Snowflake-shaped ice crystals on my window

I live in the Chicagoland area, and as you may suspect, it gets pretty cold around here during this time of year.

I had my car parked at our family business’ outdoor parking lot, and when I went back out, I noticed that snowflake-shaped ice crystals had formed on my window.

You can sort of see them in the photo above, but I recommend clicking on it to view it in its full 2048 by 1152 pixel high-definition glory (you might have to click to enlarge it once again after you open the larger file, because some browsers resize images too big to fit on your screen).

It’s actually pretty interesting, and I’ve never seen something with such detail form on a car window before.

 


 

My irresolute resolution

I’ve never really liked new year’s resolutions.

I personally think it’s silly that you should set goals based off events, rather than off your own schedule.

I make goals for myself on a regular basis, as the opportunities arise, as I see fit. I think it’s suboptimal for the concept of new year’s resolutions to even exist in the first place.

What’s so special about a new year? Why not make new month’s resolutions? Are there such things as new decade’s resolutions, that hold more gravity and magnitude than new year’s resolutions?

If I realize half-way through November that I need to change something in my life, I’m going to set my goal on the day I make the realization; I’m not going to wait until January 1 of the following year so I set my “upcoming change” as my new year’s resolution.

In a way, I guess I do make new year’s resolutions.

But I also make a lot of new day’s resolutions, and my new year’s resolutions don’t necessarily correspond with the start of a new year.

They’re just resolutions.

It must just be the way it’s worded – a new year’s resolution implies that it’s something one will work on this year. It slightly irritates me that this person will work on this resolution this year, but not for the rest of his or her life. Maybe if they were called “life’s resolutions,” I would like them better?

Or just … resolutions.

As I click the “Preview” button on this blog post to look at what I’ve written so far, I see an advertisement for weight loss below this text – a before and after picture, where the woman in the “after” picture is quite obviously not the same woman from the “before” picture.

A countless number of people set weight loss as their new year’s resolution; maybe the hype behind new year’s resolutions is just a marketing strategy?

Unfortunately, not everyone is as critical as I am, and not many people share my opinion about new year’s resolutions.

I’m sure that, sooner or later, someone is going to ask me what my new year’s resolution is. If someone asks me online, the solution is simple – I can just link them to this blog post. But, in person, it becomes a bit more tricky.

In order to prepare for that, I decided to come up with a new year’s resolution to use for these particular conversations.

My new year’s resolution is to act more spontaneously.

I have a habit of planning things out in excess, preparing for a plethora of possible outcomes rather than just a few realistic ones. This sounds funny after what you’ve just read above, (the fact that I’m preparing for an in-person conversation that might not even happen,) but as much as it is ironic, it proves that this is in fact a legitimate resolution.

I like to wait for the perfect moment to do something, when I’m done thinking about everything that could go wrong, and preparing my mind and body for what will happen. Some might say that this is merely a sophisticated form of procrastination.

There are some things to which I already act spontaneously. When I’m speaking publicly to a non-pro­fessional crowd with an intent to entertain, I tend to do much better when I don’t plan anything at all, and just start talking. My resolution is to force myself to do this for other things as well. I think it’s best de­scribed with an example.

Before I write a paper, I like to make sure that I won’t be distracted for the next few hours. I make sure that I’ve gone to the bathroom recently enough that it won’t bother me during my paper writing. I make sure I’ve eaten enough so I won’t get hungry while writing, but if I’ve eaten too much lately, I wait before starting so I won’t feel bloated. I make sure that any possible relevant resources I need are readily avail­able, even if the chance of actually needing these resources are near-zero. I make sure that there are no other urgent matters to which I need to tend before starting. I make sure that my thoughts are organized in my mind, so ideas from unrelated topics don’t cloud up my mental outline. If any of these conditions aren’t met, I reschedule my paper writing time.

In 2015, I want to just go for it.

Rather than waiting for this idealistic atmosphere to begin my work, I want to just start.

If you think about it, all the things that could possibly go wrong don’t actually have truly negative con­se­quences. If I need to grab a snack, I can grab a snack, then continue writing. If I’m not feeling well, I can write a bit, then take a break and continue writing later. If I don’t have particular reference materials I need, I can pause writing, search for the resources, then resume after finding them.

Is this a resolution that I’ll actually end up working on? I’m not sure yet. Do I even want to try and give up some of my meticulousness, which is a trait to which I attribute a lot of my success, and exchange it for spontaneity? That, I’m even less sure about.

At the very least, it’s something that I can respond with when asked about my new year’s resolution.

 


 

Re: “Why don’t you stream Pokémon anymore?”

Pokémon was the game I grew up with.

As a child, I owned Pokémon Yellow and Gold for Game Boy Color; and as a teen, I used emulators to play a lot of the third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation games.

Back in October 2012, I streamed myself playing Pokémon White 2, and sometime around that year, I streamed a bit of PokéMMO. However, since then, I’ve been quiet with Pokémon, and haven’t broadcasted anything related to Pokémon since then.

Over time, I’ve had a few people ask me why I don’t play Pokémon anymore, wondering if I got bored of it. Recently, someone asked if I had grown out of Pokémon. Because this person was clearly mistaken, as Pokémon isn’t something that you simply outgrow, I decided to address the core reason behind why I don’t stream Pokémon anymore.

As you know, I’m a multimedia content producer, and I integrate that into almost everything I do online. I look for opportunities to create more content and get more practice making videos and other online ma­te­ri­als. In the realm of gaming, I try my best to stream or make videos from my gaming footage.

Unfortunately, Nintendo is not explicitly okay with me using Pokémon to create my own content.

Companies like Blizzard and Riot Games clearly state on their website that it is permissible to use their games to create original gameplay content and monetize it through advertisements (which is why I play a lot of Hearthstone, Starcraft, Diablo, and League of Legends). Nintendo does not have such a policy – in fact, they have quite the opposite.

According to a statement made by Nintendo to GoNintendo.com:

“We became a YouTube partner and … registered our copyright content in the YouTube data­base. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos fea­tur­ing Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips.”

This means that, if I post Pokémon-related videos on YouTube to monetize off VODs of my stream, I may end up not getting my full share of revenue (if any at all). Nintendo doesn’t explicitly state what kind of content would be used for advertising, and what purpose these advertisements would serve – this makes the policy more cryptic and not worth the risk.

Sure, I enjoy playing Pokémon. But, I can put the time I spend potentially playing Pokémon into other games I enjoy playing that produces footage I know I can safely use to create content without having to worry about copyright issues.

In the future, if I end up becoming rich, then sure, I might dedicate some days into streaming Pokémon with the assumption that I’m not going to make money off of it and I’m doing it purely for the enjoyment. However, I’m not rich yet, and until I am, I will naturally want to gravitate towards games I know I can use to produce content safely.

 


 


 


 


 

Lindsay’s road trip to Virginia

Hi humans.

A few weeks back, Lindsay went on a road trip to Virginia.

She took a handful of pictures, and was going to send me more, but I’m guessing she never got around to it, so I’m posting what I have for now.

This is a picture she took from the car of mountains in the horizon.

During a rest stop, she explored and took these pictures:

 


 


 

How not to make a birthday cake

Hi humans.

First of all, to everyone who wished me a happy birthday, thanks.

Moving on to the point of this blog post, I had a conversation with my friend Mitzi today. Apparently her birthday was two days ago, and her sister made her a birthday cake.

Usually, when you have a birthday cake, you want to write a message on it, such as “Happy Birthday, Mitzi!” or “Wow, you’re an old grandmother now, Mitzi!”

Well … this was her cake.

I literally could not stop laughing for at least a full half minute after seeing that cake.

Not only is it hilarious that it doesn’t even say “Happy Birthday,” and it just says her name, as if her sister was afraid she was going to lose the cake, but you can barely even tell that her name is written on it. It looks more like there was an accident and her sister spilled a little frosting on top of the cake.

To add to the humor, it seems as if she ran out of mini cupcakes, so there’s only two at the top instead of three.

It was apparently a rainbow cake.

I guess rainbows now only contain three colors.