november 27, 2022 // plumbing leak & uxntal.
Well, beans. We have a leak in one of the hot water lines in the crawlspace of our house. Can't tell if it's from the leak or the rains we've been having, but we've also got a bit of a pool of water down there. We've arranged to have a plumber come visit tomorrow, but in the meantime we're running without hot water and I manually pumped the water out from under the crawlspace. I'm not comfortable enough to repair copper plumbing just yet, but hopefully it won't be a terribly expensive repair job. Yee-owtch!
Thanksgiving was pretty awesome. My partner and I threw down and we're still eating leftovers. In the meantime, I've been working on learning uxn by solving simple programming problems. I was pretty proud of my solution for reading a line from STDIN.
uxntal is an interesting language & programming environment. I'm much slower programming in uxntal than C or Perl. I think a good part of that is that it's not a derivative language of C. I picked up Go, Python, and Rust a lot faster because they already felt familiar, while uxntal is the first language I've used in reverse polish notation. It feels kinda like an easier-to-write 6502 assembly with the way Devine has set up the system devices and interrupt handlers.
I'm enjoying it, in other words! :)
november 24, 2022 // thanksgiving.
It's been a pretty relaxing Thanksgiving! Been cooking all day and goofing around with uxn when I had a spare moment. I started up a repository of solutions for simple programming problems written in uxntal. I always enjoy solving little fidget problems whenever I pick up a new programming language. Project Euler is a good set of problems, too.
I still have three days of weekend! Gonna go visit my dad and stepmom with the kids Saturday, but the rest of the time looks like it's going to be free for me to do whatever I please. The weather looks like it may rain tomorrow and Saturday, but if it holds off Sunday I may try to get out for a little hiking.
Off and on, I've also been playing Tactics Ogre: Reborn on the Nintendo Switch. I've not played the original version, so I was surprised to find out that the same director, Yasumi Matsuno, was also responsible for Final Fantasy Tactics— one of my favorite games growing up, and a cornerstone of the tactical RPG genre. The gameplay feels very familiar without replaying FFT yet again. I dig it. :)
november 20, 2022 // holiday rest.
Been a busy weekend so far, got food for thanksgiving, split finances with coparent, got partner's car from their ex's. But— it's very nearly holiday season here and I'm so friggin' excited. Lots of time spent at home resting, playing, and tinkering. Spending time with family, snug inside as the weather turns cool. Reading books, playing games— ahh! It's gonna be good.
Today, we'll get a few decorations since it's our first time decorating a house together for Christmas, and I'll probably go for a run! Maybe get a few groceries, but generally take it easy today. No yard work for me, I think!
november 15, 2022 // less phone, please.
I've had some trouble sleeping lately, and last night had a bout of biphasic sleep after going to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour. I'm starting to suspect that my phone usage at night might be causing me some trouble vis-a-vis my sleeping rhythm. So I'm going to be a little more mindful of my phone usage in the near future. That means charging my phone outside of my bedroom and using it less.
I also took Mastodon off of my phone home screen. FOMO is going to be hitting me a little bit, but it'll subside. I can always catch up on my computer! Mainly, I just wanna be on my phone less than I have been lately. :)
november 12, 2022 // so many great book recommendations!
My partner's dad wanted us to put some wishlists together for Christmas gifts. I've been kind of stalling on it, but today I took the opportunity to ask for book recommendations on the fediverse.
Wow, did I ever get some great recommendations! I took some of those and used them to start a few note pages for home projects and gardening. Hopefully they'll grow and spawn some new pages of their own. Another page I'd like to add: cooking and recipes. But that may have to wait for another day— it's getting quite late in the evening and I'm ready for bed. :)
november 11, 2022 // the storm has calmed.
This week has been fairly tumultuous— we had the remains of a hurricane roll through town in the night last night and my partner had to clean out the rest of their apartment this week. Fortunately, the storm seems to have come and gone without causing any serious damage (here, at least) and my partner cleared out and cleaned up their apartment just fine. It always feels good to get that sort of thing behind you. Speaking for myself: I'm a huge procrastinator and the dread of doing something difficult is often worse than actually doing the thing.
Anyway, it feels real good to get that stuff behind us. I've a few tree limbs to pick up in the yard this weekend, but that can wait until the ground is dry. It's still raining just a smidge here.
Now that the immediate difficulties of moving into a house and out of two apartments are behind us, the relief is palpable and we are already starting to think of interesting things to do now that we're feeling more settled. Camping may be on the agenda, as are cultivating the yard and arranging & decorating the house in a way that makes it feel like our home.
I'm considering taking a woodworking class over at the local community college! I want to learn how to build neat things like floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and broaden my expertise beyond computers and engineering endeavors. I'm already getting really excited at the prospect. 🥰
november 5, 2022 // scott pilgrim vs. the world.
This weekend, my partner and I have to clean out their apartment so they can turn the keys back in. I'm so ready to be done with all this stuff. Getting a bunch of laundry done today, too.
Last night, we watched Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. I have no idea how I haven't seen it before. It felt like a moving comic book and captured the feeling of awkwardness incredibly well. I enjoyed it a lot!
I've been pokin' 'round gemini and gopher a bit this morning. Stumbled across the small things manifesto courtesy of smolzine issue 35. It's a pretty good read!
Man, I just don't wanna do the things today— I just want a relaxing weekend, dang it!
november 4, 2022 // on writing.
Devine Lu Linvega wrote the following in a post last night:
I had this little personal list of my favourite blog posts of all time. They're all offline, all 404, I had to double, triple check, they're all offline, the remaining few that were still live just a few months ago are gone. I thought maybe my connection was down, no, they're all just gone from the internet.
