nawkcire

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

Tag Archives: toronto

Short But Sweet

Video games is still happening on my YouTube channel. I’ve been playing more Stardew Valley, but I’ve been trying to find some time to record some Call To Arms after fixing the weird launch bug. I could not, but instead play some other sandbox game.

The past week has been pretty hot so my sleep pattern has been heavily erratic. There has been nights where I wake up sweating and nights I would lay in bed exhausted but so hot I can’t even pass out. I’ve been in this situation, I’ll persevere.

This week has been a bit hectic. I haven’t been keeping up with anything aside from taking photos and keep on top of my work. Since I don’t have anything to talk about this week, I think I should just share to what I have taken recently with my Canon Rebel.

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Until next time, enjoy these photos!

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Day 27 – What’s in…

Simply put, I have no closet. I keep my clothes in drawers if they are not laying around my room or in my backpack. Sometimes I carry clothing in case it gets colder than I would think. With that fact, thanks for reading everyone!

…Oh, still here? Well…I guess I can share what I did recently.

Recently I went to my local airsoft store to make a small purchase. Just some decorative and protective equipment when I noticed they have a mystery box rolling around. For those new wondering what is a mystery box, it’s a package of miscellaneous items with the opportunity to gain something hard to get or worth more than the value of the box. In the spirit of being my first mystery box I have ever purchased in my life, I thought I would snap a few photos for posterity.

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When I bought the box, I was surprised it was in a non-descriptive envelope. Not much more than a cushioned letter sized package. Rest assured I would get the following items:

  • Shemagh
  • Rubber ninja star
  • Len protector for a reflex sight
  • A velcro Canadian flag
  • Airsoft gun barrel cover
  • 3 premoistened lens wipe

On top of this, I would assume I would get a receipt for one of the following (note all these are airsoft guns):

  • 1 in 25 chances for a 1911 pistol
  • 1 in 50 for a Desert Eagle in Black
  • 1 in 50 fir the same but in Silver
  • 3 in 500 for a FNX 45 pistol
  • 3 in 500 for either a G18 pistol
  • 3 in 500 for G17 pistol
  • 1 in 500 grand prize of an MP7 in black

Out of the list of hopefuls, it looks like I could get a pistol out of this deal. I’ll sell myself short on the MP7 since I’m in no rush for a submachine gun. However I am looking for something more compact for indoor play. I’m not a fan of the Desert Eagle as lovely a pistol it may look. The FNX looks a bit big to me. The two Glocks may be difficult to obtain so the logical and most likely extra is the 1911.

Time to open this sucker up.

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As promised, I have all the guaranteed swag. The flag to me is a bit disappointing because the proportions is a bit off and the velcro is protruding out. I already own a barrel cover for my M4. The anti-fog wipes are a nice thing to have, they’re about $2 a pouch. The ninja star is a neat item but I doubt I will ever use it on the field. With the face mask I bought in the same place, the shemagh might be very helpful inside and outside of airsoft.

The box was cheap and had some interesting goodies, I might someday buy another at the same price and unbox it.

The Raccoon “Problem”

In recent local news, there has been a lot of talk about preventing raccoons from getting into the garbage. Not only rolling out new bins which are deemed “raccoon proof”.The idea of stopping animals from getting into my trash is laughable. Not just the idea of an impenetrable plastic box but also the fact that change how it opens would fully stop the raccoon. Classically we categorize animals as hunters, prey and scavengers with their own techniques for survival. The predators outsmart their prey. The preyed learn to evade. The scavengers; well they do what they do best, stay out of the way and survive. The do this well by coexisting with other animals and learning to outsmart other animals while keeping their distance. They are in between prey and predator, they can adapt easily and think independently. This intelligence is critical when surviving in the human cities.

