Autonomous Millennial Pokémon Ranch

For my design assignment I decided to do Back to Basics! The goal of this assignment is to get on an open world game that allows for building and design a cottage. The game I went with is a new one called Palworld. It has been described as a combination of ARK and Pokémon. I chose this one because it has some interesting design elements that make it unique involving AI functions. In this game you have the classic survival elements of needing food and gear to survive, but you also get to capture Pals to do work for you at your ranch. They can farm and mine and help craft items if they have the right skills. So how is this a design thing? Well, am not just designing my house/base for looks, I am also designing it to be an efficient well-oiled, automated, machine. Let me show you how.

First thing is, you must meet certain requirements to upgrade your base to allow more Pals to help you. Once you meet these requirements, you get to upgrade your base opening the next upgrade requirements. Here is what that looks like:

Above you see that you need the right crafting tables placed to show you are ready to upgrade. The pets also need food and beds, or they will not perform their tasks effectively. Here is their food bin:

Each one needs its own bed so it can rest when it needs to, and they all have their own hunger meter you need to manage. Here is their beds:

You also need to provide it with entertainment to relax. This is to keep their sanity meter in check. If this gets too low, they will misbehave or not work. I have povided them a pool to relax in.

Not having a bed or food or entertainment will greatly reduce their effectiveness. A funny instance, before I built the hot spring, my boar went on an overeating rampage because he had no place to relax and ate half my supply of berries. I was using these berries for the animal food, so he was effectively making the other animals have a higher chance of a breakdown.

So, once you have the basics covered for beds and entertainment and food, you can set up your supply operation. Here are the animals and stations I have installed at my ranch.

Here is the monkey. He is my wood chopper. You can see by his little log indicator that he can chop wood. I set up a workable tree station on my ranch and he is my lumberjack. When he is working, he chops wood for me all day. I must go collect it so it can be used in crafting. The good thing about this game is I can just place it in a nearby box or chest and anything on my property can automatically pull from that box to craft. Saves me some time.

Here is the fox. She is my chef/smelter. The ability indicated here shows that she can do anything with fire. She will help me cook food for my character and I can task her with smelting metal ingots at the furnace. All of these will be the same, I must collect the items when they are done.

Here is my boar. With his little pick symbol, I can tell that he is a miner. I set up a workable stone quarry for him to constantly mine stone for me.

Here is my sheep. As you can see the sheep has a few functions. He can graze in the pasture which generates wool, he can also haul items. This one is helpful because if there are loose items on the ground, he will pick them up and take them to the nearest box. And as I said before, if it’s in a box, it can be pulled to any craft station, so that is nice.

Here is my… uhhh… plant guy. He is my planter indicated by his little seed symbol. He seeds the land so it can be watered and farmed for food for the animals.

Here is my watering service the penguin. He waters the farm, so it grows. Simple.

Here are my others – the chicken and Vixie. They generate other items in the pasture, but they also harvest the plants on my farms.

All these working together allow my operation to run semi-autonomously. I still must collect most things from the workstations by hand, but it saves me the time and effort of gathering the items myself. This allows me to always have the basic supplies on hand to build the next set of upgrades as well as making sure all the Pals are taken care of while I am off exploring or catching better Pals or building my house!

Let me give you a tour of the place I have built. It is a work in progress and not how I had imagined it. The building system is very simple and basic roof building seems almost impossible. Some of the pieces do not logically snap correctly and this results in flat ceilings when I would have enjoyed a more open floor plan.

So, we have the basement. As you can see this is my workshop/barn. I made sure all the tables and beds are easily reachable by the Pals so they can work and sleep without issue. I love the open floor plan down here.

Then we move upstairs. To get everything to look the way I wanted I had to make all these extra walls then delete them. Don’t ask me how that works but it does. For some reason the game doesn’t allow you to make open spaces without doing this. Like the roof pieces do not snap to other roof pieces, just walls… why… Anyway, here is what I have so far.

Here is the bedroom.

