Getting back up to speed

Hi,
You maybe wondering what happened to my Blaugust efforts which I kind of kicked off but then I vanished part way through.

Well I kind of need to jump back to earlier in the year to explain, I had been becoming more and more stressed at various things, some of it comes from my home life and some from my ongoing health concerns, but the bulk were being triggered by different elements at work.

I had been trying a number of things to help me stop being so stressed and exhausted, different things that helped to stop me from tipping over the edge. They did just that, but they didn’t really deal with or solve the underlying causes, so predictably that dam was gonna break, it was just a matter of when.

In the middle of August I had a stomach upset that lasted a week, I knew that I was also pretty run down and exhausted, I spent most of that week in bed, recharging my batteries or so I thought. But the following Monday morning I prepared to head out but just couldn’t bring myself to leave the house, it was only really at this point did I notice how completely overwhelmed I had become and things weren’t great.

So there you have it, for the last few months I have been working on dealing with my anxiety and depression. Thankfully I had some great support from my family and friends, plus from a psychologist who was introduced to me by my employer.
So I’m still learning how to view and process things differently, in a way that means I’m not getting wound up.

GameBlast 18

So February is fast approaching and that means that it will soon time for GameBlast, the gaming marathon event in support of the charity Special Effect.

I support a number of different and awesome charities covering a wide range of different missions, some local, some national and some international. But as a gamer Special Effect is the charity closest to my heart, enabling people with physical disabilities to play games, socialise and get the enjoyment from games that other people take for granted.

There is no set structure as to what you need to do other than in being gaming related, it can be PC, Console even Board games if you like. Also there is no mandatory duration needed, you can play for however long you want, a couple of hours or longer.
This will be mine and Munki’s third year taking part in this wonderful event and I’m very excited, we are doing the same configuration as last year with two 12 hour stream Saturday and Sunday from at Midday to Midnight.

This year I’m planning on doing another long distance Euro Truck Simulator 2 journey, this time we can go even further as we can now head into Italy, maybe a trip from Bergen to Catania via La Rochelle. Thoughts?

You can learn more about Special Effect here and more about GameBlast18 here.
If you would like to support me

Is there anything you would like to see me play?


The video below is just over 5 minutes and it highlights all the good things that SpecialEffect have done in their 10 years of existence, if you get time to watch it please do.

Hello 2018

I admit that I’ve been pretty pants at blogging over the last few years, I would like to improve on that, I enjoy sharing thoughts, ideas and ponderings with cyberspace.
So when Vero blogged that she was going to challenge herself to blog each day in January, I though it had been a few years since I did Blaugust and I kind of enjoyed having a goal that can keep me focused.

So this is the start of my new 2018 blog posts, firstly I decided to quickly look back at 2017 and what have been my favourite parts. I’m going to avoid all the worldwide political nonsense because, it gets me worked up and this isn’t Facebook 😛

RolePlaying

I enjoyed role playing so much in my youth but once I started work it fell by the wayside, 2017 for me was the year that I returned to Role Playing and to Dungeons and Dragons. For my clan I started a pre-scripted adventure that has given us 10 months of giggles, admittedly some all of the sessions just descended into chaos and fits of laughter. But I have known these folks for the best part of thirteen years I know that when they are laughing, they are having fun and after all isn’t that the point.

That said I have started running the same campaign with some other friends and it too descended into fits of laughter, so I think the common denominator is me ,Welshtroll purveyor of finest RPG giggles.

I have finally got to GM a Fate game, after owning a collection of the books for some time, I convinced my clan that we could a break from DnD with an excursion into an Achtung! Cthulhu game, which is proudly named “Who do you think you are kidding Mr Shoggoth?” the game of cause has turned into a mixture of Kelly’s Heroes and ‘Allo ‘Allo!

Music

Alongside some new albums by some of my favourite bands I have had the pleasure of discovering (new to me) artists this year, I drift more into the world of electronic music, finding that it complements the heavier stuff and finding some music with a darker cyberpunk theme has been bliss.

Earlier in 2017 I decided that I would give Google Music a bash as my amazon music experience had be fraught with hurdles and miscommunication, that resulted in me having no service from them, but still being emailed monthly to say that my subscription is about to end. I have found that discovering music much easier on Google Music and have made purchases based on those discoveries.

This was how I discovered Makeup And Vanity Set who’s albums I find wonderfully though provoking, in that there is often an album theme that you can use to start the ideas of what each songs is trying to convey.

