Back To Life…Back To Reality (Sigh)Β 

Very bittersweet Sunday today as its my last day off of work officially as part of my long vacation (haven’t been at work since June 22nd). I have thoroughly enjoyed being off for this time as it was much needed for my recharging but now it’s back to the grind, back to the normal hustle & bustle of everyday life. Hadn’t taken a vacation of any kind since 2015 so this past one was much needed and appreciated by my mind body and soul. 

When you go on vacation everything seems better…food, sounds, weather…and then you come home and it’s back to the same ol same.  Lucky for me I will starting a new job in 2 weeks, well not a new job but a new position within my current employer. I’ll be going on a detail assignment for a few months to our downtown office for some new experience (and a nice little πŸ’°) and putting my name out there a bit more, this time with headquarters so hopefully it will all go well cause I’m wild nervous about it all. Mainly just nervous because I want to do a great job and show them that I am a good employee as well as represent the area I’m coming from properly. Guess it was a good thing I trusted in myself and turned down that other detail assignment they offered me last month to manage because if I did that one then I wouldn’t have been able to do this and this one is one that I truly want. Just wild that I turned down that one and told them that I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t want to mess up my chances of something else coming up and then just a week or 2 later, something else came up. That’s why you have to be patient and not just jump at any and everything, even money opportunities because sometimes something better and more applicable to YOU may be on the horizon. 

If I can offer one bit of advice to everyone it would be to be sure that you take vacations, at least once a year, that’s my new thing. I’m going to stop going so long between them because I see how valuable they can be for me. Your everyday life can burn you out, drain you, so you need to take a vacation…get out somewhere, be away from what you are used to on the daily and get your mind back right. 

So as I lay here in bed at noon on this Sunday and think about the irritating sound of my alarm clock in the morning I guess I can be happy in the fact that I was able to take a vacation and a long one, I was able to spend some great quality time with my family in Baltimore and then chill with one of my best friends and his family on the cruise (they are also considered family as well). Also was able to come back home and kick back and relax all week in the comfort of my own home cause you know many times we need a vacation FROM or right after our vacation lol. So the time off was a success just went too fast and now I have to get ready for the next leg of life…but I can handle it (tries to day that without having a sad face) ✌🏽 

Be Friends…?Β 

So a question was posed yesterday and it asked if as a heterosexual man would I have a problem with having a homosexual friend also if I found out a friend was homosexual would it change our friendship? 

Well let me start this with a resounding, NO…to both questions. Someone’s sexuality or preference will never have an effect on my friendship with said individual. What they do or choose to do in their bedroom is their business and doesn’t dictate who that person is to me. I look at people in a very simplistic view, either you are a good person or a bad one. Of course there is race and things of the sort to consider but I generally use that as my determining factor for my friends and whom I allow in my circle. 

Next if I had a friend come out the closet to me I would NEVER stop being their friend, not even a little, shoot it actually happened a few years back and at no point did I ever think “well he can’t be my peoples anymore”. If anything I was extremely proud of my boy and I continue to be. I was proud in the fact that he accepted who he is and decided it was time for the world to know because I’m sure for him and many it’s an extreme burden to live with. To be worried about how those close to you will feel, how you may be treated etc but from me it was and will NEVER be am issue, he’s one of many folks that I consider a great friend and value his as that. I also had a close family member do the same a long time ago and she was scared to tell me for fear of my judgement etc and I didn’t give a damn because all I care about for those I care about and love is their personal happiness and if that’s where it lies then they always have my undying support.

I don’t change on those I love and care for, those that I let into my circle stay there for life unless THEY themselves decide not to be. Nothing will ever change in any relationship/friendship I have with anyone due to their personal sexual choices nor will I not be friends with someone because of it. This world is full of beautiful individuals and I am not going to limit myself from knowing such great souls just because they may do things a little different than I might. 

