New Hat Old Guy

Another in the long train of new days. The days lately are cooler and mornings kinda hazy out. Some would say the weather is going to change but my Vietnamese friends say September is the time. So now I sit with iced coffee and read some of the news. I also watch a few of my family and friends go through changes. Some of the changes desired. Some not so desired. Kinda like Mufasa and Simba on life. We all want change but when it comes it’s dawned on me it’s never quite what the hope was. Somehow change knows we are puny humans and it can run havoc on our carefully laid plans and schemes. It’s why I stopped planning. Planning achieves nothing really at this point besides hope and hopelessness. Desire and fear. Dreams and their opposite force.

So instead I don’t. I just take the days given to me here. This Tuesday and next Thursday and the following Monday when I get an eye exam and new glasses for significantly less money. It’s like dental work here. Both are done professionally. In Phnom Penh I had a tooth extracted at a Japanese dentist. State of the art and with the legendary care and precision and gentle attention I expected.

Now I go to the international eye hospital next week and get a comprehensive exam and prescription for new glasses. The exam cost about $50. Glasses not sure. I’m sure of one thing. Cheaper than the US.

Then there’s the new baseball style cap with the Vietnam star and the words Vietnam under. My old cap that says the same had been around a long while. So today I washed it. New cap. Old me. Iced coffee and moments. Breakfast which was toast with smashed avocado and bacon. Not pho all the time. But yesterday was bun cha for lunch next door.

I’ve sat awhile drafting this now in IAwriter on my iPhone. When I get back to my room it’s there for me to continue. Simple little things. I don’t need reminder or task or really notes apps. I do like writing in markdown and having things like I leave them when I change to my iPad.

photo editing stuff

I might as well discuss some fun with photo editing tools too. I’ve used and like these three:

  1. Darkroom. It has about 90 percent of what I need so most things start there. I love the attention to detail with it. The iPad app is gorgeous and not just a rehash of the iPhone app. Tools and controls are nicely done.
  2. Afterlight. I’m a recent convert to this app on my iPhone. Still testing and having fun but really like what I see. Maybe more later.
  3. Snapseed. This app has a lot but the interface wears me down. I fear the app and googles intentions or lack. No updates even for new iOS versions in 8 months. The interface is clunky in many ways. It should show me my photos in the camera roll when I open it. Tools should be more integrated in the flow of the app. But... it works and does well.

Now one final app I used which I won’t continue with. Lightroom Mobile has so much. It also has a price of entry past the creative cloud subscription. You have to opt in to another ecosystem. Agree that the features and functions are worth both the financial cost and the cost to join a new ecosystem. The final thing for me is I’m not that serious. I’m not a serious photographer or even one at all. I gave away or got frustrated with many Fujifilm cameras and even lens. I had a lumix camera for two months that failed.

Then I faced a reality. I had the device always that worked for me. Starting with the iPhone 7 Plus. Then the stolen iPhone 11 and finally the 11 pro. The dedicated cameras became a burden and adopting to their needs carrying even more gear became a tipping point to me.

I embarked to simplify all that. In the path the final Fujifilm X-T30 and two Lens went away. Along with myriad cables and chargers and SD cards and adapters to let me import the images to the iPad. Gone to other places or just gone.

And that’s also how I ended up with the apps I use now. Nimble and quick and easy to maintain. Fun to use. Not at all like the frustration with the X-T2 camera and it’s problems.

The biggest thing is happiness with things. I downsized backpacks back in the states earlier this year. I knew after shooting photographs across Taiwan, Vietnam and the US that the camera would go.

So all has been downsizing, simplifying and finding things that work for a life with only few material things. I think I’m there now. I could pack and go in about 15 minutes. I can unpack in less. Cheap shirts, new hats, an iPhone. It all let me push the redo button and find what works for me. Like the apps above and the phone and the life I have now.