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Epic Fail: The Journal of a Homeless Gamer
Book 13: Changed World

This is my journal I wrote during the time I was homeless. It is broken up by week for easier reading. Feel free to read it on the web or download the complete .pdf version and print it for reading offline.

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These include the Table of Contents, Glossary and links, all weeks, all pictures, and index.

Week 633

Day 4425 (V:149) - 8/12 - Nice peeps / Migraine

Today has been a mix. The morning was good. I saw some 'regulars' in the chat in the stream that I watch and people were friendly and we chatted about stuff. There are usually only 100-150 people there, so most of the regulars see each other quite a bit, since only about 10-15% talk. (Which was extra nice compared to yesterday where I felt kind of ignored, and one mod even made a couple of comments to me that, while I'm sure not intended, seemed kind of hurtful.) The streamer was actually sad when I said I should go and we chatted for a minute about how I don't have access to power and things are limited. So it was nice to know he cared.

A few hours later, starting just a bit after noon, likely due to the heat and my general exhaustion, I got a pretty bad migraine. It started at the base of my skull, and along my jawbone joint area. After about half an hour it also felt like someone was grabbing my skull from the front, and both squashing the sides and pushing their thumbs into my eyes at the same time. I'll take a couple more pain pills and hope that helps, but usually these don't go away until it's night and I can be somewhere calm and quiet for a while.

No stimulus news yet, and I'm getting more and more worried I'll have to spend all I have for the ok system. It wouldn't be a bad system. It's just not as good as the better one. But the concern is it will take every penny I have, maybe a touch more. So paying bills won't be an option. While I still don't have any bills until October when insurance payments restart, and that can be paid monthly (with 30% interest added on top), I worry about other bills, like the $150 for web space in December. There is still time, but that time will come quickly. And I still sometimes worry my current old laptop won't hang on much longer. It's still doing ok, but things like clicking programs to open and nothing happening for 30-60 seconds (when it should respond immediately) is becoming more frequent. And I think I mentioned on game start sometimes it shrinks to a really low resolution, like 640x480 for a few seconds.

I guess as sad as things are, and as sad as they are to consider... this... is my life now. I can't change anything and nothing can change without opportunity. So, I continue to wait for a couple of things to change to create opportunity to hopefully change. And in the meantime all I can do is try to continue to hang on.

Day 4426 (V:150) - 8/13 - Maybe presents

Today was too hot. It was so hot that when people parked next to me and I put up one side window I almost immediately started sweating. And even with both sides rolled down it was almost so hot to cause a bit of sweating. I had a very slight coating of sweat all day.

Last night I got news from dad he has already sent a birthday card early and I may get it as early as Friday. His mail tends to be late though, so I don't know if I'll check that soon. He also said he may send a gift card for the online store I shop at, so there may even be something else.

The streamer I talked about the other day confirmed if my address he had was still correct, so there may be a something from him.

I suppose even though it was way too hot, and I was pretty sad, today wasn't that bad. There should be a movie to pick up tomorrow, and if so I'll spend a few hours with my laptop outside the library. The connection wasn't great before, but it's something. So until things change I try to continue to hang on until better days.

Day 4427 (V:151) - 8/14 - Extreme heat warning

Today was good and bad. The morning stream was pretty good. I chatted with the chat room people a bit.

There as a "hey there," when I was outside the store. A lady said "she seems me around there all the time" and asked if I wanted a coffee from the coffee shop at the food store. I probably seemed like an ass when I replied, "Nah. I'm good." It was a nice offer and nice to know she noticed and cared. But my brain is so outside of normal, I am so fearful of unfamiliar things or unfamiliar people, I always react like a scared wild animal, I just kind of pushed her away before I even realized what I was doing. I didn't see her come back my way, so either she went back a different way to a car, or I did seem like an ass and she avoided going past me again. I guess time will tell if I see her again.

My time outside the library was also kind of bad. I had an extremely poor connection for about two hours. Then, by the end of the third, it had been completely dead more often than not, and so I gave up trying to play anything. (Though again, oddly my tablet seemed to have no problem at all connecting and doing stuff.) I suppose it was for the best, as at that point it was getting extremely hot. I was starting to sweat in the most minimal of clothing, and my system was pushing towards feeling uncomfortably warm. Even my tablet was uncomfortably warm. I managed to stick around for the remaining 1.5 hours basically without using stuff. Just sitting doing basically nothing in a somewhat shaded area, but it felt very lonely and wasteful.

The next few days my life may be more of the same though. There was an "extreme heat warning" in the weather app when I checked the temperature. It's expected to be 90-100F, or higher, basically up until my birthday on the 20th. Which is very sad news, as I was considering bringing my laptop to outside the library on Tuesday and Thursday. But if it's as hot as it was today I really won't be able to use it or my other devices.

I guess really today was just another sad reminder of my limitations and how different my life is, and how differently it's made me think, even more so instinctually react. I hope someday I can recover and leave this worst life behind me. I know I may never reach "my best life", but something not terrible would be a nice change.

Day 4428 (V:152) - 8/15 - Bearing the heat

Today I have basically made it through the heat.I was in my car a bit in the morning during the parts I know it wouldn't be too hot. Then I was not in my car over by the store during the hottest few hours. And just now after it's been shaded for a few hours I'm returning. I'm still looking at basically 6 hours before it really starts to cool off after the sun has been down for a bit. But the heat wasn't that bad, and it was more manageable than I originally thought it might be.

There may be a stupid amount of sad news about the stimulus though. It seems the houses may yet be in another break for a month. Seriously? It seems like they are in for two weeks, then out for a month, and that's a normal cycle?

So... I survived the first day of extreme heat, so far at least. But with stimulus so far delayed I may be looking at at least a month before my options change. Maybe there are presents back at the ex-house to find later. But for the moment there seems to be many sads. And all I can do is continue to try to hang on.

Day 4429 (V:153) - 8/16 - Thunderstorms and fire tornados

Today there is some crazy weather. From about 3 in the morning until 9 there were crazy thunderstorms. It was pouring rain almost nonstop. It was louder than ever, as it seemed like it was right overhead. And there were reports of fire tornadoes yesterday.

I got a nice present of two batteries yesterday. I charged one and was considering bringing it, but I didn't just to be safe. They are basically the same size as my phone, so I expect that is about three times the battery size, maybe more.

I'm glad I didn't bring it though. While it was not as hot as I expected, at least in the shade, it was ridiculously hot overall. I had thought by 1:30 my car would have been cooled enough to sit in it, as the hottest times are about 11 to 1. But even after rolling all the windows down I basically immediately started sweating when I got in. I'm still unsure how safe it is to use any of my devices at all much past about noon in this heat. I was originally going to take my laptop to the library Tuesday, but I'll definitely not with this heat going on. I may Thursday because it's my birthday and something should be ready for pickup by then. But I'll have to see if it's cooling off to at least the mid 80s by then. If not I may need to continue to not use devices between about noon and 5.

I also got early b-day monies from dad, so I dropped that into the bank. Checking my balance I still have enough for the ok laptop, but will probably be a touch short if I have to pay for tax and/or shipping. So again I'm really basically waiting on the stimulus to see what my options are and what extra costs there are on the purchase. With the news they are out until at least early September I probably won't bother even checking on news until next month.

I hope the heat ends soon because it's really extremely difficult to manage. And more importantly even if I don't use my devices too much heat can be very dangerous. But it's yet another thing I can't control. And all I can do is continue to try my best to hang on.

Day 4430 (V:154) - 8/17 - Indirect heat

Today it felt so much cooler than the weather app said. It shows 95F right now, and yes, I'm nearly sweating in my car, and am only not due to the breeze. And the heat has caused a pretty bad headache, but it feels about 10F cooler than that. And even cooler in the shade. I guess because of the storm there is a gray cloud layer that is blocking the direct light. Everything is a diffused medium brightness. While I suppose not surprising, it's very weird because it's causing a huge amount of humidity, which isn't something we get on this coast. I've seen it like this maybe three times in my whole life.

