Wednesday, September 21, 2022

When to Buy a New Computer

John B. Marine | 9/21/2022 10:40:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
A PC or laptop will serve you quite some time as long as you don't abuse it. Because technology evolves, we will need to buy a new PC or laptop to keep pace with the latest software and hardware. So we will invest in newer PCs and/or laptops. When is it the best time to shop for a newer PC or laptop? I'll discuss this matter in my blog post here.






When Is it Time to Get a New Computer?


Before I go any further, the advice presented here may not apply to everyone. Your individual computing needs will vary. I am just offering advice based on my own experiences. I mention PCs a lot, but this can also apply to laptops.

Time to set the mood for this blog post: new computer shopping
^ from: (IndiaMART) - When should you consider buying a new computer? I will discuss my thoughts in this blog post along with offer my own insight.



I curiously asked people on Facebook how many years you hold onto your current PC before wanting to buy a new one. About the average response I got was somewhere between 4-6 years. Some people even suggest they hold onto their PC until it can't perform any longer (which is a fair assessment). Computers do not come cheap. If you have enough money to invest in a new computer of some kind, you surely want something of better quality or can be better utilized by your previous unit.


Why Invest in a New Computer?

The reasons for buying a new PC can vary based on needs and budget. If you have a perfectly fine computer but just want something better, that will justify the need to go for a better PC. If your PC simply is stumbling along, you would want to invest in a more powerful system. You certainly want to invest in better computers if the majority of your work involves computer usage of some kind. To keep up with those times, you will need to have the best hardware you can work with at present.

Some people simply have worn-out computers or feel it is time to move to something better. That is common for all of us. Granted we have the finances, we want to try to get better products. PCs and laptops are no exception in this regard.

Those who know how to upgrade computers will want something they can upgrade. This can be good for people who want a computer low in cost that they can later upgrade to enhance its performance. However, if you are with a computer with very little upgrade potential, you're going to be stuck in the mud with it until you get a better computer you can upgrade.

In today's technological society, it is best to be up to date on computers and technology. To make that happen, you will need to invest in some of the best technology you can afford and use. So be sure to think about your own computing needs and try to find some kind of PC that best suits your needs.


My Own PC Owning Experiences.

I currently own a desktop PC and a Chromebook. The Chromebook I bought was from 2021, and my desktop PC has been around since 2014. I remembered having four PCs that I considered my own. I had a Packard Bell PC from 1996 with Windows 95. I used an eMachines my brother bought some time in 1999 or so with Windows 98. For Christmas in 2003, I got a lovely HP computer with Windows XP. Right now, my current PC is an Acer I bought at a Wal-Mart/Walmart in 2014 previously with Windows 8 (which I don't miss), but eventually put Windows 10 on it. So you can kind of do the math on how long I've used these PCs in my time. Three years with my first modern PC, four years with the eMachines, 11 years with the HP, and currently doing eight years with the Acer.

At one time, I was using my mother's HP laptop to play "SEGA GT" because it played better on it than on the eMachines PC at the time. That laptop would later be stricken with a virus and was pretty much rendered useless. I would sometimes use that laptop while my main PC was doing a virus scan.

I was looking at getting a new PC myself. While there is nothing wrong with my budget Acer PC I currently am using, I feel I need something more powerful and more up-to-date to keep up with today's times. I have been looking around on a site I would not want to shop for a new PC from, but you can- Amazon. I also thought of eBay, but I am skeptical about the quality of anything you pick up on eBay. So I guess I will stick to Amazon. I wanted to get a PC with at least 8 GB of RAM, but 16 GB RAM or 32 GB RAM would be more than sufficient. I also want a PC with a processor speed of 3.0 GHz or better. Some of the refurbished models I looked up on Amazon have processor speeds of about 3.2 or even 3.5 GHz. These namely are Intel i5 and i7 processors. I also wanted to get one with HDMI output, but I am slowly learning about DisplayPort on modern PCs. I may simply have to get some adapters for certain features I may need to include in case things call for them. I mostly will use my one terabyte external hard drive, but I also wouldn't mind having a large capacity onboard memory. Namely 1TB of memory if I can find one either for a mechanical hard drive or a single state drive.

The new PC I may want to get is a refurbished one with new life. I would be happy as long as it had specifications that were better than my current system. I realize I don't really need hardware to play today's top-level games. If I wanted a gaming PC, I'd get one.

If you followed my life issues blog, you may have learned about me wanting to downsize. I was actually considering a laptop until I was convinced to stick to desktops. That was primarily because there are certain programs and uses I feel a desktop PC would be better able to handle than even the most powerful laptop. I still haven't fully embraced my Chromebook to utilize it more than my PC. Namely (and sadly), using the Chromebook for making blog posts. Since I am also doing 3D modeling and music production, I want something a bit more powerful to help in those two departments. My current PC can only do so much. I feel it is time to move on with this current PC I am using.

