Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Mimeoplasm: Buried Alive

I am currently playing The Mimeoplasm in Commander, in the very form it came in in the package.I really like the deck and I actually think the deck is pretty strong. There are some pretty interesting choices for me to make on the deck - some cards need to go into another deck, there are many cards the deck really wants and there are a number of cards that are in the deck that I simply disagree with. However, I am keeping it as is for now (though now may be coming to a close). However, I really like the deck, so I am sure I'll write about it again later.

Today, I want to focus on a single card: Burried Alive.

We all know it's a good card. It most definitely usually causes card disadvantage, but it is so good at what it does, that it just still kicks ass. However, that is a description befit of a card like this, which is known most for the degenerate plays it enables.

That's not what I wanted to talk about, though. I want to talk about the skill intensiveness of the card. You're used to seeing the card in normal decks, where it isn't so hard to choose what you'll bury with it. (I was, anyway.) In Commander the card is a completely different beast. In some decks it's still going to be that straightforward card. This deck isn't one of those.

The thing with the card in this deck is that it often forces you to make choices that you have little to base off right now, but that are possibly going to matter much later in the game. Oh, and it's very possible that the difference between taking one card and another is going to be the difference between controlling an opponent completely or getting controlled by that opponent.

I have two examples of this. So far, I have played the card four times and the first time I just didn't know the deck well enough to make a good choice and the second time it was just plain and simple an answer to the Prototype Portal imprinting a Spine of Ish Sah. Both other times, though, it presented me with very interesting choices.

The first time, the cards I picked included a Brawn/Wonder. That is to say, I had picked two cards and my third card was going to be either Brawn or Wonder. I wanted something to make any attack I made something to be reckoned with. The question was in deciding which one to choose.
I opted for Wonder in the end. The idea was that I was most afraid of facing off against the equipment player that used lots of big dragons to attack with. I chose for the card that not only aided me in my attacking, but the one that also helped me block his annoying guys.

As it was, I ended up facing the dragon player after the other two players had been eliminated. And Wonder actually mattered. It meant that he wasn't able to mow many of my guys down with Scourge of Kher Ridge.
I still lost to the fact that he activated the anti-flying ability of the Scourge twice in one turn (leaving him with two guys I was unable to beat through and me with two big enough guys) and attacking with a pumped Akroma next turn (which has protection from Blue....)

The other game was a one on one game. I had lost the previous game due to trying to be the beatdown with a Sol Ring, a lot of gas and a good curve (5,6,7... and then some more 6/7 mana cards).
Now, I was looking at the board state. I opted for Triskelavus and Artisan of Kozilek (for the power), as those two put a very good Flying clock on the opponent through Commander damage, while also giving you something if it is hit by removal - they are just awesome targets for The Mimeoplasm.
The hard card was the third one. I had Brawn in hand, so that wasn't an option. However, it being in my hand didn't mean I could just skip over Wonder, as having trample was reasonable at best against my opponent, while he was low on flying creatures, so Wonder was really good.
On the other hand, my Triskelavus already gave me flying on the first assault, so it was all about what happened after he got rid of that threat. Neither of us had anything interesting in the bin, so it would be a good thing to just make sure I had something else for The Mimeoplasm to become. And that's what I ended up choosing: Avatar of Woe.

I won that game, as my opponent scooped to second coming of The Mimeoplasm, when it was pretending to be an Avatar, with two counters from my opponent's Saffi. I had played a Gravepact, and used Trisk tokens to kill his guys, but Saffi and Acidic Slime conspired to also take down my Triskelavus, and with no more mana open than he had guys, that left both of us without creatures.
Had I not chosen the Avatar, I would still have been in a very good position, as I had a hand full of gas, while my opponent was playing off the top of his deck. However, he had still over twenty life and no single card in my hand was as destructive as the Avatar could be without even attacking for Commander damage, so it wasn't a won game in that case.

