Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Kitakyushu Ken Story

Today's blog post is actually a short story I wrote in eighth grade for Language Arts homework. I did not keep all of the short stories throughout the years, but I did keep a few. Hopefully my future writings about Susheen the cat are better than the stuff I produced ten years ago. All people in this story are fictional and any likeness to actual people is not intended. Also, please excuse any poor writing form in the story, I was in eighth grade when I wrote the story.

Kitakyushu Ken was born under the name Ken Oyama. He was born in none other than Kitakyushu (a city in northern Kyushu, thus the name of the city as Kitakyushu). His goal in life was to be a video game tester for Nintendo Headquarters in Kyoto, but his parents wanted him to be a dentist. Instead, he decided to go with his career path to Kyoto. Here is the Kitakyushu Ken Story.

In school, Ken did well in everything but human science. In human science, eh thought he was at a dental school, even though other things were mentioned (not told here, it is off topic). When his parents saw the report card that year, they stated "Ken Oyama, you will make a game about being a dentist since you don't want to be one. This will be the first part of your carrer." Ken had two choices, live and do as said, or live, run away from his parents, and change his name. He decided to live upon the second choice, thus the name Kitakyushu Ken (Ken is a common name there) and got a job at McDonalds. His parents never went to a burger joint (except for Mos-Burger), so he thought McDonalds was a safe haven, when one day, he saw his parents, he decided to hide in the restroom until closing time. He ended up getting fired and had no choice, but to travel to Kyoto and find Nintendo. Nintendo happily accepted Ken and now you might see him testing new video games (if you are lucky). He did make the dentist game, but he secretly sold it to North American markets.

If you want me to do a 2018 college graduate version of this story, let me know in the comments of this post or the comments of the link to this post on social media and thank you for reading something that I was proud of writing in 2008.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

The Adventures of Susheen and Friends Part One: Meow! I'm Susheen

In 2018 I've managed to use a composition book for more creative writing including daily haiku for the year and short stories. This blog post will highlight one of the short stories I have written so far about my plush sushi eating Pusheen cat named Susheen. I apologize for the really short length, I'm not as well versed in written story telling as I am in writing reports. So far I have two parts, both are written in English and the part also written in French.


Meow!

Hello everyone my name is Susheen and I am a chubby gray tabby cat who loves to eat sushi. My hooman says I look like a cat named Pusheen, but I think he's imagining things. Anyways, my favorite sushi is the unagi eel sushi (hooman likes them too but he's smart enough to not fight me for them, though he doesn't help his case by calling me "nubby paws." Although I may seem one dimensional, my hooman knows how I am and will chronicle my various adventures.


Monday, October 1, 2018

Goals for October

First off, thank you to everybody who voted on what my next blog post should be about. Goals for October won so I'll explain my goals for this month.

1. 90 percent or more mastery in Khan Academy Algebra

Why accomplish this goal: Even though I graduated from Millersville University with a degree in Meteorology and Mathematics, I figure that going back to basics can't hurt. Though I made the goal 90 percent or more rather than full mastery as Khan Academy has a tendency to make students wait for mastery challenges, which is suitable for students learning at their grade or class level but is an inconvenience for those using it for review. Current percentage mastery for me is 77 percent.

2. Complete Khan Academy Trig

Why is it different from Khan Academy Algebra? Besides being different "courses", I only have one or two more concepts to master before I complete this part of the math sequence.

3. 3100 XP in Duolingo Japanese

Duolingo has its weaknesses and its strengths, especially with languages that primarily use character sets that are not the Roman Alphabet. I'm using to gauge how much Japanese I know from my limited knowledge. Also it was easier to make a discrete goal about Duolingo than to make a goal about how far to work in a workbook. Hopefully I'll eventually be fluent in Japanese.

4. Mario Kart: Double Dash! 100cc All Cup Tour Perfect Score

All Cup Tour is what it says on the tin, the racers go through all sixteen courses in every cup of Mario Kart. First place gets 10 points per race and I'm aiming for a perfect 160 points. It's a challenge of gaming endurance as an individual cup can be completed around 10 minutes in the 100cc class of Mario Grand Prix but the All Cup Tour takes about 40 minutes to complete in one sitting.

5. 30 day plank challenge

I've yet to complete a 30 day single exercise challenge and figured that planks would be challenging and not boring.

6. 500 tiny origami swans folded
7. 250 tiny origami cranes folded

I've fallen behind on my tiny origami goals for this year and need to catch up fast. Good thing swans are quick to fold. Cranes on the other hand not as much when they are tiny.

8. At least five blog posts posted this month

I promised that I would write more blog posts before the year ends. Also it's been a year since I started and I want to thank all the people who've read my blog so far and I hope I can keep writing somewhat engaging content for at least another year.

So those are most of my goals for the month of October, good luck to me! Also I apologize for the lack of a picture in this post, I couldn't find an appropriate photo that would relate to this post.


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Tiny Origami Update


Apologies to everybody for the relative lack of blog posts in 2018. The end of an era in my life happened and there was a lot of change involved. This post though shows one of the more regular parts of my life: origami. I made a challenge to myself to fold 1000 tiny origami swans and 1000 tiny origami cranes by the end of 2018 but the current standings do not inspire confidence in completion. I've folded only 130 tiny swans so far and a paltry 18 tiny cranes. The most tedious part is mostly out of the way as I have plenty of 3 cm by 3 cm paper to fold the tiny birds with that were cut from sheets of 15 cm by 15 cm paper. I can definitely say that swans are much easier to fold than cranes.



Big Swan is not happy that his brethren are being recycled into tiny versions of himself


Big Crane on the other hand doesn't have to worry about his brethren being recycled into tiny cranes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Mr. Sean Plays: The Legend of Zelda

I'm back and hopefully I'll be a little more consistent in writing up some blog posts. If you have any suggestions for what I should write about, please comment on any of my blog posts or on Facebook, thank you!

So recently while I've been looking for a job since I finally completed all graduation requirements successfully I've been playing a few video games. Titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX. As I was playing these games a few thoughts came to me:

1. I should ask if people like Mario or Zelda better.
2. I should write about my experiences with some games.
3. I should try to speedrun a few more games besides Portal.

So far I've only completed the first thought and was surprised to see that in my Facebook poll that LoZ (Legend of Zelda) beat Mario 62 percent to 38 percent. I expected more people to pick the seemingly more accessible and ubiquitous Mario, but either way one goes, you can't go wrong with playing a Mario game or a Zelda game.

As for the second point, this post will be the first of two discussing my experiences with games. This post will focus on games within the Legend of Zelda series while the next post will focus on Mario games. To any avid gamers out there, I only speak from my own experiences with the games I've played.

So I'll start with the game that started it all for the Legend of Zelda: The Legend of Zelda. Released in 1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), it was touted for a large overworld called Hyrule that the player could explore from the first button press and a less than linear style of playthrough. Even with three hearts and a wooden sword you could travel to a mountain, a lake, a graveyard, a forest puzzle, and most of the dungeons even if you aren't prepared for defeating enemies. My experience with it was through the Virtual Console (VC) release on the Nintendo 3DS, so I never had the awe and amazement a child of the 1980s would have had playing the game for the first time. Anyways, in my opinion, the combat system was a bit lacking in that the sword attack is a basic forward stab and the enemies had to be in the right place at the right time for an attack to land, also the Bubble enemies were very annoying as they were invincible in this game. I recommend playing this game only if you want to see where it all started or if you want less hand-holding. There's also a Second Quest if you find the main quest too easy.

Next I'll discuss The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX. This is a Game Boy Color game that is available on the Nintendo e-shop for the 3DS. The DX stands for "deluxe" which in this case means the game is in color as the original Link's Awakening was in monochrome for the original Game Boy. Instead of traveling around Hyrule, Link is tasked with going around Koholint Island to collect eight instruments to wake up the Wind Fish and there's no Zelda to be saved. To the people who wanted a Zelda game on a handheld console, you could say it was a Dream come true. Although the sequence of the story is a bit more linear than the original LoZ, the large map still allowed for much exploration. Also the soundtrack was good for 8-bit chiptunes.

Now I'll discuss what more than a few gamers claim is the G.O.A.T: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This was Link's big splash into 3D and gamers and critics alike loved it. I have the 3DS version of the game, so I still have a Master Quest to complete. Anyways, Link starts out believing he is a Kokiri boy since he's only known his home of the Kokiri Forest up until the Great Deku Tree, the guardian of the Kokiri tells a fairy named Navi to guide Link to him. Link learns of his true destiny as a hero and is set off to meet Zelda and gather three stones to open the Temple of Time to retrieve the Master Sword, also known as the Blade of Evil's Bane. Along the way he gathers the stones and makes friends with the rocky Gorons and the aquatic Zora while saving Hyrule from evil. Once Link has gathered the stones and the Ocarina of Time from a Zelda fleeing the evil Ganondorf (the Gerudo form of Ganon), he pulls the Master Sword from his pedestal but Ganondorf manages to infiltrate the spirit realm and only manages to obtain a third of the Triforce he was seeking. Seven years later, an adult Link sets about Hyrule to gather medallions and wake up the sages so that they may defeat Ganondorf. In my opinion, the hype about Ocarina of Time is justified as it is a great game, I enjoyed most of the combat, the puzzles were good, the soundtrack has memorable tunes, and energy ball tennis with Ganondorf is much better with an empty bottle. I may make a separate post specifically for Ocarina of Time, including my progress through the Master Quest.

Finally, I'll end this post with the Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons games. Released on the Game Boy Color in 2001, like Link's Awakening DX, I have the 3DS VC copies of the games. These games depart from the traditional Zelda formula in some ways while keeping faithful to the formula in others. Instead of taking place in Hyrule like other Zelda games, OoA (Ages) takes place in Labrynna and the person to save is the oracle Nayru, the Oracle of Ages, while OoS takes place in Holodrum and Din, the Oracle of Seasons, is the one who needs to be saved. OoA's main gimmick is time travel, similarly to OoT, except in OoA, the key item is a harp rather than the Master Sword as it is in OoT. Even the final bosses are different as instead of the formulaic Ganon, OoA has the sorceress Veran while OoS has Link fighting Onox who isn't what he looks like at first. I have a lot more to say about the Oracle games, but I'll have to save it for a future post.

I have played other Zelda games, but I have either not completed them, or only had access to them thanks to my mom who loves Zelda. Hopefully one day Nintendo will have GameCube and Game Boy Advance games re-released on the Virtual Console or something similar, I wouldn't mind playing some of my late childhood favorites and try games I haven't tried before. If you have any suggestions for Zelda games I should play, please comment on this post or wherever I share this post. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Podcasts? Mr. Sean Listens to them? Really?


My Walkman mp3 Player that allows me to listen to podcasts

Recently I've gotten into listening to podcasts. My interest in podcasts came up suddenly this week although I've listened to a few before. I figured that I could stay connected to things that interest me and learn more by listening to podcasts. Here are some of the podcasts I listen/have listened to.

The Art of Manliness

The Art of Manliness podcast is an extension of the website The Art of Manliness (artofmanliness.com). Hosted by Brett McKay, episodes are released weekly and in each episode Brett along with a guest explore various topics related to the idea of manliness such as proper etiquette, exercise advice, and ways to approach challenges in life. This podcast does post weekly as of the writing of this post.

The Food Chain

The Food Chain (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028z2z0) is a podcast courtesy of the BBC World Service. This podcast is a good way of feeding my hunger for knowledge. Also, for those who know me well, food! I've listened to two episodes so far. One focused on the culinary innovations of Chinatowns worldwide while the other focused on McDonald's in Asia. This podcast does post weekly at the time this post was written.

Mostly Weather

Mostly Weather (https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/mostly-weather) is a podcast courtesy of the Met Office in the United Kingdom. Twenty-six episodes so far where a group of Met Office meteorologists discuss anything related to weather. I learned that the first use of the word "forecast" was in 1861 by Admiral Robert FitzRoy of the Royal Navy. At time of writing, Mostly Weather does not have a regular uploading schedule but the newest episode is from June 2018.  

NHK World Radio Japan

NHK World Radio Japan (https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/radio/about/  this URL links to a landing page where one can listen to Radio Japan live, on demand, or via podcast) is available in English, French, Arabic, and other languages. Daily uploads give the listener short updates on news from Japan, the greater Asia-Pacific region, and the world. I picked NHK World Radio Japan as I like watching NHK World Newsline on TV and on their website.

WeatherBrains

WeatherBrains (http://weatherbrains.com/) is a weekly podcast by the well known and legendary (at least to his fans and viewers) James Spann. Available on YouTube and via podcasting programs, each episode features Spann and a bunch of meteorologists that discuss all things meteorology, similarly to MostlyWeather from across the pond, except that James Spann also has his job as chief meteorologist at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, AL to keep him busy separately from the WeatherBrains podcast. With 653 episodes and counting, I may not be able to catch up on all the episodes.

WittyClothes Productions

The final podcast mentioned in this blog is responsible for my interest in podcasts despite the fact that I first watched them before I got deep into podcasts. WittyClothes Productions (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX7m3CpZz5YU257wM9G8gDw) was my first introduction to podcasts in general, though I watched rather than purely listened to this podcast. The dynamic duo of my friend Cailin Clothier and her friend Dara Wittman have produced podcasts that focus on reacting to and commentary on various shows such as the Legend of Korra and Orphan Black. Thank you very much Cailin and Dara for getting me into listening to podcasts.

Anyways, if you have any suggestions for podcasts that you think I would like, please post them in the comments section. Thank you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What has Mr. Sean been up to recently?


Francis Ow sure had some cool ideas for Origami models.

Sorry for the silence on my blog in the past two months. I just have not been inspired to write a blog post until now. I figured that at least a few people would appreciate knowing what I'm up to anymore. I figured I'd try to leave out the more boring parts of my summer as they would bore me even more. Anyways I can say that my goal of reading the entire Bible in 2018 is going along quite nicely, even though I did have to catch up because I was not diligent enough some days or there were exams to worry about earlier. The hard part is seeing that I'm making progress in terms of days the Bible was read while seeing how few books I have read so far. I've also been writing daily Haiku except these are only haiku in syllabic form, that is the first and last line comprising of five syllables and the middle line seven. Some of my Facebook friends with memories as good as or better than mine will remember that I tried to accomplish these goals in 2017 but failed after a few months. This year I decided I'll be less of a failure to myself.  I've also been sporadically active in origami, more so in re-creating modular models than anything else. I may write up a few posts on origami I've folded previously under the guise of Throwback Thursday. Though my ultimate goal for the year is to fold 1000 tiny swans and 1000 tiny cranes. Each crane and swan will be folded from paper that is 3 centimeters by 3 centimeters. In the world of math, I probably should not be working on Khan Academy math, but I figured it would be good for me to refresh some of the older skills I have learned, though I should focus more on reviewing calculus as it is very relevant to meteorology. I've also recently been working on solving problems from Project Euler. Project Euler is a website that has hundreds of math problems that people are encouraged to write computer programs to solve. I'll admit that I've only solved 11 problems so far out of the nearly 630. So far I've been using Python to good results in under a minute.

Anyways, I'll try to set for myself more deadlines for writing up posts and try to be less boring than I currently am at the moment. If you have any suggestions on what you'd like to hear from me, let me know!