You don’t need to drink the whole beer

During my 2018 summer vacation in London, I learned that one way Brits famously relish their beer while avoiding excess is through small glasses. Just about every pub or café I visited prominently listed prices for small and large sizes across all its taps. How different from America, where beer purchased in public generally comes only in big old pint glasses (or larger).

And I quickly discovered how much I liked this foreign arrangement! To be more specific, I discovered that when I felt like a beer, I often just want some: enough for a refreshing loosen-up, but not the filling, firm twist that a whole pint offers. I did miss the English style of unabashed half-pints when I returned to familiar shores.

Since then, the pandemic has taken the pubs away from me entirely, but I have discovered a marvelous method for simulating British serving styles when enjoying beer at home. When I open a bottle of Lagunitas or whatnot, I now often eschew my pint-glass collection and reach for a small glass to fill up instead. And then, having done so, I stop the bottle with a bottle-stopper — the sort of thing one generally associates with wine bottles, you see — and replace it in the fridge. This remainder shall accompany some future lunch.

And that’s it! I truly feel like I’ve discovered a new way to enjoy beer. The bottle’s design, to say nothing of the culture surrounding it, do not make clear that you don’t need to drink the whole beer, especially if you’re a grown-up fixing a meal or snack in your own kitchen. I feel like I’ve found a new and more personable side of beer, by having less of it at once.


A tasteful alternative to Amazon book links

I just learned that hosts a simple service presenting an attractive alternative to “just link to Amazon” when it comes to hyperlinking book titles. Here’s an example: The numeric part of the URL is the book’s ISBN.

In my own blogging, I’ve tended to link to a book’s Goodreads page, even though that feels only marginally less nakedly capitalistic than an Amazon link. (And yes, Amazon owns Goodreads.) I’ve also experimented with hyperlinking directly to WorldCat, but have found its pages a little too ornery. This service feels like a viable intermediary, offering links when available to WorldCat, (promoting local bookstores), and the inevitable Amazon.

I look forward to trying this one out in upcoming book posts.


Attending the next East Coast IndieWeb meeting

I plan to attend next Wednesday’s meeting of Homebrew Website Club (East Coast edition).

I’ve been unplugged from the IndieWeb community for the last month or two for no IndieWeb-related reason. My reignited job search, preparations for IFComp 2020, and other worthy focuses drew my attention away for a time. I look forward to wading back into the discussion.



Zarf detailed a retroactively obvious but quite forgivable plot hole in Myst which nobody in that game’s fandom can recall ever having discussed before.

I find the post especially noteworthy for its addendum, which speculates how a text-parser Myst adaptation might begin. It does fill one with a burst of unexpected yearning.


“A Season of Grief and Release”

I am made very quiet by this photo essay from Daniel Arnold and Dodai Stewart.

My relationship with New York often feels like a darkly comic scene in a movie, coming after much buildup about the legendary heroism and greatness of some off-screen personality.

They finally appear, bathed in glory, turn their eyes towards the protagonist, open their mouth to speak — only to get unceremoniously vaporized by a stray bullet.

The protagonist blinks, wearily, wipes off the spattered gore, and returns to the plot-as-usual.


“Is this ‘loss’?”

Three years ago my friend Zach shared some pictures on Twitter of a stool he’d made.

Zach posted this to show off a handsome, functional object that he rightly felt pride in creating. However, my immediate reaction to this tweet was confusion and irritation, even before I fully comprehended the tweet’s content.

The post has the textual and visual language of an extremely wry Twitter-joke of the sort I see tweeted and re-tweeted every day. Mental pattern-matching machinery wearily flew into action as I automatically tried to decipher the meme or other popular reference this tweet masked, but came up dry. Thus I began to feel frustrated almost the moment I saw the tweet, before I could recalibrate my contexts and admire my friend’s handiwork. I mean: literal handiwork, not the internet-japery kind.

This demonstrates a problem I’ve felt with timeline-based media consumption for many years. It mashes all your sources together in a slurry, and doles it out in evenly-sized chunks along a conveyor belt. Of course the saltiest flavors are going to seep into any more subtle tastes.

On my Twitter timeline, in 2017 as today, everything tastes at least a little like a certain kind of winking joke about some other joke. Clearly I do enjoy that sort of thing sometimes, or I wouldn’t have followed the sources that produce this humor. But, boy, it really does get into everything, once it’s there.


What, Janelle Monáe wasn’t available?

The universally disappointed reaction of my Twitter timeline upon the announcement of each new Doctor Who lead actor has me well-prepared for the inevitable response to Biden’s VP pick.


Proposing guidelines for Perl 7 docs

I recently submitted a grant proposal for researching and writing Perl 7 language-documentation guidelines, and it just entered a public-comments period.

It follows a grant-funded project I delivered earlier this year that revised two particularly problematic sections of Perl’s core documentation. Here, I propose the first steps of a major project to generalize that work across the full vastness of the language’s documentation collection.

The grants committee typically allows five days or so for public feedback before making its vote, so if you feel moved to say something about this proposal, aim to do it over the weekend, I suppose!


Knowing what you want

We are seeking a CTO with solid knowledge of React.js.

A bit like saying “We are looking to hire an architectural firm with extensive experience with the titanium-head silicone-grip hammer model TB15MS from Stiletto Tools Incorporated”.


I didn’t ask for this

Unsolicited new knowledge from looking for full-time work in New York right now: “fintech”.


Jots, scraps, and tailings is a microblog by Jason McIntosh. It has an RSS feed, and accepts responses via Webmention. For a less-micro blog, see Fogknife.

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This particular page was last modified: Sun Sep 6 17:42:44 2020