"Yeah, well, you know, that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."


07:51 Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 66.78°F Pressure: 1018hPa Humidity: 92% Wind: 4.61mph

Unrelated to my efforts at eliminating non-value-added stuff in my little sea cabin here, has been a reconsideration of my photographic workflow. (A word that arouses an irrational feeling of hostility in me, but one for which I can't seem to find a suitable synonym.)

My previous practice was to simply import all new images into Photos and then do everything from there. I'm not an expert at post-processing, I can live without layers for the most part. I had long hoped Photos would eventually incorporate Aperture's brushed-in adjustments, but it seems that's never going to happen.

Until fairly recently, you could use Topaz DeNoise AI from Photos by means of the External Editors extension, an App Store Photos extension seemingly rendered obsolete when Photos acquired the ability to use external editor extensions natively. But Topaz never made their apps register with Photos, so you couldn't select it from the Photos extension manager. External Editors, the app, still allowed you to do so.

Topaz Sharpen AI still works from External Editors, though I don't know if I'm running the latest version. For a while, I could keep DeNoise AI running by using an older version, but even that seems broken now.

Then there's some anxiety about iCloud, which is where my library lives. Not that my images are so precious that if anything were to happen to them it would be some incalculable loss to humanity, it would certainly be an inconvenience to me.

So I've been casting about for some revised process where importing to iCloud is the last step, and all the originals and their edits still exist in local storage.

OM Digital Systems has their own image editor, OM Workspace, inherited from Olympus. It has a number of unique features that offer some advantages when working with images from Olympus cameras. I hadn't taken advantage of those because of my one-and-done Photos approach; but that has changed.

Storage wasn't really an issue with Photos, since I have 2TB in iCloud, and the library lives there. Now I have to park images someplace until I work on them and they can add up pretty quickly.

I hadn't been in the habit of deleting images from the cards because Photos was very prompt in identifying the new, unimported images when I popped a card in. Given my new anxiety about iCloud, I decided to use Image Capture and import all the images I had on every card in every camera into external storage.

I have a 1TB Samsung T5 SSD hanging off the iMac that still had over 200GB free. Mainly it held a consolidated Aperture library converted to Photos that was kind of a backup, though it's hopelessly out of date in that regard. Anyway, I filled up the remaining free space on the T5 pretty quickly.

Not a problem, I bought a 1TB T7 recently for scanning my dad's old photos. Plenty of space still on that. But it wasn't connected to the iMac, I mainly used it with the 13" M1 MBP. So, now to figure out where to plug this guy in...

The 2019 iMac has two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. One of those is used by a CalDigit Thunderbolt Dock, a purchase I think I regret making two years ago. It's pretty unreliable, periodically just going offline somehow, or failing to register when an SD card is plugged in.

I mainly got it to put some USB ports and an SD card slot in front or me where I can see them, rather than hidden behind the iMac. It generally works, but I wouldn't buy it again. It's flakey and annoying.

I'd made a mental connection between high speed and USB-C/Thunderbolt ports. The only USB-C port on the dock is in the front, and I don't want even the tiny T7 hanging off the front of my computer. I thought I needed a new dock with more USB-C ports in the back.

Well, the T5 only offers about 400MB/s anyway, and I finally had a little "Aha!" moment before I bought another stupidly expensive Thunderbolt dock. I could use USB-3.1 in a Type A port and get that kind of throughput, and I did have a couple of Type A ports free on the back of the Mac. So I had to dig out a Type A to C cable and move the T5 to that, while the T7 hangs off the Thunderbolt port in the back of the iMac, giving me 800MB/s.

The SD card slot in the front of the CalDigit dock is UHS-II, so everything moves along pretty quickly.

I think I've got my storage issues resolved for the moment. I have BackBlaze online backup, but I need to chat with them about how to go about backing up these drives with hundreds of gigs of data on them, when I have a 1.2TB bandwidth cap from Comcast/Xfinity.

Maybe upload doesn't count?

I've been using OM Workspace, mainly just identifying images I want to keep or share, exporting those and importing them into Photos and then editing them there. I want to figure out an editing process that leaves Photos out of it. Maybe use some combination of Workspace, RAW Power or Affinity Photo 2 and Topaz. We'll see. That's next.

Another Editor's Note

07:37 Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 66.7°F Pressure: 1018hPa Humidity: 92% Wind: 4.61mph

I have two blogs I maintain. One, Notes From the Underground, is specifically intended for political content and is decidedly negative and critical in tone.

The marmot and NFTU offer separate RSS feeds. Both feeds are ingested and subsequently posted at my micro.blog, where they also will post to my Mastodon and Twitter accounts.

If critical commentary on, or links about the accelerating growth of fascism in Florida is troubling to you, then I suggest you only subscribe to the marmot. I will only bitch about routine things like the weather or the new and exciting ways an aging body makes life interesting here. Probably bitch about movies and TV shows too.

But the marmot should be relatively free of anger and cynicism. Relatively.

Since NFTU posts to my Twitter and Mastodon accounts, you should probably not follow them. While they're not exclusively for bitching about politics, they are part of the content.

Writing a post bitching about people's bitching posts is just another instance of the fifth fundamental force of the universe: Irony.

Carry on.

The Purge Continues

07:08 Tuesday, 31 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 66.63°F Pressure: 1018hPa Humidity: 92% Wind: 4.61mph

Not cameras. This time anyway.

No, I've opened the big file drawers of my desk and emptied their contents onto the floor. Ugh!

It's not as easy as it once was to sit on the floor and do things. But it's about the only practical way to accomplish it.

I'm going through old correspondence, cards and letters I've saved for reasons I can't always recall. Stuff my kids would have to go through, or just toss when I die. Figured I should save them the trouble.

The good news is, I found some things I'd forgotten about and that I'm not throwing away. Some wonderful notes from my stepdaughter about me as a father. Letters from a friend who died not long ago. Letters from my parents around the time when my son was born and I was in the Arabian Gulf aboard STEPHEN W GROVES when STARK was hit. A few others.

They won't all return to the drawer anonymously filed. Some of the letters from my late friend I may share with his widow and daughters. The others will be filed with an explanatory note about what they meant to me and why they may wish to read them and decide for themselves what they might mean to them.

In the meantime, my office is a catastrophe.

I have been successful at eliminating a lot of ephemera, and it gives me some satisfaction knowing I've at least relieved them of that responsibility.

With apologies to Robert Frost...

This mess is lonely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep,

And piles to go before I sleep,

And piles to go before I sleep.

Editor's Note

08:26 Saturday, 28 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 45.48°F Pressure: 1024hPa Humidity: 69% Wind: 4.61mph

I don't intend for the marmot to just be a link-blog, but I've been a little busy.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I've been acquiring more crap, chiefly Nintendo games for the GameCube, Wii and Wii U. That itch appears to have been scratched for now, but the clutter factor was pegging the needle, so action was required.

I've got another stack of books ready to go to Goodwill. I don't know what they do with books, I mostly bought them on ebay. They're all older titles, most more than 30 years old, dealing with technical things I thought I had time (or interest) to learn about.

But the needle was still pegged, so something besides books had to go. I looked at my camera shelves and thought I should consolidate my cameras from three shelves to one. Well, it turns out that I could only manage two. I may return to this effort soon, but for now two is all I can emotionally manage, because it's certainly not rational.

At first, I was just going to take a big box of cameras to the photography club's next meeting and give them away. But who knows if they would take them, and then there's the issue of answering questions, providing some level of support. Too hard.

So I went on KEH.COM and started entering cameras for a quote. Came back at $1000, which isn't bad for a box of cameras I was going to give away. But it does require packaging them up and finding all the appropriate chargers and so on.

