With everyone locked inside, the local wildlife has the run of the neighborhood.
This guy planted himself next to the dwarf maple in the middle of our front yard and dared me to do something about it.
Just slightly less than 6 years since hitting 100000 tracks scrobbled, I’ve reached the quarter-million song mark.
My scrobbling rate has clearly accelerated, since it took me almost 11 years to hit 100000. I attribute this to 3 things:
My 250000th scrobble was “Skepticasks”, by Bozart.
A couple of years ago, I posted about my then-new pair of AirPods.
They’ve proven themselves as one of my favorite ever technology purchases. As a result, I was eager to check out the AirPods Pro that Apple brought out in the fall.
After using them for 3 months, I’m happy to say that they were worth the upgrade. The in-ear design, with multiple insert sizes, mean that they stay in my ear much more securely than the first-gen models. The noise cancellation works well, and the transparency mode is really remarkable for the times when I need to hear what’s happening around me without removing them. I daresay the new physical profile (the shorter stalk, poised at a “jaunty” angle in the ear) is an improvement as well.
They’re still not cheap (indeed these are even more expensive), but they’re worth every penny to me.
I grew up with my parents having a transistor radio in the kitchen. It was usually playing news or sports or my Dad’s favorite jazz station. I always liked the idea of having one in the kitchen, to accompany meal prep, cleanup, dishwashing, etc.
A few years ago, I decided what I really wanted in the kitchen, though, was a streaming radio / remote speaker. I realize I could have gone with a smart speaker or a simple Bluetooth speaker, but I really wanted something flexible, and I liked the idea of building a DIY radio with off-the-shelf parts.
It was pretty easy to build a Raspberry Pi system and get Volumio running on it. In addition to supporting playback of local media, Volumio also supports web radio and can work as an AirPlay remote speaker.
I added a USB laptop speaker with a built in DAC, similar to this one (it fits perfectly on the counter ledge, hidden behind a small plant) and I was ready to go.
Quite often, I’ll want to stream audio from my phone, when streaming an EPL match, for example. This is pretty straightforward — I just need to switch my audio output to my fancy kicthen radio.
Thankfully, IOS 13 adds some nice automation options that make this as simple as can be. I keep a credit card-sized NFC-enabled card in the little nook where the radio lives. Now, all I need to do is wave my phone past the card and the audio output is redirected to the kitchen radio. This triggers a Shortcuts automation so that I don’t even need to unlock my phone or go fiddling with audio settings.
I can now use my Apple Watch to approve sudo requests on my Mac and it’s freaking adorable…
The bits to do this are here. Some assembly required.
requires: macOS Catalina+, watchOS 6+
I really love Kraftwerk, so trust me when I tell you that this album of steel drum covers of Kraftwerk songs is more fun than a basket of puppies.
Famous last words:
(1) Don’t unplug it, it will just take a moment to fix.
(2) Let’s take the shortcut, he can’t see us from there.
(3) What happens if you touch these two wires tog—
(4) We won’t need reservations.
(5) It’s always sunny there this time of the year.
(6) Don’t worry, it’s not loaded.
(7) They’d never (be stupid enough to) make him a manager.
(8) Don’t worry! Women love it!