So, my brother turned 30 about half a week ago, on Wednesday. He came up from Austin, and took the rest of the week off. It was fun, hanging out and chatting with him. It was encouraging to see that he's making a more conscious effort to take care of his health, like cutting down on sugar and caffeine, and exercising. On the other hand, he's also complaining unnecessarily about how he's getting old.
We ate together a lot in these days - with my former co-workers, with his former classmates, and with our parents (for Father's Day). We also talked about a game he's making using RPG Maker, and all sorts of other random things, such as life, career, future, etc. We played Heroes of the Storm together, and lost... a lot. That was actually pretty frustrating.
But, because I was so busy enjoying life, I didn't get a chance to make any updates here, until now (since he left earlier today to go back home).
I have less than 10k of debt left! ETA: 3 months from now, I will be a free man!
In other news, I've recently been going down Memory Lane, by replaying games I used to play (such as The Island of Mr. Quandary, The Castle of Dr. Brain, Oregon Trail, Lords of the Realm 2, Stronghold, and now Stronghold 2), and rewatching anime I used to watch (such as Hikaru no Go, Azumanga Daioh, Lucky Star, and most recently, Love Hina). An interesting tidbit: I started keeping this journal since 2005, after watching Love Hina. I was surprised by The Island of Mr. Quandary - especially the dark humor in it that used to go right over my head, as a kid, which now I appreciate a lot. I was pleased to discover that I am much better at those children's games than I was as a kid, and many of the challenges I used to face were now trivial.
As for the anime, I've enjoyed rewatching them, many for the third time now. Each time, I have had a different opinion. I think it's more that I've aged and changed, than the anime, which obviously hasn't changed. Some parts, I remember, while other parts are fresh, since I've forgotten. However, this time through, I've been taking screenshots of the memorable moments, which should serve as an index in the future.
Finally, I've also been watching the Legend of Qianlong, a Chinese drama that came out in the early 90's. While the acting has become dated, the dialogue is still top-notch. There's also some nuggets of wisdom to be learned from them, such as:
Be a bit carefree when the situation demands that you be serious; be a bit serious when the situation demands that you be carefree. Being carefree in serious situations prevents you from analysis paralysis; being serious during carefree situations prevents you from overlooking important matters that need to be done. In other words, moderation is critical when handling all situations.
The rise and fall of dynasties can be summarized as such: a dynasty's rise is characterized be favoring virtuous officials and hating self-serving officials; a dynasty's fall is characterized by favoring self-serving officials and hating virtuous officials. This was said by Zuhge Liang of the Han Dynasty, during the Three Kingdoms period, but is applicable even today with regards to countries and companies that are successful or otherwise.
As powerful as people are, what truly matters are the few people close to him or her; that determines the decisions that are made, and the direction of the future.