Category Archives: Meh

Long Day

Man.  What a day.  Our office Christmas party was last night.  We didn’t stay out real late.  Got home at 11PM.  (Geeze, you know what.. yeah that’s real late for me these days).  I was super tired by the time we picked up Luke from the neighbor’s house and got back home.  I pretty much went straight to bed.  I usually listen to a podcast while I drift off, I didn’t even get it started last night.

Then I slept in longer than usual today.  Didn’t get up until 6AM got around and headed in.  I had a remote and ballgames tonight.  I was on vacation Monday and Tuesday, so I was instantly behind for the week.  Long story short, I finally got out of the radio station at 1am.  Ugh.

There was some good stuff today though.  I got all my work done so I shouldn’t have to be in over the weekend.  We aren’t going anywhere.  And we got pre-approved for a home loan!  Kinda exciting though.  We’re in no big hurry to buy.  We kinda just wanted to know what we could do and stay in our comfort zone.  We haven’t even set any goals yet or anything.  But felt like we were finally taking a baby step towards being home owners.

And so that’s it.  I probably would have just gone straight to bed on a day like this, but I wanted to get a brief blog in.  So there, I did it!

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Catching Up

As usual… the blog has gone neglected. Man, I never really thought when I had a kid that so much of my free time would be completely soaked up. Existing parents feel free to laugh it up in the comments. But seriously. After Luke is in bed at 8:30 (when things go smoothly) that leaves me 2 hours to get what I want and NEED to do done.  That’s just about enough time to start something and not finish it.  Work has been pretty exhausting the past few weeks as well, and when I do finally get a chance to relax I’m really only in the mood for something completely passive, and writing isn’t it.

Was that an excuse?  An explanation?  I don’t know.  I feel a bit of regret that I don’t put more of my thoughts here these days.  Seems like if I don’t write it down, it’s a day that can be lost forever, and if that’s the case what good was it?  Good, bad, tough or easy, I really need to remind myself this is one of my favorite places.  It’s the place I feel comfortable talking about anything other than bitching about work.  That’s just not a practice I recommend for the internet…

So what have I missed?  Well if you follow my Twitter you’ll see I’ve got the Christmas lights up on the house.  Did that the weekend after Thanksgiving (appropriately).  The two weekends preceeding Thanksgiving were absolutely gorgeous.  Just knock down beautiful days.  That would have made the most sense to put them up then, but I just can’t do it before the holiday.  Not because it’s tacky… but because I refuse to dilute my joy of the Christmas season.  I really love Christmas and all the traditions surrounding it.  But I don’t want to be one of those people that as soon as Halloween is on the horizon, it’s Christmas time.  I prefer my holidays to be potent and rare enough to be savored.

So I spent one of those weekends working, and the other one I spent Saturday being productive otherwise outside of the house, raking leaves, cleaning out the garage.  Got the black car tucked good and away for the winter.  And that Sunday I was a total bump on a log.

Thanksgiving itself was very nice.  We drove out to Cimarron and spent the holiday with Dad and Carrie’s family.  Then we stopped by Mom’s house briefly and Luke and Daisy chased Mom’s cat around.  It was good to see everyone as usual, but it’s just so hard to see everyone in a day.  I’m glad that Mom is coming up for New Year’s so we can hang out and do some level 5 relaxin’.  Some people’s idea of thrill is zip-lining over a forest canopy (read: Andrea), my idea of an absolute blast is sitting with some good company, enjoying a beverage, and soaking myself in the lack of urgency.

I don’t think Andrea gets that sometimes.  How much, when I’m sitting at home, beer in hand, staring at the firepit… that inside I’m going out of my mind nuts with joy.  There is literally no place else I’d rather be.  God bless her, she wants to go everywhere and do it all.  And I’m up for it from time to time, but it takes a toll on me, because it’s not a release for me.  I think we do a fairly good job balancing each style though.  I don’t always get what I want, but then again, neither does she.

Post Thanksgiving has been a blur.  I really couldn’t tell you much of anything specifically that’s happened in the two weeks since.

