pics, upgrades, and micarta

Yeah I’ve definitely got to get image/media storage squared away. I made micarta for the first time this weekend, documenting as much of the process as I reasonably could (seeing as how I couldn’t take pictures while I was applying layers of fabric and resin.) So that will be coming.

Unfortunately I still don’t know how I’m going to get the stuff machined down to size, as I really overdid it with the initial size. Turns out that was a good thing since I hadn’t the faintest idea what I was doing and the result was…less than uniform. You’ll see what I mean. But there are some deep ridges in the top where the workpiece ended up being wider than the jig I had put together to hold it in place during clamping, so it folded a bit. Still, there’s more than enough usable material for a knife or three.

I’m going to have to run a prototyping operation with a couple pieces of hardwood. Damn I wish I could get maple down here.

A funny thing happened to my head on the way back here. Over the last 72 hours, my brain has started dredging up all the old ideas about site design and such that I wanted to implement. Even after only a couple days here my brain is plotting embedded wikis, gateways to and from social media (is there a goodreads “currently reading” addon? There must be) and all kinds of crap.

Damn. I had something else but forgot. Alas. I do want to implement some tagging scheme here and start putting in some project notes for the stuff I’ve been working on. Hey, who knows, maybe I’ll progress past this stream of consciousness stuff some day soon.

Don’t get your hopes up though. :p

RIP: Mad William Flint

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…

I was a frequent blogger. This was back in 2002 I think. I used Radio Userland as my blog platform. I still remember my user id number (which was a part of my blog url) 0108194. The title of the blog was “The Universal Church of Cosmic Uncertainty” and I had all kinds of little cross-links, badges, cute little cycling memes, etc. Someplace I have a copy of most of the front page template. I’ll put it up at some point, it was funny; probably cringeworthy now. But I don’t much care.

Back then social media (as a series of monolithic aggregation points for individuals to come scream at political opponents and silly memes) didn’t exist. NOR, I hasten to add, did smartphones, so “food pictures” weren’t a thing.

Sharing ideas on the internet was generally done in long-form writing, cross linking between websites and huge comment discussion threads. You’d post stupid web quizzes and other nonsense. There were instant messaging platforms (icq, aim, yim, etc) where you had contact lists of people you’d talk to in one-on-one conversations, for the most part. The old guard of IRC and usenet were there then as they are now, creeping around in the background of things, generally out of the light of the normal internet user.

It was a golden age of the internet. We were emerging from the crash of the dot-com bubble and people were building and using interesting tools.

I loved writing on that little blog. I wasn’t particularly good at it, except for the occasional tuning fork of word choice I’d stumble over, combined with what I’m told is a relatively natural tendency to “write exactly how I talk” which I’d always heard was a good thing.

I talked a lot of smack and relayed work stories, dating stories, and all kinds of nonsense that, today, would make me absolutely cringe. Stories in fact that should have made me cringe back then. Not for their content, but for the possible exposure, were the people involved to have read them. And yes, more than once I had the rookie mistake of a girlfriend stumble over my site (who even knows how) and misunderstand what she read (I’d taken to the habit of pulling stories out of the past and telling them in the present tense as a narrative device. So imagine HER surprise when I talked about dates I’d gone on that he had no memory of. Go Team Dumbass *\o/*.)

Eventually I whitewashed UCCU.

During this couple/few year period of absolute wonderful chaos I had, at one point, taken a “Stupid Web Quiz” that was “What’s your Pirate Name?” It went on for about 10-15 multiple-choice questions and actually put something funny together:

Mad William Flint.

I liked it.

Blog friends liked it.

I decided this was the other half of the isolation process between my online presence and my meatspace presence.

So I went and grabbed the gmail address (having gotten a gmail alpha invite, donchaknow. *preen*) a domain name, and I set off to carve my niche anew.

