Subscription Friction · At Canadian Thanksgiving, friends joined us at our cottage for turkey and the fixings. The food (what we made and what they brought) all came out great and we had happy stomachs. I did a lot of the cooking and wanted to check recipes and was brought face to horrified face with the failure of publishing to work on the Internet. The solution seems plain to me and this won’t be the first time I’ve offered it. But something really needs to be done ...
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Easy Reliable Chicken Kebabs · This involves a certain amount of chopping stuff up, also attention to hygiene, but requires no particular technical skill and has never ever failed to get rave reviews ...
 
Records and Lenses · Sunday included more fun than the recent average — at my age, chilling is often more attractive than partying. Sunday featured vinyl, vintage lenses, Southern guitar boogie, and a photo-assignment. With pictures! (Which may be a little puzzling, but stay with me.) ...
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Discogs Pain · As I continue slowly ingesting the 900 classical LPs I inherited, I’ve developed a relationship with Discogs. It’s a good place to track your collection (here’s mine, in-progress). This is the story of my first attempt to use it to buy music, a laughable failure. It’s by way of public service, just leaving a marker, a warning others to be careful about charging into the marketplace ...
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At the Climate Strike · I went and so did lots of others, but many couldn’t so I thought I’d try to share the scale and the feel ...
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On Sharding · If you need to handle really a lot of traffic, there’s only one way to do it: sharding. Which is to say, splitting up the incoming requests among as many hosts (or Lambda functions, or message brokers, or data streams) as you need. Once you get this working you can handle an essentially unlimited request volume. Of course, you have to make choices on how you’re going to divide up the traffic among the shards. I’ve had intense exposure to the options since I came to work at AWS ...
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The Cloud and Open Source · This is eventually about the public cloud and Open Source, but — apologies in advance — takes an indirect and long-ish path ...
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CL XXXIX: Island Wildlife · Our probably-last Cottage-Life weekend of 2019 featured cetacean encounters and rodent rage. But I didn’t manage to photograph any of that, so just the usual trees and sunsets ...
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Portraits of Puppets · If you happened to check out my Twitter feed on the weekend, you’ll know that I attended a pair of dueling rallies outside a train station in central Vancouver. On one side, a crowd in black supporting the Hong Kong protests; on the other a red-clad flag-festooned squad bringing Beijing’s message. I was dressed in black and took pictures of the other side ...
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Talking Hong Kong Blues · I’m imagining a discussion that might have taken place in Baidaihe at some point this month at the annual CCP summer offsite ...
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Jeanneau 795 Review · In Europe this boat is called the Merry Fisher 795 and in the New World, the NC 795. I’ve owned it for a few months and improved it a bit and taken it a few places and feel like sharing ...
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Google Camera RAW vs JPG · I recently wrote about how to move the excellent photos from the Google Pixel phone Camera app into a desktop Lightroom workflow. I was pleased that it’s easy to tell the camera to generate DNG “RAW” files and include them in the process. But apparently, the camera’s JPGs are better and more useful than the DNGs. That’s weird ...
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Google Pixel Photo Workflow · I recently wrote about the excessive difficulty of moving the Google Pixel phone’s excellent pictures through a Lightroom workflow. It turns out that Lightroom has a solution; herewith details, upsides, downsides, and alternatives. Also, cautionary words for Adobe on Lightroom Classic ...
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Google Photos Breakage · The camera systems in the Google Pixel phones are excellent, but Google makes it way too hard for the serious photographer to get a decent workflow going. Does someone out there know a better way? If not, let’s get together and yell at Google. [Update: I found a good way to do this.]  ...
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EventBridge · The launch of Amazon EventBridge, a somewhat but not entirely new thing, has been well-covered by Jeff Barr; if you want to know what it is, go read Jeff. This piece is to provide a bit of background and context on EventBridge. I didn’t actually make any direct contributions, but was upstream from this work at the definition and early-planning stage ...
 
Wealth Tax Stupidity · Canada’s mainstream conservative biz paper The Financial Post recently published The NDP’s new tax-the-rich plan is terrible, even by their standards and it is stuffed with white-hot stupidity and bad arithmetic. Arguing against any given tax is sane — that’s what conservatives are for, innit? — but if they’re going to use math that would get you an “F” in Grade 8, they deserve a whack with the cluestick ...
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Reasons to Cycle · Recently I enthused on the life impact of getting an e-bike. The enthusiasm remains and I two-wheel to work almost every day. Often my thoughts are of the form “What makes this so great is…” Here are some of those, but there’s a very specific assumption: that your home city has decent bikelane infrastructure. Vancouver’s is not world-class but also not terrible, and I’ll toss in a few pix from my commute for non-bike-commuters who might not have seen what that means ...
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CL XXXVIII: Refactorings · What with our jobs and our kids, Cottage Life time has been tough in recent years. But we still believe in the place and the project enough to put money into repairing our dock and replacing our boat. Which raises issues of work-life balance and money laundering. And as always, these pieces are vehicles for pretty pictures of Keats Island and Howe Sound ...
 
Auntie Beth’s Present · My Aunt Beth died a few weeks ago. Her real name was Bertha Marian White (née Scott), here’s her obituary. I was close to her when I was a kid; she was an awfully nice person, and I’m sad. But she’d been fading for years, and in the way of death these days, Beth the person we knew pre-departed the spark of life in her body. One reason we loved her is she always gave the best birthday presents, and she did that again one last time this month ...
 
Go Creeping In · I’ve seen the inside of the Google and Amazon tech stacks. There are common threads that run through them and also, I bet, through most BigTechCos. Here and there down the stack is a lot of C++ and vestigial remnants from earlier days, Perl or PHP or whatever. Out in front of humans, of course, JS. But in between, there are oceans and oceans of Java; to a remarkable degree, it runs the Internet. Except for, here and there, you find a small but steadily increasing proportion of Go ...
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