Fairwell MS Paint!

This morning I read some tragic news. MS Paint is dying. One of my earliest memories of using the Windows operating system was as a child at school. In the computer lab in my elementary school we had some Windows 3.1.1 networked PCs. They were likely IBM clones, as most PCs were back then, and used 5.25 inch floppy disks which were endlessly amusing to flop around when you are young.

The first thing I did on that computer was launch MS Paint and scribble out a crude work of art. Knowing myself it was likely of a penis with some balls (I have never had a very mature sense of humor, after all.)

I fell in love with computers as a child and my life has been guided by that love ever since. I would not have ended up working in IT or having my current life at all if not for my early love of computers. I can't help but think a lot of the charm that I fell in love with came from creativity apps like MS Paint which were built into the system on every single PC. So when I found out today they are getting rid of this classic windows feature that I love it saddened me.

Of course MS Paint has had another large impact on my life by way of Paint Comic. The whole idea of that comic originally was to help me get out of a creative slump. I am an endless perfectionist when it comes to creativity which has resulted in me starting hundreds of projects that I have never even come close to finishing as I can never get it "just right." Paint Comic was my answer to try to end that cycle of bad behavior. I set out to create something I could do on a daily basis that would not take me more than 15-30 minutes to create from start to finish. I think the first comic I did took me around 5 minutes to complete (and it shows.)

paintcomic1.png

The comic was created in MS Paint so I went with the lazy title of "Paint Comic" surprisingly some Google searching at the time indicated that nobody else was using that name so it became mine.

While I never ended up doing the comic daily (other than maybe for the first few days) I did keep coming back to it over time as it was nice to be able to make something and have no obligation to myself to make it be good. Over time I did fall back into the trap of trying to make it actually have quality and not surprisingly that is around the time I stopped making it altogether.

While I would like to say that I continued to use MS Paint to create the comic I actually had moved on to a different application called Paint.net after a while which is about as close to MS Paint as you can get with support for layers. In the days of MS Paint being removed from Windows I would suggest anyone with a longing nostalgia give Paint.net a try, you will find it refreshingly similar (only with some added features that make it more usable.)

With all of that being said, farewell MS Paint. You helped me find my lifelong love for computers and you will be remembered by at least this one nostalgic geek.

17 Years...

17 Years. It was 17 years ago that I started Green Glasses Productions. I know because I picked the year 2000 for the sole purpose of having a really easy year to remember as the founding of the company. The goal at the time was simple, find a name that I could use to release creative works online, something that I would own and control. Up until that point every project I worked on was a collaboration between me and other friends. The most infamous at that point was “Immortalis Tyranus” which, to be honest, may have been the most successful website I have ever worked on.

The original Green Glasses
The original Green Glasses

The name originated from a photo I took during a sophomore year science class in High School of a pair of paper light diffusing glasses that we were using to demonstrate the different wavelengths of light. They were green, as you might expect, and the photo was taken on my first digital camera which had a whopping resolution of 1 whole mega-pixel (at the time this was pretty cool.) It seemed like a nice palatable name that would be easy to remember and would likely offend nobody. Plus, nobody was using it yet so that was a bonus too.

Since then I have not done much with the name or the company. In fact I still have not even incorporated the company officially in any legal way yet. Sure there have been a few small videos that I have made that I attached the name too as well as a “weekly” podcast that got upwards of a few listeners. Nothing of note in the end though. I also have written similar posts to this one manytimesbefore.

So what is different now? Nothing really, other than it is once again a new year and I feel, once again that I should really start to work on this company. Seventeen years of stagnation is enough time to really think about my ideas and bottle up some good ones. What would it take, though, for me to consider the amount of effort I put into this company to be appropriate? Let me lay out the guidelines now for what I will need to do to be satisfied with this project over the next year.

1. Officially incorporate company

This is a big one as I have found that legally it is hard to take payments online without having an actual company to send those payments too. I cannot take donations on Youtube and I cannot cash out ad revenue for my site. (unless someone out there wants to point out something that I may be missing.) Plus this will give me a modicum of legal protection from other people who are using similar names for their company. Yes, I am fairly certain that if anyone ever took me to court I have sufficient records showing that I have been using “Green Glasses Productions” since the year 2000, however, getting that in a legal document will help.

2. Get Producing

An obvious one. You cannot have productions without actually producing something. For most of the time this company has been around I have mostly been quietly producing ideas in my head and not doing anything with them. Which I would say, does not really count at all.

With this bullet point I would like to get on a production schedule. My main issue with releasing things I work on is I am never happy with the quality of the content I produce. I have, in the past, dabbled in just releasing a mountain of garbage in order to get myself into just making a lot of content and I want to return to that. I already have a couple of “test” episodes of shows I was working on recorded and half edited. I never intended to release those as they were more or less designed to try to figure out my formatting but I think I will just throw them out to the wild soon and then follow up with more content as fast as I can. One piece of advice I seem to see given over and over again by successful creators is to just keep working and improving. If I am not actually releasing anything or working on new projects I will never improve. But if I shift to constantly working on things and releasing them I will surely become much more skilled soon.

3. Defy Evil

When Google founded it had a famous motto of “Don’t Be Evil”. A motto that is pretty funny considering the company Google has grown up to be but a noble motto for them to start with. I would like to take this a step further and I am happy to announce the new motto of Green Glasses Productions.

“Defy Evil and Have Fun”

It is a variation of the ubiquitous GLHF that is popular amongst anyone who participates in online gaming but with my own twist. Evil is subjective of course so I may have to give an official company definition of evil at some point for clarification but I think for now this should be fairly simple to understand.

There is an increasing amount of evil in the world and it has always been my goal to stop it wherever it festers.

4. ???

5. Profit

Someday I will figure out that 4th step and find a way to make money while doing what I love. Until that day comes I will have to be happy making money educating people about technology. Which is my day job and the most satisfying one of those I have ever had. Which I hope is actually a plus. Many times when I have started the process of buckling down on creativity I was doing it from a very dark place. I am now as far out of the darkness as I have likely ever been in my life. So I hope I can use the light and spread it through GGP. I will love it if anyone wants to join me on this quest but I don’t want to obligate anyone into doing so. I have no problem going this alone forever. If you like the work I do in the coming year and you want to be a warrior of light with me, then let me know. Otherwise I hope you all have a great 2017!

Being Me...

Let me, for a moment, attempt to explain my life as of late. Imagine you are walking down a path and you seem to have a good idea where you are going, you even have a nice pack of food and supplies to help you along the way. Now imagine that the path under you suddenly falls away and you find yourself falling endlessly down a hole with no clear way to stop yourself. There is no footing to find, everywhere you reach or attempt to step is just more dirt that crumbles away as soon as you find it.

You find yourself spinning out of control, losing everything you carried with you as you fall. Somewhere in this fall you begin to figure out how to stabalize yourself a bit. You are not spinning out of control now, but you are still falling and the ground below you still continues to crumble away. Everytime you get hope that you may have finally found stable ground, it just seems to slip away.

That is,  more or less, the position I have found myself in as of late. While I continue to do my best to remain optimistic I also have a hard time seeing a way out of this fall I find myself in. I may not be spinning completely out of control but I still have no stable ground to stand on.

I am not trying to be dramatic or get your sympathy. I just want people to understand where I am at. I am not a great person, I am hardly a good person and at times I don't know if I can even call myself that. My greatest challenge of late is simply maintaining the shallow facade that maybe I can be stable again someday.

Or perhaps I am just overthinking everything, that would be par for the course in my life.

In any case, that is what was on my mind.

Melting Down

Dreams for me seem to always uncover the underlying issues that I try so hard to avoid in my day to day life. Last night was no different as I found myself in a complete mental breakdown in the middle of a dream. It is no surprise to me that I would have a dream like this but it may mark the first time I can remember crying uncontrollably in a dream.

The best way I can classify my experience last night would be "anxiety nightmare". I am always battling my own anxiety and for the most part I have it under control. The issue of course being that the more I try to control it the harder I melt down when I lose control. Usually people say it is best to attack the underlying issues of your anxiety instead of just pushing it down into your sub-conscious but unfortunately there is really not much I can do about my life situation as of late other than power through and hope that I can last until things start to improve.

In the dream I was moving from my current residence, something that will be happening in real life in about a week or two. While moving I came back to the apartment to find that I had somehow left one of the cats alone for two days without feeding her. She was sick and clearly not doing well. Being that my cats are the only creatures that I have any genuine feelings for this hit me pretty hard. As the cat food had already been moved and I do not own a vehicle my first instinct was to try to reach out to my friends Kim and Jon to help me get some cat food to her as quickly as possible. Unfortunately being a dream my phone was not quite working as expected. I was trying to open Facebook messenger as that is usually the quickest way to get a hold of people in my life but I could not get to the home screen on the phone to launch the app. Every time I hit the "home" button it just closed the app it was in only to bring me to some other random app that was open underneath it. I furiously tried just hitting it over and over again only for the home screen to never appear. This is when I snapped.

I simply broke down (in the dream) and started bawling. It was all the anxieties of my mind manifest and I could not take it. I cried for what seemed like hours in the dream before waking up to realize we had not moved yet. I could not get back to sleep as my mind could not stop thinking about what had happened. I have been feeling a need to let loose emotionally lately but have been unable to do so while awake. In a way this dream may have provided the release my mind so desperately craved. However at the same time it made me face some of the troubles that I have been trying so hard to bury within my mind.

Life is not exactly great at the moment, I will not lie and try to say that it is. I am alive and I do have food and shelter so it is not as bad as it could be. However with my third move in under 6 months coming up here soon it is clear I am starting to lose control over my anxiety a bit. While parts of me are excited about moving (having a bed to sleep on again will be really really nice) most of me is dreading it completely.

All I can do is keep hanging on. I may not be getting anything that I want out of life but that is just how things have to be right now. It may take me years to be back to a point where I feel comfortable again in my life but those are years I have to face. There is nobody I can blame for my situation but myself and as such I have to keep pushing forward. Someday I will have a place to live again where I feel like I am at home, it may take a lot of hard work to get back to that but it will be worth it in the end.

For now I just have to focus on getting through the day without really getting any sleep, wish me luck!

Motivation

For the past month I have had an issue with motivation. It is hard to say if it is due to depression from losing my job, the stress of having to move and suddenly being thrust back into a massive amount of debt, or simply due to my screwed up head which seems to have left me lacking in this area from a very young age. At first I was allowing myself a bit of reprieve from lifes responsibilities. Abandoning my apartment really sucked and will continue to suck for a long time to come (I have already started getting the debt collection calls about that, what fun.) I suppose that since I was already ignoring such basic responsibilities such as paying bills (due to the fact that I literally had no money to pay them) that I thought that I could let other things slide as well such as personal hygiene or human interaction. The Face of Depression When I think about it both of those things certainly do sound like depression, though I never really feel sad when I think about it. I just do not feel like putting in any effort into life.

So this week has been my quest to re-find my motivation. Unemployment does run out and I need to find a way to become self sustaining before that date comes. I go back in forth in my mind from finding some shitty Mcjob or trying to go into business for myself. Office jobs are likely available for me considering the type of job experience I gathered at my most recent post however I really do not know if I want to do that type of work again. For whatever reason I have a hard time forcing myself to be "sane" enough to work among other people in a quiet professional environment. The service industry has always suited me even if the pay is generally shit.

The road ahead forks into many different paths, all of which are now open to me as I am free from any shackles that bind most people. I just need to summon the courage to walk any of those routes. Away I go.