Tag Archives: video games

Getting ready to be a gamer and brief review of City Car Driving

Greetings, readers. When I was a little boy my Dad called me the button pusher. When we were in a hotel or on a cruise ship and we went in the elevator, I just had to be the one to push the button. I found it fascinating for some strange reason, but mostly because the button lit up and little Joey was helping. Later I graduated to making things with my Science Fair 75 in 1 Electronic Project kit, in which I could connect wires, and connect circuits so that lights would light up and buzzers would buzz. It was such fun. In the mid-to-late 80s when video game arcades were at their peak, I was already a heavy gamer, playing football, ice hockey, and my personal favorite, Galaga. I was never very good at it, but I loved Galaga.

Jump forward to the present day and via the Steam gaming company, I’ve played baseball, gone fishing, and driven numerous vehicular simulators. My latest craze is a game called City Car Driving. It was the right price and it is modded very well, which means people are creating vehicles to use in the game all the time. My favorites are the Volkswagen Bus and Beetle. Everything else stalls out when I try to get it out of first gear. Something tells me I would not do well trying to drive a stick shift in real life.

So here is a little review about City Car Driving. It’s been out for a couple of years so it is not a new game by any means but I love it, for you can choose to play in the United States, the European Union, Germany … which I always thought was in the European Union … Australia, and Russia.

For $24 and change, the graphics are pretty good and the map is intensive enough that even if you go around in circles, you can always find a place that you haven’t explored yet. You are supposed to gain points by transporting goods and people. The higher you level up, the more vehicles you can unlock and use. Hell, I’m still trying to learn how to steer and shift gears, much less do tasks. That will come in time.

Along with over 300 downloadable mods in the Steam workshop, the game comes complete with the four seasons, and four times of day; early morning, afternoon, evening, and nighttime. The game is so graphic intensive at times with the AI traffic that I have to set the graphics at medium for the game to run. So, I’m not getting to enjoy the full look of the game. Still it is okay with me. In a few weeks we shall revisit and I shall give you my final score, but so far I give this game a solid 7 out of 10.

On to a different topic, for those readers who live in Central Pennsylvania you will know that for the last few days we have had terrible thunderstorms, complete with tornado warnings. Yikes! I think these storm fronts are originating in the mid-west. Prayers go out to the families in Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio where tornados did terrible damage and people lost their lives.

It is supposed to storm here later this afternoon. I’ll have to turn the router off … again. I can’t afford a power surge and have the router blow out. I am not a happy camper without my internet.

Finally, R.I.P. to the late great Packers quarterback Bart Starr who passed away the other day. He was the winning quarterback of the first two Super Bowls. You will be greatly missed, Sir.

Until Sunday, when I will put up another blog entry, stay safe if you are in a bad weather region, spread love all around, and as always, happy reading.

It certainly didn’t feel like spring today

Greetings, readers. No, it most certainly did not feel like spring today. Smith, Traci, and I went out for coffee at 7:30 this morning before church, and the wind was blowing briskly right in our faces. It was 62F yesterday, but today I don’t think it made it to 40F. No wonder my back is in spasm!

Yes, I woke up from my afternoon nap with a back spasm. Every time the weather gets colder and the wind blows, my back seems to say, “Nope, I’m going to rebel.” I guess I’ll take two Aleve before bedtime… As usual.

I shall definitely have the heater running this evening. The low temperature is going to be below freezing. It always happens, you know. Just when we think warm weather is here, mother nature decides to laugh in our faces, and play a cruel prank. My friend Jim calls March the “adolescent month”. Well, March is over tomorrow. It can start getting warmer anytime.

Speaking of spring starting, baseball season is in full swing… No pun intended. I’ve already watched more baseball on TV in the past week than I did all of last season. Isn’t that amazing! I call myself a baseball fan, but hardly ever watch the real McCoy. I told myself that I was going to watch more real baseball this season, and play fewer baseball video games. I must draw myself back to the real world.