I brought the battery with me to recharge things. Though my devices are old and don't support fast charge, so it may be more often used as a power supply during use than a recharge. It looks like the tablet will pull it's normal 20% recovered per hour if it's not doing anything, so that is a very slow recharge rate. What I may do in the future is recharge during the time I'm sitting in my car, and use it as a power source if I drop below maybe 80%.

I'm very sad today. The battery is very helpful, but it's sad my life is at a point where I need to consider such a thing. It's sad that anywhere I scratch comes off with dirt because it's been like 160 days now just wiping down in a low level 'sponge bath' with no access to a real shower or bath. I'm sad it's been like two months since I had clean laundry, and sadder still that clean cloths likely would make very little difference in how I smell or feel. But most of all I am sad these limitations prevent me from getting a real job, one I'd feel safe doing during all of this, and that means that can't/won't change until things reopen. And it seems very unlikely things will reopen for 4 months or more.

Day 4431 (V:155) - 8/18 - Hopefully not too hot

Today I hope it's not too hot. I hope things start cooling down. I was originally going to go to be outside of the library for a bit, but with the temperature hitting 95F yesterday it seems risky to have my laptop.

That seems like all I can hope for. Stimulus won't change, so nothing related to that will change. And since everything is connected to being inside somewhere, unless everything suddenly reopens it seems unlikely anything else could or would change for me.

Everything is the worst ever for me. I have very few comforts left, but I am very glad I still have those. There are still things I could yet lose. But while I have these few things I can try to hang on. And with everything out of my control, it really is all I can do.

Week 634

Day 4432 (V:156) - 8/19 - Smells like burning

Today there is a gray haze everywhere. Last night starting I think around 8 I started smelling a burning smell. At first I was worried it was my laptop because I was playing at the time and it was pretty hot, but it was everywhere. This morning I've heard it's somewhere sort of close on fire. It's not as bad as the time a couple years ago where I could barely breathe. Now in the mid afternoon it's actually clearing up and quite a bit easier to breathe. Though I am still easily seeing the light haze looming overhead.

There is a bit of troubling news on the stimulus, but since they actually aren't in session I won't believe what I hear just yet, as it may just be someone trying to generate click bait articles. But there is no positive movement, and no guaranteed stop, so I will continue to hang on to hope.

I guess I survived the heat, which thankfully also seems to be cooling. And I survived the smoke in the air. So I continue to try to hang on as best as I can, and hopefully I can make it to better days.

Day 4433 (V:157) - 8/20 - Drop off, no pickup

Today the library curbside services were closed due to the poor air quality. It's a lot better than yesterday, but I guess due to all the fires everywhere they were being careful. I had a couple of things to pick up, but at this point I may have to wait until next week. I was hoping to have them for my birthday, but I guess that won't happen.

I went to be outside to have time with my laptop anyways since I wanted to get a cooked food for my birthday. It's kind of a triangle of about 1 mile each way, so it made more sense to spend 50% more gas to potentially have a few hours of laptop time vs. not. Sadly, again after just two hours my laptop couldn't connect at any speed that would allow me to do anything. Which I guess was fine, as I just played my birthday game expansion.

Not really anything else to say for the day. There are still a small handful of hours left, but it looks like yet again a sad homeless birthday. A few said happy birthday on the social page, but I don't know if there will be any more gifts or anything else. It's fine really. I just wish things weren't so bad that I was counting down my remaining years instead of counting what has passed. Now more than ever it feels like this will be all I have.

Day 4434 (V:158) - 8/21 - Still smoky

Today it's still pretty smoky in the air. It's not super bad though like the other day. I guess it's been an ok day so far. I watched my stream and played just a tiny bit. There was a sad article about the stimulus, but even though it was a reputable source, I think they are just doom calling, since nowhere else was reporting those same thoughts. They are out for weeks, so there isn't any reason to believe anything bad has happened.

So I guess today, bolstered by presents and well wishing, I continue to try to hang on.

