Exactly ten years ago, in 2012, I wrote a number of cyberpunk stories. People dismissed them as being too pessimistic. Things couldn't possibly get that bad, they said. Scientists / politicians will find solutions, they said.
I gave up in disgust and never continued the series. Can you guess what's happening these days? All those things I predicted, that's what:
the triple whammy of an energy crisis, food crisis and freshwater crisis;
nuclear power being shunned for political reasons, despite renewables being insufficient;
weather alternating between extreme drought and extreme floods;
rainwater not being safe to drink anymore, when it's the only source of freshwater for many (fine, that was in story #3, eight years ago);
extreme inequality leading to specific unpleasant social trends.
How come I was so precise? They weren't my predictions. Experts from all fields were shouting from the rooftops that all these things were coming. I could easily see the signs all around me once they pointed it out. Others... chose to be "incurable optimists". Alright then.
Been working on this bytebeat 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.
one thing that i've started doing to stop myself from spending too much time on social apps is to download magazines from the public library on my tablet. they have so many obscure (to me!) ones on there-- the added bonus is that the photos are larger and make great references.
the wind was so heavy and warm today! not even sundown cooled it.
It's been a while since I last updated my journal. My days have been very busy, mostly with work, but also with reconnecting with friends I hadn't seen for a while. I've had some fun doing related things that I will surely publish here soon. I've also decided to start eating healthier, whatever that means, and to exercise more.
I've just about gotten over this cold. I've had nothing but a mild cough and runny nose for days now.
I took my last of several driving lessons today. I've got the exam to get my license scheduled in a few days and by the looks of it, there's a non-zero chance I'll pass! Very excited to be able to run errands for my parents.
after one of the most stressful periods i've felt this year, i've been struck with a sudden sense of realignment. now piecing myself together again, it seems i've reformed in some ways stronger than before and finally admitted to myself after some terrible experiences with controlling people in my life years ago that i may feel and believe as i truly do and not as i am wished to.
to myself and to those who share my life i have admitted my path and my feelings and my thoughts and my beliefs, those which fall into the realms of heathenism and of magic and of nature herself.
what peace that comes from the blossoming of flowers after a flash-frozen winter.
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.
I've always loved the idea of journaling but I've never been able to be consistent. I spend a regular amount of time on my computer, so if I'm already here
then hopefully I can keep up with it. So yes, I'm Edie, hi, and if you want to hear me talk (type...) about my interests to a void of an audience, then welcome!
I stumbled across this video several days ago and have been consumed with the idea of learning how to write my own PlayStation games ever since. I've got a Windows 98 VM set up and some basic code written but now I'm looking at finding the DTL-H2000 ISA cards and a system to put them into so that I have what would have actually been used in 1999 to create and test PS1 code.
Aside from being a cool piece of history to own it would be functional as well and provide a system that I could use to try out older OS's on without having to use VM's. The DTL-H2000 cards are rare these days but I've been patient before and I can still work on projects with VM's and emulators until I get my hands on a them. This will be good practice for C and learning assembly as well.
My static site generator written in C is coming along finally. I have a way to build pages from files that contain content and a way to insert dynamic information such as edit times into those pages. The next hurdle is building a dynamic index page. I want the index to build itself from a mix of pages such as the latest journal page and updated wiki entries. It should also have a link to the latest blog post somewhere and maybe some of the stats that I am gathering such as my latest PSN trophies or average blood sugar. To do this I need to grab individual elements from other pages in the site all within C. Looks like I have some searching and puzzling through to do.
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:
Started some mead 
Made a bivy sack out of Tyvek 
Ordered some cubes to make some hako dice 
Walked around 20 miles
Worked on a new website project, which is also starting work on a parser
Made douglas fir needle tea 
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.
My productivity has been hampered the past few weeks by illness, but I’ve slowly started to get back into my projects by improving my website. Shaved off a few hundred Mbs with favicon and other image optimisations, which I’m really happy with. I’ve also started to look for a new home server on Mastodon, my current server is shutting down for a 2 month rebuild and restart so I took it as a signal to finally find somewhere better. This time I want to find a place less general, that matches my interests as well as political beliefs etc.
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).
50mm lens arrived! well, it takes some getting used to. today i also talked to my brother about hobbies, or where we choose to sink our time slash money into. this morning i made a lot of notes on how i envision the flow of my work sessions going forward. for dessert today we had grass jelly, coconut cream and thick sugar syrup for dessert. we had that at our grandma's on big family lunches growing up. thinking of making nectarine cookie bars.
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.
Small update to say I've tested negative for covid! What a goddamn relief. At the risk of tempting fate, I seem to be getting better, too. Had to cancel an event I was going to today because I'm sick, though.
Also, according to the weather forecast, temperatures are supposed to be, like, sane for at least the next week! Hell yeah!
I have been thinking about useability a lot of late, especially with respect to how people interface with abstract forms like knowledge or code, and the ways in which abstraction mediates use. Today in my ongoing study I learned about universal design, which got me thinking about design for games and the web beyond aspirations of useability. Universal design is a vision of useability or accessibility not as a reaction to a hostile environment, but as a foundational principle for any given environment we might create.
What initially pointed me in the direction of universal design was a link to a forthcoming book by Jennifer L. Pusateri, Transform Your Teaching with Universal Design for Learning. Whether or not this will be merely another pedagogical technology recuperated by institutional education is to be seen, but the underlying framework of universal design will likely remain of interest. To this end, I have converted the source document from NCSU that is linked above to markdown, and saved it to my /journal repository at Codeberg for permanent reference.
I've decided to go back to my laptop briefly to change some things, like deleting the Sciencehumans subpages and making the rose dividers smaller. I'm planning on redoing the css of this website, but just the css, everything else will be presetved. Sciencehumans is pretty much some ch offshoot that was established because my friends thought it was a fandom so it was until i decided to gatekeep my characters and take it down, i don't think they've ever known about this website though so yeah I deleted the website files for Sciencehumans, but I archived them anyway. I'm not sharing the url yet, also I think the guidelines page wasn't archived correctly.
