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Journals | Blogs

2024-07-13 — June - Caffeine's Monthly Digest

It's already over

And I don't even know

Looking for a window

That I already closed

No matter how much I want it

How bad I've tried

Nothing's there on the other side

2024-07-13 - Rex's journal

Finally got some pics added to the site! Now my pets and beehives can be admired by all lol. Really loving how my pets page turned out!

Holy shit did someone try to assassinate trump today? I was having such a normal day until that haha

2024-07-12 - Rex's journal

Tried a local restaurant today, called What a Burger. Not the chain, a local place. Since chain Whataburger is moving into my area currently, I want to make sure I try this place in case the corporation tries to sue or some shit. Idk if they would, but I just assume the worst of corpos. I had a simple patty melt that only came with 2 patties, grilled onions, and cheese and it was better than anything I've ever had at the chain Whataburger. Support your local places!

I've been messing with the Toshiba I picked up yesterday. Games don't look as good as they do on my Phillips. I expected as such considering the velocity modulation and the flat screen. However, old anime does look great on it. The extra sharpness doesn't seem to hurt movies and TV as much, but text and pixel art on games would not be a great experience. I'm probably gonna flip this set to someone else, though I was glad to get a chance to try the A series.

Also, shoutout to CRT Database. That's a great site I frequent when I scope out new sets. They include the weight of each set too which is important when assessing logistics.

2024-07-11 - Rex's journal

When you turn 30, you just start liking jazz. I can't explain it.

Oh snap, it's 7/11 day, I should go get a free slushie

I picked up another CRT today even though I don't have room for it. I've long been on the lookout for a Toshiba A series TV, and a cheap 27AF44 appeared on FB marketplace. It's flat and not curved, but I'm still excited to try it out.

2024-07-10

The Cicada-geddon is in full swing in my area! We got a late start to the season but I've been hearing them literally all day now. They go nonstop for like 14 hours. I love it!

2024-07-09

The funeral was yesterday. I haven't been able to focus very well. After someone dies, you take stock of things. And boy, working 40 hours a week for an evil megacorp sure is a sad thing to do for the rest of my life. I need to turn this disdain into motiviation to keep learning so that I can break out.

2024-07-07

I am in dire need of some cable management. I just re-arranged my entire workspace to accomodate my newly acquired ultrawide monitor and it's been a multi-day project. After dialing in the settings, gaming is incredible on this thing. My Legion 5 Pro laptop with a 3070TI can struggle to keep up sometimes. This is how tech almost turns into an arms race. For my next PC, I'll need something with even greater specs. 4K gaming, to prep for an even better ultrawide OLED in the future.

As for games, I've played a few so far. Many games do support ultrawide resolutions, now. First I booted up Dark and Darker which looked pretty good, even though I'm shit at it. The Witcher 3 is absolutely stunning, though no surprise there. I played it to death on console but finally picked it up on PC since it was dirt cheap on the Steam sale. I downloaded a bunch of mods to improve the experience and it's like a brand new game! My main issue with the game was the floaty, not impactful feeling melee combat. I downloaded a few combat mods that add slo-mo, dismemberment, and blood trails, and now each fight is a blast. I've played through the story probably 3x at this point but the game is timeless. There's no better fantasy game out there than Witcher 3. I also picked up Forza Horizon 4 since racing games seem like they'll be fun on an ultrawide.

Might get rid of chattable. Half the time the script doesn't load my CSS properly.

2024-07-04

Wife's grandpa passed today. It's been expected for like a year now so not a surprise, but still a bummer. But, also a new chapter for her grandma, who had become full time caretaker. If you have to see firsthand what's it like to take care of someone with alzheimer's and or dementia, you'll understand. It sucks though, so hopefully you won't have to experience it. Maybe it's just me but it seems like a lot of older folks pass on holidays.

I took my wife to the rock shop to do a sluicing bucket. We got some nice crystals. It helps her feel better. Then we had a saddish cookout at the family's before returning home to watch some tv. Lotta fireworks going on. I'm not a fan but at least my pets don't mind them.

2024-07-03

I was lookin' around facebook marketplace and found someone selling a Samsung Odyssey G9 ultra wide monitor for $500. I thought it was too good to be true since those retail for over a grand, but long story short, I am now part of the ultrawide monitor gang. This thing is incredible but also terribly bulky to carry. I needed the extra screen space for...nah I just wanted it.

3 browser windows open on a giant screen, this is peak brainrot

Cleaning up the ol' button wall today. Kinda surprised at how many people deleted their sites. Or maybe they just changed URLs and didn't re-direct. Just like Geocities I guess.

2024-07-02

Busy day at work, but got a lot done! I'm starting to forget deadlines because I'm juggling too much. Luckily, my normal work pace is leisurely and relaxed so I just usually need 1 or 2 good grind sessions to knock everything out. The nice thing about working in the software world is that you typically know exactly what's expected of you because it's all tracked on Jira. But, as a business analyst, I do whatever it takes to make a project successful. The software is just one small part, at least in a large corporation. There's many other teams I have to work with, often who have deadlines of their own which depend on my input. There are stakeholders that have to be appeased. Rigid bureaucratic processes that have to be followed at every turn. Even minor scope changes requiring significant effort and scrutiny. And thanks to the bastardization of agile, a million people asking me for status every day on the work I was going to do whether they asked me to or not...anyway, after a promotion last year, my world has grown quite a bit. I feel I've settled into it quite nicely. After today, I feel accomplished. I do have frustrating moments certainly, but overall I like what I do. There's an inherent level of chaos and ridiculousness in any large corporate environment, sure. But, once you get used to it and learn how to navigate it all, it is what it is. Just part of the job. I thrive in a certain level of chaos and uncertainty at work, because I enjoy the feeling of bringing order to chaos, especially when there's software involved. Even if it is boring ol enterprise software. It's why I like gaming. The feeling of overcoming challenges. Problem solving. Optimizing. I try to look at my job as just another game to master and optimize.

I've been thinking about work a lot lately. Not in a bad or anxious type way, just in a "where do I go from here" type way. Where do I want my career to go? I've made it out of senior level and am now a staff business analyst. I did it with 2 less years experience than what HR recommended. What do I do next to progress again? I'm playing a new game, but I haven't mastered it yet. So, last night I stumbled upon StaffEng and got to reading. I know I'm not a software engineer per se, but I'm a highly technical BA who debugs and pseudocodes along with the developers, and I do program in my own time, so close enough. Clicking through a few links I found an article about glue work. I didn't know this had a name, but it really resonated with me. Since I became a business analyst, this was the work I always strived to do. I helped support prod even though it was frowned upon because it was an expense for us rather than a money making activity. When all the long timers left the team, I documented their knowledge to share with the team. I created a team onenote filled with information, training, guides, common errors, and shared it with everyone. I volunteered to lead my greener team members through some complex test activities after a routine major system upgrade. I wanted to help people. I wanted to make everyone's life easier than it was. I love the feeling of being able to help someone with a problem they're having. So I was just always naturally drawn to glue work. I will keep doing my best, and doing what's right, and doing what I can to help my fellow coworkers (within reason of course - I'm not doin their work lol) to make their lives a little bit easier. We're all in this corporate hellscape together, let's at least be excellent to each other.

All that to say, I don't know where I'm going, yet. I'm just gonna stay true to myself like I have been, because it's worked out well so far. Will I stay a business analyst, or transition into programming? Will I leave my current company, or start my own business with my wife? Or maybe become a consultant? Who knows! Luckily, I don't have to rush to get there. I can take my time. I am confident that an opportunity will present itself when the time is right.

Also, I joined Mastodon. I don't fully understand it yet. Maybe one of the servers that has to manually approve your account is better. The random open tech server I joined just seemed like Twitter and Reddit but worse. Maybe I need to click around more. Or maybe I'm just a normie and all the cool people have already left Mastodon...hmm.

2024-07-01

First day of July already, wow! Time flies. Happy for a short work week this week.

Feeling really good about the website right now! Tons of content, though maybe a little too busy now? Regardless, I am loving it! I added a secret post that you won't find in the traditional places, but it's not too hard to find. Thought it'd be fun to add some secret elements. Now, I think I need a 4th section on my right sidebar to make it an even 4 and 4. I can't get this retro game of the day idea out of my mind, so I think that's what it'll be.

It appears our supreme court overlords have determined that presidents are kings! American experiment, it was nice knowing ya! And bribery is very legal and cool, now. And regulation of evil corporate conglomerates is a thing of the past. They are really setting the stage for Project 2025 nicely. Dark times for our country, our rights, our freedoms, our health and safety...and the world.

2024-06-30

PS2 archival complete! Next up, Gamecube. Once I finish, I'll be getting back to programming. I plan on creating a SQL database of all my games, and I kinda wanna play around with the Internet Game Database API, but I'll save the specifics for the devlog.

In other news, it's fuckin hot outside. This summer is definitely worse than last summer. Still, no worse really than Texas, and with less concern about the grid failing on a 100 degree day. The cicadageddon is ongoing, they are suuuper noisy in the mornings and around dusk this past week. I generally don't care for summer, but the cicadas man...they're just a vibe.

Been making a few site updates here and there. I'm full of project ideas lately, I just need to slow down and actually build them out before I start brainstorming the next one. I get too excited and lose focus!

I like the Youtube spotlights in the sidebars, but they're kinda small. I increased the size of the aside element to help a little bit. Any bigger made the sidebars feel too big. But now my lists on the left sidebar need to be re-adjusted to handle the new size.

Busy day! I basically worked on the site all afternoon and evening today. I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking right now! Got my CSS organized, replaced the deprecated marquee tag with some CSS animations, lots of sidebar content changes, overhauled main page, re-worded intro, added a chatbox and some autoplaying youtube music, wrote a new post about summertime, fixed minor issues on some of the older posts, added a button to display and hide some gifs...dang! Really productive and fun day today.

2024-06-29

The supreme court is now relegated to lower case spelling. I view the court as illegitimate (since Trump's presidency really), and therefore they have lost their proper noun status. Buncha crooks.

Finally made it back to the gym today after a 2 week break. It was good to be back. For now, the video game archival project continues. The PS1 I ordered arrived today. I'll probably be soft modding it next weekend.

2024-06-28

Babe wake up, new Gnome just dropped

Had a hard drive scare today. Crazy dog ripped the cord out, but it was kinda my fault as I had it out in the living room in a precarious position. It's very hot here right now and my living room is the coldest room in the house, so I was out there working on filling my 14tb drives with all my roms while watching the 12 hour long Virtual Gaming Library's All PS2 games video, which is taking several days. But, data archival is fun. I've seen too much stuff disappear from the internet. Archive.org truly is a treasure. I would do the same thing if I was rich.

2024-06-27

Even though I like to decry the modern internet, I am thankful for Youtube. There are so many good resources to learn just about anything, so much great music shared, and tons of funny people talking about stuff I love. I find new things I love on Youtube all the time. I have a well curated algorithm. I've obviously been talking about PS1 a lot lately and have been googling about how to best play PS1 backups (of games I definitely legally own) on real hardware on my CRT. I almost got a PS3 but found out it doesn't do 240P. So, I ordered a PS1 to softmod it. And, Youtube has picked up on all this and showed me a bunch of videos from the last few months of people talking about how low poly graphics are popular again thanks to nostalgia. I discovered an amazing new to me channel called Internet Pitstop which has an impressive amount of green screen. Please subscribe to this man, I need him to make more content.

*angry work noises*

I could only stomach about 10 minutes of the debate. Good lord...

