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.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

North American International Auto Show 2017 Adventure

Hey everyone. So it's time for the North American International Auto Show. Before I go into the details, for legal reasons I must say "this is completely personal experience and I do not claim, nor have I ever claimed, to be 'the official home for NAIAS news.'" With that out of the way, time for my fun.

So when I went last year I went to try to get a job in the auto industry. I just graduated with a degree in engineering, and where else would be better to find a job in the industry than at a trade show? Well turns out that no one that ACTUALLY works for the auto companies is presenting the vehicles; they're all good looking marketing firms that were hired to look good next to the cars. I did find a couple suppliers that had actual employees showing off their stuff, but that's old news. This year, I have a full time job and was able to just enjoy the cars and booth babes, and try out my new video camera.

OK, so lets start at the start of the day, before I get to the auto show. Last year I went with my dad, Z-man, and his mom, L; and this year I went with the same group. Z-man and L were only going to be able to go early Sunday morning, so we all went early Sunday morning. We piled into the L's mini-van and went to Cobo convention center. L wanted to look at Honda and Kia, Dad wanted to look at GM, I wanted to look at Chrysler and Ford, and Z-man just wanted to look around. We got there before they opened, so we just waited in line. We wanted to go in at entrance B, because that was closest to the cars we wanted to see. I pulled out my 3DS to fight off boredom while waiting. My party went to check out other lines to make sure we were in the right line, and no one really told me so I went in at entrance A and found them afterwards. Woops, oh well, I found them with cell phones.

Dad and I first went to GM. The cars and SUVs were cool, but the best thing was the Lego Batmobile. It was half a million Lego bricks, and it was like full 1:1 scale of a Batmobile. Check out my video. After GM, Dad and I went to Chrysler, but first we took a little look Kia. We just looked at this arctic outfitted truck, with super snow caterpillars. Since my brother goes to school in the North where there's lots of snow, we joked that he needs this.

GMC's displays.

The really cool GM concept tires. These things could move sideways. To demonstrate they had these little RC cars that were controlled with a logitech PC controller.
OK now for Chrysler. I'm a bit of a Chrysler guy. I got to sit in a bunch of cool vehicles. I liked the Jeeps and Dodges so this was going to be cool. They had some commercial vehicles on display, like a large panel van that was larger than an ambulance. I climbed into the drivers seat, and it sat like 4 feet off the ground. After sitting I climbed through the back. Wow there was a lot of space. I also saw an air shocks demonstration for the pick-up trucks. Basically when you put a really heavy load in the back, the socks compensate by raising the back so it isn't back heavy and screwing up the aerodynamics. I told my grandpa about it later and he said that the technology isn't anything new, like the concept existed when he worked for the auto industry 50 years ago, but they were never able to get it to work since air leaks were inevitable. I guess they fixed it now. It was pretty cool. I sat in some other cars, and it was fun. I also saw their concept car, the Portal. It basically is a smart car (smart like "smart phone" not like the 2 passenger "smartcar") that recognizes the passenger and customizes the experience for them, as well as being autonomous (drives itself). I enjoyed the show, and let me tell you, it was A SHOW. The other companies just showed off their cars, and maybe had some videos playing. Chrysler on the other hand, had multi-screen videos, big bass boosts, and lights that changed based on the video that was playing. It was a theatrical performance. Really cool. Also, Chrysler had some of the best booth babes. No one else really had any pretty ladies standing next to the cars, and those that did weren't as plentiful and good looking as the ones at Chrysler.
After Chrysler, Dad and I met up with Z-man and L and went to Toyoda. I don't care much for Toyoda, but when in Rome. I saw a Toyoda hydrogen fuel up station, and it was interesting; different from what I'm used to seeing. I sat in a Nascar that they had on display. I asked the attendant "what's the sticker price on one of these?" since it kind of is meant to display upcoming vehicles for the consumers. She didn't know, and it really doesn't matter. There was also a really cool handicap option on the minivan. Basically one of the back seats swings out of the side door and lowers so the user only has to sit down and press a button to bring them back into the car. This option would be perfect for my grandparents since they have a lot of trouble getting in and out of cars. I also saw this van that had basically a whole living room in the back. Like, there were recliner seats and a 30 inch TV, with foot panel floors. This wasn't some little entertainment package, this was the real deal. It also had some impressive rims.
After Toyoda we walked around some. I saw some suppliers. They were kind of cool. I saw some luxury cars and they were cool. There was also BMW, sat in a sports car. I saw Volkswagon and their updated VW Bus, and it looks perfect for the modern hippy. After them I stopped at Smart, because I like to laugh at Smart cars. I sat in one, and it was silly how small they are. I don't get why someone would want an adult cozy coupe, but but whatever. It's just for goofs.

Everyone was starting to get a little tired. I could have probably gone a lot longer, but when you're with a group you kind of need to go with everyone. My last stop was Ford. I'm not a big Ford guy, but Ford has a bunch of fun activities. I remember there being some driving simulations, some feature activities, a "feel the wind in your face" thing, and of course the cars. It was fun.

