μGabz/ml

A PS5 story

A while ago, I traded all my consoles and physical games, well, most physical games., others, I kept. I did it because I wanted a PlayStation 5 and knew I wouldn’t quite have the budget for it. I made around 650.00 USDs in store credit.

When I asked what were the chances of me getting a PS5, they, well, hopes weren’t high. I knew this, I knew it was going to take time. As a small local retailer, they didn’t have one in stock, and they couldn’t tell for sure when would they have one? The owner of the store, did offer to “hunt down” one for me. Again, I knew it wasn’t going to be right away, which I was completely fine with. I mean, my Nintendo Switch backlog it’s quite large.

About two months later, Black Friday comes around, and unlike everyone else, I do no shopping whatsoever. I do look at the Switch store and whatnot, but that is the extent of it. That evening we had Thai food, delicious! I also happened to have a very tasty barrel aged imperial stout to try. I ate my food and poured my beer. As I am about to take my first glorious sip, a call comes is, the caller ID showed — VIP Games. My heart starts pounding, and I put my beer goblet down.

Hello, Luis? (That’s my first name on my ID, thus, Luis) I am told that in less than ten minutes we will have a PlayStation 5 for you. So, you’re more than welcome to come down and pick it up

To which I replied

I’ll be right there

A 10-minute drive later, I arrived to VIP Games. It was weird, it was the only opened and light up, store in the strip mall, besides the Wendy’s. I was having the same rush feeling when I bought my Nintendo Switch, they were rare, and there was only one, and I grabbed it. I felt like I needed to conceal it until I was safe at home.

I get in the store, the owner greets me.

We are just finishing everything in the system, and it’ll be ready

A few minutes later, he hands me the console.

You still have credit available. Any game you’d like to take with you?

I look around…

Do you happen to have Ghost of Tsushima, the director’s cut edition?

He looks around, the lady next to him hands it to him

Yes, and it’s on sale

After purchasing the PS5 and Ghost, I still have some credit left. He asked me if I wanted to cash, to which I replied to keep it in the system. In the future, rather than buying games at regular price from Amazon or Best Buy, I am coming down to this little store. It took time, but they went above and beyond to get me my console, they deserve my monies. Moreover, here is where I purchased my beloved Pokémon Shinning Pearl about a week ago.

Now, I did take advantage of some Black Friday sales. I purchased Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, again! Yes, I played the heck out off this game on the Xbox One S, but I knew that this game looks and performs better on the PS5, plus I have been wanting to replay it, just like Ghost. It only const me 23.00 USD, not bad at all.

So far, I am spending my time playing Ghost, and the difference in performance between the PS4 version and the PS5 it’s quite significant. The graphics, too, game it seems more detailed and crispier. I cannot wait to experience Valhalla on this console.

Other games I am excited to play are, the new Grand Turismo, God of War Ragnarök and Gungrave.

Up next, the Xbox, gotta have all the consoles. But that will wait much longer. Maybe sometime mid-2022 or later.

A date at the urgent care

In this household, we have all been sick for weeks. We believe the patient zero was Luna. Or was it Marley? Either way, Luna was diagnosed with croup, also tested for COVID. Marley was diagnosed with a virus, not COVID. I was at first diagnosed with a cold, also tested for COVID. I was also advised that if continued to get checked again, in case it was a sinus infection.

Days passed, 3 out of 4 of us had been tested for COVID at this point, all with negative vals. Both Marley and Luna are doing much better, but Marley still has a cough.

Annie, suggested that we both went to our local urgent care to get checked. Marley and I had a date, with the doctor.

Marley is fine, for her, is just the remnants of whatever she had, so she needs a few more days.

Me? Well, I was diagnosed with bronchitis.

Yay, lucky me ╰(˙ᗜ˙)੭━☆゚.・。゚ 

Also, ear infection, well, she said it was not quite there yet, but she would treat me as if it was. And getting some kind of inhaler.

So swell!

Nostalgia

This is something that comes around every holiday, especially around turkey day.  I have lived in Idaho since February 2008, which means every holiday event has been very different from what I was used to, ever since. The main difference being, the people I spent these festivities with. My wife, and kids, her parents, and her bother the bother's wife and kid. I mean, it hasn't been exactly that way, Marley is only 5yo and she's the oldest of the grandkids.

