I'm lurking in the shadows…

** The Bulletin ** – November 11, 2023

Hello everyone, it’s Slade again,

It ‘twas but another slow(ish) week here in the world of Slade. I got to hang out with my aunt & her mother-in-law, brainstormed some ideas for what the Bennington Bike Hub could do during the winter (and beyond), continued writing my book with the goal of turning it in on or before December 31st, and did the usual email writing. OH, and I also switched back to Android and Wear OS (sorry, iMessage users; also there’s a post about this in the pipeline, no date yet though!) and spent this past week detoxing from social media.

Somehow, I have ultimately put myself in a better mindset. It’s nice to have a clear head. It’s going to help with all the stuff I’m about to get up to for the next year or so! (If you know what’s getting planned, feel special, I haven’t told many people about it.) I think I’m going to continue using social media very minimally for the next little bit! A little mental break never hurt anyone.

In terms of The Bulletin, I have quite a bit for you this week, actually. There’s some cool stuff I want to shout out and call attention to, so let’s just hop right into it!

Upcoming events

Alright, everyone, I can’t believe it… but it’s time for the upcoming events section to make a return! What’s going on this time? Well, my mom (the absolutely talented woman behind Theodessa Designs) is going to be at this year’s annual Holiday Market, taking place in The Armory in Hoosick Falls, NY, on November 25th, 2023 from 10am-3pm. If you happen to be in the area, you should stop by and say hi! There’s a small chance you may see yours truly, too!

(And yes, I’m still working on getting my mom’s website at TheodessaDesigns.com up and running. There’s a lot that goes into making sure this runs smoothly!)

This week’s soundtrack

I’m kind of a Spotify addict, so I happen to listen to a lot of music. Here’s what I’m currently listening to—usually on repeat. Here’s what I’ve got for you, for the week of November 11, 2023

Thanks to Songlink for making all these streaming platform-agnostic!

Things I found across the net

Listen… I had to fill the void of social media SOMEHOW. Sometimes you just go on too many deep dives because you’re a night owl and function better at 2am than 2pm. It happens. …Right???

  • My friend launches his political blog: My friend announced his political blog The Noise with Max yesterday. He didn’t ask me to, but I wanted to shout it out here (and not just on Twitter) because he worked so incredibly hard on this, and I am extremely proud of him. I am even more grateful and honored to be his friend. He’s one of the most amazing people I know and I truly don’t know how I even deserve to have a friend like him in my life. Seriously. You definitely need to check out — and subscribe to — his blog, folks, because mark my words: he’s going to absolutely knock this thing out of the park!!

  • Fly high, thing that never got used: Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite is dead now, as no Android phones ended up adopting the technology. Google has actually been prepping satellite support in Android for some time, so this may be an really short-sighted move. That, or Qualcomm could build the technology into its chips directly, I suppose. (Just to note here: Google’s Pixel lineup uses the company’s own “Tensor” chips.)

  • SAG-AFTRA strike ends, after reaching tentative agreement: SAG-AFTRA has announced that they have reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP over their 2023 TV/Theatrical contract. In a blog post, the organization stated clearly that no FULL details of the contract would be revealed until it was reviewed by the National Board, but noted in another post that they “have arrived at a contract that will enable SAG-AFTRA members from every category to build sustainable careers.” I’m hoping that means good things!

  • US Cellular still looking to sell, is attracting interest: US Cellular, the carrier that used to be up there with the likes of Sprint (later acquired by T-Mobile) with very little in terms of coverage footprint (most of which is handled by roaming on AT&T’s network, actually) is getting some buying interest from the Big Three networks. Having been watching service providers for this long, I personally believe AT&T or Verizon have the best chances of absorbing the company. T-Mobile has had too many security leaks and other issues to be considered trustworthy, and it would be used against them heavily when the antitrust lawsuit from the FTC inevitably comes.