Ever since cities have been around, there have been scavengers claim this as their territory. Mammalians and avian, they lay wait to pick apart our waste to use for shelter and food. So far as a species we tried to eradicate one species at a time since they bring in diseases and disrupt life within these cities. Ever since cities have been area, pest control has been an issue. Many of which are ingenious involving new technologies and innovations to push them out while some are simplistic as declaring open season on these creatures. While wildlife preservation is positive in it’s own right, we have to realize some of these buggers are bloody smart. With warm weather, these raccoons are going to be all over the place. In early May, I went to the gym early in the morning. I found a lot of raccoons foraging through the garbage bins left overnight for pickup. If you live in the city, you have seen these  raccoons. They’re massive; when they become road kill, they become organic speed bumps. We look for humane and conventional means to eradicate but perhaps our past could help with this dilemma.

Like fur trading of old, we should try and lower their numbers by hunting them. Using their big pelts to craft clothing, perhaps turn it into an internal economy. People can hunt the raccoons for pelts and the pelt scan be traded to turn them into clothing and the meat (if it’s not too gross) can be fed to humans or pets. My city has a lot of people who specialize in designing clothing, there has to be one person who can turn a raccoon pelt into an awesome cap. This would lower the raccoon population and at the same time have something to wear in the fall or have something to export to the world as a clothing material.

I’d say when a common creature like a raccoon populates the city, we should try more direct approach to decrease their numbers especially if they’re carrying parasites and diseases.

On The Outside – Thoughts On Anime North 2015

Waking up at 10 am after a long night of visiting the Toronto Congress Centre, I am unsure where to begin. I guess starting with the statement “be gentle, it’s my first convention!”

Before I signed on travelling to Anime North, I knew anime culture was a trending undertone of the city. I remember the days of trading Pokemon cards and reading Japanese graphic novels. I have never been an active participate and I regret never being immersed into these worlds of fantasies and fascinations. After a brisk line up to receive my tickets, I went on to check out the booths. Marvelled by the products around the world, I was more fascinated with the fan art. I’ve seen artists do incredible things with a pen and paper, but there are things I’ve seen done in many mediums ranging from simple to complex, cute to magnificent. I’ve seem metalworking rivalling trinkets made for the same franchise by a large manufacturer. I’ve seen glass made into plump animals especially in pigs of various colours and sizes ranging from the side of a fingernail to something that fits in the palm of your hand.

From famous fandoms and things fading obscurity, the artist talent astounds me. There were a few things that stuck out for me which I wish I could have snapped a few pictures. While browsing the “Crafter’s Corner”, I was transfixed on a steampunk pocket watch and pouch. The engraved artwork over the over and the intricate overlaying gears atop the brown supple leather pouch, it was surprisingly subtle and detailed. Perusing the penmanship of various artists over the floor, some have a very tradition anime style while some have more western influences. I regard them for their amazing eye for the mixtures of colour in their medium. Best I could do is a stickman and a childish tree (and clouds; puffy round clouds). Next through these bay doors laid a bare room with dividers seperating a concert and what I would guess is a VIP hall. Here I strolled through the tabletops games, I realized they brought the main attraction of cards. Which doesn’t bode well in sharing and celebrating the gaming culture; I’m a gamer and I was expecting this place to be just as packed as the main hall. Beyond the Magic and Pokemon TCG’s, there were some much more obscure games as well as the popular offerings of Warhammer, Catan and vintage game cartridges.

Unfortunately I didn’t bring enough money to spend on all the things I wanted. No watch, no piggy, no Steampunk Palin (yes, this exists). So next year, I hope I have a job so I can at least splurge on a few things. Definitely I have an eye on neat trinkets if they haven’t sold them.

Though it was my first time going to a convention and for due reason in the past, I believe my exposure to crowds (and a proper breathing technique). The atmosphere was more like a festival than a classical convention. It was more to uplift fantasy into the real world and to solidify it as pop culture phenomenon. Beyond the cartoonish figures and artwork, there was a small presences of other pop culture niches like sic-fi and steampunk. Multiculturalists say we are the melting pot, then Anime North is a melting pot of youth pop culture. Connecting us from here to all over the world, it was an interesting experience I hope I can someday return to with the same friends.

