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Reminders are Good, Lest we Forget... Self.Newsletter - Issue #24

Dan Hugo
Dan Hugo
All Quiet on the Southwestern Front

Not My Favorite
As I have mentioned in recent weeks, my relocation gap in Vegas (a no-cause non-renewal notice surprised me after eight years in the same place, found a new place the day after I received said notice, but not available until, well, 19 October or some 50 days or so beyond the end of the egress notice) made an extended visit to Phoenix to stay with my parents and hang out a bit as my dad continues his recovery and they continued to hem and haw about the third Pfizer booster (going Wednesday this week), seem like a reasonable idea. It mostly was, but I have to say, I do not like Phoenix.
Back in the summer of 2001, I had been in Silicon Valley for eight years (is this a thing with me?) and I decided that rather than deal with the dramatic downturn in the post-dot-com era of craziness, I would take my winnings (I never did get the IPO riches, but I had money in the bank) and head back to where I had grown up, selecting an area that was literally rocks and dust back then, in Phoenix, Arizona.
My college roommate and sometimes-colleague in silly valley, Kevin, helped me move the bulk of my stuff in June of 2001, into this new spot that was cheaper and 2x or maybe 2.5x as large as where I was in Sunnyvale (we had rented a house together). When we arrived in a 24-foot truck laden with most of the things I had acquired over those eight years, Phoenix was having a “cold spell” at around 96F or so. Kevin, born and raised in Hawaii, was almost disappointed that it was reasonably warm for his first Phoenix visit in June.
On the day we were headed back to Sunnyvale, we had lunch with another college friend of ours and the temperature gauge in his VW Passat read 118F. There was Kevin and his ah ha moment about Phoenix in June. I would go on to live in that place I had rented for four long and fruitless years, because my hopes and dreams of remote consulting on my silly valley credentials upon wrapping up my contract with Leap Frog and finishing my move in August of 2001, evaporated wholly and completely 11 days into September, as I awoke to Howard Stern describing what was happening at WTC.
There is probably a longer blog entry to be written about some of that time spent, before Phoenix became the same place it had been but with a few more tech companies. Maybe a few entries. Suffice to say for now that I am looking forward to getting back to the cooler temperatures (true story) and familiar surroundings that await me back home.
Podcasts
I have a few podcast shows that have been paused during the move and respite in Phoenix. Their audiences are poised to grow, that is all but certain, but there will also be some additional media engagements (maybe even streaming video of some kind) as some other projects enter the picture. I have mentioned some of these before, and I certainly mention them in the Quoggling Sand podcast (see my Buy Dan a Coffee profile page for links!). The current set of shows, while interesting in their own rights, are precursors to these additional media projects which will coincide with and perhaps even complement actual software and real-world projects. How cool is that?
The thing that sort of amazes me, though, is how chaotic the production side is for multi-participant audio and video content (sorry to sound like a marketing robot there). Zencastr and Zoom and StreamYard and a variety of other players in this space (not to mention YouTube) all sort of work, but there are caveats with their free tiers and limitations on software that works on different platforms and the necessity of a mobile application for some or finicky degradation possibilities with others depending on what guests and hosts have available.
I am amazed that this has not become a commodity service after so many years of podcasting out in the world. Yes, free tiers are available, yes they mostly work, but just stepping over the line into multi-track capture (and if you ask for wav files you have entered the thunderdome) is asking for limitations and fees. This is not a bad thing, because a pro feature set how these things can stay afloat, but the pro feature set usually ends up being a bit of a mess. Do not get me started on Zencastr.
This is a topic for a show, probably on Quoggling Sand, so stay tuned. Or subscribe. (Yes, Anchor.fm is still a secondary source of shows, and wherever they push their feeds, but primaries are still to be self-published. Really.)
Platforms
As I type this, Facebook and their related properties are having a bad day. I have said it before and I will continue to say it, self-publishing is the way to go. I have managed to avoid Facebook for about four months now (if you see a link concerning Revue newsletters posting on the DanHugo::Links page, that is automation in action!) and I recently disabled my Instagram account to step away from that property. The WhatsApp account got closed down and deleted in the privacy policy kerfuffle. I feel no sense of loss over any of these.
