The Lathe #1: Week ending Nov 29, 2020

Another very meta week around here

Publishing a newsletter summarizing the most recent week of activity in my wiki at is wildly self-centered and presumptuous about the level of interest in what I have to say.

And yet…

This week I tried to figure out the difference between what I call “Minutiae” and the regular Daily Notes tiddlers. At first, I wanted to be rid of them altogether:

I'm thinking that the Minutiae pages don't belong here. They are probably better suited to a private database somewhere. I mean, no need to share everything, right? Still undecided. There's something about over-sharing that makes me want to win at it.

It’s not been settled, but I’m still putting the little bits and bobs in there, for now. I also posted about it in more detail.

And the struggle continues:

I'm having (or continuing to have, I guess) a logging crisis. "Crisis" is too strong a word, but still, I can't decide where to keep the daily minutiae.

I wrote that post using Ulysses, which I thought I’d abandoned but wanted to test its ability to post directly to Ghost. It’s a very nice app, but it won’t be where I take notes or even write most things.

There’s an ongoing struggle around using TheBrain. One minute I think I’ll live there and the next I’m uninstalling it. The conclusion has been that it’s too hard to get things into and organizing is too much work.

Using TheBrain requires a lot of decisions about what goes where and how.
  • Should a link be an attachment, part of the note, or a linked thought?
  • Should I set today's note as "Home" or pin it instead?
  • Where does new stuff go?
  • Should this other thought be a child or sibling?

There were some random thoughts about wasting my life

I claim to prefer simple things and yet I over-complicate everything

I spend most of my time sitting at a computer finding clever ways of doing nothing

I also spend a lot of time leading horses to water.

I finally admitted something:

I've decided that dotgrid notebooks are not for me. Ruled notebooks, er, rule.

Played with the wiki for much of Thanksgiving day. That of course led to thoughts around it all.

After a few days of TiddlyWiki vs Roam I still believe that TiddlyWiki is more fun but damn Roam is nice. Still using both, Roam for private notes and TiddlyWiki for, well, whatever this place is. All of this remains an experiment.

And then there was the first thoughts that became this newsletter

I enabled "memberships" at Not sure why. I admit to thinking about summarizing the posts here at the end of the week and sending it out as a newsletter, but a newsletter with (optimistically) a dozen subscribers is probably not worth the effort.

After the hubbub around the SCOTUS ruling about closing churches, I had a thought.

If churches stood for what they claim to, they'd close voluntarily.

A comment about the reviews and discussions around the new M1 Macs

If things were reversed and new Windows computers arrived with the performance just crushing that of Macs, I still wouldn't buy a Windows machine. Performance is only part of the story.

I still dig TiddlyWiki over Roam for the wiki…

I'm still finding that I prefer TiddlyWiki to Roam as a "place". As goofy as it is, it feels comfortable somehow. And I must admit to not missing the feeling of, even incidentally, being part of the "Roamcult".

I spent a ton of time futzing with my photos and workflow. The idea being that I don’t want to live in any catalog, so I worked on making PhotoMechanic the central app.

Today I'm tinkering with my photo workflow. It's looking like everything starts and ends in Photo Mechanic. This isn't new except that I'm not thinking of Capture One Pro as just a RAW converter sharing duties with Photoshop. Still noodling.

Keyboard are my thing, but then why am I using a Magic Keyboard?

Speaking of typos, I've been using the bog-standard Apple Magic Keyboard at the iMac on my desk for a few days instead of either the Happy Hacking Keyboard (HHKB) or the Keychron K2. The idea being that it should reduce the overhead of switching between the iMac, the MacBook, and the iPad. I don't mind the low profile, but I sure don't like the feel. I really wish I liked the Keychron more, since at least its layout isn't completely non-standard like the HHKB. But I love the switches on the HHKB so much that I'm considering shopping for something with Topre switches but also a "normal" layout. And I don't need some 60%-er to prove my geek creds.

Emacs came back with a vengeance.

I just downloaded the updated edition of Mastering Emacs and I just know that's going to mess up my weekend. And probably beyond.

Have a great week!