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22nd May 2015

4:34am: Well, this journal is mighty rusty...
Oh crap, I have neglected my livejornal for little over 4 years!

Since my last entry, I changed jobs, moved back to Japan, and got married.

Wow.

I have been reading my old entries-- my god I used to write a lot.
Facebook sure did destroy my writing habits...

Anybody around, still??

(2 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

23rd January 2010

5:15am: A Suikoden / Spice & Wolf Ending Parody
This is a pretty good quality parody of the Spice & Wolf anime ending
using Nash & Sierra.

http://zoome.jp/ssize-club/diary/3/

(3 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

19th October 2009

9:11am: October Update
Work
Had my semi-annual employee evaluation, and received very good comments from the boss.
Whee. Always glad when people tell me how useful I am.

Shoes
Bought some new shoes.
This is the first time I bought shoes online.
I think I'll never go to a store to buy shoes again, because this is convenient as heck.
The new shoes are very comfortable (I always get Hush Puppies brand shoes).

Illness
Still a real pain.
Now I have joint pains and periodic nose bleeds.
Last night was particularly bad with pretty bad pain in the joints
between the pelvis and femur. Fortunately things are much better this morning.

Uncharted Waters
Just fighting against illegal loggers in Brazil to raise my character's swordplay skill and military level. It's great to be uninvolved in politics, although I'm always invited to the Venetian political chat room.

(1 I see dead people | Laa laa)

22nd September 2009

5:19pm: Disease
I spoke with another person who had Wegener's Granulomatosis for 15 years since she was 15 years old. She told me she lost one of her eyes 5 years ago due to ganuloma formation within her eye, and her nose cartilage collapsed due to perforations caused by granulomas. She now lives with ane eye-patch, and is awaiting reconstructive surgery for her nose.

What's interesting is that all this happened 10 years into her illness, and I've only lived with this condition for 2 1/2 years! That means I still have the possibility of being able to have a reason for wearing an eye patch! Whoa! Wouldn't that be awesome.

Losing depth-perception will suck, but technology that auguments lost eyesight is improving very rapidly these days, such as a sensor you can bite that sends electrical signals to your tongue, which allows you to vageuly see things. I've also heard of a "tooth camera" which directly connects to your ocular nerve or something. Either that or I can put a cool fake eye into my empty eye socket... or a USB connector.

(4 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

11th September 2009

2:52pm: Cape Verde
Uncharted Waters
The Republic of Venice will be helping England fight against the Spanish and Dutch fleet off of Cape Verde.
Ottoman Empire also voted to help us out. I'll be unleashing my caronades at Spaniards and the Dutch all weekend. Woo hoo.

Meanwhile I have pretty much single-handedly developed Hiva Oa to the point it produces Papayas, Mangoes and Bananas on my server. Most people consider that island as my island.

Arror Root
I was bored the other day so I made some red bean paste (anko) with no particular purpose. So I decided to use some arror root I had left over to make arrow root mochi.
It's very easy-- just dump the chunks of arrow root starch into water, add some sugar, and stir on mid temp on the stove until it starts to coagulate. After the mixture starts to turn clear, dump it in some container and cool it. Then it will solidify and become jello-like. Add red bean paste and you have a genuine traditional Japanese confectionary.

Work
Work has been going very well.
I like beating the odds.

Illness
I've been feeling like I'm about to get a cold or something, and this feeling has been going on for two weeks. However, nothing full blown has happened other than this consistent throat pain and strange phlegmy feeling in my throat.

(1 I see dead people | Laa laa)

13th August 2009

5:04pm: I guess I should do a monthly update
Illness
Had a CAT scan done and the result shows I still have granulomas in my lung.
Thus, doctor says I must continue my chemo longer, although the dosage is pretty low by now.

Apartment
My apartment is so cool!
Man, I love the place.
There was a fire only a block away though, at a candle shop that opened only a month ago.
That must suck for the owner-- to have planned for a shop for a long time only for it to go up in smokes after a month.

