Saturday, December 31, 2022

Goodbye 2022 (AGR), Hello 2023

I did this a year ago, here, and it seems like fun to do this year again. At least I think so, given that I haven't written it yet. I've just actually read that post from a year ago. Hmmm. The AGR in the title? And Good Riddance.

So here we are, at the end of 2022. Three full years of COVID related issues, and we're still dealing with it. If you believe the news out of China, it's about to re-start all over again. Then again, news out of China is notoriously unreliable. I saw in the news that some places are restricting travel out of China. We've seen this movie before. It's already too late if there actually is a problem.

Part the activity was coming out of COVID, cautiously getting back to normal. It's been sort of a two steps forward, and a half a step back, just in case. People really hoped that COVID really was gone, but there's a lot of uncertainty about the whole darn thing. Some people no longer care. They've had their shots, and while they aren't stupid about it, they're getting on with their lives. They figure they'll cope if they get it.

My bout of uncertainty was coming home from one trip to find a sick Linda, but a negative test. She said it felt like a cold, and it looked and sounded like a cold. And then just as I was leaving for a trip, I picked it up, and it felt exactly like a cold normally feels for me. None the less, I was cautious about wearing a mask, and disinfecting my hands it seemed like every few minutes. I was not reassured by the guy in the airport bar that sounded like a TB ward all by himself. Part way through the trip one person went home feeling not well, and they called to say they tested positive for COVID. 

Oops. We all tested ourselves, and I tested negative, even though I still felt like I had a cold, though beginning to come out of it. (That day-quil stuff is awesome!) I checked with Linda and she said she had had a positive test while I was gone. What was odd, is that the two people I was sharing a cabin with, one tested positive, and one tested negative. We were all careful with masking, and carried on with the trip. I got home and tested negative, and then negative again a couple days later. By then Linda was negative as well. 

Which gave me a bit of a dilemma around the vaccine that was available about then. I find it completely plausible that I had had a mild case of COVID due to 3 vaccine shots and was over it by the time I was tested, or I had a false negative. I didn't know if I should go get the bivalent shot or not. If I had COVID I need to wait till Feb. Who knows what the situation will be then?

So while I hope this is over, and our supply chains get glued back together, it's going to be interesting to see the fallout. After Spanish Flu 100 years ago there were any number of public health initiatives put forward. Now, anything that gets proposed is likely to have the anti-vax idiots screaming about their freedoms. Bah! Nobody forced them to take the shot, and they're the ones who are all tough on crime and people taking consequences for their (in)actions. 

Over the last several years we've seen that we can do things differently; that we don't need to be in the consumerist rat race. Lots of people discovered they didn't need to be making as much money as they thought, or the converse, found they didn't need to be buying so much. There's been lots of business owners saying that people don't want to work. Bah! It just means people find working for them to be less rewarding than other choices. If discussion of a Universal Basic Income comes up, and you hear people saying it will destroy the incentive to work, think about it this way. Those people want other people to have no choice but to subsidize their business so they can continue to rake in the money. Maybe there's other things people want to do that make their lives better, and might even add value to society in non-monetary ways. 

Regular readers will want to know, I'm sure, what have I been doing, since it's clear that blogging is not occupying much of my time. Blog production this year, even counting the three in draft status (IotM, and IotY, and this one) is the lowest ever. Never fear, I'm still going to keep on doing it, periodically, as the mood takes me, or inspiration strikes, or the need to show a particular photo and tell a story about it. I'm still musing about what goes on this blog, what goes on the photography blog, and I need to update my LoungeCatProductions site, and I've been musing about Substack. I guess my only advice is to stay tuned.

So what am I doing instead? Would you believe sloth and indolence? Plus swimming just over 400 Km. Plus taking almost 29,000 photos. A major trip to Yukon was lots of fun, plus some shorter trips closer to home. Oh, and becoming president of our community association at our Annual General Meeting in November. This should keep me out of mischief for the next several years. Mostly it's chairing meetings, thinking about agenda items, and ensuring that there are people around to get stuff done. 

Film photography has been taking up more of my time, both reading and watching videos about it, as well as exposing 40 rolls of film, some each of 35mm and 120. This has been fun, and I'm certainly going to do more of it. It's an entirely different experience than digital. 

