Astro's Blog

Journey to Cousin's Wedding - All in Pictures

By: Astrometeor, 4:51 AM GMT on July 25, 2015

And a few words, lol. Need them captions and a little filler. Enjoy.

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Figure 1. Cousin is on the right and her fiance, looking at a photo album, day before the wedding.

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Figure 2. I had just called his name, this is Scooter, my grandparents' dog. My aunt rescued him from the street and he is now Grandpa's most loyal follower. Loves to run and loves to chew on toy balls.

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Figure 3. Thunderstorm's anvil being blown away as another storm's anvil covers the sky.

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Figure 4. Mammatus clouds forming underneath anvil as parent storm goes severe.

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Figure 5. Mammatus clouds fully formed. Storm would go on to produce two tornadoes in Lafayette, Indiana.

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Figure 6. Storm chasing partner Scooter stands boldly in front of clouds building in the distance.

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Figure 7. More mammatus!

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Figure 8. Coaster made of wood and mini mason jar that was the glass you drank out of, and got to keep! Background is barn that was transformed into wedding reception building.

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Figure 9. Storm clouds in the distance. Little did I know, there was an active tornado watch. But no Wi-Fi, nor cell signal, so no way to know. Storms did not make it to my location.

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Figure 10. Returning my brother's Basis Band to him by wearing it. Basis Band is the superior smartwatch to the Fitbit, and I give it a recommendation. My brother works server support for the makers of Basis, currently owned by Intel. I am definitely not biased in any way.

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Figure 11. Deflating bounce house. So much fun, even the old people (40-60 year old aunts and uncles) bounced in there. My cousin's step-daughter led a harsh workout, tougher than any military drill (Up! And then you drop!)

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Figure 12. Foam Cube Pit of Initiation. My brother's girlfriend had to be initiated into family, so she swang on the rope, jumped in, and then got pummeled by foam blocks by the family.

That's it. I'll post some more pictures in the comments section from earlier in the month. Thanks for viewing!

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Review of Frosh Year at Millersville University

By: Astrometeor, 9:34 PM GMT on July 05, 2015

First off, let me just say a few words, words I have written on a poster upon realization: “Y’all Yankees are weird.”

The truth is so much more complex than just the simple statement that I have chosen as the so-called “tl;dr” segment of this piece. Being a guy from the South, an area of the country famous for its general relaxed attitude on life, seeing all of these northern kids freak about the strangest of things at the strangest of times has been both a massive puzzlement and a struggle, the latter of which I would have never have expected and do not want to ever see again, and yet, seeing as how I have three years to go, fear I must deal with again.

Before I begin, I will state unequivocally that I love my chosen university. The staff that I have so far had meet up to expectations, even in the gen eds I have thus taken. My colleagues and friends may disagree, especially in chemistry (where they struggled to pass…if they did that), but I thought that freshman year went well academically. Could I have done better? Sure.

I must also apologize for the lack of written material I have put out over the past year. College has severely dampened my time of writing, and I deeply apologize for not delivering on a couple of promises…mainly the review of that Climate March in NYC I participated in. Stay tuned, I still want to do that, it’s just a matter of motivation, which as a teenager, is hard to come by. ;)

Back to the topic at hand, while academics should arguably be the core of university, it is mainly about the massive transition from a basic enslaved life under parents to the first tastes of freedom (yet still under a somewhat loose hold of the school and the Bursar). This freedom can elicit the whole spectrum of reactions. Some of which can be colorful and amazing to see, others fall flat on their faces. Of course, the prevalence of drugs on campus that are distributed, marijuana being the main force, doesn’t help. For people who argue that marijuana isn’t a bad thing…I have yet to see a user of it do well in their classes. One of those users is now my best friend in college, the blog has seen her influence on me already.

As for exploration of my newfound home, me and three friends took a Saturday and went up to Gettysburg, my second visit of the historic battlefield. I’ve explored the inner city part of Lancaster, and I’ve driven about the place with my friends a few times. Fav place is the closest Walmart, look at all that stuff that we can’t afford! :/ Walmart, the land of the cheap items, but still not cheap enough to fit on my budget. Alas, my poor wallet.

I practiced with the university’s Frisbee team for a while, before being sucked under by another commitment + falling temperatures = unsuitable playing conditions for a Southern kid. I played soccer growing up, and there is no such thing as “oh just run and you’ll warm up” when the conditions are hovering around 40 or cooler. That other commitment, being an idea from FEMA known as CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team, a sort of citizen-composed group that has basic knowledge in how to respond to disaster emergencies, such as Katrina or Sandy…namely events that overwhelm first responders, although they can be called to assist in other events (such as marathons or marches).

To the unsuspected. As fate would have it, I made friends with one of the “popular” girls. I should note, however, that this is the first few weeks of school. A lot of the guys are already making their moves on the girls, and this particular girl is being sought after by multiple guys, eventually boiling down to just two guys. As the interest waned, and our general clique shrank to its present form (more or less), I slowly got to know the girl. She is, as mentioned above, my best friend in college. But she wouldn’t attain that level of personal prestige until several months later. I was still highly wary of her (I’ve never been one to associate with popular people, even if most like me and I them).

When we came back from break, I and a bunch of others went up to her room, and she fell asleep…on me. Therein lies the rub. All the others immediately began to think that I had a crush on her, which is simply not true. When I was asked the next day by one of the smartest guys in the dorm, I was caught off guard by his question….I hadn’t even thought about dating her. Unfortunately for me, the group of friends and associates then began to develop their own opinion about me, and began to antagonize her new boyfriend a week later about it. He talked to me and I told him the truth, that I did not have a crush on her. He eventually apologized to me at a later date (I still do not know why he did at that time, perhaps someone told him I was avoiding the main group). Eventually she broke up with him and starting dating the second guy, who is perfectly okay with my friendship with the girl.

Several months pass, and yet everyone is still convinced. To the point that every once in a while a comment will be made, like my roommate’s in May: “Would you stay up later for a girl?” Me: “Maybe a little while longer (not understanding what he was talking about).” Him: “I get you. I totally understand.” He, of course, has a crush on another girl in the group, one that he personally admitted to. When I figured out what he had meant, I was infuriated. As for the rest, I’ve asked. They are still convinced.

Back when I was at MLK, most of you who’ve followed my blogging know that I liked a girl named Elizabeth. But there was another girl I’d give frequent hugs to, and whom I talked to when I was blue. All of my friends saw this interaction, yet everyone knew I didn’t have a crush on her. While there is currently no girl I have any special affinity to at the moment, it is deeply troubling to me that there are only two or three people at college who know that I do not have a crush.

And this is the crux: While Millersville has been fun at times, and I am definitely glad I chose it, the friend-friend relationships are lacking. I don’t know if it’s that intelligence dearth, or what, but the friend-friend dealings at MLK were more complex, and yet simpler to resolve. Yes, it’s “only” been one year at school. But I only have four. And after the first few weeks I had a decent understanding of everyone, not much character development happens beyond that, unless someone is to become a close friend or more. One year down, three to go. Hopefully the next three will be more fun and less bitter squabbling.

Yankees are weird.

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The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.