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Half a year of my life

So apparently it’s been over 8 months since last time I updated my blog!

I think the reason is that when I get home from work I don’t really feel like doing much besides gaming and watching Netflix, so usually I’ve been doing random stuff like blogging and cleaning the house on Saturdays. But since summer 2014, I haven’t really had many Saturdays “off”, because I’m almost always spending time with family, friends or church. And the few Saturdays I have left usually goes to cleaning (and gaming). Honestly I’m feeling somewhat exhausted most of the time, to the point where I’d rather just stay home during vacations rather than go travelling… Last Christmas (2014) I actually did stay home most of the time except a few days I spent with my brothers, since we didn’t go to Hong Kong with our parents.

Still, I’ve been trying to keep being social as much as possible, and I have travelled a few times. Went to Amsterdam last summer with my parents, where we ate a lot of Chinese food and visited family. Went to a friend’s wedding in Sweden, to Bergen to visit the youth there and also went to a wedding there later, visited friends in Gothenburg, went to Trysil on a ski trip with the youth group and to Tromsø with my cousin to try to see the Northern lights, though it was cloudy almost all the time so we didn’t really see much.

Oysters in Amsterdam

Oysters in Amsterdam

The cousin I mentioned is a cousin from Hong Kong who’s studying in Norway as an exchange student, she’s staying at my parents’ place, so I try to hang out with her when I can.

Polaria Museum in Tromsø

Polaria Museum in Tromsø. You can pet these corals and crabs! The water is very cold though.

I try to play games on the weekdays when I don’t have to go to church or visit family in the evening, but I’ve mostly given up trying to keep track of how many games I intend to play. After buying almost every Humble Bundle since the start, plus games I’ve bought regularly or during Steam sales, I currently have 763 games on Steam, which according to this web site might take over 6000 hours to play through. This is in addition to games I have on Wii U and 3DS and other consoles… While there are some games I’ve already finished, plus many games from Humble Bundle that I probably will never play, there are still quite a number of games that I intend to play. So I just play the games as I go and gave up trying to keep track of how many I have left.

MH4U Guild Card photoMH4U Guild Card

Currently I’m playing quite a lot of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, also I started playing Murdered: Soul Suspect and Dreamfall Chapters that I kickstarted a while ago. Of the games I’ve played since the last blog update, some of the most memorable are Captain Toad (adorable puzzle game), Arkham Origins (this game looked awesome in 3D Vision!), Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons (also nice in 3D Vision, and the story is rather touching), Among the Sleep (another kickstarted game, baby horror with a twist I didn’t expect at the end), finished the rest of the episodes in The Walking Dead Season 2 and The Wolf Among Us (choices are so hard!), Danganronpa 2 (more murder mystery and you get to know what happened to some of the characters from the first game), Guacamelee (“Metroidvania” 2-player coop game, played it with my youngest brother, some of the platforming puzzles were so, so difficult…), Bayonetta 2 (stylish and epic action game, I especially remember the part where you are surfing on a water tornado while fighting a giant dragon boss monster), Hyrule Warriors (was fun for a while, but got tired of the grinding in the end, after beating the story mode).

I’m still paying for Netflix and Crunchyroll subscriptions, and I usually watch some shows whenever I do house work or eat dinner. I just finished watching How I Met Your Mother (and I think I agree with a lot of fans that the ending was somewhat disappointing), I’ve gotten to season 8 on Supernatural (the plot in this show isn’t really that strong, but the dialogue and writing in general is pretty funny), I started watching Log Horizon and Sword Art Online because I was curious about the similar premises of both shows, but both these and Arrow really weren’t good enough that I got excited about watching each new episode. Parasyte: The Maxim was awesome though, and Terra Formars was quite enjoyable even with the extreme censorship black boxes and being only 13 episodes. And it still caught up to how far the manga has been translated to English so far, still waiting for new volumes of the manga to get the rest of the story. Started watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which is hilariously old-school shounen, even though the animation is new. Also looking forward to the upcoming new season of Gintama! Just found out that J-Stars Victory VS is going to be localized too, sweet! Actually got the Japanese version of the game, but it was a pain not knowing what they are saying.

Gintama is back!

Gintama is back!

