Technology and Its Discontents
06:02 Thursday, 28 April 2022
Current Wx: Temp: 68.36°F Pressure: 1011hPa Humidity: 59% Wind: 1.99mph
Being retired means my time is (mostly) my own. So when I saw Mark Bernstein ask for a favor, and nobody had replied yet, I figured I'd give it a shot. If I couldn't figure anything out, no big deal.
So I launched Apple's Shortcuts app on my iMac and started noodling around. I managed to cobble something together that worked, but it required one step that I didn't think should have been necessary.
Mark wanted to extract an email address from a block of selected text. I found an action that would extract an email address from a block of text! Woo-hoo, problem solved!
Not so fast.
The longest part of my effort was trying to figure out how to make a block of selected text the input to a shortcut. Do you think there's any documentation that says anything specific about a "text selection"? No, there's not. And a search of the web was no help. All the examples seemed to focus on modifying images, opening web pages, etc.
Well, I saw I could give that action the clipboard as input, so I just put that as the input, which meant that after selecting the text, Mark would have to CMD-C copy it to the clipboard, then invoke the email extractor, which I gave a keyboard shortcut.
It didn't seem to me that it should have been necessary to have to use the clipboard as input, you should just be able to select a block of text and then have it processed. But, perhaps because I'm not very smart, I couldn't find anything to explicitly describe how to use a text selection as an input.
Figuring better was the enemy of good enough, I went ahead and posted my kludge. Mark Anderson later posted an Automator workflow that avoided the step of putting the text on the clipboard first.
This bugged me most of the day. So this morning I got up at 0430 and tried again. More searching in vain.
Finally, I realized that Quick Actions appear in the Services menu, and they act on selected items, like a block of text. So, without any initial input in a new shortcut I was creating, I added the "extract email address" action, and the place the result on the clipboard action. Then I clicked over to the settings tab and made it a Quick Action, which gave me "Receive any Input from Quick Actions" as the opening block of the shortcut. For good measure, I checked "Receive what's on screen" for iPhone and iPad. (I haven't tried this shortcut on an iOS device. That's a whole other ball of worms with the UI differences.)
And voila! It worked.
There are so many things you might want to do with a block of text, and there are actions for nearly all of them. But there's no discussion of how to tell Shortcuts to look for a block of selected text. It seems like the most fundamental thing, Step Zero!
Anyway, I think I learned something. Now I have some other ideas.
05:48 Thursday, 21 April 2022
Current Wx: Temp: 68.47°F Pressure: 1020hPa Humidity: 67% Wind: 18.41mph
A long time ago, in a blog not far away, I wrote about something I called "social hygiene." The idea was based on the conventional, non-controversial notion of "personal hygiene," the customs and practices we observe to help preserve and promote physical health and social acceptance. Things like washing our hands before preparing food, or after using the toilet, bathing regularly, brushing our teeth, etc. These practices help keep us from getting physically ill and make us less unpleasant to be around other people.
Well, social media, combined with other pernicious aspects of our attention-based economy, can make us mentally ill and unpleasant to be around other people. So we need a new set of customs and practices to help protect ourselves, hence "social hygiene."
It's a key part of trying to remain engaged at some level in public discourse, without coming to hate other people.
The news has been so bad of late, that I've had to kind of up my social hygiene game a bit and actually perform many of these practices, and it does help.
So, a few tips.
First, I try to pay attention to how much social media I'm consuming. I'm only on Twitter these days, but if I'm not paying attention, I can get sucked into any number of threads and find the first three or four hours of the day gone, and feeling as though life isn't worth living anymore. So I try to spend only an hour or so in the morning, and then dip in here and there throughout the day in between other, more healthy, activities.
Second, I've been doing about five minutes of morning meditation. I intend to increase that, but my practice is quite rusty. Nevertheless, five minutes is enough to arm myself to be mindful of my interior state as I peruse my Twitter feed. I find I can let many things go without a hot take, or a like or a retweet. I can more judicious in how I'm contributing to the energy. This can be hit or miss, so I'm trying to improve my meditation practice. Back in the days when I was struggling a great deal, 20 minutes was my regular practice.
Third, find other, more productive things to occupy your attention. I'm reading more books now. History is a worthwhile subject, because you can look at periods of crisis and turmoil at some remove from yourself and, well, you're still here.
