Daniel Pietzsch

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Sitting on the balcony. It’s finally cooling down again at night. Listening to Purple Hill Witch. Drinking a cold beer. Culling photos for the September 2019 entry. It was the holiday month. Struggling a little going through that many images.


Petition 113349: Durchführung einer Studie zum "Racial Profiling" bei den Polizeibehörden des Bundes/der Bundesländer vom 06.07.2020

Text der Petition

Mit der Petition wird die Durchführung einer Studie zum “Racial Profiling” bei den Polizeibehörden des Bundes und der Bundesländer gefordert.

Begründung

Durch die Black Lives Matter Bewegung ist auch in Deutschland erneut die Debatte entfacht, ob Racial Profiling stattfindet. Das Innenministerium hat die ursprünglich angedachte Studie auf Empfehlung des ECRI (Europäische Kommission gegen Rassismus und Intoleranz) abgelehnt. Es wird argumentiert, das Racial Profiling rechtwidrig ist, was aber nicht bedeutet, dass er nicht trotzdem stattfindet. Eine aufschlussreiche Studie ermöglicht eine auf Fakten, nicht Meinungen basierte Grundlage um festzustellen, ob Handlungsbedarf besteht.

Unterzeichnet!

(via Philipp)


August update

In June and July we took a three week long camping holiday break. It was great: being outside lots, hiking and biking, seeing Zoe explore new places and things, reading, relaxing, swimming, meeting my dad.

Our camper in dramatic light in front of a mountain range.

Camping is probably the best way to spend a holiday at these strange times. You drive in your own vehicle and you spent most of your time outside. You’re still around other people, but keeping safe distance is easy (for the most part).

Zoe and Nicole on a swing bridge.
Selfie of the three of us in front of mountains with a castle on one of them.

However, with our parents it’s sometimes more difficult to keep distance, or even be outside all the time. And we decided that’s ok for everyone involved.

Also, we started going to playgrounds again with Zoe. But to make children keep a safe distance is pretty much impossible. Again, something we “risk”. But Zoe – and we, too – need to get outside. We can’t be inside all the time without going crazy eventually.

She will also be starting Kindergarten in September. Generally, we’re looking forward to this, but fear there will be regular complications with closures, testing and infections – Covid-19 or otherwise. But mainly we hope everyone involved will stay free of that virus.

Schools and Kindergartens will open for “regular” business in a week’s time. And so far, Covid-19 infection-numbers in Germany haven’t been too bad, I suppose. But I fear that once autumn comes around, this will worsen. If people keep meeting inside the way they currently do outside, a rise in cases will be unavoidable, I think. The Altstadt here in Düsseldorf is often very crowded at the moment, and sections had to occasionally be cleared by police.

Generally, you don’t see people wearing masks when outside here. Maybe 1% do. We don’t, either. We keep our distance and that’s it. Only when closer to people – for example in a queue somewhere – and when inside (for shopping), do we put on our masks.

Anyhow, we’re alright at the moment and hope it’ll stay this way.



This morning, I had time to play some basketball. So I went to the court to throw a few throws (like I said I would).

I was pleased to notice that my throwing hasn’t gotten completely terrible after years of not playing. I spontaneously recorded 3 minutes of it:


Pedal Board Update

My pedal board has a new layout.

I replaced the Big Muff with my new EHX Cock Fight Pedal. Because the Cock Fight is a fuzz, too, I do not need the Big Muff1.

Ideally, I would’ve liked to switch the positions of the Cock Fight and the Blood Moon Phaser, because the Phaser after the fuzz is way too crazy sounding. But since I need to access the Cock Fight’s jack for the expression pedal, this wasn’t feasible.

And now I think I’m done pedal-shopping. Very happy with the sounds coming from this thing!

  1. A little known fact about the Electro Harmonix Cock Fight pedal is, that you can also use the fuzz circuit without the Wah filters. On the inside, the pedal features a tiny switch, that reconfigures how the pedal works. If you put this internal switch to “Fuzz on”, the fuzz circuit will always be on and the middle position of the three-way fuzz switch on the top will disable the Wah circuit(s) – as opposed to disabling the fuzz and only engaging the Wah-circuits (as is the case in the standard configuration). I currently run mine in “Fuzz on” mode. 



New Macbook Keyboard

Recently, I had my Mac’s keyboard replaced. Because, unsurprisingly, I started having regular double-types, which got increasingly annoying. Luckily, Apple acknowledges the problem and offers a free repair program.

And so it’s all good now again. Even better probably. Because I think I received their latest keyboard-iteration. This new one seems more pleasant to type on with a little more key travel and less noise.

And with the repair, I also ordered stickers to be able to work with an English layout again. And the muscle memory for that is now slowly coming back, too.

A close-up of my MacBook's keyboard, showing the right side of the keyboard, including the English key stickers on it.

Last Week's Purchases

Last week was unusually purchase-rich for me, buying three new items.

Basketball

Holding a basketball in my hand.

Haven’t played basketball in a long time. I’m keen to get back into it, throwing a few baskets at the nearby court every now and then.

Cock Fight Pedal

Holding the EHX Cock Fight guitar pedal in my hand.

Seems like I’m currently buying new pedals every other week.

This one got its name from being able to generate so called “cocked wah sounds”. But it also has a built-in fuzz, has both Cry-Baby- and Talking-Wah sounds, and features an expression pedal input to “un-cock” the wah and control its frequency sweep in the more regular way using your foot. It also has a “Bias”-knob to reduce the voltage for the fuzz, resulting in some awesomely broken output. It’s almost a multi-effect pedal. I have tested it only briefly so far, but it’s been great fun already!

New iPhone

Holding an iPhone 8 in my hand.

