Random Updates

My plague hair is long enough to be easily and reliably tied back. I’ve always wanted to donate to Locks of Love, but the last time I went from long hair to short hair, I didn’t tie it up properly, so I wasn’t able to donate. And now, they don’t use gray hair for their wigs. I can either dye it before I get it cut, or I can find another site to donate to.

We had an emote drive over on the Twitch channel, and on Wednesday, we unlocked the final emote for Affiliate level streamers. I was so stoked, and I’m pretty sure it came through stream. It’s a heck of an accomplishment, and my viewers did it all. Thanks to all of you, and I hope you enjoy the emotes!

I’ve had the week off from work, and am feeling absolutely rejuvenated. I feel like I am in a good place, and can whittle away at the infinite To-Do List of life and parenthood. Luckily for me, this feeling has hit me just as the kids are switching to be here with me most of the time. I have ideas, and hopes, but most of all, I’m looking forward to listening and watching and helping along the way.

Soundwave superior, Constructicons inferior.

Remember that post, a little bit ago, where I said it’s been forever since I bought a Transformer? Well… I found one that not only satisfied my pickiness, but also brought me joy to buy.

Soundwave bot mode

I’ve been a fan of Soundwave since there’s been a Soundwave. 1984 to present, cassette deck to futuristic jet to lowered SUV to communications satellite, I have been a fan. Don’t even get me started on his depiction in Transformers Prime. Just amazing. They even once made a Soundwave MP3 player, and if I had had the cash at the time, I guarantee that I would have owned it.

I’m not trying to establish my nerd cred here. This is not an assertion of my Transformers Fan Superiority. If it has that effect, fine, I won’t complain. What I’m trying to do here is communicate my ages-old fan status of the Decepticon that was always just a little bit different from his fellow Cybertronians.

Soundwave car mode

This toy, the Cyberverse Deluxe Class Soundwave, met all my nit-picks. It’s well articulated. It’s not top heavy or picky about how the feet are aligned or posed. It looks good in both robot and vehicle modes. There is no overwhelming kibble when in robot mode, and there’s no obvious robot bits in vehicle mode. Laserbeak is not only included, but can still transform into a cartridge (engine?) and fit into Soundwave’s chest. Both modes can be played with!

And let’s not forget, this is a Deluxe class. That’s a $20 USD price point. Not sixty bucks, or even forty. Twenty bucks. It’s pretty dang small, but it’s better than most Soundwave toys that have come out in the last thirty years.

If you find this one in your local store, or online, I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re a Soundwave fan.

Words in Hard Copy

Tron Journal

This post has been a while coming. Some time ago, I filled another journal with words and remembrances from my life. You may remember this journal from its previous appearance in Crafty Learning, which was all about the misadventures of using expired house paint and a homemade stencil. It got… interesting.

Despite the artistic mishap, or maybe because of it, I had been looking forward to filling this one for a while. (Do I say that with every one?) It was the last of the journals gifted from a friend, and it had been well loved before it came into my possession. It deserved to be completed. And so I did.

It contains less fiction than many of them, like the previous one. Separation and life and global pandemic and and and… I’ve done more streaming than writing in the past few years, and have used that space for a lot of the things I’ve long used writing for. It’s been a great emotional and creative outlet, with the added benefit of hanging out with friends, in a time when hanging out is a dangerous thing to do.

Back of filled journal

By no means am I abandoning writing, of course. The stories in my head still need to be let out, and putting words on the page still brings me joy. I’m already loving putting words in the new journal. I’m still looking for an artist for the next chapter of my webcomic; I’ve still got editing the next installment of Adam’s Name next in line on my writing to-do list. It’s been slow, but there’s a big difference between a trickle and dried-up.

I think this journal was intended to be a bound sketchbook when it was made. The pages are thick and yellowed with age, and are unlined. It held my thoughts and mementos just as well as it would have illustrations, as far as I’m concerned. I first used it, as I have in several, for an idea that was different enough from my usual fare that I decided to put it in a journal of its own. That idea never panned out (but it was good!), so there’s a large gap between the first few entries, and when I began using it as my go-to writing destination.

Thank you, journal, for receiving my attempts at craftiness and art, my stickers, little mementos of my life, and most of all, my words.

