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Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. Some perks of joining include:
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Team J.A.F.



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Moving

Posted by xccj , May 17 2008 · 181 views
News and Updates
Troublesome Roommate Solution

Bury him and don't look back.

Move rooms, even if it is only for three and a half weeks.

More trouble for me now, but at least I'll get away.

On another thought, I love re-watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

I got it right this time, Kumata. tongue.gif

It's a great movie. Unfortunately, I always get hung up after the tank sequence... after that brilliant chase scene, everything else just feels dull.

Now I have to pack.

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Shoot

Posted by xccj , May 15 2008 · 161 views
News and Updates
Things that are going wrong right now. (In no particular order of magnitude)

Bothersome roommate
Switching rooms this weekend to get away from him.
Sinus / Ear infection
Calculus Midterm
Econ Homework Group shrunk, so now I have to do more homework problems
Physics homework
Little / no motivation
BZP Procrastination
Epic Writer's Block

And I am so much better off than people in that last Chinese earthquake. sad.gif

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Favorites...

Posted by xccj , May 13 2008 · 131 views
Thoughts
I was thinking (a rare occurrence these days) and I got interrupted by the idea of listing my favorite Bionicle sets over the years. So here's for stuff you think up while you're supposed to be taking notes.

Favorites, based off set design, not storyline.

Toa Mata: Gali, Lewa, Pohatu. All the Toa Mata are just classic favorites, so I won't even bother choosing between the three listed.

Turaga: Nokama. Just because.

Tohunga: Nuparu, mostly because he was the first one I could get.

Rahi: Of the two I got, I preferred the Tarakava.

Bohrok: Kohrok. Since all the Bohrok are pretty much the same, I went with the one with the coolest shields.

Bohrok Va: Lehvak Va. Love those machetes.

Toa Nuva: Lewa. I really don't have a favorite out of this bunch, but I like Lewa's color and weapons.

Bohrok Kal: Nuhvok Kal. Ah, it was just the first one I got, and the black and silver went together well.

Rahkshi: Lerahk. Again, it's the green.

Matoran 03: Um, Takua, I guess. I wasn't very impressed with the design, but the masks and colored pieces were great.

Toa Metru: Onewa. His weapons are sweet, as is his mask design.

Vahki: Vorzahk. Mostly because its green, I suppose.

Metruan: Ehrye or Nuhri.

Toa Hordika: None. Only thing that was great about them was the skull piece, really.

Visorak: Oohnorak. Just because of the yellow eyes. The Visorak were bummer sets too.

Rahaga: Iruini. Green.

Piraka: Thok. Great color scheme, awesome head design, wicked weapon. Yeah.

Toa Inika: Hewkii. His mask rocked and he had chains.

Voya-Nui Matoran: Garan. Mostly because of the hordika skull pieces. Except for Dalu, all the Voya-Nui Matoran were awesome.

Barakki: Mantax. Great design, especially considering he's named after a manta ray.

Toa Mahri: Hewkii. A more unique design with lots of good blade pieces, as well as a unique way to hold the Cordak.

Mahri Matoran: Dekar. I guess it's because of th yellow.

Toa Phantoka: Pohatu. The orange is good, but the propellers are an awesome idea.

Makuta Phantoka: Chirox. I dunno, his wing design looks good.

Matoran of Light or Shadow: Tanma and Kirop. For their colors, I suppose.

Toa Mistika (estimated): Tahu. Basic design is overused but not too bad. Rotating blade looks good.

Makuta Mistika (estimated): Bitil or Krika. Both have good designs, I'm just not sure yet.

Titan that I Have from 03 onward: Keetongu. New color (at the time) and useful design.

Special Mention: Boxer and Bahrag. Expensive but very intricate.

Procrastination is complete. Retinas have been burned out due to multitude of colors.

In other news, which mask do you prefer, Mask 3 or Mask 4?

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Chinese Films

Posted by xccj , May 10 2008 · 171 views
News and Updates
Or Hong Kong, as it was separate of China when most of 'em were made.

