Archive for the Travel Category

Posted on Travel

Dealing with photos

There’s nothing worse than traveling with a smartphone. Sure, you might not have to worry about a few inconveniences (getting lost, printing things like tickets or booking confirmations, or knowing what time it is), but you assuredly come back with way too many photos—sometimes numbering in the thousands. And then you have to sort through them all. I’m not even talking about good photos.

No, there’s nothing worse than traveling with a smartphone (actually maybe hiccups).

At some point—I think around May 2023—I found myself in this exact position once again, and honestly, I should have known better. But there I was with a million1 or so photos from France, and so that’s when I finally gave up, and just made a program to help me sort them.

I warn you now: it is ugly and unpolished, but for my purposes it gets the job done.

That’s right, I didn’t bother changing the form’s title from Form1. So what??

You can select the parent folder to look through. It will load in any metadata its already saved and detect the folder structure, which it’ll use to overwrite any contradictory metadata (which I’ll explain more in a bit).

The scale tags are set, but you can select which one(s) you currently want to view. As you move through the photos (with the left and right arrow keys) you can click up to raise the photo’s scale, or down to lower it. So I can quickly toggle through all the photos and mark the blurry ones as terrible.

Then I can go through the the remainder and decide if I like them or not.

I can also add custom tags and apply them to photos, which I did this for my photos from France.

This one is tagged with best (a scale tag), as well as eze and wildlife (custom tags)

You can update an image’s tags by right-clicking on it.

A photo can only have a single scale tag associated with it because… that’s kind of just how scale works

The Save button saves the current metadata to a JSON file, but Bake scale bakes the scale into the folder structure. This creates directories in your folder for each scale tag that currently has images associated with it, and moves those photos into that subdirectory. Which means I don’t have to rely on being able to find this program later to know which photos were okay. Which is great because I lost it once already. Well, first I completely forgot it existed, but when I realized and went looking for it I couldn’t find it anywhere.

But I have found it now, and I guess I should use it to organize my photos from Germany. Ugh.

Posted on Travel

France 2023

Way back in April we went to France for my birthday. The airport was a mess in Paris and it took three hours to get through customs. Our connecting flight was delayed, but since we had bags to check it was too late to get them on the plane, which meant we had to book another flight to Nice, conveniently more expensive than the first.

For five days we stayed there, day-tripping around. On one of those days we hiked up to Eze, where I got my portrait painted by @artberga. Packing it up and mailing it to Canada was a bit of a thing, but it made it!

Here it is in our AirBnB in Nice

When Justin arrived from Cambridge, we road-tripped around the south of France for four days. The first night, we stayed at the Hotel de la Cité Carcassonne, which was maybe the nicest building I’ve ever been in. It was awesome there, and the view was neat.

The view from our balcony

Then we went to Montolieu: a small town with a lot of bookstores. We stayed in Narbonne that night.


The next day was Nîmes and surrounds.

On our way back to Nice, we stopped in Cassis to boat some calanques. It was a bit windy, which cut down on our options. Still, it was pretty awesome.

Our trusty boat

The next day we took the train to Paris to meet Josh and Chelsea. For the next eight days, we stayed in an AirBnB a block from the Louvre. It was wildly convenient, and the bedroom was built directly above the kitchen of a boulangerie. Every morning at around 5am they’d start pumping the dance music.

I didn’t hate it.

What followed was seven days (Josh and Chelsea left a day before us) of friendship, fancy food, and drinking champagne—where we also went, on a tour guided by JB, who I heartily recommend (we occasionally still WhatsApp about books we’re reading). I would definitely go on another.

this is a louvre

Posted on Travel

Whew 2020 was a busy year!

And I didn’t post a single time during it. But it wasn’t because nothing happened—things happened! So many things that I didn’t feel comfortable setting aside the time to stop and blog.

I got back from a month in Europe, which was really cool and, it turns out, convenient. Europe is neat, and I lucked out in a lot of ways. Traveling is fun, but the actual process of traveling itself is kind of grueling, especially when you’re tall. I haven’t really left my apartment in almost a year now, and I’ve found that I don’t really mind it. But maybe that’s just because I’ve been too busy to really notice.

As loyal readers (hey, that’s me!) will surely know, I do computer programming, and in 2020 I was successfully lured into accepting a job – I’m an employee for the first time in twelve years – and it’s been interesting and strange. To think that this is what it’s like for people, getting paid on a set and immobile schedule.

My Snapmaker 2.0 arrived, and it is awesome. I’ve used it to 3D print some things, and done some CNCing. I haven’t tested the laser cutter yet.

As you also know, I am prone to challenging myself to do ridiculous things just to see if I can, and in most cases, stubbornly following through. To that end, I wrote a terrible novel in a month. It wasn’t enjoyable, forcing myself to spew out ~1700 words a day, but it turns out doing things poorly is isn’t as difficult as you might think.

I started listening to Spout Lore, a podcast. Which makes me an official podcaster. Or a podcastee. Or a podcatcher. I don’t know how it works; whichever one listens to podcasts. I also wrote a Spout Lore fanfic, and made a new website for them. Check it out if you like cool podcasts.

I programmed the website for a neat Vodka Soda company, which had some interesting technical challenges that I’d like to break down at some point. It was designed by Sheldon Rennie, who is a cool designer that you should use if you need cool designs.

I joined a D&D game that lasted like nine months. It just ended. For the first few, after each session, I wrote out what happened from my character’s perspective. I stopped doing that somewhere around 45,000 words, but I would like to tell you a bit more about him if only so I can use it as easy reference. A new campaign is starting soon.

There’s a bunch of work stuff that I can’t really talk about, but I also got a pull request accepted into Apache Superset. Now you can do RLS (row level security) with it!

Yeah I’ve been to Edinburgh so what
Posted on Travel

Dear Diary, we are friends.

Guys I am so full of three emotions right now. But enough of that. Here is an unrelated post. It also contains no useful, technical, or interesting information.

May 18, 2008 —

I don’t remember much of the flight. There are some vague memories of cloud fields pale and blue, and then I was getting off the plane. It was 8 am and both the people I’d met so far had been friendly and even helpful. Probably because it was so early. You know how people love mornings.

I explored Hobart. Everything was closed and there was no one to bee seen. I thought this strange. Where was everyone?

And there in the distance I saw a gathering; a mass of people so dense and deep I found myself backing cautiously away.

It was 8:32 am and I’d decided that Hobart was a pretty sweet city. But will it still be sweet when its presumed occupants magically appear?

I smoked my head coming out of the internet room. It was a doorway meant for midgets.


Posted on Travel

Random thoughts from a far away land

I’ve often thought of winter as God’s mistake. I imagine him looking down on our little world from his throne on the moon. Sitting tall and proud, I imagine him seeing the trees lit with their red, orange, and yellow leaves and mistaking them for flame – a massive fire spanning whole hemispheres at a time.

Shocked by the result of his lapsed attention, his pride stung, he reacts. Overcompensating with cold and snow all to fight an imagined inferno.

He does this, I imagine, year after year. Never learning from his mistakes.

The snows of winter to quench the fires of autumn.

I don’t believe in a god and have never actually imagined that. I’ve imagined imagining it. Hopefully that counts?

I figured Saturday was a good time to post this, since people tend toward busy on the weekend – especially on its first day – not stuck at work like during the week, traversing the web to pass the time 😛