The Twilight Report

Your Home For Snappy Repartee

serene translucent lake

Just a short note since I am on vacation and the internet be slow in Tasmania.

Last night we went to see the Tasmanian Devil feed. The keeper was explaining that the devils are solitary selfish animals it made me think of the day before taking the boat out to Wine Glass Bay where the passengers stayed affixed to their possie on the front of the boat to make sure that nobody else got a turn.

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Mr Wong's in Sydney day #8


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Port Arthur ruins day #9


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Watching sunset on the coast at Freycinet day #10


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Coles Bay day #11


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Wine Glass Bay day #12


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Dove Lake and Cradle Mountain day #13


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Cradle Mountain from Snake Hill trail day #14


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Conceiving a plot

I had the world's shittiest week before going on vacation, which explains my relative quiet in the past two weeks. After a week in Sydney I am starting to feel a little more human again. Also after a week in Sydney I really miss living here, a lot. The US feels like it is getting worse and worse. The thing is though, Australia has always had terrible racist immigration policies, and the US (problems though it has always had) is only now starting to catch up. To be honest. (There is of course so much more than just immigration that is wrong with what is happening in the states though).

A few weeks ago I not very seriously checked to see what it would cost to get a partner visa for my wife. Shockingly it is now about AUD$7k. Which is still a lot when you convert it to US Dollars. Appaently it is amongst the highest or the highest in the world. I was talking to a dear friend complaining that they are using it for revenue and she said “why shouldn't they?” I think it is unfair though to charge such a large sum of money to be with the one that you love so that the federal government can buy some dodgy F-35s. As I say it wasn't very serious, and I hope it doesn't come to that.

Thursday was my great auntie Rae's birthday, the reason for our visit. Thursday was a family only with a swim in te ocean, lunch at the club and a climb up the coast by the golf course. It was quite lovely.

Saturday (today) was the big party with 39 people, most of whom I did not know. We were at a table full of aussies, none of whom I knew. All of whom had a quaint opinion on America. I didn't feel it, but it is common, and Lena told me latter she was feeling defensive, given the current regime. Aside from that it was a lovely weather and a lovely party. Uncoordinated mum and her friend both brough Rae a corsage. Lucky one was for the wrist and the other wasn't.

Oh aisde from one other thing: In Australia they sometimes do this thing when they cater a big event where they alternate main dishes, and you get to negotiate with you neighbor if you get something that you don't like. Or are alergic to. That is definitely not cool.

Now we are watching Crocodile Dundee which happened to be on the tube, and lena said “You can hear that same bird outside”.

Some photos:

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Sunset day #1
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Seahorse kissing at Circular Quay day #2
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Rushcutters Bay in boots day #3
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Ferry to Bundeena day #4
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Family at Collaroy day #5
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Nail in fence at Terrigal day #6
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Auntie Rae cutting her 90th birthday cake day #7
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end is the only part of the word

On the way to the movie theatre last night Lena rightly repremanded me for calling it the “Stupid Bowl”. I am a bad Australian in that I have no interest in sport. Well I wouldn't say “no”, I do like to sometimes watch a bit of The Ashes, to see the Aussies beat England. I could not watch all five days of a test, much less the entire series though. Cricket always seemed to be on the TV when I used to go visit Auntie Rae in Collaroy. My aunt is going to be 90 this month, which is part of the excuse to go to Australia. I have never been so thankful to have an excuse.

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faintly glimmering radio station

After the hubbub of last weekend we decided to take a little break and relax. Only kidding! Lena's parents came down for the weekend, and they brought her grandma. Lena had a choir concert on Saturday, where they broke attendance records for the choir and that along with cookie monster and the dancing the air was electric! A standing ovation (and not the kind where it is because you forgot to tell people to sit down)! At the reception Lena's father Misha bought a raffle ticket and won a nice basket of wine, cheese, crackers and chocolate. So when we got home we have a little improv wine, cheese, crackers and chocolate before going to sleeps.

