My ongoing efforts to stop using Emacs continue to fail.

Moving away from Emacs becomes more difficult every time I adopt a new Emacs module, replacing yet another tool or process. This time, I’ve started using Emacs for reading RSS feeds. I’m trying Elfeed as my feed reader. It looks like this…


The list of feeds is maintained as an Org Mode file using elfeed-org. I have the feed list and elfeed’s database in Dropbox so everything syncs nicely.

Elfeed is fast, easy way to burn through a long list of feeds using familiar keybindings in a familiar environment. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, I guess.

Resuming my experiment with Known

A month ago, in Pausing my experiment with WithKnown, I wrote that Known was “accidentally a decent IndieWeb-enabled blogging platform”. After a few weeks trying to wrangle Wordpress into a useful IndieWeb platform, I feel differently about Known. Known is a darn fine, simple, and IndieWeb-complete blogging platform. It works so well that there can be nothing accidental about it.

So, as I tend to do, I set up a new site using Known at stream.baty.net. The theme is simple and posting things couldn’t be easier. In fact, it’s very “Tumblr-esque”, which I like for this type of site.

I set up cross-posting to Twitter and Mastodon via easy-to-configure plugins. I connected Brid.gy for bringing Instagram and Twitter likes and replies (webmentions) back into the original posts.

The entire process took maybe an hour and I’m already posting and seeing webmentions. That was easy.

Expired Delta 3200

I’m trying to use up a bunch of expired film in my freezer, so I put a roll of Delta 3200 (exp 2011) through the Hasselblad. Just a few quick shots of Josie around the house. This one isn’t helped by the dirty window glass I shot through, but she still looks cute and the film worked fine.

Josie Josie. Hasselblad 500C/M. 80mm Planar. Delta 3200 @1600. HC-110.

The Hasselblad is Back

After spending several months out for repair with David Odess, my Hasselblad 500C/M kit is back! Isn’t it beautiful!

Hasselblad 500C/M, Zeiss Planar 80mm, and A12 back

I had begun to notice that my exposures were all over the place. At first I thought it was just inconsistent metering on my part but it turns out the shutter mechanism in the lens was badly broken. Considering the camera was made in the 1980s, I thought it was time for a CLA of the whole kit. I sent the lens, body, and back to David and waited patiently for their return.

Here’s what was fixed:

500C/M Body

  • upper plate foam
  • front plate foam
  • release button spring
  • base plate
  • screw for base plate

80mm CF

  • main spring
  • cocking ring spring
  • gear train

A-12 Back

  • light trap
  • light trap foil
  • nylon stop
  • drive gear

Also “Body, lens and magazine were cleaned, lubricated and adjusted in accordance with factory specifications”

Everything about the camera now feels and works wonderfully. I’m happy to have it back and intend to use it for many years to come.

Here’s one frame from the latest roll. I’ve always loved how the Zeiss lens renders.

Josie (2017). Hasselblad 500C/M. 80mm Zeiss Planar. Tri-X

Hugo is very fast


I did a little template cleanup today, and Hugo’s rendering times got even faster. It’s pretty great being able to manage a static site with thousands of pages and not worry at all about rendering speed.

A change to my Org Mode journaling

Keeping up with a journal every day is hard. I’ve tried to make it easier by using capture templates in Org Mode. My usual approach is to have the capture template create a “datetree” entry in my Daybook.org file. This works well for short, individual entries like the following:

** Received the Hasselblad back from David Odess
   <2017-06-24 Sat>
   Total cost: $1,244
   He fixed and CLA'd the 500C/M, 80mm, and the older A12 back

I’ve been trying to write longer posts every day, so the capture template approach wasn’t ideal. I needed a way to write journal entries as more than just headlines. A few years ago I was writing at 750words.com and I liked the pressure and style of just making sure I wrote at least 750 words every day. The only thing that mattered was getting the words out. I didn’t have to care what to write about or that it was written well or, hell, that it was even coherent.

There are a couple problems with using 750words.com. First, I’m more concerned about privacy these days, so I don’t want everything sitting out on their server somewhere. More importantly, I prefer writing in Emacs to writing in a browser.

I made a few changes in order to use Emacs more like 750words.com.

I want my journal entries to be individual .org files, one for each day. As it happens org-journal by Bastian Bechtold works that way by default. Org-journal lets me open today’s journal file by hitting C-c C-j any time. A new file is created if one doesn’t already exist. I can simply start typing and it goes at the end of the day’s entry.

I’ve changed a few of the default org-journal settings. For example, I don’t want a timestamped heading to be created each time I trigger a new entry. Here are my settings…

 '(org-journal-file-format "%Y-%m-%d.org")
 '(org-journal-time-format "")
 '(org-journal-time-prefix "")

To keep an eye on my word count, I installed wc-mode which displays the buffer’s word count in the modeline. To get a running word count I can use the command line and simply run the following in the journal directory…

wc -w *.org which outputs something like this…

496 2017-06-23.org
788 2017-06-24.org
 80 2017-06-25.org
1364 total

This all works great. Some day I’d like to create a way to better visualize word count and missed days over time, but for now this is an improvement over the capture template approach I was using.

Following People vs Topics

Colin Walker:

“Part of the problem with people based following models on social networks is that you follow the whole person so see everything they post whether it is relevant to you or not. There is no filtering system.”

I don’t consider this to be a problem. I prefer to follow people rather than topics. People are more interesting. It’s the same for me with musicians or artists or directors. If I like what the person is doing, I want more of it, no matter the topic.

Perhaps it’s time for blogrolls and OPML files to make a comeback too.

Yes, I believe it’s time. I miss blogrolls.

Caption your photos

A page from one of my grandfather's photo albums

Consider this my semi-regular reminder to caption your photos. Even though Google Photos can figure out what is in photos, it can’t (yet) know why or what it means. Take a few minutes and add a caption to at least some of your photos.

And while you’re at it, print a few of them. Your grandkids will thank you.

Setting Hugo Version for Netlify

After deploying my blog via Netlify I noticed some pieces were missing. Turns out I needed to tell Netlify which version of Hugo to use during the build.

Adding the following to the netlify.toml file was all it took.

  HUGO_VERSION = "0.23"