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Feb 26, 2008 - 09:43 AM
The Drought in Georgia
For those of you not aware, there has been a drought in the state of Georgia and in Atlanta specifically. Things have gotten so bad, it seems, that there was even an article I found through Digg saying how they want to move the border up about 10 miles, essentially invading Tennessee, just to have access to another reservoir.

Today, I was drinking from a Dasani bottle. I happened to notice that it says on the label that Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta. A company that's business is selling water or water-based beverages to others is in a city currently in a drought. And they're still in business.

I expect the riots to begin any day now.

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[public entry #213]

Jan 16, 2008 - 05:54 PM
The Sky Rained Pebbles ...and the Bookstore's Catch
I was walking back to my dorm this afternoon when, to my surprise, I see several tiny blue pebbles strewn across the sidewalk. They started near the street and continued up the path until I as about halfway to the building. But I saw them go down the other nearby paths, too! What are these strange pebbles?

I looked around to see where they might have come from. There's been construction recently, so maybe that was the source. But alas! Nothing. There were no trucks. There were no workers. So, I continued forward. The pebbles either faded or had all been mashed into the sidewalk. That is, until I reached the dorm itself. The pebbles returned! I followed them a little more. They led up the stairs leading inside, the stairs I use every day. At the bottom of each step there was (is) a large cluster, like water that collects after a storm. I now believed that I would find my answer inside. I opened the door.

Nothing but carpet. The mysterious blue pebbles that had fallen so that it looked like they had either started or ended in my dorm vanished. There were no pebbles in the dorm.

This can only mean one thing. They fell from the sky. We are supposed to get precipitation tonight. Perhaps with the pebbles and the water, nature is providing in its own way. I expect every dorm resident to have pet goldfish in bowls by next week.

Oh, and the bookstore apparently won't let you return any books you paid for via credit card unless you have that card with you (so that they can put the money back on it). Someone should tell the freshmen in the fall before they buy stuff with their parents.

Currently Playing: Spider-Man: Friend or Foe DS

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[public entry #212]

Jan 9, 2008 - 09:57 PM
I Need an Invention
Over the holiday break, the light switches in the dorm bathrooms were replaced with motion sensors. Whether or not this relates to other renovations that are currently ongoing, I don't know.

On the surface, this doesn't seem like a bad idea. Every time I go to the restroom, the lights cut out before I'm finished. It's a bit inconvenient, but I can work with it. However, I can't brush my teeth or wash my hands without losing light. I could just stand at one of the end sinks and step out when that happens. A little more inconvenient, though.

Tonight, I tried taking a shower. I don't ever want to have that experience again. The lights cut out ever minute or so, leaving me washing myself in the dark. In the not-so-constant rush to keep the lights on, I accidentally knocked the shirt I sleep in to the ground, which got part of it soaked. Good thing I have spares.

So, I need an invention. Something that I can use to keep the sensor activated while I take my showers. I'm too mentally drained to think of one on my own, so hopefully someone else can. This sucks.

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[public entry #211]

Jan 8, 2008 - 02:44 PM
Return From the Holidays
I have been absent from most of the board for a few weeks. I say most because I did make the one journal entry and did check in on Werewolf about every other day or so. I went home for the holidays where I spent time with family and had new toys to play with. You know how it is.

Anyway, today I returned to college. Classes don't actually start until next week, but my job is doing training this week (starting today, but they are cutting me some slack since dorms didn't open until today). I'll likely go to that training tomorrow. In any case, there were a few things I had to accomplish yesterday and today:

Finish a drawing I was working on. Check. (Perhaps I should start working on the GFF calendar now?)
Sort through my clothes for packing. Check. (Although there's the possibility I'll realize that I need something else later.)
Bag leaves in the yard. ...Sadly, I can't check that one. It's really a two-man job and everyone was busy yesterday.
Go to the DMV for a renewal. Check. (With added bonus of registering to vote.)
Check comic shop for two issues I miss. Check/uncheck? I got one, but not the other.

Most of today so far, aside from travel, has centered around stuff directly related to college. Packing, unpacking, buying books, etc. But that's pretty uninteresting. Well, except that there at least half a dozen books I might need for one class (as listed) and that I've skipped on getting them today so that I can check the syllabus first. Still not that interesting, though.

And now I notice that there's a new emoticon. Doves? Interesting. Kinda ironic.

Currently Playing: Elebits (okay, not anymore...)

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[public entry #210]

Dec 25, 2007 - 02:01 AM
Merry Christmas! (And Other Stuff)
I think they're right when they say you can't go home again. With the bed-switching, conflicting schedules of the various family members, and a bunch of complaining, it's really much different from dorm life. Maybe I've just been away too long.

We had Christmas tonight, largely due that conflicting schedules thing. The most amusing part of the evening was my sister and I essentially getting my mom the same gift, a robe. At least the robes are different colors and made of different fabrics. I got the stuff in spoiler tags (if you care).
  • Elebits
  • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (for the DS)
  • Pearls Before Swine: The Sopratos
  • Watchmen
  • The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
  • A Rubik's Cube electronic puzzle game thing
  • Various clothes (most of which are appealing)
  • A couple gift cards
  • A photo album encompassing the photographed history of my family (very touching)

So, I wish you a Merry Christmas, you person reading this. May your day be filled with fun and joy.

Currently Playing: Metroid Prime 3

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[public entry #209]

Dec 14, 2007 - 10:08 PM
Giant-sized 210th Entry! (A Bunch of Stuff!)
At this point, I would tell you that I this starts out with life stuff and moves on to the good stuff, but I don't have any interesting life stuff to tell. So, here goes:

I've been working with GIMP:
This semester, I decided that since I have the GIMP on this machine, I might as well learn how to use it. Here's the stuff, step by step.

The first kinda neat thing I learned to do was use the Stroke Selection tool to add borders to images.

Next, I learned that I could do a decent job of digitally inking some line art by selecting similar colors (the Select by Color tool). I would show an example, but it's scheduled to be part of an upcoming webcomic. Just know that this process is used for the line art below.

Now come the fun stuff, most of which was made for a thing I'm doing on another board. The drawings were done by my dad.

Here, I was working with layers and adding backgrounds. Also, I learned how to use the Fuzzy Select tool.

Next, I worked with coloring, using mostly pencil at various sizes. I would've used layers for this, too, but it didn't seem any quicker.

This still has the same coloring, but here I was messing around with the Blend tool.

In the midst of the image completed today (which you'll see at the end), I did some work with transparency. First, Divest's request for help regarding editing his signature gave me the opportunity to use a tutorial I'd wanted to try. This involved duplicating the image, setting one to Grayscale and then back, then putting the colored version under the black & white one and then adding a mask so that I could paint on the red.

Then, I worked on my current signature for Doctor Who week. This time, I wasn't working with full transparency.

And finally, today I finished the last of my images, combining much of what I've learned so far. I used Stroke Selection (somewhat to blur colors together), Blend (which is evident), and adding a background. There was going to be some transparency, but it didn't help the image.

For more versions of this, see inside:

In honor of Doctor Who week:

I though I'd provide my assessment of Series 3. Overall, it's still pretty good, but here's the best:

Family of Blood

Each is inventive in its own way. All three have action, suspense, and some sort of creepy monster. As a bonus, Blink and Gridlock are pretty self-contained, so anyone interested in the show should look to them. Family of Blood surprised me because the first part of the two-parter (Family of Blood being the second) was a bit dull to me.

The worst was the season finale, but specifically The Sound of Drums and the Last of the Time Lords. Sure, there are inventive ideas here, too, but most if it gets lost in a scope that's too large, the Master acting un-Master-like, poorly explained Time Lord science (I'm looking at you, Paradox Machine and telepathic network). And then practically everything reverts to normal (although for some reason not everyone present at the death of the President is present when time reverts) and no one really seems significantly changed, despite all that's happened.

Some fun with usernames (take 2):

Over a year ago, I had some fun providing definitions of people's usernames. I do so again now.

Bigblah - somewhere between "Meh" and depression
blue - clearly a liberal
CHz - Cheez Whiz
Dekoa - the cliched army decoder who only gets fewer scenes than everyone else
Divest - a man with two vests
Drex - Chex that were cooked to long
Dullenplain - the process of making a field black & white
Helloween - to think up a greeting
knkwzrd - typing blind
Krelian - that monster under your bed (don't look now!)
LordsWord - what the slavemaster says
Maico - a toy company
Megalith - one with an abnormally large thumb
nazpyro - WWII German in charge of the furnaces at the concentration camps
Qube - a Saturday morning block. Seriously.
Sassafrass - Sylvester's rarely used alternate swear
Smelnick - sibling to Smelmatt and Smeldave
sprouticus - a kid in Roman armor
Traumatized Rat - a rat that saw its grandparents having sex
The Wise Vivi - a man who has the wisdom of 66 lives--similar to The Wise Lxi

A news story:

The 10 Worst Gadgets of 2007

I wouldn't rank them in that order, but they are all stupid.

Lastly, some YouTube:

Why 210? Because I missed 200 and 210 is a nice combination of those all-important numbers 7 and 3 with my favorite 10.

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[public entry #208]

Dec 10, 2007 - 12:27 PM
Stay Dead, Dido
Stay dead, Dido.
For the love of all humanity,
stay dead, Dido,
if you value all our sanity.
Stay dead, Dido,
and keep your crazed rantings far away.
Stay dead, Dido.
Your twisted Latin, you cannot say.
Stay dead, Dido,
just so that it will remain that way.
Stay dead, Dido,
so we can keep your madness at bay.
Stay dead, Dido.

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[public entry #207]

Dec 8, 2007 - 10:39 AM
Not a Compelling Argument
Yesterday, I was checking my school e-mail account when I found this:

I'm not the one to sell back books (you never know when you might need them again). If I were, though, I would just use one of the plethora of sites devoted to such things. I'd get more money out of it. Certainly, the bookstore is aware that students do that. So, if they're going to send out an e-mail trying to convince us to work with them, they need to make something better than this. The capitalization is terrible. The third sentence is very oddly structured. At least the person who wrote it included some details about how good an offer this is, but it's too late by then. I'm already disinterested because it looks so damn unprofessional.

No, I'm not going to sell my books to them. But I can't even give them credit for trying.

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Dec 7, 2007 - 12:24 PM
The Icing is a Lie
There I was, standing in line for a cheeseburger when two black girls in front of me strike up a conversation. One of them is holding a plate with a piece (actually two pieces) of cake on it. Really early on, she exclaims, "Look! Real icing! None of that fake whipped cream stuff," while scooping up some icing on her finger and eating it.

To her, whipped icing is a lie. It's not what icing should be. But how can this be? Whipped cream is the most miraculous of all dessert wonders! It enhances any dessert I put it on. Ice cream, pie, and especially cake. It's light, fluffy, moist, and smooth. It's superior to regular icing in every aspect.

The icing is not a lie. So, eat your inferior cake and have it, too, girl.

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[public entry #205]

Dec 5, 2007 - 06:42 PM
An Odd Day at Work
I did stuff outside of my job, like going to class, but a couple of odd things happened while at work.
  • A co-worker expressed that she had to look up Hanukkah earlier in the day because she didn't know what it was. This came up after a few other co-workers were trying to determine how to spell it for the huge calendar on the wall.
  • A caller client stated that she had learned the school has a license for Inspiration, even though no one working at that time knew of such a program nor was it listed with the other community programs. It is only now that I remember what it is. Man, I haven't used that in at least five years.
  • Apparently, there's a several dialects of English circulating on campus. Some of those answering the phones have trouble communicating with certain departments due to this. Who knew?
  • A co-worker told me I don't have the accent she generally associates with people from the Charlotte area. It makes me wonder where my accent would place me.

