A few days ago, I posted about how I was having a lot of fun playing Town of Salem. I posted screenshots of winning my first games as jester and serial killer, and today I have one of my first victory as executioner. (Click to enlarge) That screenshot is taken at the end of the game, when I was one of the last men standing with the serial killer and godfather. Although both the mafia and serial killer helped me lynch my target, I decided to side with the serial killer because she was the one who had a more significant vote during the final lynch. As executioner, if your target does not die during the night and you successfully convince the town to lynch him, you will remain as a victorious executioner, maintaining your night immunity. On top of that, once your target is lynched, it usually doesn’t really matter if you tell them that you’re the executioner, seeing as you’ve already won the game (and you keep your victory, even if the town decides to lynch you). The only reason you wouldn’t want to tell the town your true identity is if you’re secretly trying to side with someone, or if you just want to troll the players. This puts you in a position of extreme power, and makes winning with executioner extremely satisfying. Earning your victory basically puts you above everyone else, and in return for your efforts, you basically get like a “cheat code” activation for the rest of the game. I also have a screenshot of a later game, where I managed to get my target lynched on the second day, and earned an achievement: (Click to enlarge) The strategy I used for that game is claiming that I was the lookout. I capitalized on Troll and Spence’s deaths. Spence’s will said that he had visited Troll, who had died to the serial killer. I stated, “I think that lame duckface is the serial killer, because Spence and lame duckface visited Troll last night.” Luckily for me, lame duckface wasn’t that great in his defense, so it made it a lot easier for me. He seemed more confused than anything as to why the town was lynching him when he hadn’t done anything so far – it’s possible that he missed me calling him out. Although Town of Salem isn’t as high-action and high-intensity as some other games I play, it’s a good game to relax with, and I will most likely continue hopping on once a day to get my win of the day and have fun tricking other people in-game.
Back in January of this year, Ed and I started playing Town of Salem, a browser game where you and a group of players live together in a town and try to figure out who the killers are. There are townspeople, mafia members, and independent/chaos killers (like serial killers and arsonists). The townspeople need to find out who the killers are and lynch them (or kill them during the night if they’re a jailor/vigilante/veteran). The killers need to kill everyone not associated with them. Members of the mafia know who other mafia members are; apart from that, everyone’s role is a secret. Eight months later, I’ve gone back to this game, and I’m actually having quite a bit of fun with it. I didn’t even realize this, but apparently, back when I played Town of Salem in January, it was still in beta. It seems like the game is now in its first regular release, as it’s available on Steam. It’s normally a free browser game, but I decided to get it on Steam as well because I have so much fun playing it. If you buy it on Steam, it costs $4.99, but you get $5 worth of in-game currency (coins, I think they’re called) to purchase aesthetic/cosmetic character overrides and other items in the shop. Recently, I had my first two victories as a jester. A jester is part of the independent/chaos killer group, and is a maniac whose dream is to get publicly lynched. If you succeed your goal, you get to rise from the dead and kill someone who voted against you and said you were guilty of being a killer. I managed to deceive the town into thinking I was someone dangerous. As you can see from the second screenshot, the other people in the game were shocked and pretty upset they got fooled. (Click to enlarge) I also managed to get my first victory as a serial killer. In all/any mode, which is the game mode I used to play with Ed in January, it’s possible for there to be multiple serial killers. However, in this game mode, where it’s “normal” and roles are controlled, there can only be one and you’re always on your own. It came down to two townspeople and me. I managed to fool the doctor into thinking that I was the jailor and the other person was the serial killer. The doctor sided with me and lynched the jailor, leaving me free to kill the doctor the following night and secure the victory for myself. (Click to enlarge) I don’t know if I particularly like this game because I’m so interested in human psychology and crime, but I think it’s a pretty fun game. Remember, it’s a completely free game – you can play it in your browser, and you don’t need to purchase it on Steam. http://blankmediagames.com/TownOfSalem/ If you do choose to register and play, please don’t forget to put Parkzer as your referrer. If you make an in-game purchase with real-world money (or if you buy the game on Steam), I get referral points, and earn some cosmetics in-game.
A few days ago, I was getting some work done at our family business when the batteries in a piece of equipment died. Of course, logically following my level of luck, this happened while I was using the equipment. I needed this piece of equipment to finish what I was doing, so I decided to go to the local hardware store to buy some batteries. Great news! I managed to buy an eight-pack of Duracell D-size batteries for about $11. This was a huge summer savings deal – so huge that this pack of eight brand-name batteries was cheaper than a pack of four generic batteries. Now note that I said this was a pack of eight batteries. As in, ONE pack. Not eight individual batteries. I brought this ONE item to the check-out. What you see in this photograph is the pack of eight batteries with six of them removed (which are currently being used to power the equipment). Next to the pack, you see the six old dead batteries. Then you see a receipt. I conveniently placed a foot-long ruler there for scale. Thank you, Ace Hardware, for giving me a 16″ receipt for my purchase of one item.
