Social Media Reflections

“Well, it’s going to be a long road back.”

  • Captain Henry Gloval, Robotech

 

I find myself once again contemplating cutting ties with my social media accounts.  It’s never been a secret that I don’t particularly enjoy social media.  Ever since I started my website back in the halcyon days of 2003, I found the act of dealing with the internet to be a very bitter-sweet thing.  For every fan letter, there was plenty of hate mail.  For every encouragement, there were attacks both personal and professional.  Heck, when Teach The Sky first started, my forums were summarily hijacked by people trying to get private information from and about me.  It was disconcerting to say the least.

Since then, I’ve been deliberately slow to tackle social media.  I was exceptionally late to the Twitter party and I’ve only recently been dealing with optimizing my Facebook account (in thanks primarily to Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine’s excellent book).  Instagram, Tumblr, etc.  These are all on my radar.  Or they were. Continue reading “Social Media Reflections”

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New Short Story

A new stand-alone short is live in the Serials & Short Stories section.

Trial By Numbers is the maddening tale of a librarian recruited to curate and organize a magical library.  Because doesn’t that just sound like the best!

The answer is no.  No it does not.

Check out Trial by Numbers!

Survival of the Fittest

In the 1888 book Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote “What does not kill me makes me stronger”.  This is a frequent sentiment seen among athletes, especially in the contact and combat sports, even more so among martial artists.  I’ve reflected on it a bunch recently as I’ve listened to old tales of martial arts ‘back in the day’.

My primary style at the moment is Kajukenbo, a system born out of the post-World War II slums of Hawai’i.  It was a hardcore style in the truest sense, composed by black belts from various systems, in an attempt to create a truly universal and effective fighting style that would protect them and their students from the ravages of gang and racial violence.  Legends abound about the training at this time.  The black belt test involved being kidnapped from your home in the middle of the night and dropped off in the jungles.  Or maybe the test started at dusk and you had to survive the beatings until dawn.  Al Dacascos – one of the heads of the style and the creator of its primary off-shoot, Wun Hop Kuen Do – talked about the day’s training not being done until there was blood on the mat.

Good stuff, right?  Hardcore.  Tough training makes one tough.  It makes sense.  This is martial arts.  This is fighting.  This is violence.  You must be prepared for the viciousness of a true fight to be able to reliably survive it.  Bruce Lee once said ‘the best preparation for an event is the event itself’, right?  So what better preparation for a fight than a fight itself?  If you get your ass kicked, and survive, than you’ll come back stronger?  Right?

Right?

Well, funny thing… Continue reading “Survival of the Fittest”

What’s In A Grade?

I’ve spent a decent amount of time thinking about grades, and ranks.  Related to my earlier post on gamification, I’ve been thinking about how we assign value to accomplishments.  How do we state ‘this is a 90 out of 100’ and ‘this is a 75 out of 100’?  What comprises ‘a hundred’?  How applicable is that?  Is one person’s 75 equal to another person’s 75?  Was the process for one person to achieve 75 equal to the process of another person achieving 75? Continue reading “What’s In A Grade?”

More Fun Combined

So, I don’t want to exaggerate or hyperbolize, so I’ll just leave it the Transformers Combiner Wars toyline is the greatest line of toys ever conceived in the history of humanity.  In my long history of being a Transformers fanboy and a general toy aficionado, I cannot think of any single toyline that had as many features and as much potential as this toyline.  If you aren’t familiar with it, I weep for the sunless world that you inhabit because oh sweet mercy, is it good.

For just a bit of backstory, the Transformers is about alien robots who can change from humanoid robots into vehicles.  The initial run of characters were strictly Earth vehicles like cars and jets, but pretty soon dinosaurs and insects and spaceships were introduced. Continue reading “More Fun Combined”