Friday, August 26, 2011

My Hurricane Katrina Experience (Six Years Ago)

Hey, be sure to read the slight updates in the VF/Zombies/EA post!!!  That's all, rofl....Now for

Now for serious issues.  This recent 5.8 earthquake in Virginia (and all the East Coast) wasn't bad...heck, the kids at the Little League World Series were playing through it, having fun which is good.  However this Hurricane Irene moving up the East Coast could cause some serious trouble...much more than that earthquake.  Please try to stay safe whatever you do.

Soooo....I did have my own little hurricane experience.  I was in Pearl River, Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005 (it's nearly the 6-year anniversary, close enough).  And then for the next four months, all hell broke loose.  I was a 17-year-old Senior at the time, but I didn't go back to school for about two months.  Gee whiz.

During that time, I had a laptop, a LiveJournal account (yes that's true but it's deleted now), and the obscene habit of rambling about everyday things.  One problem--NO INTERNET FOR MONTHS.  So I wrote journal entries of my observations and saved them to be posted later.  I've concluded that not all of these were written the exact day I observed them, but they're pretty damn close to when it happened.

The thing is, I forgot to post them...until I found them recently in a Wordpad file buried in my My Documents folder.  Please note that I wrote about more than the trials & tribulations of the hurricane but also about video games & stuff.  You see I talked about Daytona USA, Counter-Strike maps (click here to see what I was talking about), Advance Wars, all that nonsense SIX YEARS AGO.  So I haven't changed much.  I added a few little heads-up in bold italics to help clarify stuff.  This whole thing may be garblish for some of you but what else can I say...these were very hasty posts so I wasn't going for a Pulitzer's Prize here, heh.  Click the jump if you want to read more...

The Hurricane Katrina Experience

Day 1

It was Sunday, church was canceled, and the whole family packed up bunches of personal belongings and went to my grandmother’s house.  My mom was very concerned about her portraits and stuff, so we brought all that stuff in the car trunk.  I brought my laptop, some video games, and my Micro Machines; I didn’t want to lose that stuff.  And we also brought the family pets.

What I forgot to say is that my grandmother’s house is only 30 miles away in Pearl River, but the house is made out of bricks, so it’s the closest thing to a concrete bunker at this moment.  Plus it’s also very high off the sea level, so it’s very unlikely that it’ll flood.  I really underestimated the severity of the storm at first, watching my usual game show reruns like Greed and Super Millionaire and using the internet.

I had watched the news and learned the hurricane was Category 5 now.  That’s no good.  I went to sleep hoping my house will be fine, and I thought it would be too.

Day 2

The hurricane hit at approximately 7 am Monday.  I was asleep throughout most of the experience.  I woke up about twice because a tree had hit the roof above me with a loud thud.  I looked outside and there was all this wind everywhere.  My parents/grandparents just stayed up to watch the storm.

The eye had passed over where I was.  It’s a shame I was asleep so I couldn’t see it.

Woke up after 12 hours and there was no power or water at all.  I took a look outside and it looked like the end of the world has come.  Everyone went outside and walked around.  The ground was saturated with water.  Trees were ripped from the ground, even bringing up large patches of grass with it.  Pieces of shredded vegetation were on the ground.  It seemed that only me and my family were the last people on earth, cause I didn’t hear anything.

Our cars were okay.  The trees could have fallen on top of our automobiles (to add more insult to the injury), but thank God they did not.

It was impossible to leave the neighborhood because of all the trees which obstructed the road.  My dad embarked on a campaign to go and cut up as many trees as possible.  He finally carved a path out to the main road after a couple of hours.

My grandparents recognized the importance of electricity, so we had this generator thing in the backyard.  It ran on gasoline, made a lot of noise, but it made enough electricity to run everything.  It’s a shame that our water and cable did not work.  I played games on my laptop to pass the time.  I think I’m finished with my oschner_hospital map (see here) as well.

The family wanted to go check on our house.  I stayed at my grandmother’s house; I had no idea why.  My parents made it out of my grandmother’s neighborhood, but intense flooding prevented them from coming close.

