Checkpoint: Buff It Out Edition

Checkpoint: Buff It Out Edition

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Well, it finally happened. I scratched my 2016 Chevrolet Volt. It was a very dumb mistake on my part. I was careless and didn’t account for a concrete wall. I buffed most of it out by hand but I don’t have the tools to finish the job properly. I brought the car in for maintenance and asked for a quote. I’ll see how much it will cost me to get this properly fixed.

The SNES Classic Edition is a charmer. It needs controller extension cables to be remotely usable in a modern setting. My brother and I relived our child hood and played a bit of our old favorites at my folks’ place. Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Street Fighter 2 Turbo were played.

Checkpoint: Thanksgiving 2017 Edition

Checkpoint: Thanksgiving 2017 Edition

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Thanksgiving normally isn’t a thing for my family. We’ve done the turkey thing and for the past couple of years we’ve been hamming it up. This year has been quite different; I’ll be having not one but two turkey dinners. I’ve also had my share of Korean lunches and dinners after it’s all said and done. I’m in Toronto spending time with my girlfriend’s friends and family. 

There’s something about the traditional thanksgiving rigmarole that makes scratch my head. Why the cranberry slop? Why stuffing? And why turkey? And why do North American immigrants feel the need to follow such traditions when it’s really not exactly their thing? It feels formulaic and forced like Valentine’s Day or any other of the token holidays. Christmas dinner seems to be more freeform and open to ideas which is why I tend to lean heavily towards that holiday dinner. I have similar feelings with traditional Chinese New Year dinners too.

At least it was prepared well and had some interesting tweaks made but in the end, it’s just turkey and fixings. It’s like saying I had the best rice cakes ever — in the end, it’s just rice cake. 

On the plus side, I get to enjoy some quality apple pie from The Big Apple.

 

On the plus side, I’m getting a lot of Breath of the Wild time in. 

Checkpoint: Portable (Near) Perfection Edition

Checkpoint: Portable (Near) Perfection Edition

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I understand why people love their Nintendo Switch so much. It’s portable perfection. Just today I played Breath of the Wild while my girlfriend was getting ready for a wedding as a giant portable. Then shortly afterwards, I plopped it into this Hori Compact Play Stand plugged in the USB-C cable so it could charge, removed the Joy-cons and then resumed playing with the controllers inside the Joy-con grip. 

The only thing that would make it an even more versatile gaming machine is a more compact TV out option. That official stand isn’t the answer but perhaps Nyko will save the day?

But as nice it is to be able to play the Switch however I want wherever I want. I still have a fair bit of stuff to lug around. It’s not a terrible when I have a small duffle bag where I can stash the grip, compact stand, charging adapter, and other accessories. But in the end of the day, there’s still a lot of bulky plastic to carry around.

Breath of the Wild continues to grow on me. The more I play it, the more I like it and it’s taken me a long time to play it. However, unlike other open world titles, I manage to drop in and out of Breath of the Wild without losing my spot. I alway seem to pick up where I left off.

Checkpoint: Smart Garage Door Edition

Checkpoint: Smart Garage Door Edition

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For just over $200 I can control my garage door like that guy above. I can use my iPhone and Siri to open and close my garage door like a fancy guy. That’s a lot of money to make my garage door “smart”. It’s only $200+ if I go through official channels but if I go down the route of Raspberry Pi, I can cobble together something for less than $100 or so.

Do I need this? No but I like the idea of making things in my home smarter for a small price. Nest products like the Nest Thermostat and Protect have spoiled me. Just being able to confirm the status of my garage door for that one time I have doubts about me closing it would be enough to warrant a $100 – $125 investment.

Ideally, I would like automatic curtains and smart lights everywhere, and be able to play music in whatever room I’m in with a few taps on an iPad or iPhone but that’s all a little bit out of reach for me at this moment.

 

 

I’m currently all in on Yakuza Kiwami. It’s a remake of the first Yakuza title and while I dialed back expectations, I’m still left wanting. Yakuza Zero took its time to build while Yakuza Kiwami feels rushed in spots. I feel it would have been a huge disservice to the Yakuza story if I didn’t play Yakuza Zero.

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