Halloween Blues

I’ve been feeling sick since Wednesday afternoon. I’m pretty sure I caught a cold Wednesday morning, probably when I brought my car in for an oil change. That’s pretty much the only time I was out of the apartment and around other people since last weekend. This is the second cold I’ve gotten this autumn. The last one was only about two weeks ago, and this feels pretty much the same. This time, I took a whole day off from work, on Friday. So, between that and the general situation, I’m not really in a festive Halloween mood.

I ordered my groceries from Whole Foods last night, since I didn’t want to have to go to ShopRite today if I was still feeling sick. I usually select the 8-10 AM delivery window when I order from them, but they only showed the 6-8 AM window as open, so I picked that, and hoped the guy wouldn’t show up right at 6. Well, he did actually show up exactly at 6:01 AM. Luckily, I’d gotten out of bed at 5:30 AM and had just gotten out of the shower when he called to get buzzed in to the building. So that worked out well. I opened my apartment door at 6:05 to see five bags of groceries right outside. I’ve had mixed success with delivery from Whole Foods, but this time it worked out reasonably well. They only had to make one substitution, and they didn’t skip any items at all. And nothing was messed up. The eggs are all whole, the bread wasn’t squashed, and all the produce looks OK. I don’t think I want to go with that 6 AM delivery option again though. That’s just too early.

So now it’s 9 AM, and my laundry and grocery shopping are all done, and I can probably just spend the rest of the day reading comics and napping. I might as well add a few random items to this blog post before I give up and take a nap.

I’ve mentioned Evernote a few times recently here. Since the last time I mentioned it, I’ve upgraded to the new client on my main desktop PC, but not yet on my Mac. So I’ve got the new client everywhere but the Mac. I’ve hit a few bugs and annoyances, but they’re pushing out new versions frequently, and at least one or two of my issues have already been fixed. So, as of now, I still plan on sticking with Evernote.

I did take a look at Notion recently though. I hadn’t previously considered that as an Evernote replacement, largely because I didn’t know that they had a Windows version. Their home page only shows screenshots from iOS and macOS, but if you dig a bit, there is a mention of a Windows client. Their desktop app is definitely an Electron app (as is Evernote’s new app), so switching to Notion wouldn’t resolve any issues/annoyances that are due to Electron. Still, I might sign up for a free account and mess around with it a bit, if I have time.

I’m still having fun with Apple Music. I’ve been listening to some jazz and classical this week, including Louis Armstrong’s Satch Plays Fats and Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suites. So, yeah, I guess I’ve finally given in and accepted that streaming music services are fine, and I’ll be paying for one. Once my six-month free period is over, I might even go ahead and sign up for the individual Apple One bundle.


Splendid isolation

Sometimes, I take a little time and go through my unread Pinboard links, and try to clean them up a bit, deleting some if they’re no longer applicable, and maybe reading a few random articles that I’d bookmarked long ago. Today, I stumbled across this one: Splendid isolation: how I stopped time by sitting in a forest for 24 hours, a fairly long article from The Guardian that I’d bookmarked back in January.

I know the phrase Splendid isolation as the title of a Warren Zevon song, but apparently it’s a term “used to describe the 19th-century British diplomatic practice of avoiding permanent alliances,” according to Wikipedia. (And I see I’ve referenced the song previously on this blog.)

Anyway, that article from January predates the pandemic, of course. The concept of “isolation” in general has cropped up a lot this year. I’ve been following Suleika Jaouad’s Isolation Journals, for instance, though I’ve fallen behind in reading those emails, so they’re piling up in my “read/review” folder, along with a bunch of other stuff.

Isolation has come up in some music I’ve listened to this year, including this Music For Isolation project and this Isolate With compilation. I’m also kind of interested in Ulrich Schnauss’ ‎A Strangely Isolated Place. It’s an older album, but I’ve only started to listen to Schnauss recently. I don’t suppose there’s much point in just linking to a bunch of music with the word “isolation” in the title, but it amused me for a few minutes, and it’s all good music.

