Sunday, September 3, 2017

My Cousin's Wedding Fun

Hey there everyone. This weekend was fun. One of my older cousins got married recently, and he had a reception for everyone over the weekend. Oh man, was that fun.

So first off, my brother came in briefly during the short period between his internship and when he has to go back to school. We had some fun visiting and enjoying his company for this very brief visit. We didn't get to do much, but he was able to join us for the wedding reception. I drove with him and we had fun shooting the breeze for the 2 hours it took to get to my cousin's. When we got to the hotel, we had an hour to chill before the festivities. I surfed the web and set-up the easy PZ podcast to upload while we were out. It was a good thing, because the hotel wifi was slow.

Now for the fun, the real fun, the reception. The actual ceremony happened about a month ago, after a 3 mile hike into the woods. All that were there were the bride, groom, best man, maid of honor, officiator, and camera man. We were able to watch the vows at the reception. That was fun. But what was really great is how most of my family was there, especially the family I don't get to see very often. I got to see my groom cousin, Japan cousin, and southern cousin (all 3 brothers), uncle, and aunt. It was really fun catching up with everyone. At dinner we had pulled pork and southern green beans (green beans, butter, onion, and bacon). Oh, that was good. There was also "advice for the Mr. and Mrs." cards for everyone to fill out. I said "eat your vegetables, get 7 hours of sleep a night, up up down down left right left right B A Start, and hand-me-downs are awesome especially from the big cousins."

Now for some real fun. The newlyweds rented a set of speakers and microphone. We set-up karaoke off youtube. It started out with 2 of the friends doing a duet of Summer Lovin' from Grease, but then I said "I want in, I want to sing the song that won me a karaoke contest in high school," with that song being Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Everyone really enjoyed it. I also tried to do Irish Pub by the Rumjacks, but that song is just too fast and I screwed it up bad. I had the chorus down though. Then the last song I did was Barbie Girl, and one of the other guests joined me and we did an impromptu duet trading lines. There were some other songs that I didn't sing, like the bride and her bridesmaids/friends singing All Star by Smashmouth. At one point the neighbors came out on their back porch to investigate (we were being a little loud and it was getting a little late). After Barbie Girl we just danced. We had glow sticks, so one guy had the idea of raving out to Sandstorm by Darude. That was fun, because we made it dark and everyone was flailing their glow sticks. After that I just kind of shook my arms at the following songs since my arms were dead after flailing so hard. lol. We went until about 9:30, then spent 30 minutes cleaning up. I slept pretty hard that night.

Oh what a fun time. It was great seeing everyone again, and having fun at the wedding reception. This has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Viewing the Partial Eclipse

Hey everyone. Boy do I have a story today. A lot of people have been talking about the solar eclipse today on social media, and some time before to let everyone know about it. I checked the map, and I thought I was going to miss it. Turns out I was looking at a full eclipse map, and the partial was visible. Thankfully, I didn't miss it.

Before I get to the main event, here's my history with eclipses. I've seen a couple lunar eclipses in my time. I vividly remember one when I was like 9, because I had my best friend over, and we were going pretty crazy. The second lunar eclipse was not to long ago in college, but it was pretty overcast so I didn't get to see much. This however, was my first solar eclipse, even if it was only a partial.

So I was a little, unprepared. I didn't have any glasses, or pin hole camera, or any of that. I figured, "I'll just glance up, real quick, and no damage." I mean, it's not a horrible idea. Definitely bad, and my eye doctor would be a tad upset, but it's not like a "stand and stare" sort of bad. There was a bit of a hiccup though. It was kind of cloudy today, so any coverage was diffused by the clouds and I only think I saw something. Oh well.

What was a saving grace though, was welders masks. One of the welders passed around his mask for everyone to try out. The logic being "I look at super bright things with this, so it's probably safe." It probably wasn't perfectly safe, but it worked. Through the dark green tint of the mask, I was able to see the sun partially covered by the moon. It was still pretty bright, but like looking at a light bulb without a diffuser bright, not staring directly at the sun bright. I didn't look very long though. Another thing that happened was there was a point with just the right amount of could density to see the eclipse without it being too bright. It was just like looking through the welder's mask. Also, it got noticeably darker. Not "night" dark, but "early evening" dark in the middle of the day.

