Wednesday, January 5, 2022

An Uncertain Future...

John B. Marine | 1/05/2022 10:46:00 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! It is with great pleasure I welcome all of you to the year 2022. I am pleased to start another year or blogging across all of the blogs that I run. "John's Blog Space" is nearing its anniversary in January 2022. I have five blogs I try to update when I can and provide a great amount of information. However, if you can tell by the title of this blog post, I have concerns. I will express those concerns in this blog post and tell you what challenge(s) await me.

I feel bad starting a year off blogging with something negative, but I feel this is an opportunity to share my mind and try to explain what is going on with me of late. I will try to fill you in as best as I can in this blog post.






An Uncertain Future...


A lot of us are going through a lot in life, and not just the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. I have had my troubles of late. I lost a lot of what made my blogging successful. I do still enjoy making posts for all of you. As much as I try to grow and evolve, I feel I haven't had much success trying to expand my content.

One such issue I face is that I am no longer an Amazon Associate. I haven't made much sales at all, hardly anything in the past 3-5 years, and I am guessing not posting any sales has lead me to being dropped from the service. I even got an E-Mail with a greeting saying, "Dear former Amazon Associate,". On top of that, my views have declined substantially over the years, and I haven't had as much input from the general public. This is almost as if to say my blogs lived their purpose and no longer serve any real purpose except to take up others' time. I feel this has been hurtful to me because I feel like I want to let people understand my views on certain things and later be able to let would-be customers purchase relevant material if interested. It worked very well early on in my blogging career. Since, I rarely profit.

All of this sounds harsh, I know; but I always wanted to move on from blogging once I felt I just wasn't having as much great results. I actually have been trying to learn to build my own static websites using GitHub. Part of my stagnation in making online content has been in trying to learn how to use and utilize GitHub. In addition, I have thought of migrating all (or almost all) of my blog content across all of my blogs to static websites through GitHub.

One of the real problems I am having is trying to use GitHub while also implementing Jekyll. Github and Jekyll together help produce quality static HTML websites. I have been considering GitHub because there is some content of mine that I want to make exclusively for GitHub, and I feel it would be best served and more fun to use a GitHub site more than WordPress or Tumblr or something. So far, my only true creative outlets are "John's Creative Space" and my JohnMarineDesigns Weebly site. I have done things like make e-Books, offer 3D models on TurboSquid, and make music to be sold on Bandcamp. I had a CafePress site, but I discontinued that because I couldn't really make anything to even support my own brand and material. Some blog posts that I have done have resulted in me making some money. Financial profits from whatever I could get my hands on has been very minimal. Not even enough to buy a cup of coffee or a bottle of water.


So What is "Uncertain" About This Future?

The uncertainty lies in wondering if I will ever prosper or thrive again. I probably got into blogging while it was still hot. Most people have moved on mostly to the likes of TikTok and such. Though while a lot of bloggers still are active, I just haven't seen as much success lately for my own work.

As I usually have chatted with one avid supporter, I feel the need to try to be more transparent. Part of that transparency faded when I discontinued my Discord account. I retired from Discord because of some personal issues and from not using it much. However, I feel like I may need to return to Discord because it's the most popular way to connect with creators and with fans. So I may need to re-join Discord and be better able to serve my most loyal fans. I may also have to try not to do too many things to make myself a disliked figure.


Am I Retiring as a Blogger?

Let me answer this as simply as possible...

NO!!!

I feel I still have too much invested in my blogging that I don't need to retire from my love of blogging. This is just a low spot in my blogging career I can dig myself out of. This is the height of my creative energy to blog. I am not giving this up any time soon.


Hope on the Horizon?

Besides being drowned in uncertainty and slow times, I feel rather hopeful and happy for 2022. I have been looking forward to being a better cook, making more music, and even trying my hand at digital art. My creativity will not die even if my beloved blogging seems to be going the way of the dinosaur. If I can get back to gaining some real popularity, I can go ahead and get into sharing my creative work for all to see. My only social media outlets today are mostly Facebook and Twitter.

I do feel I need to concentrate more on other different money-making opportunities to financially profit outside of my blogging. Since progress is slow, though, not much has come out from this creative mind of mine.


A lot of this was tough for me to type, but I would like to thank you all for your patience. Now you know from me what I am going through and the challenges I face. I know anything is possible as long as I believe and as long as I have loving support. I don't know what the future holds, but I will do my best not to let down my biggest supporters.





In case any of you ask, I am NOT deleting any of my blogs. I am just in a lull and working to try to get out of such a lull. I know I say this a lot and it seems redundant, but please support my work any way you can if you enjoy my work. I have tons of outlets for all of you to support my work. I will still be here unless I decide to finally pull the plug on my blogging work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Monday, December 6, 2021

Stardew Valley

John B. Marine | 12/06/2021 07:49:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!
Stardew Valley has been one of the most successful indie/independent games ever produced. The farm life and a tight-knit community await you. What do I think about this game after playing it for a few weeks? Find out in my blog post here on "John's Blog Space!"






Stardew Valley


Stardew Valley made its debut in 2016. This game was produced by a solo developer known as ConcernedApe. "Stardew Valley" is a farming RPG where you inherit your grandfather's farm in Stardew Valley. Your previous grind was with Joja Corporation, which is looking to threaten and modernize the area. They have a store set up in Pelican Town. You make all kinds of decisions that can impact your relations with others as well as change the flow of the game. How will you live your farm lifestyle? Will you go far and beyond to have the best farm in the city? Could you possibly find love? These and more await you in Stardew Valley!

"Stardew Valley" is available on GOG, Steam, XBOX One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android. The ESRB rates this game "E" for everyone. It includes fantasy violence, mild blood, mild language, simulated gambling, and use of alcohol and tobacco. PEGI rates this game a PEGI 7.


Getting Started.

You inherit a farm, but you can do much more than just farm. You may do a lot of forestry. Chopping down trees nets you some extra resources you can use. You may see certain wild items scattered about. This will allow you to go into foraging. Want some seafood? Try fishing! You could also make a living mining for all kinds of minerals and ores. If you are the adventurous type, try combat! All of your basic skills can be upgraded and yield some fine perks.

