2020 Mar 15 | my birthday, coronavirus cancellations, Mario Kart Tour

Present 9.


Sunrise over the hill.

Pretty orange and purple flowers by our house.

These flowers are still doing great.

Present 10.

Binoculars for the cruise.

Bright hummingbird.

Uh oh, one came into the house.

Rain clouds to the left, light clouds to the right.

Present 11.

A book on random info. Except Ogii had already bought this for me a while ago.

But now we can both read it together.

Number 12.

Very bright swim trunks.

Some massive strawberries.

Yummy breakfast.

Another new type of Oreo: birthday cake flavor creme.

Ticketmaster emailed me and indicated the Rock of Ages show in LA was still on.

However, it's cancelled on the website.

It's Friday, and the St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl in LA is still officially on. However, all other major events have been getting cancelled all week long due to the coronavirus, so I don't know why they haven't cancelled it. I'm sure many of the small bar owners are going to lose a ton of money, but there's no way they can have the event.

Finally it got cancelled.

Present 13.

A t-shirt for cruising: Seas the day.

All the toilet paper is gone, but there are still a fair number of paper towels.

Bringing in lots of bottled water.

A lot of the frozen food is gone as well.

That's an idea.

Ogii bought these giant banners for my birthday.

We were going to go to Lawry's in LA with some friends and Ogii's brother and sisters for some prime rib, but McDonald's at home is a close second.

Birthday cake.

Blowing out the candles.

Time to open presents.

Ogii's brother got me a selfie stick with a light at the end.

A birthday card with light-up candles.

A dress shirt.

Ogii bought me a spoon for some reason. I know some people collect spoons, but I don't. We can still use it for tea in the morning.

Another fun card.

A chess set.

A chess card.

All the goodies.

Now the stores are completely out of toilet paper and paper towels.

And lots of pre-packaged food.

A solitary can of tuna remains. We're not going to buy it, though; I got sick of tuna during the hurricane in Houston.

Only one item per customer.

It didn't help us; it's all gone.

A little poker. The staff was walking around with hand sanitizer. And Ogii won a huge pot with 72.

Pulling in her winnings.

A book of his photos.

All of the ready-to-eat food has been removed.

Barren shelves.

Thankfully we have a fair amount of toilet paper.

Including an entire additional package.

The small corner grocery stores still sometimes have stuff the large chain ones are out of. This one had a few individual packs of paper towels.

Clouds to the left, clear to the right.

I'm only going to be seeing emergency patients at work, so that means most days I won't be working. I love how comfortable these tactical pants are, so I went to buy some more.

It appears they're made much more poorly now, though. Too bad.

Ogii napping on a relaxing day off.

Ogii was playing this cricket game on her phone.

Although she was playing in a rather unskillful way. Instead of timing her swing, she just swung away constantly.

Honey, let a video game pro do it. And I crushed her score my first try.

Online poker is much harder than live poker, so any edge you have is smaller. So to make more money, you have to play multiple tables at once. This popular streamer is playing 9 tables simultaneously. Although one table is a $5,200 buy-in and the others are $20-$200 buy-ins, so he's obviously concentrating more on the big one.

A coin frenzy in Mario Kart Tour gets you the most points.

I got second place. I was only 21 points behind first place, which is miniscule compared to our scores, but I couldn't quite get there.

I crushed that challenge.

When the game first came out, you could only play against computer opponents. They recently added a true online multiplayer.

They randomly change the race speeds and item numbers each day. So it could be 100, 150, or 200cc, and you could have 1, 2, or 3 items at a time.

One problem with this is if it's a 3-item race, only certain characters are able to actually get 3 items during a race. Other characters can only get 1 or 2. So everyone will choose the 3-item character in these races, which makes it a bit boring.

In 1-item races, all the characters are more equal, so you will see more variety. However, each character has a special item only they can get, and certain items are much better, so even in 1-item races, certain characters will be much more popular.

There is also an option to play online only with your friends. Which is great if you have a lot of friends who play the game during the same time of day. However, that's quite rare. And it was especially annoying because there are daily challenges in the game, and a few of the new challenges could only be completed with your online friends. So everyone was completely filling the online message boards with multiplayer group events.

I got in one.

And thankfully finished that dumb challenge.

Some tips for multiplayer from a good player.

Some math in the game. Each day you can get a maximum of 300 coins. However, if you go over 300 on your last race, you keep those, but then you can't get any more that day. So if you are at 290 coins for the day and you get 20 coins in a race, you get 310 coins for that day. The game doesn't keep track of how many coins you have each day, though, so if you want to maximize them, you have to keep track separately. I made a little Google Sheets file that adds them up for me. Then, when I get close to 300, I can pick a course that gives a lot of coins and maximize the number of coins I get each day.

A lot more in-depth math someone else did.

He calculated where you are most likely to get hit by a green shell.

That's quite a long equation.

The blue shell seeks out the player in first place. A lot of people hate it, but people have made some funny images of it.

Including a teacher one.

And even one using a Bible verse.

Mario Kart has always been there to bring me closer to my family and friends. In my teens, I played with Ron after church.

In my 20s, I played with Monica in college.

In my 30s, I played with Ogii and our friends at our video game parties in Los Angeles.

In my 40s, I play online against many new friends.

In my 50s, I plan on playing against Melanie in virtual reality. In my 60s, I plan on playing against the consciousnesses of Dad and Mom which will have been absorbed into the Superintelligent AI after it takes over. I've always liked video games, but the Mario Kart series has been a favorite, even though I still prefer to play the old Nintendo 64 version to the new ones. I don't play video games nearly as much any more now that I'm so busy with other things, but they're still a fun pastime on occasion.