The gift of music, or #GiftedMusic as I call it

I recently realized that it’s been almost two years since I gave away an album I love, Austin Wintory’s Journey soundtrack, to random people on Twitter. I thought it’d be fun to do that again under the hashtag #GiftedMusic on Twitter! At the same time I figure it’ll keep me at least somewhat active here on the ol’ blog.

With #GiftedMusic I’ll try to do monthly giveaways of albums I love listening to. And I’ve already picked out the first three albums I want to gift in the upcoming months. Like last time, the only thing you’ll have to do for this #GiftedMusic is to ask for one of the copies. When I confirm that you’re getting a copy you’ll need to message me your email address so I can gift you through Bandcamp.

This month's #GiftedMusic features Mister Mudd, here seen performing live

This month I’m giving away ten copies of the album “At the End of a Century” by Mister Mudd. He’s one of the amazing artists I had the chance to meet up with during my recent trip to Los Angeles. Mister Mudd is a Los Angeles based folk singer who performs warm earthy tones with rough raw vocal accompaniments.

I plan to do the #GiftedMusic giveaway on Wednesday, April 26th, but you can preview the album in the player below. If you like what you hear, I hope you’ll consider supporting this artist as he’s working on his next album. Every little bit helps.

If you wish to follow Mister Mudd, you can find him on the following platforms:
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, YouTube and SoundCloud.

Dreaming of an Anaheim Ducks game

I’d set my alarm to wake up a few minutes before 4 a.m. today as there was a hockey game I wanted to watch. Ophy has gotten me hooked on following the Anaheim Ducks. Unfortunately for me, the games always start at bullshit o’clock.

When I woke up, it way past 4 a.m. More like 4:40 or so, and I had missed the entire first period. No sweat, I figured I could watch the second and third at least. But I fell back asleep while waiting for the second period to start again.  I woke up a few times during the rest of the game, usually to see the score and doze back off again.

From what I hear it was a good and exciting game, where the Ducks made a fantastic comeback from 4-1. I remember the Ducks scoring the 4-4 goal mere seconds before the third period ended, finally winning not long into overtime. And then I woke up again. Sure, the score was 4-4, but there were almost two minutes left in the third period. But wait, they’d already won hadn’t they?

In hindsight, I guess that you have to unlock a safe to score in a hockey game should’ve been a big clue that I was dreaming. But dream logic isn’t always very logical.

Anyway, the Ducks really did fight their way back from 4-1 to 4-4, and then won like 90 seconds into overtime. Go Ducks!

I don’t remember many of my dreams, and I haven’t for a long time. Say, 20ish years give or take. It’s a long story, and maybe I’ll write about it at some point. The fact that I remember as much as I do from this one, and that the dream hasn’t faded from memory more than five hours later has me a bit curious.

Update about the Acer R11 Android bug

Earlier this month I wrote about my Acer R11 Chromebook. In the entry I mention a bug that causes a crash when I alt-tabbing while in an Android app.

After weeks of making myself click outside the app window instead of alt-tabbing, I just messed up. I accidentally alt-tabbed while in the Steam app, and… NO CRASH! If they fixed this it’s huge (that’s what she said?), so I had to try it from another app. STILL NO CRASH!

I did update the Chromebook yesterday, after getting an update notification for Chrome OS. I guess already knew about that bug, after all. 😉

As I said, this is huge for me. This is seriously the only negative thing I’ve found about the Chromebook after almost a month of daily usage. Heck, I’ve hardly even had the MacBook Pro running.

The Acer R11 is one of three Chromebooks with Android app support right now. Here’s the kicker. As I’ve understood it, there’s two different types or models of the Acer R11. I only found this out after I’d already placed my order. Naturally I got the “wrong” one – it’s just a fluke that I can use the Android apps on mine!

I know, I know. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and all that stuff. Just smile and wave, boys! Smile and wave.

Importing old content from Tumblr

I came across some old content from a few years ago, back when I was using Tumblr as a platform, and was wondering if I should add it to this blog or not. On the one hand it’s ancient history. On the other hand, it kind of does adds to my “backstory”.

The content is from back when I used Tumblr as a platform. And Tumblr actually isn’t a bad alternative if I want to go the hosted route again. It was pretty intuitive and easy to use, and I think the mobile app was pretty good as well.

Anyway, I’ve manually imported some of the old posts, and may decide to add some more thought he ones that remain are mostly gaming related. We’ll see how much ends up here.

Introducing the Acer R11 Chromebook

I got myself a Chromebook as an alternative laptop on Black Friday. I still like my trusty old MacBook Pro, but it’s six years old. It’s hardly going to get any youn…err… faster. Besides, the MacBook weighs a ton, at least compared to the Chromebook.

I want to see if the Chromebook’s limitations can work to my advantage, to help me focus better. There’s a ton of potential distractions whenever I use the PC or MacBook, and hey, so far it seems to be working. I’m writing! Now let’s see if I can keep at it.

After some research, I decided on the Acer R11, it’s a white one. Don’t know how to feel about owning a white laptop. I didn’t exactly have a choice, this R11 model (yes, there’s more than one R11 model) only seems to come in white. It’s got a touchscreen, which is nifty. And 360-degree hinges, but don’t quote me on the name, that let me flip the screen all the way around so it can double as a tablet. A pretty thick tablet. With a keyboard on the bottom. I know, it’s weird for me also.

The Chromebook boots in like 3 seconds, which is AMAZING. That means I can shut it off each time I’m on the move, I figure shutting it off will save more battery power than putting it in sleep mode does. Right? Right. OH, and it’s QUIET! Not that I’ve noticed much at home. But that’s a story for another day.

Acer R11 is one of the first Chromebooks that can install Android apps at the moment, so that’s a plus. The first app I installed was Instagram, and I don’t have to type messages on the phone anymore. BWAHAHAHA! Ahem. I couldn’t figure out how to get SwiftKey working, though.

I have noticed something that may be a bug. Whenever I’m in an Android app and alt-tab, the whole Chromebook restarts. Hey, there’s another perk to the machine being super fast at starting up! Even alt-tabbing from the Google Play Store (it’ll always be the “Android Market” to me!) causes a crash. I should see if there’s a bug report about it, and if not, maybe file one.

To Squarespace, or not to Squarespace

I logged in to check for the date when my Squarespace subscription period ends. I’ve got little over a month to decide what I want to do, so why not write a little.

I’ve hardly used the Squarespace platform this past year. Should I switch platform again, this time to something cheaper (or free)? Checking the pricing for Ghost surprised me, it costs almost twice as much as my Squarespace subscription! So I can either stick with what I have here or go back to something self-hosted. Hosted WordPress doesn’t interest me at all, as it looks way too limited.

Looking at self-hosted alternatives, I guess WordPress would be the simplest. I’ve got years of experience with it after all. An alternative could be to try to host Ghost myself. I’m tempted to do that either way. Learning is fun, and I wouldn’t mind taking a quick peek under the hood of Ghost. See what makes it tick.

I should do a little research on what other blogging platforms exist these days. But let’s face it, I’m lazy. I probably won’t. At least I’m honest about it.

Public blog vs private blog

I’ve spent some time thinking about whether to keep the blog public and keep writing whatever comes to mind or if I should make it private, for my eyes only.

There’s a certain kind of freedom that comes from just posting and not caring who my posts. On the other hand, there are assholes everywhere, and it’s not exactly hard to find information about me, seeing as how I mostly go by Konc online. So do I potentially want to share my thoughts with such people?

I’m going to keep things public, for now. Let’s call it a step in the process of learning not to care as much what others think of me. We shouldn’t measure our value by how others see us, right?

New platform yet again

So I was pretty happy with using a self-hosted WordPress installation for my blog, but I just don’t have the energy to keep up with updates and keeping the platform secured. So I’m lazy, sue me.

I figure I’d try something new, and I’ve heard great things about Squarespace so why the heck not. Let’s shake things up a bit. I’m currently attempting to import the few posts I have from WordPress, I’m sure I’ll have some tweaking to do to get the embeds I used to work.

My hopes for moving to a paid hosted platform is to make me actually keep doing something with the site. And if I don’t, well, paying for something I don’t use is punishment enough isn’t it?

“What’s my password?”

Sometimes I just can’t facepalm enough while talking to certain people at work. This is literally how a conversation went during my lunch break today because apparently stupidity never rests.

CW: What is my Skype name?
Me: I don’t know. I’ll see if I can look it up. Umm… it’s XXX.YYY
CW: Okay, is that XXX.ZZZ with all lowercase letters?
Me: I said XXX.YYY
CW: Oh, right. And what’s my password?
Me: How the fuck would I know?!

And this is just a few days after she asked me about the login information for her work email last Friday. That conversation didn’t go much better.

My thoughts on the price increase of Twitch subscriptions

Yesterday I noticed some Twitter chatter about the price of Twitch subscriptions having changed. After reading comments aimed towards @Twitch and @xsolla, this is what I’ve understood. EU subscribers now have to pay VAT + a transaction fee for each subscription transaction. Each new subscription will now cost 26 percent more each month. Some comments claim that until now Twitch paid the VAT part of subscriptions, but I don’t know how true that is.

There’s a Reddit thread about it in /r/Twitch, and I figured I’d post my comment to that thread here as well.

I haven’t had much time to read the comments in this thread. If I’m just rehashing what other people have already said, I apologize.

Here are my thoughts.

I don’t mind paying a little bit more to support the streamers I enjoy interacting with on a daily basis. With that said, I find the lack of information from Twitch on this matter rather questionable. A heads up would have been nice.

Maybe Twitch needed to inform users about the price increase for a lot of their users, and maybe they didn’t. I’ve seen people argue back and forth about it, and I don’t care either way. I believe that it is good form to do so, especially when they raise the price by 26 percent.

I’m still waiting to hear if this new fee applies to only new subscriptions. If the price changes for all active subscriptions as well I will have to give this some more thought.

For now I’m opting to donate $5 to the streamers in question instead of subscribing anew. I do this knowing that I’ll miss out on a lot of cool emotes, subscriber-only giveaways etc. Then again, those things aren’t why I’ve chosen to subscribe to a streamer in the first place.

The way I see it, by donating $5 each month the people I choose to support ought to get a bigger cut out of my generosity. as the fee PayPal takes from a $5 donation is smaller than what Twitch takes from a month’s subscription. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong here.

On the flip side, I do know that the number of subscribers helps streamers when it comes to channel growth. More subscribers mean more emotes etc. Sorry about that.

If the streamers I enjoy were to set up recurring payments on PayPal, I’ll choose that route instead.