339: Maybe A Little Too Nerdy

Brett and Jeff hold the fort down, with mental health checkins and some very, very nerdy talk of clean installs, Brett’s projects, and their favorite apps.


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Maybe A Little Too Nerdy

[00:00:00] Brett: Hey, welcome to Overtired. Christina is gone this week, but she will magically be back thanks to multiple technological miracles for an ad read of Notion, who is this week’s sponsor, so stay tuned for that. I’m Brett Terpstra, I’m here with Jess Severins Gunsel, and I think, I think we’re doing okay.

[00:00:28] Jeff: Yeah, yeah. You just, you just reminded me of that. So Minnesota Public Radio, obviously our public radio station here, um, there’s just a lot of good people that either left or were laid off over the last few years. And some of them, they keep their voices on the spots. And, and they’re people who like it.

[00:00:44] Jeff: Leaving was hard or was painful or was unfair, anything, right? And then they still come on, on the radio being like, you know, well, you’re listening to Minnesota Public Radio. What about, you know, it’s just like, wow. Anyway, but Christina is, is definitely coming back. She wasn’t laid off,

[00:00:59] Brett: No, [00:01:00] she was not. Um.

[00:01:02] Jeff: You’d lose a lot of income getting laid off from Overtired. Anyway. Hi,

[00:01:08] Brett: that will you lose that sweet, sweet notion money.

[00:01:11] Brett: Uh,

[00:01:12] Jeff: man.

[00:01:13] Mental Health Corner

[00:01:13] Brett: Yeah. So, um, let’s, uh, let’s just kick it off right off with a mental health corner. Um, if you would like, I will start.

[00:01:22] Jeff: Yeah, do it.

[00:01:23] Brett: Um, so the holidays have proven to be, I never realized how stressful holidays were on me. Um, and looking back, um, it’s. I, I dread, uh, hanging out with my family.

[00:01:41] Brett: It triggers me in all kinds of ways, um, but I’ve always just accepted it as kind of a, a price of existing. Um,

[00:01:51] Brett: and with my last two partners, Um, they have hated my family enough, understandably, [00:02:00] that if I chose to hang out with my family, I felt like I was disappointing them. And if I chose to skip family gatherings, I felt like I was disappointing my family.

[00:02:14] Brett: So I get faced with this no win situation, no matter what I choose. And I have this huge fear of disappointing people. Like, it has Huge, a dramatic effect on my, um, my well being, even on my physical health. Uh, I, I can’t stand to have people feel like they’re disappointed in me. Um, or even, or even for me to feel like they’re disappointed in me, even if they’re not.

[00:02:44] Brett: Um, and,

[00:02:45] Brett: and,

[00:02:46] Jeff: we decide that that’s true and it’s not true. Yeah, yeah, totally. I experience that.

[00:02:50] Brett: Well, and this, like, with my parents, I project all of the beliefs of the church onto them, even, and I don’t know that they [00:03:00] hold these beliefs, I just, I’ve amalgamated all of the things I learned in my childhood And, and put it on my parents. And, and like, I react to anything they say with that lens of, okay, you believe everything this fucked up church has ever told you.

[00:03:20] Brett: And maybe they don’t. But they, they also continue to support that church, um, that has had, A horrible impact on many kids my age. Um, not that I’m a kid now, but like, I talked to you,

[00:03:35] Jeff: That kid is in you.

[00:03:36] Brett: I, I moved, I moved back to the town where I went to that church, and I have become friends with multiple ex Ex Pleasant Valley kids, kids who went through that youth group, kids who went through that church, and we all carry our own version of religious [00:04:00] trauma, um, and by and large, like, a lot of the, a lot of the people I know who survived it, um, are queer, and like, the damage that that church did to queer people is It’s unforgivable.

[00:04:18] Brett: Um, like nobody can call themselves Christian and damage kids in that way. Um, so all of that is on my mind when I hang out with my parents. Um, my siblings are less problematic in that way. But, um, but I do, I do hold my parents accountable for a lot of that trauma. Not just to me, but to my peers. Um, and man, like, so this comes up in therapy, uh, in couples therapy and, uh, and I get, because when I imagine, or when I try to understand how I [00:05:00] will feel about something in the future, I project myself into that situation and, and I imagine all of the feelings from it.

[00:05:07] Brett: And, and. Doing so will give me immediate stomach problems. Um, like I think three days after my last couples counseling, not the last one, the one before it, I was sick and like it takes a physical toll on me. And honestly, I never, I never put together that the holidays did this to me.

[00:05:31] Jeff: Oh, yeah.

[00:05:33] Brett: understood exactly how stressful, exactly how much of a no win situation the holidays were.

[00:05:42] Jeff: And does that, when you say the holidays, does it start with Thanksgiving for you? Because that’s the first, right? That’s the first gathering.

[00:05:47] Brett: My, my whole family got together in Ohio and I was invited and I declined. Um, so that was forgivable. Um, [00:06:00] missing Christmas would be less forgivable. But missing Thanksgiving, like I got text messages from the family saying, Hey, we’re having a great time. Hope you’re well. Like, nothing judgmental or, or ill intentioned.

[00:06:14] Brett: Um, so that actually went okay. Um, I didn’t come out of that feeling a lot of guilt. Um, Christmas is going to be a We don’t have full family plans for Christmas. Like, no one’s traveling. It would just be, my parents are in town, where I live. Um, so I need to see them to feel like I have fulfilled familial obligations.

[00:06:43] Brett: Um, so what we’re gonna do is, prior to Christmas, we’re gonna go out for pizza, and Um, at a place where I can have a whiskey sour and, and comfort myself. Um, and my mom will be on good behavior [00:07:00] because we’re in a public place to some extent. Have you, have you ever had someone close to you that loves sending stuff back to the kitchen?

[00:07:09] Jeff: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I’ve definitely had this experience.

[00:07:13] Brett: Yeah,

[00:07:14] Jeff: Or worse, the person who’s like, you know, you really should send that back and you can’t just like get them off that horse.

[00:07:20] Brett: yeah. So my mom is, my mom is the lady who will always If anything is wrong, send it back to the kitchen and make a big deal about it to the waitstaff. And then, like, dock waitstaff’s tip

[00:07:34] Brett: because the kitchen mess, like,

[00:07:37] Jeff: up with the tip. Never fuck with the tip.

[00:07:39] Brett: dude, I tipped 30 percent last night because we had a server that was just, it was a quiet night at the grill.

[00:07:48] Brett: Uh, she was just so attentive and would like sit and talk to Elle about like Yarnology stuff, like knitting and, [00:08:00] uh, she was just fantastic. So I left a, left a 30 percent tip on a 90 tab. It was, it was, well, my mom would never do that. Um, and going out to eat with my mom is always a little bit stressful, but not as stressful as dealing with her in her own home.

[00:08:18] Jeff: I can’t. Yeah, okay, got it. Yep, yep, yep. It’s a little safer.

[00:08:21] Brett: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:08:23] Jeff: um, I’m not going to just free associate on restaurant, uh, ethics, but I have a lot of thoughts as you talk, but that’s not what this is about.

[00:08:32] Brett: I, uh, well, I’m done. If you have something to say about restaurant ethics,

[00:08:35] Brett: I’m open to it.

[00:08:36] Jeff: so a couple of things, like one is I will never, um, I will never, uh, not tip at least the, the, the, you know, the base fair amount. Um, and part of that is, and I’ve had plenty of shitty surfers, right? But it’s like, maybe you’re shitty. You have to deal with people all day, and people are horrible.

[00:08:54] Jeff: And I don’t know, maybe I’m horrible and I don’t even know it. Like, maybe I’ve done something in this interaction that is like, God, [00:09:00] I hate it when the, you know, like, yeah. You should also be tipped for having to do this job when it’s miserable for you.

[00:09:06] Brett: so in Europe, tipping is unusual, um, tipping is if something is just fucking fantastic and, and you need to note it, but as a general rule, like this idea of a 20 percent tip is it’s non existent, but they also pay their servers a living wage.

[00:09:29] Jeff: Right. Right.

[00:09:30] Brett: Like, we get away with paying servers less than minimum wage,

[00:09:35] Jeff: and then one other follow up that you maybe think of is, um, about being good Christians. Uh, so I was raised Catholic, um, and Lutheran at the same time, divorced parents. And, uh, I remember with my stepdad, we were leaving. Church one day, it was the Catholic Church, and everyone was just being a little rude and inconsiderate in the parking lot.

[00:09:59] Jeff: He got [00:10:00] upset, and I think he was only half kidding. He’s like, these are not people who are being good Christians! And I thought of that, so the other night our family went to this Gaza Solidarity event. Um, and uh, at, at the, at the Heights Theater here, it was the, it was a international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people and that what was happening is in theaters all around the world, people were reading something called the Gaza monologues, which are the

[00:10:25] Brett: I, that happened, that happened here in

[00:10:27] Brett: Winona

[00:10:28] Jeff: so these kids from the Gods of War in 2010, which feels a lot like the one now, um, it was really beautiful. But this theater, they have a church behind the theater and there’s a parking lot there. And at night when movies are happening, there’s no, the church has no use for that thing. But the church is so vindictive about towing people that if you go to this theater’s website, the first thing you see in all bold, almost like an old angel fire site where it’s like be blinking is like, do not park in the church.

