Friday, July 22, 2016

Stop & Chat: July Rambles

A lot and yet so very little has happened in the past two-ish weeks. The heat has really gotten to me, and the computer is such a heat sync the office is unbearable during normal waking hours. As I sit here typing, I'm developing a layer of sweat. With fans we still cannot get the air from our AC units to circulate the house effectively. The locations of outlets aren't very well placed for good house circulation. The end result is I tend to hole myself up in the bedroom for most of the daylight hours. We've taken to turning on the living room AC for an hour at a time, and it helps a little, but having it on during the hottest parts of the day is a losing battle. The moment the AC is turned off the house jumps up 4 degrees Celsius. Keeping the AC on is what killed our electricity bill, so I instead opt to hide in the bedroom with the more energy efficient AC unit.

I'm in a little mental slump right now. It's quite silly, when I think about it and try to explain it to others, but it's affected me enough that I feel like I have to mention it.

The screenshot above isn't from 'times long past' on Ultima Online. It's from yesterday, on Atlantic. It was nice seeing people pretty much wherever I went. I got hit with a decorating bug, but decided that I still liked my current house designs on production shards. The next option is to hop on Test Center and make my house there!

First I had to make my character. I had a character, but she was only created so I could place a house back in April and I hadn't refined her suit or backpack. I spent a good few hours building a suit on Test Center (shush, I know it's test center, but I liked the play style the shard attracted up until character copy was introduced) and gathered some resources at my house. I went to the house sign, tried to customize. Nothing. House customization is currently unavailable. After some testing through other characters and accounts, I came to the conclusion that Test Center's housing system is completely offline. No new houses can be placed, and currently placed houses cannot be customized or changed in any way.

That happened a few days ago, and since then I've been stalking the UO website, Stratics, and hopping across all of the shards I play on to see if the housing system will come back up. I even posted a threat on Stratics about it. No responses or acknowledgement whatsoever.

I mentioned my predicament to M while we were on a hike last night and he asked why I don't just customize and decorate the houses I have on production shards. I could do that, I suppose, but I really, really like the designs I already have, and I'm still quite happy with the decorations. I wanted to be able to customize and decorate a house without worrying about whether I have x or y, or whether a vendor on the server has this item I want to decorate with. On Test Center I have all of the skills and resources at my fingertips to craft whatever I need, no need to wait and relog into x or y character or try and find the item on some vendor.

"I guess what I'm saying is I had a very specific thing I wanted to do, and now that I can't do it my brain is stuck on it until I can finally do it."

M laughed and said he 100% gets what I'm trying to say. We can laugh about it, and it's a funny little situation to be in, but it's put a halt on me moving forward. I don't want to hop on Ark and tame some more dinos because I haven't scratched this itch, so to speak. Even the house has slightly suffered from it. I did clean some because of an unfortunate tumble a quarter full bottle of scotch took, but I haven't stayed on top of keeping the house clean like I have for the past month. I could also credit that to the unbearable heat. If I break out in a sweat just from sitting, how would my body react when I'm up and moving around? It doesn't make for a very encouraging setup.

This past weekend a circumstance came up and we ended up adding some members to our family.

Meet Bunny!

And Hammy (short for Hamtaro. I know he was a boy hamster in the series, but it fits her)

These are supposedly golden hamsters. They're about half the size of a full grown hamster, so either they're not as old as I was told (1 year), or they're not actually golden hamsters. They're larger than dwarf hamsters, I can say that for sure.

Their previous owners 'named' each of the hamsters 'Hamster'. They were for the couples' child, who came up with the name all by them self. That in itself isn't bad. What got me worked up was just about everything else.