1

New Snack Alert (Swedish Fish Jellybeans)Β 

Wife copped some new snack heat, you know since she is the Snack Queen (and I the King) of finding new snack talent and I want to share it with the streets. Today’s joints are these Swedish Fish jellybeans which she copped on post Easter clearance because well…genius. And when I share these things they may not be new to y’all but they are to me or us so we just letting the world know. Haven’t tried em yet but just letting you know it’s a thing….1

(The Jolly Rancher bunnies aren’t new but they jumped in the picture, no pun intended) 

UPDATE: I have just tried the Swedish Fish jellybeans, not bad, taste just like the fish just in jellybean form, definitely worth a try if you like the regular candy. 

Stop & Smell Your Roses

So I was outside this morning because I had to do a little detail work on the inside of the car so I was in the process of getting ready to pull my car into the garage and then I spotted my neighbor, who is also my lawn guy,  across the street and I had to run over and pay him for landscaping the yard yesterday. Then that chance encounter turned into us talking about him cooking this 11 pound slab of pork for one of our other neighbors down the block. Let me say this piece of meat looked amazing and he will be smoking it all day and probably inspired me to pull my grill out later lol. We talked about his kids getting ready to graduate (1 in college and 1 in high school) and then one of our other neighbors was driving by, seen us inside chopping it up and he stopped to join in. Convo was great, lasted about a good half hour to 45 mins and then we broke out. 

I proceeded to go into the garage and detail the inside of the car all while waving as other people from the our neighborhood jogged or drove by. Then my wife and 2 daughters were heading out to shop so they came to the garage at varying moments before they left to see what I was doing and then they broke out. 

After all that my son and I went in the backyard because I needed to clean the vacuum cleaner parts which I do with my power washer and then that turned into me power washing the back of the house (not the whole thing just a few spots, I’ll do the whole thing when I get more cleaning solution for the washer) and me showing him how to do it, what I was doing etc.

While doing this my next door neighbor came by and he and I chopped it up for about 20 minutes or so about vacations, taco nights, his cholesterol and racing (which he does) and then he went to cut his grass and my son and I came back in the house to chill, well now we are about to hit a nice little workout. 

Okay so I’m sure you are asking well where this is all going, well it was that in each of these moments I found varying levels of joy. The main thing and the biggest part of that joy though is in me having my own home. Now while we are just renting until we find EXACTLY what we want, this is still for the time being, OUR HOME, and that means so very much to me. My son and I were talking last night and I was speaking to him about growing up in New Jersey and never actually living in a home of my own. Sure I lived with my grandfather for a bit as a kid, lived with my Uncle Pook & Aunt Aldith for a little while, even with my Uncle William for a brief spell in my early 20’s but never my OWN house and now I have that. 

As I type this I’m sitting in my backyard, listening to the sounds of birds, hearing people cutting their grass, looking up into the blue sky and seeing planes go by and it just brings an extreme level of joy to my soul because I’ve ALWAYS wanted this, always wanted this life, this moment. I used to be so envious of kids that had homes and not apartments, that had yards to play in and not have to always go to the park or someone else’s house to play because all you had was a parking lot or busy Plainfield street. I used to have dreams of what it would be like to wake up and just walk in my backyard and play with my GI Joes and Transformers and now I don’t have to dream anymore, even though I don’t have my toys any longer lol

 To be able to talk to my neighbors on a Saturday morning, to have a garage to detail my car in, to be in my backyard with my lil man and showing him some stuff, this is more than I could have ever imagined or asked for. I’m so very thankful to have every bit of what I have and this is me just taking the time out to reflect and show that appreciation. A lot of times in life we worry about all those things we DON’T have, or CAN’T get and we don’t just stop for a second and smell the roses that are planted right in front of us, well this is my moment to stop and smell my roses…thanks for listening, 1

