interim

Between projects. I haven’t felt quite like jumping into the next album’s recordings, just doing some experimentation for the moment. Reading some depressing books while my spouse is on a weekend trip probably was a poor choice. But the books are done and she’s returning tomorrow.

I may have chosen cables for the AA.1 poorly; they’re awfully short. But since I’m not actually using the physical controls on Particle I can probably turn it on its back, so they may still reach. The AA.1 should also arrive tomorrow.

I’ve ordered a Happy Nerding FM Aid from Schneidersladen — sort of the unofficial home store of Eurorack, and the only store in the world that claimed to have them in stock. But I haven’t heard from them yet about shipping, so I hope that was actually true… anyway, their prices without VAT are often low enough that, even with international shipping, they beat some American prices anyway. I had FM Aid a couple of years ago and it was cool, but let go of it when I acquired my first Hertz Donut mk2, thinking I wouldn’t need it anymore. With increased understanding of FM, PM and waveshaping and no “real” wavefolder to work with, I want one again. Some of my experiments in Bitwig Grid with sine shaping have told me that the HD mk2, with this sine shaping method of PM, can sound remarkably like old-school Yamaha OPL FM… which is one reason I like the Akemie’s Castle.

The other reason I like the Castle is its “super doomful” chords. As it turns out, the Sync3 firmware for the Starling Via platform can do moderately doomful chords, and those can be enhanced into super doomfulness by applying phase modulation from another source or giving it more complex input to work with. Sync3 is sort of a digital hyper-PLL, latching perfectly onto a signal and generating other signals at selectable frequency ratios. And that makes it an excellent potential partner for the FM Aid.

So I see a path where I might let go of the big ol’ Castle and its thirst for -12V current, without losing much capability at all. That remains to be seen after I work with it throughout Album Thirteen though. I could potentially drop a 4ms Ensemble Oscillator in there instead — a recently announced hybrid additive/waveshaping oscillator — or something weirder like the Beast-Tek P239 Hyper Fist, or just let the space sit empty and see if anything really pulls at me later.

I’m also wondering, idly at the moment, about how the Xaoc Timiszoara will turn out. From here on out, I will simply call it Tim. It’s based on the Spin FV-1 effects chip, which is commonly used in guitar pedals and has a massive open-source library of DSP code. Unlike other Eurorack implementations of the Spin though, you can load stuff onto it via an SD card and it has a lovely interface with a small LCD screen. I’m considering it as a possible replacement for the Supercell in my post-E520-arrival rack. I’ll see what people think of it once it’s released.


I’ve been listening to some of my moderately older albums — still Starthief stuff, but from 2018 and early ’19 — and surprising myself. A lot of it really does not meet the criteria of what I think of as Starthief music, in terms of structure and flow and the sound palette, and isn’t something I would create or release today. I think getting away from MIDI sequencing on the song level, and having form flow from improvisation, is the biggest part of that.


I’m still kind of hunting a roleplaying game to get into. I briefly tried Secret World: Legends this evening, and while it’s kind of intriguing in terms of story (at least for the chaos faction and perhaps the Illuminati, but not the stodgy Templars) I found the combat to be pretty bleh and disjointed. Sort of like a sloppier and more vague Neverwinter (which I also thought briefly about getting back into).

I saw an announcement today about Torchlight 3. More action game than RPG really, but I had several hours of fun with Fate, Torchlight and Torchlight 2 before getting bored with each of them in turn, and then coming back to them a few months later. I suspect about the same from TL 3, and that’s okay.

I really would like a decent, properly funded, with enough development time and clear design goals, and fully polished and balanced, remake of Hellgate: London. I want to shoot zombies and demons with explosive darts, weird tentacle guns, psycho-cybernetic insect swarms, plasma grenade launchers, a personal squad of drones, and spooky dark spells. An enchanted katana or two would also be nice. And I want more than three different looking streets in all of London. And I don’t want quests that have me gather 7 “things” (literally labeled “thing”), or play capture-the-flag against demons for no explicable reason, or slooooowly burn out all the pus-filled gunk from a section of town with a weak-ass flamethrower, or remotely send orders to a hapless squad of weak, disobedient and poorly armed soldiers. And I don’t want monsters that it takes approximately 17 minutes worth of full-auto fire to the eyeballs to bring down but doesn’t provide any actual challenge aside from the boredom factor. And I don’t want the whole game to be bought by a third party who cares even less, rips out half the game, converts it to multiplayer and shuts it down a year later.

