Station Identification, Nov. 5 2022

This used to be a whole thing that I did every week, and I got out of the habit several years ago, when it stopped being as important to me that everyone who follows me here also follows me everywhere else. However, I figure that what with the entire social media universe in complete upheaval at the moment, it’s probably useful to start doing it again at least occasionally.

Note that my Linktree has convenient links to literally every single one of these places if you’d like to just click on that and save yourself trouble, but I’m going to go through everything anyway.

  • The big one is my blog, infinitefreetime.com, and you’re already here unless you’re looking at this through some sort of RSS thing, and I don’t even know if you can do that. The blog turns 10 next year, I own it, and while I go through periods of more and less frequent posting, I’m not going anywhere, and coming here will be the most reliable place to find me for the foreseeable future.
  • Second most-active is my YouTube gaming channel, lutherplaysgames.com. I almost shut this down once and then decided against it, and right now I’m back to having fun with it. It’s also the account that I’m most interested in growing, so if you aren’t subscribed you really should go click on it. You’ve got a YouTube account already even if you’re not using it so you may as well subscribe to me. 🙂
  • I still have ten thousand followers on Twitter and still post there regularly, although that follower count has dropped by a few hundred this week due to Shenanigans. Be aware that my Twitter is considerably more profane and more political than my presence here, if that’s something that might bother you, although I also do a lot of book discovery over there. I will genuinely miss Twitter if it dies.
  • I don’t post on TikTok as often as I used to but I’m still reasonably active over there and it’s still a huge Goddamn time sink.
  • Everyone should follow me on Goodreads even though I don’t use the social features there at all. Just, like, do it. I have 712 friends over there and they all found me. I don’t know anywhere near 712 people.
  • I just started a Discord server today, just for the hell of it. There’s really nothing there at the moment but that link will allow anyone to join if they want, assuming I set it up correctly.
  • OKAY THIS ONE I’M SERIOUS ABOUT: I just started playing with Duolingo recently and while it’s not quite a social media network, if you’re using it I’d love some more friends. Right now I’m doing Spanish, Japanese, Arabic and Welsh simultaneously and I’m enjoying the hell out of myself.
  • I have also started accounts on Mastodon and Tribel, and right now I don’t know a Goddamn thing about either of them and Tribel in particular looks like it’s going to be something I quickly walk away from, but those seem to be the two most common destinations for Twitter refugees at the moment so I’m giving them a shot. If you’re over there, hit me up.

So. Yeah. Follow me! On all the things! And if there are other places I should be checking out, let me know!

In which I should have guessed

…never give them two posts on a Saturday. It inevitably leads to a Sunday in which I’m either too busy or too stressed out to write anything. Today was “too busy,” I think; I actually got a fair amount of stuff done around the house, so that was good, but none of it involved, like, words.

Go give somebody a hug; I’ve got to go over my kid’s homework with him.

The last post of last year

I keep almost writing a 2021 blogwanking post or a sort of round-up of last year, and then finding excuses not to do it. Not that the bathroom renovation isn’t more interesting (I hope, at least) than endless navel-gazing, but I can only put this off for so long before I just can’t write it any more. So, long story short: traffic last year was way way way down, which doesn’t matter because it’s still plenty high for a personal blog site of a non-famous person in 2021, and y’all are stuck with me here anyway for the foreseeable future. Two things are pretty cool. This is the lifetime map of countries that I’ve had hits from:

That’s … everywhere, basically; that island up at the top is Svalbard island, where less than fifty people live, most of whom are climate researchers, and it’s part of Norway anyway. North Korea. South Sudan. Tajikistan, I think? (EDIT: Nope, that’s Turkmenistan.) These are not heavily populated countries with a lot of infrastructure, in other words. And despite the low numbers of actual hits (down over 20K in hits and about 12K in unique visitors) the geography from last year is pretty gratifying all by itself:

One way or another, the notion that people from literally all over the world have at least popped in over here, if not actually stuck around and hung out, is pretty amazing.

