thanksgiving pre-gaming

justin scawful • 27 november 2019

i'm finally on my thanksgiving break and it's really nice getting a decent break from school. veteran's day weekend was a good taste but this extended break is gonna make a world of difference. i still have a decent amount of homework to do but i'm trying to incrementally chip away at it so that it isn't all saved til sunday. my sister is coming into town to visit for the break so that was unexpected but a welcome surprise. gonna have to make sure she understands i still have stuff to get done myself but i think it will be okay.

i started playing morrowind again recently. my new character is a wood elf named venus who fled valenwood to escape the implications of the green pact and pursue life as a vegetarian. she's distrustful of authority and religion and has been working with the thieves guild to make a decent living in this new land. she's worked a bit with the mages guild as well to improve her magical ability and has skill with the bow. she murdered a man in balmora for his house and now lives comfortably in the labor district.

i'd like to start contributing to the openmw engine. it's written in C++ and since i've been learning C this semester so i think making the jump to "C with classes" will be fun. the textbook i got for my programming class includes a few chapters introducing C++ as well as a C++ textbook i got from my local library that i'd like to engage with. it's just gonna be hard finding the time to really dig into it with school. i'm also new to the library thing and unlike my school library you cant just infinitely renew your books. so at some point ill have to give it back and then wait for a hold. it's not the end of the world but it is a bit inconvenient.

i started a new style of meditation recently to add to my mindfulness practices. it's called transcendental meditation and involves a much more laid back form of concentrating on a personal mantra that you do for atleast 20 minutes at a time. first time i tried it i didn't even set a timer i just sort of knew when the time was up which was pretty cool.

vibe check

justin scawful • 21 november 2019

i realized it's been awhile since my last post. i've been well lately and feeling good about life. i went to missouri to visit my family last week and had a good time. i'm trying to be a good influence on people around me but i'm beginning to notice how i come across as condescending and lecture heavy. i've been doing a lot of reading as well as engaging really heavily in my coding and school work which has inflated my ego to an insufferable level. it's something i'm trying to be more aware of and correct, though admittedly it is difficult when you've elevated yourself to a position where you find yourself superior to those around you intellectually. i wouldn't say this is the case for everyone i know, i still am plenty aware of my shortcomings especially when it comes to programming and computer science, but it's basically required to understand that you know nothing and have to always be learning. however, i believe it's that sort of thinking that makes me feel so much better than other people, because i am always learning new things.

i've noticed despite my self inflation lately that i'm beginning to slog a bit. nothing terrible, just taking longer to get out of the bed in the morning and drinking more coffee than usual. it's almost the end of the semester so i think it's reasonable that i'd be a bit burnt out by this point. i've got a couple more major assignments like a research paper for english that need to be done as well as studying for the cumulative final in pre-calculus. i just got a 76% on the most recent test we took. this was supposed to be the hardest test of the semester covering trig identities and more complex trig equations and for the grade i got i am satisfied enough. i'm confident i'll make it out of there with the C i need, but it'd be nice to get a B so that's what i'm shooting for right now.

i got the new pokemon sword as a gift and so far i've had a lot of fun with the game. there are some objectively bad things about it like the graphics and the linearity of the routes/story but the core pokemon gameplay experience is as engaging as ever and i'm excited to see how these thing competitive mechanics like mints and expanded EV boosting items will impact my enjoyment of competitive. back in generation V i played competitively a lot since the meta felt really fresh and enjoyable. the weather mechanics and setting up the terrain to your advantage made for a lot more than just switching back and forth for stab bonus special effectiveness. while i don't exactly this dynamax is going to be balanced i can see the weather mechanics that the new d-max moves add as an interesting switch up for battles. i've recorded a ton of footage of myself playing through some later areas of the game so i'll prob do something with that in the coming days or over winter break.

also it's been up for awhile but i've added a reading log to the blog site for all the stuff i've been reading if you're interested and i'm sure you're not.


justin scawful • 7 november 2019

today i am thankful i woke up. life is a beautiful thing and i'm very happy to be here. i'm happy that i have this website and blog to express myself with. i'm thankful i have a bed to rest in during the cold of the winter. i'm thankful that i have a job with a consistent schedule and nice coworkers. sometimes i get annoyed with other people but i'm learning to be more compassionate towards others despite their differences. it is difficult not to judge those around me, but it is necessary for happiness. we expend a lot of mental energy judging others and worrying about their opinions of us and i'm detaching myself from that. i'm thankful i'm attending school and have the mental capacity to keep my grades up. i'm thankful to be in a relationship with a woman i love and enjoy talking to daily despite the distance between us. i'm thankful for the modern era and the ease of access to insightful readings and information through the internet and libraries. i'm thankful for my vehicle that gets me where i need to go reliably despite the implications of our dependence on fossil fuels.

i'm thankful for clean drinking water. i'm thankful for the medical community giving me peace of mind about my health. i'm thankful for the compassion of the people in my life that has lead to be develop into the young man i am today. despite everyone's flaws around me i wouldn't be who i am without their influence. i'm thankful for the computer i have that allows me to pursue my passions so effortlessly. i'm thankful for my friends who care about me even though i am busy a lot and live far away from everyone. i'm also thankful for the isolation i've put myself through socially as it has allowed me to develop without worries of others.

i've worked on zeniea a lot in the last week. i'm trying to optimize the code a lot to improve the bad decisions i made when designing it. i've gotten rid of a lot of mysqli queries and i'm working on making it more object oriented so that it's easier to scale in the future. i'm thankful to have flashwave and the people at flashii to talk to about web development as it keeps me motivated to improve things. there are a lot of things about the site that were implemented as training wheels (mysqli, jquery, bootstrap) and as i learn more about web development i'm finding better ways to optimize them and it is a good learning experience to change out bad things for better alternatives. i'd rather get a project going and be able to see results than spend a lot of time over-engineering custom code that may end up not working or frustrating me since i didn't have the foresight to see all the ways i'd need it to work in the future. that's not to discredit anyone writing from scratch i just know it would overwhelm me a lot.