Just got my first COVID-19 vaccine

Since I’m an “essential worker”, I received a bit of a bump in the line for the COVID-19 vaccine today. Lord only knows if I’ve been in contact with the virus or not over the past year. It frankly wouldn’t surprise me if I had and was a-symptomatic. I’ve only been hit hard with the flu twice in about 20-some years, so I figure my immune system is pretty strong. Still, there’s no need to mess around with this coronavirus for as nasty as it’s been.

The Process

Everything with my local health department is fairly streamlined. I went to the link I was given from my job, filled in my personal information and selected a time. They emailed me confirming after that.

From there, I drove to the vaccination center which was at Pinnacle Bank Arena. I filled out another questionnaire dealing with symptoms and allergens, then moved through the line to be vaccinated. The whole process once I was in the building took about 10 minutes. From there, I sat around (typing this) for about 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t have any reactions to it. I go in for my second shot in three weeks.

I hope people do get vaccinated, so we can go back to some for of normal life after this. I look forward to enjoying life at its fullest soon.

Stop Asian Hate

Shannon Lee in response to the terrorist attack in Atlanta and the rising tide of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States over the past year:

This is where “kung flu” leads. You think it’s a joke and that we shouldn’t be so serious about it. But then there are those who latch onto it with hatred and xenophobia and use it to fuel their fear and contempt until it explodes into heinous acts. This is what happens when we try to break the oneness into separate parts and decide to categorize and rank the parts as good and bad, better or worse, belonging or not belonging. What would it cost you to decide we are all one family? But really? What is lost by transforming contempt to acceptance? It’s time to look within and ask yourself, do I want to be at peace? Can I operate from love? Will I stand with my human family and embody the end of hate? You’re invited to the family gathering. Please join us.

Shannon Lee

Trying Something New

I’ve had the same haircut for the most part of the last 20 years. Basically, Just a high fade, no guard on the sides and back and a three guard on the top. I was a low maintenance style that I never had to worry about.

Well, I’m trying something new. For really the first time since I was 12, I’m attempting to grow my hair out, at least on top. This isn’t a coronavirus quarantine thing, it’s fully intentional. I’ve liked the style on others, so I’ve leaned on the advice of my current girlfriend1 who’s a hair stylist, and I am attempting to do this the right way.

So far, I like what I’m seeing. My goal is to grow this out long enough to lay back, but even now I’m pleased with it. I’ve been graying over the last few years, but I’m embracing it for the most part. I’ve never been interested in dying my hair, so it is what it is. Let’s see where this goes.

  1. Yeah, I have one of those now. Been going since mid-January. Just not wanting to be that person that annoys people about their significant other. Let’s see who reads my shit, right? But, her name is Tracy and she’s pretty cool. [return]

I Love Time to Walk

Lately, I’ve been using Apple’s Time to Walk feature in Apple Fitness+. Here’s how Apple describes the feature:

An inspiring new audio walking experience on Apple Watch for Fitness+ subscribers, created to encourage users to walk more often and reap the benefits from one of the healthiest activities. Each original Time to Walk episode invites users to immerse themselves in a walk alongside influential and interesting people as they share thoughtful and meaningful stories, photos, and music. Time to Walk can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere with Apple Watch and AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones.

I absolutely love this feature. Most Fitness+ workouts I feel excluded from, either for a lack of equipment, or because I live in a second floor apartment and I recently had a new downstairs neighbor move in. I’m fairly certain they would like me doing some kind of aerobic workout above them.

What I love about Time to Walk is it puts you in to the featured person’s world. For example, I just listened to the walk with NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. The walk is on his property, and you can hear the birds chirping around him and his feet shuffling through the dry leaves below him as he tells his story of coming up through racing. Just for this moment, I feel like I’ve left my usual surroundings and entered his.

The walks usually trend around 35 minutes, thought you’re by no means married to the time. You can go longer or shorter if you like. Metrics are tracked on the Apple Watch like any other walk. The stories I’ve heard have been interesting across the board thus far, and I find their musical choices enjoyable. I find it all to be a good way to get out of my reality for a little while. I definitely will keep using this feature.

Seattle Storm Unveil New Logo & Identity

From StormBasketball.com:

The new logo retains the iconic image of the Space Needle, which sits within basketball ribs. Overlooking it all is the peak of Mount Rainier, representing Seattle’s home in the Pacific Northwest. At the center, a lightning bolt evokes the intensity, power, and purpose of the Storm identity both on and off the court.