I actually wasn’t planning on replacing my ageing iPhone 6 Plus just yet. It still mostly works, so why replace it?

But we noticed Zoe should soon have her own something to listen to music and stories on. And we decided an old iPhone – mine – would be the best option.

And so I bought a new one last week. And since I like to live in the past and don’t care much for the phone form-factor in a computer, I bought a used one via reBuy. It’s terrific, though! It’s an iPhone 8 with 64GB of storage.



So, no German Corona Warn App for me: my iPhone 6 Plus is stuck on iOS 12. And you need to be able to run iOS 13 (which came out last year) and above to run it. A shame.

I’m probably in the minority of iPhone users on such an old device, though. Still, I wonder how many people have a similar problem (at least Android devices only require Android 6, which is five years old). And how many people won’t even bother installing it.

Furthermore, the seemingly extraordinary high development costs of €20 million - plus an additional €48 million running costs until the end of 2021 - makes me wonder whether the money could have been used more wisely. Time will tell I guess.



Soundtrack for the weekend:

Body Count - Cop Killer (Live at Hellfest 2018)

Sepultura - Anticop (Live)


Here’s a Twitter thread (scroll up and/or down from the linked tweet) of some 300-plus-and-counting videos of police brutality: https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1268391718086422528.

This is only from this past week.

Not any of these assaults is even remotely justified. Absolutely unbelievable – in the worst possible way. And this is just a small subset of the incidents that have been published or have even been recorded. Any single one of these violations on its own is outrageous! And all this is happening during peaceful protests against police brutality.


On the horrifying situation in the US

The current situation in the US is absolutely insane! In a lot of cities and areas police forces are violently attacking protestors and press. And their racist, evil, idiot president only keeps adding fuel to fire, insulting protestors and anyone else not getting in line with him. His recent speech was unbelievable: disrespectful and dangerous.

To me, it feels like there’s either going to be a revolution or something really terrible is going to happen in front of our eyes. Let’s hope it’s the former. But I fear that for the police brutality to end, it needs internal disobedience. People in power – police officers, officials etc. – need to actively turn against their colleagues and the system as a whole. And that’s tough. Because I’m sure that stupid fool won’t back down by himself.

I feel for all the police officers and other officials that are doing great work and behave the right way. But all the riot gear police are basically domestic terrorists.

I felt for the people in the US before this. Living through a pandemic in a country without universal health care (and probably no good social security system, either) and an ignorant and incompetent president is brutal enough. And now this. It’s completely awful!

I rarely comment on current political issues. But here I feel I have to. It’s horrifying. It’s scary. But to be honest, it’s not an actual political issue. It’s simply about basic human rights. “Political issue” seems to imply there’s something to discuss or consider different points of view. But it’s not. Racism, murder and police assaulting citizens is not worthy of discussion. It’s wrong!

Black Lives Matter!


2 songs. 1 issue. 25 years apart. 0 changed.

Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the name.

Body Count – No Lives Matter


Black lives fuckin' matter

How can one not sympathise with the #BlackLivesMatter movement? Generally, and especially right now. George Floyd was – unnecessarily, intentionally, almost casually – killed by a white police officer. And he was only the most recent case of many many many others in the past.

And I am only aware of a fraction of these incidents. But it still feels like there’s an incident like this in the US at least every 3 months. And that’s only what I read about. And that’s only the deaths. Imagine how many more cases of police brutality there must be that don’t end deadly. But we don’t hear about them. But which doesn’t mean they are less unjust.

And if all of this already makes me angry, how must one feel when you’re directly subjected to this shit every day? And have been for all your live. And your parent’s and grandparent’s lives?

And what if non-violent protests don’t work? Which they rarely – if ever – have in the case of “white people killing black people in the US with no real repercussions for the perpetrators”. Then I don’t know!

Maybe try something else?


How I publish to this website using iOS

This post was entirely written and published using iOS.

The reason I think this is noteworthy, is because this is a static website, generated by a static site generator — SSG for short. In my case, this SSG is Jekyll.

I’m not going to explain SSGs here. But the one thing to know is that mobile operating systems like Android or iOS lack the necessary capabilities to publish to such a site directly. Because a static site needs to be generated first. And that is a separate step that needs software that does not run on a mobile OS. There is no web interface, either. And so everyone’s workflow to get around this limitation is different. Here’s mine.

The workflow

This is the gist of it in list form:

  1. Create new content via an iOS git client.
  2. Push the new content to the remote repository stored on GitLab.
  3. GitLab CI builds the site and publishes it using GitLab Pages.

Creating new content

The main thing I need for creating new content is a Git client. This allows me to clone the repository and commit new files. I use Working Copy for this.

A screenshot of the Working Copy app, showing the Markdown source code for this very article.
Drafting this blog post in the Working Copy iOS app.

For most of the actual writing, I’m using a separate Markdown editor app called Pretext. Because Working Copy’s editor does not support spell-checking or autocorrect, and is generally not tailored for creating prose in Markdown files.

A screenshot of the Pretext app, showing the Markdown source of this article.
Editing a draft of this blog post in the Pretext iOS app.

And I’m using iOS’ built-in “Text Replacement” feature to easily insert Jekyll front matter.

Images

To get images into a blog post, I use a workflow I created using iOS’ Shortcuts app. It resizes images to 2400px in width and saves them directly to Working Copy.

Then I can reference those images per normal markdown syntax. The jekyll_responsive_images-plugin then generates all the assets I need to serve the image responsively.

Publishing

To then publish a post is as easy as pushing the new content to the remote repository on GitLab. Then my GitLab-CI configuration builds the site using Jekyll and publishes it to GitLab Pages.

And there you have it: a blog post entirely created via an iOS-only workflow.