Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Penny Out; Chessur In

I have been writing this blog now for a year and a half.  And of course before I started writing about EVE, I was playing it and reading other people's blogs.  Blogging is a peculiar hobby.  It is unpaid of course; nobody pays for writing of this level.  At times it seems like work.  Some people have what it takes to write a blog seeming indefinitely.  But I am not one (I know this from other blogs I have kept IRL).  And I doubt that many people are.  Writing is hard work sometimes.

It is inevitable, then, that over time anyone who reads blogs is going to have favorite blogs go dark.  This already happened to me in EVE, short a time as that has been, with Jester ceasing to blog.  And now there's another casualty: Penny Ibramovic, ace huntress and proprietor of Tiger Ears, has ceased blogging, at least for now.  She cites IRL circumstances (unspecified) in her exceedingly brief farewell note, a comment on her last post.
After 6 years of pretty much daily blogging, reaching a tidy 2,001 posts about EVE Online—2,002 now—seemed like a good place to, well, at least take a break. 
My circumstances may be changing to the point where I can't commit to writing on the same schedule, and I thought a clean break at a milestone would be better than fizzling out. It seems that my final post wasn't quite as unambiguously final as I expected. 
I may get bored and start writing again, you never know, but I am taking a break for now.
Surely it is too early to write an obituary.  Writers will write, and Penny is a writer.  (Indeed I am a bit of one.  I took up EVE blogging in part because the political blogs I'd been commenting on had gone dark.)  As I said of Jester, he'll be writing again I am sure.  Whether it is EVE Online or some other interest that Penny writes about in the future, it will be blessed by her presence.

That said, I did want to make note of it and say thank you.  Penny inspires me in several ways, which I thought I'd mention by way of saying thanks for all the memories.  I learned to hunt mostly on my own, and from other stuff I'd read online (read down for a bit more related to this).  But Penny's tales certainly strengthened this knowledge.  And I know I learned to recognize K162s due to Penny.  It's mostly simply knowing that something is possible, but Penny also had the canonical compilation of wormhole appearances.  I also want to specifically mention Penny's camera work, which is awesome.  She gets good screenies and lots of them.  Compare the spotty and/or crap screenshots I get in combat and you'll see the difference.  I am improving on that, I like to think, and that is in part due to the fact that I know from Penny that it is possible.

Another way that Penny inspired me was her in-game exploits, which made and make me want to replicate them.  I trained into Loki because Penny was flying Lokis.  (Now I am training Proteus, although that won't be ready for months.)  I trained Onyx in part based on the hope of replicating a miner massacre like Penny.  (This dream I did accomplish, although not as fulsomely as Penny did.  Someday I hope to do it again and perhaps even exceed the master.)   In game I sometime quail at some engagement, then I think to myself what would Penny do?  She'd attack.  So I attack.

In addition to in-game victories, Penny also inspires me with her sheer output.  When I have nothing interesting, I don't write.  Or I cast about for some metagame or game design idea to write about.  Penny writes what is in front of her, day in and day out.  This is hard to do.  The life of the wormhole hunter is mostly deadly dull.  Scanning, scanning, scanning.  Each day, every day, at least 90% of your time.  I don't mind it that much, but neither is it very interesting.  Oh, another gas site!  Of the remaining time, there's a bit spent lurking about, an even smaller amount spent making decisions about what to do.  And there is a razor-thin slice of time spent actually in combat or otherwise doing something inherently interesting.  This latter bit is the payoff that makes it all worthwhile.  But it's not the reality on its own.  It is pretty much impossible to convey in writing how boring a hobby hunting in wspace is most of the time, but Penny does at least point in that direction.  And she does it without being boring, by virtue of stylish writing and humor.  (Humour, I suppose.)  Her last bits of writing, reviewing Oblivion while killing sleepers, were particularly great.

And so Tiger Ears is quiet for now.  One blog does not a section make, but now that I have two blogs that I wish to record for posterity, I am making a blogroll for it.  

In vaguely related news, since I was adding the new section for quiescent blogs, I went looking for a blog that inspired me even before I found Tiger Ears, back when I was in highsec.  That blog is Confessions of a Wormhole Killer.  I've not linked it up before because it was quiescent two years ago back when I found it, and I assumed it stayed that way.  But it hasn't; there's new stuff there!  The writer, Chessur, probably more than anyone else inspired me to want to be in wspace.  So he is in my blogroll and he's got a place of honor in my heart.

Penny does too.  She probably knows that, seeing how much I refer to her.  But just in case, Penny, you will be missed.  You are already.


  1. I'm sad to hear this, I've been a regular follower of her blog ever since I found it. I had always hoped to meet her in w-space one day. Hopefully that will still happen. I'll certainly miss her shenanigans!

  2. Thank you, VK. This is lovely, and a much better send-off than I managed myself.

    Long may you continue to hunt, looking for that cluster of miners, and share your adventures with the rest of us.

  3. Yea.. I saw that and I I said to my inner self, was... "It's ok, it's ok... she'll be back, you'll see." =\

    I wont' say good bye... just, "Till Later Ms Penny..." o7

  4. There was a time when I checked Penny's blog every day but eventually I got tired of the word 'dumbscovery' and just stopped visiting her site.
    That said, I still consider the universe a slightly duller place now. At least the option for a return is open and she didn't ragequit EVE.

  5. This is really sucky. I followed her as well. I liked her writing style and a few times I linked to her blog on my own news site just because it was either really well written or because it was enlightening/full of character (as they always were). It is really hard to find good bloggers that are so relevant AND consistent. Not only the blogging community (as i am not a blogger) but the other media out there of EVE online is also duller. Hope to see you again soon Penny. Fly Safe o7.

  6. I started reading here when I noticed this on someone's blogroll, and became seriously interested in it when we, as a corp/alliance, decided to get a wormhole... That did not end well, but is another story. I have always meant to look into Penny's blog because it comes highly recommended, It is sad that now I will have to look at the archives. The light just a tad dimmer. o7 Penny you influence extended well beyond even your own readership. That I have to say is pretty cool.