They were put together in a single cage. The cage was small, about 1x2'. The hamster wheel is too small for them, which could cause a break in the neck or back. There was no food dish. The food itself was some bottom of the line hamster pellet balls, and when asked, their owners admitted to never supplementing the hamsters' food with... anything. No carrots, no chicken or eggs, no extra sticks, rocks, hamster igloos, or anything to help the hamsters curb their teeth growth. The water was held to the roof of the cage by some twist ties and so unstable I doubt the hamsters could get their water from it. The top of the cage is missing parts and broken, held together only by some tape. They did not properly cover the bottom of the cage with the bedding. Proper bedding is supposed to be at least 1-2 inches thick. It looked like they took a handful of the wood chips and threw it in haphazardly.

What hurt me the most, though, was the fact that the hamsters were kept together. For those who don't know, hamsters are primarily solitary creatures. While dwarf hamsters can successfully live together if they have grown up together (ie siblings), regular hamsters are not as friendly. As the hamsters reach maturity they grow hostile towards others and can kill each other. It didn't take much to see that these two had been fighting. A lot. As we were driving home with the hamsters they got into another fight. "We thought they would fight it out and be okay." Was the excuse I got.

"We didn't know..." Was the excuse I got to everything. It infuriated me beyond belief. A simple Google search would have given them all of the information they needed, and more. At fourteen, the first thing I did after getting my dwarf hamster was research everything she needed and the kind of care required. I knew exactly what foods she could and couldn't have. I knew how often I needed to change out her bedding, her water, her chew toys. I knew what kind of temperament to expect from her, and safe ways of coaxing her out of her cage so I could cuddle and play with her. I knew everything there was to know about all of the different breeds of hamsters and the differences in the care required between each breed. This was negligence as far as I was concerned. I'm moving on before I get any more angry.

The hamsters are healthy now. I cleaned the original cage and prepared a makeshift one, so they could be separated. I have a massive order being shipped from Amazon. In it is two cages (Kaytee's Critter Trail brand), hamster exercise balls, bedding, igloos, yogurt drops, and other miscellaneous hamster care items.  We plan to buy even more cages and link the cages together, to further expand each hamsters' living space.

These hamsters are sweeties. Bunny isn't as jumpy. She's very curious and more readily runs to your hand/up your arm. Hammy needs quite a bit of coaxing to get her out of her cage. What sticks with me is no matter how jumpy either of them have been, they have not bitten me or M. After picking them up and while they're exploring there have been nibbles - but there is a difference between an experimental "is this food? oh, no it's not. I'm going to move on" and "I wish to hurt you." Even when I'm picking up Hammy and she is anxious about it, she has never bitten.

Anyways, that's my rather long and rambly post. I'm going to go back to hiding in the bedroom. The house is 29C/84F, which is cooler than outside (32C/90F), but still unbearable.


  1. Ahhh, loved seeing that UO pic. It's certainly not the same these days but there is still usually a small crowd at Luna bank on Lake Superior shard. I need to log on and putter around. It's been a few weeks.

    Glad your new babies are adjusting. =)


    1. The shard most of my characters on is Lake Austin, and I believe that's one of the more empty shards. I spend more time on Atlantic just to enjoy the feeling of not being the only person logged in.

      The hamster gear all arrived yesterday and each hamster is settled into their own habitat nicely. It's amazing how fast these little fuzzballs wormed their way into our hearts. <3

    2. I think I remember when they added Lake Austin, and it was such a big deal to have a new shard because they were all so crowded. lol


    3. My Dad and I made two separate accounts just to play on Lake Austin before it was opened to the public. I remember taming on Ice Island before housing was opened up, and how much open space there was. There's a lot of open space on Ice Island now, but it doesn't have the same feel. Before that emptiness brought the excitement of possibilities. Now it brings sadness about all that was lost.

    4. Lake Superior has been our main for most of the time. When we very first started we were on Great Lakes for a bit. Vesper has always been our hometown of choice, and I remember back in the heyday it was our dream to have one of the housing spots just over either bridge from the bank. They were good vendor spots. But no, if people had those spots they would not give them up. These days...heck, I could go on right now and place houses on both sides. Soooo depressing.