16P ; We've sailed ourselves into somewhat of an internet deadzone, where my evenings consist of lying in the hammock hung between the jib and the mast, thinking about what sort of an operating system I'd like for myself; what would be both realistic for the Uxn platform, and the limits of my own aptitude for realizing it.
I've been trying to read multiple books at the same time. There's something about bouncing between books that can create an intersection of thought and feeling wholly unique. Difficult to even replicate with a social feed.
Currently the books in conversation are David Wengrow and David Graeber's The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, James Bridle's Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for Planetary Intelligence, and Mark Fisher's Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?.
In an entry from 11 days ago I said I felt like it was supposed to still be June. It has since been at least a month. Somehow, it's also only been like a day since I updated this thing. Also somehow, it definitely shouldn't be August yet.
I'm diseased! Can't say whether it's the same thing everyone else had a couple entries back. Still just really hoping it isn't covid. It's been pretty mild so far, fortunately (knock on wood 🤜🪵).
I've also moved domains. It's isopod.cool now! The old link still works, though. My website is linked in a few places now and I didn't want to break anything. That's another major reason I had to leave Neocities. I could point two domains to my Neocities site, but only one of them would have been able to have SSL, and that is simply not acceptable.
I hadn't played RuneScape for a good 13 years until yesterday when I decided to try out Old School RuneScape to scratch a nostalgia itch in my brain. It's like I'm in primary school again working my way up to being able to fight the dragon in the last free quest...except this time I have my own money and can actually pay for a membership. There is so much of OSRS that I never got to experience because I wasn't allowed to have subscriptions to things as a kid.
That changes now, I'm going to have a lot of fun exploring this revived version of the game I played when I was 11.
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!
Lately I've found myself getting interested in pixel art. For the past couple of days I've been trying to make some pixel drawings, and I've been looking for resources on making them, like tools, programs, and palettes.
I've found some of those resources really helpful and have listed them in the art resources page.
I’ve been reading more about NASA’s Artemis program, and specifically taking a look at the Artemis Accords of 2020, a “shared vision for principles, grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, to create a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for all of humanity to enjoy.”
In comparing these documents, I find the emphasis in the Artemis Accords on information transparency and the sharing of scientific data, and the addition of a mandate for “interoperable and common exploration infrastructure and standards,” to be interesting, positive byproducts of the techno-global era in which we live. However, while the focus in the Outer Space Treaty is on state responsibility and liability, the Artemis Accords emphasize “commercial activities” in the introduction, and later plainly acknowledge the “extraction and utilization of space resources.” Another byproduct of the present era, but a more concerning one.
I got set up on Codeberg today, and will be slowly migrating my repositories over there from GitHub. The first, though, is a new /journal repository, which I will be using as a source for materials referenced in journal entries here, including the two treaty documents discussed today.
So this is the first time I'm doing this HTML Journal thing. Anyway, where have I been again? Well, basically my psychiatrist said that i should take a 1 month break from my computer, so yes, I did in fact type all of this in my phone. As of now, I'm still okay since i get to go through loopholes with this. I still get to use the wifi, and my numerous stash of phones and tablets. I uninstalled messenger and facebook from all of them, to not get distracted from them, and I think it is also good since I am able to do what I've been dreaming of for months- to get off those platforms... However, it feels like I will return from them, who knows... Till then, I'll be posting about my experience here.
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.
It’s been extremely busy, but I was really happy to have had the chance to present at Generation Analog again this year. I was on the Participation and Pedagogy panel, and the whole thing (as well as all of the other panels) are now available on the Analog Game Studies YouTube channel. The paper, which I mentioned in entry 0004 below, is also available to read at Zenodo, in full and for free.
Ghost, my dwarf hamster, passed away today. I got him just after I started my apprenticeship as a companion, I'd always wanted to take care of a hamster and he was amazing. Such a little character, you can read more about him here.
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.
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.
part of the reason i made the second is because i'm planning a new game soon! it's a rhythm game that's purely about getting into the groove of complex rhythms. polyrhythm notation system might be useful for notating the rhythms and parsing them ingame (rather than painstakingly placing each beat), and since it describes rhythms i can use the grouping functionality to make the on-screen rhythm notations more helpful and intuitive. before i do any of that, though, i need to find some cool music with complex rhythms that i can semi-legally use or make some myself (a really daunting task because i can't really make music that well and just give up immediately all the time). but it might exist in the distant future, and that's...something, i guess?
i've been making new things pretty quickly recently and probably won't be able to keep up this pace for more than a few days. in the meantime you can go and draw some cool circles and maybe check back later when i'll have some other stupid little game for you to play.
been working on this new website and putting some of my little games on it. it's been really nice to work on, even though my workflow consists entirely of copy-pasting things that should be part of each page (or, more recently, VSCode snippets).
My parents replaced the modem in the house today. The one we had was apparently really old and grandfathered in from our previous internet plan, and it turns out it was bottlenecking the bandwith to the entire house by something like TENFOLD. We went from 30Mb down to 300. This means we've been getting 10% of our (their) money's worth on broadband for YEARS. I am both upset and excited about this development.
My parents have also convinced me to watch The Office with them. We're three episodes in and I've had enough second-hand embarrassment for a whole month.
I've been trying to distance myself from larger social medias lately. I pretty much went cold turkey on Twitter a while back, and I've been cutting down on the time I spend on Tumblr recently as well. I may write a blog post about this soon. I also joined a small forum recently. So far it's much more pleasant than any social media I've used. On the off-chance you found my site from there, hi!
I've decided to learn Rust. It's certainly different. Still don't know how to declare a string.
