Archive for October, 2020

Shit, Actually

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

This book is absolutely hilarious. Lindy West eviscerates movies from the 80’s/90’s/00’s like Titanic, Harry Potter, and The Notebook. It’s that modern sort of joking (but not really) (but still joking) (but not about the misogyny) style of humor that works well in the year twentytwenty. It reminds me of Arrested Development, not in tone or spirit, but in joke density. That show had like 2,000 jokes per episode, and this book is like that too. Every damn line.

An Awfully Fancy Mobile Website for a Future Development in Southeast Bend

Wednesday, October 28th, 2020

I think it’s super neat.

But I showed my wife and without even looking at it she said:

Why do you think they did that? They want you to love the idea. They don’t want you to think about the gentrification.

A Day

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

The day Wednesday, October 21st, 2020:

Wake up. Ruby is next to me. She’s been waking up in the middle of the night and coming to sleep with me. For like… 6 weeks now.

I didn’t get to work until 8:30am or so. Slow start. Very different from the days I’d be at work at 5:30am just a few months ago. I’m working a bit later to “make up for it”, but it doesn’t, really.

There was a bit of a sponsor miscommunication on a post we were working on that I had to sort out. It was really no big deal, but since sponsorship stuff is a good chunk of my income (and I’m a conflict-avoiding kind of person) this took first priority.

Speaking of (other) sponsors, Automattic has been a huge sponsor for me. One of their products, Jetpack, has a totally revamped backup feature, and they just released an update that theoretically would make it work on my Flywheel hosting. It took a little doing to make it work, but I was keen to get it going, so we had to work through it, which involved some fancy dancing like SSHing into the server, using the WP CLI, and symlinking files. Thanks, Steve Seear!

We got our election ballots in the mail a few days ago, and it was the day to get them filled out and dropped off at a ballot collection point. We took an ussie (shout out Ted Lasso) to commemorate.


I left a small hint on Twitter about who I voted for.

We’ve been looking to move office spaces, and our friend Andrea has been helping us navigate the commercial real estate world. Readers, you remember Andrea from my Tulum post. Well after looking at a bunch of spaces and then a bunch of back and forth with the lease on the one we finally landed on, we signed the lease! New office!

It’s about a third of the size of my current office, but that was on purpose. This office is just the size for the two of us, so we don’t need to sublease it to be able to afford it like we do now. It’s a bit of a step up in fanciness though, to make up for it. We have a good 5 weeks of overlap between offices, which is great because it’s going to take some time to move.

The move to the new office is going to require a bunch of moving labor, most of which we’ll probably outsource. Fortunately the hardest thing is the big sound booth I have, but the company said they could help me with it directly.

Sadly, BendTel fiber isn’t in the new building. I’m getting 800 Mbps down and up here, and I think the best we’ll do is 200 / 50 at the new office. But hey it’ll be cheaper.

I sign the lease, get the keys, take a picture, and go back to the office. I get an email immediately letting me know I forgot to actually sign the last page of the lease. Derp.

I head back to sign that page, which I have to do super quickly because I’m also on my way to a personal training appointment at the gym. I’m back to doing that, which feels like at least I’m doing a little something for my health. I still very extremely banged up from the car accident. What was cool was that my main trainer was back! Whatup Corn! His wife and him have been at the hospital having their twin babies. They were born a bit premature so they’ve been out a while, but everything is going well, so they are sneaking back to the gym (they own it), to see clients like me. We do the training in an empty gym with masks on. Such are the times.

We’re going to be doing a bunch of moving work at the office, but also doing a bunch of moving work at home. We confirmed our appointment with the company who will be working on our wood floors at home that they are coming on Monday to get started. That’s great, because we have to be out of the house for 2 weeks while they do it, and we booked that time at Brasada Ranch. So it was not the time to pull scheduling shenanigans. We’re all looking forward to this little sorta-kinda-staycation. Ruby’s birthday will be while we’re out there, so hopefully that feels kinda special.

Speaking of home, the people came to “blow out” the sprinkler system. Meaning no more watering for the year. They get the water out of the lines so they don’t freeze and burst during the winter. They also cleared the roofs and gutters of pine needles. You’d think having a yard full of pine trees would absolve you from the yard maintence that you’d normally have with deciduous tress. But nope, these ponderosa pines drop needles like wild in the fall.

The good luck was just rolling yesterday. After all this, we got a phone call from the Chevrolet place saying some parts we’ve been waiting for for like months finally came in, so that’ll be another chapter closed.

In between all this, I was, ya know, actually doing my job. I got some news about a very cool project I’ve been keeping my eye on. I worked on some design and planning documents for future features. I chatted with people at work about what they are working on. One major work project entered a QA phase, which was a huge milestone for it. I finished editing a guest blog post that was a real honker and took a lot of time.

