Backlash on Gruber re: Stallman comments

Just read this on Daring Fireball where John is describing some emails he received about his comments on Richard Stallman in a recent episode of The Talk Show:

I know your shows are meant to be funny and ad-lib’d to a degree but resorting to a random character attack is not something I want to listen to.

I know you don’t like e-mail but I really feel strongly about keeping this kind of garbage off the air. Nerd/geek culture is about acceptance not snobbishness and if your show claims to be for nerds, I don’t think it has place for this low-brow bullying.

Almost had to do a double-take when I read that. First of all, Stallman is a disgusting pig with a terrible history of mistreatment of women. He’s fucking fair game on the “random character attack” in my book.

As to nerd/geek culture being about “acceptance, not snobbishness”…when? Certainly not since I can remember. Nerds/geeks can be some of the absolute worst when it comes to that stuff. Wow.

Apple “Impressionism” Playlist

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Impressionist movement of the classical music genre but something about this playlist really worked for me. There is some staggeringly beautiful music here. Well-known pieces like “Clair de lune” from Debussy’s “Suite bergamasque” as well as his “Danse Profane”.

Currently the track list sits at 50 songs with about 4 hours of music to listen to. If you’re a neophyte to this genre this is well worth a listen. Highly recommended!

Daily Stoic, 8/3/2019

We tell ourselves that we need the right setup before we finally buckle down and get serious. Or we tell ourselves that some vacation or time alone will be good for a relationship or an ailment. This is self-deceit at its finest.

It’s far better that we become pragmatic and adaptable—able to do what we need to do anywhere, anytime. The place to do your work, to live the good life, is here .

Boy does that part about having “the right setup” resonate deeply with me. If only I had X then doing this would be so much easier.

On seeing Big Boy #4014

Everyone was gathered around the rail crossing waiting. People of all ages were parked in chairs or just standing around. The weather was still, the heat of the day being held back by the thin blanket of clouds. Everyone was anxiously waiting to see what would happen. The train was stopped further up the tracks, it’s journey temporarily halted. 

Then we heard them, the local news helicopters, the beat of the blades against the thick summer air unmistakable. This was a bit of history after all and they had to capture the moment for those who wouldn’t be able to see it in person. Hovering like dragonflies they also waited.

We could see it before we heard it, the smoke billowing from the smokestack, the headlight very bright even during the middle of the day, far down the tracks. A roar went up from the crowd as everyone saw it coming, the thing we had all gathered to see.

Then it was upon us, steam whistle blowing, belching smoke and steam as it thundered past us. The roar of the whistle was deafening and the million pounds of metal being driven forward by fire, pistons, and steam made the ground shake. We could feel it deep down in our bones, such a visceral experience, and one I hadn’t expected.

But as quickly as it had come it was gone. Everyone started leaving the spot where we had all experienced this little bit of history together, happy from the sight, sounds, and feel of it all. There was definitely an excitement in the air even bigger than what had been there before the train arrived. We had all been witness to the passing of this great machine and we all knew we were privileged to have been able to see it.

Big Boy #4014 was on it’s way to a weekend stop in West Chicago. It was built in 1941, one of 25 of the largest steam locomotives ever built. It was retired from service in 1961. Union Pacific purchased it from a railroad preservation group and set to work restoring it two years ago. Today’s journey was a part of the culmination of that work and I feel very lucky to have been able to see it.

The Last Alaskans

Just a quick note here, I’m completely obsessed with the show “The Last Alaskans”. Recommended to me by a friend, I can’t believe I had never seen or heard of this series but with Alaska being all the rage the last several years in “reality” TV shows I can see why.

This is the “anti-reality” show. The pace is very slow, the music mostly soothing. There is a lot of self-introspection of what it means to live a life. If you like that kind of thing it’s fantastic television. Highly recommended.

This article by Hank Stuever in the Washington Post is a wonderful review of this series. Check it out.

The Trouble with Trees

In #24 of his Ridgeline newsletter, Craig Mod says:

It’s true — photographing the woods is tough. (Which is why vistas, views, lookouts are so readily photographed.) There’s just so much information packed into every square meter, and, on a sunny day, so much contrast. I find woods can only be reliably photographed on rainy days, mist abounding, giving shape and depth to the otherwise shapeless and boundless.

I’ve found this to be true as well. Out for a walk something catches my eye. It might be the light playing in the leaves. It might be how the colors of the forest shift in interesting ways as I’m taking in a scene. Whatever it is, it seems worthy of a photograph, but once the photograph is taken what I usually end up with is just a mass of trees.

HDR mode, as great as it is, is no match for the human eye connected to the human brain.