personal random nonsense


I’ve decided to adjust my sleep schedule.

See, until today I’ve been getting roughly 8.5 hours of sleep a night. Every night. I set an alarm, and Google has a nice bedtime mode thing that reminds me when it’s time to sleep. I generally have a “no screens” rule in my bedroom which I routinely break thanks to TikTok, but still don’t spend much more than 15-30 min a night scrolling through the funnies. I can safely say that I get around 8-9 hours of sleep a night.

Is that too much? Maybe. I’ve been running on the hypothesis that I personally need more sleep because I’m a tall guy. To me, more body mass = more hours of sleep required to replenish my energy stores. That makes sense, right?1Also, I’m a Taurus. But I watched this video recently:

In short, one of the myths centers around the amount of sleep you get a night. Dr. Lieberman says that most people get around 7 hours of sleep per night and are doing fine. So now I’m thinking: maybe I sleep too much! I’ve decided to adjust my alarm to 7 hours a night to test this updated hypothesis.

Obviously there is no definitive answer to the sleep question, and not everyone gets the same amount of sleep every night due to all sorts of factors. But I’m in a position where I usually get the same amount every night and I’d like to see how I work on less.

The schedule was 10:30pm – 7:00am. Now it’s 11:00pm – 6:00am. I could do 12-7 but I’m not a huge fan of staying up late. I used to be an insomniac/night owl but the older I get, the more I enjoy the sunrise and the quiet hours of the morning. So we’ll see if I enjoy the winter darkness for an extra hour. Hell, I might even do a workout in the morning or something!

I will say that my 8.5 hours of sleep has resulted in me often waking up in the middle of a dream, which is not ideal. But Sleep Cycle kept “naturally” waking me up at around 7-7:05am, which I think was more Jowers somehow making the app wake me up than it was me actually waking up naturally. She’s a smart cat, when it comes to getting food.

On the other hand, I’ve slept 10 hours before and woken up fine, so who knows. I think the optimal amount of sleep is “what feels right when you don’t have an alarm clock.”

That’s all. Just something to think about re: your sleep schedule. I’ll let you know how well it goes.

  • 1
    Also, I’m a Taurus.
personal random nonsense

Coffee Talk

Last night I found my lil mini French press, which brews but one cup at a time! and this morning I used it to make coffee. My normal, to-go method is pour over. My reasoning is thus: out of all the methods one can use to make coffee1That don’t include a machine., pour over is the easiest. All you do is grind the beans, heat the water, put the grounds in the cup with the paper strainer, pour the hot water over the grounds, the end. You got coffee.

But recently I’ve been watching James Hoffman‘s coffee videos on YouTube, specifically one that I can’t find right now2Side note: James’s videos are great. He is a very pleasant sounding man and he is rigorous with his research and experiments. Highly recommend if you’re into coffee.. The gist was that the finer the coffee is ground, the better it tastes in immersion brewing (i.e., French press) vs filtration brewing (i.e., pour over). The problem with filtration brewing is that when the coffee grounds are too finely grounded, water makes a channel in the grounds which prevents it from thoroughly steeping in all the grounds. I’m saying grounds a lot. Water is super lazy and once a channel opens up for it to travel through, it just does it. Immersion brewing, on the other hand, means that all the grounds are immersed in the water and thus you get a more even brew.

At this point you’re probably thinking, “Josh, buddy, you said that pour overs were super easy, but this immersion brewing sounds even easier!” Well the problem with immersion brewing is time. You have to time the immersion. Too short and the brew is weak. Too long and the brew starts to taste like an ashtray. The latter is not as big a deal if you add things to your coffee, like cream and sugar, but if you’re a black coffee drinker like myself, it makes a huge difference.

Pour over, on the other hand, you just pour and let it strain. There are variables to consider, yes, but none of them are time related. It’s more temperature based, for me at least.

Since I hadn’t had a French press coffee in a long time, I made one this morning. Since my lil guy only makes about 8oz of coffee when done, I ran it twice, using the same grounds both times. I also paid absolutely no attention to any of the rules because, in my mind at the time, it was easy: grind, pour into French press, add hot water, stir for about 30 seconds, let steep for four and a half minutes. But I think I screwed a couple of key factors up.

