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2022-11-26 - Apropos of nothing

Did you know you can use PmWiki to publish an HTML journal? The requisite block markup was added a year or two ago, so it's not very old. Wish more people did that. I keep another journal myself (and one HTML blog) that I haven't submitted to the Kiosk; should probably write a filter so I can subscribe to others from Liferea without hammering the respective miso.town subdomains. An independent aggregator would also be nice, for that matter.

Some people complain that social media supposedly killed blogs. Others claim that blogging somehow ruined the old web. Yet a third group makes nice things like the ooh! directory. A link to it crossed my home timeline on Mastodon a few days ago, and that led me down a new rabbit hole. Turns out my enthusiasm for the medium is still intact, even if I'm on an extended break.

By the way: I spend way too much time on social media, which has made for a hectic month, due to ongoing events. But I don't regret it for a moment. Some people complain about too much meta discourse (then turn around and make more of it). Fine. Let me post about it here, in my own corner, for a few friends.

2022-11-26 - niceoblog

I finally got my ADHD meds! They seem to be working, too. Since I started taking them a couple days ago, I've noticed a pronounced drop in my general compulsion to do bad unproductive things like scroll social media for multiple hours. I spent all day today setting up a companion website for my Minecraft server, but not in a forgot-to-eat-lunch kind of way, which is doubly impressive because one of the side effects of this stuff is a reduced appetite.

This past week in class has been really easy - the provided study plan provisioned a whole week for an assignment that consisted of installing a C++ compiler and debugging a simple program, and I got that done in a couple of hours, even including the snag I hit where they expected me to use Windows because of course they fucking did. I spent the rest of the week doing nothing because that's what was on the schedule. I could have worked ahead, but fuck that.

The headphones that I got literally the day I posted the last entry have proven to be very nice. Not only are they built like a tank, but I've learned it's possible to replace just about every part of them. I might actually manage to keep these until the drivers fail! How cool would that be?

I need to get some more exercise. Can one of you remind me to go on a walk or something tomorrow?

2022-11-25 - K•R•Y•P•T•A Zines Journal

It's been a prolific month for me, as I just finished work on my third new issue of KRYPTA since the Philly Zine Fest on the fifth!

cover of Krypta issue #11

2022-11-25 - Dook's Journal

  What a wild month! I started the month updating a finishing off my adwaitapod theme for rockbox. I also spent the past 3 weeks learning to program in C, building up to the Rebble Hackathon last weekend where I put together my watchface design, Time Twist Pop and released it! It was incredibly frustrating at times, since I really have very little experience programming. However, by the end of the weekend I was getting into the zone and pumping out some really good stuff and was having a blast! Really looking forward to making more with C in the future!

2022-11-24 - K•R•Y•P•T•A Zines Journal

Happy Turkey Day! Gobble gobble gobble!

It's Thanksgiving Day in the US. Happy Thanksgiving to those who observe it today. I've been spending the morning playing Minima, a tiny homage to the early Ultima games. If you're a fan of Ultimas 1-4, you may want to give it a try. You can play it right in your browser.

2022-11-23

My good buddy Sarkos sent me the link to Alien Melon's Electric Zine Maker. I downloaded it and tried it out. I quite like it! It makes a variety of mini-zine formats. I used whatever images I had sitting on my diesktop to make this little test zine:

ugly ass test zine

I quite like the filters and other graphic tools that make it easy to crudulate and crapify the look of your zine. I'll definitely be using this tool again!

2022-11-21

First entry!

Elizabeth and I went to Target yesterday to get more zine-making supplies: colored penciles, markers, and paper. She wants to make a special Christmas zine to hand out to family members!

Went to the post office today and sent some free zines to Karen in Michigan. Hope you dig 'em, Karen! (Do you want a chance to receive some free weird zines via mail? Go here!)

Put the finishing touches on the PDF of the tenth issue of KRYPTA. Will print some next week.


You can read this journal and a whole lot of others at The Neon Kiosk.

Atom feed for journal: https://journal.miso.town/atom?url=https%3A%2F%2Fkrypta.neocities.org%2Fjournal.html

2022-11-24 - m15o's journal

Good morning, good evening, good afternoon. Definitely morning around here, and freezing too! In fact, I am wearing a coat writing this as I'm sipping hot coffee. Best feeling. Yesterday's been hectic: so many things to do at work, so little time. I enjoy going to the office and see colleagues, but I'm so much less productive than when I work from home. Then of course, slack messages pile up, todo lists grow, and I end up the day with much more to do than when I started it. Never a good sign!

I've started a disk with everything I'm learning from OpenBSD. I'm saying OpenBSD, but it's really about administrating an OpenBSD system, and little things around. The goal is for me to be able to refer back to it when I need to do something specific, or to revive some knowledge that slipped my mind. The format is the following: one DOCUMENT for each learning. So hierarchy. I just LEAP to get to where I need to be / search around. It's still small and a work in progress. I've added it to hg.m15o.net, which is probably going to be the place I'll be adding my code repositories from now on.

Putting up hg.m15o.net has been fun to do! I discovered relayd, an incredible software that I used as a simple reverse proxy to hook requests on port 80 to port 8000. But there's so much more to it. It's interesting, and a first quite frustrating, to see that proxying request isn't included in OpenBSD's httpd. But come to think of it, it allows each tool to focus on their job. In this case, I already have a webserver running (using hg serve), so I don't need to run httpd.

I've been a little FORTHtrated since yesterday. I'm trying to write the COMPILE word in FORTH directly. For that, I'm using other words (obviously). One of them is OP, it reads the next word from the input stream and puts its opcode on the stack. Compiling would then just be "OP ," (comma writes what's on the stack in the memory). But this creates a lot of problem, one of them being that we don't really use COMPILE outside of colon definitions. I feel like FORTH is such an incredible puzzle: we can always cut down problems in smaller chunks. How small do we want to chunks to be? As I'm writing this, I feel like I'll just include COMPILE as part of the system's words. As I get more knowledge on building FORTH systems, I can always re-write a new interpreter in the future with more learnings. For now, I'll stick to a simple one.

2022-11-23 - [raindrop blue]

I bought this little ivy plant. I don't have a lot of plants even though I love them, because I also have cats, and the cats will eat them, which will result in poisoned cats at worst and dead plants at best. So I basically have a couple of spiky cacti, which are struggling and doing that thing where they grow all tall and spindly because they don't get enough sunlight, and a basil plant, which the cats don't seem to like, but it is also dying because at this point I've used 90% of it for cooking.

But I saw this little ivy plant at the florist as I was on my way home from the shops, and it was just so small and pretty and I had the £3 to buy it, so I did. I know it's on the "bad for cats" list, but I do actually have a high shelf in my room where the cats can't reach, so I put it up there.

And the thing is, my room is a fucking mess. It's just depressing. It has to be cat-and-child-proof so I can't have things like candles or flowers in vases or basically anything breakable, and the printer lives here because there's no other space for it, and I'm tired all the fucking time so the laundry basket is overflowing and I haven't vacuumed in forever, and we just rearranged the kid's room and got him a big-kid bed, which means his old toddler-sized mattress is propped up against the wall in here, and his rocking horse is hanging out in here too because there's no longer space for it in his room, and it just... I hate it, you know? I hate not having a space that feels peaceful and chill to retreat to.

