Week ending 5/2/2021

Chrome Tabs : 70 -> 88

Gmail Inbox : 64 -> 65 Unread, 69 -> 70 Total

Took a nice hike on Mt. Diablo with a good friend and frequent hiking buddy. It had already started to dry up, and a few days later I was reminded by Amazon Photos that back in 2011 we did another hike on Diablo that was much, much greener at the same time of year. The drought is evident!

I bought and tested a new 2:1 manual focus macro lens. Results are pretty impressive, but I need a macro rail, so I bought one, on its way… Overall I am loving the A7 III and the small collection of lenses I have thus far. Here is a close-up of a caterpillar spiracles, the holes along their abdomen that they breathe through. Focus stacking (with the macro rail) will further improve the results.

I tend to struggle with processing and sharing photos in a timely way, but I did better at it this week, sending some post-party photos to my family, and the Mt Diablo hike photos to my hiking companion and others before the week was out. That’s fairly unusual for me, as bad as that sounds. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: Celebrate the little accomplishments, right?

Started two new audio books this week. First the the modern entrepreneur’s classic “4 Hour Work-week” from Tim Ferris, which I have so far found kind of stressful and anxiety-inducing (I’m 42, why am I not surfing on a beach in Tahiti while earning 6 figures in recurring revenue!?), hah. And then Bill Bryson’s “The Body: A Guide for Occupants”, which is just fun, as all his stuff is. I’ve gone through the body’s systems and processes before in a book or two, but I’m still learning some new stuff, and Bryson himself as a reader is just irresistible to me.

Spent quite a lot of time researching and refining a 5 minute “lightning talk” I put together for Synapse Synopsis. The talk was on Thursday and it went pretty well, I think (you can watch it here!), but it took a lot longer to put together than I expected and planned. In large part this is because the world of alternative voting systems is complex and full of math and conflicting opinions and info. My ultimate take-away, which was not a surprise, is that almost any alternative is better than our current “plurality” voting system in the US. So we should advocate for Ranked Choice/Instant Runoff Voting, Score, or whatever, anything but what we’ve got. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Finally, I was able to take a wonderful drive with my mom, out this road near where I grew up, which she hadn’t driven in at least 20 years. It’s something I like to do at least once a year (I think I’ve mentioned it here before), and it’s a great mix of various terrain types, views, etc., from green ridge tops and views to ocean vistas and wildflowers. Doing this drive with my mom was something special and I’m so glad she lives closer now so we can do this sort of thing.

P.S. There’s a hummingbird nesting in my back yard avocado tree! I’m pretty excited. :smiley: