Looking For Quacks In The Pavement

Author: Karel Kerezman (Page 1 of 408)

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.

Unexpected Downtime

Just as I really ramp up using this site again, I do something that breaks it for a couple of hours. Ain’t that that way?

OK, in all seriousness: Every week I run package updates on the various Linux servers I run, including this one. Usually that’s a matter of a few minutes total and everything’s fine & dandy afterward. Maybe there’s a reboot involved, which nobody will notice.

Today? What I didn’t notice was a package getting flagged for removal. The core webserver package. Whoops. Due to a problem of some kind with the repository where the packages come from, that package in particular just would not install, no way no how.

A couple of hours later the maintainer got it squared away, but in the meantime there was no here, here. Sorry about that.

Lesson learned: Look closely at the “will be removed” listing before forging ahead.

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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A Blog Old Enough To Drink

Sweet mercy, it’s been twenty one entire years as of today since journal post number one landed in a database on a long-forgotten web host somewhere. It wasn’t the start of my blogging experience, as I’d been running Monaural Jerk on a workstation at the office called Zero previously, but it was the start of this grey duck dot net experience, such as it’s been. The software and the memes and the hosting environments have changed along the way, but the silly man behind the keyboard remains the same… older, but relatively unchanged, for good or ill.

More than two decades later and I’ve still managed not to figure out what I’m really doing here, but I intend to keep doing it anyway.

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