Category: Interests

How to Make Dance Dance Revolution Mats Slip-Proof

This post contains affiliate links so that, if you buy these things through these links, I get a little dosh for showing you how to alter your DDR mats so you don’t slip, fall, and die like an old lady.

So me and Simon recently got back into Guitar Hero and we decided to get back into DDR while we were at it. I still had my favorite DDR game, Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 2, but we needed new mats to play it.

I did a lot of research on them and basically found that unless you were willing to shell out a few hundred for a metal mat, your home options are pretty shit. You either get the fold up mats which bunch up when you get too furious in the feets or you get the kind with foam inside, but the buttons are less responsive because the backing is less solid. On top of this, we have hardwood floors in my apartment so slippage was going to be an issue with either mat, but I was leaning toward the foam-insert ones since I knew we’d also need some impact cushioning. We get achy feet after only a few Guitar Hero songs worth of just standing on these floors, so I knew actually dancing was going to hurt too.

However, the foam ones are a bit more expensive and I didn’t want to pay a lot in case we ended up not being as into it as adults (see: the time we went to a roller skating rink and I fell multiple times, hurting my old lady knees and elbows). So I bought two of the fold-up kind that I had as a kid and came up with a plan to improve them.

I am so fuckin’ excited to tell you about this because honestly, I thought this was gonna end up being some hackneyed plan that only kinda worked, but holy shit. When I was done with them, these mats did. not. move. When Simon saw how well this plan worked, he hugged and kissed me because what a glorious gift it is to be engaged to a woman as brilliant as me.

Read On…

Cheap, Easy, and Cute Lighting for Twitch and YouTube Stream Webcams in Small Spaces

This post contains affiliate links so that if you buy these things – at no additional cost to you – I can make a little extra cash for showing you how to inexpensively light your facecams.

So about a year back, I made a brief attempt at being a camgirl. (Don’t get excited, it’s was non-nude and I wasn’t cut out for it.) In preparing for that venture, I did a lot of research and learned that you’re expected to light your feed so that your viewers can actually see you. So I bought this lighting kit and assembled it in front of my desk. (I still use this kit for filming clips, and would recommend it if you need something for that.) It worked out pretty great until I wanted to rearrange my office and put the back of my desk up against a wall.

Before, I had plenty of space for these two giant umbrellas to stand in front of me. In my desk’s new location, though, there was no way to position them correctly. The only place to put one – and only one – was far off to one side so that dark shadows would be cast on the right side of my face in my feed. By this point, I had given up on camming, and instead of had decided to try Twitch. On Twitch, lighting is also pretty crucial because the facecam is an important part of connecting with viewers there too.

A thought then occurred to me: what if I just stick a selfie light on my webcam? Selfie lights are small, but give off enough light to take good cellphone pictures. They should be bright enough to light my face if I’m sitting a foot and a half away, right? Most people take selfies from farther than that. Then I followed the next logical conclusion to that thought: I wonder if someone has made a webcam with a selfie light built in.

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Brookstone Axent Cat Headphone Review and Gaming Compatibility Fixes

The following post includes affiliate links to products on amazon.com. If you buy these things via these links, I get a commission at no additional cost to you. They haven’t sent me any of these things for free, nor have they asked me to write about these products. I just figured if I send them business, I may as well get compensated for it.

For my birthday a few months ago, my boyfriend Simon bought me a pair of these Cat Ear Headphones (Update (12/7/17): now there’s an improved and upgraded wireless version that changes colors and supposedly has fewer wiring issues). Not only do they feature the pointy cat ears, but they also light up and can be used as speakers in order to share one’s music; or in my case inflict it on others. They are incredibly novel and also incredibly expensive. So it was incredibly harrumphing that they do not work as expected straight out of the box.

I mean, they work just fine as headphones so I’m not exactly crying false advertisement. And I suppose technically they could be used for gaming, if that game were on a cellphone or possibly the Nintendo DS. Because the headset uses a 4-pin jack, which combines the headphones and the mic into a single cable, you can’t use it with most PC’s which have separate jacks for audio and mic. I am to understand that the current generation of gaming consoles are compatible with the 4-pin jack, but it leaves us last-gen plebians with our dicks hangin’ out.

Nonetheless, it is possible to make these headphones interface with both the PC and the PlayStation 3. It requires more equipment, sure, but for some it is a worthwhile endeavor.

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Setting Up a Sideblog on WordPress

So the other day, I got it into my head that I’d like to start keeping a development log and perhaps journal. I have a LiveJournal and a dreamwidth account, but both of those sites are dead. Additionally, LJ’s interface is total shit and while I like dreamwidth’s ye olde interface, their theming options are way more complex than they need to be. I don’t have the time or patience to work on that. Getting this site’s shit together was hard enough.

I also have a Tumblr. I could use my main or set up a sideblog, but frankly, I think Tumblr is shit for actually posting things that aren’t stolen pictures or inspirational quotes.

Honestly, I like WordPress’ posting interface best, but I also didn’t want frivolous journal posting on my main site. That’s where the completed work goes. So what I needed ideally was another WordPress, except I didn’t want to install an entire other installation on my webserver.

Here is how I accomplished that.

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Decor is Very Important: Action Figures

All right, nerds. I’mma have to be real with you.

You need to stop with the packaged action figures. It’s sending all the wrong signals.

I see a lot of “nerd” rooms that have action figures, still in their boxes, on display like they were cherished tchotchkes. It is my assumption that aside from declaring loudly and proudly that you like nerdy shit, the intention behind this is to convey a sense of fun and childlike whimsy to your visitors. Because who but a fun person would collect Legends of the WWF toys or obscure DC superhero action figures?

But “fun” is not what piles upon piles of toys you cannot play with suggests.

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Decor is Very Important: Eclecticism (Like on Friends)

Let’s talk about that respite from brokeness, limited options, and fear of commitment to a style: eclectic decor.

It’s been around forever, I’m sure, but the most famous and popularizing example of it is probably Monica Geller’s apartment in the TV show, Friends. Monica’s home is full of mismatched furniture, different wood grains and stains, and knickknacks everywhere. It’s busy as hell and there’s shit every way you look.

Monica Geller's living room from the television show 'Friends'.

Monica Geller’s living room from the television show “Friends”.

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Anatomy of an Update: Lessons from Robotic Boogaloo on Community Updates

It’s been a good long while since Robotic Boogaloo, the first (and thus far only) community-created update, and I’ve been thinking about it lately. The update never sat well with me and even if we don’t all agree that the update wasn’t that great, we should all acknowledge it wasn’t well-received. But I don’t feel that should be the end of community-created updates. I think the TF2 community can and does do better. If we want community updates to be a thing that people celebrate on the same level as normal Valve updates, though, they need to BE on the same level as a Valve update, as opposed to being a thing of people seeing one is out and thinking “Aw fuck, hat glurge”. The next one, if there is a next one, is gonna have to really knock it out of the park to prove this is a thing worth doing on the regular.

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