Spring Allergies

2394563737_e9165721c9_z.jpgIf there is one thing I hate about spring, it’s the yearly allergies I get. Every year, it starts off with a really runny nose that persists over the course of 3-5 days. Afterwards, my throat gets scratchy and then it turns into a painful soreness. I even get the occasional coughing fits. With how frequently these symptoms occur every spring, I am not even surprised that I have them. I don’t tend to get sick easily because I have a mostly strong immune system, but it isn’t strong enough to protect me from my allergies. Though the allergies are a downside, I get to take my favorite cough drops that really helps a lot in these scenarios. Another good thing I am glad is that I didn’t lose my voice like one spring a few years ago. That was the worst allergy season I ever had in my life.

Advertisements

Wasting Food

7159545832_27da719d0c_z.jpgPhoto ©2012 by Mark Turnauckas [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

I watched a video last week from the LA Times and focusing about the expiration dates that are on food products, more specifically, milk. The video also provides a small survey on normal supermarket shoppers to see if they understood what the expiration date was. Turns out that not many of them actually know. Another topic that is brought up in the video is that the expiration date that is written on the product is not actually standardized. The date that is given is not actually when the product becomes bad to consume. Even so, the market distributors are forced to take those “expired” products off the shelves and dispose of them due to state laws. This means dumping dozens of milk jugs into dumpsters or into the drain. It pains me to watch gallons of milk being wasted just because a random date on the container says it is when it is best. Obviously milk does go bad, but it does not on the day the container says. I drank milk a little past the expiration date before, but it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. It almost tasted perfectly normal. Going a few more days afterwards, it did taste more off than usual, but it was still fine. A solution must be made to this issue with expiration dates so that other people in the world that need food can have these often-times perfectly good food isn’t put to waste.

What is it with my house and birds?

17175948_1840856252851363_384919451_o.pngMy mom opened up the front door this morning to open up some fresh air into our home. The problem was that it opened the path for a hummingbird to enter our house. It flew all the way upstairs and into my mom’s bedroom. Her room has a very high ceiling, which is almost impossible to reach because we did not have a tall ladder. The hummingbird then proceeded to 17148684_1840856232851365_1524038627_ofly around and linger at the ceiling for nearly 3 hours. During that time, we had no idea what to do to get it down except to close all of the doors and open up the window, hoping it would fly out. We even left out some food in case it was hungry while it was in there. After waiting for 2 hours, I decided to check back in the room to see if it left. Sure enough, it did.

17175896_1840777442859244_1215135565_oHalf an hour later, I decided to go out in the backyard and I noticed something unusual lying in the grass and decided to check it out. It was the hummingbird that was in my mom’s room, and it wasn’t breathing. By the size of it, I would have to say that it was a baby. I guess it tired itself out by flying so much in my mom’s room and was starving by the time it left the room. It probably passed out either in the air or on the ground and died sometime later. I am disappointed that there was nothing my parents and I could have done in order to evacuate the hummingbird from the room sooner so that it could probably find some more food. Birds have such bad experiences near my house every year, and I hope that their luck improves.

A Native Right

12079984245_b9de3e0046_z.jpg

Photo ©2014 by Tony Brooks [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

My class was recently given an article to read about an analyze for our homework. The article talks about how extreme responses to protests have been on a North Dakota oil pipeline. The oil pipeline was supposed to be built across the native land of the existing Standing Rock Tribe of the region. The protests of the Native Americans against the pipeline’s construction was met with harsh opposition by the local authorities. Hundreds of protesters have already been arrested and its sad to see that the people’s devotion to protecting their home being ignored. The article discusses how the local authorities are going as far as to call in riot squads to defend themselves from potential attacks. While I do admit that the protesters made a mistake in trying to use drones to survey the police squad, I do not think it was right for the cops to harshly attack the protesters for defending the rights of the Native Americans. With the Native American population declining, it’s hard for me to believe that there are people that don’t want to help preserve their existence.

Dreaded 2016

US Map.jpgThis is a bit of a late post, but on Monday the 7th last week, we read an article from Mickey Edwards of the LA Times relating to the chaos of this year’s presidential election. The article prominently discusses how this year, it would be more than likely that the supporters of the losing candidate would cause revolt that would destroy our entire country. Before the election, I questioned why this year’s election extremely competitive supporters. Maybe I never noticed it in the past because I was young, but I swear that I do not remember the presidential election being this intense compared to other years. I always saw the election as peaceful conflicts between the candidates, but all I saw this year were two people insulting each other. While I am glad to see that there isn’t any revolts like how Edwards worried in his article, I really hope that this year will end on a better note.

It makes me realize that 2016 was not the best year for the world: lots of shootings, many well-known celebrity deaths, death of Harambe, etc. True most of these topics occurred years before, but they were not so extreme or massively prominent as this year. I just pray that 2017 will turn out better.

Running Out of Ideas

20161106_161601.jpgI have a really bad case of writer’s block right now. We are supposed to do three blog posts a week about what is going on in our lives, but I am now left clueless. I like writing about a lot of things that I like or occur during the day, but recently I have been running out of ideas. Normally, ideas would come to my mind and I would become inspired to write it down. Recently though, I sometimes find myself staring at a blank screen, frustrated with myself and questioning why nothing can inspire me. I sometimes end up having to randomly browse Google Images, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, and a lot of other sites to find some sort of inspiration, but it is hard to do so when I have no idea what to look for. After almost an hour of thinking, I finally got an idea for my third blog post. I would write about myself having a hard time thinking about a third blog post. That is how this blog post you are reading right now was inspired.

ɟsɾlɟpɾlʞ SOMBRA ɾlɐɾɐɟɾp

sombra-2-copy

As many fellow fans of gamers of mine know, a new character has finally been introduced to the futuristic world of Overwatch. For months, players have be given hints by the game-makers of her existence, but up till now we only knew her name. She is Sombra, one of the greatest hackers in this futuristic world. The game’s host company, Blizzard, gave a surprising reveal to loving fans and visitors to their annual convention BlizzCon. There they showed a well-made animated trailer that introduces the game’s players the background, skills, and personality of this once-mysterious character. Sombra’s theme is very unique to the original 22 characters. As seen by her cinematic trailer, she is able to hack virtually anything with the touch of her fingertips. Not only that, she is stealthy: able to turn invisible and teleport to certain locations. While, many Overwatch fans are conflicted as to whether they like Sombra, they are still happy that she is no longer a secret that needs to be kept.

Intruder Alert?

16447003581_3dfb42b8b5_zPhoto ©2015 by yosuke watanabe

I really have to tell myself to stop watching scary videos before I go to bed. I literally get the worst case of paranoia at night. Last night, I watched a video by this Youtuber named Planet Dolan, who posts a variety of videos that focus on Top 10’s, trivia, and a variety of other topics. In the video I watched last night, Dolan read “true” stories that his fans share with him on his Reddit page. The stories involved the fans experiences home alone and having very ominous or sometimes even horrific events. The stories really got to my head. They are so horrific that I do not think it is appropriate to discuss on my blog. Regardless, those stories got through my head so much that I just could not sleep. I had the constant fear in the back of my head if I would have a terrifying experience like those fans.

It was 3 AM when I was calming down and about to close my eyes and go to sleep, I heard a car drive by and parked next to my house. I held my breath in fear and hesitantly looked out my window. I never saw anyone get out of the car, but even so after that, I began hearing noises coming from downstairs. I never stayed up this late before, and had no experience of knowing what sounds in the house were naturally made at night. I tried telling myself that I never heard any door opening or glass breaking, so there could not be any way that someone came into our house. I hid behind my bed and grabbed a long wooden rod from underneath, waiting for someone to come upstairs. I waited so long that I fell asleep and never reawoke until it was 6 AM this morning and the sun was up. I told myself that because it was daylight, there was no way an intruder would stay in my house, so I went back to bed and slept in the whole morning.

Finally… Rain

14800033_1776758465927809_654892037_o

Well, after weeks of heat, even though it literally is supposed to be Fall, we finally get our first case of pouring rain in California. It makes no sense to me why this is probably the hottest fall season we had in so many years. I mean sure it is sometimes hot, but that is when summer was about one to two weeks before. It has been nearly one and a half months since summer ended, and I am just annoyed about it up till this point. Today probably is just another case of rain that occurs for one day, and stops, but at least I am having hopes that the temperature in California improves soon and begins cooling down.

Mistakes and Replacements

hidden-bladeI’ve learned a lot of things in my life and doing A LOT of research before doing something I do not understand is one of them.

I have said this before, but Assassin’s Creed is probably one of my most favorite video game series. The trademark weapon of the games is the Hidden Blade. The Hidden Blade is a special switchblade that the assassins of the game use to perform stealthy attacks on their enemies. The blade is “hidden” on the forearm, attached to a special gauntlet. By tensing their forearm muscles and bending their hand back, the assassins eject the blade out of its sheathe.

I enjoy Assassin’s Creed so much that I was able to get my dad to order me a prop version of the Hidden Blade design that was from the most recent installment back in May as a reward for all my hard work studying for my AP Tests. I managed to get a massive discount for the prop by purchasing it for only $15 (original price $40). The blade is made out of a very dull plastic, but the entire gauntlet is moulded exactly like in the newest version of the game. I was very excited to try to make modifications to my new prop to make it work similar to the games. I was so enthusiastic that I attempted to modify it only three days after receiving it in the mail.

Currently, there is no way to make the prop Hidden Blades eject like in the game. It only takes a push of a button at the end of the blade to release the spring-lock mechanism that holds the blade in the sheathe. This is nothing like the video games, but even so, I did not give up hope, so I did some QUICK research on the Internet. There are various models of the Hidden Blade that are available, but they do not eject the blade similar to the games. There is a common modification for all of the models by drilling a tiny hole through the button and tying a long string that connects the hole with a ring that goes on the finger. Doing this makes it possible to bend the hand back, which yanks the string and pulls down the button, and having the illusion that just bending the hand ejects the blade.

This would not be the case for the model of the Hidden Blade that I purchased. I only started at the first step, which was drilling the hole through the button, and I realized that I made a big mistake. I drilled the hole through the button, but in the process I broke the spring-lock that prevented the blade from ejecting. There was a lock on the blade that prevents any unintentional misfires of the blade by accidentally pushing the button, but my project was ruined. Pushing the button would not eject the blade because it would just spring out on its own when the lock was off. I threw aside my Hidden Blade prop and was unable to look at it for months because I was so excited to buy it and I broke it after only a few days.

I was recently very lucky that my dad was nice enough to buy me a brand new copy of the Hidden Blade I broke, making me feel better about my mistake. After that incident, I promised myself that I would not modify this brand, new blade and not break it again.