Showing posts from 2008

New Year's Resolutions

Leah just told me that she doesn't have any. I've thought about them a couple of times and I usually manage to make it through a couple of months before I break them all. It's not like I drink heavily (rarely more than an absinthe or two each week, maybe a couple of ciders or shots of some spirit on a saturday night every couple of months when we have friends over), I don't smoke, I'm reasonably fit... most of the usual New Year's Resolutions just don't work. Last year I wanted to ensure that I got my roleplaying game written, printed and available for sale. So I actually managed to succeed on that one. With a bit of work underway already, I think I'll aim to get my current comic book project finished in the next couple of months and start sending it to publishing companies. A second project will have to be the suit of Iron Man armour I'm planning to build. I've got a decent way through moulding up the helmet, and I should start putting some

Leah's Birthday

Today, the 17th of December, is my wife's birthday. Another year older, despite all hopes and intentions to stay young forever. It's interesting how some people seem to enjoy the process of birthdays, while others hate them with a vengeance. Leah, my wife, fits into the latter category. It seems that every year around mid November, her mood starts to get dark and stormy. Gradually getting worse until it climaxes in the days just before her birthday, at which point she gives up in the struggle against time, and concedes that she'll just have to get a year older. In turn this leaves her depressed until the end of the year. It's interesting to think that some scientists claim we are one of the last generations who will die of old age [I wish I had a couple of links to back up that comment...I guess I'll have to go searching].

Auditory Fulfilment

I'd forgotten how much fun it is to play with sound. I'm doing a project in which I have to generate a short film no more than 4 minutes in length. A few people doing similar projects have just decided to sit in front of a camera and talk about themselves for a bit...but I can't do that. It's just to easy...that, and I'm a bit of a cameraphobe. I'm sure there's a proper word for "cameraphobe"...and it's not photophobic, because I'm not against light in general...but that's getting off topic. Anyway, I've decided to make a movie in the old silent film style. A series of vignettes interspersed with narrative panels, and a jaunty rag-time piano playing in the background. As a result of this I've been collecting a few sound bites and the ideas have started flowing. Hopefully I'll have the project finished this evening.

End of the Year

Suddenly, I realise that it's December and I wonder where the time has gone. This time last year I was about the be terminated from Dick Smith Electronics for having Asperger's Syndrome. I can't prove this, but within a matter of weeks of alerting certain people to this, I had been given a rush of formal warnings and termination. At the time I didn't bother with the idea of legal repercussions over the incident. It just seemed petty, no more petty than what was done to me, but it seemed petty none-the-less. But with the passing of a year, I have to consider what I've done over the past 12 months. I've been studying at TAFE, I've written and published a roleplaying game, I've worked for 6 months with a small business that has been on the verge of collapse for the past ten years (it seems to finally be sinking...but I can't be sure about that). I've started working with a new series of concepts for a comic book and I've been toying with the

Newtown Fair

I went to a fair yesterday, not surprisingly (given the heading) it was in Newtown. One of the things I've always enjoyed doing is imply walking around to soak up an atmosphere. Whether it's feeling the rush of emotions at a rock concert, the feeling of support when spectating at a sporting event, the desolation of a forgotten industrial area or the tranquility of a natural area of parkland. Each has a vibe, something that most people don't seem to acknowledge. I try to take it in, try to get a feel for what other people may be seeing in a situation, and try to see what they might be missing. Maybe it's the Asperger's. I've taken Okami to dog parks, with other dog owners and have watched them enjoy the antics of their pets. Everyone so focused on their own dogs that they don't seem to see the other people around them (until the dogs start to fight, then blame is inevitably thrown at the other "two-legs"...). The fair was different, probably bec

Fantastic Contraption

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT DO NOT PLAY FANTASTIC CONTRAPTION!!! It's highly addictive and will prevent you from doing other more important work like designing games of your own, posting in forums, feeding the dog or completing assignments. If you really do need to play this game, here's some ideas that I constructed to get through two of the tougher levels. But it's probably easier if you just forget that you ever saw this post.

