The Checkylist of Albion, Part 11

This section covers economics and technology. Farming will be up next. 🙂

a)      On average how many hands is a product likely to go through from raw materials to finished product before reaching the consumer?
My guess would be, three or four. See the boot example below.

i)        Follow at least one basic example through a chain of goods. (IE how do leather boots get from dead cow to Sir Joe the Schmoe?)
Well, first you start with the cow. We’re going to assume, for simplicity’s sake, that the cow is already dead and not go through however many hands it went through when it was alive, which could be a considerable number.
Anyway, we have ourselves a dead cow, or a soon-to-be dead cow. Person 1 is the owner of that cow. Person #2 with whom we will concern ourselves is the tanner. He (usually a he) may or may not have killed the cow himself, but he’s in charge of converting the cow’s skin from “something to keep the cow’s insides in” to leather.
Next, the tanner sells the leather to the cobbler (person #3). The cobbler is the one who makes the boot. Depending on how exactly the boot was made, there might be more materials that go into its construction. For instance, there might be thread used to sew the boot together that was made by the cobbler’s wife, from flax grown in her garden or wool sheared from the family sheep. Or in the case of a hobnailed boot, somebody (probably the blacksmith) had to make those hobnails. So the number of people involved could go up, depending on what it’s made of and how the cobbler got those materials. So the number could go up to maybe four, five or six people, though for simplicity’s sake I’d count anyone who is a part of the cobbler’s household (wife, apprentices) under the “cobbler” heading.
For the most part, the cobbler is the end of the line. He or she might sell the shoes in his or her shop, or he or she might only custom-make shoes. There certainly aren’t any Wally Worlds, or even general stores, for the cobblers to sell their shoes to.

ii)      Do the components of common articles for sale (eg. Clothing) come all from one country or are they likely to be across numerous countries? (Like who knows where the leather in my shoes come from, or the rubbery stuff that makes up the soles and they’re probably stitched together by some poor factory person in China who makes like one cent an hour)?
Most of the time, they all come from one country (Albion). If the materials in commonly-used goods happen to come from different countries, it’s probably because the goods in question were made in a border region, or a region where boundaries are in dispute.

iii)    Is the above answer different for luxury goods?
Yes, very different.

(1)   If so, how so?
Luxury goods – spices, fine furniture, fine fabrics like silk – are far more likely to be imported into Albion. Albion doesn’t have the infrastructure/raw materials to produce these luxury goods themselves. Sometimes, half of what makes a good a luxury good is the fact that it’s imported – that alone will jack up the price considerably.

b)      Where are the majority of goods made?

i)        Are they made locally or in the home?
For commoners, many of their items are made in the home. Basic furnishings, tools and clothing are all produced in the home, as is food in many cases. Some items, however, can only be purchased or commissioned from particular artisans – if you need some kind of metal good, for example, you’re pretty much going to have to go to a blacksmith (or purchase one secondhand). However, in more urban areas, even the poor might have more access to store-bought goods.

ii)      Are they made in artisan shops or small factories in close proximity to the consumer?
This is how the middle class (merchant) and nobles get their goods. The exception to this is luxury goods, but even luxury goods are likely to be artisan’s shops – they’re just made far, far away.

iii)    Are they made in larger shops or factories further away from the consumer?
Factories are pretty much unheard of at this point. Shops vary in size, but I doubt even the richest Reman merchants are running “factories” with more than fifty or a hundred employees. Shipping and trading companies might be bigger, but they aren’t producing goods, they’re transporting them.

iv)    Are they made in other countries all together?
Except for luxury goods, no.

c)      How much technology goes into the creation of consumer goods?
Not a whole heck of a lot. The use of moderately complex tools (hand tools, looms, etc.) is about the extent of it.

i)        How much R&D goes into creating new products?
Not a lot! If you have a new idea for a product, you do your best to make it. If it doesn’t work the first time, you keep tinkering with it until it does. But there’s no formal “research and development” process. And once it’s done, of course, you do your best to sell it to someone else – there aren’t any market surveys or focus groups, except for extremely informal ones. For example, an informal market survey would consist of asking your friends and neighbors whether they’d have any use for “brilliant idea X,” and an informal focus group might come about once you get the darn thing to work and ask friends and neighbors to try it out and see how it works for them.

ii)      How many of the products are popularly considered “technology” themselves?
Not a lot. Probably the most advanced “technological” area would be military technology (different catapults, advances in fortification, etc.). Or maybe I’m just saying that because I’ve seen too many History Channel shows where “technology” equals “something that blows something else up, or keeps it from being blown up.” In any case, anything considered as “technology” would probably be some kind of tool, whether a hand tool or a more complex tool like a loom or a spinning wheel, or else a military item.

iii)    How advanced are these products?
Not very, by our standards. We’re talking relatively simple machines here.

iv)    How much money is spent to make them more advanced?
Again, not a lot. People do make improvements to tools, but there’s certainly no companies or large groups of people out there working on the Next Big Thing 24/7.

d)     How are goods transported?
For the most part, goods are transported by land, over bumpy, muddy, rutty roads. In some areas the roads are pretty decent, in some, they suck. Small shipments can be carried by hand (i.e., a wandering peddler or tinker) and large ones by wagon or caravan of wagons. Sea and water transport is also very popular; however, it’s only feasible if the item is traveling a certain distance. I mean, you’re not going to put your grain on an ocean-bound vessel if you only have to get it to the next market town to be sold.

i)        Why?
Well, flight certainly hasn’t been invented yet. Land and water transport are about it.

ii)      Is this an established system?
I’d say so. I mean, there are established trade routes, contacts and market towns that have, by this point, been in use for hundreds of years. However, there are always new areas for development. Owing to superstitious fears and the decline of the Reman navy, for instance, sea trade is in a very undeveloped state.

iii)    Why did this system develop?
Well, you had something and you wanted to sell it, because for whatever reason you couldn’t do it in your home village. So you went over to the next, bigger village and sold it there. You probably beat a path through the virgin forests and followed that same path home. And you kept using that path, and other people kept using that path until eventually it became a road. And the slightly-bigger village became a market town, and then a city, and then a metropolis and … you get the idea. The point is that the whole system grew organically, from people needing to fill needs and going about them as best they could.

iv)    Is it regulated?
To a certain extent. Roads are generally maintained and policed (i.e., cleared of outlaws and bandits). The state of affairs in Albion isn’t the greatest, but the Pendragons are or will soon be working on that.

(1)   If so by whom?
Depends on the country. In Glasonland roads are under the control of the lord of the territory. In theory, he’s supposed to maintain them and keep them clear of bandits and open for travel, and he’s supposed to do this free of charge. In practice, the only way a lord’s going to get in trouble for the way he’s been handling the local roads is if the King has to go through them and his baggage cart breaks an axel or something. In Reme, most of the main thoroughfares and trade routes are policed directly by the central government. Arthur would probably go with the Reman method of doing things, if only because he’s seen that the Glasonlander method isn’t really conducive to trade and travel.

(a)    Why?
Well, different countries have different needs and thus different means of doing things. Reme, for example, needed good roads ‘cause they need to get troops up and down those roads in a hurry. They also needed to sent messages from one part of the Empire to another, and again, in a hurry. Whereas Glasonland didn’t have those kinds of needs. The Pendragons hope to eventually set up Albion as a trading nation, so having top-notch roads would really, really help in that regard.

(2)   Are these regulations fair?
In Albion, yes. Heck, there aren’t even any road taxes or anything like that yet.

v)      Are there unions or guilds involved in the transportation of goods?
Eh, not in Albion. Not yet. Once that whole “trading nation” thing gets off the ground, then yeah, there probably will be. But not yet.

vi)    Does the type of transportation used increase the cost of goods or manufacturing?
To a certain extent. For the most part, though, it’s about the distance. A good that has to travel a long way will almost always be more expensive than something made right around the corner. However, if a good has to travel a long way by land, it’ll be more expensive than the same distance by sea.

(1)   Who pays the difference?
The consumer, ultimately.

vii)  Does the government endorse one type of transportation over another?

viii)            How long on average does it take for goods to get from creator to market?
Well, most of the time, goods are made in the back room and sold in the front. So, um, less than a minute?

(1)   Is this number different for luxury goods?
Very different. Luxury goods would take longer, sometimes in the weeks/months range, to go from creator to market. Unless, of course, you count the creator selling it to the merchant as it “going to market.”

(2)   Is this number different for food?
Well, most of the nobles, who control food production, have something akin to a “farmer’s market” on their lands. So it doesn’t take very long in that regard. Sometimes, though, outlying villages will send in their crop surpluses to nearby market towns, and that might take a couple of days. But not too long, or else the food will go bad.

e)      How long, on average, do goods last?

i)        Clothing

(1)   Are goods like clothing made to last years?
I would say yes, at least for the middle classes and below.

(a)    Why?
Well, as Hat pointed out, “After all, clothes were clothes, and if you kept a garment in good repair, it wasn’t like you had to stop wearing it…” Making an outfit that can last you years is cheaper and easier in terms of fabric and time (or someone else’s time) than buying a whole new wardrobe every year. So clothing is generally made with enough strength and give to last for a long time, and enough extra fabric to survive being let in, let out, hemmed up and hemmed down, etc. – in other words, to grow and change with the wearer. This also gives me an excuse not to re-dress my poorer Sims for every damn photoshoot. 😉
Even noble and royal clothing is made to last a long time. I imagine fashion doesn’t move as quickly in Albion as it would in, say, our world. And even once a dress or tunic goes out of fashion, the material is still good and could be re-used for other household uses, re-fashioned into a more fashionable outfit, used as children’s clothing, or sold/given as wages to the servants and then sold to someone farther down the food chain.

(2)   Are they replaced when they are worn out or are outgrown?
For the most part, yes. The poorer you are, however, the more fluid your definition might be of worn out/outgrown.

(a)    Why?
Well, if a particular item of clothing is more patches and holes than original fabric, you really can’t wear it, can you? Of course, a wealthier person might find a couple of holes enough to put the clothing in the trash heap, while a poorer person might keep patching it and patching it until the cloth itself isn’t fit for anything but to be used for patches.

(3)   Are they replaced when they go out of fashion?
For the nobles and royal family, yes. However, fabric can still be reused for other things, either by the nobility/royalty themselves or by someone else.

(a)    Why?
The nobles and royal family can afford to, and doing so separates them from wealthy merchants. However, nobody’s going to go throwing out fine silk or brocade – if nothing else, the servants will find the fabric in the trash heap and “appropriate” it for their own uses.

ii)      Furniture

(1)   Are goods like furniture made to be passed down to future generations?
Yes, even for the upper classes.

(a)    Why?
Because I don’t want to have to go redecorating my Sims’ houses every couple rounds. I like building and decorating, but seriously, there’s a limit. In seriousness, though, furniture and such is expensive, and most poorer families don’t want to go replacing it too often.

(2)   Are they replaced when they’re worn out?
Depends on the social class. Nobles and royalty, once an item begins to show too much wear & tear, they’ll replace it. Whereas peasants may keep repairing an item and repairing it and repairing it until it finally falls apart and is only fit for firewood.

(a)    Why?
Furniture is expensive; most people don’t want to replace it more than they absolutely have to. But nobles have appearances to keep up, and keeping an item until it fell apart would go against those appearances. So they replace things faster.

(3)   Are they replaced when they pass from fashion?
This is actually more common among the wealthy merchants and lower nobility than among the higher nobility and the royal family.

(a)    Why?
Wealthy merchants and lower nobility might like to flaunt their wealth by redecorating when new fashions come into style, and the fashion cycles move slowly enough that they can afford to do this. Whereas higher nobility and royalty might prefer to decorate in such a way that demonstrates permanence and stability, rather than the changeableness of fashion. Of course, everything they’ve got is the absolute best they can get, it’s just in a more timeless style than that the merchants and lower nobility might prefer. I should also add that personal spaces (bedrooms, personal studies) in noble/royal homes are far more likely to be redecorated more often to suit whoever’s using that space while public spaces might be put together to reflect the family’s wealth and stability.

iii)    Art and Décor

(1)   Are goods like art and décor items common?
Yes. Of course, quality differs from class to class. Lower classes might have some homemade curtains of fabric that’s too worn to be used for clothing and maybe some very worn rugs or furs or tapestries on the wall, while nobility/royalty get whatever I can find at the $5000 & up end of the Buy catalog.

(a)    Why?
Well, everybody likes to live in a pretty space. If people can do it cheaply, they’ll put things around to brighten up the place. Plus, I have discovered that my pics look dumb if I don’t have enough deco items in them.

(2)   Are goods like art and décor items meant to be passed down to future generations?
I should say yes for the most part.

(a)    Why?
No matter what kind of deco it is, it’s a luxury – that is, non-essential – good. For nobility and royalty, older deco items take on antique status. For lower classes, holding onto that old rug or curtain just means you won’t have to shell out to replace it, or make do with nothing.

(3)   Are they replaced when they’re worn out?
How, exactly, does deco wear out? I mean, I understand tapestries/portraits can fade, but a statue or wood carving or something like that? Even my mom’s Lenox, which is made of freakin’ glass (porcelain?) ought to last a good long time! I want that someday, a long, long, long, long time in the future!
Well, I would assume it would be replaced if it did. Though peasants and poorer merchants might do without if there isn’t spare money/materials for replacing deco items.

(a)    Why?
Well, if it isn’t useful, it sort of has to be replaced, doesn’t it? Unless, of course, the family can’t afford to do so. Then they’ll just do without.

(4)   Are they replaced when they pass from fashion?
For nobles, royalty and wealthy merchants, yes. Of course, it would depend on the deco item. I mean, some people still stick suits of armor up around their houses. And I imagine fine tapestries wouldn’t ever really go out of fashion, or at least not until something came in to replace their useful and decorative functions. (… Central heating?)

(a)    Why?
Well, if an item is hopelessly blasé and not too expensive to replace, you might look better if you replaced it. Can’t have the neighbors sniggering behind their hands whenever you invite them over for dinner, after all.

iv)    When goods are replaced, what happens to them?

(1)   Is there a second hand system?
Yes, yes there is.