Life in general
I have no idea! I'm just merely existing and I really don't mind the simplicity!

Work
Work goes on although it's somewhat uneventful.

Car
I think I should get a new fender because everybody stares at the part where there's no paint!

Healthcare
The healthcare fiasco is stupid! How much misinformation can stupid people believe in? The "death panel"? Give me a break. The death panel already exist, and they're called the insurance company. They always try to dictate my treatment when they have no medical training. That should be illegal!

Uncharted Waters Online
I managed to claim the small island of Hiva Oa for the Republic of Venice.
How odd that French Polynesia ends up in the hands of Venice!!
The island produces wonderful things such as Mangoes, Papaya, Bananas, Coconuts, Vanilla Beans, Cassava, Yams, and Fish Meat, so perhaps this island can be called a "desserted island" or something (herring pie!).

(3 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

25th April 2009

11:09pm: Finally moved
Big Furniture
I had a local moving company move my large furniture today.
They sent me an army of 4 people to take care of the job.
The owner of the business was a really fat old man who was also the father of the 3 other guys.
He didn't come out of the truck at all.
The others were two teenagers and one guy in his late 20s or late 30s who looked like he was in the military (very lean with a crew cut).

They were really fast with their job and I was pretty frickin impressed.
They managed to carry the massive couches via window of my apartment.
It was definitely worth the $280 I paid!

So now I finally have my heavenly bed at the new place, so no more futon!

Cake Shop
After the move was completed, I visited the cake shop under my apartment to thank them for the free goodies they left me the other day. Two ladies run the business and they sell cookies, cupcakes, and cakes which they decorate to customer specifications. They also sell misc. gifts (I didn't pay attention to them).
I asked them how their business is going, and they said they're being kept really busy, and things are going well. I told them to let me know if I'm too loud, etc.

Weather
It's starting to get warmer here in Ohio. Today I actually felt hot.

Acura ZDX
This new and strange vehicle has finally been announced.
I worked on it since even before it's concept stage, working until midnight in the design studio.
Of course, my job focuses on how to reduce cost so I didn't really work on the styling etc, but I did
try as hard as I can to make sure its panoramic roof doesn't get axed as a part of cost reduction.
That feature is what basically defines this model, and without it this car would be pretty boring.
I don't expect the car to sell tough, given the economy.

Uncharted Waters Online
Elections are coming up for the next Doge.
However, nobody has been nominated and for that reason I'll likely continue as "Acting Doge."
I've been in this position since last July, so I'd like to shed this responsibility soon!
Next month Venice will likely launch an attach on one of the ports controlled by the French (such as Athens), and I don't really wanna do all the preparations for the war.
Providing provisions for everybody else, managing chat channels for enemy location info and to provide supplies to battleships, providing materials to repair ships, coordinating with allies and running strategy meetings... it's pretty tough, and it goes on for three days.
I'll try to have somebody else handle that task.

(Laa laa)

17th April 2009

5:46pm: Cake
I went home yesterday and the cake shop (called the "Ribbon Box") on the first floor left me a gift box with a card saying "welcome to the neighborhood!" The gift box was wrapped in robbons and contained a large oatmeal raisin cookie, a large m&m cookie, a large chocolate muffin with strawberry whipped cream and a large banana nut muffin.

This is great!

(5 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

11th April 2009

11:23pm: Moved
I finally moved into my new apartment.
I still have stuff in my old place, but I moved my base of operations to the new place.
Obviously this is due to changing my cable internet service location... but it did force me to move a bunch of stuff within a short span of time. I unwired my PCs (and the XPS 720 is one heavy PC), disassembled my desk, and reassembled everything within 3 hours.

The result was utter exhaust and sweat smelly-ness. The cable guy did his stuff and I got online, but I just crashed after he left before even taking a shower. Because I have yet to move my $4000+ tempurepedic bed, I crashed on the $50 futon I bought 10 years ago.

