Edel Grace

Programmer, Developer, Enthusiast

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Long Weekend Penguins and Hacks

Feb 25, 2018 | Comments

Last week was the start of Reading Week. Reading Week is basically my university’s version of “midterm break” where we have a week off. I don’t have classes on Friday so my Reading Week started early.

Penguins

On Friday, my boyfriend and I went to the zoo. We really wanted to see the penguins and the red pandas. Every day, the penguins take a walk around the zoo. It was adorable. They are seriously bigger than I thought they were, probably up to my waist (I’m also short though at 4’11”). They were so cute waddling up and down the sidewalk!

Penguins walking by

The big fluffy one is a baby!

We also saw a couple of other animals. We really wanted to see the red panda feeding but their keeper was late. The pandas were sleeping and then one of them woke up for a couple of minutes. It scratched its head, walked around in a circle, then promptly went back to sleep. I wish I took a picture!

Look at these huge hippos. They were making sounds and were pretty loud!

Hacks

An organization I’m a part of at my university held a hackathon called CalgaryHacks. One of my friends is the co-founder and essentially the main person who ran it. This spanned over two days, Saturday and Sunday.

The prompt was “long-range Internet of Things” which involved the use of cellular technology. My team’s idea was to make a bike thief detector. It would send a notification to your cell phone if the device detected the bike moving (by GPS and by accelerometer).

My team hard at work

Unfortunately, we had a lot of hardware troubles and couldn’t finish anything substantial by the time the hackathon was over. We still had a lot of fun!

I think a lot of our time was wasted commuting from the dorms (which one of my teammates suggested as a workspace) to the food areas for meals. It was pretty far away so it took a while. Plus, who likes walking out in the snow? The food was worth it though.

One of the computers even blue screened... Look at all those wires and licorice, haha!

Midnight pizza was my favourite. Since our trek was so long, we missed the pizza. It was only 12:15 am! The volunteers ordered more pizza but it mysteriously didn’t come and they had to investigate. The worst 30 minutes of my life, I was starving. When they finally found it, all 20+ boxes of pizza were empty in literally minutes.

My friend was a volunteer at the event and brought his DESKTOP computer with him for his overnight shift

Although we didn’t win anything or have a finished product, it was still worth it. We even got some cool swag.

Stickers, a free domain, and texting gloves

Hopefully next year I can participate again and hopefully have more to show for it.

Family Day

Monday was Family Day, a holiday here in Canada. My mom and my uncle were in the Philippines (my grandfather passed away and they were there for the funeral) so my brother, dad, my cousin, and I went out for dinner with just the four of us. We went to Blue Fin again. We ordered the deluxe menu this time, which automatically included lobsters. A little pricey at $38CAD per person but very worth it. We ate a little too much.

So much sushi

Productive Distractions

Sep 24, 2017 | Comments

It’s my boyfriend’s birthday coming up soon. I wanted to make him a knitted or a crocheted item because I need something to keep my hands busy. Plus aren’t handmade things the sweetest thing you could get as a present??

On some level, I know he’s a little picky about what kind of things he would like to wear. To avoid spending a ton of time working on something that he might not ever wear, I sent him a couple links to patterns of scarves and toques. I may have added a few slouchy beanies in the list of links because I think he would look really good in a slouchy beanie. Lo and behold, out of all the links I sent him, he liked the one non-slouchy beanie the most. I’m not annoyed or anything but I am pretty amused. I love little moments like these.

To be honest, there are a ton of projects that I should be working on instead of thinking of this (to name a few, school assignments). However this is one of those things that I call a “productive distraction.” Writing this blog post is a productive distraction in itself.

I even had a productive distraction between thinking that I needed to write this post and actually starting to write it. I was originally planning to write only a short paragraph. Then I wondered if I should separate long form blog posts with my status-like blog posts. I turned to Jack Baty for some inspiration. I really admire the web presence that Jack has and I like his gutso for mixing microblogging with regular blogging. The stream of consciousness approach is something that I really would like to emulate.

So I went to his website. Then I found myself on a couple of other websites. Now I have more things on my to-do list.

Finally Imported Those Old Posts

Sep 27, 2015 | Comments

So now that I’ve moved hosts, I decided to do some spring cleaning (fall cleaning?). Right now, my databases are a mess. I have a lot of databases that aren’t used and databases that are waiting to be used. I still had my old blog database, back from when Brokenphrases was my main blog. So, I decided to to import all those pages and posts here.

Now my blog post archive is pretty much complete. It was such a nostalgia trip going back and reading my old posts. A lot of them were cringe worthy, too. Mostly I just spent a lot of time clicking on links to old websites that I’ve mentioned in my posts. It’s so weird to think that I’ve been blogging (on and off) for over seven years now. I really wish I could be more consistent with my posts so that I have a more clearer picture of what my life was like when I look back on them again, but life doesn’t always work out the way you want it too…

Right now I’m procrastinating (as always, not much has changed in seven years). I’m kind of sick but not sick enough to warrant me staying in bed and doing nothing. Yesterday was my dad’s birthday party and I spent the evening entertaining my little cousin. He is absolutely adorable! He’s a little on the chubby side but I love chubby kids. He reminds me of a marshmallow! We played Checkers and Scrabble the whole night. Well… Our version of Checkers and Scrabble! We decided to bend the rules because my little cousin wasn’t convinced! Regardless, it was a nice night.

