Pete—
Burgess

Six Kinetic Characters

November 14, 2019

I could watch videos like this all day and if I’m not careful, I just might. Lucas Zanotto is a super talented animator and his style is playful and inspiring. Be sure to check out the rest of his work here and here.

via Colossal

Apollo 11

February 6, 2019

So this looks amazing.

Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission…

https://www.apollo11movie.com

Hello 2019

January 1, 2019

At this moment, we are living in a year that has had the fewest mass shootings, overdoses, rapes, traffic accidents, hate crimes, murders or even deaths in general than any prior year in recorded history. So far, 2019 has been a special year. Let’s keep it that way.

Enough

December 22, 2018

This video made its rounds a little while back, so I am late sharing it. We have all been there or most-likely some of this has at least crossed our minds. The whole thing is great and the ending is perfect.

Beat Burgess

December 16, 2018

Like most people, I love listening to music. So much so that it feels like I’m on a never-ending exploration to hear what’s out there and share what I find. I’ve had many hobbies over the years but enjoying music and the search for the best beat of the moment is the hobby that has stuck since my youth starting with either Michael Jackson’s Beat It or Matthew Wilder’s Break My Stride.

Anyways a little over a month ago I started a new Twitter account: @beatburgess to share what I have found. Feel free to check it out and by all means, send over recommendations.

The year I finally saw Radiohead and …

December 9, 2018

I do not attend many concerts. Up until this year, I had attended only two concerts since I turned thirty and I turn forty-two this month. This year though, I doubled that number and both concerts were wonderful.

Since the nineties, Radiohead has retained a spot on my preferred playlist. I can’t say I was into them from the beginning though. Pablo Honey really didn’t connect with me nor did it’s hit single Creep. But once The Bends came out, I was a fan. Ok Computer with its more electronic influence, made me a bigger fan and Kid A with its even more electronics, made Radiohead my favorite group. In 2006, Thom Yorke started his solo career with The Eraser, a full on electronic record. Since then, Radiohead has released three more LPs with A Moon Shaped Pool being the most recent release in 2017. In that time, Yorke has one more solo LP, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes which was released in 2014. He also released the album Amok with his other band Atoms for Peace, which I highly recommend.

For some reason, I dragged my feet getting tickets to see my favorite band. In the early 2000s, I think it was because I assumed I would see them sooner or later. As time went on though, it was because they didn’t tour as often, they didn’t visit a city near me, or tickets were just so hard to get. That’s how it was for The Moon Shaped Pool tour and when I couldn’t get tickets, I figured it would be years until I had a chance to get tickets again. Fortunately I was wrong.

This year I was able to get tickets to one of Radiohead’s shows in Boston at the TD Garden. Hands down the best concert I’ve ever attended. They played songs such as Fake Plastic Trees, Street Spirit (Fade Out), Idioteque, Exit Music (for a Film), The National Anthem, and closed with Karma Police. Here is the set list. Radiohead is a famously great live band, so it came as know surprise that hearing those songs live was as great as I had hoped. What did surprise me came a few weeks later.

Like I mentioned before, Thom Yorke released his last solo album Tomorrows Modern Boxes in 2014. It seems he never toured the album because a few weeks after I saw Radiohead, Yorke announced he was going on a solo tour to support that album and to my surprise, I was able to get two pre-sale tickets for his Boston show at the Wang Theatre.

When the day arrived, my wife and I put in our ear plugs (as everyone who wants to retain their hearing should do) and enjoyed the work of a true artist. Actually three artists. Thom was joined by his long time producer Nigel Godrich but also audiovisual artist Tarik Barri. Barri manipulated the animated stage background in real time, syncing the colorful forms with the music. The combination of beautiful visuals, great electronic beats, and Yorke’s perfect vocals was mesmerizing. A great show and if you have a chance to see Yorke perform his solo work, you will not be disappointed. Check out the set list. Along with songs from The Eraser, TMB, and Amok, there were a few yet-to-be-released songs such as The Axe and Two Feet Off the Ground. If they end up on his next album, those songs will be on my repeat for weeks.

So 2018 was the year I finally saw Radiohead. Although I would have loved to have seen them sooner, the wait was definitely worth it. The Thom Yorke concert was a great surprise and if either opportunities arise again, I’ll be there.

