I usually remove the dust jacket when I’m reading a book because I’m more worried about tearing the jacket than denting the book. I’m not alone there, right? 📖

I haven’t seen The Monster Squad in more than two dozen years. I’d have bet money it had at least two Corys in it. (It has none.)

You’ll know Apple is ready to get serious about video games when its controller emoji is updated to not have the inferior Sony-style inner-joystick configuration. 🎮

Final Fantasy ⅩⅤ Pocket Edition HD was on sale for the Switch, so I bought a copy and have played through the first bit. So far I love the stripped down, main quest-only approach. 🕹

Resequencing Weezer Albums

Listening to The Weezer Bracket, I got the idea of taking the songs that were left over (that is, the good Weezer songs) and trying to sequence them into three new albums. What if Weezer had only released six albums, not eleven?

I made a few rules for myself for this little project:

  1. I left the blue album, Pinkerton, and the white album intact.
  2. I only used songs that didn’t make the cut of The Weezer Bracket’s 64 worst Weezer songs. This left me with 29 songs (counting Futurescope as one), so I added back in “Freak Me Out.” (I’m not sure I 100% agree with all their cuts, but might as well let them do the work, right?)
  3. Each new album had to have 10 songs.
  4. I tried not to stride the discography too much. The three new records should be generally comprised of early, middle, and late post-_Pinkerton_ stuff with as little mixing as possible.
  5. I tried to keep songs’ general placement on their albums intact. Opening songs go at the start, closing songs at the end, and I tried to keep runs of songs together as they appeared on their original albums.

I think the result generally works. The green songs mesh very well with Maladroit. “I Don’t Want to Let You Go” has a bit of a different sound so I put “Freak Me Out” a few songs before it to add a little more of the middle period taste.

“Troublemaker” makes for a great opener to the red album. I’m very happy with the transition from the four Maladroit songs into the Hurley pair with “The Angel and the One” to close things out.

It happened that Everything Will Be Alright in the End and Pacific Daydream had exactly 10 songs left over. Despite having the white album released between them, both records have a somewhat similar sound. This one is maybe a bit mellower than the other albums; I like it a fair amount. The switch from “The British Are Coming” to “Mexican Fender” sounds completely believable to me as what you’d get flipping from side A to B.

Here are Apple Music links:

  1. Green Album Redux
  2. Red Album Redux
  3. Everything Will Be Alright in the End Redux

Here are the track lists.

Green Album Redux

  1. Don’t Let Go
  2. Photograph
  3. Take Control
  4. Fall Together
  5. Crab
  6. Knock-Down Drag-Out
  7. Freak Me Out
  8. American Gigolo
  9. Glorious Day
  10. I Don’t Want to Let You Go

Red Album Redux

  1. Troublemaker
  2. Perfect Situation
  3. This is Such a Pity
  4. Death and Destruction
  5. Slob
  6. Burndt Jamb
  7. Space Rock
  8. Trainwrecks
  9. Unspoken
  10. The Angel and the One

Everything Will Be Alright in the End Redux

  1. Ain’t Got Nobody
  2. Sweet Mary
  3. Get Right
  4. I’ve Had It Up to Here
  5. The British Are Coming
  6. Mexican Fender
  7. Go Away
  8. Any Friend of Diane’s
  9. Foolish Father
  10. The Futurescope Trilogy I: The Waste Land
  11. The Futurescope Trilogy II: Anonymous
  12. The Futurescope Trilogy III: Return to Ithaca

🎵

There are Unicode characters for “Roman numeral ten,” and “squared Latin capital letter” S and R, so you can make a shortcut in iOS’s Settings → General → Keyboard → Text Replacement for iPhone Ⅹ🅂 and iPhone Ⅹ🅁 if you want to be fancy. 🙄

Weblog Design: Archives and URLs

I’m doing a few posts about weblog design. Here are the others I’ve written so far. Apologies: this one is pretty dry. A few guidelines on website organization. (Dry enough that I won’t even bother to defragment the previous sentence.)

First, every post should have its own permalink: a single page holding just that one post.

Second, a weblog should organize itself using archives that make sense for the types and amount of posts it makes. For most weblogs, this will be a monthly archive. Some that post very frequently might consider weekly or even daily archives.

It’s not necessary that every post have a link to the next-oldest/newest post unless you frequently only write longer posts. It isn’t a satisfying experience to read a one- or two-sentence post, click the link to load the next post, wait for it to load, and then find another one-sentence post. Instead, provide a link up to appropriate archive page that shows other posts made around that time so your visitor can scroll up/down to read more right there.

Somewhere sensible on your post page, put a link to its relative archive. It can be very simple, like:

You are: HomeArchivesSeptember 2018 ← Here

The arrows point left, not right, because the point of them is to point up the path you might want to follow. You can omit the “you are” and “here” parts to your liking. Barring that, even a link that says “more posts” will do. The link should point to the appropriate archive (September 2018 in this case) with an anchor to the current post. Then your reader can scroll up/down right away, rather than having to find their place from the top of the page.