New Sequential Art Project

I've started developing a project that links into one of my other hobbies...sequential art, commonly referred to as comics, but often encompassing a wide variety of media. There have been some ideas sitting in the back of my mind. Ideas that have festered for quite some time, like many of my game design ideas. I think I've hinted at a few of these ideas during previous entries of my blog, but I'm just too lazy at the moment to go back through them all and read what I may or may not have written. It's easier to just go forward with my plans and hope that if I'm repeating anything, then a subconscious and instinctive memory pattern will prevent me from making the same mistakes I might have made in the past. I've spent the last few nights generating some archetypal characters for a story, I'll have to see what I can do to load some of these images up to my photobucket account, or I might try to resubmit some work to Elfwood (though the images of characters d


Have you ever had one of those dreams that seems really symbolic at the time, you wake up getting the feeling that you really need to act on the subconscious messages contained within. I had one of those last night. Seeing people from my past, people who were apologising for actions they had done, while other members of my private history were telling me not to forgive them. I'm sure there could be a whole lot of things read into this dream. But I'm not sure if I want much would be read into it and how much is actually a connection to a global subconscious dreamscape??


This morning I decided to take a quick drive around Rookwood Cemetery , the largest working cemetery in the southern hemisphere. This has caused me to revise some ideas for some concepts I've been working on. It's a common anthropological theory that funerals are a ritual for the living, not for the dead. Visiting graves is a similar concept that helps the closure of a persons life within the space of their cultural footprint. Those who are more influential within a family draw descendants to their graves, those who have a wider impact on the community (through fame, wealth or other influence) draw visitors to their final resting place beyond their families. Visiting the Chinese part of the cemetery was a truly interesting part of the journey. I don't know enough about the origins of chinese funeral rites (whether Buddhist or Taoist), but I do know that they believe in many hells. People are believed to spend time in these hells to atone for their sins in the mortal worl

Framework for New Website now works.

After encountering a mysterious glitch that stopped most of my pages from rendering on any web-browser other than Firefox 2, it now seem that new updated version of the Vulpinoid Studios website now works. As for some of the questions about why the website is currently designated version 2.2.0, that's pretty simple, but it goes back a while. To cut a long story short, I had a previous website in the late 1990's and early 2000's, I even had a domain name registered for it. The various iterations of that website fall under the category of the 1.X.X series of version numbers. You can probably still find copies of it on the wayback machine , or by googling Ukiyo Zoshi, which was one of my earlier game concepts that was run by a few German groups in the early 2000's and still seems to be used as a object of modification by some game designers. The 2.X.X series of version numbers represents my second serious web presence. Where versions 2.1.0 through to 2.1.6 were differe

Site Upload Version 2.2.0

This afternoon I'm going to start uploading the new version of my website. vulpinoid studios I don't know how much of it will actually reach the web this afternoon. But hopefully the next day or two should see a revitalised presence for the Eighth Sea and my other games/projects. Fingers crossed..but I don't know how conducive listening to Ozzy Osbourne is to work...

Sydcon Debrief

It's been 8 years since I last attended a game convention in Sydney, it's surprising how many familiar faces are still around the many people recognised old some of the crowd is starting to look. The Eighth Sea was run 7 times over the course of the convention to various degrees of success. I really have to accept the notion that no game can be for everyone. Some people really just don't get the concept, it's a bit different from the other games that are regularly seen at conventions and anything that deviates from the norm will either resonate more strongly with an individual player or it will just seem a bit off key compared to their regular playing style. I tried to play with the notion of restricting genre within the system to see how the game would play under a different series of constraints. 3 options...1950's Pulp Sci-Fi, Victoriana Steampunk, and Modern Dramatic Sci-FI (a la Stargate SG-1, Firefly, etc.), I threw in a fourth genre tw

Polyurethane Resin

Over the last couple of weeks I've been working on some more physical projects, and this has meant the blog has been put on hold a bit. But on the positive side, I've now got some new pictures to show what I've been doing... These are some coins and some Steampunk goggles I've been sculpting to go with some of the games I'm working on. The coins are designed to be used as meta-game currency in The Eighth Sea. The larger coins being used as "Pieces of Eight", which are used by players to purchase changes in the storyline. The smaller coins are use as Wind tokens, to modify difficulties within the game. At least that's the theory so far...I might end up swapping these two types of coin around depending on how well they play at Sydcon over this weekend. The goggles are for a number of purposes, but mostly just for use as a fun prop in Steampunk games. I'll be using them at Sydcon over the weekend, and hopefully they'll generate enough int

Landlubbers and Scurvy Dogs

Today be Talk like a Pirate Day . So it be hardly surprisin' that there'd be a post here 'bout that most important o' days. Contrary to what many folks be thinkin', this day o' the year was not started t' celebrate those fine films about th' Carribbean, it started long before those films. In light of this most auspicious o' days I've been much considering whether I should be takin' advantage o' the links between this day and th' Eighth Sea. Perhaps I should be releasin' a sourcebook ev'ry year on this day, or me'be a discount at the online store...once it be runnin'. Somethin' t' seriously start thinkin' 'bout fer next year.

