Daniel Santos

Week 11, 2024

I started this week coughing — a very dry, insisting and strong cough. Allied with two feverish sensations last Sunday and Monday, this was enough to take me to the doctor, so I could see what was happening. I have a long time relationship with chronic sinusitis, and my first thought was that another crisis was on its way.

When I went to the doctor, though, it wasn’t sinusitis. I was immediately relieved on the one hand, but worried on the other. So many diseases around nowadays — COVID and dengue fever, just to repeat two of the ones the doctor mentioned. But in the end, thank God, it was only a (sad) combination of pharyngitis and laryngitis. I came back home with a prescription for common anti-flu medicines, including vitamin C. 10 days of them. In fact, I’m still on these medicines now.

The problem during practically the whole week wasn’t the pharyngitis and laryngitis combination. It was a very strange weakness… it made me feel unwell the whole week, to the point of interfering with my work performance. As the week went on, it insisted on keeping me company, and only on Friday did I feel a little better. And I do hope to keep improving.

We watched Lift, one of the most recent Netflix’s movies, starring Kevin Hart. That wasn’t the best heist movie I have seen, but, contrary to the very bad reviews the movie has on Trakt.tv and the 29% “_rotten_” Rotten Tomatoesscore, I found the story easy enough to follow and the cast fine too — even Úrsula Corberó, from La Casa de Papel co-starred the movie. Maybe, due to my poor condition this week, it was mindless entertainment that fit well.

I bought myself a copy of Balatro on Steam, this week. Now that I think of it, I had not played a single minute of any game up to this point this year, but this roguelike deckbuilder was different enough to call my attention.

Only hours after its release, it hit $1 million in profit. And in less than 10 days, it sold more than 500,000 copies across Steam, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation. I had to check some YouTubers playing it, and I got hooked — impressive, as I know beans about poker rules, the game on which Balatro gameplay is inspired.

I played the game thinking “ok, I’ll see where this takes me, as I’m not into poker, don’t even know how to play it”, and that I’d spend some minutes on it to see whether it was a keeper or up for a refund. 15 minutes, 30 or 45 tops. But I passed every limit, and, as I write these notes, I’ve already accumulated a little more than 27 hours of game play.

It’s… not poker. It’s a combination of poker sequences (the only thing one needs to know about poker, actually) and a lot of modifier cards that interfere with the score. There are 150 joker cards, each with 5 variations, that can individually change a lot of game elements; the cards can be further changed and enhanced — playing cards and jokers alike — with tarot cards, planet cards and spectral cards, making it very fun to go through 8 rounds of up to three blinds, the way the game calls its rounds. That’s a very nice and addictive game, and I can’t recommend it enough. If you’ve got some spare bucks available, give it a try.

I’m working on a new version of my website. If you visit it right now, while the work isn’t done yet, you’ll see it running on DokuWiki, which I have to say is a very fine piece of software.

But after I came across Soupault, a static website generator that works and directly manipulates HTML element trees, something long asleep woke inside of me. It’s kind of a joy, of a happiness in crafting my site almost manually. Like it was for me with Geocities, like it was when I used Frontpage and Dreamweaver. It’s a very nice sensation!

So, soon™ I may release a completely revamped version of the site, completely static and resembling a home page of kinds, almost like it was in the early web days. It might take some time yet, as I learn more Soupault-fu (and Lua-fu, as Lua is the scripting language from which plugins can be created to extend the tool’s features). All very much interesting, I’m excited!

#english #weeknotes