First, brew time should’ve been a minute less, I think. Also, according to Stumptown’s French press brew guide3I think this would make a decent band name, by the way., you should heat the glass with hot water first to have a more stable extraction temperature. I didn’t do that and I think the brew suffered a bit from it. Nothing that, again, would come through if you added milk and/or sugar, but straight black, it was definitely more on the ashy side.

Somehow, I also had a lot of fine grounds in the bottom of my cup, something that never happens with filters because, well … they’re filters. So that was annoying. That might have also been caused by me brewing twice with the same grounds; something something the grounds disintegrated further into finer bits. Drinking the filtery little fine grounds is kind of gross, so I just had to toss the bottom bit of my coffee. Oh well.

Speaking of lil, I went for a lil run today. Not even with the C25k app, just a 5 minute run followed by a couple of short jogs. Just to test out my legs, you know. Results: still kind of tense. I’m not sure entirely what’s going on. They’ll feel fine before the run, they felt fine for about half of the 5 minute run, and then my shins started to feel tense again. I’m sure it’s something like shin splints caused by that damnable Mt. Tabor run. The fact that it goes away and mostly stays away when I’m not running is a good sign, and I’ll just keep that going by not doing any significant runs until my next 5k in two weeks. Just long walks to keep the circulation going!

That was my running update on running.

  • 1
    That don’t include a machine.
  • 2
    Side note: James’s videos are great. He is a very pleasant sounding man and he is rigorous with his research and experiments. Highly recommend if you’re into coffee.
  • 3
    I think this would make a decent band name, by the way.
betterment dungeons & dragons personal random nonsense

Musings on a Monday

More Running

It’s raining in Portland. What can you do. I am resting a bit from running because I think I overdid it and my lower legs weren’t happy with me when I started week five of the C25k program. A significant uphill 5k run after only four weeks of 5k training will do that to a person. Makes me anxious though; I’m concerned that I will slip back into a sedentary lifestyle. Let me show you a picture:

pic of my puffy ass feet from june 2021
This has become a foot fetish blog.

Those are my feet, in a photo taken in June of 2021.1Fun fact: I don’t have this photo in my personal backups, probably because I didn’t want to keep a photo of my puffy feet. But I happened upon it while scrolling through my Google Photos backup online. Google, it never forgets. The reason why I took this photo is because I looked down at my feet and was like, “Hey, my feet are, like, very puffy right now, maybe I should take a photo to show a doctor.” I didn’t end up doing that. The puffiness of my feet has gone down considerably since last year, especially in the last couple of months because, you guessed it, exercise. They’re basically unpuffy at this point. Humblebrag. I ate a lot of salty foods and hardly moved a year and a half ago. Now, I eat salty foods but at least I get up and walk around to get the circulation of fluids going.

So, I’m concerned about being sedentary again.

I tried running again today and failed halfway through. My shins and feet are just telling me to take a break. So I will, even though it is discouraging. I have to break though because I have another 5k to run in two weeks, which I simply will not be able to complete if I don’t rest. So, I rest. I’m worried about sliding back into bad habits, but I’m also somewhat confident that I won’t do that. These aren’t my Depression Days, they’re more like me … Very Contemplative Days. The days where I find things depressing in the same way one would find a painting beautiful: recognizing that I am not the painting.


We’re playing D&D tonight, starting the second chapter of my Portlandia game. This is a game where all the ice has melted following a nuclear war2Yes, I know that nuclear war would cause a nuclear winter. In this version the bombs eroded the ozone layer and accelerated global warming. Just deal with it. It’s fantasy! and the sea levels rose about 200ft. Portland and the surrounding area are islands separated by shallow seas. Around 2,000 years have passed since the Lost War and for some reason, the vibe is “western.” Chapter One was supposed to be just a couple of sessions but ended up being twelve. One of those sessions was streamed on Twitch, which was fun and also felt strangely like doing a play; I felt that nervous preshow energy, you know?

This first session tonight I’m bringing in my friend Kati as a guest. Kati is an old friend. That is an understatement, but I don’t really want to get into the tides that are our friendship because it’s mostly embarrassing on my end. It’s one of those larger issues of mine that I am very glad I’ve been to therapy to work on. Maybe a blog for another day. But I’m glad she was eager to play in my game. She used to work at Wizards of the Coast. She is very popular and cool and I feel like I’m bringing, like, Tom Hanks to play at my softball game or something.

It’s good to have D&D to fall back on these days. I honestly am not quite sure where I would be now without it, after the pandemic hit. I think I would feel much more alone and sad.

