Jonty’s annoying habits

This is going to be a short post, but I’ll talk about some of the *most* annoying habits that Jonty has.

Jonty is a really cute horse, but sometimes will be so mischievous, you can in fact see the word “MISCHIEF” written in both his eyes and his ears. But he’s cute so it’s all good, isn’t it?

  1. Follower mentality.
    It’s really hard to get Jonty to go where you want him to go unless the horse in front is doing it too. To such an extent, he won’t even enter the arena alone. However, as obvious as it may seem, he doesn’t mind not having a horse in front of him when leaving the arena. Silly boy!
  2. NEVER standing still at the mounting block.
    In fact he can never stand. He immediately turns around. However, after a light tap on the shoulder he behaves. Yay to that.
  3. Keeps pulling his mouth, in an attempt to make you lengthen the reins.
    Yes, I understand that your reins shouldn’t be too short. But you’re bound to come across a cheeky, intelligent horse who will make you lengthen the reins to the point where they’re quite literally useless. So be firm. With Jonty, a good ol’ tap on the shoulder does the trick. The look on his face is that which a toddler will give you when he’s caught being cheeky and he didn’t expect you to catch him. Like, “what, I never….”. So cute and silly!
  4. Slowing down every stride, so very subtly.
    You’ll only realise when you were keeping up with the horse in front of you for quite some time, and then suddenly you find yourself trailing behind. Did that horse go too fast? No, he didn’t, but in fact, it was indeed Jonty who slowed down so subtly. Silly Jonty.

I think that’s all what I have for today :/

With that, see you all next post.

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Minecraft: Story Mode episode 6 review

As you all probably know, Minecraft: Story Mode episode 5, which was meant to be the final episode in MC:SM, came out at the end of March. But with it came some good news, TellTale Games announced that there would be three post-season episodes released throughout 2016. That being said, episode 6 came out on the 7th of this month. I haven’t played it, but I’ve watched it and so I’ll be sharing my thoughts on it.

mcsm_106_key_art_1024px

One of the major additions in MC:SM E6 (stands for Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 6) is real life Youtubers. Yes, the original MC:SM characters remain, but more are added and are voiced by the respective Youtubers. Few of the additions are: Dan (The Diamond Minecart), Captain Sparklez, StampyCat, Lizzie(LDShadowLady), StacyPlays. However there are also a some new characters that are NOT real life.

The basic plot line is a continuation from episode 5, where after returning from Sky city, they find a portal that would supposedly take them back home. However, Jesse and the gang find themselves in a strange hallway full of portals. They choose a portal and they find themselves in a strange world, which has two moons. They then find an invitation book in a graveyard and strangely enough, a sea of zombies appear. One minute there’s nothing, the minute Jesse starts reading the book and there’s this massive swarm of zombies. Then they reach the mansion of the “host” and meet CaptainSparklez and TorqueDawg (not a real Youtuber). Suddenly, a dispenser overhead activates and kills TorqueDawg. And then, the NEW Order of The Stone find themselves on a mission to uncover who murdered TorqueDawg, and who’s behind that creepy white pumpkin mask.

I was impressed with this episode. Episode 5, in my opinion, had no connection to the past, and also just randomly (I think abruptly is the correct term to use here) ends. Episode 6 has a proper trailer, which points back to Episode 5, and Jesse’s gang finding themselves in the portal hallway. It also has a “Next time on MC:SM”, which Episode 5 lacks. In my opinion, episode 6 was the best episode so far, full of action. However, there still is (was) room for improvement. In my opinion, it would have been loads better if Axel and Olivia were also part of this. Another thing that I liked was the Youtubers were so realistic, for example, Dan’s hair were a different colour every time you met him 😀
Like that’s so ridiculously real.

With that, I think that’s all what I have to say about episode 6!

Tech battle: Swiftkey vs Fleksy vs Google Keyboard

UPDATE 05/10/2016:
As of currently, I am no longer using SwiftKey. In my opinion, the prediction and autocorrect quality of SwiftKey has deteriorated far more than what it was a couple of years ago. The winner currently is: Fleksy!

Original article below.

The Google Play store is filled with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of third party keyboards. “But,” you may ask, “why would I need a third party keyboard when my phone comes with one already?”

