Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sims 3, Campaigns, Shark Music, and Links

1. Decided after fixing Sims 3, I don't really want to play Sims 3.  I get these urges to play sometimes. But then when I play, I usually get bored.

I realized something outrageous tonight. I think the only reason I keep playing is I like naming Sims, in the neighborhood, after famous Australians.   I had this idea of getting through my whole list of biography subjects.

I don't know.  I think there's something fun about naming things.

Anyway, Cheryl Kernot was next on the list; but I never got to her.  Jack ended up creating a Sims family instead.   I wanted to get on with playing the actual game, which turned out to be fairly boring.  Well, some aspects of it are fun.  But I think I'd rather spend my time doing other things.

2. Dreamed about the Tallygarunga people, probably because I saw them on my Statcounter yesterday; and the creator left a message on my Facebook page.  I don't remember much of the dream, except there was something about the fact that you're allowed to create only three characters.  

I feel bad because I stopped going to the site.  The reason why is I felt so conflicted about whether I wanted to join or not.  I wanted to join, but I didn't want to join. I think I felt that if I kept away from it, I'd feel less conflicted.   But it's fun to read, and I should keep doing at least that.

3. Dreamed about my old koala stuffed animal.   It started with me playing a video game.  Then it was like the game became more real....or like virtual reality.  I can't remember much, and it's hard to explain.  I'm in a room with lots of stuff.  There are creatures...maybe animals.  I go to a water-filled tank that has my stuffed animals.  I want to know if they're good or evil.   I test it out by putting another animal in the tank to see if the others attack it.  They don't.   My old koala stuffed animal is in there, and my white bear Hado.  I decide I want to take them back with me.   I take them out and start letting them dry.  Then my sister happens to be there. She remarks that the koala now looks very clean and new.

4. Realized suddenly that the koala probably represented the Australian towel.   Like the koala, I decided to take it back home with me.  I washed it yesterday.  It didn't look dirty, but it probably was dirty.  It probably had snot germs.   People wipe their runny noses on their towels at the lake house; well at least the kids do.  I once wiped my nose on that towel.  At least I think it was that towel.    I've told the story before, but I'll tell it again.   We were in Port Stephens.   I went swimming in the waves alone, which is not safe; but I was a bad girl.  I mean I really wasn't alone.  There were other people.  But I had no partner with me to notice if I didn't resurface.

Anyway, salt water went up my nose.  It worked like nasal spray and did a lot of clearing of my sinuses.  As I walked back to the cabin, snot kept dripping out of me.  It was gross and a bit embarrassing.

5. Decided that instead of joining Tallygarunga, I can follow it like a soap opera.  I can be a Tallygarunga Groupie. That might be fun.

I'm bad at being a groupie though.  I make plans, and then I get sidetracked.  But I've put Tallygarunga on my Firefox toolbar.  That should help me stay on task.   It's right there next to ABC Radio and the Australian Dictionary of Biography.   For those who are curious, I also have Statcounter, YouTube, my Harry Potter blog, this blog, Facebook, and Google Maps.

6. Read article about the gay safe sex ads.  The ads were in Brisbane bus stations. They were put up by a company called Adshel

I'm trying to figure out what Adshel is.  I guess they create bus stop structures, and advertisements?    It's interesting.

Anyway, Adshel got a bunch of complaints about the gay ads, so they took them down. Then people complained about the ads vanishing.  Adshel learned the complaints weren't coming from concerned members of the general public.  They were part of an orchestrated campaign from the Australian Christian Lobby.  

Anyway...long story short.  The ads are returning.   Innocent children are going to see fully clothed men hugging and holding a condom.  Their innocence will be shattered, and if they look too long at the poster, they'll turn gay themselves.   All Australian children will become gay. Then Jesus shall come down and smite everyone with his laser powered eyes.

7. Lost some of my desire to quit the Sims.  This morning I started thinking that maybe I like other things besides naming neighbors after famous Australians.  I like the fishing and the gardening.   The problem is I'm more goal-oriented than creative when playing the game.  I don't like that.   When Jack creates characters, he makes up stories for them.  I don't.  I just make them go through their lives.   I don't think of anything beyond what's happening on screen.    That kind of bothered me because I thought it meant I had lost my imagination.  But then I started doing the Harry Potter blog, and I found out I still have a huge amount of imagination.  So, what is it about the Sims?

