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Had a few nice weekend outings. 2 weekends ago I went to the Botanical Gardens with a couple friends for dog day out. It was beautiful weather after the terrible ice storm, so it was nice to get out. I was definitely going stir crazy. This most recent weekend my other friend group drove out to my city, we got lunch at a local healthy restaurant (since I've gone vegan this year), then walked around some local shops and the nearby trails. The gang turns 30 this year but on this day, it was like we were 20 again, but with more money lol. Also, Williams Sonoma, new favorite store. Need a gift card there ASAP once we get into our next home.
In my spare time, I've been messing with emulators again. With my current set-up, I've been able to hook my PC directly to my TV, so I've been playing 3DS and Gamecube games on Dolphin and Citra emulators. Mostly playing old Fire Emblem games. Sometimes playing Fire Emblem Engage, too. It's been a while since I wrote an article, so maybe I'll do one on either the joys of emulation and/or my thoughts on the Fire Emblem series. Or maybe I won't. I'm supposed to be starting a data analytics class with my friend group so we can all learn together. Data analysis is a perfect fit for complementing my current skill set (business analysis) or transitioning into a Data focused role, so I thought it'd be a good investment of my time. I do like learning new things and tend to stagnate if I'm not learning something. As I've mentioned before and I'm sure you can tell from reading these entries, I am a serial hobby hopper and will likely continue to be. There's worse things to be I suppose.
What else...The Last of Us TV show is great, prob the best video game adaptation yet. I also need to catch up on You as my wife keeps telling me. I discovered Mechwarrior 5 on PC and installed a bunch of mods, that's also been fun. Vampire Survivors is excellent. Darktide has fantastic core gameplay and music but bad everything else. I got almost 100 hours into it but I've shelved it for a year or 2 until it gets some much needed QoL and content updates.
I think that's it for now. Maybe I'll get an article up this coming weekend depending on how the week goes, maybe not.
I didn't even talk yesterday about how much I hate moving. It's the worst. And everyone involved in the industry are a bunch of leeches. Movers, real estate companies, people who turn housing into "investments" - crooks, all of them.
I've been trapped inside since Monday. Yet another once in a century 4 day ice storm.
I read a great article that echoed many similar sentiments I wrote about yesterday.
Is this thing on? Was anyone even reading in the first place? I think I said early on that I was doing this for me, so I guess I don't care. We finally moved out of our house. Knowing what I know now, I would have made a lot of different choices last year. But, it is what it is, and we are where we are. 2023 is going to be the year of accumulating health and wealth as we look towards the future and buying our next home. Things have improved on the home front. Things have not improved on learing web dev. I haven't kept up with journaling. But, maybe I can get back to these things this year. I am planning to go to Japan for 3 weeks in Autumn 2024. So, I'd also like to learn some amount of Japanese before then just to comfortably navigate train stations, restaurants, stores and such. I'd really love to live there for 3 months as a sabbatical when/if I leave my current job. But that's probably a ways away, if at all. So much I want to do, but...never enough time, money, energy.
I plan to enroll in regular therapy this year. For some reason, whenever I sit down to write, only negativity wants to come out. Is it something wrong with me, or is it just a natural response to the world we live in? Where the problems facing society are very clear and in our faces, and the solutions are known, but we don't do any of them. Massive wealth inequality that's only gotten steadily worse for as long as I've been politically aware (15 years ago at this point). Our politicial institutions captured and gutted by lobbyists (Regulatory Capture). The inevitable "Enshittification" of all platforms. Our particular flavor of American economics demands endless growth for all companies with an inevitable end result of cannibalizing your own platform and tapping your customers like blood from a stone. The raping of the natural environment for the sake of wealth (remind me how many once in a lifetime natural disasters we've seen in the past few years?) Billionaires having dick measuring contests seeing who can buy the most companies, get the "I win Capitalism" trophy for having all of the money in the world, and going to Space (but no poors allowed.) The endless onslaught of advertising which is only escapable through complete blindness and deafness. The transformation of gaming into yet another capitalistic endeavor. No longer do games ship feature complete. Instead, they are "live service" and drip-fed content to "encourage player engagement rate". It's all bullshit, everything. It all just makes me want to tune out completely.
See? The negativity just comes out so easy. Perhaps these are just the ramblings of someone who is "chronically online." I work in IT and my favorite hobby is gaming, so it's hard to avoid time online. And yet, comparing now to 100 years ago, I'd still take now. I'm not denying that now is still a better time to live than most times in history. It's just the disappointment of knowing that we could be so, so much more as a species than we are. Maybe I just need to learn to cope? I was doing good last year, learning about stoicism, mindfullness, Zen practices...but here I am again dwelling on the negative.
