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Team J.A.F.


My Thoughts on 2012

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Dec 31 2012 · 655 views

Normally, around this time of year, I would write a blog entry summarizing all my shortcomings from this year and how I was going to change next year.  Only this time, I don't feel horrible depressed or anything so I got nothing much to add.  (That, and just in case the world ended last week, I only planned for 3 months into 2013.  Drat, now I gotta think about stuff even further down the road... like 4 month from now, or even 5 months!)
So, um, I'm excited to start an internship and move to Dallas.  It'll be costly, but I will have to make some room in my budget for Lego, because there's lots of exciting sets coming out.  I have my eyes on Ninjago in particular, as most of the sets (and figs) look pretty awesome.  Chima is also a cool one, although I don't think I can afford to get too invested in it.  Also Galaxy Squad looks epic, but I'll probably only get one or two cheaper ones.  Plus, still interested in Hero Factory, 'cause of some of the new trans green elements look nice.  And, of course, the collectible minifigures, of which I want them all.  ;)
I'm also looking forward to eating more solid foods in a couple of weeks.  :happydance:
So Happy New Year, everybody!  Party on.  (And if you're partying like it's 1999... then it must be a historical themed party.  Ha!)


What I Got

Posted by xccj , in News Dec 26 2012 · 519 views

Mostly cheap dishes.  See, I went and got some moderate quality stuff a couple of years ago when I was living in the dorms, but I didn't need to use it when I moved home.  As such, my sister took all of it, and she isn't giving it back.  Which is fine, and I said that I would just go to the store and buy some cheap stuff when I move to Dallas.  This way, I can choose my own styles and I won't have to transport it.  But nope, instead my sister went and bought a bunch of cheap stuff on her own, claiming this is what I asked for.  Meh.
I also got socks.  Yay socks.
And I got a smart phone.  Which has a touch screen.  There weren't any smart phones with keyboards.  It turns out that everybody loves touch screens and nobody wants physical keyboards anymore!  Except me.  Also, it did have a protective cover over the touch screen, but I stupidly removed and ruined it, so I need to get another one.  >.<  Oh, it's a Droid HTC.  Apparently has really good battery life, compared to most smart phones.  I actually did get a say in selecting this, so it wasn't a huge "surprise."  I chose a Droid because I am never gonna touch an iPhone and the Windows phones seemed just a little lacking. (Battery life, Google maps, ext.)  The web browser on it is much nicer than my old phone, but it will take some getting used to.
Also a camera.  Which is the same as the one my parents own that I borrow to take Lego picts.  But my mom got it for like 50% off at Costco, so now I can take one to Dallas with me.  I suppose I could've used my phone's camera, which is still really good but took really bad close up Lego pictures, so I prefer the other one.
Didn't recieve a single Lego set or otherwise related product.  (Last year, my mom got me a silly large minifig light thing and tried to say it counted as Lego even tho it had no buildable elements on it.)  Oh well, I do expect to buy a bunch of 2013 stuff, as soon as it's availible and I have an income.  ;)
And yeah, that's it.  Cheap dishes, camera, and a phone.  Quantity is limited this year, but quality rocks!  Hope you guys all had a wonderful holiday.  Don't celebrate Christmas?  Well, too bad, still hope you had a good day.  :P


Guess What Tomorrow Is?

Posted by xccj , in News Dec 25 2012 · 273 views

That's right, it's Tuesday!!
In related news, I guess that Le Miz movie comes out. Since when did Le Miz have such a rabid following on BZP?  I'm not saying I don't like it (seriously, great play) but I don't get the obsession over it sometimes.  But I can say the same thing about the ponies, and Dr. Who.  Oh, and that one Lego theme Bionicle, man that attracted the craziest fans.
Also, apparently I won a contest when I was in the hospital.  The Ninjago story contest.  It's not the first time I've placed, but it's the first time I took #1.  (I've reached 2nd a couple of times.)  It's really cool, but there were only like 7 stories, and I think we need more Ninjago fan fiction, because it's world is just as rich as Bionicle.  (And the female to male ratio is slightly better.  Slightly.)
Now I have to think about my Christmas dinner for tomorrow?  Yogurt or watered-down mashed potatoes?  Ah heck, I'll just do both.  :P


