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Friday, June 25, 2004

Total Turnaround

Today was certainly a dramatic shift from yesterday, for the better. Not only in regards to Project Torlan, but also in many other ways as well. The rain was still here, yes, but it didn't seem very depressing in light of the turnaround...


This morning Mom had to leave for another doctor's appointment. But after breakfast this time, Sara and I didn't indulge in UT2004. No, rather she felt it would be a good opportunity to finally move me over from Blogger to LiveJournal. Well, I was all for it. But apparently, LiveJournal had picked this very portion of the morning to have some downtime. The same problems that arose a few days ago popped up again: page timeouts, page load errors, excruciating slowness. Almost like it was trying to tell us something...

Once the site was finally usable, we began the process of changing my page layout and style. Sara (being a LiveJournal user already) knew what to do and guided me through most of the customization processes. However, one fact became glaringly obvious from the get-go: all the good page layouts/styles are only available to paying LiveJournal users. The "best" layout we could find was poor, at best, and did not look even close to the professionality of my current Blogger layout. This prompted me to think that maybe, after Blogger had recently upgraded their site theme and blog-posting system, they might have implemented a Comments functionality (the main reason I was feeling obligated to switch to LiveJournal). Lo and behold, there it was sitting patiently in my Settings section: the option to "Turn Commenting On". After slapping myself for not realizing this sooner, Sara and I integrated the Comments parameters into my HTML Template (another thing only paying LiveJournal users get...), and I was done. Now, if you look right below the "posted by" notation at the bottom of every blog post, you can click the "(#) Comments" link to add your witty remarks. And you can even go back and post comments on all my previous blog posts (in case you had something you were just dying to get off your chest). So, you can stop bugging me about it now...

Shortly after Mom got home around 11:00 (now with a brace on her forearm near the elbow, due to tendenitis), she had me do the first 25-minute section of the PSAT Diagnostic test. It was in the Verbal category and dealt with some word-relationship and sentence-completion questions (all multiple choice, mercifully). I completed it with 3 minutes to spare, in which time I reviewed a couple of questions I had skipped over. It was all hauntingly reminiscent of the Stanford Achievement Testing...

Once that was completed I had lunch while watching The Screen Savers. I then spent some more time on the computer working on the content and layout of my "Heritage Photo Restoration" pamphlet (which I had worked on a bit earlier in the morning). It's coming along well; I've gotten the text written, formatted, and arranged on the "page". Now I'm just waiting for a good "before & after" side-by-side image couple to catch people's eyes in the center of it to demonstrate what kind of work I can do. Unfortunately (for this purpose), all the "old photos" we have here and in fairly good shape. Some of them are a bit faded or stained, but not bad enough that their restoration would make a dramatic "before & after". Hopefully Joe will have some more to choose from this Monday....

Today's Call of Duty was one of those rare sessions where I really had en exhilerating experience. It came in the first match. I joined the Russain team this particular time, since I'd played as Axis on it previously. The first 6 rounds were all wins for the Russain team, but I was struggling kill:death-wise. Then, on the final found, I decided to begin with a rifle instead of a SMG. I managed to survive through a couple of confrontations until I was the last man standing on the Russain team. But I wasn't about to let my team fail to sweep the Axis. Since I always play Search & Destroy, the objective is for one team to prevent the other team from destroying one of two key items (in this case they were Axis tanks). I was on the attacking team, so I planted the explosives on one of the tanks and the 1-minute countdown began. I had just enough time to scramble to a concealed position overlooking the bomb before the first of the remaining 4 Axis players clamored up to defuse it. I waited for him to stop moving, and then took him down. Next, 2 more Axis players approached clumsily from the same direction. I could've shot one of them and risked the other seeing me, but instead I waiting until both of them were standing right next to each other over the bomb. ONE SHOT from my rifle took down both of them!!! The remaining Axis player walked up right as I fired, and spotted me, but I whipped out a SMG that I had acquired earlier and filled him with lead to win the round and thus the match. By the end, my heart was racing and my hands were shaking. That, my friends, is what I live for...

Later this afternoon I had a chance to talk with the other member that left Torlan recently (the one who left regarding legal issues). We discussed his reasons a bit, and he linked to this thread at the Gearbox forums. This guy named "Schwinnz" apparently sent a detailed email to Bungie outlining the goal of his group to "port HaloPC to Unreal Tournament 2004", and asking them if they had any legal issues with doing so. Talk about a small world; this guy's group was doing almost the exact same thing as Project Torlan and they apparently didn't even know about us. How cool is that? I emailed the guy informing him of this, and also suggesting that perhaps it would be in both our best interests to combine into a single, unified project to better accomplish our mutually similar goals. He promptly emailed me back sounding very enthusiastic about the idea, and mentioning that he currently has 10 people working with him! All of them are willing to join with Torlan when and if Bungie emails back giving the OK to such a conversion. In this remarkable twist of fate, we lose a member, only to potentially gain 10 the very next day. The Lord indeed works in mysterious ways...

This evening after dinner, Mom and Dad left for their Friday tradition of going out to Starbucks to cool down from the week. As they left, the skies were looking pretty dark but no rain was falling yet. Sara and I spent the next hour off-and-on hanging out on her back balcony waiting for the rain to move in. Mom and Dad also came home a little earlier than usual due to the rain. I had fun, personally. It's so cool to have a front-row seat as a thunderstorm is coming. The wind all around, the sharp temperature drop, and eventually the pouring rain. Unfortunately, by the time it really got going, the light had gone and we couldn't really see much. Still, the whole thing was entertaining--at least to me...


So what are you waiting for? Fire away with those comments!

-Goodnight, folks!
Comments:
It never ceases to amaze me how you can do nothing all day, and still write a 28572439 paragraph entry.

-Sarah
 
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