Anyway, the article I started this blog post with is a pretty good one and has got me thinking about my relationship to time right now. It definitely changes, when you’re home all day and the lines between home and office pretty much disappear. I find myself getting distracted a lot and then feeling guilty for not getting enough work done. And I’m trying to impose some discipline on my “free time” also, feeling guilty if I don’t make some progress in a book I’m reading, or fall too far behind on a TV show I’m watching, or whatever. I feel that I need to try to maintain a certain schedule and a certain amount of discipline to keep myself sane and on track, but it’s starting to wear me down.

I have several vacation days left that I have to use up before the end of the year. I’ve scheduled a full week off in early December. In any other year, I’d have plenty of interesting things to do with a week off. But this year, a lot of my usual options are either closed off or a bit too risky for me right now. I kind of like the idea of disappearing into the woods for a day and just sitting in a circle and doing nothing for 24 hours. But that’s maybe a little too extreme for me. Maybe just having a full week where I don’t have to get through work every day will be enough to let me hit the reset button on my anxiety, at least a bit. Maybe I can relax into some unstructured randomness. (Though I suspect the results of the election will affect my anxiety level, for better or worse, more than any amount of vacation time will.)

Afternoon Walk

I’ve been going out for walks nearly every day since the pandemic began, and taking photos. I haven’t posted any of the photos to Flickr since May, though. So here are a few photos from a walk I went on this afternoon. It was a nice autumn afternoon walk. (I’m trying an embedded album below, which might or might not look OK here. If it isn’t working, try this link.)

I had my Airpods in, and was listening to Invisible Man, which I started in May, and still haven’t finished yet. (I’m just at the part where he realizes that he can be invisible, so I’m getting near the end.) I don’t usually listen to audiobooks while I’m walking. Usually I go with music or podcasts. But I really felt like making some progress with Invisible Man today, so I gave it a try. It worked out OK. I managed to give enough attention to the book, and also managed to not get hit by a truck while crossing any streets.

afternoon walk 10/24/2020

Evernote, and Apple, and other stuff

In my last post, I mentioned that I had not yet upgraded to the new version of Evernote on iOS, Windows, or Mac, nor had I been prompted to upgrade. Yesterday, the iOS client got pushed down to my iPhone. And I was prompted on my PC to upgrade to the new Windows client. (I skipped that and stuck with the old version for now.)

The iOS client is fine. I don’t have any issues with it. It looks good, and it’s no less functional than the old client, as far as I can tell. It’s not particularly fast, but neither was the old iOS client. So I went ahead and updated it on my iPad too. It works fine there. So no problems with iOS.

For Windows, I decided to upgrade it on my Lenovo laptop and play with it a bit. I’ve honestly barely used that laptop since I bought it back in June. So it seemed like a good place to try out the Windows client without having to worry about messing up my regular setup. The new client works fine, and I think I like a few things about it more than the old client, but I’d need to work with it some more to be sure. It seems to be a little slower than the old Windows client. And the font looks a little weird, but that might just be that I need to tweak the display settings on the laptop. There’s a dark mode, and I’ve found that it works better for me than the light mode. Overall, it definitely seems to be less configurable than the old version, but there’s nothing in particular that I want to change, and can’t.

On another subject: I’ve upgraded both my iPhone and iPad to iOS 14. I waited for 14.1 to come out before upgrading. I’ve had no issues on either the iPhone or iPad. I’ve messed around with widgets a bit, but I haven’t gone nuts with them. For now, I’m just leaving them on their own screen. There’s not much else in iOS 14 that I’m really interested in, but I do want to try out the “headphone accommodations” feature at some point, given that I’m partially deaf in my left ear, but have (fairly) normal hearing in my right ear. Maybe it’ll help.

Upgrading the iPhone triggered the notice to upgrade my Watch to watchOS 7. That turned out to be quite a problem. The update needed 3.1 GB of free space, and I didn’t have that much. In the past, rebooting the watch would often clear enough space to run an update, but this time I had to go as far as un-pairing and re-pairing it. That basically wipes it and leaves you with a fresh OS install, so I then had to go back and reinstall apps and redo my watch face customizations and reset all my preferred options. And it turns out that watchOS 7 doesn’t really do much for you if you have a Series 3 watch, like I do. I was hoping for at least the handwashing timer, but you need a Series 4 for that.

