Windows 10: a return to form

Like millions of others around the globe, I reserved my free upgrade to Windows 10, anxiously awaiting the new operating system’s release date so that I could break up with Windows 8.1.

Continue reading “Windows 10: a return to form”


My favorite album from each year

Last year I attempted to post a detailed list of my 3 favorite albums from each year from 1970 to 2013. I never finished the list, although I had posted 1970 up to 2002 here on this blog. Now my musical tastes have changed, so I made a new list that is much larger and simpler.

  • 1967 – Big Brother & the Holding Company – Big Brother & the Holding Company (Janis Joplin)
  • 1968 – Beggars Banquet – The Rolling Stones
  • 1969 – Led Zeppelin I – Led Zeppelin
  • 1970 – American Beauty – The Grateful Dead
  • 1971 – IV – Led Zeppelin
  • 1972 – Exile on Main Street – The Rolling Stones
  • 1973 – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
  • 1974 – KISS – KISS
  • 1975 – Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – Rainbow
  • 1976 – Rock and Roll Over – KISS
  • 1977 – Rumours – Fleetwood Mac
  • 1978 – Powerage – AC/DC
  • 1979 – Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  • 1980 – Back in Black – AC/DC
  • 1981 – For Those About to Rock – AC/DC
  • 1982 – Screaming for Vengeance – Judas Priest
  • 1983 – Pyromania – Def Leppard
  • 1984 – 1984 – Van Halen
  • 1985 – Heart – Heart
  • 1986 – Turbo – Judas Priest
  • 1987 – Hysteria – Def Leppard
  • 1988 – Open Up & Say…Ahh! – Poison
  • 1989 – Dr. Feelgood – Motley Crue
  • 1990 – The Razors Edge – AC/DC
  • 1991 – No More Tears – Ozzy Osbourne
  • 1992 – Adrenalize – Def Leppard
  • 1993 – Candlebox – Candlebox
  • 1994 – Jar of Flies – Alice in Chains
  • 1995 – Ballbreaker – AC/DC
  • 1996 – Slang – Def Leppard
  • 1997 – Nine Lives – Aerosmith
  • 1998 – Sunburn – Fuel
  • 1999 – Californication – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 2000 – Something Like Human – Fuel
  • 2001 – Time Bomb – Buckcherry
  • 2002 – And the Dancehall Doctors – Tim McGraw
  • 2003 – Meteora – Linkin Park
  • 2004 – Show & Tell – Silvertide
  • 2005 – Tommyland: the Ride – Tommy Lee
  • 2006 – The Paramour Sessions – Papa Roach
  • 2007 – Runnin’ Wild – Airbourne
  • 2008 – Black Ice – AC/DC
  • 2009 – Metamorphosis – Papa Roach
  • 2010 – No Guts. No Glory – Airbourne
  • 2011 – Balls Out – Steel Panther
  • 2012 – Amaryllis – Shinedown
  • 2013 – The Dixie Dead – Wednesday 13
  • 2014 – Rock or Bust – AC/DC
  • 2015 so far – The Pale Emperor – Marilyn Manson

Upcoming TV shows I’m most excited about

It’s time for another fall and winter TV season and the announcements of premiere dates keep coming. I watch TV, but I’ve never been one to watch a lot of TV. I usually have 2-3 shows per year and that’s it. Well, that might change this time around.

The Walking Dead (AMC)

The Walking Dead’s upcoming season looks to be interesting, but I don’t think it will be anything revolutionary. ANYTHING will be better than most of the past season, however.

Grimm (NBC)

Grimm will be on to it’s fifth season, which promises to advance the underlying plot of the whole series by finally revealing what the keys found seasons ago are and, according to the Comic Con panel, will introduce dark themes dealing with addiction and cults.

Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)

On August 23 AMC’s spin-off prequel to the Walking Dead called Fear the Walking Dead will premier, and it looks amazing.

Heroes Reborn (NBC)

Also premiering this year is NBC’s Heroes reboot, called Heroes Reborn, which was one of my favorite shows until it was canceled. That, was a sad day, but I’m happy for it to be back.