Oh!  I think I just figured it out!   I think it's the lack of control.   You get to pick a lot of stuff—your Sim's clothes, their facial features, their furniture, their traits, what they eat for breakfast, when they use the toilet, etc.   But you don't get to choose their reaction to events.    Yesterday, Christina Winter was suddenly furious at her husband for cheating.  I was so lost. I didn't make William cheat on anyone.  How did he cheat?   Then I figured it out.  Before he got together with Christina, he dated Rose the vampire.  They never had an official break up....just kind of drifted apart.   Then the new patch in the game must have added something where Sims get mad if they learn there's an old relationship that hasn't officially ended.

I didn't want Christina to be furious over this old relationship.  I wanted her to have known about the relationship, and been okay with it. 

I also don't like when the Sims cry and cry over someone who's died and they weren't even friends with them.

So, that's it.   I finally figured it out.   I don't like that I can't control how the Sims are feeling.   I do think it would be fun to have things happen that I can't control—fires, burglaries, cakes appearing on the fishing line, etc.   But then I'd like to control how the Sim reacts. 

Maybe they'll make things better for Sims 4. 

8. Saw from Statcounter that I have a lot of role-playing people coming to my blog now. This is because Tallygarunga mentioned me on a role-playing message board.  I mentioned them, then they mentioned me, and now I'm mentioning them back again.  

This is what I was talking about a few weeks ago—natural link-exchanging vs. the artificial types.  Tallygarunga didn't write to me and say Hey we see you have an Australian blog.  We have a role-playing site that I think might interest your readers.   If you mention us, we'd greatly appreciate it and in return we'll mention your blog on our site.

I found them on my own via Google.  I liked them.  I wrote about them.  Then somehow they found out about my mildly creepy but also very flattering stalking and they wrote about my blog.

I personally think that's how the internet should work.

9. Listened to part of a quiz show with Tony Delroy on ABC radio.  They talked about the Office a bit.  He said Americans usually mess up when they try to remake an Aussie or British television program; but they did well with The Office.

10. Learned from Lord Wiki that All in the Family was a remake of a British show.  I had no idea about that!  This blogger talks about British shows remade for American television.   He says All in the Family was a remake of a show called Till Death Do Us Part.  

Three's Company and Sanford and Son were also remakes of British shows.  

11. Read another horrific article about the transport of live animals to Indonesia.  It talks about how the RSPCA has been fighting this battle for at least two years...probably longer.   They went to the government to talk about what was happening, and the government denied them the right to investigate. They didn't want to offend Indonesia.

This is NOT a new revelation.  It's not like no one knew about this, and suddenly we have evidence that evil things are happening to Australian overseas.  People did know.  People were trying to get the information out there.  Now finally Four Corners has managed to get people listening.  Suddenly, the beef business people are acting regretful and showing a desire to help the animals experience more pleasant deaths.  Do they really care, or are they just bending to sudden popular demand?

I would guess it's the latter.   Despite the graphic videos and planned legislation, animals are still being shipped over to Indonesia.  The ban isn't officially in place yet, so people are free to ship over their animals.  The article says that 2000 cows left Darwin yesterday.   Who is allowing this to happen, and why are they waiting for the government to say no?   If they really care, they should stop...NOW.

12. Read article that says AC/DC music is being used to attract great white sharks.  It's believed that the low-frequency sounds appeal to them.

13. Looked at the website for Adventure Bay Charters.  They're the ones using AC/DC to lure sharks.  The company has a swim experience where you can get close up to great white sharks.   The music helps bring the sharks closer to the tourists.     

The swim experience is pretty expensive.  It's $195 just to take the boat ride.  I guess you might see some shark fins.   Then if you want to get in the water—go in the shark cage with a snorkel, you have to pay $100 extra.

It must be a long ride though. You get morning tea, afternoon tea, and lunch.

14. Read article that says energy drinks are contributing to weight problems.  I kind of thought we already determined that.  And I don't even think you need scientists to prove it with a study.   We can look at the calories on the nutrition label.  If something has a lot of calories and is consumed on a regular basis; obesity may be the result. There's probably nothing wrong with drinking those things every so often.  It can be a treat like anything else.   But it shouldn't be seen as a health product.   It's the same as soda really.  Speaking of that, we let Jack have a grape soda at the zoo.  Well, we split one between the three of us.

Jack LOVES sweet drinks.  He calls them "special drinks".  He loves juice, bubble tea, energy drinks, smoothies, etc.  We let him have some, but not everyday.

We do consume too much sugar in this family.  I'll admit to that.  Personally though, I prefer my sugar addiction to be satisfied in solid forms. I like candy better than drinks.  Ice-cream is nice too.

