Thoughts for the week’s end

Crisp mornings this week! I don’t think we went on a single walk without jackets.

This may sound silly, but it’s my blog and I’ll sound silly if I want to.

I’m sipping on some Nuvo coffee (a light roast, I forget which) that I made in a moka pot mixed with a shot of Green Spot Irish whiskey and it’s one of the most pleasant things I’ve consumed.

Happy fall, indeed.

I’ve recently switched from espresso in the afternoons to the moka pot and was happy that my “recipe” from 2018 held up. I’ve enjoyed light roasts, medium roasts, dark roasts—every single cup has been excellent. This is so very strange to me because I used to be horrible at making coffee in the moka pot.

The above is an example of how my eating and drinking habits work in patterns. I’ll have the same coffee using the same method for an entire year until one weird thing makes me switch for a day and then I’ll do that until… etc.

I’ve been having fun with Scott’s Name That Tune series on YouTube even though I’ve proven to be horrible at it so far. I know almost all of the songs after the fact, but there’s something about trying to guess the song that makes me draw blanks.

As someone who is exactly in the same age bracket, I also appreciate the commentary on various songs from the 90s and aughts. I may spend the next week working through some throwback playlists.

For a long while I’ve joined a regular Zoom meeting for which I don’t have a clickable link. Instead, I’ve hunted through my email for the meeting ID each time.

Every time I did this I wished there was a list in the Zoom UI of previous meetings so I could just select it and go.

Turns out there is this list, I had just never actually tried to click the down arrow on the meeting ID field. 🤦🏻‍♂️

A new to me fact that blew my mind a month or so ago was that a 1km3 cloud contains about 1.1 million pounds of water.

According to more napkin math, that’s somewhere around 4 to 5 times more water than a good water drinker will consume in their lifetime.

You’re welcome.

We’ve been cruising through Halt and Catch Fire finally. It’s a show I’ve wanted to watch for a while, but hung just out of grasp when making show decisions for the last few years.

It’s very fantastic and I love the characters and the reminiscing and some of the insights into 80s tech that I lived through, but only as the child who got to play the games and write the most BASIC of programs.

It also suffers from AMC syndrome. If that’s a thing. Episode 8 of every season feels like the season finale and it’s done so excellent. And then so much time is spent setting things up for the next season that you wonder why they don’t just have 8 episode seasons instead of 10.

Anyhow. We’re on the last season. It’s great. I’ll be a little sad when it’s over. I’ve enjoyed the reminiscing, as I do.

Voted! Now to wait. Only a couple more weeks to go, may we continue hanging on.

Today I learned “outwith“, which I kind of love, so I’m documenting it here. I especially love that it’s a word that appears to be increasing in use, which means there may be time to figure out how to use it without it sounding awkward.

A few weeks ago—thanks to a crossword—I became enamored with “i’d’ve“, as a double contraction. I didn’t give any thought until today to how there may be many more. Now to use y’all’ll somewhere.

A fall weather note for comparison next year.

It was only over the last few days that one of our maples turned deep red. The other is still in that “I’m greenish-almost-yellow-but-check-back-tomorrow” phase.

The juncos have multiplied. And the rain has begun.


Thoughts for the week’s end

It’s Sunday Monday, but it feels like Saturday Sunday and I still have Monday the day off, so I must have done a pretty good job of relaxing over the last week. Or something.

Because I wrote most of this before the end of the week, I’m counting it and hitting publish.

Back in April, I mused on video chats and how they could be handled with VR in the future:

In a proper VR video chat (or something, I don’t know), the volume of the conversation could change as you move your head. So if two people wanted to shift to the side a bit and carry on a side conversation, they could still hear bits of the main conversation, but the volume of the people speaking would change based on their virtually physical location.

Enter Calla, an open source virtual meetup library built on Jitsi Meet:

Voice and video chat that simulates natural conversation. Volume scales with distance from other users. Walk around, talk to folks, have private conversations by huddling in a corner, or drop in on other conversations. Ideal for meetups!

From the Calla home page

How cool! I haven’t tried it yet, but it of course sounds promising. 🙂

One of my new favorite things is using the same title for multiple posts. This series is the longest running, but I also posted a few “Current status” this week, an intentional throwback to when that was a thing we did on Twitter before we didn’t.

It happened (for me) this week because I tried to title a post “<stay-cation>”, but that got chewed up and thrown aside by something when it published. No title appeared and the post ID was the slug. I had no interest in tracking down the reason, so I changed the slug to “stay-cation”, the title to “Current status” and let it be.

Now I kind of like the pattern.

This, via Friday’s NY Times crossword blog, is one of the best videos I’ve ever seen.

It’s like they’re living right side up lives in an upside down world!

The concept of The Rental was better than the movie itself, but the movie itself was still watchable and a good enough time. The following sentence shouldn’t really be a spoiler, but it might be, so I guess you’re warned.

Jeremy’s tagline for the movie: “The Airbnb rental said no pets allowed. A guest brought a dog. They deserve everything that happens next.

I have a bunch of random beer ingredients hanging around: hops in the fridge, barley and rye in the basement, water in the… tap? They’ve all been there for a very long time because I haven’t brewed beer in a very long time. And I’ve decided that before I can justify buying fresh ingredients, I should use the ones I have. If for nothing else, it should serve as a practice round to make sure I still know what I’m doing.

So! This week I plan on making a “Stale Ale” from all the leftovers as a way to recharge the joy of homebrewing.

Cheers! 🍻

Thoughts for the week’s end

It’s officially autumn, fall, October. It’s darker earlier every day, but the weather has been absolutely fantastic—after a brief stint where we had to turn the boiler on. For now it takes all day to hit a high of 75 or 80 and then drops into the 50s as soon as the sun goes down.

But! Winter is coming.

Michelle saw a Junco on Friday, I saw one this morning. They appear on the Palouse in early fall every year as harbingers of colder weather. They stop showing up shortly after winter ends.

Aside: I had no idea the definition of “autumn” was so ambiguous until I tried to figure out what word to use at the beginning of all this.

A year ago today we were hanging out at Bear Lake in Utah, before which I had spent a few days in Vancouver, before which we had spent a few weeks in Sweden. I then went to Milwaukee via Chicago the next week, St. Louis for WordCamp US a couple weeks later, and Boise a couple weeks after that.

It was a whirlwind (and a blast) and looks nothing like the world we’re living in today.

I haven’t even spent a night outside of Pullman since mid-November! 🤯

I ordered 3 books from eBay this week. The experience was unfamiliar, but really nice. I added items from 3 different sellers to one cart and only had to check out once. It’s so different from the world where we sent personal checks after winning bids and crossed our fingers that we’d see something in the mail weeks later.

Of course curiosity made me do some email searching. The last time I placed an order on eBay was in 2015 when I bought a used LG phone to do some testing on Android at WSU. Before that, I ordered a print in 2011 of which I have no recollection. And the trail goes cold at the beginning of my Gmail, so uh… way back when.

I do remember purchasing a mandolin, an acoustic guitar, microphones, and a handful of guitar pedals. It’d be fun if I could find the archives for those.

“I still want WordPress to be a post editor, but it wants to be a Site editor.”

…is a recurring thought of mine.

I expect this will change in the future. Once full site editing is in place, there should be room for a really nice writing area.

The actual experience that’s being built for people piecing together elements of a web page is turning out to be really great. I’m just never going to be happy until I can select text across paragraphs. 🙈

I either learned or remembered this week that WordPress did not enforce unique option names before 2.9.

The site was a triple whammy: Multisite since pre-3.0 MU; Global terms enabled; and a database that upgrade routines had not successfully been run against.

I have started almost every paragraph in this post with “I”. 🤦🏻‍♂️

The new Smashing Pumpkins is synth-ish, which I’m really digging…until Billy sings. At the risk of shocking my 19 year old self, instrumental releases would be more interesting.

Mulatu Astatke was my favorite artist of the week. I’d definitely recommend checking out his Mulatu of Ethiopia and others.

There are so many ideas floating around in my head for what I want to do with the web. I wrote up some thoughts on comments earlier in the week, I of course have ideas on a new writing experience, and I want to start branching off parts into a commonplace book that works outside of the “I write posts and post them” box.

I’m taking a stay-cation this week, so here’s hoping I spend a few minutes diving into them!

Cheers, y’all. 🍻

Thoughts for the week’s end

It rained this morning! We woke up late, to good air, and enjoyed coffee on the deck for a couple hours with my parents.

All week I had these notes about how horrible being outdoors was. The things I wanted most were to be able to open a window, to step outside for more than a second, and to enjoy a few moments of quiet without the constant hum of air purifiers—as grateful as I am that we have them.

And here we are. I’ve been outside. The air purifiers are off or running on very low. The sun peeked out for a minute. It’s cloudy and cool and comfortable.

A new level of madness was spending a week indoors due to bad air—Friday through Friday—without even having a place to drive to for a break due to a pandemic.

We spent several nights doing laps in the house to music for 45 minutes to an hour just to get a walk in. Who are we!

Michael Kiwanuka‘s 2019 album, Kiwanuka, was a joy to listen to this week. 🙌🏻

Still picking through Orwell’s essays, one by one. This time on Kipling.

His outlook, allowing for the fact that after all he was an artist, was that of the salaried bureaucrat who despises the “box-wallah” and often lives a lifetime without realising that the “box-wallah” calls the tune.

George Orwell, Rudyard Kipling, Horizon, February 1942

The footnote attached to “box-wallah” reads:

Strictly, a peddler, but in the context applied derogatively to those working in commerce in India.

The term made me think: “what are the odds this is why Dishwalla is named Dishwalla”. Sure enough, Dishwalla’s drummer confirms that the band name comes from an old issue of Wired.