If you categorize your posts with tags, each permalink should also have a link to that post’s tags. Not every post needs to be tagged. The ideal weblog software would put all the posts for one tag on the same page if there are fewer than a sensible number, and then paginate by month if there are a lot. Ideally that “sensible” number should account for how long your average post is. A weblog with all tweet-length posts might stuff 100 or more onto one archive page where one with long articles might only do 10 or 20. General-use weblog publishing software is unlikely to have this level of finesse.

If multiple authors work on the same site, the byline should have a link to that author’s own personal archive page that ideally not only lists every post by that author but also shows a few featured pieces.

Despite the trend for most web browsers to hide the full address from the user, I still think it’s important to design a weblog’s URL. It should tell you everything you need to know about the site’s organization. My ideal weblog URL:

example.com/archives/2018-09/title.html¹

You’ll note I’m linking to /2018-09/ here and not /2018/09/. I don’t think yearly archives are very useful. Unless you post only a few articles a year, it’s rare you’re going to think your visitors would read an entire year’s posts at once. If a yearly archive page isn’t useful, it shouldn’t be part of your site’s directory structure. Every component of the URL should be navigable. If you use /2018/, a page should exist there.

Each monthly archive page should have a link at the top and bottom for older/newer that points to the previous/next month’s archive. It should use words like “older”/”newer” and not “previous”/”next” so that you understand where the link goes. Even better would be to label the link “August 2018.”

The /archives/ page should have links to each month’s archive, as well as any tag archives the site has. An even better archive page design might also pick out featured posts, maybe per-month or per-tag, and is a great place to show off other stuff you’re proud of. A straight, stuffy list of month after month after month isn’t very useful. Instead, try to think of a way to design the archive page to be the second-most interesting place on your site. The front page is for the new stuff. The archive page is for the good stuff. The very best you’ve ever published.


  1. There are good arguments as to whether the page itself should live at title.html, title (no file extension), or /title/. I might get into that in another post but I’m just thinking about archive organization for now.

I know it’s iPhone X day, but can I say I’m not pleased with this “Pikachu vs Eevee” thing? Both are great! It’s not like it’s Horde vs Alliance! (Horde!)

According to Weezer Bracket, the band is going to release a black album soon. It must not. Self-titled Weezer albums always follow an increasing number of titled albums. Blue (Pinkerton) Green (2 albums) Red (3 albums) White (P.D. + 2 more) then Black. 🎵

IMG 1040

I’ve been listening to The Weezer Bracket, a podcast where the hosts “discover what exactly is the WORST song” by Weezer. While it’s definitely about criticizing bad Weezer songs, it’s really about grappling with that it means to be a Weezer fan. We all recognize that the band released two back-to-back hall of fame records and then a ton that never lived up them. But if you go see Weezer, you find that among all the questionable albums are a bunch of very good songs.

In creating their bracket, hosts Nick Robinson and Andrew Woods made a rule that every album had to have at least two songs up for consideration, but they more or less agree that the blue album, Pinkerton, and the white album are all very good, and mostly left Everything Will Be Alright in the End intact as well. I’ve made an Apple Music playlist of all the songs that didn’t make the cut (that is, the good Weezer songs), excluding those from the first three albums mentioned above. So basically you can listen to blue, Pinkerton, white, or this playlist. 🎵

I expect Apple to announce a TV streaming service at some point, but maybe not next week. We know it has ordered several series. If it were going to be doing a “skinny bundle,” announcing before fall TV starts would make sense, but we have no rumors or leaks.

I saw the new print of 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Smithsonian Air and Space museum in IMAX. I had been wanting to see the new Nolan “unrestored” print of the film, which did screen in IMAX 70mm on four screens last week, but the print I saw was a new 4K restoration that will be released on Blu-Ray next month. Alas, I missed the Nolan print when it screened near me in August. Regardless, the new restoration looks beautiful. It’s not as raw as the Nolan print but doesn’t have the fake digital sheen of so many “restorations,” either.

I’ve now seen the film on VHS, DVD, iTunes HD, 35mm, 70mm, and IMAX. Each time I notice a few new things.

  • The chairs in the Hilton lobby are definitely magenta, not red. I’ve always thought of them as red but one of the ladies Floyd meets is wearing a scarf that’s properly red and when she sits down you can see tha the chairs have a pink cast to them.
  • I’d read about how Kubrick consulted with fashion experts as to what clothes might be trendy 30 years in his future, but I’d never paid attention to what the men wear. They all have dress shirts in a fabric matching their suits, and broaches in place of neckties.
  • It was cool to watch the final scene after having been in a recreation of the room.

🎥

xkcd: Sibling-in-Law

xkcd: Sibling-in-Law

This one annoys me often. The reason we don’t have different words for “sibling of spouse” and “spouse of sibling” is that they serve roughly equal cultural roles, but I still feel like I want a different word for them.