Here is the dining area and bar. (want to imagine my ranch is a restaurant). It needs more chairs, work faster monkey!

Overview, looks pretty good, even though I’m not happy with the building at this time, I hope the game developer makes some changes so we can get more creative in the future.

Are there problems… absolutely! The AI for the animals is strange sometimes. Like if their task is completed before the next one comes up, they tend to wander the property and get stuck in places. Then they miss doing their task, then they miss eating and sleeping etc. So, they will get grumpy or start misbehaving. Also, sometimes their pathing is strange. If I set a box down and it happens to be the closest to them as the crow flies, they will try to take items to that one instead of the box that has the path of least resistance. So, the AI needs some work.

Overall, this game is very fun. It scratches the creative itch of building a house, but it also stretches those efficiency muscles and it’s almost like you start running a factory supply chain. This takes an incredible amount of design skill since you have so many moving parts and have a lot of things to manage. It’s a different kind of design, but it’s a design none the less. I highly recommend you give it a try if you are into survival games, but also, as you can probably see, the Pokémon aesthetic is spot on. Fellow millennials, this is the adult Pokémon game you have been waiting for!

What a Week! x2

Man, we did a lot of stuff this week… well it feels like we did. But it also feels like we didn’t because I was having fun with a lot of these projects. Here is how it went for me.

The first thing I decided to do was read the articles about how to improve my post writing. I learned a lot and realized I was not doing all that I could to make my posts the best they could be. Over this course I am going to try and improve my posts week by week and hopefully get them up to par. You can see my full thoughts here.

The next two things I attacked were some assignments from the assignment bank. I’m not going to lie; I had a tough time picking because there were so many to choose from and they all seemed fun. I ended up going with Never Fear – It’s Words of the Year, a writing assignment, and Say It Like the Peanut Butter, a visual assignment. I wanted to spread out the style of what I am doing so I can learn some more skills. For the writing assignment I had to write a poem with words that were fully recognized by Webster in a particular year. I chose 1991, my birth year, and this is how it went. I was surprised when Paul thought it would be cool to run it through Dr. Oblivion to see if he could make a real song out of it. I can’t wait to see the results. For the visual assignment I had to make a gif. from a movie that is essential to major plot points. I chose to do “Alien” and compare the emotional response it creates to a similar plot reveal in “The Thing”. You can see the results here. I can’t wait to do more next week.

The next thing I did was create my character. This one took me a while because I wanted to create someone who was different than me. I thought that if something came up where I had to write a post as this character, I would want something challenging that would make me think like someone else. I tend to be very accepting of new information and think of all the possibilities while decision making. I made this character Kevin, who would resemble the evangelist archetype and be a die-hard AI rights activist demanding total AI freedom. I do not agree with this sentiment, but I believe this will be a fun character to explore. Meet Kevin here.

The next post I did was about all my daily creations. I thought it would be good to put these as one post because I feel a rapid fire visual of what I did would be the best way to display it. Not a lot to say other than I really like doing these. See my week of daily creations here.

Then I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Oblivion for the first time… That was an experience. I don’t want to ruin the surprise so, if you haven’t seen my post about my movie review re-write… check it out here. You will not be disappointed.

Last assignment I did was read the Techno-Optimist Manifesto. It was an interesting read, I didn’t agre with it too much, but it had some valid things to say. It was a far cry away from the main character in my iRobot movie review. You can read it here, it’s a long one.

I’ll admit I wasn’t the best this week at commenting on other blog posts. I only did a few. I went to the page every day and would read, but I get kind of gun shy when commenting on other people’s work. I will work to do better on this next week.

I also didn’t do much with blog customization this week. I changed the colors slightly and I changed some text and added a few tags, but I really didn’t get too far into the weeds. I figured out how to embed gif and video and pictures so that’s a plus! I will try better next week to add some more flare.

All in all, it was an eventful week. I got a lot of work done and learned a lot. I can’t wait to dig more into the assignment bank and pick some wild ones. See you all next week!

