Snow

Last week, a couple of days ago to be more precise, we had our first snow of the year here. Now it wasn't a lot, and is quickly melting since the temperature is still above 0°, but what a difference it makes, how much lighter the whole worlds seems in these dark times of the year with simply some white snow on the ground.

It's one of those strange things, that you know and expect yet kind of have to marvell at every time, the difference it makes.

The less fun part—for me at least—is that this means that we are slowly transitioning from autumn to winter, which means that my daily walks will get a bit colder, especially noticeable since the past autumn has actually been rather warm. Now, predicting the weather for long stretches of time is always hard and I haven't even looked at the short-term forecasts, so maybe this was just a blip and it gets warmer again, but still, it's a reminder that winter is (probably) around the corner.

I do hope for warm-ish winter, still under 0° so that we get to keep the snow, but not by much so I don't have to freeze too much when going outside.

Misc

Introversion

Having spent some time with my mother in the recent days, along with my usual gaming in the evenings, has given me renewed insight into my own, I suppose introversion is the right word.

Now, it's something I have been aware of about myself for a long time already, never being one that is at home at parties or larger gatherings, but what it has put into the spotlight is merely a rather significant need to have time that is simply mine, that I don't necessarily spend with anyone else or if I do it's more a case of being "alone together" where we are each doing our own thing.

This has recently, even though I am doing things I enjoy with people I enjoy, manifested itself as a form of stress and tiredness, to which the answer of course is simple: spend some time alone doing things for yourself, like writing. What then complicates matters, is not only the hours available in a day—I have been doing the things I have been doing since I want to spend time with people that are important to me—but also to a certain degree a feeling of guilt or perhaps even duty to spend the time with those people.

Taking a guess, this feeling stems from wanting to please others and making sure they are having a good time, and putting those needs before my own. Now, there have certainly been times and situations where I have managed my own needs better than I am at the moment, but that tinge of guilt of not participating has still always been there, the feeling of not belonging or not being wanted.

Reconciling these two extremes, on one hand needing time alone doing my own thing and on the other feeling guilty or left out when I am doing exactly that and others are doing their thing is something it seems I still have to work on, but for the moment the need for alone time is winning out.

Misc

(New) Shadowlands release date

So a while back, we got the (new) release date for Shadowlands, 24.11.2020.

My feelings toward this are rather mixed, one the one hand, it means we get to play new content and hopefully properly explore the new zones, something I've put off doing on the beta for the release. On the other hand, though I'm hopeful that Blizzard will figure everything out in time for release, it all feels somewhat unfinished in the state it is in during my last testing.

Beyond that, the release date along with the two week delay until the raid opens and one week delay until mythic becomes available, means we will once more have progress over the holidays which is never really a nice thing. I mean, there'll probably be less going on anyway what with the pandemic going on, but still, having that sort of split attention is never all that nice—much prefer simply being able to take a break from raiding during that time rather than having it lurking in the background.

At this very moment though, I think my elation is winning over my pessimism, since I am actually rather looking forward to playing more World of Warcraft, especially with how good the opportunities to play several characters look in the expansion. Now, sure, I can do that during the prepatch, but there just isn't a lot of content to pursue that feels in any way shape or form meaningful at the moment—the raid is on farm since months at this point, gear is about to become completely obsolete, and the whole transmog and mount farming thing wasn't really my, well, thing to any great extent. Sure, getting some specific transmogs can be nice at times, but I rarely feel any particular need to simply catch them all as it were.

To be fair, we are even doing that to a degree, with a somewhat long-running at this point weekly Molten Core run, trying to get Thunderfury. But it's not exactly the kind of content that provides a lot of engagement with a character nor does it take a significant amount of time, so it's not really the experience I'm looking for in the game most of the time.

At any rate, there is that old saying of learning to accept the things one cannot change, and my actions at this point in time have rather little influence on the outcome of the release so all I can do is wait and see, making any sort of premature worrying and overthinking of the whole thing rather pointless. I'll just have to end up showing up for the launch—which I'm hoping goes smoothly once more—level a bit, have some fun with friends, and take my time enjoying the start of the expansion, since it's looking like that too is an option this time around. In the meantime, my energy is better spent making sure the time up until that point is spent enjoyably in good company.

World of Warcraft

Anxiety

So, lately, I've noticed a certain trend in myself of being rather anxious, or perhaps stressed. I worry about the things I need to do, I feel like I get almost nothing done, and I feel like I have this recurring problem with my scalp getting itchy where I'm not quite sure if it actually gets itchy or I'm so anxious about it happening that I focus on it and start noticing the itchiness and then it all snowballs from there.

