Checkpoint: Odyssey Into Christmas Edition

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: Black Friday 2016 Edition

This year’s Black Friday haul continues the trend of me not buying games. This year includes activity bands, kitchen equipment and some clothes. My 12 year old self would have been livid if he saw this list:

  • Fitbit Alta
  • Fitbit Charge 2
  • A pair of Levi’s 559 Jeans (Range)
  • Cuisinart CGR-4NC 5-in-1 Griddler
  • Steam Link
  • TEKTON 5941 Digital Tire Gauge

To be fair to my 12 year old self, I did buy copies of Pokemon Sun and Moon but they were not part of the Black Friday festivities. It’s not that I have everything I want; quite the opposite actually. I’m just more diligent about playing what I have and not wasting money on games that I may not get around to any time soon.

With TitanFall 2 done and a review nearly done, I’ve refocussed my efforts on Dragon Quest VII. TitanFall 2’s campaign was splendid but successfully breaking into the top 3 on the Gauntlet was even more satisfying. 

Checkpoint: Black Friday 2015 Post-Mortem Edition

Black Friday is essentially done and dusted. The sales are out and while it’s conceivable that something may catch my eye on Cyber Monday, I believe I’m done shopping. So what did I buy? Not many games; actually more home appliances and other non-games than I imagine.

  • Nest Thermostat 3.0
  • Black & Decker Platinum BDH2000FL 20-Volt Max Lithium Ion Flex Vacuum
  • Logitech Harmony 650
  • Aveeno Hand Lotion
  • The Order: 1886
  • Axiom Verge
  • Pixelmator
  • Puma El Ace Core Shoes
  • Puma Gamechanger T-Shirt

An solid haul. I’m a little bit perturbed by’s last second inclusion of taxes & fees but it’s ultimately my fault for not paying attention to the final price. (I mistakenly believed it was USD to CAD conversion.)

I wanted to buy other little knick knacks here and there but with Boxing Day looming a month away, it was best to wait.

I finished Grow Home. I recommend it but not on the PlayStation 4, the framerate issues are nauseating.

I’m still playing Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s multiplayer and now that I found some GAF people play with, I can see myself continuing for quite some time. Objective games like Domination are just more pleasant to play with players who are committed in capturing objectives, covering flanks and move in numbers.

Checkpoint: GameDealsCanada Q4 2015 Edition

Black Friday is almost upon us and for most people it’s an opportunity to find discounted gifts for themselves or loved ones. For me? It’s that plus the gathering of deals to share with others. This year will be the first with GameDealsCanada’s website which means it should be a little easier to maintain but, at the same time, take a little longer to produce. Early leaks ultimately helps me for that big day. The more time I have to prep deals for both the site and the social media channels the better.

Last year’s debut of the website on Boxing Day was a huge boon. Folks found it helpful and I found it a bit easier to I always want to bring a little extra something and this year I wanted to improve the filtering component. I like to stay with the latest and greatest of things but this filtering plugin is so finicky from version to version, I’ve actually stuck by the old mantra of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” with it. And the crazy thing is that I actually paid for this thing and it’s so shoddily maintained.

I believe the next big thing I want to incorporate is search. The basic search is functional but it isn’t as robust or comprehensive as other product searches on other sites. To properly implement search, I will need to do a lot more data entry and I just don’t feel like going down that route.

It’s times like these when I wish I had employees or developers on staff.

I wrapped up Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s campaign earlier this week and I strongly believe that it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable by my lonesome. I’m playing the multiplayer and enjoying my time with it despite the fact that I’m finding myself on the losing side more often than I would like. It’s a combination of matchmaking deficiencies, people not playing for objectives in objective modes and the weight of individual performances in a Call of Duty game.

I started Grow Home but it’s going to take some time before I wrap that one up. I’m enjoying it but the pull of Call of Duty is still too strong to ignore at the moment. That and the pull of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.

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