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  1. Hello fellow nerds, I have returned. Felt like taking a mental break. Was on NF on a daily basis to post for the last month - sometimes twice a day, and felt like maybe I needed to slow down. I also have determined that walking in the morning makes my feet already hurt by the time I show up to work, thus making standing for 6-7 hours absolutely miserable. This connection has been discovered by my doing almost zero exercise this week... 😅 Yesterday I was feeling so good and had some spare time so I did walk around the park a bit! I have almost no idea what I'm doing this month aside from NaNoWriMo, and even that itself is daunting because I don't know how it's going to go. I'm using week 0 as a chance to breathe before getting into a new thing. I don't know what to do about my walking problem, and I don't know how easy I should take things in order to focus all my energy on getting words in for each day. I'm so nervous about it all, and I don't know how to reconcile that since all my physical challenges have been within my means in order to improve. This is just a huge challenge to face a daunting project in daily portions... But I don't know how hard it will be because I've never done it before. I feel like a couple weeks ago, I was really confident about this, so I may need to contemplate what changed - possibly my focus because I had a week to cram for my friends' D&D session on Saturday. It went well. I had an instigator to burst into a room full of ghosts and nearly start combat with them, except I let them be chased off by one of the spell-casters. They caused a scene in the ballroom which played out hilariously, and they fought some giant spiders in a library - hurting several of them badly enough that they fled, and killing those that couldn't run fast enough. They also found clues regarding a red-lit trophy room that helped them discover that secret portals had been carefully composed in red chalk to hide them in plain sight. With holidays coming up, we won't be playing again for a few months, but they sound excited to continue the game. The way I currently am thinking, I think it'll be good for me to kick off my month of NaNoWriMo at a local event on the 29th. Maybe it'll be all prep and encouragement, and that may be exactly what I need. Starting week 1, I'm going to try sitting down for half an hour (with what lyric-less music I can find to play in the background) to type for half an hour. Current dilemma is whether that will be in the morning or the evening. If I'm really skipping exercise to see if my body will stop screaming at me for a month (except maybe warm-up and stretches bookending the writing session), then it could take my morning routine's place, in which case I might get extra words in by continuing to think about it over the course of the day, and adding more in when I get home. If I don't have it figured out by week 1, I'll at least be trying out the pattern to get back into prep mode, in which case I can confirm that it's what I want to use for this challenge. Fingers crossed for this one, 'cause I don't see how it's gonna end. Maerad
  2. I'm going to try some story journaling, like nature journaling but I recording the stories I see in the things around me. This means I need to figure out what works for me as I’ve never done anything like this. But here’s a crazy critter that appeared on the island over the summer. Very mysterious. Don’t know how it could possibly have arrived here as I thought they liked more exotic locals. Very rare purple tiger I’ll be back with more goals and official points when I’m back at the computer.
  3. R153 0F 7H3 H4CK71V157: IN73RN37 F*#K3RY SUCC355FUL (Rise of the Hacktivist: Internet Fuckery Successful) Welcome back to Part Deux of my Rise of the Hacktivist challenge series based off the upcoming blockbuster hit video game, Watch Dogs 2. I’m so glad you’ve dropped in. Grab a chair, stool or bean bag and take a seat, please-make yourself comfortable. There’s free wifi so sync-in if ya need too. What Happened last 4WC? Lemme show you… Or something like that. To sum things up in a not-so-lengthy-post- I have decided that I want to become a hacker. This has been in the works since late July and I’m putting myself through “Hacker School”. I stumbled upon a website called Cybrary and it hosts a megaton of info and training videos for those wishing to make a career in the IT/Cybersecurity realm. Since I’m a n00b, I’m starting from the beginning. Right now, I’m working my way through A+, the most basic of IT trainings, and plan to test for my certification as soon as I complete the course. Right now, I’m sitting at 42% completion-it’s a 43 hour course. My daily goal is get 1 hour of training in and being that I am a husband and father of 3 little boys, that can be hard to do. I manage on most days, lol… There’s a lot going on in my life right now, what, with Gaelic football offseason, A+ training, parkour, family