Good morning. Hello. How are you? #509

Just bought a copy of This Picture's first album on vinyl for $8 and feeling pretty good about it. Plus Apple, Facebook, tiny railroads, and Halloween Kit Kats.

Good morning! Hello! Happy Tuesday. I thought I had licked the late sleeping, but it is back today with a vengeance. Overslept 35 minutes. And then I got distracted by my email. WHOOPS. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the two tiny wines I had last night on my special Jane-bedtime-plus-putting-away-laundry night. I hadn’t done one of those in a few weeks. Two tiny wines will really fuck you up! Anyway, I only have about 30 minutes to write this thing today, so you’ll just have to imagine how amazing it would have been otherwise. This is one of the true secret genius aspects of GMHHAY: that every issue is written under a time constraint, maybe one quick editing pass at most. It makes the whole thing that much more impressive, right? Plus you can imagine how much better it would be if I had more time, and I 100% guarantee you what you imagine is way better than it would actually be if I had more time. Diminishing returns and whatnot.

Lisa and I were chatting more yesterday about the GMHHAY book. She’ll have the first edit done of everything up through the Alaska trip done by December 1, and the first edit is the long one, because she is hacking away a lot. It’s kind of necessary since, you know, nearly 1,000 pages (okay maybe 900). But again, genius, because the book will seem so much more clever than what you guys had to slog through, what with relentlessly cutting out anything not actually clever. Brilliant. Lisa is brilliant. I am so excited.

Yesterday there was an Apple event for the Mac and it mostly delivered, aside from the fact that a) it did not actually deliver any desktop computers and b) the naming convention of their two hot new chips is dumb. First off, naming a chip variant that goes in Macs…. Max is stupid. Secondly, making the Max version faster than the Pro version is going to be very confusing when they (finally, someday, please) get to the Mac Pro where you will not want the M1 Pro chip in your Mac Pro you are gong to want the M1 Max chip in your desktop Mac Pro, which makes no sense, unless, dear god help us, they decide to rename the Mac Pro the Mac Max, which, LOL.

All that being said, the chips themselves are awesome, especially the M1 Max and I want one so bad. I seriously considered buying a MacBook Pro just to get the M1 Max, plopping the thing on top of my 28 core Mac Pro and seeing if it could run my entire setup and if it was faster. It seems quite likely, to me, that the reason they did not release an M1 Max Mac Pro (see? These names are so dumb) yesterday is because that $999 piece of equipment would be as fast as if not faster then their previous $20,000 piece of equipment, which, I mean, FINE! Do it! I am down!

I restrained myself, though, because the M1 Max is not actually available in the new 14-inch MacBook Pro, it is only available in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, despite what Marques Brownlee said in his review yesterday. That was weird, you don’t usually see that guy make mistakes, and it makes me wonder if he was operating under embargoed information that was suddenly changed right before release? Anyway, I’m sure there are all sorts of legitimate technical reasons why they couldn’t cram that behemoth processor into a 14” laptop, but nonetheless I still hereby decree that “that’s lame.” Anyway, look. Here is the 14” configuration page. No M1 Max:

I may still take the plunge on the 16-inch (for my wife!) but I’m gonna wait for the benchmarks instead now, which means this whole thing is put off till after Christmas, since even though Apple opened up orders for this thing right away, shipping next week, the shipping times slipped to December almost immediately.

God I just want them to hurry up and at least get this thing into the iMac. When was the first M1 iMac? March? I suppose we’ll have to wait till then.

And you know that the M1 desktop Mac Pro will show up 731 days into this two-year transition.

Today I am super obsessed with this song that was briefly a hit in 1991 on WFNX in Boston: “Naked Rain” by This Picture. The band is not on Spotify, though they seem like they were pretty big back in the day? Anyway, it rules, and since there is no way to share it with you on one of my playlists, here it is:

So 90’s so good.

Maybe someone like Ad Frank should cover it so I can just listen to the cover all the time.

Speaking of my wife ( I did mention her up there), huge thank you and shout out for her finding this amazing new Kit Kat flavor on a recent trip to Target. My god, they are glorious. Plus, the candies themselves look glow-in-the-dark, even if, alas, they are not, actually. And they taste pretty good too!

I started trying to switch from Icebreakers to Altoids yesterday, in an attempt to get this… shall we say… overexcited digestive system under control. I am still, amazingy, insanely, still nic-fitting from time to time. I don’t miss the lozenge so much but I REALLY miss vaping, god, that is so mortifying to say. But anyway, we’re two months and twelve days into this no nicotine thing, and I intend to keep it together, and the mints are really helping. But god, it is so far to find a perfect mint. The Icebreakers and other xylitol-based mints are delicious and non-caloric, but they’re fucking up my system, but the Altoids have sugar and the most disgusting aftertaste — seems like they’re made to make you want another mint because your mouth is so disgusting afterwards.

A man can’t win.

On the plus side, though, Dune is coming out in three days and I am so excited. I briefly debated renting an IMAX theater and watching it by myself in one, but I can’t find one, so I guess I’m gonna do this at home. I am not psyched about that, but I can’t wait. There’s an IMAX in Durham that’ll do it for $165. Maybe next week for a second time? Is that crazy?

In continuing an email of mostly pleasant things, there’s this guy who lives in Fearrington Village, which is a posh old folks neighborhood down the road. Also I am assuming it’s a guy because, well, I guess I’m sexist? But anyway, he has made a model railroad out of most of his yard and it is just fantastic. I learned about this guy last year and he brought me much joy in a dark time of the pandemic, and I subscribed to his channel back then and he posted nothing all year but then just this week he posted a 2021 video of his “Fearrington Light Rail” setup and it really is the best. Here. Enjoy this little moment of joy:

Oh right I forgot I am not sexist, it’s literally an old man in his profile pic.

Emma and I need to move my two Birdie’s Beds as we make a new, improved, expanded, more deer-proof, more squirrel-proof, better trellising garden layout for 2022. These things are HUGE and filled with SO MUCH dirt. The weird thing is, that so many people have been buying these things — they’re going gangbusters in the gardening community right now. But there are virtually no videos on YouTube of anyone ever moving them. Okay, there’s one, from Self Sufficient Me, which is one of the most popular YouTube gardening channels, but he made the video seven years ago, when his channel was just getting started and he was not a very good videographer and he, just, like, forgot to film the actual hard part of getting the bed separated from the dirt and prised out of the ground and moved. So, this means two things: 1) this exercise is going to suck and 2) if I film it, I bet I will get a ton of views over the years, so I am totally going to do that.

Okay, well, I had a bunch more stuff to talk about, but.. Actually, you know what? I can do a quick Facebook rant here, why not. First, Facebook is doing an agency search right now, looking for a new media agency to help it spend… a billion dollars a year on advertising that runs not on Facebook because… advertising not on Facebook still does certain things that advertising on Facebook cannot do I guess. But that’s not the interesting part, the interesting part is that there is significant backlash happening inside each of the media agencies that is still involved in the pitch, where people don’t want to work on the account and they are equating it to tobacco and pharma accounts. It’s interesting to me that thus far, none of the three finalists plan on making a separate agency, like they did/do for tobacco and pharma. The way agencies dealt with their problematic clients in the past is that they sequestered them away in a separate sister agency (why are they always sisters, anyway, not brothers) and the only people who worked on them were people who were fine with working on these products, usually for a boatload of extra money. I mean, it’s not the best solution but at least they could say with a straight face to the average person-with-a-conscience that they don’t have to work on the account, and after a year or two, most people at the agency would probably forget that the sister agency even had the account or that the sister agency even existed. It seems inevitable that this is what will eventually happen with the Facebook account, but I guess none of them are willing to say that in the pitch, since they all want to win the work, and to win the work they gotta pretend that their best people will work on the account but, LOL. The best people are not gonna work on the account, save for a few idealists who might us it to try and convince Facebook to be less bad.

Secondly, some more negative stories are coming down the pike from the press about Facebook, and their PR team is freaking out about it, check out this word salad:

Like what does that even mean? The publications are… coordinating! Well I do declare! Heavens to betsy! Not… coordinated! That is just unethical. Coordination is unethical! Also we threw the word PR in there, even though this is a PR account, because…. PR is bad. Maybe some journalist is dumb enough to read this and thing “I can’t let some other newspaper’s PR department control when my story runs! That’s a decision… well, that I never had that is usually up to my editors. But not some other paper!”

Good lord.

Playlist! Shit I am so running out of time. Please please let there be a playlist that is almost done. Okay, well, this one was almost done. But the last piece I added was 40 minutes and I meant to find some edit or somehting, but fuck it, we’ll just end with the entirety of John Luther Adams Become Ocean because it’s fucking awesome and he was/is an Alaskan and he inspired Taylor Swift to donate $50k to a symphony orchestra, so good for him.

All right! Six minutes to spare! I guess no watering the plants this morning, no updating my Quicken transactions. But we made it! Happy Tuesday!