Videogaming: Stardew Valley - Everything I Hoped Animal Crossing Would Be.

Stardew Valley has been out for years at this point and I have heard nothing but good things about the game. My wife has been playing it for quite a while actually and it was on sale recently on Xbox for $8 so I decided to pick it up. I have played a number of the farm/life sim games over the years and I even really go into Animal Crossing Wild World back on the DS years back. 

Other than that though I have never really been captured by any of the life simulation games. I have played the Sims here and there and I have played some Harvest Moon games as well. Stardew has taken me by surprise though. It is quote simply one of the most relaxing and chill games I have ever played. It's too bad that it is not available on the Nintendo 3Ds because I really see it as an ideal portable game. 

The music, the atmosphere, the coloring is all there. I am only in my first year and I have made it to the autumn season, and I just love how each season in the game has a completely different vibe. What's more, is that there are no fail conditions as far as I know. You are completely free to tackle each task at your own pace and while the initial premise of the game is farming, that certainly does not have to be a priority item for you if you do not wish it to be. 

Perhaps one of my favorite features though straight out is that time doesn't pass when you log out. I know that this is a defining feature for Animal Crossing, but Animal Crossing is one of those games that demands your attention. If you aren't playing it daily it literally makes you feel bad when you miss a day. The life sim games have always been about playing them in short bursts for me. I might play and hour or two a week, play it for a while and then take months off before coming back again. 

I think that Stardew quite simply might be the perfect life sim game and is by far the most enjoyable I have ever played. 

Rev'it Cayanne Pro Riding Jacket and Pants - First 200 miles

It was time for some new riding gear. Most of my equipment is getting pretty old at this point, going on 8+ years, so the wear and tear is beginning to show on some of it. I have primarily two sets of riding gear at the moment, a leather jacket and pants, and then some nylon riding gear that I have been using for my longer tours. 

The leather gear is still in remarkably good shape, but the Olympia Airglide jacket and pants have come to the end of their road I think. The velcro straps on most of it are starting to lose their grip, the front right pants pocket has a hole in it and it is just starting to look a bit grundgy overall. 

I have spent quite a lot of time recently trying to find the right gear that I wanted to replace it with. I have looked at probably a dozen different jackets and pants, including some full riding suits. In the end I finally decided to settle on the Rev'it Cayenne Pro jacket and pants. 

This set is a hot weather tour riding set. It does not come with a thermal liner or a waterproof layer, and that is intentional on Rev'its part for the user to bring their own to additional gear or build it up. They call it a modular system and they do offer a number of other layers that can be added. While doing my research, this did trouble me a bit. I was looking closely at the Rev'It Sand jacket and pants as an alternative here. That set is probably one of the best selling jacket and pant sets out there and comes with a thermal and waterproof liner. 

After taking a close look at my riding environment though I had to admit that I ride mostly in warm weather. Probably 95% of my riding is in warm weather, no let me change that, 95% of my riding is in hot weather. I decided that going with the specialized setup rather than the "jack of all trades" would be the better route this time around. I already own heated thermal linings which I can add if I need to, and I have been pretty disappointed in the built in rain layer on my other equipment. 

I finally had the chance to put about 200 miles on the suit this weekend, so let's review my initial thoughts. 

Skateboarding

Yesterday Megan and I went out to the mall to just get out of the house and walk around. It was a really nice night outside (finally summer) and we just wanted to be out and about. While at the mall we decided to pop out heads into the Vans store. I'm not sure if the Vans store is new at the mall or if I just had not been into it, but we probably spent a good 15 minutes walking around, touching all of the shoes. 

Up through high schoolI used to wear Vans all the time. To be honest I am not quite sure why I stopped wearing them. I have wide feet and it has always been difficult for me to find a good pair of shoes and Vans always had sizes for me. 

Anyways, I think the nostalgia train immediately kicked in. I'm surprised I didn't go and buy a pair of vans right there, but the conversation immediately went to skateboarding. Skateboarding is one of those sports I have always wanted to get into, but I never did. I am not quite sure if it is because I was so invested in other sports growing up, but my mind immediately went to "why don't I learn how to skateboard?"

Ok, let's back up a little bit here. Why am I even thinking about skateboarding at all? Well, as I noted above I think I have a bit of a nostalgia trying going, even though I have never been a skater. It's summer, skateboarding is very much a summer sport and I have been listening to some mall punk almost non-stop as of late. Sum 41 has a new album coming out and Blink 182 put their new album out a couple of years ago. It's like the 90's pop punk thing is back. I just need to wait for ska it make is resurgence. 

I have also been thinking a lot about LA for some reason. A co-worker of mine went to LA last summer and it always has seemed like a cool city to me. It also has a reputation for skateboarding. 

So, here I am now, thinking about "why shouldn't I try skateboarding?" It isn't that expensive, $100 or so for a board and another $40 for a helmet maybe. There are skate parks at almost all of the park districts around me, and hell, it is summer. I really want to learn something new. 

So, I think in the next couple of weeks here I am going to try and hit up a local skate shop and talk to them to try and get into skateboarding. Goal is to be able to successfully do an ollie by the end of the summer.