Using the generator, we got a mini radio TV working.  Everyone was watching the news and the insane damage that was done to New Orleans.  New Orleans was flooded to hell.  A levee broke, filling most of New Orleans with gushing water.  The Superdome, which was a refuge for poor people in the storm, was peeled apart.  Bunches of buildings were destroyed.  There is no power, water, or police protection.  There were quite a few people who had stayed in their homes, only to experience the wrath of nature.

Certainly what I had experienced was not nearly as bad as New Orleaneans.

Day 3

The air conditioner would not work since it took up too much electricity.  The house began to get hot.  My family started to get irate.  They wanted to see their house.  So while I was sleeping (missed another opportunity, stupid huh?), my family got a boat, went to a dock, and my dad and brother embarked on a quest to get home.  They did, but they didn’t go inside.  They brought back pictures as well.  The rest of my family waited anxiously for my dad and brother to return, since they could be killed by wild animals or armed revolutionaries (or hicks) and the cops would never know.

My house was fine after all.  Our house is eight feet above the ground.  The water went up seven and a half feet.  That’s really close.  Everything under the house was destroyed.  Not that big of a loss for us.  My room is okay!

The good news encouraged our family, but we kept getting more information about New Orleans, Mississippi and whatnot and I felt really guilty.

We needed to get out of the house and go someplace where we can get supplies.  The whole family with the grandparents got in the car and drove to Baton Rouge.  We went to a gas station to get gas for the generator.  We went to Applebee’s to eat.  I don’t like that place anymore.  It’s overcharged and the food’s not that special.  We went to the Mall of America (Louisiana).  I would have killed someone to go to the arcade and play Daytona USA ½, but there was no games like that whatsoever here.  Instead, there was this weird store called Gamezone or something.  In the front of the store was some games for sale, the back was a bunch of arcade games.  Not a bad idea.  Yeah, they had DDR, Initial D, etc. but I wasn’t that desperate, was I?  We went home back to Pearl River.

Regardless, my mom continued to get upset with my grandparents, even though she had appeared to be in a good mood around her (them?).  The heat got to my brothers who just about snapped.  I was actually in a good mood for once since I had my laptop.  I offered to play board games, computer games, whatever with my brothers.  They would always reject me.

Day 4

At midnight, I was trying to sleep in the heat, but I went over to the bedroom, turned on the fan, and went to sleep like a baby.  The generator was turned off to save fuel.  I woke up in pitch black darkness.  I couldn’t see the hand in front of my face.  I crawled around like a lost doggy until I found the light in the living room and huddled around it.  I can’t sleep in darkness like most rational people can.

My grandparents took off early in the morning and everyone, except for me, wanted to leave.  An argument broke out between my parents, because we were confused on what to do.  Everyone shut up and then we decided to pack our bags and head home.  The trees were blocking the way, plus there was mud all over the roads cause of the water.  More on the mud situation later.  We decided to head for a hotel.  We needed to drive somewhere very far away.  We drove all the way to Jackson, Mississippi, then decided to drive all the way to Shreveport, which is in Northwestern Louisiana.

We checked into a nice hotel.  Apparently, we all had to stay in the same room.  Yeah, we were “refugees” alright.  I even have to share my gameboy with my brothers or else they’ll make these annoying screeching noises.   Eventually, we met my uncle and aunt (on my mom’s side of the family, after all this “dad’s parents suck” stuff (my mom would get in arguments with my dad's parents) ).  They like to go to casinos, but they are cool people.  They lost their house, their two Corvettes, and their jobs due to the hurricane.  We went to this casino and ate at a crappy restaurant, then we got to sit back and relax for the rest of the day.

Day 5

At the casino we visited, the Isle Capri of Shreveport, they had a hotel there (wow, that’s a surprise).  They were offering discounts to hurricane refugees, so what do you know, we all moved from a three-star hotel to a four-star one!

Can’t say the rest of the day was that exciting.  I’m trying to recall what happened, but nothing really did.  I had to watch CNN reports about the hurricane’s destruction all day.

Now this is really bogus, but helicopters were trying to send supplies to New Orleans, but the unusual thing is that “elite snipers” (aka, “black man with a rifle”) were shooting at the cops and the help groups.  WTF?  Gangsters are trying to deny New Orleaneans as well as themselves of help.  Also, there’s lots of looting going on.  Yeah, like it’s worth stealing a wet, soggy TV, running into a hick with a shotgun, and risking your life over that TV.  Just give up with the TV.  It’s not worth it.

Busloads of New Orleans refugees were escorted to towns such as Dallas, Shreveport, and even Denham Springs.  What’s dumb is that once they dropped off the people in Denham Springs, they did not seek help but ran around looting the place!  A Wal-Mart was looted of its stuff.  Kinda like in that Jumanji movie how the dudes were stealing stuff and the black cop runs the police car into the building and dumps paint on the hunter guy.  But do the people want help or do they think life is better with lots of stolen merchandise?  It’s not like you can just go home with it cause your house is destroyed!

On this day, or the next, we went to the arcade, which was this big room with a lot of games, but no people and no Daytona USA.  What a terrible arcade.

Hmm?  What’s this?  An Initial D cabinet--holy crap.  And someone already put in three of the tokens on each side of the machine.  I’ll play it for 25 cents!

Ok, I played Initial D, I wasn’t a Daytona USA fan boy, but compared to D. USA, I don’t get what’s the big deal with this game.  The steering wheel was broken, so I sucked bad, but I’ll give it the benefit of what could have been a better race full of super-fun drifting!  It felt like Gran Turismo 4 for the arcade.  There’s a cool selection of cars, particularly the Subaru Impreza, my favorite, but the racing just didn‘t work out for me.  You bounce off the walls like a bouncy ball, the camera angles were just irritating, (inside the car = impossible to drift, outside the car = car is as skinny as a pencil) the sense of speed was nowhere near as good as Daytona USA ½’s, and you only race against one other guy.  I raced two guys from Tokyo.  Yes, the name was “Two Guys from Tokyo.”  I lost which sucks, but no one else was in the arcade.  I do think this is a good game, but why this game shuts down Daytona USA, I don‘t know.

BTW, the music is excellent!  It’s like they tried to go for the same quirkiness that Daytona USA’s soundtrack had, except with a DDR twist so that everyone loves it.  JK, look up some YTMND’s that are about Initial D.

BTW again, Initial D is made by Sega Rosso, a blatantly obvious Sega branch, like AM2 made Daytona USA (at the time, I didn't like Initial D, sorry...).

Day 6

We wake up and go to a restaurant that offers free food to refugees.  It was a nice restaurant, but all you got was fries, chicken, fish, and water.  No Dr. Pepper!!  Apparently, gas stations can sell the stuff in big cups for 99 cents, but I had to stick with the H2O.

The whole family just decided to leave and go home.  Okay, sounds great.  Except in the truck, three of the seven seats were taken, so all the brothers had to crowd in the middle seat for the whole ride home!  I did my best to sleep.  That wasted about half the ride.  The rest was spent going to McDonalds and getting fat and playing Advance Wars.  I HATE car rides.  Yeah, so does everyone else.

We are back in Slidell (where my my family lived)!  To get to the house, we need to drive through this small road, around some turns, and shazam, you’re home.  Apparently, in the past few days, trees had fallen in the road and blocked the street.  A whole lot of trees.  But we were in luck because someone had taken a bulldozer and cleared out the whole street.  All of them except for the final road to the house.

Now this was an unpleasant experience to get to the house.  When the flood waters rose up, a whole bunch of sediment at the bottom of the bayou rose up as well and deposited on the dry ground above.  This means tons and tons of mud were in our way.  And it wasn’t like dirt mud, but it was mud you’ve never seen before.  This thick six-inches-deep stuff that looked like rotting vegetation and crap.  Let’s just say that we got close to the house and we pulled up on the neighbor’s hill, where all the mud was dried and was separated into what looked like potato chips.  I wanted to get into the house but I couldn’t.  It would be useless since there was no water, no electricity, and it would be impossible to leave.  I was away from the house six days and the wait would have to last longer.

We were out of options and had to return back to our grandmother’s house.  At least we thought so, until we decided to go look at Pastor John Raymond’s house and he and the family were home (Raymonds were long-time family friends)!  He had a generator and water pressure, so we decided to stay at their house as long as we stayed out of the way.

That night, we were introduced to a beautiful thing--MRE’s.  Meals, Ready to Eat.  They’re the meals that America’s Army eats!  And if you drive by the old Wal-Mart, they hand em out of people in line driving their cars!  It’s interesting because you bust open this brown package and there’s a main course (usually something that grosses me out full of vegetables and clear spices pieces) a side item, crackers, dessert, Kool-aid mix, and so on.  Ok, so my dad makes spaghetti and meatballs.  How he heats the food is by putting the bag of stuff into this heater thing, then pouring water into the heater, and voila--instant heat.  Just wait 15 minutes, and the food is good.

I only like one meal--meatloaf.  I love the meatloaf MRE’s.  yeah, enough about the MRE’s…

Day 7

My brother would always hang out with John the 15-year-old, and I had to use him as a makeshift friend since I haven’t talked to anyone I know for a long time!  He would always play Halo on the Xbox if he could.

I am done with the oschner_hospital map and I decide to just begin working on sonicadventure2_ark2 (I never finished this map, but see the original here)!  Wow, the sequel to the best map of all time!  Unfortunately, I was in such a mind slump at that time that I think I made some dumb mistakes and ended up making it too big, but it would make a good deathmatch map instead.  But this isn’t Unreal Tournament, it’s Counter-Strike.  I don’t finish the map for about a week.

Day 8

At about noon, the whole family goes on over to the only restaurant open in Slidell--Waffle House.  All there were on the menu were burgers, grilled chicken, hash browns, and Coca-Cola in the can.  That’s good news for me because all I eat from Waffle House is the burgers!

Ok, so the family decided to go back to the house when there’s light so we can better observe the situation.  The Raymond family comes as well.  I insist on seeing the house, but my dad gets irate at everyone who’s acting stupid, like my mom who complains once again.  I’m the last to get on a pair of boots, tread through the mud, and get inside of the house.  Everything is there and accounted for.  I’m glad, but the house is inhabitable as of now, so we go back to the Raymond’s house.

My parents were brave though and decided to go back to the house themselves, along with my youngest brother, so I get to stay at the Raymond’s house again!  They take me to Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club as a result, and I had fun acting like an idiot and drifting with my grocery cart.  YEAH, INITIAL D!!!!

Nothing else good happened the rest of the day.  Ever since July, I’ve been in a emotional and intellectual slump, so doing the simple things gets me all tired out, and I can’t eat as much as I used to.  I can’t make good Counter-Strike maps, and I’m doing piss-poor at Counter-Strike as well.  This is on-off after a while.

Day 9

The day was just about average today.  I am eating MREs for the heck of it.  My parents come back and demand that we come with them to the house.  I do think I overstayed my welcome, but going back to the house with no water?  Are you nuts?  To make things more interesting, my brother’s friend John comes home with us.

Nonetheless, the house was in a much better shape than before.  There was little mud on the street and the generator was supplying the house with electricity.  And my brothers just crashed and set up video games around the house, therefore acting very stupid and getting my parents mad.

Day 10+

We have big containers of drinking water which must be used to flush a toilet and to bathe.  Ok, the experience is not-so-pleasant, but we get running water back in just two days, which is excellent!

Being back in the house is great, since I have my own bed, my own TV for video games, and I can also hide from my family in the room as well!  We don’t have internet or cable though, which is obvious by this point.

There is not much of a point of posting the individual days, so I’ll just sum up what happens to this day, (I think it’s) Day 16.


BRB with more miscellaneous rants.

Day 20

It’s September 18th.  We finally get power back.  Amazing, considering all the fallen power lines in the way.  Well, nothing else happened.  We don’t have to use a generator, which means that there won’t be any more electrical shortages and we can turn the main air conditioner on instead of having to use these small fans.

Day 22

It’s September 20th.  It appears that Hurricane Rita, a Category 3 hurricane, is going to hit between Texas and Louisiana, giving a slight nod to Louisiana.  Well it definitely won’t be as bad as what we went through, but a Category 3 hurricane can still destroy power lines (that’s no good).

Day 24

It’s September 22th.  It’s my brother Will’s birthday.  He’s my youngest brother (my three brothers are Andy, Ian, and Will).  We didn’t get to give him a big party with friends and a space jump and stuff.  I felt sad because kids deserve big parties with friends.  He got a couple of DVDs and then we went to a Ryan’s restaurant.  I get tired of that restaurant fast.

Will wanted one game for his birthday, and that’s Brute Force for the Xbox.  Oh why oh why.  It’s all because he saw a demo movie of it on the Halo game.  Me and my brother Andy, who is quite possibly my “only friend” at the moment, like to hang out and play Tony Hawk 3 on the Xbox, but now we can’t because Will and Ian are playing Brute Force every other hour!

Day 26

It’s September 24th.  Hurricane Rita has come and gone, but can you believe it--the house is surrounded in two feet of water!  It’s like that time a few years ago when Hurricane (I think it’s) Isidore came and we got to ride the flatboat around the house.  Well, we’re stuck here for a while.  Let’s just hope the mud doesn’t return.

I’ve been struck with laziness, cause I hardly finished the mcdonalds_playplace map (see here).  Now I can’t complete the ge_frigate map (see here).  It’s the Frigate level from Goldeneye!  But I don’t have the correct program to extract textures from the Goldeneye rom, so I have to use these dumb Half-Life textures instead.

No internet.  Still no internet.

Day ???

September 26th comes rolling around and it’s back to school time just like that.  It was terrible beyond belief-- everyone showed up all perked-up and cheery ready to learn!  Somehow, the annoying people made it seem like I was playing Flatout and I had just driven straight into a brick wall and cracked my skull (rofl I knew about Flatout way back then).  Going back into school like that was like that.  Same old ten-hour grind every day. . . .

Day ???

October 4th was Ian’s birthday.  He is an annoying brother, but he had just one birthday gift that made me sooooooooooooooo happy.  He asked for me and Andrew to stay home.  Oh goody goody gumdrops (can't believe I used that wording)!  I get to stay home.  I love that annoying little kid now.

Well, how it all unfolded was that Ian goes and tells my mom what to do.  She just blows it off like “I’ll tell you later.”  That’s a classic sign that she doesn’t want to do it and she’s counting on us to just forget about it so that we go to school anyway.  A couple more tries anyway and suddenly, Andrew’s given permission to stay home.  I figure “I’m staying home too,” so I hang out for a little while longer until I go to sleep early because I was already tired to begin with.

It’s 6 am, my dad wakes me up and tells me I have to go to school.  I’m like “No, mom gave me diplomatic immunity,” but he tells me I have to go anyway because I wasn’t given permission!  What the--?  I get into an argument because Ian had promised me that I was off the hook and that I wasn’t mentally prepared to go back but then, mom goes back to the good old saying:


I wanted to break something.  I was in so much mental and physical pain.  It wasn’t like I was doing anything that day that was so crucially important that I had to be there!  I just wanted to lay there and refuse to move.  Andrew gets to stay home but not me?  Oh, that’s because he plays football.  Well, he volunteered to do it!  Maybe he shouldn’t have done it if he would exercise so much.

Ian’s birthday was later this week, on Saturday, with a couple of cool kids over who hung out and ate cake.  I didn’t get much out of it.  The weekends are so short these days. . .

Day ???

Traffic has been pretty bad as of late, because all the people are commuting on the same highway it takes to get to school, and it takes me a long time to get home.

Oh man, it’s been about a month without internet.  My brother’s friends have internet.  My school has internet.  But I don’t!  I want to do one thing and that is go on the internet and find Counter-Strike mapping resources.  I can’t do that, so mapping has become very slow for me…

I only got to use the internet from a few places for only mere seconds.  It’s like opening a time capsule and seeing what has happened over the last month.  What I want to know is what Sean Hannity has said about Hurricane Katrina (I don't listen to him anymore).  I want to know what has happened at  I want to see if there’s any good stuff on eBay.

Day ???

I busted out this old game which has been sitting in my brother’s room for ages.  It’s called Monopoly Tycoon.  It’s fun!  It’s like SimCity with some Starcraft elements to it.  No you don’t build units.  Instead, you’ve got all the Monopoly spaces laid out in a city and the goal is to build businesses that will attract customers and earn you a profit.  But at the same time, your opponents will be simultaneously building things on the same ground as you, trying to steal away your customers.  It’s like Economics 101.  If you are bored, buy it from Best Buy for 5 dollars (see my gameplay video here).

Ok, so in the new Advance Wars, they changed my fave CO, Olaf.  Ok, so in AW1-AW2, he had snow powers that reduces the amount of spaces that enemy units could move across the terrain.  This has been heralded by many amateurs and professionals alike as “terrible” and “a waste of a power.”  And these are the same people that like to harass their opponents by picking Grit and Colin and massing artillery and rockets.  I’ve met a handful of people on the internet who do think Olaf is useful.  That’s cool . . . (if you know nothing about Advance Wars, just skip this paragraph)

In AW:DS, they changed the effects of snow altogether.  Enemy movements can now move all the way through snow like Olaf can.  The penalty, you ask?  One, Olaf’s units get 20% stronger in the snow.  Two, enemy units are charged with a double fuel loss in the snow.  Yeah, I don’t like that at all.  I like the old Olaf, and I hope the people at AWBW don’t change him (talking about this site where you play Advance Wars online) . . .


I have my Red version, my brother had the Blue version and I’m like “Hey!  Let’s all play Pokemon again!”  And then my quest to get a good Level 100 team begins once again (can't believe I was such a Pokemon junkie back then...).

I knew that I wanted a Persian for sure, so I raise one to level 85, save the game, and then I want to give it Rare Candies to see how it stacks up to my previous one.  Apparently, it turns out worse--not just worse, but much, much worse, and I get pissed cause even though I hand-picked the best Meowth for the job, it still sucks.  I try giving it some Proteins and Irons (aka Steroids) and I can only give it one HP up (intricate details about Pokemon, awayyyyy!!!).

Then I get this brilliant idea in my head.  My previous team, upon reaching level 100, could not receive any steroids whatsoever.  I thought I had given them the stuff beforehand, but I hadn’t, then I was standing on my toilet, I slipped, hit my head, and had the idea for the Rare Candies/Steroids thing.  Basically, when you raise a Pokemon normally, the Steroids boosts are added in there at random levels.  But if you give it the Rare Candies, then it misses out on those boosts and therefore sucks.  But I realized I could give these Rare-Candied-Pokemon tons of steroids!  I tested this on multiple Persians, and they came close to being as good as my first Persian, but then I realized that raising it from start to finish the honest-man’s way gives you a slight boost in stats.  Yes, it can make a difference, and I want my Pokemon to be the best they can be.  The new team is Persian, Arcanine, Golduck, Jolteon, Sandslash, and Weezing.

Why I was having some fun with Pokemon Stadium, battling the Gym Leaders and trying to win, but I’m not sure if I was a strategic idiot or if I was just unlucky, but luck doesn’t seem to go my way a lot.  Number one tip is to NEVER use Lightning (Thunder?), cause if you can miss, then you will (it has a 70% hit rate, lol).


I forgot the day count.  I will just type whatever is going on.

Ok, so school is rather easy, actually.  The only class I am really sweating is AP English.  The tests are weird.  Basically, you take a quote, answer the question by writing an essay on it, and you get your grade.  Grading, though, can be good or bad.  Basically, if you answer the question well, you get about a 5.  That’s a 94 A.  Miss a few points and it’s a 4, an 87.  It’s tough for me because getting higher than a 5 is very difficult, and at times, I will write my heart out and get a 4.  Thankfully, he averages the tests with the homework grade (which is a 100), so I get a good grade--about a 96.

Last nine weeks though, I got really nervous when I saw I had a 94.  The reason was because he calculated the tests with a slightly higher weight than the homework (and I messed up one vocab test that he mixed up the definitions on).  I told him about that, but still, I’m kind of nervous about this class.

Vacations during Thanksgiving break!  We drove from our town to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  That’s a small town in the Great Smoky Mountains, but it’s gorgeous, and has a certain German taste to it.  Nice place.

We go there during the entire break.  First day we spend checking into a hotel in a town outside the place--Pigeon Forge.  That place is nice as well, but doesn’t has as much aesthetic beauty.  There’s a bunch of Go-Kart tracks there though.  Not just the normal flatland kind, but the three-story tall kind!

We spend the second day hiking up a 1.7 mile path through the mountains and to a pretty waterfall.  Walk back and watch out not to fall of the edge of the narrow path.  We go and eat at a nice restaurant.  We then go and ride some go-karts and walk around Gatlinburg and patronize some shops.  There was this “Star Cars” museum that we checked out.  It contains cars from famous movies and television.  Yeah, I liked the car from Days of Thunder, even though I’ve never seen the movie myself :p

Third day, we drive up higher until we see some snow.  I got to run around in the snow for the first time in my life.  I’m so happy!  Then we went around Gatlinburg again and back to Pigeon Forge where we go to “heaven-on-earth,” Nascar Speedpark!  It’s basically a bunch of go-kart tracks.  There was also a Daytona USA 2 game there!  It cost a dollar to play, but it was worth the money.  Then we got to ride some fast go-karts around in a big oval.  Problem was was that it was COLD outside, but I was okay.  My hands weren’t because of the wind-chill factor and I forgot my gloves, so my hands froze off!

Fourth day, we went up another mountain to “Ober Gatlinburg,” which is kind of like a shopping mall and a amusement park combined.  The mall part wasn’t that special though, but there were more go-karts to ride!  Later that day, we ride “40 mph go-karts,” which I believe didn’t go that fast, but they were the fastest I’ve driven so far!  I played the original Daytona USA in an adjacent arcade as well.  That was good fun too.

Last day, we drove back home and spent the whole day in the car.  Man, I like cars, but that sucked, cause I wasn’t comfortable, but when we got home, I was so happy!  I was homesick.  I had to go back to school the next day.

The New Orleans Saints aren’t doing too good this season.  It all started with the Saints-Packers game where they lost 52-3.  Then they started to play well, but just lost by a field goal or because they gave up that third down on defense, etc.  Don’t know, you can diss them if you want, but still, come on Saints, what’s going on with them?

I still have been working on CS maps-yes I have.  I must admit that in the past two months, that I was very demoralized and worked very slowly.  Now I’m going at an okay rate.  I finished this map--jungle_warfare (see here)--where you are in a jungle and you hide in bushes and shoot enemies!  One of my best works, I think so.

I also went back and had to edit a lot of my old maps, because I accidentally made the chairs and computers a big larger than proper scale, and it sucked, because I had to go back and edit a lot of them.  Oh boy, that was a lot of time spent…(in other words, I kept revamping my old maps to make them gradually better over time...the maps six years ago were much worse than what you saw on GameBanana)

I have a big list of maps to make, but I don’t know which ones to make next.  I’m going to stick to my map-making and get em done.

I got a Rubix cube and my Physics teacher (who also has one) gave me a book of steps on how to solve it.  I’m trying to memorize the steps because it would be cool to put it together by memory.

Ok, now this is one mystery I won’t understand.  I’m on the internet one day and I take a look on the LoZ: Link’s Awakening board on Gamefaqs.  Apparently, someone gave a link to my 19-minute video (it was a speedrun of me beating the game via glitches; uploaded to some site before the YouTube revolution).  O rly?  YA rly (geez...)!  So, I’m not mad, but I’m curious about who preserved my video and linked it elsewhere?  Was it a lurker or an actual member of Studio 64 (some message board)?  Heh, thanks a lot.  I feel more famous than I did before.


Look, I know it seems bogus to a lot of you that I was off the internet for three months.  I seriously did not have an outlet to post journals or instant messages, nor was I trying to hide from you guys.

I also have to be honest.  I’ve done a lot of thinking, particularly because I read this book titled Becoming a Contagious Christian, and I really didn’t feel good about my old self.  I don’t know, I still felt like a jerk even though I had apologized about the Studio 64 stuff (this was some crazy message board I posted at many years's dead now).  God bless you guys for the tips for life that I have learned.

Ok, so now I’ll play a little Counter-Strike, some Monopoly Tycoon, maybe look for some stuff for CS maps, but I think that I will lay low on the internet now.  I probably won’t update this journal as much as I used to.  I’m beginning to befriend some classmates (after all this time) so I’m excited about my future relationships.  I’ll still be here on the internet, if…you know…want to chat about stuff.


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