Now, July 2021
This past six weeks or so, I’ve had my head down working on a few new projects. Writing here at HeyDingus, of course, plus working my way through the Learn to Code course in Swift Playgrounds. I’ve also been inspired to create some things that other people can use! Cotton Bureau makes it easy to try my hand at t-shirt design, and a couple of them I’ve turned into device wallpapers, too. Drafts continues to become more indispensable to my day-to-day workflows, and I’ve contributed a couple things to the community there. I can’t wait to do more! If Drafts is where things get out of my brain and onto “paper,” Shortcuts is the glue that ties everything together to get things done. I’ve been sharing a few of my shortcuts and how I made them.
I was very kindly featured in a couple of Matthew Cassinelli’s What’s New in Shortcuts newsletters and on David Sparks’ MacSparky blog. They got passed around a few times, and resulted in the first big spike of traffic that I’ve seen here. Shout out to all the Germans who found me when I was linked to on iPhoneBlog.de!
IRL, as they say, my wife and I took a long-awaited trip out to Washington State earlier in July. We traveled almost the entirety of the northwest corner of the state. Some hot takes: Seattle was cool but too big. Tacoma felt smaller than it has any right to. Olympic National Park took forever to drive around, but well worth it; I can’t wait to go back. Long Beach in the southeast corner was lovely. The Cascade Mountains have great hiking and are more substantial than I expected, and we didn’t even get deep into them. Mount Rainier is massive; Because the rest of the state is basically at sea level, it towers above everything else as Washington’s only 14er (and the United States’ second most prominent mountain, only behind Denali). It’s awe inspiring.
Lastly, I’ve started a new job! I’m headed into the field of technical customer support, and I couldn’t be more excited! While a big change from my past jobs, it retains a lot of the things that I’ve liked from all my previous positions: helping people, tinkering with tech, and working toward a mission I believe in. My coworkers all seem fantastic so far, and have a goofy side that I was afraid I’d miss out on after working at camp for so long. Fears = quelled. Enthusiasm = raised.
Apps I’m Trying
- Jump Desktop: I heard about this remote desktop app on Mac Power Users, and since I already have the Mac client through Setapp, I thought I’d compare it to Duet Air, which has a yearly subscription. I use them to control my Mac mini through my iPad Pro.
- Textcraft: A no-frills text manipulation app that has a plethora of transformations and, critically, provides Shortcuts actions for them.
- Boop: Another text transformation app, but specifically for the Mac, and made for more code-friendly manipulations.
- Transloader: Based on the MacStories recommendation, I’m trying this app out for starting downloads on my always-on Mac mini even from an iPhone or iPad. It plays nicely with Downie, which would probably make saving videos from the web easier than on iOS or iPadOS directly.
- Tripsy: Our trip to Washington provided an opportunity to test out Tripsy, which collects destinations, travel schedules, and reservations and puts them into a trip itinerary. It wasn’t perfect (I had some trouble with time zones and duplicate reminders since I saved both my wife’s and my plane ticket info there), but it was convenient to have all our documents and destination options in one place.
Stuff I’m Reading
To be honest, I haven’t opened a book for a couple of months. My RSS and Read Later lists in Reeder have taken all my reading time since WWDC. We did listen to Harry Potter, books six and seven, as audiobooks on the road in Washington, though.
On Heavy Rotation
- January Flower by Mat Kearney
- ~how i’m feeling~ by Lauv
- brent: live from the internet by Jeremy Zucker & Chelsea Cutler
- Trying: Season 2 (Apple TV+ Original Series Soundtrack) by Maisie Peters
- Welcome - EP by Daði Freyr
- Gone Now by Bleachers
- “A Birchtree Summer” playlist created by Matt Birchler
Things I’m Watching
- Rewatch of Ted Lasso in anticipation of the second season.
- Season 2 of Central Park.
- Season 10 of Modern Family. There are only 11 seasons — so close!
- Season 2 of Home Before Dark.
- Veep, still on the first season. Very funny, and getting better.
- Physical, which grabbed me in the first episode.
- I also saw Luca, which didn’t grab me, and Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell, which was an emotional look behind-the-scenes of producing the show’s final season.
Hobbies I’m Hobbying
- Working out. My running and workout regime took a brief break while we were out west and shortly after. But I’m getting back on schedule with the goal to run a half-marathon by the end of the year.