22.8.14

The Great Hurricane Iselle Adventure

While life has become much better since the events of the recent Hurricane Iselle some two weeks ago, last week I wanted to put up a blogpoast talking about my experiences regarding the matter. As I am as of this writing still internetless since the Great Hurricane of August 8th, it is only now that I have been able to find a computer terminal with internet that can put together a poast of this magnitude. So, with minimal edits and commentary (all in red), I can finally present to you the Great Hurricane Iselle Adventure. ~teh_chris, Aug 22


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So, it's been a while here at Traditionally Virtual, and I bet you're all just chomping at the bit to read more dreck quality poastings. With this knowledge firmly in hand, I have decided to descend from upon my mountain of silence to give to you, my readers, what you've all been waiting for. A poast.

As those who have been following the past week of US news already know, the Big Island of Hawaii had been hit with a category 1 hurricane, known by its name "Iselle". Being that I actually live in the affected region, and because I'm waiting for Hawaiian Telcom to grant me the privilege of using it's fabled fantastic telecommunications service #alwayson, I've decided on writing about my limited experiences here in the Puna district within Hawaii County, State of Hawaii during the Great Hurricane 2014. For those who are looking for a personal record of the power of nature alongside the coming together of a community in need, you may want to just look on Facebook or walk over to the Pahoa Fire Station. For those looking for a humorous yet mostly true account of a real event, full of snark, irritation, and other First World Problems, read look no further.

Thanks, HawaiianTel!~

Without further ado: a short, day by day account.

Wednesday

The Wednesday before the hurricane, I go out and help with the gathering of supplies -- water, paper towels, paper plates. I even took the opportunity to renew my IDs at the public safety building, since they were on the verge of expiration. All of the things purchased were at normal amounts, and not like those crazy people I see on facebook with a veritable truckloads of bottled water being assholes and hoarding that shit. Just restocking our normal supply, since we were expecting some wind, but nothing too bad. I go about my day, downplaying the hurricane with friends and family, as I know the past couple either missed us, or did so little by the time it hit that I couldn't be bothered about it.

Thursday

The day was festive. Downplaying the seriousness with clanmates and other friends on teamspeak, I even went so far as to change my name to "teh_chris [>implying hurricane]" on Steam. I played games as usual and I got to taste the last bit of internet before the storm came on time at around 6p. Heralded with a couple of power losses over the next couple of hours, the power struggled to stay on until it finally went out and stayed out at 8:30p. We stayed up for a short while, listening to the howling of the wind as it smacked down tons of brittle albezia trees, which would continue well into the night. With the reasonable knowledge that the power should be up by morning (so we thought), I decide on calling it a night, and my family and I all hit the bed by around 9pm or slightly thereafter.

Friday statuses after the storm.

Friday

Friday was the worst. Before the batteries on all my electrical devices died, I was able to get this short faecbook status out. We also got a phone call from my grandmother, which I found amazing, due to all the damage the storm caused. We haven't had a call since. Dozens of destroyed power poles, and ruined telephone wires meant that it felt like repairs would be weeks away. By the time nightfall came, we were wondering about the state of the food in the refrigerator. This "oh shit" sentiment would continue until the power returned the next day. The cool thing about it was I got to see my family do stuff I never thought we'd ever do again. Play board games, for instance. I haven't played a board game with my family for probably 5 years or so. It was weird. But we came together, and had a blast.

Saturday's statuses.

Saturday

The day of the Primary Election was one of general sadness. Due to the massage damage all around the area, I was still unable to leave my house and therefore unable to exercise my right to vote at that time. My family went to survey the neighborhood, leaving me to watch the property. At around 3, the power returned, which brought general feelings of gratitude and calm to the house.

Yes, that is Dynasty Warriors 4 on the PC. You jealous?
Thank god for cell phone towers, right?

Sunday and Beyond

With having power but no internet, I was forced to return to a pre-internet world, in which I regress to my adolescent days of not having internet. What better way of doing this than to play my number one three favorite PS2 game of all time, Dynasty Warriors 4? Thankfully, a port for the PC was developed, and I put my copy to good use, since I can't go on the internet and hang out with people. I have since also been able to watch anime again, and have but a considerable dent in my backlog, knocking out entire shows in one day. I also found my old Command and Conquer Zero Hour CDs and have moved to the church of GLA Stealth, a faction whose feel is much like piloting a tier 1 deck in Modern -- stupid and almost un-fun. For a couple of days I lost cell phone service, and I almost went crazy when I couldn't even check my faecbook. It taught me a lot about how connected we are and just how much we rely on technology.

