Tag Archives: YouTube

Infinite Choice Sucks

One thing I learned from my vacation and sobriety is that are tons of things to do. I’m a huge proponent of the “boredom leads to drinking” theory but maybe that’s misplaced. It might be a “lack of motivation leads to drinking” or something like that. If you have a bunch of shit you need to do but no motivation to do them, it feels really similar to boredom. When you’re bored you want to do something fun or exciting and writing a blog post or cleaning the cat litter feels more chore-like than anything else. Drinking gives you a little (TEMPORARY) boost to motivation and that can help you get the ball rolling on being productive.

Today is one of those days where I have a list of stuff to take care of but it already feels like I’m woefully short on time. It’s only 2 p.m. too! The entire weekend feels this way; I used to be ‘bored’ on the weekends but now I feel like the weekend isn’t nearly long enough for all the crap I want/need to do.

Here’s todays to-do list: Write a blog post. Change the description for my Amazon Option Trading book. Advertise Option Trading book. Make a rain barrel for our garden. Buy supplies for said rain barrel. Make a YouTube video about making a DIY rain barrel. Make a solar YouTube video. Buy my mom Ice Mountain water because who the fuck knows why I have to do this really. Deliver her Ice Mountain water. Take down my wind generator because it has a broken blade and vibrates annoyingly when it’s windy. Shave. Shower. Cook. I’d love to get off my ass and go for a jog/bike ride but this is obviously low-priority given everything else. At this point I feel like if I went on a bike ride I’d only be doing it to procrastinate the real work I should be doing. Real work takes mental effort whereas bike riding is, well, riding a bike. Somewhere in all of this I’ll probably have to eat or make food for the kids, you know, just little random shit that can derail your focus.

TMI, but the coffee just kicked in and I have to use the bathroom. See what I mean?

There’s also the non-zero possibility that I become derailed by YouTube sometime today. Most days I somehow end up watching two hours worth of YouTube, mostly educational, sciency videos where it feels like I’m learning something, but I’m still pissing time away doing absolutely nothing I’d be proud of. When I’m dying I doubt I’ll be like, “I lived a good life. I watched so many YouTube videos and learned so much!”

I suppose this blog post is about choice. I’ve been fixated on it the past few days. Think about it: there’s nearly an infinite amount of things you could do right this minute. You could run outside naked and play in the street. You could hop in your car and drive to California. You could go rob a bank. You could take a nap. You could look for another job. Anything (Obviously within reason)! You’re about as free and as conscious of this freedom as any living being has ever been and it’s pretty crazy to think about.

And if you’re reading this you’re choosing to read this for some reason. And I’m very appreciative that out of the millions of things you could be doing, you’re here. I’d say you’re using your time terribly and should be doing something else, but thanks!

I’ve never forgotten this quote from Anthony Bourdain. I don’t even know the guy much — he did something about food and traveling, that’s all I know about him — but the quote stuck with me like few others have. Here ya go:

Choice is a pain in the ass. We’re all human, and therefore we’re all animals, prone to all those animalistic tendencies. Our minds wander around, thoughts just appear out of no where, and most of the time we don’t even know why we do the things we do. I have a strong urge to piss away three hours playing Kerbal Space Program, and why exactly do I want to do that? Do I want to waste time doing something fun or do I want to procrastinate the real work I feel I should be doing? Basically being human and trying to be effective with your choices is like herding cats.

But I suppose choice is what defines our lives. Given the wide range of possible things you could be doing right this moment and with the limited time you have, your options are stupidly, dangerously, and maddeningly limited. It’s stressful to decide on what you should/want to do. I have ten hours left in the day before I’ll be tired and go to bed. What will I do with those ten, and only ten, hours? Will I piss it away on YouTube or do something better, something I’ll be more fulfilled by? I’m hoping for the latter, but herding cats and all.

A lot of people seem paralyzed by choice, floating along in life where things only happen to them like a raft passively floating down the river. This is bad because it robs you of agency to decide and dictate your own life. You might feel like a passenger in life, floating along and reacting instead of acting. You could be reacting to your subconscious as well, making choice even stranger to think about. Random cravings for Taco Bell that piss away an hour of driving without any thought behind whether you’re actually choosing to get shitty Taco Bell or you’re just on a raft with your subconscious calling the shots.

Choice, you have near infinite things you could be doing, but you’re reading this. What are you going to do after you read this? I hope you give some thought to your actions and realize your choices define you as a person, they write your life story. Be proactive and choose well. Thanks for reading!