I'd actually thought about moving up again from medium format to a 4x5 size (that's inches), and was tempted, but not for now, at least. Mainly that I don't yet do any photography where I need that level of detail. Plus, it starts getting really expensive, really quickly. Like $10 for an individual photo. One photo, $10 or so between buying and developing the film. It makes medium format look inexpensive, and 35mm downright cheap. 

I've been going over the photos from this year to remember what I was up to and to start winnowing down to Image of the Year. Lots of  this and that, bits and bobs. There's been times I've got lots of stuff happening, and it all seems to be happening at the same time. Other times I've got some quiet time to contemplate the world. But what's odd is that the weeks fly by. Sometimes I have to look at my phone to know what day of the week it is.

Which makes doing projects tricky. It's easy to let a project slide, thinking you'll get back on it tomorrow. Except life keeps happening. When you retire, you don't have anyone pushing deadlines on you. Well, maybe your spouse. You have to set your own deadlines, which I've not been the best at. Yes, I achieved my swim goal, because I got into the pool several times a week, almost every week. Now I need to apply that same dedication to my retirement projects.  

"Which are?" I hear you asking. Well, let's see. I want to get back on the 50 project, and actually create a book with the photos. So if you're about 50 years old, plus or minus a few years and want to take part, let me know. I printed some of my earliest photos, but haven't done any recently. I really should print at least one of the Tombstone photos, and I'm wondering if there's a book of them. Plus, usually in a book there's some words to go with the photos, and I'm wondering about that as well.

And swim goals. I'd thought about going for 500, even 600 Km, but I think I'm going to go for trying to swim faster. The difficulty there is setting a goal. I can keep up a pace of 110 seconds per hundred m for a long time. A pace of 90 seconds per hundred m leaves me gasping for breath at the end of the first 100, and even the last 25 of that is a bit of stretch. That isn't a lot of room to work with, and there are dangers in pushing an aging body too hard.

Then there's the multi-novel universe that I've been working on since about 1990. It's grown and expanded, and I've fixed some timeline errors, and have several chunks of story I like, but really do need to nail down when they take place in relation to each other. The story started with Ceridwen, and it branched out to her co-workers and friends. Some of them have been hogging the show just lately, and I need to sit down with her and figure out what she's been up to.

We thought about going back to New Zealand, but there's still uncertainty about travel restrictions. We really didn't like the idea of having thousands of dollars in airfare tied up in an airline that doesn't fly to Canada much. However, we've got some travel within Canada booked. At least with that, if there are new travel restrictions, we're only talking a few hundred dollars on a Canadian airline, and we're certainly going to be able to spend that.

So I've got lots to get me out of bed in the morning. This has been the morning view just lately.

Yesterday I started with a clear morning, and then the mist started rolling in. By the time I got the camera we had this.

Of the Day. I sort of mused about what to show you here, thinking end of the year ought to be something special and all. Except no. 





River reflections




  1. I love the right hand pane in 1, and the left hand pane doesn't seem to help the drama in the image. 8 is interesting because I can appreciate how startling the experience of being there would have been. That is a a remarkable combination of lights. The composition though feels like there are two photos. Good luck in your set of 2023 projects / activities /events. It looks like your days will be as full you want them. Cheers, Sean

  2. Love #1 and #8 in this group of photos. There's something very evocative about morning light through a window. And the golden light in #8 is superb. As for the "apparently-not-covid" cold, I'm afraid it was covid, my friend. Glad you and Linda came through the initial illness okay this time but please be careful to keep an eye out for long covid stuff (which can crop up months later unfortunately) and avoid reinfections. There's zero evidence reinfections are easier. In fact, they seem to be harder on many. For purposes of vaccination, my advice is to assume it was covid and time your next shot for 3 months following recovery, whatever GoA currently recommends. Kraken is nasty but the bivalent vaccines seem to be holding up so far. Until then, your recent infection should provide some protection but masking up (N95 or better) is still recommended. Dose matters so the less virus you're exposed to, the better. Also, consider taking baby aspirin if you don't already. X


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