Momentary Hiatus

You know what? I’m not in a very comfortable place right now. I was given a two-week extension on a class that I would have otherwise failed (the only class keeping me from getting my diploma), and I’m still going through the job searching process and whatnot, so I’ll go ahead and set this blog aside for the time being.

In summary, see y’all in June…maybe.

Nowi Wins

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I like writing and all, but… (Thought Dump Thursday 2/18/16)

It’s hardly, if ever, on the forefront of my mind. Sometimes I’m driving to school. Sometimes I’m in the middle of a lecture. Sometimes I’m working on assignments. Sometimes I’m viewing a Twitch stream. Sometimes I’m playing some freemium 3DS game (usually Pokémon Shuffle). Sometimes I’m trying to get a PB in Phoenotopia. (I’m currently trying for a better time in 100%…still no luck after 7 or so attempts.) Sometimes I’m doing Conceptis puzzles. Sometimes I’m watching anime. Sometimes (although rarely) I’m reading manga. Sometimes I’m reading through the Mondaiji-tachi light novel. (I picked this up recently, and it is a great way to fill the void that the anime left.) Sometimes I’m in the middle of writing Cinq du Soleil. But, when I’m confronted with the thought that Thought Dump Thursday is around the corner, I just sort of…enter a train of thought that goes nowhere fast. My mind drifts from one topic to another, but any topics that I come up with are stupid to write about (whether out of my comfort zone or just plain stupid) or are topics that I wish to put aside until some other special occasion. On that note, that’s what’s keeping me from ever coming up with a debut of Spontaneous Series Saturday: what occasion could I possibly celebrate? Does it even have to be celebrating an occasion? Could it just be something half-hearted like this post is? (It’s real talk, but let’s face it: it’s nothing short of a long-winded rant.) I could talk about how I got a new any% PB in Phoenotopia (54:52) recently, but where would that even fit? I feel like it’d be a waste of space. Should I somehow edit these things into my previous posts? No, because that sort of practice would just throw everything out of whack. Should I make the whole Phoenotopia speedrunning thing a series? That seems like a completely stupid idea. …Maybe? I mean, every Thought Dump Thursday post of this year has somehow involved speedrunning Phoenotopia, be it the center of attention or part of a potpourri. I brought up anime at one point, and I could very well try to do a periodic review of one of the current series (preferably KonoSuba if anything), but I honestly feel burnt out due to the whole “Cavalry vs. Asterisk” series that I did last year. Reviewing is hard, man! Heck, I still don’t even know if I did it right, as I reflect from time to time on what I have written and try to draw a parallel between my writing and what goes on in my head. There’s also the issue of thinking of a last-minute topic and not being able to create a complete post before 11:59 the day of, forcing me to publish an incomplete post marked with the words “UNDER CONSTRUCTION”, complete the post later, and post an update when I’m done. That sort of thing is just a waste of space, and the update post is usually destined to be deleted. I guess in essence what I’m saying is that I do like writing, but thinking of what to write about and how to write about it is a really difficult task that I end up having to face every two weeks, and I always have the choice to either write a half-hearted post or actually take the gloves off and write something that I consider “adequate” or perhaps even better. (The way I am, though, I never consider myself any better than “adequate” in any facet.)

As frequently as I have these moments where I find it hard to think of a topic, I still have plans in mind. This is just a rough list, and there is no guarantee that any of these will become writing in the future.

  • Why I really like Mondaiji-tachi. The main reason why I’m not feeling up to this is because I would have to read through the entire light novel (which might take a while…seeing how I’m currently on volume 3 chapter 5) and watch the anime a third time (which, sadly, I still haven’t done) in order to really be able to pinpoint why I enjoy this series more than any other (even No Game No Life, a very similar (and way more popular) series).
  • My journey through anime (in general) from start to finish. This was initially what I had in mind for this post, but of course this sort of thing had to come to mind as late as the last day (not to mention one of two days when I spend roughly 10 hours away from home thanks to my current semester schedule), so I didn’t bother to follow through with it this time. Maybe someday, though…
  • A retrospective of the characters that I like and dislike. The thing about coming out with a post like this is…I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I have difficulty expressing my opinion.
  • A final summary review of the winter 2016 anime that I have been watching (Phantom World, KonoSuba, Dagashi Kashi), similar to how I did that sort of thing back in winter/spring 2015. There is a high chance (but, again, no guarantee) that this sort of idea may come into fruition, although, if it does, I might deviate a little from how I did it back then.
  • Another full post regarding Cinq du Soleil. I don’t plan on doing this until I’ve finished the entire story, which will be quite a long time from now.
  • Maybe a follow-up to the Cross-a-Pix post (that is apparently the most viewed post on this blog)? The free-to-play puzzles have been extremely difficult as of late, and I was thinking I could provide step-by-step solutions as a sort of Spontaneous Series…wait. That’s actually not a bad idea. Yep, definitely up for consideration. Come to think of it, why just limit myself to Cross-a-Pix? I could also try the same sort of thing for difficult puzzles of other categories, like Slitherlink or Pic-a-Pix. Hey, maybe every two weeks I could pick the one puzzle that I found the most difficult and offer a step-by-step solution thereof.

Anyway, that’s just a long-winded rant regarding how difficult this whole writing thing can actually be and a rough, rough, very rough list of plans for this website. (Most of these plans will be set aside until way later (or potentially even discarded), and there may even be some that I haven’t even mentioned. Stay tuned!

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Top Three Thursday 11/26/15: Things I’m thankful for

Top Three Thursday is always when I have the most difficulty thinking of a topic (and having a research paper due tomorrow afternoon doesn’t help), but since today is Thanksgiving for those who celebrate it, I figured I would celebrate the occasion in the most obvious way possible. (This may be a little rushed, but it is sincere.)

3. Education

Not something I (or anyone else) can take for granted. If not for education, I would be significantly dumber than I am now. I wouldn’t know how to read or write, how to speak, how to solve math problems (with or without a calculator), how to interpret world phenomena, how to communicate in French as well as English, or how to use computers. In fact, I feel that without education I wouldn’t even be typing this right now.

2. Technological advancement

Isn’t it great how far we’ve come in terms of technology? That’s nothing to be taken for granted either. Not just electronics like computers and television, but also the simpler things like air conditioning, light bulbs, washers, and dryers, not to mention the many forms of transportation to which we have access—cars, trains, planes, and so on. The best technological development of all, though, is the Internet, a means of people the world over to communicate amongst each other without having to do so face-to-face. It also gives me a way to reveal my thoughts to the public in blog form. Finally, the easy accessibility of mass media gives us myriad ways to entertain ourselves.

1. Family

Without family, I literally would not even be born. They raised me well, providing for me while I’m still young, having taught me all I know about moral conduct, and introducing me to the God who brought them together. In addition to that, I am thankful to be able to consult them if I have a problem beyond my control. Honestly, I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am if not for my family. In fact, they are responsible for my education and the fact that I can keep up with technological advancement.

 

Most of all, I am thankful for God, who transcends this top three list with all that He has done.

3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:3-5

So, Happy Thanksgiving, and remember to be thankful for what has been provided (even if you don’t celebrate the holiday; it’s always good to be thankful).

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Top Three Thursday 10/15/15: Responses to failure to meet a deadline properly

3. If the assignment has a penalty, compare its gravity to the worth of a hypothetical on-time submission

This is a recent happening. I had a project due at noon today, but I put it off too long and couldn’t get any more than half of it finished, even after I tried to stay up all night working on it, so I figured, “Hmm… For programming assignments, the professor takes 20 points off for each week it’s late. Well, why turn in a half-baked submission for such a low score if I could instead give myself a week to ameliorate it and potentially get an 80? (not likely)” To be honest, though, it doesn’t really help that I’m putting a handicap on myself by refusing to use the Windows software required for the course and instead stubbornly using alternatives that work on my Mac. (I refuse to run Windows on my Mac; it’s not that I’m strictly anti-Windows, it’s just that I don’t want to use it if I don’t have to.)

2. Get a rough draft up on the deadline and polish it up afterwards

This really only applies to my blog posts here, though. As I try to keep up with this once-per-two-weeks routine, sometimes I may happen upon circumstances through which I just can’t think of a topic (writer’s block) or was constrained by the due date of one or several assignments. A recent example is my MonMusu character evaluation, of which I posted a rough draft at 11:50 pm featuring only the bit about Meroune, and I stayed up between 5 and 6 am finishing the darn thing. Thought Dump 4 I actually ended up posting at exactly 12:00 am on Sunday, May 10, where the scheduled deadline was the day before, which was (and still is) the first post where I failed to post the original on time.

