Updates July 2012


Today I entered my first tournament in MTGO. It was a 4 round tournament and I thought I had a pretty good deck, but things didn't turn out as well as I hoped. I lost both games of my first round (in this tournament its best 2 out of 3) pretty quickly and had to wait for everyone else to finish their matches. In round 2 I lost the first game and won the second game only because the other player quit. I had a pretty big advantage so they gave up before letting me win in the game. The third game was a loss for me so they ended up winning the match. Round 3 was pretty much the same as round 1 and I lost both games. I didn't play the 4th round and got a 'Bye' instead. What happened was that there were 60 players when the tournament started and by the 4th round only 53 were left. For whatever reason, 7 other players quit so I was technically ahead of them in the rankings but I was in last place because I lost 6 out of the 7 games I played. Obviously that is pretty bad but it gets worse. Getting back to the 'Bye' part, since there were an odd number of players left for the 4th round they had to cut one; namely me. I technically got a win for the match but in these kinds of tournaments they only give the Bye to the last place player only if there are an odd number of remaining players and only if the last place player has not gotten a previous Bye in the tournament. Needless to say, I fit the criteria but it still doesn't feel that great to get a win only because I'm the odd man out. In total, the tournament lasted about 3 hours but most of that time was spent waiting for a handful of players who were taking a really long time to finish each of their matches. I walked away with nothing besides the experience of playing in tournaments again and loseing. In order to win any prizes I would have had to win at least 3 of the 4 matches. With the 'Bye', I only had one match victory. The only upside is that I jumped up to 43rd place since some people lost every single one of their matches.


Last month I was working on switching stylesheets with jQuery and I was successful (with help from various internet resources) but I didn't quite get far enough to make cookies to save the data. I am talking about computer cookies, not baked cookies (it may sound silly but lots of people don't know what computer cookies are). If you would like a definition, click here. --You can click here to go to the test page, but I would advise that you keep reading because I'm going to explain the cookie process-- Anyway, on the test page you can select one of two styles; the original and the blue. When you click on the blue option the style of the page will change. Then either close your browser or go to a different webpage. Now go back to the test page and you will see the style is blue instead of the default red. The cookie I made saved your preference (in this case, the blue option) and will remain that way until you select the original layout again. Now that I have gotten this far, the next step is to implement this throughout my whole website. I followed some helpful advise from this site on how to make cookies:


I added the autographs I got from Comic-Con to my collection page. Some people have mentioned that it takes a really long time to display the images so I'll be changing that sometime today.


Phew...finally back from San Diego...I'm still resting up from an exhausting two days (my joints and muscles ache all over) so I might get around to writing down my highlights sometime this week.


Tomorrow, I leave for Comic-Con.


Bryan heads to Comic-Con


I'm trying to get back into Javascript again but I seem to have misplaced my old code. A long time ago the majority of my website was controlled by Javascript (don't ask why because I don't even remember) to do a number of things but as time went on and I learned new things, it just wasn't practical anymore. However, there was a little bit of code that someone very close to me wrote and it was very useful for what it did but I can't seem to find it. I probably deleted it when I was reorganizing my files, but I'm a bit sad since I can't remember the exact code so I can recreate it. One of the things it did was change an image when you hover the mouse over it. Of course there are many ways this can be done, but it just isn't the same to me for personal reasons. The image you see below will change when you hover the mouse over it but all I did was use a few commands that has practically no Javascript whatsoever. You might have to move over the image a few times to get it to work.


Just a couple more days until Comic-Con. My usual routine before I leave is to pack my bag (clothes, cell phone charger, etc), pack my briefcase (I call it a briefcase but its more like a satchel) for my papers, notebooks, pens/pencils, various comic book related items, etc. I always make sure I have my travel documents, my hotel confirmation, and my badge passes for the convention with me at all times because I need to make sure I can get into the convention, have my place to stay, and get back home. This year they are doing things a little differently so when you go to pick up your badges for the day (if you bought single day badges instead of the 4 day ones) they scan your barcode and give you all your badges that you purchased right there. Since I bought two single day badges (meaning I'm going to attend for two days) they scan my barcode once and print me out my two badges right there. The good thing is that I don't have to go back to badge pickup each day and get my badge, but the bad thing is that if I lose my badge then they won't give me a new one. The other bad thing is that on the second day I have to wait outside with everyone else. Since you have to go inside to pick up badges, there are far less people in there since the only ones in there are people picking up badges. The people who already have their badges are kept outside and unfortunately, there are thousands of people there and the lines are really long. This applies to before the convention opens (it usually opens around 10am) but if I'm in line too long waiting to get in they may keep people out because the convention center reached max capacity. It usually goes by pretty quick but there are always more people going in than out. Later in the day it is not so bad but I don't want to spend my entire morning waiting outside.




I watched the Bourne trilogy today. I'm not really a fan of those covert-op CIA movies, but I've seen bits and pieces of the Bourne movies and never the whole thing. Each movie is essentially a continuation of the previous movie but the fourth installment in the series won't have Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in it. To me, that sort of throws off the series because the entire series is about him and now the next movie is about someone else. It would be like making another Indiana Jones movie but not have Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) in it.


I put the link to my Wordpress site on my Other Websites page.


I've been considering making a mobile version of my website. You can view this site on mobile devices, but there are ways to adjust webpages to make them fit better for a smaller screen. Some hosts have a service where you can make a mobile version of your website (unfortunately, Yahoo offers no such service) but I've looked through some material and it doesn't seem like it can be something that can be accomplished in a day.


Happy 4th of July! Be safe and don't get too crazy with the fireworks.


This seems to happen every time I try to make a Magic: the Gathering deck that someone else built. I can't get all the cards needed for it so I substitute cards that I think might work but in the end they don't. The bottom line is that most of the really good players spend way too much money on their decks (to get all the cards they need they could end up spending hundreds of dollars) but then they have the best cards so they often win their games. I'm not really a competitive person, but I get tired of playing just for fun and I'd actually like to win something for a change. In the tournaments you generally need to win most (if not all) of your games in order to walk away with prizes. There is also an entrance fee for every tournament so only the people who are sure they can win usually enter. There are people who go in and then lose every match because they weren't prepared, but all that does is give the good players an extra advantage to get an easy win (besides giving the losing player some valuable experience). I'm not trying to come across as a sore loser because I can't seem to compare; this is just how the game is played.


Like most games, people playing MTGO can quit a game anytime they want but there are a couple of things that annoy me when people do so:

Quitting early in the game - if the game has just started or it has not progressed very far, quitting comes across as rude because it tells the other player that they don't value their time. Most of the time they don't explain why, but if they had to leave the least they could do was give some kind of answer.

Quitting because of a disadvantage - some people quit right away when they lose control of the game or when the other player has had the advantage for too long. To me, this is childish because when they quit they appear as though they'd rather give up and move on instead of continuing to play and see if they can make a comeback. This is also known as cutting your losses.

"Rage" quitting - it can be said that anything that makes a player mad can be reason for Rage quitting. It could be something minor like not being able to play their favorite card or a little more serious like the other player taunting them with rude insults. In MTGO, most players who Rage quit just leave the current game and start up a new one. But everyone is different so anything has the potential to make someone mad, regardless if it is your fault or not.

Quitting because of a computer problem - sometimes people get disconnected from MTGO but if they were in the middle of a game all that would happen is the other player would get a message that the disconnected player got disconnected. The disconnected player can get back online and continue the game, but sometimes they choose not to do so and leave the other player waiting. After a set amount of time has passed for which the disconnected player doesn't return to the game (I'm not sure how long exactly but I know it is at least 5 minutes) the other player automatically wins and the game ends. This is really annoying because the other player has to wait for the disconnected player to come back and finish the game or else the only other way to end the game is to give up, in which case nobody wins.


I'm working on using image maps again and so far, it is not going well. I started out with a large image (550x400 pixels) and in an attempt to load it faster, I decided to cut it up into 4 smaller pieces and then make each one an image map. The reason being is that each computer and browser loads images differently so a larger image being loaded by a slow computer would take a while. By making smaller images that combine to look like a larger image, each image is smaller in pixel size so it would load faster and thus complete the whole image at a faster rate. Without the mapping code it looks pretty good; each piece is where it is suppose to be so logically all I had to do was add the code for the maps and I would be good to go. Well, that didn't work. For some reason the pieces were all over the page and the mapping code didn't work at all. While I figure out what is going on, I can assume that the four image maps on the page might be conflicting with each other or the positioning of the images might be out of alignment.
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