Migration Complete

Hey guys,

Steve here.

I just wanted to inform everyone that – as of last week, my site’s migration is officially complete. I have also initiated a follower migration. While I cannot affirm that it has been successful, due to some technical issues I was having, I no longer see them on the old site (now hosted at sssjournal.wordpress.com).

I never received a confirmation email from WordPress.com stating that the follower migration was complete. If you follow and are getting this, mind dropping in a comment to let me know that it worked?

Thanks!

A Story All too Often Told

A lamentation

Even the wisest of men don’t see when they’re about to be blindsided, for if they could then how could it be labeled such? No sense of togetherness, completeness, or awareness is completely fool proof; one cannot possibly look at every minute angle at once. But far less plausible is the idea that they can not only look in every direction simultaneously, but process and understand the information they receive in doing so and use it to completely and accurately predict future events. No, a wise man can still be made a fool, so much so that he questions the reality of his supposed wisdom, and wonders if it existed in the first place.

Continue reading “A Story All too Often Told”

Cartwright Road

I never really knew much about the town I grew up in. I couldn’t see what was where and always had people to drive me places, because being a suburb it always suffered a severe lack of public transportation.

I did know a select few places though – my schools, my home, and of course I knew that Cartwright Road in Mesquite was either at, or close to, the location of McDonald’s. So, to me, Cartwright Road was always associated with McDonald’s.

Now though, it’s a cross and flowers; a monument to a truly beautiful soul, as it will be from now on. That McDonald’s is no longer just another McDonald’s, but the last place my bro would ever try to go and something we both loved. On Cartwright, just 30 seconds from McDonald’s is where he made his final thoughts, his final plans, saw his final rays of sunshine, maybe said his final words. Cartwright Road is more than just a passing point to other destinations now, or the route to McDonald’s, it’s Justin’s road home.

Continue reading “Cartwright Road”

Some Interesting News

Hey guys,
Hey guys,
Steve here.
Several of you don’t know this, but a few years ago I used to have this podcast going. It was very informal, and not too well put together – I had a podcast feed, and a page, and I think a feedback form but that’s about it. The topic of the podcast, as well as its schedule, changed quite often. I eventually stopped doing that podcast, because I got burnt out on it. I also think I was younger, busier, less sure, etc, so I never really planned episodes and ended up making commitments I couldn’t really keep up with.
However, I am trying the podcast thing again. Over these last couple years, I’ve been watching lets plays of games on Youtube, and listening to fellow more professional blind peoples’ streams. While I will not pretend to be professional, (I want a laid back and chill but still somewhat structured cast), I will have it a lot more put together than its predecessor.
The first Episode will be on November 1. I will attempt to do an audio stream of it, combined with a live chat room, but this may or may not be possible. If not, I’ll still record and post it as normal.
I invite you to visit the podcast page, linked below. There I have posted the description of the podcast/my goal with it, as well as a “next planned episode” section which will detail what I will be doing in the next episode and when it will be created. There is also a feedback form which I encourage anyone interested in the podcast to use to suggest, comment, criticize, or just chat about an episode or the podcast in general. I intend this podcast to be as listener-driven and communicative as it is controlled by me. My listeners are what will keep this thing going, so I believe they deserve excellent treatment. I can say I do all the work but in truth, it’ll be you guys taking 30 minutes or more out of your day to listen and interact with the cast that’ll keep it going for real.
Finally, you guys who read the blog know I never ask for money on this site. I blog because I love to blog (okay I’ve been slipping, but still). I don’t believe that the content I put here, stories or otherwise, is worth asking that people fork over money to view it. However, I have added a donate button to the podcast page. Whatever is paid here will go to the cost of this site or the streaming server, or will give me, a college student, less of a likelihood to see a two-digit bank balance. My policy still stands though: I don’t expect to be paid or donated to. If I did, the button would be to buy episodes, not to voluntarily donate. This podcast is not money driven – so while I’ll mention the donate button briefly to remind people of its existence once or twice in an episode, I will not pressure anyone to use it. You donate to me if you feel like it, found the blog or a podcast good enough to warrant it, think I deserve it, whatever. If you don’t though, we’re still cool. You’re no less of a person. 🙂
That out of the way, This is the podcast page. I’m optimistic about this podcast, and generally just can’t wait to chat with people and have fun!
Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.
Ps. Life related blog post in a few days.

"My Song"

Hey guys,
Steve here.
This is sad, I’m warning you. I wrote it as a warm-up for the creative writing class I am in at school. Normally I don’t even save these journals, but I am this time because it’s one of the writings I’m particularly proud of. I left the prompt in here so you could know where this came from.
·         Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, or cruelty–but find the beauty (silver lining) in it.
————————————————————
It was dark.
        The power had long since been knocked out, plunging this lonely house and the broken street on which it barely clung to life into complete darkness. Even the Sun had retreated from view as though it too was afraid to show its beautiful face in a land so completely consumed by such unimaginable destruction.
        Yet the plains streaked overhead – wining, roaring, depositing their hate-filled payloads on our dead city. I did not know why. We had long since fallen from our knees. We were face up on the ground, staring lifelessly at the starlit sky, unable to see even the slightest flicker of brightness – and wasn’t that their goal? Didn’t they aim to block out all the light? If so, they did it already by casting the shadows of their flying devils upon us, and destroying the foundations of who we were with thunderous booms and the hellish orange glow that followed – no. It was clear to all of us – including those whose lives were lost as everything they ever stood for was pulverized before their eyes – that those people wanted us all gone, entirely.
        Yet somehow, by some cruelly ironic miracle I could not name, through all of this, I laid protectively atop my three-year-old sister in what used to be my parents’ bathtub. And in this moment, I felt we were the only two living things left on the planet – the last two flickering pulses of light in a god awful sea of lifelessness.
As I laid there, plaster raining down upon me with every intensifying trimmer, I prayed  to whatever inexplicably cruel thing was listening. By God, if I wasn’t gonna survive this, couldn’t she at least? I wanted a bright future for her. I wanted all this destruction to be a thing of her past; never forgotten but never repeated. She was way too young to be forced into our bitter ways.
I had already excepted the inevitability of death’s staccato steps eventually bringing it to my house, where it would smash the entire structure and rip us out with vicious claws and crush us in its ravenous jaws. And yet as I laid there, holding and singing to my sister who seemed, at least for the moment blissfully unaware of the danger around us, I felt a spark of triumph light within me. Perhaps the war had taken away almost everything I know. Perhaps my parents were gone – maybe dead, maybe not, but certainly never to be seen again. However, this bond I shared with this tiny child – so insignificant in the grand scheme of things and so fragile, was the one thing the war could never rip from me. If anything, the war had only made it stronger.
        There was a massive crash. It was louder than any that had occurred thus far. It shook the house so violently, that I felt as though someone had picked us up, and slammed us down. A gasp escaped my sister’s lips, as the fearful tears began to fall from her eyes, dripping down her face and collecting in a pool behind her head. “Sam? I’m scared…” She murmured against my chest. I pulled her closer to me. Her tears soaked through my shirt, burning their way into my heart like acid.
“Please don’t let them hurt me, please?” She sobbed, desperation rising in her voice. “It’s my turn,” I thought to myself, the inevitability crashing into me like the constant shock waves. My song was dead now, for I had no more words to sing. Instead, the melodious bells of death rang in its place, louder than ever before. They were coming. Even my 3-year-old sister new that.
“It’s gonna get us, Sam. Daddy said we should run away if it tried to get us! What are you gonna-” She was practically screaming now, her body shaking against my chest.
“It’s okay, baby. I promise. Let it take you,” I whispered to her, stroking her hair. I absolutely despised myself for saying these words to her, because it meant I had failed her, myself, and my parents, and the rest of the world in the worst way imaginable.
“But I’m scared…” she protested.
There was a horrible whistle, as though from the gates of hell themselves. I squeezed my sister even tighter, folding my arms around her head protectively. And as the monster punched into our little haven of safety, I made my last dying promise. “Shhh. Don’t be. It’s okay. I’ve got you. I’ve always got you. We’ll go together. It can never hurt us then.”
Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

Unearth, my first attempt at a larger scale short story

Hey guys,

Steve here.

This semester, I joined a creative writing class. My first assignment was to write a story about anything of my choosing, as long as it was at least 1000 words and had 3 or more characters. The following is my result. It’s just over 3600 words. I apologize for coming back after all this time with such a long post. Anyway, enjoy; and feel free to leave feedback.

Unearth

Early on the morning of reentry, the service droid assigned to maintenance of the habitation decks on board the Curious Beast stood in the sleeping quarters of the meager scouting party assigned to the ship. The droid stood no more than 4 feet tall, but despite his short stature, his features were made with intricate design – from the slight dimple on the right side of his face, to the slightly pointed nose, currently scrunched in exasperation.

The ball-shaped lenses that served for his eyes rested in their unnaturally rounded sockets above his high cheek bones, currently illuminated with a red glow, to perpetuate his glare. His immaculately groomed eyebrows were raised above them to complete the look. His ears were abnormally large, jutting out from the sides of his head like mini radar dishes; a testament to the fact that even robot design artists were still just human.

Read the full story

Starting Over

Hey guys,
Steve here.
I Want To Start Over.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do with this blog going forward. As those who have been with me from the beginning know, I’ve had this blog for six and a half years. Which is to say, I started this blog when I was in fifth grade… and, (at least mostly when you look at the big picture), maintained it almost solidly until I was nearly through with my junior year of high school.
As you can imagine, that’s a lot of growing and maturing. Some of you may not know this, but when this blog first began, it was a place where I’d post pretty much every single day, about “How My Day Went”. And I kid you not, as indicated by the quotations, that’s precisely what I titled every single one of those posts. In addition, I don’t think I really got it right on the first post I ever wrote. It was titled “My First Post!!! Welcome”, and consisted of the following two sentences:
“hi everyone and welcome to my weblog (or blog)! This is a blog about Steven Daugherty! hope you enjoy!”
It wasn’t until 2013 that the blog really began to take off. I stopped with the repetitive “How My Day Went” posts, switching over to the more conventional periodic update, also adding more site content. And for the past four years, that’s been the pattern this site has followed.
As I said though, I’ve recently been doing a lot of thinking. The result is that a lot of that content has been removed, though obviously not the several hundred blog posts – and even though there exists the option to wipe them all out of existence with essentially one click, I don’t particularly feel like doing so. Deleting a bunch of pages was one thing, but given the fact that most of my recent posts have taken around a half hour to write, I can only guess at the total amount of time I spent writing all of them.
I did this partly because I feel like I’ve grown out of some of that which inspired the removed content, though chiefly because of the fact that I feel like making a fresh start. From trying to establish schedules of when to blog, to (without saying so) trying to gear my posts towards specific subject matters such as coding and technology or life by making a bunch of consecutive posts about them, I just feel like all the recent reforms I’ve tried to make to this blog have fallen short. I just feel like I’ve been doing the blogging thing all wrong; trying to make it into something it can never be. Maybe it’s because I’ve striven to write every x days or, and this is what I personally believe, I’ve tried to create an image of myself that only partially exists.
Most of the time I present a witty persona, or write about something technological, or write about something great I’ve learned or achieved, or perhaps discuss life in a superficial way that generally describes only the highlights and the good things. Sometimes though, I feel like this is only stagnating my blog, even if it is providing readers with something they can enjoy, because it only gives me temporary enjoyment.
I am not implying that my life is bad below the surface, that I do not enjoy technology, and that I have been completely unhappy with my blog. After all, if these were the case, I hardly believe it would have been possible for me to sustain a blog for several years in those conditions. All I’m saying is… maybe I should write more freely. Maybe I should write whatever comes to mind, and stop attempting to craft it into conformity. That doesn’t mean this blog is going to get all depressing and dark or anything, it just means that I’m not always witty, geeky, and enthusiastic, and I think that in order to succeed, I should write even when I am not those things.
So welcome, all three hundred sixty of you, to my blog. I’m starting over. No limits this time.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.

The Best Birthday Ever

Hey guys,
Steve here.
Two days ago, I turned eighteen. That’s probably hard to believe for at least some of my followers– those who started following me when I first began this blog, less than a month after my twelfth birthday. Not only that, it’s hard for _me_ to believe. Even still, call me a man all you want, I’m a child at heart.
That said, I had one of the best birthday weekends ever. It was full of surprises. I got to drive an ATV (believe it or not I was the one in control of the wheel), and eat a bunch of fried chicken and other extremely unhealthy but delicious foods. Most importantly, though, I was able to spend it with some pretty awesome people.
First, there was Danny. I believe you all know who that is. But for those who don’t, he is my best friend who I have been communicating and gaming with for the last four years. Only problem is, he lives over a thousand miles a way, so as one might imagine we never get to see each other in person. But because it was my eighteenth birthday, my family planned for Danny to come for a surprise visit. Some how, they managed to keep it a secret from me for at least a month; I never knew a thing about it until he strolled in to the kitchen while I was making breakfast and, well, introduced himself all over again, in a way. I am not sure what the word is to describe the feeling I got; a mixture of excitement, bewilderment, and disbelief. I have been wanting to meet Danny in person for probably two years now, so being surprised with it first thing in the morning of what was to be a relatively ordinary school day amplified it.
In addition, Libby came back from college. Even though she had been down for spring break just a week before, she made the trip so she could spend time with me for my birthday, because she’s an awesome sister like that. I knew it was going to be an awesome weekend.
Earlier I said it was a relatively ordinary Friday. That’s because instead of spending the whole day at school, I was going on a trip to the mall for my annual Orientation and Mobility field trip. Since Libby was home for the weekend, and Danny was visiting, they, as well as my mom, got to come on the field trip with me. We spent the morning mostly just walking around, and because Danny, Libby and I are blind, the two adults would tell us the names of stores and we would try to guess what they sold. We just had, to pass a coffee shop, so of course that is the one shop I bought anything from – out of all of the stores in that huge place. The only other store we stopped at was Microsoft. That was my first time visiting a Microsoft store. Although I personally was impressed with the goods on display, my wallet was simply intimidated. So instead of buying anything, I settled with writing on one of the demo laptops, something along the lines of this:

To the next person to come across this:
Have a nice day!
meow.
Sincerely,
Chester the cat.

After the mall trip, we all went out to eat. My dad and vision teacher also got to join us for that. Then for the rest of the day, I hung out with Danny, while the rest of my family went shopping for yet another “something” for my party.
Although my birthday wasn’t until Sunday, we held the party on Saturday, since Danny and Libby would be leaving. I am not a social person by nature, but even though there were tons of people that showed up, I was so glad to have them there. It was such a wonderful evening. First, there was the fried chicken. According to Libby, fried chicken is apparently an “original” idea for a birthday. See, I didn’t think of it that way, I just thought it was a genius plan, but that’s just my opinion. Then, there was the cake. It was designed like a torn open bag of m&ms, and whatever they put on the top of it to make the design tangible actually felt to me like a near perfect representation, and there were m&ms spilling out. And yes, it tasted just as good as it sounds. There were cupcakes as well, with a similar condensed version of the design on them, and these had some sort of cream filling in the middle.
Aside from the wonderful food, there was that surprise my family was shopping for the previous day. After everyone finished eating, I was led out the door, and to the driveway, where there sat an ATV. It’s sort of like a car the way it feels, and it can seat up to five people. That’s just how awesome my family is; they surprise their blind son by taking him out to see the brand new ATV.
For the rest of the evening, we all hung out, ate a lot, and took turns driving the ATV. I enjoyed it because it was my first experience driving something on land without anyone holding the wheel or guiding my hands.
Finally, even Sunday turned out to be a great day. As it turns out, since the party and field trips and planning were all over, me, my parents, Libby, and Danny decided to spend my birthday relaxing. We made arrangements so that neither one of them would go home that day, instead they would wait until Monday when I too had to go back to school.
In the end, it ended up being one of the best weekends I’ve had in a really long time. I have to say. For having planned this all in secret behind my back, my family and the others who helped or participated did a heck of a good job. And I recognize that this has been an extraordinarily long post, especially since I haven’t wrote a word in what, gosh, five months? However, there was certainly a hole lot to talk about.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.
P.S. I have more catching up to do, but I think that if this gets any longer, it will turn into a novel. I’ll see you next time. Have a good one.

Hey Everyone: I figured out my blogging problem

Hey guys,
Steve here.

Hello everyone, here we go again. I would be skeptical, very much so, if all 330 odd people following this blog were to tell me that not a one of them were believing that this blog is dying, that I am no longer interested in maintaining it, or that it would be best for me not to continue because I will continue to frequently infrequent this blog. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite the opposite for me. Let me explain why.

No matter how many times I’ve acknowledged it, I never stopped trying to force myself to live up to some form of deadline or another. And I’ll be honest here, when I posted that I’d get something done, my biggest fear was that if I didn’t do it by the next post, it would cause people to lose at least some faith in me and believe that, perhaps, I was one of those “all talk” people, something which I do not want to be known for. For some reason, this sycle has repeated itself many a time over the last year, and I’ll explain it below:
1. I get excited about something, and blog about it.
2. In my excitement, I bang out a sentence that starts with something along the lines of: “In the next post”… “I will likely”… “I will”… you get the picture.
3. Life ends up getting in the way. A problem occurs, school work or otherwise occurs, or I lose motivation temporarily to complete what I said I would.
4. I hold off on the blog post, because I don’t want to post with some excuse as to why I didn’t do what I said I would.

I don’t know if I’ve talked about this subject in a previous post, but the fact that I can’t even remember that now is just another factor that has driven it home for me. See, I started this blog so I could write about whatever I want, whenever I want, and not follow a specific pattern. If I wanted to write a poem, I could. Then the next day, I could post a 400 word technical rant that had to do with the math involved in creating full 3d games, then I could follow that with a post about what a wonderful week I’d had. To an extent, I was… somewhat keeping this unbound routine, but I was adding something I wasn’t before. No, it’s not as I previously suspected, me blogging too much about programming and the like. It’s the fact that I hold myself to deadlines, and then fear failure when I can’t get them done.

That said, I’ll be breaking the sycle by writing just one more of those sentences, though I’ll surely hold to this one, or this blog would die whether I wanted it to or not. I will, not be giving myself deadlines on things I can’t be sure will be completed.

All that out of the way, I am glad to say it’s been a productive couple of months. In summary, I’ve actually started rewriting S Quad Racing in Python, am taking two dewel credit classes in school, and… life is good. These days, I’m still overworking my brain by trying to figure out math formulas for complex things such as rotated rectangles, polygon and triangle shaped surfaces and how they would be represented in a game, and all that fun stuff. In addition, I’ve actually started going to the gym this school year, which is at least somewhat of an improvement from last year.

I know that was quite short, at least by my standards, but another disadvantage with such long blogging breaks is that it’s real hard to come up with something longer than that because you obviously can’t remember everything about the last three months. Still, I think we’re quite up to speed, and I don’t only mean that as a pun to me getting back into working on an all new S Quad Racing version.

Before I go though, I should let you know that if you Go here, you can learn more about what the re-write of S Quad Racing in Python is allowing me to do, and what I’ve done so far. I wrote that page just a little over a week ago, so I have made a little bit of progress, but not too much. Either way, see you guys soon, and I must say it’s a great joy to be back.

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,
Steve.

A Busy Couple of Weeks

Hey guys,
Steve here.
Unfortunately, I did not complete my 1 week challenge to make a game, though I still believe it is within my abilities to do so. It was more so the timing I chose, which turned out to be pretty bad, something that the post title clearly suggests.
There is a lot that has happened in the last 2 weeks. I’ll go ahead and rewind back to week 1, which was the week following my last post, and when I was originally supposed to have completed the game creation challenge. I actually managed to squeeze in 3 or 4 days of work on the game that week, though I was majorly hindered by the need to purchase sound affects from a source I’d never used, and thus didn’t trust yet. Furthermore, this mistrust was enhanced when my friend spent $85 on their sound affects, and didn’t receive his sounds for several days. As a result, I didn’t get the necessary sounds until Thursday of that week, so I decided to give myself an extra few days to work on it, and thus decided to delay the blog post a few days as well.
Well guess what? After getting a few more consecutive days of work done on the game challenge, I found out I had a summer reading assignment to complete for school, and that my family vacation to Maine would indeed be happening, — on Friday! of that week. And while I only considered the former to be a bad thing, both meant that coding a game would be quite hard, if not impossible for a little bit.
That said, vacation was great. There’s not too much to say about it, except for that it was relaxing, I didn’t have to put up with 110 degree Texas heat, and I did not work on my summer reading assignment or coding games or anything that required the use of my intelligence. But even though I got home on Wednesday of last week, I had a camping trip with my church youth group in Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday, then spent all of Sunday at church.
Today has been a day of rest for me. I didn’t really do anything productive, as I’ve basically been non stop the past several days. But for those wondering about the status of the game challenge, I’ve decided not to finish it, because honestly my timing was bad, it was meant to be only a week thing, and once I get back to coding I really need to start porting my main projects over to Python. That will have to wait a bit though, so that I can get this school reading assignment done before it’s too late. And believe me, I want to code games this week, but I’ve already had 2 dreams that involved me walking in on the first day of school and realizing that I didn’t complete the summer reading assignment because it totally slipped my mind, and that I’d be starting off the school year by failing English. I’d much rather leave that in my dreams.
Still, in the free time I did have during that time, I managed to create a little recording, that I would like to share with followers of this blog. I hardly ever post audio on the blog itself, so you know this is going to be good.
I had one of the text-to-speech voices from my computer commentate a recording I made of myself playing Red Spot, an audio first person shooter. This voice is named Microsoft Sam, and has been used to create funny skits and recordings all over YouTube. Anyway, though I didn’t think it would, this recording received quite a bit of approval from those I showed it to. It’s about 10 minutes long, and is bound to make you chuckle at some point.

In case the comments seemed untimely or out of place at certain points, this was basically my process for creating this recording, literally:
1. I recorded a segment of myself playing and owning on Red Spot.
2. I played it back, paying attention to key events in the game.
3. Once I came upon a turning point, major event, or just felt like Sam should say something, I paused the playback, recorded a piece of Sam’s speech, and inserted it into the recording. This was kind of hard because I had to focus on timing.
4. I listened to it, made sure there were no errors, and saved it.
I should note that none of Sam’s speech was scripted. These were all responses I thought appropriate to the occasion.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,
Steve.
P.S. that file received quite a bit of positive reaction, and I hope to create more. But like Sam’s speech in that recording, the decision will likely be made two seconds before its execution, so don’t count on counting on or not counting on it.