Shit to do – 2018

Last year, I wrote a few posts (here, here, and here) inspired by Wil Wheaton’s life reboot posts. It wasn’t so much a new year’s resolution thing, because I’ve come to believe that those are fucking ridiculous, so much as something that had been nagging at me for a few months, and I needed to actually enumerate the ways in which I was going to try and do something about it.

So, I’m doing a review, to see how I’ve been doing in that area. So here we go:

* Keep up with my exercise…

I’ve been up and down with this one. I have been walking a LOT more, sometimes as much as seven or eight miles a day, thanks to the motivation provided by Fitbit, but still haven’t managed to get any sort of actual work-out routine in motion.

The only time I could realistically work out, would be in the mornings, which means getting up at 6am, which requires getting to bed by 10pm, because I have sleep problems as it is, and I can’t be fucking with my sleep schedule. This is fucking impossible, because I live with a night-owl. Even if I do go to bed without her, I wake up when she does finally come to bed, so it’s pointless.

Still not sure what to do about that.

When I am walking every day, my weight drops down and hovers between 210 and 215. I’d like it to be closer to 200, ideally 190. I think I’m doing as much as walking and diet can accomplish, and an actual work out regimen needs to be adopted to make any more progress there.

* Quit eating so much, and quit eating so much shit…

Again, up and down with this one. Most of the time I do just fine. The food allergies in our household make it difficult to eat anything but healthy. We eat pretty well, but I still have to watch portions, and resist the urge to buy a peppermint patty every time I’m at the store.

Over all, doing really well on this one.

* Take more photographs…

This effort has been abysmal. I did take more photos this year, but only one actual organized shoot, and nothing at the level I was photographing my every day life five years ago. I’d like to get back to that.

* Play more pen and paper RPGs…

I have been doing pretty well with this one. I’ve got a Rifts game, and a BTS game every month. Admittedly, the Rifts game has gotten a little stale. It’s been ongoing for three years or so, and I’m finding myself less and less interested in it. The BTS game is fantastic. I don’t remember when we started that, maybe last winter some time, and it’s been a lot of fun.

I tried to start a D&D group with my SO, the housemate, and some friends, but after only three sessions, it fizzled out. We managed to get two actual table sessions in before life took over for everyone, and getting together became more difficult. So we decided to instead play over Roll20.net about once a month, and then meet for a table session whenever we could manage it. We played one game on Roll20, which went pretty well, but never got back to it. Everyone seems pretty uninterested in it. Perhaps I just suck as a DM, or maybe everyone is just too busy.

I’d still like to run some one-shots, and have been doing quite a bit of research into quick adventures, and I’d also like to get in with a solid Adventurer’s League group over Roll20 or Google+, since there are no AL groups where I live.

I’d also like to either run or play some Call of Cthulhu. I recently scored a used 7th edition investigator’s handbook, in really great shape, for a hell of a price, so we’ll see what I can manage there. I wanted to get the keeper’s handbook as well, but couldn’t manage to pull an extra $30 out of the budget for it. Hopefully it’ll still be there next week.

* Get to bed earlier…

I mentioned this earlier. I’m doing no better on this one, and it’s pissing me off.

* Finally get started building our teardrop…

I made a shit ton of progress on the tear drop, and if I really buckled down, I could have it campable in a week or two. Unfortunately, I also kind of burned myself out on it, and haven’t been able to bring myself to do much of anything with it in months. I’ve been feeling the urge lately though, and spring is only a few months away, so I may be getting back to work on it very soon.

All in all, regarding the goals I set forth last January, I’ll give myself a solid B. I’ll keep all the same goals for this year, but add two more items to the list:

*Read more.

I haven’t been reading much at all this year. I started again a few weeks ago, and realized how much I’ve missed it. So I’m making time each night before bed, to sit and read for at least a half hour before going to sleep. I like it.

*Less politicsing, more doing fun shit.

