Saturday, October 01, 2022

Well, it’s October now, I guess. Each new month begins with promise and another empty page. I get to choose how to fill the pages. Recently, it feels like too many of them remain empty. I need to fix that.

The Paper vs Digital debate continues apace. One nice thing about notes on paper is that I’m not tempted, nor do I feel obligated, to share them. On the other hand, what if I do want to share them?

<span class="figure-number">Figure 1: </span>Scrintal's home page

Figure 1: Scrintal’s home page

Scrintal opened up their waitlist for anyone willing to pay an introductory annual subscription fee, so I jumped on it. Then after 10 minutes I realized I have no need for yet another note-taking app so I wrote them asking for a refund. It looks like a fine tool, but I need to pass.

Friday, September 30, 2022

I’m having second thoughts about writing my daily posts over on They don’t belong in the RSS feed. Or at least I don’t like them there. So, I thought I’d go back to putting them on the wiki, but I’m not sure why. Maybe because it’s so easy to post there. Perhaps they belong here. After all, it’s called “Jack Baty Daily” right? Let’s see how it feels.

Thinking about how I think is, by hours spent, my number one favourite hobby. As hobbies go it fits somewhere between self-flagellation and NFTs.

49. Serenity now - by Thom Wong - Supergranular

I love this piece from Will Rees.

But here is the strangest, and possibly the saddest, thing about my long and so far unsuccessful attempts to keep a diary: although I can say with complete certainty that I have never disposed of a notebook, as I write this today, on August 27, 2022, with my current, slightly torn black notebook on the table beside me, I have absolutely no idea where its predecessors have got to, nor what they contained, and when I turn my mind to this, as I repeatedly do, the feeling of loss is immeasurable.

I Do Not Keep a Diary | Will Rees

Monday, July 18, 2022

I’m not indecisive. I make many decisions every day. It’s just that quite often those decisions are the opposite of what I’d decided the day before.

I was using the iPad most of today, which means I can’t post here. I don’t like it, but I don’t want to take the steps necessary to enable it.

With family pictures, it’s what they mean that counts

The Secret Art of the Family Photo | The New Yorker

Sunday, July 17, 2022

My wife and I strolled around the lakefront in Saugatuck yesterday. I took only the M10-R with 35mm Summilux. There were people, dogs, boats, and water everywhere. I took fewer than 20 photos and maybe 2 don’t suck. I’m not sure why I bother. And I’m especially unsure why I bother with an expensive digital rangefinder. What’s worse, is that I’m having a difficult time focusing the rangefinder. So, with some regret, I’ve relisted the M10-R for sale.

I’ve used many film emulation “presets” over the years. Since I’ve recently been testing DxO PhotoLab I thought I’d also test their set of presets: DxO FilmPack - Magic of analog in the age of digital. As with most presets, they do a nice job of helping digital photos pretend to be film photos. The fatal flaw with all of these, of course, is that they are not film photos. And that’s why I can never get comfortable using them.

The “Notch” is a minor nuisance and certainly not a hill I’d choose to die on. The notch is wrong | Riccardo Mori.

Here’s the moral of this story: always photograph with the camera that’s going to give you the raw material you want to have in case you get a great shot. Even if it’s a pain to carry or a pain to use. Because if you photograph regularly, you will get a great shot once in a while. Even if you’re not trying. And you need to be ready for that.

The Online Photographer: D’Oh! Saying No (iPhone 13)

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Spent the morning watching YouTube videos about working with corals. I can’t tell if it’s easier or more difficult than I thought. One thing for sure is that there are way too many options. Mine, so far, seem to be doing well.

Friday, July 15, 2022

I really don’t like dealing with WordPress. I copied all recent content from this blog and the WordPress installation and am hovering over the button to switch DNS for to the Hugo instance. Wait for it….! Update I changed my mind. Still on WordPress. This may come back, though. I bailed because after copying recent content over and looking through it, I didn’t like how certain images were handled and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to change it. And then when proofreading, I noticed that paragraphs of text were too hard to read. It’s a font or some other typography issue, but I didn’t like it. It also made me think that my theme is just a little too busy, somehow. Hugo theme changes are non-trivial and can be day-long nightmares. So, I bailed. For now.

All I am ever trying to do is avoid spending any time with myself at all — no thoughts, just cacophonous sounds — and inexplicably, we’ve all decided to allow Apple to slowly but painfully put their dicks in our ears and tell us it’s what we preferred. Do you know how bad it has to be that I would opt for the indignity of getting tangled up in a headphone cord, tripping and yanking them out of my phone and having everyone hear that I’m just listening to “Hook” by Blues Traveler over and over again??

