personal technology

Technology & Life Musings

or, Spending Money to Give Away Things

It’s just my luck that I am considering this year my Marie Kondo year, when she in fact has stopped Marie Kondoing herself. I’m always late to the trends!

I’ve decided to downsize, particularly in the technology category. I’ve been meaning to do this for some time, but this year the exercise and shit like that has pushed my endorphins high enough that I actually feel like doing it. Plus I realized that FreeGeek is just a few blocks away. I have a lot of old tech (and cords … oh god the cords) and electronics that are just gathering dust, when they could go to people who need them.

But it’s funny how, in order to downsize, I actually have to buy things. For example: I have this big asshole gaming desk.

I bought this sometime in 2021, before I moved to my current apartment. It’s pretty big: about 63″ wide and 30″ deep. Large enough to hold all that stuff you see in the picture. It’s also, admittedly, kind of shit. It’s two top pieces (likely particle board) put together and held in place with metal plates. Those then sit on two wobbly metal legs and a cross bar. There are no triangles down there, you know, so it wobbles and the whole thing feels flimsy. But hey, it’s a desk, and it was way better than my desk before it (though that one had extra support to prevent wobbles).

My old apartment was around 600 sq ft; this one is 450. The difference is noticeable but it’s alright. I traded space for location, newer building, better amenities, etc. Ever since the move, though, this desk has been bothering me. It’s just too big. It’s not just too big for this apartment–it’s too big, period. I suppose a year ago I was doing streaming stuff and thought that the space would be helpful, but I can’t stand it anymore. It’s too big, there’s too much going on, I want to downsize.

Well, that means I have to buy a new desk. Which I’ve done. But that desk is probably too small for a computer tower, an ultrawide monitor, and a second monitor. So I thought about it for a bit. What do I do with the second monitor, anyway? Usually I watch YouTube videos while I play video games. Do I need a huge, 1920×1080, 75mhz monitor for that? No, of course not. Well, what if I used my newly refurbished laptop as a second monitor instead? That presents a couple of problems: first, my laptop is so old that I don’t want it to be on that much, and second, it’s so old that the moment it gets anywhere near hot, the loud obnoxious fan inside kicks on. Don’t want that either.

So then I thought, what if I had a little tablet? Something smaller that would definitely fit and could act as a second monitor, or just be there if it doesn’t work as a second monitor? I ended up pursuing this idea and bought a cheap Samsung tablet. It’s only a 10″ screen but I don’t think that’ll be an issue, because I can set it up closer to me for watching. Plus, it’s a tablet! I had thought of getting one of those portable LCD screens, which are about the same price but have a larger screen, but I settled on a tablet because it can do other stuff. Plus, it’s much smaller, and that’s what I’m about right now. Downsizing.1Big TV is an exception. Big TV is Good.

I could try to sell my monitor and recoup some costs, but I’ll probably just give it to FreeGeek. Selling stuff is a pain in the ass and I want to give some low income kid an opportunity to play some PC games on a decent monitor. I tried selling my other other monitor through Nextdoor and it didn’t sell. At this point I’m just sick of having all this stuff. I want to get rid of as much of it as I can. But unfortunately, that means spending more money. Hopefully, this will be the absolute end of money spending and I can use the rest of 2023 to pay off these damnable credit cards.

So, you know. Growing pains. Or shrinking pains, really. Sometimes in order to pursue the life you want, you have to buy some shit and give away some other shit. C’est la vie.

  • 1
    Big TV is an exception. Big TV is Good.
betterment personal running

Race for Warmth

*sports announcer voice* “And oh what a race for warmth it is today, Todd!”

“That’s right, Jerry, it’s colder than a witch’s tit out here.”

“It’s colder than the balls on a brass monkey.”

“It’s cold as fuck Jerry!”

This morning I left my apartment at around 8:15 am. The Portland air was crisp and cold. I drove to Vancouver, Washington, which took about 15 minutes. I then parked at a high school parking lot. Upon exiting the vehicle, I discovered that Vancouver was WINDY AS HELL.

And that was my opening impression of the Race for Warmth, a 5/10k out in the Couv, put on by Clark (County) Public Utilities to benefit Operation Warm Heart which helps low-income families pay their heating bills during the cold months (or just in general, I guess). The race began and ended at the Clark Public Utilities building, which is right off the I-5 bridge, making for an easy trek. The packet pickup the day before was a drive through event, which reminded me a lot of when I got the covid vaccine, except this time I got the vaccine of … future exercise. How about that.