News for Fools

Yesterday, I had a a bit of fun on my Twitter account corresponding with a local radio station. To give you guys to speed, the local station on the top of the hour always reports a bit of the daily news. For chuckles since it is the Internet, I made some interesting “headline” news in 140 characters.

Rather dictating each one I had for the day, I think I will post a few here I considered but turned down. To follow a format, I had to keep it under 140 characters, quoted and with “more at [number between 1-12 depending on the time of day].” So here it is, for the laughs:

“Local man shoots self in foot, finds gold. More at 5.”

“Physicist says sky is not blue, but periwinkle. More at 4.”

“Woman sees for the first time. Saw seashells by the seashore. More at 9.”

“Martians come to Earth, returns with Curiosity. More at 1.”

“What you’re kids are doing right now that should worry you because we tell you. More at 2.”

“FDA approves sword swallowing as source of iron. More at 7.”

“Gun laws now require license for you to sat ‘pew pew’ in public. More at 8.”

“Microsoft is now a religion. Apple users declare holy war. More at 2.”

“World leaders elect ‘Supreme Master Leader of the World’, Joe from Arkansas. More at 1.”

“Ambassador of Nigerian prince approaches UN for aid. More at 2.”

“Facebook’s hired monkeys unionize, goes bananas. More at 3.”

“NSA to release what you did last summer. More at 6.”

“UN decides to separate world citizens into 12 sections to fight to the death. More at 6.”

“Scientists discover dihydrogen monoxide is extremely unhealthy. More at 10.”

“People like grapes. Census agrees. More at 11.”

I am surprised I haven’t found a job just to write this stuff. I am not much of a prankster, a witty jokester perhaps. Anyways Easter is coming and and I know a few people are taking some time off while I’ll be here doing what I’ve been trying to do for a long time.

Until next time readers, Happy Easter.

Into Airsoft

As I am writing this, I am ill. Being stuck in bed means I am and for the first time blogging from my phone. Hopefully everything makes sense and spelling is fairly correct.

So what have I been up to this week? Much has happened since my last post. First being I got sick which I am recovering slowly yet terribly. I sure how I got sick but I know it felt like it came suddenly starting with a scratchy throat. For the moment with some medication, I can function with little interruptions.

On Wednesday, I paid a visit for the first time to buy some airsoft equipment which I am happy turned out well. Though I am short two magazines and some clothing, over the coming month I might be able to fill it all in. In the mean time here a pic of all the things I bought.

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In the picture is my brand spanking new airsoft gun from King Arms with a gun bag for legal reasons. I bough a lithium polymer battery and a smart charger. Though travelling to the store was tough, I think my entertainment budget is effectively maxed out for the year if I don’t find a good way to make up for losses.

Speaking of entertainment and losses, my adventures in The Long Dark will be on hiatus for awhile. I am starting to feel a bit burnt out from travelling. I think my sickness is getting to me. However on good news, I did record some Pulsar Lost Colony so those episodes will be uploaded and published.

Also some time soon, I will convince Jessica (“Allahweh”) to start a co-op playthrough of Starbound. I hope soon since my summer scedule is getting packed.

Speaking of which, recently I had a nice chat on her Gaming Goddess Podcast. We talked mostly about streaming and space games. I have to admit I was nervous but I think I was okay as a first timer. Definitely would like to come back on her show.

But for now, I need to rest and heal. And hope I am better tomorrow.

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Ironies Of The 21st

Lately, my city suffered service disruptions from the power company. Throughout the night, my lights were flickering like a rave. In my finite wisdom, I turned down the lights and continued to surf the net and charge my phone. After a good hour of playing video games, I went to scour the internet for services that would be useless without power or cellphone reception. Here’s a short list of things I found for my locale.

Bus Schedule

In a large city, you are bound to encounter public transit at least once. Most of the time, the system does keep all neat and efficient and have boards to tell you approximate bus times and the routes where the stop is located.