A List Of People I Am Mad At, 7/15/22

A List Of People I Am Mad At might be my favorite newsletter of them all.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Hello Medium readers, authors, editors and publishers | by Tony Stubblebine. I still kind of root for Medium. It seems that Stubblebine is pretty well-liked by people I like, so that’s encouraging. Who knows, maybe I’ll go back to cross-posting there.

I don’t know if I should think of Glass as a social network or portfolio.

I withdrew the M10-R listing again, after re-listing (again) it a couple days ago.

Complexity is OK as long as it’s hidden, remains hidden, and never fails. Those three things are almost never true at the same time for long.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

There’s a point at which “content creators” go from sharing stuff to selling stuff and it’s around that point that I lose interest.

Installed the Ventura public beta on my MBP. I assume things will start breaking soon.

Reef tank update: 3 fish and 3 corals. We now have the black Clownfish, a Bi-color Blenny, and a Royal Gramma. The corals are all soft corals for now while I dip my toes in. Two of the three are doing well. Not sure about the third.

<span class="figure-number">Figure 1: </span>Reef tank on July 12, 2022

Figure 1: Reef tank on July 12, 2022

One of the last things I need is a “Weekly TextExpander Report”

Monday, July 11, 2022

Quick! Throw me the keys!

Instead, Joe Pera is like stepping out on a break from work, taking a deep breath, and having a stranger say to you, “Nice out, isn’t it?” You register this as an intrusion, an annoying solicitation for conversation, before noticing that it is, indeed, nice out. It doesn’t change your life, but then again it doesn’t need to. These moments accrete and build into something resembling a life of intention and curiosity. That’s the hope anyway. That’s what Joe Pera Talks With You is like.

R.I.P. ‘Joe Pera Talks With You’

“Joe Pera Talks With You” is (was) one of the greatest things on television. I hope it comes back.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

The fancier my to-do system, the less I get done.

“Reliability, above all else” –Smokey Yunick

Saturday, July 09, 2022

I think it’s time for YouTubers to calm down with the production values. I never trust a video that looks too good.

One thing I’ve noticed when using TheBrain is the tendency to get lost in the links. I become lost in thoughts, as it were. I find this to be both a blessing and curse for someone as easily distracted as me.

Fun fact about me: I almost always cry in museums.

Someone recently added me to a Twitter list named “Miscellaneous” and nothing could be more appropriate.

I wonder who cares more about which camera was used, film people or digital people? I swear it’s a draw.

Burned through a roll of HP5 with the Nikon F100 and every frame is in-focus and properly exposed and now I’m mad.

Friday, July 08, 2022

I’m trying a new WordPress theme on I was looking for something as lightweight as possible, without also being useless. I saw that Anders Norén rewrote his Davis theme to take advantage of WordPress’ new full-site editing features. It’s called Davis Blocks. There are a few rough edges but I like how simple it is. I’ll live with it for a minute to see how it feels. I still hate editing themes in WordPress, though.

It’s time to go back to work. I wish I knew what I wanted to do. Any ideas?

New Post: My first salt-water aquarium – Jack Baty

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Consent-O-Matic is a browser extension that recognizes CMP (Consent Management Provider) pop-ups that have become ubiquitous on the web and automatically fills them out based on your preferences – even if you meet a dark pattern design.


If something you’re not sure about is considered “table stakes” maybe you’re sitting at the wrong table.

Every day I wake up and decide to do things the opposite of the way I decided to do them yesterday.

Wednesday, July 06, 2022

I’ve given up on configuring my Emacs setup using Rational Emacs and gone back to Doom. As much as building my own config interests me, I’ll never in a million years get close to the level of refinement that Doom offers. I’m better off just riding along with a “bloated” framework and focusing on using Emacs instead of playing with it.

No one gets to decide whether my subjects are “worthy” of the cameras I use to photograph them.

LinkedIn is a hellhole of self-aggrandizement and ego stroking and I don’t think I can participate.

The Grug Brained Developer. This Grug agrees.

rgcr/m-cli:  Swiss Army Knife for macOS looks worth checking out. (/ht macosguru)

I was looking at Deno but Bun looks interesting, too: Bun is a fast all-in-one JavaScript runtime

Additional Emphasis Markers in Org Mode | Irreal Fancy! (Linked article )

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

I decided not to continue my Feedbin subscription. It has some nice features but NetNewsWire suits me just fine, for free.