The “swag bag” (remember when swag was a thing the youths would say?) consisted of some free and discount coupons, two tickets to see a Ridgefield Raptors baseball game in June (hell yeah, why not), and one of those emergency blankets and a hand warmer, which I think people used during or before the race but seems to be more intended for an emergency kit for your car.

The atmosphere of the event was great. It wasn’t too crowded, everyone was fucking freezing, and there were a couple of tents with free stuff. Relevant Coffee provided the morning bean juice, which was very good. They also gave away a $5 gift card in the swag bag, which I fully intend to use in the future. Meanwhile, a tent for Why Racing Events gave away some stuff, including my favorite free thing, some old PDX carpet sunglasses. They had some other stuff too that I totally forgot to grab.

“I make this look good.” Remember Men in Black?

They seem to do a lot of triathlon races but also noticed I was wearing my Shamrock Run hoodie and suggested I run sign up for their version, the Couve Clover Run, which happens a week after the Shamrock Run. Maybe I will, Why Racing Events … maybe I will.

(Side note: I always thought it was “Couv,” not “Couve.” Both are colloqualisms, so who cares, but maybe I ought to trust the Washingtonians.)

The tent next to theirs was for NW Personal Training, also based in Vancouver. They gave out INCREDIBLY HELPFUL drawstring bags so I could carry all of my free shit. This was very good. Also, some sunglasses and the Weirdest Free Thing, a license plate frame.

Lastly, there were Franz cookies, which of course were delicious.

As for the race itself: I did good! I managed to run the entire first mile without stopping, which was one of my two goals for the race. According to Strava, my first mile was 11:44 and I was a 25:33 for two miles, both of which are current PRs. I knew running the first mile like I did would cause me to lose energy toward the end. My pace dropped pretty significantly during miles two and three, which is not really what I want, but I wanted to go faster overall and I guess I made that sacrifice.

My other goal was a sub 40 min 5k, which I didn’t hit, but I think I was only about a minute over. My Strava time was 40:54, but that was for 3.07 miles because Strava does that sometimes. I thought I started the app with ample time to hit 3.1 but I guess not! Regardless, I think that’ll be about my chip time. If there was a gun time, it will be about a minute or so slower, because the start was a goddamn choke point, and also because there were a surprising amount of people walking. It was a walk/run event but it seemed like most people around my area were walkers. Ain’t nothing wrong with that, except it was like running through a minefield trying to dodge walkers left and right.

UPDATE: My chip time was 40:44, 10 sec faster than Strava, which is weird. Gun time was as expected, 42:24.

There were some slight uphills along the way, which I tried to run every time. You won’t get better at running inclines unless you actually run them. My grandaddy told me that once. (This is untrue.) Also a nice stretch along the Columbia River and this Vancouver Waterfront section that I think is fairly new. I don’t remember the drive into Vancouver being so nice. Is Vancouver nicer than Portland now? That would be wild.

So, for next time, I think the goal is to actually slow down my first mile pace so that my second and third miles are steadier. Like, if they’re all 13 minutes, that would be great, plus I’d get under 40 minutes. I think the adrenaline of running a race with people made me start out a lot faster. But who knows? Maybe in a month or two from now, 11:44 will be my 5k pace. Here’s hoping.

After the race there was an after party with a live band (god bless you musicians for playing in the cold), some turkey stew which was alright, cans of Michael Bubly, and more cookies. I had a sit and ate my stew and then promptly left. One of these days I’ll make some runner friends, but today is not that day!

Overall, a nice race that I would absolutely run again next year.

See you in a couple weeks for the Providence Heart to Start!

coffee review

Bean Juice Review: Happy Cup

Hey, let’s review some coffee beans, why not?

Happy Cup, Portland, OR
Medium Roast, Single Origin (Guatemala)
Tasting Notes: Cherry cordial, hazelnut butter, rosewater, vanilla

Happy Cup is awesome. It is a roaster here in Portland which employs people with developmental disabilities, at a competitive wave. I don’t know what else to say about that other than it’s awesome.

These beans are sufficiently roasty for a medium roast, without being ashy or sour. (I think fixing my grind helped this though.) Otherwise, pretty mellow with some fruity notes. I didn’t taste vanilla but I did get an umami flavor in there at one point, which I enjoyed. Happy Cup has never really wowed me with its beans but they’ve never been terrible, either.

