Many moons ago I was part of a Star Trek play-by email (PBEM) game called UFOP: Starbase 118. If I recall I was playing a Human from the Philippines. I left it because of personal reasons. I forgot about it over time. I rediscovered it after reading a forum post about PBEM over on Board Game Geek. I thought it would be fun to play it again. Especially since I had a lot of time on my hands.
This time I made a unjoined Trill named Tara Wilkins. I have a bit of her history in my head. Right now I’m in training. I’ll get access to their wiki once I complete training and become an ensign. I’m hoping training goes smoothly and that I get my character assigned to a ship. I think the game will also hone my reading and writing skills a bit more.
The first episode of Star Trek: Picard, “Remembrance” came out today and I just got done watching it. I was hoping it wouldn’t be a show that would fit more into the Kelvin timeline than in the prime timeline. Based on the trailer that I have been watching in preparation for the series, I thought it might be all action and no humanitarian story line as the original Star Trek and the following Star Trek television series have been like. I have to say that I was delighted to enjoy the episode and had a better first impression with it over the impression I had with Star Trek: Discovery.
Warning: spoilers are ahead. There was some action in the episode, but it wasn’t central to the plot. We had a sneak peak of Data in Picard’s dreams. He was probably dreaming about him so much because of the synthetics (as androids are called) for some reason revolted on Mars. We are not explained why it happened, but we do know that Picard has deep feelings for the synthetics because of his admiration for Data. The Federation put a ban on synthetics after the incident. This caused Admiral Picard to retire from Starfleet.
The plot reminded me of the Star Trek: The Next Generation second season episode “The Measure of a Man“. In the episode Picard had to argue to Starfleet that Data was in fact a living sentient being. It appeared to me that he also held this belief for synthetics from that point to the point of this episode. In fact the line is so blurred that Dahj is a synthetic made of flesh and blood. I was also wondering if it would blur the line between a clone and a human being.
I’m eagerly awaiting for the next episode next week.
I was first introduced to MomGamesHard when Tazkabaz raided her about ten months ago. I subscribed and supported her channel right away. She has a personality that keeps you glued to the screen. You can see what I mean by watching the video above.
She was playing The Sims 4 as a story telling game play. Yet, she also ventured off and played American/European Truck Simulator (ATS/ETS). She is a variety streamer, and has dabbed in a lot of different games. She seems to get really hooked on one game for a week or two, but always ends up going back to The Sims 4 and ATS/ETS as her staple games. Her streams start at 8AM Central Standard Time Monday through Friday. Usually she plays for a good four hours.
I am usually up at 7AM and grab some breakfast and a cup of tea before seeing her stream. She usually has a warm cup of coffee that she sips on throughout the stream. Her eyebrows are always perfectly shaped, as she has a thing for always getting them waxed. In fact her bitty money goes towards her eyebrow waxing fund.
Yesterday we were telling Tazkabaz about a Hype Train that they now have on Twitch. She had no idea what that is, so we had to show her. It began with three people donating bits within five minutes of each other. That started the train to start moving. Very soon other people started to get involved in hyping up the chat. After all was said and done, we reached level five.
It was great to see Tazkabaz’s reaction to the bits and subscriptions coming in. She was clearly overwhelmed from it all. You can watch the event unfold by watching the 18 minute video above.
Yesterday the WNBPA and the WNBA reached a historic agreement that included a 50-50 revenue sharing. This puts it on par with how the NBA is structured.
Travel has always been a problem as well. Although they won’t be traveling via chartered flights as the do in the NBA, they will be now flying in premium economy class on commercial airlines. They also will not be sharing hotel rooms with other players with each player getting her own room. There has been problems with getting to games at a reasonable time.
The following are the key elements in the new 2020 WNBA-WNBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement:
Additional cash compensation elements:
– Minimum of $1.6 million in off-season league and team marketing
agreements, that both recognize top performance and highlight the
diversity of the league, and would create up to $300,000 in additional
annual cash compensation for select players.
– Minimum of $750,000 in prize money for special competitions beginning with the 2021 season.
– New 50-50 revenue sharing beginning with the 2021 season, based on the
league achieving revenue growth targets from broadcast agreements,
marketing partnerships and licensing deals.
– Increases in cash bonuses for performance awards (such as for WNBA MVP
and Rookie of the Year), and newly created cash bonuses (such as for
each player named to the WNBA All-Defensive First Team).
Quality of travel elements:
– Premium Economy class status (such as Comfort/Economy Plus) for all players for regular-season air travel.
– Individual hotel room accommodations for every player.
– A collaborative effort to address travel concerns through the Player Advisory Panel.
Motherhood and family planning elements:
– Players to receive full salary while on maternity leave.
– A new annual childcare stipend of $5,000.
– Two-bedroom apartments for players with children.
– Workplace accommodations that provide a comfortable, safe and private place for nursing mothers.
– New, progressive family planning benefits of up to a $60,000
reimbursement for veteran players for costs directly related to
adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation or fertility/infertility
Free agency elements
– Unrestricted free agency available to players one year earlier than
under the prior agreement beginning with the free agency period leading
up to the 2021 season. Specifically, players who complete the playing
services called for in their contract and have five or more years of
service will become unrestricted free agents (if they are not designated
as a “Core” player).
– Reduction in the number of times a player can receive the “Core”
designation – from four to three beginning with the 2020 season,
dropping to two beginning with the 2022 season.
