Gabz/mL

A day in the life

Today was my, both my last day working from home and a day off. Like I had said before, I had an itch that need it to be scratched. This morning I took the girls to the grandparents, as always and head out to downtown Boise. In my mind I was going to spent like 3 hours snapping pictures. It was actually about 40 mins or so. It was very strange, Downtown Boise looked like a ghost town of sorts. But I had a good walk and manage to capture some pictures. It is always interesting how I snap so many pictures and only 10 of them, I am happy with.

Here are a few,

I think some of them are okay.

Having scratched that itch, then it was time to head back home. Once I got home, some self care. Had coffee and breakfast. After breakfast, it was time for a workout. Kept it simple and yet effective, did 10 double handed swings and 10 push-ups, alternating between them until I had completed a hundred of each. Then some extra one handed swings, just for good cardio.

Next on the list was yard work. Spent a little over and hour working on the yard. Usually just mowing takes me about 30 to 40 minutes max. Also while still keeping an eye on my work email. A few things that were due today and even thought other people could take care of them, I still felt compelled to be around for. Finished with the yard, cleaned the girl’s kiddy pool and made it ready for them for when they got home.

Next, I knew my car needed some care. It’s been a mess on the interior for months now and it was starting to grows me out in a way. Guess that’s what happens when you’ve got two little ones riding with you. Went to the local car wash, mainly for their “free” vacuums rather than the actual “car-wash”. Now I won’t be ashamed if someone asks me for a ride.

I feel accomplished, not too shabby, if I say so meself.

Now it’s time to relax, beer and pizza — and Trolls. That’s the new hotness around here, Trolls World Tour.

A love letter to Gears

November 7, 2006, Microsoft Studios released Gears of War for the Xbox 360 by Epic Games. At the time, I had just gotten the Xbox 360 console. Before that, I was a PlayStation only kind of guy. I had no idea about this game, never read anything about it, or had seen anything. The only thing I remember seeing was the teaser trailer one time at my local GameStop. Using Michel Andrews Mad World was kind of nice, at least for me. I remember everyone at the store looking at the TV, everyone quiet, just watching, then everyone was raving about the game and everyone had pre-ordered it. I was still skeptical about it, at the time I was not a huge fan of shooters, I mean, I had played some shooters in the past but hadn't for a while and especially since I had gotten the Xbox 360 and Halo 3 hadn't been released yet. Yes, Halo 3 was the first Halo game I ever played.

Another interesting fact about November 7, 2006, it was my first day working at GameStop. I remember getting there about an hour early before my shift and buying the game, using my employee's discount for the first time (Win!). I remember loving this game almost instantly. Loved the setting, the mechanics of the game, the graphics – everything. I really got into the story and its lore. As far as I was concerned I had never played anything like it before. This was a whole new experience for me as a video game junky enthusiast. I played this game in every mode, on every difficulty. I remember playing on Insane Mode, all by myself, except for the las Boss -- RAAM. Fokin RAAM, he was impossible, even in the lower difficulties, which is why I had to call a friend to help beat him in coop-mode.

Before Gears, I had never played games with online multiplayer. I was always a solo-campaign type of player. Probably due to the fact that back then in Puerto Rico, internet providers weren't the best, and I think this was what made me persuade my parents to get DSL internet, we were still on Dial-up, I think. Also with DSL the speeds were terrible maybe 1 Mbps or something like that, maybe even less. I don't remember much but I do remember asking my parents to get DSL so I could play online games with my buddies.

This game, we (me, my co-workers at GameStop, and later others) played this game, religiously, every single night, after work for the next nine months of our lives. Every single night, the same people, we would be playing this game online, no matter what. I remember we got so into it and all bonded so much over this game, that we even had LAN Parties. Remember those? We would bring our Xbox's, our friend who was hosting, happened to work at an IT Company so he borough a bunch of PC monitors, we brought beer, snacks, pizza, we would have a blast.

