Where’d ya go?

Okay! Okay! Guilty as charged. I haven’t been writing blog posts recently. You caught me! But here’s why I haven’t been around.

You see lately, I have been at college. I stated attending a university that I’ve always dreamt of going to. I’ve made some new friends and I’ve tried some new things in life.

I’ll do my best to continue writing, but for now I must focus on balancing classes, activities, and growing in my relationship with the Lord. All of that comes before I write.

With that said, I hope to continue posting and writing blogs once I get my time figured out.

Alright! Thank you to everyone for reading this!

Sincerely,

The Myriad

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Home Video

If you grew up during the late 70’s, you were introduced to this:vhs.jpeg

This is called a Video Home System tape or VHS tape for short. It was developed in the early 1970’s by the Victor Company of Japan (JVC). This little guy became the standard for home video throughout the 80’s, 90’s, and even slightly into the 2000’s.

The VHS could hold a maximum of 1,410 feet of tape for a total run time of about four hours with NTSC format (National Television System Committee) and around five hours with a format called PAL (Phase Alternating Line). The reason behind why there are different formats and run times is a little too complicated to explain, but just know that VHS tapes used up to three different formats to suit the user.

An interesting fact about VHS tapes is that, because of the different formats supported (namely NTSC and PAL), you could actually get a different resolution depending on the format. For NTSC, you would get around 480 lines of video. This is considered Sub-HD. For PAL however, you could get 576 lines of video, meaning that PAL had a 20% higher resolution! Higher resolution=Better picture (usually).

As great as VHS tapes were, there is a reason that they have gone away now. A huge drawback to tape was the amount of deterioration that affected the quality of the video. Did you know that every time a VHS tape was played, the overall quality was degraded?! Yeah! That’s pretty ridiculous. Oh and we can’t forget how the tape would get stuck in the VCR and either destroy the tape or break the VCR.

Another reason VHS tapes have been replaced is because of how low the resolution actually was. When you watch a Youtube video, you are probably viewing a video that was shot in 720p or higher. Any lower than that and people often start to complain that the picture looks distorted or pixelated. Yet, VHS tapes play at 480 and 576p!

By the way, the last movie to ever be released on VHS was a film adaption of Christopher Paolini’s book, “Eragon“.  Which is funny because that film was awful! If you have ever seen it, you know what I’m talking about! Read the book, don’t watch the movie. Anyways…

In 1995, the DVD (Digital Video Disc) was released.s712920274195106853_p1_i1_w600.jpeg This was a big change from the VHS as the DVD had a completely different look, much better quality picture and sound, and could be used as a makeshift mirror if needed.

The DVD uses several different formats  MPEG-2 Part 2 and MPEG 1 Part 2. However, something that is worth noting is that while DVD’s offer superior quality compared to VHS tapes, the resolution is not that much higher than a tape. Usually DVD’s play at a resolution of 720 x 576p with certain models of DVD playing lower resolutions.

A very unique fact about the DVD is that there can be multiple layers of data on one disc. Basically, this means that DVD’s can expand their storage capacity if needed to hold a longer movie.

I’m sure that you’ve seen those DVD’s that had the “shiny part” on both sides of the disc. This is another way of expanding storage, though this method is primarily used for multiple movies on a single disc. But there have been instances where a disc was double-layered AND double-sided for a whopping 15 Gigabytes of data available.

Now of course there are several unfortunate facts about DVD’s that, well, are rather annoying. The “shiny” part of the DVD is a haven for scratches, fingerprints, and smudges and when all of these built up, the DVD would skip or just stop working in the middle of a movie. Oh! What about not placing the disc in the disc tray properly. Yeah that was fun. Try to place it in there only to leave out part of the disc and then have it smashed.

Despite being an older technology, DVD is still one of the most widely used formats to date. It’s cheap, it has decent quality,  it is remotely durable, and it’s easy to get a hold of.

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Finally, we come to the BRD (Blu-Ray Disc). The Blu-Ray was first released in 2003, but did not actually receive any real use until 2005 and 2006 respectively. The Blu-Ray looks and functions very similarly to the DVD, but it has a distinct advantage. It has the storage capacity of (on average) five DVD’s and can display video in resolutions that go all the way up to 3840 x 2160p! I don’t even have a screen in my house that can go as high as that.

Because of the Blu-Ray’s immense storage capacity, it can display 1920 x 1080p high definition video and has superior sound quality compared to the DVD. It also has the ability to be layered, just like a DVD, to hold massive amounts of data. In fact, I’ve seen these things hold anywhere from 25 Gigabytes of data to rumors of models that hold 1,000 Gigabytes!!!!!

Something that is nice about the Blu-Ray is that it has an anti-scratch/smudge polymer (called Durabis) on the “shiny” surface to prevent scratches and permanent smudges.

But why is it called Blu-Ray??? Well, it’s actually kind of funny.  You see DVD’s use a red laser diode to write and read data to and from the disc. Blu-Ray’s use a purple laser to do this…yet it’s called Blu-Ray, weird…okay moving on. You see, purple light has a shorter wavelength than red light. Therefore, more data can be packed into a single area! Pretty cool!

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A DVD laser would be towards the 700 nm marker, and a Blu-Ray laser would be over around the 450 nm mark.

I hope you guys enjoyed this! Hopefully, I’ll be able to blog again within the next week. Thanks! Take care!

Sincerely,

The Myriad

Tangent Time V13: Steam Sale Scuffle

HELLO!!!! IT FEELS AMAZING TO BE ABLE TO WRITE AGAIN!!!!!! OKAY I’M GOING TO STOP WITH THE OVERLY LARGE LETTERS.


 

Some of you probably don’t know this but I really like video games. I’ve been playing games since I was about six or seven and I’ve gone from playing on a GameBoy to a Playstation to an Xbox and finally a PC.

From my current platform, PC that is, there are a lot of cool things to enjoy within gaming on this platform. Looking for a small game you can play within your internet browser? No problem! Looking for an MMORPG? (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) The computer is basically designed for that! Looking to play the same game that is on console (Playstation 4, Xbox One) only with better graphics and frame rate? Okay enough “nerding” out.

Now something that a lot of PC gamer’s use to buy games is an online service called Steam. It’s kind of like the App Store or Google Play, except it is for computers. The point of Steam is to allow gamer’s to connect, play games together, buy games at amazingly low prices, solve problems, build game modifications (coding that alters a game), download video and audio software, etc.

Around the end of June, Steam launched their Summer Sale. This sale drops the prices of games by massive percentages! I mean have you ever found something that was 80% off? Well on Steam, it isn’t unusual to find a game marked down that low!

For several months I had been wanting to buy the Tomb Raider 2013 reboot.

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I had a friend who played it and he told me that it was a phenomenal game. So when the Steam sale hit, I logged on and saw that it had been marked down from $20 dollars to $5 dollars. I clicked on “Add to Cart,” checked out, and proceeded to download the game.

After waiting about a day for the game to download (shout out to less than 1 mbps internet speed) I installed the game and clicked play.

I was ecstatic! Tomb Raider is an adventure game with a good story, fun game play, interesting and engaging characters, and a lot of other wonderful goodness! I was pumped to see what fun and terrifying travels lay ahead.

Seconds later the game started!…and then crashed.

Then and error message appeared šŸ˜¦

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I sighed and forced myself not to become angry. These kinds of things happen all the time. Though I had never laid eyes on an error that said this. But oh well. That is one of the hurdles with PC gaming, it isn’t always a cinch trying to get a game to run properly.

I began trouble shooting, trying to play the game with this on and this off, or with this checked and that unchecked, messing around with the game files, looking up the problems on the internet, etc.–NOTHING! I couldn’t get the game to work!

According to several internet forums, for some unearthly reason certain people could not get this game to work no matter what they tried. Why? I have no idea. I did find a Youtube video that I thought was the answer, but I gave up from frustration and considered my final options.

I decided to return the game.

I was so disappointed! I wanted to enjoy a cool and engaging story, with different characters and twists and turns, mystery, mayhem-oh bother…it makes me sad thinking about it.

I opted to get another game, but it really wasn’t that fun so I returned that game and…ugh…after working up the courage, purchased Tomb Raider again!Ā At this point I felt like the game was going to send me to my grave a little early! (Get it? Grave? Tomb? Teehee)

Once the download was complete, I tried to play it and surprise! surprise ! it didn’t work! I would say, at this point, I had, in total, spent about an hour and a half attempting to run the game. UGGGGGGHHHHHHHH! I had not a clue what to do!

But then I realized something: Solutions often come from the place you least expect. I recalled all of the forums and websites I had visited and was startled to find that I had ignored the Youtube video! Maybe that was the answer. After all, the producer of said video was having the exact same issue as I was.

With nothing to lose I pulled up the video, watched it very carefully, and copied the individuals every move……I may have even moved the mouse in the exact same motions as that person did, but never mind! Once the task was complete, I clicked play.

And. I. Waited.

It really doesn’t make any sense.

It worked, yes the fix worked hallelujah! But I was dumbfounded by how stupidly simple the fix was! My jaw dropped–then I started playing the game and haven’t looked back since.

Here’s what I did:

I unchecked this box.

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Clicked “Apply”

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Voila!

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Well thank you all for reading my Steam Sale Scuffle. It was not fun…but now I guess it is kind of funny because I tried this multiple times, but then I did it in this order and it worked. Computers can be so weird sometimes! Anyways, the game is fun! Yay!!!!!

Thanks for reading! I should be able to post another one tomorrow, so be on the lookout!

Sincerely,

The Myriad

Tangent Time V12: The Strange Case of Dr. Pepper and Mr. Hoax

Its been such a long time!! Sorry, I haven’t posted anything in awhile. I have been working a lot and, of course, been wrapped up in graduation celebration stuff. Anyways, I am very happy to be back and posting.

A little while ago, a rumor began circulating the internet that Dr. Pepper had sold its 23 flavor recipe of goodness to Coca-Cola. The rumor then said that Coca-Cola would be halting production of the drink in the summer of this year.

You know what’s odd? I really like Dr. Pepper, but I never heard anyone mention this. It wasn’t until I was at a graduation party that a friend of mine alerted me to, what I thought at the time was, an “impending doom”. Okay, really he was just like, “Hey, did you hear that Dr. Pepper is shutting down?” I was like, “Uhhh no?” I looked into it later and I found that there indeed was a message about Dr. Pepper shutting down.

However, the entire issue turned out to be a hoax with several websites quickly shooting down the rumor as well as Dr. Pepper’s PR department releasing a tweet reassuring everyone that the drink wasn’t going anywhere.

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Thank goodness!!

To this day, no one is sure who started this hoax. It appears that it wasn’t confined to one social media site, but spread throughout many of them, including Facebook and Twitter. But the important element of this story is that, for now, Dr. Pepper is here to stay.

Much gratitude for those of you who “clicked-in” for today’s Tangent Time. I hope you found this of interest. Be sure to let me know if you like Dr. Pepper!!! That is it!

Sincerely,

The Myriad

Tangent Time V11: Graduation

Yeah yeah yeah!!!! I did it! I have officially graduated! Okay, well…I’ve had my college graduation ceremony, but not my high schools so yeah. I somehow managed to graduate from college first, then high school. Odd indeed.


It has been a long and hard road, but I have finally reached the end of my journey through high school. I started back in 2012 with homeschooling which is what I had been doing since the first grade. My years before my freshmen were pretty good, within schooling at least, but it was like when I reached 9th grade I just stopped trying in school. This was mainly due to the fact that I didn’t have any really demanding deadlines. I mean I did have some, but usually, if I couldn’t figure something out relatively fast, I just didn’t do it at all.

However, when I enrolled in a community college for the beginning of my Sophomore year, everything changed. I began to care about the subjects I learned and I tried harder than ever before to succeed. After completing two classes my Sophomore year, I took a break and returned for my Junior year and enrolled full time.

That year and the years that followed were extremely challenging. But by the grace of God I made it…finally. Yes, there may have been a mental breakdown or two, but I still finished the race with a strong stride. I also met a lot of great people who made my time at this college very memorable, and while many of us will never see each other again, it was still so much fun to share in the experience together.

If you are having a tough time with school or you just want it to be over with, rest assured that it will end before you know it. I still am in shock that I am done with high school. Another point you should be aware of is that once you complete this time in high school or wherever you are, it is over. Enjoy it while you can. I regret not taking advantage of opportunities that came my way while I was in high school. Those times are gone now and I will never get them back.

So enjoy the ride, study hard, meet new people, and praise the Lord through all of it. That is it! Way to go graduates of 2016! We did it!

Sincerely,

The Myriad

Books for Soldiers

What’s up, guys? It is The Myriad here and today I introduce you to something very cool: Books for Soldiers.

Books for Soldiers was started by a man named Storm Williams. Williams had witnessed his friends, who were deployed in the Persian Gulf in 1991, suffer from the loneliness and isolation that comes with being in the midst of war. To support them, Williams began shipping cartoons to his friends so that they would have a source of encouragement or comic relief during the fighting.

Around twelve years later in 2003 when American troops were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan, he started the website “booksforsoldiers.com.” This website allows people to send books to soldiers that have requested them.

Since Williams started this website, he has received many letters from soldiers thanking him for his willingness to send books. Williams stated in an interview with People magazine:

“Some of these guys have had eight or nine deployments while we’re at home in air conditioning. We find the books they want-Stephen King and Tom Clancy are favorites-write letters, throw in cookies, candy, or pencils and create a care package. It doesn’t cost much.”
I encourage everyone to click the link in the first paragraph. The website is simple, but it is straightforward and easy to navigate. Therefore, it is pretty easy to find out ways that you can get involved if you wish. I’ll link some different tabs, that are on the website, below so that you can find out the information from the source.

That is it! I hope everyone has a great day! Check back in a few days for a new post!

FAQ page
Getting Started
Donate To The Troops
About Us

Random Thoughts (most original title ever)

I’m back!!!! What’s up guys, it is The Myriad here. Today-or tonight rather-I am going to simply update you all on what is happening.

So, my job is going well. I meeting new people and gaining new experiences. The people I work with are pretty cool, though I will admit rather sad in the fact that one particular co-worker is involved with a lot of bad stuff. But he is still nice. He is simply lost.

However, I did get reprimanded shall we say when I tried to share the Gospel with this lost co-worker. My boss simply said, “Let’s not talk about this shall we.” I understand why he did it. Different beliefs can sometimes come in between workers and create a stressful environment which is something my boss does not want. Still, it doesn’t make it right. But I suppose that God will bring the time around to me when He so desires.

Oh! *spontaneous thought* I will be able to post the next Tangent Time tomorrow night. I have some great material that should be a rather interesting read.

Happy Mother’s Day by the way…I am very thankful for my mom. If you did not have a good experience with your mom growing up I am very sorry. Having a great mom is awesome. My mother has done so much for me. She has homeschooled me, cared for me, showed mercy with the ruler when I really didn’t deserve it, raised me through some incredibly stressful times, and has helped me with all of the college bolognas. She truly is an amazing mom and I love her.

One last thing, I did finish high school this past week. Well, I finished high school and a two-year degree at a college. I am really happy that is over with. Next is on to an actual university where I’m going to major in Broadcasting and Digital Media. I am excited about it. Though the realization did just hit me that I have been through all of high school and have yet to have a girlfriend, go on a date, or have any special relationship beyond just friendship with a girl. Hey! Don’t yell at me, I just tried to be respectful and all of the girls went for the guys that were anything but that, and! the girls who were worth getting to know simply created a wall that said “Friend Zone” on it…or weren’t allowed to date. Oh well…it is unfortunate.

I guess that is it…I mean…I really didn’t talk about anything good. No idea honestly. It is late and I want to make my way towards bed. See ya tomorrow!!

Simply Tired

Hello. I am exhausted. My job is going well, but with that and school leaves one tired blogger (by the way, the image above is intended to look that way). It’s okay, though. In a few weeks everything will die down and then I’ll be able to think a little bit more clearly. But let’s get to tonight’s post.

A question has been lingering in my head: why do those who have so much, have so little that is important? If you are confused by this statement, that’s cool. Basically, what I am saying is that many people who have their every want attended to really have very little of the thing that matters most and that is God. As I get older, many people around me claim to follow God, but at the heart of what they believe lies a love for other things. They do not truly know God because there is not a desire to know Him. Why? Possessions, plenty of food, an isolation from death and a society that doesn’t welcome thinking beyond the surface. We don’t understand our need for Him because of all the things around us that are bolstering human kinds natural hate for the things of God. We have become numb.

If you think that I am isolating myself from this…you are wrong. I’m going to admit my struggle: I am in a crisis of faith. I have seen and felt how easy it is to simply pass by day to day concerned with self. It is comfortable, easy, thoughtless, and in some ways very carefree. If you do not comprehend what these feelings are, maybe it has because you have known God for your whole life and have not had the unfortunate state of being away from Him. I know many people like this, and for them, these words will not make a sensible sentence. They ask, “How could you grow cold when you know what Jesus has done for you?!” It is a slow fade.

In my lifetime, eighteen years which is incredibly short by the way, I have experienced two things in regard to faith.

People who love the Lord and condemn wrongdoing and sin, but fail to present it in a way that truly seems appealing (just as the things of Jesus were appealing. Hard to live, but appealing).
People who claim to love God, but do not display any repentance or some significant sign that they are willing to live what they believe.
For the most part, these two groups of people are not the same. People who truly have accepted Christ do hate sin and those who could care less usually hate only certain aspects of sin. But in my life, I have had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with people who live differently because of God, but cannot properly convey to the world the joy they have found. They appear fake. They turn their noses up at almost anything. They say, “Well this video was using things of the world to try to evangelize people.” After dealing with these kinds of Christians, one starts to feel the burden that they produce on the people around them. Sure, they might be fine individuals with a zeal for God, but the way the persons convey the Good News stops just short of legalism. These are the individuals that have lead me to despair when I acknowledge them as an authority over or under me.

The other kind of people are the ones who know of God but are too busy and too comfortable to want to know God. I am around these people day in and day out. The reason that there are more of these people than the “steeped in doctrine” people is because being comfortable and having a flexible standard is easier than having a rigid standard. If these people were to be hit with suffering, most of them would turn to God because they recognize their need for Him in those moments of despair.

But for now, as long as we have plenty, the harvest will continue to grow and the soil will continue to harden.
I just want you to know that I do love God. I will never deny Him as my true Father. Everyone who becomes a Christian journeys through a time of doubt. My time is now. But I will continue to remember all of the things that God has done for me as I travel.

Thank you! Think of me as you will.

Tangent Time V10: Update

Hello everyone. I have recently started a new job so I will have to adjust to the new hours before I start posting again. I meant to post something this past Friday, but I completely forgot because I was exhausted from the new job. Hopefully throughout the week I’ll be able to find some time to upload a story or something along those lines.

Anyways, I just wanted to let everyone know what is happening. I am not giving up on blogging, I’m simply having to make some adjustments so I can continue to do it. If I have some time, I may make a continuation to this post later in the week as well as the blog that appears on the weekends.

Thank you for being understanding and once again I’m not quitting, just making some adjustments!!

Sincerely,

The Myriad

Tangent Time V9: Phinehas

Hey guys! So I found a very cool band recently. Now, I probably should say this right off of the bat, they are a metal core band. So that means crazy, heavy guitar, drums and bass and yes, of course, screaming. But don’t let that deter you away from reading this. Because this band, called Phinehas has something very big to say through what some people would call “incessant noise”.

So this Phinehas started back in 2001 in California. The band underwent many lineup changes before settling onĀ Sean McCulloch (vocals), Jason Combs (guitars), Ryan Estrada (bass) and Lee Humerian (drums). It wasn’t until these musicians got a hold of the band that it started to actually go somewhere.

In 2009, the band released their self-titled EP. They went on a very short tour in support of the album before initiating work on their first full length album entitledĀ thegodmachine. This definitely gained the band some praise and began moving things forward for new material to be written.

In early 2013, Phinehas released the Bridge Between.Ā Ā This was just a short album that included some previous tracks the band had made that were either remastered or done acoustically by the band. But later in 2013, the band releasedĀ The Last Word is Yours to Speak. This is the first album by them that I heard and it is an amazing album! I was at the alive festival when a vendor recommended this album to me saying that it was one of his favorites. I gave it a shot and I am so happy I did.

In the past year, the band hasn’t slowed down. They released their Till the EndĀ in the summer of 2015. I will admit, at first I wasn’t liking the sound the band chose for this album. Until I realized I couldn’t stop listening to it. Just when I thought the musicianship and songwriting couldn’t get any better, this band surprised me!

Now, songs that have stuck out to me lyrically are very hard to narrow down. There is simply so much content in each song that it is very hard to choose. But for an example, I’ve chosen the song “The Deepest of Graves”. The chorus of this song is:

Somewhere between bearing my shame
and wearing my pain
You still find it in you to love me
for who I amĀ I never cease to fail you
But you still love me past my debt

You sow life in the deepest of graves

(For miles) I see no end to your flowing grace
You sow life in the deepest of graves

Another song would be “Dyson Sphere.” Where he says:

I am who contains the universe
who makes the ocean floor a road
I am who cranes the stars in place
I am who your mind cannot encase
Can you even think of me without reducing me?

Ā If you haven’t realized, all of these are pointed at God. A lot of people think that you can’t use metal and harsh vocals to talk about God or use them as an avenue to witness. To a certain extent that might be true, but at the same time it isn’t. You cannot limit God to a musical style or type of vocals if you believe He truly is that powerful. But that aside, if you like metal, you should really listen to this band. The musicianship is incredible and the lyrics are powerful even if they are sometimes hard to understand.

That is it guys! Be sure to like the post, comment if you want, and follow if need be. Thanks!

Sincerely,

The Myriad