Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

Starship Log: 015

Posted in Starship Log by Ziggy Friday April 29, 2011 at 11:34

The kick was really strange. Our schedules were synched so we’d be asleep when the kick drive ran. It took about three hours for a ship this size to go all the way to EP-61. There’s a very audible mid range tremble that seems to come from everywhere at once, the kick-tone. Something to do with quantum syncrhonization. It has overtones that just keep going up and up, like a hard wave. I think that what woke most people up. After listening to that for a few minutes I got a sensation like the first day of 0-Gee, when everything felt like falling. The kick was like that, only more confused. Like I was headed multiple directions at once. Made me feel sick, but a dose of 0-Gee meds helped.

Couldn’t sleep though, so I went wandering. It was hard to navigate during the kick, but you can feel your way alright. Probably half the crew were up and congregated in the common areas. The kick-tone made it hard to talk, so it was mostly groggy silence. Kind of unreal, waking up, drifting in the disorienting ringing. I went exploring for a bit, poked around storage. Comforting to see all those containers packed and organized. Went back to my quarters after a bit, finally got back to sleep.

Dirk says that a good portion of the crew couldn’t sleep at all during the kick. Everyone wants to look from the observation room anyhow. He’s logging today as “extended recovery” since we were on cleanup duty for so long. I mostly talked to Earl. He saw the request for the thermal dump deactivation. Mentioned that those things are a bear to put back together. I’ve never worked with them myself; Somehow I doubt it.

Passed the second half of the day playing “pass-take” with an impromptu group from astrogation. They got the time off to celebrate the sucessful kick. Didn’t talk shop much, mostly about back home. These guys have all served in the military. Had some pretty impressive stories!

Minecraft Videos

Posted in Other by Ziggy Wednesday April 27, 2011 at 11:45

They have been around for a while, but I made some videos (just like everyone else) of playing Minecraft (also just like everyone else) and put them on Youtube (you see where this is going).


I’ve tried to keep a self-deprecatory tone throughout. I hope you enjoy! They are mostly tours of things Anna and I built.

Minecraft Development

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Wednesday April 27, 2011 at 10:32

Minecraft is a great game. I had the great privilege to write a little code for it: right place + right time + a bit of elbow grease = Sweet! Recently however, a large number of people have been cooking up their own code and want to have access to the source. Some of these mods are really neat! Some of them are barely strung together in to a half-working jumble. The real problem, though, is that mods require constant maintenance. When a new official release comes out, it will probably break all the mods, requiring a lot of work to keep them up to date.

So, why doesn’t Notch just let everyone have access to the source code and allow everyone to commit their own mods to the game? Then the game would get way better way faster, right? Well, there are a few problems with this. (more…)

Starship Log: 014

Posted in Starship Log by Ziggy Wednesday April 27, 2011 at 09:31

Finished cleanup today, just in time too. Took soup again for lunch though. Tomorrow we should be back to blissful boring routine… on the other side of the kick.

Got off shift a quarter early. Drifted around the observation room. Shohs is beautiful from this distance. This may be the last we see of it; The last we’ll see of home for a long time in any case; Unless the kick fails of course. The orange and pink blend together into a brilliant point of light, backed by the stars and Hommel’s Nebula. There really isn’t anything like open space. Still a bit creepy though. Like being caught too deep.

Tomorrow we’ll be in a new system. New clouds, new storms, and of course new equipment malfunctions. After scrubbing decks, I’m really looking forward to it!

On Death

Posted in Articles by Ziggy Tuesday April 26, 2011 at 15:28

A few things clicked for me about death. There were several factors that worked together.

The first is a conversation I had a few weeks ago (I think with my brother Kevin, but I could be mistaken). We were talking about how almost every culture (except the “western”) views death as a celebratory occasion. Like birth and marriage, death can be greeted as natural and thus joyous. I’m not sure this is actually true, but let’s assume it is. (more…)

Starship Log: 013

Posted in Starship Log by Ziggy Monday April 25, 2011 at 11:35

Cleanup is almost finished. Probably one more day. I’ve been taking soup for lunch instead of real meal breaks. At least our suits come with feeding tubes. We’ve started going through a purge cycle in the lock to clean up after duty. A lot faster than manually cleaning the suits.

Got a note a few days ago that my lunch in arbor A was canceled manually. Apparently someone was there after all. He sent me a note today, Don, a life support guy. He wanted to know how I liked the arbor, and if I took lunch there often. I told him I hadn’t gotten a chance yet.

I also got a note from Bernard in engineering. He wanted to know what I’d been using their little toy for, and didn’t I know it was just a gag gift? Apparently they included a use logger in their “gag gift”. Man, don’t I feel special now. Haven’t responded yet.

Starship Log: 012

Posted in Starship Log by Ziggy Friday April 22, 2011 at 08:31

The maintenance a-tor notified me that “all crew members must submit personal logs every day”. He sent it right at midnight too. Clearly a routine. No believability delay either.

Hey, Dirk, if you’re reading this, review your automated disciplinary routines! At least put a false time-stamp on them!

So, here’s my personal log for today: Spent work cleaning because Dirk won’t authorize a vac purge. Re-breather needs maintenance. Scrubber needs maintenance. One more day of this.

Starship Log: 011

Posted in Starship Log by Ziggy Friday April 22, 2011 at 08:18

Log not found:

No entry for today’s date.

Peter has been neglecting his duties.

I’m better than you

Posted in Other by Ziggy Tuesday April 12, 2011 at 09:57

I feel like this a lot.

It’s not that I’m jealous of skillful people. It’s just intimidating to find someone else so much better than me. Especially when I thought I was pretty good to begin with. Okay, maybe I’m jealous.

But it’s not like I wish they were bad. Just… maybe I wish they were bad by comparison to me. But if our places were reversed, would I want other people envying and resenting me for doing well? I’d probably expect honest admiration and appreciation. It looks like the Bible was right after all. I don’t really want to be great, I just want to be greater than all of you.

I can’t really distinguish between this and Satan’s fatal error. Both of us seek a higher place than is granted; higher than is due. Both of us fail to achieve, but keep on striving. The only difference between us is that Jesus Christ died for men. Through him, I will not only be raised above angels, but will judge them.

Blessed be He.

Starship Log: 010

Posted in Starship Log by Ziggy Friday April 8, 2011 at 09:23

Woke up today to a mercilessly scheduled alarm. Duties begin at normal hours, so I had to get up early for my post e-action checkout. Cathy was busy and only gave me a polite nod in passing. Daryl did my checkout. A few pretty bad bruises, but nothing is broken. I needed a couple patches too. On the up side it seems I’ve been having a neural imbalance recently, so that’s fixed too. Feel better than I have since takeoff.

U-deck is coated with coolants. Most of the coolants are volatile, so purging to vac should clean it up pretty well. But the deck spec doesn’t support prolonged purges, and it would mean doing a complete sweep beforehand for loose equipment. In the end we decided to clean up manually with local scrubbers. Looks like I’ll be up to my belly in atomized thrust fluid for the next two days.

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