After that we went to the lower level. Last year there was army vehicles like buggies and tanks. That was cool. This year it was hobby race cars, like not nascar or formula 1, but like hobbyist who have souped up cars and race on amateur tracks. They were cool. I also saw a Lightning McQueen and the Bonny Hunt car. That was cool. After I saw my fill I sat down at one of the video demos, and enjoyed the rest.
After all that we left. I enjoyed my time. It was a fun 4 hours. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I look forward to next year. I had some fun talking about it with my coworkers. There was a lot more VR this year, but with that being the main stream gimmick, I guess that is to be expected. The hand stamp lasted about a week. I don't know why, but whenever I get my hand stamped for something the ink lasts like a week. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Christmas and Hanuka and New Years 2016, and some hard times

Hey there everyone. Before I get into the fun of my 8 days of Hanuka and Christmas and New Years, and the hard time, I need to talk about the weekend before. I took the Friday off because I had vacation time to use, so I went to see Doctor Strange. I didn't realize it was also opening day to Rogue One, so the theater was pretty crowded. There were guys in storm trooper costumes, and a REALLY long line. But that was just to Star Wars. Doctor Strange was empty. I was the only one there. I probably could have moved to a better seat (it was assigned seating), but since I had the manager tell me I had to turn off my 3DS when the movie started, "even though [I] was the only one there," I decided I'll live with my seat. Watch my review here.

It was a good movie.
My bother also came in that week, so that was fun.

OK, now for the real start to the festivities. If you're new, I'm Catholic, and so is everyone in my family. However, seeing that the miracle of the oil burning for 8 days is in the Old Testament and there isn't anything in the New Testament saying I can't celebrate it, I celebrated my own form of Hanuka. I didn't do all the traditional foods like latkes, or light candles seeing that I don't have a menorah, and I didn't have to gather all my family because everyone was there for Christmas, but I did with everyone happy Hanuka with the appropriate day. It worked really well because it was at the same time as Christmas and all my family's usual festivities this year.

On the first day of Hanuka, Christmas Eve, we did the gift exchange with my grandparents on my mom's side, like we do every year. We went to McDonald's like we do every year. When we were little we went to McDonald's because that was "when Santa would deliver the presents." Now it's just "because tradition." I got a shirt, Kirby Planet Robot, TMNT Mutants in Manhattan, candy, and money. With the games I was all "it's just what I wanted, how did you know?" as a joke. My grandma was legitimately curious and asked "yes, how DID you know?" I bought black Friday and mom paid me for them. I gave my grandpa a movie gift card, because he likes to go to the movies with me. After doing Christmas Eve with them, we went to church. It was a good mass, and I wished the greeter a Happy Hanuka.

Now for Christmas Day. We went to my aunt's to see my grandpa on my dad's side. We went there REALLY early because we were going to skype with my cousin in Japan, so my grandpa can see his grandson and great grandson. The thing is though, there's a 10 hour difference, so we have to schedule far in advance. We had to get up at 6 AM to get there at 7 AM, so it would be 9 PM there. It was fun seeing them again. We did some gift exchange with them, and my gift to them was a DVD of the great grandson/nephew. My cousin sent me videos of his son, and I edited them together to burn to a DVD. They really like getting them. Since we got up so early, all of us took naps, and slept where we fell basically. I brought my laptop, and when everyone else was napping, I watched the preview of The Mick. Watch my thoughts here.

It has potential.
We didn't do our family exchange because be were all so tired when we got home, so we did it on the day after Christmas. I also didn't do my tradition of watching at least 1 airing of A Christmas Story on TBS, because it just didn't work out. Oh well.

So on the 3rd day of Hanuka, we exchanged Christmas gifts. I got Recore, candy, chips, a homer bucket, money, and a Pikachu blanket. It was fun. Now this is when it gets hard. My oldest friend's dad had some health problems, and they became really bad a week prior. We went to the hospital to be supportive. The day prior we went to the airport to pick-up the mom's sister, and that was kind of fun because our mom "did it all by her self," and only brought my brother and I just in case. After the hospital we went to see Sing with my grandpa, because "lets use the gift card while everyone is in, and then we can drive around the neighborhood to see the lights, they can see our tree, and go out to dinner. We went to the theater the gift card was to, but my grandpa made a mistake. See, the gift card I gave him was to AMC, but he also got a gift card from his neighbor to one of his local theater chains. When we got there he pulled out the other gift card.
I asked him "where's the gift card I gave you?"
He said "you didn't give me a gift card!"
I said "yes I did! There was popcorn and an empty pop can. That was to this theater. That gift card is to the theater by your house."
He said "oh yeah, that one's up stairs. Well use this one from the neighbor."
I said "I can't, that's to a different chain. That gift card was the reason we had you come all the way out here."
Oh they can be some work. Oh well, we'll just go another time. We went to see Sing by Illumination. Watch my review here.

Another good movie.

After the movie, we went to dinner at a local restaurant, and all of us had breakfast. It was good. Afterwards we drove around some to see the lights. After that we visited in our living room. That is also when we got the call that we lost my friend's dad. That was sad.