Obviously I still have work to do on myself. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. The world obviously isn't going to get any better or simpler. So, we have to do our best to co-exist with it. I thought I was at an acceptance stage, but life is a constant journey. Acceptance apparently isn't a static endpoint. It's a continuous battle to "be ok." If only it didn't have to be.
It's been a stressful few months. It's looking like we'll be planning a move soon. Maybe, I don't know. Depends on the job situation for my wife. She finally put her notice in to quit. The housing market right now just has me concerned. When is the right time to sell, when is the right time to buy? If we lived in a logical world, rising interest rates would cause house prices to go down. So, it'd make sense to sell now before the prices go down. Rent for a bit until prices go down and save up money, then buy in. Even if rates are high, we could refinance when (if?) rates go down again.
But the world is pretty fuckin' nuts to put it lightly, and I don't know what's going to happen.
Busy busy. Had a lazy weekend. Got my bivalent covid booster and flu shot at the same time last Friday. I felt a little fatigued and feverish that evening and Saturday but was back to normal on Sunday except for a sore arm.
I haven't spent as much time as I wanted working on web development lately. I just don't have the mental energy after a busy 40 hour work week. Sure wish we could work less so I could focus on the things I wanted instead of having to devote the literal majority of my time to working or recovering from working.
I'm gonna have to stop making plans for website articles lol. I just need to go with the flow and write whatever strikes my fancy.
It's tough to watch those you love struggle with mental health. I hope when I look back on this a year from now that it's just a distant memory.
Work is going to be getting busy soon. The lull was nice while it lasted. My friend group finally had another DnD session on Saturday. It had been about 3 months since we played last and I was worried the game would be ending, but it's still going strong thankfully.
Otherwise chill weekend...not much to say. I'm just tired and ready for my vacation in November.
I love finding a good rabbit hole on Reddit. I discovered /r/gangstalking today which appears to be a community of schizophrenics. I saw multiple posts which basically said "bro it's NOT schizophrenia, it's just the voices in my head beamed to me by the government."
Not to make fun of folks with mental illness, but it is interesting to see a whole community with the obvious signs of a mental illness, they're even aware of the illness in question but are convinced that they are the target of a conspiracy instead. The human brain is certainly interesting.
The internet is a great tool but some of the negative effects are astonishing to witness. It's crazy to look back and say we witnessed the rise of a globalized shared psychosis (see: QAnon). It just goes to show the importance of mental wellness and the glaring lack of support for it worldwide.
Another thought on the increase of mental illness - did we get better at understanding and diagnosing? Was it always this prevalent and we just didn't know? Have worse economic conditions increased the prevalence of mental illness? There's a lot to unpack here and it's hard to say anything definitively.
2022 has had amazing music. I knew early on that at least we'd get a ton of great music as people dealt with the collective trauma of a global pandemic. Gotta focus on the positives lol. Currently blasting the new Electric Callboy album.
I'm really stoked for the Tactics Ogre remake. Here's a good interview about it. I do hope this eventually leads to an Ogre Battle 64 revival at some point!
I would like to take this opportunity to recognize excellent in video editing in this footage of the North Korean Military Chorus appearing to play Killing in the Name of. That is all.
Barbarian was far better than The Retaliators. Still had fun going out to see movies, I don't go to the theater very often.
I had the most wonderful sushi lunch of my life on Friday at Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar. I have wanted to visit this place for at least a year so I was excited to finally find myself in the area at the right day and time. It completely blew me away. It felt like I was whisked back to Japan. This is easily the best sushi I've had in years, maybe ever. It was perfect and I can't wait to go back hopefully soon.
Friday was a packed day overall. I visited an estate sale for the first time since it was near the place I was getting shoes. I decided I don't like estate sales. Seeing people act like vultures grabbing up the sum total of a person's lifetime possessions at cheap prices just felt weird to me? I'm probably privileged to even be able to say that, but meh.
Other things I did this weekend, finishd decorating the reading nook. Went to a nearby Mexican place with the wife for dinner on Friday at a place with average food but extremely strong drinks so it evened out. Took a trip to Barnes & Noble. I love the vibe of bookstores.
Started playing Fortnite again, too. It's pretty fun in zero build mode. I stopped originally playing Fortnite when people built the Eiffel Tower in 2.7 seconds lol.
Busy week at work expected, but planning to see my parents Friday for lunch and a build your own Terrarium place.
I took myself on a date yesterday. I went to see the limited screening of 'The Retaliators.' It's a horror-metal crossover, two of my favorite things. It should have been an instant cult classic but it was a letdown. Not even Papa Roach as a serial killer made it interesting. Apparently the movie had 3 different directors which would explain why it felt so disjointed. Also it had a surprising amount of religious overtones, get that crap out of my horror and metal music. And the metal band with the most involvement was Five Finger Death Punch! Just bad, not recommended to anyone.
Tonight I am going to see Barbarian. It should be better. I've heard it's great and to go in blind so I have no idea what to expect. I wish I had friends that were horror fans but I don't mind going out alone.
Had a nice different spontaneous night with the wife. We played some Rock Band, took an adventure to Bucee's, and I stayed up late despite it being a Monday night. She has been wanting to work on her outlook on life by journaling and practicing affirmations and gratitude, so on the drive we both talked about various things we're thankful for. It was nice to spend some quality time like that.
I got in an Ogre Battle 64 artbook yesterday! It looks awesome. It has a prominent display on one of my bookshelves. Totally worth the 60 bucks for a series that was so foundational to my taste in games. The reading nook is almost ready to share! I am committing to have pictures up by Sunday.
Awesome lazy weekend, I didn't do anything besides go to the store. Had a lot of busy weekends lately so it was nice to chill again. I just hung out with my wife, we binged all of the new season of Cobra Kai, and I played lots of PC games on my newly revitalized Linux laptop. I've been sleeping on how good Steam Link is. I am fortunate enough to have gigabit internet so I am able to perfectly stream games from my main PC to the living room. I started a Kislev (think fantasy Russia) campaign as Boris but I had to call it quits around turn 22 because Chaos wiped out my entire existence. I then moved to the Dark Elves playing as Rakarth. He's dope, it's like fantasy pokemon because he's all about taming the beasts of the land, so in addition to regular dark elves my army also has flying harpies, a hydra, a Manticore, and a freaking Stegadon. Warhammer is so cool when it gets crazy. The 3rd one really lets you go nuts with the army comps.
I wanted to go see this new horror movie called Barbarian but couldn't get anyone to go with me. I've heard it has great reviews and saw folks saying to go in totally blind, which usually means a great movie. Maybe next weekend I can get someone, otherwise I may just go myself.
Speaking of horror movies, I've been watching a lot of them lately. I watched Terrifier, holy hell it was gory. It got me thinking, what role does torture porn play in society? I'm all for free expression, but I wonder if the goriest movies serve as a safe outlet of expression or if they do something worse to people's psyches. I don't know, I like the Saw movies, I'm a child of the internet so I'm not easily phased, but Terrifier had me second guessing things lol. Like is it possible to go too far? Maybe nobody needs to see that? There's something to be said for shock value I guess - I mean I am here talking about it after all.
I don't really have a conclusion or even a coherent line of thought on that.
I think I have more fun getting old games to run on modern systems than I do actually playing them. I have always enjoyed emulation, I have modded smartphones, all sorts of computers, SNES classic, and owned other devices for emulation like the Retroid. This is my form of tinkering I guess. I don't mess around with the hardware side of things much (though I have built a gaming PC before). I'm capable of it, I just like messing around with the software side better. It's pretty close to what I do for my day job, so it's good that messing with software during working hours doesn't kill my enjoyment of it in my free time.
GOG recently had a great sale with a bunch of old classic RPGs and strategy games so I picked up a bunch of them. After some tinkering I got the first Spellforce game and Sacred Gold running in full HD on my 2560x1440 monitor. Always fun to improve old games like that. Of course, I don't do any of the heavy lifting, I just google to find other people's fixes and implement them, but it's still enjoyable.
It is fun to go back and see the early days of the games made for fantasy fans. Modern gaming is cool too, but it almost feels like we're at the end of an era of history. Every console and most games can be successfully emulated, and modern games are virtually always released on multiple systems and compatible with many systems. Modern games don't really have any limitations, now. A game from the early 2000s obviously had many limitations - graphical, processing, memory, all sorts of stuff. But now, our CPUs and graphics cards are super powerful, you can fit multiple terabytes of storage on an SD card. I know this probably sounds privileged and spoiled, but it...just feels too easy now I guess. It's not bad, accessibility is great, but having the chance to fiddle around with settings and solutions and getting things to run on stuff it wasn't made for helped build up my technical skills growing up. It's kind of a similar trend started with smartphones. Everything just works out of the box. Even though kids grow up with a supercomputer in the palm of their hand, it actually provides the reverse of technical literacy. I've seen this play out at work, too. We give better and more sophisticated tools to the userbase but their skill at using the system only goes down.
Not to crap on the younger generation or blame technology, it still comes down to an individual person's innate curiosity. It's important for parents to foster that in their kids. Wanting to know how things work is the key to success, especially in any work related to tech. I'm lucky to have that sense.
Nothing in the world is black and white, it's all just shades of grey. There are no easy answers for anything. The world has reached peak complexity and we're still the same dumb apes we were 10,000 years ago.
What do you mean the long weekend is already over? It was another busy one. I did fix up that old ASUS laptop with Linux, specifically the Pop OS Distro. Really made things a lot snappier compared to Windows 10. It runs beautifully now for Steam link and streaming services. I've been tinkering with that since Saturday. Also on Saturday, Cidercade didn't happen because my friend hurt his back (the joys of turning 30 with your college friends lol). I still went for some swimming at my folks since the season will be over soon. I do have another trip planned for next Friday.
The long-awaited brunch on Sunday at Social House was excellent! There were 8 of us so we got a mimosa tower for the table. It's quite a sight to see - they pour 4 bottles of champagne in that sucker. Proud to say we drank it all and then some lol. I'm glad it was a successful event because my wife was very much looking forward to it. My friend came over afterwards to play some Rock Band with us. They finally released some new Muse songs for it so we sang Knights of Cydonia together. My friend called one of the harmony lines the Carl Wheezer octave while singing it and I died laughing lmao.
Just spent today relaxing. Hoping for a chill week at work, a lot of people take this week off so it should be fairly quiet.
I had originally planned to go to Dinosaur Valley State Park today to check out some dinosaur footprints, but sadly the recent rain put it all underwater. Figures - months and months of drought, and the one time I try to take advantage of it, it just pours. Still had a good day as my coworker friend invited me out to the shooting range instead. I've only ever shot guns once before at a range with my brother-in-law several years ago so it was nice to do that again. He brought several guns to try, a couple 9 mm, a .357 magnum, and a pistol AR of some sort. I really enjoyed the magnum. It's like a six-shooter. I had fun spinning the cyliner and pretending I was in the Wild West lol. We decided to splurge and rent a full auto at the end of the session, that was definitely a new experience for both of us. We each shot a full clip, 25 rounds each. I still wouldn't consider myself a gun nut or anything, and I can't stand the people who make guns their entire personality, but it certainly is fun to shoot.
Later in the day, my wife and I went to a couple stores for some halloween decor in preparation of our Halloween party. Felt great going to Spirit Halloween again, love that place. I really wanted to get this Mr. Dark animatronic, because it's probably the coolest Halloween decoration I've ever seen, but $280 is tough to justify. Later on, we went to At Home so I could get a few more fake plants to put in my reading nook. Sadly, I have a black thumb and just cannot keep real plants alive. At least fake plants look pretty good these days.
I've been tinkering with a few old laptops that my niece left behind when she moved out. They were horribly slow and probably virus-ridden but a full system restore (and uninstalling all the bloatware) has them running nicely again. I use one to watch movies in my reading nook, I might install Linux on the other just because I've never used Linux before, and it's fun to learn new tech stuff. Might also make a Plex server out of it? Not sure yet honestly. Since I've been into documenting my life lately, it might be good to start storing all our photos and stuff before they inevitably get lost to time. I've got an old iphone with hundreds of pics (including those of my trip to Japan) that I need to make sure I preserve.
It's funny, I often get randomly approached in public by people. Usually it's old folks asking for my help at grocery stores and the like. It happened again today at Spirit Halloween, a lady and her kid started talking to me as I was inspecting a big Killer Klowns From Outer Space animatronic. We talked a bit about the movie since I had just watched it for the first time about a week ago and then talked about some of the other various animatronics, and how apparently the biggest Spirit Halloween is actually in Denton. My wife says I give off a very approachable vibe though I don't know what I'm doing to do so lol. I guess it's nice that I apparently give off positive energy? The world is often a harsh place, so if I can be a beacon of positivity, then that makes me happy.
Tomorrow I'm planning to visit Cidercade with my best buddy. Hoping it's not too crowded being a holiday weekend and all, but with 300ish games there ought to be plenty of space. Then on Sunday, we have our long awaited Brunch outing at Social House with the friend group! My wife has been talking about it nonstop for weeks now so I'm sure it'll be a fun time. Geez, I'm busier now than I've ever been in my life. Can I even claim to be a homebody anymore? I'm doing stuff all the time now! It's been good to stay busy and foster my social relationships. It's important to have people you can rely on because you never know what can happen in life.
All in all, life is pretty good right now. I'm doing my best to live in the moment these days and I'm happier now than I have been in a long time. I'm (mostly) anxiety free and I'm just thankful to be alive and mostly capable of everything I want to do. I still worry about the future sometimes as I'm sure we all do, but existing in the here and now is what keeps me grounded. Staying busy with various events and social engagements has done wonders here and I hope to continue.
Swan Songs was the best album from Hollywood Undead, I don't care what anyone says. Kids today don't appreciate rap-rock.
It's been 15 years but I still know every word of Everywhere I Go. The song is high-key mysoginistic so I can't share this with anyone in real life lest I be cancelled lol.
Also on the album, we have hard-hitters like Young which has lyrics that are more relevant than ever:
“Yes, we wave this flag of hatred, but you're the ones who made it
Watch the beauty of all our lies passing right before my eyes
I hear the hate in all your words. All the wars to make us hurt
We get so sick oh so sick, we never wanted all this
Medication for the kids with no reason to live”
The chorus is like a battle cry, with kids singing so it's all the more impactful. "Born in this world as it all falls apart."
The point is, this is one of the most tonally inconsistent albums I've ever listened to, but it's certainly unique. Check it out if you're bored I guess?
Nothing to report on the home front. Working on a pantry cleanout/organization. Watching lots of campy 80s horror movies lately. Check out the movies/TV page if you want to see my Letterboxd feed.
I've been slacking on the website posts lately. I ended up getting too many half baked ideas/posts in progress and got overwhelmed lol. Might just be journal updates for a few more weeks.
Another busy weekend! On Friday I had to pick up my wife from the airport. I stopped by to visit one of my work friends since he lives near the airport. He was in a motorcycle accident a couple months ago and has been out on leave. Fortunately, he is on the mend and had some of his mobility back finally. I brought him some breakfast from a place called Honeybird over in Grapevine, they had awesome sandwiches. I also got a dirty matcha latte, not sure what made it "dirty" but it was quite tasty. He's got a nice place, some wildlife. There was even a turkey strolling around the parking lot. We had a good chat, including some talks about the emotional impacts of major life-altering injuries. It's one of those things you can't really appreciate unless you've gone through it, the depression, the anger, and the loss of dignity that comes along with those big injuries. I think we were both glad to be able to share that experience with someone who understood.
On saturday I went to the Fort Worth Book Show.It was cool! I got really into reading when I broke my ankle and it's been an immense joy ever since. I thought it'd be fun to go to a book show since I haven't done anything of the sort since book fair day at school lol. I didn't realize how serious book collecting could be. I held an original copy of "Brave New World" valued at $5,000. There were some first edition signed Stephen King books going for 9 grand. This stuff was largely out of my price range, but I did pick up a couple cheap pulpy horror fiction type books just cause I like the covers.
I also struck up a convo with Jay from Good Books in the Woods.We had a nice chat about fantasy books and I ended up buying a signed copy of the 4th book in the Dragonlance series. He said it was a classic fantasy series from the 80s heavily inspired by DnD, so I thought it'd be neat to have. I ordered the other books in the series online. I'm gonna try to stop by his shop when we go down to Galveston in November.
Sunday was chill, I went to the hardware store to return something, then to Kohl's for some deep discounts on clothes. They were having a nice sale. I also made some additions to the reading nook. Hung up a cool fantasy style tapestry and assembled a little side table for laptops or drinks or whatever. It's very close to being done. I will share pics next weekend if I can find time. Just waiting on a couple more items to come in.
I've been busy this year! It's nice getting back out in the world again. Feel like I'm actually living instead of just existing. My next couple weekends are already filling up. It makes time fly by as I've mentioned but keeping the journal going has helped me keep it straight in my head and fill out my sometimes lacking memory. Big plans for Labor Day weekend! I'm going to Dinosaur Valley state park with another coworker friend on friday to see some dinosaur footprints. He has been like a mentor to me over the past couple years but we've not really hung out outside of work. Then on Sunday, brunch with the friend group at Social House. Also might make a visit to the newly opened Cidercade in Fort Worth.
There I go slacking on journaling again. Time just goes by too fast! Feel like I can't keep up, but at least I'm keeping busy. Last Saturday my wife and I met with another couple at the Botanical Gardens for bring your dog to the garden day. I'm hoping it's the beginning of a friendship. They just moved to the area recently and seem very similar to us. It's hard to find people like me (godless childfree heathen) in the South so it's good to foster those relationships when possible.
My reading nook has finally been constructed! My 3 bookshelves effectively cornered off a section of my study with a comfy swivel chair. I have a few finishing touches to make to the space but expect pictures of the final product in a couple weeks.
Wife went on business travel this week. We also had crazy record-setting rainstorms this week. Lots of flooding in DFW, luckily my area was spared from the flooding. If you've been paying attention, this is just one of many extreme flood events across the globe in the past couple years. Climate change is accelerating worse and worse. Get used to hearing the words "faster than expected."
I'm a bit of a doomer these days. I try not to dwell on it as I've mostly reached a point of acceptance, but I can't help but reflect on it whenever we get the extreme weather events. There's enough doom and gloom in the world and news, I don't need to add any of it to my site. But I think I can occasionally allow it here in the journal section. After all, what is a journal but a stream of conciousness? Sometimes I read articles that are critical of escapism, and mindfulness. And sure, they can be used as avoidance behavior, but who wouldn't want to escape allllll *gestures around* of this?
Anyway...my father-in-law was also in town. We went for dinner at Coco Shrimp. It was nice. I'm fortunate to have good in-laws as I know many folks have nightmare stories.
As for my personal escapism, the aforementioned reading nook where I read lots of fantasy and sci-fi, and plenty of video games. Total War: Warhammer 3 finally released the Immortal Empires campaign so I've been playing that. I never played the tabletop game, and the Warhammer fandom is generally awful, but it's a fun sandbox to have giant fantasy battles. I'll probably make a post about it soon. I've kinda been slacking on the site updates recently. Like I said at the start, serial hobby hopper. It'll ebb and flow.
I hate feeling like there just isn't enough time to do all the things I want to do. I can't wait for this whole "work" fad to fade away lol. But for real, computers were supposed to make our lives easier thanks to increase in productivity. Instead, all of the benefits went to the owner class. We still work the same number of hours, but produce far more than ever thanks to advances in technology and machinery. All my homies hate the commodification of labor.
Besides that, got another busy weekend planned. Have to fit everything in since the system owns me during the week lol.
I've watched a lot of good movies lately. I find that logging them on Letterboxd really helps me remember them more. Some people even do movie challenges. I copied a 30 day movie challenge from someone and have used that opportunity to watch several that were in my backlog. Last night's challenge was a black and white film so I finally watched "The Lighthouse" which was AMAZING. It's funny that we feel the need to game-ify our hobbies. If you want to see my Letterboxd feed to follow the challenge, click here!
Oops, been slacking on the journal entries. August is hatch chile season so on Thursday I made my annual visit to the Central Market hatch chile fest after visiting my parents for a quick swim. I got all sorts of goodies. Hatch chile cheese burgers, hatch pesto focaccia bread, hatch salsa, hatch chile meatloaf, hatch marinated chicken thighs, hatch queso, hatch chile cream cheese, hatch bacon ranch cheese dip, hatch aioli...and of course plenty of fresh and roasted hatch chiles as well.
I've continued the trend of getting out on the weekends, we went to the Stranger Things Experience in Grapevine Mills mall on Friday. The exhibit was...kinda lame. Small, crowded, overpriced merch. I did get a logo light and the wife got a make-up palette. At least it was something to do! After, we walked the full circuit around the mall. It was a single story loop which I appreciated compared to the Frisco mall that was shaped like a 2 story plus sign. We managed to snag some candles on sale at Bath & Body. After coming home I grilled up the hatch chile cheeseburgers and we spent the rest of the day relaxing. I made some more progress on Spellforce which has been a fun romp.
On Saturday, we knocked out some chores. Cleaned the kitchen, assembled a bookshelf, lots of laundry. We made a trip out to Unclaimed Freight to get some new furniture. We were overdue for some new furniture and will have new living room stuff next Friday. I attempted to make some hatch and bean taquitos but I should have used refried beans. They didn't stick closed very well so they had to be eaten more like enchiladas. Still tasty, though. Today I'm going to make rendang curry and the hatch chile chicken.
The weekends just fly by. It was a busy one! On Friday the wife and I went up to the National Videogame Museum which was fantastic. I posted a bunch of pictures which you can see here! To commemorate the visit, I grabbed a few merch items. Got a nice plushy shy guy, a shirt, and a shot glass. We also went to the Stonebriar mall in Frisco just to get that mall experience. It's been a couple years since either of us have been to a mall. The ones in my area kinda suck. The mall in Frisco was alright, they didn't have much in the way of tech stores, unfortunately. It was also tax-free weekend so it was quite crowded, whoops! Didn't consider that in my planning. Still a fun time. We stopped by Spencer's since we're 30 going on 16 lol. I picked up another shot glass (I collect them) and wifey got a new incense burner. She also picked up a new plush blanket from Lane Bryant. After our shopping adventures we headed to Eatzi's Market for some lunch. It's hatch chile season so there were quite a few items which had those delicious New Mexican treasures incorporated. The Hatch Queso and Hatch Salsa were both standouts.
Later that evening, Mark came over to hang out and play some games. We played the new Mario Kart tracks as well as a game of Mario Party Superstars. It was a dramatic game on Peach's birthday cake that ended with the highest coin count I've ever seen for a 20 round game. Mark finished with 220 coins! But it wasn't enough, my wife was the victor.
Saturday was pretty chill. Just hung out, played some Spellforce. I recently discovered this series and will eventually write a post about it. It took some tinkering but I was finally able to get the first game to run on my PC in 2560x1440 resolution. It's fun to get games running on hardware they weren't designed to, that's why I appreciate emulation. That's another thing I intend to make a post about eventually.
Don't have too much planned today. I need to get up to the store, might work on my virtual bookshelf some more, but mostly just relaxing before the week begins.
We did it! The Tactics Ogre remake finally has a trailer! Check it out here!
It's been nice keeping a journal and practicing mindfulness. I've been doing this for about a month and I feel great. I feel like an active participant in my life. No longer does it feel like life is just passing me by.
Work has beeng going really well. I noticed a problem, created a big ol' spreadsheet to address all the things that were missing in the process, and shared it with the broader team today. It had a really positive reception and they'll be using my format across the whole platform. I'm not a work simp or anything but I do take pride in my work. If I had the choice, I'd rather not work at all, but I'm lucky enough to have landed myself in a career that suits my natural inclinations and abilities. I get to take problems, some large and some small, deconstruct them down into manageable, workable chunks and then use technology to solve each of those chunks, which results in an improved process.
That's also why I wanted to make websites, why not use these skills I've developed at work to benefit my own life and others as well? It's also another aspect of mindfulness. I have to work 40 hours a week for the next couple decades, might as well at least try to enjoy what I can of it. And maybe these sound like the musings of one trapped in a cage of society that I didn't choose but was rather born into, and maybe it is. But, maybe that's just the human condition. The history of humanity is one full of suffering. Every day is not a battle for survival. I try to be grateful for the time and place I exist. I've tried being angry at it all but that didn't get me anywhere productive. Anger and dissatisfaction don't right the world nor correct all of the injustices of society. Better to turn those feelings into action. Organize at the community level, work a community garden, share bounty from your garden, talk to your neighbors, buy lemonade from the local neighborhood kid or hire them to cut your grass. Because if a natural disaster strikes, and the power is off, the state isn't going to be there to help you. You want to be able to rely on those nearby.
This kinda got away from me, but it's nice to just write my stream of consciousness sometimes. It helps me cement who I am (insofar as 'I' can even be defined, but maybe I'll save that for another time lol).
Super stoked! I found a really neat way to display my book collection on the site. Building this website has made me re-discover the positive aspects of the internet. I talked a little bit about it in my first post, but I had kinda grown bitter about the current state of the internet. Too corporatized and sterile, devoid of all personality. However, in the past month, I've encountered so many cool people carving out their own little corner of the web on Neocities and elsewhere. I've seen tons of awesome web projects that I've incorporated into the 64th Sanctum. I've learned a whole lot in just a month.
I had 2 goals when I started out building my site. The first was to create my own page to serve as a living virtual representation of my life, and all of my interests. The second was to get good enough at web dev to digitally volunteer - building websites for charities, non-profits and such. In order to build my portfolio I have started looking for local people in my community and offering them a free website. I'm currently working on a simple website for a lady that started her own independent cleaning service in my city. It's important to give back and to support your local community, and I'm glad I finally have a skill that lets me do it. If you have the time and the means, why not try the same? Helping folks out enriches the soul like nothing else.
Lots of house chores today. We finally got the old couch in my study moved to the road for bulk trash pick-up. Now we have room to assemble my new bookshelves. Prepped some food for the week and played more Xenoblade 3 as well as Digimon Survive.
I've also been accepted to the Yesterweb webring! This is very exciting for me as it was one of the initial goals I had when I created the website. Now, I will continue to explore other webrings. The fediverse seems interesting to me so I may look at that one next. If anyone reading this knows any other webrings my site would reasonably fit in to, let me know!
Interesting day. I went to see my folks for some swimming. Mom let me try some tofu scramble which was delicious, and dad wanted my opinion on something he was putting together for work. On the way home, I saw an 18 wheeler on fire one exit down from my house. This was alarming, as we're in a pretty severe drought with extreme wildfire conditions. It's been the hottest summer here since 2011 and all the dead grass is a tinderbox. I see new grass fire spots along the highway almost every time I go out these days.
Anyway, I'm not messing around with a fire this close to home, so I called 911 to report it. This was actually the first time I had ever called 911 in my life. Fortunately, people had already called and the firefighters were already on the way. Luckily, nobody was hurt. Lots of crazy stuff happening near my normally quiet neighborhood lately. Just a couple weeks ago there was a big police stand-off that ended near the pond right outside the hood.
Not too much else today. We went on a date to Genghis Grill, then came home and chilled. I mostly played the newly released Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to finish out the day.
I come to you in triumph, for the site is now fully functional on small screens! Obviously it's still optimized for a monitor, but I'll take it. Lesson learned for whatever my next website is, figure out responsiveness very early on in the process.
I finally got some content up on the 'Everything Else' page. Probably need to focus on one of my food posts next just so that all of the landing pages have content.
Very productive website day! Got all the site buttons I could find of the people I followed on Neocities. Hit me up if you wanna trade buttons! Also got a post up on Bloodywood, the top tier Indian metal band. Listening to the music while writing got me hyped up to see their concert in October.
