Flowers, Hamburgers and Childhood shows

I’ve been meaning for quite a while to re-watch Avatar: The Last Airbender. My memories from it were probably a decade old, and I wondered if both people’s high steem for it and my own feelings would still stand after a rewatch.

In balance, it holds up. I watched it on Netflix and I believe it could use an uplift. That said, besides being 4:3 and meant for old generations of the medium, it looks good. It still sounds great. The action is still good and the story is still enjoyable. In fact, the most enjoyable parts in this rewatch are when it allows itself to go a little further and touch in the human matters such as forgiveness, or the unintended consequences of their actions, despite their intentions.

At the end of the day, however, I need to remember I changed since I watched it first. It’s clear what the target audience for the show is, and I no longer fall within it. If I’m feeling like I wish there was more to certain aspects of it, then it’s merely an indication that I should seek them out elsewhere as this show never meant to be that.

Besides watching Avatar, I also wrote about sharing. Originally, I had intended to write about the subject within one of these posts, but I believed it outgrew the scope of a review post. I’m quite happy with it, as it means I’ve been exercising my writing skills more.

A close-up photo of a pink flower. You can see cobwebs extending from the petals to the wooden branch it is on. Originally published on 2021-03-07 on my instagram profile.

I went to our garden and took some gorgeous close-ups of some of the flowers we have here. I’d love to know what they are, since I’ve been taking so many pictures of them, but for now I’m quite satisfied with admiring their beauty. At the very least, it makes me look forward to spring. And it’s thanks to those pictures that I’ve been quite keen on sharing more on Instagram. The difference that having pictures you’re proud of makes.

On sadder events, I finally accepted that I don’t enjoy Arma anymore. It’s been around 8 years of play, filled with joy, but there is something about it that just isn’t working for me anymore. I used to think I was jaded, and that it wasn’t surprising me anymore. However, while I have the experience, there is something else at play. It’s probably burn out. But if it is, it’s an unsatisfying answer. Alas, I only hope that by Arma 4’s release I am feeling like playing again. I’m quite sad I don’t get to play with the group, but it is for the best. It would have been a disservice to keep showing up despite not enjoying myself.

Finally, we tried another tasty recipe. Since we’re fans of hamburgers at home, and considering how good these look, we gave Ray’s Real Eats Japanese style hamburger a try. They are quite different from how we usually eat them, since we tend to stick to the hamburger in bun style, but that’s part of what made them so alluring. They were quite good!

Ray’s Real Eats Japanese style hamburger served with potatoes on the side.

We did have to make some compromises from the recipe as written due to missing ingredients, so we will probably make them again after we ensure we have what we need. That said, the results only make me wonder how much better it is going to taste.

Of Burgers and Switches

This past week was a bit of a wash, to be honest. Around Wednesday and Thursday I felt like my emotions turned off for a bit. But by Friday I seemed to be fine. It was a weird funk, to be quite honest. If circumstances were different, perhaps it would have been a fine time to spend some time in nature.

Taken in theHunter: Call of the Wild on December 17, 2020. A picture of clouds bathed in the red light of the sunset, above a small island in the distance.

Earlier in the week I ate a Duo Bacon Cheddar at home. It’s nice to, every now and then, to eat out even if it is at home. It is a small treat, and it’s one day no one has to cook. And I had been craving the hamburger, so it was really nice to get to eat it. Now I’m regretting I didn’t take a picture, however. The only downside is having to drive to the drive-through, since no one seems to deliver here, but hey. We stayed inside the car, masks on, made a contactless payment, and drove back.

Good things did happen this week though, beyond caving to a craving. So: when I was young, a neighbor used to play a point and click adventure game. For a while now, we both wanted to know which game that was. She wanted to play it, since she had found it fun at the time. I wanted to be able to put a name to the scenes I remembered from the game. I was talking to a friend about it, as we were talking about old games, and he finally gave me the answer. Turns out that I was remembering scenes from Broken Sword 2.

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to indulge in a bit of nostalgia, so I started playing through the first game of that series on discord with him watching and back-seating along. It’s been fun, even if I can only play the game for about two hours before having to take a break. The drawn art style holds up rather well, even if it means I get to play in a small window. And, on the bright side, I learned I find cryptograms fun. It’s a little bit of a taste of the cryptography, a field I doubt I’ll have to time to explore in life.

On Friday I got to make a small change in my network setup at home. I replaced the wireless extender that our Internet Service Provider gave us for one of our own, since it should be cheaper in the long run (the money we save from not renting the device should be paid back within 2 years). Because of my particular set up, however, it did mean I finally had an excuse to add a network switch. I now have the space to plug in five Raspberry Pi’s (or similar) through wired connection! So, hopefully when I work on my plans requiring more of those, I will get around plugging them in.

The network switch on its temporary residence. It’s on top of my PC case, until it’s wall mounted on a better position. Three of its ports are in use.

I also tried, unsuccessfully, to get either WineHQ or a proper Windows XP machine working. I suffered a myriad of issues and, in the end, I gave up. The game I wanted to play works on Windows 10 without many issues, and not wanting to unplug my wheel just wasn’t worth the effort I had already put in. On the bright side, I’m replaying Need for Speed Underground 2.

I’m running out of photos to post on Instagram. I have 12 left, and I admit that I’m not feeling many of them. They are alright, of course, and a few of them I’m even proud of. It’s just that I don’t particularly want to share any of them. Alas. On the bright side, I did talk to a friend about what I’d like to do with it, so I do think I will be more intentional about how I use it.

I do admit I am disappointed in myself for this week. I know I’m not supposed to be necessarily pushing myself to do more, since that’s a recipe to completely derail myself. However, I feel like looking back on what I did this week there really isn’t much that I did throughout that I am happy about or want to note. Most of it was concentrated at the end of the week, except for the burger we bought and ate.

Keeping Myself Accountable

Back in November, I quit my first job. It had been a long time coming, as I had been unsatisfied with my pay and the work I was doing (both in terms of rhythm and the tasks themselves). I’m lucky enough to be in the financial position where it wasn’t completely crazy to leave my job in the middle of a pandemic, and that there seems to be an endless need for software developers so finding another job didn’t seem very difficult.

At the time, I decided that December was going to be a more relaxed month. I hoped that it would serve as a way to reset myself and perhaps revert some of the changes I had seen develop in myself at the time. I was half successful: some of the changes were brought by my increase in weight and won’t go away anytime soon; others feel like something within me broke and I haven’t figured out how to fix.

Regardless, the march of time never stops. While I’m in a better place than when I took this decision, it was clear it was time to find another job. Not just because of financial reasons, but also because I find it difficult to set goals on my own and commit to them once the new project energy has worn off.

That said, one of the challenges I set for this year was to review what I’ve been doing often. There are things I want to accomplish, such as investing time in photography or actually riding my bicycle, and I’d like to direct my life towards those goals without the pressure of a hard schedule. The objective would be to review often, perhaps weekly, with the intent of celebrating and bringing to the forefront whatever steps I take towards these goals.

As such, and hopefully one of many:

A photograph I took of the clouds on a particularly cloudy and windy day. The sun is setting, silhouetting the town’s skyline and bathing in red the top of the clouds. First published in my Instagram account.

Last week, I finally got around editing some of the photos in my backlog. While there are still more to select and go through, it was nice to sort through a few of them. Plus, that means I have more photos ready to be shared! And, on that vein, I have been posting photos to Instagram when I feel like it.

I also made some changes to my CV. I had received some feedback that it was rather sparse and that it should better describe the work I actually performed, so I went ahead and was more explicit about what I did. It also isn’t as relevant anymore as I have a new job already (contract signature pending), but it’s already done for when I have to look again, so no loss.

Finally, I looked into setting up my own instance of Pixelfed. It wasn’t successful for a variety of reason, such as my own inexperience with PHP and its ecosystem, and also because I decided that the Raspberry Pi I bought would have Raspbian instead of Debian (or Ubuntu), but I gave it a fair shot. Regardless, the more I think about it the less I think it would have been a good fit for me: it still works under the Instagram model, so it isn’t particularly useful for a gallery; and having to manage it myself is ever less appealing. That said, I do still want to update my pixelfed.social account to have the same content as my Instagram, as I’d love to support fediverse software.