baratron: (Sims 2)
Yarg. On the basis that my computer has become unusably slow, I'm trying to clean it up. 2.52 GB free on D: and a mere 0.99 GB free on C: might go some way towards explaining the lag. The cleaning process is itself laboriously slow and involves a number of steps. I'm clearing off a load of crap, backing up everything that I care about to our storage box (called Earth, because that's where we keep our stuff), and eventually will defragment my hard drive, each partition separately.

First, I have to figure out what the crap is. I've acquired a huge amount of dubious software lately, and I don't know why. I think it all came on the "free" CD with my digital voice recorder. Some of it is essential - others, less so. Then, I have to fight with my obsessive hoarding tendencies (which are genetic). I've spent the night on irc saying things like "someone please tell me that I don't need Sims 2 neighbourhood backups from 2006". And I apparently have 4.84 GB of Sims 2 custom content that I downloaded but haven't got round to installing! Seems like I continued to compulsively download stuff even after I was bored with playing the game. Ye gods. Then, I have to decide whether I'm keeping it or not, and if so, where I'm keeping it. It is debatable whether I need all the original .zip or .rar files for Sims 2 and other downloads, but it's definitely true that, except for the most important programs, I don't need to carry them around on the laptop.

I've also discovered that my AVG antivirus program somehow got broken or corrupted, and hasn't been checking the hard drive at regular intervals like it should. Having fixed it the hard way (*complete* uninstall, delete and reinstall - then booting up avgui.exe manually), I have downloaded all the updates and have it scanning for spyware and viruses. Various people have recommended other antivirus/antispyware programs, which I will look into once the computer's running at a sensible speed again.

This is so boring, and I want to go to bed. At least, I will as soon as everything's on the network drive. Then I can set defrag running overnight.
baratron: (pokemon scientist)
I have been annoyed with Pokemon for a couple of weeks now. (I didn't write about it at the time because it happened at the same time as the Burma stuff, and I... felt like I'd be the biggest hypocrite on Earth if I'd spent time getting sympathy about ooh, a problem in my video game when there was such awful stuff happening in the world.) This is because I dragged myself through Pokemon Ranger, which was a rather tedious game, to get the Manaphy egg. The time on my saved game was a little over 10 hours, but that didn't include all the times I messed up a capture and quit without saving - so it was probably closer to 15 hours. Got the egg, transferred it to my Pearl cartridge, saved both games - and the egg disappeared! I think it was because my Ranger is a US cartridge and my Pearl is European, but this is honestly the first time I've run into any kind of region locking on a Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS game, and I am not impressed!

It might just have been a random occurrence not to do with anything - maybe I needed to save the Pearl game again or play it for a while before shutting it down, but in the meantime I've been too pissed off to want to play Pokemon. So all my efforts have been going into Sims 2, although I still don't have any brain for creative stuff. Instead, I have been installing downloads and updating hacks - and trying to clear space off my hard drive by deleting some of my more compulsive backups. I managed to delete all my backups older than November 2006 from all three drives. Now I only have the CDs *lol*. I also deleted all my Sims 1 stuff off the file server downstairs, except for the things I'd made myself, and freed up over 4 GB of space!

My paranoid backup system was, however, justified over the weekend: when someone else suffered a catastrophic hard drive failure and lost everything - including a 1.52GB shared Neighbourhood made by someone who has since died in real life (genuinely!). As I am a Compulsive Hoarder (TM), I still had the original file, and was able to extract the useful parts, rezip it, and upload it to my Sims 2 site. I spent around 7 hours working on the thing plus another 10 hours of computer time uploading (without me needing to watch it), but it was worth it to make someone happy. I mean, I wasn't feeling well yesterday & was planning to spend the day fiddling with Sims stuff anyway.

Today, I went to a shop that exchanges games for other games or cash, and traded in my US copy of Pokemon Ranger for a European edition. I was worried that I'd get a save game with the Manaphy egg already extracted, but the guy whose save game I have is right at the end, so it'll only take me an hour & a half or so to get the egg again, rather than 10+ hours if I had to start from scratch! That is definitely A Good Thing.

I note that I still need to acquire enough spoons to finish writing about the situation in Burma :/ I knew there was a reason I have a livejournal rather than a blog :/ No one cares if I don't update this thing, as long as you know I'm still alive, whereas people expect blogs to get updated.
baratron: (sleepy)
I haven't written anything in livejournal in a week or so because I haven't had enough spare energy. I've been less dead since I read a post by [ profile] wispfox reminding me that SAD season is starting in the Northern Hemisphere. The first day that I set my lightbox alarm clock, I managed to get up after 10 hours sleep and half an hour lying in bed awakeish, rather than the 12 hours sleep followed by an hour lying in bed going "eurgh" that I'd needed for the whole of the previous week. However, I am clearly still suffering from chronic fatigue, because if I can only get 8 hours sleep I spend the entire day exhausted, and if I get less than 8 hours I'm like a zombie. It's not much fun.

Sometimes when people have chronic fatigue they have to stop working for a while. The thing is, if I stopped working, I probably wouldn't recover any better. I enjoy the work I do and it gives me a reason to get out of bed and get on with life. I know from experience that when I don't have work, I get depressed - which is a particular problem if some aspect of the chronic fatigue is seasonal depression. The best thing for me is to keep going and just make sure that I look after myself. However, it means that I run out what I think of as "brain spoons" before the end of the day.

One of the interesting aspects of spoon management isn't just the idea that we have a limited amount of energy available, but also that there are different types of energy. I notice myself that I have general "physical spoons", "leg & back spoons", "brain spoons" (for thinking with) and "emotional spoons". (Some people think that time is a spoon quantity, but I use "spoon" to mean a quantity of energy. It doesn't mean that I'm right and other people are wrong, just that different people use different terminology.) Sometimes it's necessary to spend one kind of spoon in order to gain others - like when I drag myself into London to see friends. It means that I end up spending some physical spoons and possibly some of my leg spoons depending on how much of a crip I'm being on that particular day, but in return I gain energy from being around other people. But it takes a certain amount of calculation to figure out whether something is going to help or hinder me overall.

So the past few days, I've been working for a few hours, then coming home and sitting in front of the computer doing things that don't need much brain - like sorting out my Sims 2 downloads and hacks ready to install Pets. (It's taken me about 15 hours to update hacks and make backups - I cannot play the game the way it's sold because it's broken in so many ways.) Last night I actually got round to installing the Expansion Pack, so this means that my sim-Ludy will be able to have a sim-Sylvia, and sim-h-l will get to live with a big wolfy. I still have 101 plans for stories that I need to write and videos that I want to shoot, but I simply do not have enough energy :/
baratron: (shiny)
So, I have a million and one things to do, including paperwork sorting and marking of five exam papers. Tomorrow I am working from 11am until 9pm, and similar hours are continuing all week. I have also been working on plot bunnies and props for a massive mega story that I'm going to write over my summer break in July when I have no other demands on my time.

So why am I now distracted by a Sims 2 Challenge that will take several real-life days to play properly, that I can't leave on autopilot in the background while I work, when I need to get an early night tonight? Bah.
baratron: (Sims 2)
Updated my last post with 11 more icons, making a total of 8 geeky, 6 university/college, 8 sexuality and 1 illness-related. Go & have a look! Not doing any more for now because I have a Sims photo story to finish (which was the whole reason I was looking at the icons in the first place!). But they're reasonably trivial to create, so I can theoretically take requests if you're not fussed about timescale.
baratron: (rainbow chemistry geek)
Hmmm... so, I delved into an archive of icons ripped from The Sims 2, because I needed them for something in game. Instead of getting anything useful done with the icons like I meant to, I made avatars for random friends... All are stealable with credit except my rainbow chemistry geek.

I love DNA i love biology I *heart* atoms! Chem geek love
I love maths! rainbow algebra Boooooks mmm, books!

College / University blue University sunny University is scary Graduate with honours Star Scientist Star Artist

Woohoo! Polyamory polyamory - text bi & poly
How rude! Simulated nudity! kinky handcuffs Warning: cuteness

sick + thermometer

More may well follow next time I'm bored :)
baratron: (corrosive)
It's official. Maxis *ahem* EA have spent so much time producing simulated games that they've lost the ability to distinguish between reality and fiction.

According to MaxoidSam, items were hidden in the Sims 2 Glamour Life pack on purpose. It wasn't a mistake, or a half-finished buggy item tucked away out of sight to "finish" the game on time, oh no - it was to give the modding community something to do! Yeah, right.

My friend rohina got banned from the official Sims 2 BBS for calling him on it, though uh, the reasoning leaves a lot to be desired. But I agree. Two words, one of them being "bull", the total describing excrement of a male bovine.

*rolls eyes*
baratron: (pikachu)
Of course, my natural reaction to SAD is to crave light. I make myself go out the house and experience as much natural light as possible, but there isn't really enough around to be helpful most days. So I find myself in the evenings sitting with every light in the room on, in front of an illuminated computer or tv screen.

I have been playing a great deal of Animal Crossing Wild World and Nintendogs. For anyone who understands what this means, I have paid off sufficient of my mortgage in AC WW to have the five-roomed house (four rooms you can furnish + the save room), and my Museum is almost filled. In Nintendogs I have a fierce, boundy husky called Lupa (female) and a quiet golden retriever called Ged (male), and they've been winning enough contests that I have enough money to afford a third dog, except I want to finish training those two first.

Except now I'm suffering from "DS thumb", which is a sort of RSI caused by the DS's not-terribly-ergonomic stylus device combined with my own joint hypermobility. So I need to stop playing the DS for a bit and let my thumb recover :/ Bah!

At least I still have Sims 2, with its significantly more ergonomic mouse... ;)
baratron: (bunches)
baratron: why is organising bisexuals like herding cats?
baratron: i am trying to come up with a plan for getting me, my girlfriend, her boyfriend, _his_ boyfriend, my psuedo-girlfriend/tocotox-thingy, her boyfriend and two other friends from five different towns to manchester
baratron: next saturday
baratron: starting in different places and travelling on different days
baratron: ARGH!
baratron: did i already mention that none of us have much money at all (I'm probably the most flush with spare cash of the lot of us, which is quite scary really) so we all want to do it as cheaply as possible?
baratron: we're trying to arrange car-sharing and trains and all sorts of argh

* baratron is really tired and brain-dead
baratron i got woken up by parcelfarce [1] banging on the door
baratron: i can't complain about that - more usually, they knock ONCE then stick a card through the door saying "we tried to deliver this but you were out", and then one of us has to go to bloody mitcham to try to collect it
baratron: but i was absolutely sound asleep, and also naked
baratron: so i had to try to get dressed and get downstairs without tripping on my pyjama legs and killing myself

Footnote [1]. )

* baratron dies of the CUTENESS that is her two lovely boys getting engaged in the sims
baratron: i went for the surprise engagement this time. so one of them sorta sneaked the ring box onto the table, and grimaced a little.
baratron: and the other one saw it and started bouncing on his seat, and he opened the box and saw the ring, held it up to the light, and bounced on his seat some more and grinned a lot and put it on.
baratron: SO CUTE!
baratron: and, um - how come every other gay man in the neighbourhood is eating in that restaurant today?

baratron: random ludyism: "when i was young, i thought everyone had their own personal church. because my dad had his church that he was minister of, and my mum had her meeting house, which doesn't have a minister because they're quakers, so she might as well be in charge of it. and all the grown-up people i knew had their own church."
baratron: she rang me up to ask whether i had any ideas for brighton bifest because she's going to the committee meeting about it now, and mentioned that they'e looking for a new venue, and i asked if they'd considered the quaker not-a-church, as they happily hosted the dykes for the dyke modern day of indulgence, and it's MUCH bigger than the bifest venue last year
baratron: so, there was context :)
baratron: (goggles)
I was recently the victim of an elaborate hoax. Some of you have read some of this already, but this is the full story.

The story:
A couple of months ago, I started going to a couple of new Sims 2 irc channels, where I met a woman who went by the net handle of Jorenne or Jojo. A few days after I joined the channel, Jorenne said that she was pregnant and showed us some blurry ultrasound pictures. She was very excited about the pregnancy - to the point I asked if this would be her first baby. She said this was her third pregnancy, but neither of the previous babies were still alive. She told us about her husband C, in the Army, and her ex-husband B, and his strange demands.

On Sunday or Monday of this week, Jo told us that C had been posted overseas to Kosovo. She was really worried how she'd cope with him away whilst pregnant. Then on Thursday night, she apparently went into premature labour and was rushed to the hospital. Her sister Julie logged on to the server to tell us what was going on, and F, a trainee midwife, told us what might happen. Everyone was quite scared and upset. On Friday morning, the baby Casey was born - at 26 weeks gestation, and a mass of 880g. He was in the neonatal intensive care unit, possibly unlikely to make it, and Jo herself would need to be kept in hospital until Monday or Tuesday.

The truth:
There was no pregnancy and no baby. There are almost certainly no two pre-existing lost children. We don't know if there's a husband or an ex-husband, or even the age of the woman concerned. We're pretty sure she is female and does live, or has lived in, Aldershot in Hampshire. And we know she plays Sims 2.

The warning signs I chose to ignore, why I chose to help, what I did... )

Proof of the lies and how I feel about it now. )

I've left this as a public entry with comments enabled because it is a cautionary tale. Yes, you may link to it. Yes, you may comment on it. But if I get abusive comment spam, I'll turn it off.
baratron: (The Sims)
Dear h-l,

For future reference, your password for The Sims 2 site is the password you'd expect it to be, minus the HYPHEN, as the EA site doesn't let you have punctuation in passwords even though that's the normal way of obfuscating them for security porpoises. Don't waste another 15 minutes of your life trying every single variant of the password. Bah.

Anyway, having found the correct variant to enter the site, I've just posted a new chapter of my evil Ethiopian Challenge story online at the Sims 2 Exchange: Tormented Family Chapter 4 - Profoundly Gets His Man! In which the founder's son, Profoundly Tormented, grows up and picks his partner, and the third generation of Tormented sims are brought into the world. It is very, very silly - as might be expected for any Sims challenge where you're not allowed a kitchen or bathroom or any electrical appliances in the house, yet somehow you have to keep the sims alive and happy. It takes me forever to play this family because I'm always running someone or other Downtown so they can use the facilities - but taking chances is so, so fun ;)

Enjoy! A non-Exchange version will be posted when I get home & have sufficient motivation to do so. But it seems the Exchange isn't being the laggiest thing ever in the history of the universe tonight (at least, I'm seeing it fine even though I'm connected through slow hotel wifi), so you might actually be able to read the story even though it's there.
baratron: (black)
Today, I went to Mod The Sims 2 to look for the link to one outfit that I already have. As a result, I've spent about 3 hours downloading a whole bunch of other outfits. Gah.

Sims 2 For The Obsessive Completist: Got To Catch 'Em All!

Sims 2 outfits I want in real life:
"Ragdoll" Gothic Minidress - bigger picture here
Moon Maiden - bigger picture here
Slutty Gothie - bigger picture here
baratron: (Sims 2)
Reasons I love The Sims part 814:
You get to ask questions like "if I have 6 clones, and I get every clone to Family Kiss every other clone, how many kisses will there be in total?"

The answer... )

I do love Family Kiss - and it's especially cute when it's clones kissing each other :)
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
OK. Last night involved much wrestling with Adobe Premier, Quicktime Pro, DivX Player and Windows Media Encoder. You know you're having a bad day when the only piece of software that does what you told it to is a Microsoft product :/

There's a redone version of the simFreezepop outtakes. Features more clips and higher-quality images. I seriously recommend the Quicktime versions, especially if you're on dialup. The 2.8MB Quicktime is still 640x480 resolution and almost as good quality as the 11.3MB Windows Media file.

Quicktime version - high quality. 10.0 MB
Quicktime version - lower quality. 2.8MB
Windows Media Player version - 640x480. 11.3MB
Windows Media Player version - 320x240. 2.9MB (and looks like crap, you can hardly see the sims' expressions).

Oh yeah - there's no audio, so feel free to watch it at work :)

What is it about Wednesdays? Once again, had a bloody awful nightmare and woke up panicky and headachy. Trying to become sufficiently well to leave the house :/
baratron: (Sims 2)
My sims are crazy.

I have these sims that I've been denying romantic relationships to for a while, because I wasn't sure who should get together with whom. Eventually figured it out, and yesterday I let two of them get together.

So, it's pretty obvious that the poor things were desperate. They were already Best Friends, with maxed-out relationship. (100 in both Short Term and Long Term relationship). This means it took one romantic interaction for them to fall instantly in love with each other. Just a Flirt --> Caress, and they were In Love. Not a Crush, straight to In Love. (The pink hearts floated above their heads followed immediately by the red hearts followed immediately by the big red heart with an arrow through it.) Then, the girl's Wants changed to Talk to Boy, Dance With Boy and Get Engaged to Boy, while the boy's changed to Entertain Girl, Dance With Girl and Get Engaged to Girl.

Flirt --> Caress is a light touch on the side of the face - stroking the other person's cheek. They hadn't even kissed at this point, and they wanted to Get Engaged! Okaaaaay. Y'know, even in my wildest teenage girliehood, I don't think I ever wanted to get engaged to someone I hadn't even kissed! I don't even think I wanted to get engaged to the first guy who ever kissed me "properly" (who was, btw, the bass player in my favourite band at the time - true story!). Poor little sims. I've clearly been neglecting their emotional needs.

Then the boy took the girl out on a date (as I was in his house at the time), and I ignored the Want to Get Engaged. And some more sensible Wants spun up. They wanted to Dine Out together, then they wanted to Hug each other, then Kiss and Make Out. (They made out in the middle of the road, with cars hooting at them - something that would be rather dangerous in real life.) After that, both of them had 3 Want slots clogged up with Have First Ever Woohoo With (the other), Woohoo With (the other) and Woohoo In Bed with (the other). So I relented and had him ask her home. She autonomously ran up the stairs to the bedroom, in front of him (!), and they had fantastic sex as only sims can (lots of giggling under the blankets, strange acrobatics with random hands and feet coming out of the bed, and fireworks going off overhead). When they got up again, the Get Engaged Want was back.

Who am I to ignore what is clearly Meant To Be? :D

Update: They've now been on four dates, all Dream Dates, and as a result are both walking around with permanent Get Engaged and Get Married wants. I didn't even realise Get Married could spin up as a Want for sims who aren't engaged yet!
baratron: (bi_pride)
On Saturday I had to work all day, then Richard & I went to BiFest in the evening. This turned out to be something of a mistake. It was good, because I finally got to meet [ profile] earwigmc, but bad because I realised within about 3 minutes of getting there that I was too tired to enjoy it. I'm an extrovert, in the gaining energy from being around people sense, and it takes a lot to make me over-peopled - but there were too many people I didn't know or even recognise. Just couldn't cope, so I spent the whole time I was there hiding out in the Back Room. Poor Richard, who's a natural introvert and quite seriously so, was so overwhelmed he actually left and went for a long walk instead. Blah. Sorry if you tried to be friendly and I was behaving like a deer caught in headlights :/

Yesterday I was supposed to be going to the Natural History Museum to go dinosaur hunting, but my severe spoon shortage caught up with me. So instead the Tim & Peter came here and I watched Tim play Dragon Quest for several hours while I recategorised Sims outfits. The reason I needed to do this is that a not insignificant number of my downloaded outfits are broken and show up in stupid categories - like, for example, dresses that show up not only in Everyday and Formal wear, but also in Athletic, Nightwear, Swimwear and Underwear. It drives me nuts that people tag their stuff incorrectly - especially because I've made clothes myself and know how trivial it is to get right. There isn't really any excuse for not doing it properly, as a) BodyShop comes in the same language options as the game itself, so all the functions will be explained in your own language, and b) the icons are pictorial anyway, and surely you have to be pretty daft to click the "swimsuit" picture for a dress?! Bah!

Got some real-life house ordering stuff done too, but I won't go into that because it was tedious enough having to do it in the first place without spending time writing about it as well :) I only post about housekeeping if I'm feeling down and need reminding that I got useful stuff done with the day. Today I managed to book a doctor's appointment. Somehow, despite my GP being harder to get hold of than, er, a very slippery thing, I've succeeded in getting an appointment for next Tuesday. Yes, I rock.

Richard is doing some insanely geeky stuff here that I would tell you about if only I understood it. Currently, he appears to be prodding a circuit board with a multimeter. He seems to have got himself a new "job" reprogramming paintball guns, and at least one of his firmware upgrades has been accepted by the manufacturer as the new official standard. I understand EPROM, PIC, pins, high and low, and that's about it. If anyone cares, I might be able to prod him for more details.
baratron: (pop'n music best hits)
What better to do the night after seeing Freezepop than to play Guitar Hero? :)

I can't share the "Emotions & Photos" video with you yet because we have to sort out the copyright messages and re-encode it to be less dark (even on full screen brightness the colours aren't great), but I can share the outtakes. There's no audio for the outtakes, but I think you'll enjoy them :)

Right-click and select "Save as...". They're designed to be downloaded and played locally, not streamed.
640x480 resolution. 10.2MB. Recommended, as you can actually see the sims' expressions properly.
320x240 resolution. 2.5MB. Better for people with slow connections, but less clear.

They're Windows Media format - we have to figure out what's wrong with the Quicktime installation on this PC before we can convert them. Sorry Mac-people :/ Hopefully we'll be able to do that soon.

Update: Richard is playing along to Guitar Hero with a real guitar. We are such geeks.
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
[ profile] lizenthusiasm: Oh my God!!
[ profile] seandrinkwater: This is crazy... Can we use this?
[ profile] kasson: My digital girlfriend is kinda hot. ... Hey, this is much better than the Depeche Mode video. ... I wish my bedroom was this cool in real life.

Yes, the Super Sekrit Project got revealed - in the form of a video for "Emotions & Photons" shot entirely in Sims 2. Heh. It will be online at some point - we have to figure out how to compress it, and then it's probably going on the band's official web site or something.

If anyone would like me to say anything other than "squee!", you'll have to wait a few days, I fear.

Proper gig review when I have regained enough sanity. The MASK!! by the way was a great success. Only 4 people gave me grief about it, and two of those backed down when they found out it was for medical reasons. I only actually thought I was going to puke at one point after the gig had finished, and drugzzz + Olbas Oil sorted that out. Hooray! Not least of all because this means it is no longer entirely out of the question for me to go clubbing - especially if the club is suitably musically-oriented that having people turn up looking all Cyber is entirely normal.


Also, photos.
baratron: (silly)
[ profile] baratron: i must say, i want simkasson's bedroom in real life
[ profile] hoopycat: s/simkasson\'s/kasson in my/
[ profile] baratron: :P~~~~
[ profile] baratron: i suppose if he came along with the room, that would work quite well, yes
[ profile] hoopycat: *grin*
[ profile] baratron: seriously, this is such a cool room. wanna see a picture?
[ profile] hoopycat: sure
[ profile] hoopycat: wow, that's rather neat
[ profile] hoopycat: i like the, uhh, shark.
[ profile] baratron: it's an inflatable shark!
[ profile] baratron: shark attack shark attack shark attack!
[ profile] baratron: etc
[ profile] hoopycat: of course. it's just, uhh, there
baratron: (SimFreezepop)
Whenever I go to do anything with simFreezepop when I haven't played them for a while, I have this problem whereby I feel compelled to download lots more clothes for them. 5 hours later, my Downloads folder has expanded, and I'm too tired to do anything except play dress-up dolls for a bit then go to bed. Hrm.

Today, I believe I have beaten that record. 3 hours in Photoshop, and the differences between the "before" and "after" outfits are so small, I doubt you'll even be able to notice them. ~300kb image )

What a dork I am. Still, the new version is almost identical to an outfit that real-life [ profile] kasson has now. I think the 3 hours were worthwhile...

Edit: For those playing along at home, there are 6 differences. Can you find them all?! ;)

Edit 2: More lunacy! for which I blame [ profile] meeping. SimFreezepop do Cosplay.


baratron: (Default)

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