A Little of My Time Away

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A Little of My Time Away

Post by Lorient Avandi on Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:50 pm

Hello, all!

Before this week it had been quite some time since I frequented the lanes of our dear Forumshire, and I figured I would give an idea of my whereabouts and goings on since I was here last in 2014.

I initially left to serve a mission for the Organization Formerly Known as the Mormon Church (but really, they’ve had a big to-do in the past year about not calling it that anymore) in the Columbus, Ohio area. I left in July of 2014 and returned in January of 2016, 6 months early due to severe depression and anxiety. I mean, who knew sending out 18 year old boys and 19 year old girls with no premise other than “God commands it”, telling them they can’t have sex-or even masturbate, forcing them to keep a stricter schedule than most jobs, only allowing them to consume church-related content, telling them they can’t talk to their families (other than through email) but only twice a year, and then shaming them hardcore if they couldn’t live up to it, would be good for their mental health scratch ? Couldn’t predict that could we... I mean it’s not like the head of the organization supposedly talks to God Himself is it Shrugging ?

Anyway, I got home to Utah and then did a six-month stint in Cali before returning to Utah. Since I’ve been going to school on and off and working, struggling to find my bearings at school. I’ve been back at school for the last couple semesters taking a lightened course load and that has helped immensely. I’ve been studying game design.

The biggest change in my life in the last several years is that last year, I decided to renounce my Mormon faith. It came down to a few things:

1. I came to the realization the church lies about its history (For good reason, I’m not ok following a religion that was started by a lying, money-digging, pedophile who married children and women who were already married-without his own wife’s knowledge or permission, and yet claimed to be the chosen Prophet of God) No

2. There are too many things in the LDS canon that can’t possibly be true (translating scripture called the Book of Abraham from a papyri that was later discovered to never even mention Abraham, having a book of scripture set in the Americas about ancient Christians who descended from Jews and it is all but impossible that any Native Americans descended from Jews, and then the typical problems with the Old and New Testaments.) Suspect

3. The LDS Church has historically marginalized and continues to marginalize women and people of color. Mad

4. To say they marginalize LGBTQ+ people would be an understatement, they shame and ostracize them, to the point that they are almost not seen as human. Extremely Crabbit

5. They can never admit that they are wrong (going so far as to excommunicate those who speak out-even when they often end up adopting those people’s ideas), breed a culture of shame, don’t do anything to prevent sexual abuse, practically control the government of Utah, and so much more. Evil or Very Mad

These are just a few, broad things. It has been hard figuring things out with my family and friends, many of whom are still wrapped up in the cult. Going from memory, I am extremely embarrassed now by posts I made on here about religion and how gullible I was, and how self-righteous and somewhat rude and offensive I was. I do have a few good memories of my mission (quite some entertaining ones if anyone cares to ask) and my time in the LDS church, met many genuinely good people, but there was also a lot of negative that I can’t look past.

Since then, however, I am so much happier, though things can still be dreary. The end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 have been very good for me, enjoying my studies and tech job, and now that I am back in our humble Forumshire I look forward to things being even better. afro cheers

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by halfwise on Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:03 am

Sorry to hear about the dreary missionary work (to Columbus Ohio! Razz ) maybe they'd have better luck sending you somewhere more interesting and mind broadening, like Venezuela.

As for your religious re-awakening, most (if not all?) are totally with you here.  I'm glad you are talking openly - the world is a far more interesting place when viewed through a lens of rationality.  Like most people I was dragged through the Christian dogma sent to church activities as a kid, but around age 13 I had a flash of insight - Jesus had nothing to do with those dust motes I saw dancing so beautifully (and randomly) in a ray of sunshine.  The floor fell away, but the at the same time the roof opened up.  Never looked back.

I still enjoy things that play to that mystical feeling - Tolkien and Dune for example, but I view that feeling as entertainment.  Not unlike the shivers you get from artful pornography: it pushes all the buttons but you know it's not real.  It's this strange circuitry we can access to get a charge.

Game design I would think would be a great job - creative yet intellectual.  I'd like to teach physics from the perspective of writing realistic games, where you program in the forces and let the magic of numerical analysis do all the rest. You don't need anything except the simplest of equations to reproduce reality.

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:31 am

{{ Well its certainly not uncommon to have that moment when you've been brought up with a set of ideas that your entire community has been reinforcing your whole life and one day you go....'hang on a minute! Are you sure?' and if your lucky enough to get the chance after  that, and arent lynched, to explore the thought longer you will always end up at the real truth- which is no one has a clue what's going on but we can have a go at working it out and muddle along best we can with the rest of it until we do. And may as well try to enjoy as much of it along the way as possible while we are here.

The hard bit is all the fall-out, family and friends that can follow such a moment. With that bit too all you can do is do your best and try to muddle through.
But very glad you're wandering feet have brought you back to the lanes of Forumshire once more. Where you are always welcome (one more person means I'm one step further away from it being my round again Nod drunken ) }}

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Eldy on Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:56 am

As I mentioned before, I'm delighted to see you back here, Lorient! I can only imagine what it's like going through missionary stuff and then family issues relating to leaving the faith. (And I apologize for teasing you about it in the other thread.) Thank you for trusting us enough to share some of the personal details. I'm glad school is working out lately. Going down to part-time after mental health crises has been a recurrent theme with both school and work, but the rational part of me knows it's the healthy choice as well as the most productive in the long run. That you're able to balance multiple things like that makes it even better (jealousy rising Razz).

Lorient Avandi wrote:These are just a few, broad things. It has been hard figuring things out with my family and friends, many of whom are still wrapped up in the cult. Going from memory, I am extremely embarrassed now by posts I made on here about religion and how gullible I was, and how self-righteous and somewhat rude and offensive I was. I do have a few good memories of my mission (quite some entertaining ones if anyone cares to ask) and my time in the LDS church, met many genuinely good people, but there was also a lot of negative that I can’t look past.

I remember those threads too but I wouldn't sweat 'em. I think everyone who started posting online in their mid-teens or younger has stuff they're embarrassed to know is preserved, but that's just a fact of life for a rapidly growing percentage of the population. I'm just lucky that my really early stuff predates this incarnation of the forum. I would've been glad to see you return no matter what your circumstances or beliefs, but I can't deny that I'm kinda tickled that you're talking like one of the more woke people on here. Very Happy That helps lessen my perpetual worry that my having come out as trans will result in awkwardness with people I've known for a while (as it has a few times already), though I never doubted that you would be nice about it.

I would be happy to listen to any stories you want to share about your time in your mission or any other point, and just to get to catch up in general. It's been a wild half-decade.
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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:54 am

Well I don't know about all that, but it's good to hear that you're doing well.

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:19 am

As the other guys said, its very brave of you and I am so glad that you have escaped. Now that you have an open mind and can think for yourself things can only get better. But if you have always loved Tolkien deep down you were always a free spirit, (even if you didn't know it at the time) Very Happy

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by azriel on Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:55 pm

I remember you Lorient Very Happy You need to go thru things, to find out who you are, what your about. You shouldn't regret or feel embarrassed by the things that got you to where you are now, they are the ingredients that make you. Having an open mind is one of the best things you can have. The world & everything in it is fantastic with new eyes. Your free to make choices, to get things wrong or make things right. Each day is a new adventure, even if its shit, some good will come of it. Anyway, regrets only hold you back & you can only dam a stream for so long. Very Happy

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by azriel on Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:01 pm

A burglar breaks into a house & while he's rummaging a voice suddenly calls out "Jesus is watching you"....This freaks the burglar out who immediately puts out his torch. After a while he continues to go thru the house stealing things when again comes this little voice..."Jesus is watching you". This time the burglar flashes the torch around & sees a parrot in a cage looking at him. Burglar says "did you say that!", parrot says "yes, my name is Moses & Jesus is watching you". The burglar laughs & says "who calls their parrot Moses!" and the parrot replies, "The same people who call their Rottweiler Jesus".....