I have to admit something that is, if not a Hot Take, at least not an especially popular opinion: for me personally, and my immediate family, I don’t think last year was that bad of a year. Now, you have to take this in context, where I am pretty sure that I have described every year since 2016 as the worst year of my life, and I remain of the belief that yes, my life really did spiral south for five straight years, culminating in the loss of my mother on January 11, 2020. 2021 was the first year in a long fucking time where I have a few good things to think about when I look back on it. My brother and his wife had their first child. My dad’s doing okay. We’ve done a lot of work on the house. I made more money last year than I’ve ever made before, a feat I should be able to repeat this year, and because I’ve paid off my credit cards, leaving me with no credit card debt for the first time since college, I’ve been able to keep more of that money and use it for more than just paying off interest. My son is happy and healthy and thriving at school. My wife got a promotion and a raise. I, who a few years ago was convinced I’d never see the inside of a classroom again, got nominated for Teacher of the Year again. By the time this school year ends, I’ll not only have paid off my car, but my student loans might be gone.

All in all, on a strictly personal basis, I can actually see some light again. I have reason for at least a guarded level of optimism, which has not been true for quite some time. I mean, the rest of the world is still going to hell, don’t get me wrong. But at least not everything is going to shit.

My one big personal regret right now is that my writing career is, at the least, on a significant pause, and very well might be done. I haven’t written a word of fiction in at least a couple of years, and I’m not missing it much. I mean, it’s not like I was changing the world or anything like that, as much as I tried to take everything seriously, I never managed to make any money at it– every single con I attended lost me money, so it was more of an expensive hobby than anything else. I’m not saying I’ll never release another book, but I’m not in a hurry to.

You never know. Most of my creative energy lately is going here and to the YouTube channel, and maybe eventually that’ll blow up. If not, well, we’ll see what comes next.

The blog posts no one reads

Today and tomorrow, along with New Year’s Day, are historically completely dead days for the blog. This will not prove surprising to anyone. Usually I try to come up with something spicy for those posts since no one will notice anyway, but I find myself not in the mood for Christmas in a wide variety of ways right now. There was more work on the bathroom again today, but it was more mudding and drywalling. Monday will be sanding and primer, and Tuesday they’ll paint, and that does put us on track to be done before school starts back up again.

Assuming, that is, that school starts back up again, which — don’t tell anyone– but I’m starting to seriously doubt. The trend line on Covid is currently vertical for the country, and I think Indiana’s probably will be as well as soon as everyone starts reporting again, because I doubt that we’ve actually managed to show a decline in cases with Omicron on the loose. But we’ll see what happens.

Merry Christmas, to all who celebrate; those who don’t, enjoy the weekend anyway. I will almost certainly post tomorrow in some capacity or another, but there’s no reason to not be nice to people early, I suppose.

In which I almost blow it

I was getting ready for bed just now, and I realized two things at the same moment:

  • That I had not blogged today, and that given the tenor of my week it would not be unreasonable to assume that I had not, in fact, made it through the last student day before Winter Break without going to jail. Fear not! My unbroken record of days where I didn’t kill a child and go to jail remains an unbroken record, and in fact today was probably easier than I was expecting it to be.
  • We had a pajama day at work today– no, I did not participate– and I was expecting a horror show of uniform issues. What I got instead (and, really, what I should have expected) was that everyone wore comfy pants and untucked T-shirts. There were a scattered few brave kids in onesies mostly as jokes and a few in proper pajamas, but mostly everybody showed up in their flannels. It was probably the most chill out of uniform day we’ve had this year, honestly.
  • That’s not the second thing. Consider it a bonus.
  • This is the second thing: that I actually still have an Amazon delivery coming today– it has been projected to arrive between 8:00 and 10:00 PM all day– and I kind of feel like I owe it to the driver to not be in bed while they, a fellow human being who is still at work, delivers my irrelevant shit to my house.
  • In fact, I’m gonna go turn the driveway light on.

I expect to be leaving work by noon tomorrow; I have some light grading and classroom rearranging to do and that’s it. After that? Coma time, which is my favorite time.