So maybe this too shall pass. Who knows?
The dopamine thing is real, so you need to do something that provides that little bit of reward buzz that a reply, like or retweet can offer on the twitters. Some months back, I signed up for a 1-year subscription to brilliant.org. Didn't do much with it at first, but lately I've been working my way through the math courses, trying to get my math game back up so I can tackle Maxwell's equations. I don't know if the courses they offer will help me achieve that, but I've only completed pre-algebra and I'm in mathematical fundamentals now.
The presentation can often leave something to be desired; and sometimes the biggest challenge isn't solving the problem, it's trying to understand what the problem is asking. But I find that I'm enjoying working the problems and the more I do them, I'm getting familiar with how they're presenting things; so I'm not getting problems wrong, simply because I didn't understand the question. I've correctly solved 212 out of 229 problems presented; and with the most recent chapters in the logic and reasoning sections, I've been getting them all right. It's been challenging and fun.
They offer feedback and encouragement to get you to engage daily. I try to complete a chapter or two each day, though I've missed some days here and there.
I'm also taking some online courses on apps from MacSparky and MacMost. Those are also worthwhile attention sumps.
I don't watch the news on TV at all. It's intended to be more arousing than informing. I'll watch documentaries, movies and streaming series. Comedy news like John Oliver or John Stewart; but I'm not even watching PBS's the NewsHour these days.
For the "social" part, which is one of the nice things about social media, I do have some people I interact with regularly on Twitter, and it's usually fairly non-toxic and pleasant. But I also monitor a few discussion boards for apps I use, like Tinderbox. They have a weekly Zoom meetup that I participate in. I usually learn something and it's just nice to interact with other people on a subject that usually has nothing to do with politics.
Oddly enough, the forums at camera websites like DP Review can be just as tribal as politics, and people can and do bring their own toxic personalities to those discussions. So it's not just politics that brings out the tribal in people.
Take walks! Ideally, exercise in general, but definitely get outside and take a walk at least once a day, twice is better.
I'd like to be doing more photography, but I don't care for my surroundings that much. They're uninspiring. It's not that "there's nothing to shoot," it's just that it would all look like a sales brochure. I have to walk almost a mile to the back gate just to get out of the development, so that's been something of a barrier. Should just use the golf cart and drive out to the preserve and walk from there before it gets too hot and humid to ever enjoy it.
Since I've been making more of a conscious effort to do all these things, I've been feeling a little less hopeless about everything. And I think I've been a little better about not adding to the negative energy and despair.
Peaks and valleys, strikes and gutters.
Your mileage may vary, mine does. Hope this helps.
The Only Way to Win Is Not to Play the Game
06:43 Monday, 11 April 2022
Current Wx: Temp: 50.68°F Pressure: 1015hPa Humidity: 83% Wind: 0mph
This is not the post I was anticipating when I thought about writing it some time ago, before we left for Las Vegas.
It's also not the post I would write if I was the kind of blogger I'd like to be. That post would be, thorough, or something.
Instead, you're going to get this and I hope it's useful. A tiny contribution to the net vector sum of making a difference.
Probably not, but non-attachment to results and all that.
Before we left for Las Vegas, I was thinking a lot about meeting my old classmates and worrying about the whole left/right thing. I'd been thinking about how we lose sight of each other as human beings because of this national political partisanship that is so far removed from our day-to-day lives, and it's making us all crazy.
I'd told Mitzi I was thinking of leaving Twitter because it was just so toxic, and I was contributing to it and it was making me unhappy. But, I'm also self-aware enough to know I've become somewhat habituated toward Twitter, so I know that's going to be difficult. It's also a source of serendipitous discovery too, as we'll see.
Anyway, I'd finished reading The German War, and I'd started reading Savage Continent. I've put that aside, and I'm reading Roosevelt at War now. Needed a break from despair. Suffice to say that the Germans suffered massively at the end of WW II. Many of the same horrors they visited on others were visited on them. From what I was reading, which is by no means exhaustive I know, there was no real collective sense of, "Well, we deserved this." Instead, the German people saw themselves as victims of the war, every bit as much as anyone else in it.
If you project that onto today, you can look at what people on the right are doing (and they can look at people on the left), and you can kind of see disaster and ruin may follow and you expect that there would be some recognition of responsibility and subsequent regret or remorse. But there won't be. There will just be disaster and ruin and everyone feeling like a victim and some "others" will be responsible.
