2019
07.12

I express myself through the Majesty of song.

If you want to know how my mind works the best way to do that is to let me sing. While some times I may be a bit off key it is the clearest window into my mind without having to suck it up and just ask me.

Join with me, in my emotional symphony.
The path is clear with each song you hear
Don’t run away, listen to what I have to say
In my mind, my soul you’ll find.

I have been keeping a running playlist over the last year that I add to whenever a song reflects a moment or feeling I have. I initially populated it with a few songs I have always identified on but for about a year now I have continued to add to it. I add the new songs to the top so the beginning of the playlist more closely reflects the current me than the end. I keep it publicly available on Apple music, even if you don’t have Apple music you should be able to view it with this link below:

My Playlist

I find listening to my music, singing to it, facing what i am feeling at the time keeps me from sinking into a depressive cycle that I see so many other people affected by. I deal with my feelings by making myself express them through the songs I can relate to. I know this isn’t a solution that can be applied to everyone.

However it does work for me.

 

2019
06.19

There are a lot of people in my life that I absolutely cherish. They are a part of who I am and I cannot see my life without them there in some manner. However as I get older I am starting to notice more and more that a lot of these people I value do not see to value me in the same manner and I notice how much effort I am having to put in just to keep them barely around in my life.

Fine, I won’t stop you from going

They say if you truly love someone you should let them go and if they come back then they love (or in this case value) you too. If they don’t then they never did. I have been letting people go for over the last couple years now. I’ve started to be able to tell when they are just absorbing my own effort and not putting forth any of their own. In some cases they will eventually come back and make an effort to me, when this happens it is wonderful and the friendship continues on as it should and maybe even better. Sometimes a long time will pass and I have to accept that they aren’t coming back and that I did not matter.

This is a very painful moment

It hurts a lot to realize you don’t matter to someone that matters to you but it allows you to let go and stop being dependent on their validation. You can take this negative and make it positive. You can use it to learn the signs of an unhealthy friendship or a relationship and this allows you to make better choices for yourself in the future.

In the last 3 years I have let many people go and each one that doesn’t come back hurts but the remaining whole is better than it was before. I can work on the friendships and relationships that remain and I feel much more emotionally involved in what’s left than I did before. There are still people left who I don’t see putting in the ‘effort’ that I do to keep them in my life and eventually I’ll have to let them go too.

I hope some of them decide to stay.

2019
05.28

So after months and months of grey skies and cold the sun has finally graced us with its presence. This of course can only lead to trouble. Trouble on the roads

I am talking about Construction

So within a couple weeks my commute of 1 hour and 10 minutes has been turned on its head and the first 1/3 of my drive has now become 1 lane or detours. All at once! Now I get that road maintenance is important and repairs are key to my safety however this year it really seems like they are taking an all or nothing approach, something I have yet to see in my decade of commuting from Niagara to the Toronto area.

For starters they have had the 406 down to 1 lane for about a year now as they repair a bunch of overhead bridges. This was not unexpected I have seen them do this all long my commute replacing or reinforcing old bridges for over 5 years now. The problem is that a lot of stupid people seem to live in Welland or Port Colborne and they like to ride the middle of the lane to block proper use of the merge. It’s as if they feel they are far too important to allow anyone to merge a car or two ahead of them?! However now it seems they are planning to completely replace two bridges that cross lake Gibson, they have been building what appears to be bypass lanes across the grass median to the other side on both sides of the bridges. That is going to be hell.

Secondly they now have the QEW/406 Toronto bound merge all blocked off and they force you to go from the 406 to Seventh and then you have to take the side street down to Jordan station. This was ok the first week, not much of a delay but now it is a stop and go hell. Lets not forget that the Niagara Bound 406 merge has been blocked 75% of the last year and they also have a bunch of the St Catharine’s interchanges closed.

I’m not spending the whole summer traversing this mess so I am taking a country detour for the foreseeable future. I just don’t see why this all had to be done at once. It feels as if they didn’t consider any of the impact to the Niagara Region by having the entire St Catharines/Thorold sections of the QEW and 406 under construction.

