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  • You can’t catch me

    Nov 27, 2022

    I’m the gingerbread man.

    Did some holiday decorating and baking after going out to see Strange World, which I rate a solid “ok”. The central plot (which I won’t spoil) I enjoyed, and some of the visuals were well done, especially the comic book style introduction, but the meat of the story was pretty forgettable. Lorelei’s favorite part: “when the dog licked the thing”. I agree, the dog is funny.

    Also I’ve seen the “movie theaters are dying” stories and, sure, COVID, but I didn’t think much of it until today when… we had the entire theatre to ourselves. Early afternoon, and the theater is in the middle of a mall (that also might be dying), but geez, that doesn’t seem sustainable.

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  • I wish that turkey only cost a nickel

    Nov 20, 2022

    We did “early” Thanksgiving with my parents this weekend. We do it the weekend before because then it’s easier for my parents to visit us, and on the actual weekend of Thanksgiving we usually have four straight days to do “not much”.

    Every year I struggle to find the recipes/timings/temperatures I used the year before, even though every year I write it down somewhere. So this year, it’s here. Maybe next year I’ll find it.

    • Turkey. 9lb breast only, spatchcocked, 450° for 80 minutes. Should have covered the skin a little earlier (or dropped the rack down a level) but still good. I coat the skin in mayonnaise and bird herbs.
    • Roasted red potatoes, coated with oil and said bird herbs.
    • Buttermilk biscuits with poultry herbs. About 10 years ago now I made these and they rose perfectly and I’ve been trying to chase that magic combination since then.
    • Green beans with almonds, sautéed with butter and honey with herbs from the biscuits.
    • Homemade cranberry sauce, which is personally my favorite part of the meal.
    • A salad (greens, grapes, blue cheese, walnuts, balsamic fig dressing).
    • Pumpkin pie, although not nearly as nicely decorated as the one in that link. Still tasted good.
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  • Nov 17, 2022

    Testing using this Mastodon’s RSS feed to post to my blog. 🧪

    Posted on Mastodon 🐘


  • I miss the old metaphor for the web

    Nov 16, 2022

    That was an actual web, with webmasters, and crawlers, and spiders. It feels like the current web is a lot more spiders dangling from a very high ceiling on a single thread, just waiting for a strong wind to blow them off.

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  • Can we smoosh iA Writer, Bear, and Obsidian together

    Nov 15, 2022

    I use iA Writer, Bear, and Obsidian these days. I use iA Writer for writing (like writing this post), Bear for notes, and Obsidian at work for work notes. I wish all three could be smooshed together.

    • iA Writer is the best for writing in. The fonts and layout are amazing, not to mention focus and typewriter mode.
    • Bear is the best for notes with attachments. Adding a picture in a file based notes app is painful and sad.
    • Obsidian queries working on individual blocks of text are so cool, and the wikilink previews (and backlinks) are much more powerful than Bear. It makes generating something like a brag document very easy. As you record something, tag it with #brag and then query for each of them.

    A quick example of Obsidian queries. Two separate daily notes with a #workouts tag on them.

    I’d drop Bear for Obsidian on features, but Bear is miles ahead on UI, especially on mobile. Bear 2.0 seems like it will be released “soon”, but I might start taking advantage of Bear’s export to markdown features to then import in Obsidian for querying.

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  • Setting up an iPad as a multi-user device

    Nov 14, 2022

    Andrea had a good idea the other day to set up a digital display in our kitchen area to be able to see shared calendars, reminders, other digital debris we individually see on our devices but don’t have a great way of seeing as a family.

    We do everything in the Apple-ecosystem, Homekit, iCloud, all that, so it would seem that setting up an iPad to be a simple controller/view screen for this information would be easy, but Apple has made iPadOS the most frustrating OS in existence. Some things I ran into:

    • By default a device being reset to factory assumes you’d want to restore it as is. It even encourages you to use your phone to start set-up (I was too lazy to enter the wifi password), but this then sends you down some miserable “restore all your settings” path.
    • I don’t want this to run my iCloud account, in theory it’s a device that sits downstairs for some shared functionality. Someone could grab it to use, say, Paprika, control the Sonos, but not send e-mails from my e-mail account. Seems easy enough, but it’s also very unclear why I should or shouldn’t make this a family account. And the ability to just run as a “guest” (a feature of MacOS, last I checked) is limited to running a single app. Of course I eventually realized that if I wanted to use this to play Apple Music, I’d have to add it to the family anyway, because I can’t simply have a device with one account that logs in to another account for a single service.
    • To finish a new Apple account, you need a phone number to verify it (why?). To download apps from the app store (even free ones), you need to enter a billing address and phone number. Why!
    • I signed in to this account, completely detached from my family account, opened the Sonos app, and… my recently played music was in there when I selected Apple Music. This might be a thing Sonos exposes but it seems weird.
    • When iPadOS finally boots up, Apple News is dead center. This is only one of what seemed like a dozen upsells during the install process.
    • Enabling location services and then having the default weather widget be Cupertino is some “made in California” bullshit.

    Anyway, it’s up and running now, I’ll see how it works out for us. It remains baffling to me that the iPad exists as this “super simple” device for kids and grandparents but also a pocketable super computer. And also why isn’t there an Apple TV with a display. Also why can’t you hide the dock. Also… I think that’s it for tonight.

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  • Nov 13, 2022

    I haven't used Apple Books since the iOS16 update and oof that new page turn animation is really awful. Sad since it was one of my favorite UIs of the stock Apple apps.

    Posted on Mastodon 🐘


  • Tired

    Nov 13, 2022

    It’s a bad pun, I spent a fair share of time today mucking about with tires, swapping a bike one for a trainer tire for the still-not-yet-here Cold season, and putting on the Winter wheels for our Subaru (for the still-not-yet-here Snow season).

    They are deceptively simple, especially a bike one. Bit of rubber with some air in it, but quite amazing (or terrifying) when you realize that’s the bit of rubber keeping the wheels turning at 80 miles per hour. Uh, in the car, that is.

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  • Veteran’s Day

    Nov 12, 2022

    I wrote about my Grandfather’s experience in World War II a few years ago. We talked for hours about a few significant days in his life, but at the time it was hard to find any information about it online. Well I searched again this year and found this, a substantial write-up about the Battle of Metz and Fort Driant.

    This paragraph describes the main conflict my grandfather saw in the war and described to me in detail:

    Irwin broke off the attack the following day and replaced elements of his battered 11th Infantry with fresh troops from his 2nd and 10th Regiments; the two units renewed the assault on October 7. This time, the Americans attempted to fight their way into the underground entrances to the fort but made no better progress; they soon were bogged down.

    Also interesting:

    The 26th Division alone reported 3,000 cases of trench foot during the November offensive, Patton said.

    Which was what eventually sent my Grandfather back to America.

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