The lens that transforms scenery into nostalgia.

The Curious Disappearance of Claire's Hair

This is a short story I wrote in a few hours. I came up with the initial idea for it when I was joking about a few sources I’d recently read about Kirwin, Wyoming.

“Newly scoured sources have revealed the devilish truth behind the Official Bald Mountain of Wyoming." was the message that prompted this.

The writing could use quite a bit of polish, but I’m fairly happy with where it sits, particularly given the amount of time I put into this.

The main character, Claire, is an exaggerated version of myself. I particularly enjoyed writing the end. It’s a dark part of my consciousness to explore, but that’s what makes it special.

Final note, I promise, baldness and “Official Bald Mountains” are a joke between a group of my friends. I’m (mostly) not some unhinged lunatic.

Claire stepped out of her car, dust swirling around her boots as she surveyed the desolate landscape of Kirwin, Wyoming. The ghost town lay before her, silent and eerie, yet it held a magnetic pull she couldn’t resist. She’d spent countless nights pouring over old maps and photographs, fascinated by the tales of Baldness ground zero. Now, she stood at the heart of her obsession.

“Finally here," she thought, her heart pounding with a mix of excitement and a hint of fear. “All these years of research, and I’m actually standing where it all happened."

The cause of the bizarre epidemic remained a mystery, despite her extensive research. One thing was clear, though: catching the disease spelled a certain doom. “100% of bald people die before the age of 150,” she mused, a wry smile crossing her lips at the absurdity of the statistic. “As if anyone would live that long anyway.”

February 5, 1907, flashed in her mind. The day terror descended upon Kirwin, then a bustling town of 200 souls. Bald Mountain, as historians now called it, had unleashed something terrifying onto the unsuspecting residents, killing three instantly and reducing buildings to rubble.

As Claire wandered through the remnants of the town, the desolation painted a vivid picture of the aftermath. Homes abandoned, belongings scattered as if life had stopped mid-breath. The very air seemed to carry the echo of the calamity that had struck, stripping the women and children of their hair, leaving behind a legacy of loss and mystery.

Yet, in the midst of this historical sorrow, Claire found herself oddly detached, her focus drifting to the peculiarities that caught her eye. It wasn’t that she was insensitive to the tragedy; rather, her mind operated on a wavelength that found fascination in the unconventional, the overlooked.

She paused, her gaze landing on a rock that stood out among the mundane. Its formation was odd, intriguingly so. “This town’s story isn’t just about some freak illness from the mountain," she pondered, camera in hand. “But what if the cause was something beyond the ordinary? Not just radiation… but something supernatural?"

The thought tickled her fancy. Claire had a knack for entertaining ideas that others might dismiss outright. “Yeah, because attributing things to supernatural causes is totally how you solve historical mysteries," she chided herself, a smirk playing on her lips. Yet, dismissing the conventional in favor of the outlandish was part of her charm. It was this very tendency to explore the absurd that often led her to insights others might miss.

Shaking her head, she laughed softly at her own propensity for what she affectionately termed ‘mental gymnastics.’ It was a skill, really, to dive headfirst into the rabbit holes of her own imagination, considering possibilities that bordered on the fantastical.

“I must be the queen of fixating on the most bizarre shit imaginable," she mused, snapping a photo of the rock. It was this unique perspective, after all, that made her who she was. Claire prided herself on not just her ability to remember an array of random facts but on how these seemingly trivial bits of information often wove together into a tapestry of understanding that was anything but ordinary.

“Maybe it’s this weird-ass brain of mine that’s my real superpower," she thought, a grin spreading across her face. “Remembering obscure facts, sure, but also seeing the world through a lens that others don’t even realize exists."

As she continued her exploration, Claire’s mind danced between skepticism and wonder, practicality, and wild speculation. This balancing act of thoughts was her constant companion, guiding her through the mysteries of Kirwin with an attitude that was uniquely her own. She didn’t just accept the world as it was presented; she questioned, she pondered, and she explored every odd angle, no matter how unconventional.

In a rare moment of clarity, Claire decided it was time to focus. She delved into her backpack, retrieving the map she’d meticulously prepared for this journey. The compass, a cherished tool that hung faithfully around her neck, felt cool against her fingertips as she oriented herself. Her destination? The mountain. Not just any mountain, but the mountain that loomed over Kirwin with both a menacing and majestic presence. It was the heart of all the myths, the epicenter of the mysterious disease, and now, it beckoned her closer.