 

2017
11.14

I had been waiting for this release for a month or so now and was very excited to pick it up when it launched. For me I don’t have a good gaming PC nor do I have Xbox or a PS4 so this was my first chance to try this game. I had many people tell me it was a fun and exciting game on PC and I was hoping the Switch version could also deliver an exciting experience

It does

Once I got past some irritating initial patching and a 7GB download I jumped into the game. During the intro when the character is chained up I felt the tugs of the chains through the Pro Controller and the scene on my TV had set the mood. I was in.

I wasn’t sure if I was watching the game engine or a video at first but once my cross hairs appeared and I instinctively started pressing the RT button the monsters fell before me and I was stoked.

I picked up the shotgun down the hall and got into my first “battle” up the hallway with a horde of monsters who quickly dispatched me 2 times. I was terrible at it but I loved the game.

Good 3rd party gaming is back on Nintendo

An important step

The last time I can remember 3rd party support being really good on a Nintendo console goes all the way back to the SNES, that’s a long time. Nintendo has since been able to carry their consoles on the backs of their very solid 1st party offerings but if you wanted anything outside of the Nintendo ecosystem and you wanted the game play to be good you have had to rely on other consoles essentially. Everyone is always concerned with every new Nintendo console release “How’s 3rd party support going to be” “Will it be passed over” “Does it matter?” and really I suppose in general it doesn’t matter. Even without it Nintendo sold millions of Switch’s, millions of copies of Zelda, Splatoon and I’m sure Mario will as well but I saw Doom as a potential turning point if it worked. After playing Doom now for a few days I think it has worked and we’ll see more adult geared 3rd party content in the Switch’s life because of it

What about the GFX

Yes I know everyone goes on about how the GFX had to be reduced in quality to work on the Switch I have even looked at the comparison images and you can see it is quite extensive. I don’t care. Once I’m in a fight I don’t see that, I see monsters, I see explosions, I see glory kills. It all looks amazing as I’m playing and the only time I notice the GFX is if nothing is going on and I happen to stop and take a close look at stuff. The point is they crammed an x86 AAA title into a portable tablet. It’s amazing, it’s portable. The changes while they can be noticeable don’t matter. The experience of Doom still remains

The future

I am hoping with a week filled with games like Doom, Skyrim and Rocket League released for Switch that this catapults other publishers into at least attempting to make their games work on the platform. We know it won’t be perfect but if you can make the gameplay experience translate to the Switch you will have a winner. We have solid proof of this now. 3rd party AAA titles can work, they’re enjoyable, we’ll buy them!

 

2017
10.12

After getting to try the SNES Classic last weekend it made waiting for mine to arrive a little easier but it was a short wait. Last night my SNES was waiting for me at home and I spent a few hours breaking it in.

There were about 7 games I felt it needed to be complete for me and thanks to some crafty developers this is possible with the SNES Classic using the Hakchi2 tool.

After installing the Hakchi2 tool and running it for the first time you’re asked what system you have and then presented with a simple GUI showing an item called “Original” which lists all the default games and 2 buttons at the bottom “Add games” and “Synchronize select games with NES/SNES mini”. Pretty straight forward

Adding games allows you to select the files to add to the system. The tool processes them and in most cases it detects the publisher and launch date of the game. There is a browse/google button for adding box art to the title I found the google button fairly effective and it worked for each of the items I was adding.

 

Once you’ve added the games you want you can synchronize with the console. The first time it will run a kernel flash which is the most nerve racking part of the entire process (in theory like any bios/rom flash it could brick the device). The application provides instructions for each step and it is easy to follow along. Once you complete the steps and the application detects your console it will flash it and reboot the device. After this one time process all that is required for future uploads of roms is plugging the device in over USB and powering it on.

I tested the 7 games I uploaded, 5 worked 2 didn’t the two that didn’t were also ones it had issues detecting the publisher so I may try other roms and hope it was just an issue with the files.

The UI placed the games I uploaded in a separate sub folder and the games all appeared with the box art data I had provided.

Fairly simple process, well done Hakchi2 devs.

Keep in mind any roms you may upload you should technically own in some manner otherwise you may be in legal troubles but anyone involved in this type of process probably knows that already.