*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

Three Trees Can Only Be So Interesting (O.o)
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Another day-by-day breakdown of the recent events, brought to you by yours truly.

Thursday was cold. When I say cold, I mean -30 cold, as well as harsh cold. I did indeed ski in that -30 wind chill, while missing a movie with those smart enough not to ski. It was one of those lose-lose situations...either way, I'd miss hanging out with a few people, but the added weight of "you already missed one day of skiing, don't waste more of our money" is what truly tipped the scale. The skiing itself was, at best, marginally bad. All the powder had been robbed from us honest skiers by the bloody snowboarders, and we were left with the rough equivelant of an ice rink, except you had the occasional snowblower freezing your face, which are lacking in most ice rinks (to my knowledge).

Friday was mildly good. I went over to Ben's for his party thing, which sort of turned out sub-par because nobody showed up. It was kinda fun though, cause I got to see Eddie Izzard (that was a shock, I was expecting some funky and lanky dude, reminiscent of Chris Rock, but I recieved instead, a transvestite with leather bellbottoms and a face akin to a woman I shovel snow for).

Saturday brought about the Klondike, which is a fairly big Scouting thing where Troops compete for the District award (dubbed the Klonduck, as it is a red & white barber pole with a duck nailed atop of it). For the third year in a row, our troop (troop 2) won (absolutely no surprise). We had 77 points at the end of the day (after being shafted at least 5 points total for retarded things), the next highest had 64. That was pretty fun overall, although the pushing a very heavy sled (I'm guessing 70 pounds, I'm really not sure) up a very large hill with considerable amounts of snow. Hopefully the pictures of me on fire (it's hard to explain, but I was so hot and so sweaty that every inch of my body was steaming, it looks pretty awesome) turned out well, but I doubt they did since he had to do a long exposure to get the steam.

Saturday night we slept outside (no shelter, the logs we were using snapped after we got 50 or so pounds of snow on top of it), it was about 15, at most 20 out, but it was pretty warm. Benjamin, Daniel, Jesse and I all stayed up talking to eachother for a good 5 hours, and boy was THAT weird. The tree analogies and random word-connection games we played definately got odd. The title refers the the three trees I was forced to stare at for 3 hours as we talked, which never changed, and got awfully boring to look at. For those of you about to say "so turn over", remember that it's 15 degrees out, and I had to be in a rather specific position to maintain the perfect temperature.

Sunday I got back home about 11:00. I wanted to go to church, but I smelled and looked awful (consider: no shower saturday, plus campfire and extreme amounts of smoke, plus sleeping outside in a sleeping bag, plus that gigantic workout going up the hill, plus random food, makes for a less than stellar smell), so I opted to get a shower and such. [geek] I spent my spare time searching for Gameboy and N64 emulators (which I found, although I have yet to find N64 ROMs). I've almost beaten the Gameboy Zelda (I spent a lot of time being really bad at this game as a younger child), and this of course brings up the desire to play the Ocarina of Time (upon remembering the game, it may rival FFVII as the best game ever created, but I'm not completely sure). [/geek] I also talked to Sean from Young Life a little bit, which is always nice.

Today has been very pleasant, and perfectly filled with events. I've had enough to keep me busy, but not so much as to get me frustrated. I went to a 30 minute Young Life thing-doodle at Wegmans (easy access to cheap food), met and re-met a few of the guys in that (They're all seniors, I'm the only underclassman), talked for a bit, nothing out of the ordinary. From there I went to Chili's with mom and dad, ate, went to Scouts, home, and that's that. Somewhere in there I also talked to Christopher for 15 minutes, which was spectacular. We've challenged eachother to see who can learn how to snowboard faster while we're in Colorado. We're both moderately good skiers, he's been skiing in Canada a number of times, maybe in Colorado once, I'm not sure, he's been here a few times too.

In unrelated events, I have a few things as well. I finally found and used a crack for the Windows activation thing (just a few hours before Windows would strangle me, too). I talked to Jonothan for 2 or 3 hours the other night (Thursday, possibly Friday I think) which was quite awesome. He told me some of his military stories and stuff he'd heard from comrades of his while he's been down in Military Police Training Camp (he got called up for training, as did a bunch of random people, in no specific order). I'll probably post those later, I told half a dozen or so people in my awe at the coolness of them. For now, the possibility of school tomorrow calls. There's a chance school won't be in due to some serious flooding in certain parts of the school. One can always hope.
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At the End of All Things (-.-)
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The title refers to the final chapter of Lord of the Rings. Today's been a rather active, mentally and emotionally. After the Math A (piece of cake) I went home, and watched the last 3 episodes of Fullmetal. I watched 23 episodes last night (that is, Monday, as this is 1:16 AM on Wednesday morning) in a row. Having finished it, I am wholly reminded of endings, particularly, the end of good things. Books, movies, shows, I hate getting to the end. If the media did the job correctly, I am left with a gaping hole where it once stood, and I grasp for something as a replacement. This is especially painful with this series, as the character of Edward Elric was...incredible. No, I won't spoil anything for those who valiantly choose to watch it on TV, and by valiant, I refer to the utter frustration you will want to wreak on your television set when each episode ends, and another does not begin. And yet still, I feel the desire to wreak havoc upon my surroundings in the futile hope of recieving another episode.

Besides finishing Fullmetal, I jumped into the job of helping create the Troop 2 Scouts website. Benjamin's doing the PHP, Daniel's doing the CSS, I'm doing the content, and the three of us together decide what's happening graphically. It's a fun project - I've learned a lot about the Unix file system, SSH, and vi.

The true point of this was to express my utter...helplessness to the feeling I have after finishing Fullmetal. I just, argh, when something that good ends, I just wanna scream, and there's nothing to replace that empty feeling I have. It's no surpise, really, as I filled my last week's nights with watching the episodes (heck, it only took me 5 days to watch 51 episodes, so less than that). I should stop ranting at this point, I suppose.

Monday was the first time I've been back to Boy Scouts for a good many months, they were rather happy to see me, and my timing seems rather good, considering the rather...inparticipative older scouts (coughBRANDONcoughPETERcough). I'm sort of obligated to go on the next two camp outs, I guess. I wish I hadn't said yes for the most recent one, as the timing is inconvenient, but backing out would be rather, shall we say, detrimental to the amount of trust placed in my motivation to show up.

I think I may go re-watch a few episodes now, I'm not sure, but we'll see.
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So THIS is What Sewage is Made of! (O.o)
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And no, sewage does not contain money or candy, it's just as bad as the movies say. Our house has a bi-annual thing is does where some mythical object gets stuck in a pipe, and so the sewage backs up into this gigantic metal sink we have in the basement. Half the time we can plunge it out ourselves (boy is that fun!), the other half we are forced to call Roto-Rooter. This is the disadvantage of living in the basement by yourself. My room doesn't smell, but whenever I walk out the door, it's like getting trout slapped, several times over. If you don't know what being trout slapped is, Google it, or have someone take a trout, and proceed to slap you.

I "overslept" for church today, again, but I believe it isn't me that's oversleeping. I have no problems waking up for school with no sleep, I should not face troubles with church. My mom also seems to stay home whenever I "oversleep". To spell it out for you, I think my mom is just covering for herself.

Apparantly my dad's coming home with KFC, and Jesse and Benjamin. I am determined to show them, and make them love Fullmetal. By the end of today they will have seen good anime. And they will be better for it. On that topic, my next 29 episodes are 54% done. I left it on overnight, so it should be done tomorrow if I do it again tonight.
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The Chaotic Theorum (O.o)
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I've experienced a rather excellent week, and next week promises to be equally excellent, as it is Regents, meaning two days lacking anything related to school, and two short and relatively painless tests.

After a full 2 weeks (approximately 150 hours of downloading) I got the first 31 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist downloaded (I uploaded over 50 gb worth of data), and I've watched them all (it only took me 3 days), and the next 29 episodes only have 43 hours more left to go (keep in mind, each episode is 175 megs, it makes for 9 gigs total for the series). I introduced it to Daniel last night when he was over (he strolled in as I was watching it) and he ended up watching 12 episodes (remember that these things are 25 minutes each). I have deduced this to be the best anime, and even show ever created. The unique and creative genius of the plot, characters, and the world is astounding. The animation style and quality is akin to Trigun (which I should also download). Sick of the parenthesis yet?

I've also gotten around to playing Rome: Total War, and it is, to my delight, the best strategy game ever created. Ben and I keep talking about playing online, but we never get around to it, but it isn't as if I don't have things to keep me occupied. I still have yet to beat Neverwinter Nights, and all those SNES games.

In the mean time, I've also been tracking Splinter Cell 3 and Elder Scrolls IV (three new screens came out today, in fact). I had been on the look out for Jade Empire and KotOR II, but after having played KotOR and NwN, I'm not sure if the same formula of game would still be all that fun, as I tend to get over-manipulative of the system. I'll stop talking about games now.

I was thinking to myself earlier about Macs in general - and why they've become comparable to PCs in the recent year. I did myself a Google, and discovered a number of things, from reading the most intelligently disguised Mac-PC flamewar, on a Linux forum.


I have long argued over the inferiority of Macs compared to PCs, but recently much of my argument has blown up in my face, due to the de-retardation of Macs. It still hasn't answered as to why I find them so awful (I use G4's at school on a daily basis, just so my experience is not in doubt EDIT: apparantly my experience is in doubt. i've also used powerbooks on multiple occasions, and OS9's fairly regularly, but i admit that i have not used a G5). A number of posters on the previously stated site brought up extremely valid points as to why the experience varies.

