Portland Whatever Swap Meet

I had planned to drive down to the retro gaming swap meet in Portland, OR last year for my birthday, but for whatever reasons I ended up staying home. This year, the girlfriend and I managed to get up early enough to drive down and get there shortly after the doors opened.

Usually, when I go down to PDX for retro gaming stuff, I end up bringing back a full backpack with a few hundred bucks worth of consoles, games, and accessories. For this trip I only ended up spending under $50. I’ll post a “haul” video later, but the coolest thing I picked up was a Honey Bee adapter, which lets you cram Famicom games into my NES. Unfortunately, the edge connector that I just replaced a few months ago is, and continues to be, a piece of hot garbage. After clipping one of the pins on my NES’s lockout chip I had better luck getting my games (even the US ones) booting, but holy shit I need to put a Blinking Light Win in there.

Anyway, I’m planning on doing a showcase/review of the Honey Bee, because it’s rad. Hopefully, by the time I do that, I can also get a “blackbox” NES cart that has the official Nintendo pin adapter in it.

Andrew W.K. is Weird

Yesterday I was feeling pretty shitty. All this year I’ve been doing especially shitty at mahjong, continuing the streak from last year. Then, before the ranked matches started last night, I got a phone call regarding a medical emergency for an immediate family member. TLDR, the rest of my night was pretty shitty. I got home feeling shitty, and woke up feeling shitty. Then I saw an “On This Day” post on Facebook from 2014.

This surprisingly deep advice from the Party God (not actually that surprising, he posts inspirational stuff all the time) helped put me back into a positive mental state. Thanks, Andrew W.K.

In other news, every day at work seems to be cooler than the last. I got the green light to go ahead on a special project, which will be announced after it’s finished, and today my job is to setup the studio for a video we’re shooting. Getting my hands on thousands of dollars of professional video equipment is not the worst job I’ve had.

New Year, New Server, New Job

There are a lot of reasons I don’t update this site anymore. I’m lazy, I start articles that never get finished, I’m not inspired to write when people seem to only care about video content. One of the biggest issues is that my servers were dog-slow. Loading any one of my websites took five or ten seconds per page, and when I’m constantly saving drafts or previewing edits it can make things unbearable. Sometime last year I contacted my hosting provider and they said something about large images and WordPress configuration settings, giving some tips on what to do in the process. Nothing helped, and I just dealt with the slow loading, knowing that no one was checking the content anyway. After starting another website, the Mahjong Game Database, I couldn’t tolerate the slow loading anymore. I contacted my hosting provider again with a more detailed description of the problem and found out that my SQL server and web hosting server were on opposite ends of the country. They migrated the SQL server to the same location as my web hosting and, holy shit, pages load at a reasonable speed! I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it feels like lightning compared to what it was before.

Speaking of the Mahjong Game Database, that’s where most of my effort is going right now. Originally I was just going to create a list and supplement it with screenshots, photos, and whatever metadata I thought was appropriate, but each entry has been evolving into a complete guide to playing the game, along with reviews of the gameplay, text translations (what I can muster, anyway), and soon I’ll have gameplay videos. It’s way more work than I was anticipating; setting up a new Wiki requires a ton of work, then there’s the task of trying to complete difficult games in a language I can’t really read. By the way, did you know that infoboxes aren’t natively supported by Wikimedia? I didn’t, and they’re a pain in the ass to get set up correctly.

And the new job. I can’t/don’t want to talk about it in too much detail, but I’ll be helping to coordinate online video productions, both live and pre-recorded. Certainly better than the dumper fire of a job I had the last quarter of the year. If I decide to go into detail on that, it’ll probably be during a live stream with a glass of hard liquor.

I’ll try to be more responsible with updates. Even if it’s just a paragraph or two, I’ll make it a point to put something here semi-regularly.