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March 19, 2009
March 19, 2009: TSO and 2D RPG are now bound to be 2.5D instead of 2D. My squealing power supply (sound recording available!) was replaced, resulting in delay with update. I played FF8 - how boring that was! I finally finished FF5 2 years in the making. FF6 was replayed - more progress than before thanks to YouTube comments. My left ear was plugged for 10 days. I maxed the score in Mario 3's first level. For a week, YouTube was unreadable. A major snowstorm struck - photos available! Tomba 2 - played before but never finished... until now. Pizza rolls? Make that deep dish minis! Red milk is now pink. Homestead revisited - junk. Volunteer work again - random computer stuff. Some details about my story are available. 21 new dreams recalled, one well-recalled. Dream journal undergoing restructuring - may take a while.
#1 FF8 played and finished - how boring!: I knew it, it was a boring game. At first, it was the heavy drawing, but that only has a minor effect overall. The worst is the dull, boring music. Most of the game's music has negative compatibility, a few of which are neutral, but only one of them is considerably high - that of chocobos. Second worst is the walking sound. The FF games beyond 8 do a lot better with it and I don't mind it in those, but FF8's is horrible. On top of that, battles take ridiculously long. In FF6, it takes barely a half second for a defeated enemy to go away (except if it has a final attack to unleash) and only one second for an attack to take place. In FF8, it's 4 to 6 seconds before the enemy is removed and 3 seconds (6 with Rinoa) to even take an action. Summons last seemingly forever, especially Eden, which makes me completely avoid them, unlike FF5 or FF6. The only summon I actively used was Eden and for one reason - no damage limit. I like seeing the white "14,000" popping out of the enemy instead of just 9999, which is annoying. Because of that, I used Eden quite frequently, despite it's minute-long animation. A minute!? What the!? No wonder why I don't use summons, but with that, you can easily tell how much I hate that damage limit.... I, at least, finished the game, doing most of it on level 100. I was expecting it to be 99 like the others, but why 100? That seems a bit odd. Others tell me that I shouldn't do this because it makes the game more difficult. I found the game too easy even with that. If was going to go to 100, why not have it go to 255? Hey, I'd still go after that too! I'm probably not going to play that game again for years. I'd rather play FF6 5 times over, even though the damage limit is so easy to get in that game, than play FF8. At least FF8's story is quite decent though, at least after I got past the fire cave event, it's main up side.
#2 FF5 finished at last: I got the game 2 years ago, on Final Fantasy Anthology (PSX game - a collection). I was stuck as to what to do next so I had no choice but to consult GameFAQs to get unstuck, but that was as far as I went. I constantly got bored of it trying to level up while thinking of ideas. Where was I stuck? I was two events away from doing the sand dunes event. In mid February I finished the game at last. Boy is FF5 a weird game, the weirdest of all the FF games that I'm aware of! It was mastering jobs and trying to level up that made it take much longer than normal. I once recall entering the N-zone, the game's final area, but encountering "Omega" and was not able to defeat it, so I focused on mastering the jobs while leveling at the same time. But then, I found Sshot. This attack makes quick work of practically any enemy and I have a YouTube video showing just how effective it really is. No enemy seems to get a chance to do anything. As I browsed FAQs for the game, I saw that shinryu was one enemy that others struggled with, but I got it before it even got a chance to act! Even the final boss wasn't too difficult, considering that I was regularly doing 20,000 damage per hit! Sshot has 4 advantages - it never misses, it ignores the enemy's defense (as if it was zero), it often avoids counterattacks that would otherwise be made, and it even overrides the FF series' most annoying aspect of all - the 9999 damage limit. Omega was still difficult, but by hiding or using a jump attack, Sshot also make quick work of it - taking 3 rounds. But, all in all, I finally finished FF5. As a result of finally knowing the story, it rose a little in the ranks. At the bottom is FF8 where FF5 used to be.
#3 Heavy FF6 involvement - further than last time: I wanted it quite badly - getting meteor in the first world of FF6. Meteor in this game is my top favorite effect of all. I often can't resist not using it. I soon found a place and method to getting the most EXP quickly - the cave right after the house fire event I recalled two friends struggling with from now 15 years ago (the summer of 1994, roughly). By soloing and defeating an enemy called "admancht", I could easily reach level 99 in reasonable time in the first world - 15 hours. I got Terra into it and got her to level 99 to get ultima in the first world. I posted videos on YouTube to prove this, taking on an Intangir using nothing but meteor and ultima on it. However, I was actually doing an experiment - finding out if I could actually drop a few levels by having a few high-level characters but doing the floating continent event with low-level ones. From comments on those videos, I later learned how you got ultima, where Locke and two other unseen characters were (Umaro and Gogo). I was so close to getting Umaro the previous time - I just didn't have Mog in the party, although I had him available (and as a dedicated magic user). Gogo I never knew existed, but getting to him is very weird in itself. However, this time, I tried getting as many of the characters as possible on as low of a level as possible, entering the second world on level 35. I did that river event at roughly the same level as those two friends had (with 500 HP) and didn't have any trouble and that house fire event was no different, though strangely, using osmose on that fireball boss defeated it. It makes me think that, instead of doing HP damage to it, I'd use rasp on it to deal MP damage. It almost seems like those two friends should've let me go at it, though at the time, I didn't know anything about RPGs at all (that started in 2002 with FF7). Later on though, I got Celes to level 75 (soloing in the best leveling ground I know of (with a video of it as well)) so I can withstand the ultima attack that the magic tower's boss has when defeated. I was doing very well with level 45 characters, but it was that final attack that ruined everything.
#4 The Supernatural Olympics - now to be 2.5D: With my plans as I have them, the limited draw count and otherwise high memory usage will be too much for 2D. I still want TSO to be a 2D game, but it appears that I need another approach. My old, weak, 2.4 version uses some function that Gamestudio has that causes drawing to be even 500 times faster than what I've currently got. I thought of using DirectX, but then, after several months, visions came to mind, envisioning the Northern Mebna Hills as having individualized hills, minimizing the odd gaps between the layers, but increasing memory usage even more. It would mean having to redo a good chunk of what I already did.
My solution came when I got Tomba 2 - make it a 2.5D game. A 2.5D game is a game that is rendered in 3D like a normal 3D game would be, but it plays like a 2D game which is what the core concept of TSO is and will still be - 2D. At first, I didn't think too much about it, but as I began looking at the benefits more closely, I knew it was a solution, but the benefits just kept on mounting and mounting still more. I was getting stunned as just how many benefits there were and still more were being thought of. In all, I've found 25 advantages, so many that I had to make another document for the details on that game just to explain them all. To name a few, it resolves the problems with the character making it far easier and faster to make, boosting motive significantly, smoother, more detailed than I thought possible. Another is the sheer speed. Instead of a draw count limitation, it's more of a polygon/vertex count limitation. Furthermore, memory consumption is reduced by more than half for even moderately-high quality settings. On top of this, the realism and overall quality will be greatly improved. It just solves a lot of my lingering problems.
