#winning

This is a documented history of my luck or I guess being a Christian the benevolence of God so take it as you will but for some reason me and my friends win stuff.

(NOTE: If anything is missing from this list please post and let me know so I can update it. LOOKING at you Nook Cottage bros.)

So something hilarious happened on Saturday at the recent InstaMeet Drive … I won again albeit I wasn’t even there.

Here’s the gist of what happened. I was hungry because I hadn’t eaten dinner yet. So I left for about 15 – 25 min to get chow at Wendy’s and when I came back Jonathan Bidwell told me I’d won something or some swag. Glasses to be precise. So this got me thinking that maybe I should document everything that I have ever won … plus a couple of friend’s winnings as well. (After all were pretty lucky). Some I won by entering a competition others by simply being present and participating.

Clippers Tickets                  2012                  IntraMural Basketball Championships

Movie Tickets                      2012                  IntraMural Volleyball Championships

Beats Headphones             2012                  Midnight Madness Secret Santa

Gift Card (Substantial)        2012                  School CLA Test

In-n-out Giftcard                 2013                   U.P. Men’s Barbeque

Triton Headphones            2013                   Gaming Salon Raffle

CBU Cruiser Bike              2014                   Provider Student Workers T-Shirt Design Contest

Movie Tickets                    2014                   IntraMural Volleyball Championships

HackPoly T-Shirt/Swag     2015                   Cal Poly Pomona Hackathon 2015 – “Best Design”/”Design Off”

Pair of Thieves Socks/T’s 2015                    Manhattan Beach InstaMeet

Tens Sunglasses              2015                    Corona Restoration Roasters InstaMeet

 

(For the record I just want to say I was ONE digit away from winning a ULTRABOOK Laptop at Blizzcon so that was a rare “so-close” moment for me. The last digit was a 7  … I had a 6.)

 

By My Friends

Kindle Fire (Christian Hassler)                         2012                    IntraMural Volleyball Championships

50″ Flatscreen HDTV (Jon Cox)                      2013                    IntraMural Basketball Championships

Nike Fuel Band (Mitchell Sweetman)              2014                    IntraMural Volleyball Championships

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The Full-time Blues

I figured I’d write a little about something I’ve been contemplating now for some time. Now that I’ve been working for a good couple of months and have managed to run into a bunch of other young recently graduated students our discussion fell into the rather interesting topic of work but in a more general sense.

There was a group of four of us and complete strangers at a large gathering over the weekend and we began to get into a discussion of loneliness particularly amongst people our age who recently have left school to get real jobs and enter into the workforce.

None the less eventually one of the people I was talking to started to mention how lonely they were and how even though they go to work and do things they’d come home every day and then wouldn’t do much afterward. I couldn’t help but empathize with the person since often I have felt those same feelings especially since starting to work full time for long periods. Previously when I had worked full time during summers it was something that while I knew was necessary to pay for school, and also to pay for many other things, it would eventually end. However, since starting full time which could possibly happen for the rest of my life it’s come to my realization that often one gets what I call the “Full-Time Blues” which I am going to coin at some point.

As we continued to talk many of the things he mentioned were events I could recall from the previous months such as: working a lot but not really have too much good free-time, being unable to spend time with friends, feeling aloof from work place co-workers, but more importantly feeling like you are in between stages.

That last one especially was something I’d been feeling for some time. For example, you are out of school and you need to work to pay off your college loans. However, you probably aren’t actually making enough money to be able to save very much at all unless you are living quite frugally. On top of this is the compounded problem I’ve come to of the realization of loneliness but not true isolation. You still may talk to many people during the course of your day and it is very like you get along at work. However, the depth of your conversations and particularly the frequency of close relations is lacking. This is something I’ve come to notice when it came to the differences between college and full time work.

At school you are very nearly forced to live around and be around people all the time, especially if you are living on campus. Combined with the fact that by the time you reach your sophomore year you’ve made often close friends, that you’ve shared living experiences with, it makes for an interesting time in your life where people from different backgrounds, fields of work, and interests can be forced to coalesce into a formidable friendship due to necessity. Those friendships allow you to be able to be frank, blunt, or whatever you need to be as a friend but more importantly they’re pure friendships. There is no inner ring or sort of working into these as one might say. Rather they simply happen and as a end result they’re beautiful to behold.

Thinking of this the dichotomy of my predicament became plain. While now working I was enjoying that I was able to have money and pay my debts but more importantly make my way in the world as a responsible adult. However, I lost a little of something, I lost my friends.  I’ll never forget the moment I realized that in my frugality and relative lack of riches while in College I had some of the best moments of my life with my friends and a deep contentment from people who likely will be my friends for the rest of my life. But now that I’m working full time I have money. I could go out every weekend so to speak and I could enjoy myself. The only problem is that there are few friends to enjoy it with and even fewer who aren’t up to their necks with either work, familial duties, and also general chores. That makes getting even a few of us together feels like a parting of the red sea.

What once were late night burger runs and deep meaningful conversations that build strong relationships have turned into late nights binge watching TV by myself and thinking about having to go through the daily routine of colloquial barrage of work talk that very rarely is able to satiate most desires for true friendships and intimacy.

Rich in rags. Yet sad in payment. I wonder if anyone else is experiencing the Full-time Blues.

Good Design and Good Gameplay

Well Today I have some cool nuggets but also some thoughts on design and also a cool game I found recently.

So the other day I stumbled upon a really awesome Q-R code generator. However, what impressed me the most wasn’t the functionality of the website or tech but the design revolving around it’s marketing.

Check it out here

http://www.qr-code-generator.com/

The Website details pretty clearly everything involved in the usage and inner workings of their QR code generator website.

It has brand cohesiveness, some nice illustrations, but also tightly explains the importance and role of design.

However, it breaks a rule of design. I’d heard it said before that you either show me or tell me but don’t do both at the same time.

So is the rule wrong or are the designs for this website wrong? Well the answer lies in the facts of something different. While someone might say not to do both I think that if done properly showing and telling can be more powerful than one might think.

Here are some images to demonstrate.

Track Info Work Together

As one can tell the designs cohesively mesh together quite well creating a sort of symbiotic relationship between text and imagery. Yet, why has this worked here while previously it may not have. While it really comes down to the newest trend: flat design.

With the onset of flat design one could say that because of it’s emphasis on minimalism and and lowering of the visual planes from a 3D visual aspect it gives less for the eyes to look at thus allowing for you to both show and tell at the same time without them distracting from each other.

I find it fascinating especially because this is sort of a response to the move to flat design and the cons and pros that it brought with it. With flat design you received much better clarity of message and cleanliness of look and brand. However, you lost interest or pazzaz and things started to look to corporate or sterile in some senses. While there is nothing wrong with that some people have gone different directions in solving these drawbacks. For example in the mobile world we see a lot of motion and movement in the world of flat UI design. Meanwhile in static webpages while motion is capable sometimes utilizing this technique offers nice incentives.

I think this is incredibly interesting however I’d love to see where this eventually heads.

14369-b
I’d thought I’d throw in another little nugget just for the sake of sharing.

Kingdom is a pretty new indie developed game that I’ve enjoyed see getting press and also review success. However, what most intrigues me is it’s gameplay. The design of Kingdom is that you are the King and you pay your minions to do your work for you. However, this is done with a twist. Rather than simply have them help you defeat the monsters in the forest they are your arms and feet so to speak. In fact besides paying for buildings and training and weapons you cannot directly interact with any of the enemies by attacking them or even directly interact with the environment.

It’s an interesting concept on the idea of managerial testing in the form of good gameplay and makes of some interesting scenarios.

If you’d like to check out a cheap game on steam this is the game to try out and it’s relatively short and quick to play.

– BW

Back in Action

After taking a bit of a haitus from writing on my blog for a bit I thought I’d start up with a cool come back to form with a blog of two COOL websites I found today.

Now naturally as someone who likes Cinema 4D I love entrance and credit sequences and when I see well done ones in films I have a good kick. Needless to say I was quite glad when I found out about this website.

http://www.artofthetitle.com/

Basically it is a compilation and breakdown of various opening motion graphics and title sequences from films past and recent. It’s fairly awesome and as someone who is a bit of a pacing nerd I love this sight mostly though for the in depth information. For a good deal of these the actual people who made them are interviewed and they give creative insights and information into the underworkings of the pieces.

Seriously just go and read a few and you’ll be amazing just how deep something like and opening sequence can be.

Now another sight that’s probably a little more function (especially if you are a webdesigner) was this github space for Font Awesome.

https://fortawesome.github.io/Font-Awesome/

Font Awesome is a web based packet language that when combined with your regular web pages can give you access to high quality but low space eating widgets and icons for your webpages. Usually in the past when I’d want to do this I’d go to Noun Project. Find the appropriate icons and then make sure that they were the right sizing and were configured properly as PNG’s. However, this works being based off svg’s and being vector based it is an even smaller size and easier to use. When combined properly it works seamlessly into your code, with multiple sizing possibilities, making on the fly changes to icon buttons easier than ever before.

Anyways go ahead and check em and and let me know what you think.

I’m hoping to post my review for Babadook sometime within this week so check back later.

– BW

Designing in Four Dimensions

So recently I got into a really interesting conversation over creativity.

I was talking to a co-worker about the fact that I knew Cinema 4D and he joked that he thought it was funny that it was called Cinema 4D considering that you can’t actually design in four dimensional space. We laughed.

However, we did so prematurely because in that moment I realized something. Continuing to banter back and forth with him I said that you’d have to design within both “time” and “space” and that was when it hit me. I realized that there was a group of people that already designed in four dimensions … narrative storytellers.

Whether this was a script writer or a screenwriter or a motion graphics artist or a animator. Heck even just a writer straight up, in the realm of creating narratives and stories, is designing in four dimensions.

How is this? Well if you are designing in 2D it is a flat plane. If you are designing in three dimensions you are taking into account the physical form or shape of something. If you are designing in four dimensions you are taking into account all the rest PLUS time and in that regard you are then being forced to create story or action. This is due to the fact that you can enter into or place people exactly where you’d want them which in many ways is pseudo similar to someone who lived within the 5th dimension and was freely able to travel within the 4th dimension like we do in the 3rd dimension. See we are bound within 4 dimensions and as a result we can travel freely within the 3rd dimension of space with some limitations. Yet, none of us can time travel and as a result we are bound within our fourth dimension at least in our physical forms.

That is why it is so important to know the elements of time when working in four dimensions. Designing someone to feel tense or fear under a story narrative that is horrific or building up emotion to have it cathartically released that is all meant or used in the designing or “building” of things in a fourth dimensions.

But what is most interesting I find is that this art of creating great narrative is not only beholden to all of humanity but is its prize possession. No other creatures on this planet carry this artifact of imbuing purpose and meaning to something which technically does not even exist.

I guess it’s only further proof that we are made in the image of God. That we don’t just create things but that we can create them with a purpose and that alone makes all the difference in the world. Crafting not only physical dimension but also the actions and the steps and paths that the physical might take. This is the role of the visualizer, the dreamer, the rogue soul who wanderers into the initial void which is our storytelling.

To build not only in the depth of touch or our own senses but also in the senses of time and of action. To design rote emotion indeed is a challenge of the most difficult calibre.

A New Era of Competition

EG  vs. CDEC  – what a game that is going to be for $6 million dollars this afternoon … if you know what I’m talking about.

Over the past week most people probably haven’t watched what has been happening in the e-sports arena. Heck probably only a small portion of the population has even heard of the numerous teams that have been duking it out over a prize pool of $18.5 million dollars.

That’s right … $18 and a half million dollars on the line for the International Championship of Dota 2 this year.

In many regards this is a huge step forward in e-sports and for the entirety of gamers but it also is signalling something else entirely, the beginning of competitive contests in an entirely digital arena. Previously when e-sports tournaments had happened the payouts were minimal, the engagement was lackluster, or in most cases the crowds were incredibly niche. And while Dota 2 may still be considered “niche” in many regards, when compared to most other sports, as you come to realize that the winning team in Dota 2 will be paid more in total (and per a player) than the women’s world cup it starts to put things a little more in perspective.

http://www.totalsportek.com/money/women-football-world-cup-prize-money/

http://www.dota2.com/international/overview/

Digital scape enjoyments have long been huge money makers yet the actual playing of games in a competitive spirit has long been looked down upon by establishment and those of an older mindset. And true accusations of men sitting in they’re hunkered caves “practicing” dota (or Defense of the Ancients) for hours isn’t that far off. The only real difference comes in how it’s being perceived by a larger portion of the population and also money …. lots and lots of money.

In fact over the past several years the Dota 2 International Tournament has been going on the prize pools have steadily increased by a large margins. This is huge change from previously less than six figure first place prizes to literally millions of dollars influxed into the e-sport arena.

However, the biggest reason I think this is changing the landscape of professional competition is because as computers and digital technology increasingly become entrenched with the younger generation and more and more people begin to partake in games it will become interesting to see how it’s influence will grow. Make no mistake when baseball became huge at the turn of the century around 100 years ago many people scoffed at the idea of players getting paid thousands to simply play baseball professionally.

Now, they get paid in the millions and this only after a short span of time in history. It’s not to say that Dota 2 or e-sports are going to become the next baseball. But if you look out at the crowds of people watching e-sports who are of a much younger generation one can’t help but ask what will happen when they get older and have children and raise them up watching e-sports.

Ohh common right? Their fans can’t be THAT dedicated can they, after all it’s only a game right, how deep could this thing go?

Very deep and especially for the fans they love the stuff, the players, the interest, and the depth and overall skill of the game.

Similar to chess meeting digital mma games like DOTA 2 have a large room to expand they’re base not because they’re too easy to learn but because they are incredibly complex and allow for that. Make no mistake while Dota 2 might not be around for e-sports forever there is a good chance that it will snowball. It just might be the first game in a series of digitally geared e-sports that will forever change the era and officially usher in the digital age of competition.

Let the Digitalis blooming begin.

Review : Mad Max – Fury Road

Well it is official … any action movie that comes out this summer or the rest of the year is going to have a hard time competing in any regard against this movie.

I mean from the get go this movie straight up goes and punches you straight in the face literally with Max eating a two headed lizard.

That is the sort of movie were talking about … just pure and utter crazy but in very large part the good kind of crazy (Like the doof warrior). But I guess that’s what makes this movie so good especially in the current climate of movies that make up so much of what comes to theaters these days in the action genre being dumber or sacrificing of they’re craziness in order to draw larger crowds.

But not for Mad Max no this movie knows it going to punch you straight in the face and it wants you to know that. So just when you think a car chase couldn’t get any crazier they decide to add in a freaking Sand/Cyclone/Lightning Storm just to even bedazzle you more as example. All of it culminated in largely real physical effects as much as was possible.

There are a lot of shots that were done using almost entirely practical effects which are doused throughout the movie. When applied properly this makes the special effects stand out terrifically against the backdrop of the stark brown desert and other CGI drenched action fest movies.

All of it done while still keeping in making the movie look absolutely beautiful which is a very difficult thing to do. Often times with movies it’s a question of whether you can have truly dramatic action or flair or whether you want to to be artistic, picturesque, and look beautiful. When a movie does both of these things it deserves a nod for being able to achieve a balance of sorts and wield its visual storytelling to not only make the high tension actions piece scenes enthralling but make the quiet, tender, and slower paced moments good to watch as well.

Mad Max does this wonderfully with graceful precision with balanced Action scenes and a story that seems to keep your attention at all moments even when it seems not much is happening. Everything from an exploding car to even using similar bags to carry bullets and seeds all tell a visual story worth getting deep into and makes it worth a second watch.

These deeper underlying tones of Innocence, Loss of Innocence, Fertility and Life, and the Old World of the savages versus the new world looking for civility away from carnage are beautifully but carefully placed by George Miller within this movie. For example, one line in the movie is made that bullets were like seeds and how they plant a seed and watch a person die. Meanwhile later in the movie a similar bag that they used to carry bullets its used to carry plant seeds in the movie. Coincidence? Nothing is coincidence in movies people. Or the use of darkness to portray that Furiosa and Max are a darker breed of people while the Wives are carrying with them light in the night. It all is amazing and something you should watch for in the movie which gives it a deeper context within its own world.

There are so many good things to talk about with this movie in so many aspects such as the music, the acting being subtle but brilliant, and the color grading which tones the movie to another degree. I could write for a while about this movie but at the end of the day I’d rather you go see it just so you can say you saw a masterpiece of cinema. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Final Verdict – 9.3/10