I finally found the right app for keeping some random old notes I've had lying about since forever. It's called TreeSheets, and works pretty great if you give it a chance. I didn't at first, instead reviewing another called TreeLine, that I ended up never touching again. Settled for an older text-based program called hnb for a while, but it just has too many quirks. Even made a couple outliners of my own along the way, that I'm still using for other purposes. But for those pesky notes, nothing quite worked right, until Bouncepaw reminded me of TreeSheets. Turned out I still knew how to handle the basics from first time, it's that well designed. The seemingly daunting menu system can be unpacked easily enough, too.
Ought to start a web page about outliners one of these days. Maybe even a whole wiki that would also include note-taking apps and so on.
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.
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.
Gopher has always been a protocol I've been somewhat interested in. Though I was never (and could never) reach the era where part of the Internet was file sharing through telnet and such, it's something that stuck with me my first time hearing it. No frills navigation, just plain and simple "get your files and get outta here!" (sorry for the analogy, gopher-purists).
While it's undeniable the effect the Web has done for me as a person, sometimes it's fun to look at other sides of the Internet. With Gopher being super bare-bones (WHICH IS A GOOD THING FOR ITS PURPOSE), it's easy to focus more on the content you're making rather than its presentation to the audience among Gopher users, because - guess what - they all look the same!
Got news you write? Date them and it'll sort itself out. Have a book you write? Upload it as your digital library. Making some useful software? Version them and add some complimentary text files. Have pictures to share to the world? A photo folder and a backstory or location in a file won't hurt with it.
I'm not saying that Gopher is COMPLETELY SUPERIOR TO THE WEB because it isn't. It won't rival mediums where styling and presentation is a must, it just plain won't work. But using it with its pros (easy file sharing, simple navigation, super fast) helps show why it's something we shouldn't completely ignore nowadays. Its cons show the webs value. Both have their own reasons to use today and that's great.
Spent a couple of hours sticking acoustic dampening tiles to the ceiling of the workshop, it has helped reduce the echo a lot in there which is good because I plan to record readings of short stories. I've also stuck a few behind the monitors to stop reflective echo from that direction.
Me and Hex finished the upcoming music video for their
project last night and then I spent some good time printing a new small linocut print in the scorching heat of the last heatwave to hit Montreal. Today we’re braving the heat to go practice for our upcoming live show.
♫ There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation ♫ and most of it has been spent doing absolutely nothing.
Boy. Finishing what I want in this website has been a struggle. And coupled up with the past few day's COMPLETELY HORRIBLE SLEEPING HABITS, it ain't gonna get better.
The looming feeling of not wanting to waste this summer has been going on, well, the whole entire summer. No motivation to write a script, something I used to be somewhat proficient in, even if they were all Scott The Woz copies. Programming projects. General real life stuff.
I have something I somewhat want to show off but like, I'm late and it's tired so... maybe tomorrow? Right me? Right on! 2 months from now!
No positive life quotes today, even if I could be assed putting them in every one. Sorry for the somewhat depressing journal, it's just that I'm not excited to rework the site's CSS and finally remove these godforsaken <br> tags clogging up my HTML. Till then, nerds. Till then.
i found this wordpress site today which catalogues the history of all the uk woolworths stores before the big 2008 woolworths financial disaster where they all closed.
aside from just being a fun kind of thing to find as a nerd, it gave me big nostalgia to see pictures of the old woolworths store that i knew and recognised. pretty neat.
other than that i've still been tired but i think better for knowing that i might just be a little bit ill. i feel like once you know why you feel a way, sometimes it takes a bit of that weight off your shoulders y'know? like you're allowed to feel a little stinky then.
i added a help page to my site today which was neat and a fun exercise. i'm excited to work on more and more content even though it feels like i already have so many pages at this point haha.
2022-07-22 - College Work almost done & working on more site pages - drisc's journal
I've had a near constant stream of coursework and questions to complete for the past 2 years so it will be nice to have a couple of weeks of not needing to worry about it before I start the next 2 year course.
Slowly adding more pages to my site and wiki, I need to redesign the index page for both the home page and the wiki. The blog index page follows the HTML Blog format and looks fine for now though I may add some descriptors to the list items later on. The next big page to be added will have a list of my various fuzzy companions both past and present.
Today I remembered this old XFCE theming website I used to frequent (and even contribute to!) back when I was very young and running Linux on a Chromebook. I went there and it's since been brutally KILLED and replaced with a Pling site... What has this world come to... R.I.P. xfce-look.org.
Everybody in my house but me seems to be sick with... something. Here's hoping it's not another round of covid. My mom is confident that it isn't, but I'm not so sure. 3 vaccines weren't enough to stop it the first time and apparently it can seriously damage your immune system - If I get it again, it'll probably be even worse.
In other news, I got lunch from my favourite sandwich joint today. Wore a mask, of course. We should never have stopped wearing those. Anyway, the sandwich was good. I got my usual order: ham + turkey + salami with smoked cheddar cheese and mayo + mustard and cucumbers on a kaiser bun (they've been out of my preferred dutch crunch bread for like the past few months). Of everything in my city, that place will be the thing I miss the most when we move by a good long way.
Yesterday I got to meet the cat that I will be adopting. Her name is Wump, named for a sidekick to my Tabaxi D&D character. It took around an hour but she got used to me and felt comfortable enough to fall asleep while I was holding her.
She is the biggest of the litter but still tiny, around 5 weeks old.
In other news, I have been having intermittent issues with my SliceMK wireless Ergodox keyboard, several switches on the left half have not been registering inputs. I reflowed the solder on the pads that connect the Kailh hot swap sockets to the PCB and most of the switches are now working. One has a lifted pad that is disconnected from the the trace on the board so I used a bodge wire to connect the contact for the Kialh socket to a via under the keyswitch which fixed the issue.
after the heat and illness i think i'm still having a little bit of trouble getting back into a good rhythm with work, even with a gentle push from meds. i wonder sometimes if being at this point is something cyclical as it's very familiar but spaced out. it's low, despairing and feels like it will never end but it always seems to, as unbelievable as that is to me right now.
on top of it, we seem to have flies out of nowhere in the flat which is a pain. i'll need to figure out some ways to get rid of them once i've put enough energy into work.
the world is still turning and morphing outside, still beautiful. i love the world, i just sometimes wish i could live in it and not outside it. tomorrow will be better.
