big day at the retention pond

80s music comp rathole

(sorry if you’ve seen this elsewhere; it took me long enough to type (while also cooking dinner) that I thought I’d post it as a f’real blog post here, not just Elsewhere.)

This early 90s CD compilation ad was going around Tumblr today.

Terrible music ad

It took me down the following rathole:

Laughing Squid mentioned it in 2012, h/t’ing Uproxx. Neatorama had mentioned it a bit earlier and that reference hit Metafilter, which has a long thread about it (if you only follow one link here, that’s the one).

In 2016 someone scratched his own itch in r/Music and came to the conclusion that this compilation (titled “80s Retro”) has to be the “Punk” one from the commercial. He goes through the trouble of identifying tracks from the Discogs entry not heard in the commercial.

That Redditor was working from this CrapFromThePast page, which extensively studies 90s Razor & Tie compilations. (a sampling: “I dissected many of the following Razor And Tie collections in gory detail, and I can conculde [sic] the following: Most of the tracks sound good, with relatively few instances of excessive compression/limiting, weird EQ, or truncation of an opening note or a fade. ….”)

Something mentioned at least twice in these posts; the actor in the “Punk” ad is almost certainly also in a Those Fabulous 70s compilation ad, and possibly is one of the guys in the universe-famous Freedom Rock ad.

I made a Spotify playlist. It’s basically some better bits of 80s Top 40. (imho.)

N.B.s: “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Mickey” are missing from Spotify as of this post; Discogs lists the “80s Retro” release date as 1997; MusicBrainz says 1996. The ad’s pretty clearly… ‘90? ‘91?

CSS grid-gap "trick"

was futzing with a container div full of grid-template-areas. I wanted to get the child divs off the far edges in an amount equal to the “grid-gap” properties I’d set. You can do that with padding on the container but out of curiosity I tried this and it worked just as well:

  grid-template-columns: 0px 300px 1fr 300px 0px;

Grid-gap doesn’t “do” the outer edges, just inners, but a column of no-width will still generate the gaps. Shmeazy.

(Quick search of Stack Overflow suggests this is sometimes answered with “add padding on container” but that sometimes makes other messes. I also see people using grid without area-names, and this would only work in that case if you added useless html to account for the 0-width content. Not an issue with my named areas.)

Things I read in February 📚

Non-fiction (essays):

Non-fiction (memoir/bio):

  • Easily Distracted, Steve Coogan. If you like his work, worth reading. Comes off a little defensive, seems like. More thin-skinned than he wants to admit. His acting plus the “new” writers still have a tiger by the tail though.


  • Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon. Holy shit I finished another Pynchon novel. The older he gets the easier they are to read? This was really just a CSI:LA’68 episode though. Funny, for anyone old enough to catch all the references (I think I missed a bunch).

  • Exit Strategy, Martha Wells. The fourth and last (?) of the Murderbot series. I said last month, I really love the voice in this series. I figured out why; it reminds me of a supergenius I know. (I can’t say more!)

All of My Heart (but on a barely in range radio)

A gag suggested this morning on Tumblr. Couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Grabbed a song from the top of my iTunes library and worked it out in Audacity.

Lemon Alphabet

letters imprinted in ice

We harvested a dozen lemons from the tree by the front door. At a loss for ideas of how to use so many, quickly. A co-worker of T’s suggested squeezing them and pouring the juice into ice-cube trays for long-term storage.

I had juiced 3 or 4 before I realized we don’t have any normal ice trays, just a few novelty silicone ones.

Ice is ice; they’ll work. I knew that being floppy silicone they’d be tough to fill THEN carry to the freezer, so I got an old beat-up CorningWare dish and put A-through-I in it. Filled the letters right to the top; a bit spilled over. Repeated with J-through-Q and R-through-Z, for a single three-layer stack.

Once they were frozen I was able to reclaim some space in the freezer by removing the CorningWare.

I guess I spilled more than I’d realized.


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