There is additional content you may be able to see if you log in.

Commissions open

I like Ko-Fi. They started out as a nice, friendly tip jar system, and they’ve only gotten better over time. They’ve done exactly what I keep saying companies should do: build a useful, sustainable business that makes a good income for all concerned parties. They haven’t gotten on a VC-backed treadmill of unsustainable growth, they haven’t made moves to “maximize engagement” or check off all the boxes for dystopian hyper-capitalism, and they haven’t gotten into a vicious cycle of worker exploitation.

Ko-Fi just started out as a tip jar, but then they added monthly memberships (á la Patreon) and asset/object sales (like Gumroad and Etsy). And now they’ve added their answer to Fiverr and Upwork: commissions.

So anyway my commissions are open. I’m just focusing on music for now but I might add more things over time.

Kitchen stuff

While cooking dinner tonight I got a surprising electrical shock off of the handle of one of my pots, which was sitting on a burner which was on but was weirdly not getting hot. So, there’s clearly some awful short circuit in my stove. So it’s time to replace that.

As usual I’ve been wanting an induction stove anyway, but I was hoping to hold off until I could properly redo my kitchen. I sort of had the idea that I’d be reconfiguring it to have a built-in oven and a smaller cooktop in order to have more prep space, since my kitchen is pretty tiny. But I guess it isn’t the worst thing to upgrade the stove before everything else, right?

More importantly, I was hoping to hold off until my condo sold and I had, y'know, plenty of money for this. All the induction ranges I’m interested in cost considerably more than I feel comfortable paying right now. Although there’s one Samsung model that I like and is fairly affordable, but also it has about a 6-week wait right now.

It seems like it’s only one burner that’s shorting out, but that’s one too many for my comfort.

I’m sure I could tear the stove down and find where the electrical fault is, but, jeeze, I’m not all that interested in messing with 240V stuff.

Update: Home Depot had the Samsung in stock and ready for delivery/installation August 10, so I just went ahead and ordered it. Ugh.

Update 2: Oh right August 10 is a busy day for me, I should see if I can reschedule it to the 11th

Update 3: It is rescheduled, yay. Home Depot works, sometimes.

VRChat continued

It seems like I chose a very… interesting time to get into VRChat, and also I’m taking a break from it for reasons not related to the current debacle.

I also have a lot of thoughts about VRChat as a platform, and where we can go from here.

Read more…

Planning time

I’ve been streaming on twitch again lately, but right now it’s kind of unstructured. A thing I’ve noticed a lot of folks I follow do is they set up a regular streaming schedule, where they allocate specific hours of the day to stream, and specific days of the week for specific games. It seems to work really well for them.

I’m wondering if I should do that sort of thing, especially since I’m having trouble staying focused on the specific games I’m playing, and I’d also like to build up things like having vtuber activities and the like.

I also feel like this sort of thing would make it easier for me to give my day structure, and maybe I could also use it as a means to get myself in the groove of always working on music/games/etc. at certain times as well.

Read more…

Newish RTX 2080Ti

Because of the cryptocurrency market crash, GPUs have really come down in price. They probably have a further ways to go but I decided that I’d waited long enough to finally upgrade my GTX 1050Ti, and picked up a supposedly-barely-used refurbished eVGA RTX 2080Ti Black Edition off eBay. The seller claimed it was bought from eVGA’s refurb department and used for only two weeks in a gaming rig. I’m not sure sure I believe that, but I figured it was a worthwhile risk to take. The total cost was $550 after tax and shipping, which happened to be almost exactly what I’d earned by participating in the itch.io queer games bundle, so that worked out nicely.

Read more…

2022 Washington State Primary: Senate Endorsements

Normally I rely entirely on The Stranger’s endorsements, because they do a thorough job of discussing all of the candidates and making a case for them. But their endorsement of Patty Murray rang a bit hollow, because they just talked about how much worse the Republican frontronner is, rather than talking about why the other left-wing candidates weren’t a choice worth considering.

So, I took it upon myself to read all of the other democrat/socalist/independent candidates to see if there’s anything they missed.

Read more…

Days of our Lives

Being unemployed is pretty great. I’m getting way more stuff done now than when I was being paid to do things.

It’s amazing how not having an 8-hour soul-sucking void every day leaves me with plenty of energy to do stuff that I enjoy doing.

For example, I’m having great time gardening (well, cultivating a meadow, really), doing pottery, and generally enjoying my life. This has had other great effects, like my kitchen is the cleanest it’s been since filming Lo-Fi Beats to Grind Coffee To, and I’m having the energy to work on music and open source stuff again (including Publ).

Read more…

A virtually good time

On Sunday I finally broke down and bought a Meta Quest 2. I’m not thrilled with having a Facebook-controlled device strapped to my face, but it’s a pretty decent bit of hardware and is an all-in-one setup that is way cheaper than most headsets, and doesn’t require me to upgrade my PC GPU (which is still a bit too expensive). And on the plus side it can also be used as a tethered headset, when I’m ready to finally upgrade my GPU.

Anyway, with all that out of the way, I’m having a lot of fun. VRChat is a fun experience, at least if you ignore most of the awful people in public spaces. (I’m fluffycritter there if anyone wants to friend me and hang out in non-public spaces.) And I’m thoroughly enjoying Beat Saber as well. It’s a heck of a fun workout, and even though I’ve only been playing for a couple days I’m already holding my own in online play. But then again, I’ve always had an affinity for rhythm games.

Read more…

Exit stage left

It’s time I sling the baskets off this overburdened horse
Sink my toes into the ground and set a different course
Cause if I were here and you were there
I’d meet you in between
And not until my dying day, confess what I have seen.

— Phish, The Horse

I’m finally doing something I should have done at least a decade ago: I am no longer going to try to be a software engineer professionally. I’m not sure what’s coming next, but hopefully it’ll be a much better life for me.

Read more…

Pottery class

Today I had my pottery lesson at Rain City Clay, namely their “sip and spin” crash-course to wheel throwing.

A while ago I’d bought a cheap learner’s wheel and while I’d had some fun trying to self-teach on it, I couldn’t quite figure out a few basic things, particularly centering, which is, y'know, pretty important. And it turns out there’s a lot of other basic stuff that I didn’t learn by watching a lot of The Great Pottery Throw Down either! Like how to test the bottom thickness, among other things.

Read more…

Stepmania in 120Hz

A bit before I got sick I finally upgraded my home theater receiver, to a Denon AVR-S760H, mostly to finally get HDMI 2 support so that I could finally get 4K video from my connected devices (especially my Playstation 4).

As an obvious bonus, this means I can also run my connected Windows PC at 4K. Its GPU (a 1050Ti) isn’t quite up to snuff for that for gaming, though, although having desktop and web browsing at 4K is quite nice.

Stepmania defaults to running in a borderless window instead of proper fullscreen, though, and so even though it only internally renders at 1080p, it then tries to upscale to 4K, and gets very laggy as a result. Running at native 4K isn’t really any slower, at least, but it’s stil laggy and unplayable.

However, I discovered that if I set the fullscreen mode to exclusive, then setting the resolution to 1080p unlocks much higher framerates, up to 120Hz, because my TV supports VRR and 120Hz. (Ostensibly it supports this on 4K as well, although Stepmania didn’t offer this configuration, likely due to my GPU.)

So anyway, Stepmania at 120Hz is ridiculously smooth — almost uncanny in its smoothness. It also makes steps register with much greater precision, and I’m actually surprised at how much more responsive the game as a whole feels now.

It still does nothing to help me with my cough or fatigue, though. But it was still nice to play for a little bit.

Bleh

Since a couple folks have asked, I’m still the same as the other day, which is to say, tired, with a mild cough and pretty bad fatigue. I’m actually able to get some work done, though.

