Discover more from Documentally
Interesting goals 
Greetings from the shed...
The door of the shed is so far open I’m not sure where the garden ends and my work space begins. It’s lovely.
I arrived back from the Stealing Thunder festival (it was amazing) to a massive paddling pool in the garden. So big it’s almost a swimming pool. Don’t be fooled by the rattan patterning. It is still very much a £200 thick plastic bag in a steel frame. Although I wasn’t in the ‘Yay let’s get one!’ camp. It’s here now, and the family is excited. My daughter has already used it during a cold week so I think it’s going to get a lot of use now things are hotting up. I know it will pay for itself compared to having a splash around in a public pool. After 14 sessions in fact. But the challenge now will be to pack it away for winters and see it survive years before going into landfill.
The final speaker list for Thinking digital has been announced and it’s now when I start to get a little excited. And nervous. I’ll be delivering a workshop which as a hint towards me still being at least a little relevant has already sold out.
It’s called "Building Community through Multimedia: Transforming your online content for better engagement"
I’m aiming the workshop at existing newsletter creators or those planning to start one and hope it will feel more like a surgery than a me-talk-and-others-listen type thing.
The focus will be on looking at what makes an engaging content-rich multimedia email and how to deliver delivers stories and information in new and exciting ways. I’ll also touch upon how machine learning models can assist creativity, hone workflow, and ultimately enhance your research and content. This is not about having ML write it for you.
Obviously I'm biased, but I love this medium. An email newsletter or in my case a dispatch ;-) offers distinct advantages over more centralised social platforms. It provides a P2P direct line of communication, allows me ownership and control over content distribution. It’s less effected by algorithmic limitations and is far more personal. Hopefully, at least until you get to the links at the bottom, it can be a much less distracting environment for you.
If you missed out on a ticket to the workshop, remember that as a supporting subscriber we could have a phone chat and If needed I can give you some content creation/audio production/online publication pointers. Or come to TDC and we can chat there.
This deep fake Dali is a wondrous thing. I’d really like to see it up close.
But can’t help but ponder what might happen if our famous dead are not left to rest in piece.
Outside of the ethical concerns, distorted historical narratives, issues around authenticity and the dead famous overshadowing the living, I wonder what the psychological and societal implications might be for those that knew these people and just want to mourn and move on.
I am back digitising my travel journals. Sifting through the ordinary in search of stand out moments that shaped me, left lasting impressions or lead into something bigger. I’ve been working back in time starting with the most recent notebooks as I thought my memory would be freshest. But what is now obvious to me is that the earlier journals not only set the scene, I can see clearer how I grew as a person. So I’ve hopped back to 1996.
This was written at a bus stop..
Sunday, 20th October 1996 Day 6
17:20 I have ten minutes till my bus to Chang Mai. I’ve been in Bangkok less than a week and am starting to get a feel for the place. I still have my guard up a little. If there is one thing I have learned about this place, it’s that anything can happen. Anyone can be anyone and it’s good practice to expect the unexpected.
Today has been mix of laid-back and a little crazy. I vegged for most of the morning. Sitting downstairs in the guest house vegetating. Occasionally looking up from my book to people watch. You can tell who like me is fresh into the country. Big packs and pale. Eyes wide and looking for someone to tell them what to do. Although I feel I have passed this stage. At the very least i’m less pale.
Then there are the people passing trough. To the islands or up north. Tanned and a little hippyfied. If they are fresh in from India or Nepal they have big printed cotton bags slung over their shoulders and a wrist full of friendship bracelets.
Outside of the travellers coming and going are the staff delivering drinks and one other. An anomaly. A middle aged American guy who has styled himself of Magnum P.I. No tash but shorts sandals and a Hawaiian shirt. He looks confident. Like he either lives here or has been here for ever. We exchanged a few words earlier but he gave up little about himself. He did however manage to get loads from me. Till I suddenly stopped talking. Wondering how he’d managed to extract my life story while keeping himself to himself.
I mentioned him to Chris and he thinks he must be a drug trafficker. No real reason other than he doesn’t quite fit in.
In the afternoon I decided to see if I could fix the crick in my neck with a massage. On the way to the parlour I saw three ladies squeezed on the back seat of a tuk tuk. Flying down the road. All three had huge Buddhas on their laps. A bit over the top I thought. Besides, you need more than a big buddha to protect you from Bangkok driving. More like all round airbags and a roll cage.
I feel I have just got my head around the seemingly lawless Bangkok traffic. But there are other things I need to get used to. Over the other side of the monastery from where I was saying, I saw a group of young kids. They were just stood on a corner. Arms limp buy their sides holding what looked like heavy handguns. I gave them a wide birth. Just in case. No idea what I was thinking. They were probably between 6 and 8 years old. But no sooner had I passed them, than one let out a scream and they all split up firing what I could now see were extremely realistic looking toy guns. They went PAP! PAP! PAP! Rather than the loud CRACK or BANG you would expect. I now know they also have different toy manufacturing laws here. At least compared to what we have back home.
Anyway. The massage was out of this world. I was pummelled, poked, prodded and manipulated. I went in with a dodgy spasm in my neck and left with a completely, supple, rejuvenated body. Magical. This is a skill I need to learn.
After a quick plate of pad thai with Chris I packed, had a shower and met him at the bus stop. I’m off north and Chris is off south.
The American guy who we think might be a drug smuggler is asking me more questions about where I’m going. He almost popped back to get a letter he’d like hand delivered up North. Slightly suspect. I’m not stupid enough to carry unknown things around this country. And I think he can see that. 17:30
Should you be interested in catching up with the audio I have shared so far for #AudioMo, here is an update…
Day 1: A virtual version of me
Day 2: A chat with my dad about rewilding
Day 4: A summary of my time at the Stealing Thunder Festival
Day 5: A binaural recording with the MicTrak M4
Day 6: A first impressions review of the Zoom MicTrak M4
Day 7: A chat with Ash Levitt, President & CEO Heil Sound
Day 8: Sitting by a river with a beer
Day 9: Me reading the passage written at the bus stop in Bangkok.
My Witch album finally arrived and it’s not left the deck.
I wanted to put a hefty MicroSDXC card in my new MicTrak M4 and found a 256GB Sandisk Ultra card on a site called My Memory for £17.98. A tenner cheaper than some places. You’re always taking a chance when buying cheap memory online as there are a lot of fakes around. It took a few days to arrive but this appears to be the real deal.
I tested the card on my Mac and all sectors looked good giving a total capacity of 255.8GB. When I dropped the card into my MicTrak it showed that the 255.8GB will give me space for 99.95 hours of recording when using 32bit Float in stereo at 48kHz. But that is only because the display hasn’t enough digits to show the actual total record time of 185 hours (as calculated by omnicalculator.) That’s almost eight complete days of recording. Or 125 C90 cassette tapes.
I’m typing this on a keyboard looking at a screen. How quaint… I guess I have to mention Apple’s Vision Pro. There was a flicker of a moment when I thought it might be nice to have one for gaming. But then I realised I’ll not be able to play Tears of the Kingdom on it. And that’s all I want to play right now.
But gaming is not enough of an excuse and I enjoy watching films with other people, so personal cinema is also out. I guess if I got a job where I needed to manipulate things in space and the killer apps were on Vision Pro, then I might need one. But right now it looks like the beginning of something, but nothing all that new.
The pundits were expecting something from Apple that would take Meta on. But Apple appear to be firmly focusing on getting their OS in your face, anywhere and everywhere. As long you pay some more thousands to isolate yourself from your loved ones.
I get that it might be good for a distraction free immersive workspace. But that’s about as innovative as a shed. Suffice to say I have no immediate need for it. Not until the hardware fits in your pocket, is untethered, enables you to interact with the world around you and actually makes life better.
Speaking of making life better. I must thank those of you that support this email by paying a small subscription either every month or once a year. If you find some value here, please consider becoming a supporting subscriber.
Have you added yourself to the Documentally community map?
Interesting article on the sustainability of bicycle manufacture.
While in a video chat this week with Bill Thompson someone mentioned
Fetcheveryone.com as an alternative to Strava.
Some of my other places include Flickr, Strava, Untappd, Diaspora, Vivino, LinkedIn, YouTube, Mastodon, a ham radio newsletter called 73 from G5DOC or search ‘Documentally’ on Wire, Twitter or Bluesky.
Would you still buy a physical set of encyclopedias?
This latest info on unidentified anomalous phenomena was not in the news as much as I thought it would be.
Hope you have some fun planned over the next week. Happy Birthday to Adrian, Stay cool Thayer, Enjoy the woods Dan, good luck with the build Alex, have a great road trip Clay and enjoy the party Neil. I’m off to tidy the garden for a barbecue tomorrow and next week I’ll be back in Wales documenting sheep shearing.
Don’t forget that this is an email you can like, share, comment on or reply to.
Thank you for reading.
“Happiness is not a goal... it's a by-product of a life well lived.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
See you out there.