Being Left-Handed

May 12th, 2020

Technically I’m (sort of) ambidextrous as I play guitar, drums and use a mouse right-handed. We lefties understand we are always fighting (and having to pay extra) for the “left-handed version of $x,” but it didn’t dawn on me until the other day that notebooks are biased as well!1

I keep various handwritten journals / log books and it dawned on me while smudging my way through a note the other night that maybe I don’t actually have terrible handwriting. Off-the-shelf Moleskins and the like have been working against me all this time. A quick search led me down a rabbit hole of techniques I should have been taught as a child in grade school o_O

Let me explain for those of you “normal” people…

We are plagued by over-tight grip, smudging (we push rather than pull the pen) and some of us develop a “hook” writing style where the hand is hooked around the top of the writing line in attempt not to smudge the work.

The binding issue is laid out perfectly by Mike Conklin over at the Gear Patrol site (I’ve never heard of this site until my search) and he even offers a notebook brand I may try in the future.

With any of the thicker, more substantially bound notebooks on the market — the Moleskine being the perfect example — the spines are so stiff that they don’t stay open. For a right-handed person, this presents less of a problem, as they can fairly easily use their left hand to hold the notebook open while writing freely with their right. For me, this is not the case: the cover of the notebook and whatever pages I’ve already used fall to the right and essentially lean on my left hand as I write. It’s insanely uncomfortable, and, worse, makes it extremely difficult to get to the left-most portions of the page I’m trying to write on. Think I’m being dramatic? I probably am, but still.

https://gearpatrol.com/2018/03/23/the-perfect-notebook-for-left-handed-people/

Smudging… as writing left-handed means I’m going inward and my sweaty palm is smearing the ink as I write. The trick seems to be in paper placement and the tripod grip an inch from the tip.

Place your sheet of paper a little to the left of the center of your body, and turn it clockwise by about 30 degrees. It helps force your hand underneath the writing line, as opposed to trailing directly behind it. This prevents your hand from obstructing your view of your writing, and also eliminates the problem of smudging.

https://www.bustle.com/p/8-hacks-that-make-life-as-a-lefty-easier-25970

Two other useful tips are flipping your notebooks upside down and work from the back and to also use a ballpoint pens as they have quick-drying ink.

  1. Did you know millions of lefties die every year using products designed for right-handed people? []

Mastering Pizza

May 3rd, 2020

My wife has mastered the dough and I do my magic.

Bash Support for BBEdit

April 27th, 2020

A port of Bash Support for Vim, utilizing Clippings in BBEdit to auto-complete headers, shell statements, redirection.

https://github.com/drewdiver/Bash-Support-for-BBEdit

Solarpunk

April 21st, 2020

I was introduced to the “Solarpunk” movement over the weekend via the Imaginary Worlds podcast. I’m big on Cyberpunk as an aesthetic and form of entertainment, however, the future it paints (and in most cases has already become a reality) is quite grim.

Solarpunk on the other hand…

Solarpunk is about finding ways to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow us – i.e., extending human life at the species level, rather than individually. Our future must involve repurposing and creating new things from what we already have (instead of 20th century “destroy it all and build something completely different” modernism). Our futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk’s potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, generativity, independence, and community.

https://hieroglyph.asu.edu/2014/09/solarpunk-notes-toward-a-manifesto/

Getting Started with Mosh

April 17th, 2020

I find I’ve mostly been managing my Raspberry Pi’s via the Blink app on my iPhone1. It is an open source and feature rich SSH/Mosh client. I had vaguely heard of Mosh (the Mobile Shell) but never felt a need to look further. After a dist-upgrade and long apt update && apt upgrade -y, config cycles I would get the boot from SSH after my phone locked and found that I would do more steps to disable (and then re-enable) sleep until I was done.

So what is Mosh?

Remote terminal application that allows roaming, supports intermittent connectivity, and provides intelligent local echo and line editing of user keystrokes.

Mosh is a replacement for interactive SSH terminals. It’s more robust and responsive, especially over Wi-Fi, cellular, and long-distance links.

The key features are:

  • Mosh automatically roams as you move between Internet connections. Use Wi-Fi on the train, Ethernet in a hotel, and LTE on a beach: you’ll stay logged in.
  • With Mosh, you can put your laptop to sleep and wake it up later, keeping your connection intact. If your Internet connection drops, Mosh will warn you — but the connection resumes when network service comes back.
  • No lag like with SSH which waits for a server reply before showing your typing.

I’ve basically started to install Mosh on any server I manage… hit the jump for a quick setup guide pertaining to Mac usage!

Read the rest of this entry »
  1. Blink is also great if you work a lot with an iPad Pro! []

Windy Walk to Djurgården

April 17th, 2020
Photo taken by my wife, not a COVID-19 passerby.

Reading in 2020

April 16th, 2020

So far I’ve closed out four books! My aim is always fifty books.

  • The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace (5/5)
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney (3/5)
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (5/5)
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. (5/5)

If there was ever a time to revisit The Jungle, it’s now. Though, depressing as hell, it’s (sadly) still as relevant as ever. Having been published over 100 years ago (again, sad) it details the plight of the worker (a Lithuanian immigrant by the name of Jurgis) under the crush of capitalism, its unsustainable over-extraction and destruction on everything it touches (life, soul, the earth). With the pandemic, it’s definitely showing capitalisms unpreparedness, weakness and breaking point. The world cannot continue under these circumstances, I think COVID-19 is earth’s warning shot1.

  1. It’s a wonder the amount of infestation, disease and greed didn’t lead to our own downfall at the turn of the century in the stock yards of Chicago. []

Back to Normal?

April 11th, 2020

“JAY: You know, Olaf Blentner once said to me, over tea, that when reality is unpleasant, realists tend to be unpopular.”

This quote from David Foster Wallace’s The Broom of the System kept popping into my head the other day. I’ve always been a realist (which is not so popular) but in these times I find I’m very unpopular.

As in, don’t look to me for affirmation that life will be “back to normal” by this summer or any time soon for that matter.

Unplug

April 10th, 2020

via shawnblanc.net on “If you work with your head, rest with your hands.”

I am spending hours each day, staring at a screen, having meetings, and making decisions about how to best navigate my business through this season. It is refreshing to step away from all of that and into the workshop, put on my gloves, and get to work.

My life’s dilemma is for both music and technology (sys admin, development, scripting). Making music is working with your hands (guitar, percussion, keyboard, modular synthesizers) though it’s remaining indoors moving from my work Mac to my studio Mac and continuing in front of a screen navigating software. There’s no escape.

Zenburn for BBEdit

April 9th, 2020

Being grounded for the foreseeable future has allowed me to finish up some lingering projects. I’ve made an adaptation of Jani Nurminen’s Zenburn color scheme for BBEdit. I use Zenburn across all my favorite applications and up until now BBEdit was the odd one out. Feel free to use, tweak and send pull requests.

The source, install instructions and screenshot can be found on my GitHub.