January 19, 2018, 09:04:39 PM

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Messages - ultamentkiller

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Discovered I am slowly losing my hearing.

Every time I get Eustachion Tube Dysfunction, the hearing in whatever ear it happens in gets worse. My Ear Nose and Throat doctor already wanted to see me so I have an appointment on Tuesday. Maybe a miracle will happen and they'll find a fix. But as of last time I went, they have no idea why this is happening. By their logic, I shouldn't be getting the tube dysfunctions anymore, much less losing my hearing because of them. That's very abnormal. That combined with my tinitis being different pitches in each year... I don't know anymore.

I am not sure how my life is going to change because of this. I know I'm probably going to have to get a guide dog, something I wasn't planning on doing for several years. I have no idea how I'll ever be able to be a blind-deaf parent. I'm so used to being independent, I don't know how to live depending on people to help me get around. Doing work for classes is going to be much harder. Right now I can read at 650 words per minute because of my speech synthesizer. when I have to use braille, that will cut me down by half. I'm not seeing the positives in this anywhere. I know there are some. I know this will somehow help me accomplish what I need to accomplish before my time here is up. But it's like I had an idea of what that was, and now I'm lost.

I studied Mormonism for fun this year, and if you read Sanderson's books, it's pretty loaded with Mormon theology. I didn't notice when I read them, but thinking back to my research, now I see it all. Mormons aren't regarded as Christians by most people, but they consider themselves to be so there's that. McClellan's books don't have any at all though, which is slightly surprising since he's a former student of Sanderson from BYU.

That's really interesting! I've always wondered about how much Mormon stuff there was in the Wheel of Time as well, but I don't know enough to pick out anything except the multiple-wives element.
I haven't read the Sandersons, but if theres Mormonism he must have introduced it because I don't  think Jordan was Mormon. A number of popular fantasy authors are Mormon, though. Tracy Hickman and Shannon Hale are 2 I only recently became aware are Mormons.
That doesn't surprise me at all about the multiple Fantasy author thing. There's definitely a lot of misconceptions about Mormonism in general, but when you start digging deep you can see elements of a potential Fantasy story happening on another world in there. I can't think of a better example than the Cosmere though. Everything we know about it so far is heavily rooted in Mormonism, and I expect once we get to the beginning and the end of that universe it will solidify as such.

I started watching Atypical. Pretty good show, but frustrating at times with how stupid one of the characters is acting.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:36:01 PM »
Do you mean main characters? Because there are a lot of males in there for sure. The noble person, a few of the priests or whatever, the guy who owned the fighting ring and the boys in there...

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favorite Christian Fantasy Authors
« on: January 17, 2018, 05:08:29 PM »
I'm not sure what really comprises Christian fantasy, though. It is fantasy that promotes compassion and charity? Or is it fantasy concerned with monotheistic faith? I mean... GGKay's work is so brimful of humanity and understanding that I find it feels very "with god" to me, but it's much wider in its scope than Christianity only.

My understanding is that (like Christian music and other media) what would be termed "Christian fantasy" explicitly acknowledges Christian religious beliefs as correct, and those beliefs are usually integral to the fantasy itself. Left Behind, one I mentioned, is explicitly based on the evangelical belief that those who have accepted Jesus (as specifically called out in evangelical teachings) will all be raptured, leaving those who were not among the chosen behind on Earth. Its main characters were not raptured for whatever reason when Jesus returned, and the story progresses as the Earth grows more volatile and the anti-Christ gains strength, leading to the apocalypse.

The series was super popular among evangelicals, specifically, but it's among the only fantasy books I've come across that were specifically marketed as Christian fantasy. I'd be curious what else is out there, though!
Just a scary thought to offer here. I was raised with the belief that the Left Behind books represented what would really happen. Sadly, I believed that until the middle of last year.

The church I grew up in said Harry Potter was evil, some Disney shows with magic were evil, His Dark Materials is evil... It's ridiculous. At least in Harry Potter, there's nothing super non-Christian in there. The entire conflict is loves triumph over hatred. That's exactly what Christianity is supposed to be about, but considering how deeply it's been twisted over the last few centuries...

This may surprise some people here, but I would consider Brent Weeks Christian fantasy. It doesn't fit into the standard definition, but if you read his books watching for the Christian symbolism, there's plenty of it. Night Angel has some, but Light Bringer definitely has a lot more.

I studied Mormonism for fun this year, and if you read Sanderson's books, it's pretty loaded with Mormon theology. I didn't notice when I read them, but thinking back to my research, now I see it all. Mormons aren't regarded as Christians by most people, but they consider themselves to be so there's that. McClellan's books don't have any at all though, which is slightly surprising since he's a former student of Sanderson from BYU.

I went straight into talking about books, thinking people cared about what I read without knowing me very well.
I hope this posts right.
Uh... Oops? I'm not good at this apparently. Sorry. Any ideas on how to fix it?
The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner.
This book was amazing. Not only do I love the Virtual Reality concept of this series, but it has wonderful confrontations throughout the book, as well as an awesome plot twist as the end. The Mortality Doctrine series has secured Dashner as my second favorite author.
Gunner Scale by James Dashner.
This is a quick 30-page Prequel to the Mortality Doctrine, and I'm surprised that even for a short story, it managed to shock me at the end.
The First 3 Mortal Instruments Books: City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass.
When I started this series, I thought it was pretty good. I was disappointed that guns hadn't been integrated into this magical world, but it wasn't a huge deal. The second book was full of nice little plot twists. Nothing too surprising, but good enough to make me read the third one. Which was an utter disappointment. It ended in such a clichet way it made me angry. I saw what was going to happen and watched it play out over the last 70 pages. So, after that, I decided to not go forward.
The Shadow Ops Trilogy by Myke Cole.
This series was very interesting to me. With the first book, Control Point, it was obvious to me that this book was what I call a "training" novel, where you along with the character are taught about how magic works, as well as given important information about the world. The sequel, Fortress Frontier, was a bit better, mainly because of a character introduced by the name of Sculptor, that shocked me a couple of times. The final installment, Breach Zone, was pretty interesting as well, but no serious plot twists that caught me off guard. I'm actually surprised it made it to number 6 on the Top Fantasy Books of 2014.
That's all I've got.

So the guys this movie's about are my guys. We all have heroes I suppose. They're mine.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Denciie5oA

We always hear things like "things happen for a reason" and stuff like this, and as crass as I can be, I've come to suspect, if not fully believe, that that might be the case sometimes. If my son had not lost an eye, I'd have been with this particular A-team. I've known the Team Sergeant who took the photo below since the mid-90s. The man in the front has a pained look on his face because he has a broken back, but is riding a horse with a heavy pack.

And things come full circle. Some of these guys are struggling now. It's a helluva thing going from that world to normal life. And I've been helpful in that regard to some of them. So maybe things do happen for a reason.
I will be watching this movie as soon as I can.

I know for me, I thought you were around my age since you're at a university. Nothing to do with your behavior.

I got the final funding for my autism booklet today, from the northland power company. And I only found out a couple of days ago that it's a whole formal affair up on a stage, along with everyone else who got funding for a social-minded project. There was a photographer and hors d'oeuvres and everything. A nice little moment.

Now I'll have to actually get around to getting this thing done.
You can do it!

Jmacksdotter is here for the holiday/January break and brought her sweet kitty, Bagheera. Bags likes to scratch our living room furniture. All thoughts of Bags staying with us this summer while Dotter is in Italy as part of Masters program are no longer good thoughts.

She should have a dog. Then I’d happily watch the critter.

Tell her to get a pet passport and take Baggy with her. American cats in Europe are all the rage.
Why does Europe like American cats?

I discovered David Wong.
David Wong released another John book last year What The Hell Did I Just Read? Have you seen it or read it, yet, @ultamentkiller? If it's as good as This Book Is Full Of Spiders, it may wind up on my best of 2018.
That's on the list of books I haven't read that I want to. It's right there with Age Of Swords, Oathbringer, The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter... Damn I'm so far behind!

This year wasn't great for much of the world, but it's been great for me.

I graduated my 10-month independence training program.
I revived the division for blind students in Georgia.
I got accepted into my first choice of colleges, and finished my first semester with an A in every class.
My relationship with my girlfriend has improved dramatically, going through rough times but coming out stronger. I write this as she sits 15 feet away.
I have restarted my relationship with my father. We will see how this goes.
I discovered Orthodox Christianity after several months of theology research.
I found my favorite mystery show, The Killing.
I discovered David Wong.

I'm sure there's lots of other things, but I have been blessed to go through everything. My anxiety and everything that comes with it has improved my life instrumentally now that I know what it is and am making life changes. I am alive, I am healthy, I don't have financial problems, and I'm able to laugh every day. What more can a person ask for in life?

General Discussion / Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« on: December 26, 2017, 05:40:57 PM »
The way I view free education (to return to a topic a few light years after the discussion) is to view Government spending as an investment in the country. Its like a company deciding how to reinvest the profits or whether to give back to the shareholders. When a Government invests in education, it is investing in training its future employees and its ability to do R&D.

How much can a company cut training and R&D compared to their competitors before it will eventually bite them in the bum?
I would agree with that, but unfortunately that's not what everyone here goes to college for. You see, our education system is hellbent on telling everyone they should go to college, and giving them good enough grades to get in. So then they graduate High School and, having received no vocational training, they go to college and expect it to solve their problems.

Predictably it doesn't. Because they're not meant for college, a couple of things happen.
A. they're not meant for the academic work, fail, and drop-out.
B. they have no idea how to manage time and money, spend too much of it drinking, fail, and drop out.
C. They have absolutely no idea what they want, so they spend 6 years changing majors until they're mature enough to have a plan. This is not necessarily a negative, but paying 10000 dollars a semester is not the way to figure out your life.

At schools with weaker admissions, only 32% of students graduate with a Bachelor's degree within 6 years. The tougher the admissions policy, the higher the graduation rate. The highest is 88%.

So, if the government could select the people likely to succeed in a college environment, it would work well. But from my understanding, that's not what the people advocating for free college want. They want unconditional free college. And even people agreeing on a system for paying for college would be complicated. Do you base it on GPA? Should professors give reviews on their student's performance? Should they be required to take a minimum number of hours? Again, from my understanding, no one even has a clear plan on how to do this and what system would reliably work. If someone could present one, perhaps I could get on board with the system.

Another problem. If colleges know the government is paying for it, their prices will go up. They're start building more elaborate gyms and dorms. They'll make the food more luxurious. Unless the government sets a standard that they're willing to pay colleges and no higher, you have a new problem. In my opinion, lots of these dorms need to be remodeled. I'm guilty of this myself. I love having my own room. But if the government's paying for it, we should suck it up and learn how to get along with a room mate. Cafeterias don't need to be this incredible buffet. Keep it simple, and teach us how to be thankful for the food we're provided, especially since we're not throwing ourselves into personal debt. But that won't happen.

I'm surprised no one's mentioned Age of Swords. I haven't finished it, but considering I've only read two books published this year I have no say.

Most Anticipated for 2018
1. Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence
2. The Sacred Throne by Myke Cole
3. The Emperor Blade by Chris Wooding. Normally it wouldn't sound interesting, but Ketty Jay guy gets a read.
4. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
5. I can't come up with one so... Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

for this year I still have to read Age of Swords, The Core, Oathbringer, The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter. All of those combined with Red Sister would probably be my top 5, unless I absolutely hate one of them.

1 Star. No! No no no no no! I usually don't make it this far though. I only rate books I finish.

2 stars. Oh my gosh, I kept reading this thing? I thought it was going to get better...

Three Stars. Easy-read, unoriginal concept, a movie would've been better.

4 Stars. Good stuff. Really good stuff. I like this book and hope to reread it one day.

Five stars. Absolutely amazing.

Amazing is so subjective though.

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