Playing with Blocks

December 6, 2018

So today is a big day for those of us who spend time in WordPress land. WordPress 5 is out and along with it a new editing experience called Gutenberg.

With the Gutenberg content editor, users are now able to update and layout their content using “blocks”. Out of the box you can insert a block for various content elements; headings, paragraphs, images, media embeds, etc. Not only can you add blocks, you can also reorder and/or reposition blocks. This is true WYSIWYG and probably the most powerful enhancement to WordPress in years.

My take is that Gutenberg is WordPress (specifically WordPress.com) playing catch up to services like Squarespace. Squarespace is great and does a wonderful job empowering “non-techie” users to make beautiful websites. With Gutenberg and its blocks, WordPress can now do the same. This is exciting stuff for users but also for developers building with WordPress.org. With Gutenberg, developers can continue to build on the flexible WordPress ecosystem while providing an easy to use interface for users. There is a new handbook that explains this in detail but developers and designers can take advantage of blocks as well, controlling how blocks are displayed or making your own blocks for users to use.

As exciting as this is, it’s going to take some time getting used to. Fortunately, the team at WordPress understands (at least from my “outside looking in” vantage point). So the Classic editor will still be available as a plugin until 2021. Why use a plugin instead of just waiting to update? Well, version 5 has other enhancements as well. I am not going to run down through all of those enhancements. You can check them out for yourself on the WordPress website but just the security updates alone should make you consider updating as soon as you can. That being said, if you don’t already have one, get yourself a staging environment and test, test, test before you push that update button.

For me, this is wonderful timing. I have a fresh new site to build with WordPress 5 on the backend. Seriously, this is only post number two so I pushed the button and updated. I’ve also activated the new beautiful Twenty Nineteen default theme temporarily to get familiar with how the new editor works. This is exciting. I mean, who doesn’t get excited about playing with blocks?

Buckle up

December 5, 2018

This is going to get a little deep. It’s been a crazy few weeks. There have been highs (such as seeing family I have not seen for awhile) and extreme lows (losing a wonderful aunt who fought a life long affliction so bravely). Life is like that. At one moment life is amazing and at another moment it totally sucks. That being said, I want to remember all of those moments; the moments of joy but also those moments of pain. Keeping those memories alive or at least in a place to revisit, help us remember how we got to the present and the importance of the people and experiences that helped shape who we are. So I am going to document it here, on my site, in this blog.

Starting this blog has been a goal of mine for so long but despite my best intentions, I have obviously failed. So here is another attempt. Hopefully the positives outweigh the negatives but if not I’ll embrace it all, document what I can and keep moving forward. That’s the key, keep moving forward.

Tools of the Trade 2

February 8, 2017

Slowly but surely I have made some progress on my site. The biggest change has been to the backend and let me tell you, it might not be obvious but it is a big change. The site is now powered by Jekyll, hosted on Github pages, and managed through Siteleaf. In the upcoming posts, I will provide a breakdown of each tool, why I chose them, and some of the processes I went through to get up and running. I have a lot left to do but as I mentioned in my first post, I plan on documenting my progress. Let’s hope I don’t break anything. Actually, I know I will break stuff but let’s hope it is easily fixed. 🙂

Disclaimer

It’s a little funny. My previous “Tools of The Trade” post had a disclaimer to be careful and not be too concerned about finding the perfect tool. Ease of use is still important to me. That said, I do love researching these types of tools. There is value in it too. The tools I listed above were specifically picked based on their popularity but also the knowledge needed to make them work. I hope they make me better at what I do by forcing me to continue learning. We’ll see. Either way I am sure this will be fun. If my focus needs to go somewhere else and I need to use something that I am more comfortable with, I have no problem at all jumping back to WordPress.

Super Bowl LI

February 6, 2017

What an incredible game. I have a few comments but it would be best to just redirect you to Anatomy of a miracle: How the Patriots came back from the dead on ESPN. Make sure to keep an eye on the Win expectancy shift label as it walks you through how the Patriots made the most spectacular comeback in NFL history. I read somewhere that the Falcons had a plus 99% chance of winning twenty different times throughout the game. That is how the article starts. Beginning at six minutes and four seconds left in the third quarter, the Patriots had an abysmal two in a thousand chance of winning. Such an incredible game and great breakdown of the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.