Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset: A Brief Conversation With a Bartender

This past weekend, I met a couple of friends down at Juke’s Ale Works in Elkhorn, NE. It was my first time visiting this craft brew hall and I have to say it has a good atmosphere. It’s located in downtown Elkhorn, which I didn’t even know existed until a few days ago. This is the kind of area that looks like the Old Market of Omaha or many other old midwestern/plains area former trade centers that have now shifted to mostly an array of bars and restaurants.

I’m at the bar ordering from the vast selection of in-house brews. I ended up with an IPA called I‘m Quite Aware We’re Dying, which was pretty good. I got to talk to one of the bartenders there who noticed I was wearing my Modest Mouse shirt. I told him I had seen them at the Maha Festival a few years ago where they were the headliner that year. He then told me he had one of the beers there named after their song “Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset”, in which he said the beer was simply called Pretty Sunset. He said they partially named it that because he wanted it to be where if someone gave it a bad rating on Untappd, the reviewer would then be “talking shit about a Pretty Sunset”.

I definitely got a good laugh out of that one. One of the things I love about craft beer is the various names the beers receive. They’re always unique and sometimes even colorful. It was good to hear the backstory to one of those brews.

A Blank Slate

This is a current shot of my email inbox. It’s empty. Not a thing here. I like it that way. I’m not entirely an Inbox Zero type, but I’m somewhere close. If anything, I’m a neat freak when it comes to any of my tech. I don’t like many icons on my desktop, I use Twitter lists to curate my experience there, and the menu bar on my website here is discrete.

I recently signed up for an account with Fastmail, after seeing it heavily recommended across Micro.blog. I’ve dabbled a little with Hey, but I’m finding I want a little more control in my organization than Hey provides, so I’m thinking of asking for a refund there.

But, the thing I think I’m enjoying the most is having a blank slate with my email. I still have old iCloud and Gmail accounts out there, and they’ll both stay open for my reasons with each. However, the amount of crap that comes into both of those is a bit much. My iCloud email is being forwarded to my Fastmail address, but it’s quickly hit with filters for the smart folders I’ve set up, which are designed to emulate SaneBox as much as possible. There’s also some perks to moving to a paid email service (yes, I’m paying for email), such as pixel trader blocking and just the trust I have that Fastmail won’t rummage through my emails the way Google does with Gmail. There’s also being able to use my domain name.

All of this adds up to me sticking with Fastmail for the foreseeable future. So far, I’m really loving it.

12 South Curve Laptop Stand

I just received my Curve laptop stand from 12 South, so I thought I’d give a quick first impressions review. The Curve is one solid piece of metal with two rubber pads on the forks to keep your laptop from slipping. There’s nothing to set up here and this thing isn’t adjustable at all. It’s meant to be minimal in that regard.

That said, this thing hold my 13” MacBook Air at a great height for me when I’m sitting at my desk. I briefly gave a monitor a chance before this and between the resolution and the way it sat on my desk, it didn’t feel right. This setup with the Curve feels right. I’m only 5’8”, which, I assume, is about average for most people. I don’t have to slouch or anything with how my laptop is propped up on my desk. All this said, I love this thing!

I’m Cooking Again

One thing about having a stimulus payment and a tax return in my bank account at the same time is I have a tendency to go for things I normally wouldn’t under my current budget. One of those things is eating out. The thing about ordering out is you’re not only paying for the food, but also the service. You also usually get more than what would be considered a reasonable portion and in many cases some of the food isn’t worth reheating. This all adds up for some bad cost-effectiveness.

However, since I’ve been dating my current girlfriend, I’ve been cooking at home last night. Last night I took advantage of the nice weather and made some BBQ chicken on the community grill at my apartment complex. It was nice to put together a simple meal like this with some mashed potatoes and green beans on the side.

I really do enjoy cooking, but I often struggle cooking when it’s just myself. I do, however, enjoy cooking for others. I love sharing that. Even better, she’s been cooking more herself because of me. I feel like this could be a place where we bond. I see it as an opportunity to do something together and to share ideas. I look forward to doing more of this.

Now the iPad Pro has to live up to the MacBook Air

Dieter Bohn, writing for The Verge:

In short, Apple’s silicon didn’t just catch the Mac up to the iPad, it catapulted the Mac beyond the iPad. The M1 MacBook Air is fast, responsive, has no fan, runs any Mac app I throw at it (including Intel apps) very quickly, and even can run some iPad apps (though that experiment isn’t going super well). It is easily the best general-purpose laptop I’ve used in half a decade.

