Cold opens are the best, everything else sucks

Do you know whats awesome in internet videos? Cold opens, focused attention, get right to the point, show don't tell.

What is the opposite of awesome? "Hi, [speaker name] here of [brand identity], bringing you [uselessly generalized description of topic], with my friend [other person]. Today we're going to talk about [subject of video]. But first, please remember to like, comment, and subscribe so we can keep bringing you this amazing content. [insert 10 second opening montage]. So, [other person], what is interesting about [subject of video]? Well, [speaker name], funny you should ask! [subject of video] is a favorite topic of mine...."

Stop it stop it stop it stop it. Please.

If you are going to play music, immediately start playing.

If you are going to perform, immediately start performing.

If you are going to show a video recording of a beautiful place or view, immediately start with that.

If you are going to show off a tool, technique, craft, thing to make, thing to buy, amazing vista, teach a short lesson, whatever, START and STAY with that. If you MUST have an opening, a 2 second animated logo / bumper at most.

None of the viewers give a crap about the fake friendly pretend greeting. All of that stuff is for the description text of the video. If you really really must have it, put it at the end. And stop begging for "like and subscribe".

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A suggestion for a new year's resolution: delete artificial scents and delete SLS

A suggestion for a new year's resolution, something that worked for me. It's a small effort, but a big change, and I suggest it for everyone:

Years ago, I deleted almost all industrial and artificial perfumes from my life. Zero fragrance laundry soap. Tooth powder instead of SLS toothpaste. No more SLS based shampoo. No SLS based "body wash". You don't need SLS, especially not on your skin or in your mouth. Instead of shampoo, I just let water run through my hair. Zero scent natural mild soap. Zero fragrance conditioner. No synthetic cologne.

Almost immediately, I was intensely aware of the reek of all this junk in my sweat and in my taste in my mouth, as it drained away over weeks. And then, it was gone. As was most of my acne. And food tasted a LOT better, and natural scents and flowers smelled a lot better.

So, I recommend it. It's an easy New Year resolution, that isn't a lot of work or willpower, but makes a big difference.

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Filled another journal volume

Yet another Midori MD A5 blank notebook filled, sealed back into it's resealable waterproof envelope, and filed away into the drawer of filled journal volumes. I'll finish filling this paperblank that I have bridged to in the next couple of weeks, and then start on the first of the brand new shipment of Midori MDs A5 dotgrid.

I wonder if they will ever be read? Or will they just be lost to rot, time, or fire. Doesn't really matter, I write in them to write, not for them to be read.

My only regret about my journalling habit was that I didn't start and cement this habit 40 years ago. You, reading this. Start now.

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It looks like the PitneyBowes mafia has leaned on PayPal

Just over a year ago, I posted about [ ].

It looks like the PitneyBowes mafia has leaned on PayPal. I mean, it's still there and it still "works", but now no longer does it provide firstclass, international first class, or bookrate options. Also, no longer can you set any arbitrary return address, you are forced to use one of the shipping addresses you've given to PayPal. So no more generating shipping labels for friends.

PitneyBowes and StampsDotCom really want that monthly rental fee for the privilege of putting postage on envelopes.

Legal corruption, more examples of.

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Witnessing Road Rage

 I just got to watch a roadrage incident.

In the very heavy traffic leaving the Lake Union fireworks show, there was a large Infiniti SUV in front of us who wasn't zipper merging properly. He cut off a smaller car who's turn it was to merge, and then the driver of the SUV got out, yelled at the driver's window of the smaller car, and then got back into his SUV. Late 20s or early 30s asian guy. Okay...

Then a motorcycle tried to go around them, and the SUV driver lost it. He jumped back out, and pulled the motorcycle over, and then started yelling and jumping and punching at the rider, all chest thumpy. His punches were not doing much against the motorcyclist's riding armor, and the rider kept his helmet on, and just kept trying to push the guy away and stepping back.

Half a dozen more people got out of the SUV, the guys trying to join the driver in the fight, and the girls trying to stop it. The SUV passengers were VERY drunk, barely able to walk level drunk.