If you’re a geek — like me — , then you’ll want to abandon the stock keyboard as soon as possible. My reasons are:
1. The prediction and the autocorrect don’t work.
2. In the stock keyboards, the keys are too small. I always end up pressing two keys at the same time, or pressing other than what I meant to.
3. I like being able to customize my keyboard with themes, etc. So if there’s a reliable option out there, why not?

That being said, the Google Play store is ruled by three major keyboards.

  1. Swiftkey
  2. Fleksy
  3. Google keyboard

Swiftkey and Fleksy are sort of the game changers. Think of them as the GM and Ford in the keyboard industry. Google keyboard is more of a follower. That being said, it was included in Google’s own devices (i.e Nexus) since the beginning, but it wasn’t introduced to the Play store until not so long ago, roughly about a year. And we’ll be reviewing each of them.

  1. Swiftkey
Swiftkey keyboard. Image courtesy of https://swiftkey.com

Swiftkey is one of the oldest keyboards out there. It started out as a paid keyboard, with a small fan base. Later on, their fan base grew, more and more people purchased their keyboard, allowing them to make their prediction and autocorrect technology even better. Then, Swiftkey became free of charge. Fast forward to present and Swiftkey was acquired by Microsoft, is the most famous keyboard on the Android platform, with outstanding AI (artificial intelligence) powered predictions and autocorrect, and at one point it even came pre-installed on flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S4. With a wide selection of themes to customize your keyboard, some free and the majority of them paid.
Overall, Swiftkey is my personal favourite. I’ve been using it for almost one and a half years now with absolutely no worries!
Download Swiftkey now

2. Fleksy

Image courtesy of https:/fleksy.com

Fleksy is the second best keyboard. Fairly new to the Android platform, it has a smaller fan base compared to Swiftkey, but comes with a different approach. The first keyboard to offer GIFs, it was also recorded in the Guinness book of world records as the fastest keyboard out there. It offers a simple, minimal typing experience, and also has the options for add ons. And there’s no denying the fact: Fleksy’s typing experience is faster compared to Swiftkey. The autocorrect and predictions are solid, but not as robust as Swiftkey’s.
I personally prefer Swiftkey over Fleksy. Fleksy may be simple and fast, but maybe it’s a matter of personal preference.
Download Fleksy now

3. Google keyboard
Google keyboard, as mentioned above, is the follower. After seeing Swiftkey’s success over the years, Google decided to launch its own keyboard out there. People downloaded it because, well, it’s Google, but were greatly disappointed. I was one of them too, and in my opinion, it’s not as customizable as Swiftkey or Fleksy, predictions are so so, autocorrect is a disaster (you know, the “typical” autocorrect), and for me on both of my devices, lags often. But many people out there prefer it over the other two, and I guess it really is a matter of personal preference.

So, if you’re sick and tired of your stock keyboard, making typing on your phone a disaster, then definitely check out the options above! And let me know what keyboard you prefer and what are your reasons.

With that, see ya next time 🙂

Wish list for future Minecraft versions

Minecraft recently got updated to 1.10. I haven’t played it, but it adds some new mobs depending on the biome you’re in. Such as, * SPOILER ALERT * polar bears have been added to the colder regions. Desert biomes now have more “dangerous” zombies. But anyhow, I’ll write a Minecraft 1.10 review soon so we’ll cover all features in that, once I get a chance to play it myself :/

But anyway, what we WILL be covering today is what I would like to be added in future minecraft versions that would make the game more challenging and fun. So here goes:

  1. A thirst bar. In addition to the hunger bar, a thirst bar also affects your health, speed, strength. It would also be cool if getting dehydrated would also give you nausea or something like that.
  2. Biome-specific mobs. 1.10 has already started heading in that direction, but what I really would appreciate is, they would add more biomes, such as Africa, for example. Then, there would be specific mobs in Africa, in addition to the usual Minecraft mobs, for example, lions, elephants, cheetahs, leopards, etc…
  3. Fishes. Currently, fishes are “objects” rather than “entities”. It would be awesome if they added live fish in rivers and oceans. This feature could also be related to the above feature. Africa, for example, could have specific fishes in its rivers, likewise with other biomes. Y0u could also decorate your house with a fish-tank and some pretty fish!
  4. Birds. Currently the only thing that could classify as “bird” in Minecraft is a chicken. Besides that, who WOULDN’T love to have many birdies flying about in their world and listening to them chirping in harmony? You could perhaps even have a noisy parrot as a pet… Again, they could add specific birds to specific biomes.
  5. Snakes. It would certainly be more fun and challenging if you had to save yourself from snakes when venturing out in the Minecraftian world. Again, biome specific would be great. In Africa, for example, you had to encounter black & green mambas, cobras, stuff like that, while in America you had to encounter rattlesnakes, you know, cool stuff like that.

That’s just some of the stuff that would be great additions in Minecraft. The list goes on, but hey, if you’re a blogger yourself you can relate, things just never come to mind when writing. It’s so frustrating! But anyway, this post will be updated as soon as I have a few more ideas. But for now, that’s it.

Horse & Rider Weekly #12: How sitting still ACTUALLY helps

Wow. Haven’t had the chance to write this in a long time, then lost interest. But then, some inspiration struck and I got over the writer’s block. Yay to that!

Anyhow, over the last couple of lessons I realized how much of importance sitting still is during riding. And I thought I’d share my experience here, as it would make a perfect Horse & Rider Weekly post.

So anyhow, for quite an age, whenever I tried to get Jonty to canter, he wouldn’t; only after a lifetime of kicking him half to death (ouch, don’t judge me, I was and am still learning), and finally he’d leap into a canter. I only learnt the reason for that in my last couple of lessons: I can never sit still. What exactly does that mean, you may ask. Well, I never stopped fidgeting with my reins, I never sat, yes, I actually never sat. I kept on rising, and my hands kept on giving the horse ten different cues at the same time. And the main focus of last week’s lesson WAS indeed to sit still. And I’ll share with you how tremendously it helped.

So the first step to sitting still and calm is: STOP GETTING NERVOUS!! And that’s exactly what happens with me. I don’t know why; sometimes I don’t even feel it, but the second my instructor says “okay, so the next round we’re gonna canter,” and I get nervous. I shorten my reins too much, tense up my body, and actually hold my breath in until we start cantering. I ease off a bit when we start cantering, but not completely. And that’s when Jonty gets nervous too; he has no idea what to expect from the rider. Jonty basically panics, and starts doing his own thing, which in turn panics me even more.

Fast forward fifteen minutes, and we’re still nowhere, just trying to sit still. So finally I managed to relax myself. And when that happens, everything just comes naturally. Basically, you just relax and think what you want to do next, and suddenly everything just comes in. I actually loosened my reins, sat, and stopped kicking Jonty half to death. And there we had it, a smooth, relaxed transition. And because I stayed relaxed, Jonty was relaxed and everything went well.

That’s how sitting still helps tremendously. From fifteen minutes of flapping around on the saddle, kicking Jonty half to death, and nearly ripping his mouth apart, to a smooth, relaxed, and enjoyable ride. So there you have it, do the right thing. Just relax. Relax, and everything comes naturally.

Short post :/

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments if anything else helps you achieve what you want when riding. Also let me know what should I write about next!

With that, see you all next time!

Byeeeee 🙂

Horse & Rider Weekly #11: Dealing with nervousness when riding

Nervous horse, nervous rider. Well, that is the case 8 times out of 10. And the reasons are either 1) the nervous horse made the rider nervous, and 2) the nervous rider made the horse nervous. And we’ll be going over both of the types of nervousness today.

So we’ll start with nervous horses. The key to be able to control a nervous horse without it freaking the living daylights out of you, is to determine what is making it nervous in the first place. If it is you who the horse is nervous of, the horse will typically shy away when he sees you, will get uncomfortable if you’re hanging around by his stable, will give you a hard time in tacking him up, the list goes on. If that is indeed the case, then you first need to acquaint your horse with you. You’ll need to spend a lot of time with your horse, do small but rewarding riding sessions, give him treats, and maybe for a few days in a row if it’s possible give the horse his meals yourself. When riding, avoid shouting him, or punishing him if he does something unwanted, and reward him often. Eventually the horse will get to know you and will start bonding with you. You must have heard these terms in the horse world often: #thebond or “It’s all about the bond” or stuff that says bond a lot. 

Bonding with your horse is much, MUCH easier said then done. It takes time, dedication, patience, and even then it needs regular tuning and servicing to keep it in shape. So in a nutshell, if your horse is nervous of you, then start building a stronger bond with your horse.

