Checkpoint: So That Was 2017 Edition

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What a year 2017 was. It started out real shitty (literally) as I started off the new year battling a nasty stomach illness. I reached a low point in February of 2017 where I was exceptionally harsh on myself for taking early relationships too seriously. I recovered quickly and not long after, I met my very special lady. She’s the one.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty details but her and GameDealsCanada have been the primary reasons why the posts on this site have been sporadic. Life is getting in the way but that’s okay. I’m still finding pockets of time to express and jot down some thoughts here.

GameDealsCanada continues to break personal records and I’m finding myself interacting more with followers. Everyone have always been supportive of my work but 2017 felt a little extra special for whatever reason. While the website remains largely the same, the backend deals posting process underwent a significant upgrade thanks to my girlfriend.

In 2017, I unexpectedly entered the 4K HDR arena with the purchase of my LG OLED55B6P. The old LE8500 bit the dust and I’ve been basking in OLED for the latter half of the year. I didn’t really take advantage of the new screen until I watched Planet Earth II on UltraHD Blu-ray in early Decemeber. That’s a beautiful showcase for 4K and especially HDR. Gaming wise, I started to take advantage of the 4K HDR goodness with Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

Speaking of delayed reactions to my new toys, I didn’t really take to Nintendo’s new platform until I brought it with me on a couple of Toronto trips. I didn’t really appreciate the hardware’s strengths until I sank my teeth into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I was able to play the game everywhere.

Health wise, I’ve been alright. I’m maintaining my weight and keeping up with exercise but I can do better. I need to get myself back in a rhythm and schedule with the stretching, pull ups, push ups etc but at least I’m staying on top of getting my steps in. Something is better than nothing, I guess.

Gaming wise, 2017 was light for me. I hear there are a lot of fantastic games but I just didn’t have the time to play many of them. I’m struggling to make a list of eligible 2017 games that I’ve completed let alone a top 10 list that I’m happy with. I might cut it down to top 5 for this year.

2017 was pretty awesome for me on a personal level and I hope the good times roll forward into the new year.

I’m currently working my way through Persona 5. I think it may end up being my last game before the 2017 game of the year cut off on Resetera. So far, I’m enjoying it very much but at the same time, I find myself getting sleepy inbetween targets.

Checkpoint: 2016 That Was Edition

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By many metrics 2016 was a good year for me. I bought my first car, the 2016 Chevy Volt. I’m in best shape of my life. My family is in good health. And I applied and got my first job since starting my career in the public service 10 years ago. I even met some wonderful people and dated a couple of them over the summer. I also joined Facebook in 2016 but the jury is still out on whether that was a positive move. 

I don’t normally reflect on the year that was like this but I feel like I need to take stock and remind myself of some of the positives.

Material

Charting material gains is easy. New job = more money. New car = increase in “status”. And GameDealsCanada continues to do make great strides. I really have no complaint in this department.

I’ve been able to get a lot of things to help my family’s lives both immediate and long term which makes me very happy. 

Physical

I could be working out more efficiently and make greater gains in less time but I choose to go down my own path. As a result of fitness bands, healthier eating and the aformentioned workouts, I physically feel fantastic everyday.

It may sound a bit strange, but I’ve learned to appreciate the outdoors and the city that I live in a lot more since I embraced these fitness bands. Pokemon Go made me aware of some low key landmarks but it didn’t have the lasting power or impact of the Fitbit. Now I take complaints about my abnormally fast walking pace as a compliment.

Mental & Emotional

For the first time ever, I felt the weight of depression during the holidays. It’s a strange sensation because I have always prided myself on being mentally tough. The last few weeks have been mentally exhausting. I don’t even know why because I actually don’t have much to worry or fuss about in the grand scheme of things.

What doesn’t help are the Trump related headlines that I read throughout the latter half of the year. I’m not a political person but Trump’s assault on the very basics of human decency drew me in more and more. Having to explain (or read explanations) on why you should treat people fairly is soul crushing. I need to stop reading his nonsense but it’s just so tough to ignore. 

Loneliness is a factor but I think its a strong case of the “grass always being greener” on the other side. I was in a relationship earlier this year that ended amicably. We reconnected during the holidays and seem to be making this “stay as friends” thing working fine. I have no desire on pursuing a romantic relationship with this person but I have a desire to go out and just spend ultimately meaningless time with her. But if I boil it down further, I don’t necessarily want to be with her but more like the fact that she fills the role of being “good company”. I chalk this all up to holiday sentimental nonsense that I found myself surrounded with. 

I have to thank GiantBomb for helping me stay distracted through it all though. I haven’t watched many shows or movies this year, but GiantBomb’s nonsense has kept me sane. 

Here’s to 2017

I don’t do new year’s resolutions. I just have a set of ever evolving goals that I build upon when I feel like it. I didn’t set out to start working out in 2016, this workout regiment was born in 2015 or so as me wanting to regain some semblance of decent shape with the small goal of being able to lift my own body weight with ease.  I’m not here to set a goal of meeting someone amazing either.

2017 will be like every other year thus far where I stay the course and continue to improve myself as I see fit. I will continue to address the concerns and issues that I face on a daily basis and just enjoy each and every day as much as possible. For instance, the immediate challenge right now is figuring out why my dad’s snowblower’s snow chute isn’t rotating properly. 

I don’t know if I will check in with another post like this at the end of 2017 but I found this helpful this year.

Checkpoint: A Little Website Update Q3 2016

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You may have noticed but if you didn’t, I’d like to highlight the fact that this website is now encrypted via Let’s Encrypt‘s free SSL. Through SiteGround, it was easy as pie to enable SSL. If all goes well with this site in the next week or so, I’m considering enabling it for GameDealsCanada.

The only thing keeping me from enabling Let’s Encrypt right now is the relatively shaky ground GameDealsCanada is operating on. Wordfence, Cloudflare and other issues make administrating that site an annoyance. I’m receiving a lot of 500 errors when trying to access certain areas of the WordPress admin page. There has to be a way to perform a health check on WordPress sites right?

Dragon Quest VII is comfort food in game form and Overwatch is just a ritual at this point. There’s no letting up on the latter and with the impending Halloween seasonal event, I can see myself and the GAF folks that I play with pour in more time.

Checkpoint: GameDealsCanada Q4 2015 Edition

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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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