This is the new year, and we are still "locked down" (if you want to call it that).
Over the course of a month, I visited the University of Toronto to take an architectural tour.
“‘Tis a fine shutdown, but sure ‘tis no lockdown, English.”
I name my computing devices after minor characters in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
Faced with the need to get some sunshine and exercise the day before it was expected to rain in Toronto, I took a walking architectural tour of University Avenue.
This is the end of the beginning.
The best time to buy a Nintendo Switch was in late 2019, when it was available at Shoppers Drug Mart (a Canadian drug store chain) for regular price but with a $100 in redeemable points for the store. Not knowing that there would be a global respiratory illness pandemic on the horizon, it didn’t make sense then to bring in a gaming system in addition to my PS4™ and Mac. In March of this year, as the pandemic spread to North America, Switches quickly sold out, and I briefly investigated buying a used Wii U, before ultimately and somewhat belatedly deciding to buy a PC laptop instead. I was tired of being left out of the PC gaming world, with a limited selection of Steam games being available on the Mac, and my Mac being a work laptop anyway.
So I bought the cheap PC laptop that Wirecutter recommended at the time. I had the presence of mind to notice that they had updated their recommendations without in a header without having written the full review. Now I see that they have posted their review of the Asus TUF Gaming A15, which I got from Amazon on Prime Day, though not at a discount. (I missed my opportunity for a lightning deal. At least this one comes with 0% financing, dulling the force of the blow.) I’ve spent the last few weeks setting it up with software, and have made rules for it: No work to be done on it, despite the temptation to test things on a Windows PC; no email except to verify account creation; no eating next to it (drinking should be fine, I just don’t want to get food on it). I’m also putting together scheduled gaming nights, where I set a goal for the evening, limit my time on it, and plan wind down afterwards. I’ve been slowly learning what it means to livestream my gameplay, but it’s the second-guessing from onlookers that I know I won’t be able to handle. I still like the idea of learning what it takes to do it.
I’ve already downloaded and played Rocket League, and it’s much faster to load there than on my PS4™, and much, much easier to type in chat. I plan on never writing a mean word in it, and just using it to joke around or explain myself if need be. I’ve also since learned of the existence of not just the Discovery Tour mode in the Assassin’s Creed series¹, but that there are standalone Discovery Tour games for the games that have them. I bought the Discovery Tour edition for Origins and and Odyssey (on sale, no less), and I’m eagerly awaiting the standalone edition for Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, the one about Vikings. If you know a little bit about my heritage, that’s a pretty exciting edition (even if I don’t care about the assassination part of the game).
I’m actually fairly busy with work and other pursuits, lucky me, so I don’t know for sure how much gaming I’ll do in the next 6 months. That’s about the time period where I expect there still to be no events in Toronto to attend in person, and not much opportunity to travel beyond city limits, so I’ll fill it with a commitment to PC gaming and a recommitment to writing about it here.
 Discovery Tour mode takes out the storyline and the need to kill people in the game. You just walk around the world getting educated on the game’s subject. That sounds good to me!
In which I list the repairs I've made to Just a Gwai Lo in preparation for a big upgrade.