The next day we had a play in the city to go see, so after lunch the parental units were on their way back to New Jersey as we took the train into the city. Nothing like last weekend, but there were a number of protestors on their way to the White House to protest the Muslim ban[1]. Lena struck up a conversation with someone who clearly had a sign. “Are you going too?” they asked. Meekly I said we had a previous engagement. We will resist further, just not today.

Play was a production of As You Like It at the Folger Shakespeare Library, which takes us past the Supreme Court. As you know a Supreme Court is just like a regular court, only with sour cream. I had been reading that a judge had issued a stay on the possibly unconstitutional Muslim ban executive order. This felt like a victory, only it wasn't clear that the Homeland Security (DHS) was going to honor the stay. I am reminded of the time the Supreme Court ruled against Andrew Jackson's unconstitutional policies toward Native Americans, and the president is reported to have said “[Chief Justice] John Marshall has made is decision; now let him enforce it![2]

But I digress, and “The play's the thing wherein” we will catch the conscience of the king[3]? More appropriately for this play “All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players”. I have never seen As You Like It so far as I can remember. I thought this production was wonderful though. They had integrated some modern music into the tale and I thought Rosalind was fantastic. Her relationship with Celia was authentic and alive! After some mistaken identify and some foolish comedy, everyone was married off to the correct partner. I hath not seen this play, but methinks that I hath?

Weeks ago, we had by mistake gotten tickets to see Dirty Dancing in the movie theater that very same night. When we realized that we had made the error of scheduling two entertainments for the same day, we decided that we would ‘see how we felt’ after the play and decide if we wanted to go. Lena was not excited about it. But she has wanted to see the film with me for a while, so I insisted that we go. It was not as terrible as I thought it might be. There was an interesting intersection of popular culture and class in there. There was also another plot element in the film that reminded us of the Supreme Court as we head back into the 50s and 60s from which this film was set. I can have hope and fear for the future at the same time.




  1. let's call it what it is, shall we?
  2. Okay, probably apocryphal, but it may as well be what he said, since that is how he acted.
  3. Though we seem to live in a land where the King hath no conscience to catch!
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flowers of flaming truths

Woke up at like 5:30am yesterday in the hopes of getting a good position. Somehow managed to misplace one of the two metro cards that I had charged up on Thursday! So grabbed a metro card with who knows how much on it in its place. Listening to the radio in the car on the way to the station, we heard that there had been ~6k people in the Sydney sister march, which was a little more than the ... 300 they were expecting! My mum and Don were there I am so proud of them. We were early enough at the station that things weren't too crowded, but about 2000% more than what you normally see on a Saturday morning that early. The random metro card we grabbed had enough charge on it, thankfully, because there were long lines to recharge your cards. It was still darkish when we got on the train. We got within visual distance of the stage (barely) and a handy jumbotron (decent, when the signs weren't in the way). We listened to a number of speakers. Gloria Steinem had some interesting things to say. Michael Moore is a troll, but some of the things that he was saying were true, fortunately Ashley Judd interrupted him before he went too far down his hyperbolic rabbit hole. The normally private Scarlett Johansson had some wonderful things to say, but the audio cut out toward the end of her remarks. Van Jones had some awesome things to say. Muriel Bowser had some choice things to say, including a claim that DC would become the 51st state (I do not oppose, but not likely). There were lots of pink hats. Lots of nasty women. There were some complaints about the organization, but I thought for the numbers of people it went pretty well. After so many speakers, and some degree of repetition, people were starting to get agitated so we started marching. I don't think people were following the official marching route, we ended up going right up Pennsylvania Ave, past Trump's new hotel (which got a number of boos) and past the White House. The DC National Guard were there in force, and they were terrific at helping to keep things safe and happy. In one video I saw later marchers were thanking the guardsmen (and guardswomen!). Police were present, but there weren't any negative confrontations that I could see. By some estimates the marchers numbered 500k. I have never seen the city so crowded in my life! Overall if I had to sum it up, I don't know what this will do or what this will change, but I have to say that I was glad that I went. In November I felt demoralized, and I still am to some degree, but it was positive experience to spend some time with people who also felt the same way and who are engaged to resist! Lena took some pictures on her phone (most of mine are on film to be developed later):

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Lena and I were there.

