candy

Oct. 31st, 2016 06:04 pm
crschmidt: (photogeek)
At our old house, we always ran out of candy, so I live in perpetual fear of it.

At this house, we were totally ghost town one year, and we ran out of candy the next.

It looks like tonight is gonna be ghost town again.

And I made Jess not give away any of our candy just in case and now I feel bad because we're going to have like 20 pounds of candy.

Someone at work does a "Candy for the troops" buyback arrangement every year, so I definitely need to make sure to bring (most of) ours in.

Happy Halloween.

Projects

Oct. 6th, 2016 10:14 pm
crschmidt: (photogeek)
Overall, I have a handful of projects I'm working on.

- Livestream Alerts: Website for generating alerts during Livestreams. Most recent work: Adding support for donations through the Extra Life charity drive. Open source project at https://github.com/google/mirandum
- ytgvoting.com - a quick, me-only (at the moment) voting tool for use in livestreams. No open source code yet, but the intent is to provide something simple to use so that a third party (e.g. a production ops person) can set up polls remotely from the streamer, inspired by some features in Primtetime with YouTube Gaming.
- My own Livestream channel - I'm now taking on a more podcast-style format, with different planned topics and an intent to be covering "recent news" as well as general topics. (for example, tomorrow I want to talk spectrum scarcity -- from spark-gap radio transmissions through spread spectrum and hedy lamarr through to the spectrum battles of now; as well as more weekly topical things like Twitch's recent announcements at TwitchCon.)
- Patreon-related work for channel: I now have a patreon with some supporter-only content every month, and I'm working on building up the size of that community.
- Tutorials about Livestream Alerts: I manage another YT Channel with tutorials about Livestream Alerts that I'm maintaining/attempting to create content for as well.

I guess I have a few projects going on.
crschmidt: (photogeek)
For the last 36 hours, I have been unreasonably upset by the simplest, stupidest things that people do. Why can't people just be more smart and less annoying? God.

Also, Julie actually walked with me to Central to get a donut this morning. On the way, she caught a Bulbasaur (mine got away); on the way back, we both caught a Scyther. (There's one on Lopez Street near the playground in Cambridgeport, if you're interested.)
crschmidt: (photogeek)
My 2007-2009 tweets are a lot more true to life today than I would have expected a decade. Some things have changed (I no longer think I should go to Burning Man); but many things have stayed the same.

- I still work on open source code.
- I still get upset about the people who treat me as their personal work mule because I try to be supportive/helpful.
- I still sometimes take efforts to step away from the computer, and pride myself on short term goals like "not using it for 24 hours".
- I still freak out and change plans at the last minute when anything gets in my way.
- I still feel bad about going to the fireworks on my own, even though Jess hates crowds and loud noises.

It's interesting to see the things that stay the same, nearly a decade on.
crschmidt: (photogeek)
When I was 8 years old, I got brought to the local library, where sports writer Sam Smith was doing a book signing for his recently released book The Jordan Rules. This was the time of Bulls (and particularly, Jordan) mania: I was a huge Bulls fan, and although the book -- a 333 page non-fiction tome -- seemed massive to me at the time, I was in love with it, and read it repeatedly.

In the front of the book, the inscription that Smith wrote -- in between all of the others in line, to what must have been at the time a somewhat odd-seeming 8 year old presenting this book for a signature -- an inscription that I still haven't forgotten: "Maybe I'll be writing the Schmidt Rules next?"

Until looking it up just now, I had no real memory of what the Jordan Rules were. ("a defensive strategy employed by the Detroit Pistons against Michael Jordan in order to limit his effectiveness on offense" -- Jordan Rules, Wikipedia) Instead, what I always thought was that these were a set of rules that I could make: Like, they'd be writing about the rules that I wrote to bring order to ... whatever.

Recently, I've found myself making a handful of joking references to rules about me within the YouTube Gaming livestreaming community: things like "Chris is always watching", or "Chris should always cheat." And I just realized: it's something like the first time that I can think of when there has been something that I could realistically think of as the Schmidt rules has been written down.

I'll never be the kind of offensive basketball player -- or player of any sport -- that requires a professional team to generate a set of rules against me. Nobody will ever write about the Schmidt Rules. But that doesn't mean that they're not there. And then can be whatever I want them to be.
crschmidt: (photogeek)
at the end of a long shitty week of work drama and debacle, I had both a lovely pre-birthday livestream -- with more than 150 visitors stopping by to say hello -- and a lovely birthday party, with more than 30 people coming over, from old friends like [livejournal.com profile] volantwish and [livejournal.com profile] pezstar to newer coworkers like those from my Nokia days.

