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The Abode of a OTC RPG Judge


The problem with living secretly

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , May 15 2013 · 173 views

So I decided to write a blog entry at midnight with my tablet. This should be fun.

Tonight I'm talking about secrets. We all have them, some for the better, some for the worse. But sometimes there are things that we carry with us through our day to day lives. They shape us, define us, and yet we don't reveal that about ourselves. I'm not referring to that secret that you sleep with a stuffed bear at night (I do, stuffed bears are cool), I'm referring to things that make you who you are as a person. Sorry stuffed bear, you just don't define me as a person.

There's a few obvious things that spring to most people's minds for such defining secret characteristics, but it's not always something to clear. There are a great multitude of things in this world that can define a person but they don't want to talk about. Maybe it's something innate to them, maybe it's a group they're part of. Maybe it's their personality, maybe it's their friends. Regardless, they have something core to them, that they won't talk about.

I come writing this as a hypocrite; I have far too many secrets for my own good. But while I rest on my isle of secrecy, I can see the downsides of such a lifestyle. Many hide their secrets because they fear society or their loved ones shunning them. I once knew a guy who was part of a gang and didn't want to tell his family. The dude wasn't a criminal, and he'd later leave that group to stay that way. But when he joined it wasn't for some self-serving motive, he wanted companionship, and he turned to people he could trust. People who made the wrong choices, but people who were still his friends. But in keeping that a secret from his family, he lived two lives, and that's never a good thing. He deceived those he loved and he deceived himself.

Now, as I stand from my position on the top of the mountain preaching, what of me? What of me and my secrets? Why am I on the internet, rambling away about secret aspects being bad while doing nothing myself? Perhaps because I am a coward. There's little point in beating around the bush, I just don't have the stomach to do it. And in doing so I justify others in their own fear. You lead by example, after all.

But look where that's gotten me. No where except a stress induced ulcer and a position of where I can't speak up, lest I risk a complete family collapse. So I put that off to another day, when I'm suppose to be stronger, smarter, better. Because cowardice and social strife is fun.

Moral of the story? Don't be a tool like Humva and actually fix your problems when they come up, not ten years later.


Iron Man 3

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , May 04 2013 · 100 views

Saw it in glorious IMAX 3D.
It was a pretty good movie. Well worth attendance, and it's plot was certainly engaging. Unlike my fellow movie goers, some of which grumbled about the second act bogging things down, I felt the movie remained strong. Without revealing many spoilers, the majority of the story actually involves Stark without the suit, and I think Robert Downey Jr. really makes the character come to life and just work. The man seems born for this role, and while the movie does kinda end on the idea that Iron Man may be retired to the Marvel vaults, I seriously doubt that with such critical fame and success that they'd axe it so quickly. Downey is aging with each movie however, and alas in the future he may not be fit enough to play the part, though I have faith that he'll be able to stick with it.
Over all, my suggestion is to see the movie. It's a fun ride, it stays strong throughout, and if this is the end of the Iron Man movie series, it definitely left us on a good note.


The Pirate Party Wins Seats in Iceland

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Apr 28 2013 · 133 views

Two new parties performed particularly well: Bright Future, which won six seats, and the computer activist Pirate party, with three.

-BBC News
Lost any doubt I had in moving to Iceland. Gotta get over there as soon as I get my degree.


Bombs detonated in Boston

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Apr 15 2013 · 481 views

Check your favorite news provider's website, it's bound to be on there. Three explosions have gone off in Boston, there's a reported two dead and twenty three injuries, both figures rising. More bombs are being found planted around Boston.
It's... not good folks.


