If you were directed to this site via one of my self-published works (there are some few copies still floating around with the link), the focus of this site has since changed.

Here I still write about writing, and include story prompts and the occasional book review (disclaimer, Amazon and Smashwords affiliate links included where relevant), along with assorted random topics. I am slowly trying to shift the focus towards those reviews and away from the random topics.
The sister site, Pioneers of the Shattered Waters, now bears the focus of my own stories, up to and including Nation Novel Writing Month competition data.

More details on this change can be found on the relevant page, “Migrating Certain Posts

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Lindsey Stirling is on Synth Riders! And more decluttering

Not exactly an up-to-date announcement for most of you I’m sure, but I have, for the first time ever, bought an entire music pack for one of my VR rhythm games because Lindsey Stirling is just that amazing.

One of these days I need to set up a playlist (of sorts–Synth Riders natively supports the option but Beat Saber doesn’t) to determine the order in which I play different songs since I’m using this for fitness. I’ve noticed many times that even on the same difficulty level some songs require considerably more activity than others. Shadows, for instance, is much more of a workout versus First Light having more the the feel of a warmup or cooldown. Meanwhile Shatter Me is just plain stuck in my head.

Granted that does assume that the difference in difficulty from one song to the next will stay the same as I improve enough to increase the actual built-in difficulty levels, but only time will tell. Bear in mind my fitness level is still such where easy mode has my heart rate reaching the higher tiers for most of the workout in these particular games.

 

In other news, not trying to turn my hodgepodge of a main channel into more of one, but I have been musing on and off lately about ASMR videos. Specifically, what, from the perspective of video niches, is a meaningful difference between ASMR and nature sounds videos? Because I have to say, if we’re discussing ASMR in terms of the physiological response to different sounds, nature sounds (like thunderstorms) are what do it for me, but as a niche I tend to see people doing more hands-on things.

In any case, I did an experiment with my GoPro recording a thunderstorm passing overhead a few nights ago so that’s getting added to the backlog whether I end up calling it ASMR or not. Obviously if I’m relying on my real-world environment instead of downloading sound effects my ability to produce such videos will be limited to what’s going on outside, but it’s something I’d be interested in trying… depending on how well the camera picked up the sound. (And if I do it again maybe I’ll try opening the window next time–while there was no actual plan to get video footage out of the deal it would’ve been nice in hindsight if I could’ve gotten that without seeing the camera blinking in its own reflection, plus there’s the more critical detail of parking it behind a curtain with no airflow causing it to overheat and shut off three times before the storm had ended, whereas I was hoping to get a recording that lasted as long as the battery did.)

 

And finally got some of that decluttering done. I have, courtesy of Vine, a new VR stand I like (I’d like it more if it was charging friendly but I digress) so my old one got tossed into the pile of things to be donated, my person humidifier got relocated from my bedroom to the much larger living room (turns out that the smoke detector can’t tell the difference between all of that mist the thing puts out and, ya know, smoke) so my “personal air conditioner” that I bought to help keep me cool while exercising got moved to the shelf unit by my bed, so now the dresser is a titch less cluttered…..

I finally, finally filed away the assorted user manuals that have been piling up on top of my desk. The desk has not been “cleared off” in the process, I’m afraid, but I did use that space to relocate some mugs full of pens and bookmarks and such that were making the area around the aforementioned VR stand very cluttered.

And on the fitness front, I made the executive decision to donate that sit-up machine I’d bought solely for the purpose of using with Zombies Run bodyweight exercises, on account of how much dust it was accumulating (achoo!) from being shoved under my bed for space-saving reasons…. only to realize that the very next episode of the Dragon Rider training had me doing crunches. Oof.

Still plenty of decluttering to go if I’m ever going to get rid of that extra desk and reorganize my room for floorspace, but it’s a start.

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Yet more Procrastinating and Decluttering.

This time with “Decluttering” higher on the excuses list, I swear!

Also with a small side of “I need to exercise self-control so I won’t have so much decluttering to do in the first place.”

