The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS that I bought from Goodwill
David Hepworth

My new old camera

For a period of time in my youth I fully expected to mature into an illustrator for children’s books. I found that pencils and charcoal were my favored tools, and I set about building my skills in the craft. The work was hard and I felt I was plateauing in mediocrity, increasing my doubts that I would ever manage to achieve the goals that I had set for myself. I perceived photography as an “easy” art form that I could comprehend, so I set about purchasing my first SLR to try out photography.

I had played with cameras in the past and found moments within my point-and-shoot use where I felt genuinely moved by some of the photographs I managed to capture, but I felt limited by the tools and wanted to improve the quality of my work. I took many photos with my 35mm SLR camera but the cost of processing the film frustrated my learning speed, so I was very pleased when I was able to afford a digital camera. While my first digital camera was only 2 megapixels and a point-and-shoot, I grew much in my understanding of laying out a scene and trying different angles because I could immediately see the results of my work on the back of the camera. I quickly grew frustrated by the limitations of the image quality and hoped for a chance to get something better, which eventually came in the form of a much-better digital SLR.

One way I was able to achieve these goals was by working for one-hour film processors and camera retailers that offered discounts to employees; some of the equipment I still own was purchased during those years. I was a horrible camera sales associate, but I appreciated being able to be around cameras and see the various ways the manufacturers improved the cameras each year. I noticed a continual drop in build quality and features in the low-end point-and-shoot models; combined with my desire to finally purchase a digital SLR, I began to have a heavy disdain for many of the cheap models the general public purchased.

I think I made the right decision to pursue an SLR, but I missed out on the convenience of the point-and-shoot with my continued disdain for those models. With the advantage of time, I was able to look back at some of the better point-and-shoots that I missed, find one used at a terrific price, and get started on taking the random photos I would’ve been disappointed with if taken from my cellphone.

The following photos were taken on a Canon PowerShot SX150 IS using the CHDK firmware to enable RAW shooting. In an indictment of the photo quality of my iPhone 13 mini, this camera takes pictures that I like, even if I have to put more effort into importing them into my Apple Photos collection. While I haven’t taken the next award-winning photograph with this camera, I have enjoyed being able to have something readily available that doesn’t look threatening or suspicious and ends up taking a photo I might want to share with someone.

A macro view of pine needles photographed at sunset in winter

A macro shot of wild grape vine leaves in autumn colors

📑 Read the rest of the post

My Thoughtstream

Oklahoma Embarrassment #241295

This state seems to enjoy making a fool of itself on a national scale.

Kaylee Douglas — KFOR

Oklahoma Politics: Representative wants to ban ‘furries’ from Oklahoma schools

A newly filed bill would ban students in Oklahoma from pretending to be an animal during the school day.

Erin Christy — 2 News Oklahoma

Okla. lawmaker backpedals on bills’ controversial language one day after filing

Humphrey admitted the furries bill was more designed to make people aware of furries, rather than it being a problem in schools.

Another non-existent problem based on hearsay taking up time in the state’s political system instead of the real pressing issues getting the attention they deserve.

Neighborhood Advice

You’ve been fooled into accepting mediocrity.

Parking Reform Network Parking Lot Map

The Parking Reform Network educates the public about the impact of parking policy on climate change, equity, housing, and traffic. In partnership with allied organizations, we accelerate the adoption of critical parking reforms through research, coalition-building, and direct advocacy.

Witold Rybczynski — The American Scholar

Give Us Something to Look At

Take away ornament, and what are you left with? When we get close to a building today, we are confronted by gaskets, caulking, nuts and bolts—the minutiae of building construction. Or worse: exit signs, ventilation grills, and fire-hose cabinets. There is an architectural consequence to this.

So where does that leave us?

Mirza Akdeniz — Vimeo

Roger Scruton — Why Beauty Matters (2009)

Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives.

Front-end Web Development

It’s totally a disaster right now, but don’t worry; there’s hope we’ll get it right this time!

Alex Russell — Infrequently Noted

The Market for Lemons

For most of the past decade, I have spent a considerable fraction of my professional life consulting with teams building on the web. It is not going well.

Alex Russell — Infrequently Noted

The Performance Inequality Gap, 2023

To serve users at the 75th percentile (P75) of devices and networks, we can now afford ~150KiB of HTML/CSS/fonts and ~300-350KiB of JavaScript (gzipped). This is a slight improvement on last year's budgets, thanks to device and network improvements. Meanwhile, sites continue to send more script than is reasonable for 80+% of the world's users, widening the gap between the haves and the have-nots. This is an ethical crisis for frontend.

Kilian Valkhof — HTMLHell

You don’t need JavaScript for that

Because HTML and CSS features are handled by the browser they can be more performant, more native, more adaptable to user preferences and in general, more accessible. That doesn't mean it will always be (especially when it comes to accessibility) but when the browser does the heavy lifting for you, your end users will generally have a better experience.

Archives of My Posts

My fun side project

I liked the aesthetic of the advertisement for the iPhone 12 Pro that Apple did years ago. I wanted to remake it in HTML as much as I could, so I used this project to build a list of links to my social network profiles.

📱 Continue reading “My fun side project”

Knowledge shouldn’t be a burden

I didn’t want to remain ignorant, but learning even the smallest new piece of information seems to carry a huge cost to a vast array of elements in my life. Could I find a way to feel comfort in understanding more?

