> Notes...

a microblog for frequent, shorter, thoughts, rants, links, and other miscellaneous things that interest me.

Apple new devices (iPhones 15, and Watches 9) worldwide arrival news announcement makes me happy. Beautiful people from around the world, smiles, and feelings of overall happiness make me happy.

If this weren’t enough, then you will be surprised—or maybe not—to read Clarence’s latest escapades and misdeeds.

Thomas has attended at least two Koch donor summits, putting him in the extraordinary position of having helped a political network that has brought multiple cases before the Supreme Court.

Found myself questioning, smiling, chuckling, and nodding in agreement to Joshua’s list of 100 opinions that he holds.

As a sign that I wasn’t kidding when I said I would move from 1Password to iOS Passwords, I have now done so. This weekend I will dedicate some time, and clean my list, making sure all important stuff works and, once that’s achived, I will get rid of 1Password, and cancel my subscription.

Poor Veronique had an accident, and she will have to go for surgery. Though having to go through this is something no one wants, I am glad it wasn’t something worse.

Hang in there, Vero! Things will go well, and you will overcome ❤️! Really sorry for this temporary unpleasantness.

I have added so many little things to “Notes” over time, that I am feeling a bit guilty. Can it be, still, considered minimalistic? I hope so!

Last month’s utility (water) bill was over $200. It was $222.13, to be exact. It went up because rains had stopped, and we had to turn on the schedule for the sprinklers.

If it continues this way the decision will be whether the lawn survives, or we do. We will have to make a choice then. Poor lawn, we barely knew you!

So, everything “accomplished” since 8 September 2023 until today, 21 September 2023, was scratched. We are back to square one now. Lovely.

“Your NFT are actually—finally—totally worthless”, RollingStone. Don’t you say! Just one more to add to the Human Stupidity museum, right?

Just as I am in love with the Japanese woodblock prints, I also love the simplicity and beauty of Japanese (and Chinese, and Korean) Sumi-e (ink wash painting).

Japanese: Hasegawa Tōhaku (1539–1610), Pine Trees screen, Right panel of the Shōrin-zu byōbu
Japanese: Hasegawa Tōhaku (1539–1610), Pine Trees screen, Right panel of the Shōrin-zu byōbu.

This one above is a relatively big mural. If you look at a bigger, fuller, version (really big image!) you will see the strokes, made with a—probably huge—straw brush.

“What’s going on with the WiFi? I can’t connect the iPad to it.” — “Nothing that I know off. Do you think the boy would be so happy playing a video game with friends, if there was a problem?” — “It isn’t working!” A minute later, “never mind”.

If at first you don’t succeed, you mustn’t quit! LOL.

Daylight “Savings” Time sucks, and it should be abolished. For the last five days I have noticed my mornings getting darker, to the point of having to turn on the light to start the working day. It hasn’t been an easy in at all but, I would say, rather dramatic. Then early November, bam! Back one hour. Ugh!


Thank you, George, for spoiling a few shows and movies for me. This is something I hadn’t correlated, but now cannot miss. Ha!

Film director Rian Johnson has lifted the lid on a secret in the world of product placement – Apple will not allow its kit to be used by a villainous character on screen.

“Apple, they let you use iPhones in movies, but – and this is very pivotal – if you’re ever watching a mystery movie, bad guys cannot have iPhones on camera,” Johnson, whose credits include Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper and Knives Out, revealed in a video recorded for Vanity Fair.

The old… err more mature I get, the less interest I have for social media. I kid you not. Kim, on the other hand… she consumes (doesn’t create) it all the time.

In my experience, the easiest and most difficult people to work with are those on a short countdown to retirement. Easiest because they become really agreeable, or disagreeable—but they don’t masquerade it. Difficult because they become almost impossible to get a hold of—they stop giving a duck about things.

It is past 22:00, and I am still awake. For reasons I can’t explain, I don’t feel sleepy at all—which is odd for a weekday. I am going to pay for this tomorrow, I am sure.

Meanwhile I have been following links up and down at wonger.dev, especially these. Lots of interesting stuff there!

Kid and I watched “Jujutsu Kaisen” (★★★★), the series (and the movie), and this song from the series’ last episode stuck.

Catchy, ain’t it? If you haven’t watched the series, even if you are not into manga, I highly recommend it!

I was having a weird issue in which blue heart next to the timestamp would appear off place, and quickly jump into place on page load/refresh. Took the problem over IRC (Libera.Chat) #css channel and, sure enough, hassoon and DPA found the issue, and provided a solution, in no time.

Suffice it to say, very, very grateful.

