Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Lake’s Shore

The Sun rises upon the Lake’s shore
The Sun settles upon the Butte’s face

Animals stir from their slumber
Now they can seek cool relief

Fish chew on the spongy algae
Rabbits munch on the lush sage brush

The boa sleeps on the tree tops
The garter slithers by the roots

Trees wave gently from the Lake’s shore
The grass waves back

Bats stalk silently overhead
Badgers dig diligently below

A horse browses the dense underbrush
A deer grazes the sparse grasslands

Lunge, lunge, the crocodile snaps at its prey
Pounce, pounce, the lion tackles its prey

Stocky birds walk the muddy lake’s shore
The sage grouse hide beneath their namesake

Schooling fish scatter from a slight disturbance
The lone prairie dog stands alert from foes

Over the landscape loom palm fronds, they see all
In the hillside huddle aspen groves, they see few

Blue, smothered with green and unknown colors
Brown, blended with green and freckled with flowers

Larger, wetter, call her Begetter
Smaller, drier, call her Harbor

I see it now

A gar swims through the tall grass
And a turtle wades through the dry ground

A chipmunk rests on a lotus leaf
And a pronghorn laps at the lifegiver

Are they one and the same?
This butte that towers over its dry land
And this lake that rests at its bottom

The animals and plants
From two different times
From two different habitats
Yet share the same landscape

They may be dead but they’re still alive
The Begetter may be gone
But the Harbor remembers
She holds tight to what is once was
And reveals to those who only look

I only have to peer outside
And experience their lives implied

The Sun may be setting on the Lake’s shore
But the Sun is rising on the Butte’s face

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Stand upon thee

Stand upon thee o great Butte!

This land I see is a mixture of hills with painted strokes upon their flanks and ark pine trees dotting the palate

The only thing above you are clouds who even they and their shadows are small enough to be seen

Their shadows creep along the landscape like an amorphous amoeba, covering everything in its path

I shout, but no one can hear as the wind overbears my voice and drown it in the hillside

Below me is a hidden trove of fossils who lurk in anticipation to be discovered

They do not mind me walking on them as rock and rock and rock has already smothered them

The grass is sparse but the stones are free from all trampling temptation

Burnt lichen cover them in hopes of a passing rain cloud

I am only me up here-the deer just leave prints, the ants do not march, the birds do not fly, and the rabbits just hide from their blazing oppressor

Still, I am just me up here, sitting and thinking, thinking.

How on Earth do I get down?

Ghost Fish

Ghost fish Ghost fish

Tee dum Tee dum

Trapped in the purple Hillza

beNeath the grassHoppers Trillza

Ghost fish Ghost fish

Bazaw Bazaw

Backbone Missing

Ostracods Twistings

Ghost fish Ghost fish

Bazaw Bazaw

Living PostParaDise

Nothing’s here Nothing nice

Ghost fish Ghost fish

Tee dum Tee dum

Dismal Life-like

Salty Bleak-life

Ghost fish Ghost fish

Chip chip Chip chip

Stare Right with the Whita

Stare Back with the Blacka.

Ghost fish Ghost fish

Tee dum Tee dum

Ghost fish Ghost fish

Chip chip Chip chip

Chip

chip

What ABC did right (and what they should improve) on Battlebots

The ABC Battlebots’ season may be over but the good news is that a new season has been renewed for the following year! ABC has done several major changes to the franchise while still keeping true to the series’ roots. Many of these changes were surprisingly for the better and should definitely be kept for next season. Let’s take a look at the good changes and what more could be done to push this robotic sport to new heights.

Image from battlebots.com

Things I want to see again in Season 2

Filler Time-One of the most critical cries I’ve been reading a lot of on Reddit is the amount of filler present in all six episodes. The general consensus is that there is too much filler and there should be more screen time on the battles. I disagree as the filler gives us a great look into the builders and their robot. One of ABC’s main focus points was how diverse the builders were whether it was their home state/country, their occupation/background, their age, and their gender. It gives us a real anyone-can-build-a-robot attitude. And in the later episodes, we got to explore the builder’s floor and look at what kind of damage the robot sustained and how the builders were planning to fix them. Very cool. The show’s creators even said they want to get more technical next season and not dumb down the material for the audience, I can definitely appreciate that.

Bracket Tournament-Battlebots has done brackets before but never to this degree of detail. At best, we would only see the quarter final and beyond match ups and that doesn’t happen very often. ABC’s bracket gives us a real March Madness-style gameplay and we can get hype for the following episodes and predict, such as yours truly, who would win and who would lose. I loved it.

Veterans and Newcomers-The show’s creators specifically stated they would like to expand the Battlebots pool and have more people participate along with more episodes. This season was great as not only did we get to see new robots of various types but we got to see veteran robots and veteran builders. Nightmare and Warhead, Team Whyachi and Team Dissector, these are veterans that people should fear. Let’s get more of both for next season!

Things that could be improve for Season 2

Image from abc.com

The Seeding-I have so many questions about the seeding. How was it determined? How were the pre-battle stats determined? Why were some robots ranked higher than others? I feel like this should be elaborated on greatly, especially the pre-battle stats. The announcers always looked at these stats before each match up and every time they do I’m left wondering how they were set up. The stats also seemed very…uneven such as when you have Witch Doctor’s weapon stat of a 91 compared to Tombstone’s 100. Hm, I dunno, I would like some elaboration on all of this.

The Wildcard-Wildcard was a great addition to the series as it brought back robots we liked but have fallen. This should be kept again next season as it can bring a great series of redemption battles like Witch Doctor and Overhaul. However, again, like the seeding, there should be some elaboration why some robots were selected and others weren’t. Many of us were surprised that Nightmare didn’t make the cut despite him being fully functional while the so-so Warhead got a pass.

The Battlebox-Screws were surprisingly effective at KOing opponents while the saws buzzed away at their normal speed. But the launch boards, or whatever the hell they are, were barely used and one time got one of the competitors stuck underneath them. Point is, get rid of them. Also, the Pulverizers, although awesome, didn’t seem to dent the robots. Add some weight to those suckers and they’ll be as threatening as they should be!

The Announcers-Eh, they were warming up to me near the end but they still seemed so stiff or fake. I generally believe they’re nice people but they seem kind of out of place. Truth be told, I want to see more of the Builder’s Arena interviewers as they seem dorkyly cool. But in the end, at least they’re not as annoying as the original CC hosts!

Judges’ Decision-In one of the few instances that ABC made a step back in, we didn’t get to see the final judges’ score for the three-minute battles. This was especially needed for that close Overhaul vs. Biteforce battle. How did the judge’s decide Biteforce won that battle? I really want to know!

Battlebot Diversity-Although it is ultimately the builders’ decision to decide what to build, I read that the showrunners picked which robots to showcase in this season of battlebots. This season can be summed up with horizontal spinners and clamp bots, we need to see more lift/launch bots, vertical spinners, full body spinners, rammers, and yes, even wedges. There’s a definite rock/paper/scissors aspect to Battlebots and we need to see that in action.

Things that really need to change for Season 2

SHOW ALL THE BATTLES-Seriously, this is in all caps how badly this needs to change. It was a super bummer that we didn’t get to see the qualifying battles for quite a few of these robots. Stinger, Hypershock, Overdrive, I really wanted to see their battles! Especially for Stinger! Granted, this is probably because they had limited episodes but why cut the Stinger fight?? That looked so good in the preview clips!

THE BOX IS LOCKED, THE LIGHTS ARE ON, IT’S ROBOT FIGHTING TIME-Enough said, bring this back.