But my narcissism would NOT let me maintain an online presence without SOME crossover. So I’d give a work friend the address with an admonishment. A week or two would go by and I’d start blowing out the lines on the keyboard about some work story and I’d stop….Shit. I can’t say that here.

Then there was the 9/11 account, the link to which I sent to a family member. Welp, there’s a whole new raft of shit I couldn’t talk about at all.

So I became weirdly detached and noncommittal. If I couldn’t really blow out the lines, what was I doing there. Years of false starts, multiple parallel sites with different “blogonyms” and such; every one a further fragmentation. Every one received less attention.

Until finally I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed writing entirely and I was finally fully adrift.

There’s a book, I’ve not yet read, preferring to cover the author’s prior works first. It’s “Skin In The Game” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. If you’ve never heard of him, go get some of his stuff and read it.

It’s sufficiently popular that the title is bandied about pretty frequently. The thing is, even not having read it yet, the phrase “skin in the game” conjures up a powerful and immediate mental admonishment to “put up or shut up” in me, every time I see it. And so, an idea repeated in different contexts over a long enough time (especially one we agree with at the outset) tends to sink in.

In what areas of my life am I just a dilettante? Well, that question has a truly horrifying array of answers. But I’ll get to that…perhaps not today.

All this winding nonsense does bring me to my point: I’ve decided to stop the anonymous internet thing. Screw it. I’ve got too many wacky little compartmentalized clusters of interactivity to manage.

So today heralds the death of Mad William Flint. Once I hit post on this, I’ll paste the link a couple other places and cross-pollinate once and for all, these disparate forums. This of course means a whole lot more for me than it does for you. After all, in order to have a superhero unmasking, you need a superhero first.

I’m just some asshole with a blog.


10/17/17: Backsliding and horseshit

Not sure I’m terribly inclined to share what’s been going on. After all, even I have limits of what I’ll share. It’s one thing if it’s about me.

Sure feels good to type though.

Been keeping up with the 52 books a year stuff and I’ve been adding entries to the original post as I finish books. I think I’m up to 45 or so at the moment. Unfortunately it’s a pain in the ass to find the post so….I’m gonna leave that as an exercise for the reader.

I’ve finally broken away from gaming for a snap. It was getting really bad. Though it occurs to me now that I haven’t done one of those monthly self-discipline things in a little bit. I think maybe the “no wheat” month was the last one. Could be that I was using that as my primary motivation to stay on the wagon as far as basic mindfulness went and now that I’ve untethered myself from that I’m drifting more than I thought I would. Of course that would make this interesting data. So I’ll go with that.

On the plus side I’ve got a couple trading accounts set up and I’ve been muddling through books on metatrader specifically and forex trading in general. Looks like a spectacular platform, even if my broker is tied to MT4 instead of MT5. Meh. I don’t see it being much of a problem. If I keep this up I’m going to spring for faster internet. But we’ll see if I end up with significant slippage. It’s going to be nice to put my money where my mouth is.

9/4/17 *blink blink*


Well thank god August is over. Turns out I did do the full month with no wheat whatsoever. What a shitshow. I mean it was great. But it was really taxing on my willpower, especially since it was also a “No Amazon” month.

I think I’ve decided not to do THAT anymore. I end up focusing really hard on the day after the prohibition is lifted. So what I do is add things to my shopping cart all month, then place the order at midnight like some kind of “I don’t even have an analogy for this”, osTENSIBLY after I’ve gone through it and pulled out things I had second thoughts about. This month I pulled the trigger on an order so large that Amazon was literally, LITERALLY, mind you, moving things to the “save for later” shopping cart section as I added them. I managed to spend $nevermind in 30 seconds. It was truly horrifying.

But oh the toys 🙂

Yesterday I created a Raspberry Pi “pi-hole” which allows me, at its most basic level, to block ads from anywhere on my network by routing all DNS queries through the Pi. That’s great and all, but I have something different in mind for taking this a little farther:

One of my constant frustrations is the addictive nature of social media, most notably Twitter and Reddit. I can “go check something” and blink to find it 4 hours later, not quite sure where the time went.

