Links and Notes - May 20th 2021
I was originally not going to post today. I just wanted to give up. Some days are bad. Some days are so bad you just want the space time continuum to fold in on itself so you can skip past them. Today was one of those days and the how I got through it part is probably worth its own blog post. But I am weary af now. Going to finish this post up and vanish into a land of sleep that I assume will either be dreamless or full of disturbance.
Eczema and frustration
This is a weird topic to write about. But here it is. I have an eczema on two fingers on my right hand. My middle and my fourth. The eczema has been there for the longest while on the fourth finger but would rarely flare up and most of the time it would go away. The past year however, with all its disinfection and spirited hand sanitization, has not been kind on my skin. At this point, the eczema has erupted across both my fingers and I'm currently managing it as best as I can. Can't really go to the doctors as much as I'd like.
One area of frustration for me though has been that I haven't been able to really draw for a while now. With the constant need to keep the skin moisturized to stop it from feeling like its disintegrating, every time I pick up a pen and start drawing on a book I've been leaving stains on the paper. It's only recently that I've learnt how to manage the timing so that I am able to get some practice in. Practically though, it does mean that I have trouble engaging in my favourite thing to do while listening to recorded content: Doodle. I doodle a lot to help me concentrate and keep my mind from wandering. Not having been able to do that for months now has been incredibly frustrating.
But, like I said, been managing it as of recent times. Still making sure that I carve dedicated time to actually practice or doodle. Time spent resisting the urge to itch while I draw. Here's some stuff from the last couple of days
Doodled some gestures last night while listening to/watching Ahmed Aldoori's video. It's Mermay so the references were from the ones that Ahmed was referring to. I really need to check out the reference packs available on Art Station at some point. For the moment though, I'll stick to free packs since I'm not actively working on this kind of stuff.
Practicing some composition and playing with light and shadow. Going to be doing value study a lot where I work with only 3 values, light, midtone, and dark. The computer in the middle is me showing my son how to draw a computer
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More value practice plus some practice at arranging objects in 3d space. The latter was mostly a demo for my son who wanted to know why I was drawing bendy boxes.
Louie Zong is an animator and musician. His music is incredibly varied and is a lot of fun to listen to. Seriously, go to his YouTube page and just scan through various blocks of content. They are all really really good. Louie's instrumental albums in particular are very very good. I not only enjoy listening to them, they also make for great quick jams. Both drums and guitar
His latest take? Covering various Pokemon songs and converting them to surf rock style music. It's a combination that works surprisingly well, although I'd say that it's more surf rock inspired rather than having actually been rewritten in that style.
All this led me down a delightful rabbit hole though. One where I found myself searching for the original tracks covered by Louie. In the process I discovered more covers of these songs that sound phenomenal!! My favourite has to be the work done on Lavender town by Qumu.
Here are some screenshots of an autogenerated playlist by YouTube music
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I can't recall when his last blog post was, but David from Basecamp returns to Twitter to share his newest blog post "After the storm". Really, it's a blog post that quite clearly says (while not actually saying it) that employees are being replaced at a healthy clip, business is fine, so the storm has passed. People aren't missing a chance to point out the irony though that David is still blocking replies to his post. Hardly the action of someone who truly believes they've weathered the storm and are in the "after" side.
But really, there's nothing much to get angry or upset about. At this point none of this was unexpected. I called it too [[20210428171221 - The Basecamp Saga - An end of an era]]
Overall, despite some blow back, my observation is that there's not enough to cause Basecamp and Hey Mail any concern. They'll probably have a dip, myself included, and then business will continue as usual. Jason was not a huge public figure in any case so he'll live his life. David will probably find himself uninvited from some podcasts for a while and every Twitter post of his will have angry replies for some time. But beyond that, I think he'll continue as normal within a month or so. I really wouldn't be surprised if that's how everything plays out.
And that was pretty spot on. Within a month or so
Since then, we've been regrouping, hiring new colleagues, and continued operating our services without a hitch.
So no trouble re-hiring. That was fine.
We've also kept a watchful eye on the business. While there was a small uptick in cancelations for HEY during the first tumultuous week, they were more than offset by an increase in new customer signups for Basecamp. And now both products are growing like they were before that difficult week.
When you're in the midst of a storm like we were, it's easy to temporarily lose hope. To feel like it'll never pass. But it usually does, and so it did at Basecamp.
And so, the only health indicator is money. I have no problem in it being the primary indicator of business health. Just not the only one.
It's really sad honestly. I wish Basecamp had been a company that could have stepped into the future in this aspect as well. A future where companies learn how to navigate difficult social conversations. But it's not meant to be. As the people on Twitter have quite rightly pointed out, David and Jason's privilege allow them to hide quietly and carry on with business as usual.
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Posted on May 20 2021 by Adnan Issadeen