2024 eclipse timelapse by Ashley Lian

Change Log

This log uses the Svannic date format.

02J

A wedding announced two weeks in advance. A ONE NIGHT trip to LA. Spirit airlines both ways. A 1am returning flight to PHL. Christ what a wild start to this jaunt. The wedding was fine, a nice small ceremony at a multi-multi million dollar vineyard out in Simi Valley. Got a chance to catch up with old college friends. Though I'm a bit dissapointed in how much they've stayed the same. No new interests or passions. But perhaps they feel the same about me.

I enjoyed sitting out at coffee shops while in the LA arts district. I could overhear the most stereotypically "LA" conversations. From which new Michelin star asian fusion spot is overrated to two vfx artists spilling the tea on the long hours and horrid management at the latest Marvel Studios tv show. I don't really have those kinds of conversations with people. I don't especially like talking about physics over a meal. I wouldn't be able to think of anything interesting to say about my current work. What conversations do I have? What interests of mine warrant an enthusiastic thought?

It's running season. I dislike the fact that I have not been ramping up my miles. My goal is to hit an unassisted half-marathon soon. The leg hurts though. Rough in the hip. Oh well. Some Hatha yoga might help.

The sun activity is high this year. The peak of the 11 year cycle is not until 2025, but already we've been hit by the strongest storm since 2003. Auroras were seen in the Carolinas.

I went to Iffy books again where I purchased a $50 single-board computer to use as a web server that I can establish as a subdomain of this site and setup anywhere. My idea is to have a photo gallery subdomain where I can put all of my favorite photos. The photos themselves would live locally on this 32GB micro-usb. I like that local permanence of it. gallery.slewis.wiki or something similar. We'll see.

02I

Ashley had another market this week, this time out at the Woodlands cemetary in southwest Philadelphia.It's always a pleasure of mine to do what I can to help her set up and be successful. It was a solid turnout and after an hour or so Ashley's wares were flying off the rack. I was shocked when, after I took over the booth for 15 minutes, I sold a $150 dollar dress she constructed by hand. I couldn't believe so much money could change hands so quickly. it's a true testiment to the quality of her work.

I am still slooowly moving through the uxn guide. I discovered an archived stream of the streamer Tsoding went from not knowing a single thing about uxn to making Conway's Game of Life in just a few hours. I am very happy I discovered him at this point in my uxn education. I know just enough about uxntal to have a good idea of what is going on but his expert level skill at programming, trial and error testing, and general ingenuity has given me a chance to see what "real programming" should be.

02H

We drove 12 hours up to Burlington, Vermont to watch the total solar eclipse. Absolutely worth the jawnt. Typically with these kind of things I would be overcome with anxiety over whether we would be able to get there safe, find food, and even see the eclipse at all (given the typically terrible conditions of norther Vermont in the Spring). This time though, I forced myself to remain absolutely positive. I knew things would work out, I knew we would see the eclipse and that it would be magical. And it was! Our Airbnb was right next to a local park where we were able to watch the eclipse with a small group of locals and other eclipse chasers. The weather was perfect, the eclipse was perfect, and the experience was perfect. I am so happy we went. Of course the most profound moment was the 3 minutes of totality where the sky was as dark as night except for the ghostly glow of the sun's atmosphere and the sunset in all directions. Having Ashley there made it all that much more special. I was so grateful to be able to share in her awe. All in all very much worth the drive.

I ran the half marathon! I was very pleased with my time and my ability to finish. My original goal was to simply finish and not hurt myself (the race was on trails with 1500ft of vertical gain). My second goal was to finish in under 3 hours. I finished in, no joke, 3 hours and 1 second. Mildly disappointing, but that just means I have to do it again!

I officially started learning uxntal. I've been interested in the uxn architecture for a while now and I finally decided to take the plunge. I've been following the uxn notes and uxn tutorial and I've been able to get a few simple programs running on the emulator. After being on my New Years resolutions list for two years now, I'm excited to see where this goes.

It was my 6 year anniversary with Ashley. We took a day trip to NYC and saw a wonderful exhibit at Salon94.

02G

I've been reading Authority by Jeff VanderMeer. I'm enjoying it. I like the mystery and the unreliable narrator. I think I especially enjoy scifi/fantasy with some sort of deep-rooted unknown that we as the reader and the protagonist slowly discover over the course of the book. The most immediate example of this I can think of is Piranesi. I loved that book. I may even read it again soon.

I let myself remain inspired by the inventive splash pages over at NeoCities and, in wanting to make something similar, I made a few gif background tiles using Devine Lu Linvega's Dotgrid. It actually turned out great dispite being not a super smooth process. I was able to make a few tiles and then use them in a simple HTML/CSS page. I was able to get the tiles to animate and loop and I was very pleased with the result. An example of this can now be seen on my ATAVATA landing page. Eventually I will make a splash page for this site using the same technique. I'm excited to see how it turns out. In creating this unique ATAVATA page, however, I ran into some limitations of Astrea. Because I had built the assembler to expect a standard input and to output pages with identical nav/body structure, making a unique page was impossible. I was disheartened at first, but then realized I had the power and ability to change Astrea to do whatever I want! It is mine after all. So I did. And after an hour of work I had a new version that works just as I want. I was so very happy with myself. This is exactly the kind of personal project I wanted, something that is mine to the core.

