E3 2018 Music Video

 

Here’s a music video / clip reel of my favorite game announcements, trailers, and gameplay from E3 2018! I used to make a point to make one of these every year but it dropped off many years ago. After a really thrilling set of reveals (and the sad state of world), I decided to dust off the process and take on the simple creative exercise.

The whole process is so enjoyable: finding the game trailers I love, selecting the perfect song for the mood I want to impart, extracting the most thrilling video clips, creating a beat track to align the clips, arranging everything…it feels awesome to feel a clip slide right into place with the music. A couple nights of that and some polish and viola, a little time capsule of my mood, interest and excitement bundled into one hype reel.

Even if these games never live up to the hype (or come out at all), I’ll always love a good E3 trailer. Enjoy!

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Short Trip to Charlotte and Blowing Rock

Last Wednesday, my friend Vic and I took off toward Charlotte for a couple opportunities at checking out the suburbs on the way to and back from Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I’m half-considering the move to Charlotte for a change of scenery and closer proximity to the mountains, but I also just wanted to get away for a bit and breathe some crisp, fresh, cold mountain air. Some thoughts and highlights from the trip!

  • We unintentionally ended up at the same Arby’s on the way up and the way back. We got embarrassingly bad service both times, but nothing stopped those Chicken Bacon & Swiss from being delicious.
  • The southern and eastern areas around the 485 (Charlotte’s beltway) are pretty nice! I could definitely see myself staying there if the opportunity was right.
  • The typical places described as desirable north of the city (Davidson, Mooresville, Huntersville, etc.) are very crowded and the traffic / construction on I-77 was horrible by 2:30pm on a Thursday. I don’t think I could deal with that, but the parks and amenities on Lake Norman felt like they could be frequent visits.
  • Our room at the Hemlock Inn in Blowing Rock was upgraded to…the same room Rob and I stayed in last October. Not complaining!
  • Restaurants that remain stellar: Local Lion, Bella’s, Our Daily Bread. Those that weren’t so great this time: Capone’s, Blowing Rock Brewery. New find that is pretty solid: The New Public House’s breakfast.
  • The weather and forecast only gave us a couple mornings’ worth of sunshine so we crammed a lot of hiking into those windows. Friday morning we hiked a trio of trails (Beacon Heights, Flat Rock, and Linville Falls Plunge Basin) and braved a starting temp of 25* Sunday for the Green Knob loop. On our dreary, wet Saturday, we stuck to the flat lake loops (Trout Lake and Bass Lake).
  • I joined my team’s Daily Standup from the top of Beacon Heights.
  • It snowed Saturday night and I was a nervous wreck, having never driven in snow. But uh, it was mostly just in the air, and literally everyone I asked rolled their eyes at me. It made for a really pretty Sunday morning hike atmosphere!
  • Vic started a new Pokemon Go account on Wednesday and was level 21 by the end of the trip. Oh look a Wailmer!

All in all, a pretty great trip! It’s a nice holdover until Rob and I likely return for another early-October week in the mountains. For now, back to work finishing out the Spring semester and looking forward to an early-May trip out to the Bay Area!

March 2018 Update

It’s that time again! Just got home from our monthly Budget and Goals dinner and I’ve got some updates on goals!

Entered Sweetwater Cabin Lottery: There is a small, private spring and cabin in the heart of the Ocala National Forest, rentable by the week. It’s one of the only springs I’ve never been to in Florida, mostly because you have to win a lottery to even pay to reserve it. Threw in my entry for this year–here’s hoping!

Posted Weight Loss Blog: In case you didn’t see, I’ve lost a lot of weight in the past few years! Read about it in my recent blog post.

Finished Reading Leaders Eat Last: As part of a work book club, I finally finished reading Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. A common selection for leadership, it’s a really good basic look into what powers actual motivation and how you can respect that in your leadership style. Worth a read for sure.

Performed Some Car Maintenance: Typical stuff, but changed the oil in the Fit myself for the first time (thanks for the assist Erik!) and had the tires rotated and balanced (a good combo with oil changes as a rule of thumb). Next month I’m rolling it into the shop for some major, milestone work: all new brake pads and rotors, a brake fluid replace, a complete transmission fluid flush and replace, and new spark plugs.

