The Heat is On

We just made it through a heat wave toward this week. The weather’s been warm all week. I think yesterday was in the seventies. Unless you live in the South or some other tropical climate, that’s pretty much unheard of, especially in late February. Unfortunately, I couldn’t enjoy it because of course I was at work. And naturally, it’s not expected to last because it’s still winter and sooner or later, the snow has to come back.
Also this week, I decided to go on a little diet. I found out that ever since I was no longer allowed to use the gym up at the college a couple years ago because I wasn’t taking a gym class, turns out I gained at least fifty pounds. At least I’m not completely out of shape. I practically walk everywhere and I have a job where I’m pretty much on my feet all the time. Plus I also have the advantage of working in Pets where there is some heavy lifting involved. But it’s probably time to get back in shape now that it’s getting closer to spring.
Last night, I finally managed to pick up Deadpool on DVD. The version I got also features the online version that I added to my Vudu collection (which is Walmart’s version of Netflix.) However, the real reason I got the DVD was because I could get a movie pass to go see Logan when it comes out next week. Movie passes on DVD’s nowadays comes with a code you can redeem through Fandango but the passes are only good for the Marquee in New Hartford as I learned when I got the movie pass for Star Trek Beyond last year. Either way, I was going to see Logan anyway because as an Internet reviewer I have to review it anyway. I also need to make a note to stock up on movie passes because all the big movies are gonna start coming out.
Advertisements

One Year Closer to 40

Well, here I am. 39 years old. One year closer to 40.

However, before I get to that I should get this little bit of news out of the way first. First up, I am happy to report that I officially made my main website on WordPress into a dot-com site and just in time for the site’s tenth anniversary next month. In fact, on Valentine’s Day I was finally able to enable ads on my site because when you get a domain name on WordPress you have the option to monetize your site which is what I have wanted to do for a long time.

In other words, my website is now officially known as blackcatloner.com So now I am even closer to my dream of turning my online life into a full-fledged career.

The thing about birthdays is that the older I get, the more I start to reflect on my life as it was before I got to this point. And I feel like I made quite a bit of progress in the last few years, especially in the last few days starting with when I got my degree in the mail last week and now with me officially upgrading my site to a dot-com site. That while I feel like there’s more I could do, I feel like I am in a pretty good spot right now.

Unfortunately, I ended up coming down with a pretty bad cold for my birthday which even as I write this I am getting over. Add that to the fact that it’s been snowing pretty hard all week and you can tell that it wasn’t really a good week. But I can’t really complain though, especially with my big accomplishment this week.

I have actually started to uphold one of the resolutions I have made at the beginning of the year and that is the fact that as of a few weeks ago, I have started to quit the online dating biz by deleting my profiles on various dating sites. I started by deleting my profile on Zoosk which is a Facebook dating app three weeks ago. And last week I have officially deleted my profile on OKCupid which now leaves Plenty of Fish (which I did quit a while back but went back because I originally wanted to do a video on it as kind of a social experiment) and Match.com left. It’s a slow process because once again my relationship with online dating is the fact that it’s kind of like an itch you can’t help but scratch but it looks like they will be going soon.

And there you go, that’s pretty much what has been going on the last couple of weeks. I filmed a new episode of Blackcatloner Reviews before coming to the library today and I’ll be getting back to work on new videos again this week.

Herkimer Graduate

Well, folks. After a little over a year of waiting and a little over a year after I officially finished classes, the wait is finally over. I am happy to report that I finally got my Associates Degree in Communication Arts New Media from Herkimer College in the mail this morning. So I am now officially an alumni from Herkimer College and finally starting to move up in the world.

Twenty years ago, I never would have thought that this day would happen. I was pretty much convinced that I didn’t need college but rather rely on real world education. However, after years of working in retail and especially after getting started on the Internet, I realized that my earlier attitude toward college was actually just me overreacting.

By the time I actually decided to go back to college around 2010-2011, I had the benefit of online financial aid which did not exist when I graduated from high school in 1997 because the Internet was still in its infancy back then. And in fact, I actually did better in college than I did in high school. Sure it took me four and a half years (partly because I changed my major from Radio/TV Broadcasting to New Media and the fact that I was a part-time student because I was still on overnights at the time) and I was probably older than a majority of my peers, but I stuck to it and I probably also had the advantage of being an established Internet personality. So in short, I have my life as Blackcatloner to thank for this.

And college in turn really helped me out with my Internet career, especially with YouTube. In the two years I spent in Radio/TV Broadcasting, I learned how to edit which was something I never actually paid attention to in my first few years on YouTube. My writing was not really a problem but even that got better. In fact, that’s what sort of led me to create the Tales of the Blackcat site. But my college career was still not without its challenges, especially towards the end of my college adventure. But in the end, I graduated with a GPA of over 3.2, which again was way better than I ever did in high school because in high school, we did not have the advantage of the Internet.

Now that I finally have my degree, I can only hope that this is a start of better things for me. I guess you can say that I’m living proof that good things can happen later in life. Like I said, I never thought that I would be at this point when I was in high school where I pretty much dismissed college as a waste of time. But now, I realize that I made the right decision.
And there’s a good chance that I will be posting a new video sometime next week.

