2023 Podcast Wrap-Up

I listen to a lot of Podcasts. I’ve been doing it for a very, very long time. Some have come and gone and some have been stalwarts in my line up. I’ve used a variety of Podcatcher apps, but this year, my current one, AntennaPod, gave me a little mini wrap up for the year. It seemed like a good time to talk about my Podcast habits.

This list has no surprises for me anyway. Other than I subscribed to ClubTWIT halfway through the year, so I kind of wonder if things would change any with the non Club versions of the shows added in. Probably not. Both TWIT shows are on top, and I listen to every episode of both.

This Week in Tech

I’ve listened to TWIT for longer than any other podcast. Since the mid 2000s sometime, probably around 2005 or 2006 or something. Quite possibly from the beginning. When I started listening, Leo was doing the shows from his home in proper Podcast fashion. There was no Brickhouse or video feeds or anything.

I listen to every episode except the yearly best-of shows, mostly because I have already heard all of it before, since I listen to every episode.

Windows Weekly

Another long term mainstay. I am pretty sure when I started listening, it was just Paul and Leo. Mary Jo Foley had not come on yet, and these days she has left and been replaced by Richard Campbell. I really enjoy Paul’s takes a lot, they tend to align with a lot of my own.

Random side note, a few years ago Paul Thurrott did a give away to clean out a bunch of stuff, and I got a copy of some version of Mac OSX from him. Which I find incredibly amusing because, you know, it’s Mac OS, not Windows. I kind of wish I could have gotten him to sign it for extra LOLZ.


I had a different Transformers podcast i used to listen to, that I can’t remember the name of at all now, but it ended, so I replaced it with WTF@TFW, which I’ve been listening to for a few years now. They used to alternate each week with different hosts, but one pair of hosts decided to stop doing the show, which kind of sucked because, while I like the line up now, I kind of preferred the other group, because I really liked Gogdog and Seth Buzzard.

If Books Could Kill

One that has become pretty popular recently. The two hosts basically mock a bunch of “self help” style books. They also have a Patreon only show that is a bit more of a broader range of topics which I also subscribe to.

Community Voices

A podcast from the local NPR station where the hosts talk to various people in the community. Of the shows I currently subscribe and listen to, which is basically just this list, I skip the most of these. Sometimes I just don’t find the topics interesting. Often they talk about local food places or music events in the area. It’s also more local to Springfield than Decatur, but it’s local enough.

Weekly Wrap Up (12.17.2023 to 12.23.2023)

It’s that time of year again, when everyone is cheerful and celebrating and partying and buying gifts. That’s right, it’s my birthday. And these days, there isn’t a lot of partying or buying gifts. Which isn’t really a big deal. I have long gotten to the age when I really don’t care much for all of that.

It’s always kind of been a sort of, blessing and a curse having a birthday this time of year. On one hand, you end up being around more family more often so you end up with more “token gifts”. Often you at least get like, a cake or something, as a secondary dessert to whatever party was already occuring. It also just gets overshadowed by this other dude’s birthday.

It’s also just more meaningful when you are young, like I said, these days that doesn’t matter much these days. It’s just another year, another day. I am not even that old yet, though all things considered, I am likely on the downturn of “halfway”. I should probably buy a motorcycle or a fishing boat or go skydiving or something…

Mortality is kind of weird. I am not sure I really want to think about all that at the moment.


It’s going to be weird at work in about a week. We don’t really take any trips or anything and so back in like, September or October, I started doing math with my vacation days and found that I had a LOT of them. I have not worked a full 5 day work week in months. I only worked 3 days this week and will only work 2 next week. But starting next year, it’s back to normal.

I have also signed up for this CCNA course through work, so for the first few weeks, I get to work, then come home and do like 5 hours of virtual training each night. Its not paid time, which is fine, the cost is covered though. One of the nice sort of perks through work is that I get access to a few paid training deals, and we are allowed to do the training out of hours if we want.

I am almost always trying to learn something new. I almost always have at least one online course that I am periodically working on. Currently, I am doing a Javascript course, a C# Course I have kind of abandoned, a Godot4 course which has been fun, making cheesy little games, and more recently an AI/Machine Learning course.

There is also my constant Duolingo learning as well. I gave up on Norwegian for now. And Spanish was getting boring again. I wanted to try the new Music course Duo is rolling out but it’s iOS only for now. So I picked up my third planned language, Japanese.

I feel like, Duo’s Japanese course, is not super great, if you know nothing about Japanese. Fortunately, I have picked it up pretty quickly because I studied Japanese back in High School. It’s been over 25 years and I don’t remember a lot of it, but it’s coming back and it has helped me breeze through learning the Katakana and Kanji, and I was already familiar with the basic sentence structure concepts. Duo is full of new concepts and words though, since early parts of Duo courses are definitely geared towards “I am going to be a tourist”. My High School learning was more, “I am learning the language.”

