Well, that hiatus has proven to be a lot longer than expected.

For family-related reasons for most of the last month I have been sticking generally clear of online games, and also just had a lot less time generally. This period is now coming to a close (I hope!), so with any luck some sort of blogging will occur soon. However, things are not quite settled yet, and my gaming time schedule may be somewhat reduced.

Cross fingers, though. Cross fingers.

So the blog has been very quiet this last week. There has not been very much reason for this, other than generally being busy at home, and busy at work. Oh, and I have totally gotten out of the habit of writing which doesn’t help anything.

World of Tanks

My tanking this last week has been totally dominated by the April missions to get the T2 LT. This has meant I have played a lot of Tier IV light tanks. Indeed out of the 89 games I have played this last week 41 have been split between the T-80, the M5 Stuart, the M5A1 Stuart, and the Covenanter. This has had some benefits. The first has been lots of practice in scout tanking – to admittedly variable success. It does been I am slowly grinding out the Chaffee, as well as getting the crews of the T-80 and both Stuarts further trained (38 games between just those three). Both the T-80 and the M5A1 are about to 100%, and the M5 is in the mid-90s. I have also managed to get the Ace Tanker on the T-80. Indeed, having got it once I soon got it again in another match. Personally though I think the first of those matches was the most impressive, with probably some of my best ammo selection ever in game (tip – when facing Tier V heavies in a T-80, use premium ammo).

In other tanks I have played a few games on the GW Panther, but I am finding this mostly an exercise in frustration at the moment, though not one without high spots. In comparison I have absolutely stunk in playing the Alecto. I cannot get that tank right, almost no matter what I try. I finished eliting the M4A3E8 Sherman, and otherwise continue my grinds. I have been concentrating on the T29 this week, which continues very nicely. I have also gotten in some games in the IS-4, including this game which probably counts as my best Tier X game so far – despite a couple of absolute terrible shots at the end. Although hardly the best stats, what I liked about it was what I achieved. Lakeville Encounter, north start. Pretty much the entire team charged off into the town, as did I initially. Pretty soon though I reversed course and guarded the valley. First one, and then enemy T-62As came by, joined by a WT-E100, but I managed to hold them off long enough for support to arrive and stop their flanking move. Helped, I must admit, by the WT player who apparently couldn’t aim properly.

My concentration on the missions is so far working – I am very much on schedule. I am also intending to try and get some benefit this weekend from the Anniversary missions.

Kerbal Space Program

I mucked around with building a new rocket for an interplanetary probe mission. It was not successful – not enough oomph to get into orbit. I am going to redesign the launch vehicle because my interplanetary design I do want to test. Basically I need bigger rockets – fortunately I was still using the FT-series rockets so I have plenty of potential to upgrade.

To keep things ticking along however I sent another mission to Minmus using my now proven design, which was another success. I am considering amending that design to try and grab one of these Near Kerbin Objects that have been added in the Asteroid Redirect mission update.

Crusader Kings II

My second king was called the Cruel, possibly quite aptly. He certainly became fairly loathed. He did manage though to expand Tara’s reach in Ireland, by forming the Duchy of Leinster as well. Eventually he had something like three murder plots against him, and the one that succeeded was led by his own son and heir.

Which meant I got a Kinslayer as my ruler – a new experience. In many respects the son is a very capable ruler, in particular with absolutely stellar Stewardship. On the downside when he inherited he was heirless, or rather his heirs were his nephews who were of another dynasty. His ever loving sister, deciding her sons are better than brothers, has a plot for his death. So far he is still alive. Fortunately he and his wife managed to tolerate each other long enough to beget an heir a few years into his reign as well (it appeared that they generally disliked each other). That was actually the start of things looking up – the Pope absolved him of his Kinslaying (apparently removing Daddy wasn’t all bad), a further county was added to realm, and a new town has been founded in Dublin province. Oh, and his wife died of an illness, which mostly allowed him to marry the daughter of the Holy Roman Empire. Just before I stopped playing another child was apparently on the way.

Unfortunately I did miss a dynastic possibility of expanded in Desmond province, but I have managed to get a cadet branch of my dynasty to inherit the Duchy of Orkney.

The Kingdom of England so far has had a very interesting history. I started with William the Conqueror in charge. Eventually he fell to one of Harold II’s sons, one Godwine, who had been sheltering at my court. He in turn was later ousted by his brother, one Magnus, who also had been sheltering in my court. He in turn was challenged – but defeated – an attempt by another brother to seize the throne. I get the feeling that England’s dynastic complications might run on for quite a bit.

Otherwise the first Crusade against Jerusalem has just been called. I am basically going to ignore it at the moment. I think I am next intending to expand into Ulster.

EVE Online

I am still very much enjoying my return to EVE Online. A large part of my EVE activities this last week has been researching CSM candidates, plus yet more changed game mechanics and refreshing myself on other mechanics. I think this is going to last a while.

My activities though are starting to have more direction. For example, last night I started some courier missions on one of my characters that wants to be able to use a particular research agent. It will be a bit of a grind that, but courier missions have the advantage of being things I can walk away from (by pressing the dock button) very easily if Melian wakes up.

I really hope to write a couple of EVE posts in the next week.

Just a quick note to say that, due to the depredations of my cat, my regular keyboard has been put out of action. Given I used an ergonomic keyboard and I find extended use of a ordinary keyboard becomes quite painful relatively quickly I am unlikely to be able to write much until I get a new keyboard. Unfortunately proper wonky keyboards are not the cheapest things in the world, and given this is the run-up to Christmas it may be some time before I can afford a proper replacement.

Rather annoys me as I had a number of posts I wanted to write, but sometimes that is the way it goes.