As for at work. As stated, the welders brought out their masks, but it wasn't just that. Everyone who didn't have something that needed getting done right now was looking outside. There was a large group of people just hanging out by one of the doors, another group in the courtyard, and I'm sure there were people out on the smoking docks. It was pretty interesting, and it wasn't like management was getting angry, they were out there too, lol. Everyone understood that this is a 10 in a lifetime opportunity.

So this was my eclipse fun. Hopefully I can see a total eclipse one day, and next time I'll be better prepared. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Camping with Friends

Hey everyone, it's that time of year again, the year I go camping with my family's camping friends. Let me get started with the prep-work. We went up on Friday, so that meant I had to take Friday off. I also packed up 3 days worth of clothes, with both warm and cold weather clothes. I also pulled together some activities. I brought my travel laptop and 3DS for the ride, and Mallard Fillmore comic collection to read. Now for the fun stuff.

On Friday we packed up my van and went up to camp. About halfway up we went to the outlet mall where I purchased about $50 worth of discounted goldfish crackers, all with varying flavors. Some were manufacturer's defects, some were past sell by, some were well beyond expiration, but I've been eating outletmall goldfish for years, so I don't care. I do remember one time Mom baught goldfish on sale from a regular grocery store when I was younger, and they were amazing. After hours of driving, we arrive at our motel. We pulled out all our stuff and settled in for later that night. Now for something interesting. On Monday I went to the doctor with some pain in my ear. I needed some medication, and got my throat swabbed for strep, because as my doctor said "your throat is supposed to be the color of pork, yours is the color of beef." Turns out I had strep, and needed anti-biotic. Well, I'm hundreds of miles from my home pharmacy, and it can't wait. So, I look up where a pharmacy is, and lucky for me there's a RiteAid in the local town. My doctor faxes my script to the RiteAid and I pick it up after it gets filled, hundreds of miles from home. Technology sure is impressive.

Now that I got my medicine, it's time for camp fun. We parked our car on my godfather's site. Fridays are easy going, just set-up camp. I said my hellos and enjoyed the fun. For dinner I had a pre-cooked hamburger and a hotdog. My 8 year old godbrother saw what I was eating and asked his mom "why is he having a hamburger AND a brat?" and she answered "because he's big and wants both." It was true. After diner I helped make the group's fire. Being an Eagle Scout, I know a thing or 2 on building a fire. I was able to build it well, though I ended up burning myself on grill grate that our friend installed to cook on. A burn that's still on my wrist a week after the incident. I didn't have it on there long, but it did take me a little bit to realize it, so I don't know if I'm permanently branded or not. Oh well. I did show it to the little kids to say "this is why you need to be careful around the fire." I had a smore and enjoyed being with friends I grew up with and watched me grow up. One of them wanted to open a bottle of beer but didn't have a bottle opener. I made sure to bring my multi-tool pocket knife for situations like this. Around 11 PM we left back to our motel. I watched some youtube videos and fell asleep.

Now it's Saturday, and we're ready for some fun. I had my normal muffin breakfast. It was just some good visiting with everyone. I wasn't able to go in the lake, but I did sit on the beach reading my Mallard Fillmore book. Oh man, like a fine wine, Mallard Fillmore got better with age. All of the jokes are more relevant today than they were in 1995. I also sat there snacking on sunflower seeds, because that's something I have to do when camping. I love sunflower seeds, but the worst part is finding some place to spit the shells. When you're outside though, you can just spit wherever. When I go camping, you know where I sat, because I'll have a nice scatter of shells on the ground. My 3 year old godbrother asked if he could try one, and I know his parents wouldn't want him chain munching them like me, but I also know he lacked the coordination to eat them without getting shell splinters (not dangerous or anything, just annoying pokes). I've found that wtih really young children, it's best to let them try 1 seed and find out for themselves "this hurts, I don't like this" than try to explain "no, you're too little." I also watched the 3 year old for an hour while his parents ran an errand.

After my godfather and his wife finished their errand, my dad and I went to the town just to see if there was an event going on. Many years there has been a little art fair happening when we went camping, and it was a fun thing to do. There wasn't anything this year, so we just went to the St. Vincent DePaul thrift store. I must say, this was some pretty high quality thrift junk. Dad found a china set with plates that were worth $15 each for like $2 sticker. If we lived closer, we would have tried eBay with them. I found some games; DDR Disney Channel for PS2, Urbz for PS2, and Toy Story Action Player for Windows 3.1/95/and higher. I had it as a kid, but it didn't play well on our computer back in the day. I decided I was going to try it out on my Windows 10 computer. Unfortunately it won't work since it's a 16 bit program and I have 64 bit Win10, but I'll hopefully find proper emulation. I mean, I have DOSbox, and I know windows 3.1 can be booted in DOS, so I can hopefully find a way to make it work. Whatever.

After exploring town, we went back to camp and just hung out. One of the 1st generation adults talked about how it all started and the kind of fun they had. All of them were about my age when they met and started this. It's kind of crazy. Since many of us 2nd generation are adults, the stories are now a little more...mature. However, since some of the 2nd generation are little kids, they can't get too mature. One funny thing they told us was when one of the 1st generation had "too much juice." Soon it came to dinner time. Back when they started, Saturday night was steak night, which evolved to catered chicken night when the 1st generation started having kids, which turned into pizza night when the 1st generation decided they didn't want to go through the hassle of catering chicken. Since my family set-up how we were going to order, we went to pick it up. The order wasn't quite ready when we went to pick-up, so I got to watch an episode of The Loud House on the restaurant TV. It was lucky for me that they had a channel that I liked on. We picked up everyone's pizza order, packed it up in the van, and went back to camp. It was good.

Now for the fun part. Every year since the start we've taken a group photo. We added in "generation pictures" (adults and kids, with the whole group) when everyone started having kids. This year after 27 years, we added "3rd generation" and "retired" pictures since now one of the "original kids" had their own kid and one of the 1st generation is retired. Oh it's fun watching how we all change. We had another camp fire, but only after going to the local ice cream stand. Every year we walk up to the ice cream stand that's about a quarter mile from the camp ground. This was really funny. One of the younger girls (10 years old) wanted to ride her rip stick down the hill we were on, and her parents said "no, it's too steep, you're going to get hurt." About 5 minutes later, her 2 oldest brothers (19 and 16) come zooming down the hill on their rip sticks. After that, her dad said "OK go ahead, we're not that far up now anyways." At the ice cream stand, I had tripple peanut butter cup; peanut butter ice cream, peanut butter ribbons, and mini-peanut butter cups. We had some fun hanging out eating ice cream. Once ice cream was over we went back to camp and had our fire. Again, around 11 PM we left for our motel.

Now it's Sunday. My family packed up our motel room and went to church. All of us our Catholic, so every year we go to this church up there. We take up the same 3 rows in the back. It's right by the cry room. It's kind of funny how much room all of us take up. After mass half of the group went out to breakfast, and the other half just made a bunch of left overs. My family was planning to eat something on the road, but we had left overs so we contributed to the group "lets make left overs" breakfast. After breakfast we went home. We stopped at a different outlet mall, but there weren't any stores I was interested in, though Mom got something I think.

All in all it was a good little vacation. It's great seeing everyone again. And here's a little something I took for SurfersSelfies #vidmewashere initiative. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Attempting a World Record at Chuck E Cheese

Hey everyone, so I'm a fan of Guinness World Records. I have been since...3rd grade; maybe it was 2nd grade. I think it was 2nd grade when my friend and I tried to break "longest paper airplane flight" on a windy day throwing paper airplanes off the play structure in the after school program, and 3rd grade when I got my first Guinness Book of World Records. I also remember going to the Guinness World Record museum at Niagara Falls and spending 2 hours in it reading every record back in 8th grade, and trying to break "longest paper clip chain" after learning about it. I think I collected about 50 feet of paper clips, and the record was like half a mile. For my birthday I asked for paper clips, and I remember my aunt saying "I am NOT buying my nephew paper clips for a birthday present," so she got me a box of paper clips and a $20 gift card to Office Depot. Then I tried for "longest time wearing a plastic admission band" after I found I could wear one for a year. I contacted Guinness, and they said I would need to start over, but they sent me a sticker as well as some official rules for my next attempt. So yeah, I like World Records.

So, when I saw Chuck E Cheese was doing an attempt at "most people blowing party blowers at the same time for 10 seconds" as part of their 40th birthday celebration May 19th at 8:40 PM EST, I said "I need to do this." I made sure I would be able to participate if I didn't have a kid with me (adults need kids to be at Chuck E Cheese on normal days, but this wasn't a normal day), and if the answer was "you need a kid," I was making a list of everyone I knew that had kids. But for a world record attempt involving "most people doing...," you need as many people as possible so they allowed it.

