Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guest Star #1: SweetMarie

Not too much for me to say with this one. I toyed with the coding to prevent links from opening up in the same page using obsolete coding so let's hope nothing explodes. If it works as it should I'll be backtracking and doing the same to the previous posts. If not, then I have some cleaning up to do. Saturday night, if all goes as planned, you can tune in for another update about the things I want to talk about right now. We'll talk about tattoos and other things then, but for now the stage belongs to Marie. The guest post begins after the jump.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

3G: Games, Guests and Geekery

I meant to post this last night, but I became otherwise occupied with the subject of today's entry. That is a good thing, as yesterday's post would have been little more than a recap of last week. I still plan on kicking off each week with a recap of what happened the previous week (something I'm blatantly stealing from Marie's weekly recaps she posts every Friday), but that can wait until next week and it will only be a small part of the day's post.

Instead of looking back, we're glancing ahead at all the alliterative glory to be found in the foreshadowed future. As mentioned in the last entry, I'm currently in the processing of modding my Xbox 360. Originally I was going to Jtag it just for the experience. Instead my girlfriend (can I go a single post without mentioning her? I doubt it, but at least it's contextual), suggested I take the more practical route and not do any changes that would cause it to be banned from Xbox Live. Her suggestion was for me to actually play it instead of letting it collect dust or going solder happy on its poor circuits. Since we live six hours apart for the remainder of the semester, it'd be a way for us to share an activity during the week. So following her superior suggestion (yeah yeah, I know I'm overdosing on alliterations (and parenthesis), but I don't care), I decided to flash it instead. Once I'm finished with the flashing procedure and have successfully tested it I'll be sure to documents the details on the desktop. In other gaming news, I picked up my copy of Gears of War 3 today so you can look forward to reading my thoughts on that with the next 3G post.

Also previously predicted was a post from magnificent and marvelous Marie. Normally a guest poster seeks out the blog they want to contribute to, but I decided to deviate and devise my own darned method of madness. She was kind enough to accommodate me and so she should be supplying something stuffed solidly with stupendousness. Theoretically Thursday should be the target time to expect to see testament to this claim.

Okay, at this point I've officially burned out on the alliteration overkill so any more usage will be purely accidental.   Possibly in direct correlation: my brain now hurts. Oh well, now onward onto more geekery.

Geekery comes in many forms, and I personally don't find the term even remotely insulting. We're all geeks in one way or another, but some of us are just more comfortable and open with our geekitude than others. One quick test of geek status: if you've read this far then odds are you are a confirmed geek. Those that haven't read this far might still be geeks, but of the lazier or attention deficit variety. If you just commented that there is no such thing as attention deficit anymore* than you are most definitely of the geekly inclination. At this point you may be wondering if there is a point to this train of thought. The answer is no, but establishing the extent of geekism in the world gave me an excuse to make up new words using geek as the root and allowed me to stall for time to think up some geekery to write about.

Tonight's geekery takes up back to the subject of video games. For those with short memories or who are chronic skimmers: I mentioned a few paragraphs above that the lady and I are planning to spend some time on Xbox Live. While during the week it'll probably be just the two of us and maybe her mom, on weekends we'd be open to playing online with others. She's a bit new to the playing online thing, and honestly we both are pretty bad at games compared to the Xbox Live population since we rarely play. Since the online arena is a pretty unforgiving place I figured I'd try to ease her into it by getting a party of players together every so often and enjoy a more casual online experience. I've already recruited a few friends for it, but more options never hurt. We're currently playing Left 4 Dead 2** but of course that's subject to change and we have no shortage of other games to choose from. If anyone reading this might be interested in joining in, and isn't intolerable to play with, feel free to add my gamertag, Rani Churs, and we can work out a time that'll work for everyone.

Now to indulge my usual habit of posting without proofreading and come back to edit the mistakes galore later. If anyone has any ideas for future games or geekery, feel free to leave a comment and I'll try to address it with the next 3G post.

*Screw you, modern science. Pluto is a planet, triceratops is real and attention deficit disorder exists. Television told me so growing up, and TV would never lie to a child.

** Yes, I know it's an old game. We don't care, and we have all the DLC for it so we aren't bored with it yet. Plus, we played online for the first time this weekend so the novelty of playing as the infected has not worn off for her.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zombies, Links and Other Essentials

You learn something new everyday, they say. I'm not sure who they are, but they sure talk a lot and they like to state the obvious. In this case, however, they're absolutely right. For instance: today I learned that pandiculation means yawning and stretching. This is apparently news even to Mozilla as my browser is trying to tell me that it's not a word. I plan on using this new-found word obsessively and at every opportunity I can (outside this blog, of course, no pandiculating here). Earlier this week one of the daily things I learned was about a fungus in South America that effectively zombifies ants. The fungus is called Ophiocordyceps, and it's part of a parasitic fungal family called cordyceps that specialize in zombifying insects. It works like this: the ants (carpenter ants in this case) ingest the spores of the fungus on the forest floor. The parasite than takes over the ant and causes them to deviate from their normal trails and stumble clumsily to the underside of leaves at noon and lock onto the bottom of the leaf with a death grip. The ants stay there, unable to move due to the fungus locking their mandibles, even after they die that night. This allows the fungus to grow inside the corpse and burst out in a rain of new spores to repeat the process. I know these things, because Google told me so.
This will inevitably mutate and lead to the zombie apocalypse, I'm convinced. So convinced, in fact, that I was entertaining the thought that I may have been witness to case zero when I went with a friend to the hospital later in the night after learning about the freaky fungi.

False alarm, it turns out. She has Strep and a respiratory infection. I'm torn between whether that's a good thing or not. It sucks that she's sick, for one thing. Plus that means no zombies for another. While I wouldn't want one of my friends to be the one to kick off the outbreak that will bring about the end of the world; I firmly believe everyone should experience a zombie apocalypse at least once in their life. I may attempt to coerce my girlfriend to collaborate a guide to surviving zombies with me but odds are we'll just end up playing Left 4 Dead 2 or Dead Island instead.

Anyway, onto to the links. These are the things that interest me or what I've been up to lately. Most of my productivity today has been in the mythical outside, but I did manage to cobble together a hub about the Writers of the Future contest. Oh, and since we were talking about zombies: one of my good friends wrote a short about zombies on his blog a few months back. You should read his General Degenerate, a story amusing not just because I helped him come up with the idea. Another friend and fellow writer is in the processing of publishing her debut book, and we'll be hearing from her soon in a quest post. In the mean time, her Ramblings of a Daydreamer is a worthwhile read. You'll be seeing her name all over the web soon enough, so you might as well jump on the bandwagon early. Since I'm linking writers' blogs, it would be an epic tragedy not to mention my favorite author. Patrick Rothfuss is simply awesome, complexly awesome and just plain awesome (he's also a past winner of the WotF contest, a contributing factor to the publication of his novel).

That brings us to the promised "other essentials". I lied, it turns out, unless you consider vague foreshadowing for future posts to be essential. If that's the case, then let's get down to essentials. I'm currently doing some experimentation I'll be blogging about as they progress: with two being priority. One involves testing the ideas and claims of a popular guide to basically becoming superhuman. In a plausible manner, we're not talking unnatural powers here, but I was too lazy to list all the health and fitness related topics it covers. That and I plan on covering all that and more when I dedicate a post to my results. The other is money and writing related, and involves me putting a popular and hyped method of generating residual income to the test. We'll talk about those in much more detail after I've had enough time to gather information. Also, at some point in the next week or so I plan on popping the top on my xbox 360 that's been unhooked and unplayed for weeks and modifying it just for the sake of doing it. I'll likely take a few pictures and write a guide on the process for those who might be interested in doing the same. Other than that I'm working on arranging some guest posts, will probably talk (or rant, as the case may be) about the classes I'm taking, and will most likely subject you to more random musings like ants and fungus causing the zombie apocalypse.

Until next time, assuming zombies don't get us.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Maiden Voyage

The most difficult part of any journey is the first step. 

I have no idea who originally said that, but it's safe to say they're likely smarter than I am. A blog is an idea I've pushed to the back of my mind for over a year now for the simple reason that I didn't know where to start. That's no longer stopping me so let's just get through this awkward introduction with minimum casualties.

The big push to finally stop making excuses and procrastinating the creation of this blog came from my recent decision to take the plunge and enter the difficult world of full time freelance writing. I've dabbled in non-committal freelance writing before with everything from pay-per-article( such as Bright Hub )  to content sites like Hubpages and have done well enough but wasn't ready to risk it all and quit the day job. Eventually I came to the conclusion that a part time job at a call center was a weak excuse for not pursuing this with everything I have. It didn't help my job's case that the hours did not mesh well with my college schedule and interfered with my long distance relationship.

So here I am, with my pen name in the url. I did that instead of using the blog's title for a couple reasons. One, allthegoodnamesweretaken is a lot to type and there is no shortage of opportunities for typos. Secondly, I'm not sure I'll be sticking with the working title anyway. With those two factors in consideration it was an easy choice to toss my pen name up there.

What can you expect to find here? The easy answer to that is: everything, anything and probably a lot of nothing. I have no intention of even trying for any sort of niche. I plan on writing about whatever I feel like writing about. Some days I'll write about subjects that interest me, and the information I've found in research or tutorials. Other days I may post short stories (either fiction or recaps of my latest antics). Sprinkled throughout will also be commentaries, reviews, opinions and who knows what. I have two confirmed guest posters and will be working to recruit others. On the list to be sweet talked into making an appearance is my lovely and talented girlfriend as well as her entrepreneur mother.

Now to toy with the features here and press buttons. Brace yourself for possible explosions. We know links work fine from the above, so let's try uploading an image.

 Viola! The soda Mario display from my local Wal-Mart. Dare we try a video? I think we do.

... and we wait for the video to download. Then we wait for the video to upload.

...and we wait some more.

There we go, my commentary on the scenery while hiking just to the left of the middle of nowhere. The mutant spider references make more sense in context. The context being that there were freakishly large spiders out there, and they wanted to eat me.

I think that's enough button pressing for now. We'll end the awkwardness here and move onto something else with the next post.

*Edit to remove a few links that no longer serve a purpose. I may eventually go through this all and revise them.