📖 Continue reading “Knowledge shouldn’t be a burden”

Being invisible

From my youth I have worked to lessen my consideration of my own value, thinking it a virtue to self-deprecate. I thought I was being a better person by hating myself. Eventually, I wondered if my self-perception could be incorrect. Could I be poisoning my life with such a crushing view of my value?

🫥 Continue reading “Being invisible”

Hopelessness in video games

I used to play a lot of video games. These days I settle for some games from my Apple Arcade subscription, but I used to have many mobile consoles, several home consoles, and a gaming PC. I played many titles across a variety of platforms, filling out a list of memorable games that left a permanent impact on my life. In a recent conversation with my coworkers I started listing my favorite games and learned that the games that I have felt the most important in my life were ones that generated a feeling of hopelessness. I certainly enjoy a variety of gaming genres and story types, but the ones I can recall with fondness are the ones that made me feel the most miserable.

🕹️ Continue reading “Hopelessness in video games”

The time for analog clocks is over

I don’t like analog clocks. People have tried to persuade me and have shown me the obvious benefits to using such a platform, but I continue to remain unconvinced and I feel that I have good reason for my opinion. I will now present a rather adversarial and controversial view of why analog clocks are inferior to the newer digital clock method of presenting time. This will be a pedantic and antagonistic position.

Continue reading “The time for analog clocks is over”

Flooding and school shootings

The fragility of life is rarely more realized than in the moments surrounding a natural disaster. In the normalcy of daily routines, we all can fall numb to the potential dangers present in our world. To stay vigilant would be exhausting, so we avoid considering them until the signs of something terrible approaching are too obvious to ignore.

🌊 Continue reading “Flooding and school shootings”

Parasocial relationships are weird

Parasocial relationships are strange. They feel closer than some friendships but are hollow facsimiles, barely reaching beyond the level of acquaintance. They are unequal connections. They do not mutually benefit all participants. Why then does losing a connection to a stranger feel nearly as bittersweet as a true bond with a known companion?

🤝🏻 Continue reading “Parasocial relationships are weird”

Feeling stuck

I need to tell you of a grave error that I made several years ago that has haunted me ever since: gaining knowledge will only lead you to sorrow. You will never be happier than you are now by learning about the things that intrigue you. Don’t fall into the same trap as me and ruin your life like I’ve ruined mine. By investigating you expose your mind to nuance, new possibilities, difficult realities, and discomfort you didn’t believe imaginable, and it will permanently change you for the worse.

⚓️ Continue reading “Feeling stuck”

I used to be anxious about being thought of as ignorant

In the past few years I think I have started to learn that empathy, comprehension, growth, understanding, joy, and contentment come not from being more certain about what one knows but from accepting how little can be known by any one person in a lifetime. I may be more at peace now, but the process to get to this point was potentially the most painful and disruptive I’ve yet to experience.

📚 Continue reading “I used to be anxious about being thought of as ignorant”

Now on Jekyll

This little side project is now built with Jekyll, a site deployment tool that was surprisingly easy to set up. Its simple controls allow me to quickly build the site into HTML files very similar to ones that I was writing before, but without all the hard work of maintaining code throughout each page. Now I can write posts in a simpler fashion and start to add new features with greater ease than if I continued coding everything by hand.

💻 Continue reading “Now on Jekyll”

We aren’t asking the right questions

The penultimate episode of The Rise & Fall of Mars Hill is a frustrating investigatory experience. The show presents to the listener the evidence of an abusive pastor in a permissive church system, building the case that this was an ongoing problem within the organization that eventually collapsed under the weight of the trauma dealt within. What I believe the episode fails to do and has continued to do throughout the series is to follow that evidence to its obvious conclusion, despite the pretense of seeking answers for how it all happened.

🎧 Continue reading “We aren’t asking the right questions”

An identity crisis

I grew up in an Evangelical Christian culture. I was taught that the primary life purpose of a Christian was to propagate the message of Christianity through evangelism, sharing the story of Jesus to people who did not know or believe what was written in the Bible. Through this effort, souls would be saved from eternal damnation and more people would be prepared for the return of the savior of humanity. This mission was time-sensitive, because the return of Jesus was possible at any moment, and that event could potentially seal the fate of all living on Earth.

🦸🏻‍♂️ Continue reading “An identity crisis”

We know less than we realize, but that’s okay

Life during the COVID-19 pandemic has been lonelier than I expected. My introversion has been useful in this time of isolation, but it did not prepare me for the simultaneous crushing ideological loneliness that has come from watching others respond to the demands of the pandemic. I feel more disconnected from my peers now than I ever have before.

🧠 Continue reading “We know less than we realize, but that’s okay”

Vaccine hesitancy is putting us all at risk

The current state of skepticism about scientific studies is reaching a dangerous level. How did the support of vaccines degrade so much? Why did we start to believe conspiracies instead of the consensus from people more educated and intelligent than our neighbor?

💉 Continue reading “Vaccine hesitancy is putting us all at risk”

The time that I learned about Ronald Reagan

I had grown up in a culture that spoke of Ronald Reagan almost with reverence, believing him to be one of the last great leaders of the country. I had never felt a reason to question this thought, so I never investigated the history of the presidency. This interview caused me to doubt the narrative I had heard throughout my life.

🇺🇸 Continue reading “The time that I learned about Ronald Reagan”