Jstar’s Chronicles #38 – Experiencing a Hurricane

My 38th issue has me dive into one of the most deadliest hurricanes in history, and the aftermath of it all.

THE AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE IRMA

Hey guys, I’ve returned from several days of being away. It was a pretty worrying time for me and everyone I live with, because the reason I was away was from the preparation and going through Hurricane Irma. While it’s no longer an issue with me, I’d like to give some details of what I went through for anyone that has any questions about it.

It was extremely scary before it hit my house. Imagine, your whole life, the worse storm you ever went through caused electricity and water to go out for several days. Now, imagine this hurricane being warned as something worse. That’s how scared I was, because as a teenager/young adult, I only experienced a few hurricanes, and none were to be as bad as what this was going to be.

I got all the preparations needed to survive over a week on what we have. A lot of water, bread, and non-perishables were bought far in advance, knowing how crazy local stores were going to be. We knew it would be catastrophic and almost fatal if we didn’t do this days in advance.

I packed all my stuff away and far from any windows, including my desktop and monitor. Batteries were fully charged, our multi-band radio was ready to go, everything important was packed away. Me and my family were now ready, and we were ready for the worst. The worst… ended up being the aftermath, rather than the storm itself.

The hurricane hit us from Saturday night to Sunday evening, with internet going out early on. As a recent cord-cutter, we had to rely on our recently bought antenna on the latest news about Hurricane Irma. While our ISP’s internet went out, our mobile data also disappeared almost right after. As I continued to hear branches fall off my trees, the hours continued to pass by. As I stayed close to my family, I prepared in advance and found a bunch of movies I haven’t seen before, as well as a few I could re-watch. We also played a bit of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. It sucked that Splatoon 2 wouldn’t work (and I already finished the story mode, as seen on one of our live stream archives), but what really made take another look at is how almost-destructive this storm was to us.

I’d consider us extremely lucky with how this hurricane hit us. The hurricane was expected to straight-up hit us as a Category 4, with winds at up to 140 MPH. We weren’t where the eye was going to hit, but knowing how bad this hurricane was going to hit Florida, I knew that it’d last long enough to really damage the entire state, knowing how big and powerful it was for several days. Just imagine how fast 185 miles per hour really is. I don’t really see cars go faster than 90, and that’s under half of the speed.

What happened instead, at least to my house, was still some awful wind, and a lot of rain, but like I said earlier, we were extremely lucky. Irma died down quick after it hit the Keys, and we ended up over-preparing, which is exactly what you want to happen. I ended up just waiting for the hurricane to pass us to continue with our lives. Not having internet really sucked, but wasn’t as bad as I thought with our preparations.

I ended up awaking to a Monday morning with extremely mild winds and no rain. I see my windows and some of the outside, and notice the intense number of branches now laying on our backyard, dead and beaten up. I head on over to the outside, for the first time since Saturday morning, and notice the people around me. How they all have branches lying on the floor. How the roads were covered in them. How a massive tree from a house across my street collapsed over the road, and some people talking of a flood that’s blocking us out of our neighborhood. What I didn’t see was a collapsed house, something I was worried about from the beginning.

I didn’t expect to get too much damage from almost day one, but that possibility was always there, especially with how powerful this hurricane was from the get-go. It was what got me to a new level of being scared, something that I thought would change my life forever. It ended up just being more work for me to clean up my family’s backyard (with help, of course).

I don’t know if I’d call this a miracle from God or whatever they say, but I’ll continue to say that I was almost as lucky as I could have possibly have been. Like going through a tough obstacle, but waiting it out resolved it. This hurricane could have easily changed my life, but it ended still doing so, just nowhere near as strong or as bad as I expected it originally.

I’ve since re-connected my computer again, cleaned up and optimized as my internet remained down for a few more days. That’s the only larger-than-minor-but-not-exactly-major-either problem. My mobile data was too slow and broken to use as what I assumed happen was the data towers got damaged. I’d also assume that the same happened for my ISP, as no matter how many hard reboots I gave my modem and router, it just wouldn’t connect until days later. This was after calling them on the buggy network I was using when, given estimates and promises only to be disappointed with still no internet. They eventually got it fixed and resolved, otherwise you wouldn’t be seeing this post.

I didn’t lose electricity for more than five seconds at a time during and after the hurricane. My backup power generator ended up not being used, just like when I went through Hurricane Matthew last year. This hurricane, I assure you, wasn’t over-exaggerated, and that can be visibly seen from what the Keys went through. It’s just that by the time it hit where I lived, it was barely even a concern at that point. I didn’t evacuate, mainly because I wasn’t in the zone when. I was in a situation where I wasn’t really supposed to be worrying to an extreme point anyway, but I still did, and I’m glad I worried compared to not-so, as my expectations for the aftermath would be lower, and I’d be in a happier state of mind compared. I don’t know if I’ll be going through something like this again anytime soon, but I don’t expect it to be as worrying as this hurricane was to me. If it ends up being bad, or even worse, I’ll be ready, and so should you if you’re in the target if getting bruised up from the next Irma.