Assume you are ever connected to the internet and you look up everything on an app and public transit decides to knock off the paper schedules lined on each stop. If the wi-fi kicks out, you stuck with a pretty useless app to do anything at all, neat waste of space on your phone. If the power goes out, there is a likelihood (If you are on a data plan) the cell tower will be knocked out of power or service would be dodge since a small crisis.

Good luck standing out there in the winter wondering when the bus will arrive as you stare as you search for service.

“Keep updated at…”

A lot of businesses and services are using social media these days to link back to their website or link toward social media itself for additional information. Though I agree, businesses should be transparent and allow the clients and customers to view current shakeups and hiccups. However I found there are some are not really that important. On my Twitter account, I don’t usually follow services and business around my area. When I do, it’s usually on a appreciative level. If I go there often and I like what they do, they get a follow eventually.

I don’t need to be in the know of a new product or a pre-order I will likely never want to purchase. If it’s really good, I will follow until I have to throw you overboard because this ship only has so much cargo room before you are no longer needed.

Back to services like say your power, phone or ISP; this makes me giggle a little bit. If the power goes out, you can’t check for the latest information on the power company’s website on a desktop. If you’re experiencing a service disruption from your ISP, you’re boned because you don’t have access to the net to find out what’s going on; and don’t bother calling the phone company either if you own a cellphone.

By then you are literally stuck in the dark. That is enough information you will need for the time being.

All the money in the world

This goes closer to the new technology to remove plastic cards out of our lives by having phones you can tap to transfer funds.

You do realize how much power you have on a phone right? On idle, you get about 12-24. Once that screen is active you are looking at 2-6 hours. This is all assuming certain setting are in play and you do not own a battery pack to carry more power.

Indeed convenient to have a all you plastics and accounts on your phone in a “super high tech encryption that is 100% hacker proof”. But what if you suddenly need to go on a shopping spree? There are days where I personally made purchases about 12-15 hours apart. As a person who doesn’t obsess on charging my phone, I keep her on sleep until I need her. In reality, the only benefit you get our of a consolidated electronic payment method is really just convenience while sacrifice availability. Better to have it on you than there but your cellphone is dead.

One last thing…

In the end, the best conveyance of funds and communication is just what we already have and not the electrical gizmos they’re trying to sell. People say I’m a bit nuts to have cash on me. You never know when you enter a place that’s “cash only”. I lived in the digital age before the digital age; we used coins on payphones, paid by either credit, debit or cash and we still have them around because of it’s popularity and ease of use (Probably not as much as payphones).

Regardless how emerging technology makes everything convenient, there will be some that would complicate your life when you rely on them the most. Call me old school all you want; but I want to be flexible so when one thing fails, the other will have my back.

Before my laptop dies and until next time, paper and plastics will always be more reliable than photons and electrons.

Inspiring Turn of Events

So yesterday as I was working on my Starbound Hardcore, I had a long winded talk about a subject for a span of 2 or 3 episodes. Listening back to the discussion, it’s a constant reminder of how I operate as a person. When I’m motivated and dedicated, I could talk about the subject; more so compared to off-the-cuff discussions.

I realized also recently, I’ve been watching a lot of airsoft videos again. I’m not quite sure if I should pick it up as a hobby. The reason behind it is the initial cost and availability where I live. I have done the reading and a bit of research in the past, but I think what’s stopping me is where to play and where to buy and store my equipment. Assuming I do have the equipment and based on what I watch on YouTube, I think I would prefer the milsim (military simulation) games which isn’t viable within a large city like mine. For me to transport this equipment, it would cost a lot from home to field since most milsim games seem to occur about a 2 hour drive away from my city. Along with milsim games, I do like the team aspect of these games which also brings us to the next point; meeting people. The question is not just meeting new people but how to meet up with these team organizers and finding the right team for me. Personal preference I would prefer a team closely aligned to my values and ethics to what a team is and a local team for meet ups to work closely with them. From my perspective a team should be able to work together regardless of skill. Skill is what it takes to survive but teamwork keeps the group together. That is a blog post for another time. In the moment and at this time, I am interested in playing airsoft but I feel I need to be under someone’s wing and guide me through it.

