a january brain dump

happy new year

It's a morning with light snow, I got up early, and I'm thoughtful. It's been almost a month since my last post here, so I wanted to barf some words.

2022 is here, and it's a bit of a strange feeling. The pandemic rages on and life continues as per the new usual. Working from home full time, helping my wife raise our son, and finding little moments to enjoy life and be a human.

what i'm up to

Work and childcare take up an exorbitant amount of my time. On top of that, there are household chores and all the other things you need to do just to stay afloat. It leaves me little time for my personal projects. For the first couple weeks of the year, I did start quartzgun, which was partially to improve my Go skills and partially just to write a web framework that I'd like to use. It's not finished but it's usable; when I have need of it, I will polish it and address the things on the roadmap.

I published a patch release of ryudo: v1.2.1. This bugfix release fixes an oversight in the launch-terminal-from-keyboard code that left zombie processes after the terminal window was closed. I have a couple ideas for a version 1.3.0 release but haven't yet had the time to dedicate to pounding it out.

I've been playing Tales of Arise and it is legit. Props to Bandai-Namco for putting together a beautiful, engrossing, and challenging JRPG on top of a modern engine that actually runs smoothly on older hardware (not to mention flawlessly under Proton).

Given that ryudo is stable and quartzgun is in a good place, I plan to get back to work on my first xrxs game. As of yet I only have a tentative zero page laid out and part of the spritesheet done.

We got a fermentation kit for the holidays and started pickling! So far we've only made pickled onions but we want to do kraut, carrots, eggplants, kimchi, maybe even chao. Not sure what we're going to do next, but it's very exciting!

As mentioned in my last post, I've been trying to stay active despite the season. I try to keep to an exercise routine consisting of push ups, sit ups, stretching, and mountain climbers everyday; as well as rollerblading, biking and hiking when time and the weather permit. Looking forward to warmer weather and Omicron to pass so that I can bike/skate into town more often for some cafe-style work and more regular skate sessions downtown.

what i'm thinking about

web browsers all suck

Seriously. Mozilla seems determined to dig their own grave (see here and here, plus they break the UI every other version). Chrome is pure evil. Safari is halfway decent but Webkit (the renderer Safari is built upon) crashes a lot in my experience. All other browsers fall into two camps:

I want to root for Firefox and its derivatives, but at this point all Mozilla seems to do is provide web standards documentation (which is actually amazing and wonderful; it's my primary resource when doing web development) and make poor decisions regarding their software products. Gecko engine is terribly behind Chromium in terms of performance (load the front page on Github (not logged in) or any nontrivial React app to see what I mean) and Mozilla is not the privacy knight they once were. I also want Netsurf to be better, but I don't have the time to dive into the codebase nor the spare resources to donate to the devs. At least QtWebEngine takes the best parts of Chromium and leaves all the bullshit at the door, so we get a basis for performant and robust browsers like Qutebrowser and Falkon. These days I'm using Qutebrowser because it gets out of my way, allows quick adjustments to configuration (set/unset cookie storage, javascript, etc), and it's fast.

covid will probably become endemic

It's not something that I like to think about, but the more I do, the clearer it becomes -- we done fucked up. Medicine for profit combined with nationalism has created an imbalance in the distribution of vaccines for the needy, and particularly in America we have a significant population that by some strange affliction thinks the whole thing is a joke, or at the very least just doesn't think through their actions. So every time it seems like things are dying down, a new variant surges across the globe and we're back to square one. Combine that with people in mosly vaccinated regions being a little too quick to call it good enough (eg, New Mexico re-opened in July of last year well under the previously stated vaccination threshold, lot of good that did), and we're never gonna get anywhere.

I for one would like to see cheaper vaccines, distributed to more people across the world, and an "it's here to stay" mindset so that we can actually get this under control and eventually be able to treat it more or less like the flu.

cities, cars, and work suck

It never ceases to amaze me how far-removed from reality we've become. Cities are a sham. Cars are horribly psychotic; they're very inefficient and I don't know about where y'all live, but in our corner of Santa Fe I hear annoying chads revving their engines at all hours of the day and night. I'm craving a more balanced environment. Our lease is up in May and we're looking for something more sustainable and comfy for our next phase.

I'm also thinking about how we busy ourselves with work. The concept of bullshit jobs is nothing new to me, but I'm seeing quite a bit of it. Just today, the landscaping agency contracted by our apartment complex's management was snow blowing a mere dusting, while it was snowing... And it all melted before the day was over anyways! Even in my industry, how much work is just to keep a hulking system up and running, for our own egos and those of our clients?

i know nothing

As much as I like to wax philosophical, I don't know a damn thing! I'm just learning the ways of the universe as I go along, and they're subject to change at any time. I don't even know my own thoughts half the time, let alone my neighbor's, or what the future holds. In any case, I'm here, trying to be careful and thoughtful and make something good of my presence here...