Yesterday I took one of my last vacation days.  No particular reason other than it was use it or lose it by the end of the year.  I pretty much hunkered down in the basement for the entirety of the day.  After breakfast with Luke we went down stairs and he played with his toys.  We built a scale model of Albert out of his blocks and then I installed Morrowind on my computer from an old disk I had while he continued to play.  I also played a significant amount of Guild Wars 2 and made some considerable progress with my character, something I haven’t been able to say for months!  I’m up to level 72.  Only 8 more levels until I can finally start investing in my “final” gear and progress towards beating the storyline.  After that I hope to play some World vs World… but I don’t know if MY real world has time enough for what I know that game could occupy.

Adventuring with Andrea and Mom through the Norn area.

Today was another nice day.  I spent the morning in with Luke doing our usual “weekend” routine since today was a day off too.  Breakfast, Care Bears then lots of hard core playing!  It was actually almost 60 degrees outside this afternoon so I decided I needed to get the salt washed off the Cutlass and give it a good wax to keep it protected for the winter.  Luke and Andrea hung out with me while I had the tunes on in the garage.  It was a job that was over due, but an enjoyable task with the company I had.

There’s a lot looking good in this picture!

I’ve started “playing” Wii Fit U.  I use the quotes because I’m not so much doing the games as I am actually trying to use it as a fitness tool.  Andrea got a Wii balance board ages ago that she apparently had been keeping tucked away for some reason.  So upon the realization that we had a balance board, we downloaded the Free Wii Fit U trial.  It only last a month, but here after Christmas I’m planning on buying a Fit Meter and registering it, then we’ll get the whole game.  I like it so far.  I use it mostly for the “Free Run” to get my heart rate up and burn some calories.  I think it’s pretty need to “jog” through Wuhu Island.  It’s been in so many other games from Mario Kart to Pilotwings, that getting down on the ground level and taking a slow jog brings a really neat and immersive perspective for me.  It has really exposed how out of shape I am though.  I’ve been aching for the past few days from all the workouts, which I guess is a good thing.  I’ve been trying to get in 30 minutes to an hour a day with it.  I’d love to find a good Wii Fit U Community to help keep me accountable.

wfu

Back in the day, as I’ve written here before, I used to spend a lot of time on the IGN forums.  Well… lately I’ve been kinda sucked back into the forum life.  Not on IGN.  Sadly it’s just a husk of what it once was.  But I’ve found two new more niche forums that I am really enjoying thoroughly.  The first is N64Forever.com.  As you would assume, it’s a message board focused on only the N64.  It’s not a huge community and the topics don’t move very fast compared to the old IGN days, but they are all good mature people.  Many with families of their own like myself now.  It’s fun to share with a group of people that’s as passionate about those old games and system as I am.

n64fe

The second is the new ClassicGameRoom.com forums.  CGR has recently put a lot of effort into their website since some YouTube policy changes, and it is really blossoming by the day.  The forums there largely center around retro gaming, but also touch on modern releases, just as the show does.  But much like N64Forever.com the demographic skews a bit older, and with that, a bit more mature.  Lots of good folks.  Guys that just love old games, love beer and are just there to relax and have a good time.  If that’s not right up my alley… I don’t know what is.

cgr forum

So that’s it.  That’s everything I could have been writing about this whole time.  It feels good… this writing thing.  I’m so rusty. Just like Wii Fit… I need to keep exercising this skill.  I really have plenty to put on here.  It’s just getting the uninterrupted time to do it.  Here’s to making it important enough that I find time to keep it up.

Nintendo’s E3 Direct: First Impressions

NOTE: I started writing these thoughts days ago.  Finally got time to finish them.  Sorry for the delay.

Iwata

I’ve always enjoyed E3.  Even as my fanaticism about gaming has waned to make room for other important things in life, I’ve always still enjoyed E3 as a few days to relive all those times I used to get ridiculously excited about games and hardware that were coming out.  Hearing about amazing new hardware, mind blowing Zelda games, and the huge adventures that I would… someday… get to experience.  This year though, I was left with the feeling of, “That’s it?”

