Some Summer Plans.

May 21, 2015

Hi guys. So as mist of you might know, this is the last post of the year. What should I do to make up special? Talk about the summer again? Talk about gaming? What we have been doing in class? Future plans? A made up story? A reflection of the year? Nope. Nothing to special, but I’d like to end my blogging (on this blog) with my interest: gaming.

At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to all about. Competitive? No. My favorite games? Can’t decide. Industry news? Nah. Designs hat seems to be lacking for presentation? Not worth it. But I’ll do a a little mix. I decided to talk about events that are happening. Of course, there are things like E3, a the biggest video game news convention in the world in early-to-mid June. There is the less known SGDQ, a huge speed running charity event on twitch in mid-to-late June, there is EVO 2015, which is the fighting games’ world championships in mid-July, and something less known that I’ll mainly like to focus on. Classic Game Fest 2015.

I’ll try to explain it, but there’s a lot and I left a hyperlink for you. It should be right above this text. Anyway, Classic Game fest is a festival with a lot of old games, accessories, food, music, and some modern stuff too. There is tournaments that I’ll enter, and if you’re and adult it will cost only ten doll spars or so to come in. That’s crazy! The reason why is because there are MANY famous guests. Like a lot. Notable is Howard Scott Warshaw, the guy who created E.T. (The worst game on the Atari and worst of all time) and Adventure (One of the best games on the Atari). I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to all the competitive stuff I’ll do as well.

So Thomas, why should I go? You shouldn’t. But I am, and I’ll enjoy my time. What are you guys doing for the summer? Your last chance to comment!

Yay it’s May!

May 5, 2015

I should’ve posted this four days ago, but I didn’t. All well. Anyway, it’s finally the last month of the school year. This means another summer is in our reach.

To think, April went by very quickly. I remember telling an eighth grader that they didn’t have a test on April first, and that was March 31. May is going to go by so quickly! Then we’ll be off to summer and probably forgotten by our teachers… At least most of them.

I have another thought! What the heck are we going to do over the summer? I know what I’m doing for a few days, but for the other two months worth of days… I got nothing.

What are you going to do over the summer? Comment!

The Giver: No Color?

April 17, 2015

A world without color is a world with black and white shades. A beautiful sunset is still beautiful. Maybe less in our opinion, but out of everything else in black and white, it’s quite pretty. So why does color exist? Is it bad? In The Giver, the community within the story cannot perceive color for a reason. The reason why we see color.

Color isn’t dangerous. It isn’t bad, and there is really only a few reasons that I think we could use color in our advantage. I personally think we could live our lives without it, just as we watch black and white films that we still understand and enjoy.

Difference is the use for color. An obvious way the community in The Giver gave it up. The community in the book is supposed to have sameness. Nothing is supposed to be different or odd about something. Quality can be used in difference of color. If you’re having toast for breakfast, you’re going to want a golden brown color, and not a black burnt color. However, in the world without color, this could be used with different shades of gray. Not as easy to associate amazing toast though. We also use color to say something. Like you might Bold something with red if something is very important in directions. We attend to associate color with red for no/stop, green for okay/go, yellow for explaining, blue for sadness, purple for death/honor, and more. Also people like different colors. For example, my favorite is green. That causes difference and that isn’t what the community wanted.

Like I said before, I think I could go without color. Color is mainly there for beauty and difference. Not that there isn’t anything wrong with color of course, but it really isn’t that important. But what’s your favorite color? What’s your opinion on this? Comment!

These three things are our most popular entertainment sources. Everyone of us has read a book, watched a movie, or played some sort of video game. All three of these things have similar and different characteristics about them. So what are they?

Movies, video games, and books all have a setting, theme, plot, mood, and usually dialogue. Though some of these things lack more in video games, they can still be present.

First, I’ll talk about movies. Of course the story needs a setting, and a plot. They can also insert mood on how a scene is shot, sounding, dialogued (word now), lighting, or a combination of these things. Out of the three main entertainment sources, I think movies can get the strongest mood. There is always dialogue, unless your watching a very old movie or a somewhat old animation. Than they usually make some gesture so we know what’s going on. Theme can also be expressed through films, but it isn’t as strong as books. Usually a voice over or ending can tell you the theme.

Next, I’ll talk about video games. This seems to lack in many of these things(because they’re games), but all of them can be expressed. One way games try to use all the features is through movies. Most games are actually animated, so I’ll give credit to the movies. Video games always has some setting, and all of them now have a plot. These things can be featured through movies, or the game itself using dialogue between the characters. Dialogue can be either voice over, or in-game text. Some games don’t really even have dialogue, and the decision is actually made through mood. Mood is what video games can do great (in my opinion) because you don’t need to have cinematic cutscenes or animations, but can actually be expressed through the actual game. They might have assistance through some cutscenes, but it’s good to actually tell the story through the game, and not depend on movies all the time. What games do best though is actual game design. Movies and books can’t do game design unfortunately.

