I have not yet been successful in getting an appointment to receive my Covid vax, not for lack of trying, but because there are not1 enough appointments available. I assume as more doses are made available due to President Biden’s team pushing, I’ll get one in a month or so.
Last weekend, the City contracted ZocDoc.com to handle the appointments available at a FEMA run site at United Center. It did not go smoothly. One would think ZocDoc would have scaled up their infrastructure in anticipation, but you would be wrong. 110,000 people were able to get appointments, but many were not, including me.
For me, I was able to select a time, date and could see the magic button that said, “Book appointment”, but there was a last part, required by ZocDoc.com, where they needed to verify my phone number by sending me a PIN. I was stuck on this last step for about 30 minutes, waiting for a PIN that never came. After a moment, ZocDoc.com would give an error code, and I would re-enter my cell number, and so on and so on. After 30 minutes, I accidentally typed the wrong area code, and went to the final step, but of course, I didn’t get the PIN, someone in Detroit did. I then thought to use my Google Voice number that has a different area code, and this worked, but it was too late. I lost my appointment. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I have confidence that I’ll be able to book an appointment, eventually, before the spring is over.
For me, I use this to emulate listening to an LP in iTunes. Sometimes I only want to hear a particular side of an LP that I’m familiar with. I don’t want to shuffle it, I don’t want to hear the whole thing, perhaps I’m listening on my headphones while on my treadmill, or walking around avoiding carjackers or whatever.
In the pre-digital days, you put an album on your turntable, and only one side played. If you wanted to hear the other side, you had to get up and flip it. Or you could listen to something else.
Producers or artists sequenced their albums accordingly. There were many heated discussions about which track came first on a side, which track closed the side, yadda yadda.
Of course, you can choose which tracks to listen to in whatever order you choose, even on a vinyl record, but it takes more effort.
The genius of Join Together is that once you create the music file, you can just queue that one file.
1. Select the files which constitute a side of an LP. For instance, today, I used Glass Eye’s Hello Young Lovers2 – looked up the track order at Discogs.com, and copied the tracks that were on side A to Join Together.
2. In Join Together, entered in the “Name” field, “Hello Young Lovers – Side 1”, and also added the phrase “JoinedTogether” to the Grouping field.
3. I personally make every digital file as large as possible so they sound better, so I chose 320kbps as the export.
4. After the merged AAC file is completed, it is added to my iTunes library.
5. I use the Grouping field so that I can add all of these album sides to a Smart Playlist3, and also exclude it from certain Smart Playlists4
6. Then duplicate this procedure to create Side 2. Voilà!
Double LPs take longer, or triple LPs like Sandinista! give 6 files, or maybe even less…
There are some LPs that I always skipped a certain song, this can be recreated in Join Together. For another favorite album of mine, Meat Puppets II, when I used to play it in my college years, I always skipped Side 1 track one, and started on the second song. Sometimes I would play the 1st track later at the end, but I felt strongly that the first song, Split Myself In Two – a punk thrash song – didn’t fit with the mood of the rest of songs. Later on, after some other songs played, it was ok to hear, but not as the first song. So when I created this LP in Join Together, I simply put Split Myself In Two at the end of Side 1. Perfect!
Same with some LPs that the CD version added new songs. They don’t always “fit”, so why play them? For instance, the LP of Sonic Youth’s Sister has less songs than the CD version. Skip ‘em! I felt they changed the mood, so why include them?
Anyway, Join Together is well worth the $5 Doug Adams charges.
I haven’t upgraded to a Mac that requires the new version called Music, yet [↩]
which I had on vinyl when I lived in Austin and now own on CD [↩]
I have 10 sides that sync to my iDevices, based on not hearing them in the last few weeks [↩]
specifically, New Rips, i.e., songs that I’ve only listened to less than 5 times [↩]
Sterling Bay is demolishing a former Archer Daniels Midland flour mill in the Fulton Market district, after preservationists unsuccessfully urged the Chicago developer to preserve the buildings.
Demolition of the more-than-century-old property at 1300 W. Carroll Ave. began Thursday. The work will last about three months as the developer eyes a mixed-use development of the site, Sterling Bay managing principal Keating Crown said.
