—an indie website by joe crawford since the nineties

Happy Birthday David!

Yes, you! Happy Birthday David!–the world is a better place for you being in it, and certainly has better WordPress plugins than it would without you!


Extraordinary day at PB. Started on the south side of the pier, rode waves; pushed north by current; rode more waves; repeat.

My breakfast had a lot less sand in it. Good morning out there.

Florida by Stew & The Negro Problem

Lyrics of the Day, from Notes of a Native Song:

You can’t hate on a state
‘Cause no state’s all that bad nor all that great
There’s nice people and assholes everywhere
To judge ’em by the jury would be unfair
I met the nicest people you could meet
So I don’t blame y’all one single bit
But I know y’all know way better than me
Some folks down there are full of gator shit

(Florida, Florida you kill me)
(Florida, Florida you kill me)

Home of Stepin Fetchit and Ben Vereen
But hey nothing bad by that did I mean
I love All that Jazz and I love Pippin
But brothers your home state is straight up trippin’

Cali gave us the Beach Boys and Charles Manson
Oklahoma gave us Leon Russell and Hanson
But I mean besides Cuban food what’s the point?
…Okay I admit fried gator tails are the joint
Your heat’s surprising and your fire aint’ nice
Y’all put Al Gore’s head in a Miami vice

(Florida, Florida you kill me)
(Florida, Florida you kill me)

When I turn in to an old jew
I will not retire in you
I’m staying in Brooklyn where the struggle is best
It don’t matter if the weather is great if I gotta wear a bullet-proof vest

(Florida, Florida you kill me)
(Florida, Florida you kill me)

Some places suck like a robot whore
Like a grave with a mouth the size of a killing floor
Yous silent screams and your noise annoys
Hanging chads and lynching boys
Hanging chads and lynching boys

(Florida, Florida you kill me)
(Florida, Florida you kill me)

Long gap. Quality, not quantity. So lucky.

Bandwidth Throttling

In The Train WiFi Test, James writes:

The speed of train WiFi varies considerably. You should optimise for what I have observed is a general case: WiFi that technically works, but is unreliable and may cut out at various points in the journey.

The way to “pass the test” as it were is to follow performance best practices for mobile devices: reduce the amount of code required to load a page, reduce the number of images used, and progressively enhance so that a page may load even if parts of the page haven’t loaded. Load what the user needs to experience the web page.

My site is heavy. It’s gathered a lot of stuff is heavy and I tend toward including the whole kitchen sink on every page. But in the last 2 years I’ve been paring down the site. And I often browse with my phone which definitely points me to shortcomings in terms of speed. I recently implemented a CDN for image and other page assets which has had a good effect.

I am not often on a train, but I appreciate the idea.

When testing bandwidth constrained situations back in the day I often used a tool called Charles. Charles is an excellent program for Mac computers. It’s a proxy. A man-in-the-middle. Using it, I can simulate all kinds of different sorts of network conditions. One of my favorite things to do was to mock and API endpoint when creating a single page application. Worked great for that.

It also allows throttling all web traffic for your whole machine or particular domains. The settings are at Proxy > Throttle Settings...:

Charles Throttle Settings

Though a separate program for throttling is harder to argue in this better age!

Top browsers include throttling tools! Chrome and Firefox, for example:

Chrome developer tools throttling
Firefox developer tools throttling options

Pretty fun. Performance is always something that can be tweaked more, I must remind myself as I add more gewgaws to each page.

Merge Conflict Music Video Morning

I started the day resolving a source code merge conflict and drinking a coffee.

The merge conflict I fixed quick and felt great.

Then I made a new header

I think it might could be a good day.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to on heavy rotation lately, from Top Ten songs.

