Welcome to the 126th edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal, the official newsletter of The New Leaf Journal. We mailed the flagship version of the newsletter to subscribers (RSS subscribers would have also received it) on Saturday, March 11, 2023. I usually syndicate the newsletter here to The New Leaf Journal on Mondays. However, I forgot yesterday, so this version is being syndicated on Tuesday (happy White Day). If you want to receive the flagship edition of The Newsletter when it is fresh off the press, you can sign up with your email or add its RSS feed to your favorite reader (see options). I now present Newsletter 126 as it originally appeared, sans the introduction…

Leaves from the week that was

I published four regular articles since the previous newsletter…

One way to show off a luxury apartment building (in three pictures).

All it took was installing and configuring Fluidsynth, running Fluidsynth, and loading three kernel drivers…

The return of Justin and Justina sees Justin offer his nostalgia-tinted take on a story about how dinosaurs fought.

There are times when even a reporter who focuses on U.S. immigration law needs the plain old cold ice instead of the agency ICE.

I also shared a handful of short posts…

Leaves from around the web

Back into my around the web backlog…

None of their wishes will come true now that they told everyone about it.

What if being Elvis is a state-of-mind thing?

Good post but needs more respect for the wave dash.

The headline doesn’t leave much room for me to add commentary…

This would be good. But I am more concerned about the mold at Madison Square Garden. I haven’t been to the Garden in a while, but the mold is bad.

I studied this issue a few years ago and came to the same conclusions. The U.S. immigration laws should define a minimum age for spouses in the immigration benefits context.

I am confident that a non-insignificant number of students at the high school would have been smart enough to know that soliciting donations to pay off human traffickers is – to put it mildly – dumb.

I was mildly tempted to get a Voyage 200 back in the day, but it wasn’t test-legal. Concluded my high school career with the TI-89 Titanium instead.

It is going to be hard for Ms. Kondo to change her brand at this stage…

Apparently some people like to send Valentine’s gifts to 2D game characters. Does this mean that they should not expect White Day return gifts from said fictional characters? (This segues to the next section of this newsletter…)

The Old Leaf Journal

Let’s dig into our archive…

A dialogue on borrowing a Japanese occasion for personal gain.

This pigeon is brown. The pigeon that Victor and I rescued in January 2023 was brown. This is not that pigeon. It is still a cool pigeon, however.

Let no good deed go un-mentioned.

This movie analysis piece made a significant appearance in Justin’s commentary on dinosaur fight tier-lists.

Most-turned leaves of the newsletter week

I list our most-read articles from the previous newsletter week (Friday to Saturday) in each edition of The Newsletter Leaf Journal. These statistics come courtesy of Koko Analytics, our local, privacy friendly page-counting solution (see my review). Below, I present the 5 most-visited articles of the 10th newsletter week of 2023.

  1. Tiki paralogue trick in Fire Emblem Engage (NAF: 2.3.23)
    2023 appearances: 5. Top placements: 4.
  2. The Mystery of Sōseki and Tsuki ga Kirei (NAF: 3.14.21)
    2023 appearances: 10. Top placements: 5.
  3. Peekier Search Engine Review (NAF: 2.26.22)
    2023 appearances: 3.
  4. Installing Ubuntu Touch on a Google Nexus 7 (2013) (NAF: 7.5.21)
    2023 appearances: 8. Top placements: 1.
  5. Review of /e/ – An Android Alternative For Mobile Phones (NAF: 11.21.21)
    2023 appearances: First 23 appearance.

We continue to be blacklisted by Bing, and this continues to have an effect on our overall pageview numbers. I have noticed that Google visitors, who now make up the main part of our traffic, tend to be one-and-done visitors. This is all well and good for articles that receive direct traffic from Google Search, but it is sub-optimal for articles that require people to spend more time browsing The New Leaf Journal.

Our top-three articles separated themselves from the pack for the second consecutive week, with my Fire Emblem quasi strategy guide becoming only the fourth article to notch four consecutive first-place appearances since I started keeping track in January 2021. My tsuki ga kirei post, which will see its second anniversary online on Tuesday the 14th, notched its 98th consecutive top five. Our ranking was rounded out by the first 2023 appearance of our all-time most-read article, my 2021 review of /e/ OS (see 2022 ranking).

News leaf journal

I made one somewhat notable change in the last week in deleting our related posts plugin. I had three reasons for removing this functionality from our site:

  1. While I did not notice any negative speed impacts, I am a bit concerned with the number of posts we have that it would be an issue down the line.
  2. I noted some issues with the recommendations.
  3. It became clear to me while looking at our page view counts in a post-Bing world that not many people were following related post recommendations chosen by the plugin.

None of the alternative algorithmic related post plugins quite work for me. I tried one manual solution but had some issues with it. I am considering some alternative related post solutions, but for the time being the way to find related content is through category archives, tag archives, and related links. I will post updates if I try something new.

Notable leaf journal

I have been using the paid Wallabag service to as a read-it-later solution and also to save articles for inclusion in the instant newsletter. However, I have begun having connectivity issues with the Android app (I download it from F-Droid), which has not been updated in a year. The actual site is not a good alternative since it is slow. I am looking at transitioning to a different solution (the lack of updates to the app and lack of reader options on desktop make me reluctant to roll my own Wallabag instance). My search for a new solution may be the subject of a future article…

Taking leaf

Thank you as always for reading and following The New(sletter) Leaf Journal. If you have not done so already, consider signing up for our weekly newsletter via email or adding its RSS feed to your preferred feed reader. I also syndicate the Saturday newsletter to The New Leaf Journal on Mondays. You can find all of the newsletter-information and links here. All of our New Leaf Journal feeds are available here.

Until March 18,

Cura ut valeas.