Some not so profound thoughts on my life

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Mar 28 2013 · 542 views
For a while now, I've contemplated on my future. It's a scary thing; I'm reaching the point where soon, I'll be a legal adult. High-school will be over and I'll be off to college, to maybe get a scholarship and become a mechanical engineer. If everything works out, I'll go to work at one of the local aerospace firms, designing and working on military aircraft, though it's possible it'll be civilian, depending on which manufacture I get a job at.
But things never go according to plan. As I speak my family is undergoing bankrupcy; we're seventy five thousand dollars in credit card debt and paying the mortgage. So far two people we've spoken with at the bank have either attempted to intentionally mislead us or simply weren't aware of the numbers themselves, as a solution we were offered, while it would of saved us several hundred dollars in the first three months, would of actually increased our monthly payments afterwards. If it weren't for the fact that my father is rather paranoid, we'd of probably fallen hook line and sinker for that trick. But we didn't, so we're continuing onward, and maybe the judge will have mercy on us when we go to court to try to get out debt resolved.
Basically my family is far from the best of economic situations, and across this great nation of America, quite a few other families are undergoing similar situations. We're continually told the economy is going get better, and one day it will, but the end doesn't look close. This puts a crimp in my life plans. Will America still be the place for me when I graduate with my masters of mechanical engineering? Or will I flee to Iceland, try to get away from whatever political crisis it is in the 2020s? I've always wanted to go to Iceland, always talked about setting up a home there, but in reality I've always understood it's a dream and nothing more. It'd be expensive, and I'd have to leave everything behind, including my family.
Unlike most teenagers my age, I don't really feel any great urge for independence. Perhaps I will in the future, but as it is now, I'm content where I am. There's annoying aspects of my life, certainly, but I'm too attached to my family to go far. Maybe some day later I'll go to Los Alamos and work with the guys down there, or maybe even go to MIT and work on the wonders they do every day. But at least then I'd still be in the same country as my family; I could jump in the car for a vacation and go visit them. Transatlantic flights from Iceland to Kansas are definitely not the cheapest.
And of course, there's my immediate economic situation and my fears of not being able to go anywhere in life. My family will have no money when I go to college; and while the tuition rates at WSU aren't that bad, a job or internship on the side isn't going be able to cut it. My performance as a student here and now is crucial to my future of getting scholarships, and while I doubt I'll be completely ignored, as it stands my grades simply aren't good enough to compete with the uppercrust. Perhaps I give too much credit to myself, but this honestly isn't a fault with my intelligence. My work ethic is near legendary for being terrible, and I really do not apply myself enough. It's my hope that I'll be able to do well on the ACT and be able to apply for scholarships from that, because while grades are important, it's in my experience that they pay much more attention to the ACT than your overall grades. And besides, I'm a mostly A, occasional B student, and while my father might give me the riot speech for those Bs I don't think it'll kill me.
So maybe my concerns about getting scholarships are unwarranted. So now we move onto what I'm going do with my life. It's always been "become an engineer, go do cool stuff." Which, really, planning much more in-depth is an exercise in futility. I've always wanted to get into some measure of politics; not the government, of course. But I've always felt it's the responsibility of every citizen to make his or her voice heard. The concept of every vote counting is a correct one, simply on the basis of crowd mentality. If a million people decide their votes don't matter... well, that's a million votes gone, isn't it?
And of course, there's more than just voting. There's societal reforms, there's picketing, rallies, assemblies. Making a change simply by stating your opinion is something I think not enough people do out of the logic that "I don't really matter in the grand scheme of things." But the individual does matter in the grand scheme of things, because an individual's thoughts and ideals can be more world-changing than any one groups. The idea of individual expression and the ability to speak your mind is an important one in a free society. To let it be dominated by one view point is ultimately stagnant. The ability to change people's opinions is such a crucial one, and we who live in America and indeed, the rest of the free world, often take for granted the ability to do that. And yet many of us don't choose to use this innate human right.
Some of us have our excuses. What will people think? What will people say? What will people do? How will I be seen in the eyes of society?
And I can relate to that. I live in a family who I disagree with on many accounts. My father is about as conservative as they come. I know that, at some point in the future, I will have to confront my family over my beliefs and, indeed, my own personal being. I don't look forward to that day; some parts of me just want to continue the secrecy forever. The thought of being expelled from my family is something that shakes me to the core, and for all the love I know my parents have for me, it is a literal conflict of world-views. History shows us that such things can and have torn loving families apart and caused so much suffering and pain.
But it is the world we live in. Secrecy and private thought changes nothing. Even as I type this I speak hypocritically, because I haven't come to that all important decision. Yet I can see that hypocrisy. The importance of an individual, standing up and telling society his or her opinions, is something that we all must be willing to do. To be cowed into fear is to have that fundamental right taken away from you by your own choice. On the grand scheme of things, one boy telling his family the truth is not relevant. But this is the grand scheme of things! There is no one boy; there is a thousand, a hundred thousand, a million boys and girls, and that changes things. A million choosing to stand up for their right to speak what they think. Saying one individual cannot change things on the larger picture is a fallacy, because it is the larger picture, composed of the billions of individual pictures. To say that you can't change something big is to ignore the fact that you are part of that something.
Your choices are relevant to both your world and the greater world. Because a million people, a billion people, all making their own choices, is more important than anything else. What their choices are is irrelevant; what they do is irrelevant. Be it for good or evil, at least that individual made a choice. If we choose to fight the evil, then we have chosen to fight it. If we choose to fight the good, then we have chosen to fight it. Who is right is up to personal belief; and that personal belief is more sacred than anything else.
I suppose, you could sum this up as the concept that saying one individual is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things is akin to saying one Representative in the House of Representatives is irrelevant. Certainly, there are 434 other representatives. What harm could one do? But if all 435 Representative decided one day, their vote didn't matter and just stared at home... well, that would be rather bad, wouldn't it? The individual effects things on an individual scale. A million individuals effect a million individual scales. A million pictures stitched together to make one big picture.
Well. I went from talking about my economic crisis to politics and the importance of choosing things for yourself. I suppose I'll quit while I'm ahead.
I thank anyone who stuck with me through this series of rambles. Likely, it is ridden with typos and I made a fool of myself somewhere in it. I tried my best to avoid any major political issues but alas, this is BZPower. I can only hope for a peaceful discussion of the importance of free will.