(a few more)
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Make America Tolerant Again!

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All sorts of people marching and cheering and chanting.

“We will not go away! Welcome to your first day!”

“We are the popular vote!”

“I pay taxes what about you?!”

“What's that smell? TRUMP Hotel!”

“Love not hate that's what makes America great!!!”

“Hands too small! Can't build the wall!”

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Hope! Nasty Women Snatch Back!

At the end of the march, we walked a few blocks back to Chinatown to get a direct ride out of the city. I figured that trying to change trains with the huge number of people was going to be a disaster. After trying three different entrances to the Chinatown metro station we finally got in. Once again we were thankful to have money on our metro cards because the lines were crazy. My feet were killing me, and the train in front of us broken down, and it was standing room only until the second to last stop. When we finally got to our car it was already dark again.

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Beyond your latest ad campaigns

The internet is not a fun place today. So I kept my head down working on some things. Finished a few. One of my favorite tech things is writing tests. So many programmers do everything they can to avoid writing tests. But not me. I love to see all of those ‘ok’ messages to line up in a neat formation. Sometimes in green. Sometimes unhighlighted.

Tomorrow the plan is to go into DC early for the march. I was at the metro station yesterday to fill up a couple of cards so that we wouldn't have to get tickets tomorrow. There were some women at the machine next to mine also filling up their cards for the same reasons. Mum and Don are going to the march in Sydney. One of my friends from high school sent Lena some socks to wear at the march so that she could be their with us. All this bodes well at least for the numbers.

The last time I participated in something like this was a protest in New York City against the Iraq War back in 2003. I feel pretty safe now saying that war was indeed a mistake.

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flies and spiders get along together

One of the things that I think is definitely good for my writing is to take any opportunity to take myself down a notch or two. We inherently have our own best interests at heart, and so when we describe our adventures in life we are likely to color the scene in a way that puts us in the best light. Of course. But that is terribly dull I suspect.

On the way home from Sherlock[1], I was driving Lena's car, but I didn't want to back into the corner space, which would ensure a big SUV didn't park next to Lena's car. I parked into the spot on the other side of my car because it was an easier park to back into. Needless to say Lena was not thrilled by my laziness. We took the tree down today[2] and Lena took the opportunity as we were walking inside to take some external decorations inside and down into the basement. I heard this shriek of anger, because she discovered that I hadn't stacked the boxes that the Christmas decorations were in when I took them downstairs earlier in the day. She angrily and quite rightly complained about my habit to not put things away. I tried stupidly to hand her some rolls of wrapping paper, but felt foolish and awkward, and so instead walked upstairs and started doing the dishes. I left a couple of dishes unwashed for tomorrow. “Why can't you finish anything?” my wife quite properly asked me. After I told her that I would do it. One day.

All this is to say that I have many numerous limitations, and my wife is an amazing talented musician and nurse practitioner who for some reason puts up with me, and on top of all of that unfairness she simply makes me look good by virtue of close proximity.




  1. long time readers from ... er yesterday ... will recall that we were going tonight
  2. long time readers ... yada yada ...
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haunts dismembered constellations

We were watching Sherlock last night (of a couple of episodes ago) and the protagonist randomly and inappropriately is all “Are those ginger nuts?” at which point I had to pause the show and run to the kitchen to get some of those “Swedish style” ginger nuts that are almost similar enough to Australian ginger nut, which long time readers of a couple of weeks ago will remember that I bought when I was trying to scam the super market out of a free half pan. This is all just to say that I am highly suggestible to very specific things. We're binge watching Sherlock because we're going to see the season finale in the theatre tomorrow and have to be brought up to date before that. Fortunately there aren't very many episodes in a season of Sherlock to get up to date, so the binge is only two episodes. Over two days. So not really a binge.

Benedict Cumberbatch sort of annoys me in that he seems to be in everything now a days. It is a subtle sort of annoyance though because he is admittedly pretty good and I end up watching most of what he is in anyway. Sherlock is okay on top of that anyway in that we were watching that show before I realized he was in everything.

