๐Ÿ”— Balancing the analogue and digital.

    Balancing the analogue and digital

    I do have to say that this came across at a great time, as I have been trying to find a balance between my digital and analog note-keeping. And the reason why paper, well I guess I couldn’t have said better, actually I didn’t quite have a clear reason in my head until I read this,

    Paper forces me to slow down, as I simply canโ€™t write as quickly as I can type (or speak, if Iโ€™m dictating). This gives me space to think and a pause to consider my words and what Iโ€™m actually writing down. And with zero distractions or notifications, it allows me to focus on one thing at a time.

    Thank you for sharing, @TheMacPsych, at richardmackinnon.blog

    The not Everyday boring Backpack.

    I have not been using my 20L Peak Design Everyday Backpack and it has been fantastic.

    half the room gasps in Spanish

    I know, I have been wearing and swearing by this backpack ever since I have been at my current job, which is a little over 4 years now. In fact, I haven’t shopped around for another backpack ever since. That and I don’t want to make spending over 250 USD for a backpack a habit.

    Sometime last year, in one of my Stitchfix box deliveries, I randomly received a backpack, THE NORTH FACE Vault Everyday Laptop Backpack and it is the most boring uncharacteristic, most basic backpack that you can possible imagine. Loved the color, though. Ever since I got it it sort of became my gym bag. We would occasionally use it to carry the iPads, headphones, and other stuff for the girls when going out and about, essentially a diaperless bag.

    On my most recent trip to Yuma, I took my boring backpack instead of my everyday one. It was a super-short trip so I took very little with me. And I gotta say, it was a delight…

    Let me explain. The Everyday Backpack is great, it’s got enough space for all my shit plus my camera. This backpack, however, is the first generation, it is so rigid and tough, plus, with everything I put in it, it becomes heavy and not very comfortable to carry around, at least for me. That said, I did not carry my camera with me although I could have possibly been able to.

    Now I am in the market for a backpack, I think, perhaps not exactly a 250 plus USD one but something simple. What will happen to the Everyday one? I don’t know, perhaps It’ll get used in a much different way, I haven’t even been carrying it to work since. I have just been carrying my essentials, a notebook, a laptop, a pen, and a few accessories or cables and that is it. I think I need to rethink my EDC system, too.

    So, here we are, the state of the backpack at the end of 2023, ish.

    One bucket to rule them all.

    I need to consolidate my shit better!

    Like many of us, I browse the wild lands of what we know as the World Wide Web and stumble upon nice links that prompt you to a nice personal website, in some cases, but you don’t have the time to read them. So what do you do? Well, what do I do? I skeem a bit and save it for, wait for it… Read-it-Later!

    So far so Good right?

    Well here is the thing. What happens when you have too many Read-it-Later buckets. Like sometimes I am just scrolling through my mastodon and find something I like and I star it. Or I am going through my RSS, usually on Feedbin’s web app, and I skeem, realize I may have no time, I press the “S” key (to star it and go into my favorites) again, to Read-It-Later. Or I just opened a link someone shared and with Instapaper’s Web extension, I added it to it. Oh! and let us not even mention Micro.Blog’s bookmark nifty system!

    So as you can tell I have many buckets with stuff for later, then I can’t remember where I put what, and because I am lazy I rather not bother to look around so I never read anything. I need to have one way, one singular bucket, even if it means getting out of the current system, app, or site where I found the thing in the first place.

    One bucket to rule them all.

    My Defaults?

    Inspired by the latest Hemispheric Views pod-radio-show, episode 097 Duel of the Defaults!

    So, after listening to what will go down in history as one of my favorite episodes, I thought I would play along and do my own default assessment. I never made sense of Andrew's scoring so I won't be scoring myself.ย  And all of mine will be iOS, mostly.

