Checkpoint: Odyssey Into Christmas Edition

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It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. Christmas injected itself into my house in the form of a fancy tree. Learned how to change tires. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales came and went. And plenty of Super Mario Odyssey was played.

Changing Tires

I decided to learn how to change my tires. It seemed like an easy and useful skill to learn and it yields a couple of benefits including saving time and money. I bought the tools and equipment several months ago and finally put them all to use earlier this month. It was surprisingly easy! I’m not nearly as fast as other people but with enough time and practice, I’m sure I can swap out tires in no time.

Here’s a list of the equipment and notes that I found useful.

The Jack

  • I purchased a 2 ton hydraulic jack and while it works, I would buy a 3 ton one if I had to do it all over again. I’m told a 3 ton jack is a bit more stable and even easier to lift a vehicle with.
  • Convert everything to kilograms to make sure your jack can support your vehicle. Or just buy a 3 ton one that should support it.

Impact Driver & Bits

  • Only used to remove bolts. It’s a nice luxury to have but not really necessary. It’s recommended that I tighten bolts with a torque wrench.
  • The bits can also be helpful when hand screwing the nuts in.

Breaker Bar

  • I bought one for $10 but I didn’t need it because all my bolts came out without a fuss.

Torque Wrench

  • I thought I didn’t need one because of the impact driver but now I have to pick one up for myself.
  • Screw in nuts and bolts in a star pattern!

Work Gloves

  • I need some nice gloves to keep my delicate digits from getting dirty.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

My haul this year is rather light and a bit weird:

  • Torque wrench
  • Vitamix 750
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Electric toothbrush

The big takeaway from Black Friday & Cyber Monday was what my girlfriend did for me. She went into my Google Sheets that I used and included a handful of extremely useful automation formulas. It impressed the hell out of me! I had considered looking into automating more of it but I just never got around to sitting down and spending the time on that part of the deal posting process. It was greatly appreciated!

Christmas Is Here

It wasn’t even American Thanksgiving yet and the girlfriend already had us putting up a tree. She loves Christmas and all its trappings whereas I enjoy this time of year for the time off. It’s a very nice tree and she did a marvelous job picking out the ornaments and lights. It’s just unfortunate that she won’t be around for most of December to enjoy it.

Half Way Through The Odyssey

I watched the credits roll on Super Mario Odyssey but as with other Mario games, it’s not really the end yet. There’s just so many more Moons to uncover and collect. I think this is where the game truly begins as the challenges and other tricks unfurl.

Checkpoint: Weekend Movies Edition

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We started watching Blade Runner on Friday. I watched the movie for the first time a few years ago but I watched it on DVD. I thought the movie was good but watching it on a 55″ HDTV was a bit too much for the 480p movie. 

I enjoyed the movie but the grimy and unclear image of DVD left me wanting. This Blu-ray remaster of the Director’s Cut is very impressive. The CG hasn’t aged particularly well but I’m still impressed with how clear everything comes through. We’ve only watched half the movie (GF got sleepy) but I’m finding it a more enjoyable watch this go around. I’m hoping we wrap it up sooner rather than later. 

The girlfriend’s enthusiasm for the Marvel Cinematic Universe™ resulted in us watching Thor: Ragnarok on Sunday. I found it entertaining but it will likely fade into memory as “just another” Marvel movie in my mind. My problem with the Marvel movies (and most superhero movies) is the lack of weight for many of the actions. They seem to treat death in a very Disney manner which is to say: they give it screen time and quickly move on. They don’t seem to care about who lives or dies (except for the faceless innocent masses) so why should I care? I know Thor isn’t going to die; he doesn’t even seemed to be phased by the loss of an eye.  

Speaking of eye: I don’t know if I grew a more discerning one for computer generated imagery or whatever but I found much of it in Ragnarok to be poor. Any time the CG interacts with humans, it stood out. I’m very curious to see how all of these movies stand the test of time.  

I finally saw the credits roll for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There’s still more to do and I didn’t see the true ending yet but I’m currently satisfied with what I’ve played. I’ll be summing up my thoughts with a review shortly. Up next? Super Mario Odyssey. 


Checkpoint: ResetEra Edition

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Last week it was the death of NeoGAF. This week, it’s all about the birth and rise of ResetEra. ResetEra is essentially the successor to NeoGAF – in name and in technology. The ethos behind the forum remains; don’t be a jerk. The strict moderation and registration processes continues but now the forum is powered by XenForo which coincidentally is the successor to vBulletin which powered NeoGAF. 

I still find myself tempted to visit NeoGAF out of habit and morbid curiosity. It is all but dead with the mass exodus that took place. Some forum members traverse both ResetEra and NeoGAF but the community threads I followed are virtually lifeless on NeoGAF. While it is certainly possible that 24,000+ members are new comers or previously banned GAF members looking for a fresh start, a large contingent of the active community migrated over to ResetEra

I’m flabbergasted with how quickly ResetEra ramped up. The technical team over there have done a marvelous job standing up the website and its influx of members. NeoGAF was notoriously spotty with availability during E3 times so it will be interesting to see how ResetEra will fare under that load. That is: if they manage to draw that kind of traffic.

I’m content with the new “home”. I see a lot of familiar faces in my usual hangouts and all throughout the site. 

Super Mario Odyssey is here but I also have a fair chunk of Breath of the Wild to play. What do?!

Also, Metroid: Samus Returns is a very good video game.

Checkpoint: Death of NeoGAF Edition

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So NeoGAF is essentially dead. NeoGAF will never fully recover from the mass exodus of members and moderators after its founder was accused of sexual misconduct. This Waypoint article by Patrick Klepek details the events that transpired over the past weekend. I will miss the community but I won’t miss the site or its owner. Apparently some community members and former moderators are putting together replacement forums but what will emerge as the true successor to NeoGAF will not be known for some time. 

I loved NeoGAF for introducing me to so many games, stories, music, movies, and wonderful people. The wonderful community even helped me get GameDealsCanada off the ground and introduced me to GiantBomb. 

I love the community’s restrictive application process and lean interface. It wasn’t perfect by any means but it kept a lot of nonsense at the door. I loved the idea behind these strict and lean approach because they wanted to distill the forum to its essence: the discussion. It’s why so many developers and industry professionals dared to wade in and participate. The moderation team — for the most part — kept discussions on track. 

So while we all wait for the dust to settle, I will continue to hit the shortcut on my web browsers like I’ve done so for so many years. Old habits die hard.

I was fighting a stomach thing for the past few days and as a result I’ve made significant progress on Breath of the Wild. I can probably beeline it towards the end in preparation for Super Mario Odyssey but I haven’t felt that urge to do so yet. 

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