You think airline food sucks?

Vegetarian Meal #3 by James Perkins

You think airline food sucks? Try being vegetarian. I’m not a spoiled whiner, I truly appreciate being able to cross an ocean over night and I’m fine with the mass produced food they serve in airplane. Everybody complains about the food, but when you are vegetarian, you go into a new level of pain.

The first part of the pain: requesting it. I request the vegetarian food several times. I already had requests lost, ignored, not honored, whatever. I request it on the web, by phone, by carrier pigeon, etc. Several times each. Even then, there’s no guarantee.

Then it comes the second part: the crew. I just finished my breakfast in a flight from Madrid to Buenos Aires (yes, I wrote this on the airplane) with the best and the worst of the crew. I’ll describe both to be fair.

One flight attendant gave me the special food. She said “You ordered special food? ” and I replied “Yes, vegetarian “, and she handed me the long yellow box. I opened it and found little pieces of burned carcasses of chicken. I checked the label… definitely not vegetarian.

When another flight attendant came I told him about my food and they had a short conversation. Basically all non-standard food was distributed equally. Someone who should have gotten chicken was eating my vegetarian food. This is the norm. The crew will screw it up. In my experience almost always. I very rarely get an uneventful flight.

The flight attendant to whom I reported the issue was a little bit upset about the other messing up and here’s the good part: he went and picked vegetarian food from other meals and built a special box for me. To that guy, J. M. Anton: Thank you, I really appreciate what you did… you turned a terrible flight and a lot of anger into a pleasurable experience (loved the little piece of chocolate).

Should everything go well you still have to deal with the food. You may think that when everybody gets a cheese and ham sandwich you’d get a cheese sandwich. WRONG. You may imagine that when everybody gets spaghetti with meatballs you’d get plain spaghetti. WRONG. You get an insipid salad (for breakfast) or some gooey boiled vegetables. On this flight I was lucky to get some rice (next to the gooey vegetables). Who chooses this food? It’s terrible. It’s a torture. Compared to this, the food is got at the hospital is a 5 star gourmet meal.

Changing my pictures workflow

Canon camera by Kazuhiko Teramoto

I been using iPhoto for a few years right now and I like it a lot. Before using iPhoto I was manually marking who was in each picture and where it was taken, so when I saw iPhoto could do it almost automatically I bought a mac. Yes, iPhoto was a big part of buying a mac.

Some time afterwards, I got a DSLR, starting shooting in raw, and as usual, shooting a lot. I rarely remove pictures. I don’t see a reason, my hard drives get bigger faster than I take pictures. My collection has around 35000 pics, at least, and lot’s of raw too. This is not what iPhoto is designed for.

I looked around and Apple’s Aperture is the only pro photo management software that keeps all the features I need and like from iPhoto (faces and places mostly). Since the latest iPhoto is not very robust (it actually crashed on me once and I had to restore everything from backups), I decided to migrate to Aperture.

Something that surprised me about Aperture is that it doesn’t prompt me to delete the pictures after importing. I searched on the interwebs about this and apparently, it’s a feature. When people asked how to delete pictures, people replied: “Don’t! If you delete pictures after importing, your pictures are in only one place, if something happens to them, they are lost.”

One should be careful when getting advice on how to use an Apple product as the Apple fanboys will defend whatever Apple believes we should do even if it makes no sense and kills kittens in the process. But this actually makes sense. I had my computer crash during the import procedure and take all the pics with it. I’m glad iPhoto didn’t get to delete the pictures in the camera when that happened. Both Aperture and iPhoto are capable of ignoring duplicates when importing and I would expect any other useful picture management program to do the same.

I decided to embrace the workflow, I bought a bigger memory card for my camera and now I don’t delete the pics from the camera until a couple of days later, when my several backups solutions managed to backup the new pictures.

Another reason to do it this way, and delete pictures by formatting the memory card, is that it’s the only way to ensure there are no extraneous files on the card, taking space, that neither the camera nor any program need or understand.