I read, and will heartily recommend, Light From Uncommon Stars. I don’t want to spoil the plot, but… it reminded me of Steven Universe for a couple of reasons, though the cover blurb calls it “Good Omens meets A Long Way To A Small Angry Planet.” I’m not sure about that description. It does somewhat fit in “cozy SF” territory, while at the same time getting uncomfortably real with the traumatic stuff the main character deals with.

It’s beautiful though, in its take on musical performance and on food. I cried, I sighed, I grinned. I had borrowed the ebook from the library, but I’m going to buy it because I want to read it again and I want to support the author.

I’ve been using a Logitech K780 keyboard at home for several years. It’s compact, wireless and can switch between two Bluetooth devices and one using their (proprietary but ironically named) Unifying wireless dongle. That way, a single keyboard can control my PC and my Monome Teletype, saving a lot of desk space.

But I’ve never loved the layout or the feel of that keyboard. With the letters starting to wear off, and increasing frustration with accidental switching between devices, and several other options available, it was time to look elsewhere.

I settled on an Akko mechanical keyboard. Even narrowing it down to those that support multiple devices, there were many options. I chose the 3084B Plus for its relatively complete but compact layout, and because someone was selling an open box unit. Turns out its 2.4G wireless dongle (needed for Teletype) was missing, so I returned it and ordered a new one.

The feel was pretty great. The sound of keys bottoming out, and also springing back, was fairly loud though — so on the new one I decided to go for linear “Jelly Pink” switches rather than the tactile “Jelly Purple” switches. I’ve also ordered some o-rings to soften the bottom-out impact, like I’ve done to the G710+ at work that has Kailh Brown switches. Hopefully that’ll make a difference. I want a nice feel, but I’m not looking for “clack” or “thock” like a lot of mechanical keyboard (aka “keeb”, ugh) enthusiasts. There’s a lot of lubing, taping, modding etc. one can get into, as well as replacing switches and keycaps and such, and there are people who spend thousands building and modding multiple mechanical keyboards. It makes me feel better about my main hobby!

I had the odd notion to start every track on this next album with a “choir” sort of sound. In the first track it’s Waldorf Streichfett, in the second there are multiple instances of Plogue Chipspeech, but also Akemie’s Castle sounding very choir-ish due to its treatment. I was planning on Mellotron and some Kontakt samples as well. (For the odd chain of history behind an iconic Mellotron choir sound, watch this. BRB, listening to Kraftwerk now.)

The second track had a sort of psuedo-arpeggio with 0-Ctrl that just didn’t sit right with the rest of things. To rescue it I wound up sandblasting the whole mix in that section with super heavy reverb and adding a couple of Akemie’s Castle parts over it, and I’m pleased at how well that worked.