Fall Colors

Autumn is generally not one of my favorite seasons. But I’ll have to say with everything going on in 2020, I am welcoming it with open arms with it’s cool nights, and beautiful colors. I should probably go somewhere this weekend to capture the peak colors before they are gone.

Pikmin Short Movies

These were originally released in 2014 as paid downloads for the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. I of course bought them on both platforms. This was after Pikmin 3 launched on the Wii U. I love these shorts. They were storyboarded by Miyamoto and made me really wonder why Nintendo hasn’t pursued using their characters in any form of independent animation. These are what I’d call Pixar quality both in animation quality and charm. I’m glad they published these SIX YEARS later on Youtube.

A Sad Small Story

Yesterday evening after finishing dinner, I stood up and looked out my dining room window. Along the edge of our property there was a man kneeling and digging with hand tools near a large tree. I was curious1. Why was this man digging? He continued for several minutes and was digging along the roots in a narrow shallow approach. Then after a few minutes he stopped, and stood up and walked away. Did he see me? I was staring out my window awkwardly because, well, I’m naturally awkward. He walked along the path surrounding nearby houses behind a bush. But he did not emerge on the other side of the bush. At this moment I pondered: Did he see me, and is he hiding? Was he up to no good? Why is he just digging near a tree?

He came back from behind the bush approaching the hole he had dug. Between the two hand tools lay a stiff squirrel. Instantly my thoughts shuffled and reorganized. The man laid the squirrel in the resting spot. He then gently covered the grave with soil for a few minutes, stood up, stepped over it to compress the loose soil. Then he knelt again scrounging for something. He found two small sticks and fashioned cross. He stood once more, said something, crossed his heart, and walked away.

In those final moments, I became emotional over that squirrel. Was it the same squirrel that frequented our deck? That man took the time to give that small creature some dignity and respect to the natural world.

RIP Squirrel.

  1. I’m very protective of the trees near our house and property because the area used be very wooded before we moved in and they cut down a bunch of older trees. I like trees.

Facebook Buys Giphy

If you would have told me in 2005 that GIFs would be huge, I would have laughed at you. Absolutely absurd. GIFs were the bane of personal websites in the late 90s and early 2000s. But as media has evolved, bandwidth increased, and now we all have mini-computers in our pockets, GIFs have been an indispensable resource in expressing our feelings, referencing pop culture, and generally speaking it’s lightweight portable video now.

Now Facebook is involved which in turn means privacy is at risk. I didn’t think about it at first, but Giphy is the defacto source for GIFs and integration to their Google database of GIFs. Now we all have trackers in any app we use.

Of course Giphy is going to retain its own brand. If they renamed it to “Facebook Tracking Pixels”, usage might drop off. Think about all the messaging apps that don’t offer Facebook integration for security/privacy reasons (not to mention not wanting to have their apps crash on launch when Facebook pushes a buggy update), where Giphy images appear. You know, like Apple’s Messages. Well, now Facebook has tracking pixels in them.

John Gruber

Cool. Cool cool cool.

Games I’m Excited For in 2019

2019 is shaping up to be loaded with games. Here’s what I’m looking forward to this year. Presented in no particular order.

  • Katana Zero
  • Killer Queen Black
  • Samurai Gunn 2
  • Super Mario Maker 2
  • Link’s Awakening
  • Cadence of Hyrule
  • Shovel Knight: King of Cards
  • Super Meat Boy Forever
  • Mortal Kombat XI
  • Astral Chain
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3
  • Doom Eternal
  • Spelunky 2
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses

I’m sure there are more games. I’ve already had a couple of games surprise me this year. Most of these have release dates or are confirmed for this year. There are plenty of AAA games that are on the horizon but I’m not certain what we’re getting this year.

What I’ve Been Playing: March 2018

Sometimes it’s nice to take break from some of the bigger games.1 Here’s what I’ve been playing recently.

Ape Out

I love when a game has this level of execution. Ape Out is a game where the player takes control of a rampaging ape trying to escape2. But this simple premise is made exceptional with its jazz album infused world with top notch sound design. I don’t want to spoil too much. Watch the first 30 seconds of the game. There aren’t many games that set out to be so unique like this and do it with style. Just play this game. This is definitely a highlight for me this year.

The first 30 seconds really set the mood.

Tetris 99

Just after I wrote my Tetris worshiping blog posts, Nintendo pulled me back in3 with a surprise announcement during their last Nintendo Direct. I have dismissed Battle Royale games before, but damn if it doesn’t work great for Tetris. Where Tetris Effect is chill and zen, Tetris 99 is intense and stressful. I am still trying to flex my Tetris skills with this game, and I definitely need to up my T-Spin setups. If you have a Switch, this is worth paying for Nintendo Switch Online4.

Jared Wins!
Jared Wins!

Marble It Up!

Sometimes I just want a simple premise with my games. Marble It Up! is a physics game with a marble and a goal. It’s as if a game from the mid-2000s was made today in HD. It’s in the same vein as Super Monkey Ball, etc. Simple, effective, and fun. It will be cool to see if someone speed runs this game for Games Done Quick. Recommended if you want something simple, fun, and… marble related.


  1. AKA Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 
  2. Ape Escape… that’s a good name. Someone should use that. 
  3. Not that I left. 
  4. And people say Nintendo doesn’t know what they’re doing. 

My end of the year roundup of what games I played this year is still incoming. It's just going to be a bit longer than I was anticipating because I apparently have a bunch to say. 

But since I don't have anything ready yet, please enjoy this photo of me standing next to a sign. 

This was just a sign, but it was still pretty exciting.
Photo by Alison Burcham