Food jail, backups, the death of facebook, etc.

I miss being able to write here on a daily basis on everyday topics that have nothing to do with my writing, in a style not like my writing. It’s caused a problem in that people read stuff here and assume my books are like this writing, and either say I should write more like this in my books (no) or make this blog all absurd stuff like my books (no). I do like when I look back at a random entry from 1997 and see what existential crisis I was having over buying CDs or something.

I’ve been in food jail for the last few weeks. I should be at about 170-175, but I’ve been just north of 200 for most of the year, and need to get past that. So I’m on plan, and I’m hesitant to say which plan, because everyone is a fucking expert, and I don’t need yet another goddamn person telling me I need to intermittently fast. I know what I need to do and what I need to eat, but it’s a slow process. If I could lose a pound a week, there are only 20 weeks left in the year, so that’s almost my goal. But it’s been slow. When I did this ten years ago, I would eat about 1500 calories a day, keep at a good ratio of protein/fat/carbs, and eat clean(ish) and I’d always lose 1-2 pounds a week, without fail. Now, not so much. There’s certainly something metabolic there — higher cortisol from stress, lower testosterone from being ten years older. And when I get too much into reading this junk, diving into various pseudo-science blogs about insulin response and carbohydrate conversion and whatever else, my ultimate response is to say fuck it and start eating again. So I’m going to have to stick with what I’m doing, keep exercising, and slowly carve away at it.

Went to the GP last week, partly because it’s just time for my annual, partly because everyone is dead and dying and there’s some paranoia there. Everything’s fine. All the blood numbers are fine. Blood pressure is borderline, but between the day job and all the caffeine, that’s understandable. I need to lose weight, although this doctor doesn’t hassle me about it that much. I have mixed feelings about fat acceptance – if you’re into it, whatever, but I know I felt better and my numbers were better when I weighed less, so it definitely has health consequences for me, and it’s something I need to work on. Anyway, why am I telling the world all of this?

Spent yesterday burning too many cycles dealing with my backup solution. I have used CrashPlan for years, and they decided to get out of the home game, and told everyone to switch to their pro/small business plan, or go screw. I stuck with it, and then found out my machine hasn’t been backing itself up for weeks. I futzed with their program for a minute, and it said it had to re-upload everything, which would take a week or two. Or maybe it didn’t – their new UI is very opaque and tells you nothing. I spent all day poking around with alternatives. They gave me a “deal” to switch to Carbonite, but the “deal” was roughly twice as expensive. I looked at rolling my own solution, using a tool like Duplicacy to back up my stuff to an Amazon S3 bucket, and then using Wasabi, which is a cheap-o S3 substitute. I couldn’t really get that to work, so I gave up and switched to BackBlaze. I like the UI and the performance of BackBlaze, and the price is right. I am not entirely into the recovery method – instead of just being able to browse the archives remotely, you either request a monster ZIP of your entire archive, or pay to have them ship you a drive. I suppose that is okay for a full-machine failure, but doesn’t address when I need to go back and grab a single file from backup. I do also back up locally, on an external drive and to a NAS, so that’s okay for now I guess.

Facebook keeps removing features. I keep wanting to write some big “the death of Facebook” article but I have no inertia there. The first thing that went – they had this thing, and I can’t remember the name, but it showed you a feed of posts that might interest you, things from feeds friends followed or whatever, just a firehose of things that weren’t in your friends feed. I really liked this idea, because it might show you things out of your orbit that you could then follow. (Instagram does something similar.) So that vanished. Then the news items, which is probably good, because that just raised my blood pressure, but I don’t read news anymore, so that was my only exposure to current events. The “friends activity ticker” also got pulled, which ceased to be useful after I had more than like fifty friends, but still. And now, the concept of friend feeds is gone. I don’t even know that most people knew about this, but you could make lists of friends, like “school friends” and “work friends” and “annoying friends who post too many pictures of their kids” or whatever, and then you could unfollow those people, but go to that feed to see those posts. I found that helpful because when my main feed would get fucked and have a ten-hour gap in posts, I could go to a close friends feed and still read their posts. I think with the combination of news feed fuckery and people just losing interest, FB is going to become MySpace soon. Which is bad, because it’s the only way I sell books (not that I’ve been selling any books lately) and it’s the only way I keep in touch with people, since nobody reads this anymore. And no “what’s next after Facebook” replacement has gained any traction. So, who knows. There was a weird dark ages after college for me, because everyone in college emailed and chatted and was on the computer constantly, and then from the mid-90s to the mid-00s, people just dropped off the map completely. I sort of see that happening again. Maybe I need a new hobby.

I have a book 99% done that I can’t seem to get out the door. It is completely written, has been through like three or four editing passes, and I’m at the point where I can’t even look at it anymore, let alone write a snappy description and tell the world it is the greatest thing ever. I have someone working on a cover for it right now. Maybe that will make me get off my ass and finish it.