My Stay in Portland

This weekend my buddy Tony and I drove up to Portland to visit our friend Mike. The drive was nice; I cannot stress just how beautiful the Pacific Northwest really is. We left in the morning and after about four and half hours in the road we arrived in Portland.

Surprisingly it didn’t rain the whole weekend, which is rare as rain is frequent there. This was nice though as it really allowed us to enjoy the city.

First Mike took the two of us along a hike in Forest Park. The park has over 26 miles of trails, making it the longest city park in the West Coast by far. We only walked a couple miles of it, but I am still beat. That was enough walking for a couple months for me.

Later on we went and watched the best worst movie of all time, Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” at Portland’s local theater “Cinema 21.” At first it started off a little slow, but a couple minutes in a crew of die-hard fans showed and began the barrage of spoons. The movie was magical. Even more than the first time I watched it. Both Tony and I are going to come watch the movie again in Portland. I highly recommend everyone to not only watch the movie, but see it at a local theater with friends.

The next day was even better. After having a good time walking around downtown and checking out the local sites, we went over a house show and saw some bands in a basement.

The venue was named the “Thai Kitchen” as the owners of the house found a neon sign that had been thrown away with the words “Thai Kitchen” on it. The guys hung it up in the basement and a new concert hall had been born. Welcome to Portland.

The first band was an aggressive talking, spoken word sort of band, the second was “Animals in the Attic” a sort of vibe surf rock band, and the third was Jah’di with Radio Phoenix which was a funky positive energy rap band.

All the bands were fun and the show was complete of course with a “Fuck Donald Trump” thrown in there, so I’d say we definitely got the full Portland Experience.

By the end of the weekend I had had a fun time but I was ready to go home. Portland is a very fun place to visit, but at this point after living in D.C. for two years I have had my fill of living directly in the heart of cities. As for me its back to the country for a bit and then I will be in Southern California soon as well. But eventually I will return to Portland to throw more plastic spoons at the screen in Cinema 21 and hopefully something will be cooking in the Thai Kitchen as well.

 

Until next time,

Nolan

The Cult is Back.

These last couple days of streaming have been sublime. Seeing everyone come together and be part of the show has been just amazing. Keep at it Cult. We are going to make this stream explode together: I can’t do it alone.

Honestly I cannot stress how cool it is to see all of my followers show up at once. Some are there from the first month of streaming back in March 2015, others are from 2016 when fb_lurker was launched, and even others are new additions from 2017. It is really cool to see the stream come together, especially after the years spent working on it.

So far we are off to a really good start and if we keep it up the Cult is going to make it no problem. As I have been telling everyone we already have the numbers we need. We don’t need to use gimmick titles like “drunk stream” or “knife giveaway” and we certainly do not need to spam advertise.

We have real content at our stream. Not only via myself but also via the chat itself. You guys are awesome with the content you produce. Many people do not realize how hard it is to stream without a good chat. Some of you think I am so smart and that it is amazing how I can give a topical comments on a wide range of issues, and this is true I do have a talent for this, however this is not usually possible without the chat.

The chat gives me the topics to talk about. I am not always so enlightened as to be able to talk about something interesting on stream but when one of you in chat chimes in and gets a discussion started that is often how I begin one of my rants. So in essence, it’s your fault Cult. I blame you for the rants. Shoutout to Rants23.

For a long time I did not want to ask the Cult to actively support the stream by watching often and by leaving a tab open at all times even if they weren’t there because it seemed greedy and dishonest to me. You know people have their own lives, they can’t watch all the time, and second leaving their screen on is a dishonest view right?

Well, no. There is nothing wrong with asking the Cult to do this for me and I believe you all should. Here is my reasoning.

As stated before, this stream is authentic. No gimmicks. No giveaways. No sellout. No tits (I wish I had some). No spam.

Instead, we have real content. Good laughs, good conversations, and good friendship. This is rare on twitch. No, I am not the only streamer with a channel like this, there are many other great channels and streamers with honest streams and who put on a great show, but there are many that are far from that. And we all know this.

Now, because I do not do all these bullshit gimmicks, one because they suck, and two because I want to make a real show, I need your support. If I don’t have views coming in from click bait titles, I need to get views some other way. And I want to get them from the Cult. You guys love the show and I love your support. And your views. And I need them.

The way twitch works is simple. The more views a channel has, the higher it goes on the list of streamers for that channel type. The higher a channel is on the list the more traffic it gets and thus the more follows/views/subs/etc it gets. Viewership in twitch is exponential. If a channel has little to no views it goes nowhere and its stuck in twitch hell, if it has a lot of views it explodes. We have been in hell for a long time guys. But there is hope. We have the views to break out and ascend to twitch heaven. So let’s do this Cult.

