Categories
Activism Improv Personal Video Video Games

What I have been up to (Julybruary 4tst edition)

Hello, from the hyper-time sphere, where time is both accelerating and standing still.

Last time I posted (besides the boring nerd server post) was in April, and let’s say things have still been happening. Lots of things are still happening.

So let’s get this train wreck-a-rollin’

Improv

But all the venues are closed (or were, and still should be), how can anyone be doing the righteous work of improv comedy? Well, go to the online, like everything else in your world. “But, Matt, wouldn’t it be worse?” Oh, sweet summer child, of course it’s worse, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it. And do it we have. We’ve has a few online shows, and they have been alright given the circumstances. It has, at the very least, allowed me to multitask on new levels. Managing downloading pictures to show, a live chat, music, sound effects, audio and visual cues, and also Im the occational prov. Well, it’s a lot.

Activism

You are not going to believe this, but activism stuff is still happening. I know, you’re like “Get right out of town, Matt.” First, no, I will not, and second, it’s true. Given the *gestures around to everything* there is still work that very needs to be done.

It seems like forever ago now, but I did host another candidate stream, found here:

That took a lot to put together, but I think it went smoother than the first. I’m the stream boy. I’m the one who streams. I should probably work on the naming a little.

We also got an opportunity to put together a short video to be played during the all digital Taste of Tippecanoe. I had four day to put it together, but I like how it turned out. I tried some editing techniques I’ve not done before. Editing video is so relaxing. Getting lost in the edit is like one of my favorite things ever. Pure zen.

Check that out here:

Tim and Matt Play

We are still going! A little more sporadic than we have been, and I’ve been dealing with just monumental tech issues for a solid month since updating to Windows 10 2004 (Beware!), but I’m hoping to get that figured out soon. It is only extremely frustrating. Come hang out with us Thursdays at 8:30-ish. We love interacting with friends in the chat.

Fighting Games

I don’t know exactly what sparked it, but I have been so into fighting games lately. Way more than I have in any other recent time. I haven’t had nearly enough time to play and practice them, but Street Fighter V, Killer Instinct, and Smash are pretty much all I play when I get a moment. Just caught the bug. I’m hoping to maybe get an actual solo game stream where I rotate stuff eventually, and they will definitely play a key role. If you ever want to play any of those, let me know.

Running

I can’t get enough of it, and I want to do more. The NYC marathon got cancelled (this is a good thing!), but the initial email said I was guaranteed next year as a resolution. The follow-up turned out that that is not the case. You are guaranteed an entry next year or one of the next two following years. That sucks ass. Here’s to hoping. Since I think all major marathons will be cancelled this year, if they already haven’t, and I wouldn’t do one anyway all things considered, I am thinking of planning my own personal one to run sometime when the weather is far from rightful. Is it fall yet?

Honestly, I’ve been up to so much and without much of, if any, a break. I am kind of fraying at the edges, but I am going to try to keep it together as best as I can. I hope you are all healthy and keeping it together the best you can, too.

Categories
Personal Politics Video Games

The Check-In. May 2018.

Already half way into June, I guess this is better than not doing it at all, probably.

Political Stuff

To be honest, I’ve taken a break this month from political stuff. Not entirely, and not on purpose. My body must have just sensed I needed a break. I have a backlog of stuff I need to take care of now, and a mountain of guilt to work through. There were lots of fits and starts, but I could not get it together to work on things.

There is actually a lot on my mind with the state of things currently, but I think that warrants a separate post because it would really just consume this, and I want to focus on that. There is just so much fucked up stuff going on at the moment in the country. Separating children from their families?!? Cages?!? These are human beings you absolute monsters.

Podcast

We’ve recorded and released a second podcast now. I’ve really enjoyed recording these, and this is like my only outlet to talk about game development. I hope to record another one this weekend. The goal is monthly.

Streaming

Tim and I continue to stream on Twitch and archive on YouTube. If you can, catch it live, or on the Twitch VOD. The bitrate on Twitch is so much better than YouTube. YouTube crunches stuff down so badly.

We have been streaming Sonic Mania recently and those have been some really fun episodes. We even had a sitcom style mix-up in the last recording session. What a pair!

