A Post out of Principle

Why do I blog? Because it is here. What’s on my mind?

First, I need to be writing, but I am not. What I am doing is coming up with ever better details and plot points as I research this and that obscure set of information. And that’s nice, since I think of a thing and jot it down in my ever-present electronic journal that’s automagically up to date whether in my pocket or at my desk. Lots of notes in there. But they’re only notes. The actual writing is hard work, and I still have a lot to learn about turning on my magic-maker when all my impulses aim towards taking care of life. I have a lot of life to take care of. These writers who are single and live alone piss me off.

Not really. You who know who you are know you’re not who I mean. I’m just whining about circumstance.

When I was a kid and Mom would go away for the weekend I’d sit under my trusty Royal (the one Mom used to type up Dad’s doctoral thesis in 1953) and pretty much write fiction all day and night. It was nothing but juvenile shit derived from rereading Conan books, but it was something. I had the ability to focus and create. This is the ability that after several decades of family and corporate living I want to recapture. I have not yet done so outside a few precious moments.

Meanwhile my plot is fricking brilliant. I’m passionate about historical accuracy and I love browsing old newspapers and have come up with unexpected turns driven be real events that happened on the dates I have them happen. And it doesn’t even matter if anyone notices. Someone will, but while historical fiction is better if it’s accurate, it’s still fairly worthless if it isn’t fun. So my dream is to write a great story that really could have happened. A lot of historical fiction has migrated away from my nightstand for failing in this area.

Second, I take a lot of pictures and have nowhere to put them. I put a few up on Facebook, but it seems annoyingly self-serving to show all the fun things. And yes, even if it’s not on Facebook, it did happen. I just wish for a better means of remembering things that happened than storing hundreds of gigabytes of non-annotated photographs. Is there a business opportunity of some sort, a market for very personal photo-essays? Perhaps, if the writing is outstanding AND the pictures are too. But just thinking about it is an awful lot of work already.

I’m told I have a good eye. Some of my pictures are really great. Even if taken on a smartphone. Oftentimes because. Apart from the little plastic lens, smartphones have much smarter photographic guts than any camera I’ve ever owned. Pretty amazing what you can capture with them these days. But good eye or not, I see lots of things and have a strong impulse to see if I can keep them as I saw them.

Which suggests an opportunity. As the technology advances, more and more people are going to be saving their pictures. Very few spend much time organizing them. They require an assistant, and an AI of some sort that takes care of this for us all would be very helpful and popular. Something that can analyze the date and location and content and automatically put pictures into categories and albums with useful tags would be great. It’s completely feasible. I just don’t think AI is advanced enough yet. And I am absolutely not positioned to do anything about it. Maybe if I were some genius who worked at Google, I could use my 20% time on it.

Speaking of living life while not writing and taking lots of pictures, shortly before sunrise of New Year’s Day we met a genius who worked at Google and spent his 20% time on a project that made him rich. It was quite an interesting visit. But the man has a fairly extensive writeup at Wikipedia and I’m not comfortable sharing info and risking an invasion of his privacy. Here’s one clue: His penthouse apartment complete with roof garden overlooks the Old Mint, located here.

2017-01-01-06-10-41
Some of the shadowy Mint in the foreground with the Chronicle behind.

Tempted to make a NYE album — we were all over the place this weekend — but, eh.

Third … I could make a third subject. Any of many that come to mind would do. But this is long enough. Whatever this blog is for, here it is.

Oh, third, it’s 2017 and time to rename this thing. Removing the 16 from the title.

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5 thoughts on “A Post out of Principle

  1. Love the pic! My old phone used to group pics, tho I forget how what why. This phone just glops ’em all together and I can’t find any fucking thing. I give up and put ’em on FB or wherever they make sense and eventually delete them. Otterwise it’s all too gd annoying. Glops the pics I take with the camera, I mean. It does separate the ones I d/l from messages and such, but big whoop. My pics are mostly horrible, so who cares. I have abso no artistic talent. Tho I did take that one pic the otter week that everyone liked, so that was nice ~ the garden one with the metal doodads I used a B&W filter on.

    I’ve been mostly writing poetry, mostly about my yucky last foray into romance last year. I’m also open to more spiritual stuff than ever before and that’s creeping in a bit. Who knows where things will go from here…

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  2. Paula, I’ve heard good things about Google’s Photo app, how it organizes your phone photos. Haven’t cared enough to check it out myself, tho.

    D, there’s this thing we manager types look out for and try to work around when it comes to you people. And by ‘you people’ I mean perfectionists who lack sufficient confidence in the amazingness of your work output .

    Also, groups like AA try to counsel around that need for perfection. “Progress, not perfection” is a mantra they employ to help members remember that they shouldn’t get bogged down, or give up, because it isn’t good enough. Just keep doing. Keep following the program. In your case, the program could be as simple as just sit and write. Write 500 words, don’t look back, don’t look at them. Write them. Set a day when you’ll take them all and start to put them into order and edit and all that, but for some specified period do only the writing part. Don’t be afraid of it. Don’t think about it.

    If it ends up being all crap, throw it out and do it again.

    Of course, for engineering I can’t use that method cuz time is money, so I have to use other strategies that require them to acknowledge I’m the person who matters and pleasing me means showing me what I am for when I ask for it. If they spent too much time on details, I get cranky with them and they get to work extra hours going back and doing what they were supposed to do. They don’t like me being cranky because they prefer me being cute and happy. I’m more fun. They like me better. So they do stuff for me to keep me fun and happy.

    Anyway.

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    • Great insight, there. I’m trying to do art as though time is money. My resident artist doesn’t art that way. Well, somewhat, because she’s serious about deadlines. But just practicing writing without thought of the future is exactly what I need to be doing.

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  3. I use photoshop Elements … I plug the camera into the computer and Elements gets the pictures, and allows me to tag them, etc. All that good shit. With this, it’s also easy to “post process” any pics, if I so desire. Each date gets its own folder. Fairly organized. Element is probably less than $100. There is a slight learning curve but probably easy for you.

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  4. I rely on my pictures uploading to the cloud directly, via wifi or cell tower. No plugging in. I do have to spend time moving them from a Camera Uploads folder to wherever I mean to put them, for which my system combines date with subject, the latter requiring something that passes for human judgment.

    The problem with the auto upload is Dropbox timestamps files for when they were uploaded and not when they were created. They acknowledged this when I opened a service ticket and said they’d look into it. That’s weird, because that should have been fixed years ago.

    It’s a problem because though for most pictures I can’t tell the difference, videos take longer and are invariable timestamped many hours after they were shot. That’s unaccaptably confusing when in a folder sorted by timestamp. (Filenames are derived from timestamp, apparently, so that doesn’t help.)

    I guess I should run an experiment and transfer them directly but my computer doesn’t see my phone when I plug it in. I must have turned that capability off somewhere and durned if I know where to turn it on again.

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