I live, somewhat.

Hey folks.

Just a quick post before bed:

I got pushed off the Oregon Health Plan several months ago. Lost affordable access to a once weekly medicine that controlled my blood glucose levels the bed. Just got migrated across to a once nightly insulin, which doesn’t really feel like it’s working all that well, but I need to give it some time to do its job, I guess.

I picked up a scrap laptop from the local e-cycler. $15 for its base hardware. $25 for a battery and AC Adapter. $10 for a hard drive. Still mucking about with Linux distros, trying to find one that doesn’t have systemd jacked all through it, but also has support for the wireless card in it without needing access to a router for a direct connection for 15 minutes to pull the necessary software bits.

Need to probably disassemble and reassemble the scraptop as well, to get this little bulge out of the palmrest. Whomever owned the unit prior to me had done a poor job with removing and replacing the palmrest, and it probably explains why the touchpad goes in and out. Not entirely looking forward to the minor surgical process on a Latitude E6500, but eh, whatever. Once it’s all done, I can go hang out at Starbucks and maybe write a little.

I also might want to crack open this laptop battery. Something’s not quite right in battery town there.

Speaking of batteries? I picked up a new bicycle.

One of these, to be specific. ANCHEER is trying to make themselves a known brand by offering electric pedal assist enabled bicycles at a fairer price than their competitors.

So far, my analysis is that it could use a little improvement, but does make for a passable commute option:

  • A longer seat post would be great. I had to buy one within a couple of days of ownership, because it was murdering my legs and making me want to return it.
  • Better mudguards. The ones in box are so short that they do not protect against mud and moisture being thrown up at your back and face.
  • A higher capacity battery. 8 Ah handles my daily work commutes for three days or so before I need to charge the bike overnight.
  • An off-bicycle charging kit. Want to make this bike work well for people who use it to commute to and from their workplace? Make it easy for us to charge the battery under our desks at work, since the battery pack isn’t difficult to detach from the bicycle.

Those points aside? I’ve been putting in many miles on the bike, and it rides fairly well.

More on this sometime when I’m not an hour overdue for bed, though. 🙂


No more Patreon.

Xial here.


Bit of a quickie: I had placed my Patreon on hold for a bit, because I haven’t had the time or focus to sit down and work on Partners like I wanted.

I’ve hit a point where my personal time has honestly dwindled, courtesy of having housemates that are social creatures. No, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s a foreign thing, after looking back at the last decade of my life and not having that high level of social interaction, to suddenly feeling thrust into maintaining time facing people? It’s overwhelming at times, but I honestly cannot say I’d trade it for anything.

In the interim, because I really haven’t been able to focus on treating Partners for ePub readiness, and it’s tedious to remember to suspend each month of Patreon, it’s easier to flip the switch to the off position.

Maybe in the future when things are less in a state of flux, I can return to the idea, if I’ve not been beaten to it by someone else.



I’m up entirely too late to bring you this.

Just a quick thing.

I’ve really not had any time to work on writing, between needing to rebuild hardware*, working a new job (Thursday through Monday, of all things. Send sushi moneys to $xial), and having social housemates (Wednesday night dinners, really).

I’ve had my Patreon on pause for the past couple of months as a result.

I’m also blowing minds as my use of email addresses that do not conform to the typical ‘.com/.net/.org’ mindset leads to an amusingly high frequency of “… is that even valid?” Yes, my friends, it really is. 🙂

And now, TO BED.


* : Waiting on a refund to get a new computer case from Newegg. Trying to get my tablet replaced or repaired and getting angry enough that I ended up clapping 👏🏾 at 👏🏾 the 👏🏾 company that made it in a tweet. Eyeballing a new keyboard because while I like the one that I have, I really, REALLY, REALLY miss having a ten-key pad. I actually use it, and having to go to the character mapper just to enter accented characters when I’m used to alt-0233 for one of the accented e that I use is driving me up the wall. Trying to deal with a spotty wireless adapter and also considering a flavor of Linux (probably NOT Ubuntu) for the new build, once I can locate a storage device of reasonable price, since Cities: Skylines and LibreOffice both work in Linux. 🙂


Progress, at a glance.

It’s been a while. Welcome along, folks.

I’ve not been as diligent on Partners as I wanted to be.


Pandoc toolchain update, with Partners.

Hey folks, Xial here.

The boyfriend was kind enough to load the story onto his bookreader and send me a handful of photos so I know what’s going on as I work my way through the master file and get the editing works done on Partners.