In general, that is how turkey-day, Christmas, and others festivities have been.

Thus, around these times, I ger very nostalgic. I think about how these festivities used to be back in Puerto Rico, where the rest of my family leaves. On both sides. Most of my cousins and uncles have also moved to the states in the past 10 years or so but there used to be a time when we were all together.

All my uncles, cousins, brothers, and sisters. Grandpa was still alive. Grandma is still alive, in case you were wondering. Anyhow, we would all get together at my grandparents' house.  These were huge family events! Grandma would cook a turkey-day or Christmas, and Three Kings Day meal for a whole battalion.

This was on my mother's side, and she had a sister and 5 brothers! (I hope I am not forgetting anyone) All with at least two kids each. My entire family in some way, we have a nag for music. My uncles and some of my cousins played either guitar, bongos, güiro, panderetas, and then some. I was more on the winds side of instruments like another cousin of mine, we both played trombone.

The food, oh sweet-baby-jesus, the food. For turkey-day, well duh, turkey. My grandma would always make a chicken soup to start, just to get your appetite going, she would say. Arroz con gandules, guineítos en escabeche, potato salad and whatnot. 

For Christmas, Lechon Asado or slow-roasted pork on the stick, my grandpa would wake up at 5 am to start roasting it. Pasteles, morcilla, arroz con dulce, and tembleque. And like probably every grandma out there, she would serve this inhumane-oversized plate of food, and even though she didn't know how to read or write, she would grade you.

hay negrito, you left a bit on your plate, you get a B

Lots of food, music, and good family times.

These are the things I am nostalgic for.

To Naples

Today, I scheduled my trip down to Naples, FL. It'll be a short work trip. I will be visiting one of our trials. I can not believe how much money I had just spent. Between airfare, hotel, and car rental. The car part was the most baffling, how much more expensive it has gotten. The same trip, back in 2019 was half, of what I just spent today.

It is crazy-town-banana-pants!

Filling up the glass

It has been a while now since the photo service/app glass, launched, and I have been enjoying it ever since. I am currently fly a paid subscriber and actively posting to it.

Besides posting new photos rather infrequently, I have also been posting old ones. Yes, at first when I set up my account a went to my favourite folder and posted some pics from it.

Lately, one thing I have been doing, is posting a picture for the Photos.app featured photos. Each and every day I am presented with a set of photos and if decent, I would pick one and posted to glass.

I haven’t been very active on going out and snapping pictures, besides the most recent family events. This is another way to keep posting and filling up the glass.

Monday

Today was a weird one, I spent most of the morning with Marley at the eye doctor, and it turns out she’s got astigmatism. She is actually excited about glasses 🤓.

Dropped her off at school right after, and went to work. Once at work, I got working on my special project. I didn’t get to sit from the time I got to work until I got to my car to leave.

I’m tired.

In other news:

it is Luna’s birthday 🥳

Tooting and tweeting

Every once in a while, I want to post something not to Micro.blog but to both twitter and mastodon. The usual method was posting to either or, and copy and paste to the other. I know this can be done through drafts, but for whatever reason I never managed to set up the action correctly.

Then in hit me, I have had the perfect app for this all along, but I have never considered using it.

Linky

I do use this app almost if not every single day. I use it to share universal links for music, for example, but it usually ends up on my blog. Or to share links about a movie or tv show I am currently watching and including an image and everything.

But it never occurred to me to use it to compose a tweet/toot.

🙌🏽🎵 new music discovered this week

Devil That You Know / Lazy Eyes - Single by NHC

Red (Taylor’s Version) (+ A Message From Taylor) by Taylor Swift

HEIGHTS by WALK THE MOON

De Vuelta a Casa by Pj Sin Suela

An Evening With Silk Sonic by Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak & Silk Sonic

The Walls Are Way Too Thin - EP by Holly Humberstone

Valentine by Snail Mail

YAK: A Collection Of Truck Songs by Angel Du$t

Paraíso Lunar by Siddhartha

Se Menea - Single by Don Omar & Nio García

Puerto Rico Vive by Los Pleneros de la Cresta

Hover

Today, I’ve got this feeling of nothingness, or at least that’s how I’ve decided to call it. I prefer not to do anything, anything at all. I don’t want to work, I don’t want to watch tv, I don’t want to play video games, workout, nothing!

If anything, I’d like to spend some time inside of one of those water tanks and just hover.

Tested

I have been having a sore throat for a few days now, along with some nasal congestion. I, blame my two girls for it, especially Marley. As per protocol, I let my manager know, I had to stay home and wait for the soreness to resolve before coming back on-site. Although Marley is all well and kicking now and cleared to go back to school, per her pediatrician, this morning I woke up with soreness. And once again, I reached out to my manager and the HSE person. I was advised to go see my physician since there has been a lot of cases of strep throat lately and see what the physician advised, then, go from there. 

I called my local Primary Health, they advised me to come by, and call from the parking lot. I drive to the place, get greeted by two army guys, they asked some screening questions, let me pass, and called the reception. I got more questions and they told me someone would be calling me to let me know it was okay to walk in.

So much protocol that it was weird, but I get it, so I am not annoyed.

they let me in, they did more questions, and got swabbed for strep. It was negative. Lady doctor advised it was probably a cold and that it continued, probably a sinus infection. 

And yet, she asked me if I wanted to get the COVID test since I was already there and to for sure rule that out. I said, 

sure! 

It didn't hurt, at least.

Now I am waiting to hear back.

This whole pandemic and all these new norms and protocols have placed, in some ways, the fear of God in me. I am so scared of getting a cold, to sneeze or coughing at work. If my kids get sick, I am supposed to report it and stay home until further instructions. Although I have the ability to work from home, there is an on-site project I was supposed to start yesterday, but until I am cleared to come back on-site, there's nothing it can be done. I doubt that I will hear back from my test today, which means I won't be starting this project until next week. 

What's worse, in a way, if I would have withheld the information that I got tested and just said, 

Doctor said is just a cold

and tomorrow I would wake up 'fine', I could go to work like usual, most likely. And even though I am sure I don't have COVID (like 99% sure)  I have both the sense of responsibility of protecting myself and others, hence why I agreed to get tested, but also the guilty of missing days on-site.

Sore throat

I woke up with a mild sore throat. Per protocol, I need to let my manager and the on-site HSE lady at work. Meanwhile, I am self-isolating at home.

The joys of having little petri dishes 🧫 at home for kids 😅

I’ve got no other symptoms besides congestion. We will do a 24-hour watch and if the soreness resolves, I get to go back in.

In the meantime, here is a picture of my first car. Well, more like a representative one, but it was this model, color and all. 😅

Something I liked

Fastmail

Private email

peace of mind

I have tried Fastmail before, or at least I have attempted and always forgetting about it and letting the trial expire. Recently, I had decided to give it another go. The omg.lol service might have had something to do with it. I saw the announcement that they had partnered with Fastmail and you could use your omg.lol address, that made it more enticing.

I went and tried to sign up, and for whatever reason, I was having a hard time creating an account. Getting errors and such. I reached out to their customer service, and although they were always looking forward to helping me, I am desperate, I don’t like waiting. Turns out, I think, I don’t know, for whatever reason I was trying to create gabz@something, and it wouldn’t work, regardless of what I tried. Then I decided to try I gaby@something instead, and it went right through!

Chin-bum-bam!

Then it was a matter of adding my omg.lol to it and voilà. Probably I minor a feature, but been able to have notes and having them available in all of my devices and work computer is somewhat nice. There is also space for files and such. And to someone that tables between Windows, Mac and iOS, these small features are nice.

The iOS app it is not as bad as I remember it to be, and their web app isn’t awful either. And the best part, it is way cheaper than Ahoy 😉 😉

The man in the mirror

Today, I looked myself in the mirror and felt gross about myself. I haven’t had this feeling, so real in my head, in a while. I have always been aware that I need to get back into a much healthier lifestyle, but today I felt like I’ve hit rock bottom in a way.

Now, shall I publish these feeling on my blog or day one?

Post booster shot

I got my COVID booster shot yesterday and unlike the fort to doses, it knocked me down a bit. I had the shot yesterday, and apart from a sore arm, I had no other issues. Furthermore, I drank a lot of water last night, added some Emergen-C to it as well, just in case.

