Above the clouds

So long and thanks for all the Fish

Dream as if you'll live forever, Live as if you'll die tomorrow

Once Again From The Top
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Its been a long while since I last posted here. According to my last post its actually been just over 6 years. And much has happened since then. And unfurtunately I can't remember it all. Which kind of brings me back to why im back here in the first place.

Every so often I find myself wanting to look back on past me and this is the place where a portion of that accumulated past is resting. And as a new year is upon me I once again find myself here. But this time I choose to continue adding instead of just looking back.

With that said its time to do a recap of what was missed from the last few years (that I can remember).

The biggest to happen is that I finally got married. Kari and I got married on Sept 17th which was our unanniversary. I think I will talk about it more on a seperate post becuase there is so much to talk about there.

Another thing that happened was that I went to Japan with Kari. It actually ended up being our honeymoon trip since things feel through on our originally idea of Hawaii. But once again that is a post for another time.

Those were some of the bigger things that happened but there was more but I don't want this to fall into a long post about just past things. I would like to look toward the future.

I didn't make any resolutions in the last few years but I this year I think I will. Although to be honest its mostly stuff already found on my bucket list. But I guess this year I will try to focus on doing a few a bit more harder. So here we go in no particular order.

  • Work on my Japanese - As I said earlier I resently went to Japan and while we were there I purchased quite a few Japanese games. Actually I probabaly would have purchased more because a lot looked really interesting. The main problem with buying even more was that my Japanese has fallen behind quite a bit. To the point it feels like I'm starting over. But I want to get back on that horse and start up again. For me that means getting back onto Wanikani and really working to get through the levels. I think this is were my focus should be for now. I hope to get pretty far along and maybe even finish the thing (but probably not)

  • Getting in shape - This is pretty shape which means getting more exercise and better diet. This is mainly for 2 reasons. 1) Is my health which I already have to worry about my heart and the weight is not helping. 2) I just want to look better. I guess those are the same reasons everyone does it but those are mine too.

  • Cooking more often - Now that I have a kitchen and cookware I really have no good reason not too. Although my first thought is always fast food I need to change that way of thinking and work on cooking more. And not just that but cooking things that will help with my health as well.

  • Post more often - As i said before I like to go back and look at old post to see where I have been and what I have done. And these past years I have not done that. Facebook has helped a little bit cause I have posted some things but I want to keep up with it more and I'm hoping to do that here.

  • Start my video game review show - In the past few years I have been really into collecting retro video games. And while I mean to play them all I want to also do a show where I talk about the games I play. I've wanted to do it for awhile but never actually put it all together and hopefully I can do that this year.

  • Build my Boardgame Table - I want to build a boardgame table so I have a place to invite people to come over and play games with. I gues along with that idea I want to start a boardgame night. Maybe a monthly thing or something. Just have some people over to play some games.

  • Throw some parties at our place - Now when I say party I don't mean for no reason. What I have in mind in parties for holidays. And maybe less like a party and more of a get together for family and friends. Maybe something for Thanksgiving and Xmas. Or maybe memoral day or 4th of July. We have the space so I think it could be fun. Although we would need to clean up before we do anything like that.

Well those are the things I would like to do for 2017. Hopefully I will be able to check them all off the list by next year but we shall see.

Run a marathon (DONE)
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Well I finally did it, I ran a marathon. Well a half marathon but I'm going to count it because it was pretty tough. I decided to do the Disneyland marathon because I was pretty sure I was only going to be doing one marathon so I wanted to do one that I thought would be pretty fun.

I can't remember exactly when I originally signed up for the marathon but it was some time in the earlier part of the year. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to train because I needed all the help I could get. I started out strong with my training but somethings happened between then and the run that caused me to stop training for awhile. By the time I got back into training I had about 2 and a half weeks before the run and I was pretty sure it was not going to go well. But I was already committed so I decided to suck it up and get back to training. I ended up getting so new shoes because I had started to develop shin splits while I was running and I was hoping that some new shoes to help with that. After I got the shoes it seemed to help with that problem.

Basically my goal for this race was to finish. That's it. As long as I could finish the race I could get the medal. At certain points during the race if your not keeping a 16 minute mile pace you would be picked up and taken to the finish. But if this happens you don't get a medal for finishing the race. So I was focused on finishing the race, even if I had to drag myself across the finish line.

