July 23rd, 2023

Hello! We're past the halfway point of the year and college is going to start again soon. I hope everything works out this time. Maybe this time, I won't have 8 hour classes.

This month in Splatoon was Vanilla vs. Strawberry vs. Mint Chip! I chose Mint Chip! Unfortunately, I didn't play this festival. Me and a lot of my friends got pretty bored of Splatfest entirely. I'm sorry to those expecting any sort of coverage on that. I wish there was some sort of change to Splatfest.

The main thing I want to talk about is the challenge that just recently happened! This challenge only allows rollers and brushes in a match of Clam Blitz in MakoMart and Inkblot Art Academy. Me and a friend went for it!

We got silver, top 20%! This is my second silver. This challenge was pretty fun! Brushes are really good for Clam Blitz and I made sure to abuse that! I did a lot of poking around in the enemy base and then throw a big clam to their goal!

That's it for Splatoon. The updates only coming out every 3 months is making the game a little stale. The challenges happen so little, Big Run already happened the moment the update dropped, and there's no new clothes outside of the catalog. It's a little disapointing. I still have fun in Open but I'm really anticipating the next season already.

Recently, I just got into Neopets. I had a friend make a pet on it and quickly abandon it. When I heard about that, I had a tiny urge to play the game. It's been months since then and I made an account and made a pet named __vomit__. I thought it was a cute name.

My pet then got swiftly deleted the next day. I find it odd that the Create-a-Pet page does not do any bad word checks. I could have avoided this casuality if they only told me vomit wasn't allowed. Poor __vomit__.

So I made a new pet named lawn_soil.

Going through the site feels... weird. Neopets has been in a slump these past few years and it's only gotten worse over time. They've been trying to make the site upgraded with a mobile-friendly version, but then most of the site hasn't changed from its really old layout. It's also made more apparent when most of the games avaliable don't work due to Flash being completely blocked from running now without Ruffle. You know me though, I don't mind the old layout. I like it.

Seeing the old Neopets card art around is also weird to me, they still advertise the cards, to the point of saying you can get them at Blockbuster. I used to see them a lot in stores, but I never played Neopets growing up, so I didn't know what they were for. I guess they were for the premium currency. I don't see them anymore, yet the code redemption page is still up. Do they sell them still? Maybe only in certain countries? Maybe you can buy new old stock of them?

I remember when my nearest drugstore had a rack of gift cards and there would be a large section dedicated to online game cards. The only online games that had redeemable cards in my drugstore recently is Fortnite and Roblox. Outside of that, there's only cards for game store money and gaming services like Xbox Game Pass. There could've been a lot of factors that made such cards irrelevant, such as people getting more comfortable with online purchases, thus most of the cards have moved to digital only.

Anyways, I took a jab at the Battledome. I guess it's the Neopets' own PVP side of things. I didn't have much to start off with, so I started a battle with what seemed like an easy target, that being Punchbag Bob! It does no damage and I can probably take it down within a couple of minutes.

Big mistake. Punchbag Bob had 5,000 HP and my attacks, at most, only did 4 damage. I could've forfeit and taken the loss, but I'm not going to tell anyone I lost to an opponent that did no damage! So I kept on clicking for an hour and I managed to beat them in only 1,643 turns. I won a sword and 50 NP. It wasn't worth it. Maybe when I train this pet, it'll be worth it.

I've also been looking at the games for some cash. I made mention that some games were ported over to HTML5 for modern browsers, which is alright. I was surprised when clicking something on a map made me go to the full games page and there were a lot of other games stuck on Flash!

There's this one Tug-of-war game that consists of pulling on rope by smashing left and doing some directional inputs in the middle of it. Simply spamming keyboard inputs could get you a good high score and sizable payout. There's this one dress-up game that can just give you 300NP for nothing. It seems like getting NP is really easy.

Outside of that, I have been playing for a bit. I like going through the different parts of the world and just seeing what people were obsessed with ages ago, which I missed out on. I like it. By the time I played online games like these as a kid, Neopets was already in the midst of its decline. I don't think people ever talked about this game at my school, people played Club Penguin instead. If I was growing up around the time this was at its peak, I could imagine myself getting really into it.

