from Roscoe's Notebook

I will comply...

... with the directives given today by the National Weather Service in its heat advisory for San Antonio. Included in that advisory is:

The NWS encourages all to stay hydrated and to stay out of the sun if possible.

Roger that, NWS.

As a matter of fact, since we're supposed to have triple-digit temperatures here through the weekend I'll make it a point to stay inside under the a/c and maintain a good level of hydration throughout this heat spell.

The only time I have to be out over the next week is this Friday when I have a face-to-face appointment with my primary care physician. (Relax everyone. It's just a routine visit where he'll lecture me about getting more exercise and losing weight, but he'll tell me that all my lab “numbers” are very good and I'm doing fine. That's how it always goes.) And I'll be riding in an air-conditioned car to his office and back home.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 12 August 2020, ~12:10 CDT, this is my post number 55/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #blog #RoscoeEllis #Texas #weather

 
Read more...

from Nate Dickson Thinks...

Yes, it's one of their “kids” albums. But have you ever heard a “kids” album like this before? The songs are as complex and rich as any of their regular “grown up” fare, but with toned-down themes to be more palatable to younger groups of listeners.

I'm talking, of course, about They Might Be Giants ' first “kids” album, No!

It starts off with a lovely song all about lying. This is great. There is no explicit “you shouldn't lie” message, there is just a farcical song about a place called Fibber Island. Because of the name of the island, we also get an introduction to the concept of an unreliable narrator. We are not meant to believe that the citizens of Fibber Island have a dog who is three miles wide, or that the residents hide mittens in their hair.

And it takes off from there. The title song explains a lot about why and how people say no. We get a song about kids building a giant cyborg that obeys the kids. There's a time travel song about waiting for a date...this isn't “edutainment”, this is just good TMBG-style music. Some of the tracks, like I Am Not Your Broom, came from the dial-a-song service and found a home here.

Nothing here talks down to kids (except maybe in the Middle, a 50's style song about not crossing the street in the middle in the middle, in the middle of the block). Nothing here suggests they were just cranking out an easy album to tap into kids music. They just made a good album that happened to be for kids. Go try it out. Then let's go meet our friends from Mars and sew buttons on our cars.

I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting 100 Days To Offload.

#100DaysToOffload 28/100

 
Read more...

from ego echo

De stad smelt samen met een gifgroene, vale deken. De dreiging van donderslagen terwijl kranen zich een ongeluk hijsen en de trein in airco-ziedende vaart het roestend metaal vonkend kaal schraapt. In de weilanden kwijnen koeien, paarden en schapen weg; er is geen schaduw, alleen dorgeel gras, bespuwd, bespoten en bespot met landbouwgal. Water zakt met een oppervlakkig saluut weg – verdampt in kringen stof.

Mijmer tot je een ons weegt. Bij Canada is een ijskap afgebroken met een grootte van de afstand tussen Rotterdam en Amsterdam. En dat in een vierkant. Het steeds warmer wordende zeewater zal de kolos in haar armen sluiten, zonder ook maar een greintje spijt. Spijt is iets voor de tweevoeters, wanneer groene, allesomvattende politiek pas een schorre stem krijgt wanneer het kantelpunt allang is gepasseerd. En zelfs dan zal de neo-liberaal, de gefossiliseerde kapitalist in hart en nieren, smalend klagen dat – zie je wel! – de zogenaamde klimaatdrammers geen uitweg kunnen bieden. Tandeloos met hun winderige zonnepaneermeelmolens.

Maar kom, laat ons de planeten opeisen, confisqueren, kolonialiseren – vernietigen. Doen waar je in uitblinkt, doen waar je hart ligt. Waar je hart liegt. Waar je hard ligt, naar adem hapt en geen oog meer dicht doet.

#proza #politiek #waanvandedag #canada #stad #amsterdam #rotterdam #100DaysToOffload

 
Read more...

from Jacob Neplokh

Day 16 in #100DaysToOffload

Introduction

As I wrote before, I am on the iOS 14 beta. I forgot to download the iPadOS beta, though! While I have an iPad (the regular model), I infrequently used it, but wanted to change that, so I wiped it, upgraded, and started from scratch. I mainly made it a note taking and reading device, and one feature made the experience so much better: Scribble.

Before

With my iPad, I also bought an Apple Pencil. It is a joy to use, but I needed apps to take advantage of it. I could not simply use it anywhere I wanted, which became inconvenient when taking notes in an ebook or paper. If I did not have my bluetooth keyboard with me (and usually, I do not), using the large screen to type annoyed me. I even moved to PDFs (which I then stuck with and still use for reading), so I could use my Pencil in PDF Expert to take handwritten (although, my handwriting is atrocious) notes.

Scribble

With iPadOS 14, Apple added Scribble (among other features), which transcribes what you write with the Pencil. After a day of using it, I can confirm it is incredible. Now, I can have the speed of handwriting on the iPad but have it transcribed into actual text. It even somehow transcribe my aforementioned godawful handwriting (with about 90% accuracy, so nice job Apple).

Remaining Issues

While I use the Apple Pencil for handwriting (and then transcribed) notes, I also use it as a way to navigate my iPad. Instead of using my hands, I may use the Pencil which is already over the screen to click a button. As Scribble is not restricted only to the text box, but also some room around it, a tap may occasionally be registered as a period. Minor issue, yet will take some time to get used to. Also, sometimes there is not enough room to write, so I need to pause a little for it to be transcribed. If not, words may not be spaced out and be combined into one. Although, Apple realized this as drawing a line between any two letters will have a space appear.

Future

While I only use it to make notes on readings for now, I want to see how I can incorporate this into general writing as well. Perhaps I will write my wiki and blog posts with it? We will see.