[00:10:52] Jeff: So here was the thing. Not only does this church tow you, um, Uh, from an empty parking lot, if you choose to use it for the movie [00:11:00] theater, the little independent arts movie theater. But they, this is in Minneapolis and they contract with a St. Paul, uh, uh, towing company. So you have to go to

[00:11:08] Brett: Oh no.

[00:11:09] Jeff: then you have to pay apparently an unusually high amount.

[00:11:12] Jeff: And I was like, That is some fucked up Christian behavior. That is not Christian behavior. I don’t, whatever, if you’re like a textualist, there’s nothing about parking lots in the Bible, Old Testament or New, but I feel like you can infer that you should find a way to just allow people to park or at least make a mistake, right?

[00:11:30] Brett: We, uh, there was a night in Minneapolis, uh, we were at our practice space, and our drummer Clay’s car got towed, and we walked to, it was in Minneapolis, it was near the Walker, there’s like an impound lot

[00:11:46] Jeff: Oh, I know this lot. I, my car has been in this lot.

[00:11:48] Brett: and, and we climbed the fence with a coat over the razor wire, and then drove his car through the fence, And just kept [00:12:00] going.

[00:12:00] Brett: And as far as I know, to the best of my knowledge, there was never any repercussion from this.

[00:12:07] Jeff: That’s like Breaking Bad when they, when they liberate the RV.

[00:12:10] Brett: Yeah.

[00:12:12] Jeff: That’s great. I think that that’s perfectly fair and just.

[00:12:16] Brett: Fair play.

[00:12:16] Jeff: Yeah, not all laws are meant to be followed. What did the John Lewis thing? That’s good trouble right there. That’s good trouble.

[00:12:26] Jeff: I guess for me, uh, in terms of like mental health stuff, it’s, it something that has been on my mind a lot is not exactly about me. Um, so I, I’m doing this. work with a new client and there is this really amazing organization in Minnesota called Foster Advocates.

[00:12:43] Jeff: And they, they do work to sort of promote the rights and needs and agency of foster kids. And in most states, definitely in this state where we have 87 counties and we have also tribal governments. Um, you know, foster care is, [00:13:00] is managed a little differently in all of these places, right. And so there’s, there are state Guidelines in their estate rules, but like, not only if you are a foster kid, like, and if there’s anyone out there, I don’t mean to speak for you.

[00:13:11] Jeff: I’m kind of sharing what I’ve picked up over my lifetime is that not only are you in an incredibly precarious and ungoverned position by even just being in a foster home. Right? But you are in a precarious and, and, you know, there’s regulations for the system, but it just feels very ungoverned in many ways.

[00:13:28] Jeff: System, right? And, um, so part of what I do and what I’m doing with this organization is like, they’ve done all these, um, group interviews with fosters in all the different counties, basically, in Minnesota. And, um, and they’re really amazing conversations. And also this organization, I mean, uh, uh, I think a majority Definitely a majority of the staff running this organization are ex Fosters, which is really cool.

[00:13:51] Jeff: Um, and uh, and so I’m working with the transcripts of all these focus group sessions, focus groups used loosely in [00:14:00] the qualitative sense, not in the, you know, we’re trying to make sure that this, this Hollywood Marvel movie appeals to China kind of way, not like that, but like, um, not to pick on the Chinese, but I’ve come to learn that that’s really becoming a problem for the quality of these movies.

[00:14:13] Jeff: Um, but anyway, um, So I’ve been working with these, um, interviews and part of what I do, I use special software and stuff and I, and I go through looking for patterns or whatever ways of sort of like, um, sort of representing the experience in a way that can be turned into something, turned into advocacy

[00:14:30] Brett: Is that that MaxQDA

[00:14:32] Jeff: Yeah,

[00:14:33] Brett: Yeah, yeah,

[00:14:35] Jeff: I wish I knew about it when I was a journalist. It’s just an amazing way to look at a lot of text and search across it and you code it and you can do just, it’s amazing. It’s my favorite thing to do. Um, anyway, so what will happen when I have When I work with a client like this is they might, you know, have a bunch of interview data or I might do the interviews and then they’ll say, can you look at these interviews?

[00:14:56] Jeff: These, maybe it’s 12, maybe it’s 50, maybe it’s a hundred interview transcripts. And, [00:15:00] and can you look at it for, for this theme? So it might be like, uh, you know, um, you might be looking for a theme of, of harm versus hurt. Like what are qualities of, of harm in the system as they’re described, and what are qualities of hurt?

[00:15:12] Jeff: So no one’s necessarily saying it explicitly, but you’re sort of drawing it out. Right. And in this case, I’m helping them. Among many other things, I’m helping them look at, um, over medication, over prescription, forced prescription, forced, you know, medication. And not only that, but like denial of medication, you know, the whole thing.

[00:15:29] Jeff: It’s like, what’s in there? What are people talking about? And the thing that has just been haunting me all, all week, because I spent a day on this early last week, Um, that I hadn’t really thought about. It’s like, so my own experience being diagnosed bipolar two years ago, and then going through really a hell in trying to find the right medications.

[00:15:48] Jeff: Like I was over medicated for it at first. And I sort of, I consented to that. I, I, the manic episode that led me to diagnosis was scary enough to me that I was like, yeah, hit me with the stuff, you know? And [00:16:00] we talked about this on past episodes, but like the work it takes to witness yourself when you are Essentially, I remember my medication provider said, look, I’m just going to say it straight.

[00:16:13] Jeff: It’s always an experiment. It’s always an experiment. We don’t know what’s going to work. If it fails, we don’t know how it’s going to fail. And, and, and I, I don’t know about your experience of bipolar, but like, because, because like after, you know, a lifetime of having manic episodes, now I recognize that we’re not nearly this sort of.

[00:16:33] Jeff: impactful. When I had one that was that impactful, what happened to me is I, and this was the hardest part, is I, um, I, I realized maybe I can’t trust myself. Maybe I can’t trust what I’m thinking or what I’m feeling because you have that experience of sort of grandiosity and you have that experience. And, and for me, I don’t know if this is true for you.

[00:16:53] Jeff: I know this is a symptom of bipolar and like mania is like, I can be so fucking certain of what I’m [00:17:00] thinking and so righteous about it. And I’ve always tried to temper righteousness in my personality, even though I

[00:17:05] Brett: course you have. Yeah, for sure.

[00:17:07] Jeff: But I try to temper it because relationally it’s just a bad thing.

[00:17:10] Jeff: You know, like it shuts off. It just. Kills relationships, right? But when I, when I was, had this manic episode and then when I was on some of the wrong medication, that righteousness was so intense. And I got to the point where I, what happened was, if I was feeling it, I could be like, oh, this isn’t real.

[00:17:26] Jeff: Like there’s a, and there’s enough of a kernel of truth in it that you can defend it until you You know, turn to ashes in your shoes. But like, but like, I’m, uh, part of what my experience has been in the last two years is all these different ways in which I can be like, Oh, I’m feeling this thing. It feels very real.

[00:17:41] Jeff: That means it’s not. And, and, and that is a really shitty feeling, right?

[00:17:46] Brett: for sure.

[00:17:47] Jeff: so it’s not just, so in the context of that, then trying to witness yourself and be like, I’m feeling this thing, I think it might be the medication. I need to talk to my medication manager, or I need to advocate for myself if my medication manager is [00:18:00] feeling certain that this is the right thing, whatever.

[00:18:02] Jeff: And then what you experience, and I know you know this, when you do decide to switch, and even if you’re fully supported in switching, you may go through a whole new hell, right? And what I was reading in these transcripts, that was just crushing my heart, was all of the examples of young people saying, I knew this wasn’t right in me, but all that I would hear back is, Well, you’re not behaving well, you’re fucked up or whatever.

[00:18:28] Jeff: You just take your meds. We decided what the meds are. You got to take them. There’s no, not only might you not inherently at that point, have the ability to advocate for yourself, or even understand that advocating for yourself is a thing, that you have that power, that you are inherently, Uh, the, the, the person that is most expert on you and your body, even if you have to learn what to trust and what not to, you are the expert, right?

[00:18:53] Jeff: And it’s in everything you need to be the expert is there and it’s only there for you. I guess that’s kind of what I mean to say. And, and the [00:19:00] way that kids talked about how, um, they would try to say this doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t feel good. And what would come back is essentially like, Hey, look, you’re a fucked up kid.