 

See, I’ve mentioned in a previous post somewhere that I’ve been invited to join Amazon Vine. And while I haven’t had a whole lot of products that would be relevant to my website, I’ve encountered a lot of products I’m interested in requesting and reviewing, period. (Four different brands of freezable migraine hats, urgh. Someone cure the disorder already! 😓)

And while some of these “a lot of products” are fairly small, to the point that “decluttering” is mostly an organizational problem, some of them are quite sizeable. Like, until recently maybe a quarter of my available floorspace was taken up with a combination of three items. Not “three boxes that have several things shipped in them,” three items, period. (Well, four if we want to be technical but only because one of those products came as a set of two.) Not exactly conducive to the moving around that is necessary for doing any of my fitness games, and even less conducive to playing virtual reality when my ability to avoid such obstacles is limited by how precisely I can configure my guardian boundary and still convince it I have enough space to play. Granted, I could move back into the living room–and honestly should just for the exercise–but I’ve come up with a set-up I like from the recording side of things so I’d like to try to stick with that for consistency’s sake.

 

In the meantime I really ought to get back to work on non-fitness/VR stuff. The booktubing, the motorcycle videos, the to-be-edited backlog in general…. Or Zombies Run, for that matter. And of course my writing. I’m (mostly) sure I was doing a fairly good job at keeping up with my projects until something came along to make me lose my momentum (that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it)–when my phone started acting up I think three years ago so I couldn’t trust it to work on drafts during my lunch breaks (for writing) and when I was without a consistently working computer for two months almost five years ago (for YouTube). Inertia’s a bitch but I need to get moving and get that momentum back.

 

In quasi-related news, I’ve taken more pictures of stuff to get rid of and posted to eBay. I still have more things that need posting (including way the hell too many Beanie Babies that I’m far less confident are rare enough to “pay off my student loans with” than my parents are), but again, purely for organizational reasons, I probably don’t want to list too much more until I’ve sold some of what’s up there now. Anyone care to help me get that little bit closer to decluttering and getting out of debt? 😉

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*sigh* So much for Supernatural

I signed up for Supernatural VR on Monday. (April 18. Thanks to procrastination I never got around to posting this until the following week.)

Due to forgetting to actually download it until late at night, I didn’t try it until Tuesday… when I subsequently made the decision to cancel my subscription.

 

Why cancel? Not because I didn’t like the app or the workouts or the fact that it costs as much as it does. Nope, I cancelled because you can’t use it without an internet connection (which is to be expected–without the ability to add a memory card to the Quest something like this is bound to use up all of your storage sooner or later) and my internet just isn’t up to the task.

Oh, the normal wifi’s decent. Decent enough to livestream on Twitter, anyway (even if I do need to bite the bullet and invest in a better router one of these days), so I assume decent enough for this game.

No, the problem is that, shocking as it seems to be for a lot of companies (including our ISP), but we don’t leave everything running when we’re not using it. The modem/router stays shut off (and in nasty weather unplugged) at night when we’re sleeping. I wants apps that I can use without having to run back and forth between my room just to turn the internet on for a workout and off again when I’m done, especially when I’m using it late at night and am trying not to disturb anyone else in the house… and while I can take forever and a day downloading the app by using my phone as a mobile hotspot, the connection just isn’t enough for anything to actually load once the app is available.

 

Even if I was willing to run back and forth to opposite sides of the house so late at night, there’s also that “nasty weather” comment I made. One of the benefits of using the Quest is the ability, charged battery depending, to play games without needing anything connected to a potentially vulnerable power source, and “lifetime warranties” on surge protectors just aren’t good enough when you’re talking about the potential for fried storage. So the only games I can consistently play during questionable weather are the offline varieties.

 

So what I ended up doing instead was playing more Beat Saber, sansprogressively increasing difficulty” for short sessions each night. Played on Easy mode, the mapping was not only gentle on my sciatica, some of those songs actually worked really well to give me a decent stretch in the process.