(a)    Is this a sale-based system? (IE selling your books to the used book store.)
For the most part, yes. Of course there are some charities that I’ll explain about below. But for the most part, items are sold. The truly wealthy will give things to the servants, but even the servants will usually turn around and sell them. I mean, they can’t exactly wear a lot of the fashions, now, can they? And what are they going to do with the furniture?
Anyway, sales is a huge part of the way items move through the social food chain. If your clothing and furniture isn’t homemade, you usually buy it from the social strata above you – not directly, of course, but I imagine there are secondhand shops set up for this kind of purpose.

(b)   Is this a charity-based system? (IE servants or the less fortunate getting gifts from the wealthy.)
There certainly is charity. Servants get gifts of clothing and such as part of their wages. (Though that’s not really charity, is it?) Wealthy women will sew shirts for the poor if they’ve got nothing better to do. And the middle class will donate some things that they don’t need, in order to feel like they’re being good Sims.

(i)     If so, are most of the charities religious?
The impulse is religiously-based, yes. And the Church certainly handles a lot of the legwork involved in charities. (I mean, it wouldn’t do for Lady Claire or Lady Eilwen to go handing out her shirts to beggars!) But nobles and the royal family also distribute largess without any need to resort to the Church. That kind of largess is very informal, though, it’s the Church that has the organization.

(ii)   If the charity in question is religious, do they still provide goods to those in need who might not subscribe to their religion?
Anyone who doesn’t follow the religion isn’t about to admit it, so yes. 😉

(c)    Is this system regulated?
Not really … the Pendragons kind of let the market handle that. If somebody is charging too much for secondhand goods, they’ll get run out of the market. If they’re not charging enough, they’ll end up going out of stock and figure they can afford to raise their prices. *shrugs*

(d)   Are the regulations fair?

v)      How are goods disposed of when they have come to the end of their usefulness as the objects they are intended as?

(1)   Is there a landfill?
Not really. There are trash heaps outside villages, where stuff that can’t be put to any discernable use might get thrown, but there’s certainly nothing as complex and organized as a modern-day landfill.

(2)   Are things composted?
Organic waste (food leavings) can be. Other than that, not so much.

(3)   Are things recycled?
Er … sort of?

(a)    Is there a recycling movement?
Nah. It’s mostly done as common sense (see below).

(b)   Is recycling done as common sense?
Kind of. I mean, clothing, once they can’t be used any more, are cut up for patches. Furniture, useless wooden deco items are used for kindling. Metal products are melted down and cast into something new. I have no idea, though, what you’d do with a statue that went out of style. Probably sell it to someone else.

(c)    What sort of things are commonly recycled?
Cloth will be used again and again … other than that … maybe it’s just because it’s getting late, but I’m blanking.

(d)   What might those things commonly be turned into?
Other clothing/cloth products?

(4)   Is there an agency or body that governs the disposal of “waste”?
Certainly no government agency. In urban areas, there are pigs that run around and eat the trash, but other than that and some rag-and-bone men and other secondhand sellers … not much in the way of waste disposal.

vi)    Define “Worn-out” or “At the end of its usefulness” to each of your social classes.
Peasant: When it literally cannot be used anymore. For furniture and tools, when it has fallen apart and cannot be repaired. For clothing, when it’s more holes and patches than cloth. For decoration items, I’d guess when it just fell apart and wasn’t recognizable as anything and just didn’t look pretty anymore.
Merchants: When it’s obviously seen better days. For furniture and tools, this might be when it comes to “one repair too many,” or when that couch is looking like it’s had an invading army march over it a couple times. For clothing, when the patches start to become too noticeable and in too many easily-seen places. For decoration items … I’d guess when they went out of fashion, unless the item was an expensive show piece meant to display the family’s wealth.
Nobles/Royalty: When it isn’t in fashion any more, or starts to show a bit of wear and tear. For furniture and tools/weapons, when it starts to show a few bumps, nicks, scratches, etc. For clothing, when parts of it starts to get worn, or when it goes out of fashion (even then, the cloth might be reused and reworked, depending on its age/quality). For deco items, when they go out of fashion, assuming that they haven’t graduated to antique status.

(1)   Explain why/how that might differ between people of the same social class.
Well, in the end, I guess it all comes down to whether you can afford to replace said item if it truly needs replacing. A wealthier peasant family might sell their clothes that are getting a bit too worn and either purchase “new” ones from a secondhand shop or make their own new ones. A poorer merchant family might hold onto that dress until it’s only useful for patches. A thrifty noblewoman might take that old, out-of-fashion velvet dress and turn it into a tunic for her son or a dress for her young daughter, whereas a princess or a wealthy duchess might just give it to her servants or ladies-in-waiting. It all depends, I guess. 🙂


62 thoughts on “The Checkylist of Albion, Part 11

  1. Sounds good. I know some of this just doesn’t seem to fit for a medieval society like Albion. But I think it’s important to know. (And besides you were pestering me for checkylist.)

    Anyway, I like your examples they’re pretty much what I was looking for for answers. 🙂

    I wonder if you’ll even have use for that protests section that comes later though. 😉

  2. Ooooh, something where I might be able to offer some interesting tidbits!

    When your clothes are too patched to keep patching them, you tear them up and use them as rags. Dustrags, dishrags, polishing rags, babies’ nappies, what-have-you. It’s all likely wool or linen, so it’s not unsuitable to the task. Once your rags are no good as rags, you… sell them to the rag merchant.

    What’s the rag merchant do with them?

    He boils them and bleaches them and tears them into bits and makes paper with them. Parchment lasted longer than paper, but parchment was expensive and rag-paper was pretty easy to get after the Black Plague rolled on through. Paper gets sold to whoever needs paper, but most especially printers and engravers.

    Although you’re right about cutting things down– had a disaster in your velvet gown? Pick it apart at the seams and make a tunic for your man, a gown for your little daughter, a couple of hats…

    Furniture is another story, there’s still Medieval furniture extant today, which is pretty frickin’ awesome. Wood can be maintained by keeping it clean and polished, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t last fifteen hundred years if it’s made out of good hard wood, like oak or most fruit-tree woods. Furniture that falls apart can be put back together; most furniture was built to last for decades, because building something fast, cheap, and flimsy was a waste of materials. If something did wear down to the point where it couldn’t be repaired, it could be cut down and made into something else– a smaller table or chest, for example… or just firewood. Firewood was not something to be wasted; toward the end of the Medieval period, deforestation was beginning to be a problem. (The New World, when they were finally ready to discover it, was a godsend to Europe– it was covered in trees!)

    Metal tools that have outlived their usefulness can be melted down and made into other things, as can broken jewelry– and broken glass, although glass seems to have been in use most in tiny panes for stained glass or mullioned windows… and beads. (Vikings LOVED their blown-glass beads.) Tapestries tend to last a long, long time without regard to fashion, but the ones that start to fade can always be moved to less-well-lit or less-frequented parts of the castle before being handed down to a servant. Sculpture doesn’t generally end up going out of style; when an artist put his chisel to stone, he intended to make something that would last, and be timeless.

    The three rules are supposed to be reduce, reuse, recycle, but it would have been common sense to only use what you needed, use what you’ve got until it’s completely worn out, and not just chuck the remains on the rubbish heap. Waste not, want not.

    How are you counting technology? Because there were some pretty significant pieces of technology in use in the middle ages (trebuchet, crossbow, spinning wheel, loom, plow, horseshoe, steel-and-flint, printing presses (with engraved plates, not movable type), pulleys), but I can see how, from a modern perspective, they don’t look very technological at all.

  3. Yes, Andavri, I was pestering you for checkylist. And I’ll keep pestering you for checkylist until we get the darn thing done. 😉

    That is pretty darn cool about the paper, Hat! It makes sense that the lower classes would want a cheap(er) paper source. From what I learned in a class that I took on literacy last semester, I think the Middle Ages had developed a “tradesman’s (usually was a man) literacy,” so merchants would need something for keeping records. Probably more permanent records than making notes on wax tablets, like the Romans did.

    You have no idea how glad I am to hear that about the furniture. Seriously. I like building and decorating, but my to-build and to-decorate list is long enough without having to redecorate all my houses every couple of rounds. But I was aware, vaguely, that there was furniture that had lasted that long. 🙂 And maybe I was setting my noble folks’ standards too high in regards to furniture. I can’t see them leaving a sofa out on display that their husband had sat on in full armor and left a huge scratch in it, but they could always move it to a less-public part of the castle. Like you were saying about the tapestries.

    That’s a good point about sculpture. We’re STILL looking at and admiring Renaissance sculpture. The Vatican has examples of it all over. And medieval sculpture … most of the medieval sculpture I can think of off the top of my head is sort of attached to buildings (churches). If they were removed, it was either loong after the Middle Ages were done, or for religious/political reasons and not necessarily just “gone out of style.” There used to be a church somewhere in France, one of the Cluniac monasteries, that had its beautiful sculpture of Adam and Eve over the top of the door hacked out because of changing moral standards. Oh, and the whole church was torn apart and sold as buildling materials — but this during/slightly after the French Revolution.

    I’ll see if I can remember the name of that church, or rather the town it was in.

    When I was thinking of technology, I was thinking of stuff with a WOW factor. I mean, I guess weapons back then had that kind of WOW factor. But a spinning wheel … it’s a significant piece of technology, sure, but it seems to me a little like a vacuum cleaner. Is it advanced? Yes. Does it make your housework a heck of a lot easier? Yes. Do you take it out and show it to your friends and brag about it? No. … Er, unless it’s a Roomba.

    In any case, I imagine the pace of change, no matter how you count the technology, was a heck of a lot slower than what we’re used to, and except maybe in military/weapons production, there’s really no “tech sector” of the economy. 🙂

  4. Got a link for you about sexism and literacy. Cos I know Albion has a good school system, so Mona Margherita’s history there might be fun inspiration.

    The furniture thing is… well, I have a lot of new pieces of furniture. I also have a desk my grandfather built for my mother (from a kit, okay) in the late fifties, a cedar chest that belonged to my grandmother, and a humidor that came from my other grandmother’s house who I’m not sure who the original owner was, actually (but the top veneer is peeling off due to too many years as a plantstand, so it’s probably a mid-century reproduction of a Victorian style). I had an old sewing machine that seemed to be a very, very early electric model, but my brother-in-law managed to leave it out in the rain and kill it. My mother has an inkwell that belonged to my great-grandmother, who came over from Switzerland around the turn of the century, and if you watch programs like Antiques Roadshow or Cash in the Attic, Victorian, Empire, and Federal furniture shows up all the time– and even Tudor furniture pops up now and then on Cash in the Attic. Well-made furniture lasts, and because it lasts, a period household is likely to have ‘new’ pieces (that are right up at the current year) as well as ‘antiques’ (that can be dated to years or decades before). So if you’re aiming for Exact Period Accuracy (not as important to Simmers as to dollhouse and miniature collectors, which is where I got this piece of advice first), all you need to know is the latest item’s date.

    So just take the design tool to some Parsimonious throw pillows now and then and you’re fine. *innocentface* It’s only in recent decades that we seem to have started looking at furniture as something to buy, enjoy for a couple years, and then replace. That sofa with the scratch? If it was deep, you’d sand the scratch out as best you could and re-stain the piece. If it was only a shallow scratch, you might just re-stain and hope nobody notices. In general, you ask your husband wtf he was doing traipsing around the house in ninety pounds of plate if he wasn’t delivering news that the Vikings were attacking or something.

    I guess I separate it more into technology versus tools, in my head. But the thing about the vacuum cleaner? When that was a shiny new invention (again, right around the turn of the century), it wasn’t entirely impossible that a lady might show it off to her friends. “Yes, it really was a bit pricey, but you wouldn’t believe how easy it makes things– you don’t have to take the rugs outside and beat them anymore!” But then things like powdered yeast and baking powder and baking soda were pretty high-tech and snazzy, too, when they were new.

    On the other hand, you’re dead right about the pace of change being slow. It was deliberately slow, especially in the early period, as the Church frowned on innovation and progress. You’re not supposed to be trying to make life on Earth better, you’re just supposed to be suffering through it while we wait for the End Times, which are surely at hand! (The Black Plague both bolstered this idea, since half the world died, and killed it completely, since if you suddenly only had half your working population, you needed better tech to make up for the losses.) Even when there was new technology, it was generally things like movable type– which worked well with the already-existing printing press, made use of all the rag-paper generated by a bunch of people dying off and not needing their clothes anymore, and revolutionized the publishing industry as we know it… but was generally restricted to specially-trained use, probably with its inner workings restricted as part of a guild’s trade secrets.

    If you can find a copy of it, I’d like to recommend Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, which is where I’m getting most of this info. It is not a fast read, but it’s totally packed full of fascinating information. I found it in the clearance section at Barnes & Noble.

  5. How FASCINATING! And now I don’t feel nearly as … hmm, fantastical in my ideas for Albion’s public school system. The boys and girls who come out of that aren’t going to be tackling any elaborate philosophical/theological tracts anytime soon (well, someday they might, but it would take a lot of extra study), but they can all be literate in the vernacular and numerate and I won’t feel like I’m stretching history too much.

    See, most of my stuff is new, but all my grandparents are still alive and still in their homes and still using their stuff, and my parents are mostly still using their stuff, so, yeah, there wasn’t a lot of hand-me-down items for me to get. I have a couch that is a perfectly good couch and was one of the bits of furniture my parents bought for their very first apartment. It’s just covered in a JC Penney’s sofa cover because the pattern, is, um, early eighties … and boy, it LOOKS it. 😉 The dining room set in my parents’ house used to be my mother’s grandmother’s, and it’s still in perfectly good and servicable condition. 🙂

    I LOVE those Parsimonious throw pillows. Ok, I don’t use them as much as I should, but … I need to post some more pics of the du Lac castle on the Other Worlds thread. Maybe then some of the thoughts I’m having on furniture will make more sense.

    Tee hee. Poor Lancelot is probably the only guy in Albion who would actually do that. And it would probably be for a very silly reason, like he was in full armor to go to a tournament or something, realized he forgot something, went into the house to ask a servant to get it and then sat down ’cause, you know, it’s hard work standing around in 90 pounds worth of plate. And then Gwen would walk into the room and be like, “What. Are. You. Doing. To. My. COUCH?!”

