There is additional content you may be able to see if you log in.

Osteopathy

Today I had an appointment with an osteopath, which is basically a chiropractor but with a basis in actual medicine instead of weird quackery. It was an… interesting experience. An overall positive one, though.

She mostly worked on my neck and shoulders, which are feeling somewhat better, and also popped a couple of my vertebrae, which was a strange experience, but a good one. I’m not sure if it’s placebo or what but I definitely feel a lot better now than I did this morning, at least.

She encouraged me to keep seeing my current massage therapist (who I’ve found very helpful) and to wait a few days to see how I feel before scheduling another appointment with her. Unfortunately she (like most medical practitioners) is ridiculously overbooked and the next available appointment isn’t until February (I’d actually booked this one around two months ago, incidentally) but right now I’m at least feeling very encouraged.

It definitely hasn’t cured my pain but it at least feels way more manageable now.

Back in White Center

Yesterday the contractor insisted that the shower would be usable by Wednesday, so today I moved back to White Center. As usual it was the worst possible thing to happen that my cats had to endure the car for a whole 20 minutes, but now they’re back home and back to their usual shenanigans. They’re definitely happier here than in the barren condo with no view.

The bathroom is indeed coming along quite nicely. I’m skeptical that it’ll be shower-ready tomorrow, but it’s definitely getting close. The shower is almost done being tiled, and then after that it just needs grouting and hardware installation, and it seems like Thursday is a more realistic target.

Supposedly the toilet will get reinstalled today, too, so maybe I won’t have to use the outhouse anymore? We’ll see.

My house is very much a disaster area right now but at least it’s a comfortable disaster area. And it was nice to get a proper shot of espresso again. (I mean, okay, it’s not like that would have been hard to come by in freaking Capitol Hill, but it’s nice to get espresso from my own setup.)

Meanwhile, the replacement kitchen faucet arrived, and it seems in the past few months they changed the design of the sprayer head a little bit, hopefully in a way which will prevent future clogs from happening. Thankfully it’s still compatible with the old faucet, so it was just a simple swap out, and now I have a working kitchen sink with good water pressure once again.

Still seeking grinder footage!

So hey my lo-fi beats to grind coffee to project is still going, but I’m very short on usable grinder footage to move forward. One of the big reasons why I haven’t ended up doing a song every day this year is because I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to make videos for all of them, and not having a source of inspiration for specific grinders hasn’t been helpful for my forward velocity either. (Of course, being displaced from my home didn’t help any either.)

Any grinder footage that people can offer would be incredibly helpful.

There’s also a few specific grinders I’d particularly like footage of:

  • Comandante C40 (I got some footage for it but my video idea would benefit from having as many people using one as possible)
  • Fellow Ode (I’d especially like some footage that involves pressing the button and spinning the adjustment dial in addition to the rest of the filling/grinding/brewing process) Done, thanks Emma!
  • Turin DF64

but any and all grinders are welcome; if I get enough footage for a specific one I’ll try to give it its own video, or otherwise it can go into the final “The Grind” track where I cover everything miscellaneous and sundry.

This includes blade/mill grinders, too! And whatever weird random grinders you have hanging around. I just want a nice wide variety.

Thanks!

Things are going well

  1. All the plumbing issues in my house have been resolved
  2. The actual bathroom renovation is proceeding to plan and should be done by next Friday (I’ll believe it when I see it of course)
  3. I just accepted a job doing graphics R&D at Hover and I will be starting in January
Read more…

Settled in Seattle

Today I got some last few things taken care of down in White Center and moved my cats back to Seattle. Fiona was very grumpy to be back in the condo without the outdoors. Tyler was pretty weirded out by the change. But now they’re both sleeping peacefully next to me on the couch.

The plumbing in my house is all working, at least, and everything can finally move forward. The contractor believes the project will be done by next Friday. We’ll see.

Read more…

Back in Capitol Hill for now

Today I decided to call it per yesterday’s rantle and moved (minimally) back to my Capitol Hill condo, since it hadn’t sold yet anyway and there was only like 1.5 weeks left on the listing time. (I have also requested cancellation of the listing, of course, not that there were likely to be any scheduled showings this or next week due to Thanksgiving.)

