A very interesting weekend…

There has been this pattern in the weather recently. It gets really cold in the first half of the week, everything freezes, then it gets really warn, almost spring like even, and everything thaws. While that means you get a nice couple day to do something outside during the weekend, it also means a lot of potholes!

Water leak into the porous road surfaces, freezes and expands, creates nasty cracks, and Baam! The roads opens like the gaping maws of a Lovecraftian horror. I swear that there are a couple ones of west bound pacific street that are at least a foot and half long, maybe 7 to 8 inches wide and  4 inches deep. Unless you are driving a Humvee, I would recommend keeping a sharp eye, especially on the curb side.

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There was a gun show this past weekend and I actually decided to drop by Sunday morning and see what that was about. It was a fairly low key type of deal. There was maybe just over dozen sellers and maybe maybe 50 people looking around.

War… War never changes…

With the exception of one seller who kept everything locked in a display case, everyone else let you handle the guns, which gave the chance of handling the big scary rifle that keep anti-gun people awake at night, The AR 15!

While I have never handled a real gun before, the AR definitely felt intuitive to handle. It was actual not that heavy (some of the shotguns were definitely heavier) and simple enough to operate. At a show special $500 – $600 price tag, I have to say they were very compelling products, though I had no intention of buying.

I got to handle a bunch of handgun as well, and most hand guns are denser than they appear. One of the first handgun I pick up was a Glock of some description and was quite surprised as I pick it up, those have quite a bit of heft to. There was some neat pocket pistols, though some of them were price higher than some of the AR and AK rifles…

At the end of morning, the only thing that I bought was some beef jerky and a couple raffle tickets. I was tempted by some cool metallic ammunition boxes at just $20 each but I did not have any really use for them.

OOOOooohhh, bazookas!

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After a nice morning at the gun show and quick lunch downtown, I took a stroll down to the convention center and took a look at what the auto show had in store. Unsurprisingly, it was mostly cars, and for some reason, there was also a stand for a martial art school.

I got seat in bunch of interesting and expensive cars, which is way less exciting than handling guns by the way. The most exciting thing that happened was that I nearly locked myself into the back of a Chevy because the child safety was on and the handles did not work. Thankfully, the window on the passenger side was open so I could reach and open the door from the outside.

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This is what happens to your car when drunk driving…

A number of the of higher end sedans started to include either a tray or a slot for smartphones in the center console, which is a really neat feature. Most slots design were too tight for my phone, though it would fit most if I removed my phone case.

Out of curiosity, I went to the Toyota booth and asked about their hydrogen car initiative. Basically, unless you live either in California or in the north east of the United States, you be seeing Hydrogen cars anytime soon. When asked if we would see them by the end of next decade, they said “maybe”. If you are an enthusiast for cutting edge technology, get a plugin electric car.

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Obviously, the best car of the show!

There were fewer pickup trucks and SUV this year compared to the last time I went but other that the Chevy Bolt, there were no all electric cars, and few hybrids (mostly Prius unsurprisingly). I suppose that it was representative of the current market in the Midwest.

It was fun going around a taking a seat in corvettes and Mustangs, but at the end of the day, I did not see anything that really tickled my fancy. I am definitely no going out to sell my car to upgrade any time soon.

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Off to a cold start…

Man has it been cold outside recently. I wanted to go for quick walk to Walgreens the other day, but about after 5 minutes outside, I decided to turn around before my fingers froze solid. In the twenty or so minutes it took me to run my errant, the humidity inside my car had condensed and froze on the inside of the windows!

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It was -25°F with the windchill… 

I like winter and snow and all, but I would rather that it was not so cold. Temperatures below zero means no running outside, no running outside means treadmill which is incredibly boring. Autumn and Spring temperatures are best temperatures for running. So much for my half marathons prep…

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Talking about staying inside and doing nothing, let us talk about Esports. I understand the idea of competitive video games, I like watching high level players in games like Starcraft 2, but I just don’t understand why someone would look at a game like Overwatch and think “Yes, this fast paced and manic first person shooter, with 20+ charatcers with unique abilities is exactly what we need to bring Esport to the public!”. 

The “Overwatch League” inaugural season was last week and out of curiosity, I decided to watch some of and I honestly could not figure out what on earth was going on. Between the fast moving characters and the constant switch between points of view made things quite hard to follow. Also each match involve four separate game modes,  which meant that I got quite confused when they switched between a capture the hill type event to an escort a target event (I think they called it a payload mode?) while I went to make some tea.

The one thing that I somewhat liked was that each team had nice color coded skins for their characters. That made determining who was in which team a bit easier. The commentary team was not exactly useful but I was better than some of the commentary I have heard on some League of Legends tournaments, those are mostly gibberish unless you have master degree in that game.

I still think the best Esport game is Starcraft, because it is, in my humble opinion anyways, simple enough for someone who never played to understand. There are two players, one on each side of the map, collect minerals to create massive army and the first to destroy the other wins. Simple! Sure there is a lot more to it, but I think that you don’t need to know everything to grasp the gist of what is happening.

On a side note, after every round, all the players would grab a couple of those hand warmer pouch thing and warm their fingers. What was that about? Does it really makes that much a difference? Was it just cold in the studio where they were playing? Were they just showing off? Who knows….

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I am going to have a bit of a choice this week end as there are couple interesting events going on. There is the Midlands auto show downtown at the century link convention center that is always fun to visit and see what current trends there are in the car industry. They will even have a Delorean! How retro!

On the other hand, there is also a gun show happening across the river in Council Bluff. I don’t actually plan to buy or own a gun but I am curious american gun culture. Going to a gun show is on my bucket list of  all-American things to experience I want to do along with Rodeo, drag racing and Monster trucks. Might as well drop by and stroll for a few minutes…

A fresh new year!

Happy New year! Yes, I know it was six days ago, but better late than never right? Anyways, I hope you all had a great holiday.

Ah 2017, what a year. I got myself a VR headset, I went on an amazing trip through national parks in Utah, ran a half marathon under three hours, learned some new recipes, and ended breaking up my glasses in late December. Also I really started listening to podcasts on a regular basis and discovered that there is only about four brands that pay for advertisements. There is something subtly annoying in having your murder mystery podcast being interrupted by a cheerful Blue Apron ad…

Anyways, new year, new resolutions! I was going to start with a joke that my new year resolution was 4K, as I originally thought to get a 4K television for Christmas, but decided that it would mostly be a waste of money. So what about some proper resolution?

Obviously there is the usual stuff of trying to lose some weight, not get fired, meet new people. Here are some more specific ones:

  • I will continue running and training for Half marathons, hopefully this year I’ll be able to do 2 hours 45. I did sign for three this year, so it’s not like I won’t have the opportunity.
  • I have been meaning to learn C++ for the longest time, but I never really got around to sit down and do it. Code wars has a lot of nice exercises to learn the basics and I have a nice book. Just need take the time to go through them.
  • I have been thinking about making an android app. I already know quite a bit of Java but I just have no real plan as to what the app would be.

Oh and I guess it would be nice to start playing D&D or Dark Heresy again. I should look for a RPG group.