I did want to thank the two folks who recently purchased Four’s a Crowd. I don’t think we’re going to make the New York Times best sellers list, but every sale helps. Thanks so much! I don’t think my idea for Five’s a Family has strong enough legs to stand on at the moment, but I still have the notes on my computer, and two other writing projects ready to begin. Yes, you read correctly, two writing projects at one time. Wowzers!

Finally, between now and Wednesday afternoon, I’m going to do some research on baseball’s new rules to speed up the game. I’ll be speaking my mind on Wednesday… Oh yes. I’m not going to give the entire blog topic away, but suffice it to say that I am not for some of these rule changes.

There you have today’s blog entry. If you are in an area of the world where bad weather is happening, I certainly hope it turns sunny and warmer for you soon. I pray for all those who need prayers this evening. Do take care, will see you Wednesday, and as always, happy reading.

Not quite the weekend I expected and boy, what a find!

Greetings, readers. On March 22, just two days ago, I was happy and excited to download the brand-new version of Out of the Park Baseball 20. I figured it would be an easy download, and that I would be playing the game within thirty minutes. Boy, was I wrong!

On my first three download attempts, I got error messages out the backside. Those of you who know me, know I have a short fuse sometimes, and don’t take disappointment well. Yes, after the third download attempt with multiple error messages, I wanted to throw the laptop out the eighth story window. I took a break and tried again that evening. To my amazement, it worked with no error messages! 😊 Now all I had to do was download the historical stadiums files. The laptop was working on something for almost 45 minutes. When I took a look at what I had, it appeared as though nothing had been downloaded. I was very sad. ☹ I opened up last year’s game files to see if perhaps it was called something different, or if I needed to put the new files in a certain folder. By this time, it was going on 10 PM, and I was tired. I told Josie that it was time for bed.

Around 5 PM this afternoon, I’m going to make one last attempt to download the new version of the game, and its classic stadiums. I have a couple of errands to do this afternoon, and I’m expecting company. I’m hoping that by seven or eight tonight, I shall be gleefully playing baseball.

Now on to the find! For those of you old enough to not have a television set while growing up, you know that it was radio that kept you entertained. I’ve always been a fan of the TV show Dragnet. Well… I found 250 some odd 30-minute radio broadcasts of that show. OMG! I shall be listening for weeks, if not months. Jack Webb as Joe Friday, is the same as in the TV series. His first partner on the radio was Ben Romero, played by William Barton Yarborough. He has a little southern accent to him, which I’m not used to, but the character is strong. Romero was Joe Friday’s partner for the first three seasons on the radio.

There is what’s been going on the last few days. Today we actually had a warmer day. The cold and wind yesterday were hideously obnoxious! I’m so glad that winter is almost over. Rebecca and I won’t be getting together on Wednesday, so until Thursday afternoon, I bid you a great few days, love one another, take care of yourself, and happy reading.

I hate it when game cheat code websites mess up my computer

Greetings, readers. For the last couple of days I’ve been playing My Summer Car, that very fascinating independent game from Finland. Well, in eight attempts to get from day one to day two, I was 0 for 8; very frustrating. I figured there has to be an easier way to do this. That’s where YouTube came in.

There were many videos on how to get money for nothing, and other cheats. I watched one video that seemed encouraging and easy to do, and downloaded the website which was needed. It was tougher than it looked so I closed out the website, only to find out that it had installed a search engine bar on the top of my computer. Oh joy, oh bliss. Luckily after going to the settings and control panel, I was able to uninstall the website and the search bar. Why can’t my life be easy?

You may ask, why do you want to cheat? I shall explain. My first attempt while trying to hurry to the store so my character won’t starve to death, I lost control of the vehicle, slammed into a tree and died. On the second attempt I tried to use the boat to get to the store. After 50 pulls on the cord, with the engine not starting, I was so upset I got back on the moped and drove it full speed into the lake. I think the creator of this game has a warped sense of humor. It is so difficult to truly get the game started.