There are still 4 downsides though. The first is that you'll have to have 3D hardware. This, however, is very common and it's the only downside on your end. Have a weak system? Tone the graphics settings down to using fewer polygons and smaller texture sizes. Have a powerful top-of-the-line system? Max the graphics settings keeping all the decals and take in the high-detail scenery - all 90 miles of it horizontally and 50+ miles into the back. Another downside is that I will have no choice but to learn DirectX, but with seeing all the advantages and the scenery through my visions, I'm now getting a much stronger motive. Third, I'd have to build a modeling program, but that means having to learn Windows programming well beyond what I currently have: menus, mouse controls (i.e. clicks and drags), and other basic things present in most programs. Lastly, it would mean having to redo the scenery again. The redo, however, will be faster and result in much better quality and it would make some things like the clouds and buildings easier to do.
Even my 2D RPG will likely take this same route as well. While almost everything about it is classified, there are only a few things that aren't classified. It was originally intended to be 2D like TSO, only using top-down views like RPGs use, but now it looks like it'll be 2.5D - using 3D rendering, but still use the top-down view as before. This adds extra realism and would, in a sense, make things easier to do. I've planned very extensively for the game, but this change won't affect much at all that I'm aware of.
One bother I have with this is lighting. Yes, I know the (rather complex) formula ("GrayShade = ((cos(Elev)*sin(Azi)*sin(Slope)*sin(Heading) + cos(Elev)*cos(Azi)*sin(Slope)*cos(Heading) + sin(Elev)*cos(Slope))*(1-Amb)+Amb)*255;"), but that's not the problem. When I was using Gamestudio back in 2006 at the latest, I could never get the lighting to come out right. It was either washed out, or was always gouraud shading, in areas where I didn't want gouraud shading. For things like spheres or even mountains, gouraud shading is not problematic, but it's flat-edged areas such as buildings that make it bad. Ambient is 20%, but directly facing the Sun should be full bright without any washout effects. Since I now know the formula, I can run some tests to check and cross check this using some test patterns (i.e. white, red, green, blue, orange, and 3 other test colors - a weird texture, I know, but it's only for testing).
To get a sense on what kind of problems I have, since this was from the days I used Gamestudio, January of 2006 (that's more than 3 years ago!), I thought I'd post screenshots explaining the effects.
Old screenshot #1: This the unlit version of this very low-poly "ball". I made it like this for simplicity reasons. Simplicity makes it easier to understand the concept, just like converting the multiplication of 38994*15680 into either 39,000*16000 or even 40,000*16000. It makes it easier to grasp. This screenshot is, essentially, the baseline, or control.
Old screenshot #2: For flat surfaces, like building walls, the lighting for that side should always be the same. Trouble is, when I used Gamestudio, I got something that looks very weird. Instead of the front face being all one shade, it's split based on the polygons used and it looks weird, very weird. On top of that, the texture is also "washed out", a common problem I had with using Gamestudio. Look at the front of the object and the darker of the two shades. That's a decent, detailed texture. Now look at the lighter one on that same side you can see the texture, but it's highly faded.
Old screenshot #3: This is the same as number 2, except that, instead of brightening, it darkens. It looks much better, but the lighting is actually unrealistic, disregarding the triangle part. It's unrealistic because half of the sphere should be all dark, not all light, with the other half being a gradient between the two.
Old screenshot #4: This is the same as number 2, except that gouraud shading is used. This is best for balls and curved surfaces light landscapes, but it's bad for flat surfaces, like building walls. Again, you can see that the texture is highly washed out.
Old screenshot #5: This is the same as number 3, except with gouraud shading used. At least it looks better... to some extent.
Old screenshot #6: This is what the object should look like, at least behind the window showing what 4 has. Notice how the front is all one shade with the shade changing based on the angle relative to the sun rather than the polygon itself? This is how it's supposed to be for flat objects. Gouraud shading is used for the front window, like before. This is Gamestudio's MED, if you bothered to look at the full-size image.
If you've seen the small-scale size of my story's front cover, that's how the lighting should look. Flat surfaces have all the same shade for each side while curved surfaces use gouraud shading. Yet, I did my book cover without using any modeling programs - I just used Excel for the math and GIMP to draw based on the results of calculations. Back during the days I was using Gamestudio, I used a 50% ambient. Currently, I use 20% since it looks much more realistic (hint: compare how bright it is in direct, high-noon sunlight for a clear sky to that of the same conditions but in shade (under a roof or balcony)).
Even my 2D RPG will likely take this same route as well. While almost everything about it is classified, there are only a few things that aren't classified. It was originally intended to be 2D like TSO, only using top-down views like RPGs use, but now it looks like it'll be 2.5D - using 3D rendering, but still use the top-down view as before. This adds extra realism and would, in a sense, make things easier to do. I've planned very extensively for the game, but this change won't affect much at all that I'm aware of.
#6 The squealing power supply - how irritating!: Since about the start of March of 2009, I've been getting this very high-pitched squealing sound. I first thought it was ringing in my ears and I thought nothing about it. However, as time went on, the squealing was getting louder and louder and began to realize that it wasn't my ears ringing as simply leaving my room softened it, but with my computer off, it was still happening which bothered me, wondering where it was coming from. Seeing a direct relationship with my computer as the cause, I asked about it on the HWW forums. I eventually found out that it was my power supply causing it. I even recorded the sound. You can listen to it here. This 272 KB ZIP file contains one second of the original WAV (file format: 16-bit, mono, 96,000 Hz, uncompressed), and 5 seconds of it in MP3 format (file format: 58 Kbps, mono, 48,000 Hz, the same I use with my music's fastest speeds) both at true speed and at half speed. I added half speed in for a reason - not many can hear the 15,000 to 16,000 Hz sound it makes, but halving the speed, as it does with my music, cuts this to 7500 to 8000 Hz, which makes it much easier to hear. By viewing the waveform in Audacity or something and zooming in a lot so you can see the samples, you can see that the waveform is quite jagged - that's what the high frequencies are from. Upon realizing that my power supply was about to fail, I significantly cut back on my computer usage and got a new power supply off Newegg. Once I got it and hooked everything up to the new one, taking an hour, I tested it and the squealing sound is completely absent. I looked into getting one that not only met my needs and was fair-priced, but also very efficient. I haven't done a repair on my computer in quite a while, but machines do tend to break down over time and when they do, they need to get fixed....
