29 Aug.-1 Sep.

Well life has gotten the best of me these last couple of days, so here is the collection of the past four days of blips and posts. It is not a huge amount, which further speaks to the busy-ness of this work week.

August 29

8:31am – There is something that is just naturally correct about having a bowl of cereal and watching cartoons on Saturday morning. #

9:36am – I continue to be a huge fan of Washington Attorney General Ferguson. His office has continued to do a fantastic job, and I just learned today they are tackling one of the multi-level marketing companies, LulaRoe. #

8:06pm – In mucking around on my network, I just discovered there is a wifi-based admin panel for our network printer. I had no idea and we’ve had this printer for 4+ years now. Crazy. I now know that in that time we’ve printed 581 pages of the printer’s estimated 11,500 page life expectancy. The printer this one replaced was one I had had since I was in college, it was a workhorse for over fifteen years. Based on our usage rate, I expect this one to last nearly as long. #

8:11pmI have really enjoyed Patrick Stewart’s daily sonnet readings.

I’ve said for years now that Sir Patrick Stewart is my adopted grandfather, and having these regular videos from him has been an utter delight. #

August 30

10:37am – Me to Ozzie this morning, “You’re such a sweet pup, it would be a real shame if I had to kill you for not stopping licking my toes.” #

7:07pmRyan Coogler’s excellent note after Chadwick Boseman’s death (hollywoodreporter.com) #

August 31

4:16pmA great twitter thread about the history of birch beer.

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7:59pm – Got my delivery of new glasses and am honestly thrilled. They all fit well, just a matter of deciding which fit my face the best. #

September 1

11:41amAirline Pilots Landing At LAX Report “A Guy In Jetpack” Flying Alongside Them (thedrive.com) A recap of pilots landing in LAX spying a guy in a jetpack flying alongside them on their approach. #

11:45am – I don’t take advantage of it enough, but being able to cook a good hot lunch is a major plus to working from home. I just made an Orzo dish with diced chicken, crushed tomatoes, and other deliciousness. The chicken is more bland than I’d prefer, but I will improve upon it next time. #

12:47pm – Posted by a friend:

There is a possibility that we are now in the Star Trek timeline. If civil unrest continues, we could very well see the Bell riots in 2024. At least in this universe, if I can survive to the age of 81, I’ll see first contact with the vulcans, and the first warp ship. I guess I’ll have to find a way to make it through WW3 though. #

6:45pmTim Ferriss is one of my guilty pleasures as far as “infotainment” but this conversation with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is delightful.

I grew up religious (Presbyterian) and as I grew my religious faith left me. I still value the speakings of the wise of all religions, whether Christian, Judaic, Buddhist or others. And this chat is entertaining and interesting as I learned more about judaism, as well as the philosophical basis of the Rabbi’s beliefs. #

28 Aug. 2020

7:38am – Finished Cormac McCarthy’s The Road last night. It was quite the book, initially the way it’s written was quite offputting but after a few dozen pages I adjusted to it. Without spoilers, I am mostly happy with how it ended. #

9:40am – I am eternally greatful that working from home has normalized interruptions during Zoom calls. I appreciate people’s understanding when my dogs decide to wrestle directly next to me during a work call. #

3:04pmNeed to buy your own insurance? It might be cheaper to sign up for classes at a university. (healthcareisdumb.com) #

9:26pmRest in Power, Chadwick Boseman, Wakanda Forever. #

9:37pmPaul Graham on “Life is Short” (paulgraham.com) tldr; “Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have. That’s what you do when life is short.” #

27 Aug. 2020

6:17am – Thankfully I did not have a repeat of night before last, and I slept quite well last night. #

8:22amW. E. B. Dubois died 57 years ago today (naacp.org) #

11:30amI’ve been a fan of Hot Ones, and this interview with Joseph Gordon-Levitt is another great example.

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4:04pm – The state of endless ads on YouTube is infuriating. It almost makes me want to pay $11/month simply to block them. #

10:16pmScholar’s notes reveals race to decipher Rosetta Stone (theguardian.com) #

10:17pmMontevideo, Uruguay to have first Covid-19 Victim Memorial (gomezplatero.com) #

10:18pmLego + Ikea (For real) (brickfinder.net) #

10:25pmUS Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in Georgia (usmarshals.gov) A dark story with a happy ending as the US Marshal’s bust this ring, make arrests and rescuse dozens of missing kids. #

10:35pm – “The Trump re-election strategy seems to be to argue that only Donald Trump can save America from Donald Trump’s America.” – Dan Rather #

25-26 Aug. 2020

I didn’t get to post my Glowbug updates last night due to a site downtime last night. So here they are.

