How do you know when it’s worth writing a blog post?

I’m sitting here, feeling somewhat creative (also bored) and feel like I should be updating this thing. I’m not attempting to mirror my favorite news blogs, otherwise I could post the kajillion cool things I’ve read about today. I’m also not trying to post for the sake of posting, but many writers/bloggers feel the need to post to keep, and grow, their audience.

How do you know when it’s worth writing?

The likely answer is that it’s subjective. Do you have something you want to say? Then say it. Maybe you just feel like ranting, and want to see who agrees or disagrees. Write a post. Maybe, like me, you’re spinning your wheels with what you’re supposed to be doing, so you want to get something done, but don’t really have much to say. Typically, I’d say to just keep it to yourself, but I’m clearly not doing that.

Why am I writing this then? Self-doubt. I’m not doubting my feelings towards those that don’t have anything real to say or how I feel that they should, or more accurately: should not, write unnecessary things just because they can. More so, because I tend to doubt that the things I have to say are relevant or interesting to others. I try to encourage my friends to write about what they know, even if it doesn’t feel exciting to them. If you do a good job, others will appreciate the effort, leave you constructive feedback and everyone is happy all around. I’m trying to practice what I preach in this area, and write anyway.

It feels like rambling at this point, so I’m gonna close it up, but I feel good for having written something, even if it’s only a small grain of wisdom trapped in the sandbox.

Who Would Win?

Have you ever wondered who would win in a fight between two fictional characters? Many people have asked the question, and there have been a few TV shows that have attempted to answer it.

Celebrity Deathmatch Celebrity Deathmatch was one such show. It’s animated antics put two popular celebrities against eachother using claymation. Deadliest Warrior is another similar show. It is still on the air on Spike. It uses computer graphics and  real actors to try to determine who is the deadliest warrior. Instead of celebrities, they look to historic or mythological figures or creatures.

I intend to continue the trend, and will present my own version of this question. “Who Would Win?” will be a semi-regular topic starting soon.

Upcoming Bouts

Those are just a few that I thought of today. I’ll think of others, and check comments for battles that you all would be interested in seeing.

Lessons learned at school this semester

This is my first semester taking “real” classes. I’ve done a few electives and even some transferrable work, but this is the first semester where I took a full courseload of transferrable classes and knocked it out of the park, at least I hope so… grades post later this month.

What did I learn? Here’s the list

1) Math classes are better in class than online. Yes, if you are a math genius or already know how to do it, you can and maybe even should take it online. But if you’re unsure or haven’t taken math in a long time, its best to be on campus. They have a tutoring center, not that it was easy to get in there ever, and your professor is an invaluable resource. Even when it was something as simple as “In what order do we take these exponents?” it’s better to ask in class (or after if you’re self-conscious*) than to be stuck at home, with no assistance at all.

2) Check ratemyprofessors.com before selecting a class where you have multiple options. This goes doubly for online classes. You can get stuck with a professor that doesn’t respond to emails or forum posts, and is extremely strict with no way of contacting them when you’re not sure about an assignment. Also, professors are people too, and they have beliefs and agendas. If you’re lucky, they’ll keep it out of the classroom, but that rarely happens. Be sure to find out what their former students think about them, you might find that you wouldn’t want to be stuck with them for 16 weeks.

3) On-campus classes are much easier to prepare for. Yes, you have a lot of deadlines, and yes they are generally at least one a week. Once you get this into your schedule, you may find it a lot easier to accomplish. After all, you have to go to class and turn in your homework or research paper. If you don’t have it, you have to look your professor in the eye and tell them that you couldn’t manage to get it done. Online, there’s no looming figure that’s going to disapprove of your laziness. You just don’t turn it in and collect your zero. Maybe this one is only relevant to some of us who are motivated by disappointment and guilt, but I think it’s a big enough demographic that it’s worth noting.

3a) On campus classes give you more chances to meet and befriend your peers. Even if you’re older and are going back to school after years of working, like I am, you still get to meet interesting people (or kids) and see what views you share. I’ve made judgements about some of my classmates upon meeting them for the first time, only to find out that I was totally wrong after a few weeks of getting to know them better.

3b) If you’re not married or in a relationship, college is an amazing place to meet people. Some study that I’m too lazy to go find now stated that, “4 out of 5 long-lasting relationships begin in college” (unknown). And that statistic is basically made up, but there’s a study out there that says something along those lines. I know that I’ve met some very interesting girls this semester, and if I weren’t married, I would have made sure to include them in my study groups.

Those are the big lessons from this semester. I’m sure there will be more from next semester as well. Keep moving forward, never stop learning, and try to have fun doing so.

* Don’t be self-conscious, you’re paying a lot of money for this education, get the most out of it and screw what everyone else is thinking.**

** The truth is, they’re too scared to raise their hands as well, and are secretly thankful for you asking, because they didn’t know either.***

*** But try not to be the person who asks stupid questions every 15 minutes. We all hate that person by the end of the semester.

Fall Semester coming to a close…

You *may have* noticed a distinct lack of updates. Well, I started this project at the beginning of the semester, right when I thought I’d have plenty of time to work, go to school, do homework, spend time with my son, wife and other family members.

I was wrong.

I can admit when I make a mistake, and this is one of those rare times. Maybe not so rare, stop picking on me. 😛 Either way, I’m almost done with school for the semester, and I hope to resume updating after finals. I’ll see what I can do about posting more during the semester, but school is the priority. If anything I wrote for class feels relevant enough to put up here, I might do that… but it’s unlikely.

Live long and stay  thirsty my friends.

Day 07 – Favorite game couple

Romance in video games is so prevalent, especially in games with any kind of story.  Especially in the action-adventure games where your solitary goal is to save the princess. That brings up visions of Mario and Princess Peach, Link and Zelda, just about any Final Fantasy game ever. But I’m gonna try to stay away from the old favorites, because it’s just too easy. I mentioned in a previous post that I could just write about Legend of Zelda in almost every day of this “30 days” series, and am trying really hard not to do that.

I had a favorite couple in mind, and went to do some research on other game couples. There’s a few that seem universally adored. Couples that I’m just not aware of. Eddie and Ophelia from Brutal Legend. Never played it, but it didn’t seem like the kind of game that would have a romantic couple in it. Might be worth looking into.  Jackie and Jenny from The Darkness. I played it, didn’t really like it. It seemed boring to me. Maybe I didn’t give it enough of a chance. I may try it again at some point, if I get through my huge backlog of games that I’m already not playing. Dom and Maria from Gears of War. What? Really? Who would have known that there’d be a romance in a game like that? I don’t own an xbox, so this was never really on my radar, but interesting to know that it might actually have some decent story to it. Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance  from Halflife 2. Uh… I’ve played this game more than just about any other shooter out there. I felt the subtle relationship undertones, but never anything to the level of them being a couple. Course’ I haven’t played HL2 ep2 yet. Maybe it’s in there.  dunno. Ico and Yorda from Ico. This is a game that I’ve been meaning to play for a long, long time. Because of this research, I went out and bought the ICO/Shadows of the Colossus pack for ps3. I very much look forward to discovering the relationship between these two. Going along for the ride are Wander and Mono, in Shadow of the Colussus. Another game I’ve been meaning to play since I saw my friend playing it on the PS2. I now own it, and plan to play it soon. Johnny and River from To the Moon. Haven’t played it, but it looks like a cute little RPG/adventure game that’ I’d prolly get if it was on steam. But it’s not. *sadface* But enough about the games that I’m not writing about today… on to the main subject!

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Day 06 – Most annoying character

I missed yesterday’s update. It’s hard to find time to write when it’s your day off, and the family needs attention. Sorry for that. Expect it to happen again though.  –BX

Most annoying character. Oh man. There’s so many. Tingle, from Legend of Zelda. Navi as well. Tidus from Final Fantasy, just about every protagonist in a FF game that had voice acting, to be honest… Samus from Other M, we love her, but when she got to talk… who is this whiny woman who only does what she’s told?

Video games have this tendency to put you in the hero’s role, and to allow you to “become” the hero, often times they don’t talk, so you can imagine your voice behind his or her actions. But when this is done, the supporting characters are usually really obnoxious.

Here’s the wall of shame, in case you don’t already know who these characters are…

Tingle - Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Tingle from Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
We hates him. WE HATES HIM!

Tidus from Final Fantasy X

Tidus the whiny bitch who ends up with the amazingly cute Yuna anyway. Girls like whiny guys in Japan, apparently.

Navi from Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Navi from (HEY LISTEN!) The Legend (HEY LISTEN!) of Zelda: (HEY LISTEN!) Oca(HEY!)rina(LISTEN! of T(HEY LISTEN!im(HEY LISTEN!)e. Seriously though,she shouts this at you through the whole game. It gets old, FAST.

Hope Estheim from Final Fantasy XII

Hope Estheim, his mom dies, and he’s pretty whiny about it. Overall, very understandable. He’s also a kid. I’m being too hard on poor Hope, but he was very whiny before his mom died too, so he stays on the wall of shame.

Samus Aran

Samus Aran from Metroid: Other M. Typically a lone wolf badass who gathers (or loses and then gathers) special powers to do pretty much TOTALLY AWESOME stuff, in Other M, she has all her powers, but won’t use them until command HQ tells her that she’s been a good girl, and can turn on her heat shielding in the lava level, or the electro-dampeners against the lightning pirates. You get the idea. WTF Samus? Where’s your backbone?

Snow Villiers from Final Fantasy XIII

Snow Villiers is kind of a bad ass. He looks cool, fights well, but FFS he whines a lot. I think it’s just how the Japanese see Americans. Blonde hair, blue eyes, totally awesome, but whine about everything.

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Day 05 – Game character you feel you are most like (or wish you were)

There are so many great video characters out there. I’m going to go with the one that I feel that I am most like, because “wish you were” is sort of a cop-out in my humble opinion. Everyone wishes they were better, could do different things, had magical powers or could cut a building in half with a butter knife. The much more telling, and difficult choice is “Which hero/villain/supporting character are you?”

We could look at this from a number of perspectives. Physically, I’m tall, broad-shouldered, olive complexion, dark hair, and fairly well muscled. I could be this guy

Ezio Auditore

Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed II

I could be ok with that. Especially when he becomes all bad-ass and dons the assassin garb. Which reminds me, I need to finish playing AC2. I am so far behind on that series. But I’m tangenting…
Physically, I could be a match for our pal Ezio here, but I dont know that I’m really the european playboy turned assassin type.

So lets look at Personality. I’m a pretty friendly guy. A little shy at times, but overall happy, easy-going and loyal. I could be this guy:

Luigi

Luigi from the Mario Brothers Franchise

Man, talk about loyal. Luigi doesn’t even get his name on the title of the game (except Luigi’s mansion, which he clearly can afford since he’s not always off looking for another “star fix” like his fat brother) and yet he’s always there. Waiting in the wings to be player 2. Screw that. I’m no player 2, I’m player ONE. Sorry Luigi, as chill as you are, I can’t relegate myself to being a side character.

Well, we have covered body, mind, which leaves us with spirit. It’s the courage and tenacity of the hero that really makes us want to be a part of what he’s sent to do. I’m trying really hard not to put Legend of Zelda into every post, since it is clearly my favorite game and link my favorite hero. But damn if he isn’t just the personification of courage and tenacity. So, even though I tried not to, I’ve got link up here again.

Link

Link from The Legend of Zelda franchise

He’s a young kid that’s told he’s the only one that can save the world. That’s a lot of weight to put on a little dude’s shoulders. But he goes off on his own (or with a  friend, depending on the game) and proceeds to cut all the grass, break all the pots, turn over every stone, (and kill some bad guys) until he’s powerful enough to fight the ultimate evil in the world, and using his courage and tenacity, defeat it. He’s the man. Yeah, he’s got a big boy version too.

Adult Link

Adult Link, Wind Waker style by: shaneandhisdog

But really, that doesn’t answer the question. Who do I feel I am most like? It’s still a very difficult decision, especially for me since I’ve spent the last 8-9 years playing MMOs. I could list off a ton of my personal characters and the choices that they’ve made that are just like how I play things. Even with the non-mmo games I’ve been playing recently, the characters are still modeled the way I want them to be, and make the decisions that I want them to make. My ending of Bioshock was the nice one, because I saved all the Little Sisters. But maybe you had the Angry one, or the sad one, because you killed those poor little girls. Who knows. Even with all of that, I’m gonna go with a character that isn’t necessarily the same for every player on every play through.

 

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