Updated my site button. Still kinda ugly (I don't have the best eye for design) but at least it moves now lol. I think this weekend I'm going to add a bunch of other site buttons, stamps, 88x31s and such. Not sure yet if it'll be on the index page or elsewhere.
In other news, this weekend I expect to construct my reading nook this weekend. I'll definitely post pics when that's done cause y'all are gonna love it. I'm also working on building a Heroscape battlefield which I expect to finish this weekend. I also have to take pictures of the other figures that came in.
TL:DR - lots of new content coming this weekend!
Busy weekend! The in-laws were in town, FIL was winning a big award for work. We went out for brunch and drinks. Biscuit Bar and Social House. It was nice. Afterwards we went to a nearby candy and soda shop. They had all sorts of crazy soda, I saw mustard soda, enchilada soda, all sorts of crazy stuff. I found a new favorite snack - Japanese style peanuts. They are super crunchy which took me off guard at first but quickly became addicted.
Besides that, not too much. Had a good meal-prep Sunday making healthy food for the week. I think it's gonna be a busy few weeks at work so I'm not sure how many site updates I'll be doing.
Got to feeling better thankfully. Work has been good this week. I've been working on a project these past few weeks that I showed off today and got a lot of positive feedback. Made a lot of progress on the site these past few days as well, so it's been a solid week. The board game hub is getting worked on soon since I just spent a bunch of money rebuying Heroscape. Please look forward to it.™
Dragging today. Wasn't feeling the best this weekend, but I managed to make it over to the parent's house for mom's birthday. Did some swimming. Brought them a coke starlight to try but I don't think they were fans. I also told them to watch Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, hopefully they liked it! I'm gonna struggle through the work day and hopefully have enough energy later to cook dinner and work on my latest post.
It's been a good week. Been busy at work with a big project I've wanted to do since I started my current job, so at least the days are passing quickly. My all-time favorite musou game finally got a PC release. Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition! It comes with almost all DLC and a locked 60 fps. I always said it would be the definitive Warriors game with 60 fps and boy was I right. Gonna play a lot this weekend!
I'm surprised I've updated this 5 days in a row. I was out late last night at a friend gathering. It was a lot of fun! Justin grilled up the goods, we had brats, short ribs, shrimp skewers, and grilled legs and thighs. So much food! We also went out for late night boba and cookies. Matt had his family's van that day so we all piled in, driving around doing hoodrat shit like the old days. Our trip took us over to Asia Times Square in GP for boba which I had never been to. Then a pitstop at Matt's house followed by Crumbl cookies, which is the best cookie shop I've ever been to. We also played a few games, Klask and Dice Throne. I need to start a page for board game reviews soon. Had a slow start this morning but I mustered up the energy to go see my folks today and enjoyed some time in their pool. Spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching movies. Finally watched "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once" and that's literally my new all-time favorite movie. Absolutely give this one a shot.
Reorganized a lot of my stylesheet today to try and make it easier to refactor going forward, also implemented some custom fonts. Pretty happy with the layout on my desktop but I need to play with my max width to make things responsive on mobile. I'm collapsing the sidebars now, just need to add a menu button with links to everything and adjust the header, nav and footer a bit to make sure it all plays nice. Might get to it Sunday or it might be through the week.
Busy weekend! Finally beat Returnal with Mark through co-op. He's gonna come over later tonight. I've also been very productive on the website. Lots of updates the past couple days and probably at least 1 more article to come. I got up the posts for Wildermyth and Ogre Battle 64 and did some styling changes. I'll probably update them more over time as well. It's been a lot of fun getting this site up and running. I only wish I had learned programming earlier in life, but it's never too late to learn something new.
I listened to a lot of music from my teenage years today. Celldweller, System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Skrillex, Rise Against, Timbaland, all the good stuff from back then. Listening to Timbaland makes me think I should write a blog post on that one album he did with Chris Cornell. Also, I'm done pretending that Nickleback sucks. If you count features with other artists they have like 8 very solid songs. The best one is Hero, btw in case you were wondering. Second best is How You Remind Me. In other blog news, I'm hoping to put up several new articles this weekend. I've got 2 gaming articles and 1 music article likely coming up this weekend, although I am going to a BBQ with my friend group on Saturday, so we'll see.
First entry! I discovered the app Letterboxd today. I have also discovered I've seen a lot of movies. Added over 1200 already and I'm still looking through them all. I have long term plans to learn Javascipt so that I can create a revolving gallery of my movie reviews, since you can export all your Letterboxd data into a CSV file. I am so new to programming that I'm not even sure if JS is the right tool for this task. Is Python better? IDK, send me a message if you know or have any thoughts/advice on that.