As someone always looking to make the best play, I love a card like this, which really tests my skill. I really like the card in the deck.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Reviewer's Eye

I haven't written for a while now, so I am going to give you an extra long post in return for that. Brace yourselves!
About a week ago I was watching a movie. Now, that in itself isn't worth a story, but something happened that is worth that story. Something changed inside of me. Suddenly something clicked and I was watching from a completely diffferent perspective. One that I found really interesting.
Have you ever read a review of a movie - or an episode of a series, or whatever - in which the writer seems to be ignoring the merit of the story itself, and very mechanically talking about the quality of the special effects and other minutiae?
I have. And it annoyed me. A lot. At least, it used to annoy me. It might still annoy me, I haven't read another one of those since this event. Nevertheless, I think I understand it now.
Basically, I was watching the movie and suddenly I was thinking about the origin of the movie. I realized that though this was all very much about rural england, but it was still a very hollywood show.
That meant that I knew that the main character was going to be the hero. There wasn't a doubt about it that he was going to end up on top. At the time it seemed like he was going insane, but that was no longer an option in my mind. The suspense was gone.
All of a sudden, I wasn't so much watching an interesting movie with interesting characters, I was watching a sequence of plot twists, action sequences and the inevitable thrust towards the good conclusion.
It was then that they had a plot twist that was sooner than I had expected. That was interesting for a second or two. After that, it was annoying how contrived that plot twist was. Small details that were unlikely started bothering me and I was not wondering whether the second most important character was going to join the main character, but when and how it was going to happen - in a very mechanical way.
I could ramble on about how it makes little sense that with barely any evidence, a whole group of people just takes up arms against people they have known all their lives (and follow someone they have known less than a year), but that's not what this is about.
I am not here to write such a review as I was talking about before (or write any review at all). I am here to tell the story how I now understand how such reviews come into existence.
I think I used to think that it was all about rationalizing. And I don't doubt that there are cases in which that is what happens in a review. However, I have experienced a new thing - actually being annoyed by things like that during the movie. I don't know whether it was a change in how I look at movies (I haven't watched any since) or that it was just the moment or that it was this particular movie, but I wasn't enjoying the movie for the movie itself, I was actually paying attention to the details and as such, I was annoyed by them.
Glad to see you stayed here to read my entire ramble! (And yeah, I realize it didn't get as long as I though it would when I started typing. Still, I don't feel like removing that message at the top.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I made it / I didn't make it

So, I promised a post that would wrap my results from my NaNoWriMo after the last day. However, the title basically says it all.





What? You don't understand the title? Well, the point is that you can say that I made if you like, but you can also say that I didn't.

I did make it to 50,000.
NaNoWriMo.org validated that and also says I won.
However, that was through cheating by abusing the time zone setting.
Basically, I needed 1,500 more words by the moment time was technically over.
However, the time was over here and not all over the world.
And besides, one can still call today today if it's one hour past midnight and you're still up even though it is not technically seen.

So yes, I needed one extra hour. I suppose that in the end, I didn't make it in time. I did make it, though. I wrote 50,000. And I wrote 13,000 words today. And I also kept writing on my blog every once in a while. And in the mean time, I have also been writing on 750words.com (today is one of the only days I missed this month) and that was besides what I wrote for my novel. All in all, I'm somewhat happy with what I accomplished, even though I had put the bar much higher for myself originally.

And that's my story.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Last Day

It's the last day of NaNoWriMo. You see, I have a slight bit over 24 hours left to write my book. Unfortunately, despite the fact that I intended to write 150,000 words originally, I fell behind on my schedule to write even the normal 50,000 words in time.

That's why I am keeping this post short and just mentioning that quickly. Now, I will be able to go and write. I'll just have to make the fifty thousand by the end of the day. It's that simple.

I do promise that I'll post something on my results near the end of tomorrow. It's quite likely that it'll be after midnight, though.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Chuck: Going Strong

Big news: here in the Netherlands we are way behind when it comes to series being broadcasted on tv. Well, not too much new, but anyway. It's a changing thing, as the executives hands' are being forced by the fact that downloading series and watching them long before the come out here is becoming more main stream. Personally, I think Comedy Central NL is also playing a big movement setting some of the new frontiers, but it is working on a rather limited budget so it's also doing some pretty old shows.

Anyway, I don't watch all my series on my computer. I do that when I really like a series and it's somewhat older, but in general, I do that to series that have finished already and that I really want to watch. I usually do not do that to series that are on tv here.
Well, most importantly I don't do it with things like sitcoms or other series which have episodes that can easily be viewed in a vacuum like South Park. This way, I can still turn on the tc and watch an episode without the chance that I have seen it already being too big (it's still pretty big as I do watch a lot of tv and because the broadcasters that have some of the series I like more are on a limited budget so doing the same (very good) series every once in a while.