And, not so odd, I have to verify that the dorms open for the spring semester on January 8. Hopefully, that is the right date, so I only miss one day of group training.

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Dec 5, 2007 - 12:07 AM
In Opposition
To oppose the newfound tyrannical power of a Judge Dredd gone mad, I summon the strength and wisdom of Johnny Alpha!

There's a bounty on Zeal's head. And this hunter is going to take it or die trying.

Currently Playing: War

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[public entry #203]

Dec 4, 2007 - 09:38 AM
Setting the Curve
I just got back from the Calculus class, which I have every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Today, the professor, after going over the homework, explained some stuff about grading and the final exam. I won't tell you the details of the final exam because it's not important this entry. It's the grading system that matters. Basically, he showed the weight of the three tests we've taken compared to the ten quizzes. He then stated how this affected the overall grade. In order to determine what our overall grades are now, he averaged the various ranges of those three tests, as none of them had the same grading scale. Thus, his grading curve, if you will, is as follows:

A: 89.27
B: 79.13
C: 66.97
D: 57.43

After class (after we went over other things irrelevant to this entry), I happened to end up walking behind this group of guys outside that were other students in the class. I overheard them complaining about this curve. "How do you end up with a curve lower than an A?" For those of you who don't attend UNCG (probably almost all of you), the grading scale is the standard 10-point scale. An A is typically as low as a 90. These fellow students of mine have noticed correctly that 89.27 is lower than 90. Why is this? Because it's a curve. Do they not remember high school? No one in the class gets an A, so a teacher curves the grades based on the highest score. Grades go up, essentially. Where once a student had a B, they now have an A. Why? Because the minimum for an A is lower now.

But that aside, why complain? If the man is willing to offer you a little extra room for getting an A, what's the problem? You don't understand? Well, hell, then complain about the weighting system or something else. Don't complain about the curve, which is designed to help you. So what if you don't understand?
Be grateful.


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[public entry #202]

Dec 1, 2007 - 07:02 PM
What Could've Been
It's Award season again. And going over them, I realize that I didn't take the opportunity to bash my poor handling of my Clue idea last year. I don't remember what won "Worst Community Event", but that one should've at least been nominated. I know it wasn't.

I limited the number of people who could play and tried to directly port the board game onto the Internet, finding myself with players who quickly lost interest and a game that went nowhere. Deni was right when he said I didn't have a winner. (random thoughts on Deni's comment removed for tangency)

It was when I stopped trying. I might be able to make such a game work. I might be able to run such successful things as Risk, Scrabble, or Werewolf. But why bother? Others could do just as good if not a better job. They might as well. The whole point to running a game or event is so that people get as much enjoyment as possible. Not only are there people better qualified for such things (I'm particularly looking at those who normally run such events), but many of my ideas are selfish. "I've got a really good idea! People will have fun and then see how great an idea it is!" I get more wrapped up in my idea than the enjoyment of others, which is a problem.

So, no, I don't run events anymore. Because Clue sucked.


I'm going to look back over this in a couple of days and realize it's really self-defeating, depressing, and silly, aren't I?

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Nov 30, 2007 - 05:38 PM
It's the Weekend
I am a student who don't do anything.
I just stay home and lie around.
If you ask me if I do anything,
I'll just tell you, I don't do anything.

I've never been tto Greenland
And I've never been to Moscow
And I never veer to starboard 'cuz I never sail at all
And I've never been to Tampa
And I've never owned a parrot
And I've never been to Boston in the fall.

I am a student who don't do anything.
I just stay home and lie around.
If you ask me if I do anything,
I'll just tell you, I don't do anything.

I've never plucked a rooster
And I'm not too good at ping-pong,
And I've never thrown my mashed potatoes up against the wall,
And I've never kissed a chipmunk and I've never gotten head lice,
And I've never been to Boston in the fall!

And I've never licked a spark plug
And I've never sniffed a stink bug,
And I've never painted daisies on a big red rubber ball
And I've never bathed in yogurt
And I don't look good in leggings...

And I've never been to Boston in the fall!

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Nov 28, 2007 - 09:34 AM
Thanksgiving and a Job
Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a little unusual this year. No turkey carving (my dad brought some turkey and ham back from something he was helping with) and no extended family. There was still an argument or two (there always is), but that only soured one day. (Should it matter that it was Thanksgiving? Hmm.)

I wish I could've played Metroid Prime 3 while I was there. But it's still loaned out to a friend of my brother's. The game's been taken to Florida, as I recall.

Yesterday, I started my job. Well, sort of. I did start training, but they can't pay me or say that I've worked until I fill out an I-9 form, which is supposedly for taxes or something. I wish I had brought my Social Security card with me. In any case, my birth certificate should be here in a day or two, and things will work themselves out.

So far, the job itself doesn't seem too hard. Someone calls, person answers as best they can. Every third call or so seems to require the aid of someone higher up (like resetting a PIN for a particular account). Amusing ones from yesterday: someone not realizing that a discolored monitor likely means that it's a monitor problem, not a computer problem, and two people not waiting long enough for their passwords to reset, as they both called complaining about it and the service desk employee was able to log in as them on the spot. They should just be more patient.

Of course, there's still a fair amount of schoolwork to do. Hopefully I can manage.

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Nov 18, 2007 - 03:08 AM
Fighting Sleep
I write this while fighting sleep. It's a funny state, I find, this. It's a phase where I'm just as thoughtful and observant as always (and I think people will tell you I'm not observant, considering how bad my memory is, but clearly they've haven't seen me navigate my way through long streams of people, not touching a one of them). However, I think it's the ideal state of mind to just run with a stream of consciousness. Of course, I'm not the best sort of person for that. Even as I type, I'm thinking words ahead, always on to what I'll be saying next, not what I'm saying now. My mind is ahead of where I am and, if I catch up, I pause and think of something new. So, no, I'm not the best sort for a stream of consciousness. But maybe I'm wrong and my sleep-deprived state is making me think things that aren't true.

In any case, this is an experiment. Why? For one thing, I'm not in this state often. And when I am, I'm not usually in front of the computer. I normally feel this way when I can't get to sleep. Where am I then? In bed, away from anything that can help me. I also do this because, quite frankly, I haven't made an entry in a little while. I don't want the place to go rusty. I have to dust it off sometime.

Which leads me into an interesting thought sequence. I think the reason I don't make many entries is because what I talk about, what I think about, isn't very entry-worthy. I'm good for blurbs, small thoughts. Perhaps multiple small thoughts that give an overall idea. Unless it's fiction. Then I can write and write and write as idea upon idea hits me. Look at my comic book blog (well you could if it were still linked in my signature). I actually have a tag for "Character Ideas". And the mere fact that I have a comic book blog simply means that my comic book thoughts, the majority of my thoughts it seems, can't go here. It would just be redundant. So I put them there. Which leaves this for... personal space? Life updates? Random thoughts that have no other place? No, not that last one. I dismissed that. My random thoughts are too short, too unexpanded on to be entry-worthy.

See, I used to have a rule. If I couldn't make an entry and have at least a paragraph, the entry wasn't worth making. The exceptions of course were entries focusing on a video clip or images, but that was the idea. I wanted a complete thought, something that had been thought over and not just thrown onto a page. One sentence entries were just too simple. That, and they didn't real tell much about me. Doesn't take much writing skill to write a sentence. Doesn't really reveal much character or perhaps even provide the proper context. No, one-sentence entries or slightly more than that just won't do. But perhaps I've betrayed that at some point. It happens. I know, thought, that my entries used to be really short. Really short. I can't say they never went back to that size, though.

And now I've hit a dead end. Before I was going on progression, letting the momentum of thought just carry me through. But where am I now? Not in the same conversation as before. Wait, a conversation would require two or more people. Almost said just two there. Even in this state I edit myself. Amusing. Anyway...head spinning...blurry...

Fighting sleep. That's where I started, right? I've scrolled past the title, put I think that's what I had. It's a state of mind where I'm more observant than usual, but I process almost nothing. I won't remember the details of typing this in the morning, especially if I dream. My dreams have a tendency to replace memory or maybe just morph memory. In any case, the exact memory of this moment will be lost. I'll know the details sure. Head movement. Getting into my speech. Interesting. Anyway...lost train of thought...was there a train? Maybe it's more like a plane. No, those don't connect together. They do travel far, though. Farther. And faster. How about chain? No, they don't move, unless pulled by something. I guess train will have to do. Eyes...heavy...

And I'm having trouble keeping my head up. And since I know I have things to do tomorrow (it's still before dawn, I can say tomorrow), such as draw something for a webcomic, watch some TV, and, well, I guess that's about it. Unless I want to actually do school work. Ooh! I have a book to read. I Am Legend. Want to read it before the movie comes out. I hear it's good. Just realized that was an incomplete sentence above. Still editing, you know. It was supposed to end with something like "I'll be heading to bed" or "I'll go to sleep now" or something like that to show not only that this entry is coming to an end, but so is my day, which start at 11:00 and ends whenever I go to sleep, which should be shortly after this. Not that I know when this ends. When I get tired of typing? When I stop having thought? Oh, I hope it's not the latter. That would take a while. I'm not sure I have the stamina for it. Not good with stamina, I'm not.

I really must be heading to bed. Heh. Actually used "heading to bed". Amusing. But, yeah, that's what I'm doing. Good night, GFF. See you when I wake up (as this is my homepage).


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[public entry #198]

Nov 12, 2007 - 06:37 PM
Moving Up in the World
As of the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (the 27th) I will be a working man. I've got a job with the school tech support desk. Not the best of jobs, I suspect, but it'll do.


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Nov 4, 2007 - 12:50 AM
In Honor of Ace Combat
YouTube Video

Currently Playing: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin

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[public entry #196]

Oct 30, 2007 - 10:19 PM
Boston Legal: The Bastard Child of ABC?
Last year was my first year of college. With a seemingly looser schedule and a greater Internet connection, I was able to defer watching shows at their regularly scheduled time with the intent of watching them online. This also helped for when I missed shows. This year, online viewing is the only way I watch NBC's Chuck.

I don't remember the reason. Something kept me busy or distracted, most likely. Whatever the reason, I missed an episode of Boston Legal last season. Having watched Dancing With the Stars online for a few episodes, I thought I could do the same with Boston Legal. I knew that ABC's online video player had lots of options. After scrolling through them all, I realized that Boston Legal wasn't one of the shows offered online.

I brought up Dancing With the Stars. I didn't notice it then. Maybe it didn't happen then. This year, though, the results show seems to be running longer and longer. It seems to cut into the time of the next hour. Tonight, it had to have done so. My computer clock said 10:05 when the results show went off, which at most meant that Boston Legal was starting two minutes late. Two minutes isn't a lot, granted, but it shows a lack of respect.

Another thing that shows a lack of respect is ABC taking Boston Legal off for a week in favor of some special report. There was at least one such report last year, though very likely more than that. Last week, ABC aired a special report on the wildfires in California. I somewhat understand Fox's need to break shows' seasons with the World Series, as that's a major sports event found only on their station. But how much more can one about the wildfires that they couldn't find on a national news network or in the spotlights they receive on the evening news or even in the articles in the local paper? I didn't watch the news. I haven't for a while. Was there enough unmentioned items that they needed a whole hour?

Am I reading too much into things or does ABC just not care as much about this show as it does the rest? Is there a lack of respect toward its own programming? Maybe other stations do this to shows I don't watch. Heck, ABC could do it to shows I don't watch. But I don't have experienced this kind of compounding with any other thing I've seen.

Currently Playing: Strontium Dog

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Oct 29, 2007 - 11:35 AM
A Great Weekend
I went home this last weekend mainly to go to the Renaissance Festival over in the Pineville/Concord/Charlotte area. The best part of the day was early on when Zilch the Torysteller was on fire, with tangents including flooded Arizona lake beds and a run of spoonerisms describing/playing off of cleavage. The jousting was a little better acted this year and they incorporated a new setup early on, which was appreciated. Plus, I finally had soup, although it was really just broccoli and cheese with lots of cheese.

I also read comics, hung out with my family, and slept in the disaster zone that is my old room. My brother still hasn't gotten Metroid Prime 3 back, so that was disappointing. And my sister spent little time at the house as well, which was also unfavorable.

Overall, though, it was a great weekend. I've brought Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 03 and I Am Legend back with me to read. It should be a good week.

Currently Playing: Strontium Dog

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Oct 22, 2007 - 05:35 PM



Currently Playing: WITH CAPS LOCK!

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Oct 21, 2007 - 10:39 AM
The Funny Daniel Tosh
It's just something I watched last night.

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

YouTube Video

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Oct 20, 2007 - 12:50 PM
Commenting on Months-Old Drama
I normally don't get involved in GFF-related drama. I really try not to. But I recently was brought up to speed on something that happened over the summer, while I wasn't visiting here.

Yes, this regards Yama. I don't know where things truly began, but I suspect it was soon after his banning. Whatever the case may be, the fallout was, well, terribly handled.

I can't support either side of the argument that was because neither side acted with civility. Yama becomes bitter, but no one save Miyomi will tell it to him directly. They complained to Miyomi (and maybe each other, but I don't have that part), who then told Yama about such complaints. Then, acting like some kind of therapist, wouldn't tell Yama who was complaining so that he could confront them directly. It was simply "you know who your friends are, so contact them to see if they have problems with you." Which may or may not have solved anything, given their lack of desire for direct confrontation earlier.

Yama, on the other hand, kept pressing for information. The whos, the hows, the whys, to the point where he became a nuisance to all involved, making others become frustrated or perhaps more frustrated with him. It escalated to where many wanted nothing to do with him. And then they gave him the silent treatment.

The whole thing carried over here for months. It still comes up every now and again (like earlier with Dark Nation). I'm not sure why. I can see complaining about events here. Expressing frustrations in life is something journals are good for. Yet, to do so and do nothing else to alleviate that stress doesn't accomplish anything but get you attention.

So, there's one side with people complaining, going silent, and the complaining where other side might or might not see and then there's the other side with a person pressing and pushing for various things and just generally annoying everyone on the first side.

I just can't support either side. I can't. The whole thing just seems childish.

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Oct 16, 2007 - 03:47 PM
Global Warming Theory?
I don't know why I think of some of the things I do, but recently I had the thought that airplanes may be a high contributor to the current global warming problem. Now, I'll admit that I'm ignorant of how an airplane works. I don't know if it emits the same or similar kinds of emissions as grounded vehicles. It seems to me, though, that if they do, the quantity they exert/have exerted and the high altitude would probably contribute more to the current problem than things such as cars. And if this is so, why is no one pushing to change the composition of jet fuel?

Maybe some knowledgeable help would, uh, help.

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Oct 8, 2007 - 11:04 AM
Reporting Back
I told Rockgamer that I'd watch Chuck and I have.

The first episode was a little bit over the top. One computer with all the information? People surviving devastating car wrecks without a scratch? And the ending was predictable once it was revealed that a laptop was being used. It wasn't bad, but it could've been much better.

The second episode is that "much better". There was a lot of speculation that lead to a cool twist and then a bit of showing (perhaps unrealistically) an application for video game knowledge. All the while Chuck remains the reluctant hero in a world of espionage, explosions, and trust issues.

It's an enjoyable action show with comedic elements. Or maybe a fun comedy with action sequences. It doesn't matter, just think 40 Year Old Virgin meets Jack Ryan. The first two episodes were enough to keep me watching.

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Oct 6, 2007 - 08:07 PM
Pushing Daisies
Pushing Daisies is a new show on ABC that comes on Wednesdays at 8 PM Eastern time. I checked out the premiere episode this week and I must I was impressed. It's like a fairy tale or a legend told in Big Fish. There are vibrant colors, odd characters, over-the-top sequences, and an amusing premise. It's a quirky breath of fresh air amidst all the other stuff on TV. I'm going to be checking this thing out every week.

On a side note, since I'm discussing TV, I was disappointed in Doctor Who. It wasn't as bad as it could've been, at least.

Currently Playing: Pokemon Pearl

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Sep 30, 2007 - 07:42 PM
People Can't Be Melancholy Anymore
It seems to me that more and more people are distancing themselves from people who are melancholy. No matter how rare these people enter that state, no matter to what degree, they are considered "emo". It may not be widespread yet. Some still use that word to describe depressed people or people who follow a certain style of music or fashion. But I have seen an increasing use of people referring to gloomy people as "emo". It bothers me. Such a state is natural. For some people, it doesn't last long. They pick themselves up and move forward.

I'm sure there are a bunch of others problems therein, but that one is the first that comes to mind.

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Sep 28, 2007 - 09:30 PM
TV in Review
Now that I'm done watching everything I'm going to watch for this season-opening week, here are my thoughts:

Prison Break--It started last week, so it's a step ahead of everyone else. But I am finding myself liking this season. I like the setting, the new characters, the interaction between the old characters, new roles, etc. It just has lots of intrigue and mystique in it. This week, I especially liked the developments with Sucre and Michael finally going to work.

Heroes--I didn't watch this last season. My dad was watching a marathon of it one day and I watched a few episodes. I didn't like where the plot was going, so I didn't follow it up later. But since I liked the second season of Doctor Who much better than the first, I thought I'd give Heroes a shot this time around. I felt a bit lost. Why is that one symbol popping up everywhere? It doesn't seem possible for that to be so wide-reaching. Undoubtedly, the many different plots will all converge later and light bulbs will turn on for everyone watching. I'm not sure I'll be around that long. I found this episode largely uninteresting. I liked Hiro's journey, but I can see where it's headed. I have a few complaints here or there specific to the episode itself, but this part is long enough so I'll just say that I engaged by Matt's story the most.

CSI: Miami--Jack Bauer's nephew is Horatio's son? And the Camden kid is a killer? Interesting. But I digress. I didn't like this episode. The inclusion of Ryan seemed unnecessary, there was no clear explanation for how the killer got the gun he used, and the son plot just seemed a bit odd to me, though I'm still not sure why. Also, that lab has gotten some serious upgrades over the summer. Given how much heat they took with that hole mole incident, I'm surprised they'd get that kind of funding. But I digress again. Yet again this show disappointed. I'm going to give it one more chance and then I'm out for good.

Boston Legal--Ah, what a great season opener. It was funny, dramatic, and did a great job of introducing the new characters. I don't know what happened to get rid of the four characters that did go, but I like those that replaced them. It's an interesting dynamic. It was a half-hour longer and worth every second (not including commercials). I missed this show.

Bionic Woman--Here's another science fiction show I thought I'd give a shot. It wasn't quite terrible, but it was close. They jam-packed three episodes into one, giving limited time for me to get to know the characters or for the characters themselves to grow properly. I don't know if the acting itself was bad, but it seemed so. It might have been a result of the rushed story. There were a couple of good points, but this thing just wasn't compelling enough to bring me back. I'm sticking to MythBusters (which is in the same time slot).

CSI: NY--Overall, this episode was good. Like in Miami, a method of killing isn't fully explained. Also, the killer's demeanor didn't seem to match up with his actions and his motive was somewhat flimsy. I liked the lab hands outdoing each other (though I would prefer no more inner-office relationships). I like the Mac subplot. I really liked the Cluemaster bit. So, it was better than Miami, but still not great.

CSI--With Survivor not having Exile Island this season, I'm down to just CSI. There really isn't much to say here. No crime was solved, though a murder was prevented, but I liked how everything was handled.

Doctor Who--And that brings me to today with Doctor Who. I'm very troubled by it. I liked it all the way up until The Master rapidly aged The Doctor (through a process that wasn't quite clear, but it's Time Lord science so I'll let it go). It was at that point that it looked no one was going to stop The Master and his plan would go forth unchallenged. Which it did. And really, his plan is just the Dalek's plan from last year magnified to a worldwide scale. Even those mysterious aliens working for him are like Daleks. They kill people with one shot. They fly through the air in swarms. The animation of them raining down from the sky reminds me a lot of Dalek visuals from last year. It's almost as if the writers realized they couldn't use Daleks and just substituted them with something similar. That's clearly not the case as the plot as a whole wouldn't support it. That doesn't mean there's not some truth there, though. I'm only hoping the way out of this doesn't lead to paradoxical time travel.

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Sep 25, 2007 - 12:37 PM
Dwindling Appeal
I left GFF, for the most part, over the summer. Since returning, I feel like there's nothing to do. Sure, I got wrapped up in the Arcade and Scrabble and am currently involved in Werewolf, but that's all games. I lack discussion.

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Sep 14, 2007 - 08:38 AM
The News
In a recent debate that started out discussing a Bill Mahr video, I ended up arguing with someone about the news. Currently, it's my impression that he didn't have specific problem with me, but was using my mentality as an example of why society as a whole is going down the hole. I didn't see this at the time and, for the most part, don't see it until his last comment. Nevertheless, I get the impression that that was his intent.

That said, it did make me think about my view of the news. I've modified it in one aspect. As great as it would be a for the newspaper and evening news to appeal to anyone watching, it just seems impossible. However, if they could do stories that just grab one person, they're doing good. I don't know if anyone wants to know about closed police cases (especially the more depressing ones). I don't know if any local viewers care about an unnatural problem in California. It seems to me that, in order to truly determine what I want from the news, I'd need to do a study. It's not just that the news is depressing or focuses mainly on the bads of the world, it's also that the news, as far as I can tell, generally isn't useful or entertaining. And in order to determine what is needed for it to be either or both of those things, I'd need other opinions.

Not that any news station would listen to me.

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Sep 10, 2007 - 11:50 AM
A Few Insights
Today I realized that, when joyful, I stop thinking as well as normal. Oddly enough, it took two events around my Latin class to make me reach this realization. Friday, I had a series of questions after class. Even though I noticed two others waiting to talk to the teacher as well, I continued asking my questions. I was inconsiderate. Today, I was talking to a classmate (one of the people from Friday) and ended up asking a question the needn't be asked. We got into a conversation about dorms, specifically their size and the inclusion of air conditioning. And I ended up asking her if she stayed in a dorm, despite her already stating that she'd been turned off dorms and seemingly not knowing that there were air conditioned dorms on campus. I wasn't a good listener. Perhaps I should apologize.

Also in relation to Latin, I've learned that for as long as I can remember I've pronounced "diphthong" as dipthong, not difthong. I don't know why. I'm hoping I can correct this speech pattern.

I need to do work on Tuesdays, as I don't have enough time on Wednesdays to do all the work for Thursday.

I need to listen to more music. Every so often I'm told I need to hear something or someone says they like a particular song I haven't heard yet. And I just like listening to music. I'm not picky, really. If only Linux's player would pick a state of mind.

One of the most frustrating things for me is when I get an idea, but can't share it with anyone who would be interested or when I get an idea that I can't put into use.

I'll probably realize more as things keep going...

