Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bouncing Back

I owe this blog my latest adventures in the 12 Days of Christmas run, but first, a small message from our sponsors. Well, me.

Long are the days where motivation lacked,
Long do I tire of rejoicing over a B,
When a C on tests I have received.
Long do I tire of sliding along, of not doing all I can.

Tired of the low motivation.

Three weeks I have from now until school begins again.
Three weeks to either flitter away my time,
or to be productive and regain motivation
To set goals and noble habits
To not just laze about.

I have the desire, for I tire of what I have become
But the question is, do I have the will?
To stick it through? To keep at projects
To keep going even when I tire?

The doubt is there,
The temptation to play is strong.
I can only hope I can fulfill the goals of productivity.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Challenge

In attempts to regularly blog again, I am posting this years' 12 Days of Christmas Adventures. Last night was Day 1 and I left this note, along with some craft-type decoration birds on the doorstep of some girls in my ward/congregation.

I believe I escaped detection. But, there is an overlooking window and some stairs that creak to get there, so I do have to be careful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thoughts on Pottermore

For some who are not aware, J.K. Rowling partnered with Sony to create an interactive experience for Harry Potter fans. Having been on for 48 hours, hear are my thoughts:

  • New material; there are a ton of new images to look at including some of Rowling's personal comments and notes. For example, it is revealed on the site that Professor MacGonagal was once married.
  • Mouse and Button Listeners; i.e. the individual pages of the site. As you go through you see scenes of some of the chapters. Bits of the scenery moves when you move the mouse over it. You can collect Chocolate frogs, books, other stuff for house points and what not. With the up and down buttons you can interact with a different layer of the same page. It's cool.
  • Nice layout, with how everything is displayed.
  • There is some complex formula at work that sorts you into a house, and gets you a wand.
  • At the moment you can only practice casting spells, basically following a pattern with your mouse and clicking on integral parts of the spell.
  • Potions. You can brew various potions and they have to be exact or they go wrong. You add in the wrong ingredient, your cauldron could explode and you lose house points. Or it just fizzles if you are too slow. The wand shooting lightning at the potion to let it brew... that's kind of odd.
  • House Competition; in the Great Hall you can see how many points each house has. Currently Ravenclaw leads Slytherin 54,974 to 54,866.
  • Server space. This is the biggest flaw at the moment. There are currently 477,385 people registered for Pottermore and that is only with limited registration. The IT guys at Sony or whoever maintains the back end failed to anticipate the inordinate amount of traffic the site gets. The site often goes down for minutes or hours at a time because there are so many people trying to get on and have fun. Pottermore is going to need to drastically increase the number of their servers so the site doesn't crash all the time.
  • Commenting. It's limited to 150 characters or so and thus makes it hard to see if someone responds to you. Especially if 1000 others comment at the same time. Additionally, though I don't know for sure, I believe Pottermore employs some sort of selection sort method that checks every word you comment against an existing dictionary. While the upside is that everyone has to use proper English and there will be no l33t speak shenanigans, if you want to use words in another language or even a word like "Nazgul" (which some images of the book 1 chess pieces do resemble), it gets flagged for moderation. With thousands of people all commenting; it is sure to eat up a lot of processes. Great for ensuring no little kid sees swearing I suppose. Which could be their aim.
  • Limited friend capability. Currently with those you friend, you can only send them an item as a gift and, when the dueling feature is up, engage in duels with friends. There is no direct communication. No way to say hi or whatnot. Again, probably protecting minors, but not so great for those who want to talk to those that send friend requests. Unless you know them outside of Pottermore.
  • Feedback. It asks how much you like the site. It doesn't ask for comments or about problems. It just has you select how much you like certain features, like how the site looks. 
  • The House Cup and points. With near half a million users and climbing, house points are going to become exceedingly large. There is nowhere saying when the House Cup will be awarded. It might be a quarterly thing, it might not. Right now it is just an arbitrary competition based on who participates the most on the site by either picking up random goodies or making potions.
  • Potions: This problem is related to the site crashing. The potions made require over an hour of brew time where you let the potion sit. With site crashes and bandwidth issues, it means that a lot of potions go bad and you have to start over. Also, aside from giving potions to friends, you cannot do anything with them.
Conclusion; while the site design and interacting with the site is cool, especially with the inside details of the Harry Potter universe, the servers set it back. Yes, it is still in beta, but the IT side of things should have anticipated the need to have more servers. The limited communication I don't approve of, but Rowling and Sony may be restricting this to protect minors. And from what it seems, the goal is more to roleplay and interact with the site than others, except in magic duels. But... right now it seems like an attempt to take from some online fan rpg elements and make it into a semi interactive site. But it is still under construction. Currently the house point competition could go on forever, the potions are useless except as a way to get points. Reading new stuff is cool. So the main criticism is of the design and IT side of things. And sooner or later ads will be introduced. How else is this going to be paid for?

