If Life Gives You Lemons...

Make a cool battery with some zinc and copper!

I forgot to press record. We were just chatting before the episode, and once we started, I forgot the need to press record. And while I don’t normally get embarrassed about my absentmindedness, I felt absolutely terrible for wasting everyone’s time. Let me back up…

A month or so ago, I started a new podcast with some friends. I’ve tried to start podcasts in the past (paying for almost 2 years of hosting on a podcast which never had a single episode!), but they always flop before they get started. This time, I decided to start the podcast, and figure out our format and such after a few really bad episodes. And it turns out, just “showing up” really is a great way to make something happen. Because after 2 pretty rough episodes, we had a format idea that seemed legit. We would take turns deep diving on a topic we found interesting, and present the information to the others, where they could ask questions. Kinda like having an expert on every week, but without needing to know any experts. Asher went first, talking about DnD licensing, and it went well. The next episode was me, deep diving on ADHD. I covered the physiology of the disorder, how it manifests, how various treatments work, etc. It wasn’t the best presentation, but it wasn’t bad.

And I forgot to press record.

At least it was “my week”, and I didn’t forget to record someone else’s hard work. That would have been much worse. But still, I felt like a turd for days. And then I realized chatting with friends for an hour about a topic you’re passionate about is pretty great. Yeah, it ended up being only fun for the 4 of us — but that’s OK. Who doesn’t love nerdy conversations with friends? So rather than think of it as a failed podcast, I’m trying to think of it as a, “really cool conversation that we should totally have made into a podcast!”

Now I Just Gotta Figure Out How to Spin my Comic’s Hiatus

I still haven’t started drawing my comic again. My friend Ant sent me a Wacom tablet that works in Linux, and while I’ve been using it for making YouTube videos — I haven’t drawn any comics. See, I used to draw my comic at 5:30 or 6:00AM, while I sipped my morning coffee. Ever since I got Covid, however, I’ve been unable to wake up early. It’s not that I’m staying up late, just that I seem to need 4 hours more sleep every night. I’m still hopeful that I’ll eventually get my old energy back, but I’m also grateful that if this is indeed due to Covid, I’m not struggling nearly as much as Physics Girl. (She’s too young to be having such issues, it breaks my heart)

So how do I find a silver lining to the lack of comics? Well, I’m not sure yet. Maybe I’ll figure out a way to streamline the creation so it takes less time to draw. Maybe I’ll switch mediums and start making animated shorts of Blue and his friends. (Although that seems like it might take longer than drawing static comics…) And maybe My Big Round World will be that thing I did for a year and a half that one time. Even if I never draw another comic, I’m still incredibly proud of the world I created.

So You Don’t Do Anything Anymore?

Heh, it seems like that some days. But I’m actually still creating videos on YouTube. We’re working through the Linux+ exam objectives. It’s going much slower than I’d like, but some progress is better than no progress, and everyone has been incredibly supportive.

I’m still working full time during the day, so my other endeavors take place in the evenings and on the weekends. I’m burning my candle at both ends, but candles are pretty dim, even when doubly lit. Someday I’ll be a full time creator. But that day isn’t yet. :)

I did start recording birds around our property again. It’s something that brings me a lot of joy, and the nerdy automation stuff makes it fun in multiple ways. There’s a livestream that automatically starts and stops with the sun, and then a highlight reel every night that is automatically created and uploaded. As Spring turns into Summer, I hope to get more cameras active, more feeders in place, and more birds in the yard. The channel isn’t super impressive now, but it’s only going to get better.

Speaking of livestreaming, we’ve been consistently holding a Sunday afternoon livestream for many months now. I try to have a weekend assignment published on Friday, and then on Sunday during the livestream we go over the solution. Plus we just chat about nerd stuff. It’s pretty laid back, and just a fun time to hang out with nerdy friends.

The Future?

Well, I completed the 90 Days of Mayhem, and while it didn’t draw as much attention as I’d hoped, it was really fun and challenging for me. I didn’t miss a day, but there were a few “phoned in” videos. (Literally, I recorded on my phone and uploaded from the car!)

I’m thinking about doing a “sub-a-thon” in the coming weeks. I have to figure out the mechanics, and also the format — but basically the idea is I livestream, and every time a new YouTube subscription, Twitch membership, Patreon supporter, SuperChat donation, etc. comes in, time gets added to a clock. I keep livestreaming until the clock runs out, doing various silly/creative/giveaway/challenging things as certain milestones are passed. It might not garner a lot of attention, but I think it will still be fun.

We Should Do This More Often

Thanks for catching up on stuff with me! It’s been SO long since I sent out an update. It’s funny, but I always assume everyone is with me all the time, so I forget that without any correspondence, y’all have no idea what’s going on.

I’ll do my best to send more frequent updates, even if it’s just a quick recap on my giant cardboard head at the SCaLE conference, or when I actually solder something without getting 3rd degree burns.

Thanks for hanging out with me, and a special thanks to those of you who are supporting me on Patreon. It’s starting to feel a bit surreal that so many people value what I do enough to put their money where my mouth is. (That’s not quite how the saying goes, but hey, I buy groceries with that money!)

Remember to learn everything. Do what you love. And most importantly, be kind. :)

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