• Panoramic view of the eclipse! ๐ŸŒ˜

    A winter mountain landscape with snow, an open wooden frame, and a frozen lake. The sky is dark; a bright light is cut off in the top center, being the eclipse.

  • Currently visiting Montpelier, Vermont on my way to the wedding. I don’t know if this is intentional, but it looks and feels like an old west town ripped from the 1800s and patched with modern utilities. I half expect a varmint to call out the sheriff outside the window.

  • This is not a drill: The Mummy is returning to theaters! Classic 90s era movie fans, and queer people who realized they were queer through this movie, get ready! ๐ŸŽฅ ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ

  • I’ll say this for being in New York: avoiding the overstimulation has been a great focusing motivation to get writing done!

  • The Zelda Tournaments

    My new favorite way to spend my evenings is the Zelda 1 Randomizer 2024 Winter Tournament. Allow me to share my joy and maybe convince you to join in!

    The game is streamed on Twitch, on a modded version of the original NES Legend of Zelda. The overworld map is the same, as are the locations of the dungeons and hidden secrets. What is in each location is different, though; the official second dungeon might hold a store, while the actual second dungeon might be in a wall you have to bomb open. The items in each dungeon and the location of the triforce is random too. You still need the bow, silver arrows, and completed triforce to defeat Gannon. You start at a random overworld screen, and have the choice of one of two random items to start the game with along with the sword, say, the ladder or the blue candle.

    Each round, two players launch the same randomized level and start exploring. They’re looking for secrets, where the dungeons are, and will inevitably run into blocks - the room with the triforce might need a ladder, which is in a dungeon they haven’t found yet. The first player to find all the needed items, kill Gannon and find Zelda wins.

    The randomized levels introduce chance and luck and are what make this competition fun to watch. There’s skill, yes, and it’s astounding to watch these defeat rooms full of wizards with little more than four hearts and a wooden sword. If the game were a copy of the original game, though, it would merely be a demonstration of skill. Instead, one player may find a dungeon with a critical item quickly, while another burns minutes finding the triforce in an especially hard dungeon. We worry when player one is behind by three dungeons while the other is about to enter the last dungeon, only for player one to find the critical item player two needs in a secret area they’d skipped, and now we anticipate when player two will realize their mistake and how much time it will cost to find it. Games have been decided methodical versus rushed playing styles, by luck of which dungeons are found first, by choosing to clear a room versus rushing through to keep exploring, even by an errant arrow costing a player critical seconds.

    The commentators add to the joy. They’re previous competitors themselves, and generous with their knowledge of tactics and answering spectator questions. The best ones, though, are as enthusiastic as the players, moaning in disappointment when the player meets a dead end, and often chiding the players like annoyed parents when they go into the wrong direction. They make the games worth watching just for the conversation!

    I can’t speak for the other games the SpeedGaming organization runs. I’ve tried watching them, but either they’re not randomized or the games don’t have the same pull as the NES Zelda for me. This competition has brought me a lot of joy over the past few days, though, and I’m going to see it through! ๐ŸŽฎ

  • Enough About Hard Times - Caitlin Candy ๐ŸŽต

    A good song for when you need to stop worrying get on with living.

    And there’s no way of knowing If it got lost or stolen But now my arms are open wide Enough about hard times you fell on your own knife Enough about leaving unless you’re going to go

  • Chandler - NOTHIN TO IT

    Am I going mad, or does this guy sound like Nick Offerman doing rap in a lost episode of Parks and Rec? ๐ŸŽต

  • Ani DiFranco’s 32 Flavors surfaced today. So many memories flooded me, this time with the perspective of nearly 20 years since I was a young queer something, hearing a calling I couldn’t quite make sense of. I should listen to her again, and see if there’re any new insights I can glean. ๐ŸŽต๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ

  • ๐Ÿ“ท #mbapr Photo Challenge, Day 2: flower. A brave yellow one getting a head start on spring!

    At foot-level, a yellow daffodil grows through some mulch along with other shoots of plants almost ready to bloom. Behind the mulch, a sidewalk path leads to a closed brown metal gate with signs for Groundwork Rhode Island. The top floors of apartment houses are in the background.

  • ๐Ÿ“ท #mbapr April 2024 photo challenge, day 1: toy. These are my DnD fidget spinners that I keep at my desk.

    On a palm facing the camera, two flat wooden fidget spinners, one grey in the shape of a shield with axe and sword cutouts, the other a green hexagon with lines implying a die. Each have gears sticking out of edges that can be spun by fingers.

  • I love the peace and contentment that settles over me when I finish a good book. ๐Ÿ“š

    (Review to come later, when I’ve had time to digest it.)

  • Reading Light From Uncommon Stars reminded me of a quote from Le Guinโ€™s Orsinian Tales: ๐Ÿ“š

    What good is music? None … and that is the point. To the world and its states and armies and factories and Leaders, music says, ‘You are irrelevant’; and, arrogant and gentle as a god, to the suffering man it says only, ‘Listen.’ For being saved is not the point. Music saves nothing. Merciful, uncaring, it denies and breaks down all the shelters, the houses men build for themselves, that they may see the sky.

  • After a busy few days at work (including last week), today has no projects due, no issues pressing. I can work on tidying up loose ends, filing notes and trackers away, and organizing my projects. It’s pretty calming, to be honest.

  • The Web That Never Was

    An hour long walk down an alternate timeline of the web. Good for an entertaining distraction as you relax or catch up on paperwork. ๐Ÿ’ป

  • Aristophanes, in his theory of love from the Symposium, wrote that in the miraculous event that a person finds his or her other half-the same half she was ripped away from when the gods split every essence into two bodies-she knows it. “When one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself… the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and one will not be out of the other’s sight, as I may say, even for a moment,” Aristophanes argued. “These are the people who pass their whole lives together, and yet they could not explain what they desire of one another.”

    This metaphor goes deep when you think about it. Ripped edges are rarely neat and tidy, and when torn, sometimes pieces fall away. The connecting edges may never be a perfect fit for their other halves, but they’ll almost match with others. The missing bits, overlapping pieces, and mismatched patterns are made whole by our actions, and the skill of doing this is what we call the intersection of maturity and love.

    Also, why does it have to be one two halves? Why can’t it be multiple pieces? That’s polyamory, or what happens when we meet multiple loves at different times in our lives.๐Ÿ“š

  • Currently reading: Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki ๐Ÿ“š

  • Finished reading: Sex with Shakespeare by Jillian Keenan ๐Ÿ“š

  • Like @maique, I’ve been trying out Firefox and found a lot of friction points. Their post and conversation about browsers has me thinking of switching to Vivaldi. Maybe later this week, when I have time to also sign in to my services so the switchover is less painful.

  • We donโ€™t really read literature. We only read ourselves, and each new book is another chapter.

    Sex with Shakespeare by Jillian Keenan, pg. 182. ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ’ฌ

  • ChatGPT as a writing partner

    Ben Werdmuller on using ChatGP as a writing reviewer:

    I guess what Iโ€™m saying is, sometimes I need a robot cheerleader. And Iโ€™m going to say thatโ€™s okay.

    Honestly, this kind of rubber duck might make my job more pleasant too!

  • Raise your hand if the lost hour has totally thrown off your groove. ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿป

  • Red Line Thoughts

    Back when I was really into Buddhism and actively considering taking vows, one lesson stuck in my mind: you should wish everyone you meet in the public peace and contentment. Not actively say it to everyone, that would be invasive and weird, but walk down the street and holding that wish and intention for everyone you see. It was suggested as a practice for developing metta, but as a general idea, it fits too.

    I’ve grown away from Buddhism[1], but lately that lesson has stuck in my mind. When I read the vitriol online on any issue, the snap judgements sneering with poser snobbery, it exhausts me rather than invigorates me. This lesson, holding metta for everyone, isn’t just good practice, it’s less tiresome. It hasn’t given me energy through my day, but it costs me less, which amounts to the same in the end.

    I think before, I thought the practice of metta meant a lowering of boundaries, limits I wasn’t willing to change as I was unskilled in how to manage violations of them. The message usually came from monks and established practitioners who were much more skilled than I; it felt like being told to use Vim by old school hackers when I could barely write a for loop. Age has shown me that holding an actively charitable point of view towards others isn’t a lowering of my walls, it’s leaving an open gate. I can still protect it if needed, but why presume everyone approaching is an enemy?

    I’m thinking of this as I ride the red line to do some errands and enjoy some lunch in Boston, and experiencing the wide array of people riding with me. I wish them all contentment and peace, I hope they all get what they need to find the same, and the ride isn’t nearly as overwhelming as in years past. I can handle the sensory stress and press of bodies, because I have more energy for it. I’m not a bodhisattva, but I’m picking up a trick from them, and I don’t think they’d mind.

    [1] The theology it was taught to me in was a struggle at times. Reading Stephen Batchelor’s work was the final nail in the coffin.

  • But maybe love and family are like eyebrows: you notice when they’re not there.

  • Jo Walton’s Reading List: February 2024 - Reactor

    Once again, i wish i had the reading discipline and speed of Jo Walton. And this was a slow month for her! ๐Ÿ“š

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