I can (and frequently do) edit the hosts file on my desktop and route those domains back to localhost. It solves the problem for a while, but it’s a pain in the ass to block and unblock things at specified time intervals.

So what I’m working towards is setting up a little cron job on the raspberry pi that will add and remove things from a block list at intervals, so I can work uninterrupted by my own impulse to distract myself, yet still “check in” for a half hour at lunchtime or at night.

Currently I’ve got all of this running on a Raspberry Pi 3. But when my Pi Zeros get here I’m going to just migrate the thing over to one of those instead. No reason to tie up the computing power of one of these things for something simple as that. Or maybe I could just add a bunch more stuff to it. I’m not sure I want to make these (I’ve got a few, remember? toys?) too general purpose. I’d hate like hell to be fucking around with some html screen scraper and /r/opendirectories download script and have it bork DNS for my entire lan.

After no small frustration I’ve set up an 8T drive as a usb drive on another pi, so that I can use it as the aforementioned downloader. There’s some work to be done on that front though. I need some way of giving it a queue of things to download. Plus I need to prioritize download tasks. I’d REALLY like it to scrape some twitter feeds. There are some funky people out there and I hate missing their stuff.

But now I’ve got to go take my project list (which has gotten huge) and sort it into doable stuff.

And I’ve got to figure out how to sync up the data off my iPad with the rest of my universe.

Yeah. I bought an iPad. No. That’s not part of the big amazon order. It’s a whole other thing. Damn thing is huge.

7/31/2017: fin

Well… for July anyway.

I’m planning a lot for August, though “no wheat” and “no noncritical spending (with 2 or 3 preallocated exceptions)” are on top.

I do have some interesting toys coming from Adafruit and I’m getting my C++ chops back (as I’ve oft whined about.)

I’ve got to stop making mud pies in the kitchen though. In another iteration of my ongoing quest to more or less duplciate Cajun Power Garlic Sauce, I’ve blended a pound of peeled garlic, spread it out on a cookie sheet, and baked it at 200 degrees for about 6 hours. The idea being to toast and dry it all out. Then RE blend it and mix it with vinegar, for a Louisiana style sauce base before adding ingredients to it to try and get it where I want it.

Should be interesting. But it stinks like hell (even after being toasted.) And frankly I could just throw all this crap out right now and I’m not all that sure how much I’d care. I’m just sick of looking at it.

A week and a half ago I even bought a few dozen lemons, thinking I’d zest and peel them. But…the sight of them just sorta disgusts me at this point.

That’s not to say I have any kind of malaise or anything about all of this. It’s just cluttering up my space in a way that makes me agitated to even look at my kitchen.

I’ve shown the pic of the notebook covers around and, as I feared, people just light right the hell up. Sort of a weird thing to say perhaps. But they’re gonna want me to make them some. Seems like it’d be a good gift for a few people this year, so I’ll probably do that (after I practice some tooling. I actually want to number these things so I have some idea what I’ve done.)

All I can think of is Rick in the “Something Ricked This Way Comes” when he finally just gets bored with the curse removal business.

Meh. I’m bored.

7/30/2017: Notebooks.

So…I like notebooks. I really REALLY like notebooks. The biggest problem I have with them is I have a peculiar tendency to revere them such that I don’t want them to get all spoiled. Doesn’t sound bad? Okay. How about “having more than one topic” counting as “spoiled”?

It’s a problem. It’s one of my most fun problems.

A couple years ago I discovered the Midori Traveler notebooks. Essentially it’s a leather notebook cover with inserts held in with elastics. This way you could fill up a single insert and then just change it out. Also, they hold at least 3 independent inserts.

My prayers were answered!

