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Blog Entries posted by Quinch

  1. Quinch
    And I noticed completely by chance.
    But yeah, one year ago, I put this up;
    And since then, I've made an unhealthy habit of reading fanfics. Some were shorter, some were longer, some quick and dirty and some, well... more ambitious.
    Weirdly enough, despite the work involved {and believe me, reading hours of the stuff is the easy part}, I rather enjoy it. It took, well, decades to finally find a sort of creativity I'm happy with creating - there's a well-accepted tenet that you need to want to git gud at something for long enough to git gud at it, but from the start, I was happy even with the subpar, clumsy works I put out. And, well, I like to think I got better over time too.
    So. Here's to another year.
  2. Quinch
    Wake up. Shower. Eat.
    Check discord. Dig around to try and confirm something while I'm writing another letter for the show staff.
    Remember that I haven't checked my mail or RSS today. Fire up Thunderbird. There's an email from yesterday afternoon.
    Nobody told me when I got off work yesterday and it's not like it would be like them to forget.
    Check the email for a depot location or a contact number. Nope, nada.
    Open the front door, and there it is. Four huge-ass boxes with Newegg logo on them.
    Sitting on my goddamn stoop.
    Since yesterday.
    About a thousand dollar's worth of computer hardware just...
    Sitting there.
    Words. Cannot. fucking describe.

  3. Quinch
    I could use some input. I'm building a spare/replacement computer and I wanna make sure I haven't missed anything or that everything will plug into whatever it needs to. Planning to reuse the mouse, keyboard and spinning rust drives. I'm hoping to have a upper-midrange gaming computer that would last me about five years or so {the current one is about this old, but I'm fearing for its... structural integrity. It had more than one brush with death}.
    Edit: With that in mind, can I get away with any lower-end components? How much of a performance drop would I get from a 570 GPU, for example?
    The total price is in Canadialand dollars, by the by, which is currently worth about 75% of the US one.
  4. Quinch
    I need some feedback here.
    I'm looking to make superhero in City of Heroes based on Maud Pie and I'm looking for solid names - something that would, ideally, incorporate her tendencies for all things rock-based as well as stand-up comedy.
    Right now, I'm leaning towards Erosional Character. Clastically Trained {because roctorate} and just Anticlinectic sound kinda good too, though.
    Any thoughts? I'm open to suggestions, too!