I also entertained the thought of a mini PC. However, I feel a mini PC may end up costing me a lot to turn it into a PC I can properly and consistently use extensively. This also was part of my downsizing interests.

As of the time of this post, I narrowed my options for my next PC to be either a refurbished HP office PC or a refurbished Dell office PC. The ones I am looking at are between the price points of $130 USD to $160 USD. I feel these would suit me as my main PC to go better than my barely capable current PC. I am also a fairly confident either one I may go with can be used extensively without feeling like going back to my current Acer PC.


When Should You Decide to Get a New Computer?

Now is the time to answer the main question to this post. When should you buy a new computer? There are two key factors to consider before thinking about getting a new computer:

• Do you feel your computer can only do so much to where you need a new one?
A new computer can handle some tasks better than your current one and may justify the purpose to buy a new one. If you feel your current PC can be replaced with a better one, go for that purchase of a new PC.

• Is your computer simply no longer performs as well as it could?
If your PC has a lot of issues like viruses or anything, it is time to move on if you can. Don't be tethered to a computer that once performed very well but no longer does. Just hope you can pick up a PC that will serve you better than the current stricken one you are using.

It shouldn't really be a matter of replacing a computer within a certain number of years. If you can maximize its usage further and further, then hold onto your PC as much as you can. Remember in my own PC owning experience that my HP desktop PC lasted about 11 years before I finally decided to get a new computer. If you want to set a certain years limit on PCs, think about an acceptable range of years before deciding to go with a newer unit. For most people, 5-8 years owning a computer is about average. Like I said before, though, stay with your computer for as long as you feel it suits your needs before wanting to get a new one. Do not be pressured into buying the most modern computer as soon as one comes out.

More than anything, get yourself a new computer when you feel there is something better that you can work with than what you have currently. Make sure that the newer computer meets your needs also. Happy computer shopping! :)





That's all. If you care to discuss this topic, here's my question to you:

How many years do you hold onto your PC before wanting to buy a new one?

If you enjoy my work, please Subscribe/Follow my blog(s) in any capacity if you love my work and want to support me any way you can. Share my blog post(s) with others if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Boxabl

John B. Marine | 5/24/2022 12:23:00 AM | | Be the first to comment!
Boxabl is a game changer in affordable housing. For those wanting to downsize or live in an affordable home, Boxabl allows you to have a fully-built modular home without taking much land space. The popularity of tiny homes has lent itself towards people maximizing their downsized lives. If you are considering living small, Boxabl may have a solution for you. I will blog about Boxabl in this blog post.


Before I Begin/Disclaimer

I was not contacted by Boxabl to blog about them. I completely chose to do this on my own.






Boxabl


Boxabl is a manufacturer of modular homes. They are based in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. This is a company looking to make affordable houses complete with many elements making them good for permanent living spaces. For the minimalist, their houses offer just about all you need in such small space. Even supposedly, the incredibly rich Elon Musk has his own Boxabl-style house.

Boxabl's best offering is called the Casita. If you know your Spanish, then you know house in Spanish is "casa," and anything small has "-ita" attached to it. So The Casita has just about all you need to live comfortably. It is almost like a small apartment or an inn suite, only you are not sharing the same land with other people in an attached building. It is surely possible to live in a Boxabl house, even if its dimensions seem small for most people and families.

If you are interested about the Casita, visit the following link or take a look at the video below: Boxabl Casita.


^ Casita Tour


Boxabl Thoughts.

Boxabl is one of the leaders in trying to offer affordable housing that also does not register any significant carbon footprint. How they utilize relatively small space in the home is commendable and inventive. You could buy a proper small home from Boxabl for about one-third or even two-thirds the cost of most low-end houses. The cost of appliances and electronics notwithstanding, you can get yourself a great Boxabl home for a fairly decent price. Modular homes appear to be the future, and leading the way (or at least one of the ones leading the way) is Boxabl.


For More Information...

If you want to learn more about Boxabl, please visit Boxabl. Connect with them on social media also from their homepage.





That's all for this blog post. I hope you were able to gain some insight from me on this topic. Perhaps you may consider Boxabl if you want your own affordable house. Whatever the case, I am glad I can spur your interest. If you enjoy my work, please Subscribe/Follow my blog(s) in any capacity if you love my work and want to support me any way you can. Share my blog post(s) with others if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Monday, May 23, 2022

Tiny Houses

John B. Marine | 5/23/2022 11:49:00 PM | | Be the first to comment!
The trend of tiny houses has exploded in popularity lately. People looking to downsize in their lives or adopt a minimalist lifestyle have found comfort living in small houses. Some people even choose living off the grid. No matter what the case, tiny homes are the thing for those wanting to downsize and live with less. I will talk about tiny houses in this blog post. This post is not meant to be a definitive look at tiny houses, but more a general digest on tiny houses and tiny house living. So come along for the ride!