But now there is a thing in here that I got just because it's pretty and I like it. And it's a start. And every couple of nights before I go to sleep I give it a little of the water from my water bottle like I'm sharing a drink with a friend. And I will get rid of the fucking mattress and I will maybe buy a nice blanket or something next time I get paid and I will, somehow, find a space for the rocking horse, and I will make a room that looks like I live in it and not like it's a combination spare room/laundry pile/junkheap. (And then inevitably it will get messed up again because that's just how it fucking goes, but you know. One must imagine Sisyphus happy and all that.)

2022-11-13

I haven't been out for an actual *walk* for ages, like a "going for a little nature walk to reconnect with the outside world and maybe see some cool mushrooms" walk, and I miss it. Plus I've probably missed the best season for seeing cool mushrooms now? Although there might be some fly agarics around if I'm lucky.
But I did at least get to leave the house and go into town yesterday, and that was nice. I went at a kind of awkward weird time, though, just when the shops were mostly closing and the bars and restaurants were still thinking about getting ready to open, so I guess I didn't plan that super well - but being in town in the evening made me realise how long it's been since I did anything like going out to a bar or the cinema. It feels like literally lifetimes ago, pre-baby, pre-pandemic. Honestly, I was kind of tempted to just wander into the cinema and find out what was showing and just go buy some popcorn and watch some random thing. I didn't, though. Maybe next time.

2022-11-23 - m15o's journal

How time flies. Taking time to write what's on your mind will make you realize that. It certainly does to me. When I look at the day it is, and realize how many have passed since I first started writing, or working on a project, or when I simply look at other entries it feels strange. I feel like a few days ago it was still spring, not quite summer yet. I was in a different place then. So much has changed / evolved in the last few months that it feels like years have gone by, but yet, that everything happened quickly. I don't like to think of time as a finite resource that we just consume. Heck, I don't like time so much. Well I do. But I don't. Why am I making zero sense right now?

I'll be travelling to NYC for work in a few weeks. While I still need to book the trip, I'm already starting to think about it. The city must be beautiful by that time of the year. I'm not sure I'll be able to spend much more than a few days there, but I do hope that I get to enjoy at least one evening without colleagues. Just walking around and be amazed, and stop at a bar, get a cocktail (or 4) and watch people. Even though time goes by quickly, I hope I'll be able to fully appreciate my time there and not be overwhelmed by work. Perhaps I should start to practice meditation. I'll certainly need it when I'm in the plane. I don't like being on a plane!

2022-11-21 11:50:53 - Milo's Journal

Had a wonderful time in Seattle at the Handmade Seattle conference! Met a lot of really interesting and sweet people, got a lot of inspiration, and ate a lot of good food. Excited to see what all my new friends are up to as the year comes to a close.

Over the last couple of days, I implemented a text-based adventure engine[1] for the browser that makes it really easy to make, share, and play. I just started dinking around on a story and am having a blast.

[1] JSAdventure

2022-11-20 - rose's 🍵 journal

i actually drank Yorkshire Gold tea yesterday, and it was bad. i'd like to figure out how to get a good brew from even low-quality teabags, so i will practice. i have a bunch of the skills i need i think.

right now i am drinking a black tea from Jingmai - that same one i was drinking the other day. i have plenty of it, and today i am actually drinking it in lieu of coffee, which feels quite nice, even if maybe the tea sits a little strangely in my stomach so early in the day. it feels refreshing but still full enough to be tasty, a little aromatic but not at the expense of the body, and is honestly just very good. no bitterness, good hui gan.

while on a trip to our local Chinatown, i stopped by a tea shop run by a very knowledgeable and friendly guy who has been running this shop for several decades. i went in to ask about liu an tea, which is a post-fermented tea from Anhui province. liu an teas are stored in bamboo baskets, and it is traditional that you include some of the bamboo when you brew it. liu an tea from the big well-known factory tends to use smaller leaves, because at the time they were considered better; younger leaves, better flavor. nowadays people favor bigger leaves from older trees, and this tea - considered 'less good' in 2002, when it was harvested and prepared - uses those bigger leaves. he made some of the tea for me and a couple of others who were in the shop, and we had a good conversation about tea culture.

the whole point of tea, really, is to encourage being a better person. modesty, simplicity, hospitality, focusing on the small details, finding the beauty in the transient and imperfect - and a really core part of that, even if i mostly make tea just for myself, is to spend some time around a table drinking tea with others. it's good practice. i want to write more about that particular topic later, i think.

2022-11-20 - m15o's journal

So the funny thing is that internet is currently down at my place. Actually, not that funny, to be honest, but I like the irony of writing without an actual connection. I enjoy being able to do things with my computer while offline. Actually, I enjoy doing things on my computer that don't require a web browser. Such as reading PDFs for example! I've recently installed xpdf, a simple program to read PDFs and it's been very useful. Before that, I was using Firefox. Firefox's PDF viewer works well. But I like that I'm not using my browser for literally everything.

Today, I decided to try mercurial. No specific reason besides that it's something I didn't know. I've had lots of fun reading the docs and trying it out. I enjoy the simplicity of the design. It's crazy to think that both mercurial and git came out roughly at the same time. So far, I like the simplicity for my development workflow, which mostly consists of creating revisions every now and then when I make sufficient progress. While I don't use branching often, it seems like the branching model is very flexible. I like that there's an integrated server called hgweb. I decided to use mercurial for 15forth, which is now available on m15o.net:8000. Let's see how it goes!

Speaking of 15forth, I removed a few words from the actual C code and instead added them to the standard library. I'm starting to really see how powerful FORTH can be, and how having well-defined, useful small words has a multiplier effect on rest of the codebase. A good example is the "!" word, which allows to write a value at a specific address. Using it, it's possible to define the "," word, which makes it possible to define the [LITERAL] word. I've also started to remove loops from the C code re-writing them in FORTH directly. Next step will be to add IFs.

I've started to read "Thinking Forth". It's great that it's a package that's included within OpenBSD! The book is fascinating. I particularly like the following quote: "You shouldn't write any serious language in Forth. As a language it's not powerful enough. What you should do is write your own languges in forth (lexicons) to model your understanding of the problem, in which you can elegantly describe its solution."

2022-11-19 - Dizzy's Bunny Hell

Procrastination is still kicking my ass and it sucks... T_T I want to be able to do things, but my brain seems to not allow me to. The funny things on the computer screen are far more enticing than cleaning what needs to be cleaned... I did manage to do one thing, though! I'm going to meet an academic advisor this Monday! My entire thing with school has been pretty all over the place, and I really do want to get things sorted out. ^^; That mostly just leaves the stuff I have to do at home... That's gonna be difficult. My brain simply refuses to cooperate. I've also basically given up on NaNoWriMo? I'm still interested in the story concept, and I may try to write it at a later date, but I don't think that I'm gonna get it done by the end of this month. Procrastination (and anxiety, and ADHD...) is one bitch ass motherfucker lol.

2022-11-18 - Interipelli's Journal

Opened up a new section for stories centered primarily around Mem, The Mechanical Lady of Abriel, as she goes on an adventure in post-disaster Hokkaido.

2022-11-18 - m15o's journal

Friday already. How time passes! This week is not over yet, I still have a ton of things to finish today and quite a lot of meetings to attend as well. But it's still hard for me to believe how quickly it went. I got so tired yesterday that I feel asleep incredibly quickly and as a result, had a great night. Great nights are cool. I'll take a great night every night. I'm feeling recharged and it's only Friday. Let's hope this day doesn't take too much of a toll on me!

I've quickly added the COMPILE word to my forth interpreter. I'm certain there are a lot of bugs but it worked when I ran the test. Small victory! Next up: adding the LITERAL one. I've named it "push" but I'd rather stay consistent with the spec. Once I have these, I'll be able to start writing DO LOOP and IFs directly in FORTH. I think? We'll see!

2022-11-18 - rose's 🍵 journal

no coffee today, as the logistics for it were a little out of sync. instead i was drinking a lot of black tea from Jingmai - William and Yubai from farmerleaf made a black tea from some of their autumn harvest, and it turned out really well. warm, rich, coats the throat, and just a light amount of astringency. it kind of reminds me, smelling it, of a really good darjeeling, but uncertain.

2022-11-18 ● 21st century boy - 8hr Work Day

In the foreground are: a medium-sized glass pot filled with tea and a teabag, and a white, blue-rimmed mug with a logo of a cartoon girl in the centre. Blurred in the background is a green, resealable bag with an illustrated animal character and a girl.

This week month’s special!

I flew across the country to British Columbia to be with family for an upcoming birth (!), and have been spending quality time playing with my nephew.

Drinking I ordered this Karel Čapek Muscat Oolong tea from Rainbowholic. I can definitely taste the sweetness of the muscat (a type of grape). I also got a black tea that can be hot or iced, but I have not tried making it cold yet! It has started to get colder here (with the surprise arrival of snow) so I’ve been mostly trying to stay warm.

Reading I sped through all of 20th Century Boys (and 21st Century Boys, the follow up) by Urasawa Naoki in four days. I’m a big fan of Urasawa’s, Pluto and Monster were both great series. I think Pluto is slated to be adapted into an anime, too. C was able to catch the stage play at the Barbican several years ago, and the whole production (and set design) sounded so amazing. I hope I can see it performed again, someday.

I also finished Franny Choi’s Soft Science, a book of poetry on identity and tenderness in technology inspired by artificial intelligence and programming-like language. I’m now on her latest, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On.

Watching My friends and I watched One Cut of the Dead (2017) and its spin-off sequel for Halloween. I went in not really knowing anything except that it was supposed to be a zombie film, but it turned out to be a lot of fun to watch! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m also catching up on One Thousand Won Lawyer.

Listening Some albums of note from the past month: Modern Problem by Taiwanese folktronica band, Our Shame, The Light of Rain by Korean indie rock band, Huckleberryfinn, and The Greatest by all-girl alt-rock Thai band, Yellow Fang. I am constantly on the look-out for more Southeast Asian acts!

2022-11-18 Handmade Seattle 2022 - Devine Lu Linvega's journal

I had a unforgettable time at Handmade Seattle 2022. I met countless wonderful creatives, including someone who introduced me to Interaction Nets, another who showed me their little programming language targeting Uxn, someone even noticed the Ithkuil easter egg on one of my slides and came to talk to me about it. I also got to spend hours exchanging ideas with Peter van Hardenberg and Rasmus Andersson, whose work inspire me.

The conference coincided with the first Pacific Northwest Merveilles meetup. There was no better way to end this trip than having the chance of finally meeting, in person, some of the friends with whom I share this online community.

2022-11-17 - niceoblog

My new headphones are finally here! Thus far, they certainly seem to live up to the hype. I hear a lot of people in the audiophile space talking about "soundstage", and while this certainly doesn't have Dolby Atmos™ levels of it, I kind of see what they mean now. It's like the sounds are coming from outside of my ears! Naturally, the quality of those sounds is fantastic as well. Plus, they're really comfortable, built well, and the custom braided cable that the modding company provided is superb. Okay, enough gushing. Maybe I'll write a review of these once I've gotten some more use out of them.

I've created a service on here! It's a little utility that takes an RSS feed and filters it based on the contents of the entries. I created it because there are a couple Tumblr blogs I subscribe to the RSS feeds for and I wanted to filter them to have just the posts with images. You can feel free to use it if you want, but I encourage you to download the source code and self-host it as well!

The computer science class I'm taking has been going well. So far it's mostly been the basics - going over ideas like loops and binary numbers and shit. The chapter of the textbook I read today explained AND gates to me. My years of being a Redstone Knower in Minecraft have been building up to this! Not to imply I think this is dumb or pointless or anything - this is clearly building up to some much more involved shit and I'm waiting with bated breath for the other shoe to drop difficulty-wise, but I'm taking it as a good sign that this has been so easy thus far.

Now for some major tonal whiplash: I'm now fairly confident that I'm some degree of nonbinary. You may have guessed this if you've been poking around my website of late, or just reading this journal, but I was reluctant to say so explicitly in case I ended up changing my mind. I don't want to get into the details, because I don't really know them either, but I'm pretty sure at this point that "man" doesn't nearly cover it. As for pronouns, anything works! Fuck around! This is all uncharted territory for me, so if some gendered term or other makes me uncomfortable (or doesn't), I'd like to find out now lest I come out to my family and then have to amend that shit later.

I think that about covers it for now. I'm gonna go listen to some more of my favorite music with these shiny new headphones, or maybe just go the hell to bed already.

2022-11-16 - m15o's journal

It's the morning, my coffee's already cold and almost finished, but as I promised in yesterday entry, here I am! Writing before going going to sleep definitely not stop the thoughts from popping-up in my mind right before falling asleep. Next-up: meditation? Writing is a little meditative though. We focus on the moment. Well, not only, since we're literally exploring our thoughts. Ok forget what I just said. Not meditative. Reflective maybe. This morning I've been looking into adding FORTH words to extend the compiler. I'm so awestruck by some of the design decisions of FORTH. Things feel very meta in a simple way. My first approach was to add a lot of words, and now I'm trying to remove as many words as possible but instead just add words that allow to define other words. There's this idea of IMMEDIATE words that are executed while a definition gets compiled. I've added these. Next up will be adding the COMPILE word to let the immediate words do useful things, like compiling for example. I'm sure I'll run into a million roadblocks but at least it's a fun and humbling learning experience. And it makes me think about other things. It's incredibly cold today these days. Yeah. I'll leave it to that!