If you want my thoughts, Neopets is cool. I liked what I played. I even spent 7 hours once just looking at the massive amount of stuff to see. I'm very worried about the future of it though. It really does seem it's at the end of the line, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's gone before the decades over. Even with the announcement of different ownership, I'm still very skeptical on what's coming up next.

A month after release, I finally got it! We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie! The game I've been waiting for since Reroll came out! It's here and I have it! Yes!!

I spent a minute just looking at the icon. I can't believe it's real.

I was only able to get it on my Nintendo Switch because there wasn't any pirated packages for PS4 and my PC has been going through some issues, so the Switch was my only option. The Switch version is the only version that doesn't have the 60FPS enhancement...

While some visual effects aren't perfectly replicated, it's a pretty good recreation of the original We Love Katamari! Unlike the previous Katamari remake, there is new content and enhancements to the game! I can't believe they would add NEW things to an already perfect game!

While clearing certain stages that take place in specific maps, you can unlock a stage in the Bamboo Sword of Memory. This leads to a new meadow which is a recollection of memories from the King's younger self. These stages are all different stages with certain twists to them.

I think the idea of it is really fun! I liked it. The disapointing part is that there's only 5 new stages. I wish there were more. I also wish that these stages had a planet or star that you could make, but you don't create anything after the stage is finished. I guess it's because it is a recollection after all.

Metro-Cross is my favorite Namco arcade game, not including Pac-Man Arrangement.

There's now a new collectible in the form of stickers! These stickers are of sprites from Namco games that are scattered around every mission. You collect these stickers by taking a photo of them with your camera. This does mean you need to have the camera constantly equipped incase you manage to come across a sticker or you have to miss out on it.

The more stickers you snap, the more filters you can use for your camera! The camera was upgraded to add more customization! You can now take selfies, add frames, use effects, and change expressions. It's a cute detail, even if selfies take up all of the photo.

Despite the new additions to the camera, the photo tree has been left untouched. You can save your images to the photo tree but you cannot save your images to your system. It's an odd thing to do since consoles are now capable of taking screenshots and videos of software, yet this doesn't let you save any of the in-game photos without the UI interfering.

This game did have a bunch of convienient changes. You can now choose stages, look at the collection, and equip presents by simply pressing a button in the Select Meadow! If you don't know how to end a stage that requires you to roll up something, such as the Firefly or Sumo stage, the game can put an indicator to where you'll have to go. The game also auto-saves progress after every stage, too!

This port is based off the original Japanese version and partially includes elements from the European version too. Stuff like default BGM settings and original fan chants persist, both from the Japanese version, though the European cousin planets make a return, eliminating any need for Katamari Damacy Reroll data transfer. Honestly, that's worth it.

Is there anything wrong with this port? No, not really! For casual players, it's a perfect game! I recommend We Love Katamari as the first Katamari game anybody should play! It has a lot of things fixed from the original that pissed me off a lot. Since Katamari Damacy data import is no longer a feature, there is no reason to play the original.

Though, for me, there are some minor issues. One of them is how the sounds are incorrectly played. Every sound effect in this game loops improperly, fades out, is in the wrong pitch, or all three! It might not sound like much, and it probably isn't, but it's really annoying. Some sounds are super long and low pitch, it's really annoying!

Here's a video of sounds from both the original PS2 version and the remaster. You can't miss the errors.

There's also some really bad visibility issues in this game. Normally, the game only renders items around your katamari to a certain distance away. In the PS2 version, despite the hardware, this distance was really far! In this remaster though, the distance is pitiful!

Despite my issues with the game, it's still We Love Katamari. I love We Love Katamari. It's been months since the trademark and announcement, but I still can't believe it's real. It's here and it's all I could ever ask for. I'm just shocked. They really didn't need to add Royal Reverie, the stickers, or any of the enhancements, but they did. I'm just so... happy.

Now, the Perfect Stream... will it happen? Well...

I hate to say this, but I don't think right now is the best time. I know I said on my Twitter I would start the stream the moment I got the game, but one of the major issues I have with my Switch right now, and you can probably guess, is that my controllers all have the dreaded drifting issue!

Neither of my sticks on my Joy-Cons or my Pro Controller work properly, but my right stick is the one that is most affected by the drift issue. For example, my Pro Controller's right stick usually returns to neutral despite me pushing the stick. The stick could also fall to the left or right direction without any command to. This causes the katamari to slow down or make a large turn and costed me a super-clear at one point.

No amount of calibration or contact cleaner can fix my issue, I have to replace the sticks or the controller entirely. I looked up how to replace the sticks and it requires a solder job, which I am not confident to do. I really don't want to spend a whole game's worth of money on a new controller either. Boo. I guess this is what happens when you play almost 2,000 hours of Splatoon on one controller.

I'm sorry for my excuses! I thought it wouldn't have been an issue, but my controller has been hampering my enjoyment of the game, even casually. I'd hate to stream this game with a broken controller for double-digit hours. I hope you can understand.

Though, I feel like I should take this game slow for now. I've been waiting for this game for years. I can't just immediately 100% it and forget about it. This game means a lot to me and I need to consume every single detail put into this game. I'm not rushing a million roses yet, those super-clears can take their time, I'll finish the game soon.

I remember when the trademark got passed around, it happened a day or two before the Game Awards, so I thought it would be announced there. I wrote my December blog post like it was actually going to be revealed there... and it didn't. I deleted those mountains of paragraphs in shame. I really thought I predicted it.

A few months ago, I was going through a thrift shop far from home and I bought a PS2 network adapter. Recently, I found out that people mod their network adapters to fit SATA hard drives and thought about getting that spare to work with it. As the IDE hard drive connectors are on a board seperate from the rest of the adapter, the mod only consists of replacing that connector board.

I bought an upgrade kit. It was really easy to install: Just remove the IDE connector board then replace them with the ones from the kit. After that, just plug in the hard drive and connect it to the system. If everything works well, the PS2 should be able to see and use the hard drive.

Using wLaunchELF, I was able to format an old 250GB school laptop hard drive I had stuck in my drawer. I also installed Free HD Boot and HDD-OSD. With these two programs, I can easily boot homebrew and copy memory card data to my hard drive. That's not to mention the... free game trials.

A lot of people also say that this upgrade is very finnicky. Some say that it just stopped working on them, some say that it has a hard time with some disks, some say that it screwed up their expansion slot. As of writing, I logged a couple of hours on some games and the adapter has not had any issues. Things have been loading faster and my PS2 is running quieter compared to when I had my old disk drive.

I think the best part of this is being able to copy my PS2 games to a disk drive now. A 40GB disk drive was not cutting it! After around seven games, the drive would be pretty full and I would need to do some data management to squeeze one game in. I think 250GB is fine. I don't think I'll ever need more space. I've seen people put 500GB or even 1TB drives in their PS2, what games are you putting on there!? Are you even gonna play them!?

Multiple packages from Japan! While some packages were new, some packages were ones that I shipped from May! Let's see what I bought!

First package is the first package recieved since the writing of the last post! This was a few things I bought last month and shipped out recently, not a surface package.

I bought a Sony DVMC-DA2! It's a Sony digital video converter, which is supposed to take analog video and output it to a DV signal. It's a small box that I intended to replace my other DV hardware for capturing.

There is one major issue I have with this device. It does NOT like it when the brightness of the image changes drastically. If it changes, then the picture on the DV side glitches a whole lot. I hate this! The picture quality of the device is so good! This brightness issue is such a massive disapointment though! It was only $8, so I guess it's not a huge loss.

I want a smaller DV capture box, but a lot of them are rather expensive. I thought Sony would've been a good choice, but they only made the DVMC series as far as I know. There's a bunch from other manufacturers probably, but I don't know who those manufacturers are. I heard Canopus is alright. The boxes are picky, but alright. I seen them be used for capturing LaserDiscs at the Internet Archive.

I also got Ridge Racer Type 4 for 1 yen. I really love the fat PS1 boxes that some games had. I believe all games had them until they transitioned to slim jewel cases around 1997, except for multi-disc games which kept the fat cases.

Ridge Racer Type 4 came with a bonus Ridge Racer Hi-Spec disc too. From the European translation, the team for Type 4 wanted the game to run at 60FPS, but due to hardware restrictions, couldn't make that possible without making the game look less detailed. Instead, they put the work they did into making the original Ridge Racer into 60FPS and I think it looks pretty nice.

The same disc is also used as a demo disc, so I got to try games that I never played before, like Tekken III. I like it. I'm not particularly fond of fighting games, but I think it looks cool. I might buy it next.

