Dan Mangan at the Yates

Last night Andrea and I hit up the concert of two time Juno award winning musician Dan Mangan at the Yates here in Lethbridge. He puts on a fantastic show. About halfway through the night he explained that the show was being recorded and a link would be sent out so that we could all have a copy if we want to listen again later. In the age of (basically) free digital storage… why not?

Dan Mangan raises his arms with his band at the Yates in Lethbridge taken on September 27, 2023.

Art work

Guest Teaching

I’m back into the swing of things as a substitute teacher. I don’t have much to say about it other than now that I’m back teaching high school I remember what it’s like to really love what you do.

On that note, here’s an inspirational cartoon I saw in the class I was subbing in today:

A security guard for a bank crops security footage in his mind while a bank robbery occurs.

Art humor

Old Hard Drive Images

The other day, while looking through an old hard drive of mine, I found a folder called “Random Internet Fun”, which was full of random comics and animated gifs that I suppose I collected over the years. I’ll post them here for posterity…


Writer’s Strike Ends

From Cynthia Littleton, Kate Aurthur, Matt Donnelly, Gene Maddaus writing for Variety:

Hollywood heaves a sigh of relief. The WGA and major studios and streamers have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that promises to end the 146-day strike that has taken a heavy toll across the content industry.

Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached the finish line Sunday after five consecutive days of negotiations.

”What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd – is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days. It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal,” the negotiating committee wrote in its message to members.

Now it remains to be seen how long it will take until my favorite shows are back in the air. As much as everyone hated the strike, good on the writers and their guild for sticking it out.

Meanwhile, the ongoing actors strike is entering its third month. So while late-night and daytime talk shows are expected to make a quick comeback, scripted shows that require actors will take longer to return.

bad review revue

The Bad Review Revue

The Expend4bles: “‘The Disposables’ would describe it better.” — Brian Lowry,

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3: “This awkward threequel is one wedding you’ll wish you didn’t RSVP to.” — Fay Watson, Total Film

Retribution: “The only jaw-dropping this thriller induces is yawning.” — M.N. Miller, Hidden Remote

Sound of Freedom: “It’s bizarre, unsettling and yet – in the filmmaking equivalent of turning wine to water – bracingly dull to boot.” — Ed Power, Daily Telegraph (UK)

Golda: “It’s not that insightful into who she was… Generally, it’s just a history of the Yom Kippur War, and it assumes you know a whole lot about it already.” — Andy Klein, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

Meg 2: The Trench: “It’s a relief, after almost two hours of this silliness, to come up for air.” — Brian Viner, Daily Mail (UK)


Two Ways to Improve Gmail

Dave Winer posted to ask if anyone had a suggestion on how to quickly create new email addresses that can be forwarded to his main address. I wrote him with a suggestion and at the same time realized I’ve never posted the techniques1 here.

Gmail has a feature where you can add a + to the end of your email address and create a new address that goes to your original address. For example, will appear to the service you are signing up for as a different address than but they both go to my inbox.

The only downside is that some services see the + as being not a valid email address.

The other feature I want to highlight is that gmail ignores periods. Mail sent to or will both arrive in my inbox. Same with Gmail doesn’t care about the periods but each iteration is a different email address to the service you are signing up for.

  1. I first learned about these features in a Gmail Blog post from 2008. ↩︎

12 Things to Do First with iOS 17

MacRumors has 12 suggestions for what to do now that you’ve updated your iPhone.

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 bucks!”



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)