I finally had a chance to see The Force Awakens this afternoon with my parents, and let me being my review by saying that it was awesome!
Before you continue reading, please be aware that this review contains heavy spoilers for the movie, so if you haven't seen it yet, you may want to hold off on this article.
I will admit that my taste in anime is eclectic and perhaps eccentric, but I really enjoyed some of the shows that came out in 2015 - especially the ones that had great music.
Here are my favorite anime songs from 2015! They're from anime that started and/or ended last year, so some of them may still be running.
As I've been reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson, I've been thinking about the comparisons it's received with The Lord of the Rings saga.
The similarities in passion evident in the writing between Erikson perhaps reveal a critical element that makes a high fantasy story truly epic: purpose and intent to exercise real-world skill.
Tolkien was a philologist, Erikson an archaeologist and anthropologist. Tolkien's tales are full of linguistic marvels, while Erikson's exude mystery and depth with their complex civilizations, societies, and customs. History is everywhere in the Malazan world.
The key isn't a skill at storytelling, although that's important. It's what you know outside of the fantasy world you're creating that you can flavor it with that gives it the zest and color needed to make it feel tangible and nearby.
If you're a fan of fantasy and haven't heard of them, I strongly suggest the Malazan Book of the Fallen. It's a truly amazing series.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I've been really busy, but I couldn't let the modern celebration of Christ's birth slip by without a post.
This Christmas season, I've witnessed many random and spontaneous acts of kindness, from a lady paying for an elder gentleman's groceries to others giving gifts at work. I love it! It's how the world should always be.
Why is it that people feel like they should be extra nice to strangers around Christmas? What's with this Christmas Spirit thing, anyway?
It's said that the secret to a successful life is to do what you love.
As you may be able to tell from The Machine, I love a lot of things - video games, politics, animals, technology, philosophy, books, etc. I'm an eclectic man.
That's why I turned the Evening Breeze page into the Creative Endeavors page; it's now a place for me to share my on-going projects, such as the late Evening Breeze radio show and my current Ryan's Creative Enterprises business.
Do what you love. It's fun, trust me.
I've been building a library.
I started with the books I was given as a child, such classics as Anne of Green Gables, Tarzan of the Apes, and some old computer manuals I'd collected.
It's America's favorite holiday – you can celebrate with explosives, and no matter your persuasion, you won't be told off for your patriotic fervor.
But I feel the real meaning behind the origin of the holiday celebrated on July Fourth has been forgotten, either through neglect, indifference, or malicious intent. We celebrate Independence Day because we won our freedom from our then oppressors, the British.
Today, it's considered passé to exercise protected rights such as the right to bear arms, peaceably assemble, or voice your opinion if you're not doing it within the confines of whatever is considered politically correct at that moment. Some places, you can't be conservative, some places you can't be liberal.
People also choose to not utilize their rights, not realizing how integral those rights are to their way of life and the way they conduct themselves every day.
On the other side of the coin, these same people are lauded for their patriotism when they put on a tri-colored top hat, bunting on their houses, and walk in a parade. You're considered patriotic if you blow up some fireworks or other interesting explosives (unless you live near me, in which case you're considered extremely stupid for doing that).
But is this patriotism? I think not.
Patriotism is defined in the dictionary as “love for or devotion for one's country”. Can you display a form of devotion by putting up decorations and having a barbeque? Absolutely, but if you really love your country, that's just window dressing.
Real patriotism is going out to vote, and casting an informed and conscientious ballot. Real patriotism is paying your taxes. Real patriotism is helping out your fellow citizens, whether it be giving food to a needy family, handing a dollar to a beggar at an intersection, volunteering to make your community better, or promoting higher education. Real patriotism is knowledge of the law of the land (Constitution) and what it means. Know your rights, exercise them, and do good for your country and fellowmen.
Unfortunately, too many folks would rather keep their heads down, go with the flow, and only show “patriotism” on the Fourth of July. But don't be fooled, it's celebration, not patriotism.
My honest opinion? Although that's very disheartening and disappointing, they have the right to be as patriotic or unpatriotic as they want. If you want to trash-talk America, be my guest. Have a problem with the way things are? Try to change them. That's your right, and I'll respect it.
Happy Independence Day, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the fireworks, stayed safe, and had a relaxing weekend!
In light of the recent ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), I just want to make my personal standing on the issue clear.
First, and most importantly, this is not an issue of people being granted the "right" to be married. Anyone who says that is either lying, or very misinformed. The right to be married (and marriage is specifically a religious term) is protected, and has always been protected, by the First Amendment. So even before this ruling, if you wanted to go down to a church or a field or whatever and have a marriage ceremony, that was fine.
This is not an issue of people being granted the "right" to love each other or to express their love. As before, these things are protected by the First Amendment and the Constitution.
No, what this is really about, and what it's been about all along is money and bureaucracy. Laws that "legalize" gay marriage are really just adding provisions for that to existing laws, to allow homosexuals to be civilly married. It also simplifies many other legal circumstances.
As far as that goes, this was the only correct decision for SCOTUS to make. Because of the First Amendment, and as long as the government is in the business of solemnizing a religious activity, they cannot discriminate by sexual orientation - just like they can't discriminate by religion, race, original nationality, or any other subjective and unfair metric.
My opinion? The government should stop solemnizing marriages altogether. Technically, the First Amendment prohibits it anyway.
That's all for now!
I originally wrote something much more complex, and seriously tangential, before I realized nobody wants to read something like that. It was just depressing, to be honest.
So here's something brief and pithy about how my life is and what my plans are.
I'm a gamer, human, and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I enjoy writing about my experiences and opinions on just about anything I'm interested in!