For easter this year I woke up early to hide some eggs around the house for Ashley to find. I also got us little $15 toy digital cameras. They are surprisingly adept at taking crappy sub-megabyte photos. Perfect for the website.

We watched the Sixers play. They took it down to the wire and won with a packed stadium present. Incredible energy.

The project that had been asinged to me at work is finally coming together. All my efforts are finally being seen by the rest of the team and they are now able to add their own contributions. I feel very proud and immensely capable.

02F

I had a brief trip to California to visit family. I was pleased to be able to work remotely which allowed me to work east coast hours (6am to 2pm) and spend ample time outside in the California sun with myself and my family. I was lucky enough to be able to continue my running and get some heavy miles in. The plane ride to and from were surprisingly not too terrible and I was able to burn through some more episodes of The Expanse. I finally finished Words of Radiance thank god. As I write this now a week later, I don't even remember how it ends. It wasn't a bad book, but golly was it far too long for me.

02E

I was promoted! Very happy to report that I have been hired full-time after my 6 month trial period. I am thankful for the job security and excited since I was finally getting involved with some more intense projects. I want my passion for my work to expand rapidly, and I think it will.

I discovered a wonderful website MelonKing.net. I love its aesthetic and I want to create something like it. Badly. I read through Melon's guide to making a website and I was surprised at how much I already know. Turns out that fumbling one's way through making a site like this (let's me honest I've taken most of this from Devine (thanks Devine)) is enough to actually learn something. The concept of iFrames is interesting to me and I like how a website designed around them looks. I think I'll start there, trying to emulate something like cinni.net. I ordered an HTML/CSS starter textbook, maybe web design is in my future? I'm giddy imagining people coming to slewis.wiki and seeing something inspiring.

I started streaming! I wanted to see if my new desktop can handle gaming and running OBS, and shockingly it can with ease! I am streaming at either my youtube @atavata or on twitch slewis_tv.

02D

Still reading Words of Radiance. Finally checked what percentage of the way through I was (I'm reading on Kindle) and was crushed to see I was barely over half way. Never again. I can't do these 1k+ page behemoths. I need the ebb and flow of book after book, at least two a month, not one every 3 months.

Been playing some computer games with the bro. That's been fun. Mostly Helldivers 2 — Starship Troopers in videogame form.

Hurt myself running. Very random injury, it happened on a 4.5 mile jog. Never felt any pain during the run or immediately after. But the next day and for almost a week after I could barely walk down stairs. Extremely tight/exhausted muscle in both legs between the bottom of my calf and top of my achilles. Unfortunate.

02C

The computer is built! I am very pleased with the result and I was proud of my ability to restrain myself from buying the shiniest and fastest components. The assembly of the computer itself was not nearly as difficult as I imagined it would be, it's just expensive legos but even more fool-proof. The most arduous leg of the desktop construction journey was installing Windows. I had bought a CD of the OS but of course did not have a CD drive. So I tried to bootload a USB with the data using my Mac and just could not get it to boot up. I ended up bricking two USB sticks and finally I gave in and bought an external CD drive. Despite that finally working, my machine had no Wifi drivers so Windows could not install as it requires an internet connection to download all of its "security" and "experiences" (i.e. spyware and ads). But, a few queries to ChatGPT on how to force open the command prompt during the Windows install allowed me to dive deep into the bowels of the file system and run the driver setup executable. Quite the experience. Now I have a $1300 World of Warcraft machine.

I've begun my Spanish journey. I tried my hand at a game-ified language learning app Mango (similar to Duolingo) but I just get so bored so easily. Luckily I found Language Transfer which is a 90 episode conversation between a Spanish teacher and a student where all the conventions of "learning" go out the window. No memorization or quizes, just exposure. And I've learned a lot! The approach is to focus on the huge amount of overlap between English and Spanish — the fact that both are Latin derived languages and build from there. I've also started listening to a Spanish podcast No Hay Tos which is just two bros güeyes chatting. Normal conversation! Hard to follow but I am treating this immersively and am assuming that at some point it's all just going to click.

I've gone to IffyBooks twice now, once to learn how to solder and again to learn how to pick locks. Fun, nerdy. Maybe I'll go back.

And I am still running and reading. Pushing to get up to longer than 10 miles for my usual weekend runs and trying my damnedest to finish Words of Radiance.

02A

We began this year traveling back from a week-long trip to Maui. The time in the tropical sun was wonderful. We especially enjoyed snorkeling, swimming through the beautiful fish, and being out on the water with enormous humpback whales.

Getting back into the fray, I spent significant time combing through this digital garden, cleaning up pages and refining Astrea.

This year I have several goals that I am particularly excited about: