Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2023
I accept that everybody has their own politics. I pretty much have to because I am to the point where I loathe Republicans and Democrats alike (though the Republicans seem to reach jaw-dropping new lows in hypocrisy with each passing day, so it's no longer an equitable level of loathing). I am, above all, a humanist... and believe that governments should always, always service the betterment of the people it governs. That hasn't been true in a very long time, and I've resolved that voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil.
But there are things that enrage me about politicians which have absolutely nothing to do with their politics. I would loathe and detest them for their actions regardless of party affiliation. Literally makes no difference to me, because what they say or do has blown so far past their politics as to make them irrelevant.
Which brings us to Vivek Ramaswamey (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@drivenprogressive1 Vivek Ramaswamey has a secret #politics #liberal #news ♬ original sound - Driven progressive
Exploiting dementia sufferers for cash? Seriously?!? Fuck this colossal asshole forever. Fuck him sideways and up-side-down. Fuck him to hell and back. Fuck. Him.
I already knew that Vivek Ramaswamey is a colossal piece of shit... but it turns out I was giving him way too much credit.
This is unforgivable and repugnant on every possible level. And not one of those levels has anything to do with him being a Republican. Except for the Republicans who could possibly support this horrific monster, which goes without saying.
Posted on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
Yesterday was Orange Cat Appreciation Day.
Which is hilarious, because EVERY DAY IS ORANGE CAT APPRECIATION DAY! JENNY INSISTS ON IT!
I swear, she's the most entitled princess of a cat I've ever known. She demands to get her way, and does not give two shits how you feel about it. When she wants to be petted, you stop whatever you're doing and pet her. Then you don't stop until she's done with you.
Just look at the little scrubber squeezing beside me and pushing me over on the couch!
Then she meows until she get butt-scratches...
Eventually I graduated to neck scratches...
But the second I stop? She wakes right up and gives me this...
But what can I do. This is how she looks at me most of the time...
So happy Orange Cat Appreciation Day yesterday.
Posted on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
Dreaming of a Cheeseburger in Paradise while blogging for my own amusement... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Bunny Boo Berry! You're welcome (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@xiaoyciz7o4 Little rabbit eats blueberries#rabbit #pet #cute #fyp #foryou ♬ original sound - Cute little pet
Baby animals... amirite?
• Medal Medal Chicken Dinner! This Sunday's burn provided by Andy Murray from a 2016 interview that's making its rounds around the interwebs again...
• Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo! People are aghast when I tell them that I got my hair cut at Disney World. "YOU WASTED TIME AT A BARBER SHOP INSTEAD OF RIDING THE ATTRACTIONS?!?" And it's like... I ended up at Disney World 3-4 times a year every year for over a decade with my work. I've done all the rides many, many times. And I was always booked in one of the Disney hotels, so if I was too busy to get a haircut back home, where else was I going to go? Take a pricey taxi into Orlando? Of course not. I'd just go to where I was at (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@pincessshannon Nick FINALLY got a haircut because i convinced him to get one in Magic Kingdom!!! 😆🤩 YAY! Can you believe you can get a haircut in Disney World? So cute with all the toddlers getting first haircuts too #disneyworld #magickingdom #disneyhaircut #harmonybarbershop #disneyworldtipsandtricks ♬ original sound - Pincessshannon
And, yes, my friends convinced me to get the glitter once. It didn't look biodegradable, so I took a pass every other time... even though it made me look fabulous.
• Margaritaville! Jimmy Buffet passed. He was one of those rare figures who are so ingrained into American culture that you know him even if you don't realize it. His music is pervasive, yes, but it's his lyrics that hold a wisdom everybody can relate to. "I’d rather die while I’m living than live while I’m dead" and "We are the people our parents warned us about" and "Wrinkles will only go where the smiles have been" can be found on the walls of his Margaritaville restaurants, but aren't exclusive to parrotheads (Buffet fans). I've actually been to many Margaritavilles, because Jimmy always had some good vegetarian options on the menu. I know I just posted this video by Eddy Burback a month ago, but it's a pretty cool look at the restaurants.
Jimmy had a crazy amount of songs I liked, but whenever I'm trying to zero in on a favorite, my mind keeps going back to One Particular Harbor...
Yeah, that's a classic right there. Rest in Peace, Jimmy.
• Harley Forever! Arleen Sorkin died! My mom was a big Days of Our Lives fan and she played Calliope... but it was her work as the voice of the original Harley Quinn that I knew her best...
Paul Dini (who created the character) was a college friend, and based the character on her. That's an incredible legacy. Rest In Peace.
• He'll Bore Every One of Us! So... The Flash is free to watch on HBO and I've had it on while I was working...
I can't believe that people liked this movie. IT'S COMPLETE SHIT! Alternate Barry is fucking annoying. Unwatchable. The special effects are horrible. The character isn't even consistent with the shitty JLA stuff that Zack Snyder crapped out of his ass. How this got 64% on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond my ability to fathom. I sure hope that this box office failure means we'll never see Ezra-Flash again. And the box office failure of Shazam means we'll never see Zachary-Shazam either. Just flush the Snyderverse down the toilet and have Gunn ignore all of it. This movie cost TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS! The first Avengers movie cost $220 Million, and most of THAT went to the cast. So what the hell? Where is the money on this one? There were exactly two things worth watching. Michael Keaton Batman and Sasha Calle Supergirl. But neither made this worth my valuable time.
• Marcie! the new Marcie Peanuts special on Apple TV is fantastic... and looks visually stunning. So much better than the gawdawful Snoopy in Space or whatever that was...
I hope we get more like this..
Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. Until next Sunday.
Posted on Monday, September 4th, 2023
It's Labor Day and I'm actually taking the day off for once. After working day and night to complete a project over the last ten days, I deserve it.
Also... I really need to finish up a woodworking build so I can have the tile guy seal it into my kitchen tile for me. I got a good start on it early this morning... only to find out that the pricey poplar boards I bought from Home Depot were absolute shit. They warped ALONG THE LENGTH, which takes real effort to accomplish. I ran to Lowes and bought poplar boards that weren't skewed to hell and... get this... cost half as much.
I don't know why I ever buy wood from Home Depot. It's never that great, even when you pay extra for the pricey stuff.
I guess I just like the convenience because it's closer.
Posted on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023
I am in a state of constant amazement how we have all these faux "Christians" just gagging to be persecuted for their "faith." You see it everywhere. The latest trend is so-called "Christians" dreaming of oppression by "practicing their mugshot for when they make it illegal to preach the true gospel of Jesus."
Which is, of course, hysterical.
Especially in this country where Christians are writing their faith into law and forcing people to live in accordance with their bullshit.
Say, I have an idea! Rather than buy into this idiotic fantasy from the future that will never happen... why not live in accordance with Scripture RIGHT NOW by actually help people who are struggling and suffering? Show the world just how big of a real Christian you are BY ACTUALLY FOLLOWING THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS. Because pretending you're going to be persecuted while persecuting others just makes you a hypocritical joke.