    Here we go,

    ๐Ÿ“ฎ Mail Server

    • iCloud and HEY

    ๐Ÿ“จ Mail Client

    ๐Ÿ“ Notes

    โœ… To-Do

    ๐Ÿ“ท iPhone Photo Shooting

    • Long-press on the camera icon/little button

    ๐ŸŸฆ Photos Management

    • Photos App

    ๐Ÿ“† Calendar

    ๐Ÿ“… Calendar Backend

    • iCloud

    ๐Ÿ“ Cloud File Storage

    • iCloud Drive

    ๐Ÿ“– RSS

    ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Contacts Management

    • Contacts (often forget this even exists

    ย  ๐Ÿ”Ž Browserย 

    • Safari, and Chrome (Work)

    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Chat

    ๐Ÿ”– Bookmarks

    ๐Ÿ“‘ Read-it-Later

    ๐Ÿ“œ Word Processing

    • Pass

    ๐Ÿ›’ Shopping List

    • Shared Reminder List

    ๐Ÿด Meal Planning ( asย Recipe Management)

    ๐Ÿ’ฐ Budgeting and finance

    • Pass

    ๐Ÿ“ฐ News

    When I care to check, News app, and Podcast shows as Today Explained

    ๐ŸŽต Music

    • Apple Music

    ๐ŸŽค Podcast

    ๐Ÿ” Password Management

    • iCloud KeyChain

    Well, there you have it, This should probably turn into a page for the blog (๐Ÿ˜‚) or should have been a microcast (๐Ÿ™ƒ).

    Now, there is one category I would like to add of my own,

    ๐Ÿ“ธ Photo Editing

    What are yours?

    A New blogging workflow

    My blogging workflow has somewhat changed in the past month or so. Before I would compose and publish, strictly from Ulysses, at least long-form blogs with pictures โ€” or without.

    Lately, I have found myself just simply using a combination of Drafts and Mimi Uploader, all from my iPhone 14 Pro more and more. So far has worked well.

    For example this post from a few days ago.

    Mimi makes it so easy to upload images in bulk and get the markdown links from it for easy use. I selected all the pictures I wanted to post, copy the links to a Drafts note.

    Since I am using Jasonโ€™s super-awesome GLightbox plugin I just needed to add some simple code to be able to generate a grid-of-images. A code that I have a text replacement shortcut for (๐Ÿ˜‰). Then, I added some text, opened up the Drafts actions drawer, and selected this useful action which I believe was created by Craig, selected any categories if needed, and voilร !

    Just note that if you are looking at this blog post with pictures on your mobile device, you might not see the nice-looking grid of images, you might want to use a bigger screen ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ.

    Mostly I have been posting short posts without a title but I think I will just do it all from Drafts. When I am not composing and publishing from my device, it is usually on my computer, and I just use Micro.blog’s web editor.

    I’m sure someone who may or may not read this will think that this is a lot of clicking around and that there’s possibly a better way to go about it. And that might be entirely true, and maybe one day I’ll change my ways again, but this way works well and for now, this is the way.

    Again, for now…

    When things evolve.

    I remember back, I don’t know 10 years ago? When I first started using Drafts. At the time it was a simple quick note-taking app, with not a whole lot of features and easy and straightforward to use. Fast forward to 2023 and oh my god, I can’t even keep up with everything it does nowadays. I still use it to this day regardless, but just to a level in which I am comfortable with, and my needs.

    I am, in some way, having the same feelings about services like my beloved Micro.blog. For the longest time, it was just open a page sheet in your text editor of choice, type away, and publish. Now it has evolved in such a way, with plugins, other services, fediverse integration, and many other amazing things that at times I feel like falling behind. Of course, the nerd in me wants to partake in everything but I feel like by the time I wrap my head around how to implement or do some, 3 other things pop up.

    That said, this is not a bad thing at all! In fact, let’s keep evolving the things we love and enjoy using.

    I think is just me recognizing my “limitations” and laziness, in some way.

    Until what point I keep partaking or just let things evolve past my level of concern.

    Changes to Gabz/mL.

    Given the increasing prices of services and goods, I’ll be putting my unprofessional personal blog behind a paywall, furthermore, I will be having a weekly members-only newsletter that tells you what are you doing wrong with your technology. Also, I’ll be putting out a 15-minute micro cast, not a minute more but maybe many minutes less about my own not humble opinions.

    Please like and subscribe.

    On Books.

    I love a good fantasy story, like Lord of The Rings, The Wheel Of Time, etc. As long as is on visual media, like TV shows, movies, graphic novels, and even video games. But whenever I try to read (or listen to books on tape), I can’t get into them as much as I try or would love to. Not sure is maybe to a lack of imagination or attention span or just the fact that I am very visual. Or perhaps is the fact that many times these stories start slow? Compared to a thriller like The Terminal List series.

