End of 2018

It’s getting close to the end of this year. As I’m writing this, I have hardly slept and spent a few nights laying in bed wondering and thinking to myself. I have slowed down in writing my thoughts in my blog in this latter half because I haven’t been too well since my doctor passed away. I am still hoping I will get the help I need before it’s too late. I just have to practice and find a balance to everything which I hope can help me away from my malaise.

I haven’t picked up my camera in the past month. Starting to feel bad about it since I haven’t taken a lot of photos. Looking through it’s viewfinder, I miss how it feels and the joy it use to make me feel. Perhaps around Christmas or after Boxing Day I’ll take up photography again. The most difficult part right now is keeping up with work.

Getting a seasonal gig with my former employer is great, despite all the pain I went through last year. I hope eventually it will turn into a part time job considering the first time I felt fairly qualified to work more than a sales associate, assistant manager perhaps? Regardless I’m glad and I get to see all the people I’ve met before, though I have forgotten most of their names.

As what I hope to be the second last post of the year I guess I should try and make a list of all I have accomplished this year. As per my doctor’s last recommendation, I’m starting to look into a lot of cognitive therapy to cope. So…accomplishments:

  • Went to Niagara Falls for the first time In January it’s still beautiful despite the cold, icy, wet weather. I wish I spent more time.
  • Surpassed 300 photos on 500px. Also surpassed 10, 000 shots on my first DSLR camera.
  • Bought a new laptop. For now I have two but eventually I will have one once I feel comfortable enough to part this old thing I found in the trash. You have served me well.
  • New toys! Bought two used lenses, one (almost) brand new lens, and a used camera body. Overall I paid market price after having them professionally cleaned.
  • More recent, started to look into sleep meditation and actively managing my depression. The ADHD behaviors I can accept but the feeling sad stuff needs a lot of attention.
  • Enjoyed a long lost hobby, reading! I’m nowhere near attentive for novels but I’ll accept a good narrative after playing Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Which reminds me, I should preorder the comic book.
  • Finished Fallout 4. Now I can move on to other games. Hopefully that gaming list shrinks quickly.
  • Paramore!! Second time I saw them live. Still great but I connected more with their previous album.
  • Getting on the dating scene? A bit embarrassing but I can own up to it. Been on way more dates than the last 4 years combined. No winners…yet.
  • A year without Star Trek Online. I haven’t logged in for so long. I think I can finally move on since the Kelvin timeline and Discovery kind of gave me a sour taste for it.
  • Nuit Blanche art event. Spent the entire night checking out all the arts and culture. Last year was way too political. Still very crowded if not worse.
  • Bought CD’s. An old medium but once I get a portable disc player, I’m going to have fun.
  • I got Instagram to share some photos.
  • I got business cards, I wish I could add my Instagram on them. They came first.

Still more to come in the last few weeks. My plans are to buy the SNES Classic and maybe the NES. I’m thinking of another Niagara trip either Niagara-On-The-Lake or somewhere small. I still want to snap photos and hopefully punch through to 400 on 500px. Lastly…

…I want to write my final post for the year. Stay tuned!

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Pretty Beat

Recently I’ve been struggling keeping up with the hobbies. I’ve been partially working or been on my feet. It’s summer or what it feel like it here, but it’s a good time for photography. This year I’m hoping the summer will be more productive for photos. At the same time I’m excited to finish Fallout 4, however another game is slowly taking over my life.

Yes, after a couple years…I finally downloaded Pokemon Go. Just this past Friday and since then, I realize how dangerous this ago because I almost got hit by two cars and bumping right into a wall. Luckily I’m not so mindless that I would run full steam. However walking distracted is dangerous, especially in a large city involving many sharp objects. It’s like being a child again and your parents forgot to make the entire house child safe. Anyways, I’ll be trying to stay away from playing while moving. Though I kind of understand most of the good stuff in the game is found on avenues. So if anyone is still curious, please look and bee aware of your surroundings; this is not a drill.

With photography, I would like to push out and use my tripod more often. However at the same time, I want to travel and shoot something different. Seeing my city kind of loses it’s appeal. I like landscapes here and I think this year I’m blooming into street photography. I usually stayed from taking pictures of people in this shots. So shyness from snapping people, it’s diminishing and I’m getting comfortable with finding the shot with people in the scene.

Anyways, that’s where I am now. After the crazy stuff happening in the world and restraining to spout all the problems around me, I’ll try and write down the topic and hopefully I will remember it later.

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.

Last Post 2017

Next week’s going to be a new year; a year older, another year.

I’m just here watching the rest of the Jingle Jam. I’ve been a fan of the Yogscast but these charity streams I do find to be the best part of my year. After the year I’ve had, this is likely the best part right up to the end. However it’s been difficult to really watch these archived streams on YouTube. Not much to view but at the same time has given me an opportunity to see new indie games. At least I get to see the old and usual stuff, like a live podcast and some “live” games.

