Water Polo

Water Polo really was a blast. I have wanted to play water polo since high school, so I joined an intramural team as a free agent. The Sun Gods had their first game last Wednesday. The team and sport are perfect for me. I met the other free agent, who did not know anyone on the team either, in the locker room. He had lots of experience playing water polo and helped me out a lot in the game. We met our new team out at the pool. Everyone was super nice and happy to be there. They made it clear that intramural water polo is all about having fun.

The other team we were playing was amazing. They had really good shooters good skills. I only played a little because I got tired really fast. Luckily my team had three substitutes, unlike the other team who did not have any! We played really well, but not good enough to win. It was such a fun experience and I cannot wait for next week.

would like to talk a little bit about rules and strategy that I picked up. Before the game, the referees checked everyone’s finger nails. During the game there were a couple minor fouls called (which result in a turnover) for roughness. But what I was told is that, on defense when the person you are guarding does not have the ball, put a hand on their shoulder. Once they get the ball take it off. If you push them under with the ball it is bad.

I learned the hard way to watch out if the person you are guarding is a lefty or righty. I got scored on by a lefty. You may only touch the ball with one hand at a time. You can theoretically swim with it, by doing freestyle and it stays in between your arms. I do not think I could pull that off in a game yet.

To start off each quarter, all players on a team have to touch the back wall. The ref blows a whistle and everyone sprints forward. Then the ref drops the ball in the middle of the pool, but along the side, not the exact center. Play is fast, because once a team gets the ball, they have 30 seconds to score or turn it over. There were even a handful of spectators. Hopefully in the future I can get more endurance. It would be cool if my friends came to watch a game and next year we had our own team. Next week will be great, and by the end of the season I want to score a goal.

Swimming Pools

Laps are hard. Swimming is a lot of work. Experienced swimmers make it look so easy because they glide through the water quickly and with perfect form. When I swim it feels like I am thrashing around and trying twice as hard as them but not even going half the speed. Every time I turn my head out of the water to gasp for breath I am really loud. I get desperate for air while I am swimming. Finally I barely make it to the wall and pull myself up on the edge so I can catch my breath before pushing off and swimming back down the pool.

Yesterday the person in the lane next to me was clearly a good swimmer, or I am even worse than I thought. I would start down the pool before her, and by the time I got halfway, she was already coming back in the opposite direction. I felt bad because I had the “medium” speed lane, and she had the “slow” lane. Watching her form while I caught my breath was interesting.

When she was doing freestyle, her arms would come out of the water and then kind of shoot forward before going back in, as opposed to my gangly windmill strokes. Her mouth would barely come above the water and she alternated breathing on her right, then three strokes later she would breath on her left. I wish I knew how to do flip turns for two reasons. 1. they look really cool. 2. I would be able to swim down and back faster.

45 minutes was the longest I could swim laps. I took two water breaks in the middle, and by the time I was done my arms and legs were dead. Not to mention that I was completely out of breath. At the very start I could swim 25 meters in 25-30 seconds. But by the end of my workout I could barely muster 45 seconds. I found that at the end, swimming slowly and methodically felt much better. I gave myself more time to breath and stopped looking at the timer during my laps. At least I was swimming and not just sitting around.

Actually, the pool was pretty empty when I went at noon yesterday. When I got in the lap pool there was one guy in the hot tub, and one other person swimming laps. She stayed for a long time, and eventually two other people got in the lap pool. After I swam laps for 45 minutes I got in the hot tub, and the lap pool filled up. I left shortly after.

like empty swimming pools. They are so peaceful. The still water and clean smell make everything so nice. Sitting in the hot tub by myself was great too. There was calm music playing over the radio and the jets were on half speed. I even could have read if I had had my book. Hopefully I will go swimming again today and I can compare the crowds. I wonder if the life guards get bored sitting there when there is only a couple of people in the pool. Maybe I made their job more interesting because they never knew if I was going to make it all the way across. Anyways, it was fun to swim and in the future I want to improve my form and endurance.

Viral Games

Why was Pokemon Go so popular? What was so appealing about the game play that millions of people downloaded the app over night? Some how the new spin on the Pokemon franchise was enough to get people walking everywhere for a whole summer. But at the same time, the game flared and burned out in August of the same summer it was released. Other hugely popular phone games such as Clash Royale slowly build momentum and have much more stamina in the long run. Fortnite is a console game, but had the same meme level of popularity as Pokemon Go. The difference for Fortnite and the reason it is still so prevalent was the celebrities it created and its impact on its audience. Fortnite was very successful with younger video game players, and they still enjoy it.

