the walking writer

It’s hard to feel too hopeful about the state of the United States right now. Endless scandals, naked greed and outright lies have not managed to take down Donny or at least slow his administration’s path towards destroying the environment, schools, healthcare, science and so much more. It doesn’t surprise me that rich old white people are thrilled with this administration. Trump is basically printing money and handing it off to them. What surprises me is that his supporters with far less money continue to support him. What has he gotten you? Skyrocketing healthcare costs, higher taxes and increasing costs at the grocery store. But trying to make sense of people who to this day are still obsessed with Hillary Clinton is an impossible task, so I won’t bother. (Seriously, find a new hobby.)

Normally, I consider myself an optimist, but the past two years have truly tried my hope. Voting is our best option to alter the path before us. If you want to change things, then please register to vote and vote! Every election matters, even if you’re just voting on local issues. Even if you think you’re registered, it’s a good idea to check and make sure you’re still on the books. Election Day is just a few weeks away.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything here. I’ve felt compelled to write about politics, yet I’m so disgusted by everything that has happened since Trump was elected that it’s not easy to pick just one thing to write about. But with today’s unveiling of the Senate’s “healthcare” bill, it’s time to break the wall in my head and say something.

I’m in amazement at how utterly devoted to destruction and harm the Republican Party seems to be. Take climate change. It’s not enough for them to just refuse to believe in climate change and do nothing to stop it. No, they actively seek to harm the environment instead. Leaving the Paris Agreement, rolling back protections for whales, attempting to eliminate rules to protect our water, and the list goes on. The same story with healthcare: instead of just keeping the status quo, Republicans want to rip insurance out from under the feet of 20+ million people and make the remaining insurance options offer far less than previously. All for the benefit of the richest people in our country.

A group of protestors met in the hallway by Mitch McConnell’s office today to protest this disgusting bill. Many of them are disabled and use wheelchairs. Mitch McConnell wanted them gone. So they were removed from their wheelchairs, carried off of the grounds and arrested. It was a shameless display that I hope haunts Mitch and the rest of the Republican Party.

The Republican Party has made it clear today: if you don’t make millions, if you aren’t white, if you aren’t in perfect health, if you aren’t a man, they don’t care about you at all. They will never care, and the only way to change things is to get them out of office.

It’s extremely easy to tune out the news; I’ve had to take a few breaks myself. But if you’re angry like I am, don’t tune out forever. We need everyone in order to change things and reverse the endless list of bad decisions that have been made by Trump and his associates.

Stay strong. When things get tough, look for whatever small joys or humor you can find. It’s hard, but I believe there are enough us who are feeling angry that we will be able to change things.

If I could express one thought to all of my fellow Americans, it would simply be this: Stop giving into fear.

I remember 9/11 quite vividly. Many of us were afraid then, and with good reason. Yet I feel like the fear the public has now far exceeds the level of fear back then. Why is this? Well, it probably has something to do with the Republican party turning fear into a commodity in order to gain votes.

Please remember that the travel ban (which fortunately is currently suspended) did not ban anyone from the countries where the 9/11 terrorist attackers hailed from. That should give you pause. Please also remember that the country knows a few things already about vetting immigrants; no one was allowed to just saunter in without any checks.

And lastly, please stop watching Fox News. Turn off the television, get away from the constant fear mongering, and enjoy your life.

When you haven’t blogged in months, it’s hard to get started again. My primary reason for my disappearance was due to buying a house and moving. While the idea of living in a new place is fun and exciting, the actual process is not. We live in a hot market, and the urgency of seeing places as soon as they’re listed and holding out hope that your offer will be accepted is more than slightly stressful. Now that it’s all said and done, there are a few lessons I’ve learned for the next move. I’m hoping that next move won’t be for a few years, however.

Don’t Save Your Cleaning for the Last Day

We were living in an apartment before we bought a house, and we had been there for almost a decade. While we had done a decent job of keeping the place clean, there was still quite a bit to do in the end. Unwisely, I saved most of it for the last day of our lease. By the end of the day, my back was severely complaining.

Hire Help Wherever Possible

There are some parts of moving that are difficult to do on your own. For example, we had some old furniture that we had no interest in taking with us. Due to the logistics of the apartment and our car, it wasn’t feasible to take them to be donated to a thrift store on our own. Instead, we ended up hiring a junk removal company to take care of the items. It was the best money we spent during the whole process. If you have the money, hiring other help, like cleaning or actual movers, is definitely a good way to go.

Get Rid of Stuff Before the Move

While you might end up getting rid of some stuff as you pack, you may find yourself not having the time to do more than just shove things into boxes. My regret is that I didn’t start working earlier to declutter and thus have far less things to pack. As we unpack, we’re getting rid of things, but it would have been easier to have done it weeks ago.

It’s fantastic to be on this side of the move, at last. Hopefully now I can catch up on my various online projects!

Tracer from Overwatch
I’ve been playing Blizzard games for as long as I can remember, starting back with the original Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. I’ve sunk more hours than I care to admit into World of Warcraft (I do not play anymore). I’ve dabbled in Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. Needless to say, I’m generally a fan of Blizzard’s games. When details about Overwatch first came out, I loved the art style and the character variety, but I wasn’t too sure about the genre. The last time I had played any sort of FPS was back in the Hexen days. A game, that I just realized, came out in 1995. Wow, I feel old.

Playing Heroes of the Storm introduced me to a level of toxicity that seemed even worse than the kind of chat one typically experiences while doing PVP battles in WoW. While I have developed a thick skin from being an active internet user for decades, I don’t really enjoy getting insults while I’m playing games. Heroes of the Storm is a fine game, but I didn’t really feel it was such an awesome game that it was worth dealing with the trolls to play. So, I was a little wary that the Overwatch community was going to be similar.

Due to various boring reasons that don’t need explanation, I didn’t buy Overwatch until a couple of weeks ago. I’m happy to say that the level of toxicity in the game is far less than I expected. Yes, there have been some mean comments, but it’s been pretty mild. The game does have a voice chat system, but I elected to turn it off when I first started playing. I understand that voice chat can be helpful for coordinating with your team, but the chance of having to listen to some kid mouth off is enough to make it not worth it.

For the record, I have no idea what it’s like in competitive play. I’m honestly not sure that I will try it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the atmosphere in competitive play is a “little” more tense though.

I’m also happy that my lack of any recent FPS experience hasn’t been a major hamper. Am I winning every match? Hardly, but the game offers plenty of characters to better suit your experience or lack of experience. If you’re not too sure about your aiming accuracy, for example, you can play Mercy, the game’s best healer. Playing a tank like D.VA or Reinhardt is also a good choice if you’re a little unsure about your shooting skill.

Overwatch is a fantastic game that is certainly worth checking out if you’ve been on the fence about it. I’m planning to post more things about it the future, including tips for new players.