Since these cameras use mostly the same batteries, I went through and checked all the dates of manufacture for the batteries. I kept all the newest batteries for the cameras I still have. Because we're only talking about three types of batteries, most of the chargers were in a box in the garage, so I had to dig that out and all their associated cords.

Now I've got to package them up. The nearest shopping center is anchored by a Publix, but there's a UPS Store in the complex. I figured I could get bubble wrap from one of them. (There was a bunch of bubble wrap in the garage, but nowhere near enough.) Well the grocery store didn't carry it, and the UPS Store wanted $10.00 for a role of a few feet of that big-bubble wrap! Yikes! And I wasn't buying styrofoam peanuts (which weren't priced anyway).

So this morning I'm headed over to Walmart because I seem to recall they have a good selection of packing supplies from our move.

This morning's project is to get everything all boxed up and ready to ship. Once KEH gets them, they'll evaluate them and let me know what they'll actually give me. I'm guessing it'll be somewhere around $700. I was conservative in my condition assessment. The high-dollar bodies were my OM-D E-M1 Mk2 and OM-D E-M5 Mk2. They're both in great shape, but who knows? The rest are a large number of PEN cameras.

I have a bunch of lenses I'll offer them as well, but I figured I'd just start with the cameras.

My irrational choices are hanging onto an original E-M5, which is a camera model I'd bought at release and later sold to KEH. A few years later, I felt that I missed it. I liked the images it made, so I bought a used one. (From KEH.) I don't shoot with it much, but I do like it so I couldn't part with it this time.

I loved the E-M1 Mk2, but I have the Mk3 and the E-M1X and the new OM-1, so it was totally redundant. Same with the original E-M1, which I also bought at release. Shot that one so much the rear rubber came off. I bought a replacement from Olympus but never applied it. I'm including it in the package to KEH.

The E-M1X is a one-of-a-kind body and I quite like it. I also like the built-in GPS, compass, manometer and thermometer. It's built like a tank, and I think it kind of represents what might have been Olympus' last no-compromises effort in micro-four thirds.

The OM-1 was probably on the drawing board when JIP acquired Olympus' imaging division and created OM Digital Solutions; and it supposedly is a no-compromises body, and it still bears the Olympus brand, but it's not from Olympus. Again, not strictly rational. I hope OM Digital Solutions succeeds and survives, but I'm not certain it will. And I admired Olympus as an underdog innovator in the camera industry, so I'll kind of treasure the E-M1X as an example of Olympus at its best.

Technically, the E-M1 Mk3 came after the 1X, and included the Starry Sky autofocus feature, not present on the 1X (which was never added as a firmware update to the 1X, alas). But the Mk 3 was designed as a less featured body than the 1X, and doesn't include subject recognition auto-focus. So I think the 1X still represents Olympus designers' peak vision as Olympus. Just my opinion, but I really like the camera.

I fully expect those three bodies will outlast my ability to carry and shoot with them.

Of course I kept the PEN-F and I kept one PEN Light, the E-PL7. I have an E-PL8 that's going to KEH. I bought it new, and it has far fewer shutter activations, I've hardly shot with it. But I really enjoyed the E-PL7 and have taken it on many trips. I like the grip better too. What finally tipped the balance in favor of the 7 over the 8 was the sound of the shutter. I think they should be about the same, but the 7's is just kind of silky smooth while the 8's is more mechanical.

Put a small prime on it, or the 14-42EZ powered zoom, and carry it on my wrist when I'm out and about and not expecting birds. Nice little camera, won't draw much attention. Fun to shoot with.

Of course, now I'm thinking about how I'll spend the money. The E-P7 isn't sold in North America, but is readily obtainable on ebay from Japan. Much or all of the JPEG in-camera customization of the PEN-F is in the P7, and it doesn't seem to suffer from the auto-focus hesitation the PEN-F sometimes exhibits.

If I get rid of a few compact cameras, there should be room on the shelf for another PEN. Probably the last of its kind too.

You know how this story ends.

08:23 Saturday, 28 January 2023

John P. Weiss with another blog post well worth reading on making meaning.

09:25 Friday, 27 January 2023

The Enshittification Lifecycle of Online Platforms. Kottke links and comments. The marmot concurs.

American Pekin

10:29 Thursday, 26 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 51.13°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 66% Wind: 14.97mph

Photo of a large white duck in the water next to a female mallard.

Something I've never seen here before. This appears to be an American Pekin domestic duck, much larger than the mallard it's next to. Also seems to have something stuck in its bill.


10:51 Wednesday, 25 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 73.26°F Pressure: 1011hPa Humidity: 78% Wind: 19.57mph

Snapshot of sunlight reflecting off a retention pond stirred by winds. Dramatic tone filter applied for a dark and moody image.

Very breezy this morning, ahead of a line of thunderstorms expected this afternoon. E-M10 Mk4 with the 14-150mm zoom, dramatic tone filter applied. A mood.

Keeping Up With RSS

07:51 Wednesday, 25 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 66.83°F Pressure: 1011hPa Humidity: 84% Wind: 12.66mph

Since I've cut back on my Twitter usage, I've subscribed to a lot of RSS feeds.

I have two feeds devoted to Twitter. One is my "Locals" list (which includes a few non-locals), which is where I spent most of my time on Twitter. The other is my "mentions."

I also subscribe to a number of National Weather Service feeds, and some of those post very frequently with conditions updates.

There are a number of local news sites that offer RSS, and I subscribe to those as well.

Finally, there are a lot of blogs I've discovered and subscribed to.

The "unread" feed can get very large, very fast. On the Mac, it's easy to just down-arrow through the timeline, skipping over weather updates or Tweets are kind of meaningless absent some of the context which doesn't always come over in RSS. But it can feel like a slog.

So yesterday I spent some time dividing things up into folders on NetNewsWire. That makes it easy to dip into the NWS feed and just "mark all as read," if there isn't a weather situation developing.

Similarly, I can quickly scan mentions on Twitter to see if there's something I should reply to.

It's easy and pleasant on the iPhone to swipe through blog updates, starring the ones I might want to return to.

I need to look into RSS for Mastodon, micro.blog and YouTube so I can add those. Then NetNewsWire would be the central place where I would go for new content from things I have a persistent interest in following.

Folders make it easy to kind of prioritize subjects and manage attention.

I don't know, I think this RSS thing might catch on.

As We May Think

08:16 Monday, 23 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 54.91°F Pressure: 1014hPa Humidity: 75% Wind: 17.27mph

I think about Apple's rumored virtual reality/augmented reality device in terms of something like this post at Matt Webb's Interconnected blog. And I regard Apple's Freeform app as a kind of introduction to this sort of networked collaborative workspace.

Freeform has utility in its present form, but I wonder if it isn't serving a couple of purposes for Apple. First is introducing users to the idea networked collaboration, and second is to gather data on how people use it.

Matt's post about the "map room" is something that might be able to be realized in a virtual reality setting, affording, or helping to establish, the shared context necessary for effective collaboration.

Personally, what I'm looking forward to with VR is the opportunity to explore distant places in a somewhat immersive experience. The ability to visit historic places without hundreds or thousands of tourists present. To experience them at any time of the day or night, unconstrained by a travel schedule or transportation. The chance to see places without dumping tons of carbon into the atmosphere just to get to them.

But I also get excited about the potential for collaboration as Matt describes, and I think Apple may be too.

I think universities and research facilities may be the first to employ this type of capability. Corporations would soon follow. As the technology advances, becomes smaller, lighter and cheaper, I can see it being introduced in secondary schools.

Pretty cool, I think.

Get me to the holodeck.

Later Gator

12:03 Sunday, 22 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 74.77°F Pressure: 1007hPa Humidity: 74% Wind: 7mph

Alligator sunning on the bank of a retention pond in the Del Webb development in Ponte Vedra, FL.

