Some things on this site:
And Days N Daze, short one member, but made up for with some mouth trumpet and backup from the previous bands.
And shoutout to Dan for getting the tickets and convincing me to leave the house. We both acknowledged it’s a lot harder these days.
An iPhone 13 Pro showed up this week. I wasn’t planning on upgrading my XR (it was fine), but the AT&T trade-in for a decent amount of money only to be mind-controlled by them for the rest of your life1 was hard to pass up. Also, the number of cameras. My XR was definitely lacking in Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades energy.
So far that camera has been great for taking pictures of my child who finds the most adorable faces to make.
Just posting this for posterity, so some day my kid can find this and know that I was good at video games (some times, when other people are bad).
From My Little Pony - Friends Forever #21 from… October of 2015. Also worth noting when the find the cure, no one (not even Applejack) makes a fuss about how they can’t be forced to take it.
Which reminded me we watched Six Degrees of Separation last week, and there’s a scene where Will Smith’s character talks about how his father (who he pretends is Sidney Poitier) is going to make a movie version of Cats.
History repeating, and what not.Permalink
The very first blog post on this blog is about why I decided to get a Dell instead of a new Macbook Pro. I’m glad to see the new M1 Pro/Max fixes everything. I already bought an M1 Air but someday this touchbar/butterfly workbox will get replaced with one of these, so there’s that to look foward to.
Also, that Dell I went with was fine. I ended up getting rid of it because I don’t game on PC any more. You’d still be better off with any Dell with a dedicated GPU than a Mac for gaming, even if it will pull down 400 watts of power to run.Permalink
Let’s start with a riddle:
Q: What do a couch and a baby have in common?
A: If you want one now, you have to wait 10 months.
We purchased an Ikea sectional when we moved into this house not many years ago. It was fine, it filled the space we wanted to fill, but lately it’s become spine-tinglingly uncomfortable1. We went to the Jordan’s superstore which is… definitely not one of my favorite places on Earth, but the combo of nice weather / COVID / and the fact that every scrap of furniture upholstery is sitting in a cargo ship currently lost in the middle of the Pacific meant there was hardly any one there. We ordered some new couches and a chair and they’ll be in our house (🤞) before I die.
Since it was pretty empty, we took Lorelei to do the crazy indoor ropes course thing they have there. The excitement of it was enough to get her into the harness and up to the first level, but after a few crossings I got two big thumbs down while she held on to one of the landing posts.
After that she came down and did the much closer to Earth version a few thousand times.
The team got together in Woostah on Monday. This is the third time I’ve seen them IRL since starting at Chewy. The entire team has joined during the COVID
lockdown year era.
Growing up we had a few people in the neighborhood I trick-or-treated in who would take things too seriously. Like, put on a hockey mask then hide in a leaf pile with an actual chainsaw seriously. So, I’ve always been a fan of more sedate Halloween decorating. A few pumpkins, maybe some sugar skulls, a couple of leaves I failed to rake blown about. Lorelei had a specific request for spider webs this year. Sure, why not. I had to go to Home Depot anyway, so I brought her along, thinking they always have a seasonal display with some decorating stuff in it. Well, apparently the “season” appropriate for October 15th is Christmas. But! It’s 2021, and “thanks” to COVID there are hundreds of empty retail stores out there for Spirit to sink its creepy claws into. So we found one of those, which, amazingly I don’t think I’ve ever been in. They had an entire rack full of decorative spider webs. The store had probably the most people I’ve seen in a retail establishment since the beginning of the the COVID
lockdown year era. We passed on the 7+ foot animatronic Baphomet but man for $300 that puts the animatronics in some local theme parks to shame.
Big release at work this week; it all went well, and our application is much more accessible now, so it feels pretty good! Remember if you ever need an on demand video or text consultation with a veterinarian, Connect With a Vet!
Three only slightly related thoughts, that mean something to me because I used to write technical instruction manuals for a living.
It’s October. The wife and I had Friday off, and thought maybe we’d get lunch in Salem. We didn’t really think October 1st, a full 30 days away from Halloween would be an issue, but people take October being spooky season seriously. Instead we ate lunch in town, which is another town that used to be part of Danvers, which is where the “Salem” Witch Trials took place, but don’t tell the tourists that.
Before attempting lunch on Friday I went out for a bike ride. One of my favorite things when mountain biking is unintentionally sneaking up on wildlife, slipping through the trees quickly and quietly enough that they don’t notice you until you’re close, and then they jump and run off. Happened with a few deer, but the treat was a Pileated woodpecker jumping off a tree and flying in front of me for a few hundred feet.