This game means so much to me, not because I think is the best gaming experience but because of the bonds I made and all the mementos around this game. I still play it to this day, the Ultimate Edition, however. The remastered version of the first game. Obviously, it has enhanced graphics and all that jazz, and even some extra content. Every time I feel nostalgic, I play this game. I don't ever get tired of it.

All that being said,

Gears of War > Halo

😜

A TickTick surprise

Every now and then when trying to optimize my workflows I find a neat surprise, something I wasn’t expecting to like. The other day while I was doing my day job stuff, I found myself needing to “jot-down” some tasks quickly before I forgot. I had uninstalled Todoist from my work computer, really not sure why, but I remembered I still had TickTick installed. I opened it up, launched it and starting entering tasks into it. The best feature TickTick on Windows has (or so I thought) is the Widget. Unlike Todoist, TickTick comes with a nice looking widget you can have always present on the desktop, so I always have a view of my daily tasks without having to actually open or the web app. Yesterday though, I had discovered by accident what I think now is its best feature – Quick Add. No matter where I am I can use “Ctrl + Shift + A”, to quickly capture tasks. The way I discover this, I do a lot of “Save As” for many documents at work “Ctrl + Shift + S” instead I clicked “A” and TickTick’s quick add shows up. This blew my mind! Sometimes is the little features like this that make things a whole lot better. I have tried TickTick many times in the past, never sticking with me. I am still playing around with it and so far it’s been used exclusively for work. This app has been one of those that, I know it’s good but never quite liked the user interface and such. Who knows, maybe it will sneak its way into my personal life too but, at this point, I doubt it.

IN OTHER NEWS:

I might be retuning to the office soon, as soon as next week. Just waiting to hear from my Boss, I might be either working morning shift, 5:00am to 11:00 am, or 11:30am to 5:30pm. That are just making sure which one is the safest for me in my area.

Photo itch

For a few weeks now I have had this urge to go out to the streets and snap a couple of shots. I miss it. All the pictures I have taken for the past four months have been in my house or at the patio. No street photography, no cars, people or street art. I have an itch that need to be scratched.

I have been thinking, maybe after I drop the girls at grandma’s in the morning, I could drive downtown, snap a couple of pictures and head-back to the house. Downtown Boise is not that big so it won’t take me more than an hour to visit my usual spots and walk around a bit. It also will be early enough to avoid any crowds and yet, I sort of hesitate with the idea. With the COVID-19 and the numbers of cases quickly rising again, I worry a bit.

Again, I would take all the precautions, wear my mask, keeping social distance, pepper spray in case someone gets too close (I kid, I kid). Maybe I can do it, again Downtown Boise isn’t the busiest and crowded area, at least in the morning hours.

Happy Cuatro de Julio

Fourth of July celebrations feels somewhat foreign to me, like something that has nothing to do with me. Just like the same way Cinco de Mayo it’s celebrated by some. Something that also has nothing to do with me. Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 has never been independent, first we belonged to Spain 🇪🇸 and now we are a “colony” of the United States 🇺🇸. Thus, I have no clue what this ideal/sentiment of independence is like.

Happy Cuatro de Julio y’all. Pew pew!

Something I liked this week Volume 29

Children of Morta

Last night, I finished Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction vidjia game. What a fun ride. Not sure whether or not I’ll replay it, I think I might, like the way to re-read a good book.

Also last night I started Children of Morta for the Nintendo Switch, while me lady was watching her tv show. The pixel art in this game is beautiful, awesome narrative and also very different from any other game I have played before. Usually before I purchase a game, I do some research. For this one though, I didn’t. I purchased the game a while ago while it was on sale, purely because of how it looked and not knowing much about it at all. Never got around playing it until last night thought. It recently got some free additional content so that put it under my radar again.

This game plays like a rouge-like dungeon crawler. The stranger thing about this game (to me) is that every time you die in the dungeon, you re-spawn back to your house but you keep all the money you’ve gathered and you can buy upgrades before returning to the dungeon. Also, there’s more story told after every re-spawn. When you return to the dungeon, even thought is the same stage, it is different. You still keep advancing in the story but the dungeon changes.

