Thursday, April 26, 2012

Back to a Favorite Pastime

I have begun the process of getting my driver's license, and since it can take a couple of weeks before I get the license and therefore purchase the van I so desire, I've taken the opportunity to delve back into my favorite of all things to do: Play World of Warcraft.

Now way back when, when I had some money to spare and a regular job, even if it didn't pay very much, I started not only playing the game, but playing more than one account at the same time. That's called dual-boxing, or multi-boxing using the vernacular of gaming. I must admit, I had a blast. But a few things kept me from really enjoying it as much as I wanted. First, the control factor of handling more than one character. Then jumping from screen to screen so each character could accomplish what it needed to get the quests done.

I ran into an Add-on, a bit of code that attaches itself to the Warcraft game files, called Jamba, which seemed to help a great deal. It formed a group automatically, it had a way for characters to follow the leader, and it had a few other things that were useful.

In this, my second attempt to multi-box, I revisited Jamba, and found that it had grown. It still did some of the useful stuff it did before, but I didn't like some of the aspects of the add-on. So I stopped using it. I searched for other tools to help me on the way, and found Game Commander. That program cost money, with no free to try available. I bought it, since I have some money to spare, and really, I wish I hadn't.

You see, some multi-boxers like to see what all their characters are doing at once, and Game Commander let you set up the screen so that you could see all the screens, and none of them were full-size. I hate that. It also let you send keys and mouse-clicks to another screen, but frankly, that was awkward at best.

Maybe I didn't give it enough time. but I don't want an aid that I have to read a manual to get to work, or where I have to get used to doing things a different way. I want one screen. I want my DPS to target what the tank is targeting with the press of one button. I want other things, but give me those two and a reliable follow system, and I'll be happy for now.

I want ONE OF TEN.

One of Ten is my idea of what a multi-boxing add-on should be, at least for World of Warcraft. I'm going to start out simply, creating macros for each class that will do what I want it to do.

Now as far as sharing keystrokes between windows, I have looked into programming that myself, and I will look into it again, but for right now, I'm going to use the same program I used before, Keyclone. I even did a youtube video on it. It's simple, and I like that over its competition.

So begins the first of Mike's News Hangout's special reports: Multi-boxing. I had hoped to stream live video of me multi-boxing, but the simple fact is, I don't have the tools for that at the moment, unless I were to do it by video camera, which I don't really want to do. I will be recording my screen, however and posting the results on youtube. I won't get paid for it, but I might draw some interest. I won't get paid for it because youtube won't pay when there are video games concerned, probably worried about getting sued. I can't blame them. But I will be asking for ads on my own web site.

And I'll be having fun, which to me, is mostly what counts. I'll post the videos here too!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Something Old, Somethings New, And News!

I have been out of the shelter since Tuesday, but I wanted to throw an update out to my readers on my status.

I am currently living in a motel room, the same motel I stayed in over a year ago, before losing my job and moving to the shelter in the first place. It is a different room, though, that has a table where I can sit relatively comfortably and work with my brand new laptop.

Yes, that's the something new. I am the proud owner of an HP laptop with a faster processor than my last laptop and a helluva lot more memory. It also has a different keyboard design, which is proving hard to adjust to. I have to proof everything I type! But I will adjust!

Also new: A pair of glasses. Here's a pic of the new glasses. They have Anti-Reflective coating and the lenses change shades depending on the light. I lov them. And I'd better, they were expensive. I also got a haircut.

Earlier today I was about to take a shower and I looked at my naked body in the mirror Now I hadn't really had a chance to do that before, since I have issues exposing my body in front of a mirror at the shelter. Too many curious eyes and they're too curious, if you know what I mean. It's not really noticeable in the picture, but the right shoulder definitely looked different from the left side. And if I try to raise my arms, you can see the difference in the shoulder even more so. 

So I made a video where I was bare-chested and showed the world a little bit of my injuries. Here it is:

I'm sorry if that grosses you out, but some people had complained that I was not as injured as I claimed. I hope this video proves otherwise.

That was the old. The shoulder has not changed appreciable in weeks. The knee also hasn't changed. Sadly, I doubt either will.

The news is that I'm making progress toward getting Mike's News Hangout off the ground. A website has been paid for, but no content has been put on it, something I'll have to concentrate on. The URL is Mike's News Hangout, and I hope you'll bookmark it.

I have two more major purchases to make: A high quality video camera and a van. For the van I'll need a driver's licence and insurance. More time and money. That's on the agenda for Monday, st least the start of the process, though I'll have to arrange for someone to let me borrow a vehicle so I can take the driving test.

I'll report back in when all that is finished. I already have a couple of events I plan to go to whether I have a vehichle or not. I plan to go to Boston to meet my daughter and attend a Red Sox game, and in July I plan to take her to Otakon in Baltimore. I haven't seen her since 2004 and I'm looking forward to it!

That's it for now. Stay tuned for web site content and very likely video of me trying to 5-box in the World of Warcraft. I want to get everything on the web site done first.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One Bad Trip Ends, A Better One Begins

Today I pick up the insurance check from the accident that dislocated my shoulder and tore 3 ligaments in my knee. I case you haven't been following, the amount of available insurance to pay for my injuries totaled $30,000. I am told there were over $100,000 in liens on the settlement. My attorney get $7,000, the claimants on the liens get $11,500, and I get the remaining $11,500.

Once the check clears my bank, my stint at being utterly poor and homeless will end. A new stint of being less poor and mobile, but still technically homeless will begin.

I intend to start Mike's New Hangout in earnest. I intend to buy a car or a cheap van (preferably the van), sleep in it when necessary and travel the country looking for events and stories to tell on the way.

I'm not what you would call a people person, but I like a good story when I hear it, see it or read it. So I'll be pointing the camera at some photogenic person, and ask them to tell me their story. I'll be visiting baseball parks and other sporting events, conventions (sci fi, comic, etc) and other notable events, oh like certain political conventions in August and September. I'll take the news as it happens.

I hope I find something people like. I'll be posting the videos on youtube and posting blogs with pictures either here or on a separate blog. I intend to make money with advertising, as youtube and Google offer programs to pay by the hit and click. So, if you like what you see, like it and share it. If you don't like what you see, check back later. This is an evolving business and I'll be listening to the comments.

Goodbye shelter (for now) hello motels.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Good News and Bad News - Or 'Thank you sir, may I have another!'

As an update, I can move my arm a little better, but it won't go beyond perpendicular to my body. Still, some progress. The knee hasn't really changed much, and it looks like what I have is what I'll have to live with.

I found out today that my lawyer contacted the insurance agency handling the cllaim, and there is only $30,000 worth of bodily injury insurance on the policy. My lawyer gets $7,000. If there are any liens on the settlement, up to half of the remaining amount does toward that. My own share could be as high as $23,000 or as low as $11,500. I should check to see if there are any liens, but the bottom line is there is more than $30,000 in medical bills. The trauma ward alone is $26,000. Plus MIR, a $500 brace and a multitude of X-Rays, the EMS bill and others that likely put the total above $40,000. So if I get $11,500 from it, there will still be close to $30,000 in unpaid bills.

I have to think of myself first, and my situation, so whatever I get will go toward finding me a home, even if it's temporary. I still have a hard time getting around, but I should be able to look for work.

Or I'd like to invest some f the money into my own business.

I'll have to think hard about where to go from here, but I feel like every time something even remotely positive happens in my life, I get kicked in the ribs.

I suppose I should be grateful to get that much. I'm grateful I'm not dead. I'm grateful the arm, at least, is starting to recover. But I won't be getting the operation to repair my knee, and I'll likely walk with a limp and with pain for the rest of my life.

No, I'm not happy!