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between the canaries and the cockatoos

Work frequently offers the sort of hilarity which is only hilarious in retrospect. Today through a comedy of errors so byzantine I will skip through it I found out there was an SSL security vulnerability in our webserver. SSL is the thing that makes your communications between you and your bank secure. SSL is also so badly written, maintained and so complicated that it is also almost certainly the reason that the Russian Mafia is well acquainted with your social security number and your next of kin. Of course I was totally flying blind because although they told me what was wrong with the SSL, they didn't give me the tool to test it, or tell me how to fix it. Fantastic. Eventually John, in his usual disrespectful tone, sent me a the URL to a website that I could use to test the SSL on our server. The only problem was that it was behind the firewall and I was working from home. No problem, I will just connect using a browser inside the firewall, only the browser balked because the SSL tester itself had... wait for it... an SSL configuration error. Also there wasn't any way to turn off the SSL verification. So good job guys. Way to provide the least penetrable interfaces and the most broken tools to your workforce.

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there are pies on a carosel, have a slice

I wanted to post a few more from film366 as described here. Not sure what photographic goals I will set forth this year. In the meanwhile I recall some of last year.

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(63 ≈ 349) some interesting textures in Manhattan.

(some more pictures)
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(around the corner ≈ 138) Playing with the fisheye at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

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(blinds ≈ 126) yet another self involved selfie. This time with in black and white and with blinds. I don't actually remember what this is reflected in.

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(sandy hook bars ≈ 114) Sandy hook ruins. In New Jersey.

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(walking to the movie theatre in the snow ≈ 53) from our trip to Salt Lake Christmas 2015.

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(skate ≈ 47) fun skating with the plastic camera. The winder on that camera broke last yet. Sadly.

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(tomato cheese sandwich ≈ 43) A meal instantly recorded.

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(snow day ≈ 40) snow falling, instantly recorded.

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(walk in the woods ≈ 320) Lena making her way in the lead through the Lake Frank hike that we sometimes do.

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(Friday night out ≈ 286) The wall on the side of one of our favorite Friday Night Out places to eat.

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(cart ≈ 277) A grocery cart. Captured in 120 square format.

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(the red one ≈ 356) These boxes are usually waiting outside our local Rite Aid. There is sometimes a red one.

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(look over there ≈ 335) Lena and a friend gaze off into the distance. Hiking in New Jersey.

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(street art ≈ 350) The juxtaposition of some street art and a digger. Also in Manhattan.

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(tree fist red scale ≈ 271) Tsankawi.

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(tree ≈ 262) A tree on the way to Lena's favorite place in New Mexico.

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(jet ≈ 205 A jet plane in shades of gray.

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(foot bridge ≈ 190) bikes on a footbridge.

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(nyhavn in evening ≈ 187) Evening in a pretty spot.

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(spiral ≈ 172) Lena touching the ceiling.

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(Rundetårn ≈ 170) Some locals shooting and a model.

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(morning in nyhavn ≈ 168) After the evening comes the morning.

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(Københavns Hovedbanegård ≈ 163) Different people in a train station.

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programming note: The Russians Are Coming

The Short Version: if you are using LiveJournal (LJ) then your data is now being stored physically in Russia. You should seriously consider migrating to a non-Russian based service, such as DreamWidth (DW):

If you are already on DW, or plan on migrating, please add me there:

Note that one gotcha for LJ users using DW, the equivalent to “friending” is clicking on “Grant Access” and “Subscribe”. You are of course welcome to subscribe without granting me access as well.

The Long Version: LJ was originally founded by an American techie when he expanded his personal blog so that other people could use it. While he was in charge LJ released a most of their code base as Open-Source. A lot of the policies under this guy were good IMHO: in particular the promise never to have advertising on the site. The bad was of course that he wasn't good at running a company. So he sold out. Quite understandably since he probably didn't want to be running a company anyway. One of the things that they did fairly early on after he sold the company was put advertising in for new free accounts, and allow existing users to convert their accounts to the ad driven model. I found this troubling, but it didn't effect me that much since I had a permanent (and ad-free) account.