Turns out it’s the second ever issue of Wired with this article.

Lajpat-Rai is a crucial link in this vast republic’s exploding market for satellite television – and a central supply port for a new generation of opportunistic entrepreneurs called “dish- wallahs”; wallah being a common Hindi phrase which translates to something between “hack” and “specialist.”

Dish-Wallahs“, Wired, April 1993

I have spent way too much time thinking about Dishwalla over the last month.

From the other room just now: “do you want to touch raw beef tongue?” 😂

Of course I did. Tacos tonight!

I’m about half-way in to Rage, Bob Woodward’s new book. The most striking part so far is how un-striking it all is when compared with how I felt while reading Fear just two years ago.

Dan Coats, former director of national intelligence, appears quite a bit at the beginning, which made his op-ed on the election slightly more interesting this week for some reason.

Rest in peace, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. May all current and future jurists—I mean, everyone really—be inspired by your life and your work.

My Own Words is now on my short-term reading list. I’m looking forward to being inspired rather than enraged.

60 some hours until fall!

Time for a whiskey. 🥃

Thoughts for the week’s end

Heyo 41.

I might be excited because I might buy myself a guitar today at our local music shop. I might also not be excited because I might postpone the visit yet again due to… pandemic!

I’m fairly certain they’ve done good a good job through everything—at some point I saw a notice that only one customer is allowed in the store at a time. But I still classify this as highly risky on my list of things Jeremy has done in the last 6 months.

Ooph, time goes.

So I’m browsing various models ahead of time, hoping to pop in and pop out. It will be a little weird to not sit and get to know the guitar for a bit, but also… pandemic!

One of the weirder decisions I made 9 years ago was to sell my guitars and amps and pedals and oh, it’s sad if I think too much about it. But stuff is stuff; the hobby went away for a bit and now it wants to come back.

I’m probably looking at a Telecaster this time around because I’ve always been curious of the sound. And if the hobby sticks, I can start poking at rejoining the Gibson family. 🎸

I caught up on a bunch of magazine reading last weekend and found James Meek’s history of the World Health Organization—accompanied by the history of the current SARS-Cov-2 outbreak—to be a very interesting read. It’s from early July, but still timely.

One thing the writer tries to clarify is the difference between communal health and “tech fixes”: (emphasis mine)

The divide between communal health advocates and tech fixers represents a deeper choice: between actions that aim to help an individual, so may indirectly help everyone, and actions that aim to help everyone, so may indirectly help the individual. Lockdown requires each individual to accept personal constraints for the sake of the community, even when they are not themselves ill. In theory, the tech fix can be for everyone, too, but because it is a thing to be obtained, rather than a constraint to abide by, it comes trailing issues of priority, price, privilege, exclusivity: what device, what pill, what treatment, what test can I get for myself, my family, my friends, to protect them?

James Meek, The Health Transformation Army, London Review of Books

I don’t know how I came across an old post of mine with a picture of a Pixies show taken on a (likely Nokia) camera phone circa 2004, but I did so now it’s here.

At some point these photos are going to classify as abstract.

What is the minimum number of people required on a video call before an Irish exit makes sense?

I’m thinking once you hit 10 it might be fair game.

Donating to politicians in other states seems like it should be wrong—if for nothing else because the amount of money involved in politics is wrong, but it also seems like the hate spread by existing politicians is worse, so here we are donating to politicians in other states.

You need a holiday, somewhere in the sun
With all the people who are waiting
There never seems to be one

Every once and a while the very beginning of Blur’s Advert pops into my head and I repeat it randomly throughout the day. It’s a sample used once that simply says: “food processors are great”. A keyboard starts looping, the bass comes in, and then the catchy guitar riff hits and it becomes a rock song. It has all the makings of a great track and I love it.

So I’ll be standing in the kitchen making coffee or lunch or anything and just start repeating out loud: “food processors are great”. Michelle asked me where it was from this week and of course I took the opportunity to play it.

This time I honed in on the chorus posted above and a song about advertising is now working in different ways as an anthem for our COVID summer.

A holiday, somewhere in the sun, would be fantastic indeed.

And of course I then made Thursday and Friday Blur listening days. It’s been a while since I went through the catalogue.

I can’t really pick a favorite. Leisure and 13 are the least likely, even though Tender, the first track on 13, is one of my favorite songs ever made and I thought I remembered the album being amazing.

Modern Life Is Rubbish, Parklife, The Great Escape, and Blur all have their moments where I’m like: oh right, this is my favorite album. Even as I’m writing this I have Modern Life Is Rubbish playing again and my brain is trying really hard to convince me to pick it.

And then Think Tank, which I don’t remember appreciating as much at the time, but I very much enjoy now. And the reunion album, The Magic Whip, turned out to be very excellent.

Anyhow. One day I’ll sit down and do a proper write-up of the best parts.

Stay well! May we see 46 before I see 42. 🎂