Posted in Misc

Time

I've been in something of a strange mood lately, after my infatuation with Crusader Kings 3 was over—and probably because of it being over—where time has taken on some rather strange characteristics. On the one hand, it feels like time passes rather slowly, as I'm not really doing anything that manages to captivate me at the moment in any real sense—all the more apparent because I so shortly beforehand was so completely and utterly captivated by something—yet at the same time I end up being surprised every evening at it already being evening and the day having gone and me not really having done anything—not having done anything is of course inaccurate, yet that being the feeling I have.

This underlying feeling of the days passing by quickly yet at the same time hours going slowly somehow is made worse by the simultaneous feeling that there is something I either should be doing or something ominous that the days are ticking towards that I should somehow be doing something about, yet I have no idea what either of these things are. Sure, one of the things I feel like I should be doing is ironically playing more Crusader Kings, since the stop was just somehow so abrupt and in the middle of a game in a sense I feel some sort of strange obligation to go back and re-discover the joy I had playing it before, yet at the same time I just have no motivation or real desire to actually do so—it's strange to have such a feeling of obligation towards a thing.

What the ominous thing on the horizon might be, I can't really say. Maybe it is simply the fear of not having the ability to go on such indulgences in the future, where I can wholly dedicate myself to something I am enjoying in the moment because I have other obligations to be taking care of, and am consequently yearning back to the comfort of being completely engrossed by something and as such escaping from the clutches of reality into the recesses of my own mind and obsession.

Actually, that's probably exactly what it is.

It's somewhat ironic, that the very fear of this ominous future is what is preventing me from taking the steps to remedy the problem in the present, not allowing myself to free myself from the clutches of what was and concentrate on what can be, ending up in a spiral of guilt leaving me unable to find something else to enjoy or build the framework to allow myself to reach more enjoyment in the future because I am so busy punishing myself for daring to be done with something and not needing or wanting to continue with it; paralyzed by my own internal conflicts.

I am sure this will all pass, as it has many a time before where I have been engrossed by something and consequently had difficulties adjusting back to not being so after either losing interest or finishing the thing in question, yet I have to say, the adjustment period sucks.

Misc

2021 Retrospective

One of the fun things about writing this blog regularly is the ability to go back and look at what I was thinking about at specific points in time, and the improved ability for myself to be more aware of my own thoughts and feelings. Now to be fair, I mostly don't really make use of this opportunity, as I quite often find it difficult to interact with things I have created—or rather written—but there are times where it feels fitting.

It seems, at the end of last year, I was very focused on what I wanted to be doing with this blog, and I think that has shown through to a degree in the types of posts I have made this year, with them being very inwards-looking and analytical of myself or whatever it was that I was interested in at the time. I also think that the things I feel comfortable sharing with whoever stumbles upon this blog have increased, allowing me to more freely write and reflect on myself on here than was the case before—maybe that comes from in general getting more comfortable with myself and who I am as time goes on, even though I fear there is still a lot of work to be done on that front.

Something I've also more distinctly noted this year than the latter half of last year—the approximate time my personal challenge to publish something here every week has been going on—is that while it hasn't necessarily become more difficult to think about something I want to write about, it does feel like I have been less successful in actually getting something published this year than when I started with the challenge. I think that might be the natural progression of things, when starting out it's easy to remain motivated and keep pushing through any hard patches with the motivation alone, but as time goes by that motivation wanes and the only thing remaining keeping one going is some vague desire to have it done which is considerably easier to overpower—which also keeps getting easier every time one allows oneself to just skip a week, since what's one more time? Despite that, I remain relatively proud of myself to have even such a good track record with this as I do, where on most weeks I did manage to publish something, and for the most part it was even in my personally agreed upon time-slot of 9:00 Monday.

More thinking than looking back—remember, mostly not comfortable actually looking back at the things I've written—it does feel kind of great to be slowly building a collection of written works that I can look back on even if I rarely do. There's just something comforting in having that ability, and something reassuring in being able to see that and know that it's something I'm capable of—especially since what I'm capable of or rather all the things I'm not capable of have been somewhat heavily weighing on my mind lately, more or less consciously, but that's probably something to write about another time if at all.

Overall, it feels like this year has given me a lot to think about, especially as looking back at the end of last year, it felt like things for me personally were heading in a better direction, and while that is true once again as I'm writing this, the past month or two have been a rather hard time mentally and it's only really now that I'm starting to get perhaps a little better that I'm actually understanding how hard it has been. Despite that difficulty, there has also been some progress on a personal level where I have had a certain feeling of slowly getting forward both with accepting myself and confronting my fears—perhaps it is exactly those things that have caused it to be such a hard time—which with the holidays once more upon us does give a certain amount of hope for the future. Heck, I've even noticed myself enjoying things I thought I was past finding enjoyment for, if that's not a good sign for the future I don't know what is.

Here's hoping this upward trajectory continues into the next year!

Misc

I forgot

So last week on Monday evening, I realized that I hadn't written anything for the blog yet, simply having forgot to do so. I had been meaning to sit down and write something over the weekend, but just never ended up finding the time or remembering to do so.

So, as said, Monday evening rolls around, and I think to myself "well, that's fine, but I'll write that I just forgot at some point during the week, maybe even with a few extended thoughts, and it'll just be a shorter post this time around". Lo and behold, it is the weekend again, and I still haven't written anything, so it all now rolls on to the next post. An unfortunate circumstance to be sure, but not the end of the world I don't think.

To be quite honest, this sort of forgetfulness is something of a theme in my life, and I tend to organize things in such a manner that they are in my way so that they become harder to forget, it just hasn't been necessary for the blog yet and as such when a time of greater activity came about it got overlooked. It really does help that in general I have such a generous amount of time allotted to myself to write these things, meaning in all likelihood at some point during the week I'll end up remembering to write a post on here—even if that all too often ends up being on Sunday.

When such discipline isn't available though, it can be interesting to look in retrospect how long certain things can end up taking, days stretching to weeks stretching to months before I realize that there was that thing I wanted to do, now is just (still) not a convenient time for it. It seems to be especially prominent for me with social interactions, as while I do find that I need them my needs are rather low and anything fixed and scheduled tends to have a really draining and intimidating effect leading up to it, even for things I know I'll enjoy. This leads to me rather often neglecting to make time for being social and talking to people, yet at the same time missing that kind of interaction.

The silly thing is that I know the solution to this all, which is simply just do it, but as noted once something is fixed and planned the anticipation just ends up really draining me, so planning anything is something of a difficulty. It feels strange, yearning for something so within reach yet the behaviors required for it going so against what I have become comfortable with that executing those becomes all but impossible. I know, I know, getting out of one's comfort zone usually leads to bigger and better things, but those first steps can be oh so very hard to take, especially as so far they have shown no real sign of getting any easier with time. But I try, I try, and one day I shall get there.

Misc

Questioning conventions

There are a lot of things we as humans do, that we do out of convention or habit, because it is the "way things have always been done". These conventions tend to be rather slow to change, exactly because once they take hold they are somewhat ingrained in the way we do things, and change is always difficult, especially when a larger amount of people are involved. Change means all of them have to agree to some level on the new way of doing things, otherwise you risk any potential gain from the new and hopefully improved way of doing things being diluted by the increased difficulty in connecting with the people who prefer the old way, for one reason or another.

Because changing these conventions is so difficult once they have been established, education plays a huge part in either maintaining them, or when talking about large scale efforts to standardize on something new, changing them. If you are able to educate children in the new way of doing something, the old way will eventually die out as the practitioners of it age and die. Depending on what exactly the convention is, something like legislation may also be enough, if the official way of doing something is changed—like say, currency—people will generally adapt to the new way of doing things because of the other mostly established convention of following the law and societal rules in general.

That was all a long way of prefacing what I have been thinking about, namely currency. Or, to be more specific, the denominations of it, and more generally the way we have structured our numbers with the decimal system.

Pretty much everyone outside of the USA—who cling on to the imperial system for measurement—has become rather accustomed to viewing most things from this base 10 mindset, both when it comes to things like the metric system as well as the separation of currency into the currency itself and cents or something like it—I am sure there are other exceptions to this as always, but I'm looking at this from what I know. This is of course rather convenient, since we can apply the same type of shorthands for many different types of calculations and approximations we do, and don't have to learn different ways of thinking for something like measuring and paying, but is it really optimal?

I admit, I like it rather much and find the imperial system somewhat annoying to work with—not that I have to work with it much or at all—and find that doing things like multiplication on base 10 is much easier than with most other things, but is that merely because that's what I'm used to and have learned? Many people don't seem to have any problem working in the imperial system, and it has survived this long despite the derision it at times receives from the outside, so is there some hidden merit to it?

There was an interesting video I saw a while back about old currency, specifically in England, and one of the things pointed out in it was the to modern sentiments strange thing of being partially based on steps of 240 instead of 100, which on the surface feels a lot less convenient and confusing, yet does come with the advantage of making things like division by 3 a lot easier. Of course, for most applications, merely using a repeating three is accurate enough, so it's not really a problem necessarily, but it is still something that has caused me to question more the reason behind some of the conventions that we hold, or more so made me more aware of the potential value in having different ways of doing things available and keeping a more open mind. Because I admit, I was very much in the "the imperial system is dumb"-crowd, and now I'm not quite so sure—even if having to convert from imperial to have a better gauge of the size of something in our modern US-centric world does get rather annoying.

Misc

Language

Earlier this year I found myself looking for a new keyboard, and the difficulties I had at the time finding a keyboard that met my needs lead me to start thinking about language. The problem with finding a keyboard arose from language, since I had some rather particular wants in the new keyboard and those were in general rather hard to find, but even more so when looking at ISO keyboards, since the vast majority of the more custom market seems to focus on ANSI.

This phenomena of American and English being default and standard isn't exactly new, especially not in computing and programming—basically every programming language uses English as the base language as it were, with some rare exceptions none of which are widespread—but my problems finding a keyboard merely threw it more sharply into focus for me once more.

It frustrates me a rather great deal, because as someone for whom multiple languages have always been rather present and having been raised bilingual with English following at a rather young age, I can see the importance of language to myself rather clearly. Learning and knowing several languages has enriched my life to such an incredible degree, allowing me to express myself in new ways as well as learn to know different people and cultures to a completely different degree. Even writing this very post I find myself resorting to translating my thoughts from other languages to English—not necessarily my mothertongue, mind you—because I can simply find the perfect word for what I want to express in that language even if it might not come to me in English, allowing me that much better to express myself. I could probably achieve a similar thing by perusing a dictionary, but that would end up being so inefficient as for me to give up and not express myself fully instead of taking the time to find the exact right words for what I want to say.

Thus I find myself becoming rather frustrated at this pressure put upon us both culturally from the behemoth that is the American entertainment industry as well as well as technologically from the very machines we use to express ourselves being created in this way that is so very centered on the experience of being American and using English. The most recent frustration I had with this was Nextcloud, which even though I set my settings to use European English for the locale, defaulted to displaying dates the American way which is just yet another one of these small ways that inconvenience everybody else. Another example is the insistence of the Ghost—the software I am using to write this very post—to show the week beginning on Sunday instead of Monday, another from what I can tell American custom, with no obvious way to change that.

At the same time, I can so very well understand the appeal of being to communicate with what feels like the whole world in English, and the self-perpetuating circle this leads to—everyone knows English, so things are made in English first, which means everyone knows or learns English to use those things and so on. Even I, despite these feelings at this point in time, chose to start this blog in English instead of my mothertongue because it does allow me to communicate with so many more people and to be part of the global discussion to a completely different degree—even if what I write here mostly goes unseen by the world at large. English is, despite its silly rules around spelling at times and confusing idioms, such a very convenient language to use for pretty much everything in the digital world that I find it difficult to blame anyone for doing so—I did it myself for a long time, thinking anyone who used one of our local tongues on their machines as either cringe or old—and as my proficiency with German comes to a point where I feel there might be more harm than good done in using it as the system language due to poor or incomplete translations am considering ending my personal one woman crusade against using English everywhere, I can't help but wonder if the gains in the end outweigh the losses and how cognizant people are of the decision they are making, or if they are merely acting out of convenience.

Every single person probably has their own answer to this question, and while I might decide in the near future to give in to convenience a bit more, I think I would be very sad should the future do away with the beautiful plethora of languages we as a species have developed over time and merely defaulted to a single one out of an overwhelming need for convenience. If that day were to come, I think we would have lost more than we had gained.

Misc

Software

Last week I decided to take the plunge and install the Insider Preview version of Windows 11 from the Dev Channel, making it something akin to an alpha version of the operating system. I had been considering doing this for a while, shortly after it was announced I think, but I'm not really sure why. Maybe I just needed the change after so many years of Windows 10.

Nevertheless, before installing Windows 11 I had also considered to once I had done so just do a refresh of the computer, removing all software and files since there is a strong tendency for cruft to accumulate with time as the installations age which usually means a fresh install runs better than an aging one. However, one of the things that ended up with me deciding against this—aside from the annoyance of having to set up all of the things I actually want to keep once more—was how poorly a lot of software is written when it comes to where it stores data and the consequent pollution of user files. When looking into my documents folder, the majority of folders therein do not at all contain any documents of mine but rather different configuration or temporary files for software that I have had installed over the years, much of which I in no way use regularily. This means that if I wanted to do a clean install only keeping documents that are actually important I would have to manually go through all of those folders hunting through my actual documents and discarding all of the random junk software insists on throwing in there, instead of simply copying over my documents as it should be.

All of this is doubly frustrating, since there exists a predefined place for all of this cruft, AppData, since Windows Vista, meaning it has been available for almost 15 years at this point! Why all of this software still to this day contains such an unimaginable amount of legacy cruft that they feel the need to regularily frustrate their users with to this day I do not know, but what makes it triply frustrating is the seeming unability for me as a user to defend myself against this. The software is unsurprisingly running with user rights so it's going to have write access to the documents folder, and even if there are ways to prevent that it would then mean the broken software ends up not running at all since the odds are if it is broken enough to try to write its files there it's not going to handle write errors gracefully.

The most egregious example of this that I have encountered in recent memory is the launcher for Final Fantasy XIV, which stores the files for patching the game in the documents folder, which I only know because of another piece of broken software, namely the Nextcloud desktop client, that refuses to respect the ignore lists for syncing that I define. That, of course, is another reason why this behaviour from software is so bad: the cloud. Or more accurately, using things like Dropbox or Google Drive or OneDrive to backup important documents, that of course have quotas on how much can be store there. A sane expectation from any user is to be able to want to back up their documents folder—since it is kind of the obvious place to store their documents in—yet when other broken software chooses to store something like their multi-gigabyte downloads alongside the users documents in that very same folder it can get rather easy to start bumping against those quotas, and then because it is all synchronized between several machines ends up being downloaded to machines that might not even have the software in question installed in the first place or even the possibility of installing it.

It is just such a frustrating state of affairs against which one as a user feels completely helpless, and that makes me angry and sad.

Misc

EdgeRouter X

For a rather long while now, I've been running with a virtual machine as a router, first for a decent while running pfSense and then at some point switching to a simple Debian installation due to some irritation with how poorly pfSense handled IPv6. It all ran rather well, and setting up a router using systemd was actually a rather decent experience since there is actually a decent amount of flexibility built into it assuming one is using a recent enough version.

However, having recently started tinkering with other virtual machines on the same host more, and specifically things like PCIe passthrough, it became apparent that there was a decent amount of value in having the router actually be a separate physical box. Since I had been curious about trying VyOS anyway, the EdgeRouter X seemed like a good fit for the task, while still being a rather small, cheap and silent device.

Configuration of the device has been rather easy for the most part, though I have had to do a lot of it through the CLI—which to be fair is my preferred method anyway—since the WebUI has a woefully terrible support for IPv6; it's strange that manufacturers think that's acceptable in this day and age, but I guess I paid for the device too so maybe they're correct? I have also ended up simplifying my network somewhat from the time I was using pfSense which is fortunate, since looking at how the router seems to set up things like router advertisements seems to be handled the same way in VyOS which means I would be encountering the same problems as I had with pfSense again.

Another change I ended up making from my previous setup due to besser hardware support was changing my VPN tunnels from OpenVPN to IPsec, since the EdgeRouter only has hardware offloading for IPsec meaning the performance of those tunnels is going to be better. This was a nice opportunity for me, since I had actually been curious about playing around with IPsec anyway but due to the increased complexity in comparison to OpenVPN had never really had the motivation to actually properly get started with it, which was compounded by the previous other endpoint of the tunnel being on an OpenVZ VPS, which introduced some additional difficulties in configuring IPsec since it's a kernel module and OpenVZ is paravirtualization. The changeover was probably unecessary since I believe the true bottleneck will end up being our Internet upink anyway, but it did prove to be a fun learning experience—even the extra effort of switching from PSK to public key authentication for the tunnel, even if I was rather frustrated at times at the somewhat unclear documentation when one wanted public key without a certificate authority. Another thing that required some figuring out was allowing IPv6 traffic over the IPsec tunnel as well, since while the EdgeRouter does support configuring an IPsec tunnel with a DHCP interface instead of a fixed address which is necessary for my setup, this option is unexplicably disabled when using IPv6 addresses which means there was no straightforward way to configure it. What I ended up doing was running a GRE tunnel over the IPsec tunnel and using that to pass the IPv6 traffic, meaning a bit of extra overhead but it is at least a functional solution and the overhead should be negligible for my use-case anyway.

The final piece of the changeover puzzle was figuring out DNS-level adblocking, to protect devices that don't allow installing an adblocker on the device or software itself. This was luckily enough solved easily by a package by britannic that even ended up having the usual filter list that I use included meaning it was zero configuration needed for me, I only needed to actually install the package itself. I has worked nicely so far, and I'm happy to see such simple solutions be available and tailored for these devices, especially since any custom hacks that I might build myself while certainly functional would mean an increased maintenance burden.

Overall, I've been happy with the switch so far, and everything seems to be functioning rather nicely, and getting to finally properly use VyOS was a nice bonus on top. It does feel a bit unfortunate to lose the "magic box" cool factor of having the router run in a virtual machine, but the separation of concerns makes up for that. Also, it's still a tiny highly configurable "magic box" that makes the Internet work, so there is still a certain cool factor in that as well.

Misc

Late

Something rather strange happened last week, or I found it amusing at least: I completely forgot to write the blogpost. Well, not completely, but Monday evening in bed I had the sudden realisation I hadn't written it yet, and did so, and only after submitting the post did I realize that it was indeed already Monday evening and not Sunday evening as I had thought, and that I had missed my self-imposed deadline. The strange part was, I didn't end up being mad or frustrated with myself, as I might have come to expect, but simply amused at being so completely, oblivious I suppose to the passing of time or the weekday.

I could probably try to attribute this to some sort of growth that has been going on lately with me trying to deal with things like failure and making mistakes better, and in this instance I think it was the only appropriate reaction since there was nothing I could do to change what had happened and the corrective action as it were—writing the post—was already done so the only thing remaining was being amused at my mistake.

Misc

Spring

It feels like, I might have made one of those classic blunders of spring: underestimating how cold it still is. The last probably week or more, I have felt more or less a bit down as far as energy goes, and a bit of a stuffy or runny nose. Now I know what one might suspect, that it might be the great spectre of our times, COVID-19, but I think the likelyhood for that is extremely low, considering the measures I take to be safe. Even if it were the case, it would seem I am one of the lucky ones, considering how long I have been in this state and no worse symptoms appearing so far.

It does have the unfortunate side-effect of making it a bit more difficult for me to actually enjoy spring, since I'm less likely than before to go out and enjoy the rather good weather we have been having here for the most part, but to be fair that is something I'm generally not all that likely to do—even if I do still want to get into the habit of doing some more exploring.

There is another somewhat strange thing accompanying all of this, namely I have been noticing lately a certain difficulty in falling asleep lately, and wasn't initially quite sure what to attribute it to: mental health state, stress, or what? But it is slowly dawning on me, that the most obvious change has been a increase in evening mental activity on my part, in this case in the form of reading more again, a couple of hours before going to sleep. Now it has been very nice to be reading this much again and I have certainly missed it just like I had missed playing a good RPG, but I think I need to come to terms with the fact that it is actually a highly stimulating activity for me when it is as interesting as it is at the moment, which means I need to take some time to recover afterwards before going to sleep. It's funny in a sense, having reading which seems so passive be something I need to recover from, but I guess adventures in other worlds are anything but relaxing.

There is another rather fortuitous link between these two things, namely taking a day and just hanging out in bed reading seems like a rather splendid idea in order to try to recover from whatever ailment I might be suffering from at the moment, maybe even several days. I shall try this, then, and hopefully by this time next week I am feeling somewhat better, hopefully once more in more of a mood to do other things than just reading. It is the most excellent of distractions though, whisking me away from life as it is to the troubles of someone else, the worries of my own fading away for a moment, replaced by the adventures of others, comforting in their distance.

Misc

A problem

I'm recently noticing, that I seem to have something of a problem. Namely, I'm often not quite sure what I enjoy anymore. I don't think I'm completely incapable of having fun, even if I do have difficulty putting my finger on exactly when it is happening—though I suppose that is often so, not something one thinks of in the moment—but it does feel like there are a lot of things I do either out of habit or because I like the idea of being a person who does that thing or liking something, instead of doing it because I actually enjoy it.

At the same time, it feels like my fear of failure might at times go deeper than I had even realized before, to a point of actually contributing to the problem. I noticed this most distinctly recently, when loaning a book. Firstly, finding a book that seemed intersting enough to try wasn't actually all that difficult, loaning it however took some thinking because I just kind of kept wondering: "what if I can't finish this book either?", probably because I actually do have a number of unfinished books I could be reading but am not.

Even once I got past that first hurdle, actually reading the book was also difficult because even though I think I was enjoying it and making decent pace, I kept second-guessing both my enjoyment and my capability to actually finish the book, along with a certain level of guilt of not having finished the other books I have started and why am I reading something new instead of those.

I worry, that this mentality of unfinished things, even things I might not want to finish, are bothering me to a degree of actually then being unable to enjoy the things I usually enjoy, and the guilt making it hard to actually do those things I want to do.

I also worry, that I not only need but also want to actually make rather drastic changes to how I am living life, since as noted above it feels like I am letting habit and familiarity determine the things I do regardless of enjoyment instead of actually changing things and doing things I enjoy. Why is this worrying? Because big change isn't easy, and that means it will take a good while to actually get done, which means the status quo which I seem to not be overly enjoying at the moment is likely to continue for some time going forward.

On the other hand, having identified the possibility of this being the case, does allow me to make smaller changes that I think are where I want to be, and thus test the waters as it were and see if those changes are ones I would actually enjoy making.

Thinking through what I have written, once more having been one of those journies we take together dear reader, it seems to me the problem is that unfinished tasks or desires have a cost associated with them, and unfortunately that cost also makes it more difficult to actually finish them. I suppose, along with testing out different things I actually do want to do, I should look into ways of enabling myself to actually do the things I want to do instead of just thinking about doing them. That's the hard part though, I suppose, taking that risk of actually doing, potentially failing or just simply not enjoying it. That's another thing, then, allowing myself to say: this wasn't for me, I'll do something else instead; without it becoming some sort of mark of shame.

This was already unusually rambly, so I think best end it there, though I think I discovered more new questions than answered old ones.

Misc

Exploration

On Saturday, I ended up going on a second walk due to the good weather during which while looking for something to do and see I went on something of a very local exploration. Basically right outside our house there are old ruins of fortifications that I remember playing in as a kid, that I haven't really looked at since. Which is something of a shame since it's a part of local history and not necessarily something everyone has the opportunity to do.

Of course, in practice they are pieces and paths made out of concrete and not necessarily overly interesting in and of themselves, at least not for someone like me that doesn't know much about the history associated with them, though there was a cave or tunnel that I also re-discovered that I'm still somewhat curious about, mostly because I like caves for some reason and also because I haven't been in there yet. I decided however, to try to find out a bit more about the area before I did that, since I wasn't sure how safe it exactly is which can be a concern when going into an old tunnel.

This luckily proved rather easy, since the museum authority (I guess? not quite sure how to properly translate that part) is kind enough to provide rather detailed information about historical sites and a map to look them up on online. So it seems it was a World War I era fortification which fell into disuse since, and the tunnel seems to be somewhat large considering how small the opening is at 110m², though there was no mention of how safe it all is to enter and the inspection seems to have been done in the late 1990's with no real updates since so if I do end up going in myself I should still remain careful, and I'm not as of yet quite sure if I will end up doing that though I do still kind of want to.

In general, this feels like something I should do more often, go for walks in a random direction and just look around me and try to see the things in front of me, simply soaking in my surroundings. I did touch on this already in my last post about relaxation, though I guess exploring is the opposite of that in a sense, but with time I'm becoming more and more aware of how poorly I actually known the area I live in since even the times I do end up going out I tend to either stick to the same routes or am lost in my own mind not really heeding what is going on around me. Consequently, it feels like intentionally going out and looking at new things or things I might not have noticed before would satisfy both itches: being stimulated by new things yet at the same time actually learning about my surroundings. Looking at the map as well, though it doesn't have to be old ruins that I go looking at, if I do choose to do so there seems to be an abundance of choice near me of things to look at so I shouldn't run out of content in a while.

Maybe that's the plan for this spring and summer then, exploring, when weather allows.

Misc

Relaxing

I had some shoulder pain again recently, and in order to let them recover a bit I decided to just lie in bed as ergonomically as I could, opting to just take the time and think a bit. It's something I don't really do all that often, letting my mind just wander without any distractions, except for perhaps the walks I take daily. There is something different about it though when there is no activity or pressure attached to it though, just relaxing I suppose one could say.

That it was as well, rather unsurprisingly, rather relaxing, and much nicer than when I am actually intending to go to sleep, since then there is always the pressure of actually trying to fall asleep and wanting to get a good night's sleep at the back of my mind. It feels like it's something I should try to take the time to do more often, since it essentially something I almost never do. At the same time, there is somewhat of a reason for that, it very easily becoming rather boring especially as I am someone who is not particularily good at just focusing on a single thing for extended periods of time unless it really grips me, so trying to stay focused on nothing is a challenge to say the least.

It does however, feel like part of a trend going on with me in general, trying to change small habits that I have developed along the way that may not always be so helpful. Another small thing I have been doing during my walks recently, is merely looking up and around me more. As noted above, they kind of used to be me being completely immersed in my own thoughts—to the point of being rather oblivious to my surroundings with the exception of the little detail I needed to actually find my way, mostly looking at the ground before my feet—and passing the time that way, but now I'm more trying to once again soak in my surroundings and actually to a degree simply let my mind rest instead of working it all the time. It's strange, but in a way actually being alert and looking at my surroundings is less mentally taxing than thinking all the time, since there isn't much I need to act upon in my observations.

The one drawback to this one might say, is that my surroundings while I am walking become that tad more important since I am actually looking at them instead of merely passing them by, but I guess that is an opportunity to go exploring and seeing new things as well.

Writing these posts is strange sometimes, since it takes me on a journey into myself, making me realize things about my own behaviour and feelings that I hadn't thought about beforehand, and I end up just writing down those observations as I go along, on a shared journey of discovery of sorts. Starting out, I hadn't even realized the similarity of these two experiences, and the thing connecting them: letting my mind freely wander, not thinking about anything specific or trying to entertain myself, just letting it roam. It seems that is something I've missed, not quite realizing it. To be fair, it can get boring rather easily, and it's not something I could or would spend the whole day doing, but I think taking more opportunities to just be is something I will be keeping my eye open for.

Misc

Summer time

Yesterday was the first day of summer time, an annoying archaic system that for some unexplicable reason is still being observed here.

If memory serves, I already wrote about this last year, hoping for it to be the last time we needed to subject ourselves to such unnecessities, though alas the wheels of bureocracy turn slowly and we are here yet again, suffering.

It remains, as always, an unfit solution for a problem that need not exist were it not for the unflexibility of the systems and procedures that came before, trying to fit nature into a box, working against her instead of with her.

I find myself in the fortunate yet unfortunate position of mayhaps not needing to care a great deal about the comings and goings of the ticking of clocks and their rendering of time, the cruel master we all serve in one way or another, yet even then I find myself incetivized to a degree to follow those monstrous things so as to allow myself to participate better in society at the times it is necessary or pleasant. The company of other people remains, despite my assurances at times to the contrary, important to me.

In the end, this too shall pass, and given time I shall once again adapt to the new reality presented before me, and life with all her ups and downs will go on, this being but yet another bump on the road.

A bumpy road it may be, life, and one I am often enough not too keen to travel on, yet it is the road before me and the road I shall remain on so long I am able, savoring every smile and tear along the way.

Misc

Fediverse

There was some hubbub recently around Tusky, a app for Mastodon, getting removed from the Google Play Store. It has fortunately since then been reinstated, but it did remind me to take another look at Mastodon and consequently the fediverse as a whole.

Mastodon, in case you aren't aware, is a federated alternative to Twitter—federated meaning it's not a central service run by one organisation or company but several different persons or organisations each running their own instance yet capable of talking to each other, a bit like email. The fediverse on the other hand refers to all of the different services talking this same protocol, allowing all of them to interoperate to a degree. There are other services that function as alternatives to things like Instagram or YouTube as well, though there I don't really have any experience.

It has been a somewhat interesting experience so far, trying to start to use something that is very clearly built as a social and sharing platform, when both of those are things that don't come particularily naturally to me. It's very clearly more of an active effort to actually think of things I want to say there, as well as sometimes overthinking what is acceptable for me to say. Simultaneously, I am rather fascinated by the whole idea for some reason, both from a techical as well as a social aspect, so there is a certain drive there for me to continue to do it, I just have a hard time figuring out what to do with it.

I feel like that's a trap I fall into somewhat easily, liking an idea but having no idea what to do with that idea or lacking the motivation to see it through.

There remains, of course, the option of using it in a similar manner to which I use Twitter currently, namely as an observer and reader. This time around I have been rather more succesful in finding things to read that I also want to read—so the option is definitely more appealing now than it was before, and I don't think I will end up completely stopping using Mastodon at the very least—but for some reason remaining an observer feels like the wrong move. Sharing things publicly is definitely an activity that is outside my comfort zone—I think this blog works because I know basically nobody reads it—but I think exactly that is what makes it potentially so valuable.

Why you ask? Because it is both something I feel like I want to do yet uncomfortable, which means it is an opportunity to widen the horizon of things I am comfortable doing and in doing so not only allow me to learn new skills but improve my self-confidence as well. Widening my horizon is in general something that I am quite interested in at the moment, since I have this sneaking suspicion that I've arrived in a local maxima of sorts. I've grown comfortable with where I am and terrified of going anywhere since it feels like all paths lead downwards; yet I'm sure I have not found the peak.

Misc

It happened

I guess it had to happen at some point, but it would seem I have missed my weekly deadline. It happened oddly quietly in a way, I thought about writing something a couple of times during the week, but never could really think of what I wanted to write, and when Sunday evening/night rolled around, there where simply sufficient other things going on to distract me from remembering to still write something that I just kind of didn't.

Were this some sort of corporate setting and more serious a subject, there might be some sort of post-mortem of what process allowed this to happen and what steps will be taken to prevent it in the future, but at the end of the day, this is a personal project and something I'm doing for my own benefit, so the whole thing getting delayed by a few hours doesn't really change all that much, if anything at all. Now, sure, it might to a certain degree contribute to a personal feeling of failure, and that can definitely be harmful in the long term but I'm also learning how to deal with such things better so I'd say it's not really harmful at this point.

So what does this mean in the end? Nothing more than I get the opportunity to write two posts this week instead of one, and maybe having a break from time to time isn't all that bad, I could of course prepare posts ahead of time if I feel the need to take a break but if that's forced it doesn't really feel worth increasing stress in order to reduce it. Anyway, bit of a diversion this time around, hopefully something more interesting next week.

Misc

What's in a name?

So sometime at the end of last year, I ended up renaming my main character. Now, it's probably not something big for most people, but having played mostly this character with (almost) the same name for the last 15 years or so, there was quite a bit of emotion and memory attached to that name for me. This, of course, begs the question, why did I end up renaming if there was so much attached to the name? Well, quite frankly, that attachment was partially beginning to feel more like baggage and a hindrance than something positive, and the new name is something quite a bit more light and fun which also helped quite a bit.

It's strange sometimes, how much emotion can be associated with something like a name, and how stepping back from all of that can help one gain some perspective both on the path one has been on and where one is going. It's not even that the emotions are necessarily negative, on the contrary, that name and the character and the game have definitely helped me get through some hard times, and for that I am grateful. However, it does also mean that those old feelings and patterns of behaviour are attached to that name, and that can be rather constraining at times when one wants to evolve and grow and better oneself. That does mean that renaming has been oddly freeing, which I think was not the thing I was expecting from that.

The most interesting part of it all however, has probably been the reactions from other people with regards to the new name. It seemed to be a rather common sentiment in the beginning to ask if I had lost a bet or the like, since the name seems to have been so far away from what they knew from me, and the other seems to be joy or pleasure in regards to the new name since it is rather fun. Amusingly, it has also given a few opportunities to have some fun in Details with the custom names there, since it's close enough when spoken out loud to one of the abilities in the game that I can put variations of the calls made during the fight as my name there, which has been an unexpected but very welcome bonus.

It might not be that in the grand scheme of things renaming one's character in a game is all the meaningful of an act, but there is quite a bit of symbolic significance to it all for me, letting go of the past in a sense. There's a lot of that I need to be doing, and I think this was one small step in the right direction, but it's a long journey. Still, even the longest journey happens one step at a time.

Misc

PostmarketOS

I recently wanted to do a bit of experimenting with an old tablet I have, a Galaxy Tab 10.1 (yes, one of the original ones), and happened to notice that installing Linux—more specifically PostmarketOS—was possible and in fact somewhat simple.

Now, it is still very much an unfinished product, and it did take a couple of tries before I got something that actually worked, and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to use the tablet for now, but it was quite a fun time experimenting around with it. To be fair, I wasn't using the tablet before anyway, it is kind of stuck on Android 4, anything newer runs rather terribly, and even the old Android just works rather slow on it.

I have been considering making it into some sort of dashboard or info display, and that should now be rather easily achievable with simply some sort of browser running in kiosk-mode, after I create the website with the info I want displayed of course. There comes the next problem however, since I'm not quite sure what I would want displayed, I simply want to make the thing. Something like weather and possibly messages seems like the obvious thing, but does that actually even make any sense? Do I need that? Weather I guess could be rather nice for my parents, since my father at least does have a tendency to check it rather often, so maybe there is some use-case for the thing.

Of course, me just wanting to make it is enough of a reason to do so, but it is always a bit unfortunate to have projects that then end up just lying around somewhere unused.

The installation I ended up with after some experimenting of what actually works and what doesn't, is basically Alpine Linux with XFCE, and it is all surprisingly useable, even though me not having a keyboard connected does make it all a bit more difficult, especially as the standard installation didn't include an on-screen keyboard. Luckily that was rather easily solved, and now it's actually possible to do things with the device again. It, oddly enough, actually also feels a good bit more responsive now than it did before with Android, even if the user interface is a lot more clunky to drive since it really is built for a mouse and the touchscreen just controls the mouse which isn't the best experience at all times.

Another problem I've encountered is that Firefox doesn't seem to launch, I'm not quite sure why yet and I'll have to look into that, but luckily for now Midori is a decent enough alternative especially since I'm probably not going to be using the device for all that much for now. Hm, that does get me thinking though, with simply a keyboard it would actually make for a decent Linux portable for me, and a Bluetooth keyboard shouldn't be that expensive to get, maybe I'll have to research that next... Though maybe it would need to be a keyboard+mouse combo, it will get tiring at some point to poke at the screen especially since the interface isn't designed for it as noted.

So I guess I have a couple of ideas there of what to do with the device now, I'll update in the future if any one of them ends up actually panning out.

Misc

Letters

I have always had something of a fascination with "old-school" methods of communication, from relatively recent things like e-mail to the original long-distance communication method: letters. I'm not really sure where this fascination comes from, since I am on the other hand also someone who likes modernity and technology a great deal, but maybe it is exactly the eccentricity or the effort involved that makes it have more of a personal feel that draws me to them.

Now, this does not mean that I have spent a great deal of time in the past writing letters or sending postcards, I think I sent a letter in elementary school once and since then nothing else really, but having my mother read some old letters that her mother and other older relatives had sent in their youth along with a general desire to explore this communication method made me start sending letters. I haven't as of yet sent many, well two to be exact and only one has arrived so far, but the reception so far has been very positive, they noted it was very sweet and personal to receive something like that. I think it was a combination of choosing to send a handwritten letter instead of printed that contributed to that feeling, along with it being such a rare occurance in today's society that it simply stands out.

One of the reasons that I have sent so few letters as of yet and and a problem I am discovering is, that for many people who would be the most suitable for this kind of communication on account of me not actually talking or chatting with them that much otherwise at the moment, I actually don't have the address for. These are people whom I know rather well and have a decent amount to do with in the past and might even know where they live, just simply not what to write on an envelope so that it reaches them. I could, of course, simply ask them, but that would kind of spoil the surprise.

So, at the moment, it does at times feel a bit silly writing letters to someone I already at the very least chat with pretty much daily, though it does provide the opportunity to communicate in a different way about different things when writing something a bit more long form, and it is quite simply nice to have someone to write letters to since I do enjoy it, and perhaps it only being one person does make it a bit more special for the two of us.

Even then, I think this is something I want to expand upon in the future, probably start writing my parents in the summer since we don't see each other quite as often then, and possibly other people once I find a fitting excuse or way to get their address without raising too much suspicion.

Misc

Writer's block

I seem to have, once again, come to something of a slump when it comes to my writing, or rather my motivation to do it. I'm not even sure that it's a case of motivation, though it does definitely play a part in it all since I'm having difficulty actually sitting down and starting to produce something, anything, but also a matter of not being quite certain what I want to write about and what I should write about the matter I don't know I want to write about.

Now, I have been smart enough in the past to save some ideas in my drafts that I can simply take and start writing about which is exactly what I ended up doing last week. But the problem with that arrangement is that when I simply force myself to do it out of a feeling of obligation the fun does disappear to a degree and, for me at least, what I produce takes a hit since I can't truly motivate myself to actually think about what I'm writing. So having access to a sampling of ideas of what to write about is great, but I do then also have to feel like actually writing about one of those things in order for the whole ordeal to actually go anywhere moderately sensible.

I did also mention a feeling of obligation, which is somewhat silly, since the obligation is to myself alone since it was my decision to try and keep up this pace of one article a week and last week for some reason just ended up being particularily bad where I at no point really had the motivation to truly write anything. It wasn't the first time I've written the post the night before, but it was the first time I can remember where I truly had no idea what I wanted to say and just put out something, anything, in order to fulfill this constraint I set upon myself.

The question then naturally follows, what am I doing about this? Can I even do anything? Unfortunately it is one I cannot answer, however luckily it seems that it was for now at least a one time thing, a natural consequence of the varying levels of motivation that I tend to have. I suppose, also, I am in fact working on answering that question, since I am going to therapy, but I suppose also, that finding the answer to something like that is going to take a rather long time indeed.

In the meantime, I'll just have to try to overcome these phases as they occur however I can, and in the cases such as last week where I finally did accomplish actually producing something not being overly harsh on myself for not being perfect every time—especially since a big part of this whole process of doing it regularily is actually trying to improve and become better and when doing that one is going to have difficulties and less than perfect output, but that is merely a part of learning to be better at something, and even the best of us fail at times.

Misc

Reading

I recently found a little time to do some reading again, partially inspired by my mother who had done it as well, and I have to say there is something really calming about it even if the material I was reading this time around wasn't such a light read for me. I really don't know what it is about it, but it just seemed to have a very relaxing effect for me—or perhaps I managed to read because I felt relaxed in the moment?

This, of course, makes me somewhat sad that to a great degree I seem to have lost the ability I had in my youth of simply engrossing myself completely in a book and doing nothing else days on end than reading, but perhaps this is also a matter of not having found the right book for that in a long time. To be fair, I have also done a lot less looking for that book now than in earlier times, and at least as far as gaming goes I think Pillars of Eternity II proved to me that the capability to engross myself in something so completely is still there if I find the right story to focus me.

Perhaps a part of this is as well, that the kind of books I have been reading recently have mostly been with some sort of learning in mind, either directly through the content of the book or indirectly through the books language, which while fun in its own right is still draining to a degree which makes it that much more difficult to simply engross oneself in the content. At the same time, the last book I've read, Because Internet, was also purely research and factual yet I did enjoy that read greatly and felt more limited by the time I had available than the content of the book in my reading speed.

So perhaps that is merely the problem, me not having prioritised reading to a sufficient degree to actually go and search books I want to read sufficiently badly in order to actually keep on spending whole days doing that, along with not necessarily having those full days to spend on such an activity—or at least not setting aside a whole day for something like that, I did do it with gaming and Pillars as well as more recently World of Warcraft during the new expansion launch.

It is often said that identifying the problem is half of the solution, so now that I have done that do I think anything is likely to change for me? At the end of the day, probably not. I still enjoy reading and there is definitely a desire in me to find more of those moments where I can sneak away a page or twenty, but those day-long marathons are not likely to feature prominently at least in my imminent future due to other priorities at the moment, gaming and otherwise. Still, knowing that the potential is still probably there is also something of a comfort, and maybe one day in the not-too-distant future I will once again make use of it.

Misc

Overwhelmed

The last week or two, I've been feeling rather stressed and overwhelmed. I'm starting to think all the things I wanted to do with the release of the new expansion, along with holiday preparations going on at home, might've been biting of a bit more than I can chew. Now sure, it's not that I wouldn't have the time for all of it, but rather I'm just so very exhausted at the moment and would really need a break from everything that doesn't seem to be forthcoming anytime soon—probably not this year at least.

It feels a bit strange, complaining about doing the things I actually want to do, but it's still the way of things at the moment. The problem with all of that, of course, is that because I end up feeling overwhelmed by it all I kind of end up retreating into myself and not actually doing all the things. Some, sure, but not everything.

What probably isn't helping is the somewhat precarious mental state I was in even before all of this got started, but I guess that all just means I've somthing to work through.

Misc

Diary

It's, well, not really strange since I've known it for a while, but interesting to once again notice how much I seem to enjoy writing. There are definitively phases to it, and the desire to do so comes and goes, which was one of the reasons I decided to do it regularily so that I can hopefully keep the momentum and enjoyment going, but it is still interesting every time I re-discover it about myself.

The latest iteration of this process of discovery has been to finally start keeping a diary, so that I may for myself chronicle my moods and goings and through that hopefully better process things as well as give myself an opportunity to think things through. The process of putting something to paper is one that helps me actually take a deep dive into the matter instead of avoiding it.

Now this is already something I have at times done through this blog, but the nature of everything I post here being public necessarily both restricts what I want to say as well as forcing myself to speak about matters more circumspectly than when I am merely writing for myself and my own reference. Now, yes, the writing I do here is also mainly for my own benefit but it is still all public and consequently does need to have some consideration attached to what I end up saying, especially since humans are social animals and consequently what I think or feel about others might have an effect on them.

Another aspect of this iteration is, that it is for once a real life paper and pencil record for myself, and I have in recent times simply renewed my interest in somewhat old-school methods of communication and writing. There's something about the idea of just having a handwritten book that just appeals to me, even if it is a lot less convenient and insecure—in the sense that it is probably a lot easier for someone close to me to get their hands on it and read it—than the digital alternative would be. But sitting down at my desk and taking a pen and writing down what I am thinking just feels more right for some reason, perhaps exactly because I already use the digital form of expression for other things or perhaps because I want to give those close to me the opportunity to see what was going on with me were something to go wrong—a consequence of watching to many crime dramas perhaps.

It's somewhat amusing, I had been considering also taking up letter writing, since it seems to be somewhat of a lost art, and my mother recently found and went through some old letters left behind by her mother, and even though it was all somewhat mundane there was definitely a certain charm to seeing what someone was up to so long ago and retaining that little piece of history. So while I am definitely a child of the digital age and love technology and computers, sometimes it just feels more right to use older methods of communication so that there is a greater opportunity for it all to be studied and appreciated by posterity.

Misc

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

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

Design

It doesn't feel like that long ago since I last completely changed the design of this blog, yet recently I have for some reason started thinking about changing it up a bit again, strangely enough because the current design feels a bit dated even though that is exactly the point.

I don't as of yet have any concrete ideas of where to go with a potential new design, so it's all mostly just thoughts in my head that I decided to put down for my own amusement, but here we are.

I still in a sense want to keep the current general feel of the blog, though perhaps with a few more modern touches like enabling me to if I so choose to pick some of those nice featured images for a post, and perhaps in general being a bit more friendly towards media in my posts. At the same time, using more images and media is something I've wanted to do before as well, yet it is something that almost always just ends up being something I want to do instead of something I go through with since I find it somewhat hard to find fitting places for images and don't necessarily partiularily enjoy the process of finding the fitting imagery for a specific post or point.

This all isn't really helped along by the theme of the blog currently being very heavily World of Warcraft inspired, yet a lot of the content not necessarily having that much to do with the theme so it feels like there is a certain conflict between the presentation and the content itself which would only be made stronger were I to use things like featured images which exist to give a bit more, shall we say, punch to an article yet might look completely out of place with the theme. I suppose this is why the trend is towards quite a bit more "generic" looking sites with simple and sleek designs, and while those can look really nice I do still enjoy the somewhat oldschool feel that the current theme has.

Another problem becomes that were I to choose to also go that route, it would in a sense become that much more difficult to make the site memorable to potential visitors since it feels like it would then look just like every other blog currently in existence making it all that much more forgettable. Sure, one can argue that just means that the content is more important in those cases, but presentation matters just as much as content.

In the end though, all of these problems and pros and cons are somewhat irrelevant though, since this all is about me expressing myself and not truly writing for any specific audience and consequently the only presentation that matters is the one I myself am comfortable with and the impression it leaves on anyone else is secondary—especially since, let's be honest, nobody is reading all of this.

All of that is a really long way of saying, I'm thinking about changing things up a bit, and somewhat excited by the idea, but it will probably all end up going nowhere (at least on any reasonable timescale).

Misc

Creativity

I'm noticing a certain pattern in my desires lately—writing, playing D&D, small forays into creating some digital art, more programming—and they all end up being outlets for me to in some form be creative and well, actually create something. This realisation doesn't come as a complete surprise since these are all things I've wanted to be good at for a long time yet kind of always felt I wasn't good enough to do, a common dilemma it feels for aspiring artists, but it still feels a bit interesting and somewhat scary to potentially start thinking of myself as a "creative type"—whatever that means in the end.

It's also putting me face to face with my difficulties with, well difficulties and the failure that will inevitably rise from those and that one has to push past. I'm noticing a certain trend in myself of getting really excited about the concept of something, spending a small amount of time getting a very rough familiarity with that concept and then the surface level knowledge within an area—recent example being digital art—and after it gets difficult and I need to start actually practicing and refining my skill I kind of give up. I get the sense that anything for which I don't notice something of a natural talent for, I subconciously categorize as too difficult and give up on it without giving myself the time to actually learn the subject at hand. Maybe it's the age old thing of "everyone wants to know a foreign language/how to play an instrument/paint but nobody wants to learn how to do those things" at work, but at the same time in the realm of actual language learning I am doing somewhat well so obviously with the right conditions the capability and persistence from my part exists I just need to figure out how to channel it into other things.

In addition to this, also touching on the subject of motivation which I've discussed in other posts, I'm finding it a bit difficult at times to actually refine the concepts and ideas when it comes to things like D&D that I am already working on and are ongoing. Now I've mentioned it before that I have often felt that I was somewhat underprepared when going into our sessions and that had caused some level of anxiety for me going into those games, and though that anxiety has definitely lessened and I'm much more eager to get back to playing I still have the problem of having some very loose ideas where it is all going to go forward yet not really taking the time and doing the research necessary to actually feed those ideas until they are more solid as well as being able to present them properly.

Now in this instance there are of course a couple of caveats, namely that overpreparing can actually be somewhat harmful since in the medium in question telling the story is a group activity and if I try to prepare and solidify and predict too many things I might end up railroading the players to an unecessary degree which I don't think is fun—I want to have the opportunity to be very surprised during our sessions too—and secondly, from the presentation standpoint, I'm actually doing well and don't need the extra pressure and anxiety I'm causing myself, even if a desire to improve isn't a bad thing either.

This all also becomes painfully obvious to me with my dream to write a novel, where I got really excited about the start, the initial concept, the rough sketch, yet I haven't even managed to actually put a paragraph on (virtual) paper yet and actually started writing. I haven't even started fleshing out those concepts, coming up with the world, the story or the goals, all I have so far is the start of a story. Now, to be fair, that is the general approach I take to e.g. these blogposts, where I have some very rough idea of what I want to write about and then flesh it all out as I go along and don't look back, but I don't think this is a sensible approach for the more longer form writing that a novel would be, possibly still appropriate for a short story or the like. Though, perhaps, why actually not? Why can't I just start writing and discover the story myself as I go along, exploring the world I am creating while I am creating it? Editing is something very doable, if at a later date something doesn't fit it can be removed or adapted, and then if nothing else it served as inspiration for what was to come. Why am I expecting myself to basically write the whole story out before actually, well, writing it? I don't really need all of those tools that generally are there to make the writing process more efficient since I'm doing it really for nobody's benefit but my own, so the pace of it all doesn't matter in the least. I mean, I do hope to actually be done with it at some point, but that still a lot longer than even the slowest writing process I could conjure up would take for the task I have in mind.

So, I guess, even in this case, the thing keeping me from even getting started is the fear of not finishing it or it not being what I hope or dream it would be, either to me or others. Yet at the same time, if I keep so vehemently refusing to take those risks and actually working on things I want to see get done, none of those things will with certainty become what I want them to become, I'm not even giving my ideas the chance to flourish if I don't execute on them. Maybe writing all of this down, once more, is a step towards actually starting to realize more of my ideas?

Misc

Fun tools as a motivator

I stumbled upon a new Youtuber recently, Sara Dietschy and while watching one of her videos where she was going over one productivity tool or another she mentioned how the tool being more fun than the one she had previously used had positively affected her efficiacy in actually using that tool which ended up resonating with me quite well since I could look back at me switching over to Ghost from WordPress and notice myself actually being much more motivated to sit down and write something in the past few weeks than I have been in a long time.

Now, to be fair, this could just be coincidence and I seem to remember there being a similar effect when I originally switched over to WordPress but it's still something that makes a lot of sense to me especially as I'm rather curious about different tools and their application in the first place which is why I tend to do these experiments like testing different browsers or operating systems.

It has also gotten me thinking about how I could use this to overcome some of those motivation problems I've discussed previously especially since it feels like at the moment I actually do have several projects I'd like to get started on but during the rare times I actually sit down to work on them my interest in actually progressing fades really quickly at the slightest hurdle. I mean, looking at the kinds of problems I'm facing this kind of "hack" feels unlikely to actually have any long lasting effects but the mere act of actually getting started on and finishing several projects might be what ends up leading to the kind of self-improvement that will result in more lasting change so it feels like a worthwile avenue to at least explore a little bit—especially, as noted, in the light of the small success I've had with it in the moment in the realm of blogging.

The problem, then becomes, actually figuring out what my pain points when starting these different projects are and how I would go about solving those or making the tools I use to create these project more fun to use, yet looking at some of the problems I'm facing the tools really aren't a problem since I do already enjoy using them to a degree, it's more the challenges I'm facing or the projects I'm embarking on that are focused on bringing perhaps a more long term sort of gratification which I'm unused to working with.

A good example of this, is I have a website for watching movies together with friends that I've built and I want to do something of a refactoring in the code and add a few features—namely short clips as previews of the movie as well as customizing the video player a bit from the standard controls provided by browsers. Yet when I got started on doing this today and yesterday I could barely get started with the whole thing before I ended up frustrated I suppose at the seeming lack of progress along with the list of tasks still ahead of me even though I had a pretty clear vision of what to do. Maybe exactly that is the problem, that once I have the vision of what to do and how to do it, the project stops being exciting and just becomes a matter of actually implementing what I've already thought out and that just feels boring and not something I want to engage with, yet I know from experience that things are rarely as straightforward as they seem and there is almost always something lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce and actually present and interesting challenge to solve.

But maybe that's the other problem, I just want the thing to work and not actually have to do the work of getting there, especially if there are hidden roadblocks on the way, and maybe the solution to both of these problems is learning to internalize and remember the joy I have felt previously when finally solving those problems so that they go from being demotivators to being motivators in the long run.

What I am also noticing, writing all of this and thinking back at it, is another factor and that is time, namely the times that I have actually set aside a block of time in order to accomplish something are the times where I have been more successful in getting those things done as opposed to the times where I somewhat spontaneously get motivated to start doing something. So it might be that all I need is to actually unplug a bit so I don't have the fear of distraction running in the back of my mind and set aside times where I decide that this is the time I try to solve this problem.

Misc

Motivation

I'm recently noticing that now that I am no longer spending my days playing RPGs since I finished Pillars of Eternity and stopped playing Pathfinder, my general mood is somewhat more down that it was in the weeks prior. It feels like it's related to my, shall we say, revelation at the end of playing those games, namely that I am still somewhat in the search of purpose to my life and now that I'm done with playing those games those feelings of aimlessness are surfacing again.

All of this then unfortunately affects other things poorly, things that I want to get done but may not necessarily feel are core to myself. Examples of this being, my recent difficulties preparing "properly" for our D&D sessions, and while that all ended up going well I still constantly have the feeling that I should be doing more. It is to be fair probably only extra pressure that I am putting on myself completely unecessarily, but it is still something that I end up thinking about.

Another thing it affects at the moment is initiating or accepting invitations to participate in activites that I do enjoy, at the moment the example being mythic+ where I at the moment would have the opportunity to participate somewhat more often but find myself having to convice myself to accept the invitation even though I know that I enjoy the activity which is a somewhat frustrating feeling. I also ended up not participating in the raid tests on 6th and 7th, though to be fair on the 6th it was more down to the servers not being available at the start but on the 7th I just needed a break from people and consequently ended up participating in neither the raidtest nor the achievement run that were planned for the day.

In the middle of all of this, I'm also considering starting my own personal NaNoWriMo, since I'm not sure I want to wait that long nor am I sure that I actually want to do it quite as intensely as the real deal, so more of a personal writing sprint or goal than actually anything to do with that event but anyway. Yet two things are somewhat hindering this, primarily as noted the feeling of lack of motivation to actually get started, which I think is then amplified through a fear that I won't make it, especially if I were to try and follow the goals of the actual event which then ends up demoralizing me before I even get started, which to be fair probably is a bigger part of the whole lacking motivation thing, fear of failure. Maybe it's all even intertwined, in that my fear of failure leads to being fearful of caring about things which leads to not having many things which are important to me which leads to me not having a force driving me forwards? If that all is the case, what are my next steps towards working to rectify this problem and how do I intend to solve it? That I do not yet know, but I think coming closer to identifying it is the first step in being able to actually solve it.

Misc

Perspective

Having recently played Pillars of Eternity 2 and following that the first part as well, the story in those games has gotten me thinking a bit since it ended up speaking to me surprisingly strongly—probably partially because I was so engrossed in the games.

Now, I’ve been somewhat nihilistic for a long time, not really believing there is some great meaning to the universe and our place within it though that doesn’t mean there aren’t causes or values I hold important or even that I don’t feel that the world would be a better place if some of those values were universal (if maybe a bit boring).

But at the same time, it has left me without any sort of driving force in my own life, without a reason to do and achieve things which has meant I’ve been left just kind of floating around without purpose which does mean it is somewhat hard to motivate myself to participate in society as well as actually having dreams and goals. This, along with recent events in the world, has left me with a lot of thinking to do along with a search for that meaning to call my own. I expect this introspection will take some time, and I’m not sure I can say I’m looking forward to it though I think it will prove quite interesting and valuable to me going forward.

Misc

Headless WordPress

So it’s been about a year since I started using WordPress instead of Hugo to publish this blog, and it’s been quite a nice experience so far. I like the editing workflow, that I’m actually reminded to certain things like specifying tags and publish date when I do press the publish button, and that I can schedule posts so I can write when I feel like writing and still end up with a somewhat regular cadence of when the posts actually end up getting shown on the site.

The sligthly less rosy part of the whole thing has unfortunately been the performance, specifically the performance for anyone else than myself since the site gets hosted locally to me. Now there are some things I’ve already done to alleviate this, like using caching in WordPress so that the pages get rendered faster and using Cloudflare in front of the site as a CDN and cache to hopefully deliver the content from a location closer to the reader but it’s still quite slow because in the end speed of light is a thing and the caches don’t last forever. Also, only the assets and not the pages themselves ended up being cacheable with the free Cloudflare plan, so the main content of the site ended up being served rather slowly anyway.

Then, at some point, I remembered looking into Ghost, which is another publishing platform which remains more focused on just the publishing part than WordPress and while looking into it again I discovered a keyword which lead me on something of an adventure: headless CMS. What this specifically means is, that the CMS part is just there for managing the content and then provides an API which a frontend of your choosing can then use in order to render out the actual site—so a greater separation of duties in a sense. Classically in publishing systems, the CMS is responsible for both the whole content management part and the presentation part but this separation of the two means one can take a static site generator like Eleventy or Gridsome, query the API of the CMS for the actual content and still generate the site statically which allows it to be deployed more easily.

Since this site is mostly just me writing for the fun of it and the more interactive parts like comments haven’t really proved that used implementing this approach for the site was something I set about exploring, and what an exploration that was. It all ended up being somewhat more complicated than I expected, partially because the WordPress REST API isn’t necessarily set up for all the functions required for this sort of thing—ended up needing to install another plugin for authentication against the API so that things like site settings could be retrieved through it, normally only the session cookie based authentication is implemented—and another problem ended up being content management since I want to then also deploy the media I might embed in posts so that they don’t end up still being queried from the WordPress server and that use-case was surprisingly unsupported in many of the static site generators I looked at, not even through plugins. Now, of course, most of them support some form of filters or mapping or the like with which I could create this functionality myself without too much trouble, but I wanted something where someone else had (hopefully) figured out the edge-cases for me so that I didn’t have to go around thinking about file I/O and the like.

This lead me to settle on Eleventy which allowed me to reach my goals with the least amount of fuss—which is kind of what it bills itself with as well, “Eleventy is a simpler static site generator”.

Once that decision was made it was a relatively simple task of configuring Eleventy to query the WordPress API in order to fetch the posts and then display them in a near identical manner to the current site, with the biggest differences being the lack of comments because the site is now static as well as removal of some of the shall we say bloat that WordPress as well as JetPack include. It’s all well-intentioned and I could remove it if I liked so this isn’t a criticism of WordPress by any means—and in the case of JetPack I even chose to include that—but it’s still nice to see the site in a somewhat leaner form than it was before.

Getting the category-pages working however, was a bit more of a struggle—mostly because I’m somewhat stubborn however (and also not that familiar with Eleventy)—because I didn’t want to end up retrieving the pages from the API twice so I needed to figure out some way of providing two different collections while only retrieving that data asynchronously once. In the end however, I just ended up retrieving the data twice since that seemed to be the way Eleventy preferred handling this usecase, and in the end it’s just text so it shouldn’t lead to all that big of a transfer anyway.

After that, I simply needed to find a plugin for WordPress that triggers a webhook when a new post gets published so that the hosting for the static site knows to rebuild, and the process is essentially complete. For this I settled on Notification since it seemed on the surface the cleanest and simplest implementation and it looked like it would likely remain supported in the future as well—always a concern when adding a new plugin.

All in all, the process wasn’t perhaps quite as straightforward as I would’ve wanted but still easy enough to get everything going after I stopped being stubborn and just used the systems that actually provided the features I wanted (Eleventy, specifically referring to the local image support) instead of considering developing plugins of my own. From what I can tell the site also feels quite a bit snappier even for me so that’s a big plus as well, hopefully it ends up serving any potential readers better as well! Regardless, it was a fun journey.

Misc

Writing regularly

It might be a bit late for a New Year’s promise, but having read a post recently of someone missing blogs and well me writing one, I’m considering trying a somewhat more regular writing cadence on here. I’m not still quite sure what that cadence might be, weekly sounds somewhat realistic, and I’m also not sure what that might do to my motivation to do so but it feels like an interesting proposition. Perhaps getting started with it could even prove to be its own motivator, seeing how good it feels when I get a decent amount of things written on here.

I also believe forming the habit of simply writing might prove useful, essentially improving my skill at committing to something since that is something I can at times have trouble with. It will also prove interesting having to more actively seek out topics to write about since that has generally been my biggest problem, which will require me to practice my creativity somewhat—that also being a skill I have not trained as much as I would perhaps like, at least in this context.

Making writing more deliberate also has another side-effect, namely training me to do it over a longer period of time and actually editing what I’ve written rather than as a “one-shot” as most of the previous posts here; me just sitting down and writing because I remember to and pressing publish at the and. The long pauses between posts lead to a mentality of “just get something out there”, which can of course happen again with a schedule if I haven’t prepared anything and that’s fine, but should be less likely to happen assuming I stick with it and actually prepare the posts in advance as is my intention at least. This more drawn-out method of writing will also allow me to think about and state my viewpoints more thoroughly on a subject since I don’t have such a stress to press the publish-button, which will hopefully lead to some longer-form content (or perhaps simply more edited content).

I am not making longer form content a hard requirement for myself though, since this remains an activity mostly driven by my desires rather than anything done for some external purpose. In that same vein, I am also hoping this more deliberate approach to the whole thing will allow me to satisfy that need on a more ongoing basis rather than merely sporadically when I remember to.

Misc

Linux

As is starting to become spring-tradition I feel, I gave switching to Linux as my primary operating system on my desktop another shot, and the results were slightly better than last time though still not quite enough to make the switch permanent. Honestly, the overall experience was rather impressive, the biggest problem is me still needing to shoehorn some Windows-things (games) into Linux, and aside from those I think I would’ve already made the switch.

As a change from last time, I tried the Liquorix kernel, which is the Linux kernel tuned to fit the interactive desktop use-case better and the difference was quite noticeable. This probably made the biggest difference in how everything felt this time around and it’s definitely something I could get used to. There was some funkiness however, as I had installed the Nvidia drivers first but once I installed the kernel I needed to install newer drivers and getting rid of those cleanly and the newer ones installed was a bit of a short pain which does also lead me to worry somewhat of the longterm stability of the system since I have had a bad experience with Arch and Nvidia drivers in the past where the kernel got updated to be newer than the drivers supported. The dangers of binary-blob drivers on Linux I suppose, which I was intending to counteract by using a more stable distro (Debian) but of course the Liquorix kernel releases follow the current kernel releases much more closely so that didn’t really end up being an advantage.

Gaming

As mentioned above, the biggest pain-point for me is still gaming, namely the Blizzard games. World of Warcraft is still my main jam at the moment, and while it isn’t impossible to get running on Linux and actually has a rather decent rating on Lutris, Battle.net was something of a pain for me to get running and then because it’s not just a game launcher but also a chat service, one that I quite heavily use, I want to have it constantly running which doesn’t always work that well and the integration into the desktop is lacking because Wine. Specifically, Battle.net has a tray icon that then gets shown to Linux as some sort of “legacy” format which isn’t supported by the newer versions of the major desktop environments (GNOME and KDE) which would mean I might need to use something more niche which I’m not that into at the moment though it might be interesting at some later point. The customisability of the interface is after all one of the strengths of Linux.

Another new pain-point was actually Epic Games Store, something I hadn’t used the last time I made this experiment but was now using primarily due to the free games they have been offering, which can contain some rather nice deals at times. This feels especially silly, since some of the games they offer—For the King as an example—do actually have a Linux version yet because I own the Epic Games Store version I can’t actually play it easily on Linux. From what I gather, Epic Games doesn’t have the best of reputations when it comes to Linux support in general, which also makes me somewhat wary of trying to run the store through Wine in case they decide to treat it as cheating or the like. The dangers of free stuff I suppose.

Streaming

Also, I never got started on streaming and getting that to work, multiple audio devices as a problem from last time.

Another more minor niggle is streaming. It really is rather minor, since I kind of know exactly how I want it all set up and what I need to do to get there, just the way there is somewhat annoying.

Basically, the big problem is that my audio setup in Windows is actually rather complicated, with four different (virtual) audio devices so that I can cleanly separate game, music, voice and desktop sounds and then only pipe some of those through to the stream. The different audio devices also more easily allow me to adjust the different audio levels for me and the stream, for example my game and music audio is rather quiet because I want to hear what’s going on in voice but as that isn’t piped to the stream most of the time I can actually turn those up a bit for them so that it isn’t all so quiet and they can enjoy the music. The game sounds are also more important to me than to the stream, so being able to adjust those separately is quite nice.

Now, all of this is rather trivially possible with Pulseaudio, which does support creating virtual audio sinks without any extra software installation as is required on Windows (though I guess what’s core and what’s not is somewhat more loosely defined on Linux than Windows, since it’s dependant on the distribution), however I want all of this to automatically be the case from the moment I log in so that I don’t have to keep readjusting my software to use the correct sinks and did unfortunately not find a good way to do this. Some sort of login script would be the obvious example but I didn’t really want to take the time to program something like that.

Then there is the case of the bots. Namely, chatbots. While a lot of the popular ones are cloud-based these days, which one would think would mean that running on Linux wouldn’t be a problem, the song request part often requires a Windows application in order to provide the currently playing song to the streaming software in the form of a simple text file. Since these seem to be mostly Electron-applications, I don’t really see the reasoning behind this other than the developers not considering Linux a big enough market in order to make the effort which does make it all a bit more of a pain for me. There are also more “pure” cloud variants like StreamElements which do have a mechanism of providing the song title through a web browser interface but unfortunately the last time I used it the song request functionality was somewhat flawed, skipping some songs completely and not doing a particularly good job of shuffling the songs.

Now I have been wanting to write my own bot for the song requests because all of them feel a bit janky in one way or the other anyway which would alleviate these concerns and allow me to use the others just for moderation, however as I haven’t done that yet it’s something of a blocker at the moment.

Finally, one major problem from last time that I didn’t end up running into this time but could rear its head again, some versions of OBS oddly enough did not include hardware acceleration (on Nvidia cards at least) for the encoding which for a single PC streaming setup like mine was a complete non-starter. This seemed to primarily depend on the distribution and not OBS itself, with some strangeness like Ubuntu 18.04 at the time having hardware acceleration but 19.04 did not. I believe at the time the flatpak also lacked hardware acceleration which if it was still the case would have been a blocker this time around as well since using an outdated version of OBS since new features tend to be rather significant in something so relatively recent as live game streaming.

Minor things

Beyond those two main problems, there were a few more minor things that I would need to figure out were I to decide on a more permanent switch but that don’t really impede my day-to-day too much. Namely:

  • OneNote
  • Development environment
  • Hardware acceleration in Firefox

OneNote

I’ve recently re-discovered OneNote for notetaking, and so far it’s actually been rather nice to use for the small amounts of notetaking that I do. It seems to sync pretty snappily between devices, has performant enough clients for the operating systems I use regularly at the moment, and mostly just gets out of the way of me writing something short that needs remembering. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there isn’t a version available for Linux, outside of potentially a web-based one, which would mean I need a replacement. At the same time, my notetaking needs at the moment are rather light, so this shouldn’t pose too much trouble but still it is something that will need consideration if I make the switch in the future.

Development environment

This one is rather easy, it’s just mostly a matter of remembering everything that’s necessary. Currently use a fair bit of web development stuff, so Node, webpack and the like, and all of that probably even runs better on Linux than it does on Windows. Similarily, I do some Go develoment, and that is probably also more intuitive to use on Linux than Windows so no problem there, and my current editor of choice, Visual Studio Code, is also available. The biggest hurdle if one can call it that would just be getting everything set up the way I like it so that the threshold to get something done when I want to is as low as possible.

Firefox hardware acceleration

So this is just one of those things that yes, it’s solvable, yes, it’s not too much work, but quite honestly it should just be standard at this point and not something I need to go hunting for how to get working properly. I get that it’s probably a hard problem to get working for the generic case and with all the open and closed source drivers, but the unecessary CPU load just shouldn’t be there when I’m watching videos or doing other browsing on more graphically intensive websites. It’s a minor thing because I know it’s fixable just didn’t get to the point of looking up exactly how, but it annoys me that it’s a thing I need to fix in the first place.

Conclusion

In the end, this time (as well) ended up being a failure, but it did give me new hope once again that some day in the not too distant future this will be an option that I can reasonably choose, since the roadblocks are becoming fewer each time and the only really big remaining one is gaming which seems to be getting better each year on Linux with more support from publishers. Even there I also have pretty big hopes concerning the future since Blizzard has already supported Mac gaming for so long it seems reasonable that they would in turn also support Linux in the not too distant future. And if even if they don’t, at some point I’m probably going to have played their games enough and find others that I want to play, so maybe that’ll be a good opportunity to narrow my search and focus on ones that have Linux as a supported platform.

The general state of the desktop and seeing how good it has gotten also makes me think that there are some other systems in the house that can be converted since they don’t have some of the requirements I do, so at the very least the knowledge gained from the experiment will prove very useful to me and here’s hoping next time around everything’s far enough along that it doesn’t just stay an experiment!

Misc

Edge

I have a tendency to want to change things up once in a while, with everything from doing small tweaks to design, regularly changing transmog ingame, and with software for some reason it seems to mostly manifest with me trying out new browsers or giving Linux yet another shot as my main operating system.

One of these recent changeups was trying out the new Edge that has been floating around for a bit since I kept hearing quite a lot of good things about it though to be fair mainly in r/sysadmin so the criteria there are quite different to the ones I have when picking a browser for myself as opposed to a organisation choosing one for their own use.

Edge Chromium is really, and my god if you search my history you’ll laugh, but it’s really damn good. Maybe the best thing Microsoft has done since whatever the last good thing I can’t think of.

/u/Just_Curious_Dude

Still, it made me curious enough to give it a try and I it did end up being a rather positive experience overall. I enjoy the look and feel of the browser, more so than Chrome, and it does have some interesting features standard like the collections. It finally being available on more platforms than only Windows meant that I could actually give it an honest try since my browsing tends to be a mix of desktop, both Windows and Mac as well as mobile and I like keeping things synced between those so that I can pick up wherever I left on regardless of device.

That, however is where I started running into some problems. The browser is still in a somewhat early state, and while core functionality is definitely there—it’s based on Chromium after all—some features like syncing are not there making things somewhat difficult for me and overall the browser a bit hard to recommend. It did however help me identify a problem with a website I was developing because it was lacking an API that was available in Firefox so that was nice.

The lack of syncing cut my testing somewhat shorter than I had planned so I’m seriously reconsidering revisiting the browser sometime in the future when things are a bit more stable, and for the moment I’m also using it as kind of a “distraction free writing browser” for the blog since I have a tendency of having a lot of tabs open and it allows me to focus on just the writing. Opening a new Firefox-window in a new desktop would go just as easily but hey. To be fair, there was also the matter of the privacy concerns as well as the overall health of the web.

“Microsoft Edge has more privacy-invading telemetry than other browsers”
Impressive given that the competition is Google.

/u/Hero_of_Shadows

Regarding the former, while I think it is an important consideration I am at the same time for now stuck using Windows as my primary operating system so a lot of that telemetry is probably already available to Microsoft meaning I’m not overly concerned about increased exposure there but it was still a consideration in ending the experiment and does mean I’m a bit more hesitant to recommend the browser in general. It does also mean that if I were to succeed in changing over to Linux at some point in the future, I would still end up bringing that baggage with me (though I believe there is as of yet no Linux-version of the browser available, so that would be a pain-point as well).

As for the latter, I’ve been poking at web development for a long time and still remember having to do special-case things for Internet Explorer which makes me somewhat worried about the current trend of Chromium-based browsers gaining such dominance since a monoculture is bad for the overall health of the web since it gives too much control over the future of it essentially to a singe entity—Google—and the only real competition, with history repeating itself, is Firefox. This means that I am very reluctant to change browsers permanently even if I do get curious about what’s out there at times.

Misc

Design

Looking back at my recent thinking about fonts as well as my general desire to poke and prod at the design of this site is making me realise that design overall something that I’m rather interested in. I mean, this is something that I’ve known to some degree before and I do already lurk on places like r/web_design so it feels somewhat obvious, but it is interesting to note how interested I actually am in making this experience and that of other projects as good as I personally can.

At the same time, I don’t really think I could do work as a designer, the idea of taking someone else’s wants and vision and turning that into a ready and useable product seems a foreign concept to me and not really something I would like to spend my days doing.

This desire to constantly iterate on the design of my personal projects was actually something of an early stumbling block when starting to test out WordPress, since I was quite used to the quick iteration cycle afforded by static site generators: since you have all the source locally and can consequently edit and then re-generate the site locally it was really easy to iterate on the design. With a CMS like WordPress in contrast, if I wanted to experiment with the design I had to set up a staging version of the site in order to do that; this problem is solved now though there is still some funkiness going on with how my staging and live environment are linked occasionally causing problems when testing things out.

At the same time, I do have experience of refining the designs of others, the current design of this website being a prime example. It’s based off of an old fansite kit provided by Blizzard, just updated a bit and brought up to a bit more modern standards with responsive elements added so that it works decently on mobile devices as well. There are some parts of it that I’m not quite sure about still, like the seemingly somewhat low contrast on the article pages themselves as well as some of the link colours, but overall it has served me well in the past year or so. So maybe working with design wouldn’t be that hopeless of a proposition after all, especially since it wouldn’t necessarily be implementing someone else’s vision but creating my own of how to use something.

Design is also overall a very interesting field, especially since it does not just compass how things look but how they work and how they are to use, these two last elements getting a lot more attention recently than they have in the past at least as far as the web is concerned. Simultaneously, there is also a lot of pretty designs going on that have poor usability and it always makes me want to improve those things and make them nicer to use; it’s also one of the main problems I tend to have when dabbling in other MMOs outside of World of Warcraft, the UI gets in the way. Honestly, one of the things I like the most about WoW, is being able to customise the UI so freely and bring the information that is important to me to the fore while blending the rest out. This also always makes it so difficult for me to understand when people hate on addons in WoW and think they are somehow cheating, all they are doing is displaying the information provided by the game in a more sensible manner—well, most of the time, and when that isn’t the case steps are generally taken to remedy that. It just seems silly to hate on a feature that is there to make the game better for the players.

Circling back to my initial point, I think I need to start poking a bit more on the site again to fix those small annoyances I have with it—hopefully with the side-effect of making it more readable in the process.

Misc

Grunt work

Looking back at my activities in recent times I find myself reaffirming my conclusion that I’m very bad at grunt work, the menial things that belong to jobs and tasks that are simply doing something, usually repetitive, that simply need to get done. The most recent example of this being when I was poking around with fonts, once I had concluded that I probably couldn’t achieve what I want and needed to start looking at potential alternatives that while still modern would at least provided the correct feel I kind of just stopped or at least progressed in fits and starts, letting myself get distracted by the smallest things so that I didn’t need to just keep doing the somewhat boring and manual task of merely scrolling through different font samples and looking for something that caught my eye.

It’s also something that features somewhat heavily in my writing about World of Warcraft I notice, any time I need to do the ancillary tasks related to getting my character ready for the primary content I want to do I tend to get frustrated and not remain overly motivated to continue to do so. I feel this approach in something that is primarily there for entertainment makes more sense than with other pursuits, but it could still be a useful skill to take with from there as it could prove quite important elsewhere.

I currently have a few of programming projects I have been meaning to start on for a while, and while I have quite a clear idea on where to go with them and almost exactly what to do I just can’t seem to get started. It feels like it’s the same problem in this case, I like the challenge of thinking something through but once it comes to the “easier” part of actually implementing it my will to do so starts to falter. I’m not sure what exactly can be done about this, and I tend to have bursts of motivation where these things go easier, but it feels like it’s something I’m currently struggling with more than perhaps is usual for me.

The amusing thing is, since I tend to like reading and learning things, I think I already am aware of the tools that could be useful in combating something like this yet for some reason I don’t seem to be implementing them. It’s a strange feeling, knowing exactly what and how to get something done yet at the same time being unable to do so.

Misc

Fonts

I stumbled upon a discussion about “90s fonts” on HN recently and since this blog has a bit of a retro theme going on as well I was quite interested and decided to do some further digging. In order to test this on my site I disabled ClearType—the brand name if you will of Microsofts font antialiasing—and set the font used to Arial and wow, that felt like pretty much the perfect combination. It had the same blocky look seen in the screenshots of the article and it just kind of felt like it fit perfectly in here.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no sane way of achieving this. If it were available, font-smooth feels like the only reasonable way to get the correct look but not only is it very much non-standard, the Firefox variant of it is only enabled on OS X making it not really fit for purpose.

Now the approach the original article ended up with was creating a new font which mimicked the rendering of that font on older versions of Windows, and while this looked quite good to me there were some problems identified in the discussion which made me feel that wouldn’t be an appropriate approach for this site. Also, from what I could tell, they didn’t make their font-files available, so that also put a bit of a damper on that thought—to be fair, I didn’t look at the source, maybe there was a simple note there with a license.

Someone mentions bitmap fonts being usable, but I didn’t really find anything to support this statement and rather more comments stating the opposite as well as the original article.

Idea #2: Importing bitmap font files
We couldn’t make vector fonts look pixelated, but could we get around this by importing authentic 90s bitmap font files instead? We had a Windows 98 disk image with all of the system fonts including MS Serif: a riff on Times New Roman in the bitmap .FON format dating back to Windows 1.x. Unfortunately, we quickly found out that CSS @font-face doesn’t work with .FON files, and none of the web-based font conversion tools that we could find would convert them to the vector formats that are usable with @font-face.

Convincing-looking 90s fonts in modern browsers

And even if they were useable there would be problems with scaling since bitmap fonts have one “native” size and anything else will not look all that good.

With all of this at hand, I concluded that there was no way for me to achieve this look in a way that would also be technically satisfying to myself so I then ended up spending some time hunting for other fonts which might satisfy my itch for a more retro look without necessarily being as authentic as this. I did find a style I find quite satisfying but in the end decided it’s probably better to leave well enough alone for now (there was also the slight matter of it being Mozilla’s core typeface, which made it feel somewhat wrong to use it). As far as I can tell the current fonts provide quite decent legibility and while they might not be retro still have a quite pleasant air about them making them nice to read.

Misc

100

It seems I’ve now hit 100 posts on this here blog, which considering the date on my first post doesn’t seem like a whole lot—the first post being dated 2015-09-01—though it is still something of a milestone. The last couple of years beginning sometime in Legion have seen a somewhat higher level of activity from me than the Warlords’ days, though I still seem to keep something of a rather relaxed pace which seems understandable since I mostly write for my own enjoyment rather than to reach any specific audience or make money.

Looking back at some of some of my older posts, the blog also serves as a nice platform for myself to think through some of the things happening in my (gaming) life which enables me to put a better perspective on things, it’s also kind of nice to be able to go back and look at how I though of certain situations at the time and then be able to reflect on how that has changed.

A perfect example of this is looking back at my switch to the Horde which I was even at the time somewhat miffed about but I think actually took better back then than now. Having played my Hunter somewhat recently has really brought back how much I actually miss being a Night Elf as strange as that may sound and the recent disappintment with no upcoming cross faction play in Shadowlands kind of made that feeling worse recently while at the time I was taking a more optimistic stance to the whole thing. Maybe the eventual introduction of more customization along with Forsaken heritage armour sometime down the line will lessen that feeling somewhat but for now it is one of my major annoyances with the game at the moment.

But I guess all of this is just a very long way of saying: an arbitrary milestone has been reached, it has been nice so far, and hopefully I’ll end up hitting the next milestone a bit sooner than this time around!

Misc

Recovery

So as noted a while back I was in the hospital and have been in recovery a good while which has lead to me not talking as much about some of the recent interesting events—namely, PTR and BlizzCon—as I would have otherwise liked.

Recovery however, has been going well and I’m slowly starting to feel like I’m in somewhat good condition again and maybe I can slowly start gaming more again.

BlizzCon

So BlizzCon this year kind of went like expected, we got a lot of new announcements and they all looked quite interesting though the apology at the start did end up feeling a bit hollow since there was no action taken alongside that apology.

Seeing more story content for Overwatch is nice, having recently actually taken the time to read some of the comics the story and the world does seem really interesting so in a way it’s something of a pity that there hasn’t been more story in-game that we could explore.

Diablo 4 seems nice, though while that is a franchise I enjoy it’s not one I’m overly invested in, getting more story to play like with Overwatch will be nice but I’m in no real hurry to get to play it.

StarCraft ended up being ignored a bit it felt like, with not much new content on the horizon though that is somewhat understandable but still a pity since StarCraft was one of my favourite games growing up though I never got into the competitive side of it.

As for the “main dish” for me at least, World of Warcraft, the announcements left me rather disappointed. There was really one primary thing that I had wanted from this expansion, and that was being able to play Night Elf again and that unfortunately got definitely denied in the Q&A they held at the end. This kind of extends to my fear with the new Covenant system, there are some really nice cosmetic effects tied into choosing a covenant however there is also player power gated behind that choice meaning I might again be “forced” to make a choice I don’t really want to make.

As for the rest of the mechanics, Blizzard seemed quite clear in pointing out that most of the systems were in very early stages with them even being unsure how loot would work and 8.3 with the corrupted gear being one of the deciding factors there which means it feels a bit early to comment on all of that, though so far aside from the concern voiced in the last paragraph regarding the covenants the systems do seem a lot better than the ones in Battle for Azeroth with the tower having the potential to be as interesting as Mythic+ was in Legion which would be nice though I am slightly skeptical of the rogue-lite nature of it since that type of game hasn’t really been my jam so far.

Public Test Realm Raid Testing

The PTR has also been out for a while and we’ve gotten to test every single boss I think, some of them even on mythic—and some of them on mythic when they weren’t supposed to be available on mythic; due to some bug on the PTR, for the first Wrathion and Ma’ut testing we were thrown into mythic instead of heroic which while a fun experience was more buggy than the PTR is usually leading to not very useful testing on our part.

As for the rest of our tests, they have gone decently well and given us a rather good feel for the bosses—except N’zoth, that fight was too buggy for us to do any real testing—which is always nice to have in preparation of the actual content. However the tuning has as usual been completely out of whack, so if we actually want to get any practice on the later phases we’ll need to focus on the tests that come shortly before release.

Still, so far the raid seems rather fun with some bosses even bringing in some rather fresh mechanics—looking at you, Prophet Skitra—which is nice to see and others bringing back very annoying mechanics, namely the Void Miasma at Drest’agath—healing people when line of sight is a major issue never really felt fun, and was one of the more annoying parts in the Queen Azshara encounter so I’m not overly thrilled to see it will probably play a major role again.

Overall though, I’m hopeful when it comes to the raid even with the Discipline nerfs coming out on the PTR and look forward to progessing it after a nice holiday break.

Misc

Hospital

So I spent the last almost two weeks in hospital, got into the ward Monday last week with the surgery scheduled for Tuesday and they deemed me fit enough to come home yesterday. It was an interesting experience, especially as someone who has generally not had many problems with her health, to spend such a significant time in hospital, completely bound to the bed for the first several day even, not being allowed to get up or move too much due to that potentially damaging the wound that was healing after the surgery. The healing is naturally still onoing, but I’m afforded a lot more movement now though sitting is still taboo.

It’s also interesting to notice that the things I expected to be problematic were really the minor things, like boredom or pain, and the much more mundane things ended up being the real problem. Case in point, as I wasn’t allowed to leave bed until Monday—almost a week after the surgery—I ended up being put on a liquid diet in order to spare my bowels a bit of work and pain. This unfortunately did not quite go as planned, and I spent the weekend with a very stuck stomach and even now though I’ve been eating solid food for the best part of a week my stomach is still catching up a bit. It all seems rather obvious in hindsight, but this was definitely not something I expected to be dealing with during my stay there.

Another kind of related point, eating when you can’t sit is actually really annoying, even more so in hospital where though you do have an adjustable bed it is made to be ergonomic and doesn’t allow you to contort your back in such a way as to allow your throat to go somewhat straight down while still not putting too much pressure on ones nether regions so as for it to count as sitting—basically putting more pressure on one’s behind than one’s back is bad. This was especially rough with certain types of food like rye bread that have a tendency to be rather rough and as a consequence were somewhat difficult to eat. One learns ways to work around this and as noted it does get much easier at home where one can assume a less ergonomic but more manageable position but still it was one of those things one doesn’t really appreciate before experiencing it.

Overall though, my hospital stay was an overwhelmingly positive experience: the staff was awesome with a great sense of humor, it was interesting hearing the stories and experiences of other people in my room who seemed to come from almost all over the country, it actually felt surprisingly freeing basically being absolved of all responsibility for one’s being with only the single-minded task of resting and getting better. Due to the flurry of activity, time also went by surprisingly quickly and there was rarely a moment where I really felt bored. So while I can’t really recommend that you try to get hospitalized, I do feel I can say that it can actually turn out to be a surprisingly positive experience overall.

Misc

WordPress

This blog currently runs on Hugo but I’ve taken to poking around with WordPress a bit since while Hugo does its job admirably for me and I don’t really mind the write post, commit to git, push to server workflow I have going on with it there are some things that do annoy me, namely the lack of comments, having to manually enter the time and date of a post and not being able to automatically publish in the future—now that last point, I am aware it would be possible through some sort of webhook but I’m just not interested in setting that up at the moment and it seems like something that would be somewhat janky and unexact.

WordPress of course isn’t perfect either, since it requires something other than pure static hosting and will probably require more optimization from a performance point of view but I think having comments—yes, I know about solutions like Disqus but I don’t want the comments being hosted by a third party in a way that I can’t easily export to other places—as well as some other neat things enabled by the site not being completely static such as pingbacks might be worth the extra hassle of figuring out the hosting. I also think the slightly more visual editing flow might not be all bad though I’m very used to the the Markdown based editing available in Hugo but there are times where having something visual is nice, for example when doing something I don’t do as often like adding an image to the post, it’s nice being able to just add it through a visual interface instead of poking around for the proper syntax or snippet to do that.

It would however also mean being a bit more diligent with my backups or potentially getting some sort of managed hosting solution which I don’t really want to throw the extra money on at the moment, since with my current git based workflow my posts are most of the time on at least three different computers: my desktop, my laptop as well as the git server. This means I’m fairly safe from most hardware failures as well as natural catastrophes since the data is stored in a very distributed fashion, but if I start hosting WordPress which I would probably host myself the posts would as a rule only reside on a single central server—sure, they might be cached by a CDN for a short time but that’s not really a backup solution.

There is also a not insignificant amount of extra “junk” that WordPress adds to the site, in the form of some JavaScript for emojis as well as some CSS to support them and since that’s somthing I don’t really need it annoys me a bit to have it there.

Lastly, there is also the matter of getting my posts ported over to WordPress from Hugo. Importers in the other direction are easy enough to find, since static site generators are all the rage around techier bloggers these days but something that would cleanly import a Hugo blog into WordPress doesn’t seem to exist. It seems the best solution for me since I don’t have that many posts—only around 70—is to import them through the RSS importer and this has worked fairly well after I modified it a bit, there was only a single post I needed to manually fix. However, this isn’t a perfect solution since the internal links in my posts seem to be static which means if I end up changing domains which I’m considering going through those links would lead to a redirect. I’m also in general not a huge fan of internal links being static references instead of relative ones, since that means changes to the domain means a lot of editing of posts which is unecessary. Though thinking about it, I think I could probably fix that with some SQL, even now after the posts have been imported, hmm… Or maybe I’ll just modify the importer again and reimport, might be the easier solution. Or possibly the extra redirect doesn’t matter that much since I want to keep the old domain redirecting anyway in order to not contribute to link rot.

Whatever the case, there is still a decent amount of work that needs to be done if I want to go through with this change—which I think I still do even after all the many negatives and seemingly few positives pointed out here. While I have adapted the theme I use in Hugo for WordPress I still haven’t added some of the extra features I want to make use of like comments so that’s something that needs to happen. I guess there’s nothing else to do now than to get working on that.

Misc

Redesign

So while I was watching a stream today and following the discussion on the Classic beta I remembered something: Blizzard used to provide fansite kits to the community in case you wanted to make a fansite for World of Warcraft. This lead to me wondering if they still do that and unfortunately I could find no sign of these kits on the official website, however I did find a couple of the old kits—namely the original one I had played around with and one for Wrath of the Lich King—from a third party fansite amusingly enough.

Now I have been considering changing the design of the blog for a while and although I do like more simple and elegant designs there was something charming about the idea of using one of these old fansite kits as the basis of that redesign especially since the blog has mostly World of Warcraft content so the theme still feels appropriate.

I decided to base the redesign on the Wrath of the Lich King fansite kit, since that one had more of a template for a website—the original one was extremely bare bones, only a header image with some links in the left column and content in the right column. With the Wrath kit however, it ended up being more of a case of bringing the code into the modern era where responsive design is a given as well as some other slight modifications to the details.

For example, I decided to keep the fonts I already had on the site since they do give a slightly cleaner look to the whole thing as well as not using the original header image—it was weirdly cropped and relied on some borders in the styling to complete the look. Instead I launched the game and took an updated screenshot of the map and used that instead. The new image is also bigger which makes it look better when the site scales up. Another small change was actually separating the two side iron borders so that they are two separate images, since they would have otherwise been at a fixed width from each other. I also cleaned up some small noise left at the outer edges, probably as a result from some background image that had been captured with the bars. I also slightly modified the gradient on the post title in post listings, it was an image but is now made through CSS. This allows me to use a bigger font on the post titles if I want to since it means that the gradient will scale with the size instead of being a fixed size. I did end up scaling the post titles in listings up slightly, since the original size was actually smaller than what I normally use for the size of the content. It would have felt a bit strange to have the titles be smaller than the content even if they are well separated through the red background.

The article pages stayed mostly the same from a content perspective, of course the scaffolding changed but the content font and such is the same as earlier. It still feels significantly different of course and I am rather happy with how it turned out.

The final change was getting rid of the footer since with the content being so clearly delineated in comparison to the old design where the header and footer clearly marked the boundaries of the content. This made the footer feel less necessary than before. And honestly, another reason was that I wasn’t quite sure how I would separate the footer from the content since while there was a horizontal border in the fansite kit similar to the vertical ones on the sides, it was sligthly bulkier and it did not feel like it properly fit in there since there were no joining pieces for the different borders. Maybe it would have looked fine but I personally was not happy with the result—though I am still considering, having nothing at the end of posts feels a bit empty.

All in all I am very happy with how the site came out and finally getting to do something a bit different. The earlier clean look was very nice but also in some way a bit boring and while I know it is possible to get it to feel a bit more interesting I do not know how to do that personally—and since this blog is a one woman show, me not knowing how to improve something kind of prevents that from being an option. Still, it was interesting to see with how little effort is was possible to convert an admittedly simple outdated template into something that reasonably well follows modern web standards and practices.

I might get back to tinkering with it tomorrow or at some other point, for now I just wanted to get it all out there. Now for some well deserved rest after a hard day’s work on this as well as some nice Uu’nat progress—should probably write a new post on that if I remember, we’ve seen phase three several times and have had some quite good tries as well though nothing close to a kill.

Misc

Modem died

So my modem died on Monday which was a bit of a downer since it died too late to get it fixed the same day. It was kind of sudden, it was working fine and then suddenly connectivity problems and after a restart it was just completely broken. This put a bit of a damper on my ability to do mythic+ since I only had my mobile internet available and that proved very unreliable especially later into the evening—was working decently early on with just one disconnect in a couple of hours. Only did a couple of lower keys to help some friends get geared due to that, those went fine considering the circumstances.

Luckily on Tuesday I was able to get a replacement, though it did take a few hours of back and forth due to me not having the necessary documentation and later finding out that I could actually get a free replacement if I brought my old modem in which I naturally didn’t have with me since I had thought I’d just be buying a new one. So by now everything is working again which is nice, though I am slightly disappointed in the capablities of the new modem and might end up having a router behind it again and just using it as a “dumb” modem instead of the modem/router combo it is which feels unfortunate since it in theory should be able to do the things I want, it’s just the UI that’s too locked down.

Beyond that though, last week went pretty nicely with regards to mythic+ and we got some decent keys in though nothing spectacular—to be fair, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular with those affixes, the pulls need to really sit for things to run well with fortified and teeming. And this week also started really nicely, with us almost clearing everything in one day even though we had buyers present—Argus ended up living still which surprised me since we had more than an hour time when going in so there must have been something going really wrong or maybe just many small mistakes. But as said overall the raid went really well, which is amusing since as said we had a buyer there, even two in the beginning. I guess that got people to play more properly and not expect them to be carried themselves.

It was really nice to see people raiding “properly” again.

Misc

Summertime Sadness

So last weekend we—along with most of Europe I believe—changed to summer time. Now while this is a change that would seem minor for me since I don’t have that many things in my life that are dependant on being somewhere at a specific time, it still has somehow managed to make me feel a bit more tired than before and caused me to sleep longer as a consequence—which feels slightly ironic, since I believe one of the purported benefits of summer time is that one has more daylight hours available. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll end up adapting soon enough, though the transition period is always annoying.

There is an ongoing effort to abolish summer time in the European Union which would be nice, but I think it will be a while until that goes through if at all. From what I remember the reception has been rather lukewarm so far, with no one opposing the change but not really giving it any direct support either which I find rather disappointing. Hopefully something ends up coming out of it before next year, so we don’t have to suffer through the change too many more times but knowing politics it’ll probably take longer than that.

Misc