Friday was sunny and warm (Saturday was the opposite), so I took a walk in the afternoon and spotted this gator sunning itself by the back pond. Brought the 14-150mm zoom on the E-M10 Mk4 because I wasn't expecting to see a lot of birds and thought maybe there'd be something that might work with a wider angle than I could get from the 75-300mm. Turned out, there were a lot of bluebirds, some yellow-rumped warblers and an ibis.

The gator was the most interesting though.

08:45 Sunday, 22 January 2023

Watched The Menu last night. Brilliant. Loved it. Hard to say anything about it without spoilers, but definitely worth seeing.

07:00 Saturday, 21 January 2023

While I'm reviewing streaming series, we watched Season 3 of Prime's Jack Ryan. Meh. Better than Season 2, nowhere near as good as Season 1. I think they should just drop the "analyst" bullshit and make him a "double-nought spy."

06:50 Saturday, 21 January 2023

Mitzi and I have been enjoying Pennyworth: The Origin of Batman's Butler on HBO Max. I probably enjoy it more than Mitzi because she doesn't care for graphic violence. I hadn't heard any buzz about this series from 2019, but it's remarkably good. Dorothy Atkinson as Alfie's mom, Mary, standout performance. Love it.

May I Have Your Attention Please

07:16 Friday, 20 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 58.15°F Pressure: 1015hPa Humidity: 91% Wind: 0mph

If we're fortunate enough to preserve the working elements of this civilization, and eliminate the elements that are driving its collapse, I think one of the important underserved aspects of mental health treatment and understanding will be our faculty of attention.

There are aspects of our physiology and psychology that are pro-social, because humans are social organisms. We cannot survive for long as solitary individuals, and we do not prosper or progress except in groups.

What our evolution never anticipated, and what our technology has created, is a social environment that includes interactions, either direct or indirect, with hundreds or thousands of people. For "celebrities" and politicians, multiply that by a couple orders of magnitude.

I don't see that technological aspect diminishing, or going away entirely, absent an overall collapse of civilization. We're going to have to learn how to live with it in a way that is compatible with good mental health.

I used to write about this back in Groundhog Day, and I called it "social hygiene," an analog to "personal hygiene." Just as we learned to wash our hands after using the toilet, to brush our teeth and bathe, to wear clean clothes and so on, to preserve our physical health, we'll have to learn new practices with regard to networked social interactions to preserve our mental health.

And in the larger public sphere, just as we have regulations governing economic activity to promote and protect public health, we'll need a regulatory environment that does the same for mental health. This won't be easy because "muh freedoms!" seem to be at odds with public health in many ways, and people seeking power exploit attention with misinformation and lies to gain it.

I was uncomfortable with Facebook for a long time. To be sure, there were elements that I enjoyed a great deal, which is what kept me coming back. But there were always aspects I didn't care for. What tipped the balance was when I ran for public office and experienced the kind of negative attention one can receive from random strangers.

And it became clear to me that the platform itself promoted and facilitated the growth and display of hostility and aggression. Social media platforms are emphatically not "safe spaces." And anyone who hasn't experienced that aspect is simply fortunate to have never been a target worthy of "attention."

One of the things I did before I stepped away from most political activity was to share what I learned about running for office in a handbook for locals interested in running a campaign. (Don't ask me why the Florida Democratic Party doesn't already have one. We're not an "organized" political party.)

To be a candidate requires some social media presence. I advised that a candidate should never read their own social media accounts. A volunteer should read the posts or replies and provide any relevant feedback to the candidate. This volunteer would be what was sometimes called a "shit screen" back when I was midshipman.

There are a couple of important reasons why a public official should avoid social media. The first is that it's an energy sump. It just saps your enthusiasm. Second, it also drains your empathy for human beings. You understand at an abstract level that "not everyone is like this," but you also understand, intuitively, that yes, sometimes everyone is like this.

And why would you want to serve anyone like this?

There are rewards, chiefly dopamine, for the experience of receiving attention on social media. People liking your photos, laughing at your jokes, validating your opinions; and if you confine yourself to a small group, or an "echo chamber," you can experience those.

But, one slip, and you could be the victim of a virtual mob.

Silos aggregate attention for the purposes of extracting data and selling eyeballs. To be profitable, they must aggregate in huge numbers, which is also what makes them so dangerous.

Even small social networks, like adolescent girls with the mobile phones in junior high, can be dangerous places, especially given the vulnerability of adolescents.

I wrote about "social hygiene" about a decade ago. I should check. But I haven't seen any progress and, if anything, it's only gotten worse.

It's just one more dimension of our advanced technological civilization keeping nearly 8 billion people alive on this planet that isn't working for us. It is playing a role in bringing about its collapse. Whether we can address it, or the other ones (unregulated capitalism, fossil fuel energy, gross inequality) sufficiently to prevent collapse is a question to which I may live to see the answer.

Falcon Launch 1-18-23

07:46 Wednesday, 18 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 56.5°F Pressure: 1014hPa Humidity: 87% Wind: 4.61mph

SpaceX Faclon contrail over the Atlantic above a rising sun and a waning moon. Light cloud cover. Tolomato River visible at the bottom.

Put the DJI Mini 2 up this morning for the launch. Not spectacular, but not terrible. The bright spot in the sky above the contrail is sun glint from a jet aircraft that happened just as I was taking the shot. Larger version at Flickr.

10:10 Tuesday, 17 January 2023

Sold my Fujifilm X20 yesterday. Buyer was a young petty officer who was a totally squared-away sailor. Showed up early, (I was on time) had cash, and in the exact amount. Hope she enjoys the camera, seems it's her first "real" camera. Pretty good one to start with and grow into.

Like It's 1999

07:08 Tuesday, 17 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 44.69°F Pressure: 995hPa Humidity: 70% Wind: 7.99mph

Shooting film. Decade-old CCD digicams. Super-8 movies. Static HTML.

Retro is cool. Perhaps because it's more constraining, it's more liberating.

I'm a static html kind of guy, but it's not because I'm cool, it's because I'm not that bright! I've been posting hand-rolled static html for probably close to 20 years now.

More accurately, Tinderbox has been wrapping html around whatever it is I do here for that long.

In the early days, Tinderbox seemed to be used a lot for blogging. There were folks creating Tinderbox files to use as templates for blogging. That's how the marmot got started, originally as Groundhog Day, using a simple template called Gray Flannel, which is why the marmot has the structure it has, where posts are archived by the month. I've been tweaking it, and it definitely looks different today, but most of the major pieces are the same.

I had to do a significant refactoring not long ago, because the file structure was becoming very unwieldy. I lost a bunch of images in the process because I wasn't careful. My fault, nothing to do with Tinderbox.

It's much better now, and if you're considering doing your own thing regardless of how, I'd say it's important to spend a good deal of time thinking about structure for the long term. Just in case this becomes a habit or something.

Tinderbox is a vastly different application today than it was twenty years ago. Far more powerful with a built-in programming language for text manipulation and a sophisticated export code for creating documents.

Some time back, it became scriptable with AppleScript. I use that to automate posting images from Photos. I promised I'd do a post about that at the forum. It can talk to the command line if you want it to. It can pull data from web services, as the Wx data in a titled post shows. It's amazingly versatile and I don't use a tenth of its features.

People lament that there isn't an iOS version. They can't work on their Tinderbox files on their iPads. That's true, but if you want Tinderbox to capture content you create on your iOS device, it can do that via a feature called "watched folders." It can watch Apple Notes, or any folder you want in iCloud. Create your text in Drafts or Ulysses and have Tinderbox import it automatically, then have Tinderbox put that text wherever you want it programmatically.