    That’s very true about the vacuum cleaner. And it’s the same with the Roomba — not only is it new (ish), it vacuums the room by itself! We’re getting that much closer to Rosie the Robot, my friends. That much closer!

    Deliberately slow progress makes a lot of sense. If secular life is a generally pleasant, well, do you really NEED the promise of an afterlife to get you through the day? Do you really NEED to follow strange and arcane rules in order to get some reward someday, after you die? I do have to wonder whether there’s a connection between the (generally) materially comfortable way of life in the West and the rise of atheism as an acceptable religious option. And yes, there were things like Deism and other not-explicitly-religious philosophical systems in earlier times, but weren’t most of their adherents among the rich?

    Thanks for the book tip, I’ll try to get my hands on it! :mrgreen:

    Oh, and you know, there still are specialized guilds, today, who can work all kinds of new technology instantly and intuitively. They are called twelve-year-olds. 😉

  6. Now, peasants, sure, might not be able to afford much education… but in Albion it seems like either the Crown or the Church or the Church backed by the Crown is working together to make a decent dame school a reality. It really does improve society if everybody is functionally literate and can handle basic math. My trouble is, I need something to rename the private school as I go about making text replacements for… everything.

    I should make some recolors of those pillows someday. I have a bunch of embroidery photos saved… Today’s project seems to be getting all the wooden bits of a new wooden Servo together, though. (Shoulder seams are hard!)

    Poor Lance. This is why you send a servant back to the house for you, dude. Or a squire.

    I suspect most not-specifically-reglious schools of philosophy tended to be reserved for the rich because the philosophical focus of a non-rich person’s life would most likely be the local religious institution– whether that’s the church, the temple, the volcano, or the God-King who’s supposedly responsible for making sure the sun rises every day. (And look what happened when that guy decided he wanted to change HIS religion. Ahh, Amenhotep IV, what a weird guy you were…) But yeah, from what I’ve read, you did your work because it was your place to do that work and you contributed to society by doing it. I’m trying to find the quote in my book, but it’s a funny thing– books don’t have a ctrl+f function, it’s very frustrating.

  7. From A Distant Mirror:

    “In economic man, the lay spirit did not challenge the Church, yet functioned in essential contradiction. Capitalist enterprise, although it held by now a commanding place, violated by its very nature the Christian attitude toward commerce, which was one of active antagonism. It held that money was evil, that according to St. Augustine “Business itself is an evil,” that profit beyond a minimum necessary to support the dealer was avarice, that to make money out of money by charging interest on a loan was the sin of usury, that buying goods wholesale and selling them unchanged at a higher retail price was immoral and condemned by canon law, that, in short, St. Jerome’s dictum was final: “A man who is a merchant can seldom if ever please God” (Homo mercator vix aut numquam Deo placere).

    It followed that the banker, merchant, and businessman lived in daily commission of sin and daily contradiction of the moral code centering upon the “just price.” This was based on the principle that a craft should supply each man a livelihood and a fair return to all, but no more. Prices should be set at a “just” level, meaning the value of the labor added to the value of the raw material. To ensure that no one gained an advantage over anyone else, commercial law prohibited innovation in tools or techniques, underselling below a fixed price, working late by artificial light, employing extra apprentices or wife and under-age children, and advertising wares or praising them to the detriment of others. As a restraint of initiative, this was the direct opposite id capitalist enterprise. It was the denial of economic man, and consequently even more routinely violated than the denial of sensual man.”

    I think that’s the passage I was looking for, but I could have sworn there was more about not trying to improve your lot. That might be in the chapter on the plague, though– the above is from the second chapter, an overview of the 14th century, just so the reader gets a feel for the religious and social mores of the time.

  8. The Crown runs the public school system, though there is a heavy element of religious instruction. This is to keep the Church from getting silly ideas like taking over the entire educational system. The Church, at this point, just handles private education.

    Ooh, new wooden servo! This should be interesting to see. 🙂 Good luck with the shoulder seams!

    And new pillows would be SPECTACULAR. I love Parsimonious to death, but some of their patterns … aren’t exactly medieval. If you get time I would totally download and mash the thanks button all the way.

    Yes, yes, that is what Lancelot would think AFTER Guinevere went off on him. Poor guy. I can very mean to him.

    That all makes a lot of sense. 🙂 And yes, books should definitely come equipped with a ctrl +f function. It’s quite an oversight on the part of the publishers that they don’t.

    Edit: Just saw your reply. Good God almighty! It’s amazing capitalism won out with all that going against it! No advertising, no making objects cheaper, no improving your tools? Seriously? Seriously? If you brought one of those fourteenth-century churchman to the present day and stuck them in Times Square alone, they’d probably have a heart attack.

    … Of course, if you took a fourteenth-century wealthy merchant and stuck them in Times Square, they’d probably have a heart attack too …

    Still, it might just be my religious cynicism talking, but it makes sense. It all makes perverted sense.

    Although I do wonder how the Church did/didn’t support nobility … what, exactly, is the just price for thier labor, hmm? 😉

    Oh, well. The Church in Albion isn’t quite THAT nuts. They’re not too keen on commerce/profit for profit’s sake, but at least they don’t have the government actively listening to them on that one.

  9. That was about how I figured I’d divide it– public school being like dame school, something funded by taxes and open to all, while private school is run by… and there I get all frowny and start thinking about Inge’s school changer, because I don’t know if I want the church to handle ALL private education (but I guess it can at first, until I figure anything else out).

    Shoulder seams are giving me issues. If all else fails, I’ll move on to the head and come back to the shoulders later– I’m hoping to get all the wood done tonight, so if I don’t finish tonight I can at least have a blank slate for deco tomorrow. Cos it’s magic; deco makes it go.

    I have a mental list of little projects that aren’t too difficult and shouldn’t take much time. I guess new pillows should go on that list, huh? *grins*

    Ahh, but remember the plague! It killed off enough of the population of Europe (25% in some places, 50% in others, some villages stood empty) during the Hundred Years’ War– after that happened, people realized off and on that the means of production was in their hands. They organized strikes, demanded better wages, protested taxes, and– though they weren’t perfectly successful– they did succeed in making some changes. There was still work available to be done, but now that there were fewer people to do it, complaints stood a chance of being heard. After all that, the Renaissance started (where Western Europe basically went ‘omg art! literature! bettering oneself!’) and the ever-popular New World. Not to mention all the religious schisming. Schisming. Doesn’t that look like some kind of comic book swordplay sound effect?

    Well, the nobility’s job was to protect everybody else, with the whole making laws and levying taxes and riding off to war. The wars never really seemed to stop, just ebb or take the winter off– and then there were the tourneys (which the church hated as displays of vanity and pride), which let everybody see just how badass the nobility could be. Lemme see if I can find a quote or something…

    “A squire belonged to the nobility by birth whether or not he obtained the belt and spurs of a knight, but legal process was often required to determine what other functions a gentleman might undertake without losing noble status. Could he sell wine from his vineyard, for instance?– a delicate question because the kings regularly sold theirs. In a case brought in 1393 to determine this question, a royal ordinance stated rather ambiguously, ‘It is not proper for a noble to be an innkeeper.’ According to another judgement, a noble could acquire license to trade without losing his status. Sons of noble fathers were known ‘who live and have long lived as merchants selling cloth, grain, wine, and all other things of merchandise, or as tradesmen, furriers, shoemakers, or tailors,’ but such activities would doubtless have lost them the privileges of a noble.

    “The rationale of the problem was made plain by Honore Bonet, a 14th century cleric who made the brave attempt in his Tree of Battles to set forth existing codes of military conduct. The reason for the prohibition of commercial activity, he wrote, was to ensure that the knight ‘shall have no cause to leave the practice of arms for the desire of acquiring worldly riches.'”

    Not exactly the Church’s attitude, but a similar societal one.

  10. Katherine over at Grimstead has some interesting ideas about private school. I don’t know how she explains away prep school in the story, because as far as I can tell nobody’s in it, but boarding school for her noble males is knight’s training. From the age of six, they’re sent to the training lot; they go to boarding school during the week and on the weekends they skill up under the care of the one responsible adult. Boarding school for noble girls is being educated at a convent, but that makes sense because her hood is less fantasy-based than Albion, for certain.

    Deco makes it go — I like it! I really like it!

    *imagines a broadsword bearing down on St. Peter’s Basilica with comic-book “SCHISM!” written around it* They should totally put that image into a history book or something. Betcha kids would remember that!

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Wat Tyler’s revolt eventually came down to that, didn’t it? I mean that there were only so many peasants to do the work and they were tired of getting paid jack-squat to work their butts off while the nobles sat on their butts and listened to Chaucer recite poetry all day. (Not, of course, that there’s anything wrong with that.) Or else going off to France on some wild goose chase and expecting the peasants to foot the bill. Nope, I don’t blame ’em for being pissed. I don’t blame ’em one bit.

    You know, Piers Ploughman does cover the nobleman’s job in it. The problem is that the nobleman isn’t very effective. And then there’s the problem of the noble women. They’re just told to sit at home and make altarcloths. And presumably make noble babies, but Langland doesn’t exactly go into that. 😉

    That quote is fascinating. I’m actually having a problem like that with my neighborhood if you’d believe it or not. If the noble lands are going to turn a profit, somebody has to be able to sell the goods, somebody has to be able to work the register, somebody has to be able to restock. I don’t have the peasants available to hire them to do it; besides, I don’t trust non-playable employees to sell stuff. I have a feeling they would do it stupidly. So who does all this? Uh, the noble and his kids. So most of my second generation has gold badges in sales, and bronze or silver badges in restocking and the cash register. Not exactly the blue-blooded image I was hoping to project.

    Oh, well. Maybe someday I’ll have enough peasants to be able to hire them to do all this. With maybe a merchant or two to help out. 🙂

  11. Mm, my problem is, I’m just doing text changes– I don’t have the option to make Private School say one thing for girls and another for boys. … What can I say, I like to live the dream. Ahem. I’m considering just “Dame School” for public school and “Parochial School” for private school, at least if I consider ‘parochial’ in the original sense of ‘by parish.’ And of course I can always have my well-bred young ladies study at home thanks to Inge’s classwork doodad.

    Well, first you need the right kind of wood. Then of course you put some carvings on it, because carvings are pretty. And then you need all the runes and sigils and things, because without those, it’s just an awesome puppet. Gotta give the creation life! So there are runes on the Servo, runes on the camera, runes on the TV remote (which I tried SO HARD to just make invisible, I really did, but the little green sensor doodad would NOT disappear), and I may use it on the repo gun, too.

    I’ll admit Wat Tyler’s revolt isn’t ringing a bell, but I’ll also admit my big ol’ book is focused on France, where there were a couple of very similar revolts. And a political movement, especially after England took the King of France hostage. Constant wars didn’t do much for a country’s economy in the long run– sure, the soldiers brought back spoils, but spoils don’t keep producing money in the long run.

    Well, now, no, the noblewomen actually had a lot more to do than sit around and embroider (although it was considered a very fine skill for a lady to be accomplished in, and her ladies probably did a lot more of it than she did). While her husband was away, which was often given the constant wars, she did his job of dispensing justice, collecting taxes, and otherwise running his lands and estate. Possibly while pregnant. Aside from that, in her role as the lady of the household… she ran the household, which was not a little job, as Mona Margherita can attest to. Into the hands of the wife were given the responsibilities of making sure the servants were paid– and fed and clothed and healthy and orderly (and doing their jobs, too)– making sure the larder, the pantry, the cellar and all were stocked (or at least that the pantler and butler weren’t skimming off the top), seeing to the health and education of the children (her own, and the foster children sent to her by other nobles; the young boys who would serve as squires and perhaps knights someday, the young ladies sent to live under her direct care as ladies-in-waiting), and basically just… managing everything. Even if she delegated certain things– and no doubt she did– she was expected to know how to handle a surprising number of things herself, such as appraising horses and livestock. It was a hell of a lot of work, running a castle in an era before grocery stores. (Tuchman doesn’t spend long on women’s roles, but she gives us girls a good chapter about a third of the way through the book, and as much attention in her overview of the century as anybody else got.)

    You know, I wondered about that, given that your nobles seem to have business sense, except for Bors. I don’t quite know what I’m going to do with mine yet… I have no idea if you can direct an employee instead of a playable Sim to practice work on the register when the store’s closed (dear Numenor, thank you for THAT mod so hard). Restocking is easy enough to assign a peasant to, and I’ve got most of Paladin’s Employees Perform Task, Dammit hacks, I think. … Although you could make use of his Vocational Training System to pass some badges down en masse, too.

  12. Oh, as far as I know, Katherine didn’t even mod anything in her game. That’s just how she explains it in the story. Well, that is, she didn’t mod anything other than downloading other people’s mods.

    You modded the TV remote? That’s dedication. Heck, I don’t even use TVs in my medieval hood. Though I guess a redone TV remote would also work for the Servo/other bot remote, stereo remote … somehow I’m doubting Maxis went through the trouble of making different remotes for all these objects. 😉

    Ah, see, England is kind of what I do know. Comes from reading all that Chaucer and Langland and Gower. Eventually you begin to pick things up. 😉 Though it doesn’t surprise me that the French peasants had had it as much as the English peasants had. Even more so, since I believe the 100 Years War was mostly fought on their turf, no?

    Oh, I’m sure that in real life, noblewomen did a lot more than sit around and make tapestries! But Piers Ploughman is a religous allegory written by William Langland about the same time Chaucer was writing his poetry. (Dates in medieval literature are tough to pin down. It doesn’t help that there are no less than three distinct versions of Piers Ploughman knocking around.) I don’t know if you’re familiar with it (or who else is reading this long string of comments, for that matter) so forgive me if this is stuff you already know. The crux of Piers Ploughman is this question, “How do I save my soul?” There are a ton of different ways that come up, but one of the earliest is to “do well.” (The poem moves on through “do better” and “do best.”) And Piers Ploughman, who eventually emerges as the certified expert in all of these three, gives an early answer to “doing well”: stay in your rightful social position, work hard at whatever labor you’re given to do, and don’t be greedy or lustful or slothful.