My piece of advice to J.K. Rowling though? Run from Sony and make a deal with Blizzard. Sony is great for hardware stuff, radios and computers and game consoles and whatnot. Not good at software. They have been hacked multiple times the past year and if security is anything like theirs, it is easy to hack. Blizzard on the other hand has worked with things like Battlenet for over 11 years, plus World of Warcraft. They have 12 million users, and thus know a things or two about server management. Switch to them and let them host your site. Things will go much smoother traffic wise. Plus, they are more creative than Sony in regards to games and challenges. They'd be able to have everything running smoothly and then some.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

And So It Continues

A few years back I gained asthma from laughing too hard. That sounded like the end of the story, right? Just use the inhaler whenever it is needed, no big deal right?

Well last week I went to renew my prescription for my Albuterol. So they did some standard breathing test thing, and apparently I am breathing at 56% lung capacity. I know, crazy. Maybe I have been breathing this way since 2008, maybe it is a result of the dry pneumonia that I got in January. I don't know. But I was given some pill, so we'll see if my breathing capacity increases at all.

But this just goes to prove that I am right about the fact that I will die from laughter.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Puzzles and Doing What You Love

Last week at the local Orthodontia, the tooth doc had a young man with him, someone training to be an orthodontist as well I presume. As the doc's hands were in my mouth, he was telling the doc-in-training about his job.

The doc said that while some could see Orthodontia as a tedious work, as something boring since the braces are all the same, he sees it as a puzzle. That every mouth is different, a puzzle. And that is what brings him to work each day, the challenge of solving the puzzle. Cause you have to do different things with those braces for every single person.

Just something that got me thinking about how we should love what we do and find joy in our work.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Start of a Murder Mystery?

Two men on a peak, armed with nothing but camera phones, a backpack and some water. Staring over a valley watching as clouds rolled in with a hint of thunder and lightning in the background.

As the first drops of rain began to fall, the two men hurried down the mountain path, hoping to get to their vehicle before the rains turned from sprinkle to torrent, and that no lightning would strike near them.

The two men managed to get to their vehicle right before the rains began to fall heavily, and drove down the dirt road celebrating their good fortune.

But at a bend of the road, stood a deer. Fortunately the driver's friend saw the deer and they stopped in time to watch the deer sprint back into the forest.

But naught 50 yards down the road stood a woman. A woman soaked by the rains who happened to be staring at the deer as well. A woman of long brown hair and jovial appearance. Cute. And requesting a ride.

The two men acquiesced to her request, and she ran to tell her group that she got a ride. The two men wondered if their short lives were about to come to an end. Would she come back with a weapon; an axe or a gun?

Thankfully naught but the truth left the maiden's lips and soon they were on their way down the mountain, watching as mist rose from the road below.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just A Little Random

Once upon a June eve, someone shared with me an image from a blog. A simple message really. Nothing convoluted. Just what was felt. Over a year later, I now feel the same. And in a fit of randomness since I hardly post, I share this image here:

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Horcrux Selection

Earlier this week Kate blogged about what her horcruxes would be, assuming that she were a homicidal wizard bent on immortality.

And I thought I would do the same. But in order to best help you understand my choice of Horcrux selections, you need to understand that if I were a dark wizard bent on immortality, I wouldn't use blood or muggles as a rallying cry. I'd just be evil. And as a muggle and lover of technology, that would need to be part of my wizard self too, a dark wizard knowledgeable about muggle technology.

So, here is my choice selection:
1. A network server. Well, to further elaborate it would be a host of network servers that link to each other with a hard line, wirelessly, or satellite signal. Basically it'd be designed so that the horcrux magic of it isn't just in one location, but depending on the danger can transfer itself to different parts of the network. Plus the added bonus of corrupting google bots and people's computers. Given enough time, it may just infiltrate the whole internet.

2. A telescope\satellite. It doesn't matter which one, just one in Space. How many wizard are capable of going into Outer Space anyways? My point precisely. No wizard could destroy it. Plus, I'd have the added bonus of being able to spy on my enemies from space.

3. A Lord of the Rings book. Nothing more to be said, just a huge fan of it.

4. A top hat. And not just any top hat, but a vintage top hat from the 18th century. Because top hats are just awesome. And it'd be able to give the Sorting Hat a run for its money.

