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Warren Shea

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Writing – another hobby?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I just realized that “writing” should be a hobby of mine as well. Though like photography, I’ve got a lot to learn about for writing…um…good…writing. y’know?!

With my new site, I’m going to need to write well written reviews for each statue/figure. And if there’s one thing I’ve noticed about my writing, it’s consistent. Consistently repetitive. I use the same words over and over, my vocabulary is limited and restricted and it’s difficult to convey what I mean in different ways.

How many times can I say “This statue’s hair looks great/awesome” without sounding fake and forced. “This statue’s hair flows like a long river of water with no end”….that seems…bad.

Writing is something that I believe becomes stronger with reading and analyzing style…something I’ll need to pay more attention to in the future. I need to find well written articles and reviews and…well, try to mimic (read: copy) them.

But that’s the same for learning almost anything: copy and tweak to your needs.

If I’m going to be spending mornings taking photographs, I should start spending more time on writing reviews during the night.

I already know how to write…and write a lot. But the key is making it good.

…in two years…

Saturday, January 7th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

To recap…today is a special day for me. It’s the 2 year anniversary since I quit World of Warcraft. I know, it seems stupid in retrospect or hindsight that I would celebrate something like this. But World of Warcraft was an addiction of mine…and life’s been great since kicking the habit. I wrote another post last year on this day about the one year after I quit WoW. This is a followup post to that….tradition, if you will.

What did I ask myself at the end of …one year ago…

How much will change by Jan 7, 2012?
What will I accomplish?
How will my life have changed?
What will I have figured out?

What I’ve done in the last year (previously

  • New Google+ Theme on
  • Got domain and moved content from to
  • Heavily cleaned up code on
  • Fixed old themes on

I was able to separate my site into 2, a personal and professional site. Just what I wanted to do this year :) Not that it was hard…and this…

  • Almost done

….yeah, this is almost done. :D

187 posts between Jan 7, 2010 and Jan 7, 2011. On average, roughly 15.58 posts/month. The number actually falls almost too perfectly inline with my hope of 150-200 posts this year (that I wrote I wanted in my …in one year… post). FYI – Last year’s stats were: 300 posts since my first one, on Jan 26, 2010. On average, roughly 25.25 posts/month.

2831 tweets since Jan 18, 2010. 1345 since Jan 7, 2010. Just shy of what I did last year (1486). As expected.

Improved development skills
I definitely did NOT improve my ASP.NET C# skills and only improved my PHP by a little bit.
I had a good amount of improvement on HTML5, CSS3, and jQuery while building
I’ve also learned quite a bit about Web Accessibility knowledge due to a large project at work.


  • Dragon Ball Z Vol 1 – 26 [Manga]
  • Bakuman Vol 1 – 2 [Manga]
  • Hikaru no Go – The Neverending Road – Chapter 1-79 [Fanfiction]
  • Azumanga Daioh [Manga]
  • Street Fighter: The Ultimate Edition Book 2 [Comic]
  • Street Fighter: The Ultimate Edition Book 1 [Comic]
  • Get Backers [Manga]
  • L, Change the World [Short Novel]

This is obviously not a complete list of all the things I’ve read as I’ve got so many comics and random mangas in the list too. This is just from my accomplishments post.

I haven’t read that much this year…and that’s okay. Steve Jobs book this year…and we’ll see what else.


  • Super Mario Kart 7 [3DS]
  • Kirby: Return to Dreamland [Wii]
  • Kirby Mass Attack [DS]
  • New Super Mario Bros [DS]
  • Super Mario 3D Land [3DS]
  • Star Fox 64 [3DS]
  • Catherine [PS3]
  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time [3DS]
  • Zelda: Ocarina of Time [N64]
  • Super Mario Bros. [Wii]
  • Hard Corps: Uprising [PS3]

Last year was pretty quiet but this year was…not. More on that here

Is it still okay to say this is a hobby of mine? I don’t think I did a single art piece this year.

What I hope to accomplish this year
I’m going to get rid of the Blogger theme I have. I guess that one’s never really been mine anyways….not that the GMAIL or Google+ themes are really mine either though >_< I want to make a professional theme still...I guess that would be next on my design plate.
I’m going to finish this..and soon!

