New Years Resolutions – 2017

Blog Segment - Peeking Through The Window copy

The New Year is here! With a brand new year comes a new opportunity to look back and examine how things were, where I stand now, and decide how I want things to change in the future. For a great many people, that means New Year Resolutions.

I’ve never put much stock into new year resolutions, though I think I’ve always made them to one degree or another. They get broken very easily, after all, and nothing is quite as demoralizing as failing to live up to your own expectations.

However, I think the key to solid resolutions is, primarily, to remain general. Specific resolutions are the most fragile sort, and are easily broken. If approached more generally, little lapses are not crushing and adjustments are more likely to continue to mean success. In that vein, I make the following resolutions.

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The New Year – 2016

 

Blog Segment - Peeking Through The Window copyYou know, typically, I’m not big on the whole New Year’s Resolutions thing. It has always felt a little bit weird to me to have a specific time of the year to say “Things are going to be different, now!” when that’s generally the sort of thing that I would assume we should be ready to do, and be serious about, on any given day. If anything, having a national holiday (kinda) for it makes me realize all the more how bad I am at keeping “resolutions.” Despite this, I find myself here about to write down a little bit of a wrap up for last year, and a look ahead to this one, with a little of resolve for solutions thrown in the mix. So let’s get started.

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A Wedding and some Gaming, a Returning and a Parting

I’m making no bones about it. It has been AGES since I last posted. And I have excuses! Boy do I have excuses, let me list them: Wedding, Honeymoon, Moving in/out,Student Teaching, The Holidays, etc. It’s not like they took up all of my time, but they jammed it packed. And posting about the wedding was a little daunting to me because I wanted to give it justice, but time kept slipping away and…. *sigh*

The fact is, these excuses are not really good enough. It’s time to get my lazy butt back to work, so here is my first new post. I’ve got a lot of ground to cover, of course, but I won’t be going into depth about everything. No need to recount the holidays. No need to look back on the year that was. I’m going to keep it breif-ish, though who knows how long it’ll get once I get to the personal stuff, so let’s get started, eh?

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So when I say I haven’t blogged in a while, it was actually sort of a lie. I’ve actually kept up blogging through my reviews, which I know doesn’t really count for readersof these posts as much, but hey! I’ll take my bonus points where I can get them. All of my recent reviews have been on video games, which is something of a shame, seeing as how I saw some movies I would have liked to review as well (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes 2 being the most notable of these.) But for those of you who live life on the gaming sie, you migth be interested in my reviews of ICO (from the HD PS3 collection), To the Moon, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, and Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception. It has definitely been a good year for games.

Of course, that’s not all I’ve been playing. League of Legends is something of a habit. Of course that’s largely because it’s one of the main ways I hang out with my friends. But lately there have been some lousy bits that has discouraged me in my time with the game. First off is the fact that two of my friends are more or less tired of it and want to play other things. Now this isn’t so bad, but finding those other things that we all enjoy on a regular basis is difficult. I’m not really an MMO guy, for instance, and the only one I want to try out (Star Wars: The Old Republic) is a monthly payment, which is blah for everyone. I’m kinda hoping the recently announced new additions to the Co-op versus AI mode in League of Legends will draw those friends back. Even if for a little while.

The other major drawback though is that Riot has more or less nerfed Jax a whole lot in the recent rework.

Poor little Jax

It’s not that his new kit an’t do a lot of damage. Goodness yes it can. Pop that steroid ulti and Surge, leap in and clean some clocks. … For six seconds. And if you didn’t already die in those six seconds, you’re pretty much screwed once the buff is gone. The main issue is Jax’s survivability. He has no health bonus, no magic resist and no armor without seriously adjusting his build to practically remove his damage output. I’ve been experimenting with some builds, and I’m getting better results than I’ve feared, but there’s no escaping that Jax just isn’t as viable as he used to be. He’s so item dependent now it isn’t even funny.


And that’s not even taking into account the terrible construction of his Counter Strike ability. The stun is almost worthless for the cooldown time, especially since using the ability telegraphs the oncoming stun 1.5 second before you can actually use it. Any self-respecting player can dodge the stun 75% of the time, and that 25% is because Jax used it before leap-strike, which negates the whole dodge mechanic’s use entirely. – Dyrus said it before, and it’s true. Jax’s kit is hypocritical. Is he an assassin? Is he a brawler? Both and neither. He simply isn’t good enough at either one, and two crappy halves don’t make a complete whole. He’s still playable at least, and I keep trying out new builds. Hopefully they fix some of these problems in the future.

Meanwhile I discovered a new mini passion for minecraft. Building on my single-player fortress was fun, and all, but it’s also lonely and boring at times. So when Scott invited me onto the PandemicCraft server as a villager in Westphalia, I thought it would be a neat way to give the game new life. And let me tell you, it’s working. Now that I have a community to live in, my scope has shrunk (no giant fortresses at the moment) but my artistry has grown. The house I’m building across two plots is going to be really cool when it’s completed. I feel like I own a part of a larger world, now. It’s sort of addicting. This tiny little outpost in the winter biome is steadily growing. There’s a town square. Houses, and an Inn. And somewhere out there is an Empire that is pressuring other settlements to join with them. Thankfully our Baron is tough in the face of such pressures. We Westphalians live free out in the wilderness. ^_^

Part of what makes it all worthwhile is the economy system, where people actually do own pieces of the town, and these towns can expand. And people have jobs and specialties. The Innkeeper and his assistant actually grow food, buy meat off of hunters, and sell it to the villagers and travelers at low cost. It’s fascinating and fun. I think the system needs some expansion, though. It’s far too easy to become rich, with little to show for it. I don’t know if the server’s mod can be modded further or not, but it seems like cool things could be done with it.

Well, I’ve been yammering on about what I’ve been enjoying lately, so let’s take a detour into some less pleasant waters…

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Of course, less pleasant waters doesn’t mean it can’t be funny at the same time. How about those Republican Primaries, eh?

I tell you, watching this circus has been at least as fun as it is depressing, which makes it ok in my book. I mean seriously, these are the nominees? THESE are the nominees? The idea of any of them as president is stomach churning. Even Ron Paul, who at least is the most honest and least-politically corrupt of them all, would be a terrible president. Romney would be predictable, boring, and dangerous in his own right, but could you imagine Newt Gingrich as president?

Oh my sweet lord. The question would be whether we bomb Iran right after the inauguration, or if we wait a day. Don’t get me started on Santorum.

Of course Obama hasn’t been a particularly good president either, but at least he’s a little more inclined to do what’s right than these jokers. And that’s really all I have to say for now. Until the end of this, I think I’ll just buckle up for the roller coaster ride and hope there’s a smooth stop at the end, and not an abyss.

Abysses aren’t fun.

Which is why, thankfully, the internet was able to keep us from jumping into another kind of Abyss entirely. The SOPA and PIPA legislation are currently falling apart (woo-hoo!) Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t come back in some sort of new and deadlier form. (Why is it that legislation acts so suspiciously like Final Fantasy boss fights?) It was pretty cool to see so many internet powerhouses throw their weight against the bill, though. I guess sometimes the people can win. Fancy that.

But that’s enough of the entertainment an the political, let’s move on to the personal…

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I’m married guys! 😀

Of course I have been for 3 or so months now, and should have said something on here sooner, but let’s not dwell on that…
While this topic deserves a full on recounting with details, descriptions, emotions, chronology, etc. I think I’d rather keep it simple and say it was a beautiful wedding. And I had a top-hat!
I plan on putting up a picture gallery eventually, but that will take more time, unfortunately. Until then I will leave you with two things. The first is our vows to each other. Me and Katie wrote them out (though I must admit I wrote most of it with her input >.> ) and we alternated speaking the different lines to each other. It worked out wonderfully. The second thing is a picture of the little wedding-decoration place we mad in our Duplex. It’s not finished yet (we’ve got to get a picture to put in the frame) but I think it’s already very nice.

Our Vows –

From all the times together, thick and thin,
We found a bond in our joys and rest.
The grand adventures shared through paper, pen
And dice, or pages turned, or buttons pressed
Were just the start. Beneath the fun and play
was deeper love. A love that waits beside
Your sick bed; Love for which we pine and pray.
A love that age and death cannot divide.
This love’s worth more than worldly wealth, or woe
Its lack may bring. May God look on this love
And smile, as when he sparked all life to grow,
Or when he woke the galaxies above.
My hand’s outstretched to you and my heart’s doors
Are wide. All I have, all I hold, are yours.

I, Edward Lee Cheever II, and I, Katie Michelle Guth, in front of family and friends, before God and man, do pledge myself to you.

This is how we read them:

Me: From all the times together, thick and thin, we found a bond in our joys and rest.
Katie: The grand adventures shared through paper, pen and dice, or pages turned, or buttons pressed were just the start.
Me: Beneath the fun and play was deeper love.
Katie: A love that waits beside your sick bed;
Me: Love for which we pine and pray.
Katie: A love that age and death cannot divide.
Me: This love’s worth more than worldly wealth, or woe its lack may bring.
Katie: May God look on this love and smile,
Me: as when he sparked all life to grow,
Katie: Or when he woke the galaxies above.
Me: My hand’s outstretched to you and my heart’s doors are wide.
Katie: All I have, all I hold, are yours.
Me: I, Edward Lee Cheever II,
Katie: and I, Katie Michelle Guth,
Me: in front of family and friends,
Katie: before God and man,
Both: do pledge myself to you.

Married life has pretty much been great, as well. Of course there are the little things, like chores and such that things can get tense over, but otherwise, living with the person I love the most, whom I can both have fun with and be serious with, has been wonderful.

Settling into the duplex has been a process of course. As has mashing two lives together. Finances are particularly… fun… But we’ve got some of it sorted out now. Still lots to do, of course, but when isn’t there? Job-wise I haven’t been doing the serious job-hunt that I probably need to do. Part of my hang-ups are all around the certification test I’m supposed to take at some nebulous time in the future. At least I FINALLY got some information abut it out of the education department and I can start preparing for it (by the way, could this material be any more dull and lifeless? Or useless for that matter? I think the people behind this live in a fantasy world somewhere between Mathland and MotivationalSpeakervania.

In any case, I still have my job as a writing tutor, which I am very thankful for, and I’ve been doing a rather lot of substitute teaching over at CTA. So finances are better than they otherwise would be if I didn’t have a job. I think the bills would really start eating away at us if not for that promise of my soon-coming paychecks and Katie’s recent raises and long hours.

I’ve been trying to think of a way to segue into this final topic, but I really can’t think of one. It’s much like asking the question, “When is the best time to hear the news of a death?” There isn’t one. No time is ripe, and no segue can ease the issue.

My friend, Jarret Wade, is dead. He died of cancer some time ago, now. I’m honestly not entirely sure because time seems to flow so swiftly. Has it really been a week and a half?

To say I knew a lot about him would actually be a lie. I didn’t know his family, I didn’t delve into his personal life much, and we only really interacted at school. And yet I have little hesitation to say he was a great friend. Part of that, I believe, is because there was nothing about him that wasn’t genuine, and completely open and honest. He was completely himself at all times. A few conversations would be all it would take before you felt like you knew him for life. Like he was a friend from your earliest days.

So unlike other acquaintances I’ve known who have died, I felt a real shock at the news. I learned about it early in the day during a time I was substitute teaching at CTA, and it was difficult not to break down when I would mention him during prayer requests at the start of every class period. My voice would falter, and I can only imagine how red my eyes grew over time, holding back tears that blurred my vision.

I knew it was coming of course. We’ve all known for some time of the cancer that was eating away at him. I last spoke with him over the phone while on my honeymoon. We were in Seattle, and though he said he would call, and show off his beloved home city to us, we never heard from him. I called him up to see how he was doing, and he had just gone through another serious treatment. He didn’t sound good, then. He apologized for not being able to show us around. Of course I said it was nothing, and that his health was more important. He said he’d make a trip down to visit Keene soon. That he looked forward to seeing us all again, and to meeting my wife.

It was a trip he would never make. And while I know that there was no real way I would have been able to, I constantly think that I should have made time to go see him again while I was there…

I’m not the poet I once was. I have a tendency to write them far less than before, and I usually make them boring and emotionless for trying to make them structured or fancy. But occasionally, something happens that gets that emotion stirring again. It’s not the greatest poem I’ve ever written, but I feel like It has my heart in it. Here’s to you, my brother, Jarret Wade.

Jarret

I see the rain on the western shoreline
Pouring into a hole that never fills.
I know the shadows of those blackened clouds.
I know the brim of that endless cold cup.

Like the echo of a distant tempest,
The strong vibrations of thunder long since
The blinding light of the lightning strike,
Your going shook me, and my earth stilled.

Till the trumpets ring from the mountain tops,
Till the silvered bells toll at sea.
Till the bright cloud comes from the east.
Till then, rest ‘neath the trees.

You found the deepest roots of all our hearts.
You could see their dark gnarls, their twists, their cramps.
You always knew how to water them,
With smiles, and hugs, and conversation.

The world was not a stranger to you.
It was a lonely friend in desperate need.
Not an unknown mist of vague statistics,
But a painting of minds, faces and eyes.

Till the trumpets ring from the mountain tops,
Till the silvered bells toll at sea.
Till the bright cloud comes from the east.
Till then, God holds Grave’s Key.

His hand hovers over the sepulcher
Holding out that golden metal Work,
Trembling with desperate impatience to swing
Wide those black and silent gates that stand closed.

And past that unknown date, what triumph waits?
A son of heaven comes home! You will ride
His chariot, And wear a crown of gold,
bejeweled for lives you’ve touched. A friend of God.

Then the trumpets ring from the mountain tops,
The silvered bells toll at sea.
The bright cloud comes from the east.
And then, at last, be free.

For now, there are dark clouds out to the west.
No rain, no tears, no grief, can fill torn hearts.
You lit so many candles on your way,
You left your light in all of us.

Edward L. Cheever II

Sorry to leave it on such a low note, everyone. But sometimes, the world gets serious. And laughter is a little far away. Good-bye, friends. I hope to have you here again soon.

The Doctor Teaches League of Legends on the Frontier


*Whew!* Pardon me while I rest a minute *pant*pant*… I feel like I’ve been just running and running these past few weeks. I’ve not gotten near enough sleep, and the responsibilities are starting to stack up. I’ve been pretty busy lately, no joke. We’ll get to the reasons why, but first I want to revel in the fact that I’ve finally found a quiet moment by talking up some entertainments. Let’s get started, shall we?

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Despite all how busy I’ve been lately, I’ve managed to fill in the small times and breaks with a good amount of interesting media, etc. If you’ve been paying attention to my reviews blog, you’ve known that I’ve been going through a pretty serious reading kick lately, and let me tell you, it’s good to have my nose back between a couple sheets of slaughtered and processed forestry.

You know… in a less environmentally morbid sort of way…

But I say all that to introduce my latest book review, in which I cover “Coyote Frontier,” the third book in the Coyote trilogy by Allen Steele. I won’t spoil my own review here, so go read it. 🙂 I will say, however, that I would recommend the series so far to fans of science fiction literature with relatively few reservations.

THERE ARE WORMHOLES IN THIS BOOK


Now on to less review-y stuff. If you follow comic-book movie news at all, you’re probably aware of a Superman reboot film coming soon-ish. Now, when I say “reboot” I’m not even sure what that means myself, except that this film does not take place in the Donner film universe like “Superman Returns” did. As much as I love the Donner original and its sequel, I think this is an absolutely necessary move. We need an updated Supes, with the same values but a new, relevant sheen.

My caveat here is that the film is directed by Zack Snyder. This could be either a good or a terrible thing. “300” was fun, if utterly brainless, and “Watchmen” was a triumph of comic adaptation, though not entirely a triumph of cinematic storytelling, so he can do good work when he’s given source material.

But Snyder also directed (and wrote I think – if you call it writing) “Sucker-Punch.” I despise “Sucker-Punch.” Aside from the neat visuals, that film is a travesty. It called into question a lot of the good will I had given Snyder for his work on “300” and “Watchmen” (especially “Watchmen”). We shall see.

On the positive side, I’m down with the new costume, which feels more like a suit, and less like a Halloween costume, which is easy to do with superhero outfits. The only issue I have is also only an issue to ½ or so of the audience. That is, the obvious bulge. I bring this up because, well… it’s just so obvious. I mean, it was the first thing Katie commented about when she saw the costume, and I suspect she holds back on calling out things she likes on a lot of hot actors and so forth to protect my wee little mind about such things (lol). It’s impossible not to see it.

Whatevs. On to new topics.

Ever since I started watching, my love for Doctor Who has known no bounds. I want the merchandises nowplease. When I build my future house one day, the door is going to look like the doors of the TARDIS and I am NOT even kidding. I can’t wait for people to hear the doorbell.

So you can imagine my sadness at the changing of the guard. That is, the departure of David Tennet as the Doctor in favor of Matt Smith. This is as bad as my depression over the first change, when Christopher Eccleston switched out for Tennet. Of course, I think that that first switch was so powerful because that it was the first time it had happened to MY Doctor (you never forget your first), and Tennet’s was more powerfully set-up, if perhaps bordering on melodramatic (but when you’re in the moment, melodrama is wonderful). That one last time seeing Rose, especially inferring the Doctor’s feelings for her, was really sad, and they really couldn’t have had him see anyone else last.

It will no-doubt take some time for me to warm up to Matt Smith. It took me some time to get used to Tennet, too. But I’m hopeful that I’ll grow to like him as much. (Some hard-core Doctor Who fans have said that they have actually ended up liking Smith’s Doctor the best, which has me intrigued.)

There is reason yet to hope.


Anywho… (ha! Get it?)

So when I’m not watching Doctor Who with Katie, we’re playing League of Legends again. As long as I keep my cool, and treat it as the game it is, I tend to have a ton of fun. I mean the same kind of fun that got me addicted in the first place. A lot of the new champions are interesting too, even if I don’t really “get” some of them (a.k.a. I’m bad at them – I’m looking at you, Skarner), others are terrific. Being a Jax player, it seems inevitable that I would gravitate towards the Monkey King and Lee Sin, both of whom have abilities similar to Jax’s jump. I’m not as good with either (I don’t even own them yet. Too much IP cost) but I enjoy playing them.

Jax fixing his lamp-post after bashing it into people's faces.


Veigar, meanwhile, seems to be the champ I’m still best at, and that’s fine with me. He’s loads of fun. But man, he needs a legendary skin. Also, with all these new Champs coming out, it’s a little sad to me that there aren’t really any new mages. At least one new one would be nice to experiment with. They manage to come up with all sorts of clever ideas for physical damage champs, and you’d think that magic would lend itself to all sorts of crazy ideas, but they don’ go for it much.

THERE ARE WORMHOLES IN THIS BOOK


In other news, I’ve not been able to find enough free time to work on D&D for a couple weeks now. When I’m not doing something with Katie, I’m at work, or I don’t have enough time to sit down and work on it when I do find myself alone (thus my reading).I’m hoping to start working on it right after this blog post, but… well, you know how it goes.

It sounds like I just consume tons of media (and I kinda do) but the majority of my time is being absorbed in quite different ways…

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…to be specific, I mean student teaching. Waking up at 6 a.m. Every morning is a real killer. I mean sure, lots of people do that every day, but I am not a morning person. Not by a long shot. Night-time is my time. That, combined with an inability to get to sleep any earlier than 1 a.m. most nights means that I am also dead on my feet starting at about the second I get home from school.

I plan on working on that, however. I want to get my bed-time to at least midnight, and 11 o’clock would be ideal. With some extra time asleep, I could use my afternoons more wisely, or at least more fully.

Until then... I'll just... take a little... ZZZZzzzzzZZZZzzzzz....


But the sleep thing is peripheral to the work itself. Come to find out, I really enjoy teaching. Well, I love certain aspects of it anyway. When I have a full docket of material, plenty of things to say, etc. It’s so much easier to stand in front of a class and get to it. Even better is when the class really gets into it too.

I tend to like my classrooms a little noisy. Not a din, where I don’t feel like I’m being heard, but where the entire class is participating, throwing out ideas, and talking about the material. Now don’t get me wrong, I like more sedate classes too. I’ve had a day, maybe two, where I felt like I couldn’t really get a firm hold of the situation, when the students were too hard to corral. But that has been rare so far, and I’m getting better at bringing them back down from a conversation explosion to get across my next point.

Interestingly enough, my nerves haven’t been the constant bother I had worried that they’d be. Every day gets a little easier to get in front of everyone and talk. Not to say I’m not swatting butterflies before each class period, but its a little more field-of-flowers than Monarch-migration.

Truth be told, I so far find it more engaging, satisfying, and less stressful than working as a reporter. Or perhaps I should say it’s more fun. (It also doesn’t suck the creativity out of me the way writing for the paper did.)

Of course, I’m only teaching one class so far, English II. I’ve still got to pick up World History (which I’m starting the week following next week, or the 12th) and English IV, which I don’t know when I’m picking up, but I’m hoping later rather than sooner. For whatever reason, I really like the Sophomore class, and the seniors are closer to my age, college age, which has some inexplicable bearing on the matter.

Oh, and the other English Teacher here is retiring at the end of the school year. I don’t know what my chances are of obtaining that job, but I think it’d be rather fantastic to work alongside Mr. Jones teaching English. I know I want to teach in a public school first to increase my chances of being hired anywhere later, but first and foremost I will go where the job is, and if it’s CTA, well, I won’t complain.

For those of you who are curious, the Wedding plans are coming along, if much more slowly than any of us would like. I’ve got some responsibilities and tasks to own up to, among them folding the invitations (yes we have them now, and yes they’re gorgeous.) with any luck, some of you will be seeing them before the end of next week.

I’ve also got to settle some elements of our Honeymoon, and I need to get in contact with Jarret Wade (you out there, man? I’ll be sending you an e-mail before long!) to figure out what sights we should do in Seattle and the Washington area. That should be fun. ^_^

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today! Have a great one, everybody,

– Edward L. Cheever II

Bioshock Teaches Libertarianism to Coyote Who Doesn’t Learn Anything.


Oh don’t you worry, we’ll talk about those Libertarian kitties shortly. I didn’t choose that image for nothing. But today I’ve also got some musings on a book series I’ve been reading recently, and a few observations regarding my recent transition of jobs. Oh, and there’s some news in here somewhere about another expansion of the family, but we’ll get to that too. Let’s begin, shall we?

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As you no doubt have noticed by a review I posted over a week ago, I’ve started a new science fiction series lately by Allen Steele by the name of “The Coyote Trilogy” recently. We’ll I’ve got the second book’s review up and ready to read right here – “Coyote Rising”, and I’ve already finished the third book, “Coyote Frontier” and I’ll be plowing through “Coyote Horizon” shortly, I hope. I know this seems like a sudden burst of reading activity, and it sort of is, but really, I read through book series’ at a decent clip, I just have a hard time starting. Once I’d read “Coyote” it was a done deal, so long as it was good, which it was.

This segment is mostly a plug for my review of “Coyote Rising”, but as I’ve finished “Coyote Frontier” already (keep an eye out for that review sometime this next week), I thought I’d share a few of my opinions of the series as a whole. This will be lightly spoilerish for the series, and I’ll be assuming your familiarity with the material. Some of this will be reiterated in the “Frontier” review, no doubt, but I might as well explore those waters now.

Speaking of exploration, if I have one great disappointment with the series, it is the lack of the exploratory sensations of the first book being carried into the rest of the series. There were brand new horizons, uncharted waters, strange new life forms, etc. in “Coyote.” You get glimpses of new places and terrain in the following books, but never anything particularly exciting. There is a notable exception if you count the native inhabitants, but it is a small serving that doesn’t satisfy my hunger. Perhaps I shouldn’t have come into the second book with expectations, but then that upsetting of expectations is consistent across the whole series so far.

And that is at the heart of what I wanted to say here. These books, for all that they build off of the of one another, and for all that some mysteries or threads get tied up, never feel like a “Trilogy” so to speak. What I mean by that, is that each one wraps itself up very nice and tidy, except for some particular strings that never get satisfactorily followed up on in the next installment. The overarching plot of the three books, the theme so to speak – if perhaps more appropriately called tone, is different from one book to the next. I’ve not been really disappointed with the sequels, as you will discover in my reviews, but neither have I been truly satisfied. Steele has create a great new world here, and in some ways I wanted to step through the pages and turn aside from where he was taking me, to explore this world myself.

I just noticed that I essentially complained this series wasn’t a video game. That actually sounds like a really interesting idea.

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Speaking of Video Games, have I got a story for you. See, apparently, the founder of Pay Pal, and one of the early investors of Face Book (aka a super rich guy) by the name of Peter Thiel has taken up the cause of creating A Wholly Independent City-State in the Middle of the Ocean Based Entirely On Libertarian Theory of Government. The idea is essentially to build an oil-platform type of construction in international waters where like-minded individuals can come and escape “the laws, regulations, and moral codes of existing countries.”

And really, aren’t these people entitled to the sweat of their own brow? No, says the man in Washington, it belongs to the poor. No, says the man in the Vatican, it belongs to God. No, says the man in Moscow, it belongs to every…
Wait…

Sound Familiar?


Really the only significant difference between this and good ol’ Bioshock as of this point in the story is that it isn’t the 1950s, and they aren’t wanting to build this thing underwater – just on top of it. I really recommend going to the article link, and their sources, to read this entire thing. It’s truly creepily familiar.

These people have either played too much Bioshock, or not enough. As I’ve said elsewhere, the game clearly depicts the idea that this sort of scenario simply doesn’t work. It breaks down somewhere. Part of the problem is that you’re asking a bunch of people to come and live out in the middle of the ocean on a political whim, which basically restricts it to rich people, and then you’re inevitably going to need people to keep this place running from a mechanical standpoint.

There's Also The Basketball Team to Think About


So you’re either going to have to force some of these rich fops get to work, or you’re going to begin importing workers from elsewhere. Either way, you’re creating a working class that serves the rich, without any hope of upward movement, thus creating the perfect environment for a dystopic, dysfunctional society.

Oh, and one of the values they are trumpeting is looser building codes. Looser building codes? On a floating platform in the middle of the ocean? These people WANT to die in a terrible accident.

Paradise!


This thing is, in my opinion, destined to fail. They’re either extremely lucky, or extremely unlucky, that plasmids won’t be involved (man, this makes me want to play that game again.) But I want to know your opinion on these shenanigans. Vote below! After all, this is the Voters Booth. 🙂

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Finally, I want to talk briefly about my recent change of occupation, in a sense. I’ve gone from working on the Burleson Star to working (I use the term loosely, as I’m not paid) at Chisholm Trail Academy as a student teacher. Now, I miss the paper. The work was rewarding, and not too tough if you’re a reporter, and a number of the people I worked with there were great (though I think I’d have had some serious arguments with most of them if I ever brought up politics), but the job was creatively taxing in a way I didn’t expect. Writing articles may not be my favorite kind of creativity, but it uses the same brain muscles, and so I was always too worn out to write anything, despite the fact that it wasn’t too hard of a job. Also, I had issues with some of the management decisions, and the way certain employees were treated, but what are you gonna do, right?

I can’t speak to it through a lens of experience, but student teaching already feels different. I don’t feel exhausted by the idea of work. In a way it’s energizing. If working as a reporter was going outside and getting your hands dirty, then this is like staying home. I’m a school kind of guy. I always have been. The learning process is refreshing. Dwelling in ideas and subjects that I love is thrilling, as is working with old friends. It won’t be easy, necessarily, but I think I’m going to like it.

Of course I say that now, while I;m in the observing/planning stage. Put me in front of a class of students more or less by myself three times a day and we’ll see how that changes.
I’m counting on you, my boundless charisma!

My Inevitable Results


Oh, and being on the other side of the door, say when the faculty meets in the mornings, is a very alien experience to me.

Anyways, I’ve got one last piece of news. A bit of excitement. You see, my sister, Kimberly, recently got engaged to Chris. *Cheers* I called it, I have to say. I’m able to gloat when I want. If he’s taking her home to meet the family…. in CANADA – land of the lush and beautiful landscapes – then it was, I said, almost certain that he was going to propose. Well, they did, and his parents were hiding in the bush to give us photographic proof.

I’ve got to say, though I haven’t met him much, out of all the guys she’s dated or been chased by, Chris is the nicest – the best overall choice – of all of them. Here’s hoping it works out! *crosses fingers*

Oh, and really guys? Trying to steal me and Katie’s thunder? Classy. /Sarcasm. The only real loser here is my parents who have to plan a whole new wedding only six months after mine. Those poor, poor people.
Anyways, that’s all for today, folks!

Thank you, come again,

– Edward L. Cheever II

A Restructuring? Oh Noes!

Ok, so I’m sure you’ve all more or less gotten used to how I normally put my blogs together in a sort of rambling haphazard sort of way. While that method can be fun sometimes, the amount of time it takes to write something like that is pretty substantial. The typical blog post takes upwards of two to three hours or so, for something that I’m not sure you all want to read. In other words, those of you who want my opinions on the next big blockbuster or video game news may be put off by my opinionated rants on politics, or my occasional discussion of religion gets in the way of you enjoying the latest wacky video I’ve posted a link to. So, to make things easier on myself, and to make it easy to skip the bits of my blog you don’t like, I’m introducing some structure to the blog, specifically in the form of “Segments”
These segments will still have the same writing style you’re already used to, along with whatever wacky pictures I can find for them, but they will each be set apart by theme, with a special header image to set them apart. Here they are:

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The “Entertain Me… nt” segment will be where I talk about any of my hobbies or interests in the realms of media, games, books, etc. It’s fairly self explanatory, and you will probably see this one most often outside of the next section…
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“The Voters Booth” is where I’ll post all my lovely political rants and raving. I’ve also got an idea to include a poll for most of these so that it’s easy for you all to give some form of feedback, even when you don’t have time to comment. Just as controversial in nature is my next segment…
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“To the Side of the Pulpit” is going to be my religious segment, and, as the name and image suggest, it will be full of my opinions that don’t necessarily match up with any specific religious authority, though as with most things there will be overlap. You probably won’t see this one as much, as religion has always seemed to me to be something of a very personal nature. Speaking of which…
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“Peeking through the Window” is going to be the segment where I talk about things happening in my life. You won’t see this one much, and I’ll be rather vague at times to protect the privacy of people I love, but you’ll also get some sense of who I am outside of my interests and opinions. The last segment that has a prepared image divider is…
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“But I Digress…” this segment will be my catch all. If there’s somethin weird or wacky that doesn’t specifically fall into all the other categories, it goes here. That crazy Japanese “Pon Pon Pon” video from last time? Here. NASCAR Prayer Auto Tuned? Here. Somebody built an island out of bottles and hubcaps? Right here. The nature and meditation of Gardening… well, if I ever wrote something like that (not likely) it would be here.
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There are two other segments you will also see in the future, including a segment specifically for writing, and a “Mad Science!!!” segment where I’ll talk about lasers, robots and space travel (Or the lack thereof – R.I.P. space program *tear*).

Along with these segments I’m instituting new rules on myself. No post will be longer than 1,500 (or so) words. There will be no more than 2 posts per week, and no less than one. If I write something above 250 words long, and I haven’t reached the 2 post cap for the week, I’ll post it. Etc.

The idea is, I want to make this blog easier for me to deal with throughout the week, and make it easier for you all to read in one sitting. i hope you like where I’m taking the blog.

For that matter, I hope I like Where I’m Taking the Blog! O.o

Have a great day!
– Edward L. Cheever II