Youtube and Spotify

Youtube is always goiong to be superior to Spotify just because … it has more stuff.

The downside is that it’s hard to know wtf is real any more, when searching for something.

The upside is that the “tail end” of what’s available is much longer on Youtube.

Today, for instance, I discovered Jun Fukamachi
(electronic jazz music, sort of. Like a lot of people I end up really liking, a dead person. Anyway.)

Spotify, for instance, shows just three albums:

Youtube has … many, many albums. This particular one was an album made in 1984: Starview HCT-5808.

Now, many of them might be fake, but … as long as there is something I can get on Youtube I can’t get on Spotify, well, I’m going to add to my playlists there, aren’t I?

Sky Guide

Showing Jupiter and Saturn in the sky together.

Apps on our smartphones get a bad rap for wasting our time, and deservedly.

It’s true that most are either harmful or neutral, or a distraction, or a minor convenience.

One set of apps that are genuinely something that exist only because we have “computers in our pockets” are apps1 like Sky Guide, which have this magical ability to tell me which stars are in the sky, highlight them for me as I move my phone around, and display helpful connecting lines, the ecliptic, etc

I can’t believe I paid the price of a cup of coffee2 for something that’s mine to use forever, and that works so well and is delightful every single time I use it!


  1. A larger list of similar apps here ↩︎
  2. $2.99 on the AppStore right now. Compare with a Grande Freshly Brewed ($2.10) or a Tall Caffe Latte ($2.95) at Starbucks ↩︎

Monthly Recap (Sep 2020)

A unicorn, with its notebook, I think.

Major updates

  • Trip to Capitola

Minor updates

  • A new family board game: Labyrinth
  • Re-activated my Facebook account, mostly to follow Tara’s school account
  • This month went by … really quickly
  • Created a separate place to record all the fragments I keep finding

Watched/read/made

  • Watched Vast of Night (Amazon)
  • Away, Social Dilemma, Pets United, Struggle: life & lost art of Szugalski (Netflix)

Generally interesting links – Sep 2020

Harry Potter: revisited & renewed

We recently watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — and I realized the movie is already twenty years old!

I thought I’d read the book with my daughter, now that we’ve seen the movie, and I thought the plain book might come across as boring to her, and … then I stumbled across this marvelous illustrated version1.

We just finished reading it today![^Not sure if it’s time to move on to the next one yet; I gotta do some “age-appropriateness” research … but the first one is definitely okay for a 5-6 year old, IMO.][^Not sure if it’s time to move on to the next one yet; I gotta do some “age-appropriateness” research … but the first one is definitely okay for a 5-6 year old, IMO.]


  1. Yes, pricey, but I’m hoping it lasts a long time too ↩︎

Deus Ex McKenna

I was going to make a short comment about liking some specific video, then thought I should provide context, then realized that I have … no real way to start because there was too much to say, and if I started in the wrong place it wouldn’t be worth it, and it’s best not to say anything.

Anyway, I will try to write more on this somehow, some day, but for now I’ll just say (this part almost rhymed) that some of the most intriguing, bewildering, lulling, awakening, and funny material I’ve ever heard is by Terence McKenna.

Yes, like many people I like to read or hear, he’s dead.

(the title shamelessly stolen from one of the few YouTube channels featuring old content by him)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Trials

Came upon this scene recently — well, no, I didn’t just come upon it, that would be creepy even by Youtube’s standards1 — I was suddenly reminded of the movie at night, and then (as often happens? insert sheepish grin) I wanted to watch this particular scene and then, thanks to Youtube (yes, it is possible to love it and hate it, why not?), found the precise 5-minute sequence I wanted.

Given that this movie is (checks Imdb) just over three decades old (the last of the trilogy, I would like to pretend the fourth one never got made), I don’t expect a lot of people to have seen it, let alone liked it, but for those who did, it captures a certain feeling2

Here is the next scene, in case you … like this sort of thing.

At least I didn’t see an ad3 at the beginning of these, which is good.


  1. hey, it’s the algorithms↩︎
  2. Yes, the “traps” are … contrived, but … if you had been watching the movie and made it all the way here, there is a certain atmosphere ↩︎
  3. btw I don’t think there’s a straightforward way out for this, either muck with the url, pay Google or pay for a premium extension ↩︎

The Enchanted Wood

An old cover I found, possibly for the version that I read

A long time ago, when I was busy trying to read everything by Enid Blyton1, I came across The Magic Faraway Tree. And. I. Loved. It.

This being the age before Amazon and not having a large library around, I never got around to reading the other books in this trilogy, which was … frustrating at the time, for several years.

So it’s a bit … exciting? … to have bought this as something to read along with my daughter. We read the first chapter today, and I feel that … as “children’s books”2 go, this one has definitely aged3 well.

Amazon links:


  1. Speaking of which, I’m surprised I don’t see books by her around today (even a search at a place like Barnes and Noble comes up nearly empty). Possibly because they’re dated, but still … ↩︎
  2. genres are so fluid these days, where does children’s literature end and young adult begin? While we’re here, I’m also not certain where young adult ends, or whether (judging from what I see) if it ever ends! ↩︎
  3. the first book in the series was written in 1939 (!), and the third in 1946 ↩︎