As I mentioned before I would’ve liked to update the blog more often instead of writing a big bunch of text every time I update, but so far I haven’t been able to make myself do that… It would’ve been better if each blog post was about a single subject. Oh well, we’ll see how it goes.

Happy Easter!

 

Posted by on 2015-04-02 in Rambling

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I’ve Been To Japan!

Fan with water sprayLast week I was in Japan with my family. First time we’ve been there! It was hot, but it was bearable. All the hotels we stayed at had air conditioning, and whenever the heat outside got too bad, we could cool down in some random store or mall, so it was not too bad. I like to think that my portable fan with water spray did help, I kept spraying water on my face and arms whenever we were out for more than an hour or so.

We had a Japan Rail Pass and traveled to Tokyo, Osaka, Hiroshima and Nagoya. Spent only a few days in each city (half a day in Osaka), so we didn’t really get time to see much or even do as much shopping as I wanted to. We went to Edo-Tokyo Museum, Sensoji Temple, Tokyo DisneySea, Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, Hiroshima Peace Site, Hiroshima CastleNagoya City Science Museum and Port of Nagoya. Unfortunately the tickets for Ghibli Museum reserved for sale in Norway were already sold out, it was the place I wanted to go the most! Oh well, maybe next time…

Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea

I think I must say that of the places we went, DisneySea was the most fun, though Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Hiroshima National Peace Memorial Hall was the most thought-provoking. Especially hearing the stories from the kids who experienced the bombing was quite heartbreaking. (Found the video here, English subtitles.) The Science Museum was kinda fun, but many of the exhibits didn’t have explanations in English. And when we went to Port of Nagoya, there was a festival going on, so it was chock-full of people. We did get to see a parade and lots of people in kimono, which was interesting, but we decided to leave early so we wouldn’t get stuck in traffic back when everybody else was leaving.

School kids around Japan sends in origami cranes to Children's Peace Monument in memory of Sadako who died from leukemia because of the radiation from the bomb.

School kids around Japan sends in origami cranes to Children’s Peace Monument in memory of Sadako who died from leukemia because of the radiation from the bomb.

Before that we were at NCCC‘s yearly summer camp. It was great weather all through the camp! Had a great time talking with friends, and the sermons this year were interesting. Next year apparently the junior/youth/young adults camp will be held in a separate location from the main camp, wonder how that will work out…

Seaside at Sjöviks Folkhögskola

Seaside at Sjöviks Folkhögskola

Other than that, the last three months I went travelling a few other times. I went Easter Camp, to Stavanger to go up Preikestolen (The Pulpit Rock), and to some friends’ wedding in Sweden. A few friends also visited me in Oslo.

I really enjoyed Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and hopefully without spoiling anything, I must say that the ending/resolution was truly Professor Layton-like. Bastion‘s story is incredibly melancholic. Evoland had a fun gimmick and it was kind of fun seeing parodies of various games, but the whole parody thing made the story rather bland. Among The Sleep was sufficiently creepy without being full of jump scares and gore, and the ending there did surprise me (it is sad, but explains the game so well!) The last chapter of The Wolf Amongst Us had some difficult choices for you to make. The story in To The Moon was definitely memorable, though the game itself doesn’t really have much “gameplay”, besides walking around to pick up items, plus a small puzzle between each level/chapter. Just played The Walking Dead  Season 2: Episode 4 a few days ago, it ended on a rather big cliffhanger! Looking forward to the next/last chapter.

Summer is still quite hot in Oslo, which is positive, but both my house and my office doesn’t really have good air conditioning so it gets quite hot inside. Hopefully it’ll get cooler soon.

A final note: They played “Let It Go” everywhere in Japan! (In all electronics/movie/game stores, at least.) Got the song stuck in my head for a while. It’s not a bad song, but dang, gimme a break.

 

Posted by on 2014-07-26 in Uncategorized

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TV Shows, Video Games And Baking Bread

I recently started watching the new Hunter X Hunter anime, it’s quite an enjoyable show. Even though I already know the story from the manga, it was still nice to see it again. I like hearing the characters thoughts and reasons for the things they’re doing, and how the characters change throughout the series. Not just the main characters, even the enemies are (sometimes) shown as more than just “people to defeat”, but as people with various goals and doubts.

