Daily Miscellany


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Shell and a song book Shell and a song book.

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Nobody ever became drunk on the word wine.

Anthony De Mello

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The good china Use the good plates like you won’t be here this evening.

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Earings in a dish Ornaments on our bathroom counter.

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Patti Smith hot sauce

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250 poems

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Ukulele and speaker

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Freddie deBoer, The Creative Underclass is Still Raging:

I believe I’m very good at what I do, but/and I’m exquisitely aware that if a few things had broken differently for me, I’d never have enjoyed this opportunity to write as my only job. … The question is whether people should have fits over my success itself, as opposed to all the substantive reasons to dislike me. It’s difficult for any of us to really grasp abstract problems like inequality or corporate domination, and the temptation to nominate some individual people as the receptacles for your anger is understandable. Understandable, but not helpful, least of all to the people who get perpetually enraged in this way.

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Cherokee Rock Village, Alabama.
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Here’s looking forward to 2023 and more advances in nuclear fusion and AI and new discoveries from the James Webb Space Telescope.

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Amazon delivery truck stuck in quicksandThings you don’t want to hear from guests if you’re throwing a New Year’s Eve party:

Best reads of 2022

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Amazon delivery truck stuck in quicksandAfter reading 45 books this year, these are nine standouts that I highly recommend:

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Amazon delivery truck stuck in quicksandOne fun use for AI-generated art is to create custom lock screen images for my phone. Here is an image I created of a poodle astronaut. (This likeness to our dog is remarkable.)

This image was created with DALL-E and extended at the top using their edit tool to add the planet. I cleaned up the final image a little in Photoshop before uploading to my phone.

Haiku from the mind of a machine

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Haiku on the toiling of a modern office worker, written by ChatGPT:

The office worker sighs
Staring at a sea of numbers
Spreadsheets never end

Spreadsheets and slides
Office worker’s endless toil
Endless suffering

Bright screens glare at me
In the endless sea of cubicles
Trapped in corporate hell

Tired fingers type, click
Mind numbed by tedious tasks
Office drone’s daily grind

I asked it to put a more positive spin on things:

Morning sun shines through
Bustling office, new day starts
Opportunities abound

Cup of coffee steams
Motivating music plays, I work
Productive day ahead

Challenges await, I rise
Determined to conquer them all
Victory is mine

And one more on the future of the human worker:

Robots take the jobs
Human workers left in despair
Cold efficiency reigns

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According to Spotify’s year in review the top two artists I listened to this year were musicians I’d never heard of before this year: Joy Oladokun and Ashe.

When 2-day shipping turns into 8-day shipping

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Amazon delivery truck stuck in quicksandI’m discovering Amazon’s Prime delivery promise is not longer valid at my address. Everything is now delivered in 7 to 9 days. A couple of conversations with Amazon customer service has led to no resolution. They won’t even acknowledge it’s a problem, so I’m not sure why I would continue to pay for Prime, let alone purchase from Amazon rather than another online retailer.

If you’re experiencing a similar problem, this article from September explains a little of what’s going on.

The complaints from Amazon customers are similar and popping up across the US. From western New York to central Missouri to rural Washington state, some Amazon Prime members are asking a version of the same question: What happened to Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping?

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Rising costs are making it hard for indie musicians to take their shows on the road.

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Why brussel sprouts taste better (they’re still not good).

Every song with more than 1 billion Spotify streams.

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Happy Thanksgiving Happy Thanksgiving from Tybee Island. Let’s be careful out there.

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The average home size in every U.S. state. There are some suprises here.

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Is this really the only portrait of William Shakespeare made in his lifetime?

The figure portrayed is a bearded, balding man in shirt and doublet, with the top left and right of the canvas helpfully inscribed 1608 and AE (aged) 44 – the correct age for the playwright at the time.

A Courtauld Institute examination of the picture in 2016 concluded the pigments were consistent with the period, while its well-preserved state pointed to it having remained in the same location for a lengthy period, possibly centuries.

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Thanksgiving on Mars In the future you will live on Mars and arrive with your dogs for an alfresco Thanksgiving dinner being prepared by a personal chef.

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How to run your own Mastodon server.