The Phoenix metro area had quite the wonderful thunderstorm yesterday. Going outside this morning to sip coffee was just great. The air feels so clean and fresh. You can't help but sit and breathe deeply.
Some things I like and definitely worth your time.
• Star Wars Rebels. As a huge fan of the Clone Wars animated series, and anything Dave Filoni is involved with, I was really looking forward to watching this. Starts slow, and is a little kid-centric. But by season four had found its feet. Turned out to be a very very good tale set in the Star Wars universe. Clone Wars was better though.
• Rockonteurs Podcast. If you like 80s music (and if you don't, what is wrong with you?) this will be right up your alley. Gary Kemp and Guy Pratt chat with the who's who of what made the world go round back then. Billy Idol, Boy George, John Taylor, Dave Stewart. It's great stuff.
• Virtual Chat With Ted Lasso Cast. Ted Lasso was one of the best things to come out of 2020. And this chat with the cast of the show is just utterly delightful.
• Utopia. Comic books. Dystopia. Villains. Rain Wilson. John Cusack. It will shock you "salt, bleach, spoon".
• Ambrosia Devon Custard. When you find it over here in the US it just brings a smile to your face. And now a little something from the old country.
• Cobra Kai. Like most chaps my age, I was a bit partial to the original Karate Kid. Hearing they'd made a TV show set 34 years later, looking at life from Johnny Lawrence's perspective was intriguing. And oh boy did it ever work. Nostalgia factor sure. But great writing and some deliciously funny moments makes this a must see. Final episode of season three is just marvelous.
At the beginning of December, we popped a box in the mail bound for the UK. Just to be sure, I paid extra for International Priority because Christmas Presents. Time passed. A couple days before Christmas I tweeted:
Paying extra for international priority shipping was totally worth it. 17 days ago I dropped off the package bound for the UK. Since then it’s gone from Phoenix to Los Angeles, and then back to Phoenix. Where it has sat since Friday. Nice!
— Kevin Spencer (@kevin_spencer) December 22, 2020
Since then, it went back to Los Angeles again, up to San Fransisco, and then made it across the pond to Heathrow and cleared customs. From there it went from London to Coventry. And has sat since Jan 2nd with no further updates. No ETA for delivery. Nothing.
Best $85 I've ever spent.
To be fair, we're far from alone. I think I was hoping the UK postal system wasn't quite as backed up. First world problems I guess?
Update: delivered yesterday (21 Jan 2021). And on top of what I'd already paid on my end, my parents had to pay VAT and a "delivery fee". Cool cool. Won't be doing this again.
At the beginning of every December, Spotify releases their personalized year in review. A smidge early for me as it only really accounts for 11 months of the year. Does December not count?
Spotify does its year in review so early. I mean I could discover a band in the next 5 mins and still have a few weeks to alter the year’s stats. @lastfm handles this better.
— Kevin Spencer (@kevin_spencer) December 4, 2020
And lo, now that December is over, here is the last.fm 2020 in review.
I scrobbled 24,627 songs, from 1,844 artists and 3,787 albums. A hair more than 2019, yet way off the pace from a decade ago when my job allowed me to have my headphones in constantly.
Clan of Xymox
Makeup And Vanity Set – 88:88
The League Unlimited Orchestra – Love And Dancing
Vangelis – Blade Runner Soundtrack
Actors – It Will Come To You
Depeche Mode – Construction Time Again
The Chameleons – Swamp Thing
Actors – PTL
Then Comes Silence – Strangers
Linea Aspera – Synapse
Actors – We Don't Have To Dance
Here's to a productive music listening experience in 2021!
Flickr is running their annual best shot of the year competition. So many many good photographs have already been submitted. Browsing the group reminds me I still have much to learn.
This is my submission.
The combination of the iPhone wide angle lens and the light from under the stairwell caught my eye. I continue to be thoroughly impressed with how well the iPhone handles indoor night shots.
I don't shoot as many photos as I used to. I still kinda sorta maintain a Flickr upload rate of once a day, but some days nothing. I mean for one, 2020 hasn't exactly provided an abundance of travel opportunity, and secondly my photography muse took a holiday. Something akin to photographer's writer's block I suppose.
A couple things happened recently that I hope will ignite the flame once again.
Firstly my old trusty DSLR workhouse of yore the Canon T2i started to literally fall apart at a shutter count of 28,947. Not necessarily the fault of the camera of course. Over the many years of ownership, she's survived being dropped, lost, found, dropped again, scraped, and dropped. The old girl deserves a happy retirement.
Secondly, I'm now the proud owner of a Canon 7D MkII. The best camera I've ever owned in my life. I already feel the enthusiasm to take her everywhere and shoot everything. I think this might be the start of something. Time will tell.