Monday, February 12, 2018

El Progeso Del Peregrino Has Moved!

Hello everyone; today is the big day. Today is the final time I’ll be publishing on this website. For weeks I’ve been working on my new website and it’s clear that it is now time to bring the Blogger era to an end. This website will continue to exist for the indefinite future, but baring extreme circumstances there will be no more future updates to it. Going forward, all of my online writings will be published on my new website, which is:

I hope you’ve all enjoyed the journey of El Progreso Del Peregrino. As you might remember, the name of this website translates to “the pilgrim’s progress.” For almost six years we’ve been on a pilgrimage together, through travel blogging, gaming commentaries, life stories, political opinions, writing adventures, random thoughts, and so much more. Every pilgrimage eventually comes to an end, however, and today the pilgrim that is this website crosses his own finish line, handing off the baton to the next pilgrim.

See you all on the new website!


Friday, February 9, 2018

Where would I go?

If, for whatever reason, I were forced to leave America and live in another country that I had visited in the past, which one would I choose? That question was posed to me at a dinner party a while ago. At the time I threw out a quick answer but afterwards I thought about it some more and today I’m going to share six countries that came to mind as a possible new home. Certainly if I took the time to ponder the question longer I could come up with addition locales but these are the ones that came to mind first.

I think I’ve more extensively explored Spain than any other country I’ve visited. There are plenty of towns that I could see myself settling down in, such as San Sebastian, Segovia, and Granada. Long ago I could speak Spanish at a high school level and I’m quite confident that with a little time and effort I could recover those skills and move beyond into full fluency. With my Mediterranean skin color I also fit in, to the point where Spain has been the only country I’ve visited where locals have mistaken me for being one of them. Obviously my American accent gives me away once I start speaking but I think I could assimilate pretty well into Spanish society.

Living in Japan might be cool, but there’s the fact that I’d forever be gaijin. Foreigners can have a hard time getting work visas, they’ll never become citizens, and Japanese is a notoriously difficult language to master. I guess I’d have to make up my mind on whether the interesting parts of Japan would be worth the hassle that a gaijin like me would have to endure to live there.

This is sort of an obvious choice just because there would (theoretically) be no language barrier and the culture in Britain isn’t too far off that of America. The problem with Britain would be that I’ve only been to London, so I can’t say that I’ve seen much of the country and thus wouldn’t have an informed opinion about living anywhere outside of the capital.

Korea might offer a good compromise for living in Asia in that I’d get the experience of living in East Asia but without some of the trouble that would come from living in Japan. While I did like Japan more than Korea, I still thought Korea was a fascinating place and I think I could find a good place to lay down roots. The Korean people are also probably the friendliest I’ve met in the whole world, which is a great bonus. Yes, I’d have to learn Korean, but from my casual observations it doesn’t seem like it’s as hard to learn as Japanese.

The Balkans region of Europe is an interesting place and my personal favorite of the nations there is Croatia. The capital city of Zagreb was enjoyable both times I visited and is the nation’s most advanced city, so I would find a place to live there. Croatia would also have the benefit of being a little cheaper than most other nations in this post.

Much like Croatia, I could live in France but it would be in a very specific location. There are lots of nice places in France, but for me I’d pick the Normandy region. Normandy is a quiet (and rainy) part of France that’s full of history but doesn’t attract the big crowds like you find in Paris or other parts of France. If I had my pick of towns I’d opt for Bayeux, a centrally located and very charming town that’s got most of the conveniences of a large city but without the traffic and other annoyances of big cities.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Trump’s State of the Union Speech 2018

I wasn’t able to watch the 2018 State of the Union speech when it aired and instead I brought it up on Youtube the following morning while I was at work. Don’t worry; I was working while watching and listening to it and my boss, who sits next to me, had also missed it so he didn’t mind. Trump’s speech was longer than I expected—I had assumed he wouldn’t go longer than an hour due to his experience in showbiz and his love of Twitter—and it was also better than I thought it would be. Indeed, it was a strangely positive and encouraging speech overall. Back when Trump was inaugurated the phrase that I remembered most was “This American carnage stops right here and right now.” The speech seemed like a pretty dour assessment of America, even with Trump’s pledges to make things right. With the 2018 State of the Union Speech the quote that stands out to me came early on when Trump said “Let’s begin tonight by recognizing that the State of our Union is strong because our people are strong.” I’m not a fan of Trump but I can’t deny that his speech made me feel good about America and being an American. There was great storytelling in the speech and Trump fulfilled the president’s role of being America’s biggest cheerleader. Overall I’d give the speech something like 8.5 out of 10. True, the whole thing was political theater and I haven’t yet gotten around to looking at the fact-checking reports on Trump’s claims, but as a speech I’d say it was pretty good. I’m quite impressed that Trump didn’t go off-script into one of his tirades common on Twitter and my only major criticism of the speech in terms of its feel and presentation was that it was too long. The opening 30 or so minutes were strong, then things started faltering a little bit for the second 30 or so minutes, however Trump regaining momentum in the final 15 minutes. Having the North Korean refugee near the end was a powerful move and the image of the refugee holding up his crutches will likely be the most memorable sight of the entire night, at least for me. By the time this writing piece is published Trump will no doubt be back to his usual self, but for that hour and twenty minutes he actually came across as a great encourager and unifier.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Backing up older posts

While working on my new website I realized that I don’t have backups for the text of my older posts. It was only in February 2016 that I started saving copies of what I wrote online, so should something catastrophic happen to my website I’d lose all the words I had published before then. Thus I have taken on the tasks of making copies of those older posts and saving them onto my hard drive. Copying one post is a simple enough task, but copying over 200 is going to take some time.

Monday, February 5, 2018

I’ve lost my combination lock

It’s gone. I know it’s probably silly to get worked up about losing something as mundane as a cheap combination lock, but you gotta understand—I’ve had that lock since middle school and I have a certain fondness for objects that have been with me for a long time. For almost 20 years that lock served me faithfully, securing my valuables. It’s traveled thousands of miles around the world, accompanying me on all three of my international journeys. The combination to unlock it is burned into my brain. I’d gladly pay several times its value to get it back. Obviously to proper thing to do now is just get another lock, but even if I buy one that looks exactly the same I’m still going to feel a strange hole in my life for awhile.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT beta

Two weekends ago I saw that there was an open beta being held for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT and I decided to give it a try. I’d never played a Dissidia game before, but I had seen and read things about them, so I knew the basic concept of the games and the beta seemed like a good opportunity to see if I’d actually like playing them. After downloading the beta I spent about an hour messing around with the game and today I’m giving some thoughts on my brief experience with it.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Where can I get one of these?

We’re still years away from getting mech suits like in the anime I used to watch, but each year we seem to get a little closer. The above video is a piece of promotional material that I discovered thanks to social media and it got me thinking again about how cool it would be to pilot some sort of robot suit. It also triggered the amateur engineer side of my brain about how to make the suit better. Being entirely human-powered, I suspect that it can’t lift heavy objects, so some sort of power system should be added. Maybe hydraulics. You could mount more mechanical parts to the suit’s back and that would give the added bonus of creating a counterweight that would help when lifting objects. I can’t tell if there are shock absorbers in the legs, but they should definitely be installed so that the suit can jump and land without hurting the pilot. Related to that, I don’t know if this thing can get back up on it’s own if it falls over and if the pilot is sufficiently protected from falls. Being as tall as it is, and with those large shoulders and arms, the suit looks top heavy. More weight needs to go to the middle and lower sections to balance that out.

But, yeah, concerns aside, where can I get one? For those interested, below is a more informative video on the same robot suit.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Positive tweets for game developers

Social media can be incredibly toxic. In the world of video games this is especially true, with game developers sometimes enduring torrents of abuse from people who either have an axe to grind or just find harassment to be a fun pastime. Recently Colin Moriarty, a former senior editor at IGN and cofounder of Kinda Funny, put out a video detailing some of the cyber bullying experienced by a game developer, a games journalist, and himself. It’s a great insight into what some people in the games industry experience and if you have about 19 minutes to spare it’s definitely worth your time. I’ve embedded the video below.

After watching Colin’s video I was thinking about what, if anything, I could do to help combat the tide of online abuse. At first I was drawing a blank since I’m just one person with zero online influence, but then I got an idea. What I could do is use my Twitter account, which currently is used mostly to observe the tweets of others, and start sending out some encouraging tweets. After finishing each game that I play for Late to the Party I’m going to send a positive tweet to the game’s developer. Even if I end up not liking a game I’ll still send a tweet to thank the developer for making the game. One tweet at time, I’m going to try to put a little positivity out into the online world.

Oh, and if for some reason your curious, my Twitter profile is @ricardopedia.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

No more Five Guys until December

I like Five Guys, but it’s not cheap to eat there and I sometimes walk away from my meal feeling like I shouldn’t have gotten it. After thinking it over I’ve decided that I’m not going to buy another meal from Five Guys until December. An exception might be made if a friend takes me to lunch there or it there’s some sort of social gathering at a Five Guys, but otherwise I’m cutting myself off from those tasty burgers and overly abundant fries for most of this year. As much as I’ll miss it, I suspect both my body and my wallet will be better for this decision.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Post #700 was last Friday

Last Friday I published my 700th post to this website and I’m pleased to say that it was none other than the birth of the next generation of my flagship gaming series, Late to the Party. I do believe a gif is in order for an occasion such as this. Join me today in celebrating this accomplishment, and let’s all look forward to the next 100 posts!

Let's keep running towards Post #800!