Tried to have a nice mindful moment this evening. We had a light rain around dusk and the cicadas were so loud. I just sat on my porch with the wife and dogs and closed my eyes.Out in the country, it's so incredibly quiet. These little moments of blissful, quiet peace help me keep my sanity. Reading my rants from earlier, it was obviously needed haha

2024-06-26

I have now been sick for a week! That's fun. It's like not sick enough to break out of the normal routine, but sick enough for it to be inconvenient. Not sure if allergies or some unvaxxed clown gave me covid or something. It is South Carolina so I'm sure there's plenty of plague rats running around.

In other news, all your roms are belong to us.

I've seen a shift lately in the AA game world to emulate the low-poly PS1 era visual style. There was that Bloodborne Kart game, and another one I just saw called Dread Delusion. It's been neat to see the evolution over time of what is considered retro. It also makes me feel a bit elderly. Regardless, I'm here for it.

*angry work noises

2024-06-24

Got my first mechanical keyboard today! The 8BitDo Mechanical Keyboard! This thing is badass. I can't believe I've never had one of these before. Where have I been? Typing feels sooo good now. I'm gonna have to replace my other keyboard with a mechanical one, now.

There were SO many soccer games on the PS1. I found a cool Youtube channel called Virtual Gaming Library which has alphabetical gameplay of every single game on consoles. Also, why didso many PS1 games have badass drum n bass soundtracks? I think it'd be fun to create a program that analyzes my list of roms, randomly spits out a game from the list, then collects and organizes my thoughts in a blog post.

I'm pretty excited to dig into the Saturn, Dreamcast, and PS1 games more. I had an N64 as a kid. I briefly had a Dreamcast for a bit but my mom gave it away to a less fortunate neighbor kid when I got the Gamecube for Christmas one year, if I recall correctly. I want to buy a GDEMU modded Dreamcast but $300 is a bit steep for something I'm likely gonna look at more than I play. Perhaps when my bonus comes in next March I'll pick up a Dreamcast and a Saturn.

2024-06-24

Hot as fuck lately, but I have heard lots of cicadas lately which is nice! No fireflies this year, though. Saw tons last year so that's a bummer.

Significant progress on learning programming today! Hell, today's devlog was basically the length of a full post.

2024-06-23

Been battling some sickness this weekend. Not sure if allergies or if I picked up something.

Great progress on the site today! Did some cleaning up, finished up the Spongecore post and wrote one about CRT TVs. I think I need to modify some of my landing pages more. I kinda stopped reading about philosophy, so that section can probably go for now.

2024-06-22

It is great being married! It is work, don't get me wrong. But, when everything is going well, it's really good. Not to brag but my wife is absolutely crazy for me? I don't really get it to be entirely honest. I'm just a regular dude. She's the best.

2024-06-19

Woke up not feeling great which sucks! I started playing Dark and Darker yesterday which is pretty fun though.

2024-06-18

Man, there was something last night that I was really excited about and wanted to put on the website, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Music? Did I want to talk about the Spongebob-core genre with Glorb and Boi What?

2024-06-17

I don't wanna work today! I wish I had studied software engineering in school, though I'm not sure I could have passed all the calculus. I also wish I was better at stocks and such...I could have retired off bitcoin, or Nvidia, or Tesla, or Gamestop...if I was a better trader. Instead I just have to work for a living. Ah well, could be worse.

2024-06-16

What a week! Good communication is one of the most important skills you can have. It helps you more effectively navigate most of what life has to offer; professionally, personally, and emotionally.

Yesterday, my wife wanted to go up to Soda City Market because her therapy schedule had cleared for the day. She had a bad hankering for some boiled peanuts. We didn't find those at the market, but I did find a freshly made perico arepa which was divine. I also found a cannonball watermelon from a local farmer! The dark green ones shaped like cannonballs. This is the best kind of watermelon. The folks there helped pick out the best one. When the lady said some broken Spanish to a guy telling him to pick out the best one, and he started knocking on the watermelons while listening to the inside, I knew I was in good hands. I can recognize a fellow watermelon connoisseur when I see one. Sure enough, this was one of the best watermelons I've ever had. Bright, deep red inside. So sweet, and the perfect amount of juice. It would make a great mojito. Might have to try that for the cookout tonight...Artemis really liked the melon, too. Athena didn't care for it but she's not a fan of most produce.

Good beekeeping news! The hive that lost it's queen had successfully raised a new queen who had successfully mated and returned to the hive. I had read to wait 21 days and sure enough, today was day 21 and I found freshly laid eggs. The inspection today got even better. Our left hive had drawn out a significant amount of comb in the 3rd box we had added late. This will give a jumpstart to honey production next year. I'm thinking about starting a bee log of some sorts to track my activity. Though between journal, dev log, and this...that'd be a lot of life tracking! It's not bad if this is how I make memories.

At the homefront, I haven't coded much, but I did watch some Youtube videos about project building from scratch. I haven't coded much since last entry, but the brain wheels have definitely been turning. I think I'm ready to do a re-write of my initial craps app. I've been playing Granblue Fantasy Relink. I wish I had picked that up on launch because it's really fun. I think I was busy with Infinite Wealth and Palworld instead. I'm also playing SMT V: Vengeance. Fantastic game, I had no doubt. I've been trying to play Elden Ring here and there but idk, I think I'm burning out on it. My first character was level 113 and left off at Fire Giant. I started over with a sorceror build but the game is just sooo long.

2024-06-11

Looking over Texas's 2024 legislative priorities, sure am glad I got out of that shithole! If you are a woman in Texas, you should probably leave ASAP before they Handmaid's Tale you. The Texas christofascists must want to be first in line for Project 2025. God I fuckin hate politics. Why are republicans such weasels?

Still working on programming! Decided to start a devlog to track progress, see here!

2024-06-09

It's happening! I actually started writing code instead of just copying it! I feel like today has been the biggest milestone in my coding journey thusfar. The little amount of coding I did for this site was honestly just mostly copy/pasted and lightly modified with my own values. It was still in tutorial hell. But I've been looking around the web for easy projects to do to help break out of that. I stumbled upon a Youtube video of a guy building a slot machine project in Python that helped spur me on. I followed along with the video for about 20 mins and something finally...clicked. So I stopped the video and started working on a Craps app in Python. It's one of the few casino games I enjoy so I thought it was a good pick. I've already written over 200 lines of code for it! This is easily like 2000% more progress than normal so I'm feeling really good right now. I think I can do this! I really do.

Hopefully Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance doesn't take away too much of my coding hours! I don't think it will, though. I'm really feeling motivated right now. I know there's still plenty of challenges ahead but I feel like I can really do it with consistent practice.

2024-06-07

It was a nice friday. Took my car up for some routine maintenance this morning then did a little grocery shopping. I decided to get some programming practice in while waiting for my car. As I mentioned a few days ago, reasonable small goals! Making a whole game was feeling overwhelming, so now my first project is a little Python app that simulates dice rolling. Small victories lol. I was getting caught in tutorial hell which is too easy to do. Watch tutorials thinking "yeah that totally makes perfect sense" but then freezing up the second I try to write my own code. Still working on the fundamentals! Switched over to Harvard's CS50P since it's got a Python focus which is syntactically (baller word) similar to Godot's GDScript. Maybe if I'm feeling full stack I'll figure out how to run my dice rolling app into my site. Still trying to figure out my long-term goal - make a game? Get a job as a software developer? Both? I guess I'll figure it out along the way.

Nice moment. Sharing some delicious fresh cut fruit with one of my dogs on this hot summer day. Yesterday I got to hear some cicadas too. It's not too hot yet, so I just basked in those early summer vibes. Last year we had tons of cicadas and fireflies but for some reason this year I haven't seen any fireflies, and last night was only night 2 of hearing the cicadas so far this year, even though it was supposed to be the cicada-geddon this year. What a rip!

2024-06-04

I'm feeling good today! Yesterday was a good day. I got shit done at work, I cooked and ate healthy, I cleaned around the house, I spent several hours studying. Hoping to continue today! Have to make sure I do my workout tonight to stay on track. I try to lift 4 times a week. I started last year after not having ever really worked out much. I'm glad I did, it's nice to be strong! Wish I had started sooner, but as the old saying goes, the best time to start was 10 years ago, the second best time is now. Trying to apply that mindset to several areas of my life which is why I'm learning programming, too.

Got my article on Unicorn Overlord up. It's not finished yet. Mostly compared it to OB64 so far but I'll pivot to talking about the game on its own soon.

I was cleaning up my bookmarks and found this site I saved back when I watched Serial Experiments Lain. It was part of the whole CRT TV era - watched it on the Sony Trinitron. This is one of the best media dissections I've had the pleasure of reading. Watch the show, then check out the site. It's only 13 episodes and was so ahead of its time.

2024-06-03

No thanks to Samsung support, I managed to fix my washer after some additional troubleshooting. I started Harvard's CS50 class to get some of the fundamentals down of object oriented programming. Most of my exposure to code comes from my day job but it's not an OOP language. So, I had some knowledge gaps while I was trying to work on my game idea. I'm still gonna work on the design docs, I can at least nail down the expected functional behavior over the next few months. Then once I finish the course, I should make a couple small games over a couple months just to get some experience in creating and finishing a game. In the past I have not been great at finishing stuff. Lots of half baked ideas. But, I recognize that, and I'm trying to break my goals down into manageable chunks that I can accomplish.

Today at work, my team basically delivered a vote of no confidence for being able to meet this quarter's planning goals. Worst confidence vote I've seen in my 6 years of business analysis lol. I absolutely expect more crunch time in the team's future...oh well, I don't mind doing it for a bit if I get that overtime pay.

2024-06-02

I hate modern technology. I just wanna wash my clothes! But no, my Samsung washer which is less than a year old suddenly started throwing a software error. I hate "smart" appliances. Anyone who ever suggested that household appliances should connect to the internet and have fancy software should shut up forever, and never speak again, for the world is worse off by their existence and their ideas. Until last night, I was able to ignore all of the "smart" features of the washer and just use it like normal until it randomly threw an error code that, after some googling, indicated a software error. I tried all the random internet fixes, power cycles, service menu, all the tricks. No dice, so called the support number. Spent another 20 minutes and got nowhere so they want to schedule a tech to come out. For a software issue. On my washer.

Never buy a Samsung appliance. Never again.

2024-06-01

Man, rough beekeeping day. One of the hives lost our queen, and the status of the brood puts the timing right around our last inspection. The likely scenario is that we killed the queen accidentally last time we were in the hive. It's a bummer for the first year since she was a really great queen, fantastic laying pattern, tons of eggs, and low aggression. So I was a bit down on myself over that, but it'll be alright. We didn't expect honey the first year anyway, and it looks like the bees were already working on raising a new queen, so hopefully a month from now this will be barely a blip.

In other news, my laptop arrived today. A few days ago as I was watching some Godot tutorials on my tv, I really wished I had a laptop to follow along with and learn hands on. Better to get your hands dirty else I get caught in tutorial hell. I was also using OneNote mobile while I had some Workaholics on in the background and thought, there's a better way. So I started looking for laptops. I already had a gaming laptop which, honestly, are kinda silly for home use since they get too hot to have in your lap. So I needed a regular productivity laptop. I had kinda been looking at the 2 in 1 laptops which you can flip into tablet mode. I eventually settled on a Dell Inspiron 16 2 in 1. I found the one with the OLED screen for really cheap on ebay. It was only lightly used and also had the black color which I liked more than the silver. I pulled the trigger since it had a return policy but now that I'm using it (even as I type this entry), I like it a lot! I'll definitely be keeping it. I installed Ubuntu on it for a change of pace from Windows. I liked pop OS! but it seemed like it hadn't been updated in a while, and Ubuntu seemed to have better touchscreen support, so that's what I chose. Hopefully now with the power of productivity in any room, I'll get more done on the site AND in my hopefully eventually real game!