stuff, work, LIFE. Since this is Part Deux, it will literally pick up right where the last challenge left off. If you would like a recap, please enjoy the spoiler below: *WARNING-LONG SPOILERS* My RP story follows Ryan “W0lf” Bell, an aspiring hacker who is discovered by Marcus Holloway, the main character of WD2. Marcus is apart of DedSec, a hacktivist group intent on setting the people free from the watchful eye of Blume, a corporation bent on controlling ALL aspects of technology, security and privacy. Blume uses ctOS 2.0 (a surveillance system) to spy on the citizens of the US and can even find the most personal of information about an individual. They control us by our devices, phones, laptops and more. But, we the sheeple are unaware. It is up to W0lf, Marcus and DedSec to fight against Blume and expose them for the frauds they really are. Over the course of each week I release little emails/stories involving Marcus and W0lf along with the rest of Marcus’s crew from Watch Dogs 2: Wrench, Sitara and Josh. You guys haven’t met Josh yet, but you will and I will also be introducing likeness characters from across the guild to add into my story… ;). Each entry helps add some flair to the Co-Op’s or anything extra that I need to do that week. I will earn points and followers and eventually grow W0lf’s hackerrank to l337 (elite). I will be also be bringing back all the cool things from last challenge The Spreadsheet The Follower System Hacker Invasions (Co-Op/PvP) Videos Cool little story write-ups My boyish charm That’s a recipe for disaster! The Spreadsheet basically explains my skill tree breakdown. Each day, I can earn point for my 3 different Skill Trees (which are based off of Watch Dogs 2’s own skill trees): Combat Hacker- (WOD’s, GtG (Grease the Groove), Sprints, Kettlebell work, etc.) Ghost Hacker- (Sleeping, Water consumption, Praying, etc.) Trickster Hacker- (Parkour, Gaelic, Pokemon Go, Fit Brains/Audible, etc.) And since this is a continuation story/challenge, I am picking up where I left off with my H4x0r L3v3l and H4x0r R4nk as well, which is: H4x0r L3v3l: 5 H4x0r R4nk: pr0gr4mm3r Most of this info is already imbedded in my signature. The Follower System: To grow W0lf into the most badass hacker ever, I need followers to grow my level and rank as well as grow DeSec into an unstoppable force. The more followers I get, the better my rank and the more perks I can unlock. Perks or P3rk5 will be something new added this challenge. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but I want to add some incentive to hitting certain milestones. Followers are gained through completing Co-Ops, A+ trainings and various other things throughout the week. Everyone still good? Good! Each week will include a lot of stuff, but I managed the shit out of it last time and I’m on a roll right now. I’ve never done a 2-part challenge or kept the same theme. Watch Dogs 2 is going to be an amazing game and the best part-it comes out the day after my birthday, November 15th!! Oh..and if you didn’t read the spoiler above and still don’t know what’s going on, then that’s OK. You guys are smart, you’ll pick this up quick. Other notable items: The end of this challenge will be 11 months of hair growth. As most of you know, I’m pretty proud of my #HairGame and it’s taken a lot of patience (which I don’t have) to grow my golden locks. Gaelic Pub League will probably start sometime between the start of this challenge and the next one which will be exciting. Any Gaelic practice is good practice lol. I have pics to post from Nationals too. Things are getting serious for W0lf, Marcus and DedSec. Through grit, determination and raw skill...somehow things will work out. Internet Fuckery Successful! W0lf
  4. R153 0F 7H3 H4CK71V157 (Rise of the Hacktivist) CH4PT3R 1: EM41LS W0lf, You ever get the feeling you’re being watched? That light graze across the subconscious that lets you know someone has their eyes on you...Yeah, I get that feeling too. No matter what I say or do, I know someone is aware of my actions and reactions and honestly...that’s some scary shit, bro. Blume controls ctOS 2.0 and ctOS 2.0 controls everything, man. It’s a giant spider web of data at their disposal. They use our friends, online purchases and even shit we type in Nudle to track us...to ‘watch’ us. The injustices need to stop! What happened to our basic freedoms? I’ll tell you what happened...we’re being robbed of them right underneath our noses. And no one's doing a damn thing about it... but DedSec is. Oh yeah! We’re in it to win it playboy! I’ve heard about you. You’re new, which may seem weird I even know you exist, but see, DedSec is everywhere and we’re always looking for new recruits to train up. I heard you might be interested in joining the cause? Actually, I head you might even want to head up the Dallas division of DedSec. I can dig your drive, but you got lots of work to do if you wanna be Alpha W0lf in Dallas, bro. So, here I am, offering up my services along