it's my birthday!

** The Bulletin **

September 2, 2023

Quite a bit has happened since I emailed you a few months ago. I’m sending this out just after midnight on my birthday. I’ve no idea what this next year of my life has in store, but what I can tell you is that I hope it isn’t as insane as 20 was. (Stay tuned for more on that later.)

All of that said, I’ve got a bit to share with you. So let’s talk.

Most notable new stuff from my Journal

Things I found across the net

This section’s alternate title? “Chronically Online 21 Year Old Shares Random Crap from His Bookmarks” … has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

  • Ever heard of The Weather Channel? How about Local on the 8s? Well, turns out, the way that the local forecast is produced is using a piece of equipment called the “IntelliStar” (formerly “Weather Star”) … this is a very simplified explanation, but basically: it’s installed at the local cable hub for your area, ingests TWC’s raw feed, then generates all the local info and displays it atop the raw feed. This also explains why it doesn’t work for satellite TV providers.

    • Fun fact… The first-generation IntelliStar (released by TWC in 2003/04) was used to operate the old Weatherscan TV network!

  • Related: Weatherscan has been revived for your web browser by some TWC enthusiasts, in case you wanted a dose of nostalgia. It also happens to be open-source and available on GitHub. (If it loads the incorrect area, simply add ?City, replacing City with yours obviously, and it should load properly. For example: ?Albany for Albany, NY.)

  • Apple officially considers the 2017 MacBook Pros with Touch Bar to be “vintage.” If that’s vintage, I’m ancient.

  • Google yet again destroyed their reputation for consumers, as their “Pixel Pass” subscription service has been killed before even fulfilling its promises. That’s just sad, and it proves that they’re incompetent. (I mean, just look at the Google Graveyard… it’s ridiculous.)

  • No more Disney on Charter Spectrum for now, as the two giants are butting heads over their contract. (I’d just like to point out the irony here, considering CEO Bob Iger was complaining about the SAG-AFTRA strikes not that long ago, and now he’s striking from Charter Spectrum’s service. Oh, Bob!)

  • And finally, in “I really hate Spotify” news: Spotify has yet another crashing bug (as if it didn’t have enough of those already). …Oh, and it specifically affects the Android app. Web, Desktop, and iOS/iPadOS are unaffected. Go figure!

I’m back into some mobile games…

  • I’m back into Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Nintendo’s mobile game that released in 2017, which is somehow still getting regular content updates! If  you play and you’d like to add me, my ID in-game is 19894741141. We can trade gifts, send each other stamps, and/or help each other with other things like Shovelstrike Quarry too!! (I’m also lowkey desperate for friendship powder…)

  • Similarly, I’m playing PewDiePie’s Tuber Simulator. My username is sladewatkins there if you want to “follow” the “channel.” Unfortunately, the game doesn’t contain a mechanism that allows me to see my followers, so you’ll have to let me know another way if you do this.

Finally, a special note for you

If you’ve made it this far, I’d like to say thank you for this past year. 20 was a difficult year for me in so many ways, and it has been nice to have this space to connect with you outside of social media, free from the drama and insanity that is the world.

I don’t fully know what 21 brings with it yet. But it feels like a sense of renewal for me. I’m going to be doing a lot this time round the sun, so stay tuned, for sure. It’s going to be a blast!

And there you have it, folks… that’s it for this edition of The Bulletin! Come back next time for more of the same, but different… I promise to try to not make you wait too long this time.


—Slade, the birthday guy


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