So this effort to kind of convince people to change, to prevent disaster or to save their immortal souls, is pointless. That's not what's going to happen.
Because that's not what's going on.
We're trapped in a zero-sum game that we've built. And it's more complicated than that.
Anyway, I was thinking about leaving Twitter. Trying to figure out how to see people on the right as just people, not these caricatures we've manufactured from a few whackos who seem to garner all the headlines. I kept thinking that we needed to move past zero-sum thinking and so War Games came to mind, hence, the only way to win is not to play the game, which isn't the exact quote, but is the idea.
While we were out west, we were walking past a jewelry shop in Scottsdale. Mitzi noticed a photo in the window with the proprietor and someone she didn't recognize. She asked me, "Who's this actor?" I'd already walked by, so I turned around and looked at the photo and it wasn't an actor.
"That's Bruce Springsteen!"
So I walked in and saw the proprietor and asked, "What did Bruce buy?"
So, a long conversation ensued and I ended up buying a number of pieces. The artist's husband was there as well, and they were a perfectly charming couple. At one point, Mitzi was showing her some pieces she had in her purse and one was a necklace she had bought from a local (Ponte Vedra) artist, and she mentioned it was for a fund-raiser, "For the blue wave."
For the briefest of instances, I saw a cloud pass across the couple's faces. It was just, I don't know, a flicker. But I knew, these were not Democrats, or liberals, or progressives or whatever. But they remained charming and gracious and they do lovely work and we concluded our business and parted on good terms, I think Mitzi was none the wiser.
The husband had asked me to write a review on Google, and I said I would. So I googled around and found out, yes, these people were on the right, fairly vigorously. And it just kind of added to my unhappiness with the whole left/right, zero-sum bullshit. I wrote them an excellent review, because they were charming hosts and do very nice work.
None of us gets to pick our parents. Likewise, none of us got to choose the culture we were born in, the language we speak, the dominant paradigms that define our social dynamics, the dominant one in ours being zero-sum thinking.
Well, Twitter and serendipity. Bear with me.
I follow a number of Twitter accounts that seem to focus a good deal on "tools for thought," for lack of a better term. Thinking is important, it's hard to do, we're not very good at it and so any "tools" that might facilitate it are interesting to me.
One of those accounts is for a site called The Compendium Cards, which may or may not be inspired by Oblique Strategies. On its Twitter profile, there's a static image of this card, and I clicked on it one day, just out of, I don't know, curiosity.
Well, that started a deep dive, that's ongoing. I'm running out of time and I want to get this posted. Look for Dave Snowden on YouTube. He's really smart and has some brilliant ideas. He's also a little hard to take sometimes. He talks fast, often there are about a dozen ideas he says are "critically important," but doesn't elaborate on them. He's Welsh, so sometimes he's hard to understand. But I think it's very worthwhile, and possibly incredibly important. He's also a consultant and often selling himself, so bear that in mind as well.
What we're living in is a complex system. It's impossible to establish "cause and effect." What we're observing are patterns developing, "strange attractors."
I'm out of time. I'll be back. But we don't have to feed energy into the same patterns.
The only way to win is not to play the game.
03:26 Thursday, 7 April 2022
Current Wx: Temp: 75.27°F Pressure: 1002hPa Humidity: 88% Wind: 1.99mph
As a bridge watchstander, a lifetime or so ago, I always preferred the rev watch, 0400-0800. I don't stand watch anymore, but insomnia can feel like the same thing sometimes.
The rev was a good watch to have, because while it was notionally from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., for practical reasons you were relieved at 0700 so you could get breakfast before the wardroom closed. Less time on your feet. The 0800-1200 was called the "seven to forever" because it was five hours long and often during the busiest part of the day. The rev was quiet, often beautiful, beginning with the stars and usually ending with a sunrise, weather permitting. It invited reflection.
Anyway, can't sleep, so I'll take the deck.
Getting ready for Vegas, I took a look at the pictures one of my company mates had posted on google of the 40th reunion, so I'd have some idea of what everyone looked like today. I also dug through the box of photos I've been carrying with me from place to place for more than 40 years. I put together a fistful of them that were taken at the Academy. My parents had given me a Konika C35 compact when I graduated from high school. Film and prints were relatively expensive then, and midshipmen didn't have much money, so I wasn't burdened by too many to choose from. I wrapped a rubber band around them and set them aside to take along when I packed.