    Currently, I am listening to The Sword of Kaigen: A Theonite War Story by M. L. Wang I am about 3 hours or so in and the first two were, well I felt like I was forcing myself to stick to it, until it finally got more interesting, to me. Apart from anything from Neil Gaiman’s, every fantasy book (or book on tape) that I start, I end up dropping or forgetting about.

    Now, any of those fantasy books that I’ve ever tried and dropped, make them a motion picture show adaptation, and I’ll be all over them!

    That being said, it is also a shame, because there are so many good stories out there that will never make it to any visual media.

    Let us talk about HEY.

    Ever since HEY came out, I was very intrigued by it and it became this new thing that all the cool kids were raving about, for better or for worse, and of course, the FOMO. But because of the price tag, I resisted as much as I could, until I caved and fell in love with it. And it was the simple “gimmicks” that made it different and made email a lot more funner, as my kids would say. And by gimmicks, I mean features like Imbox, the Paper Trail, The Feed, Set Aside, and Bubble Up, all of the things that made my email much cleaner, and easier to manage. Just see what I wanted to see.

    Before it renewed the first time around, I canceled my membership just to find myself missing it a few months after, missing its gimmicks. At that point, I tried using Fastmail, as I read that you could basically recreate the same “gimmicks” on it. However, for whatever reason, Fastmail did not click for me, as Marley would say, I wasn’t feeling it. I endured just regular email for a while until a few months ago, and I signed up for it again.

    Now in the past few days, I have been debating again. Do I really need it, for the way I do email? I could probably just go by without it and delete things I don’t want as they come in, and manage it all manually.

    Manage it all manually

    That sounds like another thing to stress about, don’t it?

    Guess I’ve just blogged myself into keeping it [๐Ÿ˜…].

    Gabz's log for 2023.10.17

    Yay for Trailer-Taco-Tuesday! In other words, we had Taco Tuesday in the “office” today.

    Today is pharmacy tech day! Annie is a pharmacy tech and then some.

    Today is new comic books day and League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong #1 is out!

    At work, it was a very busy day, with lots of data to process. That meant do not disturb on Teams and that lots of music!

    Here’s today’s rotation.

    ๐ŸŽต Lo Que No Te Dije - Gale

    Lo Que No Te Dije - Gale poster

    ๐ŸŽต nadie sabe lo que va a pasar maรฑana - Bad Bunny

    nadie sabe lo que va a pasar maรฑana - Bad Bunny poster

    ๐ŸŽต Smash - The Offspring

    Smash - The Offspring poster

    ๐ŸŽต Godsmack - Godsmack

    Godsmack - Godsmack poster

    ๐ŸŽต Nevermind (Remastered) - Nirvana

    Nevermind (Remastered) - Nirvana poster

    ๐ŸŽต Something Like Human [Bonus Tracks] - Fuel

    Something Like Human [Bonus Tracks] - Fuel poster

    Also, yay for stickers and video games with instruction booklets, like it’s 1985 ๐Ÿ˜…!


    Alright, by now almost everyone should be aware of the new kid in the block, well, apparently, it isn’t that new. I am talking about Kagi Search, the privacy-oriented search engine service.

    Kagi is a high quality, 100% privacy-respecting search engine with results augmented by non-commercial indexes and personalized searches.

    Sounds cool, huh?

    I will be honest, I don’t know how much I care. I mean, yes I should care about privacy and give the least amount of personal data to services like Google and others, but, at this point, how much does it really matter, I often wonder. But, that’s neither here nor there.

    I signed up for it a couple of weeks ago. It was mentioned in a super-secret iMessage chat I hang out at. I reached my 100 search limit a few days ago, and yesterday I decided to give them my money and upgraded to the 300 searches tier.

    So far I like it, I feel like the results I get are “true to type” as we say in my world. Not ads-generated results bullshit. I like their “Small Web” feature, it’s kinda like Stumble Upon, and it’s a cool way to explore and find other blogs. Oh! and the mascot, I like the cute doggie they have on their page.

    I am sure there’s more to it than search, a cute-looking dog, and blog discovery, but that is it for now.

    What makes it better than something like DuckDuckGo? Honestly, I don’t know, I rarely ever used it ๐Ÿ˜…. But as someone who tries to stay away from Google services as much as possible, I don’t even have a Gmail account, I guess is worth checking it out.