So that’s got me thinking about picking up a new watch. And, of course, with the iPhone 12 out, I’m a little tempted to trade in my phone too. Both my phone and watch are a little less than two years old, and I like to hold on to these things for three years minimum, if I can. So I probably shouldn’t be thinking about buying new Apple gear. But, hey, in a year when I couldn’t travel at all and haven’t had to spend hardly any money on gas or car maintenance, why not blow a few bucks on unnecessary Apple hardware?

And on one last Apple-related note: I got a lot of enjoyment out of my Apple Music subscription today. The new Bruce Springsteen album came out, and I listened to that twice. And there’s a video interview with Bruce that I watched. (Or mostly just listened to, since I was working at the time.) And a new Jeff Tweedy album came out today, so I listened to that too. And I discovered the “My New Music” mix today. Apple already knows enough about my musical taste to put together a pretty good mix, including new AC/DC, Elvis Costello, John Cale, Pixies, and Bob Mould. So I’m feeling pretty good about Apple Music right now.

Evernote changes

Evernote has been going through some changes lately. They’ve introduced new client software for iOS, Windows, and Mac. I haven’t updated to any of the new programs yet though. I assume the iOS one will get pushed down automatically at some point. For the Windows and Mac clients, I don’t think they’re pushing them out automatically, so I can probably keep using the old software until they’ve worked out the bugs in the new stuff.

The new Windows and Mac clients have gotten a lot of bad reviews, from what I’m seeing on reddit and elsewhere, so I’m a little afraid to try them. I’ve been actively using Evernote since 2014, and I’ve got a lot of notes in there. I realize that the folks complaining on reddit are probably a small subset of total Evernote users, and the new clients are probably fine, but I want to be careful.

Evernote’s CEO, Ian Small, has been doing a bunch of interviews with productivity YouTubers recently, to promote the new clients and to answer questions and concerns about Evernote’s direction. Here are links to three recent interviews:

It’s kind of interesting to see how much effort he’s putting into this, and how he’s approaching it. Evernote is big enough that he could probably be giving interviews to (for lack of a better term) more mainstream tech journalists, but he’s going with random productivity YouTubers instead. It seems like he’s trying to really reach out to the serious productivity nerds.

One thing he’s had to defend is his choice to rewrite the clients in Java Script, using Electron. That’s actually a pretty safe choice for a cross-platform app right now, but it does leave you with an app that’s probably going to be slower than an app written in, say, C# on Windows or Swift on Mac, using native libraries on each platform. But Electron apps don’t have to be slow.

With all the uncertainty around Evernote, I spent a little time recently looking at the possibility of moving to OneNote. Microsoft has an importer that you can use to make the move. I haven’t tried it, but it’s good to know that it exists. I use OneNote at work (since that’s our standard), and it’s fine, but I like Evernote a lot more.

So hopefully, they’ll keep iterating on the Windows and Mac clients, and by the time I switch over to them, they’ll be fast and reliable.

still fiddling with Apple Music

I spent some more time today fiddling with Apple Music. (I may have even let myself get a little too distracted from work today. I’ll have to be more careful tomorrow.)

I noticed this article on MacRumors, about Disney adding some new content to Apple Music. And I remembered that I’d added the Legacy Collection version of the Fantasia soundtrack to my Amazon wish list some time ago. It’s a 4 CD version of the soundtrack. It’s actually not that expensive, only $20 from Amazon, but I’d never gotten around to ordering it. So I checked Apple Music, and it’s up there. So I started my work day listening to that.

Later, I started messing around a bit with the idea of replacing some old purchased and matched tracks with higher bitrate versions from Apple. I’d read this article some time ago, and found it again today, and thought it’d be fun to try it out. My first attempt was a bust. I had purchased the original version of the Allman Brothers At Fillmore East album years ago, from iTunes. So the files on my hard drive were .m4p files, encoded at a relatively low bitrate. So my hope was that I could replace them with 256k .m4a files. Long story short, I managed to accidentally delete them from my library, rather than just from my hard drive, and that apparently removes even the entry for the album in your purchase history. So that didn’t work out so well. But I had the original files backed up, so I just put them back. Meanwhile, I looked around in Apple Music, and I see that there’s a 2 CD deluxe edition, and a 6 CD super deluxe edition too. So I added the 2 CD version to my library and decided not to worry about the old one. (I might look at the 6 CD version at some point, but I don’t really need six hours of Allman Brothers right now.)