On the 4th day of Hanuka I recorded the Sing review and got my parents gift cards. Bath and Bodyworks for mom and Home Depot for dad. When delivering I sang "on the 4th day of Hanuka, your son gave to you, a gift card valued 18 plus 2." The rest of the day was pretty normal. I watched movies on Crackle before they expired, as I did throughout the week. I think I watched Bucky Larson Born to be a Star. I know I watched it one of the days. REALLY bad movie, and very curious how it managed to get made. I also went to see Moana with Mskate. The first theater we went to sold out as we were standing in line, so we went to a theater that was 40 minutes away, to see a show that started in 30 minutes. We made a little adventure out of it. Watch my review [when I upload it].

After the movie we went to see my mom, because mom always asks me questions about mskate that I don't know the answer to. Well, mom always asks me questions like "how is her master's program going?" But we don't talk about things like that, we talk about stories like "my mom found a dime in a brownie at a fancy restaurant." So I just said "here she is, ask her yourself."

On the 5th day of Hanuka we had a party with my mom's old college friends, like we do every year. The host rotates between the friends year to year, and this year it was our turn to host. That happened later in the day, so the day was getting ready. At the party I mostly played with one of the friend's son's step-daughter. OK, to clear things up, my mom's friends are all 1st generation, all their kids (me, the married son) are 2nd generation, and any of the kid's kids are 3rd generation. One of us from the 2nd generation got married and he gained a step-daughter making a 3rd generation. I played with 3rd generation. We mostly "played" Super Mario 3D World. I say "played" because she didn't want to play by the rules of the game, and didn't realize that we can't spend all the time in the one pond in a level, and that I don't have unlimited cat bells. We also played some Diddy Kong Racing after I pulled out one of my N64s. But then others from the 2nd generation wanted to play because they grew up with Diddy Kong Racing. Fun times. We also watched some of Jonah a Veggie Tales Movie, because the married 2nd generation is expecting and we gave them a Veggie Tales nativity. However, the 3rd generation daughter didn't know Veggie Tales, so we had to show her what everyone was so enthusiastic about.

On the 6th day of Hanuka I gave ZeldaMaster93 his gifts, from both our out of state friend and myself. Since he didn't add an address to his amazon wish list, and since ZeldaMaster93 lives just a couple streets down from me, the friend had to send the gift to me to deliver to ZM93. When I delivered the gifts, I put on an elf hat and gave him a little story. I said this in a goofy/santa voice.
"Hello there [ZeldaMaster93], Chris [our friend] Kringle said you were a good boy, and you deserve something special. However, he also said you were a little naughty, specifically that you didn't link an address to your amazon wish list. So as punishment, you have to deal with me [Pokematic] the annoying elf."
After giving him the manga volume from our friend, and the target gift card and Super Mario toothbrush, I sang him this. "On the 6th day of Hanuka, your friends gave to you, 1 Mario toothbrush, 1 gift card, and a maaangaaaa voooluuuuummmmmeeee."
I recorded the whole ordeal for our friend, and he just did his strait man reaction. I would show you the video, but it got corrupted. Oh well. ZeldaMaster93 wouldn't like it all that much if I shared it publicly anyways. I shared what I could privately with our friend, and he enjoyed it. My main gift was the gift card; I just gave him the toothbrush because years ago he got me a nyan cat plushy, and this was my version of that (he would like it, but it's also a gag gift).

After giving ZeldaMaster93 the gifts, we went to the visitation for my friend's dad. I saw a lot of people I haven't seen in years. It was a nice visitation. Since he didn't want anything formal, and loved hunting and partying, my brother wore flannel and I wore one of my island shirts.

On the 7th day of Hanuka it was the celebration of life. Everyone that had stories told stories. Since my family is very close to their family, my grandpa told a story. After the "formal" celebration of life ceremony, we had a luncheon/"dinnereon?" later that evening at his local eagles club. My family did a lot of the set-up. One of the pictures on the boards was from our kindergarten picnic. I showed one of our friends from kindergarten the picture and it brought back memories. It was a good celebration.

Now on the 8th day of Hanuka or New Years Eve, we went to an end of year party thrown by some of our camping friends. My godfather was there, and I wished him a happy Hanuka. He was a little confused, but I said "there's nothing in the New Testament that says I can't celebrate the miracle." He was like "well you got me there, happy Hanuka." It was a fun little party. I got to visit with everyone, and had some fun with my "godbrother" (godfather's son). We played Monopoly until he got board (he's 7 and Monopoly is a long game). We stayed until about 9PM, then everyone started to disperse. For New Years I was going to watch the ball drop, but I realized I hadn't showered yet, and I was tired and ready to go to bed at midnight. I showered and JUST missed the ball drop as I was getting out of the shower. Darn it. Oh well.

On New Years Day we had a party with my mom's best friend and her kids. We played the forbidden island and liars dice. My brother had 100 D6 dice because he's a tabletop geek, so getting 36 D6 for the 6 of us to play was easy. I wanted to play "96 dice, 1 life, liars dice," but everyone thought that was a bad idea. We did some gift exchange. I got trobelone, a Pikachu button down shirt, and the board game worst case scenario. I look forward to wearing the Pikachu shirt to work, because even though I work a professional job, everyone knows I'm a little eccentric and I do my job so well I've earned a little eccentric. Plus, it's no worse than the "highly visible man" I was for Halloween. The worst case scenario is a bit of a joke, because last year we played worst case scenario jr. (the kids version) and mom's friend asked "why aren't you playing the grown up version," and I said "because you didn't give it to me yet" (because she gave us the kids version). That was fun. Afterwards we took down my grandparent's Christmas tree, and I fixed on of their strands of lights. I have now run out of spare lights. The next time a strand breaks I'm stripping it for next time.