The week leading up the marathon I couldn't stop thinking about it and dreading it. Of course I already have a dread of planned events in general (for some reason) but that double with the fact that I may not actually finish the race really made that week stressful.

As for the run itself I had to be at Disneyland at 4:30am. I'm not sure if I actually got some sleep that night but I tried. After getting to the park they had a gathering area with music playing. After hanging around there for awhile we were told to head to the corrals (places for runners to wait for their turn to start running). The corrals were set based on what time we expected to finish. So basically the slower you were the further back you started. The corrals were set up on Disneyland Drive but I had to walk a bit before I reached my corral. To give you an idea how far back I was I had parked in the Mickey and Friends Parking structure. Then I walked to the Downtown Disney parking lot to the meeting area. Then I walked up Disneyland Drive actually past the Parking Structure to Corral F. I was so far from the start that I couldn't even hear what was going on down there.

The race started at 6:00 but I was waiting around till finally we started moving forward. Eventually we got to the start line. And the next thing I knew I was running/jogging (mainly avoiding running into people) down Disneyland drive. I started out well which isn't saying much because so did everyone else. After I got around the first turn there was more room to spread out. I was trying to run at a decent pace where I wouldn't burn out to fast but wasn't going too slow. But it still felt like I was either blocking people that were trying to get around or speeding up to dart around people that were in front of me. 

Eventually I got into the California Adventure which was very cool. I'm glad I brought my camera because they had characters set along the route. At first I was debating weather I should stop at all or just keep running. But I figured if I didn't finish at least I would have some pictures to show for it (not really thinking that stopping for the pictures may be the reason I didn't finish). Plus I wanted to have some fun. So the first character I came to was Frozone.

Frozone and Me

After that I was running around the California Adventure Backlot for awhile until I came out near the Farmers Market area. At that point I ran toward Paradise Pier and picutres with a bunch of characters. All the while there was music from World of Color playing which was awesome.

As I ran into Paradise Pier I took a picture with Genie.


And as I was running out of Paradise Pier I took a picture with Tigger.


After that I ran through the Golden State area of the park where I took a picture with Lightning McQueen and Mater.


Then I ran through the gate and into Disneyland.


Before heading down Main Street I stopped to take a picture with a few penguins and a chimney sweep.


And then down Main Street USA.


Also stopped to take a picture at the hub.


While running past the Rivers of America I took this shot with Tiana, Prince Naveen, and Louis.


Then at Big Thunder Ranch I took a picture with Woody, Bullseye, and Jessie.


Before running through the castle I took this evil shot with the Evil Queen from Snow White.


After running through the castle I took this picture with Belle, Aurora, Snow White, and Cinderella.


While running through Tomorrowland I stopped with a few Stormtroopers for this picture.


Also I had to take a picture with these guys that were also running the marathon. Just wow.


While running past It's A Small World I took this picture with characters from the Little Einstein series (had to look them up).


After passing It's A Small World I ended up running into the Disneyland backlot area where I took this picture with one of the train conductors.


And finally before leaving the park I took this picture with Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar.


After that it was just running all over Anaheim. Every mile and a half they had water/powerade stops which were very helpful and all the volunteers were energetic and cheering the runners on which was awesome. Also along the path there were places where local high schools had their bands and cheerleaders along the route for more motivation. I tried to record it on my camera while walking by but all the video came out super bouncy and pretty much unwatchable. But it was nice to have people along the route cheering me on even if they didn't know me.

Eventually (and I do mean eventually) I made it to Angel Stadium. The reason I skip ahead because after leaving Disneyland most of the run is just me alternating between walking and jogging (running was out the window) and just trying to keep moving.

Angel Stadium was cool because I got to run along the warning track (the dirt track that lines the outer edge of the field) while people cheered from the stands. It was awesome but I was pretty tired by then and I still had to make the trip back to Disneyland. But I still took the time to take a few pictures.





After leaving Angel Stadium there was still quite a bit of running but finally I made it back to the gates at Disneyland.


And while running the last mile I stopped to take one last picture with Frozone and Mrs. Incredible.


And finally I made it to the finish line.


By the end I wasn't to bad off. The main problems where my feet really hurt and I was chafing really bad. The funny thing is I didn't even think chafing was going to be an issue but let me just say that it sucked the worse because the pain lingered on for the rest of the day and into the next. The chafing was really bad for the last 3 miles actually. My thighs felt like I was trying to start a fire between them and my nipples felt like they had been sand papered completely off. So lesson learned there to protect those areas because it will really hurt later.

But its finally done and now I can cross it off my bucket list.


Also I wanted to thank Kari for being so cool and coming down to supporting me. She came with me at 4:30 in the morning and waited the 3 and a half hours for me to finally finish the marathon. I really appreciate you being there.

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth = Good Times
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I just finished the Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. I didn't expect much from the game maybe because it didn't center around Phoenix Wright. But it turned out to be really fun. It made me want to go back and play the other games in the series.

Its kinda late right now so I can't really think of all the stuff I wanted to put here but this review I found on gametrailers covers the games highs and lows. But I really would say its worth playing sometime.


LOST all over again
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I actually wasn't planning on watching the final season of LOST but everyone started talking about it at work so now I have decided to watch it. I really don't remember much about it but I found a video that catches up with everything (sort of) in 8 mins and 15 seconds (flight number of the planne was 815).

Right now I'm watching the full 1 hour recap episode that is playing before the season premiere of the final season.

Looks like I'm back in it. Here is the short version of the recap.


Utada Concert
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A few days ago I went and saw Utada live at the House of Blues on Sunset. It has been about 6 years since she actually toured the US so this was something I wanted to check out. The "In The Flesh" tour is to promote her new English album "This is the one".  When I first heard she had another English album out I decided to check it out. That was last year sometime and when I heard it and I didn't really like it. But since I was going to the show I decided to give it another listen but this time without directly comparing it to the Japanese songs she had done before. I found without the bias that I actually did like a few of the songs on the Album.

As for the Tour from what I heard shes actually only doing about 7 shows in the US. So its not a really huge tour but at least she was doing a show in LA so thats what I cared about. I wish it were at someplace easier to get to like the nokia theater but it was cool all the same. I don't really go to concerts so this was my first time having to deal with general admission which basically comes down to get there early or be prepared to stand behind tall people.

The doors were opening at 7:30  and we ended up getting there at 7ish. We had to wait in a very long line along sunset before we finally got in. They were uber serious about people not bringing cameras in. They kept saying it over and over and in this day and age of the camera phone there is only so much they can do. But I ended up leaving my camera at home because I didn't want to deal with the hassle and I hoped my iphone would be able to do the same job (it couldn't). When we got inside we were basically hunting around for a place to be able to see the stage. I'd say we got in at around 8:15 and Utada didn't take the stage until around 9:30. In the mean time they had a dj up there keeping the crowd happy. For awhile I wondered if she was going to come out at all.

She ended up doing songs from her new album as well as songs from her other albums. It seemed like the crowd was much more interested in hearing her older Japanese songs then her new English ones. But I guess thats to be expeceted when you havent done a live US tour in 6 years. I very much enjoyed the show except for the fact that I was in the back and had to try to look around peoples heads to get a good look. Eventually I was able to find a comfortable spot in the back without having to keep moving and was able to see the majority of the stage. Also it was her birthday so they sang happy birthday to her and had a small cake with candles for her to blow out.

I was able to find a decent video of the show (well pieces anyway). During the show I could see people trying to get pictures or video from their phones (since I was in the back). Security was on stairs that were on both sides of the stages shining flashlights in the face of people attempting to get images. I thnk it sucks that people were prohibited from getting any images. I can understand not having the flashes blind the performers but no pictures at all is terrible. Its not like Utada was doing a meet and greet before or after the show so for most people there that was the only time they may get a chance to see her in person. So heres the compulation I found of the LA House of Blues show.

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Old School Retro Goodness and yes "You Can Play This"
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I recently started playing this game for the DS. I'm not much of a retro gamer but this is actually pretty fun and addicting. Each game has a set of challenges to unlock the next game. I just started the RPG game and for a smaller game in a collection it is surprisingly deep. While not a full on RPG you can tell they still put some time into it.

Also I wanted to talk about the "You Can Play This" series on youtube and "That Guy With The Glasses". Its hosted by JewWario and its about Japanese games that people can play without having to know Japanese. Hence the title "You Can Play This". Its a really cool and interesting series and I would suggest you go check it out. The Retro Game Challenge video was just a Quickie video and not the usual ones he does so I decided to show a few episodes below.





And a bonus. This is the full version of the theme song he uses. Its "Funk Fujiyama" by Kome Kome Club.

