Thursday, November 26, 2020

Broken projects

Oh, arse.

Before:




After:



You live and learn, I guess.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Project update 2020-11-21

Hi bloglings and rss crew, hope the world is still feeling real for you. Get breathing, stay blogging, embrace the minute you find yourself in.

It is Never-A-Dull-Moment in Scribeland these days. Work progresses with its usual aplomb, school runs and family life retain their neverending tides of energy, and the rest of my time is spent flitting between my own interests and projects.

Yes, projects! Involvements. Vague ideas. Here's some of the recent things on my plate. Some might even see the light of day some time...

  • Finally, finally looking at doing up the exmosis.net homepage. Apparently perl is out and all the cool kids are into responsive design these days... I did toy with the idea of everything in a < pre > tag, but it's turned into a chance to see how modern templates work, and also do a bit of tiny pixel art. Coming soon!
  • Editing a story I started back when Lockdown #1 kicked in - ah, halcyon days. The story comes out of a journalling game called Found By Rescuers, which was featured in the kickstarted Paper Arcade Vol. 1. The game, by Joe Young, is a "survival horror journaling game for a single player", involving drawing a card each day, and writing a journal based on the writing prompt for that card. After 12 cards you draw an ending, and a whole narrative that has unspun over a couple of weeks. I'm oddly pleased with the basic draft - the prompts really helped, but enough of "me" is in there to make it feel a personal creation. It took a lot longer than 13 days for interesting reasons, and editing it is also a whole separate exercise. There are various other journaling games listed on kickstarter, and it'll be fun to try them out once this one is wrapped.
  • An ongoing photo project to document the local community pond has been delayed by covid - or is that just an excuse? Or rather, it got diverted. The photos were done and made it to a magazine, and the next plan was for some sort of book and maybe a local gallery show. However, i started getting into Roblox with #son1, and so now I'm working on a virtual model of the pond to learn how it works, and which i can use to show some of the photos.
  • I've also been working on another Roblox project (now) titled "Extreme Sphere Chasing" to find out Roblox's code works. (I wasn't convinced "Professional Ball Touching" would make it past the censors.) I'm loving learning a whole new... coding experience. Roblox provides a platform that gives you a full editing studio, in-world model basics like physics, as well as avatar and health mechanics, VM infrastructure, all the way through to easily-shared models from others, in-game monetisation, and a bunch of extras. The fun for me is figuring out server-client interaction, data replication, multiplayer threading, etc.
  • Continuing to tweak my publishing pipeline and social interfaces. I'm now publishing a lot of smaller posts, like this one, via Markdown editor and HTML email, which thej gets picked up by a gnu2rss script to post anything from my centralised RSS feed to gnu/social. That then gets autoposted to Twitter. Tie in wallabag-to-evernote and evernote-to-twitter integration via IFTTT and everything is everywhere and i have no idea what i have created.
  • Made some tomato chutney. Didn't manage to use the glut of tomatoes from the garden, stupidly, but ready for next year. The garden has done well this year, must post more photos from it.
  • Been playing more video games, with a special focus on ones embracing exploration (itch collection link) and/or exploring narrative (another collection). I'm enjoying the indie side of things (especially on a laptop, running Linux) and feel like I'm playing catchup a lot though. Recent favourites have been what Far Few Giants are doing with tales of nationalism and immigration, the hitch-hikin', story-collectin' pace of Where The Water Tastes Like Wine, and the incredible, surreal lucidity of Cosmo D's The Norwood Suite. I'm working on delving into in-game photography more, will see how far I can get on that.
  • And I'm also spending a bit of time figuring out how to bounce between all these things. My new approach is to set each project up as a task, and to figure out bite-size subtasks (thanks, agile!) that I can pick off easily in my relatively limited free-time slots. To follow in the journaling game's footsteps, I then assign each project a number (including aces and picture cards) and use a shuffled deck of cards to choose the next 3 subtasks to line up in on-line task-rpg site Habitica. It limits me to "just" 13 projects at a time, hahaha. And gets me to think through next steps for each.

Oh yeah, and tai chi still.

So that was a fun and self-indulgent post... I'd like to balance that out, and highlight some of the amazing stuff my readers and contacts are up to - I have some ideas in mind, but give me a shout if you're working on something cool at the moment or have published something recently, and I'll get a blogpost together.

After all, if we want to see an RSS resurgence, we need to "Blog Back Better." Let's roll.

Monday, October 26, 2020

UK Doorstep Parcel Collections

Exciting news that Royal Mail will be collecting parcels from doorsteps for a small fee (via Adrian Hon, who thinks through potential improvements). Earlier yesterday, Mrs Scribe had been talking about the inconvenience of returning clothes these days, and I suggested Amazon would probably offer a pick-up service soon. I'm not overly fond of the Amazon megacorp running entire societies, so it's nice to see Royal Mail (The Queen! The Queen! etc) getting in there fast. Who knows, maybe they'll soon be nationalised along with the trains, but don't hold your breath.

But as our daily consumer routines continue to get disrupted by a mishmash of lockdown rules and rapidly evolving social culture (or even before covid kicked off), is there an argument that our delivery networks are important an infrastructure as high speed broadband, as transport, as anything else that needs to deliver something? What would society look like if everyone could post 5 things within the nation for free?

Personally I'm going to have to try out the new scheme once various lifedust settles. More projects to mess about with 🙃

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Packaging rebirths

Whenever I get something through the post these days, I always have a quick think about whether I could reuse the packaging for something. This little box arrived today - it *almost* fits a standard 6x4 print, which is good enough once a sharp knife gets involved.

A one-off project, an exhibition in a box, sent through the mail network.

But what might that actually look like, I wonder?


Friday, October 16, 2020

Masking Thoughts

Mini protest spotted in Eastbourne. I didn't ask for details TBH. Not sure it's science either.