Well, I was going to write more and got sidetracked. Maybe tomorrow!

  • 1
    Fun fact: I don’t have this photo in my personal backups, probably because I didn’t want to keep a photo of my puffy feet. But I happened upon it while scrolling through my Google Photos backup online. Google, it never forgets.
  • 2
    Yes, I know that nuclear war would cause a nuclear winter. In this version the bombs eroded the ozone layer and accelerated global warming. Just deal with it. It’s fantasy!
random nonsense

Mastodon is Not Nicoderm

It’s Monday, the Monday after a full week of Elon Musk owning Twitter. I deactivated my Twitter account on a whim after just kind of being done with it. Not my account, per se, but the vibe of Twitter in general. It’s just off. It’s bad. The sociological decay rate of social media seems to put the Best By date around 10-15 years after its inception. So, I once again signed up to Mastodon, after deleting my previous two attempts and then realizing that I can’t get my old usernames back. Oh well, who cares.

A lot of Mastodon now is reactive: people reacting to Twitter, mostly. It’s not really a society as it is a shared trauma experience, one where we’ve all collectively escaped from our abuser and are now qualifying ourselves in reaction to that. It’s annoying, is what I’m saying.

This Monday, I feel the itch. The itch to tweet. To say something dumb on Twitter. I’ve tried on Mastodon:

This is what I would call a Quintessential Josh Tweet. A QJT. Something dumb that would pop up in my head and that I’d type out on Twitter as fast as humanly possible. This is Weird Twitter. My type of people are people who would see this tweet and appreciate the humor. They don’t have to laugh, just appreciate.

But Mastodon doesn’t scratch that itch, for two reasons: one, I don’t know enough people there. That’s fair, I just started up again. And two, this is not what I’m seeing on my timeline. This one’s a little more difficult to fix. You have to find the right people. But in a way, I don’t want to find the right people. I don’t want to join a “comedy” instance because then it’s all people trying to be comedians. Plus, as Mastodonians continue to remind us, instances don’t even matter because you can see other people’s posts1I refuse to call them toots. across all instances. Fans and friends, that’s all I want. And not even “fans” necessarily, more like … appreciaters.

Mastodon is a poor nicotine patch for Twitter, despite all the tech folks trying to convince us that it is. Decentralization is good perhaps but for social media? The concept of “decentralizing” a thing where the point is for people to come together doesn’t make much sense to me. I read a post from someone saying that they should rename “instances” to “communities” … like Google+, which failed. I think Google+ failed in part because a social media concept like Twitter–fast paced, short messages–wants to relate to people in a general sense, rather than a specific, community sense. In other words, you don’t want to have to negotiate a bunch of community “threads” to find things that you want to read. Plus, you can already create your community on Twitter by curating who you follow. Now you want me to split that again into communities?

There’s a vast, vast difference between what people in tech think social media should look like, and how the general populace operates social media. Tech wants to bring in features, but most people want the app to be as simple as possible. People don’t want to know about instances. They just want to post things and read things, and they want to know how to block people. Mastodon is pretty much this simple, it’s just that the users are making things confusing by constantly elaborating on stuff that I don’t care about. I don’t really care about instances; I do care about Mastodon being able to quickly and effectively “sever the limb” of alt-right/extremist instances. But I want no part of that. I just want to read and post things, and I want the things I read to be things I like, not people constantly telling me how great Mastodon is and all the multitudinous things I can do with it.

Thankfully, Elon Musk is absolutely fucking up when it comes to running Twitter, which is delightfully hilarious in a way. Guy’s like a five year old who got handed a $1,000 camera and thinks he’s going to take Pulitzer Prize winning photographs with it, but then the first photo we see is just a blurry dog’s anus. “I did it!” he cries. “Give me my Pulitzer now.”

Something makes me think this is one big misguided attempt to try and get Grimes back. “Look, Grimes, I bought Twitter!” he types into his phone. Sends text. Is left on read.

I think Mastodon will mellow out over the next few weeks as the adrenaline of leaving Twitter wears off and everyone realizes it’s just another app. They’re all just apps. Meaningless, ultimately. Get food, get sleep, procreate to extend the life of the species. Then very far down the list: check social media accounts.

