it's pudding time!

We took the ferry outside Kathlamet, WA to the Oregon side this afternoon.

I watched the trailer and was just, like, “oh cool, it has owlbears.”


It is mildly weird to me that Newsweek on Apple News is mostly recaps of Reddit posts. In my working class childhood home it was a fixture on the coffee table, alongside the local daily.

A little on the Ricoh GRIII X and light hiking carry

I took my Ricoh GRIII X along for this past weekend’s camping trip. Usually I go with my Fujifilm X-T4 and a few lenses, depending on what I expect to see.

This camping season I went looking for a pack a little lighter than the Osprey hydration backpack I’ve been using for a while now: I like to be able to keep my GPS, spare batteries, and multi-tool where I can just grab them without having to take my pack off. Finding something that had accessible storage and a hydration pack took me into the realm of “operator cultural” tactical goop I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, but I must have been using bad keywords because I just happened to walk into an REI and see their hydration vest for much less than the overpriced tactical wannabe stuff, and with exactly the kind of storage I was hoping for.

The vest comes with a 1.5 liter bladder, some lightweight external tie-down points/cords good for keeping a sweatshirt or sweater handy, four stretchy mesh pockets big enough to hold a GPS or phone each, and one zipper pocket on the chest that can store a phone and wallet. There’s a small main storage area I used to hold light rain pants and a self-storing rain jacket early in the season, with enough room left over for a few power bars or a paper map or trail book. There are adjustable shoulder straps and two sternum straps that allow you to get it snugged down without feeling too tight.

For our 15.5 mile hike up and down Mt. Bailey, I stored my Garmin InReach Mini tracker, a Leatherman Signal, my iPhone (which has a symbiotic relationship with the InReach), and some batteries. I carried along my X-T4 on a shoulder strap. It was fine because I wanted the big glass of my X-T4’s 10-24mm lens for the scenery.

For this past weekend’s shorter, easier trip, I wanted to have a little less camera along, so I kept the same load as last time, but swapped in the GRIII X as my camera. I have it on a Peak Design Leash. It fit perfectly in the remaining mesh pocket.

The GRIII series is a little ergonomically weird for a Fujifilm person. Like a lot of small compacts, it doesn’t have a lot of single-purpose controls and for some functionality you have to “chord” by holding down one button while you turn a dial, or press something in then use a rocker to move around inside the resulting menu.

On the other hand, it has perfectly serviceable aperture and shutter priority modes, which put those respective controls right under your finger, and exposure comp is the primary function of another control.

The small-camera ergonomics take a little getting used to, but I feel somewhat fluent after several months. I’ve also come to love a few things about it:

  1. The Ricoh mobile app is so much better than Fujifilm’s I don’t even know where to start. I would never, ever attempt to download a raw photo from a Fuji camera. This weekend I was able to just sit at the picnic table and run a few raw photos through Lightroom on my iPhone.

  2. The Snap Focus feature is great for hiking. Just dial in a decent aperture and point-and-shoot. If you need to get in close or aren’t sure of the focus zone, just override with a tap on the screen to set the AF point.

  3. I bought the accessory optical viewfinder, which pairs well with Snap Focus in sunny conditions.

If I had to choose between the GRIII X and the Fujifilm X100V, it’d be a tough call. The X100 series aligns with deep-seated preferences, but it is not so “compact” that you can carry it differently from a full ILC. The GRIII is a little less easy to manually control, but Snap Focus and the optical viewfinder make it a great street camera. Also, it can literally fit in a front pocket (for most men’s clothing). If Fujifilm either made the focus ring on the X100 series easier to use for zone focusing or just added a snap focus feature, I’d probably forgive the extra bulk but would miss being able to stick an APS-C camera in my pants pocket or in my trail vest.

Also, if you’re a Fujifilm partisan and think you could get the bulk of the GRIII’s benefit with an XF-10, forget it. You can’t. That’s delusional. I don’t know what they were thinking making that thing, but the cameras don’t compare.

If I could fix one thing about the Ricoh, it’d be to add weather sealing. Once rain is back in the picture, the X100V will come back out, size tradeoffs and all.

Cold lake

Unicorn floaty

Monochrome photo of a little girl with a unicorn float toy on the shores of Lava Lake in Central Oregon.

New cups at Carnelian Coffee so there has been a bit of excitement this morning. They’re very good cups, but, you know … change.

Lava Lake

Luther Rd. Floodplain

“A cursed Rubik’s cube that sings the Star Spangled Banner with weasels”

“A can of coors light used to fake a mapplethorpe”

Took Lou out to Sauvie Island today. Lou didn’t have a name or a song when we set out, but it happened while we were riding.

Never enough red pills in this present moment

This is pretty fun. Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault debating each other in 1971, defining some of the key tensions on the left today:

Just, cool: Chomsky’s earnest “you have to start somewhere” anarchism and Foucault’s suggestion that you will never take enough red pills. Chomsky’s insistence that a journey of 1,000 miles starts with one footstep, Foucault’s gleeful wallowing in Zeno’s Paradox.

Also pretty good: The recent Jacobin podcast interview with Gary Gerstle, author of The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order:

It’s tempting sometimes to think that everything is just very now and can’t possibly have anything to do with some vague back then. But you’re always hearing the echoes of or living through the death throes of something from that vague back then.

These two videos pair well. The neoliberal left loves the cultural trappings of resistance that Chomsky outlines, but despises any analysis that argues our current order is anything other than liberatory, preferring to channel desire for more or other into consumption. And it abuses Foucault to paralyze any conception of liberation that tries to transcend the market or consumption.

Favorite fastmail thing of the week: Filtering things of short-term value into a “disposable” label, then setting advanced rules on the label to delete after a week.

Diamond Lake has some huge sites on the shore. Car camping paradise.

Mt. Bailey from the east shore of Diamond LakeDiamond Lake campsite Diamond Lake campsite

Hiking up Mt. Bailey

15.4 miles round trip, 2300 foot gain up Mt. Bailey from the Diamond Lake campground. 🥾😅 The descent down loose rocks and grit was a good rehearsal for Smith Rock later this month.

New jacket day. My mass redistributed over the past two years, so not a lot for the tailor to do this time.

I’m swimming in my Aerostich R-3, too — I wonder if it can be refit. Or maybe just stick a few pillows in it for added impact protection. Or a few hams, for just in case.

Celebrating 20 years at our favorite place

“Democratic Leaders Don’t Fear Their Own Base. They Should."

The video that sold me on the TW200. No, no immediate plans to cross a desert on it.

DNC Out of My Inbox