Streamers and Streaming

This year I have watched more streamers than ever before, thanks to twitch affiliates I have also managed to show my support for those streamers directly either with subs or cheers. As it stands I barely watch any live or recorded TV now, there is a great deals of folks who keep me entertained and with whom I can interact with both during and after streams.

I have always been cautious of considering people as content, (stemming back to how games companies have often delivered a game/world that is sparse on predefined content and expect players to be that content for each other) but I have to admit there are some amazing streamers and communities that have dispelled that belief when it comes to streaming.

Personally I have been streaming on and off this year, hampered slightly by my episode of vertigo. However I’ve been quite pleased with how it has been going and I’ve enjoyed myself quite a bit.
In 2018 I hope to continue to stream with increased with regularity, plus not forgetting that we have signed up for GameBlast for the third year in a row, raising money for the amazing charity Special Effect.

 

I was going to touch on my games from 2017 but I think that will wait until another post, mostly as it was so good.
See you tomorrow

BPPV and I

After getting a head-cold from co-worker I awoke one morning shortly afterwards and was barely able to stand due to dizziness. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) usually affects persons over 50, but its seems that once you’ve had it you are more likely to get it again. For me this is at least the third time, possibly fourth time that I have been afflicted with intense dizziness and nausea.

It’s thought that small debris/calcium often referred to as crystals enter unexpected parts of the ear causing it to send the wrong information to your brain that you are still moving when you are not. It’s OK though as without treatment it often clears up after several weeks or months.

In order to treat BPPV there are a two main methods “Epley Manoeuvre” and the “Brandt-Daroff exercises”, both of these aim to help to move the debris into a place that doesn’t cause vertigo any longer. So far I haven’t had much joy with the Brandt-Daroff exercises, I’m continuing to take Cinnarizine daily to help me feel more normal, but frankly I’d rather the blasted thing was gone.

As I’m not able to drive at the moment so I’ve not been able to commute to work, but thankfully I have been able to work from home on my Laptop, which I am rather grateful for as not having something to focus on during the weekdays would drive me up the wall. Having me around in the daytime is certainly getting to Munki and impacting her daily routines. Some days I don’t feel the effects too much and wonder if things are getting better, usually to contrast a good day is followed by an awful day where I struggle to sit upgrade for any extended period of time.

Fingers crossed the exercises help to get rid of this soon.

A la Mode

Welcome dear reader!
Hi, how is 2017 treating you so far?

I’ve usually attempted to post more by the halfway mark of the year but alas this year has been pretty much hectic with an added pinch of exhausting thrown in for good measure.

Why you ask , well mostly as my role has transitioned into something different, but while retaining much of the same stuff as I was doing before only more of it. Confusing right?

Streaming and gaming

I’ve been a little relaxing in my streaming habits, I started to ease back to streaming on Sunday mornings and will aim to keep up that habit while it makes sense to do so. I’ve been trying to keep the streams to relaxing games, mostly as it’s Sunday morning but also I usually have Little Troll in close proximity.

Gameblast was great fun this year and we raised more than our total in 2016, which considering there was on three of us this year was rather a good accomplishment. I totally love Special Effect and all the good work that they do.

Games

Munki and I are possibly going to get into a MMO (know first time in forever), we bought the game with the month trail as some kind of bonkers anniversary gift to each other, we’ll see how the first month in FFXIV pans out.

I am playing alot more Euro Truck Sim 2 recently, I think it’s that I find it quite relaxing ( until I hit something ), I’m covering more of the map to try and get those achievements.

Online Role Playing

Oneshot Island
Oneshot Island

Since the start of the year we have been playing through the Hoard of the Dragon Queen, we’ve had a few start and stops due to real life but it’s been enjoyable, we even picked up another player a month ago, So I must be doing something right.  It makes Sundays a little longer for me as a 8am start for streaming and a 11pm finish after the DnD session can make for a long day, but it’s enjoyable.

I find that Roll20 is such a great tool for our game, that I have now got a Pro account, which if they only thing it gave was the ability to copy between games would still be very worth it.

I had the pleasure of running a One-shot game for some friends from the streaming community I am part of, I was nervous as the last game I created and ran was in back in 1997, so I was worried that it wouldn’t go according to plan or I’d just turn into a blithering wreck. Thankfully it was fine and everyone enjoyed it, including me.

I have found that I enjoy building up scenes for the groups to consume, yes I know it’s all make believe, but sometimes it’s useful to have an idea of the environment or things that as the GM you want to remember to use in your story telling.

In getting to building these I pretty much bought all of the art assets by David Hemenway on Roll20, I find that his the art style lends itself well for use with both rendered and hand drawn characters, and the various packs fit well together.