December, Reflections

Howdy y’all, Chef here.

I apologize for the lack of updates recently–especially the lack of a Thanksgiving post–but it’s been rather hectic since November.

For the sake of readability and focus, I’m probably gonna start dividing my dailies/“slice of life” posts into serious and less serious halves when applicable.

There’s something to be said about the division of things into work/play, fun/serious, Dionysian/Apollonian. In fact, thinking about my favourite idol (Omaru Polka) and her behaviour has largely contributed to opening up my eyes about the pragmatic benefits of such divisions. Expect an essay on why she’s the best, coming soon™️

Serious stuff

Living Situation

As I mentioned in the tail end of my last post– the patriarch of the family I’m staying with returned from Israel, and I was mildly concerned about how he’d feel about me squatting here.

Turns out, he’s eager to help me get back on my feet, and has been treating me basically like one of his sons. To say that I’m grateful would be an understatement to an offensive extent.

As a consequence of this I’ve been hanging out mostly by myself lately, and have been extremely sober (and likely will be until after my shift on Thursday).


I had a 1v1 meeting with my store’s manager a few weeks ago, and his evaluation of me was extremely positive, so I figured by now I would’ve gotten my promotion to ERP, but it still hasn’t happened yet.

He did tell me to expect it by the end of the year, but I’ve been scheduled at this store through 1/3, so I don’t really know what to think.

I have been getting more hours, at least. But not really enough to thrive.


Regarding the old jazzwagon, one of my tyres is on its last legs again, lol. I’m probably going to have to replace that in the near future.

Additionally, I got to cancel my car insurance plan because my old man has my back in this regard.

Because of this, I’m going to be able to more easily afford health insurance this coming year. That being said, I’m going to make the first payment on my premiums as soon as I recieve my next paycheque, that’s going to be fun.


At some point in between the last post and now, I sprained my left wrist pretty badly, and was basically crippled for like 3 days. I managed to deal with the pain using aspirin, but that ended up making my stomach bleed quite a bit (oops), was shitting gravel for a couple weeks. To compensate for that I ended up consuming calcium like Charlie Sheen consumed crack. Also took a 2 week regimen of Omeprazole, and after that continued using Famotidine daily.

It’s because of shit like this that I’m grateful that I can see healthcare in my horizon, I’ll probably be able to see a gatro doctor about my GERD and otherwise fucked up guts.

In no particular order, the things I’m keen on doing with health insurance are:

  1. Getting an Rx for ritalin so I can work harder and longer without losing focus
  2. Seeing a neuro doctor and getting a referral for an MRI so I can see how fucked up my brain is
  3. Seeing someone about my back
  4. Obviously seeing what’s up with my guts



Haven’t really had much time to write much of anything. Although I have been workshopping some of the plans/ideas for the stories surrounding Jacques and Friends.


Haven’t had much time to do any sketching either. Though compared to my other hobbies, it’s much lower priority now. However I am planning on trying out Krita and my tablet in Linux to see if pressure sensitivity works


Been doing a lot of reading in between other tasks, mostly documentation and guides on how to do Linux/sysadmin related things, as well as some Python docs and documentation for libraries.

Documentation notwithstanding, I’ve also been slowly but surely piling more works of fiction/literature onto my backlog. Tsundoku1 seems to be just as possible digitally as it would be with analog media.

Recently I found a free build of an open source ebook reader for Android, so I’m likely going to move all of my ebooks to my phone so I can read at work in between customers. Additionally, this ebook reader supports TTS engines, so once I end up getting a pair of discreet wireless headphones, I’m likely to emulate the example of some of my colleagues and friends and end up listening to audiobooks or music while I work as well.


Compared to everything else I do, music is one of the few things that I never tire of.

I’ve been collecting more and more sheet music, listening to more lectures/shitposts on theory, and have been constantly brainstorming for what my first attempt at actually finishing a piece is going to be.

My trial for REAPER expired, lol. I’m not exactly interested in pirating it because:

  1. The dev is based as fuck
  2. A non-commercial license is really cheap anyways

So I’m inclined to just use one of the FOSS DAWs for the time being.

Music theory and writing music aside, I’ve also been listening to some new stuff in the past month.

Things that come immediately to mind would be:

  1. Hololive’s official releases on Spotify
  2. Karrin Allyson, a nice jazz/bossa nova singer that the algorithm randomly gave me
  3. Tomari Sano, a contemporary city pop diva
  4. Random shit on YouTube
  5. Special mentions: Hoshimachi Suisei’s Next Color Planet has been stuck in my head for a while, and the full version of Omaru Polka’s Hologram Circus came out which also put a smile on my face


Well, I finally managed to get back into Python.

I think of a part of it was dealing with ignorant motherfuckers everyday at work, and another was the fear of letting my intellect degrade more than it already has, but I realized that if I wanted to stay sharp, I had to actually find the fun in problem solving, and pursue getting better at it.

The immediate result of this was me picking up my old abortive attempt at a text adventure and playing with it. Then installing a maubot instance for my homeserver with the intention of writing plugins for it.

I’d just like to give a shoutout to the dev for maubot, Tulir Asokan, for being really responsive to inquiries and very helpful in general. In fact, to accommodate my stupidity he actually amended the documentation of his project on the spot.

My understanding of things like best practices, the fundamentals of OOP, data structures, algorithms, etc. is piss poor at best, so right now I’m mostly focused on improving my base knowledge, and learning more as I go along by tinkering with things and following along with the docs while using other people’s code as an example.

Aside: At the very least my arithmetic has remained pretty decent, but I think I should probably brush up on more proper maths. Additionally, NoNickname gave me a puzzle game for xmas, so that ought to help whet my brain a little bit.

Linux / Sysadmin stuff(?)

As many of you know, I’ve been using NixOS for a while, in fact, used to be hosted on it. Well, I booted it on my workstation on a whim for the first time in a long while, and it was chugging so hard after an update that it prevented me from catching some Hololive content, so I ended up formatting that disk (and nuking my EFI partition as well, oops) and installing Void on it. To be fair to NixOS, part of that was probably because of ZFS on a single disk, but this wasn’t the only issue I’ve had with it, there’s also been:

  1. Absolute mental behaviour from all the available xorg drivers inside of Hyper-V. Every other conventional distro works just fine.
  2. A nightmare trying to get it to boot correctly on my server after reimaging (this may have had something to do with that machine’s firmware)
  3. Weird graphical bugs
  4. Strange behaviour in one of my NICs, regardless of what drivers I selected
  5. nixpkgs and nixos-rebuild being extremely slow and inefficient

I chose Void because recently my server ended up running Alpine, and I found that systemd-less distros are typically less trouble to deal with and more lightweight. Additionally, some of the lads on r/unixporn had some really nice setups using it.

I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty impressed so far. Compared to NixOS:

  1. Graphics worked just fine in Hyper-V
  2. I’m assuming it would boot just fine on foxears, additionally, one of the devs for Void also contributed to ZFSBootMenu which seems to alleviate the sort of nightmares that we experienced when getting foxears back online
  3. I have not encountered a single graphical bug yet.
  4. Both of my NICs are behaving just fine.
  5. XBPS is the FASTEST package manager I’ve ever used. The repos may not be as large as the other big dogs' (Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, the AUR, etc.), but it has most of what one would want, and unlike on NixOS you can just compile whatever you need yourself 🤷

Beyond my grievances being assuaged instantly, there are some other advantages:

  1. runit is lightning fast
  2. The base system’s footprint is extremely lightweight, comparable to Alpine
  3. If you want a shortcut to getting things set up how you like it, you can just copy one of the livecds as an example base system (this is what I did, and this is a stock feature of the installer)

I’m probably going to continue using NixOS in the future, and will probably migrate back to it eventually for the sake of declaratively configuring/managing my server, but for right now it seems that I’m going to stick to Alpine/Void for personal use until I have more free time to waste on troubleshooting.



I worked on Thanksgiving for the holiday pay, and picked up a shift on Xmas, but the person who was giving me the shift cancelled on me last minute so I just spent the day unconscious.

My xmas feast was two poached eggs, a packet of instant mi goreng, and a regular cup of milk tea, but because it was a holiday I permitted myself to add a tablespoon of sugar.

As for presents, Tora and NoNickname were the only ones to give me anything so far, a copy of Factorio and Supraland respectively. Much more than I could’ve asked for, tbh. I don’t really expect to see any other presents this year, but it’s possible that Lord Vaporub or Jolly will give me something as well.

Last notes

As evidenced by the fact that I’m soon to have healthcare, got spoiled by my friends, and have had a pretty decent evaluation at work as well as getting more hours at work, it’s axiomatic that I have plenty to be grateful for.

I’m still broke, but I’m happy.


Thanks to all my friends and family for continuing to be excellent.

My happiness is plucked from the hearts of each and every one of you.2 I pray that our time together continues for a long while to come and in a mutually enjoyable manner.

Happy Holidays, and stay sane.

  1. 積ん読, or letting books pile up without reading them ↩︎

  2. Mood music ↩︎