Daily notes for 2023-07-01

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Zoom swapped in for Golden Ratio ๐Ÿ”—

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was trying out Golden Ratio, an Emacs package that dynamically resizes windows inside the frame as you switch between them. I saw a few warnings here and there that it had a few bugs, but for the past few weeks it seemed fine. I finally came across one a few days ago that I couldn’t quite isolate — it broke the way org-insert-structure-template worked — and finally took the time to narrow it down this morning.

Golden Ratio isn’t being maintained anymore, so I decided “not enough time in the day,” marked that part of my config :tangle no and installed Zoom,, which does much the same thing.

Minimum config:

 '(zoom-mode t)
 '(zoom-size '(0.618 . 0.618)))

Post-reddit ๐Ÿ”—

Golden Ratio made me think about reddit for a bit. I learned about that package from one of the Emacs subreddits. I don’t recall a ton of discussion about it, so it must have been one of the quiet link aggregator subs, like /r/planetemacs. That was the other half of my reddit experience: Grazing steady feeds of interesting stuff. I’ve learned a lot about assorted interests — motorcycling, longboarding, Emacs, ruby — from watching a subreddit scroll by and just grabbing links.

That part of my experience is largely unaffected by the third-party app shutdown. I don’t follow or participate in discussions much, so I can do that from a browser or reddit’s own, terrible app.

But while I’m not, like, boycotting mad, I’m irritated. I don’t know how spez managed to press so many buttons at once with me — ordinarily tech dude stuff rolls off my back, and C-level tech dude stuff barely registers as language or thought, but the combination of smarm, Ralph-Wiggum-esqe “I’m a business man <eats paste>” posturing, deceit, and bizarre turn into trying to make the whole thing some sort of identity politics issue just … wow.

Like, look: Even at my most business-like — my most “jacked director” — I’m pretty much just one of those vintage-looking prints you see at mall restaurants of little kids dressed in adult clothing sitting at a desk on an old-timey phone or whatever. If I have a philosophy of business communication or governing principle for “how I show up,” it is probably “best to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool …” etc.

But when I read the clown-like attempts at businessing going on over the Apollo debacle — the appalling, weak blithered promises that everyone was gonna be cool here — I was sort of appalled and a little embarrassed for them. It was like when you ask one of your managers “so did you give them that feedback about promotion?” and they swear to God they laid down the law but their report took it like a champ, then you actually read the check-in and it’s, like, “Joe Grudd was stellar this year. Recommending for immediate promotion. Top notch ace contributor. Indispensable.”

And then, after dithering around and failing to just sit up straight and deliver the damn message, they let themselves get clowned. Nobody covered themselves in glory in whatever negotiations were going on, but table stakes for people who’re busy ruining the customer experience on a beloved website because They Are Serious Business People Who Get How This Works is pretty much “don’t look worse than the one-man cottage industrialists who’re hoping you’ll get them to go peacefully if you just buy them out ha ha only serious.”

But somehow they couldn’t even do that.


It just sort of shades the whole experience now. Perfectly nice, sometimes emotionally violent shitposters just getting on with their days, the occasional incel breaking cover and going down in a hail of gunfire under the helicopter spotlights of the moderation team, no longer ad free, forcing you to remember that when someone says “have some gold, kind stranger” that gold was sold to them by the Ed Rooney of web publishing. There’s just this lingering fart smell wafting through it all. Where do you go from here?

Lemmy ๐Ÿ”—

Well, I decided to look around at Lemmy.

I get it, more or less, and am assuming that all the weirdness I’m seeing is down to the same thing that happened with Mastodon last fall: Lots of little instances struggling to keep up with the newbies, plus different configurations, plus the codebase itself. Most of the instances I skipped through were either slow or glitchy. The most solid Lemmy instance I’ve seen — sometimes slow but usable — is the unfederated hexbear.net, and I don’t think it counts.

So I signed up for a couple of more normal ones and will revisit as things calm down.

Himalayan Day ๐Ÿ”—

Today is “work on the Himalayan day.” My new Antigravity self-jumping battery is here, the mounting base and passenger back pad for our Givi topcase are here (which will make it easier for Al to ride pillion), and I did some reading about how to test for that parasitic drain. So I’m going to give it all a few hours out in the driveway with a wrench and a multimeter. It’s sunny and beautiful, so I’m looking forward to the ride after I’m done.

I’m kind of wondering if this small round of “get ready for sale, but also make it a little nicer” investment will change my mind about selling it.

My strong impression of Himalayans in general is that the user base is split between people who just drive them off the lot and love them, never really having much trouble that doesn’t get addressed during early service; and people like me, who get a badly QA’d one and more than their share of glitchy components.

I like riding the thing. It’s a manageable size for city riding, and it does really well anywhere you’d want to go in the Portland metro area. Holds its own on 205/84, fine for runs up to St. Johns or Sauvie Island, great down to Estacada. With the panniers and topcase it’s fine for groceries. There’s just enough power to two-up in town on date nights. I don’t think I’d ever take for a run down I5, but I could see running downstate on the back highways.

I’ve done so much to it at this point that there’s some sweat equity I don’t want to part with. If I could nail down the parasitic drain I’d have a bike that I feel more than a little attached to, because I’ve put a lot of time into getting it dialed in. Knowing there’s a dealership up in St. Johns that spends most of its time selling RE’s, vs. the sort of crappy “RE’s are a weird loss-leader for broke Harley wannabes” dealership out on the west side I had to get early service from, makes me a little more hopeful, too. It was frustrating having to go do my own research about assorted RE glitches then convince the service team to try fixes. I get the impression the St. Johns people are a little more into REs and would be a little more proactive.

We’ll see. If I get it into a place where it just feels good and I don’t have that “poorly shimmed table leg” feeling every time I turn the key, maybe we continue another season.

Anyhow, that’s the plan for today, so I’m gonna save and ship this.

Thorns game ๐Ÿ”—

Oh … going to a Thorns game tonight. Our first. Kathleen and Amy had extra tickets, so off we go.