In order to not be in a constant state of despair, I seek out compassion and kindness from everyday people who aren't constructing some kind of elaborate performance... they're just living their life. Which is to say if they ARE Christians, they are following Jesus with their actions instead of their words... and if they ARE NOT Christians, they are actually demonstrating Christian ideals more perfectly than those screaming how superior they are because they fantasize about getting persecuted in the name of Jesus.
Just look at this (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
I'd take a hundred of this guy over "Christians" with a fantasy persecution complex. Any day of the week.
Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2023
People have been telling me that my thinking is abnormal for as long as I can remember. And I absolutely get that. It's not like I don't see it myself. My brain is just wired different, it's a part of who I am, and people can either choose to accept it or move on and (wisely) forget all about me.
A perfect example of this happened last night.
I was scrolling through Facebook and a video of a cat lounging in front of a window popped up...
Except... where is this?
And, all of a sudden there's my brain going into an obsessive state and I simply must know where this kitten lives or else my head will explode. It's like a puzzle I can see but nobody else cares.
First thing I did was see the tower in the background. That could be from anywhere because a lot of cities have towers like this. The difference being that this one looks like it has giant windows for an observation deck. It's not just a boring radio and communications tower like so many of them are.
Then I looked at the roads. The traffic drives on the right. That excludes Japan, Great Britain, and all the colinization on behalf The British Empire (Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, etc.). But there's something strange here. Not that they drive on the right-side... but that they're offensive about it. Look at all those arrows! And this got me to thinking that maybe this country is next to a country that doesn't drive on the right, so they are plastering it everywhere to make sure they see it.
My brain immediately went to China, for some reason, which meant this could be Hong Kong or Maccau. And it ain't Hong Kong.
So I did a search for towers in Maccau and, sure enough, there was "Maccau Tower" and it's a visual match for the video.
Then I saw the Casino & Hotel Lisboa building, and immediately felt stupid. This is an iconic architectural structure that I would have recognized immediately if I had not been so focused on the tower.
So then I was off to Google Maps to see if I could triangulate a position.
It wasn't difficult. Between the geographic features, the design of the grass patches next to the river, Maccau Tower, and Casino Lisboa... the answer was pretty obvious...
Fortunately my brain was satisfied with that level of cyber-stalking and I didn't feel the need to track down the person and the floor of the building! That would be too obsessive, even for me.
And this is the kind of thing that I do all the time.
Which would be fine if it were happening at normal hours and not at 1am in the morning.
Posted on Thursday, September 7th, 2023
One of the things that keeps me so firmly embedded in the Apple ecosystem is that everything works together. You don't have to do anything special, they just work.
Except when they don't. Like
HomeKit HomeShit, which is so fucking flakey as to be useless based on unreliability. Sometimes things work. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes things which worked forever randomly stop working (Currently the automation which turns the garage light on when the pass-door is opened has stopped working. The door sensor is fine. The switch is fine. They are both connected to HomeShit. But the automation fails even when deleted and re-added).
But the thing which really fucking enrages me is iCloud.
It's not that your computer will stop working with iCloud and you can just log out and log back in to get things working again... it's that individual services will randomly stop working and then never fucking work again no matter how many fucking times you log in and out.
All everybody ever says is "Make sure Bluetooth is on, make sure WiFi is on the same network, make sure syncing is enabled, then log out of iCloud and log back in." Except that has NEVER worked for me. Not once.
Just look at this idiotic shit...
|iMac M1||MacBook Pro M2||Mac Studio M1 Ultra|
Syncing iPhoto libraries doesn't work on my iMac. But everywhere else is fine (including on my iPhone and iPad) even though syncing is slow as shit. And since there's no manual SYNC NOW command, there's no way of telling iPhoto to sync things you know are there. Even quitting the app and restarting doesn't force a sync. It just sits there like a stupid pile of shit until you either reboot your machine or it randomly decides to sync things.
Syncing iMessage doesn't work on my MacBook. Well, it will sync if the message was sent/received from Apple devices... but if you send to a non-Apple device via SMS, then tough crap... absolutely NOTHING will get those to sync. Ever. Logging out and logging back in. Quitting and restarting. Rebooting. Turning off sync and turning it back on. NOTHING!!!
Airdrop is ridiculously finicky. None of my computers work perfectly every time. But my Mac Studio at the office will never successfully receive a fucking thing. You'll see an alert saying that the file is been received. The download folder in my dock will bounce like the file is there. BUT THE FILE IS NEVER, EVER FUCKING THERE! Th only way to receive a file from my laptop or iPhone is via iMessage, since that is mysteriously working.
Keychain Sync always seems to work. But sometimes it takes a fucking eternity to sync depending on which device made the change.
It's maddening how much time I have wasted trying to get this idiotic shit working. Scouring the internet. Leaving messages in forums. Reading every technical document I can find. And it's all for nothing.
And of course Apple doesn't give a fuck. Big companies never do if it's not threatening their profit margins.
Posted on Friday, September 8th, 2023
I don't really give a crap about President Biden... but I was pulling for him to win the election for the side-benefits. Including the fact that Ajit Pai, one of the shittiest fucking assholes on the entire fucking planet (who would gladly kick a puppy in the head for a nickel) would most certainly be demoted as FCC Chair (though with Biden, there were no guarantees).
And don't feel that I'm being particularly abusive towards Pai... I feel the exact same way about anybody who opposes Net Neutrality.
Rather than be demoted, Pai resigned. Which would most certainly make my Best Moments of 2023 List, if I had one. When I heard the news I yelled "THANK YOU! Now take your stupid-ass giant coffee mug and fuck off, you boot-licking piece of shit!"
I really, really wanted Gigi Sohn in the FCC. She would have lead the charge to have a free and open internet for everybody by going after shitty fucking telcos and cable companies who want to impose fees for accessing certain content, blocking content of their competitors, slowing internet speed to squeeze money out of everybody, and generally making the playing field as uneven as possible so what kind of internet you have depends on how much additional income you have to throw at it. But Republicans fucking hated her because they're sucking telco and cable company dick for cash at the expense of the people they represent (and some like-minded Democrats opposed her as well) so there was no way she was going to be confirmed.
Her replacement nominee, Anna Gomez, isn't the attack dog I was hoping for... but her support of net neutrality WHICH EVERY AMERICAN, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, SHOULD 1000% DEMAND... makes her a good choice, and I'm shocked she managed to get confirmed. Five Republicans who give a fuck about the internet being a tool for everybody did their damn job and crossed party lines to vote in favor.
But of course assholes like Ted Cruz, who never met a corporate dick he refused to suck for cash and never met a person he refused to exploit for fun, is railing against her.
How the fuck these clowns continue to get elected just boggles my mind. They OPENLY AND ACTIVELY WORK AGAINST THEIR CONSTITUENTS IN FAVOR OF THE CORPORATIONS THAT OWN THEIR WORTHLESS ASSES! And Lyin' Ted's sycophants just eat this shit up... believing that net neutrality is a bad thing, because Cruz brands it as "Obamacare for the internet." And Ted knows that they won't research what it ACTUALLY IS because saying "Obama" makes it automatically bad. Even if it's a fucking lie.