My second try worked out a bit better. I had an old Afro Celt Sound System album that I’d ripped a long time ago, at a low bitrate. All the songs on it had matched, so I went ahead and deleted them (from my drive this time, and not from my library), and re-downloaded them. Now I have a good 256k, DRM-free, version of it. I might have some more albums I could try that on, but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort.

One more thing I messed around with today was poking through my old iTunes wish list and seeing if anything on it was available in Apple Music. I hadn’t added anything to that wish list in a long time, but there were a few interesting things on there. One big one was Itzhak Perlman – The Complete Warner Recordings 1972 – 1980. I’m not even sure how many CDs that would be, but it’s 23 hours of music. And I see they also have his complete recordings for 1980 – 2002, which is another 44 hours of stuff! I didn’t add either of those to my library yet, but I’ve bookmarked them for the next time I’m on a big Itzhak Perlman kick.

And one very little thing I had on my wish list was the song Heart Grenade by Sean Lennon and Cornelius. It’s used over the end credits for the anime series Ghost in the Shell: Arise, and it’s just a great song. Unfortunately, while it’s available in iTunes to buy for $1.29, it’s not in Apple Music. I found that to be true for a few other oddball songs and albums I tried. Oh well, I guess you can’t get everything for $10/month. Anyway, when I want to listen to Heart Grenade, I can just find it on YouTube. Though maybe I should go ahead and shell out that $1.29.

So, yeah, I need to rein in my natural tendency to start poking around too much during the work day. Maybe I should listen to Ludovico Einaudi’s Seven Days Walking tomorrow, and just stick with that. That’s long enough to fill almost an entire work day, so if I can just commit to that, maybe I can avoid getting too distracted from work.

Con crud, NYCC, Picard, Apple Music, and other distractions

One of the good things about a virtual con is that it should be impossible to get the con crud when you don’t leave your apartment. But after NYCC last weekend, I woke up on Monday feeling pretty bad. I guess I caught a cold at some point over the weekend. I probably picked it up while out grocery shopping. So I was nursing a cold through the first half of the work week, and eventually gave up and took a half-day on Wednesday to rest. It seems like taking time off for a cold shouldn’t be necessary if you’re just working from home anyway, but taking an afternoon off to nap and listen to podcasts did help.

I may watch some panels from Baltimore Comic Con next weekend. They’re supposed to be streaming their panels live, unlike SDCC and NYCC, where most panels were prerecorded, and they have some interesting stuff on their schedule. Also, unlike SDCC and NYCC, nearly all of the panels are actually about comics books! (I’m not knocking SDCC or NYCC. They both did great jobs of putting on a fun virtual event on short notice.)

I’ve been continuing to overdo it on Picard, as I mentioned last weekend. I’ve now watched all the episodes of season one, all the Ready Room episodes, all of the extras on the Blu-ray discs, and listened to about half of the Greatest Discovery podcasts. I also watched the “Trek the Vote to Victory” Biden fundraiser event on Tuesday night, which was a lot of fun, and included a number of the Picard actors, including Patrick Stewart. I guess I’m almost done with Picard for now, though I may keep going through those podcasts. They’re enjoyable, though I’m falling behind in all my other podcasts.

In my continuing quest to lose myself in diverting entertainment, I watched Weathering With You last night. It was almost as good as Your Name, though I think the general consensus is that it’s not quite as good. (Your Name has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Weathering With You has 91%.) For me, Makoto Shinkai still isn’t up there with Miyazaki or Satoshi Kon, but he’s pretty good. I have thoughts about Weathering With You, but they’re not terribly well-organized yet. In some ways, it follows a lot of pretty standard anime tropes, but it makes some really weird decisions along the way, and I’m not sure what kind of conclusions I should draw about those. I’m pretty sure that trying to analyze this movie too literally would be a mistake though.

