A productivity inventory

  • Ulysses for writing. All the devices. Okay enough themes. Great word count.
  • MarsEdit for posting. I wouldn’t do categories or tags or probably images without it. I’m old and hate the new Wordpress. I didn’t like Wordpress in the first place. MarsEdit makes it tolerable.
  • Overcast for podcasts. But kind of only because it works with M1. Otherwise, I don’t know.
  • Final Cut Pro (trial) for video. You apparently can just keep reinstalling trials.

I’ve given up on Notability for to do items. I tried todoist, don’t like the “natural” language. Any.do is fine-ish but then I read about GoodTask (and have Setapp) so I might be trying … groan … Reminders. But it’s real simple tasks to mark complete stuff. Nothing intense.

I’ve had a couple really big ideas in the last few days. I got far enough with one of them today I even started doing the work. Or seeing what the work would entail and it’s too much trouble to get it set up without knowing if it’ll work so it’s out. The really big idea, I mean. It’s out.

The other really big idea is still possible. Maybe it’s been one really big idea and then how to execute that idea—those potential executions being relatively big ideas on their own.

I’m not really ready to think about them like projects or pieces or anything yet. It’s exhausting, which is a good sign in some ways. The pre-project dwelling and fretting being exhausting? Means effort. Effort means synapses firing and so forth.

Do I want to run in eighty degree heat or ninety degree heat? Or in neither.

Unfortunately I’m going to do one. And I think it’s going to be the former. I’m already sick of the tennis elbow, even after having it for ten weeks to then have it diagnosed and find out I could’ve just bought the strap thing on my own and hopefully had it resolved by now….

Have I already complained about it?

I’m also running low on podcasts. Since dumping “The Talk Show” and “Dithering”—it’s weird how Ben Thompson appears so much less icky compared to his cohosts by virtue of not going out of his way to be a shitty white guy while still being, basically, a neolib—it’s hard to keep enough for ten hours on Fridays.

Back in MFA school, one of my classmates who I could name drop and insert an Amazon affiliate link for went from loving my ending to a story to thinking it was bullshit because it was—very intentionally—bullshit. It was a short piece and I was working on the novel by that time and I rushed the finish because the story didn’t work out.

I’m thinking I have an idea for a project going forward.

I’m not sure how well it’s going to work out. And I’m not seriously committing to it (or not) until my birthday, so two months and a few days. But it’s not a terrible idea. Or it is a terrible idea. But it might be a worthwhile idea.

Summer as chill prep. Is it also chill without prep?

Today is a ninety degree run. I’m kind of proud of myself—or just surprised I’ve stuck with it—for the running as exercise. I’d much rather not do it. Though I still haven’t worked off the free month and a half of junk food we had. Unless a lot of it is new muscle.

But now I’m doing run and walk alternating on my walk days. Potentially to be more running than my run days. Not yet though. Building up. The tennis elbow diagnosis helps.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Stop Button post, with “Loki” on hold in case my friend ends up watching it and we want to hash it out.

It’s also not really like the blog’s missing out on the discourse. “Loki” is derivative and basic.

So I’ve got tennis elbow. And now a tennis elbow strap to hold the tendon in place.

But at least I know what’s wrong and how to fix it. Sure, it’d have been nicer to know earlier and whatever instead of having to increase my running exercise in ninety plus heat but I didn’t want to go to the doctor until the second shot kicked in so it’s on me.

I wonder if I could write a 134 word sentence. Maybe with some historical events or lineage or the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, something I was way too good at doing. Never met anyone else who did it so it’s weird to find the internet full of similar poor bastards but it’s good to be good at something.

Digging the new Ulysses theme.

I just changed my Ulysses theme to more match a Simpletext theme. Simpletext has three themes (six with light and dark). Ulysses has, you know, hundreds of themes. They’re user-submitted and free, whereas Simpletext—despite being an entirely fine plain text editor for multiple platforms and good for distraction-free writing—was three bucks. Good investment to realize I need to shake it up in Ulysses. I’ve been doing something gimmicky with it for ages so as to bake-in some nostalgia to the cheery computer days of yore, when I not only didn’t realize the world was garbage, I was actively taught it was not.

Simpletext does have a much better stat counter thing going on than Ulysses. Ulysses it’s either a window or a filling ring; Simpletext it’s an artful counter.