I still plan on making this. It’s not my epic project. It’s a blog that won’t be updated too often. It’s based on a product line of toys I really like. Anyways, I’ll get this made this year, for sure! Right after! I’m kinda waiting on my new camera for this because I want to take photos of my toys FOR this site.

I’m getting a bit tired of blogging to be honest. I think blogging once every 4 or 5 days is a good amount…maybe a bit too little though? That would only be like, 7 posts a month! I really like having 10-15 posts a month…anyways, we’ll see.

Reading, Gaming, Art
I don’t care so much about reading or art. As for gaming, I would still like to continue gaming…but maybe game less than this last year.

Improving development skills
I’m not going to set any really high ambitions for this this year. I learn best and most when I have a practical project to work on….so I guess I’ll really try to focus learning through working on my current site and projects,,, [sideproject].com, and [epicsite?].com.

I guess what I learn will all depend on the projects I do. I’m try to focus less on learning, and more on working on practical work…and let the learning come naturally and automatically.

How I’ve changed professionally this last year

To be honest: At this point, I think I’m at my lowest point of motivation ever. Part of it happens to be my work friends. It seems like the new friends I’ve made at work really affect my productivity. Not surprising. All I want to do nowadays is chat. It’s been really bad (professionally). Personally it’s been really fun and great lol.

Part of it is being on these super really long projects. They’ve been delayed and delayed. I’m afraid to take on new projects that will end up going and then falling at the same time as these big projects, and physically and mentally stressing me like they did earlier this year. I hated it. All work, no play. And then I got sick. I don’t wanna go through that again. To be honest, I’ve been avoiding projects for what seems like a long time. I guess it’s only been since Sept/Oct though.

How I hope to change professionally this year

I need to get out of my rut. Should I volunteer for more work projects? Maybe new job might help. But I dunno. I guess I’ve been in this job/role for about 4 years. Maybe it’s time for a change? I just need some motivation…

…in two years…

I’ve done a lot since I quit WoW, two years ago today. I like where this is all going. I like the websites I’ve done. I like the friends I’ve gotten in touch with again and the new friends I’ve made this year. I like that I’ve watched a lot of new shows, listened to different music, played lots of games. Basically, I’m really happy with all the things I’ve done since I quit WoW. I can’t imagine doing 1/2 of these things had I still been playing.

Let’s see what this next year brings :)

Confidence in my voice.

Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 2:35 am

I’m not referring to singing voice here. I’m finding as I grow older that I’m more confident in my voice. By that, I mean I have more confidence in voicing my concerns, my opinions, my advice, my knowledge.

I don’t think I ever had trouble voicing things I knew. I remember in Grade 4 going up to the blackboard to teach division, having learnt it well before we learned it in elementary school.
In early high school, I had tutored math. I was really shy at it…at first. But I was always strong at the teaching math part, just not the talking to students about non-math. I believe Kumon + my high school friends/life were the 2 most influential aspects to coming out of my shell.

But I can’t say I was ever really comfortable with my opinions until recently. I’ve lead a somewhat sheltered life. I don’t think I was ever one of the cool kids…even if my friends were the cool kids. I was probably the weird one of them most of the time. Even with my co-workers, I’m probably the weird one. Hm. Eccentric, not weird. Eccentric. Anyways, I haven’t done a lot of things in my life when everyone else did them…I had bubble tea for the first time well after (months after) it was popular. I didn’t go clubbing until late first (?) or second year of uni whereas most other people went as soon as they entered college/university. When my friends started drinking, I tried but didn’t like it cuz it tended to put me to sleep and give me headaches. (Obviously, I’m very different now…10 years too late). My first, and only *real* relationship was started when I was 22, later than most (but not as late as some). While most of my friends have traveled many places, I’m still not one to travel. Unfortunately (for Z), I don’t know if that will ever change. The only thing I like about travelling is staying in a hotel (I feel so special!).

