I Guess I’m On The Grid…

For my first daily create of the week, I completed the “My Different Sides” assignment.


I found a nifty site, befunky, to help collage my pictures. I chose to include a few of my interests that make up who I am today. After I made the basic 9-grid, I threw a single picture of my face into the application to get the nice rounded edge, since I don’t know how to do that with GIMP, yet. After I saved both of those, I threw them into GIMP as separate layers, then resized them to the same height, keeping the square of the 9-grid proportion as a reference. Then shrunk the canvas to “fit to layers” to try to reduce the amount of empty space. Onto my choice of pictures, though!

I’ve played video games my entire life, starting with Reader Rabbit and quickly moving on to Super Mario World , FIFA 99 and Diablo when I was just a wee young lad, so they’ve definitely shaped who I am. From as far back as I remember, I’ve always wanted to test the boundaries of the game engines, to see where the bugs are–the easy goal, kill/sneak mechanic, or overpowered weapon. They’ve also taught me quite a bit, since I’ve spent so much time playing them. Those bugs are really what got me thinking about how games were actually made, from how virtual worlds are actually created (Thanks, Unreal Level Editor and Valve Hammer Editor, and now, Unreal Engine 4), to collision testing (MDK 2 and Super Mario Bros), how virtual worlds can react to your decisions (Myst, Resident Evil:Director’s Cut, Hexen/Doom), and their puzzle elements (Prince of Persia, Portal, Myst) Little did I know, at the time, it would be such a catalyst for moral and intellectual development. Before I ramble too much further, I’ll move on to the next “side”.

I snapped a quick picture of my three favorite coffee mugs because I’m a coffee-holic. There. I admitted it–one step closer. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, so that mug was a gimme. And, although I’m not a super-fan of Harry Potter, I thoroughly enjoyed the books, though the films were really let-downs in my mind. I’m a Ravenclaw (Pottermore) for what it’s worth. Lastly, I included my owl mug. I picked that one up over the past year or so because it looked like Hedwig and because I thought it was a well-designed, practical piece of art.

I build with LEGOs nearly every day so I couldn’t miss an opportunity to add that into yet another assignment. It just so happens to be an attempt at emulating the space ship I drew for a previous daily create.

I absolutely love to cook for my family, so that’s kind of an integral part of me. I really enjoy making stir fry with my wok, so that’s why I chose this image.  This past weekend, for example, I made Mongolian Beef, some beef dumplings with my wife, alongside her chicken lo mein, and forgot to take a picture before it was all quickly consumed. Really though, I love to cook eggs–except for hard boiled, because that’s really not fun, and I don’t classify that as cooking, frankly. I love food, and restaurant menus don’t really appeal to me anymore especially after working at a few, so it’s a good way to experience new food.

Without my wife, I don’t know where I’d be, so I included a picture of my wedding band as the central picture of the 9-grid. Less is more, in this case, so I won’t elaborate.

Moving on to a simple little snippet of code, I’m a computer science major, so it’s something I thoroughly enjoy. From how people think differently and approach problems in varying ways, to finding the simplest snippets to do the most mundane tasks, I love looking at code in many languages. I have experience with HTML/CSS, Javascript, Python, C++, and most recently (and thankfully) I’ve been learning Java here at UMW–something new to me. I could rant all day about programming.

I’m also an avid snowboarder; when I lived in Denver, I often took trips to Keystone and Breckenridge specifically, but also an awesome little park-only Ruby Hill Rail Yard, since it was in such close proximity. I started skiing when I was about eight, but switched to a board when I was around eleven or twelve, since I didn’t care for hanging onto ski poles during lift lines (my ankles hate me for that choice, but I don’t care).

I’ve mentioned in another daily create that I love to spin poi for meditative purposes, so that was a must-include. At my old job as a sandwich maker/delivery driver, I used to waste time putting staplers in plastic take-out bags as practice. It sounds ridiculous now that I’m writing it for the first time, but I really like the whoosh of them spinning near my head, and the plastic bags rippling accentuated that aspect, so I thought I’d share that little tidbit.

Finally, I included a picture of my Cello, electric bass, and acoustic guitar (Rest In Pieces) because I love music. I’m not a picky person in general, but music is where that really shows through–I switch between classical, EDM, country, rock, metal, old school hip hop, and rap, but avoid a lot of contemporary pop unless I’m in the car with my wife. She likes to sing, so I’m not about to take her Katy Perry and Taylor Swift (Sorry, she’s really not a country artist anymore except for certain songs, although I do like her music and have the utmost respect for her). I picked up a cello for the first time in 6th grade, sat down, and loved the feel of it, so I stuck with it all the way through my senior year of high school, although (not pictured) I did start playing Double Bass for the orchestra, since my instructor knew I played electric bass. Speaking of him, he was kind of my Mr. Feeny. He was my orchestra teacher from 6th through 12th grade, so his impact on my work ethic (practice logs, ugh) definitely shaped who I am today.

So, there you have it, a few parts of me.

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