§ Temperatures dropped by twenty degrees overnight and then stayed in the single digits all week. There was really no wind either. It was just instantly, persistently cold. Everything was in stasis, frozen in place. Hey, at least I’m not in Calgary.

We moved the quails into makeshift housing in the basement. They probably would have been fine in the backyard greenhouse but it would have required more frequent check-ins to make sure their water doesn’t freeze.

§ Speaking of, Lake Erie froze for the first time this season. The gulls are not pleased.

§ As warned, Monday was a particularly busy day at work. All told it was five times the traffic of a typical day. It ended up feeling a bit anticlimactic though, after all of the nervous anticipation leading up to the day I was looking forward to more drama and excitement. There is always next year.

§ On Tuesday a group of former students came to check out the exhibit I designed. It was great to see them again and to get their perspective on something I had worked so hard on.

§ I found Casey Newton’s writing on Spotify’s role in the demise of Pitchfork insightful:

For the most part, and particularly in the early days, Pitchfork focused on music that you would almost never hear on the radio. And to the young people it served, for whom $18 was a lot of money, the publication provided a valuable service. By highlighting music that was actually worth spending money on — and calling out music that was not — it helped its audience expand its musical horizons and save money at the same time. It was the Wirecutter for music, long before the Wirecutter was even born. […]

The most important change arrived in 2006, when Spotify was born… Before Spotify, when presented with a new album, we would ask: why listen to this? After Spotify, we asked: why not?

§ While we’re on music, there is no other way to say it: 3D Country kicks ass. It’s like if Thurston Moore, Frank Zappa, Alec Ounsworth, and Yamantaka Eye formed a supergroup.

Also, after reading recommendations from Tracy Durnell and James Reeves I finally gave Orville Peck‘s album Pony a listen. It hasn’t fully clicked with me yet but the more uptempo top half of the album is undeniably fun.

There is an interesting thread connecting these two albums. An emerging genre. Let’s call it Millennial Americana for lack of a better name. I’ll be on the lookout for more examples of the theme.

§ I have a soft spot for sound machine apps. There are often occasions where I would like to have some kind of audio on in the background but I’m not in the mood for any of my usual music, podcasts, or audiobooks. Not Boring Vibes, a poorly named but well designed app seems to be purpose-built for just this.

When you launch the app it generates an ambient soundscape based off of the time of day and your physical activity. The music slows down and gets increasingly ethereal as you wind down in the evening. If you decide to go out for a walk it will detect your movement and pick up the beat a bit. It is a lot like the new feature Mercedes recently previewed for their cars but, well, with less Will.i.am.

I like that my favorite “white noise” app always sounds the same—there is a comfort to that. Nevertheless, I find it fascinating that Not Boring Vibes always sounds different.

§ After passing the halfway point of The Mountain in the Sea I’ve started getting melancholy thinking about what I’m going to read after I’m finished. Well, I somehow didn’t realize Ray Nayler just this week published a new novel The Tusks of Extinction. It looks like it shares a lot of themes with Mountain. I can’t wait.

§ The Curse season finale was the hardest I’ve laughed in recent memory. I’m looking forward to re-watching the whole series soon. No single episode was perfect but, taken as a whole, it was ridiculous, surreal, hilarious, awkward, and intelligent to an extent I’ve never seen before.

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