The personal weblog of Jack Baty

Sage and Portra

I put a roll of Portra through the Canon 1v. I haven’t shot much color film lately, so this was fun. The roll was processed at Meijer and scanned using the Pakon.

Sage (2016). Canon EOS-1v. Portra. Pakon scan.

Sage (2016). Canon EOS-1v. Portra. Pakon scan.

Sage (2016). Canon EOS-1v. Portra. Pakon scan.

Dictation using Apple Watch vs Sony Microcassette

I carry a microcassette recorder in my car so that I can dictate quick notes while driving, with minimal fuss. I’ve tried replacing it with using Siri or other methods on my phone, but nothing is as quick and easy as the little cassette recorder. See this earlier post for details.

Today I discovered an iOS app that attempts to make voice recording as easy as possible. It’s called Just Press Record and I’m finding it very promising. It comes with an Apple Watch app and can be used as a complication. This means that with a single tap on my watch, I can begin recording and then have the audio and transcription automatically synced to my phone (via iCloud).

One thing I’d like to see added to Just Press Record is an option to automatically save each recording. I’d rather not need to tap the Save button each time and just deal with deleting unwanted recordings later, while not driving. The fewer taps the better for my use case.

Still, the Sony allows for dictation using one hand and without needing to take my eyes off the road, so it remains to be seen whether using the watch can replace it in the long run.

Canon EOS-1DS

Canon EOS-1DS from 2002

At nearly 15 years old, one might think it would be time to retire the 2002 Canon EOS-1DS in my closet. Not quite yet!

I’ve always really liked the files from the camera, so I pulled it out today, charged the giant, clumsy battery, and shot a few snaps around the yard.

I think it holds up quite well.

Flowers (2016). Canon EOS-1DS

Leeloo 2005-2016

Leeloo. 2005-2016

Shortly after Christmas, 2005, my daughter surprised me by taking me to the local Humane Society and handing me an envelope with enough money for an adoption. She wanted me to pick out a new puppy. We already had 2 dogs at the time so I wasn’t exactly keen on getting a third, but I said I’d take a look.

I immediately fell in love with an adorable pit bull mix and we took her home. She was strong and beautiful so I decided to name her “Leeloo”, after Milla Jovovich’s strong, odd, and beautiful character in “The Fifth Element”.

Leeloo had funny ears and the sweetest disposition. I loved her.

A few weeks ago she stopped eating. After about a week we learned that her kidneys were failing, and quickly. We tried a number of treatments but her condition continued to worsen, and the decision was made to put her down.

I am heartbroken, but thankful that she was kind enough to spend her 10 years with me.

I’ve selected some of my favorite photos of Leeloo and created a collection on Flickr here:

Or if Flickr ever goes away, there’s a copy of them here:

I’ll miss my sweet Leeloo.

In 2003 I was using Blosxom to publish this blog. Even though Blosxom rendered via Perl, it was essentially a static blogging engine. All content was maintaned as simple text files. I tired of always editing text files and so I built a very simple static blogging CMS for Blosxom. I called it PHPetal. It worked well for what I needed, which was a web UI for editing content in a static CMS.

More than a dozen years later, I’m again using a static blogging engine for my blog (Hugo). And once again, I sometimes miss having a simple UI for editing content, but there’s no way I’m going to write another editor for it.


Forestry is “A simple CMS for Jekyll and Hugo sites.” The fact that it works with both Jekyll and Hugo is great (since I use Hugo but Jekyll seems to get all the love).

I imported my blog (via Gitlab repo) and am writing this post directly in the Forestry CMS. When a post is saved, it commits the file to the Gitlab repo, which then automatically publishes and deploys via Netlify. It may be another moving part, but it’s optional and doesn’t actually take away any control.

And in the end, it’s still just HTML files on a server.

Since Living Alone - Durga Chew-Bose

Durga Chew-Bose:

Both versions of me, since living alone, have settled into a one woman show that I star in and attend, that I produce and buy a ticket, but sometimes fail to show up to, because as it happens, living alone has only further indulged the woman — me — who cancels a plan to stay in and excitedly ad-lib doing nothing at all.

I’ve lived alone for quite a few years now. I’m not lonely, but am frequently alone. This is my default–my preference, given the choice.

Being alone much of the time gives me room. Room to explore. Room to “stay in and excitedly ad-lib doing nothing at all”. I love that last phrase, and doing nothing at all is my favorite thing to do.

Or it was.

I’m learning that not having any constraints with my free time leaves me wandering a little too aimlessly. I drift more than I do. I’m learning that one of the things I seem to enjoy most is actually making me less happy; less productive.

I have some ideas on how to change this, but they’re secret, for now.

Netlify and Hugo

I upgraded my iMac to the latest macOS Sierra beta. I thought everything was working fine until I tried to publish a short blog post about the experience.

My Hugo and/or Go installation was broken so I could not build my site. This meant I couldn’t publish to my blog. Ironic, no? Rather than waiting for things to be fixed, I decided to find a way around the problem.

Enter Netlify.

I’ve wanted to use Netlify again ever since they’d removed the builds-per-day limit. (I tend to make a lot of corrections after publishing). I added my site’s configuration to Netlify, pointed it to my Gitlab repo and added the appropriate DNS records. Five minutes later the site was built (via Hugo) and deployed to Netlify’s servers and CDN.

Now, every time I commit to master and push to Gitlab, Netlify automatically builds and deploys everything for me. I’m a fan of simple, static files on a server I control, but Netlify offers benefits that make it worth giving up a little control. For example, I can fix a typo by editing a file using the Gitlab web UI and the site will be built and deployed automatically. This lets me make edits on my iPad, which can be handy.

Continuous Deployment, a CDN, easy rollbacks, CLI, free one-click SSL, and a generous free tier. Pretty nice, Netlify.

Imaging, Snapchat and mobile — Benedict Evans

Benedict Evans:

So, you break up your assumptions about the models that you have to follow. You don’t have to save the photos - they can disappear. You’re not paying to process a roll of 28 exposures anymore. You can capture all the time, not just the moment you press the ‘shutter’ button (which, for example, gives us Apple’s live photos). The video doesn’t have to be linear - you don’t have to record just the right bits as though you were splicing a mix tape or recording from live radio.

“You don’t have to save the photos - they can disappear”

I know that wasn’t the point of his post, but dammit I wish people would stop saying it. You don’t have to save all of them, but you sure as hell should save some of them. Or maybe you don’t care that you’ll end up with nothing to show your grandkids.

Why Tim Berners-Lee is no friend of Facebook - The Guardian

John Naughton:

Facebook is what we used to call a “walled garden” and now call a silo: a controlled space in which people are allowed to do things that will amuse them while enabling Facebook to monetise their data trails. One network to rule them all. If you wanted a vision of the opposite of the open web, then Facebook is it.

I’m as critical of Facebook as anyone, but I tire of this trope. Facebook is of course a silo, but it’s also just a privately-owned app on the open web. In that way it’s no different than this here humble weblog, albeit somewhat more popular.