Weather Delays

Last night I was so exhausted I got home from work and ended up falling asleep for 16 hours, more or less. I intended to make up for the missed post today, but awful weather has struck and, unable to get home, I am taking refuge in a hotel. I am fine, the roads are just shitty. However I only have my tablet and typing on this is not the most expedient or enjoyable endeavor.

I will see you all tomorrow. For now, good night. I hope you are safe, and I hope you are warm. Please check out my friend Dennis’s web fiction, The Solstice War. (


March 3rd: The Anniversary of My Grandfather’s Death

It’s a bit past midnight on the 4th at this point now, but you’ll understand what I mean when I say that today, the 3rd, was the first anniversary of my grandfather’s death. I worked all day, so I didn’t exactly have time to set aside for remembrance.

On the morning of March 3rd, 2014, my grandfather was outside his home in West Virginia during a winter much like the one we have now, shoveling snow from his driveway so that if his wife’s mother needed an ambulance it would be able to get to them. The effort proved too much, and he had a heart attack. He wasn’t found for a while, until his wife came out to check on him. By the time the ambulance arrived, it was too late. My grandfather always had too strong of a work ethic. Barring his age of 80 years, he had been in relatively good health. Then he was gone. Continue reading

Reaching Out Past Myself

I thought about sharing a piece of my old writing here. It came up during a conversation with a friend. We were discussing the awkwardness of men trying to open up emotionally to other men, and I mentioned that I’d written a line about that in a short piece I wrote nearly a decade ago.

But I’m not going to share it here. It was a different time, and I’ve changed a lot since then. It was an angry bit of writing, filled with self-loathing, frustration, entitlement. I see that I had begun to touch on such things in that piece, but I was nowhere near where I am these days. I intended to preface the (coincidentally around 500-word) story with info like I am now. Then I began figuring out what tags I should give it for content, and that was when I realized, you know what, some things are better left in the past. So I’ll just share that particular line, summarize the important parts, and reflect. Continue reading

Hungry Like the Wolf (Hyena)

Hyena Warwick

The jungling champion Warwick is a werewolf, but one of his skins is a hyena. Guess what I play?

Today I reached Summoner Level 11 in League of Legends. I feel I am nearly ready to face actual human opponents without (overly) embarrassing myself. I’ve also managed to earn enough IP through my games to buy a small stable of champions in the various roles that I’ve been able to practice with. Fear is honestly the only thing keeping me back now.

I have a lot of those moments, where I let fear of failure dictate my actions. I suppose I should say my inaction. I’m having a similar issue in school since I got behind. Just like it’s easy to continue fighting bots and not improving in League, it is easy enough to let class slip by and say, see, I screwed up.

But it is time to take the plunge and pass into the dark depths of the jungle. Both in League and elsewhere.

Anyway, in League the role of the jungler has proven to be a bit easier to grasp than I anticipated. I watched ScrapComputer’s guide on jungling, which is great, even if it is a little outdated for season 5. Mostly the monster camps underwent a change in the current season of the game. So I just looked up a guide specifically for that and things have been peachy.

N.B. If you have no idea about the term, League of Legends happens in three “lanes”, and between those lanes is a mass of twisty paths and neutral monsters called “the jungle”. A jungler is a character who basically wanders around this area and kills the stuff there. Since it encompasses so much, the jungler also weaves in and out of lanes to ambush (“gank”) enemy players, putting his or her team at an advantage.

Vi is a jungling champion who uses her giant mechanical fists (and justice) to crush her foes.

Vi is a jungling champion who uses her giant mechanical fists (and justice) to crush her foes.

Having a jungler in the AI levels has made a noticeable impact. I’d say the games end about 3-5 minutes earlier. I’m able to help out other lanes that aren’t doing so good, filled with players who are new and/or not so great. Typically, when playing the AI, everyone typically sticks to their lane until the AI Bots move around and dictate where the team fights happen. I don’t want to fight bots forever, I’m practicing to get prepared for human opponents, so I am trying to get a familiarity with those tactics even if the AI matches aren’t exactly mirrors of typical PvP situations.

The mid lane is still my strongest game, though. I still need to go into a custom game and work on upping my CS (“creep score”; how many enemy minions you struck the final blow to and thus reaped XP and gold). You see, in League you can’t just auto-attack everything and expect to get by. For maximum efficiency you need to time your hits so that you land the last blow on enemy minions. That’s how you increase your gold and buy better items, which give you better stats. I watched a video where someone said you should be able to easily get 70 creep kills by the 10:00 minute mark before you attempt playing ranked matches. I’m only going to be playing “normals” at the moment (non-ranked 5v5 PvP games), but improving never hurts.

Now I need to apply the same principles to my academic work. Heh.

See you tomorrow for another 500 words.


Alright, so I may have gone a little overkill. Today you could practically peel my face off like a mask. So I need to cut back on the witch hazel. A friend suggested I use it 2-3 times a week, and more importantly I need to pick up some moisturizer.

On the plus side: blackheads are disappearing! My (enormous) nose is looking better every day.

I’m also going to take a break on Thursdays from here on out. I’m happy I’ve managed eight days in a row, and I may occasionally post something on a Thursday night anyway, but like with the witch hazel I realize that not every routine may be good to mindlessly repeat! This is a good day for it, anyway. Thursday is a busy work day for me, and I have Fridays off so I can get some rest and sleep in. Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope the new schedule works out!

See you tomorrow for 500 words.


Damn it. I’ve focused on making sure these posts go up every night, and that I stay on top of my personal health and hygiene, but I let schoolwork slip me by. I have to turn in some late assignments tomorrow. I got complacent because of the weather; we had a snow day and I foolishly didn’t think to check my university e-mail to see what we needed to do. I feel like such an idiot right now.

I’ll likely hear that excuse from students myself. I’m currently working on prerequisites for a graduate program in elementary education. I’ve been more lax than I should this semester, and need to pull it together. I’m not immediately in any danger of failing or even doing poorly, but this isn’t something I can just coast through. You might see some more posts on this in the future. Posts far more productive than this one, I hope. Continue reading

Witch Hazel

This week I’ve made a project of taking better care of my facial hygiene. I mean, I wash my face in the shower, but I never actually take the time in the morning or evening to pay special attention to what’s going on. As a result I tend to have more blackheads and dry skin than I’d like, and I’m doing my best to correct that.

witchhazelbottleSo every evening I’ve begun washing, exfoliating, and using witch hazel! I love this stuff. It has a bizarre smell which I hesitate to describe as pleasant yet I suppose that is the right word for something I enjoy. It’s an astringent, which is a new word I learned meaning a substance that contracts the skin. Witch hazel causes your pores to tighten, making it more difficult for crud to build up inside of them. Some days I feel like the pores on my nose are the size of lunar craters, so it’s just the thing I’ve needed. Continue reading