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About this blog

This is a blog where I just post my thoughts and opinions in general, where those thoughts would be too long for a status update.

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Just how big are kilo-, mega-, giga-, and tera-?

I was watching a video hosted by Jeremy Clarkson earlier called “Inventions That Changed the World: The Computer.” It got me thinking about just how amazing these machines have actually become. We started with machines capable of computing a couple numbers at a time to the Colossus which used a series of 1,800 valves to perform computing functions all the way up to ENIAC with 17,000 tubes to the microprocessors of today, which have moved past those archaic valves and tubes to hundreds of millions of tiny and reliable transistors capable of performing a lot of math very quickly.   It got me thinking about some of these specs we take for granted. A computer (as stupid as it is from time to time) is a brilliant machine. A true modern marvel. At one point in time, the only SI prefix we really used was kilo- or 1,000. Other SI prefixes like mega-, giga-, and even tera- have become pretty commonplace thanks to the computer. But how big are they? To illustrate this, I asked myself the question, “What if we used these prefixes in other applications? And how big would they be?”   What if we used them in distance?   I’ll start with a meter. A meter is pretty easy to wrap your mind around: the rest of the world knows it, but for you fellow American types, it's about 40 inches - right over a yard or 3 feet. A kilometer is pretty easy to wrap your mind around too - just over a half a mile. On the highway, you cover this distance in about half a minute.   But what about a megameter? It’s 1,000 kilometers or 1,000,000 meters Well that would be like driving from Washington, DC to Bangor, Maine. From Salt Lake City to Albuquerque. From Los Angeles to Sacramento. Or From Amarillo to Corpus Christi. In Europe, it’s like driving from Hamburg, Germany to Geneva, Switzerland. If you live in Australia, it’s slightly longer than the distance between Sydney and Brisbane.     A gigameter? It’s 1,000 megameters, 1,000,000 kilometers, or 1 billion meters. At the equator, the earth is 40,008 kilometers around. So we'll call it 40 megameters. A string one gigameter long would be enough to wrap around the planet at the equator twenty-five times.   A tetrameter is 1,000 gigameters, 1,000,000 megameters, 1 billion kilometers, and 1 trillion meters. That is equivalent to a round trip from the earth to the sun........ ... ... ... three times. And that's still only 90% of it. You'd make it 2/3 of the way back to the sun before you complete your terameter run.   And most of your computers these days have at least 500 gigabytes of storage. I've got 1.6 terabytes myself. And yet we throw these prefixes around. But when you take a second to think about just how far we've come in the field of computer science, you can't help but admit that they're pretty amazing.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Bored?

Be creative! Outside is the place to be! Read a book! Exersice a while! Do something useful or helpful!     There are always ways to conquer boredom.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Rough draft for my OC Stargazer

I spent the last few hours typing this from scratch. It's a rough draft and I plan to go through a few edits before I'm done with him.   It's only taken my a year and a half to do this   Anyway it starts now   Stargazer – Male – 20 years old – Pegasus   APPREARANCE   Average build. Dark blue coat, dark brown mane with lighter brown highlights.   CUTIE MARK   A telescope pointed at a single star that symbolizes his love of astronomy.   CHARACTER TRAITS   Withdrawn – Not that this means he doesn’t like to make new friends. He loves to meet new ponies. However, you’ll rarely catch him making the first move.   Humble – He doesn’t boast about the good things he’s done. While he does talk about his own accomplishments with pride, he’d sooner stay in the background than take the credit, especially when working in a team. He exaggerates this quality from time to time, and it blows the door open to let others take advantage of his caring nature.   Team player – He’ll try his best to pull his share in the team.   Thinker – He doesn’t talk often, but when he does, he talks a lot. This is because he tries not to say anything unless he feels it will add to the conversation or he might just be acting a little…   Silly – He loves to have fun and goof off. He might even get a little hyper from time to time. However his hyperactivity makes his type of humor like playing roulette. It can either go well or it can go badly. He wants to make you laugh, but he can be exhausting or offensive.   Oblivious – His social skills are subpar and he has an especially difficult time reading others. He may offend someone and be none the wiser.   Well-meaning – Even if he does hurt your feelings, he means well. There is never malicious intent   People-pleaser – However, everything he does is for the benefit of another. He is risk-averse and avoids conflict. His biggest fear is that he would become a burden to another.       BACKSTORY   Stargazer was born to two Pegasi in Cloudsdale.   His father was a skilled carpenter and mechanic. Often he would be hired for jobs that required great skill and paid well enough to keep the family going. He also loved to work on machines, and could make a broken machine run like new given the time and tools. However, he was abusive and violent, often berating Stargazer for things beyond his control. When Stargazer was 15 years old, his father left the family.   His mother is a fog artist. Her art is very temporary and must always be completed with quickness. Her fog sculptures were highly regarded by her friends and family. However, because she could not leave Stargazer’s father and pursue her own dreams of having her works photographed and featured in a gallery, she never amounted to anything more than a star among the people who knew her. After Stargazer’s father left the family, she became depressed and withdrawn, seldom showing her face.   Stargazer did everything in his power to help create some kind of peace...some kind of order…but all was in vain.   Mere months after Stargazer was born, his father lost his job after he was caught with contraband. The family relocated to Trottingham. His father was always on the run from the law, and the family always got dragged wherever he went to stay under the radar. He has lived in Cloudsdale, Trottingham, Appleoosa, Detrot, Tramplevania, Fillydelphia, and even Marelin, Germaneigh. Due to the constant moving around, Stargazer hardly made friends in school. When he was 14, the family moved back to Trottingham, where he stayed after his father left.   In all this time, Stargazer had never earned his cutie mark for he was never given the chance to come into his own. He knew that when he was a colt, he enjoyed looking at the night sky. It helped him to get lost in his thoughts and to escape from reality. Maybe explore some distant planet. He wished upon every star every night that things would get better. He called to the stars…none of them answered. He wasn’t sure what was happening. If they heard him and were waiting for the right time or if they even existed at all.   Three weeks before his 18th birthday, Stargazer determined he had a choice: Stay with his mother and continue being dragged down by her depression or get away from it all and give the world a chance. He chose the latter. It was the first time he had ever made a choice for himself.   Stargazer hit rock bottom shortly before he turned 19. Having been on his own for a year, he had no job, no life, nothing. He felt empty and unfulfilled. But most of all, he didn’t feel anything…he just felt. Being young and reckless, he set off toward Ponyville, knowing the Everfree Forest wasn’t far from there. He had no way to get there except to hoof it so he set off walking. He had no money so the only food he had was the grasses that grew on the side of the road. It wasn’t the greatest food, but it was food and that’s what mattered. What was he going to do in the forest? He wasn’t sure. What would happen to him? He didn’t care anymore. He knew one of two possibilities would occur: he would either come out knowing something about himself or he wouldn’t come out at all. And at this point, he was fine with either.   After walking for 12 days, he finally arrived in Ponyville. He didn’t stop to say hi to anypony. He went straight for the forest. As he was about to enter, he was stopped by a yellow Pegasus with pink mane. She flew over from a small cottage in a tree not far from the entrance. She was obviously very uncomfortable talking to someone she’d never met, but she explained that it was the Everfree Forest; it’s dangerous to go alone. “Normally I don’t talk to other ponies I don’t know,” she explained, “but I thought you were going to go in there willingly and didn’t know of the danger. I couldn’t sit idly by and let such a terrible thing happen.”   “I know what the Everfree Forest is. And I’m going in there of my own volition. Please…don’t worry about me.”   “Oh…okay. Please be careful…we’ve had problems with a cockatrice in there…Just a few weeks ago a dear friend of mine was turned to stone…”   “It’s fine. I’ll be fine.”   Alone he went into the forest. All was peaceful. He just kept walking. He’d already walked all the way here so what difference did it make to walk a couple hours? He walked until he came upon a sight to behold: Celestia and Luna’s castle. He’d read about it, but never had he seen it himself. It was a magnificent ruin and he loved it for he loved to dabble a bit in history from time to time. He determined to explore the castle.   Exploring the castle, he lost track of time. How long had it been? A couple minutes? A couple hours? A couple days? He wasn’t sure.   He found himself walking up a spiral staircase that seemed to go on forever. He passed by an opening that led to a walkway and kept walking up. As he continued, however, the staircase came to a sudden halt. What lay above the staircase was a starry cosmic ceiling. The rest of the tower long since fallen. He turned around and descended to the opening in the tower. Crossing the walkway to another tower, he climbed to the top of this one. This tower too had a staircase that ended with the night sky as its ceiling; however, it was still standing firm. Looking around, there was a table on the far side with nothing but a telescope upon it. It was the only thing atop this tower. He knew what a telescope was, but had never seen one himself. It was magnificent.   He held the eyepiece up and couldn’t see anything out of it. How long had that telescope been here? He had no clue, but it must have been there for hundreds of years. But he was too sleepy to care. Stargazer put the telescope back on the table and fell asleep. Considering he was lying on the cold hard stone floor of that tower top, he was more comfortable than he had ever been. His eyes became heavy as he counted the stars in the sky and drifted asleep.   Stargazer was lying in a field, all alone. The night was clear and a light breeze brushed over the grassy meadow. A voice from behind him said, “Thou looketh not, and thou seeth not.” Stargazer turned round and saw an elderly bearded pony donning a starry cape and a starry pointed hat decorated with bells. “It’s Starswirl the Bearded!” he thought. “But how could this be? It’s a time long after his!” Then the voice of Princess Luna echoed, “I used to study the stars with Starswirl. The night is a beautiful thing and many ponies take it for granted. It is one of many reasons I felt so alienated in the past.” There was a pause as she turned her head and looked at the sky for a moment then back to him. “You have been through much, young colt. Do not lose hope, for your hope is what drives you and your hope will be what sets you free.”   He awoke. It was still night. Or was it the next night? Had he slept through the entire day and not known of it? Stargazer returned to the telescope on the table. This time, there was a cloth next to it. Odd…that hadn’t been there last night...No matter. He took the rag and polished the lenses and the metal of that telescope to a high mirror shine. He then plucked one of his own feathers and used it to clean out the crevices where the lenses met the metal and other fine cleaning the telescope required. If it was beautiful before, it was impeccable now. Stargazer held the eyepiece up.   He could see everything! Planets, moons, stars, galaxies…nothing was hidden from him!   “Astronomy is an art long lost in the world of Equestria.” Princess Luna descended to the tower. “It is only studied by very few. Those who pursue usually don’t get very far. Yet none so far have ventured to this castle. To look this deep in it and find the artifact that taught me to raise and lower the moon with such care and precision. I need it no longer as I can perform this task asleep. I bestow it upon you, Stargazer. You’ll never need it for what I needed it for, but I know it will be useful for you.” She hugged him and told him not to hurt anymore. And Stargazer fell asleep.   He awoke the next afternoon at that yellow and pink Pegasus’ house. What was her name? He never took the chance to get it…   “I’m Fluttershy, by the way. I tried my best not to worry about you, but when I found you in front of my door this morning I had no choice but to help you.”   A tear welled up, but he fought it. “And I’m Stargazer. Thank you so much, Fluttershy, but I have no way to pay you for your kindness and hospitalit—“   “You don’t need to do that. I’m happy to help. By the way, I’ve never seen a cutie mark like that before. What’s it mean?”   “Cutie mark?” Stargazer turned round and saw it for the first time…It was a telescope and a single star. “I think it means I know what I have to do.”   Stargazer’s cutie mark is a sign of his passion for the art and science of Astronomy. His dream is to be a pioneer in the field, and to expand what little knowledge there is about outer space in Equestria. His ultimate goal is to build an observatory and a museum dedicated to the stars and displaying the works of Princess Luna and Starswirl. Finding those works will mean going back to the forest and searching the castle for any remnants of their work, but he determined it was a risk associated with the passion, and if he were to lose his life, at least he would lose it doing what he loves.   Today, Stargazer lives in Cloudsdale again. He deemed it the best place to use his telescope because Cloudsdale is least affected by cloudy or stormy weather. He spends his days searching the castle and his nights studying the night sky.   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Keep in mind, now, that this is only a rough draft and I'm debating whether I should use canon characters in my backstory. I'm thinking if I do, I'm going to have to find ways to keep them from diverging from actual canon and forming their dialogues to be as canon as possible (except Starswirl as he doesn't have an actual appearance in FiM).   Anyway, tell me what you think! I'd love to hear ways I can improve him!!