15. Went to the Australian Dictionary of Biography for my Australian of the day.  It's another William Allen, and from what I can see...not the last.   This one is William Bell Allen.  

This William Allen was born in Ireland, and came to Australia in his late 20's.  He had a soap and candle factory on Sussex Street in Sydney. It was quite successful.

William Bell Allen became big in the Protectionist Movement.  I forgot what that is—something to do with economics and manufacturing, I believe.  Is it kind like fair trade maybe?

Okay, Lord Wiki says it's the opposite of free-trade. It's restricting trading between countries.

Is fair trade also the opposite of free-trade?   Maybe it sort of is, but probably in a different way than Protectionism.  I think Protectionism protects local businesses while Fair Trade protects human rights.  

I think Protectionists would be unhappy with how Australians are often buying things overseas lately.  

16. Listened to a song from Cloud Control; This is What I Said.  It was mentioned to me by an email-pal.

I like it. I don't love it yet.

Here's the song I love right now.  

17. Started to listen to Vintage Books by Cloud Control.  I looked at the lyrics.   They don't really excite me.  I thought I'd like them more....since I like books.  Well, I guess I just expected something different. 

18. Learned from Lord Wiki that Cloud Control comes from the Blue Mountains.

19. Realized I already listened to the other music group mentioned to me by the email-pal. It's not that I remembered right away; but I can see from the change in the link color that I went to to the video before.

The group is Boy and Bear. I think I  listened to their songs back when I was looking at ARIA music charts.

20. Decided to listen to The Storm by Boy and Bear.  I don't think I've heard this one before. 

21. Consulted Lord Wiki about the explorer John McDouall Stuart. Someone mentioned him to me in an email I read today.

I've gotten a lot of emails in the past few days. Well, it probably wouldn't seem like a lot to most people.  But I'm used of being unpopular, so anything more than three emails feels like a lot. 

Lord Wiki seems to be fond of Stuart.   He says he was the most famous of the inland explorers.   Also, Lord Wiki makes note of the fact that Stuart took well care of his team, and they suffered no casualties. That's good.

Stuart came to Australia from Scotland when he was about twenty-four.

22. Learned from Lord Wiki that Stuart did six expeditions.  In the first one he ended up in Coober Pedy; but he didn't realize there were opals there.

23.  Decided I don't want to read about all the expeditions. It's boring to me.   I'd probably like a first hand account type thing.  Maybe.  But I'm not really interested in just dry factual details.

24. Learned that the Stuart Highway is named after John McDouall Stuart.

25. Found that you can read Stuart's journal online

He says the horses wouldn't drink the water.  I wonder why.

Oh!  It sounds like they just weren't thirsty.  Then Stuart and his gang traveled for five hours.   Where they went was too dry and there was no water.  Stuart was worried about them, and he figured they'd need to go back to the place where the horses had rejected the water.

He sounds like a caring guy.  It's nice to know that some humans are willing to take good care of their animals.   Well, at least in this case, he did.

26. Looked up Mudleealpa.  This is the place with the water.  When I googled, the websites shown were about Stuart's journal.  So I'm guessing the name of this place has been changed.

27. Saw that the horses were still not eager to drink the Mudleealpa water.  Stuart says, Some of the horses would not drink the water, and others drank very little: they will be glad to drink far worse than this before they come back, or I am much mistaken.   

I guess it wasn't just about being not thirsty.   It was about being picky; probably rightfully so.   But from what Stuart says, I'm guessing the water was somewhat drinkable; maybe just not palatable.

28. Decided to visit the Tallygarunga site.  What's going on with the wizards of Victoria?  

Reade Ainsworth is working on music with his vampire professor.

Professor Ivan Valentin is a mind-reader.

29. Decided to find out more about Reade Ainsworth.   I already know he can't talk.  I learned that a few weeks ago.  He's mute—uses sign language.   He can hear though.  And now I've just learned he can play the piano.  What else is up with this guy?  

He's fifteen and Muggleborn.   He's the same age as my Muggle character, Alexandra.   But they're in different time periods.   She's fifteen in 1998 and Reade Ainsworth is fifteen in 2011.   In 2011, Alex will be turning twenty-nine.

30. Impressed with the physical description of Reade Ainsworth.   I'm so bad at writing descriptions of physical appearance.   Ainsworth's creator is good at making it interesting.  She doesn't just talk about physical characteristics, but also ties it into his personality.

I like this sentence.  He doesn't take very long on his appearance in the morning, he will more often than not let his hair remain unruly rather than trying to style it and has only just started needing to shave, so he sometimes forgets that too.