Spent the past couple of days in a tired stupor, I haven't been able to sleep at night due to the heat in the UK hitting 40°C. Hitting the hay as soon as I get back from work helps since it's not the hottest part of the day yet but by the time I get to work the next day I've already been awake for 9 hours.
I prefer the cold since you can bundle up to deal with that. This heat is only solvable with architecture that allows for airy spaces or an expensive air conditioner. I have neither.
On a more positive note, I used my inability to sleep to play through Stray, the cyberpunk cat game that everyone has been waiting for. It was lovely, the cat controls and moves very much like a cat would and the mechanics that you can do such as nuzzling a robots leg are adorable. I played it on PS5 and when you find a spot to let the cat sleep it's purring actually vibrates the controller in such a way that it feels like you are holding a purring cat which is a really nice detail.
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.™
Over the weekend, I was contacted by a cousin from a long lost branch of the family, which had severed ties back in the sixties. She and her father had started doing research into their family tree, since most of the information that they had was lost when her grandfather died. She stumbled across a partial family tree that I had uploaded to Ancestry back in 2013, and realized that our great grandmothers were sisters. I mentioned her to my grandmother, and she was full of stories of her childhood with the cousins of that generation prior to the schism; my cousin in turn had some stories featuring my great aunt and my great grandmother from before when my grandmother was born.
I’ve been experimenting with Mermaid.js for a visual representation of the genealogical history that my grandmother started in the seventies, and which she digitized in the early 2000s. I’d ultimately like to convert all of it to a more durable plaintext format, since the files are currently in .doc format. My latest efforts, though, have been learning about genealogical numbering systems in order to develop a consistent, well structured index for the data that I’m inputting to the Mermaid flowchart. My grandmother’s records all use the Henry System, a descending system that works quite well for capturing the full scope of a family with a shared common ancestor. But to build a family tree in the other direction, and so to bring together four different family trees for each of my four grandparents, simply using the Henry numbers as indices doesn’t work, since the same person can show up in multiple trees with a different identifier in each (for instance, I am 1114321, 11362621, and 1634321 across three of the trees in which my name appears). My Mermaid tree is using an Ahnentafel (ancestor table) instead, which is an ascending method that makes for a much cleaner markdown source file. Indeed, though I’m using the table to produce a tree, the data structure is meaningful in itself, whether or not it is diagrammed, and ideal for plaintext. As Wikipedia puts it: “an ahnentafel is a method for storing a binary tree in an array by listing the nodes (individuals) in level-order (in generation order).” As a “functional theory of numeration,” it’s a fascinating artifact, and a surpisingly useful tool in this digital age.
The principles of the Ahnentafel method were first published in 1590 by Michaël Eytzinger, and thinking about this duration, and the duration between myself and some of my oldest recorded ancestors, brings the seventh generation principle to mind, requiring that I consider just how radical the principle is. My ancestors of the seventh generation were born around 1800, and could not have conceived of the life that their seventh great grandson lives. Seven generations from now will take us to the 2200s, and I, similarly, cannot conceive of the lives any potential seventh great grandchildren of mine might live. Catastrophic climate change by 2030, global food system collapse by 2050—these dates simultaneously remain at a distance and yet present an unavoidable, inevitable horizon, a horizon that is less a firm boundary and more a temporal oil spill leaking into the present. The year 2200 feels inconceivable. And yet, it is precisely the work of imagining an earth without us that is necessary for us to properly orient ourselves toward the emergency at hand, and so make possible a conception of an earth with us for those yet to come, seven generations from now.
Making the page I mentioned in the previous entry is taking longer than anticipated. I've been really tired recently for some reason. Part of me is blaming it on the heat, but it's possible that the complete degradation of my sleep schedule of late could be playing a part. Y'know, being unemployed and all.
I had a dream last night where I got a really good deal on a used graphics card. I don't know what that says about me.
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.
got on the bikes and rolled around and went to a ton of open houses this weekend. it’s a fun thing to do because it’s free, you get to see houses that are all staged and done up, you get to explore your neighborhood a little bit. And you can do it even when it’s almost 100 degrees out (like it was this weekend) because you’re just hopping from air conditioning to air conditioning. one house in particular was a legit mansion. absolutely huge. i’d never buy such a thing. you couldn’t possibly keep it up yourself without like, a proper staff. amazing how some people live.
went to a new brunch place that i was excited to try. it was really rubbish, sadly. crowded, hot, loud, food wasn’t good, the mimosas were room temperature. just all around unimpressive to be honest. too bad!
there was a big brass band concert in the park. heard three different brass bands. i’ll tell ya. i’m a sucker for some horns.
hey, moon. it's been a while. we're currently in the middle of our big heatwave here and it's definitely feeling pretty hot. but i think i'm more or less managing to keep cool, it's just making me so tired! i literally just woke up from an accidental nap.
after seeing it a lot on status.cafe i've been getting the desire to learn japanese again after a very long time (i've not been actively learning it since i was probably about 15!) so i'm wondering whether to give into that desire or not.
if i do give in and get back into it, maybe i'll even start a bigger post in my sun journal about it. i've been meaning to do a more zoomed in look at my language learning process on this site one day, so who knows...
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.
I am really, really tired today. It was a very productive day as I accomplished work stuff, went for a run, and found time for a personal project.
My brain is useless now though, so this is a bit of a rambly update. I have a dentist appointment on the 20th and I am very much not looking forward to it!
Time to curl up in a corner and do some reading or just fall asleep while trying to read.
It is still too hot to be productive. I have felt sleepy most of the day and have struggled to read or do anything, really.
I did improve my "now" script, thanks to pandoc: all I have to do now is update my finger files, then run the script and I end up with a nicely formatted now page
and a gemini version of it too. I am sure I could do a lot more to improve it, but I made it and it's functional, so I am pretty happy. :)
I was feeling very active and full of energy this morning. Went for a run, had a nice shower, planned my day out... then flopped on the bed and it got too hot to
focus on anything. So I ended up just watching random things and napping.
My sinuses are still blocked. It has to be allergy at this point, it's so annoying!
First week of my no-buy month is done.
First day back to work after my annual leave. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be though after promising myself I would take it easy I clocked in 12 hours...
Still, I think going back on a Friday was a great idea: everyone's just wanting to get to the weekend so I had plenty of time to catch up on emails and stuff.
Had some nice pasta and beer for dinner and now I am completely knackered!
Today was especially bad: I cried and now I am on edge, as usual when I get really sad followed by an anxiety attack.
Anyway, check out my Links page: the three links at the top are new. It is three personal web pages by amazing
people who share tons of useful and insightful content.
Tomorrow is my last day off! Whelp! I am definitely not ready to go back to work. I wish I was a character in one of those 90s sitcoms with their fancy huge
New York apartments, fashion items, and loads of spare time. (Unpopular opinion: I really do not like "Friends". Sorry.)
I spent the day researching solar panels for the house. The govt is offering tax relief for eco-friendly interventions so it seems like a good moment to install
them. I wish I was an engineer though as I have to basically trust the same companies who would install the panels so I doubt their assessments would be unbiased.
This entry is starting to sound like a Pearl Jam song... :D
Productive morning: I organised my desk, then worked on tracking my fixed yearly expenses which are now tracked and categorised per type and relevance
(from 5 = inevitable to 1 = I could opt out of this one right away). I have very few 1s as a couple of years ago I cut most of my unnecessary costs, but I
kind of want to cut even more if I can.
I kind of want to add a couple more pages to my tilde: something listing the tools I use and something with resources people might find useful.
Perhaps later or tomorrow as I feel a bit "Meh" right now, kind of tired: I think I'll sit down and finish Stranger Things, finally.
And no fever at all today. I also feel a lot better. I think I know why: comes Friday I am back at work and my body is sensing that my holidays are over.
I woke up late this morning and I skipped exercise and other things that are part of my usual routine. I was also feeling very sad at some point. I
thought the day was ruined, but then I tidied up my closet, read a book, and watched one episode of Stranger Things, so overall it ended up being an OK day.
I now only have three episodes left to the end of Season 4. I am quite liking it, more than I liked Season 3 (though it's been so long I don't ever remember
why I was disappointed in Season 3.
There are certain elements of the show that I find very reletable: I was a kid in the 80s, I played D&D, and I loved heavy metal. Other things are very
american though that I never really experienced: was there really such a great "Jocks VS nerds" separation?
Off to dinner now!
All fine and dandy except... I now have a temperature. So far I have been ill-ish 5 out of the 10 days I have been off work. LOL.
I keep testing negative and I wasn't concerned until my temperature went up earlier today. A higher temperature isn't a good sign, though it could still be because
of my cold. I might call my doctor tomorrow and see if I can arrange a PCR test: it would make me feel a lot more relaxed to know for sure if it's a cold or covid.
I have not seen anyone for *days* - literally the only contacts I had were my 5 friends at D&D on July 1st, the same people on June 30th, and before that nobody
since the previous Friday. They are all doing fine so if it's covid where the heck does it come from?
Anyway, I finally started watching Stranger Things, I watched episodes 1 to 4 so far. I was a bit sceptical initially, but I am liking it so far.
Still fighting with my cold. My morning was OK: I went out for a short and easy run, did some laundry, blogged about running in my more high-tech blog, updated my now pages, ironed my
laundry, etc... Then in the afternoon I just ran out of energy and spent the rest of the day watching videos and napping.
It's going to be pizza + an early night this evening, and I am looking forward to it.
Uneventful day. I slept very poorly last night, so I took a super easy day today: painted some abstract landscape, took a nap, listened to some personal finance
I just wrote, and then deleted, a long rant about the self-help movement and its bogus science that makes gurus rich. If I am going to write about it, it can't be
a couple of ranty sentences in this journal, as it wouldn't really help anyone.
I am using habit tracking and journaling as a coping mechanism for my anxiety, but that's where it all stops: my brain is a little happier when I have structure and a routine in my days.
I feel like Wap and I are basically going through the same experience: be on holiday, also be ill. Though I actually have it a lot easier as I am only dealing with
a very annoying cold (I think, anyway. No fever, negative tests, little contact with other humans...). I am staying home and in isolation anyway, just in case mine
is just one of those cases where the covid virus isn't detectable in the areas where the swab goes.
It's an interesting parallel anyway: two random strangers on the internet who happened to start writing journals, be off, be ill at the same time.
Thank you! And likewise! Hopefully you'll get some energy back now thay you are feeling better! Take it slowly though, most friends I have who had covid are reporting getting tired very easily.
I like to wake-up early so when I am ill I still do OK in the morning, but after lunch I am basically useless.
That said, I did get some sleep last night, and I already feel miles better. I kind of want to write a couple of things, but the forced mouth-breathing
and the fact that my ear is completely clogged are breaking my concentration a bit. I am sure by the time my annual leave is over I'll be good as new. XD
I don't have a lot more to report. I am reading a lot, watching videos, doing some very light training. That's it. :)
I have this massive cold that doesn't seem to want to go away, and that is really annoying me, because I feel like it's preventing me from concentrating.
It is also causing me to sneeze suddenly and violently - I almost fell from my chair earlier!
Outside of fighting a cold, I've spent this day off going for a very easy run and... I am not sure what else I did actually. -_-'
I fell into this rabbit hole of reading all sorts of interesting, weird, and very indie web pages most of the day.
There are a couple of projects I want to work on, but I am thiking it will be tomorrow after a good night of sleep and if the cold tunes it down a little bit.
At the very least I'd want to be able to sit at my laptop and not sneeze so hard that I get propelled to the other side of the room...
I have been feeling "off" all day today. At first I thought my workout had made me really tired, but it doesn't make sense as it wasn't particularly intense.
I am having other issues now too though, so it sounds like it's something else. My stomach gets upset quite easily, so it could be any combination of: too many cherries,
sweating directly under the aircon, too big of a difference between outside and inside temperature, etc... Nothing I have sounds like covid, and I've not left the house
except for D&D night last Friday with a small group of friends. I will test anyway if this continues.
I have now updated the journal to meet the new standards, with h2 now
replacing h1 for post dates. I think the updated standard makes more sense in terms of hierarchy and I quite like it.
I am surprised by how low effort updating the journal actually is, even considering all I am using is GNU nano, so no fancy tool to output the html file.
I have picked up "Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq" by Susan A. Brewer but I found it hard to concentrate on reading
today. The book is excellent though.
Update: just read this bit in Wap's Journal on my previous entry:
Yeah, it's the bad type of 90's internet experience XD. It's the type where everything is so slow it feels like swimming in honey, you click on something and it takes 10 minutes
to know if clicking on a link did anything, and it takes an entire overly-complicated website to load stuff for 30 minutes to send you a one line email with a confirmation code.
I went for a walk this morning, it was really nice. It even rained for a bit, which is great given it's so hot where I am right now.
I then came back and had to get to work on some paperwork for some tax deduction. Took me ages to do as the govt website feels like it's the 90s again.
I remember having more fun last month when I had surgery. Getting my teeth deep cleaned by the dentist is also a more pleasant experience.
I am reading a terrible book I picked up just because I was curious. It is, to put it nicely, a whole loads of bollocks.
I don't even want to mention the title as it's worth any attention.
I have a few scripts I made and some other stuff that isn't really documented or stored anyway - I wonder if I should just put it here in this tilde?
I hate summer. It's too hot. It's been in the high 20's to low 30's Celsius almost every day for the past few weeks and I'm sick of it!!! I'm Canadian, I wasn't built for this!! One benefit, though, is the vastly increased volume of cool bugs.
I'm working on a page for my website about software I use. Well, really I've been scrolling Tumblr with the blank HTML document open on the other monitor. But you get the picture.
My home internet connection has been on the fritz today. I've been using my phone's mobile hotspot to connect to the internet on my computer. I chewed through something like a fifth of my monthly data cap doing that.
Per goal 1 I hope to go for another bike ride. I've been easing back
into biking. I gotta work back up to the cargo bike. Though, the kids
have been happier than I anticipated walking most places with me.
Per goal 2 we received a gigantic delivery of free wood chips from a
local arborist! I am excited to use these woodchips to murder what
remaining grass is in our front yard. Preparing the way for more raised
beds and pollinator beds.
Secret goal here at the end – play some games and keep fiddling with
Racket. I'm noodling how to use Racket as a prototyping tool for other
I’m quite pleased to have gotten this HTML Journal up and running, and enjoying the more relaxed format to what I usually write. Checking in at The Neon Kiosk once a day is a pleasant little routine.
I need to get around to writing up a Now page, and then I’m going to try and get Webmentions working and use them for my longer Notes. Maybe I’ll move to m15o’s HTML Blog format too, though it will take a bit of fussing the way the posts are currently setup with Jekyll/Liquid. I’ll likely make this a part of a larger project to migrate the site off GitHub.
Finished my conference presentation for Generation Analog today: “Play to Lose: Animation, Failure, and the Milieu in Trophy Dark.” In it, I discuss my experience facilitating tabletop roleplaying games, and specifically Jesse Ross’s Trophy Dark, for an undergraduate introduction to game design course at the university where I teach. Conference is online, and tickets are free, if an analog game studies conference sounds interesting to you.
16O ; I haven't had it in me to start new projects these past two weeks, so I've instead revisited projects in need of care; namely Adelie which was until now undocumented, leaving people to guess at how things worked. It has been nice to see some terrific projects made with it, like tower of hanoi, and these gorgeousslides. It took all the restrain in the world not to turn it into another Hypercard.
Had a bit of a scare this morning when I went to turn on my computer and the POST kept failing at the graphics card I overpaid for in March. Fortunately I re-seated it and everything was fine. In other news, today I learned that one of Ryzen's many idiosyncracies is that it will turbo super hard under almost any load at all if it thinks it can get away with it, so my CPU temps can skyrocket like fifteen degrees from as little as saving this document in VSCode.
Rain today, and some wind. First I’ve seen the inlet disturbed. The water has been so still and smooth since we got here. It was humid last night, in advance of the weather coming in, and today I’ve felt the moisture in my left knee and ankle, reminders of injuries that refuse to entirely heal.
The ankle has been years, but the knee is fresh. I bouldered a lot before the pandemic, but that stopped when quarantine came, that and physical activity in general. Unemployment and then work from home does that to you. When numbers finally declined in the region and restrictions on gyms lifted, I decided I’d try something I’d always been interested in, and signed up for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the Gracie Barra in town. Good covid safety policies and a positive gym culture made for a pleasant experience. It was a lot of fun, with a lot of good, kind people. When I received my third stripe I jumped right into GB2, and promptly got dropped on my knee, hard. Loss of mobility, major swelling, and a nasty purple bruise that leaked out from under my knee cap. I rested it, tried to rehab it as best I could, but then a few weeks later I did the same again. It’s aching a lot today.
There’s no Gracie Barra on the Sunshine Coast, though there are some other gyms not far from here. I’m nervous about the culture at a new gym, and I’m nervous about my knee, but I do miss it, the mechanics of rolling, the way your body learns to inhabit form. There’s a bouldering gym very close by, so maybe it’s time to grab my shoes and chalk bag once again. There’s a formalistic quality that bouldering and jiu jistu share, something that both my brain and my body appreciate.
it's been a much lower day today, with not much doing. and that never feels great. but i at least managed to get my thoughts about the status.cafe emoji widget down on the forum over there. so i'll count that as something.
generally though feeling a bit low. maybe waning again after such a powerful moon. maybe that's just what's to be woven in my wyrd right now. who knows. all i know is i'm going to watch a ton of comfort tv (natgeo documentaries)
me and my partner finally reached the end of the second season of the owl house and wow. it was amazing as expected but it did not feel like an ending, there are more questions now than i had at the start? absolutely need season three to come out.
other than that though, yesterday was a nice day and i hope today is the same. i feel like i'm getting energy back again after being ill for so long.
The great thing about being on vacation is being able to spend time on this place. :) I've updated the layout, and added a blog section. The blog is where I'll put longer-form, essays, announcements and more structured content, each with their own dedicated page. The blog won't get updated as often as this journal. This journal remains the place where I self-reflect, give updates, and is overal mostly just a stream of consciousness. I've put together a sister format for HTML Journal for blogs: HTML Blog. Have a look at this blog post to learn more!
On corridor thinking from yesterday, Donna Haraway provides a short bibliography for further reading:
Mary Ellen Hannibal, The Spine of the Continent: The Most Ambitious Wildlife Conservation Project Ever Undertaken (Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2012).
Michael E. Soulé and John Terborgh, Continental Conservation: Scientific Foundations Of Regional Reserve Networks (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1999).
Jodi A. Hilty, Annika T. H. Keeley, William Z. Lidicker Jr., and Adina M. Merenlender, Corridor Ecology: Linking Landscapes for Biodiversity and Climate Adaptation (Washington, DC: Island Press, 2019).
Ellen Meloy, Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild (New York, NY: Vintage Books, 2005).
Alexandra Koelle, Rights of Way: Race, Place, and Nation in the Northern Rockies, PhD Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2010.
On production, and my day job. From Latin, produco. A few senses:
I lead or bring forth, forward or out.
I conduct to; bring before, present.
I draw or stretch out, lengthen, extend.
I bring to light, disclose, expose.
In game production, there is some nobility claimed by virtue of both position and etymology: production as bringing forth, as bringing to light, as conducting and extending what is (and I am inclined to say that there is something to these definitions). The producer orchestrates, conductor of a symphony. But, in reality, production is more often than not closer to a fifth sense of the word:
I place one thing before another.
In this sense, production is a matter of counting, of sequencing, a combinatorial effort. To produce a game is primarily to enumerate and arrange. Less glamorous than bringing forth, to be sure. But also, more practical and material. There is no magic here, and that’s good, because magic is shit process. All focus needs to be on the work, on the actual effort expended by actual people. That is the function of production.
Progress on the interactive storytelling syllabus continues. My game list, broken up into the three categories mentioned yesterday (chatty is now dialogic, much more scholarly...), is as follows:
Thatgamecompany, Journey (2012)
Ustwo Studios, Monument Valley (2014)
Playdead, Inside (2016)
Buried Signal, Gorogoa (2017)
Nomada Studio, Gris (2018)
Mountains, Florence (2018)
Witch Beam, Unpacking (2021)
The Fullbright Company, Gone Home (2013)
Campo Santo, Firewatch (2016)
Night School Studio, Oxenfree (2016)
Geography of Robots, Norco (2022)
Mobius Digital, Outer Wilds (2020)
Shedworks, Sable (2021)
Constituting the analytic portion of the course, students will conduct a solo analysis of one of the wordless stories, a partner analysis of one of the dialogic stories, and a group analysis of one of the environmental stories. Thinking about drama as both individual writer-designers and together as a writers room.
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!
Instead of writing a new blog post, I have added an HTML Journal to my site. This will be a place for posts that are too short to warrant a blog post, but too long to be a status. For example:
I installed some RGB strips in my computer recently! Well, one RGB strip. I bought two, but they were both a meter long and I seem to have underestimated just how long that is. When I built the computer, I figured I didn't need RGB, so I went out of my way a little to avoid it and then I realized that the glass panel on my case was tinted so I couldn't even see in. Hence the RGB strip, because I didn't want to spend money replacing perfectly good parts with ones that light up. I've got the strip crammed in a gap next to the wall of the case where it's blocked from direct view so that it just illuminates the inside and doesn't shine in my face. Here's a picture:
It's not exactly radiant compared to some other peoples' setups, but I like it. It's subtler.
Cool, right? I've retrofitted the blog post list to be compliant with HTML Journal's fresh new sister spec, HTML Blog, as well, mainly for the automatic feed generation it offers.
came home and watched the bats flying around in the backyard for a while. i always liked that we had them in the yard. i just didn’t know that they lived in my house. it’s probably the right thing to make them move out. they have diseases and poop a lot. i just hope they all find somewhere else nice to live.
went out to dinner and a show. had some tortas. they were alright. the show was one of my absolute favorite lecture series: there are two speakers who talk about unrelated topics, and then at the end, the audience tries to make connections between the two. the speakers are always really good, and it’s always fun trying to connect the two.
so i owe you five dollars. the pest control guy came today and poked around and decided that we don’t have squirrels, but rats and bats. big ones! and lots of them! 🐀🦇
some of my friends have been talking for a long time about starting a rpg game together, and yesterday we decided to just start a play-by-post since scheduling face time would be extra difficult because timezones, kids, etc. So I blasted a quick email to our mailing list to kick off BASEMENT QUEST. (our friend hole is called ‘the basement’.)
I was trying to come up with what kind of system i’d like to use to play, and i decided on roll for shoes because it’s dead easy and kind of silly, but I don’t want to do opposed rolls all the time because that would slow things down via email. so I mashed it up with blades in the dark’s rolls, and made a smol little game called Shoes in the Dark!
We haven’t really started playing yet. Certainly haven’t had to roll for anything. So we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
We have made the move from the hustle and bustle of the Fraser Valley to the quiet and calm of Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. We love it here. We are on the inlet side of town, and this has me thinking about corridors, those geographic passageways that Donna Haraway writes about in Staying With the Trouble (2016) as “essential to [the] being” of symbiont life. “The restoration and care of corridors, of connection, is a central task” for the communities that inhabit and travel them. Corridors are “practical and material, as well as fabulous and enspirited.” I want to cultivate “corridor thinking.”
I have been reading Werner Heisenberg’s Physics and Philosophy (1958) as part of my ongoing book club with my brother. It’s good, so far, accessible for a non-physicist. Puts to rest a lot of misreadings of quantum mechanics as irreperably subjectivist or correlationist. He carefully lays out the order of nature > humanity > science, emphasizing the unilaterality of this order (compare my book club entry on Heraclitus, “Generic Science: Heraclitus, Intelligence, and the Common”). He also takes pains to dismiss shallow interpretations of quantum mechanics as anti-realist, considering it instead an updated theory of the real against a dogmatic or reductive realism. We’ll see where the book goes as Heisenberg tries to generalize to the level of human experience.
For pleasure, I’ve been reading Robert Jordan’s The Shadow Rising (1992), book four of The Wheel of Time. I started the series last summer, and read the first three books relatively quickly. This one is a monster, and has been slower going. But, after a couple hundred pages of prologue, the plot finally got moving and reading has been brisker. I’ve been using Bookwyrm by @tripofmice to track my fun reading, and though I’m not very active there, I enjoy my time on the site. As per usual, I’m @steinea.
I started playing Sable (2021) from Shedworks and Raw Fury last night. Though buggy, the art, animation, and music are gorgeous, and I’m already quite enticed by the story the game is weaving. The Perpetual calls...
What else, what else... I watched season one and two of For All Mankind recently, and have been watching season three as it airs. The show rekindled a love for space that has been somewhat dormant throughout the pandemic, and led me to stumble across NASA’s Artemis program, which somehow I hadn’t heard about. Lunar settlement, Mars exploration, fiction and dreams finding purchase in reality. I recall the “slow cancellation of the future” and David Graeber’s brilliant analysis of this state of affairs in The Utopia of Rules (2015). Amidst fires and floods and plagues and wars, it has been so hard to dream, to imagine a future at all.
I work on EA’s FIFA, and was struck today, as I frequently am, by the interconnectedness of things, and the precarity of the global stack. A data center in Dublin experienced some hardware failure that sent over five hundred VMs offline, one of which we needed for a FIFA deploy. Everyone was in a panic, and everything was out of our control.
In my other life, I teach game design and production, and I am very excited to be teaching interactive storytelling in the fall once again. I started work on my syllabus yesterday, thinking about the games we’ll play and discuss as a class. I’ve arrived at three loose groupings: Wordless Stories, Chatty Stories, and Environmental Stories. I’ll be using Alexander Swords’ Forest Paths Method for Narrative Design (2020) as a textbook, as I have in previous iterations of the course. I think it does an excellent job of teaching the mechanics of drama in the interactive space, providing writers of all backgrounds with simple, extensible tools for applying their craft to writing for games.
I’ve written this according to m15o’s spec for HTML Journals, and hope to get it up on The Neon Kiosk soon. I’ll continue to use Atom for longer notes, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with this looser, shorter format (well, shorter for future entries, hopefully...).
I'm listening to lofi hip hop beats for the first time. It's an interesting experience. It's fun to see that there's an actual chat next to the video (image, really). People are having conversation amidst the flood of spam. Looks like there's a wholesome community. For example, this person:
TheExpanic: You're all awesome! Enjoy your day/night ❤
The music itself is really calming. I might head back there from time to time. In the meantime, hope you all enjoy your day/night! <3
As a learning project, I wrote a simple emacs mode to read HTML Journals. It's been fun to create! It's also far from perfect, but hey, perfect is the enemy of good, isn't it?! Here's what it looks like:
I've also finished season 3 of Stranger Things and I'm excited to start watching season 4 tonight!
pretty solid day. job was mostly emotional labor. sometimes managing people is like playing therapist. worked out, strength training again. i’ll wait till i do it more than twice before saying i’m getting into it, but i am enjoying it. did a little writing. what can i say, it was a day.
oh, there are suddenly creepy scratchy skittering noises coming from inside the walls upstairs by the laundry room. bet you five dollars a squirrel got in there some how. i’m really curious about it because we have no attic or crawlspace for them to get in through, and also there are no tree branches that go above our roof. so i’m not sure how it would have gotten in there. a critter catcher is coming out this afternoon to check it out.
Found a box of cables in the back of a closet today, it contained gems such as Parallel cables, VGA to S-Video adapters and an actual FireWire 800 DV-Cam cable. These will be useful in a couple of upcoming Arduino projects I have planned and it means that I don't have to trawl eBay for old cables.
Another box contained a bunch of old tapes that I made when I was 11 with a friend of mine. He did the voices of some Lego characters and you can hear me just losing my shit in the background, completely unable to stop laughing at his antics.
Since the start of the pandemic I started keeping a diary: what times I’ve been waking up or going to bed, what I’ve been eating — how much of and when, how many minutes I spend in the shower, what medications and supplements I’ve taken (they're a lot); mundane things that don’t mean anything to anyone, maybe not even to myself, although I suppose it is useful to know how much water I’ve been drinking or if I’m getting enough Vitamin D — I heard Vitamin D helps during the winters to boost your mood, but it’s not even winter, and I still dread waking up every day, past noon, but getting up anyway to drink a terrible cup of instant coffee, and scavenging for some stale bread from the back of my freezer (it had been there for ages); when the world started to open up again, I wondered if my solitary planet would burst out of its bubble, and suddenly thrust me back out, like a newborn upside down, covered in blood, my umbilical cord about to be cut, crying for my mother or crying because I’m alive and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Without even realising it, I went on a bit of an internet detox this weekend. My phone’s gone almost 50 hours on a single charge, which is pretty good. I spent most of the weekend between working on some new design projects and watching the wildlife in our garden. It’s really become a sanctuary for so many different kinds of species, I even found a threatened leaf-cutter bee building a nest which was amazing to watch. I’m somewhat reluctant to return to social media yet, I think I’ll keep riding this wave for a while longer.