That game wanted to be great and never had a chance. Ah well.


Those depressing books? The first was Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty, which was described as “a Soviet fairy tale” — and despite a little bit of framing that tried to link it to Russian folktales about Ivan, Vasilisa, Koschei the Deathless, the Baba Yaga and so forth – -it was using the term in the derogatory sense of wishful thinking doomed to failure. The basic premise is that some of the mathematicians of Kruschev’s day were convinced that, through the proper application of mathematical models, they could set prices and production targets that would optimize the Soviet economy and, in a short few years, grow far beyond the capitalist pigs on the other side of the world, and successfully spread peace and full Communism across the Earth. And even halfway into the book, I was under the impression this was meant to be an alternate history where something like that actually happened. NOPE. Self-interest, personal politics, dogmatic inertia, corruption, and bureaucracy got in the way. It fouled the mathematicians’ models to some degree, but even more so, ensured that they didn’t get to really apply their theories.

And the overall feeling of Soviet life in this book was kind of… squalid. Stalin’s legacy of disregard for current human life and happiness in order to secure some theoretical future, a whole lot of smoking and drinking, disregard for the environment, the criminal underworld, shabby living conditions and (often willful) ignorance just made the whole culture seem thoroughly unpleasant. Worst fairy tale ever.

It wasn’t without some good bits though. To me the most fascinating thing was the notion that Marxism was based entirely on the idea of a workers’ revolution in a fully developed, industrial, successful capitalist society that was already humming along smoothly and had some idea of what goods were worth. Instead, it happened in a poor backward agrarian feudal one. And it was decided at the highest levels that sacrifices would be made in order to jump-start industrial production to catch up with the capitalists. And that meant millions of people were starved for decades in order to ramp up heavy industry that was obsolete by the time it finally got up to speed, and actually wound up subtracting value from raw materials while polluting the environment and failing to provide for peoples’ needs. It wasn’t “socialism” that caused that suffering, it was central economic planning by iron-fisted ideologues with no heart and too little brain and a completely wrong vision of eventual success.

This book isn’t turning me against socialism, but certainly illustrated the folly of Soviet Communism. I still believe workers should share fairly in the fruits of their labor and in decisions that affect the course of their companies; that inequality matters and that rentier capitalism, inheritance and executive pay need to be severely limited; that collectively we have the means and obligation to feed, clothe, house, educate and keep healthy and safe all of our people and not sacrifice them to enrich the 1%. A market economy can partially self-organize, although it needs some regulation and assistance; one has to remember that (A) the theoretical perfect consumer knowledge and perfect competitive environment don’t exist, and (B) when it comes down to it, people are more important than money.

…the other depressing (sort of) but heartwarming (kind of) and strangely uplifting (a bit), book was Moominvalley in November. Yes, a children’s book. Theoretically. I wound up getting it because of a sort of hot take on a gaming website that floated the Moomin setting as one for some interesting and atypical games. It quoted from the “Rain” chapter of the book, in which Snufkin, an itinerant musician and a very contemplative sort, was listening to the rain and trying to recapture the five perfect bars of music that previously came to him at the wrong time but which would now be perfect. I have fond memories of a couple of the other Moomin books from childhood, so I had to read this one. It was a very wistful sort of book, where each character either longed for something or was anxious or sort of empty. One of them actually starts in on the “Swedish death cleaning” thing (which I recently heard about in an “Ask a Mortician” video my spouse was watching) after a frightening event.

I actually don’t know what a child would have thought of it compared to the other books… but now I wonder just how dark some of the other books were and how I’d interpret them differently now. Comet in Moominland was about the impending destruction of the world, after all.

Now I’m on to Ann Leckie’s The Raven Tower, which probably isn’t going to be all fun and games either but I do really like her work. It’s got my attention so far — the narrator is a god who remembers the time before life crawled out of the sea and has to abide by particular rules; the story is told more or less in the second person, with the “you” being a trans man named Eolo. So that’s different…

star and other wars

We still haven’t seen Rise of Skywalker. First, we were out of town visiting my parents, who would rather record 87 Hallmark Christmas movies and watch 6 of them (plus reality shows about gold miners and whatever) than go to a cinema. I love my parents, but their media habits are pretty much the opposite of mine.

