Time flies

Earlier this year, I moved into a new apartment after a decent stint housesitting.

It took me a while to set everything up, cross chores off my list etc etc but I’m finally pretty cozy now so I might finally be getting back to some of my side projects.

While my site has been mostly keeping up to date with Astro, I haven’t invested in any of the recent additions that might add some extra flourish.

The very recent addition of an experimental Container API for Astro is quite interesting and, among other things, might finally allow RSS feeds containing MDX posts.

You already can use MDX posts as I do here but neither Astro (nor any other framework to my knowledge) has support for it natively, resulting in some interesting hacks that have popped up.

While I haven’t done much work on gunslinger despite wanting to do a rewrite[^1], I did finally get around to refreshing the docs for October which can be seen here. It’s using Vitepress which I had previously invested in for another small site and it’s quite nice I think.

I’m interested in keeping an eye on Starlight as it grows as well.

As far as data powering this site, I pulled the trigger on moving from HowLongToBeat, with Backloggd now being my source of truth.

In part, it’s been on my list ever since HLTB got purchased by Ziff Davis, the megacorp that owns IGN as well. While I haven’t seen any evidence of bad stewardship, I couldn’t tell you who actually runs the site and I imagine it’s a matter of time before it devolves.

Backloggd also has some nice features like game series, a recent addition that lets you track how many titles in a given series you’ve completed. The model being focused more on the game itself rather than, y’know, how long it takes to beat said game also makes more sense for someone less competitive or interested in mind-maxing time. HLTB is still an invaluable resource though.

Oh yeah, Backloggd’s stats page is really nice. I’m excited to see what new features get added as well. Hopefully playtime imports from Steam among other things.

Hmm, what else.

While I’m still a heavy user of Readwise Reader, I’ve set up a Feedbin account once again for higher traffic RSS feeds. Some of the feeds I’ve got in Reader have started becoming a little too noisy so I’ve moved the noisiest to Feedbin which I action roughly once a day and send things I intend to read over to Reader.

Beeminder continues to be great for staying on track with goals, although I’m due for some meta goal maintenance I’m sure.

Lastly, I bought a Brick about a month ago and I can highly recommend it. It’s a small magnetic NFC brick that you can stick on your fridge. With the corresponding app on your phone, you can tap your phone against the brick to “brick” your phone. Basically, it uses Screentime to lock out apps that you’ve marked. In my case, Instagram and on weekends, work stuff like Slack or Gmail.

Being an NFC brick, you never have to think about charging it or anything like that and unlike most app-only screen trackers, the UI doesn’t need to accomodate any sort of bypass which will inevitably just be used when you’re at rock bottom. It’s great when you lock up your phone then you can’t do anything to work around it because your brick is physically at home or something like that. You can do an emergency bypass should the need arrive although you’re only able to do it 5 times before the app disables itself entirely so it’s definitely not ripe for abuse.

Probably one of the best things I’ve bought this year and surprisingly useful stuff from a small two-person business in Wisconsin.