However, I do also do the same thing for other series. For example, a while back Comedy Central started broadcasting Buffy episodes. Pretty Awesome. I don't see where the comedy is in that, but never mind that, it's just a good series and that's always welcome. I suppose they ran out of the episodes they had or something and then some executive decided they wouldn't buy more because it wasn't comedy, though, as it is no longer on.
Another of those series is Chuck. So, I'm quite a bit behind and I don't even know where the series it right now or if it is even still running. And either way, I don't care all that much. I don't need to know. I am enjoying the series right now and that's enough for me.

Anyway, so I just saw the bit with the transformation to the intersect 2.0. Well, not just, it's been a while and I have seen a few episodes since. But anyway, that change made me wonder where the series was headed, considering they had done so far. Though I spent quite some time doign this introduction, that is really what I wanted to write a bit about, where the series is now headed.

And the thing is that I am quite surprised about that. In a positive way. At the time, I had felt that the writers had done a pretty constricting job of writing themselves into an impossible corner.
However, it turns out that is not the case at all. Instead, they are taking a lot of risks and doing some and most of them are paying off pretty well. They are doing some pretty good stuff. The issue of Chuck and Sarah is also neatly handled as they actually made everything a lot more awkward than it had been before. And you know what, this time their relationship is actually more relatable. At least, that's my opinion.

However, I do feel there are some problems with the series. They mostly lie in the way that only seeing parts of the series has become a lot more troublesome and missing an episode is more of a problem than ever now. Most of it is to be expected when taking so many risks, but I do think I there are some things they didn't do exactly right. The thing is, though, that these things are inspiring me as well. They are part of my inspiration to be working on tv series theory as I did in yesterday's article. I want to be able to quantify what I feel they did wrong and find out how I think they could have done nearly the same thing, but do it a lot better by making some small changes here and there.

I'm looking forward to more of this series. It's been really good lately.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tv Series: The Gamechanger

I have been thinking about tv series theory a lot lately and I am sort of setting up my own theories doing so. Things are still shaping up and they just need time. However, I decided that I would start of with sharing some of the terminology I have been coming that has already shaped up.

One of the most important things that has been wandering in my mind is the gamechanger. It is about something that changes the premise, goal or the means to the goal the series is taking. Perhaps I will be able to make this into something more quantifiable later on, but for now it's a rather abstract and it requires a lot of feeling. However, let me get into some examples.

Star Trek: Enterprise has a Gamechanger at the end of season 2, when a ship of exploration goes to war. The actual game changer is the event in which the Xindi attack.

Chuck has a Gamechanger when the events leading to the Intersect 2.0 (I find this one hard to pin down, though. I think there's more going on than just a game changer as well).

Battlestar Gallactica had a gamechanger just about every midseason finale and every season finale.

Other series, don't have a gamechanger.

The Gamechanger is the event that leads to changes in the series. However, the event itself is not what makes it a gamechanger. The fact that after that things do change, is what makes it a gamechangers. It can also be hard to say whether something will be a gamechanger until the events following it are shown.
A good example would be the death of a character. For one show, this might mean that the whole dynamic of the show changes, while in another little might change at all. In the latter case, it isn't a gamechanger while in the first case it is.

Also, while a gamechanger is usually planned, it can also just happen. The loss of a cast member (for any reason) can be an unplanned gamechanger (think 8 Simple Rules). It is hard to think of a different way a gamechanger can be unplanned, but I am pretty sure that there is one out there.

There are multiple reasons that the gamechanger focuses on the event causing the change rather than the changes themselves. One reason is that this is not at all about a gradual change. Instead, it's about a sudden change in the series, which is caused by something. Another is that gamechanger itself is usually a big event in the series and already drops its hints even before you can be sure it is going to be a gamechanger. Of course the way in which I started thinking about it also plays its role.

So, this was tv series theory installment one. I hope you liked it. For me, thinking about certain events as gamechangers really changed the way I looked at some finales.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Series Premiere, Season Premiere

One of the pages I still get a lot of trafic on this site from is the one with the caveman debugging post. It turns out that people come across the term and wonder what it is, and googling it actually leads right to my blog at the top of the results. Wow.

Well, today is going to be a post in a similar vain. This time about the name for the first episode of a tv series or just the first of a season.
I have used several terms for this, but most just don't sound too well. "Beginner" and "Opener" just don't do the trick for me. We have finale on the one hand and together with the first episode of a season it makes one of the aspects of tv series that particularly interest me.

I knew I had heard a good term for it once, but I couldn't remember. So yesterday, I did some googling. Well, I ended up not finding it through googling, but through navigating my way through wikipedia. And there it was, in an article marked as bad because it didn't cite source: Premiere.

This word has one very important quality. Even if people have never heard of the term before, they will quickly enough understand what you mean with it. That is, in my opinion it's strongest quality. Of course, it's also important that it just sounds good and that it fills what in my opinion was a niche.

What I would like to do is propose the terms "Series Premiere" and "Season Premiere" when talking about tv series. And what I am going to do about it, is just use them. And I urge you to do the same. And to spread the word, of course.

So: Premiere it is!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just a single System

Today I am writing about a thing that - as a programmer - I feel I should keep reminding myself of. Basically, that is that this is just a single system.

Writing this was inspired by a comment on a flash game I saw earlier today. The commenter was saying how the game didn't work for him, and then said that as a programmer, he knew that something serious was up and he continued to say how there was something wrong with the memory management.

Now, don't get me wrong, I program myself as well and I know how the line of thought goes all too well. However, I do feel there was something wrong with it. Namely, the commenter was sitting behind a single system (or computer, I just like the word system more in this context) and from there making comments about the entire thing. However, every system (computer) is different and the programmer could not ever have tested every single system out there.

I'm not saying there was or wasn't anything wrong with that game, but I do want to remind myself that "This is just a single system" and thus remind me that even if it doesn't work here, it might work elsewhere.

This should also be applied the other way around. When you make something, don't just run it on one computer and assume it is going to do the exact same thing everywhere. Every system is different and this is only a single system. Try it on a few more systems (try to get other people to try it as well, they often have systems that differ from yours than your desktop and laptop differ) and never be surprised if it still does something else on another system entirely.

Alright, that's all I wanted to say.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Conley Woods shows us how to play Magic

I'm watching the Magic World Championship at this very moment. If Wizards has its way - which they might have, considering they are the ones making this game - it will be the last of its kind (the plan for next year is no more than a joke), but I am not here to talk about that. Maybe I'll talk about it some other time, but maybe I won't.

What I am here to talk about is how Conley was playing in the Quarter finals, as that was just truly amazing. Really, I think that was one of the most amazing moments in the game ever, and I have watched some of the most awesome games (even if not live).

So how did things go? Well, it was best out of five, and the first two were down without a chance for Wescoe who was his opponent. Then, Wescoe took the next two without leaving Woods a chance. And then it all came down to the last game. Which was the amazing game.

Basically, Wescoe was just taking the game. It may not have been as smoothly as in the first two, but there was a point where I doubt there was more than a handful people all over the world who hadn't written off Conley. However, he made some awesome plays and two turns and a little luck (in the lack of relevance in his opponent's cards) he was actually the one who had won. I suppose you should have seen the thing. I'll update with a link once they have it up, so you can. And you should!

Update 18-12-2015: Here I am, 4 years later, rereading the post and realizing I forgot to add that link... Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXQmu_OXIzM

Saturday, November 19, 2011

NaNoWriMo troubles

This month I am doing NaNoWriMo. The idea is that lots of people all over the world are each writing a novel in a month time. There is nothing shared except the the hardship we are putting ourselves through. It's a nice thing and I am participating for the fourth time. I think I also wrote about it once or twice in the past.

However, there is a twist to this story. As there should be a twist to every story, of course. The twist is that I am not aiming for the goal that NaNoWriMo sets. After doing 100,000 words instead of 50,000 last year, I decided to draw the trend line and go for 150,000 this time around. I suppose I wanted to keep in the challenge.

The thing is, I'm not on schedule. I'm far behind. I'm not on schedule... for 50,000. I have a lot of words to catch up. And I don't know how I can possibly do that just yet, but I am not giving up hope just yet. It's like something I was talking about last night: "The only time there are no options is when you have given in to one of them."

Considering that I haven't written a single word yet today, it makes little sense that I am here writing on my blog instead of on my novel. Why then am I doing this? I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I might be doing better on writing on my blog regularly (every day in this case) than I have ever been and that's worth something to me too. I'll go write on my novel right away. I promise.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Once again: Request

Yesterday, I found that people are actually using my ages old XMLHttpRequest script. At least, that's how some people end up on this blog - after googling for "Jasper's HttpRequest script".

Well, it's quite old and uses techniques for compatibility with older browser which basically have been given up on today (IE 6). Still, I think the thing should still work. But it wasn't hosted anywhere, so now is my chance to fix that. Here's an all-new link to the script: link.

I do want to revisit the script some time and update it and all and perhaps it will even some day be integrated into GoodLooking. Until that time, feel free to use the script from the link above. There is one thing I do ask you for, though. I would like it if you let me know what you are using the script for. Just out of curiosity, really.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Honorable Mention: ComboFix

Yesterday, I had a run-in with a virus. The very first popup which said something was wrong already had the looks of not being legitimate to me, but then everything became very obvious as the virus started to get in my way whenever it could and tried to keep me from doing just about anything on my pc.

I'm good with computers and good with Windows (well, XP anyway, and that's what I'm running), so I managed to find the one way they had left open and knew how to get just about anything done from that little window I had.
I found that my files where being hidden and that it set my settings not to display any hidden files every few minutes for as long as the virus was running. I had to jump through quite a few hooks, but finally I managed to tell my updated firewall/antivirus (I used the combined term, as I was actually using a third tool: the active defense) software to terminate the virus's process and ban it from starting up again.

I fixed a few things that I the virus had left in a bad state, ran a full virus scan over my entire computer and used sfc /scannow to have Windows recover any damage to core files done by the virus. (I am pretty sure it did stuff with ping.exe somewhere along the road...)

I was still leaved with an incomplete system: my all programs menu in the start menu was wrecked and it had also been messing around with the shortcuts on my desktop and in quick start. Additionally, my virus scanner appeared not to have found the virus, so it was still there even though it was being blocked from running.

I looked for something to fix the missing shortcuts. I found a note somewhere that ComboFix did things like that.
ComboFix far surpassed my expectations. Seriously, it mentioned a few things it was going to have to remove, but moreover I found in the logs that it had removed both executables I had identified as malicious myself. Additionally, it removed shortcuts to its "cover-up" the System Fix program the virus was saying I had to purchase the full version of.
However, it did also fix Quick Start, All Programs and my desktop. I don't know how it did that - is the information which enough to rebuild those stored in the registry or something? That would explain why some applications didn't return properly (I was already assuming that they were the ones not doing things properly rather than ComboFix). It would be a bit redundant, but right now, I'm not second-guessing the situation. Everything is fixed. All because of ComboFix!

Thanks, ComboFix!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Secrets The Internet Has Not Discovered Yet

It's pretty awesome when you find out about something, and then google it and find that there are only two websites that have written about. That just happened to me.

It was all about the song "How Could I Be So Wrong" by Sylver that was playing. I suddenly heard for the first time that the singer was actually singing the line "I wish we had some lyrics for this song".
Wut?

Well, I googled it and even though the song has been out for two years now, that sentence was only to be found on two sites, one in English and one in Dutch. It might be that google is set up not to search websites in other languages, so I'll just stick to the fact that I'm the second English website documenting that secret. Awesome.
And I'm proud of it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Caveman Debugging

I recently heard about this new term: caveman debugging. It's basically where you make a program that you think might have a problem diagnose itself while it is running. Here and there you make it output useful information that might lead you to understand what is wrong - and what you can do about that.

It's a rather common thing and I do use it from time to time. I mean, it's nice and all to have a debugger, but sometimes it just works better to do it the old-fashioned way. Or maybe you just happen to be working in an environment with no debugger. Or just not a good one. Well, no matter what your reason is this time, you might well be wanting to use this technique.

And as a matter of fact, I had been looking for a name for it for a while now. How else can I refer to it clearly. Some call it printf-debugging, after one of the traditional functions used for this purpose (the printf function from C formats text and outputs it to the command line), but it's a little unimaginative. And it just doesn't fit all languages.

This term I read about, caveman debugging, has none of these problems. It really does capture the technique, but at the same time it doesn't really look down on it either. At least, not in my eyes. I mean, the word caveman sounds like strong and powerful, yet crude. Well, that's exactly what it is, so no complaining here. It also sounds like it's old, and that's what it is - it is the first type of debugging that was around - however, it does not sound like "superseded" and it is not. It's still a useful technique and should not be shunned. Well, that's why I like the name. However, the term has its own problem: people don't know it and may not guess what you mean.