SimCity and EA

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Mar 12 2013 · 232 views

The blog, it liiiiiiives!
Ahem. So, SimCity. We finally got a major installment to the series after waiting ten years after SimCity 4. Loved SimCity 4, I need to get my disks back from my cousin sometime so I can play it again. Alas, I remember reading about SimCity in an issue of Game Informer and instantly going "well this sucks." Why? Because EA touted their always online feature. You're always online. Always. Can't play offline from my understanding, though I may be wrong. From all that I've read I've been given the impression that the game is effectively a small-scale MMO.
Now, don't get me wrong. MMOs are cool. But I know what EA's thinking was; it wasn't "hey, people can be social and link their cities together and it'd be so cool!" No, it was "Those darn dirty pirates can't use our game now!"
So why did I say it was going suck? Because of history. This is less of an MMO type implementation and more like an always-online DRM. Allow us to take a brief glance at the history of this. Ubisoft, and their numerous games that experimented with it, Assassin's Creed being infamous for its various DRMs. Blizzard with Diablo 3, who's servers were utterly crushed. They also suffered similar outages with Starcraft 2, but significantly less rage followed that due to a slightly different implementation. If one wishes to do a google search, you can find plenty larger lists of games that tried this and failed terribly. Why, EA itself is no stranger to this; it's Origin service has been known to... have issues from time to time.
And they still decided to do this with SimCity.
And guess what.
They're having problems.
Many people are having connection issues and their game experience is being basically crushed. EA assured us that they were prepared for this, just as Ubisoft and Blizzard assured us they were as well. Fool me once shame on me, fool me twice shame on you, fool me thrice and that's just being absurd. So now there's a major backlash going on and EA is trying to do damage control, attempting to take as much load off their servers as possible.
How many times is it going take before the gaming community wakes up and says, "gee, I've heard this before, and it ended terribly. Why should I put up with this?"
I understand the concerns at hand; piracy is becoming a serious problem. But always-online DRM, or always-online "features" that just happen to be mandatory, is not the solution. Fact of the matter is that any sysadmin will tell you, you can never be prepared for all stages of traffic, especially with something as big as SimCity. Hundreds of thousands of people bought it and started playing it on the opening day; that's a lot of traffic, a lot of computational power, and ultimately it crashed the unprepared servers.
So until the day comes that the major gaming companies can get their act together, the gaming community needs to do something about it.
Editors Note: Ubisoft prefers the "log in" method of DRM; not technically always online, rather, you simply log into their servers when you boot the game and then after that, your game will run splendid. Their servers still crashed.


The serenity of snow

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Feb 21 2013 · 249 views

That moment when you wake up in the morning to look outside and see your whole world covered in a few inches of snow and you say to yourself "...****, this is pretty amazing."
I want to go outside and do stuff but I don't want to disturb this perfect layer of snow.