Finally, I’ll talk about books. books are the foundation of entertainment story telling. They were the first to do it, and the one that does this the best. Of course they’re is the plot and setting, and all books usually have dialogue. They can get a good mood on how a thing is written, or said, or punctuated, or paragraphed. Don’t forget that books also have theme, and they express it the best. Sometimes the book might tell you the theme, but you might forget and infer the some thing later. They can truly bring out a message. It’s also cool that they take reading, an important skill that wasn’t meant for fun, and change it to something you can enjoy. They way they can foreshadow things is like non-other, even though movies and video games can do the same. And that’s what they do best. Not only deliver your story, but make you think, and how your thought compares to the real world. Or sometimes they’re just there for entertainment. Just a story…

So that’s the differences and samenesses. Which one is your favorite? Comment!

 

STAAR Writing Test

March 27, 2015

So the STAAR writing exam is coming up soon, and what else should I talk about? I mean, everyone’s freaking out! Why is this STAAR test a month earlier than the rest!? Why do you have to write essays!? Why do you have to write more than 1?! I’m supposed to use one idiot! I don’t even know how to write!!!! Why is there also a reading STAAR test!? Why is it pronounced “star,” and not “stare?!”

Everyone just needs to calm down! It’s sort of annoying and people don’t realize that the test is not that hard. It’s just really long. And boring. And really annoying (Especially The STAAR Reading Test). Though I’m not very scared to take it, Like everyone else, Im really not that excited. One problem I have with the personal narratives though is that the prompts are super specific. They’re SO specific that I can’t really think of anything.

When did you learn a lesson; I don’t know… in school?

Tell us a time you conquered your fear; doing something that relates to your fear isn’t conquering it.

Tell us a moment when you worked hard; when I did my homework? 10 out of 10 perfect essay. (though I could’ve thought of something better you get my point).

Isn’t it great to leave for Spring Break early? No. There is a LOT of cons, so I’ll be explaining them to you now!

Tests and make up work. I’m leaving school to go to San Francisco on Thursday this week, just after 6th period. This means I have to take a math test early, and a science test early. And I’ve missed a day or two in those classes because I was on a field trip on Friday and sick on Monday. So I kinda know the material, but not as much as other people. I just hope the science test is easy. The math one will be harder for sure, but I know more material on that so my confidence balances out on both tests to be the same: probably won’t fail, but there is a higher chance in that than getting near an A+. I’ll probably get a B or C. Luckily, I had an easier time catching up with English and social studies, so that’s good.

I’m still a little sick. I’ve been a little sick all week I’ve been to school. There was no chance that I’d pass a test if I missed another day, and it wasn’t that bad, so I went to school. The problem though is that my nose has more snot than usual, which means when the plane lands I could have a terrible pain in my head/ears. So with all the work is a race to get all the snot out. Medicine, rest, hot showers, you name it all! So far, I’m losing. The closer I get to winning, the less pain. Though there is a chance it’ll get out of my nose in time, I’m still a little worried. Another problem is that the flight had to move time to be earlier than originally planned. So there is no chance to have a hot shower before I go.

So yeah! The plan isn’t very good to make it through the week, but it’s the best it’ll ever be! Have you guys had a chaotic trip plan? Or a good Spring Break? Comment below! Have a happy Spring Break!

The Phantom’s Lair?

February 26, 2015

There are many tales of the Phantom’s lair. Some say lonely, some say beautiful, some say dark, and some say evil. That is what it was supposed to be. Dangerous, horrible, terrible. All theses things. But what a lair was to him was not the same to everyone else. It wasn’t beautiful, or horrible, or dangerous, or evil. It was normal.

The phantom seemed to like music. His “lair” was littered with sheet music. There was an organ of course. Everyone knows that, but there was other instruments. A cello, a violin, a flute, a saxophone, a clarinet, a bass, and a piano. Though some say it is dark, it was actually not all. There was light, probably so he could write. The Phantom also had to eat. So of course he had dishes to do. It seemed like he didn’t do them much. The same for his laundry.

What defines a lair I do not know; I didn’t look it up in the dictionary before I wrote this. But to the phantom, and to me, a lair was an underground home. And that was what it was. A home where he wrote music, and created creative things, and lived. It might’ve been dark, and messy, but home is home. So what is the word to define his “lair?”

Normal.

Expository Essay

February 20, 2015

Today, I’ll be giving tips and tricks to beat your friends at a video game. Which one you ask? Though I wanted something non-Nintendo, I couldn’t for that I can’t explain Assassin’s Creed well and I’m rusty on first person shooters. So I decided that I would talk about Super Smash Brothers (like I haven’t enough). Disclaimer: There is too many things to talk about. Very advanced manuevers won’t be on here, but I’ll talk about two important things. This applies to Smash for Wii U and 3DS.

Tip#1-Maneuvering. The best actual character (discluding Miis’) is Diddy Kong. Other than his iffy recovery, he has the best maneuverability in the game. I can explain later, but the point is that this aspect is one of the most important things in fighting games. Especially Smash. This and good predictions can pull off good combos, or a series of hits where you could lead an opponent to doom, or get some good damage on them. Dodging around everywhere generally isn’t the best idea. You might think you’re invincible all the time, but you’re really invincible to a fifth or a fourth. I might be over exaggerating, but most of the time you aren’t invincible. The best dodge is actually downward where there is a quick dodge without moving. If someone trys to grab you or perform an attack, in their animation when you’re done with a quick dodge you can then grab them. Now follow with a combo. A defensive strategy is to use projectiles and dodge away from your opponent. To play your game, they will probably do the same thing, except without any projectiles (most likely). When they finally get near you, they will most likely try to grab you or attack. Perform a downward dodge and do a downward smash attack. That strategy works best with Mario. How you maneuver is your choice, and different characters are better with different strategies.

Tip#2- Ledge guarding. In Smash, your opponent loses a life or point when they fly off the screen. Imagine the arena surrounded in a big rectangle. If they ever go past the dimensions they get KO’d (doesn’t matter which side). To get back on to the platform where most of the fighting should take place, they usually grab one of the ledges. Each character has usually two jumps and one recovery move to get back on stage. When you’re in the air, and you jump, that jump is used until you touch the ground or grab a ledge. If a character gets hit when they already jumped, their jump counter will not reset. Their recovery will though. For example, if I play Jigglypuff and I’m facing Captain Falcon, he might jump twice, but not use his recovery yet. Than he does try to recover, but I hit him somewhat far away from the ledge. He than can try to recover again once he’s out of hit stun (animation while you fly). He won’t make it back.  Another reason why Diddy Kong is the best in experts’ eyes  is that he has a very good spike/meteor smash. This kind of attack sends an opponent straight downward. If your opponent has high enough of a percent, they’ll get KO’d before they’re out of hit stun. If you do a spike/meteor smash to an opponent at a lower percent but with some good space away from a ledge, they might not get KO’d immediately, but they won’t make it back.

Smash Bros. can be quite deep. There is many more tips and more advanced techniques that I’ll like to share, but I can’t at this moment. You could say that Smash is very big in the competitive scene. I think it’s the only Nintendo game in the MLG Pro Circuit. In the end, Super Smash Brothers should be thought of a fun game, not a competitive one (Even though I play competitive). If you want to know more tricks, let me know. If you want to see some tricks in action, check out the video below.

Wedding

February 16, 2015

Hi guys. This weekend I went to a wedding, and got to miss school on Friday because of it. Did I enjoy it? Not the wedding stuff, which is almost all of it. The wedding was for my older sister and her husband in Shreveport Louisiana.

The whole thing was just pretty stressful. The tuxedos weren’t fitting, the instructions for the wedding ceremony were confusing, the dinners were long and boring, being a groomsman was out of place, and all this wedding stuff didn’t allow my family and I to do a lot of fun things we would usually do on a trip. It was all a little disappointing. The best parts in my opinion was when I relaxed in the hotel, doing things I would normally do at home.

The road trip wasn’t very fun either. We left immediately after school Thursday, and got to Shreveport at 12:30 AM or something. Sure, I got to FINALLY finish my book, but still, long and boring. I also probably missed important lessons in school. I was suppose to review something important in math and start something new in one of my electives that day. I’m not sure what we did in my other classes.

Overall it was good to see some family, but it wouldn’t be as good as a relaxing weekend that would be shorter. Sure, it’s important to be there at my older sister’s wedding, but I’m not a big fan of weddings. What do I have to conclude? It wasn’t all bad. I also think I prefer more simple Jewish weddings. Not much different, but enough to be better in my opinion.

Do any of you have an interesting wedding experience? Comment!

I waited for 5-10 minutes. It was my turn and I knew it won’t be good. I carried my bass into the room thinking that there might be a chance to sound fine, even though I sounded terrible all day—and only that day. The performance day.

Every day from the past two weeks I was good. I was perfect. I was ready. But I wasn’t. I woke up not nervous for that I thought I’d be the best out of my classmates. I practiced before I left to play my solo; It was no good. “Why today!?” I thought. I played on two strings, it sounded scratchy, it was out of tune—not music. Eventually I went to Hill Country Middle School. I unpacked, I tuned, I hoped.

Now it was my turn. I introduced myself nervously. Then I had to start. My hands were shaking. I took a deep breath. A long breath. An awkward long breath. Than I played. The first measure was scratchy, and the second was the same. Than I played at a slower tempo which sort of broke the pace. With the slower tempo, I kept playing. I got to the evil scale and I played on two strings instead of one on a few notes. The rest of the song went the same. Scratchy and flat. I sped up my playing a little to get this thing over with. At the end I hesitated; there was a moment of silence. I literally couldn’t keep up with my bow hand. After that half second stop, I played the rest. I walked out the room with a fast pace. I packed, and me and my family left.

That was Solo+Ensemble. An event where everyone gets a special solo, and plays in front of a judge. It’s finally happening again; on Feb. 7. I got my solo, and like last year’s story, I’ve been good at it for a while. I’m just worried that this year will be very similar to the what happened last year.

Are any of you playing a solo or have thoughts on this event? Comment!

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