Erin's Blog

matrix setup and usability review

i run a small Discord community, and was interested in offering a Matrix counterpart and chat bridge. i knew it might not be ready for prime time usage but the ensuing evaluation was rather disappointing. read more to learn about the painful issues that i experienced through initial set up and use.

this winter's AD regimen for SAD

i've battled with seasonal depression for many years. my most recent foray into antidepressant treatment this winter has been a fun one. my regimen is a culmination of things from last year that worked, and surprisingly, when it comes to the additions, there was little fuss and churn. read this post if you're interested in the continuing tales of my uniquely bizarre and sensitive neurochemical disposition, as well as learning of the obscure, experimental drugs and supplements that helped me get a handle on my shit.

oneplus 8 pro phone review

i got a oneplug 8 pro in december of last year. its good enough, i guess. i havent had any major problems with it that i couldnt solve myself, which is a relief and divergence from the pixel lines' poor release history of late. i want to talk to yall about android, tho. specifically their mod, dubbed oxygenos, and generally, the vanilla aspects of the android operating system its based on. despite tons of advancements in android over the last 5 years, i still find it pretty lackluster and leaving me wanting. from nits to heavy sighs and annoyed squinting, there's a lot that coalesces into my roiling discontent with mobile tech.

breaking sms receipt on the op8p

a couple days ago my SMS chats were delayed. this happened regardless of sender, carrier, etc. the delay ranged from 10-30 minutes. particularly frustrating because TFA on all the things. eventually i got annoyed enough to troubleshoot it yesterday and found that i am yet again the cause of wanting to defenestrate a computer

what breaks on the web when you care about privacy?

online privacy is a complicated matter when you get down to the implementation details of modifying technology with it in mind. mozbilla's browser, firefox, leads the way in giving the user options to help themselves in this regard. there's lots of powerful addons, sure, but also transparently exposed knobs to turns as well as options to tune under-the-hood. unfortunately, a lot of these break The User Experience in the age of web 2.0 enabled service integrations and all that dynamic content crammed down your pipe in hundreds of megabytes of javascript. i spent some time trying to improve my online privacy in this space, and detail some issues i've encountered, as well as others that could happen to those with different use cases from my own.

Choosing a smartphone in 2020

what makes a good smartphone? how do they spark joy? i've watched the smartphone market for the last year, hoping something might catch my eye as my device's lifespan dwindles alongside my confidence in technology. behold! markets evolve toward peak nonsense as i cry in anguish. for i, but a simple denizen of the vast net, am met with the realisation that my place is not to be found among others. they look on at with adoration at that which strains my patience. here i sit, nursing RSI as i pound these keys, brooding; "will these infernal machines ever reflect the beauty in my heart?"

The hypothetical estrone problem

Dr. Will Powers is an interesting character in the trans medicine space, known for his unorthodox deviance from standards in conducting transfeminine HRT. He has popularized a number of ideas surrounding optimizing feminization. I came into these on my travels, and found that my own experience appeared to be characterized by one of those that he has spoken of. He hypothesizes that the ratio of two specific estrogens may play a role in feminization outcomes. While the mechanism by which this ratio may become askew is not known, there are ways to manipulate it. I experimented with my own estrogen administration and measured the effect it had on my abnormally high estrone and present this method as an additional consideration for those who see questionable results on their transition journey.

Anti-androgens: spironolactone and bicalutamide

Spironolactone is typically the go-to anti-androgen for transfem HRT regimens in the US. In my opinion, it is a poor choice with many off-target effects. After research, I came to prefer a newer option, bicalutamide. Despite a solid base of experimental research proving it efficacious and safe, it lacks long-term study, and for this reason, isn't widely employed. Spironolactone is a perfectly adequate choice for most, being able to provide some testosterone blockade and promoting feminization. If it fails you, or you aren't comfortable with its potential side effects, bicalutamide may be a better fit.

Simple self-hosted file sharing

I’ve been using IRC since about age 11. When Discord got popular a few years ago, I took a hiatus for awhile, but inevitably returned. The quality of life differences are pretty remarkable, and I wanted to preserve some semblence of that. The most common feature I found myself missing was easily uploading images.

Greynet medicines

A so called greynet of online pharmacies exists that offer medicines for sale without a prescription. While it is popularly known that these pharmacies are questionable, it is seldom seriously discussed amongst the people who buy from them. Understanding regulation of the pharmaceutical industry and how it relates to consumer protection is important in protecting oneself in this situation. Using freely available online tools, it is possible to vet a manufacturer and form a risk assessment. The interpretation of plant inspections and other public data or the lack thereof can give insight by which to ascertain confidence and comfort with the idea of consuming a given product.