This site has reached new heights! (of double digits)

I got my monthly Jetpack report, dig it1Do cool kids say “dig” now? I want to be hip again. I want to be lit, or a banger, or something.:

That number of visitors translates to about 12 per day! A dozen people! That is double digits. Double digits is only one away from triple digits, and from there the sky’s the limit.

I want to thank the following for making this success possible:

  • Birds
  • Jogging (?)
  • Lists
  • Doodlings
  • That writing prompt I did about a barista going back in time to kill Hitler

Apple September 2023 “Wonderlust” event: My medium-warm takes

Apple held its annual iPhone event today. They showed two new phones and two new watches. This took 82 excruciating minutes. Behold below, my summary written in a magical list as I watched/endured.

First, some alternate titles for the event that Apple didn’t use:

  • Paddedlust
  • Titaniumlust
  • CarbonNeutrallust

And, of course:

  • Magicallust

And now, the event, minute by agonizing minute!

NOTE: Gratuitously bolded words and phrases ahead.
  • The event starts with obnoxiously loud music, as per usual. Seriously, if normal volume is a 1, this is about 100. If it’s too loud for my ears, it is too loud for all of humanity.
  • Before anyone speaks, a sizzle reel!
  • But this sizzle reel is all about feels!
  • Specifically, it is framed around people celebrating birthdays because their Apple Watch called 911 when they crashed/had a heart attack/got kidnapped by aliens, so instead of dying, they had another birthday to celebrate. Teary testimonies all around.
  • LESSON: Buy an Apple Watch OR YOU WILL DIE.
  • Next up: Tim Cook, who says they’ll be covering the iPhone and Watch for the next 78 minutes, though it will seem much longer.
  • First, though, Tim highlights new Macs released in June, quoting Marques Brownlee on how rad they are, because if you can’t trust some guy on YouTube, who can you trust? Also, a plug for the Vision Pro, because it’s still coming and you better start saving now lol.
  • They also use the Vision Pro segment to highlight how great TV shows will look on it (?!) like “The Morning Show”, new season debuting next week on Apple TV+. Synergy!
  • Tim’s voice sounds a bit odd and tinny? Maybe they recorded it using a mic on the drone that was flying toward him.
  • About 10 minutes in, and we are onto the first actual hardware, the Apple Watch.
  • Jeff Williams appears, and he is dressed weirdly in a mismatched dark blue button-up shirt and light gray pants, like they were the only clean clothes he had.
  • Another sizzle reel with Stupidly Loud™ music.
  • The Series 9 watch…looks exactly like every other Apple Watch.
  • But it’s “next level”. They say this.
  • S9 chip, so it’s faster.
  • After 8 years, it still has 18 hours of battery life (lol). But it does more now! Like find your iPhone precisely. But only if you have the newest Watch and newest iPhone. Start saving for these, too!
  • It goes from 2,000 nits down to 1 nit. I have nothing to offer on this.
  • Jeff is walking like a badly programmed robot. This is somewhat unnerving.
  • New feature: Double Tap™ to allow one-handed (hehe) use for times when your other hand is busy or absent. (Note: This was already an accessibility feature, it’s just official™ now).
  • Another sizzle reel, this time for Double Tap. Use Double Tap to take a phone call while rock climbing. Safe! (This was actually shown in the sizzle reel.)
  • Now in pink aluminum! The Apple Watch, not the sizzle reel.
  • Like Tim Cook, Jeff Williams also cannot pronounce the word “important” for some reason. But they each pronounce it differently. Diversity!
  • And now the Apple 2023 Carbon Neutral Sideshow and Revue, starring Tim Cook and Octavia Spencer. It is now safe to go use the potty, have lunch, take a bath, whatever you like, because this is going to drag on FOREVER.
  • This isn’t a sizzle reel, it’s like a little very long sketch going on (and on) about Apple 2030, which is when the company plans to be fully carbon-neutral.
  • Your expensive watch is now made out of recycled everything!
  • God, this won’t stop. Mother Nature is depicted as a sarcastic grump. It’s not offensive because Mother Nature is make-believe, like elves, unicorns or owls.
  • We are now 23 minutes into the event and they are still talking about how great Apple is with the environment. Now you get bullet points in the bullet points:
    • No more leather (which was previously mentioned, but hey, why not mention it again?)
    • FineWoven™ instead! It’s the new leather, but without any cows involved.
    • Jeff is still walking like a robot.
    • Hermes bands, still super expensive, but now without actual leather!
    • Nike bands with recycled bits of stuff in them that make each one unique (and ugly).
  • They mention Double Tap AGAIN. It’s magical. You know, like everything else Apple has manufactured in China using cheap labour. Magical!
  • 30 minutes in, the Watch Ultra is mentioned. It’s more Ultra! It’s Ultra 2!
  • A rehash of everything that is in the Series 9 goes here.
  • But the Ultra goes to an Ultra bright 3000 nits.
  • A new watch face! More about software because THERE IS NOTHING ELSE NEW ABOUT THE WATCH.
  • It lasts 36 hours, just like before. In eight years it will still last 36 hours.
  • Now they combine their two favourite things about the event: Recycled junk and titanium. The Ultra has recycled titanium. It’s the best!
  • No dark titanium model. If you had that on your Apple Event bingo card, too bad.
  • No price changes on any of the three models. Reasonable!
  • We are now 35 minutes in. It feels like 350.
  • iPhone! Yes, they are now going to spend the next 47 minutes talking about iPhone. Please stand to insure your legs get circulation.
  • Sizzle reel time! Stupidly loud music? Check!
  • iPhone 15 is “absolutely incredible” (probably magical, too1See below), says Tim.
  • Dynamic Island™ added to it. Now maybe devs will do something with it? Or maybe not!
  • It “feels magical2A hundred thousand years from now Apple will still be describing things as magical.” If everything is magical, isn’t everything actually not magical?
  • Dynamic Island lets you track a pizza delivery and the big game at the same time. A wonder for the ages!
  • 2000 nits! It’s the Year of Nits! Also, contoured edges! Colour infused throughout the glass! Five colours! All the colours are washed-out pastels because Apple is very afraid of colour.
  • Still has a mute switch! (They don’t mention this, but you can see it in one of the beauty shots.)
  • STILL MORE carbon-neutral talk. Recycled junk inside everything. New iPhones are probably made out of surplus lightning cables.
  • 48 MP main camera. Basically getting everything the 14 Pro had last year, save for the telephoto lens, variable refresh rate and whatever else that is so important I’ve forgotten it.
  • LESSON: Wait one year to get the good iPhone.
  • Portrait mode is better! Switches to it automagically. Even works on dogs and cats. Possibly apes.
  • You can switch focus to a different person/dog/cat/ape in post. This is actually neat if it works.
  • Better night mode, A16 Bionic, better battery (but they don’t say how much better).
  • Wireless features! Uh, wireless features?
  • New UW chip allows for “precision finding” to better stalk people find your friends.
  • Better audio on phone calls for the five people who use their iPhone as an actual phone.
  • Emergency SOS to more countries, roadside assistance via satellite (free for two years).
  • LESSON: Buy an iPhone or be trapped in the middle of nowhere FOREVER.
  • We are now 50 minutes in. How is it possible that there are still 32 minutes to go? But there are.
  • Wired features!
  • Briefly highlighting USB-C and trying to make it sound like they weren’t totally forced to adopt it due to the mean old Europeans.
  • EarPods and AirPods Pro 2 both use USB-C now, but use MagSafe instead, OK? We make a lot more money on those accessories! (Seriously, they start talking about MagSafe during the “wired features” section.)
  • Another sizzle reel with REALLY LOUD MUSIC. So much bass. Please make it stop.
  • $799/$899 (prices unchanged).
  • Back to Tim. Pro models! We are 55 minutes in.
  • Sizzle reel for the Pro models. Titanium, as expected. The music is horrible. This is music for aliens or robots. Or robot aliens.
  • It’s the most pro phone ever. Tim actually says this.
  • Greg (or “Joz”) up next. He’s Apple’s actual marketing shill. And yes, his nickname rhymes with the famous shark, so I do a bit of a spit-take every time someone says, “And now over to Jaws.”
  • Lightest pro model ever!
  • Titanium! Did we mention that?
  • A delight to hold in your hand. We won’t tell you how much less it weighs, though. (I looked it up. The iPhone 15 Pro Max weighs 19 grams less than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, or about the equivalent of 4 U.S. nickels.)
  • YET MORE on titanium. It’s titanium all the way down. Grade 5 titanium! Same as the Mars rover. Maybe The iPhone 15 Pro is made from recycled Mars rovers.
  • Brushed texture, just like that old version of OS X everyone says was the best.
  • Look at these non-colours you can get the Pro in!
  • More repairable, with back glass easier to replace. No reason for the change. Not like there’s pressure to do this from outside forces. Right to repair? Never heard of it! Nope!
  • Pro gets a new Action Button™. Suck it, non-Pro models!
  • Choose from pre-defined actions (looks like nine). One probably allows you to start playing horrible music at the touch of a button.
  • Joz/Jaws is also moving like a robot. What the hell? He shuffles awkwardly when moving left to right in front of the giant display behind him. Is this an Apple event or some covert preview of a new season of Westworld?
  • A17 Pro. It’s even better because they finally dropped that dumb Bionic name. It’s Pro all the way down (unless it’s titanium).
  • Whimsical transition to Apple’s hardware lab. Check your Apple Event bingo card!
  • A17 Pro gets its own bullet points:
    • USB-C but more better. It’s USB 33USB 3.0 came out as a standard in 2008, BTW fast! (10 GB)
    • 3 nm chip!
    • GPU mentioned again. It’s Pro class, in case you were wondering.
    • 20% faster!
    • Ray tracing! Also faster! But only 4x faster.
    • 30 FPS with ray tracing. Don’t ask about 60 FPS.
    • Jaws: iPhone Pro is best for gaming. Candy Crush has never run better! Buy games! Buy IAP! BUY! (I am extrapolating a bit here.)
    • 68 minutes in now. Remember to feed the cat, if you have a cat.
    • Sizzle reel #367: Games, featuring devs from various software companies. Apple is so cute when they pretend to cater to gamers.
  • The cameras!
  • Larger sensor on the main camera, better low light performance. “Feel her emotion” Jaws implores you, while showing a photo of some woman standing around.
  • Zoom: 3x telephoto, Pro Max 5x (120 mm).
  • Better stabilization in case you are taking photos while drunk or riding atop a train.
  • Tetra prism™ design on Pro Max (don’t call it a periscope lens).
  • Ultrawide camera is also more better, with 10x optical (?) zoom range and macro (I think I missed something here, because 10x seems wrong, but I’m too lazy to check.)
  • Fast transfers to your Mac! You have a Mac, right?
  • Record directly to external storage! Just like any digital camera has been able to do for 20 years or so.
  • 4K video at 60 FPS.
  • Hey, you can view your photos on the Vision Pro! Isn’t that handy?
  • Capture spatial video now. You know where you can relive these “magical” memories? That’s right, on your Vision Pro!
  • Thank the merciful lord, that is it.
  • Cut back to Tim summarizing how great everything is.
  • $999/$1199. Pro Max is $100 more, but gets bumped from 128 to 256 GB storage, so effectively the same price as last year with same config.
  • 6 TB and 12 TB iCloud plans now. I bet those will be reasonably priced!
  • iCloud still comes with 5 GB of free storage, the same it came with in 2011, when iCloud debuted. Because storage needs have not changed in the last 12 years, you see.
  • Tim says the following words in conclusion about Apple products: Amazing! Indispensable! Innovative! Essential! And he’s thinking Magical. You know it. We all know it.
  • LESSON: Without Apple products, your life is a worthless sham, and also you are at grave risk from everything around you.
  • 82 minutes later and we are finally done. Tim is now off to wake up members of the press, so they can look at the new phones and watches.

Seriously, the padding of this particular event was downright silly. If brevity is the soul of wit, Apple has no soul and no wit. But they have sizzle reels. Boy howdy, do they have sizzle reels.

Next year’s sizzle reels will be made entirely from recycled titanium. You’re going to love them.

If I had endless disposable income

Time for another list. Is my blog becoming some hack listicle site? Maybe! Mostly I’m just in a list kind of mood.

Saturday’s Lotto 6/49 jackpot is $46 million. Even in Canadian dollars, this is a lot of money. What would I do if I had this kind of essentially bottomless wealth handed to me out of the blue? A lot of things. Some of them might even be sensible.

In no particular order:

  • I’d donate to a favourite YouTube channel in exchange for them never doing another sponsored video again.
  • Buy a nice place to live, nothing flashy.
  • Buy a nice vehicle to drive, nothing flashy. I’d also need to renew my driver’s license. Then I’d probably hire someone to drive me around, anyway.
  • I’d buy one of those stupidly expensive Wacom Cintiq pen tablets.
  • Give a lot to a list of worthwhile causes and charities. It would be private, so I won’t share names here.
  • Give to my friends and family. But not too much. I wouldn’t want to corrupt them with my easy money. Yes.
  • Travel somewhere. Somewhere that isn’t on fire, flooded, under a landslide or swept away by a mega-storm. There are still a few places left.
  • Buy out as many buildings-named-after-rich-people-or-corporations as I could and have them renamed something to reflect the area or history they’re in, instead. Goodbye, Jim Pattison Acute Care Tower! So long, Rogers Arena! That’s probably all I could afford, actually.
  • Plant a lot of trees where trees are needed.
  • Donate to schools.
  • Buy a nice couch.

Impossible things I’d like to see

A short list.

  • The ability to grow hair or not grow hair on specific parts of your body. Lush beard and moustache? Yes! Hair in my ear? No thanks!
  • A bubble around me that extends about three meters in all directions and forces everyone who enters it to act nice to me and anyone else in the bubble. And yes, I get to judge what counts as nice. Also, it randomly makes a lollipop every 10 minutes.
  • Bug-free software
  • Reasonable prices for storage and memory on Apple computers
  • World peace (you knew this was coming)
  • Logical, intelligent, and compassionate people who really want to make the world better running for the highest political offices1Joke: but then they wouldn’t be running, haha. It is a sad joke, not a funny one!
  • A single day in 2023 where AI is not covered or mentioned by tech sites and news
  • A magic solution to climate change that would fix things instantly
  • Teleportation (I secretly think this would also lead to chaos and complete change the world in ways we can’t begin to imagine. I just really want to avoid having to use public transit.)

More later, perhaps.

July 2023 Good, Bad and Ugly: The List

It’s the end of the month, time for a list!

The Good:

  • Weather was mostly nice, except for all the forest fires everywhere. Locally it was sunny, but not usually too hot and humidity is lower compared to last summer.
  • I resumed running at a more regular pace and my right knee is improving.
  • Sexy legs, now nicely tanned.
  • Progress continues on my epic game.
  • I have kept up writing on this blog.
  • I’m still not working in tech support.
  • My social media intake has gone down. This has made me very slightly happier.
  • We’ve decided to get rid of our cable TV package. This will make me slightly happier, too. And save us a heap of money over the year as a bonus.

The Bad:

  • My weight went up 2.5 pounds
  • I got hit with what was probably some flu bug, and while it didn’t hit hard, save for a day or so, it lingered on for weeks before finally going away. Long enough that I appreciated feeling healthy again afterward.
  • We have a mouse. It is not a pet.
  • My left running shoe has a hole that is opening up like the San Andreas Fault during The Big One.

The Ugly:

  • Probably all those forest fires.

10 inventions I would like to see

In no specific order:

  • Personal teleportation
  • Chocolate fudge that is actually good for you
  • Self-cleaning clothes
  • Self-cleaning anything, now that I think about it
  • No more billionaires. Technically not an invention, but it’s my list, so it stays.
  • The holodeck. Yep, the holodeck. Not this “put a stupid-looking piece of gear on your face” VR/AR stuff. I don’t care if Apple calls it “spatial computing”, it still looks dumb and no one wants to wear one of these things on their heads for hours at a time.
  • The Undo Device. Lets you undo any decision you’ve made and all of its consequences. This would, of course, lead to new and more horrible consequences, in true Twilight Zone-style, but I’m willing to risk it.
  • Purple cats
  • Replaceable body parts
  • A microwave oven that works the way we imagine a microwave oven should work

Day 12 of you-know-what

Yep. Let’s take inventory:

  • Energy level: Pretty much back to normal
  • Sleep: Back to normal
  • Running: Still not running, but this is more a knee thing
  • Stretching: I’ll resume today. Promise!
  • Coughing: None unless I contort my body in weird ways
  • Sneezing: Nope
  • Runny nose: A little
  • Phlegm: Let me tell you, I am probably producing that same amount of phlegm right now as a hundred people combined. Maybe a thousand. It’s gross. I am grossing myself out writing about it. But it is finally diminishing.

Really, I’m just surprised I find myself thinking, “COVID-19 wasn’t that bad.” Because it really wasn’t.

Here’s one more (tiny, adorable) kitten:

Day 10 of now-probably-not-officially-sick

I woke up fat and unrested. Is unrested a word? Apparently not. I will add it to Nedlish!

Day 10 my remaining symptoms are the same, but milder in all cases. The nose is a bit stuffy, the chest feels a bit congested (though no coughing unless I contort into a cough-friendly position) and the ears are just a touch plugged, depending on which way I turn my head.

Despite feeling better in all regards, I had an allegedly poor sleep last night and also managed to gain 1.2 pounds, like secret night gnomes were directly injecting fat into my body as I (poorly) slept.

In all, I am nonplussed.

Here are more words for Nedlish:

  • unrested
  • lanker
  • plook
  • bitbarren
  • cowtastrophe
  • wentwill

Addressing concerns of my blog being scraped by AI

It’s 2023 and that means the big thing is AI (that’s Artificial Intelligence, not some guy named Al). If you are reading this in some other year, you may be wondering what the fuss is all about from your tiny, climate-ravaged hovel. Or you may be wondering the same as a gleaming machine built on AI yourself! Who can say what the future holds?

As for the present, it started in 2022 when AI-generated art became a thing. That’s still ongoing (see the controversy over Marvel using AI-generated art for its opening credits to Secret Invasion), but things kicked into high gear right near the end of the year when OpenAI unveiled its ChatGPT website to the public, allowing you to query an AI built on all kinds of data scraped from the internet through 2021. You could ask for recipes, have it write haikus, or generate code, or just write your crappy books and list them on Amazon for you. There are concerns, as you might imagine.

Given the recent implosion over at Twitter over what Elon “Galaxy Brain” Musk has called “extreme levels of data scraping”, I wondered, might my own humble blog be subjected to the same? It is, after all, a treasure trove of my collected thoughts and wisdom, stretching back 18 years! In internet time, that’s like going back to the dinosaurs. Or at least mastodons (not to be confused with the social media platform). What can I do to protect my sacred words from evil, exploiting AI? How could I stop some young lad from going down the wrong path by using text from to, in some small way, help write his homework, leaving him bereft of critical thinking and writing skills, and therefore destined to a life of petty crime and indolence?

I have the answer.

I’ll fill every post with words I’ve made up. Eventually, Nedlish will become the universal language Esperanto could only ever dream of becoming. This is a perfect plan. Let’s get started.

  • narnar
  • flembock
  • poddle
  • wistern
  • lugpuppy
  • droofus
  • edumatainmentification
  • yubbo

More to come. Get to work, AI, on the glorious Nedlish future!

Top 5 worst things (and 2 best things) about being sick

person in yellow protective suit
I searched for images for “sick” and this one made me laugh, so it wins. Photo by cottonbro studio on

As noted previously, being sick sucks. I had forgotten how much through the benefit of not being sick for a long time, but now that I am reminded, here are a few aspects of the misery I wanted to record for posterity.

5 Worst Things About Being Sick

  • Lousy sleep
  • Nose gets sore from all the sneezing/being stuffed up/runny
  • That weird sick fog feeling in your head
  • I’m too hot, no I’m too cold; repeat
  • No energy to do even simple, dumb things


2 Best Things About Being Sick

  • Getting out of regular obligations
  • Staying in bed as long as you like, guilt-free

Ten words that rhyme with June

It’s the end of June, I’ve lost weight, it’s been sunny, and I got sick.

So, a mixed bag.

And now ten words that rhyme with June:

  1. Spoon
  2. Moon
  3. Prune
  4. Loon
  5. Tune
  6. Rune
  7. Boon
  8. Croon
  9. Zune1According to Microsoft, this is totally a real word
  10. Dune

Now, take these ten words and use them in a story! Surprise writing prompt!

I sat by the window, listening to a tune on the radio, staring out and up at the fat moon. I used a spoon to shovel up ice cream from a bowl, directing it to my mouth. The night was silent, save for the plaintive cry of a loon. I did not want to listen to it croon its sorrowful song, so shut the window.

I picked up my Zune, which still worked all these years later, quite the boon. I played a song at random and did not like it. Why had I bought it? I would need to prune my playlist. I laid back on the bed and closed my eyes, seeing before me in the dark an image of endless sand, one giant rolling dune after another. Had I been here before, or only in a dream? I opened my eyes and reached over to the nightstand, picking up a small wooden talisman I had been given by a stranger, a burnished, dark rune, whose etchings defied explanation. I held it up before my face and turned it over.

"Soon," I whispered. "Soon."2Bonus rhyming word for extra credit