I have decided to move from 1Password (for which I pay a yearly subscription) to iOS native Passwords before the year is over. The ability to share passwords with family tilted me over. I will not wait for Passwords to become an app of its own—though I am sure that’s coming—because I don’t think that should hold me back now.

I might be getting old and, as such, be “old school” now, but a company like Unity shouldn’t be apologising on X. They have a company’s website, they should put their apology there.

Update: 15:02

Ah, crap, as soon as I hit send I found their blog with an “Editor’s note (Sept. 17, 2023)”, that is a verbatim of what they posted on X. I don’t know why news outlets do not link there instead.

We have heard you. We apologize for the confusion and angst the runtime fee policy we announced on Tuesday caused. We are listening, talking to our team members, community, customers, and partners, and will be making changes to the policy. We will share an update in a couple of days. Thank you for your honest and critical feedback.

Update: 22/09

Another update from Marc Whitten, lead of Unity Create:

I want to start with this: I am sorry.

And he goes on, but it seems to me it’s too little, and too late. I think this was a costly mistake for Unity.

Moscow said last year it planned to spend almost $30 billion by 2035 on developing the northern sea route, which has become more viable as climate change has reduced sea ice in the Arctic.

Emphasis mine. Russia is benefiting from global warming, and now more pollution is on its way. Well, (s)that’s great(/s)!

Sending the true spam to “Junk Email” at work has gotten so bad, that it is, precisely, “Junk Email” the first folder I check each morning, and the last at the end of the day. Granted, it is a relatively quick glimpse, but nevertheless a task that most be done. False positives are aplenty.

It is truly incredible that I can find my iPhone with ease, yet the United States military can’t find an F-35 (yes, that very expensive plane), and it’s asking for help. I guess it is truly stealth, after all. 😂

The mishaps of X triggered the spawn of new services like Threads, Bluesky. It also exacerbated the adoption of the Fediverse (often simply called Mastodon). Now there is Pebble, but this one has a problem of it’s own. To sign up you need to connect with X/Twitter, “to confirm you’re a good fit for Pebble”. Oh dear god!

So many iOS apps debuting their iOS 17 versions today! I find it amazing how rich, and responsive, the iOS community is—not sure community is the right term, but I hope you get the idea. Need I to point out that, at the time I am writing this, iOS 17 is not out yet.

Today’s News Minimalist email reads, and I am not paraphrasing:

Today ChatGPT read 1003 top news stories. After removing previously covered events, there are 2 articles with a significance score over 7.

That is, according to ChatGPT, there are only two significant news today. We are beating yesterday, thought. Yesterday there were none.

Kim loves to buy plants, or she will gladly take them from people giving them away for various reasons. That’s the extent of her “green thumb”. Plants commonly perish under her “care”. She tries, though, but often is not to be. It’s rather sad.

Then she makes me feel guilty when she asks, “Have you watered my plants?” Like, really?! 😅

While in the topic of disliking things, but this time technology themed, I can’t stand PHP. That is an acquired dislike, as I used to use it until 2011 (WordPress). That year I moved to Jekyll and later on, in 2017, to Hugo which I still use today.

I have a strong dislike for Crocs—the plastic shoes, that is. I believe it is based solely on their shape/form. Do that makes me a bad person?

This weekend I mowed the backyard twice, yesterday and today. Between biking, and mowing, I surpased 10,000 steps each day. That equates to over 8 kilometres per day. I am tired, but feel good. Kind of weird, but true.

With so many disasters around the globe, so many conflicts, every little bit helps to bring sustainment to those in need. Anyone can do that, through Red Cross, for as little as $10.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission.

Please, considering donating to the Red Cross, and/or the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“Zojoji Temple in Snow, Japanese woodblock print
“Zojoji Temple in Snow”, Utagawa Hiroshige, late Tenpo era. From The Manichi.

I am totally in love with Japanese woodblock prints. If it weren’t because my taste and Kim’s collide, I would have them framed around the house, and I would collect them.

Last week I spent 11h 21m screen time on all my devices (a Mac, and an iPhone). The tally goes: 6h 57m on iPhone, 6h 38m on Mac. That’s just macOS and iOS “vanilla” apps almost exclusively. Most macOS apps do not get recorded—perhaps because my Mac runs macOS Monterey. For example, I spend a lot of time on Teams, Chrome, and iTerm2 under macOS during work days, but none of it gets recorded.

A gas station offering a receipt after pumping, and then never providing it and showing a “Please see attendant” message drives me nuts. JUST STOP OFFERING RECEIPTS!

This specific one I use, because it is closer to home, does the same in all pumps—yes, I tried them all to see, on different occasions, of course. Ugh!