#7 Volunteer work, various computer tasks: You may recall, from before, that I went to my dad's work place for 3 days to adjust the company's Web site. Well, that was volunteer work. Now it's happened again, only this time, it's longer-running and different. Instead of updating/maintaining a Web site, it's doing various small tasks here and there, such as proofreading texts, making animations (simple ones, unlike mine which get into the hundreds or even thousands of frames), and other small things here and there. I don't know how long this will last, but beyond this, details are confidential.
#8 Plugged left ear - 20 dB lower for 10 days: My left ear, for about 10 days during the start of February, was plugged causing a reduction in audio volume in that ear of about 20 dB. There was a large amount of wax inside of it that caused this. I woke up with it when everything was fine beforehand. As this happened, things sounded rather weird. This was going on while I was actively involved with playing FF5. Things like warm (105 to 110°F) olive oil didn't really help too much, along with squirting warm water into it. It was until I took a Q-tip and slowly and carefully went in and removed the wax. By slowly, I mean less than a centimeter per second at the maximum. By carefully, I mean using the least amount of force as absolutely possible. This was to avoid damaging the ear. When I first did this, I had 25 Q-tips with almost all of them having something on them. Of the 50 total sides of these, 35 of them had something, which really explains why my ear was plugged. It took another 3 days after this before I was back to normal.
#9 Tomba 2 - finished at last: I've only played the game through renting it years ago, but I got stuck, not knowing what to do. I do recall the donglin forest being accessed, but certainly not circus village, the water temple, or the evil pig battles. The game has fairly decent music. The one for the snowy Kujara Ranch is the best. A close second is that of the first version of circus town (the second version is the worst of all). There are many very close contenders for third place, too close to each other to tell them apart. The fisherman village, pipe area's first version, Donglin Forest's second version, and the water temple's second version are all third place ties and are far too close to each other in compatibility to really give any results.
This time, unlike before, I finished the game almost in full. I had 4 or 5 events missing, the 3 towers (I've got the spells for those), something involving a precious ring, and, uncertain, probably something else. Other than that, I've finished the game.
#10 Max score in Mario 3 in very first level - wow!: This might be a world record. In about 3 1/3 hours, using only the first level in Mario 3 (world 1-1), I maxed the score. I got that card game 124 times in a row because of it. This is not only a fast place to gain score or the most number of consecutive times you can get that card game, it's also the absolute earliest possible in the game. Sure, I had 99 lives too. I'll give you a hint - there are 4 turtles on a series of 3 blocks, 3 flying and one walking. Use the turtles wisely and you should have it. I'll leave the rest for you to figure out.
#11 From pizza rolls to deep dish minis - fast: I hate having to eat, really, I do. Combined with degreasing, it takes me 2 1/4 hours to eat one of my main pizzas. Pizza rolls are even worse at about 2 hours for only half as much. It's just too much time and takes motive away. Hamburger Helper is faster, but almost always requires milk, of which I don't get too much of. Snacks aren't too reliable and Macaroni isn't too tasty unless I use the combination method of Hamburger Helper and Macaroni. Upon trying some of those deep dish mini pizzas, of which are just 5.5 or 5.6 ounces each, I knew they'd answer the speed solution. I tend to have much more of these than I do the others, even the regular pizzas, simply because they're twice as fast but still just as filling. It only takes 70 minutes (as opposed to almost 140) to eat 5 of them, though I usually do 4 instead. I'm now focusing much more toward these than regular pizzas and they have other added benefits. The "pizza thing" as I call it doesn't have to be washed since these cook in the microwave in under 2 minutes - I can just wait for ad sessions and cook it during the entire "spamming session" as I often call them (I often think that the station is getting spammed.). Essentially, they're even better than pizza rolls since I don't need a plate. I put the minis on a quad-folded paper towel (for degreasing, a shortcut I found) and heat them in the microwave. I can have these things at any time without having to bother with waiting to get the "pizza thing" washed, a plate washed, or a pan washed (the latter is for Hamburger Helper, if I have milk for it).
#12 January 2009 - what a snow storm that was!: 9 inches of snow. That's more snow than I've seen for over a decade. It was wave after wave after wave of snow storms. Fortunately, I got a few photos to show the effects this has and the photos sure are quite pretty. It gives new meaning to the Christmas song "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"....
Photo #1: So what happens to those 9 inches of snow (plus that of previous waves of snow storms) when it's on the roads? It gets placed in big piles. This is no joke - that pile there is almost 10 feet high! Fire hydrants are completely buried, road signs are almost half buried, and that's for areas that plows can't get to where the snow is still about 2 feet deep!
Photo #2: Now this is a bit scenic. This is the front of my house. Note the trees and just how much snow they've got covering them. The area on the porch has snow 3 feet deep with some areas getting to 7 feet deep, taller than I am.
Photo #3: Now for the grand finale. This is my favorite. When it comes to photos of wintry scenes, snow on pines is what I like I most (better with fog, at least with me).
One photo I thought I got (and wished I got) was of snow going over the edge of the roof and hanging almost 2 1/2 feet down going about 8 inches over the edge. This sure has been a unique winter. The last two or 3 winters had no snow during Christmas when normally, there'd have been a lot of it. Now my only concern is flooding. Get a bunch of consecutive 50°F days and flooding is a real possibility....
#13 Very tempted to get an SNES off Ebay, even though I have one: This seems weird. I have a working SNES, so why would get another one off Ebay? One reason: I haven't seen it in almost 6 years now! I have no idea where it is. Sure my room is a mess, but the SNES has been missing since before I moved to my current room and oddly, it was never found here. I do recall getting screenshots of Super Mario World and a bug I found, but that was about the last I saw of it. It's been missing ever since. The other reasons are as follows, in order of most important to least important:
First off, there's the original Bubsy that I've got a few thousand hours of play on that's also available. I've been tempted to see what the SNES version looks and especially sounds like. I've heard that the Genesis has weak/deteriorated sound and the SNES doesn't. I've love to hear OWTLI, my most listened to song of all with an estimated 1,000,000 to 1,300,000 plays (yes, over a million - that's two consecutive years' worth, most of which obtained during the first 5 to 7 years of having the game), spanning the almost 15 years I've had the game. I'd also love to hear Desert Zone, which as roughly 350,000 to 650,000 plays, the second-most listened to song of all (that's one year of consecutive play, spread out in the same way as OWTLI only about half as often. I'd also like to see if some of the bugs present in the Genesis version are also present in the SNES version as well. I don't know what differences there are, but by playing both, I'll get a sense of this. I'd also like to see if I have a better chance of getting those 32 px/fr speeds, unlike the Genesis version which has faulty collision at times. This towers over everything in terms of the effect it has toward my temptations, more so then the others combined.
