Just a random check-in entry for folks to know what’s going on with me. Because that seems to be all that my blog is good for, all in all.
It’s possible, although unlikely, that you may have noticed that my sites were all down earlier today. This is because I finally upgraded my server to the latest Ubuntu LTS, and some stuff broke. Nothing permanent, of course, and the upgrade went more smoothly than I’d expected, really. But some time ago I’d switched from pyenv to system Python which meant that the system upgrade required me rebuilding all my Poetry environments. Also it turns out that systemd really hates having a dozen envs in the “fail, restart” state. It’s amazing how much CPU that ended up taking.
The upgrade from PHP 7.4 to 8.1 ended up causing some more, other problems, though, and in particular I had to fix some minor but long-standing deprecation issues in Feed on Feeds, and there were some pointy ends with getting Nextcloud and Roundcube running again as well. But nothing terribly awful.
I made the mistake of doing that system update from my laptop with the shitty keyboard and that hurt my wrists a lot. I don’t know why I keep using that laptop, instead of the good, comfortable, ergonomic setup in my home office. No good ever comes of it. Hopefully soon that laptop gets replaced by the MacBook Pro that currently runs my recording studio.
I still haven’t gotten around to recording my Song Fight! Live set for this year, although I’ve practiced the drums enough to feel like maybe I can record the drum parts. All the other instruments are a mess right now though.
There’s a couple of albums that I really want to work on but I just haven’t had the energy to. I’ve also not really had the energy to seriously pursue doing music commissions.
On the plus side, I got accepted into the Puget Soundworks choir as a second alto! Rehearsals start in a few weeks.
I got tired of joking about re-re-re-re-relearing Blender and decided to finally actually learn Blender, mostly so that I could model an avatar for VRChat and vtube and whatnot. It’s coming along pretty okay, and I made a lot of progress on modeling in about two days (after a lot of false starts). Blender really benefits from building up muscle memory and learning the little quick workflows for doing things, and I hate to admit that YouTube tutorial videos have been pretty helpful for this.
At some point I should practice what I preach and do a quick “how to model characters using subdivision surfaces” tutorial but write it up as text with images. I want to get a bit better at stuff first, though. Also I still only have a theoretical understanding of how to UV and rig and add shape keys.
I’m not sure how much work I’ll put into the fluffy critter avatar (although I do want to finish it eventually) but this definitely opens up a huge avenue for me to express myself better. I can do a much better job of my VRChat Serious Art™ gallery now, if I ever feel the urge to work on it again, and I also have a bunch of ideas for silly/cute VRC avatars I could build and maybe sell on VRCArena/Gumroad/Ko-Fi.
I’ve been fatigued a lot lately. I also had really bad neck pain for a few days although that’s thankfully subsided. My sleep’s been awful in general.
I also really need to make appointments with an allergist and maybe a cardiologist. My allergies have been pretty awful this year and I’m also growing increasingly concerned about what seems like a histamine response when I eat certain notorious foods. I found an allergist-rheumatologist who also treats fibromyalgia so maybe that’ll be beneficial from multiple directions.
I’ve mostly avoided using cannabis products over the past week since I had a theory that it was disrupting my sleep, but tonight I finally started using it again because it’s not like my sleep’s been any better without it and my pain sure has been a lot worse.
VRChat has kind of lost some of its appeal to me. Not because of the EAC thing, but just the novelty has somewhat worn off.
Most of my VR time right now is in playing rhythm/fitness games. I’m enjoying Ragnarock, and I finally broke down and bought the PC version of Beat Saber as well since I wanted an easier way of installing custom maps and mods than on the Quest version (although I still haven’t launched it).
I also got Pistol Whip, which has potential but I’m not enjoying it quite yet, and I tried out Synth Riders which I found to be underwhelming and annoying, to the extent that after playing it for an hour I decided to get a refund on Steam for the first time ever.
A lot of people like Synth Riders and that’s fine, but it just wasn’t for me. Compared to Beat Saber it just felt lacking.
My condo is firmly in the process of selling. If all goes well I will be home-free (in more ways than one) at the end of September, and then I’ll be financially secure for a while.
In addition to living off of savings and investment income, the money will go towards:
- New kitchen
- Improving my recording studio
- Solar system for my house
- House improvements in general, really
Also, sometime next year I’ll probably want to get a better car than the Leaf, since there’ll be some much-better EVs on the market. The Leaf is fine for my needs but I kind of have the idea that I might get something nicer to drive for Uber/Lyft just as a way to get out of the house and be more single-serving sociable, and get some supplemental income.
Most of my socializing continues to be on MUCKs and occasional VRChat. It’s no substitute for in-person stuff.
For the past two years I’ve been doing an online “Adults with ADHD” meetup/support group and that was sort of a social thing for me but lately I’ve not been feeling like I’m getting a lot out of it and I’ve stopped attending. I don’t really feel like I need ADHD support these days, and the things I do need support for aren’t really well-addressed by the group.
In a couple days a bunch of local folks from the James Hoffmann Patreon discord are doing a meetup in Ballard, and I’m looking forward to that.
And of course, rehearsals for Puget Soundworks will expose me to a lot more socializing as well.
I haven’t done a whole lot of art, and I want to fix that as well. I need to do more pottery, in particular, and I also need to get back in the groove of drawing. The only things I’ve drawn recently are my layout refs for my Blender modeling and a sorta-quick sorta-okay drawing of one of my MUCK friends. Drawing seems to be a great way to be in pain a lot though.
I made a whole bunch of baked ziti which I’m working my way through. I used a mix of wheat-based and chickpea-based pasta, and I cannot tell which noodles are which. Which is to say, wow, chickpea-based pasta is pretty good! I used Banza, which also costs about the same as wheat-based pasta, at least at my local QFC/Kroger. So if you love pasta but can’t do wheat for whatever reason (gluten sensitivity, low-carb diet, etc.) it’s worth checking out. Not sponsored, I just really like it.
Meanwhile, I need to reduce my Crowd Cow subscription frequency. It still works really well for me, but gosh I am not coming even close to finishing up a box of meat before the next one comes, and my freezer is so full of meat right now. Really good meat, mind you, but way more than I need all the same.
For me the best part about Crowd Cow is always having a selection of random proteins that I build my meal plans around. I’ve mostly been choosing a random protein from my collection, plugging it into Dish Dragon, and getting inspired for what to make next from that. For example, putting in “Italian sausage” is what got me making the baked ziti. In this case I didn’t use any specific recipe which came from Dish Dragon, but seeing a bunch of sausage-based pasta dishes is what inspired me.
It’s like Pinterest, but for food, and actually useful.
Oh, also, I am really loving this new induction stove, both for the induction stove and the amazingly effective air fry mode (which is so much better than the air fry in the one I bought for the condo). I almost feel silly for waiting so long to upgrade, except when I first bought this house there weren’t any good ones on the market (at least, not available in Seattle) and waiting to remodel my kitchen felt like the most appropriate course of action. So my shitty coil-top stove shorting out was a pretty good forcing function.
Fiona’s been extra grumpy/bored/playful lately. Tyler continues to be a cuddly lump. I have the best kitties.