Current state of things

So let’s see. It’s been a few days since I decided to stop going to social media (specifically, Twitter and Mastodon) and things are feeling pretty okay. I’m still getting plenty of chatter, but it’s with groups of friends instead of the entire Internet. All of the bad news still manages to make its way to me but I’m not, like, immersing myself in it, and when I have conversations about stuff it’s with actual people and not a gigantic abyss of torment.

It’s helpful that right now Song Fight!’s chat is being fairly active due to the not-quite-live stuff taking place, and it’s nice having real conversations with these people I’ve known for so long. In some ways I feel like the pandemic is the best thing to happen to Song Fight!; the in-person live events were starting to feel like we were all just going through the motions, for the most part.

This is my last week before I start my new job and I’m trying to relax and not Do All The Things while I wait. I do need to finish writing and recording my song and video for the next Song Fight! title (in lieu of a live fight), and there’s some Publ et al stuff I want to get to as well, but none of that feels particularly pressing.

Studio layout

I’ve also managed to get my studio fairly clean for the first time in a while! And my stuff is actually kind of organized. On today’s walk (I am so glad I can go outside again!) I went to Daiso and they had a bunch of their perfectly-sized storage bins in stock again so I bought more of those, because they’re awesome and perfect.

The studio is presently laid out in basically a “everyting along the perimeter” design but if I’ve learned anything from Animal Crossing, it’s actually nice to break up a room with internal partitions, and I have a bunch of Ikea storage bins that I don’t quite know where to put them, so now that the air isn’t toxic I might make another trip to Ikea to pick up a KALLAX or something.

Really what I should do is break out the graph paper and come up with a room layout, which is what I have normally done in the past for this sort of thing, but there isn’t really anything that I have which can go anywhere other than where it already is. Maybe a room design session would be helpful for figuring out what would make the most sense as an addition, though.

Also I still need to figure out how to properly organize my dang closet. It’s better but still not great. It’s mostly my cello case getting in the way, but I don’t think I have room for it in my storage unit (since that’s full of guitar cases).

Video production

I’ve also been bit by the video production bug again and I kind of want to set up a green screen now? Or at least get some better lighting in here. I was very much inspired by Jimmy’s set last night, and chatting with him about production stuff afterward was pretty helpful too.

Jimmy benefits greatly from being a real, actual, professional video editor, and also having some very nice cameras to shoot with, but really the camcorder I bought last week is pretty good especially given its price and size, and it mostly just needs more light to compensate for its fairly small sensor. (Which is quoted as being “1/5.8-inch” which is a really weird way to measure it — do they actually mean it’s only 5mm across?)

I actually have much better cameras for recording things (a Sony NEX-5 and a Sony ɑ6000), but for tax reasons they are only allowed to record 20 minutes at a time anyway (although there’s firmware to get around this), and more unfortunately, being mirrorless cameras they are prone to overheating. They’re fine for things when I’m recording small amounts of footage to be spliced together (for example, my espresso-brewing video and my induction stove nonsense were all recorded with the ɑ6000 in fairly short segments), but for live music recordings it can only really go for one song at a time; a 20-minute set is right out of the question. I think if I were to get really serious about video stuff I’d want to invest either in a full-size Sony Alpha (since that would let me keep using all my existing lenses) or a Panasonic Lumix (which lots of tech YouTubers use) or Canon 5D (which lots of pro video people use) or something. But none of that is really pressing at the moment.

Or, heck, Sony claims that the Alpha 7S III has actually solved the video overheating problems, so maybe I’ll stay in the mirrorless Alpha ecosystem. Plus, it shoots 2160p120, which is all sorts of overkill! And it’s only… $3498 okay wow never mind


Fiona’s gotten very bitey lately.

Also Werner seems to love stuffing his paw in my mouth when I’m trying to sleep.


Still no sign of any, and I still have no idea how the one I saw a month ago got out, and I haven’t come across it or any exit route while cleaning my studio. I’m trying to convince myself that maybe I imagined it, except there’s no way that I did.

I’ve still been refreshing the repellant behind my kitchen cabinets, all the same.


Speaking of the kitchen cabinets, the builder who did my kitchen keeps on making more and more excuses for not following through on the last bits of revisions, and he’s also apparently downsized his crew and focusing more on jobs that are closer to him. Fair, I guess, especially since we never got a contract together for this last bit, but I wish he’d just outright tell me that he’s not willing to take it on instead of leading me along so I can find someone else to finish the job.

There isn’t even that much left to do, and one of those things (which is minor) was technically left off on the first chunk but I figured we’d take care of it in revisions and everything would be peachy. The main thing that needs to get done shouldn’t even be that difficult, it just needs access to tools that I don’t have.


Working on so much video lately made my 10TB storage pool fill up so now my NAS has a 20TB capacity. I’m afraid to look at my Backblaze bill.

Incidentally, I seem to be able to actually stream/edit FCP projects from the NAS, so, that’s pretty cool, if I need to dive into an archived project for some reason. (Heck, same goes for Logic projects, which are even less bandwidth-intense.) Doing a simple bandwidth test shows that I’m getting around 100MB/sec of transfer both from and to the NAS, which means it’s pretty much saturating the gigabit connection. I’m really glad I sprung for the SSD read cache.

$ dd if=/Volumes/home/Movies/sfl2020\ set.fcpbundle/final/Original\ Media/ of=/dev/zero bs=1m count=1000
1000+0 records in
1000+0 records out
1048576000 bytes transferred in 10.091842 secs (103903332 bytes/sec)
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/Volumes/home/deleteme bs=1m count=1000
1000+0 records in
1000+0 records out
1048576000 bytes transferred in 9.061239 secs (115721040 bytes/sec)
$ rm /Volumes/home/deleteme
$ dd if=/dev/urandom of=/Volumes/home/deleteme bs=1m count=1000
1000+0 records in
1000+0 records out
1048576000 bytes transferred in 10.893652 secs (96255691 bytes/sec)

Obviously a locally-attached SSD would be able to do even better (the same tests to my iMac’s internal SSD clock in at around 9GB/sec reads and 320MB/sec writes), but this is still much faster than a traditional hard drive, and most of my video is only around 30Mbps (i.e. around 4MB/sec) so that still gives me plenty of streaming headroom.


I keep trying to draw more comics but I can’t bring myself to do it. I think I need to rewrite the next few Lewi strips because every time I try drawing them I’m just not feeling it, which is always a sign that the story isn’t progressing quite right. And gosh, has it really been two years since the last Lewi?!

Historically I’ve always been more motivated to work on comics when I need a means of decompressing from work, though, so maybe in a few weeks I’ll be back in the groove of that.


Before commenting, please read the comment policy.

Avatars provided via Libravatar