I’m Disappointed Yet Hopeful

Varying emotions today of disappointment in my gender as well as pride in it as in 3 different instances I had to be there for a few ladies that I care about. The ins and outs of why aren’t for public consumption but what is is my let down feeling of many of our young men and especially our older ones. Many men are failing AS MEN because they aren’t doing one of the most important jobs and that’s raising these young men to be respectful and treat women the proper ways. Everyone must do a better job to raise these young men with the right values and core principles in regards to the treatment of our women…they are not objects, possessions, beneath us etc we as fathers, uncles, mentors, friends, OG’s and such have to get these youngn’s in the right path. 
On the flip side of that throughout the course of my day I met 2 young men, high school students, and listen when I tell you for every bit of disappointment I feel towards many, guys like these 2 do nothing but reassure me that all is not lost. One of them reminded me of myself and the other showed me in just one initial interaction how together I WISH I was at that age. Sturdy handshakes by them both, eye contact, respect, and most importantly the concern they show towards women was fantastic. See I look at little things, I watch people VERY closely and these 2 have been shown the right way. Having 2 daughters, sisters, a niece, great-niece, cousins, my friend’s daughters and all that I get so scared for them all and what they will have to deal with and I pray to the sky that they find guys like the last 2 that I spoke about, guys like my best friends, baby brothers, many of the stand up guys I was raised with. All in all let’s do better to make more men like the last 2 and not the weak types from the earlier portion, thanks for listening and thanks to the many of you that are raising these young boys right.

Water Challenge (2 Week Update) Β 

Okay so it’s been a full 2 weeks, which I honestly didn’t even notice until I started typing this up, and I’ve honestly been doing pretty good and sticking to the challenge. Of course as I stated in the initial post I’m taking baby steps but doing okay. Currently I’m drinking at LEAST a half gallon of water everyday, including the weekend which is major for me because I thought that would be the hardest part but I’ve been on it. A few days here and there I’ve gotten to or close to a full gallon (only like twice) and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought. 

There are a few times where drinking is the easiest, naturally when I’m working out but I noticed that I really like to drink in the morning when I first get to work and then again for my drive home each day. Not sure why but that’s just how it is, I guess because I’m at my busiest when I first walk into the office and then when I’m off work and driving home my focus is on driving so it’s not like I’m drinking it as a chore, it’s more of a natural process and I think that’s key to me. If I have to feel like I’m forcing myself to do something eventually ill just stop so I have to always find way to incorporate certain things into my daily life and routine. 

I also figured out that I like spring water much more than purified/distilled water, not sure why but I just do. I don’t really care about all the intricacies just yet of water so it’s no need for anyone to beat me in the head about this one or that one, currently spring water is where I’m at because me and my body like it more at the present time. I haven’t noticed any differences JUST yet but it’s only been 2 weeks so I’m sure that will come in time. Well there is one thing, I pee a LOT and I mean A LOT. Like one day last week I was driving home from work and barely made it in the house to relieve myself, think I knocked one of my kids out the way with a stiff arm that would have made LaDainian Tomlinson proud. 

So that’s my 2 week update, I’ll continue to keep you posted on my progress but so far so good….✌ 

Smile…My Therapy Song

I can never listen to this song just once when I hear it, it used to be because of my sheer love for the song but now it holds so much sentimental value to me. Nat King Cole was perhaps my Uncle Jeff’s favorite or damn sure one of them and he used to listen to him constantly, so much so that I think it’s deeply branded on/in me and my cousins. When he was sick and dealing with his cancer one day we talked and he wasn’t having one of his better days and he told me “Yo man, when I’m out, if you ever get sad or down about it listen to Smile by Nat and think about us driving to get Red Tower burgers or playing Sega Genesis…f*uck all that sad sh*t!!!”. Yeah Jeff had such an eloquent way with words but he was leaving me with something to comfort me when he was gone. After he passed it took me awhile to actually go back and listen to the song, I would put my phone on shuffle and it would come on but I’d skip past it because I knew it would make me emotional. But now I’ve reached a point where it’s so therapeutic to me to listen to Nat’s words…”Smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking, when there are clouds in the sky…you’ll get by, if you smile through your fear and sorrow, smile and maybe tomorrow…you’ll see the sun come shining through, for you” and man the words to this song hit home so much and help me tremendously now. Still not easy with him being gone, even the other day my oldest told me that she really misses him and his laugh which meant the world to me but I told her he is still with us everyday, we carry his name, his memory, his life everyday that we speak of him, when we think of him, when we miss him. So ock thanks so much for recommending “Smile” as my therapy for losing you, and when I hear Nat I actually imagine you saying these things to me in your own explicit kind of way…love and miss you Jeff and know that I may cry a bit at times (like now as I’m writing this) but more often than not I’m smiling…. 

