Monday night.

I continue to drown myself in video games simply to keep my mind off the state of the world outside my window, and how much longer it’s likely to remain that way. Some interesting news on the gaming front: Blizzard has announced that they’ll release a remastered version of Diablo II, the groundbreaking game released 21 years ago. I never kept track, but I’m pretty sure I spent thousands of hours playing it, especially during some of the more boring and miserable parts of my life. It’s rather uncanny that Blizzard will only update the visuals (with the option to flip to the original) without altering any plot, dialogue, game mechanics, etc. It’s pretty much unheard of in this day and age – resisting the temptation to tweak something to try and make it better. There’s no release date yet, just at some point later this year. A whole lot of gamers will get to relive their 21-year-old nostalgia, and a whole lot more will get to experience this beautiful game for the very first time. Another small thing to look forward to, eh.

The situation in Texas is still a mess: there’s no power, and their local authorities are asking for donations of bottled water while also instructing Texans how to purify their available water with bleach… Whoever works in Humble Bundle’s marketing department is pretty brilliant: the newest ebook bundle is on prepping. I generally just buy the first 4-5 ebooks for a dollar, but I bought the whole $20 thing this time around. A lot of that reading material is quite relevant (i.e., how to maintain situational awareness in common places, such as gas stations or while driving), some ebooks have advanced first aid descriptions, and some are just plain interesting. (I doubt I’ll ever try smoking meat, distilling, or making cheese – but hey, you never know.) These books might not help those who are currently stuck in Texas (unless they fly off to Cancun like senator Ted Cruz), but they might make all the difference if you decide to disaster-proof your home here and now. Check out that ebook bundle, eh.

Daft Punk announced their breakup earlier today. After almost 30 years together, they’re part of pop music history. For a little while today, everyone who ever listened to their music (so basically almost everyone) commiserated in unison. This may become one of those improbable defining events we’ll all use as temporal anchors: Kobe Bryant’s helicopter crash at the very beginning of the pandemic; the time Trump almost died of covid; the time Daft Punk broke up… Heh.

In covid news, Toronto Life has published a long and disturbing article written by a fellow American-Canadian guy who lives in his van and can’t afford to visit his kids. He’s a front-line worker (a pharmacy technician) but apparently can’t afford to rent a place after the child support, the car payments, the monthly storage unit, etc. With the pandemic all around, he can’t find afterhours gigs like washing dishes or offering his handyman services. Some of his writing is eye-opening, some is terrifying. There may be a way out of this for him once life starts to get back to normal, but still – what a horrible existence, and being away from one’s kids… And here I’m complaining how bored I am in my well-heated little studio while thousands of Canadians sleep in their cars. This really does put things in perspective.

Stay safe, y’all.