2023 was a good but tiring year. In retrospect I took nearly no vacation and that was a mistake. Even when travelling and visiting family I worked pretty much the whole time “saving” my vacation days for a vacation we never got to planning or taking. And after also running ragged in 2022 and not even taking a break between leaving Open Privacy and joining Tor, that was prolly dumb. So this year I think I’ll try and make my self take my weeks of vacation even if it’s stay-cationing or with much less excuses, and if a big trip does materialize, I’ll figure it out. The mandatory 2 weeks over winter holiday Tor gives us has been really nice and a good step to restoring capacity but I need to not run myself so low in the first place. A lot of sleep, TV, games and even a little reading has gone a long way already. Also stopped drinking coffee over the break to help with my refresh and sleep. First drink back always works a charm after a break to lower tolerance.

Since the pandemic, and working from home even a year or two before that, I’ve def been trending in a more reclusive direction, which is in contrast to my prior life as an extrovert. I’m more set in my ways and pretty comfy with my life and routine and not making a lot of effort to get out and do things, and especially meet new people. I think that’s also something I’m going to have to take a more proactive look at in 2024.

Otherwise it’s been a good year. We continued cat fostering and that’s been fun and rewarding and I am glad I we can do it. We’re on our 10th cat now and she is likely getting adopted in a few weeks. No real big events or upsets this year, it was pretty quiet. I have a great home office I’m slowly decorating and loving to work in. Got some new gear that’s been great like a second monitor and bar mount, a beefy new work desktop with 64GB ram and an NVidia 3060. Also picked up a 20TB mirrored NAS to replace my full 5TB one. And we got a Steam deck! It’s very much been a year of slowly reinflating my gear after running long on the last big batch of gear.

Work / Tor

My first full year at Tor and it was a big one. Still so much to learn when we have coverage of parts all over Firefox, but did bits in the UI around the download dialog and some UI revamp updates. Then spent the middle of the year heavily refactoring our Android browser’s Tor integration, work that was much needed and still with months done, has more work to go, but it’s now at least more modular and easy to reason about, and we have a new Android dev to help, and we’re rewiring from using tor-android-service from Guardian project to our own internal tor running engine, the same that Tor Browser uses, which is a big win moving forward. Finished off the year contributing to some of that wiring. I also got to do some really amazing travel to see my coworkers and that was delightful for so many reasons!

There are some exciting plans for 2024 for Tor Browser and from Tor as well, especially on the Arti front, and I can’t wait for those to roll out more and talk about them more. 2024 I think will really help kick of making Tor easier to integrate into apps and I cannot wait. Also our Tor University Challenge has kicked off and I hope that takes off!

Open Privacy / Cwtch

Work progressed on making Cwtch something we’re comfortable and happy to call stable and with 1.13 we’re pretty much there! I’m really happy with the solidifying of API work that was done and what that should hopefully enable going forward. On that front we’ve just announced that we’ll be tackling one of the big ideas from our big idea roadmap of 2022: hybrid groups in 2024 and I’m very excited.

I spent the end of the year quietly starting work on making theming in Cwtch more accessibly and just more. I converted the themes from code to run time loaded .yml files, and have added one example of using an image for a widget (tiling in the chat window). Coming soon in 2024 I want to add a few more image widgets and then add custom theme loading so the community can make and use their own themes!

I’ve also dropped in a quick revamp of the settings and gave it sub tabs for each section to clean it up a bit :)

With Cwtch being more stable I also have some less fun work around trying to get code signing certs and using them so we can make using Cwtch on Mac and Windows less painful. And I want to look at more packaging options like distributing a .deb, and getting into f-droid, and maybe some privacy focuses distros if we’re lucky. But that’s some tedius work so will be very capacity dependant. We’ll see :)

As always, Open Privacy and Cwtch are funded by the community so please think about donating. Cwtch is coming up on 6 and becoming quite mature now, but there’s still so much work we want to do to make it more amazing.


2023 was a pretty good year on the media consumption front. A great year for gaming, pretty decent on TV, and a little sub par on movies. I also opened the year with a lot of good reading though that petered off as the year progressed and I got a bit more tired and also tried to pile on some more non-fiction.


2023 was the year of Linux gaming for me. I tried out Steam’s Proton (bundled tweaked Wine windows emulator with per game configs) while traveling and OMG, I was more limited by the weak graphics card in my laptop that being on Linux. So when I needed a new work desktop mid year, I whacked a graphics card in it too (first time doing that to a Linux machine of mine in line 15 years) and I’ve been gaming on it exclusively since. Valve is doing some heroic work to make Linux a viable gaming platform, as we’re seeing bear out with the Linux powered Steam Deck having sold over 3 million units. And it’s a a good feedback cycle, because with a nice install base like that, couple with a much easier porting target of just Proton, not a full Linux port, I think it’s an easier sell to developers to test their games on Proton and fix any obvious bugs to get the compatibility. Kinda a Linux goes 90% with Wine/Proton emulating Windows and now devs just have maybe 10% work to do in a few tweaks for it. So we’re seeing unbelievable compatibility for Linux now. It’s been a fun and good year for me!

So games I played and notes in rough order of liking

  • Remnant 2: Clearly my Game of The Year, the game I was looking forward to and it delivered. Big growth since the first, coming strong with a very confident design team this game for their worlds. The previous game wasn’t uncreative, but it was kinda: desert world, swamp world, forest world. This time we got forest world again, but also desolate and haunted scifi world, and the one I think they were most proud of, a mix of Bloodborn like Victorian England but populated with elves smashed into the world of the Fae. It’s been a really good feeling game to play, to unlock classes is, mix and match dual classing gives great build flexibility and options, tons of loot I’m still chasing. I’ve spent lots of time in the game this year, it’s been fun.

    This game has a lot of progression with 4 difficulty settings, 12 classes to unlock, level, etc, and so much gear to acquire and also level some of. I’m happy to report that I’ve unlocked all 12 classes and got them all leveling, with 4 maxed now. And my gear situation is that at the end of the year I was able to just finish a run on Nightmare difficulty after doing the first DLC a few times. There are apparently 2 more DLCs coming so I don’t mind pausing progress and leveling now and leaving a difficulty 4 (Apocalypse) and more leveling for those in the coming year :) I really have enjoyed this game like I did Elden Ring, for gear collecting, build craft (oh the spread sheet I have for this game) and good combat.

  • A Bewitching Revolution: Playable on or free on Steam, this game is a 45 min experience where you play the Witch of the City helping shepard a revolution in a work heavily inspired by the writings of Silvia Federici. Absolute gem of a game, go check it out.

  • Tunic: This one really sucked me in. It’s kinda a Zelda like, with a twist of trying to capture the experience of getting a game with a manual in a language you can’t read. As you play you unlock manual pages which can hint at features you didn’t know about that help with progression. Really quite well implemented and a lot of fun. There was some mention of it being a bit of a “souls like” and at first I assumed that was mostly around the difficulty of it at times, as otherwise it’s bright, animated and you’re a cute fox. But spoiler warning: it’s also about the overall tone of the game, which slightly caught me out in the ending leaving me feeling a bit mixed initially. But over all I really like this game and recommend it!

  • Dome Keeper: This was just a fun little kinda tower defence, but between runs you mine down to get resources to expand with. The first thing I tried on vacation with Steam on Linux. It was a fun distraction for a week or two.

  • Dead Cells: I know, I’m very late to this game. I wasn’t sure I wanted a Rouge Like. Hades worked for me cus the added on story helped keep me in a lot. But playing this, they’ve done a good job, it feels good. Haven’t finished a run, got distracted, but will prolly go back and keep grinding. It does feel good but it’s also not quite gripping me. Other games can feel good and just use a bit more design or story to keep me hooked better.

  • Trinity Fusion: I showed up for this game because a fab author of mine, Ada Hoffman, did some writing for it. It’s another rouge like, like Dead Cells, with the gimmick that you have 3 characters who have each their own world/map but can later fuse some of their powers. It’s pretty good. Also feels fairly fun to play. I haven’t quite finished but should soon.

  • Alan Wake: With Alan Wake 2 coming out this year, and my love of Control, decided to check out the original. It was fun. The story is pretty ok and interesting (prolly a lot better if I’d experienced it a decade ago when it came out). The gameplay isn’t bad. I did one of the DLCs and that was… enough. Looking forward to hopefully Alan Wake 2 coming to Steam in 2024 so I can play it and see where these franchises are going.

  • No Man’s Sky: This was kinda a meme as it was Starfield’s release window when I booted this up, but it was pretty good. Kinda what it advertised, fairly impressive random biomes, fly to space seamlessly and other planets and stations. A small story slowly unfodling grafted on top. But at some point the grind to build my base just to progress the minimal story became a bit too much for me, for my tastes the rewards vs effort vs gameplay wasn’t paying off enough so after building a base, having two ships, and filling the base with some printers and stuff, I kinda lost interest.

  • Abiotic Factor playtest: This is basically “What if Half Life but you’re a group of scientists deep in a science lab when the portal invasion goes off” the survival game. It was cute and pretty solid, played with some friends, and when after two nights we reached the end of the play test we were all pretty up for more still.

  • Cult of the Lamb: Super cute premise, but I didn’t connect with it. Possibly I should have been naming the cultists in my flock after people I know or something to bond with them a bit more.

  • Darkest Dungeon: Played for a bit. As the review suggest, tough. May go back to one day, may not.

  • Bone Raiser Minions: Well recommended, pretty fun, and I mostly like the graphics but it get a bit hard on legibility after a certain point and harder to follow. Played for a week or two and fell off.

  • Karmazoo: Cute concept. 10 person very cooperative action puzzle solver. Pretty cure.

  • Solar Ash: Stylish and pretty, but either a bit hard or clunky? Gave up after the reaching the third area. Kinda want to go back to but the bosses are punishing.


I’ve watched a good smattering of things but a lot of it’s been checking out semi bingable 90s shows I’ve seen. There’s not a lot of worth while TV coming out these days, and even when it is, it’s like 8-13 episodes only with sometimes 2 year gaps between seasons, if they don’t get cancelled. Hard to compete with behemoths from the 90s that have 100 or 200 episodes.

New Things I Watched

In rough order

  • Station Eleven: This was a year or two old but watched over the holidays. An interesting thoughtful slow take on the value of stories and media to people as told about a travelling Shakespeare troupe in the post apocalypse and about the deep impact and importance of a comic to a few people as well. I’m also a fan of the lead Mackenzie Davis so it was fun to see her in this. I enjoyed this pretty well. The older I get and more I see I think it gets harder to wow me, but I did enjoy this, it’s message and thoughts, and don’t really have any complaints. Most folks should check it out.

  • Silo: Loved the books. They’ve done a pretty good job adapting the first one here. A few weird changes that I felt lowered the impact from the book but were prolly don’t for TV reasons. And a little pacing lag in the middle of the second half, could have been maybe 8 episodes instead of 10, but over all quite good, and seems it got people stoked. I’ll be looking forward to season 2 and how they adapt that. Good stuff.

  • Star Trek Lower Decks: The good new Star Trek. Caught up on season 3 and 4 (and maybe 2?) and it was delightful. It’s funny, and doing that thing all the new Treks do and making a healthy dose of references, but most of them are to dumb old Trek things and taking the piss. It’s great. Reoccurring badguys for this crew being the Pakleds, LOL. Getting a Temarian on the crew, hilarious. It goes on and on. And unlike some of the other properties that then also seem to just remake old episodes, but like less well and with nothing new of note, Lower Decks routinely will start with a reference to a whole previous episode in like the opening and then build something new out from there. There’s some legit innovation in the plot and all and that’s a bit rare I’m finding with the new Treks. So good times.

  • Star Trek Strange New Worlds: Strange New worlds can do some pretty ok episodes. For what it is even some decent ones. It’s got some pretty potentialful characters, good actors. But it just keeps seeming to get hung up on and held back by a few things, including sub par writing and way too much referential TOS fan service. It’s at its best when it’s doing it’s own thing, mostly, and at it’s worst when it’s doing a TOS style episode or worse a TOS reference episode where some characters jerk out of acting remotely like themselves to give us, the fans, a moment of like, the pre TOS crew together that we’ll “appreciate” even if it doesn’t entirely make sense. Season 2 had some real low lows. And I think they continually do Pike dirty cus they feel they have to keep establishing that he is not Kirk and that is bad on Pike cus Kirk is better. Which… isn’t great since they aren’t making a Kirk show, it’s Pike’s ship and show. I will prolly still watch season 3 when it comes out.

  • Clone High: Who had a second season of Clone High coming out 20 years after the first on their bingo card? I sure didn’t. Rewatched the first season too. The second season is interesting, structure wise, as they drop one s1 character and add a bunch of new ones that they ease us into. I think the show def works into it’s groove across the season. Pretty fun and funny for what it is. Here’s hoping it’s not 20 more years for season 3.

  • Scavengers’ Reign: A pretty sci-fi experience mini series I guess. But it’s less science fiction and more science fantasy. Mostly its just 3 characters on long journeys on a planet that is very strange and different to what we’re used to, dare I say, fantastical, and nothing’s much explained, and there isn’t a terrible amount of character growth. Mostly it’s just a long series of events that loosely lead from one to the next. It’s pretty. It’s fantastical. There’s not much substance here.

  • From: Curiosity got the better of me. “What are a bunch of the team who developed Lost gonna do here?”. Well the answer is mostly speed run Lost. In two shorter seasons, they’ve raised the “is it the afterlife question” and passed it off with “would it matter if it was, would you act differently”. In part referring to the “threat” which to start with is talking people like monsters who emerge each night and horrifically eat anyone they get access to. But this show is also speeding through spending credit and accumulating plot debt. There’s the monsters, there’s the magic wards that protect houses. And by the end of S1 and through S2 we learn about successive further out surrounding layers of badness and awareness. And in the S2 finale, someone is magiced out and “escapes”. It’s a lot, and I’m def curious to see if and how they’ll try and explain all this. But I’m trying to relax here and listen to a Lost apologist I see on social media who my take away is “relax, enjoy the character driven show with decently well written characters for TV in magic situations, it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey”. So I’m trying.

  • Spy Among Friends: Started on an Airplane, kinda want to finish before saying much. Seems pretty well produced.

  • Quantum Leap: Season 2 has started. S1 gripped me cus the show runner was layering on a bit of the longer for mystery that he injected into his last more episodic cable show. But that mostly wrapped semi satisfyingly at the end of S1 and now there’s not so much this season. Just “some changes”. I’ll try to finish out the season. There’s some well meaning earnestness to the show that’s a little charming, but it’s not great.

  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Rather late to this game but checked it out and watched seasons 1-4. This one’s a bit tough for me. The humour is of the type of trying to “have it’s cake and eat it too” as it keeps doing terrible things but they are bad characters so it’s not supposed to be endorsing it, they are bad, so it’s “ok”? And I don’t know if that is working for me. It prolly worked the best in season 1, I think they had the most bad outcomes then. As my watching went on it seemed, they just got into more and bigger and worse situations and nothing really touched them and that balanced I think just tipped a bit away from enjoyable for me. I think it’s not a bad show and there’s some wit, but they just keep doing things that make me uncomfortable at times too, and the trade off that’s supposed to justify it doesn’t always feel like it works often enough for me. It’s a tricky one.

  • Ms Marvel: Randomly binged this. Seems like the least worse of the MCU shows. It’s good at points, esp early on. But the of course has to scale up rapidly to a save the world crisis. Sure wish it hadn’t had to. Also spends a whole episode teaching Americans about partition. So that’s good? But also kinda a shot to the gut for pacing.

  • Future Man: Started this, need to get back to it. Crass, kinda funny, low budget and stakes sci fi comedy.

  • Orphan Black Echos: Oph. I had some hopes for this. If you’re gonna leverage an IP and do a “sequel” using it’s name to sell you’re completely new scifi story… Well one of the big things Orphan Black is know for is like pioneering complex shot composition, esp for TV, with getting all the clones played by the same actress on screen interacting. This show has a “new” take on the clones, in that they are at different ages so all played by different actors. Which, could be ok, but it seems almost to go out of it’s way to stick to that and refuse to do the old things so much so that spoilers: they shoot a main character killing her in the last 2 mins of the finale just to open a door beside her corpse and show her same aged clone in that room, who I guess will be the replacement character as they are keeping the actress. Major bummer for me. The show went from me enthusiastic to work to slog through by around ep 6 or 7 and that utterly murdered any good will I had left in the last minute or two. I don’t want to watch another season, hope it’s cancelled, cus I fear my curiosity might get the best of me and I might try and sit through more still. But yeah, a real shame this is carrying the name Orphan Black and bagage from that instead of being allowed to be it’s own thing.

  • Master Chef s3: I heard from some comment somewhere a blind woman won, so wanted to check that out. And she sure did. Awesome on her. But otherwise it’s classic antagonistic reality TV, kinda tiring.

  • Bake Off s14: Went right into this conveniently after Master Chef and what a relaxing relief. Bake Off is such a pleasant chill show to “come home” to and relax each time it comes out.

  • Task Master s15 & 16: More laughs. It’s still rocking the formula. What more can I say.

  • The Ark: I picked up a recommendation for this I think because some of the Star Gate crators were involved but we couldn’t finish episode one. The writing and acting is phenominally bad and stupid, the “characters” aren’t, they are just a big “trait” or two and jerking from plot point to point semi sensically at best, no actual character on display. Disappointing, but perhaps I was very misinformed and looking for the wrong thing here too.

  • Poker Face: I love Natasa Lyons and thought I could watch her in anything. I think think this’ll be my most contraversial take on this list but I couldn’t get past episode 4 or 5? Prolly my fault a bit. It’s gotten much harder for me to enjoy crime solving and procedurals as shall we say, I’ve grown up and become more educated. And while our main character is on the run, she can’t help using her super power of always knowing when someone is lying to solver murders where ever she goes. And then call the cops. So I settled into a slightly uneasy tension with the show, wishing perhaps she’d help the folks locally settle things than invoking cops, until I got to the episode where there is what almost appears as a queer lefty couple, but that I think was also semi queer baiting, as “they’re just friends”. And who when introduced, I bonded with right away, also over their politics and general sass. But as they are developed they turn into some wild caricature of just literally child murdering “leftist protesters” who will murder anyone easily for nonsensical political reasons. So all I can take away from the shows message is that cops are good, leftist protesters are insane, violent and dangerous, and a bit of what read like queer baiting, but I might be reading into that. So I stopped.

Things I Rewatched

  • ER: We watched like 10 seasons earlier this year. This show stands up amazingly well for its age. They keep steady tense pressure on, not much lulls in the episodes, and still it has a solid cast of characters. Very impressive for it’s age, and to be honest, would even be a feat now with minimal updates. I double checked and it still tops #1 on most “top medical drama shows” beating every thing that’s come after, and it’s easy to see why.

  • Revenge: I forgot how far I’d gotten before, knowing vaugly I’d prolly dropped in season 2, so tried a full new run with determination to get further. I think I did. I don’t think I finished season 2 last time, but OMG, S3, after all the nonsense of the previous seasons, just, like, full resets. Our main revenge girl like, forgets all shes done and all the data shes amassed over the last two seasons, the people she’s killed, and just like, reverts to an early S1 plot of trying to marry into the family to “get some evidence”. Completly wild, nearly like the prev two seasons didn’t happen. So much plot just dropped on the floor. Stopped an ep or two into S3. No pay off to be found there. Sad. I like the leads in Emily and Nolan.

  • Earth Final Conflict: Made it into season 2 of this semi train wreck of a show I watched on cable from my childhood. May return to and try and push forward, but in S1, the “good billionaire” fakes his death and is using his money to lead the rebellion against the mysterious aliens. In s2 he suddenly comes public and then decided to run for president of the US as that will somehow give him a better position to oppose the aliens. Lol. And I know this show has a pretty doomed running losing all it’s leads, in some cases more than once, and behind the scenes, creatively, it’s pretty clear they were struggling about as hard.

  • Forever Knight: This show walked so “Angel” could run. “A vampire detective in a convertible who wants to become human”, but in Toronto. And he’s not a PI, but a real cop. And it’s a Canadian TV show from the 90s. I was curious. I’d caught the odd episode on cable as a kid but never really watched. It’s not great. There’s bits that are ok, but as it is a cop show, and it’s from the 90s, it’s… wow. Very pro cop even if they are lying to convict ppl, doing some violence of their own, etc. Everyone around our main character is pretty awful and it kinda makes me wonder who the real monsters are … oooh, thats cleaver and prolly totally unintential. Anyways “got distracted” part way through season 1. I really like the actor who plays our main character’s sire but I don’t think he’s there much till season 2, so bummer.

  • Sliders: With so much multiverse stuff going on and weirdly many people crediting the MCU with bringing this to the masses just ahead of Everyone, Everywhere All at Once, I figured I’d go check out the OG (at least for me) 90s show about jumping through a portal each episode and ending up on an alternate history earth. It’s ok, some cute ideas, but most episodes drag a bit and the characters are uneven, and not super likable. Watched a good chunk of S 1

  • Lost: As I mentioned when talking about From, I’m trying to see if I can enjoy some shows with strong characterization for the journey and not the destination, which has historically been something I’m very focused on. In S3 now and yeah, it’s not a bad show so far, pretty interesting characters, fairly character driven. It’s pretty well done seeing them bounce off each other. Also, kinda a meta note on many things I’ve seen but very relevant here, OMG people just need to communicate better. So many sitcom plotlines and Lost plot lines alike wouldn’t be a problem if people just talked more about what was going on rather than siloing knowledge. But that goes a bit hand in hand with all the toxic masculinity gloriously on display here. I mean some characters are obvious, Sawyer, Jin is baffelingly and not entierly consistently awful, but even Jack feels like he kinda owns the women around him and is deeply hurt when they aren’t all just fixtures in his life, and nearly all the men exhibit this, this desire to own the women, and not treat them with respect, to be in charge, not communicate well, etc. And then there’s Desmond who can’t just live with a woman unless he’s “the man” and bread winner etc. All pretty pathetic. And then it doesn’t help how many times Kate gets captured and needs rescuing or fucks things up. As main “action girl” she mostly just fucks up. Sawyer, Sayid, Jack, Locke like combined need less rescuing then Kate does. Just things I’m noticing binging the show. Get some healthier masculinity models folks. Be a little more cooperative. LOL. But it’s an “old” show now, so all I can do is laugh. Newer shows I’ll hold to newer standards I suppose, and I’ll try and let this one slide for a bit.


I’m more a TV person than a movie person and it was definitely not a good movie year, but there were a few, and I’ve been building a list of old weird stuff to slowly check out too. Did a few this year. Again, in very rough order:

  • The People’s Joker: My movie of the year. I want from my media sharp critic and anarchist and socialist politics. I want queerness. Movies I find are the business least suited to deliver on that as they are the biggest budget and have to have the most bland mass appeal. TV is a little better. Comics and books are where more of the innovative voices can actually be found. This movie is a rare treasure of an exception. (Possibly I just need to watch more lower budget stuff) Also it’s a massive IP land grab and I love it for that. It’s got a distributor now, I managed to see the single screening my city got nominally for a film fest. But hopefully it should get wider showings than that in 2024 so try and check it out if you can. It’s a trip.

  • RRR: Ok this was a delight. There are some politics in it that with out context go over most western audiances that are worth learning about. But that aside, it was a flashy, camp, bright, over the top, well coreographed, and earnest action movie audiances were clearly yearning for in the age of dull drag super hero action movies that are also over the top boring CGI fests. The west has rarely done action well, and rarely Incorporated plot and action well. Movies that do are rare. Like the Matrix that were seismic shifts, and for a bit all action movies after had martial arts fights, but that wore off by the 2010s back to the worst blandest worst coreographed most pointless fights. Mad Max was a rare action movie, but as has been talked about elsewhere it was a unique one off that Hollywood isn’t setup to ever replicate. So RRR hit like wildfire and hopefully it’s part of a trend of western audiances getting more outside their media bubble and consuming more media from outside the west.

  • The Menu: Fun. I enjoy Anna Taylor Joy in things, she’s good. Cute ending.

  • Bodies Bodies Bodies: Honeslty, delivered just a bit more than the little I was expecting. A slight twist is something, so thanks.

  • Midsommer: A slow burn disturbing psychological thriller. Late to the game here. But good times and left you with a bit to chew on. My fav digestion was no surprise Kay and Skittles’.

  • Barbie: Watched Barbie late in the year finally to catch up on all the hype. It was fine, but probably a little over hyped but it was also a lack luster year so it cleaned up at the box office cus what competition was there? Not saying it doesn’t deserve most of that, and it’s nice there’s a movie doing some feminism and kinda poking at capitalism (while being a big corpo product) but it’s also pretty 101 “if you tell them about patriarch then it’s done and defeated”, and doesn’t really look further (the homeless Ken class?). I know, its a fun toy movie comedy, I think peopl over hyped it saying it was the greatest. It was fun.

  • Predestination: A little awkward I found but also interesting. Not the most best execution but it kept us engaged well enough.

  • Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse: Somehow Sony is delivering the last good MCU adjacent super hero media. Surprisingly well done, loved the semi pivot to Spider Gwen’s focus. Pretty solid execution.

  • The Banshee of Inisherin: It was something. Men need therapy.

  • Cocaine Bear: What the title advertised it delivered. It was a few laughs.

  • In the Mouth of Madness: One of the oldies I finally got around too. Not a bad cosmic/existential horror flick.

  • Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever: I’d heard a few references to this truly terrible movie and finally decided to check it out. As a surprise treat this train wreck was filmed very obviously and openly in my home town so that was a LOL. Wow bad.

  • Uncharted: Terrible. We paused half way through and then never came back.

Movie I Watched on Airplanes

  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force the Movie: Another old animated film getting another breath of life (Clone High was the other). Weird. I was never a huge fan of the origional but it would come on around midnight, and sometimes my coworker and I upon closing the bowling alley would have a beer and watch an episode before starting cleaning up. It was a weird movie from a weird show. I think I chuckled a bit.

  • Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever: Woof. Marvel has lost the thread. They used to use a stinger like post credits two minutes long to do tie ins to the wider MCU. Remember Nick Fury lurking in post credits all phase 1? Now this movie crashes for 45 min mid run to soft launch Iron Heart, who is scheduled to have a whole show to herself, but it can’t be her origin now, since this show started in-situ with her, already established with a base, making suits, and then she got exceptional kid school spending a week in Wakanda with Shuri. The rest of the plot was all over the place, the CIA plot felt very anciliary, but I guess someone felt they had to keep the hobbit and the blue hair lady who’ll be important one of these years. So this movie, with it’s collosal run time, spends like over a third just as previews and setups for other projects and utterly drags. It’s own plot isn’t great either. Another faction wants to hide even harder, so they are gonna destroy Wakanda? Esh. So basic and dumb, it’s exhausting.

  • Eternals: There was a flicker of something here, but it was way too many characters with way too much history to do any justice to in a movie. Marvel used to get this when they established half the 5 person Avengers 1 with their own movies first, but I guess unlearned it by trying to do a like 10 character movie of folks who are 5000 years old. LOL Sigh. I blame Disney’s stewardship. Also love the triple cliff hanger meaning zero of the characters are available for an Avengers movie unless they get a sequell movie untying them up, which won’t happen.

  • Dr Strange Quantumania: From a team who apparently didn’t watch Wanda Vision, comes a movie undoing or ignoring her character development there and turning her into a crazed mommy villian mass murderer. Cool. Dr Strange is still kinda a prick. Introducing America Chavez… who mostly screams. or something. And ending also with Doctor Strange corrupted, so look forward to that getting resolved in Avengers? or before that? or dropped? MCU is such a train wreck now lol.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 3: The only one that was semi fine. Rockets plot was pretty good. I was grinding my teeth when Starlord was on moaning about Gamora. It never made sense, I was glad when it was over, it was exhausting and grating him seeing him whine about it. I’m glad it’s now more closed.

I like that all the super hero franchises are crashing and burning. Can we get something new please.


I started off the year reading a lot but got bogged down mid year, as I often do, esp trying to read any non fiction while busy. Still it was a pretty good year and in general trying to stick to newer works has been fruitful!

  • Capitalist Realism - Mark Fisher: A good read oft referenced so also glad to just have the reference now. Short and too the point. Also a little despairing. But some good additions to frameworks in my head.

  • Social Anarchism or Lifestyle Anarchism - Murray Bookchin: My central take away from this book was that Anarchism needs some form of socialism or it ends up up it’s ass self involved, individualistic, libertarian. Spent a lot of time looking at the difference between Autonomy (from) or Freedom (to) and then using that lens to examine modes of Anarchism. He concludes you need socialism, and social fabric to create a society that gives you more “Freedoms to” do things, like order take out, rather than a more individualistic “Autonomy from” which leaves you maybe in a log cabin alone in the woods shitting in a trench you dug (my slight paraphrasing). As a mirror, some other reading I have done this year has emphasized that socialism esp communism needs anarchy lest it just repeat swapping out authoritarian leaders and nothing actually changing.

  • The Masqerade Trilogy (Baru Cormorant) - Seth Dickinson: Fun angry queer anti empire fantasy. Leaves you with some thoughts on approach and depth of willingness to go and the general ability of empire to absorb and co-opt. Really looking forward to the concluding book(s?) to see where it goes, but as is ended on a poignant note and maybe pivot.

  • The Infinite (last of The Outside Tilogy) - Ada Hoffmann: Pretty solid conclusion. A queer scifi/cosmic horror anti-empire series. Again, examining a bit approach and methods. Some anarchist angles more than some of the other reading this year.

  • The Machineries of Empire (Ninefox Gambit trilogy) - Yoon Ha Lee: The third queen anti-empire series I read of the year. Notice a theme? Scifi in name but possibly the most fantastical of the three. Another examination of the horrors empire demands to keep existing, and the difficulty with unseating it. More fun times.

  • This is How You Lose the Time War - El-Mohtar Amal: Thanks to a viral post by Bigolas Dickolas Wolfwood I checked out this queer scifi love story, and it was a short humorous blast!

  • Children of Time trilogy - Adrian Tchaikovsky: This was some pretty fun scifi with hints from many previous works mixed in. Def feeling A Deepness in the Sky with book one and the arachnid population, although a very different take. Pretty fun and imaginative trilogy, tho perhaps book 3 was a bit more of a drag for me. But I tore through them all pretty fast.

  • Moxyland - Lauren Beukes: Small cyberpunk South African story. Pretty fun. A few cute uses of tech.

  • Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin: pretty interesting fantasy, mysteryish, empire book with gods. I enjoyed but was left well satisfied by book 1 I wasn’t sure I wanted any more?

  • Raft - Stephen Baxter: Didn’t click with me. Not unimaginative, but just, never seemed to do much with what it had.

  • vN - Madeline Ashby: many moments of potential but also didn’t seem to come together to say a lot. I left it at book one.

  • The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx & Friedrich Engles: Finally got around to this. It was shorter than I expected… There’s some useful frameworks for thinking about things, but their prescriptions are all pretty comically bad, as we’ve seen bear out for a 100 years. But again, reading it for reference point, before returning to more newer more contemporary stuff (or trying to)

Last year I also mentioned a few “top books” and I gave rereading a few a try and… it was hard. I’ve grown and changed. They were influential on me at the time, but they either are just a bit old now, I know them too well, and flaws have either emerged with time, or just the balance of new overshaddowing them has changed. So that was a laugh. I couldn’t say what my top books are now as a result.

Tech Thoughts

I’ve mostly been a C++, JS and Kotlin developer for work this last year with only some side time in Go, Rust and Dart. So nothing much has changed there for me since last year.

The biggest thing I eluded to earlier, is that Valve with Steam and Proton have made gaming on Linux (for their steamdeck, but also everyone) not just viable but pretty great. And probably as a result we saw Linux overtake and hold lead on MacOS as second biggest steam installation OS for gaming after Windows this last summer. That is rad.

Where Linux is going I couldn’t say. There’s been a bigger push towards Wayland this year than I’ve seen in a big so it’s funny to me that after using Wayland for maybe 5 years on Ubuntu, I switched to Debian and XOrg this summer. Once switched to Debian I tried stock Gnome Shell and extremely didn’t enjoy it so retroactive kudos to the Canonical devs who made it more pleasant. Been using XFCE as my fall back since. It’s fine, doesn’t get in the way and I can have some funner themes. Systemd is ever present and just… a small cancer. There just isn’t a lot I’m excited for in the Linux space right now. Wish there was.

I never had time to get to any of the UI based projects I’d thought about and therefor no time to test any new UI frameworks. This year will likely be the same.

Got a Steamdeck tho and that is pretty rad.


Saw my trainer through out the year and exercise and attempts at daily walks have improved my posture and I’m not really dealing with the back pain that started me on this journey. So quite pleased about that. Still a long way to go, having a job and hobbies that have me mostly sitting def needs persistent effort against. Had a nasty cold near the end of the year, prolly covid, that slowed me down for a month too which was a pain in the ass and unneeded. My desire to get out and be more social is continually tempered by the fact we’re still in a global health crisis pandemic and no one’s masking any more. Masking is a topic I’m frustrated on too, I’ve eased off some, because it’s a team sport, we’re all supposed to be masking to protect each other if we’re pre or asymptomatic carriers and infectious, but if no one else is, my mask won’t be offering as much protection in a crowded setting. So I mask when I’m sick if I have to go out or if I’m still in a big tight crowd like the bus, but less so other times. It sucks but it feels like everyone’s given up, tho I should be more diligent and maintain myself as an example of better masking too. Something to remind myself of more in the new year.


So that was 2023. Not a bad year. Good for games. Work is decently time consuming but as they say, “Do what you love… and you’ll totally over work because it’s your passion and what you think about” so I need to keep that in mind. The general world and politics is, lets generously say hilarious, embarrassing, dire. It’s grating watching multiple wars, ethnic cleansings, genocides, and seeing sides just pour more fuel on the fire rather than try and intervene and stop it. Global climate change continues pretty much unabated. I have more and more discussions with milenials suffering existential dread trying to do long term life planning around anything from savings, to living, to work to learning, and my friends with kids, I try not to bring it up but sometimes they do and it seems very hard on them. I left out a politics section this year, as I’m continuing reading and learning, but between that and whats happening, I’m continuing to develop my understanding, but I don’t see much in the way of long term paths out of this or much concrete suggestions for building something better, other than bits from Anarchism of just focusing local and doing what you can there. Which all feeds back to limiting my exposure to the news and taking care of myself because you can’t help others if you can’t help yourself. To than end I am still doing what out reach and steady contact with friends that I can, but also many of them seem to be a bit more closed off, especially some I worry about more, so only so much I can do there. Ha wanted to end on perhaps a more positive note and not do a politics section but I seem to have. I think I’ll do a proper separate opening of 2024 post and that might contain a little more optimism on these topics.

In the end tho 2023 was a pretty good year to me, no personal complaints, so there’s that. I’m pretty lucky and privileged. I will continue to look forward to pay that forward what I can.