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DataPacRat

DataPacRat / Niagara, Canada

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Good News Everyone; My Number Crossed Another Arbitrary Threshold

As of today's weigh-in, my BMI is down to 24.7, down from a high of 40.8 a year and a half ago, meaning I am officially no longer overweight. I plan to celebrate with some curry pizzas. There were a number of factors that contributed. One that comes to mind is that when I started, I guessed that I…

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How do you mentally recharge?

When your energy's gotten low, And your thoughts are running slow, How do you regain the boons, Of owning all your mental spoons? Do you knit new pairs of socks? Do you watch cute vids of fox? Or maybe view bright-hued cartoons? Perhaps you sleep 'til after noon? Or, perchance, what helps you most,…

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Sequelitis

I've been trying to focus my attention on other things the last few days: manga, podcasts, news, and other such distractions. But I'll put it this way; I just spent the last two hours with a sleep-mask over my eyes and a desktop fan as a white-noise generator, and ended up thinking up about one and…

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Just finished a first draft of a novel... any advice on what to do next?

At the end of last month, I started a mid-year NaNoWriMo thing, to start regaining some decent writing habits by writing a terrible novel. (The point being to get a novel written; if it's not quite as bad as all that, so much the better.) It's relatively hard SF, with a number of furry characters;…

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Anyone want to beta-read a terrible novel?

Hello, world; A couple of weeks ago, I finally felt up to getting back into the writing habit. To get back into having a decent writing process, I started doing a mid-year NaNoWriMo thing, knowing that the results were going to be terrible, and being comfortable with that fact. I just broke 30,000…

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"I am not a temporarily-embarrassed millionaire."

I'm getting close to being in the writing habit again. For the last while, I've been jotting down notes and ideas; I have some thoughts on a protagonist, some themes (see journal's title for one), a cobbled-together selection of worldbuilding tropes, and the start of a plot. I also have a few thoug…

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Do Your Dreams Have Consistent Geography?

A good portion of my dreams take place in what's recognizably a city I've spent forty years, more or less, wandering through... but not /quite/ any version of the city I've ever known. For example, whenever I dream about a particular road that crosses a railway, in my dreams that road always goes o…

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Good News, Everyone - My Numbers Crossed An Arbitrary Threshold!

I do the lifelog thing, keeping track of whatever personal numbers are easy to keep track of and that my future self might find interesting. Today, one of those numbers has finally dropped all the way down to 29.9... ... which means that I am, officially, no longer "obese"; I am merely "overweight"…

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The Writing Bug Bit

I just finished assembling 2,765 words of prose, over the last couple of hours. I've spent the last few days thinking about various details of the latest variant of the character/fursona in my gallery, it's all first-draft stuff, and it's more science-fiction background first-person narrative infod…

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Philosophical Rambling: "Ten to the n"

One of the ideas I've known about for years, and have found handy more than once, is dividing learning up into two types: "packing" and "mapping". Packing is taking a factoid and remembering it, and another, and another, until you've got lots and lots of individual facts you can look up; mapping is…

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Plushies!

Okay, it looks like I'm not quite done with the "Me me me!" journals. :) Using the rough definition of 'soft surface, soft filling, probably animal-shaped', I just ran a head-count, and I've got 52 of the things in my bedroom, assuming I didn't miss any. (Plus assorted hard-plastic toys, finger pup…

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Worldbuilding: Coming up with a Better Future

I'm starting to get that old itch to start writing again... I'm trying to identify a pile of details for a setting where the people are notably better off than in the present, but can still be recognized as being a future iteration of present-day society. (I may not know how any of these would actu…

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Four Hundred Eighteen RSS feeds

I've taken my full list of feeds in RSSOwlnix ( https://github.com/Xyrio/RSSOwlnix ), trimmed out any that are particularly personal or that I can think of some other reason not to post, and stuffed the resulting list at https://www.datapacrat.com/temp/rssowl-trimmed-2020-04-08.opml , for anyone to…

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Some Collections of Podcasts

I don't listen to /every/ episode of every podcast as they come out, but my phone's new SD card has more than enough space to just grab 'em all anyway, letting me binge whenever I feel like. My top recommendations - the ones I /do/ listen to every episode immediately - are The Skeptic's Guide to th…

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Meatspace Journalling

A habit I've acquired and developed, which might be worth considering... A few years ago, I was in a sleep study, in which I had to keep a record of my sleeping habits. While the study's long over, I kept on keeping track, and started throwing in more things. These days, a typical day's entry looks…

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My Current Computing & Info Setup

In case anyone reading this might find something useful to add to their own approach... Main Hardware: Thinkpad laptop from 2010, upgraded to max RAM and a 1 TB HD. Laptop lid: Covered in a protective vinyl sticker, decorated with a starfield. External HDs: A couple of 4 TB drives, mostly storing t…

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Some of my recent YouTube watches

A complete and accurate depiction of human nature in 3 minutes 10 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amNF_F6oeRU . :) Four of Evelyn Lambart's shorts for the National Film Board: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhGkCMgG-4A , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQoeP8V5u2M , https://www.youtube.co…

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Current & Local Events, in the days of COVID-19

Up here in Ontario, I was lucky enough to get wind of the exponential curve fairly early, so I was able to stock up on essentials before the hoarding stripped any shelves, and to offer suggestions to my family to do likewise. And, keeping an eye on potential disruptions to supply chains, such as kn…

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Coveting

I'm still struggling to escape the black dog of long-term depression, and as dormant parts of my psyche are gradually reviving, some odd results arise. For the first time in a very long time, today I found myself /wanting/ a thing. Usually, I'm quite content with what I have, and classically stoic…

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A Flash of Colour in the Mind

Some say to remember that the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. And some say that every time you call up a memory, you change it. But here's the best I can express what remains of a split-second of thought earlier today: I was enjoying reading a classic SF novel for the first time, and a…

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Who wants to beta-read a story?

I have one story idea that I've been thinking about enough that I'm willing to try writing it up (now that I'm up to doing, er, anything). I've had some good experiences in the past with beta-readers providing useful and constructive criticism; is anyone willing to give it a try? If so, drop a repl…

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Silence and the lack thereof

Depression sucks. Having less of it sucks less. Sometimes, light therapy helps. I can't promise anything, but I'm doing better than I have been for a while, and with some effort and luck, I'll be able to share a few interesting ideas. To start with, I commissioned tailsteak tailsteak for a six-piec…

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Character Sheet of Myself

While I'm waiting for my latest depressive bout to fade away, I was recently reminded of GURPS, and decided to throw together a character sheet of myself. On the off-chance that somebody wants a fully-fleshed NPC, here it is. This version of the sheet is for a cinematic setting, roughly equivalent…

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My only political journal, I hope.

Nazis are bad, mmkay? Godwin (of Godwin's Law) recently tweeted at https://twitter.com/sfmnemonic/status/896884949634232320 : "By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I'm with you." There's an old saying: Avoid rather than check, Check rather than harm, Harm rather than mai…

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Over the Hump, and Starting a Return to Normality

There are some downsides to being a data pack-rat, as well as the obvious up-sides. I'm in the process of moving to a new house, and the last month has pretty much been dedicated to that project - everything from a new set of floorboards being laid down to finding the best stores near the new place…

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Happy 20th Annifursery!

As best as I can figure, it's been twenty years since I was someone who didn't quite know what I'd found so interesting about bootleg Brian O'Connell GIFs downlowded through dial-up BBSes, to a full-fledged member of the online furry community who was participating in FurryMUCK, among other online…

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Transitioning to a New Fursona

Six years is an eternity, in Internet Time. It was in early 2011 when I finished assembling the pieces of a Second Life avatar with a woman's body, a rat's head, white fur, and blue spiky hair. Within a few months, I'd commissioned pictures of her; within a few years, I built an entire science-fict…

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The Pack-Rat Unloads

Yesterday was... a day. Each day for a week or three, I've been hauling some books down from my spare-bedroom-turned-library, and boxing and bagging them up. (Speed limited thanks to dust and asthma.) Yesterday they finally went out my door, to a van, and to a local used-book-store dealer. I consci…

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My Official, Scientificy Report on Rose-Coloured Glasses

As you may recall, almost three months ago, I got myself a pair of glasses with red-tinted lenses. My purpose, other than being able to make jokes about literally looking at things through rose-coloured glasses, was to try to improve my sleep by applying the theory that limiting exposure to blue li…

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Looks like I'm moving this year.

I've lived where I am now since around '99-'00. (... Which is probably longer than some members of FA have been alive.) Not the best place in the world, but not the worst, and I've gotten used to it. Due to complicated family and financial stuff, though, most likely, by the end of the year, I'm goi…

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Man, constant exhaustion sucks.

Caution: Personal complaining without purpose. Over the years, I've gotten used to occasional bouts of stronger-than-usual depression, and have adapted myself to cope with them. A few days of having no interest in doing anything, extra sleeping, doing the mental equivalent of eating comfort food by…

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My life: Non-24-hour sleep/wake phase disorder

I've spent today utterly exhausted - not just in a sleepy sense, but unable to muster the effort to do my post-wake-up exercises, or bother to step outside (let alone take a walk), or even stand up for ten minutes in the kitchen to make a meal. I spent some of my monthly splurge money on ordering i…

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Seeking artists for refsheet, quick comics, etc.

I've come up with an idea that I'd like to put together a few different perspectives on before I make it public. I have a limited budget and a few different pictures I'm aiming for to spread that budget between, but some of those images will be little more than talking heads; so if you're up for a…

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Any Second Life content-makers out there?

I like the idea of Second Life, of being able to build 3D environments, and walk around and interact with them. What I don't like is that if one particular company goes bust, all the content in SL will vanish with it. Thus, I've started toying with a version of Second Life that doesn't rely on any…

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Red Eyes At Night, Sleeper's Delight?

It's said that cutting down on the amount of blue light your eyes see before you try to fall asleep can help you get to sleep faster. I've been using an RGB light bulb set to 'red' ( http://www.dx.com/p/marsing-r3-e27-3w-200lm-cob-led-rgb-bulb-w-remote-control-white-90-260v-331312 ) and the Redshif…

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NaNoWriMo is over, but the writing goes on

November has come and gone, and while I've written 57,000 words for "Extracts" ( https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jPU6QKEohcrw6l6O3SxorIxf2Tnq54h36LtQO6Qv86w/edit ), I haven't finished writing the story. I had a bit of a hiatus due to yet another bout of depression, but I wrote a couple of hundr…

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Attempting NaNoWriMo: Extracts

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jPU6QKEohcrw6l6O3SxorIxf2Tnq54h36LtQO6Qv86w/edit Main goal: Resume habit of writing narrative daily. Secondary goal: Explore a future I wouldn't want to live in. Have managed three days of meeting word-count goal. Am making much up as I go, with a few particular…

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Still Alive

Long story short, after some build-up, about a week ago I was in the hospital, with ambulance ride and IV drip and everything; and I've spent most of the week since then recovering through sleeping. (Best guess: virus, complicated by not being able to keep any calories down.) Plan for this week: Ca…

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My, Myself, and I in Weirdtopia

It took a bit of effort to arrange for a conversation with Junior with what I judged to be the minimally acceptable level of privacy. Fortunately, I was a forward-looking prepper, and had done most of the necessary work before I'd even made the copy that had been activated and turned into him; some…

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Imprisoned in Weirdtopia

BosWash's correctional system is practically unrecognizably alien to someone born in the twentieth century. Cause and effect is, as ever, hard to trace; but my best guess is that around the time all the anti-oligarchical measures were being taken, one of the more significant ones was replacing the…

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Family Matters in Weirdtopia

"Hello again, Your Honour. As this court system is somewhat less formal than the one I'm used to, I'm unsure whether or not this would be appropriate, but I would like your permission to take a few moments to describe recent events from my own point of view, which I hope will save some of the court…

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Life and Death in Weirdtopia

"I want to set a few things straight, so I'm going to describe the whole series of events as I experienced them. "I'd gone to the office building to meet with someone who could help me through some of the more Byzantine paperwork you've put together, here in The Future. Specifically, I was looking…

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Politics in Weirdtopia

"... I've been doing some reading, and some reading between the lines based on my previous models of reality. As best as I can tell, while I was dead, technology advanced to where it solved a social problem that wasn't even thought of in terms of a 'solvable problem' before I died. Simplifying a wh…

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Education in Weirdtopia

My caseworker, Jerome, was considerate enough to express his desire to meet through a medium I was familiar and comfortable with - email - instead of any of the more recent variations on instant messaging. I'd actually died some time after the creation of IRC, AIM, and later such protocols, but som…

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Shopping in Weirdtopia

While waiting for some bureaucratic processes to process, I decide to increase my knowledge of what I can spend my apparently minuscule stipend on by leaving my one-bedroom apartment (that's all it is, one bedroom - it's not like I need a bathroom or kitchen) and using public transport to visit a l…

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Waking in Weirdtopia

(Based on the ideas seen in https://www.weasyl.com/journal/104024/a-dream-of-a-story , https://www.weasyl.com/submission/1244501/weirdtopia-s-newest-immigrant , and https://www.weasyl.com/submission/1248090/life-and-voyages-in-weirdtopia .) "Hello? You're awake? Good. The bad news: Yes, you're in a…

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A dream of a story

I definitely spent too much time thinking about skele-rat-bots yesterday. Had a dream. Jotted down as much as I can remember, cleaning it up just a tad to fit into reasonably narrative form. I woke up - not in a hospital bed with no memory of how I got there... but in what looked like a courtroom.…

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I'm still writing

I'm taking a short break from creating "S.I.", and am trying a somewhat different writing exercise: building up an entire story before I start writing any of it, as opposed to the web-serial model I've been trying with S.I. I'm going for hard science fiction, based around the idea of brain-uploads,…

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My cat passed away last night

Punk Rock Girl, aka Punkers, was at least 16 years old. After many years of being a typical crazy cat - waking up and yelling out meows until someone reassured her she wasn't dreaming, being delighted with the windowbox we set up for her, and so on - the last few days she started being tired. Yeste…

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I've been writing.

I've been writing. Last May, I took a piece of advice: "Just start writing". I'm now over 222,222 words into a novel, and counting. You can see my first chapter in my account here, or at the story's eventual permanent future home at http://www.datapacrat.com/SI/ . (Note: The sample chapter there is…

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A story worth reading

The Thousand Year Romance Of Clover The Clever, by Benman Clover the Clever has found a love so pure and true that no pony can stop it. But even the greatest love cannot conquer death itself. So Clover will keep looking until she finds something that can.