with my team of highly trained individuals. Periodically, we’ll all reach out to you and make sure you’re given the best opportunity to help us and DedSec succeed. Since you’re already working through A+ (yeah, I know), the best advice I can give starting out is to finish it and move onto some more advanced stuff. If you can’t hack...I hate to say it, bro, but if you can’t hack it...DedSec will find someone else. I bought you some time because I know potential when I see it. It’s gonna be grueling at first. I won’t lie to you, it may even be downright boring, something like where you want to punch a fuckin keyboard. But I promise it’ll go fast. I went through the gauntlet before.. I self taught myself ya know? And so can you. How bad do you want to help, W0lf? How bad do you want to join DedSec? Retr0 0ut! His blue eyes scanned the computer screen, bloodshot from the lack of sleep these last few days. The excitement of the email was enough to make the corner of his mouth twitch upwards into the slightest of smirks but he couldn’t hide the giant grin underneath any longer. Are you going to respond or just drool over it? “What do you think?” W0lf said outloud, answering his own question. With a brief moment to collect his thoughts, the would-be hacker began to fold his laptop screen down then flipped it back up in a flash, revealing the email staring back at him. He drew in a long, deep breath, filling his entire chest cavity and lungs with fresh oxygen then blew it out with a huff. “Fuck it. What’s the worse that could happen…” and with a small click, W0lf hit the reply button, forever changing his fate from that moment on… Hello and welcome to the first installment of a 3-part series I will be doing entitled R1S3 OF THE H4CKT1V1ST. It may even extend beyond the 3 challenges but for now I want to stick with the original 3 and not overwhelm myself. I’m so excited you’re here, btw! I don’t normally introduce myself because I feel like most of you already know me and my story but now I am starting a new chapter in my life and want to kinda start things off fresh, so here’s a new introduction to where things are at right now (and where they’re going): My name is Wild Wolf but the Rangers tend to prefer Wolfie I am going on 29 years old this November (SCORPIO!) and I am married to my best friend and love of my life, Heather. We have 3 handsome boys, Racer (6), Declan (3) and Orin, about to be 2 August 26th! I’m coming off a Type II AC Joint shoulder separation that happened at the end of January when I was playing Quidditch down in Austin. You heard that right, Quidditch, lol. Brutal sport. Sad I got hurt..but it introduced me to an awesome couple who then introduced me to Gaelic Football. I’m finally back to some normalcy and I’m able to workout and do things I love to do again (like working out or playing with my kids)-I get to be ME again. It’s been nice, lemme say. Plus, Pokemon Go... How many miles have I walked trying to catch Pokemon? A lot. MOVING ON! I am an avid learner in the ways of the world and like to try new and exciting things-Hold your tongue Sparrow -and these next 3 challenges (if not more) will be about putting some consistency in my life and learning something (a skill) I’ve always thought was awesome and intriguing: learning to be a hacker. Luckily I have some friends on here whom have done such things or trained/learned to be a hacker. I’m looking at you @Volki and if I remember correctly, @darkfoxx and @EricMN know coding and that’s hacker stuff right? Anyways, lots of people in the NF community know about this stuff so I think I’ll have some help on here :). Right now, I’m hacking my way through CompTIA A+. (Lol, like what I did there ←) I’m at 20% right now but after I’m finished I’ll get my certification and move onto the next stage of my training. I realize that hacking is something that can take YEARS and even DECADES to learn and get good at and that’s fine, I understand, but I still wanna get on the path TO learn, ya know? I’m a n00b if there ever was one, but you gotta start somewhere. Edit: I use the free website Cybrary.It for ALL my training needs. You can't beat free! I needed a good challenge theme and thought, what better theme than my current obsession, the upcoming Ubisoft title Watch Dogs 2. The story is about a brilliant young hacker named Marcus Holloway and his hacktivist group called DedSec whom take on an evil corporation among other swanky things. The game comes out the day after my birthday, November 15th, so it will be a nice birthday present to myself because I’m excited about playing! I’m thinking I want to pre-order the Collector's Edition that comes with some cool in-game goodies as well as some awesome extra vanity items like your own robot that you can control with a phone based app! No lie- Check it out. This series of challenges will be based off me training to be a hacker and helping out Marcus aka Retr0 and the hacktivist group, DedSec take down the bad guys: Blume