And I’m continuing to play around with Apple Music. I think I’ve got my library in pretty good shape now. Everything on my PC and Mac has been either matched or uploaded. My iTunes/Music library now says that I’ve got 14,000 items taking up 95 GB. I guess that’s now showing the total size of everything in the cloud. I wish there was an easy way to see how much you have in the cloud vs local from within Music/iTunes, but you need to go into Finder/Explorer to do that. I still have about 44 GB on my Mac. At some point, I think I’ll start deleting stuff from my local library there, and just rely on streaming on the Mac. I’ll keep local copies of everything on my PC, in case I decide to discontinue Apple Music.

I spent a lot of time yesterday fiddling with my library, trying stuff out, and moving stuff around. I found that a lot of the stuff I bought via iTunes back in the early days confused Apple Music a bit. I had to delete some old files and replace them with new ones. And a bunch of files with weird characters in their file names needed to be cleaned up too. (Those might already have been broken, and I just hadn’t noticed before.)

Streaming from Apple Music to my Sonos works pretty well. I’m currently listening to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde on the Sonos, and it sounds pretty good. This is a version that I ripped from CD and that isn’t available in Apple Music, so I guess I’m just listening to my own ripped version, but streaming from Apple’s servers. I’m curious about how that stuff works. How many other Apple Music subscribers have ripped that particular CD set? Any, or is it just me? If so, does Apple keep all the individual rips, or do they just point to a common base set? If two people encode different rips of the same album, at different bit rates, can Apple tell that they’re the same work, and just keep whichever one is the best rip? If I were to re-rip some of my old stuff to lossless, then re-match it in Apple Music, would Apple keep and stream my lossless files? Or would that be pointless? I’m probably spending too much time overthinking this stuff.

The general theme of this blog post, and honestly about 90% of my recent blog posts, has been distraction and self-absorption, generally in stuff that doesn’t much matter. But I think that’s OK. I voted. I’m supporting charitable (and political) causes that I care about. I’m staying informed on current events. I’m wearing my mask. And I’m showing up to work every day and doing my best. If I want to spend my Sunday morning thinking about doing a lossless re-rip of all my opera CDs, that’s fine!

Apple Music

I finally broke down and signed up for Apple Music today. I’ve been waffling back and forth as to whether or not to sign up for a streaming music service, and if so, which one, for some time now. The straw that broke the camel’s back was, I guess, a combination of a six month free deal that I got by signing up via Shazam, along with a desire to listen to the new Tom Petty Wildflowers reissue that came out today, plus a dash of good old boredom and restlessness.

The six month free deal is something that they did last year, around the holidays, and I guess they’re doing it again. I happened to be using Shazam recently and noticed it. The Tom Petty Wildflowers & All The Rest release is available as a 2 CD set for $20, a 4 CD set for $50, or a 5 CD “super deluxe” set for $150, if you buy it through the Tom Petty web site. Apple Music has the whole Super Deluxe version (though obviously just the music and not the extra stuff). And, yeah, I guess just general boredom and restlessness occasionally causes me to decide to sign up for something new that I probably don’t need.

I’m looking back through my blog, and I see that I bought my first song from iTunes in 2003. (I just checked, and that song is still in my library.) Apple Music has been around since 2015, and I blogged about it when it was first announced. At that time, I didn’t think I’d ever sign up for it. And I’ve been thinking about (and blogging about) streaming music a lot over the last year or two. (Here are three posts from 2019, from March, June, and November.)

I’ve been buying a fair amount of my music from Bandcamp this year, and I feel pretty good about that. I know that a reasonable amount of the money that I spend there makes its way back to the artists. But, for stuff like Tom Petty, or Bruce Springsteen, or for albums that I’m just curious about and want to listen to once or twice, I think Apple Music is a perfectly reasonable solution.