All the cool kids love markdown these days. Tinderbox speaks markdown now. I like RTF, it's fine with me. I'm old, but I'm not old enough to be cool yet. Maybe in another decade?

Jack Baty is a blogger who blogs with Tinderbox. Sometimes. Jack's flirtations with blogging and note-taking platforms and applications kind of reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live skit. ("Frequency of a cheap ham radio." 😜)

I enjoy reading Jack's posts about the virtues and frustrations of the different tools he uses. I envy the facility and mental agility he has to do useful things with vastly disparate programs, as well as his skill behind the camera and in the darkroom.

Tinderbox is sometimes viewed as intimidating to a newcomer; but there is an active, supportive community around the application, and help is readily available. There's a weekly (alternating Saturdays and Sundays) Zoom meet-up to discuss issues or demonstrate features. It definitely rewards persistence and consistent use.

Tinderbox is a very modern, quite sophisticated computer application. It's about as far from retro as you can get in computing. But you can do a lot with Tinderbox without necessarily knowing a lot as, hopefully, the marmot demonstrates.

Which is definitely cool.

06:51 Tuesday, 17 January 2023

iPhone screenshot of the web page that shows aircraft flying overhead.

Click on this link in Safari on your iPhone (or other iOS device). Touch the "sharrow" and select "Add to Home Screen." See or hear a plane overhead you're curious about? Pretty cool.

Unevenly Distributed

06:32 Tuesday, 17 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 42.28°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 84% Wind: 5.75mph

On Sunday I posted an image I took from my driveway of a rocket leaving earth and two parts of it returning for a powered landing. Last night I posted an image of the light trail caused by the International Space Station as it passed overhead. In that image there are also a couple of satellites and a bunch of passenger-carrying planes flying overhead.

Yesterday morning, I heard a low plane buzzing overhead. I pulled a small computer from my pocket and touched an icon that said Track Aircraft. It showed me what the plane was and where it came from, how high it was (1700 feet) and how fast it was going (200mph).

I have a little handheld radio next to my recliner. When there's a thunderstorm underway, I can turn it on and listen to pilots talking to regional air traffic control about changing altitudes. I can't hear ATC, they're beyond line of sight. Sometimes I can hear the St Augustine tower.

Every day, thousands of people fly overhead, oblivious to me below and, most of the time, I to them above.

Every now and then, you just have to pause and at least acknowledge what's going on around you.

Pretty remarkable.

ISS 16 Jan 23

18:51 Monday, 16 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 53.78°F Pressure: 1015hPa Humidity: 64% Wind: 5.75mph

Live composite shot of the International Space Station passing overhead. Light trail is short because sky glow and high clouds.

I get a text alert from Spot the Station when the ISS will be visible overhead from Ponte Vedra. Since this would be about an hour after sunset, and the ISS is so bright, I thought it'd be a good opportunity. But there's still a lot of sky glow to the west, and there were high, thin clouds that I think helped diminish the station's brightness.

It may be hard to figure out which light trail it is, but it's the one in the right half of the image, midway up and headed into the trees.

It was overhead for 6 minutes, but I didn't spot it until just before it reached the trees, about where light trail gets very obvious in the image, which I tweaked a bit.

Larger version at Flickr.

Caret wrangling...

08:34 Monday, 16 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 39.07°F Pressure: 1022hPa Humidity: 92% Wind: 4.61mph

Had an extra "^" in the RSS template. From too few to too many. Fixed.

Falcon Heavy 15 Jan 23 Camera Two

07:11 Monday, 16 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 37.33°F Pressure: 1021hPa Humidity: 89% Wind: 3.44mph

Light trails from the 15 January 2023 Falcon Heavy launched viewed from Ponte Vedra. One light trail arcs from right to left, rising above some trees in a suburban neighborhood setting. Two smaller parallel light trails are above the arc showing the reentry burns of the two side boosters.

I set up two cameras last night. Had a 25mm/f1.8 lens on the 16MP E-PL8 and a 12mm/f2.0 on the 20MP E-M1 Mk3.

I didn't use a CPL on the 12mm because you get weird gradients in the sky with a CPL on a wide-angle lens. So I stopped it down to f22 to get the exposure right for Live Composite. Normally, the cool kids would be screaming "Diffraction!", but this ain't art.

12mm (24mm effective focal length) is really too wide for this shot. I'd have been better off with the 17mm.

On thing I learned is I seem to have one dust spot on the sensor, which is disappointing since it was just cleaned. I'll take a stab at shaking that off, blowing or brushing it if that fails. Not a huge deal in this shot, I just cropped it out.

Learning As I Go

06:45 Monday, 16 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 36.59°F Pressure: 1021hPa Humidity: 86% Wind: 0mph

It seems micro.blog can't ingest some html in an RSS feed, or I'm not doing something correctly.

The block quote html didn't render properly at micro.blog, and the subsequent Mastodon and Twitter posts were mangled as well.

This calls for some investigation, though a simpler fix may be to simply avoid block quotes. We'll see. I'm not happy with the appearance of block quotes here, but that's just a CSS matter. "Just" doing a lot of heavy lifting there, since I'm not very good with CSS as should be obvious.

Anyway, we press on.

06:26 Monday, 16 January 2023

🌎 January 15, 2023.

Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Date Retrieved: 1/16/23, 06:25

Excerpt: You hear sometimes that, now that we know the sordid details of the lives of some of our leading figures, America has no heroes left. When I was writing a book about the Wounded Knee Massacre, where heroism was pretty thin on the ground, I gave that a lot of thought.

Number of Words: 697

Falcon Heavy 15 Jan 23

18:28 Sunday, 15 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 47.93°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 65% Wind: 3.44mph

Live composite exposure of the light trail from the Falcon Heavy launch as viewed from Ponte Vedra. Arc ascending from right to left. Two short , parallel light trails mark the reentry burns of the two side boosters landing at KSC.

It was still twilight when Falcon Heavy USSF-67 Mission lifted off. This was from an Olympus E-PL8 in Live Composite mode. I put a circular polarizing filter on the 25mm/f1.8 prime lens, which cut down on the sky glow.

Quick edit in Photos and Topaz Sharpen AI. I'm not sure where the weird colors came from, but editing made them worse. A little more effort might have ameliorated it, but I'm an instant gratification sort of guy. Alas.

You can see the two booster descent burns, which is pretty cool I think.

(Editor's note: Yesterday's success with modifying export templates wasn't as complete as I'd hoped. Error showed up in the RSS file with titled items, which I hadn't tested. Only wanted to make sure I could publish items without titles. Failed to properly wrangle all the carets in the code. All should be well now.)

09:27 Sunday, 15 January 2023

No matter what happens next weekend, Jacksonville and the Jags organization can be proud of what this team has achieved. You can feel the transformation in the culture. A huge share of the credit goes to Doug Pederson, and Trevor Lawrence; but every player is responsible as well.

12:01 Saturday, 14 January 2023

Another modification to the post export template for posts without titles. This omits the wx data. Since the template affects every post for January, the two previous blog posts, which formerly included the wx data, will now be posted without it.

10:09 Saturday, 14 January 2023

This post may be an example of why I might use title-less posts. Kind of like tweeting a link. This was an encouraging read this morning. Subscribed.

09:45 Saturday, 14 January 2023

This is a test post for untitled RSS posts.

If this is working correctly, I'll modify the template to get rid of the # in the html blog posts.

Fingers crossed.

Update: RSS checked sat. Modified post export template also checks sat in Tinderbox preview. Going live now.

