In the field behind the house some arctic terns are nesting. When we go for a walk in the bay, they show up flying overhead, checking if we are potentially dangerous. I tried to take a couple of photos, but these birds are fast. But I got this one.
Alternative titles: An interesting tern of events, u-tern, tern up for the books, Tina Terner, thanks for terning up.
Sorry for two bird-related posts in a row, I’ll make sure that it will take a tern for the better.
This morning, I opened the front door just to find a very young bird sitting right in front of it. I stared at it, it stared back at me. The starlings living in our roof and around our house have finally hatched. And not only starlings, I also saw other kinds of birds. In general, it feels like there are more different birds in the garden this year. My camera is locked and loaded to shoot some birds.
We had very clear skies earlier this month (or in April? I honestly can’t remember) and I’ve witnessed a couple of Starlink train passes, which got me thinking.
In case you don’t know, Starlink satellites are small, fridge-sized, satellites, launched by Space X. A couple of 🚀 launches happened in April, with each a few dozen satellites on board. After deployment, they travel quite close together in a low path to their final orbit. During that, they are visible by naked eye which it can be quite fascinating. Although I find it interesting, the consequences could be very bad once all 42.000 (!!) satellites are flying around the earth. This video from Alyn explains the situation very well:
I understand that Space X is trying to solve this problem with sunshades, that theoretically make them less visible. But we won’t know if that works until the next launch some time soon.
On some days, I just don‘t really wake up. It‘s grey, windy and rainy outside and I spend most of the day working on my desk. But when I finally manage to work out, my energy level spikes. Here is an illustration:
I posted this photo on my Instagram today, and I really like it. But truth be told – I took it out of my car window with very little effort. So many deer photos from Scotland on Instagram are taken in Glencoe, more specific in Glen Etive, a beautiful valley near Fort William. Because of the many visitors, the deer are used to humans, staring at them – or worse, feeding them, which is obviously bad.
On our little island, I haven’t managed to take a photo like this. The deer here are very shy and run away as soon as they spot you. Although they do regularly come to our garden at night.
This is fascinating to me but probably quite boring for most people. To bring you up to speed: The movie Justice League came out in 2017, and it was bad. Like really, really bad. What happened was, Zack Snyder, who directed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman started filming Justice League and had to leave the movie due to a family drama. Joss Wheadon (who directed some of the Avengers movies and many other things) came in to finish the movie. But for whatever reason, a lot got changed. The script got partly rewritten and many scenes got reshot, which is often quite visible in the final film. The complete tone of the film was changed, too. While Man of Steel and Batman v Superman took themselves very serious, JL had many Avenger-esque one liner jokes. The colour palette changed very noticeable from dark to bright and vibrant. The final battle in the trailers was dark and blue-ish, in the final film everything was bright red. There are great videos on YouTube with lots of in-depts comparisons.
Ok, so. Over the last couple of years, now and then, rumours came up that there is indeed a cut of the movie from the time Zack Snyder left, and fans wanted to see it. Zack Snyder himself kept posting hints and photos on his Vero profile (is he the only person left using Vero?).
In the last few months, the voices got louder and louder. Some of the actors itself posted the Hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, and it trended every now and then on Twitter.
In my opinion Man of Steel was an only-okay movie. Batman v Superman wasn’t very good either, but the directors cut actually was a bit better and explained a few plot holes. So why are people going crazy about Justice League? Will it be better than what we got in 2017? We will see! It’s now officially confirmed that it will be released in 2021, possibly as a mini series and not as a four hour long movie.
Yes, I want to see Justice League as Zack Snyder wanted to make it, but I don’t think it will be THE BEST MOVIE IN THE WORLD. So why am I so fascinated with it? Outcries happen all the time, but this time, the internet won. Crazy fandom won, and Warner Bros will spend $20m more on a movie that wasn’t financially successful.
We live in a world of polarities, and this ruckus* is no exception. There is no room for nuance. You can love Zack Snyder or you are a Marvel fanboy. You either love Tesla and Elon Musk or you hate electric vehicles. One wrong turn on twitter and you are in the middle of a fandom war.
* it took me 20 minutes on thesaurus.com to find the right word
To prove my fandom, here is a 25 year old photo of me as Batman.
Weather in the Hebrides is a big part of life out here, especially the wind. It’s basically always windy. When the wind drops, it’s such a relief. The insulation in our little house is not great and you can feel a draft coming in a lot of the time. Sounds worse than it actually is, really.
Anyways, I’m always looking out for good weather apps, and I’m not happy with what we’ve got.
I can’t even download the actual app – it’s only available in the UK AppStore, but my account is linked to the German store. That doesn’t really matter, the app is just a wrapper for the web version. It’s apparently the best weather information source for our region. What I like is that the wind and gust informations are very prominent. Unfortunately, website and app are very barebones. It looks just ugly. And of course no iOS or watchOS features like notifications or widgets.
My favourite app to see the wind direction and speed, including gusts. The map view is nicely animated and can show various information, including two different wind forecast models. Really helpful are the customisable wind alerts. I have an alert for all winds above 50mp from south-east to south-west as that the direction with the most powerful storms, and our house is very exposed from this direction. I’m only missing an Apple Watch complication.
When going out for a swim in the sea or a walk in the bay, it’s good to know detailed information about the tide. Tide Pro is the best app I found for that, unfortunately the Apple Watch complication isn’t very pretty.
This morning, I started working wearing my pyjamas. No big deal, I’m working remotely. I thought about all the articles and blog posts that came up recently about remote work. “Get dressed as if you go to an office”, they said. I giggled. How stupid, I thought. I’m working online for years now. I can work in my pyjamas, no problem.