I have added a subtle way to provide feedback here, using the very easy to setup, simple, and awesome Tinylytics. Now that I have done it, I am having second thoughts. Do I really want it? I sure don’t know, so they (blue hearts) are here now, but they might not be tomorrow. Yeah, true ambivalence.

Update: 21:21

Feedback is anonymous. I see the same as you see: a number next to the emoji, nothing else. If you have JavaScript disabled you see nothing, and so do I.

Just watched “The Hunt” (★★★★). Though good, that was one upsetting movie—to the point that if it weren’t because I was watching it with the kid, I would have stopped seeing it. Was he believed, and fully accepted back? Think twice.

Does Safari has an offline mode (like Firefox, for example)? No.

By now it is settled that I love fonts. My thoughts have rambled around the topic more than once; my font collection is now at 1102. It might be surprising and, perhaps, inaccurate to say—because I am always discovering new ones that I like—but as of today, my first favourite (and the one currently in use here until further notice) is “IBM Plex Sans”, followed by “Inter”.

Came back from riding the bike with dad. Told Kim we rode around 5 kilometres. “Riding on the road is dangerous!” — she says. “We rode on sidewalks.” “It is dangerous” — she repeats, “Please, don’t do it again.”

Yet, if I don’t do it, she will say “You are too sedentary, need to move more.” Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. 😂

Haven’t played Diablo IV the whole week. Way too busy at work, and I have gone biking each day afterwards, and ended up too tired for anything else. Maybe I’ll play a bit tonight, after the TV is left alone. Right now some Chinese drama plays, I can hear it from the office room.

If you are running iOS 17 (beta, or final, when it comes out next week), and you don’t see “Live Voicemail” under “Settings → Phone”, change your language to “English US”. “Live Voicemail” is only available on that one, for now.

I truly don’t like Outlook, the program that runs on your computer, which started as a mail client, and now wants to do everything, and does it badly. I use it in a Windows VDI for work purposes, because there is no other practical choice. One of the things—amongst the many—that irks me about it is the “Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages” option enabled by default. That’s because—yes, you guessed it—I compose my emails in plain text.

It is simply amazing the amount of high quality, instructive videos, available on YouTube. Most are curiosities, to see how things are made, or to experience how someone else does it. And that’s just scratching the surface just a millimetre—which, in inches, is some other number.

I just got my chores handed to me, so I must hurry up to beat the rain and bike, and then rush home, shower, and get to chop, chop, chop!

Kim’s message telling me to prepare the ingredients she will cook.

If only I was a Horse, and not a Monkey! Damn you, opposable thumbs! 😂

“Their (Beijing’s) policy has been to reunite Taiwan with China. From their standpoint, maybe it is analogous to Hawaii or something like that, like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China mostly because … the U.S. Pacific Fleet has stopped any sort of reunification effort by force,” he said.

That guy sure is an arsehole.

About iOS 17 relase on 18 September, make sure to turn off the betas (thanks George!) if you participated. Simply go to “Settings → General → Software Update → Beta Updates”. and turn it off.

I found Webgbcam while browsing Javier’s posts, and I am in love with it! The good thing about pixels is they stretch nicely, and they conceal. A lot! LOL.

A pixelated animated GIF of me.

As Javier says it (translating it from Spanish), “a website to take selfies in the traditional way: with a Game Boy Camera”.

Via Javier.computer.

Sometime in the very near future I am going to move my Mastodon instance to a new hardware. When that happens, there are two possible outcomes: it is successful, or it isn’t. If it isn’t I am going to be in whole lot of pain. Will keep a “glass half full” mentality for now.

Today was a bad day. Not horrible, as I am alive, but bad. Other than being pretty busy at work, juggling a couple of things that aren’t going the right way, I am having a pain on my neck, extending to my upper back—probably just neck pain, that’s been felt further from it—that’s driving nuts.

Will bike before it rains, and then take a very hot back to see if that makes me feel better.

Such pity to read hateful people’s comments making fun, poking jokes at the new iPhone—I have found them on Reddit, and Mastodon, so far—when they live their sad, pathetic days, with that aberration of an OS that is Android on theirs. Interesting thing is, I have never gone bashing at “the other phones”; it’s always “them” coming to bash iPhones. For me that’s telling.

iOS 17 is releasing 18 September 2023. That is, merely less than a week from today. I have been using it for a few betas now, and it works great! Now, I just want that Journal, but it still reads “Coming later this year”.

Kim has a problem with the pace at which I eat. She thinks—kind of rightfully so—that I eat too fast. “Slow down, enjoy the food!”, she tells me. The truth is, I am enjoying it! That’s just the way I do it.