5. So there isn't an appropriate image for this, but as I like programming, I'd place my fifth horcux inside a programming language library. If I choose Java for example, I'd infiltrate Oracle and place my horcrux in the download location for the language libraries in the code itself. Yes, it sounds complicated, but I am a wizard, if Voldemort can learn to fly then surely I can enchant some muggle programming to hold a horcrux. Which changes bits of the programming library to suit its needs and help grant me control over the muggle world.

6. I am also interested in Fencing, so thus a rapier or some other fencing weapon would only be appropriate. Course, the weapon may turn on you if it doesn't like you, but that is a risk to try and use a fencing sword.

7. Last is something different. You know how there are magical portraits of wizards who hold the memories and personality of whom they were painted? I'd do the same. I get my magical portrait taken, but with multiple frames (like how Phineas Nigellus Black can go from his portrait in Hogwarts to the one in the Black family home). I'd kill the artist and imbue my portrait self with the horcrux. Not the actual frame or portrait itself, but the image of me. That can change locations.

So yeah. If you want to kill my evil wizard self off permanently, you have a lot of work in store for you. Not that I would stick to 7, that's more Voldemort's thing. I may choose to have more or may have less. But if I were to pick 7, these would be it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Shattering of a Fantasy

A man walked in the desert. He believed himself to be clear minded, only just a little bit thirsty. He knew not how long he walked, but he soon viewed an oasis pure and clean. He ran to it and was happy; for he would not die of thirst.

There he spent his time for many a moon, growing fat off the fruit of the trees of the oasis, healthy and strong. Until he unfortunately had to leave.

He walked and looked back and thought of returning, knowing full well he couldn't as returning to the oasis would be a stagnation in life, no longer progressing how he knew he should.

And so he continued walking until off in the distance he saw signs of civilizations. Which is when he tripped, fell, and went unconscious. When he awoke he found himself truly awake and saw that instead of healthy and fat off the fruit of the oasis, he was skinny and sickly, weak and with thirst.

The man wondered what had happened, and saw his body, full of needles, cuts and bruises. And then he remembered, the illusion shattered. He saw through what had been his madness, seeing that instead of a fruitful oasis he had instead visited a wild growth of cactus, and in his madness did what he could to drink the juices and eat what he could of the edible part of the plant inside.

He saw that the fantasy was shattered, the memories of the place tainted, and his experiences unreliable. He knew he had strength to reach civilization, but was still saddened by the false promises of the cacti.

And so he walked, hoping to be rid of his memory of the place, of what he thought was a small paradise. And instead only seeing the needles and places where he injured himself trying to survive.

And though pulling the needles out one by one, he could never escape the cacti; he could not but harbor on that memory, the loss of the illusion and the loss of the naivety.

He could only run and hope that soon he would be free of such memories.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In the Wake of Things

The thunder rolled on. The battle, nay the war over. Engagements settled. Neither side the victor. Both side suffering losses but finally at an end the two generals meet and decide the conflict is pointless. Too many lives lost. And for what?

For what has the conflict served? As far as they can see, nothing. Even when the dust settled, there were jabs taken at each other for pride's sake. But now in the aftermath, neither side thinks the other is important enough to even fight. To each their own, they say.

And so the generals with their remaining forces go their separate ways, scarred by a meaningless war that at one point some thought meant something. But now, all that is seen in the other is someone not worth thinking about, not even to spend the effort thinking about.

And so they march their separate ways.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Hypocrisy takes many forms, the most common or generalized form is living different/lower standards than you expect others, or people get mad when you keep something in the dark when they had been doing the same for longer. But for me, a form of hypocrisy that affects me deals with birthdays.

For me, my birthday is nothing special. I won't go to any length to publish it, tell people and most years when it nears my birthday I change my privacy settings so Facebook won't tell anyone when it is. I'll not begrudge others who want to celebrate it or mention it, I just won't go out of my way to do it.

However, when it comes to other people's birthdays, especially if they are like me and keep it on the down-lo, I will go out of my way to celebrate someone else's.

Such as tonight, where an loose mob like grouping of friends is going to surprise a dear friend tonight who doesn't like to celebrate their birthday in the same regard that I don't. Gluten free cake and all.

More details will emerge as the night progresses.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dear Trump,

To my good sir Donald Trump,

From the looks of things, you are aiming to be president. Maybe you're tired of being dirt rich and want the power of being president. Granted, having never watched your tv shows or followed how you do business, I don't know much about you. What I do know is that as a presidential candidate you have failed to make a good impression on me. Maybe you think only die-hard republicans are following what you say and do since it is the conventions that choose the party candidate and thus you are only speaking to them. Besides the fact that I find the primary system ridiculously broken, focusing for a year on one group of the American people is not a good thing to do.

