Phil's Newsletter #33
Deep in thought, I forgive everyone
Previously on Phil’s Newsletter: Double Dragon II kicked our asses, I made you listen to a demo.
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This week’s guest on OpenCV Weekly was OpenCV Courses Director Vikas Gupta, who showed us how to deploy computer vision apps into the cloud with StreamLit. That episode will be on the OpenCV YouTube channel soon. Wrestling t-shirt of the week: Kevin Owens
Take Me Out
Last week had a few “first in a long time” events for me: I got my hair cut for the first time in a year, from my old barber Ed, and it was real good to see him. We had plenty to commiserate about. If you’re in the Bay Area, I can’t recommend him enough for all your haircut and shave needs. You can book Ed on Booksy and this ain’t sponcon. I pay full price just like the rest of you schmucks.
I also took myself to a ball game- the Giants beat the Cubbies 4-3 and I am not ashamed to admit I got pretty choked up before the first pitch. Might’ve been the two hot dogs I had before the game even started. Saw a couple of home runs, an exciting clutch double from Brandon Crawford, and got to hug one of my old friends from Polo Grounds. What more could a guy ask for? I forgot my glove, but I’m heading back next Monday to see Giants / Diamondbacks, and made sure to oil up the squad in advance this time.
I also spent a little time at my beloved DNA Pizza, had a couple of very nice gimlets and enjoyed a live DJ from the comfort of their parklet. They’ve still got a Patreon going, let’s keep SF weird eh?
The Remote Wars
Speaking of Eds, Ed Zitron of EZPR has been absolutely lights-out with his newsletter lately. Dude simply cannot miss. A few of the more recent posts are on a theme, with titles like “The Upcoming Remote Work Company Culture War” and “The Work-From-Home Future Is Destroying Bosses' Brains” and they do a lot of work examining the how’s and why’s of a some of the Big Lies in US work culture, and how the remote work boom has broken (or revealed the brokenness in) the brains of many CEOs today. An excerpt:
The issue at its core is that bosses hiring people “full-time” often do so, as dramatic as it sounds, to capture their soul. Within the hours of 9 to 5 (but let’s be real, it’s more than that), they expect to own the time, attention and energy of that person. The nebulous badge of “full-time” brings with it a level of ownership of the person - they cannot go elsewhere, what they create is yours, on some level they are yours, because you have deigned them worthy of a salary and benefits and whatever other crumbs you pass their way. In return, you expect them to dedicate their existence to you - on levels of dramatic ranging from “I need to see you in the office” to “I want to make sure I can text you at 10PM and badger you about some shit that bothers me.”
Most bosses and managers don’t do very much work and it’s harder for them to look busy if nobody can see them. This is causing a lot of brain worms especially among the middle manager types, or those that become bosses primarily to order other people around. Those kinds of co-workers (yes, a boss is a co-worker) have ALWAYS sucked but the pandemic has put into sharp relief just how unnecessary they are, and that bothers them greatly. If Mr. Burns can’t stride about his atom mill, looking for people to berate, what does he even do?
Full disclosure: I have worked with EZPR in the past, but we aren’t up to anything currently.
I picked up a copy of the 2014 edition of Rocksmith on Steam, which is basically like Guitar Hero but with an actual guitar. I am trying to learn to play this instrument before my hands finally give up the ghost entirely. Turns out typing 8-12 hours per day for 20+ years really fucks up your manual dexterity. Power chords, don’t fail me now.
It’s an interesting set-up, though, the way it eases you in to learning songs. There are a couple of Rush song packs, which of course I spent $20 on immediately. They’ve been putting out new songs for the game every week for like 7 years, which is impressive. There is supposedly a new version in development.
In other music news, I recorded a little pack of drum machine beats from my Korg Volca Beats, played through my Korg Monotron Delay, and you can download and use those weird sounds however you want. The bass is pretty fat.
Sticks and Fists Get Owned by Double Dragon II
So one thing about Double Dragon II for NES: This game is MEAN. It hurt our feelings real bad. At times it felt like this game was created to torment us. Even prolific save-scumming couldn’t save the Sticks and Fists crew. We’re gonna do it again next week.
The Good Links
Bradsucks’ new album, A New Low In Hi-Fi, is out! Go buy it. I especially like In It To Win It
I forgot all about this amazing remix of the Wii Shopping Channel theme by Nicky Flowers, it still rules
The Video Game History Foundation has gotten ahold of some Earthbound source code and written it up
Flashbak has a love letter to knobs and buttons. I’ll just be over here making heart eyes at the bakelite
ProPublica has obtained a massive trove of IRS files related to the wealthiest individuals in America, and how they manage to never pay their fair share. Elon Musk for example paid $0 in taxes in 2018. What a fuckin asshole
“It takes about 200 hours of investment in the space of a few months to move a stranger into being a good friend.”
The Collector's Edition of Farming Simulator 2022 has a flashing orange light for your desk, which flashes when your in-game tractor's light flashes
Lego is launching a 2000-piece model that mimics a functioning typewriter
There may be some big announcements coming from this direction in the next week. Stay tuned. Thank you for reading.
Wizard Tower Gamma, SoMA, San Francisco, CA, USA, Earth