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	<time pubdate datetime="2003-05-13T12:00:00+01:00">
		<sup>12:00<abbr>pm</abbr> • 2003</sup>
		<abbr title="May">May</abbr> 13
	</time>
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<h1>Tanner Helland Writes: #2</h1>
<p>
	This is one of <a href="/writing/kroc_writes">a series of personal letters</a> written to / from
	<a href="/writing/kroc_writes#tanner">Tanner Helland</a> during 2003–2005. These letters cover—in immense
	detail—events in my life during that period, including many unfinished and aspiring designs and creations. As a
	person however, I have changed from the inexperienced, often immature person I was and my skills in programming and
	web-design have changed just as radically.
</p><p>
	These letters have been republished to give deep insight into the way I tick, and to show a lot of background work
	that lead up to the concepts and skills needed to produce this website, which ultimately I failed to do so back
	then.
</p>
<section id="p1"><!-- ==================================== page 1 ============================================ -->
<header>1</header>
<aside><br />
	† <strong>Tanner:</strong> As noted in my <a href="/writing/tanner_writes_1">previous letter</a>,
	please forgive my excessive use of emoticons.
</aside>
<p>
	<strong>Hey Kroc</strong>—<br />
	It’s amazing that I've actually got sometime to write, so I guess I should use it wisely <samp>:)</samp>† I
	just got <a href="/writing/kroc_writes_1">your letter</a> today (May 15<sup>th</sup>); apparently there was a huge
	delay because it got forwarded from the states to here and it took it an extra two weeks to come! Argh! Damn
	Canadian Postal Service <samp>:)</samp> Anyway, I'm at the library right now, waiting for my companion to finish
	preparations for tomorrow’s “Zone Development Meeting” (when a whole zone of 14 missionaries gets together).
	Luckily, he is a slow typist so maybe I'll actually get some of this written! I quite enjoyed your letter. Hopefully
	I'll manage to reply to the majority of it, but since writing by hand is painfully inefficient it may not be 5 pages
	worth. <samp>:)</samp>
</p><p>
	I hope the team has gotten back to work by now. You’ll have to let me know if any of the team members actually
	produce something too <samp>:P</samp> Haha. Remember—I'm expecting you guys to be almost done by the time I get
	back! Don’t let me down <samp>:)</samp>
</p><p>
	I enjoyed the picture too, despite it being <dfn title="black and white">B&amp;W</dfn>. It even looks like Clint,
	heh heh. Too bad he didn’t end up needing our “going away” gifts since it seems he never really left
	<samp>:P</samp>
</p><p>
	Actually, I've done a bit of <dfn title="assembly">ASM</dfn> programming as part of my engineering studies. It
	brought back many painful memories to see things like “LEA” and “STR” <samp>:)</samp> I've
	even—gasp—been forced to write an entire program in real machine code <abbr title="that is,">i.e.</abbr>
	1001011001011… It was about 20 lines long but oh how it sucked. Heh heh don’t miss that any!
</p><p>
	An <dfn title="assembly">ASM</dfn>-style scripting language is actually a good idea. A really good idea. Many modern
	compilers use the:
</p><p>
	<em>High level &gt; ASM &gt; Machine Code</em>
</p><p>
	…style of compiling, which tends to be slower but much easier to program. Many would-be RPG scripting programmers
	make the mistake of trying to write:
</p><p>
	<em>High level &gt; Machine Code</em>
</p>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 2 ===================================== --><section id="p2">
<header>2</header>
<p>
	…compilers which makes for some hard parsing, <abbr title="et cetera">etc</abbr>. So if you did want to make the
	<abbr title="Badly Drawn">BD</abbr> scripting language more high-level, you’d already be 50% done rather than 0%
	done. So good thinking <samp>:)</samp>
</p><p>
	For an excellent reference on designing and implementing a simple <dfn title="assembly">ASM</dfn> language, look up
	"LC2″ or "Little Computer 2″ on the net. LC2 is a standard design for teaching about
	<dfn title="assembly">ASM</dfn> programming and basic engineering. You may find it useful. The accompanying book (I
	believe Sanjay Patel is the author) is also really good. Part of the genius of LC2 is that almost any program could
	be written using it… and it only has 14 different token byte values. Cool, eh?
	<br /><br />
	Anyway, enough of my incessant rambling. <samp>:)</samp>
</p><p>
	Canada is pretty nice so far. My companion is a zone leader out here—his name is Elder Mortenson and he’s from
	Southern Arizona.
</p><p>
	Some facts about the mission itself: we cover the southern half of Alberta and a chunk of British Columbia. There
	are <abbr title="approximately ">~</abbr>180 missionaries in this mission, a total of 60,000+ worldwide. A typical
	day consists of waking up at 6:00, studying and getting ready until 10:00 am, teaching, proselyting, doing service
	<abbr title="et cetera">etc</abbr> until 9:30 pm and bedtime at 10:30. The only days that are really different are
	Sundays (because of church services) and Mondays, which is our day off. So really Monday is the only time we have
	for writing letters, <abbr title="et cetera">etc</abbr>, besides freak opportunities like right now.<br />
	Sounds exciting, eh? <samp>:)</samp>
</p>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 3 ===================================== --><section id="p3">
<header>3</header>
<p>
	I really enjoy it, though. There’s something spiritually fulfilling about spending all day every day talking to
	people about what the purpose of life may be. I've had many amazing experiences in the last month, and it’s been
	really cool to help a lot of people clean up their lives and become happier. Really that’s what the purpose of
	religion should be—to help make lives better—and I'm grateful to be a part of that. I had a lot of worries that
	my time out here wouldn’t be fulfilling or worthwhile, but it’s turned out to be a great experience. All the
	time we spending studying—4 hours a day, every day—gives me a chance to really consider life and death and
	existence and God and all that stuff that usually gets ignored. So I'm really excited about being out here for
	another 23 months!
</p><p>
	Although, I do miss parts of the life I've temporarily left behind. We aren’t supposed to listen to music except
	on our day off, and then it can only be classical radio. Yawn. <abbr title="By the way,">BTW</abbr> check out the
	band “Evanescence” or “Evanescense” on the internet. Their hit song (“Bring Me to Life”) is
	<em>phenomenal</em>. I bought the entire CD after hearing only that song, and all 11/12 tracks are incredible.
	Download it or buy it—you’ll love it. It’s some powerful music.
</p>
<aside>
	¹ Details of Tanner’s first book, Teal, is available <a href="http://tealnovel.com" rel="external">on his site</a>.
	<br /><br />
	² A story competition within the team to decide the story for the game that only made matters worse as no consensus could be reached.
</aside>
<p>
	But since I won’t be listening to it for 23 more months, I find other ways to entertain myself. Right now I'm
	working on diagramming out a trilogy of books¹ based on my original complete idea for the
	<dfn title="The Gathering Project">TGP</dfn> <dfn title="Story Line Contest">SLC</dfn>². I figure that by the time
	my 2 years are up, I should have a good collection of story outlines compiled and then all I do is flesh them out,
	publish them and get rich <samp>:)</samp> I've always wanted to write a novel or complete game script, and maybe if
	I actually plan one out from start to finish I'll get it completed. Maybe, ha ha.
</p>
</section><!-- =========================================== page 4 ===================================== --><section id="p4">
<header>4</header>
<p>
	Last but not least, I <em>can</em> <em>receive</em> e-mail but I can <em>only</em> <em>send</em> e-mail to immediate
	family. So if you even wish to reply to a letter via e-mail, feel free! I'd love to hear from you any way possible,
	although I can only write back via <dfn title="snail mail">smail</dfn>. Oh well—at least it’ll save you some of
	the hassle. This rule may change to either no e-mail or complete e-mail after July, so stay tuned for that!
	<br /><br />
	Well keep letting me know how your life is going. It was a pleasure to hear from you <samp>:)</samp>
	<br /><br />
	Until next time,
	<br /><br />
	<em>Elder Tanner Helland</em><br />
	<em><abbr title="Also known as">aka</abbr> DemonSpectre</em>
</p>
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