    To symbolize this, he asks a bunch of would-be pilgrims to help him out with his plowing. Most of them agree, but in the crowd is a knight and a noble lady. Piers doesn’t ask them to plow, instead he asks the knight to protect them from thieves, brigands, foreign invaders and people who don’t want to work. (The knight prooves ineffectual at this.) The knight is also supposed to serve as a sort of medieval exterminator, since by his hunting he kills all the wild animals that would threaten Piers’s crops. The lady he tells to … sew priest’s chausibles. Yup. Make some pretty dresses for priests, and you’ll be saved. 🙄

    TL;DR: Piers Ploughman is about saving your soul. If you’re born a) female and b) with a silver spoon in your mouth, apparently all you have to do is sew some chausibles. This is a gross simplication, of course, but you see what I meant when I wrote that bit.

    I guess there’s business sense and there’s business sense. Estate management, when you come down to it, might not be all that different from running a business. A huge business. As for actual businesses, other than the farmers’ markets on the lands, the only one who has a real business is Lot. (He owns a thoroughbred breeding stable.) I did have my nobles “money-mint” at the start of the game to earn enough cash to get them into the castles I wanted, but not anymore, certainly not after I created my tax system.

    But yeah, once I get more peasants, I should be able to send the noble off into the corner of the lot to meditate and let a salesman-manager and other peasants take care of everything else. 🙂

  13. Yeah, I want something that works in-game as well as for storytelling. Livin’ the dream. Modding the crap out of it.

    Yep, the TV remote works for stereos, servos, assorted cleanbots, pretty much anything a sim turns on, but from a distance. Had to mod that one. Also the handheld game, although… um, I just made it wood and found a maze-game photo to paste on the screen, so that doesn’t even really need to be magic. (Another thing Maxis slaved? The date flowers. You get a single or a bouquet, but they can only be one color. Makes me sad.)

    England I know for Victorian. *nods* I’m sure at some point I’ll start picking up more Medieval-England things, too. And oh yes, the Hundred Years’ War was mostly on French soil. My book has had descriptions of a whole MESS of battles so far. And I’m only a third of the way through it. Usually I’m a really fast reader, but this book apparently requires digestion. … It also requires support, since it’s a bit of a doorstopper physically.

    Ahh, I hadn’t heard of that one, but it sounds… pretty similar to other things that’ve been mentioned in my book, and actually? A lot like fairy tales, many of which have Medieval roots. Who gets rewarded? The people who are good, kind, charitable, humble, generous, industrious, honest… and often, unobjectionable (hello, Cinderella). Who gets punished? The liars, the greedy, the cruel, the lazy… and especially anybody who tries to steal a girl’s rightful husband. Dude, do not do that. Birds will peck out your eyes or you’ll be sentenced to be stripped naked, stuffed in a barrel stuck full of nails, and drawn through town in it by four white horses until you finally die. Which seems like it’d take a while, really. Be good. Maybe you won’t marry a prince, but at least toads won’t hop out of your mouth with every word.

    And indeed I can see what you meant– you can ask a woman to work, but not a lady. And while embroidery is one of womankind’s great arts, it’s evidently best put to use not making her husband a new purse or her home a new tapestry or herself a decorated gown, but by beautifying religious ceremony. … Which also makes sense, because the church was a source of beauty for the significant portion of the population that didn’t have much secular beauty to enjoy– and it was easy to be involved in beautifying the church. Everybody helped how they could, from donating to carving to painting to repairing stained glass windows to working on mosaics to embroidering anything that could benefit from embroidery.

    Ooooh, horse-breeding was big business. Not too much about it in my book yet, but Wiki has some intriguing info on it. I have a horse stable set up, but at the moment it’s as much neighborhood deco as anything else. Ahem. I guess since you’re starting from only a couple of families of peasants, the pioneers will have to… be pioneers, really, and do what they gotta do to survive. Even if that means dabbling in base and ignoble commerce.

  14. You know, if I’d had your maze-game, I might have been a little less irritated when Kay whipped it out at every. Freaking. Opportunity. As things were, alas, I confiscated it last round and he’s not getting it back until he proves he can handle the responsibility.

    And that kind of sucks about the date flowers. Oy, figures that Maxis would opt to save space and install less bloat in the files you might WANT to have things look different in.

    Gotta love the doorstopper books. 🙂 They have an extra function built right in! And oy, medieval battle history … have fun with that!

    Hmm. I don’t know if I would compare Piers Ploughman to a fairy tale. I don’t want to say it’s more complex, because fairy tales can be hella complex once you start delving into the psychological underpinnings and all that, but it’s definitely more … intricate? Less clear-cut? Because, here, you see, when Piers Ploughman first divides the labor up like I described … that’s in Passus 6. Out of twenty. And the division-of-labor doesn’t even last through the sixth passus; Piers has to call Hunger down on the people to get them do any work. And this? This is all before they even go on the pilgrimage that’s supposed to lead them to God!

    It does make a lot of sense, what you’re saying about the churches. Because if there’s one thing medieval churches have/had going for them, it’s sheer drop-dead gorgeousness. It’s really quite perfect, when you think about it – giving people a little taste of heaven on earth … and hell, too, while they’re at it with all the demons prancing around and stuff.

    Lol, now I feel better for having two stable businesses in Albion! Mark Wesleyan’s stables sell/rent out regular horses and wagons (stuff to get you from A to B in safety and relative comfort), while Lot “breeds” and sells knights’ chargers. And makes a killing at it, I might add.

    And yup. Sometimes, a knight’s gotta do what a knight’s gotta do.

  15. P’raps I’ll have to put Games and Party on the ‘defaults to finish’ list right after New Servos, University Props, and Dining and Dating. There are some things in there that REALLY need defaulting out.

    Eh, I can just offer two options. Although I think the red ones came out well– haven’t tested white yet.

    It’s… Medieval-everything history. Chivalry, battles, married life, the church, the plague, the state of commerce– all of it’s wrapped around the life of Enguerrand de Coucy VII, so it’s mostly… anything that would shape a nobleman’s life, down to the things that would shape the things that would shape his life.

    Well, of course he’s more involved– a fairy tale, whatever else it is, is supposed to be something you can tell around a fire. Something you expect to be read can be a lot longer and more involved… but in general, there, dang. Just dang.

    And there were, once, depictions of hell in churches, to remind people that yes, things could get worse than they were right now, because even if it seemed like you could get sick to death from just looking at someone, at least you aren’t boiling in a lake of fire. Yet, so confess and repent.

    Well. Any knight of any means is going to have a charger, but while that charger is going to be exercised every day, he’s not going to be ridden every day. There’s going to be a second horse for just ambling around or hunting, or maybe both, and of course every other member of the family needs at least a palfrey if they’re going to go anywhere… Ladies, too. You know what? I know Wiki’s not the most reliable source ever, but there’s still a lot of good stuff there. Can’t have too many horses. … Even if you keep them in your inventory.

  16. Yes, yes there most certainly are!! Like a bubble blower that matches with the medieval theme! (Though, really, that would only need a recolor. And there are plenty of wooden bars around and your bottle defaults pretty much make them look spectacular and in-theme. :D)

    The red ones ARE lovely!! Heck, with your roses I might just keep them around for a while, instead of just deleting them for the $55 ka-ching!

    Though, really, if your Sims go on dates as often as mine do, you’ll realize you need to delete them. Quickly.

    Oh, that’s a brilliant way of organizing a book on medieval times. Placing everything around one person’s life makes things so much less confusing and more coherent. And, you know, it’s always fun to learn about what people’s lives were like in the past, and how many better ways are there to show that than by looking at what an actual person did and left behind? Like those Monna Maguarita letters. (Ok, ok, spelling at 1:30 is not my strong point.)

    “Repent ye, for the day of judgment is at hand! Don’t believe me? Look around ye, at your neighbors dying of the plague! And if you still don’t believe me, look at this informative mural on the western wall!” 😉

    Very true, I should rephrase the way I categorized those businesses. Lot sells good horses, really really good horses. Not just chargers but the amblers and the palfreys too. 🙂 Whereas Mark sells and rents farming horses, and the amblers and palfreys that poorer people will use. What Mark sells or rents you will get you from A to B, however, it might not do it very quickly or look pretty while you’re doing it.

    Lol, horses actually end up getting dumped out of inventory at the beginning of the round, so that income can be properly taxed. 😉 Along with all other non-craftable items.

    *note to self: Read Wiki at a time other than quarter to two* 😉

  17. I found a hookah somewhere that I like a lot… SavageSims, I think. No psychedelic cushions and much more elegant.

    The pink ones are pretty, too, but I think I have played with photoshop with a low fever enough for one day (turns out it’s easy to change whether the default is pink or red; just make it so one of ’em loads last. I’ll do two proper defaults and offer folk a choice). And hey, you can always leave one or two around– dresses the place up a bit. And sell the rest. Flowers die, so it only makes sense.

    Margherita. I only have to look it up every other time I go to spell her name. *facepalm* I would LOVE to just read those letters, with no commentary besides the kind of annotations you get with Shakespeare, you know?

    *laughs* They would’ve gone to listen. An alarming number of priests refused to do priestly things during the plague, for fear they’d, you know. Die. Nothing like the fear of an ugly death to show you what you’re really made of, I guess.

    Lot is a horse breeder, Mark runs the livery stable. Makes sense to me.

    … You know, one of these days I have to find out if the Sims My Farm animals’… byproducts (milk and eggs) can be sold in OFB stores.

    ANd I hear you. I’m near to dropping myself and if I manage a thoughtful, legible comment in reply to your other checkylist entry, it’ll be a miracle.

  18. The hookah is very nice, thanks for pointing it out! And now it is even free. Isn’t it nice when things are free? 😉

    Aww, I hope you feel better soon, Hat. You’re just not having a good couple weeks, are you? 😦 And good point about the flowers dying.

    Those letters would be AWESOME if they were translated completely with some footnotes to explain what’s going on when it wasn’t obvious.

    Geez, no wonder there were Lollards and other heretics and a whole Protestant Reformation a little more than a century later. When you don’t practice what you preach, people will notice. And when all the priests who do practice what they preach are dead of the plague (because of said practicing), that leaves only the ones who don’t … and people will notice. And they might get a little bit annoyed.

    Ooh, if they could be sold in OFB stores, I think I would have to get those animals. I’ve been resisting so far because I’m not quite sure about my tailoring skills on pants. 😉 Still, it would be cool to have someone open up a ranch!

  19. It’s lovely when things are free! Whether pay creators like it or not.

    It’s more like… I think I’ve been having an okay couple of weeks, with either bad days or some sucktastic hours on good days. My sinuses still think it’s spring, possibly because the weather and thus the plants do. (On the upside, it’s now warm enough for jasmine to bloom. DAMN I love that smell.)

    The Plague was a rough time for practicing kindness to your fellow man in general, though– considering two forms of the plague hit at once, airborne and blood-borne, and I am too lazy to go look up the Latin that I know is in my book. People were dying of this monster within hours of catching it, sometimes, and it really did seem like you could get it just by looking at somebody who had it. Plenty of doctors refused to practice, plenty of regular people refused to nurse sick loved ones. The Pope at the time survived because his doctors recommended staying shut up alone in his rooms with a roaring fire going at all times. People really did think it was the end times. Are you old enough to remember the paranoia about things like toilet seats being vectors for AIDS back in the day? It’s the same thing. (Although, aside from people flipping out during the Black Plague, you can sort of take any reported historical scandalous behavior and figure that for every one guy like that, there were probably at least ten who were actually doing what they were supposed to be doing.)

    I just crashed my game (halfway deliberately, I have a bugged household and wanted to see if I could fix it with Boolprop on), so the next time I load up I’ll have the Ottomas family (they were just sitting in the bin, and I wanted to test the critters) open a fruit stand or something and see. And the animals don’t come up as hacks at all, so you should be safe there! Might want to edit some descriptions, though. (I just wish when you slaughtered them, your Sims didn’t end up eating a plate of raw meat. Also that the butchering table weren’t on the bamboo table’s mesh.)

  20. Eggs from chickens and milk from cows can be marked as sold. Eggs will sit on shelves, milk will not– I’m gonna see if I can find a tutorial somewhere for fixing that. Because it annoys me.

  21. *shudders* Ugh. Spring allergies! God, how I hate them. Loathe and DESPISE them. I just had to wash my car because looking at it was making my allergies act up!

    Knowing all this makes the founding premise of the Decameron look so much more sensible — and not like a bunch of rich people being spoiled and selfish. I’d bet they were just doing what everyone else wanted to do!

    Poe just didn’t see it that way when he wrote “The Masque of the Red Death.” 😉

    Er, I’m not old enough to remember that, fortunately or unfortunately. By the time I was old enough to understand AIDS, most of the hysteria had died down. The first time I heard the myth that gay men were the only ones spreading AIDS was in a health class debunking those myths.

    I should mention that this was approximately six months after I first learned what “gay” meant in that context.

    Sweet about the animals!! I am totally going to have someone open up a shop selling those eggs and milk. And maybe a butcher shop to go with it. Because what’s a medieval village without a butcher shop? 😀

  22. Yeah, allergies are kicking my butt this year. In conjunction with insane weather. You know, we drove down to Disneyland around the end of May, and there was snow in the Grapevine? Not on the roads, granted, but it was there. And everything was green! Usually by the end of April, the only stuff in the Grapevine that’s green is scrub oak, and they’re already issuing wildfire warnings. Crazy weather this year, I swear.

    Apparently I gotta go read The Decameron. My book mentioned the Griselda story, but I actually haven’t read much medieval literature.

    Poe was a horror author, whatever else he was. Whatever he saw, he filtered through a lens of claustrophobia and suffocation and the bizarre… which is pretty frickin’ awesome, really, but then I started reading Stephen King when I was in fifth grade, so… um. Yeah. You know, I’ve never been into horror movies. It’s really hard to beat the bone-deep scare of being twelve years old, wide awake at 2am because you have to finish reading Salem’s Lot or the vampires will get you.

    Isn’t sex ed fun? *facepalm* I got a question wrong on a test because I didn’t think you could get an STI from oral sex. Because I thought oral sex was a fancy, grown-up term for phone sex– when you give an oral report, you don’t lick anything, after all.

    Yeah, just remember– they eat raw meat. … Damn, I didn’t think to check and see if you could mark the animals themselves as being for sale… ANYway, I’m still looking for how to get the milk placeable on surfaces. As is, it will only sit on the ground, which… is weird. I’ve found how to make it placeable on OFB shelves (it’s one of those one-number changes), but no info about whether that means I can put it on a counter or not.

  23. You know, sometimes I hate the weather where I’m from — I live in what most of the world terms as “Upstate New York,” because it is not New York City, but what people who live here term Western New York — because of the six months of snow. Then I hear terms like “wildfire warnings.” And suddenly six months of snow doesn’t seem so bad.

    Edit: Apparently, we get earthquakes now, too.

    Oh, I haven’t even read the Decameron yet. I read Gower’s Confessio Amantis, though, which probably has about the same amount of tales. And it’s pretty cool besides that, since it has a shout-out to Chaucer and everything!

    I love Poe. I wasn’t introduced to any of his works until eighth grade (well, not counting endless social references to “The Raven”) and since then, holy cow. There’s no other author I know who can make you want to duck under the covers at 10 in the morning with sunlight streaming through the window and all the lights on. 😉

    Oh good God. *facepalm* I swear they spend too much time in sex ed trying to scare teenagers away from a normal human function and too little time actually explaining what the heck is going on, what you can do, what you can’t do without risk of serious injury, and what different terms actually mean. Then again, if I ever had a question, the last place I would have asked it would have been in sex ed … I just sat there and waited for it all to be over …

    Yeesh, raw meat … well, but it would look good in a butcher shop. After all, take-out hasn’t yet been invented. 😉 And logic would say that placeable on an OFB shelf would mean placeable on a counter, but … since when do the Sims and logic ever mix?

    Oh, and just to make sure — these are the animals you mean, right?

  24. So… quick question before I go breaking crap… When Lord Darcy says “Make sure to adjust Instance number to prevent resource conflict” [url=]here,[/url] I’m sure I should be changing the instance number to match something– but, um, what should it match?

    Oh, coastal areas are great for earthquakes in general. I live in the Bay Area, where we have three seasons (in normal years): Gray, Green, and Grassfire. But we don’t get snow, most places don’t hit triple digits for more than a week at a time, and this is one of the few parts of the continent where the living was so easy that the local Native American tribes were pudgy. But… again, grassfires and earthquakes (pretty normal along the Pacific Ring of Fire, all those lovely volcanoes and tectonic instability), so… every place to live has its drawbacks. (But if you’re not living in an earthquake safe house, wherever you are, O wandering internet people who may read this, consider investing in seismic retrofitting. The worst earthquake in recorded American history was in Illinois. And there’s no way to know where the fault lines are until they wiggle a little.)

    … Fun earthquake story. Back after 9-11, when the government was all “YOU COULD BE DESTROYED IN YOUR VERY HOMES OMG,” people were advised to put together kits for surviving a terrorist attack– three days’ worth of clean water for every person in your family, blankets, canned food (and can opener. Don’t forget that part), flashlight and batteries, radio with batteries for news, first aid kit, plastic tarp, duct tape. I, like many Californians, went “Okay, so just put some duct tape and a plastic tarp in the earthquake kit. Sounds good. Probably lots of uses for duct tape and plastic tarp if the big one hits, anyway.”

    If you add a shotgun, they’re also pretty handy in the event of Zombie Apocalypse.

    You know where to find some interesting stuff. I really ought to see what the library’s got in terms of Medieval literature… once I’m done with my brick of history.

    I actually hadn’t read anything but The Raven and the one poem with the bells that I can’t remember the name of until, um. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen came out. GREAT comic. Not so great movie. But it made me want to read a ton of stuff I wouldn’t otherwise have gone after. I don’t remember being spooked by Poe, but I’m hard to spook anymore. Dean Koontz, now, some of his things I remember as being pretty horrifying, in this wide eyed ‘holy CRAP this is SCARIER than King because these are people not monsters and I can totally comprehend people DOING this holy CRAP.’ Also still good for scary, somehow, are the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books. Which shouldn’t be that scary, since they’re for frickin’ kids, but they hold up REALLY well. Part of it may be the sticky, airy-looking illustrations. See?

    I got the Health lecture in elementary school, and Sex Ed in junior high. My most vivid memories of the second one are of the aforementioned ‘oral sex’ confusion, and of my gym teacher with both hands stuffed inside a condom, stretching it out big enough she could’ve fit it over her head, going “Don’t ever let him tell you he’s too big!” Thankfully, some years later, I discovered the internet.

    Now, the chicken looks like it could be fried… the pork, not so much. It’s cloned from the cake, so they just cut the sucker up and ta-da, foods, so… I dunno, I don’t exactly want to slaughter my pig to see if I can make the textures at least look cooked. I wish it just gave you food to put in the fridge, even if it WAS in the form of raw meat. I’ve discovered how to fix the shelf designation, so I’ma fire up my game and see what happens.

    No, those are rideable. I mean these, which you can get here.

  25. ARG, the woes of keeping things in the same notepad file– that first paragraph is destined for the Quick Question thread on GoS, pls disregard. (Unless you know the answer.)

  26. Lol, I can manage changing Sim names and relationships in SimPE, but … that’s about it. 😉

    We get four seasons in this are: Winter, Almost Winter, Still Winter, and Construction. 😉 And we rarely hit the triple digits, and if so it’s only for a couple days. The nineties is about the outer limit of what we get regularly (as in just about every year). I mean, the climate is cool enough that plenty of people don’t think it’s worthwhile to invest in air conditioning.

    I now live in an apartment without air conditioning and I can officially say that those people are NUTS. 😉

    LOL! at the earthquake story. See, around here we just don’t worry about major weather disasters. We generally (generally!) know when the next big snowstorm is going to hit, so we have plenty of time to go to the grocery store and stock up on things like water and milk (hey, if the power goes out, you can just put the milk outside!) and toilet paper. As long as the power doesn’t go out, everything’s cool, you just hang out inside for a day or so. Then, once the snow stops coming down, you shovel your way out while the city clears the roads. No biggie.

    And we certainly aren’t thinking in terms of a Zombie Apocalypse. People in Western New York are just not cool enough to think of a Zombie Apocalypse. 😉

    God, I remember those scary stories! Well, not those scary stories, but some “kids” scary stories. Hell, there are still a couple of Goosebumps tales that freak me out. Maybe part of it is the fact that we heard those stories when we were young? We scared more easily back then, so the effect … lingers? I dunno.

    I actually enjoyed the League of Extraordinary Gentleman movie — but I’ll enjoy anything that comes with Sean Connery’s accent.

    I never actually got a separate class in sex ed. There was apparently a brief video in elementary school (that I was absent for), then it was covered for three years in middle school in our Home Economics classes (I don’t get it, either). And we had a semester-long health class in middle school that also covered it along with everything else health-related. And in high school, there was biology and another semester-long health class. But no separate sex ed class. And no lessons on condom use, either.

    As for sex ed in PE, HA! Our PE teachers were more interested in teaching us games like Pickleball than, you know, anything that could actually prove USEFUL.

    Ah, thank you for the link!! Those look fantastic. Somebody’s getting a butcher shop! … Someday …

  27. I’m slowly learning the ins and outs of SimPE. … Do you change last names with it? If so, HOW cos I wanna know that part. That part sounds fun.

    Yeah, a lot of people out here don’t have AC either– I keep saying we should get central air, because for the week or so in the summer where we need it, I’m sure running seventeen fans and one window AC unit eats up more electricity than running the AC and keeping everything closed.

    Yeah, that’s sort of the price you pay for living in the Quaker State– there’s no warning for an earthquake. Or a Zombie Apocalypse, for that matter. *grin*

    I think a certain part of it is… when you write scary stuff for kids, you have to do it… um, honestly? One book I read by King was Danse Macabre, which was incredibly boring when I was twelve, but an overview of twenty years of the horror genre in film and literature was WAY more interesting when I was twenty, so never get rid of a book unless you’re really, really sure, kids! ANYway, in this book King goes on about levels of horror– terror, horror, and disgust. Terror is the finest, the most distilled, the one that makes your eyes big and your breath short even though it’s just a damn book. And that’s what you have to write for kids, because… a lot of the other things you can make scary without being terrifying are gore and psychosexual stuff, and you can’t write that for kids. People will come after you with sticks. So for the kids, you have to really work at it. It has to be really scary. And it has to do it without dripping blood or naked drowned ladies or anything to do with rats. (Mr. King admits if he can’t get your spine tingling, he’ll go for the gross-out.)

    That movie, actually, was a masterpiece of the film editor’s art. Sir Sean was well aware it would probably be his last movie as an action hero, and he had script approval. He made them rewrite that mofo six times. While they were shooting. He had them change the plot, he had them change the ending, he had them change his relationship with Mina… I enjoyed it, but the comic kinda blew my mind. If you can lay hands on it, it’s a really good read.

    Yeah, I got a couple hours on Hey, You’re Starting Puberty! in fifth grade, and then in seventh, a week where gym was inside and two unsexy ladies tried to teach us to OH GOD USE A DAMN CONDOM BEWARE! Of course, they didn’t do the banana thing– she just unrolled it and stuffed her fists in it and made an idiot of herself in front of a group of girls who were already embarrassed to be there. It wasn’t what you’d call comprehensive.

    Hokay, I have fixed the egg and the milk jug so you can fit six on an OFB shelf. The milk jug will sit on an OFB shelf or on a counter. … I didn’t think to check on the meat and see if it’d go on an OFB shelf or not, but it probably needs to go in a decra-chill, being cloned from cake. The milk doesn’t seem to spoil. Neither do the eggs. ALSO you can sell the animals! You can’t pick them up, but you can mark them for sale! ANYway, I’ll check on the meat when I close my game and upload the altered files, if you want ’em. Just let ’em overwrite the originals.

  28. Changing last names with SimPE is easy peasy. You just go to Tools –> Neighborhood browser. Wait for your neighborhood to load. Then go to Tools –> Sim Browser. Wait for that to load. When the list pops up, find your Sim (the default order is the order in which they were created, but you can organize it by name or household or age) and open that up. Then just change the last name to whatever you want it to be. As far as I can tell, it works perfectly in-game.

    Hat, I don’t think anyone’s going to get a warning for the Zombie Apocalypse. Except for the top-secret government facility that accidentally unleashes the virus. And they’ll probably only find out ten minutes before the rest of us.

    You know, King’s remark about terror make a lot of sense. I remember there’s a line in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe where Lewis claims he can’t describe some of the creatures that were present at Aslan’s death “for then the grown-ups won’t let you read this book” or something like that. People freak out when it comes to kids and potentially scary/gross stuff. So instead of dead blondes or gore all over the place, authors prefer to write about children (!!) dying in a fire, not realizing it, and haunting their house with their whole family until they finally figure it out.

    (The Ghost Next Door, if you’re interested.)

    I will try to hunt down the League comic, then. 🙂 Good lord, though, that’s … quite a lot of interference from Sir Sean. But at least it was an entertaining movie!

    Something tells me that sex ed is not made to be comprehensive. I think it is made to scare kids out of having sex. Or else to scare them into using a condom. Neither of which are the most productive ways to go about educating the next generation about how to bring (or prevent bringing, and to enjoy it either way) the generation after that into the world.

    SWEET!! Oh, I am going to have so much fun with this! If you could upload the updated files I would SO appreciate it!!

    If you need any houses or … well, houses are about the extent of my ability, but if you need one, don’t hesitate to place your order!! Oh, and career help too!

  29. Ah, so I have to use the Sim browser thing. Hokay. Somehow I was thinking you could change the name via the catalog description, the way you do in a PT set, but it has an option for the first name, and somewhere I heard you shouldn’t use SimPE to change first names, so yeah.

    And, of course, they’ll be the first to be eaten.

    Now what did I read… Seven-year-old girl is responsible for herself and her entire family dying in a fire, and has the tendency to latch onto other children and drown them in the pond near the ruins of her home. She makes friends with them first, of course. Makes them feel like she’s the only friend they’ve got in the whole world. Written for kids. Figures in a dollhouse (that didn’t have any dolls!) re-enact a murder that took place in the house the dollhouse is a replica of. Written for kids. Girl inherits dollhouse, sticks a hand in it at the wrong time, is shrunk down to dollhouse doll size, and the dolls (which aren’t proper dolls at all– I don’t remember all of them, but the father was made of pipe cleaners) keep her prisoner there. Written for kids. Science fiction story set Twenty Minutes Into the Future where there’s this machine that will burn off unwanted fat perfectly and reliably whenever you want, but you have to get a tiny blue dot tattooed on your wrist whenever you use it… and the narrator’s brother has this sneaking suspicion that when the fat isn’t as ‘good’ anymore, certain people are going to get culled from the herd… Written for kids. Okay, young adults, but that seems to be twelve, anymore. I didn’t read Goosebumps, but I did watch Are You Afraid of the Dark? which was awesome in a Twilight Zone kind of way.

    First online RP I was ever involved in was based on the League movie. … okay, actually, we took the movie, the comic, Victorian literature that didn’t make it into the movie (but often did in the comic), and sorta hit frappe until we had something we liked…

    Well, craptastic is better than nothing, at least if it tells you that condoms are 97.thingy% effective at preventing STIs and pregnancy when used correctly and consistently– rates of teen pregnancy and STIs and generlized idiocy like douching with coke or bleach (I know but they do it!) have kinda skyrocketed since the government said they’d only pay for abstinence-only sex ed.

    Tadaaaa!— just finished making it so you can set two… I don’t know if it’ll be plates or boxes of slaughtered critter on your decra chill shelves at once. But it’ll be two.

    And I may take you up on that career stuff. It’s not just the descriptions, it’s all the damn chance cards.

  30. You’re not supposed to change the first name in SimPE? Well, damn. There goes my plan to give all my Twikkii locals Hawaiian names.

    I am 99% sure I read the book with the dollhouse and the reenactment of the murder! Time Windows, wasn’t it? I think the author wrote a sequel or two, too … those involved time-travel as well.

    Freaky stuff. And I never could watch Are You Afraid of the Dark?. I think I was too young and too much of a chicken when it was popular. Though I do remember watching a rerun or two once I was older.

    Gah, don’t get me started on abstinence-only sex “education.” If you’re not teaching students about all the options in a non-biased manner, then it’s not education. It’s indoctrination. Which, true, is probably what most of so-called education is when you think about it. But that doesn’t mean we have to take it lying down.

    And YAAAAAY!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! I can’t wait to get in-game and try this out!

    Hey, whenever you need chance card help, just drop me a line!

  31. You can change the first name in-game using the Tombstone of Life and Death, though.

    Nope, the one I read was titled The Dollhouse Murders, which just goes to show that plenty of people think dollhouses are creepy. I have a small collection of kids’ books, scary or not, that involve dollhouse dolls coming to life. Because, like the Virginal Young Girl with a Supernatural or Preternatural Stalker With A Crush story (as seen in, especially, Phantom of the Opera, Beetlejuice, Labyrinth, and the only version where the stalker is allowed to get and/or keep the girl, Hades and Persephone), those were some of my favorite themes, as a kid.

    It had some scary damn moments. One of my favorite episodes was where this clumsy girl and her athletic brother– well, adoptive brother; she was adopted into his family– meet these people who want the girl to play a bunch of games and win a big fabulous prize. The girl insists her brother be allowed to play too, despite the weird people saying that it just needs to be her… but eventually they invite both kids. The tests are on things like dexterity and physical skill, and every so often one of the freaky people will reach over and adjust a dial. Every time they do that, the girl gets better at the games and the boy seems to get more tired and slump-y. It doesn’t take too long before the boy collapses. The girl realizes something’s Very Wrong Here, grabs the boy, and leaves in a damn hurry. Later, the boy is okay, and they’re both in the girl’s room as he’s thanking her, and wondering what those people were up to– what they wanted with her in the first place. The woman in charge of the freaky people suddenly appears on the girl’s TV screen– informing both kids that the adopted sister is actually a member of an alien species, and that she was lost on Earth when she was a baby… They’d be back in another eleven years, when conditions would finally be right again to take her home…

    In the case of sex ed, unfortunately, it shouldn’t be about education or indoctrination at all– it should be about protection. Everybody wants their kids to stay innocent for as long as possible, which is understandable… but we teach them not to talk to strangers and to look both ways before crossing the street and brush their teeth twice a day. I’m not saying we need to teach them how to give head, but teaching them how to use condoms and dental dams is going to help them live longer, just like using the crosswalk.

    You’re welcome! Now you can have pig farmers! (You really have to pay attention to these critters, though. Send kids fresh home from school to pet them. Hens won’t lay if their social is low.)

    I shall indeed, and thank you SO much. Probably once I get my defaults done I’ll come begging for text help– although I may be splitting off part of the Hobbies section into its own set. There are a LOT of magazines to default out.

  32. I think you can change Sim first names with the Sim Blender, too. So I’ll just have to be smart (GASP), plan out my names ahead of time, and change them all next time I have a few spare minutes in-game.

    I liked the movie Labyrinth. Never read the book, though. Hey, have you seen the Nostalgia Chick’s review of Labyrinth? Funny stuff, and rather insightful, or so I think. 🙂

    Ooh, that does sound scary! There’s just one I remember well, it involved a failing movie theater. In walks a Mysterious Man and offers the theater owner a film he made ages & ages ago, tells him to show it once a day or so and business will pick up — in return, he asks that the theater owner, if it works, show some of his other movies. The theater owner has nothing to lose (or maybe his teenage employees do it for him) and accepts. The film is a special version of Nosferatu that proves to be a runaway hit and business explodes. Well, Mysterious Man returns, asks for the theater owner to keep his end of the bargain, theater owner says no. Mysterious Man is pissed. Then the vampire comes OUT of the screen and starts terrorizing the employees, the customers, and leaves two neat little bite marks in the theater owner’s neck. Then one of the employees jumps into the screen, exposes the vampire to sunlight, and of course everything’s ok, even the theater owner, because let’s face it, this IS a kid’s show.

    But god, that vampire was CREEPY.

    Good point about protection. No, we probably shouldn’t be teaching kids how to give head, but I just don’t see anything wrong with telling kids that waiting until marriage isn’t the only option, and let’s face it, even if you do wait until marriage, you’re not 100% safe from STIs … people cheat, and partners might have had previous partners. *shrugs*

    I will remember that. I just need to figure out which family should have pigs/cows/chickens. It can’t be somebody in an apartment, because they don’t have a lot of yard space, that’s all I know right now.

    No problem!! Hey, if you already know what you’re going to change the careers to (I mean, general paths — like maybe changing Athlete to Knighthood like I did) then maybe you can let me know, and I can start brainstorming chance cards. 😀

  33. *nodnods* I went through a couple of baby-names sites, copied down every Hawaiian name that looked interesting, and wrote down which Sim in the bin got which name. Haven’t done the Dreiseen folk or the Takemizu villagers, but the Takemizu folk need some fairly involved names, and really I ought to rig it so the Dreiseen bunch have appropriate last names, ending with -son and -dottar depending on familial relations. (Although I want to make some more clothes and re-sort the Sim Bin before I do all that. Cos now I know more about what these folk wore, so… Yeah.)

    Labyrinth wasn’t a book first– it’s a sort of joint brainchild of Jim Henson, Terry Jones, Brian Froud, David Bowie, and George Lucas (although I think Lucas was just around for checks and special effects). And it is a heck of a movie for psychoanalysis, it really is. Coupled with “Was any of that actually real or was it all a dream?” at Silent Hill levels.

    Now, see, that’s one of those things that makes me go “… Huh?” Because okay, it does sound scary, but… okay, the guy who gives you a magic film that’s saving your theatre wants you to run some of his other movies. Why would you say no? Why would you not, instead, say “Sure, let’s give it a try!” and hope keeping your word leads to more money? Do people not read fairy tales anymore? (Heck, sometimes even keeping your word to the devil himself comes out well in the end, which is one hell of a moral.)

    Dude, don’t GET me started on ‘people cheat.’ I had a rage-inducing experience on a doll board once where somebody had the audacity to say that it’s easy to make sure you never get AIDS. And a bunch of people agreed with that assessment. Luckily I was not the only person ragefully spluttering.

    I sort of figure chickens are good for anybody. Doesn’t take too much space, if you keep ’em penned with a fence, and… everybody kept chickens. Chickens were easy protein.

    Man, I have not even gotten that far– I cloned ’em all and called it good. I still need to go nab the lifetime aspirations involving careers (hey, if I do that, I can swap Phaenoh’s No Maxis Job Wants for Pescado’s Want-and-Fear Sanity!), but… yeah, I suspect I’ll be making Athlete the Knighthood career– it’s a good idea, that is. Military will stay military, because you gotta have a military. Aside from suspecting I want to call Slacker the Jack of All Trades career (top level should, naturally, be Master of None), I have no idea about any of the others. Oceanography might end up as… well, I’d say ‘Explorer,’ but in reality it was usually Conquistador or Privateer… I gotta make some lists. (Although I’m getting ready to write copy for my Uni defaults, and I Pooklet’d some more hair, and I think I’m done with my New Servos but for preview pics…)

  34. My Takemizu villagers haven’t even spawned yet. Nobody’s been to Takemizu. … Maybe I should just save myself a hell of a lot of work and make them ahead of time, then townify them. That should work and not leave me with a hoard of useless townies that I have to make over and then re-name, right?

    Ah, so now I feel much more educated. No shame in seeing the movie but not reading the book when the book is only written to market the movie. If there is a book at all. 😉 But I do like that movie — then again, I’ll like almost anything with Muppets. And David Bowie rocked those tight pants.

    Yeah, I don’t understand what the theater owner was thinking. One night a week to show that guy’s movies? Come on, not a big deal. And even if he loses money on the deal, this guy just SAVED HIS FREAKIN’ BUSINESS. What’s a night of down ticket sales compared to that?

    Good God. You can NEVER be 100% positive you’re not going to end up with AIDS. I mean, yes, wearing a condom is not exactly rocket science, but they’re not 100% effective. And eventually, say, if you’re trying to, I don’t know, conceive a child with your partner (assuming a heterosexual relationship, of course), the protection’s gotta come off. Then you’re just left on trust. Which, you probably should trust the person you’re planning to conceive a child with, but people misplace their trust all the time.

    Good point about the chickens. I’ll add them to some of my apartments with bigger (read: existing) yards. And of course to the house of anyone who actually, you know, owns a house.

    Wants-and-Fears-Sanity is a GODSEND. And not just for the LTW stuff, either. Now I no longer have to look at my whatever/knowledge or knowledge/whatever couples wanting and fearing that Buddy X gets cured from his/her supernatural affliction. Although oddly it does not stompinate the Have a Baby simultaneous want & fear. But … that kind of makes sense, really. You can want a baby and be terrified about how you’re going to cope once it gets there.

    Well, let’s see, what about some of the other careers … Politics could probably stay Politics, only with King at the top instead of Mayor. And maybe posts like “Member of the Privy Council” or “Lord High Secretary” instead of Judge and Senator. Natural Science could be Alchemy, regular Science … perhaps a tradesman’s career? I mean you start off at apprentice, move up to journeyman and eventually master … but then again, that might be a better fit for the Business career. Show Biz could be theater ownership (because from what I know about Shakespeare, theater owners in the Renaissance were practically minting money); Entertainment being a juggler/magician/player. Culinary could stay culinary, only maybe the top spot could be Royal Chef.

    Anyway, these are just ideas, feel free to take or leave them. 🙂 And YAAY more defaults!

  35. Of course right! Also you can give them awesome hair.

    There was a novelization that, according to Wiki, is out of print but sells for $30-$150 US. Luckily I think it’s also posted online somewhere. Labyrinth is one of those Big Childhood Movies with me– I mean, look what I did as a sampler of my own handwork.

    Given that the story is supposedly told by one teenager to another, I’d guess they were operating on the assumption that adults are dumb? (They’re also greedy, though, so what the hell. Maybe that’s why business was in the crapper, cos the owner was dumb.)

    You can save yourself for marriage and make sure your partner saves him-or-herself, too, you can wear protection, you can do all the things that should make you safe. But got forbid you’re ever raped (and one in four women are). On top of that, it’s not sex-born, it’s fluid-born, and getting someone else’s blood in your system is a pretty good way to have a scare– someone on a LiveJournal community I used to frequent tried to give CPR to a woman who’d shot herself in a supermarket parking lot, only to find out she’d shot herself because she had AIDS, and that any blood she’d inhaled (instead of swallowed; swallowing is generally pretty safe as long as a) you don’t have any mouth sores or ulcers and b) you swallow promptly. Digestive enzymes kill HIV pretty darned efficiently) or tiny drops of it that might have gotten in her eyes were a potential disease vector. So yeah, as long as you can plan to avoid every crisis, disaster, or emergency in life where you might come in contact with someone else’s blood, breastmilk, or sexier fluids, then sure, you can totally avoid getting AIDS. Guaranteed. And sadly, this thread on the doll board started because I got all excited and linked to an article about research that might be leading to a cure for AIDS, some time down the line. (About half the responders were all “Yay!” and half apparently thought AIDS is passe or something, and then the thread got locked down and bahleeted.)

    The chickens take up the least space. Just remember to make them different colors so you can tell which ones you’ve petted. Dang that is confusing.

    See, I liked the idea of WFS, but I also liked the thing with Phaenoh’s No Maxis Job Wants that means that the LTWs aren’t career-based anymore– there are so MANY more careers than Other Interesting Things. But hey, once I get the careers done, I might not care if my Medieval Simmies want to be Mad Scientists! I mean, I have Squinge’s Wear Casual To Work, so it’s not like I have to change any outfits.

    I’m almost inclined to say Science should be Alchemy, if only because alchemy was sort of chemistry’s direct forebearer. And the reward is actually science-based, where the Natural Science reward is much more ‘Meddling in things which Man was Not Meant to Know’ based. Politics… I kind of want to word that one vaguely. I don’t have Harder Jobs, because I use TwoJeffs’ hack that removes the need for friends to advance (because seriously, what?), so I can’t guarantee that only the king will ever have the top spot. Besides, ‘King’ isn’t usually a position you can rise to, at least not without a heap of bodies as a stepstool. Show Biz could just be Theatre– start off as Nell Gwynne did selling oranges outside the theatre, and progress to ownership, maybe. Not that you’d ever see the earliest stages, since you need a diploma for it. … Does Gamer or Slacker, actually, sound like a better place for a career that would eventually end up as Jester? Really, I do just need to make a damn list. And possibly go look at the wiki, since I think they have most of the job titles listed.

  36. Well, now I have Takemizu townies! Or will, once I townify them. I’ve got Argon’s Townie brick so everything should be a-ok as far as that’s concerned.

    OH MY GOD. You MADE that?!? That’s amazing! I mean, I can’t even cut in a straight line and can barely manage to sew little tears in my clothes — that is awesome!! So much detail! So tiny! So pretty!

    You know, I never thought of that angle. But it makes perfect sense. Teenagers are convinced that their elders are idiots. And sometimes, they’re even right! 😉

    Exactly. There’s no way to be 100% safe. And once you’re inadvertently exposed — well, there’s very little else you can do other than cross your fingers and get tested, so they can put you on the fancy drugs and keep you alive as long as possible. I give serious kudos to anyone who decides they want to save themselves for one partner (though even that can’t be guaranteed, what if the person you wanted to be with forever gets hit by a semi?), but that’s not complete protection. Nothing is.

    You know, Katherine over at Grimstead actually had a pretty neat idea — she’s ignoring Sims’ LTWs entirely and making up her own. She explains it a little more in-depth in this post. Pretty cool stuff. I might have to steal that idea, eventually. 😉

    I usually use Snooty Sims’ Info Center for figuring out career-related stuff. S/he has all the expansion pack careers, skills and friends needed, everything. And you only need to navigate to four different pages instead of fifteen. 😉

    Very good point about the King not being a position you can rise to. I use Harder Jobs mainly because with my slowed-down playing speed, if I didn’t everybody would top their career in a couple of years. Which is not particularly realistic. This slows the rate of progression down a bit.