And then we were both sick, and have remained so. I think maybe at this point I could sit in a theater for a couple of hours, so we might go soon. So far I’ve been able to avoid spoilers, other than the general impression that a lot of people didn’t like it and some people found it really satisfying. That’s pretty much what people said about episodes 7 and 8 and Solo, so… whatever. At this point I think Star Wars is too big a cultural thing with so many personal interpretations that no possible movie could please everyone.

I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, a now 8 year old MMO (11 years old if you count the official announcement of its development). Since I was one of the major developers on HeroEngine, the platform that runs the game, I have mixed feelings here. HeroEngine was frankly a year or two away from being ready for prime time when they insisted on licensing it, and they forked the code with their own patches and modifications to the core technology that we thought unwise. We were half afraid they’d release a broken game and give people a poor impression of the engine. (That was far from being our company’s main problem, but I’m not here to be bitter about history right now.) And here it is 2020 and I encountered a bug that I fixed myself back in about 2009…

But the game does mostly work, and is… okay? It feels like an older MMO, not as fluid as something like Guild Wars 2 which was only released 1 year later. I see a lot in it that’s how our ill-fated Hero’s Journey behaved, except that it’s an actual playable game, where HJ was 27 false starts at something that the management couldn’t decide if it was a game or a tech demo. Anyway. A lot of what you can do in the game, in terms of customization and even basic item storage, is restricted to subscribers. I kind of enjoyed the beginning of the Imperial Agent story, but then my interest kind of fizzled when I got to the second chapter. I also kind of enjoyed the beginning of the smuggler’s story, but the overall gameplay is not really very engaging to me, and I expect I’ll just uninstall it tonight.

I kind of want an MMO experience, but a better one.

I played Warframe a bit, but the story really takes a while to wind up. The gameplay is pretty much just a mildly decent shooter, but I am really not sure I want to play shooters any more. (This one is generally more science fictionish than gun culturish, but still.) Character customization is extremely limited without plunking down surprising amounts of money or playing for quite a long time to accumulate resources (though some of the robot/suit designs I see on other players are very elaborate and cool). But the worst bit is, despite apparently huge amounts of content out there, I got stuck at a point where I can’t successfully complete available missions unless, perhaps, I grind ones I’ve already done. Bleh to that.

I also tried Dragon’s Dogma very, very briefly. It’s a console port, with poor support for my screen resolution, awful unexplained controls, and NPCs that chatter repetitively at you multiple times per minute. I asked for a refund from Steam in record time.

Other ones I’ve considered are Final Fantasy XIV, and Elder Scrolls Online. Since they’re not free, I read over lots of reviews and I’m not sure I would really dig either one. So perhaps I should just drop it and do other things (like making music). When you’ve got a cold it just feels easier to play games than to do something creative, though.


Given 45’s unprovoked, inappropriate, illegal, foolhardy, shortsighted, selfish, heartless, etc. action against Iran, and their nearly inevitable, understandable but saddening reaction, and the propaganda and warmongering noises coming out of the mouths of politicians and pundits, I think my personal balance point between staying informed and staying sane is tilting more toward the side of blissful ignorance. Reading about the missile attack on US military bases, the conflicting versions of casualties coming from various completely unreliable sources, and the threats of further violence in both directions, before going to bed last night, really did not help me sleep or feel generally better about humanity.

Nothing at this point is going to change my opinion: war is stupid and cruel and primitive and we don’t need it. For the past 70 years or so, the US has been sticking its ham fists into the Middle East and every single time, our actions have come back to bite us while causing unneeded suffering. It’s long past time we just stopped. We need to transition away from fossil fuels pretty damn fast anyway.

Wars belong a long time ago, in a galaxy far away, and solely in the imagination. (For that matter, maybe we can even have some stories in that setting that don’t even involve war, but other conflicts and dramas. Just not Hutt: A Love Story please.)

I don’t do this, but I totally did this

The one with the hat? That was me. And I also accept the way it was resolved.

The new year (and decade too, I grudgingly accept) is underway. I’m back at work today. I’m working on those 2020 goals: I started my new gear tracking a few days early, I’m making some effort to not engage with toxic forum threads, and I’ve started basic food journaling using an app called “My Symptoms.” (It’s intended to identify which foods lead to which negative consequences, but still works for my purposes).

I’ve found that, on Ozempic, I’m eating smaller meals. I just feel full sooner — unlike my experience on Byetta a few years ago, where I got “stop eating NOW or you will throw up” signals between one bite and the next. I do feel queasy occasionally, and I hope that will fade soon without any of the rest changing. I haven’t tested my blood sugar in quite some time, but I think I may start because I’m having some moments where it feels like it might be low.

