The Game Lights at PAX West

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I did nothing worth writing about for this passing weekend.

But the last weekend before through Labor Day, I did heavily geek out to my side passion for a big event of digital interactive entertainment, or video games as normals will call it.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have this annual PAX West convention, a big gathering for video game entertainment and tabletop gaming enthusiasts. Fans, publishers, developers, merchants…all mingle, promote, share, discover, collect, and most importantly to play. All held at and around the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

It was all good fun, which is the least I ask for in a successful PAX West.

For me, it’s mostly the discovery and exploration of what’s fresh and exciting for my gaming desires. Here at the PAX West, the indie game scene is growing with new developers, presenting fresh spins on traditional platforming styles, shoot-em-ups, complex thinking and problem-solving.

Of the presented games, I am looking most forward to Gris, a stunningly visual platformer focused on puzzle elements and abstract storytelling. Here is a trailer on that…

Other upcoming games I anticipated above others at PAX West: My Friend Pedro, Megaman 11, The MessangerPraey for the GodsIndivisible. All of which, are not games that require much of my time, with beautiful visuals, concepts, storytelling pull…yet using gameplay mechanics from the classics (mostly platforming), and mixing them with new tech and innovation.

Here are some colorful LED backed moments from PAX West. All part of a loud, colorful jungle of new tech and consumer splendor.

And that’s all for here. But, I did write a bit more on it for another site, strangerworlds.com. Click here to read my full report.

 

That Labor Day Spirit

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This Monday was a Labor Day holiday, to have off and perhaps reflect on the one thing people spend much of their lives on…laboring.

Labor Day is the last extended weekend for about the next two months. I think the privilege depends on how good your job is, for giving that time off (and paid) or gaining a higher wage if that day must be worked. For others, the struggle continues, as part of a long tradition of the fight to be treated humanely, with dignity, and have rights against unfair treatment. Otherwise, it’s a day we honor the working human.

But here in downtown Seattle and other cities, this becomes the day to strike and bring attention to concerns among the employees of the Marriott hotel chain. They circle outside some popular hotel entrances, making themselves visible and heard with a message, “One Job Should be Enough.”

From what I gathered from recent news, a recent development in contract negotiations for low-tier workers (housekeepers, workers, receptionists, bellhops, etc.) was not favorable among the over 8,000 involved, with wage increases not benefiting from reported profits, and forced reductions in hours for many among them.

On a small corner of 5th and Stewart for some hours, the Westin hotel (part of the Marriott chain), passing pedestrians can hear the raised voices of the hotel strikers. Drivers in that direction had to reroute, as a line protesters blocked the street, with law enforcement officials allowing that time.

The organized effort will hopefully turn the work negotiations in the favor for the striking workers, as they are a shining example of many on the bottom of the modern corporate structure, often ignored and worn down after giving so much to help those on the top to succeed and live out the best of there lives.

The further on positive direction our labor movements go, I think the more Labor Day will be a better day to celebrate, with less struggle.

Breaking down the days behind

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Here, I observe the destructiveness of change, swift and ruthless to some things our new civilization stopped caring about.

I see the dust from a crushing of metal and wood once assembled with care and love. Now, this structure once proud, crushed by monsters with mighty jaws that mash and crunch.

For many months, I walked by this empty building on Olive and Boren, next to the Convention Place Tunnel Station in downtown Seattle. It was a corner spot, two or three stories tall, with blue triming and giant painted birds upon one side. Both side, dirty glass barely reflecting the growing world outside. I know nothing of its history, but I would guess the inside space for a vehicle showtoom, or dance studio. Stuck to another side, a dreaded Notice of Proposed Land Use sign, its mark of doom. The building remained unhabited on the inside, but still a some life on the outside…

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Coming home last week, I walked down the Pine street from Capitol Hill. I could see the clearing out and tearing bits off the Convention Center Tunnel Station. No more waiting in the centered area, as my gateway to buses to the Bellevue, Kent, Lake City area have now scattered to other nearby stops. This is no longer the final stop after the long tunnel rides underneath the good stretch of old Seattle metropolis. I accepted this, as truth that change is constant and not always convenient.

But there, that little building on the corner of the once proud station center suddenly torn down is a sudden shock now. That was an unknown part to my world, a familiar marker to my daily trek, seen often from high and coming down Boren street from Pine.

Now, the building is now mashed and crunched. The monster I watched was vicious, yet precise on which parts to break first. The building is barely recognizable, and I almost looked away.

But, I should not. There is that reminder on the swiftness off a changing city, where the buildings of old are suddenly gone, with no respect towards what they brought to the past. The familiarity they brought to people’s live, are no more. And what comes next, will probably end up less exciting, as I find the new Seattle structures often boring and forgettable.

Meanwhile, cherish other mundane things that can be part of your daily life, for change may come quick, mashed and crunched.

Under the Poison Sky

Seattle has the worst city sky in the world now, according to my news feed lately.

That’s probably right, according to my lungs. There is much smoke in the air now, mainly from wildfires to the north of here in the Cascades region and Canada. The Air Quality Index had the height of the latest round as a unhealthy hazard at 220, which I read is like smoking 7 packs of cigarettes. This might explain why I feel so very relaxed lately.

Right now, the smoke is applying a filter to the partially visible Moon, giving it an eerie red glow. I tried to leave my window open, to let in some nightly air, but ugh…still not good. My small apartment will remain musty for now, as I now go for an extra helping of Chocolate Cherry Bordeaux ice cream. This is not how I imagined my future, but it’s how I must live now.

Tomorrow, I hear the smoke will partly thin out. That’s good, and hopefully an end to this third sequenced year of the mass smoky blanket of hell, rudely interrupting my summer. And then, I think I will appreciate the return of a good clear day, much more.

– Orion T

Street-Painting the Sidewalks at the Belltown Chalk Art Festival

Last weekend, many chalk artists got down and arty in Seattle, for the 2018 Belltown Chalk Art Festival.

This exhibition of professional artists busted out some fancy chalk sticks of many colors, to create large murals for two days directly on the Bell street pavement. Add music, open areas for folk of all ages can join in, and voting participation…and we got a cool, free show open for the public to enjoy.

I meanwhile, caught a bit of this on Saturday, on my way to a little lunch date. I saw early stages of work, piquing my curiosity for the finished work. The came back on Sunday, to see some awesome progression.

There was something special to these chalk artists, to see their dedication in action, with every stroke and brushing for all to see in each step. To witness each piece in development on this grand scale, is a special show to behold.

And, I also talked with a new friend among the chalk artists, Raziah Roushan. Here, Raziah posed with her latest work in Belltown, inspired by a photograph she came across.

Since 2004, Raziah produced many grand sidewalk works in many US states. She holds much lot of passion for her work, often experimenting with different styles, making each large artwork noteworthy and memorable. She took some time out to share with me her artwork through the years, and give a little insight on the life of a chalk artist. Check out her work at raziahroushan.com

Meanwhile, other artists delivered high impressions with their chalk murals. Many of them were not quite finished during the noontime. But, I took some shots and noted some of the artwork, now featured below with links…

Gabrielle Abbot (www.gabrielleabbott.com, @GabrielleAbbot on instagram)

Chelsey Dustin (@artofchelsey for Instagram/Twitter/Facebook)

Lori Antoinette (www.lantart.com and @ishyla on Instagram)

Ten Hundred (@tenhun on Instagram)

Donovan Sterling (@vibrassponder on Instagram)

Merkuria Czerwinska (@merkuriaart on Instagram)

Jennifer Ripassa (@indofire on Instagram)

Chalk Riot (@chalkriot on Instagram)

Sarah Martin (@sarahrecycled on Instagram)

That was not all, or even close, as there were more amazing chalked work, of which I was either too early, or missed on getting some linked info. Meanwhile, more chalk art festivals are happening around the world, with one maybe near you. Keep a look out for one, than see for yourself some awesome art in action.

– Orion T

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park, up close…

Continued from my last post, here are some closer views below of Abalone Cove Shoreline Park and Ecological Preserve, off the coast of Southern California in Rancho Palos Verde. I explored near the Sacred Cave with longtime friends, during my very short stay in the South Los Angeles region. I wanted something different, and here we are…




Overall, a sweet and peaceful place for shore explorers and tide-pool enthusiasts. I remained wet, and glad I had the right shoes for stepping over the many rocks and watery holes. The tide was low, enough..

If interested, check out the official www.rpvca.gov page for more info, warnings, and area closures.

– Orion T