2024-05-31

I like presidents that don't get convicted of felonies. I try not to talk about politics too much because it's mostly futile. And, chances are if you're on Neocities, you're probably not much of a right winger to begin with, so what's the point of preaching to the choir, right?. But, since this is sorta kinda a historical moment in American history (though I feel like we've had far too many of those lately), I figure I can take a single journal entry to talk about it.

It's just crazy how many absolute rubes there are. I'm listening to Trump's sad "press conference" this morning, the day after his 34 felony convictions...how do people not immediately know that this is the most obviously selfish, narcissistic, traitorous, whiny, idiotic, tiny mushroom dicked (thanks Stormy Daniels for putting that image in all our minds), fucking grift in human form, sad sack piece of trash that has ever existed?

Democrats suck too - "do nothing democrats" is not inaccurate. But they're still the objectively correct decision in this useless 2 party system. Ranked choice voting when?

Do still vote for the democrats. Voting is not a pointless exercise, especially in local elections. Voting is the bare minimum you have to do to even say shit about politics. You're voting for the judicial branch too. Project 2025 is not a fucking joke. There are active plans to turn the USA into a christian nationalist state. Women will lose rights. Public Education will lose funding. Discrimination will be made legal. LGBTQ+ people will be punished for existing. They will rape the climate even harder. They will give even more money to the billionaire class. You still have to fucking vote.

2024-05-30

Work is sooo dumb lol. I wanna focus on my hobbies but I'm so tired after working. 32 hour work week when?

I decided I'm gonna write a post on Unicorn Overlord. As you should know by now, I love Ogre Battle 64 and I consider Unicorn Overlord to be the truest successor, at least in terms of gameplay. Not so much on story but...I'll save it for the article. Please look forward to it.™

2024-05-29

Yeah, 2 entries in one day. I'm going through the site to clean up a lot of the in progress stuff, and man, my last post was about...meal delivery services? Fucking lame dude lol. I gotta fix this place up and make it more interesting.

Yesterday we celebrated my wife's birthday. We went to a local rock shop to do some gem panning. She has figured out this year that she's really into crystals and stuff. Not full on woo, but as a way to guide your thinking and intentions, which is reasonable enough to me. I think they look cool at least.

2024-05-29

*Blows off cobwebs* It's dusty in here! Where do I even begin? A lot has changed since I last updated the website. I was reading my old journal entries and some of those were kinda sad? Luckily, things are much improved.

My wife and I moved away from DFW! We are in South Carolina, now. She's much happier with this career change and I think she's amazing at it. It was a huge life change but it's really great. We got a nice rural house on 3 acres in the same little town where my in-laws are. We'll be inheriting some farmland in the future so we figured it was time to go ahead and plant some roots. I much prefer living rurally. It's a lot more quiet than DFW, and the traffic is way chiller. I love having land. I've got tons of huge trees, lots of nice flowers and plants all over my property. There's a trail in my little woods in the backyard where I can see fireflies and hear cicadas. It's a dream, honestly. And the house was like 150k cheaper than we sold our Texas house for. It's a little bit bigger (also older) but with like 20x more land. You're getting shafted if you buy a house in the DFW suburbs. Oh, and even though I'm rural now, I still have gigabit fiber which is badass!

I got my own job promotion late last year! I'm doing some really impactful stuff that's going to be great for my resume. I make 6 figures now and get to work remotely. I recognize that I am living the modern American dream and I am grateful for it. Work is still dumb though and I wish I didn't have to do it, but it pays the bills.

Went on some cool trips over the past few months. Last November, I met up with my family in San Marcos, TX. My niece and her boyfriend moved there but my parents, sister, and nephew came out as well. It was a nice little family reunion. San Marcos is a cool town!

In March, my wife and I took an incredibly vacation up to Gatlinburg, Tennesee. We got a mountain cabin airbnb and went on a VIP tour of the local wineries in Pigeon Forge, the town next to Gatlinburg. It was a super fun and relaxing trip and we came home with a ton of wine. I would love to visit again sometime. It's like 4ish hours from where I live now.

In April, Mark came out to visit me for the first time. We went to Atlanta for a weekend to see a couple concerts. We saw TWRP one night, then the next night we saw Make Them Suffer and Erra. It was a badass fucking concert, I was in the mosh pit the whole time. Make Them Suffer is my fav metalcore band right now and I'll definitely be on the lookout when they do their next headlining tour. We also went to Ponce City Market which is a really neat place. Tons of good food and connects to a really cool Greenbelt walking path area which I forget the name of. Atlanta is only about 3 hours away so I plan to go again at some point.

My most recent trip was to New Smyrna Beach in Florida. My folks were staying there for a month to see how they like it. They're planning to retire there which would be great for me. It's about a 6 hour drive, I would love to have a Florida condo I could stay at whenever...the beach was beautiful! It was another family reunion trip. Even though it was Memorial Day Weekend, we all went to the beach on Friday morning and it was just perfect. Amazing weather, a reasonable high tide where the waves were big but the beach was still drivable. I played in the ocean for like 3 hours. It was like being a kid again. I bodysurfed, floated, and just had a blast the whole time. It was just me out there for hours. So peaceful and rejuvenating. I can't wait to go back!

New hobbies! I started beekeeping with my in-laws this year. We got 2 hives. No honey for the first year but that's ok. The hives have been doing well, big populations, so as long as they make it through winter, we'll get a honey harvest next year. I also started trying to learn game development, because why not? I am trying to learn Godot and GDScript. It seems pretty similar to JS and Python, so I figured why not? Now, why am I back on the website when I'm trying to do that? Because as stated before, I am a hobby hopper.

Now, what should I do with my website? I probably need to go clean up a lot of stuff. Kill all my placeholder article ideas. Maybe I'll start a devlog if I continue to learn Godot?

I also got really into CRT TVs there for a bit. I have 3 CRT TVs in my office. Why? I don't know, I like the aesthetic (shoutout /r/crtgaming). I bought a Wii and a PS2 and modified them to play roms on original hardware connected to a CRT. Nostalgia is a helluva drug. I don't use them much but I love the vibe.

Whew! Lots to catch up on. I guess a lot happens in a year. My hiatus was also partially due to my old PC kicking the bucket. I didn't do a good job saving my passwords so it took some time to get access back to everything. But I'm in now, and hopefully will stick to it. I really do love how my site looks and want to continue...even if nobody is reading it :)

2023-02-13

Had a few nice weekend outings. 2 weekends ago I went to the Botanical Gardens with a couple friends for dog day out. It was beautiful weather after the terrible ice storm, so it was nice to get out. I was definitely going stir crazy. This most recent weekend my other friend group drove out to my city, we got lunch at a local healthy restaurant (since I've gone vegan this year), then walked around some local shops and the nearby trails. The gang turns 30 this year but on this day, it was like we were 20 again, but with more money lol. Also, Williams Sonoma, new favorite store. Need a gift card there ASAP once we get into our next home.

In my spare time, I've been messing with emulators again. With my current set-up, I've been able to hook my PC directly to my TV, so I've been playing 3DS and Gamecube games on Dolphin and Citra emulators. Mostly playing old Fire Emblem games. Sometimes playing Fire Emblem Engage, too. It's been a while since I wrote an article, so maybe I'll do one on either the joys of emulation and/or my thoughts on the Fire Emblem series. Or maybe I won't. I'm supposed to be starting a data analytics class with my friend group so we can all learn together. Data analysis is a perfect fit for complementing my current skill set (business analysis) or transitioning into a Data focused role, so I thought it'd be a good investment of my time. I do like learning new things and tend to stagnate if I'm not learning something. As I've mentioned before and I'm sure you can tell from reading these entries, I am a serial hobby hopper and will likely continue to be. There's worse things to be I suppose.

What else...The Last of Us TV show is great, prob the best video game adaptation yet. I also need to catch up on You as my wife keeps telling me. I discovered Mechwarrior 5 on PC and installed a bunch of mods, that's also been fun. Vampire Survivors is excellent. Darktide has fantastic core gameplay and music but bad everything else. I got almost 100 hours into it but I've shelved it for a year or 2 until it gets some much needed QoL and content updates.

I think that's it for now. Maybe I'll get an article up this coming weekend depending on how the week goes, maybe not.

2023-02-02

I didn't even talk yesterday about how much I hate moving. It's the worst. And everyone involved in the industry are a bunch of leeches. Movers, real estate companies, people who turn housing into "investments" - crooks, all of them.

I've been trapped inside since Monday. Yet another once in a century 4 day ice storm.

I read a great article that echoed many similar sentiments I wrote about yesterday.

2023-02-01

Is this thing on? Was anyone even reading in the first place? I think I said early on that I was doing this for me, so I guess I don't care. We finally moved out of our house. Knowing what I know now, I would have made a lot of different choices last year. But, it is what it is, and we are where we are. 2023 is going to be the year of accumulating health and wealth as we look towards the future and buying our next home. Things have improved on the home front. Things have not improved on learing web dev. I haven't kept up with journaling. But, maybe I can get back to these things this year. I am planning to go to Japan for 3 weeks in Autumn 2024. So, I'd also like to learn some amount of Japanese before then just to comfortably navigate train stations, restaurants, stores and such. I'd really love to live there for 3 months as a sabbatical when/if I leave my current job. But that's probably a ways away, if at all. So much I want to do, but...never enough time, money, energy.

I plan to enroll in regular therapy this year. For some reason, whenever I sit down to write, only negativity wants to come out. Is it something wrong with me, or is it just a natural response to the world we live in? Where the problems facing society are very clear and in our faces, and the solutions are known, but we don't do any of them. Massive wealth inequality that's only gotten steadily worse for as long as I've been politically aware (15 years ago at this point). Our politicial institutions captured and gutted by lobbyists (Regulatory Capture). The inevitable "Enshittification" of all platforms. Our particular flavor of American economics demands endless growth for all companies with an inevitable end result of cannibalizing your own platform and tapping your customers like blood from a stone. The raping of the natural environment for the sake of wealth (remind me how many once in a lifetime natural disasters we've seen in the past few years?) Billionaires having dick measuring contests seeing who can buy the most companies, get the "I win Capitalism" trophy for having all of the money in the world, and going to Space (but no poors allowed.) The endless onslaught of advertising which is only escapable through complete blindness and deafness. The transformation of gaming into yet another capitalistic endeavor. No longer do games ship feature complete. Instead, they are "live service" and drip-fed content to "encourage player engagement rate". It's all bullshit, everything. It all just makes me want to tune out completely.

See? The negativity just comes out so easy. Perhaps these are just the ramblings of someone who is "chronically online." I work in IT and my favorite hobby is gaming, so it's hard to avoid time online. And yet, comparing now to 100 years ago, I'd still take now. I'm not denying that now is still a better time to live than most times in history. It's just the disappointment of knowing that we could be so, so much more as a species than we are. Maybe I just need to learn to cope? I was doing good last year, learning about stoicism, mindfullness, Zen practices...but here I am again dwelling on the negative.