I’ve started listening to The Happiness Lab podcast. I feel like, as with many books on self-help or similar areas, it’s padded a bit with selling you on it (when you’ve already bought it — or in this case, when you’ve started listening to it for free). Maybe bolstering the belief that it works makes it work better, but I often kind of wish they’d get to the point faster. On the other hand, some of the anecdotal stories have been interesting so far. Anyway, I’ll see how this goes.


One of the items on my goals list was to think more about process, technique, intent, etc. above gear. Having heard some really great stuff in the last few days that uses the Ciat-Lombarde Cocoquantus, I felt myself kind of wanting it… but not. It’s a bit expensive, I’d have to figure out where to put it in my setup, and seems to have quite a learning curve. What I would rather do is get the class of sounds I’m liking from it out of gear I already have, which I believe is entirely possible, and refine that into something that flows naturally for me. In my mind, it’s all about lo-fi and somewhat glitchy looping creating a wide ambient bed.

I know, that sounds a bit opposite to my feelings about some other gear, where the experience of using it and the workflow is all-important. But I’m not looking for that new experience or workflow change at this point.

refocus

Been a few days since my last post — we went to my parents’ place for Christmas, and caught colds, and also my digestion is in some chaos due to switching diabetes meds. And I often write blog posts while at work rather than at home, where I can make music, read, play games or catch up on The Expanse (for instance).

(The Expanse is kind of fun for me for an additional reason. I turn captions on to catch all the Lang Belta, but I get fun bonuses like this:

(There’s also a lot of [pensive music], [tense music], the occasional [dark ambient music] and some [rhythmic electronic club music]. Fun!)



Other than the cold, Christmas was nice. It’s been a year since I got to see my family. Mom fed us very well, especially in the breakfast department where I’m used to just having cereal or yogurt, or a McDonald’s sausage biscuit at my desk at work. We tend to exchange a lot of gifts, and I wound up with a nice Luna ukulele, a variety of books, and various bits of electronic stuff including a hand crank generator that I want to experiment with wobbly CV input to the modular.

I still have another week off, and tonight we’ll be visiting the brand new St. Louis Aquarium which just opened on Christmas day. Hopefully we can fit the new Star Wars movie in sometime as well, if we’re feeling up to it.


In 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons, one of the actions your character can take on your turn is to “refocus” — to wait a little bit for other characters or enemies to go first, and reset your turn’s timing. I feel like I have refocused in terms of my thinking on album 12. I woke up ridiculously early a couple of mornings ago and wound up listening to my recent “misfit” recordings in reverse order… and for the most part, it worked nicely. I found if I drop out most of the ones I was originally trying to match, I have 48 minutes of material with a pretty consistent feel to it. It’s generally more “calm” than “calmly foreboding,” and I think I will run with that. No idea yet for an album name, but it’ll come.


In writing up posts for forums, I’ve come up with gear priorities. While yes, I plan to keep my modular setup pretty stable this year now that it’s in a really great place, I do have some changes in mind:

  • Klavis Flexshaper. Not yet in stock anywhere, this is what Oberheim for some reason called a “Tracking Generator” in its synths — a sort of waveshaping lookup table, where you can map an input to a different output shape. Good for distortion, wavefolding, frequency doubling, rectification, inverting, and generally altering audio and control signals in many interesting ways. I have space for one right now, and I could see maybe having two eventually if I decide it replaces the tanh[3].
  • Hertz Donut mk2: I want to find a used one and compare it directly to the mk3. With both of them in my rack, I will be more easily able to choose a favorite, and sell the other later. My guess is I will choose to keep the mk2.
  • OBNE Dweller and Red Panda Particle pedals: I can’t decide which of these two would be better for the kind of textures I want, but both are on my list. Probably the order will be based on which one I see a good deal on first, and whim. But I don’t feel like I need either of them.
  • Digitech Freqout pedal: I’m mostly just curious about whether this’ll work for me; it’s fairly cheap and there will be little risk in trying it, but it’s not a high priority.
  • DSM03: it doesn’t really distinguish itself in my rack, despite some more interesting audio rate modulation than the Mimeophon. It’s probably going away when the E520 arrives, and I’m only keeping it in place for that sense of stability.