Remember when I quit using Emacs? Now alluvasuddin I’m toying with the idea of going with a custom config again using Rational Emacs. Which is weird because one of the reasons I quit emacs was because I was tired of configuring things myself.

Sunday, July 03, 2022

Let’s face it, I prefer writing in Org-mode.

Thing is, I structure my system around tools that I’m interested in at the time. Since I’m always trying different tools, my systems change regularly and cannot be trusted 😀.

I’m thinking about how far in I should go with TheBrain. I’m convinced that, long-term, TheBrain is a good, possibly the best, solution for extended memory and notes. I can jump into any project, topic, or event and immediately see everything related to that “thought”. And this isn’t driven only via random linking. TheBrain’s “Plex” is created entirely from deliberate linking. It’s not a cool-but-nearly-useless explosion of linked notes (see Obsidian). But, it’s an app and not a nice, safe, comfortable folder full of plain text files.

Writing here feels like I’m standing on my porch quietly handing out pamphlets. This is better than social media which is more like me walking down the street yelling at everyone.

Someone said “He’s godless” in a conversation and I felt I had to remind them that everyone is godless. Some just pretend otherwise.

“Backlinks”? More like “DistractionLinks” amirite?

Look what I got today. My first fish! 👇

Friday, June 24, 2022

In what will come as no surprise to anyone, I am considering moving daily notes back here to Why? Fair question. This time it’s because I’m starting to feel like the theme at has become a bit convoluted and therefore fragile due to trying so hard to integrate daily posts with “regular” posts. I get bored and may want to switch up my theme. This would be too much work with the current integrated theme. I’m uncomfortable having to depend on everything being integrated. What if I stopped posting daily notes altogether. That would take some effort to change or it would look stupid. On the other hand, maybe I should just wait and see if any of those what-ifs pan out.

The bad guys keep winning. How are we letting this happen over and over?

Thursday, June 09, 2022

You’re not going to believe this, but you’re totally going to believe this: is once again running Hugo and therefore my daily posts are going there, too.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

☀️ Clear +57°F

Up all night with an uncomfortable dog. Lots going on today.

There has to be a better way to search my org-roam files. Using counsel-ripgrep or whatever is fast but the output is seriously difficult to scan/read. This is one of the things that pushes me away from using Emacs for notes.

And yet, in so much modern software today, you’re placed in a drab gray cubicle — anonymized and aggregated until you’re just a daily active user.

Optimizing For Feelings

Neat, I had a small patch accepted for Denote (denote.el) | Protesilaos Stavrou

Why are iPad apologists so angry all the time?

Zen posture is a bandaid trying to hide the shattered life I live sitting at a computer all day.

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

🌦 Light rain, mist +63°F

I bought a reef tank this week. I’ve always admired salt-water aquariums and wondered what it would be like to keep one. I’m about to find out. I’m already learning that I have a shit-ton to learn. One of those things is patience.

Publicly posting every passing thought is unnecessary and uncalled for, but I can’t seem to stop. At least I’m not spamming everyone’s Twitter feed with them.

Late last year I created a folder on my Mac’s desktop named “Beyond the Infinite”. It’s for dumping all the various detritus I collect on the desktop and don’t know what else to do with. It’s become a minor treasure. It’s like a journal of things that barely matter at the time, but become valuable later. Screenshots, text snippets, URLs, etc. I love it.

Prot is on a roll…

Denote is a simple note-taking tool. It is based on the idea that notes should follow a predictable and descriptive file-naming scheme. The file name must offer a clear indication of what the note is about, without reference to any other metadata. Denote basically streamlines the creation of such files.

Emacs: introduction to Denote (simple note-taking) | Protesilaos Stavrou

6:00am: “Plain text is The Way!”
7:30am: “Plain text is unnecessarily limiting and living there is wasted opportunity!”
5:00pm: “It happened again today, didn’t it?”

Sunday, June 05, 2022

🌦 Light rain +57°F

I love “Ted Lasso” and I love Roy Kent. I also feel the same way about watching horrible things happening to people in my “entertainment”. I approve of the trend of “Nice TV” that Brett is contributing to.

“I do think there is so much stuff put out into the world on the internet and in art that tells you the world is bad. And the world might be bad — but the majority of people are not. Also, the older I get, the less horrible shit I want to see. I hate seeing people get hurt”

Brett Goldstein (aka Roy Kent), The Sunday Times

Asking about the “business model” is one way to signal that you don’t know much about business.

What if I just closed all my browser tabs? What if I quit the browser altogether? Hell, what if I stepped away from the computer for more than 10 minutes?

And what if I stopped doing this in public all the time? Would it not be more productive and healthy to simply journal privately? Maybe I should just be quiet for a while.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

☀️ Clear +51°F

Yesterday, I posted on every site I have, just to remind myself what was what. Every site except this one, that is. See, this site is sort of hardwired at this point to require Emacs and Org mode for easy posting. There are times that I try to quit using Emacs for some reason. When that happens I stop posting my daily notes here and move to the wiki or Roam or wherever. Then, after a week or a month, I come to my senses and get back into Emacs. Of course then I want to do everything in Emacs and here we are.

The damn iPad ruins everything. For example, I finally got Espanso all configured and working perfectly for text expansion on my Mac. Espanso is powerful and free and runs on Mac and Linux (just in case). But of course it doesn’t work on iOS, so I had to restart my TextExpander subscription and change everything to accomodate the iPad. I’m a little pissed about this, but while re-subscribing I found that I have a “lifetime” discount subscription which only ends up costing me around $1.50/month. TextExpander is good and super easy to use so I’m going to be fine.

Well this is cool

I’ve added a Post Calendar to the site. (Thanks to Activity Calendar Partial and How to add a calendar to Hugo website.)

Thursday, April 7, 2022

☁️ Overcast +44°F

I deleted PhotoPrism from the Synology. It was chewing up all my (4GB) of RAM and generally causing things to misbehave. I suppose Synology Photos will have to do for now.

I still don’t know the difference between my “Daybook” and “Journal”. I know what I think the difference is, but I get lost in the grey area in the middle. I suppose the Daybook is for things I want to show up in the Agenda on that day. Things for which the date is important.

<span class="figure-number">Figure 1: </span>My dad is back from Florida

Figure 1: My dad is back from Florida

I made some prints this morning. I am trying to make at least one or two 5x7" prints from each roll (in addition to a contact sheet). I’m not fussy about it. I guess at exposure time and print. I only re-print if my guess was horribly wrong. Otherwise, they’re good enough. Anything “special” gets the real treatment by printing an 8x10" print on fiber paper.

I added Plausible analytics to,, and I’m already generating reports using GoAccess for my self-hosted sites, but it’s hard to parse what’s a real “visit” through all that noise. Plausible is great, cheap, and doesn’t track anything other than hits, so it’s pretty privacy-safe.

Upgraded Emacs to 28.1. Here’s a nice summary of changes.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

🌫 Haze +47°F

Today, I shall improve something. It doesn’t matter what that something is.

I am considering some form of internet hiatus. Social media, mainly. We all suspect it’s not healthy, but I’m still addicted and feel like a break would do me good. Can I manage to only post on the blogs and only read my (fairly limited) set of RSS feeds? Is that enough?

How many of the super-cool things I can do with Org mode are actually useful and not just super-cool things that I think are super-cool?

I wonder if this is related to the USB ports not working on my LG display? Users Report External Monitor Issues After Updating to macOS Monterey 12.3 - MacRumors. I don’t think so. I unplugged the monitor and plugged it back in and it all works again :).

Mowglii - Itsycal for Mac - Tiny menu bar calendar. Similar to Dato

Great, I thought I’d try PhotoPrism on the Synology so I installed it, pointed it at a few thousand photos, and now it took down the whole synology by chewing through all its memory. Nice.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

🌫 Mist +39°F

Good morning. It’s 4:25 am and I should probably be doing something useful today, but so far it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

So, I replaced with a Hugo-based version of the blog. All the content from the WordPress site has been migrated. Well, most of it. Some formatting got all blowed up. This is why I swore I’d never do it again, but here we are. I just got tired of pushing up against all the stuff that is WordPress. (18 hours later) . I just switched DNS back and forth twice today. I honestly don’t know which site I want to use.

Ordered: The Real Deal: The Good, The Bad and the Beautiful of a Life Behind the Camera « Joe McNally Photography

Tried LaunchBar 6 for a minute, just to see what was up, as it’s been years. Nah, back to Raycast.

Sleeve — Now playing on your Desktop

Fixed the issue with ox-hugo failing to export subtrees if the file has org-roam links in it.

I don’t need a “better” terminal but Introducing Warp: The Terminal for the 21st Century | Warp