Hello 2019

I just want to say that I hope you have a really great new year!

Thanks for hanging around for this long! 🙂

Merry Christmas!

I pretty much already said this, but I really hope that you have a great Christmas! If it’s not a day that’s super special to you, I still hope it’s incredibly awesome!

I’m going to do my very best to get another podcast episode recorded before the end of the year, but there’s a chance that it’s not going to happen. I’m going to try very hard. Stay safe and take super good care of yourself for me and I shall speak to you soon! 🙂

Where’s the Sausage Sizzle?

Today, Victorians headed to the polls. I was one of them. For those of you who are unaware, Australia has compulsory voting. That means that if you don’t go vote (and you don’t have a valid reason why you didn’t or an excuse), you get a fine. Actually, you get up to 1 penalty unit and one penalty unit is currently equal to a fine of $180. I read somewhere that it was $20.

Since I live in a regional area, I didn’t have easy access to an early voting venue, so I had to get up today and vote. It was a little hard getting up and leaving though, so I made it to the voting center (a church) at about 1:30 pm. The polling centre was about a 20 minute walk away and the flies were out in full force. (I hate flies.)

It was the first time that I’ve voted in a regional area. I was expecting it to be like Melbourne was. I was expecting lots of people, lots of people asking me to vote for candidates I don’t like, and sausage sizzles. There wasn’t a lot of any of those things and there weren’t any sausage sizzles. I brought cash with me for that very reason.

Wait, I hear you non-Aussies and non-Kiwis asking: what’s a sausage sizzle? Well you can check out the link or I’ll save you the time and explain it to you. It’s basically throwing some cheap (or donated) weiners on a grill, barbequing them and then serving them with a slice of bread, sauces, and grilled onions. People usually sell them at events to raise money for charities, schools, sports clubs, and other organisations. A hardware chain here called Bunnings Warehouse does them every weekend. I don’t much care for the smell of them, but it’s a nice idea. Anyway, I was expecting one and didn’t get it. I was a little sad.

Anyway, I voted and left. I got home and now I’m hungry for cheap hot dogs. I don’t want to go to the store and brave the flies. They drive me insane.

I sometimes ask myself if compulsory voting should be a thing in the USA and on paper and in conversation, that seems like a great idea. It gives, theoretically, a better representation of people’s feelings towards the way they think governments should be run. Australia’s population is only a fraction of what the USA’s is, so I think it’s a lot more doable here. Elections are expensive. I couldn’t imagine how much it would cost the USA if everybody had to vote. The traffic would be horrible and I doubt a lot of people would put in a real vote… because not everybody really cares.

Anyway, I’m pretty comfortable that the state will retain the same government, but I do get surprised sometimes.

I hope everybody’s having a good weekend. I’m trying to chill the fuck out for a while. I’m finally getting there.

A Few Guide Updates

Just letting you know that I’ve made a few updates to the podcast episode guide. This may be a nice way to tell you that some things might not work correctly.

Here is the list of things that have changed:

  • New menu added to guide with links to the weblog, preferences, login, and support.
  • Guide/Player Preferences link is now located at the top of the page. (Right now, if you change a preference, the page reloads with the new preference applied. I will be changing this later.)
  • You can set preference to show button labels on the grid. It simply makes the label under the icons appear or disappear.
  • Log in link added, but it’s not ready just yet. I’m testing it locally to make sure it works correctly. It will basically give you early access to upcoming episodes (if available), give you more feedback options on the player, and for supporters, access to unreleased podcast episodes, access to more images and video, and possibly handwritten mail from wherever I am at the moment. I’m hoping to have it done by early next year.
  • In-post web media player and any links to listen to the latest episode will start using the new web player. It still defaults to the built-in browser media player since it doesn’t have proper audio seeking and reliable volume controls.

I’ll keep updating when I have some time. If stuff doesn’t work, kindly let me know.

New TIP Guide

A view of the new guide

I’ve been a little eager trying to get the new guide ready, and I’ll admit: It’s here, but it’s not perfect. I’m going to work on the bugs in my spare time.

You can reach the preferences under the search bar on each page. You can choose which view (grid, list, and compact view), how many episodes appear on the guide, and whether the audio autoplays when you request the player. On the player, there is an extra preference whether to use the TIP-themed player or use the browser’s built-in audio player.

Note: There are a few problems, but I’ll be working out the bugs over the next month or so. Things should work just fine right now though.

Take a look at the new guide right now.

Returning to Sanity

disconnectIt happened again. My internet was out for about a week. Weekends without unlimited* access to YouTube can really drive people crazy. It’s especially bad when the data I get from my mobile phone plan is really small.

I had been working with three different titles for my last podcast episode and didn’t know which one I was going to pick. I went with what it is on this weblog.

When I talked about addiction (in this case, to the internet back in my teenage years), it made me think what exactly addiction does to us as a person. Over my lifetime, I’ve seen people get hooked on some really awful things and for the most part, I’ve avoided it. I never really experimented with drugs of addiction. I’ve never been a big drinker (and when I do it, I end up really regretting it the day after when I realise how foolish I had become). My biggest addiction was the internet and looking back at some of my previous relationships, it is probably one of the contributing factors of my deteriorating relationships. Even to this day, I derive a lot of enjoyment from being in front of the computer, mostly coding, getting ideas, and stuff and then later, thinking that I’m not destined to pull off great things.

That’s just being hard on myself though. I’ve been working on a few things and quite proud what I accomplished with minimal access to resources. I need to get the finishing touches on the guide and show you what I’ve done.

Husband’s telling me to spend some time with him, so I’m going to go do that.

Some more stories of my past are coming. Hopefully I won’t get so upset with myself about how awful I was to my parents.

Much love…

TIP #13: My Past: Halloween and Internet Addiction

With my 20 year high school reunion happen soon and the arrival of the scariest month of the year, I talk about Halloween when I was a kid, why I don’t want to go to the reunion, my internet addiction as a teenager, and a few other things. (Sorry. Internet is out and can’t remember. Feed won’t be updated until I get a connection again.)

Life on the Outside

Hello there! I am back from moving across the state to the middle of nowhere and I finally have the internet back after a few little problems. The next two podcast episodes will be full of a lot of complaining about what’s happening. Of course, the complaining is going to continue because I’m not really feeling that great here.

I mean, it does have it’s okay moments, but I guess the tensions around here are really high. I’ve gotten my first migraine already. I can barely breathe the air out here. I’ve slipped and feel. My blood pressure is really high–I can feel it.

calmblueocean.gif

Tonight is just a sleep because I want to sleep night.

Getting unlimited access to the outside world has helped me calm a bit down.

It’s funny that the further away I get from a big city, the more stress I feel. That’s all from me. New episode coming for the next few Fridays.

Anyway, I’m a bit more back. Talk to you guys a bit later.

TIP Changes and Improvements

The New Episode Player

I looked around to see whether I could find a good audio player for my website that works on desktops and mobile phones and couldn’t find anything that looked really good. Then I remembered that I have enough skills to build this sort of thing myself, so that’s what I’ve done. I hammered everything out in a bit less than a day. It’s very colourful and it works alongside existing technology. It’s not riddled with code that runs to slow things down, to spy on you, or anything like that. It’s simple, straight to the point, and it works.

Here’s a look at it. You’re looking at the embeddable versions that I’ll be posting to my web post starting next time. The little widget below will always show the very latest podcast episode.

As I’ve said, it was cobbled together in less than a day, and there are a few things I would have liked to add, but haven’t, yet.

What Does It Do?

  • Listen to TIP while you browse. Listen to me blab while you check your mail, while you look at pictures of food, cats, or porn, while you work really hard for money to pay your bills. It’s really handy for people who don’t touch iTunes if they don’t have to (like me).
  • Download the files when your browser doesn’t give you an option. Some browsers, such as Vivaldi and Brave, give you an easy-to-use download option right on the audio player. Unfortunately, some don’t, so I’ve added a download building.
  • Works on all the new fancy browsers. I’ve tested it on the many browsers I like to use. It works out really nicely. You can listen to it using your phone, your laptop, your gaming console, pretty much any browser that supports HTML5.
  • Almost easy feedback. Links are provided for quick commenting and reading the web blog post for the episode. You won’t see it on the widget above, but there are two other buttons that do this.

What It Doesn’t Do Yet

  • It doesn’t show information that’s found on the feeds, such as what the episode is about. Basically, all that stuff is still read by iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or anything else you have reading my feeds. It’s totally separate from everything else. We’ll get there and we’ll find a place to put it so that we don’t clutter up your device.
  • No going forward to the next episode. I really can’t see how anybody would want to listen to someone talk longer than 45-60 minutes, but if that’s your thing, I’m going to make a player for multiple episodes.
  • It doesn’t give reach-arounds. No instant pleasure. Sorry.

What Will It Do?

  • Autoplay options. Nothing upsets me more than to click on something and be bombarded by sound (especially like my current podcast intro). Autoplay is enabled at the moment, but I’ll add an option for you turn that off using cookies.
  • Even easier feedback. Links are great, but I’d like to see something built in but I’m going to have to integrate it with WordPress to do that.

The Idiologic Podcast Episode Guide

It’s like an electronic magazine that no one asked for. Not really. Let me explain:

Have you cared enough yet to know what’s coming up? Or perhaps you’re just curious about what’s already happened and want to catch up on a few things? The episode guide is pretty great for that. I started designing it earlier than everything else, so it’s not really looking too nice at the moment, but it works and it does what it’s supposed to do. The new player and the guide work perfectly together.

It gives you quick access to the things that the player does, but it’s like a huge list of episodes. OK, so it’s not so huge yet, but maybe it’ll get there, right?

What’s nice about the guide is that it shows you what I’m planning for future episodes, you know, approximate dates of recordings and postings. There are a few things you can do with it:

This product isn’t really finished, but as I said, it does its job (mostly).

Braving It

You’ll notice some advertisements for the Brave browser (like the one above–it’s a bit ugly though).

I’d be lying if I wasn’t getting something out of it. If you download, install, and use it, I get a few Basic Attention Tokens which is like a cryptocurrency that I can give to Brave-verified websites that I visit. I am Brave-verified as well, so if you throw me a token, I’d be quite a bit grateful for it. I think it’s a really great way to help support the sites and people I like!

Brave Verified!

The Brave browser is a good browser. Seriously, I don’t get a thing for talking nicely about it, but it’s the browser I am using right now. One of the things I want to do in the future is to disable the ads and mentions of the Brave browser if you already use it. Plus, you’ll get some extra goodies too if you send me a screenshot of you supporting me with the browser. Sounds good?

Just let me know if you do!

 

Hey, Thanks Buddy!

Wow.

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy and thankfully, it’s the weekend so I get a bit of a breather.

I just wanted to say a big thank you to those of you who have been sending me messages of support and love with the resurrected podcast. I didn’t really think there would be much interest in it. I know I’m not getting hundreds of people listening, and you know what? That’s okay. It’s the people who do actually listen that matter.

I haven’t had much time to give meaningful responses since I’ve been so incredibly busy (but I’ll get around to it). It gets so exhausting when I only have one hour to myself every day. Thankfully, I have a bit of a break now, so that means that I’ll start recording new podcast episodes that weren’t recorded a month ago.

The motivation is still there and I’m going to continue doing it as long as I can. A few huge changes are happening in my life soon and I just want to talk things out.

I will be back later next week. (Just need to do a little traveling, then I’ll be back.)