This is fine.

Credit: Gunshow Comic (kinda makes me miss drawing comics)

I don’t even know what to say. The (finally/hopefully receding) coronavirus pandemic, Russia attacking Ukraine, the ever-widening political divide, I just ran out of crunchy peanut butter – everything seems like it’s on fire and all we can do is watch it burn.

You guys don’t need to hear my overly detailed opinion on these things. Why? Because it doesn’t matter. Every asshat feels the way they feel, and I’m just another asshat with their asshatty opinion. Instead I want to focus on things I can (sort of) control and talk about. However, I will say this regarding my opening statement:

  • Get your goddamned coronavirus vaccines. “oH buT tHe RiSks aNd i HeaRd oN FaCeBoOk tHat mY coUsiN goT An iNflamed uRethra anD BilL GaEtz iS trYinG tO” SHUT UP. Grow up. Get your shots, coward. Any extremely unlikely side effects from this thing are mild in comparison to getting the full-fledged virus. You’ll be FINE. I’ve had all three shots and I still haven’t installed Windows 11. Suck it.
  • Russia’s leadership is garbage. I’m fully convinced 99% of politicians and world leaders are some form of garbage. War over some resources and flexing is stupid.
  • Yes, crunchy peanut butter is superior to that smooth shit. It has TEXTURE. Deal with it.

So Controversial!

Okay, with that out of the way, I want to touch briefly on some awesome stuff happening in my stupid little world!

“… and stuff” – a Psychostick B-Sides Album!

That’s RIGHT! After months of planning and deliberating, we’re finally putting this b-sides thing out! There’s eighty minutes of craziness on this thing.

Some personal accomplishments here is track 5, which is a Madonna medley. Yes, THAT Madonna. I’m sure you’re asking, “Why did Psychostick do this?” I recall the idea being tossed around like, I dunno, eight years ago or so. Then Josh mashed a Madonna-themed medley together, and after we performed it live during a tour, we decided to record it. We got everything but vocals… until now. Can’t wait for you to hear it.

Also, the very last track plays on the old joke from Sandwich: “We Ran Out of CD Space Again.” Because we did. This time I’m performing the instrumental part on piano, which was a huge accomplishment for me. As of right now, it’s technically the only song I know how to play from start to finish, which is fine (for now). Being able to sing and play it together was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to learn, but it was more than worth it. Can’t recommend learning the ol’ piano enough.

Plus, if you learn piano, you become a “Pianist,” which almost sound like, “penis,” and wieners are funny.

PluhQuest – WHEN?!

So with the Psychostick thing still eating up a large amount of energy, I haven’t been able to personally put in a ton of time with PluhQuest, BUT Josh (yes, The J) has been squeezing more efforts to get things in order. Most of the art assets are done (which has been the biggest bottleneck), and we had to ditch RPGMaker because that engine is GARBAGE for producing a real game.

RPGMaker CAN work, but you have to literally hack up the engine to do so. We switched over to GameMaker Studio, and things are lookin’ real good. Plus GameMaker Studio is compatible with PC, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, Playstation, Xbox, etc. RPGMaker is NOT.

How ’bout that, eh? Wouldn’t it be nice to play PluhQuest on a console? I’m going to answer for you: “Yes. Rawrb, you’re so wise. Here’s my bank account info. Just take it all.”

Aww, thanks.

As soon as I have more information to share, I will. Since we just wrapped up this b-sides thing with Psychostick, we’re gonna reassess things and see if we can share some screenshots and more info.

Thanks for your unwavering patience.

Web Development – The Never-Ending Educational Firehose of Brainfood

A couple years ago I joined Screenwave as a part-time web developer. The biggest reason I did this was to further my education and knowledge on webdev.

