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So things for me have been very hectic, busy, and stressful. So much so that I’ve effectively halted ALL projects I had been working on (about 4 or so). So here’s what’s been happening. Rent at my apartment went up so much that it would cost most of my paycheck. Thanks to my mother, we were able to finance a condo, but it’s in much worse shape than we had initially though, for example:

The water heater was literally sinking INTO the floor of the second story. After it was removed, all of this concrete crumbled away like Play-Doh.

So this has become my life now. It feels like that I’m not working or sleeping, I’m doing all I can to repair the condo. So far this has included:

  • Replacing a door handle that was taped on
  • Installing a new deadbolt lock
  • Patching many, many, many, holes
  • Replacing a low hanging lamp I’d repeatedly whacked my head on
  • Removing blinds that had broken strings

So as you may imagine, that has all been a bit much for me, mentally, physically, and financially. On the bright side, I’ve gotten to install and play with several different smart technologies, so in a way, this has become my new project, albeit not fully by choice. I’m considering making a showcase video. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to return to creating content.

Hollow shell
Look me in the eyes and see I’m numb
I’ve come undone
Let me go
I’m sorry that I can’t be what you want
My heart is gone

Don’t know why we fell apart
The feeling sets in
But only after dark

After Dark by Essenger

Bronchitis ow!

So lately I’ve been working, A LOT. As a side effect of this, I didn’t have much time to work on personal projects. For a while I had a goal of getting a YouTube video out every month, but this didn’t align with my policy of “only work on what you like”. As such I’m going to release things as they are ready. I’ve also deactivated YouTube memberships because I don’t feel comfortable accepting money if I’m not regularly outputting content.

Also likely as a result of work, I’ve gotten sick with bronchitis. We’ve been having guests come in coughing badly near us, so it’s not too surprising. Now that I have oodles of free time, of course I don’t feel motivated to work on projects. Isn’t it funny how that works?

On the subject of change

I feel that it is past time that I gave y’all an update on what the heck is going on with the current Minecraft projects, especially Charlie and the Chocolate Factory V5. The TL;DR version is, not much. Here’s the state of the chocolate room right now:

I want to say I’m already tremendously proud of what I’ve made, and want to see it through. I was able to find the actual dimensions of the room, thus making this the most accurate version anyone has ever made. That being said;

I’m not interested in Minecraft anymore.

I imagine some of you may have already figured this out. This however (not being interested in a medium) is not new to me. Over the course of my life I’ve switched from MANY different mediums of creations including: Thomas the Tank Engine, LEGO, K’NEX, Platform Racing 2, Algodoo, Boom Blox, and Super Mario Maker 2. It just so happens that Minecraft has been the one I’ve stuck with the longest, and I’m most known for. As of late, I’ve been creating my new projects in Game Builder Garage, but I know eventually I’ll move away from that too.

So what about the factory? I want to get it to a finished state. I’ve already sunk too much time into the project (See loss aversion) to give up on it, and I’d like for it to be my final hurrah. So that’s where we are at. I may also finish other projects, however, please don’t hold out hope.

How to decipher ride down times

For some reason, if you ask ride operators at most themeparks how long a ride will be down for, or why, they will refuse to give you a straight answer. It’s almost as if they don’t expect guests to understand the technical reasons a ride might be down, or they themselves don’t completely know the status of what is going on!

What’s especially frustrating for us as ride operators, is most guests assume that ride down times are because of a malfunction or something breaking. In my experience so far however, 70-80% of ride delays (excluding weather) are because of GUESTS.

Granted, most guests are good, but here are just a few things I’ve seen cause down times: guest sneaks prohibited item onto ride, guest freaks out after ride started and demands to get out (even on the calmest attractions), guest comes into unload area from the exit, guest gets off the ride while it’s in motion, guest passes out on ride, guest jumps onto ride track from load, guest gets off ride on the wrong side, guest lost an important item on ride, etc. Yes, I’ve seen all of this happen in just 2 months.

Vague answerTranslation
We expect to re-open later today
We recommend you stay in line
Brief delay
Short down time. Usually back operational in 30 minutes or less
We do not know when we will re-openThis means literally nothing
We have been closed for over an hour
*Loud scraping sound*
*Fire alarm*
Major technical issue, and/or ride evacuation
Closed for the dayMajor technical issue, will not re-open today
At capacityThe queue is too full, may re-open if it’s over an hour until closing
*Vehicles stop*Could be literally anything. Sometimes a ride stops to load someone with a disability.

Either way, the best course of action to take is to not try squeezing answers out of ride operators. There is almost always an app that you can check the status of attractions. Most importantly, do not hang around the area hoping to be the first one in. This clogs the walkway for other guests, wastes time, and stresses out staff.

The last suit I’ll ever wear

Now I’m back, like before

I have fought the fight and won the war

For their love, for their praise

And I’ll love them ’til my dying days

When I was gone, I went mad

So I didn’t throw away this thing we had

‘Cause when push came to shove

I sent a well written resume to remind you of my love

A parody of “You’ll Be Back

I completed my bachelors at the University of South Florida in Communications. I’m back at Universal Orlando Resort, after almost two years. Click here if you want to read about that. I now work at Men in Black: Alien Attack The Universe and You!

Jarret wearing the Men in Black: Alien Attack uniform

This time, half the training was online, whereas before it was all in-person. I must admit its a bit weird to not be spending every day working on college work… That is now replaced with gratuitous feet pain. Also, I have completed major maintenance on the website. For whatever reason a lot of stuff in the back-end broke, (plugin and theme updates, modules missing) so I fixed it all.