Anyways, I’m just…late to things. And with that, comes the lack of knowledge to accurately voice my opinion on things. Also the fact that I don’t know squat about religion, politics, world news, (and many more things).

Still, over time I’ve been able to gradually learn and catch up to a point that I feel confident in giving myself a voice. Work has helped a lot. I know that as little as 5 years ago, I had peer evaluations that say I was shy and that I needed to speak up more often, because I had good ideas but was afraid to express them. Truer words have never been spoken. I can’t say that this comment applies to me now though. I think the combination of work and doing well at work, as well as being in a relationship which gave me more confidence in life, as well as talking to women (yes, seriously…i used to be very very bad at it…) helped a lot.

But I think what really helped solidify my voice has been this blog.

It’s a wonderful feeling being able to express myself through the written word, in which I’ve been historically poor at, and being not only praised, but connecting with other individuals. To write about anything and everything about life, and having that occasional post touch someone. I’ve had co-workers occasionally, or even regularly read my blog. I’ve occasionally sent posts to co-workers to inspire them (and successfully done so). I mean, I write a lot of stuff. Most of it crap or updates about life or whatever. But sometimes I’ll write something that applies not only to myself, but to other people. To give them something to think about that they may not have. It’s just great to be able to write about everything…and have someone randomly say something about my writing. That they like reading my blog. Or that they like my writing style. I don’t know where my faults are (other than lack of proof reading and many grammatical errors) but I know I grow with everything I write. I’m able to organize and express my thoughts better and more clearly.

I know I haven’t blogged as much about anything real lately, before this month. It was a dry spell on this blog and to be honest, I didn’t seem to really care. Even now, I feel I’m slowly losing motivation to keep this blog up to date. But that doesn’t mean I want to stop now, or ever.

It’s never a bad thing to keep a journal, or just to have an emotional outlet. These blog posts aren’t deep talks but they can be pretty close sometimes.

Okay, time to sleep.

Thanks for reading everyone. I hope my writing has helped motivate you, given you a smile, and even helped you grow, just as it has helped me. I started blogging almost 2 years ago (1 year, 10 months) and it’s been a wild journey. I never knew I would have so much fun writing and sharing my thoughts with others.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011 at 2:26 am

I know I haven’t been blogging lately…not completely sure what it is. i’ve been watching Breaking Bad lately…tore through the British show Misfits – Heroes + Fast Forward – which turned out to be really good and interesting.

To be honest, most of my time I’ve been on working with (not available yet)
It’s taking so long. Building the site was fun but filling in the content, writing professionally….I know I’m procrastinating. I’m having trouble finding my professional voice. I want to be professional…but fun at the same time. Easy going but reliable. It’s tricky…and I’m really struggling.

It’s also difficult to write the resume portion. I want to highlight the things I’ve done as quickly and concise as possible. I want key words to pop out. At this point in my life, I’ve looked at hundreds of resumes. I’ve done dozens of interviews, both UWaterloo co-op ones as well as others. I know when I see a good resume…but I’m having trouble replicating that.

My feelings as a perfectionist and my OCD are really hindering my ability to move forward. If this were an art projects, I’d have given up by now. But I know this site has to be done, and done well….

Anyways….this is what I’ve been doing. Writer’s block for weeks. It’s painful. Probably also another reason why I can’t blog, I can’t seem to move forward with my writing. It’s hard to write anything before finishing the writing on this site.

*cough*…………except for this post.

…in one year…

Friday, January 7th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Today is a special day for me.

This day represents a number of things making it one of the most important days of my life. Today marks the one year anniversary of the day I quit WoW and began a new life…

You might be thinking “So you quit playing a game, that’s not a big deal…”. You’ve got some nerve…
Quitting WoW was a big deal, not because I was quitting a game, but because of the amount of time I spent playing this game and the adverse affect playing it had on my life and mental growth.

What my life was like before January 7, 2010

I had 400 days of playtime between March 2005 and January 2010. That’s 400 days of playtime within 57 months ( = 4.75 years = 1734~ days ).
At 400 days of playtime in 1734 days, that’s an average of 0.23 = 23% of the day = 331.2 minutes = 5.5 hours/day…everyday…for 4.75 years.
It was another huge aspect of my life, more or less equal to that of my professional life.