 

Now I just need to… get back to doing on the regular and stop procrastinating. Not to mention start playing some of my non-fitness VR games for recording purposes.

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Decluttering and Procrastination

(Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate links included where possible and I deem them relevant. I’ll earn a small commission, as described in my privacy policy from eligible purchases made through these links.)

 

Thanks to Amazon Vine I’m starting to fill my room with boxes again, which kind of makes it hard to exercise in there. 😅 Hopefully my dad can help me install that storage unit into my motorcycle soon, because that’ll get rid of the largest box.

 

But that’s only a small part of why I haven’t uploaded much recently. The rest? You guessed it, I am terrible at procrastinating. (Or am I too good at it?) Doesn’t bode well for my plans for Twitch, given their “only show the video for two weeks” system for non-affiliates.

 

I did (finally) get the April “monthly” fitness test via Wii Fit uploaded:

As well as finally starting to make proper thumbnails so I can start deleting any excess footage from my computer that I don’t intend to use.

Sadly weight gain is involved, not just evidenced by the game data but also by the fact that my 34 waist work pants are starting to get snug on me. On the flip side, I just started wearing a pair that I haven’t been wearing since I first bought them so it’s hard to say how much is “I gained inches again” and how much is “I stretched the other pair out from use and I haven’t worn this pair yet.”

 

New level of Ring Fit Adventure, too, finally crossing that river via one of Ring’s special abilities:

 

No other “official” workouts (Zombies Run should be in there but it took me forever to get around to finishing the Abel Buccaneers storyline and I keep forgetting to upload the run graphics) to be had here, but I do have this:

My first efforts at showing off just how bad I am at using a weighted “hula hoop,” courtesy of Amazon Vine.

Now, the actual review is already posted to Amazon (with this same video attached) but for something of a recap: I’m well aware that I’m wearing this thing higher on my body than I’m supposed to, but the “thinner” space between spare tire and muffin top was simply too narrow to make it fit properly. The result is that, despite wearing a 34-inch waist and this fitting up to a 47 inch waist (according to their product page–when I took a tape measure to it I only got 39 after installing all of the included links so I have no idea how they measured it) I could barely fasten it.

It is also nowhere near the “whisper quiet” that the product page claims it to be, as you can tell from the above video.

But for all my talk about decluttering, it takes up little enough space when not in use, and if I look at using it in terms of “practicing to increase how many times I can spin the weight” instead of “using it x minutes per day” I can easily fit it into any other workout routine without taking much time away from my other options. And for that reason alone it’s worth keeping as part of my regular workout… whatever “regular workout” means when the context is me. Perhaps, if I use it often enough, I’ll eventually get to a point where my spare tire doesn’t interfere with using it properly and it will fit the way it’s supposed to….

 

And finally, after cancelling my Netflix subscription I’ve hemmed and hawed about taking on something else. There are plenty of VR fitness and fitness-adjacent games I’m interested in that require subscriptions–far too many that require subscriptions, actually, to make the decision easy–but one I keep coming back to is, of course the most expensive one I’ve found, Supernatural.

And my interest strengthened when I saw one of the coaches.

Nope, not your “OMG so-and-so is hawt” reaction. No, one of the coaches, when she started her fitness journey, was sizeable enough to make it “OMG a weight loss tool actually thought to use a model that the customers can relate to!” (Seriously, I know anyone can have body image problems, but it feels like there are way too many “weight loss” tools that only use models to show what you’d probably want to look like and never show who would need the product in the first place.) On the strength of that reaction alone I felt like I should support the app, but still I hesitated.

And then recently I had a sciatica flair-up. Then the reaction was like “Okay, time to see what Supernatural has available for stretches!” (Haven’t found a lot of Yoga in VR which is what I was really looking for.) And I signed up.

Now the main question is whether to include it on my channel as a random workout (and how) considering they allegedly come out with new content every single day.

Also I ordered Switch Sports, learned that there is supposed to be aesthetic gear that’s only available to online members, caved, and signed up for that as well. That one unfortunately requires competing with other players and “buying” the items with points earned in the process so I’ll have to try it out to see if it’s worth continuing to subscribe….

