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Munged.Org Where Wookie waxes loquatious, because he can.

(Not) April Fool

I’m married now.

Daylight Saving Crime

We switched to daylight savings time last weekend. I get screwed up by the change for two or three weeks.

I don’t know when to make dinner now. Two weeks ago, I did it when it started to get dark. Now, it is 7:30 and still light out, and I should have started dinner an hour ago. Eating too late disrupts sleep.

Yes, as spring progresses into summer it’ll get dark later and later, but a gradual change is easier to make.

It was better when DST changed later in the year, the last weekend of April. By then dinner time is far enough after sunset that switching to DST didn’t screw me up.

I think daylight saving time need to be stopped. But I think it needs to stay non-daylight saving time, so that mornings get light when people are waking up, not some time after they get to work.

Dubya in Hindsight

While going over the site I’m re-reading things I wrote long ago. This one caught my eye.

One of the things I said:

well… What can I say. Dubya is a dickhead, but we gave him the power with our fucked-up electoral process. He can use that power for good or evil as he sees fit, though it is obvious that he isn’t fit to wield that power. That power is his to use until we remove him.

I mellowed on Dubya after I wrote this. Yes, I was angry about his shortcomings. I still am to some extent. But as the books came out after he and his administration left office, I found some measure of respect for him. That was during the Obama administration.

Now that we’ve had a traitor in word and deed in the oval office, well, Dubya doesn’t stack up so bad. My view of Dubya these days is he was a conservative guy, surrounded by even more conservative elements with agendas.

There still no way I’d vote for him. But I’d shake his hand if I met him.

Site Migration 2022 Version

I’ve posted before about being all in on Cloudflare.

Today I “cut over” to Cloudflare Pages, getting off of Github Pages. There’s nothing wrong with Github Pages, I just wanted to try this new thing. I’m still building it with Jekyll. But now I have to configure Ruby gems as part of the site.

The old site used a slightly modified version of Jekyll’s default Minima theme. New site uses a hacked-up version of the Lanyon theme.

Dark themes have become a thing because screens are getting so bright that a big, pure-white, web page is eye-searing. The old site was a “light” theme. The new site uses dark version of the Solarized theme. This theme may have more color science behind it than any other. I agree it is… green.

I’ve gone with a dark version of the theme, with the sliding menu using the complimentary light version. I may switch the whole site to the lighter version, or figure out how to allow users to choose. Still haven’t decided the final state of this.

Switched to using system fonts. This was fascinating to me. There is a fairly serious amount of typographic work that goes into making operating systems look good in a brand-forward way. Using the results of that work is not a bad plan. This site will look a little different on different browsers, because there’s no way on macOS to directly use Apple’s new system font “San Fransisco”. There is a new-ish standard for a way to access system fonts in browsers, but support is still being worked out.

The site has commenting now. The Movable Type and WordPress versions used to allow commenting, and there it was used. So I’ve got it again. Sadly, nobody knows this site exists any more. Probably won’t be a hugely used feature. Commenting requires a login on Github to enable. Those rare people that do find this site might find this to be another hurdle commenting. But past versions of the site did have comments, and it was good.

I’ve collected some things that were on previous versions of the site, but haven’t been recently, and will restore them. Humor archives and some stuff I find entertaining.

There are, as well as I can recall, 5 previous versions of munged.org:

  1. Site coded by hand, and then Dreamweaver. Served by a shared hosting system

    2001 - 2002: These pages still exist, and I keep them around as a curiosity. They come from my days at RiverSoft, when I travelled for a living and sometimes committed information technology work.

  2. Movable Type, served by that same shared hosting system

    2003 - 2009: Also still mostly exist, and forms most of the content on this site. Did a lot of blogging during this time. Experienced a lot and wrote about much of it.

  3. Written in WordPress, served by that same shared hosting system

    2009 - 2014: Lost. Nothing wrong with WordPress, per se, but the site was hacked to serve porn pretty frequently, and I didn’t want to deal with keeping up with it.

  4. Migrated to SquareSpace

    2014 - 2015: SquareSpace is a fantastic site if you’re trying to sell something. Complete shit for a non-photographic blog like this one.

  5. Migrated to Github Pages

    2015 - yesterday: This was easy, and I was getting into git and Github. This seemed like a way to learn both by way of Jekyll and static site generation.

  6. Now, migrated to Cloudflare Pages.

We shall see how this works out. Coding the site has been fun, and that work continues as I enhance it and import the old content. I’ve written some things recently. Might do more.

Apple Needs to Care About The Book Store

I’m sure there are going be some fan-boi apologists out there that will say “but Apple doesn’t put these in themselves.” I say: Apple either cares or it doesn’t and it doesn’t look like they do.

What Am I Talking About? Two things: series, and sorting.

The Apple Book Store groups books by series they are in, which is very cool. When set up correctly, it looks like this:

I use this to see what the next book in a series is when I want to buy it, and then to read it.

But take a step back, and the Zelazny section looks like this:

In my mind, the stories of Merlin of Amber are part of the Chronicles: books 6 thru 10. Even if you don’t agree with that, they are definately a series and should be in a “Merlin of Amber” series under Zelazny. Not listed separately like that.

And then there’s sorting parameters. Are we using last names of authors? Are we using first names of authors? Who the hell knows. One of my favorite sorting fuckups:

This list is sorted as:

  1. Vernor
  2. Vincent
  3. Vinge

Come on! Standards, people!

I long ago gave up by sorting on artist last names in music. Is Alice Cooper1 an artist or a band? But I still think of authors as having last names, and that we should sort on them. Charles Stross is called “Charles” or “Charlie”, but I categorize him and discuss him as an author as “Stross”. Last names are often more unique than given names, at least in the Western world.

Yes, there’s a lot of books in the book store, but computers should be helping these publishers do this correctly. Not standing by the side, or actively hindering them, as the case may be. Making it easier for me to tell what books are in a series cause me to buy more of them. If I can’t tell what books I own by an author I tend to be conservative and not buy any2.

Apple needs to give a shit.

  1. It started as a band, then became both. 

  2. Yes, the store won’t let you buy something you’ve already bought. It will show the “download cloud” icon instead of a “Buy” button. It’s totally a perception thing. Sorting problems like this go hand-in-hand with series problems, too. 

Review: Dune (2021)

I enjoyed it immensely.

I really liked the ornithopters. I really liked Jason Momoa as Duncan Idaho. I really liked the production design. I really liked the sound design.

I’ve been an Oscar Isaac fan ever since I saw him in Sucker Punch. I thought his beard in this role looked really fake.

Rebecca Ferguson has an austere beauty that worked well for her role, and she’s certainly capable. But there were a couple of times where I thought she was more Paul’s sister than mother.

Finally, I liked how faithful to the book they were in translating it to the screen and the way they were faithful. The things they decided to bring across from the book to the screen were “minimum viable movie”.

I Watched "The Matrix: Resurections" a Couple More Times...

It sucks. Avoid it at all cost.

I Told My Boss To Call Me

“Joe’s Bar and Grill. If you’re his wife he ain’t here.”

“Hi! I need tables for 6, at about 9 tonight for dinner and drinks.”

“Tables. Are the people in your party friends? Should the tables be close together or is there a minimum separation distance you need?”

“We’ll be packing, but we’re all terrible shots. Keep them together.”

“How many people per table?”

“We’ll need 6 tables, one per person, but each person will bring a hostage with them to use as a shield.”

“Do you mind a room in the back to keep the collateral damage to a minimum? Or are you sending a message?”

“A room in the back is fine, thanks.”

“Will there be one check, or multiple checks?”

“Multiple checks. We will cover all checks of anyone that is too dead to pay their bill at the end of the evening.”

“That is appreciated, sir. Okay, I have a private room with 6 2-toppers for 9pm tonight. There will be a 18% gratuity added since technically this is a party of more than 8 people. We’ll probably put you in the “OG” room.”

“Perfect! Thank you, see you tonight.”

“Have a pleasant day sir.”

Review: The Matrix Resurrections

Liked it, but didn’t love it. I found it to be okay.

I can see where people might dislike or even hate it. It’s a weird picture like that, I think. I found I had the patience for it, but not everyone will.

I don’t know of any open questions that needed to be answered after the original “The Matrix” trilogy. This movie doesn’t try to answer any, which is a plus in its favor. I think this got made because Lana Wachowski came up with it all and felt it needed to be made. I can see that, and agree. Once this idea was a script, that script needed to be made. I’m glad it was made.

The Matrix trilogy suffers from being deeply philosophical. The first movie asked so many questions, we had an immense amount of fun working out answers for them. Do a search for the “philosophy of the matrix”, and you’ll find tons of stuff. There are college classes and all sorts of things. It starts out as an enormous cloud of possibility. As the sequels start collapsing the possibilities into a single quantum state, it was never going to be as good as it could have been, no matter where it ended up. This was a series of movies that just can’t win after the first one was made.