In the years after school, during work, my week of 168 hours (24×7) was split up into:

  • 45 hours of work a week (including commute time)
  • 56 hours of sleep a week (at an average of 8 hours/day)
  • 50 hours of WoW a week
  • 17 hours for everything else – going out, hygiene tasks, laundry, playing other non-WoW games, drawing, coding….

Despite the game taking so much of my life, I was able to:

  • Maintain my girlfriend for 6 years
  • Excel in my professional career

The items that were strained were:

  • Time with friends (and family)

And the things that were sacrificed were:

  • School

This was literally my schedule the weeks before I quit WoW – it’s absurd to the point that it seems like a joke, but it’s not. I played WoW every moment I could while I was awake and not at work or sleeping. While this isn’t completely accurate as I’d occasionally go out, watch a movie, go out to eat/eat, etc…this was always my weekly plan.
WoW schedule

After January 7, 2010
This was my schedule after I quit WoW. Look at all that time. My life, no longer surrounded by WoW.
WoW schedule

So with my new found free time, I began a number of tasks making this year possibly the most productive year I’ve had in my life. I accomplished so much this year, relative to the years I’d wasted playing WoW.

What I’ve done in the last year
I finally got off my ass and created a personal site, something I had intended to do for years. I’m quite happy with it, I was able to integrate WordPress into my code. I was able to move 3 months worth of posts from Blogger to WordPress.
I created 4 different themes which are fairly different visually…though the layout is fundamentally the same, something I hope to change with future themes.

300 posts since my first one, on Jan 26, 2010.
300 posts in 12 months is, on average, roughly 25.25 posts/month. That…is a lot of posts.

1486 tweets (tho this seems to be incorrect – damn you twitter!) since Jan 18, 2010.
Not that the number of tweets is an accomplishment, it’s more the fact that I didn’t stop using it like I do so many other things.

Improved development skills
Learned general PHP. Went from comfort level 0 to comfort level 8, my skill is probably still around 6-7 though…
Improved ASP.NET C# 3.5. Despite all my studying and development this year, I’d still only give myself a 3 in terms of knowledge. Maybe a 1-2 before this year. I hope to bump that up…
Improved XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.0 skills
Improved jQuery, Web Accessibility knowledge

Actually read some novels, a format of media I haven’t touched in years. Completed 4~ novels in the last few months. While I’m generally always reading (Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga), novels have always been something I’ve generally avoided. Too many words. Not enough pictures :) It is an accomplishment for someone like me, to have read 4~ novels among the other things I do/read.

This area has been relatively quiet. Nothing worth of note, no long games I would claim as achievements for completion.

This area has also been pretty quiet this year. While drawing is/has always been a hobby of mine, my skill has never been good enough to make it anything more than a hobby, which is why it’s something I’ll only do when I feel like it, I have no desire to improve my skills here.

What I hope to accomplish this year
Do I have anything left other than some themes? In a perfect world, I’d like to maintain 2 sites for myself. as a professional/resume type site as a personal site, with blog posts, etc. kind of like what I have now but without the projects and resume section. A fully personal site.

I would still like to do a few themes, a professional one, maybe another “theme” one like Megaman/Naruto….but of what? Prince of Tennis, Death Note, Hikaru no Go come to mind…
I would like to scrap it all and re-build it now my CSS and HTML skills are much higher than they were a year ago. I would use SASS rather than CSS. I would use HTML5 rather than XHTML 1.0. I would organize my <h#> tags better, since WordPress uses <H2>, I would use…other ones. I would get rid of my general hate of <p> tags and use them over my <br /> tags…

I’ve blogged too much last year. Ever since I got sick with the flu, I feel like I’ve been less inclined to blog.
If I’m the type of person to always be addicted to something, blogging would definitely be the World of Warcraft replacement of this year. Considering how much time I blog/write, while it’s significantly less than WoW, it’s the thing I’ve consistently spent the most time on this year. My WordPress is open 80% of the time I’m at my comp and I have so have drafts I haven’t posted…topics that seem relevant at the time and that I enjoy writing but don’t enjoy proof reading.