After days of getting hyped, it was time for the big day. I got there at about 8 PM, because I wasn't going to miss this. I showed up, and saw it, a waver saying "by entering the premise you are agreeing to being filmed for the purpose of the official Guinness World Record attempt." I of course filmed it (I'm not going to NOT record my legitimate attempt at a world record), but just to be extra safe, I was careful to only film myself, adult staff, and world record objects. I'll get that edited and posted soon (hopefully); but for now I'll just post my story.

When I went in I went to the check-in stamp station and said "I'm here for the world record." He said "alright, you can have some cake (free as part of the event), we'll be getting ready at 8:25." I took a walk down memory lane for the 25 minutes leading up to the event. It's been like 8 years since I actually went there for fun (and 5 years since I stepped foot there when I applied for a summer job back in college), just looking at what's changed. The largest thing that changed was they now have "point cards" instead of tokens. I could exchange my tokens for points (I know I still have probably $5 worth somewhere), but I want to keep them for collecting/nostalgia purposes. There were different games, but I think I saw some original token roller games. That was cool. They also got rid of the play place. I guess it was because there's no money to be made from a free indoor play place. Oh well. I also talked to the front desk clerk some about all that's changed, and how I used to come here all the time and had an unlimited free refill cup I used for 7 years. He said I could bring it in and they'll still honor it (like 16 years later), but my cup disintegrated. After 7 years, it just kind of fell apart. I do remember a kid once asked me many years ago when I was refilling it "where'd I get my cool cup," and I said "4 years ago." When my mom bought my brother and I those cups, I don't think they were expecting someone to use it for 7 years.

So I had cake. I originally was planning to be a "responsible adult" and let the kids have it. However, there weren't any kids having it, and I wanted to join in the fun. It was plain sponge cake with sugar frosting. I considered buying an individual pizza, or bread sticks, just to see if the formula changed in the past decade; but I ate beforehand because I was expecting it to be very busy (world record geeks like me and parents with kids on a Friday night) and didn't want to risk waiting forever just for some nostalgic pizza, and 8 PM is late for me to eat. However, I probably could have ordered bread sticks without a problem as it was not very crowded (or at least not as crowded as I expected), but I wasn't hungry so whatever.

And then over the announcer, I hear it. "Attention Chuck E Cheese guests, come to the stage area to participate in the world record attempt" with Chuck E walking around to lead the kids to the area. I had to hold myself back from strait up joining "the peid mouse" as he lead the children to the world record attempt (because it's weird enough to have a 23 year old man at a children's arcade). So after 30 seconds, I head over to the area and see the official instructions for the world record attempt (for CEC team members). I read the instructions, and then went to get my numbered wrist band for the attempt. I was number 12. There was also a sheet to sign up to get notified if they break the record so I can buy a plaque (oh yeah, I signed up for it). It was kind of funny since they asked for your age, and among the 7-12 year olds, then there's me at 23. There was a group of pre-teens that looked like they were into this, and were there only for the attempt. They probably weren't as into it as I was, but give them 10 years and they would be as exited as I was. One of the older boys (probably 11) saw I was recording and asked if I was going to put it on youtube. I told him "probably." It won't be "youtube.com/catholiccontriverys," but it will be on the other platforms I use. There was also another loop of "peid Chuck E" and all the kids were chanting "Chuck E Cheese, Chuck E Cheese." I started chanting "World Record, World Record" softly. After everyone got their wrist bands, they handed out the party blowers and said "don't blow them until I say so."

And here it is, the main event. The CEC team member got everyone focused, get ready, and then told everyone to blow their party blowers for 10 seconds. I originally planned to blow for 10 strait seconds, but that didn't work out because I don't have that kind of lung capacity and control. So instead, I just kept rapidly inhaling and blowing. By the end I started feeling light headed from hyperventilating. It was fun. I was taking video, and the team members were also taking video. Afterwards they did a ticket give away, but that's for the kids. My party blower was a little defective (didn't buzz properly), so I asked the team member if I could have another one. She let me have one because everyone could tell I was really into the world record thing. I also saw 2 moms that didn't participate filling out the world record paper work, because for it to be official you need to have an impartial 3rd party sign that it happened. I knew this because that was the rules from when I tried to do "longest time wearing admission wrist band." I rested to "normal-ventilate" by sitting off in a corner away from the kids. After catching my head and realizing what just happened, I left the restaurant/arcade.

