Day 315, walk, tech call, tv

Sunday, 10/13/2019

Started with the usual crossword puzzle and coffee at Mme. Collette’s. Then, it only being 9am I thought I would go for a walk around the Dish. That early on a Sunday, surely there would be parking up there, right? Nunh-unh, all the local walkers had already filled up the limited parking by the trail entrance. Plan B, I went down to the Baylands and did a walk there. There were lots of water-birds, including three different pods of white pelicans. Lots of ducks. Marian used to like to use her binoculars and pick out the different species of duck; and she doted on the white pelicans. I didn’t have binoculars with me, so I couldn’t tell a shoveler from a mallard. Actually I think I could have recognized the mallards, and there weren’t any.

I went the three miles from Byxbee park around to the foot of San Antonio road, but rather than close the loop with two miles on pavement, I just called a Lyft to get back to the parking lot where I’d left the car. Back at CH I had a snack lunch in my room and a nap; then went out again. First to FOPAL where the sale weekend was winding down.

Then down to sister-in-law Jean’s to help her with a software problem. She uses the Photos app to manage her huge collection of images, and she had somehow lost a bunch of them. I personally detest the Photos app because it takes possession of your images and stores them in its own proprietary “Library” files. Contrast that to comparable image managers like Adobe Bridge or Lightroom, which leave the images safe in the hands of the OS’s file system, each image a file that you can copy, back up, open with another app, etc. Those managers have their own catalogs, but they don’t hide the images in massive opaque globs where the only access to the image is through Photos itself.

But there it was: Jean had a Library of hundreds images taken in her work in the local diocese and sometime in the past month, most of the images in it had disappeared. Photos helpfully displayed the image names still, but only little blank rectangles to show they weren’t there.

Fortunately when I helped her set up her system, back in 2015 after her husband died, I set up a backup drive for use by the Mac’s Time Machine backup system. So now we just started the cool “Time Machine” effect and went back a week and restored that Library, all 27GB of it. One file, 27 gigabytes, contents only accessible through Photos. Unfortunately that version was still missing the images. So we restored a copy from two weeks back. Nope. Each restore cycle taking about 10 minutes for Time Machine to copy the file and then Photos to “recover” its catalog data, whatever that meant. Finally went back a month, and that version, when restored, was 51GB. That’s promising, we said; and when Photos had finished munging it, yes, there were all her pictures up through that backup date. She hadn’t lost a lot of work. So that made me a hero, yay me. I had gone into this assuming it was likely user error (e.g. she meant to delete one picture but accidentally selected a bunch of them), but now I think it equally likely that Photos has a bug where its database gets corrupted. Well.

Back home again, I had a nice supper sitting with Craig, Diane and Patti. Then watched more TV. Before heading off to Greece I had set up the DVR to record three new series that sounded good. One was Carol’s Second Act, Patricia Heaton as an older woman trying to have a second career as an intern. I gave up on this halfway through the second episode. The writing is pretty bad and the jokes are labored.

One was Stumptown, and this I’m kind of enjoying after two episodes. It’s basically a noir detective show, could be from the pen of Raymond Chandler or Mickey Spillane, except that the broke detective with the complicated past, the alcohol problem, and the propensity for getting beaten up, is a handsome woman, and instead of New York or L.A. the setting is Portland, Oregon.

Third is In a Man’s World, where women, with the help of Hollywood makeup artists, go undercover as men, to prove that they were unfairly held back. The first episode was entertaining, although it’s not clear what Emily proves, in the end.

Plus, a new season of Mom has started, and a new season of Bitchin’ Rides, and I have at least three eps of Austin City Limits, and … life is rich, I guess.


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