'80s Neon Tuesday Music

Inspired by a fediverse conversation about how '80s the '80s were (more '80s than you can believe):

And then looking this up, I discovered Robert Palmer died in 2003, age 54. Nobody told me! guardian obituary

What I'm Watching: Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes

Oh, Netflix. There was a long dry spell of Grim Scandinavian Crime Dramas after the last Bordertown, and Deadwind S2 was aimless without a main plot (tho still amusing mostly). But now they have Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes (there's like 3 other Post Mortems in the last couple years). Also technically horror, but mostly comedy.

A young woman Live (pr. "Leeva", Kathrine Thorborg Johansen) is found dead in a field… mostly dead. Not all that dead. Her brother Odd (Elias Holmen Sørensen being a Norwegian Zach Galifianakis, just hilariously incompetent) and father run the small town's only mortuary. And then she starts to have problems with a need for blood.

Odd is soon in charge of the mortuary, and struggles desperately to keep it open. Live's murderous instincts should be a nice windfall… Instead she just gets wannabe cop/boyfriend Reinert (André Sørum) tangled up in it, and hapless Odd nearly bankrupted a couple times.

It's shot like a horror story or drama, but everyone is so foolish and slapstick it never manages to not be comedy (very morbid, hope you don't mind blood & dead bodies). Some of the eps drag or cycle over the same ground a bit; hopefully if they get more seasons they tighten the plot up more. But just a charming little show.

★★★★½

M1 MacBooks Pro

I love beepy music made from Apple system noises. This is not the first!

I could not care any less about HomePod (I have cheap but acceptable stereo BT speakers in every room) or AirPods (BT lag into my ears makes me dizzy). So do with these as you will. I'll be using cheap wired earbuds or expensive wired cans forever.

M1 names combine the ugly internal product number with marketing "Pro". "Max" implies you can't get better. Who'd need more than 64GB RAM? Should be one or the other, like "Apple Chip Pro", or "M1P-10-16-32" (cores-gpus-ram).

MacBook stats are given in mm & lb. PICK ONE SYSTEM!

"The physical keys replace the Touch Bar." Almost like it was a gigantic mistake everyone hated. And MagSafe is back! Multiple ports and SD card reader! It's 2013 again!

What would you do if you had a million bucks? LCD, 3 XDRs, & a 4K monitor at once! (actual cost of the shown system is ~$25K).

How's the notch gonna work with fullscreen programs like Notch's game Minecraft? Just a blank spot. Might obscure the compass in Elder Scrolls games, too. Maybe it just blacks out the entire upper area in fullscreen, wasting real estate but not being stupid. I dislike the notch thing in every device, desktop more than others.

Battery life & GPU performance are awesome, no kidding. Faster than anything Apple shipped in a desktop even, my iMac 5K has a low-end AMD Radeon.

The 16" with M1 Max, 64GB RAM, 4TB SSD, is $4899, still less than a single XDR monitor. 14" with M1 Pro, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD (get a cheap thunderbolt drive for storage) is $2899, almost reasonable.

I'm not, I think, actually getting this; the iPad Air satisfies my portable needs at present. I want the M1 Max in a Mini format, so I can wire up any monitor (not a $6000 XDR).

But if I took a new dayjob, I'd do it in a minute.

Animal Crossing Direct 2021

I haven't been playing as much, typically I'll get in on Fri-Sun if there's an event, or check for birthdays. I've had to time-travel cheat a couple times now, just a few days off, to catch something, and I hate doing it, but it's better than waiting a year? There's just nothing new each day to bring me in. I am trying to stockpile candy for Halloween, but I can get enough candy on the day to not need to do this, it's just easier.

But now there's reasons to come back more often! As of Nov 5:

  • Brewster's café in the museum looks charming, and I have a few Amiibo cards which can be used there. They didn't say if KK Slider would move his shows there? In Wild World (which I mainly played) you had to know KK was playing there to find him; the courtyard is a much more obvious place, but not as comfy.
  • Kapp'n! Boat tours to really non-standard islands. I rarely bother with the Nook Miles islands because I have everything I need at home.
  • Aerobics is back from GameCube. Not at an impossibly early scheduled time now, but just whenever you want?
  • A bunch of Town Hall stuff. And you can expand your storage more! I'm constantly fighting my storage, and have an assistant/mule character who just holds extra junk.
  • Gyroids will grow in the ground again! Fun fact, they're actually ancient Japanese funerary statues Haniwa.
  • More construction content with Harv, who I find creepy but the scene studio's amusing.
  • But also Lottie, who I hate, largely because the Pocket Camp furnishing minigame was absolutely terrible, with no choices or creativity, just a prompt to pay real money for gacha. Maybe it won't be as bad in New Horizons. Maybe. But I want all the construction tools for my own home, not another "Happy Home Designer" minigame. Apparently this is only available if you pay for Online Plus?

Also announced is the Online Plus subscription, mo' money, for Lottie's thing, and:

  • N64 & SEGA Genesis emulators. This is like Coke+ giving you Pepsi as well. That there's a Nintendo-branded Genesis controller is so weird and cursed I don't even know. I think the controller won't work on my Switch Lite, so I'm not too tempted.

Fuck Firefox

I'd been using Firefox as my media browser; I can't reasonably set Safari to show on all desktops, or risk it crashing from stupid movies & music, so I need a secondary browser.

Mozilla's constant disruptive updates are annoying, but they just added a new "trick" to Firefox:

Yes, they've added ads & spyware, and enabled it by default. If they're willing to do this kind of shit, the next one won't have a checkbox, it'll just secretly sell everything you do to ad companies.

So fuck this, Mozilla is dead to me. The one thing I ask first and most importantly from any app or service is DO NOT SPY ON ME.

I've uninstalled Firefox, gone to Chromium for now, we'll see if there's a better option later.

Nostalgia Sunday Music

Look, I remember getting No More Tears when it was new and I was in college, and, uh, 30 years that doesn't make any sense. Because that'd make me not young, but The Old, and I'm clearly not The Old.

What I'm Reading: Shadow Captain, Bone Silence by Alastair Reynolds

Shadow Captain follows the other, less crazy sister, as she tries to revenge herself on pirate Bosa Sennen, then keep their ship supplied, and gain clues about what Bosa was up to. Very much middle-of-trilogy syndrome, nothing happens that's necessary to the overall plot, but it's adequately more of the first volume. We find out a new behavior of the Quoins. ★★★★☆

Bone Silence is split between the sisters POV, and wanders between some excellent lightsail ship combat, a bit of urban treachery, and then pursuit by the… not Navy, but thugs employed by the bankers, so essentially the East India Company, and like the pride of the English, they're honorless scum. All to the good, except midway thru they split the party, one ship goes to town and the other stays to fight the thugs. The author fails to remember the many Chekov's Guns hanging on their fireplaces, and so this is much more of a struggle than it ought to be.

And here the plot turns into a summary, dozens of characters are introduced who have no further purpose or interest, an insurrection takes place in the sewers of an O'Neill colony, and impossible machinery is turned on. An alien explains more about the Quoins, except this is couched in superstitious nonsense for the monkeys and I don't know I believe any of it except the behavior we see. This part's absolutely disposable, but clearly Reynolds was tired of the setting and couldn't wait to get to the last bit. Where a giant precursor starship is approached… the Baubles use stasis fields, but the ship doesn't, even tho it absolutely needs it. The nature of the emergency is made clear but not why they're in that emergency. Rather preachy finale, bad guy is sent off to… smash into the habitat windows? He should be spaced, to make the punishment work, but he's not.
★★★☆☆ at first, then ★★☆☆☆ by end

Possibly better to make up your own 3rd volume than read Bone Silence. I'd still dearly love an RPG sourcebook (preferably for Traveller/Cepheus Engine) covering the mechanics of ships and Baubles.