Flickr: Now with more sh*t

I got an email from Flickr inviting me to use their print services to print out and cherish/send my photos to others.

This is how they are attempting to persuade people to do this:

Did I have a “How do you do, my fellow kids?” moment and miss how “sh*t” is now the cool, hip way to say “shot”? But also it looks like “shit” so it’s…funny? Edgy? Dumb?


UPDATE: I have taken the newsletter to its logical (rear) end. Behold:

Photo of the Day: My computer wallpaper

And it is an actual photo I took, of my left monitor with an appropriately fall-themed wallpaper.

Speaking of fall, tomorrow (Friday, October 21) is when fall may actually begin, weather-wise. Look:

What is “rain”?

The photo:

You can see the pixels! I kind of like the effect, actually.

The newsletter/subscription purge continues (I swear)

Today I cancelled a Substack newsletter and a streaming service:

  • Sweary History (after not quite a year)
  • Netflix (after being subbed for many years)

The reasons were a bit different for each, but both are part of my ongoing digital decluttering process.

For Sweary History, I actually quite like James Fell’s foul-mouthed writing style, and his personal posts (which require a paid sub) were especially enjoyable and informative. But as someone who chronicles human history, and given how dark and awful so much of human history is, Fell often wrote about unpleasant people doing unpleasant things. And in the same way that actively seeking out current news was making me generally unhappy, I found getting a dose of daily “look how terrible people have been throughout history” started having the same effect. This morning I started to read the latest newsletter and just stopped partway through, like a little switch in my brain flipped. I unsubscribed.

Netflix was different. I found that I just wasn’t compelled to watch any of the current stuff on it (Archer has grown stale, Stranger Things is something I want to catch up on, but it seems the season four episodes are long, and it’s more of a commitment than I’m willing to make right now), plus Netflix seems to think they can keep raising their prices and make up declining subs by squeezing their most loyal subscribers that much harder.

Didn’t work for me! I checked “too expensive” as my main reason for dropping the sub, and it’s true. If Netflix was cheaper, I’d probably just keep it, but it’s $18.47/month after taxes and that is too much for the very minimal use it gets.

For streaming, I still have Prime Video (as part of Prime), Disney+ and Apple TV+ (as part of Apple One), so depending on how things go, I could potentially get down to just a single service. And more time to draw.

Another newsletter bites the dust (Pocket)

These companies are making it easy for me to slim down my reading list.

In the case of Pocket, it’s ironic, because they’re all about providing reading lists.

A while ago, Pocket switched from a weekly newsletter to a daily one, with an option to change the frequency, so you could go back to a weekly newsletter if daily was too much.

I stuck with daily for some time, but eventually did decide it was too much. I switched to weekly, which seemed more manageable. It was fine at first. But then I got my weekly newsletter, and it was “sponsored” by The Wall Street Journal. This means every article was from…The Wall Street Journal. I subscribe to the Pocket newsletter to get stories from a number of sources, not just one. I don’t know if their answer is to go back to daily (which I won’t do) or pay for the premium version, which will somehow spare me the sponsored newsletters.

This morning, my weekly Pocket newsletter was again sponsored, this time by MarketWatch. I don’t even care about MarketWatch! Or its stories.

So I unsubscribed.

I’ll still use Pocket to occasionally capture interesting stories I want to read later. It works well enough for that, though it would not surprise me if the free version eventually gets crippled in some way to make it too annoying to use. Which may make you ask, why not pay for the premium version? And the answer is I don’t use it often enough to feel it’s worth the money (it’s $4.99 US per month or $44.99 annually). If they did make it horrible to use the free version, I’d probably just create a temporary bookmark folder as a “read later” dumping ground. Not ideal, but it would be functional.

So thanks, Pocket, for helping me in my ongoing quest to digitally declutter!

FAKE EDIT: I also emptied the Pocket folder in Outlook, deleted its category, then deleted the Pocket folder itself. Doing these things was strangely satisfying.

BC Day 2022

It’s BC Day, the statutory holiday where we take time to celebrate the province while acknowledging our terrible colonial past, horrible treatment of indigenous peoples and more. So maybe just pretend you know someone with the initials BC and celebrate them instead.

Bad news: The heat warning is still in effect today.

Better news: The expected high of 28C will still feel a lot nicer than the 33-35C we’ve had for the past week.

Good news: Going out birding today, including Burnaby Lake. This time my camera is in the camera bag. Woo.

Smoke-flavored cheddar sticks and keyboards

Smoke-flavored cheddar sticks

They taste exactly like smoke and cheddar. Somehow this does not delight me as much as I thought it would, and now I am sad.

Also, the “peel here to open” plastic wrap is strangely difficult to peel open, as if it’s designed to make you work up an appetite or something.


Dave Lee disses on the very keyboard I own in the video linked below. Now I want a Keychron Q1. This is completely irrational, as my CTRL keyboard continues to work perfectly. Still, I want one.

More random questions and answers

Questions provided by that guy on the internet I know.

  • Q: Are street tacos really as good as people say?
  • A: I don’t know. I’ve only had indoor tacos.
  • Q: Why don’t dolphins build apartments if they’re so smart?
  • A: Probably due to the lack of opposable thumbs. But perhaps they build grand cathedrals in their minds, waiting to evolve flippers into thumbs. Then we’ll be sorry.
  • Q: Are the appropriate amount of my tax dollars being invested in public transit?
  • A: Probably pretty close, actually. People love to kvetch about transit and while no system is perfect, I feel transit in Metro Vancouver is pretty decent. Results may vary elsewhere.
  • Q: Is it really camping if you bring your own toilet?
  • A: Yes. While pooping in the woods is perhaps a more rustic experience, it is not a requirement of camping.

Neat things

Let’s end the month on a positive note, with a list of things that I find neat. Sometimes I can’t explain why I find something–it could be something that delighted me as a kid and that delight stayed intact as I grew into a bitter, cynical adult. Or it could be so intangible I can’t explain it at all. I’m sure someone could build an interesting (?) profile of me from what I’ve posted below.

Here’s the list, in no particular order:

  • Trains, passenger jets and large ships
  • Desktop wallpapers featuring landscapes with bodies of water or spooky forests
  • The art of Simon Stalenhag, who combines simulated oil paint, realism and retro-future technology
  • Outer space. It’s just so freaky with black holes, dark matter, nebulae and more.
  • Spacecraft, both real and imagined
  • Electric bikes that look like ordinary bikes
  • Computer mice. I always want something new, regardless of how well my current mouse works.
  • Computer UIs. One day I’ll do a comparison of Mac vs. Windows. Maybe when Windows 11 comes out.
  • Dams, both those made by humans and beavers
  • Ducks
  • Skyscrapers. Really, anything that is built on a massive scale.
  • The ocean. It delights and terrifies me in equal measure.
  • Photography that shows things you wouldn’t normally see, by using long exposures, extreme close-ups or other techniques
  • Fudge. Okay, it’s not really that neat, but I kind of want some.