Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SOPA Blackout - The Internet Goes On Strike

Unless you live under a rock, you've probably heard about the Stop Online Piracy Act.

Unless you've plugged your fingers into your ears and are now chanting "LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!" at the top of your lungs, you probably know that it is a Very Bad Thing for the internet.

Allegorical Dullness may not command a lot of traffic--compared to the behemoths like Google and Wikipedia, it commands none--but it, and Water is for Drinking, will be participating in the blackout tomorrow (or today, depending on your timezone). You can participate too! Visit the SOPA Strike website to find out how.

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's not dead, it's restin'!

I've been getting quite a bit of new traffic lately. Allegorical Dullness has long been read by one to four other people, due to my utter lack of caring for self-promotion, so it's neat to see more trickling in. Hello, awesome people! This post is not about Sim Survivor or the continuing misadventures of all my other rejects, but it does concern them so I hope you'll pull up a chair and bear with me anyway.

On the first of November--the very first day of NaNoWriMo, and days from Skyrim's release--the motherboard on my gaming laptop decided that it was time to shuffle off the mortal coil and fried itself to a crisp. The week-and-some-days that followed were an agonizing scramble of handwritten pages, averaging between 250 to 450 words per day, because starting on the first I was also traveling across the country and had, fortunately, decided to bring my pen-and-paper notebook along in case I had to jot something down in a stupor at three in the morning.

("But what does this have to do with the blog?" you ask. Absolutely nothing. I just like exposition. No, don't go, I'm getting to the blog stuff!)

By the time that I acquired a new computer, I was just so grateful to have a $200 word processor to try and catch up on NaNo with that I didn't even consider the lack of an optical drive. Or the lack of a processor better than an AMD C60. Or the lack of a graphics card beefy enough to handle anything more intensive than Spider Solitaire. Or, for that matter, the lack of all my files.

You see, when I finally turned my attention to Allegorical Dullness and my inability to play The Sims 3 on this thing, my first thought was, "Well, it's okay. I have at least four gigabytes of unused screenshots that I can make new posts with for now." Then I realized that, yes, I had four gigabytes of unused screenshots on my dead computer, and that I hadn't got an external drive enclosure or the screwdrivers necessary to get at the hard drive even if I had.

Then I tried to hit my head against my desk, but because my desk is currently my lap and I'm not that flexible it didn't end well.

The long and short of what I'm trying to say is that I haven't abandoned Sim Survivor or Sim-Me's lean-to or all the other things that I've been planning for months; I am flat-out unable to get at them. And that's saddening, because no updates means I likely won't be able to keep potential new readers.

Allegorical Dullness will be returning at some point, whenever it's possible. Until then I have another blog, if you are interested, called Water is for Drinking. All my non-Sims 3 stuff lives there, including screenshots from other games and stories and rants about miscellaneous topics, and David Hasselhoff. (Be careful, he has a tendency to appear out of nowhere.) I've recently been uploading some photography, too. (Believe it or not, my budding interest in photography stemmed from my inability to take video game screenshots.) It won't tell you who wins Sim Survivor, or whether or not Stanley ever becomes a master horse rider--okay, spoiler: he doesn't--but it has got Ezio Auditore throwing priests into fountains and other random things.

Thank you for sticking with me. If you don't stick with me, might I recommend one of the websites linked in my sidebar? They are all worthy investments of an afternoon or two or more.

Monday, October 31, 2011

An Allegorical Halloween - There is no Allegory, Actually


May your Halloween involve an obscene amount of candy, unless you don't like candy, in which case may it involve an obscene amount of some other thing that is both delicious and terribly, terribly bad for you.

Tomorrow is the first of November, and that means I'll be disappearing for NaNoWriMo. I may squeeze out an update here and there amidst all the furious noveling and Skyrim-ing, but it won't be my priority this month.


As a parting gift, here is a picture of Stanley being thrown from a horse.

Sim Survivor - Elimination Round 5


"...My life is a dead end."

It could have been a literal end if you hadn't won the immunity challenge, depending on how many people you've pissed off this week. But you did win it and you're safe for another round, so let's see who does get the chopping block.





This should be a surprise to nobody, considering how long Dona has spent away from the other contestants. Even her BFF Meece doesn't care anymore.


As I didn't want to give her the pleasure of seeing her friends before she died, I opted for something a bit different this elimination. Sim-Me took a little field trip.


Hello, Dona! Your doom approaches on sandaled feet.


With nothing but a pool of water separating her from death, Dona made a desperate bid for freedom.


It wasn't very successful.


"I know what you're here for, you murderer!"


"Well, you won't get me. I will walk away at a brisk clip!"

"Haha, are you for real?"

Sim-Me seemed to be amused by her defiance.


She watched with interest as Dona mounted another escape attempt.


Fear gave her the strength she needed to cross the pool. Her fate had already been sealed, though, so she only got about halfway across before, against her will, she found her arms and legs propelling her back to the kitchen island.


Horrified, she shrank from the inevitable.


"What are you doing? What are you doing? Oh, no, it's going to be the knife, isn't it?"


Nope! You get to inexplicably fall through the ground.


Hey, if there's cake wherever you end up, don't trust it, okay?


"Huh. This is new."


Just do your job, Death.


Dona, unsurprisingly, tried to plead for her life. What did surprise me was what happened next.


Instead of just shaking his head and interrupting her as he always does, Death raised his scythe and punted her into her gravestone. I have never seen this animation before. Ever. I can only surmise that he's tired of all the business I've been giving him--or maybe he just really, really hates Dona.