Here’s some fun stuff I’ve learned:

  • Docker – Holy shit Docker. Don’t want to mess with resource-humping virtual machines? Not wanting to deal with buying hardware and setting up a dedicated server? Docker’s got you covered. Get IN there.
  • Linux – Yeah, so… I did get a small Dell Optiplex and installed Ubuntu on there (deal with it, first bullet point). Without the GUI. Wanted to force myself to learn the command line. It works, by the way. I have a ton to learn still, but it’s amazing once you get the feel for it. (running Docker on Linux is also amazing, but you already knew that)
  • JavaScript – Now I’ve always “known” JavaScript. By “known” I mean, “takes someone else’s code and hack it around until I get it to do what I want.” Now I can actually WRITE my own code and it’s not complete garbage*! Still a dumptruckload of things I need to learn, but man – night and frickin’ day.
  • PHP – This was always my primary language, and I was always “okay” at it. Now, I’d grade my abilities as, “Quite competent; borderline advanced.” Oh yes, I even use Composer (cue snobby PHP veteran eyeroll). Tons to learn here still, but yes.
  • WordPress – This was uh, something else. Learning how to write custom plugins, really proprietary ones too, was/is extremely challenging. Whoo!
  • DevOps Overall – I mean, getting things up and running with some sort of thing to drive them is part of this process. Being a full-stack developer kind of includes decent devops knowledge.
  • More – There’s so much more that I’m missing here, but I gotta move on.

Things I’m jumping into eventually:

  • Web3 – I have a very mild understanding of what Web3 is, and I like the idea/philosophy of it, so I want to figure out how to make it work for my needs/etc.
  • React/Vue – These JavaScript frameworks are all over the place, and even though React has that Facebook taint, it’s a widely used framework. Eventually I get to this.
  • Non-relational Databases (DynamoDB, MongoDB) – Big data requires big solutions. This stuff will be needed if future visions are to come to fruition.
  • Sharpening programming skills overall – Not just the web stuff, but GameMaker, C++, etc etc, all of which I’ve started on. Great stuff.

Zip-zop-zoopity-bop!

I should update this more than once a year, but I don’t think that’s super necessary as long as you fine folks get to experience the things that we are making, including the game, web stuff, and Psychostick. Right?

Right.

Thanks for readin’.

* subjective AF

Oh Hai 2021.

Happy 2021 everyone! Mostly. I’ve got a bunch of crap to say, and if you’re reading this, sit back and enjoy a cup ‘o joe, because it might be a long one. This is partially due to some very recent events (as of this post), and if there’s any way I can lend some sort of “wisdom” and “reason” to those who need it, I’m happy to serve.

Pololloltics

For starters, I’ve never really been a politically charged person. Like everyone else, I have opinions. I see the world from a perspective, my brain processes things, then the output is my “opinion.” That’s about it really. Nothing special there.

I typically like to err on the side of “course correction based on objective reality,” however there’s been a massive change in our society’s climate to “ignore reality, make up whatever shit that makes you feel better, and condemn those who challenge your fake world,” mindset. Whew. I could probably phrase that in a more favorable and digestible slew of words, but I think you get the idea.

Here’s the thing: Reality is reality. It exists despite you not wanting to accept it. Fight it all you want, reality will always win. If you manage to escape it for a while longer, it doesn’t matter; it’ll always catch up. In my experience and limited hard-learned wisdom over the years, learning to work with it rather than against it almost always yields favorable results.

For example, when the Covid-19 pandemic started in March of 2020, we had two choices:

  1. Do nothing and watch Psychostick slowly die, or
  2. Adapt to the situation and make the most of it

There was a tough reality (pandemic) that we had to course correct for, which turned out to be our ridiculously successful livestreams. We couldn’t change reality, but we could change how we approached the problem.

Anyway, you get what I’m saying. You’re smart.

The point I’m making here is that social media and misinformation is encouraging you to fight reality and spread nonsense to others, led by one orange-colored derp-in-chief.

Before you take offense to that because you might be a conservative-minded person, I want to you take a deep breath and read this calmly:

There is a massive difference between being conservative and being a MAGA goon. HUGE difference. The conservatives who took the orange-pill side with the MAGA folks because there’s an “R” next to the name of the (as of this writing) current president, and that’s it. “Well, he’s a REPLERBLICUN, I gotta side with him!”

I have family members who took the orange pill, some of whom I would consider very smart and capable, but social media and tidal waves of misinformation radicalized them. I’m sure we all know and love some people whom this happened to. I am happy and relieved that more and more Republicans are separating themselves from whatever the hell MAGA goons are.

Thing is, I’m all for a balanced everything, because that’s LITERALLY what reality is trying to do at all times: achieve balance. Conservative and liberal creates balance. Lean too far in one direction, what happens?

I know that sounds very centrist, or moderate, or whatever. I’m more interested in seeing the balance take place because it’s compatible with how reality operates. Opinions are just concepts, but reality is not. That is an indisputable fact (unless you think this is a giant simulation or something, hah).

So, since I have you here and you’re come this far, I have some tidbits of unsolicited advice for you to consider:

  • Ditch Facebook. I mean, SERIOUSLY ditch it. Blocking and muting will only get you so far, and Facebook has been extremely irresponsible for fueling the political divide so they can fucking sell more ads. I’m all for profits, but not at the cost of feeding into the collapse of society. Watch “The Social Dilemma” for more on this, though some of the dramatizations are cheesy.
  • Limit your time with all social media. Twitter has its shortcomings too, as does Instagram, but if you can control how you spend your time on any social platform, you’ll be much happier in the long run. I can attest to this.
  • Find a project to pour your energy into! Music, art, building stuff, fixing stuff, learning a skill – it doesn’t matter. Make yourself useful. Roll up your sleeves and get lost in something. We’re restless, intelligent, creative creatures. We need a project to pour ourselves into, otherwise we’re just looking for problems in the world we can’t control, therefore creating more useless drama. DO SOMETHING FOR YOU. You deserve it.

Yesterday’s attack on the US Capitol (right now it’s Jan 7th, 2021) reminded me of the state of mental health in our country, which (shocker) isn’t good and hasn’t been good for a long time. I don’t have all the answers, but I have one suggestion that could really help…

Make America Not Afraid to Lose at Things Again

We have a very poisonous mindset in our country: Losing is bad and if you lose, you’re scum. Humpty-Trumpty has fueled this mindset since he was thrown into the spotlight, not only as president, but as a reality show star, etc. He won’t acknowledge his past failures (casinos, steaks, etc), just as he hasn’t accepted his loss of the election. Before the election took place, he even said that he wouldn’t accept the results if he lost, as if losing was impossible.

Lo and behold, he lost, didn’t accept it, and encouraged everyone to not accept it as well. Then all this nonsense happened, and here we are.

Here’s the thing: Losing happens. Most of you who have a brain know this, and it’s sad that I have to point it out, but you know… *broadly gestures at everything*

Let’s address losing. Let’s address failure. Is it bad? Is it actually bad? No, it’s not. Matter of fact, it’s good. Losing can be a very good thing because it creates humility. It humbles us. Grounds us. Forces us to learn. Forces us to adapt. It teaches us.

You can ask any (sane) successful person, no matter what field they’re in, how they got to where they are. I can guarantee you that they fell on their face multiple times before they struck it big. Very rarely does someone just succeed right off the bat, and if they do, they’ll often fail several times before they find their groove.

Guys, it’s simple: It’s okay to lose. Try not to, of course, but if you do, FUCKING LEARN FROM IT AND BECOME BETTER. I wish I could scream this is Dumpty’s face, but he’s been so lost in his delusional world for so many years that I (nor anyone) could get through to this guy. Don’t become him, because even though you might think he’s a successful person, he’s not.

Be better. Learn from mistakes. Learn from failure. Be good to each other, and for fuck’s sake, don’t be a pretentious entitled bully that thinks they can bend reality to their will. You’re smarter than that by a long shot. We should all learn and grow from the past four years that was a tsunami of mistakes and bad decisions.

*gasp*

What am I up to?

Okay, with that out of my system, here’s what I’ve been working on:

  • Psychostick, obviously. We’ll be back for Season 3 on February 18th.
  • PluhQuest! We’ve got some ambitious goals for this year, so hopefully we’ll have something to showcase very soon.
  • Programming – I’ve spent the majority of 2020 and some of 2019 sharpening my programming skills. PHP, JavaScript, and as of a last week, C++. What’s all that for? A little bit of PluhQuest and a little bit of other projects that I hopefully can get to sooner than later. 😛

Overall I’ve just been trying to learn and grow at the things I’m really passionate about. It’s tough but hey, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Right?

Kinda.

Anyway, thanks for reading. I have no idea when I’ll post next, mostly because I’m neck-deep in the previously mentioned projects, and that’s where I want to devote most of my energy.

Be good to each other out there. Times are tough, weird, and might feel hopeless sometimes, but you got this. If my dopey, chonky ass can get through it, you almost certainly can. 🙂