LJ has always, as far back as I can remember, been popular among Cyrillic users including Russians. In fact: in Russian “Живой Журнал” or “ЖЖ” has become there genericized trademark for blogging (like Kleenex and Xerox are trademarks that have become generic in English). At some point in terms of active user share, the Cyrillic users came to dominate on LJ, in particular in terms of revenue, as English speakers flocked to The Facebook, Twitter and other things new and shiny. The company that had bought LJ sold it to a Russian company that now holds it. At first they kept the servers in the United States and at least some of the developers. Eventually they fired the US based developers and moved development to Russia.

I believe this is when DW started up. Staffed by ex-LJ employees, and taking the LJ code base that had been released under the original owner and forking it to provide some new features. The philosophy seems to be closer to the original owner's vision. They do not have, for example, ads.

Shortly before new year, LJ finally moved the physical servers to Russia. That means that your LJ journal is no longer hosted in a US jurisdiction, and is subject to Russian privacy laws.

Why should you care? Maybe you shouldn't? Maybe you think that having the CIA/NSA peruse your Journal is no better than the FSB/KGB. Depending on your politics it may seem six of one or half dozen of the other. I clearly have my point of view being an American. (Hopefully if you know anything about me though, you know that I am not blindly pro-American). I think it is a deeply troubling turn for LJ. When I told my wife, about all of this, she said she would like to move her journal from LJ to DW and delete the LJ version. She is from Russia, she has experience.

Even if you don't buy into the tin-foil-hat theory that Putin is going to be personally listening into your blogity blog, consider this: LJ hasn't cared about English speaking accounts in a long time. There just isn't any revenue there. Consider trying a provider like DW, which considers you a customer, rather than a distraction. The cool thing about DW is that it really is quite similar to LJ in terms of function, and you can even import your existing journal from LJ, and even cross post back to LJ.

I plan on mirroring my blogity blog to DW as I currently do on LJ. It would be nice to eventually migrate away from using LJ. (Although I would miss my permanent account). For now though, I will be doing both.

Also, as a lol, my journal has been mirrored for a long time on DeadJournal (DJ) the LJ parody site:

Feel free to add me there instead :P

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Toward a horizontal flight

Lena and I went to see Hidden Figures today. For those that haven't heard of it, it is the based on real events story of three bright African-American women working for NASA during Project Mercury. The main protagonist is Katherine Johnson. I am not completely familiar with all of the actual historical events, but I thought the film was fun, and inspiring. I am also a big fan of The Right Stuff, having seen it many times when I was a wee little thing. The two movies have a very different focus, of course, but some overlap as well. So it was interesting to watch a few common scenes and think “I remember this from the other film” and consider how different directors and different time periods portray some of the same events in different ways.

The film also left me feeling a tad wistful. There is a scene in the start of the movie where a police officer helps the trio out (despite their being African American in the south the late 50s early 60s) because they are working at NASA to beat the Russians into space. I don't know how plausible the scene as a whole is, but I do think there was a sense back then that people were behind NASA and space exploration in a way that they aren't today.

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Those people didn't even know us

Somebody on The Facebook jokingly said suggested that a large owl that a friend of mine had seen might be a flying dinosaur. TO WHICH I HAD TO IMMEDIATELY AND JOYOUSLY SAY ALL OWLS ARE DINOSAURS. (Birds being less commonly referred to as avian dinosaurs).

The pro-dinosaur agenda to which I subscribe is of course to appreciate the full awesomeness of Dinosaurs, and point out where ever possible that they are not extinct in the form of avian dinosaurs. There is something about dinosaurs which make me happy, which is, I suppose, why somebody got me a Dinosaur mug for New Year's. The dinosaur disappears to reveal its skeleton when a hot beverage is poured into it. For once I am really glad that the dishwasher is borked and nobody has fixed it, because those things always get put in the dishwasher and they get ruined.

But then something even more joyously happened today, which was I read that Kodak Alaris is going to bring back E6 slide film!

