game, anyway. It's a fantastic game, and the things I mentioned earlier just *are.* They don't beat you over the head with anything. A decent game telling a strong story that more people should experience.

                        Such an intriguing world. More people should see it.
                        I'm only maybe halfway finished with Mars: War Logs. I plan on finishing it pretty soon, too. I can recommend it for anyone who was a fan of Red Faction or Dune or if you think a jailbreak on Mars with ritualistic cyberpunk might be up your alley. Just be warned: the combat is ridiculously difficult. 


                        The Proper GOTY Award: Shadow Warrior
                        Honorable Mention: Assassins Creed IV


                        Out of all the games I played in 2013, there's one game in particular that stood out as knowing what it was and being the absolute best at that. Shadow Warrior was originally a first person shooter for the PC back in the wake of Duke Nukem 3D, and while it was good for the time, I preferred its sister title Blood. The pedigree for the 2013 game is impressive. Flying Wild Hog is the developer, who made the awesome (and underrated) Hard Reset, and the publisher is Devolver Digital, who publish in the grey area between AAA and Indie titles, and are probably most famous for the Serious Sam series. The premise is stupidly simple. You're a cocky young thug of an assassin named Lo Wang, and shit goes wrong when you go to collect a sword for your boss. Demons start appearing and you have to kill them. You get a witty sidekick demon named Hoji for comic relief (who manages to do so without once being annoying). But the most important part is that Shadow Warrior goes about being the best damn game it can be, enjoyable from start to finish.

                        Nothing says old-school like a 40 story boss that you aren't going to be climbing.
                        Honorable mention for GOTY goes to Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. Disclaimer: I'm not one of the ones who hated the last couple of AC games. I thought Revelations was, mechanically, the most solid game in the series, and ACIII was a fascinating look at American History. That said, the hype around ACIV was pretty much justified. Being a pirate is damned fun, Edward Kenway is an enjoyable asshole, and (ok, fine) the naval combat is pretty damn fun, too. As someone who holds the series near and dear, ACIV is a fine addition, even if I could have done with more cities and less tiny islands.

                        Wednesday, February 5, 2014

                        A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Game Store: 'Operation Dawnrazor'


                        Operation Dawnrazor

                        The experiment has been very well buried. Official records only speak of it in the vaguest of terms; codenames, miscellaneous research exercises, a roll of deceased that simply states ‘died in service’. Was it found among the ashes of a downfallen civilisation? Was it summoned from some impossible dimension beyond the stars we know and see? Or was it built in some secret foundry on some artificial world, built or colonised then laid waste by the birth of a superweapon?

                        Wherever it came from, the Mourning Sun is online.

                        It looms over the settled worlds of known space, prowling between the licensed or safe lanes. Its shadow falls across the beetle-backed ships, and a profoundly dreadful hunger falls upon the crews. Most shiver and retch and overcome it - some few go mad, turning on one another in a cannibal frenzy, destroying themselves and their vessels. Perhaps it’s a sacrifice, or perhaps they fear something worse; the actual strikes.

                        An eye opens, silhouetted across a sun, and a shadow falls across all in the path of its brilliant light. An eye closes, and the sun goes out, guttering and devoured by a ravenous technology that’s at least half magic. At first, the consumptions are sporadic, and they can be concealed, but when a major system of the settled spheres is under threat - perhaps, in smaller universes, the whole of the settled sphere, clustered ‘round a single star, the first and only sun to mourn - the secret becomes impossible to keep. Perhaps a world is consumed, farthest from the sun’s light and warmth, as both flicker and begin to die? Either way, the truth is coming out.

                        A mission is launched, in direst emergency. How might our heroes come aboard? Perhaps they’ve found something in the darkest recesses of archival stacks, an indication of how the Mourning Sun was built/ summoned/ found/ born/ delete-as-applicable/ all-of-the-above. Perhaps they’re on the first research flight: “what the hell is that on the sun and how do we get rid of it?” Perhaps they were responsible for it in the first place. Perhaps they are members of a secret order that’s awaited this terror since the ancient civilisations of deep space rose and fell, leaving only their archaic architecture on isolated, backward worlds. Either they know how to stop it, they’ve been told how to stop it, or they need to find out how to stop it.

                        Dawnrazor. Is it a device? Some extraordinary explosive of planetary proportions, something between neutron bomb and electromagnetic pulse? Is it a ritual, that summons something from the same dark outside to call the Mourning Sun home, or a force of alien destructive light from some other plane to oppose it? Is it the ceremonial weapon of a long-dead order of knights galactic, who have waited through centuries of perverted and forgotten legend for this terrible moment? Maybe it’s the key, the control device that can actually steer this sunmunching monstrosity? Maybe it’s simply the ship commissioned or assigned for the run.

