Holiday updates

Hey guys,
Steve here.
Wow. It’s been nearly two months since anything, and that includes blog posts, pod casts, audio files… etc was posted here. One might think that I’ve settled into a once-a-month blogging routine, which, in a way, I have. However, with the coming of the new year, I plan to change that. In fact, I have the next two episodes of the podcast planned out, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the games I plan to demonstrate, as they were picked by listeners of the podcast.
Since my last post, life has gone on, for the most part, as it always does–school, concerts, breaks and the like. But as you know, Christmas was yesterday, and that brought about a couple of interesting things:
for one, I got a piano. I’ve actually been wanting to learn piano for a while, and have recently found a visually impaired teacher who is pretty good. That being said, if I stay dedicated, which will more than likely be the case, I am pretty much set up to learn. I’m really looking forward to it.
also, at long last, Aprone has released version 3.4 of swamp, something I’ve been excited about for quite some time now. To my satisfaction, the new update comes with an extensive list of bug fixes and new features such as fully customizable crate missions and the fixing of some incredibly annoying sound bugs, among other things. Unfortunately, the new version is in upwards of 660 megabytes, and downloading it will be a real pain.
In other news, it is expected to get bitterly cold next week. Tomorrow, in fact, the temperature will likely fail to exceed 50, and Sunday will come without change. After it warms into the low to middle 50s on Monday, the temperatures will plunge into the 30s Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with the possibility of some wintery precipitation. As winter weather events, especially those that occur in Texas are so unpredictable, I’ll keep you up to date on the situation.
That concludes tonight’s post, but expect another one in a few days. Also, if you have the time, be sure to check out Episode 26 of the Steven D podcast, which is scheduled for Sunday, December 28. And finally, happy holidays to you all.
Thanks for reading,
type you later,
P.S. Happy national Pajama day… hopefully you celebrated accordingly. 😀

It's Sunday… yet I'm still excited

Hey guys,
Steve here.
It’s Sunday, the day before the long stressful week starts, however I’m still in as good of a mood as I would be on Friday. First of all, it’s the start of the week of my birthday, and second of all I’m seriously almost done with Trash.
To start off, let me tell you what I mean by “seriously almost done with trash.” I don’t mean that it’s almost ready to beta test–it’s still too buggy to play; I mean it’s in the process of being tested, and almost all bugs have been eliminated.
Since I last posted, here’s what I’ve implemented:
-wild card. What is a card game without a wild card? So far, you can place the wild card on any position that doesn’t have a face up card already in it, however the computer can not yet utilize the card. When this is complete, I plan to have it where you can move said wild card around. Why you ask? Say you have the wild card in the second position, and you draw a 2. Say that then you still need a 5. I want you to be able to replace the wild card in the second position with the 2, then put that wild card in the 5. See what I’m saying?
Moving on, but also on the subject of software, I didn’t get a chance to test the visual aspects of sQuad word on Friday, because Luke, the friend I’m testing it with, decided it would be a great idea not to come to school. Oh well… we’re not in a hurry with this, are we?
Also, something that happened to my sister gave me an idea for another feature. She had almost finished a, I think 50, question test, when her computer shut down, causing her to lose her answers. So, I decided, as that has happened to me before, that I would implement an autosave feature. Thus, I think this will further delay sQuad word’s release… but you can rest assured that your documents won’t be erased should your computer unexpectedly shut down.
Completely changing topics, I had quite an awesome weekend. I spent both nights Skyping Danny, beta testing his snow boarding game for the blind with him, and programming and testing Trash. As for yesterday during the day, I had to get up at 6:00 in the morning, because my sister had some test, and then her, my mom and I were going to north park mall with one of our vision teachers, MS. Kristie Smith. I’m not sure why we were going, but it ended up being fun.
So after Libby’s test, we went to the mall as expected. There were other blind and visually impaired kids there. While we were there, we went to the apple store (I got to test out an iPhone 5, and an IPad air). Ever notice how light an iPad air is compaired to other apple products?
Anyway, after that, we went to build a bare, and just for the fun of it, I made a white bare and named him “bob.”
Afterward, we tried out tea samples, something I wasn’t a big fan of, since I’m not a tea person. And after that, we tried out some lotion samples, then ate ice cream.
When we got home, I crashed for about an hour and a half, before eating lunch… and spending my night talking to Danny and all that stuff.
Today was a more relaxed day. The only thing worth blogging about that I did was going to church.
Well that about concludes today’s post. I’m ending this so soon because next Sunday is 5th Sunday singing, and I’m going to the church at 5:30 to practice a song I’ll be singing… and I have to get ready. That, and I don’t have much else to say.
So, I hope you look forward to steve eve, and the day of the best. Also, don’t forget to stay in tune for the Monday’s musings post tomorrow night.