  5. Quinch
    Just a quick post of a fanfic reading I did in Discord for Friendship Day yesterday. It's pretty messy, since I didn't really practice it, but here it is, unedited just in case someone wants to hear a fun fic about the consequences of one bad decision.
    And, of course, the actual fic.
    I only realized later just how wrong my Tirek voice was - I forgot that he was wheezy more than anything, but for some reason my brain just went into the "wannabe macho" territory. Ah well, maybe if I do a proper recording someday.
  6. Quinch
    I've read the fic Friendship is Optimal the other day and... well, let's just say it had an effect on me. The story is here, but I should mention that I found it... kinda horrifying, among other things. So, be warned if you plan to read it, and if you're already familiar with it, read the stuff below let me know what you think. I already posted it in the comments section of the story itself, but I could use different perspectives.
  7. Quinch
    So, as you all... some of you... someone might possibly know, I'm a huge City of Heroes player, possibly even bigger than my fondness for ponies. So, obviously, I had to make some MLP expies the moment I got the chance.
    So, one of them is Primary Star, i.e. Principal Celestia {hooray for synonyms!}. Thing is... since I'm being IC with her in the game a lot of the time, I wonder if I should start chronicling it, for lack of a better word. Essentially make blog posts about her adventures, thoughts, interactions, that sort of thing in the format of a journal. I still need to figure out how the whole thing fits together - I suppose the simplest way would be to interpret the world of Equestria Girls, complete with Canterlot High and other schools being somewhere in or near Paragon City {it would explain why everyone is so blase about magic}, but I'm not sure how much of established EqG lore it might break.
    Any thoughts?
    PS: My other characters also include a grumpy siren, vice-principal Luna, an amnesiac peacebringer from Crystal Prep and Iron Will. Let it not be said I shun my altoholic responsibilities.
  8. Quinch
    Do you have a voice you can use?!
    Do you have a microphone of any kind whatsoever?!
    Do you love, or at least tolerate fanfiction?!
    Can you imagine combining all three?!
    Then do I have an offer for you!!
    ...okay, toning it down some.
    In short, I'm looking for volunteers to help with the Golden Oaks fanfiction reading project. At this point I'm mostly looking for folks to lend additional voices to the fics I'm reading, but I imagine the whole project should also be able to grow on its own given interested contributors.
    So, if you are interested, drop a line here. I don't care about the quality of hardware you have to work with, and if you're worried you're not good enough, I care even less. The only question I care about is whether you think you'd enjoy it. Everything else is insignificant.
    I hope to hear from you, in more ways than one.
  9. Quinch
    Not sure how to pad this out so... I've been recording fanfiction readings for a while so I have a bit of a reserve when the Golden Oaks get redone, but I figure it wouldn't hurt to get some feedback on some of the stuff I've recorded anyway. So, without much ado, here's Cry for Love, a quick-and-dirty reading of a story poking fun at Best Pony and Best Princess Honorable Mention. Lemme know what you think.
  10. Quinch
    Before you read the rest of this entry - mind you, it's not much - listen to this, from beginning to end. Lean back, close your eyes and just let the notes come.
    I love this song, and I haven't even know its name for years. It was sent to me, oh, well over a decade ago by someone, let's call them a friend of sorts, and all I had to go by was "Track 11".
    By that I mean I - almost literally - love it. If one could have an arrangement of notes as a soulmate, well... there we would be.
    I'm not really sure why I love it so much. Pianos... well, I have a soft spot for them, but over time piano music, just through its sheer volume and ubiquity became... common. Pedestrian. Ordinary.
    Yet this piece, every time I listen to it, hits me with the same intensity as the first time I've heard it. It just... plays around throughout the notes, not rhythmically, not chaotically but hitting a strange gamut of speeds and momentums, cavorting across joy, sadness, determination, relief, expectation and more until it finally, slowly comes to rest.
    This is a bit of a ramble, I admit. But if you've heard it now, well... thank you. Thank you for letting me share it with you.
  11. Quinch
    I've done other things in the past, mainly trying to convert large derelict structures into living quarters, but each time I eventually got bored with it and lost interest. My latest project is a bit of a "migrant fleet" kinda dealio - rather than put down buildings - or any sort of permanent structures, really - on planets, I figured I'd just use BYOS to build stuff in space instead and just make planetary pitstops for raw materials as I need to.
    So, this is my first house-ship. A simple thing, conceptually anyway - I just slapped a couple of rooms together and filled them with random decorations. I added the thrusters and cockpit because... spaceship, I guess.
    I'm not sure what I'll make next. More houses, I guess?

  12. Quinch
    Been burning time in Starbound lately - I've found a ruined starship wreck on an ocean planet and I've been gradually converting it to a colony. I might keep posting updates as I progress, but I am wondering - should I keep the ship's population ponyish, or fill it with random species?
  13. Quinch
    So, I live in an area that has, for lack of a better word, town deer. While still being, by and large, wild animals, they generally hang around the city and the surrounding areas.
    And also, notably, they hang inside the city. It's an interesting phenomenon, really - they're adapted, behaviorally, to the environment to the point where, when a herd is crossing a street, one will actually spot for incoming traffic until it's safe. And, of course, they will cheerfully stroll into your backyard and help themselves to whatever is edible when the need arises.
    Enter Hoofless.
    It wasn't the first time I saw I saw a town deer, or even one in my backyard, since I moved here. While they're not routine visitors, I've got ill-tended greenery, plus an apple tree, and that's apparently enough as far as invitations go. So, last year a deer family showed up, grazing on our cherry bush while I was in the kitchen. Two younguns, by the looks of it, mom helping herself to the apples, another in the picked-over remains of our garden and one by the cherry bush, so I mosey on to the back door to look at the fancy animals like the city boy that I am. So the one by the bush moves forward and starts swinging its hindleg and making an awkward hop and I realize, it's missing a chunk of a leg - not sure how, accident, birth defect, no clue but there it was and we're thinking yep, you're probably gonna be coyote poop by winter's end - I mean, it could barely walk, let alone limp its way back down the street to wherever, but well, that's life on the Serengeti. They hung around a bit for more snacks and disappeared after a couple of weeks.
    I went to bed way late day before yesterday - I've been hooked on Avernum lately and finally went to bed around three o'clock or something and had every intention of staying in bed until at least noon. It's my day off, dammit, and I'll waste it any way I want.
    "Babe. Babe, get up. Footless is back."
    A look at the clock, it's nine something. I'm awake almost immediately, force of habit from having to get up early most of the time and look up. The name isn't unfamiliar, it pops up pretty much any time we talk about town deer, so I put some pants on and toddle down.
    Sure enough, he's there, with, uh... two young'uns in tow? Apparently he was a she, who knew? Made it through the winter - and summer, apparently -  well enough, by the looks of it. A lot more comfortable walking, too, even if that limp looks uncomfortable as hell, and the kiddlybops look good too. So, here's to another year as not someone's dinner and snacking on my unpicked apples.