Recovery Week

Posted by xccj , in News Dec 24 2012 · 240 views

I had so many plans for what I was going to do over winter break.  I could work on one of my many stories.  I could do this art / animation idea I've had, or even try and make it a flash game like the MNOLG.  I could finish organizing my Lego collection.  And I was planning to watch a whole bunch of movies too!  (And also, pack and prepare for my internship in Dallas.)
But it turns out recovering from a surgery has left me unmotivated, and I haven't taken advantage of my free time at all.  Mostly what I've done is slept in bed, laid in bed trying to sleep but failing to do so because my stomach is growling, watching enviously as my family eats foods that I cannot currently eat myself, and staring blankly at a computer screen with no inspiration to work on any of my projects.  :(
Seriously, tho, it's not too bad.  I'm not in pain or anything, and the liquid diet is mostly just an annoyance.  I am certainly a lot better off than a whole lot of people, so I am thankful for my good fortune and health.
But yeah I am going to have a long to-do list by the end of the month.  >.<



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, News Dec 19 2012 · 400 views
Its-the-end-of-the and 2 more...
So I'm going into Surgery today.  (Or rather, tomorrow since I'm writing this from yesterday thanks to the amazing blog time machine!)  I'll probably be out for a few days or so, and when I come back I might be on so many painkillers that you won't be able to tell my crazy ramblings from my normal ones!
Back-story: I've probably mentioned this before in this blog, cause I love complaining, but I have pretty bad acid reflux.  I had the doctors stick a camera or something down my throat this summer to see how bad I am.  Turns out I have some sort of abnormally large hole in the top of my stomach.  And as such, I can claim that this isn't a problem caused by my dieting habits.  (Goldfish crackers + lemonade is totally a diet.)  But it's an ongoing problem, and currently I'm having to take some hefty medication to keep it down.  So the obvious solution is a full out surgery.  :D  (Well, I did research some other possibilities, and some I don't even qualify for, and it turns out this surgery is the best method.)
It shouldn't be too much of a problem.  The doctors who's doing this is experienced... like, uber, "I've do this a hundred times a year" experienced.  (And I suppose that also makes my problem not that unique either.)  So it's nothing life threatening, but it will help in the long run.  I'm not too worried about it.
What I am worried about is the fact that I'll have to be on a liquid food diet for two weeks after this.  Feasting during the end of the year?  Only on jello or yogurt for me!
That, and the world might end in a couple of days, and I might be on too many painkillers to either A: Get out of the way of the falling, flaming debris, or B: Not be able to appreciate the explosion on the horizon before it consumes me.  Hmm, maybe I should've pushed off the surgery for a few days.  Eh, too late now.
Posted Image
Anyway, parting picture: since people have been putting santa hats on their avatars, I decided to do the same to mine.  :P  Happy holidays, stay safe, and see you on the other side!



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Dec 18 2012 · 420 views

What is it with some of these Anime?  12 episodes and I get emotionally attached to the characters and moved by the finale.  Doesn't happen a lot for other shows I watch.  Maybe it's cause I'm watching entire seasons back to back instead of drawn out... but still.
And by "moved" I mean slightly choked up but not bawling or anything.  :P  And this doesn't apply to everything.
It has made me think of some of my own writing experience.  Honestly, there is only one time I ever got choked up over my own writing, and that was when I killed off Duka in my Bionicle epic Time Disruption. (Oh, uh, spoiler?)  But in general, I've avoided tragic deaths in most of my writings.  Sure, I have bad things happen to the characters, and the endings aren't always 100% perfect, but usually most of them survive.  Well, there is one story where I killed off all the supporting characters, one at a time, and the protagonist had an emotional breakdown, but it didn't happen to me as a writer.  (Because he used time travel to go back and change the chain of events, thus leading to only a few deaths of supporting characters... uh, yeah, spoiler again!)  But the point is, I never got choked up as an author because I knew I was bringing the characters back.  In retrospect, Duka's death kind of came up at the last moment, and although I was expecting to give him a sad fate, his death just seemed to accidentally slide into place and thus the emotion felt more real.  (And Duka wasn't even one of the main characters either!)
But yeah, this doesn't normally happen.  I mean, Toy Story III is one movie where I got teared up a bit (not just the incinerator scene, but also the lost teddy bear scene, cause that actually did happen to me as a kid except without an exact replacement.)  And I guess the seventh Harry Potter book was a little sad in that chapter where he walks through the forest.  But do those Anime writers have nothing better to do than write moving stories with relatable characters??
That's it, I'm going back to watching the robot mecha gory ones instead.  :P


Do My Posts Count?