Oh yes, this futon has come in handy time to time, especially during times of uncertainty.
When I had to move due to jumping ship from one job to another, I tended to ditch my mattresses because they have a tendency to be too bulky and would require me to borrow a truck (and they're not that expensive either).
So back when I moved to and back from Kentucky or from Chicago back to Ohio, I used this old trusty futon. A $50 well spent I suppose. However, it offers almost no comfort and can be brutal to the body after a while, so I need to think of a plan to transport that massive tempurpedic bed. I'll probably hire somebody.

Anyhow, when I woke up it was already around 10pm, however, I took a shower first because I have yet to test the instant hot water furnace equipped in this apartment. Yeah, what a great technological marvel that existed in Japan 30 years ago, but only recently came over to the USA! It was great. BOUNTIFUL hot water! What utter luxury!

Back when I moved back to Ohio in 2005, the shit apartment I lived in back then had a ridiculously small hot water tank that gave me 10 minutes of hot water in the shower. When I moved into another apartment that gave me 20 minutes of hot water, it was utter ecstasy because I was able to take a shower without it having to be some sort of olympic sport. However, even with 20 minutes it didn't give me enough time for meditative thoughts while being covered in soothing warm water. Thus, this upgrade to infinite hot water is utter elysium.

The new place is about twice the size of my previous abode, and the layout is long and rectangular with 5 rooms connected by a long corridor. I like the visual effect of this long brick corridor.

Anyhow, I'm far from finished with moving so I'll still have to force my body into physical labor for the next few weeks. yipeee

(Laa laa)

6th April 2009

7:53pm: Kathy Ireland's battle
The former supermodel Kathy Ireland knew she had an issue when her son said, "Mom, you look pregnant."

She realized her son has issues.

(Laa laa)

21st March 2009

7:25pm: Tierkreis
I got my free copy of Tierkreis from Konami, so I forced myself to play it. I mean, I'm supposed to write a review and post it on my site in return for the free copy anyhow.

However, the game is actually really really good! I am pleasantly surprised!
The user interface is really quite un-annoying, unlike how the past two Suikodens have been.
It's definitely the best spin-off so far, and even though there's the whole "continuity" issue I have been concerned with (as well as many other fans), the game does have a "Suikoden feel" to it.

The characters are pretty good, and I like what they're doing with them.

Voice acting is pretty good, although they sometimes speak too fast, as if they intentionally put the original voices on fast forward or something.

Once I'm finished with the game I'll write a review, but so far so good.

(4 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

25th February 2009

3:47pm: Konami contact #2
Konami just sent me an e-mail saying they're gonna send me a copy of Tierkreis. Of course, they expect me to review the game and post something on my site, but yay for free game. They said they'll send me some other free stuff, like artbooks and whatnot...

They also want me to ask 20 questions to the Suikoden development team. Wow! 20 questions! I'm tempted to ask very mean questions like "When will Suikoden IV be completed?" but I'll try to ask more "answerable" questions.

Anyhow, finally after all these years Konami is giving me something for free.

(3 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

1:33am: Vicodin
I saw my doctor and he filled out orders for a bunch of tests as I requested, and even suggested to get a CT scan done on my abdomen area, which is indeed a good idea. He then prescribed me vicodin for some reason even though I didn't even ask for it. This doctor always prescribes me these over-powerful pain meds, including percocet. Now I can act like Dr. House and become a vicodin junkie.

I also had him look at some pimples on the sole of my right foot. He said it doesn't look cancerous or anything, but also said he can have it cut out if it makes me feel better. Maybe I'll take up that offer...

Work has been pretty frickin busy.

(4 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

23rd February 2009

4:46pm: Renal Trouble
Symptoms I see these days seem to point to my kidneys having some sort of trouble.
Tomorrow I'll see my GP doctor, and I'll ask him to write add an order for a creatinine test to my regular blood test (although it'll be a urine test, it's done at the blood lab). I'm sure the nurses will be thrilled.

If the results from the creatinine test is shady, I'll ask my doctor to schedule me for a CT scan of my abdomen to see if any lesions can be found in my kidneys.

