My first bavaweekly stream of 2022 is in the can, and you can watch it here. It’s a bit of a comedy of errors with my dog, Duke, trying to get his bone out from under the green screen. So it goes with my b-blog projects. I kept this recording simple with just my chroma-key camera super-imposed on my browser as I take you through some pre-populated browser tabs. If I tried producing it the way I would have liked it would have consumed more time than I have right now. I’ll always opt for getting stuff out quickly over perfectly, which is why I get shit out at all. I find pushing on despite all the warts means the growth and brilliance is always just around the corner 🙂
A spent much of the last week blogging about various work related projects at the mighty Reclaim Hosting. In fact, I published 6 posts over the last week (including the bavaweekly), which is pretty impressive. The blog posts focused on a few things: experimenting with getting Ghost running on Reclaim Cloud (with more coming on that topic); watching Downes watching me was a trip; the rise of instructional technology at Reclaim Hosting; notes for a case study of scaling WordPress in Reclaim Cloud for Wesleyan University; and a shout-out to announce Taylor Jadin’s community chat happening today.
It felt like a productive week on the blog front for sure. On top of that, early last week a snowstorm raged through central Virginia knocking out power for a few of the Reclaim Hosting folks working support, so I was answering quite a few tickets as well. It was a busy week for sure. Crazy how the I-95 became like the Sierra Nevadas in the 19th century with a strangely Donner Party vibe….what the hell is happening in America?
The first group meeting of the Instructional Technology division at Reclaim Hosting was a blast, looking forward to more of that. Also super excited for the Reclaim Roundup monthly newsletter we are working on, which is a big reason behind all the experimenting with Ghost. Things are good at Reclaim, I’m really feeling a work rhythm right now, and that is always nice. Need to ride that wave for a bit and get more folks blogging at Reclaim, it takes an edtech village 🙂
Frankly I was a bit surprised I got anything done on this front given how deep I was into exploring Ghost, Reclaim Cloud, and doing general support, but a technician that repaired the power supply for Asterock reached out Friday after I noted the power was still not working on that game. Turns out there is a second power supply unit on the sound card that was sending 13 volts to the game board, which is about 8 volts too many. Game boards usually prefer 5 volts, so I’m not sure if the game board is fried or not, but we’ll see. The upside is we are chasing down the issues on this game, so I have to believe it will be working here soon. It is really the last of the eleven games located in Italy that fills me with dread. The Sidam Explorer game is also down for the moment, but that is a vertical hold issue on the monitor chassis, and it can be fixed. I’m excited for the day all eleven games here are in working order, but I’ll take 9 out of 11, and I do think a perfect 11 for 11 is just around the corner.
Also, the marquee for Astro Invader is finally working. It was a 220 volt unit, and that confuses me as an American, but the technician helped me on that one and it was quite simple, so that was a small win. All the games in the foyer now have the marquee light working, it looks awesome.
The final thing was taking a look at Donkey Kong Jr‘s switching power supply. It was sending out fairly low voltage, 4.8 volts, and I had read on the KLOV forums that it could be one reason why the monitor is slightly shaky. We tried swapping the power supply out with a couple of extras I had lying round, but that did not work. The units smoked, so the technician took the original switching power supply home and fixed that one, and we tried it the day after (Saturday afternoon) and it worked and we could adjust the voltage out to the board up to 5.1 or 5.2 volts but that did not fix the shakiness, which most likely means the issue is with the Sanyo monitor chassis. This is good news in terms of figuring out the issue, the bad news is my extra chassis for this game is in New York 🙂 We’ll get there….
In terms of actually playing in the bavacade, I played a fair bit of Donkey Kong and Centipede, setting personal high scores in both, 55,000 and 44,000 respectively. I checked with Tim and I still have a ways to go on both to match the Reclaim Arcade high scores for those games, but I am a patient man.
It's been a good Sunday. New personal bests on both Donkey Kong and Centipede this evening. This morning/afternoon was spent figuring out email settings for a Ghost Docker while playing New Wave on #ds106radio. I'm always so close to actually understanding how containers work.
— Jim Groom (@jimgroom) January 9, 2022
I also watched some Sterling Hayden films thanks to the Criterion showcase, including The Killing (1956), Crime Wave (1954), and Pharos of Chaos (1983), the last of which is quite a trip to hear Hayden’s contempt for Hollywood as well as his self-loathing regarding his cooperation with the House of Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s. It’s also fun to watch him talk about working with Stanley Kubrick, and just his way of talking is wild. I really enjoyed this one, you can see a bit below:
I guess watching my son play The Last of Us Part II qualifies as watching, right? That game is simply amazing. I loved the first one, and watching him play Part 2 on the most difficult level is fascinating, it is purely a game of stealth. I love it. I want to carve out some time to play it, cause watching him work his way through it on a ridiculous difficulty level has been inspiring.
I was also able to get a book in this week, Emmanuel Carrère‘s The Advesary, a true crime account of a man who lived a lie for decades that finally imploded in murder. It is a quick, compelling read, and Carrère can write, even in translation it was hard to put down. I do love the true crime genre—which is a disturbing realization—and this story really delves into the almost unimaginable reality wherein someone can live an absolute lie in solitude for more than 20 years. To the point that when it starts to unravel his whole world falls apart overnight, it’s crazy. I also like the fact the author doesn’t moralize, but simply tries to understand, something that he is not really able to do in my opinion, which makes the whole thing that much more authentic. If I taught a True Crime class again, this would make the syllabus, especially given the murderer’s attempt to find religion in prison is reminiscent of the early American execution narratives, this vision of redemption and God’s love just falls flat in the world of this story which is fascinating when read as another chapter in the genre of true crime.
I took my regular walk with Duke, but I have been all work the last week. I probably need to start balancing that out a bit here, but I can be streaky when it comes to inspiration and work, so I tend to ride it out. Just got to be careful of the mania, cause that is always lurking behind any bout of productivity 🙂
That said, for the New Year Antonio Vantaggiato and his wonderful family were visiting Alto Adige, so we joined them for a hike in Val di Funes, which is always magic.
After that they joined us in Trento for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and we ate, drank, talked, and laughed a lot, a wonderful way to usher in 2022. I’m forever thankful for the awesome people I have met on my journey on this blog and beyond.
I am struck by how much this picture of Antonio reminds me of Werner Herzog!
We were in Alto Adige where everyone is a bit more German 🙂