 

Suggested products in use, Amazon Affiliate links included where possible:

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Rhythm Game DLC choices

Been filling up my playlist (of the above title) again with songs I’d like to see in my assorted rhythm/fitness games–some already existing in DLC and some that I’d probably have to (eventually) add as custom songs.

 

Are there any songs my followers thing would work for these types of games, and why?

For my part, my sensory disorder and slowly shrinking interest in actively choosing to listen to music of any kind means that my choices must, first and foremost, be dependent on “can I stand to listen to it?” Doesn’t matter how popular it is, doesn’t matter where it comes from, doesn’t matter the genre, does the actual literal sound of the song feel right in my ears?

 

From there I can make choices based on other factors:

“Soundtracks”

Just like how my Zombies Run playlist is composed entirely of video game music (of the “hey I like this game so I’m gonna buy the album” variety, not treating “game music” as a genre of its own), some of the tracks I picked were based entirely on recognizing them from games/movies I like.

Greatest Show (Panic! at the Disco) and Immortals (Fall Out Boy) fall under this category. In fact, when Beat Saber announced the Fall Out Boy music pack, my first reaction on recognizing the band’s name was to think “If that song from Big Hero Six is in there, I’m buying it.”

Wow, a popular song I actually recognize for some reason!

Finding more than a few here:

Uprising (Muse) was my first and thus-far-only DLC purchase on Synth Riders, and I picked it solely for the “wow I actually recognize this” factor. (I specifically recognize this one from advertisements for the remake of V.)

There’s also Bad Romance (Lady Gaga), Counting Stars (One Republic), Warriors (Imagine Dragons)… actually Warriors was something of a reversal of this trend, as I’d already visited YouTube to find out what songs I’d like the sound of enough to buy, and only afterwards started noticing this one a lot on the piped-in music at work (recency bias perhaps?), thought “wasn’t this one of the Beat Saber songs?” looked it up again, and decided to buy it after seeing the League of Legends video (despite, ironically, not playing LoL so it doesn’t even fit the “soundtrack” category).

If the Lady Gaga pack had included Applause I would’ve snapped that up in a hurry, too… with the added weirdly appropriate element of “Hey I know this song from an exercise class” (used to take an Aqua Zumba class at the local gym and this is one of the few songs I remember them playing just about every week–Gangnam Style was the first thing I tried in Audio Trip due to the same class).

Ghostbusters (in the above playlist but not an official DLC), while recognized from a specific movie, is still a “hey I somehow know this song” as it being from that movie is not critical to me wanting it.

Liked the “story” of the song

High Hopes (Panic! at the Disco) was chosen because I liked the “story” that the lyrics tell, with the addition of thinking that the official music video was just plain cool. Born This Way (Lady Gaga) kind of falls under this category as wel.

Party Rock (LMFAO) and Centuries (Fall Out Boy) are more the story of the official video.

Love the sound!

And here would just be the ones that I personally think would work really well for the purpose, or upon listening to some of the pack offerings decided I liked it enough to buy more than just the one or two per pack that the above reasons would have given me.

And that’s… pretty much everything else in that playlist. There were of course others that would have worked even with my sensory disorder, just not something I felt compelled to buy.

 

So, to repeat the question above, what songs do you like in these types of games or think should be added, and why?

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Well, this was unexpected.

Somehow, despite me being one of those people who takes forever and a day to write product reviews (really need to work on that, especially since half the purpose of keeping this site going is specifically book reviews–with the ulterior motive of hoping people buy them through my affiliate link, of course), what reviews I have posted to Amazon have been “trusted” enough by whatever standards the algorithm set to invite me to be a Vine Voice.

My name on Amazon is the same as my site here, so in deference to the “vendors are not allowed to contact me,” it wouldn’t exactly be hard to track down my website on that basis if someone were inclined to violate the TOS (and would be equally “not hard” for Amazon to find out), so after a quick re-read of the TOS and the fact that I’ve seen other people blogging about their experiences I don’t think it’s some big secret that I’m not suppose to blog about. Besides, if I do start reviewing Vine products on my personal website (also requiring an extra trip through the TOS to see if that’s allowed) I’d have to point out that the products were “free” in exchange for a review anyway.

 

Ah, that “free.” There’s a reason that’s in quotes.

See, while the products will be free in the sense of me not having to buy them outright, their fair market value counts as taxable income. So while I don’t expect to be one of those prolific Vine Voices who has packages shipped to me every week, I would still have to pay attention and not request too much free stuff… depending on how much stuff Amazon lets me order, in theory I could easily eat away my entire tax refund and then some by doing this, with absolutely no recourse to getting that money back if I am not allowed to sell the stuff afterwards (I’m hearing mixed messages on that one)… or in my case, even if I am allowed since I simply do not have the storage capacity necessary to hang onto everything in the hopes someone will buy it from me. (Some of you might remember my “if I could sell just one thing” posts that eventually led to me donating huge collectibles to the local thrift store because reclaiming the space became higher priority than making money from them.)

But here’s hoping I’ll eventually be able to start acquiring stuff I can review that fits the intended theme of this site, be it the book reviews or gaming accessories… or even stuff I would eventually have bought anyway.

 

Anywho, the relevant parts of the TOS:

  • for six months following your order of any Vine Product, not sell or give possession of that Product to any other person;

Seems to imply that, following the period of six months, that product would in fact be mine to give away or sell as I choose.

Same with this:

  • All right, title and interest in Vine Products will pass to you when the Amazon Product is delivered to the common carrier for delivery to you.

I mean, if all rights etc are passed to me that seems pretty clear that it would be my property to transfer ownership to anyone else as I see fit. (Ignoring the “six months” requirement which means those rights really aren’t transferred to me until the six months are up.)

But this line

  • You may keep or destroy the Vine Product at your discretion at any time

makes no mention of granting me the ability to transfer ownership to other people… and some versions of the TOS, from what I’ve seen on other people blogging about it, explicitly say you cannot do so. I mean, I could understand why Amazon would forbid this in indeed they are still forbidding it–the whole point of the reviews is to get more people to buy the products, after all–but the very fact that they would forbid it means they are in fact not transferring all rights etc to the Vine member.

As far as reviewing about the Vine products on this site, this appears to be the line in question:

  • not submit any reviews of a Vine Product to any other online or offline channel that advertises or offers the Vine Product for sale except in the form of a link to a website operated by Amazon or its affiliates;

This is a website operated by an Affiliate, assuming assuming they’re referring to affiliate members and not Amazon-owned websites; if they’re not, writing reviews with an affiliate link to the Amazon product page is still the only way I would “advertise or offer Vine Products for sale.” Sounds like reviewing the products here is acceptable, yes?

Anybody out there fluent in legalese–or familiar with Vine’s (current) operating practice–who could confirm or my deny my interpretation of these clauses?

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CamLink is a Life Saver!… I hope?

(Disclaimer: Amazon Affiliate links included where possible and I deem them relevant. I’ll earn a small commission, as described in my privacy policy from eligible purchases made through these links.)

Probably still a bit premature on that title, what with the whole “thinking I’ve fixed a problem that occurs randomly just because it didn’t happen this time” fallacy. 😅

But even for a single video this has been better than my other options when they did work.

Doesn’t glitch out when using the GoPro as a webcam? Check.

Can use in conjunction with another capture card? Check.

Picture and sound quality worth the struggle instead of going back to my old webcam? Check.

Honestly the only technical problem I had this time around was the Genki deciding it didn’t feel like transmitting sound… but now that I’ve found the setting to “not mute the Switch when it’s connected to a TV” and the setting to not automatically turn the volume halfway down when “headphones” are plugged in, the game audio came across well enough for my liking. I’m kind of thinking I’ll just keep it that way in future recordings. My biggest hesitation on buying a Cam Link for all this time was solely knowing that the brand in general is expensive… but this particular product was cheaper than the Razer I’d tried and immediately returned, so as long as I don’t ever need to buy yet another capture card (knock on wood) I’m still coming out better than in a prior experiment.