                        Once aboard - or astride - the infernal device, larger than worlds, it becomes clear that there’s (almost) no coming back. When the Sun goes down, night falls for everyone aboard. Maybe, just maybe, if the explorers’ ship can be rendered operational again, there’s a solar flare that can be ridden out into the system at large. Maybe the inhabitants - the ethereal or mechanical dwellers on/within the Sun’s surface - have some means of escaping themselves. Maybe, if you’re feeling a bit grimdark, the crew of Dawnrazor are meant to die - this is their punishment, their chance to achieve glorious valediction and vindication post-mortem, instead of being forgotten as anonymous petty criminals or remembered as the creators/invokers of the Mourning Sun?

                        However it goes down, there should be a race against time, and only one way off the Sun, and the destruction should of course be… convoluted. The bomb has to be laid at a particular point, the heart of the nexus as it were. The ritual can only be conducted in three chambers, equidistant around the enveloped star, and there’s some speeding from one to the next involved, whilst pursued by the Sun’s defences. The control room lies on the far side of the sun and the defences were left on automatic. This thing is a tarrasque in space, a monster-as-puzzle that will take time to solve; time that the crew of Operation Dawnrazor simply don’t have.


                        Recommended systems: a strange and unusual Serenity hack (the single-system setting); Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Deathwatch; Spelljammer or maybe Planescape; Traveller, though you’d have to ask our hostess for stats in that one.

                        Inspirations: Fields of the Nephilim, obviously; Warhammer 40,000’s Necron and Chaos background; The Fifth Element; Transformers: the Movie (the cartoon one where you can see what the fuck’s going on); Firefly; that shot in The Empire Strikes Back where the Star Destroyers fall under the shadow of something bigger.


                        Author's Note: choosing a mere five Nephilim songs on which to base an eldritch space adventure was not easy at all. Maybe ‘Preacher Man’ will get a fair crack of the whip somewhere down the line...

                        Tuesday, February 4, 2014

                        Meltdown in progress. Please stand by.

                        OK, so here's what is going on in my life right now. Warning -- whining ahead.

                        My father (who just turned 78) was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease last year. He's on medication for it and is responding well, but he's turning into one of those creaky, slow-moving old men who can do less and less, and I'm having to do more and more for him.

                        My mother has some kind of lung problem that's been bugging her since at least November. After a barrage of tests and specialists, the pulmonologist finally determined via CAT scan that she has scars/ nodules/ cysts/ some fucking thing inside her lung, and so she needs a bronchioscopy. That's scheduled for the 22nd (yay, more waiting). She's often out of breath and lacking energy, so she's probably not getting enough oxygen. Because of this, I have to do more for her, and be there for her more often.

                        Did I mention that when someone in the family gets sick, dad acts like it's a massive fucking inconvenience directed specifically AT HIM and basically acts like a petulant, sulking child? Or that mom is so goddamn stubborn that she'll work until she almost passes out rather than ask for help?

                        And we also have two young, energetic dogs who are more than mom can handle by herself (and dad can't be bothered to help with) and so I'm constantly having to stop what I'm doing in order to take care of them -- let them in, let them out, play with them, give them attention (which is fine, but they're both NEEDY because, let's face it, this is not an emotionally healthy home and they reflect that), and generally take care of them. And I love them, but I just a certain amount of time per day to be left alone without someone AT me all the time.

                        And of course there's my inability to live the way I want to live because I'm living with two "all fags burn in hell" arch-conservatives, and that's because I am financially unable to take care of myself. The great irony here is that even if I *could* take care of my money needs, I'd still feel like I was abandoning my family.

                        So I'm stressed for a variety of reasons, but mostly they boil down to "I'm trapped by finances and guilt and cannot make a single positive change in my life." Pile on top of THAT the worry about my mom's health, increased duties and responsibilities, sexual loneliness and frustration, the knowledge that for as long as I'm stuck here I'm never going to be an attractive choice for a mate, and it all turns into a gigantic pile of I AM OVERWHELMED AND CANNOT HANDLE IT RIGHT NOW. I just want to lock myself in my room, turn off the lights, and cry, because -- joy! -- my monthly depression happened a week earlier than expected, and caught me unaware. Because it ambushed me, I wasn't prepared to handle it, and so it hit me worse than usual.

                        Now, before I go, and before you respond, you need to know that:

                        • It's not your job to solve my problems for me.
                        • I know the world doesn't owe me a damn thing, and I accept this.
                        • I am venting because it releases emotional pressure, not because I am an attention whore or am trolling for compliments.


                        That said, if anyone wants to pray for me, I would be pathetically grateful. I need all the emotional and spiritual support I can get.

                        The Fine Print


                        This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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