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Dec 17 2012 · 352 views

For the first time, I think my post count rank has slipped!
I was just checking the member list, where I ordered it by post count.  From like 2005 to 2010, I was like in the top 70-80 posters on BZP.  (Like, usually ten or so down on the second page with 60 members per page.)  I mean, after the first couple years, I made progress, but for most years, I just made steady progress.  I'd pass some members, and then other members would pass me.  But I haven't been posting much this year, and it's affected my rank, which is now about halfway down the second page.  (So, maybe top 90-100.)
So what am I going to do about this?
Nothing.  :P
I mean, I could blame it on the fact that none of my reporter duties increase my post count despite me having to post a news story once-ish a week-ish.  Or that the places I post most often don't count posts.  (Ima lookin' at you, Voting Booth!)  But really, it's cause I'm super inactive on the forums.  And besides, it's not about your post count... but about your blog count.  I'm now the 4th biggest blogger.  Bambi, Bfahome, and CF, ya better watch out!  (Note, I'm not in the most viewed or most commented blog... I just talk to myself here more than most people!)
Also I should become more active in the forums but I probably won't because I have a life now bla bla bla okay I'm kidding no I don't but I will have work responsibilities so bla.  :P


The Hobbit, In Brief

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, TV Dec 14 2012 · 432 views

Honestly, there's so much I could say about the Hobbit, both good and bad.  But I'm really not in the mood to write all about it, so I'll keep it short.
It does a good job of keeping the feel from the LotR movies, but it also seems to be lacking some of the majesty.  This may just be because it's the first; after all, Fellowship was arguably the worst of the three LotR movies.  (And it was still pretty good.)  The same here.
It's also different because they're including so much.  In LotRs, they had to take out so much stuff just to fit it into the 3 movies, but the Hobbit is one book being spread out over three movies, so they have room to add in new stuff.  On one hand, I can appreciate it and I always love seeing more of Middle Earth.  On the other hand... c'mon, drawing the Hobbit out into three movies?  Now we have to wait even longer for it to conclude!
One thing that bugged me; it was shot in 48 FPS (Frames Per Second) instead of the standard 24.  But while others claimed it felt more realistic, it seemed too jumpy and quick in places for me.  Not the plot movement or whatever; the physical movements on the screen just felt off!  Like everything was in fast forward.  It cut down on the enjoyability for me anyway.  :(
But all the same... I like the bits of plot they added in from the books.  The characters seem far more real now, especially the dwarves, who I never really connected with in the Book.  And Gandalf war arguably cooler in this movie than the previous LotR ones.  And there was lots of epic scenery of Middle Earth New Zealand to enjoy.  So if you haven't already, go see it.  (But I'm not sure if I would recommend a midnight showing again... waaaaaaaay too crowded.  It would've probably been more fun to go with friends, but since I have none... year, should've just waited a day.)


Long Entry

Posted by xccj , in News Dec 13 2012 · 316 views

I was gonna post this long detailed entry on this issue I've been having where my posts get eaten by the server...
But then the blog ate it.  :(
I'll be filling out a ticket for this, methinks.
But later.  it's been a busy week.  Finals.  My final finals.  But I had 1  final essay to turn in by Saturday, 1 presentation to attend on Monday, 1 written final on Tuesday, 1 final project also due Tuesday, 1 short answer essay due Wednesday, 1 class discussion final (we had to orally take our final, and it was a neat method for a history class), tomorrow I have yet another presentation, and then 1 final essay on what I've learned in my degree that's due Friday-ish.  And I had like three assignments due during dead-week along with a couple of finals then too.  So much for the last semester being a breeze.  Still, easier than when I was taking engineering courses.  ;)
Also bought tickets to see The Hobbit tomorrow night.  No, spoilers, because I sure don't want to know how it's gonna end.   :sarcastic: (Hint: the LotR movies never happened, they were just Smaug's dream after he ate all the dwarfs.)
Oh, and I have surgery next week, and then two weeks on a liquid only diet!  So excited to consume lots of jello, yogurt, and mashed potatoes!
And then sometime before January I need to find housing in Dallas.  Searching online is kind of a pain, especially with apartment reviews.  A few people gush over the places and give em great reviews, and others then claim those were written by the owners themselves and everybody else just complains and says they're horrible.  Maybe I'll just have to find a particularly cozy overpass to hang out under for my three months down there.
Hmm, okay, this entry did turn out to be longish.  And I was trying to be sarcastic with the title at first.


Ninjago Story Contest Entry

Posted by xccj , in News, Stories Dec 10 2012 · 300 views

Woo Hoo, I managed to finish my story and enter it into the contest. Yay! You can read and review it Here.

What the Karzahni? I just wrote an extensive blog entry and then 90% of the text gets deleted when I posted it? Oh well, I guess I can go into the detailed about the story in a later entry. Suffice to say, I hope you'll take some time to read it, and I hope it does well in the contest. (It is quite long; the longest entry so far.)

So please review! Thanks! (Oh, and go enter the contest yourself, since it only has like 7 entries and the deadline's tonight.)


December 2012


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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
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But even the sun sets in paradise
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Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
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So make now your ally, and leap before you look
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Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
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