An open letter to the Washington State Employment Security Department


Back in June of 2022 I was let go from a job in a way where I was eligible for unemployment benefits. I immediately filed an unemployment claim, but the response that it was “pending adjudication” due to a wrinkle in how I was let go. I was told that I needed to continue to submit claims weekly if I was to receive any benefits.

However, I was unable to submit those claims. The website would not allow me to submit a claim because it was “pending adjudication,” and all contacts to the ESD resulted in a message that I should call a phone number. I called that number, and I’d be put on hold for two hours, told that nobody was available to help me, and that I should use the website for my unemployment claims needs.

One week ago the adjudication finally found in my favor, but at this point my benefit period has almost ended and I will still be unable to receive my unemployment benefits. And I am told that I should have been submitting my claims every week during this whole period — which I was unable to do, for the reasons stated.

How is any of this fair? This is a frustrating bureaucratic nightmare that needs to be completely overhauled. Sometimes it feels like the cruelty is the point, and that this system is not in place to benefit the people who need it.

Thank you for your consideration.

(Also sent to my state representatives Emily Alvarado and Joe Fitzgibbon, and senator Joe Nguyen.)

A fresh coat of paint


I’d been getting really annoyed with my kinda-fragile website templates and some of the accumulated cruft, as well as a bunch of things that were difficult, UX-wise, so I redesigned my site. How do you like it?

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The cycle


For the last few months I’ve been feeling restless to be doing not-much throughout the day, so I’ve been actively looking for a job. No bites have been occurring. So instead I’ve been working hard on new projects, like the VRChat avatar stuff and also redesigning my website (which I’m close to being able to roll out, incidentally).

But then it turns out that doing work makes my chronic pain flare up again, and now I’m in agony again.

So, I guess I need to find something that makes me feel satisfied with my day (and ideally brings in some amount of income) without being something that my body just absolutely rejects. But what could that possibly be? The stuff I’m good at and the stuff I enjoy doing is stuff that physically hurts to do.

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Become critter!


So whatever happened to my VRChat avatar project?

Well, it went really well, so well that I decided to make it a purchasable base model. You can get it for as low as $25 (with a suggested minimum of $30). It also comes with extensive documentation about how to add more materials and I feel like my setup for material swapping is really well-designed and makes things much easier than I’ve seen on other avatars. So it’s probably worth buying just for that alone!

At some point I’ll probably start putting some VRChat documentation onto this site (including the material-swap guide and an explanation of how I set my system up since it’s pretty easy to apply to other avatars and makes life much, much easier). But I kind of want to do some site layout refreshing first. And I need to figure out which section of the site is best suited for it. So, quick poll, what makes the most sense?

Monitoring my feed reader


Every time I get hyperfixated on a thing, I end up doing it at the expense of all else. Right now my hyperfocus is on working on making a sellable version of my VRChat avatar (which is almost ready!)

But I needed a break, so I checked my feed reader, and realized, oh wow, I haven’t checked my feed reader in a few days. Oops.

So anyway, I did what any good nerd would do, and gave myself some alerting and monitoring to track my feed stats.

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Even more VRChat tips and tricks


I’ve been completely redoing my avatar from scratch and this time around it’s turned out great!

Anyway now that I’ve learned more about Blender and VRChat in general I have a bunch more stuff to share since last time. (And some of this will apply to Unity in general too! Sort of, anyway.)

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Bandcamp Friday, May 2024


For the next 23.5 hours, Bandcamp is waiving their cut of music purchases made on their platform, which makes it an amazing time to buy independent music there.

As always, I have plenty of stuff you can get there (including a recently-released 80-minute meditation album and an hour-long musical journey inspired by a variety of coffee grinders), and you can get a pretty decent discount on my music if you just buy it all at once as a discography.

I also like to keep a checklist of albums to buy on this day, and this month the two albums I bought are a recent release by my friend Sam and the discography of ratwyfe mostly because I heard someone do a cover of his song cryptid and I knew right away that I’d totally dig all of his music.

Anyway. Support independent musicians, both by buying the music that you like, but also spreading the word of mouth of the music that you like, too. You might not think you have much of a voice but every little bit helps way more than you think; every flood begins with a handful of raindrops.

More rambling about electric vehicles


I don’t know why my brain keeps on fixating on EVs. I already have my Leaf SL, and I’m really happy with it all in all. I try to be excited about future tech and this usually manifests in me starting to think about what car I’d buy next, which then starts to feel like me planning to buy another car, even though I really don’t need to.

Anyway, a lot of my thoughts about the current cars worth mention have changed since that last article, and here’s my current thoughts on things.

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So it turns out I didn’t have anything to worrry about. The angiogram showed no blockage whatsoever and hopefully this means I’ll stop having heart-concern panic attacks. No angioplasty, no stent, etc.

The most annoying thing right now is I’m not allowed to use my right hand until Sunday, and also cannot shower until then, since that could potentially cause a hematoma or arterial rupture in my right wrist artery (which is where they inserted the probe). So I’ll be stinky tomorrow, and also I can’t do any of my fun activities. At least I have a lot of prepared foods available.

The whole experience wasn’t too bad. The entire team felt supportive and friendly, and we joked around a lot during the whole thing. During the procedure I was given a small dose of midazolam, which helped me to relax, but wasn’t enough to get an amnesiac effect, so I remember the whole thing. The only really painful bit was at the very end when my forearm started to spasm while the probe was still inserted.

Also I asked for souvenir pictures but I think they thought I was joking. Maybe I’ll get them on MyChart? I dunno. It’ll go nicely next to my esophogeal endoscopy photo from when I was having stomach problems a decade ago.

They seemed to be really surprised that I understood most of the medical terminology and that they didn’t need to coddle me or the like. One of the consent forms asked me to write, in my own words, what I thought was going to happen and I wrote “angiogram w/ potential angioplasty” and this was really surprising to them.

Anyway afterwards I got hospital food for lunch. I ordered the salmon. It was pretty okay. Hard to eat one-handed though.