New Year’s, Life, Expenditures

life’s photo journal and stats have been updated. The 594 photos this four-month period is the lowest for any four-month period since April 2002, my Freshman year of high school (when I wasn’t carrying my camera around regularly), and is lower than the previous four months this year by 9 photos.

None of this should be too surprising, given we’ve basically been at home since March and the extent of our real-life social contact has been either brief tea-and-conversation hangouts on the porch, or walks.

In any case, work starts up again tomorrow, and it was a nice break, all things considered. Christmas featured a group Google Meet call, New Year’s featured online board games and virtual champagne toasting, and I hit all of my (honestly, fairly lofty) personal project goals for the break.

Since it’s January, I also compared 2020’s overall expenses to 2019’s. Thanks to the pandemic, my overall spending is down 22 percent, mostly in food (much more cooking at home; down 34%), travel (we had one vacation which involved a car rental and cabin instead of flying and hotels; down 98%), and entertainment expenses (we didn’t host any games or events and didn’t go anywhere with people; down 72%).

The only thing keeping the overall year-to-year drop from being less extreme was that our mortgage payments and utilities went up a bit, and account for most of my spending (70% of my [lowered] yearly expenditures this year, compared to 49% of last year’s). Like last year, the next biggest expense was food (relatively stable at 15% of yearly expenditures this year, compared to 17% last year).

Anyway. Things are uneventful. Here’s hoping the vaccine distribution really picks up this year and we can start seeing people again in the first half of the year.

Hope everyone’s doing well out there.

Star Trek and Christmas

After finishing all of Voyager a couple years back, and then all of The Next Generation earlier this year, we’ve started on Enterprise.

We’re now most of the way through the second season, and although I really like the less-polished more-modern crew, I feel like there’ve been a lot of opportunities that the writers have squandered, lately.

In particular, we just finished a couple of episodes (The Crossing and Horizon) where they had such a great opportunity to show that human biases aren’t always right when encountering new species, and you can’t just go imposing your will and ideals somewhere else. And in both cases the plots took the more stereotypical turn of “Of course human intuition about danger was right” and “Of course making changes that no one asked for ends up saving everyone’s lives”. It’s honestly disappointing, for stories that had so much great potential.

Speaking of disappointing… Christmas this year is feeling very different. Without the usual pomp and circumstance, it’s been feeling like a rather sad week. Even though I’ve known for months that we wouldn’t be travelling this year, the reality is finally setting in now that it’s three days before Christmas and we’re still at home.

So 2020 goes, I suppose.

Thanksgiving

There was a Thanksgiving! We successfully Thanksgivinged!

Which mostly means we made turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing on our own for the first time. They came out pretty well, actually. (Highly recommend the substitution of chicken broth and olive oil for butter and milk in the potatoes… healthier, and also gives them a nice savoryness.)


Life otherwise goes. I’m just waiting for the huge surge of cases we’re going to see in two weeks from all the people who didn’t have responsible Thanksgivings like we did, and wondering how I’m going to do the next grocery trip.

Election 2020?

It is currently 9 PM on Wednesday, November 4, after election day 2020. And I still have no idea what the results are, and I expect that I’m fairly alone in that regard, at this point*.

I guess I should explain.

I’m sure everyone’s been extremely on edge this year, and particularly this election, for many reasons… I think it’s not a stretch to say this is the most consequential election of our lifetimes (2020’s gotta one-up everything, including 2016).

But recently, particularly when the news of RBG’s death broke, and then more recently when ACB was confirmed to SCOTUS in her place, I’ve had what I’d probably describe as crippling anxiety, mostly characterized by an inability to work or do anything but sit around scrolling through page after page of doom.

That was despite my (failed) attempt at isolating myself from the news around the time of ACB’s confirmation… I’d avoided news sites, but enough crept through that I still got enough context when she was actually confirmed, which sent me in another downhill spiral for the rest of the night, generally gave me horrible insomnia, and bled into my mood the following day or two.

For the election itself, I decided I needed something much stronger, especially since the issues with mail-in voting meant we weren’t likely to have results on November 3 (with the senate taking even longer than that**). Much like the 2016 election, when I decided I needed to go to bed after results started coming in so I could wake up to the reality of President-Elect Trump rather than seeing it happen, I thought it would be better for my mental health if I could just receive the final results (good or bad) all at once.

So, starting yesterday at around noon, I cut myself off from anything that could possibly spoil any part of the election results or developments relating to them***. This started off fairly simply and obviously (avoid Reddit and The New York Times), but I realized it would need to be even more comprehensive, since reading anything on Twitter (election-related or not) shows a sidebar with “current news”, accessing YouTube to watch any video will show news-related suggestions on the front page, and well-meaning friends might reach out over Hangouts or Discord if the result went badly. I was even afraid (in the event of a bad result) that the ACLU would email me some words of encouragement (“We’ll continue the fight!”), so I also ditched my inbox. And a fear over the resulting ads (targeted or not) meant I didn’t want to visit even any webpage that could have even remotely political advertisements. Even things like checking stock prices (or accessing any website that includes any form of stock prices or indexes) might offer a clue to the results.

So almost cold turkey it was. In a lot of ways, it’s a repeat of my week in the cabin, with no internet access, with the biggest difference being a few “safe” websites (pretty much only Kingdom of Loathing and its forums, which seem to generally avoid any sort of politics) that I allowed myself to visit.

This is all made possible by the fact that Salesforce granted election day as a company holiday this year, and I also took today (Wednesday) off ala 2016 when I booked it preemptively in case things went south. (And then I was so glad to have the day to angst with Yubin and Max at their apartment when they did.) I’m pretty sure that any meetings at work today would have been full of election news.

So… did it work? I think it did. I slept pretty well last night (despite waking up from more than one “Trump wins!” dream). I’ve had a generally anxiety-free day and a half of playing video games and dealing with photos and having relatively normal vacation days (much like the cabin days, which were amazing) instead of doomscrolling. I’m ready to wake up tomorrow morning, pull open The New York Times, and start the process of either acceptance or celebration.

And so I sit, and wait, and hope. It’s lonely, but still worth it.

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow morning.

*Fairly alone, because I know several of my friends are doing a similar thing. I just don’t know how many of them have broken their internet/news hiatus by this point… I’ll find that out tomorrow morning too, I suppose. If this is something you can at all do given your job, I highly recommend it.

**The presidency isn’t the only thing that matters. Even if we get a Biden win, a Republican senate majority will ensure that the next 2 (or 4) years are as full of partisan gridlock as Obama’s last years were. Any hope of making real progress on climate change, or tax policy, or border policy, or true Coronavirus action, or the shitshow of SCOTUS rulings that are sure to follow depends on the senate.

***In addition to the results themselves, I’ve also been extremely anxious recently over all the news around voter suppression and potential armed conflicts and more in the aftermath of the results, and particularly Trump’s frequent statements that he might not accept the results. I figured I’d give that some time to settle down, as well, so I could learn (for example) that Sacramento was literally burnt down in armed riots or something rather than watching the developments leading up to it. I’ve watched enough depressing developments this year to last me a lifetime.

Edit: Well I was unpleasantly surprised this morning. But I think avoiding all of the obsessive result refreshing over the past 36 hours or so was still well worth it. Hopefully we’ll know results by the end of the week, although the senate appears pretty shot at this point.

Photo Stats (Pandemic Edition)

I took the last week off work and mostly spent it in a cabin in the middle of Blue Knob State Park, disconnected from the internet and the world. And it was really, really nice, especially given we hadn’t really been anywhere but home since early March.

In any case, photos still aren’t really happening, but it’s been almost two years since the last photo stats compilation, so I figured I’d do one even though I haven’t hit the next 25k milestone (475,000) yet (only at 470,682). October 2020 is also my 20th year of taking digital photos, so it’s also somewhat appropriate to do now.

As always, first is the (full) table of photos by camera. My Work iPhone has pretty much become my primary camera now because it’s more convenient to carry. I also haven’t used my D90 since I last went rock climbing (in November 2018, before the last stats), so I’m going to mark it as retired for now.