https://youtu.be/vwYFYPccVUk

My Personal Water Challenge

​

Okay so I hate water, let’s just get that out the way now. Alright let me ease up a little, I don’t HATE water, just not the biggest fan nor have I ever been unless it is ICE and I mean ICE cold to the point where it’s freezing my teeth type cold. With me it’s always been like “Hey would you like a glass of water?” with my response being “Hey would you like to lick a camel’s scrotum in July?”. But I am getting older now and trying to take better care of my body and get my health in the right places because I’d like to be around for a long time to enjoy my kids and have a long life with my wife. So along with my already newfound desire to stay active physically through working out, walking, jogging etc I decided to issue myself a personal challenge to drink anywhere from a half gallon to a gallon a day of water. I’ll start off slowly because I don’t want to force myself to jump all the way in because I know me, I won’t stay focused on the task and I’ll stop. I’m going to have my wife stay on me to make sure I’m doing it and I’m even going to set reminders on my phone, at work etc to make sure I’m rocking it right. Also going to find some way to penalize myself if I don’t drink any or meet my goal for each day. I’m serious about this and may even start tracking my progress, changes etc on here just as an additional form of accountability, so wish me luck… 

New Year, Same #NBA2K17 My Career Issues

*A few updates were made to the blog post patch (1.03)*

Is NBA2K17 a step up in a lot of ways, yes it is, but my assumption is that not many of those ways are directly related to the My Career mode which still suffers from many of the same issues that it has had along with many others. Below I will address a few of the things that I have seen and noticed while playing 2K17. I have to say though, I still do not believe anyone tests this mode out prior to releasing it to the public because I just can’t see how these things can happen and I can notice them within a matter of days or even hours and no one at the company does.

  • After certain cutscenes which you talk, like the ones prior to the start of the 2nd quarter, it pans back to show your player on the court and your mouth is doing this weird fast movement, it’s actually very disturbing to be honest.
  • In order to change your jumpshot animation you must select it in the mode but then exit it and go back into it for it to take affect, this is STUPID!!!
  • The broadcast team is ALWAYS the same and I seriously have no idea how no one noticed this. The broadcast team never changes from Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony and Steve Smith. They touted this whole multiple broadcasters stuff but it means nothing to My Career, I pray that they repair this viz patch or something. *UPDATE: It seems like this has been fixed with the patch because the first game I played post patch had Chris Webber commentating not the usual Steve Smith*
  • If the CPU is even just a LITTLE open, go ahead and run back down court because the shot is going in, now your players/teammates, this is NOT the case.
  • Be prepared for your big time players to be outplayed by WHOMEVER is out there on the opposing team in their positions. Marc Gasol gets destroyed every game, EVERY game.
  • The help defense is Garbage, possibly the worst I have ever seen with a 2K game. The rotations are non-existent, the logic with decision making of your players is horrendously bad and it costs you so many defensive stops. I have never seen anything like it and it makes no sense that all these guys that tall about making the game realistic, adding this and that can’t get something as basic as help defense to work properly in regards to My Career mode.
  • Substitution patterns are still weird and in many cases just dumb so that whole thing with the coaching adapting is nonsense from what I can see. If the CPU has a hot player your coach will make ZERO adjustments to defend the guy, ZERO.
  • In the 4th quarter there will hardly be ANY substitutions and fatigue still doesn’t matter much in that regard so again, more fluff they tried to sell us that isn’t accurate when you play. Now keep in mind those things may be truthful in other modes but none of it is in My Career and that’s all I am speaking of right now.
  • Haircuts for your player…….yeah maybe we should just go to the next item because this is still some trash. I seriously have no idea who approves things like this because I’d like to know WHO they know that has hairlines like those that are in the game. Shape ups are absolutely disgusting, just bad and it has been for many years now. It would be nice if we could get shape ups and cuts like your homie from early int he game (pictured below).

