Late dinner

Published Post author

It’s solstice. My dinner plan was delayed, so food will be up after sunset, like 10:30 or so, in the bleak just-summer.

June 21, 2016


Published Post author

This gig, doing print layout, is totally fun. I spent years doing this stuff, beginning literally before the advent of desktop publishing when the Mac first came out in 1984. I was somewhat unsure if I would be at sea or what but given my even-longer-term familiarity with Adobe’s tools, this gig is somewhat like falling off a log. I’m even working at home, on my own gear – a lesson learned from Steve M., who emphasized that smallholder skilled workers could, in fact, control the means of production. I’ve never lacked a computer at home since that conversation.

The upgrade-go-round fiasco seems to have mostly ended, one laptop to the bad. I suppose I will source a mobo on eBay and revive the thing as I did with the MPT I killed last year.

I suppose I should excavate stuff of FB from the past six months as I did last post flurry.

June 19, 2016

June already

Published Post author

More than two months ago, my buddy Tod asked me to do a couple weeks of work with him at his warehouse. A full eight weeks later, I am about to start another month’s work on an InDesign project for the same employer, which should be fun. I developed pre-release samples as a contractor for a launch release of InDesign, probably around 2002.

In prepping my production environment for this I decided it made sense to finally spring for a 1tb SSD to pop into my main axe, a late-2008 unibody MBP (the last model with the HD and battery access door, ordered refurb from Apple in April 2009).

Long story short, I ordered and installed not one but two 1TB SSDs and neither were compatible. The first one is actually definitively described as incompatible with the specific model Mac by the manufacturer. The second was confirmed as compatible by the manufacturer before I purchased it, but after a successful clean install and data migration, the machine crashed out and rebooted into the recovery partition. I performed a recovery and went to reboot – but the device was (and remains) unresponsive. Presumably it is the motherboard.  I guess seven years is reasonable use, but I’m still a little cheesed off about it – I certainly was not planning on replacing or upgrading for another five years or so.

So I ended up using the Crucial SSD on my other machine, an old Mac Pro 4,1 tower, and it’s a huge improvement. I had actually pre-ordered an OWC Mercury SSD for the dead laptop and had to RMA it. Immediately after learning the ’08 machine was dead I sourced a third-party refurb MPB from ’12 on eBay for about $500 and that’s what I’m writing on now. It could clearly benefit from an SSD swap too, and I see that OWC has just introduced a raft of new SSD options including a 2TB SSD for about $500, so that’s not out of the question. The CPU on the ’12 MPB is definitely beefier than that on the tower, but the difference between HD and SSD makes the tower far faster in use.

Simultaneously, I had decided to update our set of five-year-old iPhone 4 units and the replacement 5 units arrived this week. So between this and that, it’s been two weeks of intensive hardware and software chaos, hopefully resolved now for another five or six years.

Not sure how I feel about iOS 9 – Notifications in particular are a hideous annoyance that is apparently impossible to turn off globally and re-enable; predictably most apps install with Notifications turned on, in order to maximize ad impression opportunities. Annoyingly, apps that get *updated* ALSO have their on-install Notifications prefs reset. Which truly blows.

Anyway, off to remaster an InDesign workflow. Looking forward to it.

June 17, 2016

Rebel Girl

Published Post author

Something called this Melvins + with Teri Genderbender cover to mind this morning. It’s never a bad time for this song.


February 5, 2016

Published Post author

Bill Wyman drops a loving review of the restored You and Your Sister on the New Yorker web site.

Here’s a song from that record performed in 2011.

And here is my four-part rumination on Dale Lawrence’s songwriting originally catalyzed by the release of Wide Awake in 2003.

Part One – Dale and the Gizmos

Part Two – Some personal history

Part Three – Taking a crack at analyzing the songwriting

Part Four – A track-by-track rundown of Wide Awake.

Dale Weighs In – Dale dropped a line after I ran the series with some corrections and annotations.


February 4, 2016


Published Post author

(from Facebook)

Who dumped the recycling into the compost bin in the cold winter rain just now and had to dump it out to sort by hand?

That’s right, people! My competence is a thing to behold!

I’m glad I intercepted my first impulse which was to jump into the bin to sort it out without dumping it.

February 3, 2016

Worf Rodchenko, adoptee

Published Post author

(From FanFare)

So, here’s a weird thing that has happened in my head over the past few years.

I made contact with my birth family in my mid forties about four years ago. I’m an adoptee who was relinquished at birth. Unlike Worf, the people who raised me are both of my biological species and share my general skin tone.

On initial run, Worf’s status as an adoptee always seemed like a throwaway gimmick TNG implemented for the obvious humorous possibilities rather than as a platform for the serious investigation of adoption, caregiving, identity-formation, and natal difference.

Over time, the character’s arc actually did begin to seriously examine many of these issues with intent, as a way of exploring his role as the known Other. This seems to mostly be without the intent of showing us adult adaptions to adoptive status – I would point at Worf’s disrupted relationship with Alexander as a clear example of this.

The show also valorizes Worf’s successful quest to seek identity-reintegration with his natal culture. This is in spite of some things that appear to be unambiguous about Klingon culture within the show, such as the culture’s reliance on and celebration of conquest and enslavement.

I do think both series at times successfully, largely by accident, illuminate American adoption in the late 20th century, specifically and primarily the adoption growth industry of the era, overseas adoption, but also with respect to the growing practice of birth-family reunion and open adoption as at least an ideal.

I suppose, given the character’s role, it’s only reasonable that we see little of Worf struggling with self-loathing or loathing of either of his cultures – that’s maybe more Spock’s gig.

Nonetheless, hey, that’s some solid SF-ing there, to build in social commentary about an aspect of your audience’s experiences without even meaning to do so, commentary that becomes visible only in retrospect. Or via retconning, I suppose, although I think reading themes is maybe not subject to retconning since the reading happens in my head, in the observer rather than in-universe.


February 3, 2016

Light shines through

Published Post author

Yesterday I experimentally installed a twist-lock base 4-LED mini bulb as a replacement for a 50w halogen, and the new bulb was maybe twice as bright as the bulb it replaced, with a cooler tone. I found a pair of broken sunglasses and popped a lens into the fixture.

I’m pretty sure I’m doing energy efficiency wrong.

A theatrical gel would be the ideal solution. I did spend twenty minutes looking for a set of Mars Staedtler permanent markers i *knew* I had which would have let me make a gel by coloring a piece of glass or cellophane and adjust the colors. They were like an art director set of Sharpies – all the primaries and two steps between each with chisel tips, great pens.

As I was looking I came across a cassette tape. The J-card was really colorful and I knew I had used the Staedtlers to do the card art. I was excited, thinking that possibly the markers were near.

Then I realized I had dubbed the cassette and drawn the J-card before I moved to Seattle, back in Bloomington, before 1990. So presumably I had just spent thirty minutes, thirty logarithmically-fast-paced minutes, looking for a set of markers I last saw and used more than twenty-five years ago.

The sunglass lens works great.

February 3, 2016


Published Post author

(from Ask MetaFilter, initial section verbatim)

Running again after six months off. Last weekly totals were in the 25 mile range. Can I start again at 10? Details follow.

As has been my tradition, I am returning to running the first week in February. I’ve done this on and off for about four years.

I stopped running in August after some sort of injury, don’t recall what, could be any number of things, see below.

I run barefoot on a treadmill.

I am a 50 year old man with no family history of heart issues, HWP (no really). However, I have a form of early-onset arthritis which likely impacts joint resilience. This arthritis is the primary reason I took up running, as a means to provide stressors to the joints.

In the four years I have been running, I have experienced any number of running-related minor issues, from tendinosis to baker’s cysts to some sort of Achilles inflammation. My primary arthritic site is my right hip; the kind of arthritis I have is within the constellation of symptoms that HLA-B27-positive folks have and is likely to become quite serious as I age.

I really want to restart at a higher weekly number than I have in the past, primarily because it takes so long to get to 25 miles a week at a 10% weekly distance increase. I did a trial run yesterday and had no difficulty whatsoever going 2.25 miles in about 25 minutes, with the exception of my impatience at the pace. I want to shot for ten miles this week. As soon as I post I’ll be taking a crack at three miles.

Can I jump in like this? Should I? What’s the recommended starting distance for someone who is effectively back at zero?

Thanks. Links to sources appreciated!


The preponderance of advice given was that ten miles is too fast a pace. As of the Thursday of the week I posted this (February 4), I was at 7.5 miles with no ill effects and the expectation of finishing the decade on Friday.

I did take a rest day on Wednesday, after a three-mile run completed in thirty minutes on Tuesday, and was very stiff. I have noticed a slight uptick in hip soreness at my inflammation site but no loss of mobility.


February 2, 2016