But if your horse is nervous of other things (such as a crop for example; one horse that I rode called Bibi, the minute he saw a riding crop he’d freak out), it’s more or less the same procedure, acquaint your horse with that specific thing. However, in the scenario of a old horse afraid of, say a riding crop, then sometimes the best option is to just live around it. An old horse is much, MUCH harder to familiarize with something compared to a young horse. If you have a horse who has spent his entire young life being beaten by a crop, he’ll be afraid of it in his old life, and the past would take the better of him. And because he’s old, his capability of “learning new things” had decreased. So depending on the horse and situation, you have to make the decision, whether to work on it, or just live around it.

As far as nervous riders go, as I said above, half of the time you’re nervous because your horse is nervous. But sometimes you can be nervous for some other reason. Me for example, I’m still nervous, despite riding for 1 and a half year continually, because I have a really bad past with horses. I don’t wanna go over history again, but the past still holds me. Although I am far less nervous then when I started in 2014 (more details here) I still am nervous. So I’m also on a journey to being confident, I have some tips that seem to be working for me.

  1. Leave your past behind you. Easier said than done, if you have a bad past with horses, it will keep on bugging you. Shrug it off and focus on what’s happening now.
  2. Don’t think about what others have to say about your riding. Let them be. Again, in a society like ours, where everybody is concerned about “what will others think about me” and where everybody is name-calling everyone and passing remarks about everyone, it’s much easier said than done. But it is important in being confident and less nervous.
  3. Just relax. Breathe in, breathe out. Spend time with your horse. Make you and your horse familiar with each other.
  4. Ask your instructor and/or any other qualified personnel for tips.

Thanks for reading you guys! If you have any other tips that seem to work for you please leave a comment below 🙂

With that, see you guys next post 🙂

Gaming Weekly: Review on Minecraft 1.9

There have been 2 things that have been feeding the hype from Mojang’s side of things over the past 3 months. 1) Minecraft 1.9, and, 2) Minecraft Story mode episode 5. That being said, Minecraft 1.9 came out earlier this month, with Minecraft Story Mode episode 5 set to release on the 29th of this month. More on that later, we’ll focus on Minecraft 1.9 for today.

Minecraft 1.9 is called “The combat update”. It really has a bunch of combat improvements with a bunch of usual Mojang perks. The biggest feature that’s pissed off a bunch of people is that there is a cooldown delay in between attacks. That means no more spam clicking! Yes, the delay is not ridiculous, I think it’s roughly somewhere around half a second. That being said, you can spam click if you still like it, however the damage done will be less than usual. Like yesterday I was fighting a zombie and I was spam clicking, it took LITERALLY FOREVER to kill that zombie. The reason that many people have been set aback is due to the PVP factor. I personally feel that this feature is great, because now you have to strategically plan and time your attacks, instead of just plainly click-click, collect loot, move on. What people don’t understand is that this feature will also add some flavour to their PVP matches. You will have to dodge, plan, attack, dodge again, it seriously will be more fun. Alas, people don’t understand.

So here are some major features of  1.9 that I decided to review:

  • Mobs’ health points have been increased.
    This feature adds some flavour to survival and hardcore modes. Certain mobs had their health points increased. This feature works hand-in-hand with the cooldown feature; you really have to time, plan, pounce, crit in the head for maximum results.
  • Mobs can see you through blocks.
    Unlike before, mobs can now see you through blocks and will prepare to attack. The moment you’re visible, they’ll attack.
  • Swords can no longer be used to block
    I personally like this feature. They have made it more realistic; you have to use shields now to block.
  • Creepers are easy on players now.
    Previously, creepers would come into your face and blow up. Now, creepers stop 2-4 blocks away and then explode. They have kept it in such a way now that when creepers explode, they don’t kill you, but leave you with around 2 hearts, so you can continue on with life.
  • Witches are more dangerous and have sounds now.
    Witches now throw potions at a much faster rate, drink healing potions at a faster rate, and make those creepy witch laugh sounds now. Overall, you wouldn’t want to encounter a witch after 1.9.
  • The Enderdragon can now be summoned – up to 25 times per world!
    That is simple. You go to the end, kill the dragon, win the egg. You thought it was an epic battle but you want to fight it again legitimately. Well, now you can! You have to craft 4 ender crystals (I’m not really sure how to myself, Minecraft Wiki to the rescue) and place them around the exit portal (1 at each side). The first thing that will happen is that the exit portal closes. Then, all the ender crystals on the pillars reset, and the ender dragon appears again. You can do that for up to 25 times per world. However, the new dragon will not give you as much xp as the original one, and will not give you another egg. I personally like this feature.
  • Enderdragon head is now wearable.
    I’m not really sure how to obtain it in the first place, somehow you get it and wear it.

