This is worth playing and listening to in its entirety (transcript here). A moving tribute to a giant of a man, a message to the current fascist in charge, and a challenge presented to Biden if he can succeed in gaining the presidency.
I was on a work call other day talking about infographics, and one of my colleagues in London sent a link in the chat to an article called 40 of the Best Infographics to Inspire You. As I scrolled down I was shocked and flattered to see the the first example was one I did for WRI back in 2014 when longform infographics were all the rage, something I sweated over with the Climate team for weeks until we got it right.
I set up a table and a stove in the shady part of the backyard to brew a new batch of beer on Sunday, knowing it was going to get hot out there. The brew went smoothly, and because I was using the original stainless kettle I’d started with 15+ years ago, the batch smelled and tasted better than the last two I’d cooked in aluminum pots. This one is called Kama Citra, and it took a metric ton of hops during the boil—it smelled so good—and after it gets racked into the secondary fermenter it will get another two ounces of hops to finish.
I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I’ll have to dump the bock in the kegerator out, as I just can’t bring myself to drink it due to the taste.
The new washer in the basement is happily cranking away on our clothes. There was a frightening couple of days where it was looking like we weren’t going to get something delivered until the middle of August, but I got lucky with a Lowe’s CSR who absolutely worked the system, found me a washer available locally, and had it delivered the next day. Jen says it’s much larger than our HE front-loader and seems to be washing clothes better.
There’s an International dealership down the road from me in Ellicott City that I’ve been aware of since I was in college, and back in the days when I was sourcing parts for Chewbacca I bought some parts from a guy that worked there, including a windshield that still sits in my garage. From the grapevine I’d heard that he got out of the biz after the first EC flood came through and wiped out his parts stash, but apparently he’s still hauling rusty junk out of the woods. A few weeks ago I saw a post on Craigslist for a travel top and some other parts on a junker and realized it was parked up behind the dealership, and this morning I thought I’d go take a look at it on a quiet Sunday morning. The truck is still there, and hasn’t changed since the post went up. It’s a crusty 1980 Diesel from Arizona missing both front fenders, but it looks like there might be some decent interior parts left, including a three-piece rollbar that looks like it would reach further back than the one in Peer Pressure.
He’s got some other rigs parked up there as well, including this ’78 that gets worse the closer you stand to it. I’ve never see two front fenders rust out like that; I have no idea what the cause might be.
There’s also this 1980 with the letters GMS printed on the side; Bennett tells me it stands for Green Machine Sport, which was a special package made that year to dress things up. This one is in about the same condition as the white Scout on the rollback, but at least all the parts are there.
I don’t know what he’s planning on doing with these. I reached out to him via Messenger to inquire about the rollbar, and he says he probably has plans for it, but he’d let me know if he was going to sell it. So we’ll see.
Along with a fancy camera, there’s another tool that’s equally important for any photographer: photo processing software. In my early days of shooting I used Photoshop exclusively, and fixed and saved photos one at a time. In the mid 200’s, Apple and Adobe came out with products that were designed to catalog and process photos in batches, so that a photographer could download a couple hundred shots from a camera and quickly browse through them all for the best picks.
Apple’s Aperture was a great product during the years they supported it. From a UI/UX standpoint, it was incredibly intuitive to use as a beginner, and only offered tools as the user gained experience. I used it happily and built several fast, powerful workflows to process photos—especially handy when I was shooting daily. It was discontinued in 2015 and I used it for several years afterward until I was forced to switch to Lightroom. I had nothing but praise for the frontend of the application, but but the filing job it did behind the scenes was so fucked up I’m only now digging out of the hole it put me in.
Two weeks ago I bought an enormous 8TB NAS drive for our basement server and consolidated all of our photos to the new drive. This included an existing 4TB photo drive and two external drives I’ve had bumping around my desk for three years (shame on me). Most of that work involves manually moving photos into properly organized folders. This is, in practice, as boring as it sounds, and should have been done years ago.
See, the way that Aperture did things for a while was to dump photos into a dated folder not based on the date the batch was taken but the date it was imported. Sometimes it split photos up, out of order, and put them into subfolders with long date-stamped names—sometimes 30 or more folders in one main folder, and most often empty. Later, after an update, it stuck random photos in successively named folders called “Roll XXX”, with no connection to date or batch.
What I want is to catalog photos by each year, month, and day they were taken so that I can see a photo from a particular batch without depending on photo processing software, and so that I can tell immediately if I’ve got multiple copies of a photo on the same drive (something else Aperture liked to do). There were a couple of cases where I had five or six copies of the same batch of photos for no reason.
So, I’m going through each year’s folder and splitting out the months and days and re-filing everything, and it’s taking forever and giving me carpal tunnel syndrome as well as a satisfying sense of accomplishment, because when this is done, I’ll have a real sense of what’s here and what’s missing—and then I can go and look for the missing files in my binders of DVD backups.
There are reddening tomatoes out in the greenhouse! The cherries are beginning to ripen, and there are scores of them across all of the tubs. There’s one plant that has 15 cherries in one cluster, which is pretty amazing. The larger tomatoes are also coming in strong, although there’s one that is still producing blossom end rot; I’ve got to look into the application instructions for the fertilizer I bought and see how often I’m supposed to amend the soil (or, just buy some calcium and add it directly). I think the weeks of high temperatures and humidity really kicked them all into overdrive, and I’ve been faithfully watering and pruning the plants every morning after Hazel’s walk.
One thing I need to understand for next year’s crop is how to prune them all back vertically so that they produce horizontally and with more density. I suspect Jen’s suggestion that they’re getting tall because they’re not getting enough direct light is true, but I can’t move them outside without losing them to critters. I’m also going to prune one of the boughs of the oak tree back to bring more light in earlier in the day. And finally, I want to both expand the number of tubs we’re planting in (an entire second row along the south wall) and the variety of plants. Next year I want several varieties of cherries—yellow and black did really well last year—as well as several full-size varieties. Oaxacas, Dagmas, and Paul Robesons grew pretty well in 2018 but I don’t have any seed for them, so I’ll have to figure out where I can get some different varieties and be prepared for 2021.
As of today I’ve got about 120 CD’s digitized from Rob’s collection. I had to open the top of the first case to access the carousel inside, but I can’t figure out what the grinding noise is or where it’s coming from, and no amount of futzing with the innards will free it up. This sucks because I can’t access roughly half of the CDs based on where they are in the carousel—unless I pull a bunch of them out, and I don’t have Rob’s CD binders to file things away in, and I don’t want to have giant leaning piles of CDs all over the place. More research is required, but given that it’s a Sony product, and because I’ve only ever had bad experiences with Sony A/V gear, I’m not optimistic.
Damn. I don’t know what’s more amazing, the shitty no-apology Florida Man begrudgingly offered for accosting and attacking Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or her incisive, excellent rebuttal.
I got a big box delivered to the house on Saturday, and inside were two beautiful olive drab ammo cans ready for engineering into lockboxes: one is for Brian and one is for me. The 30mm can is big and roomy and built to be weather-sealed, so there’s a beefy rubber gasket around the top of the lid. One bummer is that they’re not built like the 5.56 can I have in the basement, so both sides are latched instead of being latch/hinged. So we’ll have to figure out how we’re going to hinge the top and make it easily accessible, or just put lock hasps on both sides.
My first thought is that we can get a couple of wire rope clips, cut the threads down, and weld the flat ends to the wall of the can so that the loop feeds through the hole, as above. That would be a nice fat bit of steel to cut through.
The next solution would be to simply buy a metal hasp kit and use the staple, as long as it stuck out far enough. They’re already drilled for screws so it would be pretty easy to use the holes for welding (or, alternatively, just drill holes and screw the staple in place). I’d like to avoid having screw heads inside the box if at all possible, so I think I’ll try welding first.
We still don’t know exactly how it’s going to secure to the bed yet. Another thing to add will be rubber feet of some kind to keep it from banging around back there. But I love the look of it, and it’s just the right size to fit a backpack or a big toolbag or a laptop.