Back to Work

Well, I’ve taken enough vacation time from making videos online. Time to get back to work on making videos.
Yesterday morning I finally managed to film my Top 5 Best Movies of 2016 video for my Blackcatloner Reviews show and I was originally going to upload it yesterday at the library but my editing software was acting pretty slow. Guess it only works when I’m not near a Wi-Fi source. So I ended up uploading it today on lunch at work.
In case you are curious as to what video editing software I use, I use VideoPad Video Editor and I have been using it since 2012 when I returned to video making after my Great Hiatus. And here’s where I let you in on some of my production secrets, such as how long it takes me to produce a video. As far as how long it takes me to produce a normal video, it usually depends on how long the video is and since the finished reviews are usually between five and twenty minutes long on average, it takes me anywhere from two to four hours to edit an average video. Again, it depends on the length of the video. Since I learned the fine art of editing during my time at Herkimer College, I have started shooting all my normal videos (where I’m sitting in front of my laptop) all in one take, flubs and all. And then it takes about two to four hours to edit the video down to its final length. And once again, depending on how long the video is, it normally takes anywhere from twenty minutes to two hours to render it for upload to the Internet.
And as far as uploading to YouTube goes, since I have to rely on public Wi-Fi because I don’t have Internet at my house, how long it takes to upload depends on where I am. When I uploaded up at the college, uploads were almost instantaneous (usually about five minutes or so.) During my post-college career, I usually upload videos during my lunch breaks at work and there it usually takes anywhere from five to twenty minutes to upload one video. However, uploading videos at the library is a little trickier because sometimes uploading longer videos takes forever. So that’s why I usually try to upload shorter videos (meaning videos that are either less than ten minutes long or smaller file size like my recent podcasts) when I’m at the library because they don’t take very long to upload. I usually try to avoid uploading videos to YouTube when I’m at McDonald’s or Burger King because uploads usually take forever.
So that’s pretty much a behind-the-scenes look at how I make my videos and post them online. Like I said, I’ve taken enough time off from videos. Time to get back in the habit because not only do I have more reviews I want to do as well as some more video ideas. At first, I was planning to replace the vlog series with the podcasts but as usual, I am having second thoughts. I mean, hey, it’s my show. It’s my YouTube channel. I do what I want. So I’m gonna be bringing the vlog series back and the podcasts will also be considered part of the series as well.
Right now, my biggest obstacle and this has always plagued me during my Internet career has been my lack of consistency, many of which can’t be helped because you know… life. Sometimes it saps your creativity and it leaves you kind of lethargic and drained. Plus, scheduling time to do videos is a bit of a challenge because I have Tuesdays and Saturdays off from work. And I guess that’s part of the reason why I started writing blogs again: To basically get my thoughts out there when I don’t have time to do a video or if it’s something that I can’t do a video on because also living in a town where nothing remotely exciting happens is a bit of a challenge to do videos on.
Also, the weather isn’t really helping things any. So far, we’ve had more snow this year than last year but the weather still hasn’t decided what it wants to do. One day it’s fifty degrees out. Another day it’s snowing. Right now, we’re under a lake effect snow warning and it hasn’t really done anything. Some flurries here and there and it was also windy as hell out but other than that, no real blizzards yet. But sometime this week, walking to work is going to be interesting, not that I haven’t walked to and from work in worse weather than this, especially during those long years on overnights. I’ve walked to work in blizzards. I’ve walked to and from work in twenty below zero weather. I’ve even walked to and from work in flood conditions. If anyone can handle that, they can handle anything.

 

Milestones

Figure it’s time to post a new entry here.

I spent the last week trying to add updates to my laptop which I have been trying to do for the last couple months now and not much has been going on. Of course as of yesterday, Donald Trump has now made it official and I did manage to see him take the oath before I went back to work. Even though both TV’s in the breakroom were showing the inauguration, I was watching it on live streaming on YouTube while trying to upload one of my older videos to Vidme without much success.
But then again, I’m not posting this to talk about Donald Trump becoming president. Instead as I sit here in the library, I figure I’d elaborate on this year being yet another milestone year for me. Like I said, I’m supposed to get my degree in Communication Arts New Media from Herkimer College in the mail sometime within the next couple of weeks which marks the end of almost a year and a half of waiting not to mention four and a half years of actually going to college. And who knows where I’ll be after that. But all I can say is that hopefully things will really start picking up for me.
And on top of that, the fact that I am graduating from Herkimer College this year also coincides with the fact that it has been nearly twenty years since I graduated from Red Hook High School. In fact, even as I write this there are plans for a twenty-year reunion to which I have been added to the group page on Facebook. At press time, they’re aiming for late July. So far I have not committed to anything yet but we’ll see. I do remember one of the early posts I made when I first started up my main website (which I’ll get to in a minute because that is also celebrating a milestone this year) was about the fact that I was dreading returning for my ten-year reunion because let’s face it, I haven’t really changed all that much since high school except for the location and we’ll just leave it at that. But as far as the twenty-year reunion goes, I’ll just have to plan it by year.
In the meantime, my main website is also celebrating its ten-year anniversary this year. Last year I celebrated ten years as an Internet blogger and a presence in social media and next year, I will be celebrating ten years as a YouTube video maker. It all goes by so fast. And speaking of which, I have been toying with some new ideas for upcoming videos and I may just focus on reviews and I might do a podcast every now and then. What it all boils down to is that I am thankful to the Internet for continuing to allow people like me to have a platform to express my creativity that would have otherwise gone to waste in the real world.
But no matter what happens, it looks like 2017 is gonna be a pretty interesting year.