Jack Baty – Director of Unspecified Services

Photo: The Chip

Shelly and Jeff at JT's Our friends Shelley and Jeff are two of the very few people we’ll (carefully) meet with during the pandemic. I snapped this while having dinner. It’s a nice portrait of them, but what stands out is the chip in Jeff’s hand. He loves the restaurant’s “spicy chicken nacho dip”. He also loves salt, and will often add salt to each chip full of dip.

First impressions of the Leica M10-P

I am so thrilled to be the new owner of a Leica M10-P. I can hardly believe it. An M10 has been a dream camera since they were announced. I never imagined I’d actually own one. But, circumstances have allowed me to begin putting together what I consider the ultimate “kit” for me, and the M10 is at its center. I couldn’t be happier. I went a little beyond what I’d intended and got the M10-P version rather than the original M10.

Cheating with digital

Photographs should not be significantly altered in post. It’s cheating. This is how I feel. I suppose if you consider yourself a “digital illustrator” rather than photographer, then sure, but otherwise, it’s cheating. And oh my how easy it is to cheat these days. Here’s an example. I took the following photo yesterday during a walk at the beach with my daughter. Ok, I lied, the photo I actually took was this one…

Re-retiring the old iPhone SE

I’ve only had it out again for a few weeks, but I’ve already put my beloved iPhone SE back in the drawer. As much as I love its size, shape, and Touch ID, the little SE doesn’t fit as well into my life as well as the X. Its battery only gives me about a half-day of use. It doesn’t fit in my car holder. It’s a lot slower, and the camera is much worse.

Cameras I’m using and cameras I want

Here are the cameras I use regularly enough to claim that they are “being used”, in order of most-to-least used. Digital Ricoh GRIII Leica Q Fuji X-Pro2 Fuji X-T3 Film Leica M6 Fuji Instax SQ6 Leica M3 Hasselblad 500C/M Obviously, this list is way too long for anyone claiming to be a serious hobby photographer: “It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer, blah, blah…”. On the other hand, it’s a fine list for someone—me, for example—who enjoys photography but really likes cameras.

I miss Ruby on Rails

I shipped my first Ruby On Rails app—an ecommerce website—in 2007. I had been writing PHP apps for a few years and working with Rails was a revelation. In fact, I was half finished writing that ecommerce site using PHP when I discovered Rails. I was so sure about Rails that I convinced the CEO to let me trash the PHP version and start over in Rails. It was worth it.


Nicotine toothpics created by Wayne DeWitt" Nicotine toothpics created by Wayne DeWitt My good friend Wayne tried to quit smoking for a minute once or twice. He didn’t like gum so he invented cinnamon-flavored nicotine-infused toothpicks. I think this was in 1993. The idea was that having a toothpick soaked in nicotine in your mouth was more like smoking a cigarette than chewing gum or wearing patches and would therefore be more likely to reduce the urge to smoke.

First impressions of HEY email

When Google’s Gmail went beta in 2004 I desperately wanted to try it. So much so that I traded an extra camera (A Canon Canonet GIII, no less!) for an invitation. Gmail was doing something different with email and, at the time, the trade was worth it. There haven’t been many true innovations in how we deal with email since then. The plethora of iOS apps claiming to revolutionize email probably count, although I haven’t liked any of them.

So, I went with Roam Research and am a True Believer

I discovered Roam in December, 2019 and thought, “Wow! This is exactly the thing I’ve been looking for” even though it was buggy, less than pretty, and still too new to count on. And yet, the more I dug in, the more I liked it. I remember telling people that “this thing pays dividends on your notes!” I’d finally found the ultimate tool for my Personal Knowledge Management System. (I don’t call it a “Zettelkasten” for two reasons.

Keeping Org-roam daily notes in a separate folder

Org-roam continues to impress. I use org-roam’s “Daily Notes” feature every day as a frictionless place to put notes that may or may not need to be moved or otherwise dealt with later. It’s the Org-roam version of a similar feature in Roam. One thing about it I didn’t care for was that the Daily Notes .org files were starting to pile up in the root of my ~/org directory.

Org-roam vs other Roam-alikes

As you probably know, I struggle with where to keep my notes. For a few months now it’s been a battle between Org-roam and Roam. Org-roam has been in the lead, mostly due to Roam being unstable and (soon to be) expensive. Also, my infatuation with Org mode is on again. Using Emacs takes work on my part. It takes mental energy. I’m nearly always OK with that, because Emacs has Org mode and Org mode beats everything at what it does.

Take lots of notes – but where?

Once again, I am struggling with the decision on where to take notes. I apologize for making you sit through yet another round of this navel-gazing process, but I need to type it out. It helps me think. Let’s, for the moment, ignore journaling 1 and consider only the current contenders for my “Second Brain”, or “Personal Knowledge Management System”, or even “Zettelkasten” if we’re feeling fancy and want to abuse the term a little.