Idea for an ORG Archive

Well, Summer is about to get into full swing, which means I finally have more time to work on hobbies and creative endeavors. Since the beginning of the year, I have been very busy with college work such that I have not had any time to do anything for myself (save for the few ORGs I made when I had a few hours to spare). Now that I am only taking one class (an online one, at that) with only the search for an internship/part time job eating an additional few hours, I finally have time to dive back into my projects. The first one of which is a Super Mario World ROMHack that I started a few years ago. It is essentially something I am making for some friends of mine so we can all sit down and have a good ‘ol time while I laugh at them dying countless times to my creation. My original intent was to start and finish it during Winter Break of 2015, but things do not ever get finished that fast, eh? This was never a project that I wanted to use to showcase my skills/design a particularly good game with, but rather just something I wanted to make to enjoy between some friends. It has been going on for too long at this point, so I am hoping to wrap it up by the end of the month, and I am even looking to get it put on a Super Nintendo cartridge. Just need to find somebody willing to do it.

In the meantime, I have still been making ORGs at a reasonable pace. Ever since I started making them in 2013, I surprisingly have not gotten bored of making them, even though it is a near-obsolete format and much too simple. I have been meaning to upload some of the more recent ones to this blog, but doing so just reminds me of how inconvenient, inefficient, and unsustainable my way of doing things is. This brings me to an idea I recently came up with. Over on the Cave Story Tribute Site Forums, there exists a project to archive all of the currently existing mods into a database, which would make finding mods extremely simple. In addition, I have been honing my coding skills in college, and I have become interested in web development and databases. So, what would be a more perfect marriage than to create a website for my currently inactive polese.us domain with the intent to populate it with a database for user uploaded ORG files? Not only would this be an invaluable resource for the community considering there is absolutely no uniform ORG collection, but it would be a fantastic way for me to build up my web and database development skills, which I can then use as a portfolio of sorts to demonstrate what I can do. My head is already brimming with ideas on how to approach this, and fortunately I believe this would be much easier to implement than a mod database (because ORGs are much easier to sift through than mods). If I can ever set aside a chunk of time to refreshing my memory on some web/database topics and moving my domain to an actual web host (I am currently using Google Domains which only allows you to redirect to another website), I would be very excited to put together something like this.

At the moment, I am busy with other projects I feel the need to finish first, but the idea to create a uniform database for ORG files will be in the back of my mind for a while.

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The Past Couple of Days

There hasn’t been much to talk about on the modding/music side of production, so I’m gonna go on about a significant event that has just unfolded within the past 48 hours.

To provide some context, I have been deaf in my left ear ever since I started Middle School (so probably 2006/2007ish). It happened totally out of nowhere, with the only warning signs being a dizzy feeling and some nausea the night before. Of course, I didn’t make much of those signs, so I went to bed. When I woke up, my hearing was gone, and it was replaced by this ringing noise (think of a constant, high-pitched “EEEEE” going through your head at all times). It sucks, but I’ve still been able to live a comfortable life despite that happening. Having conversations with others can be more of an issue than it needs to be, with noisy places and 1-on-1 conversations where the person is on my left side are problems I’ve never (and never will) been able to escape. But, you know, it’s fine. I have a positive outlook on it as a whole. If anything serious could have happened to me, I’m glad it was only this.

That is, until, the night of the last day of May (two days ago from this post). During the night, right before I was about to go to bed, my good ear started acting funny with me. A new ringing sound came up, and everything started sounding more compressed (think of it like when you get water stuck in your ear after a visit to the pool or beach). Honestly, I wasn’t very concerned, even given what happened in the past. After all, the symptoms were totally different from the ones I had when I lost hearing in my left ear, so I knew it at least wasn’t the same issue. So I decided to sleep on it, hoping it would solve itself by the morning. It didn’t. After I let my mother know, she was very concerned and scheduled an appointment with my Ear-Nose-Throat doctor (one of the best in the field). The results of the checkup weren’t satisfying, in my view. I didn’t get a good answer as to why this was happening, and all that happened was that I got prescribed steroids to reduce what they think is inflammation in my ear.

So here I am now, already having taken two doses of the steroids. Still have that constant ringing sound going on, and my quality of hearing hasn’t improved at all (but to be fair, it hasn’t gotten worse either). I am worried about the future… it’s bad enough losing one ear out of nowhere, but when you’ve only got one ear left and you don’t know what the heck is gonna happen to it, that’s a scary thought. I have already been doing a lot of deep thinking about what may happen in my life if I undergo total deafness. That’s such a horrifying thought to me, due to how much my life revolves around music (as it does with most people), and my newfound love for transcribing music. I’d hate for all of that to go away at only 20 years of age.

The only thing I can do now is take what I’ve been told to take and wait. Worst case scenario, I’ve already been thinking about the last song I want to listen to ;P

EDIT: It’s been about two months since I wrote this, and fortunately everything seems back to normal. Thanks to those who showed concern! The problems concerning my ears will never end, but at least this one has been resolved.

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Soylent – Day 2.0

Well, I just so happened to be visiting the Soylent website out of curiosity, and now they are selling “Soylent 2.0.” Since clearly my curiosity wouldn’t be satiated without trying some, I ordered a 12-pack for $30. And this time it doesn’t come in bags, but rather a traditional plastic container already made, like a common soda or water bottle. To be honest, even though the powder in the bag was very simple, the extra convenience of the bottles is much appreciated (and attracts newcomers to the drink as well). However, from the looks of the bottles compared to the bagged powder, you’re getting less out of the former. This includes nutrition too, which is a shame, but if the taste is better then it is justifiable. And the taste was, by far, the most disappointing part about the previous version.

So I opened the bottle and gave it a whiff. There was a faint aroma of freshly baked sugar cookies. Wow. My brother and I got curious, so we went to our mom to ask her what she thought. Instead of smelling it, she tasted some of it and recoiled with disgust. Here we go again, I thought. I tried some next and, against all expectations, was pleasantly surprised. It actually had the lack of taste that I was expecting with the original version of Soylent that I tried, and the aftertaste was that of the smell of cookies I previously mentioned. Certainly not nearly as tasty as homemade cookies… more like slightly expired store-bought cookies that still taste faintly of its original form but lack sweetness and maybe even have some of those healthy oats in them that most of the kids hate nowadays. Something like that. Regardless, it was hands-down the better version of the product. Even the sandy texture of version 1.4, while not entirely gone, is hardly noticeable anymore. Truly, this is the Soylent that I originally hoped for.

Another significant observation to point out: I ordered this about 3 days ago. When I ordered 1.4, it took about 180 days to arrive (for those of you not counting, that’s 6 months).

So, I believe this Soylent is deserving of the version upgrade to 2.0. Virtually everything has been improved upon at the expense of some of the nutrition. With that said, I think it is a good way to get newcomers into the Soylent scene while trying to find the perfect balance between nutrition and taste. But if for some reason you prefer grits instead of milk, the powdered version is still readily available.

Sorry Noxid, I think I can finish off this batch on my own. ; )

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ORG Page Updated

It’s been several months since I last updated the blog section of this site, so it’s long overdue for a new post. Today, I simplified the Public ORGs page (and added some new ones) and re-added the blog section to the home page of the website. Hopefully now everything is more compact.

About modding, however: Cave Story X Mega Man has not been worked on in a long time. My attention is focused elsewhere, but unfortunately I cannot give out any details at the moment. Since I have virtually no progress to report upon… I’ll leave the updated title screen theme that I finished many months ago for your listening pleasure. Assuming the mod is finished, this won’t be the final title theme, but rather just a substitute for the title theme currently in the game.

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Soylent 1.4 – Day 05, Day 06, and Conclusion

The final days of Soylent went by as I expected them to. I drank it with just the water added, but I still wasn’t enjoying it. On Day 05, I finished my supply slightly early and I was still hungry surprisingly, so I had a sandwich before I went to bed. On Day 06, I decide not to fill the whole container with water, so the Soylent was more concentrated in the mixture. Needless to say it was a bad idea and it tasted worse because of it.

I was planning on going a full week, but at the end of Day 06 I realized it wasn’t worth it. I only had about a quarter of the container left, but my family went to Chick-fil-A and asked me if I wanted anything. I asked for a chicken sandwich, ate it, and realized that I wasn’t benefiting from forcing myself through the last day and a half. I dumped the rest of the Soylent I had in my fridge down the sink, which officially ended my six days with the drink. I still have roughly another week’s supply of it because of my brother’s early departure with it, so I’m stuck with even more until I can find someone to give them to. I can finally go back to normal food.

 

Overall, experimenting with Soylent for the time I had it was less interesting than I imagined and was not worth it. The taste was a total turn-off for me, and the texture didn’t help matters either. Of course, the main draw is the nutrition, but I haven’t felt any better since I started the drink. I wasn’t eating a particularly nutritious diet before this. Probably better than others, but Soylent certainly offered me more numbers. If I had at least felt supercharged from drinking this by the fourth or fifth day, perhaps I would have something nice to say about Soylent. Unfortunately, I didn’t experience any upsides, and I was craving real food the entire way through. I can safely say that this drink isn’t for me.

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Soylent 1.4 – Day 03 & Day 04

After the retrograding taste that was peanut butter Soylent, I knew I had to switch the flavor the day after. Only three days in and I already had a different combination for every batch I made. Needless to say, I was expecting it to go down smoother than that.

For the third day, I chose Nutella. Everyone loves Nutella, so Soylent should taste way better with it, right? Well, the day went the same as it did with the peanut butter, but worse. It wasn’t so bad at first, but eventually I couldn’t stand it. It was to the point where I was seriously considering quitting even though I had plenty of the stuff left. I even had to cheat and eat normal people food just to get through the day. Two bags of chips, three biscuits, and some french fries: it was so refreshing to eat something tasty even though it was garbage for my system.

The day was about over, and I couldn’t finish my remaining supply. I only had a medium cup’s worth left, but I couldn’t stomach it. At this point, I decided that perhaps I was too tough on vanilla Soylent (that is, untouched Soylent. Vanilla flavored Soylent, on the other hand, sounds pretty nice), so I didn’t blend anything with the powder but water for the next day’s supply.

Surprisingly, the day went by rather nicely. The taste wasn’t as bad as I remembered it being, and I have been able to stomach everything at a reasonable pace. As I type, I only have half of a cup left of my drink, and it’s almost 9PM. I actually might need to eat something before I go to bed so I’m not hungry. It seems like the rest of the week should fare pretty well.

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Soylent 1.4 – Day 02

Yeah, so my first day with Soylent did not go well. The taste and texture went against anything that I was comfortable with drinking, and so it was difficult for me to enjoy it. I didn’t think that I would be changing it up so quickly, but I decided for the second day that I would try to experiment a little.

So, last night I was thinking of ways to make it more appetizing for myself. Then, I recall reading the informational booklet that came with the powder about food you could add to the mixture. Two tablespoons of peanut butter. Simple enough, I thought. So I blended up the Soylent this time around, and I added the recommended amount of Peanut Butter. Now just stick it in the fridge and let it chill overnight.

In the morning, I tried it out. My first impressions were good: I felt that the peanut butter complimented the texture better and that overall it simply tasted better. That’s not to say that I enjoyed drinking it, but it went down easier. Considering that I didn’t start drinking it in the middle of the afternoon like I did the day before and because I already had a day to get used to it, I expected the rest of the day to go by easy.

By the end of the day, however, I wasn’t feeling too good and I was sick of the drink already. My parents taunted me with the choice of eating a hot dog or instead drinking my mineral sludge. I of course stuck with the Soylent, but I did sneak a few pretzels out of temptation. My stomach was uneasy and I was tired so I forced myself to take a nap. Surprisingly, I didn’t have a horrid taste in my mouth like I usually do when I eat food and immediately sleep afterwords.

A few hours before I went to bed, I had to force myself to down the rest. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s ingredient works better.

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