Day 4435 (V:159) - 8/22 - Smoke in the afternoon

Today I had a self surprise and decided to take my laptop to outside the library. There was really no one around, as it got a bit smoky in the afternoon. The connection was pretty bad. It was barely useable and I disconnected several times in my MMO. I just gave up and played my birthday expansion in offline mode. It was an ok time. Better than what I would have otherwise had, but not as good as it could have been.

I guess I made it through the day ok. I was pretty sad, but also had decent distractions. And so most of another day has been survived. All I can do is continue to try to hang on.

Day 4436 (V:160) - 8/23 - Surprisingly visible

Today someone said the fires were visible from where we are. I find that hard to believe as our area is flat, and the closest area on fire is probably 30 miles away, through hills and near the coast. Maybe if you drove north to about 1/4 the way there then you would be heading up a hill and might see the fire.

The morning was mostly clear, both in visibility and smoke smell. Now in mid-afternoon the entire sky is just a gray hue. It's so thick it hangs down to the street like a fog. It's a thicker smoke smell, but not unbreathable. It's like standing maybe 10 feet or so from a fire or BBQ.

I feel terrible for all the people losing their homes and their stuff. I'm sure the most emotionally important stuff to me, and my important gaming stuff, could probably squeeze into my car. But the remaining probably 80% or more of stuff would be a pretty big loss. I can't even imagine what that would be like.

The area that is on fire has had bad fires probably four times over the past 20 years. Though there is mostly forest and hills between my area and there, it would be crazy if it got closer. Smoke is my big concern, as this time I don't have anywhere to go inside to recover. A few years ago when it got really bad I could go into the library for 8-11 hours depending on the day. I remember it took half of that time for my lungs to recover from all of the rest of the exposure I'd get.

There is supposedly a presidential press meeting happening now. So maybe there will be some news about the stimulus later. I've moved my saved money to my bank, so if there is a final decision more is not coming then I should be able to have it all in one place and decide what to do by Tuesday. Everything seems to be getting worse, and my laptop may be showing more signs of impending death, so I'll likely want to grab a new one when I have the chance so I don't miss my shot. But I will continue to hope for more stimulus.

For now all I can do is try to not inhale too much smoke, and try to stay safe from the virus. And hopefully I can hang on long enough to make it to better days.

Day 4437 (V:161) - 8/24 - Plan to continue waiting

Today looking at stimulus news I have planned to continue waiting. While there was some stuff over the weekend it isn't stuff that affects me. And while the one news site is still calling doom and says people shouldn't count on a second stimulus check, since it's the only thing both parties agree on, and they are out of session until the 8th, I'll just continue to wait maybe 2.5 weeks until the 10th and see what the news is then. At that time if people are saying they can't agree, then I'll go ahead and get the good system. I'd still like to hang on and pull 300 out of a second stimulus (if it's the same amount as before) for a better one if I can though, as it's a fair bit better specs.

The good news is my online game friend sent a big birthday money gift last night, and another friend did too, so I will pretty much be guaranteed to have enough for the good system and an additional 512 gig M.2 drive, maybe even a 1 tb one (which I'd need as the lower cost systems only come with 512.) So that should be super happy. But again, I'll continue to wait 2.5 more weeks to hear official word on how things might progress once they've been back in session a couple of days.

Today is warm, but not overly hot. It's mid-afternoon, so it probably won't get much hotter. The air has been bad off and on during the day. The library seems to be having services again, so it must not be too bad.

That's really it for the day. No real news. Just waiting. As I have been for months. But I guess I survived the day.

Day 4438 (V:162) - 8/25 - Unknown Tuesday

Today I don't know what to expect. I'll be going to be outside the library, so hopefully the connection outside is ok. The past few times there it's been pretty bad. I have a movie and TV series waiting for me though, so hopefully I can pick those up since I couldn't last week.

Hopefully there won't be too much smoke. Hopefully it won't get too hot. And hopefully I can survive and hang on until better days.

Comments and stuff Copyright E. Stryker 2008-2020
Pictures for Epic Fail are taken by me. :)
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