So now 2016 has come and gone, and we look towards 2017. Normally people would do some resolutions. Seeing that I haven't uploaded any of PSS lets palsy last year, I plan to upload at least the rest of the battlefront videos. I also have some vlogs and other videos I need to edit, so hopefully I can get those uploaded. I also want to get my TV logs uploaded within the week after initial airing. Why? Because I was STILL uploading previous season LMOE logs when the current season was airing. Otherwise, that's pretty much it. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday 2016

Hey everyone, Pokematic back again with another story. This time, my yearly Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday blog. Hold on to your seats, because this years rather anti-climatic.

I guess I'll start with the week before. I had 4.5 days of vacation time left in the year, and I had to use it or lose it. So I decided to take Friday's off for the rest of the year. Last Friday I went to visit my college friend who is finishing up his semester. I remember that last semester. After playing Pokemon with my Pokemon club I took him out to the bar. He wanted to go out at 11PM, but having picked up many people from that bar and going there once while still in college, I know it gets really crazy there on Friday nights, so I convinced him to go out at 8PM. After hours of catching up, we went back to his apartment. I was going to spend the whole weekend, but I knew the work he had to get back to so I left Saturday. Since he's an international student my family invited him to Thanksgiving, but he wasn't able to make it. Oh well.

My brother came back from College for thanksgiving. He had a week off, so we had some fun the weekend before. We had to get the house in order. This basically meant I had to clean up my nest. We got everything ready, and then had Thanksgiving. My grandparents and their friends came. Because we didn't have as large a crowd as we usually do, my grandpa and I got to use the china. Afterwards we sang accordion songs. Some friends of the family came to sing and have desert. It was fun seeing them again.

Now for Black Friday. I tried to get mskate to go shopping with me, but she was too tired, and my brother didn't want to go out, and none of my other friends, so it was just me. There wasn't much this time around. I found ReCore and Kirby Planet Robot that night. While out I ran into a family friend. We didn't talk long because we were both out to get deals. I wanted to get a New 3DS on sale because I want the back-up. Unfortunately those were all sold out. The next day my brother and I set-up our grandparents Christmas tree, and after that we went to Walmart to see if there were any scraps left. I found Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Take Manhattan, a game I've been considering getting but I didn't want to pay $40+ for. Yay.

[Now I wait for Cyber Monday]

OK so now it's Cyber Monday. With Black Friday as a bit of a bust, hopefully Cyber Monday will be better. was also a bit of a bust. I got a car GPS for like 40% off, which was great. But that's kind of it. Oh well. They can't all be winners. Oh well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Evansville trip 2016, Fall Festival and 80th Birthday

Hey there everyone. It's been 4 years since I went to see my family in Evansville and boy was it fun. We were going down for my Great Aunt's 80th birthday, and they were also having their fall festival. Let me break it down day by day.

Day 0.5
I call it "0.5" because we left after work. We encompasses my mom, her best friend, aunt, grandma, and grandpa. All 6 of us piled into a rental Dodge Grand Caravan with a built in DVD player. Actually, it had composite input and a 120V outlet, so I also brought one of my SNES and some games for my aunt to play on the way. I also brought some DVDs, one of them being National Lampoon's Vacation, a movie my family references all the time, and "road trip." I road up front because Mom wanted directions help, and GPS help. I also wore my "Wally World" t-shirt, because "road trip." As we were pulling away, my dad was just smiling and waving to see us off, knowing he's not going on this crazy journey with us.

After about 6 blocks, my grandma was complaining about her back hurting. Since this is a "stow and go" Grand Caravan, we folded down the seat to get in the back and the head rest folds into the seat when folded. Well, we forgot to put it back up, so my grandma was really uncomfortable. Mom pulled over, I jumped out, helped her move out the way, folded the headrest back up, got her situated, and jumped back in the van. Well....I forgot to close her door, so as we were pulling away she saw it was still open and yelled "STOP." Mom slammed the breaks and the door shut on it's own momentum. That was a fun thing to tell my brother and cousin; "we made it 6 blocks before we had to stop." lol

After many hours and lots of references to Vacation, we arrived at our motel. It was a REALLY nice motel. My grandparents and I were in the accessible room, and it was basically a studio apartment with a full kitchenette. My mom, her best friend, and aunt had the "penthouse suit" which had 2 floors, a sitting room, separate bedroom, and full kitchenette. Oh, and the front lobby had free cookies.

Day 1
After the awesome motel and awesome motel breakfast, I played "van Tetris" got everything back packed. I sat in the back row this time because mom was confident with the GPS. I tried to set-up the videogames, but unfortunately the power outlet didn't work. Darn. Oh well. After we got on the road we started watching National Lampoon's Vacation. That was fun. For lunch we stopped at a Steak and Shake, because my grandparents love it. Mom's friend had a sheet of coupons, so all of us ordered to maximize our savings. In total we saved like $10. Yay.

After more hours, we arive in Evansville. We stop at my great Aunt's house to say hello and get my aunt set-up at her house. After an hour of that we unpack my grandparents and I at our hotel. After a little relaxing, we head down to the fall festival. Fall festival is a big thing down there, like school closes for it, and they shut down main street so they can line it with food trucks, carnival rides, and midway games. Also, the food trucks are all Southern Soul Food, aka, EVERYTHING is deep fried.

We got there for dinner, with the plan of having dinner at the festival. On night 1 I got myself a brain sandwich, which is a deep fried pig brain on a bun with pickles. It's a regional German thing, and I can only find them in Evansville. Check out the picture below.

While waiting in line, there was a lady that never had a brain sandwich. When she made it to the front of the line, and when she saw it was actual brain meat, she exclaimed "what is wrong with you people!?" He husband/boyfriend had a brain and she tried it in front of us, for the fun of it and putting on a show for people who encouraged her to try it. She did a sign of the cross, took a bite, and didn't like it. It was funny. I like them, it's soft and crunchy, and tastes like deep fried. This one wasn't as good as the restaurant I normally get them at, but it was still pretty good. I had my first brain like 10 years ago, and I have to have one whenever I go down there. I checked out some other trucks, and some of the carnival. My cousin turtle girl wanted to meet us at the fair, but she unfortunately wasn't able to find parking. It was still a fun time.

Day 2
Well it's now the bid day, the reason we came down and I took off 2 days, my great aunt's 80th birthday. My mom's generation got everything set-up at the hall, while I waited at the hotel with my grandparents. At the party I saw MMT and turtle girl again for the first time in 2 years, so it was really fun catching up. Then I saw my boy cousin (MMT's brother) for the first time in 4 years. I also got to meet turtle girls boyfriend, and he's majoring in the same general area I am. We talked about common skill sets, and that was fun. He's a nice guy, good for turtle girl. I sat with turtle girl's family for dinner, and that was fun. It was a southern chicken dinner, and since I don't like chicken I just had a big plate of southern green beans. My uncle made a great video of my great aunt throughout the years, and another one of my aunt's made a bingo game out of great aunt trivia. That was fun.

After packing up the party, we went to church. After church, we went to my aunt's house for some post party fun. We opened her gifts, and my aunts played a fun joke on her. She has a closet of wedding gifts she never used, in the 50+ years since she got married. My aunts wrapped up some of the gifts and gave them to her as presents. Good joke. My grandma made her a build a bear, and she really liked it. Some of her friends got her gift cards. Good little time.

We went to the festival for it's last night afterwards. Since I had my brain, I wanted to get some other foods. I started with a deep fried hotdog wrapped in bacon and fried broccoli. Now when I read "fried broccoli," I was expecting "lightly battered broccoli that's been deep fried." Not this, this was broccoli, wrapped in cheese sauce, with VERY thick batter. Only half of it was broccoli. It was good, but not what I expected. My family parked it at a local bar that's on the main road with the festival. Because it's fall festival, you can bring in festival food but not drinks (pretty sure that's illegal because they don't know what's in it). I had a glass of wine with my festival food. After some time, MMT and I went back out to the festival and I bought some buffalo jerky. I was expecting "home made, we smoked it ourselves" jerky, but this was "convenience store slim jim serving" jerky. It was good though, and I saved 1 for the trip home. After a little while longer and finishing my glass of wine, I went out to get nachos, and those were good too. I wanted to get Potato Ribbons, which is basically a REALLY large potato chip (a spiral cut potato). Unfortunately everyone was out, so I settled for nachos. Oh, I also saw a broken hypodermic needle on the ground while out getting my nachos. Alllrighty then.

Day 3
The final day. We pack up our stuff, said our goodbyes, piled into the van, and head to our next stop. We stop close where J-man lives, and had lunch with him. I had a steak with broccoli, because I needed something not fried and healthy. After our lunch we went back to the awesome motel. On the ride there I watched Popeye Volume 2 Disc 1. Since my longest friend lives in the same city, we went out for a beer and pizza. It was REALLY fun catching up. He told me about this videogame store that's in the city, and how it has everything and he was considering getting an SP because he needs one when out traveling with hockey. When I got up from the table I felt a little wobbley, lol. After I got back to the hotel, I had the joy of listening to my grandpa complain about how big of a scum bag Trump is (like Clinton is any better).

Day 4
We ate breakfast and I "tetrised" the van. Our plan was to get going before 9AM (which means I would miss the videogame store), but because old people take a while to get moving, we made it to the videogame store right as they opened at 10AM. My aunt and I enjoyed looking around at everything, and I bought 6 games there; Shooting Gallery on sega master system, centipede and star wars episode on on PS1, Ratchet and Clank Size Matters on PSP, and Bloodrayne and George of the Jungle for PS2. Funny enough, when I tested Bloodrayne on my childhood PS2 it didn't work. However, when I tried it on one of my other PS2s it worked. We drove for hours. I watched classic popeye theatrical shorts, and later the first episode of firefly. Just a ride home. Later that night I needed to get away and do my own thing. Lucky for me Batman Return of the Caped Crusader was playing for that night only. Listen to my review here.

Well that was my trip. It was a fun time. This has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

To Be A College Student for a Weekend

Hey everyone. This past Thursday was my film club's annual student film festival. Since I was a student 5 months ago, I made some short films with them and entered them into the festival. However, since I'm now a full time employee, I can't just go across the state and watch short films with my friends on a weeknight. So I had to use 2 days vacation time to have fun, and with the way my department is structured, it wasn't a problem (even though a couple of guys that know me from my internships gave me a hard time about taking vacation less than a month from starting, lol). So here's my experience.

I woke up Thursday morning and hit the road at about 10AM. I didn't have any trouble finding where I had to go, and when I broke for lunch I went to a GoodWill that was really close to the McDonald's I stopped at. I picked up a PS2 DDR dance pad for $2. The cashier was happy that someone bought it since apparently they don't sell very fast. After lunch I continued driving to my old college. I made it after about 3 hours. Once I got there, I made a quick stop at my engineering campus. I was hoping to see some old friends or maybe some professors, but neither were there. Well that figures, most of my friends that would hang out at the cafe or computer lab graduated, and it was during class hours so my professors were probably teaching a class. Oh well, it was cool seeing my second home again. After the engineering college I went to the GoodWill that was 1 mile away from campus. I bought a PS2 RF adapter, brand new for cheap.

After the GoodWill, I went to the student union where I wanted to hang out, hoping to find some old friends or just watch Toonami on I had to re-configure my laptop so I could access the school's wifi. Now this Wi-Fi is just meant for students, but since I still have my log-in information, and they only reset log-in servers at the beginning of the school year (I think), I was able to log-in and still enjoy the student Wi-Fi. I told my friends I would be there, and one of my friends I met in my last semester stopped by to talk. Oh, I also had to use the visitor metered parking since I was a visitor. The meters at my college are a rip-off. It's 1 quarter for 10 minutes. Every meter parking I know of (down town my home town and down town my college's close city) give you 30 minutes for a quarter. I had to pay like $5 in quarters to park at the student union for the couple hours I was there. Then when I went to the auditorium parking, I had some trouble finding a spot since there was like some event going on, so I accidentally parked in "30 minute limit" parking, only to find out after pumping $1.50 in to see "the time's not increasing." I found another spot that was REALLY close to another car, so I had some fun getting out. Then I spent about another $5 on meters.

But then things got fun. I went to the building where the festival was happening, and went to where it was before. I set-up at a lounge and watched some more Toonami. Eventually one of the current members of the group told me they were meeting upstairs. I packed-up my stuff and met them up there. This is when I started filming the fun behind the scenes video I always do, and I'll get it all edited together, once I get my camera back from my friend. It was fun seeing them again. We hung out and got caught up while the others scrambled to get things all set-up for the night. And then TisLiberte, our former president of 3 years, showed up and that's when things got REALLY fun. Whereas I was one of the most dedicated member that really bled for the group in my last semester, TisLiberte was probably the most dedicated member ever and just brought a whole lot of fun to the group. Oh man we had some fun.

Now it's film time. Everyone got in and, well I'll let the video speak for itself (once I get the footage and edit it). I entered 3 shorts I filmed over the semester; got pyramid, Pokemon anime/game cross over, and School: an Educational Establishment (featuring iMonster). Halfway through the festival there was intermission. I changed into my Oddish costume. Oh that was fun, and everyone really enjoyed it. There was also photo booth fun. Here's the picture of TisLiberte and I.
Yeah it was fun. After intermission it was time for more films. After more great films, it was time for judging. I changed back into normal clothes, and took some more video. The winners were all deserving of their coveted golden VHS tapes (my idea from 3 years ago might I add when they were talking about how expensive real trophies would be). It was kind of symbolic in that the short film that had not only TisLiberte, our president of 3 years, directing it, it also had a founding father work on it, and we tried to call him in Florida to congratulate him live during the acceptance speech. We left him a fun voice mail. It was a fun 4 hours of short films, that ended at 11 PM. Why, because college. The films were really good this year. Like, previous years there were some really bad films, and not just "I'm an engineer that doesn't understand experimental art house" bad, but "film students in the group were making fun of how bad they were later" bad. This year they were quite funny/entertaining, and the worst was "well it just dragged on a little."

Afterwards, everyone that was still around went to IHOP for dinner/late night snack. There were like 9 of us that were there. It was really fun to just hang out with the film club again, while eating chocolate chip pancakes. One of the members jokingly asked the group (not the waitress) "what's on draft?" (There's no alcohol served at the international house of pancakes, so it was quite funny). Why ask something like that, because college. We were there for 2 hours having fun, hanging out, and enjoying breakfast food. One guy got a 55 and over menu option. I don't think the waitress really cared. Another member wanted a child smiley face pancake, but he decided against it and got an adult meal. Also, bear in mind that we got there at like 11 PM at night, and we stayed there until 1 AM. Why? Because college. I showed up at my friend who was letting me spend the weekend with him on one of his futons at like 1:30 AM, and he had a test the next morning at like 8:30 AM (I don't miss that part of college).