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

My First YouTube Video Sucks

Editing videos fucking sucks. I knew it would but didn’t know the extent that it would. Part of it is my fault. My computer is shitty, about four or five years old, and isn’t meant to do anything more than act as a word processor. That’s why I bought it — I wanted to blog — so I purchased the cheapest, barest-minimum piece of trash I could. Apparently it’s not ideal for video editing. The damn thing crashed and froze up about three or four times during editing. Sometimes the audio on the video cut out, and good luck trying to edit all the quiet/boring parts out of a video when you can’t hear anything. I had to reload the project constantly to fix the problem.

Editing took me about three hours, all for a nine minute video. That took a long time! I knew this would be a thing because doing something the first time always takes longer than you expect. Once again to bring up the blogging analogy, our first blog posts probably take days and maybe weeks of writing, editing, being too terrified to publish because you think what you’ve written is shit, writing and editing some more, and finally you’re done. After you’ve done that a few times you get into a habit/flow where you know what the next step is and you don’t fumble around as much as you used too.

Anyways, since I talked about this in the last post I figured I’d plop the video up for you guys. This feels more awkward than publishing the video in the first place. As a blogger, no one has heard my voice or seen me outside of my crappy profile picture. Like putting the real person who talks and has mannerisms, the dude behind all of these posts, out there in the world makes me feel strange. There’s some anonymity behind blogging; you get to hide behind words and don’t have to worry about the inflection of your tone/voice or how you’re dressed or what your surroundings are. Well, enough rambling about nothing, here’s the damn video. Obligatory “Yo yo yo! If you liked this video smash that ‘like’ button, subscribe, and hit that fuckin’ bell for notifications my bros!”

Our Own Worst Enemies

Like everyone I’m probably more critical about the end result than anyone else is. First off, my sniffles are the most annoying thing in the world. I noticed this when I was editing. I sound like a person coming off a cocaine binge or something. Apparently I put in a ton of sniffs in the place of “uhhs” and “ahhhs” and “umms,” you know those “thinking words” to fill silence when you’re trying to figure out what the hell you’re supposed to say next. Going forward: no more sniffling!

One time in the video I told my wife “stop” to stop recording. Apparently I didn’t edit this out and was too lazy to go back and fix the problem. Going forward: check your work!

I’m obviously nervous talking to a camera. Hopefully that goes away with some practice. Going forward: relax and just talk like a normal person!

My voice is shit. I hate it. In my mind I know the sound of my voice and my real voice is nothing like that. Sure, the voice I think I have is awful enough, but my real, recorded voice is holy fucking hell disgusting. No one else probably thinks this though because that’s how they hear me all the time so I’m trying not to think of it too much. Going forward: try not to think of it too much!

There’s no backing music, no cool animations, no intro video, no cool logos, no nothing. Going forward: who gives a shit?

But being totally honest I’m happy with the result. It’s not perfect but it’s not awful. It’s a start. The worst YouTube videos I’ve seen are usually car repair videos. To start, they’re terribly edited. “First, we’ll take off the lug nuts,” and then you have to sit through five minutes of some guy taking off lug nuts. There’s five lug nuts my guy! We get what you’re doing after the first one! Edit that shit out bro! The camera work is also ass because half the time you can’t even see what they’re talking about. “This bolt right here…well it’s kinda dark but trust me it’s there…” as the camera is showing you a black fucking screen. Anyways, end rant, but I’m glad I went above and beyond that sort of video. I edited out all the boring parts, tried to be informative, and tried to add a bit of dry humor to the video. That part was easy as I kept fucking things up accidentally. The end result isn’t professional quite yet, but I have an idea of what I’m trying to do.

That should be all for blogging about YouTube videos for awhile. In truth I hate it. Why read a blog about YouTube videos instead of watching YouTube videos? I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled bitching and griping shortly. Thanks for reading and/or watching!

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Making YouTube Videos Sucks

I’ve been tossing around the idea for starting a YouTube channel for awhile. I think part of the appeal is that it’s easy, at least on the surface. We know all these famous YouTubers who have millions of views and followers that make bank off YouTube. Many of these play video games and make money off that. Hell I can sit around and play video games and get paid for it!

Thankfully I’m not stupid. I know I couldn’t find success playing video games because I wouldn’t offer anything to anyone. My humor is probably shit, I don’t have a fancy PC setup, I don’t play a wide range of games, and the field is crowded already. I’d also be weary of turning video games into a job where they wouldn’t be relaxing or enjoyable anymore. Moreso creating anything for popularity or money is folly. Besides being a total sellout you also need some passion behind your projects to keep you going. 