Reflection

I've thought about it for some time (like, fifteen minutes), and I put together a tentative pros/cons of my experience:

Pros:
-Family came together for like two days. Seriously. That's huge for a family like mine.
-It pays to have friends, who knows where they'd be years down the road.
-Made me much more aware of how much we rely on electricity.
-I got to sleep at much earlier times than I normally do. And I'm going to try to keep it that way, because it's Healthier.
-I didn't have to eat nasty-ass cold cuts. (No really, I'm sick of Cotto Salami and Velveeta. It's all my family eats nowadays.)
-In the grand scheme of things, this wasn't nearly as bad as the experience of living in really bad areas (looking at you, Middle East, and you too, West Africa).
-I was able to knock out a few anime on my backlog that I've been dragging my feet over. More on that in a later blogpost.
-I got to write something because I felt like venting.


Cons:
-My dad's arowana died. I sort of liked that fish, and I'm very sad it's dead.
-Good bye, DickerMax.
-I have been proven yet again just how bad HawaiianTel's service really is. HELCO got their shit together in like a day, and explained themselves. What's your excuse?
-Thanks to the hurricane, I got screwed out of not just voting in the primary election, but also working at the polls - an activity I enjoy. No Scott Nago, your first plan to send everyone an absentee ballot was smarter -- this new plan basically screws me out of voting, never mind working. Thanks. Luckily, everything should be back to normal for the General Election. Actually, I was able to vote in the makeup election that happened a week later. Due to me being unable to contact the Election's Office, I still wasn't able to work at the polls. Whatever. It's the small victories, right? I'll be back for the General.

-I realize just how badly I utilize my time. For example, here's what I've done in the past week:

Taiga is like the best anime tracking program ever.
Yuan Zheng undertakes the Great Chinese Crusade of 203.
Funny thing is, I was playing as USA Lazer.

I'm mean, god damn. I can't wait for the fall semester to start up again, because I feel like I'm wasting everyone's time - including my own.

Looking Ahead

Don't get me wrong, there are still communities to this day that are still without power, internet, even basic running water due to their inaccessibility to the main power grid. I applaud the efforts of HELCO to return everyone back to the grid. I also want to throw a shout-out to the folks from the other islands that sent repair crews to help our guys. Big mahalos there. Also shout-out to County Councilman Greg Ilagan, a guy I've known for about as long as our families have been friends here -- his hosted free breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week after the storm hit, all out of his humble home within Paradise Park for anyone who could make it there.

My own experience was very light compared to some of the other people living in Paradise Park and the greater Puna area. I know of friends who have literally received power yesterday. I also know of friends who weren't affected at all (lucky bastards). There are still some who need ice for their food and medicines, and others who need water. This is only one story in the Iselle experience, and I wanted to share it for those interested.

9.5.14

Pappy's Home

It's good to be "back".

Happy belated New Years, from Traditionally Virtual to what's left of you, the readers.

So, for the record, it's not like I left you. It's more like I neglected you.

You see, I had planned on there being more blogposts involving top ten lists, album reviews, complaints spirited discussion about gaming (both traditional and virtual), and a host of other interesting and insightful content that I felt had the potential to not only be interesting, but be entertaining. Instead, real life reared its ugly head, and this blogproject fell to the wayside. Hard. There were points where I had forgotten this had existed. And suddenly I realized it was May of 2014, on a relatively sunny, breezy day and I had the sudden desire to blog again.

As for my absence, I have nothing more to say but sorry.

With all that said, I've come into a patch of relatively free time, and I plan on using it to the fullest. I have big plans for the blog, and I'm going to be writing up a review on an album given to me for review. I'm pretty excited as it's an opportunity to train my ears critically as well as write in a genre that I'm not very good at. It's a band a friend of mine is in, and so this is an opportunity to plug the talent that I'm honored to know.

~

So, it's been a couple of years since the last post, and while a lot has happened, a lot more is on it's way. Hopefully I'll be able to share more experiences with you all.

