Monthly Archives: July 2013

Click Here to Learn More!

I’ve started using “Continue Reading” links in my posts a few paragraphs in.  Let me know if these are too annoying.  I think it cleans up the main feed a bit, and prevents the problem of scrolling down to the end of a post and not finding a place to comment.

The Curse of Bak’laag

I like video games.  I really enjoy playing them.  However, I have a lot of video games.

A lot.

There’s a website called The Backloggery that is designed to help you keep track of your video game collection, how many games you’ve beaten, and how many you’ve set aside uncompleted (or never had a chance to pick up at all).  According to my profile, I have over 400 games across various platforms I’ve bought, borrowed, or downloaded for free.  Of those, 63% are unfinished.  And of those unfinished games, half are games I haven’t even played one bit.

I could not buy another game and still be set for years.

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Where to find me

Hey there!  Now that I have revealed the presence of this blog to the outside world, I guess it’s possible that I might get actual readers (thanks to those of you who have started leaving comments).  I realize that not everyone is going to want to check yet another website for new posts every day (I’ve been known to do so, but mostly to waste time).  As such, I’ve finally joined the 21st Century Web 2.0 Interblagosphere, and there are now several ways you can stay abreast of my inane ramblings:

  • This blog (duh)
  • RSS (I use Feedly to sync my feeds since the death of Google Reader)
  • Facebook (the social network I use the most, and I don’t use it much)
  • Tumblr (still has some packing peanuts attached)
  • Twitter (careful, the paint is still wet)

I’ve considered setting up a Google+ profile, but have so far resisted; if there’s interest I will reconsider.  This post should go to all the services above.  If it doesn’t, I’ll figure something out (hopefully without too many goat sacrifices).


Just a Role Model

I generally don’t read nonfiction, and I can’t remember the last time I read a memoir voluntarily; I get enough of boring, drab reality in my day-to-day life. But I just finished reading Just a Geek by Wil Wheaton. I picked it up during the most recent Humble Bundle, and got around to starting it a few days ago. It’s not a long book, but I still feel like I finished it in record time.

I’m not sure how to say this, so I’ll just start writing and hope things sort themselves out. His experience speaks to me in a way I didn’t think possible. I, like I imagine many others who consider themselves geeks or nerds, often spend far too much time in my own head. As such, I tend to end up brooding over things, turning minor molehills into neurotic mountains. But this book showed me that I don’t suffer alone. That feeling you get when you’re waiting by the phone or computer to hear back from an interview, and the dread mounts daily? Yeah, Wil Wheaton’s felt that. The discouragement after being told you’re hugely qualified but they decided to go with someone else? Wil Wheaton’s felt that, too. The disillusionment with your chosen career path, unable to find joy and fulfillment in your daily existence, beating yourself up for a past decision that’s looking more and more like a huge life-crushing mistake?

You can see where I’m going with this.

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Remember: ideas are a self-sustaining resource

One good thing I’ve noticed since starting this blog is that I’m thinking about writing more.  The downside is that it seems to happen when I can’t write for some reason or another, like on my commute to/from work.

I have to get up very early in the morning for work, and as a result aren’t always as fully awake as I might otherwise be.  The mind works in funny ways when tired, and can latch on to the oddest things.  I’ll let my mind wander (something it’s very good at), sometimes mulling over things from earlier in the week, and think to myself: “Man, that could be a good blog post!”  Often these are complicated subjects, something I’ve tried to puzzle through either by conversing with my girlfriend or brooded on in my own head.  The possibility of writing about it seems to focus my thoughts, organizing and streamlining them so they make more sense.  I don’t even seem to have to actually write for this to happen; the mere idea of writing smooths things into place.  Unfortunately, unless I do get a chance to write, these ordered thoughts quickly dissolve back into the chaotic background cogitation  I often even have difficulty recalling what so fascinated me when I finally have a chance to write.  This becomes the source of a detracting, neurotic voice, which says “Hey, don’t spend your inspiration when you can’t use it!  Save it up, or at least write it down so you can come back to it later!”  In the long run, this tends to discourage me from writing and thinking about writing at all.

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Token effort

Hey, look: it’s my first lame, half-hearted post! I’m pretty tired today; I had to be at work early, and ended up staying up much later than I meant to. Oh well, such are the joys of being an adult.

I’ve started experimenting with my posts, looking at them as a chance to talk about/think through certain subjects/issues rather than a rambling, unstructured journal entry (like this one seems to be). There may be occasional stream-of-consciousness word- and thought-vomit posts, but I can see that getting boring for my (still hypothetical) readers awfully quickly. I hold no delusions that my life is that interesting; I do have to live it, after all. As part of the aforementioned plan, I’ve started keeping a list of possible post ideas, many of which have been coming to me while at work (and in no position to write). So hopefully as I get more accustomed to writing daily, I’ll be able to focus the discipline and craft an actual article, with original insights and everything!

A few side notes: my last couple entries have been about 500 words. Once I saw that count, I couldn’t help but flash back to school and writing essays. I’ve got some stuff I could say about that, but maybe I’ll see if it can hold up as a stand-alone topic. (Whoa there, H0rs3, I see you trying to sneak in front of that kart!) This is also the first entry I’ve written on my tablet. While manageable, it’s not something I would want to do without a physical keyboard.

Gonna go wish I was asleep now.

Taken for granted

I was re-reading this post from Twenty Sided and it got me thinking.  I’ve been playing video games for over 20 years, since I was probably about 5 or 6.  I have fond memories of playing Felix the Cat and Duck Hunt at an out-of-state cousin’s house (did you know that shooting ducks is really easy if you put the gun right up against the screen?).  My first console was a Super NES, which came bundled with Super Mario World.  My parents, in what I still think was a smart decision, limited my gaming sessions to 30 minutes so that it wouldn’t consume my life and eclipse my other pastimes, like reading, being kicked outside to play and reading under a tree, and trying in vain to read at the kitchen table.  But I digress.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I grew up gaming, so I never really had to think about how to play; I was young enough that I soaked it up like a sponge and it became second nature.  I never had to deliberately put in the time to literally re-learn how to walk, how to jump, et cetera.  My hands slip just as easily into WASD format as they do into the home keys for typing.  Contrast this with my girlfriend, who didn’t really play games until we started gaming together with games like LEGO Star Wars.  I looked at the game and thought “Oh, this is a platformer, albeit in 3D.  Let’s go have fun!”  She, on the other hand, had to hike up the learning curve from the long way round.  She’s gotten (much) better since then, but I’m not sure gaming controls will ever be as second nature as they are for me.

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20 GOTO 10

Well, here’s to Day Two of blogging.  I’m pretty sure this has already gotten farther than my previous attempt, which was so ephemeral I don’t even remember the URL.  I wonder if it’s still out there somewhere?

Anyway, I’ve come up with a slightly less provisional title.  Turns out calling your blog [insert witty title here] is nowhere near as witty or uncommon as I thought.  Gee, imagine that: repetition? On the Internet?  I should find a meme to express my surprise!

Wow, that took longer than it should have.

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As the title states, hello world.  Does anyone ever know what to say on these things?

Anyway, welcome to my most recent blog experiment.  I tried starting one on Blogger several years ago, but it never took off.  Now that I have my own domain and hosting, I figured I’d try again.

I’m not sure what I’m planning to do with this yet, but I’ve got a few ideas, such as random musings, rants, and discussions about what’s important to me.  Since I’ve got this hosted on an eponymous domain, it’s not exactly going to be anonymous; that may change, although I’m not sure how much of an issue it’s going to be.  If I start blogging about work and such, it may be an issue.

Let’s see where this takes us.

That weird feeling…

I have a weird habit.  In fact, it might be a form of self-sabotage: whenever I actually start to feel productive, one of my reflexes is to do a bit of work and then move on to something else, even if I’m still feeling productive.  It’s almost as if I’m worried I’ll run out of productive zazz, as it it’s some sort of limited resource.  But I have to wonder if I’m conditioning myself to stop working whenever I feel motivated.  And as a result, if my baseline level of productivity and motivation is in danger of decreasing.

This blog is a perfect example.  Multiple times since I started it today I’ve thought: “Hey, I’ve got a few ideas for posts, but let’s go play some Deus Ex for a bit.”  So far I’ve resisted that urge, and I feel great for it.  I’m energized in a way I don’t often feel these days, engaged in day-to-day reality more so than usual.

But I’m still scared of losing that feeling.

I guess that’s something I need to work on: not being worried about succeeding.