Tag Archives: elf

Just An Update, Usual Topics: Stocks, Game Project, Elves

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Two months since my last post. Yikes. This week I let my second account sub expire from LotRO. I’m just not motivated to grind more pointless endgame gear.

Elder Scrolls Online is releasing its High Elf update this week, following its Morrowind update. I almost re-installed just for the elf experiences, but I talked myself down from the ledge. Every time I re-install ESO, I find the interface, navigation, and character system to be so frustrating.

Ironically, un-playability is much more immersion breaking than a more complicated, usable interface. So I re-installed Fallout 4, which is more suitable for Bethesda’s design imperatives, and I’m playing that a bit.

Last night I reached rank 15 in Hearthstone playing Even Warlock, after giving up on Odd Rogue. That’s about all for gaming.


Stocks And Market


The U.S. stock market is not dead yet. I lost some money hedging against a collapse in the last month, but I’ve felt forced to push back into the market in the last few weeks with the profits I previously took in Tencent and NVidia.

Tencent is in the news right now for its ownership of Fortnite. It’s funny that Fortnite is sort of a name drop now by pro analysts on CNBC, so they can sound like they know what they are talking about. I LOL at these people, honestly.

So I basically traded my relatively risky amount of pure Tencent OTC pink sheets stock for more GAMR ETF, and a solid position in the EMQQ ETF (Emerging Markets Tech). Tencent is in both of those. EMQQ also has concentrated exposure to companies like NetEase, JD.com, Baidu, and Yandex, which I would like to own but don’t merit positions of their own. So.

JD.com (JD) is my Kitty watch of the week. I may buy into this on a trade in the next few days. It’s on the verge of breaking out of a big downtrend, and CNBC today reported a lot of option calls being bought. Albemarle (ALB) is also in a big, possibly buyable pullback for various reasons.

The risk is that there is a lot of China problems around the big T. I mean, President Trumpetface. So you could easily buy big on a JD price breakout, and then get slammed the next day because of a tweet.

I also picked up the TAN (solar) ETF, on the day that California announced all new houses have to have solar panels. I also bought a half position in LH (Labcorp), which is U.S. based healthcare lab service, not very ‘Amazonable’, and not very exposed to the strengthening dollar. LH was a great pick so far.

Lastly I pushed a modest half position into Visa, because I’ve finally concluded that Americans just aren’t giving up their credit cards anytime soon, despite Apple Pay, Google Pay, and various challengers.

I still think crypto currencies per se, in themselves as they exist now, are fool’s vapor to invest in, and I can’t believe the genre has like three ETFs dedicated to it.

Visa is the first to go if I feel forced to trim positions, however. There is a lot of financial risk in the system, and Visa has run very big, as noted by analysts this week.

Sony is taking massive stock price hits recently, most recently noting their PS4 hardware is in decline, and their next Playstation version is at least 3 years away. Still, it could be a buying opportunity.

In my last post, I noted accolades from Jim Cramer about Activision Blizzard. This week I learned Cramer has sold his ATVI (like I did also). But now he admits he may have sold too soon, when asked about the upcoming Black Ops 4 offering a Fortnite-like game mode.

As a final note, if you look at a 5 or 10 year chart of the U.S. stock market, it still looks scarily ‘toppy’ even after a 4-month pullback and consolidation. Recession risks are increasing. Europe and Asia had some weak data come out in the last couple weeks.

It isn’t a situation to be aggressive. It seems prudent to stay patient until some crap really hits the fan. I am still over 50% in cash.


Personal Game Project


This is an enormous amount of work. I’m currently writing an illustrated short book on botany. For the school library. In my game.

So I’m re-learning a lot of botany that I learned in college with my Biology degree.

Like in Elder Scrolls, reading the book gives you a permanent stat bonus. In this case, to your Scholar profession. Unlike in Elder Scrolls, you have to actually read the book. And answer thoughtful challenge questions correctly.

So I’m working my full time job, and I’m writing like 2 pages of this botany book per day during the last week. At this rate, developing my game is going to be a fine retirement activity for me in a few decades.

Still, I really enjoy the writing of non-fiction, learning things, and illustrating. My game is about learning to be an elf (probably a bit more so than learning witchcraft/wizardry), so I need to learn botany. This has been my #1 preoccupation in the past few weeks, other than moving into a new apartment.

I want the entire game lore – world and characters in it – to basically be in the school library. So when I need to look up something, like a geographical location or major NPC, I’m going to the library just like a player.

Also the library is haunted. And you won’t be alone. There will be a library fairy, or someone else there. I tend to be a lonely person, so I can feel what I need in the game in terms of companionship, and making the NPCs seem alive. I’m basically making the game I want to play.

That’s about it for now. I noticed Justin Olivetti is up to his old elf-hating ways. On your knees and scrub for those elves, Justin! Scrub it!

Kudos to Justin though for writing a fantasy novel. Wow. I try to squeeze a lot of creative and gaming energy into life compared to most people, but I live alone with no pets, no kids, nothing. I don’t know how he finds the time for everything he has going on.

So E3 is coming very soon, starting June 12. Will we see some amazing new releases? I hope so.

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On Golf, Gaming Stocks, And Rivendell Hotties

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I’ve drifted away from my inner elf lately, which is partly why I’m roleplaying in LotRO – to regain my elf-sense for my game writing. It’s hard to feel spiritual and connected when mired in material bother.

This week I moved to a new and different part of the valley, closer to the mountains and hiking. It’s a rich city, but I’m not rich. My car is a 19 year-old bird-pooped scrap heap next to the shining BMWs and Lexuses.

There is earthiness here, but also excessive riches. The women at the Sprouts grocery are all thin, fit, and beautiful, except the girls working the registers. It’s like Rivendell, but they employ chubby human grunts.

I even saw a “former playboy bunny” license plate. The plate looked legitimate, like the blonde driving the Mercedes, not a cheap thing from a corner in Las Vegas.

I’m not comfortable with the fusion of hipness with rich. Tolkien elves have an entire package, an Arcadian ideal of nature, beauty, wealth, and arts. That’s a big reason why Landroval (LotRO server) chat hates them.

It’s the nature of rich people to want it all I guess, like the golf courses. This city has four golf courses for 77,000 people. According to Tolkien, golf was invented by hobbits. I assume Tolkien’s hobbits are just another angle on a white, well-to-do world.

I’m not sure whether I like rich people or ghetto people more as human beings, but the rich people won’t kill me or steal from me, and their drugs don’t stink so much.


Gaming Stocks


Thursday night Activision-Blizzard soared 9% on better-than-expected earnings. Of course, I had taken profit at the peak a few weeks ago, but I only missed out on about a dollar per share.

I waited until the midday pullback yesterday (Friday, May 6) and pushed half back in. It was perfect timing, and by the close ATVI was back up almost 9%, and I was up $50.

I also pushed half back into NVidia at the same inflection point, which was also good timing, since they announced new and amazing video cards today.

So my one-day cushions might hold, but since I tend to do the opposite of the right thing, the stock market will likely crash again soon, and nothing escapes that. The main takeaway from selling Blizzard (again) is that I can’t have an uncomfortable, stressful amount of money in an investment.

I can’t hold it, and that makes it a trade. So I need to distinguish between investments and trades, and budget appropriately. This is easy to say when the bleeding is minimal.

Sony was a trade, and accordingly I was all-in up front, and sold immediately when the stock went the wrong way. That was correct, and I’m still watching Sony in a fairly linear decline, wondering if I should try again on a trend reversal.

I think E3 will be big for Sony. Wall Street thinks video games don’t mean that much, i.e. video game revenue is around 20% of total.

The overall market does look like it’s going off a cliff, and that’s the problem. It’s too obvious. Everyone is quoting the “sell in May” advice. Everyone has turned quickly and intensely bearish suddenly, which is actually a bullish signal.

The analysts on CNBC also discussed the issue of short-selling yesterday. The recent bull surge hurt the shorts badly, and they are now too fearful to sell short again. This is also bullish.

The problem remains the Fed and raising interest rates. I personally think Yellen is holding off until after the election, to avoid giving the Republicans any ammunition. Even if not, especially after today’s weaker job numbers, a June rate increase is pretty much off the table.


Video Game Project


I’m going with the literary Seelie and Unseelie Courts in my video game, not Tolkienesque elves. I’m facing a major hurdle right now in terms of effort and time investment, which is creating actual gameplay.

I’ve decided to do a Dungeon-Master style narrator.

I’m not sure if I can manipulate my voice low enough to sound like an old tree, and recruitment of voice overs from friends, family members, or online indie dev sites is exhausting to try to organize. My script needs to be perfect first, anyway.


Elf In Real Life: Drones, Romanticism, and Frankenfish

This was a horrible week to be an elf.

DemocracyNow! reported this week on video game skills used for military drones. Apparently games are raising the youth to be combat-trained for killing people. If your parents don’t like you playing games, eSports are a weak argument. Go with drones.

Authorized drones will be used for everything, especially spying and delivering things. Virtual reality goggles will make drones even more immersive, just like you’re flying right there personally, peeping into that window on the tenth floor.

Intel warned this week that too much government regulation of drones will cause them to export research to other countries. So the big corps are already pushing the government to give them no interference.

Meanwhile, Microsoft nags me every single day to update to Windows 10. This is for profit of course, never mind that this will break my $800 Adobe installation, since Adobe refuses to support my two-year-old software.

Microsoft and Adobe both want me to abandon the products I already paid for, switch to their cloud offerings, and pay them a lot more.

This week I watched the first two seasons of Orphan Black on Amazon Prime, which managed to trick me into a year-long subscription. I’ve always got confirmation emails from Amazon with no problem, but the specific email to warn me about my free trial expiration mysteriously went to my spam folder.

Oh, silly spam folder. It’s not like Amazon could predict that (sic). So they managed to auto-renew me for $100 with effectively no warning.

I’m pretty much disgusted by every big American tech company except Blizzard and Nvidia. My AMD video card software has been broken irreparably for the last decade. Apple is about ecosystem control, rich people, greed, and the bogus American dream. Google and Yahoo are advertising.

If AdBlock were banned, I would kill myself after using the internet.

Today I learned a new English word, which almost never happens. The word is apanthropinisation, which was coined in 1880 and appears defined as the act of withdrawing from the state of humanity, along with its turmoil and anxiety.

This seems like a 19th century word that an elf wannabe could resurrect and contemplate, but we have to be wary of over-romanticism.

Romanticism can be more hobbit-like than elf-like when we take things and try to exaggerate them, as if we were children, and overwork simple concepts into fantastic polysyllabic notions.

To ice the cake of my elf depression, I’m watching a Stephen Segal movie on Univision Mas right now. I’ve studied Spanish for thirty years to the point of full fluency. I originally wanted to move to another non-U.S. country, but I can’t stand hispanic culture.

Between the fight scenes, there are commercials for Baywatch reruns, and advertisements for a phone chat line featuring sultry women in lingerie. I really thought these things died decades ago. I used to think Mexico was decades behind the U.S., and some things don’t change.

Playboy recently announced that the magazine will no longer have nude photos in the U.S., but Mexico will still have nudes. I hope that proves my point if you’re still skeptical.

This week I literally started studying Chinese. So “nǐhǎo” amigos! In another three decades, I’ll be ready to retire to a hut in China. I mean a Pizza Hut, since I won’t have enough retirement money with my income.

I’ll have genetically engineered Frankenfish to eat though, so I suppose that’s something.


Elf In Real Life: Checking Out Of Reality

Why can’t humans handle reality? We spend so much time preferring fantasy worlds, whether they are in books, movies, or games. We hate our physical bodies. We hate our jobs, our neighbors, or whatever.

And we have electric light, hot water, oxycodone, endless varieties of limitless food, and contraception. We practically live in paradise, and we are still unsatisfied. How did humans even cope a few hundred years ago? How do people cope in less developed countries?

Some landscape guys came and trimmed the big, beautiful tree outside. They cut off several branches and scarred the trunk with their climbing spikes. Every time I go outside my door, it’s like walking past my friend who was amputated.

I have a four-day vacation starting today. Almost no one is buying my books (although I haven’t pulled any marketing levers yet), and I’m depressed and exhausted. I need to quest for some chocolate and drink a relaxation potion.

What game should I play? I’ve never done a poll before, so I hope it goes. Oops, that should be Ranger not Hunter.


Elf In Real Life: Love And Cancer

elvish love ringTonight I was working on the cover art for my third novel. I needed elvish script. I found a translator at jenshansen.com.

I also found rings, so a screened one. This is the beautiful ring I’d want for my Arwen, if I lived in some alternate reality where I’d spend $1100 on an elf ring instead of chocolate and video games.

My priorities in life are pathetic.

Jens Hansen and studio created the rings for the Peter Jackson movie in 1999. He died of cancer later in 1999, reminding us that man is mortal.

Companies like Juno Therapeutics and Kite Pharma are currently hard at work developing cures for many different types of cancer using Car-T technology.

Today I practically won the lottery by holding stock of Biogen Idec, which announced shockingly promising results for a new drug that fights Alzheimer’s disease.

So I’m halfway up to an elf ring, but I’ll probably save the money and spend it instead on one week’s worth of Alzheimer’s medication, unless I forget what I was saving it for.


Hearthstone


This week I’m still playing Hearthstone in my spare time, enjoying being alive. Apparently ‘cancer’ is a cool word to use among the youth of America right now, based on how often it’s dropped as a metaphor when complaining about Hearthstone in the forums.

There are drugs to fight game forum toxicity, but they are currently under-prescribed or illegal in most states.

This week I pre-ordered the Blackrock Mountain adventure pack for Hearthstone. I also watched some twitch streams of Final Fantasy ARR and Elder Scrolls Online, snooping to see if I wanted to go back to either.


Elder Scrolls Online


I was very dis-heartened to see the landscape of no nameplates in Elder Scrolls. This still isn’t working for me, and it’s lunacy to still not have this as an option. I googled Elder Scrolls nameplates just now, and I got crickets. My rant post here a year ago is on the first page of results.

“Nameplates in an MMO are cancer.” – Paul Sage

Ok, he didn’t really say that. I just thought I’d try the cancer metaphor thing, and even for a good cause it’s still lame.

So I could go back to Guild Wars 2 for the druid, as I mentioned last week, but I’m 200% disengaged from the GW2 story and gameworld, and I can’t imagine how going back can solve that. Somehow MMOs and my brain are just living on different pages. Elder Scrolls holds a significant edge because it’s the only MMO still on my hard drive aside from Rift.

Happy gaming, whatever you’re playing this weekend. Don’t forget to hug your loved ones.