So yeah, overall, survival and hardcore modes have been beefed up quite nicely. I personally like this new update! I am currently playing survival 1.9 so let’s see how far I go before I end up being eaten for dinner 😀

There are A TON of more features to 1.9, here is the complete feature list.

With that, see you guys next post!

 

Horse & Rider Weekly #10: Dealing with grumpy horses

Grumpy horses. You’ll come across a lot of them throughout your life in the horse world. As for me, I currently am riding one; Jonty. He’s grumpy, stubborn, sweet, everything at the same time so he’s quite a weird mixture. At any rate, Jonty refuses to walk without a horse ahead of him; he’s more of a follower mentality. He kicks, so you can’t have a horse ride behind of him. AND, he’s grumpy.

Grumpy horses can get quite irritating to ride. The golden law to remember is:

“No matter what kind of horse you’re riding, the first 5 minutes of your ride judge the rest of your ride. If you show your horse in the first 5 minutes who’s boss, you’ll be pretty much okay in the rest of your ride.”

That is vital to remember when you’re riding a grumpy horse. “But,” you may be asking “What exactly is the definition of a grumpy horse?” Well…

“A grumpy horse is that horse, who basically wants to be the boss over the rider and wants to follow his/her own will instead of following the rider’s demands.”

That’s why, you have to be strict the first 5 minutes. As for Jonty, he always tries to get off the circle, trot when you want him to canter, walk when you want him to trot, the list goes on. So, BE STRICT. Remember, a horse judges you by your intelligence unlike a dog, who judges you by your size. If you do foolish stuff on a horse, the horse will think he/she is dominant over you. And that’s when things start to go badly wrong. So, be strict with your horse the first 5 minutes (in some cases it’s even more, don’t stick to five minutes.You have to be strict the entire ride but typically after 5 minutes it starts getting easier) so that he knows that this is not a children’s playground and I have to behave.

Now we’ll go over some key troubles that grumpy horses give and how to overcome them.

  1. My horse get’s very lazy and seems to be immune to my legs
    First, squeeze him, gently. If he ignores, squeeze him harder. If he still ignores, small kick. Still ignoring? Wow, your horse has quite an attitude. Anyhow, kick him HARD with a tap on the shoulder. By now, if he doesn’t move you need to prove him wrong in thinking he can do whatever he wishes. Kick hard with a hard tap on the shoulder, and your last resort should be a smack on the bottom. Jonty bucks if you smack him on his bottom so that’s not an option for me. If he still ignores you, ask someone who’s in the arena to throw some mud at him. He has to go. Still ignoring? Huh, make sure your horse isn’t sleeping.
  2. My horse doesn’t do what I want him to do.
    That’s a common thing with Jonty. He won’t go over a small jump, he’ll try to take it in his stride and that often results in him tripping over. The answer to that is simple. Be hard and bossy. If you’re approaching a jump that he won’t jump, squeeze and/or kick the living daylights out of him.
  3. Ask your instructor or any other qualified personnel for tips
    As always. These tips that I’m sharing are from my experience and from what I’ve read on the web. I cannot guarantee that they’ll work for you!

I hope my post makes sense as I really was just writing whatever came in my head lol.

Thanks for reading and see you guys next time 🙂

 

Sorry for not posting + UPDATE!!

Hey guys. I really am sorry that I’ve been holding you guys off and I keep on saying that I’ll upload a post and I don’t. I just wanted to tell you that I have been a bit busy and haven’t had the time to post, whereas there are many ideas on my mind. So, I wanted to tell you, that I’ll upload on and off when and wherever I can, there won’t be any fixed days for specific things. So yeah, subscribe by email so you’re always in the know of whenever I upload!

See you guys next post 🙂