 
Read more...

from Life with Fuschia

Apologies for the break between posts. Fortunately, work has picked up, which is great. In addition, I was nominated for a chair in a local organization I've been volunteering for. The Minecraft server also took up a lot of energy that I wasn't expecting. Luckily, it's settled down and is at a point where I can sit back and enjoy it. I've got a new website project in my mind as well: updating the site to have a static home page and turning the blog into a subdomain.

We're halfway through the 100daystooffload as well now. In retrospect, I should focus more on the DAYS to offload, rather than 100 posts. I need a bit of a fire to my feet sometimes to get me moving. I'll try to keep it up for the next little bit.

#100daystooffload #dayfifty #personal

 
Read more...

from zymotux

It's hot in the UK right now. Not hot on the global scale but certainly hot for a relatively northern island used to a temperate climate with an old, old infrastructure that isn't set up with AC in houses etc. I'm sticky and a little grouchy but I've not blogged in awhile so this will help lift my mood a little!

The weather should break later this week, hanging around long enough to make everyone unhappy but not so long that we shift our behaviour patterns or infrastructure. The same could be said for our winters, where the UK shuts down at a level of snow The Canadian would find baffling if not for our limited snowplough capacity, rock-salt stores and lack of winter tyres. I wonder when/if the predicted intensification of the hydrological cycle from anthropogenic climate change will alter our preparedness to relative extremes, be they heat, drought, flooding or cold snaps?

I miss the pool we had in our Californian apartment complex right now and the cold six-packs of craft beer in the fridge that were part of that life. My favourites when it got hot were:

We lived in Walnut Creek, a lovely town the other side of the hills behind Berkeley, which could be somewhere between 30oC and 40oC while San Francisco was covered in fog in the lower 20s. It was a dry heat though, not like this muggy stuff we're having in the here and now! When the walk back from the BART station was just too hot, I used to dive into Øl, a fantastic love-poem to beer, where I'd sit at the bar in the cool and order a Berliner Weiss, the tartness a perfect relief to the heat.

Right, to the fridge it is then. I might not have a six-pack of Chainbreaker or Pils but I do have a nice cold 0.5% Big Drop beer that'll hit the spot and still leave me able to take the late night/early morning shift with my six week old daughter!


Quick update from the fridge! – Since I mentioned Firestone Walker, I found a can of their collaboration with British craft brewer Thornbridge in the fridge. It's a 6.7% West Coast IPA called Pondera and too good to resist after the Big Drop! Had to take a break from finishing off this blog to cook dinner, watch the Umbrella Academy and look after daughter, fitting the beer into the breaks. The sun has gone down now and it's time to publish the blog. Hope to be back again soon...


Entry 23 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!

2020-08-11 #100DaysToOffload #BayArea #beer #weather #climate

 
Read more...

from Set Of Principles

RSS Banner

I've stared my micro-blog, Hey It's Me, a couple of days ago and here's why you should do it too. I'm afraid of the future where content is published on a big platform like Twitter or YouTube. Much of what I'm terrified is already happening, but recently I'm seeing a general shift in a better direction.

Algorithms

Most of the people I know consume their content using some kind of a social media platform. I believe that algorithms can be used for good for so many things, but curating what you see and read isn't the best idea. I've realized how annoying Twitter became since they started to alter the feed.

Tomo Kihara developed an amazing experiment called TheirTube showing how recommendation algorithms drain you to a rabbit hole of similar (mis)information. On TheirTube you can check out different profiles from Fruitarian, persona based on a person who was practicing fruitarianism, to Conspiracist, which I'm sure you know what it means.

We need a better way of curating content we want to consume. It's ok to be interested in a specific topic, but it's essential to limit the sources of misinformation, something that social media is terrible at.

RSS

RSS, Really Simple Syndication, is a protocol or rather a system that allows you to gather content from different sources. So this is the part where blogs comes in handy since you can follow a specific person using an RSS feed. All content will be gathered in your RSS feed, without an algorithm and unwanted distractions. You can subscribe to different feeds, anything from small creators like me to big publishing companies like The New York Times.

There are so many different applications that can handle RSS. I use Feedbin (paid), but there are other alternatives like Feedly, MiniFlux and others. If you're not looking for cross-platform service, there must be some local RSS readers available for your preferred OS.

Micro-Blogging Instead Of Tweeting

At first, I couldn't justify micro-blogging, but I soon realized how much I like reading what other people have to say. On Instagram, you might share a photo of you at the beach and make people FOMO. On your micro-blog, you can share that an much more, your thoughts, problems, solutions, feelings, experiences, you can bring real value to people reading your blog.

Who I Follow

There are some issues with micro-blogging like interaction, connection with the community, discoverability and more. I think bloggers should help each other out, so here are a few personal blogs I enjoy reading.

  • Jan-Lukas Else is an awesome guy writing about life, technology, programming and a lot more. I love his content.

  • If you're interested in space, check our Jatan's Space. It's a personal blog about space exploration, fascinating stuff.

  • Kev Quirk has a cool blog about technology. You can find some awesome How To's there. He is Fosstodon admin and creator of #100DaysToOffload challenge.

  • I've met Ru Singh when I created my Mastodon account. Her blog is fantastic, and you should check it out! (I think she is my internet crush, but don't tell her that.)

  • Mike Stone, a father of Fosstodon, loves to write about FOSS, programming... Mike is an awesome man, and I can't thank him enough for creating Fosstodon.

There are quite a few more bloggers that I like to include on this list. I'm sure I will write about them sooner or later. If you find something you might enjoy from this list, make sure to start following their feed using RSS.

You can follow my RSS feed for Set Of Principles. I also have a micro-blog called Hey It's Me that you might enjoy.

I'm incredibly thankful to be able to read and learn from other people in this way. I love reading their posts, and I even get excited when I see that a new post is available.