It took so long for me to blog, Sabaton put out a new album.




Oh, and a new Sabaton album is out. That's right, during the time I was away, a new Sabaton album had been researched, recorded, produced, and released in the time between this and the last post.

5.1.13

The Year is Dead, Long Live the Year!

Happy New Year!

Yes, we didn't die this year. Rejoice.
My goodness, it's another year. From multiple reports of the end of the world being nigh, to the controversial presidential election, to me being unable to do anything with online video games except for World of Tanks and Dota 2, I'll go ahead and say it was a good year, albeit rough. A new year brings a new set of resolutions that will most likely be broken before January is over. In an attempt to abide by my "do more blagspot blagging and not that tumboor/faecbook trash", as well as attempt to do a better job than last year, here is  "Best of 2012" blagpost. Enjoy.

Best of 2012 - Gaming

[haha noep]

As I said earlier, this year was rather rough for me regarding video gaming. Hell, I couldn't even sit through this year's Call of Duty, and I always find time to play that piece of garbage. I'll most definitely try to finish it, so I can ramble about it in a future blagpost. World of Tanks continues to enthrall me, and while I've been tempted to throw down cash for some gold/premium tanks, I still have yet to do some. Yay for FTP games, I guess.

As far as Traditional Games go, Magic The Gathering's Return to Ravnica block was a return to the "fun" in what I felt was becoming a very stale Standard environment. Now, all we need is Thragtusk to go away, and I might start playing Standard again. Maybe. On the board game front, I bought Munchkin, which is awesome, as well as some other board games. Talisman caught my eye, and is an amazing addition to anyone's collection of board games.

Best of 2012 - Music

A selection from my notes.txt file that I do all this in.
A challenge that I personally undertook this year was to actually list albums that I listened to that were released this year. This (I hoped) was to assist in my "Best of Year X" posts that I now do. Without further ado, here is my top 5 for music for 2012. All of these albums are 5/5 stars for me, and are honestly ranked by my personal preference. I would recommend any and all of them to anyone willing to try them out. The link in the header is a link to the entire album in YouTube, while the links at the end of each section are selections from the album, also in YouTube.

5. Paradise Lost - Tragic Idol

Badass album art? Check.
Paradise Lost's thirteenth release, released in April, showed that after thirteen albums, the British doom group still has the ability to make an album that is enjoyable. Excellent solos, great lyrics and vocals. An all around great album. Highlights: Crucify, In This We Dwell, Tragic Idol, Worth Fighting For

 4. Antimatter - Fear of A Unique Identity

Embracing a lie/Got stuck on rewind/Requiem in constant replay
We continue our tour of the UK with Antimatter's fifth debut album, released in November. Singer/songwriter Mick Moss describes the album as "a concept album that explores the mimics in society that would rather blend in with the masses rather than stand as a unique entity for fear of being singled out. This becomes a problem if the masses themselves are actually on the wrong path spiritually and ideologically." Personally, I haven't enjoyed an Antimatter album since Planetary Confinement, and this had the same ambiance about it, just.... darker. And that's why this makes my top five. Highlights: Fear of A Unique Identity, Here Come the Men, Uniformed & Black

3.  Syven - Corpus Christi

36:26. In one track. Wish it was longer.
My love for the kantele brings me to the newest release by the Finnish duo Syven. Inspired by an old English carol, Syven creates a symphony of sorts, blending their unique shamanistic music with what they felt was a proper interpretation of Medieval-era choral music. Personally, I think it's genius. The piece is loosely broken up into four movements, one of them being the actual Corpus Christi carol. The song also comes with a sweet video which is meant to be viewed as you listen to the track (this is included in the YouTube link listed above). Highlight: Movement II - Corpus Christi (6:50 -13:20)

2. Sabaton - Carolus Rex (SWE)

To the skiiiies, see Carolus rise!
As is customary when dealing with unadulterated manliness like the 2012 Sabaton album, you need to understand something that made this release different from the others: they did the entire album in their native Swedish as well. And it's better than the English version. It's an excellent telling of the story of King Karl XII, better known as Carolus Rex. As such, I put both complete versions of selections above and below for you to listen/compare. Highlights: The Lion From the North (Lejonet från Norden), A Lifetime of War (En Livstid I Krig), Carolus Rex (Carolus Rex), Poltava (Poltava