Sometime in the middle of the night, it started. Feeling like crap, body aches and shivering. I had a hard time getting out off bed this morning. And to make things worse, not only I was having body aches, but I am also sore from yesterday workout. Especially my legs, so moving around was tough.

Then I had some coffee, as you do, and some ibuprofen, next thing I know I am not feeling too crappy and started sweating, a lot. By 10:00 am, I was already feeling much, much better!

I did some leg stretches to help with the soreness, and I am pretty much myself again — ish. Still have a bit of a headache and I feel tired, which is reasonable, it is not like had a pleasant night sleeping. Oh, and my arm, it still hurts a bit.

All that said, I am alive and kicking.

The monkey in my brain

Over two months ago or so, I had joined a gym. The plan was to get beck into my fitness live style and all that jazz. Three to four weeks later, I canceled my membership. At the time — and perhaps still — I wasn’t feeling too comfortable to be in such a place. Also did not help that the place didn’t seem been taken cared for. This week, I started again, but at home, here it’s safe — allegedly.

And here’s the thing. When you are at the gym, you are physically and mentally — ideally — there. Once you’re there, it is you and your thoughts, perhaps your music, iron, and sweat. When you are at home, well, I feel like there are more distractions, even if you’re by yourself. Maybe not distractions but temptations, you can stop and just sit on the couch, or go tothe fridge and whatnot.

This has been my problem when working out at home, all the distractions and temptations. This week I found a way to make it work.

I need to keep the monkey, in my brain, occupied.

So, I have my ’routine’ and, if possible, I turn the tv, put Naruto on, and get to it! Yes, you could say this could be a distraction, true. However, I have already seen this anime show, and it is not playing for my entertainment, it’s for the monkey in my brain.

I am not certain that I ever want to go back to a gym, I mean, I like gyms, just not sure if I’m comfortable with them — yet. The idea is to buy equipment, little by little, and condition the garage as my home gym.

We shall see

UNRELATED

Luna, my 2-soon-to-be-3 years-old, truly knows how to troll me and push my buttons. She knows I loathe it when she calls me daddy, I’m not ‘daddy’, I am papá!

But every time I call her attention for something she’s not supposed to be doing or say,

Luna, no

I get the,

okay, daddy

🤬

no racing

i am not entirely sure what made me think about this but, thought of it, i did anyway.

Back in the college days, when i still had no car or license to drive. (yes, i didn’t have the need for driving and didn’t get to it until my first year of college). i was always out and about with my buddy jonathan. Jonathan, had a nissan sentra (can’t remember the year) but it was relatively old but in good conditions. good as in good to go out drag-racing other cars.

one particular afternoon we were strolling, probably on our way to some hole-in-the-wall to have a few beers. this is ponce, Puerto Rico, it was hot, hence a cold beer was needed. we are in our way when we saw another sporty car, a possible racing contender, right.

we approach the other car, and it is obvious our intentions, or jonathan’s rather. the gentleman on the other car gets what we are trying to do, to which he yells at us,

sorry, i am working

and proceeds to show us his gun.

i cannot tell or remember the model, type of gun but to me, it was huge and reason enough to reply,

sorry, our bad, good luck

we drove away, to the hole-in-the-wall, and had a few beers in peace.

the end

Damn explore tab

Yet again, I am having ideas of closing my instagram account. This time, for like the fifth time, sighs. Not because it is overwhelming or hate against Facebook (or Meta), but because my tendency to browse or look at things that somehow causes me anxiety in some ways. And it is especially through its explore tab. I go in there and I doom-scroll and it might sound stupid but, I get anxiety out of it. And even thoughI know this, I fall for it every time.

Comparison is the thief of joy

— attributed to President Theodore Roosevelt and others

I wish there was a way to hide that tab or there was a third-party Instagram client, so I can ignore that feature. Though, for me, it is not a feature. I indeed closed the account a few days ago out off impulsive rage — for like 12 hours. Instagram is no longer a place for photos, I don’t enjoy it as such, it is more a way to stay in contact with friends that are not in my usual social venues.

Did I drop my AirPods?

I’ve got to turn this thing off!

According to this notification, my AirPods Pro are somewhere in the middle of the freeway.

What?