So, now, I might as well write up some notes on the process of pulling my giant music collection into Apple Music and letting it match stuff. I did that on the PC first, and it took about two hours to crunch through everything. (Though I think it’s still not actually completely done.) When Apple Music first came out, there was a lot of talk about it screwing up people’s local music libraries. I don’t think it does that anymore (if it ever really did), but it does definitely confuse things a bit, in some cases. (To be fair, my library might have already been a little messed up, and turning on the Apple Music sync may have just made existing issues more obvious.)

I have about 14,000 songs in my library, on my PC, taking up about 87 GB of space. When you first go into iTunes, after signing up for Apple Music, you get a prompt asking if you want to enable iCloud Music library. If you say yes, then it starts analyzing your library, matching songs with their cloud library, and uploading stuff they can’t find. You can get an idea of what’s going on there by adding the “iCloud Status” column to your “Songs” view. The values for that are (mostly) explained in this support document. I had a bunch of songs showing “Error”, which I managed to mostly clean up. Most songs were “Matched” or “Uploaded”. A bunch still say “Waiting” on them, which I guess means that they didn’t finish matching. I think I may have start another update (via File > Library > Update Cloud Music Library) to fix that. (I did that just now, and it’s crunching through about 3500 songs.)

I keep about half of my music library (about 44 GB) on my MacBook also, and I turned on the sync there too. That went faster and had fewer errors. I may at some point delete a lot of my music files from my Mac, and just stream them from the cloud. That would help clear some space on my hard drive, which is always a little cramped.

And I’m thinking about turning off music sync between my Mac and my iPhone. Right now, I selectively sync stuff to the phone that I want to be able to listen to offline. Of course, right now, I barely leave my apartment, so I don’t really need to listen to stuff offline that often. When I do, I can just download it from the cloud right from the phone. So I think I may just start managing things that way.

Another nice side-effect of having Apple Music is that I’ve connected my account to my Sonos, so I can now easily listen to anything in my library without jumping through some of the hoops that I have to jump through now.

My previous workflow for getting music into my “system” if, for instance, I bought a new CD, was generally: (1) rip the CD on my PC, (2) copy the MP3s to my Mac, (3) also copy them to my Volumio box, and (4) sync them down to my phone. Now I can just skip most of that and just add albums in Apple Music and listen to them wherever I want. I guess it takes some of the fun out of it, but it’ll be a little easier to manage.

So, yeah, I guess I’ve finally given in. I’m going to try to get comfortable with this whole “not owning my music” thing. I’m still not ready to give up my physical CD collection yet though. I probably should give it up, but… I guess that’s a step too far. (Old dogs, new tricks, and all that.)

NYCC, days three and four

After watching a few panels on Thursday and a bunch on Friday, I wound up mostly doing other stuff yesterday and today. This is one of those areas where there’s a big difference between actually being at a con, compared to just watching panels from home. If I was actually in New York, at Javits, I would have gone to more panels, even if I wasn’t that interested in them, purely because I was there. At home, given the choice to watch a panel that I’m not that excited about vs. binge-watching season one of Star Trek: Picard, well, I opted to spend most of my spare time watching Picard. I’ve now seen the whole first season. Plus all of the Ready Room episodes on YouTube. And maybe a few episodes of Greatest Discovery. And maybe I also read some reviews from tor.com. Basically, I kind of overdid it on Picard.

My viewing was briefly interrupted by this horrible truck parade that came through downtown Somerville. The linked article says “hundreds of pick-up trucks, SUVs,” and so on, but it was really more like a few dozen total, mostly pick-up trucks and motorcycles. They made a lot of noise, but there really wasn’t much to it. The BLM marches we’ve had in Somerville are generally better-attended, though they make less noise and take up less space, since they’re all on foot.

The combination of all that Trek with the truck parade convinced me to give Biden a few bucks so I can watch this Trek the Vote to Victory thing on Tuesday.

Back on the subject of NYCC, I did watch and enjoy the panel on Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, and was happy to learn that there are new episodes airing right now, and more coming. If I hadn’t watched the panel, I wouldn’t have known about the new episodes. I had thought that Primal was a “one and done” kind of thing, and really didn’t expect any more. I’ve already watched one of the new episodes, and it was great.

