• Almost as good as wearing PJs inside-out, here’s our song Snow Day for all you #newjersey folks enjoying today’s snow:

    https://kul-d-sack.bandcamp.com/track/snow-day-live


  • POSSE WP->Mastodon

    I wish that it were possible to leverage WordPress’ post formats (status, aside, etc.) to trigger crossposting. In the absence of that functionality I’m working with Jan’s excellent WordPress to Mastodon plugin, making a couple of minor mods:

    • If it’s a short (status, under 400 chars) WordPress post, just send the post content to Mastodon with no title or link back to the original wordpress post. If it’s a longer entry, post an excerpt and link back to WordPress.
    • Add tags to the Mastodon post with #’s.

    Here’s the code I’m using:

    add_filter( 'share_on_mastodon_status', function( $status, $post ) {
        // Check if the length of the post content is more than 400 characters
        if (strlen($post->post_content) > 400) {
            // Use the post excerpt if content is longer than 400 characters
            $excerpt = get_the_excerpt($post);
            // Replace HTML entity with "read more..." text and permalink
            $read_more_link = '... read more: ' . get_permalink($post);
            $excerpt = str_replace('…', $read_more_link, $excerpt);
            $status = wp_strip_all_tags($excerpt, '<a>');
        } else {
            // Use the full post content if it's 400 characters or less
            $status = wp_strip_all_tags($post->post_content);
        }
        
    	
      $tags = get_the_tags( $post->ID );
    
      if ( $tags ) {
        $status .= "\n\n";
        
        foreach ( $tags as $tag ) {
          $status .= '#' . preg_replace( '/\s/', '', $tag->name ) . ' ';
        }
    
        $status = trim( $status );
      }
        return $status;
    }, 10, 2 );

    I’m going to sit with this for a while. I think the route I’m ultimately going to take though is just modify this plugin to only crosspost to Mastodon entries that have the category of “status” assigned to them. Not sure yet. Will give this a while to settle.


  • Status post w image


  • POSSE for Journaling

    Now that I’ve got a good, reliable mechanism for getting WordPress into my Day One journal, it has got me thinking about using WordPress as a funnel for getting any “public” journal type stuff into Day One.

    Letterboxd reviews come to mind. If I were still using Goodreads, that would make sense, too. Is there something from last.fm worth capturing in my Day One? I suspect some kind of weekly or monthly entry would make sense. Or new discoveries?

    Funnel that data into WordPress (preferably using some kind of microformat) and then use my python script to collect all of that stuff into my Day One journal.

    Food for thought for my next rainy Saturday morning coding session.


  • The Shaarli docker documentation is like a masterclass in how to use docker and docker-compose. I wish I had known all of this when building up my self-hosted services (navidrome, photoprism, etc.) Great reference: https://shaarli.readthedocs.io/en/master/Docker.html


  • True

    The things that you
    Believe are true
    Well, they’re just not so.
    You’re plain mixed up, a bit confused
    Hell you don’t know

    It’s time for you to leave the stage
    Because, hell, you’re blinded by your rage
    It’s your twilight time
    and the ones taking your place won’t look like you

    You pick and choose your evidence
    You hold on tight to your relevance
    but it’s fading fast
    and you wave that hateful flag for the past

    The things that you
    Believe are true
    Well, they’re just not so.
    You’re plain mixed up, a bit confused
    Hell you don’t know

    So I’ll be me and you be you
    But change is coming through and through
    The arc may be long
    But in the end it bends towards what is true.

    We all know you wrote the rules
    and tried to make it so you couldn’t lose
    But when your time comes,
    here’s hoping thoughts and prayers will get you through
    Here’s hoping thoughts and prayers will get you through
    I’ll send my thoughts and prayers out to you

    All rights reserved – Dusty Nugs Records ©2024


  • 2023 Musical Developments and Review

    This past year felt like a big year for me as far as improved or developing musicianship compared with recent prior years. Most likely this is because this is the first year in 35+ years of playing guitar that I kept a rehearsal/practice journal and made even the slightest effort to structure my practice around material and technique. In any case, here’s a look back at how my year went from a musicianship POV.

    • I continued developing my flatpicking skills and bluegrass knowledge
    • I began learning to play mandolin
    • I started to use a journal to track what I’m practicing or working through
    • I started to learn how to play the Telecaster (as distinct from playing any other kind of electric guitar).

    Bluegrass – more Stanley Brothers!

    On the bluegrass and flatpicking front, I continued to dive into the Stanley Brothers. I read the Ralph Stanley autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow. Really long book, but chock full of great stories and observations that helped solidify my believe that playing bluegrass music is part gift and part responsibility. Or, perhaps, part an honor and part an obligation.

    Either way, playing bluegrass guitar ties me to a long chain of music and musicians in a way that no other music I’ve played does (though, playing in a Dead cover band, I think, will someday achieve this same level of meaning).

    I also enjoyed listening to more current instances of bluegrass music, especially guitarists like Grant Gordy. He’s a far cry from Doc Watson and yet totally connected by the bluegrass thread.

    Mandolin

    Partly out of reverence for the tradition and partly for my own interest, I took up mandolin in June. By autumn I knew a few scales and could play a half dozen (fiddle) tunes at a pretty good clip. Much of this fast progress was due to having a good friend who 1.) lent me a mandolin and 2.) is an extraordinarily patient teacher. That, and learning straight out of the gate to not approach the mandolin as an upside down guitar. Those all made a huge difference for me.

    Some combination of bad typing practice at work and poor left hand technique on the mandolin lead to some kind of RSI on my left hand that I’m still recovering from to some degree (heat, massage and some finger exercises as well as improved typing posture all helped here). As such, it’s been several weeks since I’ve played the mandolin for any length of time.

    Still though, I had multiple opportunities to play mandolin with other mandolin players and deeply appreciate the sound of two mandolins playing in unison and it is gratifying to attend a guitar-heavy jam and be able to pull out the mandolin and chop with some moderate level of competency.

    Day One Musical/Rehearsal Journal
    I do not know why it has taken me almost 35 years to begin a practice journal, but now that I have done so, I do not think it is a practice I will ever abandon. I’m not a structured rehearsal type player. I play a wide variety of material and have to learn a wide variety of lyrics, styles, etc. Meaning, on Monday I may be working on a fiddle tune and by Wednesday I’m working on chord substitutions and Thursday learning how to sing the melody line on a Stanley brothers song. With all of those balls in the air, I was regularly forgetting any nuanced learnings or finger positions about the fiddle tune or forgetting about certain substitutions, etc.

    By writing them down in a dedicated Day One journal and by occasionally revisiting the journal before sitting down to practice, I wasn’t constantly reinventing the wheel. I am tracking which songs I’m working on, notes around different live performance takeaways (e.g. I notice that I move around too much in front of the mic), the way the Osborne Brothers sing the second half of the verse of Kentucky Waltz, etc.

    I also started to track certain baseline stats around max tempo/bpm for certain fiddle tunes, etc. Helpful in so many ways. I don’t have any kind of template or model for the journal, though I looked at many online before starting my own.

    If you don’t already keep a practice journal, I cannot recommend it enough. It has been enormously helpful. Especially in light of my hand injury recovery. I didn’t play for over two weeks, but by revisiting my journal I was able to pick up right where I left off.

    Telecaster

    By far, the biggest leap in my knowledge this year (though sadly, not with my proficiency or skills) is around Telecaster guitar. I have been enjoying certain types of post-bluegrass Bakersfield-type music for several years now (Clarence White, Buck Owens/Don Rich, Chris Hillman, etc.), but suddenly this year felt a strong urge to play the telecaster in a very specific way that is unique to the telecaster guitar tradition: an instrument that bridges the gap between acoustic guitar and pedal steel.

    I took a few online lessons, watched a lot of YouTube videos but, mostly, listened to telecaster players. James Burton gets referenced a lot for being an influential telecaster player. Digging deeply into his work with Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band is a masterclass in why he is such an important figure in the development of telecaster technique. That said, there are way too many to name here but I’ll mention two Telecaster players who I got to see live when I visited Nashville: Stuie French and Luke McQueary. See my Nashville Notes for more on these two amazing players.

    2024
    I will admit to being a bit scared about the pain in my left hand preventing me from being able to resume playing but I’m getting more confident that the pain will eventually subside entirely. With that in mind, I think I need to focus my energies a bit more. While I love playing mandolin, I don’t think I can allow it to eat in to my guitar practice time which is already limited enough. I will continue to play mandolin but without any especially lofty goals, just being able to play a few fiddle tunes and chop behind other guitars is plenty satisfying.

    On the guitar front, I want to continue to learn inversions and substitutions as they are the key to my understanding/unlocking the fretboard. The inversions and subs are great on the acoustic but even cooler when applied to the Telecaster and trying ring 6th chords out with the volume knob to emulate a pedal steel.

    I’ll try to do all this while maintaining my current “OK-ness” as a bluegrass flat picker. I don’t want those skills to diminish too much while I explore alternate forms of playing. And, perhaps more importantly, I’d like to do all this while not sacrificing the time or energy required to write original music which didn’t happen nearly as much in 2023 as I’d hoped.


  • Lunch Walk

    Cold and windy but still did 2 miles around Princeton. X100F trying to use the same Kodak Chrome sim I’m using on my X-E2s


  • X-E2S Shots

    I’ve been trying to remember to bring my camera out with me more often, employing little tricks like keeping my X100F on my kitchen counter near my keys. But even when I remember to bring it, I haven’t been shooting at all.

    But for Christmas this year I received a 7artisans 25mm/1.8 lens. This lens is notable for a few reasons:

    1.) My X100 has a fixed lens so in order to use the 7artisans I needed to pull out my older X-E2s which had been gathering dust on my shelf
    2.) It is a 25mm which on the Fuji sensor makes it much close to a 35mm, which is my favorite focal length
    3.) it is a fully manual lens in that it doesn’t auto focus or auto adjust the aperture.
    4.) It is a very inexpensive lens, especially compared with the Fuji line but it has some character to it.

