nawkcire

Games, Tech and Blogging…I can't guarantee in that order.

NIMBY

First time I ever heard of this acronym was in Cities: Skylines. In the game, this is a policy you can enact to prevent loud noise at night. In reality this is much more as a phrase for anyone who opposes a service within their neighbourhood.

Living in the big city, whether people say it or not, has become a bit of an oxymoron. Here homelessness and public transit are the top two people like to address but don’t necessarily want to physically change.

The transit system here is fairly archaic, most of the system was developed in the 60’s. With a sprawling city without an upgraded transit system, it has been crowded. So now with old stations being updated, a lot of people are really against the stations from expanding to accommodate more routes or making it more accessible. With a lot of people throwing opinions and hate for every plan, I doubt any meaningful progress so far.

The homeless issue is a bunch of sociological problems; drugs, shelter, food, safety. A lot of local NGO’s  try to keep these people alive while the city tries to find ways to bring these people back into society. The biggest problem especially in winter is shelter. Recently, my local city wants to open a new shelter near my neighbourhood. However Once that hit the news, everyone went ape about not wanting it near them. That goes the same with safe injection sites. I understand both sides of the stories and I honestly don’t know who’s in the right because both arguments are valid.

“No In My BackYard” has become something I want to avoid personally. It’s a phrase that doesn’t progress an issue and usually throws an issue to someone else.

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Here we go again 2018

So after being medicated for several years, I’m still very uncomfortable about taking medication non-stop. I’ve been on/off with my medication which isn’t so good, however I’ve been busy with either work or photography.

Actually yesterday, I sat down and focused on looking through about a thousand photos. Looking through them, I managed to pick just over 60. I’ve been starting to put post-processing off to when I have a lot more photos. Just makes it easy so I don’t have to spend a lot more time cumulatively. However I’m starting to realize this can get a bit confusing. I think it’s coming up to where I need to start saving my TIFF files to a DVD. I did it for last year’s photos and I’ve reorganized my PC folders to make it easier to burn to a CD or a DVD. I wish I could limit a folder to contain a certain size.

Next week is going to be a busy time and hopefully even with this funk, I’ll get it all done and I can move on to take more photos and even start to travel again.

Local Resturants

After a week of eating at small dining establishments, I’ve learned a bit about my area.

In terms of variety and styles there is not much of I like or enjoy and when there is “variety” it’s only by presentation. It kind of bums me out that no matter where I go I find an Asian eatery or a cafe. The only thing that really changes is the scene that occupies inside the restaurant but not much else in terms of the taste.

Sadly wandering around the city I found the same monotonous cafe. As much as I like the hipster vibes, it lacks in a community feel.  I only say that because I want to drop my business card on bulletin boards. I still like a humbling place with the smell of roasted beans wafting, but it feels a bit empty without interesting or interactive wall decor.

I think for now, I can say my week long experiment to see this city in it’s culinary glory is successful but I wish I could’ve seen more. I might keep trying to visit more but for now, I’ll get close to what I know.

Followers

I was really compelled with one of the recent episodes of The X-Files; I’m still surprised this show is back on TV and feels like it was never gone.

After looking on Wikipedia to decode the episode title, “Followers”. The episode is a shocking hour of how technology and the drive for automation changes the social dynamic. The first and last scene does mirror they two view points people are growing in this day in age.

I grew up in the 90’s as a child and it was an interesting time compared to now. I too fight between balancing using my phone and enjoying what most people would consider as analog. I’ve noticed the splitting phenomenon in a lot of people. People who want to engage in a slab of silicon and glass rather than see the beauty of the surrounding reality. In the first world, we have so much to give but we give in all the wrong ways. We get bored and seek the shortest of thrills and the quickest of problems. We have in many ways devalued hindsight and creativity to forge a better future.

Surely we live in an age where we entrust strangers, but isn’t technology more capable to be as strange? We live in likely the last era before computer learning evolves into sentience. As the show asks, what are we really teaching if we all teach our computer about our society. Giving it borderless freedom equal to ours, what will this computer teach us? I know the answer but I’m afraid of how it would shape our future.

For me, I will do my best to minimize what I can do for a smart phone and rely on a vetted human being. I don’t preach on destroying technology but I do embrace the human interaction and community. However I do think people should be growing to interacting face-to-face than face-to-Facetime.

The world shrinks as computers grow in our world, but what else shrinks is our ability to see others as people as well.

Exploring Home: One Restaurant At A Time

For me, I love to find a spot and stick to it. I never explore too far from what I know and like. However in the shadow of my footsteps along the Niagara, I think I should try to be a local tourist.

At home in the downtown metropolis, there are a lot of interesting smells, fowl or food. In this case I’m talking about the latter. You can’t go a block without a coffee shop or restaurant. Even amidst this diversity of food, I’m always crawling into the same places for my cultural food. Yesterday I was hurting for some pasta and then it hit me, I know nothing about this city enough to find expand my palette. Which brings me to here in this blog post, I know nothing about the food scene in this city.

I know I don’t have the money to dish for a high end, fine dining restaurant. I’m more into the rustic and street fair, homely and tastes soulful. From what I’ve learned from writing reviews as a Google Guide, it’s something the atmosphere and the smells that really draws me in and the taste to really sell me. I’ve really reached the end of what I can review from my small circle, I still want to expand my horizons and try all the food in this city.

Trying to avoid restaurant chains and places I’ve previous reviewed, I’m going to be daring and try some new places. I don’t know where I’ll go and how good the food is, but I’m willing to try the usuals and even some odd food choices in this city.

I promise I won’t get food poisoning.

A Short Vacation

So last week I finally made my vacation plans. However with some set backs once I arrived.

