Trying out Cities: Skylines

I thought simulation games, like Sim City, were easy.

My experience today with Cities: Skylines made sure it was absolutely clear that they are not at all easy – at least not for beginners who have no idea what they’re doing.

I decided to try out Cities: Skylines because I’ve literally never played any simulation games before, and I wanted to try it out. I expected my experience to be very relaxed and easy – just build some roads, con­struct some buildings, and watch my city grow.

I had to completely destroy and restart my city three times before finally managing to figure out how not to immediately go bankrupt.

Cities: Skylines really puts your city management skills to the test. It starts you off easy, only having you manage a few utilities, but as your city grows, you need to keep track of everything that you would need to survive in real life.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stream my first experience with Cities: Skylines because my streaming software appeared to have some conflicts capturing the game. (When I did a window capture instead, I lagged so much that I think I had about 6 FPS. I already have pretty low FPS when playing Cities: Skylines without streaming, on minimum graphics settings.)

Steam says I have about four hours of game time on Cities: Skylines so far, and in those four hours, I built five cities (three of which no longer exist due to bankruptcy).

The first city I built that managed to stay alive reached almost 2.5k population.

The second city I built was with the infinite money mod, and served the purpose of easing my curiosity as to what the mid-game was.

I stopped playing when I realized I was getting overwhelmed and needed to take a break.

I feel like Cities: Skylines is a much more stimulating game than I originally thought it was, but I think I need to read up on it and do a lot of research on the intricate workings of the city before being able to fully enjoy the entire simulation experience.

This game received quite a bit of hype when it first came out because a lot of people said it was the better version of Sim City that everyone wanted.

I haven’t been completely captivated by the game yet, but I do feel like my first experience with it was positive, and I did have some fun. Although it won’t be a game that I will play on a regular basis, it’s definitely something I’ll boot up once in a while when I have some spare time.

 


 

Hard boiled eggs do, in fact, explode in the microwave

I spent the day at home today.

Before my mom left this morning to tend to the family business, she left some food for me in the re­frig­er­a­tor. It was tteokbokki, which is Korean-style rice cake with seasoning.

A lot of different stuff can be added in with the seasoning; my mom decided to put in some garlic, other boiled vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs.

I decided to eat this tteokbokki for lunch.

I mindlessly removed it from the refrigerator and put it in the microwave for two minutes.

A minute and a half later, I hear an explosion.

I realize that a hard-boiled egg had blown up.

Remembering too late that hard-boiled eggs explode in the microwave, I grudgingly get some paper towels and wipe down the inside of the microwave, dabbing at the remains of the splattered egg yolk. I yank out the rotating tray and wipe it down with a wet rag. After a handful of minutes, everything is cleaned up and ready to be used to continue heating my food.

But I’m not as retarded as you might think. I carefully inspect the food and find another hard-boiled egg. I furiously hack at it with my chopsticks until it’s in 12 different pieces. If there’s no albumen encasing the yolk, there obviously is nothing there to hold in the pressure and explode.

I put everything back in the microwave and set it for another two minutes.

A minute later the hacked up eGG EXPLODES ANYWAY HOW IS THAT EVEN PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE

I spend another five minutes re-cleaning the inside of the microwave.

Before putting the food back in the microwave for a third time, I just completely remove all the egg from the bowl and furiously let it fall in the trash.

There was a third egg hiding under the tteok.

I cleaned my microwave

three times

today.

 


 

Yesterday, I vomited for the first time in four years

In case you’ve been wondering why I’ve been out of action for a little bit, it’s because I’ve been sick since yesterday.

Apparently, something I ate on Wednesday night wasn’t safe – possibly some reheated pasta or some old bacon – and it upset my stomach. Enough that I randomly woke up in the middle of the night and vomited for the first time in literally about four years.

It appears like I got a stomach virus that is preventing me from digesting food, because, ever since I ate this morning, I’ve felt full all day, and the liquids I’ve been drinking seem to be sitting inside of me and sloshing around whenever I move.

So, I’ve been laying at home since yesterday, busily being sick. I start feeling a bit better when I go outside and get some fresh air, but then I rapidly become dizzy again and return to my bed.

I’ve been spending most of my time on my phone, browsing through Twitter, Instagram, reddit, and other sources of interesting content. I’ll probably be spending most of the weekend watching the North American League Championship Series (assuming I’ll be un-dizzy enough by that point to be able to look at my laptop screen for extended periods of time).