It started really slow. I spent the first 20 minutes or so reminding myself that I wanted to see this movie. Once they were done setting the scene and establishing everyone’s motives, it was okay. It would have been better if they’d managed to make me give a shit about any of the characters during that time. But once it got moving it was interesting enough that I forgot I didn’t give a shit about any of those characters.

Neil Patrick Harris was incredible. He radiated pure menace. Stole every scene he was in. I hope it’s possible for him to get some supporting role nominations for his work here. But he’s the only nomination-worthy thing in this picture, so probably won’t happen.

The idea that Neo and Trinity could power a whole matrix by themselves doesn’t jibe for me. I don’t understand how removing Neo and Trinity from the matrix jeopardizes Io, which seems have nothing to do with it.

Getting in and out of the matrix was a whole thing, every time, in the original trilogy. It wasn’t a trivial thing, requiring being at “broadcast depth”, and a “hard line”. Every time. I liked that this used mirrors to get in and out, but didn’t like that they played fast and loose with that. They have to find a mirror on the train to get out of the matrix one time, but the next they’re in a bombed out structure in the matrix fighting, then they’re back on the ship again. I found myself out of the story wondering where the intact mirror was in that bombed out building.

I really liked Jonathan Groff as a new Smith, tho I kept trying to figure out why the machines hadn’t purged Smith outright after he was defeated.

I am okay with where it ended. I didn’t like it got there. I spent the whole time waiting for an arc where Neo relearns/regains his powers. I guess there was one, of sorts, but I really didn’t buy it. Trinity couldn’t fly in the original trilogy, why can she now? Yes, she was supposedly part of the original anomaly. But that’s a really clumsy retcon.

The Matrix Resurrections is a good movie, and was well made. Its only real crime was that it could have been better.

Betty White

Like pretty much everyone in this Great Nation that have souls, one of my favorite celebrities of all time was Betty White. This James Cordon tribute is the one that actually got me to tear up.

Best COVID Update

This is the COVID reporting we need:

All The Science You Need To Make Your COVID-19 Decisions

They’re tracking the research so we don’t have to.

Apple TV Apps Sound but no Video

For Christmas my sweetie got me a year of the Criterion Channel app. It’s a collection of classic movies, many of them from way way way back. I installed the app on the Apple TV, and did all the sign up and sign in.

When a movie was played, nothing happened. It just sat and showed the loading spinner for as long as you wanted to watch it.

Then we noticed that the Vudu app would play movies, but with only sound, no picture. This had been working as recently as a month earlier.

I decided I was going to re-up HBO MAX to see what was new there, and because new Warner Brothers movie releases are available there same time as they are in the theater.1 It would not load movies, it just showed the TV rating over and over.

On further checking, Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube all worked. Amazon Prime Video didn’t. Apple TV and Movies worked too.

I was pretty sure that this wasn’t an Apple TV problem, because it worked with some stuff. But there was a pattern somewhere, and I don’t know enough about how these apps are all coded, and interact with the TV, to figure it out.

Letting my fingers do the walking thru some searches came up with very little. There was mention of re-installing the app. Restarting or resetting the Apple TV itself. Change HDMI ports. HDMI cables. But I found no examples of exactly what I had going on with a definitive fix.

I decided to work thru all the things I found, before I called an Apple Genius to see if they could help. I’d already done restarts, resets, and re-installs. Switched HDMI ports on the TV. I went out and got myself some sure-to-be-good-enough (8K) HDMI cables and plugged them in between the Apple TV and the receiver, and the receiver and the TV.

And holy crappoly, new HDMI cables fixed it.

I totally didn’t expect cables to fix this; I was just being thorough. I figured a bad cable would be bad for all the apps, not just some of them. But I guess not. My Apple TV is capable of 4K but the receiver and TV aren’t. I did replace the Apple TV a while back, and all this may have started then. Maybe there’s a new HDCP scheme for 4K and up TVs or something and the cables have to be part of the deal.

I dunno.

On futher reflection tho, this does make a certain kind of sense. I have cables currently in use on and around on my desk that might date from living on 29th Street in New York city, around 15 years ago, when Cat3 ethernet cable was the new expensive thing2. I’ve been working to replace these over time, but I need to get a couple more things in place before I tear down my desk and re-do all of it. It shouldn’t therefore surprise me that there are cable problems here.

  1. Specifically the new Matrix movie. I thought they had Dune too, but I was wrong. I thought there might be more, but they’re probably in all the crappy super hero titles. 

  2. I think we’re up to Cat6a now for 10G ethernet.