I don’t think advice is ever a bad thing. People give advice, generally speaking, because they think the advice they’re giving will improve something in some way. Even if it’s purposefully bad advice, someone is getting a laugh out of it.

I was browsing a used bookstore, and it seems they like to work in all kinds of old literature. What was really cool about this place is how they organized the joint. It was a house, and each room was a separate section for books: the library/office was philosophy, upstairs you could find horror and science fiction in the boys room… Not to mention some dirty mags in a shut cupboard. The basement had mysteries and biographies, the children’s room had Harry Potter novels, and the kitchen had how-to’s and cookbooks. Out front, however, was where the antiques were.

Out in the front area, it’s so packed with books you can barely squeeze through the shelves and rotating displays, or scuttle past the podiums with big, wide open papers. One such podium showcased some pretty interesting newspapers: the New Yorker, from 1940. Articles talked of the war in Europe, which we came to know as World War 2, and how certain presidential candidates would not enter into the war as a positive running platform. Pre-WW2 U.S.A was a funny place: it’s the only time in my memory that the States wanted to stay out of a fight.

I come across one of the columns, where presidential candidate Wendell L. Willkie, or the Man of Many Elles, made that promise. He is also credited with saying the following: “Being a presidential candidate is interesting. One receives a great deal of advice. Most of it is free and some of it is worth just that.”

This coming from a man I have never even heard of before. To think that this guy, a man running to be the leader of one of the most powerful countries on the planet, was never even mentioned to me. I found this by accident, in a used bookstore in Windsor, Ontario. It wasn’t even in the states! I get the feeling that almost no one knows the Man of Many Elles.

Still, this bit about advice is interesting. We give out so much of it, as a people. We scream it at bad drivers, heckles game streamers with it, and offer it to the actors and characters we see on screen. We dole advice out to people who are having problems, and carefully administer advice to friends and family. We give advice out to everyone and everything, whether they ask or not.

So how cheap is advice? Is it worth anything?

I think that advice is what you make of it. This sounds like a cheap cop out; however, if we admit that we, as humans, apply meaning to whatever we want to or whatever we’re told to apply meaning to, then advice is the same. If you trust someone’s word, then their advice means more to you than the rantings of some random white asshole on the internet. That’s because you give that advice meaning by putting your trust in that person’s word.

So here’s a presidential candidate saying that most advice is free, and most is worth just that. This means he looks at most advice as worthless, which is something I find foolhardy. I think all advice is at least worth looking into; sure, internet forums and the advice we find there should be apologizing for being read a lot of the time. But if one assumes that all advice is cheap, then one finds no value in anything or anyone saying anything. That, I think, speaks a lot to you and your character if you expect nothing from most people. Especially for a presidential candidate.

It seems to me there’s little wonder that we, as a society, have mostly – if not completely – forgotten the Man of Many Elles. He expected little of most, and much from few. A lot of people live their lives this way, distrustful and cagey. This serves us well in our every day lives; trust no one while driving. Never trust people with vital information. Expect group projects to suck, hard. Yet, I think that the only way that many of us will be remembered is by how often we expect a lot of people, and how often we can trust other people to help create a better place.

I think that advice is worth a great deal, and it’s a matter of finding the people that are ready to meet expectations. The only way to find these people, is to give people the chance to meet those expectations in the first place; which means you have to expect that people don’t such, at least not all the time.

What do you think?


TOP 5 Reasons to love Rocco

Rocco-TERMINATORFor those who have been living under the #Awesomenauts rock, the newest patch is bringing a new Naut with it. His name is Rocco the Eagle, an ex-cop with a grudge. He’s out looking for revenge, and that’s just the engine of the “I’m a wicked badass ex-cop out on the loose” trope train that left the station.

Word is on the street he’s also going to have some sweet skins, so I’m looking forward to that: for instance, the newest teaser shows some pretty iconic ninja stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Ronin Rocco!

Every new Naut brings some trepidation though: will be be balanced? Will he be cheap? Easy to play? A list of other items that can be attributed to anybody you don’t like and have probably dated in the past? Who knows for sure until the patch hits live: until then, let’s appreciate the TOP 5 reasons why Rocco is going to be a great addition to the Awesomenauts roster.

5. His playstyle is unique
Rocco is going to be the only Awesomenaut of his kind. Unlike every other Naut who has an ability that can damage creeps and help farm them, Rocco must get solar in one of three ways:

1. Use left click to get droid kills.

2. Play Mario and collect every coin he sees because hot damn he needs the coins.

3. Kill people.

That’s it. I mean, he does have one upgrade that allows his Precision Shot to explode on hit (the explosion will hit droids), but he needs to kill. Other Nauts have a preference towards ganking and making kills, but Rocco has no other option. This ties into the next entry…

4. Rocco is really thematic
Eagles are carnivores. Rocco, obviously then, is a carnivore. You want to know why Rocco can’t farm droids? Because that stuff tastes AWFUL. It’s not like Clunk tastes much better, but you can bet that Voltar’s egg head is full of enough nutritious amniotic fluids that it’s a wonder workout geeks haven’t been sucking back brains in jars to help build muscle instead of whatever pansy-not-eagle-way of doing it.

Did you know that eagles have eyesight that allows them to see 4-8 times better than a human? Rocco can shoot 4-8 times farther than Raelynn on max snipe as far as I care. He shoots across the map with arrows capable of picking off fleeing Nauts who aren’t watching their backs. That’s a killer’s eyesight!

And I promise he’s an eagle. Although he’s modeled on this adorable raptor…


He’s been passed off as an eagle many times by Ronimo themselves. Still, all the things I said about eagles apply to hawks: hawks are just cuter and far smaller.

Finally, the super awesome tie in to Hawkeye is very appreciated. I loves me some Hawkeye, and Rocco here is as close as one gets to having Clint Barton in-game (well, this game at least).

3. His amazing character theme
Just listen to the thing  would ya? I’ll wait.

That 80’s cop show feel is perfect. Cannot wait to listen to this while queuing.

2. He rewards good play with powerful affects
How do you balance an Awesomenaut so he has a mediocre though balanced early game, but has a strong late game? SYNERGY through SKILL!

It has been since Swiggins that we really saw this level of mechanical manipulation. If you turn on Vengeance, it lasts longer the more Rapid Arrows you land. Precision shot and Rapid Arrows both grants slow as well, meaning he can chase better: it also helps that his awful slowdown while shooting is nulled while in Vengeance mode.

With the correct upgrades, Precision shot can come out and hit someone for 430 damage. Your Rapid arrows now attack super-quickly thanks to another upgrade you picked up, causing a stream of painful, damaging darts to fly across the screen at a ridiculous rate. With the help of another upgrade, the arrows are reducing the cooldown of your precision shot, which allows you to speed up your arrows again.

Keep in mind, all of these arrows are slowing people down and doing an obscene amount of damage, while also extending the duration of Vengeance.

This takes time to get all the upgrades necessary. This also takes skill to pull off, since he needs to be close enough to land the arrows without getting murdered in the process; it also means that one missed arrow could kill you.

Rewarding skill with power is contentious past a certain point, but with Rocco is a symphony of skill in its own right, and I love it.

Must type like this to play

1. People will hopefully stop complaining about Froggy G for a bit

Forggy-G-threadNothing against the people here, but when I read the Beta patch notes thread, and somehow the conversation turns to Frog when he’s not even in the patch notes, and we have a brand new character on the way, we may have a problem.



Why Bother

I’ve been scanning and looking at YouTubers lately. It’s been… an interesting journey, to say the least.

I’ve been out of the Nauts YouTubing game for quite some time, and it was refreshing to see so many other YouTubers covering my favourite game… but I’d be a liar if I wasn’t disheartened by lack of comparative success. It’s even worse when I look at how far the person who inspired me to YouTube has gone by comparison; Markiplier is one of the fastest growing channels on YouTube, and he started 2 months before I did with his “new” channel (new in quotes because it’s his second one: his first channel died somehow, thought I don’t remember why).

I probably shouldn’t be comparing myself, but it’s hardwired into me. So then the question became: if everyone has this success, then why should I continue to bother?

Fundamentally because I’ve made an error in attribution; it’s not about how much progress I’ve made, but about what I’m doing for a community of people who rally around the content I make. Why bother? Because someone else thinks that the content is worth bothering for.

I’ll keep making videos. I just hope I do good by all of you.


An apology

I’m sorry.

Over the past few weeks, but especially this week, I feel that I have had issues with my attitude, and with my conduct in general. I’ve been angry and irritable, and I’ve been expressing that anger horribly. For that, I’m sorry.

The real question is how to stop this. I really wish I knew how to not be angry all the time. I constantly feel like I’m on the cusp of just… blowing up, all the time. It’s not a pleasant feeling. It’s especially bad when I know it’s coming and I can’t stop the feeling from welling up, causing all reason to fade into the back as white noise as my rage consumes literally my every thought. I yell, I shout, I swear and it’s ugly.

Some people have found it funny, on occasion. It’s not, really, but my angry mind comes up with some creative curses. That’s not acceptable though; that same rage has started to turn on those people, and the joke suddenly isn’t funny. RageWolf, as it is known, is not a kind person or somebody I’m proud to be.

I don’t want to be known for my anger or frustration. I don’t want to be remembered as a person who’s only response is defensiveness and full on fury. My legacy in any world shouldn’t be how I set fire to the things I grew to hate, because the only thing that will do is scorch the ground of my life into an untenable crisp.

know these things but… acting on them isn’t easy. I feel melancholy and bored, lazy, or even just straight up resentful of my existence at times. When something doesn’t go my way, I explode. It doesn’t matter how small the issue: the anger just takes over.

I don’t know who said that you should just let your anger out, but whoever they were, that was a horrible piece of advice. The only things I feel once I vent are regret and frustration, which fuel into the problem again to create an even bigger issue the next time. It’s the worst feedback simulator in progress, and I have no idea how it was set up in the first place.

We’ve all gotten angry at something for little reason; but the more I think about this the more I realize this has been a problem since I was little. Everything from practicing piano, to developing into a horrible student, and even my introversion all show symptoms of being affected or somewhat causally involved with aspects of my life since I was little. The roots to this problem go deep, and I don’t know how to rip this weed from there.

I might need help in the next while folks. Something aint right.



Father’s Day

I owe my dad a great deal.

I don’t mean it to sound like I’ve got a blood debt or something. I’m not frustrated, or begrudging of my dad. When I say I owe him, I mean it in the best way possible.

On his own, my dad managed to make sure I got a good education with a solid understanding of what life had in store for me. He made sure that, even when I wanted to quit, do something easier, or just give up on everything, that I trucked on through. Without him, I’d be nobody.

It’s a funny relationship, to be indebted to someone to the point where you owe them so much. No matter what I do, unless I funnel every material reward of my successes, I wouldn’t even come close to paying off what I owe the man. He’d say that I don’t owe him anything, save that I do my part and help him out when he needs it. He’s a pretty cool guy like that.

He’s not perfect though. Like anybody else, he has his flaws. Sometimes, he can push too hard, to the point where I ran away from him when I was still barely coming to terms with puberty. He has high expectations of everyone, a noblesse oblige where he demands that everyone put in the effort that he has, and expects everyone to go the same distance he did. Anything less is a failure unless there is a really good reason for it.

Dad is a lover of beauty: not a bad thing, really. It rubs his practicality the wrong way though, and dad can be a practical man. For some people, a pile of trash is just a pile of trash. For dad, it’s both an opportunity for a massive bonfire and a pile of potentially useful spare parts and furniture. Within him he has the capacity to see both potential in all of its forms and the ability dismiss that potential entirely on a whim. I believe that these two sides war within him, causing him to place significant meaning on certain things that are probably best discarded, and to dismiss the potential of anything he deems bereft of possible returns. A duality with no real middle ground.

He works unbelievably hard for what he believes is the correct course of action. Again, this is a good thing. But like the martyrs of old, he sees it as a quest he must do, even as his expense. His health deteriorates, his stressed double him over, and life beats him when he’s down at his lowest, only to show him that, in fact, it can get worse. I remember one time clearly, where all he could do was lie on a couch in a state best described as in shock. He had some of the worst days in his life at this point, and like a soldier fresh off the battlefield better described as butchery, dad could do nothing but try to figure out what he’d done to deserve any of it. His shock and despair was palpable, and filled the whole house with his sadness and melancholy. All I could do was sit by him and be there. No words were capable of helping at that point.

At one point does one begin to realize that they cannot do everything they wish to do? To what degree is a sacrifice of self worth it?

My dad is a complex guy, who has lived life at its highest and is currently living a life at a low I wish never to understand fully. He is a creature of twos, constantly at odds. Despite this, I know he’s a great father, and the best person I could have in my corner when the going gets particularly tough.

He does need to learn to relax though.

Happy father’s day, dad. I love you, and I hope that your day today is nothing save amazing. Much love,
The middle son

Final Address (UWindsor Fac Ed Students, 2015)

Graduation Hat: After all that... we didn't even all get a hat.  Hello Teachers! Happy Graduation Day!

I wanted to say a couple of words before I sign off, as this may be my last chance to really address the lot of you before I, realistically, never have the chance to do so again.

First, I wanted to say how incredibly fortunate I am to have served as president to a student body who, on all counts, have been amazing in so many ways. The conversations, experiences, ideas, friends, projects, and ridiculous stress have really cemented my opinion of you all: we truly are a powerful body of students, now educators, and I couldn’t be more humbled by my experience trying to know as many of you as possible.

Second, how sad I am to have said goodbye to so few. There are ~400 of our class, not counting the ever elusive ECE students. I said my goodbyes in March, April, and again today on the day of our graduation; still, I haven’t been able to sincerely wish enough you the best of luck in your future careers, whatever you decide them to be.

Third, I wanted to give some advice moving forward. We are all moving towards a future: for some, it’s more certain than others. There might be no restrictions, an open future filled to the brim with a cocktail of nothing but empowering choice; then again, there might be a whole slew of influences, both inside and out, that prohibit even the slightest veering of course.

In either case, I’ve seen what you are all capable of. During the times that I was walking by classes, listening to other conversations, or rushing around, I was observing the people around me. What I saw has convinced me that you, my dearest colleagues, are all capable of making your way through this world… one way or another.

I wished I had been able to do more as your president. I honestly feel as if I could have known more of you, and better helped the rest of the society to really achieve its full potential. Regardless, it has been an honour being the president of our society.

I will miss every single moment spent serving you all.

Philip Budd
President of the FacEdAD Student Society

Funked up

It’s done.

My degree is finished, I graduate from my second degree this Tuesday. I’ll have a bachelor’s of education, a goal that’s been my aim for the better part of a decade.

I don’t feel good about this though. I keep seeing so many people posting about relief, pride, and a sense of self. The only thing I’m feeling is lost and forlorn, and I get the distinct feeling that’s not how one should feel having accomplished something significant.

I set out to do a lot of things over the past year; get good grades, become involved in the school, make new friends, and try to really move outside of what I was normally comfortable with. I’m typically hard to get along with because I’m insular and introverted; depending on the mood and the day, sometimes to an extreme. This comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me personally, but maybe some who read this know me only from the internet; you might only know me as my YouTube persona. There’s a lot of similarities, but the guy I am in front of the microphone is not the same as the guy in real life, not by a long shot. I think that’s true of a lot of entertainers and internet personalities, but I digress.

I tried to be a reasonably different person this year, in a cliched experiment that has been done routinely in stories since as long as I can remember and as far back as I can stomach reading. I ran for the president position in the student society, actively avoided groups with people I knew well, and even started volunteering for a group called Teachers for Tanzania. Compared to the 6 years it took to finish my undergrad, I was going from the most obscure student on campus to meeting with faculty on a regular basis for progress reports, student initiatives, and running meetings. People began to really recognize me.

Needless to say, doing all of that shit from doing none of that shit was a big change. I really liked it at first. People knew my name, looked for me to talk and ask questions… honestly, these were things I only felt I could do online. It was great.

This only lasted until about November though. Anyone in my program will remember November as one of two Hell months, where it felt like everything was due all the time. November kicked my ass up and down the block, and it wasn’t the last time that would happen: outside of March where it was the same problem as November, February sent me for a loop, too. I was so stressed by February that I had a stress attack, something I’d never experienced before. I’ve experienced being paralyzed by stress and depression, the feeling of being unable to get out of bed. I’ve never had a full blown, cry in my car, curl up in a ball and wish I could die experience before. I also had one of the most punishing experiences in my life, which made my professional life and career path shatter suddenly.

Suddenly my goal wasn’t to become a teacher, it was to get through the degree and find out if it was, in fact, what I wanted to do. I was nervous, a wreck really, throughout most of March. It wasn’t good. Still, I really wanted to find out about myself, and everything I did became a trial by fire, an adventure through hoops of fire normally reserved for tigers and Dante himself.

I ended up going to Tanzania for 2.5 weeks as a teacher and volunteer. This isn’t the post for the whole story, nor could a singular post contain the whole story if it tried. The important thing here is what I thought I learned about myself; insular, strange, but competent. Strong willed, and able to overcome challenges. I thought myself strong, creative, and if anything, possibly a bit annoying but well liked overall. I have no idea what other people thought of me, and at the time, I had given up on giving a shit about it.

I got back home, and here I am two months later typing at a computer after lying down on a hardwood floor for about an hour. I have no idea why.

I was hoping that by really putting pressure on myself I would improve and change, and yet it feels like everything is back to the way it was before the year started. It feels like such a waste.