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Recommended reading

My youngest son graduates college today. Congratulations, Garrett!

Garrett
Garrett. Nikon F2AS, 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor, Kodak Portra 160NC, 2017

πŸ’» If you keep waiting for everything to be just right before you do the things you want to do, you will never do them. Conditions are never perfect, says Cal Newport. Just get on with your life anyway! Read Favorable Conditions Never Come

πŸ’» Paul Hoppe lives in Germany, where vaccination passports are a thing, without which some aspects of normal living are not available. He warns us against restricting rights based on vaccination status. I’m not fully sure where I stand on this issue, but I can’t escape thinking that vaccination passports are the modern equivalent of “may I see your papers.” Read This Is My Vaccine Passport

πŸ’» The Internet is not free, by which I mean without cost. I spend upwards of $500 each year with my domain registrar, my hosting company, and with WordPress just to keep the lights on. Someone’s gotta pay for it. I carry my own costs, but many sites run ads not only as a way of covering costs, but of making a profit. Yet most people hate ads. Jeff Kaufman works on Google’s ad engine and he explains why he does so with a clean conscience. Read Why I Work on Ads

πŸ“° I read a lot of Aaron Renn‘s work and he definitely leans conservative. That’s why it’s remarkable that he pans the standard conservative state-government play of low taxes and light regulation to attract businesses — because it ignores the citizen experience, which gets worse by the day. (Ad alert: you might have to click through an ad to get to the article.) Read Are Red States in Denial About Improving Economic Prospects?

πŸ“· Dave Jenkins found a family snapshot made with Kodak’s cheapest Instamatic camera. Any modern cell phone can do better work, but he’s thrilled to have that memory recorded despite its so-so quality. Read Precious Memories

πŸ“· Now that I scan my own negatives, I value scanner reviews. Bob Janes looks at the Plustek OpticFilm 135i, Plustek’s entry-level 35mm scanner, and compares it to the Minolta ScanDual III. I own a ScanDual II, so this review is all the more relevant to me. Read Plustek OpticFilm 135i 35mm Film Scanner Review

πŸ“· Nikon had Cosina make a couple of its SLRs. The FM10 is probably the most famous, but there was also the FE10, and Mark O’Brien reviews it. Read Nikon FE10 – Hands On Review

Do you enjoy my stories and essays?
My book, A Place to Start, is available now!
Click here to see all the places you can get it!

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Blogosphere

Recommended reading

πŸ’» Chad Kohalyk recently visited Nagasaki, Japan. He tells its story and shares photos that give a good sense of the place. He also shares a photo of Japan’s oldest stone-arch bridge, built in 1634. Read The Bridges of Nagasaki

Bridge and Dam
Canon PowerShot S95, 2011

πŸ’» How do you live the life you want, as much as you can? This preoccupies Johanna Rothman, who thinks up all sorts of ways to create happiness and satisfaction. She thinks about towards and away moves: towards a life of greater satisfaction, and away from regrets. Read How Can You Use Your Projected Last Moment to Create a Great Present Moment?

πŸ“· The Yashica-A was Yashica’s entry-level TLR with simple specs, but fine glass. Paul Lovell reviews it and judges it good. Read Yashica-A TLR

πŸ“· Dan Cuny looks at the Nikon 28Ti, a luxury compact 35mm camera. It’s the sibling to the more famous Nikon 35Ti. Read Nikon 28Ti Camera

Do you enjoy my stories and essays?
My book, A Place to Start, is available now!
Click here to see all the places you can get it!

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Recommended reading

πŸ’» The Oscars are tomorrow. Did you even know? I didn’t, until I read TV writer and director Ken Levine‘s post in which he basically declares the Oscars dead. Read Are the Oscars dead?

Unknown
Nikon F3, 50mm f/2 AI Nikkor, Kodak Plus-X, 2015

πŸ’» Obesity, cryptocurrencies, and lonely young men: three emerging internal threats to the United States. So posits Scott Galloway in a compelling read. Read Threats

πŸ’» Ben Cotton tells a sad story about the time when he was small that his family’s house burned down — and how The Monkees got him through it. Read Cursed house: The Monkees

πŸ’» I’m a total nerd for television history. Bobby Ellerbee unearthed a newsreel film of the first broadcast of the NBC television network — on July 7, 1936! Read NBC First Television Broadcast…July 7, 1936

πŸ“· The light-meter app on my phone is both convenient (as it is always in my pocket) and a pain to use. I think often about buying a dedicated light meter, a good one. Dante Stella shares a compact but comprehensive look at light meters with advice on how to choose one. Read I think I see the light (meter): how to buy one

πŸ“· We’re living in a golden era of analog photography, posits Kenneth Wajda. He makes a compelling argument! Read Golden Age of Analog Photography

Do you enjoy my stories and essays?
My book, A Place to Start, is available now!
Click here to see all the places you can get it!

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Recommended reading

πŸ’» In a fascinating take, Paul Graham shares his view of why so many people get wealthy today by starting tech companies — and why they didn’t in, say, 1960. He also shares why today is much like 1892 in terms of how and why people get wealthy. Read How People Get Rich Now

UAW Local No. 9
Kodak EasyShare Z730, 2008

πŸ’» Workers in an Alabama Amazon facility voted not to unionize last week. Nick Gerlich uses this as a backdrop to talk about his personal union experience, how unions have their purpose — and in his opinion, how left unchecked they can do more harm than good. Read Look For The Union Label

πŸ’» J. P. Cavanaugh considers the fire pit, a new American back-yard tradition. Read Ready, Aim, — Fire

πŸ“· Mike Eckman reviews the Kodak Instamatic 500 — the Retina of Instamatics, built in Kodak’s German factory. It offers full manual control! Read Kodak Instamatic 500

πŸ“· You probably know this camera by one of its other names — it was a Vivitar and a Braun. The Phenix DC303N is a K-mount film SLR made in China, and Peggy Marsh liked it a lot. Read Phenix DC303N

πŸ“· When I was a kid in the 70s and 80s, most store-brand films available to me were white-labeled 3M “Scotch” film. Yes, 3M made film — because it owned Italy’s Ferrania at the time. The white-labeled film was largely garbage. But Scotch/Ferrania made nice films they didn’t white label. Michael Nguyen came upon some expired Scotch Chrome 1000 recently. He tells the story of Scotch films, and shares results from that roll. Read Film Review: Scotch Chrome 1000

Do you enjoy my stories and essays?
My book, A Place to Start, is available now!
Click here to see all the places you can get it!

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Recommended reading

πŸ’» Longtime, popular blogger Ann Althouse turned off comments on her blog. She had an extremely active comment section, and because she writes about politics she spent a lot of time dealing with trolls. So I don’t blame her for turning comments off. But it’s what she says near the end of the post that makes me share it today: she wonders what difference it will make in her as a writer to not have to worry about comments anymore. Read I didn’t plan for yesterday to be so momentus.

Trains
Nikon F3HP, 35mm f/2.8 AI Nikkor, Kodak T-Max P3200, 2018

πŸ’» In this time when social media “connects” us with so many more people than non-online life affords, it’s surprisingly easy to feel envy all the more often. Lawrence Yeo considers why, and offers some thoughts on how to combat it. Read Envy is the Cancer of the Soul

πŸ’» Nandakumar Narasimhan extensively photographed the train system in India, trains that are slowly disappearing, and shares some of his photos on the Kosmo Foto site. Read Capturing a disappearing generation of Indian trains on film

πŸ“· Peggy Marsh writes a terrific review of the Vest Pocket Kodak, the first camera for 127 film, from the 1910s. It’s so tiny! Read VPK Vest Pocket Kodak

Do you enjoy my stories and essays?
My book, A Place to Start, is available now!
Click here to see all the places you can get it!

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Blogosphere

Social media update and a new Facebook Group for writers and readers of personal story

I quit Instagram. After they added Reels, which is their answer to TikTok, the time I spent on Instagram ballooned. Reels was remarkably compelling — and the most complete waste of my time ever. I couldn’t keep my hand out of that cookie jar, so I deleted the app and closed my account.

I enjoyed the connections I made on Instagram. A past president of Pentax Corporation used to comment on my photographs! That was fun. But I couldn’t make Instagram bring people here, the primary place I share my creative work. I’d rather invest my time in this site, and in bringing new readers here.


Facebook is a much better place to share my work, because it does bring readers here. So far this year, just shy of 6,000 people have visited this site thanks to my articles being shared on Facebook, mostly in Groups. In the last few months I’ve participated in a lot more Groups in topics I write about, and have begun to share my articles in them.

One Group was for personal essayists, which is the genre that matches my personal stories the closest. I’d gone along liking and commenting on others’ posts there for a while and recently shared my own work there for the first time.

Doing that got me banned, with no explanation and no recourse. I had shared my recent story about my family’s brush with Child Protective Services. Perhaps that was too challenging a story for that Group. I know it doesn’t cast me in a favorable light, as it involves me being quite angry with one of my children. Perhaps that ran afoul of the group’s rule against “triggering” topics? But I’ve read stories there from women processing sexual assault, so I thought my story wouldn’t be over the line. Who knows; like I said, they wouldn’t explain.

I have been surprisingly hurt by this. If my post was unwelcome, why wouldn’t they just delete it and send me a message to explain? It’s not like I’d broken any rules there before. I’d be happy to comply with what they ask.


Before I found and joined that Group, I had created my own Group for people who write stories from their lives. It’s called Personal Essay, Personal Story, and Memoir, and you can join it here. I felt kind of silly for creating it when I discovered the other, already thriving group. But if they don’t want me there, all I can do is seek to add members to the similar group I created.

The point of this group is for people who write stories from their lives to share them with people who like reading them. It’s that simple. If you publish a personal story online, just create a post in the group and paste in a link to the story. If you’ve written a book of personal stories, feel free to plug it there, as well (as long as you don’t spam the group, and participate in it otherwise).

My group may have only 25 members compared to the other group’s 30,000 members, but all good things have to start somewhere. With good participation, this group can be something fun and valuable. I hope you’ll join the group! Click here to join.


One last note: I’ve added a new social-media sharing toolbar to the site. If you’re on your phone, it’s at the bottom of the screen; if you’re on your computer, it’s at the bottom right of the browser window. If you like something I’ve written and think people you know will enjoy it, click one of the buttons to share it via email, on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Reddit. Thanks!

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