Pokemon Go attracted lots of young and middle aged adults. Possibly people that played the video game on Gameboys and appreciated the nostalgia of the new app. Adults are now the primary users of the game. The average user of Pokemon Go now does not have the same impact on social media as Fornite and there is no demand for Pokemon Go streaming, like there is in other games. Streaming helps games remain successful and gain players. Pokemon Go gameplay is more based on long term work, and maybe the level of patience and dedication needed to progress, hurt the game in the long run.

find that the game makes a come back every once in a while however. The creators are good at releasing new updates, and even more Pokemon from the original universe that rekindle interest in the game. My own Pokemon Go usage comes in waves. I started playing the game in July of 2016, and lasted much longer than most, I deleted the app for the first time in December 2016. I re-downloaded the game for a month or so in December 2017, and I re-re-downloaded the app today. The new trading system, friend capabilities, and more Pokemon, were huge draws for me.

There is a very serious fan base still active on the game, and I was surprised by the community aspect of the game. I went out on “Raid Battles,” where a group of people within proximity to a “gym” can battle an extremely high level legendary Pokemon for XP and a chance to catch it, with a group of friends today. The first gym we went to already had 10+ adults battling the Pokemon. The next gym we went to was a bit more remote, but 3 adults still showed up and were happy to battle with us. We chatted about the game and then went our separate ways.

was happy with how the most recent edition is more interactive. There is a big focus on trading with friends and working together. I will enjoy playing the game for a little while longer. It is also nice being on a college campus where the campus wifi will support me playing in different locations. Whenever a big Pokemon is spotted or a good raid battle starts there will be a crowd of people there to work together and catch or defeat it. The premise of the game is unique and in my opinion innovative so hopefully it will continue to be improved and please its fan base.


How do you procrastinate? There is no point in tiptoeing around the subject, I’m pretty sure we all avoid doing our work right? My roommate and I like to play chess. We mostly play on chess.com, sometimes against each other and sometimes against random opponents. I also have a beaver themed chess board a mentor in high school gave me that we have an occasional bout on.

The thing I love about chess is the unlimited possibilities. Yes, I know there is technically a finite amount of games possible, but in realistic terms, the outcomes are endless. Every game diverges at some point from known theory, and players must rely on their calculation abilities. Even elite players my roommate and I enjoy watching such as Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana, run out of prepared moves, and delve into pure theory and brain power. Tactics and openings can only get chess players so far.

My uncle is an avid chess player, he is likely a little better than me, and he recommended that I learn end game strategies first and for most. It seems counter intuitive that a new player would study the elements and techniques for the end of a game, before locking down solid opening theory. But by learning the fundamentals of endgame play, chess beginners grasp the motivating factors behind the rest of the game easier. The openings have all been well theorized and fleshed out, but players are on their own at the end of a game.

Blitz mode is the most common game type my roommate and I play on chess.com. We like 3 minute matches. Each player has 3 minutes on the clock, so play moves quickly, but many games still end in resignation or check mate, as opposed to the fastest bullet games where players simply run out of time. In blitz mode there is some time for thinking so the strategy can get interesting. Right now I am working on planning check mates out further in advance so I can motivate smaller moves in the middle stages of the game rather than looking for immediate gratification or inconsequential opportunities. If I make all my moves intentional, I reach my goals more efficiently and effectively.

have found many of the same principles I apply to my chess games work for real life. When I study for school, it is good to have a long term goal, for example working towards a midterm or project, and tackle the assignment is small manageable tasks. I am inseparable from my planner, and religiously write down all my homework. It keeps me motivated to stay on top of my work, or as I have been doing a good job of this year, stay ahead of my work. Of course, it is always good to have a study break and play some chess or go for a walk. I like finding joy in small things because in the end they add up in unexpected ways.


Hello, my name is Marty. My goal for this blog is to have a collection of stories of moments from my day to day life. There may or may not be something interesting or special about them, but I am going to write them down so readers like you can interpret them how you like. It is interesting that I can record my experiences, and share them instantaneously over this platform. You have the choice to read them or not, and I hope you enjoy however much you want to on this blog. Thank you.

little bit about me., I am a first year mechanical engineering major here in Corvallis. I enjoy nature, and reading, and playing sports. I play disc golf and curling. I love doing math and learning about the world around me. My resolution for 2019 is to meet new people and go camping. I also want to go bird watching more so I am looking forward to Spring when the songbirds come out in full force.

My favorite musician is Jose Gonzalez. As I write this introduction I am listening to his song “Stay Alive.” My favorite book is Watership Down by Richard Adams. My favorite movie is A Cat in Paris. I like a lot of TV shows, but my favorite is a tie between The X-Files, and The Detectorists.

Last year I wrote a diary entry everyday. This year I want to live in the moment and not worry about remembering every detail. The beautiful thing is that what I need to remember I will, and what I don’t can’t hurt me. I might as well live each day to the fullest. Hopefully I will be able to share interesting experiences on this blog so that other people can learn from them.