Week 51-52: Storm Winds, Power Lines, and Christmas!

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The first week for this update was “fun” this time around. Well, weekend anyway, but still enough that it cut into my exercise time.

 

So I managed with little difficulty to get in another couple of sessions of Zombies Run but did not get any recordable footage from my games.

Reason being… er, Monday I think I mostly spent time on the computer dealing with the edit-and-upload videos that I should be trying to get done the day I record them (as well as the usual parental delays of them thinking I’m their live-in tech support and am available at the drop of a hat, which does not mesh well with a tendency to lose focus on whatever I’m doing when the person interrupting me demands that I change that focus for any length of time). Since I no longer remember when I actually recorded that gameplay (the previous Thursday I’m mostly-but-not-completely sure) I wound up using the date tag the computer gave me for when I edited it.

Thursday, though… Thursday was the critical one alluded to in the title. On Thursday morning, round about 2:30 am (I was still sitting up reading), the power went out. Come closer to 9 in the morning it was still out, and upon checking outage maps it turned out their were outages all over the area including about half of our road.

Since I was up and didn’t relish the thought of using a camp toilet (I like my indoor plumbing), I drove out to the nearest grocery/department store to do some wandering, and stopped by Burger King to pick up breakfast for everyone on the way back. Spent some gas making a few trips for bathroom reasons as far as that goes, as well as spending time just sitting in the car with the heater running and my phone charging while I read in whatever light snuck past the cloud cover.

Some time during the day I decided to go out for my walk in the hopes that I could get two of them in before the end of the day (due to a change in my work schedule that completely eliminated my plans to walk more days that week–probably just as well since the sun would’ve set before I got home Christmas Eve on my original schedule), only to decide it was simply too cold and windy to do more than one mission that day. While I was out I saw a likely cause or contribution to the outage: a tree branch had fallen on the power lines at one end of the road (visible from half a mile away once I knew I was looking at), and the lines, as my dad had described them that morning, were hanging low. Since the outage map still reported another couple of days before power was likely to be restored, I called it in (speaking to a real person instead of the automated forms my parents were relying on) to make sure someone mentioned the branch.

By the way, that branch was visible from about half a mile away.

 

Come evening, my parents elected to get a hotel room so as to have access to heat and running water. There we ordered pizza for dinner, went to bed, and the next morning we came home so I could get ready for work… where I left an hour earlier than normal so I could have access to heat and running water.

Also I learned, courtesy of another bout of eye pain, that ocular migraines (or perhaps “retinal” since one of the distinctions seems to be whether it affects one or both eyes) can be triggered by intense exercise. Kind of like how I’ve been randomly itchy all year could be heat rash due to stepping up the attempts to work out and not an allergic reaction to, say, perfumed laundry detergent. Yay. 🙄

Friday night, I got out of work and drove to a different hotel to once again stay with my parents somewhere with heat and running water, where my dinner consisted of whatever was leftover in my packed lunch (maybe half a serving of chocolate milk, a single clementine orange, and a handful of trail mix) and a few candy bars that my parents had brought with them–they, of course, had already had dinner a few hours previously and since it was almost midnight by this point we weren’t ordering out again.

Saturday we came home to lights and running water and… not a lot of heat, but that’s just because it took the furnace some time to catch up to our normal setting. (Judging by all the things that blink, power had been on for about four hours by the time I walked in the door.) I sat in my winter coat for a while until my parents got home, then we spent the next hour dumping out food that the fridge and freezer had not been up to the task of keeping cold (some ice cream because it just doesn’t taste good if it melts and refreezes–and this hadn’t reached the “refreezing” stage–as well as things like eggs and meat that were tossed for safety reasons). Then I packed up what I could of my normal selections and once again headed out to work.

 

Now, in all this time I could have tried a few workouts on VR… the standalone nature of the Oculus Quest means that is absolutely not a problem as long as the battery is good. But my editing skills are poor enough that I would have trouble getting worthwhile footage out of it, so I elected not to try. Plus with the hotel stays and not wanting to pack more than necessary, that means that Thursday, the day where I spent more time in my car than in the house, was really the only day I could’ve gotten anything done.

 

The following week I did three walks, taking advantage of still having my normal two days off plus the store being closed on Christmas, visited other family members for Christmas dinner, and opened up my single present under the tree that was a GoPro 9. Got some playing around with the settings to do, but due to the differences in features I plan to switch my fitness game recordings from the Fusion’s 360 degree capability to the 9’s built-in webcam mode, and maybe do a little more digging with OBS while I’m at it.

I also, on Christmas, finally got around to getting my monitor arm set up for reasons of space-saving and eventual decluttering. (With the graphics amplifier on the desk in front of me, I have that much less stuff requiring the desk to my right so maybe soon I can get rid of that and get myself some more floorspace.)

I’m hoping to have enough money to justify the cost of a gaming laptop by next Christmas (for reasons of both desk space and fewer cords), so I went into this planning to eventually not need the arm and monitor… but that hope is far enough out, especially with student loans kicking back in soon, that I decided it was well worth taking whatever steps I could do now.

 

But as mentioned, I did get one recorded gameplay session in before the weather went south, and I got to try out my Genki covert Switch dock and Shadowcast capture card to play Ring Fit Adventure:

This one, for privacy reasons, is only uploaded in split-screen mode. Reason being I’d completely forgotten to declutter my desk prior to the recording, there were certain things that I really didn’t need showing up on camera (I mean, I personally couldn’t see what any of them said in the footage but that doesn’t mean nobody else would’ve had problems), and 360 mode just doesn’t allow for cropping the way a fixed-position image does.

PSA: Remember to keep any recordable area clear of things you don’t want other people to see. The messy room is bad enough. 😉

Sadly, the covert dock did not allow me to see the Switch screen when the camera was potentially blocking my view on the computer monitor–it went dark just the same as it does when I slide it into the official dock. I honestly don’t know if they chose not to make it do that or if the Switch itself isn’t made to allow that sort of thing. But it still means I don’t need to keep disconnecting the regular dock from whichever TV it was last attached to to record in here.

 

And the five sessions with Zombies Run….
I finished out the “lost” episodes of the New Brunswick storyline:

Hey, Six to Start? What exactly was on the USB stick that was so important that the story had to end that way? It’s not even listed as an artifact, for crying out loud!

Anyway, after finishing Brunswick I returned to the later end of the season and, courtesy of having Christmas off from work, got in two more of the regular missions:

Nearly done with Season 1, but I’m not quite there yet! And unless I double up episodes somewhere this will extend into next year.

 

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