Also, yesterday I finally got a positive COVID test, although the T line was extremely faint. But at least now I know these tests aren’t completely worthless, even if it only told me what I already knew and well in retrospect.

Read more…

Post-COVID fatigue

So, I was worried about having “long COVID” and/or protracted amounts of fatigue after this, and, unfortunately, that’s come to pass. I had pretty bad fatigue leading up to the respiratory symptoms, but in this week since the worst of the cough subsided, it’s been even worse. I’m constantly tired and fatigued and I have a bad headache that just won’t go away, and I’m barely able to do things that I need to do, much less the things I want to do.

This past weekend I did end up assembling the drum kit like I said I would, and that took a lot out of me. I played the kit for a few minutes and it was more than I could really handle. Then I decided to work on some other music, and I could barely press down on the strings on my bass, and had to stop after just a couple minutes. I tried playing guitar instead, and that was just as bad.

And the next day my body felt like I’d run a marathon or something.

Read more…

(Probable) COVID, one week post-symptom-onset

It’s now been one week since the respiratory symptoms started on what I’m still about 98% certain is COVID-19, despite the lack of a positive test.

The worst of the respiratory symptoms only lasted a few days, with the cough having mostly cleared up by Wednesday. I’m still coughing somewhat, though, and I continue to be fatigued much more than usual for me.

Being vaxxed and boosted certainly helped a lot, but it wasn’t a complete preventative. Also given my fatigue levels I can’t help but worry about long COVID on top of my already deep-seated chronic issues.

I did feel well enough to go out for a little bit today, as I had a package which I had to bring to the post office to refuse (long story which will get its own blog entry eventually, maybe). I was only in the post office for maybe 30 seconds and I double-masked, of course. Afterwards I also popped into the grocery store (still double-masked) to get a snack.

Given my negative test results and my triple-vaccination status I’m apparently at very low risk of spreading it to anyone else, but given how “low risk” it was for me to get it in the first place I’m still being cautious. And of course I’m not exactly feeling up to being around people anyway. I might still make a regular grocery trip this weekend, though. As nice as getting them delivered was, I need to do things outside of the house just for my own sanity. Maybe I could do the curbside pickup thing. I dunno.

This weekend I plan on finally setting up my new drum kit, although that will also require a lot more organizing of my basement and that feels like maybe more than I can handle right now. I also want to play DDR again but that also feels impossible.

Maybe I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Illness status

Wow, yesterday I wasn’t doing so good. So much so that I forgot to actually git push that last entry, whoops.

Anyway. I slept for about 12 hours, and woke up feeling somewhat better. My cough is mostly cleared up, and the headache and fatigue that’s been affecting me for the past week or so is mostly gone as well.

I still took it easy, and also out of an abundance of caution I took advantage of QFC’s grocery delivery service, which was a pretty decent experience. Not something I’d do normally and not a thing I intend to keep on doing, but, y'know. It was helpful in this circumstance.

My refrigerator is well-stocked, at least, although I still don’t have much of an appetite. I’ve mostly been subsisting on crackers, seltzer, and cranberry juice.

I continue to test negative on at-home rapid tests. Given the symptoms I was experiencing as well as the timeline I have a hard time believing it wasn’t COVID, though. I know the at-home rapid tests only register for a certain viral load (which is pretty high with the current variants), and I’ve heard rumblings that the primer used for PCR tests is also very outdated at this point as well.

I absolutely credit the vaccine with keeping me from getting worse, though, and if you haven’t been vaccinated at this point and are able to be, please reconsider. If I hadn’t been vaccinated this would have definitely gone much worse for me, and also, please try to stop the spread, y'know?

Read more…

Test result: negative

Today I got a PCR test. It came back negative.

I’m still sick with something, though, and the symptoms are to the letter COVID symptoms. I wonder how trustworthy PCR tests are these days.