Blog

Magnificent desolation — Chronicles from Concordia

 

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/20jhZ58fJ7xTkTudhxrWQg

Dr. Stijn Thoolen is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. He facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. Find this blog post in the original Dutch below. Concordia, January 2, 2020 Sunlight: 24 hours…

via Magnificent desolation — Chronicles from Concordia

Horse Isle 3 – Balloon Adventures

As many of you know, there is a balloon you can buy in Horse Isle 3.  This article is for those of you who want to know what’s it’s like before earning and spending the massive amount of Essence needed for its use.

First of all, I would not recommend buying the Balloon if you want to use it to travel long distances.  After all, it goes at half the current speed of the wind, and in the same direction, and the only way you can control it is by pressing the up or down keys.  You can see what direction the wind is going by looking at the little blue arrow on the round map in the upper right hand corner of your screen.  However, you likely know this if you already have the Sailboat.

Note of hilarity: If you try to deploy your balloon in shallow water, you get the message “Not a water balloon.”

Basic Balloon Facts

Cost: 25,000 Essence with at least 1,000 of that being from Decay Biome

Fuel: Lantern Oil

Time to take off: 5 seconds of burn

Speed: 1/2 of current wind speed

Hotkeys: Up and Down arrows

 

Fuel Saving Tips

You will quickly find that flying the balloon takes a lot of Lantern Oil.  Rather than spamming the Up-arrow key, it’s best to space out your key strokes to find the best interval where you don’t lose altitude but keep going.

2 or 3 Lantern Oils are required to get off the ground and to a decent altitude,  then let off the up button, then wait about twenty seconds, then hold the up button till you see that another Oil has been used.  After a while you’ll get the feel for how often you need to use oil, but basically it’s best to hold then button down till you see that an Oil has been used then let up for a while.  The higher you go, the harder it is to see.

I would suggest saving up between 30 and 50 lantern oils before your first flight.

Another thing you can do to save oil is to deploy your balloon from a place that’s already high, like a Beach Spiral, the top of a Mesa, or even one of those conveniently located tall towers.

Note: it can be a lot of fun to hit X at the top of the balloon’s flight, putting it away and giving you a chance to skydive!

 

How to get Lantern Oil

You can buy it, often very cheaply, from player stores.  Check the Shopping Board for prices.

There are basically three ways to make Lantern Oil.

You will need a Ranch House and a Furnace for all three methods.

Recipe 1:  Melt shovels of Tar at your Furnace.

Tar is found in Tar Pits in Decay Biome.  Be careful not to walk on the wet sticky part or you can get stuck, you can still dig from black ground near the wet tar surface.  Some clubs are in Decay Biome and have tar pits nearby, so that is a cheap way to get there.  It costs 1 shovel of tar per 1 Lantern Oil.

Recipe 2: Make Cooking Oil from Olives then use Furnace.

Olives are found in the dark green portions of Mediterranean Biome, growing on trees.  It takes 4 olives to make a bottle of cooking oil, then 2 bottles of cooking oil can be combined at the Furnace to make 1 bottle of Lantern Oil.

Recipe 3: Make Cooking Oil from Coconuts then use Furnace.

Coconuts can be found on coconut trees all over beaches, and it takes one coconut to make a bottle of Cooking Oil.  2 of those can be combined at the Furnace to make 1 bottle of Lantern Oil.

See below for pictures!

 

Like to join me on this awesome game?  If you would, make sure and use this link or place my ID, 1023, in the box when you join.
That way, if you ever decide to buy a subscription, even for one month, you’ll get a bonus 1000 essence, plus 10 Esroh Essence to help you get started.  A subscription costs 500 Mobia per month and you can buy Mobia from other players in-game if you don’t have cash to spend.
Balloon in Flight
Skydiving is a fun sport, too
Tower to launch from
Balloon on tower-top
Tower-top

Journey to the end of the world — Chronicles from Concordia

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/6J0AjzrYsPZrQtw6IjErhy?si=fnGu08dcSt-9hn7hfDriQQ

Dr. Stijn Thoolen is the ESA-sponsored medical doctor spending 12 months at Concordia research station in Antarctica. He facilitates a number of experiments on the effects of isolation, light deprivation, and extreme temperatures on the human body and mind. Find this blog post in the original Dutch below. The end of our world is full…

via Journey to the end of the world — Chronicles from Concordia

Horse Isle 3 – the Essence Anomaly

A recent update introduced something called an Essence Anomaly.  Anyone who plays

will know that Essence buys equipment and various account perks like the kayak, the pony cart, the hot air balloon and also musical instruments.  You can run around all over the map and gather Essence that way but it’s nice to get a boost at times.