MY TAKE: iPhone X

I don’t use an iPhone. I’ve never owned one. The only Apple device I’ve ever used was my mom’s 2nd Generation iPod Touch. Does the unveiling of the iPhone X (and 8) interest me? I’m going to be a little clickbait-y and tell you it below.

I didn’t have good internet during Apple’s presentation on Tuesday, but I found out what was revealed later that day. In reality, what they considered their “hobby” is what interested me the most, and it didn’t even interest me that much anyway. That was the new Apple TV 4K.

Ignoring the price, the Apple TV 4K features great hardware, full support of 4K and HDR10, and just looks to be another good option for people who want a media center that can do great with high-end video content, while also having room for decent quality games. It’s probably the most powerful media center, completely ignoring the Nvidia Shield. However, at a price of $179 with 32 GB or $199 with 64 GB of storage, it’s legitimately a competitor to the Nvidia Shield to begin with. If you care about performance and games, there’s a pretty good chance that the Shield may still be a better option after this releases.

Before I head into the obviously large thing, I’ll bring up everything else. The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus seem to be mostly the same with the new processor and a glass body this time around. Overall, they may still be great phones to consider for the year. The Apple Watch Series 3 was also shown off and can now connect to data and be used on its own without the need of an iPhone. While that option will be at $399 (WiFi-only will be $329), which is a price I consider outside of my range for a new smartwatch, it’s still interesting that Apple finally got to that point where their latest sleeper hit gets a new milestone implemented.

Now, it’s time for the real deal: the iPhone X. A gorgeous body, an insane screen (even if not the first), and it truly looks like a device where Apple doesn’t hold back. This can also be said for its price, which will cause a lot of people to not consider it. That includes me; as an owner of the LG V20, I am slightly puzzled that we are entering an age where hardware is growing faster than usual, at the cost (haha) of price increasing along with it. It could be with the push of 10nm in processors and architectures, but it’s still crazy how fast and expensive this process is starting to become.

With the iPhone X not releasing until November 3rd 2017, there’s still time for some new information to come in for what’s also powering this besides what we already know. There’s supposedly 3 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage in the base model, and the processor (also in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus), and the incredible display intact, along with some other extra stuff built-in (like wireless charging). I’ll be keeping my eye on this, knowing that there’s no way I’ll be buying this outright anytime soon.

MY TAKE: NINTENDO DIRECT 9-13-17

Considering how many words I’ve already put into this issue to begin with, I’ll be a little briefer than usual for Nintendo Directs. I still had to bring this up for obvious reasons, but I’ll cut to the chase and focus on the stuff I enjoyed. I went in with low expectations, and came out slightly pleased.

A lot of things happened in this Nintendo Direct, some all right, and others were ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. Some of the games talked about were interesting, while others were definitely interesting and entirely unexpected for me. Keep in mind that I didn’t look at any spoilers whatsoever. I expected new content from 3DS and Switch, as well as Super Mario Odyssey, because that’s all that was announced officially beforehand. What I got instead was a boatload of awesomeness, for lack of a better word. I’ll list what I truly enjoyed below:

  • DOOM 2016 and Wolfenstein II are coming to Switch. This blew my mind, especially with the former releasing this Holiday season.
  • Minecraft is not only coming to the New Nintendo 3DS, but it released the same day of the Nintendo Direct. While 3DS is just a great memory to me today (besides the usual homebrewing), seeing what many thought to be a pipe dream finally came true. Even if it’s based off of the Pocket Edition (entirely expected), Pocket Edition based updates (including 3D and Multiplayer) are on the way. Kind of weird to not have multiplayer at the launch of a Minecraft game, but maybe they just truly wanted this out as soon as possible.
  • First look at this Holiday’s Kirby 3DS game (titled “Kirby’s Battle Royale), and it looks pretty good. Ranked Battles are a thing, and that’s all that matters now considering how much I *love* those modes.
  • New Kirby for Switch info (titled “Kirby Star Allies”). This also looks great and I’m a little unsurprised that it’s the game coming early in the year. It was either going to be Kirby or Yoshi to fill that slot, but I’m thinking Yoshi will fill this summer.
  • Seeing Xenoblade Chronicles 2 having an official release date was great, but having it release on December 1st, a.k.a. this year, was a complete shock. Getting official confirmation for this, and having it on the first day of the Holiday season (technically speaking) is simply… awesome.

You can see my whole reaction here:

THIS WEEK IN GAMING

Anything from this week’s Nintendo Direct won’t be in this as I’ve talked about everything I was interested in above. It was simply excellent and this list would probably be over twice as large.

I hope you guys understand that Hurricane Irma was the reason I couldn’t release anything last week. It was a very scary time for me and my family, and I’m glad I went through it un-damaged. I hope to have new content coming in on-time with next week! Until then, thanks for reading!

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