Tiny Houses


Tiny houses have become popular lately, but the origin of their popularity actually dates back to the 1980s. These houses allow for comfortable living while (more importantly) having affordable housing than most regular home properties. A lot of tiny houses are very inventive in their design. A number of tiny houses can go around portably attached by a trailer. Such mobile tiny houses can be great for vagabonds. Some people have more than one small house in an era, either to support multiple people or even to have a house along with a home business on the same property.

You can think of tiny homes kind of like treehouses for kids. You may also think of kid-size tiny homes like some of the toy homes kids play in. The only difference is that tiny homes are every bit of homes for grown-ups, only you could legitimately live in them with all the different resources essential for living. Whether you get a pre-made mobile home, a modular home, or even make a proper home from a kit; having a tiny house can be beneficial if you intend on having affordable housing and choosing to live in such small space.

The popularity of tiny houses has even been expressed in a television show called "Tiny House Nation." This show highlighted on various tiny homes that people have built and/or lived in.


Why Tiny Houses?

For a lot of people, tiny houses allow for the functionality and comfort of home without having so much space to work with. A lot of people tend to equate success and happiness with having a large, lavish house on acres of land. Having so much space is great if you have a large family or want to flaunt your wealth a bit. However, some people feel they can function better and not be so stressed by living in smaller spaces with fewer things.

If you really think about it, there are only certain things in your house you can live with. Removing clutter in your house can help you be more productive and focused. Think about what you can and can not live without. Believe it or not, you don't need that fancy home theater system. You don't need the two-car garage for your only vehicle. You may not need the big bookshelves housing your favorite books and countless other decorations. You may not even need that fancy shower and bathtub combination. Tiny homes, then, make you think about what you can or can not live with.

It is also possible people simply want temporary housing for financial reasons. Maybe someone is living in a tiny house as a place to live as a result of a previous residence being destroyed or repossessed. If someone lives with his/her parents and want to live in his/her own space, they may want to consider a tiny home to live on their own. That is especially before if someone does not have the money to purchase a proper house.

Off-the-grid living and/or sustainable housing are also reasons why people consider tiny houses. Being off the grid, a tiny home may have to rely on things like solar power and some other way to handle waste. Tiny home living for the purpose of sustainable and eco-friendly purposes can happen if you rely on something like tiny housing.

There are lots of reasons why tiny houses exist and are popular.


How Tiny Houses?

Tiny houses can come from a variety of sources. Some tiny houses are properly-built home units from various contractors. Some tiny houses are converted from sheds and even vehicles. You could even buy home kits that you can build homes from the ground up. There are even people who build affordable homes out of shipping containers. So among tiny houses, there are a lot of options ranging from mobile houses to (basically) drivable houses.


Tiny House Living.

The appeal of tiny living is meant to suit those who like living simple. You'd be surprised at how a number of people live without needing to be indulged in the whole *American Dream* concept. Some people who live in tiny homes tend to want to live off the grid. Power and utilities are usually the thing I am most concerned with tiny house living. With the right resources, you can live just fine with a lot of off-the-grid features.


One Important Consideration About Tiny Housing.

Do NOT get the idea that people are into tiny housing because they failed at life. Some people just choose to live without having various status symbols or having to fall into what society deems "successful." Think about maybe people who are at least 60 years old, children moved out, and he/she feels like he/she has everything in such a tiny house without a lot of goods. A lot of us think of tiny houses as not being successful or having a great love life and family. Tiny housing is just minimalist living.


Should You Consider Tiny Home Living?

If you are looking to live elsewhere and in a small space, and if you are willing to take on a much different lifestyle, feel free to take on getting a tiny home to live in. You will need to make some sacrifices and think about what is more important to your survival and your happiness. Tiny homes can be a proper and feasible thing to invest in and work towards for those looking for it to be a long-term thing.


Video Insight.

So what is possible with tiny housing? Let me show you with a video. I want to thank the uploader for allowing this video to be embedded:


^ (3x6 Meters) Tiny House Design | Small 1 Bedroom House


Hopefully this blog post has given you some insight in regards to tiny houses.





I hope you were able to enjoy this blog post and gain some insight on tiny housing. If you enjoy my work, please Subscribe/Follow my blog(s) in any capacity if you love my work and want to support me any way you can. Share my blog post(s) with others if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Pillow Pad

John B. Marine | 4/05/2022 07:29:00 PM | Be the first to comment!
The Pillow Pad from As Seen on TV is a unique pillow that holds your tablet PC or laptop along with your smartphone. I got one for Christmas recently. I originally didn't think it would work well with my Chromebook and my smartphone. However, and as I thought about it, it has comfortably held onto my Chromebook and my smartphone. Suffice to say, the Pillow Pad is a clever way to hold onto your tablet PC (or Chromebook) as well as your smartphone. Once time, I even put an external hard drive in the smartphone pouch, and it held that well also. I even rest the Pillow Pad on my stomach as I lie down on my bed using my Chromebook. It makes using your tablet PC or laptop easy and fun. Even if you don't use your Pillow Pad for your electronic devices, it can even be comfortable enough to hold a notebook or a tablet.

The Pillos Pad utilizes three different angles to hold your devices. I use the lowest angle one because it works the best and supports whatever is in the pouch properly. You can even wash the Pillow Pad's outside into the washer and dryer set. All in all, I think the Pillow Pad is a clever and comfortable item to have if you use your tablet PC or laptop a lot around the house.

Here is a look at the Pillow Pad I have been making mention to all blog post long:

Pillow Pad As Seen on TV
^ from: walmart.com - The Pillow Pad comfortably holds your tablet PC or laptop, along with your smartphone or some other device that fits in its pouch.

If you see this at a store or online, I greatly recommend you get this thing. You have my word!


For More Information...

For more information on the Pillow Pad I discussed, check this out: Pillow Pad, as Seen on TV.





Glad you visited my blog! I hope you enjoyed my work. If you enjoy my work, please Subscribe/Follow my blog(s) in any capacity if you love my work and want to support me any way you can. Share my blog post(s) with others if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

ReBoot

John B. Marine | 2/27/2022 02:55:00 PM | | | Be the first to comment!
ReBoot was one of the first computer generated (CGI) cartoon series ever. One might think 3D graphics cartoons are no big deal now, but this was something different and exciting in 1994. To offer proper respect to ReBoot, I want to provide this blog post to talk about this cartoon series.






ReBoot


I will provide my own introduction, but here is the introduction of ReBoot as YouTube puts it:

"Known as the very first completely computer-animated half-hour TV series, ReBoot debuted in the United States on ABC's Saturday-morning block in 1994 and has captured the hearts and imaginations of kids and gamers ever since!"

-YouTube description of "ReBoot"


ReBoot was one of the first cartoon series of its kind- computer generated. It debuted in 1994 by a Canadian company. A bunch of Silicon Graphics computers made up the fabulous graphics for this cartoon. As one might imagine, the realm of 3D graphics and CGI around this time wasn't as advanced as things are today. It also took a lot of time to actually develop the cartoons and the series.

Each episode of ReBoot is about saving the city of Mainframe from these viruses embedded in games from an entity known as "The User." Bot, Dot, Enzo, and Frisket try to protect the city from various evils. An episode consisted of trying to beat certain games that The User installed to try to take over Mainframe. All the while, fabulous (for its time) 3D graphics offered a level of unreal action few series before could match or better.

As I researched the topic, while "ReBoot" was shown in America, it mostly lived on in Canadian television up until 2001. It is fairly sad the USA never got to see more of the ReBoot series. There were four seasons of "ReBoot" and 47 total episodes. I don't have any real memories of my favorite episodes, so I won't comment on which episodes I most enjoyed from this series.


Why "ReBoot" is Important to Me.

"ReBoot" is personally important to me because it fueled my earliest career interests- computer animation. Seeing how attractive all of the 3D graphics were got me into wanting to make my own 3D art. Trouble is, I struggled to try to make 3D models. It took me almost 20 years to create a 3D model that I was actually proud of. However, my 3D modeling interests all began with ReBoot.


Final Thoughts.

"ReBoot" was one of different shows that would set the tone for more CGI and 3D media for TV and movies. It means so much to me personally in establishing one of my past ambitions and really influenced me to work towards 3D animation and computer media. Think about how Disney-Pixar (or what is now that name) came along with movies like "Toy Story" and how some other cartoons and movies have just gotten started with 3D multimedia for the masses. While today's 3D is very realistic and sometimes pushes the boundaries of real or fake, one of the trail blazers of 3D CGI media for the modern realm was "ReBoot."


Video Preview.

Here is a look at "ReBoot," featuring the introduction:


^ REBOOT - Intro


I hope you enjoyed this blog post.





Anything and everything are discussed on "John's Blog Space," so I hope you enjoyed your time here! I will be sure to keep providing as many topics as I can for your enjoyment. If you enjoy my work, please Subscribe/Follow my blog(s) in any capacity if you love my work and want to support me any way you can. Share my blog post(s) with others if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading! Take care and be well.

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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!
Subscribe to John's Blog Space (JBS) Subscribe to John's Creative Space (JCS) Subscribe to John's Race Space (JRS) Subscribe to StyleSpace (SS) Subscribe to John's Life Space (JLS)
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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.

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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.

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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.

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