Irrsinn.net: taking joy in human unreason

debt tag

Debt Free

A screenshot of the loan management page showing a $0 balance.

$25,691.32 in student loans, paid off as of today. That’s $30,100 (give or take $100) of debt paid off total over the last 3.5 years of financial consciousness.

I think I’m supposed to throw a party or something.

I’m still kinda in shock.

First and last credit card

My first credit card — a Chase Rewards card that I got back in 2005 to help with Thorn expenses — is now my last and final. It had a $300 credit limit when I got it, and had a $2700 limit earlier this evening. I paid the remaining bit of balance on it this morning and closed it just 20 minutes ago once I saw the balance was $0. It took 2 minutes and 52 seconds to sever my last line of revolving credit.

I feel strangely… cut loose. Like I’m no longer wrapped up in so much of America’s debt problem, even though I still have loans.

But all that’s left is the $25k of my student loans and the bit I owe my parents.

You might laugh at “only” $25k, but $25k at ~6% and 0% interest (student loans and parental loans, respectively) beats $6k at 30% interest any day in terms of my ability to sleep at night.

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Step 0, done

Thanks to my NC and federal tax returns, I am now current on all credit cards and ready to “snowflake” my way to a starter emergency fund (with the help of my IN tax return and the economic stimulus check, yes).

In the process, I paid off what remained of my tax debt from last year with no additional money out of pocket.

Lingering headache aside, today is starting off very well. Windfalls are nice. Paying well over $900 toward my high-interest debts in a month is nice, too.

Now I just need to get those interest rates lowered with some phone calls during lunch.

On tax returns and economic stimuli

So, as I’ve made clear in the past, I’ve decided to take on my debt full-tilt using ideas from Dave Ramsey’s books and various financial blogs I read.

My budgeting earlier this year was skewed by irregular income for a couple of months, courtesy of leaving teaching, having unemployed time, then starting a new gig.

I’ve been chipping down at one debt in particular these past few months — it’s a credit card where one charge went just over the credit limit, blooming in fees and extra charges beyond what I could pay during my paycheck-to-paycheck living while teaching.

I made out like a bandit on my tax return this year, both on the federal and the two states I filed for. Other friends seem to have made a lot more, but I’ll take my $1200 and run, given that I owed last year.

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Recent Posts

Exploit: Zero Day “Headless Swarm” Landing December 1

So we’ve been working on Exploit: Zero Day for a couple of years now, but I haven’t talked nearly enough about it here. It’s a web-based cyberthriller puzzle game where you play as a hacktivist, uncovering and battling against oppression and exploitation.

*innocent whistle* Totally not the sort of game I’d want to make or play, no…

It’s been in closed alpha for a while, but we’re ready to offer a prelude season of paid story: “Headless Swarm”. For details on the plotline and how it relates to the continued free alpha access, check out the announcement blog post over at FPG.

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Attending a Charlottean Protest

I visited uptown Charlotte tonight, amidst the current protests and unrest after Keith Scott’s death. My friend and I had a few tidbits of info on where people were meeting, but nothing concrete, so we wandered along several streets.

In areas where people weren’t protesting, businesses were closed, and the streets were unusually silent for 20:30 on a Friday night. Troops stood in clumps of three on corners, waving or saying hello when you passed them. The occasional humvee or police SUV drove by.

Things were more lively at the Omni Hotel, where folks had covered the sidewalk in chalk. There were lots of media there: it was clearly an “allowed”, acceptable, media-consumable gathering. I’d maybe characterize it as a space for quieter expression of grief, although it was criticized by another gathering as essentially being for the white people. The writings were names of people killed and sayings that many of us are familiar with: “hands up don’t shoot”, “when will we have justice?”, etc. Religious figures were around, praying with people.

Further down Trade St., past the bus station, a group had gathered in front of some government building. My friend and I stayed there for a while. They were chanting “I am my brother’s’ keeper!” and folks were stepping up to share their perspectives. Four National Guards and a cop stood between the crowd and the building (with the aid of crowd control barriers), utterly stoic when the crowd shouted questions at them.

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Remastering “The Majesty of Colors”

Folks probably know that I make video games as part of Future Proof Games, but maybe not what we’re doing at the moment. Many, many (many) years ago, Gregory made “(I Fell in Love With) The Majesty of Colors”, a very sweet Flash game about balloons and drowning.

As the site stats geek for FPG, I can tell you “Majesty” remains pretty damned popular. (Hell, it just got linked by Buzzfeed a few days ago.) It’s an evocative game that continues to appeal to folks wanting to explore the soft feelings of a big, weird, sessile alien. Problem is, Flash is finally actually dying — no phone/tablet can run it, and some browser configurations require user action before it’ll run Flash.

So we’re bringing “Majesty” to modern devices: Android, iOS, and Windows/OSX/Linux. And holy crap, this game feels great on a phone; moving the tentacle with your finger just feels real in a way that the tiny, mouse-controlled Flash version doesn’t. I’m excited to test it on tablets.

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July 3rd 2016
Tags: On Life and Love, , No Comments

First Hair Highlights

The first time I dyed my locs.

One of the first pictures taken of my newly-dyed locs.

I did it! I’ve had locs twice now, for a total of almost five years, and each time I’ve gone, “I should be bold and dye my hair!”

But it’s very permanent, especially since my natural hair color likely needs to be lightened for color to show much. Plus, lightening hair can be damaging. Last thing I want is to have my locs falling out. I’ve literally spent years growing these things; I’m not ashamed to say I’m a little attached to them, even if I don’t name them or count them.

But finally, with the aid of recommendations from friends and family on a beautician, I got my hair did.

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Ossuary 25% Off on Steam!

Steam Summer Sale 2016 Offer

Ossuary—Future Proof’s first commercial game release—is part of the Steam Summer Sale and will be 25% off until July 4. If you haven’t had a chance to play yet, it’s only $7.50 (USD). If you’re on the fence, the demo, “The Hodge-Podge Transformer,” is also on Steam.

It’s been on Steam for a year and a month now, and it’s been a fascinating experience. After watching a few Let’s Plays of Ossuary and “Hodge-Podge,” we released an update in December to improve the tutorial experience and solve some colorblindness issues.

EZD Logo Color Our current work in progress is Exploit: Zero Day, a cyberthriller where you roleplay a hacktivist by making and solving puzzles. It’s pretty cool, and our alpha players are making really friggin’ awesome puzzles and stories. If you want in, hop on the monthly mailing list and you’ll get a key in the next newsletter.

When a Nasal Polyp Isn’t a Nasal Polyp

I had a pretty gross thing happen to me today.

It started with a long, thin scope being poked into my nose — deep into my nose. They need to see where this mass in my nose was attached before they removed it.
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Questionable Decisions: Hot Yoga

I made a questionable decision this afternoon.

After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.

Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.

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