I have tried to slow down my pace, but she still thinks it is too fast. I like my meal hot. If I were to slow down and eat like she does, I would be eating cold food. Yuck! In social gatherings though, I suffer a bit, and slow down to the group’s pace. After all, I truly am not a neanderthal!

My take aways from the Apple Event:

  • Apple works on positively impacting the enviroment. Apple truly is extremely environmentally concious.
  • Apple Watch is amazing: from looks, to usability, to saving lives. It has it all!
  • iPhone hardware (with A16) keeps getting better (now with USB-C). Together with the best phone OS, iOS, it is a pleasure to use.
  • iPhones Pro/Pro Max are build with even more premium materials and hardware (including the A17Pro processor, and much more), and much better cameras (3 vs 2, but this it too simplistic, you must see the video for all the details).
  • There wasn’t a “one more thing”. I miss it.

It’s happening! Apple’s event is today at 13:00 EDT and, in preparation, I have snacks ready and handy, and have moved my lunch hour from 12:00-13:00 to 13:00-14:00. I will be able to happily snack while I watch it! Are you ready?

Charles Chaplin’s movie “The Great Dictator” final speech is uplifting, and remains as relevant today (for better or worse), as it was then. That makes me feel sad, but time is on our side.

To those who can hear me, I say: do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed—the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish…

The entire transcript is available at his website. I think it’s worth reading.

That far away thundering, and the constant notifications on the Weather app of an impending rain are such a tease! High temps today were 33°C, and currently it is still 29°C. And yes, no rain. Pff!

Update: 21:15

Well, I’d be damned! It is raining right now, with thundering and lightnings, all with a strong wind as if a tornado were nearby.

“Going to mum’s to eat whatever ông (dad) cooked for me.” I tell Kim. “Wish me luck!”

Update: 20:02

Meal was very good! He made sweet sticky rice, and shredded lemongrass chicken. That, and a beer, completed dinner for me today. Stuffed!

At which point a seemingly neverending web page will take too long to load—or it will stutter? I am currently paginating at 80 notes per page, but the original (which entised me to start “Notes”) sets no limit. I figure it will be limited by the operating system, or web browser, or by processor and memory constrains. Or all of the above.

I don’t think Kim Jong Un likes to air travel very much (or at all), and as he doesn’t go places that aren’t connected through land mass, he uses an armoured(!) train instead. He is travelling to meet Putin as I type this.

It is rumoured to include at least 20 bulletproof cars, making it heavier than average trains and unable to go beyond 59 km/h (37mph). His journey to Vladivostok is expected to take an entire day.

I wondered why was a train picked as the preferred travel method (it was such curiosity what brought me here to type this note), and Wikipedia provided a suitable, logical explanation.

I can’t believe that it has already been 22 years since the 11 September terrorist attacks. I remember seeing the one on the Twin Towers as it was happening on TV; we all stopped working, and watched in disbelief. I will never forget.

This thing is delicious, and thus very habit forming. I can’t stop eating little pieces of it. The packing description reads “Cơm Cháy Nước Mắm Chà Bông” (Vietnamese), which translates to “Burnt Rice With Fish Sauce”.

Burnt rice with fish sauce cake
Sweet and spicy burnt rice with salty shredded dry pork on top.

Its ingredients are listed as “crispy rice, pork floss, fish sauce, sugar, soybean oil, and chilly”. All I read is yummy! 🤤

And thus, as it came in a whisper, it leaves us the same: weekend is no more. Yet fret not, as it shall come once more just five days from now. Again, and again, and again… Time’s a show in a loop, just enjoy the ride!

TIL that there are around 12kg of gold, and 21kg of silver in 4.2 cubic kilometres of seawater. You can read more about it and, at the same time, learn why the ocean is salty.

Via Hacker News.

This is a good read. The OP makes sure the preamble is set before stating very valid points.

I am a designer because I want to solve problems. I want people to be less frustrated when they use technology. I want to make their lives easier. I don’t want to make anyones life more difficult. These two sentiments sound the same, but they are not. I find both are important to consider.

While driving around the city, or parking, I encounter pretty interesting things that people place on their cars. Normally I don’t take photos of them, but today’s was too funny to pass. 🤣

Photo of the back of a Prius, with a writting in it in white that reads: “Cool Prius! - nobody”

From this week’s Areopagus Volume LXII, the temples atop Fanjing, their history, and the Cultural Author wrap up on chapter “IV - Architecture” was very interesting, educative, and inspiring. I quote it below, some emphasis mine.

“Architecture is not only a question of style, of whether we want to build in Gothic or Classical, Bauhaus or Constructivist. And nor is it only a question of choice, of what sort of building we want to create, whether a library or school, office block or hospital. It is, even more than any of these, a matter of faith. That which we believe to be true, and to be most important — be this religious, economic, or otherwise — is far upstream of these other questions. It was because of their beliefs that the builders of the Fanjingshan temples decided to construct them on the Red Cloud Golden Summit. For when we believe that something is both right and necessary we almost always accomplish our goal. The process that has led to urban skyscrapers, to sports stadiums, and to cathedrals, is much the same as that which led to the creation of the Fanjingshan temples — in all cases, at all times, it begins with belief.”

I really encourage you to subscribe to his newsletter. They bring joy to me, and I want—very much—to share it with you.

I am having a hard time perfectly aligning the icon at the begining of the timestamp on each note—timestamp that is also the permanent link for it—and it’s driving me nuts. To the point that I am seriously considering getting rid of it all together. Why was I made so fastidious?

I swear that Kim is playing Jenga with the recycle’s bin. Whoever loses takes it out and, boy, she is winning!

Claud wrote, “True, not true: Vietnamese coffee makes me delirious 😅”. I’ll say true! If, and when, I drink Vietnamese coffee my heart wants to get out of my chest, like it doesn’t belong there. And sleeping? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Apple September 12 2023 event logo
Apple’s event (12 Sep 2023, 14:00 EDT) logo. Watch it!.

It’s that time of the year again, and I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned Apple’s event. It’s coming! Like, day after tomorrow coming. I will watch it, like I do each year, for sure! If you like Apple, and their products, I recommend you watch it too!

For someone who was never meant for this world, I must confess I’m suddenly having a hard time leaving it. Of course, they say every atom in our bodies was once part of a star. Maybe I’m not leaving… maybe I’m going home.

Just finished watching Gattaca (★★★★★) for the six time, but the first time with the kid. He finally let me rent it to watch it together.

At the end of the movie I told my kid that I saw the movie in its opening year (1997), and that I associated myself with Vincent having been born when my mum was 42, and having had my fair share of issues. That’s the reason I watched it so many times, I think. It is also a good movie.

Half of the weekend is almost over, half of my chores are finished. Next true worry is what to eat and, later on, what to watch on TV. I have no idea on either, so I will read some news while I cool down a bit. It is past 19:00, and still around 30ºC.

I believe one can’t experience death. One can only experience that that one can live to talk about. A near death experience? Of course. Yet, I think I understand what Mu-An is referring to.

After finding a font I liked online today, and checking which one was it, and downloading it, and saving it to my “fonts” directory all neatly organised with the rest of them—which is something I often do—I had an existential thought. “Why am I doing this?” Will anyone “inheriting” my collection care about them like I did?

I often find myself second guessing what I do, or a direction/decision I am heading/taking by simply going over and over my thoughts on the meaning of life. Latent depression?

Not a day goes by without hearing on the radio about global warming, and how we aren’t doing anything—or very, very little—about it. Our lack of action is nothing but the reflection of who we are. We smoke, even though we know for certain it is bad for us. We indulgue with unhealthy foods; we don’t exercise. We insist in hating, and hurting each other. Our lack of care for our planet is just a continuation of our own stupidity.

Mental note: no matter how bad you might feel, try not to fall asleep during day time (avoid taking that medicine that makes you drowsy) because then it will be 02:00, and you will still be sleepless. Time to chew on some melatonin. Ugh.

Jujutsu Kaisen 0 movie poster

Just finished watching “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” (★★★★½), the movie. It was pretty cool! I am thankful for having watched the series before the movie, otherwise I would have been lost.

I am liking the redesign of Google Fonts, which was announced on the Material Design Blog. I will still use the google-fonts-helper to get the fonts I choose to use, and host them locally.

I like honey, of all kinds. I always have one or two jars of it at home, and I take—at least—one teaspoon of it each day in the morning. Yet, I always feel guilty that I am enjoying the labour of bees. Double guilty because I can’t help it. I really like honey!

The first one who told me about the 10,000 steps per day was my friend Martin. He has, almost religiously, walked that amount per day ever since I met him, sometime around 1986. It seems he was right all along:

“The first company that produced pedometers came up with the 10,000-step benchmark without any data, as that was considered an auspicious number,” says Lieberman. “Since then, plenty of studies have shown that steps a day is a reasonable way of measuring physical activity. As you increase your step count, you reap increased benefits, but it tails off between about 8,000 and 10,000.”

Hutchinson agrees: “There’s nothing magic about 10,000 steps a day, but it is pretty good advice. In general, the best target is probably ‘a little more’ than what you’re currently doing.”

Via Kottke.