Jess stopped over while I happened to be messing with the Hasselblad. How convenient!

Jessica (2017) Hasselblad 503CXi. 150mm Sonnar. Tri-x in HC-110

Jessica (2017) Hasselblad 503CXi. 150mm Sonnar. Tri-x in HC-110

Jessica (2017) Hasselblad 503CXi. 150mm Sonnar. Tri-x in HC-110

Canon Auto Zoom 814 Electronic Super8 Film Camera

There is something special about 8mm movie film. First, it’s wonderfully retro. Beyond that, it’s fun to occasionally load into a projector and show on a big screen. And of course I love the permanence of it. Also, it’s fun.

I bought a cheap Super8 camera a year ago and I like watching at the first reel I shot with it, shown here…

I thought I’d try shooting more movie film, so I bought the above Canon Auto Zoom 814 Electronic. It was cheap, solid and more than sufficient for my needs. I’m maybe half way through my first cartridge. I can’t wait to finish and have it processed. The nice part about this camera is that even if it stops working, it looks cool just sitting on a shelf. I hope that doesn’t happen, of course.

Deep Work by Cal Newport (Book)

As someone who struggles to maintain focus, I found Cal Newport’s “Deep Work” to be instructive and useful.

The book was part theory, part practical guide to keeping distractions and unnecessary work at bay. Much of it was self-evident: don’t tweet so much, but it was good hearing ideas surrounding why. The book is well researched, but much of the evidence backing Newport’s ideas are collections of anecdotes. I love anecdotes, but collecting anecdotes is not the same as science.

I spent the past work week applying some of what I learned, and the early results are promising. Well-worth the read.

Letterboxd Film Diary

Instead of posting something here each time I watch a movie, I’m just going to link to my Letterboxd Diary.

Letterboxd’s lists are prettier and more useful than individual blog posts here.

I hope I Haven't Broken Too Much This Time

I happened to see the Hugo 0.19 release announcement and didn’t think too much of it until I read this…

Native Emacs Org-mode Support

Well now!

I installed it and tested with a few Org files and between my love of static sites and Org Mode I’ve replaced everything with a new Hugo-generated version. Again.

Why I Still Read Printed Newspapers

Here’s a quick list of reasons I still read printed newspapers.

  • Reading a newspaper is a distinct, deliberate effort to catch up on the news
  • I find the act of reading a printed newspaper to be relaxing, even when the content is terrifying
  • Ads are unintrusive and do not track me
  • No video or shitty slideshows
  • Headlines and ledes are on front page, with the longer version just a page turn away
  • No irrelevant and annoying clickbait to lead me astray
  • It’s possible to completely finish the news, put down the paper, and go on with my day.

Dear News Media: Create News For People Who Have Never Read A Newspaper

Media Center Lab:

OK, look: Breaking away from old conventions is hard. I get it. But it doesn’t make sense to force the norms of 50 years ago onto people whose parents weren’t even born then.

Adapting a newspaper for the modern web isn’t good enough for people who never read newspapers in the first place. We deserve something new

“Deserve”, really? I think what you meant is “want”.

I understand the overall sentiment, but…

This kind of layout is what we’d expect from a newspaper. But something created for a young and sophisticated audience needs better design, better visual hierarchy and more color. We grew up in the age of iPod ads, and for us, design matters.

Of course only the young are sophisticated enough to know and understand that design matters.

Here’s a tip. If you want to get the most out of the news, read real, printed newspapers. Really, it solves many of the problems described in the article.

Mailhub and Apple Mail

I’ve been reeling things in lately, software-wise. I’ll write more about that some other time, but I right now I want to share something I’ve found during the process.


Mailhub is “a ‘smart’ plug-in for Apple Mail that revolutionises email management”. Sounds great, but I haven’t used Apple Mail in years. I use MailMate, which is a fantastic email client.

Or at least I used to use MailMate.

After reading Dr. Drang’s Back to Apple Mail post, I realized that switching to the stock Apple email app would fit right in with the reel-things-in phase I’m going through. Dr. Drang mentioned Mailhub so I jumped right in.

Mailhub is terrific. It files mail like I’ve always wanted something to file mail. It feels and works like a tool I would have made, if I was able to do such a thing.

After a few days of this I’m quite happy to be using Mailhub and

Leica M6

My first Leica was an M6 TTL. I sold it in the mid-2000s and have since gone through a number of Leica bodies, from an M3 to an M8. For the past several years I’ve used an M3 and M4. I love them, but I sometimes missed having a meter in the camera rather than on the camera.

So I bought an M6

It’s the perfect M6 for me. It is one of the last 10 “Classic” M6 bodies ever produced (1998). It has had the finder optics upgraded to the flare-free “MP” version. The only framelines displayed are 28, 35, and 50mm. This makes for a bright, beautiful, clutter-free viewfinder.

I chose the M6 “Classic” version because they are generally less expensive than the newer TTL models, with no real disadvantage. I prefer the direction of the shutter dial to be the same as my older bodies.

I’ve put one roll through it, and it’s just as smooth and solid as the M3 and M4. Don’t let the forum trolls convince you otherwise.

As handy as having a built-in meter is, I found that I spent more time obsessing over the meter’s lights than I did looking at the subject. I didn’t expect that. I also ended up with a few badly-exposed shots due to a backlit subject. I would normally have just guessed the exposure. Instead I listened to the meter. I’ll have to re-learn when to stop trusting it!

Here are a few shots from the first roll. It’s Tri-X, shot at 1250 ISO and developed in Diafine, then scanned on the Pakon.

Steve (2017)

Ed (2017)

Shoes (2017)

Social Is No Fun

I recently re-activated my Facebook account after a few months away. I missed seeing updates from family members and a few close friends. I also missed some of the topic-based “groups” I was part of.

I took a month or so off Twitter also, but now am back.

I’m finding that being on social media isn’t much fun anymore. I’ll stay for now, but the thrill is long gone.