2022-11-15 - m15o's journal

I realize I write most of the time in the morning. Usually, it's right after I get up. Just when I'm getting my coffee. I don't often write during the evenings though. Which is interesting, because evenings are a great moment to reflect on the day, aren't they? What better moment to pause than before wrapping up the day? The way the brain works is strange. It's only when I go to sleep and am ready to fall asleep that many thoughts start racing through my consciousness. They're calling me "hey, think about this quickly before you sleep!". Of course, it's a trap. Giving in to these thoughts is the best way to not sleep, and also a great way to build anxiety. Being tired and just about to fall asleep isn't the best moment for clarity. Yet, somehow my thoughts keep jumping in my brain before sleeping. So here I am writing before that time, hoping that perhaps my mind will decide that it had its chance to express itself, and will simply give in to recharging its own batteries. But let's be honest, we all know that it's not going to happen. The moment the lights are off is the moment I'll start thinking about what specifically am I not looking forward to tomorrow? Then hey, I'm probably going to dream about it. I'm joking though, it's not always like that. Sometimes I also think about stuff that gets me excited, or about how I should refactor this or that part of an on-going project. The result is similar though, since I get to not sleep that much. But it's more pleasant. The added bonus is that in the morning I know exactly what to update in my code. The funny part is when various topics from seemingly different places get intertwined in dreams. Recently I've been working on a FORTH interpreter on my free time, and got to report to a different manager at work. So somehow I've started dreaming that I had to do all my 1-1s in FORTH exclusively. And while FORTH is very expressive and I like it a lot, I'm not sure if this was a dream or a nightmare! So hey, I don't know if FORTH will be on my mind tonight. Maybe not? Perhaps I should report on the situation tomorrow, when I wake up.

2022-11-15 - rose's 🍵 journal

the last few days have been pretty tough. as i've mentioned before, i have some mental health challenges, and i've struggled to make the time and space available to write. i've been drinking plenty of tea though, and i've been trying to brew it skillfully.

the thing is, gongfu cha is not just about making tea well. it's about mindful practice, and developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of the tea itself. it isn't enough, to me, to simply making tea well - if i'm not present in the moment and focusing entirely on the tea and the company, it's not gongfu, it's just fancy brewing. maybe that's a bit judgemental of me, i'm not sure.

i did a class about different gongfu tea techniques and styles, which was both extremely good and very informative. i learned a lot, and will probably watch the recording of it more than a couple of times, if i could get over hearing or seeing myself on screen. i dislike how i look and how i sound, but that dysmorphia is something i'm working on.

the guy giving the class encouraged me to take a look at yellow teas, as part of broadening my experience and deepening my tea education, so i will probably do that. the issue is that ordering from overseas is very expensive as i have to pay duty on stuff. it's cheaper than flying out there, but maybe if i have an excuse to, i should go do that.

one important thing from the class was the idea that ultimately, the tea is the teacher, and the best a person can do is equip themselves with techniques for responding to what the tea is telling you. there is some more esoteric things to do with qi and how it flows from us through the tea, which resonates with me, but i'm going to have to spend a lot more time reflecting on how the tea makes me feel in my body, my mood, etc to better internalize the nature of qi. it's a pretty difficult thing to get a handle on and it's not well defined, let alone readily translated. we'll see if it's something i can get an appreciation for - there's aclass for that, too.

2022-11-14 - ~melyanna's journal

I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last update!

I am currently writing from Finland where I moved temporarily. I love it here and I will stay until the first week of December.

I have made myself a cozy online nest at melyanna.ichi.city and even started a blog there.

Like this tilde over here, the other page and blog are maintained manually through good old GNU nano.

2022-11-14 - Interipelli's Journal

Raindaire just finished a new story with the Burning Angels, The Garage.

Taking place before the three arrived in Moss Bay, the trio meets a character who has been doing quite well in the present circumstances...

2022-11-14 - Dizzy's Bunny Hell

I need to break my screen addiction. I'm back to doing completely useless things as I just stare at a screen. I've even neglected doing any work for the site, in favor of just. Staring. I want to fix this. I really want to fix this. I've been getting really awful sleep lately, and don't think that I can stay up much longer (despite it only being 9:40). I think that I'll try to sleep... And inevitably stay on my phone until 1AM.

2022-11-13 - compudanzas log

new version (1.0.4) of introduction to uxn programming e-book: launcher and raw runes

introduction to uxn programming book

2022-11-13 - memo's journal

Hello, I hope whoever sees this is doing okay. The cold season arrived here, with everything connected to it - flu, shorter days, not as much energy to do things (not that I have much in general anyway lol). I'm in the middle of deleting most of my Discord DMs: it has been a few months since I realized how much I do not like the platform to have all of these private conversations of mine to hold onto; my brain kept debating that this is deleting "memories", but the truth is that I could not name a single time I went back into DMs to dwell onto something that has happened in ancient past. I do this in good faith, I do not believe any of the people whom I conversed with have any reason to also go back to our chats; if they do, I hope they can understand my reasons.

Other than that, I am slightly overwhelmed by homeworks and tidying up school notes, so I'll get back to it. Bye!

2022-11-13 - m15o's journal

This week has been incredible. So many things happened, it's hard to believe it's only been a single week. At work, things are evolving quickly. Last Monday I've been told about a change in my scope, which I'm excited about and scared of at the same time. I've met very interesting people this week two, and I'm grateful for that! I've also seen a friend I hadn't seen for many years, and it's been great to catch up with them.

I've also spent some time working on my FORTH system. Not as much as I would have hoped, but at least a little. I'm currently trying to incorporate compiling words such as CREATE and DOES>. I've been struggling today to get those in. My implementation is slightly different from the standard, but that's a tradeoff I'm willing to take. I've also started to write a simple standard library where I'm hoping to put all the words that aren't critical. It's also fun to start defining words with words that already exist.

My experience using FORTH is still very limited, but I'm starting to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the language. I love the idea of writing words and composing with them. It's a good philsophy to approach problems: break it down in simple parts, and compose other simple parts with those parts. It's very elegant.

2022-11-11 - Interipelli's Journal

Added a new section on Megami Tensei II with a translation of Ma's (まー) Megami Tensei II official setting summary, provided by Raindare.

This game means quite a bit to us both. I hope others are able to discover and appreciate this largely ignored gem from when Final Fantasy III was the standard bearer for JRPGs.

2022-11-10 - rose's 🍵 journal

no post yesterday, for the first time since i started this - which admittedly wasn't that long ago. i had my COVID booster and flu shot on tuesday, and i have been pretty roughed up from that.

yesterday i drank the remains of the single tree gushu i had started the day before, which was just very pleasant - today i am drinking an aged sheng puerh, from Yiwu - 2003, wild arbor trees, from Yuenhai tea factory. it's pretty good, quite complicated flavors and it definitely lingers. it's lasting a long time too. it has a kind of smoke edge to it, even if smokiness isn't the main flavor. it's thick, it sticks to my mouth, and definitely hangs out in my throat. it's good, and i see why people prize aged shengs so much.

2022-11-08 11:44:08 - Milo's Journal

Currently watching this Theremin Trees video[1] and realizing I have tendencies to enter the "drama" sphere of bully/victim/rescuer. It is hard for me to notice when it occurs, but I am glad I have strong semantic handles for this kind of feeling now. It is a special feeling of comfort, of "knowing" or being "in control" that feels very tangible to me, and it always feels like a Faustian bargain but not enough to get me to quit the behavior.

[1] when saviours go bad | drama disguised as help

2022-11-08 - rose's 🍵 journal

there are some teas that purport to come from a single tree; which, given how difficult it is to harvest big tea trees, and how little a tree might produce in terms of raw leaves, it can be very expensive to buy processed tree with that kind of story behind it. i am specifically pruning bitter skepticism, and so i will accept that this tea i had today did indeed come from a single tree that this farmer cultivates.

this tree is called Guān Jǐng (觀景), which means 'the one who watches the scenery'. it's a very old tree, and such trees are prized for puerh making because the tree has had centuries to develop qi, and that qi is conveyed in the tea made from its leaves. this can energize us, nourish us deeply, and it is good to reflect on all the work and time that went into taking this tree from sprout to gracefully surrendering its leaves, century after century. it was delicious, not bitter (the way i brewed it, anyway), and lasted for a very long time. a family member said that it smelled a little of apple to start, but mainly the flavor was complex and delightful. it felt like a warm blanket for the soul, and i felt peaceful drinking it.

2022-11-07 - rose's 🍵 journal

i spent the afternoon finishing the Wen Shan Ding sample i had, and it was honestly really pleasant. it's absolutely the kind of tea i might drink every day, though if i did, i would spend a lot of time thinking about that Kitchen Witch heicha.

speaking of which, i got my final tea delivery today - a bunch of teas from West China Tea which i'll be drinking in due time. i am doing one of their tea classes soon, and so wanted to make sure i had a good variety of teas available for the different brewing and pouring styles that we'll cover. one of them, Chaozhou (潮州) style, is predominantly aimed at oolong tea, and so i have a variety of different kinds of those. there is a huge variety in oolong teas, which is neat. when i have a good amount of time, i will write about the different kinds of Chinese tea.

2022-11-06 - m15o's journal

It's been a few months now (I think?) that I've changed laptop. I didn't really want to, it just somehow happened. I wanted to learn more about OpenBSD, mainly because let's be honest, their logo is the best logo. A puffer fish! What can be cooler? Nothing. And it just happens that the whole system is very interesting to learn. The most striking (to me) element is how thorough and well written the documentation is. I can feel the obsession to not just make things work, but to make sure things work as well as possible, and always stay correct. So yeah, I've installed it on an old laptop I had that was sitting around, and have been playing with it ever since. OpenBSD comes out of the box with this window system for X called fvwm. I enjoy the looks and customizability of it, but I feel like I'm mainly scratching the surface. I take this whole thing as a learning experience. and this learning experience has a bunch of struggles along the way. One of which is simply connecting the system to a monitor, or connecting to wifi.

Today I found out about xfe, a file explorer that's very convenient. I had been browsing my file system with the terminal and emacs up until now, but xfe works really. And the good thing is that I choose the program I'd like to run for specific extensions. Really conveninent to run bitters on .bit files for example. I'll definitely be exploring it more in the future.

I've also made some progress on 15f, the little FORTH machine I'm working on that's built on top of some code I wrote for bitters. I've added the possibility to create variables, and to retrieve or store numbers in them. I've also updated some of the memory part. Every part that can store information now use a "cell", which is an unsigned 16 bits number. I've written a hello world, which looks like that.

There are many things I'd like to add, such as being able to change the background color or the font color. I'm also thinking about adding more characters (e.g. CP 437) to draw some ascii art. Perhaps animate it? That's be fun. But hey, we're not there yet.

2022-11-06 11:50· resurrection - moon journal

well, well, journal. hello there. it’s been quite the few months. both me and my partner got covid for the first time which really just knocked us for a loop. it’s been about a month or so now and i’m just starting to regain the clarity of mind and body i remember having before it all kicked off. what a condition to be in.

anyway, i’m just starting to readjust to getting the right amount of work done again so it’s been difficult to also pay attention to my smallnet bits. sorry! but here i am, fresh start, it’s marzka resurrected.

i’ve been playing a ton of world of warcraft recently, excited for the dragonflight update. it seems all my energy for playing games has funnelled into there ever since path of exile went down the proverbial so that’s neat. i’ve been getting into roleplaying servers there and it’s been such an interesting experience - genuinely a really neat way of exploring the lore of the universe and everything by placing yourself into it. you definitely do see some weird stuff though when you jump into that world. there are some things my eyes will never be able to unsee. my poor eyes.

i hope anyone and everyone who reads this is doing well. maybe resurrection is a common thread running through us all at the moment. or maybe not. wherever you are, i hope you know you’re not alone there anyway. a dear friend of mine pulled two runes just this past week and their whispers were warm and cosy. so that’s good. because it’s bloody cold.

2022-11-06 - rose's 🍵 journal

i drank more of the Wen Shan Ding tea today, but brewed it in my teapot instead. it felt rounded, full and very comforting, with a great body feel, even if there wasn't a particularly clear or loud single taste - the website talks about how this tea is a good daily drinker, and i can absolutely see why. sometimes you don't want something that feels like a punch in the face or a splash of cold water - sometimes you want a warm hug or a blanket.

a video i saw of william from farmerleaf musing about elitism and snobbery, and how sometimes it is okay to be elitist - there are teas that are better than others, there is a kind of hierarchy based on how much skill etc went into the tea - but snobbery was about pretending to be more elite than you actually are. i have definitely encountered some pretty snobby behavior about tea, and my general impulse is towards including everyone who wants to be included. i do definitely think that some things are objectively good and bad; i do think there is a very big difference between e.g. aged puer tea that has been processed and stored well, then brewed skillfully, versus a teabag left in a pot for several hours. sometimes though, i do want a teabag with a little milk in an enormous mug; not everything needs to be fancy tea done fancily. it just needs to be right for the situation :)

2022-11-06 - memo's journal

Things have been hectic, to say the least! As I imagined, school is sucking my sweet energy out of every inch of my body and mind, although I have been enjoying it so far.

I wish I had fewer things to think about, however: I need to understand if I want to attend University, and if so which course; I need to try harder to find a job, because expenses don't pay by themselves (but an acceptable part-time job in my small town is like looking for a needle in a haystack); I need to finish a couple of art commissions, togheter with organizing all of my notes. My silly brain is at its limit! I didn't exactly get blessed with cpu power when I was born.

2022-11-06 - niceoblog

I've started the first of my classes! So far it's been mostly reading the textbook and making tedious discussion posts about it in the class forum. I understand on some level why they make us do it, but that doesn't make it not annoying.

All this stuff going on hasn't left me with a ton of time or energy to update my website. One course isn't exactly a full load, but between doing the course work, procrastinating on the course work, working on this music video, procrastinating on that, and my utterly wrecked sleep schedule, there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day.

Speaking of the music video, here's some more renders of it I've made if you're interested:

Renders Looks so much better in Cycles, doesn't it? I lament the destructive effects of Youtube compression, however. This second one was rendered in a secret third thing, Workbench, a barebones rendering engine with basically no graphical features at all that I used here just to see how some timings would look in the final product.