    Hmm … actually Gamer sounds to me like a career that would end up as Jester. Looking at the skills … yes, a jester would need charisma, but I think s/he’d need a lot of creativity and logic to survive being the only one allowed to tell the truth to the King without getting his/her head chopped off. And the mechanical bit can be, um … magic tricks! Yeah, the jester does magic tricks when the King doesn’t want to listen to jokes. 😉

  37. Awesome. I use Inge’s teleporter cat– does the townie brick give you more options?

    Eee thank you! Yep, I made that. One of the most involved things I’ve ever made too. (Okay, I didn’t make the jeans, the earrings, or the white shoes she’s wearing with the ballgown, because shoes are hard, jeans are possible but I know a gal who sells them for less than I’d lose in sanity trying to hand-sew doll jeans, and earrings… well, I already had the white pearl ones, and eventually I found dangly ones I liked better.) Tiny sewing is sort of what I do. And one of the things that frustrates me with Sims stuff, because half the things I want, I could make– out of fabric.

    Your link to Snooty Sims is busted, but I have The Google so I’ll go have a look.

    I like the ‘only one mayor’ aspect of Harder Jobs. I do. But needing to have friends to rise in your career has bugged me since Sims 1. You don’t work with these people, so who cares? … I wonder how he changed that. I wonder how TwoJeffs changed that. Meaning, I wonder if I could reduce or eliminate the need for family friends via default replacement jobs…

    I’ll have to look at Gamer a bit harder. Also at Entertainer. Possibilities rear their heads at me… I know I don’t want anything like Shopkeeper or Merchant. you can do those for real with OFB, and that’s more fun. So I’m not sure what to call Business, especially since it has such regular hours. Maybe Banking. Banks were just getting started.

  38. Well, I have officially townified my Takemizites, and now I can say for certain, no! The townie brick does not have more options. It has far fewer options. But I read … um, somewhere, that the townie brick was supposed to be “better” for vacation locals somehow, so I downloaded and used that. (Warning, though: the Sim you want to townify needs to be moved in for it to work.) But anyway, it seems to have worked, but I guess I’ll have to send somebody to Takemizu to make sure I don’t get another bunch of worthless townies.

    Ugh, I can only imagine how frustrating that would be! But making clothes for Sims is a whole different beast from making real clothes … lots of fiddling with SimPE and Bodyshop. Hell, I look at some of the MTS tutorials and am going, “What?” by step 2. And those tutorials don’t even begin to cover what I would consider to be my greatest hurdles, they’re technical “how do I make this work,” tutorials, not, “how do I come up with something that doesn’t look like ass when I have no innate artistic ability” tutorials. 😉

    Though to be fair to MTS, I think it would take more than a tutorial to cover that last bit. 😉

    Shoot, link should be fixed now. 🙂

    Now that could be a very, very interesting default replacement. 😀 It would probably make a lot of people’s dreams come true!

    That makes sense that you wouldn’t want something like Shopkeeper or Merchant. I keep Richard in the Adventurer career track because of his shipping company; when he goes to work it’s like he’s at the warehouse or the docks, dealing with shipments and stuff. And Bianca runs the shops. But I think Banking is a great idea for the business career track! 😀

  39. … Can they bow? Inge’s cat didn’t seem to teach my Twikkii tribe how to hang loose or hula, so I’ve made a mental note to make sure they get those properly before I send them off, in the Real Game.

    Some of it is similar– you’re taking something flat (fabric, a texture) and making it into something three dimensional (a pattern, a mesh) by making sure all the pieces are in the right place. It’s actually a lot like learning to sew, in that as you go along and get more practiced, you stop asking “And why do I need to do that? What does it do?” Because generally what it does is make it so things work better later. But sometimes you don’t need innate artistic ability! Some practice with photoshop is important, though, and… actually, having a good clear picture in your head of what you want to make is a big part of it, too. It just takes practice.

    But I’ll say this, once you start making things, you seem to play a lot less.

    I’ll start looking at the technical aspects of jobs, Harder Jobs, and No Friends Needed for Careers… um, at least after the Servos and the dining-and-dating set. (And there’s one more Nouk hair on my list of things to Pooklet, but it’s another one of those hairs with the fifteen tedious groups. I think I’ve found a faster way to do those, but I have to test it on the Tyler hair (which I LOVE and which your Lynn wears) before I do the Male Long Hair. (I’ve done Crispin, Lithium, Sport It Short, the side braid, I need to bin the Squid hair, and Tyler is waiting for me to find out if I have Mad Skills or not. Also I’ve done some good Medieval hair. Soon it shall be time for another hair dump– but this time I’ve got the Photobucket bandwidth to handle it!)

    So, so far… Althetic = Knight, probably starting somewhere like Page or Dogsbody (I feel like Squire probably ought to be the top of the teen/elder track, for some reason), Business = Banking, Criminal, Culinary, Law Enforcement, Medical, Military, and Politics stay the same, and then there’s Science and Slacker, which tempt me with Alchemist and Jack of All Trades. Artist can stay Artist, Natural Science… makes me want to wrap some big weird Pagan mythology around the Cow Plant, it really does. Paranormal is exclusive to witches, and so ought to reflect that somehow, and Show Business = Theatre. Seasons has Adventurer, which just needs to be less Austin Powers, Indiana Jones, and Lara Croft and a lot more Dread Pirate Roberts, Sir Francis Drake, and Sinbad. Education is good, everybody needs an education. Gamer is still Unknown. Journalism… I’m thinking about leaving, because you DO get a newspaper every day– somebody’s got to be writing that crap. Law and Music stay put. Architecture and Dance can stay, and I’m tempted to make Entertainment the career that tops out at Court Jester– six body, eight creativity, ten charisma. Intelligence can stay, everybody needs spies, and… er, I used up my privateers on Adventurer. … Maybe Oceanography ought to be Navy. (… Yes, I like that. You start off as Cabin Boy, then go to Merchant Seaman, then somewhere… Hm, I can’t find the chance cards for Oceaonography. Anyway, somewhere in the lower rankings, there ought to be a switch to Navy Sailor or something, right where there’s a chance card that could give you a promotion– the good result being “You’ve been press-ganged! (Also promoted.)” I’m a big ol’ nerd.)

  40. I have no idea — I haven’t been to Takemizu yet to test them out. I guess I’ll have to send someone and see ASAP.

    Yeah, it’s the “clear picture in my head” and the “practice” part that stymie me. Because like you said, once you start to create, you don’t really play. And while I know there are people out there who have a real life AND create AND take photos AND write … I’m not sure I have the time to start doing that right now. Maybe later, once things (if things) in RL calm down. But I’m just not ready to start something completely new right now.

    Ooh, I love that Tyler hair too! Well, obviously, or else I wouldn’t have put it on Lynn. But I do think that’s a rather perfect hairstyle for her. 🙂 And oy, fifteen groups? I’m … honestly not sure what that means, but it sounds like a pain in the you-know-where.

    I feel like Squire ought to be the top of the teen/elder track too, but I think that in the Maxis verison, Mascot is both the top of the teen/elder track and the bottom of the adult Athletic track. So it could be both. 🙂 And the chance card could be something like the initial incident of A Knight’s Tale — you know, the Heath Ledger movie. 😉

    Hmm, maybe Gamer could be some type of skilled trade? That’s what Katherine over at Grimstead did. You could work your way up from Apprentice to Journeyman to Master to Top Guildsman or something like that. Or maybe it could be Gamster, like someone who makes his or her way by gambling. Though that’s kind of close to Criminal, isn’t it?

    I love Oceanography as Navy! If the medieval folks need a Military, why not a Navy? 😀

  41. Surely somebody’s got a honeymoon coming up. Or needs to send someone to scout out locations for a honeymoon.

    There’s this feeling like, once you get everything right, then you can start to play. One of the things doll collecting has on Sims– it’s all playing, unless it’s for sale, and even then it’s kinda fun. I just get these… highly specific ideas and I can’t help but try and figure out how to make them work.

    The Tyler hair is seriously one of my favorites. And fifteen groups mean that, when you clone the hair in Body Shop and go to recolor it, there are fifteen bmp files that need to be done for each age. (And Tyler has six ages. Ooof.) I did finally get it all worked out– by cheating, in a way I probably couldn’t explain very well– but now I’m staring down the barrel of Nouk’s Male Long Hair. You gave Mordred a singularly difficult hair, just so you know.

    Well, if you’re just starting out as a teenager or finally getting into it as an adult, why would they set you off as someone’s Squire? (I have this urge to make the teen/elder careers different instead of having so many of them be copies of the first three adult careers.)

    I considered Gambler, actually– it seemed like something that might mesh thematically. I guess it depends on the scale of the crime, if gambling is legal.

    Navy it is, then! … Now I gotta look up a bunch of stuff.

  42. … Dude, you just gave me an idea for what to do with the Ferreiras this round! Ok, so it’s not exactly a honeymoon, but whatever! Richard, you’re totally going on a road trip.

    Er, ocean voyage. Once I get rid of all the electric lights in Takemizu.

    I’m sorry I gave Mordred such a difficult hair to recolor. But it makes him look badass, don’t you think? … Right? 😉

    Good point about how they probably wouldn’t send an adult who was just getting into Knighthood off to be some sort of squire. That definitely seems like more a young man’s job … although, for people who set their teens to Independent Teen using InTeen or the Sim Blender or whatever, having the Squire post in there could be useful. 🙂 But hey, it’s your default replacement mod — do whatever you feel is best.

    Good point about whether gambling is legal or not — I have a hard time imagining how it wouldn’t be. I mean, this isn’t exactly the days of mob-run casinos, seems to me it would be a little hard to regulate a bunch of guys playing dice or betting on the outcome of a race or something. And you know, it could be a perfectly legit career — I’d just make the chance cards super-risky, if you can.

    Oh boy. Fun stuff, looking things up! 😉 And um … one more comment? The only comment I can think of is the one from my mother asking me to call her, and I thought I approved that one …

  43. Reminds me, one of the things I need to check is if my scroll phone and shell phone work in hotels… Although hey, at least in Takemizu, you have the advantage of being able to use fun paper lanterns and things!

    I like the hair, which is why I was trying to recolor it– it just resists easy recoloring. I’ve actually got it to where I like the look of it, I just need to gird up my loins and save it forty-five times per color, plus an extra fifteen every fourth go when it’s time for grays…

    Well, not an adult, but an elder– a squire was actually a pretty decent position, and a young second-son-or-later nobleman with no ambitions to knighthood could stick with being a squire to a brother, a cousin, an uncle, for the rest of his life. Or at least career. I kind of want to end the Teen/Elder career with Squire and start the adult one there– since this isn’t really a career track that’d be open to a peasant. (Granted, I don’t know what the top of the track would be. Superknight. … Royal Champion?)

    And that’s what gambling would have been, back then– dice, cards, probably some games at fair-time that’d look familiar (throwing things at things), betting on the outcomes of archery competitions, jousts… I’d have to look up horse or dog races, though. I actually know there was a book written at some point in the Middle Ages listing most known games and their rules– because playing cards weren’t in it. Found that out while looking for default replacement textures for the deck of cards at the poker table. (They’re not bad, really, but I kinda want something more Medieval. I can get a little obsessive over this whole ‘default replace everything’ thing.)

    No, I just– when I last looked at the post count for this and went “ooh, that’s a higher number, I should go read it and reply!” it was at forty. I looked again and it was at forty-one, so I looked and the last one was mine, so I thought I’d missed something. Except, no, because my comment was number forty one and I’m a nitwit. … Er, which I think I explained while you were posting your comment, which led to me sounding like an idiot– anyway, here’s a real comment. *filled with fail*

  44. Good question on that! I know that my scroll phone isn’t even available on community lots, so no luck there. So I just kept the Maxis default phones and will try very, very hard to keep them out of pictures.

    Paper lanterns and everything definitely Takemizu-themed is being called CLOSE ENOUGH and is staying. 😉 I might someday decide to do more definite redecoration, however, it won’t be right now when I’m a wee bit crunched for time, story-wise.

    LOL! I’m laughing because our communication lines got crossed. That Squire be the top of the teen/elder track and the bottom of the adult track is what I was suggesting — probably not very well. It’s how the game works as well. And for the top of the track … Master of Horse? In a couple Arthurian novels I’ve read, that was Lancelot’s official position. You know, other than “Queen’s Lover” and “Pinnacle of Awesomeness.”

    I didn’t think cards were around back then … paper (until the Black Death like you said) would have been expensive and while wood was cheaper, wood strikes me as being hard to shuffle. And I think I might have heard of that book … damned if I can remember the name, though.

    Lol, don’t worry about it. We all make mistakes, especially on an empty stomach. 🙂 I’m lucky, I get a nice little notification on my “dashboard” when a new comment comes — I don’t know about you guys! 😀

  45. Ah, but availabilty on community lots is an easy thing to change! Crack ’em open in SimPE, go to Object Data. Down in Plugin View, click on the Raw Data tab, which you will need to set to Decimal (there are three radio buttons there, Decimal, Hexadecimal, and one that I forget because I’m always setting it to Decimal). Scroll down until you find the category marked Community Sort, then change that from 0 (or whatever) to 128. Commit, save, tadaaa!

    Works for telescopes, bars, fireplaces… Anything that makes you intensely frustrated that it wasn’t available on community lots in the first place.

    Yeah, my Takemizu is going to end up as Generic Asian Pretty, because I’m… well, it’s not OUR past, it’s THEIR past, so there’s only so much I’m going to be a stickler for.

    Ah, well then! I’m willing to blame it on me, my reading comprehension has been pretty craptastic the last couple of days. (Sinuses are much better, but yesterday and the day before were on the hot side, which of course turns one’s brains to melted butter.) Master of Horse sounds kind of like you’re in charge of the stables (even if that’s actually the original meaning of constable)… I’ll start looking things up, since I’m not sure what project I want to do next, besides hairdumps. (There will be a Knight Rider joke, somewhere, because I won’t be able to resist.)

    So maybe that’s the date where they started being more popular than dice, which could be carved from bone or molded from clay.

    We non-members have the option to get notified if we use our real email addresses… except I noticed when I was using mine that I kept getting spam right in the inbox, which made me all frowny.

  46. I will TOTALLY be doing that next time I’m in SimPE. Or, well, next time I feel I have time for anything other than write thesis + get pictures + post + other RL stuff.

    … It might not be for a while. 😉

    That makes a LOT of sense. Right now all I’m worrying about is getting rid of OBVIOUS anachronisms. When I plan on sending somebody there for real, I’ll try to make it over more to suit my taste … but I have a whole mess of building projects to get to before I do that, so … yeah …

    It does sound like that, and in a fictious treatment I read of Elizabeth I that included her Master of Horse (Robert Dudley), being in charge of the stables was his job. However, being “in charge of the stables” also meant taking care of all the hunts, progresses, her coronation … so yeah … pretty big prestige post there. And Elizabeth’s court was a (relatively) peaceful one, I mean, she wasn’t putting down a serious rebellion every other week. So being Master of Horse might have been a bigger deal back in the Middle Ages proper.

    Blah spam! It needs to die!! And I have no idea why WordPress would be sending you spam (or giving out your e-mail addy to spammers) — I haven’t had a marked increase in non-caught spam since I started blogging, so … yeah.

  47. I’ve done a couple of bars, some telescopes, and some fireplaces. It totally cheeses me off that the bars and fireplaces weren’t done by default. I mean. The hell?

    Yeah, that’s my thing, too. I’ve done all the Twikkii lots and replaced a LOT of stuff with Castaway crap, but I haven’t hit Takemizu or Three Lakes yet. Although it’s not like I’m using the original ‘hoods, either… just some of the lots. (Actually, I might for Takemizu, but there’s just not that much room in any of the vacation ‘hoods.)

    Well, Wiki says it is in fact a pretty big frickin’ deal– in England the Master of the Horse is the third dignitary of the court, a member of the ministry, a peer, and a privy councillor. In France, at least in the late Renaissance, Monsieur le Grand Ecuyer was one of the Seven Great Offices of France. So that is indeed a thought. … Although apparently the term was Earl Marshal or Constable (count of the stable, literally) in the Middle Ages, before those positions started to become hereditary and someone needed to be hired to do the actual work of running everything that had to do with horses.

    It’s a thing where if your email address is published somewhere hovering over it does the mailto thing, spiders and bots can find it and use it for spamming. Which is why there is now a HATESSPAM in my email address. It’s not kept confidential, so it’s not WordPress’s doing, it’s just an internet thing. I didn’t realize it’d be published at first.

  48. No, there’s barely any room. And it’s depressing once you get a camera mod and really look around, because those are HUGE neighborhoods. And Takemizu doesn’t have any beach lots, which has me *headdesk*-ing. I might have to do terrain surgery, or else get really creative.

    Holy cow, that is a big frickin’ deal — especially in the Arthurian stories I read, since I imagine the authors would have been basing the post on the Roman conception of the term, not the modern British one. 😉 Which totally makes sense if you’re talking about Lancelot. He’s totally Arthur’s second-in-command.

    Until it comes out that he’s banging Arthur’s wife, that is …

    And gah!! That sucks!! But it also explains why, at first, you had two different avatars. Two different accounts! I get it now! 😉

  49. … I actually skipped the Twikkii map for my Twikkii Island– I’m using Frillen’s Paloma islands which were MUCH more of what I wanted. There’s more room for vacation homes, a TON of beachfront property, and plenty of space for jungle-y stuff.

    Links in that article have also given me several ideas for the top spots in other career tracks– there are some spiffy non-inherited political positions that could be used. (And still on the subject of jobs, I believe I can, in fact, change how many family friends you need for any given job right in the default replacement– it might be necessary to make sure the jobs load after Harder Jobs, but that’s not unreasonable.)

    I’m trying to remember what Arthurian stuff I’ve read besides The Mists of Avalon (which I have noticed you have read) and I think The Once and Future King. I have Bulfinch’s Mythology, but I don’t think I ever read more in that one than the Greek myths.

  50. Oh, HELL YES! Twikkii Island, you are getting surgery! … Er, when I figure out what I’m doing with you. Someday.

    And that would be totally awesome! I don’t mind the friends requirement, because with the amount of businesses I run and the amount of time I spend on community lots, everybody’s friends with everybody, but if somebody took the friend requirement out I wouldn’t mind that, either. Like I said, it doesn’t make a difference for me either way.

    Gotta love all those court positions. 😀 Who thought that ways to give lands and money to the king’s friends would someday be put to good use? 😉

    Well, hey, if those are the two you’re going to pick, they’re a good two to go with! 😉 They’re actually my personal favorites.

    And I won’t bore you with a list of everything I read. Believe me, there’s a lot … especially after the fall semester, when I took a class on King Arthur …

    Oh — psst, some sneaky scenes from Takemizu:

    Gosh, this suitcase looks familiar … 😉

    The Takemizites can bow!!

  51. I figure it’s a spice trade kind of thing, with Twikkii. I almost want to say sugar cane, too, but I have no idea how I’d fake the cane fields and really, it’s too small for that.

    My issue with the friends requirement… well, it’s always bugged me, even in Sims 1. Why should your job care how many friends you have? I mean, for pete’s sake, in the Gamer track, you should be rewarded for having only online relationships. I’m at least going to reduce it on some careers, and then test it with Harder Jobs. … Guess all those folk in the testerhood are going to have to start working outside the home for once.

    I am quite certain all the folk who came up with this stuff– the engravers who made the woodcuts, the lawmakers, the kings– would be quite baffled at what we do with the details of their lives.

    I’ve seen a ton of movies, mostly. The Sword in the Stone was a favorite when I was a kid. And Mom liked Camelot a lot, even if it’s one of those movies where I looked at it later and went ‘wow, dated.’ There’s something about the hairspray in those movies that just gives them dead away.

    Well, the luggage doesn’t look too hideous– and yay for bowing! Hokay, time to go find this townie brick, then.

  52. I always thought the idea behind making the friends was to simulate playing office politics — you know, it’s not always what you know, but who you know, kind of thing. Except, like you said, it doesn’t make sense because those people aren’t always (are rarely) in the same career as you are. I do like the feature that, if you’re in a relationship with one of your bosses, they can “pull some strings” and get you a promotion, but that’s not related to friendship count on its own, I don’t think.

    Poor testerhood people. No more Bank of Motherlode for them! 😉

    “Thou dost what? Thou playeth a game based upon our living? But, marry, wherefore? Doth thou not have thy own life to be living?” 😉

    LMAO! at the hairspray comment. I think I mortally offended my prof last fall when he showed us the end of that movie (Camelot), and I saw the credits and said, “Richard Harris … wasn’t he the first Dumbledore?” Apparently the guy they have playing Lancelot on Broadway is a real cutie, though — I saw some YouTube videos of him singing a couple songs, and, hello! Now I get why Guinevere cheated! 😉

    The luggage looks great! And you can get the townie brick here. 🙂

  53. Yeah, that’s the Friends in High Places benefit– which is one of the few reasonable things about the system. I understand that it’s a simulation of office politics– and now we’ve got that thing where sometimes random townies will know your boss, and having a good reputation helps you with the benefits they hand you– but it still bugs me that to get ahead in, say, business, you can have friends in the military, or who are slackers, or artists, or who are totally unemployed. Toddlers and young children also count toward your family friends count for work.

    Well, I never said I’d stop slamming on the motherlode… or the maxmotives.

    “In this machine, you create tiny, short-lived people and force them to live in an earlier, less lavishly comfortable time? … So how long have you been in league with the Devil, witch?”

    *laughs* Yeah, us musical theatre fans know Richard Harris as King Arthur first. (Even if he did kinda Captain Kirk his way through the dialogue.) And oh yes. Guinevere cheated because… well, it was one of those old courtly love tales, where you could only truly romantically love a woman who was already the wife of another man– because only then would the love be pure and untainted by all the other reasons a noble might have to get married, like politics or money. It’s a part of chivalry often written about but assumed to have actually happened only rarely– and since Lance is practically the embodiment of chivalry, of course the queen looks on him and loves him.

    *nabs brick* Thanks!

  54. Depending on what kind of business you’re in, having friends in the military might be a good idea. 😉 Would Tony Stark be so rich if it wasn’t for his buddy, um … his buddy … well, whatever his buddy’s name is?

    But I totally see what you’re saying. The friends in high places perk makes a lot of sense, and so do the various networking perks. But your five-year-old daughter’s best friend, who is also five years old, is not going to help you in your career, unless you’re a toy designer and she’s one of the testers.

    Ah, motherlode and maxmotives, what would we do without them? 😉

    Oh, definitely those were the reasons why she cheated in the courtly love tales, though her cheating is older than the courtly love tales — it shoes up in Geoffrey of Monmouth, which is one of the oldest mentions of the story of Arthur. Instead there she just cheats with Arthur’s nephew Mordred instead of his best bud … poor Arthur is always getting the short end of the stick. Though, as we joked in class last fall, Arthur was off fighting the Romans for however-many years and didn’t send so much as a postcard home … what hell did he expect? 😉

    No problem! 😀 Hope it works as well for you as it appears to have worked for me!

  55. Yeah, I realized as soon as I hit submit that having friends with significant positions in the military might help a businessperson out…

    And bingo. Even back in Sims 1 I used a hacked painting that made all my Sims friends with each other so I didn’t have to worry about the stupid family friends count.

    Well, I dunno about you, but I’d have a harder time getting toddlers to skill in the testerhood. *grins*

    Women were seen as more sexual than men right up until the Victorian era, when women were sweet delicate innocent angels and men were either beacons of intelligence and reason or bestial monsters (with an implication that any man might become a beast if sufficiently irritated), so there’s that, too– with her husband at war so constantly, certainly a weak-willed and passionate woman would find herself drawn to either the best man around (Lance) or the nearest man who reminded her of her absent husband (Mordred). You have to pay attention to your wife, you have to pet her and kiss her and sex her up– not only for procreative purposes, as the Church allows, but in order to keep her humours balanced and her mind stable.

    We shall see! I may have to start in on Takemizu and give it a shot.

  56. Lol, without my maxmotives I doubt the Ferreiras would have 5 top-level businesses. 😉

    Sex for mental stability … you know, sometimes I almost wonder if that’s a more healthy attitude toward it than the one we have. I mean, it’s better than constant repression and frigidity, no? Damn those Victorians, ruining it for the rest of us. 😉

    There’s also the issue that in a lot of the French Romances, Arthur is borderline useless, at least from Guinevere’s perspective — he pretty much lets her get kidnapped in Chretien’s The Knight of the Cart to keep Sir Kay happy. (Though Kay almost gets killed in the process, too.) And in Malory there’s one episode where Guinevere is accused of murder (that she didn’t commit) and Arthur can’t even defend her, because he’s the king and has to appear impartial. I mean on the one hand you have to admire the man for his dedication to principle and fairness, but on the other hand … can’t blame Guinevere for going with the guy who, you know, actually is there when she needs him to be!

    (Though Lancelot does have an alarming tendency of showing up at the last possible moment, which shows either a serious refusal to ask for directions, or else that he’s more interested in fitting into his “idiom” as Monty Python would have it than, you know, showing up on time.)

    Have fun traveling the globe with your Simmies! 😉

  57. Serviette would have one top-level business, at least– the Bon Voyage food stand I plopped on the lot with her made sure people were happily buying and eating (and getting fat dammit) while she was over in the actual shop learning to sell and restock.

    I think a part of that must be that they were French Romances– engaging as these stories were, Arthur was an English king, Lancelot a French knight, so it’s pretty easy to want to put one and not the other in the hero’s position more often. (Also, here’s a fun Arthurian bit for you. Sort of Arthurian. He’s in it, anyway.)

    I’d say “Maybe Lancelot is Batman,” but he does seem to play Bruce Wayne awfully well.

  58. THAT is annoying. You leave the lot and your Sims are all nice and fit and trim, you come back after playing a few other families on community lots and BAM! They’re all huge. Plantsims are the worst for this because, lacking a digestive system, everything they eat goes straight to their hips. 😉

    Very good point. Everybody wants the hero to be of their own nationality. I’d say look at The Connecticut Yankee, but Hank Morgan isn’t really the hero of that book — Arthur is more genuinely heroic in a lot of respects. At least Arthur doesn’t fall from grace the way Morgan does.

    And LOL at the Arthurian comic! Le Mort du Arthur! Horrible pun but quite droll.

    So … if Lancelot is Batman, does that make Guinevere Catwoman? And who would Arthur be? Commissioner Gordon? 😉

  59. Servos are pretty bad at it, too, although the visitor controller can help with that.

    Well, I dunno, there– I mean, I haven’t read it, but I don’t think Sam Clemens was much of a Yankee himself, so that might account for it.

    And actually, I also really like that interpretation of just how Arthur would return to aid England in its time of need.

    … Ever seen the first animated Batman/Superman crossover, World’s Finest? Sort of a precursor to Justice League; the Joker steals a bigass kryptonite dragon sculpture (long thought to be jade, but under a curse that killed whoever owned it) in order to sell it to Lex Luthor and the end up teaming up against Batman and Superman? (Includes several great lines, including Joker telling Lex, regarding Batman, “There’s nothing mere about that mortal.” … Although I’ll admit a fondness for Harley’s, “I want a doctor! I want a lawyer! I want a cheese sandwich!”) ANYway, Lois Lane, who as we all know is all into Superman but not so into Clark Kent, meets Batman, because the girl falls off of buildings a lot. She can’t stand Batman. But she also meets Bruce Wayne, and damn is he one charming sexy interesting fella.

    So maybe that’s Guinevere in this situation– she may be smart, she may be competent, but she’s close enough to somebody very powerful that she ends up in danger a LOT.

  60. I don’t mind so much with Servos — they don’t seem to visibly gain weight (at least as far as I can tell, dunno if they would with the default replacements I have in) so I find it easer just to let them eat their fill and not worry about it. 😉

    He was attempting to do a lot of things with that novel, one of which was to show the Brits how their whole aristocracy system was really dehumanizing … but I think he also wanted to show the dark side of Yankee-ism, and he certainly accomplished that. 🙂

    I have not seen very many Batman/Superman movies at all, alas. But LOL! at Lois Lane and falling off of buildings. What is it with superheroes’ girls that gets them into so much trouble?

    Oh, that’s right — they’re superheroes’ girls, like you said. Even the smartest gal in the world might run into trouble if every supervillain is gunning for her in order to get to her boyfriend. And I think that is a really good analogy for Guinevere, and certainly a rather empowering one. 🙂

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