    If only I could jump!

    Lol, look at the human.

  14. Quinch
    Alrighty, so for the hell of it, and if anyone sees this and shows up, I'll be reading... something at 19:00 MDT. Yes, about half an hour from now. Generally unplanned, probably short, odds are I'll be spending most of the intervening time poking through FimFiction for something unchallenging. Be there, or, y'know, not. I don't expect you'll be missing much.
    Where? Poniverse Discord at https://discord.gg/CtywT2J , in the #storytime channel, or hang out in the #library lounge.
  15. Quinch
    ...is a lonely business.
    For anyone interested, I'll be doing a reading of Ray Bradbury's novel of the same name this Sunday evening {or thereabouts, depending on where in this nonsensical world you are}. If it goes well, I might make a weekly event of it.
    Here's a convenient countdown. {edit: Apparently the countdown was being a stupid, so hopefully this should work?}
    I'm also very much open to suggestions of actual MLP fiction - short one-shots would be preferable to start off with, but I wouldn't be averse to gradually working into longer pieces. Personal preference includes light drama and slice of life kind of stuff - maybe a bit of adventure as well, but given the time I'll be reading at, stuff that requires... excitement to convey properly might be a bit inconvenient for my household. I'm not much into violent stories or romance, so it's pretty unlikely I'd accept those.
    See you soon, I hope!

