§ I got the opportunity to break out my calipers and fire up Fusion 360 to make a seriously intricate CAD model for the first time in a while. Two pieces that snap together with some space between to weave through circuitry. The two parts, together, are then threaded to screw into an existing PVC pipe fitting. I found the whole process—observing, measuring, building out parametric constraints—tickles my brain in a way similar to solving a solitaire deck. Super satisfying.

I couldn’t get the threading quite right though. What standard does the existing pipe conform to? BSP, ANSI, ISO, DSN, GP, JIS? 3D printing still makes for a slow iteration process so trying each option was infeasible. After spending at least an hour getting totally lost in the weeds I realized I can eliminate the pipe connection altogether and just redesign the component as a single solid piece. I need to be more vigilant for these rabbit holes in the future—zeroing too far in on a complicated detail should be a cue to take a beat to look at the problem from another perspective.

§ On Saturday I visited a local photographer’s downtown studio. The building he is in was recently sold so now he has until the end of the month to get rid of 50 years of accumulated film photography paraphernalia. It would have been a goldmine if I were putting together a darkroom but unfortunately I just don’t have a suitable place in my house for one at the moment. Nevertheless, it was really cool to see his collection—especially his large format panoramic view camera that shoots six foot long negatives.

§ iOS 17.2 includes Apple’s new Journal app. I’m not sure I am ready to commit to a new daily routine but I am intrigued by the app’s ability to collate data from across Apple’s various services.

It feels very much like a minimum viable product at the moment—it’s missing some important features like search and export—but it has good bones. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those apps that quietly but consistently gets better over time.

§ My new EP–133 K.O. II finally arrived.

The good:

  • It is a big tactile gadget with knobs, dials, buttons, and switches—a rarity nowadays.
  • The documentation is thoughtful and thorough
  • It’s powerful—it’s going to take me at least a year to get comfortable with all of its various features—while still having a low enough ceiling to be fun right away.

The bad:

  • It arrived with a broken speaker which, I guess, is a common issue.
  • Almost immediately after I fixed the above issue I accidentally erased all of the pre-loaded samples. It took a tedious 30 minutes to add them all back on.

I was ultimately able to fix the speaker, and I’m still glad I got the device, but it put a bad taste in my mouth in respect to Teenage Engineering’s quality control.

§ I have, so far, four work trips scheduled for next year. Plus a honeymoon sometime mid to late summer. I’m sure it will feel hectic and busy in the moment but I’m beginning to learn that my happiness is often positively correlated with how busy I am. Presumably at a certain high level of busyness the correlation would totally fall apart but I haven’t found that level yet.

§ Have you ever thought about how the saying “head over heels” really doesn’t make any sense? As best I call tell the more logical “heels over head” was common and, over time, it morphed into the phrase used today. Why though? Because the latter sounds better? Does ”head over heels” actually imply a 360° rotation, more dramatic than the original’s 180°?

§ Go ahead and get yourself a nice heavy sweater to fortify yourself against the approaching winter. It’s absolutely worth it.

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