Inspiration

I've written this article because of Jan's view on micro-blogging. You should read his post called “Why I started microblogging”. You should also read his post called “I deleted my Twitter account”.

I feel so grateful to be part of this community. I think everyone should start micro-blogging. If you already blog or you might want to give it a go, make sure to send me an email odyy7h8px [at] pm(dot)me.

#RSS #Decentralization #Blogging

 
Read more...

from Brandon's Journal

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a book called Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann, a psychology professor at the University of Aalborg in Sweden. He wrote this book as a sort of anti self-help book which is ironic because it guides you in life the way a self-help book would. This irony is not lost on the author as he embraces it as the best way to get across the information he's proposed.

I felt like the book brought up some great points as it interweaved Stoic philosophy in with common sense. I was reviewing some of the quotes I highlighted and I figured I'd share them here.


Many people, unfortunately, buy into the idea that they can ‘do anything’ (an idea foisted on the young in particular), so self-flagellation is a perfectly understandable reaction when their efforts prove inadequate. If you can do anything, then it must be your fault if success proves elusive in work or love (for Freud, ‘lieben und arbeiten’ were the two most significant existential arenas). Little wonder, then, that nowadays so many hanker after a psychiatric diagnosis to explain away perceived personal inadequacies.

I'm guilty of this. I feel like society tells us that the world is ours for the taking and we should be able to achieve all our dreams unless we are lazy. I've definitely beaten up on myself because I wasn't successful in certain areas of my life.


I contend that in order to learn to survive in an accelerating culture – to stand firm – we should look to classical Stoic philosophy for inspiration, especially its emphases on self control, peace of mind, dignity, sense of duty and reflection on the finite nature of life. These virtues engender a deeper sense of fulfilment than the superficial focus on permanent development and transformation.

I've attempted several times to dive into Stoic philosophy but I haven't come across a great primer for the topic. I've tried several websites and books, but most of the time the authors come across as pretentious and opposite of the humble nature of Stoicism (at least as I have interpreted it).


I use aspects of Stoicism to respond to some of the challenges of modern life:

Where positive visualization is preached nowadays (think of all the things you want to achieve!), the Stoics recommend negative visualization (what would happen if you lost what you have?)

I usually think pretty dark and tend to look at the bad things. I wouldn't say that I practice negative visualization though.

Where you are now encouraged to think in terms of constant opportunities, the Stoics recommend that you acknowledge and rejoice in your limitations.

I love this and I know when I've wrapped my head around this concept in the past, I've found bits of peace.

Where you are now expected to give free rein to your feelings at all times, the Stoics recommend that you learn self-discipline and sometimes suppress your feelings.

This is a new topic for me and something I've been investigating within myself. I've been so obsessed with being “authentic” in my life and recently I've been reading up on how that isn't necessarily the best way to live.

Where death is now considered taboo, the Stoics recommend contemplating your own mortality on a daily basis, in order to nurture gratitude for the life you are living.

Love this and I try my best to do this within reason. In the past, I've struggled with being a little to obsessed with thinking about death and worrying about how to maximize my time.


Only by delving ever deeper inside yourself, and ending up trapped in a vacuous circle that will ultimately leave you completely numb. Philip Cushman once posited that the depression epidemic in the West is explained by the fact that if you look inwards long enough – if you dwell on how you feel, and use therapy to find yourself – then depression will descend the moment you realize that there is, in fact, nothing there.

Damn. This could explain some of my feelings of unsettledness as of late. This hit pretty close to home.


Similarly, the humanization of the workplace – as well as the introduction of self-management by groups, the delegation of responsibility and personal development via work – has led to what the sociologist Richard Sennett dubbed ‘corrosion of character’ (the individual no longer has a firm foundation on which to stand), to an epidemic of stress and to a dehumanizing breakdown in interpersonal loyalty and solidarity.

I can relate.


The philosopher Charles Taylor analyzed how what he called the ethics of authenticity (i.e. that life is about being true to yourself) could result in new forms of dependence, in which people who are unsure of their identity need all sorts of self-help guides.

What causes uncertainty about identity and leads to a risk of dependency?

Taylor says that it’s because we have begun to worship the self in a way that seals us off from everything outside us: history, nature, society and anything else that originates from external sources. In the previous chapter, I called this the religion of the self. If we rule out the validity of external sources, we are left with only ourselves on which to base the definition of the self. This is at best trivial, and at worst makes it impossible to understand our duties and what is important in life.

#100DaysToOffload 58/100

 
Read more...

from Roscoe's Notebook

Good coffee and a little exorcism...

... have proven to be a great way to start my day.

One of the unexpected benefits of this 2020 pandemic lockdown has been the time it has afforded me to fully participate in the Let Freedom Ring: 40 Days to Freedom from the Devil prayer project. All of us in the project start our days with this “Freedom From The Devil” prayer.

My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, At a word from You the devil and his minions flee in terror. You are the source of all truth. You are the source of all strength. By the power of Your Cross and Resurrection, we beseech You, O Lord To extend Your saving arm and to send Your holy angels To defend us as we do battle with Satan and his demonic forces. Exorcise, we pray, that which oppresses Your Bride, the Church, So that within ourselves, our families, our parishes, our dioceses, and our nation We may turn fully back to You in all fidelity and trust. Lord, we know if You will it, it will be done. Give us the perseverance for this mission, we pray. Amen. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception … pray for us St. Joseph … pray for us St. Michael the Archangel … pray for us (the patron of your parish) … pray for us (your confirmation saint) … pray for us

We are also expected to pray a full 5 Decades of the Holy Rosary each day, and we are provided daily meditations by one of the three priests who run the program. We're also supplied with other classic Church Littanies and prayers of reparation for each day, too.

