Really late on this.

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Here’s a playlist of my top tracks from April, 2022 on Last.FM and on Apple Music.

Still really enjoying The Cactus Blossoms. Work has been busy and so meeting-filled that I’m barely listening to any music during the day. This has been true for April and May. So, listening habits are changing a bit. Fiddling with my Marvis settings again to surface more new cuts.

From Grant’s (Petersen, of Rivendell) latest post. He’s one of my favorite bike-people:

We are locked into steel, locked out of suspension and disc brakes, are increasingly suspect of racing’s influence, and we “value,” I guess is the closest word I can think of, bicycles as non-elitist daily transportation, and yet we still make them as beautiful‑by our standards—as we can. Some people see inconsistency there. Expensive, finely crafted bikes for daily use. I can’t help that. There are people out there who are threatened by that. Because, I’ve been scolded and called a hypocrite for it

I’ve watched every season of High Maintenance a few times. We’ve been watching them again lately when we need a short show to watch in the evenings and this time around I’m deeply focussed not the soundtrack for each episode.

I’ve always been aware of the music in the show (it’s amazing, here’s some background from pitchfork) but this time around, moreso.

Anyway, here a couple of playlists that capture the show’s soundtrack:

Spotify – High Maintenance

Apple Music – High Maintenance

Also, here’s a good interview with Ben Sinclair about some of his current listens from a few years ago.

This great take on Twitter/Musk from Robin Sloan via the always excellent Michael Sacasas:

The amount that Twitter omits is breathtaking; more than any other social platform, it is indifferent to huge swaths of human experience and endeavor. I invite you to imagine this omitted content as a vast, bustling city. Scratching at your timeline, you are huddled in a single small tavern with the journalists, the nihilists, and the chaotic neutrals.

I keep thinking about all the hand-wringing about Twitter and can’t help but feel like, well, who cares? The twitterverse, I think, to some degree takes itself way too seriously. There is, as Sloan writes, so much more than Twitter. There is so much more to being online than twitter and so much more to the world than being online.

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Visited Austin. Learned some tips on smoking brisket from the pit master at Terry Black’s. Saw some great live music. Didn’t take nearly as many good pictures as I would have liked. Still, great trip.

I have a bunch of playlists that I’ve crafted over the years and when I moved to Apple Music I was disappointed to see my local library copies of those files replaced with Apple Music’s versions. It seemed to be totally arbitrary and, importantly, the play count, rating, etc. was different on my local library copies then it was on the Apple Music versions of those songs.

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In the above, I know that I have a copy of Can’t get There from Here in my local library, so not sure why the Apple Music one was substituted in my playlist. Anyway, I want my local version in there so I can track stats, etc.

I poked around the venerable Doug’s Scripts for a while but couldn’t quite find what I needed so I wrote this script which:

  • Select/start playing a song in the playlist you want to work with
  • Creates a new playlist called “$playlistname Local Files.”
  • Checks each song in the active playlist to see if it’s local or Apple Music
  • If it’s not Apple Music, it just adds it to the Local Files version of the playlist
  • If it is Apple Music, it checks to see if there is a song in your library with the same Artist and Song name
  • It then copies the tracks that result from that search to the Local Files version of the playlist
  • If it can’t find a local copy, it adds the Apple Music version to the “Local Files” copy of the playlist

The search is really loose so it will find multiple local copies if you have them which is a bit of a pain in the butt. SO you need to go to the new playlist and remove the local versions (live! Remix!, etc.) from the playlist.

I’ve run this on a few big playlists with ~1000 songs and it runs just fine. It might be helpful for a few folks so I’m putting it up here but that said, I wouldn’t download and run this unless you know what the code is doing.

Apple Music Playlist March Top Tracks

My top tracks for March, 2022. You can listen to this playlist on Apple Music or on Last.fm.

Last.fm’s is much more comprehensive for some reason. The service has seemed very flakey the past few weeks and I can’t find an alternative method for tracking so have to live with it just being janky I guess.

I have been really loving the song Doers by Bodega. Definitely one of my favorite tracks for the month.