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Lorient Avandi on Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:30 pm

I definitely appreciate all of the support you guys are giving Very Happy! It definitely has been a hard journey, but people like you make it much easier!

halfwise wrote:Sorry to hear about the dreary missionary work (to Columbus Ohio! Razz ) maybe they'd have better luck sending you somewhere more interesting and mind broadening, like Venezuela.

Haha, its funny you say that, I tell most people I talk to that somewhere foreign probably would've been even worse for me! They even give you the option of how willing you are to go foreign/speak another language and I put "Highly Against" Razz.

Eldy wrote:I remember those threads too but I wouldn't sweat 'em. I think everyone who started posting online in their mid-teens or younger has stuff they're embarrassed to know is preserved, but that's just a fact of life for a rapidly growing percentage of the population. I'm just lucky that my really early stuff predates this incarnation of the forum. I would've been glad to see you return no matter what your circumstances or beliefs, but I can't deny that I'm kinda tickled that you're talking like one of the more woke people on here. Very Happy That helps lessen my perpetual worry that my having come out as trans will result in awkwardness with people I've known for a while (as it has a few times already), though I never doubted that you would be nice about it.

I'm glad to be back in any case, and like you said, it really is just a fact of life in the Internet Age that some embarrassing things we've said will be preserved. I look back at it now, and while I'm still embarrassed by them Embarassed it helps me gain perspective on how much I've grown as a person.

I think its great that you are being true to yourself Eldy, and I think anyone who would fault you for that is an absolute moron. I can't imagine how hard things have been for you, but I know you're awesome and can overcome any of that nonsense Metal.

Eldy wrote:I would be happy to listen to any stories you want to share about your time in your mission or any other point, and just to get to catch up in general. It's been a wild half-decade.

I am definitely excited to catch up! I'll share a couple of stories:

One of my favorite stories to tell is about a guy who told us some of the craziest stuff about himself. On more than one occasion he told us some war stories from his days in WWII (he was probably in his mid-50s when we were teaching him) and how he got shot in the butt while destroying a tank...with his dog, and then proceeded to kill Hitler. :clap: This happened once when he was 4 years old, and then again when he was 16 or 18. He also told us that he was Joseph Smith himself and had gone to Hollywood to do some movies. One of the best stories of him though was when we went over once and he was in a lot of pain. Now Mormons have this thing where they believe that, using special blessed oil, they can give Priesthood (power of God on Earth) blessings of healing/comfort. We offered that to him and he accepted. I went to give him the blessing, and I asked him his full name (Mormon's always use peoples' full given name in blessings) as up to this point we only knew him by his first name, Roland. He then told me his full name was...JFK Jr. He said it just like that too. He didn't say "John Fitzgerald Kennedy" he said "JFK". I thought was joking and kind of laughed and asked him again, he affirmed that his name was JFK Jr, and that he was the bastard child of JFK and the Queen Elizabeth. So... I gave a blessing calling him John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. Shrugging We later found out he was Schizophrenic, but when you're a Mormon missionary, you basically take anyone who will listen. We walked in on him several times when he was either high and smoking weed, or absolutely plastered with alcohol all around him. He was one of the most entertaining people I met.

One of the coolest and most authentic guys I met was a guy in his mid 20's. We basically would go over, watch him play some video game for a half hour to an hour (probably not the best use of time..but whatever afro) and then teach him something about the church. He was agnostic, and gay, but some of our lessons with him were among the most powerful that I had. Unfortunately after I left that area (we get transferred to different areas throughout our time on our missions) the next companionship didn't think watching him play games and talking to him about games was a productive use of time, and were a lot more strict when they saw him... he quit letting them come in shortly after that.

We were teaching another guy the Law of Chastity (no sex before/outside of marriage and no porn or masturbation), he was in his late 30's and had no idea what masturbation was... that was uncomfortable because he asked us a lot of questions about what constituted as 'breaking the Law of Chastity'...he had definitely broken it. Embarassed

Those are just a few stories, I'll try to remember some other good ones!

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:03 pm

You sure that last guy wasn't just playing you?

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Lorient Avandi on Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:59 pm

halfwise wrote:You sure that last guy wasn't just playing you?

Yeah, I'm pretty sure. He was a super authentic guy, but definitely not the sharpest. He and his wife ended up getting baptized into the church, and this conversation actually took place afterwards (I guess we didn't explain it well enough the first time).

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:11 pm

Wait... his wife? Razz I suppose there are still things to be learned about sex after marriage, but one would hope the basics, at least, would be down pat.

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Lorient Avandi on Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:19 pm

halfwise wrote:Wait... his wife? Razz I suppose there are still things to be learned about sex after marriage, but one would hope the basics, at least, would be down pat.

You'd think... I think it was more he didn't know what certain things were called not necessarily that he didn't know about them, but IDK, it was a weird situation....

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:23 pm

It would make a pretty darned hilarious script. I haven't seen Book of Mormon yet, but I get the feeling there's nothing like this in there - so you still have an opening.

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by David H on Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:04 am

Hi Lorient Wave Welcome back! :carrot:


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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:40 am

I’ve been studying game design. - Lorient

{{Love to hear more about this- also any experience with Unreal Engine? }}

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Eldy on Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:25 am

Heh, I suppose moving in interesting circles such as those is in the spirit of missionary work. Video game guy sounds pretty cool; nothing like meeting people on their own terms when trying to communicate any sort of idea. Razz

halfwise wrote:Wait... his wife? Razz I suppose there are still things to be learned about sex after marriage, but one would hope the basics, at least, would be down pat.

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:40 pm

Hi there, Lorient! Some story you've got there, I bet it's worthy of a good book (or a Forumshire tale!). Having grown up in a non-religious family and environment I don't know much about that life, but of course you read and hear about those who break out of it. Must have been a hard thing to do, so kudos to you. And welcome back to our little back alley of the interwebz!

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Lorient Avandi on Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:43 pm

Thanks for the support everyone! I'm definitely excited to be back!

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I’ve been studying game design. - Lorient

{{Love to hear more about this- also any experience with Unreal Engine? }}

I'm still mostly taking generals sprinkled with a few classes in my major. The only engine I have really worked with is Unity, and that seems to be the primary one the classes in the university use.

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:05 pm

{{Wonder why they went with Unity. Still much of a muchness on the basics- meshes, materials, paint shaders, objects ect and the joys of scripting! If you find yourself with any spare time and an interest in learning a little unreal engine I have a project on the go which at some stage would surely benefit from any assistance or thoughts. }}

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Lorient Avandi on Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:04 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{Wonder why they went with Unity. Still much of a muchness on the basics- meshes, materials, paint shaders, objects ect and the joys of scripting! If you find yourself with any spare time and an interest in learning a little unreal engine I have a project on the go which at some stage would surely benefit from any assistance or thoughts. }}

Unity is for some reason much more popular among the academic game design crowd than Unreal, which is (IMO based on the little I know) the better engine. It may be because it has a simpler UI and is much more basic overall than Unreal, leading to a better learning environment.

I will definitely keep that in mind and let you know!

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 05, 2019 12:21 pm

{{From what I know of Unity it is a very good engine. I am simply more surprised they dont use Unreal purely because its the most popular engine for games to be made on at the moment, and I would have expected a games design course to have gone with the engine most commonly in use (plus its absolutely free to anyone).
But I find with these sort of programs, an any program dealing in 3d space tend to have a lot of transferable skills and knowledge. I have found stuff about shaders, meshes, specular and bump maps ect I learned in terragen that set me in good staid for understanding materials in Unreal. Hell I can go all the way back to making mini adventures in the Never Winter Nights toolset (about 20 years ago now!), learning about walk meshes and walk paths and basic scripted behaviour. So I have found over the years it can be well worth dabbling, stuff you learn one place can be very useful in an other later. Nod


edit add- though I really should pop over to Naguals barrel and prod him with a long stick (he can very crabbit upon unexpected waking!) as he is due his annual Forumshire wake up call and has considerably more expertise than me with Unreal and has been experimenting with its possibilities. And he can show some small demos he has created demonstrating the sort of things you do relatively quickly all things considered.}}

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by halfwise on Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:20 pm

Lorient is right that Unity would be used more in academic settings because it's simpler to use.  When teaching you want as few stumbling blocks on the way to mastering the basic concepts as possible.

Everyone raves about python, says it should be the first programming language.  They are dead wrong.  I've been teaching python to high schoolers (under protest) and the most useful is NOT the best taught.  The fewer things you have to explain the better.  Once you have the basic concepts down then you can move on to something more comprehensive but harder to learn.

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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by Nagual on Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:58 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{From what I know of Unity it is a very good engine. I am simply more surprised they dont use Unreal purely because its the most popular engine for games to be made on at the moment, and I would have expected a games design course to have gone with the engine most commonly in use (plus its absolutely free to anyone).
But I find with these sort of programs, an any program dealing in 3d space tend to have a lot of transferable skills and knowledge. I have found stuff about shaders, meshes, specular and bump maps ect I learned in terragen that set me in good staid for understanding materials in Unreal. Hell I can go all the way back to making mini adventures in the Never Winter Nights toolset (about 20 years ago now!), learning about walk meshes and walk paths and basic scripted behaviour. So I have found over the years it can be well worth dabbling, stuff you learn one place can be very useful in an other later. Nod


edit add- though I really should pop over to Naguals barrel and prod him with a long stick (he can very crabbit upon unexpected waking!) as he is due his annual Forumshire wake up call and has considerably more expertise than me with Unreal and has been experimenting with its possibilities. And he can show some small demos he has created demonstrating the sort of things you do relatively quickly all things considered.}}

Bah. What's all this ruckus about? I find it unreal that that you lot are in unity in a method to waken me. Bunkum and Balderdash! Bunkum, I say, Bunkum indeed.

I can't say which is a better engine as it really depends on what you need it to do. If one can't do what you need you choose one that can. That said, Unreal has unmatched levels of tutorials, videos and all kinds of resources. Unity has a fair share too, but it doesn't come close to UE.

About a month ago ish, I decided to start teaching myself game development. I had left work and needed something to waken up my brain so that's me been learning the basics on Unreals secret treasure trove that are called BluePrints - essentially visual coding using nodes. The 3d sculpting and animation program Maya features heavily and a few other useful tools.

Yes yes, I know what you're thinking.. "Nagual, that sounds all well and good but whit dae ya mean?"
Well in the words of a wise Hobbit
Nagual wrote:Less tell, more show

Well, at first I played with physics a bit just to see how things interact.


Then wondered about importing custom skeleton meshes and animations, and I created this dancing orc. Yes, you get to see it here first a dancing orc.


This one is just a thrown together level to experiment with custom volumetric fog, some interesting water planes and bits n bobs.


This the same level, just with a few more adjustments.


This is me messing around with materials and displacement and things..


I wondered if I could create my cave like things in UE so I made a couple of static meshes and imported them with textures. I started off doing the single floor piece, as I needed to make sure collision detection was working correctly if it wasn't I'd either walk through it or be blocked by it. After than I made the passageway to the left going through different designs and construction techniques to work out what works well and not so well, and ending up with the version to the right. The other shapes were there to test collision rules.



After watching a few tutorials I wanted to see if I could create 'secret doors' ( roll a 17 or above on a d20 and then pass a INT check to perceive them Wink So I made this level. just some walls with doors in them. One just needs to be 'clicked', another just opens, one requires a key, represented by the spinny thing, the other and final one is more devious, it requires a button to activate it, and magically pass through the wall.


Earlier I mentioned resources, I managed to learn enough to cobble a few things from different tutorials and create my own things but there are somethings that I know are beyond me, so I give you an example of a rather powerful tool:
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Re: A Little of My Time Away

Post by malickfan on Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:05 pm

Welcome back Lorient, I can't say I remember you all that well (I think I joined the forum shortly before you originally left) but always good to see old faces stopping by again Smile cheers Wave

_________________
The Thorin: An Unexpected Rewrite December 2012 (I was on the money apparently)
The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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