20160910183347

  • Generic shoes need to NEVER be a part of this game, EVER!!! You have never seen a guy in the league wearing Limited Edition 2K Sports 11’s, FOH 2K.
  • At times you will be standing there getting ready to guard your man and another one of the CPU players will run RIGHT INTO YOU and drive you all the way back and they will pass your man the rock for an open shot, this will infuriate you, trust me…happens a lot too.
  • The feels of the game is smoother but it still feels wild sticky, like the game is stuttering when you are moving around and that’s because it still have this “someone else is trying to move me places I don’t want to go” feel to it. I have never understood why they just don’t let you as the player decide where you want to be on the floor without the pulling and tugging, it’s like you are fighting against Skynet.
  • Lot of suction animations or you sticking to people as you run around.
  • When you make a steal or in a position to start a fast break the game does this weird thing where it kind of turns your guys around instead of letting him go the proper direction. Also in regards to fast breaks people still catch you, you still have that slow up moment instead of allowing you to sprint out and begin the break. You will be cut off and halted by defenders no matter HOW much faster you may be than them and it’s aggravating because this has been the case for years.
  • Don’t throw too many passes because the CPU will intercept them RELIGIOUSLY!!! And I do mean religiously, they are going to have sooooooooooooo many steals, won’t always be you making the passes either, your teammates will throw the worst passes and the CPU players will miraculously ALWAYS be in the right position. *UPDATE: most of the steals were a result of lazy slow lob passes regardless of the situation but this seems to have been tweaked some with the recent patch*
  • Prior to the recent patch that was released, 1.03 I believe, damn near every CPU defender was amazing, I mean on some Bruce Bowen, Jordan, The Glove type amazing but it seems that the patch fixed that. Now while Avery Bradley played me well, to be expected because he’s a good defender, I abused some other dudes they put on me and it felt right because they were weaker defenders. Good job on this 2K.
  • There are a lot of strange things that happen like in these 2 pictures below where in one the reporters interviewing Justice are our teammates and in the other Denver has become…..ME
  • And lastly, Michael B. Jordan has blue eyes………….yeah.

So that’s a few of the things that I have noticed while playing the game, I am sure there is more but I can’t think of everything right now. Is the game playable, very much so, more so than it used to be, yeah, but it still needs a lot of work and again I don’t know how they don’t realize a lot of these issues prior to releasing the game to us. For the life of me I still don’t understand why sliders are not able to be used or have any affect on My Career mode, because if you could use sliders a LOT of these issues could be minimized or even removed from your gaming experience, but nope….not an option. 

#NBA2K17 Face Scan Tips

What’s going on world, it’s ya boy Neo and I just wanted to put out some information that has helped me. Now this kind of goes without saying but face scanning for NBA 2K games can be a bit of a hassle and creates tons of frustration within the gaming community, myself included BELIEVE ME. But if you know me well enough you know I can’t just quit although on a few occasions while doing this over the past few years I’ve felt like it. So below I have put a few tips that have helped me attain some pretty good scans.

  • Okay let’s first start off with face positioning when using the 2K17 mobile app. Below are some examples of where I positioned my face in order to get good scans.

screenshot_20160917-102402

 

<— You want your head positioned about here within the oval, pretty much having the top of the oval be about where your hairline is while also leaving enough room to the left and right for head turning.

screenshot_20160917-102629

 

Now this is entirely too close, don’t do this, may lead to a lot of weird faces as it does not leave room for you to turn your head and the app will probably tell you it can’t find your face.—>

screenshot_20160917-102730

 

<— Now this angle may be the move for those above the head pics by the Instagram honeys but this is NOT good for a 2K face scan…stay focused!!!

screenshot_20160917-102808

Don’t turn your head this far, you are just wasting time as the camera will only snap pics to a certain point but for some reason if it did continue you will get weird bright light spots on you scanned face when uploaded to your system —>

