Related: The NMS community continues to be one of the more generous groups I've experienced; I was gifted a second Void Egg in my primary save and used it to add a second, fleet-color-coordinated and style-optimized Living Ship to my game.

Some players apparently don't appreciate gifts though? Something to do with cheating/duping resources, about which I know nothing... I was in the Nexus last night hoping for another Void egg and unloaded about $200M units worth of high end craftables in hopes of trading for one and well let's just say that was an unproductive use of my time.

NMS update: The new Living Ship quest line is by far the most arduous grind the game has ever dropped on unsuspecting players, but the results are very much worth it IMHO:

Have just heard the story of a young man who just got his green card. Apparently this gives an opportunity for a name change? Said young man was in the middle of a huge spat with dear old dad so as a big FU he decided to change his last name. And now is learning just how many things are fucked up by a name change.

Dude. You realize there is probably a woman within shouting distance of you at all times who got married, changed her name, and learned what a shitshow it is? Even in Alaska, where you live.

This is not arcane knowledge, hidden away in a dusty ruin. Just, like, talk to women! THEY KNOW THINGS.

[My Company] just released an updated policy covering harassment, bullying, retaliation, and other diversity/inclusion topics. It goes all-in on protecting both gender identity and gender expression, which, yay.

It also includes a first cut at language covering employees social media presence. Not in the "We're in ur facebook, lookin' fer teh violations" sense but in the "Hey if a fellow employee feels harassed on social media and tells us, we will act; we have a global, diverse team who will assess the claim and very likely have a conversation with you about how that's not OK."

Bold move; big grey areas.

There was an all hands bridge today to explain the changes to the policy and OH MY GODDDDDDDD the whining and complaining from entitled, presumably young, presumably white, edgelords about curtailing their freeze peaches and can I still troll a politician I don't like or what if my heated argument about design strategy wanders into Torvalds territory MY EYES OH GOD MY EYES THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING.

(The HR team did, actually, discuss Torvalds and James Damore and GG and other well-known examples of harassment as they built the policy, which again, yay, good places to start.)

It's gonna be weeks before the chatter dies down. Luckily I have hellish deadlines with unreasonable customers to take up all of my time until the fiscal closes the end of next month.

Resisting the urge to speculate that my guitar amplifiers love cold weather just because it is negative whatnot outside. I mean I'm wearing long johns inside and the room is cooler than usual for all that but it's not a material difference.

More likely: I have been mostly gone for a month and not playing, I just restrung the guitar, I am playing through stereo amps, one dry 1x15 combo on the floor, one 2x12 stacked on things so it beams right at the guitar pickups, and I'm playing with a palm/grip/wrist-resting monstrosity of a pick (The V-picks Colossus, which if it were not actually noticeably therapeutic, I would mock myself for purchasing).

But damn yo. Right now this rig SLAPS. Maybe it Spanks? Spanx? Sparks and Recreations?

It will surprise some of you not one single jot nor tittle to learn that I am at a client site wrestling with a complicated bare metal OpenShift deployment and one of the biggest impediments is the LACK OF HUMAN READABLE LOG FILES OR A USEFULLY COMPREHENSIVE -vvv OUTPUT PER NODE BECAUSE SYSTEMD.

Holiday break gaming summary:

No Man's Sky VR is imperfect on an underpowered PS4 but STILL blows my mind. The sheer scale of everything. The wholesale yet intuitive mechanics redesign for Move Controllers. Getting into a space ship and flying to another planet where you can stare up at 8 meter diplos. Jumping off a suborbital base platform into shark-infested oceans with multiple levels of underwater caves. They should bundle every VR headset with a copy of this game and vice versa. I stan this game forever anyway but it just got exponentially more awesome with VR.

Beat Saber: It's the upper body workout version of DDR! I am floored with how visceral an experience it is; my mind is extremely fooled into thinking I am weilding two ultralight plasma swords. Super fun, perfect party game (as proven by Mr. 16 and 20 or so High School friends on NYE), hard and expert modes are basically impossible for beginners so there is plenty of challenge for those who can put in the time.

Moss: Came with the VR headset. Good VR design and mechanics! Cute! Puzzles that may take more than a minute to solve! But ultimately not my thing, and the story, such as it is, is not engaging enough to keep my attention.

Space Pirate Trainer: I suck so hard at this. FPS loving teens fare much better. Again, great VR mechanics, fun weapon design, not bad at all for a turret simulator.

Untitled Goose Game: Oh [HONK!] for fucks sake this [HONK!] is silly and absorbing and fun and perfectly epitomizes the design principle that a simple thing done [HONK! HONK! HONK!] extremely well is a winner. Even if no one asked for it. Even if it serves no larger purpose or tells no larger story. Ms. 14 and I are both all in to finish this one.


(Good god the way the NPCs are increasingly suspicious of the goose as the game progresses just kills me.)

Abzû - Not really a game? More of an absolutely beautiful interactive animation where the main mechanics are aquarium and swimming simulators and some trivial puzzles? But I *loved* it. It is *gorgeously* rendered and the movement animations of various underwater creatures are brilliant. Bonus points for legit origins in Sumerian theology. It is very short; I finished it in an afternoon (though I missed many collectibles and will probably have another go at it). But it's also routinely on sale for like 10 bucks; well worth it for the visual design alone.

Status: still a little shocked that I, me, myself, personally, was satisfied with the content and delivery of my eulogizing remarks for my father.

I knew the kinds of things I wanted to talk about from the moment he forgot who any of us were and began his final decline. But I can't just list things. I needed the how, the shape, the structure of it, or I was never going to get through the whole thing.

It came to me at 2am the night before. As it does. It left the hardest part for last, because it's the endings that are difficult, right? But I got through it, and it honored him in the ways I wanted.

Our relationship was complicated, and I have chosen to parent my own children in a nearly absolutely-opposite manner. He got dealt a shitty hand in life in many ways.

I miss him, but I am relieved that his suffering has ceased.

Right on schedule, it's "Make everything cheaper next year or we will go to a competitor!" season. Wrangle wrangle hedge hedge hedge.

As I fly to FL to check in on a project that was so late and complicated when I inherited it, there is approximately zero of my extensive applicable knowledge that I can usefully apply. Not that it's not relevant; just that the teams are so heads down and the trust relation ships so fragile that coming in as the new guy with all of the ideas is way too disruptive with a launch deadline on Friday.

During new hire orientation last week, I:
* was in a class that was 25% presenting-as-female and at least 50% diverse by any classification. That's notable progress in my experience, though still a ways to go.
* related, I met some of the team I will be supporting and they were 100% diverse and 75% presenting-female. So I'm the guy making the metrics worse for this group. Unusual.
* saw slides discussing the value of, and commitment to, neuro-diverse teams. A first.
* Got the main facilitator to acknowledge that the gender binary dropdown on the Docusign form wherein you accept your offer letter was unsupportable in 2019. She took the action to push DS for a change to add X and/or NB. It's a web form dropdown...this is a one line fix.
* Saw the same facilitator recoil in horror when she realized that the "history of open source and how this company emerged from it" video had RMS all over it and nobody can pretend that's not super problematic. We discussed the challenges of editing the video; I proposed putting emphasis on the FSF and not the specific personality of RMS, in lieu of adding some giant "yes we know his history, but also yes we did benefit from his contributions to open source and that's history we can't ignore" sort of acknowledgement.

Culture is 90% the little things. These were all good little things.

One of the great things about the Police is that, rarely, maybe once or twice an album, Andy "I know 271.5 ways to play a C chord/arpeggio" Summers just says "Screw this sparse skeletal white boy reggae, I need to go off for a minute, we can mix it low, I'm the least egotistical of the three of us and I'M the one who knew Jimi, sit down, shut up, and give me this."

Exhibit A: the end of "Synchronicity II"

Exhibit B: all of the solos that aren't actually mixed higher and featured in the mix, like you'd do with a regular solo, in "Message in a Bottle." Particularly during the last chorus and fadeout.

Curious footnote 1: The actual, way up in the mix, why does that even work, solo on "Driven to Tears."

A mandatory personal information form, tied to a job offer, that enforces a strict gender binary in the self-identification section is ridiculously tone deaf & poor form in 2019.

FFS people get your shit together. This doesn't even apply to me, this particular lifetime, but I'm annoyed all the same. Be aware of the cultural moment guys (this document was totally written by guys. Sometimes you just know).

To be fair, that's one of only two mis-steps in...40... pages of comprehensively ass-covering corporate legalese. I've seen much worse.

Current status: in Plano, waiting for a one hour, five person panel interview at [OSS COMPANY JUST BOUGHT BY BIG FIRM]. I hear nothing but good things about the culture; based on my experience, all that should survive about 5 years until BIG FIRM gonna BIG FIRM.

The role is a services manager position in a vertical I know regrettably well; can't complain, that resume item probably got me the interview. All of the challenges in the job will come from scope creep on individual consulting projects, which isn't nothing, but doesn't particularly worry me. That's just a communication issue. I spent over a decade working towards Black Friday deadlines for big online retailers; I know this game.

The travel requirement is a little high. Waiting to see an offer before I worry about it.

In the meantime: still looking. I've worn lots of hats and you have likely personally benefited from the results of my or my teams' work:

Returned from EMPEX19, where fun was had.

No more than 150 people, all hanging out in a jazz club (yes, with projector and lectern) for a day of Elixir/Phoenix/Nerves talks and a *serious* commitment to the "hallway track". Except there were no hallways; instead we got 20-30 minute breaks in between nearly every talk.

The "crash course in Elixir" training I took the day prior was also helpful, in that it provided a precise marker for my place on the learning curve 😂

Bonus random: here is a Phoenix Live View demo, written in Elixir, doing 60 FPS animation *on the server side*. This link skips you to the demo plus a little explanatory preamble:

Well, I was impressed anyway...

Pivoting to more practical concerns, I remain very, very impressed with the tooling around Elixir (and by extension, Phoenix, Ecto, Plug, etc.).

The iex shell has slick completion-- for example, 'String.[tab]' shows you the family of functions-- and the 'h' command, as in 'h String/split', will pull the inline docs from any module or function. These docs are surprisingly good, with useful examples (at least for a noob).

The mix build system and hex package manager are similarly solid.

Short, Shameful Confession: I have altered the default Sublime keystrokes to match the Ctrl-k-[something] commands from joe/Wordstar.

Since many ST3 commands on OSX use the Cmd key instead of control, this is rather more effective than you might assume! But it's very incomplete, even leaning on the work of others. My muscle memory strongly desires joe's block select/copy/move family of commands, and they either conflict or will need some macro work to function correctly.

I will solve it.

17" MBP update 3/3:

The 2009 model is currently my daily dev driver.

Maxed out to 8GB memory, I've been able to run Omnifocus, Slack, iTerm2 (many windows), Tweetbot, a couple small Postgres databases, nvAlt, Sublime Text3, Dash, and a truly unsupportable number of ffox tabs without it falling over. NOS battery fixed the trackpad and gives ~4 hours of use. Acceptable.

Can it build gcc in an hour? Ha, no. But I'm calling this a serious win, a few ticks shy of a flawless victory.

17" MPB update 2/x

The early 2007 pre-unibody model is maxed out at 2GB memory. On FreeBSD, under a minimalist XFCE desktop, that's some xterms, Atom or Sublime, and MAYBE 2 or 3 firefox tabs. No legit NOS battery source seems to exist, and /dev/sysmouse hates the trackpad still, so this is a plugged in desktop only.

Well *I'd* use it as such, but I ran a Personal DECstation with 16mb until 1999. I'm not sure anyone else could stand it.

Shame. The KB and screen are still very nice!

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Paul Lord's choices:

Life raft.

Ceejbot's mastodon instance. This is an overprovisioned, personally-run instance running on AWS. I welcome friends to create accounts here. I intend to run it as long as people are using it.