What Else?

I’m so hyper focused on music right now that the world is passing me by.  What am I missing?

The New Hampshire primary was last night.  The top three places were all held by people I could reasonably see myself voting for on Super Tuesday.  Sanders was my pick last time around.  Buttigieg seems fine to me.  I’d like to see a little more grass roots and a little less big money, but policy wise he’s fine.  My step son has done some volunteer work for his campaign and I am bursting with pride over it.  Klobuchar was a surprise but I’ve liked her since the day she announced her candidacy.  I have this vague image in my head of her beating the living shit (figuratively speaking) out of the people who are making a bad joke out of the Constitution. I see her as someone who could clean up the shit show.

Warren has been my main focus and I’m a little disappointed at her showing so far.  I saw this primary as a Warren vs Sanders showdown with Biden kinda peeking in from the sidelines.  There’s still time for Warren to improve relative to the others, but if we have to settle for her as our esteemed US Senator, I’m fine with that.

Realistically, whoever ends up winning the nomination is getting my vote and at least a chunk of my money.  That nazi piece of shit in the white house has to go.  Of course he won’t.  The Senate has already approved his attempts at rigging the election, so the very concept of a legitimate election has already been flushed down the toilet.  He’ll rig it and he will win it.  Our democracy is already dead, I’m just clinging to the tiny shreds that are left behind.  Mostly just out of habit.

At least the Bruins are still doing well.  That awful dip in the standings prior to the all star break is going to bite them on the ass.  Their huge lead is gone and Tampa is right on their heels.  I was very pleased with their play of late, but losing to Detroit really grinds my gears.  We get the Canadiens tonight.  There are few things that could cheer me up as my country descends into a fascist dictatorship as much as watching the Bruins beat the holy hell out of Montreal.  No pressure though, okay Bruins.  You just go out there and have fun.

A week or so ago, Larry and I were having a discussion about various Quentin Tarantino movies and he made a joke about a scene in Kill Bill and it went right over my head.  I saw both volumes in the theater and had never re-watched them.  I thought they were both fantastic and I loved every second of them… I just never revisited them again.  I fixed that error over the weekend and watched both movies.  They are just so good.  The violence is way over the top and the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but every scene is perfect.  I forgot about so much.  In my memory the first movie is just blahblahblah Crazy 88’s and the second movie is just blahblahblah Superman’s disguise.  I forgot about all the other twistedly delightful stuff.  I kinda want to watch them both again, but instead I’ll watch the two movies I still haven’t seen: Hateful 8 and Django Unchained.

Note: I don’t think “twistedly” is actually a word.

Okay, I have to mention music again.  I can’t avoid it right now.  I did some recording this morning.  After being late to work on Monday because I stayed home a little too long, and late to work on Tuesday even though I left on time, I came up with something to try and keep me on track.  After I set up my laptop to record some voice parts, I brought up Waze on my phone.  I put in my work address as my destination and I left the phone on the table next to me.  As I worked through the two songs for today I kept an eye on the estimated time of arrival.  When it reached 8:45 I packed up and left.  It worked.  I was on time today.

Unfortunately when I was packing up I put my MacBook onto the stand on which it sits on my desk in the office (grammar, bitches), turned off the lights, and left the room.  A couple of minutes later I heard a bang.  What?  My laptop FELL OFF THE STAND!  It was still working okay, but it scared the crap out of me.  I managed to back up this morning’s work onto an external drive, but if my lappy is dead I might be in big musical trouble.  I know it’s not dead, everything was functioning within normal parameters… still… how scary is that.  BANG!

Friday is Valentine’s Day.  We don’t have any plans.  I’ll see if my beloved love wants to do anything after work.  It’s also a kid weekend so my step son will be around.  He went to a mock UN weekend last week and I can’t wait to hear about it.  Tonight will be the first time I see him since he came back.

I went to the gym last night.  I am planning on going again tonight and tomorrow night and as many days as I can between now and Disney World.  I need to build up some stamina for long walks.  I’m still stuck at the 15-minutes-before-my-back-starts-complaining point.  Every little bit helps though.

What else… I’m thinking about playing a little saxophone tonight.  If you hear crying it means I can’t pull it off anymore.  I was a music major and sax was my primary instrument of study.  I haven’t touched it in years, but normally when I start playing again a lot of the old skill is there.  What isn’t there is the muscles in my jaw.  I get a few minutes of solid playing followed by fatigue so bad I can’t play anymore.  My plan for the next week and a half is play a little, rest a little, repeat.  That’s assuming I’ve still got it.  Boy, do I hope I’ve still got it.

When you are 48 years old the phrase, “Boy, do I hope I’ve still got it” comes into play almost every day for a seemingly infinite number of topics, wouldn’t you say?