 

Now that I (fingers crossed) have that issue sorted I’m almost tempted to make the GoPro clip my next related investment so I can attach it to my monitor instead of having to keep relocating (and repositioning) every time I need to switch between using the computer and recording this way, but… well, the only question is whether that’s going to be an issue vis a vis picking the sound of the computer. I didn’t notice it in the latest footage, but then, I also didn’t notice it while playing so there wasn’t exactly a lot of unwanted noise to compare to.

And the fan noise was part of the draw of going with the desk clamp if I remember right. I might be able to just clamp it onto a different part of my desk but the planned decluttering will eventually limit my options… unless I have room enough to put one of those cube organizers next to my desk.

 

Anywho, the video evidence of my latest experiment and hopefully the next step in getting myself to play these games on the regular:

We have Ring Fit Adventure‘s Sportan Treasury!

As far as hardware experimentation goes, the video was supposed to go up on Monday but a massive migraine had me spending most of the day in bed with ice packs on my head and neck (which, in full “my body hates me” mode, may have been a combination of the Asiago bagel I’d had for breakfast–being unaware at the time that asiago and yeast both contain the “common trigger” that is tyramine and not expecting a bad reaction when I’ve eaten these things before without trouble–and the fact that, due to not being hungry, I hadn’t bothered eating lunch), so I didn’t feel up to even touching the computer until evening.

Got it livestreamed to Twitch but then I put off making the edits that would allow me to account for the fact that I plan to use both systems… not to mention to make my intro/outro more consistent with how I preferred doing things before I’d gotten it into my head to use the 360-degree-camera and its lack of editing options.

 

In other news I seem to have gained a few inches back while I was busy figuring out my tech problems, judging from the fit of my clothes. (The 34-waist work pants are still loose enough to prefer, if not actually need, to wear them with a belt but they are no longer simply “loose.”)

Given recent changes in my eating habits, I’d say it’s either from getting back in the bad habit of eating too much candy (I’ve got a “see food” diet thing going on here, where if we don’t have candy in the house, I don’t miss it enough to buy any, but if we do have it I have to exercise self-control to keep from eating most of a family-size bag of Reese’s in one sitting), or my appetite has finally started to improve without me noticing.

*eats a banana and half a cup of milk for lunch, half an hour later my gut is complaining that I ate too much*

I’m assuming it’s the candy.

 

Suggested products in use (because even with the problems I’m facing, these are some good products depending on what they’re being used for), Amazon Affiliate links included where possible:

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*Head Meets Desk*

So much for attempting to reboot my “regular schedule” plan on Monday. Forgot to charge the batteries in my GoPro since the last time I used it and my actual webcam just isn’t as good a camera, so I effectively had no webcam for a while. (Just bought a couple of spare batteries and the dual battery charger–which I need anyway for when I start riding the motorcycle again–courtesy of a bonus cash back offer on one of my credit cards.)

 

But after several different tests (and getting the title for five days in a row in Ring Fit Adventure vis a vis playing it at night when I get home from work–on my way to the ten days in a row title, after which point I think I’ll start swapping VR and Zombies Run/homefront stuff back in) and determining that each of my capture cards (the Genki I bought last year and the Vivitar I bought recently) did a great job of transmitting data, I was all set to start streaming today… only to discover that I can’t use both cards at the same time.

This isn’t even an OBS problem, though most of my search results insist on pointing me that way, it’s a problem on the computer–if I connect the GoPro in HDMI mode first, the Genki’s own app will absolutely refuse to acknowledge that my game console is even transmitting (which doesn’t stop the Switch from going blank because it’s connected to a display, go figure), whereas if I connect the game console first the Vivitar refuses to report anything from the GoPro.

