#872. Monday Post (1 July 2019) – DearSusan summer facelift & Pareidolia challenge reminder.

By pascaljappy | Monday Post

Jul 01

I’ve just returned from a 10-day break with family in Brittany. For food, photography and hiking, my habitual vacation trifecta, that place is right up there. More info and photos to follow, but here are a few sprinkled throughout this return-to-school post.


Technically, this scene of Mont Saint Michel, isn’t really in Brittany, so let’s get that out of the way before getting into more serious (and unpleasant) stuff. But it’s close enough to Saint Malo to be included in my approximatively Breton route ๐Ÿ˜‰


DS is broken. On its last legs. During my absence the email automation broke down, with the habitual responsibility-ping-pong game between theme author, hosting company, emailing company. And it’s still not functionnal as I write this, hoping that normal operations will resume ere long. Other stuff seems broken. Other still has been for a while (social sharing, e.g.)


Fact is, the version of DS you see today is almost prehistoric in website timelines. And an upgrade is needed.

It’s not just a facelift. There are several side projects, such as pwintshop, individual galleries and more personalised email subscriptions, that hinge on this technical nip and tuck.

I’ve been postponing it for months/years because this is a hobbyist website that makes no money and this rework is going to take both money and time. The very idea feels as pleasant as a vinegar clyster. But what choice is there ?


Shutter it all? To my shame, the thought did enter my mind and lingered there for a (long) while. Status quo? Nope, that would bug me even more.

So I’m working on finding a proper design/structure that will allow us to continue posting articles on this blog but also create (a) full blown tutorials and courses, (b) write articles (meaning we’ll have to figure out how to create stuff that’s actually helpful and not just rantastic, which is a whole other headbanger to look forward to when this rebuild is over ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and (c) post galleries.

All this to say (see, rantatorials is all we know ๐Ÿ˜€ ) that this summer could be pretty disrupted. We’re still huffing and puffing in the background, we still love you guys (and gals) and we still want to continue. But, on top of work, a 44ยฐC heatwave that’s turned down my energy to zilch-ish levels, and other projects, your favourite dearsusan could occasionally look like it’s taking a prolonged nap.


Before this, though, let’s talk pareidolia.

That’s fancy talk for finding human-like patterns in everyday objects. Like this:


Or this:


Several of you have already sent me your photos. Thanks for that. Given the avalanche of emails that innundate my box (in spite of constant unsubscring from the unsollicited pests) I fully expect to screw up the recap post but will do my very best not to ๐Ÿ˜‰

Others: there’s still time. So get out there and scan the walls, the letter boxes, the unexpected patterns in the clouds, … It’s a lot of fun, I promise you’ll giggle like a 3 year old. And it’s great practise for observational skills. Given the technical problems we are currently facing, let’s give this another 10 days. Send me your pics (and text, if you wish) at pascal dot jappy at gmail dot com. After that, we’ll publish the results ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it for now.


TLDR: Brittany is gorgeous, DS is seeing white light at the end of a dark tunnel but we’re holding her back, funthropomorphism rules.



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  • Excellent post under the trying circumstances Pascal. Your photos are inpsiring me to visit Breton again.

  • Michael Fleischer says:

    Thank you for the updates and fine pictures accompanying todays post –
    I hope problems get solved quickly!
    One concern though about an eventual DS 2.0; That it keeps it’s innocent & immediate sense –
    I think a lot of readers & contributors will appreciate this.

    PS: I didn’t either receive any email for todays post, nor the previous one…!

  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    > “.. Brittany. For food, photography and hiking, my habitual vacation trifecta, that place is right up there.”

    So is Provence! Right? ๐Ÿ™‚
    – – –

    ( There is a nomad hidden somewhere in most if us – don’t I know it… Which the tourist industry exploits but fails to deliver on! On the other hand the classical Swedish tourist return comment used to be “They had no proper coffee!”…)
    – – –

    And do take it easy in that heat!

    ( 44ยฐC, I would have disappeared into a wet spot soon to evaporate. I start to desintegrate soon above 27ยฐ…
    When I once lived through a period of 30-35ยฐโ€ž I had my bathtub half filled with cold water and visited it every few hours.)