So I propose a solution to that. Just use it. All of you. Write about it. (I did... uhm, am doing?) Tell each person who wonders what it is what it is. Just use it. From this moment on, it's a term in my book. And that means it's now my responsibility to spread the word.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Like Nietzsche Said

There are times when I am a lot more expressive than I am now. Not always, but there sure are times. Today is not one of those times - obviously. However, I did want to share a bit of my state of mind all the same. I decided to do so, by quoting one of Nietzsche's best known lines.

"That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Photoshopping is awesome

Look what I made:



Ain't it awesome? Don't mind what it now says, just take a look at the changes from the original. (Which I do suppose you know, if not, and you're above the age of let's say fifteen, shame on you!)

I sure had a blast making this thing. Sure, I didn't change all that much, but it was just a lot of fun to work on it in Photoshop. I mean, before today I had pretty bad memories about using Photoshop, but these days are over now.

For me, photoshoping used to a frustrating search for ways to do what I wanted to do. I used to know what I wanted to do (say create a border of a few pixels along the curves of a letter), but I didn't know how to do so in Photoshop.

Now, however, I know the basic tools so well, that I can get along with the program. On top of that I understand the power of both the program's selection system and the use of layers. Really, I understand the two so well enough now, that I can actually use them to my advantage instead of them just being in the way of what I am trying to do. Lastly, I also have a lot of background information on computer terms and the names of many transformations, which means that when I am looking for a way to turn a border yellow without decreasing the number of shades involved, I do have an idea where to look. Sure, I'll still often be trying a dozen or so things before I end up with something I actually like, but that doesn't matter. Not once did I just not know what to do, I just wasn't done exhausting the available options.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Battlestar Actors on Other Shows

While I took a bit of a hiatus from writing here, I watched Battlestar Gallactica. And man, is that a series. Truly, it's brilliant. Great writing and great acting, they take a lot of risks and manage to pull each and every one of them off favorably. I am getting sidetracked, though. I will write about how awesome this series is and how you should watch it some other time.

Now though, I want to focus on a story that played the past week for me. It all started when I saw my first episode of Hawaii Five Oh. Or rather, a tiny bit of it, it was just on as I was in the kitchen, and I actually was just about to leave. In the very first scene in which she appeared, I recognized Sharon from Battlestar! At first she was in the background and I wasn't sure about it, but it soon turned out that it was indeed her and that she actually played a main character of the series.

Zap forward to tonight. This time I watched my first ever episode of Law & Order UK. It's an interesting series, but that's not really what this is about. They have Lee Adama!

I think it's really interesting how being on this show means so much for your career. I mean, both shows were started recently and are quite big. And two Battlestar Gallactica actors actually got major parts in them, very possibly because of their achievements on Battlestar. If anything, I really say it says something about the (acting) quality on Battlestar. (Go watch it!)


PS. For this show I tried to translate a word that just doesn't translate very well. I didn't know this, so I typed a sentence in google translate to see what English phrase it would use (I ended up just rewriting it, but just have a look at this):



Now, the important part is in Dutch, but it's translating to English, so you can see what it is about. Now take a look at that suggestion. It is suggesting I change "zij" into "hij". Or in English, it's suggesting that I change "she" into "he"...
What's up with that Google? Some problems with emancipation?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Problem of Time Travel

Well, I have't been posted in a while - a bit over a month, as I didn't post anything this year and it's Februari already - but here's something I wrote a while back.

Say you travel to the past. You blend into the crowd and you do whatever you were traveling through time for. However, someone turns his head to look at you. For some reason you get stuck in on this guy's mind. Perhaps he sensed that something was wrong about you being then and there. However, he carries on with his life normally.
Later the same day, the guy is in some boring and his mind wanders back to the moment the two of you met. Nothing too interesting, one would say. However, had he not been thinking of you, he would have been flirting with the beautiful woman from the company they were doing this project with: his future wife. Now, they don't marry six years later, they don't get a son together and now their son's son doesn't get to be the first girlfriend of another girl. Because of this girl's experience with relationships is entirely different, she breaks up with her boyfriend after three months instead of getting him a son. And she just so happened to be the mother of a major player in the third world war in the future you are from. Now this war plays out quite differently and the whole world has changed.

You did nothing, yet you changed the entire world.

Perhaps, you make sure you don't get noticed by anyone. Perhaps, you even avoid any and all contact with humans. Perhaps you are just a bit more lucky and only change less influential things. But still, you will have made a change by just being there. And as it happens, the chance that that change disappears is minute. It if doesn't disappear, it will propagate. Given enough time, nothing will be the same.