The Grind

He watched the man toiling away, weeding the small park garden by hand.  “They don’t pay you enough for this.”

“They don’t pay me at all.”  The man looked up.  “I do this or the weeds get the better of things and I like to see the garden looking its best.”  He stood and pointed to a complex across the square.  “I live across the way, alone now that Marie is gone.  So I can sit and wait to join her or I can find things to do.”

“But there is so much to do, why would you choose to do this job?  It is dirty, thankless work.”  Mike looked and could almost see new weeds ready to grow back.

“Well, it is something that needs doing and it is something that I can do.  If this was a job, sure, it would be a tough one.  It ain’t.  It is something I choose to do and that makes ALL the difference in the world.  Oh, there are days where it seems . . .whats that word you kids use?  A Grind.  But I get satisfaction when it is all right there or something blossoms that I have been working hard to keep going.  I am sure whatever you do for a living seems a grind, at times but if you are doing the right job you make it through, knowing that it will be worth it.”  He leaned back and stretched his arms out.  “I still am waiting to join her, but I might as well make myself useful in the meantime.”

Mike smiled and thought of Dee.  “I get that.”

The mans voice softened.  “I see that you do.”  He plucked a blossom from one of the trees without even looking back.  “Give this to her, or him, whoever it is you just thought of.  If they cannot take it for . . . reasons . . well you put it in some water and keep it for them.  When the grind begins to get you down, boy, you just remember you are filling the time till better comes along.”

*****************************************************************************

Lessons

This one I started writing without knowing where it was going.  Probably a story my wife told of my father last night had something to do with it.  He would show up and help folks in the neighbourhood, just pick up a shovel or a hammer and help.  Refused payment, just wanted to keep busy.

When I am playing, at times I mine.  It is not flashy, exotic, it is a grind.  But then I relax and enjoy the peace. I talk to folks as I slowly gather veldspar.  It becomes less of a grind and just something I do, waiting.

Dirty, thankless work.  We all have some.  I’d include CSM’ing but I do get very nice thanks for that from players who drop me notes.  Oh a few others tell me that I am useless or worse but not enough to worry me.  If you are in a corp or an alliance find out who has the worst job, the hardest worker, and make sure he or she is thanked.  But IF they have been at the job for a long time they probably have found their rhythm and it isn’t that much of a grind, for them.

Thank them anyways

fly it like you won it

m

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Easy come, Easy go

He closed the market comms and sighed.  The amount of things that passed through his hands made him wonder if he needed to be . . . different.  The wallet balance was back to its anemic levels but he had done what he said he would do . . . and that meant something.  To him.

He had collected the ransom for a former CSM member to the tune of 25 Billion.  When the time came he had passed it across without a moments hesitation.  It was not his isk, never had been, so he was losing nothing any more than a pipe loses the water that passes through it.

The ships, he had only promised one in a draw but he had decided to sweeten the pot as it had taken so long to get around to it.  So three Daredevils left his Jita hanger to the winners, Kirith, Tenar, and Alundil.  That hurt a BIT more as they had been his.

Then there he was, sitting in Jita.  How could he not do a bit of shopping?  A shade over 100mill later he realized he was being silly and closed the comms.  “I am gonna have to catch up with the fleet for a few more hours.”

That might balance things out . . . might.

*******************************************************************

Lessons.

‘pass the potatoes’ ‘pass the gravy’ last weekend was Canadian thanksgiving.  When you poass something across the table you don’t suddenly clutch it and crow ‘mwa ha haaaa, mine, mine mine’.    well, I don’t, anyways.

I am glad Silvas character went to Rixx and I hope the technicals clear up on that one.

Congrats to the winners.  Fly them in good health

Latest threadnaught I am in?  Stealth Bombers.  I dislike being told I know nothing of them but I survive.  I wenty and chatted with bombers bar right after the thread came out and if any other groups want me to come on comms and get an earful or just want to evemail me, feel free.  Kinda what I do, eh?

fly it like you won it

m

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OOC: Simple Machines

Among the subjects I have taught is science to 14 year olds.  Physics is pretty simple, at that age, for a while the curriculum included simple machines. Inclined plane, screw, lever, pulley, wheel/axle.  Now I used to tell the kids there were officially six of them but I took issue with the list and we would argue about it . . . a lot.  This is because arguing about it made them think more about the topic of discussion.

Oh, the sixth?  The wedge. That is the thing that came to mind over the past day as I have been reading the forums and following the threadnaughts.  From a school workpage . . .

A wedge is a pair of inclined planes
attached back-to-back. A wedge is used
to force things apart.
Have you ever seen someone chop wood
with an ax? The head of an ax is a wedge

Mike, you are probably saying, why are you telling us about a wedge?

Because you are experiencing one.  I tried explaining this in an Eve Radio chat today but I did not have my head in the right place to be clear.  That bothered me.  The wedge works by starting with a sharp edge then moving the paired inclined planes inwards with force, pushing things apart.

Get it yet?

Force projection change is the thin edge of a wedge but if you think that is the end of it you are probably good at deluding yourself.  There is more to come.  Now I have heard some folks ask why CCP did not just do ALL the changes at the same time.  I point to the wedge.  If you hit a piece of wood with a splitting wedge you want to make sure it has a good bite before you drive it in.  No major knots on the splitting line.  Then you drive it home with a hammer.  What you don’t do is hit it with the side of the axe, trying to just shatter the wood.  The simple machine focuses the effort and makes the work easier and more controlled.

Getting it?

So what are we splitting, here?

To quote Greyscale

Why this?/Why now?

  • Nullsec is stagnant and needs a change. This is the first of many steps in our plan.

  •  . . .

  • We expect the impact of these changes to be emergent, and as a consequence are unpredictable and will take a while to develop on TQ. This plays into our longer-term plans, as you’ll see in a second!

In my youth I split a lot of wood.  I doubt the wood enjoyed the process but it made it easier to light on fire.  Take from that what you will.  Just be glad I didn’t go with the screw as the first machine that I thought of when writing this.

fly it like you won it

m

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Never leave it on Vibrate

The comm was now skittering under the couch just out of reach.  It had not stopped activating and dancing since the recent announcement.  On top of the other communications Mike had been following this was close to the last straw.

First it had been the proposed pie-in-the-sky idea of Dojos.  Purist pilots had found this close to heresy that someone would be able to hide from thier guns for even five minutes.  Most did not bother to realize that this was a prototype, not a planned change, and was just scribbles on a drawing board.  They acted like sacrifice of their first-born was part of the requirements.  Only a few even tried to test it, the others reacting on rumour and what-ifs.

A lesser storm happened with the closing of official channels for cultures other than the galactic norms of languages.  This was done with almost no warning and was very hard for Mike to get in touch with the peopole responisble, though he was trying.

Then the big one hit.  Recent studies had shown there was a cumulative effect of Jump Drives on pilots and a new standard was coming.  The comm device had shaken off of his table and was bouncing around on the floor as he tried to carry on several conversations at once, internally and externally.

Finally he threw a cushion on top of it to muffles its angry buzz and sat back and tried to work things through in his own mind.  He knew he didn’t have all the answers and was not sure he even knew all the questions.  But that was why he asked questions.

1)  Jump drives were being shortened

2)  New limits would mean that there was an exponential build up of delays if a cap pilot chose to jump too often or too many times in a row.

3)  Gates would be modified to allow alternative choices of taking said gates INSTEAD of jumping, even for Titans

4)  The large blocs initially screamed and then said ‘oh, ok’ as they had time to sit down and talk about it.  Mike did not know if this was a good or bad sign.

5)  Being unable to sweep ships across null for a deployment MIGHT mean that less movement was done OR it MIGHT mean that said movement meant something when it was done.

6)  Black Ops pilots would have a lot harder time doing hit and run tactics, The days of Bombers bar Blops might fade.

7)  Jump freighters were going to be facing a very hard time (even though they did have special fittings to lessen the effect of the ‘fatigue’)  He was already asking for input from them.

That was what it came down to.  Like the Blocs, a lot of people were screaming before thinking.  He wanted more reasoned input, more thought before irrational yelling.  He also wanted Dee back and was just as likely to get one as the other.  The comm continued to buzz faintly, beneath the cushion and he went and poured a drink.

************************************************************************

Lessons

Go ahead, give it to me.  I ran for election and now I get to represent you.

Unless you plan on unsubbing in which case give me at least some of your stuff as I am so busy doing the politics side of this game I haven’t undocked in two weeks.  A war actually came and went and I didn’t even notice (though I lost my Customs Office)

My personal opinion?

Language changes-bad

Dojos and the prototype process- Good

Jump fatigue- Good but needs tweeking to be better

fly it like you won it

m

 

 

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Windows

Windows. It is the little things that you miss in space. He luxuriated in the simple decadence of watching traffic pass and a cool breeze on his shoulder. Sipping water he reviewed the past few days.

People. Because they were always the key. The contacts to the council were a fun pair whom Mike assumed never slept. At least the evidence supported that supposition. They both wore their hair styles in ways that made them easily found in a crowd. The rest of the Council spent an evening getting to know each other before the actual meetings commenced. Some Mike knew from previous summits but the others were new to him.  The industrialist reminded Mike of the previous chairman and proved to be quiet until things that he had direct knowledge of were bought up. When that happened he would be animated and engaging, almost laughing as he explained or suggested. The wormhole represented was of a more serious demeanor but he always seemed quick to point at incursions anytime that wh income was mentioned. Mike chuckled at the pattern of defense and then moved on to examine the low sec representative. She was quiet and almost too easily interrupted, Mike tried to make a point of allowing her speaking time and space but this environment wasn’t conducive to that style. The other Goon was also quiet spoken but when he spoke it was with a voice of depth and authority.  Mike grinned, remembering the man’s reaction to Mike was ‘You’re an anarchist! ‘ (considering it Mike decided that,  in the leader’s eyes the label was probably accurate. )

Topics were far ranging and not as contentious as one might expect. Mikes proudest moment was managing to pitch a new ship concept,  codenamed Tugboat, and not be dismissed out of hand. He spoke often, laughing at the pundit who once said that ‘unless you have lived it then shut up’. Mike had been elected to represent the silent and he did that by refusing to be so.

Of course, not all business was in the meeting room.  Chats over meals or drinks were an opportunity to get the ear of people in the know or to get pointed in the right direction to push an agenda. Side projects were set up and promises of further assistance acquired.

The breeze had dropped a few degrees and the rooms heating was now fighting to maintain a balance. He looked over the ground effect vehicles as his mind wandered.  Balance, that was the key.  The council members had been chosen for that quality and they had tried to keep it as a key concept in their deliberations.  Not all of the greater population would be happy with the results of the summit but that was to be expected and if it were otherwise then something would probably be seriously wrong.

******************************************
Lesson
Expectation management. I hope you are not expecting huge changes to happen instantly.

The summit was good but . . . Changes are scary for a lot of folks

Stop asking us to break NDA. If we do we might set the CSM process back years and I don’t want that to happen. Tightropes are walked by some of us or we ask for specific permission to say things. CCP always wants to be able to control their own message and I don’t blame them.

Example: I asked to be allowed to mention that I got to pitch the tugboat.

When I get back I will hand out the ship I promised a few weeks ago

Fly it like you won it

m

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Packing interrupted.

He tossed things towards the bag, planning on folding them once he had everything he wanted.  Every now and then he would consult a list and go looking for something else.  Finally he looked at the pile, his bag, and back to the pile and sighed.  Now it was time to remove things.

The comm flickered incessantly.  It seemed that everybody had an axe to grind just as he was trying to find a moment to spare.  He sat down to see what the fuss was.  One member of the council out, another in.  No huge changes and he opened some lines to chat with the new guy and get to know him a little.

The bag sat, half packed.

The station where he was had environmental controls.  But he would not be going to a station and he remembered to check the weather . . . more clothes hit the pile.

The comm flickered even faster.  More exits, only these were not voluntary.  Bans of pilots happened often, usually in relation to illegal isk laundering but these, somehow, did not appear to be the same.  The most fuss was caused, of course, by those who thought that they might be next.  Mike grinned and wrote a short opinion piece for them which of course . . . missed the mark.  He wrote a second more pointed comment but it was washed away by moderators of the comms.  He shrugged and turned back to his bag.  “Folks come and go from the space-ways.”

He was packing his notes for the summit when he realized he still could ask for some more opinions.  He chuckled about one of his own favourite things, numbers, and put a call out.  “Graphs and facts . . . they better than opinion and supposition any day.”  Glancing through his book he annotated a few scribbles and checked a few more against the agenda he had received.  “Dis one I try for here, and this one over there.”  He wondered if the agenda would be made public but then shrugged as that was not part of his job.

His DA chimed and spoke.  “12 hours to departure.”

“Nag nag nag.”  He looked at the pile and sighed.  “Not that I don’t need it.  Acknowledged.”

He started folding, rolling, tucking and stuffing.  “Like working a wormhole” he muttered checking the mass of the bag judiciously.

***************************************************************

Lessons

Yeah, I am doing this instead of actually packing.  I am foolish that way.

I have been busy following the forum threadnaughts and commenting where I can.  I found it funny that I was removed by ISD for what I thought was an ok comment but it is not worth arguing (nor would it be fruitful)

So Summit in a few days.  I have my book of doom and notes packed.  If only I could find my damn camera.  Understand folks I will be a bit harder to connect with though I will try to watch my skype and evemail when I can.  We meet Wed Thurs Friday so if you have last minute notes for me, send em in.  I will even try to check here.

Guys, this is your chance to be heard (aside from the election)  Both of you who read this should speak up.

fly it like you won it.

m

 

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The Whale and Ahab

Mike sighed and closed the channel.  The incursion had not lasted long nor had he expected it to.  There was a fight in full force and, oddly enough, the Sansha were not the target but the prize being fought over.

Incursion fighters had slowly drifted into communities.  Some were language or cultural, others by the perceived skill or level (or style) of fit on the ship.  Mike had flown with several different groups both to get to know them and to let them get to know him.  Armor or shield, Logi, bunny, close range or sniper, it didn’t matter.  Though he had backup FC’d now and again he did not have the patience (or the memory) to get ‘certified’ for any particular FC slot and was happy to be known as a guy who knew what to do and how to do it.

But if you form communities you also form differences.  Different is bad.  It is the stranger we don’t trust.  The outsider who ‘doesn’t talk right’ or ‘smells funny’.  Differences lead to distrust and different traditions lead to ‘doing it wrong’.

That had happened.  A leader of one community had looted the wrecks of another groups wipe and taunted them with it.  It was not the value but the principal of the action that infuriated the second group.  They decided on a revenge.

There is an ancient idiom Cutting off the nose to spite the face.  They decided to rush the conclusions of incursions anytime that the offending fleets formed in an HQ system thus prohibiting them form taking part in that aspect of the incursion.  Oh the others would be fine, assault, vanguard and scout.  Just not HQ.  Since so much time is lost wandering from one incursion to the next then this would hit ALL concerned right in the pocketbook.

To an outsider it might look ridiculous.  Accusations from both sides accused the other of juvenile behaviour.  And that was fine.  The side that had looted proclaimed their right to do so, There was no law to stop them.  No court to appeal to.  The other side did not care.  They had decided that enough was enough.

There, right there.  Did you see it?

That is where New Eden lived and breathed.  Actions could/might have consequences.  Just because there was no law, no rule, did NOT mean you could do as you pleased.  Well, maybe you could until someone decided they would work at finding what stung and even if it hurt them or as another once said . . . .to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.  

It had not ended, yet.  Maybe it never would.  Other communities either took a side or acted independently and watched the battle.  The Sansha probably only knew that their attacks were ended swifter than in the past.  Met with stronger more determined foes.

Mike smiled.  Seen from that angle the argument had a positive outlook.

***************************************************************************

Lessons

Nope, I decided NOT to name names or link to argument pages.

Yup, I do take artistic license with the story/facts

Yes, Eve has consequences.  I am VERY interested to see what the end result of this argument will be.  I can see a few possible options but I don’t know which is the most likely.

Few more days and I hand out a Daredevil

Oh and thanks to the folks adding to my bounty.  I hope I have not missed anyone with the thankyou letters

fly it like you won it

m

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Burnt

[Daredevil, Serpentis Burner]

2x Light Neutron Blaster II – Void S

1x 1MN Afterburner II
2x ‘Langour’ Drive Disruptor I

2x Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
1x Prototype Armor Thermic Hardner
1x Small Ancillary Armor Repairer – Nanite Repair Paste

2x Small Anti-Kinetic Pump II
1x Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II

Nanite Repair Paste
Void S

- Overheat everything
-Approach and web immediately
-Profit -

Thanks to Commander Maxter for the initial fit/theory crafting. – Lex Lynn

“So I thought I would start light, nothing too fancy or expensive.”  Mike pointed to the fit.  “Nice little boat to try my hand with and I even took it out to a few Serpentis sites to get a feel for it.  Sweeeeet ride.  Fast and agile and once it gets close enough it can lay down some decent pain.  Oh it took a few hits and being the frugal type if it is not an emergency I unload the AAR and let it run the slow reps.”

He wiped his eyes.  “Yeah, I unload the AAR . . . and forget to reload it.  I assume you know where this is going.  Oh, another thing.  When running simple sites I tend to set autorepeat off on my reppers so I have finer control over them.”

“You know,” he said, looking to the sky, “there are signs that the Universe sends to you, that you are not ready, that you should learn to pay attention to.  I got all the way to the relevant system then I realized that I had forgotten to accept the mission.  THAT, right there was the sign that I should have noticed.  I was a bit groggy and not in the proper frame of mind for it but I thought I could ‘handle it’.”

Mike held up a finger as though making a proclamation.  “If the phrase ‘I can handle it’ is used . . . you cannot, go back to bed.”  He then laughed.  “The nice thing about it was that it was over quickly . . . VERY quickly.  I got lock and he skittered back out to 13 km and opened fire.  BOOM shields gone. BOOM down to 2/3 armor.  I hit the repper and see it unloaded and whisper damn. BOOM armor flakes off Boom 2/3 hull.  BOOOOOM what a pretty view from inside this pod, oh look I have mail reminding me that I did not insure my little ship.  Walk of shame home.”

He started to laugh.  “Well maybe not of shame.  I had a fool grin on my face because win or lose, that was fun!  It was not a normal mission but that is what the agent said.  So I lost a ship.  Back to the drawing board and I will try again.”

**************************************************************************

Lessons

1)  be prepared and make sure you damn ship is, as well

2)  if you have a fit that you would like to see tried out, lemme know

3)  In honour of this death I am giving out a daredevil to one of the commenters over the next two weeks, you comment, you are entered.

fly it like you won it

m

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Burner

I have a special optional mission for you, we won’t penalize you if you decline it.

A single individual, a rogue element of the Serpentis Corporation, has struck out on their own. We don’t know why, but we want you to hunt them down.
They have all scans open, so we can’t go there in force. We’ve acquired their coordinates and need someone to sneak in and take them out. It’s you against them.

Only frigate sized ships can gain entry to the hideout, so don’t try to bring anything bigger.
This pirate will be flying an armor tanked Daredevil frigate, with an extremely effective Stasis Webifier. He tends to deal his damage using railguns loaded with Shadow Antimatter ammo. Survivors of his previous attacks claim that he likes to orbit his opponents at around 10km while holding them in place. He always flies with a powerfully boosted Stasis Webifier and a Warp Scrambler fit.

A word of warning: this rogue pirate is extremely dangerous and has proven very capable of destroying capsuleer ships. If you choose to decline this mission or if you fail to complete it, you will not lose any standings.

Declining a mission from a particular agent more than once every 4 hours will result in a loss of standing with that agent.\

Mike tossed a hand back at the screen where the agents recording had just finished.  “I knows what yer thinking.  One target?  That is it?  How hard can that be?”  He touched a control on his comm and a new image appeared.

He let the chuckles die down and then the message changed.

He smiled.  “We learn and adapt.  Some share intel and ship fits and we slowly change the dynamic . . . or not so slowly.  Most of you have basic frigate training and know your way around a few gun types.”  He sighed, looking out at the prospective capsuleers.  “If you get a mission like this and think you can handle it . . . . well, you ARE immortal.  Try it.  Try it in a simple cheap ship or bling yourself to the nines, bring some friends along or go it alone.”

Images of pirate frigates flashed across the screen.

“They are out there, waiting for you.  THEY are your next lessons, your next teachers.”

*******************************************************************

Lessons

It took three missions for me to be given one.  Decided to write this BEFORE I tried.  I am looking forward to it but I have a bad feeling I am about to become a statistic.  I will tell you how it went and what I lost in the next post.

fly it like you won it

m

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Trying to get into space

He was heading for the podbay when the comm stopped him.  He scanned the newsline and started laughing.  It was not his job to have any involvement with the Alliance tournament but the fact that a single group ran out of the competition at the last minute, forfeiting their match was precious.  Especially given who they were . . . CODE.

The outcry of the spectators was . . . impressive and CODE replied that they did it to maintain honour.  Mike read both sides and laughed some more.  IF what CODE wanted was to be talked about then they had succeeded.  If they wanted to show that they had any skills shooting at people who shot back, well not so much.

His favourite quote was

James315 runs for CSM – QUITS
Erotica runs for CSM – QUITS
CODE enter AT – QUITS

Typical.- Helena Russell Makanen

And on that note he turned to get into the pod, Then a note about possible money laundering came in.  The smiles left his face as he sat down to get ahead of the curve and see what was going on.  Shadowed meetings and discussions at all hours of the next few days marked his routine and space remained a vacuum.

Then the schedule for the meetings to come arrived.  Mike sighed and keyed in the orders for his crew to stand down.  He had research and planning to do and lots of sudden communication channels to monitor.  He wasn’t going anywhere.  The laughter at the buffoonery of CODE was long since faded.

***************************************************************

Lessons

I honestly think that the CODE thing was hilarious.  From the banning of catal;ysts to the mockery they have received since.  The only thing that would have made it better is if it had been revealed that the RvB team had planned to bring Skiffs and Ventures with an Orca booster.  (Don’t tell me that that violates the rules, I like my dream better)

The Somer thing is being actively handled.  That is all I am able to say.  Oh and I loved this image in response to my assurances to that effect, in the forums. Me, as Bagdad Bob is hilarious.  I’d like to thank the Eve media for what (so far) has been a fairly evenhanded handling of this issue.

But I am having trouble finding the time to get into space.  My problem, not yours.

fly it like you won it

m

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