[00:19:09] Jeff: This is just what you need. We need to trust us, right? We’re the professionals. And in some cases, the quote unquote professionals are really just the foster parents who Maybe don’t have any kind of like intelligence around mental health or child development, right. Or any of that stuff, same problem with the juvenile justice system, the so called juvenile justice system, which treats, you know, kids as if they couldn’t possibly be expert on anything except being shitty kids.

[00:19:33] Jeff: And, and even then it’s like, you don’t even know why you’re a shitty kid. Do you like it? That’s, that’s the like internalized message, or at least in the hundreds of interviews I’ve gone through, that certainly comes up. So anyway, from a mental health perspective, I was just. Realizing, and one of the things, and if anybody has any information along these lines that’d be interested, is like, am certain that for fosters there probably isn’t any really good sort of guidance out there in the world to be like, here are some sort [00:20:00] of ways of listening to your body and trying to understand, right?

[00:20:04] Jeff: Uh, it’s complex, right? Or it’s complicated. It’s not always complex, but, um, But I just realized there’s no advoca there’s no, there’s no tool. There, there must, I, I don’t think, if you think about, if you think about the, the kinds of rights that foster kids, um, deserve, need, are sometimes given, at least in legislation, about, you know, whether it’s visitation with siblings or, um, access to mental health treatment or, um, you know, um, all these different things that you might have.

[00:20:33] Jeff: It’s very difficult, um, To imagine a lot of energy around somehow, what, legislating? This idea that like, you deserve to have a voice in your medical care, which is a little easier to imagine than You deserve to be helped to understand what is happening in your body and what it might mean or what to expect.

[00:20:59] Jeff: And I get the [00:21:00] sense that there’s just none of that and you’re all alone. I just think of these kids like you’re already so goddamn alone and you’re also alone in this fog of medication hell. Um, and I’ve just been thinking about that a lot. So, and, and, and of course, like thinking about it because I’ve had my own sort of experience in the last couple of years that, um, I hadn’t previously had of just like how, how not yourself you can feel and how hard it can be to trust yourself and how hard it can be to get good help.

[00:21:26] Jeff: Like I had a medication manager I really liked, but that person made some really bad decisions on my behalf. And it impacted me in really significant ways that, that involved my body and

[00:21:37] Brett: you went through it with the support of your family.

[00:21:40] Jeff: yeah, and a, and a partner who’s a therapist and, but, but, but, but it’s, it’s still a, she’s my partner, not my therapist.

[00:21:48] Jeff: Right? And so, so there’s still going to be dynamics where she might see one thing that seems really obvious and I’m still in a place where I’m like, no, no, I don’t see it. And, and in fact, yeah. Thing I’ve decided is what I’m staying with, you know, [00:22:00] whatever. So there’s like all over the place, but I mostly just want to say, just remember that, um, there are a lot of kids out there that, uh, deal with some of the stuff we talk about all the time and have no frame of reference for it.

[00:22:13] Jeff: And, um, and almost no agency.

[00:22:15] Brett: Yeah. Oof.

[00:22:17] Jeff: Yeah, that’s my mental health check in. It was, it was hard to read. It was really hard to read over and over again. Um, which isn’t, you know, that’s, it’s, having to read it is a lot less problematic than having to experience it. But

[00:22:29] Brett: I’m gonna link MaxQDA in the show notes because it is pretty amazing software for anyone doing text analysis of any kind.

[00:22:41] Jeff: Yeah, one of the things I love to do in it, when I’m starting, especially when it’s interview transcripts with Well, mostly I’ve done this with interviews, transcripts with kids, either in the like juvenile justice system, so called, or now the foster system. It’s like, it has all these different ways. It’s like MaxQDA opens up a thousand [00:23:00] windows for you to look at text.

[00:23:01] Jeff: And so I think traditionally the, not exactly, but like the most, I think assumed method of like coding and interviews. So, you know, you’re like, Oh, this section is about hurt. This section is about family, right? Is to read it. Front to bottom, or top to bottom. Um, but the way that I’ve come to do this work is almost exclusively to come at it.

[00:23:21] Jeff: Sideways and diagonally and whatever else. And one of my favorite things to do with MaxQDA, which is just one simple feature. It’s not even one of the most powerful features is they create these sort of sentence diagrams so that you, you can put a word in and then it’ll show you where that word goes.

[00:23:37] Jeff: Right. And like a really nice looking, almost like, who’s the Tufti, who’s the, whatever, like, it’s that, that style of like data visualization. And one of the things that I came to really, that I’ve come to really rely on is what I call I statements, which is like, The first thing I’ll do is look at that sentence tree for, I wish, I can’t, I never, I want, um, uh, and, [00:24:00] and, um, and it’s incredible when you take just something like, I wish, which I don’t mean at all to sound like, this isn’t like, um, The Children Are Our Future, kind of

[00:24:10] Brett: Mm. Sure. Yeah.

[00:24:11] Jeff: about what they wish, they’re talking about what hurts the most, often, right?

[00:24:15] Jeff: Um, and to see the directions that the words I wish can lead to, and then to be able to, what, what’s been so powerful to me is like when you’re working with kids and stories, um, that are often like stories of harm, or they’re at least like entangled in harmful systems, like, Oftentimes people fall into the trap of putting a story in front of you, which can be kind of voyeuristic and, and I think a little, um, and it’s ethically just a little not good.

[00:24:45] Jeff: Um, and, and just from a cosmic standpoint, like, don’t just put my story out there so that you can make people react a certain way. But now what I do when I’m helping people do either advocacy or maybe they’re trying to facilitate sessions with the people [00:25:00] that. Uh, have power over these kids or whatever is you can curate these statements like an I wish statement And and if you have and have done this and if you have sort of like a curated diagram of these Sentences and where I wish can go what you’ve done is created like A sort of map of the ecosystem of the child, right?

[00:25:18] Jeff: Because they’re they’re not just going to be talking about the system And they’re going to remind you through this or it’s going to remind you of all the Basic needs that we all have as humans. But we totally just box these kids in into like, Oh, well, their primary need must just be, I don’t know what to be free of the system, to have a better judge, whatever the fuck it would be.

[00:25:36] Jeff: And, and in reality, um, it’s so many like, uh, intertwined, uh, desires and longings and, and rights and needs. And anyway, and, and, and so Max QDA, cause I am really just talking about software, um, just, it’s been amazing for me as a person who loves. People’s, who loves to like work with people’s stories in a way that hopefully honors them, like it’s amazing to [00:26:00] see all the ways you can come.

[00:26:01] Jeff: And, and just one last thing, Brett, through, through the wonder of Torrance, I have, I’m a huge, I’m a Tolstoy freak. I fucking

[00:26:10] Brett: Sure. Sure.

[00:26:11] Jeff: angry bearded man. Um, and And I’ve always wanted to be able to look across text files of his books by a certain translator. And in this case, it’s a couple, it’s like a married couple.

[00:26:25] Jeff: Um, and I, through the wonder of torrents, I got, I got the EPUB files of all of these. Uh, and like Resurrection, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, we’ve all heard the names, right? And, um, and I put them into text files and I did I wish statements. And, and it was incredible because if I looked across a book, like, if I looked just at I wish statements and Anna Karenina, there were only like 13.

[00:26:48] Jeff: But they actually created an enough of an outline of the story that it brought it all back to me. But the thing I’m doing next is like If anybody’s read Tolstoy, you will know what I’m talking about, like, and that sounds like a pretentious statement, and [00:27:00] I don’t mean it to be, and I had to create a book club to read Tolstoy because I could never get through of it.

[00:27:03] Jeff: But anyway, the way that he can tell you what a piece of shit you are by describing how you use your lips like one of my favorite things about Tolstoy, and so I’ve always wanted to do like a comprehensive review of how he describes particularly your lower face. when he really hates you. Um, so stay tuned.

[00:27:23] Jeff: Uh, maybe I’ll do a reading in a future

[00:27:25] Brett: Excellent.

[00:27:26] Jeff: Also Max QDA. Anyway, sorry, that was a long. Woo!

[00:27:29] Sponsor: Notion

[00:27:29] Brett: All right. Um, so we’re going to use some of that magic, magic of technology right now. And we’re going to get a, uh, sponsor read from Christina.

[00:27:40] Christina: Hey everybody, it’s Christina here, and I’m not on the show this week because I’m on a train to Portland to get a new laptop. Uh, more details on that later, but I could not let things go without talking about, our sponsor of this week’s show, Notion, and their new, Q& A feature. So if you’re anything like me, you might already be familiar with Notion, [00:28:00] which is the sponsor of today’s episode, as I said.

[00:28:02] Christina: I use this all the time for, for notes, for documents. I have internal wikis of various things that I collect and I really love the interface and I really love how easy it is, , to, create docs. But, but now I also like how easy it is to find things because of a new AI tool they’ve launched called Q& A.

[00:28:19] Christina: So this is basically a personal assistant that responds really fast with exactly what you need right in your doc. So. Here’s a real world example from me. I have a Notion doc filled with links and information about various discounts that I get as a corporate employee. This is kind of a difficult document to like, suss through because it’s actually the combination of like five different documents that I’ve sourced from a bunch of different places.