Living up to my word

When we ran The Eighth Sea at GenCon we promised that one or two people from every session would be sent out a copy of the rules as a prize for their participation and interaction. Earlier this week I recieved my box of books from and the prizes are now in the process of actually being sent out to the players. I'm getting back a few good feedback emails, hopefully that word of mouth for the game will start to spread and it will develop further over the next few months.

Eighth Sea Distribution

I've got the first batch of the Eighth Sea on it's way to me, with copies to be sent to distributors as a sample of the work. This batch will also include (finally!!) the promised free copies that were due to go to players from GenCon. Hopefully they'll arrive soon, and hopefully there will be no problems with the binding (unlike some of the horror stories I've heard from Lulu. Fingers crossed.

Marriage and Friends

This month I've been married for five years (on September 20th to be exact). It just struck me. The reason I thought of this is the fact that the last time I physically laid eyes on my best man was at the wedding, but out of the blue he has appeared again on my radar through Facebook. It's odd that this person who I still consider one of my best friends is someone who I haven't seen in ages. And it's odd to think of all the changes that have happened in my life since I last saw him (as well as thinking of ll the changes I'd have expected, which simply haven't occured in that time).


I've been checking every day or two, to see how my first baby is going. My first copy of the Eighth Sea has been sold. Here's hoping it's the first of many.

Design Dilemma

I'm working on a new game concept. Well that's not entirely true. I'm resuming work on a game concept that got me stuck a few months back. I keep trying to develop this game concept but my mind keeps shooting off into new directions that expand beyond the original concept in ways that complicate the simple premise. It was this exact phenomenon that caused me to break my train of thought by developing the Eighth Sea to it's finished status. Now that I'm returning to my earlier concept, I'm finding the same problems developing. Some would call this "development hell". In fact there are many who say that these festering ideas can evolve into truly revolutionary concepts as they grow in the back of one's mind. I'm just finding the ideas to be a nuisance. I think I've been hanging around the forge for too long. When I started to develop a roleplaying game, I just thought I needed a good game mechanic and an evocative setting. I had give

People are idiots...part 1

I'm calling this Part 1, because I know that I'm going to observe a lot more things that prove this point. It was 2am, I've slept since then so I'm not sure whether to say it was this morning or last night...anyway, that's not the point of the post. I'd had some alcohol a few hours early, but it had been a while before I got in the car...I was pretty sure that I was safe to drive, but Iwas taking things carefully just to make sure. I was heading toward a set of traffic lights where I know there is an automatic red-light camera. A car is ahead of me by a hundred metres or so. I see the light turn red and it is solidly red for a good second or so as the car ahead rushes through the intersection. As I start slowing down, red and blue flashing lights start up behind me and a police car shoots around me to catch the traffic offender. There aren't many cars on the road at 2am, but as I'm stopped at the lights for half a minute or so another vehicle comes t

Game Mechanics 1.2

I'm taking a slight detour in my blogs about game mechanics, I had intended to be detailing aspects of what I think make a good combat system (and how I followed those ideas to generate the system used in Tales). ...instead I'll look a bit deeper at aspects of character generation. I've already mentioned a strong favour toward perceived mid-points. Two of the scales I've heavily considered are... Systems with lots of random value generation versus systems that place the focus of thought back into the hands of the players. and Systems where the the characters are incredibly detailed with skills, combat abilities and special powers defined to the nth degree versus systems that are almost freeform with arbitrary principles based on vague notions of common sense. I've always felt that a good game can be judged by it's character generation system, and for an instinctive gut reaction, the generation system can be seen through the character sheet and the sheer si

Eighth Sea Now Available.

For any who may have been following the progress of my games, The Eighth Sea is now available for purchase.

Game Mechanic 1.1

There are a few schools of thought about characters in roleplaying games. Some believe that characters should be fully detailed in what they can do and where there limitations might lie. Others believe that a general notion of the character will suffice, and common sense should be allowed to fill in the blanks. Both concepts are valid under different styles of play. Spread across this split, you have people who believe characters should be primarily defined by what they were born with, versus what they've learned...that whole "nature vs nurture" debate. Here's where attributes and skills come in. While these two concepts have been a staple in most roleplayinggames for years, many independent games are moving away from the notion of attributes and skills. These recent games return to a simpler concept of simply assigning a character roles, then follow by allowing certain roles to complete certain tasks with ease. A combatant can physically fight but they may be no

Game Mechanic 1.0

I've decided to document some of the game mechanics that I come up with periodically. I've developed systems based on dice rolls, cards, counters and hand gestures, and each of these has applications to different styles of game. The problem with these conceptual ideas is that I can never decide on the type of game best suited to the mechanic. A poker based mechanic may lend itself well to a wild west game, a tarot mechanic may be good for a game about occultism or mysticism, but where do you place a complex die mechanic? I've looked at plenty of games over the years and have seen many that have focused on a gimmicky mechanic. Roll 3 dice, ignore the highest and lowest results and keep the middle die. Then compare this to a difficulty value that's generated by rolling a second die and cross referencing this to a table. [The result of the die might produce a nice bell-curve, and the cross referencing effect might ground it well in the reality of the game world, but t

Genre Advancement System

I've just offered a concept for a challenge at the Forge . I've done this for a simple reason. I'd like to find out what constitutes genre in different people's minds. I could have simply posed a question, but I probably wouldn't have had anything useful come out of it, and would have had a dozen partial concepts. I figure that offering a contest in this manner will generate a couple of well-considered and fully rounded ideas that I can then use as the basis for genre advancement within the Eighth Sea, or within some of the other game concepts I'm working on. At the moment I'm finding a lot of products on the market to be very generic and flavourless. This seems to be with the intention of allowing different groups to inject their own style into a setting, but my question is how that style really becomes a part of the setting. What makes "film noir"? What makes "horror"? How do you convey these concepts in a game mechanic? It will be

Eighth Sea Complete??

After months of work setting up a first draft, a fortnight of hasty revisions and editing, I've reached the final stages of getting the Eighth Sea ready for production... ...only to find one more issue. The PDF files I'm compiling for the internal pages have images on them that look like rubbish. They're meant to be 300dpi or better, but when I look at them, they look more like 100dpi (barely better than screen resolution and certainly not good enough for a professional looking product). I guess I'm going to be spending the next few days recompiling images. Just when I thought I was done... ...oh well.

Candycreeps (TAKE 2)

The first time I wrote this, it didn't take. The computer crashed during post upload. Between finishing work on the Eighth Sea, deciding on follow up projects and real work, I've being doing some layout work for Nick and Elizabeth Licata on their new game "Candycreeps". It looks like a fun setting with a simple and fast game mechanic. I don;t know how much more I can write about this without getting their permission first, but I'd recommend people have a look at it if their into the cute gothic aesthetic of "Emily the Strange" and the tokyo Gothic Lolita look.

Five Cards

I've been trawling the web for information about generating a random hand of five cards. The aim here is the create an automated random character generator for the Eighth Sea (first generate a random occupation template, then fill the remainder of the character's attributes and skills with randomised values using the random character generation method described in the rulebook). This quest led me to a fascinating game called Five Card Nancy which demands further exploration (there's a random online version also). It also led me to the Livejournal of Scott McCloud , and suddenly feel less guilty about not updating this blog as often as I could. Not that I put myself in the same realm as Scott, but it did make me feel a bit better.


Over the past couple of months I've been to Supanova and I've been to GenCon Oz . I had intended to go to both of these conventions with some kind of product that I could use sell. Or at least attend the conventions with a product that would showcase my thoughts and ideas. In this regard, GenCon Oz was far more successful. But on the other hand, I did meet someone at Supanova who thought my artwork showed talent. So I'm going to start working on a few new ideas that could be used in a comic. In this regard I've had a few ideas that might have a bit of potential. The problem I'm having now is that some of the ideas are much better suited to a roleplaying game where the players can interactively explore the ideas within their own group of friends. Other ideas seem better suited to a more linear storytelling format, and hence would work better as a comic. Most of the ideas fit between these two options, and quite a few ideas seem to vary between the options dependi

The forum is gone!!

As I've just posted my last entry, I decided to look at the forum I've set up for Vulpinoid Game Design. It's gone...probably due to a lack of activity. Let's hope that can be amended sometime soon. Maybe I'll have to ask for a subforum on the Forge... ...anyway, back to work.

Where does time go?

Two months have passed since I last posted and I'm feeling really slack. Maybe not, but now that I look back at this blog page I realise that I've had so much stuff that I could have been posting about. In that time I've been putting the final touches on the Eighth Sea, finished off a semester of study, had a haircut, travelled to GenCon and participated in some panel discussions, come back home to revise the Eighth Sea based on what I learnt at the con, I've done layout work for a game called Candycreeps, got my hair coloured and a few other things. Life just gets the better of us sometimes, and instead of sitting back to reflect on the issues at hand, it's sometimes better to just take things as they come and live life in the moment. I'll see what I can do over the next few days to put some of these things into perspective. No guarantees, but I'll see what I can do.

Hardware and Software

I've been thinking about the whole "Nature versus Nurture" debate. If I look back over a few of the recent posts regarding memories, human nature and some of my recent discussions with people about religious concepts and metaphysics, there are a few common threads that seem to appear. One of the things that has been a common theme in science fiction over the last few years has been a notion that machines are on the verge of an evolutionary breakthrough. It's only a matter of time before machines reach a critical point where they become capable of learning for themselves, and not long after that when they'll achieve self awareness. If a machine is able to perceive itself, learn from it's environment, and make adjustments to improve it's station with regard to that new data. Does it become like us? How do we determine the difference? Does a computer have a buddha nature? When artifical intelligence does become a part of our lives, will it have a soul? W


I had a car accident last night when I was picking up Leah from work. I can't lay the blame only upon others, but I can't accept it all for myself either. I tried to get around a car that couldn't turn the corner at an intersection, and needed to change lanes. I saw a gap in the neighbouring lane and took my chance. The car that had caused the gap sped up to block my lane change and I turned back into my original lane. Which led me to smash into the back of the car I was originally trying to get around. Neither my car, nor the one I hit were doing high speeds so, the damage could have been a lot worse. We did the courteous thing and exchanged details, Technically, legally, I was in the wrong because I ran up the back of the other car. What annoys the hell out of me, is the actions of the driver that deliberately cut me off and caused the accident. Once the cars hit, the driver sped off before I could get number plate details or any other useful information. I guess

Memories and Deja Vu

I had a whole heap of things that I was planning to write when I next logged in... ...but now that I'm sitting in front of the computer screen, the vast majority of them seem to have completely slipped my mind. I guess that's a suitable topic of posting. Why do things slip our minds? What is memory? Buddhism would state that we are the sum total of our memories. As we experience new things, they embed themselves into our psyche. I've posted about this type of thing previously. A few years back, when I was working as a printer, I found a book that was written by an old acquaintance. It was called How Do You Think . It's about the author's journey through life and the things he's picked up along the way. It's not a preachy book and it's written in a very down-to-earth manner. All the way through, it poses questions to make you think about the way you think. It touches on drugs, various therapies, relationships, and all those things that make us who w

Game Chef Part 3

It's a few days into the design part of the Game Chef contest. I'm a little annoyed that it took so long for someone to be inspired by my artwork. But in the end someone did take on my girls, so I guess things could have been worse. Now I'm busy writing a game based on dark-gothic imaginary friends, and how they survive in a world where innocence is in short supply.

One Hand Clapping

I'm starting to get a bit slack with my posting, but I'm still trying to keep up the blogging habit. Time to look back on a couple of the things that I've promised to observe and make comment on. Religion, Commerce, Human Nature. I haven't started with the small ones. Today I'm going to look at one of my favourite aspects of any religion; Zen koans, kabbalistic riddles and those ancient questions that are designed to make people think outside the square. Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand ? If a tree falls in the forest and no-one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? It is possible for the creator to create a stone so large that even (s)he cannot move it? Does a dog have Buddha nature or not? I came to a great conclusion that covers every single one of these questions, it stretches back to Confucius. I'll be paraphrasing here, but one of the first things that Confucius stated was that conflict often arises throu

Game Chef Part 2

I thought I probably should probably show two of the images I submitted for the Artist's Section of Game Chef. I hope someone can do something interesting with them.

Game Chef

After having some fun with game design contests over the last few months, I've decided to take part in one of the biggest ones. I've entered The Game Chef 's contest for 2008. The last contest of this nature that I entered resulted in a game about time-travelling, swashbucklers and quantum mechanics. Something that is nearing the final stages of self publication for a release date in July. This years Game Chef contest is called "Artists First" and the basis is that artists produce a small string of illustrations to evoke a setting and mood, then a game designer produces a complete result from the artistic basis. I've looked at some of the artworks being submitted and while some of the work is pretty average, there are some absolutely astounding pieces. I'm not sure at this stage if designers will be randomly allocated images to work with, or if they will be able to choose from those available. I can see benefits and flaws to both options. If we get ra

Comparison 1

Nothing too long or dramatic today...just an observation and comparison. United States protecting its interests in Iraq with a "pre-emptive war" during the 2000s. vs Nazi Germany protecting its interests in Poland with an "annexing" during the 1930s. Shock and Awe??? It might require a bit more historical research, but the cursory stuff I've been looking at today shows a lot of similarities.

On Human Nature Part 1

The Seven Deadly Sins. Lust (Latin, luxuria) Gluttony (Latin, gula) Greed (Latin, avaritia) Sloth (Latin, acedia) Wrath (Latin, ira) Envy (Latin, invidia) Pride (Latin, superbia) Ever notice how the seven deadly sins are all forms of self indulgence and one of the key points of Christianity is to value to community over the self? "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." In studying several different religions I've noticed a common thread across them all. Each religion basically has the same ideas in place, they just say them in different ways. The three Judaeo-Christian religions (Yes, I'm including Islam among them because it has the same core origins as a religion of the book, founded by the figures Abraham and Moses.) have the Ten Commandments, each of which is a rule that puts the selfish goals of the individual behind a more community oriented goal. Buddhism has a tendency to claim that the very concept of self is a lie, and only by transc

Capitalism Part 1

I've got a dozen ideas going through my head at the moment, ideas and observations about belief, spirituality and the whole answer about what is wrong with the world, but the problem is that every time I try to focus on a single point to begin my ideas, a dozen new ideas immediately link up and chains of thought push into new directions. I guess that following on from my previous post might be a good idea, as this can be used to link into more esoteric concepts later on. Corporate chromatography, thermodynamics and the problem with capitalism as an economic model. It almost sounds like the title for a post-graduate thesis. The pie chart is a great way of explaining things, it is used frequently throughout economics. It's all about describing a chunk of the world as a whole unit then dividing up the parts according to the relevant players in a particular field. We have $100 between us, I've got $50 and you've got $50, we each have half of the pie. We expand the econom

Corporate Chromatography

Scientists use a process called chromatography to separate component parts of a mixture. I'm not going to get into a whole lot of detail about this process, there's a decent article in wikipedia about it and I'm sure there are plenty of other articles scattered across the web. I'm no industrial but the analogy fits my rant for bear with me. Chromatography basically works on density, with the component parts of the mixture dividing themselves out into bands of like-substances over time. My experience with the corporate world strangely seems to reflect the chemical process of chromatography and I'm starting to wonder if the process is some kind of universal constant that applies as much to social and ideological interactions as it does to chemical interactions. When you talk to someone who has been successful in the corporate world (or any other social field for that matter), they love to use the phrase "the cream rises to the top". I've he


I'm sitting here typing away at a computer as I develop a website as a part of a year long course at Padstow TAFE. For those who don't know what a TAFE is, it's a technical college. The reasons why I'm doing this course are long and complicated, as are the reasons that I find myself writing this first post in my blog. I'll try to sum things up in some short points. I am no longer employed by my former company, having lost my job in the week before Christmas 2007. (Describing the events around this could involve a long and complicated list of posts in itself, some of which would seethe with venom, while others would be insightful comments on the human nature, greed and ego.) Very shortly after I lost my job, I took up unemployment benefits knowing full well that Christmas is a difficult time to find employment. I had hoped to find something, or return to study if I had not. I started doing some casual work to help make ends meet around the house, while I frantical