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I find it kind of funny (I find it kind of sad) that I need a collection of shivs and shanks just to open modern electronics.

Instead of, you know, a screwdriver.

Device Shivs & Shanks

On the plus side, I have most of the tools I’d need for an exciting career in dentistry on Isla Nublar.

I published my database of pressure cooking times.

A couple years ago I scraped all of the pressure cooking time tables from Hip Pressure Cooking into CSV files for storage in my exocortex. For things I cook regularly, I keep my own notes on preferred times, water ratios, etc. But when cooking something new, I find that having an easily greppable, offline database of guidelines is invaluable. Today I moved the CSV files out of my private notes annex and published them as their own git repository.

I find it frustrating that no Android phone seems to ship with a decent file manager.

I’m not sure how one is expected to use a computer without the ability to view and manipulate the file system. For the past few years I’ve solved this problem with Amaze File Manager which is a simple, open source file manager that in a world of sane defaults would be entirely unremarkable.

Giri/Haji is a stylish, slow burning neor-noir crime drama set in Tokyo and London.

The story concerns a police detective, his yakuza brother, and their series of poor life choices. Everything about it is very well done. The show is described as “cancelled”, but the first season is a complete story and, as excellent as it is, I think continuing with the characters in a second season would only lessen the experience of the first.

A few years ago, when large wildfires were becoming the norm, I remember hearing that you shouldn't vacuum when the air quality was poor.

The claim was that pollutants would go through the vacuum and out the exhaust, distributing them back into the air, where you then breathe them in. It was better to just let them sit. While this argument made sense, it struck me as primarily being a critique of a poorly designed tool: I vacuum to remove unwanted matter from my living space, not to redistribute it within the space. So I did the obvious thing and bought a Miele vacuum with HEPA exhaust filter from the Germans. For the past four years my vacuum has been effectively the same as my air filter. I can use it regardless of environmental conditions, even during the 36-hour night.

San Francisco Sunrise

The pandemic has demonstrated the value in stocking a wide supply of spare bike parts.

The effect is evident when looking at the Amazon price history graphs provided by CamelCamelCamel. For example, take the six-month price history of my preferred chain:

Or the six-month price history of my favorite tires:

Fortunately, I have a long-held policy of stocking spares.

I've started mounting my bike lights via shock cord.

The previously mentioned Orfos Pro LED flares ship with Velcro One-Wrap for mounting. This works well enough, but lately I’ve decided I prefer using shock cord and cord locks. The cordlocks add a little weight to the system, but this setup mounts to all the things I want to mount the lights to, and makes it very easy to tighten. After tightening the lights don’t move around at all, where with the Velcro they would move a little on a bumpy road. This system is also quick to attach and detach, which I appreciate when parking, and can be more easily manipulated when wearing full-fingered gloves.

Orfos Pro Shock Cord Mount

  • Orfos Pro Shock Cord Mount
  • Orfos Pro Shock Cord Mount

I published my script for creating optical backups.

Optician archives a directory, optionally encrypts it, records the integrity of all the things, and burns it to disc. I created it last year after writing about the steps I took to create optical backups of financial archives. Since then I’ve used it to create my monthly password database backups, yearly e-book library backups, and this year’s annual financial backup.