James Clear's book, Atomic Habits, is on my wish list so maybe I'll get it for Christmas but this talk will do in the meantime.
# Following on from the simple posting form I thought about making it easier to edit posts inline from the Daily page.
Now, when logged in each item has a pencil I can click/tap to switch to "edit mode" for that post:
This will load a form with the post contents ready to edit:
Hit update and that's it!
If I need to add something or spot a typo (more likely) I can do it without going to the back end.
# I'm not sure if it's just because MacOS Big Sur is still in beta or because my MacBook Pro is starting to show its age a little but it seems to be running hotter with the battery life dropping off.
To counter this I've just paid for Turbo Boost Switcher Pro, after using the free version for a while, which will counter both these issues.
There's not really anything I do on the MacBook that pushes it so I should be able to run it with turbo boost off most of the time.
# Due to the issues around sending the daily email updates I have decided to remove this feature from the blog rather than have an inconsistent experience. If you still want to get daily updates then you can use the RSS feed.
There is no change to the muse-letter and sign-up is still available here.
You just assume that noses stick out more so are weak points bound to get knocked or buffeted, right?
This is a fascinating read.
Via Doug Belshaw.
# If there's anything akin to a cardinal sin among certain sections of the PC gaming community, certainly in World of Warcraft, it's being a "clicker" (see definition 3) - someone who clicks their abilities on screen rather than have everything mapped to keybindings.
And heaven help you if you're a "keyboard turner" - someone who uses keys to turn your character instead of the mouse.
All things being equal, keybindings for abilities and using the mouse to turn your character and in-game camera are more efficient. But not everything is equal. Disabilities and learning difficulties can have a massive impact on the way you play. After a period of illness in her late teens/early twenties my wife was left with grip and dexterity issues in her left hand, for example and still has issues to this day.
I used to virtually live in video game arcades when I was a kid. I was good at the games, very good, to the point that the arcade owners would ask me to play new games to see if they would make enough money. If I could finish a game within the first two or three days of it being installed they probably wouldn't keep it. Some games had variable difficulty settings (who remembers dip switches) and I was regularly called upon to test changes to see if they made it hard enough.
In those days things were a lot simpler. I had excellent coordination and fast reactions but the controls were relatively minimal: a joystick and a few buttons at most.
For whatever reason I struggle with anything beyond that; I don't know if it's just because I'm older or that there's more controls involved. My mind refuses to deal with so many things and doesn't seem to send the right commands to my hands. I am unable to use an Xbox controller for the same reason meaning most console gaming is out for me as there is no alternative input method.
I'm probably about a 50/50 keybinds/clicker person - maybe more like 40/60 - and would likely get ridiculed for that from elitest players. I'll use the keyboard where I can but have to back it up - a lot - with the mouse. It takes me a long time to get used to a layout and I don't handle change particularly well. Call it muscle memory, or just familiarity or practice, but even though I know where things are that still doesn't always translate to being able to use them depending on what else is going on.
Times like this, when the game and your abilities change and you have to relearn things or move things around, are particularly difficult. It may seem melodramatic but the changes this time around mean that I can't play how I was going to over the next WoW expansion. Things have changed too much and I haven't got the mental capacity/physical dexterity to cope with it and remain a viable player.
Yet, Monday is a construct, an artificial delineation, something upon which we have forced meaning and, in doing so, have come to resent.
Some of us working a traditional five day week resent/fear Monday's because we are not doing something we love, something we are passionate about, and that drags us down. It shouldn't.
There were things I wanted to say yesterday, observations I wanted to make, but couldn't bring myself to blog. It's a shame, dare I say a travesty - blogging is something I love and am passionate about but when Monday )and all its connotations) stops me from doing so I feel as though I've lost something inside.
I should blog despite and in spite of Monday, make Monday great again! Maybe, that will temper my feelings towards it and help set me up for the week in the right frame of mind.
If only blogging was my job. Would I still feel the same?
# I have been using the app Fit Companion as it fills a few gaps in WearOS and Google Fit including an ongoing activity tracker with sedentary reminders. Why WearOS/Google Fit don't include this out of the box is beyond me.
Fit Companion received a big update a couple of days ago to include a lot more detail for sleep tracking - again Google Fit is sorely lacking in this area. The recent Wellness update for Fossil family Gen 5 watches brought native sleep tracking to the watch but needed better tools to make the most of that data.
According to the data I actually hit my 7 hours target last night so why do I feel worse than normal? I don't feel rested at all.
The chart shows fluctuation in heart rate throughout the night with a number of high peaks. Is that dreaming or snoring? Snoring is like a minor sleep apnea and your heart rate automatically increases - who knew.
While the chart shows I had an initial period of deep sleep it wasn't very restful from 12:30 on. I know that smartwatches aren't necessarily the most accurate devices but the chart does help to explain the way I feel this morning.
"Moments of heightened perspective are priceless. These vistas temporarily jerk us awake from our hypnotized preoccupation with the granular details of life."