For now and until next time, I can just keep dreaming.

Happier

The last week picked up fairly quick with better horizons ahead of me. I have been both very active and very tired, I’ve learned I’m a bit of a workaholic; the one thing I never thought I would become. 

Starting off, I’m reaching close to being straight broke. I’m slowly reaching out for welfare to keep myself afloat. My financial situation is a good smack to the face to job hunting. Even though I have been meticulously scouring all the resources available to me, I still think I’m still far away from where I want to be. The hardest I find about this is I don’t have enough to really keep going indefinitely. In my home grown pride, I don’t feel comfortable on handouts for food and funds but I think I might have to take advantage to what I can provide myself.

Just recently, I finally got a bit of employment and even with that, it’s not going to cover everything to keep me going. It’s not enough to help me move out and not enough to live on my own even with assistance from welfare. This is the irony of being born and raised in the city; I want to live here but at the same time the city seems like it doesn’t want me around. With all these “opportunities” you read about in the newspaper or from people who are living their lives and looking at you. Reality is never black and white and never the shades in between. At least a bit of employment than no employment at all; when you’re hungry and wanting more to your life, does it matter if you’re overworked and underpaid? On a positive note since I got a position working in the food industry, I get to learn more about making food and handling money; which is good especially when it comes to customer service positions in this city.

With more to do with my life, the less I feel I have to worry and the more I can feel productive. I feel really rejuvenated yet relaxed. It’s been too long since I felt a sense of purpose and the need to move quick. In the coming weeks, I hope my schedule will be packed with work. My aim is a 10am to 6 pm work schedule during the weekdays and be on call during the weekends. At the moment like a quest, my “on call” optional is done; just have to complete the main tasks to finish the quest.

Nuit Blanche Toronto 2014

I do enjoy the arts, visual and auditory stimulation gets my heart pumping at times. Seeing the ways someone can express themselves through mediums in a manner which may be conventional and non-conventional is inspiring. However as a public display in a metropolitan city, things do get complicated fast and is more of a drunken party than the expression of the human heart and the creativity of the mind.

At the start of dusk, the festivities start with street side food as shops lock up for the night. Walking south on Spadina, the crowd slowly pouring into and out of Chinatown. Moving on the asphalt, density of the crowd becomes viscous as honey if not a thick dark syrup. As I wade into the epicentre the crowd seems joyous and enthused about the art. As I moved closer on foot,  the streets were littered with people enjoying the installations; varying in size, shape and meaning. It is unfortunate I was not able to travel to a quarter of these a exhibitions, here’s why.

At around 10 or 11, there were people who went for drinks and started to flood the streets with these boozed up bodies. As the night progressed, I kept getting bumped by people fumbling and stumbling. It reached to a point where it became a street party afraid as I see people harassing motorists and pedestrians alike. I did my best to enjoy it, but to the every street was full of drinkers, drunks and clubbers. To my realization, this city is full or drinkers; social and otherwise. As the night went on, it was just more and more a inebriated street party than an appreciation for art and talent. By the end, I was a bit annoyed and fatigued and went home to for a well deserved sleep in the early morning.

Out of the 10 hours I’ve been there, I can only say the best part was the start. The reason is clear, I don’t like drunks. In this city, way too many bars and way too many people wanting a beer. For those coming of age, here is some advice on drinking. Consume in a responsible manner and with responsible people. To you, it might be fun for you while you’re drunk but the sober folks have to deal with you crap. Trust me, you probably act and look like an idiot when you drunk.

I’ll still participate in events like Nuit Blanche again, but I’m going to only show up for the first hour because at least the crowds won’t be rowdy and drunk.