That big of a leap can’t help but recast the iPad’s development over the years. As just one data point, I’ve used both iPad Pros and M1-based MacBooks as my daily work computer and the MacBook Air has better battery life. An iPad can last for days and days if you just use it for tablet tasks, but log in to all your stuff and run it all day like you do your laptop and it’ll conk out a few hours short of the MacBook Air.

One of the things that made me look at Apple’s MacBook line again was the gains in performance and battery life. Performance was ok on my 2015 MacBook. Battery life quickly became horrendous, making it a thing I constantly kept my eye on while I was hanging out in a coffee shop working on college course work. That’s not how I want to live.

My 2018 iPad Pro still holds up fairly well for most things I do. I don’t really push it with any kind of video editing too often, so I can usually go a few days without charging it. With how I plan on using the MacBook Air I just picked up, I expect the same kind of charging pattern. Two days in and I haven’t pushed it past 50% battery remaining. I’m more than happy with that.

Picked Up a New MacBook

So, I made the plunge into using a Mac with Apple’s own silicon. I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of months, weighing pros and cons. Today, I flipped the switch.

I have a 2017 iMac on my desk as I type this. It’s a decent computer. The display is absolutely gorgeous. I won’t even say it’s showing its age, as I believe the thing was just a little sluggish to begin with. I’ve seen the reviews and demonstrations of just how fast the M1 Macs are. I’m used to that kind of speed with my iPad Pro and my iPhone. When I launch an app, I see no reason why it shouldn’t load instantly. The iMac was becoming frustrating to use because of this.

Add in the fact I wouldn’t mind a little extra portability and I felt like I reached a tipping point with this machine. So, I looked into how much a trade-in on that machine would be and found it still would take a substantial amount off the price of a baseline M1 MacBook Air, which I picked up this afternoon.

My first impressions of this machine are “holy shit!”. One of the slowest apps on my iMac was Apple Music. We’re talking it would take 30 seconds for that app to load on screen. On the MacBook Air, the icon makes one bounce and the app is on-screen and ready to go. This is how I expect things to work.

One thing I’ve noticed is the screen size. It’s great with the MacBook in my lap. It’s on a desk where I notice the disparity. I’m somewhere between getting an external 27” monitor paired with a laptop stand like 12 South’s BookArc, or just going with a laptop stand like the Curve from 12 South.

One other adjustment is the keyboard. When I’m mobile, I’m used to typing on the Magic Keyboard for the 11” iPad Pro. That said, I think I enjoy the MacBook in my lap better. Between the bigger base and the bigger keyboard, it seems to suit the scenario of typing in my lap. While on the go, I think the iPad Pro will still be my primary travel machine.

Overall, I’m happy with the new machine so far. Absolutely no regrets in my purchase today.

Got Covid Vaccine #2 Today

Received my second vaccine just now. I hope I don’t have the same kind of soreness I had three weeks ago, as my right shoulder is already hurting (I need a massage badly). The process of coming in was the same as before with basically no wait time.

Hopefully this thing is effective and we can all go back to life as normal, or at least some version of that. It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this routine for a year. I know I was one naïve enough to think this would all be over with quickly. Luckily, the end might be in sight.

A Little Spring Cleaning

I took on a little organizational project tonight. I have a lot of t-shirts, to the point where I just decided to hang them up. The problem is I have a limited amount of closet space.

So, I bought another cube organizer to put all those t-shirts in. As a bonus, I could organize them by group, such as band t-shirts, sports, and work.

Anyway, I’m happy with the results. First the before:

And now the after:

Ulysses 22 is out

Ulysses has long been one of my favorite writing apps. The problem I’ve had with it is I’ve not quite had a major use for it. Giving me a main reason could give me a reason to pull everything else into Ulysses as well. Well, with version 22, Ulysses has added support for Micro.blog publishing.

I especially love how they describe Micro.blog:

If you don’t know Micro.blog, you should definitely check it out. It’s like Twitter, only without ads, and without likes or retweets, and without posts that are forced into your timeline, and without a character limit that encourages reduction. It’s also decentralized, you own your content, it has themes, and it’s built by a very cool team of really nice people.

I’ve been using the beta for version 22 for a couple of weeks now, and I can tell you publishing to Micro.blog from Ulysses has been great. I suggest checking it out, along with the other features Ulysses provides.

Hillbilly Headlines - March 20

From Marty & McGee

Gas money to the fullest extent.

My hometown made it!!! Shout out to Pensacola!