I want a video of a few bugs I know of in Super Mario World. There's one that I have screenshots of from the 2002 or 2003 times, but these screenshots are full of static because of the defective TV tuner I had. I would really like to record videos of this and other things.
There's also FF6 (known as FF3 on the system). Sure I have the PSX version, but the PSX version suffers major frame rate problems (which is odd in that a system about 4 or so times more powerful than the SNES is unable to draw 10 32x32-pixel sprites whereas the SNES can) and I'd love to see how meteor looks at true speed. Meteor is my top favorite effect of all FF games that I've at least seen. The PSX plays it at half speed due to the frame rate problems.
Lastly, there's Mario, a generalization. The NES/SNES style Mario has all but vanished, at least that I've seen. Super Mario Sunshine kind of doesn't count, but it's the only known Mario game on the Gamecube. I don't know what the other systems have for that generation or the current generation (likely the Wii, a system I don't want due solely to the controller).
That's a quite a few reasons and you can see how my temptations are getting so high. It's that first one that's really doing it because it has such a strong effect. I haven't gotten one yet, however, but it seems like I may, with 95% certainty, get one within the next 3 months.
#14 2 items sold on Ebay... and quickly: They served no use for me so why have them when I get some return for them by selling on Ebay. Sure Paypal and their sudden use of fees took away a lot of motive, I had nothing to lose, in a sense. I had quite a bit to gain - money (from the sales though not much), a slightly cleaner room (I get rid of not only the items, but a few spare boxes lying around), and useful Ebay ratings. I've used Ebay for a long time, but I very rarely use it so I have a low score, at least it's 100% positive. This is about the only time I intend on using Ebay - if an item has no use for me at all and is highly unlikely to be used (looks at an old set of cheap, working speakers covered with dust, two hard drives that need to be wiped out, and my old MP3 player no longer in use but needs a new battery). So, what did I sell? Flight Simulator X (a simulation game with horrible keyboard controls (press and hold down and the pitch should accelerate upwards, not be based on number of key presses (which is repeated based on the keyboard repeat rate (which is maxed for me at 20 repeats a second (based on hypercount - it's just beyond my upper limit))), and the old TV2000 XP Expert TV tuner that wouldn't allow me to record from the microphone and keep the original source audio. Both items had their prices a little above what they were averaging on Ebay, but free shipping was offered to those within the US to counter this.
#15 YouTube unreadable for a week: Don't webmasters (or even programmers) ever learn? Has anyone taught webmasters (or programmers) that there are configuration settings to allow users to change default colors? It seems like no one has because Ebay and recently YouTube had this (Ebay still does), among a few others. If a user wants dark themses, webmasters (and programmers) must know about this or they'll encounter customer dissatisfaction from those that use and like dark themes (like I do). If the default color is dark and undefined but the text color is defined as black, then you're going to get readability problems by anyone who uses dark themes. Audacity has this (if you haven't seen my music-processing videos, much of the text is very hard to read (if not impossible with YouTube)). I, on the other hand, know about this feature and how it works, so I develop my site and programs to utilize this so you don't have readability troubles. I use 64 as a contrast threshold. If contrast is less than 64, text will be very hard to read. If it's greater than 64, then there won't be any major problems with readability. Here are screenshots of the recent YouTube problems and what I'm referring to. I also have a video posted on YouTube showing this same thing.
Screenshot #1: This is what I see when I view "my videos". I can read the stuff in the center, but the left pane is barely readable, especially the header. I can see something is there, but with a contrast of just 8 or so, it's impossible to read.
Screenshot #2: When I click the "26" on the top video, the most recent, this is what I see. Now, you tell me that you can read that without modifying the image or zooming in. I sure can't and I've got very good vision (I can read the microprint on check signature lines without the need of eye aids or magnification). Even with zooming in, it's difficult. I need at least 2x zoom in order to begin making anything out....
Screenshot #3: When I click the envelope icon, to view PM's (private messages), and recent video comments, this is what I see, with, of course, private stuff left out. This allows me to be able to work with PM's just fine.
Screenshot #4: Before January 15, 2009, this is how things appeared. Everything was easy to read and I don't have any problems at all reading this. Of course, the help section was of no use since everything is completely irrelevent....
Screenshot #5: When I view my channel, of which I very rarely view, everything is fine. This is because of one reason - the user can set the styles here to their best wishes. This can't be done with the rest of the YouTube website....
Screenshot #6: This is the same thing as screenshot #2, except when viewed with Internet Explorer. I strongly dislike using IE because I find it highly insecure (the main reason I went with Firefox). The only rare times I take it out is for testing. Oddly, everything is different and I can read the comments just fine.
Someone needs to retrain their webmasters (and programmers) so that they know about the existence of user themes, especially that dark themes can be used as well. Assuming that everyone uses a white background, which is what Windows uses by default, is unwise, considering that Windows and almost any browser has a feature to set default colors and when colors are not defined, what is set in the browser or Windows themes is what will be used.
#16 From homogenized (red) milk to skim (pink) milk: For well over a decade, potentially even 2 decades or longer, I've always used homogenized milk (the type with the red carton printing). I recall an event in kindergarten where I got a bad-tasting bit of the 2% milk (the blue carton), and I refused to drink it. It was a one-cup-sized carton. I asked for the red type, but they refused, so I asked for the pink type (skim milk) and they accepted it. I was the only one that, thus, used it. To this very day, I still don't get why milk is often served in school at this low of a grade level (I often consider kindergarten as grade 0 and preschool as grade -1.) but not throughout much of the rest of the time. Well, it was during late February that I changed to using the pink milk, first to try it and how much of an effect it had toward my Hamburger Helper and macaroni and I can barely make out any difference. Then again, it could be my weak sense of taste as well. Skim milk is supposedly better for you so I'm taking the opportunity to squeeze out more calories.
#17 Sand blasting... for the first time: Sand blasting - all that dust fills the air, but it cleans metal quite well. However, instead of doing it in the open, polluting the air, a dedicated chamber is used which keeps almost all of the airborne particles inside. It also minimizes waste by recycling - reusing the sand over and over again. On Jan 24, this is when it happened. I was given this small piece of metal 16x10 inches in size to remove rust from. It took a bit of time to get used to, but, since I learn best by fiddling with things, I did a little experimenting before I went to the main task.