Corp. as well as various other corporations like Blume. Ubisoft (the company that made the game) did a good job of creating these fictional companies that somewhat resembles our RL companies. Like instead of Google, there's Nudle. Haha. Anyways, I want to combine elements from my last 3-4 challenges because I think I can find a synergy in there somewhere and maybe not do ALL the things but at least do ALL the things I want to do. I will have story elements for your viewing pleasure as well as some fun co-op things that won’t be hard or anything. If your name is Mr.Willes (or Mr_w as I will call him) then your co-op task will always be cold shower related #KiddingNotKidding The way the challenges will work is they will be based off growing 3 skill trees that are from the game itself: The C0MB4T H4CK3R, GH0ST H4CK3R and TR1CKST3R H4CK3R skill trees as well as keeping a semi-tight schedule on getting my IT/hacker certs. I will give myself some leeway since I am a family man and work a full-time job but this is where some mad discipline skillz come into play. Getting up early and using my lunch hour to train/study will be crucial. Hell, using ANY free time I have not interfering with family time is crucial! I’ve made a Google Sheet that lists all my daily/weekly tasks that I can complete, how much each task will be worth (points wise) and what skill tree it coincides with. I’m going to be introducing Progress Bars for these three skill trees and as I grow my RP hacker, W0lf, the skill trees will grow as well. Example of how the points will work: +3 to CH (C0MB4T H4CK3R) for completing a KB workout, +5 to GH (GH0ST H4CK3R) for getting 6+ quality sleep cycles, etc., etc., Another thing I will be implementing from Watch Dogs 2, aka WD2, is what’s called, “The Follower System”. Basically, completing assignments each week will gain me followers and the more followers I have, the more damage I can eventually do to Blume and ctOS while adding to my RL skills. This system is a double standard too because it relates to me being a follower of threads. A good goal is to be able to check in with all my friends at least 1x a week. Catching up may be out of the question because of time, but at least let them know I’m still there supporting them. I know this isn’t required but it’ll make me feel better. I will start a Nail Biting Accountability thread Here is the link to the Nail Biting Accountability thread. Just like Rangerbrain, I will eventually conquer this mother. I’m really excited about getting my certs and learning this as a skill because I’m wanting to expand beyond my current job right now. I dunno where I’ll be at towards the end of 2016, but I want to have made a huge dent in my training and blazing a path towards a career I would actually enjoy. I’m thrilled y’all are along for the ride! W0lf
  5. As I walked into the gym the first time I felt like a stranger in a strange land. I was hit by an overpowering sent of sweat and Axe bodyspray. Strange torcher devises littered the floor. And grunting giants roamed between them aimlessly. Here there be meat heads. I did a few stack machines and then some cardio and got the heck out. As any good stranger in a strange land I then began to research this alien world. I listened to podcasts asked my friend and generally stumbled around the internet. Until I found the proverbial "Old Ben" hiding in plain sight of Nerd Fitness. I am much more confident but I still struggle to get any time with the true lifting area because of the meat heads that tend to monopolize it. So now I humbly partition the dissensions of the internet, Is my tale a common one? Do you have any suggestions to help me navigate? Are there any unwritten rules of civility that are employed? Any good horror stories out there?
  6. So since there is an area here called the poets corner I thought it would be only fitting for there to be a place for people to share stories, or books they are writing without judgement. I personally am in the middle of writing two books (have a bit of writers block at the moment though). So come on in, pull up a chair, turn on your reading lamp, put some paper in your typewriter, and share your projects. If you want help with editing or anything just ask and Im sure people would be glad to help(myself included).
  7. So I mentioned that I was writing an awesome story in my status the other day and several people asked to read it when it was finished. Unfortunately, I cannot remember who they are and I can't figure out how to search my old statuses to find them. So, here's hoping those lovely people check the Book Club! Here is a link to the Kindle version of my collection of short stories Good Bye: A Triptych of Gentle Gloom. Download, read, enjoy, share! And mods, please correct me if this is the wrong place to put this, I'm mostly concerned with making sure that whoever those lovely people who commented on my status were, they get their story fix.
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