I like things that don't need batteries. I jumped on the electronic shifting bandwagon when it became a thing in cycling, but now a mechanical shifter pulling a cable is far more appealing; bicycles are supposed to be simple, and small actuators, batteries, and wireless protocols are not that.

I like film cameras because of the physical medium that contains the image. Film cameras of a certain age used electronic parts to expose the film, calculate the exposure, etc. These cheap stamped circuit boards eventually die and are either impossible or extremely expensive to repair. The beauty of a Leica M6 (and earlier) or the Fuji GW medium format range finders is that taking the photo is totally mechanical.

Even at a tiny scale, mechanical items can be repaired and serviced. Vintage watches are a great example. Once cleaned, springs replaced, and lubrication applied, they'll be as good as they day they were produced. The cost to repair a quartz watch is often more than the cost of a new one.

We have dark mode for websites and apps. Let's extend it:

  • Books. I'd absolutely read a physical book printed white on black
  • Album covers. OK, this one is a bit weird but when driving at night the album art appears on my car's screen. When it's Scaring the Hoes the brightness is a little distracting. Don't make me change settings, just give me a dark mode album cover. Bonus benefit: two covers for physical copies, more copies sold to collectors. Admittedly not good for photographic album art
  • Hotel room. Zaha Hadid already kind of did this one

Feelings are better shared, but sadly the object of feelings might not want to hear it. Negative and positive, sometimes you need to know the response before you take the risk of unburdening yourself.

Acceptable times for audience interaction by genre:

  • Pop, Rock, Metal, Hip-Hop: Any time. Make some noise. Maybe try to keep it down during the quiet bits
  • Jazz: After the solos, and at the end of the piece. Otherwise, shut up
  • Classical: At the end of the piece. Don't you dare be a philistine and clap between movements. Also, don't forget the conductor needs to be adored with several curtain calls

Getting enough blood out of my arm for a routine test took the combined effort of two nurses and a doctor. With an arm like a pin cushion, I was told that I clot extremely quickly. Almost as if I want to keep my blood.

The winning move was drinking a glass of water and doing a few push-ups. While I don't have a problem with needles, I do have a problem with demonstrating how weak I am in front of medical professionals.

The daily writing has taken a massive hit. While I manage to make a note or write most of a post every day, I have fallen extremely behind on actually publishing.

Sitting down and finishing up to 14 posts in one sitting is both exhausting and totally at odds with the reason I started this. Needing to use a computer to write and there being a lot in my life that I don't really want to get into right now is a catalyst for simply not doing it.

It's easy to blame the January slump and SAD, so let's do that.

Book review: How They Broke Britain, by James O'Brien.

Like a lot of people my introduction to James O'Brien was through Brexit debates from his radio show. I've become a reasonably regular listener. I don't agree with everything he says, but he is one of the only people I can name who frequently reflects on his past opinions, changes his mind, and owns up.

This book covers various political figures and journalists from the last decade or so and outlines how they have each contributed to the absolute mess we find ourselves in now.

An observation that sums so much up for me, was that at one point we had a Prime Minister (May) who had to pretend to be pro-Brexit and an opposition leader (Corbyn) who had to pretend to be pro-Remain; both having personal views that did not align with their public positions.

Informative and angry-making. I recommend it if you want to know just why things are so fucked.