 

I enjoy when my daily email from readwise offers up two seemingly independent quotes/extracts that inform each other simply by their proximity to each other in the email thread. Today’s:

 

Race After Technology by Benjamin, Ruha

Hashtags like operate like a virtual public square in which response to racial insults are offered and debated. Memes, too, are an effective tool for dragging racism. (Location 676)

 
The Convivial Society, No. 5 by theconvivialsociety.substack.com

Kierkegaard saw that the public sphere was destined to become a detached world in which everyone had an opinion about and commented on all public matters without needing any first-hand experience and without having or wanting any responsibility.” Perhaps that very last line holds an important clue. Perhaps action demands responsibility and that is precisely what we are unwilling to take.

Several months ago the EVF/OVF on my X100F stopped working correctly. I sent it in for repair to Fuji.   I should note that printing out the form on FujiFilm Camera Repair page is laughably broken but, anyway.

After a few weeks I heard back that FujiFilm wanted $650 to repair the viewfinder. 

I asked them to send it back without repairing it, thinking I would just put that money towards a new X100v instead. Well, supply chain! You can’t get an X100v anywhere right now. SO I decided to make due with the broken X100f and just use the screen instead of the viewfinder. Not optimal but serviceable.

Until this week.

All of a sudden all sorts of other things started breaking on the F. Now the camera looses its settings when you swap out the battery. And it it is stuck on AF-C/continual autofocus. Which is so annoying. 

So, anyway, I’ve sent it back in for a repair estimate, hoping it won’t be much more than the original $650 repair estimate but we’ll see.

While it’s out for repair I’m using my 6-years-old X-E2s. I have it paired with the 27mm pancake which makes it feel like a really lightweight (and, sort of cheap) X100. This is an older Fuji camera and I’d completely forgotten what amazing photos it takes! This makes me realize that there’s really no reason to rush out and get the X100v when it becomes available again.

I really like this quote from Ken Rockwell’s review of the X-E2s, it’s still totally true today:

Real shooters shoot LEICAs because of their simplicity, small size and fantastic optics, and the X-E2s does all this even better. The X-E2s is ergonomically superior to LEICA, its optics are at least as good, all for a fraction of the price with none of the poseur attitude.

The Fujis just shoot so well for so long (when they’re not broken!). It’s a real incentive to just keep the older gear around, repair it when necessary and only buy the newer models when catastrophe befalls your existing Fuji gear.

First rainy day in a while. Glad because it’s been nice out lately and I’ve been too busy working to enjoy it. Less FOMO on a rainy day.

My letsencrypt SSL cert wasn’t renewing. I’d forgotten that I moved my wife’s site to squarespace so that caused the renewal to not find the site on my IP, causing it to fail with something like:

Attempting to renew cert . . .  produced an unexpected error: Failed authorization procedure.

I was using the same cert for multiple sites. Note though, you don’t actually remove the superfluous/relocated sites from the cert and then renew, instead you recreate the cert with just the domains you want. Makes sense.

Anyway, here are some really good instructions and explanation.

And just in case that site isn’t around, basically you’re running:

sudo certbot --cert-name jimwillis.org -d jimwillis.org -d www.jimwillis.org

And then you can run 

sudo certbot certificates

To make sure that the domains were removed from the cert. Handily, it also renews the cert when you run that command. 

 

I didn’t realize Dries founded/manages Drupal until I checked out the about page on his website. In any case, he has a really excellent comparison of PESOS vs POSSE on his site.

For me, I’m just trying to find as friction-free a way to collect/post/share. After a bunch of false starts I’m leaning towards WordPress as the bucket that collects everything and sends it out to other places like Mastodon, my newsletter and Day One (my journal software).

Unfortunately, iOS shortcuts integration with WordPress is horrible. Unless you fall back to old school xml-rpc stuff which feels like way too much work. This means it’s not a totally friction-free collection bucket but I feel like from a sharing-out perspective, it’s the right tool for the POSSE job.

A friend unexpectedly gifted me this the other night when we were rehearsing for an upcoming gig. I can not believe what a huge difference it makes in the sound/volume of my already very loud Martin D-18.

It’s called a d-gard and is purpose built for the back of a Martin dreadnaught. I put some new felt on it so that it wouldn’t scratch the finish. I’m astounded at how much more volume and sustain I’m getting from this. A good friend of mine who plays mandolin has been telling me to get one of these for years and I’m glad I finally got one. For standing up and playing at live gigs around a single mic, I’m hoping this gives me the volume I need.