My Lyft driver was on 911, narrating what he saw. And I could see several other people in cars and people on the sidewalk on their phones, probably also all on 911.

Turns out the motorcyclist had friends, they zoomed up, got off, pulled the fight apart, and took him and his bike over to the side the road. And then stood around and in front of and behind the SUV, trapping it. The SUV people had got back in, and shut their doors and rolled all their windows up. The people pinning it had their phones out, recording, and so did a lot of sidewalk bystanders.

A few people started directing traffic around the pinned SUV. My Lyft driver ended his call with 911, and drove around, drove away, and continued my ride home.

I saw a lot of SPD on bikes working around the crowd earlier. It will probably be a pair of the bike cops that get there, to find that SUV trapped by that small crowd standing around it.

That SUV driver is already in bad trouble, and if he was DUI (which I will bet he was) he's in worse trouble. From the British Columbia plates on the SUV, he's probably a tourist or a visitor on a visa, which will make his impeding bad night and bad month even orders of magnitude worse.

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A fountain of toxic woke

While watching the fireworks over Lake Union while the song "I'm Already There - Message From Home" was playing on the PA, I could really have done without the sneering narration to her friends from the women standing about 10 feet from me.

She started by saying she was visiting on an education visa and then dropping zingers and snarls to her friends everything she hates about the country that extended the visa to her, everything she hates about the celebration of the day, everything she hates about having to constantly "educate" people about they have an obligation to share in her hate, and then finally everything she hates about the kinds of people referenced in that particular song.

By the time she got to that final topic of her hate, I was noticing a lot of other annoyed and hard eyes looking her way, not just mine.

Lady, you are a guest. Even if I can agree with a some of what you are saying, there is a time and a place, and this wasn't it.

Later, when we all headed back inside, and I saw her in clear light, she looked like the reification of every stereotype implied by her voice, her tone, and her words. Which is sufficient punishment. There is nothing more fitting as a punishment than what she's already done to herself.

Happy Fourth of July.

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I own an antique twelve inch square hinged blade paper cutter

I own an antique twelve inch square hinged blade paper cutter. I bought it out of a junk pile that was dredged out of the back of some craftschool place that was shutting down. I think I paid two dollars for it.

It is made of *steel* and of *cast iron* and of real *wood*. No plastic, no MDF. The metal parts were obviously made in a real machine shop by real machinists, except for the handle/bar, which is sandcast cast iron. The blades are real firstmade steel (no metaldross junk recyclage remelt crap), and can take an edge that will split a hair, and can hold an edge.

No safety guards. It probably is in violation of at least three fat volumes of OSHA regulations and related bureaucratic barflegarb. It could probably take off a thumb and a finger if someone is thoughtless and careless while using it.

It can also go through a bakers dozen sheets of paper in one crisp pull, leaving a perfect clean edge, without slowing down.

I love it.

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teethclenchingly painful writing

I have the "follow your politicians" feature turned on on Facebook. The main thing I've learned from reading "my" politician's social media writings is that it always has the same style of smarmy barflgab of marketing spam copy of 10 years ago (current-year marketing bullshit copy tends to be much clearer and punchy, and is less mindbreakingly stupid) that I long ago trained my internal mental adblocker to skip over and blur out. To the point that it's actually painful to force myself to read them. This style of teethclenchingly painful writing seems to be independent of party, independent of wing, and independent of level of government.

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Everyone knew, nobody actually cared

Everyone *knew*. For decades. But anyone who could have stopped him, none of them actually cared.

Most of the celebrities, performers, industry executives, and politicians who are today saying "finally", they are merely grandstanding. They didn't care then, and they don't actually care now.

The people who did his accounting, his paperwork, his marketing, his bookings, his promotion, his publicity, his lawyering, the people who were executives, managers, and creatives at his labels, they all knew. And they didn't actually care, as long as the money was flowing and the good times were rolling.

There were people who bought his music. Lots and lots of people. The people who who bought his music, who went to his shows, they knew, and they didn't care.

R Kelly is not the sickness of one sick man. He is the sickness of the tens of thousands of people who took his money, and the sickness of the tens of millions of people who gave him money.  This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.