Jesus. When is a giant meteor just going to eradicate the earth?
Posted on Saturday, September 9th, 2023
I don’t trim my cats’ claws. And I would NEVER de-claw them.
They don’t scratch where they’re not supposed to, and take care of their own claws with teeth manicures like they would do in nature, so I don’t see the point in putting them through the trauma. BUT EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE... a week ago Jake was pushing Jenny out of the way so he could eat her dinner when he still had food. So I gently moved Jake back to his bowl.
Which startled Jenny.
Which startled Jake.
WHO THEN RAN ACROSS MY FEET WITH CLAWS OUT... tearing them up...
The left foot only bleed for about 15 minutes. But that puncture wound on my right big toe? That bleed like for an hour. Funny thing is that the puncture wound doesn’t hurt at all. But the scratches are incredibly painful. Oh well. Cats, amirite?
Jake's still a good boy though. As the weather gets colder and colder, he's been sleeping up next to me like I'm a hot water bottle...
His favorite spot is right behind my knees, every night...
This morning I woke up at 4am, then went back to sleep. When I woke up a couple hours later, I couldn't move. Jake was on top of me...
And of course I just lay there until he decided to climb off of me. I'm pussy-whipped like that.
Posted on Sunday, September 10th, 2023
I don't know who needs to hear this, but life is indeed good... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Not Nice! It has been a tough time for Hard Rock properties around the globe. A number of them have closed this year, and last night it was announced that the cafe in Nice will be closed by the end of the week. The cafe itself was kinda boring on the inside, but it was still a nice place with beautiful views...
I visited in 2014. This was the infamous trip where I was hit by the shuttle that took me to the airport. In the end, it's just a restaurant... but I do feel bad for the people who worked there and built a family around it.
• Scuttlebutt! Look, there is no denying Halle Bailey's talent. There was a reason she was cast as Ariel in the live-action The Little Mermaid remake, and it had absolutely nothing to do with Disney being fucking "woke" or whatever racist bullshit people are claiming. Because holy crap is she fantastic...
That being said... this was a wholly unneeded remake of a classic film because they didn't try to do anything new or revolutionary with it except add a couple songs (including the gut-wrenchingly awful Scuttlebutt). The sea creatures were scary as fuck because they looked so weird. The guy playing Prince Eric was okay, but has less charisma than his animated counterpart. While I like Awkwafina, she was horrifically miscast as Scuttle (Buddy Hackett made him absent-minded and charming, Awkwafina just made the character stupid?). Melissa McCarthy was good casting, but as much as she relished in the role, she paled in comparison to the late great Pat Carroll as Ursula. Also I agree with the criticism of the makeup...
On the plus side, the special effects were actually pretty great. But that's hardly enough to make it a good use of your time.
• Oxygen! Wow. The more you know (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@joespinstheglobe if you smell something burning *after* the masks come down, it's probably this thing. If beforehand... 😬 #science #travel #medicine ♬ original sound - JoeSpinsTheGlobe
Science is darn cool.
• Nice Dress! It's so simple. Just be kind... and correct where needed to continue to be kind...
Why are there people who would rather be a fucking asshole about it in these situations where it costs $0 to just be kind? I saw this pop up somewhere in social media, and thought how nice it was that this guy's day was made just because somebody wasn't an asshole. Couldn't we all use a little of that?
• MangaManga! I gotta say... so far as manga adaptations go, One Piece feels pretty spectacularly faithful. The casting is flawless. And, let's face it, that's where the series was going to live or die. How they found their Monkey D. Luffy is close to a miracle, as Iñaki Godoy is Luffy come to life. And Nami, Shanks, and Zoro are straight out of the books too!
On one of my trips to Japan, the manga was all the rage, so I looked up the English translation when I got back to the US (thanks, Viz!). I've been addicted ever since. The Netflix show makes me want to re-read it from the start.
• Circle, Send! If you have ever watched the absurd Reality TV game show on Netflix called The Circle, you know how batshit insane it is. Leave it to Jake Cornell to completely summarize the insanity in a TikTok. This is painfully accurate (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@jakewcornell It’s always like this. #TheCircle #thecirclenetflix #comedy ♬ original sound - Jake Cornell
I swear, some comedians are more brilliantly able to explain things than an entire textbook.
• MAX... Prices! Warner Bros. Discovery Says Ongoing Strikes Will Mean $300M-$500M Hit to 2023 Earnings. Guess it's going to be time to raise the subscription price to HBO Max. Again. They don't give a fuck about the people making their content... they sure don't give a fuck about their customers (except how much money they can wring out of us). It's absolute madness how they were bragging about how much money they were going to SAVE because of the strike... and now they're watching people unsubscribe in droves because they raised prices and customers mad about paying more for the new content won't get... so now they're going to LOSE money. Good. Couldn't happen to a nicer conglomerate. Fuck Warner Brothers-HBO-Discovery and and their idiotic fucking leadership who have brought this entirely on themselves. If they sink under their stupidity, that's one less service I'll have to rotate through. Which is fine by me.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
Posted on Monday, September 11th, 2023
I keep saying that my post from 2016 is my last word on 9/11. I keep finding new things to say (but if you want to read that post, here you go: The Last Night of the World).
The reason for this is because the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 will hang like a spectre over this country for a very long time. It's the most deadly terrorist attack in human history, it took place on US soil, and that ain't disappearing any time soon. 2,403 people died at Pearl Harbor and look how Pearl Harbor is still with us almost 82 years later. 2,996 people died in the 9/11 attacks. And when you consider that those born directly after the attacks are now 22 years old and that some of those have had children... we're now two generations after the fact. That's a while.
Yet in many ways it seems like yesterday.
Regardless of how it feels, the 9/11 conspiracy movement only seems to be growing.
And of course there's people who buy into the bullshit because they never meet a conspiracy theory they didn't choose to believe. At this point I'm waiting for aliens to be blamed, because what else is left? All I know is that it's incredibly disrespectful to those who died and the people who cared about them.
But anyway... back to the something new I was talking about.
It's the dogs of 9/11, and it's remarkable (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@weratedogs Remembering The Dogs of 9/11 ❤️ #weratedogs ♬ original sound - weratedogs
We Rate Dogs is one of my favorite TikTok accounts to begin with. But this took it to the next level for me.
Posted on Tuesday, September 12th, 2023
Today was Apple Event Day... titled Wonderlust. No idea how what they presented is a combination of "Wonder" and "Wanderlust," but that's marketing for you.
If you want to watch it, the full video is on Youtube here. If you want it condensed down to 17 minutes, then The Verge has got you covered...
My comments (since I know you're dying to hear them) are below...
Transition has been complete to Apple Silicon. Though I still think that the Mac Pro is a bit nonsensical which, if not really Apple's fault... it's due to Apple Silicon not really being conducive to external upgrades for memory and such.
Really nice that Marques Brownlee (MKNHD) got a shout-out as an important voice to quote. He definitely deserves that.
They don't give us any new AppleVision Pro news, except to say that what's being developed for it is incredible. I don't doubt it. I truly don't.