I also spent a good chunk of yesterday creating a LinkedIn profile and fixing my resume. I’m a little hesitant about my resume because I don’t have that much work experience but my friend promised to help me with it. There’s a volunteer position open at the organization she also volunteers for and it would be nice to get more things on my resume. Plus, they need a lot of help this year. I’ve witnessed it first hand, my friend seems to be doing everything by herself almost! Sometimes I try to help where I can but more of the bigger things require me to in an actual volunteer position. Hopefully I can land it!

Alright, that was just a quick update. I really do need to get to work on my school things. I have a couple of lecture notes that I need to catch up on and a few readings to do. Hopefully I can bring some more non-Tumblr posts here!

Calgary Expo 2014

Apr 27, 2014 | Comments

**WARNING: This post contains over 30 pictures. Open if you dare! An ableism trigger warning as well (possible slur).

ALSO: If you see your picture here and would like credit or for me to take it down, please leave a comment.**

This was my second year going to my local con. Last year I went all three days but this year I just went one day. It was a lot of fun but also soooo exhausting!

It was typical weather for my city: snowing. Ugh. Gross. I got there earlier than I wanted, so I had to wait in line. In the snow. Thankfully, I wasn’t waiting for too long! The line was so much faster than last year. Instead of walking around the building to the front entrance, they just let us in through the back doors. Less time waiting outside and less time spent walking outside is fine with me. The line itself was also a lot more organized. They split up the line into more lines instead of making arbitrary groups as the line moved. It was a lot more faster that way. Thank goodness!

I went with two friends of mine and their friends. It was a lot of fun! My friend, P, dressed up as Petra from the anime Shingeki no Kyojin. She was the only one who cosplayed. She didn’t get a lot of people asking for pictures and she actually enjoyed it that way. I think it’s because not a lot of people who go to the con don’t pay much attention to anime. But she looked super cool anyway!

P as Petra

P as Petra, eating her Twizzler thingy.

We parted ways soon after, and Petra and I went (semi-window) shopping! For two hours. I mostly did the shopping, haha. But I also took a lot of pictures. There were a lot of awesome cosplays, and ahhh. They were all really awesome.

Aria

Aria from the video game series Mass Effect. Her cosplay was so badass. I loved it. Her pose was just perfect.
Commander Shepard(s)

A male paragon and female renegade Commander Shepard cosplay from Mass Effect. I absolutely love this! Although, I have to say that the Shep close to my heart is female paragon Shep.
Commander Shepard (again)

Another Commander Shepard cosplayer. I had to chase down this guy and I called after him saying, "Exuse me, Commander Shepard!" and I felt a little bit like Emily Wong (a journalist in the game). It was surreal. Also it took forever for me to focus the camera and I giggled out of awkwardness (I should have explained myself, I hope he didn't think I was laughing at him...). That poor guy had to stand there for like a minute. Whoops.
Levi

Levi from Shingeki no Kyojin. This is Ven, a popular cosplayer and artist, especially on Tumblr. P told me a lot about him before but she totally did not want to say anything to him at all, and she actually knows about him. He was totally cool and all my pictures of him turned out blurry. It looked in focus to me in the window thingy, I'm sorry.
Levi

Another Levi. This time, cleaning Levi! Man, the makeup was SPOT ON. Absolutely loved it!
MCR

Gerard and Mikey Way from My Chemical Romance. Omg. I saw the Gerard cosplayer while at the food trucks but he had food in his hands and I didn't want to bother asking him for a picture. But then I found him and he was with a Mikey. Oh. My. Goodness. My junior high self is so happy. I love how they cosplayed MCR!
Mako

Mako from the anime Kill La Kill. The cosplayer was Alexa. My friend, M, was doing a wacky pose with them. I absolutely loved their cosplay. Fight club president!
Mako (again)

A solo picture with Mako. They are SOOOO cute.
Kanaya

Kanaya from the webcomic series Homestuck. She was so cute!
Homestucks

A very large group of Homestucks that I found. They were all really cute. I didn't bother getting a 100% proper picture because there were just so many of them!
Sailor Neptune, Yoruichi, and Sailor Uranus

Sailor Neptune, Yoruichi (from Bleach), and Sailor Uranus. I definitely sneaked this photo in. Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus are definitely in my top three for favourite ships, EVER. And Yoruichi is like my favourite character in Bleach (no, it's not because her outfit is orange and because she's a cat... Or is it?).
Yang from RWBY

A really cute Yang cosplayer from the web animated series RWBY. She was really sweet and I felt really bad because she was alone and carrying a lot of stuff.
Blake