I cannot adequately describe how strongly I feel the urge to do the happy dance throughout the office! They are going to make it in Rochester, so I chatted with a friend of mien who lives there. When I got back into film a few years ago I was dismayed by all the films that had been discontinued in my absence. Kodak had completely stopped making E6. Fuji still made it but it has been getting expensive! I suspect the new Kodak E6 will be pricy too. But still. Happy dance! The only thing that could possibly make this better is if they had dinosaur drawings on the boxes they sold the film in. (Actually scratch that, picture of Tom Baker riding a Dinosaur on said box would +1 even that awesomeness).

(The weird ways in which my Film Nerd and Computer Nerd interests intersect only in my dreams).

Ironically, I had finally decided today to go full digital for my trip to Australia in February. I am going to take my Nikon D600 for the medium high res and my Nikon Df for the low light and three zoom lenses that cover everything from 17 to 200mm all at f/2.8. If Ektachrome where going to be available this month instead of later in the year I would totally stock up on E6 and shoot that instead.

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but not RIDING the dinosaur

I know these are just little things, and the feelings don't last forever, but it is nice to appreicate them when you feel them.

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summaries

Summary of my last entry:

I don't want to be political. Here is a bunch of politics.


Also wtf with the roads in Sydney?
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Your chaos won't convert them

The other day I was in the supermarket trying to figure out a way to earn enough stamps to get a free pan. Or actually half of a free pan. (But that is another story). And I saw a bag of ginger snaps that advertised to be “Swedish Style”. They looked awfully like Australian Arnott's Ginger Nuts to me, so I decided to give them a shot. When I tried them, they were a little softer and smaller than the Australian version, but other wise fairly similar. Score! So I don't know if they are actually Swedish style or if it is a labeling error because when I was in Sweden last year I wasn't on the look out for Ginger Nuts.

New Years Weekend wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Very little discussion of politics.

Driving home yesterday from New Jersey, we were listening to The Big Listen which is what last week sent me into a tirade about American Exceptionalism. This week they interviewed a pair of sisters who live in Sydney and Germany. I felt like my faith in America had been restored just a tincy little bit. (Also if you are going to point out my hypocrisy, YES, if I am susceptible to exceptionalism it would be for the Australian sort, and the sisters were Australian).

What I wrote last week was intended as social commentary, rather than political, but I guess it has some political ramifications. I think a lot of people (Americans and non-Americans) look at the political system in the states and say “of of course if you just fix this one structural thing and do it more like this then everything would be solved”. If that one thing be guns or electoral college or whatever. Although I have strong opinions on those issues, my observations from living in Australia as an adult inform me in a different way. There are important differences in the systems of government used, and they have real consequences. The problem I see is the weird things that we obsess about and thus become controversial. For example, in America abortion is controversial, and in Australia building roads that connect from one city to another without horrendous traffic is controversial. It seems weird to most Australians that you would threaten to shutdown the government, or throw the supreme court into chaos over who should control a woman's body. Likewise Australians inability to build a proper freeway through Sydney would be laughable if I hadn't had to drive it a few times.

In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, he describes the problem in the non-bookworld of Thursday Next, which is the Stupidity Surplus.

The dangerously high level of stupidity surplus was once again the lead story in The Owl that morning. The reason for the crisis was clear: Prime Minister Redmond van de Poste and his ruling Commonsense Party had been discharging their duties with a reckless degree of responsibility that bordered on inspired sagacity. Instead of drifting from one crisis to the next and appeasing the nation with a steady stream of knee-jerk legislation and headline-grabbing but arguably pointless initiatives, they had been resolutely building a raft of considered long-term plans that concentrated on unity, fairness and tolerance. It was a state of affairs deplored by Mr. Alfredo Traficcone, leader of the opposition Prevailing Wind Party, who wanted to lead the nation back to the safer ground of uniformed stupidity.

I don't think Australia or America (or Europe or Asia) are “better” or “worse”. They have different approaches, all of them falling well short of perfect, and it is much easier to see the stupidity surplus being expended in the weirdly specific ways and say “our system is much better”, but your system (for whomever you are) also has a lot of stupidity. Admit it, if you were the King of Whatever you'd do things differently, I sure would.