I do think I wrote a fairly okay description for The Dream Games, but I probably had to majorly struggle to do it.   It's just not in my nature to be able to write that type of stuff.  

I wrote.... Rachel had long thick dirty blond hair that she never did anything with; well besides sometimes pulling back with a rubber band. Not that she didn't want to be stylish. It's just she wouldn't even know where to begin. And her clothes were equally baggy pants and a solid colored long sleeve shirt on colder days; denim shorts and a plain colored t-shirt on warm days; jogging shorts and a tank top on hot days.   And there were many hot days in Fort Worth. 

 Rachel wore white or floral underpants and never a bra that matched. Oh, and this was when she actually managed to get dressed. Unless she planned to go somewhere (which besides school was rare) she'd just stay in her pajamas. And nothing cute there. Rachel's pajamas usually consisted of an old polyester/cotton blend t-shirt (they were the softest) and old raggedy gym shorts.

Sadly, that description is pretty autobiographical.     I actually need some new raggedy gym shorts; or just gym shorts, really.   The problem is I want plain cotton, and I keep seeing stuff in that other type of material.  I forgot what it's called, but Tim has a ton of clothes made from it.  Oh...maybe it's microfiber?  Yeah. I think that's it.

31. Went back to reading about Reade Ainsworth.  Playing the piano helps him when he's feeling stressed or unhappy.

Reade was born with immature vocal cords.  That's why he's mute. I wonder how common/rare that is.

Reade's sister is also magical.

32. Googled mutism.  From what I'm seeing, it seems mutism is more often a psychological/neurological disorder, rather than related to the speech organs.  But I'm guessing there probably are infants out there born with a vocal cord problem.

So when Reade was a baby, did he cry silently? I'm guessing his cries made no sound. Or maybe it would be a raspy type sound?

33. Read about little Lee Evans   at St. Andrews.   That's the primary school that's for wizards AND Muggles. What I haven't figured out yet is whether the Muggles know about the wizards at their school. 

I think Lee's creator is American, because she uses American words.  She says cookie instead of biscuit, Mommy instead of Mum, and Gummy Bears instead of jelly babies/bears.

Maybe Lee is from America?   He might be an expat.

34. Learned that Lee Evan is a Muggle; and he was born in Hong Kong.   I had been wondering if they allowed Muggle characters in the game.  I'm glad they do. I think it's more fair that way.   Rejecting Muggles would be a bit prejudice.  

Lee's like Jack....half Asian.

35. Confused by Lee Evan's story. There's a Leanna here.  She's the magic one in Lee's life.  But I can't figure out how they're related. She's referred to as his sister, but it seems maybe it's an unofficial sibling relationship.  I'm not sure.

36. Decided I should take a break from reading about Australian wizards and go swimming.

37. Heard Abba's "Waterloo" on ABC radio.  It inspired me to watch the "Waterloo" scene from Muriel's Wedding. I'm going to go swim.

38. Had a lovely time at the pool.   I read Pescador's Wake which is exciting and enjoyable.   I did this while walking in the pool.  I rescued a big beetle from the water.   Then Tim and Jack came outside.  I rescued a honey bee.  I played with Jack a bit.   I rescued the same beetle again.   Then we watched the beetle walk right back into the water. I wanted to see him make the leap.

I took the beetle out and moved him far away from the pool.  I got out of the pool.   I went to get some Mango sorbet and ate it outside right out of the container. That was very nice.  I danced a little to the music playing on the radio Tim had brought out. I read my book a bit more and watched Tim give Jack some rides.

39. Started to watch some more of episode three of Offspring.

I'm really loving it.

40. Read article about MP Mary-Jo Fisher speaking out against the potential ban on shipments of live animals to Indonesia.

You know what. I read this quickly the first time and was against what Fisher was saying.   It's back to the jobs thing; the money.  We can't have a ban because it will effect the farmer's livelihood.   She argues against the idea that Indonesia will buy meat instead of animals.   She says some Indonesians don't have refrigerators.   I don't know if that's true or not.   Either way though.  Should we let animals be horrifically abused just to make sure the beef industry stays on its feet?

I say no.

But then I read something the second time; and something Fisher said makes some sense to me.   Suspension of the industry will achieve nothing because tomorrow an animal will still be treated cruelly in an Indonesian abattoir.

If Australia stops sending cattle to Indonesia, will they stop eating cows?  I mean I guess that's possible.  But it's also possible that they'll get their animals elsewhere.    And what if those animals are abused?   Are they less worthy of compassion than Australian animals?

