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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Progress Report: Week Ending September 25, 2016


So, life changes; it’s the only constant you can count on. This week, I kicked my exercise program into gear, aiming for 10k/day. My ankle blew on the second or fourth day… and I was doing around 17.5k. So, my body says it’s not ready for that distance yet, at least not on a daily basis. I’ll start again, when the ankle’s better. Right now, it’s had a week’s rest, but it got knocked last night, and, after a short walk today, the tendons running up the front of the shin are creaking – that’s the closest I can get to the sensation – every time I move. Even with strapping. Even after icing. So, doctor’s is next. The next major change comes to my study, with future plans requiring a refinement to the Step Up Challenge. More of those below. Surprisingly, enough, writing got done, and, while it’s not as much as I wanted, I’m still fairly happy with that.

Overview


  • New words produced: 7,714
  • Old words revised: 0
  • Outlines and Notes: 1,855
  • Works completed: 2 (for inclusion in two separate collections)
  • Works revised: 0
  • Covers created: 0
  • Works published: 0
  • Works submitted: 0
  • Competitions Entered: 0
  • Bloggery: 0
  • University Prep and Assignments: 7,726

Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge Update


  • Started back into the challenge. Not sure I can make up the ground I’ve lost, but I can at least try for two shorts a week.

Stepping Up Challenge Update

Changes to future study plans meant I tore this sucker down and rattled it about. Hopefully, this will remain the only major change for a while.
  • Languages: Dropped Mandarin as a focus language, and increased time allotted to Russian and Indonesian. These languages now have two hours a day on the days I have no classes, and a half hour a day on the days I do. DuoLingo has been temporarily dropped, but will be re-incorporated at a later date.
  • Non-Fiction Reading: This is now guided by my research into Russia. I hope to start publishing short pieces to this blog in the next few months.

Ingress Challenge Updates


  • Via Lux Medal Progress: Added 15 new, unique portals to the tally for a total of 340/300 unique portals for September.

Publishing Tasks



New Arrivals


The following pieces arrived last week and were completed:

  • Poem822—The Dark Horse: a short poem about being different;
  • FF595—Oops: a piece of speculative flash fiction about an ill-timed meeting;

Monday, September 26, 2016

Progress Report: Week Ending September 17, 2016


Yes, this is the week-before-last’s report. Yes, it’s late. Yes, a lot has happened. And, yes, <sigh> my routine and priorities have changed, again. This week was the week where the change began. The week just gone – see tomorrow’s report – is the week where things changed… again. And, well, we’ll see…

Overview


  • New words produced: 1,862
  • Old words revised: 0
  • Outlines and Notes: 0
  • Works completed: 10 (10 short works for incorporation into two collections)
  • Works revised: 0
  • Covers created: 0
  • Works published: 0
  • Works submitted: 0
  • Competitions Entered: 0
  • Bloggery: 3,948
  • University Prep and Assignments: 0


Story-A-Week Catch-Up Challenge Update


  • Nil. Poetry catch-up was the focus.

Stepping Up Challenge Update


  • Languages: DuoLingo commitment made up to Friday, when things changed.
  • Non-Fiction Reading: Nil

Ingress Challenge Updates


  • Via Lux Medal Progress: 325/300 new, unique portals visited for September.

Publishing Tasks



New Arrivals


The following pieces arrived last week and were completed:

  • FF590—When Women Fight: a story set in war time – fantasy, future, or present, you decide;
  • FF591—The Osiran Flight: a piece of science fiction flash set on a world that needs help;
  • FF592—Mission’s End: a piece of science flash fiction about law enforcement;
  • FF593—An Encounter with Unicorns: a piece of urban flash fantasy about unicorns;
  • FF594—The Curse of Foresight: a piece of science fiction flash about a generations-passed ‘gift’;
  • Poem817—Politicians): my first attempt at an epigram;
  • Poem818—Farewell to the World I Knew: a Horatian ode that farewells an old life and world;
  • Poem819—Trolls at Full Night: a kyrielle about a battle with trolls;
  • Poem820—Ode to a Starry Night: an ode about space exploration, from the perspective of the space explorer;
  • Poem821—Santa’s Hummingbirds: a short science fiction verse about adapting old traditions to new worlds, set in the world of the previous poem Ode to Hummingbirds

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ingress Walking: About Missions


One of the main reasons I started playing Ingress was because I needed to work up some extra incentive for exercising—yuh know, because better health just wasn’t enough… Anyway, the missions in Ingress have given me a reason to travel distances I wouldn’t usually have travelled, and to visit places I wouldn’t have visited. They’ve helped me orient to new locations, and learn new bus routes, and they’ve given me a reason to get out besides having to do so because it’s good for me.

What are missions, you ask?

Well, missions are a series of portals grouped together that you have to visit and take a specific action at. Every portal is linked to a real-world location, and every action is taken through the scanner. Once the scanner logs that the action has been taken, it’s ticked off the list. When all the tasks have been completed, you’re awarded a mission medal to mark the fact you’ve completed that mission.

Is there an agent badge linked to missions?

Yes, the Spec Ops badge is the ingress medal is the agent badge linked to mission completion, so doing missions has the added dimension of counting towards this medal as well.




What kinds of missions are there?

There are several types of mission available, but the two most common types of missions—the ones available all year round, and not linked to a special event—are: single missions and pictorial, or series, missions. Single missions are stand-alones that can be done in any order, but pictorial missions should be done in a specific order to complete a picture, with each mission badge a part of the picture mosaic – hence why they are called ‘pictorials’ or ‘series’.

Is there anything special I need to know about pictorial missions?

Your scanner is set up to accommodate 6 adventure medals or badges in a row. If you are doing single missions, it doesn’t matter where along the row you start; the badge won’t look out of place, BUT, if you start a pictorial half-way along a row, then the picture won’t look right when you finish it, so, if you want to undertake a pictorial series of missions, then wait until you have filled the sixth badge position in a row before starting the first pictorial mission.

How do I know if a mission is part of a pictorial mission?

You can usually tell if a mission is part of a pictorial series by the fact it has some sort of numeric marker in its title. Be careful to read the mission descriptions, though, as I have come across at least one series mission that is missing the number.

What if I do a pictorial mission out of order?

You can redo the mission in the right order by simply doing it again. This moves the mission badge to the next position on the scanner. Be careful when doing this, however, as it will alter the position of every badge that was situated after it, so, if you’ve done a series mission by mistake, then don’t start the series at the beginning of a new row, but one badge in from the end, as that will become the end of the row, when the pictorial badge is moved.

If you do a part out of order, and you’re part-way through the mission, just do the parts you missed, redo the mission you’ve done out of order, and then complete the series. This happened when I was doing the Lake Tuggeranong series, where I misread the ‘5’ for a ‘6’ in the rain and did 6 before 5. This made my mosaic look like it had finished early.





I did part 5, and now you can see how the mosaic looks wrong:




So, I went ahead and re-did part 6, and the badge ‘moved’ to the last position in the row, correcting the mistake, so that the mosaic was complete and looked how it was meant to.





As you can see, once you undertake more missions after completing your pictorial series, the picture will be pushed out of shape.




This will be fixed once you have completed 6 singles, at which point it will look exactly as it did when you finished it.

Well? What are you waiting for? Go find yourself a mission or three; it's time to move.