I was exhausted by the end of the work day. We ended up meeting over at the new office to take a look with Ruby. Then we went out for dinner to celebrate at 10 Barrel and the food was damn good. They had these huge (nice looking) plastic dividers set up between all the tables. They clearly had the money to build out pandemic-fighting solutions in a way I’d think not all restaurants do. I noticed the bar in the alley across the street from our office built out outdoor booths:

Kinda cool and clever. Those will probably be cool even after the pandemic in a way that plastic dividers might not be.

We watched an episode of The Vow before passing out.


Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

I started using Setapp maybe 6-8 months ago. It’s a service you pay monthly for to get access to a bunch of Mac apps. There are various plans, but it’s basically $10 a month. Just looking at the price alone it’s not a no-brainer, but the reason I was looking at all was is because I wanted one particular app.

See my folks were having some issues on their Mac, and I wished I could just (remotely) take control over it and deal with it myself. Seems like a thing you should be able to do, but reading about it made it seem complicated. But there is this one app, Screens, that really looked like the way to go:

Screens is $30 normally, which is fine, but hey, if I only need it for a short time, and Setapp is $10 and includes Screens, that seems like a win, so I went for it.

But then the real value starts setting in. Another app Setapp includes in CleanMyMac X, which I’ve used for a quite a while and like (and is $35 all by itself). My main use case is cleaning up old large files to free up disk space. It manages to always fine many gigs of space to clear up. Here’s me running it as I write:

Usually I just forget I even have a Setapp subscription, because at this point I get all the value I need out of it. But I was reminded of it the other day when I needed to rename a bunch of files and I had access to Renamer ($20) because of Setapp.

I may not need that app again for another year, who knows, but it really knocked it out of the park when I needed it. It was highly satisfying to rename a good hundred files that were all kinda janked up in different ways. I even wrote a damn RegEx to clean up a stray space at the end of the files names after the built-in easier-to-use renaming tools couldn’t snag that one.

Here’s a couple of other favorites:

There are 3-5 others I use once in a while. But here’s the thing, if you look through their list (they have, like, 100 or more?) apps in Setapp, you’ll probably find apps that really appeal to you. I almost feel guilty for not looking through their whole archive more closely and finding stuff I like.

In fact, just while I was writing this and doing just that, I found Uplet ($20, normally) which allows me to post to Instagram from my Mac (instead of needing to pull out my phone), which immediately improved my ability to post work-related stuff like this.

I find trying out apps fun and exciting, like I’m unlocking little ways I can be more productive and creative.

Anyway, I’m using an affiliate link in this post because I want to.

Clark Glacier Funeral

Monday, October 19th, 2020

OR Glaciers Inst.:

Clark Glacier is gone. It was located on the south face of South Sister in the high Cascades of Oregon. OGI conducted a survey of the glacier in August, 2020 and only a few patches of ice remain.

Born: Ice age
Death: August 2020

That’s extremely sad.

They don’t talk about the one on Broken Top, but my wife Miranda was just up there and that one is gone too.

Video Conversion

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

I recently downloaded some television programs from one of those websites that, uh, helps you do that. These days, I just stream 99% of stuff I want to watch and am happy with that, but one of my favorite shows of all time (Northern Exposure) isn’t available to stream. I own the entire box set on DVD, but I’ve never had luck converting those myself. So, whatever, I downloaded them.

One thing I did right away was used Renamer to make the file names better. Just a little quality of life thing.

VLC player had no trouble playing them…

But, I thought it would be more versitle on my Mac to get them into something that the “TV” app could understand. And thus use Home Sharing to watch on my AppleTV, should I choose.

I tried converting in VLC, but it can only do one at a time! Worse, after converting, there was no sound.

Fortunately I found a forum thread with the answer. Thanks to Brendoe there!

When using the mp4 option i clicked the audio codec and chose the MPEG 4 audio (AAC) option instead of the default mpeg audio and changed the sample rate to 48000.

So, like this:

I ended up splurging on the Wondershare converter because it didn’t have the sound issues at all, and could batch convert like I wanted.

They work fine in the TV app:

And as long as I have Home Sharing on (and I’m on the same WiFi network) I can watch them on AppleTV:

Your Life’s Work

Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Austin Kleon celebrates his 15 years of blogging. Here’s him quoting himself from 5 years ago:

One little blog post is nothing on its own, but publish a thousand blog posts over a decade, and it turns into your life’s work. This blog has been my sketchbook, my studio, my gallery, my storefront, and my salon. Absolutely everything good that has happened in my career can be traced back in some way to this blog. My books, my art shows, my speaking gigs, some of my best friendships—they all exist because I have my own little piece of turf on the Internet.

If I died tomorrow, I’d still be happy at the trace I’d left both online and off. 💪