The personal blog of Sven Seebeck

Earlier today I one link led to another and I ended up on LilyPond and remembered how I used the software about 15 years ago on Linux. If that would be available on iOS I might actually be using it again.

Recently I learned about the idea of Weeknotes which sounded intrigueing enough to give it a try

It’s a bit crazy right now. It’s getting warmer every day (which is great) it also feels earlier than in the recent years, even though the average temperature is 5 degrees celsius (according to Wolfram Alpha) and today it was only mildly warmer. But who cares.

Anyway, it’s going on steadily towards Summer vacation and during the last week I already had been sending a few (more) students to their holidays. At least from their saxophone lessons. I guess both parties will enjoy an extra portion of free time.

Talking about free time… Blogging-wise I have kept up my streak and am now at 142 days, which is needless to say, an absolute record for me. To be honest, I’m getting a bit tired of it, which I guess, is normal, but also a sign of lack of planning.

Often I find myself having too much to do during the day, that I don’t find the time to write something, or if there’s time, lacking an inspiration or idea. At least on the planning part I can easily work, the idea part though is something else, but then again, that’s part of the exercise.

And since I talk about time: catching up with my podcast backlog I realized a lot people talking about time tracking, which made me wonder whether it would be worth trying that. In the past I very infrequently tried to log how much time I spent writing arrangements, but it was a rather half-assed approach and didn’t give me any other insights than that I started something and then most likely forgot to end the timer. I will have to debate with myself about that.

One thing that I could do to be more consistent, should I be doing the time-tracking thingy, is to build (or use ready-made) Siri-Shortcuts on which I rely more and more. I have now a bunch of Shortcuts that I use daily and also added a few evoked by voice commands.

The latter has gotten a lot better since the last time I used Siri, and is a huge help for me. Usually when I’m out and about, I tend to leave (aka forget) my reading-glasses at home, which makes using the phone, or a phone, independent of size rather difficult. With the new Shortcuts I get reliably what I want. Wich is neat.

And neat is also that I just a few minutes ago, I finished to build that Shortcut that I always wanted, to log the podcasts that I’m listening to. It now works via voice command (need this) and I don’t have to unlock the phone. The latter was only possible because I used the Notes.app. I would have wanted to use Drafts, which has become my go-to-editor, but for that to happen I would need to unlock the phone to finish the Shortcut. Which kind-of defeats the point.

I guess the same could be achieved also with Evernote, but I’m glad that I’m already off the app, and don’t want to go down that route again. So, for this purpose I will stick with Notes.app

Podcasts

Looking at the log, I have listened to 16 shows. I have been bingeing a bit on Stephen Fry’s Great Leap Years and Ologies, here the Hagfish episode and the Cosmology episode which I currently listen stood out.

Some Stats:

According to Screentime I have used the iPad on average 4h 51m a day and the phone 1h 26m. Which kind of makes sense since I mostly work on the iPad.

Among the top apps on the phone are my RSS-Reader Iire, Safari, Overcast, What’s App and Bear, iReal Pro, Brushstroke, Safari and Drafts and Reeder.

Brushstroke I used to create the header images, such as in this post.

But now I will finally watch The Spiderverse thingy.

The whole searching-for-stuff thing would already be done if the Easter Bunny could remember where he hid stuff. Building LEGO sets in the meantime and hoping for an inspiration. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I like working with Shortcuts and so far have a few that make a few tasks a lot easier for me. One thing that I use Shortcuts for is building an easier way to log podcasts.

So far, I have built a shortcut to bookmark” quotes, or better a reminder to get the quote at a specific location in an episode in Overcast, but had some issues getting a Podcast-Log” shortcut to work. It was missing one step that I couldn’t get to work properly (or at all): Getting the title and episode out of the share-url.

Luckily in the shortcut posted in Brad Sieferst post Using RegEx to create a Saved Quotes” Shortcut I found the missing link. RegEx is surely nothing that I have drabbled with.

I have modificated the shortcut to get my Podcast-Log to work and so far it worked just fine. I can even now use a voice command to apend to my log in Drafts, which is just what I wanted.

I still have to make some adjustments, but once it’s done I will share the shortcut. Thanks again to Brad for sharing.

When I switched back to an iPhone a month or so ago, one of first apps that I got was Spectre and I’m glad I did

During my time on Android I of course read about Spectre when it was released, but had no way of trying it. And then, once I got it, I still had no real chance to try it, since all rivers were still frozen and I’m not that interested in photographing light-trails.

I had to wait. And today, you guessed right, was the time to give it a try.

Taking advantage of the nice weather we went to Koitelinkoski and as a side effect I could give it a spin. With the sun already high up in the sky it was very bright and the light was way too harsh to take a good landscape image, and the more I was amazed to see how well the app performed.

What suprised me the most was how well it worked even handheld. Bad light aside, an image like the above wouldn’t even be possible on my 5D handheld and I would need at least an ND-filter to get a long enough exposure.

The following was another test and it again worked just fine.

The app is really great and I’m looking forward to try it out even more in the future. And yes, before someone points it out, I also got Halide from the same developers and it is an equally great app. But that’s maybe another post.

The other day I ran into an older post of mine and realized that the hero-image was missing. So, after a short search, I found and re-downloaded it again.

Then I remembered that I once experimented with an app (I wish I’d remember which) which filters the heck out an image to make it, among many other things, look more a sketch. I used that app to create hero-images for a while, but eventually forgot about it again. I guess the novelty wore off.

That though didn’t stop me looking for the app (still can’t remember the name) but I found with Brushstroke, a similiar one, but with more control on the outcome.

During a break earlier in the day I played around with it a bit, with some fun results as you can see in the above image, which is an old image of mine from the Lofoten Islands in Norway.

From my short testing the app seems to work well with some images and with others not at all. I might put out a few more from time to time.

And yes, in all of this, I still haven’t updated the post which started all of this.