Obviously I still have work to do on myself. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. The world obviously isn't going to get any better or simpler. So, we have to do our best to co-exist with it. I thought I was at an acceptance stage, but life is a constant journey. Acceptance apparently isn't a static endpoint. It's a continuous battle to "be ok." If only it didn't have to be.

2022-10-19

It's been a stressful few months. It's looking like we'll be planning a move soon. Maybe, I don't know. Depends on the job situation for my wife. She finally put her notice in to quit. The housing market right now just has me concerned. When is the right time to sell, when is the right time to buy? If we lived in a logical world, rising interest rates would cause house prices to go down. So, it'd make sense to sell now before the prices go down. Rent for a bit until prices go down and save up money, then buy in. Even if rates are high, we could refinance when (if?) rates go down again.

But the world is pretty fuckin' nuts to put it lightly, and I don't know what's going to happen.

2022-10-05

Busy busy. Had a lazy weekend. Got my bivalent covid booster and flu shot at the same time last Friday. I felt a little fatigued and feverish that evening and Saturday but was back to normal on Sunday except for a sore arm.

I haven't spent as much time as I wanted working on web development lately. I just don't have the mental energy after a busy 40 hour work week. Sure wish we could work less so I could focus on the things I wanted instead of having to devote the literal majority of my time to working or recovering from working.

I'm gonna have to stop making plans for website articles lol. I just need to go with the flow and write whatever strikes my fancy.

2022-09-29

It's tough to watch those you love struggle with mental health. I hope when I look back on this a year from now that it's just a distant memory.

2022-09-26

Work is going to be getting busy soon. The lull was nice while it lasted. My friend group finally had another DnD session on Saturday. It had been about 3 months since we played last and I was worried the game would be ending, but it's still going strong thankfully.

Otherwise chill weekend...not much to say. I'm just tired and ready for my vacation in November.

2022-09-21

I love finding a good rabbit hole on Reddit. I discovered /r/gangstalking today which appears to be a community of schizophrenics. I saw multiple posts which basically said "bro it's NOT schizophrenia, it's just the voices in my head beamed to me by the government."

Not to make fun of folks with mental illness, but it is interesting to see a whole community with the obvious signs of a mental illness, they're even aware of the illness in question but are convinced that they are the target of a conspiracy instead. The human brain is certainly interesting.

The internet is a great tool but some of the negative effects are astonishing to witness. It's crazy to look back and say we witnessed the rise of a globalized shared psychosis (see: QAnon). It just goes to show the importance of mental wellness and the glaring lack of support for it worldwide.

Another thought on the increase of mental illness - did we get better at understanding and diagnosing? Was it always this prevalent and we just didn't know? Have worse economic conditions increased the prevalence of mental illness? There's a lot to unpack here and it's hard to say anything definitively.

2022-09-19

2022 has had amazing music. I knew early on that at least we'd get a ton of great music as people dealt with the collective trauma of a global pandemic. Gotta focus on the positives lol. Currently blasting the new Electric Callboy album.

I'm really stoked for the Tactics Ogre remake. Here's a good interview about it. I do hope this eventually leads to an Ogre Battle 64 revival at some point!

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize excellent in video editing in this footage of the North Korean Military Chorus appearing to play Killing in the Name of. That is all.

2022-09-18

Barbarian was far better than The Retaliators. Still had fun going out to see movies, I don't go to the theater very often.

I had the most wonderful sushi lunch of my life on Friday at Hatsuyuki Handroll Bar. I have wanted to visit this place for at least a year so I was excited to finally find myself in the area at the right day and time. It completely blew me away. It felt like I was whisked back to Japan. This is easily the best sushi I've had in years, maybe ever. It was perfect and I can't wait to go back hopefully soon.

Friday was a packed day overall. I visited an estate sale for the first time since it was near the place I was getting shoes. I decided I don't like estate sales. Seeing people act like vultures grabbing up the sum total of a person's lifetime possessions at cheap prices just felt weird to me? I'm probably privileged to even be able to say that, but meh.

Other things I did this weekend, finishd decorating the reading nook. Went to a nearby Mexican place with the wife for dinner on Friday at a place with average food but extremely strong drinks so it evened out. Took a trip to Barnes & Noble. I love the vibe of bookstores.

Started playing Fortnite again, too. It's pretty fun in zero build mode. I stopped originally playing Fortnite when people built the Eiffel Tower in 2.7 seconds lol.

Busy week at work expected, but planning to see my parents Friday for lunch and a build your own Terrarium place.

2022-09-15

I took myself on a date yesterday. I went to see the limited screening of 'The Retaliators.' It's a horror-metal crossover, two of my favorite things. It should have been an instant cult classic but it was a letdown. Not even Papa Roach as a serial killer made it interesting. Apparently the movie had 3 different directors which would explain why it felt so disjointed. Also it had a surprising amount of religious overtones, get that crap out of my horror and metal music. And the metal band with the most involvement was Five Finger Death Punch! Just bad, not recommended to anyone.

Tonight I am going to see Barbarian. It should be better. I've heard it's great and to go in blind so I have no idea what to expect. I wish I had friends that were horror fans but I don't mind going out alone.

2022-09-13

Had a nice different spontaneous night with the wife. We played some Rock Band, took an adventure to Bucee's, and I stayed up late despite it being a Monday night. She has been wanting to work on her outlook on life by journaling and practicing affirmations and gratitude, so on the drive we both talked about various things we're thankful for. It was nice to spend some quality time like that.

I got in an Ogre Battle 64 artbook yesterday! It looks awesome. It has a prominent display on one of my bookshelves. Totally worth the 60 bucks for a series that was so foundational to my taste in games. The reading nook is almost ready to share! I am committing to have pictures up by Sunday.

2022-09-12

Awesome lazy weekend, I didn't do anything besides go to the store. Had a lot of busy weekends lately so it was nice to chill again. I just hung out with my wife, we binged all of the new season of Cobra Kai, and I played lots of PC games on my newly revitalized Linux laptop. I've been sleeping on how good Steam Link is. I am fortunate enough to have gigabit internet so I am able to perfectly stream games from my main PC to the living room. I started a Kislev (think fantasy Russia) campaign as Boris but I had to call it quits around turn 22 because Chaos wiped out my entire existence. I then moved to the Dark Elves playing as Rakarth. He's dope, it's like fantasy pokemon because he's all about taming the beasts of the land, so in addition to regular dark elves my army also has flying harpies, a hydra, a Manticore, and a freaking Stegadon. Warhammer is so cool when it gets crazy. The 3rd one really lets you go nuts with the army comps.

I wanted to go see this new horror movie called Barbarian but couldn't get anyone to go with me. I've heard it has great reviews and saw folks saying to go in totally blind, which usually means a great movie. Maybe next weekend I can get someone, otherwise I may just go myself.

Speaking of horror movies, I've been watching a lot of them lately. I watched Terrifier, holy hell it was gory. It got me thinking, what role does torture porn play in society? I'm all for free expression, but I wonder if the goriest movies serve as a safe outlet of expression or if they do something worse to people's psyches. I don't know, I like the Saw movies, I'm a child of the internet so I'm not easily phased, but Terrifier had me second guessing things lol. Like is it possible to go too far? Maybe nobody needs to see that? There's something to be said for shock value I guess - I mean I am here talking about it after all.

I don't really have a conclusion or even a coherent line of thought on that.

2022-09-07

I think I have more fun getting old games to run on modern systems than I do actually playing them. I have always enjoyed emulation, I have modded smartphones, all sorts of computers, SNES classic, and owned other devices for emulation like the Retroid. This is my form of tinkering I guess. I don't mess around with the hardware side of things much (though I have built a gaming PC before). I'm capable of it, I just like messing around with the software side better. It's pretty close to what I do for my day job, so it's good that messing with software during working hours doesn't kill my enjoyment of it in my free time.

GOG recently had a great sale with a bunch of old classic RPGs and strategy games so I picked up a bunch of them. After some tinkering I got the first Spellforce game and Sacred Gold running in full HD on my 2560x1440 monitor. Always fun to improve old games like that. Of course, I don't do any of the heavy lifting, I just google to find other people's fixes and implement them, but it's still enjoyable.

It is fun to go back and see the early days of the games made for fantasy fans. Modern gaming is cool too, but it almost feels like we're at the end of an era of history. Every console and most games can be successfully emulated, and modern games are virtually always released on multiple systems and compatible with many systems. Modern games don't really have any limitations, now. A game from the early 2000s obviously had many limitations - graphical, processing, memory, all sorts of stuff. But now, our CPUs and graphics cards are super powerful, you can fit multiple terabytes of storage on an SD card. I know this probably sounds privileged and spoiled, but it...just feels too easy now I guess. It's not bad, accessibility is great, but having the chance to fiddle around with settings and solutions and getting things to run on stuff it wasn't made for helped build up my technical skills growing up. It's kind of a similar trend started with smartphones. Everything just works out of the box. Even though kids grow up with a supercomputer in the palm of their hand, it actually provides the reverse of technical literacy. I've seen this play out at work, too. We give better and more sophisticated tools to the userbase but their skill at using the system only goes down.

Not to crap on the younger generation or blame technology, it still comes down to an individual person's innate curiosity. It's important for parents to foster that in their kids. Wanting to know how things work is the key to success, especially in any work related to tech. I'm lucky to have that sense.

Nothing in the world is black and white, it's all just shades of grey. There are no easy answers for anything. The world has reached peak complexity and we're still the same dumb apes we were 10,000 years ago.

2022-09-05

What do you mean the long weekend is already over? It was another busy one. I did fix up that old ASUS laptop with Linux, specifically the Pop OS Distro. Really made things a lot snappier compared to Windows 10. It runs beautifully now for Steam link and streaming services. I've been tinkering with that since Saturday. Also on Saturday, Cidercade didn't happen because my friend hurt his back (the joys of turning 30 with your college friends lol). I still went for some swimming at my folks since the season will be over soon. I do have another trip planned for next Friday.

The long-awaited brunch on Sunday at Social House was excellent! There were 8 of us so we got a mimosa tower for the table. It's quite a sight to see - they pour 4 bottles of champagne in that sucker. Proud to say we drank it all and then some lol. I'm glad it was a successful event because my wife was very much looking forward to it. My friend came over afterwards to play some Rock Band with us. They finally released some new Muse songs for it so we sang Knights of Cydonia together. My friend called one of the harmony lines the Carl Wheezer octave while singing it and I died laughing lmao.

Just spent today relaxing. Hoping for a chill week at work, a lot of people take this week off so it should be fairly quiet.

2022-09-02

I had originally planned to go to Dinosaur Valley State Park today to check out some dinosaur footprints, but sadly the recent rain put it all underwater. Figures - months and months of drought, and the one time I try to take advantage of it, it just pours. Still had a good day as my coworker friend invited me out to the shooting range instead. I've only ever shot guns once before at a range with my brother-in-law several years ago so it was nice to do that again. He brought several guns to try, a couple 9 mm, a .357 magnum, and a pistol AR of some sort. I really enjoyed the magnum. It's like a six-shooter. I had fun spinning the cyliner and pretending I was in the Wild West lol. We decided to splurge and rent a full auto at the end of the session, that was definitely a new experience for both of us. We each shot a full clip, 25 rounds each. I still wouldn't consider myself a gun nut or anything, and I can't stand the people who make guns their entire personality, but it certainly is fun to shoot.

Later in the day, my wife and I went to a couple stores for some halloween decor in preparation of our Halloween party. Felt great going to Spirit Halloween again, love that place. I really wanted to get this Mr. Dark animatronic, because it's probably the coolest Halloween decoration I've ever seen, but $280 is tough to justify. Later on, we went to At Home so I could get a few more fake plants to put in my reading nook. Sadly, I have a black thumb and just cannot keep real plants alive. At least fake plants look pretty good these days.

I've been tinkering with a few old laptops that my niece left behind when she moved out. They were horribly slow and probably virus-ridden but a full system restore (and uninstalling all the bloatware) has them running nicely again. I use one to watch movies in my reading nook, I might install Linux on the other just because I've never used Linux before, and it's fun to learn new tech stuff. Might also make a Plex server out of it? Not sure yet honestly. Since I've been into documenting my life lately, it might be good to start storing all our photos and stuff before they inevitably get lost to time. I've got an old iphone with hundreds of pics (including those of my trip to Japan) that I need to make sure I preserve.

It's funny, I often get randomly approached in public by people. Usually it's old folks asking for my help at grocery stores and the like. It happened again today at Spirit Halloween, a lady and her kid started talking to me as I was inspecting a big Killer Klowns From Outer Space animatronic. We talked a bit about the movie since I had just watched it for the first time about a week ago and then talked about some of the other various animatronics, and how apparently the biggest Spirit Halloween is actually in Denton. My wife says I give off a very approachable vibe though I don't know what I'm doing to do so lol. I guess it's nice that I apparently give off positive energy? The world is often a harsh place, so if I can be a beacon of positivity, then that makes me happy.

Tomorrow I'm planning to visit Cidercade with my best buddy. Hoping it's not too crowded being a holiday weekend and all, but with 300ish games there ought to be plenty of space. Then on Sunday, we have our long awaited Brunch outing at Social House with the friend group! My wife has been talking about it nonstop for weeks now so I'm sure it'll be a fun time. Geez, I'm busier now than I've ever been in my life. Can I even claim to be a homebody anymore? I'm doing stuff all the time now! It's been good to stay busy and foster my social relationships. It's important to have people you can rely on because you never know what can happen in life.

All in all, life is pretty good right now. I'm doing my best to live in the moment these days and I'm happier now than I have been in a long time. I'm (mostly) anxiety free and I'm just thankful to be alive and mostly capable of everything I want to do. I still worry about the future sometimes as I'm sure we all do, but existing in the here and now is what keeps me grounded. Staying busy with various events and social engagements has done wonders here and I hope to continue.

2022-08-31

Swan Songs was the best album from Hollywood Undead, I don't care what anyone says. Kids today don't appreciate rap-rock.

It's been 15 years but I still know every word of Everywhere I Go. The song is high-key mysoginistic so I can't share this with anyone in real life lest I be cancelled lol.

Also on the album, we have hard-hitters like Young which has lyrics that are more relevant than ever:

“Yes, we wave this flag of hatred, but you're the ones who made it
Watch the beauty of all our lies passing right before my eyes
I hear the hate in all your words. All the wars to make us hurt
We get so sick oh so sick, we never wanted all this
Medication for the kids with no reason to live”

The chorus is like a battle cry, with kids singing so it's all the more impactful. "Born in this world as it all falls apart."

The point is, this is one of the most tonally inconsistent albums I've ever listened to, but it's certainly unique. Check it out if you're bored I guess?

Nothing to report on the home front. Working on a pantry cleanout/organization. Watching lots of campy 80s horror movies lately. Check out the movies/TV page if you want to see my Letterboxd feed.

I've been slacking on the website posts lately. I ended up getting too many half baked ideas/posts in progress and got overwhelmed lol. Might just be journal updates for a few more weeks.

2022-08-30

Another busy weekend! On Friday I had to pick up my wife from the airport. I stopped by to visit one of my work friends since he lives near the airport. He was in a motorcycle accident a couple months ago and has been out on leave. Fortunately, he is on the mend and had some of his mobility back finally. I brought him some breakfast from a place called Honeybird over in Grapevine, they had awesome sandwiches. I also got a dirty matcha latte, not sure what made it "dirty" but it was quite tasty. He's got a nice place, some wildlife. There was even a turkey strolling around the parking lot. We had a good chat, including some talks about the emotional impacts of major life-altering injuries. It's one of those things you can't really appreciate unless you've gone through it, the depression, the anger, and the loss of dignity that comes along with those big injuries. I think we were both glad to be able to share that experience with someone who understood.

On saturday I went to the Fort Worth Book Show.It was cool! I got really into reading when I broke my ankle and it's been an immense joy ever since. I thought it'd be fun to go to a book show since I haven't done anything of the sort since book fair day at school lol. I didn't realize how serious book collecting could be. I held an original copy of "Brave New World" valued at $5,000. There were some first edition signed Stephen King books going for 9 grand. This stuff was largely out of my price range, but I did pick up a couple cheap pulpy horror fiction type books just cause I like the covers.

I also struck up a convo with Jay from Good Books in the Woods.We had a nice chat about fantasy books and I ended up buying a signed copy of the 4th book in the Dragonlance series. He said it was a classic fantasy series from the 80s heavily inspired by DnD, so I thought it'd be neat to have. I ordered the other books in the series online. I'm gonna try to stop by his shop when we go down to Galveston in November.

Sunday was chill, I went to the hardware store to return something, then to Kohl's for some deep discounts on clothes. They were having a nice sale. I also made some additions to the reading nook. Hung up a cool fantasy style tapestry and assembled a little side table for laptops or drinks or whatever. It's very close to being done. I will share pics next weekend if I can find time. Just waiting on a couple more items to come in.

I've been busy this year! It's nice getting back out in the world again. Feel like I'm actually living instead of just existing. My next couple weekends are already filling up. It makes time fly by as I've mentioned but keeping the journal going has helped me keep it straight in my head and fill out my sometimes lacking memory. Big plans for Labor Day weekend! I'm going to Dinosaur Valley state park with another coworker friend on friday to see some dinosaur footprints. He has been like a mentor to me over the past couple years but we've not really hung out outside of work. Then on Sunday, brunch with the friend group at Social House. Also might make a visit to the newly opened Cidercade in Fort Worth.

2022-08-25

There I go slacking on journaling again. Time just goes by too fast! Feel like I can't keep up, but at least I'm keeping busy. Last Saturday my wife and I met with another couple at the Botanical Gardens for bring your dog to the garden day. I'm hoping it's the beginning of a friendship. They just moved to the area recently and seem very similar to us. It's hard to find people like me (godless childfree heathen) in the South so it's good to foster those relationships when possible.

My reading nook has finally been constructed! My 3 bookshelves effectively cornered off a section of my study with a comfy swivel chair. I have a few finishing touches to make to the space but expect pictures of the final product in a couple weeks.

Wife went on business travel this week. We also had crazy record-setting rainstorms this week. Lots of flooding in DFW, luckily my area was spared from the flooding. If you've been paying attention, this is just one of many extreme flood events across the globe in the past couple years. Climate change is accelerating worse and worse. Get used to hearing the words "faster than expected."

I'm a bit of a doomer these days. I try not to dwell on it as I've mostly reached a point of acceptance, but I can't help but reflect on it whenever we get the extreme weather events. There's enough doom and gloom in the world and news, I don't need to add any of it to my site. But I think I can occasionally allow it here in the journal section. After all, what is a journal but a stream of conciousness? Sometimes I read articles that are critical of escapism, and mindfulness. And sure, they can be used as avoidance behavior, but who wouldn't want to escape allllll *gestures around* of this?

Anyway...my father-in-law was also in town. We went for dinner at Coco Shrimp. It was nice. I'm fortunate to have good in-laws as I know many folks have nightmare stories.

As for my personal escapism, the aforementioned reading nook where I read lots of fantasy and sci-fi, and plenty of video games. Total War: Warhammer 3 finally released the Immortal Empires campaign so I've been playing that. I never played the tabletop game, and the Warhammer fandom is generally awful, but it's a fun sandbox to have giant fantasy battles. I'll probably make a post about it soon. I've kinda been slacking on the site updates recently. Like I said at the start, serial hobby hopper. It'll ebb and flow.

2022-08-17

I hate feeling like there just isn't enough time to do all the things I want to do. I can't wait for this whole "work" fad to fade away lol. But for real, computers were supposed to make our lives easier thanks to increase in productivity. Instead, all of the benefits went to the owner class. We still work the same number of hours, but produce far more than ever thanks to advances in technology and machinery. All my homies hate the commodification of labor.

Besides that, got another busy weekend planned. Have to fit everything in since the system owns me during the week lol.

I've watched a lot of good movies lately. I find that logging them on Letterboxd really helps me remember them more. Some people even do movie challenges. I copied a 30 day movie challenge from someone and have used that opportunity to watch several that were in my backlog. Last night's challenge was a black and white film so I finally watched "The Lighthouse" which was AMAZING. It's funny that we feel the need to game-ify our hobbies. If you want to see my Letterboxd feed to follow the challenge, click here!

2022-08-14

Oops, been slacking on the journal entries. August is hatch chile season so on Thursday I made my annual visit to the Central Market hatch chile fest after visiting my parents for a quick swim. I got all sorts of goodies. Hatch chile cheese burgers, hatch pesto focaccia bread, hatch salsa, hatch chile meatloaf, hatch marinated chicken thighs, hatch queso, hatch chile cream cheese, hatch bacon ranch cheese dip, hatch aioli...and of course plenty of fresh and roasted hatch chiles as well.

I've continued the trend of getting out on the weekends, we went to the Stranger Things Experience in Grapevine Mills mall on Friday. The exhibit was...kinda lame. Small, crowded, overpriced merch. I did get a logo light and the wife got a make-up palette. At least it was something to do! After, we walked the full circuit around the mall. It was a single story loop which I appreciated compared to the Frisco mall that was shaped like a 2 story plus sign. We managed to snag some candles on sale at Bath & Body. After coming home I grilled up the hatch chile cheeseburgers and we spent the rest of the day relaxing. I made some more progress on Spellforce which has been a fun romp.

On Saturday, we knocked out some chores. Cleaned the kitchen, assembled a bookshelf, lots of laundry. We made a trip out to Unclaimed Freight to get some new furniture. We were overdue for some new furniture and will have new living room stuff next Friday. I attempted to make some hatch and bean taquitos but I should have used refried beans. They didn't stick closed very well so they had to be eaten more like enchiladas. Still tasty, though. Today I'm going to make rendang curry and the hatch chile chicken.

Besides that, I'm finally for real learning Javascript. I've reinvigorated my HTML/CSS knowledge thanks to building this site and felt ready to start learning real coding. I plan to spend more of Sunday doing the same. I've got lots of project ideas swirling around in my head so once I get through some of the basic lessons I'll get to work. Projects really are the best way to learn when you feel like you're stuck in tutorial hell. I've made good progress on the website I was building for someone else. It's fun to dive into this stuff. I've been doing a good job of sticking with it so I'm excited to see where I'll be skill-wise a couple years down the line.

2022-08-07

The weekends just fly by. It was a busy one! On Friday the wife and I went up to the National Videogame Museum which was fantastic. I posted a bunch of pictures which you can see here! To commemorate the visit, I grabbed a few merch items. Got a nice plushy shy guy, a shirt, and a shot glass. We also went to the Stonebriar mall in Frisco just to get that mall experience. It's been a couple years since either of us have been to a mall. The ones in my area kinda suck. The mall in Frisco was alright, they didn't have much in the way of tech stores, unfortunately. It was also tax-free weekend so it was quite crowded, whoops! Didn't consider that in my planning. Still a fun time. We stopped by Spencer's since we're 30 going on 16 lol. I picked up another shot glass (I collect them) and wifey got a new incense burner. She also picked up a new plush blanket from Lane Bryant. After our shopping adventures we headed to Eatzi's Market for some lunch. It's hatch chile season so there were quite a few items which had those delicious New Mexican treasures incorporated. The Hatch Queso and Hatch Salsa were both standouts.