    Dark Mode

    Today I changed my system’s settings to “dark mode”. It is nice, given that my corner of the office (which is really in a trailer) is not very illuminated so dark everything suits me nicely. The problem with this is inconsistency. Every app and every website has a different dark color scheme so it can get weird. And if a particular webpage or web app doesn’t have a dark mode (like all my work web-based tools), it is like taking a punch in the eyes. ๐Ÿ˜…

    Into Day One.

    Ever since I have been blogging, especially since using Micro.blog as my platform, I have had this Day One IFTTT action that every post gets logged as an entry in Day One. I have had this for years and it is nice to use it’s On This Day to recall past events and posts. However, it can be weird at times. The entries aren’t necessarily clean, they always come with random ifttt links and the blog’s URL too, so is not the cleanest format. Also, if the post had multiple images, it’d only show (or import) the very first one and omit the rest. At some point, it would seem like I managed to clean up better whatever came from gaby.micro.blog’s RSS rather than from the main blog URL (Gabz.blog), and has no random links and such but still missing photos if multiple.

    The good thing about this is that it all works in the background and I don’t even have to think about it or even manage it. That being said, since I have both recipes going, I do find myself now with duplicate entries, ups! Thus, I am thinking of a different approach. It would be more manual, but it is doable.

    If I compose my post in Ulysses, I can always export it in markdown format to Day One, all pictures and all. Pretty straightforward. The Challenge will be when I am composing from my work PC, which I often do. Well, luckily, Day One has a web app, currently in beta I believe, so it is all about copy and paste.

    We will see how it goes.


    The Esquire By PAUL KIX

    Thereโ€™s a growing movement among religious leaders to use psychedelics like psilocybin to deepen their faith. The author attended a secret ceremony to find out whether it works.

    Excuse me, what?

    Also, being able to listen rather than reading, game changer.

    Technicolor dreams

    Got this today on my super-secret sleeping tracking app (Pillow).

    According to recent surveys, most of us dream in color. However, a small percentage reports that their dreams are often in black and white. Oddly enough this percentage used to be higher a few decades ago when people used to own black and white TVs.

    I thought it was interesting.

    I need to Calendar more!

    I know many people that run their lives, not only using some fancy task manager but also actually using, a calendar!

    A Calendar, what a concept, right?

    I have to admit that I am the most unorganized, most forgetful person ever. So you would think, that I would be taking advantages of all these amazing tools that I have at my disposal. Well, you would be surprised.

    I do use calendar to a certain extent, for work mainly, and many of the events in my calendar are invites, nothing I actively create for future me. For personal life? Uff! Well, 99.00% of my calendar events, are also appointments, created by someone else, my wife. And just like my work calendar, if it doesnโ€™t have a reminder of sorts, I wonโ€™t know whatโ€™s happening until 15 minutes before itโ€™s supposed to happen.

    Told yaโ€™, I am super unorganized!

    I need to get better at managing my life, especially my personal ones. Kidsโ€™ activities, family events, Parent-Teacher conferences, Disney Encanto: The Sing-along Film concert! And for now, I have it easy, thereโ€™s no sports or band practice, or any extracurricular shenanigans. So I better start changing my Calendar and life managing habits, and quick!

    In other words, I have a super fancy calendar in all my devices, like Fantastical and I rarely look at then thing, I rarely use it our take true advantage of it. And unless Annie mentions anything, sigh, I never know whatโ€™s going on.

    Now, can someone please explain my girls’ obsession with freaking Bluey!

    Two Things.

    1. Last night we made chicken-bacon-ranch mini wraps/soft tacos/burritos type thing, therefore, there was bacon! Of course, by the end of it, there was some leftover bacon. Bedtime came around, and we asked the girls to grab a snack before brushing their teeth. The next thing I saw was Luna snacking on a big piece of bacon while watching night-night stories.

    2. Although I went to bed relatively early and had my super-magical melatonin gummies, I still had a shitty night’s sleep. It is going to be a rough day.

    3. Looking forward to some Sea of Stars tonight.

    Games I have been playing.

    I have been playing various games lately, two of them on the same system but one of them serves as a pallet cleanser to the other.

    Final Fantasy XVI on the PlayStation 5

    Yup, they are still making these and they will continue to do so until the end of times, Amen!

