This is just a quick note: the puzzles that I’ve been working on with Krazydad–Ripple Effects, as made not-very-famous by Nikoli–went live this evening! You can even solve them online, no need for a printer. The online version can be found here, and if you’re the sort that would rather print them out and solve them the old fashioned way, the PDFs are here. I will definitely be doing a Phil’s Puzzle Primer on them soon, so stay tuned, but there are instructions in both places that will help you get started. Enjoy! And you may even see more collaboration the two of us in the future. We’re currently discussing a new puzzle type of my own devising. We’ll see what happens.
Apologies for the radio silence this week, but I’ve been having issues with my right shoulder that typing and mousing exacerbate. I’ve chosen to be a (relatively) good boy and keep them to a minimum… which means the continuation of the Cardpocalypse will have to wait another week.
My lower back’s been killing me since last Thursday, and I exacerbated it by sitting in front of my computer for several hours last night playing through most of the original Creeper World again. I woke up this morning with a realization that I had better move very, very carefully today, or I will be laid up for days.
I’ve been on hold with the USPS for an hour now. They destroyed a package sent from Germany and are supposedly sending me paperwork to file a claim for insurance… but it’s been two weeks and they haven’t yet. Their website is horribly broken, too. Putting in my claim number causes it to have a server error. Confidence level of me actually getting my insurance claim: near zero.
The Handmaid’s Tale is a great book, but I can only read it a chapter or so at a time. What was meant to read as a dark parable at the time of publication comes off much more dire in today’s political clime. I haven’t even touched the second season of the show on Hulu, partly because I want it to finish airing, partly because I’m not sure I can handle it right now.
I’m on my second day of a fast. I had two Atkins shakes this morning (along with a multivitamin and an Advil), and I don’t plan on having calories again until Thursday. I’m not happy with how much my appetite has grown over the last couple of months, and fasting is the best way I know to reset that… but while it’s happening I find myself occasionally thinking longingly of the taste of paper towels.
Reading back over this, it sure seems like a big bucket of negativity, but that’s just a consequence of the moment. A positive: I placed another order for Japanese puzzle books yesterday, and it’s coming in tomorrow, because Japan has their stuff seriously together when it comes to international shipping. I even got a dot-to-dot magazine, because apparently those are okay for adults to do now, and I’ve always secretly loved them. My lines aren’t very straight, but there’s something deeply satisfying about connecting things in numerical order. A tiny ordering of the universe, a pushing back of entropy. And you get a pretty picture as a side bonus.
I just spent over two hours fighting to be able to use my Linux desktop again. The graphical environment, Xorg, crashed upon starting every time. I went down a long “it’s the drivers” path, got sidetracked with “it’s the new kernel” path, and finally it turned out to be a nasty interaction between the latest version of Xorg-server and the desktop environment I use, XFCE.
While I love Linux most of the time, it’s things like this that make me realize that it will not be something that Person Average can use on their own any time soon. Chromebooks are as close as most people will get, and the fact that they run Linux is pretty hidden to the standard user. I’ve been running Linux as my primary OS for over sixteen years now, and it still trips me up several times a year. And I used to do this for a living!
This is a friendly reminder to all of you fellow North Carolinians that today is the day to vote in the primaries for this fall’s election. The counter on the vote scanner at my station was depressingly low, so, hey, high impact?
Just a quick note that I made it to Arkansas safe and sound yesterday and am enjoying myself quite a bit in the company of old friends and new acquaintances. Other than the obligatory Friday post, I likely won’t be resuming the more-regular posting schedule until I make it back to Lenoir sometime early next week.
After last week, and a weekend that was more eventful than I think anyone involved really wanted it to be, I’m taking it particularly easy for a few days. Don’t be alarmed by the lack of updates. Or do; I’m not your boss.
A combination of brutal allergies and a head cold has made it so that I find forming coherent thoughts a pretty intense challenge. Don’t expect too much on the blog for the next few days.
Just one quick note: I’m back up to 48wpm on Colemak. Almost halfway there! (Although I know the back half will be much, much slower.)
After watching the two side boosters from yesterday’s test launch of the SpaceX Heavy Falcon land in perfect synchronicity on their pads at Cape Canaveral, I just wanted to remind everyone: we live in the future.