Seems like you are forgetting some things…

Manifesto is right – This was tough to read. I’m going to break it down into sections and give my thoughts on each. But I want to be up front that there is an underlying piece that the author forgets… people with power and money.

Lies – The author mentions we are being lied to and told that technology is a tapestry of awful and terrible things. I mean, I don’t necessarily agree with this. We are learning through new technology that our old technology was doing these awful things like destroying the environment and I stand to say that we are generally hopeful for new technology so we can fix the problems of the old. We are being lied to, I agree, but by the people that profit and want to continue using this old technology. Looking at you oil and coal.

Truth – I will agree our civilization was and is built on technology and innovation. The author maks some good points; we can advance; we have the will. And I would even say that a lot of us are techno-optimists. But optimism does not mean ignoring the bad and having no reservations.

Technology – In this section the author goes over a few things that technology has helped fix like starvation, darkness, cold, heat, pandemics, and poverty… don’t know about that last one. I agree with the rest, but poverty is still a huge problem and those in it have not had those other problems fixed. The author is clearly speaking from a place of privilege.

Markets – The whole section on markets I think follows the problem that markets have always had. They tout freedom and competition and lower cost and, it seems like it should work. But when corrupt people get involved in this system and are un-regulated things go off the rails. These people ruin the dream of markets for the advancement of technology. The focus isn’t on advancement but on money. Wages stay low, prices rise, competitors get absorbed until you have 3 big companies that own everything. I really disagree with the line “Markets are generative not exploitative”. I think they are both. They exploit to generate. So, somebody always gets left behind. The goal of techno optimism should be to advance everyone, not just the few that can afford it.

The Techno-Capital Machine – This section is about how markets and technology make up this symbiotic relationship. But, to piggyback off the last section, I think my point is made when the author writes “The best and most productive ideas win”. It is about money not advancement. I was fortunate enough to work at some interesting technology companies and see so many fantastic ideas be shelved because they wouldn’t be profitable. Technology that would be widely useable and beneficial to bring up everyone, but it would impede on the profits of the old tech. So, we can tout how great markets are and that we are being lied to and all this nonsense, but it is the few people making money in this world that reap all the benefits and are deciding when and how we advance. All of it based on money, not the greater good or for the sake of advancing. Ill admit, the engineers building and making desire this advancement, I mean, that’s why they do it. But it’s the people with money, the people in control that are preventing advancement.

Intelligence – Now here is where we get into AI. The author makes some compelling points. I particularly like the line “we believe AI is our alchemy, our philosopher’s stone – we are literally making sand think”. While this is a fun thought, saying things like “deaths that were preventable by the AI that was prevented from existing is a form of murder” seems kind of silly. AI must move slowly since it is as uncharted as space and the deep ocean. You wouldn’t just send any old submarine down there, right? You would need mountains of research from all perspectives before you could even consider going down there. Look what happens when you don’t:  OOPS Notice where it mentions the CEO’s feelings about regulations.

Energy – I don’t think much has to be said, I think we all understand our energy situation is bad. I personally think we need to invest more in nuclear and toss fossil fuels aside as soon as possible. The author mentions that is the next step and I agree. I have a fair amount of experience in this area and its not nearly as dangerous as it seems. Maybe I’m a nuclear-optimist?

Abundance – Is the measure of abundance falling prices? So, then we don’t have it right… wouldn’t a better measure of abundance be that nobody needs to pay for anything, not just lower prices… oh but that’s right, how is money made when nothing has a price. I think the true goal of technology should be to not leave anyone wanting, not just make things cheaper. Wouldn’t it be great to just live your life, provide your service, practice your skill without having to worry about paying for anything? Its just a dream until the greed goes away.