# This was a good way to spend World Mental Health Day.
The words are on the grey sign in the first picture - such a lovely sentiment.
# I think it's working:
# Manton Reece recently rolled out Micro.blog 2.0 with a whole bunch of improvements across the web and native apps; it's great to see him constantly improving the service and getting more people back into blogging regularly.
When I mentioned yesterday that I mainly use m.b as a commenting system Alan remarked that he had returned to the service so he could comment on the blogs of others but wanted to be able to send webmentions from his own blog instead.
External webmentions have always worked to a degree on micro.blog but the site sending them has to be linked to a live account in order to be accepted and show - makes sense. In the past I've always gone back to m.b in order to reply to comments as it seemed more reliable but, inspired by Alan, I thought I'd give it a test today.
Here's a reply to a comment as posted on my blog:
And here it is in situ on micro.blog:
I didn't think that the external webmention auto-added the person's @name that you were replying to which is why I always went back to micro.blog. Is that an improvement in v2.0 or am I just remembering it wrong? In any event, that this works properly means that I can always do so directly from the blog which will make replies more obvious.
He remarked that how you think about a blog is, at least partly, determined by if you see it as an archive or just "thoughts right now" and this goes back to my previous musings about ephemerality: the daily blank slate, as inspired by Dave Winer and Drew Coffman. Is a blog a place to check in on someone at any given point or is it an historical record?
My blog is still both but currently favours the former because it defaults to the Daily view without direct links to previous days or the archive.
Definitions are, or should be, largely irrelevant now; a blog is whatever you make it, in my opinion, and I've moved so far from what tradition would call a blog. Still, the notion of it being either an archive or "of the moment" is really interesting.
I've written before how my changes in focus over the years have meant that older posts no longer reflect who I am as a blogger or as a person. The shift from largely thematic to a mostly personal site made much of the pre-2016 blog irrelevant if you were using it to gain an understanding of who I am. In that respect there is mixed feeling about, and mixed value of, the archive.
Even since 2016 I am unsure as to the value of much of what has been written and, let's face it, who actually goes back and reads all the old stuff? I will link to various posts and be self-referential to display a train of thought over time (I could pepper this whole post with links) but most of it can be ignored and is forgotten.
I think a personal blog is like a relationship, a "getting to know you" over time experience. As Jay mentioned in his comment:
"If you want things on context day after day. Sub."
When we meet people we don't go back through their history to decide if we want to be friends based on everything that's happened before. We jump in at the "here and now" and take a chance, picking stuff up as we go along. As we get to know each other more detail will be filled in as things get shared, we start to build up a picture but it is a gradual process.
I now see a blog as the same. Old posts are like memories, stories we may recount to new friends when circumstance demands their telling. We grow together.
I agonised for days over what to put on my "required reading" page but is one really necessary? Do visitors need a potted history or are they, just like in a relationship, going to start from "here" and take a chance. If it doesn't work out we just go our separate ways.
We are social animals and it's nice to share, nice to have touch points with others. A blog is a touch point, a way of letting people know what's been happening, what we're thinking or feeling, but it is as much for the author (if not more) as the audience.
Blogs used to be very specific things, there were rules and requirements for something to be so named. Things and times change; social networks forever altered everything we knew about connecting online and it is only natural for blogs to alter as well. Blogs are not set in stone, beholden to ideas from 20 years ago, they can and should adapt to the current zeitgeist and beyond, be disruptive rather than conformist.
Blogs should be as individual as the person writing them - their appearance and how they work as well as the content.
But what I am saying is that some of our angst, a portion of our anguish comes not from the travails of the moment, however dire they may be, but from something deeper.
I mean the gap between our lived lives and our unlived lives...
When you and I know … when we feel in our bones the unrealized self we are or could become and know that we’re not living it out … the result is pain. The result is shame and mortification and self-reproach.
# What was that about dreams and reality? I've just done something.
More to follow...
# So, Blizzard have put back the launch for Shadowlands until later this year. It's a shame it's been delayed but good news if it wasn't ready and they're not being stubborn about the date and releasing something that's broken. At least the pre-patch has been confirmed as 13th October, not that there's going to be much to do unless you want to level new characters.
A love story, yes, but so obviously also a labour of love.
Bookmarking this so I can pick up from where I left off.
Via Jason Kottke.
Dave Winer has been on the campaign trail for better blogging software since, well, since blogging began and repeatedly said that blogging needs to be easier. Here again he states that the ideal tool would merge "the publishing of WordPress with the interactivity of Facebook."
I've taken a lot of cues from Winer over the years for how my own site operates and have long agreed that social media became such a success because of the simplicity and immediacy of posting and replying within the same interface.
These thoughts and the P2 WordPress theme inspired my simple posting form (which I'm using to write this) but I still wish that things were easier.
As I've previously written, the beauty of micro.blog is that it is essentially what Winer is after: blogging via a social-esque interface. The difference is that it is hosted rather than something you can host on your own and "install as easily as an app on your iPhone."
The pieces are all there just not put together in a package that anyone could use.
# Better late than never...