Friday, February 25, 2011

The Bacon Song

So I was thinking, "There's got to be a song about bacon, right?" It would be a travesty of the modern era if there wasn't.

I guess I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Here are a few I could stand to listen to:

The Bacon Song

The Bacon Song

Happy Bacon

...that should be enough to make you want bacon. I know I do now...

(...slinks off to the kitchen...)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Son of Loki

So I've come to a conclusion.

One of my geology teachers is a descendant of Loki.

I am basing this on what I perceive to be a Loki-ish sense of humor, this sense of humor that, to quote Terry Pratchett from The Last Continent, would "put a land mine under a seat cushion for a bit of a laugh."

So during our volcanology class last semester, towards the end of the semester, we were going to do a sampling project of some cinder cones, and we would be divided into three groups.

For those three people? The three quietest, least offensive, least leaderlike people in the class. You know, the kind who get picked last for a team or vanish into the woodwork because no one knows or cares that they exist.

And, naturally, those three people would be me and the only other two people I can actually talk to for more than three minutes without resorting to the weather or the homework assignment. Now there's a reason we never volunteer for leadering positions.
But it turned out to be sort of fun. I directed one person to take all the notes and another two to measure the height of the columns of the localities where we took samples (we were going up a gulch), while I took the samples. And people actually did what I told them to do!

But back to this teacher: he mentioned one time on how he was flying back to the USA from somewhere overseas and he had 70 pounds of rocks stuffed in his carry-on backpack. It was difficult to move like it wasn't that heavy (or so he claimed). He then chucked it into the first overhead bin in the first class section before going to sit down, because he didn't want 70 pounds of rocks sitting above him on the plane.

I'm just saying he's a descendant of Loki, is all.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

LoL: Maokai and the Saplings of Awesomeness

Well, I wasn't intending to buy Maokai right away, since LOML said he would and I wanted to see how he played first.

What with the servers being down for umpteen billion fifteen hours or so and then the shop being down, LOML was not able to buy Maokai the day he was released, but he did get to play a game against one.


OMG those saplings are so adorable! (A cynical part of my brain is going, 'It's just pixels, you dumbarse," but OMG soo cute...who cares?)

So I got Maokai. And I got the double bundle since I really wanted his Charred skin and it was less than buying the champ and skin separately.
Totem Maokai

Charred Maokai. My favoritist
Right now I'm actually going with Clarity and Heal as summoner spells, and building Doran's shield -> mercury treads/ninja tabis ->banshee's veil/frozen heart -> other one I didn't take. I haven't had a real game proceed after that point.

Plus, since I logged on while there was all that IP trouble, I got a free 10 win IP boost, making my First Win of the Day like 356 IP. W00t!

I haven't tried Ryze since he's been revamped yet. I wish they'd hurry up and release the Co-op vs. AI mode already.

Still, I'm quite happy with Maokai and find him very easy to play.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

RS Prisoner of Glouphrie Quest & Pottery Update

Since I forgot to write a post about last week's Prisoner of Glouphrie quest I'm going to comment on the last two weeks' worth of updates today.

First, I'd like to say I really enjoyed Prisoner of Glouphrie. No combat? Puzzles? Cool! I will admit I had to retreat to RS Wiki to get some of the color combinations right, but otherwise I didn't use a guide. The scene at the end where the full-grown gnome daughter spends like 900 minutes hugging her long-lost gnome father was also touching.

Plus, I got to plant an extra spirit tree! So now I have a shiny new tree in Brimhaven, in close proximity to the fruit tree patch there. The gnomes now make we want to laugh, as they look more like garden gnomes than they did before.

Another update that I didn't notice at first was that now you can toggle off the profanity filter. So now you can say words like "Shit" in game as well as websites. I'm all for not having my speech starred out on a semi-regular basis, but I can't help  but wonder if this is merely another symptom of whatever rot made the wilderness and free trade return. I don't think the world is going to end, but I have to wonder if the real reason for these changes is "cha-ching!" rather than "we have a mature audience."

Today's updates were also cool. I'm not sure how the urns are going to pan out, but I'm glad we'll be able to utilize demon ashes for more pray xp and the hidey-holes are cool. I no longer have to carry a crossbow and grappling hook to climb the shortcut from Catherby to Taverly on my daily farming run.  Not huge or splashy, but cool.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The mere fact of observing something changes its nature. This idea may be familiar to anyone who has repeatedly suffered through lectures on the wave-particle nature of light.

What does this have to do with the title of this post?

