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.

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 blog...is 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. Well...it 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.