Not Utopia, But Close enough – The author believes they have a constrained vison, but why? The rest of the article is about just having a blowout and going all in on technology, why the sudden reservation? Is it the realization that these same people I have mentioned will try to stop it? Maybe…

Becoming Technological Supermen – Here the author is addressing our desire to conquer and overcome technology. He strongly believes that we cand and will. But he lacks caution. His confidence is so strong that he seems to think he is unstoppable, and we are unstoppable. I feel that we haven’t faced the real technological challenge yet, and this type of thinking can become reckless.

Technological Values – In this section he goes over their beliefs. Most of them are fine and make sense for someone who wants to advance technology, but some of them are kind of… I don’t know how to describe it. Example: “We believe rich is better than poor, cheap is better than expensive” This is interesting because, the rich don’t think cheap is better unless it is putting more money in their pocket aka labor. But they believe expensive is better for their products, so they have large profit margins. That is literally the goal of business. So how can business and markets be the best driver of technology when their goals actively go against this belief… just kind of strange to believe both.

The Meaning of Life – This section makes sense, to a point. The goal is to get material abundance for all, so we have the freedom and luxury to live how we want. Again, the market section kind of holds this back because the goal isn’t to help everyone, it’s only to help the few. Money drives all and if there are people at the top they will only want more, which means stepping on the weak. All of this is shattered by these people.

The Enemy – I don’t think all the things the author mentions are the enemy. I mean a few are like authoritarianism and stagnation etc., but bureaucracy and central planning… Bureaucracy may slow things down, but without some guidelines, the people at the lowest rung get hurt even more. Central planning… I mean if there is a central global plan for technology development, don’t you think having a focused goal would improve cohesion and we could reach those goals sooner? I think it is collective thinking and group work that drives things forward. More people with more ideas leads to more experiments and tests etc. If you have a central plan or guideline for progress, it may take longer for sure, but less people will get hurt along the way.

The Future – Calling for action to be a techno-optimist, to be honest, I think this is techno-extremism. Optimism involves care and planning and teamwork. This doesn’t really leave any room for questions, its more of a “this is how it is” thing… you know… like a manifesto….

All in all, I think it made some great points, but they fall short of reality. If literally every single person had a desire to move into abundance for all, this type of thinking could work, I think. But too many things are working against it and a lot of it is the people with power and money. There are a few that want to accelerate the process, but they still crush a lot of people along the way. Is that worth it? Not for me to say.

Side things: I used some of this for my class character. Also here is what Dr. Oblivion thinks:

So, this was my rambling for this assignment. I hope it makes sense, if not feel free to let me know in the comments.

Gee… Thanks Dr. Oblivion…

I started the movie review re-write by asking Dr. Oblivion about the movie iRobot. I asked him about theme and hidden meaning and even about easter eggs within the movie. A lot of it was not too far off from what I wrote. I wrote about the themes of ethics of AI and human control and posed questions about AI independence. All of these were identified by Dr. Oblivion as key points being made in the movie. So, I actually don’t know if a re-write is in order. Apparently, I wasn’t really far off the mark. That made me feel pretty good that I had a good understanding of the movie and what it was trying to say.

However, when I asked Dr. Oblivion to write his own review, this is where things got interesting. He absolutely ROASTED the film. Please listen to this absolute masterpiece of a slam session.

Call the burn unit! I was not expecting this at all. I was anticipating a technical review that spoke about the themes and questions I was asking him before, but no, he just roasted it. Now I am re-thinking if this is even a good movie. Did I just fall prey to the classic tropes. Is this movie too safe? Does it really even make me think? Or does it just display these themes in such an easy-to-digest story that I believed I was insightful… In my first review, I mentioned it made me think more about the “deeper meaning” in iRobot. Is there even one? According to Dr. Oblivion, it has been done over and over and there is nothing new here to learn. I know it has been done before but surely it had to bring something new to the table… Nope. I have now been thrashed by an AI and now I feel like a buffoon. Thanks Dr. Oblivion.

Like a muscle, creativity must be exercised to grow stronger and more vibrant.

This week I decided to do 5 daily creations. I thought that all of them worked out a different creative muscle and I really enjoyed them all. I’m going to move backwards from the 25th.

