Category Archives: Reflections

A new year, a new computer.

Okay, technically it’s still December 31st, but it’s New Years somewhere. Just thought I’d make one last blog post for 2013.

Christmas came and went quick this year, and I got a bunch of games, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops IIDead Rising 2: Off the Record, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist among many others. But that’s just gravy, because I got this thing a few days after Christmas:

Cue Also sprach Zarathustra…

This wonderful beast here is my new PC. I was long overdue for a new one, my previous PC was an HP Pavilion PC that had an AMD Athlon 64X2 4400+, 2GB of RAM with a 250GB HDD running Windows Vista. I got that PC in 2007 as an emergency replacement PC, as the previous PC died due to a fried motherboard. While it was serviceable for the first few years, over the past 2 years it’s been less than stellar. Even with a Radeon HD5770 in the box, the old computer struggled to run anything. Crysis ran in single digits even on low settings. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive would suffer from hitches, unusual texture glitches and random crashes. I’d have to lower graphical settings on games constantly to keep a decent framerate. Other games I didn’t even bother to try because the hardware was just woefully underpowered. Even Chrome and other programs would just start freezing randomly for no reason. It was a mess, and I suffered with it for years.

After some prodding from my dad over the year, I decided to finally get a new PC. This one’s considerably more powerful: An Intel i5 4570, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD running Windows 7. After taking my HD5770 out of the HP and putting it in the new box, the differences were obvious. Games ran faster, loaded quicker, and ran smoothly.

55230_screenshots_2012-07-23_00001

The difference between the old and new machines are obvious, even with 2011's Saints Row the Third. It's literally night and day. The difference between the old PC and the new PC are pretty obvious, even with an older game like 2011’s Saints Row the Third. It’s literally night and day.

Since I got the thing I’ve been throwing many games at it to see how they run. From recent games like Borderlands 2 to older games like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV.  GTAIV was surprising, considering I heard the game wasn’t well optimized for computers. Even running Doom under the GZDoom source port and playing resource-intensive levels like Scythe with the Terrorists mod were not a challenge for this new PC.

and yes. I did test Crysis under this machine. Though, Crysis 2 or 3 would be a better benchmark in this day and age.

Yes, I did test Crysis on this machine. Though, Crysis 2 or 3 would be a better benchmark in this day and age.

I went with a local shop in Portland called ENU. There are reasons why I did this instead of building it myself or going to a place like iBuyPower:

  • I don’t feel super-confident in building a PC without breaking something in the process.
  • I didn’t want to order a custom-built PC from out-of-state because I’ve heard of too many horror stories of people’s machines getting damaged in transit.
  • I want to support local businesses, and it’s easier to order a machine from somewhere local and it prevents the above situation from happening.

The machine cost $840 overall, drastically more than an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 with all the trimmings but this setup means I won’t have to upgrade for the next several years. The only thing I waited on was a new video card, because the card I want (a GeForce GTX 760) is a bit out of my price range at the moment.

This new PC helps me out in many ways: I shouldn’t have as much trouble capturing and rendering videos now. This’ll give me an incentive to play more of my PC games. Maybe this will give me the push to write more things, who knows? But this is something I definitely needed to do, because that old PC was nearing the end of its lifespan, and I’d rather have a new PC ready than wait for the old one to die. My previous PC lasted me six and a half years, and I hope this machine lasts that long.

As 2013 winds down, my goals for next year will be to write more. I was doing well early in the year, but it tapered off as the year went further along. Yet surprisingly, I’ve been updating the Secret Area at least once a month since its inception. I will push to write more about my travels and experiences next year compared to this year’s, among many other things. And if I start slacking off on that, feel free to yell at me to write more. Maybe that’s the motivation I’m missing. 😛

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My issues.

I crossposted this to my old Livejournal, because I felt like writing an entry there. But then I realized it’d be helpful to post it in both my old and new blogs, for anyone who cares.

I will say with all honesty that Livejournal has been completely phased out of my life for the past year and a half. I never check it, and most of the people I knew on it have since abandoned it for greener pastures, usually of the Facebook/Twitter/Google+ variety. I’m on all three and check them almost hourly.

When I placed a link to my new blog spot on WordPress, it was more for me to end a chapter of my internet life and start a new one. Plus Livejournal is a remnant of the past, a past that at times I’d love to forget because of stuff I’ve written about myself on there — relationship problems in high school, personal problems, posts that are embarrassing in retrospect — is less than stellar. It’s of a past that still haunts me to this day.

Starting this WordPress blog was me wanting to start anew, to forget the past. Writing stuff about TV shows, suggestions from my internet colleagues, and eventually writing about other stuff I like. Most of the short entries I wrote on LJ are almost perfect Twitter fodder these days. Everything else usually appears on the WP blog because the things I find are interesting enough to write about. I even started a new WordPress blog dedicated solely to goofy gaming stuff, because I felt there wasn’t a big field for such stuff.

The only thing I worry about is failure. Unfortunately, I keep thinking that I have failed. Failed as a writer, as a humorist, and more importantly, as a person. Let’s put it this way: In my father’s 55+ years he’s been on this planet, he went through many personal turmoils but eventually persevered as one of the most important contract estimators in shipyards in the Pacific Northwest for over 25 years. I turned 26 about two weeks ago and I’m still a High School graduate who’s never had a job. I even dropped out of community college. I partially blame it due to laziness but also because of reluctance.

I want to “feign independence” so to speak — have a job/career, a place of my own to live in, and a steady income — but I feel like I’m not quite “ready.” I have to second-guess everything because I’m convinced once I make a choice it cannot be taken back, and if it’s the “wrong choice” it leads to “failure.” It doesn’t help that there are times where I say something and it doesn’t come out right, leading to a humorous but unintended outcome that sticks with me too much. I hesitate because I want it to sound “right.” I don’t want to make a mistake.

This also applies to my writing. There are times where I’ve gone “What the fuck was I thinking writing this?”, subsequently rewriting almost everything I had written so that it sounded like I wasn’t a babbling retard mashing on a keyboard. Or outright not posting it anywhere. There’s times where I’ve written comments and then removed them instead of posting them, for fear of how the person may react. It’s because of misinterpretation. One time I pissed off a high school friend on LJ because I made a sarcastic comment about what to do with her boyfriend on Valentine’s Day, trying to use an in-joke from a completely different community. Needless to say she didn’t like that very much. It’s stuff like that makes me go “No, no, can’t say that” and end up deleting stuff I say before I even consider posting it.

This is one of the things I don’t mention much on the internet outside of a handful of people I know and trust. The last times I mentioned stuff like this, I was called an “emo kid” and an “ungrateful cunt.” That’s why I never mention it on the blog, and barely mention it on Twitter or the other social media sites. There are times where it’s justified to act that way, but when I even slip up on simple things and get mocked for it, I can’t help but hide my head under a pillow. I’m one of those emotional people, you see.

Needless to say, my life has been less than satisfactory. And it’s my own damn fault. Not anyone else’s. I think I need to see a therapist.

Turkey Day parades and a load of nostalgia.

Today is Thanksgiving Day and as I write this, I’m watching some guys perform a song from a musical that involved Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been one of my yearly Thanksgiving staples, namely because I always hope for something related to my fascination with game shows and/or video games to show up.

I kind of remember when I first started watching around 2002-03. Some dumb teenage kid said that the Sonic the Hedgehog float was going to be in the parade, only for it to be a no-show. Thankfully it was redeemed by having the late Charles Nelson Reilly on one float promoting his “Life of Reilly” stage play he was promoting before his death. After that, I decided to watch just for amusement and curiosity. It seems I’m not the only one.

Back before the popularity of YouTube, Matt from X-Entertainment, a guy who covers a lot of random pop culture stuff from my time (and even before it), chronicled the old Thanksgiving Day parades, starting with 1984’s parade. He continued this for a few years afterwards, but the last one he did was three years ago when he covered the 1991 parade. Man, it makes me wax nostalgic looking at those old pages and seeing stuff from way back when.

I’ve always had that sort fascination towards the parades, as it’s an interesting snapshot of the culture at the time of the parade. While we’ll see a bunch of varied pop culture icons that will rarely ever go away, it’s always amusing to see Power Rangers get a float in 2010.

The only other memory I have of the parades is me playing through a crappy promotional title called PRISM: Guard Shield. While the parade was going on in the background about 4-5 years ago, I was playing the multiplayer of this National Guard-sponsored FPS that had graphics of a bad PC game from 2001 and really bad gameplay. I wonder if it’s still around… (Yes, it is! Still crappy as ever.)

I guess there’s not much else I can say about the parades. I assume they’re not just my yearly routine, but the routine of others. One of these days I want to visit New York and actually experience the coldish hell of the parade. Maybe I can mug the camera for a few minutes, just so we can see less Al Roker. 😛