Look, if you live in Portland and you like coffee, buy a bag of Happy Cup beans every once in a while. Make it part of your rotation.

Thanks Alix for my beans!

Overall, a nice, middle of the road bag of beans that you should absolutely buy so you can help support people with developmental disabilities. 6/10

betterment personal running

parkrun #3

Last week, at the end of the last parkrun, I, after running for three miles in a steady downpour, said to one of the volunteers, “Well, at least it’s not snowing.”

“Don’t say that!” she replied. “You’ll curse us for next week.”

Well … this morning it snowed. In fact, this morning was the only day we’ve had real precipitation in about three or four days, and it is sunny now and will be mostly rain-free until Friday.

So yes. I did curse this week’s parkrun. My penance, I think, will be to keep running.

It was cold this morning, too. Does not bode well for the rest of the winter. A couple of degrees above freezing (I’ll let you decide what that means in Celsius or Fahrenheit). The snow was really more like a small, light hail. These were not snowflakes, they were a recon mission for future bombardment.

I Came, I Ran, I … Did Alright. Shaved a couple seconds off my pace. Today’s interval training was three minutes running, two minutes walking, nine times. I thought that would be grueling, but it actually wasn’t too bad at all. Even the uphill runs were better than I expected.

Hell, I even made the Local Legend of the Rock Creek Trail parkrun on Strava. What does that mean? Well, it means I’ve logged the run the most in the last 90 days, I think. I’ve logged it three times, which means … the other people must’ve stopped using Strava.

I’m getting better, and I feel better, and yet … that near 14 minute mile pace is driving me nuts. I had my mouse hovering over the Half-Marathon registration for the July 4th Foot Traffic Flat on Sauvie Island. I was gonna do it. I was very close to doing it. But I did some sort of pace extrapolation thing on another site which told me that at my current pace, it would be a 3 hour half (a 3 hour half) — an over 3 hour half, technically, I just wanted to get that joke in. That’s just too fucking long to be running a half marathon.

So I signed up for the 5k instead and my 2023 is now hellbent on reducing my pace to under 12 minutes. Twelve was the bane of my existence back in the day, too. My fasted pace was 11:44, on an 8k in 2013, which is weird as it’s the only 8k I’ve ever run. Everything else has been over 12 minutes. I don’t like it. I’m okay with being a slow runner, but, like, a 10 minute mile slow.

Thus, the training continues…

Next week I will likely be walking my parkrun as the Race for Warmth is the next day. I’m also hellbent on going to parkrun every week, even if I have races. Sometimes the habit is more important than the impact.

See you next week, parkrun.

betterment personal running

January Running Update

Or, A Running Update on January.

The problem with running is that it’s hard.

I’m doing fine. My pace is getting lower with almost each run. I’ve got two parkruns under my belt and about a week and a half from this post will be my first 5k race for 2023, the Run for Warmth in Vancouver, WA (The Couv). Judging by a recent email I received from them, their goodies bag will be very good. You know I’m sucker for a goodies bag. Medals are nice and all, but a bag with goodies in it? Get out of the city!

But still, running is hard. The motivation is hard. Especially as I hit that part in January where it’s cold and the realization that it’s another year doing all this sinks in. This is going to by my 40th year on this Earth, which doesn’t help. (It sort of helps.)

Like I said, I have two parkruns left in January. Tomorrow will be normal but the one after I will have to walk, because I am running the Run for Warmth the next day. I’ve been thinking about volunteering that week, but it also feels weird to jump into volunteering so soon. We’ll see.

I was also feeling a little unsatisfied with my laissez faire run schedule so I grabbed a training … kit? Training schedule? Whatever. I got it from the Runner’s World website.

This is meant to help boost me up to running 5k without walking. I just started–tomorrow will be the Week 1 Saturday–and it seems like it’s working. I’ve realized that I was cheating myself out of the longer runs, because I had no timer to keep me on track. I would run, think I had run for, what, five minutes?, but really it was like one minute. Timing keeps me honest, which I appreciate. The training will get harder going forward, but I’ve been paying attention to my food intake and making sure I eat enough to fuel me, which is important. I had this problem when I was weightlifting too; I want to lose weight but you actually kind of have to increase your food intake in order to have the energy to exercise in the first place. So my weight loss will be slower than I’d like, but that’s alright.