If I can get all of this done before my Rheumatologist returns from India, she should be able to put together a plan pretty fast...

When you have a rare disease like Wegener's Granulomatosis, you have to take charge of your own treatment because regular doctors don't know much about it. It's also fun to be able to tell your doctor what they need to do.

(7 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

30th January 2009

12:49pm: Pain
Pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain apin pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain panmp ainp ian paion pain pain paim pajan pain pain pain pain pain pain pain pain!!!
Mucho pain going on along my jaw down into my neck and shoulder region!!!!

At night I often wake up the past few days in a state of excessive tension, such as clenching my jaws really hard and my whole body being tense like a board. Something is really messed up for sure. The result is my muscle being really sore all the time, especially muscles around my jaws.

I'm gonna have to see my doctor and see if something like seeing a chiropractor would help.

Oh yes, and the results from my recent CT scan showed that I have new granulomas formed in my lungs. No idea what'll be done from here. I already take the strongest chemo drug to get rid of them, and if they still keep increasing, who knows what can be done from there. There are a number of very new drugs that show promise, but I think my doctor will just increase dosage of my current drug insteast, which would suck in a number of ways.

(8 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

9th November 2008

6:46pm: Update November
I haven't given a comprehensive update in a while, so here goes.

Illness
My leukocyte count has gotten low again and the dosage of my chemo meds have been reduced again. As a result, I'm having increased inflammations happening all over my body-- mainly my eyes, wrists, and sinuses. It's all pretty discomforting, but it's still a tolerable level of discomfort.

Work
My pace at work has slowed down, but fortunately people are understanding and my boss isn't very concerned about my decreased productivity. He said I should take it easy for now and focus on improving my health, for which I am thankful.

Tierkreis
Still utterly uninterested and I haven't even read any of the news about this new game.

Move
Can't wait to start moving into my new apartment.
It'd be good to live in a "real" building once again.

Relatives
I've gotten in contact with a lot more of my relatives in Germany, including one guy who is 84 years old.
He even uses the internet! It's probably because he's an engineer-- he has patents on air-conditioning systems used on passenger trains.

Investment
The value of my investment portfolio has decreased by about 50% in the last two months. Ahahahah!
I have faith that things will get better again, so I'm gonna continue to hold on to my stocks...
in fact, I'm investing more because stocks are real cheap right now.

Venice
We're facing an incredible attack by Spain and France. The combined forces have about 10 times more players, but we managed to fend them off and take some of their ports. The strength of Venice is that we have so many enemies that we're pretty well united, and we can coordinate our attacks a lot better than our enemies. However, if the same level of activity continues, we'll definitely run out of juice.

(Laa laa)

5th November 2008

12:43pm: As we celebrate
Today, we're celebrating the election of the first non-white president in the USA. This is quite profound for me, because I'm a mixed race person like Obama. However, this isn't the end for the fight for true equality within this country.

Many states voted to ban marriaget between homosexual couples, and at the moment it seems like a ban on gay marriage will pass in California.

Although the USA has struck a milestone last night in terms of healing the racial divide, we are faced with a new civil rights problem. I won't let this wine of victory could my vision from this reality.

(3 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

24th October 2008

1:35pm: Moving
I have lived in the same card-board cut-out apartment for two and 1/2 years.

During this time, I've been keeping an eye out to see if anyone's ever gonna redo the nice old brick buildings in downtown Marysville into some sort of apartment. Well, my waiting period is over-- a few units are open now and I took a look at one, and I'll probably sign the lease later today.

The unit is on the 2nd level of an old brick building at the center of downtown Marysville, which is somewhat pretty. On the first floor is a cafe / deli and a bakery. The seedy-looking tattoo parlor across the street should provide me with endless entertainment as I stare out the window.

I love the raw, genuine brick walls and the old wooden flooring. The interior has been re-done so the place is very clean as well. It's a two bedroom unit so there's plenty of space for me to conduct arcane experiments. The building itseld is connected to a bunch of other brick buildings in the downtown area, so the whole place looks like a large mass of bricks built onto each other haphazardly. In many ways, it's similar to the apartment I used to live in when I worked for GM... hopefully I won't have to move again for a while.