The pics from the 40th were interesting. Everyone seemed to be having a nice time. I tried to remember what they were like, some memories were stronger than others. Some guys had changed a bit, a couple looked nearly the same! I felt like I could figure out who was who when I got there.
But I wasn't worried so much about an awkward moment of physical unrecognition. Mostly I was worried about who they were today, what kind of people.
Notice I wrote "worried" not "wondered." (I just noticed. This is why we write, to try to make our minds clear to ourselves.)
I worried because several years ago I had a similar reunion with some old shipmates. Views evolve as we grow older. We have strong opinions about things we didn't care that much about before. They often differ. Significantly.
Happily, we learned to navigate around the rocks and shoals of strong opinion, perhaps recalling the old wardroom rule: "Never discuss women, politics or religion," observing at least two of those in our times together.
While I wasn't without navigations aids, my charts were old and uncorrected. I didn't wish to run aground.
One of our company mates has had significant success, and enjoys the casino life in Vegas. He'd arranged for a block of rooms at the MGM Grand at a discounted rate with special "VIP" desk service. He also hosted the reception and dinner the first evening at Craft Steak.
Mitzi and I landed, made our way to the hotel, me with my eyes wide, trying to comprehend what appeared before them. Didn't have much time for that, though. Cleaned up, changed and headed down to the restaurant. It seemed like most of the guys and their wives were already there. It was a fairly small group, ten couples and three stags. We got our name tags and Mitzi immediately launched herself into the room, making new friends and charming everyone. I have a wonderful wife.
I recall feeling happy to see these guys again. Happier, I think, than I expected. I was still anxious, but I knew I was glad I'd come. I had a moment where I didn't recognize my closest friend from those days, because he hadn't been to the 40th and so wasn't pictured with the others. Like me, this was his first reunion. He snapped into focus once I'd made the connection and I was happy it seemed that little had changed other than his appearance; and that not so much, just enough to consume a few extra cpu cycles and cause that momentary, awkward feeling.
We were seated at various tables and one of my old roommates, Ted, was seated with us. Ted looks a lot like Tim Robbins and is as funny as hell. Always has been. We enjoyed our time together as roommates, and we were both members of a thing called "the WUBA gang." We did skits at football games and such, like at the Army-Navy game in Philadelphia in 1978, when a number of us were disguised as Army and Navy's team captains and the referees for the game. Ted and I were the refs. We managed to fool ABC Sports as we all trotted out on the field to fake the coin toss. Good times.
In fact, that's what we called ourselves then, and now, "Good Times Ten."
I was asked a few times why I had never been to any of the other reunions. I was honest and related what I've written in the previous post; but to one or two others, I mentioned something that had stuck with me for all those years. An old wound that I'd never really paid attention to or closely examined, but one that came to mind as I prepared for this trip, and probably informed much of my ambivalence about the Academy for my whole life.
For reasons that are opaque to me, in our plebe year, the Naval Academy had this practice of having classmates in a company rank themselves against each other. This was a form of performance evaluation, performed once each semester, or "set." Evals were called "grease" (because good evals made things easier) and peer ranking was called "peer grease." You got your "regular eval" from your squad leader or company commander, I don't recall, an upperclassman in any case. But you were also "evaluated" by your peers.
I don't recall all of the specifics of the process, all I recall is that I was ranked near the bottom of my peers, by my peers. This called for a special "counseling session" with our company officer, a commissioned officer who had an office in our company area in Bancroft Hall and who notionally provided adult supervision and "professional development" to the company. I'd had occasion to have several special "counseling sessions" with our company officer because of my academic performance, my failures at various fitness tests and now this. The use of scare quotes is appropriate, because the "counseling" wasn't worthy of the name, which wasn't really the company officer's fault. They weren't qualified to offer any kind of counseling to a struggling mid. I suppose they might have used chaplains in the worst cases, but I never had one of those.
Anyway, I got ranked near the bottom first set, got called into the company officer's office and was notified of this deficiency and told to take corrective action. Second set comes around a few months later and I get called into the company officer's office again. I recall some of this fairly clearly. There were about 30 guys in our class plebe year in the company. I think nearly or slightly more than half ranked me last, or nearly last, first set. Second set he told me, "I've got good news and bad news." The bad news was that I was ranked near the bottom again. The "good news" was that it was mostly by the "other half" of my classmates. Which meant that nearly all of my classmates our plebe year had felt that I was one of the worst of their classmates.
