Beer, fire, and the Imperial March

Finally got my grill down to the house yesterday. It’s been sitting at my parents for years and years, waiting for a home. My wife decided we should christen it with jalapeño poppers, so that’s what I’m doing. A friend of mine made a delicious English Pale Ale home brew that I opened in commemoration. It’s delicious. I only have one more, but I’m really tempted to open it tonight.

My daughter came outside to see the grill and to take a few selfies, because that’s what you do when you’re the father of a five year-old in 2017. We have some smiles and made some silly faces. She kissed me on the cheek and went back inside. On her way in, I could hear her humming The Imperial March.

This is shaping up to be a beautiful summer.

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I know all your graces someday will flower in a sweet sunshower

It was my junior year of high school. I had just arrived at my locker for the day when my friend, Aaron, approached me. He was wearing all black.

“Grunge is dead,” he said to me.

“What?” I replied.

“Soundgarden broke up,” he explained. “Grunge is dead.”

Twenty years later, he got one step closer to being right.

As I’m sure most of you are aware by now, Chris Cornell died today.

Twenty years ago, one of my best friends in the world reminded me of the importance of a band like Soundgarden and its frontman. That same friend saw him this past Sunday, in concert, in Kansas City. I found out about the concert too late to attend and missed it. I feel like I might regret that for some time. My devotion to music as a medium has wavered, in the last few years. It has become more and more difficult for me to listen, simply due to work and having a shitty car with a shitty stereo (podcasts played off my phone sound great, but music doesn’t have the impact it should). As a result, I missed a lot of great music in the last 5 years or so.

Today, I pulled out my headphones, plugged them in, and let the music flow. I discovered entire albums I’d never heard and enjoyed lyrics from one of the great poets of our time, stretched across that unique vocal range Cornell had. It was wonderful. I listened to old favorites and fantastic covers and new works that proved that neither age, depression, nor drugs had dulled the mind of one of the greatest of greats of my childhood.

Cobain. Staley. Weiland. And now, Cornell.

Stay strong, Eddie. We need you now, more than ever. Someone needs to pass the torch to the next generation, before it’s dropped and lost forever.

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Today, I invented an emotion

A writer friend of mine, yesterday, asked for suggestions on drugs that could be used to render a person unconscious when taken orally, but for a relatively short period of time ( about an hour). Many friends, myself included, responded with a variety of drugs that could plausibly be used for such a purpose, especially with a little creative writing (something at which Lezlie excels).

After, she mentioned that she wasn’t sure if she should feel comforted or disturbed. So, not one to let such conflicting emotions leave so vexatious a feeling upon her mind, I invented a new emotion that combined the two. Using this quote by John Kenneth Galbraith, I fittingly appropriated his name:

galbraith
transitive verb  |  gal·braith  |  \’gal- brāth\
1. to instill a sense of simultaneous comfort and discomfort • “Her surprise visit to find me at this secluded cabin that I never told her about has me very galbraithed.”

In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong. - John Kenneth Galbraith

Anyway, I don’t know that it will catch on. But I’m keeping it here, just in case future generations want to know the etymology of the word that best describes the comfortably familiar hellscape they live in after we’ve gone.

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How to protect your iCloud account and Apple devices from hackers both real and imagined

Last week, a news story at Motherboard revealed that a group of hackers claimed to have gained access to nearly 600 million iCloud accounts. Apple has responded to the report saying that there is no breach of their servers, rather the attackers appear to have used the rather large password cache obtained from the massive Yahoo breaches of the last two years. It is likely that the hackers used other data sources to line up those passwords with Apple IDs belonging to the same people. While this means that you may not be at risk if your iCloud account was using a unique password, to be safe, you should probably change your password and enable two-factor authentication.

Why is this security measure important? Well, aside from attackers having access to potentially private information stored in your account, iCloud contains a security measure that allows you to remotely erase your iPhones, iPads, and Macs if they are ever lost or stolen. This feature is called Find My iPhone (or iPad or Mac). If your account has been compromised, and Find My iPhone is enabled on any of your stuff, then your devices can be wiped remotely, against your will. This is what the hackers have reportedly claimed to do if Apple does not pay their ransom by April 7th.

News flash: Apple will not pay the ransom.

So, for your protection, I suggest following these steps to allow you to keep your accounts and devices safe. Because no one wants lose all the pictures of their food they’ve taken for the last 10 years. I stole these instructions from Apple’s own support pages, so if you feel like you need more details on these, check out the original links by clicking on the links below.

Change your Apple ID password
  1. Sign in to your Apple ID account page.
  2. In the Security section, click Change Password.
  3. Enter your current password, then enter a new password and confirm the new password.
  4. Click Change Password.
  5. Sign in with your new Apple ID password to access Apple features and services.
Turn on two-factor authentication for your Apple ID

Two-factor authentication is currently available to iCloud users with at least one device that’s using iOS 9 or OS X El Capitan or later. Learn more.

You can follow the steps below to turn on two-factor authentication.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 9 or later:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > tap your Apple ID.
  2. Tap Password & Security.
  3. Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.

On your Mac with OS X El Capitan or later:

  1. Go to Apple () menu > System Preferences > iCloud > Account Details.
  2. Click Security.
  3. Click Turn on Two-Factor Authentication.

If you already use two-step verification, turn it off, then turn on two-factor authentication.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204915

 

That’s it. Hopefully, everything will work smoothly and you can move on with your life, stress-free. If not, give Apple a call and they can help you ensure that Two-Factor Authentication is enabled, as well as confirming that the only devices confirmed with your account are those you own and trust.

Posted in Apple, iPhone/iPad, Random Acts of Technology | Leave a comment

There are, like, a crapton of iOS sales right now

Like, so many that I don’t even have the strength to write a paragraph about each of them. I’m just going to link to them here. You should find the ones you’re interested in and check them out. Or just buy them all. That works, too. Whatever. They’re all on sale, possibly through Christmas, but you should probably buy today, just to be safe.

Infinity Blade – $0.99

Infinity Blade II – $0.99

Infinity Blade III – $0.99

Waking Mars – $0.99

Transistor – $2.99

Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition – $2.99

Prune – $2.99

Attack the Light – Steven Universe Light RPGFREE!

Space Age: A Cosmic Adventure – $0.99

868-HACK – $2.99

Banner Saga – $4.99

Tales From Deep Space – $1.99

Til Morning’s Light – $1.99

Lost Within – $1.99

The Martian: Official Game – $0.99

Hitman Bundle (Hitman GO & Hitman: Sniper) – $0.99

 

Also, pretty much every Tin Man Games gamebook is on sale, so if you’re a fan of Gamebook Adventures or Fighting Fantasy, you will probably find something to love here.

Posted in iPhone/iPad, Random Acts of Technology, Video Games | Leave a comment

September 22, 2015 – Tool-assisted poetry

from heaven above, beneath, and among,
these dark waters filled this world

if some dæmon in love bewrayeth more woe,
what shall betiden of necessity make?

till thou com’st home, thy sweet voice afar confounds me.​
— Written with assistance from the Creative Writer keyboard app for iOS.

I’m quite enjoying this app. A friend of mine sent me one of her poems last week, and it was very beautiful—far more beautiful than my own, in afraid. I’ll have to ask her permission to share it.

Anyway, I performed edits to this one after it was finished, as some of the word choices I was given this time were the wrong tense or worked well if there was another word placed before it that had not been offered. The coolest thing, though, is how well it gets the mind turning. I could very easily see poems born entirely of this app by someone that knows not what they wish to write, but that discovers it upon looking at the words they have writ.

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September 16, 2015 – Tool-assisted poetry

i will never forget july,
and all the little emptiness it creates
for her love was mine
and all the world was bright


The above poem was written using Creative Writer, an iPhone app that replaces the keyboard with a list of words that are suggested based on context (kind of like iOS’s QuickType feature on steroids). Be sure and check it out.

Posted in iPhone/iPad, Poetry, Random Acts of Technology | Leave a comment

Silence, Facebook!

Or, wait… Is it “Silence Facebook”? Are they silencing Facebook or telling Facebook to–what? They’re here? Oh! They’re here!

Hello, reader!

Did you recently update to the latest version of Facebook on your fancy, schmancy iPhone only to discover that it plays annoying bleeps and bloops every time you do anything?
Well, talk about a first-world problem! There are kids starving in… somewhere. I forget where kids are starving these days. When I was a kid it was either India or China. But I’m pretty sure they’re starving elsewhere, too. Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, you want your $800 pocket computer to just SHUT UP when you’re busy trying to see if the girl you had a crush on in high school is finally single so you can finally get up the courage to—oh, come on, who are you kidding? You’re not asking her out. You’re pathetic. But, hey. You still don’t need to broadcast to the room that you’re Facebooking when you’re supposed to be paying attention in the HR meeting that is only happening because you (once again) made inappropriate comments to the receptionist.

Dick.

Anyway, here’s how you turn it off. And since I know you barely read, I put the instructions in picture form. And made it all one picture, because I know how hard it is for you to click or tap on more than one without getting bored.

IMG_7761

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The Vanishing Game

I wrote this post months ago and never published it for whatever reason. I’m posting it now, as it’s still relevant, but it was written back in February.

So, I found this pretty awesome website a couple months back, but never set aside the time to check it out. It’s a story written by William Boyd that is pretty fucking sweet. Sort of a paranoia thriller, it looks like. I’m only through the first chapter.

Anyway, the website scrolls the text over background images and movies while it’s narrated by the main character. You can click on certain key words to get access to additional images and whatnot. Not all of them, but sometimes.

Of course, it was paid for by Land Rover, so one of the key words in the first chapter brought up photos people had posted to Twitter of their Land Rover with a certain hashtag. But other than that, it’s pretty awesome:

https://thevanishinggame.wellstoried.com

You can also pick it up for the Kindle or as an Audible book at Amazon for free.

Or, if you prefer, you can pick it up as an interactive iBook for the Mac or iPad.

Or just as a straight epub for iPhone.

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Presidential Playlists

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times posted a story containing two Spotify playlists hand-picked by President Obama. Since I don’t use Spotify, I decided I would rebuild the playlists in Apple Music so that I could listen to them there. Since I went to all that trouble, I figured I’d also share them with anyone else that was interested. So, here you go.

PresidentPlaylistSummerDay

The President’s Summer Playlist: Day

PresidentPlaylistSummerNight

The President’s Summer Playlist: Night

Posted in A Day in the Life | 2 Responses
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