My lease at the current apartment expires next March, so I'll be paying dual for a while. However, it does help to have a fairly long amount of time to move stuff because in my condition it's not really a good idea to do too much all at once.

Moving the king-sized tempur-pedic would be a herculean feat, and I'll definitely need help from other folks.

Anyhow, I haven't felt this excited in a while (which is probably equal to being "slightly excited" for the average person).

(3 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

8th October 2008

3:36pm: October Update
German Relatives
My father got in touch with some of our German relatives, and they're gonna visit him in Japan. These are descendants of my great grandfather. My dad said he'll give me their e-mail addresses, which would be cool.

Suikoden
I have absoloutely no interest in the new Suikoden installation!

Uncharted Waters Online
This weekend France is slated to attack Venice, so it will be busy as heck again. Too much war! We'll probably lose this time because a bunch of people don't want to fight this time due to some underhanded politics done by the English (long story). Venice is becoming a lot more organized though mainly because I'm implementing a lot of new ways to make money for the Venetians.

Debate
I watched the US Presidential debate that happened last night through the internet. To me it seemed like Obama was more respectable than McCain. It was interesting that McCain said he respects Theodore Roosevelt that most, who was the youngest person to become president (at age 42 due to the death of Bill McKinley)-- while he's slated to become the oldest person to be elected as president.

Family
My cousin got married last week! Now all of my cousins are married!
I guess I am the winner!

(4 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

9th September 2008

5:49pm: The attack on Athens
The general assembly was eventful and very stressful as well.

Heated discussions happened during the topic of international relations. A number of people ignored my call to order when they broke assembly rules, which was additionally annoying. People kept discussing how we can progress relations with France. I placed a motion on whether Venice wishes to continue pursuing friendship with France. The bote resulted in most people wishing to keep things status quo. That ended the discussion.

Some apparent spies from Portugal pushed a motion to have Venice approach Portugal to further relations between the two counrties, but it was so obvious that this person was a spy, that the motion was shot down utterly.

Now I have to plan the whole war against French to claim Athens. Athens is currently occupied by the French, and we're supposed to attack them (these battles happen every month, and we don't really have much choice in terms of who or where we attack). The plan is to attack them from our base on Crete. France is allied with Spain, so we have to be mindful of the Spanish fleet approaching from the west.

Venice is allied with England, and they have many strong players... we I think our prospects are pretty good. On Thursday I'll have a strategy meeting with the English folk, but I'll let my Vice-Doges handle the discussions.

I'd be glad when this whole battle is over (Venice won't have to host a battle for 6 months after this).

(1 I see dead people | Laa laa)

5th September 2008

3:03pm: Doxi de la Republica de Venessia
Because nobody else volunteered and I was afraid of seeing the nation fall into further chaos without a leader, I ended up nominating myself as the next Doge (leader) of the Republic of Venice.

On the day of the election, I made a speech within the Palazzo Ducale in front of hundreds of Venetian players (My server has 12000 active players, and even though Ven ice is the smallest of the 6 player nations, we still have a lot of people). I told people that Venice is in serious danger when a person like myself, a mid-level character with less than 1 year of activity, is the only one nominating himself for the position. I said the situation was understandable because Venice has suffered many defeats and has gone through a lot of political sabotage from other nations, particularly Spain.

I told them we need to go beyond our petty differences between the various merchant guilds within Venice and unite our efforts towards rebuilding our economy, so that we can stop angling over petty profits from trade within the Mediterranean and finally seek greater fortune in the rough waters beyond Gibraltar.

It was great, people were clapping and cheering. There were no other candidates so the vote was straightforward, but there was not a single dissenting vote. That's phenomenal!