From an historical perspective, I think that if people in America had been paying more attention to the political winds in Europe, people here (myself specifically for example) would have taken President-Comrade-Elect Thin Skin more seriously. (There was some talk about Brexit, but “It Can't Happen Here”). On the other hand Europe dragged both America and Australia into two world wars last century, and I think if people had studied the enormous loss of life in the US Civil War they might have done things differently? Probably not. But back then America was a backwater and Europe was exceptional.

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excess ain't rebellion

In January of 2015 I decided, as an exercise, to post one film photograph every day for the entire year. They go on my The Facebook and my blogity blog, but not the LJ version. The idea was to get used to working with film again on a regular basis. I called it ‘film 365’ for the number of days in the year obviously. (A sampling of the results can be seen here). (The entire collection is here). Originally it was only going to be a one year thing, but in January of 2016 I noticed that there were going to be 366 days in 2016 so I could do it again and call it ‘film 366’. Obviously.

Lena wrote the holiday letter as usual and I said I would pick out some photographs. Only when I started looking at my pickys, I noticed a lot of them were of old rusty tin cans and brick walls where the paint was coming off. And I realized most of them while interesting photographs for me weren't really of the “here we are standing in front of this tourist attriaction” sort that you expect in a year end summary holiday letter. We used a couple of mine, but mostly we shiped a letter with her photographs. I am okay with that. Instead of the holiday letter I write my year end summary here, with an overview of some of my favorite photographs. Some are my favorite because they are a pleasing composition. Some of them because they elicit an interesting observation. Some of them just because.

A lot of ink has been spilled on the subject of what a terrible year 2016 has been on account of various elections and how many celebrities have died. Actually for us 2016 has been a pretty good year. Lena has gotten a job where she is being paid, and jettisoned the one where he boss was not paying her. I got a raise. We've had several pretty nice vacations here in the states and off in Europe. I am sad to see a few celebrities go, but it does not feel espeically personal. A couple of elections didn't go the way I expected or wanted to, but the actual consequences don't start to really set in until 2017. Which is what this comes down to. Next year, 2017, is going to be the shitty one. I am optamistic that we will get through it.

With that all said. Once again. In no particular order, except for “random”:

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(lime photographing flowers ≈ 110) This is my favorite portrait of my wife that I took this year. I was shooting redscale, which is where you expose film on the wrong side and you get this red shift. If you under expose redscale you get too much red, but if you overexpose, you get some other colors. Which is what I did here. It was also magic hour, which helped.

(...the rest... picture heavy)
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(national archives ≈ 75) For my Perl Nerds meeting, sometimes get out by Archives, even though the meeting location is actually closer to Chinatown. Good opportunity to do some street photography. This was taken with my new fisheye. Which is a silly lense to use really.

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(shadows winter lights ≈ 22) I was posting pictures every day, but I wasn't taking pictures every day. Also because this isn't instant or digital photography, there is some lag time between taking and posting. This was from 2015 around Christmas when we were walking around the pretty lights in Salt Lake City. I was using a lovely expired high speed slide film. I wish I had some more of that!

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(Mr. Trash Wheel ≈ 244) This was an odd water craft that I spied when I was walking around the Baltimore Inner Harbor. Lena was at a conference and we'd gotten a hotel right there in downtown. Later I looked this guy up. He is apparently named “Mr. Trash Wheel” and has his own twitter and facebook pages. Later on in 2016 they also launched a second trash wheel named “Professor Trash Wheel”.

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(along the fence ≈ 305) As an experiment I intentionall damged this film and processed it myself. Lena was kind enough to model for me.

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(fire in snow ≈ 91) We had a big snowstorm in January. This was right before as everyone was scurring around to gather enough consumables to make it through the storm.

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(mum showing visitors around ≈ 308) Our next door neighbors in Australia, Graeme and Margret, were going to come out for the weding last year, but for various reasons did not make it. They instead came out this year for a tour of the southwest and DC. Here we are showing them (walking in the background) around with mum (looking pleased in the foreground). Graeme was very close to my grandmum and so they are good close family friends. Unfortunately, Graeme's sister passed away while they were out here, and they had to return in a hurry.

