Health, PDXLAN & Making A Living

Hey Guys,

It’s been a very rough couple weeks since my vacation to Disneyland that didn’t go quite so well (very stressful, bad weather, anxiety, etc) and the impending sickness my entire family brought back from California piled on top of another gout flair up in my right foot that laid me out for a few more days.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel since the new medicine my doctor put me on called Allopurinol seems to be greatly reducing the gout severity and my foot is about 90% better. Ultimately this medication should prevent me from having another gout attack in the future after this one is done and over with since it will lower my uric acid levels in my body to a level where the crystals shouldn’t form in my foot joints anymore.

The timing couldn’t have been better for my recovery since tomorrow I leave for an event that I attend several times a year in Portland, OR called PDXLAN. This event is just a giant 4 day LAN party where you play games, chug caffeine and just have a good time and meet a lot of great people. I attend this event with Puget System from Auburn, WA several times a year and it’s one of my favorite events I attend because it’s just completely relaxed with no expectations beyond having a good time.

I’m a little worried about the trip since I will be driving my 2005 Subaru WRX STI and my right foot is still in a bit of pain and it’s a very long drive for a manual transmission. I really hope that I can find a route to avoid most traffic so when I arrive my leg doesn’t fall off. But I need to take my car for a few reasons, first I’m taking a lot of stuff including my HTPC (Houston) and my laptop (William Jr) along with my Ultimaker v2+ 3D printer which I’m loaning to Puget Systems to print stuff on site for the LAN party participants. But the most important reason for taking it is just to unwind. Something about driving a car with tuned suspension, loud exhaust and a lot of power that unleashes your mind to just focus on driving and nothing else. I find it hugely relaxing provided it’s not in stop and go traffic.

Once I arrive at the LAN I will get checked into my Hotel Room and get prepared for #TechTalk with JayzTwoCents at 5pm PST. After that I will get setup at the main event and I plan to do a lot of live streaming on YouTube of all the gaming sessions I’ll be playing and possibly even some other stuff like 3D printing, etc. I will also be shooting a VLOG while I’m down there and it’s going to be very chill, relaxed and organic with no production value beyond just sharing my experience with you guys.

Now it’s 3:52pm at this very moment and I have to still pack tomorrow before leaving around noon so I have very little time to shoot and edit another #JerryRigged and a video on upgrading the bases of my TV’s to actual monitor style stands so I can schedule the videos to release over the 4 days I’m gone at the LAN. This is something I need to focus on a lot moving forward is scheduling content on a more regular basis so if I get sick, etc I have some videos in the queue.

The whole concept of keeping a scheduled release for videos I’ve already shot and edited has always bothered me because I want to share everything the second it’s done. There were days over the last few years where I would release 3 videos in a single day just because I was making them. After doing a lot of research and now doing YouTube as a full time job I realize that to maximize exposure to a new audience (not just you super loyal viewers) I need to release at better times at a more predicable cadence to maximize my exposure on YouTube search. They call that Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I need to start creating and scheduling content in a way that lets me take better advantage of the system and continue to build up a reputation moving forward so I can continue to make better content.

I’ve decided to give YouTube another year (2016) to see if I can master running my own business and still keeping it fun and exciting. If I’m unsuccessful I will probably return to a senior level programming position at one of many companies that have extended offers. But I really want to make this YouTube thing work which means I need to figure out how to line things up better, shoot better videos, edit faster and make enough money to pay taxes, insurance and contribute to some kind of a retirement which I’m not currently doing.

I just wanted take a few minutes to lay out my thoughts in this blog for my most hardcore followers because you guys are ultimately the ones that keep this experience more positive then negative and keep me pushing forward. I hope you all have an amazing weekend and if you’re at PDXLAN be sure to stop by and chat it up with me.

I want thank each and everyone of you that have supported me by sharing my content, donating, buying merch or just being friendly. The only way to survive and make a living on YouTube in a way that is sustainable is to pick up as many crumbs as possible so you have enough to make a whole sandwich at the end of the day. And if that was not happening I wouldn’t be able to keep continuing down this path and for that I’m beyond grateful.

I realize just how important a budget and finance is now without a company contributing and matching a 401k, paying my taxes and giving me largely discounted health insurance. Now it’s important for me to make sure my money is working as hard as possible to keep my family afloat and help build a future. We just signed up for new health insurance last week that cuts my monthly premium by ~$600 but it’s still $1000 a month. But any place you can squeeze a little bit of a discount will lead to you keeping that money and being able to use it for other things like investments, paying bills, etc.

It’s amazing how much different the whole world looks when you’re working for yourself and you’re responsible for absolutely everything. I never realized just how much an employers does for you as an employee to keep your mind on the actual job. But in the case of Microsoft it was a LOT to say the least.

Love you guys, thanks for all the positive vibes and interactions on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and on here. It means a lot and I read as much as humanly possible, just because I don’t respond doesn’t mean I didn’t read what you posted. I absolutely love reading all the positive posts and banning and deleting all the negative ones, it’s therapeutic to me and even though I don’t have enough time in the day to respond to everything I want you to know that you’re words of encouragement really mean a lot to me and always will.

Picture taken 4 years ago @ Microsoft

4 years ago

Thank you!

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10 thoughts on “Health, PDXLAN & Making A Living

  1. If you are still having gout issues. The allupurinol will really only help so much. If you do not change your diet.. you are in for a world of hurt. Each flare up gets worse and gets longer. I speak from absolute experience here.

    I started getting gout attacks at the age of 19. But it wasn’t until I was 30 I finally figured out what it was.

    You MUST start drinking water and no citrus drinks, Stay way the hell away from soda’s for as long and as much as you can. and cut your meat down to about 8-10 ounces a DAY.

