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Week 23 – Last Nine Asinine

Sky Like Clouds

I woke up around 4:30 to blue skies and cracking thunder in the distance. I decided to sleep in, so I stayed in bed for a full half hour and finally bounded out of bed around 5, promptly feeling much more tired than I had felt lying down. A big breakfast didn't help. So, I sat by the computer for an hour without accomplishing much, took a short walk in a progressive drizzle, sat by the computer another five hours without accomplishing much more, took another short walk in sunshine, ominous clouds looming ahead, ate lunch, took a shower, took a nap, and I've now been sitting by the computer for another couple of hours hearing the rain pound on the roof, seeing white light flash through the windows; finally typing frenetically. It seems storms are great resources of energy, not just electricity, but also adrenaline. :)

This past week has been all about studies, and still is, mostly. I have two assignments to go, of which I'm positive I'll finish at least one today. After today, almost two full days remain until my flight. If I hadn't had a blasting headache yesterday (probably due to the change in air pressure before this storm) I'd like to think I'd be done already, but would I really? It seems to be in my nature to leave things to the last minute, and though I have been working steadily on accomplishing tasks at hand this entire week, true efficiency only arrives in short bursts, lasts a few hours and then leaves, and leaves me contemplating, and stalling, and unnecessarily revising work that's pretty much finished. Not that that is the situation right now, but considering how light-headed I feel today I'm probably not working as fast as I could've been if I slept soundly. It's the paradox of efficiency, you get more done the more you relax. For the most part I'm just living off motivation. I watched a quick lecture on how to stay efficient though, which claimed that motivation is just a spark that you may use to light the real fire: discipline. Motivation comes and goes, so don't put your faith in motivation, don't motivate yourself. Instead, when you are motivated, build up discipline. I've been working on that today, that and studies, all simultaneously.

At the start of this week I stumbled upon a slight problem with my blog. I tried uploading a bunch of images, but most of these images kept generating a generic 'There was an error during the upload, please try again later' error message. So I spent valuable time looking around for a solution. There seemed to be none. It seems to be a general problem with the newest version of WordPress. I've found a workaround in generating new thumbnails through a plugin for images that apparently do upload but fail to generate thumbnails, and I'm hoping WP will fix this issue with the next release. Good thing summer is coming quick so this won't be bugging me until they do.

My motivation did stray one day (I mean discipline DAMNIT) and I spent a couple of hours playing Max Payne 3... but apart from that one deviance I feel I have achieved more this week than the entire past month. I'm tempted to just stop working for a bit and browse through my folders of accomplishments, hmmm... wouldn't that be nice. :) Otherwise? I mowed the lawn, cleaned the house, washed my clothes, ate the food (yessir, the fridge is so bare I might need to shop for an additional day) and eh... there's really nothing interesting to say. I'm busy today. If there's time before I leave I'll post one more before summer, if not, I'll see you up North! I mean, I won't see you, but you'll see me. I mean, you'll read my blog, which I'll write up North, and we'll get this special connection. Like when you stick a finger in a power socket, ya know? Until whenever.

* Btw, the title refers to the remainder of days I had till deadline at the start of week. Also, last.

Week 22 – A Rainy Cruise

I went on a one-day cruise yesterday, together with my cousin David. We ventured to Åland and back, explored both boats extensively, roamed around the corridors in search for lost gold and potential entertainment, played cards, ate a breakfast Buffet and watched the rain pour on the way home. At the end of our journey there was even the occasional flash of lightning, and I recorded some rainy footage I plan on clipping together, when time allows, to showcase the mysterious atmosphere of our adventure. Really though, it was a fun trip, a relaxing break in a schedule that is aggravatingly busy considering I could've attained a head-start on all my deadline work had I started everything as soon as possible. You might even say it was worth getting up at 4:30 in the morning for it.

This week has been both work and fun. My parents are both up North already, where I'll be joining them in an additional week, so I've spent this one with the house to myself. Which means... there's a lot of dish-washing, plant-watering, food-prepping, dust-swiping and post-fetching tasks to accomplish in addition to regular studies. I've been slowly but steadily emptying the fridge, plowing through half-finished assignments I've initially had no interest in completing, and at the start of the week it was going gruelingly slow. At the end of it, I started picking up pace, settling into the routine of working as if I had a real job, playing games only after dinner, watching zero movies, taking morning walks, living a both efficient and luxurious life with a formidable mind, set to formable mindset, not very much minding my form, unlike the norm, but rather educational accomplishments.

Just now, I finished a final reflective survey (or something like that) for a Creative Writing course I've been attending. I handed in the final assignment this morning, a self-reflective essay, after handing in two assignments for another course the day before yesterday (which I spent cruising). I'm feeling particularly proud of my accomplishments this weekend, though there is still much to be done. Main course down, minor courses remaining. Deadlines coming soon. The next three days will be insanely hectic, and I hope I can be insanely efficient. Let's hope for rainy days. If you're all like ??? then skip a line break.

It's getting so hot outside that the computer room still hasn't cooled down even though the minutes are nearing midnight. I'm sitting in boxers. There's no other alternative. Sitting without would be indecent. I could barely use the computer after four in the afternoon. I tried, but after a while I could hear the sound of braincells popping in my mind... in my mind. It's hard to think properly above 30C, for me, a mere Swede with a rare need of warmth even though we're cold folks with a rare greed for spare feed. I was thinking thoughts that I... where was I going again? That's why it would be nice with some rain tomorrow. Last week.

Week 21 – A Smoky Sunday

On Saturday, a balcony caught fire a couple of blocks away from where I live. The fire quickly spread to adjacent apartments, and pretty soon the inhabitants were forced to evacuate the building. The fire spread to the roof, and when the firetrucks arrived they decided to let the roof burn out completely. As a result, a steady stream of smoke rose up in a dark pillar, and when I woke up on Sunday morning, completely unaware of this passing event, the room was riddled with a fragrance of something like burnt plastic. So I closed the windows and went about business as normal.

During the day the wind shifted, and for a moment the stream of smoke was blowing right at our house. Even with windows closed the stench was a bit overpowering, walking outside didn't initially seem like a good idea, but well within the forest the smoke cleared. I took a walk with my sister to the nearby golf course, and stood for a while on a ridge overlooking the fields of houses surrounding ours. The sea of smoke was clearly visible from there, layering over the whole town like a thick mist, rushing the palisades of our buildings with cloudy intent. A soft drizzle only made the smoke thicker, but toward the end of the day when the wind was stilled, so was the smoke. I opened all windows at full and cleared out the smoke, and the next day it was all gone.

Other than this unexpected adventure? My computer's back! I fetched it on Wednesday. The people over there at computer repair swapped the GPU for a AMD Radeon HD 7790 with 2GB VRAM, put the twisted cooler back in place, moved fan control from the rear fan to the fans in front (which provides better cooling, no doubt, but unfortunately also quite a bit of disturbing sound), added a couple of lids to unused sockets and installed a bunch of updates + MSE anti-virus while they were at it. Great! I hauled it home and immediately moved over GTA SA through an EHD, and played it, for the first time ever with all settings maxed out. Nice! I tried installing GTA 4 on my ordinary computer, and then transferring the files via EHD, but that didn't work at all. At times like this, I'd rather they sold all computer games DRM-free, and allowed you to make them portable with ease. Making it harder for customers to play their games isn't going to decrease piracy. But anyway, I played GTA SA, and the next day my DVD Drive arrived. I managed to install it without short-circuiting anything in the computer (lucky!), and finally, I tried GTA 4! Finally, as in, after having wanted to play it since it was released back in late 2008. That's almost five years ago!

Since then I've also tried out Resident Evil 5, Serious Sam 2, Trackmania 2, Total Overdose and Burnout Paradise. Apart from Burnout Paradise, none of these games worked on my previous computer (Total Overdose probably would have, but I didn't know the graphics were that outdated!). Resident Evil 5 had some hacky controls, but seems promising otherwise. I haven't played far enough to be annoyed by my constant sidekick yet. Serious Sam 2 seems too bright and fuzzy compared to the first games, but I didn't expect it to be amazing. Trackmania 2 was... a bit disappointing. If I played the game for the multiplayer experience, then I might get a different impression, but since I like to play solo (unless I have people close by to play against), it doesn't have many levels to offer. The graphics are great, but the overall game is... not that special. As for Total Overdose, it seems old, the controls are OK, the plot seems like fun but the game... nah. Burnout Paradise? The first time I played it (with much lag, on my previous computer) I thought it seemed awesome. This time around I'm not so sure. I'll have to wade past first impressions before I can say for certain though.

Otherwise? Studies, sites, sorting, stuff. The time before summer is always the busiest time of the year. Last week.

Week 20 - GTA VC & Suspense

I looked around, I searched wide and far, I traversed the lands on the back of an elephant.... I mean I found two ads for computer repair service in a local paper. I gave them a call. One of them agreed to fetch my computer. So they did, they went through the components piece by piece, and this Sunday I received a notice that it was done. They had found the faulty component. The component in question was the graphic card. So, I'm getting a new graphic card!

I've also ordered a new DVD drive for this cumbersome box of power. I would have ordered two, but I plan on installing a drive with bluray support eventually, so I'm leaving one spot free. Buying such a reader now seems like a waste of price, cause they're still pretty expensive, and I don't have any B-Ray discs to read yet. DVD will suffice. The new drive reads at 24x/48x, too, which is considerably better than the ones I have on my current computer, and the older computer, and the really really old computer I still have mounted on my bedroom desk, just waiting to some day spring to life for a casual game... doesn't even have DVD! Can you believe that? My oldest computer has CD + Floppy. My older, somewhat newer, laptop has CD/DVD and floppy. My somewhat newer, old, stationary computer has floppy, one CD and one CD/DVD and my current computer has just one CD/DVD. I do have an external floppy reader, and I don't really know why this is relevant.

For the most part this week I've been in a good, exited, mood, because my computer's been in for repair and I've been expecting to hear from repair with an ear when the phones blare (but not really since communications occur by way of electronic methodics). I've also played plenty of GTA VC, too much, considering I should be focusing intently on studies (it goes without saying I've also spent quite some time studying), and the sun's been blazing and life's amazing and eh... there's really nothing more to say. I've enjoyed afternoon tea on the terrace each day, eating frozen bananas on sticks. Even when the sun's been away a summer warmth's been keeping the ice breeze at bay. That's it. That's all. It's been pretty normal. Moving on to next week...

Here's last.

Week 19 - Winter Wind Still Spins

Oh man, I'm almost a full week late with this post. Here's last week. This week? It started normally: studies, buddies, etc. It was a rather busy week, and in anticipation of the new computer I was going to get I spent some time going through the old one, diving back into old GTA games a bit. I played out GTA 3, finally (I've had just the final mission left for a few months), tried getting my corrupt GTA VC save to work with no ado (Note for future reference: never save a game at the Cherry Popper factory!), finished my GTA 3 modpack and saved that for potential future use, thought I won't be uploading it because I never bothered keeping track of modified files, so that'd be the same as uploading the full game, and then some, and that wouldn't be very legal. Since my old computer has a wasted CHMOD battery the date/time modified isn't working very well either. I also realized that GTA 3 and VC do run on 64-bit systems, they just don't work that well with integrated video drivers, so with my new computer I might be able to continue playing them after all! Woohoo! But with GTA 4, is there a reason? I'm hyped to see how that'll turn out.

The biggest news of the week though: in the weekend, after a hectic week of much sun but still a little ice-wind, I brought home my computer. I fired it up, all five fans started whirring, the lights blinked, the monitor didn't get a signal... but you've probably read all about this already. So the week ended a bit shittily, attempts at digging around myself to fix the problem, thoughts about computer repair, and that's all. Before that there was much done, but not so much interesting events I'd post about them.

Week 18 - Summer Sun Has Come

The past week passed by as normal, with work and studies and walks and buddies.

I spent Saturday at buddy Bear's place with a bunch of people, celebrating his move to a new apartment and his newly celebrated Birthday. I gave a plant and a candle holder in salt stone, and a little temperature-controlled water-powered LED light for a tap. It was revealed that the good people in Hong Kong probably don't use the same tap size as in Sweden, ARGH, because it didn't fit. But it did work when you held it under running water, so hopefully it'll be fixable one way or another. We went bowling in the middle of the night (won 2 outta 3... aint bad), ate a taco buffet and chips and dip for breakfast the next day.

I took a long walk on a quest for deserted golf balls in thorny brush and the first bicycle ride of the year with my cousin on Monday and Wednesday, both graceful days with plenty of sunrays to pave your face. The weather's been mostly blissful, and existence drifts in whiffs of... sniffable pitfulls (what rhymes).

I Watched Speed (1994) on Sunday night while placing bids on a few computers, and guess what, I got one. It's not just any computer either, it's going to be a beast! With an AMD FX-8120 processor, 8 cores @ 3,10 Ghz (8MB cache), 8/32GB RAM and a Radeon HD 5850 GPU with a whooping 1GB memory... it looks like I'll finally get to play GTA 4. Something in the back of my mind is telling me that maybe the GTA games only work on Intel processors, but that can't be, can it? If it can then can it, I'm hyped. I can't wait! I am waiting, but damn, it's a grand weight. The computer also has Windows 7 Ultimate installed, which means I should be able to emulate some old OSes this time around, making it possible to run both new and old games without swapping machines.

My current computer, which I proudly announced at the verge of the new year 2010 here, has 2 cores @ 2,50 Ghz (1MB cache), 3/8GB RAM and a nameless GPU which has been making it difficult to run all games I'd like to run. It does run Oni, and Doom, and Knytt, and 8Bit Killer and Need For Speed Underground... but it doesn't run GTA SA properly, and it doesn't run GTA 4 at all, and I haven't even tried any of other new games I've bought these past couply of years, because... why bother. Might be a time issue too. It's not like I'll suddenly have time to play all the greatest games of the past couple of years to my hearts content, but maybe just one or two... or ten or a hundred. Man I'm in a good mood today, but today is this week and this post is about the last. I'll just conclude with: it's been a blast. And here's 16/17, the first dual post of the year. See you next week; maybe earlier!

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