I've also finally made some progress towards getting some kind of ADHD medication, so hopefully that will help somewhat.

2022-11-06 - [raindrop blue]

I went to a "low bang" fireworks display with the kid for Bonfire Night, and he really really loved it. He hasn't really been able to see and enjoy fireworks before, because he was too little/quarantine was happening/they were too loud and the bangs scared him, but tonight was great. They had a fire-eater which he was absolutely fascinated by, and a lot of sparkly crackly but quiet fireworks, and afterwards we got to feed some baby goats since the display was at a petting farm. And, I don't know, I just hope that it'll be something he remembers as magical, the way I have hazy memories of things like that that have stayed in my head for my whole life. I know you can't plan for these things, there's no way to determine what's going to stick in a kid's memory and what's going to be forgotten in six months, but I guess at least you can try to give them happy experiences and hope that some of them stick.

2022-11-05 - Interipelli's Journal

First step towards making a tiny journal, with the intent of tracking contributions to this site.

2022-11-05 - rose's 🍵 journal

i'm not going to write about Yunnan tea areas after all - today, i went to a Chinese tea house with a couple of family members. it was a very beautifully decorated place, with distinct themed rooms that were equipped with wonderful teaware and the most sophisticated kettle i have ever seen. they provided us with some hong cha, red tea (紅茶) and some white tea. they were not labeled as anything but that, so i have no idea where they were from, but they were both delicious. they also had a tea menu that i did not particularly explore as my family members both prefer lighter teas, and the white tea lasted for a long time. we were there for two hours, and the cha qi from the tea had built up quite a bit by the time we parted ways. i think it would be possible, if i wanted, to bring my own tea - but i am excited to try out some of their more interesting options. they had very expensive options, and extremely expensive teaware, but the price just to rent the room was pretty reasonable. i would go back.

2022-11-05 - m15o's journal

Today I've spent a lot of time trying to write a little FORTH interpreter. At the moment it doesn't do much. It's possible to execute a few words like +, - and also : (to create a custom word). But I'm happy since most of the parts are in place, and I can now start adding more words. I'm actually thinking about reusing some of the code I've created for bitters to create a super simple FORTH machine that allows to write text on the screen, change color, do things like that. I'd probably be a fun learning experience, so hey! If you want to look at the code, it's available right here.

Besides that, I haven't done much today. I've updated this site to now have a background color, I think it looks nicer. But knowing myself, I'll probably think differently tomorrow. Then, I'll change the color again because why not!

2022-11-04 - m15o's journal

Heya. I've decided to update my site. The previous version was great, much better than this one! But. I somehow changed-ish laptop, and you know the problem where you change laptop and suddenly you lose access to a few things? Yes. That's one of my problems. This site was using nini to statically generate pages and interconnect them with backlinks, and it's great. But I figured I'll keep it to simple html pages that don't need any compilation for now, so that when I change this laptop, I'll still be able to publish without having to install anything. The site does look very boring, I hope you don't mind! Hopefully what will get written in here will make up for it.

So many things has happened since I last wrote in here that I don't even know where to start! Life has been busy professionally, which is great, but also tiring. On the side I've been learning OpenBSD. I got back to learn C also, and wrote a little text editor inspired by the Canon Cat. In fact, I'm writing this from that editor right now! It's called bitters, and you should definitely take a look at it. It's been a great ride so far. I'm loving C and all the freedom it offers. I'm thankful to all the code I've been able to read and learn from. I've picked up "The C Programming Language" book and I'm utterly impressed by its quality. I enjoy the particular relation unix has with C.

Speaking of languages, I've been reading a lot about FORTH recently. The book "Starting FORTH" is incredible. Very well written with diagram and even drawings. It reminds me of why's poignant guide to ruby. Both "Starting FORTH" and "The C Programming Language" are on my top 3 programming book of all time. Yes, why's poignant guide to ruby is first!

2022-11-04 - rose's 🍵 journal

today i drank a 2022 Wen Shan Ding tea, from the Jinggu area (景谷县), a sample i got from farmer-leaf. the first couple of brews had a strong almost spiced apple flavor, maybe some melon, with a good aftertaste. it faded away and just became pleasant rather than notable after the third infusion. pretty good, honestly, but i probably would not buy a whole cake of it. well, maybe i would. the thing is, i don't trust myself to store a cake properly and have it age well - at least, until i drink it. right now i want to drink a greater variety of things, to build my experience - a whole cake is a Lot. i did in fact buy one recently, and i'm already a little apprehensive about it.

i also took a trip to chinatown and bought some new teacups, that are extremely cute. tomorrow i want to write about yunnan tea areas, i think.

2022-11-03 - rose's 🍵 journal

today i had the remains of the 2022 Jingmai Gulan samples in my puerh teapot - because the teapots are unglazed, many people dedicate them to one particular kind of tea - and it was quite different. the grassiness went away and instead it smelled of forests, and tasted as delicious as yesterday. i really liked it, and will probably use my pot quite frequently when i drink my way through the 357g cake of it i got.

i also saw a recording of an interesting discussion of appreciation vs appropriation regarding Chinese tea culture, and one of the things that came up is that some people deeply distrust Chinese people when discussing tea or their own culture - the idea that, for example, a farmer sells their tea as red tea, but they process it differently to how some other group processes tea they also call red tea. that doesn't make the farmer a liar - they know what they are doing best, they're the expert on at least their tea and also, tea in general - and it doesn't make the person in not-China who sells the tea to the consumer a liar either.

i said some things earlier about how you can never really know if a tea is what the person selling it says it is, and that the idea of authenticity in tea is difficult. i had been reading the backlog of a tea blog that talks a lot about 'fake tea', and the different kinds of things people mean by that. it could be bad tea sold as good, tea from one area being sold as another, more famous area, or things that are not tea being sold as tea, etc. it was honestly pretty discouraging as i'm not experienced enough to feel confident tea-shopping with anything but the word of the person i'm buying tea from as my guide.

if this very experienced Chinese academic, who has lived and travelled in China and Taiwan and Japan, who has been not only drinking tea seriously for nearly two decades but also studying tea, writing about its history, thinks that it is very difficult to buy good tea that is what it says it is, and that the vast majority of tea sold (especially outside of China) is mediocre at best, what hope do i as a neophyte who doesn't speak the language have?

i guess there are a few things to take away from all of this. one is that i shouldn't assume that everyone is always lying to me, or is passing on lies told by someone else. not only is it potentially racist, but it also is not very good for the soul, and i don't want bitterness in the teacup of my heart. the second is, there is a line between healthy skepticism and that hopeless worldview, and i would much rather be naive than bitter, so i will steer well clear of it. the third thing is that of course the majority of tea is mediocre, that's what mediocre means! most tea will be average in quality. that's okay. i do not need to only drink the absolute finest grade tea aged traditionally for 30 years - partly because i don't want to spend the money needed, partly because i don't think i would appreciate it, partly because there are plenty of teas out there that are delicious and reasonably priced. so.

i'm sorry, vendor, for being incredulous about the kitchen tea. i have no real reason to doubt, and i won't let that hopelessness infect my thinking again.