 

So VR non-console recording it is until I can figure this out. I tried googling it but right now I’m mostly getting stuff about software that the Elgato needs in order to run two of that brand… which I don’t have because they’re a hell of a lot pricier than the other options I went for.

Or finally getting my rear in gear and learning to edit better and just recording what I’m doing IRL and adding it to the footage… but that means no livestreaming, which means no further work on Twitch (short of faking it out like I did with my first Doctor Who video) until I’ve found a resolution.

 

Hindsight being 20/20 I’m now wondering if this is the problem I was having with the Razer and not simply the device being “temperamental.”

As OBS detected it long enough to add it before refusing to acknowledge it in the preview image I think probably not… but I just don’t know.

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Spring Cleaning and Procrastination

Thanks to the Razer capture card’s, er, “temperamental” nature (as described by another user when I asked about the issues I was having) I opted to return it for a refund and instead bought a $20 Vivitar sold in my place of employment’s camera department, albeit with an interest in trying something like the Razer again after I’ve bought a newer computer.

Near as I can tell, the Vivitar works like a charm. What it doesn’t do is offer a preview image outside of the context of OBS the way the Genki does. This isn’t an issue for recording, but if I’m going to make good on my plan to exercise more even when I’m not recording (like doing those weekly Wii Fit tests that I keep forgetting, or playing Ring Fit on a daily basis at least until I’ve gotten the “play 10 days in a row” achievement, instead of relying exclusively on Beat Saber and Zombies Run), I’m going to need to swap my cards back around–and resize, crop, etc, everything within OBS as a result–so I’ve got the entire monitor to see what’s going on in game. And somewhere along the lines I’ve managed to generate a lot of cords all over the desk that I’m trying to clear off, so I’ll try to take care of that as part of the swap.

 

And speaking of those cords, at some point I’ll need to make another go at using my Quest via PCVR and see if that one motion sensor I bought actually works the way I assumed it was meant to when I bought it way back when. Far too late to return it if it doesn’t, but maybe someone on eBay will be interested if I find out I have no use for it.

 

I’ll also need to gradually add other things to eBay, both for decluttering purposes–despite my best efforts things are ending up all over my floor again–and for “I wonder if this’ll sell for enough to take a chunk out of my student loan” purposes. (Or at least sell enough to be worth shipping it out versus taking it to the thrift store.)

See, the other day my parents decided to start clearing out the attic and we found a lot of old toys and such that we’d forgotten about, ranging from random things mine that I played with as a kid to beanie babies I collected as collectibles or that my dad inherited from his father. And while I’m skeptical about whether any of this stuff is worth anything, and some of it went straight to the thrift store, there are a few things I’m willing to try to sell.

 

Perhaps, come Monday, I’ll be able to make another attempt at something resembling a recording schedule?

 

In terms of successful cleanups, though? Cancelled Netflix. Caught up on anything exclusive I wanted to catch up on, decided catching up on the rest wasn’t worth the cost of maintaining the subscription (not even looking at “renting individual episodes” as the alternative), and ended it.

Now there’s just the matter of deciding if and when to sign up for Supernatural. Or actually using my free trial of VZFit (which no longer needs a bike) and deciding whether to get a higher tier membership. Or buying any other (non-subscription) VR games I might be interested in.

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Well, that sucks.

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So (logical fallacy of random problems besides the point), I once again think that I’ve fixed the issue with the glitchy GoPro-as-webcam… and I “fixed” it by running it in HDMI mode instead of using the proprietary software.

Which requires connecting it to my computer with a capture card. Of which I only have one, meaning my ability to record console games is out until I get my hands on another one.

 

Financially that’s yet an another annoying “fix a problem by throwing money at it” step (I mean, I’m not making money on this channel, making it look good is all well and good but I really don’t want to spend a lot of money just to make it function), but in terms of planning it’s easily done.

I bought a new capture card. The Razer Ripsaw HD, to be precise; one of the selling points was the ability to connect headphones to it, which in my case actually means connecting my external speakers and hoping I can actually hear the game’s audio without having to swap what’s plugged into the monitor based on what I’m listening to.