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here, because I’m a blogger. You’re probably a blogger yourself. No one gets into this to make money or be popular and if you do you’ll probably fall flat on your face when you realize people aren’t tossing money at you and the first four posts you awkwardly publish. It’s a constant fight to write, edit, and publish that quickly overshadows any serious thoughts about monitizimg. At least for me that’s how it is, maybe you guys are popular bloggers or something. Fuck the money. If it comes, fine, but that’s not why I’m writing any of this.

It’d probably help to make money if I could focus more and rant less by the way. Anyways.

I wrote a few silly posts about solar power. It’s a hobby of mine creating a small off-grid solar setup to power my phone, WiFi, and anything else I want to power. I detailed it here, but it started off with trying to make a solar phone charger. This idea quickly became complicated and got out of hand to where I now have two 100 Watt panels hooked up to five lead-acid batteries all powering a 750 Watt inverter. Solar power and green energy is much more hands on and doesn’t fit well into the blog format. Let’s be honest here, this blog isn’t meant to be a green energy blog anyways, so why get too involved? I doubt most of my regular readers give a shit about making their own solar setup but if you do, cool!

YouTube is perfect for this as videos are more hands on. I have actual information to tell people and by being a totally clueless dipshit amateur I can help other dipshit amateurs navigate their own renewable setups. I think I have something to offer which is why I’m going to do it. Plus since I’m constantly upgrading and tweaking things with my cobblejob of a setup I’ll never run out of content to make. It also gives me incentive to add new things to my setup because this means more videos to make.

Like blogging, doing anything new is a fucking pain in the ass. I know absolutley nothing about YouTube and it took a day to figure out how to make a channel. Think of making your first blogging domain or whatever; you’re clueless and have no idea what you’re doing. YouTube has a “personal channel” for everyone but I didn’t want my channel name to be my real name. How does my name have anything to do with renewable energy? By navigating through a bunch of menus you find a “brand account” or something which you can tack onto your personal account. I’m not going to give info on how to do that yourself as there are actual informative pages on the internet about that if you’re interesting. I’m just bitching here.

Video editing is something else I’m clueless on and there will be a steep learning curve trying to make even the most basic videos. I have a general idea of cutting raw clips and pasting them together but the mechanics of it I’m clueless on.

I downloaded Shotcut, a free video editing software, loaded a few clips into it and did what I always do best: fuck around trying to figure out how the thing works. I think I have cutting sections of videos out, and maybe even rotating clips as my phone decided they’re supposed to be recorded like Tik Toks or something, but beyond that I’m clueless. Think of your favorite YouTubers and some of their video editing skills. Animations over audio? Audio over video pulled from other videos? Backing music? I have no clue how to do these things yet. Like everything else you just start simple and add complexity as you go on I suppose.

By far the worst is the awkwardness of talking to yourself on camera. I’ve been doing great with being sober but had some drinks this weekend over the stress of recording videos for this project. I needed a six-pack just to reward myself for actually recording something. You feel like a total asshole taking a video and talking to your phone. Give it a shot if you don’t believe me.. Narrating to your phone feels like the most narcisstic thing in the world, “Look at me! I’m so cool! I’m talking to myself as I do a thing because people are going to watch me!” Its…it’s bad. I know it’s something you’ll probably get used to — just act natural and talk — but damn is it awkward. It also doesn’t help when your family is sitting in the other room sniggering as you record like a bunch of assholes.

That’s what’s going on now. Taking on a new project with all the inspiration you’ll ever have and looking up at a massive mountain trying to figure out how to take your first clueless baby steps. I know it’s hard starting out on anything new, but knowing and experiencing are different things. It’s fun though, and I hope everyone leaps into something new just to try it out. Give your random dreams and ideas a shot, see how it pans out over time. Paint, write, draw, podcast, blog, YouTube, whatever. You might be good at it but you don’t know until you try.

Streak Day #25 Sucks (and some stuff about choice)

I stopped by my dad’s house Friday to get his phone payment from him. We have some shitty system in place where I pay for our phones and my parents are supposed to pay me back. Supposed to. I see it as a win-win for everyone involved. We get a slightly cheaper phone bill with me autopaying the bill, and dad’s military service also nets us a $10 monthly discount. They don’t have to worry about a due date, so no late fees to worry about; I don’t mind floating the charges until they get around paying. No fear of having the phone shut off because I’m taking care of it like a responsible adult.

Anyways, this post isn’t supposed to be about my parents’ debts to me or how irresponsible they are with money. No, it’s meant to be about TV and choice. Which fucking sucks.

