Quarantini

I thought I’d take a break from our normally scheduled shenanigans to address the elephant in the room.

The title of this post should be indicative of the subject matter to follow, but is still poking some light-hearted fun into an otherwise deadly-serious topic.

The Corona Virus, or COVID-19 when its feeling all fancy pants, has hit the shores of all continents here on Earth. It’s a pandemic. It’s a version of a flu virus that they talk about before the world plunges into darkness. And yet, here in the States, life hasn’t changed much. Sure, there are panic buyers, those who are not satisfied with owning ten year supplies of toilet paper along with several gallons of hand sanitizer. Those who stock up on water bottles when they could literally fill up the old ones with *gasp* tap water. We still have power, we still have gas, we still have Internet — for now.

Depends on who you listen to, what you choose to research and what you choose to believe I suppose. I guess this is a Public Service Announcement in a way. You should probably get your information from a legitimate source. Remember when they said Wikipedia wasn’t good enough for citations in college? Remember when current events were only gleaned via news outlets such as the papers or what they play on cable TV? 2020 is a whole different animal. Think of it like this: The national news media (print and film) is now Wikipedia.

Social media will turn things around on its head really quickly. Do you think it’s scary that this new virus has mutated from an animal virus and has since mutated to spread rapidly and replicate itself quickly? If you think that’s fast, just think about how rapidly stupidity flies around the world via these applications? I hear about new confirmed cases every single day, and most of the time they are getting closer and closer to where I live. I’ve heard several reports of COVID-19 in my town. But a quick search of the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) website finds zero cases in our town and very few in the county. I’m just saying, do your homework people. Don’t freak out. Maybe wash your dirty ass more often, because your lack of TP is assaulting my nostrils.

The place of business in which I find myself employed has been deemed non-essential, so we closed our doors about a week ago. The plan was simple: open back up come April 1st, everyone gets paid for the time off, and life will go back to normal. During this past week I’ve had a much needed vacation, and I count it as a blessing not needing to use my PTO for the break. Rumors started that other similar places of business would probably stay closed longer term. Today I received word that we too, would have an extended break, until April 13th. Now we do have to use some PTO and I’m glad that I ended up having plenty to spare, but if this continues on there will be financial implications. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that this thing passes sooner than later. I will have enjoyed the time off without losing everything in the process. If we’re still talking about closures come May 1st, there’s going to be issues.

Stress is at a high all over, and yet this is a great time to really disconnect from the worry, stay at home and reconnect with our loved ones.

I was fortunate to be gifted a couple of new games during this time and have dug in. I have much that I want to write about in the coming weeks.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Stay at home as much as possible. Take up or reinvest into hobbies. Soon life will go back to normal and we can live our stress again. For now, let’s all just take a deep breath and relax. Cheers.

A Ramble for Friday

I sat down at my computer this morning to write something, but upon inspection of my drafts folder, there are two articles that I have yet to work on and little else. One of those articles is about the launch of Season 4 for Apex Legends, but I really don’t have a lot to say given that I haven’t really played more than a handful of games this season. I didn’t buy the battle pass either, because I haven’t been playing so I don’t see the point in paying money for something I won’t get enjoyment out of. It’s not that I’m disillusioned with the game, I still think it’s the best battle royale game on the market and I still enjoy the world and character design. It’s still a great shooter at its core as well. I did have enough in-game currency to unlock the new character immediately, and I’ve played enough games to see the changes to the map. There are still rotating limited time game modes and apparently there will be a portion of time where we go back to King’s Canyon (the original map). I still have friends playing regularly, but with my interest shifting back towards League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics, I don’t have time to play both with any sort of regularity.

The other draft in my folder is a Magic: The Gathering EDH deck brew, one that I’ve been working on for quite some time. When Throne of Eldraine released, the preconstructed Brawl decks came out as well, and there was one character that I was interested in building around. I finally got my hands on the Chulane deck, and I brewed it up immediately. Thankfully many of the more expensive cards I want to put into the deck are already in my collection, but there are still several cards needed and I don’t think I can build it out just yet. Also, in the subsequent months there was the release of the next set, Theros: Beyond Death and that changed my brew a little bit. It seems at least for me that very few decks are ever “finished.” Instead, they are a more fluid evolving thing — new sets introduce new cards and new combos and new synergies and sometimes a deck that started out fairly focused on one theme ends up taking a completely different turn. As such, I’ve broken up decks to make new ones and as I play more I find that some of my decks just weren’t very good, or another project comes up where I want to pull good cards out of substandard decks to put into a new one.

For instance, I just built a deck around Klothys which is one of the new Gods from Theros, and initially it just didn’t perform the way I would have thought. I already know that there are some better cards I could buy that would replace some lesser versions but I didn’t want to spend a ton to finish the deck off, so it’s a budget build for now. Regardless, it has still yet to perform after a handful of games, and I’ve already gone through and swapped out about 20 cards. I guess it has something to do with matchups in that I have played against other decks that are doing the same sort of thing better, or just combo off faster (for reference, this deck doesn’t depend on combos, just value and big stuff to finish a game). Perhaps it will see a game where it shines, but for now I’m starting to focus on other decks I have and how I can improve them, along with looking ahead to new brews. We also know that the next set of commander decks comes out in the next couple of months, so I assume there will be new projects I’ll want to take on. Whatever the case, between the couple of games I’m playing and MTG, I haven’t had a bunch to write about.

There are new games on the horizon. DOOM Eternal releases soon. Final Fantasy VII Remake as well. Those are two I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. The latest Metro game is no longer an Epic Games Store exclusive, so being able to buy it on Steam has me tempted. I do still have a few games I bought within the last few months that I have yet to complete, so once I get around to those I’ll have more to write about. Whatever the case I’ve been in the mood to write more often, but then I sit and realize I don’t really have anything substantial to say and skip it. I honestly thought I would have gotten more posts in this month but as I said, when you play the same couple of games all month it’s not super exciting to write about nor great for readers. I can tell you that I started my ranked journey in TFT and after being placed in Iron III I’ve worked up to Iron I. Bronze to come. I have yet to play ranked in LoL, but I intend to give it a whirl again. Perhaps I’ll get back to the same level I used to be at. I’ll also be playing MTG as much as I can, and though I’ve had a ton of great experiences it’s hard to translate that into blog posts. Perhaps I’ll start streaming or recording so that I can share some epic games. It’s an idea I’ve been toying with, but I’ll make it official ahead of time if I decide to start doing that.

So yeah, I’m still around, just having trouble getting the words onto the page. I’ll try to do more posts like this if this persists, just to check in.

2020

The year has been insanely busy despite the fact that we’re only thirteen days into it.

I moved my family into our own house. Finding the right one took almost the whole month of December. I had it secured just before the new year and we moved in on January 2nd. With some help from my best friend, we had everything moved into the new house with two trips in a Uhaul. It took a few days to get mostly unpacked (I believe there are only a handful of boxes left at this point), but we also started to realize many of the things you should have in a house that we didn’t currently own. I was fortunate to acquire a dining room table and washer/dryer from my friend as he wasn’t using them in his current living situation. We were also fortunate enough to have some money put aside, so things like a microwave and other various odds n ends were able to be purchased. I also picked up a new 55″ Samsung 4k UHD TV on a killer sale so we were able to put my old TV into the bedroom.

This past weekend we found a couch we really liked from a rent-to-own place that is being delivered today. I was also able to request a new desk as a Christmas gift, so my office was completed. It’s been fantastic having my own house again. It feels good to be able to provide for the family but also having the space to spread my shit around (which again looks like a lot less given the amount of space we now have). Being able to come home from work and plop down in front of a big TV to unwind is great — or being more comfortable in my nerdy office and not worrying about background noise or bothering others around me is a huge plus as well.

I’ve been missing blogging, as I knew I would. This wasn’t too much of a hiatus, but I think it’s time to get back out there and share some thoughts. Over my break from writing, I did manage to play through the latest Star Wars game, Jedi: Fallen Order and I have some thoughts to share about that. The complete spoilers for the next Magic: The Gathering set, Theros: Beyond Death are out, so I have more to talk about there. Also, my Packers just beat the Seahawks in the Divisional round, so next weekend there’s more football to watch, an the Packers face the 49ers in the NFC Championship game. I’m sure I can spare some thoughts there again, but I’m going to let my By the Numbers column die for this year. Hoping to pick that back up come September.

So welcome back to semi-regular content. 2020 is a fresh start in more ways than one.

On Hiatus

Hey everyone who’s still checking up on me, I think it’s time I finally get around to making a post as short as this one will be.

You’ll probably notice I missed my football post this past week and am about to miss another. It’s probably going to lie unfinished this season unfortunately.

Real life has kicked things up a notch and something has to give. I decided it was the blog that had to sit on the back burner. I’m still playing games and playing Magic and I still have thoughts, just lacking the time and motivation to write. This isn’t my first rodeo, and I know I’ll bounce back I’m just not sure when.

I’m moving again come January, so it’s likely I won’t have internet for a little while after moving so I wouldn’t be able to post anyway.

My little family is getting their own house though, and it will Mark the first time in years that I’ll have a place without family or roommates. Just me, my girl and my son. I’m looking forward to it more than I can express here.

I’d say it’s a good bet that blogging will resume a regular schedule come this time next month. I should have plenty to share by then as well.

I’ll see you around. Also, Happy holidays!

A Post About Not Posting

I’d like to say that I’m still burnt out from the post fest that is Blaugust, but that would be a lie wouldn’t it? If nothing else, I could have used it as an excuse for September’s low post count, but then I went and had another low post month in October.

Honestly there’s still plenty for me to say. I still play games daily. There are new and recurring titles that see play but yet I’m not really pulling additional posts out of them. You’ll probably notice my pattern where I will introduce my thoughts on a new game and only get a couple additional posts out of it before it’s on to the next.

I was regular about my round-up posts, but they took a bit of a backseat when I stopped playing a ton of games and started to really focus on the backlog. Problem being is that once a game gets its hooks into me, particularly those kinds that don’t have an end (looking at you, MOBAs, FPS PvP, and Battlegrounds titles), I tend to play them for hours but there isn’t a ton to write about save for update news and the like.

I have been playing a ton of mobile games and Apex Legends primarily.

Other things not so much.

It’s not that I don’t want to play. I generally always keep up on daily tasks on mobile titles. I also try to do my daily challenges on Apex Legends. I recently discovered a coworker plays League of Legends and I spent a chunk of this afternoon playing Ultra Rapid Fire (the “URF” game mode). So things are happening. I’m just in a funk when it comes to writing. This isn’t my time struggling with it either.

Most of the time, when things get tense/stressful in real life I will hunker down and out off blogging. I have been keeping up with Football posts but that’s sort of an aside here on the page so I don’t want that to be all I’m producing. Whatever the case, some things have gone down at work and there’s a possibility I change departments. I also have an impending move on the horizon, which will happen in January. So things have been more focused on those fronts and something has to give.

On the positive side I have posts about commander brews and news. I really only found one legendary creatures out of Throne of Eldraine that I was interested in building and I finished that so there will be a post. I also want to talk about super early Theros spoilers and the coming year’s commander releases. It’s going to be a great year for the game, but I basically don’t play. Hoping to rectify this soon with an LGS visit. Also looking into playing paper magic via webcam with distant friends and randoms.

I am still working through Borderlands 3 with my best friend, but we wanted our first playthrough to be strictly together so it’s slow going due to our differing schedules. I’m really tempted to buy The Outer Worlds, but having been burned on Fallout 76 I was hesitant. I’ve heard good things though so I’m likely to pick it up eventually.

Whatever the case I have about 5 drafts that are semi done. I wouldn’t expect a sudden increase in output bit I hope to get some of my mojo back in coming months. I think post move I’ll be able to settle in again. Then perhaps a podcast and other projects can resume too.

Thanks for bearing with me.