Related, an article I read this week about the Ivory-billed woodpecker being declared extinct. As a kid I had a t-shirt that was treated so that when it was cool the silhouettes of dozens of animals were on it, and when it got hot, they disappeared. This wasn’t even a commentary on global warming, it was just — hey, stop tearing down the places these animals live. But, they’re probably all gone now.
By some estimates, populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish have declined by almost 70 percent on average since 1970. It’s the reason you tend to see fewer bugs on your windshield when driving cross-country and hear less birdsong when hiking through the forest.
Also how many animals died to make a t-shirt treated with some heat sensitive chemical. I am not a biozoologist but I want to say the Earth having almost 70% fewer types of things living on it is bad.
There’s just so much crap being offered for sale or rent today — so much that we’re expected to spend money on and like even though it’s incompetently or carelessly made.
I take back that everything is crap, but the paradox of choice only serves to make me think that, by default, something is crap unless proven otherwise.
If you follow me on RSS (or, simply look at the post below this one), you might have seen some odd things pop up. For a while I’ve wanted to be able to post to here “like Twitter”, i.e. from my phone and as easily as possible. The entire site is driven from Markdown files in Git, so I hooked up a Netlify function to take in a JSON POST body and send the picture to an S3 bucket and the content to Github as a new commit on
main, and an iOS Shortcut to export a photo from Photos and allow me to append some text to it. And it works! Mostly! I don’t delete my mistakes, so if you click on “permalink” on the post below it, uh, goes nowhere. Once it goes somewhere I’ll write up some details on how it works.
I upgraded all of my iDevices to iOS15 (or… whatever their equivalents are called. tvOS/HomeOS something-point-oh). A few quick notes:
Beyond those gripes, there’s a ton of low level quality of life improvements. The new maps font is nice. Widgets on the iPad are great (although I wonder why it took an extra release to get them), and the redesigned multitasking UI makes it much more usable. The UI team working on the Weather app is amazing.
I put a trailer hitch on our Forester on Saturday. I wanted a hitch mount rack for the new bike - it’s way too long and heavy for me to easily get on and off the roof rack, but that necessitated having a hitch to put the hitch rack on first. I decided to do it myself because sometimes I enjoy working on cars, and I found a version of the install that that involved no drilling, only wrenching. Some thoughts:
I’ve given up on Stop and Shop. I go there because it’s close, and during the pandemic they had lots of self checkout lanes so you could get in and out pretty quick. But now they’ve done something to the self checkout lanes that basically goes like this:
It’s… it’s the bag. Why would I put something in the bagging area and not put it in a bag? I don’t know what shit update they pushed recently that made this start happening but the only solution is to either pile everything into the 2’x1’ bagging area and bag it at the end, or get someone to wave their card at the machine every time you add a new bag.
And before you’re like “well it’s Stop and Shop, what do you expect” let me tell you the developers who made that change and the ones who write car automation software differ only in ambition, not intelligence.
At some point I’m going to write something about how being a Tech Director for 6 months has gone. It’s gone well so maybe I should just leave it at that and save the rest of the psychopath’s playground (LinkedIn).
With Safari 15 supporting browser chrome colors, I thought I’d throw a fresh coat of paint on the site. I made dark mode work again as well, although I think there are some pieces missing. If only I’d made a styleguide for the site instead of throwing everything together as I thought of it.Permalink
This week, summed up in two short scenes with my daughter.
Scene: Local restaurant, on the outdoor patio. A rare family dinner outside the house because the grandparents were visiting before they set off on a cross-country train ride.
👨: What do you want to eat here?
👧: Hot dog!
👨: Are hot dogs on the menu?
👧: I dunno?
👨: Read the menu and see if you can find hot dogs.
👧: I can’t read!
👨: Yes you can, look at the menu and pick out something.
👧: Pizza! Ice cream! Waffles!
Later, outside after dusk. My father and daughter are talking about stars in the sky.
👧: Can I see your phone, I want to know what star that is.
👨: Opens Sky Guide, hands over phone.
👧: Oh, it’s Jupiter.
👨: How do you know?
👧: Points at screen. Ju-pi-ter. It says Jupiter.
👨: Picks up daughter by shoulders, turns her 45 degrees.
👨: What about that one over there?
👨: So you... can read?
Scene: at Stage Fort Park, down on the “boardwalk” looking at the ocean.