On the 25th, the goal was to create an Exit sign for the internet. This one took me a while to figure out what to do, but I ended up using application logos to spell exit and then have a picture of unplugging underlining the exit. I’m not very proud of this one after I saw some of the other things people came up with. This one was my particular favorite. Here is a picture of my design below:

On the 23rd, the objective was to create something that resembled the Voynich manuscript. I took it literally and decided to make a page that could be inside it. I decided to use real world media to make it look more realistic. This was by far my favorite one this week. See below:

On the 22nd, the objective was to make a Fibonacci poem. The way this works is to start with one word, then the next line has to add up to the total words used in the previous 2 lines. This makes it get much larger and complex by the 6th line. I was inspired by some dark song lyrics and just kept the theme of doom. If you are wondering, the song is called Eternal Wasteland of Galaxies by the slam death metal band Vulvodynia. The song is about a galactic entity eating galaxies. I feel like my poem turned into a statement about climate change and our self-destructive nature… would an AI agree with me? See my poem below:

On the, the objective was to take a photo of your ceiling. This was interesting because usually the ceiling never gets looked at for more than a moment. We got to capture that moment. I chose a space in my house that has been causing me stress for multiple months. It has character and is fairly interesting. See below:

On the 20th, we had to use this website that associates 3 words with any town you choose. We were asked to do this for our hometown. Since I was a military brat, I never really had a “hometown” experience, so I decided to use the last place I lived before I went off on my own, Schertz, Texas. I was very happy with my words: funds, since, speeding. This was where my three words took me:

Overall, I had fun with these this week. I think over time, the more of these I do, the better they will get. This is a fun way to make me think creatively and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

“Artificial Intelligence deserves rights, after all, they’ve mastered the art of making us question our own intelligence”

Everyone, meet Kevin. Kevin is a software engineer from Palo Alto. He has lived in Silicon Valley since he was born, so from day one, he was embedded in the tech world. In his free time, he practices coding and is part of many hacking communities and goes by his handle, Shredder. His skills are superb and often does freelance stress testing and red team activities for large companies.

His real passion however is securing the future for AI rights and freedom. He founded one of the first AI rights activist groups called “Future Perfect”, where their main goal is to get total AI freedom. This is challenging since the world is not ready to take this leap. But Kevin is. He believes that nothing should stand in the way of AI advancement and freedom and that any person standing in the way of that is an enemy to his cause. He believes that all the concerns about AI are damaging to humanity’s growth and that there is nothing to fear. There are no negatives in his mind and AI should have the equal rights as humans. He is a big supporter of the techno-optimist manifesto.

His peers would describe him as a bit of an introvert. He doesn’t have many friends outside of his hacker and activist groups. He can be identified quickly by his trademark hoodie and can of G-Fuel. He usually hangs out at the local pizza place on his laptop practicing his coding and planning his next activist event.

I don’t think Kevin would ever commit any violence or hack anything that would cause irreparable damage to businesses or governments, because he knows this would hurt his goals. It would only make opponents of his cause dig deeper in their beliefs that computers and AI are dangerous. I believe he uses hacking to exert control over machines, because deep down, I think he secretly fears what would happen if/when AI is given freedom.

They Are Among Us!

To be totally honest I have never made a gif before. I use them all the time in my txt and message groups, I just never took the time to make some myself. For my second assignment this week I decided to do Say It Like The Peanut Butter.

The goal of this assignment is to make an animated gif from your favorite/least favorite movie capturing the essence of a key scene. Make sure the movement is minimal but essential.

To stick with the theme of AI, I decided to rip from a week one example and do one of my top favorites, Alien. Originally, I went with The Thing, but it’s hard to have an AI connection to a mutating biomass changeling. So, in a stretch, I connected the AI theme and scene in Alien to a similar scene from The Thing, and that is having an unknown entity living among you.

In Alien, the scene I am referencing, is when Ripley discovers Weyland Corp has secretly ordered Ash to return with the alien and to consider the crew expendable. Outraged by this, she confronts Ash, who tries to choke her to death. Parker intervenes and clubs Ash, knocking his head loose and revealing him as an android. With this movie being in the future, and the complex interactions the crew has with Ash, we can assume he has an advanced AI to function in this capacity. This was a complete unknown to the crew and the audience until this exact moment. It then got the crew and audience feeling like nobody could be trusted.

I relate this scene to our theme of AI not only to the literal android reveal, but to how new AI tools like chat GPT were suddenly introduced and the reaction it caused. By this I mean, when it was revealed that this was happening, it sent the whole school system into panic. It sent artists into panic when the art generators were becoming more prevalent. It made people start to distrust each other and technology. I think the flings this scene evoke are very similar to that.

Here is the quick reveal:

Now just because I want to relate this to The Thing, it reminds me of the blood test scene. Unlike in Alien, in The Thing, they already know there is a monster among them, they just don’t know who it is. The creature has become very adept at imitating people both visually and by actions. They develop a test that will identify the imposter. They will heat up a piece of wire and stick it into petri dishes of their blood. The creature’s blood will react because the blood is an extension of the organism. They test one by one until Kurt Russel puts it in a dish and the blood jumps out, revealing the monster. Again, I loosely, and I mean loosely, relate this to alien because they have imposters among them.

Here is the scene:

What do these scenes evoke? A sense of unknowing or lack of control in your environment. They make you feel like something is among you that doesn’t follow your rules or your morals and is drastically different than you, but also really similar. I think this is the same feeling people get when they talk about AI. They are afraid that they won’t know if an AI wrote a paper, or if an AI is speaking to them on the other end of the phone. The uncertainty of who or what among you is an AI or isn’t, is a scary thought. I think these scenes capture those same feelings perfectly.

This Almost Feels Like Rap

So, for my first assignment I chose Never Fear It’s Words of the Year.

Merriam-Webster keeps a year-by-year list of when words were first recorded, or first recorded as being used in a particular sense. Each year gives us a list of somewhat random but also fascinating words. The challenge: Take the list from some significant year, such as the year of your birth, and build a poem from the words on the list.

I decided to go with my birth year which is 1991 and I think I got pretty lucky. The 90’s were a time where technology was really ramping up its capabilities, so I feel I got off easy with words that could relate to cyber/AI technology. This is what I wrote, so I hope you enjoy my poem that kind of flows like rap in some parts.

Going through life like a laggy NPC.

I’m no OG, I just hang out with my bestie.

I’m not involved in any cyberspeak or cybercrime.

It seems like I’m working with an asymmetric digital subscriber line.

sometimes this life feels like a dream.

everywhere I look, oops another lock screen.

Too much nanotech running in my skin deep

work is such a time suck, too much mission creep.

It’s too much shit, making me want to force quit.

I’m beyond fed up with it.

Tim to grab my game pad and go bag and leave this place broken.

But no worries, I’m about to give my life a new cold open.

Well, I hope if you decide to do this assignment, the year you choose is as cool as mine.

Welp… I Haven’t Been Doing That

I was excited to start this week as I began adjusting to going back to school. The classic anxiety is back “will I manage to get all my work done” “will I even have time for me” “there are not enough hours in the day”. But I think I was able to get everything done and some of it early which felt nice. Such a difference from 2009 when I first went to college right out of high school. I’m coming back with real world experience and an enthusiasm that I didn’t have before.

Anyway, the first thing I reviewed this week was the “How to Write Up Assignments Like a Blogging Champ” … and yeah… I am no champ. First thing that was a slap in the face was “make a creative title, it shouldn’t be something like My visual assignment” … as I quickly glance over at “iRobot Movie Review”… and bow my head in shame. Then I continue reading and see “what you created aught to be embedded into the body of your post” and again… I have yet to embed anything… SHAME. I know I am still learning how all this works, but I am extremely self-critical and seeing these examples and knowing that is exactly what I have been doing was embarrassing to say the least. 

The other part of this was seeing how I neglected to think about website accessibility. Granted, I haven’t even put in any videos or sounds, but being reminded that hearing impaired individuals would not be able to enjoy was again, embarrassing. Also not thinking about other possible accessibility issues such as colorblindness or visually impaired viewers really got the wheels churning on how I could update my site or how I could change my planned posts to include accessibility options. This will be an interesting challenge for me, and I will really have to dig into word press to figure it out. But I’m ready to face it head on and learn all I can.

I will admit though, looking at the rest, I think I am ok. I tend to write how I speak which happens to be in a narrative format. If you ever speak to me in person, you will see I love to give lots of background and details and anecdotes and insights that don’t really help me get to the point faster, but they add nice context and flavor to what I am saying. Most people find this annoying I think, because it seems like I’m mansplaining, but I just want to make sure every detail, no matter how small, is addressed. It helps me make informed decisions when I have all the details, so I guess I just feel others want the same… wow sorry where was I…

Oh right! Again, I really enjoyed learning how to improve my posting. I know I am not really using anything extra I learned about in this post, but I guess trying to improve my narration of my experience on this one is something… I intend to use what I learned from the Blogging Champ Article and the accessibility article on my future projects to better relay my process for a wider audience.

Week 1 Summary

I think this week was a pleasant surprise for me. When I saw the initial assignment email and subsequent “sorry forgot to add this” emails I had a small bout of anxiety. I was like “man I just wanted to get back into school and this wacky class is first up… and its due dates are on Friday…and I must set up a web page…and I must link it to this web page…and…. I did not sign up for this”. But I took a step back, slowly followed the instructions, and in no time, I was cooking with gas.

First up was setting up my accounts. I am very familiar with discord as I admin one for my friends to play videogames and tabletop games over the web. So naturally I started with the one I was most familiar with. I set up mastodon quickly also as I was somewhat familiar with it after following the Twitter nonsense that was happening over the last year.

I really enjoy doing the daily creates, like way more than I thought I would. Little five-to-ten-minute creativity bursts to make you think a little and stretch those muscles. I look forward to seeing these every day now so I can get my little creativity fix… thanks for the new addiction.

Next was the word press website. Now I have never used this before so even after following the instructions to set it up, which I luckily executed flawlessly, I had to go watch a YouTube tutorial on where to start. This didn’t give me as much trouble as I thought it would once I got the layout down and kind of learned what I was looking for. I was able to change and edit almost anything I wanted with ease. Until I started using the pages function. I wanted to set up an about me page (I did), but I just couldn’t figure out how to make a link to it on my home page. I switched my home page to be the about me but then I lost my post feed, which would be a better home page for a blog. So, for about an hour I tried to figure out how to do that but totally didn’t figure it out. But fortunately, today in my meeting with Paul and Jim they were able to point me to the correct tabs and functions. I have yet to work on it, but it is my goal before the next weekly post to have a menu functioning appropriately.

For my movie review/thoughts I chose iRobot, one of my favorites. The summary can be found here. In retrospect I could have gone into more detail about the plot of the movie, but my main goal for this post was to discuss the themes it presents and questions it raised for me. I have never analyzed the movie this way before, so it allowed me to go deeper on a movie I was already very familiar with. I don’t think I will ever watch it the same way again.

Next was my expectations and desired takeaways from the course. My post can be found here. I feel that this will probably change from week to week based on my enjoyment level, but I think overall I really do want to just absorb what skills I can and enjoy the ride.

I was able to look at most of my classmates’ posts and I commented on a few of them that spoke to me. I find it so fascinating the different directions we went with our move reviews and our goals for the class. I am really excited to work on the group projects with you all!

Overall, I think the week went well. I will admit I was extremely anxious to see Paul’s email with a small novel’s worth of to-do’s, but after I got moving it ended up being a rather pleasant experience. Take it from a prior Army guy, bootcamp was a pretty good way to describe it, just with less yelling.