Thursday, March 31, 2016

Why Write?

I'm not really interested in writing about writing very much. I don't have a degree in English, so I'm not sure I have the vocabulary for talking about processes, purpose, or technique.

However, today I listened to the song "Non-Stop" from Hamilton, and the refrain from that song begged the question:

"Why do you write like you're running out of time?"

"Why do you write like it's going out of style?"

The song's been stuck in my head ever since, especially that phrase. And it's hard to have a question rattling around in your head without thinking of an answer.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

What, Exactly, Qualifies Me to Become President?

Being President of the United States is a fairly important job. Clearly running for that office should require some pretty impressive qualifications.

I don't have those. But I'll be running anyway, and here's why:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fire Emblem Matchmaker: Birthright Edition

I've been playing Fire Emblem: Birthright in my spare (and not-so-spare) time, and a while back I got to the point where I had most of the first group of characters that could matched up and married to each other. In order to match people up properly, though, I had to get every potential pair's support level to A in order to view their support conversations and make informed decisions about who best matched up with who.

After hours and hours of grinding, I finally watched all of those conversations and set about pairing people up. So here, for your pleasure, I present each pairing I made along with their reasoning. Feel free to compare and contrast with your own pairings, and by all means let me know all the reasons my choices were blasphemous.

Monday, March 28, 2016

George McGovern

Several times over the course of this election cycle I've heard people, particularly Democrats, explain their reservations about Bernie Sanders by comparing him to George McGovern, the Democratic candidate from the race in 1972.

The presidential election of 1972 is a fascinating case study. It was an election with high emotional investment and high stakes, and it resulted in a spectacular defeat for the Democrats. I do think that election cycle has several parallels to the current election, but I don't think those parallels necessarily lie where these Democrats claim they do.

So, in today's post, I'm going to discuss a presidential election that happened 13 years before I was born and draw what parallels I can between that election and the current one.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Only Yesterday

Today I went to see a Studio Ghibli movie called "Only Yesterday." Apparently the movie was originally released in Japan in 1991, and was only recently dubbed due to the rights being held by Disney. Menstruation is a major part of a whole segment of the movie, and I suppose Disney wasn't down with that. The rights passed to another company a while back, though, so the movie finally got dubbed and released in the United States this year.

The movie is about a woman at a turning point in her life, who suddenly finds herself reliving memories of herself in the fifth grade. The movie switches back and forth between her present and her past in a way that feels almost disjointed, to be honest. Still, this look into the life of a normal young girl in Japan in the 60's was pretty cute and charming, though at some point my attention started to waiver. It's a slice of life movie, so if you plan on watching it, understand that it's going to be fairly slow-paced.

I think we all sometimes find ourselves dwelling on moments in our pasts, much like the main character in the film. Reflecting on the movie now mostly results in me reflecting on my own childhood. There isn't too much else to say about the film, so instead I'll see if I can conjure up some of my own grade-school memories; things I personally remember as if they were only yesterday.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Camp Videogamely

Last year, here in Tucson, Arizona, I helped run a convention quite unlike any other convention before it. It was part gaming convention, part talk show, part alternate reality experience, part concert, and part summer camp.

We're doing something like it again this year, hopefully. We're kickstarting it, so whether or not it happens depends on if the project gets funded.

Today I'm going to talk briefly about why you, the person reading this, should attend this convention.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Generating Electricity

The world runs on electricity. It's a fact of life for most of civilization today, so I'd like to talk about how it's produced, the pros and cons of different generation methods, as well as exciting technologies you should probably know about.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Math of My Life

I just asked Twitter what I should write about, offering to dedicate at least an hour of my life to writing a blog about any good topic suggestions. The offer was significant, and I did the math to explain why.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hamilton (The Musical)

The newest hit Broadway sensation is a production called Hamilton, presenting a musical interpretation of the life and times of one of America's founding fathers: Alexander Hamilton.

I've never seen a Broadway musical in person (maybe someday~), but I did listen to the cast recording. Short review: it's excellent. Who knew that writing a musical about the one the most interesting figures from one of the most interesting moments in history would turn out well?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Foreign Policy

Earlier today, several presidential candidates met with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at their annual policy conference. The gist of their speeches amounted to this: we are there for Israel, no matter what.

This got me thinking about my own foreign policy. Foreign relations is an important part of being president, perhaps even the most important part. I've been studying our involvement with other countries for a long time now, and I'm not sure my approach would be the most popular.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Metaphors to Demonstrate Understanding

Metaphors and similes are powerful tools. They're like drawing a diagram to illustrate your understanding of a concept, but using words instead of visuals. The two previous sentences were a metaphor and a simile, respectively.

