Tag Archives: Rant

Bilirubin: Advanced Commuting.

Should you ever have lived in a a suburb, chances are you also have commuted. This activity where loads of people called “commuters” or “fucking idiots,” depending on your point of view and the time of day, share vehicles of mass transportation to move from a point A to a point B on a regular basis has long been a point of discord among human beings.

For some, commuting is the bane of modern society, reason enough to finally move into the city or way out of town and buy a fancy new car; for others, it’s the only way to watch girls and get ignored, bump into girls and get ignored, feel girls up in the crowd and get an ellbow rammed into the solarplexus, and all the other things that are part of a healthy heterosexual upbringing.

Generally, only very few commuters really enjoy the daily routine of missing the bloody bus by thirty seconds or enduring the chatter of hyperactive house-wives. So, here are a couple of things that might come in handy next time you’re waiting for your connection, or you are in a particularly bad mood to begin with and don’t really feel like having half a dozen people intrude yoursquare-metre of condensed homicidal rage.

Commuting can be exceedingly boring. Unimaginative commuters will wear headphones or read the newspaper, but no later than when both batteries and reading material run out due to your coach being stuck in yet another traffic jam you will realise the importance of being capable of amusing yourself with no tools at hand. Now, before you ask: no, I don’t advocate masturbation in crowded places, but it can make a slow train-ride this much more interesting if you fantasise about having sex with everybody in your surroundings. Just be sure you don’t wear your wide pair of boxer shorts, there’s a good boy–otherwise, you might be forced to balance your back-bag on your lap, and we all know what people say about guys balancing back-bags on their laps.

Another option is to imagine interesting ways how to kill the passengers on your particular ride. You can make it more difficult if you restrict possible murder weapons to parts of the potential victims’ clothing or the contents of your briefcase. Be creative, try to find new uses for that orange and the thesis you were working on over the week-end, rather than being a spoil-sport and fetch an electric chainsaw in your gym bag, no matter how handy it might come in should that group of teenagers decide not to shut the fuck up in the next ten seconds.

If you insist on your musical breakfast, be it to finally wake up or to dim the incessent chatter of the hyperactive house-wives sitting opposite you, make sure not to waste a perfect opportunity for an ironic statement. One of my fondest commuting-related memories is of that day when I was standing in the bus, listening to the Matrix soundtrack, while pedestrians walked by waving at us because the bus hit a snow drift. Generally, the more dynamic, fast, and up-front the music, the more you will be able to laugh about missing the job review, and save your puny little sanity from being shredded to bits while freezing your weenis off waiting for the replacement bus. Clearly, proper music choice is important in such situations. Propellerheads and Fear Factory: good. Type-O-Negative and Switchblade Symphony: bad.

More socially minded commuters will try to incorporate one or more fellow passengers in their distractions. Turn commuting into an experience. The direct, unelegant approach would be to stare at one passenger and mumble under your breath while knotting your fingers Ninjutsu-style. This works especially well in the early mornings, as the rings under your eyes will make you look more sinister. Pick one passenger at a time, and give him or her the stare-treatment for a week–if you’re good, the person in question will have fallen ill by that time. If you are VERY good, your target will avoid that bus in the future entirely. Don’t look at it as simply being pointlessly mean–on top of acting a major league asshole, you are also doing the public a favour by re-distributing the flow of commuters on different shifts. You are a hero of urban society. You can be proud of your torture techniques, especially when dealing with accountants.

I hope that these few hints will help you to come up with own ideas should you be forced to commute in the future. There are many more things you can do to pass the time, such as softly singing along to something happy-sounding like “I Want to Fuck You in the Ass” or “Waving my Dick in the Wind,” explaining to the guy next to you the advantages of Satanism over Kali-worship, or simply head-banging to the rhythm of the bus hitting the speed-bumps (you will gain extra-effect if wearing a suit and tie while doing so). Try identifying people that sit five seats in front of you by smell, or eat a banana the “special” way.

You see, there is no reason to sit around as if you were a vegetable and let life pass by at 30mph. And always remember–if worse comes to worst, there’s always the Black&Decker in your gym bag.

Yes, another rehash. This article was originally published on 7-3-2001 (or 3-7-2001 if you’re from that place beyond the sea), but I figured, well. Enjoy.

Bye, Adobe Lightroom.

So this is it. Early adopter, inofficial evangelist, part-time photographer is dropping Lightroom. Rather, deleting it from his workstations.

Who the eff cares? Well, I do, as I am abovementioned former inofficial evangelist. And I wonder what the bloody hell I was thinking. Hindsight is both gift and curse.

What Adobe did with Lightroom, if you stay objective:

  • More features. Some direly needed (like, support for your camera?), others more, like, what the hells? Yeah, I’m looking at you, Social Media Upload and Comments Download.
  • Selling said features as USPs to justify the hefty price-tag on upgrades. By now I’ve spent more than 400 quid on Lightroom, it’s upgrades, and plug-ins necessary until Adobe deemed stuff like output sharpening important enough for yet another full-price upgrade.
  • LR3 is slower and more cumbersome to use than LR2. But it has the better RAW render engine (which you can’t retrofit into LR2), so please upgrade, yes?
  • Said RAW render engine is identical to the one used in the current release of Photoshop Elements, which you can get bundled with your next scanner for free.
  • Also, depending on the cameras used, the engine is inferior to competitors’ or even open source solutions. In some cases (Leica M series comes to mind), it should be featured in Webster’s, under “What the flying fuck”.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the Lightroom concept, I’m pretty happy with most of its results, it’s stable like a rock, and I’m used to the way it works (see above evangelist thing). But bloody hells, Flash galleries? Bug-fixing your RAW rendering engine equals a full-price upgrade? Support for fresh RAW formats one year from now = buy our upgrade? Even though the whole difference is in camera identification in the RAW header?

Lightroom was my favourite as it streamlined workflow issues. But: It’s becoming more and more muddled and complicated to use, while it doesn’t ensure plug-ins won’t crash the whole application just because they are coded poorly. I still find things I wrote off as “well, it’s a new application, you can’t expect that just yet” in 2006 that actually had been there from the beginning – but weren’t obvious or easily accessible. The worst thing for a workflow app is to hide things that might seriously influence or even change the way you look at your current, well, workflow.

It’s just sad. So much potential. Oh, well.