I have an Apple Watch Series 6. There was zero incentive for me to upgrade to Series 7 or 8. Sure my battery dies too soon and I have to keep the always-on display off, but it's otherwise still perfect for my needs. And now here's Series 9.
The chip that runs the latest and greatest is truly impressive... now featuring Machine Learning Neural Cores so that many of your Siri requests run on-device and are more accurate. I would hope that even those commands which have to go out over cellular data on my iPhone will be speeded up as well. Specifically, telling my garage door to open. I think that this will be the case, because the command will just be issued while (hopefully) instead of a round-trip to have the command processed?
I use my watch to find my iPhones more often than I'd ever admit. Apple Watch now has the ability to find it with a directional beacon. This is a bit nicer than triggering an alert noise and having to try and listen for it. I leave my iPhone in all kinds of places... in the garage... outside... whatever... so this is good news for me (and my cats, who scamper when they hear that alarm going off).
2000 nits brightness on the screen. So good. That's double the Series 6 I have, which is more than adequate in all but the brightest of sunny days.
One-handed gesture for double-tap. This is straight out of the AppleVision Pro handbook. Watching it in action on Apple's demo video makes it look like a very cool thing to have. I know I would start using it from Day One, because I'm always reaching for the button.
Available in Pink! But I want that (Product)RED watch with a black band... it's actually what I wanted last time, but you can't get a different color band when you go with Product(RED).
Apple's first carbon-neutral product. Good on them.
Octavia Spencer as Mother Nature? Well, I guess if you gotta go with some stunt casting on a stupid promo video, Octavia Spencer will make it look 100% less stupid, so there's that.
Apple is reeeeally pushing sustainability in all aspects of their operation. It's great and all, but I'm wondering if anything is being done about taking care of their workers better. Because putting nets on their buildings to keep employees from killing themselves by jumping off is not exactly a solution.
Despite the fact that much of what Apple is doing to "save the planet" is highly beneficial to them (whether by act, deed, shipping costs, or tax write-offs) it's still a cool thing to be doing. If most companies acted like this, it actually would benefit the planet. Though "carbon offsets" are dubious at best, and there's loads written about how they're kinda a scam. Maybe Apple is different, but yeah... this is benefitting them too. Don't assume otherwise.
Apple abandoning leather is nice for me, who wants to kill as few creatures as possible. The only things I bought made out of leather is some of my shoes and the Apple Wallet on my iPhone. This will give me one less thing, because when my wallet wears out, I'll switch to a non-leather one.
Still too big for me and my pencil-arms.
3000 nits display. Insanity. That's fully-readable in full sunlight.
Better, faster, yada yada. This is not a watch for me, but it's very capable with many cool features for outdoorsy type people.
Oh gawd. Pastels?? Why? Are they popular again? I'm not seeing it. I'm mad enough that Apple used pastels on their iMacs. And no purple? WTF? At least they have black as an option for people who don't want a pastel.
Dynamic Island for everyone! I have to admit this is a pretty cool idea I use often (and a great way to conceal the cameras).
The glass tech on the back will never be not cool.
Camera improvements are always a given and, as usual, some of the tech is filtering down from the Pro models. I mostly prefer Apple's take on photography over their competitors, and knowing Apple wants their lesser model to keep pace is nice.
The ability to switch focus after the fact is the real power of computerized phone cameras over DSLRs. There have been attempts to do this for years, but Apple's take is the first way to do so without penalty.
A16 Bionic is inherited from the iPhone 14 Pro. A very good chip indeed.
Ultra-wide-band chip has been improved to have more precision finding. That's great news for people who rely on FindMy like I do!
Voice Isolation is a cool feature, but I'll be interested to hear how Apple's implementation is. In the past, the technology has been hit-or-miss.
Find My over satellite? Was this already a feature that I didn't know about?
Roadside Assistance over satellite is handy. I dropped AAA, but if I were driving in isolated places, I would re-up my membership.
Satellite services free for two years. What happens after two years? Time to get a new phone? $1000 a month? What?
USB-C. About FUCKING time. Jesus. Lightning was great TWENTY YEARS AGO! Though the fact that large files will STILL take forever to transfer because they are using
Here we go... the whole reason I tuned in. Will I be trading in with my iPhone Trade-In Program... or waiting a year to own the phone I have outright?
Titanium frame. Well that looks expensive. Though the lighter weight might be worth it. And it sure is pretty with that brushed texture.
The display has the same specs as before... just with a smaller bezel. This results in a slightly (probably unnoticeably) smaller size phone. Considering I buy the Max model, even a tiny bit is appreciated, though this is clearly nothing to be excited about.
Blergh. Once again, the Pro models don't get fun, bright colors. Always the more "refined" look... which is a bit of a bummer. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD... GIVE ME MY FUCKING (PRODUCT)RED PRO MAX, APPLE! The Blue Titanium is so dark as to be fairly black (like the purple I have now), so I might go with the Natural Titanium color if I upgrade, just to have something different. I'd have to see them in person. The option of White Titanium is puzzling. It's like... why bother? It's close enough to Natural as to be moot.
The Action Button is a smarter use of control real estate, that's for sure. And being able to customize it is pretty great. I'd probably use it for camera, but who knows?
"Standby Mode" only works if you have a charging stand that supports having the phone display sideways. Since I've got a Google Hub as a clock (to instantly view my Nest Cams), I'm probably taking a pass and not buying a new stand if I upgrade.
Welp. We knew it was coming... 3 nanometer chips. It seems more like a concept that's more science fiction than reality. At some point, I wonder just how much speed and power a phone actually needs. Regardless, the power-savings and heat reduction will always make the smaller chips worth having. But I'm puzzled that battery life is still clocking in at the same as before: up to 29 hours video playback? Shouldn't it be better than before? Or did they shrink the battery?
It will be interesting to see the speed benchmarks of the A16 Bionic vs. the A17 Pro. I am expecting it to not be a serious increase for normal use, but will obviously be better for gaming and such.
The GPU capabilities are impressive as hell already. Now we're getting an additional GPU core for added capabilities. Realtime ray-tracing is cool for gaming... and 3D applications across the board, if that's your thing.
A video just to focus on gaming. Amazing that CONSOLE GAMES can now be ported to play on a frickin' phone without dumbing down the visuals or play mechanics. That'll sell a few iPhone 15 Pro Max handsets!
The base model starts at 256GB, double the minimum as before. That's what I got last year because I wanted to shoot the ProRes video at maximum (which won't work on 128GB models). So the cost, for me, is the same as last year. The rumor mill was saying that there would be a hefty price increase, so this is a pleasant surprise.
This is really all I care about, so it's getting its own section.
All lenses seems to have an improved anti-reflective coating, which is great.
As expected, all the Photonic Engine routines are getting improvements. Making it easy for anybody to get amazing shots. There's nothing that Apple didn't demonstrate that wasn't incredible.
The telephoto lends upgrade is pretty sweet. 5X Optical Zoom on a 25% larger sensor (although the aperture is the same across the board). That's on the Max. The regular-sized phone is sticking with 3X. The "periscope prism" design of the lens allows a lot of focal length in a small space... which is superior to janky digital zooming (which is not exactly janky on an iPhone since their neural engine rendering helps out quite a bit).
The shake-reduction should be better given that the 15 Pro has double the speed of micro-adjustments than the 14 Pro. This is very cool, because as good as my current phone is, there's definitely room for improvement. And on the Pro Max you've got 5X telephoto, which will make good stability a must-have feature.
The wide-angle lens macro mode is looking pretty great. Though the macro shots I am getting out of my camera now are also pretty great.
And here it is... direct recording Pro Res video to an external device via
Case in point...
Spatial video recording is now an option... of course. This allows shooting 3D photos and movies for the AppleVision Pro. This alone might make it worth upgrading if that's you, though if you're going to drop the money for an AppleVision Pro, you certainly don't need to worry about the cost of upgrading your iPhone.
Interesting to note that Apple is adding 6TB and 12TB storage options to iCloud. Their storage is already so expensive that I can't imagine how much this will cost.
The iPhone mini is officially dead. If you want a tiny phone, you're out of luck with Apple. The small phones never got the features I wanted, so they were never an option for me... but some people will rightfully be upset. But not enough people to keep Apple making them.
Apple didn't mention it in the presentation, but MacOS Sonoma will be releasing on the 26th (iOS 17 releases on the 18th). This is not a feature-heavy, revolutionary release, though there are a few low-key features I'm looking forward to.
Another nugget not mentioned... the iPhone Pro and Pro Max are Thread-enabled for Matter (the new smart home standard) which is interesting and cool. I haven't switched to Matter yet because HomeKit it bad enough without inviting more trauma. Eventually I will be switching because HomeShit is SO FUCKING BAD that I can't stand using it (the latest... telling Siri to turn off my table light turns off my kitchen lights).
Dunno if I'll be upgrading my Apple Watch. Again, there just doesn't seem to be much there to justify the cash outlay. Where's the new sensors they're working on? I keep waiting for some massive feature to debut that I can't live without... and it never comes. What I have is plenty (especially HomeKey, which I love for unlocking my doors).
While the Apple Watch Ultra is not for me... I cannot wrap my head around a display with 3000 nits brightness!
The new iPhone, however, is definitely appealing. Slightly, slightly smaller size... albeit with a tiny bit more thickness... plus a drop in weight (240g to 221g) is welcome but not critical to me. The extra GPU core and better speed are also not critical, as I am not running hardcore games on my iPhone (unless you consider Hello Kitty Island Adventure to be hardcore). I love the idea of
Apple will give me a $115 credit on my Apple Watch Series 6. Honestly, that's double what I was expecting. I seriously thought it would be a token $50 for something that's three generations old. And so... that, along with the Apple Card 3% discount, drops the price of upgrading to something I can stomach (in monthly payments with 0% APR, of course). Since the only way to get the Apple (Product)RED watch I covet is to get it with the (Product)RED band, I just did it. I can alway buy the black band later. Because holy crap does that look amazing...
So I guess I actually will end up with only a $65 credit since that black band will cost me $50. Dangit.
Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
Today's extra has naughty music videos. If you're sensitive to explicit sexual content (in a bad way) then please, for God's sake, don't press play on them.
Maybe it's the anarchist in me, but I relish the disruptive subversion of type. Really I do. And in all of its forms. Political disruptive subversion is my favorite, because I just love it when that rare politician decides to fuck over the establishment to actually live up to the ideal of a government of the people, by the people, for the people. When they're telling lobbyists and corporate political owners to fuck off, I'm... dare I say it... gleeful. And how could I not be? That's America right there.
Disruptive subversion is fantastic when it comes to art. Some of the best art comes out of playing against types and norms of the day. It's wonderful when it comes to food. This is how vegetarians like me end up with so many terrific culinary options rather than just having to stick with a salad. Cinematic disruption has lead to groundbreaking trends that keep us from being stuck in thematic ruts. The list goes on and on.
But this post is going to be about disruptive subversion when it comes to music.
I'm a huge, huge fan.
It's how I got into punk. It's what drove me to appreciate metal. It's how I ended up a fan of old-school rap. Using music to throw a middle finger to establishment is a time-honored tradition. Not just in the USA, but in countries around the globe. If there's a protest against something, you can bet that somebody somewhere has used music to lash out.
Which brings us to Dixon Dallas.
Last night I was scrolling through TikTok while waiting for an important email response to come through. Then proceeded to fall down a rabbit hole of epic proportions because of a song called Good Lookin' by the afore-mentioned Dixon Dallas.
Now, there's a lot to unpack here.
First of all, I have listened to music of all genres where there's been explicit sexual content. There are rap artists built on the concept. But this is the first time I've ever heard explicitly gay sexual content.
My first reaction was to laugh. It was such a shock as to feel like parody. Except... Dixon Dallas seems like he's playing it straight. So to speak. He wasn't making fun of the idea of gay sex, he was singing about explicit sex that just happened to be with a man.
Which took me back two years ago to this sexually explicit country song by Trey Lewis, which is arguably far more raunchy than Dixon Dallas. But it doesn't get the same harsh reaction because it's not gay...
Country music is being pushed into territory that's far beyond the boundaries it started with. Country used to be regional, then it went global. Country used to be all-white, then we got loads of non-white country artists. Country used to be straight, then along comes k.d. Lang, T.J. Osbourne, Brandi Carlile, Lil Gas X, Orville Peck, and many more... and then it isn't.
It should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody that there are calls to cancel Dixon Dallas. But you might be surprised to find that some of the calls for cancelation are coming from the gay community.
Buckle up, because here's where it starts getting strange.
Because Dixon Dallas is not Dixon Dallas. Dixon Dallas is a character played by musician Jake Hill.
Jake Hill crosses all genres, having released songs in rap, rock, metal, punk, pop, and now country. Many times these songs are focused on queer love and gay sex. And that's where the questions start. Is he a straight guy queerbaiting the gay community? Is he a straight guy making fun of the gay community? Is he gay? Bisexual? Well, according to this interview I found with his Dixon Dallas alter-ego, he says that it doesn't matter what he is, that his music speaks for itself, and he's not commenting on his sexuality right now (though apparently he was linked to a girlfriend at some point)...
He says "My music is kinda a big fuck you to my past," which is the Conservative South he grew up in. And that's why he does it. He's being a disruptive subversion to country music which, as I've made clear, is something I value highly. So good on him.
And his songs, as gay and explicit as they may be, are damn catchy...
People are going to feel about Dixon Dallas however they're going to feel. From what I can tell, his motives seem genuine (and he's genuinely talented), regardless of what his sexuality might be and who he really is. But if you want to feel that he should be canceled because he's too gay, too filthy, too explicit, or too offensive to country music... you do you, I guess.
As for me?
Keep being a good kind of disruptor, Mr. Dallas.
Posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2023
Love her or hate her... Katie Porter always brings the receipts and always knows the score. And what this doesn't show is that AMERICAN TAXPAYERS fund some of the R&D that goes into these drugs in the first place and get high prices in return. But Big Pharma has a massive lobby that doles out billions to buy off our politicians so they tell us lies.
This isn't just Republicans... a lot of Democrats are sucking Big Pharma dick. Here in Blue Blue Super-Blue Washington State, our Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell voted against cheaper drug re-importation from Canada out of "safety concerns" because of all the massive deaths in Canada from their un-safe drugs that you read about in the news every day. Oh... I misspoke... that doesn't exist. Nope. It's just bullshit to cover the fact that they take money from Big Pharma and are safeguarding their billions in profit...
If they took money out of politics so that politicians would have to service their voters instead of servicing the dicks of corporations for cash, how much better off would this country be?
I don't know.
But I'd sure like to live there.
Posted on Friday, September 15th, 2023
All week I've been trying to finish up a project that should have been finished last week. But something always came up. Which is why I was doubling down in committing myself that, come hell or high water, I would finish it up today.
And then I went in to the office. And was immediately hit with numerous crises that had nothing to do with my job, but needed to be handled by somebody which, alas, ended up being me.
Needless to say, I never even got to touch what I was planning on working on today.
Which means I'm working this weekend.
I thought Fridays were supposed to be the best day at work?
Posted on Saturday, September 16th, 2023
Sleeping arrangements for my cats is ultimately wherever they feel like it. And they are happy to sleep just about anywhere. Although this time of year they're mostly sleeping with me as a human hot water bottle because the temperatures are falling and I haven't turned on my heat yet.
Jenny has been sleeping in kitty beds scattered around because they are insulated and keep her warm...
Another favorite spot while in the living room is the backs of the couches. I usually have a blanket folded up over one spot, which they started fighting over, so now I unfold it out across the entire length so they can both lay on it...
Something Jake likes to do is wait until Jenny has fallen asleep next to me... then wedge himself in-between us so he can use Jenny as a pillow. Sometimes she swats at him or runs away... but other times she seems okay with him being annoying...
Once the heat is turned on, they'll probably go back to sleeping near the vents. It's the most comfy place to be. Which reminds me... I need to reverse the direction of the ceiling fan in my bedroom.
Posted on Sunday, September 17th, 2023
It may be getting cold enough that I'm contemplating turning on the heat, but it's always warm on my blog... because an all new Very Special Video Edition of Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Kookaburra! Now, granted, I would not want this outside my window (and I remember them very well from my trip to Australia), but it's sure nice to admire them from afar...
So cute. Are there any baby creatures that are not adorable?
• Andor! Diego Luna is precious and life-affirming. This entire video is fantastic...
On top of that? He's a remarkably gifted actor. I am dying for the second season of Andor to arrive.
• ¡Yo Quiero! "It's the same thing in a different thing." — HE'S FIGURED IT OUT! HE'S DISCOVERED THE TACO BELL FORMULA!
LOL. These foreign takes on quintessentially American things never gets old!
• Does Whatever a Spider Can! Video games have reached the point where you're basically playing a feature film. This looks incredible...
This was a Spider-Man game when I first started playing...
Insanity. And soon we'll have much, much better VR experiences, which could take it to an even more immersive level.
• Unreal! If you want a look into the absolutely fascinating world of 3D computer graphics, this is an amazing behind-the-scenes look at how photogrammetry works...
Now, I've written about the Unity gaming engine a couple times before. The stuff people are doing with it is breathtaking (including companies like Lucasfilm and Marvel using it for producing their projects). It is an amazing, amazing tool. Unfortunately, they've just unveiled a hugely controversial licensing model, which is gouging game developers in a terrible way. It's easy to say "Just switch to a different gaming engine if you don't like the cost!" Except video games take years to develop. Even for large studios with hundreds of employees. So if you've been working on a game for two or three years... how can you afford to switch to a different engine? This is a major deal. So major that some game projects are being canceled... and some developers are going to switch engines despite the additional time needed...
Of course the people behind Unity deserve to get paid for their hard work. But to kill developers to get there seems like a horrifically bad business model. Hopefully they will re-evaluate what they're doing and come up with something more reasonable.
• SCIENCE! Despite an inexplicable (and highly selective) anti-science movement by fucking idiots, science marches on. And this is fascinating...
Fascinating and scary. Plants screaming? But in brighter news... research into Alzheimer's just keeps advancing. Very promising that one day we might have a cure.
• HomeShit! For anybody saying that I am exaggerating about just how fucking shitty Apple's HomeKit is, this guy is a total expert and even he can't solve the problems he's been having. He finally ended up resetting and rebuilding his entire HomeKit setup...
If I get this desperate, I'm just going to bail on HomeShit altogether and go with Matter and some kind of smarter home hub (like Homey Pro). In the meanwhile, I am just applying Band-Aids to try to solve the massive fucking problems I'm having. As an example, I just installed a light and motion sensor in my garage as a backup to automatically turn the light on when the doors open since HomeShit automations keep dying on my door sensor for some reason (even though the light switch and sensor itself is operating perfectly).
And on that happy note... enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
Posted on Monday, September 18th, 2023
I worked 11-1/2 hours today. I'm done.
Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2023
This morning I checked into Facebook, which is a morning habit I can't seem to break. After scrolling for a minute, a friend posted this...
"I have a trans friend who lives in Chicago who was working as an aide in an after school program. The company she worked for was contracted by the school district and they were based in Indiana. As a result, she just got fired for being trans, because that's the law in Indiana now, even though she works in Chicago. She was legally fired because she is trans, and for no other reason. She has no legal recourse for this. This is the country we live in."
After reading it, I commented thusly:
American Freedom: where you’re free to be who we say you can be, not who you are.
I've written a few times about my friend Margot... who is one of the most funny, generous, kind people I know. She's a good member of her community. She works hard. She pays her taxes. She never had a bad word to say about anybody. And she's donated tons of her times to causes she believes in. By every metric you can throw at her, she's a model American citizen. And proud to be one.
Margot isn't a close friend. But we do keep in touch. We exchange memes. We share life's happenings. We talk about our hopes and dreams. I love her as I love all my friends. She is inordinately special to me because of who she is as a person.
Which happens to be a trans woman.
I'd say that this has absolutely no bearing on our friendship, but how could it not? Her being a trans person has shaped her into the person I care about so much.
She's been physically assulted twice. That I know of. The last time, she had to be taken to the hospital. What made her deserving of the attack? She was walking home after meeting up with friends. She got assaulted for merely existing. All she's doing is playing the cards she was dealt to the best of her ability, and that was enough reason for her to be beaten. And this doesn't even account for the number of times she's been verbally assaulted, which I'm sure is a lot. I know how people are.
Which is to say that I know how society has conditioned them to be.
And it starts from the very top.
Anti-trans legislation is spreading like a plague, and good people just trying to live their lives are suffering because of it. People hate them, and want to write that hate into law, so they do. It's not just Indiana, just look at this map from TrackTransLegislation.com...
So, yeah, our laws are conditioning our citizens to hate Margot for absolutely no reason. They don't care who she is as a person. They don't give a shit what's in her heart or how much she does for others. And yet they elect people who do heinous shit (like passing laws against her) just because they can. She's done nothing to anybody, and yet here we are.
God bless America. This is the country we live in.