I’ll be back here tomorrow with my parkrun #3 update!

betterment personal running

parkrun #2

My second week of parkrun was as you might expect for the Portland Metro area in January: cold and rainy. Again was I virtually at the end of the pack, a cross of running and walking, and despite running out of gas early on, and despite thinking that I was slower this week than last week, I was actually faster, by 27 seconds (on Strava at least). That seems like nothing but it’s actually a pretty good jump in time.

I was concerned that my last night, late night workout would impede my ability to run this morning, slowed down by sore muscles and whatnot. But I woke up this morning virtually sore-free (Soreless? Sans sore?). The opening mile of the run felt like my legs might give out a bit, and for some reason I was sucking in air early on, which is what happened last week too; my 2 mi run on the track on Thursday saw me running two whole laps (around 8 min), so having to stop at around 4 min this morning was a little discouraging. But it’s not about the walk, or the run, really. It’s just about moving. So I kept moving. I walked when I needed too, I ran when I wanted to. I’m glad to have a Pixel Watch because I can check my heart rate, allowing me to pick up into a run when my heart fell to around 140 bpm.

My goal for the year is twofold, but is essentially the same: one, to get my time down to 10 min/mile, and two, to run the entire 5k without walking. It’s going to be an uphill battle against age and the past few years of sedentary lifestyle, but I think I can do it, and honestly, I think I can do it a lot earlier than I realize. Every time I run I get a little faster. It’s only a matter of time.

personal technology

An Ode to Graphics Cards

It may come as no surprise that I have been gaming for a very long time. Over 30 years at this point! From sepia-toned Space Invaders on my dad’s old computer, to Super Mario Bros on the NES, all the way to today. Video games are important to me, not just because they’re fun, but because they help me calm down and chill out. When I’m particularly stressed or anxious, video games give me an outlet to vegetate and just work on simple tasks, like puzzles, or follow a story that I am guiding with my choices. They’re good, is what I’m trying to say.

And all along my journey of gaming, one near constant has been graphics cards. See, back in the 90s, 2d gaming was commonplace, but 3d games were becoming more and more popular, thanks to games like Doom and, perhaps more importantly, Quake. Quake was one of the first real 3d games (not just 2d sprites put in a 3d environment). As such, it was very resource heavy and slow. Lots of games were slow back then; FPS wasn’t really a concept because a lot of games couldn’t get up to 30 FPS in the first place.

Then a company came along called 3dfx. They began selling what were basically proto-graphics cards to help boost graphics for intensive games like Quake by allowing the card to process the graphics (known as hardware acceleration), allowing the CPU to process everything else. 3dfx made a graphics card called Voodoo, way back in the late 90s. I had one! Specifically I had the Diamond Monster II (I think), which used the Voodoo graphics chipset that 3dfx created. It changed everything. Suddenly games were running great, with little hiccups, just in time to play classics like Unreal and Quake III Arena.

The box for the Diamond Monster II. Look at that angry car!

3dfx later made the Banshee, which was a cheaper alternative, and then in 2000 the company was bought by Nvidia. Nvidia, by the way, claims to have made the first real GPU, the Geforce 256, but to me, the Diamond Monster II will always be the first GPU, even if it didn’t have all the modern bells and whistles.

The DMII was installed on my father’s computer, but once I started college I bought my first computer: ALBATROSS, aka the Fortress of Consternation. This computer came with an integrated GPU, a S3 ProSavage with a whopping 32MB of RAM. Integrated GPUs still exist but they have fallen out of style, which makes sense when you think about it. I thought I had upgraded the GPU on this one but if I did, I didn’t make a note of it anywhere. (My emails only go back to 2004, sadly.)

So I had that computer for seven or eight years, but it eventually went kaput (I swear I wrote about this somewhere but I can’t find it) and I bought my next computer, called MAGRAGEEVES. This is when I started naming my computers demon names. It’s just … you gotta spice up the little things, you know what I mean? Old Mags was a prebuilt computer and came with this GPU:

I swear I have dust and/or cat hair everywhere. I’m sorry.