I actually doubled guessed myself for a second!

My AirPods are actually — and have been the entire time — in my left pocket.

🤨

A flag.

The issue began with the controversy between Big City Coffee and BSU’s Inclusive Excellence Student Council. The group members, according to its Facebook page, are “student activists at Boise State seeking the liberation of all historically and systemically marginalized peoples.”
Fendly’s shop prominently displayed the “thin blue line flag” as a sign of her support to police officers. Some, however, view that flag as a symbol of white supremacy.

Source: BSU asks courts to dismiss $10 million Big City Coffee lawsuit | KBOI

The “thin blue line flag”. A blue line flag. A blue flag. 

flag as a symbol of white supremacy.

This is a thing that has been in my mind for over a year or so, ever since election year, which was last year. We have become extremely polarized and very vocal. I feel like symbols, words, actions, and flags have taken a very different meaning entirely for many. In some ways. As we have become more and more polarized and vocal, also, easily triggered and, sometimes, easily offended. Everything is a statement. We get angry and instead of having a good conversation, we turned towards rage and hate. I know this because it happens to me all the time. I get easily triggered and hence, angry.

I live in Idaho, this state is a red as it can get. I feel like only a small number of us are more liberal than the majority of the population here. I still see the trucks with the Trump’s flags, the confederate flags, and other bumper stickers or signs of what can be considered just conservative propaganda, patriotism, or white supremacy propaganda, depending on who you ask.

It is been hard for me to distinguish them, in the past two years. Especially in this town. I see a big truck with the American flag and I don’t know exactly why… Are you a patriot, a conservative, or a white supremacist?

If This Flag Offends You, I’ll Help You Pack

I have seen these bumper stickers in so many vehicles around town. They usually are accompanied by some other unsavory propaganda and whatnot.

It is hard to get behind a flag when this flag has been turned into something it isn’t or shouldn’t be.

You are a Puerto Rican, what the fuck do you know?

Also true, perhaps…

What I do know is that both my dad and my grandpa, and many of my cousins and uncles, have fought for the same flag.  And something in my gut tells me that the flags I see in trucks are not the same flag they fought or are fighting for.

Or so I want to believe.

a dread update

i have been playing metroid dread since release date, and i’ve been having a blast. however, i am starting to have feelings of giving up 😅

i feel like i am very far in the storyline and should keep at it. but, i am running out of patience a little bit.

i find interesting that people online complain about how short and somewhat easy this game is, and then you have the other side of the spectrum, me. i find it challenging, not in a frustrating way, but challenging enough.

my problem? my problem is patience, i have very little of it, and it’s gets worse the older i get.

we shall see

🍺 Narwhal by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Style: Stout - Russian Imperial

ABV:10.2%

Rating: A+

Notes: 

A malt-forward monster, highlighting the depths of malt flavor.

Narwhal Imperial Stout is inspired by the mysterious creature that thrives in the deepest fathoms of the frigid Arctic Ocean. Featuring incredible depth of malt flavor, rich with notes of espresso, baker’s cocoa, roasted grain and a light hint of smoke, Narwhal is a massive malt-forward monster. Aggressive but refined with a velvety smooth body and decadent finish, Narwhal will age in the bottle for years to come.

The power of saying 'i don't understand’

Casey Neistat on the twitters,

something ive learned in my old age that i wish id known when i was younger; the power of saying ‘i dont understand,’ asking for help, explanations etc. i thought itd make me sound stupid but ive come to appreciate its the opposite. asking for help shows a willingness to learn

revealing vulnerability is a sign of intelligence. even tho it can feels like the opposite.

pretending to know, pretending to understand something you dont is always transparent. it shows insecurity

All of this, a hundred percent yes. This is something that has become much more prominent in my current job. I have learned not to be afraid of saying, ‘I don’t know that’ or ‘i don’t understand, please explain’. Especially when what you do, can have a bigger impact in the grand scheme of things. And of course, this can apply to situations outside of work.

First call

There’s always a first for anything. Right?

In the 38 years I’ve been alive, I have never found myself in a situation in which I had to call 911.

Today, was my first.