This does wonders for my mood, knowing that it’s coming out mostly as I would like to see it on dedicated hardware. I’ve to go through the chapters at some point to make sure I’ve not missed anything that needs to be cleaned up, editing-wise, find a slightly faster way to get the PET text to automatically export and take its formatting with it, and go from there.

In the interim, I’m waiting on a keyboard to arrive for my tablet. I’d like to be able to do some of the editing outside of my bedroom, possibly at a Starbucks or somewhere else that I can sit with free Wi-Fi and be largely undisturbed for an hour or two at a time. Said keyboard is finally within the country borders, but will take probably a few more days to get to me. That’ll be nice.


I have the BEST boyfriend.

Hey folks, Xial here.

I’ve mentioned in the past in a couple of places that I am having some toolchain issues — namely with conversion and ePub output for converting Partners.

What I hadn’t mentioned as much is how much the broken toolchain demoralizes me as an editor. The annoyances of trying to edit a file, troubleshoot an issue that doesn’t have an obvious answer, plus the clearly non-robust system that comprises NimbleWriter leaves much, much to be desired.
I open the file, realize there’s nearly 142,000 words (!!), and plod through an issue, trying to edit things using Markdown (geez, why), when this clearly needs typesetting and love that isn’t present in the editor of choice. Typesetting basics that are even available in most off-the-shelf blogging packages like this no-name thing called WordPress.

I wanted to use Word or an equivalent initially, but I needed something that would let me output an ePub from time to time in order to test things. I wasn’t having any luck with the plugins I had found, so NimbleWriter was exceptionally attractive when I started looking at it.

That love affair is over, though, and let’s be honest, other than being able to use Solarized Dark as my UI theme in Nimble, there’s little to hold me there.

The best boyfriend in the world asked me the other night in a conversation,

(Best Boyfriend in the World) Last Saturday at 21:44
Actually, before I go I’ve been meaning to ask: have you heard of pandoc before?
I hadn’t. So of course, I race over to the Bing, search for it, and start reading its documentation.
I’m completely okay with command line tools, being of an age where many machines didn’t have a pretty, clicky GUI. I’m still reading through the documentation in bursts, but the short of it is that I can finally work in LibreOffice on my local machine, and feed the output file to pandoc from time to time to get a test version of the story as an ePub. 🙂
The remaining challenge is replacing my ePub reader. I think I can safely say the Kobo’s a lost cause — the replacement battery is annoyingly expensive to source. Annoyingly so that a newer reader is probably a better choice. I just want to locate a reader that offers ePub support, which means that Amazon’s Kindle series are dead out.
I’ve been taking frequent breaks to give my arm a break, wandering around the house, petting cats, listening to music. But now I’m eager to really put Pandoc to the test.

Painuary, Februargh, and Updates.

A bit of a repost from my Patreon, in order to spare my shoulder and wrist from the flames.

I had this nice little audio post that I had put together in Painuary (last month) that was intended to update everyone that was interested as to the lack of activity.

Sadly, when making an audio post, it causes Patreon to barf out with a “Something went wrong…” message. A subsequent trouble ticket was opened after I could recreate the issue in more than one browser.

The shortened version of the Painuary update is as such:

Early in January, I had a slip and fall on a patch of ice around town. Landed pretty hard on my knees and my right wrist. I’m right handed, which means that’s a bad hand to injure. I use an ergo keyboard, with a nice big split in the middle, so it was challenging to type anything then.

The right hand pain is going away, weeks later, but I’m not good for sitting and typing long-winded things – it makes my shoulder feel as if it were ablaze, and after about 10-20 minutes, the hand and shoulder feel as if they’ve caught fire.

This hampers my ability to work on writing.

I’m currently in physical therapy and other medical treatment to help improve my hand usage, return strength to the arm muscles, work on making the pain in the shoulder socket bearable, and prevent atrophy of muscles.

I’m taking frequent breaks throughout my day, not typing much beyond short conversational bursts, but not being able to let my brain pour its thoughts out is rather distressing.

That leads to the following:

I’m considering doing an audiobook-like reading of a couple of my stories as something to upload and share with you all.

I’d like your honest opinion on the idea.

I’ll likely redo the reading for Chemical Assistance (original version is over on FurAffinity, here), and perhaps Uncoiled, Heavenward.


Time to ice and medicate.



Happy Crimbo.

Hey folks. I’m aware the day is mostly over, but still, I figure that I’d wish people a Happy Crimbo (or whichever holiday you follow-day here).

Spent a little time in and out of the hospital over the past week, but I am starting to do much better. So much so that I got in the kitchen and cooked last night.

This here is a picture of the spicy chicken, cauliflower, and squash tacos I had for lunch today, with thanks to HelloFresh for the base of this. HelloFresh started me on the path with spicy cauliflower and squash tacos with yogurt crema. A local grocery store happened to have chicken skins with meat (that was actually much more meat than skin), which I breaded with flour and garlic instant potatoes, covered with garlic powder, and pan fried until crispy. I let that cool, sliced the meat up into bite size pieces, and proceeded to coat that with about three tablespoons of Huy Fong Foods’ Sambal Oelek.

Chicken, cauliflower, and squash went onto the soft tortilla that had yogurt crema waiting to embrace it, followed by parsley and feta, and a splash of lemon juice.

Better than your Crimbo dinner, that’s for sure. 😉

Here’s hoping that with the new year rolling around, I’ll have more things done and ready to go.

Take care, folks. 🙂

Note: The HelloFresh link above is a referral link. If you try it out with my referral code, it grants $40 off your first box, but can’t be used in conjunction with another coupon code. This code also helps me by giving me a credit for sending new faces their way. Please feel free to try it out!


Movement, Unboxing, Thought Processes.

As some of you who follow me elseweb may know, I just moved a couple of weeks ago across a river to another city.

It’s put me way down on things. I’ve not written much of anything for myself, nor have I worked on the conversion of Partners to ePub. I occasionally manage to open A Whisper of Technology over in Nimble Writer and review where I am. From time to time, I get to add a paragraph to it. It’s slowly coming along, and I’d like to get it to 5,760 words before I publish it. That should be a couple of chapters more from where I am.

I also found one prototype story I started years prior, and must’ve shoved it into Google Docs. It has loose ties to the Chronoverse and touches on a bit of My Little Pony. It involves a metreshifta — a chronometric event where Time recedes away from a given point, rendering the area dead, replete with deadsand and a cascading loss of life, followed by a massive outswelling of Time, infused by a shift which causes a spike of Time almost as strong and toxic as flying directly into the core of the Chronoverse.

Metreshiftae often bend the fabric of time enough to displace anything living caught within its radius, placing it somewhere within any universe. Unlike most universe crossover stories I’ve read within the MLP fandom, this won’t be the typical ‘human in Equestria’ tale, nor would it unlock some ancient and foretold evil. It’s just gonna be a machine that’s breached and transcended Time and Space, misplaced and learning how to function.

I’m also hoping that whatever update is coming for Nimble Writer fixes my main gripes about working with it. I’m fine with Markdown. What I’m not liking is its ePub handling, and how tricky Markdown can be when trying to edit things in a specific way. I’m nearly fed up enough to see about exporting what I have of Partners, and shoving it into Google Docs of all places, since it appears to have ePub production facilities now. If it makes the task easier, then it makes the task easier. I’d love to have this converted by Christmas, so I can offer it to its author as something he can share with his readers.

Once that’s done, I can ask my lone Patreon contributor if there’s something she’d like me to work on, because she’s been kind enough to contribute and give me a bit of self-worth as a wordsmith.

For now, though, I need to go through my still packed boxes and find some pills.


A brief rant on cellular connectivity.

I promise to keep this brief, because it doesn’t quite fit the theme I wanted to set here, and yet it does have an effect on me.

Modern tech is designed to be convenient, with services delivered often at the press of a button.

I’m not getting this out of my mobile carrier. For the last two months, I’ve been working in a college town, right outside of the university campus, and I’ve had super poor signal that won’t let me place or receive calls, or no signal at all, so everything goes to voicemail. I complained audibly enough that a master ticket was opened, and I’m certain that I have coworkers that contributed to that ticket as well.

This is mainly important because texting or calling my mobile is something that is critically needed with me having been in the middle of a housing search. I can’t be reached for ten hours of my day. This wouldn’t be bad if I worked a schedule that gave me a couple of business hours on either end of the day, but I work those very business hours. So I must call during my lunch, which is painfully short at 30 minutes. I get a choice: bike out of the bad signal to place and receive calls (at least quarter mile each way), hope that the Xfinity access point is up and strong enough to allow wi-fi calling, or don’t bother until the end of day.

I’d change networks, but right now, a network change means I’ll have to accept an Android or iOS device. BlackBerry announced the death of their hardware division. I wouldn’t trust the existing hardware to get proper maintenance, as result. Windows 10 Mobile, on the other hand, isn’t getting a lot of love hardware-wise. Going to VZW yields one phone: Lumia 735. Pretty phone. I have one. Going to AT&T yields a couple of phones, but a ridiculous purchasing requirement. 30 month device payment? Nope. Sprint has no Windows 10 Mobile devices.

This frustrates me, and yet my carrier knows they have me by the balls, based on phone preference.

This sucks.