Farming allows you to grow various resources for personal use and for selling. You have to till land with a hoe and then do some watering. You may use certain gardening supplements to help expedite the gardening process. Most importantly, be sure to plant seeds for items in season. Winter is nearly impossible to farm in unless you have a Greenhouse. Certain crops can be harvested in different times of year. For example, you can't plant Corn seeds in the Spring. You will even be told certain crops are out of season if you tried to plant them in your main farm.

Later, you will have the opportunity to purchase animals to occupy Coops and Barns. These will give you some more resources to take advantage of. Animal products like eggs and milk can be had from these animals. Such items can be further refined into other things that sell for good money. You have to also take care of your animals to make sure they don't get overly hurt.

It pays to interact with the people of Stardew Valley and beyond. Building relationships with people will allow you to gain respect and even learn more about others. The NPCs have personalities and don't feel like lifeless drones saying the same things over and over again. Your relationship with others can yield to bigger and better things- even including marriage (especially if one is single). Giving people gifts and completing tasks can help build better bonds with others. Giving people disliked or hated gifts can hurt relationships with others. Even being caught digging into trash cans can put a dent in your relations with others. So be careful.


Talking Points.

From my experiences, "Stardew Valley" is one of the most engaging games I've ever played. You actually feel connected to your world along with its NPCs. Money will be mostly tight when you start off. Over time, though, you will begin to find ways to make decent money without feeling like you need to grind. "Stardew Valley" never feels frustrating or impossible. The music is wonderful. Taking part in all of the activities around Stardew Valley continues to help you feel connected. Even too, the people are kind enough to offer you resources from time to time, making the experience that much better.

The only thing I haven't been good at is fishing. I've trapped a lot of items, but never successfully caught a fish except for the tutorial one. I have gotten better at it. Though, I am still far from being a fishing pro.

This game offers co-op multiplayer as well, but I have not taken part in any co-op. You can share resources and farm land in co-op mode.

If you make mistakes in trying to accomplish all you want to do in a single day, you may want to develop a habit of re-loading some of your latest Save game files. There were times where I did the wrong thing or died battling in the mines or anything, and I needed to re-load to avoid losing all of my earned material or to do everything I chose to do properly.


Now for some final thoughts...




Stardew Valley: Final Thoughts


GET. THIS. GAME. If you have the resources to play this game, go get "Stardew Valley." It is one of the most satisfying and most gratifying experiences in all of gaming. It is enjoyable for all audiences. Only things to be concerned with are some mild language and then all the animated violence for when you do the combat elements. Other than that, it is a game enjoyable for a vast audience. The fact all of this was made by a solo game developer makes it even more impressive. Unless you dislike RPGs, this is a must-buy. I have very few complaints about this game. If any complaints, maybe I should have bought this game earlier in my life than just recently.


For More Information...

To learn more about Stardew Valley, please visit: www.stardewvalley.net.


Video Preview.

Here is a trailer of Stardew Valley. This will help show you what this game has to offer:



^ Stardew Valley Trailer


Hopefully you enjoyed this blog post!





I hope you enjoyed my review of "Stardew Valley." Maybe you will find this game to be as enjoyable as I found it to be. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Friday, November 5, 2021

My Chromebook Experience So Far

John B. Marine | 11/05/2021 10:45:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Almost a week ago, I bought my first Chromebook. I didn't get the one I wanted, though, because it was out of stock and discontinued. I still got another one from the same company. After a week of using this Chromebook, I decided I share what it is like to use a Chromebook.






My Chromebook Experience So Far


Let me get into why I wanted a Chromebook. I wanted to buy a Chromebook because I heard Chromebooks could natively use Android apps. I felt like it was time to move on from my Android TV boxes and from my tablet PC. I used a Google Nexus Player previously, then upgraded (at least I considered it one) from that to the Xiaomi MI Box S. My tablet PC history went from my Hisense Sero 7 Pro to a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0A. So I wanted to try a Chromebook to see if it could be a better overall experience for me. I also wanted to see if I could possibly test installing Linux onto a Chromebook and use that.

Before I continue, let me provide some disclosure about my Chromebook experience...


Quick Disclosure...

For disclosure, I have a Lenovo Ideapad 3. The one I wanted to get that was discontinued was the Lenovo C340 Chromebook. I wanted the C340 Chromebook because it was convertible and had a touchscreen. I wanted to use that Chromebook for the perfect combination of laptop and tablet PC. Sadly, I didn't get to get one at the time I went to a Wal-Mart (or WalMart). I could try to get a better Chromebook in the future, possibly with a touchscreen and convertible features.

The Experience So Far.

So far, I had a lot to learn about using a Chromebook. I am not going crazy with Android apps on Chromebook. I am also fairly cautious with putting on intense mobile-compatible games on my Chromebook. For one thing, Twitch and YouTube apps run great to watch and chat. I do not experience as much lag like on desktop when using Twitch or YouTube. As a mod for some Twitch channels, operation seems better to use Twitch for moderating. My only problem really is in trying to avoid having so many typos typing.

I know gaming is not going to be a priority when using a Chromebook, so I sampled some casual 2D games. I put on "Neko Atsume" for testing purposes. I could try and port over some of my save game data from "Neko Atsume" and "Spoon Pets Collector/Atsume." The feel is much different using a trackpad for a touchscreen game than when using your fingers or a stylus. It was a pretty nice experience nonetheless. Some people use their Chromebooks for emulation gaming. I have my doubts on emulation, but it is something I may try on a Chromebook in the future.

Another reason why I wanted to use a Chromebook is to serve as a secondary PC. If the power goes out, I want something to use to be productive while power is out. Since my Chromebook doesn't have some carrier, I can't use it as my PC away from my main PC. What I can surely hope for is that I can make blog posts on my Chromebook for when power is out or maybe if I am away from home taking my Chromebook along. Though I haven't posted many blog posts lately, I still do and love blogging. Something I thought of was trying my hand at cloud storage and use that to be more creative with my blog posts and maybe post when there is no power. I found out I could tether my Chromebook with my smartphone to be able to use it online with no WiFi.

You may have recalled from my intro that I thought about the possibility of using Linux on a Chromebook. Well, there is a Linux Beta suite on most modern Chromebooks. I know I can only do so much with some Linux programs, so I am not entirely miffed about what Linux has to offer using a Chromebook. Some people suggest I get a Raspberry Pi instead to put a Linux build onto and use that for Linux.


All in all, I think using a Chromebook is a great experience. I didn't want a proper laptop. I thought about getting an inexpensive laptop until I was convinced to get a Chromebook instead. Chromebooks have come a long way. If you want to work within the Google ecosystem and use Android, get a Chromebook.





Well, I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Thank you for coming here! I appreciate your loving support! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Compound Butter

John B. Marine | 10/13/2021 10:53:00 AM | | Be the first to comment!
(UPDATED: October 15, 2021)

On October 12, 2021; I made my first compound butter. Compound butter is essentially flavored butter consisting of butter mixed with different ingredients. They are mostly used to drizzle onto meats or breads. I took the opportunity to practice making compound butter. Through the course of this blog post, I will showcase my attempt at making compound butter. So if you are interested, keep reading this post!


LATEST UPDATE(S)/REVISION(S):

OCT 15 2021 - edits to post







Compound Butter


Compound butter allows you to take some of your favorite ingredients and put them into a butter mixture. You can find a handful of compound butter recipes online or even in online videos. You can kind of think of compound butter as "on demand" seasoning or drizzling of a certain flavor on various foods. One site I visited recently even called compound butter as "flavor bombs" to enhance certain foods. Some grocery stores even sell ready-made compound butters that can be dolloped on foods or even be used as dips or sauces.


My Own Compound Butter Journey.

I wanted to practice making compound butter. When I shown my mother my cheesy dip recipe I prepared, I was asked if I could freeze or refrigerate it. That got me to wonder how I could pull off doing a compound butter that I could melt at any time. So I started watching (actually, re-watching) videos I've seen about compound butter and compound butter recipes.

I then went ahead and picked up a stick of unsalted butter from a freezer in my house. Now normally, cooks suggest you use unsalted butter and then put in as much or as little salt as you want. However, I wanted to practice properly making compound butter, so I went with an unsalted stick of butter. I let the stick of butter sit out for about an hour before preparing the compound butter. I got out a plastic bowl to mix in the butter with other ingredients. I just took the entire stick of butter and put it into the bowl. Next came all of the seasonings I put together: garlic parsley seasoning and Italian seasoning. I also practiced using measuring cups. So what I did was take a tablespoon of both the garlic parsley seasoning and pour it into the bowl. I then proceeded dumping a tablespoon of Italian seasoning into the bowl.

The next parts were kind of rough. I took a rubber spatula and chop up the butter. I felt it was taking a bit long, so I ended up using a metal whisk next. That just meant I had to keep shoveling out the butter pieces. I then eventually got to mix up the butter just enough so all the seasonings were mixed in. On a piece of plastic wrap (parchment paper also works), I scooped up the mixed butter and wrapped it up into a log. I firmly pressed down to try to build a mold I could shape into a log. Fearing it wouldn't be hard enough to put in the refrigerator, I put the compound butter into the freezer for two hours.

I later tried my compound butter by preparing a piece of grilled chicken fillet. I cut two small pieces of my compound butter to be used on the chicken. The compound butter melted nicely in the microwave and came out very good! I later tried this with a roll, and that went well also. I could taste and smell the garlic. I did very good!


Making Compound Butter: Post-Mortem.

I was ultimately proud of the compound butter I created. However, I realize a few things. For one, I probably could let the butter sit out for longer (maybe one and a half hours), or I could cut up the softened butter to make it easier to apply the seasoning to. One other thing I failed to realize- I forgot to put cheese into my mixture! Before using the salted butter stick, I found that there was a non-salted butter stick in the freezer of my refrigerator. Maybe I'll use the unsalted butter next time I prepare a compound butter. I probably realize I could try more fresh ingredients for better taste. Thing is, I am not much an outgoing person, and I only use what was available to me throughout the house.

Because I was successful in making one compound butter, I became interested in trying some different compound butters. I even thought of a spicy recipe as well as one involving honey. Always keep experimenting, foodies!


Making Compound Butter: Round 2!

Let me share my latest attempt. I went ahead and used a stick of unsalted butter this time. I let the butter melt for an hour and a half. I did put the butter in the butter drawer of the refrigerator before preparing. The butter was much softer to work with than my previous attempt. This also meant it would be easier to stir in the contents. Unlike the previous attempt, I added cheese. I was able to get in a lot of butter to mix. Though my previous butter mixture hardened nicely after two hours or so, I tried to put it into the refrigerator and not the freezer this time. It was still rather soft after being chilled in the refrigerator after four hours. So I may stick to putting it into the freezer and then transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator.


Now that you have seen my post regarding compound butters, maybe I've gotten you to try your own. The next section will help you get started. You may skip the next section entirely if you are not interested in the content provided.




Compound Butter: Various Resources


Your involvement in this section is voluntary. In other words- you may not participate in this, but your support is appreciated. Here are various links to help you get started in making compound butter:


How to Make Compound Butter - 6 Best Compound Butter Recipes (The Pioneer Woman)
Herb Compound Butter Recipe - Love and Lemons
Garlic Herb Compound Butter for Steak - Spend With Pennies
What is Compound Butter?|Epicurean Butter


Hopefully this helps you embark on your own compound butter experiences. Thank you for visiting!





I hope you all can make some great compound butter based on ingredients you put together. Good luck to you! I also must bid you farewell. So thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Saucy!

John B. Marine | 9/29/2021 02:53:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!
(UPDATED: September 30, 2021) My culinary interests are varied. Recently, though, I have developed interest in making sauces and dips. I am mostly relying on seasonings and whatever edibles I have around the house. So for this blog post, I want to share some of the sauces and dips I've tried to make. I also want to share some general thoughts and putting together these sauces and dips. So I'm certain you foodies can appreciate this upcoming blog post.


Before I Begin...

I don't know how healthy any of these experimental dips are that I made, but I made them to try to find new ways to jazz up food I eat. I can't guarantee any of these will be healthy for you to eat. So follow these cautiously if you are indeed following my recipes.

This blog post features links to Amazon. Read the "Affiliate Notes" for more information about any affiliate links in my blog posts.


LATEST UPDATE(S)/REVISION(S)

SEP 31 2021 - added more material, edited post, included recipes so you can see what I have attempted in my dip/sauce making






Saucy!


Allow me to tell my story on making sauces and dips.

Earlier this month, I thought about preparing some kind of dip or sauce to compliment things I normally eat. It began when my mother bought some compound butter dollops made of garlic and herbs. Those dollops are totally delicious melted as a dip or when melting on non-breaded meat. So I began thinking about if I had non-breaded meats to try the compound butter on. Examples include grilled chicken, grilled fish, grilled or cocktail shrimp... basically any non-fried meats. This then led me to think of a dip I wanted to experiment making.

As I attempted to make and test my creations, I used whatever really was available. I tried things like fast food biscuits or fried chicken to dip into my sauces.


My Butter-Based Sauces of Mine.

The COVID19/Coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of us to try to find new things to do or learn while the pandemic rages on. One thing I looked at was enhancing my culinary skills a bit. My entry into the culinary arts was in trying to develop my own sauces and dips for basic food I eat. I sometimes on Facebook made my "Food Friday" posts devoted to food, drink, and all things related. Most of my posts related to video recipes on YouTube. We all know there are many delicious meals out there. Often times, what can make some meals better is sauces, dips, and other condiments to enhance the flavor. That is where I come in with trying my own sauces and dips.

My first attempt consisted of this experimental recipe: spread butter, honey, garlic powder, and Kosher salt. I started off placing pieces of spread butter from a margarine tub into a small dish. I then melted the combination in a microwave for about 15 or 20 seconds. I never realized how quickly butter can melt in a microwave, especially after a good amount of time cooled in a refrigerator. This first attempt I did turned out pretty well.

Then, I decided to change up the recipe. I didn't really taste the honey, so I let that go along with having salt. I then tried mostly a combination of butter, cheese, and garlic powder. Trying to get this one right was hit-and-miss. One problem I sort of noticed was that the cheese didn't melt well (I used shredded cheese originally). I then tried powdered Cotija cheese. Instead of about 30 seconds in the microwave to melt, I then went to a full minute. The melted cheese can be a bit tough to wash out when done with the dish. I was trying to find the best balance of butter and cheese with a kick of garlic with the revised butter-based dip.

I am still trying to perfect the recipe as much as I can. I don't want to do anything fancy like use a stove or an air fryer. I am just going with what I know and trying not to burn the house down from the oven. What I've seen in various YouTube videos was seeing entire sticks of butter melted in a pan over a stove or on a small oven. What I want to be able is possibly have a creamy cheese and butter concoction I could dip things like breadsticks or maybe some non-fried shrimp in.


I found that the cheese will take longer to melt compared to the butter. I'm trying to achieve a creamy balance of cheese and butter while also offering some garlic flavor.


My Mayonnaise-Based Sauces and Dips.

After I made a butter-based dip, I had two ideas for mayonnaise-based dips. The first one I tested was recently (as in September 28, 2021) with an experimental recipe. I combined mayo, garlic parsley powder, and honey. I then mixed everything. It came out pretty well as I tried it on some Popeye's biscuits (the best fast food biscuits in my view). I could taste some of the honey along with the mayo.

The next one I want to try involves Tajin seasoning. If you don't know what Tajin is, this is a popular seasoning that is mildly spicy with a kick of lime. I had Tajin on elotes (Mexican street corn) before. I am normally not the spicy food type. However, I could see this sauce working if I wanted a little spicy kick.

I also wanted to go the two-ingredient route. So I was also looking at mixing mayonnaise with garlic parsley seasoning. I may, though, want to add something like chopped chives for a little texture.

The good thing about mixing mayo-based sauces is that you normally do not need to heat up anything. Just add the ingredients and mix well. You may need a mixer or a blender if you're preparing a copious amount of such sauces. It can be very simple preparing any mayo-based dips. Just look around for stuff to prepare the sauces with.

UPDATE! (September 30, 2021)
I tried two more experimental mayonnaise-based dips. The first one I tried was to be a spicy mayo-based dip. I wanted it to be spicy without being overly so. That is why I love Tajin. Tajin seasoning offers a spicy kick without overdoing it. It also has a hint of lime. Tajin is also a good bit healthy as it is low in sodium. As my mother prepared spaghetti, I found out we had a lot of Romano cheese from when my parents went to Olive Garden. The packs of Romano cheese was still good, and so I implemented that into my spicy mayo dip. I tried it out, and it came out fairly well. I could taste the Tajin seasoning as well as the Romano cheese. It had a mild spiciness to it along with a hint of cheesy flavor. I tested this with some grilled chicken fillets and a Popeye's buttermilk biscuit.

The other mayo-based dip I created is more of using garlic. I used garlic parsley seasoning, Italian seasoning, and Olive Garden Romano cheese for this one. The combination came out pretty nicely when I tried it with some grilled chicken fillets and a Popeye's buttermilk biscuit.




Saucy! The Recipes


So are you interested enough in seeing how I prepared each dip or sauce? This section is for you, then. You will see what all I used and what I retired using for each dip or sauce here. Take a look:

My Butter-Based Dips.

Let me talk you through the recipe I've tried to perfect:

INGREDIENTS USED/ATTEMPTED
• margarine from a tub of butter
• Kosher salt (retired)
• honey (retired)
• garlic parsley seasoning or garlic pepper seasoning
• shredded cheese (retired)
• cheese slices (retired)
• Cotija grated cheese (retired)
• Italian seasoning
PREPARATION
• without cheese, melt in microwave for 15-20 seconds; with cheese, microwave for 45-60 seconds


My Mayonnaise-Based Dips.

Since I tried several kinds, I will feature each by the individual ones. Because I don't have any official names for any of these dips, they are all listed with question marks(?). Check it...

--- Garlic Honey Dip? ---
INGREDIENTS USED/ATTEMPTED
• mayonnaise
• honey
• garlic parsley seasoning
PREPARATION
• combine all ingredients and mix well


--- Spicy Mayo Dip? ---
INGREDIENTS USED/ATTEMPTED
• mayonnaise
• Tajin seasoning
• grated Romano cheese (from Olive Garden)
PREPARATION
• combine all ingredients and mix well


--- Cheesy Garlic Mayo Dip? ---
INGREDIENTS USED/ATTEMPTED
• mayonnaise
• garlic parsley seasoning
• Italian seasoning
• grated Romano cheese (from Olive Garden)
PREPARATION
• combine all ingredients and mix well



If you have some recommendations or some other combinations you want me to try, feel free to comment!




Lessons Learned from Sauce and Dip Making.


I realize I could have better results with fresh ingredients and even if doing a little heating. However, simplicity is always something to achieve with things like this. I still will try to perfect sauce and dip ideas as much as I can. I also didn't think about preparing any specific measurements of these items.


The next section is voluntary to participate in. If you do not wish to take part in the next section, you can just skip ahead to the section afterwards.




Special Requests!


Do you have any ideas I may want to try out if I want to make sauces or dips? Feel free to contact me or comment to this blog post! Maybe I can expand my skill here.


A Special Offer...

If you enjoyed my blog post and want to support my work, I'd like to share this material from Amazon with you. I mentioned a lot of seasoning with the dips and sauces I've tried to prepare. If you want to fill your pantry or cabinets with seasoning, I'd like to direct your attention to the link below. (NOTE: Please read the Affiliate Notes notes regarding any and all products from Amazon featured here.)

Seasoning on Amazon

I mentioned Tajin earlier in this post. If you want to try some Tajin for yourself, please take a look at this on Amazon:

Tajin on Amazon

Consider going up to the link above if you want to get some seasoning. This is for things ranging from simple meals to proper seasoning for meats and meat rubs. Have a good time shopping for seasoning! :)





Well, thank all of you for visiting my blog! That is all for this one, unfortunately. Do share and follow and all that good stuff! Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Exploring Chromebooks

John B. Marine | 9/07/2021 09:59:00 AM | | | Be the first to comment!
I been looking at my next PC options. I was considering having either a mini PC, or lately, I have looked into a Chromebook. Allow me to explain about my Chromebook interests for a moment. After a long time with Android tablets, and with somewhat giving up an Android TV boxes; I feel my next tech move would be towards Chromebooks. Chromebooks have come a long way. I usually dismissed them as cheaply-priced laptops on the Chrome OS interface. For this blog post, I will share with you my thoughts in regards to having interest in Chromebooks. Why would I want one? What am I looking for out of a Chromebook? I will explain as much as I can here in this blog post.






Exploring Chromebooks


Chromebook
^ from: (Intel) - A Chromebook can do a whole lot, and they have come a long way since their humble beginnings.

Chromebooks have come a long way. It used to be that Chromebooks were mostly an operating system based on the Chrome browser and had to be always connected online to work. Chromebooks have nowadays been solid basic laptops under Chrome OS. I even thought of if I could use a Chromebook to maybe use in installing a Linux distribution (or "Distro").

I was considering a Chromebook to replace my tablet PC experience. My Samsung Galaxy 7.0 Tab is not ancient or anything, I just wanted something more functional and maybe be able to play many of the fine Android games on a laptop. I heard Chromebooks could natively use some Android apps and games. When it comes to Linux distros, someone online told me whether or not I can use Linux on a Chromebook depends on if I have an ARM interface Chromebook or an x86 interface Chromebook.

So what am I looking for in a Chromebook? Find out in the next section.


What I am Looking For in a Chromebook.

I was doing some of my online research on a Chromebook. Here are some of the considerations I am making for a Chromebook:

• has a touchscreen
• has HDMI output (though I hear you can get USB Type C to HDMI adapters)
• is convertible
• I might prefer an x86 Chromebook and not an ARM Chromebook, but I never thought that far ahead.
• must cost $200 USD or less (before taxes)


I'd like to get a touchscreen Chromebook to have an experience similar to a big tablet PC. A tablet PC can be great in providing a slim PC experience in your hands. Same applies for a Chromebook. The only difference is that a Chromebook allows you have a more proper browsing experience also good for doing some basic computing duties. I basically want the same tablet PC experience but on a more laptop-like device. I also fancy a convertible Chromebook. A convertible Chromebook can have its screen be pushed all the way back and serve as a basic touchscreen unit. I also imagine it can make for a fine tablet-like experience for sites like YouTube. Because I want this to serve as a second PC, I would want it to be viewable on my other TV, so I also prefer to have the Chromebook have an HDMI output. I don't want to spend too much for a simple Chromebook. So for my budget, the budget I am considering is $200 USD (before taxes). If I had a little more money, I'd up my budget to a degree.

From my research mostly from Wal-Mart (or WalMart these days), the laptop fairly close to what I have been looking at is the Lenovo C340. I'd had some tough luck with Lenovo. I wanted to get an Yoga series Android tablet PC, but there was none in stock at the Wal-Mart I was at back then. And as of September 7, 2021; I heard the C340 is either no longer in stock or is discontinued (or maybe both). Wal-Mart sells stuff for much cheaper often times. I heard it comes in either Rose Gold or Silver. I prefer silver. I don't think this device has an HDMI output.


Would I Consider a "Chromebox?"

Much like there are Android TV boxes and mini PCs, there are also Chromeboxes. Chromeboxes are more like the Chrome OS equivalent of an Android TV box or a mini PC. They are very much a good idea towards being a second PC and can be discreet to have in a room. However, the tablet PC-like functionality and such are devoid on a Chromebox. You also can't find any real good mini PCs or such at places like Wal-Mart or Target. After a bad experience I had previously trying to get a Xiaomi Mi Box S through Wal-Mart, I am a bit skeptical about getting a proper piece of tech through the mail. And what if I wanted to travel with a Chromebox? It wouldn't be as good as using a Chromebook. I want something portable and useful in regards to Chrome OS, and a Chromebook does work better than a Chromebox. If the power goes out, I can still use a Chromebook offline. So I'll pass on a Chromebox.