Which, to be fair, was probably true. I was desperately unhappy as a plebe. I think today it would be classified as "depression." I wasn't well equipped to handle the emotions I was experiencing, and there was nothing in the way of any real help. I was struggling academically, failing physically, and not a lot of fun to be around in general. I often thought of quitting, or "resigning," but I couldn't disappoint my dad.
So, there was that, I guess.
But I wasn't always unhappy at the Naval Academy. I fell in love the next year. That brought its own brand of unhappiness that was to last until after graduation; but it was wonderful too. The Academy did away with "peer grease" the next year. I got fit, learned to swim, learned to get "over the wall" on the obstacle course. Still struggled a bit academically, but mostly because I didn't make the necessary effort. I went into a chemistry final with a high "F", read the textbook the night before the final exam, aced it and got a "C" for the course.
Basically, things got better.
To try to bring this to a quicker conclusion, I enjoyed those three days with my classmates. I was made to feel welcome, they seemed to be genuinely happy to see me. We never discussed politics, though there were a couple of times when "set and drift" threatened to put us outside the channel. I was truly happy to see them.
I don't regret not going to any of the other reunions. I think there's a rhythm to life, that things happen in the course of events when they may be "right" to happen. Perhaps that's foolish. But this experience informed and shaped another experience I was to have as we drove around in Arizona after the reunion.
So, more to follow.
Thanks for dropping by.
04:24 Wednesday, 6 April 2022
Current Wx: Temp: 68.09°F Pressure: 1005hPa Humidity: 89% Wind: 8.05mph
I seldom look forward to travel, but I find I do enjoy it in retrospect. I think it's mostly the inconvenience, the de-humanizing aspect of contemporary air travel, the disturbance of familiar routine. But it's like exercise, in some ways, I usually feel better once I've done it.
I have looked forward to our annual trips to the Finger Lakes (or, at least, I don't recall dreading the trips), because I found the change of scenery between Florida and Central New York really unencumbered my thoughts, my spirit, if you will. Florida is flat. The horizon is seldom more than a few miles away. Everything is close, in your face. The ocean offers some relief, but I don't live there.
This trip has been somewhat remarkable. The "change of scenery" was far more profound than even our visits to New York, and there were aspects of this trip that had me more reflective right from the start.
At first, it was simply supposed to be a weekend in Vegas with some of the guys I graduated with at the Naval Academy, almost 43 years ago. That was what prompted the reflection. My loving wife, in her wisdom, added a week to the trip to visit parts of the west she hadn't been to before. The whole thing has been somewhat revelatory.
My relationship with the Naval Academy has been, for the most part, nearly non-existent since graduation. It's probably too much to go into here, but what I recall of my experience there is not a universally happy one. And to the extent that I have had occasion in my professional career as a naval officer to look back at my time at Annapolis, it was often through the lens of disappointment. My academic performance inhibited my opportunities for professional advancement, as I was never offered the opportunity for post-graduate education. And my academic performance was mostly due to my emotional struggles as a midshipman, for which, in those days, there was no support.
I always feel as though I need to point out that I didn't lack the intellectual capacity, the cognitive wherewithal, to succeed in post-graduate studies. We all took the GREs before graduation, and I scored very high. In 1979, there were three categories, verbal, mathematical and analytical, and I scored 700, 700, 710, which I seem to recall was well above the 90th percentile in each category. 97th percentile in analytical, if I recall correctly. Math was always my "weakest" subject.
In 2019, or 2018, in preparation for our 40th reunion, some of my company mates made an effort to reach out to me to see if I could be persuaded to join them at the reunion. Mitzi and I had been married for a couple of years at that point, and we'd gone to see the Midshipmen play Notre Dame in Jacksonville some time before, which had the happy coincidence of being a Navy victory. She was impressed with all the mids, the march-on, the socializing. She's a University of Georgia grad, and often participates in alumni activities, so this was all both familiar and new to her. It was all new to me. We'd gone to an alumni event the evening before and I'd chatted with a number of past grads, though I don't recall meeting anyone from '79.