Combo Breaker

I also was lucky enough to attend my first fighting game major this year, Combo Breaker. Firstly, thanks to my friend Taylor for the heads up and for being a travel partner, wouldn’t have done it without his instance. I’ve been watching fighting game streams and tournaments for years, but never anything live. It was cool to see fighting game legends in person. I was just there as a spectator because I’m garbage at fighting games, but even just watching everything was intense. Like sports, it’s different when you are there in person. It felt like a sporting event as well. There are crowds cheering, energy in the room with close match-ups, and even armchair theorists pontificating on what the player should be doing. I hope to go to it, or something like it (EVO!) again. There was even a proposal after SSF2T grand finals!

In the moments of downtime, we met up with a guy who hosts a podcast, No Cartridge, which I hadn’t heard before, but Taylor DM’d him on Twitter when he found out he was going to be there. Super cool guy, and after I heard it, really good podcast as well.

Since we were close-ish, we went to the best arcade, Galloping Ghost. I try to go there a couple times a year, just because it’s so cool. A staggering collection of arcade games, all on free play just $20 for a whole day. Can’t recommend enough if you are ever near Brookfield, IL.

Wedding!

My friends got married! They are fantastic and I love them, and they are perfect.

Running and fitness

I am continuing my journey to kill myself break my previous records.

I started taking Wednesday mornings to run a half before work and managed to do that for three weeks in a row. I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy. It’s a bear. I usually have to get up at 4:30 am and get out the door by 5 to get back, showered, and fed before work. Doing regular half-marathons is not something I’ve ever something I imagines being able to do, so it’s really cool and gratifying to see the time I’ve poured into this having a demonstrable effect.

Outside of the health benefits physically, long distance runs like that do wonders to calm my anxiety. I’ve probably talked about this somewhere in this blog before but running is meditative for me. All I need to focus on in the moment is moving forward. If I’m not listening to podcasts or audiobooks, I can throw on music and just let my mind drift. It helps process whatever I’m dealing with at that time. I know myself, and I know if I’m just sitting around, I will not allow myself the time to work through things; the stresses and responsibilities of whatever I need to do will take precedence. Running is a good forcing function.

I feel like half my blog posts are just, “Everyone, I like running, it’s good.”

But may I pose the following:

I like running, it’s good.

May 2018 Total: 82.2 Miles
May 2017 Total: 54.0
Difference May 2017 to May 2018: +28.2 Miles
Difference 2017 to 2018 to Date: +204.9 Miles

Categories
Activism Fitness Personal Politics Projects Video Games

The Check-in. April 2018.

This month has flown by. One of the busiest in recent memory.

I was out of town every weekend in April doing something. Which was fun, and exhausting. In the spirit of that this post will be short and sweet and totally miss details. Always more to do.

The business didn’t stop me from keeping on those #hashtaggoals.

Political Stuff

In terms of political stuff, I moderated my first debate/town hall/forum for two of the Democratic candidates for IN-4. It was a fun, new experience that I would not mind doing again. I’d wish I would have probed on some of the answers, but I was so focused on getting through the many questions in time for the audience questions that I got sidetracked.

Here is the video for the event!

Podcast

Like all good people who are tragically online, I’ve started a podcast with my cousin, Jay Pavlina! It’s ostensibly about game development and programming, but we touch on some weird, wild stuff as well. Jay explains more here. Check out our first episode! We are recording episode two this weekend, so stay on the lookout for that.

That VG Goodness

Upgraded the setup once again to new degrees of greatness/completely unnecessariness.

Firstly, I got tired of Tim and Matt play streaming in potato quality, so I went to Purdue Surplus and grabbed the best machine they had there for $50. It needed RAM and HDD, and I had that. It proved to be a choice decision as the machine can stream and record in 1080/30 (limitation of the capture device I have) to Twitch.

Second, after trying for a while I was able to snag a gscartsw_lite, which allows me to have all my old consoles connect via RGB without having to switch. This also provides dual outputs so I can hook it up to my upscaler as well as my CRT television. In essence, I can now stream to Twitch, play on the HD TV and play on the CRT all at the same time. It’s very cool! (Like, I think it’s cool) It works, the problem is the SCART cables I bought are of surprisingly low quality and introduce an abundance of noise to the signal. I have some much better (and sadly, more expensive) SCART cables coming from the UK as we speak.

Running

Let’s see where we are this month:
April 2018: 75.1 Miles
April 2017: 30.9 Miles
Difference: +44.2 Miles
Year difference from 2017 (as of this post): +176.7 Miles

Whew, what a month. 2018 is proving to be wild.