A game from a new console type has entered my library, which is pop'n music portable for the PSP! It's not based off any specific arcade version, but lifts many elements from pop'n music 15 Adventure.

I really don't know how people who play PSP dealt with UMDs. I did play Me and My Katamari off a UMD when I was a kid, but when I learned how to hack my system, I opted to play off my Memory Stick. The UMD sucks to use and are way more fragile than a normal disc. After clicking in the disc to my PSP, the console read the game fine up until the first loading screen, where it just froze. It doesn't matter anyways.

Second package is the first surface package sent this year. I shipped it out way back in May 15th and it arrived on July 10th.

For the first thing, it's a Weekly Famitsu magazine for May 16th, 2019. Only 4 years ago! Only four... This magazine was published the week after the new Reiwa era began, with the cover bearing the Famitsu mascot, Necky, presenting the Reiwa name like the press conference.

It has all the news from 2019, such as the announcement of certain PS5 specs...

...and a comic about Google Stadia not being in Japan. This really was 4 years ago, huh.

There's also a section for Splatoon 2, with information for the 4.6.0 update released the previous month. The 4.6.0 update would be the last update to add new content before Final Fest, after which, the game would get it's final update adding Splatfest Private Battles. This is a little nostalgic to read.

Since this is the first issue made after the start of Reiwa, there's a section detailing video gaming during the previous Heisei era, which spanned from January 1989 to April 2019. They do get a little detailed, showcasing things like the SNES CD addon, the PSX DVR, PS3 torne, and multiple company mergers.

The next items are just Monster Hunter 3DS games. If you read my April post, you'd know about how cheap these games are. Yeah, these are no different. My copy of 3G has a sticker with the previous owners name. As per usual with Monster Hunter games, the data was stored on the SD card rather than the game card, so nothing can be pulled from these cartridges. Might be useless for some people, but I like Monster Hunter, so I'll be putting it on my shelf.

Lastly, for this package, is Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA for the PSP. I won this for 1 yen! You'd be right if you thought my PSP couldn't read this. It threw up a disc read error when I tried launching it. It's fine though, I already played the game and enjoyed it. Project DIVA is pretty hard for someone like me since it's easy to overlook a note. Maybe one of these days, I'll probably get a replacement PSP.

This last part is covering two packages that arrived the same day! One from May and one that I dispatched earlier in the week!

Next is the games! Now starting with the PS2 games!

First up is Gran Turismo Concept 2001 TOKYO! I managed to win this for only 10 yen because the seller didn't put the full title in the listing, so nobody was able to find it. Not a single person even watched the listing! How lucky!

Aside from that, I've been curious about Gran Turismo recently. I don't know. One day I just felt like playing it and bought this.

Next is beatmania IIDX 9th style! This is my second physical beatmania IIDX game and the first one I ever played! A Mercari listing popped up and I immediately snatched it. It arrived and the seller shipped it in produce wrapping. Weird.

Next is pop'n music 7! This is my first real pop'n music CS game! It's not a downgraded port or has some elements borrowed from an arcade release, this is completely based off the arcade counterpart. This is also the first PS2 pop'n music title, being a port of pop'n music 7.

Next is the PS1 games from this shipment. There's quite a few.

First is pop'n music. This is the first CS release of the series. This entry goes for really cheap, this I got for only 50 yen!

Of course, being the first pop'n music and also a really early rhythm game, there's so many things missing from this game that would become required in a rhythm game now. No speed mods, really tiny song list, no hidden or sudden, none of that. It's just a really simple game at 1x speed.

I hope I can buy the rest of the PS1 pop'n music games and append discs. They seem to be cheap!

Next is Crash Bandicoot and Crash Bandicoot 3! These were both in a bundle for only a couple hundred yen. There was no reason to not get it, I love Crash Bandicoot.

Crash Bandicoot's case is a bit screwed up, the front cover is missing its little nub to hold onto the back case. I have a replacement case coming, so I'll use that and fix this case up. This same issue happened when I got my Avex Rave 93 CD, so I should have no issue replacing it!

Crash Bandicoot 1 is definitely the first one. Not much to say other than I'd hate to play this one all over again. It's probably not as hard as I remember, but I'm embarrasingly afraid to play through it again. There's a change in this version that made it so dying wouldn't disqualify you from getting a gem. Despite this, checkpoints don't save your box count. Dying after opening a checkpoint crate will reload all the crates behind that checkpoint crate and reverse all the work you did. Bleh.