  16. Quinch
    [Pre-Disclaimer: Wow, I did not expect that to turn into such a textwall. But hey, I am a rambler. Also, repost into my blog {is this my blog? I've never used it so far} from the Royal Problem thread]
    Disclaimer: if I've ever written an episode review before, it was long enough ago that I don't remember. So, bear with me]
    I suppose the most surprising thing is how perfectly everyone is cast for their role.
    I'll get to that in a minute, though. Eh, make that ten. Right now, I need to spend about five of them squealing in glee that not only, after six and a half seasons, we finally have an episode focused around the royal sisters. It's a good thing that I'm mature enough that it doesn't bother me that, despite several episodes focused around Luna specifically, Celestia had to share her with Twilight or her sister. There's no problem at all.
    Just kidding. Well, just... kidding about not kidding? Which was actually kidding? Let's just drop this would-be plot point, it's getting too recursive. Besides, we have enough to cram into twenty-two minutes as it is and we have no screen time to spare. Because, although the issue between the two princesses is the Big Thing driving the episode, there's three different plots going on throughout the whole thing. At least, anyway. The first is, as mentioned, the problem between Celestia and Luna. On the other hand, there's also the issue of Twilight constantly hovering over Starlight and finally, Starlight's doubts about the whole cutie-mark-switcharoo... yeah, let's call it a decision. Snap decisions are decisions nevertheless.
    Which kinda makes me wonder, was this episode written, more or less, for a while now but the writing staff had to wait until they had the right cast together? Yep, going back to the first sentence - that didn't take long, after all. See, after I came out of my initial Celestifanboy trance, I realized, not only did the episode pull off all three threads together without taking anyone out of character, but actually used some of their defining traits to tie all three subthreads together.
    Twilight was there as a facilitator to the crisis - not only would her well-established mentor worship make it impossible for her to step out of line and force a decision on the princesses, but the cognitive dissonance she experiences just considering the possibility that Celestia might be anything short of flawless just fuels the panic of Starlight being responsible for fixing it - something that pushes Starlight even more into second-guessing herself since Twilight makes it painfully obvious that she still has some pretty huge trust issues, even if she does make an effort to put them aside.
    Starlight, on the other hand, manages to build on her character development and tries the direct approach with the Princesses to get them talking to each other - which is likewise still on par with her personality so far, as she's shown time and time again that, when there's a task to complete, her first solution tends to be a straight line from point A to point B and if that fails, brute-force the obstacles and - maybe - ask for forgiveness later, but it's also backfired enough times that she was aware - if not really in a state to think - how much of a gamble it was. But doing so took a strongly iconoclastic personality, which none of the other characters in the entire show, save possibly Discord, have.
    And finally, there's the princesses. To be perfectly honest, I actually found the writers constantly reminding us how Luna tends to feel underappreciated for her work a little tiring and making her a fewer-dimensional character, but to be fair, all we've seen of her was either a} working in the dream realm or b} dealing with her personal crises, so some slack can easily be given there. As for Celestia, well, it was nice to see some development to her beyond being the wise and kind ruler and slash or mentor, so seeing her at her, shall we say, less regal went miles towards further humanizing what was, up to this point, really mostly an archetype.
    Once all the pieces are laid out and the plot gets underway, everything does tend to go more or less as you'd expect - despite each princess' expectation of how easy their day is going to be, turns out it's actually pretty exhausting. But the unexpected thing is that the writers show us more than that - that Celestia's job is actually physically exhausting to the point that she can probably hammer nails with her cheek muscles, and when things don't go as planned, she rarely has a chance for a do-over - just move on to the next thing on the to-do list. Luna, on the other hand, gets no company, no support network and rather than having a list of tasks to check off, she has to deal with each unique dream crisis on the fly and using only her own personal strength.
    And boy, when we do get to the dreams, we're really in for a wild ride. The dreambubbles alone are going to fuel fanon like crazy - is that dream Cadence's or Flurry's? Why is the Doctor lurking around the maze? Are those Applejack's parents? Will ever Princess Derpy?!
    Ayhem. Let's get back to Starlight.
    I've mentioned before that, from where I'm standing, the relationship between Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer seemed less like one between two friends and more like a recovering addict and their rehabilitation officer, and rightfully so. For her entire life, Starlight had been using magic as a shortcut and, if you look closely, when her first attempt to get the princesses talking to each other fails, the impetus for her brute forcing yet another problem doesn't seem to be desperation as much as frustration and moments later she becomes aware of the gravity of her actions. Hilariously enough, even through all of the terror, she manages to keep her direct honesty. And while she definitely had more avenues to force Celestia and Luna to talk to each other, whether calling on the fact that the Map sent her to them, or even cashing in on the fact that she saved them from Chrysalis, talking is not her strong point. All her life, she'd specialized in leadership and magic, and when pushed into a situation where she can't command attention, let alone authority, she reflexively reached for the hammer.
    So, after her Twilight helpfully pushes her along the road to a full blown neurosis, seeing her nightmare is kind of a given. And since Luna barely made it through Celestia's day, it's natural that Celestia would be hilariously unprepared for a night in Luna's shoes. And once the nightmare starts rolling, there's not much to do than sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy the ride. And what a ride it is - nevermind just the appearance of Daybreaker, hearing Nicole Oliver cut loose and ham it up to eleven was a cherry on a cake.
    But another surprising thing is that, instead of taking two of the most common tropes for stopping the dream entities - reaching out to Starlight or working together with Luna, it reminded us that there will be problems that we need to solve without relying on anyone else, and that encouragement from someone we trust and respect can help us find the strength we need to achieve what seems like an unreachable goal.
    So, in the end, I think we've had a total of three, make that four morals. First, that when dealing with hard work yourself, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing that someone else has it much easier than you, and it often helps to talk to them about it - not only to keep it from bottling up, but to get their perspective as well. Then, there's the reminder that no tool is inherently good or bad by itself, but rather, how it's used. Starlight using magic to switch their cutie marks was a right call - not the right call, as there may have been others - but after several harsh lessons where trying to magic others into doing what you say, it's easy to see how she'd start associating it with Something She Should Never Do, and it's a good thing to be reminded that, when all you have is a hammer, sometimes a problem really is a nail. Third, that it's a good thing to be able to self-reliant - sometimes you don't have friends or family to help you, and there's nothing left but give up or step up to the challenge. And finally... no matter how interested you are, no matter how much of an emotional stake you have in a situation, if someone {or something, in this case}  wiser and better informed puts a person in charge of solving it, it's often a good idea to step off, especially when they make it clear you're not helping.
    But I don't think Twilight got that one just yet.