An exciting weekend coming up

Hey guys,
Steve here.

As the post title suggests, I will be having an exciting weekend. My friend has once again invited me to D Now, which if you remember I went to last year and the year before. D Now, for those of you who don’t know, is a weekend long event for kids… I think 6th grade and up but I’m not sure to worship god and do some other fun stuff.
I don’t know if it’s the same this year, but normally we have worship services, a scavenger hunt, a mission project, and basically just a good time. If it changed this year, I’ll let you know on my next life update.

In other news, SQuad word is almost ready to become a public beta. I haven’t done much this week, except exterminating bugs, and making sure it has everything it needs to become public. I’m not going to add any new features, even the font chooser, until I fix all the bugs (and to tell you the truth, there were only 2, but now 1 because I fixed one of them).
The bug I fixed had to do with closing the program and menu options. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but it used to be that you had to active a menu item like say, open file, more than once before the open file screen came up. And, you would have to click the close button multiple times before it actually closed. However, I fixed that bug by majorly tweaking my code on Tuesday afternoon.
Since then, I haven’t done anything on the word processer, just taking a little break for now. However, my friend discovered a bug yesterday when I was using sQuad word to type my Spanish assignment. For some reason, the text doesn’t appear to sighted people, meaning I’m going to have to change the height and width of both the window, and the editor, so you guys can see what you’re typing, and the window won’t be super tiny when it starts up as it is now.

Besides sQuad word, I haven’t done much over the past several days. I’ve been talking to Danny, as he is one of my best friends and is helping me learn pure basic, and also I’ve been playing games. Speaking of which, I think I’m getting a relapse of my swamp addiction. At least that means I’ll be motivated to create campaigns for swamping with Steve, the series of “swamp let’s plays” I started on my podcast.

As a final note, I will try and squeeze in a couple podcasts. Now that Stranded is finished and released, and I don’t have a release date for sQuad word, I can set aside more time to do podcasts. Hopefully I can do them before Sunday, (this being D Now weekend and all), but if I can’t I’ll do them Sunday or Monday, because as I forgot to mention this will be a 3-day weekend. I hope to perhaps get a beta release of sQuad word out by Monday, but I can’t promise anything. I still have to fix that last bug, so the word processor will actually be useable for you sighted people. *wishes the world could be full of blind people*

Thanks for reading,
Type you later,

Life updates and the current status of Stranded part 3

Hey guys,
Steve here.

It’s been a pretty good week, I suppose. In case you’re wondering, I still have a voice, and am not balled, which probably means I came up with something to do while sight reading. Now, when the teacher tells us to get out our sight reading books, I pull a book out. My book, however, does not about music, instead it is about zombies, at least for now because I’m reading a very intresting series. Anyway, I pull that book out, clap the head phones over my ears, and read until the class is done sight reading. It all works out in the end–instead of being bored, I’m doing something I actually want to, and can do.
On other news, goalball practice was on Saturday. Also, we had not 1, but 2 family get togethers this weekend, because my great grandma and unkle came down to visit, and my family ddid a white elephant gift exchange, ate lots of good food, and hung out. The get toghether we had on Saturday was at my house, and the one on Sunday was at nanna’s house.
After the weekend of family time, I spent Monday (it was a 3 day weekend) just chilling and getting ready for the upcoming school week. Besides school and a bunch of time on the computer, and going over to my nanna’s house to eat dinner and say goodbye to my great grandma and uncle, yesterday and today were pretty much uneventful.

