Steamboat Willy

Good Thoughts

I guess I was wrong to post yesterday that I thought things were getting much better with my Grandmother.  While eating dinner last night I got a rather frantic call from my mother.  Turns out that things are not going as well as we had thought.  Her kidneys are functional, but not working nearly as efficiently as they should.  Now it might be that they are just overwhelming from not working for so long that the toxins built up in the body are too much for them to deal with.  It could be a lot of things, but basically she is not moving fluids like she should be.

Now at this point they are trying a few things, the first of which is to give her Lasix.  When my mom told me that I listened but was thinking in the back of my head “what the hell does eye surgery have to do with kidneys”.  Later I googled and found out that both “Lasik” and “Lasix” are two completely separate things and one of which is in fact for fluid retention.  Essentially at this point one of several things is going to happen.  Either the Lasix does it magic and she starts moving fluids again normally, helping her kidneys chew through the toxins.  Next possibility is that it increases her blood pressure enough for her to take normal dialysis to help the kidneys catch up.  Final option is that if her blood pressure remains low or drops, they will have to transfer her to Tulsa so they can do a “slow dialysis” which I don’t fully understand, but apparently it is a thing.

I am not a very religious man, but my grandmother very much is.  She is as staunch of a catholic as I know, and even if I don’t believe something… I have to respect anyone that puts that much faith in anything.  As a result I thank you all for all the prayers and good vibes you are sending her way.  While I may not be completely sold on prayer, I do feel like the power of positive thinking is definitely a thing.  So I am hoping that the prayers and thoughts help.  Grandma is one of the biggest influences on the person I am today, and I am just not ready to lose her yet.  She is the last Grandparent my wife and I have… and she really has whole heartedly adopted my wife as one of her “grandchildren”.

Steamboat Willy

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As a result of the news that I got while eating dinner, I really didn’t feel like being around people much last night.  At the very least I did not feel like streaming, because I really was not up to trying to hold a one sided conversation with myself.  I continued pushing forward with my mage and managed to ding I believe 42 before I called it a night.  This lead me from Feralas to Thousand Needles.  It has been quite a long time since I had completed any of the new “raceway” quests… with the raceway under the newly formed lake.  I have to say I found them enjoyable, and I am thankful they used the same underwater tech here that they did in Hyjal.  The highlight of the quests for me is the fact that you get a really awesome boat to ride around in while you are in Thousand Needles.

The frustration of leveling with full heirlooms is that you generally only get to do a single quest hub before moving on to the next zone.  Granted the fact that I have been queuing for dungeons has really escalated this factor.  I want to get to 60 so I can use my boost, but at the same time I don’t.  That said I know if I do not end up boosting this character, it will languish a slow death in outlands and northrend and never quite make it to the level cap.  I am enjoying my Mage quite a bit, but not enough to get me to push through the segments of content that I am bored with.  The problem is that one you get higher in level the dungeons become a slog, and the difficulty ramps up meaning there is a lot more failure.  Right now pugging is relaxing because we could literally do anything and make it through the dungeon, when we actually need to care about damage and a bit of strategy… the enjoyment drains.

Adventures in DRM

Much like the 15 games that influenced me project, there is another one that I have been obsessing over.  My friend Beau Hindman mentioned this the other day, that he was trying to distill his musical tastes down to a single 10 song play list.  For me this mission has morphed quite a bit.  Back during the 80s and 90s I was a “mix tape” maker.  I rarely if ever listened to music as intended, or if I did… it was because the arrangement of songs on an album was absolute perfection.  As we moved into the MP3 era I have continued this trait, making sublime little mixes of music for specific moods.  So the project at hand has been to create a mix tape that talks about my tastes in music.  Since it is so damned easy to use youtube for this purpose I simply strung together a sequence of music videos and while streaming Monday night, I had that playing in the background.

I didn’t really think much about it, and when I checked my stream over on the second machine… I didn’t hear the music coming through.  So I mentally shrugged and figured it was something to do with codecs and whatnot.  Turns out that the music was in fact recorded, and as soon as I did the twitch export to youtube, the DRM klaxons twanged.  Their song matching system is ruthlessly efficient, and they properly identified every single track that was playing looped in the background.  So I thought to myself “great, this means they will likely strip the audio from my videos” or even worse un-list them completely.  Apparently no, that is not the case at all.  Basically the key stipulation is, that I cannot monetize the videos now that I have acknowledged I have used someone else’s music.

I guess at the end of the day I am fine with this.  I have trouble with the concept of monetization in general.  Like I am not against someone else profiting from their hard work.  I have however always been against putting advertisements on my blog, and I tend to feel the same about my budding youtube feed.  If I thought I had a shot in hell of actually making enough income to offset my position as a senior developer… I might feel differently.  What I do with my gaming is a hobby, and I just don’t think what I do is good enough that it is actually worth making money on.  Anyways long story short…  I am fine with this stalemate I seem to have created over copyrighted works.  I get to listen to whatever the hell I want to, and apparently continue making videos.  The only negative side effect is that apparently these videos are now banned in Germany.

Radio Silence

I will likely be pretty quiet on most of social media this week.  Today through Friday I will be attending Sharepoint development training.  So while I will check into the world periodically I won’t be very reachable.  You guys hold down the fort while I am gone.  Additionally I figure my evenings will be spent at the hospital again.  I had stayed away for a few days because I felt like I was coming down with something.  However I think that something is just “allergies” and the negative side effect of nature deciding to wake the hell up again.  So yeah…  don’t do anything I wouldn’t do?

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