No Man’s Sky on Nvidia GeForce 765M

The settings have to all be pretty much minimal, but I am getting a very playable environment at 1920×1080.

I have an Asus ROG G750JW laptop with Core i7, 32GB RAM, and of course, the 765M GPU running Win 8.1.

Technically this falls below minimum GPU spec, which is why I’m writing this, I saw this question a lot, and decided to take a gamble and report my findings.  So, is it the ultimate gaming experience?  No.  Is it playable?  Yes, very much so.


Potato Diet Day Fuck Off, I’m done

Yep, couldn’t do it anymore.  I gave it a really good “go”, but here’s the thing:  it was feeling dangerous.  By the end of day 2, I was so dizzy I very nearly fainted half a dozen times.  Like, legs wobbly, steadying myself, feeling a tunnel close in.

I wasn’t getting enough calories to be healthy and I couldn’t eat any more potatoes than I already was because I would have vomited from the taste.  As it was, tasting plain potatoes on my tongue during every waking moment of the day was torture.  Maybe my body would have powered through and gotten used to it in time, but the problem is I work full-time.  I can’t afford to take several days (or weeks) off to allow myself to have dizzy fainting spells on the comfort of my couch, and even if I could, that sounds like a remarkably bad idea.

So I’m out.  Back to real food, and in the next day or so, getting back on the sensible bandwagon of fresh veggies, chicken, tuna. rice, and portion control mixed with morning cardio.  I think in the interest of fairness, I will continue with my body monitoring and blogging.  But as far as the potato diet goes, my hat is off to you, Penn Jillette – your resolve is admirable and more steadfast than mine.

Potato Diet – Day 2

  • Weight: 331.4
  • Blood Pressure:
    • Systolic: 174
    • Diastolic: 117
  • Pulse: 93
  • Blood Sugar mg/dL: 97

And day 2 begins.  The second cold shower, breakfast looming over my head (which I just powered down after writing that line).

I didn’t think this would be easy.  I also didn’t think it would be this difficult.

I’ve been on diets plenty of times, sure.  Usually I start to really feel it around day 3 or 4, get cranky, and try to press on.  I was feeling it after lunchtime on Day 1.  And it wasn’t hunger, it was deprivation.  This tells me quite clearly what I had felt going into it: this is an addiction.

I would regularly not eat breakfast or lunch and then gorge on some BK when I get home from work.  Going without food till dinner is not new to me.  This strong sense of “I need to eat something really bad right now” at noon is clearly in my head and not in my stomach.

Also, I’m already sick to death of plain boiled potatoes.  Make no mistake: this fucking sucks.

My roommate asked me, “Can’t you prepare them differently, bake them, etc?”  Yes, I can.  But it won’t change that it’s still plain potatoes.  The point of this is for it to suck.  To deprive myself.

Overeating (not food, but overeating until I’m laying on the couch like a lizard on a hot rock, trying not to vomit) is my drug.  This is my rehab.  This is me depriving myself of my drug and going through mental hell until I get to the other side and can build myself back up with proper habits.  Of course, being food, I can’t just go cold-turkey.  Anorexia is a bad path to go down.  This is as close as I can get while still getting vitamins, starch, carbohydrates, and calories to survive.

The cold showers are also quite unpleasant, but that’s a 10-minute trial each day and I’m done.

What I really, really hate more than anything else, though:  I can taste potatoes on my tongue all day.  I brush, I use mouthwash, I scrape my tongue, and still potatoes all the way from one meal to the next.  I didn’t taste it so much when I got up this morning, apparently 8+ hours is enough time for it to go away.  Then, time for breakfast!  Potatoes.

OK, enough with the negative, time for some positives.  I feel like I have more energy in my muscles, much less bogged down with an anchor, but at the same time, was quite sleepy in the afternoon yesterday.  Just ran out of steam and took a nap.

My Systolic blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight have all gone down a bit.

Breakfast is down now and another day awaits.  It really is a matter of forcing myself to move the fork from the bowl to my mouth, chew, and swallow.  I don’t want to, but I have to.

If this was longer than 14 days, I don’t know if I could do it.  Even 14 days sounds daunting, but like all other rehab, just taking it one day at a time.

Potato Diet – Day 1

All my life, I’ve kinda avoided crazy diets, but have always struggled with my weight.  I’ve tried food tracking, limiting calories, etc, and they achieve results but haven’t “taken” long term.  I’ve seen the cabbage soup diet, juice fasting, etc, etc and I’ve always stayed away from them.  So I’m allowing myself a chance at a good crazy diet for the first time.  I’ll explain the inspiration and my reasoning.

