I’m making an effort to tidy up the upstairs Storage Locker of Doom.  It’s been accruing stuff for a decade and is now officially full.

Amongst the general effluvia is a succession of discarded storage solutions (i.e., external disks and RAID systems), and there’s nothing sadder than a 512GB USB2 disk from 2007.  So I’m taking them all to the recycling place, but before doing that I’m wiping them.

I had forgotten how slow these things are: It takes like five hours to wipe a half-terrorbyte disk.  So I had to start doing it in parallel:


WFC Cyprus: μικρο εγκλημα

This is a lighthearted comedy about a junior policeman in a small village that just can’t get any respect, but starts investigating a mysterious death anyway.

It’s fun! Good actors, beautiful scenery, and it’s inventive despite pursuing pretty well-known tropes. The many, many different ways he imagined that the death had taken place are very amusing.

It does kinda collapse two thirds in when they do the obligatory serious third act.

This isn’t really very Cypriotic, though. Apparently the director god some of the financing from Cyprus, if I understand the “making of” documentary correctly, but it’s basically a Greek film.

Anyway, I was going to do all the remaining seven films in this blog series this weekend, but this film was the only one that arrived in time: The other six are stuck in the mail in various parts of the world. (Yes, all the remaining films are honest-to-Emacs real, proper films on real, proper DVDs.)

Perhaps they’ll arrive in time for next weekend.

Small Crimes. Christos Georgiou. 2008. Cyprus.

Authentic Cypriot Taverna Brandy Sour Cocktail

  • 2 parts brandy
  • 1 part lemon cordial
  • 3 parts lemonade
  • some dashes of Angostura bitters

In a tall glass, add the bitters, the brandy and the lemon cordial. Add ice and swirl to chill. Top up with lemonade.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

Responsive Comics

The other month I was staring at the Diamonds Previews interface that I hacked up last year. Its main purpose is to allow me (and anybody else) to go through the monthly listings rapidly, without all that clicking and stuff.

I was wondering: Has CSS Flexbox technology progressed to the point where the interface could be transformed “responsively” (i.e., via CSS selectors) from the wide design above to something that fits on a cell phone. It would require a completely different layout; shifting from the three column layout with many sub-boxes into a single column where some of the boxes would move up and some down and some become a line of buttons here and and and…

The answer seems to be: Nope. While googling for this stuff, everybody seemed to be saying “just add a div outside the other div and then div it up and then you can sort of move some bits around. If that div is placed before that div”.

CSS still, after 20 years, sucks at layout.


But once I had started tinkering with this, I couldn’t just give up, so I just wrote a bunch of JS to transform the layout, and presto:

So purdy! So UX!

And so I started wondering whether this might make sense as an app, so I wrapped it up in Cordova and shipped it over to Google…

Who rejected it outright because of copyright violations. “But,” I said, “this is like a sales catalogue and isn’t it fair use to show covers in a sales catalogue, man? Man?” And they said “nope; go away”.

While waiting for them to reject the app, I started thinking about… sharing… “Wouldn’t it be nice to make it possible for people to ‘curate’ lists and share these with others?”, so I read up on Firebase and presto: “Curate” button.

Firebase is surprisingly nice, and has a lot of documentation. The main problem is that Firebase covers so many, many use cases that trying to find the correct approach for Goshenite entailed scratching my head for a few hours.

But when the app rejection arrived I just thought, “eh, whatevs”, so it’s a bit lacking in features that are probably not going to be implemented, so it’s more of a toy than anything.

The source code can be found on Github, as usual.

Bookshelf Porn

I enjoy those shelf porn posts that pop up from time to time (“Ooo! Books! Comics! Avarice!”) so I thought I’d do one, too, since I just got this fabulous bookcase and is just about finished sorting stuff out to put in it.

But first I had to rip out the baseboard so that the shelf could fit neatly to the wall. Look at this awesome wallpaper design I found behind it:

So awesome.

Wall ready.

Shelf installed!

Yes, it’s the same colour as that car down there.

Most of these comics have been living in shortboxes in a cupboard for the last few years, and the problem is, of course, how to select the stuff I want to stare at in the living room. You have to have some kind of system, don’t you? Yes. So I went for…

Japanese comics.

Raw and Raw-associated stuff.

Alternative weeklies.

Pap-pap comics.

And Drawn & Quarterly, Uncivilized, Picturebox and stuff like that. Leaving most Fantagraphics stuff to languish in the bookcase in the office.

And while rooting and sorting, I inevitably found an entire stack of comics that I’ve bought twice (or more). Does everybody do this? I think I’ll drag them over to the used bookstore.

Since I’m re-buying (and the re-reading without knowing) so many comics, perhaps I should just consciously re-read comics more. And since they’re now prominently displayed within arms reach (I have long arms), perhaps that’s going to happen.


WFC Uzbekistan: The Keeper

Uzbekistan looks very modern.

I found this short on Youtube.

Oy vey.

I did like the fake “paused” shots, so:

The Keeper. Otabek Djuraev. 2013. Uzbekistan.

Grape + Sage Holiday Kompot Cocktail

  • 12 parts red grapes
  • 4 parts water
  • 2 parts sage leaves
  • 1 part honey
  • champagne

Cut the grapes and sage leaves. Put the first four ingredients into a jar and shake hard. Chill and let set for some days. Put the kompot into a champagne flute and pour champagne over. Garnish with grapes and sage leaves.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Western Sahara: Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara

I found this documentary on Amazon Prime. It’s a very… modern… documentary. That is, a typical cut lasts for about a second, and it’s filmed with very shaky shakycam, and the soundtrack is cacophonous.

Get off my lawn!

But it manages to convey a lot (a lot!) of information about Western Sahara, a country that I knew nothing about, so it’s successful, I think: The information conveyed is persuasive and seems accurate. I have no idea whether that’s the case, of course.

Life is Waiting: Referendum and Resistance in Western Sahara. Iara Lee. 2015. Western Sahara.

West Sahara Ginger Drink

  • ginger roots
  • limes
  • peppercorns
  • raw sugar
  • rum

Chop the ginger into small pieces (without peeling). Chop lime (with rind). In a blender, put more ginger than lime and add some water. Strain into a bowl. Put back into the blender with peppercorns and sugar. Blend until smooth. Strain again into a saucepan. Bring the liquid to a boil and allow to cool. Pour over ice into a glass and add the rum and some water.

(I added the rum to the recipe.)

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.