I feel guilty about this one, because the US is basically a giant flaming pile of shit, on a slowly sinking ship right now. I want to be active, I want to sign petitions, protest when I can (when I can protest somewhere that anyone will fucking notice), spread information, all that stuff. Here’s the thing though, I’ve been really angry for months now.

At the time, I didn’t know why, but it was brought to my attention numerous times by Laure just how grumpy and generally fucking angry I was all the time. It eventually became clear to me that politics had taken over my life. It was all I thought about for most of this last Autumn. Consequently, I was angry and shitty for most of this last Autumn. It took over my twitter feed, I lost followers on Google+, I was short with everyone, and generally depressed all the time. A few weeks ago, I realized where it all was coming from, and took drastic measures.

The first thing I did was log on to Twitter, and commenced with a shit-ton of un-following. Not because I don’t like those people anymore, but because they were immersed in politics, and I just couldn’t have that shit in my face all day long anymore. In fact, I un-followed a few people that I really like, and I’ll miss their posts, but I just couldn’t do the politics anymore.

Next, I began making a conscious effort to post less on Facebook, and more on Google+. Facebook is almost a necessity now, because I have family members that I can’t seem to stay in touch with any other way. Aside from that, I could leave FB in the dust. Google+ on the other hand, is a wonderful place for me. It’s nothing but games, gadgetry, art and just generally fun people, without all of the ads and bullshit that FB throws at you all day long. Also, it gives you the ability to weed out posts you don’t want to see, while still following those people.

I’ve said it before, Google+ is far, FAR superior to Facebook. I wish more people would come over.

Finally, I moved the Facebook icon off of the main screen on my phone, and into a folder as sort of an out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing, and it’s been working pretty well. I also went in and disabled all notifications from Facebook. I’ll check it when I get home from work, but I don’t need it barking at me all day long. I didn’t delete it entirely because it has it’s uses. I won’t be posting there much anymore though. Instagram, I’ll keep.

As for the doing-more-fun-shit part, more games, more reading, and more making is all part of that. Also, with the teardrop being completed by early spring, travelling will be a thing this summer. Maybe not a big trip, but lots of little trips will be quite doable.

That’s about everything I have, other than to say that the accompanying photo is one that I posted to Twitter and Instagram a few days ago. It’s a collage of one hundred twelve photos of Laure that I’ve taken over the years. I have literally taken thousands of photos of her, these are just some that I randomly grabbed for this collage, and forced myself to stop at one hundred twelve.

On the linux distro switch, gaming, and other stuff.

Waaaaay back in May, I posted about exploring Debian, and moving away from Ubuntu. I installed it on my laptop, and I’m happy to say that six months later, I’m thrilled to death with Debian. I’ve actually found that in many areas, it’s more up to date than Ubuntu, and in the areas that it’s not, it’s much easier to manually update things without breaking other parts of the OS. I’m also able to use proper AMD video drivers with Debian, which is not possible with Ubuntu, and that makes the gamer in me quite happy. For that same reason, I’m also going to update my son’s PC to Debian, so that he’ll be able to fully utilize the new graphics card that we’re getting him for Christmas this year.

I’ve also began installing Debian on new servers at work, which I have been using Ubuntu for in the past. It’s all working out quite well.

I’ll begin the process of updating my home PC in the next week or two. The actual update should be pretty easy, and only take a few hours. I use Urbackup on my home network, which works fantastic, so I’m already all backed up. The tedious part is going to be reinstalling and configuring all of the various software that I use. I should simply be able to copy some Kde files over, to keep my configurations for a lot of that software. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ll post details after I finish the switch.

I don’t anticipate doing as much gaming (video games) on my PC as I have in the past. I won’t say that I’ve lost interest in gaming, I still play a shit ton of Minecraft and The Sims 4, but that’s about it. Most of the gaming on my PC is pen and paper RPGs, played over Roll20.net, or Google Hangouts.

