I’m still a little sore and feeling somewhat post-op after yesterday’s wisdom tooth extraction, but two side effects have emerged. One is the occasional nosebleed, but I haven’t had one since yesterday (or last night, I think) and the other is these fucking hiccups.
Seriously, hiccups annoy me. It makes it difficult for me to maintain the line of a conversation and sometimes even a train of thought because of these irregular and somewhat random spasms down in my diaphragm. I’ve tried holding my breath and drinking water, as well as this cure and so far have only had mixed results. On to a spoonful of sugar, I guess.
Anyway, my computers seem to be faring better. A little Systems Restore magic on the main desktop got him working again, and I’m currently working around the various little bugs that emerged from upgrading the Ubuntu version on my laptop.
I love Ubuntu, by the way. It’s a great introduction to Linux. The OS is flexible, the community’s friendly & responsive, stuff looks pretty damn good on it and if I can get Wine working again, I might even be able to run games on it. Like, modern ones. I doubt it has the graphical oomph for, say, Aion, but it might be worth a try.
With these problems fixed and updates underway, I figured I could finally get around to recording this week’s ICFN, even if it means using the sub-standard microphone on the webcam. But guess what happened as soon as I settled in to do that.
The fucking hiccups came back.
So, tomorrow, maybe. For now I’m going to stop stressing and do something relaxing, like write, or shoot Collectors in the face with a shotgun. Maybe download Perfect Dark on the XBLA. I hear it’s “a stupid good time.”
Instead of recording the IT CAME FROM NETFLIX! slated for today at the office, I brought my USB headset home and tried plugging it into the desktop system here at home.
Windows didn’t like it. I run XP on my desktop since there’s no way on God’s greenish-brown Earth I can afford a legit copy of Vista or 7, and it stubbornly refused to acknowledge the proper drivers to use the headset. I could have used the webcam microphone, but that thing tends to make my voice sound like wet expulsions of ass. So I tried just about everything I could think of to get it working and nothing took.
Over to my laptop, then, I figured. It’s something of a clunker, the display occasionally fizzles and its XP installation is at least partially on a bad sector of hard disk, but Ubuntu runs like a champ 9 times out of 10 and I figured it wouldn’t let me down. However, after playing with a few audio packages it seems that while it’ll record sound from the headset, the resulting sound is a stuttering mess.
At this point I was pretty pissed but I resolved to get the audio recorded anyway despite it being almost 10:30 at night. I might still be something of a slacker, but I’m a professional, dammit, and I promised a generous donor I’d get their ICFN up by tomorrow. So I sat down at the desktop to fire up the webcam microphone and tried opening a browser to see my draft of the post.
The Internet didn’t work.
Apparently the last time I removed the USB headset, the associated drivers took the ethernet connector’s drivers with it. Muttering curses to just about every deity I could think of, I rummaged through my disks to find the one for my motherboard. Wham, into the PC it went. Bam, it found the drivers and began to install.
Blue screen of death.
Cue the Blue Ink Alchemist screaming obscenities.
So, for now, the desktop PC is bricked. The laptop has no reliable way to record audio. And by the time you fine and patient people read this, I’ll have gotten my face cut open and some hard little bony bits torn out.
I know, I know, the original quote is “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” I’m enough of a Heinlein buff to remember that. But I’m also aware of the fact that posting stuff on here requires an investment of time, and for most people, time is money. Just like money buys information, information is power, power is corrupting, and corruption (according to some) is just a matter of time. See what I did there? It’s circular.
More than once I have been told “You should get paid to do this.” It’s a sentiment I really appreciate, and Polymancer Studios will indeed be paying me, but not for my Netflix posts. I’ll be following up with them after I wrap up this little update, which includes an expansion of my site.
That little link you might have overlooked? Look again. IT CAME FROM NETFLIX! now has its own page.
I have a little bio page up as well, but that’s beside the point. One of the things that brings people here and keeps them interested definitely deserves to be featured on its own apart from my daily dribbling about writing, gaming, kittens and generally being a dull, uninteresting nerd. It includes a list of ICFN! posts, how I got started doing them and how readers like you can contribute to keep it going even longer.
I have no idea how this is going to turn out. My inbox for suggestions/donations might just sit around collecting dust and cobwebs or I might get a flood of requests for movies I’d normally have zero interest in watching. I guess we’ll just have to see once I get all of this posted.
Like any entertainer worth their salt, I’m doing my best to be aware of what my audience wants. Maybe someone out there wants me reviewing more comedies and less sci-fi. Perhaps there’s a gem of an old fantasy movie that so far has gone unnoticed and unreviewed. It’s likely that a person reading this is thinking of a favorite film that they believe will become a favorite of mine as well.
I’ll make you no promises save this: I’m willing to watch just about anything. I can’t promise I’ll like it, and if I don’t I’ll make damn sure you know it. I try to act like something resembling a professional in this space, which is why I do my utmost to post every day. I know I’ll get some stick for doing that, since in reality I’m about as Peter Pan as someone can get without donning pointy shoes and a fetching green hat, but dammit, I can pretend.
So this thing happened to me over the weekend. Here are some of the highlights.
Yes, that’s me with Yahtzee of Zero Punctuation and Paul & Graham of Unskippable over at The Escapist. If you think that Yahtzee is unapproachable or caustic because of his yellow-background minimalist Internet persona, you’re a moron. Paul & Graham are very cool guys who appreciated clever wordplay. I didn’t spend nearly enough time with them for my taste, but I also was trying not to be a pest.
I also got the chance to meet the wonderful Susan Arendt and RussPitts who run a good deal of the show over at the Escapist. Susan, like the wonderful Amanda D’adesky, herds cats like a badass and deserves a very long break after this hectic weekend. On advice from Russ, I will try to be about 25% less clever than I usually am. It’s never good to be more clever than your editor. Also, they love kittens.
I ran demos of D&D 4th edition for Machine Age Productions and they went well. As the weekend wore on I stripped out more and more of the ancillary stuff I had added. The Saw-inspired Flash intro was cool and all, but it was a convention full of very loud noises and even louder off-key rhythm-deficient screeching Rock Band singers, so the effect was sort of lost. Still, folks seemed to have fun. That or they were just amused by my spastic flailing about as I described the damage they did to the zombies they fought.
Speaking of Machine Age, Machine Zeit is a fantastically atmospheric and very free-form game that you will enjoy if you like science fiction, horror, mystery or just plain having a good time.