#18 Homestead revisited, for a bit: Years ago, before I even first had my site, I recall using Homestead, a program that builds Web sites visually instead of textually (like I do with Wordpad). At the time, it was free, but then, suddenly, I couldn't save at all because I had to pay for it in order to do so. It isn't the first version of my site, since I don't think it ever went online. Just recently, I tested it out, but I found the program far too limiting. You can't manipulate the HTML like I'm used to, grid snapping is always to multiples of 10 (there doesn't seem to be an option to change this to, say, 4, 5, or 8 (I like powers of 2), since 10 seems a bit much. The grid size is multiples of 30, which is rather odd (50 I'd expect more, along with 25). The worst of all, of which I didn't experience, is that it won't accept PNG images at all and I'm quite dependent on it (GIF and JPG are the only things supported, but GIF is limited by colors and JPG is lossy while PNG has neither such limit making it better). I don't use such programs to build my site with. Instead, I just use Wordpad, a simple text editor or toned-down version of Word. While I don't get much sense of the visual layout, at least I get full control on almost everything but it does require knowledge of HTML. Most of what I do when I update my site is type actual human-readable text, spending far, far more time doing that than formatting HTML. On top of that, I've got shortcuts I use for getting the HTML aspects done quickly. Despite taking about 20 total hours for an update, only 5 or so minutes is spent toward typing HTML content, just a measely 0.4% of the total, and this is a high-end estimate.
#19 My parents wanted and got a Wii - what the!?: Now this is something I find very strange. Neither of my parents play video games at all. Nope, they've never played Mario, Sonic, Final Fantasy, anything. But, suddenly, they were, during the Christmas time, looking desperately for a Wii but no one in town had one. I have no interest in the console at all solely because of the controller. I'd rather put up with the defective (weak buttons) controller for my Genesis to play Bubsy than use the Wii....
#20 Hole-ripped sheets finally replaced: For over a year, almost a year and a half, I had the same bed sheet, but it was getting small tears. It started because I simply stepped in just the right spot and a hole was formed, just a small one. Over time, as I stepped in that spot, the hole got progressively bigger, but it was slow. With the bigger hole, I began to also trip over it which made it still bigger. During the start of 2009, the holes were so big, nearly a square foot (folding the sheet made it nearly 4 square feet at the biggest), that it was becoming annoying. Negative motive prevented me from doing anything with the sheets. During February when I was actively playing FF6, this hole was getting annoying, so much so that I had to had to go to another position about 2 feet away that is less comfortable than the sheets originally were. It wasn't until the start of March that I finally had the motive go above everything so that I could change the sheets.
If this long wait isn't unusual, it's still nothing compared to that with cleaning my room - it hasn't been cleaned since April of 2004, which is when I moved into my current room! Unlike the sheets where they were causing annoyances with both sleeping and playing my games, my room isn't causing as much of an annoyance. The motive is climbing, but very slowly.
#21 21 new dreams - one very well-recalled: I haven't been recalling dreams as much lately, but even then, I still have 21 new dreams available. One of these dreams, involving Borneo, is a high-favorite and is very well-recalled (88% in tact for the story), something that hasn't happened in quite a while. There are now 789 dreams.
#22 Dream journal redesign: It's messy I tell ya, messy. It's cluttered with references to old formats and designs, along with other things. The "other" category is getting too cluttered as well that for the video game dreams and travel dreams. This new design will be not available until it's fully completed. I can tell you that there are 21 categories in all and the main document is only 1/3 as big. The dream title banners are also changed some, though this isn't entirely certain yet. Instead of seeing "Dream 14-12: Title", you'll see either "[ ] real exploration 12: Title" or just "[ ] 12: Title" or something like that. The "[ ]" is an image representing that of the category such as a ghost for "nightmares", a world map for "foreign travel", etc.. Some elements are currently uncertain such as those with "fictional" in it, though I'm thinking about having the image on a book page or something. The images will be something like 48x24 pixels and I may make the dream number as an image as well, resembling a puffy cloud.
I actually started the redesign back in 2006 or 2007, but motive went into negative territory and it stopped. This, however, only referred to the ratings bars and not the redesign of the dream journal itself. Some dreams are also listed in a nonchronological order, especially the older, pre-2004 dreams. The ratings bars of dreams pre-2007 or so use the confusing and often misleading 0 to 10 scale. Misleading: I use too high of values for high-rated dreams. Because of this, the dream journal document is cluttered up with details about this older, confusing system. By converting these to the current format, I can get rid of this and clean up the mess some. The FAQ is also being moved to a separate page, further uncluttering it. It's mostly just the older dreams that really need the ratings bars converted. The newer ones don't but they still need to be reread to determine their category in greater detail, due to many categories being split and even new creations (chases and escapes for example). A dream formerly marked as 5-108 may be something completely different, whether 20-14, 6-8, or even 2-62, I won't really know. The category number and even dream ID number are almost certainly going to change.
This adjustment may take a few weeks to do, at best, but once it's done, I won't have to do it again. Any new dreams, even it goes on for another year, won't likely have to be redone though since they'll quickly be in their rightful category and already preprocessed. I'm hoping to get done with it before June of 2009.
#23 Blue-white car headlights - outlaw those things!: As I go to the grocery store, I'm often faced with vehicles having these very bright, blinding blue-white lights. They're apparently 4 times brighter (about 80 lux versus 20 at about 8 feet (2 1/2 meters) ahead - a rough estimate with a considerable logarithmic margin of error of about 40%). In the city, they're not too much of a problem, because the street lights and building lights help. However, there's a big problem when you're outside of a city. These things are so bright that they blind oncoming drivers due to the glare making the driver unable to see the road. Even though I don't drive and I have very good vision (500 to 600 dpi), even I can't see the road due to the glare. This doesn't happen with the standard headlights.
As a consequence, these headlights should be banned. They may help the driver see better, but it seriously hinders the ability for other drivers approaching that car to see anything in rural areas. They even make it harder to see while in the city as well, especially a low-light city like my medium-small-sized home town.
#24 If I were to donate money, I'd put it...: Let's say I won a sweepstakes, but there were strings attached. I won $250 and was to donate 20% of that (which is $50). The guidelines state that the donation can go to whatever charity or the related I wanted, as long as it was donated, otherwise, I don't get any of the money. Above all, I'd put that $50 toward the environment and to fight global warming, and I wouldn't hesitate to do it. $50 toward the environment, in the long run, is like $200 toward Red Cross (and that's without inflation) or even $1000 for a coastal metro area. I get this for one reason. With continued global warming due to things like CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane), deforestation, etc., the polar ice caps and Antarctica's ice sheets would melt and raise sea level. It's already happening and it seems to be getting worse. With sea level rise, coastal cities, where most live, will frequently be flooded (or even be permanently flooded and cost a huge amount. With flooded cities, the residents would have to move elsewhere and it would cause chaos all over. If Katrina was bad, think about it happening along every coastline around the entire planet. While $50 toward environmental protection may not seem like much at first, it'll amount to a few hundred in the long run. What about the Red Cross? With a lot of climate refugees, they'll easily get overwhelmed. I, thus, would think that tackling the global warming issue should be next to the top for priorities, almost tied with that of fixing the economy.