Oh man, that was fun. I estimate that there were probably 40 people participating. If I assume that to be average across all 590 locations, I think we're going to break the record. The current record at the time of writing 5/19/2017 11 PM, is 6,961 people back in 2009. If my assumptions are correct, that's 23,600 people. Even if it's just half, that's still about twice as many people as the current record. I sure hope we broke it. If we do break it, I'm definitely buying that plaque, as I will have actually accomplished a childhood and teen goal. When I tell some of my co-workers, they are going to say "of course you would do that, sounds fun." Even though I'm a professional, I'm going to wear my wrist band until I return Monday and use it as a conversation piece (and everyone knows I'm a little eccentric, and I'm such a good employee I can afford to be a tad unprofessional for a day). Oh this was fun. If it ends up in a book, I'm buying the book. This has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Moving my Brother Out

Hey there everyone. My brother finished his 4th year of college, and this meant it was time to move him out, and this is the adventure I had. Dad and I took off Friday so we could leave Thursday after work. I had to mail my iClicker that I sold on eBay, but after I got home from that we packed up my van and went on our way. We made it to our hotel after 4 hours of driving, and we only made it a couple hundred miles. Oh well. We stopped at the same hotel we did a couple years ago for another time we either moved my brother in or out. Last time there was an arcade left over from when it was a holladome, and I gathered some quarters to play the Pac Man cabinet even Billy Mitchell would have a hard time with. Unfortunately they got rid of the arcade games, so I had to surf the web like an adult. Oh well. They did have Disney XD, which was fun since I don't get Disney XD. I also found out why I haven't seen ads for Pokémon Sun and Moon on Cartoon Network, because it airs on Disney XD. At first I was wondering "why didn't Cartoon Network renew the rights to the next Pokémon series?" Then I remembered Cartoon Network thinks "action doesn't sell." Oh well.

Friday the next day we eat breakfast and get on the road again. After some driving Dad notices a notification on my dashboard. My car says "I need an oil change," when we're on a road trip away from my mechanic. I read the owners manual and it says "don't go more than 10,000 before an oil change." Well, that ain't happening. If we found a dealer along the way I could have had it changed, but we didn't. We stopped at a gas station that sells minnows for bait, because it's kind of country. I decided I was going to pet the fish, and I guess they've been contained for so long they didn't even flee when I stuck my hand in. I bought some Cheetos to snack on along the way. After hours of driving we finally make it to my brother's house. I've not been to his rental, so this was interesting. Now I figured his house would have been in the student neighborhood, with a bunch of rental houses. No, his house was right in the middle of down town. Like, on one side was Little Caesars, on the other was the hotel, and a couple blocks down was the bar and brewery. It was pretty awesome. The house was also pretty weird too. Check out some of the video I took.

Dad and I unpacked our overnight stuff, we set-up in the rooms we were going to stay in for the night, and got settled in. After an hour or 2 of relaxing after 5 hours of driving, he took us on a tour of the labs he worked in over the semester. That was cool. After the tour we parked our car at his house and walked to the local pub and ordered a pizza. It was good. After dinner I went to the local videogame store and bought some games I don't have, and a complete PS2 golf simulator I know I will never find in the wild again. After that we just relaxed for the rest of the night.

On Saturday we packed up all my brother's stuff in my van and his car. We were going to hang out around his college town for the day, but we've seen and done everything, so we got going early. PepperBC was graduating this weekend, and she was going to school relatively close to my brother. It was 100 miles away, but it was on the way back home, so we stopped by and visited for an hour. It was fun. After visiting and a lot more driving we made it to our hotel. We unloaded our overnight stuff, and Dad looked for someplace to eat. We found a local bar, and had some bar dinner with a drink. I had a cheeseburger and they had chicken. It was a good burger. We relaxed the rest of the night.

On Sunday we started on our way back home. I did a lot of driving on the home stretch. Since I had my car to myself (Dad was driving with brother), I recorded my Dan VS podcast. There wasn't much else from Sunday. We unloaded our cars, and that was pretty much it. It was a fun little trip. Really glad I took it. This has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My First Ever Business Trip

Hey everyone. So I have a real job if you didn't know, and with my real job I had my first ever business trip. This took me to Indiana for MODAPTS training, to which I had to drive there. It's about a 4 hour drive, and I drove there after a half day of work. Whenever I have long drives like this I want to make a long form podcast, because I normally don't have time to do so during my normal days. Unfortunately I didn't think of anything to talk about, and I was coming down with a small cold, soooo...no long podcast. I drove pretty much strait through. I enjoyed listening to Rush since I'm normally working then. I was listening on my local affiliate that syndicates his show, until it cut out because I got too far away from the radio transmitter. Thankfully, because Rush is the most syndicated radio show in America, I just had to scan the rest of the AM radio band until I found another syndicate.

I pulled off the freeway to get gas, and the GPS took me down the street on the exit. I figured it meant I was close and I followed the GPS expecting to get there in maybe 10 minutes. Turns out I was 45 minutes out and the GPS didn't think to take be back on the express way. I went through side streets for 45 minutes. I eventually hit a point where I said "I should have gotten back on the express way," but that was 30 minutes in, and I had no idea where the express way was. I checked into my hotel and crashed because I was so tired. I knew I had to eat something, but I didn't want to leave my hotel room. I ordered Applebees carside to go, and just watched anime on adult swim.com back in my room. I showered, set my alarm for 6:00 (training started at 7:30), and went to bed; and here's where the fun begins.

I woke up "before my alarm" feeling refreshed. I thought it was a little bright for before 6AM. I look over at the clock and it was 7:36! Turns out I set my alarm for "6PM" not "6AM." I bolt up, throw on my work clothes, grab my laptop bag, what I thought were the directions to the training facility, ran to the breakfast area in search of something I could eat on the run (found dry fruit loops), and ran to my car. I must have been quite a sight, professional looking man with a laptop bag over shoulder frantically trying to find something to eat. I get to my car and realize I grabbed the wrong paper. Luckily my room was relatively close to the door. I get the address, plug it into my GPS, and get on my way to the facility. When I got there I got the news that the instructor was running late and the class went to a nearby company plant. I got the directions, and headed to the plant. I had some trouble finding how to get to the visitor parking by the main entrance (the entrance I had to go to), so I parked in one of the employee spots (not a problem since I do work for the company). The spot was kind of far from the main entrance, so I ran there. I got to the main security check-in out of breath. When the guard was asking for my information, I just handed over my badge as that would be easier for everyone seeing that my panting overtook my ability to speak. We get a walking tour of the plant, and that was cool since it's similar to what we do at my plant, but it's a different component so things are a little different.

Eventually our instructor made it in, and when he did we all went back to the learning facility. Right when we got back to the training location we broke for lunch, because it was 11 and that's when the plants have lunch (and about the same time that salary-management takes lunch). Apparently the instructor's flight got canceled, so they had to find something else for him. But on the cool side he was stranded in the same airport with Kareem Abdul Jubar. We did our first day of training. Nothing too special. After class the group from my plant wanted to do something together. I had to go back to my hotel to make sure nothing got misplaced when the maid cleaned my room. I left my laptop out, my clothes on the floor, and my glasses...somewhere (I pulled out my glasses case and it was empty), and basically didn't put all the things away to make sure they didn't end up missing. Luckily nothing went missing. After a couple hours we went to a local restaurant. I had "pick 2 combo" meal where I had pulled pork and ribs. We hung out for about 2 hours, and it was fun spending time with my coworkers that I normally don't spend much time with. With that I came to the realization I'm either one of the most interesting person you will ever meet, or one of the most boring people you will ever meet. I'm into videogames, cartoons, anime, and internet culture. If you like any of that, I have knowledge that will keep you interested. If not, well you will find me quite boring. After dinner I watched more toonami on adult swim.com, trying to get caught up on all I'm behind on.

The night before I set 3 alarms; 1 for 6 AM, 1 for 6:10, and 1 for 6:20. I woke up at 6 and had continental pancakes and mini chocolate muffins, with tea. I had more training, and that went well. We carpooled using the company car today. We had Dominos Pizza for lunch, and that was kind of unpleasant as the Dominos didn't agree with me. After training I went back to the hotel to try to calm my stomach, and I was able to. We were going to go to Indianapolis, but that was going to be 1 hour 1-way, and we weren't going to do that. We went to the local mall, and finding that was kind of an ordeal because it's not like we could just put "the mall" into the GPS, but since we're 3 engineers, we were able to figure it out. I went to a gamestop, FYE, and Books-A-Million there. I picked up some Steven Universe comics and a Captain N DVD at Books-A-Million. We wanted to have dinner together again, but none of us could agree on a place. One guy wanted something upscale, I didn't want anything Italian (Dominos still wasn't sitting with me completely), and the other guy was allergic to peanuts, so none of the steakhouses in the area (peanuts at the tables); so instead of arguing over where to go we just ate separately. I had Applebee's Carside to go again, this time riblettes. Still watched more Toonami anime.

On the last day we had the test. I took it, and finished within 1 hour and 30 minutes. It was actually kind of easy. The teacher asked if I took the class before, and I said "no I'm just really good at my job." Everyone else had to go back that day, but when I saw that the training was scheduled for all day I said "I'm not driving back 4 hours at 4 PM after taking a big test, I'm spending an extra night." When I found out it wasn't going to take all day, I made arrangements to spend the rest of the day at the plant that supplies us with raw castings. I wanted to see the process, and how our parts are made. I also got some good ideas of things to do at my plant. It was a good last day.

Now for the fun. My dad said "look up some videogame stores in the area" in a kind of joking fashion. I did look up local videogame stores though, and I found 2. I went to the 1 store and looked through all the PS2 games. I picked out 24 games I didn't have, and then found some other games I wanted for a grand total of 30. I had a little conversation with one of the clerks about how I'm working on a complete PS2 collection while the other clerk went to pull my game discs. Apparently there was some buy 2 get 1 free or whatever deal going on (or because the manager was serving me he threw in some freebies because I was buying so many; don't know and don't care). After that store I went to another store. I thought it was a videogame store, but apparently it wasn't there anymore. There was a comic book store and toy store, so I stopped at them. Sure, I'm not that into comic books, but maybe I'll find some clearance comics to give a try, or maybe they'll have some manga. They didn't have anything I wanted, but it was still cool to see. The toy store also wasn't a "KB Toys" toy store for kids; this was a "collectable, mint quality" toy store for adults. I looked around hoping to find some anime action figures I'd like (pokemon, DBZ, other), but alas, it was all Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, and such. Oh well, still pretty cool. It was a pretty cool little down town.

After down town I went to a 50 year old drive in burger place called "Dog n Suds." It reminded me of A&W and it was quite good. I wanted a vanilla milkshake, but unfortunately they didn't have any ice cream, so no shake for me. In the adjacent lot there was a group of guys with their street cars. I was wondering if there was going to be some fast and furious street race going on right next to me, and if I was going to get caught in the cross fire. Lucky for me it was just a group of enthusiasts getting together to show off their cars. Yay. Again, watch more toonami. I'm almost caught up now. I also did work on getting my website up to date over the trip.

The next (and final) day I packed up everything, checked out, and headed home. On my way home, I found a flea market, and found a lot of overpriced games. I did find some decent priced games, and almost completed my unholy trinity of bad games (E.T. for Atari [yes], Superman 64 [yes], and Sonic '06 [no]). I chose not to get Sonic '06 because the disc had the giant circle scratch on it and probably didn't work. I did get 2 games that looked like they'd work. After hours of driving I made it home. It was a great trip. Even though it was a business trip with the focus on business and work, it was a fun trip, and I hope I can do more in the future. This has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Mini-Trip with Highschool Friends

Hey everyone, so a little while ago I went to visit my friend Mskate for the weekend. She's going to grad school in the next state, and now that I'm a working man with vacation time, and since her brother gave me a bunch of videogames he no longer wanted, I wanted to go visit for the weekend and take her brother with me, lets call him IRA. This is something we wanted to do back in the end of 2016, but she had a lot of school work, so we bumped it to February 2017. So here's the adventure.

On Friday morning I went to pick-up IRA around 8AM. I loaded my car with my stuff, and he loaded up with his stuff and the things we were taking to Mskate. We punched mskate's address into my GPS, and here's where the first adventure happened. The highway that my GPS wanted us to take is under construction for the next 2 years, so I had to follow the detour until it got to my rout to work, then I knew exactly where I was and what routs to take. I drove us by my job just to show IRA where I work, because why not. It drove my GPS kind of crazy because it kept telling me to get on the highway, but I didn't. Eventually we got past all the construction,

After a while on the highway and getting all our "nerd" out that would bore mskate to tears we stopped for some lunch. We went to Wendy's because it tastes good and I have one of those "free frosty for a year" cards, but I didn't think it all the way through. See, I wanted to keep driving to make the time and eat on the way, and IRA doesn't like to drive so that means I'm doing all the driving, but you can't eat a frosty while driving. I told him "dude, you need to drive for at least 1 exit so I can eat this." He was a little nervous since he's never driving on the freeway outside of drivers ed. I had to coach him while eating my frosty. He did fine, but didn't want mskate or his mom knowing he was driving on the freeway. So when mskate asked "where's [IRA]?" when I answered his phone, I said "not driving on the freeway." It's not like he's not allowed to or anything, it's just that the whole family likes to worry. Everything turned out fine though, and we changed drivers at a gas station where I filled up. Then back on the road to mskate's apartment. We get there and mskate still had work or something. We had her key, so we just hung out in her apartment until she got home.