For blogging this year, I hope it becomes secondary to studying web development, which I’m going to try to make my new addiction (if it were at all possible to force an addiction…). I definitely know I will be blogging less this year. If there were 300 posts last year, I hope to keep it around 150-200 posts this year…and that’s fine with me. I’ve blogged my brains out, it’s time to move on and do something else.

Reading, Gaming, Art
These are no longer goals (except Zelda: Ocarina of Time…and maybe another RPG). I’m done trying to do these things if they interfere with…

Improving development skills
My goals this year is to improve in ASP.NET C#, CSS3. and HTML5. Of the things I want to learn and become proficient in, it’s definitely these 3 items, with a significance on ASP.NET C#. While this has been my goal every year for a few years, I expect this year to be the year that I catch up to the development world. Last year was getting over WoW, it was setting up and learning PHP, and improving my skills all around. This year is all about going from a 3 in knowledge to an 8 in ASP.NET C#. CSS3 and HTML5 take a back seat to that but are still things I’d like to learn over the next year.

The skill increase leads to…

Epic Site
This is the year that I’m going to do it. I’m going to try to spend time learning ASP.NET C# (again), and really focus on getting this up and running.

How I’ve changed professionally this last year

There have been a couple ups but a lot of downs in my professional life this year, more so than any other year in my life. It has been extremely difficult year.

Roughly 1/4 into the year, my team had a (figurative) bomb dropped on us one Thursday making the next day, Friday, the worst day of work I had ever experienced and ever hope to experience. Personal morale was so low, I didn’t even know this job could affect me that much. Thinking about that day and the reasons why it occurred…it honestly makes me sick to my stomach. It may have even been the worst day of my life this year (in terms of how I felt emotionally)…though that day has some competition………

Roughly half way into the year, I had another professionally crushing moment leaving me depressed for months. While it’s been almost 1/2 a year since it occurred, I know I haven’t recovered from this. There’s still a bitter taste in my mouth that I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of as it’s something I have to face every single day of work.

As this year ends, I wonder if I can take another year like this one. As my ambition increased, so did my disappointment. As I start to care more about my job and career, the more I start to dislike it. It was much easier coming in to work every morning, doing task A, B, and C, and leaving know I’d accomplished A, B, and C. It seems like these days are: doing task A, going to meeting B, going to meeting C, doing task A, meeting D, leaving task A for tomorrow. Like I’m not doing anything. Nothing of personal value/pride/gain. I think I work best doing small tasks quickly and well. Quantity is an important aspect of my professional life. Without frequent moments of pride, I can’t help but feel…unmotivated and aimless. I hate long projects that last more than a couple weeks and that’s honestly all I have I right now.

To be honest, I don’t think I’d dislike what I’m doing now if not for what happened earlier this year. If I’ve changed at all this year regarding my outlook on my professional career, it is that I’m less naive. But I’m also very bitter. I’ve been burned so many times this year…it’s harder and harder to keep my work smile.

How I hope to change professionally this year

There’s a certain groove I used to have when I worked. I didn’t care about anything political, I did a good job on what I worked on, woke up every morning ready to tackle my projects, and left every day knowing I’d accomplished and learned enough that I wouldn’t carry the thought of work with me. I’ve lost that this year but I want to recapture it, somehow. I don’t quite know how yet…but I want to make work fun again. It hasn’t been for a while…not like it used to be.

How I’ve changed in my mindset of relationships and love this last year.

This year was a big year for me. I was able to finally answer a life-long question/riddle/dilemma that had plagued me for years. There had been something I’d been wondering, if the path I’d been on had been correct or not. It was always a nagging thought in the back of my mind but I’ve finally put it to rest. I can’t stress how important it is to answer a riddle that only you can answer and have no means of figuring out other than….you just realize it. It’s so…settling. I feel so relieved :)

…in one year…

How much will change by Jan 7, 2012?
What will I accomplish?
How will my life have changed?
What will I have figured out?

We’ll see….in one year…