Blake from RWBY. This girl is so tall! I approached her and she didn't notice me at first, when I said "Excuse me." And when she heard me the second time she was a bit startled and was like "Oh!" She was sooo cute.
Matt

Matt from the anime Digimon. Matt was like my #1 childhood crush when I was a little girl. This guy did it pretty well. He has the digivice and everything! The wig was a bit off but dude, no one can do Matt's hair like Matt.
Jessica Rabbit

Jessica Rabbit. What a classic. This girl was so sweet and so gorgeous. Aweh, I get all mushy inside just thinking about her reaction to me calling her gorgeous.
Halo

Halo dudes from Halo. I don't play this game (PlayStation all the way), but I love any cosplay with armor. I also love this picture because the dude on the left is looking forward and it's like the dude on the right is just like "Bro, what are you looking at?"
Borderlands

A Pyscho enemy character from Borderlands. This guy was cool. His eyes were glowing and everything. I think I saw him last year too, and maybe at Otafest at well. But dang, that detail. He looks like he basically stepped out of the game!

In the middle of the day, a friend and I went to get a photo op with the lovely Jessica Nigri, a cosplayer and Internet celebrity. She also does a voice in the RWBY animated series. She was super cute and super pretty! We got to get her to sign our photo with her, and her agent didn’t let us pay for it. What an awesome dude. He was as upbeat and cool as she was! Probably one of the highlights of my day.

Also, in the picture, you can see that I’m all buddy buddy with Nigri but my friend is really far away from her. It’s now a running joke that he and her are… Close. Haha.

After that, we wandered and shopped a little bit more. We ended the day with attempting to get into a panel but it was really packed so we didn’t get in. Which was okay with me because I was about ready to pass out! And so we parted ways and went home.

Onto the merchandise… I spent exactly $100 dollars, including food and not including transit and coat check. My brother asked me to buy something Rooster Teeth (not happening as they are the only ones who sell their stuff and they’re based in Texas so… Yeah…) or League of Legends. The only LoL thing I found was really basic messenger bags and they were like $40. Sorry brother, you aren’t getting that… But I did end up buying him a Grunt POP! figure. My brother looooves the Krogans from Mass Effect and the Grunt figure was so adorable that I knew he’d love it! When we opened up the box, my brother immediately when “Aweeh, he’s so cute.” The figures are so tiny, he fit in my freakishly small hand! So. Cute. I really wanted to find a Garrus figure but was unable to do so. I think they’re really popular because the Garrus figure is even cuter than the Grunt one, and because Garrus is like THE most loved character in Mass Effect.

I also bought some Homestuck merchandise. I debated getting a Scalemate plushie, but opted for the art instead. The calendar has been on my wish list ever since it came out. While I wasn’t particularly found of the tarot cards, it was such a deal to get them. I don’t regret it at all. I have a love for “predicting” things (I don’t take it too seriously though) and with the gorgeous art and the cards, I think I’ll have a lot of fun with them. I also kinda feel like Cardcaptor Sakura. I need to buy those (Clow Cards) next…

Merch

From left to right: Snow White POP! Figure, Grunt (Mass Effect) POP! Figure, Commander Shepard (Mass Effect) POP! Figure, Ratonhnhaké:ton (Assassin's Creed 3) action figure, Homestuck 2014 Calendar, Homestuck Tarot Cards, signed print of our photo with Jessica Nigri.

Lastly, there were a lot of cosplays that I wasn’t able to take pictures of or didn’t see. A moment of silence for these amazing cosplays: Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura, Satsuki and Ryuko from Kill La Kill, my friend cosplaying Blake from RWBY, Ruby and Weiss from RWBY, dude wearing a “People Like Grapes” shirt, girl wearing a “Free Edgar 2014” sign, Kaworu and Shinji from Evangelion, countless Connors and Ezios and Edwards from Assassin’s Creed, and Trickster Jane from Homestuck. I’m sure there are more but I just can’t think of them at the moment. I also wanted to meet Westy from the Mikecast but it’s pretty much impossible to randomly bump into a specific person who is not cosplaying.

I saw cool people and I bought cool things. Overall, it was a pretty rad day.

Solid Day (AKA Ramen Run #2)

Jan 19, 2014 | Comments

I went out with some friends today. It’s funny because every time we go to this ramen place, our local anime convention has an event. Last time it was their mini winter com and this time they were having a trading pin party up at the university.

But yeah we went to eat ramen. It was yummy. And then we bought candy. That was yummy as well.

But my friends also gave me presents which was really weird wow. Look at all this stationary I can’t wait to use them.

My friend got me fabric instead of washi tape because she couldn’t find any but it’s okay because I’ll find a way to use them. I already used the bear stickies. They’re so adorable!

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About

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My name is Edel Grace Altares. My programming interests include full stack development and back end development. My languages of choice are Python and Java. Outside of programming I enjoy crocheting, video games, cats, historical fiction, and reading.

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