UK update: chaos reigns. We’ll probably have another prime minister soon. 🦊
A mini holiday this week, then, first to Broadstairs and then Margate, both of which were lovely in their own way.
I grew up near the coast and British seaside towns have always given me the same feeling: cosy, dreamlike, nostalgic, somewhat depressing. It was relaxing to get away for a couple of nights and drift around the streets and beaches with no agenda. Even the train journey was therapeutic.
Finding food wasn’t completely straightforward because restaurant web sites outside of London are, generally speaking, a shitshow. The two main web strategies are “nothing at all” and “suspiciously abandoned Facebook page”, leaving you to triangulate the truth from scattered Tripadvisor comments and Google Maps reviews. (London’s not much better tbh but at least you can rely on Instagram.)
That makes it surprisingly hard to answer the question “what are the best vegan-friendly restaurants in this town?” without being tricked by places that are closed now or tonight or forever, or don’t have a menu available, or turn out to be meat-heavy with a single unpleasant vegan option. Still, through a combination of luck and other people’s local knowledge I ate a lot of good food and urgently need to return to the gym.
Cocktails at Daisy (good web site) were glorious and it was great to catch up with Felix.
YouTube emailed to congratulate me on reaching 100 subscribers. I don’t think this is meaningful but I appreciate the mild validation.
No streaming this week because of the holiday, but I miss it and I’m looking forward to getting stuck back in tomorrow.
A new paper about the shape of the heliosphere reminded me of Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home. I played through it again and still liked it as much as I’d remembered. It’s brief and simple but effective, like all the best stories, interactive or otherwise.
In other interactive storytelling news, I finally got The Last of Us Part I and have played through the first handful of hours.
I won’t bang on about its many individual improvements because none of them is particularly important in isolation, but the cumulative psychological impact is startling: it feels like playing a brand new game, which is exciting for someone who knows the original so well.
Seeing its beautifully detailed locations and expressive faces under dramatic lighting at 60fps is strange at first — familiar yet different — but quickly settles in to become normal. The early sections fully deliver on their emotional content, and the gentle pitter-patter of rain on the controller helps to sell the feeling of being outdoors.
It’s just really good, and it’s smart of them to release it in time for the HBO show because this is the version that people new to the game should be playing.
(Google bait: for the first hour I was so diverted by novelty that I didn’t notice it was running at 1080p. I had to turn off the PS5’s 120 Hz output, which my TV won’t support anyway, to get it to upscale the 1440p image to 4k as intended. I haven’t seen this in any other game so it’s probably a bug.)
The Midnight Club was ultimately not very good — insubstantial and goofy, not really horror at all — but it was coherent and a little bit spooky and that’s probably enough to justify its existence. It’s a notch above Bly Manor but disappointing compared to Hill House and Midnight Mass. I hope and expect that The Fall of the House of Usher will be better.
Tailscale is still working okay, so no tantrums yet. I realised I don’t need SSH port forwarding any more, and that means I can switch from Blink, which is terrible, to Prompt, which is slightly less terrible.
The only problem so far is that I can’t SSH to my Mac via the tailnet when it’s asleep. I’d never thought about this before and can’t find any detail on what “Wake for network access” actually does, but the fact that it used to work suggests that macOS has some mysterious support for waking the machine when it gets an incoming TCP connection (versus a WoL packet specifically), and that feature doesn’t work when the connection is over Tailscale. So if I want to use the Mac remotely I have to SSH to another machine on the same subnet first and wake it by connecting locally.
If this gets annoying enough then I could prevent the Mac from sleeping altogether, but I don’t really want my energy bill to get any higher than it already is, so it’d be nice if a future release of Tailscale sorted it out by magic. 🤞🏻