CoderJunkie Banner
Main About Blog Friends & Family Links Site News Photography Stories Projects

Stories & Events


This page will have various events in my life and real life stories or adventures of mine that I find either interesting or eye-opening, or just worth writing about. I'll add more in time, but here are some for now. I've also decided to include fictional stories of mine, as well as "time lines" of my life. By time lines, I mean an extended period of time in my life where things happened that I think are special or important (and may or may not be on my blog).

List of sections:

Real Life
Fiction
Timeline

Real Life

Disaster in Yosemite
I've written about this before, but I feel it fits here too, so here it is... One afternoon in 1996 there was a natural disaster. It was in Yosemite and I was there. It was pretty bad, but I was fine. What makes it most interesting to me, is perhaps, that I was in the same place in the very large valley just 20 - 30 (or actually it was probably closer to 10 - 15) minutes before it happened. I was in my cabin - much more comfortable than sleeping in a tent - playing cards with my brother and mother, when it happened ...

We heard a very loud rumble and a powerful shake. Now, being from Southern California, i.e., earthquake land, we figured - at first - it was an earthquake. We very soon after that heard a very loud siren. It was the first time my brother and I had heard it there, but my mother knew it well and knew exactly what it was. She explained that it was the park's siren that wails throughout the park during disasters; this was no ordinary earthquake, for sure. Yes, earthquakes can be very bad - been in a major earthquake as well - but it just didn't seem like an earthquake to us. Perhaps because it wasn't.

We were outside by now, and we looked up at the sky and we saw a huge mushroom cloud. The sky was dark and full of dust. At this time I was trying contacts as well, so my eyes were bothering me even more than normal. We - as many others - started walking towards the village stores and we finally found out what had happened; we heard on someones radio that it was a rock slide. At this time, we didn't know where, though. We soon enough found out though, and it was where we were 10 - 15 minutes before - Happy Isle!

We were hiking there, and we went up to Vernal and Nevada Falls. On the same day, I actually had - or I thought I did anyway - it in me to go further. I wanted to hike all the way to the well known Half Dome! We had never been there, it sounded like fun and I know we could have done it if we were all up to it. But, thankfully my mother and brother weren't up to it. We thus proceeded to go down the trail and head back to our cabin. And just in time; as I said, 20 - 30 minutes later, all this occurred. We were lucky but some were sadly not.

Some were missing for some while and at least one other was killed. I believe the one who was killed was killed by a tree falling over on top of them; at the ice cream store on the isle, actually. We were even going to be there, but too many were there and we were hot and tired, so left the isle. And actually, another rock slide happened in the same area, that same week, while we were there. That is, we were still in Yosemite; Happy Isle had already been blocked off and was for a good while - months I'd imagine. This extra rock slide did not help those who were missing/stuck, I'm sure. But from memory, the missing ones were able to get back safely.

The next year I got some pictures of what really happened (see my 1997 Yosemite Photos for that). Some of the photos, by the way, are from areas we later found out we weren't supposed to be at (not that we cared - we were fascinated!). My favourite is merely rubble from the rock slide which truly shows the power of Mother Nature; it is just a huge pile of rubble left from the previous year's event. It was also interesting to visit the Happy Isle and hike the same area in either 1997 or 1998 (I can't remember how long the isle was blocked off). Things looked very different for sure; the isle wasn't the same, the buildings there were still gone, lots or rubble, and so on. I can't remember specifics on the hike, but I believe one bridge was out of the picture, and the hike started differently; the only similar thing was that it still - of course - started on Happy Isle. Sadly, I do not have any pictures that I can think of, of Happy Isle before this happened, to compare. But needless to say, this rock slide caused a huge mess!

The above was written on 15 September 2008.




Fiction

The Story of Gannon (Imagica)
Gannon was born on a quiet winter night in a mountainous region. During childhood, he lived with his mother and father in a cabin they had built in the beautiful mountains. His folks taught him how to prepare his meals and how to take care of himself. They taught him ethics and morals and gave him the nourishment and love he needed to lead a healthy, happy life.

One day, Gannon brought the sad news to his family, that he wanted to explore the world and to expand his knowledge and wisdom. Though he would miss his family terribly, he was to leave in a week. During this week, Gannon would gather some things for his journey, and when the time passed, Gannon gave his good byes and promised to return in the future. His parents, understanding him, gave him a small amount of gold and a few items, including bread and water.

Gannon travelled for what seemed like days, and finally reached a town called Teldar, and soon learned he was in the world of Imagica. Soon after, he met a man by the name of Tazok, who helped him learn the trade of the avatar, a profession that satisfied Gannon.

Even after hours, he learned how little he actually could take care of himself if he had ran in to trouble on his journey. Soon, though, he became quite strong, and even won a tournament, proving his strength. On the day of the tournament, his eyes caught sight of someone he had never seen before. It was a pixie by the name of Amalthea. She was quite beautiful, and to his joy, this pixie seemed to be fond of Gannon just as well.

Some days later, John the Lumberjack, who lives in the forest of Haon-Dor, asked for some help from a few of the inhabitants of Imagica. He had fallen for one of the Amazons, and knowing that the Amazons rarely appreciated men, he wanted some help in meeting her. He asked the Imagicans to to find her some precious stones and some other nice gifts he had in mind. And so, Tamlin, Tazok and Gannon went on a search for these items. Each knowing the world quite well, the group found the items without much trouble, and brought them to the woman.

Curious as one might become, the Amazon finally agreed to meet her admirer. The three helpers went back to John, and escorted him to the Amazons. when they arrived, he gave the three of them a special gift before they left. It was a wooden medallion in the shape of a heart, but in two parts. Each part was half of the heart. He explained to them that there would be a special bond between the holders of the each side of the medallion.

Gannon was very happy, for he knew exactly what to do. He sent a note to Amalthea, requesting to speak with her. When they met, he told her about John and the Amazon, and the gift he was given. He gave her the left side of the heart, and he kept the right side. This made the two feel more together, and they dated for some while after this. In some months, Gannon proposed to Amalthea, and a month later the two were married, bound together by the strongest emotion: love.

The above was written some years ago while I played ImagicaMUD.




Timeline


The Good Old Days - ImagicaMUD
Ok, so I realized I have some more fond memories. I was even having some pretty major nostalgia the last two nights about one thing I miss. I wrote about it on my About Me section on my site (at About Me), but I didn’t say much of it. Perhaps this also belongs in my new section on my site called Stories & Events, but I think it fits here as well. Anyway, back to the thing I was having nostalgia about. (Long post incoming)

It is ImagicaMUD. You can go ahead and check it out here, but it’s not really the same anymore. The player-base is dead, and the immortals and gods (game masters, myself included) are mostly gone too. Don’t get me wrong, some still do show up but it’s more or less just once in a while. But oh do I miss it. And for many reasons.

I was very lucky to be introduced to it and at the right time. See, back in 1998 I met a very kind person from Canada in a certain scene in the computer security underground. She befriended me and after a while she disappeared on a long vacation to Sweden. When she came back in 2001, I was no where to be found. But she searched me out and she got in touch with me (no one is truly anonymous if you leave any messages or hints). She told me I was missed - not just by her but also others, and so I decided to return (I left due to health and other things I’m sure). There were new people there. Some were gone completely. And some were mostly gone, that I knew from before. Others still were there as always. One of the persons I knew that was mostly gone, I have to thank for without him I’d not know one of my close friends - one from Australia. It was indirectly meeting her, but I met her and that’s all that matters. Then there was a new person from Sweden who befriended me.

He introduced me to ImagicaMUD, which I have to say was the best thing anyone has _ever_ done for me. I had so much fun, the majority of the people I met were wonderful and the experience both as a mortal and later an immortal and then still later a god, was incredible. And shortly after being introduced and convinced to play ImagicaMUD, I left the other scene as did my new friend Lalle (Lalle is the name he uses). It wasn’t the best environment anyway, a lot of not so nice people, and I had something new and better to do now anyway. So you see, I met the right person at the right time, as, like I said - it was the best thing for me, ever.

To those who don’t know, a MUD Is a multi-user dungeon (or dimension). They’re mostly outdated nowadays due to graphical games, especially Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, which are pretty much MUDs but all graphics instead of tex (the only text is for messages and mail and such stuff). I’d say that this is one of the main reasons Imagica isn’t the same. Sad but true, as MUDs required more imagination and thinking. Not to say graphical games do not require thinking or imagination, but I feel - having played both kinds of games - that text required more imagination and thinking than graphics. And it was far more fun, at least for me.

ImagicaMUD was inspired by Tolkien, and was indeed a fantasy based role playing game. I cannot remember where the name originated, and the email I was told it in is long lost (all I can remember is a book was involved, and I do have an idea of what it was, but I’d have to ask again or do a bit of searching). While there were no where near as many players as some of the games of today, it provided a lot of fun for those involved. And a smaller community isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either, in my opinion. In some ways I prefer it.

