Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grabbing the Pole

I had to cover an English class today as my 12's were off on camp. A little mixup allowed me to go through the lesson planned and see what it was all about. Short stories. And poetry. Didn't really get into the poetry in school, but the one they had to analyse intrigued me: Robert Frost's "On a tree fallen across the road"
The tree the tempest with a crash of wood
Throws down in front of us is not to bar
Our passage to our journey's end for good,
But just to ask us who we think we are
Insisting always on our own way so.
She likes to halt us in our runner tracks,
And make us get down in a foot of snow
Debating what to do without an axe.

And yet she knows obstruction is in vain:
We will not be put off the final goal
We have it hidden in us to attain,
Not though we have to seize earth by the pole

And, tired of aimless circling in one place,
Steer straight off after something into space.

The 10's were to discuss how the form of the poem helped enhance the content, but unfortunately most were struggling with the content itself.  To me it's all about human endeavour, but that's really only the baseline. From there, three different paths open out for interpretation:

1) An exhortation to, not put off the final goal as we have all that we need within us to attain such things, gives us hope. We CAN conquer anything; the North Pole, even space.
2) Once you know that it's about human endeavour, the character of the tree's comments change: I don't want to block you, just stop you long enough to think about human endeavour. Why do we always insist on our own way? Is there anything that we are missing in our determined pursuit of our goals? As a lamenting tree, maybe it is the natural beauty to be found even in fallen timber that is glossed over. After a quick google it seems that others had picked up on this angle, but with Frost's penchant tfor including nature in his poems may make this a more obvious conclusion than it should.
3) In my own lopsided mind another interpretation sprung up; a warning. If we are solely focused on solving the problem in front of us, maybe we don't see the unanticipated consequences of that solution. Maybe if we literally siezed the Earth by the (north) pole, we may find that instead of the Earth blissfuly circling in place, we are flung out into space!

Now that needs a Draw Something inspired image via ProCreate:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

GameLog 242-245

Another missed bi-weekly stint. Not looking good for the accuracy of these GameLogs. Luckily there's really only been one game on the playlist.

Stronghold Kingdoms (300h) - The old Grepolis clan moved into Stronghold Kingdoms, and it seems to be a welcome change of scenery. The game is VERY sticky, and probably not a good fit with my optimising mentality. It always feels like I neeed to spend more and more time in the game to eek out the advantage. Nearly quit a couple of times, but have now settled into a more healthy and sustainable rhythm. Steam has tis gam out at 630 hours, but a lot of that will be it running in the background.

Realm of the Mad God (25h) - Good startup game for LANs, as well as multiplayer with Cam.

Age of Empires Online (20h) - Some changes and a recommendation from the Thamms got me into this one. Had the Games for Windows Live glitch when attempting to run through Steam and took 40 minutes to get the game going even when I knew what the problem was. I don't know how they are doing it, buy GFWL is going backwards and is a big putoff for any game shipping with it. Once past that debacle, the game is more RTS than I thought, making it a welcome change to the usual world-time based MMOs. With GFWL it's hard to recommend to others though.
Crusader Kings 2 (10h) - The Strathearns have taken a bit of a back seat to other medieval castle building, but looks like the new DLC might be a good reason for a restart.

Terraria (10h) - Playing hardcore mode with map resets to keep it different. On daily rotation for Cam's multiplayer.

Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes (10h) - Free weekend for the game. Nothing to do with M&M apart from loose connection to the world. Plays more like Geomancer or Puzzle Quest, which was a nice diversion.

Shogun 2 (5h) - DLC on special the play Gempei war. Plays slighttly differently with more emphasis on influence rather than just military might.

Dwarf Fortress (4h) - Couple of adventures again and a valley map with an elevated river for fun dam building exercises.

Fallen Enchantress beta (3h) - Tried a run through to get to the end game. Seems faster paced now, but still too easy to steamroll the competition.

League of Legends (3h) - First wins of the day when people ask me to play.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

ICS and Homegroups

While setting up a new wireless router network up at the farm, I had an odd bug where Windows 7 would not connect to the homegroup on the internal network. The reason seemed to be that the internal connection was set up automatically when I used ICS from the USB modem, and there was no default gateway on the new network. With no default gateway, Win7 would not allow the change of network type to 'home' (just remained as an unidentified network with public location).

Thanks to Sanoh for the insight into changing Win7 network type, and Ghost301 for his crossover cable ICS & Homegroup setup to confirm the process.