Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Category: Life (Page 1 of 137)

Quick End-Of-Month Check-In

Let’s see… here are a few things I don’t yet have time + energy to flesh out, though some will get further attention at some point:

  • The GameBall trackball is holding up pretty well so far. At least, it hasn’t infuriated me and does its job reliably. So far. The third in the ongoing “in search of” post series will bubble up here probably in early February.
  • There’s a new Mono Inc record out, I have it, I’ve heard it. I need to sit with it and give it another solid listen-through before I feel like I’ll be ready to give it a proper review. It’s coming, though.
  • Fire Emblem Engage has taken over a lot of my free time, and that’s a good thing. If you have any interest in the game series at all and have read some reviews and seen first-impressions videos, my opinion probably won’t surprise you by diverging from a lot of those… but I want to get a bit further into the main storyline before putting my own complete thoughts in order here. I’ll absolutely be ranting and raving about it before much longer, don’t you worry.
  • I don’t think I’m writing an entire post about how angry I am about the state of housing. Nobody needs to read that, and I don’t need to be writing it. Suffice to say that I feel intensely frustrated by the fact that at almost exactly the time that I paid off the big big loan and started stashing money away for a potential move, the costs of everything jumped skyward and now I just… can’t. I’ve nearly been priced out of existing.
  • Another brief grumble unworthy of an entire post? The folks who make the good version of my primary diabetes-treatment medicine could resolve their supply-chain issues any day now, please and thank you. Taking the other folks’ version is a fuss and a bother and I hate it. (A pill-crusher is involved. Feh.)
  • And to end on a positive note, I need to write up my experiences with trains in Satisfactory now that they’ve been the central concept of my latest solo savegame and an integral part of the co-op game I’m playing with the kids. It’s been fun! But… there are definitely drawbacks to going All Trains All The Time. I’ll get into that at some point in the next few weeks.

That’s all for now, folks. I hope you’re staying healthy and safe.

In Good-ish Health

Today I went to the doctor’s office for my first general check-up of the new year. My weight is down a bit (under 170 lbs for the first time in… a while), my blood pressure’s fine (I don’t remember the numbers nor do you need them), the sound of my breathing and heartbeat were nominal, etc. The doc and I talked about my medications as well as revisiting the physical therapy regimen for the range-of-motion issues in my shoulders, and I answered a battery of mental-health questions (how do you think I’m doing in this ongoing pandemic late-stage-capitalism hellscape?) so that’s done for a while. I’m current on my shots, my blood work looks good, in a few months we’ll check again (there will always be more blood work to be done), and all I need to do is keep on keeping on.

As the Internet meme goes, I got a passing grade in being medically examined, which is totally a thing one can achieve and is normal to want.

I even found that I can have the dosage of one of my meds halved officially, so I can just get the smaller-dose pills instead of having to use the pill cutter every other night. Sweet deal!

So, you know. Provided there are no catastrophic events, wild accidents, or pandemic-related shenanigans… I should remain above ground a while longer yet. I hope.

dBpoweramp: Big Thumbs Up

This afternoon I pulled up an album in MusicBee that I hadn’t listened all the way through in years, Depeche Mode’s Music for the Masses. Partway into it I noticed one song (Little 15) had a bit of a skip. I scrubbed back, listened to that part again, and sure enough… skip confirmed.

Well, great. How long ago did I rip this CD anyway?

Checking the codec properties for that song’s data file revealed that while it wasn’t made with the beta versions of the Ogg Vorbis codec (thank goodness), it certainly dated back to roughly 2002, thus a very early release version. This means the skip glitch could be on account of a newer playback decoder disliking something about early Ogg Vorbis encoding, but is more likely just a result of the cheap fast CD ripper software I used back then.

No time like the present to freshen the library up a bit, then, is there?

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Barking Up The Wrong Mailbox

Mail delivery today consisted of one (1) envelope.

Hand-written address, which certainly stands out from the usual pile of machine-generated credit card offers, bank account offers, and similar “please give us your moneys” material.

But… I have no idea who this person is. Okay then! Get the envelope safely into the apartment, use my handy-dandy letter-opener, and inside… there’s a letter. Shocking, I know!

Hand-written letter, which (after the heading & salutation) begins thus:

“I am a local neighbor and part of a large group of volunteers taking time to share some encouraging words and news.”

V. L. (full name omitted because I’m not a complete jerk)

Uh… huh. Okay.

There’s something else in the envelope, what could that be…?

Aha. A leaflet from the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Now, I am not here to shame someone for spending their time carefully hand-writing a letter that, I’m sure, they meant in all the well-meaning earnest goodness of their heart. However. It was at that moment that I knew I’d be doing two things in rapid succession: Writing this post, and shredding the envelope and everything in it.

Nothing personal, stranger. But all your efforts brought was a few minutes of amusement. Please enjoy your life and avoid darkening my mailbox ever again.

A Year In Review (Of Blogging)

I really don’t use this place much. But it’s getting better!

Prior to this year, January 2021 was a high-water mark out of most of the previous decade, with a whopping tally of five entire posts… and every one of those was about Satisfactory. (Yes, I love that game. Still do.)

One of my “resolutions” going into 2022 was to make more and better use of this thing. At least I’ve done “more,” not sure about “better.” In January of this year I managed 17 posts, which isn’t quite more than all of 2021 combined… but not that far off, either. (And I refuse to tally up previous years because it’ll probably depress me with how far ahead that single month’s tally will prove to be versus any number of entire individual years.) Most of the rest of this year I wrote six or seven posts in a month, with a couple of lower counts along the way for various reasons.

If I can keep at the habit I’ll achieve quantity again, if not actual quality, and that’s something to celebrate. No joke, I actually feel good looking at the improved output for this year on this site. I did something I said I wanted to do! Intent paired with follow-through! Imagine that.

To be sure, it helps that Twitter’s a deteriorating mess now that The Emerald Scion has taken over and seems hellbent on “lithobraking” that bird as fast as he can. On the other hand, I transitioned over to my new Mastodon instance just fine without abandoning the blog, so… go me! (Also, hey, one of the improvements made here recently involved adding the RSS feed of my fediverse output to the blog’s sidebar. The miracles of modern technology, eh?)

Plans for the future? Keep at the pace, such as it is, and keep going with what works, which means you’re almost certainly going to see more Satisfactory content, more silly videos, and what-not.

Here’s to 2023 sucking less, if at all possible.

Silly Reasons To Keep At It

Look, we have to motivate ourselves in the ways that work for us, don’t we? Like, I want to watch the new season of The Dragon Prince, so that’s a reason to keep going. I want to play the new Fire Emblem game due to release in January, and I want to hear the new Mono Inc album which is due to arrive on the same day. (That’ll be a pretty cool day, it’s true.)

If it keeps me going that many more months longer, that’s what counts, right? Right.

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