Doing Something Every Day of 2023: COMPLETE

In 2016 I started a project to learn something every day of the year, eventually evolving into a life logging habit that I’ve kept up since then, which includes these year end review posts.

Doing Things

I didn’t start or finish anything major in 2023, so it doesn’t really feel like I did much of anything, though I continued to work on various long term projects like running the Mastodon server, and freelancing work on Seasonspree.

One thing that was definitely different this year is the number of people that came to visit as travel restrictions eased. My parents came to visit in the spring for cherry blossom season, which worked out great. It was their first visit to Japan, or anywhere international. They had originally booked flights to visit in early 2020, but well… that didn’t happen.

Several other friends visited Japan throughout the year, and we were able to meet up, which was a nice change from the previous couple of years.

Game Programming Basics in Lua and Love2D

I guess I shouldn’t neglect the fact that I did publish, at least Part I, of a tutorial series I had been working on, very slowly and intermittently, for 5 years now: Game Programming Basics in Lua and Love2D

This is taking much longer than I had intended, but even 5 years later I still think it’s a worthwhile endeavour. Hopefully Part II will take less than another 5 years, but I guess we’ll see.

stylized digital painting of cartoon mastodons having a picnic in a garden, two sitting on a blanket reading and playing music, while a third paints the scene at an easel

This was the first full (calendar) year of running It was a challenging year for the fediverse, and at times I spent a bit too much time invested in fediverse goings on. I didn’t really realized how much time it was taking up until I stepped back a bit and realized I suddenly had a lot more time to do other things.

Especially during May through July, I spent quite a bit of time writing about fediverse topics, like spam, Authorized Fetch, the imminent arrival of Meta/Facebook/Instagram/Threads, and tuning Mastodon servers.

I also started a Mastodon blocklist called Garden Fence, since a reliable blocklist was something that I had wanted when I was getting started as a Mastodon admin, and while there are a handful of other blocklists available, there wasn’t one that was exactly what I was looking for. ended the year with 492 active users, not far from the 500 or so a year ago. At that time, things were still calming down from the November influx. It continued to fall to around 317 in May, before jumping up again in June, after which things stayed more level.

It’s a comfortable size, and I’m happy that folks are sticking around to enjoy the community.


I practice Japanese using WaniKani for Kanji, and Duolingo for basic vocabulary and grammar. At the beginning of the year I was seeing an increasing number of WaniKani lessons that said things like “as you’ve already learned…” and thinking to myself… that’s weird, I don’t think I’ve learned that.

I realized that I had messed up my own progress with WaniKani by changing a review order setting a year or two earlier which had allowed me to skip ahead to the next level without finishing all of the content of the current one. My review queue was huge, thousands of items, and I had never even started lots of items from previous levels.

While I was supposedly at level 27, I looked back to find a level I was actually comfortable with, and ended up resetting my progress to level 20. Since then, with proper review settings, I’ve made it back up to level 24 by the end of the year, and this time it’s a much more accurate assessment of my progress.

bar chart of days spent on each WaniKani level up to 24. the average is 31, and the median is 19 days, but level 22 is 109 days, and level 23 is 143. level 20 has a black line labelled “reset”

Level 23 was a slog in particular, taking 143 days to pass. I find once I fall behind, it is much harder to catch up.

By the numbers:

graph of covid cases per million people in 2023, rolling 7-day average. Japan spikes at 1.5k in Jan, falls sharply to below 200 in March and begins to curve up again somewhat before ending in May.

COVID-19 Cases Per Million People (rolling 7-day average, 2023)

Japan decided to just stop reporting COVID cases in May 2023. Very disappointing, especially since cases were trending up at the time. Can’t make decisions without information.

Onward 2024

The ongoing projects I have right now are either in idle or cruise mode, so I’ve been wondering what if anything might be the next Big Thing I take on. My current thoughts are split mainly between game development, and the fediverse, or more broadly the open web.

Having gotten more involved in the fediverse over the past couple of years, and observing – as many have – the continued enshittification of web based search and information sources accelerated by LLM powered SEO garbage, the time seems ripe for independent and federated projects to come to the forefront once again, a feeling that died off in the early 2000’s as big tech consumed everything. So as far as contributing constructively to society, that seems like a useful thing to focus on.

On the other hand, I like making games, and I can do it mostly by myself without having to deal with … er… other people. Not really true, but the number is much much smaller, like 5, instead of the entire internet. A more peaceful existence, but less contribution to humanity. Tough call.


Rough sketched cartoon of a Star Wars AT-AT Walker, with a pudgy body atop spindly legs. In place of regular walker feet, are plastic rollers with locking mechanism you typically find on office furniture.

I’d forgotten I had taken quite a few photos I really liked this year. Another benefit of doing a yearly review.

A wide panoramic shot across a pond in a Japanese garden. The blue sky is filled with fluffy clouds. Tall ornamental green trees, walkways full of people, and fully bloomed cherry trees line the far shore, and everything is reflected clearly on the surface of the pond.

View from shore looking along high sandy cliffs with lots of different layers visible in the rock. The blue sky and ocean are visible on the left, and scrubby trees line the top of the cliff.

A bright sunlit cluster of small purple flowers seen in profile against blurred green background. A gold and black bee lifts off from the top of the flowers, its wings a faint blur.