This version of the game actually did get some improvements from the overseas versions, somewhat. For one, some of the harder levels had their lengths reduced, so that's a bonus.

Crash Bandicoot 3 is in better condition. The manual is a bit damaged, but I'm not that picky about my stuff.

This isn't really different from our Crash 3. There are some changes that were in the other entries in Japan, such as Aku Aku giving advice whenever you open up a crate, but there's not anything too different in the gameplay. I do think it's cool that they bothered to resync the lip movement in all the cutscenes, which they also did for the European releases.

I'm in the middle of trying to completely 100% the game. I done it before and I feel like doing it again, and it feels a lot easier this time. I'm currently at 75% and I'm slowly working my way up to 100%. A lot of the gold relics aren't too hard and the gems aren't annoying to get. I swear I had a bit of trouble doing this, but I guess this being my second time getting 100% is why it's easier.

One of the things that this version of Crash 3 has that the other versions lack is a bonus menu, accessible from the title screen. This is where you can see bonus videos or download the PocketStation software from. If you have the PocketStation software already downloaded, you can change the downloaded song or change the event calendar. It seems odd that Crash Bandicoot 3 is an option to keep a schedule.

I like the addition of bonus videos, which are actually a staple for the Japanese versions of Crash games. After every boss, you unlock a new video in the bonus menu. It could be a quick 3DCG video or a small tour of an Australian zoo.

I think the zoo video was really cute.

Along with the bonus videos, you can also download the PocketStation software "Dokodemo Crash" to a PocketStation. It's rather big, requiring 12 blocks along with a block for your Crash 3 save data and another 2 for Crash 1 and Crash 2 save data if you want to unlock everything.

The main feature of the Dokodemo Crash is that you can see Crash live out life, bathing, eating, and doing other animations. If you catch him at the right time, you can take a photo of him which is saved to a gallery. Some photos you can only get by playing the additional minigames or by having other Crash Bandicoot save data on your PocketStation!

Another part of the software is Dokodemo Dancing. You can play a quick rhythm game featuring low-quality music. The game has 7 songs, unlockable by playing certain stages in the game. You're only able to download 1 at a time to the PocketStation. The game is rather fun and a bit challenging.

The other part is Gorogoro Dash. It's a game where you play as Crash, dashing from a boulder while jumping over pits and collecting fruit. The game is divided into paths and you'll change paths depending on whatever the game feels like. If you manage to finish the game, you get a picture depending on the path you ended up in. Very simple game.

Lastly, there's Dokodemo 8. It's a simple sliding puzzle game where you try to fix a picture. If you manage to finish, you get the picture saved to your album. The puzzles start from 3x3 to 5x5. This game is really hard to play cause the screen is barely an inch big and the screen resolution is only 32x32. It's hard to tell the pieces apart because of it.

Outside of those few games, you're able to also take a peek at your Crash 3 stats, along with the calender events you wrote down. Here, you aren't able to tell if you earned the PocketStation bonuses though, you'll need to load your game up to see if the percentage rose.

Overall, I think it's an alright addition. I like all the little Crash pictures and animations, and I think the dancing minigames pretty cool. Exclusive to the Japanese version, this version of Crash 3's completion rate is 5% above the regular 105% completion rate if you play and complete parts of the PocketStation game. This doesn't mean you need a PocketStation to see the best ending and I don't think it counts towards getting the best ending either. You still need to get all the gems and gold/platinum relics to get that ending.

Finally, Crash Bandicoot Racing, or Crash Team Racing. I also won this for pretty cheap. Crash Bandicoot was really popular in Japan, selling millions of copies, so these games are dirt cheap.

I kind of want to 100% this game too. I got pretty far in completing Crash Team Racing, but my PS1 laser burnt out before I could finish. I could try converting my region's save so I can finally finish it here. I just got to hope that there's no issues doing that. If not, then I gotta replay it from square one and I don't know if I want to do that, considering the CTR/CBR challenges...

It's weird finally owning these games legitimately. I remember being like, probably 8 years old, and playing Crash Bandicoot games on my PSP late into the night. I never beat a single one but I liked playing them so much.

