Weekend Recap and Looking Ahead

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It was a busy weekend here in the Orksandcats.com Palace. Let’s go over what happened this weekend, then lay out some thoughts for what the week ahead might contain. New VR, anyone?

We started off the weekend by hitting the gym after work on Friday. Mild cardio, nothing more, as I continue to rebuild strength in my leg. After that it was time for the first of two Elite: Dangerous streams. We were heading out into the Abyss on our way to Beagle point. The first session went well, and we clocked a number of light years, made a few discoveries, and found out that I had gotten pretty rusty after not streaming for a week and a half or so. Thankfully, the Harpies were all quite understanding.

Saturday

Saturday, I grabbed Heather and we bolted to the local movie theater to see Avengers: Endgame. Because the internet is full of assholes, spoilers were everywhere, so we decided to go see it on opening weekend rather than basically staying offline for a week or two. Normally, we don’t even go to a theater, or if we do, it’s 2 weeks or so after opening so we can have the place to ourselves.

The movie was great, and nicely wrapped up a number of threads while leaving a few unanswered questions for future films. It had a ton of big emotional payoffs with legit tears, laughter, and excitement. It was exactly what it should have been.

It was also blurry as hell, because apparently at our local theater, big movies are only bought in 3D and shown that way. Note- this was NOT a 3D theater, 3D pricing, etc. No one had glasses. The tickets specifically said 2D (Heather and I both aren’t big fans of 3D.) And it was 2D- it was a 3D film projected to people without glasses, so we all got a dark, blurry mess on the screen for 3+ hours. Complaints were met a response of “Oh if you want it to be clear you need to come to the 3D shows instead.”

Between that and the mouth breathing theatergoers complaining every time someone they didn’t like came on screen (specifically Black Panther and Captain Marvel, who apparently “is there because they had an agenda” according to the Karen behind us), it made it harder to enjoy the movie. Despite the local environment and wretched visual quality, we still managed to have a good time. I can’t wait to watch it again at home in a few months.

After the flick, we went home and assembled a slightly-less-ghetto green screen for streaming. I had started with a sheet tacked to the ceiling. Then we upgraded to a sheet hung from a pole clamped across the room. Now we have a semi-stable PVC stand that I whipped up in 20 minutes and does a surprisingly good job, and best of all, can be quickly torn down and put away when we’re not streaming. Next up, better lighting. Then a mic.

We finished out Saturday with a long stream of Elite: Dangerous. We had more viewers than normal (meaning an average of 6 instead of 3), and another player jumped into chat and flew along with us for a while. The wildest part? The other commander lives in Oklahoma as well, not that far from where we live! It’s a huge galaxy, so running into another player so far from home is exceedingly rare. To run into them THEN find them on your stream THEN find out you’re in the same State? It was a treat and we all had a good time chatting and sharing. I’m hopeful we can eventually grow the stream to the point where we regularly have 5-10 people watching. That’s easy enough to manage the content while also being just active enough for everyone to have a good time. Will it ever happen? Who knows. We’re one follower closer for now, so that’s a step.

Sunday

Sunday was mostly errands and housework, with two main exceptions. We spent the evening watching a pair of streamers we enjoy. The first stream was a young woman (Alex) we’ve been watching for a bit who normally does gaming-based streams, but this time she did a makeup session. Heather and I have both commented to each other about how on-point her makeup is, and Alex had said she was considering doing a stream on that subject. It was a good choice. Her viewers (especially us) were far more active than usual, asking questions and enjoying watching her process and methodology. It’s clearly a subject she knows a lot about and is very comfortable with, and she presented well.

I will watch almost anything, so long as the presenter is professional, passionate, and knowledgeable. It doesn’t matter if it’s makeup, spaceflight, or composting. If the person knows their stuff and is excited about it, I will enjoy watching and learn happily. It was a great way to kick off a relaxing evening.

Before we did all that though, I decided to plug in my old Oculus Rift, which died 6 weeks ago.

Imagine my surprise when it turned on and worked for 3 seconds.

It turns out that the socket that the cable plugs into on the headset itself is cracked, or loose. Very early Oculus Rifts had a design flaw that caused this part of the headset to fail, usually pretty quickly. This happens because the cable is just slightly loose in the socket and can wiggle. Mine lasted about 30 months, but one day, I bent forward and it died. Because I was so far out of warranty, Oculus Support couldn’t really help me beyond offering me a refurbished unit at a reduced cost. I decided I’d just wait and go without until the Rift S launches, but here we are.

After looking at the socket for an eternity, I finally decided to wrap the cable end with 3 or 4 layers of scotch tape to make it thicker. The cable now fits very snugly and can’t move. The display CAN still fail because the socket is still damaged, but so long as I’m careful when I put it on, it works. I played Beat Saber for 60 minutes and had no problems, other than how rusty I felt after 6 weeks of not practicing. I can’t even explain how excited I am to be able to put that back into my exercise routine!

The Week Ahead

Marketing picture of an Oculus Quest headset along with the right and left controllers.

Right now we’ve got a fairly active week on tap. Here are some of the things I’m planning or keeping an eye out for:

  • Monday (Streaming): We will clock some more light years towards Beagle Point this evening. We’re about 4,500 away, so one or two streams should get us there.
  • Tuesday: The F8 conference keynote will happen, and we’re 99.9% sure the Oculus Quest will release for sale or pre-order at that time. I’m only 25% sure the Rift S will go up for sale or pre-order at the same time. Either way, we’re likely spending some money on Tuesday, then writing about it later in the week. (Update! Pictures have begun to leak of displays set up in Best Buy stores around the country that clearly have the Quest, Rift S, and Oculus Go displayed for demo. Looks like we may well get both tomorrow!) The real question is … pre-order or sale? We’ll find out by noon!
  • Wednesday (Streaming): If we didn’t make it to Beagle Point on Monday, we’re going to get there on Wednesday.
  • Thursday: Let’s all rest. Except me. I’ll probably be playing Beat Saber because I’m an animal.
  • Friday (Streaming): Perhaps an evening stream of Elite: Dangerous, Risk of Rain 2, or Beat Saber. Maybe we’ll show off some new VR equipment!
  • Saturday: Will depend on Friday, but hanging out on Twitch in the evening is a big possibility, especially if I have new VR stuff to show.
  • Sunday: Everyone needs an errands/rest day!

It’s going to be a great week! We’ll be seeing some new VR, and we’re going to make it to our destination in Elite: Dangerous after 4 months, then we get to figure out our route home.

See you out there!

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