Blog restart (2022 edition)

with tags diary 2021 -

Happy New Year 2022! Seems that I update the blog once per 5 years, so here it goes again.

Restart, 2022 edition

So, the previous blog ended up being a bit too content heavy and life threw some wrenches on the way, so didn’t really have time nor much motivation to do anything about it. Seemed like each new post would’ve required an extra amount of research and work before being “useful”.

So, this time I’m foregoing the usefulness aspect completely. I’ve recently started keeping personal diaries again, in parallel to work “lab books”, and the new and improved(?) blog will be a reflection of these diaries (after filtering of course).

My target is doing a monthly retrospective and try to squeeze the most pertinent things into a single post. It is also possible that this will not happen, time will tell.

The first entry covers both the year 2021 and also specifically part of December 2021 which is when I started keeping the diary, so have actually something useful to write about.

2021 hopes

At the start of 2021, I was toying quite seriously with the idea of whether I should learn Rust and whether it was a suitable programming language to replace most of my needs. Having done a lot of preparation, I dove into it and did try. A lot. But it wasn’t to be. Perhaps I will try in the future, but I just never got over the feeling of the language being way over-engineered and trying very hard to fix issues that weren’t real issues (to me).

(I’m not going to do any deeper analysis on what went wrong here)

I also tried to re-work a process to handle my personal TODO lists, in a hierarchical fashion (multiple temporal “dimensions”). This worked quite well until it ended up like most of my “list” projects, ie, in list-anxiety, where lists just got always longer, but never shorter. In 3-4 months I had to declare that experiment as a failure (or a “partial success” as they say in the biznizz).

Things that stuck from 2020

In 2020 (and 2019-12), I did several behavioural changes, and am quite happy that most of the important ones did carry into 2021 and today. Not drinking any alcohol has not given any great revelations as such, but I’m also quite happy that the choice in non-alcoholic versions of beer, wine and even sparkling wine has expanded also during 2021. If you’re in Finland, do check out http://aaltojuomat.com if you want something “special”.

Still having fun with Ring Fit Adventure, and still haven’t re-started smoking, so I’m quite happy.

Notable changes in 2021

This list is quite incomplete. A lot of these things happened just during Decemeber 2021, but here goes. Perhaps next year the list will be better (ha ha).

  • Healthcare:

    • Restarted dentist (I experience irrational fear re dentistry, so quite happy that this happened)
    • Finally got a wide spectrum labwork done as a baseline, since not getting any younger. If one can trust the lab results, I seem to be mostly human.
  • Switched from Linode to Hetzner:

    • I’ve been planning to switch away from Linode already for ages. I was previously using their London VPSes, but after brexit it really seemed like a stupid idea to host anything of value by an US company, in UK.
    • Migration to Hetzner gave a good opportunity to modernize all the services while at it. I distinctly remember thinking at the end of the migration that “the only next step is to document the new setup”, but you already know whether this happened or not. I am glad to report that it is now a task in my “new” TODO list.
  • Started hunting for a house (a “detached house”):

    • It’s been many years since I last had to go through the whole “find a suitable mortgage provider” song and dance, so this was again a bit irritating (always is). It is interesting that even in this day and age, there are still some banks in Finland that drop incoming requests on the floor without any feedback. It is a bit odd. Irrespective of this, got multiple fairly good (and quite different) offers.
    • The housing market is in the capital area is too expensive for us, so we’ve been looking a bit farther away. The problem is that in the areas that we find interesting, no one wants to move away (it seems). Maybe it’s the pandemic. Maybe we’re too picky. Maybe it’s Maybelline.
    • This project acted as a strong “degaussing” jolt for most of the decisions during this year and helped focusing activity, even if it brought stress due to new unknown things that had to be learned. This project will continue in 2022 as well, but oddly enough I’m not stressing about it anymore.
  • Reduced suck in daily environment:

    • Switched from Chromium to Firefox
    • Switched from Google to DuckDuckGo
    • Removed Spotify native client (it’s a pile of utter garbage)
    • Started my journey towards a mouseless environment. This involves getting a bit deeper into Linux for a change, and it’s been great. I have to confess, I’ve missed proper Linux, without realizing it.
  • Redirection and protection of personal focus:

    • Quit following “normal” news outlets. They just repeat. Re-invested the time into useful things or things that bring joy. There have also been mental health benefits, the news being what they are. Inoreader with highly curated source list is still useful.
    • Quitting facebook (for much of the same reasons as above)
    • Focus from the two above diverted instead back into evening-time book reading, which I’ve missed.
    • Reduction of optional responsibilities.
  • Other random things:

    • Restarted a modified Pomodoro-technique
    • Started doing Swedish in duolingo (although right now on hiatus)

Lessons learned (again?) in 2021 and/or 2021-12

  1. Traveling on the night train sounds much fancier than the reality
  2. I actually like moving snow (“lumen kolaaminen”) with lumikola. Another great invention that just doesn’t exist in the anglo-american world
  3. https://lwn.net is still great
  4. Perhaps the over 1.3 million LOC of systemd is not all completely evil
  5. strace is (still) great
  6. Lakrids by B├╝low’s advent calendar cannot be great every year (the “delivery schedule” was a bit odd this year)
  7. Memrise now prefers languages more, so Anki might be a better choice for non-language rote needs.
  8. Finding suitable houses is hard
  9. Getting a live IPv6 connection is as easy as associating with Android’s hotspot (at least if the phone is in Elisa’s network)

Focus in 2022

I don’t do New Years’ resolutions, but having a proper winter holiday that flows over into the new year does make it possible to calm down and reflect on things. So, this is my “things to try to improve this year” list.

  • Continue development of personal philosophy
  • Continue improving focus protection methods
  • Continue to simplify personal processes
  • Continue migration to a mouseless environment
  • Daily 1% improvement
  • Dogfood everything
  • Reduce optional irritants in life
    • And yet, I still plan to finish the online course on “Android development with Kotlin”

Monthly diary

A lot of the stuff is really covered already above, but here are (perhaps mohtly repeating) categories of the other stuff.

Messages to future-self

  1. Write the top-level project READMEs in a way that I’ll understand them even if I take a break from the project for 5 years.

Games

(For 2021-12, might be missing something)

  • Outriders (surprisingly good co-op, demo convinced me and was in discount)
  • Infinitode 2
  • AC Valhalla (finally bought it, all trophies done in main game + Ireland). Found Kalandra indirectly via ACV as well.
  • Borderlands 1 & 3 (old favourites)
  • Bioshock Infinite (finally had time to play & finish it, loved the story)

Work

All secret unfortunately; such is the life of a hired gun.

Music

Links

(links that entertained me or were important to me, in random order)

Written by Aleksandr Koltsoff
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2022-01 Diary.. thing