Hi all

Just a quick note to say that I am expecting the current slow rate of posting to last for all the rest of this week, before hopefully getting back to normal after the weekend.

I know in the past I have talked about how social gatherings can be quite exhausting for me. The same can also be true of periods of change. Of course, changes can be pretty tiring for most folks, but in people in my situation it sometimes seems to have a more intense effect. The change this last week has been redecorating part of the house, with family staying at the same time, including a rather chaotic weekend just gone with my brother and his 3 young children staying. Three toddlers does not equal a quiet and relaxing time!

In addition during my lunch-breaks, when I often write up blog-posts, I have now been enjoying outside taking advantage of this wonderful weather we have been getting. That has also impeded the blogging.

This week is proving quieter – and I am on holiday. We are not actually going anyway, just enjoying some time not going into work, with the odd day-trip. Also it is my birthday on Friday, so really looking forward to spending the day with my wife and daughter. Presents are all well and good – getting presents with my daughter helping me open them is even better!

Monday though it is back to work and to the ordinary routine of life, and I expect more regular blogging to resume.

One year ago I started this blog. I was inspired by the New Blogger Initiative that was Syp’s creation, and I am moderately stunned I am successfully writing still a year later. Various folk have marked the one-year anniversary of the NBI. Wilhelm, AvatarsofSteel, Ravanel, all have good fact-filled posts, and I recommend them to you.

I was something of a later entry to the NBI – it took me almost two weeks to actually make my mind up to start. The reason for that is this was my third attempt at a blog, the first two falling by the wayside. The reason why this one has continued is no doubt that the NBI gave me one thing I previously lacked: focus. This is and remains primarily a blog about my computer gaming. An additional reason would be that, some weeks before starting this blog, I started playing World of Tanks, which has provided me with plenty to write about. It continues to do so today.

Of course, one rather significant event has happened in my life this past year – the birth of my daughter, Melian. This has had some practical consequences for my gaming – chief of which is that I have essentially stopped playing EVE Online. Given I am often operating in the circumstance that I might have to leave my computer at any moment single-player games that I can pause, or games like LOTRO or World of Tanks with little sense of loss, have come to the fore. Likewise World of Tanks does not require any great thought. One of the things that also attracted me to EVE Online was its intellectual depth, but I find now I do not have the energy, and also EVE Online is not a game really conducive to suddenly leaving the computer. A very good way to die.

Does this mean EVE is no longer part of my life? Hardly. While I am no longer actively playing EVE Online, in part at least due to Melian’s arrival, Melian’s mere existence means that EVE is never far away. After all, without EVE Online my wife and I would never have met, and so without EVE there would be no Melian. One day perhaps we will be able to introduce our daughter to this world, and try to explain to her how the creation of a few crazy Icelanders is so important in her life story.

Certainly at some point I wish to share with Melian my love of gaming, to play computer games with her and alongside her. There is a concept in Danish – hygge – which has no translation into English. Sometimes it is described as a sense of cosiness, but really that hardly does the idea justice. It can be spending an afternoon with your loved ones, having a good dinner, enjoying a summer family walk, seeing an old friend for the first time in years – all these and more are encompassed. It is a sense of both the ordinary, and how special the ordinary can be. I also believe the concept can extend beyond the physical, and I think it would be very hygge if Melian, my wife, and I were all playing the same game together one day.

Dreaming aside, I do have hopes for this blog for the coming year. Firstly I hope to continue writing. I hope to perhaps include some more book reviews, if only as a way of helping me think about what I read. I also hope at some point to continue writing the tale of my continuing recovery from suicidal depression, but they have proven very difficult to write indeed. Mostly though I hope to continue to have fun.

With that in mind, very many thanks to all those have contributed to this being a fun endeavour, especially all of you who have left comments and linked here. I would name names, but I don’t want to overlook anyone! At the end of the day this remains a very niche blog – I reckon I have half a dozen or so regular readers and perhaps 10-20 more occasional readers – but then a large readership was never an aim.

Here’s hoping to another year.

Just a quick note to say that blogging has been paused on account of getting some sort of bug – for the last few days looking at a computer screen has been me feel very unwell. Hopefully this is starting to resolve now, so with a bit of luck I will be up and running at the weekend.

In the next few days I will be getting on a plane to fly to Denmark to enjoy Christmas with my in-laws. It will be the first time I have celebrated Christmas in another country and I am really excited to experience the different traditions. A few things I already know and I happily proclaim my svigemor’s risalamande to be absolutely the best in the world, but that cannot compare to actually celebrating Christmas elsewhere.

Not only that it will Melian’s first Christmas too. She will be too young to really understand it, of course, but nevertheless this is the first time my wife, Melian, and I will celebrate Christmas together. That makes it a very special occasion indeed.

I do expect to have some internet access at times, and also I expect at times to seek a little “break” from all the socialising. In those moments I may end up writing and publishing posts. It will be very much as it happens however, so posting will likely be light and erratic from a couple of days’ time to until just before the new year.

In the 8.2 update a number of tanks underwent name changes – in particular some of the lower-tier British tanks and the M36 Jackson/Slugger. The cases where the names have completely changed from what I have been using – for example the A13 Mk I is now the Cruiser Mk III and the M36 given earlier – I will be updating to the new name. Where the new name is just a relatively slight alteration from the old one – T1 HT becomes T1 Heavy – I will be keeping the older name for my tags, and most likely in my writing too.

Generally speaking I have to say I dislike this change in nomenclature. On balance I prefer the style of the abbreviations (T1 HT compared to T1 Heavy) – this is possibly an Aspergic/systemising aspect of me.

Since I am going to be going through a pile of blog posts anyway I also intending to add a tag to all my various themes of post – the tank reports, battle reports, monthly reports, and posts associated with the Tier II project. This will likely take a while to do.