I signed up with Dev.to and Hashnode as techie community blogging platforms, to try out, and while I have only posted (twice) to my Hashnode account, I think they both suffer from also-ran syndrome. They (and Medium, even with the turmoil over there) do have some good articles and so my primary goal was to bookmark and otherwise engage the content there, I still run into the same issue that leaves me wanting. Publishing me on someone else’s platform is tired. The pendulum needs to swing back.
If you are carrying a connected mobile device, or if you have access to a connected device of just about any kind (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, what can loosely be called a phone, or maybe something else), you have the core facilities needed to self-publish. You can create a cloud account for free (for a year or so at least, then move it to another free account a year later?) and you can dictate your own terms about style and substance, and if you really really need to publish content that the likes of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft will not have on their big clouds, there are smaller clouds, and there are Epik clouds, and so on. It can be done, and you do not need to ask if you can use their API or if you can please be let out of their suspension jail, etc etc.
This is another podcast topic for another day, but it is a drum which I shall continue to beat, loudly.
How Funny
My continuing quest to share funny video content from YouTube. Normally and mostly stand-up sets and clips from talented and funny people I have already come across in my travels, or which are offered up by the mysterious algorithms working behind the curtains of the Google.
I will point out that I am this time sharing some YouTube Shorts that I find entertaining, as people continue to innovate in how they present themselves and their senses of humor. Be warned, if you watch hours of Shorts your algorithm parameters will be thrown off the rails a bit, at least briefly. Who knows what they do back there, though. (Fun fact, the mobile application and desktop browser YouTube experiences for their Shorts feature is apparently so different, that I cannot find any of the liked shorts from my desktop browser view… see Platforms and self-publishing above… but the shorts are fun, often from TikTok re-posted, ushering you to their full-size-content YouTube channel, their Instagram content, etc etc etc).
The Truth About Taco Bell. Dry Bar Comedy
The Truth About Taco Bell. Dry Bar Comedy
Why Dating Is the Worst - Aparna Nancherla
Why Dating Is the Worst - Aparna Nancherla
NO TOP NO PROBLEM #shorts
NO TOP NO PROBLEM #shorts
Like My Shirt? | #shorts
Like My Shirt? | #shorts
Those last two are Shorts (hence the #shorts hashtag… again, YouTube has not deployed this in a great way IMHO, but what do I know), and I will simply say that Tabitha has more than enough facial expression in her skills bag, and she is actually interesting. The Sheena Melwani shorts are usually about her cracking up, but that couple is goofy and fun, which is always in short supply nowadays.
Light Reading
I will not mention too much about the World Travel book that was produced published posthumously, based on writings, notes, show content, and other such things from the travels and eatings of Anthony Bourdain. There has been a biographical book published on about 23 September 2021 I believe, on which I have placed a hold for the audio version from my library. I think Bourdain reading his own books, of the two I listened to (mentioned previously) added tremendous value, which made the World Travel book somewhat sterile (for more reasons that the voice talent, though I am not trashing them here, it just lacked). We shall see when the book comes available.
Otherwise, I have a few audio books that I have listened to, including The Afghanistan Papers which was interesting, depressing, and not surprising in the least, and lately I am 3 chapters in on a book that describes the influences of early government and philosophy (and philosophers) on our so-called Founding Fathers. More on that when I finish.
I will add that I am glad I went down to my local Clark County library and actually got a library card pre-pandemic, and that I installed Libby on my mobile device to easily grab audio books as fast as I could walk and listen to them during and now after the worst parts of the first wave of covid-19… be cool, stay in school, and also never stop reading (or listening to audio books, at least).
Artwork Attribution
Photo by Alonso Reyes on Unsplash
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Dan Hugo
Dan Hugo @DanHugo

Various topics of the day, whichever day, from home or abroad, about this and that and the other thing.
Engineer in Las Vegas, working on a variety of cool projects; Maker of Friends, Friend of Makers. Answers to most pronouns, you can call me Al.

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Las Vegas, NV 89101