(NOTE: You may participate in the next section, but your involvement is voluntary (meaning you do not have to take part in it if you do not want to). You may otherwise skip ahead to the outro.)

Considering a Chromebook or Chromebox Yourself?

To generate interest and even have a chance for my work to be supported, I'll provide these resources to you all. You can shop for these chromebooks on Amazon if you were intrigued by my blog post. (DISCLAIMER: Please read the "Affiliate Notes" section for important information regarding the following content.)

• For Chromebooks:


• For Chromeboxes...



Happy shopping (if doing any)! :) If I do indeed get a Chromebook, I will be sure to document my experiences with one and my thoughts overall on a Chromebook.





If you have any suggestions for me in regards to Chromebooks, please contact me, and I will be sure to take your advice into consideration. Actual USEFUL advice, please! Don't try to troll me or anything! Anyhow, Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

NBA2K League

John B. Marine | 6/23/2021 03:41:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
The NBA2K League is an eSports league featuring the best of the best in NBA2K. Watch as top-level NBA2K series players compete amongst themselves in fierce competition. This rising eSports league looks to get bigger and better in the coming years. While I do not know a whole lot about NBA2K League, I will make an effort to introduce and discuss this league to you all. So welcome to another post on "John's Blog Space!"


Before I Begin...

I am not at all educated about the NBA2K League series. Most of what I will be discussing is based on things I've learned from other people. I am also a perfectionist, so I have a LOT I feel I need to discuss to make a proper introduction to this league.


A Special Hello!

I want to extend a special hello to everyone affiliated with the NBA2K League- players, coaches, staff, management, and all. My name is John Marine, and I hope you enjoy your time here!






NBA2K League


Let me share as much as I can about NBA2K League through what I know and some extra research from other sites.

The NBA2K League is a professional gaming league that plays the NBA2K series from 2K Sports. It was founded in February 2017 and held its first season in May 2017. As of June 21, 2021; there are currently 23 teams in the NBA2K League. The series is currently in its 4th season as of 2021. All of the NBA2K League teams, except one, are actually affiliated with actual National Basketball Association teams.

Previously, NBA2K League has held its usual games at a studio in the New York City area. The NBA2K League players themselves along with many devoted fans (including family members) would fill the studio and cheer on their beloved players. Since the outbreak of COVID-19/Coronavirus, the studio hasn't been used after Season 2. There was instead remote play starting in Season 3. Season 3 had its start moved from March 2020 to May 2020 because of the pandemic. Season 4 has the NBA2K League players playing in the local markets of their affiliated teams.

NBA2K League used to play on custom PC builds of NBA2K. As of Season 4, all players are playing on PlayStation 5. So you get to enjoy next-gen power as the league proudly plays NBA2K 21!


Why NBA2K League?

So why should you care about NBA2K League? What's the real deal with this league? With all due respect, this is one TRUE eSport with an actual sport involved. It may be cool seeing games like League of Legends, any Call of Duty, Fortnite, or even Rocket League; all of which played competitively. However, NBA2K League is an eSport of an actual sport. The intensity and professionalism are real. The passion to win is real. NBA2K League may play games, but NBA2K League itself is NOT a game.

With the rise in popularity of NBA2K League, it can only get better. Say what you want about people playing video/computer games for money. Yes- actual cash is involved with these players. Tournaments with monetary prizes on the line are real in NBA2K League. Regardless, this is a competitive league that has a fun and engaging community.


Game Coverage.

NBA2K League broadcasts are showcased on Twitch, YouTube, SportsNet, Loco, and eGG Network. Select broadcasts were once shown on ESPN and ESPN2. The American broadcast of NBA2K League is handled by this commentary crew:

• Autumn Johnson: host/reporter
• Scott Cole: play-by-play
• Jamie "Dirk" Diaz Ruiz: analysis
• Harris Rubenstein: reporter of "Section 400"
• MADExINxINDIA: reporter
• Jeff Eisenband: "Behind the Screens" reporter
• BLKFrankWhite: host of "BFW Live" on Bud Light's Twitch channel

The show is hosted by Autumn Johnson. Autumn is a long-time reporter who has had segments on Twitch as well as on the likes of ESPN. She also hosts brief NBA2K League segments called "30 Seconds of Greatness," in which she asks an NBA2K League personality different rapid-rie questions to be answered within 30 seconds.

Scott Cole is a well-traveled broadcasting veteran who lends his unique play-by-play appeal to NBA2K League broadcasts. His résumé almost reads like an encyclopedia with coverage of football, basketball, and even NASCAR.

Jamie "Dirk" Diaz Ruiz has been a veteran commentator having covered several other eSports including NBA2K League. He provides the analysis for NBA2K League games. Dirk also has made a series of videos regarding the different archetypes of NBA2K League players.

Harris Rubenstein has his reports from "Section 400." Harris is way up in the [virtual] nosebleeds offering his reports. These reports range from conversations with personalities, responding to Chat comments, and even reporting on other games in progress.

On the reporting front, Autumn, Harris, and sometimes INDIA usually provide reports on players and teams as well as respond to Chat comments. Even yours truly had comments and questions responded to on the air or in Twitch chat. I promptly and politely shown my appreciation for the shout outs! :)

Special segments of "Behind the Screens" is hosted by Jeff Eisenband. These are more like special segments highlighting on the lives and personalities of NBA2K League personalities.

On Bud Light's Twitch channel, "BFW Live" is the pre-game show that is shown on Wednesdays. "BFW Live" is hosted by BLKFrankWhite and co-hosted by Harris Rubenstein (also known as "Sportstein"). This is the pre-game show which offers interviews with various NBA2K League personalities. WARNING: You must be at least 21 years of age to view content on Bud Light's Twitch channel.

The NBA2K League's Choc of Nets GC runs a popular show called "The Crossover." This show is hosted by Choc and features "DDouble" as a co-host. These two break down all of the games played (even including Choc's games played) and even discusses news topics around NBA2K League. There are sometimes even NBA2K League players who come into Chat and even on The Crossover to share their views about the league. You get a little of everything with this deal.