 

Only… either I’ve got something set up wrong or I am yet again feeling my “oddball according to the manufacturers” status.

See, the Ripsaw’s instructions include connecting an HDMI cable from the capture card to a monitor… this in addition to connecting the capture card to your recording computer via USB. Bear in mind the computer I’m recording with and need to be able to see the actual game on is already connected to the monitor and I don’t just happen to have another monitor lying around (nor space to put it if I did have one–one of these days maybe but I’ve still got plenty of decluttering to do before I take that idea seriously).

I assumed that was an extra feature for people who actually have a second monitor to work with and choose to do so and that it would preview just fine on OBS without requiring that step–after all, how could I expect to adjust the cropping etc to make the footage fit exactly how I want it to amid whatever else I’ve got shoved into OBS except by seeing that preview on the computer that’s actually running OBS, yes?

But there is no preview.

There is my face right in front of the GoPro, there is the ability to see that Cardia is positioned right where I want it, but while the Razer is listed in the sources and audio mixer alike (and why do the instructions require the Razer to be added as an audio source if the video source shows up in the audio mixer?) I have found no evidence in that preview of any media source from the Razer capture card that I can drag and crop and skew to my liking. It’s like it just doesn’t exist.

Ironically, given the absence of a second monitor, I have no way to test whether I do in fact need a second monitor to use this particular capture card or if my assumption was correct and the capture card is simply not working properly.

 

Pity. I had thought I’d start using Twitch more–do Ring Fit (the only fitness game that actually takes me awhile) on Mondays, upload the edited footage to YouTube on Tuesday, and then probably livestream a horror VR game on Thursday then upload the edited footage on Friday.

(Why a day apart? Because, while I don’t expect to become an affiliate any time soon, Twitch’s affiliate system requires exclusive use of the content for at least 24 hours… but unlike YouTube, which is totally dependent on the audience, if I don’t have enough content to stream I won’t meet the requirements to upgrade my account anyway no matter how many followers I get.)

But I’ll need to return the Razer and get my hands on a different capture card before I can do anything with the consoles.

 

I mean, I can still do VR with my current set-up, and here would be my first attempt at a “horror” game (really sci fi with creepy elements, but it’s some of those elements that inspired me to include the heart rate monitor and actually start playing legitimately horror genre games):

This, I might add, is the first video I’ve done connecting the GoPro via HDMI.

And here’s my Twitch channel if anyone would like to keep an eye on when I put some real effort into sticking to a livestreaming schedule (first “stream” was an afterthought on this same video so I had to run the edited version via OBS):

 

And finally I do have the option of doing that stealth/balance/planking thing which only requires screen mirroring.

But going back to Twitch’s requirements, right now VR is the only one likely to have me streaming long enough to matter for their affiliate program–I generally only do a minute at a time in Stealth because I just can’t plank for long, Twitch’s requirements are measured in hours, and I’m not ready to try to make streaming a daily occurrence (particularly as that includes workdays)–until I decide what other capture card will work for my purpose.

 

In other news I’m trying to work out what kind of mirror would work best to factor in both the fitness games and the VR–fitness because some very few exercises require doing something behind my back, and my current option is to either turn around (and listen to audio cues to know when to turn back) or to simply not show those moves on-camera, and VR because, even with a yoga mat designed for the purpose I can easily get turned around (as seen multiple times in the above video) and have no idea which direction the camera is in.

Alternatively I could incorporate my older GoPro 5 into the mix, never mind the difference in their ability to pick up light, but that would either require running cords (tripping hazard)–not to mention investing in yet another capture card–or simply recording footage from the back (editing it in as needed but not including it in livestreams). Also there is the question of where to put the camera….

But still, more decluttering before I make any other major changes to my decor.

 

In other other news I have finally cancelled my Netflix subscription. Now to investigate the likes of Supernatural and other new(er) fitness games.

 

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Posted in Fitness, Gaming | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment