Recommended reading

15 comments on Recommended reading
2 minutes

💻 I know a couple who, upon their marriage, created a new last name for themselves from parts of their former last names. But most of us either keep our last name, or take our partner’s last name. Ann Althouse thinks about the aesthetics of taking your partner’s last name. Read When should the man take the woman’s last name?

Monon bridge
Kodak Brownie Starmatic, Efke 100, 2013

💻 The average monthly payment for a new car has nearly doubled in the last four years. Matt Posky looks into why. Read Report: Regular People Cannot Afford New Cars Anymore

💻 All my adult life I’ve tended to commit myself 100% and then find myself burning out, and then shedding commitments to give myself more down time, and then becoming bored and recommitting myself 100%, lather, rinse, repeat. Ashley Janssen says, what would happen if you just committed yourself 80% instead? Read How to Live at 80 Percent

📷 I’ve always shot Kodak T-Max P3200 at 3200. But there’s a lot of chatter out there about it being better at 1600, or 1000, or 800. Dmitry looks at the film in depth and comes away recommending 3200. Read Kodak T-MAX P3200 Black and White Film Review

📷 Some people make their own 110 film by cutting 16mm off the end of a roll of 120. The rest of that roll of 120 is just short of the 46mm width of 127 film. It’s like 120 is two, two, two films in one! Peggy Marsh did this recently and shot the 127 leftover in her Yashica 44. Read Yashica 44 and expired films

📷 Echo Lens Photography gives a good retrospective of the Vest Pocket Kodak, the first camera for 127 film. It has an important place in photographic history, supplanted only as 35mm became more popular. Read A Vest Pocket Kodak Camera Retrospective

Sign up for my monthly email to get an insider view of what I’m working on! Sign up here.


15 responses to “Recommended reading”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    I live in a rural area where many are poor or at least struggling. There is no public transit and most people don’t live close to their work. In fact, most of our residents are driving an hour or more to work. In other words, we need cars and they have to be affordable. Even for me, I’m twelve rural miles to my home office. Walking or biking really isn’t an option because it simply isn’t safe with our curves and hills. Even a day without work can be catastrophic to the family budget in many households. What are people to do when all cars – new and used – are in such short supply? We see it every day at the bank where I work and it’s terrifying for the decent hard working people who don’t view a car as a status symbol so much as a lifeline.

    And the 80 percent story. Woah. That was exactly what I needed today. I have been operating at a higher stress level at work for over a year now and there’s no end in sight. My body is starting to revolt so I need to work on this. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I remember the place my grandparents lived in rural southwest Michigan and it was the same. You simply had to have a vehicle. There, it had better have 4WD too.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Probably thirty percent of the county really does need a 4 WD because they are super remote or because maintaining gravel township roads is expensive/difficult.

        Right now, I’m feeling pretty grateful to love just two miles from Route 50 and that I have a decent car.

  2. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Interesting story on unaffordable cars, but this is totally a manifestation of a collusion between dealers and manufacturers in the U.S. I’ve said this before, manufacturers like Ford still build cars like the Fiesta in Europe, and sell many of them for an average under 20k USD. Having known more than a few people who’ve worked at car dealers over the years, I can tell you that neither the car salespeople (getting a commission), nor US dealerships want to spend their time selling a 15k car, when they can spend the same time selling a car for 40k! Once again, a U.S. industry has created a sales model they’ve religious stuck to over the years which has resulted by design, in eliminating the lower end of the market. Reasonably priced cars don’t exist here because the dealers don’t want to sell them, and steer people away from them, not because people don’t want them.

    My Parking lot at my down-line apartment building is chock filled with Ford Fiestas (and Nissan Versas) people bought prior to Ford not making them here any more. No one, not even the poor, wanted to buy your used 8 year old American crap-wagon with 100,000 miles on it for 12k, and spend the rest of their time repairing said car. BTW, the fallacy of this article is that 2 years ago I bought a Kia, lock, stock, and barrel for 16k (and a monthly payment of 199.00) so there are deals to still be had among the foreign manufacturers. One of my car sales neighbors says that he’s selling 50k pickup trucks all the time to people who cannot afford them, but qualify for the loans. He says it’s some weird form of “brain fog” where when he starts talking money, people just fog over and sign without really thinking about it.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I bought my 2013 VW Passat in 2017. It had 35,000 miles on it and I paid $11,000. It now has 107,000 miles on it and KBB says it’s worth $7500. What the? Five years ago a sedan with that many miles was $5,000 tops.

      1. Andy Umbo Avatar
        Andy Umbo

        And yet 3 years ago, when I bought my car, I did a survey on the cars Ford was selling in the U.K., and when I took the MSRP of the cheapest car Ford was selling in the U.K., and converted it from Pounds to USD, the MSRP came out to something like $12,800 USD! That was MSRP, before negotiated price…. Why wasn’t that car being sold here? Because the dealers didn’t want it! All a dealer needs to do is sell those cars at a fixed price, and put a nice high school grad at a desk with a decent paycheck and no commission, and here’s the key point, advertise it; and poor and lower income people would be lined up out the door to buy it. I can tell you, the poor do NOT want your clapped out, high mileage, American problem car for 10 grand, they’re forced into it..

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Wellllll there’s more to it than that. Some cars available in Europe are city cars with small engines that aren’t really capable enough for anything beyond local driving in the US. They also may not meet US safety standards as is, although they could be refit to meet them.

          1. Andy Umbo Avatar
            Andy Umbo

            I get the safety thing, altho many cars are just automatically built with the American standards, but the rest is what the American car dealers used to say about the Japanese cars back in the 70’s; when I was getting 200,000 miles on my Corolla with the 1200 cc engine I used to drive all over the country at 60 miles an hour…

            I remember being on a photo job in Heidelberg Germany in 1999 (at a car part manufacturer), and commenting on the small, beautiful cars they had in the lot, which most of my friends would have lusted over but we couldn’t get in America, and the owner saying: “…don’t be ridiculous, Americans would never buy a reasonable car for their needs…”. The more your travel to civilized countries overseas, the more you realize how ridiculous the educated part of the world thinks we are!

            1. Kurt Ingham Avatar

              Euopeans sold a lot of cars here- which ones do you imagine we lusted
              after that we couldn’t get, Andy Umbo? A Series Mercedes?? Peugot diesels?? I never new anyone under 85 who would drive all over the country at 60. Even as messed up as we are, envy rather than ridicule was the attitude I found in most overseas attitudes about the USA

              1. Kurt Ingham Avatar

                knew…not new

                1. Andy Umbo Avatar
                  Andy Umbo

                  I did see a few small Mercedes in ‘99 in Germany and France that I never have seen in America, others I couldn’t begin to remember the name of 24 years later. I’ve even known people on the west coast that imported small, beautiful cars from Japan that never made it to America as well. My story about my 1200 cc Corolla was to tell Jim how small do you think an engine has to be before it’s “city only”? I put 200,000 miles on that 1200cc Corolla driving all over America between the Rocky Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, at 60 plus miles an hour, not a hiccup (I don’t quite get your 85 year old reference, I and all my pals always drove everywhere when we were young, just to do it and see everything, I’d think nothing of driving from Chicago to Washington DC just for a party, the “long roll” drive is built into the American an psyche) … The Fords I was pricing online in Britain a few years ago, were all models with engines in the 1.5 to 1.8 liter range, so I wouldn’t consider those “city cars”.

                  I’ve been to France, Germany, Spain, England and Scotland, for work, and maybe it’s the people I was working with, or meeting, but most of the time people would tell me that most of the people they knew that emigrated to America were people that really weren’t making it in whatever country they were in, and looking for opportunities unavailable to them. Even pals in Australia and New Zealand say they know medicos that want to go to America to financially “clean up”, but always expect to come back for retirement after they made their bundle.

                  1. Andy Umbo Avatar
                    Andy Umbo

                    BTW Kurt, this just scratches the surface of one brand:


  3. Kurt Ingham Avatar

    For me, Tri X in Acufine was the best choice if you wanted ei 1200. No shadow detail for TX at 2400 in Diafine. TX and Acufine was much better than ‘pulled; 3200, which I used at box speed or 6400. This was exclusively for low light photography – clubs and concerts, based on using a few hundred rolls of each

  4. tbm3fan Avatar

    Well I don’t intend on buying a new car for the rest of my life and I am at 69. Have three daily drivers that can see me through. My wife is a different story. I bought a Mazda 3 back in 2018 and it was the basic model without all the bells and whistles that I don’t care for. More expense and more to break. That car costs $336/month and is paid this September. under my care it will live a nice long life but eventually she will need a new car being younger than me. If things don’t change then I can see a major problem with a cost I won’t bear. You know what is happening doesn’t bode well in California where there are smog tests on every car from 1976 and onward. Can’t pass smog but can’t afford a new car so then what? I say the state has to find a solution because they can’t mandate you taking on a huge debt that you can’t pay.

    1. Andy Umbo Avatar
      Andy Umbo

      TBM, southwestern Wisconsin has also had a lawsuit mandated smog test and has had it for years as well. Every two years. I believe tho, after twenty years, your car is just mandated in, no more tests, and if your car fails before that, there’s a cap on what you have to spend to try and get if fixed, if you spend that and it still doesn’t pass, you’re waved in. I’m 69 this year, and like you, I hope I’m on my last car. It’s only two years old, and now a days, I only put about 3k miles on it a year.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: