Challenging myself by Alice Hawke

Ok, as a challenge, I was thinking about posting a certain amount on here for the week starting Monday 23rd June. Typically, I started with a safe achievable number of a post every other day... however, I rarely push myself, so how about a post every single day? Deal. Keep your eyes peeled, there's going to be plenty of random thoughts dropping here soon.


Update: Inevitably, that was a disaster. I'll try to stick to one every other day this week though.

Why can't you add audiobooks to the iTunes queue? by Alice Hawke

I just tried to drag an audiobook into my iTunes queue, and it wouldn't let me. I then tried to add it to play next via the iOS Remote, and I couldn't there either, so it must be a lack of function rather than a UI oversight.

I understand that the two are different types of media, despite being transmitted through the same means. However, is it not feasible that I may want to chill to some music before delving into an audiobook, and then may want some music afterwards to relax themselves out of the tension of some exciting roller coaster of fiction. Better still, if audiobook publishers used .m4b files properly and added chapter markers, would it not be a neat experience to listen to an audiobook, with chapters separated by some tracks of your choosing?

One final note, I spotted in the iOS Remote app that the "Rewind 30s" button is displayed when an audiobook was playing, which is useful. However, I can't find such a button on iTunes itself.

(One last note - when viewing this post the i in iTunes looks uppercase. It is not; I wrote the i in lowercase, it just seems to display merged)

I'm nervous about Rainbow Six: Siege by Alice Hawke

I have some very fond memories of some Rainbow Six games, as I do with Star Wars: Battlefront II, and as is natural with any reboot/revival/return, there's an element of fear.

E3 is happening at the moment, and one of the various videos Ubisoft unveiled was gameplay footage of Rainbow Six: Siege:

I was in awe for four minutes and thirty seconds of the video, constantly thinking "finally, the 'realistic' combat game I've always yearned for is being made", until it occurred to me - don't hate the games, hate the players.

If you happen to have ten people playing Siege in the manner demonstrated in the video, then fine, it will be the amazing game it has the potential to be. If, however, you have ten stereotypical FPS pros playing it, there will be a bodycount of nine, perhaps ten, within the first thirty seconds of the rescue team explosively breaching through a garage. I suppose there is a balance somewhere, as if the majority of people playing want to play it realistically, measured, and slowly, then the trigger-happy FPS pros will be out for the count just as soon as if they were playing against other FPS pros. Or, all the people creeping around bannisters to get a better look will be executed by somebody sprinting and jumping all over the house.

In all honesty, I don't know how it'll turn out, as all I've seen is the video above. I can only hope it's everything it looks to be.

"Hot N Cold" by Alice Hawke

I am melting. The dilapidated fan is whirring away in vain, I am wearing just jeans and a t-shirt, and the window is wide open. Yet I continue to melt.

I rotate between sitting at the desk on the uncomfortable chair, collapsing on the bed until it becomes too warm, or just walking around the room with my hands on my head in exasperation.  With those fidgeting factors, this could take a while to write. Although, I don't even know what I'm writing.

The one thing I am certain of is that if I had to choose between the weather being forever cold or forever hot, I would choose cold. A psychologist or some such person may say that if the weather was cold at the moment, I would long for warm weather. They would be wrong. Even in the bitter cold of winter, I have said on numerous occasions that I would rather it was always that cold rather than stiflingly hot.

The heat makes me stressed, uncomfortable, agitated, short tempered, unproductive, and bored. If I want to get something done, I may take a shot at it, and then give up because the heat is all too much. In an attempt to embrace the warm weather, I wanted to sit outside in the sunshine and read a book - something I haven't done in a long time. One problem - the sun is not shining, there was even rain earlier, and the skies have been bland if anything. Yet I still find it warm. I'm just not cut out for warm weather. When it's cold, I can just put more clothes on. When it's warm, well, it would be awkward to remove clothes.

I have an urge to burst out and find some sunshine to sit in, yet I cannot find any.

One whole big game of catch-up by Alice Hawke

Life. That's what human life is, in this artificial construct we call society.

We spend our lives improving ourselves in comparison to others, dead or alive. But, "life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it". It seems natural to spend most of your life trying to catch up to others, such as parents. Racing to make a financial success out of your life to appease your parents before their clocks run out. But what was their success that you have to live up to? It could be working for some huge corporation that's destroying the planet, selling hours of their life just to buy a house for their own parents to live in. "Steven, I didn't sell out son. I bought in. Keep that in mind." We buy in, in an effort to meet or beat our peers, in a cyclical manner that pushes society forwards.

Instead, you do you. Ignore what society demands, so you can truly focus on what you love doing. By doing so, without the distraction of society's demands, what you achieve may better society in an even greater way than if you'd followed the preset path society carved for you.

Yes, this is cynical as sin, and may even sound arrogant or ignorant, but the bottom line is:

Be the best YOU can be. Aim for your dreams, not someone else's.