This 40-day project ends Saturday but I plan to continue some elements of it indefinitely. The exorcism prayer offered every morning has proven to be a great comfort and I intend to keep at it. And the daily rosary is actually something I'm supposed to be doing as a member of the Knights of Columbus. When becoming a Knight we're instructed to keep a Rosary with us at all times, and to pray it often. In times like this, for most of us, that means praying it daily.

Fortunately for me, as soon as this 40-day project ends, a 54-Day Novena is scheduled to start: Novena For Our Nation , subtitled A Battle for the Soul of Our Nation & the Catholic Church will run from August 15 to Oct. 7, 2020. I've participated in one of these 54-Day Novenas before and already have a hard copy of the Training Manual in my library, so I'll be ready to join in as soon as it starts.

And the adventure continues.


Published on 10 August 2020, ~17:45 CDT, this is my post number 55/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #blog #RoscoeEllis #Catholic #prayers

 
Read more...

from Mike Stone

These days, we're all really busy. Work, families, trying to have a little fun every now and again. So, how do we manage all the things we want to do so we can cram them all into our available time?

I am fortunate to be one of those people who can work from home full time during the global pandemic that has gripped the world. In fact, I find that I work more than full time from home, to the point of virtual burnout. I'm also a parent, and have a house/yard to take care of. Add in the fact that I'd like to have a little bit of fun every now and again too, and time quickly becomes an issue.

So, how do I manage all these things?

Badly. The answer is badly.

First, let's get the whole “morning” thing out of the way. I hate them. I am not a morning person. I'm not now, nor have I ever been. Growing up my dad would be up with the Sun, and I never understood why. I still don't. Mornings are for sleeping through. I get up when I have to, and usually begrudgingly.

Every work day, I have an 8:00AM meeting scheduled. Sometimes that gets bumped to 7:00AM, but usually not. I spend this meeting ingesting as much caffeine as I can to make it through, and that's the start of my day.

I work through 5:00PM or 6:00PM, depending on requirements of the day. Usually I eat my lunch at my desk.

Once I'm finally off work, it's already time to find something for my kids to eat. With a virus raging across the globe, we try to cook at home as much as possible. We usually finish dinner by 7:00PM to 8:00PM, depending on what we had and how long it took to cook.

I actually feel really bad about this part because the kids aren't done eating until that late. When I was a kid, we ate dinner between 5:00PM and 6:00PM. 8:00PM seems super late.

Once dinner is done, there's cleanup to be done. This is a long process considering how much is used for a typical meal.

Kids bed time is 9:00 right now. It used to be earlier, but since we don't have to be up super early for school right now, I'm being a complete slacker and letting them stay up that late.

After the kids are sleeping, I need to get some exercise. My job basically requires me to sit at a desk all day, so if I don't get at least a little physical activity in a day, I balloon quickly.

We're now probably at 11:00PM, and I've done nothing but feed my kids, work, and exercise all day long. Most of the time, I'm exhausted by now. Sometimes I'll plop down on the couch with my laptop and write a blog post. Sometimes I don't. I might catch a TV show or something before bed.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

There are a lot of things I'd really like to do. I have projects that I've been wanting to do. I've been wanting to learn more Python, and maybe even dust off my C/C++ skills. Or here's a weird idea, maybe read a book or play a game?

I never seem to have the time to do any of those things, or if I do, I'm just too exhausted to get started.

I'm curious how you manage your time in the day. Are you better at it than I am? Do you have tools that you use that make time management easier? There's got to be a better way to do it than how I'm doing it.

Day 79 of the #100DaysToOffload Series.

 
Read more...

from Brandon's Journal

I haven’t wrote much lately. I’ve wanted to, but I haven’t had much to say.

Things have been rough the past few weeks and I’ve been working on dealing with some issues along with managing my own mental health. I promised myself this blog would not turn into one of those “cries for attention” sort of experiments, so what little writing and venting I have done, I’ve done privately, where I feel that sort of thing is best done.

What follows are just a collection of random thoughts and commentary of things going on.

The Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2 demo comes out Friday. I’m super excited to see a proper HD version of Tony Hawk exist.


I’ve struggled sleeping the last few weeks but on Friday, all that changed. Two events occurred that evening that I think led to my sleeping better.

  1. I had a good discussion with my significant other.
  2. I watched a horror movie.

I wish I could say for sure it was the discussion, but I really think the horror movie had something to do with it. I’m not sure if it’s because I dove back into one of my passions or just experienced the anxiety relief that comes with horror films, but I slept good and have every day since.


I’ve realized that I have to take things off the table in order for me to feel better a lot of the time. Sometimes that as simple as saying, “I just can’t talk about this stuff right now.” I believe the low grade anxiety that’s going on for everyone just compounds with regular anxiety and I struggle with that.


I watched the first episode of Lower Decks. It was okay, but nothing great. If it wasn’t Star Trek branded I’m sure I wouldn’t continue to watch, but it is, so I will. It’s a very easy twenty minutes of comfort television, at least so far.


I’ve been reading quite a bit. I’ve finished up He Crashed Me So I Crashed Him Back by Mark Bechtel a week and a half ago, then read Stand Firm by Svend Brinkmann, and now I’m almost finished with Shock Value by Jason Zinoman.


The prices of run of the mill DVDs and blu-rays are going up as physical media winds down and I'm assuming people are buying more because of all the streaming wars mess. I'm slowly trying to build up my collection without breaking the bank.


I have no idea what this movie is about but damn if this poster doesn't make me want to see it.

(I actually DuckDuckGoed this after typing up this blog and discovered the plot is about Wild Bill Hickock and Crazy Horse teaming up to take down a fabled white buffalo. Now I GOTTA SEE IT)

#100DaysToOffload 57/100 #Reflection

 
Read more...

from {babble}

Walking.

I have always walked a lot. I’d walk alone, for hours, taking photos along the way, lazily smoking my cigarettes.