This is what I understand so far about the game, the story is really good, the narration is awesome and the pixel art is amazing (I’m a sucker for pixels). Needless to say, I die very often in this game but the fact that I can still upgrade my equipment and skills and the little stories in between re-spawns, makes dying not so frustrating.

No more Anna

I may be speaking too soon on this one, but there is a high possibility that we are passed the "Anna"/ Frozen II obsession stage. Now, it's Trolls World Tour. For Marley, story is repeating itself, in a way. She used to be obsessed with the first movie of Trolls. It was her "Anna". Now, a few years later, she's obsessed again with the Trolls, different set of songs this time. It was a little bit of an adjustment for Luna, the main "Anna" obsessed of the two.

With Marley we never had the situation in which she would get "scared" of things she'd be watching. For example, a dinosaur roaring or a fire monster, stuff like that. Luna on the other hand, she's a scary cat in some ways. For example, we are watching Moana and she loves Moana until Te Ka shows up or the big dinosaur in the Minions movie. At that point she starts running, looking for the Apple TV remote, bringing it to either one of us screaming "Anna, Anna". With Trolls World Tour, a similar situation when the Rock Trolls would appear. Fortunately she got passed it and now she likes them and is no longer "scared".

It is fun to watch, especially Marley, on front of the TV dancing and singing all the song in the movie, she's now obsessed with Crazy Train, just the "Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye..." part for now though el-oh-el , oh and "Trolls who wanna have fun". Luna watches be she is not as excited as her older sister.

Either way, I much rather watch this movie, I think I am over with Frozen II. As far as Trolls World Tour goes, it's a fun movie to watch, I really like it quite a lot. Now, let us see for how long that stands.

Kiko in the dark?

I have done some tweaking to my default theme, Kiko. Made each post a little spaced out from each other and the body narrower. A few tricks I have learned from Kahlil Lechelt’s Kiko System mod when I first joinned Micro.blog. And thanks to this CSS script by @ka, I have learned my way around it. No matter how many other templates I try, I always end up back to Kiko.

Anyhow, I have also made some teaks to my Dark Theme. I have always said that I am not a huge fan of “Dark mode everything” but the more I experiment with it, the more I kind of want to keep the theme in the dark, instead of changing from light to dark depending on the system’s settings.

We shall see.

Something I liked this week Volume 28

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction

If you fallow my blog, you'd be well aware, or at least you should be, that I am deeply into Jack Carr's books lately. If you like conspiracy theories, espionage and that kind of stuff, you should definitely check these books out. I am actually on my second listen-through of all three books!

Anyhow, given that fact that I am so into this genre I have recently picked up Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction and if you know of Tom Clancy then you know why it was no surprise. I think Lieutenant Commander James Reece is just as badass as Sam Fisher.

I had played this game before, when it first came out back in the Xbox360 days, played for a few hours but I don't think I ever actually finished it. The game it's now 5.00 USDs at the Microsoft Store and that made the decision to purchase it even easier.

Back then I was playing this game as plane shooter, now, it feels like I am reading a book, I mean not as well written but close. Except that in this book you die, you will die a lot if not careful. Still, I am having a blast playing this game and probably will pick up Black List after I finish this one, maybe.

Starting over?

Am I the only one that some days feels like, nuking my blog, revamp it and start over?

IM Conversations

Before pandemic/WFH:

Me: Good morning [REDACTED]! Can I get this file for [REDACTED]? Please and thank you!

CW: sure thing! I’ll send you an email shortly!

Me: thanks

During pandemic/WFH:

Me: Hey [REDACTED], good morning, hope you and your family are doing swell. Could you please verify this batch number for me really quick? And By the way. How’s the dog and the 3 cats? How’s the little hedgehog 🦔? Cows? Any plans for the 4th? I don’t have any, maybe a BBQ. Do we work Friday ? I have been asked this all weekend long and I have no idea.

😂 I need to get out more.