Immediately I hand-picked my vice-leaders. One guy is a pretty hard-core merchant who makes large profits through trading gems who's also a vice-guildmaster of a powerful merchang guild within Venice. Another is a very high level adventurer who is very well-known in Venice. The last one is a relatevely unknown high-level merchant who actually has secret but vast connections with pirates (player killers). There was no objection to my pick.

After getting elected, I immediately contacted the leaders of France. France has no single leader, and instead has something like a council who has about 6 members who jointly run things. So it was me against 6 Frenchies, and it was oh quite fabulous. At least I now understand their complaints (mainly about how they think Venice always attacks them). At the moment many Venetians want peace with France (mainly because we tend to get into fights within the Mediterranean, and that hinders us from going to the outer sea), but if they see the actual attitudes of the French leadership, all of Venetia would probably elect to go for full-blown war with them. That's how pompous they are! But for peace, I'll have to hide that and make sure Venetian citizens don't have to witness this true horror. Otherwise, Venice will never be able to venture beyond Gibraltar, or even Corsica / Sardinia.

Tonight there will be a General Assembly for all Venetians within St. Mark's Bascillica in Venice, and there would be a crap loads of issues I need to cover. What have I gotten myself into? My term is apparently six months as well.

(6 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

10th August 2008

12:22am: August Update 2
Growth 2 Cont'd
I had my GP (general practitioner) look at "it."
He told me "just relax" but yeah, how the hell is that possible when you're having a large muscular Indian guy handling my balls. He deduced that the growth was likely an inflammation, likely caused by Wegener's Granulomatosis. He prescribed me two different types of nom-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. He had me go through a ultrasound to make sure it's actually an inflammation. Too bad, I guess my balls won't get hacked off after all. A lady in the radiology lab ultrasounded me later that day. Wow, two different people handling my balls in the same day... it'd be a story I'll tell my grandkids some day...
Oh yes, my GP also said, "you need some extra meds, like vicodin or percocet, if you have pain..."
I was tempted to say, "yeah, give me percocet!" but I resisted that temptation.

Work
I had a database I was working on reviewed by another database designer. He was ruthless with the critique, but that resulted in very good feedback, so I will have a few issues to work on in the next week to improve my work.

Venice
Venice is in chaos as we face a leadership vacuum. The previous Doge has become hospitalized and two candidates who nominated themselves failed to show up at the debate / election. More people are asking me to run. Maybe I'll just have to so things will friggin get back to order. I just have to end up in a leadership role wherever I go!

Georgia
Man, what the hell is going on there!? Things have been tense for a while, but a full blown war within larger Europe is hard to believe. Photos from the war are just terrible as far as I've seen. That region is just too unfortunate due to their oil/natural gas reserves. They'd have peace if they had no resource!

(3 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

7th August 2008

2:32am: August Update
Growth
The growth in my lung was diagnosed as being no threat for my survival as I have guest. The chemotherapy continues.

Growth II
Accompanied by a dull pain, I discovered a new growth in the left testicle area. Based on self-examination, there's some sort of uneven mass. It can be cancerous, so I'll be on the cautious side and contact my doctor to have it checked. Maybe they'll hack it off, which would be funny. This can be an inflammation caused by how my steroid dosage has been reduced to zero. We'll see.

Suikoden Tierkreis
A new Suikoden title has been unearthed in the US patent office. Konami has filed to trademark "Suikoden Tierkreis" on August 1st. They haven't made similar trademark claims in Japan, and that can mean many things, but at this point there's no official word about what the heck this can be. Tierkreis means "Zodiac" in German.

Work
Work has been crazy for the past few weeks. Finally I've arrived at a calm period, so I can finally work on stuff I wanted to work on. My boss will be on vacation for two weeks starting this weekend, so things should be calm for that duration. My boss is a good guy, but when he is around he tends to become thrown into many different projects, and I inadvertently become involved, etc.

Eyes
When I renewed my driver's license, I had to do that eye exam.
Somehow, I passed without needing my glasses. I guess my eyesight has legally improved since last time!