And of course the excuse is always about "protecting women" or "protecting children" or some such bullshit. If "protecting women" were true, they'd be passing laws guaranteeing women's right to abortion care, but instead women's lives are in mortal danger because if something has gone wrong with their pregnancy it's illegal to help them in places. If "protecting children" were true, they'd be passing laws against churches having access to children, but instead kids are being sexually assaulted in record numbers by churches. Every time I've seen an anti-trans argument comes up, it's easily refuted. There are still people out there who believe that a seven-year-old can walk into a hospital and demand sex-reassignment surgery and get it, which is a lie. And despite the fact that hormone blockers have been used since the 1980's... for forty years... for all kinds of reasons (and are reversible) there are people who believe that they are dangerous instead of saving the lives of trans kids.
So miss me with your anti-trans bullshit.
Because all of it is just people being suckered into a huge misdirect. They don't want to persecute the untouchable politicians, pastors, and priests who have actually been sexually assaulting kids, so they blame it on trans persons and drag queens so people have a place to focus their faux outrage.
Which is grounds for actual outrage.
And yet an awful lot of the 99% of people who aren't trans persons don't give a shit. On the contrary, they actively participate in the massive misdirection going on, gleefully and willfully ignorant of the fact that it protects those who are the real danger to others.
It seems to be the new American Way.
And what American Freedom has become.
Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2023
The Maui wildfire that devastated a community has provided too many sad stories all too regularly. Victims are still being identified six weeks later, wealthy real estate predators are descending on people to buy their land, and people are struggling.
But amidst all that... there's hope.
The Maui Banyan Tree, planted in 1873 and aged over 150 years, was horribly burned in the fire. But today I saw this...
Life sometimes finds a way.
Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2023
I'm just going to be brutally honest: I am getting all the vaccines. I 1000% believe in the same science that's eradicated polio and allows me to have a phone /slash/ computer /slash/ camera in my pocket. So long as there's something that is tested and proven to help people survive COVID, I'm here for it. Especially as I get older and COVID keeps roaring back with new levels of hospitalizations and death.
I've got cats that are counting on me to be alive.
Today I got the new 2023 Super COVID Vaccine. The only reason I waited so long is that there were no appointments available when it arrived here on Tuesday. They don't have Pfizer in my neck of the woods yet, so I snatched up Moderna SpikeVax. My first dose was Pfizer so I've gotten all my boosters from their releases... but I researched and found that's not necessary any more.
This was COVID mRNA vaccine dose No. 6 for me and the easiest one yet. Zero arm soreness. Zero reaction.
I hope I didn't get a dud!
Next Friday they're having flu vaccinations at work and I'm getting that one too.
And when I'm eligible for the RSV and Pneumonia vaccines, I'm fucking rolling up on those two as well. If there's something out there to add any measure of protection in my declining years so I have better quality of life or... you know... don't end up dead? Bet that I'm in line for it.
Interesting to note that I was told by the nice lady jabbing me that there are no more boosters. It's just an annual COVID shot like the flu shot. I didn't know that. I'm a bit concerned at this though. Last I read they were worried that vaccine boosters weren't lasting the 6 months it took to get the next one... now they're lasting a YEAR? Here's hoping.
I never eat at Taco Bell anymore because I just can’t afford it, but I needed something to distract me from the fact that I’ve got THE DEVIL’S mRNA RUNNING THROUGH MY VEINS. My lunch with no drink: $18. Wow...
Remember when Taco Bell was affordable food?
It doesn't help that I have to pay for meat I have them take off.
But hey... it was delicious as always.
Posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2023
Today I was much like a kid at Christmas given that my new Apple Watch Series 9 and iPhone 15 Pro Max arrived. It happened the morning I was hanging out with my friends, so I was anticipating the transfer from my old phone to be shit-butt city as we went bar-hopping and I was climbing on and off Wi-Fi all afternoon.
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Unlike last year when I upgraded to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, everything went off without a hitch. Well, almost. There's one teeny tiny problem that's giving me fits, but I'll get to that.
As I mentioned during the keynote, I had zero intention of upgrading my Apple Watch Series 6. There just doesn't seem to be anything worth upgrading for. Well, except having a new battery, since the one in my old watch would no longer last the day if I had the always-on display set to "on." Still. With the display off except for tap-to-wake, I easily made it through the day and it did everything I needed it to do.
What tipped the scales for me was the fact that Series 9 does most all Siri processing locally. Which means that simple requests aren't passing through the cellular radio on my iPhone for a round trip that causes a noticeable delay. And, sure enough, the Apple Watch is really quick with Siri requests, which makes the price of admission worth it for me (once you factor in the $115 that Apple will give me to trade in my old one).
But it turns out this isn't the best part of upgrading.
The display is not just brighter... it's bigger!
It's five o'clock somewhere...
I have to get the little watch since, as you can see, my arms are so thin. The Series 6 is 40mm. The Series 9 (in red) is 41mm. But there's also the fact that the display goes out further to the edges. Everything looks bigger. Very nice.
The double-finger-tap control works as advertised. Everything is very zippy. Fast and smooth. Overall, a good upgrade from where I was. I dunno if this is a worthy upgrade if you've got a Series 8, but for me it was a good choice.
I gave serious consideration to skipping an upgrade for a year so I could own my iPhone 14 Pro Max outright. But ultimately I figured one of the benefits of being in the Apple Upgrade Program is getting the latest and greatest, so I caved. Mostly because I use it more as a camera than a phone and the 5× optical zoom lens plus claims of better night photos swayed me. Along with the fact that iPhones hold their value well... but not so great that I'm leaving loads of money on the table from what I can tell looking at the 13 Pro Max used market.
Camera aside, I honestly don't notice a big difference with the 15. Sure it's a touch lighter, but all the things I like are mostly the same and the one thing I hate (Apple's silicone cases do not stay attached like they used to) is also the same. It's fast. It's capable. It runs all my apps very well. The end. Maybe I'll buy a game that has ray-tracing to see how that looks. Stunning, I'm sure.
Setup was far, far better than the past two years. Pairing my new Apple Watch was seamless. Everything copied over just fine. The only problem I have is that my phone app shows a red badge notification with a "1" in it... even though there's no fucking notifications when I look everywhere in the app. I've restarted three times and shut it down once. No joy. I finally just turned off badge notifications. Hopefully Apple will fix this shit one of these days. UPDATE: Turned off my iPhone for 20 full minutes then restarted. That did the trick.
Other than that, my complaints are A) They don't have a (Product)RED silicone case for it... B) The new Action Button is a cool thing, but it's WAY up on the side, so it's only hand if you're holding your phone horizontally... and you can't customize it for double-click or triple-click, and... C) The blue that I got is pretty much black with a blue cast... in the right light. And it's like... what's the fucking point? You've already got a black phone. So why not make a bright red (Product)RED phone or something that will truly look bold and different? Why do Pro users always get fucked with these boring-ass "premium" color choices? Of course, I'll take these over the fucking PASTELS that the regular iPhone 15's got. Because yikes. Those look like total shit. Maybe I should have gone with Raw Titanium color to have something different? Meh. It doesn't bother me that much. It's just disappointing.
