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Wednesday, 11 January 2023


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Anyone remember the "organic sensor" predictions?

You've got some form of cardiac arrhythmia. Don't wait, make an appointment with a cardiologist! I've lived with this condition for a long time and it can get to be debilitating and may at some point require treatment. It's not worth waiting to see if it will come back, because it probably will and could get worse.

I might recommend a channel by a former colleague who now does chess vids and instruction full time (which I think is great that it is possible to do so and make a living):


As for a B&W Foveon sensor... would this be markedly different from a conventional sensor with the Bayer pattern removed? I suppose if it would retain its 'color sensitivity' to enable different color-filtered looks to each sensor well...

Hope you're doing ok and maybe get yourself checked out for the added piece of mind!

I've had heart palpitations for years. At their worst it was happening every ten seconds or so and at its worst in the evenings. In may case it's a symptom of stress which was helped by beta blockers and then a change of lifestyle.

Best wishes.

Chess is good. I began playing in 1967 with my Father. He never "taught" me. We just set the board up and played. Regularly. After a solid year of being beaten, sometimes badly, I managed a draw. From that point on he could not beat me. He finally stopped playing me.
In 1989 I met the artist Mike Randals. We began a long term game every Friday night. One game played while watching PBS News Hour, etc. We never used a clock as it was a social thing for us. We finally stopped the game as he began to lose his mental capacity as did I. I miss those games; they were for us an important part of our lives, and we became closer as the years passed. I never played with a clock. Never played in a tournament. What was the point because that never interested me.
Mind your health!

Please call your doctor about the heartbeat. Nothing to mess with. Veteran of triple bypass, pacemaker,Mitral valve clip.

"…whereas the future is like a flat, arid, featureless plain."

Clearly your tester did not grow up on the prairies, with their delicate variations of shade and colour, perspectives from the grass at your feet to the infinite horizon, and life without a lot of trees and hills blocking the view of the scenery.

~David Miller
Grasswood, Saskatchewan

About the house ... a family member of mine is addicted to the home remodeling, home selling, etc. shows on TV. It's astonishing how many buyers think that something that's perfectly functional and even (to my eye) attractive "needs updating." This isn't about repainting a dingy wall or replacing a worn-out carpet. It's about adhering to the latest fashion in home appearance. Remember when the most important thing about the new model year automobiles was where the chrome was located or the size and shape of the fins? Same idea - you had to have the latest style, regardless of utility or actual esthetics, or so many people thought. I imagine there are two forces driving this sort of thing, though I have no real data: a desire to be modern, and marketing that plays on that desire. (A limited observation amplified?)

I read the New York Times article and I thought instantly that this is not something that I noticed, observed or heard of. To me it makes no sense, so now this generation are going to carry their phones and a outdated compact camera, yikes. You can instantly get all the effects such as unsharp photos, retro look, faded colors etc with a free download of SNAPSEED for your phone. Most of all the older compact cameras do not even have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities. I do not see this gen z population dealing with all the extra effort with an old outdated compact camera. Memory cards, downloading, editing, transferring, just to get you started, no way.

Mike-did you have medical consult when you were having symptoms ? I have dealt with A-fib issues for some years,and my expert has cued me to ignore the skippy heartbeat (mostly), but get attentive if there are adjoining symptoms-like being lightheaded, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, or anything odd. I was a stroke survivor and have adjusted weight, exercise activity, and getting with the "Don't fret the small stuff" attitude as well as being retired from a high stress career. Blood Pressure is controlled and A-fib Rx consists of Metoprolol and Eliquis. My only residual symptom that stayed with me was a reduction in my sense of balance-oddly-turning off lights to a dark room will make me feel like I am falling. But I am a lucky, lucky one-the nurse who scheduled my first CAT scan said her father had a stroke and he never spoke again. I'm lucky! So please follow medical advice. Working for me !

Mike, there are all kinds of reasons to not want to visit a doctor, and all kinds of situations where in restrospect it might prove to be a waste of time and money. You live alone. If I had been alone two years ago I'd not be writing this (stroke). As it happens all is well, but it required some patience and effort and a magic device along the way. Be careful, and at least be curious as to cause. Take care. No need to post this, just chiding you to look out for yourself.

All the best for you and your health in 2023! Take care Mike!

“…didn’t see *that* (the pandemic) coming”? Gee Mike, even I, with my relatively cursory scanning of popular science literature, saw Covid coming. It was only a matter of time. Here is a YouTube link to an enjoyable lecture delivered in 2009, by a man whose face is highly recognisable to you and I, both: https://youtu.be/7_ppXSABYLY

[Well, we could argue, but the general and specific case are not the same. Reminds me of a sign I saw on a bus once. It said "WARNING: Door may close without warning." And someone had written underneath, "Not anymore it won't." But of course, the tagger was wrong. --Mike]

Take care!!!!!

Thomˋs predictions for Leica are the best. They do what they have almost done. Building Cameras and Lenses with the highest precision. And they do this almost by hand in Germany. Anyone who has had a Leica in their hands can feel it. They also pay attention to the etic values of Ernst Leitz: Only satisfied employees are able to build „soulful Tools“ with highest precision and craftmanship. All other manufacturers have forgotten this and thus find themselves in the game of fighting each other. It is as simple as that.

[I would disagree with this. --Mike]

Little known fact ... trigeminy (three beats -- pause -- three beats -- pause -- three beats -- pause -- ad infinitum) is common in resting and sleeping dogs.

Don't ask me how I know this.

Mike, I am surprised that you featured Dogman’s comment on Thom Hogan. The three “problems” he mentions in his first two sentences are demonstrably false.