OK so it's now Friday morning. I wake up at 10 AM (because vacation), and have some coco krispies while I surf the morning web. So this was kind of funny; I'm sitting in my friend's living room with his girlfriend, and the power was cut off because he forgot to pay the electric bill or something. It was kind of funny to see it actually happen. I went to McDonald's for lunch, and then pumped $6 into the meter so I could park until they stopped enforcing it. I intended to just watch Toonami until Pokemon, but I ran into a friend and we talked for about 2 hours. After she had to leave I watched Toonami, and hopped that I could see Saint and/or Sudden, but they were busy. Oh well.

So now it's Pokemon time. I wore my Oddish costume, and it went over quite well. The president has always given me a hard time about how cringey my costume was, since it's just a blue spandex morph suit with a plastic fern sticking out of the back. He was fine with it once he saw it in person, and the vice president wanted a picture with it for his snap chat. We had fun with a game of Pokemon Trivia, and it was quite a fun time, especially to be a college student again.

After Pokemon I went back to my friend's place and we ate the extra popcorn from the film festival while we watched Clerks. Oh yeah, a local movie theater donated like a couple cubic yards of popcorn for the film festival, and there was like a cubic yard left over. I took the left over and gave it to my friend as a "thank-you for letting me crash" gift. Why? Well I'm just naturally eccentric like that (it wasn't "because college" this time lol). We watched Clerks specifically because I was talking about it when we watched Bowfinger last time I was in town. In Bowfinger Steve Martin's character says something like "every movie is filmed on a budget of $1000," and Clerks really was filmed on a budget of like $1000 (though it was actually more like $23,000 according to Wikipedia). He really enjoyed it, and we had like $20 worth of movie popcorn while watching it. I also had like Indian Rammen for dinner with him (because he's Indian and a college student, so he of course had bricks of instant noodles sitting around that remind him of home). They tasted really good, but later that night I woke up with some indigestion because of the spices or something. Curse my Caucasian American intestinal system, because they were REALLY good. Oh well. After the movie we watched an episode of "Those Who Can't," because that was advertised on Crackle when we watched Bowfinger the last time I was in town, and he had a lot of fun with it.

It's Saturday now. Since I was on that side of the state, I decided I was going to take the extra hour to go visit Brandi. It was a little hard going there alone, but I still felt good to visit her. Her grave wasn't marked yet, so I spent about 5 minutes walking around the small cemetery "playing hide and seek." When I gave up looking for her headstone, I stood where I remember the burial happening and just said my prayers while looking around. Oh Brandi; even in death you're still very playful. After my last point of visit, I started the now 3 hour drive home. I got home around 5 PM and I had a lot of fun being a college student again. Well, now it's time to go back to being a real world adult. I'll be sure to link the film festival video once I get my camera back and the video edited and uploaded.

But until then, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Wild Lights at the Zoo

Hey everyone. So I guess every year at my local zoo they set-up a light exhibit where you walk around half the zoo and see all the lights in the shape of animals and other cool things. Mskate suggested we do this since it's a fun thing. We were going to do it the weekend before Christmas, but due to scheduling issues and whether, we decided to go the weekend after Christmas. Here's the little adventure that it was.

So I go over to her house and we got ready to head over to the zoo. She lives rather close, so we drove to to her "locals secret free parking" place. On out way there we saw a woman drive slowly by the fence getting the "side-line free show" from the back streets of the suburb that's next to the zoo. It was a small walk, but it saved us $7, plus it allowed us to get this picture.
Yeah, it's not dark enough to see it yet. Oh well. It wasn't time yet. There were 2 ways to buy tickets; pre-order in advance for a specific time, or same day on wait. We did same day on wait. I'm REALLY glad I brought my credit card because mskate just brought cash, and the only way to get our tickets was with credit card at the automated kiosk. She reimbursed me after I bought both of our tickets. So, now we play the waiting game. It was kind of cold, so I'm glad I wore warm clothes. Well, except gloves, and that's why I kept my hands in my pockets when I could. They separated us "at will" people from the "in advance" people.
 It wasn't fun on the other side of the barricade.
We were at the front of the line because we were paying attention to where we had to go. It was still about 15 minutes before they let us in after they let everyone else in. We just chatted and got caught up while we waited for it to get dark and be let in. But then they let us in, and it was great. We gave the ticket people our tickets, and mskate was a little upset they didn't let us keep our ticket stubs because she scrap books, and wanted to use this in her scrap booking. I did get her a map since they were only going to give me one. She also saw the "prism glasses that make the lights rainbows" and all that. She wanted one, but since this wasn't my first "vendor event," I knew those glasses would cost extra, and I was right. She didn't want them knowing they cost extra. Once we walked in we were greeted with this large, decorated tree. I got a nice photo with it.
After seeing the light tree, we saw some cool lights. Like these.

(In the future, all pictures without me will be uploaded to myspace)

It was already really pretty, but it felt weird not going to the butterfly house or penguin house. But outside the penguin house, I got this picture with a penguin statue.

After the penguin, I took this short video while walking.
Check out this cool tree light set-up.

After the tree the path had all these lights. Some of which were animated, like these.

They also had other animals. Here's a fun picture of me "petting" the light elephant and "hugging" the light hippo.

