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The Next Chapter

I’m excited to say that I’ve accepted a full-time position with Verto Education as a Full Stack WordPress Developer. I’ll be maintaining and improving their websites and helping them expand their reach.

It’s been 20 years since I finished college, so I guess it’s about time I have the word Developer in my job title. It’s been a heck of a detour that took me through IT, being a teacher, and freelance work. I don’t regret any of the things that I’ve done but it does feel kind of good to have a job that will use my education.

This does mean that for the most part I’m done doing freelance work for the time being. I spent this week basically resigning from 15 different jobs as I offloaded my clients.

This coming Monday will be my first day, and I’m really excited to see what this new chapter brings

Steve's Life • April 28, 2022

Thoughts on Video Game Difficulty

Playing games is something that I like to do to relax in the evenings. While there are games that I enjoy being challenged in and overcoming the challenge, as I get older I find myself wanting something a bit different out of games when I’m trying to relax. I get a healthy amount of stress from other areas of my life, so I’ve been turning the game difficulty down.

There’s definitely a sense of accomplishment that happens when you beat a difficult game or get through a difficult section. But, when I’m relaxing in the evening, that’s generally not the sort of thing I’m looking for. I enjoy playing through long story-driven games and I want to enjoy them similarly to the way that I enjoy a TV show or movie.

That’s not to say I never want a challenge. In education, there’s a concept called the Zone of Proximal Development. That’s where the educational content is just challenging enough that students can do it, but they have to develop their knowledge in order to do it. That certainly translates over to games as well. When I’m playing Beat Saber I play on Hard because that’s difficult enough that I have to work, but I can keep moving my whole body enough to get exercise out of it. Going easier is boring, but going to expert difficulty makes me just flick my wrists to hit the boxes and I don’t get as much exercise.

Other times when I want more challenge is if I’m playing online either against other people or cooperatively with people.

Steve's Life Video Games • January 25, 2022

Adventures in a Trip to the Orthodontist

Today I had to take my daughter to Gilette to see the orthodontist. I gave myself 4.5 hours to drive what is normally a 3-ish hour drive, because we had snow last night, and I have to go over the mountains. I’m glad I had the extra time as the roads over the mountains were a bit sketchy.

Anyway, on the way back, I stopped in Buffalo to get gas before going back over the mountains. When we got back in the car to take off, the car started fine, and I could get it into reverse or neutral just fine, but I couldn’t get the shifter to physically move into the drive position. At this time it was 6:30 pm, so I knew that there would be no chance of getting a mechanic until morning. I had visions of driving my car in reverse to a hotel to spend the night, an idea I quickly abandoned.

I ended up pushing the car away from the gas pumps to a parking spot, with my daughter manning the wheel (with a LOT of guidance). Then I started Googling the problem and found some threads on X-Terra owner forums about people who have the same year of X-Terra as I do with the same problem. It turns out that a little piece of metal tends to come loose within the shifter that blocks it from moving into the Drive position or beyond.

With the guidance of the forum thread, I was able to get the piece moved back into place and get my car into drive. The trip back over the mountains was slow (due to road conditions) and uneventful. I’m extremely grateful that the problem was something that I was capable of fixing and that the Internet exists to provide answers. 20+ years ago, I definitely would have been getting a hotel room and finding a mechanic in the morning.

Steve's Life • January 20, 2022