As for the future, it is supposed to get very cold tomorrow. For some reason, a strong ridge of high pressure in the eastern Pacific is stretching up to the north pole, and pushing a very cold pocket of air known as the poler vortex far to the south. Because of this high pressure, the poler vortex is positioned in southern Canada and the northern United States. Temperatures in part of the country got to as low as -37! Not to mention people in Newyork were told to stay off the roads because there was so much snow.
Anyway, because of this poler vortex I think, it is supposed to get pretty cold here in Texas. down South of us, there will be some sleet and snow, but we are just supposed to get some flurries. None the less, it will still be cold!

On another note, I almost had to leave my classroom during a couple checkpoint tests. For some reason, my teachers have this crazy idea that I need extra help on my tests, and while they mean well, I strongly disaggree. For example, my English teacher told me I was supposed to go to a different classroom to take my test, although it was brailled (braille is what blind people read), and I would need no assistance taking the test. So instead, I sat quietly in my desk, hoping she wouldn’t notice, and had the test finished by the end of class, after reading and answering some surprisingly easy questions.
The same thing happened in science, but I actually left that time. The people there ended up saying I could do what I normally did (typing answers on my computer, which didn’t require assistance), and I decided to go back to class since I could do that perfectly on my own.
Yes, I am a bit frustrated that some teachers think I need to leave to take tests in their classes, but next time I’ll see about changing their minds and letting them know I’m a fully capable student just as is everybody else.

On a final note, I have started work on Stranded part 3. I won’t tell you if I had to restart or if I found the flash drive, I won’t tell you what will happen in the story, and nor will I tell you a release date, even though I already have one in mind. Instead, the only thing I’ll tell you is the title which is “Stranded Part 3, the End Game.” I want everything else to remain a surprise, though.

Well, I guess I’ll end this post, because I aught to be getting in bed right about now. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and that it will help you fall asleep if you are about to go to bed like me, or if you’re just getting up I hope it made your day.

Thanks for reading,
type you later,

Latest news concerning Steven D: Winter storm causes extreme excitement, a strange thing or 2 about school, and out with the sister… temporarily anyway

Hey guys,
Steve here.

As I’m sure you know by reading my blog post about a week and a half ago, the winter storm that was expected to hit our area turned out to be a complete rip-off. The most recent one, which is supposed to begin shortly, has actually turned out to be worse than I last said in my Tuesday entry. Now, my weather radio (see the weather radio forecasts page for Update 2 which will be posted around 10:00 this evening), has told people “do not travel unless it is an emergency.” Not only that, but 1/2 inches of sleet, and 1/2 inches of ice accumulation are expected over night. Also, if it doesn’t sound obvious to you by now, there is also a winter storm warning in affect. Although the warning only extends through 6:00 tomorrow evening, temperatures will remain below freezing through mid day Sunday, and another round of wintery precipitation is expected Saturday through Sunday morning.
Besides weather, my sister has gone to Austin for the weekend. She is going down for an O&M (orientation & mobility) thing with our O&M teacher (I’ve been wrapped up in my life to know anything more about the trip). All this means for me, however, is that Libby will be gone for 3 days; piece and quiet at last :))).

In the title of this post, I recall saying something about a “strange thing or 2 about school.” What I meant by this was my progress report. As of right now, my grade in math exceeds that of orchestra. The math grade, 100, strangely tops the orchestra grade of 89. Although both grades are good, I still can’t believe that I’m making a better grade in one of the hardest core subjects than I am in some easy (just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s not fun) alective class like orchestra.
While I’m still on the subject of school, I am proud to say that I’ve started my National History Day Project. I’m doing it over the underground railroad (the theme is rights and responsibilities). I will definately finish it by the due date (December 13, I think), and after that is out of the way I will do Stranded.