🍿 Watching: Batman Returns

Batman Returns

In the second of the blockbuster Batman films, the physically deformed criminal genius The Penguin threatens Gotham City–and, helpless, the entire city can only pray that Batman Returns. Only Batman (MichaelKeaton) can defend the city from total chaos as The Penguin (DannyDeVito) lays twisted waste to a great metropolis. Meanwhile, the Dark Knight may have met his equal in the lethally lithe Catwoman (MichellePfeiffer)–only he doesn’t know if she is feline friend … or foe.

When I drink

There is something that happens quite often when I have a few beers in the evening. I get nostalgic, specifically about music. Last night for example I had a few beers, as you do, the girls went to bed and I was left alone. I put on a movie, Angel has Fallen, to me more specific, when then I picked up my phone and started browsing for music. When I do this I usually go down memory lane and into a rabbit hole.

This morning I woke up and after some coffee and time with the ladies, I decided to go out for my usual walk/sprinting thing I have been doing lately. Usually I would be walking and or running while listening to an audiobook, today though, I just wanted music. I open the music app, look for my downloads, songs and press shuffle. The first few songs that came on were the usual ones in my phone, or at least the ones I knew for sure I had intentionally downloaded. It’s about .30 miles from my house to the track. Once I got to the track, well, one of the random songs I had downloaded kicked it, X Gon’ Give it to Ya by DMX, which it got me all pumped up and took of sprinting. Next was Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nothing Ta Fuck Wit, and I’m like “all right”! The next song, Girlfriend (feat. Nelly) by NSYNC.

What?

Right now, my local library is a mess! el-oh-el! I have everything from Wu-Tang Clan to Hilary Duff, to Britney Spears and or course, my favorite latin music!

GREEN ARROW YEAR ONE

Sometime in early April, the comic book artist Jock, known for books like WYTCHES, Batman, The Loosers, DREDD and many other books, did a book give away. Luckily for me, I happened to win a copy and it showed up today. GREEN ARROW The deluxe edition, I can’t wait to dive in on this one!

Zac Cichy on widgets

Zac Cichy (@zcichy): Apple evolves things slowly. They don’t just implement new features for the sake of doing so. When they finally happen to get to something that’s been on Android for years, people call it copying.

Curious. What could Apple do that wouldn’t be called copying?

Zac Cichy (@zcichy): When Apple’s competition has tried to squeeze in every feature they possibly could regardless of whether or not it was done well, there is very little Apple can do that someone else hasn’t tried at some point.

Reminder: Actual implementation and execution are everything.

Zac Cichy (@zcichy): Windows Live Tiles are the perfect example. Is Windows Mobile even a thing anymore? Nope. Did it have some good ideas? Yep! Were those ideas executed well?

Clearly not. Microsoft had to kill Windows Mobile (or Windows Phone) in 2015.

Zac Cichy (@zcichy): I remember having conversations with friends in 2014/2015 about how I believed iOS would eventually implement widgets. That widgets (if done right) could remove an abstraction layer between the user and the thing they want access to.

It’s the way iOS was always going to go.

Not wrong.

Progress log

Today I did my walk/run thing. I walked to my nearby track and did some intervals, running the straight part of the track and walking the curves, about two to three laps of that. Then I walked out of the track and to the street. Walked my way back to the house, walking and sprinting the uphill parts for a total of 3.42 miles. Today it felt different than previous times, no pain on my feet or shins whatsoever. I call that progress. The goal is to be able to just run the 3 miles instead of the run/walk.

🔗 We are doing fine 🦠

Coronavirus update: New coronavirus cases in U.S. soar to highest single-day total, with Texas, California and Florida leading the way - The Washington Post

Across the United States, more than 36,000 new infections were reported by state health departments on Wednesday — surpassing the previous single-day record of 34,203 set on April 25. Texas, Florida and California led the way, with all three states reporting more than 5,000 new cases apiece.

Doing great guys! 😒

🎮 SEKIRO

I have started to play: Sekiro Shadows Die Twice — again. I first got this game when it first came out, I even pre-ordered it. Dropped the game not too long after. The game it’s a little difficult. It kinda reminds me of NIOH, another game that I love everything about it but suck at the gameplay. These games require patience and strategy, something I sorely lack of. I’m more of a guns blazing, hack and slash type of guy. Me against a thousand solders, overpowered weapons and magic! 😅

Either way, I want to give it another go and see. So far I have just played the first 10-15 min of it and died at least 5 times already.

