Not only is Jason P. Woodbury a great writer/editor/podcaster/dude (you know his work on Aquarium Drunkard / Transmissions / Wastoids, etc.) , it seems that he's also a great musician/songwriter. Go figure! Jason's debut under the JPW moniker is a start-to-finish beauty, like Cass McCombs and JJ Cale meeting up in the Sonoran Desert at sunset for some hazy, sunbaked jams. Drum machines tick, guitars glisten, vocals drift, time stops. Very happening!
Listening: due to the fact that I wouldn't really be using my phone while in another country with an incompatible cell network, it served as my music player while reading, which means I was constrained to whatever I had haphazardly slapped on my SD card two years ago. Reading music provided by Darren Korb and Ersatz Waterfall, among others, so here's Spike in a Rail and the 8-bit version of Northern Mire
Watching: My mother is absolutely enthralled by The IT Crowd which I also haven't ever watched. I did really enjoy Father Ted so it's no surprise that I find it funny and easy to watch. Anytime they're in the office my brain is running a stupid comparison between the set dressing of the Big Bang Theory set and this, which notably includes a wealth of open source propaganda posters and several EFF flyers. Someone did their homework!
Reading: Most of the way through The Diamond Age, I am not immune to Stephenson no matter how hard he seems to try.
Stephenson's obsession with. cleverness? handiness? as a concept is always interesting to read through, it's easy to see how you get there and it's something that both swells the egos of smart people and has some sort of basis in how we think of people, especially in communities that Make Things there is the implicit understanding that it is better to Make Things than not to Make Things and that Making Things requires cleverness, depicted most obviously in the Victorians but also in many other places with the Matter Compiler fully allowing Making to be a thing that only Makers do.
Playing: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, the Arcadey jet combat game. Demanding and tricky without requiring me to care about actual flight shit, which is a nice change from KSP. The jets handle like jets in the hands of skilled pilots even if you aren't, which is exactly what the Arcade bit means. Most of my deaths were the result of making aggressive low altitude manoeuvres before they taught me how to do high-G turns.
There's apparently Deep Fucking Lore in this game and I'm sure I'll understand it eventually, I never played Metal Gear so ultra-high-concept cutscene exposition is a pleasant novelty.
Making: Unsuccessfully poking around the Rockbox source code but only because I was interrupted by Desert Time, the iPod is a truly delightful bit of hardware, the lock switch is hooked up to a GPIO and I assumed that meant it was disabling the scroll wheel in software, but no, it cuts the power to the wheel assembly. Bizarre, I love it but not what I want, so I'm rewriting some of that.
Also more quilting, getting into the less forgiving parts where there are many convoluted meetings of patches.
Tools and Equipment: I put my desktop back to Arch but I the process I lost track of my encryption key for my storage drive. Nothing of value permanently lost, but here's a reminder to back up your keys somewhere, anywhere really. Double check that they work sometimes, especially before you do anything stupid.
Sometimes you gotta just touch grass and/or cotton
Listening: Running through the discography of a local band, The Narrow, because I'm going to their show soon. Here's "You don't get to quit", one of their better known songs.
Another song because I do not control the stupid obscure music that gets jammed in my head, "Heaven is the place in your heart" by a professional backing track band called EVE out of Japan. Written for an extremely fascinating HD Laserdisc demo that is perhaps one of the earliest examples of HD recorded video. Extremely bright and colourful demo disc that is so, so, SO 90's. Check the comments for a video engineer who worked on the original video who has Lore.
Reading: Bad. Not much. Random blog posts.
Watching: The Man Who Fell To Earth, 2022 series which is a sequel to the 1970's movie. Pretty funny, put off a little by how little effort went into the sci part of sci-fi but not enough to really care. Alien has to learn everything about being human and simultaneously use his alien technology to run a... tech startup? Only a few episodes in.
Playing: Checking out Minecraft 1.19, it's almost identical to 1.18 until you start really digging. Thus far I'm still setting up a base of operations. 1.18's changes to ore scarcity and world generation are really interesting, and it's always fun to look at what the designers of stock Minecraft think progression and exploration should look like.
Making: Penrose quilt! Started in on the first non-practice patches. Tricky to get Y-seams exactly right but it's working out so far. Need to press this to get a proper sense for how it'll lay out but this is a good start.
Also a good deal more macro stuff, I'm trying to come up with mechanisms to encourage me to go out and look for bugs more. It's winter which doesn't help, but spring is around the corner.
Tools and Equipment: pitch for iNaturalist, one part of the aforementioned mechanisms and also just a good place, it's great to have savants with usernames like DipteraJane and WaspLuvr show up and nail the exact species of a random fly you put up fifteen minutes ago.