Like every afternoon, I was on my way to pick up Marley from school. Except that today, I had left work early and had extra time, and I needed gas. My plan was going my normal route, go down the usual road where there is a Maverick’s gas station. I do not know why, but I have always been skeptic about that particular gas station. I mean, gas is gas, right? And to be perfectly honest, given that I had almost an empty tank, this was the best option, and yet, I decided against it. I said to myself, “I’ve got plenty of time, let’s take this other road and drive to this other gas station by the house, then pick Marley up”.

Well, as I was driving, there was one car in front of me, and in front of that car, a school bus. It is around 3 o’clock, so no surprise. As most school busses at this hour, the bus makes a stop, to drop some kids off. At the same time the bus is stopping, two kids, a boy and a girl, are waiting to cross the street. The bus stops, and there was when the kids thought it would be safe to cross, from behind the bus.

The thing is, there was a car coming from the opposite direction. And there I saw it, the bus’s lights start flashing yellow, and the car speeds up just enough to make it pass the bus before the bus’s lights turn red, when the kids take off running.

The lady in front of me honks, trying to alert both the oncoming car and the kids. The car notices the kids and tries to avoid them by pulling to the right, but it was too late. The kids did not get ram by the car, but they did hit the driver’s door pretty hard. Hard enough to knock the side mirror off the car.

As this is happening, I park to the side of the road, the lady comes out of her car yelling, “please call 911”. As I am calling, the lady grabs the girl from the street, opens my back door and gets the girl inside. The boy sits on the ground on in front of my car. My voice is shacking as I’m trying to describe what was happening and our location, even my English fails a bit. I am going back and forth asking for the kids names and ages, trying to give as much information to the dispatcher. All I remember, they were about 13 years old. Next thing I know, paramedics and cops are in the scene.

Kids are shaken up, as expected, the girl didn’t have any visually serious injuries but her right leg, will bruise and be sore. The kid had a scratch on his knee and he was compliant, his right foot was hurting.

I remember it was 3:30 PM when I had a chance to call my in-law, to please pick Marley up by 3:50 because I didn’t know how long was I going to be involved in this, to which he obliged.

3:40pm and all was over, even the lady who was on in front of me was gone after filling up the statement of what had happened. And the kids went off with their parents, paramedics and all. I called my in-law, told him to turn around as he was just leaving the house. I went to the gas station, filled up the car, and made it to pick up Marley by 3:50pm.

The End

I had quit Twitter for a week

Not sure anyone noticed, but I had quit Twitter for a week, well, more like five days. It was a rage-quit, I read something or something was going on in my timeline that made me go, stop the lap dance, I want to go home!

I don't even remember what that was. The thing about Twitter is, okay, we have all done this dance. We love/enjoy twitter, then we get overwhelmed, sad, and or mad. We take breaks, we hate on it, and we write about it. Others, successfully, have quit it, entirely, not ever looking back. Well, personally, there is a lot that I like about Twitter, I do follow some cool people and accounts, or so I think. Then there is the rest of the stuff that I don't like, and it's the echo chamber part of it. This is when some things become too overwhelming, and irritating. Hates spreads faster, as they say, and Twitter in some way is a big part of it.

So yes, I quit, deleted the account. Five days later, I reactivated it. Perhaps all I needed was just a small break. One thing I did though, was to go on an unfollow rampage. I have unfollowed any account that I felt might contribute to my twitter anxiety. Accounts that retweet or post things I rather not see or partake. In other words, I was reshaping my bubble. I have gone from over 3oo accounts followed, down to 164, or something like that, and I think I could probably go even lower than that.

I guess like many other social venues, they are what you make of them, except for Facebook. And even from the best ones, it is probably wise to take breaks.

Rainy Sunday

Today we will have rain all day, and carrot knows it.

It is a nice, quiet and relaxing Sunday in the Santiago-Ortiz household. There’s not much to do except for perhaps folding some of the girls’ clothes.

The girls are dressed as the princess they are, and playing games.

The plan is to just do nothing, and make some taco soup thing later this afternoon for supper.

The beer of choice, Voodoo Ranger Future Hop IPA by New Belgium Brewing Company. In my not humble opinion, rainy days call for a stout or a ‘good’ porter, but the beer selection at my local Albertsons’ it’s somewhat crappy. So, a delicious IPA it is.

If only tomorrow wasn’t Monday.