I still have this for some reason! The Radeon HD 3650, Over-clocked Edition (guitar riff). This was my first official foray into AMD territory, although this was after AMD bought ATI but before they stopped using the ATI name, so this is technically an ATI Radeon card. This was, as always is with these things, a very good GPU to have at the time.1Fun fact: I still had this computer tower until a friend of mine needed a computer. I repurposed it with an old SSD and sold it to her for, I think, $50. She used it for a few months before rightly thinking, “Why the fuck did I buy this?” It served me well … for a couple of years, before I bought another computer called CABERTOSS in 2011. Cabertoss was a very cheap Chinese prebuilt computer — seriously, it cost $280 at the time. I’m surprised didn’t explode on me. I splurged and spent $70 on an ATI Radeon 4650 with 1gb of ram to go with it. A whole 1000 higher than the last GPU! Wow. I suspect it ran about the same as the 3650.2This computer was given or sold or whatever to my friend Nate many years ago. Again, I would be surprised if it still worked.

At this point I was living in Portland and was getting A) student loans and B) free unemployment checks (thanks Obama!) and so I decided to finally build my own computer. And thus, GARGAROTH was born. Gargaroth had too many fucking fans and in the early 2010s these big fucking heavy as shit computer towers were en vogue so there you go. The GPU I bought with this was the MSI Radeon 6950 Twin Frozr III with 1gb of ram. But then I quickly upgraded it to this, the Radeon 7950 with 3gb of ram:

Twin Frozr III at top, with the VisionTek below for comparison.

For the record, the 3gb and 1gb versions of the Twin Frozr look the same. This was my first real “Jesus Christ, look at the size of that graphics card” GPU. It really is very big, and heavy! This card was nearly top of the line at the time, which isn’t saying much because the line would jump like 50 notches higher every three months. Still, it handled pretty much any game thrown at it and let me watch HD videos with no problem. This card still works; I recently installed it into my HTPC and it would play HD videos up to 4k without a problem.

The Twin Frozr III was my card for nearly ten years, and showed its age about two years into my owning it. The 2010s were like an arms race for GPUs (and computer tech in general), and soon AMD and Nvidia were battling it out for supremacy. I, meanwhile, graduated from Portland State with a nigh-worthless Theatre Arts graduate degree and was broke, and continued to be mostly broke until…

The pandemic! I was lucky to have a job and get stimulus checks, which I used to begin construction on a new PC, the one I currently use: THARGORAD. For this computer I bought a Radeon RX 580 with 8gb of ram. It worked great! And then, like I mentioned earlier, I took the Twin Frozr and added it to some other parts from Gargaroth, bought a old mini-ATX motherboard and a small form case to make my HTPC, known as SMÖLCOMP because it is small.

And that was my setup for the past two years, until recently, when I decided to splurge again and upgrade my GPU, purchasing a Radeon RX 6700 XT (look at all those letters), with 12gb of ram. This is probably the most top of the line card I think I’ve ever bought, as it was released about two years ago. Thus, the RX 580 was moved to Smölcomp, and the Twin Frozr III has now, officially, been decommissioned, because I really have no reason to build another computer. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. The 3gb 7950 is selling on ebay for $80-90, while the 1gb 6950 is going for much lower, around $30-40. Even the 3650 is going for $30. These things aren’t collectors items. I think I’ll just take them to FreeGeek and give them away.

Anyway, this is all just a nostalgic trip through my history with a silly component to a computer. But it’s important to me, because these cards helped me play video games, and video games keep me alive. So thank you, MSI Radeon 7950 with 3gb of ram, for playing all my favorite games over nearly a decade, with maybe a few hiccups and some lowered graphics settings to assuage poor framerates. You did your job well and I hope you and your brethren enjoy retirement.

  • 1
    Fun fact: I still had this computer tower until a friend of mine needed a computer. I repurposed it with an old SSD and sold it to her for, I think, $50. She used it for a few months before rightly thinking, “Why the fuck did I buy this?”
  • 2
    This computer was given or sold or whatever to my friend Nate many years ago. Again, I would be surprised if it still worked.
betterment personal running

And it’s not about you joggers, who go round and round and round (parkrun #1)

The title of this post refers to a Blur song called Parklife, which is now stuck in my head.

So I did a thing today: a friend and old high school classmate of mine, Annie, DMed me a couple days ago to refer me to parkrun, a casual, timed, 5k run started in the UK (Annie lives in London now) but has spread all over the country. There is one near Portland, at Rock Creek Trail which is either in Hillsboro or some unincorporated area called Somerset West; I don’t know how cities work anymore. It’s free and they time you and you get a barcode and everything. Sounded neat, so I went!

I only got one photo and there is a trash can and TWO poles in it. Great.

This event occurred about five days after I finally tested negative for covid, after being riddled with it since December 20th. So, you know, I wasn’t expecting much. In fact I assumed I would be walking the vast majority of it due to my lungs still healing from the badness.

