Apple humor

Woman Rescued from Outhouse After Climbing in to Retrieve Apple Watch

This story by the AP and commentary by Gruber is just too good to not quote completely:

The Associated Press:

A woman was rescued Tuesday from an outhouse toilet in northern Michigan after she climbed in to retrieve her Apple Watch and became trapped. The woman, whose name was not released, lowered herself inside the toilet after dropping the watch at the Department of Natural Resources boat launch at Dixon Lake in Otsego County’s Bagley Township, state police said Wednesday in a release.

First responders were called when the woman was heard yelling for help. The toilet was removed and a strap was used to haul the woman out. “If you lose an item in an outhouse toilet, do not attempt to venture inside the containment area. Serious injury may occur,” state police said in the release.

Tim Cook had a good line in the keynote last week about people’s attachment to their iPhones and Apple Watches: “If you left either one at home, I bet you’d go back to get it.”

Home, yes. Outhouse, no.

It reminds about the guy who was caught dropping a $100 bill down the outhouse as his friend accidentally walked in on him. The friend asked him what he was doing. The guy responded, “I dropped $10 down there and there’s no way I’m climbing down there for $10.”



I’ve been learning Terminal commands from a new book that I got, “Tweak Your Mac Terminal“.

Reading through the first chapter, I discovered a simple command-line utility called “Fortune”. When it’s installed and run at the command-line, Fortune displays random quotations or proverbs. It is often used to provide a humorous or thought-provoking message to users when they log in or open a terminal session. I noticed within the fortune manual (man fortune) that there were some offensive fortunes that had been relegated to only operating when one entered the -o flag (fortune -o) but then discovered that the offensive quotations had actually been removed altogether from the home-brew repository because, well, it includes explicitly racist, homophobic, ethnically insensitive and other offensive content that directly conflicts with the Homebrew’s code of conduct.

Curiosity killed the cat and I found them online. Needless to say, they are at least pretty crass if not outright offensive. But finding them led me down the path to discovering how one creates their own quotations to add to the library of possible fortunes.

To add your own quotations or messages to the fortune database, you’ll need to create a custom fortune file and then compile it into a .dat file. Here are the steps:

Create a Fortune File:
  • Open a text editor, such as bbedit, nano, vim, or gedit.
  • Add your quotations or messages, one per line, to the file. Each message should end with a % character. For example:
This is my first custom fortune message.
Here's another custom fortune message.
Add as many messages as you like.
  • Save the file with a .txt or .dat extension (e.g., my_fortunes.txt).
Convert the Fortune File:
  • Use the strfile command to convert your text file into a .dat file. The .dat file is used by the fortune program to provide random messages efficiently. Run the following command:
strfile my_fortunes.txt my_fortunes.dat
  • Replace my_fortunes.txt with the actual name of your text file and my_fortunes.dat with the desired name for your .dat file.
  • Install or Copy to Fortune Directory:
  • If you want to make your custom fortunes available system-wide, you can copy the .dat file to the system’s fortune directory. On most Unix-like systems, this directory is typically /usr/share/games/fortunes/ or /usr/local/share/games/fortunes/. You may need to use sudo to copy the file:
sudo cp my_fortunes.dat /usr/share/games/fortunes/
Apple Music

Default iPhone Ring as a Ballad

The default ring for the iPhone used to change every year or two evolving through various iterations of the tunes: “Marimba”, “Opening”, and “Reflection”. In the video above composer and pianist Tony Ann reimagines “Opening” as a complete ballad.

(via Kottke)

family life


We went tent camping last weekend. Our friends Duane, Chelsea, and family were sleeping in their new (to them) trailer and our other friend Wren and her daughters slept in their car. Cold weather and a new air mattress that needed to be refilled once every two to three hours meant that our sleep was pretty disrupted. That morning Ian woke up crying… or more like whining. At the same time, Wren’s daughter Kate opened her car door which made a screeching noise exactly like the sound Ian was making. He stopped abruptly, yelled out angrily, “Stop copying me!” and looked around to see who was mocking him. I told him that was just the car door closing and Kate yelled out, “Sorry Ian.” Luckily he took it in stride and laughed along with all of us.

Later that morning we were talking about how we slept. Duane said, pointing to his trailer, you’ve got to get one of these, they’re great. I said sarcastically “Oh, were you not freezing cold all night?” referring to our own sleep in the tent. He said, “Actually, at one point it was almost too hot”.

I guess we still had fun because we’ve decided to do it again in a couple weeks.



I’ve been dabbling with Xcode since I got my first Macbook back in 2016. I’ve wanted to learn how to make an iPhone app and especially how to make one that uses SwiftUI, the user interface is growing in popularity and by all accounts is Apple’s recommended choice. Last month I started on this tutorial from Apple’s developer site and last week I finished it! The app is called Scrumdinger and it helps keep track of speaking turns and time limits during a meeting.

A screenshot of the Scrumdinger app.

One problem that needed to be sorted out happened within the section titled, “Creating a card view“. I ran into this warning:

Because I had followed the first section perfectly, I assumed I didn’t need to download their “starting project” because if that was the case, then how would I be able to make an app myself? Eventually I discovered I would need to add color assets to Xcode in order to avoid needing the “starting project” files.

Here is the a quick look at the manual process:

Screen Recording 2023-08-26 at 1.11.54 PM

Then repeat for the remaining 15 colours or just download the “starting project”. I can see why the writers of the tutorial recommend skipping the tedious operation of adding each colour manually but it’s nice to know how to do it.

Apple finance

Apple Earnings Report Q3 2023

Jason Snell at Six Colors:

Apple announced its results for its fiscal third quarter on Thursday. As expected, it was a down quarter—though at a 1% drop over the year-ago quarter, it’s a better result than the previous quarter, which was down 3% year-over-year. The company reported $81.8B in revenue and $19.9B in profit.

The three key hardware categories were all down year-over-year: Mac was down 7%, iPad was down 20%, and the all-important iPhone was down 2%. Things were a little different in the two portions of Apple’s business that have shown indefatigable growth in recent years: Services revenue was up 8% and the Wearables, Home, and Accessories category was up 2%.

In a press release accompanying the results, Apple CFO Luca Maestri trumpeted that it has broken the billion paid subscriptions barrier.

Apple’s fiscal 2023 third-quarter results reveal a mixed picture for the tech giant. While the company reported a 1 percent year-over-year decline in quarterly revenue, reaching $81.8 billion, it managed to achieve a 5 percent increase in quarterly earnings per diluted share, reaching $1.26. These results indicate a certain level of resilience, particularly when compared to the previous quarter, which saw a more substantial decline.

A noteworthy highlight is Apple’s impressive performance in the Services segment, where it achieved an all-time revenue record during the June quarter. This growth was driven by surpassing the milestone of 1 billion paid subscriptions, demonstrating the company’s ability to retain and engage its customer base. Additionally, the robust sales of iPhone in emerging markets contributed to the positive performance.

Financially, the company generated substantial operating cash flow of $26 billion during the quarter, enabling it to return over $24 billion to shareholders. This reflects Apple’s ongoing dedication to rewarding its investors while continuing to invest in long-term growth plans.

Overall, Apple’s fiscal third-quarter results demonstrate a mix of challenges and successes, with notable growth in services and a strong cash flow position.


Comic Book History on a New YouTube Channel

I just discovered a relatively new YouTube channel about comic books that takes me back to my childhood. I particularly enjoyed this story of Rob Liefeld, and despite the clickbait title, “How this ‘terrible artist’ made MILLIONS”, it’s actually a great documentary on Comic Book history, and true, I remember thinking how weird some of his characters looked. I got my start collecting comics with the X-Force #1 mentioned in this video. I still have it wrapped in plastic sitting in my childhood bedroom.

Also, don’t miss the backstory behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I also used to collect the Archie Comics version of these heroes in a half shell. On the playground I remember hearing about the ultra-violent black and white versions of the comics that kids weren’t allowed to buy. I enjoyed hearing about the ending to that particular run of comics at the end of the video:

Rediscovering comic book history through this captivating YouTube channel has been a delightful journey down memory lane, and it looks like it’s gotten quite popular in its short life so far. I’m looking forward to Matt’s next release.


Microsoft Picks A new a Default

Microsoft announced they finally picked a new default font for Office:

For 15 years, our beloved Calibri was Microsoft’s default font and crown keeper of office communications, but as you know, our relationship has come to a natural end. We changed. The technology we use every day has changed. And so, our search of the perfect font for higher resolution screens began. The font needed to have sharpness, uniformity, and be great for display type. It was exciting at times, but also intimidating. How do you replace Calibri? How do you find that one true font that can take its place as the rightful default?

As we shared before, Microsoft commissioned five new fonts: Bierstadt, Grandview, Seaford, Skeena, and Tenorite. It was our hope that one of them would be our next default font for Microsoft 365. All of them were added to the drop-down font picker. From there, as you got a chance to use them, we listened to your impassioned feedback and chose the one that resonated most which was Bierstadt. But as there was a change of guard so too the name. Bierstadt is now known as Aptos.

I had previously decided I liked Tenorite best. There are some odd things about this unveiling though, unfortunately I don’t have the answers. Why did it take them this long to make these fonts the default? It’s also odd that they chose Aptos (née Bierstadt) based on customer feedback. It’s also weird that there is a lack of examples of these typefaces at normal sizes in any of the marketing material which, in the context of Office documents, the real importance lies in their appearance at document text sizes, even though they’ve primarily been showcased at larger display sizes.

bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts: “In all fairness, I think I might have enjoyed this film if I was nine years old.” — James Berardinelli, Reelviews

The Out-Laws: “The Out-Laws, a diversion at most, is streaming purgatory incarnate. It isn’t a movie to be devoured in one viewing, nor necessarily finished at all.” — Michael Frank, The Spool

65: “65 should only be recommended after one has run out of films to watch, which might not be for many years.” — Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

The Tutor: “I can’t decide if it’s so bad it’s good or if it’s just plain old bad.” — Christy Lemire, FilmWeek

The Flood: “Slagle and co. take the material so seriously — and not in a way that results in appealing camp — that there is barely any fun to be had here, period, regardless of the number of brewchachos consumed during its mercifully brief runtime.” — Steven Warner, In Review Online

Fast X: “Out of gas. Spinning its tires. Stuck in the ditch. Slid too far off the road. Grinding its gears. Crashed and burning with one wheel spinning. Insert your automobile cliche here.” — John Serba, Decider


Sarah Ellen (Ella) Kinsman

My great-grandmother was Sarah Ellen Kinsman (AKA Ella Milner). Growing up, I didn’t know much about her except that her father Marshall Kinsman died in a logging accident and her mother remarried Joseph Young, Brigham Young’s older brother. Even my dad was too young to know my Great Grandma Milner — she died a year before he was born. I also remember hearing that Ella’s mother was born on the day of the Hauns Mill Massacre but I could never keep track of which relative these stories were about. Really the only thing I remember from my childhood about my great-grandmother was just that we would often visit her gravesite on our trips to Raymond, AB, so learning more about her has been really interesting.

I’m sharing her story for posterity as part of my collection of family posts. If you find this information useful please send me a note, I’d love to hear from you.

SARAH ELLEN KINSMAN, daughter of Marshall Corridon Kinsman and Sarah Jane Snow, was born 19 May 1857, at Provo, Utah. She died 25 May 1943, in Salt Lake City, Utah at the age of 86. She married Benjamin Franklin Milner on 9 June 1886, at Logan, Cache, Utah in the Logan Temple.

Sarah Kinsmen (AKA Ella Milner) — colour added by Jeff Milner 2023 in Photoshop