Posts Categorized: History

First things first

I recently decided to move my blogging and opinions to this fresh space.  I had become disenchanted with Facebook’s aesthetics and governance.  In this post I will describe the content and spirit of my blog.

The blog will mostly include posts on history, photography, cycling, typewriters, and New Orleans affairs.  I categorize my support of Eric Strachan for City Council under NOLA affairs, but I’ll refrain from blogging on national political topics.  For the most part I intend it to be a place where I go to unwind and indulge.

I have chosen to disable the “comments” feature.  I’m not at all antisocial, I just don’t have the time or emotional energy to police that space for trolls, cranks, and spammers.  I know the internet has many thoughtful and supportive readers, and I thank you heartily for your interest.  When it comes to cycling and photography I’m sure I’ll exchange views with some of you on APUG (Analog Photography User’s Group) or the Bike Forums in those moderated venues.


There are only a few verboten topics on my blog, but I’m swimming against the strongest of tides.  In many areas of my life I try to build a cofferdam against the flood of 21st century innovations.  Electronic bicycle shifting is brilliant and efficient, but it saddens me that future generations may literally lose the FEEL of a good shift vs a bad shift.  (I was so joyful when I got good at friction shifting with my French Huret equipped bike.  Anyone who starts out with Shimano electronic shifting is only cheating himself.)  Carbon fiber frames have their virtues, but I prefer to respect the skill of an actual steel, titanium, or aluminum frame builder instead of getting a bike from a soulless mold.  Digital cameras are mind blowingly powerful tools with great potential, but the masses mostly waste its potential by neglecting shooting technique and composition and fetishizing Photoshop aftereffects.  (Zooming with the lens is NOT the same as walking around with a prime focal length for a similar crop!  If you digitally blur parts of the photo to imitate depth of field control, pay attention to depth of field in the photo or it looks bizarre.)


In my own pursuits I often fall short of my goals.  I shoot my TLRs with gusto but I do not mistake myself for Philippe Halsman.  I liken most of my pursuits to golf.  They get me outside a fair bit.  They require the acquisition of some specialized physical and mental skill.  Sometimes I can “be the ball”, sometimes not.  It’s all in the striving.


In any case, whenever I post something new in my blog, I’ll link to that space from Facebook.  My “retrogrouchery” is pretty well informed on the whole.  I’m not about bashing modernity.  I love using a computer to communicate.  I’m about extolling the VIRTUES of an ANALOG era that is rapidly vanishing.  I use email, but I also send lots and lots of paper letters, and respect the difference.

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