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Mother gets accused of scalding two-year old daughter with bleach and water

Source Article: Mother accused of burning her 2-year-old with scalding water, industrial strength bleach   This is a pattern I keep seeing: The people who deserve the absolute least to reproduce are the best at doing it while the people who deserve to be parents more than anybody have the worst chances of it. I mean, my biological parents had five children. We were so poor at one point, our whole family of four in early 2000 slept in a 1990 Mercury Topaz. We were homeless while my mother was pregnant with the third of us. My biological parents don't deserve to have children but they have five. While my foster parents (who are some of the most awesome people I know) didn't have kids of their own. And the doctors said they probably shouldn't count on it...   Why is that so? I digress...   So this story is just sickening. This mother is being accused of child abuse because her daughter turned up at the hospital with burns on about 12% of her body. In the article it says that the mother has conflicting stories. What hits me in the gut the most is that the poor baby went about 24 hours before receiving medical attention. The grandmother says she was present but didn't call for help. The mother didn't call for help or take her baby to the hospital. That's very suspicious. If I have a baby girl and she accidentally gets scalds and chemical burns, I'm dropping whatever I'm doing immediately and taking her to the hospital. There is no waiting 24 hours. There is no waiting 24 seconds. I don't care what the circumstances are. If your baby gets hurt like that, you go to the hospital.   They haven't determined if it was actually child abuse, but the daughter is quoted saying "Mommy is mean." When I was a little kid, my mother sometimes had to pull out the wooden spoon attitude adjustment on a stick or use my middle name. She hollered at me. I was sometimes stood in a corner for half an hour to really think about what I did that was wrong. I was sometimes made to pick a belt to get my ass busted by. I respected my mother for the things she did right. Never once did I ever say she was mean. Because I didn't think that. Children who become attached to their parents will love them. So when a little baby girl says "mommy is mean" it's probably believable.   Top that off with scalds and chemical burns and this major case of neglect, and I'm sickened. I think this mother (if you can call her that) intentionally hurt her baby. I hate to jump to conclusions like that but everything is too suspicious. Either she's not telling the truth or there really was an accident and she's not being fully honest. It makes me think she tried to hurt that baby.   With burns on 12% of her body and no medical attention for 24 hours I'm hard pressed to find any sympathy for the mother. You take your baby to the fucking hospital....If you really did try to hurt her, then I think something like this transcends child abuse. It's borderline attempted murder. Because, yes. I feel there was a danger that the baby could have died. Burns covering 12% of your body is no laughing matter.   I really hope that I'm wrong and it really was an accident and that this mom is really trying to get her life in order, but when they're saying there are inconsistencies in her story and that medical attention was not sought until after her eyes were swollen shut...I have a hard time believing it was an accident.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Dear people who comment about older rock music "THIS IS WHAT REAL MUSIC IS!"

I remember a conversation I had with my great-grandmother a few months ago...you have to keep in mind that old people aren't just made old. There was a time when even they were young and into the pop culture of their own times. My great-grandmother is going to be 91 years old in a couple of weeks. She was born in 1923. When she was my age, the biggest performers were Woody Guthrie, Gene Autry, and Hank Williams. in the 1940s, when she was in her 20s, the biggest genre in music was country. As time progressed, however, a new kind of music emerged. When she was in her 40s and 50s in the 1960s and 1970s, rock n' roll was taking over all the radio stations. She lived during the rise of bands like Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath.   You know what she thought of rock n' roll?   Garbage.   She hated it. To her, it wasn't music. Rock (and especially harder rock) sounded like garbled noise to her. You see, there was a point in time when the bands that we have come to hold as some of the greatest groups of all time were also hated by people who weren't familiar with it or didn't catch on with it. Meanwhile, the kids of the time loved that kind of music for the most part.   She also didn't like disco because she felt it was immodest.   I'm not defending modern pop music by any means. But do watch out. In 30 years, today's pop artists will probably be considered awesome by many people all over. It will be regarded as "real music" while newer stuff on the radio will be looked down upon by that same group just because it's the thing at the time. And in 30 more years the same thing will happen. I will pretty much promise it.   As far as I go, however, I was born jamming to rock. I grew up on Alice in Chains, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Ozzy, Steve Miller Band, and Matchbox Twenty, among many other artists. I don't care much for today's pop music but I don't look down on you if you enjoy it. Because one day what I listen to will be considered "oldies" and what is on the radio today will be considered "classic hits" while new garbage plays on the radio waves. Just watch it happen

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Oklahoma: The Bipolar State

This picture was taken at 4:53 pm     And this one was taken at 5:22     In hardly half an hour, it went from hardly being able to see across the road to a picture perfect evening. Welcome to Oklahoma!   And it's December. While other people are getting snow, we're getting rain, hail, and tornadoes.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

A McDonald's in Switzerland has some pretty naughty stuff on the TV's

Source Article from The New York Post: Customers accidentally get a side of porn at McDonald’s   I heard about this on the radio show I listen to in the mornings at work. You guys know how when you go into a McDonald's they have the TVs turned to something? Around here, it's usually news. CNN, NBC, yadda yadda...Well a few days ago, a McDonald's in Switzerland had been on the sports channel when suddenly     On the TV screens it shows the pornography of women!   Now they said on the radio (and I can't really verify if that's true or not since it doesn't say anything in the New York Post article except "If our employees didn’t immediately realize what was going on it’s because they were concentrating on our customers and their work.") but they said on the radio show that this had gone on for about an hour or so before someone noticed that the pictures on the TV screens were showing some pretty raunchy stuff.   I love what the article says about what the guys said. "We were a group of men so it didn't bother us..." That's awesome. Of course it didn't bother them. They probably dreaded it when the employees changed the channel!   Personally I think this is some of the funniest stuff I've seen in a while.   "Mommy how are babies made?" "Hush son. Let's go to McDonald's and quit this nonsense talk about how babies are made..." *walks in, sees TVs" "Oh so is that how babies are made?" "Well...I...um....BURGER KING!"

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

The Pirate Bay has been raided!

