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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.

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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.

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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 queer games bundle, so that worked out nicely.

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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.

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Muppet Speed Dating

Have you heard the latest craze? it’s Muppet Speed Dating! Here’s how it works.

First, your soul is transferred into a muppet. Then you sit at a grid position, and you face one of your neighbors. The devil tells you to RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE, and then you stand up, and you and your neighbor get two prompts, one for each hand. Try your best to do both prompts at each other!

The prompts might be an action like “wave,” “have sex,” or “uchi wa-wa.” It’s up to you to figure out what that means!

You have three seconds, and you will be judged.

Remember to keep track of your achievements and failures. Send us a screenshot to get a free commemorative button.

Do this for as long as you like, but don’t overdo it. We don’t want you to become addicted and oversaturated. After all, the devil wants to see as many different souls as he can.

Just remember to mix it up, and always uchi wa-wa as best you can.

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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.