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Sunday, 18 February 2024


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I won't confuse you by mentioning Cy Endfield's six-button 'Microwriter' ..write anything you want, including punctuation, with one hand.

Mike --

I've been an ergo-keyboard guy since about 2000 when, happily, I discovered that using one *solved* an incipient carpal tunnel problem I was developing. And "yes" i've been using some variant of the Microsoft 4000 for, well, a long time.

Plus . . . since 2018 -- after an entire working career of using a series of quartz/eco-drive watches until they wore out -- i have ended up acquiring what is now a portfolio of a dozen *mechanical* watches. Mind you, mine are in the <$500 class, so we aren't talking "luxury market" items. Nevertheless you and I have some similarities in our acquisition steps for those items.

I'd say that I put the keyboard "in the rearview mirror" when I discovered the 4000 as it was good enough. Since i'm retired now and use it much less maybe I won't have to replace it, but thank you for doing market search for me if I need to do so.

The watches are another matter: they transferred from "tool" to "item of inherent interest" or a "hobby" in my mind. The latter don't have to be justified as they are a matter of taste and are an end in themselves. I only have one other thing in my life that meets that criterion, and that is just fine with me. Frankly my watch interest's development surprised me.

Of more relevance to our community, cameras are very much "tools" to me (as I think they are to you). I view them as a key part of a "value chain" that ultimately results in photo essays in my albums or hang on my walls. Yes, well, these days I also share digitally.

But I don't collect cameras or find them inherently interesting . . . lenses, maybe . . .

-- gary ray

Economists postulate that too much choice deters consumer purchasing. When consumers go down the rabbit hole of too many products to compare, they often don't reach comfortable decisions within a finite time and instead opt to defer the purchase.

45 view cameras? I wonder how many large format lenses?

One critical step missing in the process: capture all the data on a spreadsheet!

I'm pretty sure there must be a sweet spot between the Russian Communist economy where there were very few consumer goods available, and the current US (and Canadian) economy where there are far too many choices available. I long ago gave up on the 'optimal' solution because I was sure I could never have enough information to make an optimal choice, mainly because the choices changed faster than I could keep track.
So I settle for a satisficing solution. I pick the must haves for a solution, and live with the deficiencies. I'd rather figure out how to deal with an actual deficiency if it happens to have a real impact on my life, than go through the agony of gathering endless information.

I'm a carpenter. We use pencils - quite a bit, usually one per day, sharpening them frequently to always have the finest mark/line possible.
After about 30 years, about to order another gross, a thought occurred to me - maybe there is a better pencil out there. How would I find it?
I quickly discovered 3 websites with the sole purpose of reviewing pencils (yes, and erasers and sharpeners). These people are REALLY into pencils, much more than I am or ever will be again once I settle on a new brand.
There are a lot of things to consider about the lowly pencil, in making your selection. Ever so many things more than I set out to resolve before traveling the webs and becoming enlightened on the subject.
Having fulfilled my mission to my satisfaction, I won't bother you or me with the details.
(And if you care to know, Mercado Black Warrior met my needs for the foreseeable future).

Ooops, that's a Mirado Black Warrior. See, told you I'm not fussed over it.

"I don't just dive in, I dive in like an Ama pearl diver off the coast of Japan. Deep, and fast, and unburdened. I can get the general lay of the land in a new hobby or pursuit remarkably quickly."

Triaging knowledge. Wheat... chaff... sorted. Sniffing out the quality information sources - and the quality sources from within them, is THE skill, moving forward in this world, that is truly valuable.

And don't kid yourself Mike. Very few have that skill. Those that do, think everyone can do it.

No they can't.

I purchased a pack of 10 replacement blades for my Logan mat cutter the other day from Amazon. Even though I'm 61 and look 91, I had to provide ID to the amazon delivery guy before he would hand the parcel over in case I was some kind of teenage gang member buying weapons. You should be thankful you didn't have to factor such considerations into your decision making :-)

Mike, you could do some of us a real service by reviewing those keyboards. As somebody who types a lot for a living (not at the level you do, for sure) my arthritis has pushed me into mechanical keyboards and I'm always on the lookout for the one that is better for reducing pain and more durable. I have a Kinesis Freestyle at present - I have been annoyed by a few things about it, but so much better for arthritis than those awful cheap keyboards.

I bought the Logitech K860 and found to my surprise that I'm not really a touch typist any longer. I basically never use my little fingers. But, the ergonomic keyboards kind of force you to be a touch typist -- they don't work well otherwise. So, it'll be a struggle for a while, as I get my little fingers back into the fray.

I just sold a watch via Facebook Marketplace. The buyer knocked on the door, handed me the $75, took the watch and left without, as far as I could tell, more than glancing at it. I have no intention of trying to find out if the watch was worth 10 times my sales price....

Hi Mike,
I’d say there’s a step between 5 Optimise and 6 Put in review mirror.

Sell all the stuff that didn’t make the Final Cut and you no longer need - call it optimise your bank balance ;~)

Otherwise you’re just filling your house with stuff that you don’t need and won’t use. Excess stuff - a very first world problem.

Previewing your Comment

I love the wisdom sometimes hidden behind your words. Above very clearly you identify that 'A guy who can't ski can't review skis, and also you have real clarity that you personally don't touch type ...

Two fingers and whatever keyboard doesn't help your typing no matter how long you have been hashing your way through life doing it.

Typists generally have no problem with keyboards, in the same way that perhaps pianists have no problem with pianos.

Maybe some professional typing coaching might be a better solution than buying wacko keyboards that fail to address the underlying problem?

Hope that isn't too harsh and helps!

Posted by: Colin |


Since you’re still taking about razors, thought you might enjoy this GR in-camera BW image of my Feather safety razor. Bought it in Japan many years ago. Love it. Perfect for my type of beard.


Cheers and Happy Shaving!

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