    I have not had a flare up in almost 7 years because of my dietary changes. And I can safely say my former flare ups were bad enough my family would tell me I would cry in my sleep and shift around in bed a lot.

    Drink water almost like you were breathing it, and stay as much away from protein as you can.

    After a while you can reintroduce all the bad things back. but only in moderation. like less moderation than normal people.

    You CAN do it and be entirely able to survive without the Allipurinol, but if you just take the drug, and move on, you are just setting yourself up for intense and HORRIBLE pain down the road. the likes of which can only be matched by kidney stones.

  2. Hey Jerry!

    Just wanted to stop in and post some positive for you. I absolutely love your videos and your real candidness in your online presence. Because of how real you are it has caused me to watch videos in subjects that I never expected to enjoy, and you made them so fun and enjoyable! I really do hope that 2016 is successful enough for you to keep pursuing YouTube as a career. I’m a fan. Keep doing you and those that love your content will be loyal and those who troll will be flagged by the loyal fans and blocked.

    Cheers,

    JL
    http://jlthibeault.com/

  3. Jerry, the one piece of advice I can throw at you is that I follow a LOT of computer builders, reviewers, etc. The one thing that I noticed is that a lot of guys put out a video on something that is absolute crap and has nothing to do with their the them of their channel. One thing about you is we all know that when you do post a video it will be informing, entertaining, and it will give us all a little insight into what is going on in your life. A little voyeuristic I know, but that is the way it is. I hope you stay the course and find a way to balance your personal life with your other passion, Electronics that are useful to all of us. Stay cool brother and carry on.

  4. It’s great to hear you putting it all on the line Jerry, but it’s also time to be honest with yourself. At the risk of sounding negative however, I have to say that some people are not cut out to be their own boss, and in turn may not be the best candidate to do youtube as their full time job.

    In my case, I also deal with depression, anxiety, obesity (like big Jay status), etc. Some days, it takes everything I can to drag myself out the front door, into the car, and into the office. However, one thing remains steady, the structure of the workday. That structure allows me to continue from one day to the next. It allows my high days and low days to revolve around something that is structured. It also helps to maintain my social interaction skills.

    If left to my own devices, I believe my laziness would take over, and the average of the highs and lows would drag down, and the number of bad days would start to outnumber the good, until I was left in a dangerous cycle of negative self talk, depression, and general feelings of crappiness. I would then not want to see anyone, or do anything.

    I also believe that the videos must still roll out for this to be a full time job, whether you are in a good mood or not. I can appreciate your reasons for doing what you do in the way that you do, but sometimes it can be a concern if the number of “when I feel like it” days is less and less. A possible suggestion could be to branch off a segment that could play in to your bad days, when Burnacules Grumpgasm has the reigns. Perhaps reviewing a product that makes you mad (or destroying, LOL), or go for a big rant about something. Hop on your grumpmobile and just go for a rip. In the proper place it could be epic, and it will also draw views. And the nice thing about it is those that don’t want to watch a Burngasm flame throw, don’t have to, because they can just avoid the series. Don’t be afraid of the mood swings, embrace them.

    If you don’t want to embrace them, you can still shoot video without being in front of the camera. Even if it’s just a matter of getting intimate with “dat LMG Style B-Roll”.

    Structure may also be a key. Maybe it’s possible to bring someone on board, someone who is willing to help keep structure in your life/work (IE kick your rear in to gear in the event of down swing). Even possibly a part time job for a few hours a day (or regular volunteer work) may help with routine.

    Despite all of the ramblings of my mind that have just landed in the above comment, the following holds true, If something isn’t working, it would be foolish to try it again the same way. If it’s broken, fix it some how. The ‘how’ is up to you, but I worry, especially with the talk of giving up YouTube, because that suggests that it may not be working. Fix it, before it’s too late.

    I’m pulling for ya, and if there is anything I can do to help, just send word.

  5. And of course, reading through your post again, I feel kind of bad about the negative tone the post of mine took on, but I hope there may be something in there you can use, something to help.

    We’re here for ya, no matter what.

    Although, the thought of running over a dead motherboard with a lawnmower does sound hilarious when you are having a bad day…

  6. Hey there Jerry.
    Great Blog post as always. I am always a little mesmerized by how real and honest you are with your content. I’m sure most others in the “Tech Community” who make videos are also; but hide it well and almost act professional which is good and makes sense, however it doesn’t feel different for me and make it attractive to come back to their channel, with a few exceptions including Jay, Logan (and the crew) and Linus with notable mentions including Paul’s Hardware and Kyle’s channel. I genuinely think that you express yourself so freely and makes us almost part of your life which would almost make it not awkward to meet you. It sounds sort of stalker ish but I think you would be an interesting person to hang out with that and I would stand by that statement. It has been my dream for quite sometime to meet some of you low key celebrities from this community and having an insight into your life is me partially living that which is amazing. Thank you again Jerry. One day we will meet, one day. Cheers

  7. Glad to hear that you got your gout under control! Never fun to be laid up in bed for any length of time. Can’t wait to see what content you’ve got in store for all of us now that your back in action. Have fun at PDXLan and though I won’t be able to watch live, I’m excited to be able to watch Tech Talk again on the reply. Take care Barnacules and keep up the good work!

  8. Jerry,

    I hope this weekend goes absolutely spectacular for you! I’m sure at this point a room full of hobby driven people will be refreshing. The buddha jerry may say: “rub my stomach for good times at LAN’s”. Here’s to a better year and an upward positive correlation for the year’s activities! I hope myself and many others can be called on to help in any way you need or that we can offer in the future! I personally care about your family’s well being, and Xander’s continuing growth. I hope many others feel the same way. As always, looking forward to tomorrow, and enjoying today.

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