At the lip of the great dark chasm


Making note of things I have done, to remind myself they have been done. Otherwise it is too easy to forget, too easy to spiral down into believing I don't do anything and beating myself up over it.

So. I have been up to plenty, despite not having much to show for it. Various bouts of practising my drawing with exercises from Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, getting familiar with the command prompt via exercises from the appendix of Learn Python 3 The Hard Way, and batches of podcast episodes being downloaded and metadata updated to compile into a playlist for my phone. A lot of activities that are of the 'keep plugging away and eventually see results' sort.

The playlist is a bit more mammoth than I had anticipated. I have probably mentioned that my routine in constructing those is to manually compile playlists to listen through my subscriptions in chronological order, as not all their RSS feeds extend back far enough to work neatly with a proper podcast player. I'm currently listening my way through 2009 and thanks to a few mishaps with some becoming unavailable by the time I reached them in my listening order, and some shenanigans with how far back some archives extend, my scheme ends up trying to span the entire year of 2009 in just two playlists. I only realised this after loading onto my phone a list spanning January to August and finding the rug pulled out from under me for what was expected to be an August - September list, now extended through to the first days of January 2010, adding about 2.5 times as much work as I'd got done, just as I got to the part where I would have been sorting the downloaded files into their play order.

I am actually worried I will not be able to fit the full playlist onto my phone when it is done, coming as it does on the heels of another quite massive playlist. Especially as several months back I actually outpaced the playlists I had loaded for the first time since beginning this project many years ago and turned to loading some audio books and dramas to fill the gap while I got the list loaded; I've decided to intersperse these playlists with more such dramatics. Not even bothering to try sourcing those until I have the podcasts themselves down and sorted. I suspect that I may have to break it into two chunks, with the first being what I'd downloaded before that rug-pull and treated as essentially a continuation of the playlist I'm currently listening to, and then the second to follow as the 'real new' playlist when I get past the current one and can delete it off my phone.

With my normal procedure of keeping three of those on the go - one for current, one to have ready to flow into when that one ends, and the third as backup in case I get through two playlists without making a new one ready - I will have a long while at this before I can be done and coast awhile again. Once I do I intend to get a bit more proactive and pull down the archives in advance. Too often, and especially of late, have I come to fetch episodes only to find the archive truncated, reorganised, or even the site entirely gone. I would rather guard against that by backing it all up locally if I can manage the hard drive space to hold them all.

Perhaps the curse of journalling so infrequently is my inability to remember what I have and have not recorded in the past.

For a while I've thought it could be fun to engage in solo-RP activities and turn the result into a story. And for a long time I believed the way to go would be to learn web formatting & styling so I could present the narrative as a 3/4 page column and the underlying dice rolls pegged alongside in a slide-in and slide-out 1/4 page column. The existence of the Beaker Browser project encouraged me to think this was a viable project especially as it could be hosted locally and I wouldn't have to worry about where and how to put this for people to read. But, with Beaker being shuttered I am at a bit of a loss.

I have also been wondering if I might do better to use a specialised document format. HTML is easy enough but maybe if I have any particular styling requirements it would be better to present in PDF, and maybe even style the document using LaTeX. The trouble with this is

  • The web isn't set up well to flow between such documents
  • I don't have anywhere to host them
  • I don't even have enough local storage to install LyX to do that editing