October. The month of Halloween. The month when artists argue about whether or not #inktober is a valid lists of prompts to use if you’re not doing work in real, actual ink. Or now the month when artists do a zillion other hashtag-something-tober set of daily drawings from a zillion prompt lists because it turns out that the guy behind Inktober is a butt who put together a book on ink drawing under the Inktober brand and straight-up swiped some exercises from another artist. I could perhaps defend some of this, most art manuals are full of stuff swiped from the manuals that influenced the people who wrote them, but honestly I am just fucking sick of Inktober and the way it seems to have stopped being a fun thing artists do and turned into a thing you have to do to help Promote Your Brand On The Internet; seeing various friends doing prompt lists spawned by smaller communities feels a lot better.

But for me it’s been #waitformycomputertoberepairtober. The battery on my Macbook Pro has been failing. Again. About a year and a half after I got it, it started constantly saying “Service Battery” and giving me about a half hour of life; I took it in to the Seattle Apple Store and got them to take it in for repair on the second trip (“yes, I reset the fucking SMC and tried the battery recondition process, it is still fucked, okay?”).

They replaced a significant chunk of the computer along with the battery because unwinding it from the keyboard, trackpad, and whatnot is a major hassle. It was under warranty so it was free and that was nice.

And then a year and a half later it started doing the same shit. There is a design flaw with this particular model (2017 13″ laptop, no touchbar) where it just fucks its batteries up. And annoyingly this coincided with the beginning of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (aka COVID-19, aka The ‘Rona) hitting the USA. Apple closed down their New Orleans store, and so did the one Authorized Repair Shop in the city, so getting it repaired became much more of a hassle. I got an external battery and made do for a while. It was a bit better when the computer actually figured out that 3/4 of its battery capacity was gone, and started performing emergency hibernations again instead of just shutting down and losing work. But it was still a giant hassle.

My extended warranty expired. It was gonna cost money now. So I kept on putting it off until one day near the end of September it decided not to charge from one of its two USBC ports. Yeah. Time to deal with this despite being afraid that Turmp’s attempts to fuck with the forthcoming election by ruining the USPS would mean I’d be without a computer wayyyy too long. Luckily it ended up being shipped FedEx, and went well around the hurricane hitting the coast between New Orleans and Houston in the week I ended up shipping the damn thing. Apple sent me a box with some very clever foam inserts to keep it cushioned, and a list of stuff to do that included “BACK YO SHIT UP, WE DON’T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR LIFE’S WORK FFS” and “also we do not want to know a goddamn thing about what you keep on your computer so turn on full disk encryption and save everyone a lot of potential trouble”.

So now here I am with a new keyboard that displays none of the history of which keys I hit the most (slightly off from the usual ETAOIN SHRLDU frequency due to Illustrator hotkey choice, and of course cmd-z to undo), new ports, new trackpad, and most importantly a new battery. And the expectation that I will be doing this again around the spring of 2022. Which is also close to when the third generation of Airs running on the new ARM architecture will be out, and perhaps I will just switch back to those – I miss the all-day battery life that Airs tend to have! I need a lot of CPU for Illustrator to do its thing but I suspect by then the Airs will be leaving this Pro in the dust. But at least for now I’ve been sitting here doing web browsing for about two hours since getting it back, and it still has about 20% of the battery left. Freedom!

Also we now have a box full of one mother cat and two kittens in Nick’s room.

Sugarfoot does not officially live here. She lives under this house and the neighboring house with her mother Shadow, her younger (half?)brother Shemp, and her even younger (half?)siblings Arthur, Peebles, and CJ/potato. She and her mama and three siblings who have since left were here when we got here, thanks in no small part to the lady who lived in the other half of this shotgun double providing a place for Shadow to have litters. But now she has moved elsewhere and we have been giving serious thought to getting all these cats fixed, because we really do not want to help raise a couple of litters every year. Thankfully Sugarfoot has provided us with a smaller litter than her mom. Who we really hope is not currently also pregnant.