Also, it really sucks only having PocketStations for memory cards. I want to do PocketStation development so bad, and when I go to test my game on actual hardware, I spend years trying to copy the data off my card in order to fit the program I made. PocketStation software is usually very big! I barely ever see a game require less than 10 blocks. I shipped out some PS1 memory cards a few months ago over surface. Please hurry up!

Last thing about Crash: This makes me want to play that new Crash Team Rumble game. Unfortunately, it's only on PlayStation and Xbox, neither of which I have. I do have a PS4, but it's modded and I can't go online with it. By the time there's a Switch or PC release, I might be not as interested. Shame.

The surface package had some Famitsu magazines too. One is dated October 20th, 2001 and the other dated May 30th, 1997. One boasts about new information for Pocket Monsters 2!

Famitsu also includes the top 30 hottest games of the time. The picture above is from the 1997 issue.

The other issue also includes information on the hottest game charts in the UK. I believe Famitsu had a partnership with some other publisher in the UK, where they get this information from.

The 2001 issue also includes information on the Dreamcast ZIP drive and Dreamcast MP3 Player VMU. The magazine states that Sega revealed prototypes, however, had no additional information on it's release. It seems like they were really on the edge.

The 1997 issue contains information on the next Pocket Monsters game, when it was simply a numbered sequel. The game wouldn't come out for another 2 years.

Famitsu magazines are cool to read through. They're dirt cheap too, the three I got this post were only roughly 3 dollars.

The last thing is this TVDJ phone strap.

This strap is based off Leo's design in the final program, Terry the Kid.

I seen a couple other straps show up on Mercari and Yahoo Auctions. So far, I've only seen photos of Leo and Natalie straps. There's nothing for the other characters. The Leo straps go for almost nothing while the single Natalie strap I've seen is going for $25. That's a lot for a 1" plastic toy.

I think this is one of the very few TVDJ merchandise out there. I've seen a listing for some branded earphones and a small clapperboard, but those items were listed by someone who deny proxy services, so I couldn't get them. The only other things I've seen was stuff for stores, like cardboard displays or a video DVD. I think the fixation on TVDJ can't get any farther than that. Boo.

OK, I lied. The FINAL FINAL thing is this, a new ABYSS single CD! It's Blue rain. It's a rental drop, so it has some stickers on it. It's worse this time, as the case is all paper and taking the stickers off might mean ruining the case. Ugh. That doesn't change the fact that I can rip this CD now! This song is pretty cool. Featured in the ABYSS clip collection, this song is a more depressing song compared to the other ones I own.

There's only two songs I don't own that are featured in the clip collection. That being Kiss shite hoshikatta and Yume no Hate. There's also her final single, WHY, which is the only one avaliable on streaming services. Finally, her "in the wonder world" album. She also contributed to an anime ending, which I hope isn't expensive as balls. I hope to get all of these, she's a really talented singer.

With that crazy amount of packages this month, this is what the shelf looks like. The stream of surface packages has not stopped! There's still a number of PS2, PS1, and some other console games coming! It might be enough to fill the whole shelf! I can't wait for that to happen! I think they should all be here by November.

So... uh, about this update. The update that was put off since March because college was kicking my ass, only to go on vacation for a month, then come back and do a lot of work until my hard drive started to corrupt itself! Second hard drive failure this year! Yippee!

As of writing this, I'm trying my best to continue finishing this update on my Dell laptop. It's alright. Windows 7 is pretty old though. I'm surprised many applications still support it, really. Though it sucks when my friends ask to play something on Steam and I can't because Steam already dropped support for Windows 7. I still play Unreal Tournament on this though. It's a little stressful, since the more I delay this, the more things I have to write. It's a little messy...

Anyways, four months of no Splatoon. That is one-third of a year! This is just worrying. People are getting really concerned now, some even assuming that Nintendo has taken this chance to pull the plug on the game. I wouldn't think Nintendo would just shut off a game like that, but I might just be trying to make it sound less plausible. Come on Nintendo, do something.

Also, I remember why I hate summer. Every single day has only been 90°F/30°C temperatures. I hate how hot it gets, I'm sweating day and night! Thankfully, the Autumn season is about to begin soon and the days will soon get colder followed by the really cold Winter season too! Those days are going to start soon... I just have to get through the worst temperatures I ever lived through... If only April me knew what was coming.