I loaded up my car with basic necessities for the next week — clothing (namely my last two weeks' worth of dirty laundry), work and personal laptop, a very minimal recording setup, my Apple TV, and my Nintendo Switch, as well as my old cable modem and router. Also an air mattress and sheets and pillows for it. I refilled the cats' water and food dispensers and bade them adieu for another day.

Read more…

Current situation

So, the bathroom remodel keeps on hitting some pretty bad roadblocks. And I’m not entirely sure what to do next.

Basically, the plumber started a week ago, and has been trying to get the house plumbing working again. But something keeps going wrong, but I have no idea what, because the plumber only speaks Vietnamese. But the short version is that even after over a week and multiple complete re-dos of the plumbing, I still have no running water, and all that the plumber can tell me is that it doesn’t work, but can’t specify what he means by “it” or “work.”

Read more…

Headspace

I am so tired, y'all.

Driving back and forth between SeaTac and White Center is kind of dismal. Especially when it’s raining heavily. Especially when half an hour after I finish the drive through heavy rain where I’m worried about getting in an accident because I can’t even see the lane markers and everyone else around me is driving like a NASCAR driver with something to prove, the rain completely stops and I feel silly for my lousy timing.

The hotel is very fancy and quite uncomfortable. All of the tables and chairs are at just the wrong height. I can’t get my head into the right space to work on music at all. Nothing feels right.

When I’m at home to go to meetings or to work on house stuff my cats are very clingy and affectionate and they very much miss me and I also miss them.

I’m already sick of eating takeout in SeaTac.

So many people here aren’t wearing masks even though we still have a mask mandate. At the breakfast buffet this morning a young woman and her kid were unmasked and the kid was coughing without covering her mouth, and I worry about whether they coughed on the food I ate.

Read more…

Fancypants

The insurance company put me up at the SeaTac Marriott, which is way fancier than anything in SeaTac has any right to be. Swanky as heck. Also the room’s decaf is surprisingly good!

I brought my work and studio laptop here so I could maybe get work done without having to reverse-commute if possible, although there’s definitely things I need to go back to the house for (hugging the cats, mostly, and also meeting the contractor, and so on), and of course I’d much rather work on my music in my actual studio with huge screen and proper 88-key keyboard instead of on my tiny portable keyboard and tiny laptop screen. But there’s worse situations to be in right now, I guess.

The insurance company also sprung for the pet fee in case I want to bring my cats here, but that seems like it’d be a disaster. They’re finally getting along with each other and after I left them home alone overnight on Monday they got a lot closer, and it’s also good for Tyler to NOT have me available 24/7. He gets pretty bad separation anxiety even when I go downstairs to the studio or if I sleep with the door closed, and he needs to learn that it’s okay to not have me there sometimes.

Anyway I have up to 9 days here but hopefully I won’t need all of them. If all goes well I’ll have running water again on Monday, and the bathroom should be done soon after. Given the original scope of work was a near-complete gutting of the bathroom, and now the scope is an actually-complete gutting, I can’t imagine what else would possibly go wrong that wouldn’t involve me, like, moving back to the condo for a while.

Remodel mess update

Insurance inspector came out today to look at the damage. He said the situation is a bit complicated because part of the damage was due to an ongoing maintenance issue and part of it was due to an emergent issue, and insurance only covers the emergent issue. He thinks that he can at least get me coverage for replacing the sink cabinet and all of the water mitigation, at least, and also since my house is without running water, the insurance company is putting me in a fancy hotel for a week. I’ll still probably be driving back to my house to work, though (as well as making sure my cats are okay), and fortunately I have a port-a-potty and a portable foot-pumped sink for that stuff.

Also, post-leak-dryup it became pretty obvious that the fiberglass in the ceiling wasn’t put there by a previous owner to mark/plug the leak, but was actually pulled down over time by the ongoing leak. So that must have been going for much longer than I realized.

The housing person said I could also take my cats to the hotel with me if I want but that seems like it’d cause more problems than it’d solve.

Read more…

Got the disaster out of the way

So, my bathroom renovation got delayed a few days (due to supply issues), and then started today.

You know how every home renovation project always has some major disaster, usually towards the end? This time we at least got it out of the way right away: while they were removing the sink cabinet, a pipe burst.