But my higher priority above all of those is working more with the Akemie’s Castle in particular — because I feel there’s a lot more in it than I’ve made use of so far, having been distracted by the Lyra and learning mastering and everything else. And also working more with the sound generating possibilities of Mimeophon, and exploring Via Scanner.

note to self

If you’ve blocked someone on a forum for repeated displays of willfull ignorance, hostility and general infuratingness… don’t unhide their posts just to see what they have contributed to a thread that was questionable in the first place.

And especially don’t bother to call them on whatever completely unimportant thing they said.

¡goooooooooooools! 2020

I’ve been accumulating and considering my goals for 2020. A quick review of my 2019 goals shows success in some areas, mixed or minimal results in others, and ways I can improve on them for next year. Without further ado:

Gear: I’ll continue the spend/sell/trade tracking that I began in 2019, but will also include software and any shipping costs.

My guiding principles:

  • The gear I have now is excellent, satisfying, and complete.
  • Everything should fit the “focus/charm” and “hybridware” concepts. (E.g. no overkill; character is more important than “flexibility”; don’t duplicate excellent software with good hardware.)
  • I don’t need to change anything. I can change some things.
  • Think less about gear, think/feel more about technique, process, flow.

I won’t sell or trade any modular gear until I’ve got my hands on a SynthTech E520. (This allows wiggle room for beta testing though.)

I am likely to look at some other FX pedals in 2020, keeping in mind those principles. Analog Drive is a big success with the Reface CS, and the CS or Lyra could benefit from some other partners, maybe. I know Dark World is a little redundant for me. Tensor is very cool but I don’t use it very often; why?

Music generally: Reserve some time just to listen. Eyes closed, headphones on (probably), and not multitasking.

Give more support to other musicians through Bandcamp. I know I appreciate the same. Streaming is convenient for listeners, but a lousy deal for musicians.

And of course, keep making music. This year I don’t plan to do Knobcon, nor to really worry about promotion or live performances, or popularity. But making music and putting it out there is deeply satisfying, and I’ll keep doing it my way.

Health: tracking my gear trades worked out nicely for me, so what happens if I log food and exercise? And maybe even my blood sugar once in a while like I should be doing anyway? Keeping myself aware may lead automatically to better habits.

In terms of mental health and overall mindset: three words. “Relax. Calm. Wonder!”

Online health: Some questions I should ask myself before wading in, particularly given that this will be an election year:

  • “What effect do I want my comment to have? (And is it a likely outcome?)”
  • “Am I reacting defensively (to something that’s not really about me)?”
  • “Is this worth the effort? Is it helping?”
  • “Can anything good come out of even reading this thread/article/etc?”

the internet is a tiring place…

We switched from (an increasingly evil carrier) to Credo Mobile, and replaced our 4-year-old phones with a couple of Galaxy S10e. I wish I could say the signal level at home and work are stronger but Just like setting up a new computer, it takes a few hours of poking at settings and looking up how to disable various stupid defaults to make it feel less like Samsung’s or Google’s phone (with some territorial pissing contests between them) and more like one’s own.

Something I never asked for and don’t want is Google parsing my email to pop up notifications to remind me when bills are due. (The bill in question is set to autopay anyhow, which GMail doesn’t know…) It’s a reminder than I kind of want to switch to ProtonMail, but updating my email address in 150 different online accounts doesn’t sound like a lot of fun either.


Something I read yesterday that disturbs me: That Uplifting Tweet You Just Shared? A Russian Troll Sent It

My thoughts on this:

  • Enemies of the American state “undermining trust in American institutions” sounds bad, sure. But in many cases those institutions have betrayed that trust themselves. It wasn’t the Internet Research Agency that shot Mike Brown, tortured people in Gitmo, put children in cages, etc.
  • One should also wonder if this piece is itself some kind of psyop. Why wouldn’t both Russian and American agents work to influence American opinions by posting things that are at least partially true, including about each other? We know there are organizations dedicated to climate science denial, promoting anti-abortion or pro-police or pro-gun stances, etc. for some combination of voter manipulation and profit.
  • (And to be fair, no doubt progressive groups employing similar tactics. And plenty of companies targeting progressive values for profit reasons, with varying levels of honesty vs. hypocrisy.)
  • And in a similar vein, how many legitimate criticisms have, at this point, been blamed on Russia? Claiming that something is Russian propaganda is a form of propaganda. It’s the new “any criticism of Hilary Clinton, whether from the right or the left, is sexist.”
  • Outrage is how media companies sell ads. And it’s also how things that need changing get changed. And it’s exhausting… it’s why I gave up on Huffington Post and then MSNBC and then Facebook.

Paranoia aside, there sure are a lot of people out there who want to tweak your opinions and employ your sympathy for their own ends. I guess the main thing to do is be cautious of social media (and news articles/opinion pieces, including this one) and the ways it exploits and is exploited.

the 10 year challenge…?

I had a nice enough birthday, though the weather celebrated it with really strong winds that ripped a section of siding almost completely off our house.

Magic Death Eye is indeed going to be up for sale on Black Friday. Whoo! I also picked up Wavesfactory Spectre, an almost ideal saturation plugin which I had not noticed before, for half price. So sales like this work.

The Black Friday frenzy has continued to bemuse me though. Some folks at KvR have really been whiney and entitled, complaining 8 days before the actual day that the sales are just not as good as previous years, or complaining when the plugin they wanted is only 40% off and only for 4 days. And I felt the need to say something, and… yeah, I shouldn’t have. I’m going to be more specific about my goals for 2020 in terms of online communication…!

I have the artwork now for Vultur Cadens and just need to put a title on it and do the actual release. Now I remember that was the thing I had been planning to do today…

But today I recorded something for the next Ambient Online compilation (theme: Jupiter) as well as a fourth potential track for album #12. So I was still productive.


Over on Lines, there’s now a thread for “Most impactful albums, 2010-2019.” The top lists started a month or more ago and of course all of them are wrong, but personal favorites lists are exempt from criticism (’cause it’s kind of jerky to do that). Here’s what I came up with:

Caterina Barbieri, Patterns of Consciousness
Belief Defect, Decadent yet Depraved
Danimal Cannon, Lunaria
Dark Sparkler, I No Beast I No Angel
Dark Sparkler, Year One
Datach’i, System
Figure Study, Figure Study
Johnathan Fitoussi & Clemens Hourrière, Five Steps
Haujobb, New World March
iVardensphere, Bloodwater
Ernst Karel, Swiss Mountain Transport Systems
Kodo, Akatsuki
Leaves’ Eyes, Meredead
Nathan Moody, Etudes I: Blue Box
Nathan Moody, Etudes III: Red Box
Nero, Welcome Reality
Oedo Sukeroku Daiko, Les tambours de Tokyo
Patricia, Body Issues
Professor Elemental, The Indifference Engine
Prometheus Burning, Kill It With Fire
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Two Orb Reel
Stemage, Priority One: The Music of TRON
Stemage, Where Good Marbles Go to Die
Amon Tobin, Dark Jovian
Amon Tobin, ISAM
Venetian Snares, Rossz csillag alatt született
Venetian Snares, Traditional Synthesizer Music
Void Vision, Sub Rosa
Youth Code, Youth Code

I’ve certainly had some other favorites in the last decade, but their release dates were pre-2010. That list would be two or three times as long. But I think there’s a pretty good mix here: a lot of synth nerd fodder with minimal modular setups or the Lyra-8 or Music Easel; a taste of taiko; even a field recording album. A little bit of electro-punk and industrial protest music, Chap Hop, the tail end of dubstep, Viking symphonic metal. A surprisingly successful classical/jazz/breakcore blend, and even more successful chiptune/prog rock/jazz fusion hybrids.

This makes me wonder what kinds of music, newly invented or reinvented, that we’ll hear in the 2020s. Maybe it’s time for industrial ambient and “soft noise” genres to spike in popularity… 🙂

not yet it isn’t

BLACK FRIDAY IS HERE declares a post about a plugin sale.

No. It’s the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Give things their own time.

The last couple of years have seen the rise of “Black Friday Week” — which makes as much sense as “No-Shave November Year” — followed by several days of “Cyber Monday”, only one or two of which are actually on a Monday. Though of course, the first signs of “Black Friday” begin on about November 1.

This is part of a general temporal smearing of the holidays though. The pumpkin spice frenzy began in August. My mom — a big fan of Christmas — wanted me to have a wishlist ready in September. Stores started selling Christmas decor before Halloween.

I like the holidays generally, but they all have their specific times. Stretching them out to cover 1/4 of the year dilutes them and can make us kind of tired of them before they’ve even happened.

And of course Black Friday seems as if it’s taken over as the second most important “holiday” of the year. I appreciate getting some online deals on things — music software is especially discounted for two or three weeks, even though it’s not something that is frequently gifted — but it kind of indicates where our minds are at as a society.