I find myself using them a lot. Note that in the rest of this article I'll be talking a lot about metaphors, but assume in each case I'm referring to similes as well.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hawaii: The Island of Hawai'i (Final Day)

Our last day on the Big Island was mostly spent doing a few final things in the Hilo area, mostly so we wouldn't be too far away when the time came to return to the airport and begin our strip back. Our plane left at 10:45pm, I believe, for an overnight flight back to the mainland.

So, we killed time around town. There was plenty to do.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hawaii: The Island of Hawai'i (Second Day)

Having spent the first day on the Big Island traveling all around the thing, the following couple of days were spent focusing on a few key destinations: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the Hilo Farmer's Market, and the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden. We basically spent our entire second day just exploring the national park.

Hawaii: The Island of Hawai'i (First Day)

Hawaii consists of eight islands, seven of which are inhabited, and only six of which are publicly accessible. Of those six islands, Laura and I only visited two on our trip: Oahu, the densely-populated home of the state capital, and the island of Hawai'i, often simply called "the Big Island" in order to prevent getting the island and the state confused.

The Big Island is, of course, the biggest island, and it's far less densely populated than most of the other islands. Personally, I liked it a lot more than the crowded streets and manufactured paradise of Oahu. There was a lot more that I could personally connect with there.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hawaii: The Island of Oahu

Laura and I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. I had never been there before, but I've wanted to visit since I was little. At some point, though, the prospect of someday visiting Hawaii started seeming like a more and more distant dream, until eventually I just stopped thinking about it completely.

But here I am: an adult who can now (barely) afford to visit one of the coolest states in the nation. I'm pretty sure that at some point as a kid I specifically said that I wanted to go to Hawaii on my honeymoon, and it's kinda weird to think that actually happened.

Our trip to Hawaii can be pretty cleanly broken up into two halves: the time we spent on Oahu, and the time we spent on the Big Island. Today I'm going to recount our experience on Oahu:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Campaign Strategy, Version 1

With politics dominating the news and social media feeds, I can't help but think about my own upcoming campaign for the presidency.

It's never too early to start planning, but it's currently too early to actually launch the campaign. So instead I'll just give a rough outline of my current strategy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Wedding Reception

Laura and I had a very small wedding, so we wanted to balance it out with a bigger, funner reception. We wanted to get married on February 29, though, which was a Monday this year. Since many of our friends and family would have to travel here from out of town for the celebration, Monday did not seem like a good day for the reception. So, instead, we moved the reception back to the next weekend.

Laura and I are both pretty non-traditional, so the reception was really just a big party. Specifically, it was an outdoor barbecue at a grove run by a local dude ranch/resort. It was a really good time, and I'd like to recount as much as I can for posterity.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Don't Write While On Vacation

A few days ago, while I was on my honeymoon, I took some time at the end of a busy day to write a blog post. To be honest, I'm kind of afraid to even go back and read it. I assume it was kind of a garbled mess of a post; well-intended, but not terribly comprehensible or interesting.

I'll leave it where it is, a testament to why I should take the "Almost-Daily" part of the title of this blog to heart. In the future, while traveling, I will likely not write blog posts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

When Different Circles of Friends Meet

This past weekend, leading up to our wedding reception, a few of our friends started coming into town. Several of our friends stayed at or near our house, so basically all of Saturday and much of Sunday was spent hanging out with them.

This was the first time my Louisiana friends and Laura's New York friends met. It went well!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Welcome to Tucson

Some of my friends and family are in Tucson for the first time. Here are some things you need to know if you spend time here:

Friday, March 4, 2016

A Long Day, A Short Night

I skipped work today in order to get some homework done. I kinda just finished it, at least as much as it'll get done.

It's late, so don't expect a thoughtful post tonight. Instead, my mind is simply full of questions.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Black Perspective on Hillary vs. Bernie

I don't browse Reddit, but today I was linked to a post there in which a black Redditor detailed a few reasons why black voters favor Hillary Clinton. I had been wondering about the black perspective of this primary race, and though that account obviously doesn't speak for all black people (and doesn't claim to), it does give some valuable insight that I hadn't considered.

So, I'm going to explore each of their points one by one. My intention isn't to refute their points, but just to give my own perspective.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Parents in the House

This week, between our wedding yesterday and our reception this Sunday, my parents are staying with me and Laura. Our house was specifically chosen to host people (usually Fangamer visitors), so we're definitely set up to have people staying here fore extended periods.

That said, having my parents over feels different than the friends and colleagues who usually stay with us.