I met movieStar and she loved walking. We walked all over the world, discovering things together. Our pace matched, and I remember thinking it was one of the most important things to have: a compatible walking pace. If it’s not easy to walk along with a photographer when you’re one, it can be even harder when you’re not. Photographers can be very annoying walking buddies. But we did it perfectly together.

I was not walking alone anymore.

We walked all over, day and night, on cities and country roads, we were cold sometimes and endured hellish heat on others. And it was always fun, or we remember it as such after the hard part was done.

Covid and tinyMovieStar arrived and the only complaint my wife had was that she missed walking. We were stuck inside, for months, and she missed the walks. And so did I.

We came home a couple of weeks ago and I’m happy to say walking has resumed.
Lisbon is a very walkable city, and we’re doing one or two walks a day. It feels great. Sometimes friends join us, most times we do it on our own.

There’s three of us now.


This is day 023 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. You can find out all about this project at 100daystooffload.com.

 
Read more...

from Muse & Reason

Well, I have reached the end of the 100daystooffload.com challenge and the numbers are as follows:

  • 100 posts in 100 Days
  • 44,752 words
  • 15 Major Topics
  • Most prolific topics were:
    • Technology (22 posts)
    • Social Comment (22 posts)
    • History (19 posts)
    • Publishing (19 posts)
    • Philosophy (14 posts)
  • Most popular post (So this is how privacy dies..., 2,241 views)

I began the challenge hoping it would improve my journaling habits and ability to write short form pieces. Sprint research as I like to call it. If my critics' reviews are anything to go by, my short and crunchy prose is all the better for the process.

I also found it a cathartic experience in a the age of Covid. My very own Pensieve:

One simply siphons the excess thoughts from one’s mind, pours them into the basin, and examines them at one’s leisure. It becomes easier to spot patterns and links, you understand, when they are in this form. – Albus Dumbledore

My thanks go out: To Kev Quirk for initiating the idea. To all the other participants who have, and still are, taking part. To the people who have read my articles and taken the time to provide feedback.

But the most important thanks goes to my wonderful, beautiful and amazing fiancée. Her talent and ability never ceases to leave me in awe and I am grateful for her editorship during this process. Without which, my output would have been far less coherent and contained many more errors. Like all writers, I would be lost without my editorial support.

Goodnight and good luck.


Goethe in the Roman Campagna by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein is licensed under Public Domain.

This post is day 100 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

 
Read more...

from Dino’s Journal 📖

In this first clip, I try to take on a patrol of Hyenas and bit off more than I can chew. I did not expect them to have backup. Couple of things to note in this game clip:

  • First, the recoil on the AK-47 assault rifle seems to be straight up and slightly to the right. So, if you start shooting at the enemy's hip, the recoil will move your cross-hair up and give you a chance to get a headshot.
  • Second, using Blind Fire with a Shotgun is extremely effective, especially against Rushers. In the tail end of the video you see my character get rushed by Hyena Rushers. They are buffed with extra health, so a burst from the AK-47 was not even enough to take one down. Running out of ammo on my AK-47 and with the enemy so close, I switched to my Shotgun and just fired away without even aiming. Took down the Rushers just before they got to me.

This second clip shows my first time with a powerful Sniper rifle in the game. I don't remember what Sniper rifle this one was, probably an M700. You can see that it is slow, but powerful. It is capable of taking down an enemy with just one hit. I think this is only viable in lower levels though. At higher levels, enemies have more armor and health. They can take more hits from a sniper rifle before going down. And so, the slow fire rate and reload can become a liability.


This post is Day 33 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

Tags: #GameClips #TheDivision2 #100DaysToOffload

 
Read more...

from Hey It's Me

Hey It's Me is a small, simple micro-blog about my personal life. On here, I will share everything from what I learned, my experience with technology and other daily struggles. I'm keeping it lite and straightforward, but if you're looking for a more structured articles check out Set Of Principles, my other project.

“What is this?” is a great question, but I have a better one for you. How did you get here? You can answer it by sending me an email odyy7h8px (at) pm.me

Replacement For My Tweets

I see this as a replacement for my tweets. Whenever I will find a remarkable new technology, tinker with an open source project or took an extraordinary photo of a sunset, I will post it here.

Value

I will also post some notes about articles and books, so you might get some value by reading this blog. Having public notes so anyone can learn is way better than saving them privately in my note-taking app.

Experiments

I love experiments. I usually run different personal tests about a new habit, food, routine... I feel like this is a perfect place to share my results and findings with other people. I might also start some daily challenges like #100DaysToOffload or something similar.

 
Read more...

from ego echo

Na bijna een week zonder zinnige sneden alhier, is het wel weer eens tijd voor wat woordenuitwisseling.

We brachten een deel van de afgelopen dagen door in Ede. Een hotel in een oude kazerne. Voor iemand die elke vorm van oorlogszucht en geweld wel kan schieten is dat op zich een wonderlijke verblijfsplaats. Maar ja, oude kazernes zijn als oude kerken: ik heb niets met de in mijn ogen delusionaire overtuigingen, maar de sfeer van de bouwsels staat mij wel aan.

De dagen waren op z'n minst memorabel. Ik zal mij beperken tot de vrolijke noten. Zoals het vieren van mijn geboortedag. Lieve cadeaus en samen met partner in crime en dochterlief een meer dan fijne middag in Arnhem met een afsluitend diner in het hotel. Sociale schaamte voorbij, dat ook. Een versierde stoel bij de lunch en kaarsjes op het taartje bij hangout Bonnie. Ballonnen in de hotelkamer maakten het feest compleet. De dag erna maakten we een dikke vinger naar de onzalige temperatuur en fietsten we een kleine veertig kilometer in de met heide en bos verwende omgeving. Natuurlijk, het was best warm en stoffig. Maar een raketje bij een ijskraam op een kruispunt van bos- en spoorweg en daarvoor een cola op het terras van kasteel Doorwerth maakten het vrijwillig lijden draaglijk. Op vrijdag waren we net voor de ergste hitte weer thuis. Tot zover de vakantieweken. Dat is toch even slikken.

