Week 15.23

  • As the last AI-written post mentioned, the post-vacation photo deluge is real. Looking through them again to make a shortlist for showing family and maybe printing out on Instax, I’ve rediscovered some good shots I could share… but do I want to? And where? And why? Our current task is just to build a shared album with some of the better ones between the two of us. That, and remembering that this is the fun and meaningful part of taking photographs; the journey, not the neat photo library.
  • The price of Instax Mini film has risen since my last purchase (inflation?) going from maybe 75 cents a shot to 91 cents, and that’s if you buy a hundred at a time. It makes the price of Instax Wide (larger prints) seem reasonable at about $1.40 a shot, and I’m trying to tell myself not to buy an Instax Wide printer or camera.
  • It was a busy work week, and I had to make an overnight trip to Malaysia for a meeting — my first time back in the country in nearly two decades, if I’m remembering correctly. This is something that shocks other Singaporeans, like when I say I’ve never been to Bangkok. But dudes, if I’m going on a holiday, I’m getting away from this oppressive heat and humidity! What isn’t shocking is how Malaysians will take every opportunity to make fun of Singapore’s food.
  • The trip involved flying 1.5 hours in a propeller plane operated by Firefly, out of the two alternative airports: Seletar and Subang. The planes are small, with just 4 seats across each row, and the propellers are louder than jet engines. Definitely take your AirPods Pro. But small airports mean less hassle — you can arrive an hour or less before your flight — and more convenient access to parts of Kuala Lumpur than if you fly into KL International.
  • In a case of wishful thinking, I brought my Switch along anticipating an evening alone in the hotel room to get some gaming in. In reality, it was late by the time I checked in and needed dinner, and maybe I played Lumines for 15 minutes the next morning.
  • We had a small dinner over the weekend for a couple of us with April birthdays, and James mentioned playing a new game out on Switch that I’d somehow missed: Dredge. It looks like a delightful Lovecraftian fishing/adventure game, and one I will definitely get when I’m ready. At the moment I’ve just started on Super Mario 3D World and am loving its compact little puzzle worlds. If the rumors are true and a follow up to the Switch is coming this Christmas, I have limited time to clear my games backlog. Maybe another sabbatical is in order?
  • I finally finished watching the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime on Netflix and while I enjoyed aspects of the clearly expensive production, like some of the character designs, I can’t recommend it. Mostly because it’s a cynical, derivative dystopian downer with lots of gory body modification (personal turn-off) to make it gritty?
  • We finally started watching Beef on Netflix which has been getting a ton of praise for tackling, like, every issue? Asian-American identity, class divides, mental health, imposter syndrome, work-life balance, and so on. It’s good! Wild, but good.
  • Ryan Adams put out yet another cover album, as in a cover of an entire album, this time for Oasis’s What’s The Story Morning Glory? and while it should be a home run given how well he pulled off that cover of Wonderwall years ago, the whole thing is a bit disappointing. Changing key melodies for worse ones for no good reason, inconsistent production from song to song, and kinda turning a fun album into a drag.
  • I’ve decided, like several people I follow, that I will probably not be paying for a Hipstamatic subscription after my free trial ends. The social network suffers from technical and UX issues, from as small as how slow the gratuitous card flipping animation makes it to browse your feed, to the broken friend-finding functionality — to say nothing of how low quality many of the photos being shared are, for which some blame must be laid at the feet of the garish filters which were supposed to be the whole point. I fear there isn’t really a revival of interest in many of these early era looks, just a desire on Hipstamatic’s part that one happens. That said, I love some of the classic ones, like the “Model 100” (the original John S + Ina’s 1969 lens + film combo from Hipstamatic circa 2009), but too many of them make good photos worse. And you can actually use some of the best ones with the free plan — which is what I’ll continue to do.

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