Cool Phone Wallpaper

08:13 Friday, 13 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 57.92°F Pressure: 1007hPa Humidity: 91% Wind: 12.66mph

NASA’s Webb Uncovers Star Formation in Cluster’s Dusty Ribbons, NGC 346 (NIRCam)

Follow the James Webb Telescope's Flickr account, get cool wallpaper. Click through to the official link in the description for larger images.

Imposter Syndrome? Moi?

07:20 Friday, 13 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 59.88°F Pressure: 1006hPa Humidity: 92% Wind: 5.75mph

I used to subscribe to the New Yorker because I like it and I wanted to support it. But since I was paying for it, I felt as though I had to read it, and I couldn't keep up. So it felt like I was wasting my money. (As if I don't waste money in many more useless ways.)

But they have my email address now, and I hear from them regularly. This morning, for instance.

The article they commended to my attention is this one, The Objectively Objectionable Grammatical Pet Peeve, by David Owen.

I'll almost always read an article about grammar or writing because, well, I'm a blogger. On my desk is a book that arrived Monday called Writing Tools, by Roy Peter Clark, because someone mentioned it in another blog that I subscribe to. ("To which I subscribe?" This stuff will make you nuts.) Maybe I'll blog about it.

I'm not a writer, writers write. I blog.

But I'm conscious of the fact that what I'm doing involves writing; and I have two fears when I'm doing this, neither of which has had the good effect of compelling me to stop. I'm afraid that I'm writing badly, and I'm afraid that it's boring.

Yet I keep doing it. It's some kind of compulsion. Especially now, since I'm not satisfying my itch by issuing regular doses of snark on Twitter.

I liked Twitter from the standpoint that it was usually just a 280 characters. I'd go on a thread rant now and then, but most of the time it was just 280 characters in which I would offer a creatively cynical take on the feckless fools who think they govern around here. Or a dark preamble in a quote tweet of some disquieting climate news.

It was short. I could fuss over it a bit, but never very long. Spelling and typographical errors were my bane, and I'd often reply to myself with an *correction to show that I'm not, you know, ignorant.

Blogging is different. It's almost like writing. Much more anxiety.

When we watched Hallelujah, I was struck by how much Leonard Cohen labored over his lyrics. Whenever I hear or read about how writers or artists struggle with, or refine and hone their prose, I feel bad.

I pound this stuff out, kind of listening to it as it's going on the screen and keep going. Occasionally something will grate and I'll fuss with it a bit, but I'll keep moving. If I can't keep moving, I'll quit. If it's something I liked or cared about, I might stick it up in the Drafts container, hopefully to revisit it. I almost never do. Usually I just delete it.

So, whoever reads the marmot has my gratitude and my apologies. I'd like to say I'm doing the best I can, but I'm certain that's a lie. I just can't help myself.

(It's 7:54. The time-stamp for this post shows it began at 7:20. 34 minutes for 500 words. 2170 characters. 7.75 tweets. There's a certain amount of overhead copying and pasting links.)

What Time Are We Eating?

08:22 Thursday, 12 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 54.82°F Pressure: 1016hPa Humidity: 81% Wind: 8.05mph

Mitzi sent me a link to this article in the Washington Post. (No subscription required.) She said something about me feeling good about it.

It's worth the read.

When I was single (separated/divorced), I developed the habit of eating a relatively "big" breakfast. Whether it was me making something at home, or buying one on the way to work. When I was running and training, I'd do my run early in the morning, then have a protein shake with frozen bananas and nuts. And I'd have a pretty high-calorie lunch, not especially healthy either. If I hadn't run that morning, I'd make something with eggs and cheese and whatever else might be in the fridge. Frittatas and omelets were my thing.

I loved going to Fire House Subs ("Medium Hook on wheat, fully involved, make it a combo.")

I seldom made anything for dinner, or went out to eat at night. Occasionally my buddy the ex-chef would have me over and I'd have dinner at his place, and we typically ate late at night. But that was maybe a couple times a month.

Together with the running, I was 30 pounds lighter than I am today.

Mitzi came from a situation where dinner/supper was the big meal of the day. And she likes to cook. She watches cooking shows, likes trying new recipes, etc. I tried to explain, without the benefit of scientific research, essentially what the article describes. You're better off eating the majority of your calories earlier in the day.

Early in our relationship, as I began to gain weight and she began to struggle with hers, I tried to persuade her to abandon the big meal at night. That didn't happen. It was too much a part of who she was.

And I really enjoyed making breakfast. So I basically stopped paying any attention to when I ate. I did pay attention to what, sometimes how much, but gave up entirely on the time.

And now I'm obese.

With endemic COVID and the risk of long-COVID, living in a state that doesn't seem to care about looking out for one another, and obesity being a risk factor for having a worse experience with COVID, I wanted to do something to shift the odds a little more in my favor.

I've been reading that intermittent fasting of almost any kind offers benefits with regard to weight control, and, more importantly, insulin response (inflammation).

So as I mentioned yesterday, I started this thing where I consume all my calories between 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Sometimes Mitzi doesn't have dinner ready until 8:00, sometimes later; but all I can do is all I can do. And I'm seldom up past 10.

She's protested that I don't have to eat dinner. I don't think she understands how I'm present while she's cooking a meal, and I'm going to sit there and watch her eat it alone?

No, it's easier for me to just not eat breakfast.

So far, since the 1st, she's been pretty good about having dinner ready before 7, so that hasn't been an issue yet. I figured if I ate later than 7 now and then, it wouldn't kill me.

Then she read the article this morning.

She's going to try to have dinner read by six from now on.

Set and drift is a vector quantity. The magnitude may be a little smaller now.


11:59 Wednesday, 11 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 67.55°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 49% Wind: 4mph

Egret landing in the Tolomato River, wings spread wide, feet just above the water, facing away from the camera.

Since I was up early, I did do a bit of sitting. I'd installed an iOS app called Oak on my phone some time ago, when I was thinking about (or struggling with) getting back into a practice.

Be here now. Begin where you are, and so on.

Did the opening ten minute guided meditation. Went well, I sat a few minutes longer.

Prepped the drone for flight, just in case there was a red sky.

Took care of my inbox, went through my RSS feed. Checked the sky, didn't look promising. It may have been 48°F wherever my weather data comes from, but it was 42°F here. Popped the drone up anyway and took a look around, nothing remarkable. Red horizon, not much of a gradient.

Came back to the computer and took a look at Twitter and saw the FAA issue. Started scrolling that, but decided that was not what I needed to be doing.

Put on some warmer clothes and strapped on the OM-1 with the 100-400mm zoom, hopped into the golf cart and went down to the kayak launch point to walk around a bit.

Put a few pics up on Flickr.

Course Correction

04:34 Wednesday, 11 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 47.79°F Pressure: 998hPa Humidity: 79% Wind: 5.46mph

I don't know how they do it these days, what with GPS and automated helms and so on, but back in my day, when you wanted to get from one place to another at sea, you put down a track on a chart, this gave you a course to steer. Your desired time of arrival determined your speed, and from your course and speed you could determine your position of intended movement, or PIM.

Before electronic aids to navigation, navigators relied on the stars, and during the day you could shoot a couple of sun lines at known times (which is why accurate timekeeping was so important), and you could construct a running fix from a pair of consecutive sun lines. (Running fixes were less accurate than a star fix, but better than nothing, an estimated position derived from dead reckoning.)

These navigation fixes would tell you where you were, whether on PIM or off PIM. If you were off PIM, you'd have to make a course correction. There were a number of reasons why you might be off PIM. Compass error, inaccuracies in measuring speed by the pit sword, the influence of wind and current. Combined, these were a vector quantity called set and drift, and you'd alter your course and speed to cancel out a calculated set and drift. You'd do this every day. You'd try to take a fix by the stars morning and evening when you could see a horizon and get the most accurate results, and shoot a few sun lines during the day.

There's set and drift in life too. The things that kind of get you off track from where you intended to be.

That's mostly due to poor navigation. We don't take fixes often enough, we aren't paying attention to the track, our PIM. We can't see the stars, we know local time but not sidereal, and maybe it's later than we think.

Anyway, all of this is just preamble to another insomnia insight. I'd intended to establish, or re-establish, a pattern of regular meditation. I'd also intended to try a new kind of intermittent fasting. And I also intended to get off Twitter and stop playing so much Call of Duty.

Perhaps that was too much.

As regards intermittent fasting, I seem to be on PIM. I used to do the two days a week fast, which is how I learned, quite painfully, my gall bladder was shot. I didn't try again after having it removed.

I liked to have breakfast, it was the one meal a day where I really cooked something for myself. Mitzi likes to cook dinner. And there's always lunch. And snacks.

There's just too much opportunity to eat too much. So I figured I'd try the six and eighteen form, a variation on the "fast five." I eat between 1300 and 1900 and nothing in between. I'll make breakfast at 1300, or a more typical lunch if I feel like it. Mitzi makes dinner, or supper, depending on where you're from I guess.

So far, that's on track. It was a bit disorienting, having that additional free time in the morning; and then there are the hunger pangs. Those are diminishing and are fairly easily dealt with by drinking water and distraction.

Distraction is where the trouble lies.

When you're trying to change one addictive behavior, Twitter, eating, you often wind up substituting another. Twitter took over for Facebook and Instagram when I left those platforms. Now it's YouTube, because I turn to it for distraction from a transient feeling of hunger.

Except it's not the social interactions, it's watching videos of people waxing rhapsodic about old video games. Games I used to play, and games I'd heard of but never saw before because YouTube wasn't a thing.

Last night, Mitzi was watching the Golden Globes and I was sitting on the couch with her, with my AirPods in my ears watching YouTube videos on my MacBook Pro about the best Game Cube games, and switching over to eBay on my phone. After spending a few hundred dollars, I kind of became aware of what I was doing and put the computer away and went to bed.

It's the same thing I did with HP calculators. And, um, some TI ones too. Only I was doing it at a much faster pace.

All of this to satisfy some dopamine induced craving for novelty and acquisition.

Desire is the source of all suffering.

I got up around 0330 this morning to have a glass of water (mouth was dry, I wasn't hungry). When I go to the refrigerator, for whatever reason, Cast Away ("I have ice in my glass."), the war in Ukraine where people are without lights and heat and probably often water, the fact that we're likely in the early stages of the collapse of this civilization, I embrace some feeling of gratitude. I tell myself to appreciate this, because it wasn't always so, and may not be again.

Anyway, doing that put me in mind of the nonsense I was doing the night before. And that made me think about not doing the thing I'd intended to do, practice.

Because I'm not in control. I'm not on PIM.

I didn't want to be more "effective," I didn't want to "get things done." I wanted to make meaning. I didn't think I just wanted to buy more shit, and video games at that.

So this is an accountability moment. I've fixed my position. Entered it into the log.

I could just not toggle the export button and leave this post here. Because this is something of an embarrassing disappointment.

I remember though. I've been here before.

It's been worse. I've done worse.

I remember.

Back to work.

Missed the Big Show

07:42 Tuesday, 10 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 48.61°F Pressure: 1021hPa Humidity: 90% Wind: 4.61mph

Sunrise over the Tolomato River from a DJI mini 2. Sun breaking the horizion. Low clouds faintly illuminated orange.

Walked back to the kitchen and saw a red sky for the first time in a while. Hustled back to get the DJI mini 2 aloft. Had to get some shoes on because the pavers are cold. Then had to fuss with the DJI Fly app. Just seemed to freeze, showed no GPS satellites and wouldn't even let me take off "with caution." Forced quit it twice and it finally decided it would go to work.

By then, the big show was over. So we hung around up there long enough to observe sunrise.

I'm planning to buy the mini 3, not the Pro. Since I mostly use it as a compact camera with a very tall tripod, I don't think I need the obstacle avoidance. I would welcome the larger sensor and the ability to tilt the camera above the horizon.

The gimbal is wonky, and apparently this is fairly common with the mini 2. It starts out level, then develops a tilt as you rotate the aircraft. Not a huge issue for stills, so I haven't spent any more time on it.

I think I should add that without the drone, there'd be no photo. Or, a much less interesting one. (Not that I find this one especially interesting.) From my backyard, I have no view of the horizon and I can only see the red sky through the trees. That's one of the downsides of Florida being so flat, there's often no horizon to speak of, and it can feel claustrophobic sometimes.

This is two images stitched in Affinity Photo 2. If you happen to look at the html, ignore the filename. Meant to type 1-10 and typed a 7, no idea why. Also meant to fix it, but got distracted when I noticed that Affinity Photo exports jpegs with the .jpg file extension, not .JPG, so I had to fiddle with that. Le sigh.

Anyway, shot the images so I figured I'd post something. I share your disappointment.

Sandhill Crane

09:25 Monday, 9 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 61.56°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 80% Wind: 8.05mph

Lone Sandhill Crane on the sidewalk in Del Webb Ponte Vedra.

Things you don't see every day. Vocalizing like crazy. Seems to have lost its mate. Shortly after I shot this, it flew off. Neighbor said it sounded like there was another one behind his house, so hopefully they're reunited.

A Cluttered Desk

08:48 Sunday, 8 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 46.44°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 0mph

One of the new (to me) blogs I found recently is John P. Weiss. I enjoy his writing and his photography. This post appeared in NetNewsWire today, and I enjoyed it.

I have felt the attraction toward minimalism, but I haven't made any effort toward achieving it. I think I understand "the liberty of constraint." And I struggle with the affliction of acquisition.

You don't own your stuff, your stuff owns you.

I find a new passion, and because I'm fortunate enough to possess the resources, I begin acquiring stuff.

I got into retro-computing, because it recalled the joy I felt with the Apple II when computers were new and wonderful (and mostly useless), but full of potential. I started living on ebay, buying machines, software, books. I had a pretty nice collection, content to limit myself to machines after the //e.

When we got ready to move to our new place here, I realized it wasn't going to be possible to relocate all that stuff to the new place.

Wiser people (people with more patience anyway), would have put it all up on ebay. I gave it all away. I didn't want to spend any more time thinking about it, so one insomnia filled very early morning, I posted on the Apple II group on Facebook (this was in 2019) that the first person who replied who could get to my house on Saturday could have it all for free. Within literally seconds, I had replies. First guy said he was interested. Second guy said he'd be there. Second guy got the lot, because of reading comprehension. (Then criticism ensued about how I handled getting rid of my stuff and my responsibility to "the community." Sigh.)

Turns out it basically filled a Ford Explorer to the gills. Kid drove from Tampa all the way to Ponte Vedra on bald tires. Hope he was able to make good use of it. Thousands of dollars of stuff.

If you can't be a minimalist, you have to maximize non-attachment.

Today I'm sort of in the same mess, what with my new-found "free time." I read a piece about how a Nintendo Wii is now officially "retro", and Mitzi had a Wii in the garage, and now it's in my office. My Wii U plays Wii games, but the Wii can play GameCube games! And the packages have been showing up at a pretty good pace of late.

The liberty of constraint in my case is my office. It's rather small, and we are approaching that limit. May have exceeded it.

As to photography, I have, in the main, constrained myself to one camera manufacturer: Olympus (now OM System or OM Digital Systems, not sure which). I have two Fuji compacts (an X20 and an XQ1), which I've been thinking about selling. I wanted to see what the fuss was about with the X-Trans sensor and Fuji film emulation. It's nice, but it doesn't speak to me. Mitzi likes to sell stuff on Facebook, so maybe I'll give her a 20% cut. The two of them should bring a few hundred bucks combined, based on what they've sold for on ebay.