Enter the Essence Anomaly.  Basically it’s a big ball of essence floating in the sky, and it’s at a random place.  You have 30 minutes to travel to it, or find someone else to help you travel to it.  If you are within 200 meters of it when the time is up, you get 150-250 Essence all at once.  Information about these are announced as Server Events, like Mane Event, water balloon throwing parties, etc.  You will also probably see plenty of talk about it in Global Chat.

Here is what the relevant news post has to say about it:

+ A random spot (up to 750 km from center, may be ocean) spawns an Essence Anomaly.
+ Every player who gets there in the allotted time will receive bonus at end.
+ Bonus is 150 to 250 essence.
+ New ‘Anomaly Researcher’ Award tracks completions.
+ Hint: SoundFX is silent as you get near the heart of the anomaly.

(There have been updates since that news posting, in distance from center, and in duration, but I’ve fixed them here.)

Wondering what that cool Essence Anomaly actually looks like?

I have pictures!  I’m the guy on the black WAR UNICORN at center, with the red saddle blanket.  He’s got big hooves and I’m dressed all in black with a black hat.

Like to join me on this awesome game?  If you would, make sure and use this link or place my ID, 1023, in the box when you join.
That way, if you ever decide to buy a subscription, even for one month, you’ll get a bonus 1000 essence, plus 10 Esroh Essence to help you get started.  A subscription costs 500 Mobia per month and you can buy Mobia from other players in-game if you don’t have cash to spend.

 

anomaly madness
The wackiness as everyone gathers (note stars in sky)
Essence Anomaly
The anomaly itself, taken at night

 

 

Map to Genkijima

In the last entry, I promised to post a copy of the map I mentioned once I got it done.  I made this on a big sheet of foamcore, and it’s truly no great work of art but was fun to do and also does the job.  I have fourteen foil stars indicating fourteen pounds lost on the path, as you can see.  I’m using silver ones for regular pounds lost and gold ones for each tenth pound.  It’s now hanging on my living room wall, just as obnoxiously colorful as you please!

On this map you can see such places as “Monotony Marsh,”  “Give-up Grounds,” “Pitfalls,” the beacon at “Onederland,” and “the Running Fields.”  I could have made a much prettier version digitally but I don’t think it would be quite as compelling.

 

Genkijima Map 1000

 

Journey to Genkijima

This is going to be a personal post but I hope it still benefits those reading it.

I’ve been overweight since I was roughly ten years old.  It started getting out of control in college when I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted.  However, I was getting exercise through Kendo and lots of walking, so it didn’t get too bad.

When I eventually got my first car, a few years later, the weight really started to pile on.  Add to that a couple of incredibly stressful jobs that involved lots of sitting and being yelled at over the phone and it got even worse.  Now, I’ve always had the most atrocious sweet tooth you could imagine and also a really good nose for bargains, so that combination didn’t help at all.

I tried, various times, to lose weight.  Once I tried Atkins and lost ten pounds rather quickly – but that was an expensive diet and so it didn’t last long.  Plus the fruit cravings were terrible.  I swear I could smell a mango from the produce section as soon as I entered the grocery store.  Another time I did Paleo and that worked great but was too expensive, and also I broke a tooth so all those veggies were out for a while.  I’ve tried shakes, tried fasting (a little bit) tried just restricting my calories without logging.  For a while I lived in Nevada in a tent and ate lots of beans and rice and very little else, and lost a bunch of weight.  I managed to keep it off for a while too but then money issues continued and more stressful work and I gained it again.

My biggest issues were the fact that exercise is super, SUPER boring, which I have little tolerance for, walking is rough during hot Arizona summers, and my life was seemingly consumed by stress and long commutes.

Well.  I got a better job, and more money started coming in, but I still gained because all the cool, nice people I work with LOVE to cook and they just LOVE potlucks, and of course the candy bowl, and it’s still kind of hard to walk while at work.  I had little motivation.

At the beginning of this year a “Biggest Loser” competition came around, with a $400 prize, and that was enough to make me really, really want to win.  I figured a three month period of aggressive weight loss would be enough to get some good habits started.  In December I’d finally gotten a weight set and started seriously trying to become stronger, because I wanted to be more self sufficient, and let’s be honest, also wanted some moderately buff arms.  I began to see results.

On January 6 I started logging my calories with a goal of 12-1500 calories a day.  Just existing in a sedentary state I burn 2200 calories so this could give me a solid two pound loss every week, and I intended to maximize this with what muscle gain I could manage and with plenty of movement.  However, I didn’t want to blog about it on here till I was well begun on my journey.  Because I really, REALLY hate to be a stereotype.