  • 1
    I refuse to call them toots.
personal random nonsense

Detaching Writing from Content Creation

I’m in the hobby of making stuff. Not the business. I’m terrible at the business stuff. I don’t know how people do it. “You built that entire chair? And somebody bought it? That’s a goddamn miracle.”

No, I make things and then haphazardly try to get people to check them out. The things are various levels of “good”; some of the things could be better, some of the things could be worse. But I’m always making something. I can’t help it. It’s kind of a burden, honestly. I can’t not create things. “Ohhh, such a probleeemm” you sarcastically say to me. But it’s true. I wish I could just not make stuff, but my brain doesn’t work that way. It’s like Michelangelo1A man who is just like me in terms of creativity, not in the “gay and possibly asexual” way. staring at a big chunk of marble and being like, “I can make David out of that.” Except for me, the chunk of marble is “A foggy void inside my brain” and the David is “A podcast” or “A song” or “Some poetry.”

The problem is that I have no discipline. Creations slough off of my brain like old skin, festering on the ground, waiting for a vacuum. I could be using a skin care routine, but no, I just let the dry stuff waft away on the winter breeze. Twitter does not help this! Twitter is the place where you say whatever you want into a void that their PR team has convinced you is actually reading your dumb shit. It’s the textual equivalent of your grandmother sitting you down to watch blurry slides of her trip to Italy from 1952, except instead of the beautiful Tuscan landscape, it’s every single thing everyone has ever thought, ever, times 20.

Can you tell this is a blog about me convincing myself to delete my Twitter account?

Every Reddit thread about social media has like five guys who are like, “I deleted all my social media ten years ago and I’ve never felt better.” They type that on Was life better before social media? No, and if anyone tells you different they’re lying. Life has always been the same. The same amount of bullshit, the same amount of joy. It’s a bell curve. It’s this:

Some people are slightly left of the bell curve, some people are slightly right, but everybody’s gotta shit, you know what I mean?

So the question is: does social media make life worse? Or does life make life worse?

Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion dollars. In comparison, 44 billion seconds is 1,394 years. You know what happened in 1394 AD? Richard II started giving Geoffrey Chaucer 20 pounds a year for the rest of his life for being a diplomat. You know how much those 20 pounds are now? £19,924, or $22,694 US dollars. What does that have to do with any of this. Nothing! I just thought it was neat.2It’s also amazing that the Bank of England has inflation values from all the way back to 1209. I’m getting distracted! Anyway, Elon, this guy, this fuckin’ guy, likely bought Twitter for way more than it was worth. And now he’s going to charge $8/month for Twitter Blue, which he knocked down from $20 because Stephen King complained. It makes me realize that businesses don’t always tank because people want them to–sometimes they tank because the guy who bought the business is a fucking idiot.

So here’s the thing: Twitter is content creation. It is meant for you to churn out content, so that people will read it, so you will see more advertising, so the advertisers and Twitter will make more money. Content creation is a farm meant to grow food for rich people. And you’re the lowly serf who thinks your TikTok carrot will make a difference in the pile of billions of carrots. Art is not an assembly line. Content creation dilutes good art. The necessity for people to constantly make TikTok videos or YouTube videos or podcasts, etc, ruins the lot of it. Imagine is Michelangelo made a new statue every day. You think the quality of those statues would go down?

This is an argument toward me deleting Twitter. And I think it’s winning. People need time to think, to grow, to write and edit and delete. And then release. We’re too inundated with content creation, and younger generations are indoctrinated to believe that the internet is content creation. But it’s not. It’s content consumption. It’s the snake eating its own tail. And it’s all ultimately meaningless. It’s jokes and cats falling off TVs and it’s the most important thing and the least important thing at the exact same time. Social superposition. Quantum physics in macro.

So what is it? Do we continue feeding the content creation monster? Or do we divest ourselves of these apps and go outside and look at a tree?

  • 1
    A man who is just like me in terms of creativity, not in the “gay and possibly asexual” way.
  • 2
    It’s also amazing that the Bank of England has inflation values from all the way back to 1209. I’m getting distracted!
random nonsense

some thoughts concerning the latest game of thrones episode

I’ve never done this before but goddammit I have thoughts. SPOILERS, obviously. (this is for S7E4, for when future me reads this and is like “WTF is wrong with me?”)