Back to my point, if your idea of leadership is attacking our current president on his nationality and whether he went to college or not, then count me out. I see leadership as finding solutions to problems, not attacking current leaders. Thus far you have said nothing that strikes me more than a panderer to the Tea Party Republican right. Nor do I care if you have more money than Romney. How much money you have is not a measure for leadership either.

Of course, since all you have done in life is satisfy the shareholder, if that is how you see politics and leadership, then there is no chance that I will vote for you. Plus, there is the fact that when it comes to corporation and writing laws to protect the public that you probably can't be neutral. But maybe you can surprise me.

My advice however is to stop this nonsense and let someone with real ideas and leadership run.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

No Title

Waking up, or maybe now asleep?
Not sure which, loathing the truth.
A sudden storm on a sunny day.
Swirling, swirling, swirling.
With a lone mariner finding his way.

Not sure if it is real. Fighting as if it is.
Not sure to turn left or right or to stay the course.
Concentrating on what looks to be the shore,
But ignoring the state of his water craft.

The woodwork, warped; holes in the hull
just a general state of disrepair.
Just trying to discern and survive.

But unsure.
Unsure of the sky which served as his muse,
The night stars, the glorious moon. Even the rising sun.
But now... he cannot bring himself to look up.
To look up and see things as they were.

Not that the sky has changed, or the storm different.
Storms have come and gone; this one no different,
But... lost has the mariner admiration in the guiding star.
To the mariner, all seems jaded, all seems different.

Like waking up from a dream not quite remembered
Or in the middle of a dream like reality. Unsure.
But view of the sky, of the stars, different.
Lacking something, not sure what, perhaps the same all along.

But the Mariner doesn't see that.
Looks up briefly, sighs, and focuses again on the horizon.
Hoping, hoping the sky will regain its wonder and awe.
while fighting against the storm, sea and wind.

The Gear

There was a little sad gear in the factory. He had once longed to be a bigger gear, to move important pieces of the machine and do his best to make the machine he inhabited function more efficiently.

But time passed, the work and training to become a bigger gear was strenuous, tiring. He was tired. More than tired, he soon began to doubt that he was important enough to dream such dreams, to work, to better himself. Surely there was a better gear out there than him for the position. Who was he to want to be something bigger?

And so one day he just grew up. He stopped doing his work, he stopped learning how to be a better gear. He just didn't see the point and didn't see in himself the capacity to be a grand and high gear.

But giving up didn't make him happy. Giving up on himself, precisely, caused his very soul to weep. But by then he didn't have the will to motivate himself. He lost the will, the motivation, the ambition. He didn't care if he ended working the trivial positions. He just didn't care.

And one day he passed for the factory. He saw his fellow gears grinding away. He saw they having as difficult, if not more difficult, time as he had. But they toiled away regardless. They worked, they slept less, they gave it their all. They didn't give up.

So what was so different between them and him? What did they have that he didn't? After all, he had striven and worked with them day after day. They had moments of despair, they had hard times. They weren't any better caliber of gear than he was. They were just like him, gears striving to be more than they are.

Maybe the only difference was the force of will? But the little gear looked and saw more than he thought he would. He realized that why were his difficulties and struggles any different than theirs? What gave him the right to give up on himself and to stop trying? His friends didn't. So why should he? Why was he so special to let his dreams fade and let circumstances overcome? He wasn't. He wasn't so special ti fail where others tread on.

And so the little gear began to take heart from that day, to not be selfish in his desires, and not let himself fail where others succeeded.

Monday, April 4, 2011


What is reality?
A concrete substance? An unchangeable fact?

Or merely a perception of one's mind eye to the world?
How oft has reality changed?

The reality of battle?
The reality of the possible?
The speed of a computer?

Or even the perception that you are right?
Or the opinion on how events in history folded out?

But as with the computer, the speed and graphics thereof
Reality can change in the blink of an eye.

The reality of what you know you thought to be true;
The perception of reality of how events passed.

But is reality really reality if it changes so easily?
Or maybe the definition we hold of reality is not really so.

Winds change, seas rise, friends come and go.
But the one thing that has ever held true for me,
though many a time denied,
the one constant that has been reality for me...

Is how much I am idiot,
and how idiocy is achieved each day
through new glorious and un-thought of means.

Friday, April 1, 2011


It's been said that that the worth of souls is great...
But if as the wind passes,
As the sun crosses the horizon,
As the days turn to weeks...

But if that goes on,
And you take no care of your own?
Or value yours less than the dust?

Then where is the worth if you don't see?
The worth of something intrinsic...

But if not valued,
If not looked after,
Then where is the worth?

Where is the shine and the pride of something looked after?
When all there is are tears?
When it is considered as rubbish,
Then all you see, regardless the value others hold,
is rubbish.

Then how can the worth of rubbish augment?