  • Valve’s tweaking some things: From Liam Dawe at GamingOnLinux, it seems Valve is doing some tweaking to the way things look in Big Picture Mode (and Steam Deck, by extension). They’re fairly minor tweaks altogether, but you will notice them, and Liam rounds them up and explains them all if you’re interested!

  • Open-source software and other stuff I found: I’m a big fan of using (and contributing back to) open-source software and documentation whenever I can, so I tend to find some hidden gems. I’ve decided to share just three really cool ones with you—as I think they could be helpful to others who have run into similar needs (or just want to try something new).

    • For macOS, we have CameraController. My friend’s dad actually shared this with me and I meant to add it to last week’s Bulletin, but didn’t end up having time due to not getting back to the hotel prior to the newsletter getting sent. It does what it says on the tin, it lets you control ANY camera attached to your Mac, including your built-in webcam, with precision. Change the framerate, the focus mode, mirror the preview, etc. It even works with my technically incompatible (Windows-only) Razer Kiyo Pro webcam, too! Every Mac should have this, honestly.

    • For basically every platform, osu! is open-source with its next (and “final”) iteration! I think it’s really sweet that peppy decided to open things up, and that the osu! community is coming together to really make the game shine even brighter. How awesome!

    • For Discord, InstaFix is a fun little tool, inspired by DangeredWolf’s FixTwitter, that fixes the embeds for Instagram on the aforementioned platform. It’s definitely worth using. Just replace instagram.com with ddinstagram.com when sharing a link, and you’re off to the races!

Strike Funds & Other Ways to Help

First off, a huge round of applause to SAG-AFTRA, WGA members and non-members alike for holding the line and getting things DONE! You are an inspiration to all of us, and are proof that strength in numbers works, even in today’s landscape!

That said… UAW and UNITE Here Local 11 are still on strike. Instead of scabbing or crossing a picket line, please give to people in need if you are able! I’ve compiled a list below of funds I’ve independently verified are legitimate. Thank you!

[Also, if you know of a fund that I should add to this list, please send me an email!]

One day longer, one day stronger.

Some quick housekeeping

The Journal is moving to Substack next year

I just wanted to let folks know that The Journal, my flagship blog that has been available at SladeWatkins.com since inception, will be moving fully to this Substack account in January 2024. I’m envisioning this account as more of a hub for everything I do that has to do with writing (besides my book, obviously) so I think this is the right move to make that vision a reality.

It’ll be a separate section, just like Bulletin and my Writing work are today, so you’ll be auto-subscribed to it once it rolls. You can always tune your settings on Substack if there are things you want in your inbox, or would prefer just to read on the web. And of course, everything new from me will get put in that week’s Bulletin as well.

Additionally, I’m still working on a potential paid tier for this. I won’t be doing multiple tiers or anything, just a simple monthly/yearly thing that has some extra benefits added to it over time. I don’t think that will take off, but my ultimate goal is that it could help keep the work I’m doing as a freelancer and volunteer going. That, and any funds from that will go into my “big project” fund for that thing I keep alluding to. (Again, if you know about it, you’re probably involved somehow, haha.)

I’m stepping down as Group President of Wallymer next year, too

Announced in a blog post to Wallymer.com earlier this week, I am sad to announce that I will no longer be Group President prior to the end of my term in May 2024, in order to have more energy and bandwidth to put into that big project that’s picking up steam. I will remain an integral part to the team, and will continue to lead Kakariko Herald, but I will not be leading Wallymer at-large going forward. I’m very excited for what’s to come, and I hope you’ll stay in touch with me here or at SladeWatkins.com. (NOTE: I haven’t announced a leave date, or my successor, just yet.)

Alright, everyone, that’s it from me for this week. Whew! What a big one! This is probably one of the longer ones I’ve had to put together. I’m just glad it didn’t take super long!!

Next week’s Bulletin may include even more content, depending on how things go. Although my fingers would certainly appreciate not having to write like this, even switching to my more comfortable writing keyboard, they still hurt.

Anywho, I’ll see y’all next week.

Currently losing it over men,