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2024-04-23 — March - Caffeine's Monthly Digest

Wow, March just zipped by. It was packed with stuff to do, and here I am, almost at the end of April, finally taking a moment to think about all that happened.

Honestly, March was way better than February. I felt like my life had a bit more sparkle, and things just seemed to go my way more often.

I got my hands into a bunch of different projects, which was cool. Plus, I'm back working out of an office space that wasn't my home for a couple days a week, which honestly helped me keep a solid routine.

Ah, I also attended an ambient music workshop. it was pretty neat.

March was also about healing and grieving. Right after it, April came along with its own kind of intensity, but in a good way.

So, looking back, March was like this quiet little haven for me to get my head and heart back on track.

2024-04-21 - Marshlog


Well, it's real now. We are moving to Nashville. I came to Boston in 2009 to study computer science and stayed for the career opportunities, loud and then quiet music scene (where I met Alejandra), and the wonderful friends we've made over the years.

Becoming a parent has reinforced how important family proximity is. Last year {was a doozy}. There were tough, tough moments, both from the challenge of Keep Baby Healthy and stress from my work. We have friends who would leap to help us here in Boston, but it's intangibly different. It feels like asking for a favor rather than something unconditional. I'll note how lucky we are to have a family like that.

I spent the last week starting to prep the house for a move, packing the basement and de-cluttering. We put loads of free stuff out on the curb which was scooped up with alarming immediacy. My parents visited to hang with Meadow and help prep. It was a good week.

I'm especially proud of some repairs my dad and I made: each room has a spot where where radiator pipes penetrated the floor. Those radiators now removed (we replaced the gas furnace with heat pumps a while back), the holes are apparent and unsightly. We cut fit pieces of hemlock and plywood to plug the holes and artfully stained them to match.

Tomorrow is back to work, though. Woke last night to an onslaught of stressful work thoughts I had blissfully suppressed for the week away from the computer. Alas.

A lot of work ahead to do the whole sell house thing, but very excited to be close to parents and brother.

2024-04-20 -

I noticed I have so many things I want to talk about on here, so I better hurry up and create a section for writings. However, it's not gonna be something that uniquely hosts elaborated and long forms of text: I've made that mistake once, and the result was that I simply stopped writing stuff pretty soon. Instead, the only requirement I'm setting for something to become a "writing" is that I can give it a title. That's it, which is good enough to differentiate it from the kind of "whatever I have in mind" stream of words that is the journal, this section.

But aside from that, how am I feeling? I'm not sure. I've set up a personal server through cosmos cloud, I've been ripping my many CDs onto it and being extra careful with metadata. I've been replacing KDE with GNOME, just because I needed some change. I've started Fallout 3 once again - will I finally get to the end of the storyline without losing interest? All of this is somewhat covering up the harsh truth: I'm procrastinating, because it's time to study again. I have five exams to take, and I'm getting assaulted by fear and anxiety. Everyone's telling me it'll be fine, but I feel a bit lost; if I like these topics so much, why is it so hard to absorb them? I am at this point too old than I'd like to admit, and time is taking a toll on me in terms of my decisions in life: am I just lying to myself about my studies? Am I just faking the enjoyment and the excitement I get out of these things so I can have something to grasp onto while I live?

2024-04-19 - Freewheeling Apps

The kids got a choose-your-adventure Oregon Trail book from the library, and I got nerdsniped into making a map for it.

(It's easy to get me to do something if it involves opening

A tree summarizing a choose-your-adventure book. Each box has a page number, and you can visualize how the choices each page offers.

After finishing the map, I've been paying attention to the "meta game" of manually adjusting box positions and widths (height depends on amount of text) to make the arrangement pleasing to the eye. Constraints I've grown conscious of during this process:

I'd appreciate if anything seems jarring in this image, or if you have new OCD rules to infect me with :)

One frustration: I spent a while adjusting widths of boxes to not wrap lines within words, only to find that adjusting zoom messes things up again. This is an old problem: I can have precise scaling or crisp text, but not both. All my apps choose the latter.

2024-04-18 - compudanzas log

we dedicate this work to the public domain

public domain

2024-04-18 - compudanzas log

dedicamos este trabajo al dominio público

dominio público

2024-04-17 - compudanzas log

preparing an upcoming online talk (april 25th) and offline workshop (may 25th)!

talks and workshops

2024-04-17 - dozens's journal

On Monday I woke up feeling unwell so I stayed from home work to rest and recover. I took two naps and drank a lot of ginger tea. During one of my naps, I noticed a large insect flying around in the bedroom before closing my eyes, and decided to do nothing about it, hoping it would just leave me alone. Well, it did not leave me alone. I was awakened by a tickling sensation that turned out to be a large wasp crawling around on my face. I panicked and swatted at it, knocking it behind me and rolling away from it, but not before it stung me lightly right below my right shoulder blade. It felt like a pinch, but wasn’t all too painful. It must have not gotten the stinger in all the way or something. I turned and saw it crawling on my pillow: a large yellowjacket. I reached over to my nightstand and grabbed a tiny candle holder and placed it down on top of it, trapping it on the pillow.

I texted my partner and asked them to come help. They came and took the pillow into the closet where there is a juliette balcony to put it out the door. They lifted the candle holder and shook the pillow outside the door. But then noticed that the wasp had clung to the pillow, so they dropped it and ran away and shut the closet door. They stuffed a towel under the door so it couldn’t get back into the bedroom. So I guess the wasp lives there now and owns all our clothes.

That night, we went out and bought an electric bike from somebody we found on facebook marketplace. They were an older woman whose late husband had owned the bike. He died recently, and she was trying to get rid of some of his stuff. I don’t think she necessarily had an emotional attachment to (getting rid of) the bike or anything, but she was definitely trying to move it fast. We would have paid twice what we ended up paying for it.

The next day, we rode down to the grocery store. The nicer one that is slightly further away than the closest one that isn’t as nice. Me on my pedal powered bike, and partner on their new electric bike. We got a bunch of fresh fruit, a few vegetables, and some ice cream sandwiches.

On the way back home, we passed a couple on their bicycles. A man and a woman. The man was yelling about somebody having cut them off and then cursed at them, so he was going to go back and “punch them in the face to teach them a lesson.” The woman seemed to not like this idea and kept calling the man’s name to try to call him back and deter him. We just pedaled away from them. But in the distance behind us, we heard the man catch up to his enemy and yell at him.

When we got home we put the groceries away and ate ice cream, and I completed a crossword puzzle. My back still itches where I got stung, and there is a small hard knot under the skin. We went to bed and partner bravely got the pillow out of the closet. The wasp was nowhere to be seen but I know it’s probably still in there lurking, waiting.

2024-04-15 - Freewheeling Apps

I'm reading a paper on my phone in bed and see this problem:

Convolving a list with itself. Given a list [x1, x2, ..., xn−1, xn], where n is unknown, construct [(x1, xn), (x2, xn−1), ..., (xn−1, x2), (xn, x1)] in n recursive calls.

And I am able to switch apps and solve it right on my phone, without needing to get out of bed.

I do have to put up with some klunky syntax, though:

2024-04-13 - Freewheeling Apps

New convivial platform just dropped

Looks like it's a fork of emscripten augmented to compile a whole OS kernel and userland. Includes raylib for graphics, and Lua bindings to it so I feel at home. Seems easy to build so I'm comfortable depending on the hosted version.

There's an app store anyone can publish apps to. Your changes remain in your browser's local storage until you publish them. All apps in the app store are mounted on the file system under /usr/store so it's easy to look at their source code.

Here's a port of one of my early LÖVE apps, for geometric constructions. It's on the app store so anyone should be able to run it just by clicking on this link.

Disclaimers. It's slow. Still lots of bugs. I had to reboot the VM several times while recording this video. Commands often hang or crash, then completely stop working until I reload. It's never lost my data, though. (Data is stored in local storage.)

2024-04-13 String rewrite II - Devine Lu Linvega's journal

Rek and I are completing the remaining projects on our pre-departure list and provisioning for our sail to the 60th Parallel . Over the winter, we've strengthened critical parts aboard Pino, replaced experienced pieces of the rigging and simplified the habitat's life-systems — Hopefully, this will all make the journey safer, and dryer.

After exploring Wryl's Modal language further, I decided to write an implementation to better understand how it worked, mechanically. This sparked a renewed interest from the original creator, attracted members of catlang community to explore string rewriting and has given me long and delightful evenings pondering about how to crack various programming problems with it.

2024-04-12 - Welcome Home Deary :3

I've been in Brussels for a week at a web/art workshop and while I was there it was my birthday!
Everyone made me a super cool net-card and I wanted to share it with you!
Have you ever gotten a cool net-card? Will you be making ones for friends form now on? *You answer yess!*

Edit the original here!

I'd also like to direct your attention to the workshop's website and say a big thanks to everyone there (especially Doriane!)

If you're in Brussels over the next month you can visit our mini installation at Rue du Fort 5, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Belgium (Pizzas are available next door c:)

2024-04-09 - The Road Ahead - drisc's journal

I'm close to the end of my apprenticeship now, just a couple of months and I will be free from exams and coursework, back to simply doing my job and being able to work on side projects without a school deadline of some kind poking my brain. It has been a long way to get here, 4 years, but I have a job at the end of it. I'm planning to visit my friends oversees for the first time in 5 years later this years as well, a proper holiday after COVID and College.

I have been learning Laravel so that I can contribute to the RetroAchievements website repository, I did use a bit of Laravel years and years ago but it has changed a lot since then. Contributing to such a large codebase is also a first for me, there are a lot of considerations to be made. I started with a few CSS changes and recently refactored an API endpoint to use Eloquent ORM which just got merged, I'd like to continue with API work and build some new ones for functionality that is missing or has been requested.

2024-04-08 - Marshlog


The last time I experienced a major solar eclipse Alej, Q and I traveled down to Nashville to experience totality. It really was something. I remember first darkness, then cicadas and bats coming to life, then humans all around us hollering and applauding.

August 2017 in Nashville, TN moments before totality. Moments before werewolf transformation.
August 2017 in Nashville, TN moments before totality. Moments before werewolf transformation.

For a brief moment, everything changed and all life was connected to two distant, coincident bodies.

This year we did not travel to totality. On the tail end of a weeks-long illness, the 9X% eclipse Boston was getting was good enough, fine really! Toddler and pup in tow, we went on a many mile stroll during the witching hour. I brought a plastic container a plant came in, with holes perfect for eclipse projection. While the sense of all-living-being-unity was not acute and profound as it was in August of 2017, we did have some nice interactions with the swarms of people out and about.

The catastrophic and the celestial - the duo able to shake humanity awake for just long enough to stop for a moment and look around (or up).

2024-04-04 Splash - a

My website now has a splash page! Hovering the cursor over characters reveals little speech bubbles, it's possible to click on those and it'll take you somewhere on this site. If ever clicking/hovering on the image doesn't occur to people, I also added a re-direct that kicks in after 10 seconds.

I am still working on the new comic sequence for hakum. Unlike previous releases, where I would publish pages as I finished them, I will publish them all at once. Here is a sneak peek.

A few months ago I bought some mochigome(sticky Japanese rice) with the goal of learning how to make mochi. It took me a long time to try because I wasn't sure it was possible to do by hand on the boat. Most tutorials require the use of powered appliances. I've seen Japanese do it by hand by rapidly beating the dough with a mallet, I knew I couldn't do exactly that, but I had a pestle. I cooked the rice, transferred the rice to a bowl, crushed the rice with a potato masher, then went to work beating the dough using my pestle. It's hard work, it took me around 15 minutes of constant beating to get it to a sticky, cohesive mass. Then, I used plenty of cornstarch to separate the dough into 10 balls. Devine & I later cooked the balls with roasted sesame oil in a pan. The result was rice cakes that were crunchy on the outside, and soft and sticky on the inside. We'll make mochi again for sure, maybe next time we'll try to stuff the sticky dough with sweet red beans(anko). See the result.

I made another small rope mat for pino earlier this month. The little black mat was even featured in the latest hundredrabbits newsletter(without the flemish coil). If you're wondering what Little Ninj is doing in the image, he is trying to flatten the mat. When a new mat is finished it won't be comfortable to step on because the ropes are still round, but if the mat is set on the floor, time and the passing of feet will flatten it out. Stamping on a mat repeatedly is a quick way to flatten it, it's also possible to use a rubber mallet. Generally, we tolerate the initial discomfort and wait for the material to settle on its own.

In the interest of conserving useful articles about boating/sailing, I mirrored two articles on my website: defensive boating and gunwale and hull cushioning.

2024-04-02 - blog

Migrated my Firefish server to Sharkey today. I had to spend a while stumbling blindly through the totally foreign territory of docker and postgres, but it worked out surprisingly well in the end, except that I managed to delete all the media with a careless rm -rf. Whoops.

I also recently bought my first Lego set in the better part of a decade, at the recommendation of this blog post by Kalechips. I don't have much to say about them beyond what's covered there, but I absolutely love them. Definitely one of the better ways I could have spent a hundred Canadian FunBucks™.

Roughly to-scale sized Lego models of a blue morpho butterfly, a hercules beetle, and a chinese mantis.

2024-04-02 String rewrite - Devine Lu Linvega's journal

We are waiting for a few parts that we had machined, to return to us from the local fabricator. While we wait, I spend most of time playing with esolangs, one that has especially interested me lately is Modal, which is a simple string-rewriting scheme similar to Thue, but with the added feature that it allows for variables, and recognizes scope delimiters. It's a brutally simple idea that allows a program to be shaped as to mimic nearly any programing paradigm.

I had been reticent to expanding the Uxntal macro system because of how it creates disjointed fragments of code that couldn't be properly optimized, but after talking to people writing programs in which macros were definitely the right tool for the task, I've decided to rewrite the implementation and make them more robust.

2024-04-02 - Freewheeling Apps

Drawing histograms

screenshot of Lua Carousel drawing some histograms

2024-03-29 - Freewheeling Apps

The simplest possible dither

"Add noise then quantize."