I’ve had a few of them, a couple brand name ones, a couple custom made ones off Etsy and the like. And I’ve had an itch at the back of my brain about them since about the second week.

The size of the inserts is such that you pretty much have to buy Midori’s. Sure, you can make them and I’ve done that a couple times. I imagine there are people out there who make them and sell them besides Midori. But I can’t just go to the notebook section in Barnes & Noble or Staples and pick up a couple inserts if I’m breaking in to a new project.

Now…when you look at these things they’re really…I mean…they’re just…rectangular pieces of leather with 5 holes in them. There’s not even any SEWING, much less fine leather tool work.

So I thought to myself, I thought… “Self? How hard can that POSSIBLY be?”

The answer is…


Presenting my first four.

The first one I made was the small one, designed to fit 3-5 Field Notes notebooks. It works. The leather’s a little stiff, so I try to carry it around a bit. But I tend not to use it because I’ve turned into one of those fountain pen assholes and the Field Notes paper is FAR too absorbent for any of the pens I use regularly. So it’s just sorta sitting there.

The other three I’m quite pleased with. The left two were cut from the same piece of leather, darkened (and softened) with neatsfoot oil. The upper left one is SO oily that I’ve got to be careful what I leave it on or it’ll just bleed through. You can feel it in your fingertips after you’ve handled it at all. I don’t find that particularly objectionable. But I don’t like having to pay attention to where I put the thing.

Plus those three fit the standard Moleskine 5×8 small notebooks that come in the 3 pack. It’s perfect. I’m positively chuffed with the way they came out. I’ve clearly got to dial in the neatsfoot oiling process a bit. (The top-right one has none. I think I cut that one out of an 8.5×11 piece of leather I got from Hobby Lobby.)

In addition to sizing them generally for the Moleskine notebooks, I added a bit of width to them so they could (conceivably) fit 5 inserted notebooks something close to comfortably.

I’ve got one more pair of these to make before I sit back and decide what I’m going to do with them, and that is large format ones. I’ve got a bunch of desk-sized 8.5″x10.5″ or something Moleskines I want to try this with. If THAT works, then I’ll make myself a pair for home and work, to stay at my desks. I may add a couple features to those, pen holder, different elastic configuration, something. We’ll see.

But I’m surprised how tough it is to cut a straight line in a piece of leather. I really need something better than “hold a long, thick ruler against it and drag a carpet knife down the length a couple times.” If I thought a guillotine paper cutter would work and not just tear the leather I’d do that in a heartbeat. But once you get out past the first few inches where the angle is really tight, it’s just going to tear and drag it all over the place.

Hrmpf. Back to the drawing board I think.

7/29/2017: What’s this? A post before 11:30 at night!?!

I woke up this morning thinking I should eat something good for breakfast, but knowing I was too hungry to make a smart decision.

“Ah!” I said to myself.
“I know what I’ll do. I’ll make a half pound of bacon to snack on while I decide what I’m going to eat!”


It scares me sometimes what a fucking genius I am sometimes.

While the pan was heating up (at this point I have a cast iron pan with a nigh permanent 1/4″ of bacon fat in it because that’s really all I cook in there) I started the sauce.

I’m still a complete Marinara noob. But I’m getting there.

This time I put the parsley and garlic in the dutch oven with the olive oil and added things pretty slowly. Oregano, pepper, onion, salt. I let that sit for about a half hour on medium while it broke down a bit.

and I’m telling you, the smell in my apartment? Holy shitsnacks.

Once it was drying out a bit I tossed some wine in there and simmered it for about 10-15 minutes longer as the first pieces of bacon came out.

Then in with the tomato paste, mix and let THAT sit.

Big mistake. Well…little mistake. The tomato paste is dry enough that it soaked up the liquid and caused it all to torch a little bit on the bottom. I tossed in a bit more wine and sorta deglazed it before adding the couple cans of tomatoes. (I use crushed in my sauce. Next time I’m going to back off and use one can of crushed and one of diced and see how that goes. I don’t like my sauce to be chunky, but all crushed is pretty homogeneous.)