Speaking of Japanese, last Sunday, I went and saw Godzilla Minus One. It’s fantastic, I recommend seeing it. I am looking forward to going to the black-and-white version that was recently announced. It has a lot of feel of the older Godzilla films, without being quite as cheesy “guy in a rubber suit and cardboard buildings,” to it. It also isn’t all “action drama” like the US-made Legendary films Godzilla. Though I really like the Legendary movies and that version a lot. Godzilla is really terrifying in it, for not really being the main focus of the film.

Anyway, time to wrap up, I hope to do the usual bloggy thing of some yearly wrap-up posts soon. Also, I did not forget about Advent of Code, I just didn’t do it this year.

Have a Happy Birthday to all.

No wait, that’s not right…

Happy Festivus!

Weekly Wrap Up (11.19.2023 to 11.25.2023)

Oh look, I fell into the “Trap of Not”. I am pretty sure I mentioned it before. It’s just a little phrase I think about sometimes when I want to do something but I just, do not. Specifically, in this case, writing and blogging. Like these little Saturday write-ups, I wanted to at least keep up with them, but I ended up, well, not. I also feel stupid jealous of people who blog and write regularly right now.

Look at Cynni’s Blog here, she writes daily. Long detailed posts, daily, with her dog and her little neat cartoon images spiced in. I’m jealous of that. My excuse is often that I don’t have the time, but the reality is, I kind of DO have the time. I just keep falling into Not. Another one that I’d love to be more like with Lameazoid is The Figure in Question. Not so much daily reviews, just more a long daily catalog of “here is this figure and this is why I like it.”

A while back I picked up this massive ball of blogs from a Hacker News posts. I’m still, still going through them, months later. There are so many that seem to have died for one reason or another. I mean, writing regularly, or even semi-regularly I suppose, is not for everyone. The process of going through them is slow, but there has been a fun accidental mechanism in my RSS reader that has helped. Basically, the feeds never update all at once. I get maybe 10-15 new ones showing up daily, but I think it’s timing out otherwise. So I skim through the ones that do show up and see if any of them are interesting, if not, I dump them. If they are interesting I throw them in a new category to better look at later, or if they have an obvious theme, I categorize them accordingly, since it’s Hacker News, it’s MOSTLY “Personal Blogs – Tech Enthusiasts”.

It’s also weird how some of these people organize their blog titles. Some people give useful information, and some just have these weird one-word titles that feel completely meaningless. Some of these blogs seemed completely themed around some extremely obscure tech topic (I usually drop these). You can tell when someone started a blog because they picked up some goofy random new coding language. Most of these I find, are also dead blogs. I guess they got tired of the topic or didn’t find an audience or something.

I always tell myself I don’t care about having an audience, and I keep plugging away at it anyway. For decades now. It’s a little crazy maybe. And I just write whatever comes to mind. I’ve been sitting here for an hour or two, having eaten my breakfast, done some daily quests in Sky, and browsed my RSS reader. Everyone else in the house is still asleep except the cats, so it’s nice and quiet. Anyway, I tell myself I don’t care about an audience, but also I don’t understand why everything seems to go nowhere.

Which brings up some of my activities this week. Working a bit to better understand the whole Search Engine Search Console thing. I set up a plug-in to give both blogs a mobile theme because I know Google complains about that. It’s boring and ugly, it gets the job done, I guess. I also have no idea why some of the issues listed are simply, “Page discovered but not indexed”. Like, ok, that’s on you, why are you not indexing them? No other explanations were given. I’ve also found it wants to index pages for individual images and such.

Which is another thing I should do. I need to flip through the gallery adding alt text to images. For accessibility. I am all for accessibility, but honestly, most of the images, don’t super matter or are meaningless if you can’t see them. Sorry people with bad or no sight, it sucks I am sure, but me describing a random concert photo, is not going to help you get the feeling of the photo. Most other images amount to something basic, “Python Logo”, “XXXXX Album cover.” You are not missing anything not seeing it. I think there is actually a way to get screen readers to ignore those images. A picture is worth a thousand words, and those thousand words already exist in the Blog Post the picture is in. There is one blog I read in my RSS reader with a dude who is absolutely obsessed with alt text. Like, it’s literally probably something he should see a shrink or something over because when I write obsessed, I mean OBSESSED. If I were a person who needed alt texts, I would be upset with how wordy and insanely long this dude makes his alt texts.

Other fun this week, it is, of course, Thanksgiving. We went to my parent’s house and had a very basic turkey, potatoes, corn, and green beans, style Thanksgiving dinner. My brother and his family were busy. It was enjoyable.

Side note, I typo-ed the word green. Are you OK there Spell Check? The obvious word is not there at all.

