CategoryObservations

Declarations

Silly ideas pop into my brain sometimes. I usually ignore them or at the very most Tweet them and move on with life.

This time is different.

Patrick Rhone wrote a post on Declarations for the new year. It included his declaration:

“There will be no anger, grumpiness, frustration, or other bad feelings today. This is not how any of us wish to start the new year. This is not how any of us wish for those we love to start the new year. We have a nice day ahead and a nice day is exactly how we wish to start the new year. Therefore, we will figure out how to get beyond whatever stands in the way of that.”

And finishes his post saying,

Should it be a success, I may begin tomorrow by announcing, “There will be no anger, grumpiness, frustration, or other bad feelings today. This is not how any of us wish to start the second day of new year…”

And I thought that was a neat idea.

So I decided to start recording a daily declaration. I immediately over thought it and started reaching for a microphone and recording it to an mp3, then where to host it. How to share it. Then I remembered, Anchor was a thing that existed in the world.

So I downloaded it and have started recording Daily Declarations.

Since I don’t understand how Anchor works, I don’t have copies of the first few days. But here is today’s recording. This has been a fun excuse to use Anchor and I may expand that out to other things. It’s a silly little project, but one I’m having fun with.

If anyone would like to record a declaration, let me know and we’ll keep this going into the New Year.

Practice > Tools

Tools aren’t important, it’s the practice that makes good content.

From Warren Ellis

My problem with this emerging narrative is that doing a podcast is a relatively low-tech, cheap enterprise. Beg or borrow a microphone and a laptop. Use a smartphone and earbuds with a mic. Process in something free like Audacity or Garageband. Look at apps like Opinion or Anchor before spending real money on Libsyn or a WordPress front end. It can be easier than you think. If you have something to say or do and audio is your thing, don’t dismiss podcasting just because other people are telling you it’s becoming professionalised.

Figure out what you want to do. Pre-record three episodes and upload them all at once as your launch. Keep it simple, always. Get things out into the world. And then tell me about them, please. Thank you.

I saw the excerpt from Warren Ellis’ newsletter on Twitter earlier and it made me think about a similar post I saw.

The tools aren’t important. Practice is important.

The Internet™

The Internet Demands Progress.
The Internet Hates Change.

This applies to everything on the Internet.
And everything in business.
Every new season of television.
Every new movie.
Everything.

People want something that’s familiar enough to be comfortable and relate-able and different enough to feel good about the price of money and time.

Sometimes, my niece has shockingly long, in depth conversations with Alexa. Straight up, there is no better person to talk to a curious, chatty five year old than Alexa. It’s so delightful to watch. Also, it took only two visits for my niece to figure out how to talk to Alexa. The first time, she would shout, “Alexa,” but then wait an excruciating minute to say something else, by which time Alexa had moved on to other things. The next visit, she was ready for Alexa, had her requests and jokes ready. She asks Alexa to play Ariana Grande and music from Frozen, A LOT. She never runs out of questions for Alexa and Alexa never runs out of patience. Hell takes on different forms for us all.

From Uses This / Roxane Gay

I wish I had the level of patience Alexa has for small children’s endless questions.

Claw Machines

I’ve noticed this with newer claw machines. I was once good at claw machines. I would walk out of an arcade with four or five stuffed animals because I knew the two most common tricks.

The first trick was to see how far forward and back the claw would actually reach. Many machines owners would group animals at the very front and back of the machine, beyond where the claw would be able to reach. The same goes for the claw machines in a row, where the inside walls are short so prizes can sometimes fall out of the claw and between the machines. These machines also grouped prized next to those middle walls where the claw could not reach them. So a well-stocked machine would actually have very little available to win.

The second trick was to pack the stuffed animals in so tightly, the claw would not be able to grab anything at all. It would descend on to a pile of stuffing and lay there uselessly grasping at air, then retract with a lot of nothing. I would walk over to a claw machine and see if anything was actually available to win. A prize that was previously almost-won and dropped on the pile was a good choice. So were slender animals with bodies the claw could easily grab. I was even lucky enough to grab a prize by its tag once.

Even though I still enjoy claw machines, I don’t play them nearly as often because I’ve seen where they simply don’t try to grab the prize. I didn’t know it was all controlled by the machine, but it does not surprise me. The claw that simply doesn’t grab is the biggest letdown because no amount of skill will lead to a win. I might as well hand two quarters to the next child I pass, my return will be just as good.