I was going to keep it as a pet, but someone ate it while I was away from the desk…
Same drink, same flavor, same package … but the left one seemed to be taken from a muddy glacier
A very long time ago, my dad bought some lights that were on sale at our local hardware store. There was a 100% rebate offer on the lights, so he figured that there wasn’t really a reason not to get them, as they would effectively cost the price of a stamp and a little bit of time. When he brought them home, he realized that they didn’t work, and he figured that they were on sale for 100% off through rebate because they were broken. He obviously didn’t really mind, seeing as they were essentially free, so he kept them around to use as day decorations. Then, one day, he randomly decided to open them up and found out that there was a protective sticker over the solar panel. He removed the sticker, set them out again, and magically, they lit up the same night. We’ve had these lights for a few years now. Last night, I was out late and decided to snap some photos of them. They look pretty nice at night, seeing as they actually light up now.
A few weeks ago, I posted about my martial arts academy building a float for the upcoming Independence Day parades. I figured that progress updates might get a little boring if I just posted them without a twist, so I decided to turn my photo today into a doge meme. While we were out there, we also saw two birds fighting in a death match. They were literally flapping around like crazy, clawing at each other. I tried to get close to take a photo of them, but as I got near, they gradually took their fight away from me. So, unfortunately, I had to use the zoom on my phone’s camera (which isn’t that great) to get a photo.
The United States’ Independence Day is coming up in a little over a month, and parades are starting late next month. The martial arts academy where I occasionally train and teach is building a float for this year’s parades. I remember hearing that they placed second or third in the parade competition last year, and it seems like they’re taking it up a notch and trying to win first place this year. The owner and CEO of the academy is building the float himself, with the help of other staff and students. He came to visit me next door yesterday afternoon (we have neighboring businesses) so I could check out his progress. He already has a bunch of pieces cut out, and he still has a bunch of panels of wood left for the rest of the design. He was hard at work the entire day; when I went to visit him again late at night, after I had closed my family’s business, he had a lot more pieces cut out, and had already started putting some parts together. I personally don’t really have much of a passion for sculpting, so I don’t really go out of my way to experience it. As a result, this is particularly novel and interesting to me to see the process behind something like this being built. I’ll try and keep up with their progress on designing the parade float, and post progress photos here for those of you who might also be interested.
Back on November 2nd of last year, I went to K.H. Kim’s 14th Biannual Taekwondo Tournament (and posted about it on Google+ and my website). I went again this year for the 15th tournament, again as a coach. I had Emma, one of my students, be my assistant for this tournament. Unfortunately, she’s a little too young to actually be a real coach’s assistant, so I instead gave her my camera for the event and asked her to take photos. The quality of the photos were pretty much what you would expect from a nine-year-old girl (a lot of blurry and a lot of selfies), but she still managed to get a bunch of good shots. Unfortunately, I have chosen not to post those publicly on my website in order to protect the privacy of the underaged competitors (and if I were to have chosen to post them, there are a lot of liabilities that go along with it that I don’t want to deal with). However, I do have one shot that I can post, and that’s the full group photo of everyone competing, as well as the staff: I’m not in the photo because I went as more of a private coach rather than a staff member, even though I was associated with the school the assistant director owns. I was instead on the other side of the shot, escorting my assistant so she wouldn’t get trampled by all the people. Yes, that is indeed fake grass – apparently the main competition area had a capacity of 420 people, so they used this field as the waiting area so there wouldn’t be a fire hazard due to exceeding capacity. It was also the place where the opening ceremony happened. This is one of those tournaments where everyone is a winner – they split the competitors up into very small groups, and they award small trophies to every participant. So, the placement isn’t really that significant (at least, not very significant relative to other more legitimate tournaments), but I’m still pretty impressed at the performances from some of my academy’s students. My primary role there was to make sure the students were feeling comfortable. From what I’ve perceived, the most common reason students underperform is because of nervousness due to sudden exposure to a novel environment. By being there, chatting with them, and helping them practice their routines in the new location before they’re out to get judged, it accustoms them to the new setting and helps them relax a bit. That will reduce the chances of the students losing confidence, forgetting sequences, and/or disregarding the technicalities that may reduce their presentation score. And finally, one thing that was particularly memorable to me was a girl with a limb-control-related disability who participated in board breaking. I’m not entirely sure what handicap she had, and I’m not medically educated enough to even take a guess, but simply put, she could barely walk straight. Each round is judged relatively, meaning, students of similar age and skill level compete against each other. Obviously, this girl with the handicap had to be placed in her own division, as there was nobody else there who would be on fair judging grounds as her. She did end up missing a few attempts, but ultimately, she broke all three boards in her sequence, received a standing ovation, and got the one and only perfect score of 10.0 in the entire tournament. Some people might wonder why she deserves to be given a 10.0, but when you look at taekwondo from a traditional viewpoint as to what it’s intended to be – a martial art revolving around discipline, designed to build your character and better every aspect of your life – it’s pretty understandable why this girl deserved the score she got. It takes a lot of courage and confidence to go to a tournament and perform your art in front of hundreds of people. The fact that this girl already achieved a level of mental maturity high enough to accept her handicap and not allow it to hold her back shows that she overcame a huge hurdle in her life already – a hurdle of such a magnitude most people her age haven’t even encountered yet.