Apple Music Fail

It was just a matter of time, but this iTunes Match user (who generally sings the service’s praises) just found an instance of the Apple Music bug where Match users are finding that songs have been removed from their My Music libraries.  Tracks 1-3 of the Rush Vapor Trails remix are gone, gone gone.

Hey Apple… I want my missing files back.

I sure hope the last backup I did has everything that Apple removed.

Addendum: The bug is dumber than I thought.  I organize my iTunes library in playlists.  Every song I have exists in at least one playlist, and when I use iTunes, the playlist view is the only one I ever use.  When I’m using my iPhone or iPad it sometimes feels faster to find what I want to listen to by pulling up the artist, and then drilling down to the album.  That’s what I did when I noticed the Apple Music bug.  The full album exists in Apple Music, just not under the artist/album in My Music.

Those three songs appear in about 1000000000 different versions in My Music (ah bootlegs), so I thought I’d search for one of them and see if any others disappeared.  Imagine my surprise when not only did I not notice any other versions of “One Little Victory” missing from the search results, but the remix album version actually appeared and I could click it and play it.  Well, that’s dumb.  It’s still labeled correctly, but it shows up in search but not in the album itself.  Right.  Dumb.

I then thought, I made a playlist for Vapor Trails that included the album, the remixed album, and the couple of additional remixed songs from a compilation album.  I went to my playlists… and the missing songs were all there (“Ceiling Unlimited – Remix” is playing in my ear buds as I type this).

Well… that’s just… Dumb.

Fix this please, Apple.  Fix it soon.

Touch Screen

I had a new experience as a computer user today.  I had to use my laptop to connect to work.  I have an HP lappie running Windows 8.1 that has a touch screen.  The built in mouse pad is god awful so I keep a USB mouse with me.  Unfortunately, the battery died today.  I started using the mouse pad but it is practically useless so I started using the touch screen.

It was not an enjoyable experience.  I use an iPad all the time and I love love love it, but the same interface on a laptop was just painful.  I think it might have been an ergonomic thing.  I hold the iPad close to my body, where the laptop had to be held further away, on a desk.  Something about having to reach for the screen to tap something made it almost unbearable.  Fortunately for me I was able to snag some batteries.

It just makes me wonder.  If I were using an Apple laptop with a touch screen, would the form factors have been different somehow?  Apple is all about design.  I don’t get that vibe off of HP.  HP seems to be all about getting cheaper machines onto the street.  I just can’t imagine how Apple would have done anything different.

Needless to say, my MacBook Pro comes with me tomorrow instead of the HP.

Blogging Platform Options

What is it about December that makes me start thinking about switching blogging platforms? Actually, I am not really thinking about switching anything, just curious about what’s out there.

I posted this to ello today:

I have a blog on wordpress.com. I post to it multiple times a day. I used to use blogger, but I made the switch about two years ago. I use tumblr too, a little, but not really.

I don’t want to go to the full wordpress.org, at least not yet. I played with Medium a little bit, but it seems like a pain to use it for multimedia (I post tons of pictures as well as the odd video and some audio).

I’m not really looking to change platforms, but if I were… where should I go? What other free blogging platforms are worth trying out?

Note, ello won’t be an option until I can use images from Flickr and audio via direct links from alonetone.com, and video from either Vimeo or Youtube.

What do you think?

Granted, I wrote that on ello so I don’t think I’ll get any responses. Just curious what services are out there that I haven’t heard about yet. Let me clarify, what free services are out there that I haven’t heard about yet. Blogging is a hobby that I really don’t want to have to pay for. That’s one of the reasons I don’t use the full wordpress. I don’t want to pay for hosting. I don’t actually want to even have to spare one single thought ever to hosting.

Anyway, I might pose this question to Twitter and Quora too. That will make four online communities that I ask that result in zero responses.


Opt Out of Google’s Focused Ads

Do you have a Google account? You know how Google Ads are based on things you’ve searched for? Did you know you can opt out of that? You’ll still get ads, but they won’t be based on things you’ve been discussing in Gmail or watching on Youtube, or any other creepy things like that.

I assume Google will still store all of that info, but at least there will be one less place they are using it to make money off of you.

Go here:

Click Account History from the menu near the top of the page.

At the bottom of the page there is a section called Related settings. Go to Ads and click edit settings.

At the bottom of the table there is a row called Opt-out settings. You can opt out of focused ads both on Google sites, and on non Google sites.

I found this information on this article from BGR.com.

Happy iOS 8 Day

Today is a big day for Apple geeks.  Today is the day iOS 8 is supposed to be released onto the unwashed iPhone/iPad/iPod masses!  Let’s celebrate!

As is usually the case with software updates, Apple told us what day but not what time.  I checked to see if the update was available a couple of times throughout the morning and my phone has always been told it was up to date.  Now, however, when I check for an update it tells me that the update server cannot be reached.

Something is afoot out West in Californy, me thinks.