    This is one of those series of games that even if you have never played any of them, you are aware of it. I have never been married to this series like most hardcore, purist fans but I have played my share of games. This one in particular got my attention and I think it’s got to do a lot with the fighting style. I have just recently picked it up because it was on sale, and. I am glad I did because I am having fun with it.

    We all know that the FF series has been shifting further away from its turn-based RPG roots, which I am okay with. Final Fantasy 16โ€™s combat is a straight-up action game, I even dare say that the combat has a Devil May Cry feel to it. It is fast, extremely reflex-driven, and super-fun! With air combos, jump cancels, and a huge arsenal of mighty spells and abilities.

    The story so far has been very intriguing, only about 4 hours in so far. It does have a Game of Thrones feel to it but better, GoT is crap! One character that stood out, the voice acting I mean, was Cid’s. For the first hour it was bothering me, “I know that voice, I know this voice”. Turns out it is Ralph Ineson (he is also in the movie THE WITCH from 2015 which if you haven’t watched It it yet, do yourself a favor, stop reading this and go watch It it), and if you have played Diablo IV, that is the voice of Lorath.

    Sea of Stars on the Nintendo Switch.

    Okay, this one I have been waiting for since it was announced. I am a sucker for good old pixel art, so I was into this game right away. It’s got obvious similarities with classics like Chrono Trigger, so very strong nostalgia vibes here. Full of combat encounters and puzzles that fill up the space between larger story moments and boss battles. Everything about Sea of Starsโ€™ look and feel is nice clean, and easy to follow.

    This game definitely evokes the best parts of the โ€˜90s RPG era.

    This game has a demo and it is available on GamePass. But I prefer to play this on my OLED Switch, handheld, and it looks gorgeous!

    Blasphemous 2 on the Nintendo Switch

    I am a huge fan of this franchise, the team, the art, the gore, the creepiness, all about this game. What I am not a fan of, is how difficult and challenging it is. Still, I own both games in both digital and physical forms, well the second one gets here Tuesday.

    Blasphemous 2 is a 2D Souls-like, both revolting and gorgeous, with all-too-detailed death animations, which I love! Though I never finished the first one, yup I rage quit it, don’t judge, this one continues the violent trials of The Penitent One, the last living member of an order thatโ€™s trying to put an end to the abominations born from a godlike phenomenon known as The Miracle and that’s all I know as far as the story.

    Youโ€™ll hack and slash your way through some absolutely beautiful โ€“ and discomforting โ€“ 2D hallways filled with horrific monsters and random wild-looking “scenes”. Although is “hack and slash”, it is not just as easy. You will have to learn your enemies’ patterns in order to effectively move and attack. In this game, unlike the first, you can choose from three different styles/weapons, a one-handed sword, a two-handed sword, and a big mace-looking thing. Upgrading your characterโ€™s weapons and health and magic meters, while collecting various buffs and spells makes for a fantastic climb to unparalleled power, and by the end feel like the ultimate unholy warrior.

    So far I have died once but that’s because I have barely touched the surface of this game. I have to have patience with this one, but so far, I have not been discouraged.

    When I am not playing FF, I am definitely on my switch. And even though I have dabbled between Blasphemous and Sea of Stars on the same system, I think I will try to finish Sea of Stars first and then continue onto Blasphemous 2, until I rage quit it, lol. Or like I have said, use one as a palette cleanser to the other but Sea of Star is definitely the longest game of the two.

    Justice League vs. Godzilla vs. Kong

    Creators: Brian Buccellato & Christian Duce

    Publisher: DC

    Release Date: October 17

    Weโ€™re suckers for a good crossover comic, and crossovers donโ€™t get much bigger than this. Literally. Who else but the Justice League could hope to intervene in a titanic showdown between Godzilla and King Kong? Jim Leeโ€™s cover art even suggests weโ€™ll get to see Batman suit up in a gigantic armored mech and punch these massive beasts right in the face. This series has a strong hook, and we have faith in writer Brian Buccellato and artist Christian Duce to make the most of it.


    Say What? I am so into this!

    Where is my sleep?

    Part of me just wants to leave work and nap. I am truly struggling and it is hard to concentrate on anything. Too many nights, and it is starting to mess me up mentally, and physically.

    But then, what would be the purpose? For just to have the same issue tonight?

    Even the thought of knowing is nighttime and that I need to go to sleep gives me anxiety.

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