  • Next tip is about turning your head, best advice I can give is to turn your head as SLOOOOOOOOOOWLY as you possibly can. There really is no set way to describe this, just don’t turn your head as fast as possible, have to give the camera a chance to capture the multiple shots it needs to build the face. I would say give the time between the faces getting the green lights maybe about 10 seconds or so.screenshot_20160917-143826
  • When turning your head to the left and right, lift it slightly, don’t tilt your head down, this allows the light to hit the proper spots on your face if need be.
  • Speaking of shadows on your face, these next 2 pictures will illustrate how the light shouldn’t be when on your face. Try to make sure that the light is centered as best as it can be so that it will be even on your face. The pic on the left has too much light coming from the right side, the pic on the right has a dark shadow on the left side, both are very bad for business.
  • If you happen to get this error, just close that particular scan and start it over again, don’t even waste your time because in most instances it’s not going to come out right.screenshot_20160917-094934
  • Keeping in line with errors let me speak on the scanning error that some may see, an error that I myself experienced for almost 3 straight days and then I figured out what I was doing wrong. If you are too far back when inside of the oval, like pictured below, you will get the following error listed in the video. To counter this just move your face/head closer to the camera in the oval, that’s it and then you will begin to get regular working scans again and TRUST me when I changed this I have YET to see that error again.screenshot_20160917-102605
  • Next very important tip is your lighting, now this is very situational because some people can get great scans without the best of light, I mean I have gotten good scans while being in my garage which only has 2 lights in it. But to get the most recent scan I have I did it in the conditions below. These are the windows for my bathroom and a bedroom window, just to give you an idea of how I was able to get good lighting on my face. Also with the lighting, if you notice the sun isn’t beaming through the windows, you don’t want that because then your face will be TOO light. For instance I took these pictures and did my scan early this morning which is good because the sun was still on the other side of the house but the light was good none the less. If you look at my face you will see that it picked up pretty good, I mean it got the area under and around my eyes very well along with my nose which is a normally very difficult part to have scanned correctly.
  • Don’t make it your mission to get a “GREAT” face scan, above average and at times even the most “AVERAGE” of scans will work just fine. On the old 2K’s when we had to scan with the PS4 cam/Kinect it was times when I got well over 12,000 reference points but my scan looked wack and as you can see below this one I ended up with got only a few thousand.
  • If you can try to prop your phone up so you don’t have to actually hold it and can focus on the turning of your head.
  • Using your rear camera works well too if you can have someone hold the camera for you but truth be told you can get excellent ones with the front facing cameras so it’s not a MUST.
  • Should you want to see about getting a better scan even though you are content with the one you currently have you can do this and just not save it. Do the complete scanning process and see how the face comes out once uploaded. If you don’t like it just “Abort Changes And Return” this was you can keep testing out scans without losing one. Be careful with this though because if you just leave your system on the screen and then come back to it and save it for some odd reason it may put a generic face on your scan, it’s a very weird thing and it’s happened to me twice.
  • Try to look at your camera when turning your head during the scanning process. I also noticed that if you look at your screen/face it works okay also, just in case you wanted to keep an eye on how you are turning your head.
  • Try to let your head get close to the edge as pictured below.Β Notice how my head has a slight tilt up the closer I get to the edge

screenshot_20160917-102536

  • For the eyebrows try a few scans so you can judge to see where YOUR eyebrows will be positioned on your face scan because hair will show up lightly and you want the system eyebrows to be able to go RIGHT over the spots where your brows would be. This is also a good way to know when you are at the right height etc for your face scans.
  • Try not to blink a lot, I mean you can get away with blinking but don’t Nicki Minaj blink my dude. If you HAVE to blink stop turning and hold your head still get your blink in and then keep turning for your scan.
  • Sometimes on the Android side the app will get hung up and it will tell you that it can’t find your face, if this happens just close the app and reopen it, that’s all.
  • Try not to have an extra shiny or glossy type face, it will make your player look plastic…now this doesn’t mean scan with an ashy face just don’t create reflections on your face. Also try to keep your mouth closed.
  • I said it before but I must say it once again before I bring this to a close, turn your head slowly, this is extremely important.

And that’s really about all you truly need to know, or at least all I can think of for right now to help you get a good scan. Also I am always there to help if I can so if you need some assistance hit me on here or on Twitter at @NeoThaAnomaly and I’ll get back to you and try to get you right. Face scanning is huge to me because all I play is My Career thus why I kind of go OD crazy when it comes to it but I also try to find out the best ways so that I can pass along the help to my fellow gamers in the community since 2K has always given us a really basic guideline for how it should be done. So I hope this helped some and gets you all some much better scans, although I do love all those weird ones I see people post but as gamers I want us all to have great face scans. Holla at yall….1 (Below is the final scan after all the editing and everything that I did, I think it looks like me)