[00:28:46] Christina: So it’s not super well organized. Well, this is why this was perfect to use Q& A with because I can just ask Notion’s Q& A I can say, okay, show me my discount code or my [00:29:00] discount URL for Avis and it will give it to me and I don’t have to go searching for, okay, was it in the transportation section or was it in the car rental section or was it in some other discount section?

[00:29:11] Christina: It’ll just give me the information when I ask the question and this is the sort of thing that it can do for anybody. It doesn’t just have to be, you know, your weird, you know, link collections and, and, and documents. It can also, use your own personal notes, your docs, your projects. All that is going to be together in one beautiful space, and then you can navigate that space using Q& A, um, to, ask questions maybe about, like, next month’s Like, roadmap, uh, that you’re doing for next quarter or next month or, you know, a marketing campaign proposal that you’re looking for.

[00:29:40] Christina: Um, or, you know, like I said, like what I’m doing all the time, digging up long lost links because that’s a problem that I personally have and that, uh, that Notion definitely can help, can help me out with. So if you haven’t used Notion, um, I think that you should definitely give it a shot and Notion AI can now give you instant answers to your [00:30:00] questions.

[00:30:00] Christina: Using information from across your wiki, your project docs, your meeting notes, etc. So you can try Notion AI for free when you go to Notion. com slash Overtired. That’s all lowercase letters. Notion. com slash Overtired to try the powerful, easy to use Notion AI today. And when you’re going to use our link, you are supporting our show.

[00:30:23] Christina: So once again, that is Notion. com slash Overtired. Try out the Q& A feature. Try out the Notion AI stuff. It’s really slick. I’m a big fan. Thanks a lot, Notion.

[00:30:32] Sponsor: Aroundsquare

[00:30:32] Brett: You know that experience of learning something new that would have been so useful last week or finding something special that you hadn’t realized you’d been missing all these years? Well, today might be one of those days.

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[00:31:01] Brett: Many of these are things that could be called skill toys. Dexterity trainers or fidget items, but they don’t really conform to those labels and none of them really do the product’s justice. They’re striking, minimalist objects more akin to jewelry than playthings, but they’re also serious tools designed for creative exploration and peaceful manipulation, things to keep your hands busy and the mind at ease by providing just the desired level of stimulation.

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[00:31:50] On Clean Installs

[00:31:50] Jeff: It’s just so nice to hear your voice, Christina. I mean, it’s your absence here and now to have you back for just that moment.

[00:31:57] Brett: So this is going to be, I think, a [00:32:00] pretty technical episode, um, now that we’re through the mental health corner, which is messy as hell. Um, as, as so many of us are, but Jeff, we’ve talked before about your clean installs, um, that are a matter of habit for you. Um, but.

[00:32:22] Jeff: This is an

[00:32:23] Brett: it. Got a little different, like something changed.

[00:32:26] Jeff: Yeah, I got medication. So this is the funny thing is that I haven’t done a clean install of my computer since I started becoming, uh, since I started medication for bipolar. And, and what I recognize, and Brett knows this from working with me for years, is that what used to happen to me all the time, and I think these were, this was a result of manic episodes of some sort, which is that I’d be looking at my computer and all of a sudden I’d be like, It’s all wrong.

[00:32:53] Jeff: It’s all messed up. I’ve configured everything weird. I got to start from scratch. And then I would, I would very [00:33:00] abruptly do a clean install, which is not the way to do a clean install, right? Um, and, and I would do that clean install maybe in the middle of a workday. Not thinking about the fact that the next morning I have a Zoom meeting and I won’t have downloaded Zoom and I won’t yet have logged into my work email

[00:33:16] Brett: Oh

[00:33:16] Jeff: Mac so that I can quickly get into Google Drive or whatever the fuck it is people make me do, um, and, and, and it would become this horrible, um like obstacle course for me for weeks.

[00:33:28] Jeff: And I will have messed up my basic like file system. I will have thrown everything onto an external hard drive called like clean install, you

[00:33:34] Brett: mm-Hmm.

[00:33:35] Jeff: Pro 2013 or whatever. um, and then I start from scratch without properly moving everything over. And it was actually very, like in its own way, when they talk about like, um, manic episodes, like that you would have sort of a tendency to, um, take risks.

[00:33:54] Jeff: Right.

[00:33:54] Brett: Right.

[00:33:55] Jeff: It really disrupted my. My work life for probably two weeks at a time, whenever I would [00:34:00] do that. And when I would do it, I’d be like, Oh God, it’s coming. I know I got to do a clean install. Um, so anyway, I just did the first one in like two years and I’m not going to lie. I’m not sure it was the best and most stable decision, but I.

[00:34:13] Jeff: I did it in a way that was very mindful. I got everything back up and running real quick. So I’m not running into like, oh, I never put this thing back on, right? Um, Homebrew makes that nice. Brewfiles, right? Like there’s, I’ve also developed ways to protect myself.

[00:34:28] Brett: with like a brew file, like where you like, yeah,

[00:34:31] Jeff: so if you use Homebrew, if you don’t use Homebrew, Package Manager like helps you, you know, download all kinds of apps and tools and you can create whatever you’ve downloaded for me over the last two years since the last clean install or two and a half is all on one list and I can just say, please install

[00:34:46] Brett: It can, it can even do Mac app store

[00:34:49] Jeff: Yes, if you install MAS.

[00:34:51] Brett: Yep.

[00:34:51] Jeff: You can even do Mac App Store apps. So anyway, why are we talking about this? Because before we came on, Brett and I were talking, and I said, Brett, I did a clean install. [00:35:00] Like, I felt like I had to come clean. And no pun intended. And what was cool this time is I realized It’d been so long.

[00:35:08] Jeff: So I realized how many apps were just running back there that I’d really forgotten about that were really impacting my experience of my computer in a way that were really great. And like the example I gave Brett was like the App Peek, which is like a, an app you can get from the app store. And it, it not only allows you to do quick look, quick look on a lot of files, you know, you press the space bar and your file comes up a little preview, but it allows you, I mean, it’s like, there’ll be, um, if it’s code, it’s got the like, Proper sort of

[00:35:37] Brett: syntax highlight.

[00:35:38] Jeff: can copy and paste.

[00:35:39] Jeff: If it’s a spreadsheet, you can do like a column. Like it’s incredible.

[00:35:44] Brett: And if it’s Markdown and it has multiple headers, you get a table of contents for viewing your Markdown file and you can copy paste out of it, which is a big deal since like Mavericks, like when they stopped allowing select and copy and paste in quick look

[00:35:59] Jeff: [00:36:00] Yeah. So, well, okay, that’s a question for you. So, that, there was a point at which QuickLook suddenly did not, I was like,

[00:36:05] Brett: Yeah, I think it was around, I think it was around Mavericks, yeah.

[00:36:10] Jeff: And so, having forgotten that it was Peek that was allowing me to do this, because I use QuickLook all the time in this context. When I did my first QuickLook and it just showed the icon of the file.

[00:36:21] Brett: Yeah.

[00:36:22] Jeff: do I, how do I get back to the thing? What the hell happened? Um, and so Peak was just a really great example of just something just absolutely, like, wonderful impacting my life in the background. Do you have, what’s something that you didn’t build that, um, that has that impact for you?

[00:36:38] Jeff: That’s just kind of back there, making your life different on your computer?

[00:36:42] Brett: I guess I would say Hazel.

[00:36:44] Jeff: Hazel.

[00:36:45] Brett: Haz

[00:36:46] Jeff: it. I’m sure most people know what it is who are listening, but

[00:36:48] The Magic of Hazel

[00:36:48] Brett: So, Hazel watches for file changes and acts on files. Um, and you can have any set of criteria. If the file matches this file name, [00:37:00] if it has this label, if it’s this old. Um, and then have it run any series of actions on that file. Um, I would say Like, for me, my most common Hazel task is if I name an image file in the name, if it says percent, percent, and then a series of characters like R600 means resize to 600, O means optimize.

[00:37:29] Brett: C means convert to JPEG. H means create 1x and 2x images. Half. H for half. And so I have just gotten in the habit of when I save a file to my desktop, I give it A name with percent percent and then the series of characters and Hazel just picks that up and I come out with, um, all of the necessary files for publication to whatever medium, um, and I [00:38:00] don’t Think about it being Hazel when I do that.

[00:38:02] Brett: It just, it’s just the way I save files. Um, files in my download folder get labeled based on their age and anything that ends up with a red tag need, either needs to be deleted or dealt with. Um, anything with a blue tag gets ignored. Like, so if something is, this is a permanently a part of this folder. I just give it a blue tag and it gets ignored.

[00:38:27] Brett: Everything else gets aged over time, one week, one month. Three months. Um, so I can see, like, what needs to be most urgently dealt with. Um, so yeah, Hazel is one of those things that is integral to my, uh, daily system that, in general, I haven’t actually opened Hazel, probably for months.