We walked down the path and saw a lot of cool lights. Mskate was walking faster than I did, so I kept having to tell her to slow down. I felt like I was with a younger me since "[Pokematic] slow down and enjoy the scenery" was something I heard a lot as a kid. lol. After walking through this cool walkway thing, (pictured below) we came up to a "rest area and giant slide" area.
We didn't do the large slide, because that was extra. Also, we were a little big for it. Well, I was a little big for it. Mskate could probably just make it, but still, extra. The rest area was a converted picnic area with drinks (including beer), crafts for the kids, pictures with Santa (who wasn't there since it was after Christmas), and a couple places to sit. We didn't stay to long, but I did get this funny picture of me "warming my hands" with a giant candle light.
It gave of a small amount of heat, but it was just a light bulb. It made a good goof though. However, outside the rest area we did find an actual gas heater. We warmed our hands by that for a couple minutes. It wasn't to far before we got to the "organizations and motion simulator" building. It was open so we could warm up, use the bathroom, and optionally ride the motion-simulator. We didn't ride the motion-simulator because, extra. We warmed up and took in what we just saw. Outside there was this cool "dancing lights" with the lights on the pillars changing with the music playing. Check it out.

That was cool. Outside the building there were some more animated lights, but these were of dinosaurs, particularly pterodactyls. Here's a gif of it and a video with me making pterodactyl noises.

Not to much farther did we come to the big fountain. Because it was winter the water was drained and not flowing. Oh well. It still looked cool at night.
If I had some change with me I would have thrown a coin into the empty fountain because that's what I did all the time as a kid. It was nice. After the fountain we walked a little further and saw some more lights. We also found a warming fire barrel. I warmed up by it. I was regretting not bringing gloves.
We saw some more lights (pics available on myspace). Then we saw this cool dancing lights and animated ball. Oh man was this cool. Video below.
A little more down the way, we found this wolf emblem lights thing. Here's me "howling" with the wolf.

Yeah. At this point we were approaching the end of the walkway into the zoo. This is where the polar bears and main zoo cafe was. The cafe was closed, as well as the polar bears. But we did see this cute little polar bear light statue.
Mskate wanted her picture with it, so I took her picture with it on her phone. At this point we reached as far into the zoo as we could. Everything was blocked off. We saw some more lights, and stopped by a chimp exhibit. This wasn't the BIG chimp exhibit, but it was one of them. Unfortunately the chimps weren't out, because it was past their bed-time. However, I got a funny picture of me at the little statue.
Yeah, it's fun to goof and have someone to take the pictures. As we walked, we came across these fun barricades. I got behind one and acted out what the scene was.
You're not supposed to go beyond them (and we didn't), but it doesn't cause much harm to walk directly behind it and take a picture. As we walked on we came to the other side of the animated ball. I tried to have Mskate take one of those "forced perspective" tourist shots of me "holding" the ball, but that kind of failed.
Yeah. Oh well, she isn't into camera work like I am. We continued to walk and see some more lights; some new and some from a different perspective (pics available on myspace). We missed this on our first viewing, so I got this picture of me with a light T-Rex.
I'm trying to mount it lol. We saw some more lights, but then we got to the reptile house. If I'm remembering a zoo overnight with the cub scouts properly, zoo mammals have specific bed times and are conditioned to know their bed times and sleep inside during the night so they are more active outside during the day. Zoo reptiles, however, don't have bed times because their constant heat lamps, permanent enclosures, and general lethargic nature allows people to see them at night without disturbing them. These reasons probably aren't completely correct, but we were able to see them at 7PM, long after all the other animals were asleep. Here's me riding the brass turtle statue.
I tried to take some pictures, of the animals, but the lens kept fogging up. Oh well. I really enjoyed it, but then again I really enjoy reptiles. Mskate however, didn't like it all that much, because she doesn't like reptiles all that much I guess. She enjoyed the warm though, and so did many others since it was warm in there. I did get this funny picture of me with a cobra statue.
After I took my picture there was a dad that wanted a picture with it. His son was afraid of it though, and thought the snake was going to bite him. Kind of funny. We left the exhibit and saw some more lights. We stopped at the otter house because it was warm. Mskate was all "why are we here, the otters aren't even out?" It was warm though, and made for a good "disappointed goof" picture.
After the otters there were more lights, and these cool animated frog lights by the amphibian exhibit. Here's a gif of it.

After the frogs we saw a lot more lights (see on Myspace). Near the end there were these construction penguins for their new penguin exhibit. Here are some pictures of me goofing with the penguin lights.

This now brings us to the butterfly house. We're right close to the enterance. I did see this sparkly rain deer, and tried to take some video. I realized I was filming vertically, so enjoy this little banter.

That was mostly it. Here's a picture of the exit.
It was cool, and once we got out of the main gate, I got a good picture of the entrance.
That was really fun. I'm really glad Mskate suggested that we do this. Sure, it was cold, but we saw a bunch of cool lights for cheep. It's also been a while since I've been to the zoo. It was fun to hang out again, so that was fun. I think we might have to do this again next year, but we'll make sure to order our tickets in advance. Make sure you check out the myspace gallery for all the pictures. Well, this has been Pokematic, signing off, and bu-bye.