The logo’s combined elements bring together both the sleek, innovative aesthetic of Seattle with the natural power in the surrounding Pacific Northwest. The new wordmark uses a more futuristic typeface to better represent the fast-paced and forward-moving city the Storm calls home.

The primary colors, Lightning Yellow, a deep Thunder Green, and a brighter Bolt Green, maintain the legacy of the original Storm brand.

This is the first time the Storm have updated their logo, aside from subtracting the 90s-era Sonics red from the original look in 2015. The Storm came into the WNBA as an expansion team in 2000 as a sister club to the NBA’s SuperSonics. They’ve remained the only professional basketball presence in the city since the Sonics were stolen from Seattle in 2008. Their persistence in using some form of the Sonics original green and gold always makes me smile.

Ben Gibbard talks “Black Sun” and having his own line of custom Fender guitars

Since the late 1990s, Ben Gibbard has been a prominent voice in indie rock as singer-songwriter for the platinum-selling band Death Cab for Cutie. The Ben Gibbard Mustang brings his melodic style to the stage with a modified ‘70s Mustang, featuring a chambered ash body, a 3-way rotary pickup selector switch and a rock-solid hardtail bridge. Watch Ben dive into his songwriting process using his Signature Mustang in our latest episode of Tracks.

For more info on the Ben Gibbard Mustang: fender.com/ben-gibba…

MailPixelBlocker is an Apple Mail plugin for blocking tracking pixels

🔗 MailTrackerBlocker

This is a plugin for macOS Apple Mail which seeks to block the tracking pixels sent in many emails, especially commercial emails. Tracking pixels have become increasingly prevalent over the past few years, and they can report everything from your physical IP address to the kind of device you’re on.

I’m currently on a trial using the email service Hey, which blocks tracking pixels on their end. I’m finding the service as a whole to be superb and the tracking pixel blocking is a nice benefit to have. However, not everyone is looking to potentially shell out $100/yr ($8.33/mo) on an email service, so plugins like MailTrackerBlocker are a nice alternative.

Unfortunately, this is only for macOS, so those who use Apple Mail or any other client on iOS/iPadOS are still at risk of being tracked if you check your email on your phone. Hopefully, this issue has rung enough alarms in Cupertino to make tracking pixel blocking a feature through all platforms.

Apple Watch Braided Solo Loop

I just received my tax return, so I did as one does and spent a little money on myself and picked up one of the braided solo loop bands for the Apple Watch.

So far, I’m loving this thing. It’s super comfortable, to the point I can barely feel I have the watch on. It’s not too loose or too tight. I’m an hour away from the nearest Apple Store, and given the coronavirus pandemic didn’t want to deal with going to a store if I didn’t need to. So, I used John Gruber’s sizing guide to determine which size to get and accurately got a size 6 band. The watch doesn’t move on me at all. It’s a perfect fit.

I love how this band looks as well. There are no clasps or Velcro needed here, since it’s just one seamless piece. That minimalism is something I’m totally into. I think I found my new favorite Apple Watch band style.

On Solitude

It’s hard to ignore the fact that the entirety of Storr’s list of remarkable lives, as well as many of the other historical examples cited above, focus on men. As Virginia Woolf argued in her 1929 feminist manifesto, A Room of One’s Own, this imbalance should not come as a surprise. Woolf would agree with Storr that solitude is a prerequisite for original and creative thought, but she would then add that women had been systematically denied both the literal and figurative room of their own in which to cultivate this state. To Woolf, in other words, solitude is not a pleasant diversion, but instead a form of liberation from the cognitive oppression that results in its absence.

In Woolf’s time, women were denied this liberation by a patriarchal society. In our time, this oppression is increasingly self-“inflicted by our preference for the distraction of the digital screen. This is the theme taken up by a Canadian social critic named Michael Harris in his 2017 book, also titled Solitude. Harris is concerned that new technologies help create a culture that undermines time alone with your thoughts, noting that “it matters enormously when that resource is under attack.” His survey of the relevant literature then points to three crucial benefits provided by solitude: “new ideas; an understanding of the self; and closeness to others.

– Cal Newport in his book Digital Minimalism

Hillbilly Headlines - Feb. 20

I’m going to try to start posting these again.

From Marty & McGee:

Dr. Raul Pino, the director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, told reporters that the women were caught dressing up as “grannies” — “the bonnets, the gloves, the glasses, the whole thing” — at the vaccination site on Wednesday.

“I opened the toilet seat and there’s just a bear face just right there at the level of the toilet seat, just looking right back up through the hole, right at me,”