Novembeat 2021: The Movie premiere


Tomorrow at 2:30 PM Pacific Standard Time I’ll be finally premiering the hour-long music video for my Novembeat 2021 album. If you head to the YouTube page you can set up a reminder/notification for when it starts, and during the premiere we’ll all be able to chat live!

This is by far the largest, most ambitious video project I’ve ever done and I’m really excited to share it with the world. I hope y'all will join me!

2021 in review, 2022 goals


Here’s some stats and thoughts maybe. I dunno.


Things posted to this website: 196 (171 public)

Things posted elsewhere:

  • Bandcamp: 4
    • 2 albums
    • 1 single
    • 1 game OST
  • YouTube videos:
    • Music channel: 20 videos, mostly music videos, holy hell how did I actually do that
    • Personal channel: 8 (mostly shitposts and cat reminiscence)
  • Social media posts: E_TOOMANY

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Hopefully the last time I beg for coffee grinding footage


Remember that silly project of mine? I’m still inching ever closer to being done.

I have space for two more random grinders in the video for The Grind, and I could still use a lot more Comandante C40 footage, which I am really surprised has been so hard to get more of because that’s a very popular grinder.

Historically, I’ve gotten a lot of people promising footage which never appeared. Early on in the project I got plenty, quickly, which is how I was able to produce the vast majority of the videos on the same day as the song, or soon after. But these last two tracks have taken so very long to fill out.

So I mean, if you’re interested, now is the time to do it, and don’t let the belief that it’s already covered or that you’ll be beaten to it stop you from recording things. And if I do somehow end up getting more than I need, I’ll still find a use for whatever comes in!

Anyway. I was really hoping to have this done by the end of December; heck, I was hoping to have it done by the end of November. But, y'know. Life happens, and especially right now a lot of folks are traveling for the holidays. So I’ll take what I can get.

I just really want to have this silly hour-plus-long music video finished soon. It’s the most ambitious video project I’ve ever done and I really like how it’s turned out, and I just have these fairly small sections where it’s just a black screen, waiting for some coffee to be ground.

Also I don’t remember where I’ve mentioned it, but everyone who contributes footage gets a download code for the album and a credits screen on the full video.

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Things I learned today

  • White Center streets don’t get plowed, at least not this early into a blizzard
  • My Mazda3 doesn’t have nearly enough traction to drive on unplowed streets
  • The streets I live on are hillier than I realized
  • I do not have it in me to walk a mile to Target just to find out if they have snow chains in stock
  • I also do not have it in me to walk a mile to get groceries
  • I can absolutely make do with whatever food I have on-hand

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How to restore a SOMA Connect without having to re-pair everything


In my bedroom I have some SOMA smart shades and a SOMA Connect to control them from HomeKit. This setup works pretty well, except every now and then the SOMA Connect will stop working entirely; being a Raspberry Pi it’s easy enough to hook up to a monitor and see that it’s kernel panicking on startup.

I suspect there’s an automatic update mechanism that simply doesn’t work right.

Anyway, when this happens, the fix is to just reflash the MicroSD card… but this also wipes out all your settings, and in HomeKit that means having to set everything up again, including scenes and automations. Very annoying.

But, if you have a Linux machine (or a Linux VM) it’s possible to save the setting files for later.

  1. Mount the MicroSD on a Linux machine
  2. Open the rootfs partition
  3. Copy the contents of var/soma-connect/ somewhere safe; there should be three JSON files (at least, that’s what was on mine)
  4. Reflash the MicroSD normally
  5. Remount the MicroSD and copy those JSON files back into the now-empty rootfs/var/soma-connect/ directory (you might have to do this as an administrator)

If all goes well, the device should come back online and HomeKit should see them as the exact same bridge and accessories as before.

Deeply-weird privacy people update


So folks finally figured out what was behind that weird series of privacy emails I got: it turns out it was a privacy study being run at Princeton. It is not being run very well.

Here’s a pretty good Twitter thread about it and with more links to read:

Also something to make clear:

  1. This is a research study being presented as a legal inquiry and not a research study
  2. The preamble of the email is an active lie
  3. There are many better ways that they could have run this study

I do not appreciate having my time wasted by this nonsense.

On the origins of Sad Crab


Every now and then I come across the Sad Crab (aka “This Kills The Crab”) meme, or a reference to it. Like most memes there’s a Know Your Meme page. Their history on the page has changed a few times, but the history is incomplete, at best.

The first link that took it from Gourmet Magazine to the Internet was, well, me.

My mother had given me a gift subscription to Gourmet Magazine, and while reading their article on how to prepare crabs, I thought this one panel was hilariously awful, so of course I posted a scan of it (entitled “sad crab”) to the POE News (an offshoot of Portal of Evil) forums on March 11, 2010. It was hosted at and it became a minor meme there, and from there it got hotlinked to a bunch of other places, including the Spaceghetto image board, and then eventually it got copied and rehosted elsewhere.

It’s also possible that other people found the source image and scanned their own copies, although pretty much every image I’ve seen online has the same printing defects and paper wrinkles from my scan, which seem incredibly unlikely given the way physics works.

Anyway, I had no idea it was a meme until several years later; I was on a forum that was comprised mostly of other Portal of Evil refugees, and we had a reminiscing thread, and I posted the Sad Crab which was still sitting in my /crap/ directory. Someone who wasn’t there in the PoE days said, “Oh, I remember that meme.”

“What meme?”

“This Kills The Crab!”

Somehow I had completely missed my stupid post’s spread as a meme for years. Gourmet Magazine even noticed and tried to cash in on it themselves (to be fair, it was their image to begin with), and what few things had any sort of attribution for it didn’t actually know about the poe-news origin.

The lesson to take from this is that “authoritative” sources on the Internet often have a very short, limited memory of the actual history behind things, and establishing provenance1 is really difficult, and probably not worthwhile anyway.

So, Hired is pretty good, y'all


When I got the job with Hover it was via Hired, which made the actual recruiting and interviewing process way better than any other job search site I’ve ever seen.

LinkedIn used to be pretty okay but the whole process there has gotten overwhelming and awful, and they’ve tried to turn into yet another Social Media Experience™ but don’t have any actual tools for managing the interview process itself. Hired just focuses on everything about the recruiting and interview experience: you put your information on your profile (and can include things like “I never want to hear from these companies” or criteria for the sorts of companies you’d like to work for), and you can manage your availability for interview slots and be in control of all the contact and timing and so on.

I found the experience to be pretty darn great, and way less stressful than any other job search engine I’ve ever used.

Anyway, if you use my referral link and get a job with Hired, I also get a kickback, so obviously I’m biased in espousing the benefits of Hired. But I do sincerely believe that it’s been by far the best candidate experience I’ve ever had, and led me to jobs I’d not have known about otherwise (and, in particular, the two I interviewed for and the one I accepted).

Deeply-weird privacy people


Every now and then I get what feels like a bad-faith form letter from someone who I’ve never heard of before, has probably never even come to this website, and is probably a privacy lawyer out to make a quick buck.

UPDATE: The mystery has been solved.

Here’s the most recent one:

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is [REDACTED], and I am a resident of Norfolk, Virginia. I have a few questions about your process for responding to California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) data access requests:

Would you process a CCPA data access request from me even though I am not a resident of California? Do you process CCPA data access requests via email, a website, or telephone? If via a website, what is the URL I should go to? What personal information do I have to submit for you to verify and process a CCPA data access request? What information do you provide in response to a CCPA data access request? To be clear, I am not submitting a data access request at this time. My questions are about your process for when I do submit a request.

Thank you in advance for your answers to these questions. If there is a better contact for processing CCPA requests regarding, I kindly ask that you forward my request to them.

I look forward to your reply without undue delay and at most within 45 days of this email, as required by Section 1798.130 of the California Civil Code.



My response is to just direct them to the privacy policy for this website which is a weird thing for me to even need for, y'know, a personal blog.

Maybe I should just not respond and see if they try to sue me for data that I don’t have and have no reason to keep, though.

Incidentally the letter is always exactly the same except for the name and the cited law; they’re always from Roanoke, Virginia, and the wording is otherwise identical each time. They also always come from the same email domain.

So I mean it’s probably a bot, but… to what end? Other folks have been receiving these as well, and the prevailing theory is that it’s people trying to sell GDPR/CCPA compliance packages, but my responses have gone unanswered. So strange.

Bathroom: Not perfect, but Good Enough™


Today the work on the bathroom finished up. All that’s left is some minor cleanup stuff, and a few things I need to do (like installing the towel bar and hanging more of my art back up).

It isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough for now, and the stuff that needs fixing can wait, I think.

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