Thursday, October 9, 2014

Star Wars: Rebels

I watched the premiere of Star Wars Rebels last night, and have to say that I really liked it. I was worried when I read that the show was going to be more cartoony than Clone Wars (which, admittedly, got really dark at times) but if the tone they set in the pilot is what they hope to maintain then I'll be a happy watcher for as long as the show runs.

The plot of the show aside, it is a lot of the little things in the show that I really liked. Some of which was for "social justice" reasons, and others for more "Star Wars done right" reasons.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First Week At University

It's 7AM on a Saturday and I'm up because I'm not able to sleep much more. The past week has been a little crazy due to being move in week, or "First Week" as it's called at the University. Essentially it boils down to being about 1/2 to 1/3 of the Semester's workload boiled down into a week in IT. That's not actually accurate for "all work" but for "client work" and "opening new help requests" it is.

How do I know? Because I did the numbers recently. Over your average semester the Help Center will open up anywhere from 2500 to 3500 new help requests. Over your average first week (based on data from the past 4 years) we open on average 1100 to 1400 new Help Requests. So just over half to just under a third of the help requests for the Fall semester are opened in one week. The best part is, that number is lower than the amount of people we actually help since a lot of times there simply isn't time to make a help request for everyone you're helping.

Now, the rest of the semester will - by default - be more spreadout and quietter. There is still a lot of work to do. All the non-client work, work that happens without help requests, and any looking into those 1500 help requests that has to happen still will all fill the time, but after that weak everyone in my department is quite tired.

Looking forward I have hope. Hope that with the ramp up to the new Semester, and first week itself, out of the way that there will be time for other things.

How was your week?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Off The Backburner

I have an obsessive personality. I tend to do things in bursts. A project, a game, a story, a world, or a theme will grab me and I will spend anywhere from a few hours to a few months to - once or twice - a few years doing very little but that. It is a quality that can let me hear a song countless times and not dislike it. It also helps me get a lot done in bursts. Where it isn't so good is when a task takes a long time to complete. Suffice to say, I have a lot of projects on back burners.

The thing is though, very few of those projects are actually abandoned. Some of them got back burnered because a new obsession took over. Most of them though stalled for some reason - some problem - and that is what let another obsession take over. Which means that at any time, when something else hits a problem, one of them might pop back into view complete with a solution to whatever the problem was.

That happened for me recently. A project I'm working on had a snag. I'm not even sure what it was, but something wasn't working. My mind went back to an old project, I found it, opened it, and what do you know it's good. I'm picking it back up, taking it off the back burner and onto one of the main burners. We're going to get this going, and then we're going to pretty it up and see what it is. In the meantime, the other project can rest a bit while my mind mulls over what exactly is wrong with it.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Perfect Is The Enemy of Done But When Is Good Enough Good Enough?

In any creative endeavor, or even professional endeavor where you have to polish a project or proposal, there is this feeling that you can do just a little bit more to make it better. Just another pass to clean up the lines. A quick edit to make sure the flow is right. Another look over to make sure you have no typos in your proposal for how to train people in the use of the Spell Check feature of a word processor.

Just another, a little, a bit, more, more, more, more. The thing is, once you've fallen into that trap you're never going to be finished. It could always be better with just a bit more work, and it will never be perfect, which is what your brain is trying to do. In that regard while you are going for perfection you will never be done, which is a fancy way of saying that for something to be done it can't be perfect.

But that leaves the question of how good is good enough? "Good enough" as a phrase kind of has a negative connotation to it. We don't say something is "good enough" when it is actually good, we say it when we want to justify something. "It's good enough considering..." or "It's good enough for a first effort" or even "It's good enough to be a blog post."

Somewhere in the middle is where your project needs to be.

If you're writing, the middle is not "after the first draft." I mean, not unless you want it to look hideous and be full of mistakes you didn't notice.

The same is true for any art, and even simple things like e-mails. Find the right spot in the middle, but remember it can't be perfect and at some point it does have to be good enough.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Growing Up

Probably the most surreal experience I've been going through lately is that the people around me, people I consider to be in my age range, are starting to have kids by choice in their endeavor to start or grow their family. Now, objectively that doesn't sound weird. I was born in the 80s, it's now the 20-teens, and that means that even if I were born in 1990 I'd be 24 now, which is about wen that starts to happen (for those just turning 24, it starts with marriage and goes from there usually. Sometimes in reverse though.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Giving Up Videogames?

I apologize for the lack of posts the past couple of weeks. I'd love to say I've been busy, except that what I've been busy with hasn't really been stuff that couldn't be set aside. It would be more fair to say that I've been distracted rather than busy, and while I'm not ashamed of that it is something that has to be dealt with.

Like many people I have goals and aspirations. One of those is keeping this blog and Reality Refracted up and running. It doesn't take much. This blog only really needs a post a week. Reality Refracted needs three posts a week but about a topic I've proven I can talk endlessly about for four years or so now. Beyond that though I have other things I want to do and videogames are less and less a part of that.

Don't get me wrong, I still love games. I love the power they have. I love the narratives they can tell. But the thing of working 8-9 hours a day, going home, making dinner, and then videogames for the rest of the night just feels a bit shallow right now. Whats more is that, on my own, I'm not even sure I enjoy the game for the game itself.

For example, on Tuesday this week after dinner I was on my computer. My friend who I normally play League with wasn't around so I logged in to the apartment Minecraft server. I did a few things, but no one else was on the server and I grew bored fairly quickly. In the end I logged out, put on a movie ,and did other stuff for the evening. It was kind of awesome and very productive.

My thought is that with the exception of gaming as a social exercise that it doesn't hold the same sway it once did. Maybe that is just a temporary mood, but I can't help but think that making it a conscious choice could clear the way for other things. And yet, at the same time, that conscious choice could just drive me back to old habits if out of spite and nothing else.

It's a strange feeling. Kind of like growing up. Still, I did love the feeling of productivity I had that night. I guess time will tell where I stand but forward progress on dreams and aspirations can't be a bad thing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wedding Bells

Tomorrow is the big day. Not for me, but for two close friends. At noon they're being married by a Justice of the Peace, and then there will be a small party, and then who knows. I expect I'll be tired after. The wedding is set to take place on top of a local mountain and as a big person that doesn't walk enough that's bound to be tiring alone. Then there will be the wedding.

Still, it should be a good day. The forecast is for clear skies and not too hot a temperature. Hopefully the humidity will stay low, but that remains to be seen.

But yeah, weddings..what are your plans for the weekend?