Among the posts here, there is one regarding the athletes deciding to not play today in protest of this week’s events in Wisconsin. It is by far the most important thing here and merits our full attention and action during this push for Black Lives Matter and real systemic change for social justice. Justice for Rayshard Brooks, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and so many others.

August 24

11:10pm2,000-year-old redwoods survive wildfire at California’s oldest state park (nbcnews.com) I was very worried the fire would do in the forest, but as the article points out, fires can be good for forests and these trees have survived fires before. #

11:14pmAnyone remember Project Ara? (en.wikipedia.org) It was an abandoned project at Google, to explore the idea of a modular smartphone. Imagine being able to buy parts and pieces and swap them in and out of your phone. Do you focus on media and watching movies? You could add memory. Photography? Better camera. Medical or scientific field uses requiring special equipment? Sure! It seemed like such a cool idea. Sadly they abandoned it. #

August 25

8:11am – Up, showered, and starting my workday. I am expecting a repairman for the second attempt at repairing one of our recliners. Fingers crossed, since it’s been a five month ordeal given the impact of Covid. #

8:19am – There is a new usecase for Glowbug which my system does not yet handle well, and that is when I blip things before I’ve read them. Normally they would (and sometimes still do) get added to my Pocket app, but I’ve found myself finding an article (such as this article on GQ about Jaron Lanier) and blipping it without having read it.

Now, the system is such that I can easily open the link and read it from the Glowbug admin page, but it’s in the queue to be published. What if I don’t read it by then? Then I have to manually remove it. Hardly a huge inconvenience but still not the proper workflow.

Right now I think the solution is that links added via bookmarklet will be marked as “to read” and they won’t be exported if they have that flag on them. But I’m still thinking it over. We will see if I come up with a better workflow. #

8:27amAfrica declared free of wild polio (bbc.com) #

11:14amGQ interview with Jaron Lanier (gq.com) There are a few people in Silicon Valley who are shamans of sort. Jaron is one of them. This was a bit lightweight despite its efforts to dig in on some big questions about today. #

7:12pmThe 37 Basic Dramatic Situations of any story (openculture.com) #

7:28pmAnesthesiologist Claire Rezba started tracking lost health workers to Covid-19 (propublica.org) #

August 26

8:22am – Sometimes, for no good reason, I end up awake for several hours in the middle of the night. Last night being one such occasion. I woke up at 2:30 and then could not fall back asleep until after 5. So I ended up sleeping about 90 minutes later than usual and I still feel exactly. #

10:18amBlaseball.com (blaseball.com) A friend introduced me to it last night. It is this weird constantly running fantasy baseball pick’em of made up teams, entirely programmatically driven? I think? It’s weird and delightful and vaguely unsettling. #

12:08pmAdam Savage Makes A Custom Apron.

Adam Savage’s Tested videos have been a staple of my media consumption during the pandemic. He has proven to be a huge source of comfort and inspiration during these months and I particularly enjoyed this one-day build of his new apron. #

5:37pm – My short night got the better of me and I took a nap this afternoon. Normally I am firmly anti nap in general, once I’m awake for the day I try to power through. Today was an exception as I was dealing with a pounding headache and the aches of a body that didn’t get its needed rest. Not fun.

Thankfully the nap made a big difference and I’m feeling much better. #

6:16pmToday I learned that Seattle staged a General Strike in 1919 (en.wikipedia.org) 65,000 workers walked off the job for five days in protest of WWI wage controls, inspired by the Russian revolution. #

6:35pmBlack Lives Matter. “Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once. In the movement, we didn’t know how history would play itself out. When we were getting arrested and waiting in jail or standing in unmovable lines on the courthouse steps, we didn’t know what would happen, but we knew it had to happen.” – John Lewis

Tonight the athletes again forced the conversation into the limelight, the reminder, the discussion of what is laid bare in regards to how our police and racial inequality continually is revealed. People will say for them to just play. That sports are an escape from politics and the world–That is the point of this. If your refuges disappear then you are forced to face the issue.

Justice for Jacob Blake and so many others. #

6:49pmHurricane Laura is on the verge of Category 5 (bloomberg.com) Hurricanes are no joke. I grew up in Florida and while we avoided any serious damage, it was always a point of stress and fear. I never had to deal with a Category 5. Nature is no joke. #


Glowbug Development Notes:

  • Fixed some bugs, most notably it wasn’t letting me modify the created times.
  • Enabled it to properly output URLs for Twitter and YouTube to take advantage of WordPress’ embed functions (seen above with the Adam Savage video)

24 Aug. 2020

9:13am – Home internet just went down. No problem, let me use my phone as a hot spot. Nope, cell service (not provided by the same company) appears to be inhibited too. Well, work phone it is. That’s my Monday so far. #

1:36pm – Even though I have connectivity through a hotspot, I still feel as if I am deeply impacted by the fact my home internet is down. We’re past the four hour mark of this downtime, and in an era where I am working from home, it feels particularly rough. #

1:55pm – The great drought is over. Home internet has returned. #

3:42pmIain M. Banks’ Phlebas TV adaptation at Amazon no longer happening (denofgeek.com) – Shame. I quite enjoy the Culture series and was hopeful to see it made as a sci-fi series, but I can’t say I’m surprised. It isn’t an easy transition of paper to screen. #

3:59pm@sarajeong live tweets the Apple vs. Epic TRO first day (twitter.com) #

4:08pmMatt Pentz is among my favorite sports writers, and he writes here about my favorite rivalry (theathletic.com) Do note, the Athletic is a site that requires a subscription. That said, if you enjoy sports writing, I highly recommend it. #

6:23pmNavy Squadron Commander Gives Opinion on AI winning 5-0 (thedrive.com) As with most things, reading more than a single thing on a topic is a very important thing. This segment highlights the core of why the AI won in his eyes:

In true gamesmanship fashion, the guns-only BFM engagement was the setting for the AlphaDogfight contest. So what jumped out at me about the engagements? Three main points. First was the aggressive use of accurate forward quarter gun employment. Second, was the AI’s efficient use of energy. Lastly was the AI’s ability to maintain high-performance turns.

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6:38pmAn absolutely fascinating discussion about laws which seemed insignificant when passed but had huge repercussions or by-products since (twitter.com) #

22 & 23 Aug. 2020

This is a weekend wrap-up, primarily covering Saturday & Sunday, though I have one blip which sneaks in from late Friday after I posted that day’s updates.


August 21

10:21pm‘Grannies for justice’: Seven seniors arrested for sit-in for Breonna Taylor justice (usatoday.com) #

August 22

9:41am – I finally succumbed and gave myself a quarantine haircut, that is we bought a hair clipper, and I buzzed my head. I didn’t go overly short, but it feels good to have short hair and have it be (mostly) uniform in length. My wife gave me a few haircuts and did great, but between the heat and the growth of my hair I decided to just buzz it all. #

10:42amA fascinating look at the dwindling Zoroastrian/Parsi religion (getpocket.com) #

2:04pmMagnus Carlsen Chess tour to continue later this year (chess24.com) #

2:05pmVice introduces The Mail, a newsletter that tracks news around the USPS (vice.com) #

2:12pm0.41% chance that 2018VP1, a 6.5 feet wide asteroid, hits the planet before the election (cnn.com) #

2:26pmThe Computer Game That Led to Enlightenment (newyorker.com) Ultima IV was a pioneer in forcing players to grapple with morality. #

2:50pm – Typos in media annoy the crap out of me. Seeing a typo (“assisstant” [sic]) during a commercial on a cable TV channel makes me think poorly of the brand advertising and the channel carrying the commercial. #

7:57pmTITLE NEEDED (old.reddit.com//r) There are more molecules of water in a teaspoon of water than there are teaspoons of water in the Atlantic ocean. link. #

August 23

10:20am – Tried out Ringfit Adventure this morning, successfully worked up a sweat. Will be curious to see how it is as I progress.

#

10:29am – Ended up not making a post last night, not for any particular reason other than I got distracted and forgot. That said, I think having Saturday be a day without a post and instead collecting the weekend as a whole makes sense.We’ll see if I carry that forward or not. #

10:31amPreviously Classified Documentary video of Tsar Bomba Released (thebarentsobserver.com) #

9:05pm – I am honestly not sure where today went. I played chess in the morning, watched soccer, had a Zoom call with family, made some dinner, and then played D&D. I’m watching the Sounders face Portland right now, and then the work week starts back tomorrow. Sunday just flew away. #

10:44am – Good thing I have a backup pair of glasses, just discovered our younger dog happily chomping away on the glasses which were my primaries.

Update: After a bit of research I opted to order from EyeBuyDirect.com (this is a referral link, so if you use it I will get rewards). Ordered three pairs, assuming I will return at least one of them. I also made use of “VIP30” as a coupon code at checkout for 30% off the entire order. #

11:52amMy friend Mike Selinker has a great Twitter thread that discusses the though process on brute forcing the puzzle/cipher from the new Batman trailer (twitter.com) #

1:57pmCongrats Bayern!. UCL winners with the 1-0 victory in the final over PSG. A dominant and well deserved run between two titans of European soccer, with Bayern’s Kingsley Comar getting the goal for the game off a header. #


Glowbug Development Notes:

  • Bookmarklet – I now have a bookmark to easily add links when I read them.
  • Improved Login – Previously was using simple htaccess to gateway access, changed it to be PHP authorization.
  • Layout Tweaks – General cleanup of layout and design.

