It's been a long time since my last post, and for that I'm sorry. I've struggled for a long time with what to say, and nothing ever seems to be quite right. No matter how I write it, I end up feeling like a horrible person. I'm confident that this post will also fall short, but I can't ignore it forever and hope it writes itself, and you deserve to know that I haven't forgotten about you.
I also feel compelled to acknowledge that some, if not most, of the events which led to the need to write this post, are, in one way or another, my fault. Also please understand that this is in no way a cry for help. I'm fine. I promise. That said, in my last post I promised transparency and, as insane as this may sound, it's as close to an accurate retelling as I can give allowing for privacy and legality.
I tried hard to hide it, but I spent much of the last several years in varying forms of homelessness. The reasons don't matter, but it happened. Sometimes that meant sleeping in a park, sometimes I couch surfed, for a little while I even managed to keep an apartment, but it didn't last long. One nice thing about being a developer, if you have access to a computer, you can do your job, and I always found enough work to get through the month.
I never set out to build a guide, at least not on the scale of what Plus has become. When I first started this journey, the point was the technology behind the guide, not the guide itself. I've always been passionate about the gaming industry, particularly in regards to moddable games. I've been involved with COD4 clans, Minecraft servers, WoW and ESO guilds, and now Skyrim modding guides and in every single instance, the website was a point of contention. Being both a developer and a gamer, this seemed like a relatively straightforward problem with a simple solution that had the added benefit of providing a potential revenue stream. When I first started building Plus, it was a way to keep track of all the changes I was personally making to Lexy's, while simultaneously live-testing the software I was building. Somewhere along the way, my priorities flipped which has had the unfortunate side-effect of slowing platform development; sorry Lexy, I might have a few ADD/OCD tendencies when it comes to building things, but we're finally making progress.
2020 - Enough Said
A year and a half ago, I lucked into a sort of deal with a friend of a friend. He had a piece of property that was effectively used only for storage. It had a not-quite-fully-functional house on it and, while it wasn't fit for habitation, I was welcome to stay there as long as I kept the place from falling apart any more than it already was. I didn't have running water, I didn't have heat or air conditioning, I didn't even have a kitchen... but I had a roof over my head, electricity, and internet that I didn't have to pay for. I figured I would stay there, stress-free, long enough to figure out how to get back to a more normal existence. Unfortunately, as one would expect from a junkyard looking for free security, it ended up being anything less than stress-free. But it worked, at least for a while. And then I was diagnosed with cancer. You all already know that part, I won't rehash it, if you don't know, go read the previous article.
Needless to say, I survived my surgery. The doctors gave no guarantees but believed that they had removed the entire tumor successfully. Along with the kidney which, while expected, I don't think I was prepared for. Don't kill your kidneys, kids, trust me. I bounced back pretty quickly but was still in the "recovery period" when I was the victim of a random hit and run. I was on foot. The "hit" part wasn't anyone's fault. It was just after a snap freeze, he wasn't speeding, he hit a patch of ice and just lost control. The "run" part has resulted in me hoping that karma is a real thing. I got up, brushed myself off, and finished my walk to the store. Walked through the door and collapsed. Turns out, I was pretty close to freezing to death, and my body didn't like the sudden temperature change when I walked through the door when combined with a mild concussion, a touch of shock, and a few fractured ribs.
For reasons that I'm not comfortable going into at the moment, shortly after the accident I found myself suddenly homeless again, in Colorado, during the Winter. Then I finally catch a break; an old friend reached out and asked if I wanted consistent employment in my field, on my terms. The deal even came with a place to crash, the only problem was it was nowhere near Colorado. I needed transportation, but I couldn't afford a cheeseburger. And then the community got itself involved. To be clear, I don't know who all got involved, your ringleader won't say. Since I don't know who you are, but I know some of you weren't staff and I've never discussed it publicly before, I've also never had the chance to say thank you. So... whoever was involved in arranging my accommodations and transportation for that week of insanity, thank you seems insufficient, but it's all I've got.
I finally made it out of the nightmarish situation I was in, was on my way to a new job... hopefully actually making enough to do better than breaking even for the first time in years, I plug in my computer during my layover, and poof. Open up the computer, everything is black. The last time I looked, everything was green.
So now you're all caught up. I'm alive, I haven't forgotten about you, I do want to finish the update; at the moment, I can't. The only computers I currently have access to can't run modded Skyrim, let alone Skyrim modded to our level. I'm working on scraping together enough to get a new computer up to our standards, but the forced downtime has given me time to get a lot of things done behind the scenes. Both Plus and Lexy's have finally made it to our new network, which should fix the stability issues we've been seeing lately and give us a fair bit of room to grow. We're a matter of days away from releasing a pretty major overhaul of our software stack, and I'm finally in a position where I can focus more on the guide than on where I'm getting my next meal. Progress is progress!