The Shannara Chronicles (MTV)

And, fast forward to January, I am most excited about the brand new MTV drama called The Shannara Chronicles. I have been reading the Shannara novels by Terry Brooks since I was in 6th grade and I have enjoyed every single one (over 20 novels total). Now that the second book in the series, the Elfstones of Shannara is being brought to life by MTV, I am super excited. MTV has the rights to the entire series and they are very confident that more seasons will be made, which means that the Four Lands will be brought to life.

I was very skeptical at first because film studios always ruin my favorite books and because it is MTV, but after seeing the trailer I am very impressed by the high quality CGI and the budget used on this show. MTV is really giving the series a big screen treatment for the small screen.

Plus Brooks has reviewed all of the rough cuts of the episodes and worked with the cast and production team to bring his world to life and it has his approval. Of course, in that same interview he discussed that it was difficult for him to give his series away. He also hinted that the final sub-series of Shannara is coming soon and that really makes me sad.

What shows are you most excited about?

Another scholarship

I’ve done pretty well with scholarships this year, and yesterday I got the news that I had received yet another one. I am so happy that my hard work and various skills are being recognized by these regional and state-wide organizations.

So far this year I have received the:

  • Warren Hunt Elementary Scholarship for my citizenship and success in high school, presented by my former elementary school.
  • Washington State Fair Foundation’s Campbell-Montgomery Endowment Scholarship for my commitment to high school journalism and writing
  • The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Fuchs-Harden Educational Fund #2 based on a nomination by my former high school and GPA.

I now have enough funds to pay for 2/3 of my first year of schooling, which means I don’t need to take out a loan yet.

Going through some changes

I’m sure that my absence from blogging has been noted. Actually, I’m sure of it since the traffic to my site is now at about zero. I’ve wanted to post a few things for the past week, but each time I went to write or post a few photos I just never felt like following through with it.

Continue reading “Going through some changes”

Hiking Again: a new routine?

I haven’t written anything in my novel, Prophecy of Euphinor, today, but I promise it was all for a good reason. Today I went hiking at Mt. Rainier National Park for the second time this week and it’s beginning to feel like something I have always done.

Last week I took the Comet Falls Trail for five miles through the woods, up steep hills, over log bridges that looked like they would fall into the roaring waters below, and stood near waterfalls to soak up the little droplets in the air. Today’s hike was a little different.

I took the Pinnacle Peak Trail from the magnificent Reflection Lake all the way up the Cascade mountains until it the maintained trail ended. Then my family and I summited one of the peaks and had a decent hiking lunch of PB&J, Triscuits, and cookies. Supposedly there are great views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and even Mt. Hood from up there, but all we got to see where low-lying clouds and fog that brushed up over the peaks.

The calling of an eagle and an elk for nearly an hour in the fog was a little eerie, but the hike was still worth it, especially because of all the little creatures I was able to capture on camera.

One of the strange highlights of the day was meeting an Asian-American family at the top of the peak that summitted as we were eating lunch. One of the women didn’t speak the greatest English, but as we were talking my dad asked where she was from and it turns out we live in not only the same town, but the same neighborhood (Sunrise.) It’s a small world after all…

We descended from the peaks after a few hours and decided to take a short drive up through Paradise, but they had most of the road blocked off so we turned around. Then on the way down the mountain they were going road work and we were stopped for 15 minutes at the least.

Well, I was the photographer for the hike.
Well, I was the photographer for the hike.

Now I will prepare for my next big adventure, when I leave at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday to hike up Third Burrows.

Camp NaNoWriMo Update 6: the halfway mark

I am official just over halfway done with Camp NaNoWriMo. I am just a little bit ahead of schedule, but I am suffering compared to last year.

My novel is beginning to look nothing like the draft that existed last year, although it will still need a lot of editing and review before I decide to do anything with it, such as sending copies off to my trusted friends to tear apart (I have very honest friends, and from experience I know they will find everything and anything.)

For now I am still battling through the brand new Chapter Four: A Noble Massacre. Previously titled The Arrow it was about a trip the main character takes with her friends to escape from the secrets and lies of the kingdom. The trip ended with an attack on the village they are staying in and Arrellia discovers that she can use magic.

Now, the chapter opens with an intense session of the Royal Court, where King Eckard threatens ambassadors from a distant empire because of their demands, while staying true to a medieval court of the day. That’s where I left off, just before the noble massacre takes place.

Oh, I also made a new temporary cover for Prophecy of Euphinor.

Euphinor cover new

My progress for July 2015 Camp NaNoWriMo:

Day – Total wordcount

  1. 1640
  2. 5502
  3. 5848
  4. 6032
  5. 9042
  6. 11706
  7. 12843
  8. 14055
  9. 14543
  10. 14543
  11. 17828
  12. 19431
  13. 22033
  14. 23835
  15. In Progress

Hiking: connecting with my novel

I went on a nice hike yesterday at Mount Rainier National Park with my dad and my brother. I mean, if five miles of switchbacks up a steep hill (mountain?) is considered nice, that is.

The hike was rejuvenating because it allowed me to take a break from my novel and get some exercise in, because we know writers need that.

It was also cool in the sense that later on in my novel, the characters have to climb Mt. Ojaochait, which I have created because of my love for Rainier. So, in a way, I took a small part of the actual journey my characters will go through, except they’re going up much high than I did and they will have people and beasts out to kill them. I only saw birds and a wolverine, they will have to face ice trolls.

Now I have to catch up on my word count, but I’m confident that I can do it. 

Here are a few photos of the hike:


Christine Falls
Comet Falls along the trail
Because everyone has to make a face like me in front of a waterfall.

Camp NaNoWriMo Update 5: new challenges

It is now day eight of Camp NaNoWriMo, and writing everyday is starting to become that rhythm I enjoy so much. Nothing beats (okay, that’s exaggerated, but its still enjoyable) writing from dawn til dusk with a bunch of vinyl records playing in the background.

For the past two days I have taken a lunch break from writing, an evening jog, and a break for dinner. My novel has my full attention, which is really great, because it needs it.

I just finished Chapter Two last night, which means I can start writing Chapter Three, which is where things really get interesting. Chapter Two didn’t go how I wanted it, although its much better than the old chapter that was in its place from Camp NaNo 2014. I wanted to build character and show the different sides of Arrellia Sharp. I think I managed to do those two things. I also wanted to build mystery and tension at the end of the chapter, which I think I failed at pretty badly. The mystery is there, but no tension.

I also think the middle of the chapter killed it, so I’ll have to go back to it later on. Right now I’m ready to move on to better parts of the novel.

Along with the writing, I have managed to come up with a few more ideas for later on, including the completely different plots for chapters three and four. Things just got more political than when I wrote them in 2014, and I also cut out one of the big adventure scenes in chapter four in favor of increased tension and conflict at home.

I have also set the following goals for my novel:

  • Make horses realistic
  • Include complex relationships
  • Avoid the “Ding Dong my IQ’s Gone” fantasy trope where love makes a character stupid
  • Emphasize that prophecies in this would are not absolute, which should lead to some interesting conflict at some point

Now, here are my current stats:

Total word count by day:

  • July 1: 1640
  • July 2: 5502
  • July 3: 5848
  • July 4: 6032
  • July 5: 9042
  • July 6: 11706
  • July 7: 12843

Camp NaNoWriMo Update 4

I failed to get any writing done yesterday. I spent two hours trying to figure out the second chapter of my novel and it just wasn’t going anywhere. 

I was starting to get stressed over it so I closed my laptop lid and played the first three levels of Halo: Reach.

After having lunch my mom insisted that I watch American Sniper, so I did. That movie was so good and very sad. If you haven’t seen it, please do!

Then I watched the fireworks in my neighborhood, which lasted from sunset until 1 a.m. 

As I went to bed I started thinking about my novel, wondering how I could better connect chapter one to the already existing chapter three. Now, I think I have it. My new idea can connect the reader to Arrellia’s past, her view of life, the kingdoms view on life, and the mystery that existed in the first draft from over a year ago. Yet, I have a feeling it will do better than that. 

Now, all I have to do is give it a try.