#25 Daylight saving time - my thoughts on it: I hate it, but that's not the point of this headline. Instead, it's about how I feel it should work. Instead of adding an hour for about 6 (now 8) months, make it subtract an hour and leave it constantly subtracted (that is, so clocks don't have to get set frequently). Let's consider each detail more closely and how my idea is justified.
Let's begin with the current setup. From mid March until, I think, mid October (that's 7 months) within the same year, clocks must set ahead one hour. Let's take the typical 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM work day. One wakes up probably at, say, 6:30 AM. If the clocks were set ahead, this means the real time (astronomical time as I sometimes call it) is 5:30 AM. The Sun is at the lowest elevation at midnight real time and highest at noon real time. This means that 6:00 AM should, in a sense, be sunrise for the equinoxes. At this time, it's quite dark out early on. It'll be quite light out by the time they leave for work, at 9:00 AM which is 8:00 AM real time. At the end of the day, it's 4:00 PM real time but 5:00 PM for the clocks. For 8 hours of sleep, the norm, bed time hovers around 10:30 PM which is 9:30 PM real time - the Sun has already set long ago.
Now, let's consider my idea where clocks are set back instead of forward. 9:00 AM on the clocks is actually 10:00 AM real time and 6:30 AM is actually 7:30 AM real time. This way, the Sun can be used to wake up. At the end of the day, 5:00 PM, the real time would be 6:00 PM where the Sun is about to set. With the Sun set, energy-hogs like air conditioners don't have to run at full force as much because it'll be naturally cooler, saving energy and thwarting global warming. Artifical lighting will still be needed and more often though, but these, now, don't have much of an effect. At bed time, 10:30 PM, the real time is 11:30 PM. During the summer, this is a little different. The Sun rises much earlier and sets later. Sunrise may be 4:30 AM astronomical time and sunset may be 7:30 PM astronomical time (this'll obvious vary depending on your latitude). 4:30 AM becomes 3:30 AM on clocks while 7:30 PM becomes 6:30 PM.
From what I'm getting on the way this is, I think that the optimal thing is to just not have daylight savings at all, since it gives an optimal balance between the benefits of each. Adding hours gives more daylight toward the end of the day for doing things outside during the warmer seasons, but subtracting hours saves energy. This method allows natural sunlight to wake up from, limits the need of air conditioners for those that don't go out much but also needs less artificial lighting as well. It seems like the optimal balance - just go back to the astronomical time system used for millennia.
Jan 1: Woke up at 4:10 PM due to a nosebleed, a likely cause to my throat problems. Eat, daily check, then FF8. FF8 made up pretty much the whole day. I got 3 videos (unprocessed) and story-wise, I'm about where I left off... with a twist. I'm at a much higher level than before. I spotted a weakness in the game's design and I can see how you can reach level 99 (maybe it's 100 knowing the limits of how many spells one can have) in under 20 hours. I'm already at 65... 12 hours in. I'm doing max damage on some enemies with Squall... 11 hours in. I hate that damage limit of FF. I'm already at 65... barely 12 hours in. Those tough dinos almost give you a whole level's worth, unlike FF7 where I'd have a few million gil by level 65, I only have 21,000 - junk from enemies is the main way, just like FF12. There's no narration for one reason - my cough. Speaking makes it worse. It's that evil, dorky-looking thing to blame.... Woke up at 5:24 PM and went to bed at 10:26 AM. Jan 2: Eat, daily check while processing videos, then FF8. I reached level 100 at least. I got a video of the final stretch of this. Those dinos are a real challenge and it's one that that really helped curve the boredom. I went further with the story since battles from then on were useless. I was surprised to see the new, unseen characters on level 8. Level 8 when 2 are on 100!? It seems like I have a lot more leveling do do. The challenge was lost as the enemies were now much weaker. It seems like I have a lot more leveling to do. I reached the point in the story with that party - its end. Woke up at 7:43 PM (±1 minute) and went to bed at 10:46 AM. Jan 3: Eat, daily check while processing videos, then FF8, again. I didn't get any new videos - I focused on leveling up those weaklings. Thanks to Diablos, I got 2 very handy spells - flare and holy. Demi I'm unsure about. Thanks to the training center, I have a way to level up weaklings more than twice as fast. Zell is level 100 already with Selphie at 88. I made no further story progress - level 100 for all comes first. Woke up at 11:14 PM and went to bed at 1:51 PM. Jan 4: Daily check, FF8 to 5:00 AM waiting for good stuff to get on TV, eat watching TV, then FF8. Having finished up what I was doing yesterday, I went at progressing with the story, doing the Timber event with 4 characters on level 100. Then, I got a weakling again. I leveled her up (name starts with R) a little but went on to do the G Garden event and got yet another weakling, Irvine. I went to a new leveling area where, in one battle, I got over 1400 EXP and in 2 others, I leveled up twice. Vysage is the enemy, tricky at first, until silencing lefty then vysage himself. I want a video of this as well.... Woke up at 12:30 AM and went to bed at 5:34 PM. Jan 5: I finished up what I had yesterday - vysage to level 100. I got a video of it, processed and uploaded. I just progressed with the story, reaching the missile base (yes, disk 2). I found 2 bugs. One is upon the disk change - I put in disk 2 and made sure of it, but it stated I had the wrong disk - class 6 (would be 7 if I couldn't save upon the disk change then load the save to continue). The other, class 5, is when I did an all-magic exchange. I found that many spells all but vanished, including meltdown and a few others. They were improperly placed as well. It's class 5 only due only to the losses caused by it when it shouldn't be, and the losses are quite big. Woke up at 3:55 AM and went to bed at 9:07 PM. Jan 6: Story progress until Balamb Garden went mobile, vysage for ability-learning untiled learned clean, Balamb event and another GF, vysage faster than every for learning again. That's how FF8 went. I got my second memory card much faster than expected. I don't know if it works though. When I heard the chocobo music, I knew I wanted it, though I have yet to obtain it. Woke up at 6:12 AM and went to bed at 9:41 PM. Jan 7: Slept 12 1/2 hours!? Wow! Awake almost 20 on top of that! In FF8, I continued looking around for new enemies and items, then focused on turning them into cards. Playing those cards followed - the "random" rule is one I hate the most. I then made story progress reaching the start of disk 3. I got 2 more GF's so I returned to vysage. I'm looking for enemies with aura, meteor (if available), and ultima (I get it from a draw point where you pay 5000 gil for). Woke up at 11:48 AM