By you coming in and showing your support, we can make it out and make something awesome happen.

Now, yes I am asking you all to work. And it’s going to be hard, but you are not alone. Before this I was the one that was alone. I’m the one spending money on rent for an office so I can keep streaming for you all. I’m the one driving a minimum of 1.5 hours to stream every day. I’m the one that often eats alone every day instead of with my family since I am stuck in town because I have to be at my office to stream. I can no longer stream at home, this is my ridiculous situation. Streaming is very inconvenient for me with my current wor situation and that is just unfortunately how it is. But that does not mean I am going to stop. You guys support me and I love doing this show for you. Without a doubt it is the most fun and enjoyable thing in my life. I mean that.

So when I ask for your help, please give it. I know that I cannot go anywhere without you all and this is why I am being honest with you and appealing to you all to watch. We can do it cult. And we will. I am not going to quit streaming. I will keep grinding. I will play new games. I will come up with fun content. All I ask is for your support. Let’s get it done.

You all said yesterday, make fb_lurker great again. I disagree.

MAKE THE CULT GREAT AGAIN.

 

-fb_lurker

 

 

Still Running

So today was a pretty big day for me. I decided to not quit streaming. I had really been thinking about it all weekend and I was pretty sure that I was going to stop. But after talking to some friends and especially after streaming for an hour I just knew that I couldn’t.

First off, I really owe this to my loyal viewers; the ones that watch me all the time, you know who you are.

Streaming is a marathon. It takes a long time to build an audience and even longer to build one that is interactive in chat. Sure you can take shortcuts and give away free stuff, but that almost always sacrifices the quality of the stream: it sure did in my case. Sure a streamer can get lucky and a big host comes their way that causes their channel to explode, but most of the time this does not happen. If it does, consider yourself very lucky and be thankful for the host. But in reality, as stated earlier, it takes a long time to get a channel going. And this is never without ups and downs. And these never stop.

My current channel (twitch.tv/fb_lurker) has been online for about a year at this point and my first stream was almost two years ago, but yet I am still a small streamer. At times it can be very tough. I think to myself, “I should be farther along” or “how come I’m not farther along?” or “how much longer until I get a break” and often “should I even keep doing this?” Compound this with seeing other streamers make it, and these thoughts become much more real.

I am a big fan of supporting other streamers and making friends with other streamers. This is the way to go. Do not be the jealous type that cannot be happy for other streamers or the type that always is thinking they need to do better than another streamer. Look at streamers as a group of friends where you want everyone to succeed, not as enemies. Now with that said, that doesn’t mean that when you watch your fellow streamers you are always happy.

What I mean by this is that while you can be happy for your fellow streamer, you can also be sad for yourself. This is the toughest part. When you see your friends make it you are glad for them, but at the same time it reminds you that you aren’t them. It reminds you that you haven’t made it.

For me jealousy is never a problem. I’m not the type to think that way. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t react. My issue is that at this point along I often see other streamer’s successes as evidence of my failures, and then I begin to doubt myself. I think that I just don’t have what it takes, or that it is going to take forever, or that I just missed my chance and that it’s gone.

Combine all these feelings with paying rent for my office (of which my donations are nowhere close to the amount), driving a minimum of an hour and a half every day to keep streaming, and often spending my whole day in town, and you can get a feel for my situation. A slow day was tough at times to deal with back when I was able to comfortably stream in my apartment when I lived in the city, and when I was not investing in my stream via rent money but rather just using my home internet, but now when I have a bad day it’s ten times more brutal. I close my computer down, turn the lights off, close my office, set the security system, and then drive 45 minutes to get home. All while thinking about how the stream went. Not fun.

Over time this has all been building up. Recently I had a really tough day. It was so tough that I had thought that I was going to hang in the towel and turn in my two-month notice and vacate my office. For me that means no more streaming. My choice to get internet is to pay rent for an office that has high speed internet and commute. Most streamers would never have to face that situation but I do. And I really thought that this was it and that I was going to pack it up, until today.

Today so many people came in and the show was just great. And the best part too was that it was a normal show. I didn’t have a pity title such as “thinking of quitting” or anything like that and the dialogue was not dominated by me talking about quitting and people saying “no stay don’t leave” and all other sorts of often at times insincere compliments, but instead it was fairly normal. The stream made me realize that while I need to do something to my show so that it is not so backbreaking, I cannot quit. I have to continue grinding it out.

