Youtube solutions and cat problems. Work things and family things. A pot-luck life.

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Summary: Have figured out how to solve a tricky issue with YouTube. My cat is sick. Work has been mostly ok. Family has been alright. Just some random notes.

BLOT: (05 Dec 2012 - 12:15:16 AM)

Youtube solutions and cat problems. Work things and family things. A pot-luck life.

I'm playing Amon Armarth. Which seems like it should be angry music, but angry is probably the last thing I am. I'm not sure what I am. Sort of happy. Kind of sad. There is a wide mix of elements in the molecule that is me.time(now). I figured I'd take a stab at talking about a few of them.

First off, apropos pretty much nothing, I have come up with a solution for a problem we were having with Youtube. Sarah and I watch a good number of videos via YouTube via our Roku: the Yogscast stuff, Etho, Geek and Sundry, Vegan Black metal Chef, Tobuscus, and other things here or there. We've learned that in the afternoon, when we traditionally have time/peak-interest to watch, we have to kill the quality down to around 320 in order to be able to get it to stream without constant rebuffering. And even that is not always a good solution, because at that tiny quality (stretched and blurred on our screen), it still barely makes it through some days.

What I did was get youtube-dl and then figured out1 how to make it read from a list of URLs and to get the best quality vids and give them a human readable title and then let that run on my server and store this in a folder which is scanned by my Plex Media Server and I can watch them at 720+ with a decent transcoding later on. Since I am pre-downloading the vids, I don't have to worry about whether or not Video #1 takes 30 minutes to download while Video #2 only takes 10, because that is done while I'm at work and is ready to go when I'm home.

That's in the positive file. In the negative, and in completely different angles, my cat is having some issues. She coughed up blood a few days ago, but then did not repeat the episode so I tried not to worry too much about it. We had planned on taking her to the vet this Friday, because we figured it was just her scratching her teeth or throat on food (she is a poor chewer) and it is best to make sure there are no lasting sores. Then, tonight she hopped up too quick and popped her hip so bad she was unable to walk without severe limping. It has improved over the course of the night, and she is now walking with only a slight limp. Sarah is going to go ahead and take her in tomorrow. She hasn't really had a huge amount of energy the past couple of weeks, and while these things seem to be unrelated—the lethargy not linked to the blood coughing which is not linked to the limping—she is old enough now that we need to stay on top of weird changes. We did not assume the worst with Toasty and so by the time we realized it was worse than we thought, it was too late. Cinderella hopefully will not have to go through the same.

Also in the negative camp is something I can't quite talk about, because it involves friends of mine and not me directly, I realize that, at 35, I am now old enough that I have seen parents (my dad) die and I have seen my friends have kids and while I haven't seen a cancer scare or the death of a spouse with those in my age group, I have seen nearly every other life change. And it's kind of sad.

There is work, which isn't bad at all. Kind of good, really. I have reached the degree of confidence at my job that just about any task thrown at me I can accomplish in a period of time only slightly greater than it takes me to formulate plans and concepts around the necessary task. In other words, I can multi-task, with one of the tasks being coming up with solutions, and the other being implementing them. I have been thinking about what I need to do next to keep the learning curve increasing, and I'm thinking it would probably some fair scale digital project or some sort of comprehensive series of copyright queries which could be used to build a database of possible scenarios for both training of others and to help answer even more complicated questions. Really, the latter appeals more because I think that is the kind of thing I can do outside of my current job while inside of it, and so could be whatever I wanted to make it.

There is also family. Thanksgiving (Tofurky and all) went well. The in-laws brought over some turkey, but generally avoided eating it except more symbolically. I have seriously meant to post more about it before now, but I have suddenly became quite shit at keeping this blog up and regular. The next hurdle as far as the diet change goes is Christmas. My mom asked if we would want a pork butt and I told her we would probably just bring our own things to cook. I'll introduce them to quinoa. I think they'll like it.

Though on the definitely negative side, and not having anything to do with food, my mom is having some severe issue with her arm where she can't lift her left arm above shoulder high. Doctor said it was probably spine related, but then never did anything or suggested any follow-up steps. She is just sort of stuck with being one-armed for many daily tasks. I guess if they don't do much with her, soon, I'll work on prodding her into hitting up some kind of therapy. Here's hoping she recovers soon, especially since she is about to go in and have another cancer spot from her nose. Which I am sure she will blame on the sun she got as a youth and not the lifetime of smoking that followed2.

Don't want to end this on too negative a note, so I'll spin it back around to the positive but not really apropos of anything but my own enjoyment: I've been playing Don't Starve. If you have a computer that can play it and the $12 or whatever it is to buy it, do. It's fun. One of the cleverest little time wasters around. I'm even saying this after getting completely screwed over and killed right as my stuff was going good, too. That means something. Heh. I've also been playing The Binding of Isaac, which fills me with rage, but I can't stop playing. So...there's that.

Ok, time to feed tuna to a cat and then read some Ramsey Campbell for half an hour. Later on!

1: Through a long process of trial and error, included me writing two programs (one a bash script with various tricks, the other a Python program not too long but with built in formatting operations)...only to have neither of those be required.

2: I have heard a number of people with various cancerous spots on their face, almost definitely due to smoking in small enclosed spaces for a long period of time, blame the sun or similar issues. It isn't denial, in that they fully admit they have cancer. And they tend to blame something they have done, so it doesn't seem to be washing hands of responsibility. Instead, it seems to be more some sort of "I was going to get it anyhow, so the smoking didn't matter," kind of thing. Maybe.


Written by Doug Bolden

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