[00:38:52] Jeff: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:38:54] Brett: like, you get It set

[00:38:55] Jeff: doesn’t break.

[00:38:56] Brett: just works.

[00:38:57] Brett: It just works.

[00:38:58] Jeff: I, one of the silly things I use [00:39:00] Hazel for is like, I’m one of these, um, Just monsters who keeps a folder on my desktop called Desktop. And, um, and, and Hazel just knows like if something’s been on my desktop that isn’t that folder for more than a day, I’m just going to put it in that folder.

[00:39:17] Jeff: And that just becomes Where all that stuff lives and with downloads, I have a downloads like archive folder inside of it because I don’t want to search too much. And if it’s been there for more than a day, it just moves in.

[00:39:26] Brett: mine is just called, mine is called Stuff2Review, and if it sits, if it sits in my downloads folder long enough, it gets moved to Stuff2Review, and I should have one that just automatically deletes anything after three

[00:39:39] Brett: months.

[00:39:39] Jeff: Yeah. I wish I had that in my physical space as well. If I have not laid a finger on this,

[00:39:45] Brett: I do that, I, I do that with organizing, uh, when I, like cleaning my office, anything that I’m not currently using gets put into a series of boxes, and if over the next three months, I have [00:40:00] to open that box and dig through and find that thing, that thing gets moved into a more permanent location. If after three months, I haven’t looked for that thing once.

[00:40:11] Brett: And I’ve forgotten it even exists. That box can go to Goodwill. Um,

[00:40:16] Jeff: it. I heard of I’ve heard of people doing this. I almost think I can and I can’t.

[00:40:21] Brett: it’s not easy. Like, it takes, like, I have to separate from my, uh, archival instincts. Like, I have this, this need to keep everything I’ve ever owned or ever written or ever read, like, somewhere where I can access it in the future. But the fact is, so much of it I just don’t need in my day to day space or my day to day, like, data life.

[00:40:49] Brett: Um, and I do the same with, like, Envy Ultra notes. Um, every once in a while, I’ll just do a spotlight search for anything that hasn’t been updated or [00:41:00] modified in the last year, move it, move it to an archive folder, not delete it. Just move it out of the space. So if I need it, I have to search for it. And if I search for it, it gets moved back into regular rotation.

[00:41:14] Brett: But after three months, that whole folder just gets moved to like, I don’t delete it, but it gets moved to like this analogy, uh, as like archival storage.

[00:41:26] Jeff: Now, theoretically, what you could do with a, maybe you could do this with Hazel, you could certainly script it, is like, you’ve got that whole system going where like, if it hasn’t been searched, you’re moving it over. But you could also make it that if you do land on it in a search, it just automatically gets put back in.

[00:41:40] Brett: Yeah, it, it’s feasible. You could do that.

[00:41:44] Jeff: Because you can actually script Hazel too, right? So it’s like, yeah.

[00:41:47] Brett: you might have to use some tagging to make it work, but

[00:41:50] Jeff: Brett, I know you’re okay using some

[00:41:53] Brett: oh, absolutely.

[00:41:55] Brett: I

[00:41:55] Jeff: just found my notes when I made you early when we started working together. I’m like, we’re going to spend [00:42:00] at least three hours with you talking to me about tagging.

[00:42:03] Brett: I

[00:42:03] Jeff: such good notes.

[00:42:04] Brett: I have given up. I’ve given up on trying to convince people about tagging. If you haven’t gotten it at this point, um, you’re, you’re, you’re probably not a tagger, but I still, I still consider it like vital to a real file management system.

[00:42:20] Jeff: there anything, um, and this is kind of probably an ignorant question, but is there anything about the way the OS has changed over the years, besides there was one major change in tagging. Um, but like, is there anything that’s changed your sense of. How tagging can be useful and how your own system works.

[00:42:40] Brett: Like, so, there was, we used to use OpenMetaTagging, which put, uh, K O M user tag, no, O M user tags. Attribute onto files, and that’s how, and tags were able to move with the file wherever it went in the system. And then, I think it was [00:43:00] Mavericks again, where Apple kind of Sherlocked that and made the KOM user tags, and it worked exactly the same as OpenMeta, and OpenMeta became irrelevant instantly.

[00:43:12] Brett: Since, since that time, I don’t think anything has changed other than Apple increasing adoption of this file attribute on iOS. So now your tags that you apply in Finder on your Mac show up on iOS and vice versa. Um, other than that, no, like nothing has changed that either promotes or detracts from the idea of tagging.

[00:43:40] Jeff: And, and we, I don’t have to get into your specific way of tagging, but you, you changed my life with your tagging approach, especially from my work archives. It’s just amazing the way I can navigate through them now. Um, it’s really awesome.

[00:43:53] Brett: It’s so much more intuitive than nested folders.

[00:43:57] Jeff: Yes, which, yeah, yeah, which is like, what a [00:44:00] mess. And I still sometimes, if I’m in a hurry, I make a bunch of nested folders and I look at it and I’m like, what have I just done? This

[00:44:06] Brett: Yeah. I, so I wrote an app, or I wrote a utility a long time ago, a time ago called TagFiler. Um, that That lets you tag using colon separated, like, lengthy tags and then automatically files them into a relatively shallow folder system. Uh, you can go as deep as you want, but the idea is to keep it relatively shallow but still organized so that if you ever were to You don’t lose all your tags, like you, you run them through like Dropbox and they come back with no tags.

[00:44:43] Brett: You still have a shallow folder system to help separate your files. So that’s like the initial logic behind it. But in practice, like what it does, I don’t, I don’t look for folders. [00:45:00] I, when I want to find a file, I don’t look for folders. I look based on tags and macOS, if you separate, if you have a tag name that has a colon in it, you

[00:45:11] Brett: can search,

[00:45:12] Jeff: of the Brett Terpstra

[00:45:13] Brett: can, you can search the portions of the tag name separated by colon.

[00:45:18] Brett: So if the tag name is work, colon. mdless colon design, a complete theoretical tag. You can search any of those three parts. You can search mdless, you can search design, and you can group files based on this kind of hierarchical tag that you’ve created. Um, uh, macOS, their tagging system isn’t hierarchical.

[00:45:45] Brett: It’s, it’s very flat, but using punctuation, right. But using punctuation of any kind, you kind of can nest tags. And it works really well.

[00:45:56] Jeff: Well, and you know what? I was, I was revisiting Bear, the app Bear, which

[00:45:59] Brett: [00:46:00] Yeah, yeah,

[00:46:01] Jeff: way to write

[00:46:02] Brett: it is.

[00:46:02] Jeff: in Markdown files, but they, they introduced like this a few years ago, they introduced nested tabs where if, so normally a tab with them is like you do hash and then the, the word and that’s the tag, but if you then put a slash in, it not only becomes an actual nested tag, but in your like sidebar, it becomes a sort of nested folder of tags, which reminded me of your thing.

[00:46:20] Jeff: Did they steal it from you or what?

[00:46:21] Brett: No, no, that’s theirs, but did you see the marked preprocessor I wrote for integration with Bear?

[00:46:30] Jeff: No!

[00:46:30] Brett: Uh, there’s a, I’ll link it on my blog, let me make a quick note, but

[00:46:35] Brett: um, Uh, about a month ago maybe?

[00:46:38] Jeff: No, how did I miss this? Well, I only just started using bear again. I go back and forth,

[00:46:43] Brett: Yeah, so I wrote a preprocessor for Mark that handles tags and nested tags and creates actual links, so if you click it in the preview document, it will open that nested tag in Bear,

[00:46:56] Jeff: You motherfucker.

[00:46:58] Brett: I created a new [00:47:00] preview style that exactly mimics Bear’s Markdown Preview, and Bear, Bear a long time ago integrated Marks, so you

[00:47:08] Brett: can go to Note, Preview, and Marked, and you can see your note, but I added a preprocessor that handles all, like, highlighter, like, equals, equals,

[00:47:18] Jeff: Yep.

[00:47:19] Brett: uh, it handles all of the special Bear

[00:47:21] Brett: syntax.

[00:47:22] Jeff: Okay, good to know.

[00:47:24] Brett: Yeah, you should check it out. I’ll, I’ll link, I’ll link it in the show notes.

[00:47:27] Jeff: will you educate me, even though I could Google this, when you said, um, this term, Sherlocked, which gets used, what does it mean? Where does it come from?

[00:47:36] Brett: so there was this app called Sherlock, um, that at, at one point in Apple’s OS development, I can’t remember what year this was, uh, but they turned it into Spotlight, and they didn’t buy Sherlock, they just duplicated it. And put Sherlock out of business [00:48:00] by just making it part of the operating system, which in the case of OpenMeta, they didn’t, OpenMeta was an open source standard, but they never acknowledged it.

[00:48:11] Brett: They just made it part of the operating system, invalidated its existence. You know, outside of the base OS and, and like, they’ve done it multiple times over the years. I, I couldn’t even name all of the, all of the innovations in Mac OS that are the result of them just duplicating another app’s functionality, like a third party app that really nailed something.

[00:48:39] Brett: And instead of buying it, they just stole it. That’s, that’s Sherlocking.

[00:48:44] Jeff: Okay, well, while we’re doing this, what is dogfooding?

[00:48:47] Brett: I don’t know.

[00:48:48] Jeff: Hmm. What is dogfooding? Software engineers are hungry for excellence. Dogs are hungry for dogfood. No, that’s not what I’m looking at. Software development, the jet brain, the jet brain’s way, [00:49:00] dogfooding. A practice especially popular in software development industry.

[00:49:03] Jeff: It means that a company fully tests its products first on itself, and now I’ve run out of the preview text. Hold on. So you not heard this term? Let’s see. It means that a company fully tests its products first on itself, using them as end users would, and effectively the company eats its own dog food.

[00:49:19] Brett: Okay.

[00:49:21] Less for Markdown

[00:49:21] Jeff: Oh man. That’s, that’s fine. Sorry. That was way out. So let, I want to ask you a question. Um, you’ve been, you’ve been making these updates to your tool MD, MDless. And, and I, I love when you suddenly have a bunch of blog posts because you’re making changes to something and you’re making always very thoughtful changes, like it’s never, I know that if you posted about an update, I’m not going to be like, why am I reading this?

[00:49:43] Jeff: It’s because it’s not only going to be an awesome update to that tool if I use it, but paradigmatically. It’s going to be inspiring and interesting. So will you talk about what MDLESS is first, when you made it and why, and what did, what caused you to make these changes and what are they? [00:50:00] Go ahead, caller.

[00:50:02] Brett: So mdless is, okay, so if you’re, if you use the command line, you’re familiar with the command less and less is basically paginates any text document and allows you, and it has like built in tools for like vim style searching and Up and down navigation and, um, it’s just kind of like the default pager for most Linux and macOS systems.

[00:50:31] Brett: Um, but it doesn’t do anything special with markdown. So, I wanted a markdownless, uh, something that would Process and Highlight, Syntax, Highlight, Markdown in a more readable way. So that say my, the readme file for the open source project I was working on, it didn’t have to open up in Markd or in another editor.

[00:50:56] Brett: I could just view it on the command line, but view it [00:51:00] with some styling. Um, and that’s where MDless began. And the original version of MDless was all based on regular expressions.

[00:51:09] Jeff: Oh my God. Really? Wow.

[00:51:12] Brett: it would, it would detect, like, this is a code block, this is a list item based on regular expressions, and that led to a lot of edge cases, uh, where it was not behaving the way a Markdown processor would, um, so I

[00:51:29] Brett: recently

[00:51:29] Jeff: bit, something about Markdown

[00:51:31] Brett: Yeah, yeah, so I, I recently re, remade it.

[00:51:35] Brett: Um, there’s a Ruby library called, uh, Red Carpet, which is a red cloth, Uh, kind of revision that does all, uh, it’s a Markdown processor.

[00:51:48] Brett: It’s, it’s one of the original like Ruby Markdown processors. Um, and Red Carpet, uh, it’ll basically generate the [00:52:00] outline for an HTML document from a Markdown file, but then it lets you write your own.

[00:52:07] Brett: Um, Renderers, so you can create a renderer that, uh, you know, it sends you a request for a paragraph and you tell it what to output for a paragraph or a list or a list item. And so I basically made that work with command line and output like ANSI escape codes to colorize and and output all these elements.

[00:52:32] Brett: So it, it lifted the burden of markdown, uh, Uh, interpretation parsing for me and let me just work on the output. Um, it got really complicated, like, with things like lists. Uh, it doesn’t, when it calls for rendering a list item, or an entire list, it doesn’t tell you if that list is nested, it doesn’t [00:53:00] tell you, uh, an index for the list item, it doesn’t give you any of that, so I had to write in all of these things that output Markers that then I could go through with regular expressions and replace with correct indexes for like numeric lists and indentation.

[00:53:20] Brett: Like I had to be able to create, because in HTML, you just put a UL tag around the list and if it’s already inside another list, it’ll indent, uh, based on your styling. You can’t do that in terminals. So I had to write. A whole series of functions that would indent and then correctly index each list item, uh, which got, it, it, I spent three days getting numeric lists to work properly when they were nested and when they were interrupted by another list.

[00:53:56] Brett: Um,

[00:53:57] Jeff: is the thing that always goes wrong

[00:53:59] Brett: [00:54:00] yeah.

[00:54:00] Jeff: when rendering Markdown, like a preview, right?

[00:54:02] Brett: So I was dreaming for two nights, I was dreaming about the problem and, and I came up the first night. I thought I had the solution when I woke up and I tried to implement it and realized immediately that there were major flaws in the plan. And I, I futzed with it for a day and then went back to bed and had a dream the second night that led me to the final solution.

[00:54:28] Brett: And now it is, it’s pretty flawless now. It’s a sturdy solution.

[00:54:33] Jeff: that’s awesome. And is, are lists the hard, when you’re trying to create something that processes Markdown for a preview, are lists the hardest thing? Is

[00:54:41] Brett: Um, so the nested elements are the hardest thing, which are a part of lists. Um, because within a list, you can nest paragraphs and you can nest code blocks. And to maintain list formatting, when you’re dealing with. [00:55:00] Nested block elements, um, yeah, that is, I think, the hardest part. Um, for a command line parser, the second hardest part is dealing with And the escape codes.

[00:55:13] Brett: So like you have a, you have a paragraph and you start it with the paragraph coloring, but then you hit a bold tag. And so you switch to the bold, like maybe it’s bold, maybe it’s a different color, maybe it’s underlined. After that tag ends, you have to go back to the paragraph coloring, but there’s no marker that says, okay, now it’s back to a paragraph you’ve just inserted an escape code.

[00:55:40] Brett: into the paragraph that changes the color and then leaves it as is for the rest of the paragraph. So I, I had to write Uh, functions that looked, when there was a span element inside of a paragraph, it had to look at the text before that element happened, determine [00:56:00] what ANSI escape code would replicate the text right before that tag, and then reinsert it after that tag.

[00:56:07] Brett: Um, it’s,

[00:56:09] Jeff: What I love about this is that this is in such stark contrast to the simplicity and mission of Markdown itself.

[00:56:15] Brett: right? Yeah,

[00:56:18] Brett: yeah.

[00:56:18] Jeff: amazing.

[00:56:19] Brett: It gets complicated. Yep, you bet.

[00:56:22] Jeff: I have a sort of related question. I don’t know where we are at on time. I don’t see a timer right

[00:56:26] Brett: 52 minutes.

[00:56:28] Jeff: Okay, just a, maybe we can save this, but I, if anybody’s still listening, they will also want the answer to this question. Anybody who isn’t interested is gone.

[00:56:36] Jeff: Um, I, the thing that I have, I mean, the, the real, like, issue I want to be so much more seamless, and, and it will allow me to work in Markdown as a collaborator as much as I want, is for exports to be dependable. If I want to export a document I’ve created in Markdown into a PDF or a Word document, or whatever it is.

[00:56:57] Jeff: And I’ve, I’ve never quite, [00:57:00] I mean, I think Mark does a great job with PDF stuff. I’ve, I don’t know that I’ve tried with Marked with, with DocX,

[00:57:06] Brett: Oh, it’s not great. I’ll

[00:57:08] Brett: tell ya, it’s not

[00:57:09] Jeff: of Marked right now. So, cause I was starting to use Bear again and I wrote a whole ass like memo to a client and I’m like, Oh, shit. I just wrote this whole thing in Markdown and not in a Google doc.

[00:57:19] Jeff: And so when it came time to export it, I was like, this looks like shit. And, and I’m wondering if, is there hope if I were to really nail down. A very specific style, a very specific, like say Pandoc template or something. Like, is there, is there a mountaintop I could get to where I was like, every time I write a memo in, for a client in Markdown and I export it, it does not look like some weird ass fucking Frankenstein that I didn’t have time to fix because I finish everything the second before I need to send it.

[00:57:50] Brett: is your answer.

[00:57:51] Jeff: And, and with Pandoc, what I’ve done in the past, you, you create. Like, say if it’s a Word document, you create the template, the basic template. These are what the headers look at, whatever. [00:58:00] Um, and I wonder if, so I’ve had good luck with Pandoc for sure, if it’s not a complex document. Um, if there aren’t a lot of images, if there aren’t, it’s images that start to really mess things up, or like graphics or whatever.

[00:58:11] Jeff: Um, but, but, are you, are you encouraging me to go a little harder with Pandoc to try to find my special place in that? I will, I will climb that mountain.

[00:58:22] Brett: There is

[00:58:22] Jeff: get me up that mountain.

[00:58:23] Brett: There is no substitute for Pandoc, especially when it comes to Word documents. Ulysses does an excellent job of creating structured Word documents. What Markt creates is basically an RTF file with Docx encoding. Um, but it’s, like, your H1 headers aren’t Objects that you can then style with a template.

[00:58:48] Brett: It’s, it’s, it’s a hack. It’s a, it’s a bit of a mess. Um, I’ve, I’ve never promoted Mark’s, um, DocX capabilities. Pandoc, [00:59:00] if I need to create an EPUB, if I need to create a DocX file, If I need to create anything other than your basic PDF and HTML, Um, Pandoc. It does everything. And, and with, with a little tweaking, you can create a, a single command.

[00:59:17] Brett: You can have like, make, makememo. sh and, and it’ll pull in your docx templates and make you the perfect document.

[00:59:29] Jeff: I need to go deeper. I’ve used it forever for very simple things. I use Pandoc commands just to quickly convert like a bunch of RTF files to Markdown or a bunch of Word doc files to Markdown. I usually go that direction and

[00:59:39] Brett: and it’s great for that too. Yeah.

[00:59:42] Jeff: Um, that’s great. Thank you. For anybody who’s been listening this long and feels like we’re just trying to signal the other secret Soviet spies that we work with, with all of these various code words, uh, sorry.

[00:59:53] Brett: Oh, I put, I put PEP 440 on our

[00:59:58] Brett: topic list. We’re [01:00:00] not going to get into it, but I’m going to summarize. I just discovered this today because of a Sublime Text update. But are you familiar with semantic versioning? Like

[01:00:13] Jeff: Only, not in a way I could speak it.

[01:00:15] Brett: So like the, uh, a version number that’s like 2. 0. 12. You have your major, your minor, and your patch.

[01:00:24] Brett: Two.

[01:00:25] Jeff: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, got it, got it, got it. Yep.

[01:00:28] Brett: So that’s pretty simple. And that’s what Apple uses. That’s what most software developers use. There’s this new standard that came out of the Python project called PEP440, P E P 4 4 0. And it adds all of these like. Epoch versioning, so if you’re using semantic versioning, but you’ve always used date format, so you like have like year, month, day, or whatever as your version numbers.

[01:00:55] Brett: Now you can add an epoch to that, so you add like one exclamation point, [01:01:00] and then you can switch to like a regular semantic versioning, and it will know when it sorts them. That 1. 0. 2 is later than 2023. 12. And, and it adds, it adds handling for, uh, alpha, beta and release candidates. It adds handling for local versioning and dev versioning, and it is.

[01:01:25] Brett: It’s complex. I’ve written parsers for semantic versioning for multiple of my apps, especially my command line utilities that can determine this version number is newer or older than this version number. And I can use it in rake files for things like bumping a version number by patch or minor, major. Um, this would require, uh, Like three times as much code to accomplish.

[01:01:52] Brett: I’m, I’m kind of, it, it makes sense as a versioning standard. Like it covers, it covers all these edge cases, [01:02:00] but it’s so complicated. Um, but that’s a boring topic. We should definitely

[01:02:05] Jeff: Although I have to say like epoch, like epoch, uh, IDs or numbering sounds. So, uh, that sounds like such hubris, like I feel like what if you even then went further and you’re like, you know, like, uh, what are the, what do they call, like the, the period of like the bronze age, the priest, or age? What are these, the, what kind of eras?

[01:02:21] Jeff: I guess epoch seems like it’s more important than an era. Um, anyway, all right. Grab up aptitude. This has been all gude.

[01:02:30] Brett: it, it kind of

[01:02:31] Brett: has,

[01:02:31] Jeff: still got

[01:02:32] Brett: we got a lot of app links in here. You want to go first?

[01:02:35] Grapptitude

[01:02:35] Jeff: Yeah. Well, I already mentioned, um, Peak, which I really recommend. It’s on Setapp, which I also really recommend. That was the one other fun thing about doing this clean install was like, Oh, I just opened Setapp.

[01:02:46] Jeff: It’s like a brew file and Setapp and then whatever, a little bit. Um, but there’s something I hadn’t been using that felt like a little too intrusive, but I really love, which is called Paste. And it basically remembers, like, God [01:03:00] help you, like, a lot of your Clipboard history. And if you hit the keyboard shortcut or you, you click it in the menu bar, this little, um, like graphical interface comes up at the bottom of your screen, which is in my case, my last, like, I think 10 clipboard ads, uh, sorry, the last like 10 things I added to my clipboard and I can just hit one of them and, and, and use it again, or when this is, I think even better, and I used to use some other.

[01:03:29] Jeff: tool for this, maybe it was in Alfred. I used to use Alfred for this, but like, if I need to, if I’m looking at a document and I want a paragraph from up here, paragraph from down here, paragraph from the bottom, and then I want to paste them together, um, I can use this. I can just be like, one, two, three, there they all are.

[01:03:44] Jeff: Um, And, uh, and I love it. So anyway, it’s a really fun tool and, um, man, set up has gotten good. I like, I, it’s been a while since I did, I went through every app and set up just to like, see, is there anything I want that I don’t use, or is there anything I want to use that I used to use? And I forgot [01:04:00] about, and, um, instead of first came out, I was like, eh, there’s like five things I really want on here.

[01:04:05] Jeff: And I already own licenses to them. Um, but I loved how they worked and you described how as a developer, it’s a, it’s a better option in terms of. Getting paid. Um, and so I, I became dedicated based on that. So even if I have a license to hoot a spot or to clean shot or whatever it is, I, I use that, um, version now.

[01:04:24] Jeff: Um, but I, if nobody uses Setapp, it’s like a subscription service and you can use a zillion apps

[01:04:31] Brett: like 10 a month.

[01:04:33] Jeff: like the Netflix of apps!

[01:04:35] Brett: save so much money

[01:04:37] Brett: because, because half the apps on there are subscription anyway. And, and you would be paying five to 10 a month per app. But with Setapp, you pay us a flat 10 a month and you have access. It’s up to over 200 apps now.

[01:04:52] Jeff: God, we’re throwing sponsor money away right

[01:04:53] Brett: I know, right?

[01:04:56] Jeff: we’ll send this to you, Setapp, and if you’d like to hear this and more, [01:05:00] um, yeah,

[01:05:01] Brett: as a counterpoint to your pick, um, I don’t, I’m sure Alfred has all the capabilities, but I use LaunchBar, and with LaunchBar on my system, I can hit Command Option Backslash, and I get all, everything that’s been in my clipboard, and And I can use, I can use type of head searching to find exactly what I copied, you know, 10 copies ago, I can find it and hit enter and it’ll paste it.

[01:05:29] Brett: And it gives me command CC so I can highlight a paragraph, hit command C and then go highlight another paragraph, hit command CC, and it will append it in the clipboard to that previous paragraph. So I just keep hitting command CC until I’ve got everything I want to combine. Then when, when I hit command V it pastes.

[01:05:50] Brett: The combined output. Um, PopClip. PopClip has functionality for concatenated copies too.[01:06:00]

[01:06:00] Jeff: yes. I have, I am trying to operate without PopClip right now after my clean install. Uh, just out of curiosity.

[01:06:06] Brett: Okay.

[01:06:07] Jeff: use it all the time. I mean, I use it all the time, but I was like, I, it’s actually because, it’s not because I don’t love it, it’s because I want to know just how much it does for me, you know?

[01:06:16] Jeff: Like, I want to, I want to appreciate it again.

[01:06:18] Brett: You’re funny. It’s app mindfulness.

[01:06:21] Jeff: App Mindfulness. That’s, that’s it. That’s it. Oh, that’s, I’m glad you reminded me of that because, and it actually feels less like a sort of counterpoint and more as, I can imagine using that more. I’m remembering now the Alfred, whatever plugin I used was something like that. Although this thing where it pops up a bar along the bottom and it’s all of you, it’s like looking at your search history.

[01:06:42] Jeff: It’s like, Oh, wow, I was, why was I searching, uh, you know, like odd sizes of metric bolts, uh,

[01:06:49] Brett: there was a, there was a utility, um, in the early days of my use of Mac OS.

[01:06:58] Brett: Um, [01:07:00] no, no, there was, there was one that was specifically for clipboard. It was called like Clipboard Plus or something. And it gave you, like, when you would hit the shortcut, it would give you a sidebar on your screen with like little previews of images and text.

[01:07:15] Brett: And, and rich text that you had copied and you could just click one and paste it. Um, I find the launch bar integration a lot more because I use launch like launch bar is always up for me. So it just makes sense that I would use its integrated features. Um, but yeah, it’s nice to have that little preview window and everything.

[01:07:36] Jeff: Yeah. Okay, wait, now what’s your gratitude? Sorry, I just

[01:07:39] Brett: Oh, so I’m torn between two. I’m going to go with Fathom Analytics. Um, this will be for a certain segment of our audience, but if you run a blog and, or you run an online shop, or you do anything where you use Google Analytics, you are giving [01:08:00] away your customer and your reader’s data to Google. For all kinds of nefarious purposes.

[01:08:07] Brett: So I went out searching, when I really locked down privacy on brettterpstra. com, I, I knew I had to get rid of Google Analytics and I went out searching for a replacement and there are multiple options, but the one I landed on is called Fathom, F A T H O M, and it is. Very privacy oriented. It doesn’t collect any demographic info.

[01:08:32] Brett: I mean, it’s, it’s a significantly less amount of info than you would get from Google Analytics. But for me, what I really needed to know was what pages were popular, how many people were visiting it, uh, where they went, uh, from one page to another, and, um, they recently added You can set up custom events without creating them [01:09:00] first in the interface.

[01:09:01] Brett: Like normally, previously you would have to create the event and then add the code for that event into your JavaScript so that when that event happened, it would trigger.

[01:09:12] Jeff: Yeah,

[01:09:13] Brett: Now you can just write JavaScript, add a name for the event, add a value if you want, optionally, a value to the event, and it will just show up in your dashboard as this event happened this many times.

[01:09:26] Brett: And you can create unlimited number of events so you can have them dynamically created. Like right now, every project on my website gets a custom event. So I can see exactly how many downloads. Each individual project got in a day and it makes, yeah, it’s super nice.

[01:09:47] Brett: And,

[01:09:48] Jeff: in that?

[01:09:49] Brett: um, yeah, uh, less surprising. NVL still gets like 50 downloads a day.

[01:09:56] Brett: Um, uh, search link, I was [01:10:00] surprised how many people were downloading search link and the Markdown service tools are surprisingly popular, even though I haven’t updated them forever.

[01:10:08] Jeff: Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re great. Yeah,

[01:10:11] Brett: And, and I recently discovered I can get Statistics on how many people have installed my gems, my ruby gems. I, those had always been untrackable to me, but I realized that like on the main gem site, I forget, rubygems.

[01:10:30] Brett: org or whatever. Um, it’ll actually tell you how many people have downloaded total and how many people have downloaded the current version. And it turns out I have like half a million

[01:10:41] Brett: gem, gem downloads. I know.

[01:10:43] Jeff: Wow.

[01:10:45] Brett: I know it was crazy. I know, I mean, there are blogs out there that get that many hits in a

[01:10:50] Jeff: Oh, yeah,

[01:10:51] Brett: for me, that’s, that’s kind of a big deal,

[01:10:54] Brett: so.

[01:10:55] Jeff: Yeah, that’s amazing.

[01:10:56] Brett: Yeah, so my pick is Fathom Analytics. Um, [01:11:00] I, if you are looking into increasing user privacy and you care about things like that, uh, Fathom. It’s like, I think I pay 140 a year. So I don’t remember what the monthly cost is, and I’m not going to do the math in my head. Um, but it’s not free. Google Analytics is free, but you’re selling your users

[01:11:25] Brett: data.

[01:11:25] Jeff: Yeah, exactly.

[01:11:27] Brett: and that wasn’t, that wasn’t a compromise I wanted to make.

[01:11:31] Jeff: Um, just a quick thing. I downloaded NV Alt for fun. I’m one of those people about two weeks ago. So I’m on your, I’m on your list there. And after, you know, many years and also becoming an NV Altra user. But man, I was NV Alt. Ooh, I was like, I’m going to try this out. I walked in. It was like, it was like a childhood home.

[01:11:51] Jeff: But like, nothing’s changed. The furniture hasn’t changed. It’s just, everything’s a little dusty and, and smaller than you thought. That’s like how it felt. It’s like, [01:12:00] it was an amazing experience. Anyway.

[01:12:03] Brett: Yeah. Uh, Envy Ultra is different enough from Envy Alt that. I, I’ve given up on going back to NvAlt. I haven’t run NvAlt for probably over a year. Um, just because there are things about NvAltra that, there are things about NvAlt that NvAltra is missing and I find it frustrating, but I don’t have the power to change,

[01:12:28] Jeff: Encrypted notes.

[01:12:29] Brett: sure, uh, simple node integration, which has recently, um, as one user put it, it has been in shitified. Um.

[01:12:40] Jeff: I just looked at Simple Note yesterday because I, I, I’m clean installing. I’m like, let’s look at everything, you know?

[01:12:46] Brett: so like NvUltra, like you can sync with iCloud or Dropbox or Google Drive or whatever sync system makes sense for you, um, and honestly for me, uh, syncing with [01:13:00] iCloud and then tying OneWriter on my phone into the

[01:13:05] Brett: same, yeah, into the same box, like we have a version of NvUltra for iOS, but OneWriter is always going to be better than what we put out, like we want to complete the ecosystem But OneWriter is such a great

[01:13:21] Brett: app.

[01:13:21] Brett: I,

[01:13:21] Jeff: way where like one writer on the Mac is not,

[01:13:23] Brett: no, yeah,

[01:13:25] Brett: but that, but the two work together

[01:13:28] Jeff: Yeah,

[01:13:29] Brett: They’re perfect

[01:13:29] Jeff: your folder of notes. Put it wherever you want.

[01:13:31] Brett: that is, that is, portability man. That’s the beauty of it all

[01:13:35] Jeff: it’s great for someone like me who gets impatient and tries a million like notes apps is it’s always just off the same folder. And so there’s no, no problem. No

[01:13:44] Brett: Honestly, if, if, if Notes app on Mac, which has come a long

[01:13:50] Jeff: Oh man,

[01:13:51] Brett: it is a fantastic app these

[01:13:54] Jeff: So good.

[01:13:54] Brett: If it could work with individual text files, I would be [01:14:00] sold.

[01:14:00] Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. I’m sure Tim Cook is still listening. Uh, so, Timmy Boy, T Dog, T Bone.

[01:14:08] Brett: Alright. Well, that was, that was good. I,

[01:14:11] Jeff: I love a good nerdy overtired.

[01:14:13] Brett: we miss Christina, but yeah, we, we didn’t have any pop culture this episode.

[01:14:19] Jeff: That’s true. We’re the pop culture.

[01:14:22] Brett: I feel poppy.

[01:14:23] Jeff: Poppy, super poppy, poppy.

[01:14:25] Brett: Hey Jeff, get some sleep.

[01:14:27] Jeff: Yeah, but not till later.

[01:14:29] Brett: Fair enough.

[01:14:41] Christina: Hey everybody, it’s Christina here, and I’m not on the show this week because I’m on a train to Portland to get a new laptop. Uh, more details on that later, but I could not let things go without talking about, um, our, our sponsor of this week’s show, Notion, and their new, uh, Q& A [01:15:00] feature. So if you’re anything like me, you might already be familiar with Notion, which is the sponsor of today’s episode, as I said.

[01:15:06] Christina: I use this all the time for, for notes, for documents. I have internal wikis of various things that I collect and I really love the interface and I really love how easy it is, um, to, um, uh, create docs. But, but now I also like how easy it is to find things because of a new AI tool they’ve launched called Q& A.

[01:15:25] Christina: So this is basically a personal assistant that responds really fast with exactly what you need right in your doc. So. Here’s a real world example from me. I have a Notion doc filled with links and information about various discounts that I get as a corporate employee. This is kind of a difficult document to like, suss through because it’s actually the combination of like five different documents that I’ve sourced from a bunch of different places.

[01:15:51] Christina: So it’s not super well organized. Well, this is why this was perfect to use Q& A with because I can just ask Notion’s Q& [01:16:00] A I can say, okay, show me my discount code or my discount URL for Avis and it will give it to me and I don’t have to go searching for, okay, was it in the transportation section or was it in the car rental section or was it in some other discount section?

[01:16:17] Christina: It’ll just give me the information when I ask the question and this is the sort of thing that it can do. For, for anybody. It doesn’t just have to be, you know, your weird, you know, link collections and, and, and documents. It can also, you know, um, use, use your own personal notes, your docs, your projects. All that is going to be together in one beautiful space, and then you can navigate that space using Q& A, um, to, you know, ask questions maybe about, like, next month’s Like, roadmap, uh, that you’re doing for next quarter or next month or, you know, a marketing campaign proposal that you’re looking for.

[01:16:48] Christina: Um, or, you know, like I said, like what I’m doing all the time, digging up long lost links because that’s a problem that I personally have and that, uh, that Notion definitely can help, can help me out with. So [01:17:00] if you haven’t used Notion, um, I think that you should definitely give it a shot and Notion AI can now give you instant answers to your questions.

[01:17:09] Christina: Using information from across your wiki, your project docs, your meeting notes, etc. So you can try Notion AI for free when you go to Notion. com slash Overtired. That’s all lowercase letters. Notion. com slash Overtired to try the powerful, easy to use Notion AI today. And when you’re going to use our link, you are supporting our show.

[01:17:32] Christina: So once again, that is Notion. com slash Overtired. Try out the Q& A feature. Try out the Notion AI stuff. It’s really slick. I’m a big fan. Thanks a lot, Notion.