First Thorns match

Al and I went to our first Portland Thorns match last night. I think this is maybe the third soccer match I’ve ever been to. The two previous were Timbers games for company parties and one of them got rained on pretty hard.

Since this was my first “go sit in the regular seating, pay attention for 90 minutes” match I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was pretty fun. Our hosts are on their first season passes and newly energized about the sport, so their enthusiasm rubbed off. I think the other thing I kept coming back to was that watching requires patience similar to watching high-level jiu jitsu grapplers, but the other fans do a lot to contribute to your sense of the ebb, flow, rising and falling tension.

More Lemmy

I have three accounts on assorted Lemmy instances, with a fourth pending. I learned about wefwef yesterday, which is a PWA that provides a nice client you can save to your phone homescreen same as Elk for Mastodon. I also have the beta of memmy on my phone.

There’s not a ton of interaction on many of the communities I’ve subscribed to so far. There’s a portland one where people are swearing to be nicer, less hostile, and less censorious than /r/portland, which is a super low bar; and also less reactionary and goonish than /r/PortlandOR, which — again — low bar.

You can subscribe to communities in Mastodon by adding their address sans the ! lemmy convention. I added a few but there’s the usual “now your instance needs to start pulling their stuff in” lag.

Secret Invasion

I’m two episodes into the Skrull/Nick Fury espionage series Secret Invasion. Not sure. It feels like in terms of size, scale, and texture it’s maybe a step down from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which felt pretty slick; and maybe a step up from She-Hulk Attorney at Law, which felt like it was made on a shoestring budget. None of those three have the charm of Hawkeye.

The dialog’s sort of flat, there are “big scenes” that feel small. Samuel L. Jackson is doing something different and I’m not sure it always works. There’s a reason to not involve the Avengers that … it’s going to always be a problem when there are any issues going on of a sub-Thanos scale where you’re not just sending a group of second-string probationary Avengers to fix it.

But, you know, let’s see where it goes.

Emacs function for tagging posts in Hugo

I seem to be sticking to just blogging in Markdown, using the Ruby script I wrote. I didn’t realize how much I missed reference links, or Markdown link notation in general. Tags are a little different story. I like the way ox-hugo uses org-mode’s heading tags (:foo:bar:baz:) instead of Markdown/YAML’s key tags (tags: ["foo","bar","baz"]).

So I made mph/replace-tags-in-frontmatter and stuck it in my growing Hugo submenu. You just invoke it and enter a comma-delimited set of tags and it replaces that frontmatter key. My script asks for tags up front, which is fine for single-topic posts where I know the tags up front. Doesn’t work as well for daily posts, where it takes a day to know what’s going in.

(defun mph/replace-tags-in-frontmatter ()
  "Replace the 'tags' line in YAML frontmatter with user input."
  (let* ((frontmatter-start-regexp "^---\n")
         (frontmatter-end-regexp "\n---\n")
         (tags-regexp "^\\s-*tags:\\s-*\\[.*\\]")
         (input (read-string "Enter new tags (comma-separated): "))
         (new-tags (mapcar (lambda (tag) (format "\"%s\"" (string-trim tag)))
                           (split-string input ","))))
      (goto-char (point-min))
      (re-search-forward frontmatter-end-regexp)
      (backward-char 1)
      (re-search-backward frontmatter-start-regexp)
      (forward-char 1)
      (re-search-forward tags-regexp)
      (replace-match (format "tags: [%s]" (mapconcat #'identity new-tags ","))))
    (message "Tags replaced successfully.")))

(map! :leader
      (:prefix ("H" . "Hugo")
       :desc "Set tags for Hugo post" "t" #'mph/replace-tags-in-frontmatter))

Ben in France

Ben watched the Apple store in Strasbourg get smashed and looted, avoided a tear-gassing, and was briefly separated from his bike. He finally made it to the train after missing the first one out of town. Now he’s on to the Netherlands.

When I was almost his exact age I went to Europe and then the then-Soviet Union as part of a student group. Our professor gave us a lot of advice on how to avoid local trouble, and since it was winter things were pretty much on rails anyhow: Cologne was mild, Copenhagen was wintry but okay, Stockholm was extremely cold, then Leningrad and Moscow were where I learned that -40 is the same on both the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales. Hungary: Cold and snowbound. Zurich: Not so bad but we were staying near a park known for aggressive cop sweeps. So there were opportunities for a little bit of mischief, but the overall vibe was “travel in groups, don’t go off alone.” So we mostly didn’t except for one guy who made himself sort of the group pariah.

When I think about my year in Korea, I’m surprised nothing happened. I was there during a summer with some violent anti-US protests thanks to high-profile brawls between soldiers and Korean civilians. We were locked down on post for several weekends straight because the risk of violent altercation was high. I was a little bit of a loner over there, so it wasn’t unusual for me to be out in the ville on my own, and a few times when I had to drive command staff up to Seoul for overnighters I just wandered around on my own after they cut me loose for the day. My KATUSA friend said my lonerish-ness made him nervous. I was in a weird frame of mind at that point — fresh out of jump school and hence invulnerable, more physically capable than I’d ever been — but he had a list of places I wasn’t supposed to ever go and said the stakes would be higher than a beating or a black eye, so I didn’t go to those places. I got followed a few times other places, did the whole “demonstrate situational awareness” thing, and nothing ever happened.

Ben’s over there with two other kids just roaming around, with the itinerary seeming to change as whims take them. It continues to make me incredibly happy for him. It took me a while to gain the confidence he has, his street savvy is a lot higher than mine was at his age, and his confidence comes from knowing how to get away from whatever it is, not steer into it.


I saw a blog go by with a really nice serifed body type. I spent 30 minutes messing around with Google Fonts trying to dial in something similar and ended up not liking anything I saw, so I picked something completely different to freshen up headings and nav but otherwise left everything alone. I’m not sure how much of not liking things was not liking them and how much was not being sure of my own typographical taste. Part of me thought “oh! well! Go learn!” and the rest of me outvoted that part.

Anyhow, day two of a four-day weekend. Nothing on the agenda for the next two days besides visiting a friend for a walk through Oaks Bottom tomorrow, and having some friends over for dinner for the Fourth. The park across the street is going to go completely bananas with the usual impromptu fireworks show, and there’s a better-than-even chance of the show more or less ending with a drunken brawl, so we tend to stick close to the house every year to make sure nothing catches on fire. This will be the 14th year we’ve enjoyed this particular experience. This year I’m anticipating it with less dread than normal, and maybe even a little amusement.

Somehow our little park became the place a lot of people go to set off their illegal fireworks. People start showing up in the early afternoon to set up chairs and blankets at the edge of the treeline. Within an hour of sundown everything is parked in and there are two rows of picnic chairs around the perimeter of the park, which is a block square minus maybe 50 or 75 yards of treeline on our end of it.

On the one hand, wow it can be annoying, especially when people block your driveway, set fireworks off next to your car, or set things on fire. And nobody packs out their trash, so the park is strewn with trash and expended fireworks the next morning. But it’s also just … this thing that happens. People get a lot of joy from it. It’s not official or sanctioned. It’s seems to be a spontaneous thing and it happens every year. When we had a rescue dog who was terrorized by the whole thing it was the absolute worst. Now that we don’t, I feel bad for all the other dogs and people in the neighborhood who are suffering, but it doesn’t feel personal, and the cops and fire department have zero interest in doing anything to curtail something they come around and watch every year. So there’s not much to do but watch it unfold and people watch.