As she lifted her gaze to behold the landscape before her, Claire couldn’t help but be momentarily overwhelmed by the raw beauty of her surroundings. The way the sun kissed the peaks, casting shadows that danced and twisted with the passing hours, was nothing short of mesmerizing. She was standing on the threshold of what she believed to be the most beautiful place on Earth, her personal haven amidst the chaos of unraveling a historical mystery.

The emotional contrast struck her sharply. Here she was, in pursuit of understanding a calamity that had once brought this region to its knees, yet she found herself enveloped in a profound sense of peace. It was a reminder of nature’s dual nature: its capacity to both destroy and inspire awe.

Lost in her reverie, Claire was jolted back to reality by the sensation of a single hair falling across her shoulder. Her heart skipped a beat as she plucked it from her jacket, her initial amusement at her own distraction quickly giving way to a flicker of apprehension. “Uh oh," she muttered under her breath, the lightness of her tone belying the surge of unease that coursed through her. “Hopefully that’s not a sign of what’s to come."

For the first time since arriving in Kirwin, the weight of the town’s history pressed closely against her own personal space. The levity with which she had treated her expedition until now was punctured by the tangible reminder of the disease’s impact. The falling hair, innocuous as it might have seemed, was a stark symbol of the very real danger that had once consumed the town. It was a moment that bridged past and present, tying Claire’s fate to the narratives she had so fervently researched.

The juxtaposition of her earlier detachment and this sudden, visceral concern encapsulated the complexity of her journey. She was driven by a desire to uncover the truth, propelled by an insatiable curiosity and a penchant for the unconventional. Yet, standing there, confronted by the potential reality of the town’s curse, Claire was forced to acknowledge the depth of her connection to Kirwin’s story.

It was more than just an adventure; it was a personal quest, one that intertwined with the lives of those who had suffered before her. The beauty of the landscape, her fleeting moment of peace, and the unsettling reminder of the town’s tragic past coalesced into a profound emotional experience. Claire realized that her journey was not just about solving a historical puzzle; it was about understanding the human element, the resilience and vulnerability of those who had lived through the events she was so keen to decipher.

With a renewed sense of purpose, Claire squared her shoulders and continued her trek towards the mountain. The path ahead was uncertain, laden with both the promise of discovery and the risk of uncovering uncomfortable truths. Yet, she moved forward, driven by a determination to confront whatever awaited her, armed with her unique perspective and a newfound respect for the stories embedded in the very soil of Kirwin.

As Claire reached the base of the mountain, she paused for a moment, turning to cast a lingering glance at the ruins of Kirwin. The sight of the ghost town from this new vantage point struck a chord within her. The juxtaposition of natural beauty and historical tragedy was stark, painting a picture of a place where beauty and horror were inextricably linked. The silent ruins stood as a testament to the town’s past, a reminder that even in places marked by suffering, there was a certain haunting allure.

Looking up at the expansive sky, her contemplation was interrupted by the sight of another hair falling from her head. This time, the sight filled her with a deeper unease. “That’s really not good…" she thought, her attempt at levity failing to mask the growing concern. The local legends came to mind, tales of the spirits of those who lost their hair to the mysterious illness, doomed to wander the area forever, trapped in a cycle of grief and loss.

Taking a deep breath, Claire tried to shake off the creeping dread. “Quit being silly, will you?" The imagined admonition, in the voice of a friend long gone, momentarily lightened her spirits. “This is just my anxiety getting out of hand. It’s not that weird to lose a few hairs here and there." Yet, the rationalization did little to dispel the underlying fear that perhaps there was more to the legends than she cared to admit.

Resolved, Claire turned her attention back to the mountain. The path ahead was daunting, yet the mystery that lay at its peak called to her with an irresistible force. “I need to know," she affirmed, the words punctuating her resolve. It was more than curiosity; it was a need that bordered on obsession, a driving force that had led her to this moment, standing at the foot of Bald Mountain, ready to confront whatever secrets it held.

Despite the warmth of late August, the mountain stood defiantly, its peak shrouded in snow. It was an anomaly that had always fascinated Claire. Bald Mountain, with its persistent snowcap and the ever-present danger of avalanches, defied logical explanation. It was shorter and more exposed than the surrounding peaks, yet it alone harbored a wintry blanket year-round. This contradiction was part of its allure, a physical manifestation of the mysteries that Claire was determined to unravel.

The incongruity of the mountain, with its unseasonal snow, seemed a fitting metaphor for the journey Claire had undertaken. Just as the mountain challenged the expectations set by its environment, so too did Claire challenge the narratives that had been accepted about the town’s history. It was this challenge, the desire to uncover the truth beneath the surface, that propelled her forward.

With each step up the mountain, Claire felt the weight of the town’s history pressing closer, the stories of those who had suffered and lost in this beautiful, cursed place. Yet, she also felt a growing sense of connection, a kinship with the spirits of the past that spurred her on. She was driven not just by the need for answers but by a deeper desire to understand, to acknowledge the pain and resilience of those who had come before.

Claire’s eyes narrowed as she scanned the snow-clad slopes above her, certain she had seen movement. Figures, fleeting and elusive, danced at the edge of her vision. The rational part of her mind insisted she was alone, that the mountain was uninhabited, save for the whispers of its tragic past. Yet, the shadows seemed to move with purpose, taunting her with the possibility of presence.

“No. It’s not possible," she thought, her breath forming clouds in the cold air. Despite her skepticism, a part of her couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. With a mixture of caution and defiance, she raised her voice, calling out to the shadows. “Quit moving around, or you might trigger an avalanche!” Her words echoed against the mountain, a stark reminder of the disaster that had once befallen Kirwin. The silence that followed felt heavy, loaded with unspoken warnings.

As she resumed her ascent, Claire couldn’t help but feel a strange sense of camaraderie with these unseen entities, whether they were products of her imagination or spirits of the past. Her journey had been a solitary one, but in this moment, she felt less alone, accompanied by the souls who had once called this place home.

The further Claire climbed, the harsher the conditions became. The snow underfoot was a constant reminder of the mountain’s peculiar nature. With each step, she felt the weight of history, the stories of those who had suffered from the mysterious baldness. It was a fate she had always considered from a distance, a historical curiosity rather than a personal threat. Yet, as she noticed more strands of her own hair caught in the wind, a chilling realization dawned upon her.

Her thoughts became a blur, a mix of determination and dread. “Is this how it begins? The whispers of the past catching up to me?" She shook her head, trying to dispel the fear. “No, I can’t let this be the end. Not when I’m so close." Yet, the irony wasn’t lost on her; in her quest to unravel the mysteries of Bald Mountain, she might become part of its legend.

As the summit neared, Claire’s steps grew more labored. The air was thinner, and her thoughts turned introspective. She reflected on her journey, the obsession that had brought her here, and the stories she had hoped to tell. “What was I hoping to find? Redemption for this place? Answers to a century-old mystery?" The questions circled in her mind, unanswered.

Reaching the peak, Claire finally allowed herself a moment to rest, her gaze sweeping over the vast expanse below. The beauty of the view was breathtaking, a stark contrast to the gnawing emptiness she felt within. The realization hit her with the force of the cold mountain wind: she was not going to leave this mountain. The symptoms were unmistakable now, the shedding hair a sign she had become a part of the mountain’s tragic tapestry.

In her final hours, Claire’s thoughts turned to those she had studied, the victims of the mysterious ailment. She understood them now, not just as historical figures, but as people, with hopes and fears much like her own. “I wanted to solve the mystery, to bring closure to this place. Instead, I’ve become part of it."

Claire’s hand trembled as she opened her journal to a blank page, her breaths coming in shallow gasps from the exertion and the thin mountain air. The realization that she would not leave this mountain alive was a heavy cloak around her shoulders, yet there was a strange clarity in accepting her fate. As she prepared to write, her thoughts wandered to her friends, her family, and the life she was leaving behind.

“To my dearest friends and family," she began, the ink flowing onto the page as tears threatened to blur her vision. “If you’re reading this, it means I didn’t make it back. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I came here chasing shadows and stories, seeking answers to a mystery that has held me captive for so long. I found my answers, but at a cost I hadn’t anticipated."

Her hand paused, and she looked up at the vast sky above, its expanse both beautiful and indifferent. “I wanted to make you all proud, to bring back stories of adventure and discovery. But I got caught up in my own obsession, and now… now I’ll never get the chance to share them with you."

She imagined the faces of her friends, the sound of their laughter, and the warmth of their embrace. She thought of her family, their unwavering support and love, even when they didn’t understand her restless spirit. “I wish I could see you all one more time, to tell you how much you mean to me. You were the light in my darkest moments, the reason I kept pushing forward."

Claire’s heart ached with the weight of unspoken goodbyes, each word she wrote a testament to the love and regret that filled her. “Please don’t remember me for how I left, but for the moments we shared. Laugh, live, and chase your own adventures. My journey ends here, but yours is still unfolding."

As she continued to write, Claire poured her soul onto the page, a blend of apologies, love, and final words of encouragement. Her writing became a bridge between the world she was leaving and the ones she held dear, a lasting connection that would endure beyond her last breath.

“I’m scared," she admitted, the cold seeping into her bones as the sun dipped below the horizon. “I’m not ready to go, but I don’t have a choice. This mountain… it’s beautiful, but it’s also unforgiving. I’m a part of its story now, just like those who came before me."

With each word, Claire felt her strength waning, the effort to keep writing growing with each passing moment. “Remember me, but let me go. My story ends here, on this mountain, with the setting sun and the falling snow. I love you all, more than words can say."

Her handwriting began to falter, the letters trailing off as her thoughts became fragmented, a mix of fear, acceptance, and longing for just a little more time. “I wish I could tell you everything, but there’s no more time. My head… it’s so shiny. I’m not afraid anymore. Just sad. So very sad."

As the night closed in, Claire’s pen slipped from her numb fingers, her final words unfinished, a silent testament to a life cut short in the pursuit of truth. Her gaze fixed on the stars above, their light a distant comfort in her final moments. In the quiet of the mountain, Claire found a deep, enduring peace, her journey complete.

Her last thoughts were of those she loved, a silent prayer that they would forgive her, that they would find happiness and carry forward the spark of adventure she could no longer pursue. With the cold enveloping her now completely bald head, Claire closed her eyes one last time, her story etched in the pages of her journal, a legacy of love, regret, and the unyielding pursuit of knowledge.

Street signs in the middle of nowhere can be interesting subjects.

A photo I took during a trip to Wyoming - dated 2023-06-15

Looking back on my trip to Wyoming last November, I have no regrets as to when I went.

When I stopped at Devil’s Tower, I only saw two people on the trail, which made it feel really cozy.

It helped me appreciate and take in the environment, and made it that much more special for me.

Admitting defeat.

Smartphones are one of the most impactful items in our lives. For many people, they are able to (and do) entirely replace the personal computer. Just like everyone, I use my smartphone daily, whether it’s for checking the news, for listening to music, or for interfacing with a multitude of bluetooth devices from earbuds to satellite communicators.

My first smartphone was a Windows Phone, the Nokia Lumia 521 specifically, and honestly, Windows Phone is probably the best Microsoft product of the past few decades, far surpassing its desktop counterpart. It’s my favourite mobile operating system to date. I even had the equally ill-fated Microsoft band, and if you’ve seen my smartwatch tier list, you’ll know that I think it’s one of the best smartwatches I’ve ever used. Honestly, if it had replaceable bands and better fitness tracking, it’d probably be number 1 or 2.

Windows Phone isn’t the focal point of this post, but taking a moment to admire and appreciate the beautiful consistency of the OS and ecosystem is vital to understand why I must finally admit defeat.

Before and after Windows Phone, I used an iPod Touch (4th gen) and an iPad Mini (1st gen). They were the first and last Apple products I ever owned, and using them caused me to realize several problems I had with Apple’s mobile ecosystem. These issues primarily fell into the category of “lacking customization” or “too expensive.”

For many years, I have viewed the iPhone’s complete distrust of the user as abominable. One thing I have a problem with to this day is the launcher (home screen). I think things should almost always be in a vertical ordered list. On my Pixel 7 Pro, I use Niagara Launcher, and it’s a near perfect embodiment of how my ideal launcher works. You have one page with a few important apps, and then another with everything else sorted in alphabetical order. Windows Phone did this in a similar, but different way.