Bonus number 2. This is the video that was made for a charity drive that was going on for the site "That Guy With The Glasses"as well as his 1 year anniversary of his show. So quite a few of the people in the video are also from the site which has a lot of good videos as well. Sorry this post is so video heavy, there were a lot of things I wanted to show.

And something extra from Gamestop
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And I got another something from Gamestop while picking up the new PS2 controller. They were having a buy 2 used items get 1 free so I picked up an extra memory card and ...


I'm going to have that tune stuck in my head for awhile.

Console Time
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Well I just finished Mario & Luigi Bowsers Inside Story. It was pretty fun but I only really played when I had a little bit of free time here and there. It felt a lot like Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga which I also enjoyed.


Recently I picked a few console games to play. Usually I stick to PC games or playing Console games on my PC. But these games would have been to much of a pain to play on PC and in the case of the Wii game its all about the Wii controls that make the game enjoyable.

Space Channel 5 for ps2 which I got a while ago. I didn't get around to setting up my PS2 till recently so I haven't played much.

Space Channel 5 awesomeness

And on Friday I got 2 games from the library at work.

Shadow of the Colossus which was the first game I played on my new TV when I got it about a year ago. However, I never got around to finishing the game for some reason. But when I saw it in the library I decided to give it another try.

Back to the Shadows

I also picked up Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii. I had heard good things about the game awhile ago but I didn't have the money to purchase it. But now is my chance to catch up on these game.

Fly me to the Moon

Actually I gave Space Channel 5 a play earlier. However I had trouble playing the game with the controller that came with the used PS2 I had purchased awhile ago. Or at least it seemed that way. It felt like the controller input was slightly delayed which is not very good for a rhythm game. Well I'm not sure if it was the controller or the game so I went and bought another controller. I haven't tired it yet but hopefully it will work.

Well after I'm done watching Legend of the Seeker season 1. =)

Dreamcast Drama
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Recently I've been wanting to play Marvel vs Capcom 2. Unfortunately the only system I own that plays it is the PS2 but its actually a rather poor version of the game. Also I don't want to buy the game if can avoid it. Mainly because I'm not sure how long I'll want to play it after the initial purchase. The best version is the Arcade which is definitely out of the question. The next ones are the PS3 and X360 versions (actually I'm only guessing because I have not seen them in action). And since I don't own either of those I'm not going to buy them just for that. So the next one down is the Dreamcast version. There is a PS2 version but its a poor port of the game.

Since I don't own a dreamcast I've been trying to get an emulator working on my laptop. Well I was but then I stopped for awhile because there was just to much going wrong. Well last night for some reason I really decided to try again. Well after downloading numerous emulators as well as different bins I was finally able to get it running. But unfortunately it was almost unplayable to the point it just wasn't fun. Also the idea was to play with another person but I don't think the game could handle it. So I decided that I would give up on the game and try another Dreamcast game I really enjoyed.

Ah yes Space Channel 5. It was a neat rhythm game that I enjoyed playing. I actually enjoyed the Japanese version more then the US version. When I worked at a Video Game store we had this running as a demo so I kept hearing the catchy tunes over and over again. Except they were in Japanese so I didn't understand what they were saying but that didn't matter because it was still catchy as hell.

Since I finally got the Dreamcast emulator working I thought I'd hunt down this game and see if I could get it working. Well it took awhile to finally find the game but when I finally got it running it was a bit choppy. Not as bad as Marvel vs Capcom 2 but it didn't have to be. You can understand how difficult it is to play a rhythm game where the rhythm is not quite right. So needless to say I was up way later then I wanted to be and in the end I couldn't get either one of them working.

So basically all I accomplished was wanting to play the games even more. So I checked ebay and none of the pieces are that expensive. Maybe less then a hundred for the system and the 2 games. But I really don't want to spend money on it. But I would like to play the games just to get it out of my system.

Assassins Creed done
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Well I stayed up all night and finished Assassins Creed. Actually I probably could have cut down on the total time if I had not spent time doing all the side quests. At first I decided to skip them then I learned that every 15 of them you do gives you another bar to your health which comes in handy at the end. But I ended up maxing out the bad and I still had side quests left so at that point I just skipped them and just did a critical path to the end. And it was pretty crappy for an ending. Its a nice set up for part 2 but that's all it is.

As for the other aspects of the game I believe yahtzee of Zero Punctuation said it best in his review.

As Yahtzee put it its not bad but its not great. And that's my feeling on it as well.


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