Support your local indie musicians now and forever
Happy December, happy Bandcamp Friday! I cleared out my wishlist:
Given how the site has been shuddering a little internally lately, I felt it might be a good time to buy a bunch of albums I've been meaning to (I always pay extra because I'm a sap like that) and download them for safekeeping. Was jamming to Vansire this morning.
Got something musical myself on the way in a bit. Stay tuned.
Well shit, China did okay after all
So it's been nearly a year since I last streamed, at least according to YouTube. I used to stream all the time, but I just got so exhausted and I wasn't having much fun with them, so I quit, and I haven't had much reason to pick them back up because I'm either busy or we're having a group call, and that takes care of my "interacting in voice with the group" quota, really.
Jake linked a cheap chinese HDMI capture device he apparently successfully used to stream Xbox Minecraft a few months back, and at like $7 or so, I took the gamble. This wound up becoming a much larger project involving a component-to-HDMI adapter (that I already had) and an HDMI splitter (that I did not have) and a ten foot HDMI cable (that I will be picking up from work tomorrow or so), but this sorta looks feasible, if messy! I tested the adapter this evening, and it works and doesn't add any extra latency to the game, though on my TV, it cuts off the top of the screen, which means I need to play it partially blind. That's something I've experienced with other HDMI devices on this TV as well, so thankfully, it's nothing that you'll see on your end.
At the moment, I've got the Wii hooked up for GameCube and Animal Crossing purposes, though of course, between Wii, GameCube, and Virtual Console, there's a gigantic library of stuff I'd be able to play on stream. And on real hardware! I'm used to just streaming emulators, but there's something special about being able to use a real controller on a real console while I'm streaming. The setup is gonna get incredibly messy, I already know that—but I'll figure out a way to be able to monitor chat while sitting comfortably in range of my game. Probably time to get Streamlabs going as well, and not just rely on my old OBS setup with the popout YouTube chat.
Everything is very tentative, but it's a fun kind of tentative. Stay tuned; you may just be able to chatter with me live again very soon.
I wish the real world would just stop hasslin' me
One of the most striking memories I have of college is wandering out to north campus late at night, almost off campus altogether, and noting the sky. Across the street, you could see the stars. No light hit the grass or the parking lot of whatever industrial facility was over there. You turn back to campus, and the sky was instead an ugly haze of navy blue and orange from lights that only turned off when the sun was there to light things up instead.
I think about light pollution a lot. I don't like waste in any capacity, be it overstock products or just having to throw out food, but sensory pollution is a special kind of bad.
The store started playing Christmas music the other day, probably the day after Thanksgiving. The playlist is especially gross, this procession of Christmas classics updated for modern pop sensibilities, real pop diva belting out "Silent Night" hours. Oh, it's awful. I'm not one to complain about the store radio (in fact, I probably appreciate and pay attention to it more than anyone else in the store), but this seriously wore me out as Sunday night drew on. This is my entire month next month—even better, I'm working six days in a row starting Wednesday. That's Wednesday to the following Tuesday, with a single day off afterwards, and a boomerang shift Friday going into Saturday.
There used to be a sort of holyness to Christmas, a classy, hushed, almost sorta regal feeling to all the classic Christmas movies and music of the 50s and 60s. Snow-capped hills, everyone home, a certain warmth and magic in the air. Even if those are boomer inventions, it's a good vibe, one where you truly can appreciate everything you accomplished the prior year and who went through it with you. Further, there was space for the darkness in it as well (see It's a Wonderful Life). It might've been a time for celebration, but more than anything, it was a time—and sometimes, you're just going through some shit on Christmas, and that was okay.
In my lifetime, Christmas has become a gigantic blob of light pollution. Every day, every hour, is the ball dropping in Times Square. On TV, every commercial gains a bed of sleigh bells. Modern Christmas music is all blasted out pop music that remakes the same five or six public domain classics in increasingly garish ways—seriously, did I need a three minute party coda to an off-key rendition of "Feliz Navidad"? There's all this shit you gotta do at the end of the year, all the decoration setups that grow more intense and freakish, all the gift-giving when literally everyone expects it already, thus killing the surprise, all the emotional preparation I have to do in case I don't like a gift and have to pretend I do to be nice, it feels like a lot of obligation for very little payoff.