Gisteren een prettig samenzijn met vriend Bas die mij tegen onze ongeschreven gewoonte in zomaar verraste met een presentje. Waarbij het verhaal van hoe hij tot de keuze voor het cadeau kwam minstens een bonus was. Vermakelijkheid is van onschatbare waarde, beste lezer.

Ik kan nog uren doorlullen en in detail treden over alles, maar zeg eerlijk, daarvoor is het nu te warm. Tegelijk vind ik dat erg aanstellerig klinken. Te warm. Te koud. Te nat. Te droog. Er is altijd wel wat. Zoals de boormachine die zelfs nu gewoon in een van de woningen door iemand wordt vastgehouden. Je moet maar volslagen idioot zijn. Stilte is een gebed zonder eind. En vooruit, omdat ik nu eenmaal een onverbeterlijke en zichzelf herhalende optimist ben: wij zijn het virus, de plaag en de hel op aarde.

Toch ben ik ondertussen hemelsblij dat ik niet op elf hoog in een ziekenhuis lig en alleen maar kan afwachten tot ik weer naar huis kan. Alleen al daarom: in mijn handjes knijpend fiets ik een rondje door de wijk, het park door en over de bruggen en scheld intern de hele bliksemse bende verrot.

Zoals ik al zei, de vakantiedagen zijn voorbij.

#waanvandedag #100DaysToOffload

 
Read more...

from Muse & Reason

Second last day for the 100daystooffload.com challenge and I continue to contemplate 'what's next.' Which is both technical and philosophical. Time for a contribution manifesto, me thinks.

I don't currently support 'comments' on my blog. I have long been in two minds about the whole process. Not least because I have seen avid bloggers both enable, disable and re-enable comments. I have read their reasoning and share much of it. Particularly regarding interaction volume.

I have also worked in the publishing industry long enough to hear and feel the concerns of authors. For no matter how keen marketing is on the whole 'engage with your readers' piece, authors know the implication. To paraphrase William Lamb: the possession of a large follower-ship implies many responses to interactions.

In such a flurry of social media, an ever growing portion of one's day can be taken up simply answering correspondence. At least in a bygone age, when writing meant ink, pen, paper and a stamp, there was a barrier to entry. But today, not only does one contend with querulous readers, but bots trolling your posts with adverts.

However, setting such fears aside, I think there is a case to be made. But one I seek to make for contributing rather than commenting.

The Philosophy of Contributing

In a world of armchair generals, it is easy to comment on everything. It requires little engagement or understanding of the content. What ensues, is often a waste of everyone’s time.

In extremis, commenting can descend into flame wars with respondents biting back against others biting back. Each response is analysed for transgression as each side scours the landscape for weakness. It is a new Cold War but, being social media, temperatures run high leaving a very hot environment — no thank you!

Instead, I hope to shift the emphasis from commenting to contributing. In doing so, I am seeking to create a space for a meaningful conversation about the life of the mind.

My purpose for creating a contribution space on this site is to provide the opportunity for me to learn from you. To hear your experiences and in turn become a better writer and contributor myself.

In that context the first, perhaps the only, rule of contributing is: be civil and be informed.

Benign Dictatorship

For those seeking a space for unrestricted free speech, the contributions section of my site will not be that space. As such, contributions will be held for moderation.

No Spam

While I will encourage people to write long form responses to articles, contribution moderation will be intolerant of spam. More specifically, shameless self-promotion. Which includes, but not limited to:

  • Shopping websites
  • Websites which have no relevance for the topic in question
  • Websites which are pornographic in nature
  • Websites which support bigoted or intolerant views (as defined by me – remember, this is a dictatorship)

Offensive Contributions

The notion of offence is moral, not ethical. That is, ‘morality’ is a with general system of thinking bound to a specific society, while 'ethics' is as a supra-societal system. In this context, what offends is highly correlated to the society in which you live. One person’s praise is another person’s hatred.

Quality Contributions

In the spirit of a benign dictatorship, my determination of quality contributions will be both objective and subjective. No offence is intended, but as offence is a social construct, taking it is at your discretion.

If you run a website, I encourage you to respond with an article by way of contribution. I hope to leverage the IndieWeb with a ‘ping me!’ section under the regular contributions section. If technology doesn't serve me with a dog turd, simply enter the URL of your article and ‘ping me!’. Your contribution will then appear under my article, after moderation.

If you don’t have an online writing presence but would like one, now is a great time to start and WriteAs is an excellent entry point to the world of online writing.

Contribution Privacy

Privacy matters, and I go to great lengths to ensure this site respects your data privacy. My plan is for contributions to be the same. I hope to host all contributions on my server, not including those by way of articles on your own website. If you want your contributions removed from the system, I will have them deleted.

Putting It Into Practice

Well, that is the theory out of the way. A little more tinkering to go and it will be time to put it into practice. If you have any thoughts on the above, I would love to read them. But for now, this will need to be done on a Mastodon or Twitter page near you.

Goodnight and good luck.


The Conversation by Arnold Lakhovsky (1880–1937) Blue licensed under Public Domain.

This post is day 099 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

 
Read more...

from Mike Stone

A couple years ago, I bought a Pocket C.H.I.P. to tinker around with. It was a cool little device that I didn't use to nearly it's potential. And then it went into a drawer. Recently, I've dug it back out again, and I'm seeing if there's something I can do with it.

