1. Testing an RFID blocking wallet.

    06 January 2023

    A couple of years back, when we thought that the covid pandemic might actually be over someday I did some research on RFID blocking fabric to see if it was actually worth anything. Somewhat surprisingly, I discovered that it does actually do what it says it does, within certain parameters (if you don't use something right it won't work; who knew?)

    Late last year two noteworthy things happened: First, I finally got my hands on a Flipper Zero after waiting many months for it to arrive (no thanks to US Customs seizing the shipment for unspecified reasons) and spent some …

    Read more...

  2. 2022 is almost in the can.

    22 December 2022

    As I write this we're just a week or so shy of Christmas. It's been, to put it mildly, one hell of a year. Enough so that I've pretty much coasted into holiday break on fumes (again) and, probably against my better judgement, I'm trying to come up with something (anything, really) to write. If I were smart I'd give it another couple of days to relax and get my head straight. Maybe read some books or something to let the organics rest and wiring cool down.

    Of course, taking my adderall also helps.

    Work is... well, work. Things take …

    Read more...

  3. Strange sources of wisdom and capitalism.

    05 December 2022

    I apologize in advance for how disjointed this post seems. I've been tinkering with it off and on for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that there isn't strictly a linear narrative. The context loops around a bit because it's easier to explain a few things after the fact than it is to arrange them chronologically. I promise, it'll make sense (probably).

    Modulo people possibly taking me slightly too seriously I've never been particularly shy about talking about my love of table-top RPGs. Though I started with Dungeons and Dragons as a kid, as I got older I …

    Read more...

  4. Reminiscing on the necessity of adblocking.

    11 November 2022

    You might be wondering why I've been up on my bullshit about adblocking and web browsers lately. Privacy issues aside there's a story behind this (which, if you know me, should be entirely unsurprising).

    It hasn't been any particular secret that I've been living in the Bay Area for the last decade or so. I'm sorry to say that some of the stereotypes of Silicon Valley are, in fact, true and partially to blame for my encroaching kinetic pattern baldness. One of these things is the compulsive propensity to gather every last scrap of user information, no matter how trivial …

    Read more...

  5. Google pushing back on ad blocking, deploying Pihole.

    03 November 2022

    Note: As I wrote this article, I realized that there wasn't much in the way of actual tutorial documentation for some of this stuff. So, I'll be revisiting it in the near future to rewrite parts in such a way to fit this purpose.

    If you keep your ear to the ground about the online world, you might have heard something about Google gearing up to break adblocking, ostensibly as a way to crack down on malicious Chrome addons on a wide scale. As a bit of background, Google isn't really a search company because web search doesn't actually bring …

    Read more...

  6. Parsing User Input with Python, any% Speedrun

    21 October 2022

    Over the summer of 2022.ev, scholar.social (a node of the Fediverse that has cultivated a community of teachers, instructors, librarians, and academics of all stripes) held their biannual online conference called Summer School (Winter School, of course, is the other one). Summer/Winter School is described as an interdisciplinary online conference where denizens of the Fediverse could present their work and hold classes, predicated upon the belief that knowledge should be free and accessible to everyone. I finally heard about this year's conference before the fact and, as luck would have it I had a proposal for a …

    Read more...

  7. We all screw up sometimes.

    11 October 2022

    Note: I'm retraining on a new keyboard as I write this, so I apologize for any egregious typos in advance.

    Over on birbsite a couple of weeks back a thread was spun up about your worst fuckup on the job and I figured that, because it's been nearly twenty years I'd tell my worst story. However, much to my chagrin and concern I found that I'd bobbled a few of the details. Seeing as how it was one of my career's formative moments this scared me quite a bit. I'd been considering putting some work in on my memoirs anyway …

    Read more...

  8. Almost, but not quite jury duty.

    06 September 2022

    Disclaimer: This blog post is not legal advice. Nothing in this post or my site in general are legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I just want to reassure folks who might be nervous about jury duty.

    A couple of weeks ago I got one of those little cards in the mail that said that I had been tapped for jury duty. Since I moved to the Bay Area about a decade ago, I get them every couple of months so it wasn't really a big deal. However, this was the first time that I actually had to go …

    Read more...

  9. Life in a rudderless world

    15 August 2022

    "The truth of the world is that is is chaotic. The truth is, that it is not the Jewish banking conspiracy, or the grey aliens, or the twelve-foot reptiloids from another dimension that are in control, the truth is far more frightening; no one is in control, the world is rudderless."
    --Alan Moore

    I've been thinking about that quote a lot lately.

    In the month or so since my last post I've been basically keeping my head above water and trying to live as productive a life as possible. It's easier than it sounds, oddly, but it costs a lot …

    Read more...

  10. There probably never will be a back to normal.

    14 July 2022

    "Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle."
    --Mal Reynolds, Firefly

    I've been relying heavily upon timed posts these last few weeks because my mental health has been forcing me to choose between being able to get essential stuff done (read: work) and, well, anything else. Come the end of the (work) day, all I have the compute cycles to do is goof off with a side of doomscrolling (because when I don't I get blindsided by The Next Damned Thing). Mostly, seeing the world operate on Covid Standard Time is disheartening and the …

    Read more...

4 / 207