Apple doesn’t allow the user to make this choice. They don’t even allow the user to align apps wherever they want them on the screen. Android does, and even if they don’t most environments allow you to completely change the launcher. Unfortunately, it looks as though this peeve won’t be resolved any time soon, however, as the years have passed, Apple has begun to allow users to hide apps and entire home screen pages, and locate those apps in the “App Library.” While still not ideal (I’d kill for Niagara Launcher on iPhone), this, for the most part, solves my biggest problem with the home screen of many iPhones I’ve used over the years: clutter.

This brings us to Focus Modes. If you’re unaware, Focus Modes allow users to “stay in the moment” by controlling when (and if) notifications, home screen pages, and more are seen. These can be automated based on a number of factors.

Focus Modes are one of the killer features that I hoped would reach Android within a generation or two, but that has yet to happen. The closest I received on my Pixel 7 Pro was “Rules” which basically allow for automatically changing whether the phone is on silent, vibrate, or ring. I have no utility for this, as my phone is constantly on vibrate, but the framework for something similar is there. Google just clearly doesn’t care to implement anything else.

Finally, as someone who has working memory issues, I misplace things ALL THE TIME. For years, I’ve looked at Tile as a relatively viable solution to this problem. However, Tile has never had a great system, nor are they very reliable in the tracking department. Despite this, I’d always considered them, that was until Tile was purchased by Life360, a company that I personally do not trust near anything I own.

Enter the Find My network and AirTags. These are what Tile could’ve been. They actually work.

In general, Apple has opened up more, while Google and Android have slowly gotten more and more locked down. The only major problem I still have with iPhone is the lack of USB-C. That’s it, and it’s looking like that’s going to be solved with the iPhone 15.

USB-C has been a game-changer for me. When I travel, I only bring one cable as long as my trip is less than 14 days. I can use one charger for my phone, laptop, a multitude of cameras and microphones, my Garmin inReach device, and so much more. USB-C has firmly planted itself as the DC power and data transfer standard, and it’s beyond glorious to live in the world of only needing one cable.

With my hesitations surrounding the iPhone slowly being squashed, I can’t ignore the draw of the convenience and security that the iPhone offers anymore. It’s undeniable that the iPhone provides an all-around solid and reliable experience, even if it doesn’t allow as much customization as Android. It’s a trade-off, but I believe it’s one worth making.

One day I realized that despite the fact that I’ve long championed Android, I can’t just keep sitting here hoping that Google will adopt the features I’m metaphorically drooling over. That’s when I made the decision. I have to admit defeat. It’s bittersweet. Android has long served me well, but it’s time for me to move on.

I won’t forget the freedom of customization that Android granted me, the kind of liberty that made my device truly mine. But times change, and as technology moves forward, we must adapt. That’s exactly what I intend to do.

So yes, I admit defeat. Not because I no longer value the principles and features that once endeared Android to me, but because the world of technology is never stagnant and to continue thriving in it, one must keep moving, exploring new horizons and embracing change. And that’s what I am doing - embracing the iPhone and Apple’s ecosystem.

This isn’t a goodbye to Android. It will always hold a special place in my heart, and who knows? Maybe one day, if the winds of technology shift yet again, I’ll find myself back with an Android device in my pocket. But until that day, I am ready to start a new chapter in my digital life, ready to explore all the possibilities that Apple has to offer.

So, I’m pronouncing it here: if iPhone 15 embraces USB-C, I will embrace it.

The mighty Mississippi, bent to the whims of mankind.

Found a new (to me) park today. It was a very interesting, albeit windy, hike.

Removing The Human Factor

(Note from C²: This post contains no AI generated content. Except for the part where I use square brackets around “er”, I wasn’t sure about how to properly format that as I usually try to avoid tangents [like this] in my writing.)

Humans are faulty by nature. Even the greatest minds on our planet today make errors. This is a well-known fact.

The recent eruption of AI has caused me to gain an entirely new view on the human factor and the ethics of removing it.

For as long as I can remember, I have thought that humans were irreplaceable creatures. I believed that there are some things that a machine should never do. Machines are (presently) not able to consider things in the same way a human is. They lack a sense of judgement. Even if a human tried to program a machine to judge one simple task, you end up in an endless loop of “what-ifs.” Let’s take a machine tasked with judging whether a person should be ticketed for speeding.

One may start by defining a system that writes a ticket if the driver is 5 miles per hour over the speed limit. But then the question of what if the driver is in an emergency arises. We inevitably have to ask what constitutes an emergency. What if your wife is wounded badly and you rushed her in your car instead of calling an ambulance (this is a sadly frequent occurrence because ambulances are PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE in the U.S.A.)? Does it count as a traffic violation since you disregarded the proper avenues? Either way, there are likely some situations we’d want to consider this further. Every situation we add adds an infinitely complex series of questions that need answers in order to achieve autonomy. A machine simply cannot be created to do this. It needs to be able to empathize with humans.

Empathy is an important skill. Not all people are great at it, some people who lack the ability to empathize view that as a strength, and further view those who can empathize as being weak. Ultimately, I will argue that the ability to empathize with one another, and the world around us is what ultimately separates us from machines. However, due to the nature of empathy, it is almost impossible to quantitate. An individual simply cannot define their own sense of empathy, let alone try to measure or describe someone else’s.

I once fell in the camp of viewing empathy as a weakness. However, as I have learned more about the world, I have began to understand how flawed that view is. Changing your mind is hard, and oftentimes we don’t even realize we’ve done it until we sit down to write a blog post that briefly discusses the topic at hand.

After playing around with ChatGPT and the like, I began to change my mind once again. I’ve felt as though I’ve been very aware of the process and my change in mindset. It first started as, the thought of how great it will be to replace mundane and unethical jobs.

(Note from C²: I realize this is going to be considered a hot-take by many, but work in retail for 2 days, especially as a woman, and realize that this is the unbridled truth)

The fact that retail workers still exist to the extent that they do is unethical. The mere fact that customers and managers exist who are allowed to harass innocent employees to no end is quite frankly disgusting, and wholly unethical. The fact that we as a society generally don’t see the need to take immediate action against (primarily) men harassing (especially in the case of young[er]) women (especially, but not limited to) verbally is horrifying.

It’s disgusting and abhorrent that some men objectify women and discuss parts of them with others, regardless of their gender. If you so much as dare to not reciprocate this behaviour, or engage in it, you’re quickly shunned. I’ve flat out been told on multiple occasions that it’s “not cool” to act in a manner that doesn’t objectify women into mere sex trophies.

This inevitably brings me to the desire to “remove the human factor” for all the wrong reasons. I had begun writing this intending to conclude that I want to “remove the human factor” for situations like driving, where thousands of people are needlessly murdered each year by negligence on behalf of themselves, others, and their governments.

However, I now realize that I have some deep desire to escape from contact with the general public (I strongly believe) due to my experiences working in retail, and furthering that goal is something that “removing the human factor” will probably achieve. It seems my brain has once again played tricks on me to downplay my (admittedly relatively minor) traumas.

I’d normally try to write a “proper” conclusion here, but this post has evolved from an attempt to document my thoughts into a realization that I can’t fully grasp the reasoning behind any of my thoughts, but now I’m having an existential crisis and want to go to bed, so I will.

(Note from C²: I feel like this ending has made me come off as one of those psychopaths that think humans need to go extinct. I don’t believe that and that belief couldn’t be further from the truth if it tried to be. I simply have the desire to hide away from society for a while.)

-C²

Smartwatch tier list:

  1. Pebble Time Steel
  2. Pebble Time Round
  3. OG Pebble
  4. Garmin Fenix 6
  5. Microsoft Band
  6. Garmin Vivosmart 4
  7. Literally an iPod strapped you your wrist
  8. Bangle.js 2
  9. Android Wear watches
  10. WearOS watches
  11. Fitbit Charge 5
  12. Fitbit Versa 3

Haven’t used an Apple Watch besides seeing them in demo mode at stores. I don’t use an iPhone so I don’t see that changing any time soon. From my first impressions though, I would say it’d go just above #7.

i miss pebble

The first smartwatch I ever used was the original Pebble, it was amazing. I used it for a few years until the zebra strip went bad. At that point I switched to Android Wear for about a year until I got fed up with it, so I bought a Pebble Time Steel.

Eventually, I wasn’t satisfied, I wanted fitness tracking so I bought a Fitbit. Worst watch I’ve ever used. The only thing it has over any competitor is battery life, and even that sucks in comparison to my OG Pebble.

Eventually I switched back to my time steel. One day however, I started having issues with bluetooth that I could never fix. So I switched to a Garmin Fenix 6X Pro Solar (awful naming scheme). The battery life is awesome. It’s truly a joy to not have to charge my watch but once ever 2-3 weeks.

I’ve been with my Garmin for about year now. Today I started to do some spring cleaning and found my Pebble Time Steel again. I powered it on and it still had 50% of it’s battery remaining, exactly how I left it. I fiddled with it for a while, then went back to cleaning.

Even 11 years after the original Pebble was released, I still love it. It’s miles ahead of modern competition, and the only company that comes anywhere remotely close is Garmin, but their developer community and software pales in comparison to Pebble, even as it stands today.

I guess I’m writing this because I’m at another crossroads in my journey. I really like the fitness tracking provided by my Garmin, but it’s software is not good enough. It’s not intuitive, it’s not responsive, and it just doesn’t have the charm that my Pebble has.

I know it’s unreasonable, I know that’s it’s just a watch, but it feels like a member of my family. It’s been through hell and back with me. I can’t give it up. I won’t give it up. It’s in my sad memories and happy memories alike. Always there. Always ready to do its job with a pep to its step.

I’ve accepted that I will never get a replacement. There will never be another Pebble. I’ve tried too many alternatives to recall them all. All I can do is keep my beloved Pebble working and take good care of it, as it has taken good care of me through years of neglect.

I used to have pretty bad issues with panic attacks. The best solution I’ve ever found to getting myself to calm down was an app called Breathe. I think that’s part of why I’m so attached to it.

My Garmin has a similar feature but it doesn’t work anywhere close to as well. It stops and wants to try to “get a feel” for your breathing. I don’t need that. All I want is a guide.

This has been all over the place. Sorry.

My struggle is this: Is fitness tracking worth the tradeoff? Everything except battery life is worse, but I’m a data-driven person. If I’m going to make a change to my life, I need data to back up my choice. That’s just how I am. I want both. I want it badly.

I’ve tried both. I used a Garmin Vivosmart 4 alongside my Pebble for a few months, but it ended up feeling silly. I just want a solution.

This all feels silly to me; I hardly have an emotional attachment to anything, but I actually feel bad for leaving it to rot in a box full of other neglected watches. It doesn’t deserve that. It’s so much more than those are.

Long store short, I’ve decided to stick with my Garmin Fenix 6. That’s all.

I love this lens. Shot on Sony a6000 using a Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens I found on eBay from the 70s.

Kitty

All the posts I’m seeing about spring finally being here are making me really envious…

My 360⁰ Pipe Dream

I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to digital data. I have copies of everything I’ve downloaded since 2016 sitting on a hard drive, why? Well, because I might need it someday! I have full backups of just about every computer I’ve ever owned. And recently I’ve taken to downloading websites that I find interesting because “what if they shut down? How will I find them again?”

It’s blatantly eating my money and time, but I love being able to go back and look at my old data, combing through the details of everything to make a narrative of what I was doing back then. Yes, journaling what I’m doing in my digital life would be much simpler, but I love the challenge of investigating my past self’s habits, and seeing how much I’ve learned and changed.

One day not too long ago I was reminiscing on one such backup, and a thought popped into my head that I haven’t been able to get rid of: what if I had a 360⁰ camera recording everything I do? No matter how many times I try to remind myself of the practicalities of this, or, hell, the privacy issues alone, I can’t get the thought out of my head.

Think about it, you’re having a conversation with a friend, they claim that you went to one restaurant for lunch on 2021-03-26, while you claim you went to a completely different place. Why argue? You could go back and check video for that day to see exactly what you did.

A sort of this was explored in “The Circle” (2017), but I don’t want it to be streamed to social media, that’s weird and creepy (this will be an interesting quote to look back on in a few years, mark my words), I just want to have that information for my future self to reference.

I don’t think we’re too far from having a version of this, Google Glass was surprisingly close, and now with tech giants racing to see who can bring useful AR glasses to market first, I think we’ll have more recordings of our day-to-day lives than ever before.

That being said, I don’t think the techbro way is the correct way. Google doesn’t need to have a recording of everything I do, though they probably already do, it’s the thought of intentionally giving them that that hurts me.

In conclusion, no, I won’t be recording myself, even though I think it’d be really cool, and no I don’t intend to do so with AR glasses either.

Solitude is a late morning cup of tea.