To add variety to NBA2K League broadcasts, Season 4 sees four days of certain features: Block Party Wednesdays, Bounce Pass Thursdays, Friday Night Fire, and Saturday Night Showdown. "Block Party Wednesday" is a night dedicated to drops in Chat. Fans are encouraged to type in certain codes to win gear from NBA2K League and other sources. Moderators in Chat then pick one individual to win the gear offered. "Bounce Pass Thursdays" gives fans the chance to pick what game they want to see of all the games playing. Think of it more like League Pass in the NBA. "Friday Night Fire" is highlighted by matches considered as the "GAME OF THE WEEK." Seeing those "GAME OF THE WEEK" matches lead to special drops similar to on Block Party Wednesdays. Finally, "Saturday Night Showdown" gives you some great NBA2K basketball action to close out the week.


My NBA2K League Testimonials.

I started watching NBA2K League in Season 2 in 2019. I began to enjoy the appeal of the league along with connecting with the personalities that make it happen. The first NBA2K League player I began to like was Dimez of Mavs Gaming. Dimez was the first superstar of the league and still remains a formidable talent today. Later seasons, I began to introduce myself to more of the other talents in the league. These talents include (but not limited to) Choc, Regg, Splashy, Mama Im Dat Man, oFAB, OneWildWalnut, Dayfri, Lord Beezus, Ramo, JBM, Shotz, SlayIsland, SAV, 630, and Jomar among many others.

One of the loveliest things about NBA2K League is about how the actual NBA2K League players may come into Chat, not to mention family members who cheer on NBA2K League players. The community has the feel of a down home environment though it is pro-level eSports gaming. So while this league is pro eSports league, it feels about as casual as parents seeing their child(ren) play sports in a neighborhood setting.


The Teams and Players.

The NBA2K League has 23 teams as I mentioned earlier. All of the NBA2K League teams, except one, are affiliated with actual NBA teams. The teams do take on names similar to the NBA teams they represent. For example, Mavs Gaming is affiliated with the Dallas Mavericks, Heat Check Gaming is affiliated with the Miami Heat, and Raptors Uprising GC is affiliated with the Toronto Raptors. The only team not affiliated with any actual NBA team is the Gen.G Tigers. Gen.G is a team from Shanghai, China; but they have affiliations in South Korea, Los Angeles, and recently moved to the University of Kentucky as their American home. The two youngest teams in the NBA2K League are in their sophomore seasons in 2021- Hornets Venom GT and Gen.G Tigers.

Here are all of the current teams:

• 76ers GC
• Blazer5 Gaming
• Bucks Gaming
• Cavs Legion GC
• Celtics Crossover Gaming
• Gen.G Tigers (no NBA affiliation)
• Grizz Gaming
• Hawks Talon GC
• Heat Check Gaming
• Hornets Venom GT
• Jazz Gaming
• Kings Guard Gaming
• Knicks Gaming
• Magic Gaming
• Mavs Gaming
• Nets GC
• Pacers Gaming
• Pistons GT
• Raptors Uprising GC
• T-Wolves Gaming
• Warriors Gaming Squad
• Wizards District Gaming

The inaugural champions of NBA2K League is Knicks Gaming. Season 2 saw T-Wolves Gaming win it all. The Season 3 champions (and current defending champions) is Wizards District Gaming. There has not yet been a repeat champion or even anything close to a dynasty.

The following NBA teams are not yet represented in NBA2K League, but I feel all 30 teams will eventually make up this league. Among the NBA teams not yet represented in NBA2K League as of 2021:

• Chicago Bulls
• Denver Nuggets
• Houston Rockets
• Los Angeles Clippers
• New Orleans Pelicans
• Oklahoma City Thunder
• Phoenix Suns
• San Antonio Spurs

Personal commentary... Obviously as a Houston sports fan, I'm sad Houston isn't represented. However, when I checked Twitter for the Houston Rockets' eSports league, Clutch City Gaming, most of the Tweets I've seen were from a few years ago. Maybe Clutch City Gaming could join NBA2K League by re-branding as (hypothetical name) Rockets Clutch Gaming. I'd love to see the "Texas Triangle" in NBA2K League with Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

The Players.

The players were once capped to 92 OVR. Starting in Season 4, players are now capped at 95 OVR. Double Takeover and Team Takeover are now possible to buff players and teams on a roll.

The NBA2K League players work closely with 2K Sports and the NBA2K team to help develop their characters as precisely as possible. They communicate a lot and share any number of issues regarding the league. They can even do things such as asking if something needs to be patched or anything, for example.

Many of the NBA2K League players got their start by doing well in various other NBA2K competitions before joining the NBA2K League draft. Usually, a prospective player would do have success in ProAm on Hall of Fame difficulty.

You too can be an NBA2K League player! A format unveiled in mid-late 2020 features NBA2K League teams hosting tryouts. These tryouts include a number of ProAm tournaments. Doing well can get you into the league through the NBA2K League Draft. And hopefully, us fans may be talking about YOU in Chat in games! :)

The 2021 NBA2K League draft was pretty diverse. Among the draftees are some international players and even two female players. Two of the three international draftees includes "Avemario" from Spain (on Cavs Legion GC) and Milo from Australia (on Kings Guard Gaming). There was another international draftee from the United Kingdom, but his name fails me creating this original blog post. Chiquitae was the first female player in NBA2K League, playing for Warriors Gaming Squad. The two new female players drafted are Ziah (on Mavs Gaming) and DjLayyy (on Celtics Crossover Gaming).


The Games.

NBA2K League plays four six-minute quarters. If needed, Overtime features sessions of three minutes. The games follow NBA-type rules. Players foul out on six fouls. However, instead of being taken out of the game, a Technical free throw is shot. There may be cases where the game may have to be restarted before of the game crashing or for issues like bad weather. If a game has been played but to be restarted, the game will be started and then end at a certain point.

Season 3 introduced a best-of-3 format. If you won the best-of-3 series, you get one official win. Losers of the best-of-3 series would get one official loss to their record. Season 4 now has two-game sets with about 32 games a week with about 16 teams playing a week.


The Tournaments.

Here is a look at some of the Tournaments in NBA2K League. I am only discussing this as best as I know it:

• The Tipoff:
The Tipoff is the opening tournament to tip off a new season of NBA2K League. Matches held here are in a best-of-3 round format.

• The Turn:
This was a unique tournament featuring best-of-3 rounds where teams choose to ban one certain archetype. For example, one team banned a two-way slasher, the other team must also has to ban a two-way slasher. It provided a unique challenge to sort of change up the flow of a team. Rounds are best-of-3, and I believe the final is best-of-5.

• The Ticket:
One aspect of pro sports is where bad teams or losing teams tank a season in hopes of landing better talent for next season. The Ticket, however, is seen as a Last Chance Qualifier for a team to make the Tournament. With the advent of a Western Conference and an Eastern Conference, two teams will make the final spot of each conference. The Ticket winners will have a guaranteed spot into the postseason. It gives losing or weaker teams one last chance to make the postseason.

• The Postsesaon:
This is where a team has a chance to become Champions of the NBA2K League. Each round of the Playoffs is a best-of-3 format and a best-of-5 Final. May the best team win!



That is as much as I know about NBA2K League. Here are some final thoughts coming up.




NBA2K League: Final Thoughts


NBA2K League is one of the more engaging and more fun eSports leagues in the world. Incredible personalities, great play, solid broadcasting, and more make this a real eSport to stand behind. Having NBA affiliation adds to the overall appeal of the league. As the season is currently playing Season 4, I can see this league expanding and growing. Further success will be dependent on involvement from fans, NBA2K players, corporate sponsors, and even the NBA itself will contribute to the future success of NBA2K League.

Personally, basketball is one of my favorite sports. I feel I am not as much a fan of NBA2K League only because I don't fully know the game of basketball and how NBA2K games play. I stayed because I love the community and the fun provided by this league. Despite this, many of my days and nights have been made better by watching NBA2K League broadcasts online. If you want something different as a watcher of eSports, you owe it to yourself to watch and follow NBA2K League. I may even go as far as to say you'll be a fan of NBA2K League even if you don't like NBA2K or even basketball. Scott Cole, Dirk, Autumn, Harris, and India all provide great broadcasting in streams. Jeff Eisenband's "Behind the Screens" offer up great perspective on NBA2K League players. I also salute the likes of the NBA2K League and of Matt Arden for making this happen. It is always great to be a part of the magic each week and in watching each game.


Hype Video!

If you want to get excited about NBA2K League, this video will get you in the mood. I LOVE this anthem. This video is one of those "wait for it..." things, but it's worth the wait. Check it...


^ NBA 2K League #LetsGo2KL Season 4 Anthem

Excited much, mates? ;)


To Any and All NBA2K League Personalities Reading...

I hope I've done what I can to discuss this league properly. I enjoy the community and comraderie to stick with this league. Thank you so much if you love my work.


For More Information...

For more about NBA2K League, visit their official website at 2kleague.nba.com.





Thank you for visiting my blog! You took time out of your day to visit this blog and its posts, and I thank you for it. I do what I can to talk about anything and everything on my mind. I been doing this since 2009 on Blogger/Blogspot and still going. Subscribe/Follow in any capacity if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Pinterest

John B. Marine | 6/22/2021 06:14:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
Some thing Pinterest is no longer a thing. As I reflect on how I use Pinterest, I began to really understand what Pinterest is for. Some mostly look at Pinterest as a collection of favorites. Some others share ideas and tell stories using a collection of pictures from the Internet. Business types use Pinterest to sell products. No matter what, Pinterest has a lot of versatility in expressing ideas. I will therefore use this post to talk about Pinterest.






Pinterest


pinterest logo
^ from: (YouTube) - Let Pinterest be your poster board of many ideas.

Pinterest is a convergence of pictures to share as one big piece of inspiration. For the most part, people will put together various images and videos to express a point. That is mostly what Pinterest is about. Each collection of pictures are called "Boards," and the many pictures and videos are "Ideas." Use these to help build your own inspirations.

When I made my first Board in April 15, 2019; I made a board regarding dress and sneakers combinations that work. I designed that board to show that not every pairing of dresses and sneakers works well. Those that I felt were good (or at least acceptable) combinations of dresses and sneakers was what motivated me to find more pictures. Once I started making one Board, I felt the desire to make other Boards sharing my ideas. Most of the Pinterest boards I made are fashion-related. However, I have made a few Boards about non-fashion topics, such as technology, artwork, vehicles, and more.

When you make a Board on Pinterest, you are expressing ideas based on various pictures saved on Pinterest. Some blogs and websites even let you share pictures and videos on Pinterest to inspire other peoples' Boards. So Pinterest has a lot of ways to express your thoughts any way you can.


How Do You Use Pinterest?

I have always seen Pinterest as telling a story or sharing ideas. For example, if you wanted to show off beautiful dresses then set up a Board with many dresses that you like. If you want to give food ideas to people to make, you want to find whatever food and drink ideas are available on Pinterest to share. I started off on Pinterest talking about dresses with sneakers outfits that I liked and that I think work. Each Pinterest Board is a story. Tell a story or share a general idea with inspiration from other material. A Pinterest Board is not just a collection of favorite pictures. Go ahead- tell a story. Prove your points. Make Pinterest your medium for expression.


Pinterest For Business?

If you sell your own items, you can promote your content by sharing Pins on your material. Some people use Pinterest for various business applications and settings. You can use your social media profiles, your Etsy shop, or any other such market platform for Pinterest Business. I have no experience with Pinterest for business, so I will comment no further on this topic.


Should You Try Pinterest?

A lot of people think Pinterest isn't really a thing anymore. I say it is. If you want to express your ideas based on inspiration from various sources, definitely consider Pinterest. People still post ideas and such on Pinterest today. It isn't "dead" by any stretch. It is only "dead" if you fancy something like Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, or even Instagram more. Enjoy sharing ideas by collecting Ideas and building your Board up.


Visit MY Pinterest! ;)

If you want to see the Pins I have saved and the Boards I have created, please visit my Pinterest profile. You're welcome to follow me on Pinterest if you like!





Hopefully this gives you some insight in regards to Pinterest. It is a pleasure for you to visit my blog(s). Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

Visit my official website at johnbmarine.com, subscribe to My Blog(s), and/or Follow on Bloglovin!
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