A few minutes later I got up, brushed my teeth, got dressed, went back to my desk as continued working.
I knew nothing about this movie when we started watching, not that it’s a Norwegian movie nor that it’s a mocumentary. I’m not the biggest fan of found footage horror movies, I think it’s a bit silly. But: This one was fun. And I would like to think that it was all real, that trolls are roaming around Norway, unnoticed by the general public.
Usually I try to leave the house and go for a walk every day, even if it’s only 15 minutes. Recently, I didn’t manage to actually do that – due to work and bad weather. Not so today. Rosie and I went to one of most stunning areas on the island for a Saturday morning walk, enjoying the sun while it lasted.
I took out my weird-swirly-bokeh lens recently (remember?) which reminded me about the time I backed quite a few products on Kickstarter in 2014-2016. I’m only talking about tech products and clothing, but I also backed a couple of films and a font.
This was supposed to be a Dropbox alternative, but all self-hosted. The idea sounded good, and I backed it. The campaign was successful and raised $1.2m. I remember finally receiving my Lima device – and I never even unpacked it. The box probably still sits in my parent’s attic. The company went out of business in the beginning of 2019, and made all Lima devices virtually useless. ★☆☆☆☆
Wireless in-ear headphones with a charging case, how cool is that? Before AirPods were a thing, I found this Kickstarter campaign that claimed they have developed smart in-ear headphones. I was hooked. No cables, waterproof, heart rate monitor, ear bone microphone, all of this and more. The campaign raised $3.3m. As many Kickstarter products, shipping started late, and Melly was so kind to bring them with her when we met in Thailand where I was living at the time. The experience was rough, the Bluetooth connection dropped even when I put my phone in my pocket. Battery life was bad. I can’t remember using them a lot, but I feel like if seen them recently in the bottom of a box. ★★☆☆☆
As you may know, in 2016 and 2017 I travelled a lot in South-East Asia with a carry-on backpack. The Ably shirts promised less odour, and therefore less washing. I actually really liked them. I received 5 t-shirts, 2 long sleeve shirts and a hoody and I still use them. Good quality and feel. Not the best I’ve ever felt, but really nice. I’d buy them again, but the prices outside of Kickstarter are quite high, especially the shipping costs to the UK. ★★★★☆
Similar idea to the Ably shirts, different technology. I received underwear, socks and a t-shirt. I wasn’t too excited about the quality and I don’t use any of the products anymore. I still have some of the socks, but most of them have holes by now. No photo of me in underwear, don’t worry. ★★☆☆☆
As a man of the world, I needed these travel pants (or trousers, depending on your dialect). I got the jogger version I and really liked them. A bit tight in the beginning, but after a couple of days of wearing, they fit perfectly. I probably wore them for nearly a year as my primary trousers, including some bigger walks. I liked them so much, that I bought similar trousers from the same company. ★★★★★
Oh boy, where to start here. This campaign was about the “Fabulous Wonder Bokeh Lens: Primoplan 58 f1.9”, a modern version of a vintage camera lens from the German manufacturer “Meyer Optic Görlitz”. I pledged $785, what was I thinking? I liked the idea and the example photos looked amazing. Little did I know. The company selling the lens had multiple other campaigns with similar lenses, one of them turned out to be a rebranded, way cheaper lens from China. Long story short: After many delays, I received my lens. Shortly after, the company went out of business. Many people never received their products. My promised lens cap never arrived. How’s the lens, you ask? It’s not good. Yes, the bokeh is beautiful, but I’m not able to get a subject actually in focus. ★★☆☆☆
I haven’t had a look at Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sites in a long time and I back another tech product. Maybe some sweet shorts.
What’s your experience with crowdfunding? (A question at the end boosts the engagement, I learned that in my Youtuber days)
This one wasn’t a particularly hard workout, I felt quite sluggish today and didn’t want to go all in. No super high weights or reps this time. It got my heart pumping, though.
I’m glad I bought a set of basic kettlebells last year to be able to work out at home. Surprisingly, there are two gyms close-ish, but unsurprisingly, they are not very well equipped. And they are now closed anyway.
I’m German, that means I like beer, cars and … bread. Unfortunately, the bread we can buy here on the island is not good. After a couple of sad, flat and boring loaves of super-easy-no-knead-bread, friends gave me some of their sourdough starter (called Lucretia). What a revelation. So much flavour.
Not gonna lie, not every attempt was successful. Yes, I’ve yelled and cursed while trying to shape way too sticky dough. But it was worth it. I’m still not completely happy with every single loaf, but I’m getting there. And along the way, I’m baking sourdough focaccia, sourdough pizza, sourdough pancakes, sourdough cheesecake – ok, the last one was a lie.
I’m mostly following this recipe from Joshua Weissman, but I’ve watched many more videos and read many more recipes about sourdough bread. I’m looking after my starter meticulously, feeding it in the evenings, tucking it in it’s little blanket and giving it a little good night kiss.
Now, after many attempts, it’s a nice ritual at the beginning of the week. It doesn’t take up much time anymore, I know the steps and the measurements. And the next morning, I’m rewarded with two delicious smelling loaves of fresh bread. Is that how new parents feel? Probably not, but it must be close.
For the record: I started baking at the end of last year when the coronavirus wasn’t a thing that we knew about.
Why shouldn’t I start this with a photo of some gorse in bloom. I took this photo the other day on my government approved exercise walk using a weird, overpriced-and-kinda-crappy lens I got on Kickstarter a few years back.