Once she got home we jumped into my car and went to check into my hotel in the next city. I checked in and did my bedbug check. Mskate and IRA didn't quite understand why I was so thorough (pulled up all the corners on the bed, took off some of the sheets, etc.) After checking in and dropping my stuff off, we went to the outside mall to walk around and get dinner. We went to a gamestop and I got an XBOX360 kinect and evolve for XBOX1. IRA got mskate a Sylveon plushy, because she thought it was cute even though she doesn't like pokemon. We later had dinner at the cheesecake factory. Being the working adult and gentleman I am, I paid for dinner. Here's a funny thing, I got the steak and mashed potatoes, and mskate got a burger and fries; I don't like mashed potatoes and she doesn't like fries, so we swapped. That was a good dinner. A little expensive, but I'm on vacation, you're allowed to have expensive dinners when on vacation. We went to walmart after dinner because it was close, I wanted to see if they had any amiibo I didn't have, and after seeing the pitiful "generic anti-bacterial wipes" I saw mskate use to try to clean her apartment I said "girl I'm going to hook you up with some real cleaning supplies." I hooked her up with clorox wipes, lysol tile cleaner, and commit toilet bowl cleaner.

After dinner we went back to her apartment. The 3 of us watched the Disney Channel Original Movie "Go Figure" on Hulu, because mskate figure skated in high school and undergrad, and is still a fan of the sport. So when I saw it was added to Hulu, I thought "oh we need to watch this some time," and this weekend was that "some time." All of us enjoyed it. Not much long after the movie everyone was done, so I went back to my hotel. I watched some more hulu after taking my shower. The cool thing about the hotel room, the TV was positioned in such a way I could see it from the bathroom. When priceline asked me to review the hotel room and asked what I liked most (for potential promotional material) I said "the TV was located so I could watch it from the bathroom." I don't think they'll be using that review. The other cool thing was that the TV had in room pay-per-view, like lodgenet but not "Lodgenet brand." Here's a video.

I didn't use it, because it's a rip-off, but it was cool to see it. I went to bed soon after.

OK now for Saturday. Mskate wanted to take us to this good breakfast place. It was good. I had eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, and toast. Afterwards we went to this local used entertainment store (videogames, movies, TV show collections, music CDs, and I think also electric guitars). She knew IRA and I would enjoy it, because both of us are big geeks. We spent a good 2 hours in there. I got Superman 64, a SNES game, and a bunch of PS2 games. They were at REALLY good prices. Like, all the PS2 games I got were under $8, many under $4. It was great. Here's a video of all my finds.

After the videogame store, we walked around her campus. It's a nice campus. Here are some videos I took.

We went to the student union, and kind of wandered into some places we shouldn't have. It's not like we got in trouble or were chased out by security, we just kind of wandered into some places that were closed, under construction, or were events we weren't invited to. No harm no foul.

With wandering done, I don't recall all we did. I remember we went to her local grocery store and made a salad for dinner, and we had pizza and watched Big Hero 6. I think we just kind of lounged around for a while before dinner. The pizza was good, and it was fun watching Big Hero 6 again. I think we also went out for ice cream, for which IRA decided he was going to treat after mskate and I had been paying for most everything. Once again, after everyone got tired I went back to my hotel. I watched some more hulu on the TV from the bathroom, because I could.

Sunday was a good day. I went to church, and it was a good mass. Not long after mass I met up with my godfather and his family. They don't live far from mskate, and they were going to be in the neighborhood to look at a potential used van. It was fun seeing my godfather and godbrother again after some months. We went to the college campus to walk around and visit. It's a very Catholic campus, and as religious Catholics we enjoyed seeing everything. We went to the on campus chapel and their youngest wanted to splash around in the baptismal fount (he's 2). I just said "he wanted to bathe with the lord," to which my godfather and his wife liked and will probably use in the future like my term "godbrother" for their oldest son.

After visiting with my godfather and his family, I went to pick up IRA, said my goodbyes to mskate, checked out of my hotel, and got on the road back home. It was a fun little trip. I have a feeling IRA and I are going to do it again. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.