And the Animaniacs panel was great too. I think I’d heard mention of the new Animaniacs show some time back, but had pretty much forgotten about it. Turns out, it’s going to start up on Hulu on November 20. Of course, I really don’t want to sign up for a Hulu subscription, but I’ll keep an eye out for a Blu-ray release or if they put it up for sale on iTunes or whatever.

There are a few more panels I might watch tomorrow or later in the week, but I think I watched all of the ones that I was really interested in. Now, I have to try to get used to the idea of “going to work” tomorrow. Weird, though, that going to work looks almost exactly the same as being on vacation. I’ll be waking up in my own bed, and I’ll be spending most of my time alone in my apartment, staring at a computer screen, just like a did on my time off. (The trick is that I have to try to do productive work that somebody will pay me for, while I’m staring at the computer screen.)

I guess things are going to stay this way, at least to some extent, for quite some time. The latest word from Dr Fauci is that we probably won’t get back to “normal” until the end of 2021. Which probably means no NYCC or SDCC next year either.

NYCC day two

Today was the second day of the virtual NYCC. I spent a lot of time today watching panels. I didn’t really have anything else to do today, and there were a bunch that I was interested in. I might as well just list them out, with some notes:

  • Adam Savage’s Favorite Cosplay Show & Tell – This was a fun little “show & tell” with Adam Savage showing off some random stuff, including a couple of spacesuits. He’s always fun to watch.
  • Ready Player Two – This was a conversation between Ernest Cline and Wil Wheaton, about Cline’s new book, the sequel to Ready Player One.
  • Twenty Years of Harry Dresden – And this one was a conversation between James Marsters and Jim Butcher, about the Dresden Files. (Interesting that both this one and the Cline panel involved a conversation between an author and the actor who does his audiobooks.)
  • Lewis Black’s Rantcast – This was basically an NYCC special episode of Black’s Rantcast podcast. It was funny, of course, but also surprisingly touching. He was reading letters from fans ranting about stuff they missed (and didn’t miss) about the usual in-person NYCC.
  • Batman Beyond Cast – A discussion with Will Friedle, Kevin Conroy, and Andrea Romano.
  • In Conversation with Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV – This was the only actual comic book panel I saw today. Honestly, I didn’t get much out of it, since I’m not currently reading any of the Batman books that Snyder and Tynion are working on. I may eventually pick some of them up, but not until I’ve caught up on my backlog. (Or at least put a dent in my backlog…)
  • SYFY’s Resident Alien – A panel with Alan Tudyk and other folks involved in this new series. They showed the first ten minutes of the first episode, then did a Q&A. I’m a big fan of the comic, and I’m a little concerned with how different the show seems to be, based on what I’ve seen of it so far. I’ll give it a chance, when it airs in January, but I can’t say I like the direction they seemed to be going in, from those first ten minutes. (I think part of what I didn’t like might have been a misdirect, but I’m not sure.)

I won’t bother with links. If you want to watch any of these, you should be able to find them on NYCC’s YouTube page.

Impulse purchases are always part of the con-going experience. Yesterday, the Trek panel got me to run out and buy Picard season one on Blu-ray (though I was going to do that eventually anyway). It did not convince me to sign up for CBS All-Access, but they’re gradually wearing down my resistance on that. Today’s panels pushed me in the direction of a few purchases, none of which I’ve actually pulled the trigger on. I almost ordered some of the Dresden audiobooks, but I held off. Ditto on a Batman Beyond Blu-ray set. (If I could have found that on sale for a bit cheaper, I would have bought it.)

I haven’t reviewed tomorrow’s panel schedule at all. I’m hoping I can find a few comics-oriented panels to watch. So far, the con has been heavy on promotional panels for books, movies, and TV shows. (Actually, not many movies, now that I think of it. Mostly TV shows. The movie industry has pretty much shut down for now, it seems.) I’ll have to do all of my usual Saturday chores tomorrow, so I’ll probably be busy until around lunchtime. But I’ll likely fill the afternoon with random panel watching. And I should be able to relax all day Sunday and enjoy whatever they have going on for that day. Then, it’s back to work and the “real world” on Monday. Sigh.