1. Do what little I can in what little time I have left

It’s basically what I’m doing right now. I have done it for many assignments, including one I submitted not too long ago (and actually got a 95, which is surprising, considering I had no idea what I was doing). I have also done it on many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many, so many of my posts up to now. Again, I don’t know what I should be doing about my poor time management. I can dismiss it, saying “It’s just me,” but at the same time, time management is very important in the workforce, of which I will soon inevitably be a part. My mind is just so fickle, though, that it’s difficult to focus on any one thing. That’s the main thing I blame.

 

Short version: I find it hard to keep up with this routine and real life, but I try my darnedest to make something work whenever I’m in a pinch.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Spontaneous Saturday 10/10/15: I have so much on my mind…

(10/8)

…and I can’t retain it all.

Ugh, senior year. In high school, it wasn’t so bad, but in college…

I start to take it easy at first. What could possibly go wrong, right? I encounter a few bumps here and there, still taking it slow. Then, before I know it, I’m buried up to my neck in assignments and responsibilities that I just feel like I can’t handle all at once. Heck, even when I start to think I can’t handle it, that’s when it gets tougher. I mean, it’s as if I’m expected to be a superhuman or something. I have an internship application to take care of. I have to be up by 8:00 am tomorrow. I have an online test to finish by the end of the day. I have some project work to do. I have a bunch of things to do on the same day, including an assignment that I apparently should have started on a week ago. Man, how am I supposed to enjoy Fall Break with all this crud piled on my shoulders? On top of that, my computer’s had some connectivity issues as of late (thankfully not since Wednesday)!

But hey, it’s just life, I guess. Every time I’m stuck thinking about one thing and putting aside a bunch of others, suddenly a new obstacle comes my way. For example, just recently, I looked back through one of my previous drafts (Spontaneous Saturday 6/6/15) and saw this:

Uh…what? Under construction? I thought I’d finished this darn thing long ago! Ah, well, I’ll get to it as soon as I can. (Key word: CAN.)

The thing is, obstacles in life are not all the same. You gotta have some sort of priority order. Some things you can (or have to) get taken care of immediately, but others you’ll have to set aside for a later time (like the one I mentioned above). In the latter case, however difficult it is to bear, you just gotta set the issue aside and move on to bigger and better things.

Therein lies a problem from my perspective, though: I’m not one to just let things slip by. As someone who likes seeing things built properly and without gaping holes, it’s embarrassing to know that a publication of mine from 4 months prior hasn’t even been finished. Still, I have to set it aside because I still have more pressing issues to take care of.

This sort of thing also accounts for my sleep deprivation. If something comes to my mind while I’m trying to sleep, chances are, at least 90% of the time, I will settle that thought lingering in my mind before I fall asleep.

Then there are those in-your-face opportunities that you end up missing because you’re completely focused on something else. I was supposed to ask my mother about formal attire for an important meeting tomorrow, but it completely slipped my mind because I was too focused on figuring out a way to arrange getting there in the first place, as well as completing the internship application.

I don’t want to say Vouiv-review is hindering it because, truth be told, I brought it upon myself, not to mention it helps me to reflect upon notable mental developments like this. Poké Monday is purely for my amusement, but Spontaneous Saturday and Top Three Thursday definitely give me ample freedom to express my thoughts in the form of a typed document. Speaking of which, if there are times when I miss the deadline, these issues are most likely why.

(10/9)

I don’t know about my tendency to slack off. It is always nice to take a breather every now and then, but sometimes I feel like I’m taking my breaks too frequently or spending too long per break. I could try to cut down on the amount of anime I watch (limiting myself to Heavy Object and One Punch Man) or sometimes suppressing the urge to prevent overhauling hearts in Pokémon Shuffle so that I can get some extra work done and/or stay subtle in the classroom, but…well, I don’t know. I couldn’t say whether this is really a problem or not, honestly.

Man, my brain was overflowing overnight yesterday, but now it’s slowed down to a near halt. That’s another tendency I have: to get a bunch of work done, set it aside for a while, and come back to it not knowing what the heck I just did. This is, in fact, one of those cases. Still, there are some times when I can jump-start my brain (so to speak) and transition on to another thought, like how I have a secret hobby of making mock Guitar Hero drum charts for songs with particularly enjoyable percussion.