For example, Thom consistently and currently writes that he considers the Nikon D500 and D850 (both at least five years old) to be among the best APSC and full frame cameras available even in the mirrorless era. Second he never lists a camera as “best” in his reviews, simply designating each as “highly recommended”, “recommended” or he does not make a recommendation if he thinks the camera or lens isn’t up to his standards. As for promoting frequent upgrades: that assertion is just false. Thom consistently advises readers to think carefully before upgrading gear to obtain better results. Rather, he urges that we invest our money in workshops or other educational means to hone our skills.

I hate to see Thom misrepresented in this manner. He is one of the very few photography writers that have strong credentials in electronics, photography and business. And his writing over the past twenty years prove that he is certainly no industry shill.

Mike, On another topic: very pleased to see you are getting a check-up. Always the best action at our age (actually I’m a bit ahead of you at 80) when dealing with heart issues. Getting a clean bill from my cardiologist has gone a long way in reducing my stress and anxiety levels regarding my risk of heart problems. Now if I can just get my knees to cooperate……!!


From a comment above:

> His gear assessments always indicate the newest camera is the 'best' and serious shooters should upgrade often.

On the one hand, his reviews will tend to tell you that on various technical levels, new cameras are better than old cameras. On the other hand, there is writing all over his website saying essentially that there's some hungry kid with a four or five year old piece of hardware out there hustling to get pictures that you never will because the camera really isn't the most important part of the equation. Or that there isn't any point in upgrading your hardware if your technique and other skill isn't any better than it used to be.

So overall, I think this is a mischaracterization of his point of view.

This isn't the first time the Gray Lady has published a flimsy trend piece, and it won't be the last. That's OK. They're easy and fun for the reporter to write (so little reporting involved), and they're almost as entertaining to read as The Onion.


Another great film about chess, set during the peak of the cold war Cuban missile crisis, is "The Coldest Game" with Bill Pullman and William Hurt.

Shot in Warsaw, the film has a wonderfully authentic look and feel.

Worth a watch, IMHO.

My son is quite good at chess. He recently showed me a hybrid sport called chessboxing on youtube. It's a thing! I'm not suggesting you take it up though.

In my retirement I work as a dishwasher (manual) in a coffee shop to pay off debts. I blacked out in the sink room and hit the floor hard. I wore a heart monitor for two weeks and needed a pacemaker. I was lucky and became part of an FDA trial for cartridges that Abbott makes that are wireless. The insertion is much less intrusive (through the femoral vein in the groin via catheter) and I highly recommend that if you need a pacemaker you look into this technology. A single cartridge has been approved but I needed two. All costs are paid by Abbott during the trial period.
See more at: https://www.cardiovascular.abbott/us/en/hcp/products/cardiac-rhythm-management/pacemakers/aveir-vr-leadless-pacemaker/why.html

Good luck and be safe.

Mike, please don't screw around with cardiovascular issues. I've seen what a stroke can do.

I'd say more, but John Berger, above, said it already.

You should pick up League of Legends instead. The game requires high levels of concentration, dexterity and insane reflexes - I've seen a study done on octogenarians made to play it for a couple of weeks with very good results. Plus it's a wonderful bog of kids and grownups alike trading kindergarten level insults in the in game chat. And this would definitely leave your casual readers stumped.

Look after yourself, I hope the cardiologist does a good work-up on you and finds the problem. Then, I hope it is easily - and cheaply - fixable.
Best wishes, Olybacker
PS: I still like old Olympus cameras. ;-) And my old M6 :-)

Hi Mike - I think you've had atrial fibrillation for a while? Seem to remember discussing it. I've had a-fib for many years and while it is a problem, it's normally manageable. Biggest risk is stroke, or embolism, but usually anti-coagulants are sufficient.

I skipped mine for a while about 10 years ago and had a pulmonary embolism as a result! Learned my lesson

Good health!


Mike, I highly recommend that you get an Apple Watch that can take and record an ECG any time, any place. I've had some arrhythmias over the past few years. One, premature atrial contraction, was easy to diagnose and is nothing to be concerned about. The other, mild atrial fibrillation, was much more elusive and potentially serious (stroke the most likely adverse result).

At one point I was traveling and knew something was going wrong with my heart. Called my doctor and was told to go to an ER for an ECG/EKG. Of course I didn't know where one was and it was likely far away, and I was pretty certain that when I got there the episode would have passed. I went and bought an Apple Watch instead and started recording ECGs whenever something felt off. It was usually nothing, but I also got the occasional AFib result and was able to share those with my doctor. That led to a diagnosis and treatment along with some lifestyle changes and it's now greatly diminished to the point of almost disappearing.

For most, and at first, AFib is an infrequent and transient condition not likely to be caught in a doctor's office or lab. I even was given a Holter Monitor test (24 hour EKG). Nothing. The Watch avoids all that. It's there when you need it, instantly. It records the result and your iPhone can turn it into a PDF to share with your doctor.

Bonus: you can use the Watch for many other things, including as a remote shutter release for your iPhone.

My mediocrity at chess is only exceeded my my mediocrity behind the camera.
What I enjoy for keeping the brain simulated is not so much playing games but rather solving puzzles. Chessable.com (free) has a number of free courses. I suggest looking for one that is just mate-in-one problems. You know what the goal is. You don't have to look that far ahead.
Most mornings I solve 20 to 100+ puzzles before my wife gets up.

For fun, look at some bullet chess on YouTube. Watching an entire game where each player only has a minute for the entire game is pretty amazing.

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