The others didn't take the news well.

"Another contestant died? What a shocking and unusual occurrence!"


Even Esmeralda felt bad.


For about thirty seconds.

We are now down to three contestants! That's one more than two, which means that Sim Survivor is fast drawing to a close!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I'd like to interrupt your regularly scheduled Sim Survivor/Allegorical Halloween posts to talk about the new Pets expansion. I installed it only a short while ago, after figuring that it couldn't mess up my game any more than the 1.26 patch had, and took the time to play around with it between Survivor updates.





After a good hour of fighting with Create-A-Pet, I wound up with a new and improved Doberman and dropped him into Sim-Me's household, on account of Doberman Pinschers being one of my favorite dog breeds.


Say hello to the internet, Vehk! (Yes, I named him Vehk. I am on a TES high in anticipation of both Skyrim and NaNoWriMo; deal with it.)


Though my initial impression of Create-A-Pet was not a positive one (I see what they were going for with the preset markings vs the adjustable color blobs, but the whole thing didn't feel user-friendly at all), the actual "pet experience" was entertaining. Vehk loved his Biscuit Ball.


And his toybox.


And I loved the enthusiasm he had for his chew toy. SO FREAKING CUTE.


"What's that you're having for breakfast? Sushi? You're going to share that, right?"

No! Sushi is not for dogs.


But you can certainly fetch the paper for me. I approve, even though I'll never read it and will, in fact, end up just throwing it in the garbage!



Don't mind my arm clipping through your face, by the way. I am jabbing your brain with LOVE.

(Seriously, is that supposed to happen?)


It are can be squeaky toy tiem!


As squeaky toy tiem was in progress, I heard music out of nowhere and spun the camera around to see an ice cream truck pull up.


Sim-Me threw on some clothes even though the driver must have seen her bumming around in her pajamas and wandered over to have a look at the menu.


She wound up ordering an overpriced cone. Nomnomnom!


Meanwhile, a stray dog showed up at the edge of her property.


Vehk wandered over to investigate. Oh, dear. That's a rather...unfortunate-looking animal.


"Hello there."

"I like lightbulbs."

Good for you, stray dog. Good for you.


Now it are can be hugz tiem! D'awww.


Okay, the "play tug" interaction is adorable, but...


I can't help but think that something looks wrong here.


The game of tug over with, I instructed Sim-Me to teach Vehk how to sit. Err, that's not how you teach a dog to sit, sim-self. Perhaps you could be less idiotic about it? Please?


Despite her inept training methods, he learned to sit--and, as afternoon bled into evening, the ice cream truck finally left.


You know, I really like some of the animations. I've spotted more than a couple from S2, but others are new and they're pretty fluid.


After a long day of Trying Stuff Out, Vehk retired alongside Sim-Me.

"Hm, I wonder what lobster tastes like..."


When Sim-Me woke up around four in the morning, she apparently disturbed him because he got up too.


"Ugh, I'm so tired...must get out of bed, though..."


"...So that I can move to a different spot."


Apparently Flexi-Leads are all that exist in Simland. Because I really want my large, powerful dog on a thin extendable leash. Yeeeah.


I'd intended to have Sim-Me walk through the neighborhood to the pool, as she'd rolled a wish to go swimming, but they moved so slowly that I ended up driving instead.




Vehk liked the water. However, it was a miserable, overcast day and not great for swimming (thank you, lighting mod of atmosphericness and win!), so before long I decided they should get going and find something else to do. I directed them to the town square.


And Sim-Me, in an astonishing display of responsible pet ownership, got in her car and drove off without the dog.


Fortunately, Vehk's a smart boy and had no trouble following her on his own. He ran across town and--


Wait, what?




Somebody is keeping horses in their front yard.

Somebody is keeping horses in their front yard when they don't even have a front yard.

Somebody is keeping horses in their non-existent front yard that butts right up against the town square.


I am not amused. There's got to be some kind of ordinance against this.


Moments after I saw the mother and foals chilling out on the sidewalk, a wild horse came galloping down Main Street. Fantastic.


Then a second wild horse showed up. Even better!


Disgusted, I sent Vehk and Sim-Me home. The first thing I saw upon arrival was another stray. This one was standing about and thinking of vegetables while looking shifty.


Moments later it arrived at the conclusion that destroying the paper seemed a fine idea and set to with a will.


Then it wandered over to Sim-Me, perhaps in search of affection or validation, but she was too wrapped up in Vehk to give it any. Forever alone, little guy. :(


Forever alone.

The next morning--






He soon snapped back to normal, but that twisted apparition will haunt my dreams forever. It didn't help that the ice cream truck showed up and idled outside of Sim-Me's property for most of the day--not doing anything, not playing any music, just idling in a looming, vaguely threatening sort of way. Sim-Me brushed Vehk and both of us tried not to think about how he'd exploded all over the kitchen.


The tension was alleviated somewhat when, after his brushing, he raised his leg in an inopportune spot. I'll admit: I laughed.


He then accompanied Sim-Me on the guitar for a while.


That evening, a stray cat appeared.


It immediately took a liking to Mitchell. And by "took a liking" I mean it sat itself down in front of him and meowed plaintively for hours, as if it thought it could talk him into flopping out of his bowl and into its waiting mouth.

Oh, yes, and before I forget...


You can now order pet food at restaurants for some stupid reason. It comes in a nice blue bowl and looks like wet canned mush or kibble.


Apparently, however, it is in fact a solid cone.

I don't understand.