Cobra Kai

I’ve written quite a bit about this new show Cobra Kai in the past couple of posts but thought it deserved it’s own post.  Cobra Kai is a new series on YouTube Red which continues the Karate Kid saga of the ’80s but from Johnny’s point of view and it is completely awesome.  I watched the whole series in two days and it really had a profound effect on me.

The reason is because it is flush with ’80s nostalgia as the main protagonist, Johnny seems to be stuck in that decade.  He is the antithesis of political correctness: he doesn’t know what Facebook is, still listens to ’80s music and like the ’80s wants everything to be “awesome” as opposed to the metrosexual “pussification”PC, let’s all be sensitive of today’s culture.  To be honest, I absolutely love this and find it absolutely refreshing (although I am a liberal and being kind is the way to go).

The other reason I really like it is because it deals with karate and karate is in itself awesome.  He takes a bunch of “losers” from high school and turns them into bad-ass fighters.  It is the awesomeness of the ’80s meets the PC culture of today’s generation and I cannot get enough of it.

It brings back a nostalgic fondness of a time long since gone by.  It makes my karate practice seem “bad-ass” and it even encouraged me to buy my own jean jacket like when I was a kid.  When I was a kid back in the ’80s my jean jacket was  a favorite in my wardrobe.  Back then it was the thing to put a lot of buttons from the 7-11 on the back. I saw Johnny wearing one and thought, “You know, that is really cool and I’d like to start wearing a jean jacket again.”  So I got one off of Amazon for $45.  It also appears as though I’m not the only one.  I just tried to grab a picture but they do not have the color black anymore which is the one I bought.

In continuing with this theme I also started wearing an old watch.  I had recently bought my wife an Apple Watch and it make me think that I might like to start wearing a watch again. However, it had to be from the past and also since I’m trying to limit the privacy invasion of the current form of the internet I don’t want an Apple Watch but something from long ago.  I realized that I have a G-Shock watch my wife gave me from 2004.  So I put it on, realized it was awesome and have started wearing it for the very first time.

To complete the wardrobe I thought a pair of sunglasses would be in order. I have an old pair of Oakley sunglasses but the top bar is broken and it is impossible to find a replacement.  So I looked online and found a similar pair of new Oakleys and got it for my birthday.  Now the look is complete and I’m feeling rather awesome myself.Aside from the wardrobe I’m rediscovering how great ’80s music is due to the show.  I bought the soundtrack but it didn’t contain the ’80s music I was after.  I looked online but everything just referenced the soundtrack  so I re-watched the entire series just so I could make a list of the music Johnny listens to.  Here it is in its entirety:

Johnny’s Music
1.  Nothin’ But a Good Time – Poison
2. Head Games – Foreigner
3.  Dont’ Look Back – Boston
4.  We’re Not Gonna Take It – Twisted Sister
5.  Take it on the Run – REO Speedwagon
1.  Commuter – Young Hearts
2.  Suburban Girl – Postcards from Jeff
3.  Only You 12″ version – Savage

1.  Lay it down – Mickey Ratt

Guns n’ Roses


Bay Area California Random

San Francisco Giants Baseball game

We went to my youngest child’s first San Francisco Giants game on Tuesday, May 15th and vs. The Cincinnati Reds.  The Giants won 5-3 and it really was a night to remember!

I am not much of a sports fan but am able to get tickets since the Giants are my customer.  The thought about getting my youngest to his first baseball game came when I took a customer to a Giants game last month.  Looking up at the board I saw Japanese Heritage Night was on the 15th and that it might be a great opportunity.  I am also switching jobs soon where the Giants might no longer be my customer so we should take the opportunity while we have it. Furthermore, they were playing they were playing the Cincinnati Reds which of course are from my home state of Ohio.  So needless  to say it was a perfect game for his first. What I didn’t know is how fantastic it would be.

I secured the tickets no problem but then was speaking with my second contact at the Giants and he mentioned getting out to a game.  I told him, “Well, actually we’ll be there on Tuesday!”  He was thrilled and said “Why don’t you come a little earlier and I can get you on the field for batting practice.  Say 4:15?”  This sounded like a great opportunity so I quickly agreed.  Again, there was something I didn’t know and that is how amazing it would actually be!

We parked at Daly City and took the BART to the Embarcadero station then switched to the Muni which we took to Second Street.  My contact met us near the stadium souvenir store and we got our passes for the field.

The first person we met is one of their scouts/assistant coaches Will Clark!  Will Clark is someone I remember growing up with and I swear I have his baseball card but will have to double check.  I learned that it is good to have two young kids with you because many of the guys will give you practice balls and take pictures.  Will Clark obliged but I didn’t think at the time that we should ask for a signature so we just got the picture.

Next, we walked to the other side of home plate and watched practice for a while.

My contact then asked if we had a pen so we could try to get signatures.  This isn’t the easiest thing to do because you’re kept to the track and cannot bother the players who are warming up.  But if they approach you then you’re free to talk to them.  We were lucky to have my contact with us because he could easily strike up a conversation with them since they know him.  He saw that the biggest star of the Giants, Madison Bumgarner, was near the rope and went over to speak with him and introduced us.  Madison was kind enough to take a picture with us but not only that, he signed TWO baseballs for my boys!!

We returned to the other side of home plate where Gorkys Hernandez came over and gave my boys high fives.  I thought it might be rude to ask pictures and autographs from everyone that came over so we just did the high five with him.  I was also too timid to strike up a conversation in Spanish and couldn’t think of anything to say anyway.

The next person my contact was kind enough to strike up a conversation with and introduce us to was Mac Williamson.  We had some light chit-chat and he was kind enough to take a picture with us and also signed two baseballs for my boys!  Really nice guy.

The next stop was to the press box where reporters broadcast the game in real time and report to newspapers and other news outlets all over the world. Here is a view from the press box.

We then went over to the Japanese Heritage Night party which was held just outside the stadium.  They were giving away SF Giants – Japan cherry blossom themed backpacks and so we got two for the boys.  To be honest I wanted one as well (I’m just a big kid) but thought it might be rude to take too many so was left without.

It was an incredible night and what a story to tell should my boys become baseball fans.  I doubt my youngest will remember it but to help, I wrote about it in the family blog so he can have a refresher when he is older.



The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’ve finally completed The Legend of Zelda:  Breath of the Wild.

I’ve always wanted to play Zelda ever since I was a kid and saw my friends who had a Nintendo playing.  My best friend had a Sega and so that is what I wanted and I remained in the Sega camp all the way through Genesis.  Since the ’90s I’ve not bought a console but thought it was time as my son was getting older and only had my old games which were played on an emulator on the computer.  And so I bought Zelda on a whim thinking it might take me back to my childhood a bit.

I let it sit for a month after Christmas not giving it a second thought.  Then one day I decided to try it out and there went my free time for the next three months.  It was a fantastic game and very addicting!

I did actually complete the game a month ago by beating Ganon:  I just strolled right in there without the top gear/equipment to see what he was like and I did not expect that I would actually beat him.  And so after the credits finished I reloaded the game from a previous save point and continued with the game as I like to complete them as fully as possible.

As of now I’ve:

1.  Found all 120 shrines – I did cheat using a map on the last 20 or so as I don’t have the time to just wander all over Hyrule for an eternity.

2.  Got the Wild Armor set and have it fully upgraded as well as fully upgraded all armor sets.

3.  Found about 150 Korok seeds – no need to find them all.

4.  Completed all of the side quests (a few may be missing) except for Rushroom which is just annoying.

Here are a few of my favorite screenshots from the game.

Now that Zelda is done I’m redirecting my focus on writing in this journal, especially since I have a nice new (and tiny) laptop.

Quotes Random

Jim Carrey quote

Got this from The Elephant Journal and thought it was worth keeping.

Jim Carrey shares the startling realization he came to after years of fame: it’s totally pointless to spend our whole lives creating and curating some specific identity for ourselves.

This is all ego: desiring to be important, to be someone, to matter. In reality, this grasping at a singular identity brings us only pain and suffering, for three main reasons. One, it introduces a separation between us and all other beings that dishonors our inherent, interconnected nature. Two, it deludes us into thinking that things are not supposed to change—that we are not supposed to change. Three, it leads us away from resting in our own basic goodness, as it makes us feel that we aren’t enough just as we are, right now.

The antidote to this suffering is to let go of this desire to be “someone.” As Carrey beautifully puts it, “The feeling of wholeness is a different feeling than me-ness.” To feel whole, we must let go of trying to maintain an image of “me.”

Drawing from his own experience, Carrey then connects this truth to the condition of depression:

“People talk about depression all the time. The difference between depression and sadness is sadness is just from happenstance—whatever happened or didn’t happen for you, or grief, or whatever it is. Depression is your body saying f*ck you, I don’t want to be this character anymore, I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created in the world. It’s too much for me.

You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest.’ Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character that you’ve been trying to play.”

“I have no depression in my life whatsoever—literally none. I have sadness, and joy, and elation, and satisfaction, and gratitude beyond belief. But all of it is weather, and it just spins around the planet. It doesn’t sit on me long enough to kill me. It’s just ideas.” ~ Jim Carrey


Harry Potter moving ‘wanted poster’ using own video

Last week I noticed we had the option to use short videos in our Facebook profiles.  This got me thinking about what might make a fun profile video; the best I could think of were those wanted posters from Harry Potter where the image moves.

I had some rare free time so I put on my headphones, stared at the screen and went into the zone for the next two hours.  It took me a while but I was able to figure it out using software I already had – nothing really fancy either.

So how did I do it?

  1. Used my Logitech computer camera to record a short video
  2. Put the video into Windows Movie Maker and change it to black and white.  You must save as a Windows Media Video File or else you cannot import the video in the next steps
  3. Download a picture of the wanted poster from the internet
  4. Put the picture into a picture editor – I use Macromedia Fireworks from way back in 2004.  Cut out the center where you want your own picture to go and save as a PNG file.  Saving it as a PNG keeps the hole in your picture.
  5. Open up Macromedia Flash.  Resize the document to the size of the picture and import the picture – this goes on Layer 1
  6. Create another layer (2) and import your video into it.
  7. Make sure the picture (Layer 1) is on top, and then scale and position your video on Layer 2 so that just your head shows through the hole in the picture on Layer 1.
  8. Export as a GIF or AVI and done!