Happy New Year and all that. It’s now 2023, arguably an auspicious year in Discordianism, and hopefully a good year for the rest of us as well. I’m currently in Palm Springs with Simone, having spent the past few days wandering around and enjoying the desert while it’s not quite so murderously hot. (It’s even raining! How novel!) We had a nice wander through Joshua Tree National Park yesterday, and are having a nice relaxing New Year’s Day.

On Park Boulevard in Joshua Tree National Park, looking out at Turkey Flats and Pinto Mountain in the distance.
Joshua Tree National Park

Seems like as reasonable a time as any to take stock on the year. I know more than a few people who’ve had an incredibly rough 2022, but thankfully I was not one of them — all told, it was actually a pretty chill year. I ended up traveling a fair bit (despite the ongoing concerns about the pandemic — while I admit I’ve gotten a bit more lax in my day-to-day mask wearing, I still absolutely mask when flying): first to Asheville, North Carolina to see a friend, then back and forth to San Francisco when I started dating Simone, plus my usual trip east in the summer, and then again in the fall to enjoy the foliage. I also got in a work trip to Austin (and will be heading back to Bristol this spring), which was fun. This is the first year I think I’ve ever flown enough to actually qualify for frequent flyer status on an airline (usually it’s just a few big trips across the year). Not a bad way to spend my time.

Cecil D. Dog, a black dog, looking to the right.
Cecil D. Dog

Cecil continues to be The Best Dog™, a total sweetheart who I’m very glad to have in my life. He’s cuddly and friendly, gets along with other people and dogs (and even got to meet a cat successfully!), doesn’t bark much (usually just an alert bark, and once we acknowledge it, stops), doesn’t roll in gross stuff, doesn’t run off. Just a very good boy. I count my blessings regularly that he turned out so sweet and well adjusted (which is all him, not like I’m a remotely good trainer). Looking forward to hopefully many more happy years with him.

Work-wise, I’m continuing to work as a technical writer (“Senior Staff Technical Writer” if you want to pick nits on titles). I’ve been with my current company for over 5 years now, and I still enjoy the people I’m working with, and the work that I’m doing. I tend to prefer roles where I can wear a number of different hats, and I’ve been able to do that a fair bit with this position: while I do write, I also end up doing a lot of infrastructure and tooling work for the documentation team in general, figuring out how to make our docs look better, be better organized, and make the writing process less painful for the writers. It’s always a tightrope walk to balance diving into tooling and getting actual writing done, but I like it. Not saying I’m looking, but if I was going pick up a new roll, it would probably be more of the same, but leaning more heavily on the tools and infra side of things.

In the land of romance, after a long gap, it’s been really nice to be in a stable relationship again – it’s been about 8 months since I started seeing Simone, and things still seem to be going well (I don’t want to jinx it, but fingers crossed on that continuing to be the case). For some context, we’ve known each other for ~9 years, having met while I was at Dropbox, but it’s only this past year that we were able to re-connect and actually start seeing each other. The first seven months were long distance, but she moved up to Portland at the start of December, so thankfully we’re past the long distance period. It’s been fun, and we both love to travel, so I’m looking forward to having more exploratory adventures with her in the future.

I’m still gaming, splitting my time between Final Fantasy XIV and… well, everything else. I’ve been playing a bit of Valheim again, now that the Mistlands update is out, and I also picked up the graphics-updated version of Dwarf Fortress. I started a new playthrough of Cyberpunk 2077 when the last major patch released, and I really need to get back to that and finish it. That game had a rough initial launch, but with the most recent patches, it’s actually quite playable now, and pretty fun for that style of game. I’ve still been peripherally involved with AvatarMUD, too, and even got around to finally finishing an area revamp I started over a decade ago — nice to have that project out of the way, finally.

Speaking of projects, I’ve got a few:

  • An undisclosed new website/service;
  • A new Discord bot (I run a few for one of my FFXIV guilds, and it got me thinking about writing a custom one)
  • A barely-started new theme for the website that makes use of all the Gutenberg magic that’s been added to WordPress in the past few years.
  • A few short stories and novel ideas that are still mostly just notes.

These are the projects I’ve been fiddling with this past year and that I hope to make progress on in the coming year, though it’s not an exhaustive list. For instance, I’ve been talking with Simone about some of my old photo essay ideas recently, too, and it might be nice to dust one of those off and actually make it happen. There’s also some of the tech-platform-and-social-media changes I’ve alluded to in other posts that I really ought to act on in one fashion or another. Really, it’s just a matter of making time for it all, one piece at a time.

As a quick calling card, until I update my formal one, you can find me elsewhere on the internet in a few different places:

I’m elsewhere too (my Twitter and Facebook accounts are still active, though I’m trying to wean off them, and I’ve got placeholder accounts on Cohost and Hive, for instance), but those are probably the three best ways right now to keep connected with me. (Email can also work: I don’t publish it for spam reasons, but it’s not hard to figure out — I got onto gmail early enough to get the same username as this domain.)

Anyway, that’s probably enough of a life update for now. I hope everyone reading this is feeling safe, sane, and happy as we usher in 2023. May the coming year be filled with joy, good mischief, and success.

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