As of this writing I’ve been on plan with no lapses for 26 days.  I’ve lost about 13 pounds.  I feel more energetic, I fit better behind the wheel of my car, my waistbands are looser, my watch slides around more, and I’m stronger.  I’ve recently started making my cardio days my lower calorie (12-1300 calories) and making sure that I get at least 100 grams of protein per day.  No food groups are forbidden though I minimize processed starch or sugar.  I weight train three times a week with stretching and bodyweight stuff like squats on my rest days, and I walk 4-6 days a week, trying for about a mile.  Mostly it’s laps inside my  building where there’s air conditioning.  I love weight training, it makes me feel really good and I don’t have to do it for hours.

Here’s the really interesting thing.  One of the hardest things about pretty much every diet I’ve ever tried has been the cravings.  But I just realized today that I have actually had very nearly NO cravings or excessive hunger even though I’ve probably cut my daily calorie intake in half (at least.)   And I have cravings all the time when I eat what I want, when I want!  I haven’t even looked longingly at the candy bowl.  I’ve had chocolate twice (2 squares of ultra dark) and sugarless gum maybe three times, oh and I think three cough drops.  In 26 days.

I don’t want to go back.  I feel so good.  I snack all the time, but maintain portion control and always keep it healthy, and I know for a FACT that over the long term I’ll hit my numbers as long as I stay on plan.  I don’t deprive myself.  Since my weakness is freshly baked bread, when I bake some I’ll have ONE slice of it, log it, and leave it alone for the rest of the week.  If I want rice I’ll have a cup of it or less.  Knowing that nothing is totally forbidden has kept me from wanting most of it.

I’ve gained some muscle, and lost fat at the same time, because I keep my protein high and lift heavy.  No puny five pound weights for me.  At the moment I’m doing sixty pound weighted squats, twenty five pound kettlebell swings, and thirty pound dumbbell rows, plus a bunch of other stuff including exercise bands.  Plus lots of countertop pushups, because I’m still too heavy to do proper pushups.

I have a goal of converting 95 pounds of fat into carbon dioxide and water, and I’m thirteen pounds along.  Now we get to Genkijima.  That will bring me down to about 150 pounds, when I should be 130 ideally, but that extra 20 pounds of weight will hopefully be mostly muscle.

Since I haven’t been slim in so long, I have been doing a lot of thinking about all the things I’ll be able to do when I don’t have a small person’s worth of weight draped over my frame.  I started calling it the Land of Slim, but realized that was a pretty lame name.  So I picked “Genkijima.”  “Genki” is a japanese word roughly translated to mean “energetic health.”  A person who is “Genki” isn’t just healthy, but they are cheerful and have an upbeat outlook on life.  “Jima” means “Island.”  Tomorrow I’m going to buy a big piece of posterboard and draw a map of the land between where I started and this mystical island. with little spots I can color in for every pound lost.

Genkijima may be a place I’ve never visited in adult life, but I know the way.

jumping off the head
What it kinda feels like to begin this journey….

 

Postmenopausal rats!

I was doing some research on muscle building, and I saw the abstract of a study about a hormone called DHT and its effect on muscular growth.  In particular, the study mentioned “postmenopausal rats.”

I laughed so hard at that.

I’ve owned rats, though the only female I had wasn’t with me long enough to attain menopause, not that I could detect a breeding cycle anyway.  I think the domesticated ones make adorable, sweet, intelligent pets.   My mind started playing with the idea, though.

rat1rshawSo, what would a postmenopausal rat be like?  Would she be a little slower, a little more wise?  Would she know her way around all the traps?  Would she know all the ways of cats?  Would she have a really nice nest in the good part of the wall?  Given rat breeding rates, would she bake cookies for her great-great-great-great grandpups?

It definitely was something to think about.  A matronly rat with kind eyes, perhaps, because being kind really helps your longevity and you need to be an old rat indeed to outlive your breeding cycle.  You’d definitely need to be wise to avoid all the dangers to rat-kind.  Your collection of paper shreds would be impressive.

Then I thought of what the study was about and started laughing again.  It was determining the effects of added DHT on muscle growth in postmenopausal rats.  So that meant they weren’t just postmenopausal rats, they were DOPING postmenopausal rats.  In effect, tiny bodybuilders.  (All love to bodybuilders, by the way, and I know they don’t all take extra hormones.)  So then the next image came to my strange mind – a tiny weight set, with an old lady rat grunting out reps and trying for a new PR.

I don’t need TV to entertain me.  Really, I don’t.

rat2rshaw
*grunt*  Just two more sets to go…

LOL!