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(perl nerds meeting ≈ 338) I accidentally took this photograph in my Perl Nerds meeting one day. Usually I don't take pictures there because the Perl Nerd is shy in its natural habitat. We were doing a group coding exercise, and if you squint and look closely you can see that we were using the string ‘shit drano’ as test data for our anagram generator.

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(pumpkin mouth ≈ 322) Here we are carving the pumpkin. Actually its me poking my fingers out the mouth. Also this is Lena's ptograph.

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(shaka, when the walls fell ≈ 314) This is the bulding that Abraham Lincoln died in. It is just across the street from Ford's Theatre. It is mostly a non-sequitur, but I picked to post it the day after Thin Skin won the election because: of the pictures I had, it seemed the most appropriate. The phrase “shaka, when the wlls fell” is a Tamarian idiom used to indicate failure.

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(empty track ≈ 357) My sister Lara visited in November, and she wanted to see the High Line. So we did. I'd been once before, but this was the first time we walked the eniter length. At the start you get to see the train storage yard. So I took this picture. The film is AGFA 200, which reminds me a LOT of the 80s in terms of color cast.

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(light ≈ 251) In Santa Fe I was shooting this very slow film. To compensate I was using a very fast lens with a large aperture. As a result, the pictures have a very shallow depth of field. Because of it, this one looks almost like a photograph of a minature. It is life sized in real life though.

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(Rosenborg Slot ≈ 171) Real serious guy with a real serious gun in Copenhagen. Also taken from a real serious castle. Mum was getting an honorary doctorate and we got to spend a week and a bit exploring a bit of Europe that we'd never been to before.

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(mittens ≈ 218) In Stockholm lena bought some cute mittens.

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(hello ≈ 353) We went on a random little mini-vacation in Connecticut this year. One of the places I wanted to go was the trolly museum from my younger days when we first moved to the US. This was taken there.

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(dance party at the dance studio ≈ 242) We had lots of dance lessons. Our teacher Alex always says “there are our rising stars”. To which I respond by looking behind to see who he is talking about. In the summer we had a pool party and daced. This isn't actually that party. It is that party reflected in the mirror.

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(red camera ≈ 152) We gave grandma a red instant camera for her birthday. It was quite well received! Everyone seemed to think it was my idea since I am obsessed with cameras (espeically film cameras), but it was actually Lena's idea. Lena is much better at picking out gifts.

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(street with white flowers spring ≈ 116) In the spring our street turns white with stinky flowers.

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(mum ≈ 93) One of my favorite pictures of mum. She's happy and focused on something.

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(misha ≈ 306) Lena's father Michael is one of my favorite subjects. He has an interesting face and he isn't intimidated by the camera. Although he is sometimes wondering why I am taking yet another photograph.

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(volcano ≈ 249) In Albuquerque we walked around some extinct volcanoes. It was hot. Very hot that day. We didn't take a wrong turn. We really did mean to go there.

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(office at dusk ≈ 146) This is the office that I work in. I walk this way at least four days a week. As exciting as it looks.

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(Frijoles Canyon ≈ 267) While in Los Alamos, we spent a couple of days touring Bandelier National Monument and Frijoles Canyon.

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(tree light ≈ 1) This is the first picture I posted this year, on 1 January.

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(2016 ≈ 366) ...and this is the last. It is Lena walking toward the horizon back in New Mexico again. This is how I feel about 2016 now. We're done with it and walking away to other things. Not too worried about what is behind us, and gearning up for what is ahead of us.

I am going to post a few more next week. For those interested, you can see the whole lot here:

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2016 ≈ 366

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So long 2016! The wind is to our backs and we won't see you again.

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penultimate ≈ 365

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There were several roads near by, but it did not take Dorothy long to find the one paved with yellow bricks. Within a short time she was walking briskly toward the Emerald City; her Silver Shoes tinkling merrily on the hard, yellow road-bed.

Not to forget, but underneath yellow bricks are just red bricks.

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trivial ≈ 364

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Don and Lena are victorious.

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holidays ≈ 363

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