I am giving into the temptation and I’m going to try to find cheat codes. I ran out of time this morning, so I think this evening will be spent watching videos to attempt to find safe websites that don’t put malware or viruses on my computer. Good luck. Cheat code websites are known to do this.

While I am on the topic of video games, my laptop was almost thrown out of my eighth floor window yesterday. While playing American Truck Simulator I tried four times to drive to a certain point, complete the trip, and park. Only at the very end of the run to have the air brakes fail on me. For all you truckers out there, you know what that means. The truck won’t move. If and when I get a steering wheel and pedals, that will help that game immensely. American Truck Simulator and its European counterpart Euro Truck Simulator 2 are much more enjoyable and easier when you don’t have to steer with the arrow buttons. I am keeping my eye out for a wheel and pedals in my price range.

We are taking another day off tomorrow, so just like last week, later this morning I will dictate to Rebecca a second blog entry. We’ll set it up to go live at 11:00 in the morning. It worked very well last week. So until tomorrow morning, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

I have decided to make gaming videos on YouTube

Greetings, readers. As we approach blog entry 700, I wondered if there was another way or medium I could use to be creative. The answer came to me a few days ago. I’ve watched many videos on YouTube of people playing various video games. Fishing Planet is a big one, as are the two truck simulators. I have most of those games downloaded on Steam and with a new app I got for free, I can now record videos. You can’t see my face, but that’s okay.

I have five videos up so far and have my very first subscriber. My channel, The JMK Gaming Channel, is up and running. I have three videos up of me playing the game Fishing Planet and two of Train Simulator 17. I’m impressed on how remarkably smooth my narration is; I’ve only stuttered a couple of times. Well what do you know, I have another forum on multimedia to show off my talents.

When I play Fishing Planet, I can actually imagine myself in Maine holding that rod. The ambiance of birds, insects, and a slight breeze makes the game incredibly realistic. You’re not in a speed boat, you are just standing on the bank or bridge, depending on your location on the map. I’ve always loved Train Simulator and the Portland, Maine run is my favorite scenario. My favorite game is Out of the Park Baseball 18 … and I’ve already pre-ordered OotP 19. I am in control of the completely fictitious Canadian Baseball League. I am the general manager of the Winnipeg Bluebirds. I raced through season one just to get a little history in the league and this second season so far I played every game. My team was one game away from winning it all last season. This season, with all of our injuries, I doubt we will make the playoffs. Within a week or so, I’ll be starting a series on the gaming channel for Out of the Park Baseball. Viewers will have to excuse me if I am 8/10ths of the way through the season; we will just pick it up from there. And season three will be a blast.

Other games I am going to play on my channel will be Fernbus Simulator with a coach bus driving anywhere in Germany, and Plague Inc. where I literally get to destroy the planet’s population. That one is a kind of a weird game, folks. A few months ago I also bought for cheap a game called House Party. The sole objective is to find the woman who you want to do it with and do it. It has one feature that will have Rebecca either laughing hysterically or rolling her eyes – this game, if you push the right button, you will hear the guy’s zipper unzip and you will see him pleasuring himself. That is when I stopped playing the game. I’m old school and things like that should be kept private. One cool thing about that game, however, is behind the young lady’s house is a big back yard with a fire pit which is very beautiful to look at.

With this blog entry being posted on my Facebook page and my Twitter page, some might say this is an advertisement for my gaming channel. I don’t think so, but I am going to link to the Bear Spring Camps page to let my friends there know that Fishing Planet, a remarkably realistic simulator, will be featured often.

Next Wednesday will be the 700th blog post. That is unbelievable to me. I want to thank everyone who has read us over the years and invite you all to stick around for the next 100.

Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

I need to get back to reality… now!

Greetings, readers. For a very long time now I have found myself caught in a half-world of virtual reality. I don’t know whether it’s my depression or whether I just love being a big kid, but my favorite thing to do is to play video games … and eat ice cream. I know I’ve talked about self-improvement before, but I’m going to take steps starting today to make those improvements happen. I saw on an episode of One Day at a Time last evening where the main character was told by her therapist to use her cell phone and describe all that was going on in her day and then play it back. When she did, she heard just how bad she sounded and that she needed to go back on her antidepressants.

Now, I’m not off my antidepressants, but I’m going to use the same tactic of recording and listening to hear just how my typical day transpires. I can already tell you it’s not going to be pretty. I am dictating this blog entry with my voice recognition program which has a feature to play back what I have dictated in my own voice. Yes, dear readers, I am going to play it back and listen to it. Ready? Here we go.

My typical work day is as follows: my alarm will go off at 3:45 AM. First thing I will do is stride slowly to the kitchen and make coffee. I am nothing before my morning coffee. Once my morning beverage is next to me at my desk, I’ll turn on the computer and get ready to play the morning baseball video game. My fictitious Winnipeg Bluebirds are in second place but fading fast. For those two hours, I am so engrossed in that game, and if I’m not careful I could find myself late for work. Out of the Park Baseball ‘18 has everything; it is by far the best baseball simulation out there. That brings us to approximately 6 AM.

Next, I will close down my computer and take my medication. Lord help me if I forget that. Between 6:15 and 7:45, I will enjoy my second cup of coffee and either listen to music or play Fishing Planet, a remarkably lifelike fishing simulator. You start at level 1 with only one rod, one reel and light tackle and bait. I’m up to level 5 now. I’ve watched YouTube videos of people in the higher levels angling for big bass. This is another game that I can lose track of time playing and I must be cautious. Can’t be late for real life, you know.

At 9:38, I catch the morning bus to my fast food job. Between the hours of 10 and 3 PM, I feel like a normal person. I’m out in the world, interacting with others, making coffee, telling jokes to my coworkers and having a great time. What do you know? I’m a normal person … but just until 3 o’clock.

When I get home at 4 PM, I figuratively crash. I will plop myself down on my recliner chair, watch TV, and most times, fall asleep. Oh, I feel so old. When I come to, an hour or so later, I won’t notice the emptiness of the apartment without Keekee and need to go grab some ice cream. Yes, even with a therapist and antidepressants I still need my comfort food. It makes me feel better and it makes my dentist rich. If I have to go to my fast food job the next morning I will turn in for the night no later than 9 PM. Years ago, the evening was only just getting going at 9 PM. I set my alarm for 3:45 AM, and do it all again the next day.
I’m going to take a break now and make this contraption read back to me what I just typed, then in the final paragraph I shall summarize. Be right back.

After listening to the 667 words I just dictated, it is painfully obvious to me that except for a five hour span during a few afternoons a week, I am completely not in reality. I am in virtual reality. It is comfortable there, but I must leave soon. If I don’t, I feel I will be completely devoured and unable to get back to what I would consider a ‘normal life’. I will keep you all up to date on my progress.

Next week, I will blog on Wednesday about the Canadian football league. Until then, have a great weekend, to take care and as always, happy reading.

The 52 year old kid

Greetings, readers. I’ve often told myself and other people that I’m young at heart and I feel like a big kid. I really have not taken life seriously, upon reflection. At age 15, I should have gotten the job that I have now, which is a cashier at a local fast food restaurant. That is the time I should have learned the importance of saving money and having my own. Still my favorite recreation is playing video games or watching them on YouTube. I don’t sit down and write for hours and my hands have not had 35 years of hard labor. What does this say about me?

I’m about to open up a little bit and share. My mom, God rest her soul, loved me and yes, overprotected me. I was basically taught that everything would be okay and that I would be provided for, I think because of my disability. To young parents: This is a mistake. While I had a happy childhood, and young adulthood, I’m still trying to straighten out the curves thrown at me later in life.

At this point of my life, I had envisioned myself writing several books, a couple of plays, and maybe even a pilot for a TV series. Well, only a fraction of those things actually came to pass. I guess I’m alright with that. But at age 52, with a brain that’s been slightly damaged by seizures and dulled by medication I don’t know how much creative writing I have in me for future projects.

When I sit down to play my games, I can lose myself in my own little world and forget all my worries, such as my handicaps, and my monetary situation. Then the phone will ring, or I’ll have to put laundry in the dryer, or go buy that jug of milk, and back to the real world I come. I can do it. Sometimes I just don’t like to.

Is this escapism? Or just a single guy wanting to have a hobby? There’s a question for you. If I were to ask my therapist, she would probably say it is a little bit of both. Am I going to change my ways and become Mr. Ultra Serious Man? Hell, no. I don’t want frown lines on my forehead. The Lord made me the way He wanted me to be, and that is good enough.

I again have a work shift tomorrow, so Rebecca will be putting up the blog from home, either a fresh one from her, or another re-post of a previous blog from me – most likely from my third year of blogging.

Now we have some good news to share with you. I have decided, with Rebecca and Darren’s go ahead, to begin final editing work on our novel, Four’s a Crowd. As my older readers may remember, it is based on my play Kimberly from several years back, which Darren adapted into a novel with my imput. I think Darren was excited when we had our conference call this morning. It was bugging me no end that my work from days gone by and his recent very hard work had stalled in the mud. I see this on CreateSpace for sale by February 2018 … earlier if we get our butts in gear. 🙂

Before we close, prayers go out to the families and survivors effected in the senseless shooting in Las Vegas. There are people like that in the world who do monstrously terrible acts. As I understand it, he committed suicide. What a coward. He didn’t have the courage to serve his jail time and pay for his crimes. Now he will have to deal with a Higher Power and face his final judgement there.

Well, that is the news from today. Until next time, have a great day, take care, and as always, happy reading.

Top ten list of what I like and dislike about being a bachelor

Greetings, readers. Today’s top ten list is a pro and con mixture of what I’ve experienced being single. Being a bachelor or bachelorette has its advantages and disadvantages. Expect for number one, none of these is in any particular order.

#10. I can play video games whenever I want to. Thumbs up.

#9. I can take a nap whenever I want to. Thumbs up.

#8. I have to do the household chores by myself. Thumbs down. [I do have a housecleaning helper come in twice a month. Having a small place is hard to maintain because stuff piles up quickly.]

#7. I can practice for my performances whenever I want to. Thumbs up.

#6. I need to have Rebecca cat-sit Keekee when I go on vacation. A mild thumbs down.

#5. Unless I talk to the walls, no conversations. I don’t entertain very often. It truly is only me. Thumbs down. [I have no one to share the events of my day, good or bad, and if I am in a crisis I have no one to discuss it with.]

#4. I don’t get into arguments, because I don’t have a significant other. Thumbs up. [Not that I’m argumentative, but differences in opinion do come up between people.]

#3. Since I’m not a bar-goer, I don’t meet a lot of women. Hence, no sex life. Thumbs down. [Of, course it would be nice to have a permanent partner, but at this point I’m beginning to think the Lord has other plans for me. Too bad.]

#2. Because I like to munch while I watch TV, and also because I can’t cook, my diet and health have paid a price. Thumbs down. [I am crusinely challenged. To me cooking is burning water. Thank goodness for the occasional microwave dinner.]

#1. Valentine’s Day. [For many years now, this has been the loneliest day of the year for me. I have no one to give flowers or candy to, or take out to dinner. Maybe one year.]

Well, that’s the list of my top ten things I like and dislike about being a bachelor. If you want to, please chime in with your list. On Friday, Rebecca will have a top ten list of likes and dislikes about being married.

Take care, have a great couple of days, don’t work too hard digging out of the snow, and happy reading.