21 Aug. 2020

6:11amSam Esmail talks about how he wrote Mr Robot (youtube.com) Mr. Robot is an amazing TV show and it has a complex interwoven narrative. In my own efforts to be a better storyteller as a writer and as a DM, I am fascinated by its writing. This was a good interview that explains some of how Esmail wrote it. #

6:23am – “How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” – Seth Godin

I posted this quote to my Facebook six years ago today and it resonates with me today how much of this sentence and what it means comes from privilege. In general, when comparing with 20, 40, 100 years ago, yes it is easier to be remarkable. But it’s not equally easy for everyone. I am a white CIS male born into a middle class family and much of my life is based off of that running start in the societal race. And it’s a shift in thinking that we all need to have that life isn’t equally easy (or equally hard (or equally anything.)) #

6:24amAI kills Air Force pilot in dog fight simulation 5-0 (breakingdefense.com) #

12:00pmThe Economist magazine puts the economic value of wearing the mask at over $56/day (app.getpocket.com) #

12:12pmParent Vloggers, adoption, and when it goes wrong (thecut.com) The story is not a fun one, a YouTube couple adopted a special needs child from China and after a few years they dissoluted the adoption as the needs for the child were greater than they could provide. Ostensibly.

I am inclined to believe them, but even in the best light the YouTube influencer life puts this sort of awful life decision out in the public record and for public perception.

I can’t help but consider the future when the child grows up. Will he know he was a YouTube star for a few years of his childhood with another family? What happens when he finds out?

Bottom line, YouTube and parent vloggers is a weird dynamic. #

9:55pm – 2020 feels like a year that will be a major point in history books. I was going to say, “US politics aside” because I think this year has so much going on even outside of US politics, but as I think about the year, it all is so intertwined I’m not sure I can actually say that. Except Tiger King, I guess. #


I did no development work on the tool today. It is working well and additional features are on my list, but today was primarily a day for the day job and then D&D in the evening.

20 Aug. 2020

11:16amCarlsen vs. Nakamura – Day 7 (youtube.com) For most of the morning, when not focused on other things, I had today’s match between Carlsen and Nakamura up. And the drama keeps rolling as they took it to the final armageddon blitz match. #

2:29pm – Several months ago I set up a Pi Hole DNS filter for the home network using a Raspberry Pi 3b. Every once in a while I like to check in on it and see how it’s doing. It blocked nearly 29% of all queries on the home network in the past 24 hours, roughly 30,700 queries stopped. #

5:47pm – I’ve been playing a lot of chess recently. The thing that I like about chess is that it is the game I have found which is most brutal in the necessity to find the best possible option. “If you have a good move and a better move, then the good move is actually bad.”

I do a lot of chess puzzles and I get frustrated when the move I made, which was valid and does gain an advantage on the opponent, is wrong and thus I get no points. Sure, some sites handle it better than others, some will give partial credit for good but wrong answers. But as much as it frustrates me, the whole reason I’m doing it is I’m trying to develop that mindset. I am very comfortable with the phrase “good enough” both personally and professionally. And while most of the time, it truly is good enough, I still see it as something I need to develop as a skill and mentality for my growth. #

7:48pmFor the release of Telling Lies, David Bowie let people online chat with him and two imposters. Bowie was voted least like to really be him. (en.wikipedia.org) #

7:52pmA heartwarming story of a troubled youth and a couple refusing to give up on him (reddit.com) #

19 Aug. 2020

8:54am – Despite launching Glowbug for myself, I still find myself doomscrolling on Twitter. The negativity and petty squabbles are mind boggling and exhausting. #

8:57amA look at Zug’s, and Switzerland’s as a whole, wealth tax (ft.com) #

10:33am7 Tips for Finishing Big Projects from Jason Pargin (youtube.com) This link was shared to me by my brother and I found this video extremely insightful. I love the distillation of how he approaches these and one of the big highlights that struck me is him asking, “What are you going to give up to make time for this?” You have been doing something with your time, whether it was watching TV or something more productive, what are you going to stop doing for the thing you want to do? #

3:28pmWordless proof that (1^3 + … + n^3) = (1 + … + n)^2 (futilitycloset.com) #

6:43pmThe USPS damage may be temporarily halted, but DeJoy has already done a great deal of damage to the infrastructure (kuow.org) #