Here's the scoop. I had a rough morning with a midterm and all (yes, I'm still on Midterms, finals don't come for another month.) So tonight, I thought I'd do something to just chill out. Sleep was out of the question once my roommate arrived, and I felt like watching a movie. But I didn't feel like shoving out five bucks for a rental (not to mention the walk to and from the nearest Blockbuster) So instead, I logged onto a video website, and randomly searched Jackie Chan. They had a bunch of clips from his various movies, and sometimes even the whole movie itself. It's split into ten minute portions or so, and the quality is not exceptional. But, hey, it's free.

Plus, here's something I do with foreign films. I don't use the English dub, where there are voice overs for all the characters in English. I listen to the film in its original language, and use English subtitles instead. I don't know why, but it makes the sound flow a lot better, plus I find it easier to understand quick words by reading it rather than hearing it blurted out rapidly. Just something I do. So I watched the movie clips in Chinese with English subtitles. There were English voice overs, but I skipped those.

With that said, I've wasted the last five or so hours watching all three Police Story (at least, I think that's the English name) movies in ten minute portions on an unnameable video hosting site. I don't know if it's legal or not, but these movies came out before I was born, so whatever.

And I've seen enough martial arts to satisfy me. yeah. cool.gif

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Not Now!

Posted by xccj , May 07 2008 · 76 views
Thoughts
I love it how people so easily mess up the words "not" and "now" when they're typing. By switching those two words, the sentence can completely change its meaning.

For example

I am not eating your arm.

I am now eating your arm.

"Not" implies a negatory meaning, as the user believes whatever action they are addressing will not come to pass.

"Now" implies an observation, as the user is usually stating something that is obvious in the here and now.

Basically, by switching the two words, you switch the meaning of the entire sentence into something that is usually opposite of what you really mean. And, by the way the English language spells the words, changing between the two of them only requires you to alter the last letters. Thus, switch the "T" in Not to a "W" and you get Now. And thanks to the common qwerty keyboard, the "W" key and the "T" key are three key-lengths apart on the same row.

Thus, it is easy when one is typing something fast to accidentally spell "not" instead of "now" and vise versa. And by that one simply mistake, you have completely changed what you were trying to say.

And I am aware that I am looking too deep into something too trivial, but I find it funny, because I have made this mistake many times before and I have seen it quite often recently.

Is this a grammar guide? A warning? Making fun of people who make mistakes? Maybe, I don't know for sure.

I just hope you've learned a little something not now. Or now not.

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People Flock To My Reviw Topics!

Posted by xccj , May 07 2008 · 209 views
Thoughts
I randomly looked at a new post in the Writing Tips topic, and came upon this...

QUOTE(Exo-Fat @ May 5 2008, 07:57 PM) View Post
7. Reviews. Way too many people post a topic thinking that they get instant popularity and the reviews will just flow in by the minute. That's not how it works, ever. The only times that it works are when people like GaliGee, Xccj and Takuta-Nui post something. Then poeple absolutely flock to the review topics. I hate to say it but most of us aren't like GaliGee.


I find this interesting, considering I have been put off numerous times by a lack of reviewers. But I guess, to newcomers, I get a lot of good, constant reviewers. Really, I have had a really bad history for reviews. Only a handful of my epics really got anywhere, with about half of them dying out because nobody was really interested. I hit it big on TD, although for a while most of the posts were just spam. A few of my other, shorter epics got a few people reading them the whole way, but not too many. SoMN isn't really hitting it big, it's just lasting so long that the few reviewers that have stayed with it have posted alot. And MA, an experiment in a new writing style of letting reviewers answer questions that will drive the plot, is doing rather well. But short stories and comedies never last too long, and any MO or artwork topic die instantly as if they were playing with a Doom Viper.

Which brings it down to, I have had so many bad experiences that I feel I hardly get reviewers at all, and enjoy the ones I do get. However, based on my good experiences, I've got a weird reputation. Hmm.

How did this come by? Did my writing vastly improve so that everybody wanted to read my stuff? Well, maybe a little, but that's not the whole thing. I've found the best way to get reviewers is to review yourself. The first person who started reviewing my first epic was an author who's epic I started replying to. I don't remember his story being worth much, and he mentioned that quality was lacking in mine as well, but we got reviews from each other, and started improving. I have had many reviewers also be authors who's work I enjoyed. Right now, I am being a total hypocrite because I am only reading Kumata's stories, whereas I have a few other reviewers out there too. annoyed2.gif But I make up for it in blogs; I like people replying to my blog posts, and I spend a substantial amount of time in BZP's blogs replying to other people's work.