    This XE2S is older and has an older sensor (X-Trans II) than the X100F (X-Trans III) but I think I prefer it over the X100F. I just enjoy shooting with it more. I’m not sure I can explain why it feels different despite such similar bodies and dials, but I definitely like my X-E2s more.

    Anyway, I brought it out last night when we went out to dinner and capture a few snaps in the restaurant:

    I’ve been struggling to find a film simulation that works indoors and has an ok white balance. I think this Kodak Chrome simulation from Ritchie Roesch does the trick:

    Classic Chrome
    Dynamic Range: DR200
    Highlight: -1 (Medium-Soft)
    Shadow: 0 (Standard)
    Color: +1 (Medium-High)
    Sharpness: 0 (Standard)
    Noise Reduction: -2 (Low)
    White Balance: Auto, +2 Red & -2 Blue
    ISO: Auto up to ISO 3200

    Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

    I’m going to keep using this one for a while as I’d really like to settle in to a single film sim and really learn it.

    I also grabbed a shot as we stopped for gas, I’d intended to use the Cinestill 800 simulation because of its suitability for nighttime shooting but because I couldn’t quite remember which presets I had assigned, I ended up using more of a Kodak Negative type sim, it still looks cool though:

    Anyway, hope this is the start of me bringing my camera out with me more and remembering to actually shoot with it.


  • Fender TSA Flight Case Parts

    Updated! See below

    The latches on my Fender TSA flight case are all shot. Rather than toss the case, I want to try to fix it. It took me a while to find a number for Fender. (At the time of this post the number for consumer relations at Fender is 1-800-856-9801).

    After a while on hold I spoke with a rep who told me that Fender doesn’t have parts for the case but he referred me to https://www.skbcases.com and they have a few replacement latch options (though not exactly what I need). I reached out to SKB Cases via email with details of what I need replaced, will update when I get a reply if they’re able to help me.

    update: I heard back from customerservice@skbcases.com who asked me for some photos of the case and latches and they’re shipping me out the needed parts to repair the case. Really great outcome here and definitely recommend SKB for their great customer service.


Current Spins

Top Albums

Letterboxd


Reading Notes

  • Unable, then, to see the world because I have forgotten the way of being in the world that enables vision in the deepest sense, I […]
  • Suppose Bob writes an email to Sue, who has no existing business relationship with Bob, asking her to draw a picture of a polar bear […]
  • The large majority of the world’s decaffeination still happens through chemical-based processes that use things like methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. I don’t know what […]
  • All the forces at play within us and without seem to be centrifugal forces, pulling us apart. I remain interested in understanding the nature of […]
  • FWIW, my Emacs of the moment is emacs-plus@29 installed by Homebrew: brew install emacs-plus@29 –with-mailutils –with-xwidgets \ –with-imagemagick –with-native-comp Source: Browsing in Emacs – Volume […]

Saved Links

  • Great resource, teachers, charts, tools. #music #guitar #bluegrass — Direct link
  • US-based non-profit organization and public charity dedicated to fostering authentic Daoist study and practice and to preserving and transmitting traditional Daoist culture — Direct link
  • It’s no mystery why Marc Andreessen thinks people like him should be in charge. But how did he get so many of the rest of us to sign on? #Andreessen #Computers #Democracy #HNWI;Wealth;Billionaires;1 #Income #Industry #Inequality #Internet #Jobs #L #Marc #Percent #Tech #and #the — Direct link
  • Prominent crypto venture capitalist Chris Dixon provides an unconvincing bible for blockchain solutionists. — Direct link
  • What Can I Do about the Climate Emergency? (A LOT! HERE’S HOW!) Everybody’s practical guide to what they can do against climate chaos and for a just and thriving natural and human world — Direct link
  • tutorials on reverb with the LX480 — Direct link
  • Move and resize windows in macOS using keyboard shortcuts or snap areas – makes me realize how much I'm under-utilizing mosaic. — Direct link
  • Simple and powerful keyboard enhancement on macOS — Direct link
  • Echo is a node script to post new items from an RSS feed to various services including Micro.blog and Mastodon. Checkout the readme on GitHub for installation instructions. Use the forms below to generate your config. — Direct link
  • Through tools like ChatGPT, anyone can conjure up rewritten Wikipedia articles, essays, code, poetry, and more with just a few prompts. This "democratisation" of content creation is pitched as The Great Promise to empower voices previously unheard. But democratisation is, arguably, a misnomer. It suggests an egalitarian shift in the power dynamics of content creation, purportedly enabling a more diverse range of voices to be heard. This perspective – at best, blindly idealistic and, at worst, cynically manipulative – fails to acknowledge the underlying complexities and potential pitfalls of an AI-dominated internet. It assumes equal access to and understanding of […]