Career development and other quality of life elements:
– The WNBA will work with its affiliated leagues, teams and sponsors
to provide off-season job opportunities designed to prepare players for
their post-playing careers and will advance diversity in coaching
initiatives for veteran players interested in coaching careers.
– Enhanced mental health benefits and resources.
– An augmented and holistic domestic/intimate partner violence program that includes education and counseling.
– A joint Nutrition Council committed to identifying resources and address proper nutrition to optimize athletic performance.
– Access to experts in women’s health and representation on league policy committees.
I was playing around with my blog and adding my icon links to my profile to various social media platforms. I added the one for Steam and noticed that I still had a link to my Board Game Geek profile. I discovered the site a long time ago, but I never joined. I didn’t realize that it had sister sites for video games and role-playing games as well.
I was using the site to read reviews of various board games. Every Christmas my family gets together and play board games. For the Christmas of 2019 we played Ticket to Ride. My middle brother won the game, which always seems to be the case. I trailed behind him by a few points taking second place. Yet, it is not winning or losing that really matters. It is just playing the game and having some fun. After all, that’s what all games are for – to have fun, however you might describe it.
I use to play some Pathfinder about a year or so ago. I was playing a human female sorceress. I had an entire backstory for her. Yet, I stopped going. I’m not sure why I did. It might have been my agoraphobia that caused me to stop. I still stay in touch with the members I use to play with via Facebook. I’m certain they are not playing anymore. I should reach out to them and see if we can start it back up.
I’ve been playing role-playing games ever since I was probably ten years old. We played with the old red box D&D game. I remember that it was just me and my middle brother playing. My youngest brother was too young to play. I use to DM the games while my brother would play multiple characters. We really didn’t know what we were doing. I do recall that my brother got to a ridiculous level that he could fight a dragon by himself.
Eventually, my younger brother was able to play and my middle brother was DMing. I remember that I made all of my characters female. It was my first experience to actually explore who I am. We had some great games together back in the 80s. In fact I think I saw the red box for sale at Barnes & Nobles as a Stranger Things special edition.
Video games were also a huge part of my life. I can remember playing a side scrolling shorter game whose name I don’t recall. It was on the TRS-80. I managed to find a cheat for the game by using the other joystick. I wrote up my find maybe when I was ten to a national video game magazine. It got published and I was so excited to see my own writing in print.
The first system my family owned was the NES. We use to play Duck Hunt on it. It was really advance for that day and age. Of course I had fun shooting at the dog as he was laughing at me.
I had a PC while I was in college. I found a copy of The Sims at the local Walmart. I picked up the game. I can remember the cashier warning that the game was very addicting, Boy, was it ever! I grew to love the series. It was kind of like playing with dolls but on a computer game. I could express myself in ways that I wasn’t able to do so in other games.
These days I do dab around in video games. I pick up each new copy of Madden NFL that comes out for the PlayStation. I have The Sims 4 that I love to play with. I was really deep into Lord of the Rings Online for a very long time. Before that I was really into Final Fantasy XI.
That’s a little bit about my gaming background. I’m sure that I will be posting more about my gaming adventures in some more blog posts.
I first discovered Twitch when I saw a Twitter post from Lord of the Rings Online stating that a stream was happening live. I decided to click on it. It was fun to watch other people playing the game. I began to explore other people playing Lord of the Rings Online.
The first person I found playing Lord of the Rings Online was TesslaDaPanda. She was also playing some Overwatch, which I have never seen before. I couldn’t believe how fun it was to watch other people playing games that I loved, and exploring new games that I never played before. Not only that, but there was a sense of community in the chat rooms that made everyone feel like family.
I thought I would explore another game that I loved: The Sims 4. The first person that I found was Tazkabaz. She had this beautiful English accent and was entertaining to watch. It wasn’t long until she made me a moderator – someone that patrols the chat room and make sure everyone was following the terms of services. She has since become one of my favorite streamers.
Every so often streamers would do raids bring their viewers over to another person’s channel. One of the people that Tazkabaz raided was MomGamesHard. She was playing The Sims 4 at the time. She was playing the game as a story: Sims Big Brother for example. I grew to start liking her streams and personality as well.
Now I have a schedule when from 8am to 12pm I watch MomGamesHard. I then pop over and watch Tazkabaz play from 1pm until 5pm. Lastly I watch TesslaDaPanda from 7pm until I go to sleep. This is my day every weekday. There are times when some of them don’t stream due to real life getting in the way. I manage to find something else do. It is usually finding other people who are streaming.
I suffer from some mental health issues. I had suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. Yet, it has gotten worse especially since I transitioned.
I went to see a therapist for my social anxiety. I use to ballroom dance and I was so anxious when I would preform in front of people. I never experienced a problem like this, but I gradually learned it was because I identify as a woman. Ballroom dancing is very gender specific and I knew there was something wrong with doing the steps and movement that were for men. I began Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) on February 2014 to have the physical appearance of being a woman.
I was feeling better once I started but I began to get very anxious of being clocked (viewed as being my wrong gender or of being transgender). I began to develop agoraphobia. I didn’t want to leave the house and run into people. I didn’t have a fear of leaving the house, but rather being around people, mainly because of my gender dysphoria.
I will talk more about my mental health in this blog. I’m currently in therapy now and I loss my job chiefly because of my mental health. I’m still unemployed but I hopeful that I will be getting disability retirement soon. I already got approved for being disabled, but I have not received any payment yet.
Katherine was born on March 17, 1970. She is a transgender woman living in the far west suburbs of Chicago.