Another large format failure

I really botched this one. Out of four exposed frames, I ruined three of them due to technical mistakes.

The following self-portrat was the best of the bunch, but I didn’t realize that my head was in direct sunlight. I’m still clumsy with the Linhof but it’s fun trying.

Self-portrait, 2022. Linhof Master Technika. 150mm Sironar-N.

For a previous failure, see The Grafmatic back (and yet another 4×5 failure)

Blogging with Curio

I’ve used Zengobi Curio for many years when I needed a visual system for managing projects and associated files. In a recent version, Curio gained a Journal feature. It’s fairly rudimentary compared to dedicated journal apps, but I recently started testing it as a way to create a sort of scrapbook each day. It works pretty well for that. I export a PDF of the day’s entry, print it, and put it in a binder.

While farting around with Curio exports, I tried exporting a few entries as HTML and was surprised how much fidelity is maintained when exporting. For giggles, I uploaded a few days’ exports to a web server. I had a crazy idea that this could be a daily blog. Here is my test site.

Continue reading…

A few photos from Mother’s Day

Had brunch at my parents’ house yesterday to celebrate Mother’s Day. It was nice. My mom has been suffering from pain in her leg for a few weeks, but the combination of new meds and time seems to have helped quite a lot. I took the Leica Q2 Monochrom and made a few snaps. Here are my favorites from the day.

Continue reading…

Use what you have

I have some pretty nice things. I’m fortunate enough to have more “stuff” than I could ever need. And yet, it seems as if I’m always buying something new. It’s just that I like to try new things, whether it’s tools, software, gadgets, or what have you. I want to see what different things feel like to have and use.

The photo above is from my dad’s garage, taken this year. I took it because I’m always amazed at how little it changes. My dad rarely buys anything new. He just uses what he has.

Recently, I have been striving to be more like my dad. Whenever I start looking for some new thing to help me do some old thing, I say to myself, “Use what you have!” It’s working pretty well. I have not purchased anything new if I already have something similar that will do the job. No gadgets, cameras, pens, notebooks, computers, etc. I already have all those things, and they work great.

Book logging in Emacs

I’ve kept a list of books I’ve read as a plain text (well, technically, Markdown) file for years. I wrote about it here . The public version is rendered using Github Pages at books.baty.net . This is fine, but at some point last year I also started logging books in an Org mode file, just to see how it felt. It felt pretty good!

Continue reading…

I need a new film scanner

My Epson V750 Pro, purchased in 2009, has scanned thousands of rolls of film, slides, and prints. After making strange grinding noises recently, it has finally ground to a halt.

Continue reading…

Searching Org-roam files

Org-roam is “A plain-text personal knowledge management system” using Emacs and Org-mode and I put nearly all my notes in there. While it’s easy to find notes in org-roam based on filename, there’s no obvious way to search the contents of notes. Weird, right?

I could use the default projectile search, but my org-roam files live within my main ~/org directory, so the results are littered with all my other org documents. I’d prefer to only search in ~/org/roam

I use a simple lisp function to help with this. It uses consult-ripgrep:

(defun jab/search-roam ()
 "Run consult-ripgrep on the org roam directory"
 (interactive)
 (consult-ripgrep org-roam-directory nil))

I added a keybinding for it to my other org-roam bindings:

(map!
 "C-c n f" 'org-roam-node-find
 "s-u" 'org-roam-node-find
 "C-c n i" 'org-roam-node-insert
 "C-c n t" 'org-roam-dailies-goto-today
 "C-c n d" 'org-roam-dailies-capture-today
 "C-c n c" 'org-roam-capture
 "C-c n s" 'jab/search-roam               ;; <-- my new keybinding
 "C-c n l" 'org-roam-buffer-toggle)

Now, with a quick C-s n s I can search my org-roam files using the blazingly fast ripgrep .

If there’s a better way to do this, I’m all ears.

The West Wing Productivity System

The last time I rewatched “The West Wing” I was once again impressed by how good people were at their jobs. How productive everyone was. I wondered how I could be that productive.

I noticed that the entire process used by the staff seemed to be carrying around folders full of paper and barking things like “Get me the file on senator Jones and the notes from our briefing!” Within minutes they would be perusing a bunch of photos and papers scattered about a desk and they’d develop a plan right then and there. Awesome!

So, I started organizing all of my projects in manilla folders. One folder per project. I called it the “West Wing Productivity System”. I’d print meeting notes, mindmaps, emails, etc and put them in the appropriate folder. I kept a single summary sheet clipped to the inside with contact information, summary info, budgets, etc.

Whenever I needed to work on a project, I’d grab the folder, spread its contents across my desk, and get to work. It was nice knowing where everything was. It was nice being able to see everything at once, if necessary. (I had a big desk).

On the other hand, it was a pain when I needed to share something with colleagues. Search kind of sucked. And if I happened to be at home without the proper folder in my bag I was screwed.

It was fun for a while, but this was nearly 10 years ago. I still use folders, just not quite so deliberately. Just for the hell of it, I’ve brought back the system for some of my home projects. There’s not a lot of risk and I get to shuffle papers around again like I’m Josh’s assistant or something.