Lastly there's USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 which will allow you to transfer much, much faster than Lightning (480 megabytes per second vs. 10 gigabytes per second). If you've got the right cable. And it's about fucking time. Jesus. Apple puts these massive sensors in their cameras and allow shooting RAW, but it takes an eternity to get them off of it because the resulting files are huge. I didn't even bother to shoot RAW, because it can take days to get them all in your computer to actually work on them. I've got USB-C 3.2 cables, so maybe now I will. Thank you to the EU for mandating USB-C on all phones... otherwise Apple would probably stick with obsolete Lightning ports for years longer. The one thing I don't understand it why they didn't just go with Thunderbolt4 (100Gps) compatibility to really make it worthwhile. Guess they're saving that to get you to upgrade in the future? In any event, you can record ProRes 4K 60Hz video directly to an external SSD now, which is pretty special.
First a caveat on that spiffy new 5× lens. It needs good light to function. If you don't got that, it switches back to you main camera. This did not happen with the 3× lens on my old camera. At least not that I recall. This is a pretty big downgrade, if you ask me. It may very well be a deal breaker for some people who would rather have a 3× lens with more flexibility. As for me? I'm greedy. I wish we would have gotten both. Add a fourth lens on the Pro Max to get the best of both worlds! Or, ideally, give us a 3× and a 10×. UPDATE: If you want to force the camera to use the 5× lens in low light, some third party camera apps (like Halide) will let you.
That being said, when you've got some light it's very nice. This was shot in a bar with not great lighting, but look how good it turned out at 5×! Very sharp and the color is beautiful, despite the fact that we're very clearly entering HDR "Deep Fusion" territory here...
That's pretty impressive... but the main lens really looks great...
Interesting that Apple now calls the "Main Camera" the "Wide Camera" and the "Wide Camera the Ultra Wide Camera. Note that the "Wide Camera" has a goodly number of pixels more than the previous generation (but with bigger files, natch)...
Now... I have only had the camera for a tiny amount of time. I will obviously be taking more photos and a closer look at the features and quality sometime soon (especially when it comes to being able to change the focal point after the fact... because in playing around with it, this is a very cool feature). And of course I'll want to look at how well it shoots ProRes video (especially its ability to shoot LOG video that can be color graded easily and pushed in directions you can't get easily otherwise).
But last thing I want to say before I go is how Apple's claim that the new camera has "seven lenses" is not quite the bullshit it seems given that there's only three lenses on the back. The main lens allows you to use "virtual lenses" that crop into the data with common focal lengths (24mm, 28mm, and 35mm). But you still end up with 5712×4284 images, which means that Apple is upscaling or doing some kind of magic to get there. And the result is very good. I did the same thing in Photoshop to compare, and Apple's method always comes out on top. Which means that they must have specialized computational photography routines to come much closer than a mere crop.
Ultimately I don't know that going for the upgrade was the best choice for me. I likely could have gotten along with the 14 Pro Max for another year without issue. But as somebody who likes any improvement Apple will give me on the cameras, the 15 Pro Max will likely make me happier overall.
Until next year.
Posted on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023
How I know that it's time to haul out the electric blanket and the heating pads for the cats?
They start using me as an electric blanket. I mean Jake usually sleeps with me...
but when it gets colder he's on top of me...
And if he can't squeeze between my feet, he'll sleep on top of them...
As for Jenny? She's been squeezing beside me on the couch when I'm sitting length-wise on it. But now? She will dig behind me even if there's no room to use me as a heating pad...
And so... I put out the warming pads for them...
And so... I guess they've got their favorite place to sit for the next five months.
Posted on Sunday, September 24th, 2023
Summer is gone. Fall is here. But not everything is getting colder... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Sloth! Maybe the sweetest thing you'll see all day...
Now that's a grateful mom.
• Name! Maybe the coolest thing you'll see all day...
• Death Cab for Postal Service! The Postal Service and Death Cab For Cutie are on tour... which I already would love to see. AND THEN...
Depeche Mode's influence is a joyful thing to see. If only old Depeche Mode was more influential on new Depech Mode.
• And Cake! I knew that Fiona and Cake was going to be glorious... the bizarre, weird, wonderful world of Adventure Time couldn't HELP but be glorious... but it's so much more than that...
I honestly don't understand how they come up with this stuff. Every detail is sweated to a ridiculous degree. Cake the Cat is more like a cat than a real cat.
• YAS, QUEEN! I need to start carrying one around in my pocket! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
That could never be me. But I find Bee TikTok to be fascinating.
• Swim Creative! He looks so happy. But I’d probably look that happy if I were going to be gettin’ some too! (here's a link in case TikTok is being a dick)...
@creaturevids Part 1: Puffer Fish Constructs A Masterpiece of Love #love #pufferfish #ocean #fypシ゚viral #animals #fish ♬ original sound - CreatureVids
• Still Disgusting! Good job Michigan on banning child marriage! They've done more than Washington State has. If you want to marry a child in this state that's 17, all you have to do is get parental permission. ANY AGE LESS THAN THAT just requires a redneck judge to sign off on it. ANY. AGE. Want to marry a 10 year old? You can in Washington State if you find the right judge! 5 year old? Cool beans if you find the right judge! — This is categorically fucking disgusting. And if you read into this, it goes much deeper than the creep factor of an adult being able to marry a child. Children often cannot get support for domestic violence from a spouse... they get turned away at shelters because they can be "unsafe for children." WAY TO GO WASHINGTON STATE! Any of our legislators want to fucking DO something about this? Nah. They got lobbyist dicks to suck for cash. Fucking assholes. Not only should every last one of these mother fuckers who aren't ACTIVELY WORKING TO CHANGE THIS be removed from office... they should be thrown in fucking jail. I am NOT kidding. This is gross negligence and party to child sexual abuse of a minor.
And now I'm off to clean my kitchen.
Posted on Monday, September 25th, 2023
My favorite comic strip of all time, hands-down, is Calvin and Hobbes. It's a joyous, imaginative, beautiful look at life through the eyes of a child and his imaginary tiger buddy. It hits in a way that's far different from the other strips I love... like Peanuts and The Far Side. Thanks to The Complete Calvin and Hobbes book set, I've re-read these strips dozens upon dozens of times. They never get old. And the minute I reach the final strip I have to resist the urge to go back and re-read all of them again.
I mean... just look at this genius...
The massive volumes of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes are really tough to lug around. So now the strips are being collected into small paperback sets that are easy to toss in your backpack or read on a train or whatever. Set 1, Volume 1 of The Calvin and Hobbes Portable Compendium was released back in August (Set 2 releases next March). They're fantastic...
It was while looking to see when Set 2 was being released that I waded through the massive number of illegal Calvin and Hobbes merchandise that Amazon allows on their site. And when I found this video...
My opinion of Calvin and Hobbes is always stratospheric. There's really no way it could be any higher. But I do enjoy hearing other people's take on why they love it.
Maybe one day a strip will come along that I end up liking better, but it seems to doubtful because it would have to be better than perfection.