11/20

  • It is winter here now, so it is 50-something, raining, and the sky is dark at noon. It will be like this until February. I know it sounds wonderful if you’re in freezing temps and a foot of snow, but this is when the SAD kicks in full-time. I dug out the verilux light and am hoping for the best.
  • I am still trying to walk every day and keep the Apple Watch streak going, but this is hard now with the weather. Yesterday I walked up and down the length of our parking garage for 45 minutes, which was depressing.
  • For whatever reason, I bought a Zoom H1 recorder the other day. I have been listening to a lot of ambient music using field sound, so I wanted to start recording more stuff while I was on walks or traveling. I do this to some extent with my iPhone, but it’s always too quiet with the built-in microphones. Also, iTunes changes where it syncs voice memos like every other week, so all of mine are scattered across like 17 folders now.
  • Speaking of Apple, I tried out the new MacBook Pro the other day at the mall, and wasn’t entirely impressed. The new keyboard is okay for typing, but it looks really cheap. So does the touchbar, honestly. I think the previous MBPs had a very sleek, minimalist appearance, and the larger keys and the random things appearing on the touchbar make it look like a cheap plastic Compaq laptop you’d buy at Best Buy and half the keys would fall off in six months. I’m not terribly butt-hurt over the port situation — I’d just buy an external dock for everything. I am mostly concerned about how long I can wait for an upgrade, and what my options will be. (Buying a Windows laptop is not an option.)
  • My current 2014 MBP is still problem-free, more or less, with no repairs or issues yet, knock wood. The battery is down to 91% of its engineered life, and that’s the main concern, because battery replacement is almost impossible on these things. I also wouldn’t mind an upgrade in storage size, because I have the 500Gb and it is almost full. I can go up to a 1TB, but that’s $600. I could also clean up my computer and move some crap to an external, but, lazy.
  • I have been taking guitar lessons — not bass guitar, but guitar guitar. I am still horrible at it, and feel like I’m not learning very fast. I wish I would have done this when I was 16, so it was burned in now.
  • I’m reading Gringos by Charles Portis right now. I’ve read every other book of his this year, aside from that collection of short stuff, which I have but couldn’t get into. Gringos is not his best work (that would be Masters of Atlantis) and it’s a little too similar to Dog of the South for me, but it’s still good, and has some great moments in it. Portis has this incredible ability to efficiently describe a person showing only their peculiarities in a minimalist way, and it’s always incredible to read. I’ll be sad when I’m done with this last book. He’s 82 and his last book was in 1991. I’m hoping he can knock one more out before taking off.
  • Also fell down a brief k-hole on photographer Charles Gatewood. Re/Search has a mini-book with various interviews and profiles of him, which was a great read. (There were only 300 printed, so you might want to get on that.) Gatewood is an interesting guy who ran to Sweden in the 60s and learned his craft, then spent time in NY for a while before coming out to SF. You’ve probably seen his work, because he took a ton of the WS Burroughs photos in circulation. (They did a book together called Sidetripping.) I just got a used copy of his book People in Focus, which I’ll get into after the Portis.
  • The Gatewood book made me really want to break out the new camera and do some street photography, but the Canon is not waterproof, and see earlier note on weather. I’m also always very itchy about bringing out gear and getting it stolen, so there’s that.
  • I need to walk another 13 minutes, so off to the parking garage.
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