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Well, after complaining a couple of days ago about how hard it was to watch snowboard cross, I have to give NBC credit: they showed pretty much the entire women's Olympic event yesterday, from the time trial qualifiers through to the medal race. I stayed up late to watch it.

After the 2018 I decided that my favorite winter sport was snowboard cross, and that I'd try to start following it.

Turns out it's hard! SBX is never on TV as far as I can tell. The FIS has a YouTube channel where they post only medal races (no qualifiers) and spoil the winner's name in the title. And that's about it.

It's weird how the US has 6 or 7 popular sports that you can't avoid hearing about, and then everything else might as well not exist.

It took me a long time to get around to reading , and I think part of the reason is that I feared it would be a difficult read: either emotionally oppressive, or else basically just a lecture.

If that's what's stopping you, you needn't worry. I found the book highly personal and accessible, and not prone to platitudes or prescription. It covers a lot of awful stuff, but it doesn't drag you through it, and it balances it with scenes from the author's and his father's personal lives.

Wordle 227 2/6* 


I was *just* saying how I'd never gotten it in two, but here we are!

Kind of feel like I should opine about the NYT buying Wordle for "low seven figures":

It's a shame that our society doesn't know how to have a few nice things unencumbered by commerce or independent of big businesses. That said, I won't try to pretend that if somebody offered me a million dollars for a simple word game I'd programmed I'd turn it down.

Reflecting on how sometimes we put a form on a web site and nobody is interested, and the only way we know the form isn't broken is that we occasionally get spam through it.

You could *almost* argue that the spammers are performing a valuable service. Although if I cared enough, I could probably write a script to test the form by auto-submitting it periodically.

Wordle 224 3/6* 


I'm a little salty about this one! Almost had it in two, but I chose the wrong anagram.

I just got a marketing e-mail that said, in essence, "we noticed you're not subscribed to our monthly newsletter; are you sure you don't want to opt in?"

I feel like maybe the fact that I'm not opted in to your newsletter should have been a clue that I didn't want *this* e-mail either. Where's the setting to unsubscribe from meta-marketing?

Signal-boosting for a friend: Ontarian indie rock act has a streaming show coming up on Thursday night. Buy a ticket at and you'll get e-mailed a link to a YouTube page about an hour before the show.

I'm renewing my passport (not going anywhere soon, but it's good to be prepared) and I have to give the State Department's web team credit for putting the privacy notice at the *beginning* of the application form. It drives me crazy when you get to the penultimate step of a web form and the site is like "now read & acknowledge this 26-page legal document, but do it in ten minutes or we'll time out your session". Tantamount to admitting they expect you to sign it without reading it.

I got my COVID-19 booster shot last week and it laid me flat for a few days. Still not entirely back to normal. Chills, maybe a slight fever, lightheadedness, arm pain -- it was a lot like having a regular cold, actually. No sneezing or coughing, at least.

I had trouble sleeping the first night and while I lay in bed, my brain kept imagining a techno remix of Mr. Burns' "See My Vest" song from The Simpsons. If somebody with musical skill could get started on that, I'd be much obliged.

My MP3 collection includes the soundtrack to ".hack//Legend of the Twilight", which I think I bought years ago at an anime convention.

This week I was backing up the files on my PCs and noticed, while visually inspecting the archives, that the .hack folder was missing.

Then I realized that the archiver was skipping it because the filenames all start with a dot. And *then* I realized that my music player has been doing the same thing, for years, without me noticing.

My HVAC company sold me on a fancy air filter system. So now I need to get rid of an unused filter I have for the old system, and also figure out where (other than this company) I can buy filters for the new one.

Last night I had a dream in which I learned that thrift stores do a brisk business in air filters, and would be happy to take my old filter and sell me new ones. This probably isn't true in real life, but in the dream, I was delighted by this discovery.

Being an adult is the worst.

Over the weekend I received a shipment of 36 bamboo toothbrushes, which I hope will be a several-year supply. I've been using them for a year or two now and I'm happy with them, so it seemed to make sense to buy in bulk.

I just hope I don't learn about some even-more-environmentally-friendly type of toothbrush, like, two months from now. I overbought CFL light bulbs and still have some unused ones in the closet even now, when the recommendation is to buy LEDs....

When I was young, my dad would sometimes eat hard pretzels with butter on them. Then one day he saw me buttering pretzels for myself and said "that's weird", and I was like "I learned it from you," and he was like "I've never done that in my life". But I'm sure I didn't just imagine it, or misunderstand what I saw.

This story doesn't really have a point, but I've been snacking on buttered hard pretzels all week and they're great. Taste like childhood.

I've made a terrible discovery and now you have to know it too: "Good King Wenceslas" can be used as the words to the "I don't know but I've been told" military cadence.

You have to stretch out the last word of each line ("though the frost was cru - u - el") but other than that it works fine.

Finished watching the live-action . Verdict: it's not as good as the original, some elements of the story & characters are quite different, the acting is kind of hammy (maybe intentionally); in short, I don't think the creators "get" the original. BUT it's fun anyway. I had feared it would be unbearably awful, but it wasn't.

I feel roughly the same as I did about the 2005 Hitchhiker's Guide movie.

But we started re-watching the original even before finishing the live-action....

Last December I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of Christmas movies named after US states. So I wrote a couple of scripts to collect a list of them and monitor for new ones. I was pleased (and, I don't mind admitting, a little surprised) to see that the system still works this year, needing only minor modifications.

It found a couple dozen such movies, which is a lot, but not as many as I thought there might be. (I can't promise that the list is comprehensive.)

Last month I took a few vacation days. When I returned to work, I found that I had been added to an e-mail where somebody was having trouble using a system that I maintain.

But then the person who added me saw my out-of-office message, said "oh, let me check the wiki", did so, found the relevant part of the extensive documentation that I had written, and figured out what needed to be done.

...and I'm still thinking about it a month later. It might be one of the highlights of my career?

Great Pretender was the first show that made me think "people who liked Cowboy Bebop would like this". I think what they have in common is the theme of "being a badass by the seat of your pants".

A few months ago, the homeowners' association did an inspection and sent everybody a list of mandatory repairs to make. But that stuff is expensive and has no non-cosmetic benefits, so everybody (myself included) is doing the minimum amount of work to comply with the letter of the law, leaving surrounding areas untouched. So previously the neighborhood had a "charmingly dilapidated" character, and now it's starting to look like one of those cars where the doors are different colors.

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