Last night I couldn’t get away from a 6 hour stream from Zoey from the Yogscast playing both The Sims 4 and a discussion on mental health. I was surprised when we began to talk about her struggle with mental health and how I’ve been over the past decade. From a person I don’t know to hear the same words, this oddly familiar connection based on an illness. After hearing from her and then playing this new game I’ve never heard about, it was like watching a simulacra of what I’ve been through for most of my adult life.

After seeing her play through it for almost an hour, I might want to pick up “Please Knock On My Door”. The hardest part was fighting my own thoughts while she and the game narrates the similar dialogue.

There is nothing easy about battling a mental illness without a cure. There is no phrase nor pill can cure it. Just keep holding on…

…even when things look bleak.

I think next year I’ll just keep fighting myself. I have to hope and keep telling myself things will get better. I just have to whether I should believe it or not.

Long Imaginings

Recently I had the opportunity to take part of brainstorming an alternate universe, a universe which could someday be. I always want to think about a different place and time, something beyond the here and now.

Fantasy is something I enjoy a lot when I can’t reach out and obtain it. It’s kind of odd to imagine a world without the USA, but a conversation directed to it gave it an interesting thought. I’m not much into political science but I couldn’t help to wonder how the states of union would go their own ways.

I guess it’s why I like tactical games, getting the control and to play the person in control. At the same time, which is why I like the loss of control in a survival game. In survival it’s all about thinking to regain some control. Always out of reach in a survival, a good survival game would keep me seeking control.

The appeal of video games, it can take me away yet keep me rooted to reality.

Settling Into The Holidays.

I’m almost done with work. Just a couple more weeks, then I’m going on a month long gaming binge. Recently I’ve been spending a couple hours a day at a time recording and editing. It’s been kind of bit slow since I haven’t hit the gym in a couple month, I should return to the gym but video games are so much fun. I would like to push hard to record all those games I bought so many moons ago, all 4 games. I doubt I would complete them within the month since most of them are sandbox games; I would like to at least finish Prison Architect, Call To Arms  and one more (Skyrim if I can binge the entire game). Speaking of which, I’m about $30 away from owning the entire Skyrim collection; just two more DLC’s!

Speaking of games, I’ve been looking around to all the people I’ve met who would like to play more cooperative stuff. The last coop recording I did was in Insurgency which was fun, but I think I should do something different and interesting. Trying to see if there is a game I have and someone wants to spend a few months or more on it. Space Engineers does take forever to get somewhere interesting. I have Star Trek Online, I could do the story campaigns with someone in odd ships.  I might return to The Long Dark, not co-op but I would like to at least die in the game. However The Long Dark suffered more like Stardew Valley where I lost interest. Ryan, the guy who I use to play a lot of Pulsar:Lost Colony, had Empyrion: Galactic Survival but I would like to go the survival stuff with a partner or a group. Especially starting from scratch and ending with a large ship or completing the massive project.

As I’m editing my gameplay, I’ve been watching a lot of livestreams. Not sure if I ever mentioned or tried to look up what I need to stream, but I recently looked up how much I really need to stream in HD. Safe to say, I’m no way close to a bandwidth to stream; maybe a 480p stream, could be less. So I can hardly play a game with a live audience, maybe some day when Canadian ISP’s were cheaper. For now and until next time, I’ll keep recording and playing.

Busy Busy

Really, two weeks have gone by without a post?! Wow, I thought I had something ready last week. Anyways, here I am!

Recently I’ve been bogging down my internet with uploads of Prison Architect. Actually quite different since the last time I read anything from the developers. I didn’t realize there was a campaign and more items to build. As I’m writing this post, I’ve uploaded the first part of the sandbox gameplay and a bit of chapter 5 has been published.I still have a lot to upload. I do miss playing long sessions and editing it down. I’m still shying away from adding effects in Lightworks. I’ve said many of times, I upload to share and not to profit; well, that’s the case for now anyways.

In December, I think I’m going to push this new hard drive and play and upload like crazy since work is going to ease up closer to Christmas. However recently I’ve gotten into watching some live streams on YouTube Gaming. Like Twitch and Hitbox.tv, I have a major problem with people playing a lot of games from the mainstream. Mainstream games like Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, the new Call of Duty and Battlefield, it seems there is just a lot of streamers who just wants to play these games and nothing else. Maybe I want to see smaller niche games make it to the front. Any web developers from these companies, there’s an idea for you; make me a stream search filter for small games and streamers with a certain amount of viewers. Back to topic though, I’ve seen a lot of Life is Strange and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Kind of tough to find games to watch since the games worth watching don’t have streamers.

There’s my weekly update to my blog; more like a bi-weekly, but I almost made it through an entire year with a post a week.