2022-11-03 - dozens's journal

Do you know what a riddle is?

The word is believed to come from the Proto-Indo-European (“PIE”, yum! 😋) word “re”, meaning “to reason”. Releated to the PIE word “ar”, meaning “to fit together.”

https://www.etymonline.com/word/riddle

https://www.etymonline.com/word/*ar-

Thing is, that PIE word—“ar”—is also the root of our modern words arms, armory, and army.

Do you know what a riddle is?

It’s one of two possible ways to make sense of the world.

To fit together an understanding takes reason or weapons.

2022-11-03 - sakurina's thoughtdump

Every clip I see of the upcoming Front Mission 1st remake makes me more depressed than the last. It looks so bad. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because it is ultimately a Square-Enix remaster and those have a dodgy track record, but I'm terrified of what they will do to FM2 and especially FM3.

2022-11-02 08:47:27 - Milo's Journal

Realizing more than ever I cut myself down before I even begin, in many parts of my life. Growing up with influence from evangelist teachings I think really did a number on my brain, mainly that of feeling like I don't have agency or sovereignty within myself. Grateful I have the awareness to notice it, but fearful of the work that it will take to change.

2022-11-02 - dozens's journal

I moved the old white armchair out of my office and moved the old green armchair in. And I can not believe how much happier I am.

The white chair was awkward and uncomfortable. The green chair is cozy and awesome. I can sit in it without my butt or my back hurting. I wish I had just gotten rid of the stupid white chair ages ago. I was afraid the green chair wouldn’t fit, or wouldn’t go. But I was wrong. It does fit and it does go.

Listen to me, child.

If you have a chair that you don’t like, that hurts to sit in. And if you have another chair that is awesome. Then don’t wait. Get rid of the bad chair. Move the good chair in.

It is left up to the reader to discern whether this is a metaphor.

2022-11-02 - rose's 🍵 journal

today was a big tea day! i started with the Bulang Shan sheng puerh, which was nice enough to drink but didn't really have much of a body, and was too prone to astringency - it was fine, but i think that that is one i'm not a big fan of. which is honestly very valuable information - figuring out which things i like and don't like is an important part of maturing in teaism, i think.

later that day though, i received an order i had placed some weeks ago with these folks, a married couple in the Jingmai (景迈) area who farm and process and sell tea. they have some gardens of their own, plus they source some leaves from other places, and they focus heavily on giving customers as much information as they can about where the tea comes from and how processing actually works. william, a French farmer who moved to Yunnan, narrates the videos shot by his wife ubai, whose family has been growing tea for many years.

in my order was a tea cake (357g of tea that has been steamed and pressed into a disk, that you then use a gentle knife to pry leaves off of to then brew) that according to them is their tea most representative of the terroir of that area. traditionally, these cakes would be left to age in warehouses in Hong Kong or other areas before being consumed in a decade or three, but instead i have it in a dark cupboard in an unused part of the house. i probably need to make sure that it doesn't get too dry - too dry tea is weak in flavor, or so i hear - but it'll do for now, resting after its long journey from Pu'er (普洱市).

i also got some bags of maocha (毛茶)! this term means different things precisely depending on who you talk to and what they mean, but the general shape of the meaning is tea that is processed but not yet ready for sale. this can mean "has not been pressed into cakes yet" but may also mean "has not finished drying yet" etc. in this case, all that's missing is pressing it into cakes, and it's otherwise ready to drink. william and yubai sold this for a limited time i guess because then they don't need to pay for it to be pressed? uncertain. in any case, it's neat to get tea that is about as young as it can be and so i can taste it from the beginning of its journey. all in the name of furthering my tea education :)

being very nice people, they also included seven(!) sample cubes of different teas they do, so i will taste and review them here.

i tried the 2022 Jingmai Gulan, their flagship blend, and it was an interesting experience. pretty grassy smell and taste, but full and warm - it felt physically good to drink. not particularly astringent, only a little sweet, big smell and taste of forest air. it lasted for a good long time - Jingmai tea is supposed to be quite fragrant, i think, and so it probably wants short steeping time but very hot water in order to release the volatiles. luckily, there are a bunch of videos on how to get the most from this tea, so i'm in good hands :)

2022-11-01 - dozens's journal

Okay here’s the idea: you put out your bowl of halloween candy for the trick-or-treaters. Standard fun-size candy fare. All the normal stuff. The trick is that on top of the candy, you put a single potato.

My hypothesis was that kids will value the entirety of a novel, rare thing (potato) over merely one (or even two or three) of a common, expected thing (candy). Candy will have its value degraded over a night of trick-or-treating. They will have a literal bagful of it. What they won’t have is a strange and alluring Halloween Potato.

In practice, here’s how it went. The majority of kids did not acknowledge the potato at all. They just took a candy, said thank you, and left. A small number of kids questioned the presence of the potato—“What’s that??”—and then took a candy and left. And a very special few saw the potato and instantly chose potato over candy, and were delighted with their choice.

A couple of highlights:

  1. In our very first group of trick-or-treaters, a young ghostbuster grabbed the potato and theatrically, quickly shoved it into his bucket as though he were hiding a treasure from his friends. He stepped away into the lawn, held it up in the air, and bellowed to his parents, “I got a potato!” He ran down to join them and yelled back to the house, “Thank you for the halloween potato!”

  2. Two young witches. The first swatted at the potato in disgust, “What is that thing?” Then, in an impressively swift and complete reversal, snatched it away and asked for another. Then the second witch decided she liked the idea too, so she also got two potatoes. Then later they came back again and each asked for a third potato. For that is the most proper, witchiest number of halloween potatoes to have.

  3. A small child too young to speak or understand what was happening. All she knew was that she wanted that potato. With slow, careful deliberation, she picked it up, regarded it briefly, and finally put it gently in the bag her parent was holding open.

  4. A child proudly showing their dad their potato. Dad was super supportive, saying that when they get home they’ll put it in the air fryer so they can have it with their candy.

  5. A group of older teenagers. Most were befuddled by the potato, but one of them was delighted and didn’t want his friends to miss out on the experience and asked with childlike enthusiasm, “Yo dude you want a potato???”

At the end of the night, we had given out all but 10 - 12 pieces of candy. And we had given out all of the potatoes.

Here are things I don’t get to know that I am curious about:

  1. What do the kids do with the potato when they get home? Do they eat it? Keep it in their room as a halloween souvenir? Do they bury it in the backyard to grow a spooky potato plant? Do they carve it and place it out with their pumpkin, a smaller more rare variety of jack-o-lantern?

  2. What becomes of the potato kids? Relative to the potato deniers/refusers, I wonder about their creativity and happiness. I want to believe that they enjoy life possibly more than others.