41. Wondered though if Fisher is talking bullshit.  Maybe most Indonesians would buy chilled meat?  I mean if people are so poor that they can't afford a refrigerator, are they going to have enough money for a steak or hamburger?    Yes, I'm sure there are some people who are very poor.   They go to the market, buy a fresh piece of meat, and cook it right away.   But is that super common? 

Maybe the Indonesians can just learn to be vegetarian.  Meat's expensive.  Veggies are cheaper.  I'd rather have vegetarian Indonesians than abused animals.  

Is there a way though to fix the industry in Indonesia. Can you train them and force them to treat their animals better?  I don't know.

42. Thought of the other problem.  It's not just about destination.  From what I've heard the actual traveling is horrible on the animals.

The RSPCA says that the law has it that food can be withheld from calves for up to 30 hours.   The RSPCA argues that the calves need food at least every 12 hours.  So before being slaughtered, these animals are starving.  That's really sad.

This page of the RSPCA site says in the days before their death (during the transportation) the animals are deprived of food water, and are exposed to extreme temperatures.  It's like the Jews being taken to the death camps in those trains.

I know.  Some people don't like hearing animal abuse compared to the Holocaust.  So let's look at it another way. 

Let's imagine something else.  How would you feel about a zoo where gorillas are kept in cages that are too hot, and there's not enough air circulating?  How about places where tigers have barely any room to move because too many have been packed together in one cage? What if elephants were fed on a schedule that left them thirsty and starving?

Would you go to that zoo?  Would you support it existing?  

I think most people would be appalled. They'd want it shut down; or at least they'd want it to be changed. 

So if it's not okay to treat zoo animals that way, why is it okay to treat cows like that?  

43. Found out we can get Love My Way from Netflix!   I'm very excited about that.   I added it to our queue.  Tim has a bunch of stuff on there.   Some I don't understand.  It's stuff we've watched a few months 50 First Dates.     I kept asking Tim, do you really want to see this?  Why is that on the list?    He said I can put Love My Way up towards the top; make it #3.   Lost in Space preceded it; and something else.  Oh....Casino Royale.    I questioned this, and asked how many DVD's are you allowed at a time.  He said one.   I looked at the DVD he has at home.   He's had it since May 17.   Obviously, he's pretty slow at watching things.   Why?  He watches stuff from the Netflix home program thing.   And he rents movies for a dollar from Walgreens.  He gets movies all the time.   I don't feel bad about putting my show at the top of the queue.

However, I then put it down a few notches because I'm in the midst of watching Offspring.   I'm going to run out of iTunes money, and plan to wait for my birthday to get more.   It's better for me to wait and watch Love My Way while I'm missing Offspring. It will help me get through the lonely times.      

44. Did something, and I'm not sure if I'm okay with it.   I'm also not sure if I'm okay with the fact that I'm not okay with it.   Frankly, I'm worried about myself.

It's about my Harry Potter blog.   I've gone back and forth with the whole idea of telling people about my real self.   Should I eventually leave a link to this blog?   Should I not?  Should I let them go on imagining I'm a 15 year old British girl with a sister as a witch?  I mean of course they know I'm not really that.  They know it's all a game.   They're playing characters too.  It's all pretend. But does it not diminish the game a bit when the masks are removed?

On the other hand, might there be something wrong if you cling too tightly to your mask?  I think I've kind of been doing that.   Maybe I'm the one who wants Alex to be real; and maybe I've fear she'll be less real to me if I don't keep her and myself separate.  

But....tonight one of the wizards gave a link to her flickr account; and it inspired me to do the same.  And I gave her my blog address.   

I feel naked.   I feel like I'm....Well, I worry that if these wizard people do follow the link and read my blog, I'll be a disappointment to them.   Or maybe I'm worried that Alex will feel about me the same way As Dame Edna feels about Barry Humphries.

Alex is much nicer than Dame Edna; so I shouldn't worry.  

Dame Edna is scary...but funny.

45. Added a warning to my links, saying I understood if they don't want to go to the blog or see my photos.   It's kind of like I said, I'll take off my mask, but it's up to you if you want to look or not.   

46. Decided I was wrong about #5.   I CAN be good at being a groupie.   I'm an excellent groupie of Australia in general.   I just don't always do well at specific things within Australia.  There's just too much stuff. It's overwhelming.  

47. Went to pee, looked in the mirror, and thought I looked a bit like Barry Humphries. Wouldn't it be weird if I didn't exist, and I was just one of his characters?

Sometimes I think I can do a pretty good imitation of Bruce the Shark.   Maybe that's why......