  • Macs are preferred for the software capabilities. PCs are preferred for the hardware capabilities.
An owner of a server put it quite well. His needs do not revolve around multimedia. His three PCs don't even have sound cards, and use very low end video cards. In place of those, he needs massive storage. PCs allow you to do that infinitely, they don't have a cap on how much of what you need. Macs cannot be built from scratch (technically it IS possible, but the amount of work and experience involved surpasses that required for a PC by far), you have to buy a pre-made from Apple. You CAN upgrade it, but that does not allow you to specialize in certain areas, but not sacrifice economics. Macs simply have superior software. Some of their formats have better, faster, higher quality compressions and decompressions (for video or pictures). That's always been true.
  • Macs are inevitably more expensive for those who have special wants or needs.
Because you cannot just sacrifice in one area to add to another, you have to go for the more expensive package. PCs end up being cheaper for those with special needs. PCs may or may not be expensive when it comes to a rounded-out machine. Generally, if you build a PC from scratch, it'll be cheaper than an equivelant Mac or pre-built PC. Macs have been known to be more expensive since the beginning - this has been studied dozens of times, results are neutral according to bias, but for the standard machine, Macs will cost more.
  • Benchmarks and power comparisons are inconclusive.
I've had several people tell me that the newest Macs would rip apart a Pentium 4 - this is meaningless, as the power of a P4 can range immensely, from < 1.0 to 5.0, and the clock cycles per operation between mac and PC procs vary as well. This also doesn't consider that AMD chipsets are far faster the P4's, (I have the evidence to back me up), and most benchmarks are run on Dells, which certainly do not run high quality hardware. Anyways.

Skiing was cold. It was about 5, possible 0 degrees out, with a wind chill of like -5 or -10. Fun, but cold. The bus rides to and fro (the irony has just now struck me) are actually one of my favorite parts, I have to say. I was wearing so many layers - I had 6 on my body, three on legs, two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, two goods, a turtleneck, and earwarmers. I still froze. I had no goggles, so every snowblower was like "OH SWEET HEAVEN THE PAIN! AHHHHHHHHH!", but was otherwise, just cold.
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"Winter" and Other Such Ironies (O.o)
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Spectacularity! I've just got back from church, which was good. Sunday school started up again, and the list of topics we have is looking really good. I still have yet to get Kerry or Ben to come with me (I honestly think you guys would enjoy it), but all good things come in time.

Thursday was skiing, which turned out okay. I really like the group of people that we have going, there's Amy, Colette, Zach, Jared, and K2, as far as I can remember right now. It was mostly fun except Zach and I got stopped because we didn't have the retarded color tags after two or three hours of skiing. I wanted to just smack the girl and say "You see these tags? These are from Colorado. You want me to go ski down Illiad for you? I'll do it!", but of course I settled with "This is bull.". While that is something of an emo reaction, and there is a reason for the system, it's just beurocracy. The system is really only worth putting on little schoolchildren, because they don't know better. Let people judge for themselves. If they can do it, then let them do it, if they can't, they probably won't do it again. In short: let the stupid people weed themselves out. Anyways.

Friday can be dubbed as "tim is stupid" day. I was all like "meh" and Amy, Gwen, Paul, and Julia were all like "you must!", so I was forced to give in. I went down to Amy's house (where the aforementioned persons + Crawford were residing) and from there, we strolled over to Fall Creek and saw Finding Neverland. It WAS a chick flick, but I regret to admit that it was a good chick flick. I was then pulled from the group at my Dad's hands, after a failure to understand the words "I'm gonna stick with them, Julia can give me a ride.", which transformed in his mind to "I already have a ride.", to which he responded "Uh, I'm already here.".

Saturday was laxidazical, I wanted to do something but nobody else was around to do anything. I just lazed about and did nothing of particular amazement.
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Now with a Smooth Marshmallow Core! (O.o)
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This week can't end soon enough. At this time, aI'm frustrated at the utter lack of time I have. I've been taking the bus home just so I can get more time at home (it gives me about an hour more), but that has a side effect of disconnecting me, but of course all my time at home is spent working or vegging as I play Halo 2 or my other newer games, so it's a ruthless cycle of disconnectivity.

Speaking of Halo 2, I've gotten back into it recently, but I've found I have a 1/2 chance of either doing insanely well or sucking. I can't figure it out - there are those games where the battle rifle is my baby - all my kills are headshots and no deaths, and then I have those Banshee moments, where I'm evading the rockets. And then I have those Banshee moments, where I hop in three times in one game only to be rocked by the rockets. And then I have those games where I can't get the Battle Rifle, and I'm stuck with an SMG. I think I need to work on my strategy. I THINK the problem is my skill is too reliant on my team. If my team mates keep the rocket out of play, the Banshee is my home. I'm not sure though, as that doesn't quite make sense when it comes to some weaponry (the battle rifle in particular). It's taken me this long to realize it's a team game, though. For all practical purposes, it's a tactical shooter - you either work with the team or against the team. It's actually that simple, too. If you aren't sticking together and talking with your team, you end up dying, giving the enemy valuable weaponry, vehicles, and easier shot at the objective, more points, the whole basket and kaboodle. For so long I've been frustrated at how I can be better than the guy I'm fighting by a long shot, but still die, and now I understand. Anyways, no more video game talk.

Speaking of which, I wrote a report on video game violence for English. It's technically the 1st draft, but it's close enough.

Report - Video Game Violence

I believe I sufficiently pwned that argument.

Speaking of pwnage, I had this crazy killing spree with the sniper rifle on Ascension. It was 4v4 Team Slayer - I had a fully loaded Sniper Rifle at my disposal, and they just kept on coming up the ramp, and out of the base, they didn't stop coming. I was kind of toast when one of they shot me with the sniper after all my team had died at point-blank. I had two of those experiences actually, one on Burial Mounds at the base tunnel. I wish they had the headshot sound from UT. It would make it so much more satisfying.

Speaking of satisfying, I discovered my mouse has a battery life of like 5 days, with just one overnight charge. I am quite pleased, to say the least.

Also speaking of satisfying, we finished season 3 of 24. It was, to say the least, not satisfying. The biggest problem was that instead of twisting the plot, they kept extending it. The last 5 or 6 hours were completely unnecessary plot-wise, they just stretched things out for the last few hours, which is why they were far less interesting than the rest of the season. The season started off weakly. The first two discs were poor. The next two were excellent, but then the next two were poor. I have high hopes for season 4 though, especially with such a gigantically new cast (that should be a hint to how many people die). On a positive note, Kiefer Sutherland (the one that plays Jack) is an incredible actor. His skills really shine when you have a lot of bad extras and minor characters running around. I mean...bad. I could act better than some of these people. Oh well.
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And the Cow Says, "Moo" (O.o)
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My recent days have been filled with a lot of KotOR, Halo 2, and 24. I'm almost done with KotOR, I'm on the last planet, so, anyways. We're on the 19th episode of 24 now, and as usual, the writers of 24 have outdone themselves. The first two discs just plain sucked - the script was boring, the plot generally lack-luster,and the characters inconsistent. However, toward the end of the third disc, things start picking up (as in, important characters started dying). If you haven't watched 24, you really really should. It's probably the most suspenseful show ever created, and the quality of the acting, the plot, etc., surpasses that of your standard movie.

I should probably explain exactly what 24 is. 24 is a show (on Fox) that plays in real time - there are 24 episodes, each spanning one hour of time, and the season consists of one day. Because of the whole "real time" thing, people don't just miraculously jump back into action and people don't just appear at the destination. This will obviously require multiple threads and plots running simultaneously - generally about 3 different situations are running at once. 24 is notorious for killing off all the characters that are even slightly expendible. I thought a lot of people died last season (2), but even more have died thus far, and more are going to die in the future. But I'm getting of track - the real-time element is the first essential part of the formula that is 24. Then you have lots of death and gore. Then you add excessive suspense and multiple plot lines. And last, but not least, you have a major threat to America. The first season was about an assasination attempt on the primary presidential candidate (there were about 3 other plot lines, but that's the main driving plot), the second was about a nuclear threat (again, there were more plots intertwined), this time it's about a weaponized virus. Overall, it's very realistic. There are some dramas that would no longer occur with our current technology (like tracing calls - they still use the standard required amount of time to track the source of a call, even though it can now be done instantly, and various indescrepencies with military policy, but otherwise it works quite well). Just go watch it, we have all 3 seasons on DVD if you want to borrow them.

In other news, school has been highly standard. Nothing special, beyond that my grades are fixed. I really enjoyed that snow day on Thursday (I slept until 3:00 that day). Today I overslept, and missed church, which really sucks. The problem is, Fullmetal Alchemist and Ghost in the Shell are on at 12:00 and 3:00. I always miss the first showing, so I have to wait until 3:00. Fortunately my download of FMA is 57% done, and reporting 30 hours left till it's done, so that shouldn't be a problem by the time Sunday rolls around again. I've grown tired of Ghost in the Shell - it's a good anime, but the animations can be distracting (they are not of stellar quality), and the plot makes, well, no sense. The most recent episode was 20 minutes of listening to 6 people discuss the main antagonist, in a chat room. It was obvious they did this to try and help the viewer understand what exactly was going on, but none of it really made any sense. They spend too much time using big words and complex phrases and too little time on making the plot logical. I suspect the movies or the manga would be far better, but I currently have no money with which to investigate such ventures.

Oh well.
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