Successful Second Day…Still Having Connection Issues

Just a quick one to keep this on the daily, but still planning to post the big posts next week. I will say that my fear that I would be too tired to get around today was unfounded. Sure, I was a little tired, and I lost some steam this evening, but overall, I kicked butt and logged over 10,000 steps for the second day in a row.  

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to Tweet or FB or Instagram throughout the day, which is kind of a bummer. But I will have lots of pics to post and show later for anyone who wants to see them.  Also, I think I had issues last year too. I just had the deja vu typing that paragraph. 

Sleep, then onward to day 2. 


Kicking Things Into Gear…Or Not

Not a whole lot happened today, to be completely honest.

After work, I was supposed to get together with a friend from work to do some writing and editing, but she wasn’t feeling well by the end of the day, so we rescheduled for Friday. This means I’ve jumped off the “Should we go to the rodeo?” fence into the “Not this time” field, but I’m okay with that. It’s about 20 bucks we’ll save towards Gencon ($18 if you consider the coffee I’m going to buy Friday evening). However, I still ended up Hastings. I’m here with a hot decaf sitting next to me, chess players to my left and a really nice barista to my right.

I hope I’m not giving off a sweat vibe. I hit the gym before coming here. Instead of harder, shorter workouts, I’ve been doing some paced, longer workouts while watching Netflix on my phone. Tonight was “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” and 75 minutes of exercise. I feel good. No complaints.  I may also have a stray hair or two hanging around because I finally went and got a haircut.

I was going to chatter about some of the things I’ve been doing at work to increase productivity and organization, but then I read about something else, and the only reason it struck me was because shortly before I even knew about this, I was formulating a bit of a paragraph on something very closely related.

Let’s talk about Kickstarter. Specifically, let’s talk about the recent debacle over a game “The Doom That Came to Atlantic City.” Not sure if debacle is the right word. Maybe disappointing mess to a mass of internet is a better description. The above link is the post/update that Erik Chevalier at The Forking Path sent to backers of the Kickstarter, a project that needed $35,000 and earned $122,874 by over a thousand backers.

Here was my initial response:  Aw, I kind of feel sorry for that guy. He bit off more than he could chew and completely screwed himself over. I kind of feel sorry for him. 

The internet, though, can be tricky. After reading more from that greatest source of news ever known as Twitter, I read more about it, including this post by one of the actual creators of the game, Keith Baker.  I also read the comments to see what the general consensus was. The answer? Fraud across the board, and after reading Baker’s post, I’m inclined to agree. The first post, seemingly apologetic, feels rather empty once one of the actual creator’s of the game comes forth with more details, a real apology, and the promise to try to make it up to the backers even though this wasn’t their fault and they will ultimately lose money on this.

I’m sure this isn’t the first time this is happened, and I don’t think it’ll be the last, but it’s sad. When people are victims of fraud, it sucks. It’s a crappy thing to do to someone and it leaves the individuals feeling vulnerable and naive. When it’s done through a Kickstarter, the only comfort is that as a backer, you’re not alone. But you’re still out the X amount of dollars you spent, and the situation becomes a dark mark on a program that I believe has done good things for people.

About ten minutes before reading those posts, I had read two of my own Kickstarter email updates and had been struck by the fact that one of them involved a profuse apology for a delay in printing.  I wondered, “Do people really get upset by something like that?” I don’t know. Maybe they do. And maybe they’re in their right to be as such.

Jon and I have Kickstarted many things, and I can’t think of anything we backed that didn’t happen or that we didn’t get our backer rewards for. When I back something, I always do it with a wariness that what I’m supporting may or may not actually happen. It’s with the knowledge that I’m making a decision that might not pan out for me because stuff happens.

That doesn’t mean I think anyone should just casually throw money at whatever. Part of the reason I don’t get overexcited with delays is that I don’t kick in a huge amount of money to any of the projects (the exception being Reaper, but we felt that the company had a good reputation before the Reaper Mini Kickstarter). If I did, I’d probably have more anxiety over the whole thing.

I completely support that backers of this project are taking action, because dude needs to be held accountable. It just sucks that so many people are having to deal with it. It especially sucks for the creators of the game who put trust in a gaming company to make their work a success, only to be told “Sorry, guys. I screwed up. Deal with it.”

Regarding those Kickstarters I’ve helped fund, I’ve never had a problem. They’ve been very straightforward and honest and have delivered on everything they promised. I’d like to think that most of the people looking for funding are the same way, and that the bad apples are few and far between. I sincerely wish all the backers luck in getting their money back and I hope the creators continue to create and that something good comes out of this for them.


Snow Days and Technology

The end of a year is drawing near, so inevitably I feel the need to brush off my blog and start rambling again to anyone who’s still listening. Considering I always say I like to write and blog, you’d think I’d do it more frequently.

Now, at 11pm at night, I have the urge to update, an urge borne of sleeplessness resulting from an afternoon nap and too much Mountain Dew. This is what I get for ignoring consequences. And while others are waiting for the end of the world (which may or may not happen in an hour…and I’m leaning heavily towards may not), my topic is way less exciting.

Today, I took a snow day.

Since I haven’t blogged here in awhile, I should mention…in case I haven’t already…that J. Felbs and I moved at the beginning of summer to a small town about twenty minutes away from where we work and go to school. The commute hasn’t been bad and I like living in a small, quiet town much more than living in the louder college town. However, winter weather was something we knew we’d eventually have to tackle.

Snow came through last night and it had already been determined that if roads were bad, people could use their judgement to stay home. And I started thinking about how things have changed between now and when I used to work and go to school in Michigan. Some of it has to do with my age, some of it with the fact that I’ve passed some time in an area that doesn’t get as much snow as the UP. Some of it has to do with technology.

Back then, I’d listen for the weather report on the TV or radio. If school wasn’t called off or work closed, I just went, braving the roads, driving slowly without a cell phone, walking carefully on the ice. Sure, I’d complain about it all day long, but there never seemed to be another option unless I wanted an absence (school) or loss of pay and an irate manager and co-workers (job).

Now, I can get online and check the weather and the road conditions. I can message and email friends to see how the roads are. I can read other Tweets in the area to gauge what’s going on. If I venture out, I’m armed with my cell phone, and I text when I leave and when I arrive so friends and family know I’m safe. If applicable, I can work from home.

Which is what I did. And it worked out okay, but it felt weird. When we lived in the larger town, a snow day wasn’t a huge issue since everything was only five minutes away. But this morning I was scared to drive the twenty minutes on the highway without doing all kinds of research on what was going on out there. Even after I got several pieces of informational feedback, I waited for it to get light and then I tried to venture out only to be thwarted by the ice on the outside stairs. While there was a time when this too would have been defeated, it got the best of me. I went back in, turned on the computer, and proceeded to take full advantage of the joys of technology and telecommuting.

I’ve seen memes and posts that insinuate how much better people were for surviving those times without internet and cell phones, and of course I “Like” them or “Retweet” them if they’re particularly clever. I’ve been known to get my own pretentious on about living in Michigan where a little snow never frightened us, not like it does down here where people aren’t “one with the snow.”

But to be completely honest, I like the current way of things. I like having all the info, I like the security of having my cell phone with me wherever I go, and I like knowing that I can work offsite and still be productive when it’s needed. I know not everyone has that with their job, but even taking into account the access to more information and the ability to make better decisions about staying or going is definite progress from the early morning weather updates and school closing lists from my youth.

I do hope, however, to be able to get out tomorrow, because I haven’t progressed enough to beat cabin fever.

Brushing Shoulders with Internet Fame

I have a certain perception of internet fame.

There are some people I consider to have a certain degree of popularity on the web. Usually it’s because of a blog or a podcast. These people don’t actually have to be well known by celebrity definitions. If they’re known to me, and they entertain me, I instantly think they’re super cool and internet famous.

Most of my “famous” people come from podcasts and blogs.  Also, internet fame for me doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with looking good or being a movie star. It’s more about being an interesting person who has something interesting to say. That’s not to say I don’t have my share of celeb fan stalking, but it’s hard to classify them all in one.

Twitter has been the best platform for making me feel like I’ve brushed shoulders with internet fame.  Not going to lie…when I get re-tweeted, I instantly feel super awesome. It doesn’t matter who it’s by, it’s a total ego boost. The exception to this is spam bots, but they mostly just follow me and send me weird links. Beyond that, I’ve gotten re-tweets from Lords of Acid and Woodchuck Cider. I’ve also gotten a Twitter reply from Chaz Bono, and I’ve had short conversations with people who’s podcasts I’ve listened to and enjoyed.

Tumblr is another platform that makes me feel special.  I recently had a post  through GetGlue that got several likes and reblogs.   I realize I didn’t do the work, GG did. But it was still fun. Tumblr itself has Tumblr famous people. One of those people actually follows me on there. We don’t interact, mostly because I have nothing brilliant to say, but I was completely fangirly the day she followed.

This past week, J. Felbs had his own brush with internet fame when the guys from The More You Nerd podcast took his challenge to listen to some Scrub Club Records music. He was totally geeked about it and so was I! I found TMYN  just a few months ago and it’s been our go-to podcast for road tripping. It’s funny, relevant to our interests, and it’s introduced us to new movies, music, and books (it’s thanks to Mike and Drew that we are now fans of the comic Chew).

Maybe it’s not the idea of “fame” that makes things like this fun. Maybe it’s just the fact that we’re getting to meet people we admire or feel we could be friends with if geography worked differently. It’s one of those wonders of the internet, and it’s a reminder of just how much social interaction is changing.  Normal people can now have a following if they’re interesting, and truthfully, I find some of the people I follow on Twitter to be more interesting than most of the media celebrities.

Who knows? Maybe someday I’ll do something awesome and have my own fifteen minutes of being internet famous.