For those of you that aren't familiar with the Pocket C.H.I.P., this is what it looks like:

The device has the simplest form of built in keyboard, and a touch screen. While it was a neat little idea, I found both to be mostly useless. The keyboard was difficult to use, and I only used it when no other options were available.

I quickly swapped out the GUI the device defaulted to with I3, which worked great with an external keyboard.

Then the company that made the Pocket C.H.I.P. went bankrupt.

I continued to tinker a little bit with it, but it quickly went into a drawer and didn't come back out.

Recently, digging through my random tech junk, I ran across it again. It seemed a shame to have a perfectly working device sitting in drawer doing nothing, so I fired it back up again.

I quickly remembered how useless that keyboard was, so I plugged it in to a USB power source and made sure SSH was enabled, and used my normal computer to access it.

Poking around to re-familiarize myself with the device, I noticed that this device used a pretty standard installation of Debian with a single repo for the stuff that was Pocket C.H.I.P. specific. Since the company that made the Pocket C.H.I.P. was bankrupt, that server was no longer online, so I removed it and ran updates.

Everything went through completely painlessly. No issues, and I was up to date with the latest Jessie packages. Then I upgraded to Stretch with the same results. No issues at all.

I ran into a few glitches when I moved it up to Buster, which I meticulously documented and then immediately lost somehow, but it was really just a couple packages that needed to be removed and some minor reconfiguration.

Today, I'm running the latest version of Buster on a Pocket C.H.I.P. built by a company that's been out of business for two years.

I'm still no sure what I'm going to do with it. It's plugged into USB power and sitting next to my wireless router, so it should run virtually forever. It's not speedy by an stretch of the imagination, but it's passable.

If you've got some ideas on what I can use this interesting little device for, reply to me over on Fosstodon.

Day 78 of the #100DaysToOffload Series.

 
Read more...

from Roscoe's Notebook

There was still a lot of chess to be played...

BlackWin08082020

...on this board when White resigned in our game this morning, giving me the win with the Black army. But a win is a win and I'll gladly accept any that come my way.

This Correspondence Chess game played at the server-based lichess.org chess site began on 9th July when White opened with 1. e4 and it moved along at a pretty good pace until it ended with his resignation today, almost one month after it started. Checkmate was still far in our future, but my material advantage and his extremely exposed King left little doubt as to the eventual outcome.

The position of the pieces at game's end can be seen at the top of this blog post, and our complete move record is below:

1.e4 d6 2.d4 a6 3.d5 h6 4.Be2 e5 5.Bg4 Bxg4 6.f3 Bh5 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.g4 Bg6 9.Qg2 c6 10.Qh3 cxd5 11.g5 Nh5 12.gxh6 gxh6 13.Qg4 dxe4 14.Nc3 exf3 15.Qxf3 Qh4+ 16.Qf2 Qxf2+ 17.Kxf2 d5 18.Nge2 Bc5+ 19.Ke1 d4 20.Na4 Nd7 21.Nxc5 Nxc5 22.Ng3 Rc8 23.Nxh5 Bxh5 24.b4 Nd7 25.Rg1 Rxc2 26.a4 Nf6 27.Rb1 Rxh2 28.b5 Rg8 29.Rxg8+ Nxg8 30.Rb2 Rh1+ 31.Kd2 e4 0-1

And the adventure continues.


Published on 08 August 2020, ~12:30 CDT, this is my post number 54/100/365 of the https://100daystooffload.com blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #blog #RoscoeEllis #chess

 
Read more...

from Musings

I started this blog as a way for me to ween myself off social media. This was my intention from when I started #100DaysToOffload after reading this post by Kev. I'm cutting the 100 days short and quitting Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, starting now.

I'd still love to stay in touch, but directly via phone or email. If we're close enough, you either have my number or know someone with my number, get it. Show them this, it's consent to share my number with you.

If you don't, you can reach me at yo [(at)] tychi [(dot)] me.

I'm going to stick around on the Fediverse. You can find me @tychi@fosstodon.org until I get my own Pleroma instance running.

I'm also going to keep blogging here. Figure out what RSS is and why Google tried to kill it.


Netiquette

If you've never heard this term, look it up.

Advertising

If it's free, you're the product.

Gamification

It's manipulation, but it's fun!

Know Your Risk

TikTok being banned is a joke. The data the app collects is alarming, but other apps do the same, if not more. The only problem is it's a Chinese product and not a US one.

Own Your Data

If you've said, “I'd love to use X, but Y has all my Z already,” you don't own your data.

Free and Open Source Software

Software is a human right. Always have had this position and I always will.

Trust

As someone that worked on trying to solve digital identity for four years, the only answer is to own your own domain and control your own content.

Everything else is a farce.

Destiny

When something stops being profitable for a company, it'll be deleted. It happened with MySpace and it was pitched as an accident. There was absolutely a meeting where they said, “If we delete everything before 2016, we'll save $$$/month.”

If you're using social media like a scrapbook, remember it's ephemeral.

Engagement

When the social networks flipped from a linear timeline to an algorithmically generated one, they decided which of your friends could be digitally sacrificed.

Outrage

Doomscrolling. I'm tired of the first thing I do when I wake up is check Facebook or Twitter because something terrible happened in the 6 hours I was sleeping.

Trolls

Chaotic Evil personified.

Bots

Synthetic perspectives.

Shills

Corporate PR disguised as your average Joe.

De-platforming

Also a joke. The internet is wide, vast, and open. If a platform doesn't want you, go find somewhere else to be and stop whining about it.


Free Cancellation

I'm tired of living in the past, trying to atone for whatever thoughtcrime I committed half a lifetime ago. I've deleted very few things over the years, since I believe social media to be a really fascinating experiment.

Indulge yourself, since these will eventually fade with time, if they haven't already. Won't be of my accord though.

https://myspace.com/discodonut/ https://l17.livejournal.com/ https://twitter.com/tylerchilds https://tylerchilds.blogspot.com/ https://reddit.com/tylerchilds https://reddit.com/chilols https://www.youtube.com/c/TylerChilds/ https://instagram.com/tylerchilds https://facebook.com/thetylerchilds https://github.com/tylerchilds https://linkedin.com/tylerchilds

Who I was is not who I am.


Digital Detox

I told Victoria yesterday I have a digital addiction. I've known for a while and I knew it'd get worse, but I needed to set myself up to get off of it.

Having more control over my hardware and software has been a challenge to sink back into after a decade of gradually giving up my vigilance for convenience.

The real shift I'm making in my life is changing from a push lifestyle to a pull lifestyle. Social media is engineered for engagement. Notifications. Alerts. Pings.

In the simplest possible terms, I'm looking for my digital life to more closely resemble an answering machine than a pager.


Red Flags

The last lesson I'll impart onto you before I go. I used to be casually into conspiracy theories. Reddit was my go to place to find out about Avril Lavigne being replaced by Melissa Vandella. But slowly the /r/conspiracy subreddit got more political than are UFOs real and was 9/11 an inside job?

Pizzagate happened and the floodgates were thrown open. Instead of well-researched, but still misguided posts of historical events or clearly ludicrous speculations, everything switched to real time.

The sub became a hub for current events and not investigations into the past. This was when I bowed out from my Reddit addiction.

Slowly disconnecting from Reddit, I found how utterly toxic it was. I always justified it as “not as bad as 4chan,” but there are still a lot of very unhealthy ideologies there. Any given day might not be terrible, but our minds go through the death of a thousand cuts with whatever we subject ourselves to.

Finally, I realized how things just weren't real. When you first post into a new community, you put yourself out there. You get downvoted. You adapt. You get downvoted less. You adapt. You get upvoted. You get hooked. You conformed and you lost yourself. In this way, I disassociated from reality.

All social media functions this way. The healthiest thing you can do is not look into your own comment section. Have friends, let them challenge you, but that random hater does. not. matter.


The Timeline

I started out with AOL and AIM, because I was a child and IRC was totally not on my radar.

I created a Subprofile and my away messages were hilarious indications that I will bbl. We used to just type the number 6 to indicate a parent was entering the room and I was closing the chat window and I'd message again once it was clear.

I created a MySpace to listen to music and connect with friends. My LiveJournal was an outlet for me to express my emo rage. Facebook was for college students and I waited until I was enrolled before joining on the principle that's what the community was founded for.

Twitter was my fleeting thoughts. The things you'd text a friend to start a conversation without saying, “How are you doing today, pal?” I quit for a while because something changed. Then I came back and it was all self-promotion and constant rage. I joined in for a bit. I haven't posted for 72 days now, besides pushing this blog. I took a break at the end of 2019 for a month and it felt great. I'm looking to just do that for good now.

I joined reddit for the memes. Instagram had premium photographic content. LinkedIn gave me a sense of progress and ambition for my career, despite myself never actually benefiting from it.

GitHub was my decentralized hope of a future for sharing code and then Microsoft bought them. And this was when I knew I couldn't trust any software I couldn't bend to my will instead of the other way around.


Closure

I'd always imagined digging through my old posts to show progress of some sort. I'm at that age where I just don't care.

I'm not going to download your app. I'm not going to sign up for your new social network.

I'm controlling my own future from here on out. If you want to learn more, talk to me about it.

Decentralization is the future and my future starts today.

 
Read more...

from Muse & Reason

For the better part of 400 years, the production of art in France was largely controlled by artistic academies. With the first official academy being the Académie Française (“French Academy”), founded in 1634 by Cardinal Richelieu. A key element of academy life was the copying of old masters.

That is, an aspiring artist would learn the forms by copying works which were considered fine examples of the discipline. A similar method can be invaluable when seeking to improve one's writing, though with a key difference.

Private Collection

The accurate copying of a painting or sculpture requires considerable skill. In which context, the mere repetition of copying helps to improve an existing ability. But in the digital age, to copy another person's writing is as simple as copy and paste. Obviously this digital version of copying old masters would add nothing but more plagiarism to the world wide web.

Thus in the written context, the process involves typing out and 'editing' great works. Not to post, but for private edification. Looking for ways in which greater clarity could be achieved. Or simply to get the fingers following the keys in a good and regular metre.

Because we tend to write what we read. By taking this a step further and not only reading but learning to emulate great writing, we can step up out written game to a more refined level.

In The Style Of

The final stage in the copying of old masters process is to produce a work 'in the style of.' By that I mean take a writer you greatly admire. Then try and write a piece about a completely different topic but in the style of their verse.

An example of this would be something like the following:

He would have used his arms and his hands to push himself up; but instead of them he only had all those little legs continuously moving in different directions, and which he was moreover unable to control. If he wanted to bend one of them, then that was the first one that would stretch itself out; and if he finally managed to do what he wanted with that leg, all the others seemed to be set free and would move about painfully. “This is something that can’t be done in bed,” Gregor said to himself, “so don’t keep trying to do it.”

Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

Taking on a Kafkaesque style:

I decided to leave the party and tried to walk straight to the door; but instead of this simple process, it took me three glasses of whisky to make it out of the room. If I want to turn left, a friend would grab my right arm and steer me toward the bar. If I wanted to walk forward, a companion would pull me back, pressing another glass of the amber liquid into my hand. Finally, I managed to do what I wanted and, listing gently from side to side, stumbled out of the room.

– Robert Winter, The Transition

Goodnight and good luck.


Metamorphosis by is licensed under Public Domain.

This post is day 098 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. If you want to get involved, you can get more info from 100daystooffload.com.

 
Read more...

Join the writers on Write.as.

Start writing or create a blog