The nonprofit Preservation Chicago has pushed Sterling Bay to keep at least portions of the structure, a patchwork of silos and brick buildings built over time. The mill opened in the late 1800s, and ADM closed it in 2019.
“It’s very disappointing that a first-rate developer in Chicago isn’t able to save an important Chicago building,” said Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago. “This is one of those buildings we felt was important to have saved because of its architectural pedigree, and because it’s one of the oldest mills and food production facilities in the Fulton-Randolph landmark district.”
So much of Chicago’s architectural history has been razed in the last ten years.
Despite how the majority of Republicans looked the other way, Trump is still guilty of inciting insurrection. His role in encouraging terrorists to storm the Capitol building will be remembered by history.
These Senators are all traitors to America:
Bill Hagerty (TN)
Charles Grassley (IA)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS)
Cynthia Lummis (WY)
Dan Sullivan (AK)
Deb Fischer (NE)
James Lankford (OK)
James Risch (ID)
Jerry Moran (KS)
Jim Inhofe (OK)
John Barrasso (WY)
John Boozman (AR)
John Cornyn (TX)
John Hoeven (ND)
John Kennedy (LA)
John Thune (SD)
Joni Ernst (IA)
Josh Hawley (MO)
Kevin Cramer (ND)
Lindsey Graham (SC)
Marco Rubio (FL)
Marsha Blackburn (TN)
Mike Braun (IN)
Mike Crapo (ID)
Mike Lee (UT)
Mike Rounds (SD)
Mitch McConnell (KY)
Mitch McConnell is the worst of these traitors, trying to have it both ways:
The top Senate Republican gave his most damning condemnation of Donald Trump, but said the Senate had no power to convict an ex-president. He had refused to try Mr. Trump while he remained in office.
Senator Mitch McConnell said he believed that Donald J. Trump was undeniably guilty of a “disgraceful dereliction of duty” on Jan. 6, when he incited and then failed to do anything to halt a deadly assault on the Capitol.
“There’s no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, declared Saturday afternoon in an anti-Trump diatribe so scathing that it could have been delivered by any of the nine House prosecutors seeking a conviction.
But minutes before he spoke, when it came time for the most powerful Republican in Washington to hold Mr. Trump to account on the charge of causing the riot, Mr. McConnell said his hands were tied. It could not be done, he argued. He voted to acquit.
“We have no power to convict and disqualify a former officeholder who is now a private citizen,” Mr. McConnell, who said he reached that conclusion after “intense reflection,” said as he delivered a lawyerly explanation on the limits of Senate power.
Offering his most damning condemnation of Mr. Trump to date, Mr. McConnell accused the former president of spreading lies about a stolen election that he knew would stoke dangerous acts by his followers — though the senator said little about his own refusal for weeks to recognize President Biden’s victory, which helped create the conditions for Mr. Trump’s claims to continue to spread, unchallenged by top Republicans.
Watched the new D.C. comic superhero film, Wonder Woman 1984 last night, and in a tiny scene with an actor without a speaking part, there was this shot of an office, complete with a computer that made me giggle.
A Commodore Pet1, complete with a built in cassette deck, presumedly for programs as the floppy disk technology wasn’t advanced enough. The computing power in my old iPhone is leaps and bounds more powerful than that desktop. I wonder if this prop was working, or if the green text on it was just printed directly on the screen. Who would know?
By the way, my quick, pointless review of Wonder Woman 1984: meh. Gal Gadot is beautiful2, but superhero films are empty calories. I watch many of them, but I agree with Martin Scorsese that the genre is not great art. Also, the golden suit of armor complete with angel wings was eye-rolly. Graded on a curve, Wonder Woman 1984 was a solid B. Better than Shazam!, the last superhero film I sat through, but that’s not high praise…
For over 25 years, I have saved various bits of the web on my local computer. Vintage ads, cool graphics, first edition book covers, images of paintings by the old masters and of sculptures, funny cartoons, comic book covers, pulp novel covers, photographs of famous musicians. A version of Pinterest, I guess, but for my own visual education, not the world’s.
For the most part, I have moved all these files into a folder called Odds And Sods, and I use it as the basis for my desktop image on a randomized basis. In the MacOS, one can point the system to a folder full of images, and every 15 minutes (or some other time frame), the desktop image will change to something else in that folder.
However, the files themselves are named haphazardly. Many of them are named something like 2004-1–20-14.38.jpg
This means the image is hard to search for. On my Family Sunday Zoom™, someone suggested using Reverse Image Search, and while that is an excellent suggestion, I feel it is unpractical for the thousands of images in my Odds and Sods folder.
I wonder if there is an automated solution? A software that does the hard work of uploading and renaming images? Especially since when I tried to reverse image search the above poster from the Fraser Label Company, my browser crashed.
Merits further investigation…
By the way, this is the image that I used on my Family Sunday Zoom™, named on my computer: Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 5.06.18 PM.png
After I switched browsers1 I was able to use the Google Reverse Image tool on this painting – turns out to be painted by Pieter Bruegel The Elder and is called “The Battle Between Carnival and Lent,” ca 1559. I had read an article in the Smithsonian about him recently, I think because I was looking for images about the plague in the European Middle Ages.
I still want to be able to do this for all the poorly or obscurely named images saved on my computer.
These opening sentences in a NYT article by Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt made me laugh:
With four weeks left in President Trump’s term, he is at perhaps his most unleashed — and, as events of the last few days have demonstrated, at the most unpredictable point in his presidency. He remains the most powerful person in the world, yet he is focused on the one area in which he is powerless to get what he wants: a way to avoid leaving office as a loser.
A Loser. That is how Trump will be remembered.
He has been a loser for most of his life, but managed to fool some people, some of the time.
I cannot wait for 2021, probably won’t be until spring, but sometime in 2021, Trump won’t be in the news every goddamn day. Glorious silence.
He hasn’t been doing the job of president for most of his term, his lack of work ethic has gotten more noticeable recently:
He is almost entirely disengaged from leading the nation even as Americans are being felled by the coronavirus at record rates. Faced with an aggressive cyberassault almost surely carried out by Russia, his response, to the degree that he has had one, has been to downplay the damage and to contradict his own top officials by suggesting that the culprit might actually have been China. He played almost no role in negotiating the stimulus bill that just passed Congress before working to disrupt it at the last minute. It is not clear that Mr. Trump’s latest behavior is anything other than a temper tantrum, attention-seeking or a form of therapy for the man who controls a nuclear arsenal
A Loser by circumstance, and a Loser by deeds. In other words, Trump is for ever and ever a Loser!
Approaching Northwestern University campus from the south, in Evanston one sunny winter day, I liked how the over-turned dumpster echoes the buildings in the background. Everything1 is technically wrong with this photo, but I like it nonetheless. The cropping is weird, the angle is a little off, who cares. I think it would make a great album cover – there is even some empty space for lettering.
A little more than two weeks ago, the Chicago City Council took a bite at third-party delivery-service fees, imposing a 15% cap on fees that sometimes reached 30% previously.
Tuesday… DoorDash announced the imposition of a “Chicago fee,” a $1.50 charge added to all orders placed at city restaurants.
The new fee is charged to customers, not restaurants, so is not affected by the Chicago ordinance.
Customers ordering through DoorDash saw a $1.50 “Chicago fee” added to their orders. By clicking on that fee, the following explanation appeared:
Chicago has temporarily capped the fees that we may charge local restaurants. To continue to offer you convenient delivery while ensuring that Dashers are active and earning, you will now see a charge added to Chicago orders.”
A kind of fcku you to Chicago diners, I would say.
Chicago Alderman Scott Waguespack agrees with me:
“This disgraceful fee is an outright attempt to pass this IPO of $3 billion,” he said. “Just pile on more fees and pass their IPO; that’s the only thing I can think of.”
Calling it a Chicago fee might also cause customers to think the charge is a city charge, Waguespack said.
“They might think it’s the city dinging them for an extra $1.50,” Waguespack said. “It doesn’t say ‘DoorDash fee,’ it says ‘Chicago fee.’ I think that’s their intention — to stick it to the city.
“It’s that kind of vulture capitalism mentality — we can do it, so we’re going to do it,” Waguespack said. “The billions of dollars (via the IPO, if successful) isn’t enough; they have to take this too.”
Especially in light of:
The sudden onset of the pandemic in March sent the restaurant industry into a death spiral. Working in a notoriously low-margin business, many couldn’t withstand weeks of limited or no indoor dining. As a result, about one in six restaurants nationwide has closed permanently, and as of September nearly three million restaurant workers had lost their jobs.
Under pressure to pay rent and retain workers, some restaurants turned more of their attention to delivery, particularly from app-based companies like DoorDash, UberEats and Grubhub. Few restaurants that hadn’t done delivery in the past had the time or money to create their own delivery service, which typically brings in less money than dining rooms, where customers are more apt to order more profitable items like appetizers, desserts or a second round of drinks.
These restaurants have quickly found that the apps, with their high fees and strong-arm tactics, may be a temporary lifeline, but not a savior. Fees of 30 percent or higher per order cut eateries’ razor-thin margins to the bone. And a stimulus package that would bolster the industry has stalled in Congress, even as states and municipalities enact new limits on both indoor and outdoor dining.
…the fees are also funding a consolidation among the four largest players that together represent an estimated 99 percent of delivery market share and which will give them greater pricing power.
Though still unprofitable, Uber this month completed its acquisition of Postmates in a $2.7 billion deal. And DoorDash, also a money loser, is going public this week with hopes of raising more than $3 billion from investors. DoorDash’s I.P.O. will net already wealthy investors billions in profits, particularly galling as restaurants wither.
Dan Raskin, an owner of Manny’s Deli in Chicago, said his greatest frustration was the companies’ unwillingness to share customer information with him. That means he cannot verify their claims that they are bringing him new customers. Worse, they appear to be using that data to create competing virtual restaurants — which have no dining rooms, offer multiple cuisines from one location and operate only on the apps.
WordPress is really pressing their new-style editor, called the Block Editor. I can’t say I’m very enamored with it, at least in its current iteration. I find the Block Editor gets in my way more often than it is actually useful in creating a post.
Maybe I’m just used to using a 3rd party blogging software (namely, MarsEdit)? Maybe I need to use Block Editor more?
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
My websites were flagged by my webhost as containing malware yesterday. After a little back and forth with them, I decided that I would fix the problem myself to save on the hard costs of hiring an expert. The sites in question1 had been hacked sometime in July, but the hacker’s payload was simply a proof of concept – the hacker created a file called lol.txt on each folder on the root level of my server.
Since I’ve been a customer of this particular webhost for nearly 15 years, there was a lot of extra folders left over from various projects that I didn’t need anyway. I took the time to back every single thing to my local hard drive, and then deleted thousands of files.
The malware was installed as a .php file in the directory /wp-includes in two different websites with a WordPress installation. I could have simply nuked all the WordPress files with the exception of files found in /wp-content but I was curious if I could find more traces of malware. I didn’t have anything else more pressing to accomplish today.
Eventually, I cleaned up all the miscellaneous debris left over from Blogger days, lo so many moons ago, and even delved into my Moveable Type installation from the Golden Era of Blogging. All clear, if clunky.
If you have a moment, take a gander at urbanseens.com or my photo blog to see if they are ok. My webhost gave me the all clear, and restored my sites to the internet.
Being told you have malware is like someone accusing you of having lice or a STD or something”
Whew, that’s a relief to say. Try it, “President-Elect Joe Biden”
Thanks to everyone sane who voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden. I will admit Joe Biden was not in my top three candidates for the Democratic nomination, but I will give him a chance to be a good president. And really, let’s be honest, yesterday’s coffee grounds would be a better choice than Donald J. Trump having a second term.
I took Confutatis Maledictis on September 24, 2020 at 03:23AM
and processed it in my digital darkroom on September 24, 2020 at 08:50AM
Obviously, didn’t take this photo at 3:23 AM in my local time, but there is some bug in the system that insists upon subtracting 5 hours from this automated time stamp. Usually doesn’t matter, but this photo is not of a moon.
According to Google Translate, this phrase means, “Doomed”, but I don’t think that is completely accurate.
When the wicked are confounded,
Doomed to flames of woe unbounded,
Call me with Your saints surrounded.
Once the cursed have been silenced,
sentenced to acrid flames:
Call me, with the blessed.
Truthfully, Mozart’s Requiem came on my iTunes shuffle this morning, and I liked the phrase. Only later did I wonder what confutatis maledictis really means, and researched a bit (including asking my brother who studied Latin in school).