April Fool’s Day in Habitica


Joy and Doom to All!

THE SPRING FLING HAS FLUNG TOO FAR! Run while you can, Habiticans! The floral theme has come to life and is taking over Habitica with horrifying cheer, repeat, the flowers are taking over HMMMPH MMPH MMMHPPPH….




Anyway, I got this kind of early, which made it funnier. Also, I’m playing Sims 4 again. I figure I bought it, I might as well. Also doing my first by the rules for-realsies Legacy Challenge. Considering that Sims 4 is about the emptiest Sims base game ever, it should be an easy challenge.

I’m just being a jerk. The game is actually being fun, and I keep catching myself going to buy the expansion that came out today.


I hate insurance

Getting insurance after Hubby became a full-time student has been rather a nightmare. When we finally did, guess what. They don’t cover any of our doctors, despite an inaccurate list claiming that they do. And getting a new rheumatologist is about as likely as Nevada becoming submersible. Quite frankly, it’s all I can do not to have whiplash-inducing flashbacks starring things like my previously deformed knee and a single fleece blanket pinning me to the bed.

Looks like the Medicare thing doesn’t even matter now. I can’t have enbrel without a doctor to prescribe it and insurance to cover it. I just… I’m so sick of all this shit.


Percolating away

It’s odd that although there are much fewer bumps right now, I still haven’t got any time to write. Like most people who don’t have time to write, I am doing it anyway, but it’s stressful and incomplete. I have another hubby assignment that I’m rather afraid won’t be fulfilled in favour of a much much bigger project. I’ve been trying to read the goofy Mercedes Lackey fairy godmother book for two days, and have only gotten in about eight chapters because Bridge of Birds is so much more engaging (and yet a sloooow read for me).

No more juggling Wednesdays. We’ve moved the game to Mondays, and instead of just guessing which grandmother Owen will terrorise, now we know (thank you, by the way). Also it was just the weekend, and I had ample opportunity on at least one day. So why do I feel so cramped for time?

Part of it is that I don’t always use it wisely. And to be totally honest, some of that is in turn because I have crippling insomnia and Owen still thinks that this Sleep thing is a bollocks idea. …and since it’s past 23:00, I shall take some advice, possibly some sleep aid, and get some Zzz.


4theWords Review – What is This Even

The other day, I heard about this site called 4theWords. I will not link to it. Not because I think it’s purposely dishonest, and it probably isn’t technically harmful. But it is such an impressive bit of FUBAR that I don’t want to be associated beyond this one time that I will (sort of) publicly state my opinion.

It looks like such a good idea. The phrase they use is something like “a gym for writers” and it is basically 750 Words with more features. There is supposed to be a forum, like NaNoWriMo has, badges like 750 Words has (only more and possibly cooler), levels like HabitRPG, and two kinds of gamer-type currency. Like Duolingo has. So cribbing ideas from elsewhere like picking up eggs, sugar, and condensed milk and making flan.

Yummy_Flan_by_mkirby712Yummy Flan by mkirby712 on DeviantArt

Anything related to flan must be good, right? Wrong. 4theWords is not a delicious flan.

It’s an abysmally buggy site that not only has absolutely no business even discussing money changing hands, it also has no business being listed on the NaNoWriMo web site among legitimate writing resources like Evernote and Scrivener. This is old news (like five months old) but it’s still up on NaNoWriMo’s Sponsor Offers page. My respect for NNWM tanked years ago, but it does not help when they toot a horn for stuff like Zoetic Press and this bullcrap.

…an “honour” that a company can apparently buy with $6000 donated to NaNoWriMo. I think I just died a little. This makes it look even more likely that whoever is in charge doesn’t vet the sponsor offers at all. Yay bribes.

Anyway. I wasn’t aware of all of this until I decided to try it out. First warning sign is that even to sign up for the 30-day free trial, you have to set up a recurring payment with Paypal. It doesn’t look illegal or anything, it’s just not always good business practise. Simply because people don’t like it, and it stops them from ever being customers. It’s even worse when you realise that this site is STILL IN OPEN BETA. Oh, and they also missed basically every deadline they ever set. Old jokes about Peter Molyneux start to come to mind.

But the kicker was when I went ahead with the Paypal thing, and lo, I was kicked back to the sign-in page… and upon trying to log in, I found myself at the same page asking me to set up a recurring Paypal payment. Every Single Time that I tried logging in. I gave up. It wasn’t worth it.

From what I gleaned from people who actually managed to log in (many after having the same problem I did, and all of their comments 3-5 months old), the interface is both unappealing and unusuable. The forums don’t work like forums are supposed to work. And worst of all: Core Features, the gamification stuff like fake currency and levelling, literally don’t work at all. The general attitude in the thread that announced the site’s existence to WriMos was disappointment, irritation, suspicion, and even anger.

But since it is such a good idea, a lot of people were kind of cynically hopeful for the stable version. Personally? I don’t care if it does happen. I want nothing to do with any software engineer who ever thought that SHIFT-S was a good Save Shortcut Key in a WORD PROCESSOR.