So it’s all in there and turned down to simmer. I’ll fuck around with the spices a bit I’m sure before it’s done. But it already tastes pretty damn good.

I was toying with the idea of making fresh ravioli, ricotta and all. But that’s SUCH a pain in the ass. So I may use frozen. I dunno, we’ll see. Ooh, I should plan this for tomorrow and bake a loaf or two of bread as well.

Anyway here’s the original recipe, which I’ve doubled (except for the garlic because don’t be stupid.)

  • 2 14.5oz cans of tomatoes (it says diced, going with crushed)
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove (oh, honey…)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/3C finely diced onion
  • 1/2C white wine

Next? Probably sit for 45 minutes, then it’s off to slice a gallon of potatoes to make fermented chips.

aaaannnnd the bacon’s gone.

7/28/2017: MOAR PEPPERS!

It’s clear that the yield on these one-quart jars, pretty as they are, is just not high enough to experiment with.

I get about 2-3 of those square bottles….MAYbe out of one of these.

So I went to walmart and picked up a couple gallon jars and


some jalapenos (well…the jalapenos were from publix, not walmart.)…

I actually was able to get them all in there, startling as that may be. It may also have been an awesome mistake. If that thing starts bubbling over I’m gonna be in a tough spot, so I’m setting the whole thing in a cookie sheet (with it’s minimal 1/3″ walls) for the first couple weeks, ’til it calms down.

I MAY just take a bunch out and blend them, to reduce their volume a bit. I mean that’s what I’m gonna do to them on the back end anyway and I’m not sure I believe it makes a lick of difference.

I also picked up about a pound of garlic. That I’m going to treat a bit differently. I’m going to mash that to death in a food processor, squeeze it as close to dry as I can, then spread the pulp out on a cookie sheet (don’t worry, I have several) and bake it at something like 200 degrees for 6 hours. Just turn it all to dust, then see what I can do with it. Probably mix it back in with the extracted juice and, after I tip some weapons in it and let them dry (can never be too careful about vampires down here) I’ll put it in some vinegar and see if I can use it as the basis for an interesting sauce.

There will be no fermenting of garlic until I get a multi-chamber charcoal filter for the blowoff. That was just too disgusting for words. But there are a lot of ways to do this besides puttin’ its head in a boot jack and yankin’ on its tail.

I ALso bought ingredients for marinara, ketchup, and limoncello. So…we’ll see how motivated I get this weekend.

7/27/17: Next month’s stuff…

We’re only two weeks away from Agents of Mayhem’s release.

AoM is the next game by the guys who did the absolutely impeccable Saint’s Row series, the only video game that tempted me to get a tattoo besides Skyrim, which really came later anyway. No, I didn’t go through with either. Though maybe I should. Not like I’m ruining a piece of art or anything.

I’ve kept away from trailers and previews, except for the very first one. Plus, I’ve blocked their twitter account. I really really REALLY hate getting visuals of things I’m already sold on.

I don’t watch coming attractions, trailers, nothing. It’s pretty easy, not having cable. But people will still send me links to things and whine when I don’t watch them. That’s fine.

So next month I’ve decided I’m giving up wheat. Not because I’m one of those insufferable fucking shitbags. Just because the monthly “give up a thing or two” has turned into a cakewalk. Time to amp up and hit this where it hurts.

I think the next phase of this whole thing, which I’ve been doing for more than a year now, is going to be going 3 months at a time, and trying to come up with some kind of criteria for deciding on whether I want to make some of these changes permanent. It’s all well and good to dick around with doing something good for myself. It’s another thing to be at all serious about improving my life.

But that’s all I’ve got going on in my head. I really want nothing more than to go hang out in the commonwealth and snipe some raiders and synths.