Fortunately nothing got badly soaked, and what got wet has dried off pretty quickly. I don’t think there’s any specific water damage to anything (although that was an extremely close call for my entire recording studio), although only time will tell. The main issue of concern is that my guitars and some of my acoustic treatments were directly below the water blast. The guitars have dried out easily, and the acoustic treatment is easy to replace if it gets moldy (it’s just cheap acoustic foam which I have plenty of).

Read more…

Attention all coffee friends!

Do you have a coffee grinder? One which could actually be identified by name? Do you have the ability to record video? Want to be featured in an upcoming Sockpuppet video?

For this year’s Novembeat album I’m doing songs inspired by different coffee grinders and their respective techniques, and as part of this I’m also making silly videos of each grinder. But I only have a handful of grinders myself, and good process-forward footage is difficult to come by. So that’s where you possibly come in.

Updates: I’ve been making edits to this post as various questions come in. I should really be tracking them specifically.

Read more…

Studio hardware stuff, part 2349872984

My ongoing anxiety regarding recording studio computer stuff has continued. Yesterday while doing day 1 of Novembeat I found that my 2016 MacBook pro is still just like… way too slow to make music on (especially if I stream at the same time). And then I saw that there’s a bunch of deals on 2020 MacBooks happening right now.

I was about to buy a 2020 MacBook Air with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, but then found out that Apple had a deal on refurbished 2020 MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD for only a little bit more, and the refurb price is less than the equivalently-equipped MacBook Air’s price. So that’s what I ended up ordering.

Read more…

More thoughts on recording studio hardware

Now that the new M1 Pro/Max MacBooks are out and are getting real-world reviews, I have a bit more information about what I should consider in terms of computer upgrades.

This particular video is pretty helpful:

In pretty much all of the side-by-side tests, the M1 Pro is only negligibly faster, aside from encoding H.265 video from RED or ProRes sources — none of which I ever do.

Read more…

macOS 12 SSD issue update

Going through a few rounds of troubleshooting with folks on the macOS community forum as well as Apple tech support regarding the SSD overheat issue has helped me determine the following things:

  • Whatever this problem is, it’s uncommon; nobody else seems to have experienced it
  • The enclosure itself isn’t to blame; it happens on both my Plugable USB 3.1gen2 and on my Sabrent dual-slot Thunderbolt enclosure
  • The overheating is only happening on the Crucial 2TB NVMe stick (that normally lives in the USB enclosure); having just the PNY stick (which lives in the Thunderbolt enclosure) doesn’t overheat, moving the PNY stick to the USB enclosure doesn’t overheat, and the Thunderbolt enclosure only overheats if I have both the PNY and the Crucial stick in it
  • The overheating stops if I unmount the drive but leave it electrically-connected
  • Mounting the drive even under macOS Recovery causes the overheat to occur just as quickly

For now I’ve moved my most critical files from the Crucial stick to my older SATA drive (which isn’t having trouble) so I can continue to work on the things that I normally do on my desktop, and my studio laptop seems to be okay with the PNY+Thunderbolt combination so I don’t think Novembeat is at risk because of that, at least.

This does mean I won’t be able to work on music from my desktop computer in the meantime, and video editing will have to be direct to NAS, which is doable, just not ideal.

Hopefully this all gets sorted out in a macOS update.

Warning about macOS 12.0 Monterey

I’m running into a pretty severe problem with my external USB 3.1-connected NVMe drive on macOS 12.0 on my M1 mac; something in the system is causing the drive to get extremely hot (to the point of disconnecting within a few minutes) when there’s no recorded activity going to it, and also while it is connected, Blackmagic Disk Speed Test reports that it’s only capable of around 150MB/sec, which is significantly less than what it usually gets. Which tells me that something in the OS is causing the drive to go under significant load.

I tried disabling Spotlight, both from the GUI and using sudo mdutil -i off /Volumes/storage, which made no difference.

Read more…

Some thoughts on comments and interaction

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the differences between self-hosted vs. silo spaces. One thing that really stood out to me is that in self-hosted spaces, the tendency is to allow complete control over which comments are visible, and silos almost never allow that, or if they do it’s at best an in-retrospect thing.

For example, most self-hosted blogging systems give you the ability to moderate all comments (as I do), or give easy access to deleting comments which got posted, or any number of mechanisms for curating the community.

But most silo systems don’t give you that access; you might be able to block recurring trolls, or flag a comment for third-party review (usually to no effect), but all posts are set to allow anyone (with access to the post) the ability to post anything at any time, and by default everything gets floated to everyone else.

This came especially to mind today because of this unfortunate video:

I’ve seen so many creators get burned out on what they like doing, because even if 99% of the comments are positive, that 1% really gets under their skin, and they stop creating.

I’ve seen so many creators get burned out on their communities, because even if 99% of it is positive, that 1% really gets under their skin, and they stop interacting with the community, turning it into a toxic cesspool.

I’ve seen so many creators decide to capitulate to the communities and set up a personal SubReddit that they designate other people to moderate, just to keep it contained somewhere else.

I know so many creators who are on the verge of burnout and getting really tired of the dark side of having an audience.

I’m not sure if giving people the ability to require commentary to be opt-in rather than opt-out would solve these problems, but I do know anecdotally that the random snipe-type responses I get from Twitter or Mastodon are way more annoying to me than the comments I opt not to post when submitted to my site. They’re out there and visible and I have to take extra steps to get rid of them, and it’s taken out of my hands as to whether I even can get rid of them.

I don’t think I like how webmention works.

Read more…

Studio stasis

For now I’m just going to stick with my 2016 MacBook Pro, and I bought a 27" 4K monitor for it to alleviate the display-size issue.

It’s a little slow and a little janky but a lot of my music stuff still doesn’t work right on M1 anyway, and in particular Native Instruments is taking their sweet time to update everything to be M1-compatible. Also, I could theoretically use my PreSonus FireStudio with the hacked driver, although it looks like that’ll probably stop working in macOS 12 and I can’t use it with my ADAT preamp anyway, so the only advantage to it is I could put my Scarlett 18i8 back in my office, which is a pretty low priority now.

(I suppose I could also make an aggregate interface of the FireStudio with the 18i8+ADAT, but I already have 14 functional inputs as it is and I barely ever use more than 5 of them at a time. 22 is definitely overkill.)

If I get desperate for an upgrade I suppose I could get a current 27" iMac but that doesn’t feel particularly necessary right now (and it also feels like a waste since Apple will stop supporting it sooner rather than later; I went through the exact same thing with the PowerMac G5 that I bought literally two weeks before they announced the Intel transition).

I also need to give both Reaper and Bitwig another shot because both of them seem like they’d be able to mostly replace Logic for me at this point, and I’m sick of being wedded to macOS. (But right now is not the time for me to learn a new DAW. Or maybe it’s the perfect time. I dunno.)

Or maybe I should see what the pre-trashcan Mac Pros are going for. The 12-core model would still be a pretty decent upgrade from the 2016 MacBook pro, and also has the advantage of having upgradeable SATA storage, plus PCIe slots that could theoretically take an NVMe adapter. On the minus side, no Thunderbolt 3 (not that I’d need it) and I’d also be stuck on macOS 10.14 without some sketchy patching. But it looks like they’re going for under $400 (shipping included), all the same.

Or there’s always Hackintosh.

But nah I’ll wait, the old MacBook Pro is fine for now.

The unfortunate reality of Apple’s product focus

Today’s Apple announcement brought forth the usual advancements that I was looking forward to: faster processors, better GPUs, and so on.

But Apple has this hyperfocus on making The Best Laptops Possible, which is a little puzzling when the entire focus of today’s update was on creative studio uses, especially on music.

Read more…

Authl update → login reset

I made a change to Authl which more or less necessitated resetting everyone’s login.

I mean, it only really necessitated resetting the logins of folks who sign in via Twitter, but the way Publ authentication works (or at least the way I have it set up on my site) means I can’t reset just an individual session.

Also it didn’t really require a full login reset but it would have been confusing for some folks for some amount of time, so I figured better safe than sorry. “Oops I need to log in again” is a lot less difficult to deal with than “it says I’m logged in, did fluffy remove me from their friends list or something? what did i do wrong :( :( :(”

This also means that all bearer tokens have been reset, so if you were doing something with those you’ll need to generate a new one (either from your profile or via TicketAuth). Of course you automatically get a TicketAuth grant when you sign in anyway, so if you’re using TicketAuth I guess there’s nothing extra you need to do to begin with.

Update: haha I forgot to actually push this entry until like 4 days later oops. well okay have an explanation if you were wondering