It's wintery.
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.

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.

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.

go el capitan go
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!

Happy New Year!
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
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 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.

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!

streaming again tonight
If you're interested in catching one of my gaming livestreams: I'll be streaming again tonight from 9:15PM Eastern, at .

I'm thinking this is going to be a regular thing: Monday nights at 9:15PM EST.

this job sounds like it pays bank...
So about a month ago, in a mostly unrelated thread, I ended up writing a description of my job up on reddit.

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.

Non-captive Audience Storytelling
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.


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