books

The Inspector and Mrs. Jeffries

I tried book #1 in the Mrs. Jeffries series by American author Cheryl Lanham under the pseudonym, Emily Brightwell.

And easy, fun read.

It was written 1993.

There are dozens of sequels.

The central character of this cozy historical mystery series is Mrs. Jeffries, who is a housekeeper by profession and along with her staff, secretly helps Inspector Witherspoon of the Scotland Yard to solve the murder mysteries taking place in and around Victoria, England.

In fact, Witherspoon is a nice guy. Well meaning. But basically slow witted. His housekeeper and staff do a lot of the investigating for him.

A cute premise.

I don’t need to continue, however.

TV

The Bay – season 1

Good TV.

The Guardian: four stars out of five” — Suspects and police officers with shared secrets? Check. Information wilfully withheld by the writer? Check. Will you be hooked? Check.”

Detective Sergeant Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) is the mother of two children and working for (the fictional) West Lancashire Police Service as a Family Liaison Officer (FLO).

She is called out on the case of two missing children  …

Wikipedia

Many twists and turns.

Some OTHER story threads are more interesting than the actual whodunnit.

The detective is a single mother, for example, with two teenagers both getting in serious trouble.

I like the subtle, pastel colour grading used to set the look and feel. Wallander did something similar.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

photos

Cropping Photos for the Web

I really haven’t got much more excited about photography since going all in for VIDEO during the pandemic.

Many things irk me about photos online.

The majority of those you see are not very good — diminished so the image can load more quickly.

For my photos, best place to look is my Flickr account. Over 57,000 pics organized into albums.

THE photo site Instagram … I find super restrictive. And dumb.

Instagram wants to first display photos SQUARE. Here I cropped my 9×6 photo for that default.

Another crop.

Newer models of iPhone can be switched to my preferred 16:9.

These look great in landscape mode on a phone.

books, movies

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

You might want to wait for the film version currently underway at Sony.

William Blake Crouch has already had several books adapted for popular culture.

Some feel this novel was constructed with the movie version in mind. He sold the film rights for $1.25m.

Jason Dessen, an atomic physicist, finds himself in a multiverse — traveling between alternative worlds in his home town Chicago.

Like time travel, it’s not easy to put together a coherent plot where characters meet themselves in other dimensions.

Crouch does a pretty good job at keeping the story interesting.

related – Dark Matter review – quantum fiction that’s delightfully unserious

Click PLAY or meet the author on YouTube.

Apple, cycling

I put Airtags on my bikes

If anyone rides away on my bike, I can track it down via the Apple Find My network.

Shane Miller tested WHERE to place the tracking device.

Open to the sky is best. Hidden inside the frame near useless.

I’m keeping mine in a bag attached to the bike.

Also, it’s unlikely a thief will be alerted by their own phone — until they get home.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

books, movies

Nomadland – the book

I haven’t seen the film yet.

The dead tree original is not particularly well written, in my opinion.

But I still recommend the book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century because of the importance of the subject.

2017 nonfiction by American journalist Jessica Bruder about the phenomenon of older Americans (mostly White) who, following the Great (George W Bush) Recession from 2007 to 2009 and onward, adopting transient lifestyles travelling around the United States in search of seasonal work.

Bruder encounters an array of appealing characters. They are portrayed with respect and admiration. Some have become friends for whom she has a deep affection. …

The best part of Jessica Bruder’s story is when she goes to work with the houseless at a sugar beet plant. Then at an Amazon warehouse. Brutal.

Reducing your possessions to just those you can carry with you is Voluntary (or involuntary) Simplicity.

My kind of people.

In fact, campground host sounds to me like not a bad gig.

#FixerUpper #VanLife

TV

Russian Doll – season 1

I like it.

A profane Groundhog Day.

Weird. Original. Smart dialogue.

97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Russian Doll is an American comedy-drama streaming television series, created by Natasha LyonneLeslye Headland, and Amy Poehler

… follows Nadia Vulvokov (Lyonne), a game developer who repeatedly dies and relives the same night in an ongoing time loop and tries to solve it …

books, TV

One Step Behind by Henning Mankell

One Step Behind is a 1997 crime novel by Swedish author Henning Mankell, the 7th in his acclaimed Inspector Wallander series.

Excellent.

An intriguing plot with Wallander facing serious personal health problems.

Two young women and one young man, inexplicably dressed as the nobility of Sweden did during the reign of Gustavus III, are found dead, each slain with a single bullet, their bodies half consumed by animals in the wilderness.

Wallander is horrified when he makes a connection between the crime and his close friend and colleague Svedberg, and after the latter is found savagely murdered …

related – Director Ingmar Bergman was the author’s father-in-law.

Apple, photos, product endorsements, video

Notion note taking app

I’ve always been a NOTE taker.

Always put together TO-DO lists.

Not always skilled at following through. 😶

For the past few months I’ve been trying NOTION. It’s free for basics.

More complicated than I need. But it is cool.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It does synch perfectly with iPhone. And I can use the IOS app even when out of service.

NOTION ranked #1 on this list of Best Note-Taking Apps 2021.

I’ve used different notebooks and apps over the decades. Most recently I’ve been trying to stick to the default Apple products:

  • Reminders
  • Text Edit

Love the simplicity and compatibility with the Fruit Company ecosystem of brainwashed.

I’ve yet to find a calendar I like. I’m using Google Calendar — but don’t really enjoy it. Right now I’m trying to switch to Apple Calendar, which I also don’t like.