That's a good word for it, obligation. You can't opt out of it. Even if you don't personally observe Christmas, it is inescapable and it bleeds into November worse and worse every year. I wish we gave gifts throughout the year, as the mood strikes. I wish retail didn't completely change flavor the last two months out of the year. I wish there was Christmas music that wasn't so uniformly celebratory, not even necessarily dark or angsty, just exploring moods that aren't "it's time to pog the fuck out because it's Christmas". I wish there truly was a silent night! My ideal Christmas really is getting to stay in bed until it's dark out and then eating something tasty with like, one other person (Caby).
Every other holiday, we observe it by taking a rest. Christmas is a doer's holiday, whether or not you agreed to it.
I really want to like Christmas. I just have a lot of crappy memories attached to it. I'm also gonna miss potentially hearing "Real World" while I'm standing around cleaning up the store for a while.
The new hard drive arrived yesterday; she's back up and running. I'm writing this on the eMachines Box once more. Got her on XP Media Center Edition SP3, like she should've been running all this time, and now it's just repeatedly installing updates from Legacy Update over and over (the POSReady stuff is key for getting TLS 1.2 and thus Escargot fully functional), getting my programs and games back on here, and slowly getting everything situated again.
Media Center Edition got a custom version of Bliss, which sadly, I did not keep for very long. Just paid Caby to draw me a new 4:3 wallpaper, in fact.
Can't wait to get back to site work—got a new, cute idea for the archives redesign and I'm working on a finalized design for Miranda in my new style. She's so cute, you're all gonna love her.
Don't have a ton else to say, just wanted to update. Happy ending! Media Center Edition is neat, yo—though I'm gonna have to find a way to downgrade Windows Media Player, because 11 just feels too new for XP for me and it's not my style on this hardware. Maybe on Vista!
Still no box, but plenty of fun news
So I would've had the eMachines Box back up and going by now, but unfortunately, my stupid ass bought a SATA drive! It had an IDE one in there. I returned that this morning at work and rush-ordered an equivalently-sized IDE drive from eBay yesterday. It should be here by the 21st. Hopefully that's the end of it.
That said, there are some new things to note in the saga:
First and foremost, the old drive does still kinda work! Work has some IDE-to-USB cables on the tech bench, and plugging it into that, I was able to get it going again...occasionally. The drive is definitely toast, but it was genuinely shocking seeing all my stuff again. I was trying to copy whatever I thought I lost off of it, but the tech bench PC needs to take ownership of my user folder, which is filled with especially MSN Messenger garbage and other temp files and, let's be real, it takes forever to read as it is. There was nothing that important on the drive and I'm okay with the loss.
Second, I did blow out the fucking carpet of dust and grime that was in the box finally! Got a two-pack of compressed air and went to town on it on the deck. Now it looks much better in there and I'm less afraid to have it on and, more importantly, open it and handle what's inside. Thankfully, it still works as well as it did before I opened it too—I was worried taking out and fondling the RAM and whatnot would've caused it to stop working, because this is all very new territory for me, but nope, we're good.
There's actually a good amount of upgrade potential in this thing—it can handle 2GB of RAM and any equivalent Pentium 4 (currently it's a Celeron D in there), and it has a PCI-e x16 slot for a graphics card, a PCI slot for a sound card, and the hard drive cage can actually screw in and support two hard drives. I'd like to get a second one with Vista loaded on there when the specs support it a little better. There's enough space in the removable drive cage (where the DVD-R drive is mounted) for two drives, but there's a stupid metal shield where you could pop the second drive in, and the screw holes on the bottom half of the cage are just dimples, not real holes. I wonder if I could get someone to drill me proper mounting holes and I could potentially put a floppy drive in here too? That's...vaguely unnecessary, but super cool! And that's really this entire machine, isn't it?
So yeah, I'm still floating uncomfortable and waiting on a drive, but the computer is doing fine and we're prepped whenever it shows up. God, am I prepped.
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