That’s a hell of a start!

🔗 Selling Oly

Olympus Is Selling Its Camera Business to Japan Industrial Partners - Technology News

Olympus has announced that it is selling its camera division to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). This is the same company that acquired Sony’s Vaio computer division, and it is now looking to absorb popular Olympus brands like Zuiko and OM-D.

Oh wow, this is kind of a big deal. What does this means to me, I am not sure. I currently own an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III and a few prime lenses. I do enjoy the camera and always had a desire for other products in the Olympus line. Of course I have picked at other camera manufacturers but the ones that attracts me the most are far over my budget (looking at you Leica).

At the end of the day this probably won’t change anything for me but we shall see.

Have I lost my voice?

Something I’ve noticed recently it’s a slight change in when I am “writing”. Let me explain, usually, every time I am writing or composing a blog post I hear my own voice in my head as I am typing. Lately I hear someone else’s, and the pace and rhythm , for lack of a better word, it’s also different. As if Ray Porter, was in my head! I guess this is what happens when you spend too many hours listening to audiobooks narrated by him. 😅

Hiding (ignoring) politics

I need to hide all the Twitter apps I have, not opening them unless I am mentioned. As much as I try to avoid political stuff, it’s hard to escape them there. I get angry and frustrated and thus, depressed. I may see a thing or two here in the Micro.blogs but it is not as “in my face” like in the Twitterverse.

Pal carajo la mente sana...

Back in the day, I want to say mid 90’s, there used to be this reggaeton (Puerto Rican rap thing) duo called Las Güanabanas Podridas (The Rotten Soursops). They had a famous song that would go something like,

Y pal carajo la mente sana, yo lo que quiero es marigüana

Meaning, “screw healthy/sane mind, I just want marijuana”. Mostly making fun of the propaganda that we had a the time against drugs. Healthy body, healthy mind kind of thing.

Well, turns out, these days, if you want to maintain your sanity and mental health in check. Some may argue that a little bit of marijuana goes a long way 😅, plus it’s legal in several states.

That being said, I do not smoke/consume marijuana or anything of the sorts. I just happened to be listening to the song a minute ago and made me think. 😁

Mother Earth Brew Co. Big Mother

Name: Big Mother
Style: American Imperial IPA
Brewer: Mother Earth Brew Co. - California
ABV: 10.5
IBU: -
Rating: 5/5
Notes: This is pretty smooth and semi-floral for a triple IPA.

🙌🏼 Watch Watchmen for free

Watchmen:

#Watchmen begins in Tulsa, 1921 and explores the legacy of systemic racism in America. We’re proud to announce @HBO will make all nine episodes available for free this weekend on t.co/dvMR4HmhI… and On Demand, and will air a marathon of the series tomorrow at 1PM ET.

Hard days

On my road to getting back into staying active and exercising more regularly, there are hard days like today. Yesterday was leg day and I haven’t worked out as I did in a long while. It was a decent kettlebell leg sesh. The usual workout goes like this:

5x

  • 7 KB Thrusters per side
  • 60 seconds rest

10 min EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute)

  • 8 walking lunges
  • 8 double-handed swings

I modified the second part of the sesh. I quickly realized that I currently don’t have the “stamina” of doing this on EMOM. I noticed I was been too slow and only had about 12 seconds of rest in between rounds. So instead I would complete the 8 lounges and the 8 double-handed swings and rest 30-45 seconds in between rounds, sometime seven 60 seconds for good quality rounds.

Today, well, I am sore, very very sore! Also, I feel exhausted, usually, leg days do kick my butt and I need a good night rest which I didn’t have last night. My fault though, I stayed up too late playing Halo. I had finished Halo 4 and quickly moved on to Halo 5. SO today I am having a hard time focusing a little bit due to the lack of rest.

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