Hunter X Hunter

On Netflix I’ve been watching Suits, Breaking Bad and House of Cards. My brother was saying how House of Cards is basically the same type of show as Breaking Bad, and I guess it is not a bad comparison. I found both of these shows enjoyable, but rather depressing to watch. But then again, some of my other favorite non-sitcom shows, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are really quite depressing too, and Dexter isn’t exactly a happy show either.

I guess watching sitcoms once in a while is at the very least good for giving a bit more positiveness than those other shows do. I do enjoy watching How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family once in a while, and Sket Dance on Crunchyroll is also more of a feel-good show, though it does have some sad episodes, in particular the ones about the main characters’ background stories.

 

I’ve been experimenting with baking bread using the “no-knead” method, where you basically just mix together the ingredients and then let it sit in the bowl for a long time (12-18 hours) before folding it together with some flour with a spatula, proofing for another hour or so and then baking it in the oven. Some of it turned out well, like the following photos. I think they’re from the first time I tried it, if I’m not mistaken!

Mixing the bread ingredients

Mixing the bread ingredients

Folding the dough together

Folding the dough together

After baking the bread

After baking the bread

Finished bread

Finished bread

Other times the bread didn’t really rise properly, and I’m not 100% sure why. It could be either because the temperature in my apartment is too low, or I mess up some of the ingredient proportions (in particular the amount of water compared to flour), or it could be because the dry yeast I have is actually expired. I still use it because in general dry food should be okay even after expiration. Though the other problem with the dry yeast is that the box states that each sachet is supposed to be used within three days after opening, but this recipe uses so little that it takes many weeks or even months before I can use up even one sachet. Still, the last bread turned out OK after I added a bit more yeast and also put it on a lukewarm stove so it would rise more properly… Will have to experiment a bit more!

 

I’ve played quite a few games since last blog update:

  • The Wolf Among Us: Episode 2 – Still no closer to finding out who the killer is, though the end of the episode featured a rather shocking relevation! Looking forward to the next episode. Reminds me that I haven’t bought the latest issues of the comic.
  • The Room Two (Android version) – A puzzle game of the “escape the room” variety, with quite high production value for a mobile game! Just as good as, if not better than the first game in the series. Also available on iOS.
  • Lightning Returns – I enjoyed this game, possibly more than the previous two in the Final Fantasy XIII series! The combat/equipment/skill system felt more customizable and action-oriented than the first two games. It felt slightly ridiculous how many “garbs” (armor) are paid DLC though.
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc – A visual novel type of game which really feels like a mix between 999/Virtue’s Last Reward and Phoenix Wright. You play as one of many students who are being held captive in a locked down school building. To be allowed to escape, a student has to kill another student without being found out by the rest of the students. So when a student is killed, the rest of them has to investigate the murder, and then have a “class trial” to try and find out who the real killer is. The thrilling part is that you don’t know who is the next to die or who the killer is, and also finding out the reason why the students are being held captive. Don’t want to spoil too much, though if you don’t like playing visual novels, they have also made an anime based on this game.
  • The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 2 – Still a great adventure game. I feel like I regret some of the choices I ended up making in this episode, but I’ll stick with them till the next episode.
  • Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode 2 – In this one you play as Elizabeth, but without her rift-opening powers. So you’ll (she’ll) have to sneak around most of the time, and climb through air ducts. Kind of felt like the sneaking parts of the Batman: Arkham series.
  • Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright – Two of my favorite game series in the same game! It’s awesome! I’ve only gotten to the second chapter so far.

 

As for socialization I guess the last few months I haven’t really spent as much time as I could have on socializing, though I still go to church twice a week. I invited Vilhelm over to play Mario 3D World last Sunday, trying to get all the stars and other collectibles, that was quite fun! We also had a “boys’ night” with the boys from church. Made a big burger. (That we cut up and shared.)

Boys' night

Boys’ night

Unfortunately had to skip out on the swimming trip and the ski trip because my operation wound hasn’t fully healed yet. But it feels like it’s almost there! Hopefully this time it’ll stay fixed so I don’t need another operation and no longer need to clean the wound twice every day.

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Posted by on 2014-03-29 in Rambling

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