Ranting and Raving

Around the time my younger child was born, I decided to go back to school. While college and I have not really seen eye to eye (which is to say I have taken a lot of classes but hold no degree) I have come away from my experiences with a richer mental life and a greater appreciation for the varied experiences of my fellow humans. Community college, especially, is a true melting pot of people from every walk of life but a rich one coming together to make themselves, and possibly the world, better. One is never too old nor too young to learn, nor too white or Black or queer or whatever.

The most lasting experience...

After detoxing from caffeine for several days, weaning down on black tea with no coffee intake, and no caffeine at all yesterday, I have had my first mug of MUD/WTR :rise this morning.

Whether or not it is like energetic angels winging me through my day remains to be seen, but these are my first impressions.

2023-01-03 Fungi (Probably Not) On My Brain

You may, or may not, be interested to know that you are infested with fungi right now. You can wash all you like, change your diet, engage in really unhealthy regimens of questionable “miracle cures” and you will never, ever be rid of it. It’s probably not infecting your brain and controlling all of your thoughts.


Allow me to first apologize. I've been out of touch, an international man of mystery, totally not talking… Nor have I really been writing.

Mental health (yes, again) is a funny thing. You could think of it like the management of chronic pain, which sometimes it is―the management of emotional pain. Sometimes you need to reassess the situation and that can mean adjusting medication.

Get it? Get it?

Bottom line: If you run Linux, yeah, you probably should.

I've been using a third-party software solution to solve a problem that shouldn't even exist. Because of this, I was be able to switch from Dropbox to Google Drive. One less account is always a welcome change. Once I got more used to the Keep interface, I dropped Evernote (and $4/month) for the Google product. Keep is a free* note taking app from Google. Evernote was, of course, more feature-ful, but it was also slowly failing and getting really noisy in its desperation.

The short version

I am the proud owner of a host of mental health issues, bipolar disorder among them, and my medication needed adjustment. Hijinx ensued, but I'm feeling much better now.

You never know what's going to come across the ol' news feed. There's usually lots of boardgames and videogames, quite a bit of the back and forth in Washington, the inevitable reports on the ongoing plague, and every once in a while something just a little different such as Wesley J. Smith's piece for The National Review, a conservative soapbox.

It says 'Crunchy.'

Mistaking a Mountain for a Molehill

Or "How I heard about the global semiconductor shortage."

My six-year-old graphics card inexplicably died. I fought against the idea for a long time, eventually even reinstalling my whole system to wipe out the possibility of any bugs from cruft left over from previous versions or even a prior OS clogging up my filesystem.

So I had to start fresh with a new image and re-import all of the SVG's again, simplified this time. I am being super literal when I say that.  When exporting to SVG, you can choose to "Simplify geometries to reduce output file size"... I discovered the simplicity of the exported paths...

I'm Not A Cartographer

I don't make maps. I've drawn some crude representations of areas, towns, cities, continents—all with no thought to accuracy or scale. "Gee, that looks pretty." Aaaand... Done! ...

Try to buy some imagery and the process starts with "contact us for a quote" and that roughly translates to "Waaayyy outside of my meager budget"... So let me tell you what I did find...

Pixel art coins arranged in rows on a gradient background.

When I was a kid, a candy bar cost 50¢. A can of soda, the same. I could get a Tootsie Roll for a penny... Today a candy bar is $1.25. That's a 250% increase in price for the same product. Probably a lot of things have increased in a similar manner in more than 30 years... The prices on everything just keep going up.

Except on video games.

Animated GIF showing gameplay from Opus Magnum by Zachtronics

It has been a minute, but I finally got back around to spending some time with Opus Magnum while waiting for my ride to Easter Fiesta, which is to say we celebrated the holiday by eating at a Mexican restaurant with my parents.

Free of Cat Poop

Between work and dinner I did some sandbox puzzling. The wonderful thing about a "sandbox" puzzle game is that there is no single solution. You are free to be as optimal or Rube Goldberg as you wish. The only goal is to successfully complete the challenge at hand. In the case of Opus Magnum that will consist of using various mechanisms to manipulate alchemical elements that look very much like marbles in order to achieve some desired final configuration and then dropping your creation into a target slot.

Image of a foraging pouch with included gift bag.

My town is full of trash. It. Is. Everywhere.

I have been making an effort to get my big ass up and moving lately. I have been doing some yard work and I have gone on some walks, usually with the dogs. I also walk to work almost every day but that's not exactly a long walk.

It started with the leaf raking. I decided to rake up my leaves and start producing "leaf mold". That's a whole other conversation. While raking, I picked up litter of various sizes and compositions from all over the lawn. Beer cans, gum wrappers, all sorts of junk. The boys and I put the leaves into a big lawn bag and the trash into a smaller kitchen bag as we went.

Once I started looking, I couldn't not see it.

Cover art of Malo album Suffermore

I "randomly" (probably actually selected by my Google AI overlords) found this guy on Google Mu-- er, I mean, YouTube Music, of course...