Looking Back At 2019

Pause

Here we are at the end of the year and even a decade. As always, it’s a good time to pause our games and shows and look back to reflect on things. It’s also time to do the other side of that coin by looking forward. And I hope I don’t overstuff it with the links!


Rewind

With the dust still settling from the Christmas rush, I thought I’d skim the past 12 months from a geeky or nerdy perspective. How did 2019 shape up with respect to movies, shows, games, and what about sci-fi and tech stuff? I admit I’m not the most qualified for this; it’s just my two cents. I’ll also throw in a few of my own personal highlights and lowlights.

January

With an eye towards fitness and fun, I re-joined my Karate class and quickly tested up to my next belt. I tried to attend classes twice a week all year long. Overall, I’ve benefited greatly from it. I’m no Bruce Lee, but I can touch my toes, and I feel less guilty when I eat extra calories, so not too shabby! Also, I broke a board using a knife-hand technique and got punched in the ribs so well that I had to get X-rays to make sure they were not cracked!

February

Cal Newport launched his new book on Digital Minimalism, just as the angst or weariness towards Facebook and social media reached its zenith in our culture.

Also, we played a lot of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on the Nintendo 2DS.

March

We had the surprising 20 year anniversary of The Matrix movie being released. It still shocks me that it’s been so long since that ground-breaking film debuted! Time has flown! Whoa!

April

I deleted my Facebook account. Again!

Avengers End Game hit the big screen, closing the first Marvel epic mega saga thing-a-ma-bobber. Did I mention it was epic?

May

This month, I finally watched Captain Marvel. I liked it! My fave stuff was the 90’s nostalgia: dial-up internet, Nirvana, Blockbuster Video, stuff like that. For the record, I really miss video stores! Having it all on my phone is just not the same.

June

Apple held their annual developer’s conference where the keynote showcased all the new and cool stuff they plan to put on the market. iOS13 and iPadOS looked promising. So far, though, they’ve turned out lackluster and buggy. But the iPhone 11, especially the new camera system, looks fantastic. I’m thinking I’ll stick with iPhone and not switch to Android.

July

Space! Sci-Fi for real! It was the big 50th anniversary of mankind’s first landing on the moon! On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 Lunar Lander touched down, and on July 21, mankind first set foot upon the lunar surface. It is still amazing today!

August

I switched from using an iPad as my primary computer to a Chromebook. And I’m still loving it!

September

Nintendo released the new Switch Lite hardware, a handheld-only version of the popular Switch. I think it is doing well in sales and will extend the current generation of Nintendo’s console(s).

October

My wife and I enjoyed 80’s nostalgia and a bunch of weirdness as we discovered Stranger Things on Netflix. Looking forward to more of that next Summer with a new season.

Also, I rejoined Facebook. Again! Good-grief!

November

My blog posting took a big nosedive as I devoted all my writing time to authoring a fiction novella for NaNoWriMo 2019. I didn’t finish, but it was a good try. I learned from the experience. And I’ve been trying to get my blogging back up to speed ever since!

December

The Force was with us (one last time?) in The Rise of Skywalker. NO SPOILERS. I liked it overall. I’d say more, but I shouldn’t do that yet.

I surprised my family at Christmas this year with a Nintendo Switch for all to share! We play Nintendo.

For my annual Reading Challenge on Goodreads, I failed! I aimed for 13 books. I’ve read 9 and two-halves. So far.

Overall

Throughout the past year in my house, there’s been a lot of Nintendo, Pokemon, Lego, and Star Wars. We have five (5) sons, so I guess it shouldn’t be surprising. Also, this year I tried Apple Music and Spotify music subscription services and decided to stick with Spotify. I love having all the songs!


Fast Forward

So what about the coming year? The movies Wonder Woman 1984 and Ghost Busters Afterlife are two on top of my to-watch list. I’m also looking forward to the next season of Stranger Things.

Nintendo could release Breath of the Wild 2, the next Zelda game, but I think that won’t come until 2021. But Animal Crossing: New Horizons debuts in March! So does Final Fantasy VII Remake!!

Starting in February, with pre-release promos as early as this Friday, Pokemon Sword and Shield TCG comes out! A whole new series of cards!

Last December, I was able to upgrade from iPhone 6 to iPhone 7, which is still working great. Maybe at the end of 2020 I can upgrade again.

Anyways, there’s lots of fun stuff to anticipate, more than I can handle! I need the fun stuff to help offset the hard and heavy stuff of life that will always be around. I can overthink things and take things too seriously, so letting the pendulum swing the other way can bring some balance at times.

Lastly, I’ll mention anxiety, which is no fun at all! In 2017, I struggled big-time with major anxiety and panic attacks… Things slowly improved over time. And in 2019, things really changed for the better. I reduced my sugar intake at the end of 2018 and began more fitness in 2019. I think these were major factors contributing to my overall progress out of acute anxiety. Food for thought!


I hope your 2019 was good overall. What are your highlights? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

The Penultimate Marvel

Right now, Avengers End Game is killin’ it in theaters. Seems like everyone has seen it already. Except me. You’re supposed to watch the other Marvel movies first, and the previous one is still theaters. So my wife and I finally watched Captain Marvel last weekend!


First: no spoilers.

We had the big question on our minds going into this movie. How would Marvel do compared to DC with a female-lead superhero flick? Wonder Woman was a critical and commercial success. Would Captain Marvel crush it? And how would Brie Larson perform in the role?

Our answers: we liked Brie and we liked Captain Marvel.

The Stars

I think Larson portrayed a comical superhero well. She was funny, didn’t take herself too seriously, and seemed to have fun playing the role. She also pulled off the more serious and strong emotions and actions well-enough.

My wife and I puzzled over who else might have been cast for the lead role. We think the best contender could have been Emily Blunt. She was super tough in Edge of Tomorrow (Live Die Repeat).

Then there’s Samuel Jackson’s character, Nick Fury. He is funny! Not only that, this movie gives you Fury’s origin story in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I didn’t expect that, but it was a nice bonus.

The Film

The movie itself was interesting. It was less of a special effects spectacle than I anticipated. Aquaman kinda raised the bar on that for me!

Captain Marvel had a lot of calm dialogue scenes. The pacing and tone seemed more low key, with more drama than the usual superhero formula.

I think that makes sense because this movie was more about the main character’s life than the life of the planet or the lives of humanity on the brink of alien destruction.

What we liked most was the humor. There’s a cat named Goose, for example, that had us cracking up! It reminded me of Men In Black starring Will Smith. You must stay until the end of all the credits. Trust me.

The Nostalgia

Another reason I really liked this movie: the 90’s nostalgia! Wow! There were many songs from my high school years in the film, triggering memories. There was also some grunge attire and other set pieces, like a Street Fighter II arcade game.

And for a tech geek, seeing all the slow dial-up internet displays, old-school computers and internet cafes, it was both nostalgic and a small plot point of humor in the film. Very enjoyable!

The Weird

What I didn’t like about the movie was how some scenes with alien characters looked and played out far too much like a TV sci-fi series: think Star Trek.

I don’t know if that was intentional or not, an artistic choice of cinematography. I liked Star Trek: The Next Generation. But I didn’t care for that kind of feel in this modern marvel of a movie.


If you want to know how the movie should have really ended, then click over to the HISHE on YouTube. Funny as always.

Now that we’ve seen this MCU flick, all that remains is End Game. I plan to add my money to the box office soon to help it break all the records.


Have you seen Captain Marvel? What did you think? How about End Game? Leave spoiler free comments below or email me. Thanks.