Intel Pocket PC camera October 6, 2000 – September 18, 2003 1077 days; 2.95 years 15,829 photos $200 14.7 photos per day 1.26¢ per photo
Olympus C3000 Zoom September 28, 2001 – December 5, 2003 798 days; 2.186 years 10,647 photos $450 13.3 photos per day 4.23¢ per photo
Kodak Easyshare DX6490 December 8, 2003 – March 17, 2006 830 days; 2.274 years 49,413 photos $500 59.5 photos per day 1.01¢ per photo
Nikon D50 March 22, 2006 – November 15, 2009 1334 days; 3.655 years 105,067 photos $570 78.8 photos per day 0.54¢ per photo
+$250 repair cost 0.78¢ per photo
106,916 shutter releases $570 80.15 shutter releases per day 0.533¢ per shutter release
+$250 repair cost 0.77¢ per shutter release
Samsung SL30 July 27, 2009 – December 1, 2016 2684 days; 7.35 years 21,616 photos $70 8.05 photos per day 0.32¢ per photo
Nikon D90 February 26, 2010 – November 30, 2018 3199 days; 8.76 years 208,699 photos $780 65.24 photos per day 0.37¢ per photo
289,872 shutter releases 90.61 shutter releases per day 0.27¢ per shutter release
iPhone 5 June 23, 2013 – December 23, 2014 548 days; 1.5 years 130 photos $0
(Provided by work)
0.24 photos per day 0.00¢ per photo
149 shutter releases 0.27 shutter releases per day 0.00¢ per shutter release
iPhone 6 Plus January 8, 2015 – January 11, 2018 1099 days; 3.01 years 4883 photos $0
(Provided by work)
4.44 photos per day 0.00¢ per photo
23,352 shutter releases 21.25 shutter releases per day 0.00¢ per shutter release
Nikon D7100
(Current)
December 2, 2015 – October 22, 2020 1786 days; 4.89 years 31,807 photos $620 17.81 photos per day 1.95¢ per photo
87,751 shutter releases 49.13 shutter releases per day 0.71¢ per shutter release
iPod Touch 6
(Current)
December 2, 2017 – May 24, 2019 538 days; 1.47 years 5021 photos $160 9.33 photos per day 3.18¢ per photo
57,515 shutter releases 106.91 shutter releases per day 0.28¢ per shutter release
iPhone 8 Plus
(Current)
March 8, 2018 – October 22, 2020 959 days; 2.62 years 17,410 photos $0
(Provided by work)
18.15 photos per day 0.00¢ per photo
249,007 shutter releases 259.65 shutter releases per day 0.00¢ per shutter release

I added the 0th photo to the 25k photo table. We haven’t hit 475k yet, but we’re now on 692 days with another 5k-ish photos to go before hitting 475k. I blame the quarantine.

0 25,000 50,000 75,000 100,000 125,000
October 6, 2000 January 12, 2004 October 20, 2004 April 10, 2006 April 20, 2007 December 4, 2007
1193 days 282 days 537 days 375 days 228 days
125,000 150,000 175,000 200,000 225,000 250,000
December 4, 2007 February 7, 2009 July 4, 2009 April 14, 2010 September 4, 2010 June 23, 2011
431 days 147 days 284 days 143 days 292 days
250,000 275,000 300,000 325,000 350,000 375,000
June 23, 2011 December 23, 2011 August 24, 2012 June 2, 2013 February 17, 2014 March 21, 2015
183 days 245 days 282 days 260 days 397 days
375,000 400,000 425,000 450,000
March 21, 2015 November 13, 2015 April 29, 2017 December 2, 2018
237 days 533 days 582 days

And it’s graph time. First, number of photos taken by month, log scale y-axis:

Same thing but with a linear y-axis (second graph is since 2010):

Total number of photos taken through time (second graph is since 2010):

And amount of time between 1000 photos (second graph is since 2010, starting at 187,000):

The pandemic is really causing craziness, which I suppose shouldn’t too unsurprising. We have a bit of a photo spike in Feburary (Thailand for dad’s funeral) followed by a plummet as everything shut down.