I find your argument logical.

I haven’t bought any Transformers for about four years. Ultra Magnus was the last, four or so years ago. I’ve resisted, even with some REALLY good figures that have come out. My enthusiasm has been dampened ever since I sold off my entire collection for rent and utility money.

And then this Christmas happened.

This is Shockwave from the Transformers Cyberverse – Battle for Cybertron toy line. It also came with the left leg and foot of a Build-a-Figure for Maccadam, a mysterious bar owner on Cybertron, who features heavily. My kids and their mom bought Shockwave for me for XMas and Yule; they saw it, and immediately thought of how much I’d like it. And I do! The robot mode is definitely my favorite. For such a small figure, it has many points of articulation, and poses very well. The Shockwave look that’s been developed from G1 to now is present, especially in his robot mode. Also, the gun arm is removable, so you can play before the injury, or after, or on whichever arm you want. Also a laser blast that you can attach onto the end of either gun! I’ve never had that before!

If I remember correctly, Transformers Animated was the first Shockwave to turn into a tank. Of course, he also turned into an Autobot, so all bets were off. He’s made an excellent tank since then, culminating, in my opinion, in the Tranformers Prime animated series.

I was uncertain about this spider-tank (quad-tank?) mode at first, but it is definitely growing on me. Once the knees and elbows are bent properly, it looks less like a robot doing the crab walk, and more like an actual futuristic walker. And, to be perfectly honest, the laser last looks even better in this mode.

Overall, I’m impressed with the detail, articulation points and angles, paint job, and detail molded right into the plastic. This small USD $20 toy beats out so many past attempts, many of them a lot more expensive, with ease. I am thoroughly impressed.

Thank you to my kids and their mom for this thoughtful and fantastic gift!

Breakup with DLive

DLive Icon

So, here’s the thing. I’ve been digging again.

It started when there was an announcement about DLive changing its cryptocurrency payouts to direct money toward development. My first response, like many I’ve seen in the official Discord server, was, great! More bugs will get addressed, and we’ll see the platform move toward feature parity with the likes of Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Gaming. (Rest in peace, Mixer.) On its surface, this seems like a good move.

My brain, being the way it is, wasn’t satisfied. I wondered if this was related to the other changes that had made the move to DLive possible for me. I did what I usually do first – I went to Wikipedia to find out who owns the company now.

DLive Wikipedia article

So, according to that, because I stream on DLive, I am likely to be a white supremacist or some other form of extremist. My heart sank, and my face went numb. This is what people see when they start looking up info, this is what they’ll see when they look up the platform that I stream on. How am I supposed to build a community on that?

Also, I discovered that DLive had been acquired by Bittorent. Well, that’s cool, I guess. I use that protocol to share Linux distros and other open source software. PeerTube uses the protocol to distribute the load of playing videos. Wait, what was this TRON.network stuff? The hell is that?

Bittorrent acquired by TRON

Okay, one more corporate level up. DLive has gone from an apparently independent platform to several levels of corporation. But what was TRON.network about anyway? An operating system on BLOCKCHAIN! CRYPTOCURRENCY! The company was linked to a Ponzi scheme! Accusations of plagiarism! The top ownership chain seems to be the TRON foundation, a non-profit in Singapore.

While looking all of this up, it was impossible to avoid all of the business hype around Justin Sun, the founder of TRON.network. Hell, he’d been mentioned repeatedly in DLive’s Discord as if they expected him to be personally driving the improvements to the platform. I haven’t done due diligence on him, so I’m not going to form an opinion.

Let’s get back to streaming on DLive

  • As far as Wikipedia is concerned, it’s still a haven for white supremacists and extremists.
  • Not only is the shady cryptocurrency and blockchain nonsense not gone, it’s back in full force.
  • It’s no longer an independent platform, and now has multiple layers of American and international corporation.

SIGH.

A good friend said that I should finally realize that all tech platforms are evil, or report up the chain to evil. I considered, just for a moment, giving up. Just, no longer streaming, and putting that focus back to writing.

Then, I thought, maybe I should build my own platform. Until that happens, you can find me back on Twitch, on the same schedule as always.