Instead, I ran a PR. Granted, this is a 2022/23 PR, not a ten years ago PR, but still, the fact that I ran very well for this after having covid is amazing to me. I’m extremely proud of myself. What’s even better is that I had eaten cold pizza for breakfast just before leaving. This seals it — cold pizza is the best pre-run meal.

The drive there was fine. The drive home went through West of Ross Island Bridge territory, aka a Clusterfuck of Streets, which was annoying but not terrible. I will always write about my drive to and from races.

The event itself was excellent. A handful of very friendly volunteers (including a leader who was definitely from England herself) and a lovely little trail between some nice looking suburbs. Rock Creek Trail itself is a wetlands area (Rock Creek is a tributary of the Tualatin River) and I can’t wait to run through here in the spring and summertime. Everyone was friendly and encouraging; this was the first time running in my life where someone said “Good job, keep going” while they passed me on the course. That is worth 1,000 medals, believe me.

I plan to go to this every Saturday. In fact, I am replacing one of my New Years resolutions with this, because my “eat X amount of carbs in January” resolution flew out the window. This is a much more interesting resolution.

coffee review

Bean Juice Review: Courier

Hey, let’s review some coffee beans, why not?

Courier Coffee, Portland, OR
Light(?) Roast, Organic Congo
Tasting Notes: None officially

I’ve told this (mundane) story several times, but Courier Coffee was the first place I ever had a cup of coffee. Prior to them, I hated coffee. (I still did when I got my first cup.) My dad would brew a big pot of coffee every morning and pour it into a 32 or 64oz plastic gas station mug to take with him to work. Every morning I endured the horrible smell of Folgers.

Then, in 2007 or 08, I can’t remember, I traveled/moved to Portland and got a cup of coffee with a friend, who took me to Courier. I don’t remember who this friend was now. I barely remember where we were! It’s funny visiting a city and going to a location and then later moving there and really understanding where that location is now. Like, I had another friend who lived on 60th and Glisan, and I still pass by those apartment and feel a disconnect between them now, and them when I was visiting.

Anyway, Courier was and still is a little hole in the wall coffee shop. It opened in 2006 and is going strong and I believe that address on the beans is Joel’s house? I’m not sure, because the Courier coffee shop is on the other side of the river, and Google Maps points that address to a house on Hawthorne. I don’t know. This coffee is from Kivu, in the Congo. There are a lot of coffee farms in Kivu and there’s even a coffee called Kivu made by Kroger, which cannot be a good coffee.

One of the things I love about Courier is the DIY attitude. The handwritten description, the blurry stamp. It’s lovely. But it also leaves out a few bits of information, like the roast level and any info about how the coffee was harvested. I think one can assume that it’s all as ethical as can be, but it’s always good to have a blurb somewhere, you know?

This coffee is tangy! Bright and fruity. I think it’s a light roast, the seam on the underside of the bean is very light, almost white, which makes me think it wasn’t roasted long. My recent bout with covid made coffee taste like seaweed for a couple days (apparently the taste/smell issues with covid can impact your umami taste more than the others), but this does not taste like seaweed at all. It has an earthy undertone to it and a slight ashy aftertaste, but the dominant taste is tangy citrusy fruit. It’s not my preferred coffee taste, to be honest, but it’s not bad either. I think I may cut this one with milk in the future, to see if that mellows out the tang at all.

Overall, a bright, fruity, tangy taste with some earthy, ashy aftertaste. Not bad, especially if you enjoy tangy coffee, but it’s not my preferred go-to. 6/10

every park in portland

EPIP: Sewallcrest Park

SE 31st Avenue and Market Street
Neighborhood: Richmond

A nice little dog park in a nice little part of town. Comes with a community garden, a playground for the kids, and a large flat off-leash area to let your dog run around in. The area is also a baseball diamond but I suspect people probably play kickball there more than baseball, considering the prices of some of these houses. It is surrounded by a lovely neighborhood that I would personally love to live in. If anyone wants to give me around $750-850,000 dollars to help me move in, that would be great.

Aesthetics: It’s fairly basic, but the surrounding neighborhood is nice, so that helps. 7/10

Function: If you have a dog, 10/10. If you don’t have a dog, it’s standard fare. 5/10

Sketchiness: I cannot imagine anything sketchy happening in this park. Too surrounded by residential homes full of people with money. 1/10