Now that last one, to be fair, is probably combination of factors and my scalp actually being really dry and itchy is definitely also a contributing factor, but it feels like the anxiety might also be contributing to how they are manifesting and making themselves noticed.

As for the worrying, well, it feels like it's partially down to trying to create some new healthy routines—and routine in general—and the stress associated with making sure not only that I do those things but also the perceived time they take, along with the effort of actually going through with it.

These routines still feel like a gain in the long run but it seems that building them up is taking something of a bigger toll than I had anticipated at the start, especially since they are daily things and as such I never really get respite and a chance to recouperate from trying to adapt and adopt these new changes. Luckily it isn't something I'm undertaking alone which makes it all doable, but we both have our own challenges in actually achieving this goal.

Now, I guess, comes the hard part, after having identified the problem and its potential causes, trying to figure out a way to solve it and actually move past this all. That part I am unfortunately still working on, might be that merely time will solve it for me once the new routines actually become routine and not something I have to really think about, or maybe there are greater unknowns still somewhere lurking that I need to solve in order for this to be over.

Still, I suppose this chronichling of those challenges is a step in the right direction, helping me in my thought process by making it all a bit easier to analyse and take in. I do hope I find a solution soon, this itchiness is really starting to get annyoing, worst part is it was away for a bit and then came back again...

Misc

Router

I did something a bit interesting recently, namely replace my pfSense virtual machine with just a plain Debian install which I configured myself. There were a few reasons I decided to do this replacement and build something myself instead of going with some sort of ready-made package, chief among them the feeling that almost all router distributions (at least the free ones that I have access to) had really subpar IPv6 support which is a problem since I want to look into potentially moving the home network into a single-stack IPv6 world if possible—spoiler alert: not possible.

Now this changeover didn't go quite as painlessly as I had probably hoped, mainly because even in bespoke world there was quite a lot of additional scripting I needed to do in order to support some of the configurations I wanted, and even then there are some outliers like the "smart"-TV that seem to not like being in an IPv6-only world even though all the services the TV accesses are IPv6 enabled.

The first hurdle came fairly early on, after I had gotten the automatic address assignment working primarily through DHCPv6 when I wanted those addresses to get registered in DNS since an IPv6-address is obviously something of a pain to type in and relearn every time they go around changing due to the automatic assignment. Now, while this is something of a supported thing in the ISC DHCP and DNS servers, unfortunately the most important clients for this feature—the servers, mostly running Debian—didn't include the necessary configuration in their DHCP clients out of the box to enable this to happen meaning they all needed to be reconfigured. Not a big deal—and something that makes me want to take another look at configuration management tools even if most of the configuration of most of my servers is still in the "pet" category since they tend to be one-offs serving only one purpose—but still rather annoying and required some debugging to find out why they were behaving that way since my Windows workstation had no problem registering itself.

The second problem in this saga came from reverse DNS entries. Since my address prefix is dynamic and assigned through DHCPv6 from my ISP, even if it rarely changes, I couldn't go the easy route of simply configuring it in the DNS and DHCP server and letting the updates happen that way automatically but rather ended up having to add a hook on the router for the DHCP client to modify the configuration files of the two other services and then reload them as needed. Now this works and is the implementation that I'm currently using, but there were some growing pains since at one point the DNS server decided that these reloads meant it could also drop all of the dynamically assigned addresses from the DHCP server which meant ever time the router got a new DHCP assignemnt it also forgot where all the server were—or rather, their names—which is a less than ideal situation to be in. I found a workaround for this that is less than ideal—simply not updating the serial number of the DNS zone—and somewhat hacky but hey, at least it all works for now.

Having had all of this running now for a while has been something of a mixed bag. Sure, everything basically works and having been able to mostly switch over to IPv6 for internal traffic like was my goal from the start has been really nice, but it is all still a bit janky which I noticed most recently when the server froze due to a CPU bug and needed rebooting, which unfortunately did not lead to the router rebooting itself gracefully and it was instead stuck on bringing up network interfaces for something like 5 minutes before giving up and just booting up without doing that. So even a month or so later, it all still has some rough edges but to be fair I think that was to be expected what with there actually being so big a market for ready-made solutions. It just means I need to start taking the long view on this project instead of assuming it's something I'm simply done with, which is fine.

Misc