Also, Laure recently bought us a PS4, and we’ve both been playing a lot of Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront. I’ve never been a big fan of consoles in the past. As a hard core gamer, I found consoles to be very limiting, for many reasons. But since my gaming furer has cooled significantly, I find consoles to be perfectly adequate.

I have lots of shit to say about politics, but I’m not going to. It’s a mess, all of it. I’m just avoiding a lot of it right now.

Bye, for now.

Another photo of Laure, from a shoot we did out in the woods, this last summer.

Summer seems to finally be here

We had the first actual BBQ of the summer yesterday. We invited some friends over, several cakes were baked. Chicken, salmon, bratwurst, burgers, various types of rice, and some excellent pasta salad were prepared. Later on, Catan, and Cards Against Humanity were played. Pandora was being a real bitch, so Spotify provided the music.

We finally called it quits about 11:30 at night, on account of three of the friends having to drive an hour to get home. We offered to put them up in the spare bedroom but they were intent on sleeping in their own bed.

One of the attendees is from Australia, she was an absolute sweet heart, and I’m a little sad that we’ll likely never see her again, except perhaps on Facebook. Never the less, we made a friend. 🙂

The sprinkler company that I paid to supposedly winterize our sprinkler system last fall, fucked something up, and when I cranked on the water to the yard a few weeks ago, the pipe that feeds the yard is burst in at least two places.

The van needs a new radiator fan assembly which took some troubleshooting to narrow down. They’re ridiculously expensive, and you can’t simply replace one of the fans, you can only buy the set. Which is a load of horse shit. I keep forgetting to call the local scrap yards to see if they’ve got anything that’ll work.

I got the nerd cave all moved, which took nearly an entire weekend, but the new space downstairs is really great. I broke it in officially early yesterday afternoon, with a our third session of a game of Beyond The Supernatural. You can check that game out, and find the playlist for that series, below.

 

I’m also getting ready to resume our D&D game, which has been stalled since last summer. We decided that it would be easier to play on Roll20 for most of our sessions, and then meet in person every so often. It took some notes review, but I remembered where we were in Lost Mine Of Phandelver, and I’ve about got the game ready to play. We’ll be nailing down a date soon.

We’re also working out a camping trip with our good friends up in Kalispell, which I assume is fairly imminent.

Needless to say, I’ve been pretty busy, so there hasn’t been any movement on the Teardrop in a few weeks. I’m hoping to resume that project this week.

Busy, busy, busy, but nice.

May is a busy month for us

I’ve been pretty preoccupied with politics lately. It’s taken over my twitter feed, and it’s made me more active on Facebook than I have been in a long time. I’ve been signing petitions like a mad man lately, and making phone calls, and emailing representatives. I’m trying to find a balance between staying informed and letting it keep me perpetually pissed off all day long

Still working on that one. It might be time to do a politics purge again.

On a related note, my game time has taken a serious hit. Between the politicsing and working on the teardrop, there hasn’t been much time for gaming. I fired up Steam and played a few hours of DOD last night. Still a really kick ass game. A few weeks ago, one of my RPG groups verified that Roll20.net finally has their A/V issues sorted out, so last night I reinstated my account and I’m hoping to start playing at least one game a week. I’d really like to run some one shot games, on various systems, but the time just isn’t there. That may be more of a winter activity. I do have three active games right now and I’m playing about every other weekend.

The teardrop is coming along. It is progressing much slower than I hoped but I’m making slow, steady progress, and I still expect to have it done in plenty of time to be able to camp it this summer. I’ll give a proper update on that this weekend.

Heather is moving back in with us. Her teaching job did not pan out like she’d hoped, and the experience has been… unpleasant for her. So she’s in the process of selling her house and will be moving back in with us, probably some time in June. This means I’ll be moving the nerd cave, again. Fortunately, not into the garage. We’re playing a game of musical bedrooms in the house right now. CJ moved out when he went off to college, so Evan moved into his room. Shortly after that, Heather moved away, so I moved my nerd cave out of the garage and into her old room, which was originally the nerd cave. So now, Heather will be moving back into that room, and I’ll be moving the nerd cave downstairs, into Evan’s old room.

Make sense?

Laure and I spent a Saturday afternoon taping up and priming the nerd-cave-to-be, then a few days later I got two of the walls painted. Sometime in the next week or two, I’ll finish painting down there, and then start relocating all of my crap.

Evan’s birthday is next week, but we’re celebrating it this weekend, since the following weekend is Memorial day weekend, which is always spent at a lake about an hour north of here, with lots of family, food, music, board games, and napping.

It’s a busy month for us in general, right now.

Laure, in one of the cabins where we stay every Memorial day weekend.

Red Velvet Cake

I woke up exhausted today. It took a good twenty minutes to talk myself out of bed. I managed to get to work and be relatively productive until about an hour ago. I’m completely drained and pretty much checked out for the day.

Must get to bed early tonight.

Saturday, Laure made red velvet cake. She’s been working on a dairy free (for me), gluten free (for her) recipe for quite a while now and nearly has it perfect. We all loved the cake but she insists that “it was too eggy”, and needs work.

Here’s the thing about red velvet cake. Red velvet is a flavor, a unique flavor all it’s own. Most of what you buy at bakeries and grocery stores is not red velvet cake, it’s chocolate cake that has simply been dyed red and called “Red velvet cake”. That is some serious horse shit right there, and I think it needs to be made illegal.

She also made some cream cheese danishes, which I can’t eat but they certainly smelled good. Something went wrong with the dough, and they didn’t turn out very well. She’s going to try again this coming weekend.

My brother’s birthday is today but he dropped by the house yesterday and we celebrated then, with red velvet cake of course.

Speaking of this weekend, I have a Rifts game on Saturday afternoon, which we’ll be broadcasting on Youtube. I’m going to tinker with OBS and see if I can broadcast multiple streams with it. I’d like to stream to Twitch and to Youtube. I may try opening two instances of it and see if that works. I have a Twitch account that I keep meaning to make use of, but just haven’t made it happen.

Along that same vein, I’ve been getting more familiar with Roll20.net, from the GM’s perspective. I plan on running some one shot games for a variety of systems, and started putting together an album of images for back grounds, since I’m not a big map user in my RPGs. I think maps tend to turn it into more of a board game, rather than an RPG. I generally only employ them when necessary, and avoid them when I can.

What else… My twitter feed has become quite political in the last few weeks. I’m aware of that. I need to back off and try to ignore it all for a while but there is so much going on. Trump is digging away at his hole with unparalleled exuberance, the GOP wants to sell off our public lands, the illegal muslim ban, boobs… there are a lot of boobs on twitter.

I got the results back on the biopsies from the two moles they shaved off of me a few weeks ago. The one on my abdomen was completely benign. The one on my head did have some atypical cells though, which is nothing new for me. I’m to keep an eye on it and set up an appointment if another mole starts to grow back in it’s place. Regardless though, I have an appointment in six months to get checked out again, and see if they need to remove more skin from the area where that mole was, or hopefully confirm that they got it all.

That’s about it. I don’t have much of anything interesting to write about today. I really am seriously fucking tired and I wanted to get something posted today.

 

Here’s Laure, working up a recipe for red velvet cake.

Shit to do

I have shit to do.

* Keep up with my exercise. I’ve been slacking the last week or so because of the temperature outside. It’s warming. Time to get back on it.

* Quit eating so much, and quit eating so much shit. Already doing better with this I think.

* Take more photographs. Hence, the photo accompanying this post, which I took specifically for this post, about fifteen minutes ago.

* Play more pen and paper RPGs. It looks like to accomplish this one, I’ll have to run some games on some systems I’ve never played before. It went well with D&D 5e. I’m sure I can pull it off with some others.

* Get to bed earlier. Been sucking at this lately.

* Finally get started building our teardrop. Haven’t been able to do this because money has been tight. Taxes refunds are nearly upon us.

I think that about does it. Small, simple.