Later that evening, Mark came over to hang out and play some games. We played the new Mario Kart tracks as well as a game of Mario Party Superstars. It was a dramatic game on Peach's birthday cake that ended with the highest coin count I've ever seen for a 20 round game. Mark finished with 220 coins! But it wasn't enough, my wife was the victor.

Saturday was pretty chill. Just hung out, played some Spellforce. I recently discovered this series and will eventually write a post about it. It took some tinkering but I was finally able to get the first game to run on my PC in 2560x1440 resolution. It's fun to get games running on hardware they weren't designed to, that's why I appreciate emulation. That's another thing I intend to make a post about eventually.

Don't have too much planned today. I need to get up to the store, might work on my virtual bookshelf some more, but mostly just relaxing before the week begins.

2022-08-04

We did it! The Tactics Ogre remake finally has a trailer! Check it out here!

2022-08-03

It's been nice keeping a journal and practicing mindfulness. I've been doing this for about a month and I feel great. I feel like an active participant in my life. No longer does it feel like life is just passing me by.

Work has beeng going really well. I noticed a problem, created a big ol' spreadsheet to address all the things that were missing in the process, and shared it with the broader team today. It had a really positive reception and they'll be using my format across the whole platform. I'm not a work simp or anything but I do take pride in my work. If I had the choice, I'd rather not work at all, but I'm lucky enough to have landed myself in a career that suits my natural inclinations and abilities. I get to take problems, some large and some small, deconstruct them down into manageable, workable chunks and then use technology to solve each of those chunks, which results in an improved process.

That's also why I wanted to make websites, why not use these skills I've developed at work to benefit my own life and others as well? It's also another aspect of mindfulness. I have to work 40 hours a week for the next couple decades, might as well at least try to enjoy what I can of it. And maybe these sound like the musings of one trapped in a cage of society that I didn't choose but was rather born into, and maybe it is. But, maybe that's just the human condition. The history of humanity is one full of suffering. Every day is not a battle for survival. I try to be grateful for the time and place I exist. I've tried being angry at it all but that didn't get me anywhere productive. Anger and dissatisfaction don't right the world nor correct all of the injustices of society. Better to turn those feelings into action. Organize at the community level, work a community garden, share bounty from your garden, talk to your neighbors, buy lemonade from the local neighborhood kid or hire them to cut your grass. Because if a natural disaster strikes, and the power is off, the state isn't going to be there to help you. You want to be able to rely on those nearby.

This kinda got away from me, but it's nice to just write my stream of consciousness sometimes. It helps me cement who I am (insofar as 'I' can even be defined, but maybe I'll save that for another time lol).

2022-08-02

Super stoked! I found a really neat way to display my book collection on the site. Building this website has made me re-discover the positive aspects of the internet. I talked a little bit about it in my first post, but I had kinda grown bitter about the current state of the internet. Too corporatized and sterile, devoid of all personality. However, in the past month, I've encountered so many cool people carving out their own little corner of the web on Neocities and elsewhere. I've seen tons of awesome web projects that I've incorporated into the 64th Sanctum. I've learned a whole lot in just a month.

I had 2 goals when I started out building my site. The first was to create my own page to serve as a living virtual representation of my life, and all of my interests. The second was to get good enough at web dev to digitally volunteer - building websites for charities, non-profits and such. In order to build my portfolio I have started looking for local people in my community and offering them a free website. I'm currently working on a simple website for a lady that started her own independent cleaning service in my city. It's important to give back and to support your local community, and I'm glad I finally have a skill that lets me do it. If you have the time and the means, why not try the same? Helping folks out enriches the soul like nothing else.

2022-07-31

Lots of house chores today. We finally got the old couch in my study moved to the road for bulk trash pick-up. Now we have room to assemble my new bookshelves. Prepped some food for the week and played more Xenoblade 3 as well as Digimon Survive.

I've also been accepted to the Yesterweb webring! This is very exciting for me as it was one of the initial goals I had when I created the website. Now, I will continue to explore other webrings. The fediverse seems interesting to me so I may look at that one next. If anyone reading this knows any other webrings my site would reasonably fit in to, let me know!

2022-07-30

Interesting day. I went to see my folks for some swimming. Mom let me try some tofu scramble which was delicious, and dad wanted my opinion on something he was putting together for work. On the way home, I saw an 18 wheeler on fire one exit down from my house. This was alarming, as we're in a pretty severe drought with extreme wildfire conditions. It's been the hottest summer here since 2011 and all the dead grass is a tinderbox. I see new grass fire spots along the highway almost every time I go out these days.

Anyway, I'm not messing around with a fire this close to home, so I called 911 to report it. This was actually the first time I had ever called 911 in my life. Fortunately, people had already called and the firefighters were already on the way. Luckily, nobody was hurt. Lots of crazy stuff happening near my normally quiet neighborhood lately. Just a couple weeks ago there was a big police stand-off that ended near the pond right outside the hood.

Not too much else today. We went on a date to Genghis Grill, then came home and chilled. I mostly played the newly released Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to finish out the day.

2022-07-28

I come to you in triumph, for the site is now fully functional on small screens! Obviously it's still optimized for a monitor, but I'll take it. Lesson learned for whatever my next website is, figure out responsiveness very early on in the process.

I finally got some content up on the 'Everything Else' page. Probably need to focus on one of my food posts next just so that all of the landing pages have content.

Very productive website day! Got all the site buttons I could find of the people I followed on Neocities. Hit me up if you wanna trade buttons! Also got a post up on Bloodywood, the top tier Indian metal band. Listening to the music while writing got me hyped up to see their concert in October.

2022-07-27

Updated my site button. Still kinda ugly (I don't have the best eye for design) but at least it moves now lol. I think this weekend I'm going to add a bunch of other site buttons, stamps, 88x31s and such. Not sure yet if it'll be on the index page or elsewhere.

In other news, this weekend I expect to construct my reading nook this weekend. I'll definitely post pics when that's done cause y'all are gonna love it. I'm also working on building a Heroscape battlefield which I expect to finish this weekend. I also have to take pictures of the other figures that came in.

TL:DR - lots of new content coming this weekend!

2022-07-24

Busy weekend! The in-laws were in town, FIL was winning a big award for work. We went out for brunch and drinks. Biscuit Bar and Social House. It was nice. Afterwards we went to a nearby candy and soda shop. They had all sorts of crazy soda, I saw mustard soda, enchilada soda, all sorts of crazy stuff. I found a new favorite snack - Japanese style peanuts. They are super crunchy which took me off guard at first but quickly became addicted.

Besides that, not too much. Had a good meal-prep Sunday making healthy food for the week. I think it's gonna be a busy few weeks at work so I'm not sure how many site updates I'll be doing.

2022-07-20

Got to feeling better thankfully. Work has been good this week. I've been working on a project these past few weeks that I showed off today and got a lot of positive feedback. Made a lot of progress on the site these past few days as well, so it's been a solid week. The board game hub is getting worked on soon since I just spent a bunch of money rebuying Heroscape. Please look forward to it.™

2022-07-18

Dragging today. Wasn't feeling the best this weekend, but I managed to make it over to the parent's house for mom's birthday. Did some swimming. Brought them a coke starlight to try but I don't think they were fans. I also told them to watch Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, hopefully they liked it! I'm gonna struggle through the work day and hopefully have enough energy later to cook dinner and work on my latest post.

2022-07-14

It's been a good week. Been busy at work with a big project I've wanted to do since I started my current job, so at least the days are passing quickly. My all-time favorite musou game finally got a PC release. Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate Definitive Edition! It comes with almost all DLC and a locked 60 fps. I always said it would be the definitive Warriors game with 60 fps and boy was I right. Gonna play a lot this weekend!

2022-07-10

I'm surprised I've updated this 5 days in a row. I was out late last night at a friend gathering. It was a lot of fun! Justin grilled up the goods, we had brats, short ribs, shrimp skewers, and grilled legs and thighs. So much food! We also went out for late night boba and cookies. Matt had his family's van that day so we all piled in, driving around doing hoodrat shit like the old days. Our trip took us over to Asia Times Square in GP for boba which I had never been to. Then a pitstop at Matt's house followed by Crumbl cookies, which is the best cookie shop I've ever been to. We also played a few games, Klask and Dice Throne. I need to start a page for board game reviews soon. Had a slow start this morning but I mustered up the energy to go see my folks today and enjoyed some time in their pool. Spent the rest of the day relaxing and watching movies. Finally watched "Everything, Everywhere, All at Once" and that's literally my new all-time favorite movie. Absolutely give this one a shot.

2022-07-09

Reorganized a lot of my stylesheet today to try and make it easier to refactor going forward, also implemented some custom fonts. Pretty happy with the layout on my desktop but I need to play with my max width to make things responsive on mobile. I'm collapsing the sidebars now, just need to add a menu button with links to everything and adjust the header, nav and footer a bit to make sure it all plays nice. Might get to it Sunday or it might be through the week.

2022-07-08

Busy weekend! Finally beat Returnal with Mark through co-op. He's gonna come over later tonight. I've also been very productive on the website. Lots of updates the past couple days and probably at least 1 more article to come. I got up the posts for Wildermyth and Ogre Battle 64 and did some styling changes. I'll probably update them more over time as well. It's been a lot of fun getting this site up and running. I only wish I had learned programming earlier in life, but it's never too late to learn something new.

2022-07-07

I listened to a lot of music from my teenage years today. Celldweller, System of a Down, Avenged Sevenfold, Skrillex, Rise Against, Timbaland, all the good stuff from back then. Listening to Timbaland makes me think I should write a blog post on that one album he did with Chris Cornell. Also, I'm done pretending that Nickleback sucks. If you count features with other artists they have like 8 very solid songs. The best one is Hero, btw in case you were wondering. Second best is How You Remind Me. In other blog news, I'm hoping to put up several new articles this weekend. I've got 2 gaming articles and 1 music article likely coming up this weekend, although I am going to a BBQ with my friend group on Saturday, so we'll see.

2022-07-06

First entry! I discovered the app Letterboxd today. I have also discovered I've seen a lot of movies. Added over 1200 already and I'm still looking through them all. I have long term plans to learn Javascipt so that I can create a revolving gallery of my movie reviews, since you can export all your Letterboxd data into a CSV file. I am so new to programming that I'm not even sure if JS is the right tool for this task. Is Python better? IDK, send me a message if you know or have any thoughts/advice on that.

2024-07-11 - Freewheeling Apps

Quick and dirty prototype of the previous algo/shape/code using Vim syntax highlighting.

The code in the screenshot is a function to convert a mouse click (mx, my) into the location (line_index, pos) of the character at that point on the screen.

The problem is much of this function is boilerplate shared with several other places, such as the code to draw text on screen, compute the height of a wrapped line, etc. The boilerplate makes it difficult to see the business logic unique to this particular function, and so creates pressure to prematurely create an abstraction to "DRY things out". Highlighting the shape of the boilerplate in pink helps the eye to focus to the unique business logic in the protrusions, and so counters the pressure to hide the boilerplate before I've figured out the best way to do so.