I’ve decided to dump the whole “What I Got” part of these. I might do the toys and games stuff on Lameazoid if I ever started regularly posting there again, but I did want to throw in that I bought some more memory for my gaming PC. It came with 16GB, which is decent, but I’ve been doing some AI stuff and I may move my Video Editing to that PC from my old PC, so I added another 32GB of RAM. Total of 48 now, which is probably a bit excessive. Nothing fancy, I was looking at fancy but realized that it wouldn’t do any good because it’s just going to clock down to match the speeds of the current 16GB, which was plenty fast enough already.

A Place for Wordles

If you are following this blog with RSS, you may have noticed some Wordles and other similar content showing up. I’ve excluded that again for now. I’ve been working on a sort of mini project I’ve wanted to set up for a while, and I even considered trying to write my own plug-in to do it, but it turns out there already is one.

Basically, Micro-Blog style posts, within this larger blog. In the past, this is the sort of thing I would have spun up an entire second WordPress Instance for, and then quickly forgotten about it after ten posts, and then folded it into the main blog, maybe. Ever since Twitter died, I have not really had a place for these sorts of posts, and frankly, I also never really cared to post them to places like Twitter anyway. Things like Wordle scores, the little image banners Duolingo spits out, a random Youtube Video with maybe some notes, or song lyrics, etc. I also have some random pictures of food that I’ve stuck in the Microblog section.

Basically, stuff I kind of want to keep a record of, but that doesn’t need a whole post or fanfare and that frankly, no one else probably cares about. It’s all there on that page linked above. I’m still messing with the formatting a bit.

What I’m using is a “secret backend page” with a plug-in called User Submitted Posts. It’s intended to let users submit posts easily to the blog, but as no one else should be able to register to post, and I’ve set the settings limited to admins, and the page is “secret”, I am the only one submitting. I also streamlined down all the settings. Everything goes into the Microposts category, and it only has boxes for a title, tags, post content, and uploads, all optional. It’s about as close to making a Microblog clone with WordPress as I can get. I’ve also verified that users not logged in can’t see or get to the posting page.

It’s also simple enough to set up a shortcut to the posting page on the home screen of my phone. In the pasty, I had tried using the WordPress App, but it’s just not suitable for quick posting of this style. You have to select tags and categories and go through menus, it’s just clunky for this purpose.

Weekly Wrap Up (08.27.2023 to 09.02.2023)

Another slowish week, aren’t they all kind of that way. I’ve been filling a lot of my time with learning again, on two paths. The first is the fairly newishly released Foundational C# with Microsoft Learn on FreeCodeCamp. It all feels very familiar as I know some C/C++ and some Python and some Javascript now. The real issue there is I am constantly forgetting things like semicolons. Also, Arrays feel really screwy in C# for some reason. Variables in general I suppose, because I’m not used to explicitly typing variables.

I’m going to finish it, but I am a bit let down because the course is all, “Build something to work in the Command Line”. Which is cute, but I really want to get more into building things with GUIs and things that aren’t just cute automation scripts.

Which sort of touches on the other learning I’ve been doing, which is explicitly graphical, because I have been learning GODOT, the game-making engine. I’ve only done one course, but I picked up the recent Humble Bundle package. It’s a rerun of Zenva courses, and I thought I had picked it up previously. With the whole current Unity controversy, it’s come back for an encore. I rather like it so far, granted so far it’s been a crash course of the basics and then build simple little coin-collecting game.

I did already modify the tutorial code a bit because I didn’t like that the character could leave the screen. I may mess with it a bit more. I kind of want to build Pong, again, with it. Pong has sort of become my own personal “Hello World” of game-building projects in different types of code. So far I’ve done it in Python using Turtle, and C for the Arduboy. I’ve been thinking a bit lately about if it could be done using CSS and HTML since CSS can handle some variables and do dynamic actions. I’ve also been thinking of how to make it using prims and scripts in Second Life.

Back to GODOT, it has some advantages because the scripting is similar to Python, which I am most familiar with. The courses are all fairly quick too, which is nice. It seems kind of corny, but I do really get a kick out of these basic simple games on these various platforms. I think it’s just the whole “I made this”. Even when it’s like 90% some tutorial, it’s still neat because, “I made this, I put this together and now when I press the WASD or Arrows (another mod I added), the little character moves and collects the little coins.”

God knows if I’d ever actually produce anything to “release” but I’ve always loved the idea of making a game sometime. I used to draw out elaborate platformer levels based on other games in a sketchbook when I was younger.

The other real big event this week was my wife’s uneventful (her choice), 50th Birthday. We didn’t really do anything on the birthday itself, I went to the store, so exciting. There is a party the following weekend (today), but I’m not sure she is super excited for it.

Activity Log

I didn’t acquire anything really beyond the GODOT Humble Bundle. Oh right, I did pick up GI Joe Classified Shipwreck. Then I picked him up again, after returning the first one, because the hand broke off, with barely a touch, right out of the package. Lousy shoddy QC there Hasbro.