Apple Music

I signed up for Apple Music as soon as iOS 8.4 hit my phone. So far I’ve been very happy with it, although I’ve heard that others are experiencing some issues upon canceling their subscriptions. I’ll have to wait and see what the long-term experience is like for Meaghan and I but in the positive camp things have been great. I’m able to browse listening to artists and material that I likely wouldn’t ever buy or in many cases ever listen to again. It’s a nice way to stream what I’m curious about without committing money to a purchase I’d likely regret.

At work I have explored many different operas, my personal genre of choice for thinking time, and found several that are not to my tastes. Yet I have also developed appreciation for great works I never knew existed, in fact more works in a single month than in my entire operatic curiosity up to this point. That is where the power of the service lies, in letting my whimsy flutter without commitment. I had previously been a member of Spotify but am finding the Apple interface more intuitive and the library more comprehensive, for my tastes at least.

I use to have a hard time “renting” music. I grew up in an era where one built a music library, racks of vinyl, tapes, and CDs. Even as the iPod exploded, I struggled to own only the digital copy and would often buy a CD first and then rip the music to my library. iTunes Match was the first hit of the drug that really caught my attention due to its ability to provide a clean version that didn’t skip and was of unparalleled quality. It didn’t take long for the value of the physical media to yield to the trust of a digital license model. That stepping stone the paved the way for a transition to the Netflix model of renting access to media, and here I am. I’m exploring the feeling of not owning music and being OK with it. A friend of mine at work asked me how often I really go back and listen to songs again. I certainly did that a decade ago. I had favorite albums I knew so well that I can still sing most from memory and identify the song after just a few seconds of the intro. Yet in the age of digital distraction I find that I rarely go back and listen again. There is so much new content to consume that I’m more likely to just push forward into the next thing. It will be interesting to see where that leads.

For now I’m discovering the great works of Puccini and feeling unfettered with my access to music, a feeling I’m sure isn’t new to the Napster generation but one in my rule-following nature of license acquisition I haven’t known before.

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Don Quixote

I recently got a bug to read the classic Don Quixote. It’s a big book and I have to wade through some chapters but I’m having a great time. It’s a sad but brilliant tale of a man so taken by the romantic tales of chivalrous knights in his beloved books that sets out into the world to prove himself one of them. What ensues are rich accounts of the history of the brave Don Quixote de la Mancha told in all the glory befitting of a great hero.

I think part of the inspiration to read of his adventures is from watching Rowen explore the world in her own brilliant imagination. I could see her charging forth at windmills, lance set as firmly as her resolve, ready to charge at those threatening giants.

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Wine Journal

Moleskin now offer a wine journal. I can finally pair my love for journaling with my developing love for wine. The journal is carefully laid out with different sections for different kinds of wines as well as spirits and a set of pages with blank tabs for custom types.

I’ve tried journaling about different wines before but I never really stuck to it. I’m hoping the magic of Moleskine that helps me keep other journals will work for this too.

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Kindle PaperWhite

I caved and bought myself a brand-new paperwhite this weekend. I used eBooks before or rather I’ve used my iPad as an eBook before, but this is my first Kindle. It felt superfluous to own an iPad and a Kindle, which is why I held off for so many years. Although it’s only been a few days I already love it. I’ve spent the last few nights falling asleep reading on my Kindle until my eyes could bear the weight no more.

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Windows Powershell – How to Rename a Folder

I’ve recently switched over to using Powershell and while I’m liking a lot of what I see, my reflexes have yet to catch up. When I go to rename a folder my fingers want to type mv or ren. I get greeted with error text in alarming red and have to take a second to reset my brain into Powershell land. I usually add my tips to Evernote but a friend of mine recently reminded me that blogging is a nice way to share.

Rename-Item <oldname> <newname>

Additional documentation here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/Ee176940.aspx

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Playing some WoW with Meg

Just slashing and stabbing our way through Tanaan Jungle together.

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EVO 2015

As always, I had a great time watching EVO 2015 on the srkevo Twitch streams. Here are some of the highlights from this year’s king of fighting tournaments:

Streaming Schedule
With eight streams this year, there was more content than I could hope to watch. I mostly stuck with the USF IV streams on Friday and then watched UMvC3, Mortal Kombat, and a little Tekken 7 on Saturday, then the finals of those games on Sunday. That left more than enough time to take breaks, get in a few workouts, and go to the park with Meg and Ro.

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Emoticons
The 2015 SRK EVO subscription came with a new set of Twitch emoticons.

Image

Early Pools (08:27)
The room was still mostly empty when the early pools kicked off on Friday.
EarlyPools
PR Rog is Competing Again (08:54)
It was great to see that Eduardo Perez (aka PR Balrog) was competing again this year. There had been rumors of his retirement, but fortunately he was in attendance and ready to show us that boxer is still a competitive fighter.
PRBalrog
Some Early Action (10:43)
A mid-morning fight featuring Gackt.
Gackt
Poonkgo Defeats a Disrespectful Player (14:22)
The guy crossed the line when he took his shirt off and put it on Poongko’s shoulder.
Poongko
Matsuri Winning a Match (16:20)
She played a great Chun Li. Very patient style.
Matsuri
Gootecks Loses to Haitani (16:39)
The look says it all.
Gootecks
Alex Valle Defeats Bonchan (18:36)
He beat him with solid fundamentals using Hugo. Great spacing and that standing fierce looked terrifying. Cute girl in the background with the red hair too.
Valle
Daigo Beats Ragajin in the Quarter Finals (18:47)
Daigo_Ragajin
Luffy Defeated by Dieminion (18:56)
Luffy was sent to loser’s bracket.
Luffy_Dieminion
PR Balrog Sent to Losers Bracket by Xian (19:32)
It was a great fight by Xian.
Xian_PRRog
Winner’s Bracket (end of Day 1)
WinnersBracket
Loser’s Bracket (end of Day 1)
LosersBracket
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Timewalking Dungeons

Time-walking is a new feature in Warlords of Draenor that I’m rather excited about. In essence it allows max-level characters to go back and experience dungeons from much older content as though they were at the level for that content. It’s an awesome way to take a trip down memory lane and play the dungeons as they were meant to be enjoyed. Not only that but the dungeons reward max-level gear. You go in as a 100, get scaled down to a level 70, but receive gear appropriate for an end-game level 100 character. It’s a great way to make old content relevant again while still rewarding players for working through the dungeon content. I hope Blizz bring more dungeons into the fold. For now it’s just Burning Crusade dungeons and for a limited time only. Feels like a field trial to see how the content is received.

Two thumbs up Blizzard. What a great new feature!

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A Walk in the Park

We took Rowen to Rood Bridge park again today. It’s rapidly becoming one of our favorite destinations.

Rowen is getting stronger and steadier on her balance bike every time we go out. Hills are becoming much less of an issue and her stamina is much improved. The heat  did eventually get the better of her though and she decided to walk for a while. I think this next picture says it all. She has that perfect look of “how much further do we have to go?”

Fortunately at about that time we saw a wild rabbit on the trail. Rowen was so excited she started making little houses for bunnies to sleep in. They mostly consisted of small piles of grass on the side of the trail. She likes to pull up the grass and then arrange it in a makeshift “bed.”

Enamored with the possibility of outdoor housing, Rowen then started to find grass houses of her own to stay in. She showed me around, pointing out where she would sleep and eat, saying “I’ll be warm and cozy here daddy.”

Exploring her new grass house.

 “I’ll be cozy here daddy.” It didn’t take long for her to realize that she still wanted her bike, and her toys. She decided to donate the house to the bunnies to “help them feel better.”

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Hidden Outlook Feature – Attachment Reminder

I came across a neat feature in Outlook this morning. Try it out for yourself.

In an email, type “Please see the attached…” but do not attach any files. Outlook appears to parse the text of the email and displays a dialog asking if you’ve forgotten the attachment. Slick!

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