Not a lot, except I know my sister reads this blog (Hi, Sis), and the mere fact I know she is reading it will probably change what I'm going to say, even though I haven't written it yet.

All that rambling aside, I'm going to attempt to try to explain my view of this sister relationship dynamic I have going on with my favoritest (and only) sister.

(I was going to try to get this out Saturday, but with one thing and another, one thing being my Rifts game is on Saturday nights and another thing being that I bought the champion bundles on League of Legends and so kept trying new champs while waiting for people to stop yammering so the Rifts game could start. Not that you need to know or care about that. But that's why this post did not come out on Saturday)

As I've grown up I've read some stuff on birth-order dynamics, which basically states that your birth order determines what kind of person you are and what kind of problems you might have. This slightly out of context quote from Times highlights the dilemma of the middle child:
If eldest sibs are the dogged achievers and youngest sibs are the gamblers and visionaries, where does this leave those in between? That it's so hard to define what middle-borns become is largely due to the fact that it's so hard to define who they are growing up. The youngest in the family, but only until someone else comes along, they are both teacher and student, babysitter and babysat, too young for the privileges of the firstborn but too old for the latitude given the last.
From my experience, not only in my family but observing other families, it seems as though the eldest spawn child doesn't have to worry about forging their own identity because it's more or less handed to them from the moment they scaled the refrigerator to get into the cookie jar. Doubt and indecision appear utterly alien to their makeup. They appear in the world, and the world starts revolving around them. Any siblings coming along later tend to get swept up into orbit.

My sister always seemed to be so suave, with a stone-carved plan of action, so outgoing, so full of wisdom and bright paraphrase Terry Pratchett, she is the vampire while I am the werewolf. Just being around her makes me feel fangier and hairier by comparison, without her even trying to make me feel that way.

So it's hard to explain why I feel as though I've had to paint myself my own identity and that it doesn't mean I don't love her, only that I feel a need to be my own person. It's like trying to explain to a colorblind person what red looks like.

So to oldest siblings everywhere: It's not that we don't love you and think the world of you (most of the time), just we DO happen to be unique people too, and it may not be the same person you thought we were growing up.

That is all.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Review: Game Addiction

So I've been picking up books in the library faster than I can read them. One of those that I've actually finished is Game Addiction: The Experience and the Effects by Neils Clark and P. Shavaun Scott. Surprisingly, instead of auto-launching into a diatribe on the eeeeevilness of games and how they are destroying the minds of our young, they manage to neutrally examine how gaming has affected everyone in the modern world who isn't currently growing up under a rock, from Facebook to World of Warcraft, and how this change isn't so much evil as different.

I appreciate how they handle the issue of gaming addiction--who among us doesn't know someone who abandoned all "real life" to sit in front of a screen and battle with pixels? While many RPGs have this problem inherently built into them that there are no obvious breakpoints, it comes down to some people having a more addictive personality than others, and what works for one person may not work for another. One person may sit down with Tetris and not leave the screen for six hours, while another person has no problem walking away when something else needs to be done.

I think many people (gamers and nongamers alike) need to realize that the pixelated avatars they are interacting with are real people too. It may be easy to lose sight of this and think of those other things moving around on your screen as sophisticated NPCs, but the fact remains that you should treat people online the way you do in real life. Also, that you shouldn't sacrifice your out-of-game life for your ingame life. It took me awhile after I first started gaming, but I have made a rule: "Am I not doing something I should be doing in real life for this game?" If so, it's time to set aside the game until the real life things are done. Not that I'm even perfect at this, but I'm better than I used to be. I don't mean that you should necessarily set aside gaming as your means of recreation. If gaming is something you enjoy, you should keep doing it. However, if your homework isn't getting done or you're calling in sick to work to play the game, you need to gain some perspective.

In short, I would recommend this book for anyone who is interested in the whys, hows, and wherefores of gaming addiction, as well as for people who want to demystify the possibly foreign world of gaming and how it has become integrated into our culture.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spaghetti String Theory

I've been wanting to do a post for awhile on String Theory, which can be vaguely described as reality actually has a bunch more dimensions wrapped up in it than the traditional 3 space + 1 time that we actually do our eating and sleeping in. Two good books I've read on this subject are Hyperspace and The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, and I highly recommend reading them. Hyperspace is a little more friendly to the reader that hasn't had much prior exposure to novel concepts such as quantum mechanics, but it's fair to say both authors tend to get excited and start using big words often throughout these texts. Although big words aren't the problem so much as the big concepts, i.e. the reason we live in three dimensions and not ten is that the other seven are curled up really, really tiny. Or something.

I should note here that I could conceivably be misunderstanding some basic concepts from these books, and you should totally feel free to correct me if this is the case.

As far as I can tell, some faucets of string theory are used to suggest how parallel dimensions and time travel might occur via "plucking" the strings.  Now, I'm not musically inclined (at least when it comes to making it; I can listen to music with the best of them), but I've got to wonder what happens if an inexperienced violin player somehow gets ahold of our reality and starts playing badly with it. This is along the same line of wondering what happens if some kid starts bouncing on the rubber sheet of the universe. But I digress.

Flatland is often referred to when trying to describe string theory because it tells the tale of a two-dimensional square being introduced to other dimensional worlds by a three-dimensional ball. Dimensions above three space and one time are hard for mortals (and me) to comprehend, mainly because it's so far outside our experience. It's the definition of our world and how we move in it. For that matter, most thoughts on two-dimensional life is that it can't happen because if you have a channel for an intestinal tract from mouth to ejection hole you'd be split in two. I think this is highly dimensionalist and if there are indeed two-dimensional lifeforms they are quite happily existing without us telling them how they ought to. For that matter, The Elegant Universe has a section talking about how organisms existing in two dimensions of time would never meet up with each other. I suspect that again, this is a case of thinking that, since our single-time-dimension minds can't think of a way to describe it, it's not likely to happen. Timist, if you need a word for it.

At this point I've blathered a bit about string theory, and since I have a cool title for this post I will give you a picture to justify it:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Things You Remember, a Poem

Memory--that twisted thing, that manipulates our past,
Ties the world up in shiny bows, in boxes that will last
Until a time and place when it will suddenly recast--
The things you won't remember are the things you can't forget.

The broken string of friendship, the shattering of a trust,
The day the world went gray, the night that turned your soul to dust,
The time, the place, Destiny, the Fates, deemed your cause unjust--
The things you won't remember are the things you can't forget.

The death of youth's innocence, the day a childhood died,
The falling of a rising dream, heart-stabbed and broke of pride,
All the devils that were fought, and all the tears since cried--
The things you won't remember are the things you can't forget.

The touch of a lover's hand, the smell of sunshine after rain--
The thrill of secret triumph, an old hatred that was slain--
The smile of a stranger that you will never see again--
The things you can't remember are the things you won't forget.

4:18 am 2/6/11

Saturday, February 5, 2011

On Blogging

As I'm writing this (2/3/11), I have dropped down to 8 followers. While I realize followers =/= readers, this is the second time in the history of this blog that a follower has simply vanished from my radar. And while a little voice in my head is going "WHYYYYYY?", it has made me think a little about why I do this blog.

I started this blog as an outlet for the thoughts in my head. I know a few people who read it, but otherwise I'm not sure who or why people read this blog. It's not that my writing is consistently good. And sometimes I go through periods of time when I don't have that many thoughts at all, or none that I feel like vomiting onto the World Wide Web.

This blog has really been my main stint at non-mandatory writing since moving to Hawaii. Hawaii is a real paradise in spite of giant cockroaches, but for some reason unknown to me I haven't had nearly as much inspiration to write. Maybe I'm just one of those people who tend to not write as much when I'm not angsting over something.

So I'm trying to get back into it, but it's not as easy to start up once I've stopped. I've got half a novel I'm thinking about rewriting (dubiously named "dragon girl") and another I think I know how to finish (outer space, new planets, etc). I'm trying to finish a poem, and I have the last stanza done (I'll post it here once I finish it). This would, however, be on top of the other things I am currently wanting to do, such as learn American Sign Language (mainly so I can actually communicate with the deaf guy in one of my classes, or talk to LOML in a noisy room), fill out my FAFSA, apply for that one last internship, and this on top of what I am currently doing (school, work, NASA grant project).

When it comes to this blog I am currently of the thought that Well-Written Thoughts >> Half-assed Written Thoughts, but on the other hand, Half-assed Written Thoughts >> No Thoughts At All. If I couldn't just vomit the words in my head out onto a shiny white blank blog screen, there's a good chance I'd write even less than I do now.

But enough on why I write this blog. Why do you read it? What would you like to see me write more of? Do you think I should do either Well-Written Thoughts or No Thoughts At All? Anything else you think I should know about what you think?

Just curious.

P.S. If you don't want to post your thoughts in the comments, feel free to email me at Or to psychically project your thoughts in my general direction. Smoke signals also work.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Runescape February Behind the Scenes

Been awhile since I've done one of these. Here's my February BTS thoughts.

So, the Wilderness and Free Trade have returned. I have mostly only logging in to do my farming route once a day during the week, so I haven't had cause to get too involved in the chaos yet. Apparently rune darts will not sell even at 10gp though. From reading the RS official forums, however, as expected, prices have plummeted like a dropped turtle, the new player killers think kills are too hard, and World 60 Penguins has decided to ban the announcing of the wilderness penguin in chat for now. I'm sure things will smooth out eventually but until that time I am sans desire to enter the wilderness, even for Bork. I did do a round of Castle Wars with my clan, Cairdeas, and we had a good time. I actually got like 7 kills, which is a personal record. I will say this for the first update: I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the dwarven gravestone I spent 500k on after the quest now lasts for 15 minutes rather than 5.

The next slated update is the Prisoner of Glouphrie. I remember the gnome quests as being fun, so it'll be nice to revisit them. I hope the promised new spirit tree patch brings with it the possibility to plant multiple spirit trees, as I don't want to give up my Etcetria tree, but it's probably unlikely. It should be fun to explore the mythical city of Arposandra, in any case.

Next is the Pottery update. Pottery huh? This is actually one of the more surprising ones on the list. Who does pottery? Probably more people after this update, with its promise of teleporting urns. Hmmm, with a high level of 81, I should be able to make all of them when they come out. Cool. I like being able to do everything new. It appears to be a partially F2P update, which is cool for all those poor people who play the free game.

Demon ashes giving pray xp. I saw this suggestion on the forums awhile back and it looks like they're implementing it almost in it's entirety. They'll be notoriously easier to use with the Ectofunctus, only requiring a bucket of slime, but I don't see anything saying whether they can be used on an altar, or whether a bonecrusher will work with them. I don't think the bonecrusher will work, and wonder if a new Dungeoneering object will come out to automatically scatter ashes for you. If that's the case I'm morally obliged to dungeoneer to get it.

I like the shortcut improvements, even though I don't use many of them. Hidey holes are a great idea; I wonder if that means I'll be able to get rid of my grappling hooks for another precious bankspace spot?

Should be an entertaining month at the very least.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

League of Legends: Karma and New Bots

So League of Legends has released a new Champion. One that I actually felt compelled to buy. I realize a few years ago I'd be horrified at the thought of spending real money for a digital product but you know what? People change.

And isn't she pretty?

She's pretty much a support champ (as far as I can tell--still a newb at this game), and a little difficult for me to pick up. I haven't tried a real game yet but it's on my to-do list shortly. She seems to be quite versatile and I like how her R+Q heals her as well as any allies. LOML also showed me how to program a self-cast with her E, so now all I gotta do is run into the enemy mob and hit R+spacebar. Minions explodium, showers of gold, good times.

Speaking of the new bots...

Seems that the days are gone when I could play 2-3 practice games with an unfamiliar champion before achieving 0 deaths. Now it seems that I can't win unless I have a Sivir Bot on my team (and not on the other), and not necessarily even then. I should point out the third game from the top (with 14 kills) was one LOML played because I wanted to watch how he played Karma.

I found what seems to be a pretty good build from hypershatter's blog that he posted on this site. I used it for my last two Karma games, although I only got as far as starting on Banshee's Veil. It's probably the build I'll use when I finally get enough backbone time for a real game.

Here is a screenie I took of Karma in her Geisha skin (as LOML calls ).

I don't have a picture of her in her Mayan skin, which is unfortunate since that's my favorite one (Yes, I bought the bundle). So here is the wallpaper from Fearless Gamer:

P.S. If you haven't played LOL yet but think it might be an interesting game to try...send your email address to I have this dim hope of referring enough people to unlock the Grey Warwick skin....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Awesomeness of Music

Maybe I'm so attuned to music because I spent a lot of my growing-up years listening only to acapella. My first real introduction to music was when we got my great-grandma's (Oma) old record player. It was a heavy-duty affair, with a space to store records and everything. We set it up in my dad's shop and my siblings and I would go in the shop to crank it up. And dance after our own fashion. To this day most dance moves elude me, and I tend to make it up as I go along.

When I dance. Normally I'm too lazy to.

But that aside, I suspect that maybe that's why I see and feel music as color and motion.

Trying to show in two dimensions what I see in five. It's...not accurate in the slightest
 I also have a hard time hearing people talk over music. I get to listening to the music, and it fills up the whole world.
When music fills up the whole world, it's hard for people's mundane voices to penetrate it.

 Which is why, if I go to a party that has music, I don't talk to people.

The reason I don't talk at parties without music is, well...

P.S. 100th post!