There was nothing about the cocktail hour that appealed to me. The win over Notre Dame was exciting. But it was the end when I had something of remarkable experience. As the game concluded, all the alumni stood and began singing Navy Blue and Gold, our alma mater. Not wanting to be, you know, a dick I guess, I stood and sang along. And, it was something of an experience. On the one hand, I felt vaguely uncomfortable. I hadn't done this in almost 40 years at that point. But as we sang, I became somewhat emotional. Songs don't last forever, and I didn't revisit the feeling, but I think it's what made me feel any interest in attending the 40th in the first place.
So Mitzi expressed some willingness to visit Annapolis with me for the reunion. As it turned out, I think the dates became problematic and her interest waned, though she encouraged me to go. I found I had little desire to go by myself, so I didn't.
A digression is necessary at this point. At the Naval Academy, the entire student body lives in a single building, Bancroft Hall, "Mother B." As a military organization, the student body is broken up into the brigade of midshipmen, two regiments, six battalions, and 36 companies. In my time there, members our class remained with the same company for the entire four years. In years before or perhaps since, companies would be broken up, so you wouldn't spend four years with the same guys. I guess there are pros and cons to either course. I was in 10th Company, or, as we called ourselves "Good Times Ten."
Fast-forward to "post-COVID" 2021, and I got an email from one of my classmates, weighing my interest in getting together as just a company in Las Vegas for a mini-reunion between the 5-year, I guess "keystone," reunions. At some point, I'd told Mitzi I'd never been to Vegas and she said we should go sometime. She'd been there before with her girls and loved the shows, gambled a little. Slots, I guess.
Thus, a trip was planned.
Well, I think I've burdened your attention long enough for now. This is a good place to pause. If you're interested, I'll continue this story tomorrow. There's more to it, and writing posts like this are helping me sort it out. It's kind of a happy story, so no fear there. Spoiler alert, I guess.
And it's part of a larger story that became revealed to me in the "wide open spaces" of the American west.
Stay tuned. Thanks for dropping by.
11:07 Monday, 4 April 2022
Current Wx: Temp: 74.5°F Pressure: 1016hPa Humidity: 59% Wind: 3mph
Mitzi and I returned to Florida on Friday night, after a wonderful trip "out west." While we were away, I worried a great deal about what would happen if we contracted COVID while on vacation. As it turned out, it wasn't a problem; though I still don't know exactly what we might have done or how much it would have cost, with cancellations and so on.
That's not to say we escaped entirely unscathed. We both came down with something right when we got home. Mitzi's still recovering, I'm feeling pretty good today. She took a COVID test, and it was negative, so we suspect it may have been the flu. We each got our flu shots this year, but as we've learned with rapidly mutating pathogens, vaccination provides only some protection. I expect if we'd not had our vaccinations, our experiences would have been even more uncomfortable.
Still, the trip was very worthwhile and enjoyable. I can't say enough about travel to give you a new perspective, or to challenge your existing perspectives. Our annual trips to New York are rejuvenating in a positive way. This trip proved more challenging/interesting, not to say "negative." It's given me a great deal to think about, some of which may find its way here.
A couple of points about "gear." The Cotton Carrier CCS G3 was awesome! We did a number of hikes, all of which were rated as "easy," and I don't think I would have enjoyed them at all if I'd had a camera dangling from a sling over my shoulder. I also learned that an "easy" trail to this Florida ("It's flat!") couple is really moderate to challenging.
One thing that nearly all of the trails we hiked had in common was rocks! You really have to pay attention to your footing. And the Oboz Sypes were essential. The soles are significantly stiffer/thicker than your usual Merrill, and those rocky, gravel strewn trails would have been quite uncomfortable without the support of a good sole. So those were two purchases that really paid for themselves. I'll add that the safety lanyard that the CCS G3 is equipped with is also essential. In fumbling about with my camera at the Grand Canyon (it's the altitude, I think), I actually managed to drop it! The safety lanyard did its thing and prevented what might have been a huge disappointment.
As it turned out, I never used the 40-150mm zoom or the MC20 teleconverter. The 12-100mm/f4 zoom was on the camera most of the time, with the 8mm/f1.8 fisheye being the second most used lens. I'll have to check, but I think I may have used the 12-40mm/f2.8 once, but it really wasn't essential at all.
Now I have the task of going through about 1000 images to identify the keepers and discard the clinkers.
Nice to be home.