Owen is getting bigger

Photo Mar 10, 6 32 44 PM

Watching a movie with Abbie.

Photo Mar 19, 10 10 10 AM

He talked on the phone with Oliver for a couple of minutes. Then he decided that he would rather push buttons and hang up. Twice.
Also, his hair is crazy because he had just had a bath.

But my favourite thing that he has done recently was when he got into my phone. He loves to play with my phone. It does all the things! He listened to music (thankfully only downloaded things I had already bought, no accidental purchases YET) I saw him open up Pages and create a new document. I even saw the template he chose and that he had changed a picture. What I didn’t see was what picture he had replaced it with–later I had a look.



Free-Writing with a Husband Prompt

Things had started off so well.

After three rocky months of chilly encounters and out-and-out fights, Helen had allowed Parker to take her on a real date. Not a “we need to talk” date, or just hanging out. A real, wear that black dress, get out the expensive make-up, not in a diner date. There had been jokes, and Parker had paid the bill like a gentleman.

Then he had remembered his retainer. Or rather, he had realised that he had completely forgotten his retainer. Their table had already been bussed, but a waiter let them look around for it anyway.

“Don’t you have a case or something?” she asked, watching as Parker climbed under the table.

“I lost it.”

Somehow, she managed not to comment. The inside of her cheek was going to hurt for an hour, but she managed not to comment. She leaned surreptitiously against the side of the booth.

After a few moments of shuffling and possibly cursing, Parker backed out from under the table. Helen pointedly did not remark upon his resemblance to a giant tortoise. He grabbed the edge of the table and pulled himself to his feet. His features were almost comically grave.

“That was my spare.” He rubbed his shaved head furiously.

Helen took his elbow gently in one hand and pulled his hand down before he could raise any sparks. “This looks like a job for me.”

For a second, his eyes lit up. But they clouded quickly. “I thought I didn’t get discounts.”

She waved her hand dismissively. “You don’t. But you did pay for dinner, and you know you don’t have to do that. Come on.”

They left the restaurant at a sedate pace, despite Parker’s brief attempts to hurry her along. Time wasn’t a factor for Helen. She’d have the stupid retainer back by curfew. And possibly even some gratitude.

But she wouldn’t hold out for that.

She led the way to the car, a rare borrow from her mom, and slid into the backseat. Without waiting for Parker to get in, Helen shut the door and started rummaging through her bag. Although dates with Parker didn’t usually call for any craft witchier than a snide comment, there were certain things that she always carried with her.

Parker peered into the bag as she took out string, pennies, dried fruit, and a two by three-inch journal. He raised an eyebrow. “What’re the tampons for?”

She glared at him and snapped the bag shut. “Take a wild guess, genius.” She draped the string over the fingers of one hand. “Rip out a page from the book.”

That part would be easy for her to order, and for him to do. Unfortunately, witchcraft tended to focus a lot on… humors. While Parker struggled to tear the surprisingly thick paper, Helen tied a few of the pennies and bits of fruit into the string.

Once she was satisfied, she slid the fingers of her free hand up the wrist her of decorated hand. The string caught at her fingtertips like fish taking bait. She spread her hands apart, and an eleborate cat’s cradle. Though the effect was more like a heavily laden fishing net.

Parker’s gaze was fixed on her work, as though he expected it to glow or speak. “Now what?”

“Now you, um. Lick the paper.”

His mouth turned down so severely that she couldn’t tell if he was frowning or about to throw up. He held up the small page. “This was in your bag.”

She bit her lip.

“Next to your tampons.”

“Ugh, it’s not like they’re used!” She jerked her shoulders up and gave the cat’s cradle a shake. “Honestly, it’d work best if you put the whole thing in your mouth and made a wish.” Parker’s face started to change color. “Your spit is a link to the retainer. You have to use some part of your body, and your mouth is where the retainer *goes.”*

Parker looked down at the paper. He rolled his eyes. Then he spat on it. He missed a bit, but Helen didn’t mention the saliva shining on his hand.

“Great. Now hold it over the shamble for a second, then drop it.”

She shut her physical eyes and allowed her third eye to ease open. The shamble emitted a dull radiance. Her own magic cast a glow outwards, touching everything. Everything but Parker.

He dropped the paper. As it reached the shamble’s centre, light rippled, and then drew itself inward like yarn winding into a ball. Helen waited for it to cast out the line.

Parker nudged her foot. He started to say something, she could hear it in his breathing. A swift kick to the shin turned it into a gasp.

The line cast out in the direction of the restaurant. Helen’s door opened itself, and she glided back out into the parking lot. This part always reminded her of her grandmother’s divining rod. Just rather less jerky. The ball of light wound itself up again, slowly, pulling her along as it did so, as if the end of the thread was immoveably anchored.

A squark of dismay shocked her out of her trance. The first thing Helen saw when she opened her physical eyes was the yawning maw of a very full dumpster.

Grimacing, she collapsed the shamble and held it in one hand. “I found it. You have to get it yourself.”