I'm actually pretty surprised I haven't seen this all over the place everywhere I go yet...   This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion but here I go anyway.   I read in the news today that The Pirate Bay has been seized by police. This is part of an article by TorrentFreak     This is sort of stirring up a bit of controversy. But I have agree with Rich in this video here.     Now I'm no angel. I was pretty stupid when I was a teenager and I didn't know exactly how big something like piracy was. When I was 14-16, I downloaded everything for free. Nowadays, I don't. If I can't buy it, I don't have it. It's as simple as that. Because now that I'm older, I see the effects of piracy. One single person doing it is pretty inconsequential. When it's thousands or even millions of people doing it, the numbers really add up. Companies want to turn a profit on their stuff so they have to hike up the price of software and such to combat the losses they take whenever people are obtaining illegal copies of that software. Or music or movie or whatever you're downloading. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you get it for free, someone is going to end up paying for that, and it's going to likely be the people who buy it legitimately. Now is there anything fair about that?   You wouldn't just walk into a music store, take a bunch of CD's off the shelves and walk out expecting to get away with it. So what makes it okay to do it on the internet?   I'm not going to miss TPB if it's down perpetually. Besides, like Rich said, the very name indicates the purpose of this place. It was to let people obtain free things when they should have been paying for it. Sites like Megaupload are sort of a grey area. Of course I can't defend Megaupload. That site was for piracy as well, though they did a better job of keeping it inconspicuous. If I want online backup, I'm going to a trusted company that has been around a while like Google Drive (Google) or Skydrive (Microsoft). I don't even use those much because I keep physical backups. Online backup is good for when I don't have a flash drive handy and I want to access a file on a different computer or school work. I'm not keeping private stuff on my online backup.   But yeah, the very name of TPB made it pretty obvious to anyone who has more than 3 brain cells what their intention was. So I don't feel bad for these guys and I won't miss them.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Update: I dropped out of school today.

I know in my last entry I said I was going to tough out the semester, but I did the math.   To keep my B in Advanced Business statistics, I need a 76.4 on the final exam To raise my C to a B in Marketing Strategy, I need to score a 124.2 on the final exam   I finally told my parents I had a C in grad school. It really went over better than I thought it would. I did make my mom promise not to destroy me, though. Instead of being angry with me (like she has done in the past), she instead offered some insight into my situation, which she was correct about. Then she offered suggestions about what I should do going forward. It really was a whole lot easier than I thought it would be.   Really, it feels so much better now that I don't have to lie to them about my grades anymore.   She helped me make a few decisions:   1. The first thing we decided was that quitting school would not be a smart decision. I do have room to grow with my degree, but I shouldn't plan on getting much further than I currently am if I don't keep pursuing my education. I am comfortable now, but if I were to marry and end up with a family...I'm more financially stable than I have ever been, but I am in no way ready to support a family.   2. We decided was that I should look into a Master of Accounting (MAcc) instead of Business Administration (MBA) because the MAcc would fit my interests much better. So I got on my computer and looked into it. I did find a university that offered an MAcc program. It offers two Becker CPA review courses (which are invaluable to aspiring CPA's), both of which you can use as two of the four electives you need to graduate as well as having a heavy focus on accounting. It is a 30 hour program that has maybe 6 hours of courses that aren't accounting so I really want to check that out before quitting school.   3. Neither of my current classes are listed on their schedule. I can't even use them as electives. So instead of finishing the semester and taking what I have, it'd be best to just drop (which I did today). I've checked in with my financial aid providers. I will owe my student loans back (obviously) but I do not have to pay back any grant money. All the loan money is intact so all they have to do is ask for it and I'll hand it all over in a lumpsum. I even have enough to cover interest. That puts me in an excellent financial situation as far as dropping out of grad school is concerned.   4. I should contact an adviser at the new school. Now I'm probably not going to get in for the spring semester, but that's okay. If I can't get in until August 2015, I can live with that. It'd probably be better anyway.   5. I'm depressed...so I need to find a counselor. I had already decided upon this before talking to my parents. It's also why I think enrolling for August would be better. It would give me more time to sort things out with myself and get out of this rut. I don't wear sadness well.   I guess the thing my mom told me that stuck with me was this: "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."   Well, I guess she's right.   For now it is nice to finally not have school for a little while. I actually feel really good about my decision to drop out of these classes. Usually when I feel good about something, I know I made the right choice. And I'm ecstatic about that much, despite my depression. I still have a lot of changes to make in my life to get better but I'll take it a step at a time. I don't expect an overnight turnaround. I haven't been reading self-help books or anything. I just know what I need to do to get where I want to be. I will need help along the way, though.   My first objective is to clean everything and reorganize. Let's hope this goes well. [insert "determined" emoticon here] Eh..that'll do lol

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

I'm dropping out of grad school.

Just like the title says, I’m dropping out of graduate school. I can’t handle it anymore. I am under a lot of pressure, and it’s causing me a lot more anguish than I need in my life. So here are my reasons for doing so:   1. I already have a Bachelor’s Degree. Right now I’m pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration, and it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be, especially now that I have a job. Yes, an MBA would allow me to go much further than my BBA will, but I’m pretty happy where I am right now and I still have a lot of opportunity to grow.   2. I’m using my degree. I have a pretty well paying job. The problem I have with my job right now is that I’m not 100% full time. I have to take Tuesday afternoons off to go to school. Since I work 4 out of 40 hours less, my pay is also cut 10%. What this means is that I’m grossing about $300 per month less than I would be if I were 100% full time, and that is a pretty big difference.   3.On top of making less money, school is now costing me more money than it ever has. Grad school is more expensive than undergrad. On top of that, there is less financial aid available to graduate students. I’ve had to take on student loans now (I was fortunate enough to get my undergrad degree debt-free). The ramification of my decision is that as soon as I drop out, I have to start paying on those. I guess it’s a good thing I’ll only be paying on a loan worth $4,000.   4. I live about 80 miles (about 140-ish kilometers) from my college. Every Tuesday, I have to make a drive that takes roughly an hour and fifteen minutes there and back. It takes a lot of fuel to get there. Even though gas is down, it’s still hard for me to afford that lifestyle. It’s not like I drive a huge truck that guzzles gas. I drive a Honda Prelude. Not the easiest thing on gas, but it’s not terrible.   5. Having a job has made school much more difficult. If I didn’t have one, I’d have no reason to be doing poorly. But now I’m making a B and a C. That’s not too horrible if you’re only getting your undergrad degree, but if you have more than 6 hours of C in grad school, they will hold your degree unless you repeat classes to change your grade. Even so, you can only repeat so many times before you get stuck with what you have. I’m only in my first semester and I’m likely going to get my first C. I still have 3 more and a summer to go after this.   6. I no longer like school. When I was getting my undergrad degree, I enjoyed it. It was fun. I made a few friends. I went to classes. I did my work. It was a lot of fun and I got out with A’s and B’s and graduated with honors. College was fun. Now it’s just stressful. I lose sleep over it. Last night I had a bad dream about failing school, being depressed over that, and then my depression affected me in my job, and so I got fired because I couldn’t work, and I ended up homeless for the rest of my life. Whether it was just a dream or a vision, I don’t want to end up like that. At the present, I am so stressed out by school that I find myself slipping into depression. And I’ve got another year and a half of this to go if I stick with it.   7. The awesome thing about work is that I choose to stay late if I want to. As salaried staff, I don’t get paid for overtime, but I like my job that much that I’ll stay and work for free to get caught up. Another awesome thing is that when I’m off at 5:00, I’m off. Work doesn’t give me things to do at home. Work doesn’t cut into my personal life. School gives me homework, which is always holding me back. I’m sick of homework. 18 years of homework is enough. I want to do other things besides homework. Lately, I’ve felt a heavy desire to volunteer around my city – soup kitchens, homeless shelters, etc. – but I just can’t do that with homework sucking up my personal time to go out and do that kind of stuff.   8. Finally, I just need to change gears. I’ve been stuck in the school rut for a very long time now and I’m just tired of going to school. It’s all I’ve ever known. I want to move on with my life and focus on my career and well-being. My lifestyle is unhealthy because school has sucked the motivation out of me.   The only thing that has kept me from dropping out of grad school since I got in was my parents. They want me to strive to be more than just an entry-level accountant. Trust me, I don’t want to be an entry-level accountant for the rest of my life either, but my accounting degree does give me lots of room to grow. I don’t need a Master’s degree to get a CPA license. And hell, that may not even be for me. I may not be CPA material. I’m okay with that. If I never strike it rich and drive a new Mercedes-Benz to work, I’m okay with that. To me, it’s not settling for second best. It’s being happy with what you’ve been given. I’ll take broke as hell and happy over rich and miserable any day.   So my college career (effective at the end of finals week) is over. I don’t know how I’m going to break the news to my folks. But I can’t let this hold me back anymore. I’m ready to go forward. It’s time I make a decision and take both the good and the bad with it. I don’t know if they’ll understand, but I’m going to do what I think is best for me. One day I might go back. But for now, I just can’t handle the strains school has put on me. I think it’s time for me to move on.   It is smarter to admit when you have been defeated than to continue fighting a battle you are ill-equipped to fight. And that's how I feel about it. I'm just not ready for grad school.   So this is my decision. And I'm sticking with it. I'm nervous as hell, but it's time for a change. I'll keep my fingers crossed that my parents understand why I'm doing this.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

What I want to see in Season 5

I don't normally do things like this...I was pretty hyped for Season 4, though, and I did have high hopes for it. I was not disappointed. The crew certainly has a lot to live up to. But in general, I don't spend a lot of time thinking about what I want out of something new (like an upcoming video game sequel or a new season) except exactly what it should be: something new.   Today, I was just thinking about it. And I've determined what I want out of Season 5.   Did you ever notice something about the first two seasons? What I saw in the fandom back in 2012 was that 80% of the fandom had one of four absolute favorite ponies, Twi, Flutters, Dashie, and Pinkie, with at least three-quarters of that centered around Twi and Flutters. I'd even go as far to say that more than half the MLP fandom was absolutely crazy for Fluttershy. I was. I was drinking that Fluttershy Kool-Aid (and I still am) but I have seen a shift lately. The fandom is balancing out. There's been a serious growth of the Rarity fanbase. Did anyone notice just how good Rarity was in Season 4? All of her feature episodes were absolute perfection and even in all the episodes where it was a full-cast feature or she had a minor role, she was still awesome. Some of my favorite Rarity scenes were from Castle-Maneia (Rarity and Fluttershy go excellently together...think "Green is not Your Color.").   You know who still hasn't got that much love? Applejack.   That's what I want to see in Season 5: More Applejack.   Now there's a problem with Applejack.   Where did Twilight see herself during the first few seasons? I think she wanted to become a princess herself from the get-go. Maybe that was planned from the very start. Now she ended up achieving that and I think the team did a spectacular job of making it work despite some fears among many of us.   What did Fluttershy want to end up doing? Well....I'm still trying to figure that out, but I think it's to overcome her own fears and mental blocks and be less reserved overall. For someone as reserved as Fluttershy, that task is next to impossible. As someone who is reserved too, I can want to be more outspoken, but the thought of actually doing it can be terrifying even if I make great leaps and bounds.   What does Rainbow Dash see herself being in the future? A Wonderbolt (which I think she can easily do given that a Sonic Rainboom is no longer legend)   What does Rarity want to do with her life? World-renowned fashion designer.   And how about Pinkie Pie? Well...she's also like Fluttershy...only Pinkie Pie can be so random...she's more or less the wildcard.   How about Applejack? Applejack probably has no plans whatsoever to do anything bigger than the family farm.   Where am I going with this? Character growth. It's what makes them relateable. You ever wonder why not many people love Celestia? Because she's perfect. I don't mean she's a good character. I mean that she has no personality flaws. Celestia is just and wise ruler. Just and wise are properties you want in a ruler; however, they don't make for very deep characters. Celestia has everything she could ever want and need. She has absolutely no room at all to grow.   I think that's the problem with Applejack. I think that's why we don't see many Applejack episodes. Applejack is far from perfect, but she is where she wants to be and she sees herself being no place else. That was confirmed by "The Cutie Mark Chronicles" when she knew it was her destiny to stay on the family farm. Applejack is going nowhere, folks. And I hate to see that. She makes for a wonderful support character but that's really about it. What little room Applejack had to grow has mostly been filled. Episodes like "Applebuck Season," "Look Before You Sleep," "Fall Weather Friends," "Over a Barrel," and - most recently - "Bats!" have addressed the one quality that makes Applejack imperfect: her stubbornness. And I loved all of these episodes so don't get me wrong. But with that one quality being Applejack's (pretty much) only weakness, there just isn't much they can do with her. I think that's why she's always being called "best background pony."   I really can't find any other weaknesses in her. She has some great strengths that make her the person (or pony) you want close to you: blunt, caring, empathetic, diligent...these are great qualities in anyone. But those qualities don't make for good episodes. Truly great episodes address a weakness and challenge that character with that weakness.   I want to see more Applejack in the next season. I really do. I hope they can find something about her in the previous four seasons that makes her weak besides her stubbornness. You can't make too many episodes about it without the subject being beaten to death and people get sick of it. You can't replace her because that hasn't worked out very well for many shows in the past (remember Randy from That '70s Show? Who even liked Randy? Eric Forman was much better).   Hopefully they can pull it off!

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

I can't sleep so I have to ask...Why are people so fickle?

I can’t sleep tonight. I just have a lot on my mind. Primarily, I miss my friend. It’s kinda complicated but it goes a little something like this.   A few years ago, I meet this girl in New Mexico. We didn’t get the opportunity to talk much but we added each other on Facebook. About a couple months later, we start chatting and it turns out we have a lot in common. So we hit it off as pretty good friends for a while. Then about a year later, we fall out of touch. I try to talk to her but my texts and phone calls go unanswered. We drift. I was pretty upset about that. She was one of my best friends. I didn’t know why she wouldn’t talk to me. I thought I had done something wrong. But I just chalk it up as another failed attempt at keeping someone in my life and move on with my lonely self.   So sometime in January, she finally says hi to me. I was reserved toward her first. I didn’t want to end up getting close again just to fall back out of touch. You see, when I lose a friend…well I don’t losing friends. The emotional toll it takes on me…I just can’t put it in words. I don’t have a large group of friends so each and every one of my closest friends are some of the most special people in my life and I love them like family. On the flip side of the coin, I have trust issues that stem from being physically and verbally assaulted throughout my entire childhood. If you earn my trust that’s a big deal. If you break it, you just can’t imagine the kind of pain it causes me. It hurts more than you think.   So of course I’m scared to talk to her again. I don’t want to fall out of touch. She didn’t stab me in the back. She just quit talking. So I was kinda excited to hear back (finally…after about two years) but at the same time I was nervous. For the first few months I didn’t really say much. Then she invited me to do something. I thought about it carefully for about four or five hours, weighing out every possible outcome I could think of. I came to a point where I didn’t know what to do. So I just decided to go with it.   So we get caught up. The reason we fell out of touch was that she was going through a rough patch in her life and she didn’t really talk to anyone during those couple of years. Understandable but I really wish she would have said something to me. We talk that afternoon. A lot. It only took me one afternoon. I decided I was going to try to date her.   Now I pause again...I had just finished my undergrad program. I was ready to try it again. I hadn’t dated in 4 years. I wanted to try it again. So after we finish at the science museum (because it was her sister’s birthday) I ask her out to the movies. She was gonna get her own ticket, but I made sure I was first in line so I could buy both of them, but I did it in a way that didn’t totally give it away. It left her room to question what was going on.   So I see her for a couple months before I finally just get it out. She admits that she has feelings for me too. Jackpot! And I was happy again. I thought I actually had hope of a love life.   I was wrong.   So we start dating. She was actually awesome despite constantly talking about how much she sucked as a girlfriend. Of course, any girl who will voluntarily pay for dinner from time to time is awesome in my book. I’m a strong supporter of equal rights. I’m also a strong supporter of equal pay. And equal responsibilities. If I buy you dinner, I don’t expect you to get me back next time but if you do, that goes miles with me.   And then we spend the whole 4th of July weekend together. This is where it starts to go downhill. We kissed a few times. No naughty business though. That’s not the way I roll. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I didn’t think “Man I would like to see my girlfriend naked” a lot. Because I did. But I have standards and so does she. No naughty business without being married. And we were a long way from that. So the 4th of July comes and goes and it was probably the best weekend of my life. Little did I know that was the turning point in our relationship.   So things start to slow down between us. I would try to say hi to her after I knew she was off work and I wouldn’t get anything back for a few hours. It was odd. It wasn’t like her to just ignore me. But she does have a tough job so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. And her summer was pretty busy. So I just chalked it up to busy work life. But it doesn’t get any better and I start getting tired of being pushed aside so much. I mean…I had felt that way. Like I was being ignored. And I would get really upset with that from time to time. But I just told myself she’s busy and I’m overreacting. But it finally did come to a point where I was tired of it. I was tired of being ignored by someone I loved. So I started contemplating a breakup.   But I didn’t know if she was going to be ready for it. So I waited a few weeks. I had decided that if she hadn’t done it by mid-September, I was going to dump her. I’d had enough of the being ignored. I was done.   It was the first weekend in September. She calls and says we need to talk. So we meet at a Starbucks and we break up. Amicably, of course, since we had both wanted to get out. I ended up being funny to try to lighten the mood by making some stupid joke about friendzone prison and how the frienzone police were cuffing me…I just wanted to let her know that I had forgiven her and I hoped we could be friends thereafter. And even if I was hurt, I would be okay in time.   That doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. The week after was pretty dark. I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to see anyone. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been duped. After all those times chalking it up to her busy life…she had just been ignoring me?! What the fuck did I do to deserve that? I poured my heart and soul into it. I wanted us to go places…and I legitimately ignored….But the week does move on and I come to terms with it and now I’m a cynical asshole again when it comes to dating. I was right to be cynical.   I mean…I get tired of waiting…but when I get tired of waiting and I decide to actually do something…I get reminded of why I’m tired of trying. There isn’t anyone out there. Not for a weird nerd like me. That’s fine. I can deal with that. I’d hate it if I die without ever knowing what having a family is like but if that’s how my life is supposed to play out, I’ve accepted that fate.   So after my week is over and I come to term with it and I’m not hurt over the breakup anymore, I initiate a conversation with her. We talk about life, jobs, school, etc. I was actually pretty excited to have a friend again. I hoped it would make things simpler.   Was I wrong again or what?!   She just doesn’t say anything. And here’s what bothers me most: she even said she wanted to remain friends. That she still thought I was cool but just didn’t want to have a romantic relationship with me. At least, not right now. I was fine with that. I’m over that. What’s got me bummed is that I was told we could be friends again. I, unlike many people, am able to pull that off. I know when I’ve had my chance and it didn’t work out. But I can still have a connection with people and keep it completely platonic post-breakup. So I was excited to just have my best friend back.   Nope.   She doesn’t say anything. If she was at all interested in maintaining a friendship with me, she’d say hi periodically. I wouldn’t be the one trying to establish a connection with an old friend.   So this is it I guess.   I just don’t know that I can trust her anymore. I don’t know that my heart can take being cast aside like that again. I don’t know that I could bear to be treated like this anymore. I miss my friend. That’s all I want. I just want my friend.   So I’ve decided that this week I’m going to try to tell her how I feel: bummed. I feel awful that we don’t talk anymore and that she never says hi. Like she tells me that I did nothing wrong and that we can still be friends…yet she doesn’t even sneeze in my general direction. What did I do to deserve that? If you don't want to be my friend anymore, just tell me. But don't lie to me. That's just low...   So...   If she talks, there may be hope. If she doesn’t, then I’m calling it dead. If she tries to talk to me again after the fact, I’ll probably give her a piece of my mind. But I’m sick of being ignored. The buck stops here.   Maybe I’m just too forgiving.   I don’t know…

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Favorite band is favorite (and other music talk)

I just realized earlier when I was listening to a song that I really like Metallica's music. Maybe a little too much.   Then I looked at my CD collection...     I have SIX of their albums. Okay maybe I like their music a little too much At least St. Anger is one I probably won't be buying. But when you have six of a certain band's albums, it's probably safe to say that they're probably your favorite group lol   Smashing Pumpkins is a close second. Except that their greatest albums were only the first three. And I have Mellon Collie and Siamese Dream on vinyl. I also got a CD copy of Siamese Dream with the original album art.     Of course my collection includes some of my favorite albums of all time.   U2 - The Joshua Tree Gorillaz - Demon Days Foo Fighters - Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace Matchbox 20 - Yourself or Someone Like You Collective Soul - Collective Soul (a highly underrated album I think) And all the ones you see pictured above   CD's are awesome. It's gonna be a shame when these go the way of the cassette tape... I'm sure there will be plenty of music shops, though, where you can find used CD's when it happens. I mean, digital downloads are great because they're easy but there's a different feeling of ownership when you have the physical copy. Plus you get the cool booklet in the physical copy that you never see in the digital copy you buy in iTunes.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

My thoughts on the 8th generation of consoles

Just a little disclaimer - I'm not bashing consoles. If you have a console, then that's fine. Have it. If it's your preferred choice. Really, I think what you get is a matter of preference. Contrary to popular belief in the PC gaming community, consoles do have advantages. That said, let's move on.   I’m really not too impressed with anyone’s offerings in terms of consoles. The one that comes closest to impressing me is the PS4, and I’m still sort of…eh…about it. Have I become jaded to the next generation’s graphical capabilities because I game on PC? Probably. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no elitist. You’ll never catch me using the term “console peasant” because my attitude is simply to get what works for you and don’t try to tell someone else they’re wrong for having something different. Convince, but don’t condescend. That said, I’ve heard people have been complaining about the new generation of consoles because they’re already dated or underpowered. But if you’re a console gamer, I want you to ask yourself a question:   Do you want an affordable console? Or do you want something that will give mid- to lower high end PC’s a run for their money? You can’t have both.   In the past, having a console with superior hardware, but putting a price tag over $500 on it has been unsuccessful. Need proof? Look at the seventh generation. And discount the Wii here because that one is something everyone got because it was cheap and it had the motion control gimmick. Now, I would go as far to say that most Wii consoles serve primarily as dust collectors. Mine does. But it’s probably fair to say that the Xbox 360 won the seventh generation hands down, despite the PS3 catching its second wind later on and I believe it had a lot to do with two things: relatively subpar launch titles and its price point. I wasn’t as into tech in 2006 as I am today and I didn’t even know there were such things as gaming PC’s. I thought video games belonged to those who made home consoles. Goes to show how much I knew back then. But even when I was 14 and the PS3 was being launched and I heard it could put you back up to $600, I was curious as to why anyone would spend that kind of money on a PlayStation. Especially when the PlayStation 2 launched at half that and the top end Xbox 360 of the time was only $400. Unless the games and the experience were just that superior, I couldn’t ever justify that kind of money. And look at the launches of the Xbox 360 and PS3 respectively. The 360 started off well while the PlayStation 3 was just unaffordable. Sony had to come down on their price so much that they were losing money every time a PS3 was sold just to make it a relevant console. Of course there were other reasons (like subpar launch titles, funky architecture that backfired on them, and so forth), but I think Sony learned from that.   I actually like the PS4. I’m not awed by its graphical capabilities, but I like what Sony did. I think Microsoft felt like they were the king so they started doing all this stupid crap like the Kinect, voice control, inferior hardware but premium price tag, DRM, requiring an internet connection to play games and so forth…it all backfired and MS responded to what they could accordingly. But the damage had been done. They just got too much bad publicity. I also think the main weakness of the Xbox is how it tries to do everything all in one box while maintaining relative affordability. Essentially “jack of all trades, master of none.” I wouldn’t pay $500 for a gaming console so it could run a dumbed down version of Windows 8. With digital distribution catching on, the meager 500 gigs in the HDD will be eaten up fairly quickly with a decent sized library. If you use the DVR function, you better swap it for at least 1TB.   Oh wait…the hard disk isn’t user replaceable? Well then…   And that’s another reason I really like the PS4. And the PS3. User-replaceable hard drives. And it’s not a funky hard drive like the Xbox 360 had. It’s a standard run-of-the-mill laptop hard drive. Sony’s support site even has a detailed guide for replacing your PS4 hard drive in case you ever want a huge library of digital content. Or if you want to SSD it, that’s an option available to you.   What I’ve been hearing about is that the 8th generation feels like catch up. It doesn’t feel like a huge step forward like the previous generation was. When I saw the graphics on one of the 7th generation consoles for the first time, I was blown away. And my reaction to the new ones is probably because I was doing 1080p 60fps for a while before the new consoles got their releases. But even so, 1080p is not a new standard. We’ve had 1080p for a while now. The PS3’s operating system can run in 1080p and plays Full HD movies, and it even has a few games that can run in 1080p. So these new consoles come in at a weird time when 1080p is beginning to become obsolete and 1440p and 4K is starting to take off because GPUs that can support that are becoming more affordable. There’s no way the new consoles can support 1440p without taking a hit to their framerates, which has been a saving grace to the new consoles. The games move like butter compared to the jerky 30fps of last generation. And I feel like 1440p will become mainstream in the next two years with 4K following not too distantly behind. I feel like these consoles will become irrelevant within the next 5 years, and that’s sad considering the previous generation (excluding the Wii) was very relevant all the way to the end. And that generation lasted 7 or 8 years.   I could be wrong, and if I am, I will gladly eat my words.   Right now, I don’t have any of the new consoles. My brother recently got a PS4 and I've played around with it so I have seen what it's capable of firsthand. I still have my old PS3 which I hardly play anymore. If I do it’s probably GTA 5. I also watch movies on it. It’s not a bad media player. If I were to get one, it’s definitely a PS4. It’s less expensive and it does what it’s supposed to do better than the Xbox. And hell, for a $400 box, it’s actually damn good. It gives my PC a run for its money, and I’ve got about $900 in it. The Xbox just tries too hard to be a PC. PC’s are more expensive than consoles because they are the jack of all trades. The difference is that they are also the master of them all as well. A good gaming PC will also surf the web, type up documents, create presentations, store and play media, manage your other devices (like your iPod and your cell phone), create music, create videos, make Skype calls, and hell – if you want to add a TV tuner card to it, you can even use it as a DVR for cable and OTA TV. And if you have good parts, it will do all of those things and it will do them well.   I’m not saying that custom building is better for everyone. PCs are bigger, louder, consume more electricity (it takes more power to have more power), can be pretty high maintenance, can have compatibility issues because they’re so diverse (a lot like apps for Android), they can set you back more than the cost 2 Xbox consoles (once you consider all your PC’s peripherals like monitors, speakers, webcam, keyboard and mosue, headset, etc), so much can go wrong during a build, BSOD, and other things I probably failed to mention. PC’s aren’t perfect. There are downsides. But there’s a reason we spend more on our PC’s. We expect more out of them. All I expect from a gaming console is for it to play video games. I don’t care if it doesn’t play music or movies or make Skype calls or record the football game. If it plays video games and does a fantastic job of it, that’s all I expect from it.   And really, that’s the sentiment I have towards consoles as a whole. Most people already use their laptops or tablets for most things the Xbox One does. It’s so bloated with features that are just best left to other devices. A gaming console’s primary focus should be gaming, not all that other crap the Xbox One tries to do. If Microsoft had put more of their R&D dollars into a purer gaming experience, left out Kinect and just made it a $100 accessory, made the Xbox One prettier to look at (because really, it’s uglier than a VCR), and put superior hardware into the Xbox One, I think a $500 price point would have been acceptable. Or if they wanted to match Sony’s price, I feel like the Xbox could be outperforming the PS4 by a long shot by now.   And even if I think the PS4 is far superior to the Xbox One, I still believe the 9th generation will be rushed in much sooner than any of the Big 3 expected at first. I give it until late 2016 or early 2017 and 1440p will be mainstream if 4K isn’t by then. Everybody is going to be running like chickens with their heads cut off trying to satisfy the demand for higher resolution capabilities of their systems unless they don’t mind losing a lot of loyal customers to PCs, which are already doing 1440p and 4K. So they will have to have to create something that tops this generation and probably do it in less time. I give it until 2019 and the current consoles will just be so obsolete that they will pretty much be forced to rush in the 9th generation. If they don’t, I feel like they will begin losing all their big 3rd party developers to the PC market. If that happens, the consumer won’t be far behind. Nintendo will end up like Sega – nothing more than a name for their first party titles like Pokemon, Mario, and Zelda. Sony and Microsoft will end up selling off the PlayStation and Xbox divisions to someone else. And who knows what will become of that? If consoles do become irrelevant, the only company that stands a chance of remaining is Microsoft. Sony missed the MP3 bandwagon and now the Walkman is irrelevant having lost out to the iPod. And nobody is buying Sony TVs, stereos, and other stuff anymore. The PlayStation is probably Sony’s biggest revenue generator right now. Microsoft will still have Windows, which commands a huge share of the PC market, so I don’t think Microsoft is going anywhere in the near future. Not until Linux distros get more compatibility and more general consumers begin using Linux. This probably won’t happen until we get a lot of AAA games on Linux.   By the way, if that happens, it will only help the PC market. Windows 8 Pro is still $160 and building a Hackintosh is a little more involved. So if Linux catches on, you can save $160 on your PC build. Or you have an extra $160 to invest into your build. I would hope this happens one day as I would love to use Ubuntu again.   Anyway I’ve gone on long enough and nobody will probably stick around all the way til the end. If you have, here’s a cookie.   Be sure to have cookies enabled.  