7/26/17: Reaching the end of a couple ropes

First, this “post every day” thing is getting really threadbare. It would be different if I didn’t just wait ’til the end of the night when all I want to do is go to bed to post. So, come Tuesday, posting is gonna get sparse, fast.

Second: We have a monthly billing process in the office. Because what we do involves a lot of money moving (not a lot of money, just between lots of parties) the details are somewhat obscene in complexity. Anyway the guy (THE guy) who handles billing started a bit less than a month before I did. He’s ostensibly a DBA, but…he’s the only one that can call himself that with a straight face. He’s a junior web developer.

For 20 months I’ve watched this kid thrash with the billing process. He’s “had it under control” while sweating through it every single period. He will neither ask for nor accept help. The manager is a complete push over, so he just shrugs it off.

It’s absolute torture. He forgets major steps on a daily basis, then wonders why the numbers don’t (manually) tie out. You wouldn’t believe a company in the digital age operates like this.

It just make me furious to watch. Soon as there’s a problem our manager puts his headphones on, hoping to avoid it.

I’ve never dealt with anyone like el jefe, the cto. He’s afraid of everybody. His primary goal in any conversation is to get out of it. He will say ANYthing to ANYone. Anything he perceives as dissatisfaction, especially with him, sends him in to an absolute panic of symptom triage. He has no interest in actually FIXING anything (though if that happens along the way he’s not a complete fool about it.) He just seems to take any complaint as a dissatisfaction with him and his ego can’t handle it.

It might literally be the most pathetic personality trait I’ve ever seen.

I’ve got to stick around for the 2 year mark, and I really don’t just want to jet on them that day.

This was supposed to be my last programming job.

Uch. The interview process.

7/25/2017: A quickie

– Gotta do something different with meditation. I’m getting to the point where I spend most of my energy trying to keep my focus straight because I keep passing the hell out in five minute blocks. I don’t know why I KNOW it’s five minute blocks. But I do. The “internal clock” thing is really interesting because I know when I’m coming up on the end (of 45 minutes) usually to within 90 seconds or so.

– Similarly, the “pick something to deprive myself of for a month” is turning into a cakewalk. I’m thinking about amping that up a bit and doing something like going without wheat for a month. It’d be interesting to see what the hubub is about and frankly, I don’t see how I’d do that. I’ve usually got SOME kind of bread at just about every meal, whether it’s sandwiches, pizza, or sandwiches. It might be fun to experiment with some of those Keto bread replacement recipes.

– I realized today that I’m never going to get the chance to really work on the new C++ project at the office. There are just too many things that nobody knows but me. I can’t just write these piss-ant reports and automation systems anymore.

7/24/17: Emotional Rollercoasters

So here’s some fun: In trading (or, in anything else, really) “Cost Basis” refers to the average price you paid for a bunch of something. For instance, if I buy 10 shares of BLAH at $100, then I buy 10 more at $200, the cost basis for my 20 share position is $150/share. Nothing fancy.

Back in ’07-09 I daytraded for a living. It was absolute fucking hell. I made a lot of trades (probably 4 positions a day on average.) There were some BIG winners, and lots of slim losers slowly shaving away my capital. Looking back on it now I’m amazed I lasted as long as I did, given how bad my understanding of risk management was.

But one of my points is that I was trading the same money back and forth. I’d be in an out of a position sometimes in seconds, never really putting TOO much at risk.

It was exhausting not quite understanding what I was doing wrong. Blind spots like that are always a big pain in the ass.

Finally enough was enough and I got out and started working again.

I moved jobs a couple times, left the apartment in Brooklyn and moved to a house about half way between NYC and Albany, thinking to myself that I’d figure out wtf I was doing wrong and eventually come back to it.

Fast forward to the fall of…shit…2014? That sounds right.

I get a letter from the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. Well THAT’S never good news.

So I’m getting sweaty when I finally open this thing.