In the podcasting part of my life, I only have one more make-up episode to complete–Episode 15. Of course, I have episode 17 to do on Saturday, but that is a scheduled episode, and not one I have to make up. Also, as episode 14 was recorded, expect me to use my sony ICD-PX720 recorder to record most of the podcast, except of course the game of the day section.
By the way, while still on the topic of the podcast, I have all but one of the remaining episodes of 2013 completely planned out. Do not, however, think I’m going to spoil anything.

On another note, I recorded and submitted that review for main menu (the radio show that reviews products for blind people). And although this review was submitted Wednesday night, I still have yet to receive confirmation that the review is going to be included in this week’s edition of main menu.

Finally, I am still editing the website. The navigation menu is all kinds of messed up; links to certain pages such as blog test 2012 appearing twice in the menu. Fortunately for you however, I am working diligently to fix this issue. I hope you enjoy the new page names and site revisions! For more information about what I’m doing, see the site news page (I don’t know the exact url, so you’ll have to use my navigation menu (that page is in there).

Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thanks for reading,
type you later,

P.s. I got my 100th follower! Thank you so much Nate $mith for being follower 100, and all you other wonder people for being follower 1 through 99!

Happy times and big stressers: a busy start to December

Hey guys,
Steve here.

As I write this post, I’m pretty tired. I want nothing more than another break right about now, as I have quite a bit to do in the next few days. Also, There is some weather stuff I’m excited about, and I’ll tell you about that in this post.

As far as my life, it has been exciting but stressful as I said in the post title. Not much happened after my blog post on Sunday, nothing big anyway. I did however get to spend time with the family–baking cookies, and even decorating the Christmas tree. By the way, my 1 and a half year old cat Bell is already loving the fact that she can (or thinks she can) take down the ornaments and play with them… silly cat!
Getting back to my life, I’ve been busy the last day or so (Yesterday not so much, but today and tomorrow… I am). As for today, I had school, and my orchestra concert afterward, yet there is still more for me to do. I have to do a review for a popular radio show for the blind called Main Menu, where people submit reviews of software and hardware that can be made accessible for blind people. On my review, I will be doing my digital recorder and the software used to convert recordings and change settings on the recorder.
As for tomorrow, I pretty much have the day planned out. It will be school, studying for a test which I will tell you about later on in the post, starting my history day project, church, and doing episode 15 of the podcast, which will be the last one I have to make up. After episode 15, Devin can hopefully join me once again. Sounds like a busy couple of days, right?
As for the test, it’s for Spanish. The amount of nervousness I feel about that is comparable to how my mom feels about the half marathon she is going to run on Sunday. The reason for me being so nervous, is that if I fail, I will fail the semester, and end up having to take Spanish 1 again. I really don’t want this, so please cross your fingers, or pray for me.
Back on the subject of life, I have a choir concert coming up next Thirsday. That is also a day before my history project is due… I think. My NJHS hours are due next Wednesday; I only have 1… but I guess if I get kicked out it will be one less stresser laid upon my life, and what did NJHS really do for me anyway?

At the beginning of this post, I briefly mentioned some exciting weather stuff going to happen. Coming up on Friday into Sunday, there is expected to be a possible winter weather event. I am not too optimistic about this; considering the wrip off I got last week. None the less, I will record and post weather updates starting tomorrow morning, and going through most likely Saturday or Sunday, so stay in tune to the weather radio forecasts page, as that will be the page where all the weather updates will go like last time.
I guess that about wraps up tonight’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and please wish me good luck on that test. Well, you don’t actually have to :))), whether or not you choose to is up to you. Until my next post…

thanks for reading,
type you later,

P.s. I recall promising you a picture of the decorated Christmas tree in Sunday’s post, so here you go. Also is a picture of me baking cookies on Sunday night, and of me standing by the tree before the concert tonight. Also there’s a pic of me playing violin at the concert. Enjoy!

the decorated Christmas tree as I promised
me standing by the Christmas tree before tonight's concert
making cookies... mm.
Johny Rosin up your bow and play that fiddle hard...