6:59pmHow Men’s Rights Groups Helped Rewrite Regulations on Campus Rape (thenation.com) “E-mails shared with The Nation reveal a deep collaboration between the Department of Education and organizations that believe in a crisis of false rape allegations.” #

7:00pm – My wife noticed it while we were watching Dallas vs the Clippers. It is very cool how they insert the shot clock into the broadcast by making it look like it is projected on the floor at the top of the key. #

8:34pm – I will be voting Biden/Harris 2020. I hope you will be too. #

8:39pmGenetically modified mosquitos to be released in Florida in 2021 and 2022. (cnn.com) Only the female mosquito bites for blood, which she needs to mature her eggs. Males feed only on nectar, and are thus not a carrier for disease.

Also FYI, it is an urban legend that lovebugs in Florida were created by researchers at UF. #


Glowbug Development Notes:

  • I fixed it to properly display on mobile for the admin panel. So it is now easier to post from my phone. I think that is the only work I did on it today.
  • I have also identified a bug, having to do with Javascript, AJAX, and how it does pagination for my listing of pages. I know the cause, I just need to get in there and fix it.

18 Aug. 2020

Below is a series of quick posts from the day. I am calling these ‘Blips.’ Read more about my homebuilt system, Glowbug, here, as well as updates on my work coding it at the end of this post.


August 17

11:21pmProject YUJ — Reethigowla Blues (youtu.be) Found on /r/listentothis on reddit. It is described as “Indian Carnatic Blues/Prog” in terms of music genre. All I know is I really enjoyed it. #

August 18

7:08amHawaii development highlights economic impacts (propublica.org) The headline focuses deep on Obama’s ties to a hawaii development, which the article makes it seem more like he’s completely ancillary aside from the fact he is planning to buy a house in the development that a close friend is building. #

7:13amFarmers Find YouTube a Welcome Second Income (nytimes.com) I’ve watched a YT channel of a family in North Carolina for a while now, and it’s proven an interesting peek into this world. #

7:22amRoanoke’s lost colony didn’t disappear, they joined the natives, according to researcher (pilotonline.com) #

7:34amAdAge talks to Ripley Scott and has a side-by-side examining Riot’s Apple commercial remake (adage.com) #

8:28amThe oldest archaeological site to contain worked gold is in Bulgaria (en.wikipedia.org) Saw a picture from it on Reddit earlier this morning and fell down a rabbit hole today between meetings and while out with the dogs. The graves have been dated to 4569–4340 BC, forging is said to begin around 4000 BC. #

1:31pmWealth Tax thoughts from Paul Graham (paulgraham.com) Paul Graham hits on something I have to admit I hadn’t processed when it comes to wealth tax discussions, which is that it taxes the same money every year. I am still overall pro the concept, but acknowledge that this is a wrinkle I hadn’t considered and don’t know enough about how other countries have implemented it successfully. #

2:04pmSpeakeasy gyms are a thing during Covid it seems (npr.org) #

4:39pm – There are things which we mentally tie to larger statuses. I have realized using a sprinkler is one of those things which really makes me feel like a homeowner. #

6:14pm – Holey Moley continues to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures on TV. Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore are great and the show is so dumb it’s great too. #

7:44pmReminder: Key locks are deterrant from random people, not true security. Not only can keys be copied from a photo of a key, but now research shows that keys can be made based on the sound they make sliding into a lock. And it doesn’t require a professional mic. #

9:31pmMusings on the future of the workforce (theatlantic.com) Found via Matt Mullenweg’s blog. Atlantic is a site where you might hit a paywall, hopefully you can read it as I really liked this article and the questions asked. The nature of work from home has serious implications and potential repercussions for the future of the workforce if it becomes the de facto. #

9:51pmMuseums show off their creepiest items (nerdist.com) My favorite is the weird Japanese merman figure from the Horniman museum in the UK. #


Glowbug Development Notes:

I didn’t get to do too much development today. But there were a few things:

  1. I enabled paging in my viewing of blips on the admin side. Up to now it’s just shown me the top 20 in my admin view and I had to go into the database if I needed to see anything past that.
  2. I modified the output to account for if blips occur on multiple days (as exemplified by today’s posts.)
  3. I cleaned up some of the admin display CSS, nothing major and still not perfect. Just a step in the right direction.
  4. Okay, well as I was making this post I ended up uncovering some other weird corner case display bugs. So I did more work on cleaning up the export to make it cleaner in regards to HTML code generation for the output moving forward.