Even though I just finished the test I mentioned earlier (and got a 96), I still feel burdened because of (1) work I have to do for a team project, (2) an assignment due on Wednesday, (3) an assignment due on Thursday, (4) the supposedly “extra difficult” assignment due on Thursday, (5) a test on Thursday, and (6) a quiz to be done by next Sunday (which honestly isn’t a problem, but man, so many responsibilities to take care of in not much more than one week, let alone with a laptop with sporadic connectivity problems…). But, well, I suppose I’ll turn to this song for encouragement:

When in difficult times, leave it to God to make them seem less difficult than originally perceived. This has held true many times in my life, and I pray that it will continue to do so.

Man, what am I doing, suddenly bringing up God in an otherwise secular writing? Whatever. It’s not like I haven’t disclosed my faith before, and I couldn’t care less what people think of me because of it. If anything, I’d say I’m not vocal enough about my faith, although there’s not much I can do about that because I have high-functioning autism.

This is the conundrum of my life. My train of thought is a convoluted one, which takes relatively long to reach its stops, given its frequent tendency to go nowhere fast. No accidents happen on the train, though. I don’t know what I was thinking with this metaphor.

 

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

 

Spontaneous Saturday 9/12/15: More spontaneity

Nowi Wins Once again, just speaking my mind here.

 

In Pokémon Shuffle, I have managed to S-rank all of levels 1-220 and, by extension, unlocked all of the currently released EX levels! Additionally, I have caught Terrakion and Virizion (not without the help of power-ups, of course) and am currently attempting to capture Cobalion. Sadly, even though I invested a whole 15k coins into my first attempt at capturing Cobalion (12.5k for all of Complexity -1, Mega Start, and Disruption Delay, and the other 2.5k for a Great Ball), I only managed to reach a catch rate of 16% without the Great Ball and 32% with (which, if I recall, was the result of 16 seconds remaining), so, naturally, I failed to capture it. Thankfully, Cobalion was the only one of those three legendaries that I failed to capture first try with all power ups.

What I don’t understand, though, is those moments when a Great Ball shakes less than a regular Poké Ball. I mean, the Poké Ball I used on Cobalion shook twice, but the Great Ball? Only once.

Anyway, I’m currently accumulating 15k coins again (and I’m really close), and hopefully I’ll perform better next time with my team of Blaziken (mega), Heatran, Moltres, and Delphox. Then, what will I do after catching Cobalion? Keep money grinding in preparation for the next update, of course! You can never have enough coins in that game, seriously…

Quick update: It pains me to say that I have once again failed. At least this time I performed better (22 seconds left; 22% capture rate, 44% with a Great Ball), but it looks like there’s more grinding to be done. Man, this is such a pain.

 

I’m still progressing in Persona Q as well. I’m up to the third floor of the fourth labyrinth (Inaba Pride Exhibit) and still…er…going strong, I guess? I mean, I’m getting annoyed at the tree shadows with their Hamaon, but I guess you could say it’s a taste of my own medicine because I always have Aigis use Mahama (past) or Mamudo (present) turn 1. (Too bad the Iron Dice are immune to Darkness.)

By the way, about the third labyrinth, it’s funny how the boss of the labyrinth isn’t even the scariest thing in the labyrinth. Seriously, the Lovely Dolls are scarier by a long shot. Like, walking into them is honestly the scariest thing not just in the labyrinth, but in the entire game. (I mean, I haven’t played the whole thing, but it’s the scariest thing so far. Fortunately, the jump-scares can be remedied by backing into the FOEs rather than walking face-first into them.) They’re also formidable FOEs that evade like 50% of attacks aimed at them, but thankfully, thanks to Aigis having a Persona with Lethargy Circle (chance of Agility Bind every turn for 3 turns) and Binding Hands (increases chances of binding), it became a much easier feat than normal. That said, to make matters worse, Lovely Dolls have Mamudoon, for which my only two options are 1) Recarm from Aigis or 2) Yomi Return (Leader skill). I still managed to defeat the darn thing eventually, and boy does it feel satisfying.

On another note, the fourth labyrinth, I have to say, is surprisingly the least scary of the quartet. Like, there’s hardly anything creepy in it, if there even is anything. I will say, though, that the encounter rate is pretty high in comparison to the other labyrinths, but maybe that’s just my imagination. Also, for the first time in any labyrinth, I defeated an FOE (specifically the Fast Guy (yep, that’s literally its name)) before completing the dungeon. Twice, even. I thought it was required in order to 100% complete the second floor because for each of the two FOEs, there is a tile that cannot be stepped on without defeating that FOE. (There’s no obvious proof, but through trial and error I have theorized that the tiles are unreachable without defeating their respective FOEs.) There is a third one, but I just decided to proceed to the third floor in hopes that I wouldn’t even need to bother with it (because there’s also a tile to uncover that requires going upstairs from the third floor). I mean, once is fine. Twice, I’ll do it if I have to. Three times…no. That’s where I draw the line. I may be a completionist, but I don’t want to go that far if I don’t have to.

By the way, as of this labyrinth, I noticed Aigis was missing so many times that I actually had to put Aim Goggles on her. I mean, it’s bad enough that she goes last all the time, but I really don’t want to be missing half of my moves, especially with my favorite character. (Missing Mahama or Mamudo isn’t a big deal, but missing something like Lightning Smash is a problem.)

 

I’ve also been working further on the any% route of Phoenotopia after discovering Loot Duping. My plan with the route is to stop at the honey shop only once and to only buy what’s necessary and faster (Rolling Technique Scroll, 6 Jars of Honey, Talkinator Juice, Iron Hammer, and Floatation Device), and I routed it in such a way that factors in all of the required funds without even having to raid the palace’s secret stash earlier than intended. The problem now is mastering movement through the rest of the game, starting at Misty Gorge.

What about 100% progress? Well, I feel routing 100% is more boring than I thought originally. I’ll get back to it after I’m done thinking about any%, but not right now.

 

On a final note…

…Suu is best MonMusu.

 

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)

Top Three Thursday 9/3/15: Hardest things to pay attention to

I’m obviously not perfect, and I will admit that one of my weak points is a difficulty in paying attention to things that confuse me and/or fail to keep my interest. For example:

3. Action scenes in manga

I don’t care how much detail mangaka put into action scenes. If it’s all in black and white (which it usually is), I can hardly tell what’s going on, if ever. That’s the main quality that makes me prefer anime over manga. (Usually, I would only read a manga if I wish to know more about the plot or if there is no anime counterpart. Well, I guess Mahou Sensei Negima is an exception; I’ve read the entire manga, but I just can’t bring myself to watch the anime. I have watched the abridged series, but I don’t think that really counts.)

2. Readings

I’m usually more of a consumer than a producer, but written media is the main exception to that rule. I like writing, at least to an extent, but I dislike reading. It’s not that I find it unbearable; I just find it hard to keep on reading unless the material truly interests me. I’m okay with reading snippets, but if it’s an astounding collection of passages or an entire chapter, I would have to put in quite a lot of effort to pay attention to the beginning and push my way through. Reading comprehension is also one of my weak points. If I were asked to provide a summary of any given passage, I would be at such a loss that I would have no answer other than to quote the passage verbatim (unless it is arranged in such a manner that the main idea is blatantly obvious, which is usually not the case). I have to say also that I significantly prefer reading fiction over reading nonfiction. In fact, if I had to give a rating out of 10 to reading/writing fiction/nonfiction, I would give 8 to writing fiction, 6 to reading fiction, 5 to writing nonfiction, and 3 to reading nonfiction. Note that these are relative ratings, and my ratings of individual works are subject to deviation. Fanfiction? I’m not into that kind of stuff, but it’s not like I would mind writing any of my own. Textbooks, though? I would be hard pressed to keep my focus on those. As far as textbooks go, I only like to pick out the important information that pertains to my assignments. That’s all there is to it.

1. Lectures

In one ear, out the other. I just find it really hard to pay attention when someone is just talking. Like, I can’t keep focus for 30 seconds (as an estimate) without my mind drifting elsewhere. Heck, sometimes, after hearing one person say one little thing, it might take several minutes for it to click in my mind. It’s a sad case, honestly, because it sometimes happens when it’s too late. Anyway, my point is: it’s difficult for me to focus on lectures; either everything just escapes my mind, or I take so many notes that I can’t draw a logical conclusion from them. (This ties back to the “Readings” part.) Sometimes, I end up not taking enough notes and not understanding what little I jotted down. In summary, when it comes to taking notes, I feel that I either get too little or too much out of a lecture, and I feel that I’m not the type of guy who will ever get it “just right.” Yeah, I’m weak in reading and listening comprehension. That’s how I am.

Nowi Wins À la prochaine! (Until next time!)