The one about mental health

Anxiety. Panic. Depression. These are words that are all too familiar. Situations and emotions that I’ve lived with all my life. I used to suffer in silence… like so many other people, I learned to smile despite the pain. I felt for years that if I admitted my weaknesses, that I would fail, that others would see in me only failure and fragility. It’s not like I just made that scenario up, either; in one particularly bad year in the late 90s, I was fired from three consecutive jobs because I couldn’t function. When I tried to explain why, I was told basically, “Get your shit together.” So I thought that was what was expected of me as an adult: get your proverbial shit together and leave your emotional baggage at home. Except… it doesn’t work like that.


via Live Life Happy


Linux and Windows running simultaneously with GPU passthrough

Wherein I describe the process where I was able to get the “perfect” setup (for my purposes anyways) with Linux and Windows coexisting peacefully on one machine.

a.k.a. “Oh yeah, I have a blog, I should use this thing.”


Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria! ©1984 Columbia Pictures.

First, some background

As you could tell from my previous post, I’ve been on the path of replacing all my machines with Linux boxen recently. This journey started about a year or so ago when I reconfigured a Chromebook with Linux as well as my Alienware desktop (X51 R3). Interestingly, this wasn’t driven by some desire to support open source or be a digital revolutionary. I hadn’t actually used Linux with any seriousness since the late 90s. Instead, it was Microsoft forcing my hand on something that’s bothered me for a while with regards to computing devices and operating systems.


Oryx Pro by System76 first impressions

I’ve needed a new laptop for quite a while. Last year, my Dell XPS 13 went kaputt unexpectedly, and I needed a quick replacement. I ended up modding a Toshiba Chromebook 2 and installing GalliumOS on it as a stop-gap solution. Surprisingly, that solution turned out not to be a bad one. I could still run all my development applications on it, albeit a bit slower. GalliumOS is a solid distribution (based on Xubuntu, which is already my preferred), and I actually didn’t mind working on the Chromebook for a year.

But this is also my main computing device at home, so I really needed more power and features. After much deliberation, I settled on an Oryx Pro by System76. Serendipitously, right before I was about to make my purchase, System76 came out with their new 7th gen Intel versions of the laptop. Win-win. I’ve had my machine for about a week now, so I figured it would be a good time to share some of my initial thoughts. This isn’t a review in any sense of the word, but I wanted to talk about a few things that I like and a few problems I’ve run into.


My Oryx Pro, basking in the light of my filthy kitchen


Closing thoughts on the 30-day Video Game Challenge

I finally wrapped up the challenge I started at the beginning of the year. So first off, hurray for no more spam! I’m actually bit relieved that I finished it, but also proud of myself for managed to stick to the one-post-a-day schedule. It actually forced me to write on a daily basis, which I don’t always want to do.

You may have also noticed a lack of updates on Critterbits this month. I haven’t abandoned the project, but I also haven’t made a lot of progress. My wife and I have both lamented our lack of progress on personal projects this month. It turns out all of the political background noise going on in the U.S. makes it hard to motivate ourselves to be creative. Instead I’ve spent a lot of my free time just staring at YouTube videos and occasionally playing some video games. But every time I opened my code projects, I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do with it.

The exercise of writing did inspire me to work some more on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign idea I’ve been toying with. I got the basic setting as well as some custom races worked out. I’d like at some point to write a full OGL-based 5E-compatible ruleset, but for now just to try it out I’m using the stock classes. I’m also working on the first few modules to make sure I have plenty of content ready before I recruit players.

Well, let’s hope February is a bit more productive for me. We’ll see how that turns out. Especially with Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Persona 5 all releasing in the next few months, I need to get some more traction on both Critterbits and my D&D campaign before the end of the month!


30-day VGC: My favorite game of all time

Personally I’m not a huge fan of picking a “favorite game of all time.” My tastes change over the years, and depending on my mood on any given day one game may be better than another. But, I suppose if I’m going to finish this challenge properly, I have to choose something. So in order to qualify as my favorite of all time, the game in question has to meet the following requirements:

  • It’s something I’ve played multiple times.
  • It’s not something that came out recently. (I can hardly judge something as being anything of “all time” if it’s only been around for a year or two.)
  • In this day and of age of choice overload, it has to be a game that I go back to when I can’t decide what I want to play.

I figure that’s some reasonable criteria. So what game meets all of them?