First of all, what will typically happen is I’ll lose anywhere between 10 and 40 pounds over the course of 6 months, and will slowly introduce cheating elements over those months into it.  Eventually, I’ll run into a holiday, birthday, etc, and the whole thing goes to shit.

It’s become clear to me that this is not just a bad eating habit, but I have had a long-running addiction to overeating and food.

I’m 36 years old, 334 pounds (was 355 prior to my last diet which derailed around the 320lb mark).  I’m clearly in Stage 2 Hypertension, get winded too easily, and barely have enough energy to get through the day.  I know that a heart attack or diabetes is in my future if I don’t change – possibly both.

I reached a point in my life where I was willing to sacrifice the future for the sake of enjoying the present.  And I’m now looking down the barrel of having a life in which I want as much of a future as possible.

I have followed the magician/entertainer Penn Jillette for quite some time and it was no secret that he had lost a lot of weight, but it wasn’t until a few days ago that it was revealed how:

He ate nothing but potatoes for two weeks straight, then slowly introduced other fresh veggies and stews into the mix.  No salt, no oil, no seasonings at all.

It was also revealed the scope of the change, in that he lost 100lbs in 87 days.

It’s not necessarily the speed of things that entices me, but the reasoning.  His lifestyle and health sounded very similar to mine, and his reasoning was this:  He was never big on moderation and he needed to make a dramatic change.  He entered into this to both reset his taste buds and to break his addiction and alter his relationship with food.

This is what I need to do – break my addiction and alter my relationship with food.

So, I decided to go through with this.  Fortunately, I had some money available to me on my health insurance’s Flex account, so I decided if I’m going to do this, I’m going to log everything and do it with a modicum of intelligence, considering I acknowledge this is a pretty stupid endeavor.

I bought a blood glucose meter, a blood pressure machine, and a scale that was able to handle my bulks.

I took some stats for a few days prior to doing this, so I have a baseline “control”.  I’m taking my stats each morning before consuming anything.

  • Day 1 (control)
    • Systolic BP: 186
    • Diastolic BP: 113
    • Pulse: 93
    • mg/dL: 111
  • Day 2 (control)
    • Systolic BP: 200
    • Diastolic BP: 113
    • Pulse: 83
    • mg/dL: 105
  • Day 1 (start of diet):
    • Weight: 334
    • Systolic BP: 184
    • Diastolic BP: 117
    • Pulse: 93
    • mg/dL: 110

I had never really monitored my blood sugar before, but according to what I’m reading, considering I’m doing this after 8 hours of no eating or drinking anything, my levels put me squarely in the camp of prediabetic.

This shit definitely needs to stop and I need to approach it as the addiction it is.  I need to eat, need calories to live, but I have to cold turkey my enjoyment of eating and redefine it later.  Boot camp, if you will:  break myself down, and build myself back up later properly.

So, I have just finished lunch.  For breakfast and lunch, I had two medium white potatoes, cut and boiled till just tender.

This is clearly not going to be easy.  I’m 12 hours into it and hate it.  The first few bits of each meal have been fine, but as I finish the bowl, it’s a purposeful trial of chewing and swallowing.  If this is an addiction break, this is definitely a cold turkey method while allowing me the calories, starch, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins I need to survive.

I’m going to continue keeping an eye on my vitals each day as this goes on to make sure it’s not going into dangerous territory.  I’m also taking some vitamin supplements daily and have changed my morning routine to include an ice-cold shower instead of my usual hot shower and downing a 16-oz glass of ice water.  In doing so, I’m (hopefully) preventing my metabolism from shutting down and going to sleep, keeping it nice and active.

I’m going to try for the full two weeks of potatoes, maybe even evaluate at the end and see about a hair longer.

Right now, my taste buds are most definitely NOT reset and they are screaming at me.  Gotta power through.

Barber Foods Chicken Cordon Bleu New Recipe – Just…. awful.

So a food critic, I am not.  However, this is a situation near and dear to my heart.

For a very long time – decades – I’ve had a soft spot for a frozen food product.  Namely, the Chicken Cordon Bleu pocket from Barber Foods.  It’s not the cheapest around, but the taste really just can’t be beat.  Tried other “chicken pockets” from various stores, Aldi, WalMart, etc and nothing can really match it.

Mi amor

Mi amor

A little while back, when I purchased these, it came with a little tag notifying of some packaging changes, but not to be alarmed.  A little overkill, I thought, but no matter.  When the change did come and the new packaging came out, I was crestfallen:


El Pollo Diablo

See that bit at the top?  New Recipe?  Change can be good, often necessary in nature and in life.  However, these did not need change.  When you’re at the top of the heap and you decide to take some steps, the only place to go is down.  And down it went indeed.

I purchased it, for the last time, to give it a whirl.  Everything about it was wrong.  The seasoning was off to the point of turning my stomach, the chicken was rubbery, the cheese was lacking, the ham was lower quality.

Everything on their social media states that Barber Foods conferred with loyal customers in preparation of this new recipe.  Yet, every comment and customer message I see on their social media are largely saying the same thing: you done fucked up.

I honestly don’t know why this wasn’t at least market tested as a new recipe alongside the old one.  “Southern Style Seasoning” or some such, since it seems like that’s kinda what they were going for.  Instead, they took one of my guiltiest guilty pleasures and replaced it with a poor facsimile – and my oft-purchased treat has not been seen in my freezer since.

The Low End of Nowhere

It’s been a difficult time for me.  I’m coming up on one year since my biggest and scariest PTSD attack outside of my teenage years.  I’m coming up on six months since I’ve heard my daughter’s voice.  My birthday has passed, Father’s Day has passed, both of which are difficult for me, and my movie marathon has passed, which was a nice “right in front of me” happy goal.

There’s a lot of people that have reminded me how loved I am.  I have shoulders to cry on, and cry on them I have.  My anxieties are better than I can remember, but they still pop up.  The support I have makes things easier, but it doesn’t make things easy.

I have warm hearts and soft lips keeping my heart fluttering and my toes tingling, but my bed is still empty.  I am not alone, but loneliness envelopes me.

I have goals for myself, but find the purpose in them difficult to achieve, impossible to maintain.  I don’t know what my future holds and I don’t know where to begin even looking.

I feel lost.

I was a good father – it was likely the thing I was best at in my life and it consumed my effort and time the way that only being a parent could.  And now the house is quiet.  My phone is quiet.  I am cut off due to malice, cowardice, or both.

I have many people showing me comfort and love.  I also have many people that won’t share a cup of coffee with me because of allegiances.  I have people telling me that, now that I am no longer a fixture in my daughter’s life, I am no concern of theirs.

I’m smoking too much, eating too much, suicide by inches.  I want to care more than I do.  I look at the life ahead of me, this blank page and I find it overwhelming.  I see infinite possibilities and the enormous weight therein.  I think forward to my death and beyond, the potential legacy I leave behind and wonder where it would come from.

And then I think, perhaps I should be forgotten – that when the culture of mankind is studied as a lost civilization and species some millennia down the road, perhaps it would be best if my name was not etched anywhere.

My birthday wish

Today is my 35th birthday.  I can now run for president.



Still, though… I guess it would be a good time to put my birthday wish out there into the world, see what comes back.

I wish more than anything else in the world to hear my daughter’s voice.  Even just on the phone, just to say Hi.  Tell her I miss her and that I think about her every day.  That I’ve never forgotten about her and never will.

I’ve been working on letting her go from my world and my life, but will never let her leave my heart.  So, though it causes me pain on most days where I find myself feeling weak, today I will purposefully be strong and still give myself the gift of hopeless hope, brave in the face of futility.

I know will have a happy birthday… I’m just hoping for a magical one.

Chronology of the past 11 months – Catching Up

So, I want to write more in this blog, but a lot has changed for me.  Here are bullet points of chronology to get things up to speed.  Everything I’m writing here is non-accusatory, emotionless bullet points.  Don’t want to offend anyone with subjectivity, though I do admit that they are from my point of view and if anyone mentioned in them is involved, they might see their side differently.  This is just my take on what has happened to me.

  • 2014
    • June
      • PTSD attack, severe, at the end of the month.
      • Poly relationship took on a 3rd with “C” starting to date “A”
    • July
      • Started going to therapy to address the PTSD thing
      • Grew extremely close to “A’s” family
    • August
      • Continuation of the therapy, going well, developing new coping methods, very positive
      • Continuation of growing close to “A’s” family
    • September
      • “A” broke up with “C”, unexpectedly and without stating solid reason – lots of confusion and hurt
      • “C” rekindled friendship with “T”, an old male friend of hers for over 10 years.
      • Therapy continuing successfully.
    • October
      • Therapist takes job in Rochester, clinic tells me I’ll have to wait a few weeks to get placed when they rehire
      • “C” and “T” move from friends to friends-with-benefits.  I tell her the friends is A-OK, but the sex hurts while still reeling from the departure of “A” and her family.  Despite this, “C” continues being physical.  Any request for her to stop on my part would be futile, every offer made on her part to stop is made out of anger and frustration with me.  She never understands that her making the decision out of love for me is so much more important than the outcome of the decision itself.
    • November
      • Still waiting for therapist placement.
      • Mood of the house is getting frustrating.  “C” continues sex with “T” and starts being physical with his female roommate, “M”.  My level of hurt rises and I make no effort to hide it.  I continue to tell her the sex is hurting.  The sex still doesn’t stop.
    • December
      • Still waiting for therapist placement.  PTSD attacks are under control and with the mood in the house getting more and more gloomy, the typical anger triggers coming my way are being met with, instead of my usual PTSD cowering, anger back on my part.
      • Fly out to San Diego a little past Christmas and see old friends and family.  Big reset button on my emotional and psychological self.  Wonderful time was had.
  • 2015
    • January
      • Came back from San Diego to find out “C” had started a full relationship with “M” behind my back, effectively breaking the principle cardinal rule we established years ago.  As someone put it later, “in a polyamorous relationship, she found a way to cheat on you.”
      • Wanted to walk away from the relationship, saw that she did too.  Though the hurt I felt was not mutual, the decision to break up was.  So it happened.
      • “C” moved out.  I helped with as much as I could, rented the U-Haul for her, she moved in with “M”, gave up custody of “V” over to her biological father.
      • First week alone was tough.  Second week alone was hell.  Told “C” how she had hurt me, was not keen on holding back, though I never set out to hurt her with my words.  Inadvertently did, though.
      • Gave up on the idea of the therapist ever placing me again
      • Got the promotion at my job from Desktop Technician to Network Administrator.  Nervous about the complexity of the job, but very very excited.
    • February
      • Coldest month I can recall in my life
      • Apologized to “C” for any hurt my words caused.
      • Attempted to call “V” to say good night, was told “C” would not want that.
      • Found a huge amount of comfort in friends “G&J”
      • Depression lifted a great deal, finding my footing again.
      • Job was going great, learning a lot, and finding myself able to contribute somewhat effectively to the new team.
    • March
      • Cold spell continued.
      • Friendship with G&J continued getting stronger.
      • I continued getting stronger, effectively past the mourning period for my relationship with “C”, still wishing I could see “V”.
      • Tried asking “V””s father for him to give her a wordless hug on my behalf.  Am shot down.  Hard.  Told she needs to move on from me – considering it was a completely silent wordless request, the message came through loud and clear: everyone wants me to move on from her.  That will never happen in my lifetime, she is and always will be my daughter.
      • “C” set some groundrules for seeing “V” (under supervision, if I comply with her demands).  Considering this was the biggest promise she made to me in our relationship (no matter what happens, you’ll still have her) and now requests are being made, I knew I could never trust her again.  Nor could I ever trust that more requests wouldn’t follow.  “V” deserves more respect than being a carrot on the end of a stick.  Replied back with the truth – that I will live my life with love and my true caring self, and if that grants me the ability to be with her, then fantastic.
      • “A” makes contact with me out of the blue.  Tells me why she left “C”.  Reasoning seems sound (though private) and she apologized from the heart.  Was enough to get dialogue going and I found myself back in the arms of her and her family, whom I missed dearly.
      • Job just gets better and better, meeting new challenges, feeling like a true part of the team.
    • April
      • Everything good (job, G&J, A, etc) continues rolling along splendidly.  Feeling great and better about myself than ever.
      • Everything bad (missing “V”, mostly) continues as well, though I recognize it is outside of my power and am officially mourning the loss of her.  If she ever makes contact with me down the line, I will always be there for her.  Otherwise, fighting a losing battle I have no control over will just drag me down and I can’t let that happen.  Going to keep my promise of living my life as a good man.

So there we have it.  Some new stuff will be coming down the pipeline in May, going to start running again, etc, but it seemed like setting the stage would be most appropriate.

Reddit Writing Prompt: You buy a used car.

Reddit Writing Prompt: You buy a used car. After turning on the radio you discover it receives a radio station that can’t be picked up on any other radios you try.

I’m feeling pretty good about this buy.  Bank loan would only approve me for a car valued at 120% of the asking price, so Hondas were out… really wanted a Honda, too.  Still, the dark blue Hyundai Elantra GT with some surface rust would fit the bill nicely as a daily commuter that I can tinker with.

I pull away from the dealership, the smell of ArmorAll filling my nostrils, masking the true smell lying in wait to reveal itself slowly over the next few weeks.  So goes the plight of the pre-owned vehicle purchaser.

As the main road drifts into the onramp for the freeway, I miss fourth gear and lurch forward as it gets cranked into second.  I correct myself without losing too much speed, looking around in embarrassment as if the other drivers were judging me with the scorn reserved for a fart in public.

To mask this minor moment, I flip the radio on.  Lights come on, numbers fill the digital screen, but no audio comes forth.  Hit the scan dial, nothing.  It dawns on me that though I scrutinized the mechanical soundness of the machine, I didn’t check the bells and whistles so closely.  No worries… this was a project car after all.  Just one more thing for me to make perfectly and uniquely my own.

The buttons and knobs continue being molested since I have an hour drive home and nothing better to do.  As I approach the last end of the FM dial before it rounds the horn again, I hear a flicker of static.  Not enough to catch the auto scan, so I press the manual button, changing the frequency one small decimal point at a time.  Finally, I can hear voices coming through, some slight static, but nothing horrible.  Enough to fill the silence, which is welcome in any form aside from televangelist.  I swear, one “brimstone” and this ride will be a quiet one.

No mention of God or damnation, instead it seemed to be a traffic report.  I had made my way well clear of the city and was now on the smaller section of freeway that cuts across rural western NY.  The promise of gas and golden arches were plentiful though scarcely much else.

There were two male voices delivering statistics of familiar roads and landmarks, but nothing very relevant to my commute yet.  The company is nice, but is turning into background noise for me rather quickly.  I pull off around Geneseo to see about a bite to eat for the ride home.  Denny’s.  That’ll do.

Just as my hand is turning the key in the ignition, I hear the voice mention “86 Dansville”.  My fingers are too good at jumping the gun and the radio goes dead as the engine stops.  I turn the key again and find the station gone – just static.  Shit.  That’s just my luck, my main road home potentially bottlenecked.

I hop out of the car and notice the green minivan next to me is occupied by a sole driver, waiting expectantly, perhaps for his passenger to finish their business in the restaurant.  I approach the open window.

“Hi there.”
“Hello, can I help you?”
“Could you do me a favor and turn to 107.7?  I heard a whisper of a traffic thing and it’s my only way home.”

The driver looked at me dubiously for a heartbeat, then resigned and adjusted his radio.  Silence.

“I got nothing,” he said. “Sure it was 107.7?  Never heard of that one before.”
“I’m sure, it was kinda weak though.  Thanks anyway.”

He nodded his head dismissively.

“If there’s something going on,” I thought, “maybe I should just beeline it for home and get there before things get seriously backed up.  It’s only 15 minutes away.”

Feeling decent about this plan, I hop back in my car and continue the journey.  The radio remained on, but silent.  I drove down the road, heading back for the freeway.  The onramp welcomed me, I shifted properly this time, and as soon as all four wheels were firmly on I-86, the voices sprang out at me, startling me nearly to an audible “Eep.”

“The 390 northbound is looking pretty good for this time of day, nothing too major to report.”, said Voice One

“Nothing besides a little bit of slowing around the 490 downtown area either.”, Voice Two chimes in.

Get to Dansville, I thought.  If I have to take side roads, I need to know sooner than later.

My last opportunity for a sideroad in Sonyea came and went.  I was locked into going through Dansville.  All ahead of me… nothing.  Clear roads.  A truck here and there.  My exit was just a few minutes away.

“Must have been nothing huge”, I thought.

“And to continue our coverage of the accident on I-86 Southbound all the way down in Dansville, police and firefighters are working at clearing the wreckage of that five car pileup.”

I continue looking around, nothing.

Voice One continued, “Police are beginning to set up detours at the Sonyea exit to reroute traffic.”

Great, walled off from behind, too.  Must be bad.  Where, though?  Maybe past my exit on the ass end of Dansville?

“… We’re still getting information on the nature of the cause of the pileup, but it does appear the police have confirmed at least one casualty from the initial vehicle, a blue hatchback.”

Just as a semi truck was coming up behind me, the steering wheel jerked from my hands, a strong force sending me veering into the guardrail.  Just before the truck hit me, before everything went into deafening blackness, Voice Two came back on the radio.

“Goodnight, fucker.”