We’re watching “Hacks,” which is excellent and just goes to show how much “Watchmen” wasted its cast—imagine an even good show with Regina King and Jean Smart. Anyway, Smart’s great on “Hacks.” And the writing is very post-“Fleabag” but also very eighties, referring back to Smart’s character’s comedy career post-popular sitcom. It’s not what I was expecting (I thought Smart was down on her luck not an empress), but it’s much better in that Rocky Balboa cultural figure commentary. Because it’s not real cultural figures, it’s TV-land or movie-land cultural figures, who are better and a lot simpler and a lot more interesting. Because in real life Rocky would have been a Trump supporter and instead he lives in a universe where Trump doesn’t exist.

What was I saying?

Last night I was thinking I should try shooting for thirty-four words then doing threads. Except thirty-four words is just too few. It’s basically three sentences.

I sometimes go down a rabbit hole with old Stop Button posts where I run stats on them but looking at sentence length has never been my thing. Grade level was a big thing. Until it was the exact opposite. Writing for snobs is a garbage idea because what percentage of snobs aren’t garbage people. More bad ideas I had in my late teens in the late nineties. It’s the whole thing.

I also like marathon sentences. Marathon paragraphs. Marathon reading. Not marathon running.

Maybe the 134 isn’t bad. There’s time for an intro and then a lost subject then a rushed conclusion. Just like anything.

Someone bought approximately twenty-seven ebook Stop Button collections. In the last day, more than have sold in the three months I’ve been actively making collections.

Unfortunately, I have a prime suspect and it’s going to be a thing.

But I could be wrong. I probably am wrong, which means I managed to find a dedicated new reader amongst the Kindle crowd, something I never, ever considered a possibility. I thought it’d take me years to make back the Vellum registration.

The idea for Kindle collections wasn’t even mine. It was podcast co-host Matt’s idea; I was doing the “shift-to-self-hosting” (complete disaster, don’t do it, though Linode’s low fine for an amateur) and he suggested blog collections. I went trying to make a new blog thing instead.

I was wrong.

And now for something completely different. Only not exactly. It’s something completely different but also completely the same. I’m trying out a different writing app. Simpletext, which is just the writing screen—limited theme options—and optional words and character statistics counting up. The fonts aren’t great (and there aren’t custom ones). But it’s very simple, it’s very clean, and it’s something I’m trying in a desperate attempt to keep the microblogging going.

At least for today. I’m also realizing I’m running out of steam at seventy words in most of these posts, which isn’t great because seventy words is just over halfway to the requisite word count. Might have to change the word count.

Today’s big development is putting my watch list in Apple Numbers and making it slow with the cell equations.

It oddly hasn’t been a doozy of a way. Even with skipping lunch. Even with the train being late for the first time ever. Even with dramatic emails. I was more thrown to discover Walmart sells Last Temptation of Christ than anything else. Everything else—except the train—was predictable. Or at least not unpredictable.

My expectation of life events juicing me up on microblogging also—possibly predictably—did not work out. I really don’t want to put off the microblog thing until the fall; there’s already enough stuff I’m putting off to the fall. I’m expecting a momentous July—at the least a schedule changing one—so I’m not doing a lot of planning for it but….

I just can’t get the microblogging to stick. It’s simply not writing I enjoy writing. Bummer.

My morning routine is simple. The alarm goes off, I tell Alexa to stop and give me more time, then either get up before that time is up or end up asking for more time. Raise the shade in the bedroom for glorious Sol light, feed the ingrate cats who have been yowling since at least five (the alarm goes off at six), make coffee, check the email.

This morning however I awoke to an email from my oldest but no longer friend. Sort of.

They used the comment system on The Stop Button and phrased it like a passive aggressive customer comment, which is amazing since they once convinced me I wouldn’t be able to handle a Rhetoric class.

I’ve been waiting literal years for a kiss-off opportunity; now, Fredo, it’s arrived.

I added writing a microblog post to my to do list and it didn’t work out. I mean, I’m doing it, but I’m doing it right before bed. Maybe my best early microblogging time was when I was running out to get coffee before work. The rhythm, the rhythm I’ve been struggling to find, is not happening. I’m not sure why exactly. I have suspicions and I’m not sure what to do about them. Dwell on them. Consider them.

I also missed another one of my potential writing times because I sort of forgot I meant to try it as a writing time. It was hot out and I was more concerned with the walk than typing on my phone and walking.

Not to mention I dropped the phone on my run yesterday. Oops.

I’m trying something new with this post—this compliant microblog project post—I’m doing it before another post. For Stop Button. “Loki,” Episode One. Use it as some dental floss, which would then make a regular post something I swish around my mouth and spit out. Change mouth for head and it’s pretty close.

I did not have any success writing any microblog posts today. Lots of file sorting. I’m almost done. NeoFinder is running the cataloging now. I got rid of a lot. I got rid of things I was once like, I’ll never get rid of this. But if you’d told me then about the last six years… Or more the last forty-two; I’m thinking timey-wimey for the “Loki” post. It won’t make the real one, but Hartnett’d be better.

When I was getting ready for bed last night I thought, “Have I done my microblog for the day?”

Nope.

Nope, I had not.

So now I’m back starting from scratch on the thirty-four day uninterrupted run.

July 11. If I can turn it into a habit, at which point I’ll no doubt toss it into Vellum for a very special Stop Button collection and keep going like it’s nothing.

I don’t know why daily writing practice is so hard at this point. It’s been about this hard for years, but I can usually force myself into the rut. Now there isn’t a rut, everything is an even plane, and I don’t think of it as a chore, task, pleasure. Maybe because it’s an inessential. There’s no word count accountability to it anymore.

Sorting out an old school iTunes ate my music library problem, even with a backup, takes a lot of time. I didn’t get much Oregon Trail played today, though the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC probably has more to do with it. Though I did have to fiddle to get the PS4 remote play setup. It was unhappy, but settings could fix it. Settings could not fix the controller interfering with the Magic Trackpad so the Trackpad is temporarily on USB-C.

I’m doing all right with the file sorting (I just remembered I have NeoFinder and can put off dealing with things; I’ve done more than I thought I would).

I’m trying one more thing with the Times Machine setup and waiting on something in the mail tomorrow. I’m maybe closer to done now.

Even after being sans water in Oregon, I failed to realize how much I like being around water. Colorado’s got mountain lakes and drainage canals. Nothing in between. But I’ve also failed to realize how much I like trees. I know I like green versus arid or brown but I’d forgotten the actual tree. I blame summer camp boredom and the great outdoors.

It’s overcast but sunny. A diffused sunny. Not eighty or much past. Kind of perfect.

Sidewalk could be wider.

When we went into lockdown I assumed I’d never miss being outside. I’m not sure I miss it yet—there are still people out here—but I’m surprised how nice it can be. In very small doses. Half hour to close the exercise then out.

Or in, as it were.

Hashtag fitness.

In my hard cleanups I found a nice 50gb disk image of lossless music rips. I’ve got nice AAC copies in the Music library, but I thought—why not. Why not try to bulk add a bunch of duplicates to my Music library?

Because Apple Music is going to screw it all up. Apple Music as in streaming stuff, Apple Music as in Apple Music app. It wiped out most of the files I found and added and the files they’d be replacing. Why? Because Apple Music Match.

Luckily I’ve got a backup because I learned after twenty-three years of this crap—though not of the lossless versions but if I haven’t been missing them they’re just gravy—and I’ve decided I’m busting my music files out of Music.app’s control. Symbolic links FTW.

I know I’m at least trying to be around about the running as regular exercise because it’s so hot out everything looks hot in the bright light. There’s only like one bird chirping. The rest are trying to hide from the heat no doubt.

I’m slower on my warm up thanks to trying to figure out Ulysses for iPhone. It might work out better. I have my regular run course plotted based on elevation. Trying to bake in more relaxing portions.

Wow, it’s hot. My arms are warm. My shoulders are warm. It’s napping in the sun with a lot of sunscreen on warm. So long as you get enough of a breeze. I wonder if anyone’s got their sprinkler going.

Yep. Past time to start.

This posting on warmup isn’t going to work.

I’m losing the daily microblogging enthusiasm. I’ve never been able to do a procedural navel lint investigation of my computer file sorting practices. There was one time I did it with blogging apps, back when Ecto was dying and MarsEdit was very different so I waited a long time to jump ship. I like timed how long it took me to do the same post in each and wrote about it. I don’t even know where. It’s probably long gone. But MarsEdit won and I’ve been with it since.

Except, oddly, for this microblogging thing. I just do Ulysses straight to micro.blog because it’s little writing and I don’t look at the HTML and there aren’t categories. Also I wanted to use Ulysses as the single writing app, including notes. It’s working basically fine.