I decided to go for a couple days to Niagara Falls. Nearing spring, I was hoping to catch the thaw and a bit of the freeze while devoting my time to photography. I didn’t sink myself into the attractions but I took the time to just explore a new town.

Upon arriving, it was different. Only once in my life have I been greeted to a small downtown neighbourhood by intercity travel. I like how calm and quiet their downtown is in contrast to time. No suits, no rush hour; felt like a small town.

When I finally found a place to stay, it was incredibly different from the dark street lights. The accommodations I stayed was located near the casinos and the flashy rides and oddities. Being there felt like being in the US with every American chain sitting on every corner.

The next day after unpacking and settling in, I was greeted by fog. Most people who see rain and fog would avoid it. But I was a bit inspired and in awe on how much this blanketed the neighbourhood. I couldn’t see the tops of these tall casinos nor the falls  when I began taking photos. Utmost eerie and surreal moment but I took advantage to look around. By midday, things cleared up a bit and decided to head up to the town proper. Checking out their Main Street and areas beyond what a tourist would venture. The farther I went out, it was a bit more humbling than the grandiose facade of the gambling cliff face. Things moved at a small town pace. It was kind of nice to watch people go about their day, living their lives. I did visit the local museum but forgot to make a stop at the war museum as well. However they did offer some exhibits that are educational. I later hiked the good 2 km  back to the bus station. There, I took a few more shots with my camera. Watching the clouds roll in and out as the sunset was almost romantic. The stores were closing up as I made a small stop at a coffee and just sat back to watch the news. Of course, my town makes it in the news. Kind of reminding me the stay here was temporary. After hiking 4 km back, I decided to shift into a bit of night photography. I did bring my tripod in case I wanted to make some long exposure compositions. As I scrambled for my gear, I realized I left my tripod mounting bracket in my other camera bag. So what was going to be a long night turned into a night to just grab some food and catch up what I’ve missed in the past day.

The last day was absolutely sublime. I made another trek out to the Falls. I left my room while it was still foggy out but as I neared the river, the fog had absolutely clear. Perfect time to catch as many landscape photos as I can. I even got into the mood into shelling out money to get into a few places to snap a few shots. I spent the entire afternoon and morning forgetting to eat while I took every opportunity to take a photo. By the time I sat down to eat, my back was in a lot of pain from lugging my camera back around. Perhaps I should’ve taken some advice and gotten a backpack for my camera.

After eating a feast, I finally felt it. Sitting at a bar in a odd little town right in the middle of the hotels and casinos, I miss home. Being there was great but something gnawed at me to return. I brought everything I can for the week knowing I would stay for half. Now I wanted to head home.

Sitting on the train ridding back in the dark of night. Watching each town back until I come to mine, it felt oddly strange coming home. Felt like I spent a month, it wasn’t much of a vacation. At least the excursion has taken my away from my life just for a little while.

Perhaps I should travel more. Perhaps someday.

Love Is Strange

On the week of Valentine’s Day, I started to play the new prequel to Life Is Strange. I was completely blown away at what they’ve done with the old characters while introducing new characters.

As someone who played the first game, there are a bunch of references. While I know what happens in the first game, I did my best to think about this as the “first” game in the series. I’m not completely done but it is so far really entertaining. There are a lot twists and lots of moments where it’s fun and sad. Life Is Strange played with my heart but Before The Storm really feels like a heartbreaking game.

Chloe and Max are probably the two characters in any video game yet that reflects how I perceive the concept of love. It’s a difficult subject to grasp and no one would every get it right, but we all understand it in out own way. What it means to us and what it matters to be with and without.

The game feels so much shorter than the first but I can’t wait to finish the 3rd episode and wait for the bonus episode.

I deserve this.

This week is a mushy week. I’m trying to ignore it while I plan for a small trip.

Yup, I’m really committed to this. I’m thinking a few days out of town just to unwind and see new things. I just need to break the monotony of living. After a rough December and summer, I really need to feel I can feel care-free (or at least the closest to it.

So for the past week I’ve been looking into cheap lodging and things to do on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. I’m not a gambler and I don’t want to do the ultimately touristy things. I still want to see some museums and local nooks. At the moment, I just need to sort out of logistics of packing and whether I should bring along a laptop to store any photos.

I know it’s the middle of winter but I’m determined that even in winter, there is a warm moment in a cold season.

Here You Are Again

Odd thing that happened on my Facebook recently.

Occasionally, I like to cull my private online profiles. Ridding people I’ve fallen out of or haven’t seen in a long time. Sometimes they’ll never add me back, which I’m totally okay with and I’ve been on the receiving end of a social media culling a few times. I can totally understand however this one time when I lost someone physically and they disappeared off my friends list, it felt terrible.

Setting: recently, I accidentally set a status update to public and they liked it back. Honestly, a lot of emotion flooded back when I was first notified. I do think of them fondly however knowing they still bookmarked me is interesting. When I first realized, I didn’t know how to react. I wanted to let them know I’m alright but open to talk. The best I could think I could do is just write another status update.

This is a first for me and I’m not quite sure if I did the right thing. As the shy me, I would say I handled it well.

What do you guys think?

Back On This Road

It’s been a month and I’ve been staving off my prescription. Rationing every pill, forcing myself out of a cycle.

I’ve been lacking proper routine. Lacking a continuous “feel good” emotion, I feel I’m the only one who just feels sad all the time. Happiness eludes me and here I am waking up in the afternoon hoping I can get one thing done. I’m starting to spend long nights watching YouTube and browsing photos. I loathe this existence, I always wanted more and in a positive manner.

I’ve been having a hard time to really kick myself into doing things. The things I like doing feel heavier to do. Why can’t I just be normal – as normal as I can be without feeling terrible.

I’m going to relax a bit before I have an anxiety attack or something. At some point, I have to talk to my doctor.