and went to bed at 6:05 AM. Jan 8: Slept 5 1/2 hours? Then again, I was awake for just 6. Eat, daily check, then FF8 for 80 minutes, 40 of which spent shuffling around GF's. I finished some of what I ended the day with - vysage for AP. I could very likely be almost level 300 now if level didn't max. Woke up at 12:59 PM and went to bed at 7:04 PM. Jan 9: 10 hours - that's more like it! 9 inches of snow!? FF8 started the day. A shower then grocery shopping (unexpected) followed. I ate (experiment success), then returned to FF8. I, unexpectedly, got the Tonberry GF while taking on Tonberries to test out limits - Zell's is extremely effective, better even than Cid in FF7. With it, the Tonberry King (with meltdown used before seeing the weak physical damage) was easy - doing almost 300,000 damage. I only got limits from low HP, the only way I can right now, and that's from Tonberry's "everyone's grudge" which practically always does 9999 damage to my characters. Life followed. Yep, back to vysage for more AP. I reached the point where you need to find a ship - I spend an hour and couldn't find it and was getting bored.... Woke up at 6:10 AM and went to bed at 7:54 PM. Jan 10: My birthday and I got a dream... nice, huh? Eat, daily check, FF8 getting the Ragnarok, playing UNO then Yahtzee Turbo (without the annoying machine), then eat - that made up the day. That was about it. Pizza is tomorrow, the lake in July or so, and a mini planetarium were what I got for my birthday. Woke up at 8:13 AM and went to bed at 12:59 AM. Jan 11: Daily check, FF8, go for pizza (as planned yesterday), a few extra stops (got atomic fireballs from it), then FF8. I got all 16 GF - I needed a guide to find out how to get 3 of the others - a train, Bahamut, and Eden. I also found an enemy that had meteor and a boss (which had Eden) that had ultima. Now I just need aura.... I like the "devour" command and how a peaceful scene replaces the battle when it happens. The sounds when successful are sometimes funny. Odin is also quite annoying, coming in when I don't want him. Woke up at 9:26 AM and went to bed at 1:58 AM. Jan 12: Disk 4 at last. I really like the maxed vit. Seifer was doing 400 damage on someone with 180 vit but just 40 with maxed vit. Oddly, the difference between 240 and 255 is a factor of almost 4 whereas 180 to 240 is only by 2 1/2. Adamantoise is good for this. I've figured almost everything in Ultimecia's castle. The art one was tough and I have yet to figure out that lift. The "time compression" part is my top favorite part of all so far - man is it weird! I didn't bother with facing Ultimecia yet. I would like to raise a few stats first. I got rid of the annoying Odin, which often ruins this. I don't know about Gilgamesh though. I like using Eden despite it's excessively long and boring animation - no damage limit! 13,000 is the highest seen so far. You can easily tell by this how much I hate that damage limit! Woke up at 11:47 AM and went to bed at 4:03 AM. Jan 13: HP maxed for all and vit is maxed for Squall with just vit+60%. Spr is the same. I started working on Zell. I found a cheap way to get quick gil and also realized that I could "buy" stat increases - tents and cottages into mega-potions works wonders. It's almost as fast as FF7 with magic pots (2 million gil per 50-second battle at the fastest), likely even faster. 150,000 gil buys 10 HP. I haven't tried magic or spirit though and speed isn't possible as far as I know. I got the video of this. It takes 30 minutes to get 45 million gil. I spent the 60 million I had at the time to max the HP and spent the rest toward raising spirit. Squall is now seemingly immune to everything. Woke up at 1:04 PM and went to bed at 2:42 AM. Jan 14: Vit maxed for everyone in my main group. Ruby dragon's breath attack does just 500 damage, versus 7000. The dino I recall doing 3500 at the start now barely manages 200! Ruby dragon casts meteor - Squall, with maxed spirit, takes just 25 damage per hit while the others, with 203, take 150. Squall seems to have 200,000 HP, in a sense, harder than a rock. One enemy, a red bat, got a 0! Berserk, blind, and silence are the best for status attack. Woke up at 1:15 PM and went to bed at 3:40 AM. Jan 15: Oh sure, YouTube has joined the "difficult to read" Web sites - skipped because of it.... The help section was fine, along with PM's, but comments and video pages are unreadable. It's worse than being unable to reply. I got bored of FF8 so I went to take on Ultimecia to see the game's ending. I don't get the ending and the PS1, for some unknown reason, was randomly starting and stopping the spinning every 10 1/2 or 11 1/2 seconds. It took an hour for the credits to scroll one screen's worth - 15 minutes for 4 frames once. I thought the game froze when this happened. Other videos (the first upon starting a new game and one where Garden goes mobile have this as well, but not as severely). I went at finishing up the list of spells for my 2D RPG I was before. I was working on status effect spells by day's end. Woke up at 1:55 PM and went to bed at 5:15 AM. Jan 16: The list of spells are done, but barely. I started the summary of story plans for another potential story, one envisioned 3 days ago. Just I did with 10 Elemental Masters, I need a basic summary. I'm going into too much detail though. The beginning could use some reworking to shorten though. Otherwise, it'll have over 100 scenes, too many (think: 800+ pages). There's a lot of other events as well. I still can't do anything with YouTube - I got screenshots. If unresolved by Wednesday, then I'm posting a notice on my site to let users know of this. If it continues longer, I'll make a video, if I can read anything to upload it. If needed, I can type in Notepad then copy/paste over. Woke up at 4:08 PM and went to bed at 5:33 AM. Jan 18: Oh goodie! A dream! A weird water one though was recalled. Awake for 20 hours... wow! I had a hard time getting myself to do something after 9:00 PM - TV and eating helped (YouTube skipped). I took out Bubsy, but got bored of it after only 30 minutes. I took out my NES and played Metroid. I encountered bugs, made a quick list, and attempted to get videos. I couldn't replicate one bug, the horizontal when vertical bug. I got 2 or 3 of the other 6 just fine. Battle Chess followed. It's easiest level is so difficult that repeated use of "take back" wasn't enough, which undoes not only the computer's action, but also my own previous one so it's almost like cheating, especially for how frequently I used it. I then got into shoveling snow - it's 2+ feet deep in areas. I began walking awkwardly at day's end because of it. Setting up access for "list of abilities" was the last thing. I'm mostly copying the design of "list of spells", doing the form. The table/query follows. I played about 15 to 20 games of Battle Chess, losing all but the last which was a stalemate (the computer couldn't make any legal moves). Woke up at 4:32 PM and went to bed at 11:56 AM. Jan 19: Daily check minus YouTube, TV while eating, finish setting up "list of abilities" form, then adding in a good bunch. I had to add 2 extra fields I forgot (both of which don't apply to spells). I continued on without further problems and went to bed. That was all I did. Tree climb at 72% true speed sounds nice. Woke up at 8:31 PM and went to bed at 9:12 AM (±1 minute). Jan 20: Eat, daily check minus YouTube, work on "list of abilities" finishing a few more, a full game of Mario 3 (5.1 million points, my new record), and that matching game was entered 27 times in a row giving me up to 54 faulty flips. I noticed that cards 8 and 11 as well as 13 and 18 are always matches. 80,000 points results in one round of it. Because of so much repetition, twice, from scratch (new round), I got everything (9 matches) without missing. The card combos are 1&4, 7&10, 8&11, 3&5, 13&18, 6&16, 2&12, and 9&15. The top left is 1, the top right is 6, and the bottom left is 13, for the order (like reading a book). There seems to be 3 layouts in all. This took up half the day. I also got Tomba 2, a game I recall renting but never completed as I got stuck - didn't know what to do. I never saw any of the pigs. I do recall an icy area and another with "roaming" lava below (based on the sound it makes when near it). Woke up at 9:21 PM and went to bed at 12:17 PM. Jan 21: Slept 11 hours? Eat, daily check, get screenshots then video of YouTube troubles, play Bubsy for a few hours (adding to the 4000), then work on "list of abilities". That's pretty much it. Woke up at 12:46 AM and went to bed at 2:18 PM. Jan 22: List of abilities... done! List of items prepared and started. I got too tired to continue on. A bit of Bubsy and Mario 3 were mixed in. For Mario 3, I was sort of after maxing the score. I only got 11% of the way there (1.1 million). That's when I started "list of items". Woke up at 1:58 AM and went to bed at 4:32 PM. Jan 23: I maxed the score in Mario 3, done in 3 1/4 hours. And of all places to do it, I did it in the very first level of the first world. I got 124 consecutive cases of the matching game and I got 4 perfects in a row at one time. I finished the rest of the game in 40 minutes, another record. I made only small progress with the list of items. I can, at last, see YouTube again! I spent over an hour processing YouTube comments. I took a shower after the Mario game then went grocery shopping 40 minutes later. I came home and ate a bit, watching TV. Woke up at 3:55 AM and went to bed at 8:05 PM. Jan 24: I woke up with a plugged ear - I could barely hear through it. It's actually the second time. I ate, did my daily check, now including YouTube again, then went to dad's work place. I did a bit of sand blasting for the first known time to me, using a dedicated chamber. Following that was speaking with a bookkeeper, and offered a shortcut (I forgot to mention another after seeing the way the bookkeeper did it). It's 5x+ faster, increasing with more data. I came home to assist setting up the Wii for my parents (Parents into video games? That's new!). I went to play Bubsy for a bit and I eventually took out FF5. I couldn't make further story progress again (I'm stuck like I am with FF9). I did do some leveling, looking for the fastest way to level - 386 is the fastest. I reached level 36 from 33. I'm almost certain I'll the strategy guide for it.... Woke up at 4:45 AM (±20 minutes) and went to bed at 9:20 PM (±4 minutes). Jan 25: FF5 dominated the day, making huge progress in the story. To get started, I had to get "unstuck" - I checked a guide to see what I had to do. Level 41 was reached. All day, I couldn't hear well out of my left ear - it's plugged with earwax. Everything sounds so weird! Woke up at 7:18 AM and went to bed at 3:04 AM. Jan 26: Still plugged.... Daily check, eat, FF5, eat, form list of stainless steel stuff for dad's workplace, then FF5. I've made some story progress. I also found a way to defeat the shield dragon in an effective way, but 15 minutes for 2500 EXP? Not worth it! I found an area averaging 900 per battle but takes about a minute. It's the fastest I know of at the moment. To get rid of shield dragon, cast "reflect on someone with "blink" then cast "bersrk" on the one with "rflect" to bypass the enemy's "auto-rflect". Put blink on everyone then cast "bersrk" on the main damage dealer, though possibly everyone but the white mage. When "blink" is used up, recast it. It makes the enemy harmless. "Bersrk" makes the enemy not counterattack and also not escape. Woke up at 1:36 PM and went to bed at 3:16 AM. Jan 27: Slept 5 1/2 hours. I was going to bed at 1:00, but forgot to charge the battery. I was highly involved with FF5, making big story progress. Only once did I need a guide so far, to get "unstuck". This is one weird game (put lots of emphasis on "weird"), and it's tough (but the series otherwise lacks challenge). This game is the weirdest I'm aware of, even weirder than Tomba (which hasn't arrived yet). Woke up at 10:27 AM and went to bed at 3:47 AM. Jan 28: Ear still plugged.... Got a lot of wax out, a surprising amount. 25 Q-tips or so were used and about 35 ends (70%) had a bit (or a lot) of ear wax on it. I think that's the cause. Some FF5 was played, mostly looking for training grounds. I did find, unexpectedly, a new town, "Mirage village", which has an odd layout. I have all spells, except one for time magic (probably meteor). There's still plenty of summons to get and an odd gap where Ramuh and Ifrit are. Knowing the series, there should be a "Shive", but where that's found, I don't know. I did get Bahamut and Phoenix, however. Bahamut is themost useful so far. I wonder if there is an "ultima" spell, as the series is known to have since FF2. The blue magic list has just 3 items listed. about 5 or 6 jobs are mastered for each character. Woke up at 12:47 PM and went to bed at 12:24 AM. Jan 29: Tomba 2 came! I played it getting further than I did before. I never saw or knew of the existence of the town called "Circus Town". It has the best music in the game so far. I also saw the game's first boss fight, the ice pig. Kujata Ranch's first version has the second-best music. Woke up at 12:16 PM and went to bed at 6:40 AM. Jan 30: Oh sure, 7 1/2 hours' sleep.... First it was part of my daily check, then it was working on banners until I ran into potential problems. I resumed my daily check and went at Tomba, finishing it storywise. I'm still missing a few events though. There are 5 blank spots and a few not completed. Woke up at 3:46 PM and went to bed at 7:16 AM. Jan 31: Eat, daily check, work on banners, then Tomba. I've got 3 events that still supposedly need to be found and I have a feeling that those unfound towers are the others. The "golden sun" and 2 others are also questioned as to what they're used for. There's a "precious ring" event that remains unfinished. Woke up at 5:04 PM and went to bed at 5:02 AM.
The news entry headlines in bold are color-coded for a reason. They tell how big the event was for the headlines and how good my day was for the daily entries. From May 2006 onward, a slightly different system is used, of which has triple the precision. For dates prior to this that use color coding, from the white color, skipping two to red and so on is used. Here's what each color represents (for updates to before May of 2006):