Now, if you want to take hallucinogens to achieve altered states of conscious, knock yourself out. But it will never compare to the buzzing in my temples, fucked up depth perception, and complete reevaluation of realities underpinnings as reading “You owe us $654,000.”

I MAY have actually had a cardiac event.

At this point in time (September ’14) I already had plans in motion to move cross-country under development. I didn’t know where or QUITE when. But that was irrelevant. The engines had been started and it was happening. Suddenly I had no idea what my life was going to look like for the foreseeable future. Would I be stuck in some wacky payment arrangement of some kind for the rest of my life, fruitlessly trying to whittle this down to nothing?

The dramatics of it all really just involved me hyperventilating a lot and not telling anybody why the hell I was so bent out of shape.

Now this was before I listened to a lot of audio books during my commute, instead spending a lot of time listening to country music radio, fantasizing about moving down south someplace. I’d been laughing at a commercial from this guy:

Finally I was damn near crapping myself and it came on and I just threw up my hands and said “fuck it” and I gave the guy a call. I talked with him a couple times over a week while his people got their ducks in a row and figured out wtf was going on.

APPARENTLY the state of New York retroactively decided that, for every trade I made (that is, for every position I entered and exited) my cost basis was ….drumroll please….


Meaning that if I spent $5000 on 100 shares of whatever at $50 each, then sold them immediately, the NYS Tax people decided I bought it for $0 and sold it for $5000. So my net gain wasn’t zero, it was $5000. Literally infinite profit. $5000 on which I obviously didn’t pay taxes because it didn’t exist. Now, if I traded that same $5000 five times a day…. I “magically” made $25,000.

So they thought I had a zero cost basis on more than 6.8 million dollars worth of trading activity.

It was a long slog. The company I had my trading account with had been bought at least twice. I was on the phone with them and they said there simply weren’t any records to get. FINALLY either Jerry or I got through to someone at the new firm who (this defies belief) found someone who had come over along with two levels of mergers from the original company and knew where the account transaction backups were, sitting on some old defunct server someplace.

So this guy saved my ass.

The CPA’s people got that info, put everything together and went back to New York.


It turns out…


Owed me more than $30,000.

Now, they won’t just write you a check like that. They’ll write some limit amount and take the reset out of your taxes going forward, a bit every year. Fine. Fine. It’s all fine.

So I had a party and blew half the cash. Stuffed the rest in the bank. I probably, now that I think about it, built my current desktop computer with it. The panic subsided, my step lightened, I went back to my master plan for getting the fuck out of New York. (Eventually I’ll tell that story. There’s no one alive who knows more than about 45% of it.)

Other concerns floated to the front of my mind. Life moved on.

I moved down here October ’15.

Took me a long time to get started. But again, I have a plan that’s under way now and I won’t be stopped. It’s going to take a while, but that’s okay. I’ll skip along the bottom. That’s fine.

I pull in to the parking lot tonight, not really minding the heat SO bad. I mean, at least I was moving. I toss out a bag of soda cans from my passenger seat on the way up to the lobby;

where I stop at the mailbox.

Oh, mail. I never get mail. (Seriously. I get like 1-2 pieces of “not an amazon package” a week.)

White envelope. Hmm.. I wonder….

I start making a noise like a cat horking up a hairball.

“Hey, are you okay?” A woman who lives in the building asks me, just having gotten her mail. I don’t even make eye contact, just show her the envelope. She takes a second to look at it, then goes wide eyed and sucks wind through her teeth. “Ouch.”


I just blink for a few seconds before catching an elevator up. I go up the 18 floors replaying the events described above something like 172 times.

I plop my stuff down at my desk and stare at the envelope.

“Fucking WHAT!?! I haven’t DONE anything. But I thought that before too, didn’t I. That means precisely dick.”

I hold my breath and use my trusty little EDC knife and slice the thing open.


In big, bold letters.

“Notification to Owner of an Uncashed Check”

Yeah. Apparently one of the checks got lost in my transit from New York to Nashville.

They’re going to issue me a new one.

Free money.

I’m going to fucking bed now.

I don’t think my heart can take any more good news today.

7/23/2017: Holy shit I finished!

It’s not such an accomplishment. Not really. But it feels pretty damn good.

I finished the Roguelike Dev tutorial over at

Basically that doesn’t mean much more than “I read this and typed it all in.” The reason for the surprise, by the way, isn’t “omg I can’t believe I have the skill set to type in all that code!” I thought the tutorial was 16 parts. Turns out it’s only 13. So I kept looking for the “next” button and couldn’t find one.

Like I said at the beginning, this is the early version of one that’s being posted in weekly installments over at I just couldn’t wait.

I have….so much I want to do to this.

First I want to organize the code better. Then I want to decouple the dependency on the libtcod toolkit, I dunno, make the game a local server so I can really screw around with it. But I want to add fucktons of buckets of items. I’ve got ideas for an enchanting and “essence” mechanic I really wanna try and I want to use it as a platform to experiment with AI. That way I could take the PC and just pull him out as a necessary component and just drive the thing off of NPC AI logic.

My brain is just BUZZING with this crap.

The interesting thing about it is that almost none of the things I want to do with it have ANYthing to do with the fact that it’s a “roguelike” which was always the plan. It will become a sandbox for me to screw around with all kinds of ideas and techniques. And if, hell, I slap a tileset on it or port the thing over to another language (Probability: 10/10) all the better.

What I’m most surprised about it really is the fact that it’s ACTUALLY fun. This goofy little thing with 6 items, 2 types of mobs and unlimited levels is actually a fun little time waster right out of the box.

But now I get to play all kinds of horrible games with it.


OH! You may or may not remember that I’m doing this “read 52 books in a year” thing. I found the /r/52books subreddit and thought it’d be a good idea. I made a post where I started listing the books I’ve read as I finish them. But it occurs to me that editing it in place just sorta buries it in the past. So here’s the running list. I’ll probably sidebar it.

7/22/17: Something something title something date something

Seriously. Even I’m getting sick of it now. I went through the day with half a dozen “ooh, I’ll post about that”s. Now it’s 10:30 and my brain is entirely empty.

Hit the stupidmarket this morning and bought all the cold cuts. Prosciutto, Roast Beast, Turkey, Havarti. Sad thing is, none of it is likely to ever make it to a sandwich. I’m just gonna roll it up and eat it.

I suppose that’s actually the healthier way to go.

I’ve had this recipe in my “Try this” page in OneNote for a couple months now and I finally pulled the trigger on it. I doubled up everything but the beef. I WAS going to put two roasts in there. But I figured that maybe, MAYbe I should try just making a 1x batch of SOMEthing once in my life. But I always regret not having enough gravy/sauce.

About 2 hours in (on low) I tossed in a bunch of mushrooms, thought about it, then went and fished them out. That much balsamic vinegar was just going to soak right in to them and make them taste ridiculous. I pulled the mushrooms out and put them in a frying pan with a bit of butter and cooked them a bit. I tasted one and damn near spit the thing out. Yep. Gak. Called it. So I tossed them. Well, it served the original purpose of “I’ve gotta do something with these mushrooms or throw them out” at least.

But now it’s at about 8 hours and the roast is sitting in there just stewing away. I suppose I’ve gotta go tend to it now.

Aside from that I got absolutely nothing worth doing done today. It was NOT okay.

When I got home and stuffed the groceries in their proper places I went down and retrieved the dozen books that came in in the last two days. I’m starting to get book hangover.

I noticed that, within the last week it’s happened. I’ve had two copies of “Pattern Languages of Program Design” come in. I only hope there isn’t a third one on the shelf someplace.

Anyway here, watch some more Feynman. Try to ignore the Californians: