Monday, September 26, 2011

Year Two, Week One

This'll be a round-up and summary of my last week, which was very busy, so you can use this to pass the time while waiting for the rain to stop. Also, sorry for lack of pictures in this post.

Room- / floormates
This first week has been pretty sweet, and a good marker of what's to come this year. My roommate and I had talked late last spring and during the summer to figure out how the room would be. We're all moved in, and I'm sure we'll still tweak things as we go, but it's a great set-up. Whenever we think we might intrude on one another's homework time or play music too loud, we talk, and things get settled. 

To reader's with new roommates: Just talk. It seriously settles things out. Unless your roommate won't talk or compromise...then I'd say go chill with friends in their dorms when all else fails.

Late last week my roommate and I did our hall's Open Door Night and met lots of people. My roommate challenged himself (and dominated) about learning people's names. We both say it was around "40 names," and it actually isn't that far from reality. Of course, now everyone will probably know him as "The Guy Who Knows Everyone."

We also got to know more people on our floor. One of our immediate neighbors has one of my classes, which is always good to have familiar faces in class.

During the Info Fair last week, I signed up for the campus clubs Browncoats and Bad Wwulf: Joss Whedon and Doctor Who clubs, respectively. For those that don't know, Joss Whedon created Firefly, among other awesome things. Sounds like this week I'll be able to go to their first meetings and get to meet new people.

Last night I went to the Humans Versus Zombies for our first staff meeting. Got me excited for the upcoming game [Insert subtle plug for the Fall Game, running from Oct. 19-26, here]. I look forward to working with everyone and do my part to make the game run as seamlessly as possible.

This dark, stormy, and rainy weather over the last few days really makes me want to do a few things; namely jump into a pile of blankets and pillows, read, write, type, and paint. If I come up with anything creative and worthwhile, I'll probably write about it on here. 

I love the feel and dark of fall weather, but not so much walking through the rain. Now, watching it while warm and dry, that's another thing I like.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to campus!

This was a move-in, college-filled weekend. This past week really snuck up on me, especially considering I finished my big art project on Friday. Anyways, on Saturday I spent all day packing and figuring out what to store, get rid of, or just take with me. Got pretty much everything into the car.

Yesterday I moved in, the process was really fast, as usual. People helped move stuff from cars into a holding zone inside, and then from there they helped get it upstairs and into the dorm. I think in total that was 15-20 minutes. My roommate had been there hours earlier, so he had the beds all bunked like we talked about over summer. Lofting gives lots of space in the room, but bunking does so much more!

Also, we figured whoever had the earliest class in a quarter gets bottom bunk.

 The biggest surprise was our windows. There isn't one large window, just five individual windows. It looks a little strange and quasi-prison-esque, but we can really control light and breeze into our room this way.

Three pictures composited for one image. 
Basically the view from sitting at my desk.

And now the rest of the room:

 Last night my roommate and I went walking and chilled in town with one of my friends from last year. Fun way to catch up with people and stay up late, as well as get used to the town again.

Today, bought some textbooks I needed, saw some more friends, and browsed through the Info Fair. I'm stoked there's a Doctor Who club: Bad Wwulf!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jack's What to Bring, Bonus (Humans Versus Zombies)

sponsored by 
La Crema Coffee and Roastery
La Conner, WA

A lot of colleges have a group of students that play a game called Humans Versus Zombies. For those of you that don't know, HvZ is a Nerf-based game of tag with two teams: Humans and Zombies (obviously). Humans get Nerf blasters and darts, and socks, while Zombies tag with hands. Simple enough, but I thought anyone that's new to it might want some tips on what to bring for this week of mayhem.

The Rules and Schedule
At WWU, the group requires all participating to attend an informational meeting to learn the basic rules. Last year, all those playing had to also then take a quick test afterwards before getting their player cards. You can find WWU's HvZ rules on this website, and stay in the loop with the Facebook group and page. 

It is good to be really acquainted with different tactics and the lay of the land. Take a day or two during down time to wander the campus and find different route between buildings. Humans are safe indoors, so find routes that allow you to jump from safety zone to safety zone to all your classes. Talk to experienced players--even after only one season of HvZ you learn a lot of tips and tactics, so listen up. 

Be sure to wear clothes and shoes that will allow you to run well and move easily. Last year, I wore a jacket with a lot of zippers and just crammed a ton of notebook paper and a pencil or two into them so I didn't need my backpack. If you absolutely need a backpack that week, strap it tight to you so it's not flopping around. You can use a belt, cable, or cord to help pull everything closer to your body.

Cell phone
This handy device can help you communicate with other players if they're in-game--no consulting non-players or someone that's been stunned. Zombies can use it to coordinate attacks while hunting humans, and humans can inversely use it to track packs of zombies to evade.

Having a simple point-and-shoot camera that can also take video can help capture epic events as the game unfolds. If you get footage and post it online, be sure to tag it thoroughly and correctly so other players can go back and find it. Also, it doesn't hurt to also post about it. 

While just playing this game creates an environment of camaraderie, having a friend or two with similar schedules play as well helps morale. Also, you just have a blast with friends. I suggest forming a team, which can sometimes be done in an official manner, depending on the rules of the current season.

I know that when you get super into the game, nothing else matters, but the campus does continue to operate while the game goes on. So, be cautious of non-player students and staff, so you don't run them over--or get run over by bikers and skateboarders. Also, hanging around classrooms means you may attract attention away from the professors and their lectures.

Socks. Lots of  clean socks.
Unless you want to start as a Zombie (because it is pretty fun), balled-up socks are a great way to defend yourself as a Human. First, they're easy to conceal and carry, and you can use them at whatever distance you feel comfortable throwing. I've seen a lot of people walking around "defenseless" and tagging with a surprise-attack sock, as well as at extremely close range and if a blaster jams.

Of course, you need darts for your blasters to work. The darts that are used in WWU's HvZ are the Streamlined, Suction-Tip, Micros, and Whistlers. Velcro-tipped are not allowed. Pre-loaded, extra clips, whether the usual or drum-type, are very useful.

Blasters (All-game legal)
Most Nerf blasters are legal for the entire game, some have to be modified a certain way, and others are just illegal unless during announced Missions (see more below). You can go see the list of blasters on the Arsenal page. For safety concerns, the Longstrike CS-6 cannot be used with either it's barrel or shoulder stock attached, because the silhouette is too realistic.

Blasters (Mission-only)
Many of the battery-powered blasters that just spray darts aren't legal during normal game days, only during announced missions. Basically, if it's big, hulking, and shoots a lot of darts, it's mission-only. Below are three of such guns.

Top, left to right: Barricade RV-10 (Battery-powered), Stampede ECS (Battery-powered)
Bottom: Swarmfire

Vulcan EBF-25 (not vector'd due to time restraints)


Other than that, just have fun!! 

Looking for good coffee in La Conner, WA? Look no further than La Crema Coffee and Roastery for your caffeine needs. Great coffee and timely service,  with seating, Wi-Fi, and parking available.
Personally, I like the dirty chai.

I claim no rights to Captain Jack Sparrow, Disney does.