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Posted a really hard trick, seems like people are liking it

I started working on this trick just shy of a month ago. I had been looking through some old videos and saw this wrap/unwrap thing I once used to tinker with but never really took anywhere and decided to spend some time on it. After finally finding an interesting and techy way into the mount I quickly came to see that the exit from that mount perfectly set up a move for landing a gunslinger hook I had recently learned, and so I added that in there. Immediately after that I was left in another mount that perfectly fit a different element I started working with in 2017. Basically this is a conglomeration of a bunch of abandoned tricks that all lead up to a flashy slap bind behind my arm.

Exploring and attempting to improve my consistency at strange mounts that I don’t see the majority of my peers performing has always been somewhat important to me over the years. I thought I should take advantage of the obscure and diverse inputs to create and interesting and uncommon trick. Hopefully I’ve accomplished that! 🙂

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Lots of eBay lessons in a very short amount of time

Some of you who have been following my exploits over the various social media platforms of late (probably three of you) might have possibly noticed that I have gotten into flipping items on eBay more seriously as of late. If you weren’t aware… well yea. So I’ve been listing a lot of things on eBay. That’s basically it, that and shipping things when and if they ever sell. It’s fun. It makes enough to pay my few bills and it seems like the more time I put into it on a daily basis, the more money it can make.

Time in can be shipping items that have sold, which is a process I’m learning to love and have previously sucked at. Or still somewhat do. More on that later. Time in can also be searching for an item I have to sell for a family member to see if it is selling, what for, and then taking the additional time to list and describe it as best I can and then hope it sells for something that won’t piss off said friend of family member.

It’s fun. But there have been a few lessons in the last week that I’m not too happy to have had the opportunity to enjoy so soon into my new enterprise. First that comes to mind, ship one item from start to finish at a time. Do not print all your labels at once, box everything at once, and then apply labels to boxes after they are closed. I was only shipping two items, two incredible hulk items I found for a steal and was super excited about until one of the item’s recipients contacts me with a polite, “As much as I’d love to keep this cooler item, something got mixed up here.” message and I jumped back into customer service mode from back in my office days.

Shipping labels from each recipient to the other were generated quickly, apologies were written and sent quickly, a resolution was explained quickly, and only the slightest bit of worry about exposing two customers addresses to each-other crossed my mind and I crossed my fingers that they’d appreciate the quick resolution of my complete fuck up and hopefully not be too pissed. I offered them both refunds, luckily they were gracious, citing, “we all make mistakes / are human” and telling me to keep the money. One panicked bit of worry dealt with. Lesson only cost me some dignity and 14 dollars to generate the two new shipping labels. Now I pack items one at a time from start to finish.

Next lesson, might be obvious, but if you are going to sell an item that has been opened it would be wise to check and make sure all the pieces are there. So I have a few model cars I am selling right now, I opened up this previously opened box, saw all the pieces were bagged, saw the instructions were there, saw the plastic sprue things that the pieces had originally been cast onto while in the mold, tossed them figuring they were trash anyways. Closed the box, listed it for 6.99 and was done with it.

Now, it sounds like I checked. I looked, I saw the pieces. But I didn’t grab the instructions and look at every single piece and make sure it was there. And I think I should have. I think this was a mistake more of laziness. I wanted to hope and assume all the pieces were there and not have to deal with it. Just be done with this item and move on to the next one. Instead of taking my time and making sure to not list something incomplete I just rushed through the process and ended up having to refund the buyer of the model car because the BODY OF THE CAR was NOT IN THE BOX.

How the fuck did I miss that? Are you kidding me? So what do I learn from this? Well, I already know I’m lazy, and I don’t see myself changing that quickly. So for the immediate future I’ll only sell items that are sealed or are strictly as is. I don’t like making such stupid mistakes. All I can tell the dude is I’m sorry I sent you an item with a missing part and refund him. In the meantime I look like an idiot because how did I miss that the car body, the most important piece, wasn’t in the box?

Oh well, packaged items from now on. Maybe as I get more into this and develop a more refined work ethic I’ll find myself motivated to nitpick a 150+ piece item that might bring $6.99 in if I’m lucky. Could you imagine if it had been something insanely rare and sold for $1000 or more and I had to refund it because it didn’t have the body in it? I may need to focus better while I’m working, looking at those two things.

That’s all I guess. 🙂

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It’s windy out

It’s definitely fall. The trees are all changing colors and the horrid cold wind has begun to blow through the hills around our house. There’s a repetitive metallic tink tink tink of a windmill blowing around. This almost river through the pine trees while you’re camping sound takes over, and then silence. Just as quickly as the powerful gusts come they go again, off to spin a windmill elsewhere I guess. Meanwhile I’m sitting here trying to decide what to focus on.

