Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Specter Show 009: The Only Time

A little bit of website talk, a little bit of movie commentary, a little bit of everything, and there is all about Emerald Specter things.

The Specter Show 008: That’s What I Get

Almost completely focused, DJ (The Emerald Specter) talks about something that is very exciting… something wonderful happened.

Two words: Dirk Manning.

Won’t you join the excitement? Theo Rossi introduces the show, once again…

Emerald Specter 40: Things I’ve Learned

If you came to this column expecting to hear about some great list of things that has made me some grand and important person, then you haven’t been reading this column in the past. I am “great and important” in training, so I’m still learning.

This is about what I’ve discovered about my bullet journalling, the BuJoRPG experiment, and what comes next. Don’t roll your eyes, if you didn’t like hearing about it you wouldn’t keep coming back for more… plus, once this thing is ready to be released into the wild, you’ll thank me.

First and foremost, journalling at night seems to be more difficult than necessary. I have toyed with the idea of journaling in the morning when I get up and I think I’m going to try to run with that for about a week to try it out. That would be THIS week, so as you read this I’ve hopefully done the morning journalling once. I write this as I’ve missed the last two days, so the morning journalling will be for the prior day and not the present. Why? How do I know what will happen during the day if I’m starting it out by journalling? Exactly.

Some of the things I’ve specifically learned about my XP experiments is that I have too many things that give me XP. These things should give me XP, but what I’m saying is that the XP they give should be less of a “daily accumulation” and more of a “quest” or “special event” style of XP. Larger but happening far less often. I need to space out the XP plateaus for the levels a little more and add a few more levels so there are an even number of realistically established levels (with benefits). This means the BuJoRPG for March needs to stop in its current form and start a revamping so that I can start the HP experimental portion of this (including the loss of all HP consequences and how many HP one has at each level and/or month).

I’m hoping that you’re still reading and liking what you’re hearing.

Part of what I’m doing today is cleaning the house and taking short “breaks” to accomplish things I need to accomplish before I go to bed. I recorded the latest Specter Show, then I cleaned. I am writing this column, then I’ll clean. I’m going to bullet journal (to catch up and reformat a few things), then I’ll clean. My wife uses a similar process when I’m at work and she’s cleaning (15 minutes of cleaning, 15 minutes of not cleaning)… which usually happens in 30 minute increments (so one can watch a little TV). I’d like to write some of what I talked about on the Specter Show (no spoilers, you can wait until Thursday), but I think I’ll be done cleaning before I get to that point.

The thing with this bullet journalling, I really need to be going to specific goals. “Be a better human being” is a nice sentiment but that isn’t a definitive goal. What point would the achievement be completed to do something else as a goal? The goal is just vague and there needs to be more definition. Things need to be refined, and this is why I haven’t just launched my RPG to the world without fixing all of the “surface issues.”

There are levels to what I’m building. First, and at the most basic level, is the “daily goals.” Without using my specific dailies, I’m talking about your brushing, flossing, making your bed, picking up your clothes, and making sure the trash is out. Second comes the “advancement requirements,” things that need to be done in order to level up (like, for example, shaving, making sure you fill the car with gas, getting the groceries bought, and vacuuming)… which should ideally be done weekly, but if they are level requirements they can be both weekly or as part of a subset of “advancement requirements” that might only happen once but also weekly. Third, there are the “quest” goals (something that is a monthly thing, or a big deal… like buying that birthday present, picking up furniture that you bought, or going on the vacation to your high school reunion). These are the three basic levels to the XP and making goals achievable and well defined.

I’m also a designer, and I’ve been working on the “design layout” of the BuJoRPG that will reflect the “martial arts” theme that I’ve been building. After the BuJoRPG is ready for release, I’ll also strip that down to be a basic framework that I can then release “skins” to put over it. The RPG is to be a fun way to achieve your personal goals AND be a game to play. Journalling should be fun, something you look forward to doing, and you’ll be accomplishing things while you’re having fun. Why am I still selling this to you? You should be overjoyed to jump on board.

Do I need to release what kind of journal I’m using (the most common one)? Do I need to release information about the basics of bullet journalling? Do you need something else that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know! the email address is ~AT~, and I wrote it like that to prevent bots from automatically mailing me.

You also get more contact information on the Specter Show, so that is a good reason you should be listening. I do mention the BuJoRPG on there but future episodes will stray from that as I focus on the BuJoRPG more here in this column because I don’t want to write something, talk about something, and have those things just be carbon copies of each other.

The SpecterFit column will be making a return in the near future, I’m guessing it’ll be sometime in May or June when I get it running again… by then, I’ll be more solid in my routine and be able to talk about bringing myself back out of my slump and getting back to fitness.

Think on it.

The Specter Show 007: Sin

The Emerald Specter, DJ Allen, tries to remember what he originally wanted to talk about… and then gives up and talks about other stuff.

DJ discusses the latest sumo Basho (Haru Basho) that began on Sunday, the Greatest Show episode 120 (and the potential RPG, no TWO RPGs that might be coming out of that as a result), a wild tangent about Doctor Who, and how he plans to start being a reader of audiobooks (the reader as opposed to the listener).

Emerald Specter 39: Ducks In A Row

I’m here to put out that I’ve started getting my ducks in a row. So, if you wanted to stop reading at the title or this sentence, I suppose that is ok? No, not really, but there is more to talk about, so stick around.

Yesterday, as you read this, the Haru Basho opened with a bang. Two of the four Yokozuna fall on day one, DAY ONE! Ura has moved up to the top division and I noticed that there were a lot of rikishi wearing blue instead of their more “defining” colors. There are some other great things to discuss about the day one, and by the time this is out day two will be over… but that is for later in the Basho when we have more definitive things to discuss, like who won and why they won.

Right now, why don’t we talk more about how my ducks are in a row.

Ducks. In a row. I’ve got them. Yeah, let’s stop mucking that up.

The bullet journal is something I’ve made time for every single night. Last night, after the Greatest Show podcast, I briefly toyed with leaving the journaling until the next day but pushed through and entered what I needed to right away. This is a bright sign that I’m building a habit and that is something I have wanted to start including in the BuJoRPG.

Yep, there it is… the dreaded BuJoRPG reference and sudden (yet inevitable) deeper explanation.

The XP earning system, if I’m just going for “do the things every day to earn stuff for XP and levels” is working swimmingly. Were I wanting to just have that as the “first phase” of the BuJoRPG, I would be ready to start developing the next phase of testing. However, part of getting the bullet journal to build me up as a person and develop me, I need to add some layers on to this to allow for good habits to be formed (that will have XP potential, but are really to serve as “tiny hurdles” for the leveling up).

One thing I discovered that, despite my level XP plateaus being theoretically large enough to feel a sense of accomplishment, I’m leveling a little faster than I wanted to and that means I either need to space out the XP requirements again or add another layer. So, I don’t want to expand the XP again because then I’m just making the same things I’m already doing to be enough to level up. I want other great habits in there to help me level up, so instead of reaching 1000 XP and getting level 4 (random number, random level), I need to have an “accomplish this thing once a week” as a prerequisite. Those benchmarks will be more than one and less than six, but I haven’t determined if I want to do three or five.

These will be benchmarks that need to be reached so many times before being replaced by another benchmark at higher levels. So, while I’m currently at Level 5, I’d like to have something I need to accomplish on a weekly basis (rather than daily) to be able to reach Level 6 instead of just gaining another few days of XP.

So, if you’re reading this knowing that I wrote this yesterday (March 12), then you’re either saying “you’re already at Level 5?” or you’re wondering “damn, how many levels are there?” Well, there are a lot, so don’t think that is a tremendous accomplishment, knowing that there are currently 41 levels I’m playing with and the last level is more than 10 times the XP to achieve than what I’ve already got… so, there’s that.

Each of these will be a personal benchmark, so my using specific examples won’t tell you much without explanation. I want to keep my car clean, for example, so one of the weekly benchmarks I’ve got is to clean my car weekly. That is more difficult for me than you might realize, and it’s part of why I am trying to improve this aspect of my life. Let’s say I achieve the necessary XP for Level 6, but I don’t have all three to five of my benchmarks completed… well, I don’t get the new level. Each level will have separate benchmarks, which I’m working on a list at the moment, so even if I complete the benchmarks and I have enough XP to level two more times, I need to achieve each of those benchmarks prior to leveling up.

This means that I may have all of the XP necessary for Level 41, but be stuck on Level 9 because I have over 25 different SETS of benchmarks to achieve before receiving new levels.

The BuJoRPG is about achieving personal improvement in a fun way, so I’m trying to make accomplishments FEEL like actual accomplishments. I won’t be resetting my XP for this next layer, I’m going to add them on to my current situation to see what kind of obstacles I’m facing and determine whether or not to expand the XP plateaus or raise/lower the number of benchmarks based on the calculations.

It is important to point out that I haven’t even started working on the HP portion of this thing… or the quests… or the other things I want to make this a fun, interesting, and self improving game worth playing while becoming better at life.

While I’m talking about the BuJoRPG here, if you’re also listening to my Specter Show podcast, don’t worry about me touching on that too much there because I’ve got other topics I want to cover there.

I am going to be writing more columns the week they drop (since I’ve essentially caught up), and since the ESPL is finally over, I have time to concentrate on that. I’d hate to write a column for three weeks from now referencing some sort of disaster I couldn’t possibly have known would take place the morning the column drops, for example. Thanks for reading and we’ll be back again next week.

Think on it.

The Specter Show 006: Kinda I Want To

Talking about something OTHER than the BuJoRPG, the Emerald Specter (DJ) discusses some comics, the trials of getting healthy, and geeking about some sumo.

Listen now!

The ESPL Finale…

Note from the Emerald Specter, DJ Allen: this is the finale of the ESPL. Not just of season 2 but of the ESPL in general. I’ve gotten no interest from anyone to keep pushing forward and I’ve decided to focus my time in another area. I am open to the idea of someone picking up where I leave off in the future, if so you can contact me on Twitter @EmeraldSpecter, otherwise you can discuss using the designed logos I’ve made with me starting with contact. Thank you.

Also note, this will be written a little different than normal. No special graphic for the season champions.

Looking at the table, one can see we have NEW ESPL Champions. Emerald United pushed hard, even in the face of the persistent defending champions, Gothica. The third club in the deep hunt was Shazam CM, which were the recipients of the talent of Patrick Barnes, who returned in week 17 to push Shazam CM from struggling contenders to, at one point, league leaders.

How about an overview of the second season?

From where we left off, Gothica took a sizable lead in the table, being up by 9 points at one point. Then the defending champions started coming up against stiff competition in the form of the Khan Galaxy led Naval Armada, pushing hard to continue to be relevant… they also came up against Emerald United, which started showing solidity in their late season run for the championship… and the revitalized Shazam CM, who only faltered when against two clubs: Emerald United and Gothica. Naval Armada managed a draw against Shazam CM, which was enough to dishevel the club into not being able to close the gap created by the big wins of Emerald United and Gothica.

The consistency of the champions was grand, unwaveringly steady even in the face of stiff competition. Gothica thought they had things wrapped up in week 14, with their 9 point lead but then things started to fall apart, with a few losses and key draws against clubs that shouldn’t have had a shot against the champions. In the end, their strong play didn’t return soon enough to stop the climb of Emerald United.

The table as a whole saw a lot more wins than last season, too. Percentage-wise, the wins were far higher across the board and that was due to some season trades that improved clubs across the bottom. The exchanges saw each club that benefitted being far more because the trades all mattered. Citrus LF were the ones to suggest the initial trade, positing that their initial trade with Tardis benefit both clubs. The exchange did and other trades occurred.

In the end, Emerald United were crowned champions in the last week of the season, only securing their championship with a solid win and Gothica’s draw in the final week that gave Emerald United the trophy.

Thanks for reading.