The Lathe #12

Saturday, August 20, 2022. Are we back?

The Lathe #12
How I'm feeling about technology

On Tuesday, just two days ago, in Lathe-ey Days of Summer, I wrote the following:

To this end, I'm bringing back "The Lathe"... my short-lived newsletter from a couple of years ago. Now, The Lathe was never a model of thoughtful writing, but at least it needed thought.

The idea was (is, I suppose) to force myself to focus on some form of regular, disciplined writing. For a while now, I've been allowing myself to blurt out any number of random, semi-coherent sentences every day on my blog's journal pages, but I haven't had the energy for writing actual blog posts.

I migrated old newsletters and the subscriber list from the original Substack into a Ghost instance here at Substack makes me a little twitchy, and I'm pretty fond of this domain name,  so, here we are 👋.

What should we do?

How about we start where we left off, and summarize the things I've been doing and thinking about over the last week or so? OK then!

A few things I’m thinking about

I've been thinking about blogging, obviously (see above), so what else has changed, blogging-wise? For one, I went back to publishing as a static website using Hugo. I second guess that decision every day, but there it is. Then, I rolled my daily notes from into Finally, I had a single website for my writing!

Wait, have we forgotten about the wiki? Ever since I started using Denote in Emacs for my notes, I've neglected TiddlyWiki. My on-again/off-again situation with Emacs will likely cause this to change.

Speaking of Emacs. I quit using it...until I didn't. As of this morning, I'm back in it for most writing, but my frustration grows, so stay tuned. It's important because Emacs is such a big part of everything, so quitting it has...fallout.

There are two other areas I've been focused on lately. First, as usual, is photography. The second is my new salt-water aquarium.

The big change around photography is that I sold the Leica M10-R. That hurt, but when I'm being honest with myself, I understand that it's not currently the right camera for me. In what seems a related event, but isn't, I bought a Panasonic Lumix S5. The S5 is not a replacement for the M10-R. I got it for scanning film photographs. My 12-year-old Epson flatbed finally died, and rather than spending $1,300 on a new scanner, I spend a few hundred more and got the S5 and a macro lens. Now I have a scanner and a darn nice digital camera.

I'll write more about the new aquarium later. It's the best new thing I've done in a long time!

What I'm watching

A ★★½ review of Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022)
Too much Minions is too much.

"Minions" just wasn't very funny.

A ★★★★★ review of Paterson (2016)
That was beautiful

"Paterson", by Jim Jarmush, was slow, sweet, sad, and beautiful. Nothing happened, yet so much happened.

A ★½ review of Absolutely Anything (2015)
I laughed zero times

Simon Pegg and the Monty Python troupe should be able to muster a few good laughs, right? Nope. No laughs at all in Absolutely Anything

I've also, for the third time, started watching "Breaking Bad." I know, I know, it's Great Television™, but I could never stick with it. Everyone on the show is an asshole and each episode is like a video game where every level is basically just getting out of an awkward or dangerous situation...on repeat. I'm half-way through season three and it's going better this time. The only reason I'm doing it is so that I don't miss anything when I watch "Better Call Saul."

What I'm reading

Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention- and How to Think Deeply Again, by Johann Hari. I'm nearly finished, and finding it to be exactly what I've been needing. It's discouraging what "surveillance capitalism" has done (is doing) to our focus and attention. Fighting against it seems as pressing a danger to civilization as climate change.

The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke. I enjoy reading poetry, and Rilke is a favorite. This is the highly-regarded translation by Stephen Mitchell. Also, the german version of each poem is printed next to the English translation. I like this, even though I don't read German.

Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences, by Barbara Holland. This is so fun. Mmmm, naps. I'm with Barbara on nearly all of these!

That's all for now, thanks for reading! I'll leave you with a photo of Alice, sniffing the summer breeze.