So I first logged into this MUD on 17 February 2002 (I have access to the server’s logs, so I checked to be sure). My first character was an Elven Battle mage. That is, warrior with some mage like spells/abilities. I don’t know why I chose that class, but I soon deleted it and recreated an Elven Arch Mage, which fit me much more, especially since I’ve always been into the world of magic, in games or otherwise.

My friend - Lalle - helped me begin and get a feel for it. Being somewhat of a command prompt person in operating computers, I did learn a lot on my own and relatively quickly. But he showed me around the world - where I could safely go at that time - and overall helped me in a lot of ways in Imagica. One day at an event in game - a marriage actually - I got a message from a goddess there, who was running the ceremony as well as tying the knot for this couple. Her name was Lunah. I’ve written about her in my Friends & Family section on my website. In real life her name is Emelie. Anyway, she was curious if it was indeed Lalle who helped me get started in the game. She knew of me but I didn’t really know anything about her. I did feel some charisma of some kind though. Was always something special and kind about her. Anyway, the reason she was asking me this, is that Lalle was in a clan of one of Lunah’s mortal characters (Disa). It was called Sentinels of Soraya. Lalle was given a promotion as that was one of the tasks for his current rank in the guild. That was the first time I spoke with Emelie, to who this day is my closest friend ever.

As it happens, another dear friend to this day, who is also a friend of Emelie’s (the three of us are the closest of friends), was in the wedding. It was one of her mortal characters. I later spoke with this other friend, both as her mortal (Shyla) and goddess - Shayla (real life Angi).

After a while, some months actually, they really got to know me, though I still didn’t know them so well. They got me involved in more in game events (it was an RP-based game afterall, so lots of fun events). In the beginning I didn’t do anything with others besides Lalle (who I still am in contact with) and a couple other long-lost friends from the MUD. So I didn’t participate in immortal/god/goddess run quests, events or anything else. Or I don’t remember doing so anyway.

But slowly I was becoming less shy of those in game, and unknowingly to me, in real life as well. And more open as well. This is when Disa (that’s Lunah) asked me to join an event in game. An event that lasted for more than one day. More like some months if I remember right. At this time I may not have even known that Disa was Lunah. Anyway, we got to know each other fairly well after that, and today we’re really close.

I got more into RP and even won some RP-weeks (two in a row), which is a week each year full of role playing events, quests and other such things. At some point a character of Lunah’s and mine met and the two were later married. The two were very happy, and very rich (I believe I had the most gold than any other character in game - I had around 2.3 - 2.5 million I believe). The MUD only lasted a year or two more before players started getting tired of it.

Not one year after I started playing, though, Lalle wanted to build a zone (that is, an additional area for the world) with me for Imagica. We never did finish that but I did start my own zone as well, and got noticed and eventually ascended to the realm of the immortals (i.e., a game master). My main task was to help Lunah shape the world. She was the master builder, and I was the assistant master builder. I also eventually helped her create houses for mortals. I was very happy with all this, and I eventually spoke with the founder / master coder of the MUD. He knew of me because I had helped him solve some bugs in the MUD after figuring out what was happening with the MUD not working right (in particular, it was possible to cheat during combat, making any class with a certain skill called “bash” to kill pretty much any monster that was not immune to bash, completely overpowered).

He found out I was into programming, and my language was the one the MUD was programmed in - C. He showed me some of the really cool things he was working on, and told me if I was interested in helping the MUD further by programming, to let him know.

I did. And I added so much code, thousands and thousands of lines. Lots of features (all sorts of things) and many bug fixes, including a very elusive one that had been there long before I knew of Imagica. Never did I expect I’d do that. But I did and was even told by the master coder - naming himself after Aragorn in Lord of the Rings (I did say it was Tolkien inspired) - that I was one of - if not the - best thing(s) that happened to his MUD, and that he trusted me with his “baby”. That meant the world to me, and helped with my esteem some as well, being that my esteem is not good and never has been.

I will never forget the people of Imagica, and I still have several friends from there - Lalle, Lunah, Shayla, Aragorn and a few others. They all mean the world to me, and I truly do miss those days. The good old days, as they say … And, those were definitely good days for me. As I’ve told Aragorn before, his MUD has helped me so much and I can never thank him enough for making Imagica. That’s how good the days were. I just wish those days were still here. But at least I have something to think about and remember.

I don’t think I knew what the “good old days” were to me before I wrote this, or what it means to anyone else, but I do know now what it means to me - ImagicaMUD!

The above was written on Tuesday, 16 September, 2008, 6:15 pm