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

A mixed feelings blog post from someone who is unhappy at the moment

A word to you if you made the mistake of reading this blog post: don't count on other people to make you happy. The only person you need in this life is yourself. If you can't be happy by yourself, you won't ever be happy with other people. And if you already do that, good. Don't ever count on someone else to keep it that way. You'll just get burned.   I'm still recovering from my breakup a little over a week ago, and that ties into this all. In fact, it's the only reason I'm unhappy right now. Everything else is going anywhere from pretty damn good to peachy.   Now I had been thinking about ending it with her for some time now. But I didn't want to. I didn't want to just give up. I don't just give up on people I care about. I will exhaust and even break myself for the people I care about. I do what I can for those I'm close to, even if it comes at my own expense. So when I decide to let a girl into my heart, she's at the top of my list. It's a bigger deal than anyone can imagine to me. So even if I had been thinking about ending things with her, I wasn't going to actually do it until I made sure I exhausted every resource I had at my disposal to make sure it would be the right move.   She just ended up dumping me. Told me that she wasn't ready for a relationship. She apologized for pushing me away for the last two months.   I'd get upset when she didn't return my phone calls or answer my text messages. I wouldn't say anything about it because I know she has a busy life. So I just wrote it off as she had something going on and couldn't get to me and she would when she could. I did that to myself for two months. And when she dumped me, she admitted to actually pushing me away for the last two months. So now that I look back at it, I had every right to be upset with her. She really was ignoring my phone calls.   Okay so we broke up...It hurt pretty bad. But it's nothing I haven't dealt with before. It's not like every time this happens, my heart breaks any less. I'm just getting more and more jaded with the more disappointment I have to deal with. I was right for being a cynical bastard about dating. Thus I have returned to my previous state of mind: it's a waste of my time, energy, money, attention, and other unnamed resources. I have more important things to which I should direct my focus. Like my career. I was right for saying "Screw love and all it has to offer." Because the only thing it's got me is a short period of happiness followed by a longer period of crippling doubt, anger, and disappointment.   So yeah, I was hurt about the breakup. But now I'm fine with it. I've come to terms with it. Mostly.   What really has me upset is this: she said she still liked me and that we could still be friends. Now I said at the beginning of our relationship that things would never be the same again. Well guess who was right on that call as well? Yeah. So I'm two for two. Now since the breakup, I've given her a little time to herself as I have definitely needed some time alone too. To cope. To move on from what happened. Was I angry? Yeah. Am I angry about it now? Kinda, but I'm not letting it wreck my day like I was a week ago. So she said that we could still be friends. I'm cool with that, really. I was glad to hear that we could continue to have a platonic relationship. After all, before we dated, she was one of my best friends. I could talk to her about pretty much everything and she had always been there to offer me some encouragement in my time of need. And while I was dating her but my calls were being ignored, I really just missed my friend. So when she told me we could still be friends, I was delighted to hear that.   So after giving her a little time, I sent her a text message. Just said a quick "Heya" just to see how things were going. I wasn't going to say anything until I heard back. Here we are now. It's been about 2 days now and I still haven't got anything back. Nada.   Now...now I just feel betrayed.   So I'm about to the point where I'm going to bring this up with her. I don't care about the dating thing, really. I just want my friend back.   I feel betrayed and I feel like I failed. I have a pretty intense fear of failure. That I'm not going to be good enough. It already hurt enough that she had dumped me and told me I did nothing wrong. I failed in that. Now I can't even get her to engage in small talk so we can begin to rebuild our friendship. So now I have failed twice. And as much as she can say I didn't do anything wrong, I have 9 other voices in my head screaming at me that I failed. Few things crush my spirit than the thought that I failed.   So that's it. I'm done being passive about this and brushing off this constant being pushed away. I need to say my piece to her. Because I do nothing wrong, but I'm the one who gets dumped and pretty much excommunicated? What's fair about that? This isn't my fault and I'm done feeling like I'm the fuck-up here.   I was already happy before we got together. I thought I was ready to have a girlfriend and that would make me even happier than I was. But as it stands I was robbed of my happiness. Now I feel betrayed, lonely, angry, and like a failure.   So I say again: don't ever count on other people to make you happy. You don't need anybody but your fucking self. Learn to be happy with you and what you have. And don't even try to let other people make you happy because they'll only let you down.   It's nice to know that people are still fickle as fuck.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

A short letter to all of you people who have problems sleeping in...from an insomniac

This isn't advice for waking up earlier. Because why would you want that? No. This is a blog because I hate my body right now. And I am going to piss and moan. If you don't like pissing and moaning, then you've been warned.   Tomorrow was supposed to go perfectly! I was going to go to bed early, wake up early, have my morning cup of coffee, go for an early morning stroll, watch the news, re-iron my clothes, cook breakfast...I was gonna do all this by 8 am because I was going to wake up at 5 am. I was going to have a very productive morning so I could feel my best for an interview at 10 am. And I have to drive about an hour and a half to get there. And on top of that, I promised to take my girlfriend out to lunch tomorrow. It was going to be a fun trip to the city and another job opportunity for me to explore. It was shaping up to be a great day tomorrow!   Tomorrow was going to be perfect until my body decided to say LOL FUCK YOU I WANT STAY UP AND DO ALL THE THINGS!!!!!!!   So I have been lying in bed since 9 pm. As of writing this, it's roughly 2:30 am, give or take a few minutes. I can't get comfortable or cool enough though it's freezing in here by the standards of many. My back started hurting for no reason whatsoever. And I just feel zero percent tired. I have lied in bed in the dark and silence for over five hours, and I cannot sleep at all. I have tried everything short of chloroform, and my body is fighting sleep like the heavyweight title is on the line.   I JUST WANT TO FUCKING SLEEP!   So here's a message to all you people who have a problem sleeping in but you don't like it. Please enjoy that. It's kind of a curse, but it's also a blessing. You can actually sleep. Because you can be on the other side of the fucking spectrum like me - insomniac. There is nothing good about that.   So instead of my perfect day tomorrow, I'm not looking at the possibility of sleeping only three hours. I just cut a sleeping pill in half with the hope that the lowered dosage of sleeping medication will not impair me in the morning, but now I run the risk of actually sleeping past my interview. If I don't sleep in, I'm going to be very tired or maybe impaired enough that I shouldn't drive my car. At which point, my better judgment should kick in and I'll cancel my interview. If I feel good enough to drive, I'll still be tired and lack of sleep ruins your ability to focus, which is only compounded by my ADHD so I still run a greater probability of getting into my first car accident (though I've been a licensed driver for over 5 years, and I've been driving for about 11 years now). So yeah. I might die. In that case, at least I had fun on my journey to achieving room temperature. If I do make it, I'm probably gonna fall flat on my face at the interview and not get the job, which would make me feel horrible. If I don't fail the interview, I still promised to take my girlfriend out to lunch, and I don't like to go back on promises; however, this one isn't such a big deal as I know she'll understand.   So if you have a problem sleeping in or sleeping too much, cherish that. Because you could have had insomnia instead.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

I had the weirdest series of dreams last night (#3 is probably the best)

Last night, I woke up a few times in the middle of the night for various reasons. Also, last night was a very active night for me in terms of dreaming. Note that plenty of this is blurry as it’s hard for me to remember most of this, but it’s all in there (kind of).   Dream #1: My Ex Can't Leave Me Alone The first dream involves my girlfriend and me. We’re sitting at a restaurant. I’m having steak, and she’s having a white peach drink (which is a very sweet fruity beverage with a shot of vodka added to it) and some potato skins. This is exactly what she had the last time we went on a date, which was Thursday. I also had my old flip phone. It was a very busted up Motorola RAZR ve20, the phone I had the last time I had a serious girlfriend. And wouldn’t you know it? That damn phone starts ringing, and it’s my ex calling me…   Then I wake up.   Dream #2: ...BUT THE METAL HAD ITS WAY! This one was pretty graphic   The second dream involved me being in a heavy metal band I formed with some friends. We were working on creating the album art for our debut album, “The Meat Block Who May Have Had Too Much to Drink.” Yes, that was the name of the album. The album art was a monochrome photo of a jail cell that was so dank and in such poor condition, it might as well have been a sewer. There was algae growing on the walls and it looked like it would smell like mold. In the middle of the photo was a wooden stool and an end table. Seated on the stool was a torso with the head still attached and the end table had a bunch of beer bottles of various fill levels and they were either standing up or laying down. Also, a couple bottles had fallen to the floor and broken.   And I wake up again.   Dream #3: Dolphin Simulator - Now on PlayStation 1 and Sega Dreamcast! In the third dream, I was a dolphin kept in captivity, and I’m trying to escape the scientists who keep doing tests on me. Only, the way I saw this dream was much like a video game. There was a life bar, a witty British narrator, everything! Only it was an old video game. It looked like PS1 graphics (evidently I can dream in PS1 graphics). I swim through many obstacles and flip a few switches and later on I finally escape the facility! The narrator says, “Working hard, you finally managed to escape the clutches of those bastards! Go on! Strike a pose!” And so I did. I laid on my back and did the dolphin equivalent of flipping the facility off as the sun set in the background. I heard a camera shutter sound effect. Then there was a kind of bang and everything went black.   I did not wake up between these two dreams.   Dream #4: Science is far out, man...and kind of creepypasta I come to (in the dream, of course), human again. I’m back at the restaurant I was at in the first dream. Only now, we’re outside. To describe this restaurant…It was in the middle of a bunch of water that was about waist deep, and it floated on some kind of artificial island. I don’t know if that helps much in forming a mental image, but let’s move on. This time, I’m a presenter for some kind of kids’ science show, but my co-host and I are obvious stoners and we talk like stoners. We’re in the middle of explaining water when my phone rings. Me: “The phone is ringing! And you know what that means!” My co-host: “You know what that means! If we answer it, we get to talk to someone!” Both of us: “Same action yields same result!” Then we high-five and start swimming around, looking for the phone. We finally locate it on a pile of rocks in the fountain next to the restaurant. It’s my old flip phone from the first dream. The person calling is the meat block from the second dream, and he says (in a very drunk voice), "The *hic* scyense facil - *hic* -fuhsilitee cawwlled...an they *hic* want their dawlfunn backc..."   Then it was 7:30 am. I wake up thinking “What the fuck did I eat last night that caused this?!!”   Seriously, that pizza had to have had something in it!

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

About that girl who slept on her phone and it caught on fire

I guess this is a picture of the phone in question. And in case you haven't heard of it yet, link!     Now I'm not going to say I'm not guilty of doing this myself. It was actually probably about last year that I stopped doing this.   It stemmed from me being protective of my phone. When I was a teenager, I would want to use my phone later than I should have been. I started putting it under my pillows when my parents would come into my room and check my messages and see how long I was up talking to my girlfriend at the time. If it was after 10 pm, I'd lose the phone. And they could usually tell when I deleted messages to cover it up.   Back then, you could put a phone under your pillow and get away with it. My phone (when I was 16) was a Motorola RAZR ve20. At that time, flip phones were kind of the standard phone. Everyone had em. Unless you were rich and you had an iPhone. When I was a teenager, the iPhone was a superpower, but its processor only clocked at 412 MHz. Processors back in the day just didn't get as hot since they weren't clocking so high.   These days, the processor in my phone (1.9 GHz) clocks higher than the one in my laptop (1.4 GHz), and the laptop actually uses active cooling! Phones are much more active than they appear. It might look like they're doing nothing while in standby, but they can be doing tons of things at once, which engages the processor. It doesn't help that phones have to use passive cooling (because nobody wants a phone that uses a fan). Just sitting there, a phone doesn't get very hot, but if it's doing something, it's putting off a little heat. Insulate that with your pillow, and that heat will build up over time until...well...this happens.   It looks to me like the phone got really hot under the pillow and the battery swelled, causing the fire.   Here's the thing: just don't put your phone under your pillow. The things are way too powerful to be doing that anymore. Even if you don't start a fire like this, you can still cause damage to the internals of the phone and shorten its life. And this isn't a common sense thing at this point. She's only thirteen so you can't expect her to know much about the way these things work, but maybe she won't do that anymore.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

I just need to whine for a moment...

Seriously, I don't give a shit if nobody reads this or whatever. I have got to vent this.   A little background: Accounting is a profession that's supposed to be growing. Getting the degree isn't easy. It's not super difficult. I mean, there are harder degrees out there. But once you have it, people go nuts for folks who have accounting degrees. I am a Bachelor of Accounting. Since mid-March, I've been applying for jobs here and there to very little success. By that, I mean nobody has interviewed me for a job in my field...   ...That is until today.   On Sunday, I applied for a job with the State of Oklahoma. On Tuesday, I got a phone call asking if I would want to come in for an interview. In a nutshell, my answer was "HELL YES!!" I was excited to finally get a bite! I called my girlfriend and she was pretty stoked for me. On top of that, she said it was a state job and those are really easy to get. Her exact words were "The state takes all."   I'm excited about this. On Wednesday morning, I packed my bags and left my hometown, where I had been staying with my parents for the last week or so, and went to my college town so I could get my dress clothes together. I had never learned to iron clothes so I had to get on YouTube to figure out how to do it because the cleaners couldn't have them ready quickly enough, and I did a fantastic job considering that I'd never ironed clothes before.   This morning, I spent my entire morning preparing myself for this. I got up bright and early at 7 am. I made coffee, took a shower, made my bed, drank my coffee, ate breakfast, and from 8 am til noon, I was on my computer, thinking of all the questions I might be asked and coming up with what I wanted to say along with a few questions I wanted to ask as well. At noon, I got dressed and got all my things together. I then drove an hour and a half to Oklahoma City and went to my interview.   Now I invested a lot of resources just to make it to the interview. Time, money, energy...after the last couple days, I'm exhausted both physically and mentally.   I go to the interview, and I did really well. I was on top of things (mostly). If they asked me something and I honestly didn't know the answer or I couldn't come up with something because I simply hadn't expected the question or it was something I didn't have time to think about, I wasn't afraid to say "I don't know." This was a big deal. I wasn't going to try to make myself look like the perfect candidate. Three people interviewed me. The woman who was there loved me to death. I ended up telling them my story of foster care and how I overcame the psychological damages that resulted from my harsh past, and she felt really inspired by that. One of the men shares my alma mater, and the other one seemed to really like me as well. In all, I felt like I had done really well and that I was bound to get a job offer.   After the interview, I go to one of the malls til 5 o' clock to wait for my girlfriend to get off work. I live two hours away from her so it's not often we get a chance to meet up. So we go out for food and drinks and whatnot and we have a pretty decent time considering it's Thursday and she's burnt out from work this week. We hang for a few hours and then I make my way back to my apartment.   On my way, I decide to check my email. This is what I got from my interviewer:   "Dear Spacey Woona,   "I am sorry to say, but our position has been filled. You were not selected."   What the hell?!   I called my girlfriend and told her about it, and she believes someone transferred from a different county since state jobs are usually much easier to get than other jobs and it's much easier and cheaper to transfer someone in.   I can't explain the kind of suck that this is. I really thought it went well. I really thought the next contact I would have with them would be a job offer or second interview. It was almost perfect! Right now, I'm frustrated as hell. It feels like I'm doing something wrong. Also I really feel like punching someone in the face, but since I don't want to spend the night in jail for assault, I'll just avoid people for now.   Anyway, I have an interview on Monday with Devon Energy. In case you don't know who they are, they're one of the biggest deals in Oklahoma right now. They deal in oil and gas and they have a lot of assets. The Devon Tower in Oklahoma city is the tallest building there. In my interview earlier today, I was asked if I had any upcoming interviews, and I did mention Devon. All three of their jaws nearly dropped. It's really hard to get an interview at Devon. They're pretty selective in their recruitment. So I also think these guys really believe that I can get the job at Devon, and that's why they turned me down. Perhaps they're confident that I can get a job there, and if they were to extend a job offer to me, it would be a waste of their time since the state only pays a fraction of what Devon would.   Today's interview wasn't all a waste. I did encounter a few questions I hadn't expected and I took note of them. I got more interview experience, which will help in future interviews (considering I get any more). And the interviewer did send me a link to another job opening in the state the he's really confident that I would enjoy. So at least he was cool enough to give me a new lead.   Still, I'm very frustrated. It's July. I've been trying to find a job for four months now. Part of it is my fault. I've had my confidence shaken, and confidence isn't something I've ever had much of. I got lazy for a while as a result. You might even say I was slipping into the clutches of depression because I was so down on my luck.   Hopefully someone out there hires me. Seriously, it can't be that hard to find a job in my field. In the meantime, I'm gonna keep trying. I really hope the Devon job works out. That would be one of the biggest fish I can catch.   For now, I'll quit pissing and moaning. Soon, this will all be worth it, though it's getting harder to hold on to hope that statement is true.   Ugh...   Let me tell you... I thought I had problems when I was a teenager. Yeah. My car might have been low on gas or I couldn't make it to a certain get together with friends or I might have been going through a breakup. Now that I'm an adult looking for a job, my problems revolve around my unemployment, and I don't know how much longer I can make my savings stretch so that I can keep paying my bills on time. I guess I could always liquidate! (which is a fancy accounting term for "sell my shit so I can pay off debts")   Adult problems are the worst.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

Hunting for sport is wasteful

Look, having grown up in the southern United States, I'm all for hunting. Especially if it's for food.   For me, hunting for food is almost always acceptable. This happens in the wild very often, and I firmly believe that if you want to shoot a deer and process the meat to feed yourself or your family, you should be able to go right ahead. Where I think it isn't okay to shoot or otherwise kill an animal for food is if the animal is endangered, regardless of whether you were aware of the animal's endangered status. If you hunt, you should have the common sense to do your research and determine whether or not the animal is endangered.   Now I say this in response to all the outrage at this Kendall Jones chick, a Texas Tech cheerleader who has come under the gun all over the place because she posted multiple pictures of herself posed with rare animals she killed for sport. I'm not passionately on one side or the other. I want to take more of a common sense approach to this.   First of all, Kendall Jones is from Texas. Being a student at Texas Tech, she probably lives in Lubbock, which is in the Texas panhandle. Much like California virtually always votes Democratic in presidential elections, Texas is overwhelmingly Republican. This is a state where you find a lot of people who like hunting, and (naturally) they like their guns. Many are old school, firmly believing marriage to be between only a man and a woman. Also, most of them like their big ass pickup trucks. I can say that because I live in an Oklahoma town that isn't far from Texas. I could drive a little over an hour and be in Texas.   One argument I see from a lot of the hunters who are backing her up is this: "Hunters are the biggest conservationists out there!" I think this is flat-out ridiculous, especially if you hunt purely for sport. Killing an animal just to have it stuffed is extremely wasteful in my opinion. To say that hunters are helping the farmers who are helping endangered animals recover by helping to control the population is also ridiculous. To kill is to reduce the population of a species, which is counterproductive to the cause. If you want to hunt something for sport, don't hunt something that is extremely rare, regardless of how much money you have.   I believe that if you want to hunt for sport, it's okay. I think it's wasteful, but it's okay under certain circumstances. What disgusts me about this Kendall Jones chick is that she didn't just kill a lion and a hippo and call it quits because she was concerned she might be taking too much. She's got a leopard, a zebra, a lion, an elephant, an antelope, a wildebeest, a hippo, a rhino, and probably a few others I haven't seen yet. That's crazy. There's no way she's going to use those animals. She'll probably stuff them or otherwise waste the animals. And it wasn't just a couple. She killed a multitude of animals. It did kinda piss me off to see her with the dead rhino. Rhinos aren't common. They need to make a comeback.   The difference between hunting for sport and hunting for food/survival is pictures on Facebook.   At the same time, I don't believe that all this outrage is the correct way to respond. You must really consider that this isn't the first time someone has paid a lot of money to go hunt rare and endangered animals in Africa. A lot of people go and have gone over there to kill a lot of animals. I don't want to defend her by any means. I don't think what she did was right. Just because you can doesn't necessarily mean you should. But everybody in the world freaking out, making death threats, and wishing harm on someone is not the correct way to go about it. And petitioning the White House to do something in this case isn't correct either. A petition should be made for a generality, not a specific case. "Make same-sex marriage legal nationally and make it unlawful for states to make laws that contradict this" is the right way to petition the White House. "Keep Kendall Jones out of Africa" is not. The long arm of the law does not extend past American soil. There may be extradition treaties and whatnot, but the US government couldn't convict her in a court of law of a crime which was committed outside the US. Even if the petition got 200 million signatures, they couldn't do anything. Though killing some of those animals might be punishable by US law, she wasn't under US law while in South Africa.   The correct response to this is to make a movement to make it illegal to kill these animals by other countries' laws. The US government can't impose laws on a person when they are not in the US, regardless of citizenship. However, if South Africa were to make it illegal to kill, injure, or otherwise harm endangered animals like rhinos, that would be a big step forward and it would allow these endangered species to better recover since it would be illegal there for someone to hunt them.   My common sense approach on this is that hunting for food is hunting for necessity. People need to eat. I believe that you should be able to take from the wild if it is for necessity so long as what you take from it is quickly replaced or not otherwise in immediate danger of extinction. Hunting for sport is wasteful unless the animal being hunted is a danger to people or a pest (such as feral hogs--this is a problem down here, and many local governments have asked local hunters for assistance in population control) or if the hunter takes very little. While I don't agree with hunting for sport, I understand people enjoy hunting as a sport in itself. I believe that those who hunt for sport should only do so in moderation. Killing only a few animals is okay, especially if they are overwhelmingly common (such as wild rabbits). I don't think it is ever okay to kill a rare animal, regardless of how much money you have. If you really care about conservation, don't kill the animals. Just donate the money or go over there and go see the animals. There are ways to promote wildlife conservation that don't involve killing the animals.   As for you people who are disgusted with it, death threats aren't the way to go. Seriously. Think about how you would feel if the whole internet suddenly started threatening you with your death or if people described in gruesome detail how they want you to die. There are more effective ways to express your distaste for something.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

What if I told you that the United States is only about 50 miles away from Asia?

It's something I think about from time to time...about how the US is so far away from Asia. Let's face it. The Pacific Ocean is VAST! But here's something I didn't really think about until I was studying some maps.   The United States is technically only 50 miles away from Asia!     Now I know that Wikipedia isn't always the best source for information, but seriously...how inaccurate could the map be? Anyway, the article said that there'd be two bridges, each about 25 miles long and a third bridge would connect the Diomede Islands, but it'd be so short, it wouldn't add much distance.   So there you have it.   Russia is a part of Asia. Alaska is a part of the United States. Sure, I live a long way from Alaska. According to Google Maps, if I were to take the Alaska Highway, Anchorage is 69 hours away.   So yeah. You now know the United States and Asia are very close to one another. Geographically, of course   Or maybe you knew that in the back of your head, but never thought about it.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

A 22 month old killed after being left in a hot car

I did a blog entry on this subject earlier this year.   Then yesterday, I saw an article on Facebook about a 22 month old toddler being locked in a car for 8 hours who subsequently died.   According to the father of the child, he was supposed to take his son to daycare; however, he forgot the child was in the car and went to work instead. He left work that afternoon and noticed the child was in the back of the car. He pulled over and performed CPR in an attempt to resuscitate the child, but to no avail. He was pronounced dead on the scene.   This bothers me.   A lot.   In my aforementioned blog entry, I noted that the interior of my car reached 126°F. That's hot enough to kill someone. If you're a child and you can't open the door, you'll die in that kind of heat, and it won't be extremely quick either. You'll suffer. Heatstroke is no way to go out.   You don't need numbers and you don't need to be super educated to know that it gets hot in your car on a hot day. All you have to do is open your door. If it feels pretty hot in there, why in the hell would you leave another living thing in there? You don't need numbers or education. You need common fucking sense.   Even more bothersome to me is that he said that he forgot the child was in the car.   How do you forget?! Toddlers don't just sit in their car seats. All small children are hyperactive beasts. That kid would have been squirming or trying to talk to his father or banging something around...point being: that toddler would have made some kind of noise, a constant reminder that he's there in the back seat. I don't buy the story that he forgot the kid was in the car. That's a load of bullshit. You have to be on something to not notice your kid back there.   Anyway, my local news reported that he's been charged with murder. I think he deserves it. There's no legitimate excuse for something like this. It's common sense. This kind of thing happens way too often, and it makes me sick.

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy

 

iPhone 6 and other phone stuffs.

I'm subscribed to Marques Brownlee on YouTube. I'm into tech and whatnot and I like the stuff he talks about. This video is a little old but in it, he has a dummy iPhone 6.     Now, I just want to say that it's not things like battery life, display resolution (which still isn't 1080p, but I guess you don't really need anything much higher than 720p on a display this small, but that's a discussion for later), screen size, clock speed, RAM, etc. that won't have me sold on this one.   It's that design.   This is possibly the ugliest iPhone I've ever seen. And I have to say that I really liked the designs of the iPhones 4 and 5. The square edges were pretty cool. It was hardware, specs, and iOS that kept me away from iPhones after I got rid of my iPod Touch. Especially iOS. I think iOS 4 was the last truly good version, but - again - different discussion for a later time.   In my opinion, pretty much every Android and Windows phone out there looks better than this. But hell, even if I did love the design of the phone, I'd still stay away from iPhones.   The phone I really want right now is the OnePlus One. Even though it doesn't have SD card support (which is something the Galaxy S5 has over pretty much everything - it can take up to 128 gigs of additional storage), the OnePlus One looks sexy, and it'll be something that pretty much nobody else has. I really hope I can find a way to get one at some point in time!

Skinny Shadowy

Skinny Shadowy