So the forums are back

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Feb 17 2013 · 898 views

Though if the hacker's social media comments are to be believed, maybe not for long.

Fingers crossed on how the next 'bout of cyber battling goes down.


So that depressing moment...

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Feb 09 2013 · 333 views

...when you're in a game filled with trolls and people who's appropriate title is censored by BZPower, and you find someone who doesn't treat you like a second-grade citizen, and you do pretty well with them in a match. Then you go into another match, go up against opponents who counter you pretty hard, and that person's true colors are revealed. Not a cool bro, but rather a terrible person who only was nice because you did well, and instantly degrades and insults you for having a bad day.
Why I still bother with League, I have no idea.


Thoughts on BZPower in the Modern Day

Posted by Engineer Alexandra Humva , Feb 04 2013 · 724 views
First thought, my blog is so underused nowadays.
Second thought. It is the year 2013. Actually, it's the year 2013 and one month. Cool stuff bro. If my memory serves me correct, though quite honestly I can barely remember what I had for lunch so who knows how valid it is, Bionicle ended in the summer of 2011. Because of Greg Farshtey's private life the updates to the story have been stretched thin at the best of times. Bionicle is dead, and we've had two years of little snacks of information.
And then there was that whole Forum Upgrade fiasco which took the site down for almost half a year and really threw a wrench into the works.
But here we are, today. BZP isn't nearly as active as it was in the olden days (it probably peaked before I even joined, honestly), but it's still a pretty big place. We have stories and Lego and RPGs and contests and all sorts of fun stuff. The community is smaller and many have left but we're still here.
And I mean, with the new tracker system, the site really is really on the road for getting much better. With new forum features coming in, rule updates (though the tracker about the advertising policy has mysteriously vanished...), all that jazz, it's looking good for the site as a whole. People continue to join and while I have to say I miss some of the old crowd, life continues on.
We still have our arguments and our disagreements and our nasty tempers, but the site is and will continue to live. Many people said that BZPower was dead the moment Bionicle ended. Yet, I think they ignored what in my opinion BZPower has really done. My interest in Bionicle waned back in 2010-ish; I bought a grand total of one set in 2011. I haven't bought any Legos since Christmas of 2011. Yet here I am, on a redubbed Lego fansite? Why?
Because I have friends here, and for all the ups and downs of the community, it is a good one. Annoying at times, aye, capable of ripping out people's throats, aye, but it's a love-hate relationship. I've never been able to get the same sort of community on other sites, so I stick around here because of the people. Not because of the occasional story addition or Legos or what those in charge deem is right and what isn't.
It's because the people are pretty cool.

This blog

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The following blog contains excessive rambling on the world and extremely poor paragraphing. If you are easily offended or turned off by these two things, leaving now would be a good idea.
This blog is written by Alex Humva, penname of some random teenager named Alex Censored. He writes stories, writes rants, writes screenplays, plays games, makes games, has a terrible work ethic, and is generally sarcastic. He believes in a Judao-Christian god, but most other people who do too give him a glare because of his weird beliefs, possibly because he's somehow bi at the same time. He's an utter equalist who feels that any discrimination amongst humans for things they were born with is wrong. He doesn't care about xenos though, let them all burn.
He's also an aspiring engineer who hopes to get a scholarship at his local big engineering college and one day help humanity. More likely he'll be a pencil pusher in a basement somewhere, but he's a bloody minded optimist.
Because of his peculiar personality and beliefs, he gets into fights often, though they usually end when he wakes up the next morning and doesn't feel motivated anymore.

Current status of the OTC RPG community

Format: RPG Name - Discussion topic - Current status - Am I part of it?
To Save The World!

Invalid - Active - No

Mass Effect: Division

Discussion - Active - No

Pokemon: Rise of the Rockets

Invalid - Active - No

X-Men: Darkest Days

Discussion - Active - Yes


Discussion - Active - Yes

Halo: Forerunners

Discussion - Active - No


Discussion - Active - No

Spirits and Men

Discussion - Active - Yes

The Proelium

Discussion - Active - No

Digimon: Generations

Discussion - Active - No

Transformers: EC

Discussion - Active - No


Fallout: Austin City Limits

Discussion - Active - No

LAST UPDATE: May 6th, 2013.

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