All posts by kirsch

Austin FC stadium progress

I don’t have my season tickets yet. But the construction of the stadium is coming along very nicely.

Mohn

A lot of people took some time to write or call me on my pandemic birthday this week. Shlomit made it super special. Thank you!

But a notable mention goes to Debbie and Arturo for sending me my favorite desert: A whole poppy seed strudel.

I ate half for dinner in one sitting. I didn’t sleep well but it was worth it. Too bad I’m socially distancing so I can’t share with you. Too bad.

Want a shout out in The MKX® (who doesn’t)? Give me food I like!

Galaxy’s Edge

There’s other things at Disneyworld, but the highlight is the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge section of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

It is located in the village of Black Spire Outpost, on the wild frontier planet of Batuu at some point in time during the new trilogy. The attention to detail is mind blowing.

There are two main attractions: Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run. The first one is the biggest, most epic ride ever built. It is kind of surreal to step into the Millenium Falcon having been watching the movies for forty years.

Getting to ride Rise of the Resistance is tricky because of high demand and a new virtual queue system. Maybe I’ll write with tips on how to ensure your spot. If someone asks.

Photos follow. Consider this your spoiler alert.

Continue reading Galaxy’s Edge

Spleeter

Spleeter is an Open Source library written in Python that uses TensorFlow to separate the different components of a song.

For the less technically inclined: the folks at Deezer trained an artificial intelligence program with the ability to separate the voice and instruments from a given song; then they made the software freely availabe for anyone to use.

Given a bit of computer know-how, it was pretty easy to install and run on my Mac. Below is one of my tests using one of the all time greatest songs. It sounds pretty good, but not quite completely natural.

Soda StereoPrimavera 0

Any songs you’d like me to try out?

The Great Wall (Addendum)

Back in the USA, I can now upload to YouTube at reasonable speeds.

You are taken up to the mountain on a ski lift.

And you get back down on a slide. If there was more distance between riders, then you could go faster and this would be an extraordinary amount of fun. As it is, you will often have to stop for slower riders in front of you making the experience only quite fun.

The Great Wall

I took a quick break from apartment hunting to visit the Great Wall of China in Beijing last weekend. I didn’t get to see the whole thing though as it happens to be on the larger side – only the Mutianyu section. This is one of those places I’ve been wanting to see since I was a little kid.

Whenever I get back home and have solid access to YouTube I will upload a video of the ski lift that takes you up and the longest slide ever that gets you back down.

Bye bye Backblaze

Backups: Using a computer and not backing up is like driving around without car insurance. Unlike with car insurance, you aren’t legally forced to back up. And a lot of people don’t and sooner or later they learn.

One should have two kinds of backups:
Local, incremental like Time Machine. If you delete something important by accident or your hard drive crashes, you can recover; and off-site like Backblaze so if someone breaks in to your house and steals your computer and your external hard drive, you can recover easily… like Backblaze.

Note: no, iCloud Photo, Dropbox, etc. is not an appropriate backup. When your two year-old learns to delete stuff, all the deletions will dutifully be synchronized.

I’ve been using Backblaze to backup my home Mac mini computer for over a decade. Their software has been great and so has their support. They’ve saved me before. A few months ago the external hard drive on this machine crashed. Fortunately it was all backed up off-site.

I no longer want nor need a home computer, so I sold it. Then I had Backblaze mail me a hard drive with my whole backup perfectly encrypted. The whole restore process was seamless, fast, and free after I returned the hard drive they sent me.

Make sure you back up. I recommend these guys, and I’ll use them whenever I have the need again.

Monterrey Campeón

CONCACAF Champions League 2019 against arch-rival Tigres. This helps us all heal from the December 2017 catastrophe.

I was luckily able to attend the first leg in which Rayados won 1-0. You can recognize me as the sole schmuck wearing the visiting team jersey in the photos below.

Masacotes 2019

Moving up from the Intermediate to the Advanced League has been rough on the team, now on our 19th season.

We still look good, though.