I have a video project that has to be uploaded and live at midnight. As far as I’m concerned it’s done but I still have to get an ‘okay’ on it before I schedule it.

I have art to draw for the final video in the project, which I have been struggling with.

I have a Cambium (yo-yo) to woodburn flames onto for the lucky Instagram winner.

I have several hundred items I can and should be listing on eBay, Facebook Market Place, and Craigslist.

I also can’t seem to get this idea out of my head that I should be spending some of my time each day writing (hence what I’m doing now) ideally on a book idea. I want to write a story. I have a few concepts I’ve been kicking around for a few years on a Wattpad account. I’m not too pleased with them, I honestly have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to writing a story and I’m sure it shows. But I just want to do it. I’ve always felt like I should be writing.

The wind is back again. Now I can hear it whistling down the chimney. They’re going to be playing Christmas music again soon…

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Importing content has been time consuming

I’ve been working on the site a lot this week. Mostly working on the site in fact. I have been able to film and post a few short trick sessions here and there by utilizing Instagram live but the footage quality is lacking and most of the tricks that I do land cleanly aren’t all that perfect so I struggle to want to post them. But better something than nothing. And the more often I go live and make up tricks to the music in my headphones the better I’ll get, the more opportunities I will have to practice new elements out to music, and in general, any time spent yo-yoing is usually a good time.

Today I wanted to talk about what I’ve worked on and then what I’m thinking of doing next.

On the website this week I learned how the portfolio function worked and discovered that it was better for organizing, displaying, and categorizing videos. Trick tutorials can be sorted into various difficulty levels but I can also add the ability for search by attributes (slack, tech, horizontal, 1a, 2a, etc). I am also using this for the watch page, where I am displaying any shows I have made, currently only Let’s Play Yo-Yo is displayed, but I will add all of my videos not in the learn section here, old trick videos, vlogs, contest coverage, and anything else I feel inclined to display.

As far as the content I am creating currently goes, the plan is to begin making Let’s Play Yo-Yo again. I would like it to be more of a daily to every-other-day sort of production. It would allow me to be more topical, run it more like a show and less like one off videos so that I can interact with the audience between videos, and after a few days of working on a trick and finally landing it I can go back, edit down however many videos it took to hit the trick into one shorter overview that would be more like a one off video. This way I’m working on new tricks all the time, and when I’m done working on the trick the people who don’t care about watching the boring learning part can watch the finished, polished, video showing a quick learning process with all the best parts and none of the drudgery.

I’ve been dragging my feet on doing this because I’ve over thought how nice it all needs to be or how much energy I need to have in the video. Then then other day I found out most people like my stuff because I’m laid back anyways, so I decided to just move forward with making the show and ignore what I think will happen because I’m probably wrong lol.

Wanting to make the show again forced me to put time into the Watch page, which now prominently displays all of the let’s play yo-yo episodes of completed tricks and the one part of an uncompleted Zach Gormley trick. After organizing the videos and discovering I left a trick partway through allowed me to save time deciding on what trick to work on in part two of episode 14. I’ll be honest I’m not looking forward to it but I have a lot more time to focus on it now and may actually be able to hit it.

So what happens if I can’t seem to make any progress on a trick? Then I start another trick. I can be learning as many tricks at the same time as I need to ensure I am able to post something that has moved forward that day. If I rotate to another trick when the one I’m working on is stuck it’ll allow me to continue to improve elsewhere and allow me to come back with a clear mind another day. There’s less pressure to simply quit because things got hard and more excitement to try something else. Who knows if it’ll work but I’m just deciding that now. Honestly there never were any rules so it doesn’t matter, but I still felt like sharing my thoughts on it.

I’ve also finished moving all of my files into one place and they are beginning to become organized. I’ve also downloaded a program called Tabbles, which sounds like a possible option for adding tags to my files so their easier to search and use. I have no clue but anything is better than where I was before with everything (and 40gb of duplicate files) scattered everywhere and not being able to know where anything I was looking for was.

I’m hoping by adding this software into the mix I’ll be able to find and reduce even more duplicates so I can move forward with creating a few copies of the files and then start using them to make content. That’s the main thing I’m excited about when it comes to working on these files, they’re full of 15 years of self made yo-yo content. I realize its not perfect but I am excited that I have it available to illustrate points, tell stories, etc.

That’s all for now, hope you’re all well!

Michael

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Seeing the light at the end of the file organizing tunnel

Hey Internet Friends!

It’s been a long day. I woke up at about 7am, resumed organizing the files already on my external hard drive chronologically, finished that around 8pm, and now I’ve been waiting for the files on this laptop to transfer to the drive. I’m trading the laptop and a camera I no longer use for a different, better laptop that I used to own. Long story, but thankfully it will allow me to work on videos faster.

Speaking of videos, because this week was largely dominated by this compulsion to organize my data, I’ve obviously been slacking on that front. I’ve been thinking of a way to do a daily show. I really want the ability to make a daily video that would be entertaining or informative (or both) that would allow me to interact with an audience via comments or live streams when the videos are being created. Ideally they would require no editing and would be created in one shot.

Obviously it would be about yo-yoing. Low hanging fruit would be teach whatever is on my mind at the time and show something I’m working on or learning. Basically yo-yo themed show and tell. Throw and Tell? Why do I like to use puns in my project names? Unless I think of anything better lets go with that. I would like the shows to have a structured format so I have a general idea of what I’ll be doing or talking about. And preferably there is minimal industry coverage because frankly I suck at staying caught up with the ever changing world of yo-yo. Though if I had a daily show (ie a reason to do so) maybe that would change…

I feel like I’ve been sent back to 2009 to retry all of the various video projects I was working on. I just have to modernize them.

Anyways the format would be intro > show topics (kinda intro related but separate) > education topic > daily discussion (could be topical, probably will just be a response to comments) > community highlight (a subscriber, fan, follower, etc that has done something cool recently that would be fun to share… I’m going to have to edit these if I do that.) > ending.

I have shied away from daily projects that require editing because they tend to get ended by my life becoming overwhelming. That being said I have a lot more control over that now… Well, I need to get back to working on this file transfer so the laptop is ready for tomorrow.

Goodnight folks!

MikeMonty

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It’s a little weird organizing files from your life

Hi internet friends,

I’ve been organizing my digital life off and on for several years now. Only recently have I started taking it seriously because I got all of the files on to one hard drive (or I did now it’s on my laptop too, which I’m rushing to fix) and I’ve been organizing them slowly by date. I haven’t figured out another organizational system yet, they aren’t easy to search for because no one seems to care about organizing their personal files and talking about it online.

I was hoping to find some sort of system/app that could take any file, organize it by date, let me tag it, give it descriptions, and sort by type. But these that exist seem to only allow one type of file or are heavily featured towards pictures or music but have no usefulness towards documents and video. I feel like I have done a lot of searching. It sounds like what I’m looking for may be something large businesses use to organize files around projects. Perhaps law firms.

Regardless I’m going old school, digitally. I’m organizing the files by the year, month, and day they were created. This is just a start. Once everything is organized chronologically… well honestly I’m not sure what I’m expecting but the goal is to put everything I create that I want to keep around at least organized chronologically. I think my first order of business once this has been done is to create a timeline of my life. I feel compelled to do this, I think it’ll help me be able to make better and more informed plans. Or perhaps force me to confront any parts of my past that need resolution.

It’s very weird, as I’ve been going through these files I get sent off on tangents down memory lane. Some good. A lot have been intertwined with bitter memories though. Forcing myself to sit here and simply organize the files, or memories, and not necessarily open them if they seem to trigger my stress has made it easier to work on organizing them. Before I would get distracted by anything, and suddenly I had spiraled myself into depression and didn’t want to get anything done. Now at least I can continue organizing. And seeing the files or memories in passing has gotten easier.

I believe this is a makeshift attempt at self therapy or maybe it simply has therapeutic benefits for depression/disassociation. At the very least the sense of things being together is what is compelling me to focus on this. The coolest side affect of this project is how it’s seemingly tying myself back to my past. I’m seeing all of these interesting things I would like to retry, trick mainly. Some yo-yo design ideas. There are people I use to admire that have disappeared, I’d love to know where they ended up, and then I think about how that could be a cool video or podcast interview.

It’s a slow process though. I haven’t made any videos this week because of it. Well, barely any, I did post a few freestyles. Speaking of which, I should get back to it, I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend!

Michael

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Walnut Cambium’s Sold Out

I may have stacked the deck in my favor to sell out the first run by only making two, but we did it! 😉 The two walnut Cambium’s have been claimed and now I have to stop making excuses and go make some more yo-yo’s.

I wanted to give a big thank you to everyone who has been giving the Cambium (and occasional one offs) a shot these past few months. It has been cool to start seeing my work show up in your pictures and videos. If you do buy, win, or otherwise obtain some of my work please feel free to tag me @mikemonty. It’s cool to see how far away it’s ended up. I would like to start pinning out a world map with the places they have been.

For anyone interested I will be making five more of these in the next run. If you want to pre-order yours you may by visiting the Walnut Cambium page in the shop, assuming they don’t all get pre-ordered the remaining will be up in the shop when they’re ready.

 

 

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A little bit of work

Hey everyone!

I’m starting to move things forward with my website. I doubt anyone is a regular at this point, we get about 300 visitors a month and they’re fairly random, but if you happen to be you might have noticed the homepage is now mainly the blog. I have missed this about websites, the homepage being a place to see what has happened recently for the person or business I am interested in learning about, so I figured I would follow suit and display my recent blogs on the homepage.

I otherwise have no clue what direction to take the website. I threw it together in a hurry about a year ago when I realized my reddit recovery email address was associated with this domain name so I needed to set up hosting to create a mailbox so I could recover my account. It was a pain in the ass but it got done and I was smart this time and updated my email to my gmail account so it wouldn’t happen again if for some reason I lost this domain name again.

I was hoping that if I started writing blogs more I could use the writing time as an opportunity to think my way through what I want to accomplish with this ‘mikemonty’ brand I’ve decided to focus on. For the longest time I was always trying to start a company, create something bigger than myself, and find a way to make an impact on the world through it. Sometime in the last year it clicked that I was wasting my time creating new names to do things under just so they’d feel official and also I have a lot of baggage tied to those company names, so I scrapped it all. No more Burgeon, no more montgomery yo-yo company, no more double-take industries, just mikemonty. It’s simple. If my interests change over the years then the mikemonty brand can change too. It’s not trapped because I put ‘yo-yo’ in the name.

So this will sound like 3rd person speak and in a way it is but I’m going to refer to the brand as MikeMonty and me as well, me. MikeMonty as a brand seems to be most well known for smooth flowy and complex yo-yo tricks and tutorials covering wide ranges of skills in the 1a (string trick) division of yo-yoing. It’s also slowly becoming known for making fixed axle yo-yo’s and tricks of that nature. I think knowing that helps me know where to focus my time and also what to communicate to the world on my various platforms.

On the website I would like to focus on education, supplies, and communication. So the main features will the a learning center to organize all past, present, and future tutorials (tips, tricks, etc.), a shop where I will sell the yo-yo products I manufacture, have made, or simply believe in, and finally the blog, where I will communicate primarily with my audience (friends, family, and fans).

I had started the process of importing and organizing my tutorials via blog posts initially and I’m not so sure about having gone that route because those posts show up in the blog but don’t fit just right. So I’m going to remove the posts, turn them into pages instead, and build a more static education section of the website. It may take a little more effort to update than adding a blog post and letting the website automatically display it based on preset rules, but for achieving the results I’m looking for and actually putting time and effort into the process of making a solid educational tool for the world (gotta think about it that way to motivate myself) I need a little more of a hands on approach.

Social media has been an interesting challenge for me as well. I go through phases where I’m highly motivated to post frequently and create unique and compelling videos to share on the various networks I’m participating on, namely Instagram and Facebook with a half-assed approach to YouTube for the last five years. I’ve also tentatively began working on a TikTok account. I think TikTok may be more appropriate for reaching the broader public as it’s growing quickly and the format is doing something to music, which seems perfect for yo-yoing. There are already a handful of throwers on the platform and the ones who have been there for a while seem to be having great results. But it’s another thing for me to do, and that’s a problem right now, because I’m barely doing anything.

I think I’m going to start keeping track of social media on here as well, there is a way to add number tracking badges to the site to keep track of followers or other stats, I’ll add something like that to the site with links to the pages.

 

Well, that’s all for now, hope you’re having a good week so far!

Michael

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One month in

Hey everyone, thought I’d write an update since I’m horrible at keeping my website up to date. 🙂

So the first month of self employment is coming to a close. It hasn’t gone according to plan, but somehow it’s still okay. I have made and sold several yo-yo’s and listed and sold enough items on eBay to comfortably replace the income from the job I left at the beginning of the month.

When I left my job I had imagined spending long days out in the shop listing items on eBay and making yo-yo’s on the lathe to sell. And while those two things have been largely my focus for the last month, there was roommate drama at the kid’s mom’s and they’ve been with me since the start of the month. I have been focusing on them. Don’t get me wrong I was still able to get out to the shop and do some yo-yo work, but mostly I’ve been posting things on eBay between cups of apple juice, blowing bubbles outside, or during naptime.

This has also allowed me time to start organizing my life a little. I’ve been going through boxes of stuff stored in the shop from the divorce and selling and donating it. I’ve been going through digital files (pictures, videos, documents, websites, etc) since 2002 and organizing them chronologically. I intent to incorporate as much of the past as I can into future projects.

I have also moved the backdrop from the shop back into my room, where it started back at the beginning of the year. Because it’s easier on me mentally to film in the house near the kids than out in the shop. I need to buy a nanny cam so I can keep an eye on them during naptime while working in the shop.

I haven’t had any organization or structure for a long time. I’ve had it from jobs, sure, and when in that environment I typically functioned effectively, except for the soul crushing reality of “I’m investing my time (which I cannot get back) into something I don’t care about.” so I’ve avoided it.

Long story short I’m derailed this month, I’ve made it through without too many scratches, and I’m trying to figure out how to add some more order to my life.

Hope y’all are doing well,

Michael

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Figuring out what to work on

It’s just turned 11:30pm on a Monday night. The house is quiet. At least it is now. Only a few minutes earlier my daughter tumbled out of her bed and needed to be soothed back to sleep. She’s almost two and though she’s been on a toddler bed for a couple of months now, she still finds ways to fall out of it. I think she is trying to get out of bed to go play and tumbles because it’s dark.

So, it’s quiet. The dog is sleeping on my legs behind the bright laptop screen and an ozone thing my mom has in the living room is humming away, making the air better. It’s supposed to filter the air and neutralize stuff like mold and bacteria. It gives the air a tin-like odor. I imagine this means it’s doing its job.

Besides the light of the screen the room is virtually black. I just took some time to undo a mistake I made on the website’s database last night. You see I know virtually nothing about how to use a website database, so I’m the last person who should be touching mine. But my original version of this website is contained in a database that keeps failing to import so I tried to just import it manually. Nothing seemed to happen and my website started running slower.

Luckily I decided to make this foray into website ownership idiot proof and took advantage of godaddy’s cheap WordPress hosting, it backs up the website’s files and databases on a daily basis, meaning a couple of clicks undid the 8 hour mistake I made yesterday.

It’s all a little frustrating. That database I can’t seem to restore has hundreds of hours of work inside it that could save me that time right now in getting this site up to the level of completion that I would be proud to make a big launch once my order from Recess arrives. But as it stands I think I may do a soft launch. Just get the products up in the shop, continue to add tutorials to the site, rebuild the crash course for incoming first timers wanting to learn the hobby, and so much more.

There is a mountain of work to be done and I am excited to do it. My spare time is limited however and getting motivated to actually do the work when I have a moment has been challenging. I think I need to outline the work I feel needs to be completed and then when I have a spare moment pick one of those things off the list and do it. Then I am not wasting spare time thinking about what I’d like to do, I am picking something to do and spending my thinking on how to do it.

That’s kind of why I started writing this tonight. On a daily basis for a handful of weeks I have been recording around an hour of yo-yo practice per day, essentially grinding towards my world championship goal. But there is no direction in these practice sessions. I simply turn on music, yo-yo, record and upload the session, and repeat. This is great in that it’s better than doing nothing, but it’s not very effective.

I am also running into the problem of file size. This videos are a few gigabytes each and I’m on slow “out in the country” internet that can take a day and a half or more to upload a file that size. That causes a problem where I have too much to upload and no time to do it. So that needs to change. I originally started the daily show with the goal of getting myself uploading daily content again. That worked until the content got too long. But I can’t just make my practice sessions shorter to compensate, that would make them less effective.

So I need to decide on a focus for my daily practices. I could be learning a trick and sharing progress from that on a daily or weekly basis. I could be making up a trick or perfecting the execution of a trick and documenting and sharing the final results of that. I could be making a short routine. Those are a few things that I could do instead of simply making everything up on the fly for an hour each day and never knowing what I’m going to do with what I just did.

Anyways, I don’t want to write too much of a book right now, lets just make a couple bulleted lists of things I want to consider working on or doing and call it a night.

For the website

  • I need to add all of my YouTube trick tutorials to the website. (I’m not certain how many there are but I will find out.)
  • I need to rebuild my Yo-Yo Crash Course
  • I need to add the products to the store (once they arrive)
  • Need to build the bio page out a little.

For Yo-Yo Practice

  • I need to pick what I will be practicing in the next video at the end of each video.
  • I need a list tricks to learn
  • I need a few trick elements I want to build off of
  • I need to start creating a routine, I would like a few practice sessions to be focused on building 15 second increments of a routing that can be pieced together in future practice sessions.

Something I want to mention is my daily goal is more of a guideline. I want to be posting daily videos, but understand that the rest of my life is quite demanding of my time and so this stuff will be done as I can. I think having edited videos to post will make it easier to upload them faster and I will be happier to share them. So I will, moving forward, focus on polished content as frequently as possible. Daily as soon as I can.