Child Death
My dad told me my mother has been watching TV programs about coping with the loss of one's child. Apparently she's very worried about my health. I told them that it's a very good idea to be mentally prepared for your child's death, because you never know if I'll get run over by a semi, killed by a worker gone postal, nuclear attack, or crushed by comet impact. I also said the chances of me dying from my disease is slim at this point. I made it clear I intend to live until I bury both of them under a tree with my bare hands. That seemed to have satisfied them.

Uncharted Waters
I dedicated a huge amount of time helping the Republic of Venice discover the Inca civilization and build the Panama Canal. Talk about speeding up history... Bunch of other Venetians were sitting around doing nothing, which pissed me off, but I was rewarded handsomely so I guess all is well.

(13 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

21st July 2008

2:10pm: Update
[b]Sickness and stuff[/b]
I had a CAT scan done the other week and they found abrand spankin' new growth inside my lung! Yay! I got pictures! Maybe I'll put it in a picture frame and give it a name...

[b]Work[/b]
Work is going good!

[b]Suikox[/b]
Added a new feature to collect questions from folks!

[b]Oblivion[/b]
I bought Oblivion. It's an RPG with a lot of depth and lots of interaction between the player and his/her environment. It has an ultima-esque freedom (being able to attack anything, steal anything, etc). It's fun to just run around a world withough anybody telling you to kill some ultimate evil... especially because you can become the ultimate evil yourself!

[b]Uncharted Waters[/b]
I continue to become more influential within the Republic of Venice! I don't even try, but somehow I just attract followers and people want me to become some sort of leader. I am refusing that sort of stuff because I want to enjoy the game. However, it is pretty frustrating to see how ineffective and clumsy the current Doge (leader title of Venice) is and how ther are very obvious ways (to me) to improve things. But knowing how I'd end up getting stressed out in a position of responsibility, I ignore these urges! Fortunately, the self-proclaimed "Emperor" of Venice is competent and keeps things in perspective for his fellow countrymen. This week they will add the west coast of south america to the world map in their "Inca" update, so much activity is expected.

(12 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

8th June 2008

11:38pm: Fuel!!
people are going nutz about fuel price
Instead of complaining about the situation, I have looked into ways to reduce fuel consumption.
Of course, I can buy a car that is fuel efficient, such as a Honda Insight, which has recorded 129 miles / gallon when driven by a hypermiler under optimal conditions. However, I love my firebird so there's no way in hell I'll drive another car.

After looking into what affects fuel mileage, I learned that wind resistance effects fuel mileage significantly. The faster you drive, the effect of wind resistance goes up exponentially. Driving fast affects your MPG by 20-40%, which is pretty significant.

Also, each car has its optimal RPM / fuel usage ratio. Some cars are most efficient when driven at 42mph, while another may be most efficient at 60mph. Stuff like this is pretty hard to know before a car is actually built and tested, and efficiency will also change depending on the environment where the car is used, such as air pressure, humidity, temperature, presence of particulates (like fine sand), etc. You normally wouldn't be able to tell how your car is using your fuel... but I bought a gadget called a "scangauge" which can be plugged into the car's engine control module (most cars have a connector under the dashboard). This gadget shows me the exact rpm of the vehicle at the moment as well as fuel being used at that precise moment. Based on that, I learned that my car is most efficent at speeds between 60-65mph, where I get about 32mpg, which is pretty damn good.

What I also learned is that a tremendous amount of fuel is used when I try to get my car from 0mph to 30mpg, basically from a stationary position until the car gets up to a certain speed. This was somewhat obvious from before, but I didn't think the engine was spending so much fuel to the point of the efficiency being 4mpg. Thus, I have been trying to reduce the number of times I stop as much as I can. So I avoid going into the downtown area where there's a bunch of stop lights. At stop signs I slow down to about 10mph and don't come to a complete stop. That way my flywheel still has some momentum and won't put too much strain on the engine and force it to use more fuel.

I'm still not sure whether this adjustment in driving habits has caused reduction in fuel use, but I guess I should see results soon.

(2 I see dead peoples | Laa laa)

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