Family, Fidelia Hall, Libraries, Life, Music, Titusville, PA, Video Games

2017 Year In Review

PAST YEARS: 20162015, 2014, 2013

First and foremost, love and happiness and positivity from all of us to you.

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The collective masses seemed to have had a miserable 2016 but for some reason I felt like I was spared. But oh wait! Quickly around the corner came 2017 and with it came what I imagine to be the baggage, pain, and confusion most everyone else had felt in 2016.

It was a long year. I doubted myself a lot I spent a lot of this year confused about my place in all of this. I looked around at the world, both what surrounds me in the community where I live and what surrounds me everywhere else, and I just felt so lost and tired. At the core of all of this what I realized was that I just don’t feel the connection I had felt to the world that I had felt before. All of this is OK. Things change, people grow, and learning is a big part of the process we all go through during our time here on earth. It was a long year full of some tough moments, but instead of letting it get me down too much I’ve decided to adopt the idea that 2017 was a year of learning and growth. These two things are never tidy. They’re messy but the end result is always positive. That’s how I’m heading into 2018: with the thought that I did some hard work in the previous year and that in the new year that work will pay off.

Now that all of that has been said, here’s some stuff I did and some stuff I enjoyed in 2017:

  • Spent as much of my time awake with the amazing Aero, Finn, and Haley.
  • Continued to work on rehabbing Fidelia Hall. The plan with the space is now this: we will be moving into the downstairs space in early 2018. That space has heat and is in the process of having some electrical work done as well as rehabbing the bathroom and kitchen. The upstairs space (the chapel) will be getting a heating system installed starting on December 26 2017. Once we move over to that space, we will figure out what to do with the house. We envisioned Fidelia Hall as a community space, but have refocused and decided that it’s now more of a space for our family and our closest friends.
  • I recorded and released two albums: Either Way I’m Fine and Prozac Is The Dam & I Am The Dynamite
  • I finished my second full year as a library director. I’ve been doing this for 30 months now. I really enjoy it.
  • I listened to a lot of music and I wish I could keep better track of it, but Apple Music hasn’t done any kind of year in review recap like Spotify did this year. I hope they do that soon. I do know that as my father and I worked on Fidelia Hall we really enjoyed listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown 1970’s edition every Saturday.
  • My most played video game was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It was also my favorite game this year, with Super Mario Odyssey coming in at a close second. I played a lot more Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp than I expected to play. And I finally got into Picross…The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Picross was the one that did it for me.

Love to you and all of those that you care about this holiday season from me!

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Video Games

REVIEW: Hey! Pikmin

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If you love all things Nintendo and especially if you love things that are super cute, chances are that you love Pikmin. What isn’t there to love about these neat little space people crash landing on random planets only to find adorable and colorful plant-like creatures that help you solve puzzles?

Hey! Pikmin is the first portable version of the game as well as being the first side scrolling title in the series. While very different from Pikmin 1, 2, and 3, Hey! Pikmin still manages to capture the charm and puzzle solving that this series brings to players. Players once again control Olimar and guide him through levels as he collects Sparklium in his attempt to get enough fuel to power his ship. Each level has the player finding Pikmin and solving puzzles along the way. Unlike other entries in this series, there is no day/night cycle and the objectives are to save as many Pikmin as you can, find as much Sparklium as you can, and maybe grab 2-3 hidden objects each level. On the main map screen, there’s a neat feature called “Pikmin Park” where you can send the Pikmin you’ve found into uncharted areas to find more Sparklium as you continue your quest. It’s the adorable little things like this that makes this game so much fun.

Don’t pay attention to some of the reviews out there. While Hey! Pikmin isn’t as deep as the other games in the Pikmin series, that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. In fact, I found it to be quite enjoyable. The levels are not difficult by any means, but are still interesting enough to keep you playing more.

Justin’s Rating: 8/10

Libraries

TWO THOUSAND AND ELEVEN

I wanted to write a grand post to say goodbye to 2011 like I did in 2010, but I kept coming up short.  I don’t have some grand message to pass along this year.  I had my ups and my downs this year as a person and as a librarian.  I said goodbye to some things, and I said hello to other new opportunities.  It was a year for getting things in order.

If I were a band and was asked to make an album from my writings this year, he’s how the track list would look:

I welcome 2012 with open arms and wish the best for everyone reading this, their families, and their friends.

I’ll be pretty MIA for the rest of 2011.  My wife Haley and I are expecting our second child any day now, so I take the librarian hat off and put the full time family hat on.
Libraries, Video Games

REVIEW: Sonic Colors

WHAT?  Sonic Colors is the latest entry into the Sonic world of video games.  Melding a 2.5D perspective with a 3D perspective, Sonic Colors finds our hero running around Dr. Eggman’s Incredible Interstellar Amusement Park in hopes of foiling the Doctor’s latest scheme to take over the world.

WHY? I picked up Sonic Colors because I thought it would be a great way to spend my time over the weekend.  I know from past experiences that Sonic games don’t take a lot of energy and involvement to enjoy (not a bad thing at all), so this caught my eye.  I was very wrong.  I felt that Sonic Colors was tiring and dull to play, and I use the term “play” loosely.  The control of the game was absolutely horrible.  Half of the time, I didn’t know if I was controlling Sonic or if he was on autopilot.  Sure, the visuals were awesome at these points and Sonic was moving extremely quickly (which is one of the reasons why Sonic games are great) but not feeling like you’re actually playing the game was not fun at all.

WHO? Sonic Colors may be enjoyable for a younger audience, but I highly recommend that libraries give Sonic Mega Collection for the Nintendo GameCube.  In this title, you get 7 really solid Sonic games that you actually play.