    • pascaljappy says:

      Yes, Provence is also great. As is Italy.

      I don’t drink coffee, does that make me unsuitable for Sweden? ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thank goodness we have a pool. Although that is barely refreshing, at 29ยฐ … But the wind is now picking up a bit and the forecast is showing a return to more normal temperatures at the end of the week.

      • Kristian Wannebo says:

        > “.. unsuitable for Sweden?..”
        LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚
        I did love my un-swedish cafรฉ-au-lait with croissants…

        ( Btw., they also used to complain that Swedish meat balls weren’t available…
        Sigh! But that was at the beginning of charter flights.)

    • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

      ?? – the highest we’ve had here was 46oC.And temperatures over 30oC are perfectly normal here, during summer – it cuts down on heating costs!
      I can sympathise with Swedish tourists on the coffee – I’ve been drinking coffee ever since I was a kid – for more years than most people have been alive! Some people tell me they can’t possibly drink coffee after 5:00pm, they wouldn’t be able to get to sleep, all night! Never had that problem – falling asleep is easy, once you get the knack, and I can do it straight after swallowing a large mug full of coffee.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Lovely Brittany images, Pascal, especially the moody silhouette of Mont-Saint-Michel. I need to visit the area again, with a camera this time!
    Your post explained why I didnโ€™t receive last weekโ€™s post by email – I was worried for a moment that you had actually blocked me. Canโ€™t wait to see DearSusanโ€™s new โ€œup-doโ€ – thanks for continuing and not giving up!

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Nancee, I wouldn’t dream of blocking you ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the patience, we’ll resume normal service soon. Although I might actually continue to write a personal message after posting articles rather than rely on automation. We’ll see.

      If you go early (or late) to Mont Saint Michel, you have the place to yourself and it’s really beautiful at those periods because the light seems to change very quickly but it’s far enough North to give plenty of interesting light. It’s not your tropical switch from night to day or vice-versa ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Nancee Rostad says:

        Hi Pascal,
        I was just kidding about blocking me, and Iโ€™d actually included a winking emoji to indicate it! The emoji didnโ€™t show when my email posted!
        A number of years ago I spent the night on M-S-M, which would be ideal for early and late photography with no crowds. Iโ€™m going to start planning a trip now…….

        • pascaljappy says:

          We never managed to sleep inside the walls. There’s a nearby hotel village that’s nice enough, but being inside must have a special feeling ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    LOL – not getting emails at the moment – having probs with my telco instead.
    Great photos – all done with the Hassy? Was in my cam shop this morning – there was a vast set of second hand Hassy lenses there – ouch! Not to worry – with one decent prime, a good photographer can photograph practically anything.โ˜บ

    • pascaljappy says:

      Yes, all Hassy. Lenses are either the C-Sonnar 1.5/50 ZM or the XCD 45. Sorry about the telco issues. Those niggles take up so much time unnecessarily …

  • Kim Howe says:

    Sorry to hear about the technical difficulties. Since you are working on things I thought I’d throw in a feature request. It would be nice if we could include photos in the comments section. I can see there is a possibility of it getting abused, but sometimes it could be very useful too.

    If maintaining and updating the site is costing time and money, there is nothing wrong with putting up a donate button somewhere and allowing those of us who appreciate DearSusan to throw something into the hat to keep it going. Better than clogging up the site with tasteless advertising drivel.

    • pascaljappy says:

      Hi Kim, thank you for the kind words. The photos in the comments section would indeed be a great idea, I’ll see how that can be done. Thanks about the donate button idea. Never really given it any thought. But it could help and it could also allow us to hand out prizes for some of the challenges. Why not ? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I have an idea. Why can’t we all offer to help in some way?

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I must admit, I have a serious desire to “do” Brittany, with occasional forays into nearby territories (Mont S Michel obviously – also in & around La Rochelle – and a trickle to the east, as well). It was very inconsiderate of whoever did it, to locate these places so far away.

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