I have a ridiculous number of Olympus bodies that use the four-thirds sensor, most of them using the micro-four thirds lens mount. I'm not a "completist" as a collector, though. Some of them I like the form factor of the body (E-PM1. Worst shutter sound ever though.), some I liked the color (Red E-PL6. So red. Yeah, you're not stealthy with that one.) Anyway, I have more cameras than I could possibly need. I shoot regularly with five or six of them; chiefly OM-Ds, but also the PEN-F and the E-PL10.

My lens collection is similarly absurd, but perhaps somewhat less embarrassing. I have dupes of some because they came with cameras. I tend to favor the small primes when I'm out socially. I like the big, heavy f1.2 primes for low light or subject separation.

It's nice to have choices, but I know if I had to pick 3, it'd be the Lumix 20mm/f1.7, the mZuiko 45mm/f1.8 and the mZuiko 14-150/f3.5-5.6 zoom. I'd miss the 300mm focal length for birds, certainly 400mm on the big 100-400mm zoom. If I could add one, I'd probably add the 8mm/f1.8 fisheye because most of the OM-Ds can de-fish in-camera with 3 choices of angle of view (not the E-M10 Mk4).

You know what they say, "A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind." I have clutter everywhere. I suspect I have undiagnosed ADHD, because my brain is almost always running around like Golden Retriever with a bad case of the zoomies. I have learned that the inner voice is an unreliable narrator, and I am working on being still; but I'm like Popeye, "I am what I am."

I don't pursue minimalism as an aesthetic, either in art or in life. I'm verbose, I like color, contrast, shapes and shadows. I don't know what I'm doing, I'm making all this shit up as I go along. I try to pick up good tips where I can, and I've had some success with that.

But I can appreciate and admire minimalism.

When it's done with restraint, of course.

A Different Perspective

08:13 Sunday, 8 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 45.77°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 0mph

Pine Island from the DJI mini 2 at about 300 feet.

I don't intend for the marmot to be a meta-blog about the marmot. I suppose it looks like that at the moment. But I do intend to spend more time here, so I'm trying to get everything dialed in so I can be productive and not frustrated and fiddling with things.

I went down to the kayak launch on Friday morning before sunrise. The sky was clear, so I wasn't expecting anything in the way of a spectacular sunrise, but I wanted to get out of the house.

The road down there is a mess, so it was a slow drive. When I got there, I thought I had the place to myself. Then I heard faint music. Turned out it was a guy fishing, he parked in the trees near the river, so I didn't see his truck. We exchanged a few words about the cold and went about our respective endeavors.

If you happened to visit the my flickr photostream (I gather it's properly spelled with a lower-case "f"), that downed tree really was that red. That's what first caught my attention, then the slight mist on the still water. The Tolomato River is part of the intracoastal waterway, it's also more of an estuary than a river. It's extremely tidal. I didn't check, but it seems as though I might have been there around slack water, and there was no wind to speak of, thankfully.

I took the DJI mini 2 along with me. I don't "fly" it very much, mostly just use it as a very tall tripod. Got some shots and made a pano. The image above is just a single frame. I'll probably buy the mini 3 for the better camera. Florida is flat, so gaining a little elevation really offers a better perspective.


07:15 Sunday, 8 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 45.05°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 0mph

I think I'm going to turn off the Flickr integration with micro.blog. The images are tiny, at least on my 27" iMac. Probably works well for a phone.

I usually export images I want to share to Flickr anyway.

I'm going to have to look into how to change the appearance of the page at micro.blog. I know everyone loves the "clean" look of acres of blinding white space, but it doesn't seem to serve photos well, especially of the moon.

Update: Fixed. The "Hello Friend" theme seems to do what I want.

Deer Island

07:03 Sunday, 8 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 43.97°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 60% Wind: 3.02mph

Wide, low-angle silhouette shot of a tree-covered island before sunrise with low, thin mist rising from the water.

Because I've forgotten how this looks, I'm copying the embed code from Flickr.

This is one of a series of shots I made on Friday morning.

This Morning's Moon 1-8-23

06:52 Sunday, 8 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 45.68°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 90% Wind: 3.44mph

Waning wolf moon on January 8, 2023 shot with Olympus OM-1 and the mZuikio 100-400mm zoom in handheld high resolution

Just because it's there, right outside my window. I never get tired of doing this. Handheld high resolution from the OM-1. Cropped and tweaked in Photos.

The Space Between Stimulus and Response

07:33 Saturday, 7 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 43.18°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 90% Wind: 3.44mph

Yesterday, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Jacksonville City Council's request to stay a court-ordered district map.

I was excited to read this, and I wanted to get on Twitter and join in mocking Jacksonville City Council and the city's incompetent Office of General Counsel. I even downloaded Tweetbot back to my phone to see what the people I follow were saying and perhaps join in.

That's the power of habit.

I was disappointed because it seemed most of the people in my "local" list were tweeting about Kevin McCarthy and the Jaguars, two narratives with the power to swamp local politics.

So I didn't get the usual rewards I experienced when people I respected on Twitter validated my opinions by sharing ones similar to mine. I'm excited about the Jags, but I really don't give a shit about the Republican clown show in Congress.

To me, the most exciting news of the day was Jacksonville City Council once again being publicly humiliated and losing in court. That didn't seem to register over the then ongoing clusterfuck in the House of Representatives, and the contest for the AFC South.

The good news was Jacksonville will have new city council districts! They're not revolutionary by any means, and they won't overturn the Republican super-majority in a city that's roughly 50-50 in party affiliation. But they were drawn by citizens groups, not the faithless, selfish and self-interested Jacksonville City Council.

People talk about Twitter being the "public square," as if it's someplace where people discuss the news and events of the day. Maybe it is.

But maybe it's just a place where people like to get their opinions validated. The issue in question is secondary to experiencing the emotional satisfaction of feeling seen, or being part of a desirable in-group.

I remember when I left Facebook and Instagram a couple of years ago, it was something of a struggle at first because I felt disconnected from a lot of people it turned out I wasn't really connected to very much at all. Those connections consumed a lot of my time and attention, but what were they really serving?

Well, Facebook and Instagram mostly.

I felt those pangs of disconnection yesterday when I read about the court decision. And when I succumbed to habit, I found the connections I sought were all connected to something else.

As a political post, this would normally come from the underground. But it's mostly a personal post, so it's here.

I learned something yesterday, I think. Something I probably already knew, but had forgotten.

This Morning's Moon 7 Jan 2023

06:41 Saturday, 7 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 44.56°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 87% Wind: 3.44mph

Photo of the full moon shot in handheld high resolution mode on an Olympus E-M1X w/mZuiko 100-400mm zoom

Shot with #Olympus #E-M1X in handheld high-resolution mode, #HHHR, with the #mZuiko100-400mm zoom.

(Playing with hashtags. They don't seem to propagate to Mastodon via micro.blog.)

Good Morning, International Space Station

06:17 Saturday, 7 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 44.58°F Pressure: 1025hPa Humidity: 87% Wind: 3.44mph

Live composite image of star trails and the light of the ISS across the Florida sky.

International Space Station as it flew overhead Ponte Vedra Florida this morning. #ISS #Olympus #LiveComposite #E-M1Mk3

Still a Few Bugs In The System

07:19 Thursday, 5 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 63.43°F Pressure: 1016hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 5.75mph

I think I've got everything wired up correctly again. I have an Automator workflow that is saved as an application that exports the image from Photos to the Images folder in Nice Marmot Exports.

