New Look, Same Content

During this joyous Christmas season I have decided to switch servers for this blog. To preface: the blog used to be run on a private server, not affiliated with WordPress at all. I didn’t have a ton of costs, but I also didn’t have backups or HTTPS.

This used to not be a problem, when I first started this blog I didn’t actually expect to take much pride in my work (and I still don’t take too much pride in it). Things have changed though, I looked through the posts I wrote and I have thousands of words written and a wee bit of pride attached to it, and all it would take is a single person feeling a little malicious to wipe away what I have.

So here we are now, I have backups and access to some pretty sweet site layouts and HTTPS. But even with everything looking different (Here is an archive for comparison) I can guarantee the content won’t change suddenly, although I can guarantee it probably will over the next year, which brings me into my next point.

“I miss the old _______.”

This is the funniest phrase in the history of phrases in my opinion. With any organization, group, community, content, you can almost guarantee that this phrase will be said.

Some people believe that nostalgia is a big factor in this. I think otherwise. YouTube content creators have this problem in their communities. Challenge: Go the comment section of a big YouTuber who has been around for years and see if you can’t find someone who says, “I miss the old [Name of YouTuber].” Still you can go back to their old content, and it is still as fresh and funny as the first time that you see it, so really nostalgia isn’t the biggest factor.

Content creators who are actively trying to grow their content aren’t going to stand still on what they have, any great content creator is going to have to change or become more official so they can break out of their niche and capture a larger crowd. And this is why the phrase is said for content creators like YouTubers.

I don’t think this blog or Xylo-a-day is ever going to skyrocket because I’m not trying to grow them, my whole purpose with this blog is to document things I think are cool, if people read it then that’s just a bonus. Xylo-a-day’s purpose is to make sure that I’m playing on a consistent basis, if people stop by and think that the content is cool I’m not going to stop them, but at the end of the day I’m just trying to get my practice in.

And because of the reasons above I don’t think that my content is going to change much, it will definitely undergo change as I become better at blogging and better at playing, but not because I’m trying to make my content appeal to a larger crowd.

Organizations suffer this same exact problem of having people grumble about missing the old days, for similar reasons too.

Let’s say I wanted to start disc golfing with my friends. So a couple of my friends and I start going to play disc golf. We have tons of fun and start a group chat to schedule more meetups. Everyone is loose and relaxed we are all just there to have fun.

Then we start picking up other people who hear about the fun we are having. Our group is growing and we now have tens of people coming. It’s still fun to play but it is getting more hectic trying to schedule everyone on the same day. So a few people step up and say that they are willing to play multiple times a week and we can have multiple sessions a week, so that everyone doesn’t rely on a single day.

This is a big deal because now that we have more sessions a week, our availability is larger and even more people want to come. So now we have grown much much larger and some of the sessions are becoming mixes of beginner players and competitive players. The beginners want to learn without being intimidated and the competitive players want to play competitively.

“Why don’t we host learning sessions.” One suggests.
“Why don’t we host a tournament.” One suggests.
“We could even have prize money, and T-shirts!” Another chimes in.

So with a couple of peoples input our unofficial group has a couple of social organizers in charge of hosting the weekly sessions, a learning session organizer, a tournament organizer, a volunteer graphic artist for the shirts, and an unofficial treasurer.

We are growing large and the next stepping stone comes when we start collecting money from the tournament entrance fee, and the shirt orders. We make a little bit of profit.

“We should use that money on advertising!”
“We should use that money for club-owned equipment!”
“We should donate it to charity!”
“We should use that money for travel expenses so we can go to nicer parks farther away!”

And before you know it, we have our first major conflict that needs a full-baked response. Whether we resolve it or not isn’t important, because soon after somebody suggests that we create an official organization to help resolve future disputes, like a non-profit or a school club.

So we do, we draft up a constitution and by-laws, appoint official officers (probably the same people as before), open up a bank account, and are now having official officer meetings following Robert’s Rules of Order to decide the direction of the organization.

We are now a fully fledged fully organized entity. People sign forms to come play with us. We reimburse for gas money when we go on long trips. People can rent out some equipment from the club after signing a few forms. We host legit tournaments with prize money and charity donations that the surrounding community can see. Whenever somebody comes to play it isn’t “hanging out with pals” it’s “going to disc club”.

And that’s when you’ll hear it.

“I miss the old days. You know? Like when it was just a couple of us going to play disc golf and hanging out…”

Now I’m not saying that every organization goes through that, some organizations are immediately formed with paperwork and a constitution and are backed by another entity. But still, it is a very reasonable scenario that has most assuredly happen on some level.

Burning Man, a festival promoting free expression of art went through something similar, originally it was just a group of people going out into the desert making art and burning a wooden man. Nowadays, you have to buy a ticket and fill out a couple of forms to go. It is a legit organization with principles and a constitution, which holds legit responsibility for the actions of the festival-goers.

DEF CON, a yearly hacker convention held in Las Vegas, has also undergone this same problem. What originally started as a party to celebrate hacker culture has turned into a legit organization with volunteers and speakers. It is now a convention that hosts thousands of people who are interested in the realm of cyber security and hacker culture. In DEF CON you can easily find people who say “I miss the old DEF CON, it was a lot less uptight.” Las Vegas is cool with having a couple hundred hackers roaming the strip, but it gets a little less relaxed when you have a few thousand.

I didn’t mean for this to sound like a rant, I just wanted to share an observation. With any sort of growth, content is bound to change, rules and exceptions are bound to change, people are bound to change.

I’m a boring guy, I don’t plan on actively growing this blog or my YouTube channel, so you can expect more or less the same thing.

Okami and the End of a Semester

Quick Sidenotes

  1. Xylo-a-day is doing great and in the next couple of days the content is going to spike to an all-time high of greatness.
  2. I’m about to finish William Davies “Autobiography of a Super-Tramp” and I can’t help but to give it a big thumbs up if you want to read about hobo life.
  3. My Spotify year-in-review came back saying I mostly listened to Starflyer59. I highly suggest checking them out if you are looking for some new music to listen to.
  4. My typing speed is now a consistent 80ish. (Shoutout to
  5. Net neutrality laws have been repealed. I don’t like it, but I also don’t think worst case scenario is ever going to happen, it’s just scary that it could happen.

Real content

Finals were this week. This means both my Twitter feed and the Reddit front page were filled with memes about how people would rather die than take tests. I wish there were more wholesome memes in this dark world.

Although I’m taking a lot of classes I only had to take a couple of tests. Most of my classes either had tests earlier, or projects instead of finals. Because of this my final final was on Tuesday.

Know what else happened on Tuesday?

If you guessed Okami, a very well received but poorly known game, was ported over to PC (and also XBOXONE and PS4) then you would be correct.

So you know what I did Tuesday night?

If you guessed that I played Okami you would be wrong. I actually was still busy with a couple of other things after my test, so I couldn’t play it on Tuesday.

But on Wednesday I played the heck out of Okami.

So what is all this hype about? What is Okami?

Okami was released in 2007 on the PS2, I knew nothing about it then. But then it was released on the Wii in 2008, and once I heard about it I bought it and played non-stop for a couple of weeks.

Okami, for those who don’t know, is a game much like Zelda. It is an open world adventure game where you fight the forces of evil. But also, you’re a dog. This review helps to explain what I mean.

The plot of the game is that you are the Japanese sun god Amaterasu in the form of a wolf, and the world has essentially stopped believing in you and great evil has been placed onto the land. So you wander around a beautiful water-colored world, slay Japanese-style demons, and help everyone you meet by using a celestial paintbrush.

It has an awesome world. Seriously, you wander into a new zone and you have to purge that land of evil. The best part is that you actually get to see the land change into something beautiful as you cleanse it.

It has good fighting, a diversity of fighting styles, and a diversity of enemies. When you pair all of that with the fact that the controls handle great, the fighting is truly something to be enjoyed.

Fun mini-games. Fun story. Fun unique mechanics. There really isn’t a part of this game that I outright dislike.

There is way more to it than that but I don’t want to spoil the good parts. This game is seriously on par with Oblivion in my mind; it looks great, plays great, and has a great story.

That’s all I really have to say. If you are a gamer looking for a fun adventure game to play, I really can’t give this game enough of a glowing review.

An Assault on my Favorite Game

My friends and I used to play a game called CounterStrike: Global Offensive.

If you don’t know what CS:GO is then I’ll explain. It is a first-person competitive shooter, where 2 teams of 5 compete head-to-head for (at most) 30 rounds. Depending on the map type, the teams will being planting/defusing a bomb or protecting/rescuing a hostage.

During high school we would sink hours into this game, and tried our best to move up the ranks. Over the years though we drifted away from the game and it has updated and changed meta without us. Because of this, it has been harder and harder for us to have a wild hair and decide to play it randomly one weekend.

Well, since a couple of weeks ago that small desire become fully destroyed.


One of the maps my friends and I would play is a map called Assault. It isn’t a well-balanced. It doesn’t have a ton of meta or strategy. It isn’t popular. But that map was our jam. Every random weekend that we would log on, you could guarantee that we played Assault. A couple of weeks ago Assault was taken off the competitive map list.

There isn’t much more to say. I don’t really want to be another blog that talks about how CS:GO has a terrible development team and a terrible community (and there are a lot of those). I actually support their decision to take Assault off the competitive list, it was taking up server space, and other than us there was nobody in their right mind that would play that map.

That’s it. I miss playing Assault on CS:GO.

Unofficial Official Spots

I had a really good week this week. Got a lot done and the semester is coming to a close. Beyond all of that, I’m a week into the Xylo-A-Day Super Advent where I play a Christmas Carol every day up until Christmas (I called it a super advent because I started it a day after Thanksgiving rather than December 1st). Also I’m starting to average around 80 WPM, and Typeracer is starting to give me ridiculously large quotes to type.

But the icing on the super awesome cake that was my week… I got my unofficial official bike spot back.

Now if you are still in high school there is still a possibility that you have to have seating assignments. At my high school some teachers did and some teachers didn’t. If your high school doesn’t have seating assignments or you are in college, then you should understand the unofficial official spot. For those of you who don’t, I’ll explain.

People resist change. It doesn’t matter who you are, everyone on some level resists change.

In regards to seating, if it’s not assigned then people will sit down wherever they want the first day. At worst, it might take a couple of days to find a spot. At best, you and all of your friends take over a section of the room.

In this scenario you have a spot you are finally comfortable in, or you have a spot where all your friends sit around. You don’t have assigned seating but now you sit there every day, just out of habit and comfort. But then it happens…

A new kid shows up. That one kid who skipped all the lectures and is just coming for the review session shows up. Some guy brings his twenty friends who aren’t even enrolled in your class. The semantics don’t matter the result is still the same…

YOUR SPOT GETS TAKEN. (And it feels bad)

This is one of the greatest tragedies of modern man. Even though it wasn’t official, it was your spot, it was the comfort zone. Anger pours through your veins (not really though), but like any agreement that isn’t contractual there is no governing authority to get your chair back.

So this happened to me, but even worse.

The bike parking at my apartment is scarce. We have a decent amount of bike racks but just too many bikes for all of them. All of last year I had a sweet spot. The end of a bike rack, closest to the entrance of the apartment. If you don’t understand what that means, I’ll explain. It means that I didn’t have to mess with anyone’s bike when I went to lock mine up. It means that I could immediately leave conveniently.

This school year began and the first day after all the new residents moved in I went out to go biking and I came back and my spot was taken.

Over the next few weeks I was able to get it back, and then lose it every other time I went to go biking. Then that person locked their bike up and either had a perfectly synced up schedule with me or just let their bike sit there, I don’t really know which. But essentially I haven’t had the spot for the rest of the semester.

Finally though, after one of my best weeks in the entire semester. I unofficially officially have my unofficial official bike spot bike.