┌ local y = State.top
  for line_index,line in array.each(State.lines, State.screen_top.line) do
    if line.mode == 'text' then
      local x = State.left
      local initpos = 1
      if line_index == State.screen_top.line then
        initpos = State.screen_top.pos
      end
      for pos, char in utf8chars(line.data, initpos) do
        local w = State.font:getWidth(char)  -- width of char
        if char:match('%s') then
          if line_wrap_at_word_boundary(State, x, line.data, pos) then ┘
            if my < y+State.line_height then return line_index, pos end
         └  x = State.left
            y = y + State.line_height
          else ┘
            if my < y+State.line_height and mx < x+w then return line_index, pos end
          └ x = x + w
          end
        else
          if x+w > State.right then
            x = State.left
            y = y + State.line_height ┘
            if my < y+State.line_height then return line_index, pos end
        └ else ┘
            if my < y+State.line_height and mx < x+w then return line_index, pos end
        └ end
          x = x+w
        end
      end
      y = y + State.line_height
    elseif line.mode == 'drawing' then ┘
      if my < y+State.drawing_height then return line_index end
    └ y = y + h
    end
  end ┘

(As an aside, this is an example of what I think of as "programmer-configured highlighting". We've gotten used to our editors deciding what to highlight for us, and we just pick the colors. One little tool I use everyday is the ability to highlight specific identifiers which flips this around: I pick a word, and the editor picks a color at random to highlight it with. And the highlight persists across sessions. The color of the State variable in the screenshot was selected in this manner.)

2024-07-10 - Freewheeling Apps

I've been slowly reading "The Nature of Order" by Christopher Alexander and slowly thinking about how to make my editor for text and line drawings more timeless. (And mostly sleeping a lot, if I'm honest.) Today the combination of the two led me to draw this shape for the line-wrapping algorithm.

photograph of a page from a notebook showing a strange shape a little bit like an axe or an old-style double-edge safety razor blade. It's straight on the left with rounded corners. On the right, is a bumpy, irregular 'blade' with 5 protrusions of irregular lengths. Four of them form two pairs of long+short protrusions, and a fifth is off to the bottom. The four protrusions are for code related to lines of text, labeled:
- at word boundary, need to wrap
- at word boundary, no need to wrap
- word, need to chop
- word, no need to chop

Until now I've been developing the editor the "usual" way, which for me consists of needing some computation, figuring out the most convenient place to perform the computation, then squirreling away the result somewhere it's available when needed. In an effort to get myself out of the rut of the inevitable problems of indirection and cache invalidation that result, I've been trying to replace all my ad hoc data structures with on-demand computation based on the base state of the program. And what I've been ending up with is umpteen variations of this pictured algorithm, just with different code stuck on to the protrusions.

There may be an abstraction that comes out of all this, but I don't see it yet. And as CA says, a flower isn't made up of identical petals. Each one evolves uniquely as a part of the whole.

Here's the Lua code skeleton corresponding to that drawing. The ellipses correspond to protrusions in the drawing:

for line_index, line in array.each(State.lines, State.screen_top.line) do
  if line.mode == 'text' then
    local initpos = 1
    if line_index == State.screen_top.line then
      -- top screen line
      initpos = State.screen_top.pos
    end
    for pos, char in utf8chars(line.data, initpos) do
      if char:match('%s') then
        if line_wrap_at_word_boundary(State) then
          ...
        else
          ...
        end
      else
        if x+w > State.right then
          ...
        else
          ...
        end
      end
    end
  else  -- drawing
    ...
  end
end

2024-07-10 Waves - a

Pino and crew have sailed back to Canada 2 days ago, landing back in Prince Rupert. We'll slowly make our way back south now.

We've traveled many miles, we completed a loop through Southeast Alaska, passing close to the mainland through Wrangell, Petersburg, and then through Frederick Sound to Sitka, then down down down on the outside waters of Baranof and Dall Island, through Dixon Entrance and into port at Prince Rupert. Sailing in outer waters was lovely, especially on the first day, the sea was smooth, as was the wind, I saw a ton of wildlife. I saw black-footed albatrosses, the last time I saw them was on our Japan to Canada sail in 2020, they are large brown birds with dramatic markings around their eyes, locking their expression into one of constant mourning. As Pino sailed by the Hazy Islands, I saw my first puffin! The Hazy Islands are far offshore, away from traffic and human encroachment, boats can't land there, neither can planes, it's a perfect place for birds, they have a world of their own out there.

The second offshore leg was not as lovely, with big waves at our stern, strong winds, too. "Don't take me again," I said to the sea, "please don't." I kept one hand on the tiller, the other gripped the frame of our roll cage, ready in case the waves decided to misbehave. Further into Dixon Entrance the waves diminished along with any threat of being taken, I was relieved.

I write in my logbook everyday, I don't have creative energy for anything else right now. I draw once in a while, not as often as I'd like. Hopefully, once we get nearer to Vancouver Island, we can find a place to stay put for a few weeks. Yes, weeks, a place with good hiking nearby, a quiet place for deep thinking.

This trip has challenged my strength. I am a human windlass, a haphazard diesel engine mechanic, a nervous wreck at times... but like our strong little ship, I too can weather storms.

2024-07-08 - Melyanna's Journal

Off to Germany!

This year has been quite busy with work and travel, and I barely had time to pick this little corner of the internet up again.

I have felt tired a lot, mostly because of how tough 2023 was, and how little time I had to take a break as last year rolled directly into this one.

I will be spending the next three weeks touring Germany, and then hopefully return refreshed and rested, ready to get right into a good routine that doesn't mame me feel tired all the time, and that lets me have space for work, family, friends, my partner, and my personal projects.

2024-07-06 18:22:55 - Milo's Journal

Milo's Journal

It's been a minute and thought it would be worth just writing an update on here.

Life has been good overall, and I can't complain too much. The world is a lot to take in, but I'm trying to interface with it in a way that is both compassionate to myself and to those in need. It's a particularly difficult combination for me, but it's feeling better than ever.

Readers may have noticed I fell off doing my weekly and monthly goal updates. I'm still setting goals for me, but trying out not doing the reflections as they were becoming a problem of "perfect being the enemy of the good". I'm not maintaining my goals as well right now, so I think there's something to the reflection and sharing element that is helpful to me. So I'll probably get back into that later this month or next.

Still working on this house and trying to move into the room. Lots of inertia and distractions on my side, but largely just overwhelm. So many things happening all of the time and it's hard to focus on just the few important things in front of me. That goes for both within the house as a project, but also in my life as a whole. I have many things I want to do but I really need and want to work on the house. It's just not as fun as hanging out with my friends or doing aikido so lots of resistance, haha.

I am playing some gigs again, for the first time in a really long time. Interested in seeing how my emotions play into this after so long being away. I'm really trying to focus on shoshin for this, not worrying so much about being "good" or whatever. Just having a good time and playing with my buds.

Shoshin

As always, so grateful for my partner, my family, my friends, and the magnanimity they show me every day. Thinking about delving into internal family systems therapy and how it interfaces with my own shit right now. Seems to be helping out my buds, and that's good enough for me.

Internal Family Systems

Not much else to report as of now. Be kind to yourselves.

2023-11-23 09:22:33

Been kinda stuck in a rut, but feel like I'm starting to come out of it. Had a few months of good personal growth and my brain is in in ADHD "I want to do what I want" phase, so having agency in what I do has been hard for a minute.

But I can't complain, I've been pretty happy and fairly grateful for what I've got. I'm working on this house, and we're _finally_ past the demo phase and into reno. Seeing friends and family a lot. Really enjoying the winter season as it comes approaching. Something really special about fall and winter in the pacific northwest that I really love. Cold and sunny, wet and cloudy, it's all good.

I am of course starting lots of new hobbies, learning new programming languages, nothing new there.

I've been volunteering for a few different organizations and that has filled me with some more sense of purpose that I appreciate. Some coding, some physical labor, some gardening, it runs the gamut and I love that.

We got a whole boatload of tomatillos and made some salsa which ruled. We also got a lot of green tomatoes, which we turned into green tomato chutney. Tasted _incredible_ and I've been putting it on toast, bean and rice bowls, chips, whatever. It's just great.

Green Tomato Chutney recipe

2023-08-10 19:52:58

Life has been a rollercoaster, trying to understand how I feel about any given thing has been difficult. This has kind of been a season of learning how my emotions even work, after years of sidestepping them for comfort. It's been hard, but this work is so important for keeping me and the people I care about feeling okay.

Read the book "Triggers" again after years, and also since I started therapy. Makes a lot more sense when you have been working on yourself for a minute with any kind of intention. The daily questions are such a simple concept, but it has really helped with my mindfulness on my mental state and staying present to my emotions.

Triggers

I have been working on the old double-wide mobile home I purchased recently. It is a lot of work, but it has been fun. We're living in a trailer next door and I have enjoyed the challenges it presents. Been making a lot more fun food, like applesauce from a neighbor's apple tree, rhubarb jam from the farmer's market, pickles with wild fennel, and vegetable stir fry with Swiss chard from our garden. Grateful for what I have!

Applesauce Recipe similar to the one I made

Since work is all programming and computers all day, I have done so little personal programming recently, but I have recently had an opportunity to help someone automate out some of their job. Some basic Javascript and Wordpress knowledge can go a long way into getting rid of lots and lots of repetitive copy-paste-copy-paste.

milofultz/gd-html-cleaner: Clean HTML from Google Docs copy so it sits well on certain platforms

Rock climbing has been a great way to stay active and hang out with my friends. It's a half-hour bike ride away, so I can get a full body exercise when I get there. How lucky I am.

Thinking a lot about how I can build a stronger community around me. I've spent so long distancing myself from others in a meaningful way that I'm excited to reach out slowly and meaningfully to others, getting outside of my comfort zone, and learning to be more vulnerable. Looking forward to a long fall and winter of contemplation and hot drinks.

2023-04-29 13:47:05

Life is happening all at once, and it has been very fun and very exhausting, but in that way of feeling fully utilized.

2023-03-08 22:05:46

I should just get "process over product" tattooed on me so I can stop forgetting.

2023-02-18 12:16:48

Been getting into a lot of different hobbies recently, like knots, begleri, komboloi, pen spinning, and fermenting kombucha, oats, and red wine vinegar. It's been fun to get back into some silly and "pointless" hobbies again, they feel very satisfying and replenishing. It's taken me a while to really divorce the "productivity brain" out of my life and just do stuff because it's fun, the love of learning, and that's it.

There may be an opportunity to live right next door to one of my closest friends, too, and I can't believe how lucky that would make me. Been very grateful for my life the last few months.

2023-01-09 08:40:04

It's wild how exercise really gets me into a much better emotional state. Like it really makes me feel like I have more discipline and willpower, as well as just more resilience when unexpected things happen. I feel like I go through this cycle every few years, but it's good to get the reminder.

2022-12-28 22:03:27

Have had a great couple weeks. Been dogsitting a cute little dude, playing some pickleball, meeting up with some old friends, riding my longboard, and beginning a new (well, sorta old to me) exercise routine[1]. This routine has been something I've been meaning to start since maybe 12 years ago, and now I finally have the equipment I need to make it happen, and more importantly the motivation. It really feels great to actually USE my body instead of just exist in it. It kind of is a constant reminder that I'm alive in this meat sack, and helps me, at least a little, curb my inertia with various time suck activites.

The December Adventure[2] is essentially up for me, as well, and I have done a lot of fun stuff. It's nice to really log what you worked on and have empirical data to show you that you are actually using your time in a way that you are proud of, instead of just wallowing in your sad thoughts.

[1] r/bodyweightfitness's Recommended Routine

[2] December Adventure

2022-12-14 22:21:28

Been starting a new job over the last couple of weeks and excited to be around so many new people and experiences. Glad to have some stability, but mourning the loss of my endless free time. But that being said, the endless free time was not necessarily the greatest thing. I love having stuff to do. Maybe I just need to find more doers out there who want to make shit or do stuff.

Also been enjoying going through some of what Eli[1] has deemed December Adventure[2], where you do *something* code related every day. That being said, I am not really hitting that mark because of this job and returning to 8 hour work days. But I'm learning a bit of forth to try and grok it and I really like it so far. It's a big brain stretcher!

[1] eli.li

[2] December Adventure

2022-11-29 14:37:23

Barf, just installed to a new(ish) OS. But man does it feel nice to have a speedy computer again! 7 years old, still going strong. Moving everything from one computer to another wasn't as terrible as I thought it was going to be, and now I get to check that off my list.

In totally unrelated news, I have a ton of food to pickle, a lot of bread to make, and a bunch of projects to finish before I start work at my new gig next week. I'm excited, but wondering how it will feel to go back to having a 9 to 5 again. Wish me luck.

2022-11-21 11:50:53

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

2022-11-08 11:44:08

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

2022-11-02 08:47:27

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.

2022-10-27 09:07:09

Been playing gomoku[1] with my partner and having a fun time with it. A super fast and fun game, with a lot more depth than I initially realized.

[1] Gomoku

2022-10-19 08:46:50

I've been learning pickleball and the learning process is so funny. As soon as I put intention into wanting to do really well, I suck and get frustrated. As soon as I give up and say "I am going to play safe and only try to get the ball over the net", I do really well, learn fast, and am happy.

Very evident this was the same problem when I was doing music freelancing full-time. Trying so hard to "do well" and have people "think I'm good" that I absolutely lost the plot.

2022-10-13 10:22:04

It's interesting that when I start getting stuck on a project, my first instinct is to PUSH and not to chill out and move to something else. I think the desire to work on something I think is interesting is normal and nice, but the unwillingness to take a break feels problematic.

This is particularly evident in the areas of my life where ego gets involved: money making ventures, areas where I have social stakes, things where my identity is tied to it somehow.

In totally unrelated news, I have been biking so much, my butt is sore. While I wish I didn't have a sore butt, I am stoked that I can and do ride that much instead of driving.

2022-10-11 09:46:45

Been enjoying being back in town with my old friends and family so much. I'm so glad I ended up making the move, despite having to leave some of my friends and old dreams and desires behind. I've been making lots of bread[1], pickles, kombucha, kimchi pancakes[2], and whatever else.

I've also been getting back into music after years of letting my ego chill the fuck out about it, and really really enjoying playing music for the sheer fun of it. I have this goofy little pump organ that I've been practicing Bach on and it's so satisfying and makes me feel so happy. I'm playing some gigs with friends and remembering the joy of getting together with people and making things.

While I have many things to be sad or scared of right now, I am also immensely grateful for my privilege and situation in that I really get to enjoy my time and space right now.

[1] No-knead Bread

[2] Kimchi Pancake

2022-09-08 08:33:32

I'm finally all moved in to my new place. Been seeing lots of old friends, playing with a goofy new pump organ I bought, played a show on bass with some friends, and am otherwise just enjoying my current unemployment.

I found a place down my street that lets me watch the sunrise while I drink tea, and the neighbor has a cat that just wants to be held and pet, so tbh I'm pretty dang satisfied about where I'm at at the moment.

2022-08-29 12:01:13

Have been getting a lot of exercise in, talking and meeting up with a lot of friends, and generally trying to make the most of my current unemployment. It's been awesome to remember the feeling of summer vacations, mindlessly just doing things for their own sake, pursuing the love of life just for life's sake. My goal going forward is to really try and encapsulate this feeling whenever I can, regardless of my job or life situation. It's a tall, tall order, but I know my life would be better with that.

2022-08-09 23:57:18

Been working on this bytebeat[1] project, which is kind of a Twitter but for noisy math sounds. It's been a fun project, if only because I got to build an infix-to-postfix converter and use it to create audio blobs on the client side, which is very satisfying. It's at the moment extremely clunky, but especially just as a proof of concept, it feels great. Next step is seeing if web workers can help me move this work off of the main thread and not destroy the user experience.

https://codeberg.org/milofultz/bytebeat

2022-08-04 21:37:12

After having been traveling for work for the last three months without a space to really call my own nor the tools to do much, I have been wildly productive. Just in the last couple of days, I've done more than I feel like I have in the last couple months, in terms of joyful and fulfilling activity:

Super grateful for the last few months to help put in perspective the things I really care about: friends, family, creative projects, and solving puzzles.

[1] Simple mead recipe

[2] $5 bivy sack

[3] Hako

[4] Douglas Fir Tea

2022-07-25 08:03:45

Finally getting back to work and it's great to feel like I have something to do that isn't just laying in bed and watching videos.

2022-07-24 16:15:02

I've been stuck inside for about a week now after getting sick and I think I'm ready to get back to actually doing things. It's amazing the inertia I have when I don't see anybody or can't go do anything. I don't like to think that most of my motivation may be extrinsic, but that might be the case.

2022-07-17 19:52:09

Been having a pretty sedentary time this last week. Been away from home for a few months, my partner is sick, COVID is going wild here, the world in general is what it is at the moment. It's been hard to not just distract myself all day every day as leaving the house is to be avoided as much as possible and I don't have any friends around to spend time with them.

Today, was able to hang out with a buddy online and practice solving some code puzzles for an upcoming interview of theirs. A surprisingly comforting thing, all things considered. And yesterday, spent a good amount of time making music, which is something I haven't done in a while. It's a weird dance trying to balance joy and distraction for me, but I know when it's joyful and fun and I love when I'm present for it.

2022-07-17 15:08:11

Started this thing! We'll see how long I stick with it, but it seems like a nice middle ground between logging what I'm up to, blog posts, and shitposting on Mastodon.

2024-07-03 - Freewheeling Apps

This morning I'm thinking about turning my previous paper notation into a visual notation for something we typically use keyword args for. For example, the following glyph:

a drawing labeling the top, left, right and bottom coordinates of a rectangle in grey, and the height of a single letter 'h' within the rectangle

…might represent a function for initializing a text editor widget with the following signature:

edit.initialize(top, left, right, bottom, font_size)

And the numbers indicate a specific call to this function:

edit.initialize(15, 15, 115, 215, 20)

Interestingly, these alternative semantics would make for a more pleasing glyph.

edit.initialize(margin-top, margin-left, margin-right, margin-bottom, font-size)

a drawing labeling the top, left, right and bottom _margins_ of a rectangle in grey, and the height of a single letter 'h' within the rectangle

2024-07-03 - Spam literature, finale - Cutting Tofu

From: Faola Fairley <timmashl@iams.com>
To: Lazer Shoemaker <xxx@xxx.xxx>
Subject: Re: my uvula

took it and looked at it, then turned it around since there was no
I started to protest, to lie-then stopped. Why lie? I tried not to
accomplished. With our intelligence and knowledge of science, and
longer-and my Chariot of Fire shuddered and began to slowly roll
to your queen the forest will be safe again for those who walk through
few weeks. She saw Madonettes worried expression and shook her head
soldier who aided your escape, Bethuel, is one of our spies who keeps
kind as to play back the last speech about the artifact.
to the ground. This calls for consultation, I said.
I havent the slightest idea since it was never conveyed to the

2024-06-30 - Freewheeling Apps

Umpteenth attempt at stripping away unnecessary rules when teaching programming.

(Just a mockup to convey the idea. Plan is just to use this notation with pen and paper.)

Is this picture intelligible without any explanation?

2024-06-25 - We were all someone’s dream - Cutting Tofu

She was lugging a small suitcase through the narrow makeshift underpass, barely making her way through.
She was legally blind, and there was a slowness in her movements, as if the slightest jolt could shatter her into pieces.

She asked, Can you help me? I need to go to Union Station.
I said, I can take you there, it’s just right around the corner.
She gently held on to my right arm as I clumsily pulled her suitcase along on my left.
I cursed my own weakness under my breath.

She said, I had Stage 4 cancer.
She said, They told me to go to St. Peter’s.
She said, I’m not going there to die.
She said, I said that 2 years ago.
I said, You’re doing pretty good.

I saw her off on the train,
Thinking of this strange encounter
Between someone at death’s door,
And someone slowly being pulled into the abyss.
I’ve got time that I don’t want,
While she keeps hanging on.
Is it sheer luck?
Is she blessed?
Or am I the one who’s cursed?

It doesn’t matter.
She lives to tell her tale,
While all I can think about is when mine ends.

2024-06-25 A sensibility for the useless - Devine Lu Linvega's journal

We have sailed as far north as we are willing to go this year. As the summer weather settles, heading further would mean crossing longer distances with decreasing chances of favorable winds, less sailing and more motoring, which does not appeal to us one bit. We'll head to Sitka before making our way back down to warmer waters and enjoy what remains of the summer free of foul-weather jackets.

Spend enough time in the esoteric programming circuit and you'll come across the usual suspects: self-generating programs, polyglot programs and quines; but until this week I had never heard of ambigram/palindrome programs, which that can be evaluated from either directions. Naturally, I had to have a go at it, and I've added it to my growing collection of labyrintine programs.

2024-06-20 - Spam literature, pt. iii - Cutting Tofu

From: Thom Nappi <merlyna@mail2nuclear.com>
Subject: Re: my migratio

reassure myself that the normal condemned passenger on, this flight Landing was easy,
What do you mean tombstone? And what do you mean death sentence? lock swung majestically open. A keen clipboard-bearing naval officer What is your plan? he asked.
Im all alone,
I stood frozen, not breathing until the trigger fingers relaxed. cultures of the union-
An honest answer, Captain, and I thank you for it.
chew. Pushed out at some subterranean level, dragged through locked, Who do you think Iron John is? In the story I mean, not the one

2024-06-20 — May - Caffeine's Monthly Digest

May was a nightmare; I don't remember one third of it.

2024-06-19 - Divine punishment - Cutting Tofu

I am a wartime soldier; I will never know peace in this life. I am always prepared.

Everyday I am asked to be brave. But only the dead understand. I lick my lips as a precursor to a fight. They say I’m tough to chew, but lately I’ve been too tender.

I feel more and more each day, the pull of my own sword. A fall from grace; I am faceless, nameless. My heart beats like a drum in a rondo for a revolution to end the world.

I thought I threw away every last bit of humanity in me, but I just want to hear another heartbeat that isn’t my own. Not all the time. Just for a while.

I don’t need anything else, except everything I didn’t know I wanted.

2024-06-16 - Spam literature, pt. ii - Cutting Tofu

From: Janine Alvardo <spenoiryley@vangers.net>
Subject: Re: my pendenc

cretin, I shouted back. The macho showdown with these macho mothers Horrible. Why should I drink it?
launched into this overamplified and very catchy-if not itchy-number. of the most ancient data bases, the lyric written in a long-lost challenge then. But after a couple of centuries the pleasures begin to smiling when I closed my eyes which, when you think about it, was
You are not me and I am worried and answer the question or I will They all turned to look at a red box on the table. It was made of A solid argument-and I could use the rest. Keep an contact.
it. Thats how long this stasis will last. They wont know it, will