I decided that I am going to change up my stream times. Instead of staying on a schedule where it consistently dominates my whole day and makes it miserable, I will just stream when it fits with my schedule. We shall see if this works, and I honestly think it will. Twitch users often tune it at sporadic times. The platform really does seem to differ from conventional media platforms like radio or television. Sure, at some times people won’t be able to make it, but I know at other times they will. Nonetheless, the load off my back will be lightened and streaming will be easier to bear.

I am very glad that I decided to keep streaming and that my chat today was able to keep me inspired and to come up with a different route instead of quitting. It showed me the classic lesson that just when you think you have examined all angles and thought everything through and that there is no other option, there often is. And so once again I have to thank my viewers. You all who tuned in today really made a difference and I appreciate it. A lot of you I will not forget that you were there today. I will keep grinding and I will see you soon in the chat.

And to those of you out there that are grinding and trying hard to be successful at something, stream related or not, keep at it. I know what it is like, it sure isn’t easy, but if you are like me (and I bet you are to some degree) you know that it makes you happy and that it’s worth it to keep going. I’m going to keep at it, I hope you do too. And if you ever need to talk about it, stop by my show and well chat.

Most people don’t take risks and work really hard to achieve something. They like to stay in their comfort zone where they don’t have to risk failure. To all of you that are out there risking that by pursuing something, I commend you. Keep at it. Life is too short to not do something with it. And if you are those that aren’t pursuers, that’s okay too. I’m not like you, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. We share different opinions. However, I ask one thing. Understand what those who take risks go through.

There is no guarantee in making it. Whether that is as a streamer, and entrepreneur, a professional athlete, or whatever. These types of people risk a lot to get there. Just because you see them when they are at the top, this doesn’t mean they weren’t at the bottom. And also don’t forget, there are a lot of people who never made it to the top, and legions more who never will. And you will likely never meet them because they are often too ashamed to let people know they failed. So when you see someone who makes it, don’t be jealous. Likely they didn’t get their easily. Those on top, that grinded their way there, earned it.

If you want to be somewhere, go for it. Take the risk. If you don’t want to take the risk that’s fine too, but don’t you ever be jealous and certainly don’t ask for things to be handed to you or that it isn’t fair. It’s not fair to ask for the highs of success and without risking the brutal lows of failure.

As for me, like I said, streaming is a marathon and I’m still running. Thanks for reading and good luck to those out there trying to make something happen.

 

-Nolan

 

My message to D.C.

I still remember the moment Donald Trump came down his escalator and announced his bid for the Presidency of the United States. Everyone was laughing, except me. Oddly enough I liked him more than so many of the Republican candidates. He seemed real to me unlike the others, especially Jeb. Did you know in Florida they call him “Jeb?” True story apparently.

Over the summer Trump made headlines. He said this and he said that and everyone said that it would be over. It would be the end. No one could support such a politically correct candidate. He would fall and he would not be the next President of the United States. Oh but they were all wrong.

As I write this post Donald J. Trump is being inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. So I want to say this to everyone I went to school with back in DC. I called it.

Further, the amount of bullshit I dealt with in D.C. talking about Trump’s ability to win, mind you not even direct support, made me the subject of so many personal attacks. I will never forget the slander thrown at me during that campaign season.

In fact in some ways I have to thank you people. Your personal attacks on Trump supporters was largely a part of what made the campaign successful. When you force a dog into a corner, it doesn’t lie down, it digs in its heels. Americans grew sick of all this politically correct self-righteous bullshit and they responded. The idea that liberals (and yes this is a problem that the left has generated) speak perfectly and strictly about anyone and everything without ever saying anything improper is insane. So many people I know that are like this say everything perfectly publicly, but privately they are much different, dare I say racist/sexist/homophobic/other various ists/isms? But with the Trump crowd you get what you hear. They certainly aren’t perfect, and honestly they aren’t racists, they are real people with real concerns and they often speak loosely. But this is in the interest of voicing their concerns and actually getting things actually done.

For too long problems in America have been festering such as illegal immigration issues, failing schools, America’s place in the world and its role in defining the global order, Radical Islamic terrorism, America’s staggering debt, unemployment, the shrinking middle class and the coagulation of wealth at the top, the prison population and violence in cities, our nation’s drug problem, and the growing social and cultural divide in America just to name a few.

President Donald Trump has much work to do. We shall see if he can pull it off and truly make America great again, and we all should hope he does. America really has a lot of problems right now and those Americans that wish for the President to fail are childish. Grow up and “hope” for your country’s success.