The End of 2023

I’m not clear headed enough to think about what I want to commit to in 2024, but the end of 2023 has me going over old questions, considering good influences, loose ends, and coming up with a buffet of things that could happen next year, or be done differently.

Uh-oh. As this gets longer it starts reading like one of those Christmas cards where people list all the amazing things they did this past year. That’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m just sorting things out so I don’t forget them.


  1. What have I accomplished with photography in the year since we lost Tim Vanderweert of Leicaphilia? Have I made the most of the time I had, that he would have liked to have had? I took two semesters/sessions of darkroom class at the VMFA and learned a lot about how to get comfortable, or less uncomfortable, with the chemicals, paper, and equipment. I’m pretty happy with a lot of the prints that came out, and I look forward to doing it all again next year. But that beautiful Lecia M2 sat in my drawer for way more of the year than I thought it would. I won’t get back all those opportunities to use it, but I can bring it out more often in the future and not treat it like a jewel.
  2. How will I get over my own baggage surrounding processing images from the Fujifilm X100T and Ricoh GR?

New good influences

  1. The Ultimate Film & Darkroom Workbook by Rachel Brewster-Wright. Makes time spent in the darkroom much less stressful, more productive, and focused.
  2. Alec, our trainer/instructor at Onward Fitness
  3. The Apple Watch SE 2 and its not-so-gentle nudges to keep moving and get decent sleep
  4. Visiting Seattle and then seeing Joni Mitchell at The Gorge in Washington. Travel is hard but it’s one of the best things to spend money on.
  5. Cal Newport’s Deep Questions podcast
  6. Ann Patchett: How To Practice. This was the practice: I was starting to get rid of my possessions, at least the useless ones, because possessions stood between me and death. They didn’t protect me from death, but they created a barrier in my understanding, like layers of bubble wrap, so that instead of thinking about what was coming and the beauty that was here now I was thinking about the piles of shiny trinkets I’d accumulated. I had begun the journey of digging out.”
  7. Dave Rogers writing about shortwave radios, which prompted me to order a Tecsun PL-680, return it, and get a Sangean ATS-909X2, which is much better and what I should have done in the first place. I don’t know why I didn’t get a good shortwave radio sooner.
  8. Beck Tench interview on The Informed Life from 2019 where she talked a lot about Tinderbox. I liked her emphasis on how sometimes slower, more contemplative software (like Tinderbox) can help us think better.
  9. Jason Scott’s podcast
  10. How to Do Things by David Cain. It superficially appears to be about the pomodoro timer, but it’s more about the why and the how, and it’s short.
  11. Dana K. White and her no mess decluttering method. Step 1: If I’m keeping it, where would I look for this thing? Step 2: Take it there now.

Live music

  1. Feb. 26: Richard Thompson at The Tin Pan
  2. May 25: En Attendant Ana at the Fuzzy Cactus
  3. Sept. 8: The Chameleons UK at the Broadberry. Mark Burgess’s mother died earlier the same day back in England and he carried on with the show in honor of her.
  4. Sept. 12: Weyes Blood at The National with my friend Tim
  5. Nov. 4: Milliseconds at The Camel

Loose ends

  1. Learning Spanish. Boy did this fall off the radar.
  2. All those digital photos in Lightroom and Capture One. Languishing.
  3. The mint condition Beseler enlarger that Sarah and I drove to Amherst, Virginia, to buy from a nice lady on FB Marketplace in March. I thought I’d be much farther along in our basement cleanup and on the way to having a darkroom of my own set up by now, but no.
  4. The wiki. The poor, neglected wiki.
  5. Went to our gym a lot, but November and December are hopeless for being consistent with it. Should I keep my membership or just use the gym classes at work?


  1. Not just repeating my habits of doing things the same way I’ve always done them.
  2. Dry January again.
  3. Take care of our money and house like an adult.
  4. Think of writing in this blog as an opportunity instead of a chore.
  5. Make more stuff than I make now, although making more than I consume” may be impossible for anyone.
  6. Develop film fairly quickly after I finish shooting it. I have all I need to do this.
  7. Take better notes about what’s on my film negatives (old and new).
  8. Read books? I’ve heard people do this.
  9. Use the Hobonichi Techo as a bullet journal to log what happened, but it doesn’t have to be in bullet form. Just leave it open all day and add to it. Use its weekly add-on supplement book to plan what will happen. At the end of the year, you’ll have a very rewarding flip back through all the previous 52 weeks in a way that you wouldn’t bother if using Google Calendar.
  10. As much as possible, keep leaving the phone by the bedside table after getting home. The Apple Watch will let you know what’s urgent. When you feel bored and low-energy, you’ve instantly lost when you idly pick up the phone. Pick up a notebook or the laptop instead.

yearly time

January 1, 2024