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outdoors photo

Kirkibost

Abandoned buildings on Kirkibost island

Kirkibost is a little uninhabited island behind our house. I’ve never been over until yesterday, but when our neighbours Conor and Katy asked, if we’re up for a walk, we said yes. When low tide is at it’s lowest, it’s fairly easy to walk over and cross the stream. It didn’t exactly work out unfortunately, but Conor and I made it over, we just had to swim a few meters.

Usually undisturbed from humans, Kirkibost has lot’s of nesting birds. We were very careful not to step on eggs or even chicks. These common gull chicks were very cute.

A duck mum
We saw this chick getting attacked by adult gulls, but it was fine.
Conor with his child on the back, checking the water level
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outdoors photo

Dog walk

We are still in full lockdown mode (because the UK is truly terrible at dealing with this thing), but at least now we are allowed to meet people from other households outside.

Yesterday, we met our friends with their two dogs for a walk on the beach.

I wish the autofocus on my camera was faster and better. One day, I will upgrade to a newer model with animal eye autofocus. In the mean time, I’m taking slightly out of focus photos of dogs.

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photo

Always watching

Categories
fitness Life update

May

Fitness wise, May was not too bad for me. The Apple activity app says I spent 23.5 hours working out, burning 9500 active calories. That’s better than April and March, but not as good as January and February. I found a good balance between work and working out – without going to the gym, of course.

Compared to pre-lockdown, the active calories are quite a bit down. I think that’s mostly because I’m not able to use a cross-trainer, and I don’t really like running outside at the moment.

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outdoors photo

A great tern out

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.

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photo

Birds 🐦

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.

Categories
Life update

Two years

Happy anniversary to us. I can’t believe it’s been two years already. I love you.

Categories
deep thoughts technology

On human-made objects in space

A breathtaking photo of the ISS

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:

Click here to display content from YouTube

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.

Future me, yelling at a flying internet router in space, which will be one of the uses of Starlink.
Categories
deep thoughts fitness

Energy level during a slow day

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:

Categories
photo

The deer photo

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.

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outdoors photo

After the storm

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deep thoughts

#ReleaseTheSnyderCut

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.

Categories
outdoors photo

Pool party

Today, we had a good weather window and the tide was very low, too. Perfect conditions for a quick dip in this beautiful, natural pool.

Enjoy this little photo set.

Categories
apps technology

Weather apps

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.

XCWeather

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.

Windfinder

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.

Tide Pro

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.

Categories
deep thoughts work

Work in pyjamas

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.

So much better.

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photo

Sheepish neighbour

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movie

Movie: Trollhunter

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.

My verdict: 3.5/5 trees.
🌳🌳🌳🌲

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photo

Gull

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outdoors photo

When in doubt, go for a walk

Virus and pollen proof outfit. Yes, it’s that season again. 🤧

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.

Flower child
Categories
technology

My Kickstarter journey

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.

Lima

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.
★☆☆☆☆

The Dash

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.
★★☆☆☆

Ably Shirts

Me being a tourist in Malaysia

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.
★★★★☆

Silvertech Underwear

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.
★★☆☆☆

DU/ER travel pants

Sports goth wears DU/ER travel pants, Ably hoody, Minaal backpack and Keen shoes.

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.
★★★★★

Primoplan 58 lens

Nice bokeh, great subject, no sharpness

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)