Planned Charlotte / Blowing Rock Trip: In an effort to see some possible move spots, I’m taking a trip with Vic for an extended weekend to see Charlotte for a couple days and chill in Blowing Rock in between. Too much driving but should be a good time.

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How I Lost 70 Pounds (And You Can Too!)

 

I’ve never been a smaller dude. I had a pretty average build throughout grade school and never paid much attention to developing healthy habits. I started putting on the pounds in college as I had less and less structure to keep me away from bad habits. Starting a full-time desk job continued the increase, both from the lack of activity and the increased stress and pressure to eat out and snack. I was a motivated person back then, but food was a comfort through bad days and bad times.

By the end of 2013 I’d grown as a person, been put in charge of a team at work and bought a house, but I was still turning a blind eye to the weight (then around 245). Christmas photos started to get under my skin and clothes shopping was a nightmare but I was pretty comfortable with my life overall and didn’t have a lot of motivation to change. Besides, I knew the only way to lose weight was to develop a love for salads and exercise all day and that was a nonstarter. I maintained a weight of just under 250 (my peak) through March 2015.


I‘d always joked that some medical issue would be the motivation I’d need to lose weight, but I wasn’t expecting it to actually happen. One stressful Sunday about halfway through March, I started experiencing pain in my left big toe. I remember walking around my neighborhood unable to put pressure on the right side of my foot. That night the pain was so bad I couldn’t fall asleep; I’d jolt awake every time my toe would move or even brush against the covers. I rode out this swelling for four more days, working from home the best I could with my feet in a tub of cold water for hours at a time.

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​February 2018 Update

Budget Updates: In our efforts to continuously approve, Rob and I augmented our budget tracking to include a record of our amount over/under budget for each month. We also added a “now” column to record the actual amount in each savings and checking account just to stay aware of the bigger picture.

ART and Massage: I’ve been kind of on-and-off-again about massages; they seem to help by lower back issues but they’re a little expensive. To try to get back on track, I got a handful of one-a-month visits scheduled through summer. On the kind and helpful advice of one Colson, I also kicked myself into gear about finding a permanent solution to these nagging pain issues. After searching around for an ART provider I came across a PT in a sports medicine / gym facility and attended an eval session that really could not have gone better. She walked me through everything, sated my appetite for a high understanding of the issue and way in which we were going to tackle it, and her prescribed exercises assure me it’s being taken seriously. Also a bit expensive, but looks like I’ll be hitting that 2x a month for a little bit.

New Videos: I released a couple fun project videos in February: a Celeste video walkthrough of a difficult level and a montage of footage from all of my Florida Springs trips from the past several years. I probably need to commit to a little less editing and perfectionism for the actual ROI I get out of this, but I’m glad to have made both. Check ‘em out!

Car Maintenance: One of the larger goals I have this year is to get my 2010 Honda Fit all of its appropriate high-mileage (80k+) maintenance (and I’m still figuring out all that entails). This month I tackled some easy stuff: new engine and cabin air filters and a new battery.

Landscaping Refresh: I put a good bit of work into redoing the landscaping around the front and sides of the house in October 2014, but I haven’t really had to do much since then other than nips and tucks here and there. This winter we had a few freezes and it was enough to knock out most of the potted plants. We all spent a Sunday picking up several new plants (mostly crotons) and rearranged the original brick tree ring. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but it looks really nice right now!

New Dentist: The state dropped my normal dental insurance last year and forced me to choose a new provider. I made sure my current dentist was on the supported providers list and signed up during open enrollment. As soon as the new year kicked in, my current dentist dropped the plan. That launched me on a fun adventure of calling around, surfing a terrible provider listing, and finally finding a small family practice north of campus. Only, I couldn’t actually make an appointment until I called my insurance, “selected” them as my provider, and waited for them to fax a form to the dentist proving my eligibility to schedule an appointment. Insurance!

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Florida Springs Video

Throughout the last decade or so, I’ve had the privilege of visiting most of the springs in Florida. I had a lot of personal, amateur video lying around, so I thought I’d throw together a little fun clips video to share my adventures. Enjoy!