So, remember, it's a trade-off. If you review somebody else's work, they might just return the favor. Or not.

But out of the names GaliGee, Xccj and Takuta-Nui, one does not belong, and that is Xccj... ziplip.gif

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Home For The Weekend

Posted by xccj , May 05 2008 · 126 views
News and Updates
For no real particular reason, except just to get away from my room, I went home this weekend. Went on a cool Kayak, ate real food, built an MOC during the night. It was okay

Except that I spent upwards of 10 hours traveling to and from. The train on the way down had to stop ten minutes away because of rail traffic... because there's only one track, so one train can mean a lot of traffic. glare.gif So, although parts of my weekend were fun, the traveling parts were irksome and tiresome.

And now I'm mostly exhausted and looking at the pile of homework I have due. That, plus another midterm at the end of the week. (Its strange, I never call them tests anymore, but I always mix up midterms and call them finals, so I have about a final every week and then the super finals at the end of the quarter.)

With that said, I will post dreary and jealous comments in any and all blog entries I read talking about the end of the school year and / or the start of summer. I will only share my pity with those taking AP tests in the coming weeks, but it's limited if those tests are at the end of said test taker's school year. I'll be getting off sometime mid June, thank you very much.

It's late, I'm tired, I have a lot of homework, and there's really nothing worth reading on BZP right now. I'm signing off.

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Vector Masks

Posted by xccj , May 01 2008 · 137 views
News and Updates
Bonesiii is hosting a contest on PowerPoint vector art, and I'm having trouble choosing my entries. I made one, but I don't have enough time and / or inspiration to make more. Luckily for me, I was into Bioncile vector art via PowerPoint long before bonesiii ever posted his guides (although I did get a few tips from them) So I thus have a pretty good collection of Bionicle masks from 01 to 06. Some of them are bad... the Hau was one of the first I ever created, and I never took the time to revise it. But so many of them are good and similiar to the set forms. I have two more masks that I can enter into bonesiii's contest, so I need help choosing which to put in. So you can recommend which ones look the best... (or which ones offer you the least amount of competition). So, yeah.

And mostly this is just to counter Adventurer's and Takua the Chronicler's Wanderer's multiple entries on vector masks. Here's some of my work now. LOOK AT IT! wired.gif

Great Pakari on Nuparu (Ignore body to mask proportion problems here, I know they're bad so just focus on the mask)
Great Miru on Kongu
Great Kaukau on Hahli
Great Akaku on Matoro
Great Miru Nuva on Lewa Nuva
Great Pakari Nuva on Onua Nuva
Great Kakama Nuva on Pohatu Nuva
Great Mahiki on Matau Metru
Great Komau on Onewa Metru
Avak's face!
Vezok's face!
Thok's face!
Great Sanok on Hewkii Inika
Great Hau on Jaller (Wait, this wasn't one of my better masks...)

Yeah...

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An Update From Earlier

Posted by xccj , Apr 30 2008 · 67 views

The irony nearly killed me. I have been checking my dorm mailbox regularly for weeks. (On the off chance that my parents send me something... they hinted at it but haven't followed through. And why does it matter... I'll be going home this weekend) Anyway, I checked it about once every day, sometimes even twice a day, and even at illogical times like Saturday night and the following Sunday morning (they don't deliver mail on Sunday. sad.gif ). So I was kinda annoyed when my roomie came in and said that I had mail waiting...

Gah!

Just complaining now, onto the real update.

Some of you might remember this entry. You should, because I know everybody regularly reads every single thing I post online. (Cricket chirps, blasts it away with Cordak) Anyhow, when I got to my mailbox, I found a package from Lego. Inside, in a nice seal baggie, was Lewa Nuva Phantoka's lime green torso armor. There was also a nice letter, saying sorry and to call if I have any further troubles. (I think I will... one of Pohatu Nuva Phantoka's double socket connectors broke... and that's a gray piece too! Is all Lego plastic fragile now? I never had to worry about this kind of stuff until 2007)

So now my Lewa is complete, with all his pieces in the right place. I personally liked my version a bit better. The new armor makes him look a little meatier, but it also makes him look flat and pancaked, which is the fate of many canister sets. On the bright side, it really does give the lime a color boost over the gray.

I'm not completely satisfied with the piece, but I am satisfied with the service. Lego is good at sending replacement pieces. However, if you do follow through with this, look up the exact piece number, so as there is no confusion of what you're really missing.

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Planning Stuff For S.o.m.n.

Posted by xccj , Apr 30 2008 · 120 views
Epic Reports
I have just spent the night brainstorming for my epic, Slizers on Mata-Nui. In general terms, it's an epic where I find something interesting to put in, and then run with it, like I had planned it all along. For instance, there was the use of the Vahki, which came out of nowhere, and the inclusion of Sunari, which was for a contest. But a while back I started a time line for the epic, placing basic events in the order I'd like to write them in. I revise it and move stuff around as I actually come to write about things, but I have some of the major twists and turns preplanned, such as the Matoran's initial capture, the attack by One-arm, and stuff like that. It's basic, pretty much saying who'll be doing what, when, where, and against who. Sometimes not even that much. It's crude, but it helps to guide me when I'm creating future chapters.

Well, I've spent a good portion of the night lengthening that time line. It's taking up a lot of room in Excel, but it's good. There are lots of fun things I have planned out, and now I know where to put them chronologically. And I was also able to determine where specific characters will get their chance to shine. I really can't wait to write this, but I know the process can be slow when I get hung up on certain chapters. And I don't always get hung up on the same kinds of things... peaceful, planning chapters can be difficult if I want to foreshadow something that I haven't yet thought up, but if I know what I want beforehand they're easy to write. If I have already choreographed a fight in my hand, putting it into writing usually isn't too bad, but if I haven't some fights can take a painfully long time to write. That, and sometimes my inspiration just runs dry, or my time fills up. I can not make writing a career, because I have such a problematic style. But I'm not writing for cash... even if anybody'd pay me... I'm writing 'cause I enjoy to and I like to see other people enjoying my epics too.

But, here's the thing... I have things planned up to 80 chapters, and that's just approaching the end. My biggest epic so far, Time Disruption, ended at about 63 chapters. However, it had a rather abrupt ending... a big, lengthy struggle was interrupted and a quick conclusion was drawn. I liked it that way because it didn't drag out an endless storyline... I had already summed up the minor character struggles and it was then simply a matter of holding out. One big battle was good, but I didn't want more and more of the same types of battles, so I used a wild card and took the main characters to a place where they could "make things right" and secure their friendship. That was, as I've said, 63 chapters. The chapter lengths were also shorter (although the spelling and grammar was worst) than SoMN, and posted more frequently. (Well, maybe not, but I managed to keep a bunch of reviewers until the very end).

Slizers on Mata-Nui had already lost most reviewers, with a few still hanging in at 57 chapters. But can they hang in for 20 more chapters, especially when I can't promise that I can post them in a timely manner? When does an epic become too long that nobody bothers to every read it unless they were around when it first began?

I don't know. I do know that when I post something and nobody replies, it makes me feel sad. I have seriously almost been put off writing a few times because of how poorly my epics have been reviewed here. But SoMN has a few constant reviewers, so I hope they can hang on until the end. And even if they drop off (be warned, Kumata, you drop this and I drop your epics too... tongue.gif ) I'll probably still post chapters. Since I started this epic in 2005, I've returned to it numerous times after long blackout periods. It would be really cool to see it concluded in a manner I like. And, even if it flops, I can work on other epics. Many Adventures is actually doing rather well for an epic with a new idea to it... reviewer participation ever time!

If you haven't read either of the epics, I'd recommend them right away. but that's because I wrote them and I crave reviews. I honestly don't expect most people to take up the first 57 chapters of SoMN right now so they can see the conclusion in later chapters. But, hey, it's always worth a shot.

And for those of you who do read SoMN... expect some really fun twists and turns. There are a couple of characters that I haven't used to their full potential, and now it's coming out. I'm going to have so much fun writing this! :hyper:

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Blog Subtitles

Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke

Silver Lake, Mercury Mining, This Mistake, No Silver Lining.
~ Alkaline Trio

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Ha Ha

You scrolled to the bottom.

I now control your mind.

REPLY!