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October 2017

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Saturday, May 20th, 2017 10:30 am
This week's fun thing was starting to play Möbius Final Fantasy on my tablet. I'd originally got interested reading about it on Steam, and tried downloading it for the PC, but got a message saying "this isn't available for your platform" (presumably the PC version doesn't work on Windows 10?). So I decided, sod this, I'll get it on the tablet instead.

It's very pretty. The visuals are high-definition, and the player character starts out in what is becoming something of a Final Fantasy theme - "pointless armour, now available in dude!". Or in other words, the masculine equivalent of the chain-mail bikini (lots of armour on the arms and legs - and a codpiece for the dangly bits - moving reluctantly in to cover the chest and abdomen). As a heterosexual woman, I have nothing to object to in the visuals, since the hero, while he does have nicely defined muscles, isn't actually the sort of "male power fantasy" style beloved of the comic books - he's relatively slender and bishie. I will say this much for Square Enix: they are very good at catering to the heterosexual female side of their audience.

The game itself is based around your hero being one of many "blanks" - nameless characters all dumped on the world of Palamecia. One of these "blanks" is going to become the prophesied Warrior of Light who will save Palamecia from Chaos. (It's strongly implied this is the Player Character). So you follow the path, heading from battle to battle, beating up progressively stronger opponents, and the occasional boss fight (it's an RPG, what else are you going to do?) and being led down the path of the prophecy. What helps is your player character is a cynical, sarcastic type (I get the feeling he doesn't want to be a hero - I suspect he'd rather be an anti-hero instead; they get more armour, better equipment, and time to plan things) who isn't entirely trusting of the whole "prophecy" thing in the first place.

The limiting mechanic in the game is your stamina - each step along the "path" takes a certain amount of stamina (it's rather like Final Fantasy Record Keeper in that regard) and stamina regenerates at a rate of one point of stamina per three minutes (again, like FFRK). Plus, they have little warnings if you've been playing the game for too long - after two hours continuous play (which is mainly possible in the early levels, because each time your character goes up a level you get your total stamina added to your existing total - the early levels are really quick to gain, and it's possible to wind up with about four or five times your actual stamina total very easily) you get a prompt explaining you have been playing the game for that long, and maybe it's time to take a bit of a break (and have a look at the world outside your phone/tablet).

Other than that: winter continues apace - it started raining yesterday, and is forecast to keep raining for most of the next week or so. I've regained a lot of my spoons from the past few weeks - I'm back to cooking again, and I'm starting to get back into the routine of housework. Given we're forecast to have a rental inspection at some point this month, that's just as well, really. Oh, and one of the cabinet doors for the cupboard beneath the sink fell off - the weight of the door pulled the screws holding the upper hinge out of the wood they were anchored in. Given the doors have been falling out of alignment for a while now, to the point where closing them meant lifting them up and into position, I wasn't particularly surprised when it happened. Again, this place doesn't appear to have had any serious maintenance or non-urgent repair work done since my age was in single digits, so it's not surprising that when you put a couple of hefty doors onto a door-frame which is designed for something much lighter, the blasted things work themselves off in less than a year.

(For my non-Australian readers: welcome to the joys of renting in Australia, where asking the landlord for maintenance on the property can be essentially asking to find a new landlord - landlords evicting tenants for requesting maintenance is a known Thing here. Judging from the string of names - never the same name twice - we've noticed on the mail coming into the mailbox, it seems rather unlikely most tenants in this place stayed longer than about the standard six to twelve months of a fixed-term tenancy. Oh yes, that's another thing about renting in Australia - maximum fixed-term tenancy is twelve months at a stretch).

We're still continuing with the Caterpillar Cull, although the numbers are dropping somewhat. Their latest point of entry into the house is the bathroom, apparently through a finger-width gap in the skirting board down near the bathroom cabinet. Himself sprayed the area with surface spray yesterday, so we're going to see whether that works as a deterrent (it seems to, up to a point, in my room) and just keep picking them up and drowning 'em. These past couple of days, it's mostly been in the twenties per cull, so there's that. I've wound up buying a separate dustpan and brush set for the front verandah, so I can scrub the caterpillar guts off the existing one for inside the house.

We've also had the Red-Tailed Black Cockatoos coming by for their final shot at the under-ripe berries from the Cape Lilacs - which means the trees, which are starting to drop their leaves for winter, are starting to look just a tad bedraggled as a result. I hauled up a sucker from one of the front Cape Lilac trees earlier in the week, and I'm going to have to go and have a look around for any others.

Uni continues apace. I have one essay to finish, one five hundred word rationale and reflection to write, and a 1500 - 2000 word short story, personal essay, or feature article to write. The essay and the rationale/reflection are both due Monday week (29th of May), the short story is due the following week (8th of June). All of which is within my ability to do in the allotted time, so I'm not particularly worried about it. The more irritating item is being expected to find a feature article from a newspaper for my "Introduction to Writing" tutorial on Tuesday - mostly because I tend not to buy the newspaper on the grounds of it not being worth the money one spends on the wretched thing. Given the standard of Australian print journalism these days, I rather doubt there's going to be a feature article in the wretched thing anyway. Wonder whether my tutor would accept something from the online Grauniad - I know they do feature articles - quite a few of them, in fact.
Saturday, May 20th, 2017 04:23 am (UTC)
welcome to the joys of renting in Australia, where asking the landlord for maintenance on the property can be essentially asking to find a new landlord - landlords evicting tenants for requesting maintenance is a known Thing here.

Good grief. Is that a known legal Thing or a known illegal Thing?
Saturday, May 20th, 2017 04:00 pm (UTC)
we have a couple of generations which are spending longer in the rental market than previous generations did.

The way you put that...! So in Australia, is home-ownership ultimately near-universal across the lifespan? Like, people generally live in homes they own, ultimately?

Here in the US, it's always(?) been the case that some substantial fraction of the population lives life-long in rental properties, and never owns. Historically, one of the great class dividing lines has been between home owners and renters.

ETA: Also, you mention Parliament. In the US, rental laws are, at the highest, regulated by individual states, but, really, mostly regulated at the level of the county or municipality. The only national tenancy law I can think of is the anti-discrimination law that says you can't discriminate against tenants for race, sex, etc.

ETA: Also, now that I think about it, a huge amount of how the rental market is regulated comes out of civil law, esp tort law. There's no law (here where I am) that requires landlords to offer leases, and month-to-month tenancy is perfectly legal – 30 days notice to quit, either side! – but it's landlords who want year leases. The legal situation is such that leases protect landlords from the defaults. With the heavy student population in Boston and surrounds that really wants 9 mo tenancy (Sept-May is the school year), month-to-month is seen by a bunch of the rental market as a highly desirable, hard-to-get option.
Edited (I can spell, I swear.) May. 20th, 2017 06:55 pm (UTC)
Saturday, May 20th, 2017 04:20 pm (UTC)
I tried FFM on my phone but I deleted it after about four battles. Being wheeled from battle to battle while some sodoff dumped exposition in my ear appealed to me about as much as it appealed to the main character. XP I guess exploration is as important to me as fighting in an RPG, which pretty much means phone RPGs are Not For Me. It's a shame, the visuals really are pretty.