  • Jaime Fucking Lannister. Okay walk with me here. Here’s a guy, finest swordsman in Westeros, right, gets his fucking hand chopped off so early in the series I can’t even remember how good of a swordsman he was purported to be. This guy’s gone through some shit, alright? So if he fucking dies from drowning, I will, I don’t know, I’ll fucking move to Greenland, I don’t even know. If the Hound can end up alive, so can Jaime. (Also I presume Bronn or Dickon *giggle* saved him and will drag him to shore, where Dany will try to kill him but then Tyrion will be like “No my queen” and maybe they hold him hostage against Cersei who’s like “I don’t care about him, just kill him” and then maybe they kill him and THAT’S the saddest thing ever.) My point is, Jaime keeps getting shit on and I don’t like it.
  • I am not a Dany fan. I’m House Stark 100%, probably because I come from a lower middle class-to-downright poor family, and I suspect the Starks are like the “good ol’ boys” of Westeros, relatable by virtue of their northern England dialect. So watching Bronn shoot that fucking dragon was the best. I literally was saying “Shoot that dragon” as I watched the episode. Now look: watching Dany wander Essos for however many seasons we’re on now (12? 34?) meant a lot of buildup with little payoff, until now. Watching the Emo Riders of Rohan attack the Lannister troop was awesome, partially because–despite being told earlier in the episode–I didn’t expect Dany to come in on a dragon. I dug this because, again, she’s been thirsting for this for years and then everyone’s like “No you shouldn’t burn everyone up with dragons” and she’s like, “Why the hell else would I have dragons then, huh?” I think her ultimate weakness, though, is that I don’t think she can control what the dragons specifically can do unless she’s riding one of them, which means whenever she needs precision work it means she is vulnerable because she’s on it. But man when Bronn had that ballista out I was like Fuck Yeah Bronn you shoot the shit out of that dragon. (However, why did they have the ballista in the first place? Were they transporting it? Or were they just like “We better have this just in case”?)
  • It also was dumb of Jaime to charge a dragon but it was also kind of cool.
  • Davos Seaworth is the Yamcha of the GoT universe. I had mentioned this on Facebook before, but this show is turning into DBZ in the sense that you’ve got the big players (Jon Snow, Cersei, etc) making big moves, and then you have these people that had big roles who are falling by the wayside. Like Brienne, used to be major but now she’s like fucking Piccolo. And if that’s the case then Arya’s Gohan. Sort of. Just go with me on this. Tyrion is Krillin but only because he’s short.
  • I was really hoping that when Missandei was getting all smiley about the Unsullied, Dany would be like “What’s up with you?” and Missandei would say, “Oh nothing, just that Grey Worm ate me out like Chinese takeout the other night and it was amazing.” Would’ve been a nice bonding moment between them.
  • Where the hell is Jon Snow going to get all the people to mine that dragon glass? Also, dragon glass is just obsidian, right? If so, is obsidian in Westeros magical or something? I’m still unclear on that.
  • For real when Theon and Jon Snow met I was like, “I can’t even remember if Jon hates Theon or not.”
  • So one of Dany’s dragons is named Drogon? How did I miss that? It’s like, “Hey, that’s a beautiful cat, what’s her name?” “Cot.” “Cot? Your cat’s name is Cot?” “Yeah.” “Well okay.”
  • “What’s your dog’s name?” “Dag.”
  • “Lovely horse.” “Thanks, his name is Harse.”
  • I wonder if Aiden Gillen knows that his Littlefinger voice is quite possibly one of the most grating voices ever? I’m sure he does. I can barely listen to that guy because of his voice. He sounds like he’s constantly holding in pot smoke. Or like he’s constantly playing the bassoon but there’s no instrument there. He’s constantly doing “stage whisper.” Guy needs to use his diaphragm.
  • Jon’s like “Hey Dany there are some cave drawings in here and fucking Da Vinci drew this portrait of the Night King by the way.” I mean compare it to this cave painting we did thousands of years ago, of what appear to be a bunch of ETs hanging out with some bulls. I know the Children of the Corn Forest are supposed to be some kind of magical beings but did they study at the Rhode Island School of Design or someshit?
  • Brandon Stark is like that guy in high school who did shrooms one time and from that moment on became a scholar on mycology. You’d be like, “Hey Greg you wanna go to the beach party this weekend?” and he’d calmly say, “No, I must tend to my fungi,” and then occasionally you’d see him tripping at the grocery store, staring at the frozen peas like they were telling him secrets.