February has managed to creep up on us yet again, leaving the pleasant January weather only a distant memory. The days are starting to get hotter, and the election season is starting to heat up.
"But I also know we can do our best and still suffer the fate I most want to avoid. Such is life, though. This is the price we have to pay for living: to endure the beauty that comes with the fragility of moments."
-- Winnie Lim
- PH: The legislature has signed off on a mandatory SIM card registration bill that now only awaits the President's signature. It seems a bit problematic. Here's some more info/criticism.
- Covid: Metro Manila was dropped to Alert Level 1 starting February 1st as new cases started to drop in the country over the past week. From a high of 30k daily a couple of weeks ago, we are back to under 10k daily over the past few days. Positivity rate has also fallen from highs of 40+ to 20+ the last few days; still well above the recommended benchmark, but at least the numbers are falling fast.
- World of Sports: The Winter Olympics in Beijing kicked off this week, giving Xi "Winnie the Pooh" Jinping an opportunity to showcase China's covid controls and censorship I guess. Almost immediately, security forces dragged away a reporter while he was doing live coverage. The IOC claims it was "an isolated incident".
Links of Interest
- Narrative Device is AI-driven tool that generates the first paragraph of a story based on two themes you provide.
- The Complicated Futility of WordPress: Dan Devine writes about Wordpress wanting to be a CMS.
- On the Insanity of Being a Scrabble Enthusiast: Oliver Roeder on what it's like being a competitive Scrabble player. Aerolith is a site mentioned in this article that lets you test your Scrabble word-forming skills. It's hard!
- deskto.ps is a site where users share desktop screenshots. Sharing this because I still enjoy browsing other people's desktops. It has an RSS feed!
- The battle for Ring Zero: Doctorow on the problems with modern computer security models.
Visit the Links page for more links of interest. I still have so many saved longreads to get through!
On This Day
- Two years ago, I wrote about burnout.
- With the cases going down, I went out today to brave the mall to watch a movie (see below). There weren't a lot of people in the theater, though there were more people by the time we got out. Thankfully, almost everyone was masked, so that's nice. Still, we didn't want to linger too long. We got some takeout after the movie and went home. My only other mall visit since the pandemic began was to get my booster back in December. I look forward to the anxiety of the next few days while I wait around for possible symptoms due to this trip.
- We also decided to resume our in-person grocery shopping for the first time since we were hospitalized back in September. We had been using various grocery delivery services since then, but they always had some problem or other with each order, either there not being any immediate delivery slots or maybe some items we want being out of stock. This happens IRL too of course, but in that case I can browse around for alternatives on the spot.
- Three family members celebrated birthdays this past week. Since the pandemic, our celebrations have been simple and mostly held online. Sometimes the celebrant sub-families would send out some food to the others so we can kind of share a meal together. This time one of the sub-families actually managed to visit!
- I got a scary text the other day that a fraudulent transaction was detected on my Unionbank debit card (which doubles as my ATM card). Not sure how that happened since I've never used it as a debit card and it's been years since I even used it at the ATM. (I usually just bank online these days). The card got blocked after I confirmed it wasn't me, but I was spooked so I logged into the webapp and changed my password. I promptly then forgot the new password I had just set, failed to log in a few times, and got my account locked. Was able to eventually unlock it and go to a nearby branch to get a new ATM card. I don't mind mentioning Unionbank here because I think they did a good job; from detecting the fraudulent transaction to the ease of the process of replacing the card.
- I promised myself I would blog more, so I wrote a bit about communications, more Wordle stuff and also decided to quit SketchDaily (for now).
- One last sketch, for the road:
- Ongoing: Tales of Vesperia (Steam). I am definitely very close to finishing the game, but I have vastly estimated just how much extra stuff there is to do first. I spent most of the week doing optional quests, finding extra dungeons, grinding for crafting materials, etc. Haven't even done the coliseum stuff yet! Why do I so enjoy a genre that takes so much time!
- Ongoing Card games: Eternal and Magic Arena.
- Ongoing Fighting games: Now down to only playing the occasional Street Fighter V match. Still managing to just barely staying in Silver rank, little progress otherwise.
- For the first time since December 2019, I decided to go out and brave the movies this weekend to finally watch Spider-Man: No Way Home. I have mixed feelings about the film, will write about it tomorrow probably.
- Not much TV this week, though I did make it halfway through the new Witcher season.
- Caught Up: Star Trek Discovery, The Book of Boba Fett
- Behind: Legends of Tomorrow, Young Justice, The Witcher season 2, Superman and Lois, NCIS
- Yet to start: Cobra Kai season 4, Peacemaker
- Reading: Started reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (with intro by Gregory Hays). Philosophy time!
- Trivia: Still doing our regular Discord crossword sessions. We record some of our sessions, you can follow along via the YouTube playlist. (some Filipino slips in here and there, but most of it should be in English.) Feel free to like, subscribe and all that jazz.
This coming week:
- Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty drops on Magic Arena on Thursday!