Just this past Wednesday I found myself in a conversation about what is woke and what is anti-woke, as the person who I was talking to didn’t understand. I think anti-woke as it is being used is easier to define. Basically, whenever someone is claiming they are anti-woke they mean they oppose the enforcement of beliefs upon themselves or others. For some it’s simply the label for ideas they don’t agree with or norms/rules they don’t want to abide by. I think at the root of this issue is a decrease in tolerance for each other. As an example, one side may say one must use proper pronouns in reference to a person, the other side says that one must not be forced to use certain words or have to listen to one other’s beliefs because listening is the same as indoctrination. There is no effort made to meet in the middle because each side wants their way, one side says they are just being polite, the other side says they are just using common sense.

This YouTube video of A History of Rock in Guitar Riffs from 1965 to now is really cool.

I expect the Silicon Valley Bank collapse is going to be quickly politicized. Before we get to who is doing what wrong, there should be an attempt to explain to the average American why it matters to them. These situations keep coming across as simply bail outs for rich people making mistakes, at the expense of the average person, and while that is true some times, it is not true all the times.

Last night we had thunder and lightning during the snow storm, our first experience of thunder snow. Endured several brief power outages while trying to watch college playoff hockey. (Let’s go Tech!) Woke up to see some of our bushes crushed and several trees with branches forced low due to weight of the wet snow.

To say it’s been a weird winter is an understatement.

Dave writes of the wish for the ChatGPT web site to render results so that he doesn’t have use screenshots. One can interact with ChatGPT via its API, I followed the instructions here to write my own script that I can keep running in a terminal window on my computer. Here is an example of copying an answer (result) to question I asked via the script to my day notes log.

We have another winter storm warning today, expecting snow to start around 1 PM and go throughout the night. I think that we have had a very mild winter, with very little action up until the last three weeks. During these three weeks we have alternated between spring and winter, with two ice storms and now the one today. We are now in meteorological spring, meaning temperatures are now warmer on average than during the winter. The constant big changes certainly bring the average up.

Today is the 25 year anniversary of Apple discontinuing the Newton Messagepad. The Messagepad was the first Apple product that I purchased, having long desired but not affording a Mac. I went in to debt to by the Messagepad because I saw it as transformative. Although it was over-hyped and set up for failure, it consider the Messagepad as the great grandfather of the iPhone. Most who know Newton at all recall its failures at handwriting recognition, a technology that today works very well and hardly talked about. As far as I know, Newton was also the first commercially available object oriented operating system that provided functionality not to dissimilar what assistants do today, 25 years ago!

Comcast has data caps and overage charges for most of their broadband customers, which conflicts with the idea of providing customers with higher bandwidth. I could pay $30 more per month to eliminate the cap, but do I really need gigabit per seconds speeds? After fix months or so Comcast “upgrades” our bandwidth for free and the only discernible reason is they want to push towards paying them more per month for our Internet service. It all feels like a scam.

I think Dave misunderstands what manton is doing in regards to the character limit. The character limit does not apply to blog posts, the character limit applies to what appears in the micro.blog timeline. As has always been, posts that are longer than X character are linked to the associated blog post that contains all of the content. From my perspective, how micro.blog handles long posts in it’s timeline is the same as how Feedland handles long posts in the feeds list.

Manton could change how the timeline works to expand/collapse long posts like Dave does in the Feedland “news” display, but that is his prerogative as the hosting/platform provider. As a writer, I am willing to work within the constraints that he is providing. I don’t see the constraint as limiting me as a writer in any way because the full content is provided on my blog, which frankly is where I prefer people to actual go and read what I write.

About the church in Laodicea described in Revelation 3:14-22, author Ted Grimsud writes (emphasis added):

β€œThe danger for all the congregations is that they would become indistinguishable from their surrounding culture. In the US, the danger has been that Christianity becomes inextricably identified with the American empire. Then, it seems that the only way to oppose the empire is to reject Christian faith. What a terrible tragedy.”

β€” To Follow the Lamb: A Peaceable Reading of the Book of Revelation by Ted Grimsrud

Still gloomy out. Warm enough for melting but still a lot of ice on the trees.

We got about a third of an inch of ice yesterday.

Blogging from Drummer is now restored, so I can resume publishing of my daynotes. The alias URL that I created now redirects to the new location, which includes my email address. I don’t think I am thrilled about my email address being in the URL, though honestly it’s been so publicly distributed and collected it doesn’t matter, and that is not the address I use for my most important email. I do think that new users should be made aware of how their email address will be exposed.

I have changed the public URL for the OPML file that I use to write posts in Drummer for my blog, and this is a test to see if publishing works. Alas, it is not working. I search Manton’s blog and found the post in which I provided the instructions to configure the public URL of the outline in micro.blog. With luck, now that is done, this should post to my blog. Success!

Googe Nest Hub Disappoints

The Google Nest Hub is frustrating to use because I want to use it as an Android display, as I think I should, but instead it only provides a very narrow set of functions. The most obvious use for me is displaying a local weather radar, which is useful during weather events. A simple way Google could provide this is by enabling Radarscope to run on it.

Today there is an ice storm moving through my area. An option I found is a Michigan weather live stream on YouTube, which I figured I could view on the Nest Hub because it has a YouTube app. Problem is, the YouTube app on the Nest Hub only displays a list of Recommended videos and does not provide me away to select a specific video on YouTube that I can watch. How come Google didn’t provide the FULL YouTube app on the Nest Hub.

I can cast the video from my Pixel 4a to the Nest Hub, but it does not make sense to me that I should have to. I couldn’t even get Google Assistant to display the video I want. some reason why I asked it to display a video from YouTube it wants to cast it to my TV rather than on the display itself!

I use the Google Conversation widget on my Pixel 4a for quick access to messages from my wife and childhood best friend. Of the widgets that I use, this one is the most finicky after a reboot, often not reloading and it seems the only fix is to remove and re-add the widgets.

Today is the first “business” day for updating my /now page, and the process is working very well. I set up the script to run on the virtual machine I use as my personal computer during the work day. Turned out the only real change needed was changing the /Users folder that the Mac uses to the /home folder that Ubuntu uses.

Updating My Now Page

In 2015 Derek Sivers proposed the idea of sharing one’s status by creating a /now page off of one’s web site. The intent of the page is simply sharing what one is doing. The idea caught on and today many sites, some more current than others, have a now page.

I decided to create and maintain my /now page using Dave Winer’s Little Outliner because I felt it was a good editor for this type of writing, and it worked particularly well with another piece of software by Dave called pagePark. PagePark is a HTTP server that renders the OPML files that Little Outliner creates into HTML. Dave hosts an instance of pagePark that is integrated with Little Outliner such that as soon as an outline is saved, the HTML version of that outline is nearly instantly available. Consequently, the process of editing and publishing changes to my /now page was as simple and quick as loading Little Outliner and writing. Low friction increases the possibility of keeping the page current.

Connecting my /now page to my blog was straightforward because the hosting provider makes it easy to create pages that redirect to other pages. Therefore, when you type https://frankmcpherson.blog/now you end up at my /now page. I took the idea of the page redirect off my blog a step further by purchasing a domain, frankm.info, that I configured to forward to the site. If anyone asked me online, what am I doing, I can tell them to simply go to frankm.info to find out.

Over time I expanded beyond the single /now page to add pages that listed the technology that I use and the books that I have read, each with their own alias URL. Using a forwarding URL enables me to move the actual location of the files, update the forwarding destination in DNS, and instances of the alias URL that I have in my writing will point to the current location.

Since the time that I set all this up using Little Outliner, Dave created a new “version” of it called Drummer. I’ve used Drummer since its beginning and always knew that it would some day replace Little Outliner. I didn’t move my informational outlines to Drummer until recently when Twitter made changes to its API that Dave has been using for user identity management and login. Dave announced he would be updating Drummer with a new login process and also move access of it to HTTPS. He stated he did not intend to make changes to Little Outliner, and advised anyone using it to move to Drummer as soon as possible, and at that time I migrated my files over so that I can edit them in Drummer, and I updated the alias URLs accordingly.

Dave had to make the changes quickly because Twitter had not stated a clear deadline by which it would cut off access to its API, and that means prioritizing what he works on first. For example, the blogging capability Drummer provides currently does not work. I am sure that capability will be restored, and Dave will get to it when he gets to it. The “publishing” of OPML files via an instance of pagePark is also lower on the list. Consequently, I started thinking about what I can do to restore my ability to publish updates to my /now page.

One option was to stop using Drummer to edit these pages, but that would create a lot of work moving the content and formattting it. The option that I took was to build my own instance of pagePark. First I tried using an instance of pagePark that I built under a free account at Render. Render only allows HTTPS access and the free account takes the site offline after 30 minutes. When you request the site, it’s brought online but there is a noticable delay. Consequently, I built a new virtual machine using free resources provided by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

I’ve updated my projects outline with the details about how I set this up, it was pretty straightforward after I figured out how to get around firewall issues. What I have is not integrated with Drummer, so there is now a publishing step that involves downloading the files to my computer and syncing them to my instance of pagePark. I can edit at any time with any computer, but publishing is restricted to few computers I’ve set up.

Right now access to these pages is only via HTTP. I’ve looked at the page source for Drummer to see how Dave has changed the includes and I think I should be able to edit the templates pagePark uses with the right form of those includes to eliminate the mixed content errors. I intend to use the instance of pagePark I have on Render to test that work when I have time. If I get access to these files working on Render I will then have to decided how to handle the SSL certificates if I move off Render, which I would probably do by using Caddy.

“We hide our addiction with our liberties. The amount of death that we have grown to accept, the amount of senseless loss of life we tolerate are not signs of a great nation or society.” Indeed.

In my experience, particularly for beta releases of software, it’s common for software developers to compile and publish a known problems list. The idea then is to prevent users from posting already known problems to your support forums.

Look In The Mirror, There Is a Gun In Your Hands

If one is a child, a teenager, a college student in the United States, aware of the realities of the society that they currently live in, how can you possibily conclude anything other than the fact that the generations older, now Millenials through Baby Boomers, don’t care about them at all? It’s seems we have all forgotten the desire for providing our children a better life than our own. Better should be safer. Instead we do absolutely nothing.

I am Gen-X, and to my recollection the last time enough people in power were shocked enough by a shooting was in 1993 when the Brady Bill was passed. Looking back from today, it seems that only the attempted murder of an old white man who happens to be President lead to action. Not murders of elementary, high school, and college students.

I see people of my generation ripping on younger generations as “entitled” and “lazy” and don’t seem to really care why. Might it be that in the United States the probability of a kindergartener experiencing an in-school shooting before graduating high school is greater than zero? I don’t know this is a fact, but I know it’s true, but the fact is that truth does not piss off enough people to take action.

Parents and grandparents need to stop convincing themselves their child will never face a shooting. It’s time to stop numbing ourselves hoping that it will never happen. It’s time to face the reality that it will happen, to your child, someone you love, maybe tomorrow.

Finished reading: Lord, I Don’t Want to Die a Christian by Chandrika Phea πŸ“š

Day 2,920

Mr. Whipple

Finished reading: The Solstice Countdown by Lisa Shearin πŸ“š

The sooner everyone lets go of Twitter, the better. Musk is not a benevolent dictator and you can see that Twitter is going to end up with a Private Equity firm that will be less benevolent.