I used to love TV. I remember watching TV as a kid where I was a huge fan of educational channels such as the History and Discovery Channels. I also recall my grandma shitting all over me for it. She didn’t have cable and had to watch the shitty four local channels. I told her how awesome cable was and that I didn’t know how she managed to survive off four shitty channels all the time. All she did was watch a single shitty soap opera in the day as well as the local news at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. I can’t believe I used a variation of the word ‘shit’ in each sentence I had written.

Sure I watch stupid cartoons and Power Rangers, but in the evening I loved watching the History Channel and Discovery Channel. I learned a lot of random facts from them and consider myself an armchair historian regarding World War 2 due to all the History Channel shows I watched as a kid. Hitler invaded Russia on June 22, my birthday! Cable wasn’t just something to vege out in front of, and as I tried to tell my grandma, I could learn stuff. I watched the Weather Channel during hurricane season and became a child weather expert. I knew hot and humid weather ahead of a strong cold front meant we’d have storms. I knew southwest winds carried the hot and humid air from the Gulf of Mexico thousands of miles away. And so on just collecting random and mostly useless knowledge about airplanes, history, weather, and whatever else was on.

As I was visiting my dad I was greeted by the show Two and a Half Men on the TV. He was watching it passively, not really engaged with the show and simply had it on to have something to watch. I used to watch Two and a Half Men years ago when my ex-girlfriend and I lived together. We, like my grandma, had a shitty antenna TV and had to watch the four local channels. I was a ‘fan’ of the show back then I guess with Charlie Sheen actually shitting up the show as he was supposed to be doing. Charlie was meant to be a total douchebag and Sheen played the part well. It was funny and witty enough and was better than anything else I could find at the time.

The Two and a Half Men that was on as I visited my dad was the shitty new version with Jake being all grown up and Ashton Kutcher playing, uh, I forgot his characters name Walden (what the fuck sort of name is ‘Walden’ anyways?). And for some reason, either me maturing to where I didn’t give a shit for the show anymore or the show actually being shit now that Charlie Sheen was gone, I didn’t find it funny at all. I mean the grating laugh track was giving me social cues to laugh at the jokes, but they weren’t that funny. In fact it seemed like the show was making the same jokes it always had been making. Alan being a bum. Rose being crazy. The housekeeper being a smartass. And so on.

My dad laughed passively at the jokes and I just sat there feeling dead to the world. Was this what TV was? Was this what American life has devolved into? Has it devolved at all or was this simply what ‘normal people’ like my dad did with his entire day? Stare at some unfunny TV show because doing fulfilling and life-improving things is too much effort? I can’t even blame him the coronavirus for him devolving this way either; for the past two years he’s sat blindly at his couch and watched TV. He used to enjoy photography and taking walks but has given them up over the last few years, probably due to depression (that he won’t acknowledge). Maybe TV isn’t the cause but the symptom here.

What bothers me most about TV is the lack of choice involved. Watching TV for him is already a lack of choice — he only watches because there is nothing else to do, at least in his mind — but TV pushes it even further because you don’t have a choice what to watch on network TV. You get what they give you and the eight channels or so offer him no real choice for what to actually watch. Cable TV, as shitty as it is, offers hundreds of channels so if you’ve given up and want to watch TV you at least have a choice what to watch. It’s all about choice for me, I think. If you choose to watch TV, that’s fine, you do you, but if you’re mindlessly watching for the sake of watching something, anything, that’s where the problem is.

Maybe that’s why I’ve always been a fan of the internet: you can choose almost endlessly what to give your attention to. I can watch anything fulfilling or interesting that I want to watch on YouTube. I can watch total shit on YouTube if I want. In many ways I think YouTube has taken over the role of TV, at least the educational show aspect which I used to love so much as a kid. That’s probably it’s own topic on its own though. The internet is a great tool, but it comes at a price. Since you can find almost anything to occupy yourself, you need to have a great deal of self-control to not let yourself devolve like my dad has done with TV. The power to choose comes with responsibility, the responsibility I don’t think many of us have. I myself am not perfect and this is probably why I’m on Reddit until the early hours of the morning. But what about the people totally addicted to low-quality social media drama, and shitposting memes on Facebook? They’re like my dad in a slightly different way, only social-mediaing it up because there is nothing else to do and people are scared of boredom. Keep busy at all costs, even if you’re not consciously choosing to do so.

Think about what you’re doing and what you choose to give your attention to. This is your life, and it’s always up for you to decide. Is this what you really want to be doing? Is this what you want your life to be? Are you really happy reading this shitty low-quality blog post? Have you learned anything? Is there something else you’d rather being doing?