Maybe it’s just the way it was presented that made the games seem less exciting this year, or maybe, the games were less exciting.  Listening to Iwata speak English at length is strenuous.  I appreciate the fact that the president of the company wants to be there to represent Nintendo to fans and the media, and it’s not just some paid spokesperson, but for something like E3, where I’m used to things being sorta bigger than real life, I was a bit underwhelmed.  Reggie is still the man for this job, I say.  I usually enjoy Iwata in other Nintendo Directs, so maybe what I’m getting at here is that Nintendo Direct might not have been my preferred platform for Nintendo at E3.  If I could have the old press conference back, I’d take it.

reggie_fils_aime

Reggie: Known for “Kicking Ass, Taking Names, and Making Games”

So what about the games?  Well, let me say right away, I’m probably going to buy about half of them.  Haha.  And I suppose from Nintendo’s perspective, then these announcements were a success.  Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, and Donkey Kong Country are all probably eventually going to find their way into my library.  But nothing was jaw dropping.

Probably my biggest disappointment was Mario Kart 8.  This coming off of Mario Kart 7 which I have been thoroughly impressed with on the 3DS.  Mario Kart 8 seems like just 7 on the Wii U… with antigravity.  Really?  I never really thought a game that revolved around tossing banana peels and firing heat seeking turtle shells could “jump the shark” but it may just be possible.  Part of the problem is that Mario Kart is a 20 year old idea that may already be fully evolved.  No longer can you rely on improved graphics to re-pack and sell essentially the same game, and keep it feeling fresh.  Visual upgrades are now so incremental, that it was easy for me to look at Mario Kart 8 was 95% the same game as Mario Kart 7, a handheld game!  All that said… I’ll still buy it because it is Mario Kart.  Nintendo wins.

Mario Kart 8

Render from Mario Kart 8… yes, there have been 8!

I felt almost exactly the same with Super Mario 3D World.  I was really expecting something more along the Galaxy line.  And I was HOPING more for a more traditional type sequel to Super Mario 64.  But instead a game was announced that I felt like I had already played.  I am 100% certain that this game will be amazing, solid, and successful.  But the announcement itself was disappointing.  Will I buy this one?  Yup.  Nintendo wins again.

Super Mario 3D World, not Land.

Super Mario 3D World, not Land.

One of the titles I’m most excited for, Wii Fit U, was announced… to be delayed until December.  So another aww shucks.

All in all, Nintendo’s software lineup for 2013 looks solid, safe, and predictable.  I don’t think they’ll have any trouble selling games.  All I’m saying is I feel like E3 could have delivered me a bit more this year.

 

Lazy Weekend

Well I really wanted to get a lot of stuff done this weekend.  Probably NEEDED to get a lot done.  Then I came down with a stupid cold.  Not a debilitating cold, by any stretch, but enough to say, “Ah, screw it.”  So instead of doing things like rotate my tires, I spent a lot of time on the computer, hanging out with Luke, and napping.

I did get the yard mowed.  But upon finishing the last section, the bracket that mounts the handle to the mower itself complete cracked and came loose.  The metal on the deck of the mower had rusted so much that it had no strength left.  So I’m tasked with either fabbing up a bracket to replace it, or get a new mower.  I’ve thought real hard about getting a riding lawn mower… but just can’t justify the expense.

Finally got around to installing WordPress on my server here in the basement.  http://web.bgwillers.com  Been thinking about doing that for a long time since I had just a basic placeholder page there.  It’s password protected for now, but don’t worry, you aren’t missing out on anything, it’s just a blank template.  I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with it, if anything.

The one thing that I didn’t get done this weekend that I really could have was beat Metroid Prime.  I can’t believe I’m still talking about this game.  What I’ve done is put myself in a circumstance where I’m not getting any games played.  I don’t want to admit that I don’t like Metroid Prime… I think it’s a fine game.  But for some reason it just feels like work to play it.  And I don’t want to play any other backlogged games until I beat that one.  The problem is I’m getting to the point that if I don’t play it again soon, I’m going to forget what’s going on and have to start all over.  I don’t know if I should just give up on the game or what.

Back to work next week.  Then the week after that VACATION!  I can’t wait!

I Voted

I tweeted earlier today that I voted, but I had to violate one of my moral rules to do so.  You see this is the primary election where the parties decide who they’re going to put on the ballot in November.  Being in rural Kansas, Republican is the party of prominence, so pretty much everyone running for office of any kind is a republican.

My moral delimma is that I don’t really believe in the two party system.  I believe in electing the right person for the job whether they’re a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Man, Woman, Black, White, etc.  For that reason I’ve never affiliated with any party.

But when it comes to primary elections, you can’t just vote in any primary.  Democrats have an open primary, meaning you don’t have to be an democrat to vote there.  But republicans have a closed primary, therefore you can only vote if you’re a member of the “club”.    My situation was such that there were some pretty important local positions up, which were pretty much going to be decided in the Republican primary as there would be no one running against the winner in November.  So in order to have a voice in these selections I chose to declare Republican for now and vote for the guys I felt could best serve my area.

I’ve always been a big proponent of paying attention and making informed voting decisions on the local level, because these are the people that will have possibly the most direct impact on your daily life.  These guys are the reason I can’t buy beer after 8PM, or that I haven’t been able to use my fire pit I built yet because of a burn ban.  Seems like piddly stuff to some, but even though it might be less “important” on the grand scale, it has a more tangible effect than any president’s foreign policy or “jobs bill”.

So I guess as of today I’m a Republican, if only on paper.

 

Please Stand By

I know I haven’t been writing anything lately.  Truth told I have been exhausted working a lot of extra hours and out of town on the weekend.

I’ll hit the reset switch this week and be back at it.  I’ve been thinking about the blog alot, but haven’t had the time or energy to dedicate to it.  That will change, I promise!

For now I think I’m going to go unwind with some Super Mario Brothers 3!

A Look Back: Hydro Thunder

This re-review will be pretty brief.  In large part due to the fact that Hydro Thunder is about as straight forward as games can get.

If I recall correctly, Hydro Thunder was a birthday or Christmas present in what would have had to have been the year 2000.  I was familiar with the game from its arcade presence (which was basically every arcade in America) but it was not a game that I was particularly interested in adding to my N64 collection.  After an obsession with Crusin’ World in the arcade, and then feeling underwhelmed when I finally got my own cartridge, getting Hydro Thunder never even crossed my mind.  Luckily someone took care of that for me!

Things move pretty fast in the technology world.  The N64 came out in 1996 and this game was released a little less than 4 years later.  While the hardware packed in an N64 will never change, arcade cabinets were getting more powerful all the time.  I want to say that the arcade version was running on a souped up version of the brand new Sega Dreamcast hardware.  Even though I’m not a huge fan of this game, I do have to admit that the arcade version of this game has some pretty good eyecandy, even by today’s standards, and 10 years ago it was pretty fun to look at.  Dialing all that down so that the N64 could handle it means there’s going to be quite a few sacrifices.

Hydro Thunder: Arcade

Hydro Thunder: N64

Biggest sacrifice was the framerate department.  At times this game felt really choppy.  Although this was par for the course with a lot of N64 games.  Honestly cramming this game onto the N64 complete with high quality voice over audio was pretty damn impressive.

I think my biggest beef with this game is just that by this point I really wasn’t as interested in arcade racers as much anymore.  This (for me) was just another Midway “Crusi’n” game on water.  The levels were pretty cool, the boats were cool.  But I’d played it all before.  Don’t get me wrong!  I still played quite a bit of this game.  I couldn’t just set it in the box and never mess with it.  I made it a point to beat all the levels, and unlock all the boats.  Certainly didn’t set any records though.