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Sep 7, 2007 - 06:52 PM
Subway vs. Burgers?
Recently, I've started eating at Quiznos Sub, as there's one of those on campus. This has gotten me thinking. Why does Subway market their food as healthier than the food of burger joints, but never compare themselves to other sub places?

It just doesn't make since. If I want a burger, I'm going to get a burger and no amount of marketing telling me to buy a longer, more expensive sandwich is going to make me. It's not like Subway serves anything that tastes just like a burger. If they want to reach more people, they should convince me that their subs are better than other places' subs. Many people feel Quiznos make better subs than Subway (I'm not one of those people), and the only way I see Subway addressing this is adding toasters in their restaurants. They advertised that now they can roast their subs, but they never stated why their toasted subs would be any better than those of other places.

They're comparing apples to oranges and I don't know why.

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Aug 30, 2007 - 09:34 AM
Learned Fears?
I once had a conversation with my dad about the fear of heights. Within that conversation, I learned that he had concluded that fear, as well as some others, are likely more learned than intuitive. He reasoned that as we grow older we learn the dangers of heights (and the lack of security therein), which leads some to fear a drastic height change. Looking back on my own life, I think he may be on to something. In my prepubescent years I had no trouble climbing trees and even had a willingness to ride large roller coasters. Maybe I learned of the dangers through falling. (That happened once.) Maybe I was educated in school about them. (It's possible.) Or maybe that knowledge came from watching too much TV. Whatever the reason, over time, I came to have an apprehension regarding heights.

Hmm... Perhaps that was poorly worded. I don't have a fear of heights. But my body is apprehensive of them, constantly locking up or shivering in such situations. Maybe it's some kind of subconscious or unconscious fear.

In any case, I began thinking about this yesterday and determined that experience and/or education cause many fears. As children, we are naturally curious about our surroundings. Surely we don't have a fear of bugs or germs at that time. It must develop later. Even the fear of public speaking (which I've heard is the greatest fear) must develop over time. As children, we happily participate in show-and-tell, so why do we have such trouble with presentations in higher levels of education?

Some of these cases may involve traumatic experiences. I know that's why my brother has a fear of spiders, for example. So these fears are not necessarily learned, which is why I included experience earlier on. We come to experience things that we don't like, sometimes traumatic events, that lead us to fear the cause of that experience.


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Aug 29, 2007 - 02:02 PM
That's One Wacky Link
I was perusing the MegaScrabble Game 3 thread when I noticed something, somewhat by accident. I clicked on ♪^___^♪'s avatar, only to find that it sent me to the wrong profile. I then wondered what would happen if I tried to go to his profile through the drop-down menu. It still didn't work:

I smell a conspiracy.

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Aug 26, 2007 - 11:19 AM
Trouble Night
Yesterday was a good day. I got to read comics. I finally got AC in my room. I even received snacks and drinks. All because my dad and brother came up here for a few hours (mainly to give me the stuff, but still).

Eventually, as it always, night came. Last night was terrible. I got trapped in an argument over 300 (with some people online), had to deal with someone's complaints over IM, and was scorned for stopping a thread from detracting anymore off-topic (not on this board). All while my roommate talked incessantly on the phone. I don't normally mind that last one too much, but it just added to everything else. I was so angry and distracted that when I tried to got to sleep at 1:00 AM, I failed. It must have been more than half an hour later before I finally did sleep.

But I start today fresh. I worked to settle my thread argument, the only lingering problem, and have since had a good day. Caught three Pokemon in Pearl, finally got to shave (a razor came amongst the stuff yesterday), and have a had a filling lunch. I just hope it continues into night...

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Aug 24, 2007 - 11:51 AM
Fun on Wikipedia
I've been viewing Wiki articles a lot lately. A couple of days ago, Team Galactic of Pokemon D/P was deemed a sex organization. (This has since been changed.)

More importantly, I went to the Craft entry today and was met with this:

craft is a skill. many people do not no what this skill is but still say it anyway. these noobs are people like jordan more who is one of the biggest noobs ever. the craft lords are Dan and Elliot and they are the only people who actually know what it means. to conclude this speech stop say craft you noobs the only people who can say it is Dan and Elliot.
Someone thinks their funny.

(Again, it has since been corrected.)

Currently Playing: Pokemon Pearl--for the foreseeable future

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Aug 22, 2007 - 09:36 PM
I Need an Avatar
Unfortunately, I lack ideas. The best I could come up with was me as a Simpsons character, but I lack a photo for that. (I'm not satisfied with the one I made on my own.)


Ideas for a signature would be appreciated as well.

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Aug 22, 2007 - 09:56 AM
Pokemon DS
Over the summer, I bought a DS and Pokemon Pearl (with some help from Dekoa). There are many aspects of the game I like. The Poketch, the bike switching, the Underground, the GTS, the use of marsh for a Safari Zone, the compatibility and use of the GBA games, and the boost in graphics. It's compelling enough to keep playing (mostly for the completist in me), but that just means it's addicting. It is not the best Pokemon game ever made.

One of the things I kept hoping they'd do is give me a new Pokedex. I didn't get one in Sapphire, nor in FireRed/LeafGreen. Instead, I got a regional Pokedex and a national Pokedex, which just isn't suitable. The national dex is flawed because it puts some related Pokemon far away from each other because a baby or new evolution was created later. The regional dex just doesn't cover enough. But that's one minor gripe.

Other gripes:
Gyms have much larger interiors than they probably should. Gym leaders use Pokemon not related to their supposed typeset. There's an overabundance of new stones. My rival's story is never finished. There are too many legendaries. It seems odd to be able to catch Baby Pokemon and Pokemon that evolve through trading (like Steelix). Lake Valor returns with no explanation (though some assumptions could be made). Do we really need yet another Team?

I'm sure there are more that I just can't of right now. It is a flawed game in minor respects. Is it still pretty good? Sure.

Hmm... why not give a score?


Currently Playing: Pokemon Pearl

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Aug 21, 2007 - 09:00 AM
Naming Conventions
Over the summer, I watched a lot of Ninja Warrior (G4's showing of the Japanese competition Sasuke). Eventually, I was struck with a question. Why do we, the Western world, reverse Japanese names? Some might point out that Japanese names have a different naming convention, that their family name is first and their individual name last, so the names are switched here to fit our naming convention. I bought that for a while. But through watching Ninja Warrior, I've learned that they don't switch around Western names. I would be called the same thing there as I am here in North Carolina. It seems to me that if they respect our names enough to leave them alone, we should respect their names enough to leave them alone.

However, as always, I get the feeling I'm missing something...

Currently Playing: Pokemon Pearl

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Aug 20, 2007 - 06:16 PM
Wiki Trek
need... AC...
Needing something to do this afternoon and curious about the results, I decided I'd go on a trek through Wikipedia. Starting at "0 (number)", I clicked on the first new link for every article I went to, ignoring list page links, charts, and redirects at the top of the page. In order, here are the pages I visited (it's lengthy):

0 (number)
IPA Chart for English
International Phonetic Alphabet
Phonetic transcription
Indo-European languages
Language family
German language
West Germanic languages
Germanic languages
English language
Constituent country
Oganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
French language
Romance languages
Roman Empire
Ancient Rome
British English
United Kingdom
Political geography
Human geography
Greek language
Mycenaean language
Romanization of Greek
Ancient Greek
Archaic period of Greece
Greek Dark Ages
1100s BC
Tiglath-Pileser I
Hebrew language
Semitic languages
Middle East
Historical geography
Physical geography
Natural environment
Oxford English Dictionary
Meaning (linguistics)
Morpheme-based morphology
Morphology (linguistics)
Theoretical linguistics
Linguistic universal
Natural language
Philosophy of language
Analytic philosophy
Generative grammar
Proof theory
Mathematical logic
Symbolic logic
Analytical psychology
Higher education
428 BC
Aegean Sea
Turkish language
Built environment
Persian language
Islamic republic
Social contract
Belief system
16th century
100 (number)
Roman numerals
Numeral system
Number names
High culture
The arts
Visual arts
American and British English spelling differences
American and British English differences
United States
Political union
Personal union
Head of state
Civil rights
Human rights
United Nations
International organization
Scientific method
Quantum phsyics
Experimental physics
Springfield, Massachusetts
Urban area
Population density
Action (philosophy)
Action theory
384 BC
445 BC
495 BC
Roman temple
Derivation (linguistics)
Unit of measurement
Electrical impedance
Oliver Heaviside
May 18
Leap year
Lunisolar calendar
International System of Units
Metric system
Systems of measurement
Compound words
Constituent (linguistics)
Universal grammar
Child development
Human development (biology)
Human development
Developmental psychology
Motion (phsyics)
Frame of reference
Perspective (visual)
Visual system
Nervous system
Kingdom (biology)
Scientific classification
William Whewell
May 24
Gregorian calendar
Julian calendar
Roman calendar
Founding of Rome
Italian language
Italian Peninsula
Chemical substance
Cognitive process
Information processing
Lexical category
Open class (linguistics)
Compound (linguistics)
Head (linguistics)
Value theory
Lawrence Kohlberg
October 25
October 21
Kingdom of Kent
Germanic peoples
Northern Europe
2006 definition of a planet
International Astronomical Union
Astronomical object
Equality (mathematics)
Officer (armed forces)
Armed forces
Root (linguistics)
Meaning (linguistics)
Sign (linguistics)
Sign (semiotics)
Set theory
19th century
Common year starting on Thursday
Common year
Calendar year
January 1
1 (number)
Binary numeral system
Base (mathematics)
Social sciences
Human condition
Chemical reaction
Hydrochloric Acid
Chemical compound
Chemical element
Egyptian language
Afro-Asiatic languages
Languages of Africa
European Union
Sui generis
New Latin
Middle Ages
Circuit diagram
Electrical circuit
Electrical element
Electrical network
Earth science
Planetary science
Planetary system
Plasma (physics)
State of matter
Physical science
Natural science
Ion (dialogue
Migration (human)
Historical migration
Homo erectus
Homo (genus)
Binomial nomenclature
Family (biology)
Domain (biology)
Rank (zoology)
International Code of Zoological Nomenclature
Academic discipline
Academic journal
Peer review
Scholarly method
Mechanical energy
Potential energy
Scalar (physics)
Physical quantity
Physical examination
Health care provider
Health care
Open system (system theory)
Thermodynamic system
Boundary (thermodynamic)
Classical mechanics
Football (ball)
Team sport
Word game
Mathematical problem
Mathematical game
Recreational mathematics
Deductive reasoning
Philosophical language
Constructed language
Segment (linguistics)
Discrete mathematics
Continuous function
Function (mathematics)
Dependent and independent variables
Argument form
Logical argument
Premise (argument)
Augustine of Hippo
November 13
Ethelred the Unready
Siege of Kiev
Armenian language
Ethnic group
Neuro-linguistic programming
Altered state of consciousness
Beta wave
Phase (waves)
Simple harmonic motion
Harmonic oscillator
Limit (mathematics)
Stimulus (physiology)
Plant physiology
Perennial plant
Taxus baccata
Division (botany)
Class (biology)
Order (biology)
Nomenclature codes
Carolus Linnaeus
Swedish nobility
Social class
Ordinal number
Georg Cantor
March 3
Common year starting on Monday
Sign language
Manual communication
Non-verbal communication
Body language
Mind-body dichotomy
Fals dilemma
Formal fallacy
Inductive reasoning
Category of being
Transition (genetics)
Heterocyclic compound
Chemical symbol
Acronym and initialism
Military alliance
Agreement (linguistics)
Redundancy (language)
Joint manipulation
Organ (anatomy)
Biological tissue
Cell (biology)
Visual perception
Visible light
Electromagnetic spectrum
Electromagnetic radiation
Wave propagation
Wave (physics)
Grammatical number
Grammatical category
Grammatical aspect
Grammatical tense
Grammatical mood
Marker (linguistics)
Grammatical function
Subject (grammar)
Predicate (grammar)
Sentence (linguistics)
Finite verb
Grammatical person
Linguistic anthropology
Qualitative research
Null subject language
Linguistic topology
Object (grammar)
Sentence element
Predicative (adjectival or nominal)

Currently Playing: Pokemon Pearl

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Jul 15, 2007 - 11:11 AM
Melee Tournament
Recently, Dekoa informed me of a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament nearby. With nothing better to do on Saturday, I decided to join him for it.

To make a long story short:
After a few hours of practicing and trying a couple of other things, I lost in the first round. But it was a close thing.

Perhaps the most interesting thing was that Team Awesome was there.

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Jul 10, 2007 - 06:20 PM
The Rest of the Story
On Thursday, after eating a local diner, we headed to the zoo for the morning. Among all of the various animals, the ones that were of the greatest interest were the usual ones. Otters, polar bears, elephants, and even a sleeping Rhino. A previous advertisement had promised hippos, but none were to be found.

The next stop was Fort McHenry, a fort during the of the War of 1812 that was involved in the conflict (the Battle of Baltimore) that provided the inspiration for the Star-Spangled Banner. It also was used in later wars, during the Civil War as a fort (never attacked) and during World War I as a hospital. These are just some of the interesting facts I learned while there. It's a great place with a beautiful view of the harbor. It even has a statue of the god Orpheus.

We then departed to see the house of Edgar Allen Poe. It's location isn't clearly marked (adding to my notion that Baltimore isn't well organized), but we did find it with a little help from some locals up the street. Unfortunately, it was closed. No reason was given.

We returned to the harbor to visit the Top of the World, an attraction much like the Empire State Building or the Sears Tower. All but my sister headed to the top (actually one floor shy of the top) and viewed the entire city of Baltimore, apart from what was obstructed by other buildings. Oddly enough, Top of the World isn't the tallest building in Baltimore. My sister not wanting to go up caused a little tension that left her bitter most of the day.

After perusing harbor stores, it was time to eat dinner. We headed to Little Italy, as the seafood restaurants seemed a little expensive. We ate at a place with little to eat and high prices. They were out of lasagna. They charged those who ordered soft drinks for their refills, the list of beverages nor that particular piece of information excluded from the menu. I was forced to eat cheese ravioli with runny sauce and sip the water they provided. On top of that, they calculated the gratuity themselves, which made it higher than what we would have given them even with average service (which this wasn't). Disgruntled, but mostly satisfied, we left the restaurant and returned to the hotel.

The next day was mostly spent on the road. We traveled through Annapolis, which looks quaint and remarkably clean. We traveled through the lower part of Delaware. Eventually, we traveled across a series of bridges and tunnels across and over the Chesapeake Bay within Virginia. Once again, I got to see the majesty of the water and appreciate the sunny weather.

We dropped off at our next hotel, visited with my cousin and her family for a few hours, and then returned to that hotel to catch a good night's sleep. Unfortunately, all the traveling stopped me from being able to see Doctor Who. Perhaps I will find some way...

The only travels on Saturday involved highways and that annoying DVD player. It was not a good car trip.

In review, Baltimore is fairly unorganized, we got rained on our first night there, there were no hippos at the zoo, the car trips weren't great, and we didn't eat anywhere that anyone had chosen previously (we had made lists, Hard Rock excluded). No, it wasn't a great trip. I guess it could have been worse, though.

And now you know the rest of the story.

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Jul 8, 2007 - 11:29 AM
"How Did the Trip Go?" You Might Ask...
Not well. This may very well have been the worst vacation I can remember. I'll just tell the tale of Wednesday right now:

The car trip up was okay, I suppose. The only problem was that my brother's portable DVD player/stereo started going on the fritz due to low battery power. This problem became a bit of a downer on the way back especially. In any case, on the way up I saw The Island, which isn't half-bad surprisingly.

My mom had reserved us a room in a hotel. It turned out to be a Knights Inn that was part of a restaurant/gift shop/truck stop. They wouldn't provide a roll-away bed and the room was too small to be comfortable. We cruised around Jessup looking for hotels until we found one that was both affordable and provided a roll-away. We ended up at a Holiday Inn. That whole endeavor made me realize that hotels should have five-person rooms designed for the five-person family.

Soon enough, we headed out to the harbor in Baltimore to eat at the Hard Rock Cafe. As we were walking, we got caught in a downpour. Without umbrellas. After we finally got to the restaurant and were seated, I shared a plate of ribs (great as always) with my dad.

When we headed out from the Cafe, there was no rain. As we started to make our way back across the harbor, to find a good place for the fireworks show in about a half hour, the rain slowly picked up. Eventually, we were once again caught in a downpour. Without umbrellas. We tried hiding in the shelter of any buildings we could find, but they became either too crowded (pushing us into the rain) or everyone was run off by the police, mostly when we went under closed buildings. We did find a decent spot to stand, behind a staircase, but soon my sister had to use the restroom. So, of course, someone had to go with her. My brother was given that task. Just as they were leaving, my dad decided to follow, I forget for what reason. Perhaps he just wanted to find a better spot. I was going to follow as well, but realized that my mom might be alone if I did so. I remained.

I later learned that the other group made it to a McDonald's only to be evacuated along with everyone else due to some sort of disturbance in the building. They worked their way up the road a little ways until they found a bar that was willing to let them use the restroom and get out of the rain for a bit. My dad then went back out to try to find us.

Meanwhile, we stood there as long as we could. Shortly after the wind shifted and the crowd got larger, I convinced my mom that the best course would be heading back to the car, which was in a car park. We toiled through the rain and made it to that car park. Before heading up to the car, we waited near the entrance. At that point, I tried to call my dad's cell, but my phone conveniently ran out of minutes. I know that somewhere in their journey, they tried to call me as well but were unable to get through. We did eventually head to car. We dried off a little, got rid of the all-but-destroyed Hard Rock bag carrying the food boxes, placed the food boxes under the car, and headed back out. I suspect that somewhere during that time was when my dad came looking for us. He later told me that the police eventually cleared out that earlier section, too.

We hadn't gone far when the fireworks started going. We could see them through buildings and trees. My mom and I decided to give up searching and just watch the fireworks for a while. We stood under a nearby overpass, which happened to have a clearly before it made for watching these fireworks. My mom and I talked sporadically, mostly related to fireworks. After the finale, we trudged back to the car park and met up with the other group, walking in from another direction. We got in the car and returned to the hotel for a night of warm showers.

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Jul 3, 2007 - 09:10 AM
I haven't been active here are Gamingforce for the past several days. I've had some other things to handle. Be that as it may, I'm going on vacation! From Wednesday to Friday, my family and I are going to Baltimore, the birthplace of my mother, where we will see the sights and then see family members on the way back down. It should be an interesting trip.

It will be a nice change of pace, as it will force me away from the Internet and the various pseudo-obligations that I have therein. I'll also likely get to see one of those big fireworks displays, which is always nice.

On an unrelated note, does anyone want a kitten? We've got one that we can't afford to keep. (I mean, we've already got five...)

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Jun 20, 2007 - 09:30 AM
I Want Relevance!
Sometime during high school, I realized the news was mainly a plug for celebrity events and the depressing activities of some of society's members. There was the occasional good story, but it didn't come frequently enough, and there's always sports and weather, which aren't good or bad.

It's a few years later and I now realize the true problem. The news isn't relevant. Now, I know it would be impossible to make a news broadcast that provides more than relevant story for all those watching, especially given how much area the various stations have to cover. For that, I should turn to a newspaper. But they aren't much better.

It's just that there are a variety of things reported, sometimes repeatedly, that just matter to me and shouldn't matter to anyone nearby. I could probably go through a paper or even a broadcast and weed through all the unimportant items. I would most likely end up with a paper far undeserving of its price and a news program that's too short for it to really matter.

In these instances, I'd normally think of a solution. Unfortunately, I don't have one.

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Jun 18, 2007 - 07:56 AM
A Fun Weekend
For this Father's Day, my brother and my dad joined me in going to the annual Heroes Convention in Charlotte. From sitting in on two panels to frantically searching for comics to getting autographs, we had a great time. The specifics are detailed in my blog, so read that if you're interested. Afterward, we had a meal a local Italian restaraunt. It's nice to find a place that offers meals for the same prices as others while offereing larger portions.

We also went to see the latest Fantastic Four movie. I wasn't all the enthused, mainly because the commercials and trailers spoiled so much of the movie, including most of the humorous bits. However, it is better than the last one, with better characterization, and handling "busy" better than Spider-Man 3. It could've been a little longer, but it works as it is.

I was actually planning on doing some large Father's Day entry honoring my dad, but I just can't get the words together. Just trust me when I say that he's a great guy.

I'm sorry that I haven't been more active. I have obligations on another message board that are keeping me away.

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Jun 11, 2007 - 12:27 PM
Things I've Learned from Playmania
Well, at least for this week:

David Stern voiced the adult Kevin in The Wonder Years.
There is a movie titled "My Date with Drew".
Orson Welles played Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane.
There is a movie titled "Private Parts", which includes Paul Giamatti.
Mrs. Butterworth's has been around since the 1960s.
A Sex in the City movie is in the works.
The names of the main characters on Golden Girls were Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy.
Kiefer Sutherland has a twin sister named Rachel.

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Jun 9, 2007 - 09:17 PM
Werewolf Variation--Traitor Game: Godly Mischief
I haven't had to time to type anything elaborate, but here's the basics:

Due to various, excalating tricks and misdeeds, Loki had been banished by Odin from intefering in the universe outside of Midgard for an indefinite amount of time. The God of Mischief stewed for about a week before he had an idea. If he couldn't interfere with that universe, he would just mess with mortals from other realms.

Loki acted quickly. He quickly drafted rules for a game that would pit people and creatures from different realities against each other, all for his amusement. Then came the hard part: finding a group of "volunteers".
Each player will choose some character from some form of entertainment. Instead of playing as themselves, as they might do in Werewolf, players will participate in the game as the character they selected.

The game itself works much like Werewolf. The Traitors will kill someone (specifying how) and then there will be a voting round, where the remaining characters try to determine who the Traitors are. Everyone votes and the chosen character will be banished to some unfortunate place. In this case, it will be Valhalla. If there is a tie, the task falls to the Breaker (described below).

During each voting round, the Secret Agents will be allowed to confer amongst themselves and submit a guess (via PM) as to who might be a Traitor. Whether they guessed correctly or incorrectly will be announced in the thread.

Traitors--A group of players/characters that get to kill the other players/characters. (Considered Evil)

Secret Agents--A group of players/characters that are allowed one guess or check every voting round to determine who might be a Traitor. (Considered Good)

Breaker--In case of a tie, someone not involved in the tie will be asked to break it.

The small amount of roles, when compared to a typical GFF Werewolf Game, is intentional.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Interested?

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Jun 7, 2007 - 12:40 PM
At around nine this morning, my sister woke me and told me that something was wrong with my rabbit. I rushed to check, only to find the exact state she had described. Buttons was unenergetic and unresponsive; her pupils were much smaller than normal. I did what I thought was best. I put her in the hall and my sister put a fan in front of her, in case it was some heat-related malady. I think cleaned her cage, changed her bowl, and put in new food, in case it was some filth-related illness. Then, I put her back in her cage, with fan. I thought she would be more comfortable in the cage and I didn't want to keep the cats locked up in case they needed to eat. My sister headed off to school, leaving me to take care of things.

At about ten, she suddenly started kicking her back legs, moving closer to the fan. I removed it as the kicking continued. After only a few seconds, Buttons stopped kicking and, as I soon realized, stopped breathing. I panicked and called my mom. She told me to try CPR. I don't know how to do CPR on a person safely, let alone a rabbit, but I tried anyway. But she was too limp. She died sometime around then.

After I did a little bit of grieving over the loss of my rabbit and made a few vain calls to find a veterinarian that would treat rabbits, my dad arrived home to help me with the situation. He pronounced her dead, comforted me a little, and took steps to prepare a burial. After wrapping her up in a towel and placing her in a box, and after we spent about an hour or less digging a good hole, we laid her to rest. I decided that the plot should be in the shade, as Buttons used to hide under furniture if allowed to roam free in such rooms. My dad said a prayer. I said my good-byes.


The best of pets. The best of friends. A fighter to the end.

May you rest in piece.

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May 31, 2007 - 03:56 PM
Traitor Game
For the past several months, I've played variations of the Traitor Game, something similar to Werewolf. It has far fewer roles than the normal game of GFF Werewolf, but forces players to role play as their favorite (maybe) characters. Some powerful being gathers a bunch of fictional (and sometimes real) people or creatures, secretly hands out roles, and offers the winners some kind of prize. One side consists of the Traitor(s) that will kill everyone else. The other side consists of the other players, always including a group that can only be described as Masons meet Seers, as together they (usually 2-3 in number) make a guess every voting round regarding who might be a killer. Also, Vigilantes and Breakers (for voting ties) have been included.

There are more details, yes, but that's enough for a basic description. Given the amount of people that enjoy Werewolf, I think it'd be interesting to try it here.

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May 28, 2007 - 01:03 PM
Creationism vs. Evolution
I once had a discussion with a group of atheists on the subject. I learned that many in that group not only wanted Creationism to not be taught as a science (which I agree with) but that steps should be taken to obliterate it altogether (which I don't). It seems that they feel this "illogical" explanation for the world has no merit, that it's like the classic "the world is flat" notion in that it's not true and that people should stop believing it.

Now, I'm not saying that I fully believe in either Creationism or Evolution. I lie somewhere in-between, with a loosely merged idea. But this notion of a certain belief being obliterated just because it's wrong seems problematic to me, mainly because it would be hard to draw a line. Let's say that someone's belief in Creationism is some sort of driving force, a part of their life that affects how they do things. Perhaps it makes them nicer, more helpful people because they feel a sense of brotherhood with other humans. Whatever the case, Creationism is part of their life. What happens when that's gone? What happens to that person? They've been stripped of a potentially key part of their individual culture. This would most likely have an ill effect, assuming that the belief led to positive traits in the person's character.

There have been times when people have tried to convert others to ways of thinking, claiming that their system of living or belief structure is "wrong". And what has happened? Those cultures are usually drastically changed, sometimes not for the better, as it leads to heightened warfare or the spread of disease.

People need to realize that logic and notions of right and wrong aren't nearly as clear-cut and "black and white" as they believe them to be. Just because someone happens to think something is illogical doesn't make it so.

There shouldn't be Creationism vs. Evolution, but a few stubborn people in the world won't let themselves lose the argument.

Currently Playing: with my War of the Words story

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May 19, 2007 - 10:40 AM
Spider-Man 3 Game & Monitor Oddity
My brother recently purchased Spider-Man 3 for Wii. I actually don't really like the game. There's too many voice-over issues, a couple of graphical glitches, a couple of game glitches, uncertainty in regards to how a mission was failed, and other problems.

Then he bought a player's guide (mainly for the map that displays the locations of some collectibles items--a terrible, terrible map) which showed me what happens in the other version of the game. For some reason, the story is different (such as the final fight, how Spidey wears the black suit, etc.), there are different numbers of gangs, and large portions of the 360/PS3/PC game are noticeably missing from the Wii version. I know Various Visions worked on the Wii one instead of Treyarch, but why are the games so different? Why does the Wii version have a different story, fewer (and different) villains, less city, fewer missions, and fewer collectibles? I don't understand. And it really affects my liking the game.

When I came downstairs to get online and type this, my monitor started going wonky. The visual on the screen was squeezing in and then stretching back out, like a breathing motion, like somebody was playing with the menu options. I'm glad it stopped, but I fear that it may start again. I don't want to have to find another monitor.

EDIT: And now I notice that, probably as a result of the earlier "breathing", everything on-screen in curved. It's quite strange and a little annoying.

Currently Playing: in the Training Simulator

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May 17, 2007 - 01:19 PM
Under the Weather
For about the last day or so I've been fighting some kind of illness. I'm groggy, have a sore throat, and conflicting nasal problems. I've also coughed a little, but I think that was related to mucus if nothing else. I took some medicine, I think. My mom gave me some kind of purple dissolving strip (like those Listerine things) that was supposed to help. Unfortunately, it hasn't.

I'm hoping it will pass.

Random thought: We're often literally "under the weather", depending on what weather is being referenced.

Currently Playing: as Thing, Daredevil, Deadpool, and Spider Woman

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May 15, 2007 - 02:17 PM
Two Product Ideas
I was weed-whackin' Friday when an idea hit me: the weed whacker needs a plexiglass shield. It's possible this has already been thought of. Maybe I'm just behind. But this idea just reaffirmed its validity every time I got hit with some stray piece of grass.

When I made lunch yesterday(?) I decided that someone needs to make a microwave cover. I mean in the sense of having something to cover food in the microwave. I'm sure most of us rely on paper towels, napkins, or rags of some kind. Perhaps having some sort of plastic, adjustable, rewashable item wouldn't save much. Perhaps there are current microwave containers that pretty much satisfy this idea. But it's just something that crossed my mind.

Currently Playing: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

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May 9, 2007 - 02:05 PM
Birthday/Life Update
After coming home, I finally got some birthday gifts. First was a trip to the theater to see Spider-Man 3. It really doesn't need everything it has in there and there are a couple of glitches, but it's a pretty good movie overall. At least it's better than the first one.

The only other gift I received was Marvel: Ultimate Alliance for the Wii, which is quite engaging. It's hard to pry myself away from it, but I must, as someone needs that TV and I have things to do. It's interesting that the controls don't require the use of the Wii remote, but it is recommended in some instances.

Why did I come home? Because I'm out for the summer. Which means I will now be on less, not that it really matters much for GFF. I'll be looking for a job and I might be taking a summer class. Other than that, my summer should be rather free, which will be nice.

Currently Playing: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance

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Apr 23, 2007 - 09:01 AM
Destiny or Free Will?
Over the past few weeks, I've been doing a lot of questioning in regards to religion. It probably has a lot to do with my exposure to time-travel and alternate-reality stories, or at least my thinking about them more than usual, but I eventually came upon the topic within the title of this entry.

If we do have a destiny, that time is already set and we can do nothing, then we don't have free will. I tried a few ways of thinking to try to get around this notion, that we might be able to have both, but nothing works. If I have a destiny, I have no free will, as I have to fulfill that destiny. I will make decisions that lead to that ultimate fate.

If I have free will, I choose my own fate. The only destiny I get to be sure of is dying one day. I make choices without influence, without being guided by some unseen force. With free will, there is no destiny (at least as many reference it).

This flow of logic extended from and back into what I think of time travel. My notion of time being a stream, an unalterable line that cannot be changed, naturally lends itself to the notion of destiny. Other, more common, options-- altering history causes an alternate reality or rewrites history--seem to allow for either free will or destiny.

My dislike of time travel that isn't cyclical is a pretty defining characteristic. And yet, I didn't see that that characteristic conflicts with my belief in free will. I don't know which way to go.

Then I hit on a religious conundrum. If God is omniscient, how can we have free will? If he knows what we're going to decide and what's going to happen, are we not destined to go along that path? If He isn't fully omniscient, but still pretty close, it could be that He sees all the possibilities, but doesn't truly know what will happen in many cases because the individual determines that.

I've hit on a thought path that could damage the very fabric of my being. I would greatly appreciate thoughts, as I can't form my own conclusions.

Currently Playing: Wii Play

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Apr 19, 2007 - 06:05 PM
I Miss Being a Kid
Remember childhood? When almost everything made sense? When you didn't think about the things that don't make sense? I do. It was nice.

Now I have all these thoughts and all this knowledge, some of which I don't want. It makes the world harder to live in when you realize you don't have all the answers, or at least nothing satisfactory. I had them when I was a kid. But those answers became either flawed or exited my mind over time.

So what would I like for my birthday? Childlike imagination and ingenuity. That's not to say I want to lose all the knowledge I have. That wouldn't be good at all. But it would certainly be nice not to have to think as much.

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Apr 16, 2007 - 03:17 PM
Not a Bad Day
I thought I was having a bad day. I woke up late. I received some unfortunate quizzes. I had to scramble to type and outline for this presentation I'm doing tomorrow. I met with my fellow presenters about tomorrow, which accomplished very little.

But I'm not having a bad day. All it takes is one mass-death to put things in perspective. Things could be better, true. But they could be far, far worse.

In cases like these, I'd normally be inspired to write something, mostly to take my mind off of things. But I lack acces to the things I would truly like to work on. I lack a prompt for my next War of the Words assignment. I lack any other ideas. So, I won't write something, save this, I guess.

I pray those who are injured, physically and mentally, can be helped.

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Apr 14, 2007 - 02:26 PM
Journal Direction
I wanted to try this on my blog, but a lack of readership stopped it. So I guess I'll do it here.

Slowly, I've realized that I make entries in this journal less and less. I really don't know why that is, but I feel some of it comes from a lack of inspiration. I know that sometimes, I want to make an entry and then just have no idea what to talk about.

Maybe I should leave it up to you readers. Suggest stuff for me to make entries about. It can be anything, from mundane to hysterical. I just need something. And I'm hoping this will me get back into the stride of making entries.

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Apr 9, 2007 - 05:24 PM
A Thought
Recently, I reached a great conclusion. There's no way to explain everything.

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Mar 27, 2007 - 02:35 PM
Today's Thoughts
Two items made me really think today. One was a line written on the elevator doors. The other was a discussion that came up in one of my classes.

The written line was something akin to "We will not be remembered for what we create, but what we destroy." I just nodded at first, but soon came to realize that that isn't true. Inventors are remembered for the things they created. As are authors, artists, etc. Large structures from civilizations gone by such as the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China are quite well known. It is possible that we will be remembered for what we create. That is not to say that what we destroy will be lost to history. Wars and crimes have their own legacy, whether it being burning down a village or sacking an empire. It seems to me that whomever wrote that is pessimistic.

The discussion was about the media inciting fear. I am not a fan of the news and have seen people become fearful of things based on news reports. However, I don't think the media does incite fear. I think the news, sometimes with a certain bias, portrays tragic or disturbing events and that some of the people watching become fearful. I imagine it's a psychological thing. I know that I've been able to watch the news countless times and not become fearful of things, as have others. So the blame cannot entirely rest on the media. There has to be some sort of individual reason that a person responds the way they do. I do dislike the news for a few reasons, but causing fear isn't one of them.

Also, Jack Bauer destroyed Gamingforce. It's the only thing that makes sense.

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Mar 25, 2007 - 07:04 PM
No Elevators
I went home this weekend. After some interaction with my family, some Wiiing, some comic-book-reading, helping my dad fix the toilet, and watching The Prestige, I came back.

I brought back with me the same amount of laundry I took (which filled the suitcase and the basket) and I brought back snacks, including two twelve-packs of root beer. Shortly before entering the dorm, I learned that the elevators were out. I was forced to walk up eight flights of stairs twice (and down once, but you could figure that), the second time being easier than the first due to the amount of weight.

I was tired for several minutes. So much so that I drank a bottle of warm water.

In any case, I'm only mildly tired. I thought about naming this entry "Weekend Update" and doing an entry that sounded like it came off SNL (with the events of importance being those mentioned above). I lack the energy.

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Mar 23, 2007 - 08:26 AM
For the past few weeks or so, I've been trying to figure out why I'm distant from others. By that I mean that I avoid contact, restrain emotions, and generally remain a private person.

Walking from the Dining Hall to my dorm after breakfast just a short time ago, it all hit me. I could literally see all the events I could remember that had affected me. The physical injury. The moving. The relationships. The arguments. The bullying. I could see it all. I could see how each event compounded on the other. I could see myself slowly becoming what I am now.

It was only for a moment, but that was all I needed. Everything came together. Now I don't know what to do.

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Mar 22, 2007 - 09:18 PM
I Feel Like Making an Entry
I don't know why, but I don't make as many entries as I used to. I know I don't have any fewer thoughts. Maybe I'm just reluctant to talk about class-provoked thoughts every entry.

In any case, there was an item that came up in my bookmaking class. (It's pretty much free-form discussion some days.) My teacher was discussing how he had read recently how some freshmen in college (or at least those described in the book) "hook up" with other students.

Two female classmates mentioned how they have friends (at least one each) from New Jersey. Apparently, according to these friends from New Jersey, hooking up is when they make out with a person. According to my classmates, who were raised in the South, they'd be taught hooking up involved sex.

Maybe I'm just naive or maybe I was too sheltered, but I always thought that "hooking up" was just a term used to describe getting a date. Hell, I've heard people say they're hooking up with friends. So unless the term means one thing in one case and another thing in another case, that would make no sense.

Needless to say, I was a little bewildered.

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Mar 15, 2007 - 06:32 PM
Clue Revisited
I recently determined the reason my GFF Clue idea failed. Dice rolls. I imagine it would run smoother and faster if the players didn't have to move to get to rooms. They'd be limited to adjacent rooms and could still be pulled to another location. Or maybe it was the confusion that seemed to surround the suspicions.

I'd give it another go, but I've got enough going on as it is. That, and I lack the confidence to try, considering how so few of my thread ideas go anywhere...

Currently Playing: The Traitor Game and Werewolf

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Mar 13, 2007 - 03:12 PM
American Indian Awareness Quiz
This semester, I've been taking Anthropology. For the past two classes, we've been going over this "Indian Awareness Inventory" (as it's labeled) that is simply a true and false quiz based around what the three men that drafted it (two American Indians and one anthropologist) determined were or could be general thoughts regarding that culture.

So, I thought I'd make a journal entry where you guys can try. A few trick questions have been removed. Beware; over thirty questions ahead!

1) Since many Indian people live close to nature, they tend to be healthier than non-Indians.
This is false for two reasons. Sixty percent live in cities and are also not healthier.

2) Most Indians are proud of being Indian.
This is true.

3) Most Indian men do not need to shave.
This is, perhaps not-so-clearly, false.

4) Because of past treaties, Indian people do not have to register for the Armed Forces.
This is false.

5) Indian people have the highest suicide rate of any group in the U.S.
Sadly, this is true.

6) Most Indian people do not pay taxes.
This is false.

7) On the majority of reservations, Indian people need permission to leave.
More lies!

8) Many Indian men still refer to their wives as squaws.
Squaw is practically an equivalent to "cunt". One wonders if they ever called their wives that. But they don't currently.

9) Indian tribes are culturally deprived in some parts of the country.
I really want to know how you deprive someone of culture. False.

10) Most Indian children attend Bureau of Indian Affairs schools.
Only about ten percent do, which clearly isn't most.

11) Most Indians are carefree and happy people.
Let's see. They live in unhealthy conditions and have a high suicide rate. I'll go with false.

12) Because of religious beliefs, many Indians do not carry insurance.
This is false.

13) Indians use the phrase "low man on the totem pole" to refer to a person in a group who has the lowest status.
False. The "low man" on a totem pole is really the most important one on the pole, as that is the founding ancestor.

14) Most Indians have high cheekbones.
This is false.

15) In some states, Indian people are not to vote in elections.
This is false.

16) Twenty percent of Indian families have no houses of their own.
Sadly, this is true.

17) Because of conflicting values, Indian people tend to have a high rate of failure in business.
This is false.

18) The academic achievement level of most Indian children is below that of white children.
That's true, for a variety of factors.

19) Because of their sense of direction, Indian people who come to the city can find their way around.
This is false.

20) Indian people to be good farmers because of their reverence for the land.
This is false.

21) In the last 75 years, Indians have lost over forty percent of their land.
Another sad, but true, statement.

22) Indian athletes tend to be long-distance runners rather than sprinters.
This is false.

23) A person who is one-fifth Indian is called a "half-breed".
One-fifth does not equal one-half. A person cannot even be one-fifth of something genetically. As such, this statement is false.

24) Indians tend to die younger than non-Indians.
With higher infant death and a higher suicide count, the life expectancy for them is about sixty these days. The statements is true.

25) An Indian man received a war bonnet when he became chief.
This is false, as normally those bonnets formed over time, after several battles. In some cases, when the chief was not the war leader, that said leader would gain the bonnet over time.

26) The majority of Indian youth drop out of school by the tenth grade.
Just once I want a non-depressing true statement. Just once.

27) Some Indians get funds from the U.S. government for living on a reservation.
This is false.

28) Fewer than five percent of Indian children have an Indian children.
{sighs} It's true...

29) Many Indian men make good auto mechanics because of their experience with arts and handicrafts.
It would be true if it weren't for that because statement.

30) Indians comprise less than one percent of the total population of the U.S.
That's true. They comprise about .8 percent of the population.

31) President Nixon stated publicly that Native Americans are the most deprived and isolated group in our nation.
He did say that. And Clinton seemed to agree when he visited a reservation during his administration.

32) The average income of Indian Americans is $5000-$6000.
That's true.

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Mar 12, 2007 - 11:36 AM
Good Week, Bad Weekend
My college makes us use Cisco Clean Access Agent (if we have Windows) in order to access the Internet. When I upgraded AVG Saturday, I learned that the version of Access Agent the school uses doesn't support AVG 7.5. So, without Internet, my weekend was really quite dull and unenjoyable. It didn't help that the Dining Hall wasn't open until yesterday evening.

The week before this past weekend, however, was great. I read the first thirty-one issues of Dreadstar (a comic from the eighties). I did a sketch of Beast (that I need sent to me so I can clean it up an post it). I played a fair amount of Wii Sports, which made my right arm hurt until yesterday afternoon. I was able to see 100 Winners. I enjoyed the company of my family and pets. Overall, it was a pretty good week. Too bad that stopped me from fully taking part in GFF Risk or reading all the stuff I'd normally read (journal entries, War of the Words stories, etc.).

Now I have Ubuntu. Once I gain access to the F: drive, I'll be good to go.

I hope everyone else is doing okay.

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Mar 4, 2007 - 02:02 PM
Spring Break
What a time for Spring Break to hit!

I come home to find the downstairs still slightly flooded from a recent rainstorm, my brother having trouble with his friends, and my sister in Washington, D.C.

On top of that, with both Werewolf games, War of the Words, and GFF Risk, I have to check back here every so often. This dial-up is kind of getting in my way. Due to all that, I won't be able to read other people's journals or other WotW entries. Also, I probably won't be able to post in many new threads.

On a more positive note, I was able to read the past two weeks of comics (about a dozen or so), finish a Martian Manhunter drawing (available on request), and watch some PlayMania.

One of these days, I'll have to get online an complete a brief assignment for one of my classes. I have a reading assignment for a presentation I have to do next week that I'll get done at some point.

My life is a little hectic right now, to say the least. Perhaps during the week, when everyone's at work, I can get online more. As it is, I welcome the reprieve from constant Internet access because it will allow me the ability to focus on other things.

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Mar 1, 2007 - 08:25 AM
Shower Too Short?
I'll set the scene so that you can understand. Every day, it seems, the people across the hall gather their friends. They play video games, chat, watch TV, and other stuff. They frequently do this with their door open.

Last night, I needed to take a shower. So, I gathered my things and went to take a shower. A few of those across the hall (the ones not distracted by the pretty colors of the TV) saw me leave.

When I return from taking the shower, I clearly hear a girl maybe five feet from me tell a nearby guy something like, "That was one damn quick shower." She emphasized her thoughts on the quickness of my shower repeatedly, probably because the guy she was talking to hadn't been paying attention. I got the impression that she found this disturbing, perhaps because she thought I hadn't adequately cleaned myself or something.

I can't know for certain whether my shower was too short. But I know I was in there for at least fifteen minutes, which is my normal showering time. Now maybe she thought less time had passed, based on all that fun she was having. Or maybe everyone she knows takes a long time in the shower. I don't know.

In any case, is my shower time too low? If so, what do I do to kill the rest of the time?

Currently Playing: with trucks in a place called Nebula

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Feb 26, 2007 - 02:43 PM
In Honor of Superhero Week
Given the number of comic-book-related avatars I've done in the past, I decided not participate in this event. And Snowknight gave me an idea. Have an animated GIF of a bunch of heroes. I went to work gathering fifty different images, trying to cover a variety of heroes and get my favorites from Marvel and DC. He graciously put them together.

Unfortunately, due to the avatar file size limit of 30 KB, I cannot use it.

In any case, here it is:

Currently Playing: Wooooorms!

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Feb 23, 2007 - 07:37 PM
What Better Way?
naz has somewhat randomly decided to start a Werewolf game where pretty much anything goes, where anyone on the board can be voted for/killed. He has also asked me to recruit others.

What better way than journal advertising?

Go here to play.

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Feb 23, 2007 - 10:45 AM
Odd Experience and Name Trouble
Last night, as I was going to sleep, I saw a strobing white light hit the ceiling above my bed. It proceeded to cross the room and then slowly fade away. It was akin to when I'm in a house and a car drives by. Except in this case, it couldn't have been a car because I'm eight stories up. I didn't see anything outside. I wonder what it was.

Too many people have the same first name as me. When I was younger, I didn't know anyone with the same name as me. Only occasionally did I notice that someone on a game show or an actor in movie shared my name. I didn't actually meet anyone with my name until high school. Now I'm in college and ever other day, it seems, I hear someone call my name. Every time I glance in the direction of the voice, only to see them calling someone else.

So it's not my name, I guess. It's just a name, which many others share...

Currently Playing: with even more trucks

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Feb 20, 2007 - 08:48 PM
The Final Draft
Recently, someone graciously colored the Magneto drawing I completed last weekend. This is the end result:

I wish the I could have done a better job with the belt buckle and the nose could be better, but overall I'm happy with it, especially since I haven't tried to draw a character in a few years. Perhaps if I draw more, I'll get better. As it is, I lack the drive or inspiration.

Currently Playing: with trucks (now with more colors!)

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Feb 19, 2007 - 09:26 AM
Weekend Review
I had a good weekend, for the most part.

The highlights:
I read twenty-three comic books, most of which are good.

I saw the Ghost Rider movie. It's not bad, but not wonderful. Overall, pretty entertaining, though. Perhaps I'll do a more in-depth review soon.

I finished a drawing of Magneto I've been working on.

I was able to play some more on my Wii. It seems to unloved at home, what with everyone having jobs and me being at school. Poor Wii.

I helped fix dinner for my dad's birthday. He wanted everyone to fix or provide one food item to the meal. My mom provided the appetizer-combo of yeast rolls and potato soup. My brother provided the ham entrée. I fixed some stuffing (it could've turned out better) as a side-item. My sister fixed a red velvet cake for dessert. It was a nice meal, but I've had better. The important thing is that my dad was satisfied.

That was my weekend.

Currently Playing: with trucks

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Feb 13, 2007 - 06:20 PM
Days of Busy
Starting tonight, I'm going to be busy. I've got a C++ lab test tomorrow morning that I need to study for. I have three attempts at a math quiz that I need to take because it counts a fifth of my final grade. I have reading and studying to do for an Anthropology test on Thursday. And, perhaps the easiest part, I've got a short story due on Thursday.

After all that, I still have three classes on Thursday and then a four-day weekend at home.

Needless to say, I'm not going to be on nearly as much. I'll definitely still try to vote every (game-defined) day in Werewolf, but if I don't comment much, you'll know why.

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Feb 9, 2007 - 09:50 AM
This Week in TV
  • Prison Break: This is the best it's been for a while. Every story was good, Kellerman figured out what I already knew, Kim proved his inability to handle a crisis tactfully, and Belleck becomes a bit more interesting. My only problem, based on next week's preview, is that I'm starting to doubt that any of the escapees other than the brothers will survive.
  • 24: The best episode since the premiere. I still don't like that "I can't do this anymore" Jack died after the explosion. I still don't like the incorporation of a previously-unknown Bauer family being terrorists and wanting to kill Jack for unknown reasons. But the twist near the end, though predictable, was a nice touch. The President's in trouble. Morris is in trouble. CTU is about to harbor a terrorist. And the only lead still leads nowhere. Dramatic.
  • CSI: Miami: They've done this before. That doesn't make the episode any less great on its own, but that fact remains. A known criminal breaks free from custody and wrecks havoc. The dead kid case was seemingly pointless and lacked sensible detail, but it helped show some character in Ryan, and that's good. I think the second shot at Eric would have had more shock value if we had seen the other shooter. As it is, he got shot by a faceless enemy from some unknown vantage point. Still a shocking moment, though.

  • Boston Legal: Last week's episode kick this week's ass. I don't see the point to the pregnancy other than adding more tension in the office or addressing abortion. I hope it does go somewhere that's at least interesting. And the cases did nothing for me. The memory pill case was quite intriguing, but I kept feeling like Shirley didn't want the case and didn't seem happy about winning. Alan and Denny's relationship gets stranger every episode. At least the Clarence plot was good.

  • MythBusters: It was old. And an episode I had seen. I was disappointed.
  • CSI: NY: Thanks to the Duke game, I had to watch this online yesterday. It was quite good. It wasn't particularly exciting, but I found nothing wrong with it other than that.

  • Survivor: I was uncertain whether I would like this incarnation going in. I'm still uncertain. I will probably have to test it for a few more weeks. The main problem with this beginner is that it focused too much on certain individuals. I know few names and even fewer personalities. There was almost no time spent on the green tribe at all.
  • CSI:: Wow. Just wow. This episode was so good, I can't get it out of my head. It was absolutely wonderful. It made me feel for Katherine (a rare feat, to be sure) and kept me on edge towards the end. I still don't quite understand what happened in Kepler's past, but that doesn't really affect the overall story itself.

Maybe I need to watch more shows. Maybe I need to find something for Friday.

Currently Playing: Pikmin 2's Challenge Mode

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Feb 3, 2007 - 10:43 AM
Someone Explain Things...
As much as I don't like commenting about board events in my journal, I am truly curious why LeHah and Denicalis (both of who I disliked for a period of time due to this thread) were banned.

It seems to me that there is ChocoJournal drama that I am not aware of. From what I've been reading in the two ban-related threads, something happened in ChocoJournal in both cases. Deni apparently asked to be banned somewhere.

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Feb 2, 2007 - 08:14 PM
Why Won't It Go Away?
One of the most baffling, headache-inducing concepts is time travel. In some instances, I can enjoy it, but explaining time travel is mentally exhausting.

In comics, there seems to be a time-travel story every few weeks. The concept constantly appears in other media, largely in movies and TV. Just look at Heroes, The 4400, and even The Lake House.

And it pops up in conversation, especially on message boards. Why won't it go away? Why is the concept of time travel so popular?

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Feb 2, 2007 - 05:36 PM
Alternate Reality Problem
I'm a big fan of the comic book Exiles, a Marvel comic following a rotating team of characters that jump from reality to reality in order to fix them (kind of like Quantum Leap, but with alternate timelines instead of just one). But there's one point about them moving through alternate realities that bugs me.

Ever since issue #3 (which refers to story written back in 1980), it's been said that different universes move at different rates. To help you understand, I'll use a more recent example.

Marvel once published a line of comics called 2099 A.D. In a story arc last year, the Exiles visited a universe similar to one represented in those comics. They visited the year 2099 while in the mainstream Marvel universe it is the current year (whatever that happens to be). So, one reality they visit has had more years than others.

This concept apparently came up on the TV show Sliders, which attempted to explain the phenomenon. It did an okay job explaining how one Earth can have more years than another. But if these explanations (such as the Earth rotating slower in one reality as opposed to another), how did civilization progress the same?

Okay, so maybe it isn't that the Earth moves or rotates slower, but that each individual universe started at different times. But, unfortunately, that can't be true because the Multiverse (which includes all Marvel realities) was rebooted. Each and every reality was destroyed and reborn at the same time, according to former story.

So, maybe it's that time moves at different rates within each timeline. The main problem with this notion, though, is that it's entirely random. One universe is currently in 2099, another stuck in the late 80s, and another in present-day. Other realities, including the home realities of some of the Exiles, move at the same rate as the mainstream Marvel universe. There's no rhyme or reason as to why a particular universe moves at the rate it does. It just does. How do the same events happen? I don't know. How come things don't seem to happen slower or faster? That might be due to the teleporting system. But in any case, this last theory requires an even further explanation. Why are the laws of time different for certain realities?

And that's where I'm stuck. In order to circumvent this nagging question, I came up with the theory that they actually travel through time to the point in the timeline where the reality needs fixing. That their transporter or teleporter or whatever sends them to the right point.

The Exiles were gathered by a group of beings that damaged the other realities by visiting them and doing... something. What happened hasn't been fully explained. The provided vague explanation, if it can be called that, is all we have. This theory of time travel might make readers wonder why these beings don't just send the Exiles back to whatever point at which they messed up the reality. But I say we don't know what that point is. It could be that that's exactly what they're doing. Barring more details on what the beings did in the first, I can see nothing to dispute my logic.

Currently Playing: with the Wii

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Jan 31, 2007 - 08:23 PM
Abundant Swearing
Tonight I went to a spaghetti dinner for my dorm floor. The food was good, despite the interruption of a fire drill.

But the most interesting part of the evening came when an attendee arrived and immediately began berating another person in the room. This girl (Girl 1) was complaining about something the other girl (Girl 2) had apparently said in relation to her (Girl 1). As it turned out, it was a misunderstanding. Someone had misinterpreted something Girl 2 had said, which led to the inadvertent escalation of previously settled conflict. Girl 1 was largely upset about being on the wrong side of someone she had come to terms with earlier. And after Girl 1 finished shouting complaints, she stormed off momentarily. Girl 2 was brought to tears briefly, but this isn't about Girl 2.

Now, to the title of the entry. Girl 2, in the midst of raving, topped LeHah in the swearing department. To the casual listener, as I was, it almost seemed as if she were saying "shit" every five words or so. As I listened, I started to think of the occasional skit where someone runs a TV or movie clip and counts the number of times someone says or does something. I imagine the number would've risen rather quickly.

Why do I find the use of such language interesting? Because I don't understand it. Perhaps it's contextual. Perhaps she did so simply because she was upset. Perhaps she did it so that her words would be harsher and affect their target moreso than otherwise. It's probably a combination of the two. She was clearly upset, but she also believed that Girl 2 was intentionally "stirring up shit."

However, I know other people that are both very open with their thoughts towards others and, even in heightened argumentative state, do not swear that much. For example, my sister occasionally uses curse words when in an argument with my brother or when commenting on something that agitates her. Sometimes she apologizes, attempting to not be offensive I suppose, but even if she doesn't she never ends up using that many.

This girl seemed to believe all her problems were shit. "...stirring up this shit." "I don't fuckin' need this shit." "I'm tired of this shit." And so forth. As I listened to her raving like a lunatic, I caught very little of what she was saying after Girl 2 explained herself. She was still yelling and cursing, that much I know. This encounter certainly didn't paint her in a kind light and she certainly didn't resolve anything on her own. As it turned out, she was verbally attacking Girl 2 for no reason, for Girl 2 had done nothing wrong, or so she claimed. The tears add credence to that.

I guess I am ranting about something I have no conclusions on. It was mildly annoying, but was very interesting. I was captivated by her anger.

This is what comes from "people watching".

Currently Playing: PIKMIN 2

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Jan 29, 2007 - 12:09 PM
A Great, Great Weekend
I went home for the weekend, initially because my brother's birthday is today. I ended up having little leisure time, save Friday evening.

On Saturday, I attended a one-day comic book convention and ended up buying eight comics for nine dollars. Oddly enough, the ended up all being Marvel, though I certainly didn't go there with that intent.

After spending a few hours there, I headed back home and went with my family to my brother's birthday dinner at Olive Garden. I am still not impressed with Olive Garden.

I spent most of Sunday on the road, but the highlight of that day was:

And I notice there have been features added to the journal. I can include emoticons! And the request for the mood length being longer was finally answered. Very nice.

Currently Playing: Pikmin 2, Wii Sports, BIG TRUCKS

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Jan 25, 2007 - 10:55 PM
Rough Werewolf Idea
The scientist Acro-nym had finally finished his greatest scientific achievement. Now all he needed was at least one test subject. After making some phone calls around the city, he found his subject and set a test date and place. Unfortunately, that subject had a big mouth and told all his friends, who promptly their friends, which led to various other people learning about it just through eavesdropping.

When the test day came and the group, consisting of all kinds of people, even including mob members, gathered at the test site. Acro-nym arrived with his weird machine and a weird look on his face. But, despite the large number of people, he trudged on. Speaking as loud as possible, he said, "I appreciate all of you coming, especially since you don't know what the experiment is. I am here to test my latest invention, the machine you see before you. It is a time machine. It will zap you forward or backward in time, as you would like, assuming it works properly. Now, I want to do this with one person at a time, so please form a nice line and we can get started."

There was an uproar. People were fighting to be the first in line to be the guinea pig for this revolutionary machine. While reviewing his manual, Acro-nym turned his back for a moment. In that moment, things went horribly wrong. In the shoving to be first, someone accidentally kicked the time travel machine. A loud revving noise could be heard. Everyone paused. Acro-nym turned around just in time to see his invention lighting up. He rushed to turn it off, but it was too late. With a loud ZAP! the crowd was struck with a wave of light. Everyone save Acro-nym, who had been behind the machine, disappeared.
This game would be somewhat like the Quantum Leap TV series in which the players hop through time. They travel into the bodies of their ancestors (and descendants, if need be). Affects of the temporal displacement vary (