Thank you all so much for making this a special day. In a lot of ways, it turns out that turning 0x20 (32, as represented in hexadecimal) was just a reminder of what it was like to be 20 in decimal.

Thank you to everyone.
crschmidt: (photogeek)
I am so sick, and it so sucks.

It's not really sick. It's just an upper respiratory thing I can't shake. (And really, I've probably been suffering from it all week; I was sleeping 2-3 hours longer than usual, unable to focus, etc.) But it just keeps ramping up and getting worse and worse.

Thursday, I was coughing -- more like allergies than anything else -- but not feeling crappy. Jess was like "You're sick! You should stay home!" and I was like "I'm not even sick!"

Friday, I was feeling crappy, but didn't actually start coughing until I was on my way out the door to work. I was still thinking this was somehow allergies or something. Spent all day coughing unproductively, doing a number on my throat. I messaged Jess around noon and said "You're right, I'm sick." Still stayed at work, which I feel bad about in hindsight because at least one of my coworkers will probably end up sick, which wasn't really my intent :/ When we got home last night, Jess was like "You're probably wishing for sweet merciful death. Go to bed."

This morning I woke up, and said "Last night, you said I was wishing for sweet merciful death. I wasn't then, but I am now."

Today's been a nap/take meds/grump type of day. It's not great.

Plus side: 3 day weekend, so at least I'll probably be better by the time work rolls back around.
crschmidt: (photogeek)
I object.

Instead, I've sat at home for the past hour dicking around on the internet. But I really should go to work one of these days.

Quiet

Jan. 10th, 2016 11:19 pm
crschmidt: (photogeek)
It is rare that our house is actually quiet when I'm home. (Well, super rare, I guess: our fridge is pretty noisy.) But even if you discount that, it's very rare that I have much in the way of alone time when nothing else is going on.

Living in such a small apartment with 3 other people -- even people who are relatively self-supporting -- just leaves so little psychic space for anything else.

I dream of an office for myself; a small studio for photography and video; a sunroom of some kind; I dream of large bathrooms, I dream of high ceilings.

It's not what I get, but maybe someday.

Until then, I just sometimes sit back and just enjoy the quiet times. Like now.

obtusity

Jan. 9th, 2016 09:07 am
crschmidt: (photogeek)
Being intentionally obtuse when someone is genuinely asking for help bugs the crap out of me.

Or maybe... I don't know. As I write this out, I can see how some people would consider they're being helpful, and I probably use this technique at times. But this morning, I saw someone asking a question in the UAV Legal News and Discussion group: "I have done x, y and z as I believe the law requires. What next?" and someone saying "What law?"

Dude. You know what law. You've been in this group for years. The law in question is the June 2014 Interpretation of the SPecial Rule for Model Aircraft, originally included in the FMRA of 2012. You describe it as "recommendation", which is not actually true, and you know better.

Yes, it's being challenged in court. Yes, it's questionable that the FAA passed it at all, as it is a promulgation of rules as prohibited by Congress, but don't just play pretend: describe why *you* think that it's not law, or explain what you would do in answer to the person's question. Don't just sit there and pretend you don't know *exactly* what he's talking about, because you do. I know you do, you know you do, and this poor fool who came to this group to ask a question just wants some freakin' help.

So I guess it's not about being obtuse, in this case, it's just about being a bit of a dick. So, rule #1: don't be a dick.
crschmidt: (Default)
I am currently upgrading my work laptop to El Capitan. Hopefully this doesn't break anything fundamental with my computer. I did have to clear up 20G of space on my hard drive in order to do it. Which is a bit difficult when I only have 128G to begin with. But I did it.

Go little computer go! I want to go home, gosh darn it!
crschmidt: (photogeek)
I have never really done resolutions well, but some things I'd like to try to do in the near future, which I haven't been doing well.

- Keep better track of finances.

This isn't even a "Change our spending habits" yet, just a "Okay, really, keep track." I tend to do this for about two weeks and then get bored; this isn't a functional approach. Before we can change our spending, we need to know what we're spending, so this is a goal for the next 3 months with a longer term goal of coming up with a sustainable plan.

- Do a load of laundry each day.

With our family, we go through about a load of laundry each day. Our washer is very small, so for example, I can only wash three towels at a time. This means I tend to fall behind on laundry and catch up on one giant laundry weekend... but then the folding/putting away is a horror, and everyone is down to wearing that Pair of Pants that Doesn't Really Fit But I Keep It Anyway, which is ick. So I want to do a load of laundry each day.

- Go back to walking to and from work.

I used to walk to and from work. I've gotten lazy, and started not doing that - in part because I've felt short on time with family, so I've been trying to be at home earlier by taking the T. But I think that this is a mistake: I'm cutting out the time that I previously used to recover my mental energy after work during the walk, and instead I'm coming home still in a mindset of work. I'd like to change this.

- Establish a better structure for spending time.

Right now, I'm spending a lot of time not being very productive, both at home and at work. I'd like to get more done, which means committing to spending less time goofing around, and thinking more about how my day is structured. This is especially important at work, where I've been somewhat unproductive for a few weeks. I've taken a vacation from work for the past two weeks, so now it's time to come back, renewed, refreshed, and take a good solid look at improving my work habits and home time management habits.

feeling emo

Dec. 6th, 2015 11:34 pm
crschmidt: (photogeek)
I'm feeling more than a bit out of sorts; I've been failing to achieve much recently, it feels like, so I'm down on myself as a result. There are a lot of things that I want to accomplish, and I"m not accomplishing them. In some cases, this means that they're not actually happening; in others, it means that *other* people are doing them -- and if there's one thing I like less than not getting around to something, it's other people getting around to it in a different way that pisses me off. :p

Holiday party at Google was fine, but frankly, I don't think I'll go in the future; the office is just too big to make it fun for me. It's impossible to find most of the people you want to see.

I put together a list of the games that I have played on my newish YouTube channel so far:

Game List

There's a bunch of them.

(I'm still sort of thinking what I want as a web presence other than the YT channel itself.)

why

Nov. 29th, 2015 08:07 pm
crschmidt: (photogeek)
why is it that people who claim the left is "obviously wrong" on anthropomorphic global warming seem to mostly be just repeating logical fallacies over and over?

Look, only 97% of studies agree that anthropomorphic global warming is a thing. I assume some of those other 3% claim that global warming isn't a thing at all. If these studies are so right, why won't you just cite them and be done with it?

Anyway, after arguing back and forth 6 times on Facebook, I just started quoting the Logical Fallacy Referee. http://imgur.com/a/QDbyt#0

So far, I'm on 4/32 in one Facebook thread! And I've learned about a funny name for a logical fallacy:

- Appeal to the Stone
- Ad hominem attack
- Argument from silence
- Not really a logical fallacy, but Echo Chamber effect

I also pulled out the Historical Fallacy card, though it's only tangentially related; a Reptition Fallacy is really close to happening; I think it would be fair to call an Illegal Proof Reversal if I really wanted to; A No True Scotsman foul is almost certainly in play; and the whole conversation is basically an illegal use of Ergo Decedo.

So really, we're at 9/32, and they just keep racking them up.

Why? Just find the study that supports your point and link it! I'd do it *for you* if I could freakin' find the thing! This is the banner you are waving. This is the flag you are flying. If you're going to do it, do it with data! There's enough out there to support any position, just find it and use it!
crschmidt: (photogeek)
If you're interested in catching one of my gaming livestreams: I'll be streaming again tonight from 9:15PM Eastern, at https://gaming.youtube.com/watch?v=Psv2vSBhzyo .

I'm thinking this is going to be a regular thing: Monday nights at 9:15PM EST.
crschmidt: (photogeek)
So about a month ago, in a mostly unrelated thread, I ended up writing a description of my job up on reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/3mvfy4/important_information_regarding_3rd_party/cx2pyqw?context=3

As a result of that description, someone gave me "reddit gold"; a donation that gives you some additional reddit features, and can be gifted anonymously.

Today -- probably because the thread got linked from somewhere -- someone commented on the thread:

"this job sounds like it pays bank and yet u give this mofo gold"

My wife and I both laughed hard enough at this comment that we independently decided to give the person in question reddit gold in return... and only realized after the fact that we had both done it.
crschmidt: (photogeek)
On Thursday, I spent most of my therapy session talking about what I get out of broadcasting a gaming livestream on YouTube gaming.

I mentioned this to someone and they were like "Wait, are you making a joke?" and I was like no, seriously! I did! What is it about running a livestream with a half dozen or a dozen people watching that I find more entertaining? Why is this something that matters to me? What am I getting out of this that I am not getting out of other aspects of my life?

The answer is probably complicated, as with all questions that are brought up in therapy, but one of the things that came to the top of my mind: I get to tell stories to a non-captive audience who hasn't heard all of my stories.

I love telling stories. (Well, really, I mostly probably love to hear myself talk, but they're largely overlapping.) I have a fair number of stories. In fact, I have enough stories that I often forget which story I'm telling halfway through a story and start telling another story. I have enough stories that in order to remember the stories, I am now creating an anecdote tracking spreadsheet to remind myself of the stories. (While writing this paragraph, I remembered two more of my stories: the Botswanan prostitute in South Africa, and the German one in Berlin. These are brief enough that they are often told together, though sometimes I go from the Botswanan prostitute to the South African casino to the cheetah in Kruger National Park.)

But in most environments, telling stories has a social cost: I have to determine whether people are interested in my story, and I have a hard time figuring out when to shut up and listen, or how to notice that people aren't interested. For example: I can literally talk about copyright and Content ID for hours; I did it for 1.5 hours with a small engaged audience just a few days ago, and I think the people involved learned something. But having the same conversation in a different audience would have worked poorly; most people don't give two craps about copyright. (Writing that sentence, I thought of another anecdote to add to the anecdote tracker.) And figuring out how to shut up before people get cranky is hard for me, and always has been; at my previous job, it was actually a significant problem for me in the work environment.

So, what's a guy to do in the case where he can't accurately figure out how to tell stories to a captive audience without boring them to tears? The answer is simple: Make the cost of leaving the conversation socially trivial: In streaming video game playing -- especially on YouTube -- *there is no obligation to stay*. No one has to watch me; if they want to, they can, but otherwise, they can close their browser, and I will never know.

Yet even when I'm playing ancient games that most of my audience has never heard of -- whether it's wandering through the Great Underground Empire in Zork, collecting the Oracles in Commander Keen, or destroying Robotnik in Sonic -- I still maintain an audience, who talks with me and enjoys my stories.

This is not actually a lot different from what creates the "vlogging" movement: these are people who have stories to tell, and didn't have another audience, and chose to tell these stories to the internet -- where sometimes, people really enjoy their stories! This is not much different than LiveJournal was for many of us for many years. (It is a difference from IRC channels: because most people didn't have personal IRC channels for themselves, you had a somewhat captive audience; monopolizing them is generally inappropriate.)

With broadcasting game play, I have:

- A source of interesting content built in no matter what.
- A somewhat engaged, non-captive audience
- The ability to tell my stories to people who haven't heard them before.

And that's cool.

reading LJ

Nov. 12th, 2015 08:13 am
crschmidt: (photogeek)
I just realized that I haven't read LJ since the 5th.

Crap. This means that I've been spending too much time on other things, and forgetting to check LJ.

Need to fix this. In the meantime, have a meaningless update to indicate I realize I haven't been managing my time correctly!
crschmidt: (photogeek)
It's Fall weather out right now (53 degrees) but the high for today is 73.

Jess seems to find this some variety of confusing; I simply find it "weather".

Yesterday, I fixed something that was breaking live-streaming for many users in Russia, I think. I like it when a reddit complaint leads to a straightforward bugfix I can actually implement; it makes me feel less like a "hero" (which is good short term and bad long term) and more like I'm just doing my job.

Unfortunately, live-streaming isn't really my job.

I wonder if there's any companies that just have software development strike teams that just go around fixing high-touch user complaints. I guess there's only a handful of companies big enough to make that worthwhile, but it might be cool to have a general purpose strike team of a half dozen people to do things like that. I guess the biggest problem is the learning curve for any particular problem: it's taken more more than 12 months of listening to complaints every day to get to the point where a non-trivial chunk of them are actionable.

I still like the idea, even if it's impractical.

extra life

Nov. 3rd, 2015 10:01 pm
crschmidt: (photogeek)
I will be participating in the Extra Life charity gaming event this Saturday, November 8th.

This event was originally a 24 hour marathon, and I'm interested in the spirit of that, but I am concerned about:

- My longevity for such an event
- The impact on my family if I am to do such a thing.

So while I would like to stream gaming for 24 hours, I am not 100% convinced I will.

However, in honor of that effort, I have started off my campaign with a $24 donation -- one for every hour I'd like to stream -- on my profile at Extra Life.

If you would like to support Boston Children's Hospital, and awesome video game playing, please feel free to support me; and check me out on Saturday at Chris Plays Games on YouTube Gaming.

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