I pulled it out today just for this review.  And consistent with most of these games that pushed the graphical envelope on the N64, this one again hasn’t aged well.  The world is very detailed, but the low resolution just leaves it all feeling jagged and blurry.  Honestly, the framerate wasn’t as bad as I remember.  And the courses are pretty well laid out.  I found myself missing a lot of the boosts, but memorizing the few tracks there are would take care of that.  If I wished to dedicate that much time to the game.

All in all, this was a good game for what I used it for back in the day.  Then I had so much time to play.  I mean a lot of time.  And this was a great game to play and work on a little bit when I was sick of playing everything else.  Today with less time and more to play, it’s hard to find a spot for this game.

Nothing to blog.

There’s seriously nothing to blog about today.  But gotta keep the streak alive!

Getting ready for the big radio auction tomorrow, that’s going to be nuts.  Then off to a play as soon as that’s done.  Should be a nice reward after a long day like that.  No break in between though.  I hate that feeling of being rushed from one place to another.  I know once I’m in the seat though and enjoying the show, I’ll all be good.

Here’s hoping for an uneventful weekend and time to get some stuff done in life, not work!

Hey, strangers!

I’ve been taking a break from the blog it looks like.  But I’ve been busy with a few other things.  Working on the cars, doing a little spring cleaning here and there.  A little digital organization too, getting the server all straightened out.  There’s so much stuff on there and until now it’s been organized in the loosest fashion possible.

I’m excited for summer to get here, and get out side.  Most of the time we just go from winter straight to summer here in Kansas, but this spring has been cold and wet.  Got almost 4.5 inches of rain just last night.  Which leaked a little bit of water into the basement.  So I took it as an opportunity to hose the walls down with bleach and try to kill some of the dank, musty odor down there.  Ended up ruining most all of my vinyl record album covers, but the records themselves are fine.  It’s not like I have anything rare… or even that great.  So I’m not too torn up about it.

I actually haven’t played much Guild Wars at all lately.  I started a new character hoping it would kinda rejuvenate me, but I just keep finding other things to do for now.  I’m sure I’ll get back into it soon enough.  I always seem to.

Truth be told, I’ve actually been out doing stuff more in my life now than I have in many recent years.  Been to a few races this spring already, a couple theater plays at the Crest, and several visits to Wichita and SWK.  Coupled with plenty of work at the station and in the computer job, I sure haven’t been bored for a while!

Just started to feel guilty that I hadn’t posted anything for so long.  I guess life has only been tweet-worthy lately, haha.

My Funk

Well I get into these little funks every now and then.  Where I just feel very passive.  Usually when I get in these ruts I find myself doing a lot of things that don’t involve much input on my part.  I haven’t even been much into gaming lately.  I’d rather do something that I can just absorb and not have to push something forward, whether it’s a character, thought, a project, a goal or what not.

I’ve actually spent a decent amount of time just looking up random topics on wikipedia just to soak up a quick general understanding of things I’ve never really put much thought into before.  Make myself a little more well rounded, if you will.  Sure you can’t trust wiki for a lot of details, but they usually get the big picture of a topic pretty well.

I’ve been watching a lot of Big Bang Theory catching up on Season 1 & 2, and just discovered that Quantum Leap is on Hulu now!  Man I LOVED that show.  Can’t believe that it is 20 years old!

I haven’t even made a post on any of my regular message boards for a couple weeks, and I’ve been on my messenger almost as scarcely.  It’s weird to not feel like doing things I know I like to do.

I think part of it is I’m just not passionate about anything right now.  As far back as I can remember, whatever it is I’ve been interested in at the time, I’ve been fanatical about it.  Whether it was Mario Kart, the Toronado, building computers, the old radios, or whatever.  Not to say I’m not interested in those things anymore, I’m just not passionate about much of anything right now.

I think the best thing to do is to just ride it out and see where I end up.  I know I’m not going to feel lethargic forever.  I just need some kind of spark.  But for now I apologize for being somewhat of a hermit lately.  I’m sure SOMETHING interesting will happen.