That Images folder is nested two levels deep beneath Archives and the calendar year, which was 2022 when I created it. It worked fine in 2023, it just kept putting the photos in the 2022 folder.

Had some issues getting it corrected, but based on the two preceding posts, I think everything's working properly now.

Grand Canyon

07:13 Thursday, 5 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 63.59°F Pressure: 1015hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 5.75mph

Photo of the Grand Canyon from an overlook just south of the north entrance.

This is a follow-up test. Shot last March from an overlook just south of the north entrance.

Moon Over Red Rocks

07:02 Thursday, 5 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 63.55°F Pressure: 1015hPa Humidity: 92% Wind: 1.01mph

Half moon visible over stratified rock formation in Red Rocks Nevada

Testing the automations set up for posting photos. This was from last March, one of my favorite images from last year.


07:10 Wednesday, 4 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 68.41°F Pressure: 1013hPa Humidity: 91% Wind: 1.99mph

For the moment, I'm posting local political stories over in the command cave.

I had another 2022-2023 search and replace challenge. I'm a slow learner it seems. All seems well now.


13:39 Tuesday, 3 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 79.2°F Pressure: 1016hPa Humidity: 62% Wind: 12.66mph

Photo of a submerged alligator's head beneath the inverted reflection of a street lamp.

10:36 Monday, 2 January 2023

Kind of a test post without a title. Also discovered I have to change the Automator application that exports the photo from Photos to the Images folder for the 2023 archive. A lot of moving parts...

Things to do...

09:48 Monday, 2 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 59.04°F Pressure: 1018hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 6.91mph

Found yet another 2022 that needed to be changed to 2023. So instead of writing this post, I should be noting all the locations and figuring out how to automate it; or at least making it easier to find them next year.

Another little task is to create a template for a post without a title. That's easy, but I have to think about how that gets set automatically. Since you have to create a title when making a note, I think it'll just be a single letter or symbol, with an if-statement in the on-add action in the container.

Fog Walk

09:40 Monday, 2 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 59.04°F Pressure: 1018hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 6.91mph

Water vapor condensed on the hair on the back of my hand as I was walking. Closeup of beads of water on my hand.

Even foggier than yesterday. Got a few shots with the Olympus Stylus 1s.

Search and Replace Exists for a Reason

13:22 Sunday, 1 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 72.21°F Pressure: 1016hPa Humidity: 83% Wind: 5.75mph

Found another 2022 I need to change to 2023. Sigh. It was an unfortunate choice of text color and background.

All should be well now. As this test will hopefully prove.

Finding My Way in the Fediverse

12:32 Sunday, 1 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 69.76°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 88% Wind: 5.75mph

I found this link, which I will share in a moment, via Mastodon. As I was scrolling Mastodon, I was wondering if I was switching from one form of addictive behavior to another? I don't know the answer to that yet, but the possibility exists. At least on Mastodon I don't have the same number of people who interact with me, which is the major part of what kept me on Twitter.

In any event, it's not clear to me yet exactly what my relationship will be with Mastodon.

I could have simply "boosted" the post that I saw the link in, but I think the post is relevant to what I write about here from time to time, certainly today anyway. So I'll post it here, and then it'll get picked up via RSS on my micro.blog and automagically shared to Mastodon and Twitter, where my account remains active though I don't visit the site.

Please forgive all that preamble, but I found this post useful and relevant for those who may still be uncomfortable remaining on Twitter and uncertain about what their options may be. It's not the whole picture, but it's a useful glimpse of a large portion of it.

Personal Blogging

11:45 Sunday, 1 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 66.81°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 93% Wind: 4.61mph

It feels as though there really is some momentum for a shift away from corporate social media silos to something more humane.

I mean, just consider the constructions: "Social media" vs. "Personal blogging." Which one feels more intimate?

It's not all sunshine and rainbows in personal blogging though. Comments were always a fraught endeavor. And while some blogs grew popular organically, there were many that focused on growth and "popularity" and you could tell just by reading them.

Which, at least in my case, meant I didn't read them for long.

And there were the people who wanted to profit off that natural inclination to look for rank and establish hierarchies. I never liked Technorati for that reason, but many people loved it.

Anyway, anything is better than Twitter. I don't think people should embrace another VC-funded corporate social media silo like Post, but I get it. This stuff isn't super-hard, but it's not brain-dead simple for busy people to figure out. The corporate silos exploit that and herd users into them.

But I have very fond memories of the early days of blogging, with Al, and Hal, and James, and Garret, and Shelley, and AKMA, and Susan, and Dori, and Rob, and Elaine, and Stavros the Wonder Chicken, and Jonathon. Very fond memories. I still have a knife and an everyday pan that Al Hawkins recommended I get as a new bachelor learning to cook for himself. We kept the everyday pan even though it's aluminum and doesn't work on an induction range because it's so damn useful in the oven.

I'm sure I left a few people out in that previous paragraph. Most are still online. We didn't always agree on everything, but we mostly got along fine. I look forward to something like that again.

A Dim Sun

10:49 Sunday, 1 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 65.37°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 94% Wind: 4.61mph

Branches of a Bald Cypress silhouetted against a dim sun in fog. The shapes of four birds flying above it.

A photo post test. I note that I have to update the script for the image URL. Manually edited in this post.

Also have to create a 2023 Images folder on the server.

This pic was something of a happy accident. Shot this yesterday and I'd originally intended just to get the branches of the tree silhouetted against the sun. I normally walk with the XZ-1 turned off, and it's not the fastest little camera to be ready to shoot. Not usually a problem, since I don't plan to shoot "action" with the XZ-1. Usually.

I spotted the birds as the camera was starting up and hoped I'd be able to capture them in the frame. I did, but you'll notice I didn't actually silhouette the branches against the sun.

Good enough, though. I liked it.

Template Glitch

10:41 Sunday, 1 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 65.03°F Pressure: 1017hPa Humidity: 95% Wind: 4.61mph

Forgot to update the RSS template for 2023. Might work now. This is a test.

New Year

10:15 Sunday, 1 January 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 64.29°F Pressure: 1018hPa Humidity: 95% Wind: 3.44mph

Doing some maintenance around here to get the marmot configured for 2023. Dropped a post in the micro.blog to share some pics from the fireworks last night at St. Augustine Beach. I have thus far managed to stay off Twitter, and it has opened up more time to work in Photos and so on.

Mitzi and I had dinner at a friend's house last night. She lives in St Augustine Beach, almost on the beach, only a short walk to the dune. We watched the fireworks from the dune walkover. I brought along the Olympus E-PL10, a PEN Light model, which was sort of a more consumer-level micro four-thirds body. Up until the E-PL9, the Light models had the full features of the more "professional" bodies in terms of the image processor and menu system.

The E-PL9 and E-M10 Mk3 and subsequent models had a more "accessible" menu system, with fewer options and available customizations. But in this case, I wanted the E-PL10 because I wanted something small and light to carry, and I was going to shoot with Live Composite mode, and I often have to fiddle around finding it on the E-PL7 or E-PL8. Plus, mine is a "Kuro" (黒) which looks very smart with the black 17mm/f1.8 prime. So, style points for closing out the old year.

I also brought along an old Gorillapod, one of the heavier models. I thought we'd be sitting on the beach, but I wanted options. As it turned out, we could watch from the dune walkover, so I clamped the Gorillapod on the rail. It vibrated a lot as people walked on the boards, but it appears that the relatively wide angle and the image stabilization handled it pretty well.

Thick fog this morning. I took the Oly XZ-1 along because I always hope to see some spiderwebs. They've been missing of late, though this morning I was happy to spot one at the back gate. Here's a little album at Flick from this morning's walk.

Anyway, first post of the new year at the marmot. Hopefully, many more to come.