The internet swallowed them. I can't believe it. I don't know what we'd do without the waybackmachine. We'd just forget everything I guess.
It got me thinking about the impermanence of writing, especially things shared online. And so: I wrote a philosophy page about writing.
TL;DR— I enjoy the ephemeral nature of writing. It is precisely because I know that it's temporary that I'm free to write. Still, I'm really glad the internet archive's wayback machine exists so that we can remember things just a little longer than the systems we put in place to share those things.
november 1, 2022 // technologically unenthused.
Halloween was pretty awesome— we went trick or treating around the neighborhood and saw a bunch of costumes and decorations. Our neighborhood has a lot of older folk in it, so they were pretty happy to see our little one trouncing up to their porches. :)
I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, but today I've just been unenthusiastic about technology, which I suppose is a pretty strange thing for a software engineer to say. I suppose the doom & gloom related to Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter has been rubbing off on me a bit. Actually, now that I think about it, reading David Graeber's Bullshit Jobs is probably what's been putting me in such a dour mood about technology and its effects on society.
I kinda miss the enthusiasm and excitement that surrounded tech in the late 90's and early 2000's. Things felt more experimental then, but now things are libraries, frameworks, and blockchains all the way down.
I think I'll spend the evening reading a more uplifting book. :)
october 29, 2022 // halloween weekend.
I've been enjoying the weekend so far. Friday, we took the little one to do a trunk or treat at her school. Today, the park and chores. Two loads of laundry, and quite a bit of reading The Timeless Way of Building. It's been a good book— very zen sort of approach to the design of homes, cities, and the lives within.
Our classic horror movie streak continued with:
Halloween is Monday, so I suspect that this film streak will be ending soon. Perhaps we'll watch Freddy vs. Jason to cap it all off.
I've got to say, I'm not normally a fan of the horror genre, but I've been enjoying these films. They're all pretty kitschy, but phenomenal popcorn fare. I had a stint about 10 years ago where I went through a lot of classic films voraciously, and I honestly think I enjoyed this horror movie streak more than, say, Citizen Kane.
Tomorrow will likely be a chill day at home. I've got some leaves to rake and some branches and pine cones to pick up. Perhaps more reading on the porch if the weather is nice enough!
october 27, 2022 // perl, picture, & book.
I added a picture of myself to the about page of this website, in case anyone is curious what I look like. I'm kind of fond of it— I love being outdoors and it reminds me of the visit to the flower garden where it was taken.
I haven't really been doing any Pascal programming these days, so I wound up scrapping that section of my notes and replacing it with a new section about perl. Not much there, but wow do I love that scrappy "swiss-army chainsaw" of a programming language.
Speaking of chainsaws, my partner and I continued our dive into horror movie classics with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It was alright, I suppose. It didn't grab me quite like the other films did. I can see why it's considered a classic, though.
My inter-library loan came in for The Timeless Way of Building. I'm excited to read it! I love that I can get a book from anywhere in the state delivered to my local library branch. That really expands the breadth of possible works I can read. I think there's 3 whole copies of this book throughout the state, and one was basically delivered right to me! That's really neat.
october 26, 2022 // the horror.
My partner and I watched Night of the Living Dead last night. It's actually in the public domain— you can watch it straight from the Wikipedia page. The film was really good, especially for its time. It's clear that it was both a genre-maker and subversive for the political climate of its time. I loved the protagonist.
We were just kind of goofing off on our computers when we decided to watch one of the horror movie classics. I'm real glad we did. The last one we watched was Halloween, which we watched with a bunch of friends on a Discord video call. I'm really digging these classics, especially in the lead-up to Halloween on Monday. I especially like that they build up an atmosphere and feeling of claustrophobia instead of relying on jump-scares and high-quality special effects that more modern horror fare does. I'm not particularly a fan or connoisseur of the genre, but these movies have definitely pulled me in.
october 24, 2022 // a key, released.
Had one last look at my apartment at lunch today, then turned the key back in to the leasing office. It's nice to have that done, although we still need to clean out my partner's apartment. Happy to have a reprieve for a little bit, at any rate.
I'm currently reading Giles Slade's Made to Break. It's a fascinating read so far— it's a sort of history of modern engineering, planned obsolescence, and technological waste. I just read a bit about Alan Kay's contribution of the "desktop" metaphor that we use in modern computing during his time at Xerox PARC. Part of it makes me wonder what the next game-changer might be in computing paradigms.
Had a bit of an epiphany in how my brain works: it's significantly nicer to share things I have done than it is to share the things I plan to do. I suppose I'd rather leave the future open-ended than lock myself into a path that I may not actually want to pursue!
october 23, 2022 // the cleanse.
Today is the last hurrah for cleaning out my apartment before I turn the keys over on Friday. This is it! Finally done paying rent and back into a house. A 30-year mortgage isn't substantially different but we will be able to put a garden in the back yard, at least.
Naturally, I'm procrastinating on the task. I'll probably go for a run in a little bit, shower, have lunch, and then get started in earnest.
This is my first blog post on my website. I've had blogs on Gopher and Gemini, but those were short-lived things. I really enjoy the protocols, especially when you've got clients like bombadillo and amfora to peruse them.
That said, I never did get the swing of figuring out what to post there. Seems like the majority of posts on those protocols discuss the protocols themselves, which is fine but gets stale quickly, at least for me. I find myself wondering why I'm writing on a niche protocol. Either the writing is private and should go in my journal, or it is public and better served by being shared on a protocol that is familiar and accessible.
But, I digress. It's high time to finish my coffee, lace up my running shoes, and get this day started.