What Was That?

I think that’s the first time it’s ever happened. At least since 2012. WordPress.com was just down! I couldn’t post and I couldn’t access my page. It was terrible! I started sweating and shaking and seeing little blue men with no feet who were pointing and laughing at me and Tracey Morgan yelled out, “Blue Man, where your feet at!” It was awful!

Anyway, I wanted to make a 50/90 update. I only have three songs left. I did so much work today I actually lost track of it all. Tomorrow I will add lead guitars to the final three songs and then I’ll mix ’em down and then I’ll be done and need to figure out what I want to do in October.

This song is the clear winner for the whole project, even if the guitar is a smidge out of tune:

The Block Editor has a Flickr Link?

Interesting. If you click the + button on the upper left side of the new WordPress.com block editor it gives you a list of possible things to add to the post. One of those options is to pull an image directly from Flickr. How cool is that? Someone out there treating my favorite photography site as if it actually exists? Crazy!

Of course you can also just post a link to an image page directly into the text and it will automatically pull in the image. So… I guess it doesn’t matter at all. Either way is fine.

Two May Songs

I wasn’t going to share these songs because there really isn’t anything interesting about either one of them Then I remembered we’re stuck in a global pandemic lock down so why the hell not.

Also, WordPress.com has released their new editor today and I need an excuse to try it out. It’s very similar to the mobile app and it’s okay so far. One small item of note so far is that I don’t see a way to switch to an HTML editor. I’m sure it’s out there somewhere.

Anyway, two songs. Neither is all that good, but they are both done. Two down and eight, maybe nine, to go.

I wonder if any of this stuff worked.

No School for Me

I tried signing up for a wordpress.com Blogging University course last night.  Nothing happened.  I tried again today using Chrome because maybe it had something to do with click functions in Vivaldi.  Nope.  Same nothing as before.

I was going to have veggie burgers for lunch today but I bought a different brand this week and they need to defrost.  I don’t have time for that.  Crud.  I bought a package of veggie (imitation) chicken nuggets too.  Maybe I’ll have some of those.  Maybe I’ll just make a chicken sandwich and pass on the veggie meal of the week for now.

Senator Warren dropped out of the Democratic Presidential primary today.  If you didn’t see that coming then you weren’t paying attention.  The thing I didn’t see coming was her not running the table.  I really thought she would be the one.  Now I’m looking at Senator Sanders and thinking Senator Warren would be a really good running mate.  Probably not though.  Ideologically they are too similar.  I don’t know.  Maybe if Biden tagged her as his VP it would be a better mix?  I don’t want to have to vote for Biden.  I absolutely will, but I don’t want to.  I really don’t want to vote for Sanders either.  I will, but I don’t want to.  Warren was my choice from day one.  Hell, I wanted Warren to run in 2016.  Oh well.  I guess she has to go back to kicking fascist ass in what’s left of the US Senate.

A new episode of Star Trek Picard came out today.  I watched it before work.  I was hoping the Troi-Riker family would have had an easier go of things, but it was nice to see them.  Have I mentioned this show is fantastic?  I am pretty sure I have.

Apparently there was a suicide at Disney World yesterday.  Some one allegedly jumped from an undisclosed location at the Contemporary resort.  I’m glad this didn’t happen when we were there, though there was an incident during our stay.  We had gone out for something one evening and when we returned there were insanely well armed cops stopping everyone at the entrance to the Yacht Club driveway.  Our Lyft driver was stopped and asked if she had received any threats that day.  No, she hadn’t.  It turned out that the Yacht Club/Beach Club area was on lock down while we were out.  As we were going into the lobby I asked a staff member if anything was up.  He had no clue, or at least he told me he had no clue.

We found out the details the next day and it was all nothing.  There was a report of a suspicious, armed individual wandering around the Beach Club parking lot and everything was locked down as a result.  It turned out that the suspicious, armed individual was neither suspicious nor armed and it was all an overreaction.  I wonder what he was doing to scare whomever reported him.  According to the news it was nothing at all.

Fortunately our stay at the Yacht club was undisturbed, apart from having our Lyft stopped, of course.
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Projects

March kinda sucks.

I go through this every year.  I finish my February music projects and then feel this gaping hole in the universe during March.  From reading blogs and forum posts on rpmchallenge.com I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

So what to do?

A few months ago I was working on a way to add the rest of my old myspace blog to this site.  I started up on that again last night.  WordPress.com is able to back date posts but it’s a royal pain in the ass to go back to 2007 and 2008.  Instead, I created a Blogger account and I’ve been posting back dated entries there.  Once I have them all I’ll export them to an .xml file and import them here.  That should work fine.  The myspace blog covered pretty much all of 2006 through November 2008.  I had pulled all of 2006 into my previous wordpress.com site so those are all here already.  As of last night the Blogger page has almost all of 2007.  I think I have about 75 more posts to go.

I’m still going with my Flickr photo-a-day project.  It suddenly feels difficult though.  It was easy last month.  There was always music happening so I could take pics of that, and Disney made things even easier.  Now?  What the hell do I take pictures of now?  Where’s the cat when I need her?

Back in January Jen and I did a tutorial for a javascript extension (I think that’s the right way to describe it… a scripting language built on top of javascript).  It was fun and interesting but my javascript knowledge is ancient and more or less nil at this point.  I thought I might have gotten more out of it if I did a javascript tutorial first.  I would like to try something like that in the coming weeks.  I would like to be a better all around programmer than I am right now.  My company’s development tools and programming languages are proprietary, so even if I’m firing on all cylinders at work it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the world.

Years ago I found a set of wordpress.com tutorials called Blogging University.  There are various beginner and intermediate level courses to help you get the most out of your wordpress.com experience.  There were classes for customization, writing, photography, and interacting with other blogs.  I might give some of those a try again, just for schnitzengiggles.  If I remember correctly they were mostly prompts.  Things like, today you should write a better About page, or today you should take a picture of water.  Stuff like that.  The photo stuff would be fine to redo, as I just said I’m always looking for ideas for photo-a-day.  The basic blogging stuff is probably too simple for this page, but there is always the lizardfishmusic.com page.  I could make some changes there.  I don’t think I’ve made any changes to the layout there since I first created it.  Maybe a face lift would be fun?

Exercising should be an obvious target for new projects.  I had a really bad night Weight Watchers wise last night and I’m feeling a little crummy about myself today.  I got home from work and just started shoveling food into my face and I really didn’t stop until I fell asleep.  I need to be better than that.  The gym might help in that regard, or at least minimize the damage of any future bad days.  Right now I am having a problem with one of my feet (again).  My right foot feels a little swollen and it hurts to walk.  It’s not the same thing I had a month or so ago, and it’s not nearly as bad, but it is slowing me down right now.  Once that eases up I need to get back to the gym, and I need to get into a regular routine.

There is always more music to record, and more songs to learn for Lizardfish, and more practicing in general to do.  Just because February is over doesn’t mean I can stop playing.  I was doing pretty well with finding time to practice back in January.  I need to keep up with it.  I’m tired of feeling like the weak link in the band.  I’m also thinking of trying something new gear wise.  I want to try to run a two amp rig in the band, but most of the amps I have now are way too powerful and if I paired them up I’d be unable to not drown out the rest of the band during rehearsals.  I keep looking at my 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker as the solution.  If I could pair that with another lowish watt amp that could work.  I am thinking about going to Guitar Center to inquire about trading my Fender Stratocaster in for a Vox AC15.  I think that might be the key to making it all work.  A Fender Princeton reissue could do it, but it’s only a 10 inch speaker and I’d prefer to stick to 12 inch speakers if I can.  I just like them better.  We’ll see.

Should I start looking into using in-ear monitors?  One of the guys in the band uses them.  One of the hosts of the Gig Gab podcast swears by them.  So much so that he’s always inspiring the other host to try them, even though he has a hard time with them.  I don’t really want to spend money on it, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to be mic’ing the room during rehearsals and I always wear ear plugs anyway.  Is it time?  I’m trying to decide.  I’m definitely on the fence.  We’ll see.

I was hoping that by this point in 2020 I would be able to do something to help out with the Warren for President campaign.  I guess that isn’t going to happen.  At least it seems highly unlikely now.  I can get behind Bernie Sanders, but the idea of a candidate in his late 70’s who has already suffered a heart attack during this campaign is a little depressing.  Platform wise I can 100% get on board.  Human wise… ugh.  As for Joe Biden.  He’s a great guy and I love him to pieces, but he’s literally my last choice of all of the candidates we’ve had.  Dead last.  Yet another guy in his late 70’s but this time one who just feels like a frat boy who got lucky.  He just seems a little too dumb ass for the oval office, and we already have a total dumb ass in the office now.  If he ends up with the nomination he’ll get 100% of my support… I was just hoping the rest of the country would jump on the Warren bandwagon, that’s all.  Yet another reason to feel let down by my fellow Americans.

There are a crap ton of TV shows that I want to watch.  February has resulted in me falling way behind on all of the CW super hero shows that I like to watch.  I’m like two months behind on The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman.  I’ve been trying to get caught up on Star Trek Discovery.  Season two is really good, I just haven’t had time to power through.  The last season of Star Wars The Clone Wars is either about to come out or has just recently come out.  I wanted to binge the whole series before I watched the new season but… Jar Jar… he kinda killed my interest in that.  I want to finish season two of You even though it’s definitely meh.  I want to watch Lock and Key and The Expanse and I still want to get back into Breaking Bad and Preacher.  I’ve started both of them, but just haven’t been able to keep going.  I’m not sure why, the are both good.  I’m caught up on The Walking Dead, and the second spin off is just a month or so away.  One show that I did not fall behind on in February is Star Trek Picard.  It is so good.  Just, so very good.  I wish it was going to be a 25 episode season instead of 10 (I think it’s just going to be 10).  I don’t want it to end… ever.

I’m sure there are other projects I can come up with that are just there for fun and a sense of creative accomplishment.  If we get lucky and Spring actually gets here there are always day trips up to the mountains that I can drag my beloved Mrs to.  There are so many waterfalls, and so many scenic views up there.  They are all just sitting there, waiting for me and Jen and my camera to come and visit.

There’s also always Disney World.  Or Disneyland.  Or Euro-Disney, if that’s even still a thing.  I’d say Tokyo Disney too but I have a co-worker who was supposed to go there next week and he told me it’s closed due to some global pandemic* thing.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

On an unrelated note, I am trying a new browser again.  The same podcast that inspired me to try Brave has inspired me to try Vivaldi.  This post is the first thing I’ve done with it.  Isn’t that exciting?  I’m just glad that the Last Pass plug in for Chrome works in Vivaldi too.  That makes life a tiny bit easier.

 

*Go wash your hands.  Seriously.

Widgets

Check it out, nerd boy is messing around with the layout on the page again.  I had this goofy idea to add a music playlist to the sideboard.  Just a few things that I’ve been in the mood for recently.  I already forget where the idea came from (blame old age).  Did I see it on someone else’s page?  I think so.

Anyway, I went over to Spotify and started a new playlist and added a couple of Robert Fripp and Steven Wilson things because that’s where my head has been lately.  I added a couple of Rush tunes too because RIP Professor.  Then I went looking for a widget…

…and I couldn’t find one.  Google to the rescue.  While I was looking I found an Instagram widget too.  I have a love/hate relationship with The ‘Gram.  I love the idea of it, but I hate the shitty interface and the shitty algorithm and the shitty owned-by-Facebook.  Oh what the hell, thought the social media whore, and I added the Instagram widget and a text widget with a Spotify tagger that linked to my new playlist.  I then added a few more songs to the playlist.  Prog and Blues, mostly.  Not the most palatable of combinations, but screw you guys it’s my brain I don’t care, whatever.

You can see both things over there on the right somewhere.  You might have to scroll down a little.   >>>>>>>>

I also added a Flickr widget which didn’t work, and a twitter widget which reminded me that my twitter feed is almost entirely links back to this page.  Can you say redundant?  I can, and often do.  I removed them both and moved on with my life.

Also, I totally forgot that you can’t actually play Spotify on an embedded playlist.  It links you back to Spotify itself (I think it tried opening the player app before proceeding to the web player) and I think you need to be signed in to hear anything.  Whatever.  It’s only there because I’m a nerd and like doing nerdy things.

What this means is that any minute now I’m probably going to be changing my whole page theme.  You have been warned.

HTML Restrictions Suck

Well that’s no fun.

Back in the old days when I was writing on Blogger I could embed all sorts of fun stuff into my posts.  Anything you can put together inside of an HTML tag was fair game.  I used to put all sorts of goofy mp3 players and countdown clocks.  With both a gig coming and RPM about to start I thought it would be wacky to find some countdown clock websites that generate HTML code and put ’em onto a blog post.

I looked at three or four.  No dice.  They all use an HTML tag that wordpress.com blocks.

Aw, fiddlesticks.

Two days and about 4.5 hours until the gig.

One day and 7.5 hours until RPM.

That would have been so much cooler if it was a countdown clock.  Bummer.

Oh well, have a flyer (again).

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Desktop App

WordPress.com has a new desktop app for Macintosh. I am using it right now. Can you believe it?

It is pretty much just the web interface pulled into a stand alone app. I betcha it’s actually HTML calling a web service or something.

I just finished chopping up the tape of last night’s band practice. The guitar sounds utterly filthy. Just nasty. I’m actually thinking of dialing the distortion back a smidge because it’s too filthy.

You can listen to it here, if you’re bored and ain’t got nuttin to do.

Still Looking at Blogging Platforms

I’m not planning to leave wordpress.com.

I think.

I spent some time digging into Medium today and I have decided that I absolutely love the way it displays images. They just look really good. After using ello for a while, the Medium editor doesn’t piss me off quite as much as it did initially. I still don’t see a way to pull in images from other domains. That means no using Flickr hosted pics. That was completely offensive to me at first, but since I started messing with ello, which like Medium also forces you to upload images you want to display rather than hosting them on other sites, it doesn’t seem quite as insulting.

Still, it doesn’t seem to have a way to display audio files. That’s a deal breaker if the question is using Medium exclusively. Again, ello is the same way. Hell, technically wordpress.com is the same way too, I just found a work around. Maybe I’ll find one for Medium (and ello) as well.

I was also planning on spending some time with Roon and Svbtle, but I guess Medium bought Roon and is about to shut it down. Ghost is the talk of the town right now, but it does not have a service that is both hosted and free. It’s only one or the other. Maybe I’ll look into free hosting (does that even exist?) and see what’s out there. If I were to go that route though, why wouldn’t I just switch over to wordpress.org?

I’m still not even sure why I am suddenly interested in all of this.

While I’m here, let me try something. Earlier tonight I decided that I was going to play around with Gimp. Think of Gimp as an open source alternative to Photoshop. I’ve had it on this machine for quite a while (it’s free) but I have never actually even opened it. Tonight I picked an image from Flickr and pulled it into Gimp to see how big of a mess I could make. I included it in a post on ello. Now that I’m thinking of it, can I pull the image from ello into this post? It should work. I have a valid url. But does ello block hits from within image tags? Let’s see…

Did it work?