Album of the Year 2012: Woods of Ypres - Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light

One of the best swansongs I've ever heard.
To be perfectly honest, I had a very difficult time choosing my Album of the Year. Even now, I'm still thinking about whether or not I made the correct decision in declaring Woods of Ypres' final album to be my AotY 2012. This album was -as most WoY albums are- full of emotions. Walls of emotions even. The band died when David Gold was killed in a tragic car accident in November of 2011, and the album was released in Feburary of 2012. As I would go through other albums, and even when Carolus Rex was released, I would find myself coming back to this album. Strange, yes. I guess this ability to draw one back to it is the tipping point that would put Woods V over Carolus Rex for Album of the Year. Highlights: Lighting & Snow, Keeper of the Ledger, Travelling Alone, Silver, Career Suicide (Is Not Real Suicide)

Honorable Mentions:

Comus - Out of the Coma
Kamelot - Silverthorn
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Lost in the New Real

What Next?

Next post will feature another Top Five list from 2012. A medium that I haven't really covered at all on this blag before, but I figure why not? So I will have a Top Five list covering what I feel to be the Top 5 Anime from 2012. Yes, I'm expanding my topic coverage because I'm awesome.

20.9.12

The International 2012 - Three Weeks Later

Valve's Premier Tournament: The International
The hype has finally died down. My heart has finally stopped beating after the splendor that was an event fully sponsored by Valve. Some three weeks ago, The International Dota 2 Championships were held in Seattle, Washington under the control of the fine folks over at Valve. The top sixteen Dota 2 teams in the esports community competed over a prize pool of over $1.6 million USD, as well as a chance to have their names engraved on the Aegis of Champions that served as the tournament's trophy. I won't say much, as whatever would have been said has already been said by people more knowledgeable than myself at this particular artform. I will do this, though:


This video posted above is probably some of the best Dota seen in years. I haven't seen plays this big since the first International, a year ago. It truly shows the level of skill needed to play at the very height of the scene. Without further ado: The Play. Seen over a hundred thousand times by loyal fans, this just proves that this game (not even out of beta, mind you) has the potential to become huge. Just huge. Even now, as I finish this blog post, I'm thinking about what hero I'm going to play as I enter the matchmaking queue.

27.6.12

Meet the Troll

It's finally here.
Meet the Pyro is released. Go watch it.

Day three of the Pyromania update will be featured later today. Day two was a bunch of weapons, which doesn't really matter.

An interesting thing that went along with MTP's release was the announcement of the Source Filmmaker beta, which can be signed up for starting today. The Source Filmmaker is what VALVe uses to create all their "Meet The" shorts.

25.6.12

The Pyromania Update: Day 1

IT BEGINS

This morning, the TF2 team put out a blog post and a new sub site for what they call "the long-awaited final Meet the Team short, Meet the Pyro". Dropping in on Wednesday (which would coincide with that whole Adult Swim business that was announced a few days ago).

The sub site has day one of the Pyromania update, detailing the story of Poopy Joe, the simian astronaut. Players were given an idea of the new game mode, "Doomsday", in which the teams are tasked with taking enough fuel to Poopy Joe's rocket to send him to space. "Both teams will attempt to get the necessary fuel up a preposterously slow-moving elevator and into Poopy Joe’s Australium-powered rocket to the stars," notes the description of the new game mode.

More posts will be made as the update pages progress. For now, enjoy this promotional image of the Doomsday launch, straight from the Doomsday page linked above:


22.6.12

Adult Swim and VALVe partnership?

Screenshot from the AS/Valve Promo Website.

So I'm looking at my Faecbook wall this morning when I see some of my other friends' blogs posting something like this. Intrigued, I checked out the promo site here, and then signed up for the newsletter.

I suspect it might be something either involving stupid amounts of hats, or (gasp!) a certain Meet The Team video might be released very, very soon.

~~~~~

In other news, I've been playing a ton of Dota 2 and Crusader Kings 2, and I fucking love both of those games.

So yeah, that's my life story as of now. I'll try to put more posts in later.

Also, Vinderptus is on Steam now. Go check that shit out.