2022-11-01 - rose's 🍵 journal

i actually meant to drink this tea yesterday, but the oolong got ahead of me. i have a small amount of a heicha (黑茶) from Guangxi, that is gu yu (谷雨茶) - namely, harvested after the spring rains - and then left to ferment and age a bit. according to the person who sold it to me, it's a kind of tea that farmers and others in the area harvest for their own consumption from wild/feral tea plants, or tea-adjacent plants, that they generally stick in sacks in their kitchens and will use to make You Cha (油茶), or 'oil tea', which is a component in a local kind of meal. this kind of thing, where you use tea to help make a broth that other things go into, is a very very very old way of using tea, which is neat.

anyway, the story goes that this tea would hang out in kitchens, absorbing the flavors of the cooking (tea does this super easily) including the fragrance of the smoke from the fires (also probably accurate), and the smoke helped prevent mold despite the high humidity and temperature of the Guangxi region. i don't know if this specific tea i drank today is really that kind of tea, or if it's just a smoked low-grade tea (it was full of sticks), but it's a nice story. in any case, the tea was amazing.

i brewed this tea maybe twenty times today. over and over again, using boiling water, letting it steep for a while, pouring it into the gong dao bei (公道杯) and serving from there. it stayed flavorful the whole time, smokey and sweet at first, eventually becoming a little less smoked and quite spicy as the drink went on. it was so cool seeing the taste of the tea change, not diminish, over the steepings, and it was very sad to eventually say thank you to the tea and the teaware, before throwing out the leaves and cleaning everything up.

ultimately, the idea of authenticity in tea is so difficult. leaves, just by looking, only tell you some of what they are, how they were harvested and processed, and very little about where they came from - all of that information only comes to people who are very experienced, too. i don't have more than a small amount of experience, and i certainly don't know good tea from bad except in how it tastes and how it makes me feel to drink it. i don't trust stories from people, even if they themselves fervently believe it; they bought the tea from someone else, and how do you know that they were themselves telling the truth? there's no chain of custody for every leaf.

maybe one day i will travel and follow the leaf from tree all the way to the factory where they press them into cakes, and then know exactly where the leaves came from and how they were treated, but that won't really help. it won't make the tea "good" necessarily: it's not like i know what good tea growing looks like, or what kind of tea processing would be best, or if it was well done, or anything. i don't know anything! all i know is how it tastes, how it smells, how it feels when i drink it. everything else is set dressing.

2022-10-31 - compudanzas log

accepted in the Hybrid Live Coding Interfaces 2022 workshop with our qiudanz technique proposal

qiudanz devlog

2022-10-31 - rose's 🍵 journal

today i brewed my first Phoenix oolong, Mi Lan Xiang (米蘭香), which is one of the better known ones, as far as i can tell. i brewed it in my best approximation of Chaozhou style, brewed with very hot water quickly, large dosage, and not disturbing the cha dan. it came out extremely fruity - i got large hits of a mango/honey flavor, which was pretty neat, and no real bitterness, which suggests that i'm at least getting the brewing parameters roughly right.

i drank some very hot, and the floral fragrance absolutely dominated - which makes sense, because they are all volatile oils and the high heat is necessary to peel them from the leaves. i also let some cool in a tall ceramic cup, and that stuff is a little more astringent and has lost some of that fragrance on the nose - the heat probably caused those volatiles to disappaear - but if i slurp, swallow, and breathe out through my nose, i get that floral and fruit fragrance back. i think that's supposed to be hui gan (回甘), though really i would like to drink tea in person with people who are more experienced than i am. i have to believe something like that exists here, but, who knows.

i also have a very traditionally made oolong that is supposed to be very powerful, very strong, but very prone to bitterness - the guy at the tea store suggested i practice with my Mi Lan Xiang before trying that one, which makes sense. i believe in my ability to at least do it some amount of justice.

2022-10-31 Last Daily - Devine Lu Linvega's journal

Today was the last day of October, and the last daily drawing. I had a good time beginning each morning that way, but it's time to wrap up the slides for Handmade Seattle.

I haven't had time to do much else this month, but I did modify Left to use a variant of the Smalltalk-76 font, which after a handful of tweaks, has quickly turned into my favourite font to program with.

2022-10-30 - rose's 🍵 journal

i'm writing this on the 31st, as yesterday was very busy. tea on the 30th was the remains of my Lao Cha Tou brewed very simply - i dumped the leaves in an insulated tumbler, full of hot water, and let it sit for several hours as i sipped it. given that it's shou, it wasn't at too much risk of getting bitter, plus there was quite a lot of water given the quantity of leaves that remained. we took a ferry, and the weather was pretty wet and cold - sipping hot tea in inclement weather is a particular kind of joy, and i very much appreciated it.

i'm taking a class soon about different Chinese tea brewing methods, and one of the ones they teach is from Chaozhou (潮州) that is focused on oolongs. i went to a local Chinese tea store here at home and got another Yixing(?) teapot, just for that purpose. the thing about unglazed terracotta teapots is that they definitely do absorb oils and flavors from the tea you use it with, and so my puerh teapot is not super suitable for this. in any case, it was not expensive for Yixing, and from what i can (very inexpertly) tell, it was probably made using similar enough clay. actually authenticating any of this stuff is very difficult, and so i am going to try not to worry and instead simply make the tea.

maybe one day i will go to the Yixing area myself and buy a teapot directly from one of the artists, but it would likely be very expensive - like tea, the best ceramics never leave China, and also it's not something i would get the right benefit from yet. my tea skill and tea palate are not advanced enough yet.

2022-10-30 - [raindrop blue]

We got a few adorable little trick or treaters tonight. Tomorrow I'm taking my kid (and maybe a couple of his friends?) out trick-or-treating. He wanted to be a pirate dinosaur, which is also what he was last year (because he couldn't decide between dinosaur and pirate). I was surprised he remembered it from so long ago; it's not like we've talked about it extensively since. I just asked what he wanted his costume to be and he just went "oh, I've got a good idea! A pirate dinosaur!" Maybe it'll catch on.

2022-10-29 - rose's 🍵 journal

more practice with the Yiwu gushu sheng puerh today. it is very difficult to brew effectively in the travel set, in that you need to use - with that tea, anyway - a bit less water than i was using, to get a strong brew, and also to be careful to let the tea steep a bit, but not too long, in order to not end up with something bitter or too astringency. i think that it's supposed to be at least a little astringent, but it's hard to tell. drinking the tea as hot as it is when brewed makes it difficult to properly taste, for me - the heat is 'too loud', so to speak.

the tea itself brews a dark orange color, and the leaves have that reddened and slightly brownish look that says 'older sheng', but not too old - as far as i can tell.

i also am going to be taking an advanced gongfu class soon, and so ordered a bunch of teas for that, plus a box of 'owner's choice' teas, with the request that i'm trying to broaden my tea knowledge, so we'll see what ends up coming from them. i'm pretty excited :)

2022-10-29 - Dizzy's Bunny Hell

Life still isn't going great, but I do have Ritalin now! ^_^ My antidepressants are also working really well, so that's always nice! :D I'm very excited for Halloween! I'm probably not going to be doing much, but I'm very excited, nonetheless.