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	<time pubdate datetime="2003-06-17T12:00:00+01:00">
		<sup>12:00<abbr>pm</abbr> • 2003</sup>
		<abbr title="June">Jun</abbr> 17
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<h1>Tanner Helland Writes: #3</h1>
	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.
	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
<section id="p1"><!-- ==================================== page 1 ============================================ -->
	<strong>Kroc</strong>—<br />
	A ha ha ha—never a dull moment in the life of Kroc. I’m hoping that my first two letters (one from the states,
	one from Canada) have made it there okay, but who knows with <dfn title="snail mail">smail</dfn>? Oh well; it’s
	definitely better than nothing! <samp>:)</samp>
		Things here are <em>really</em>, <em>really</em> busy. Far more so than I would’ve originally guessed. My free
	time per week probably sits around <abbr title="approximately ">&#126;</abbr>3 to 4 hours, maybe
	<abbr title="approximately ">&#126;</abbr>5 or 6 on a good week. So, I usually end up staying up later than I should
	writing letters and working on various novel ideas, <abbr title="etcetera">etc</abbr>. So don’t be surprised if it
	ends up taking me 3 or 4 days to finish this letter, har har.
	† Tanner’s own image editor written in Visual Basic 6
		Life without a computer… it’s weird, but endurable. More than anything else I miss music. We are only allowed
	to listen to classical music or “church” music, and even then only after 9:30pm (and we’re in bed by 10:30) or
	during our day off, which is from 12–6 pm on Monday. There are many times that I wish I could just crank up a
	stereo and work on PhotoDemon† or something, but I’m surviving <samp>:)</samp> I do appreciate the chance to do
	a lot of thinking. I need all the thinking I can get, heh.
	† <strong>Tanner:</strong> The more time I spent in Canada, the more I came to enjoy it.  In the years since I've been back, I've considered moving to Canada more than once.  It’s a delightful country.
		Ah, the food <samp>:)</samp> If we have to cook for ourselves, meals usually consist of milk &amp; cereal, eggs,
	sandwiches, or something similarly easy to do. But ¾ of the nights we have church members take us out to eat or
	cook us a real home-cooked meal. So I’ve been able to try out a lot of nice restaurants that I would never take
	myself to, so it’s good! I dearly miss the <dfn title="United States of America">USA</dfn>, however, and will be
	happy to go back there in 2005.†
		I am enjoying my work a lot, despite all I left behind. There is something very fulfilling about being able to
</section><!-- =========================================== page 2 ===================================== --><section id="p2">
	help people out and discuss fundamental questions for them, like why they are here and where they came from and what
	might happen after they die. Most people lead frighteningly bleak lives and I feel blessed to be able to share other
	alternatives with them. Just telling them that there may be truth to be found about such things comes across as a
	shock to many <samp>:)</samp> I am loving it though. It’s much more altruistic and good than anything I would be
	doing at home right now. I am learning a lot and (hopefully!) trying to make the world a better place, and that’s
	something I’ve needed to do. It’s far too easy to become self-centered in this world of ours so hopefully I can
	help change that part of me. We’ll see what happens <samp>:)</samp>
		As for <dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn>, it is only as good as the effect it has on its members. If it was
	bringing you down emotionally, spiritually, physically, psychologically, it’s far better to be away from it. So I
	am happy for you, and if the team truly was ignoring you—which they have an unfortunate inclination to do—then I
	am proud of you for rising above it and leaving it behind. Never take part in anything that makes you reach less
	than your full potential—that’s good, sound advice. Remember it <samp>:)</samp>
	†And he did. You can find out about Tanner’s novel <a href="http://tealnovel.com" rel="external">here</a>.
		 I’ll continue to hope that they can make something work, but I think it is time to cut our losses and give up on
	the <dfn title="gathering project">TGP</dfn>/<dfn title="lost alliance">TLA</dfn> monster. I still know that
	<dfn title="Visual Basic">VB</dfn> is a capable game programming language, and I’ll always hold out hope that a
	bunch of college-age kids
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	can rise above the professionals and show them what’s up. That’s always been my goal, and it will continue to be
	my goal as long as I’m able to work at anything—music, writing, programming, whatever. When I get back, the
	first thing I’m going to do is type up my (hopefully) completed first novel in the “Defiance” series I’m
	working on and get it published.† That’s my new goal—to be a writer—simply because it’s something I can
	work on while I’m out here, and it’s something I can do without anyone else. Teams can be a great help or a
	great detriment, if you know what I mean <samp>;)</samp>
		So regardless of what projects or teams you work on, I will always support your underlying goal to improve and
	share your talents with the world. After all, what good does it do to have a brilliant talent for design and have to
	work on a project that won’t let you share that? You were absolutely right that programmers are there to realize
	the designs from the designers. In
	<dfn title="The Gathering Project">TGP</dfn>|<dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn> we made the critical mistakes
	of blurring the lines between jobs and letting people think they should be allowed to comment on everything. We
	tried to fix it, but alas, it was too little too late. The only thing to do now would be to start a new project with
	thick, noticeable lines between the jobs of designer and programmer.
		Maybe in 2005 <samp>;)</samp>. And don’t let Clint know that I think
	<dfn title="The Gathering Project">TGP</dfn>/<dfn title="The Lost Alliance">TLA</dfn>’s time is up. Hopefully
	he’ll get around to writing me and I can tell him myself.
		I’m hoping that by the time I get back you will have some kind of wonderful scheme worked out so that
</section><!-- =========================================== page 4 ===================================== --><section id="p4">
	we can work on a game project together and actually 1) accomplish something, and 2) have fun. You’ve got 21 months
	to figure it out, so don’t let me down! <samp>:)</samp>
		I really appreciate the two letters I’ve gotten from you so far and hope that you’ll continue to write. Your
	friendship means a great deal to me and I still—<em>still</em> ha ha—hold out hope that someday we’ll
	collaborate on something big. I’ll keep praying for it <samp>:)</samp>
	† <a href="/writing/kroc_writes#bda">Badly Drawn Adventure</a>
		Best of luck with Badly Drawn†. Keep me updated and feel free to use any of my programming / music / whatever in
	it if you think it will help. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you, too. I don’t hvae a lot of spare
	time but if you want / need anything then I’ll find the time to do it.
		And never forget that though he may be far away ol’ <dfn title="DemonSpectre">DS</dfn> will always be rooting for
	<ins>you</ins> to succeed. I’d love nothing more then to watch you give a big “up yours” to everyone that
	deserves it. After all, my ongoing theme is Defiance. Heh heh heh…
		So stick with it and never give up. You’ve got incredible potential, and I eagerly await the day that I get to
	tell people “hey—I knew that guy before he was famous.” <samp>:)</samp>
		Good luck and God bless—
		<br /><br />
	Your friend,<br />
	<em>Elder Tanner Helland</em><br />
	<em><abbr title="also known as">aka</abbr> DemonSpectre</em>
	<small><dfn title="Post script:">P.S.</dfn> I almost forgot—your picture is kick-<abbr title="ass">a</abbr> good.
	I feel bad you wasted a whole nice sheet of photo paper to send me a copy! I’ll have to hang it on my wall to
	remind me of the good times we used to—and will someday once again—have. 100% nice job on that one. You put my
	artwork to shame! <samp>:)</samp></small>
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