  1. Family Business by Lawrence
  2. Me & You by Lawrence
  3. Sue Me by Sabrina Carpenter
  4. Bad Liar by Selena Gomez
  5. The King Is Half-Undressed by Jellyfish
  6. Make Believe (Loop Version) by Elise Trouw
  7. How’m I Gonna Find You Now by James McMurtry
  8. Krafty – 2011 Total Version by New Order
  9. Wish You Were a Girl by Tchotchke
  10. Blessed Relief by Frank Zappa

Now’m gonna write about some of these.

Jellyfish’s The King Is Half-Undressed is a fine chunk of Neo-psychedelic revival from 1990. I remembered this track on the way home from bodysurfing one day. Out of the blue my brain just said: “LISTEN TO THAT SONG, YOU LIKE IT.” According to I have not ever scrobbled it before this year. Which means no plays on Slacker Radio (former employer which I regularly scribbled from) and was never in my iTunes collection, and when I was running the Chrome extension web scribbler I contributed to I never listened to it on any platform I scribbled from, including YouTube. I know it’s on at least one of my cassette tape mix tapes from the early 1990s. But those don’t scrobble.

Wish You Were a Girl by Tchotchke is from 2022. Love their tone, attitude and world-weariness. Women being precisely who they are brilliantly is among of my top favorite things.

Blessed Relief by Frank Zappa is from 1972. Zappa loved love crunching, abrasive, freewheeling, ugliness–but this this piece showcases a quality of loveliness which nevertheless contains complexities and curlicues that are the best sort of jazz composition. It’s so pretty that it often–but not always–makes me weep.

Lawrence has a new single out: Family Business. I talked about Lawrence in December and they are still on heavy rotation for all the reasons I stated there.

I heard a song from James McMurtry while listening to Radio Garden.

Digression: Have you tried Radio Garden? The interface is a map of planet earth. Every dot is a radio station that streams their music in some way to the internet. And if it’s online and broadcasting, you can listen. I often will traipse across the planet and try stations in Slovenia. Or Argentina. Or over to the BBC stations. One station I often return to is KDAN 91.5 out of Marshall, California (population, 400). It plays classic rock, sometimes old gospel, country, country swing, outlaw country, jam bands, and often surprises me. It was where I first heard Sarah Shook, last year.

Screenshot of Radio.Garden

The McMurtry song I heard on KDAN one morning was State of the Union, which is a slow searing folk song from 2017. Listen on Soundcloud. And holy shit the lyrics.

Mother turned eighty,
The consummate Lady
We took her to Golden Corral.
‘Cause she likes the yeast rolls
And Bourbon Street Chicken
We oughta known better by now.
‘Cause me and my brother got into it good,
I called him a hick and he called me a hood,
He said, “Dad always treated his Mexicans good–
“I guess you think you’re better somehow”

“Yeah you think you’re better,
“Snowflake if ever there was.
“You think you’re so cool
“‘Cause you did good in school
“You got whipped every day on the bus.”
Sister lit out ‘fore the shoutin’ got worse
Went to Wednesday night prayer at the new Christian church,
With a cross on her neck and a nine in her purse–
She might be the wisest of us

It’s too much for regular rotation. Better to have How’m I Gonna Find You Now as a regular right now. I like a propulsive jam like this, and as an older fella, I can appreciate a line like: “Now I’m washin’ down my blood pressure pill with a Red Bull.” I love a bitterly funny lyric — lyrics tag highlights those, because I love to quote ’em.

Time for another coffee. Have an egg, maybe. Time for work.

Thanks for reading, and hang tough people. The world needs fixin’.

I go away for a weekend and there’s a shark attack.

Good solid family travel weekend. Had fun. Won’t be sharing much about it I don’t think.

But I come back and there was a shark bite that closed the beaches over the weekend: Swimmer suffers ‘significant’ injury in shark attack in Del Mar; beaches closed as precaution.

Here’s a video from ABC 10 News.

Feeling good this morning. Let’s get some stuff done.

Go on about your business! Thanks for reading. Have a great day.

It’s the time of the trip where I go to a pool. Kelly came with.

My Dad’s cat Neko soaking up attention from Kelly