I’m hoping I’ll be better enough by at least Monday so I can start posting some more content and get back to my regular daily routine, but that’s not really a guarantee, so expect me to be missing for a little while longer while I recover.

 


 


 

Keumgang Martial Arts receives Diversity Award from Mundelein

Earlier today, Keumgang Martial Arts Academy, which is where I train taekwondo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, received the 2015 Diversity Award from the Village of Mundelein.

I went with the owners today to the reception and ceremony and shot video of the owner’s speech. That video is available on their YouTube channel:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YlJIGL9iKo

I also have a few photos from the event as well. The one I decided to post is of the owners holding the award with village staff, along with parents and students.

The framing of the photo looks a little strange and tight because I cropped out the young students who were sitting on the ground in front of the adults. (I removed them from the photo because there are some liabilities that go along with publishing photos of children that I prefer not to deal with.)

If you’d like to congratulate them, feel free to do so in the comments section of that video.

 


 

Four arsonists in Town of Salem and they still lose

Ed and I have been playing a browser game called Town of Salem lately.

Every time I get arsonist, I always win. As for the other roles, I’m still in the process of figuring out how to play the game.

Possibly as a side effect of that, Ed believes that arsonists are a little bit OP. Usually, when I’m an arsonist, I’m either solo or with one partner.

This particular game, there were four arsonists. And they lost.

Apparently this was a very historic event, so Ed told me to take a screenshot of the game.

… So here it is.

 


 

Snowflake-shaped ice crystals on my window

I live in the Chicagoland area, and as you may suspect, it gets pretty cold around here during this time of year.

I had my car parked at our family business’ outdoor parking lot, and when I went back out, I noticed that snowflake-shaped ice crystals had formed on my window.

You can sort of see them in the photo above, but I recommend clicking on it to view it in its full 2048 by 1152 pixel high-definition glory (you might have to click to enlarge it once again after you open the larger file, because some browsers resize images too big to fit on your screen).

It’s actually pretty interesting, and I’ve never seen something with such detail form on a car window before.

 


 

My irresolute resolution

I’ve never really liked new year’s resolutions.

I personally think it’s silly that you should set goals based off events, rather than off your own schedule.

I make goals for myself on a regular basis, as the opportunities arise, as I see fit. I think it’s suboptimal for the concept of new year’s resolutions to even exist in the first place.

What’s so special about a new year? Why not make new month’s resolutions? Are there such things as new decade’s resolutions, that hold more gravity and magnitude than new year’s resolutions?

If I realize half-way through November that I need to change something in my life, I’m going to set my goal on the day I make the realization; I’m not going to wait until January 1 of the following year so I set my “upcoming change” as my new year’s resolution.

In a way, I guess I do make new year’s resolutions.

But I also make a lot of new day’s resolutions, and my new year’s resolutions don’t necessarily correspond with the start of a new year.

They’re just resolutions.

It must just be the way it’s worded – a new year’s resolution implies that it’s something one will work on this year. It slightly irritates me that this person will work on this resolution this year, but not for the rest of his or her life. Maybe if they were called “life’s resolutions,” I would like them better?

Or just … resolutions.

As I click the “Preview” button on this blog post to look at what I’ve written so far, I see an advertisement for weight loss below this text – a before and after picture, where the woman in the “after” picture is quite obviously not the same woman from the “before” picture.

A countless number of people set weight loss as their new year’s resolution; maybe the hype behind new year’s resolutions is just a marketing strategy?

Unfortunately, not everyone is as critical as I am, and not many people share my opinion about new year’s resolutions.

I’m sure that, sooner or later, someone is going to ask me what my new year’s resolution is. If someone asks me online, the solution is simple – I can just link them to this blog post. But, in person, it becomes a bit more tricky.

In order to prepare for that, I decided to come up with a new year’s resolution to use for these particular conversations.

My new year’s resolution is to act more spontaneously.

I have a habit of planning things out in excess, preparing for a plethora of possible outcomes rather than just a few realistic ones. This sounds funny after what you’ve just read above, (the fact that I’m preparing for an in-person conversation that might not even happen,) but as much as it is ironic, it proves that this is in fact a legitimate resolution.

I like to wait for the perfect moment to do something, when I’m done thinking about everything that could go wrong, and preparing my mind and body for what will happen. Some might say that this is merely a sophisticated form of procrastination.

There are some things to which I already act spontaneously. When I’m speaking publicly to a non-pro­fessional crowd with an intent to entertain, I tend to do much better when I don’t plan anything at all, and just start talking. My resolution is to force myself to do this for other things as well. I think it’s best de­scribed with an example.

Before I write a paper, I like to make sure that I won’t be distracted for the next few hours. I make sure that I’ve gone to the bathroom recently enough that it won’t bother me during my paper writing. I make sure I’ve eaten enough so I won’t get hungry while writing, but if I’ve eaten too much lately, I wait before starting so I won’t feel bloated. I make sure that any possible relevant resources I need are readily avail­able, even if the chance of actually needing these resources are near-zero. I make sure that there are no other urgent matters to which I need to tend before starting. I make sure that my thoughts are organized in my mind, so ideas from unrelated topics don’t cloud up my mental outline. If any of these conditions aren’t met, I reschedule my paper writing time.

In 2015, I want to just go for it.

Rather than waiting for this idealistic atmosphere to begin my work, I want to just start.

If you think about it, all the things that could possibly go wrong don’t actually have truly negative con­se­quences. If I need to grab a snack, I can grab a snack, then continue writing. If I’m not feeling well, I can write a bit, then take a break and continue writing later. If I don’t have particular reference materials I need, I can pause writing, search for the resources, then resume after finding them.

Is this a resolution that I’ll actually end up working on? I’m not sure yet. Do I even want to try and give up some of my meticulousness, which is a trait to which I attribute a lot of my success, and exchange it for spontaneity? That, I’m even less sure about.

At the very least, it’s something that I can respond with when asked about my new year’s resolution.

 


 

Re: “Why don’t you stream Pokémon anymore?”

Pokémon was the game I grew up with.

As a child, I owned Pokémon Yellow and Gold for Game Boy Color; and as a teen, I used emulators to play a lot of the third-, fourth-, and fifth-generation games.

Back in October 2012, I streamed myself playing Pokémon White 2, and sometime around that year, I streamed a bit of PokéMMO. However, since then, I’ve been quiet with Pokémon, and haven’t broadcasted anything related to Pokémon since then.

Over time, I’ve had a few people ask me why I don’t play Pokémon anymore, wondering if I got bored of it. Recently, someone asked if I had grown out of Pokémon. Because this person was clearly mistaken, as Pokémon isn’t something that you simply outgrow, I decided to address the core reason behind why I don’t stream Pokémon anymore.

As you know, I’m a multimedia content producer, and I integrate that into almost everything I do online. I look for opportunities to create more content and get more practice making videos and other online ma­te­ri­als. In the realm of gaming, I try my best to stream or make videos from my gaming footage.

Unfortunately, Nintendo is not explicitly okay with me using Pokémon to create my own content.

Companies like Blizzard and Riot Games clearly state on their website that it is permissible to use their games to create original gameplay content and monetize it through advertisements (which is why I play a lot of Hearthstone, Starcraft, Diablo, and League of Legends). Nintendo does not have such a policy – in fact, they have quite the opposite.

According to a statement made by Nintendo to GoNintendo.com:

“We became a YouTube partner and … registered our copyright content in the YouTube data­base. For most fan videos this will not result in any changes, however, for those videos fea­tur­ing Nintendo-owned content, such as images or audio of a certain length, adverts will now appear at the beginning, next to or at the end of the clips.”

This means that, if I post Pokémon-related videos on YouTube to monetize off VODs of my stream, I may end up not getting my full share of revenue (if any at all). Nintendo doesn’t explicitly state what kind of content would be used for advertising, and what purpose these advertisements would serve – this makes the policy more cryptic and not worth the risk.

Sure, I enjoy playing Pokémon. But, I can put the time I spend potentially playing Pokémon into other games I enjoy playing that produces footage I know I can safely use to create content without having to worry about copyright issues.

In the future, if I end up becoming rich, then sure, I might dedicate some days into streaming Pokémon with the assumption that I’m not going to make money off of it and I’m doing it purely for the enjoyment. However, I’m not rich yet, and until I am, I will naturally want to gravitate towards games I know I can use to produce content safely.