I Got a New Camera

I've been using a Nikon D80 since basically the beginning of time. I bought this thing brand new back when it was one of the best mid-range dSLR cameras on the market. I used the heck out of this camera. Its sensor has got dozens of blown pixels, my favourite lens has dust inside it... It was time for a change.

So I started researching. It turns out, Nikon is all but done making dSLR cameras. It's going all-in on mirrorless technology, and so are most of the other big brands. Yeah, I could get the D780, but F-mount lenses are already stopping production. People claimed the new Z-mount lenses had phenomenal optics. So, I went with a Z6 II. It's pretty different from the D series that I'm used to. The lenses are also pretty freakin' expensive, and there aren't really any used ones out there yet.

Ah well. If it could stop raining for ten minutes I'd love to go and actually use this new camera.

Our First Golden Week

Golden Week. That beautiful, magical time when the weather forecast says it's going to be beautiful out for the five consecutive days off, and then changes at the last minute to torrential rain the whole time.

Well, this time, it didn't. It was absolutely beautiful for the entirety of Golden Week, other than the Sunday before we went back into the office. That meant people were out enjoying the beautiful weather and exploring the country. So, naturally, we did the same!

We went to Takao-san with a couple of our very good friends. We hiked up to the summit - of course, taking the most difficult trail - and then rewarded ourselves with breathtaking views of the mountains and a snow-capped Mt Fuji, accompanied by soba and beer. We even spotted a wild badger! When we got back, we crashed on the couch and watched Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Extended cut. Seriously, what a good movie.

A few days later, we took several trains to get all the way out to Okutama with another good friend. We went to this wonderful little cafe run out of a very friendly elderly man's home and had some very unique and delicious curry for brunch. Then, we hiked for over four hours to get from the little village near the train station to a lake with a huge dam. The trail was absolutely stunning, walking along a valley with a running river surrounded on both sides by towering walls of greenery. We encountered sketchy old suspension bridges with rotting planks; narrow, slippery passes with very little room for error, and a surprise 200 metre incline to get from the river to the top of the dam... twice.

All in all, I'd say this was a great Golden Week. I hope everyone out there is enjoying exploring the places around them - whether they've lived there all their lives or it's all new to them! We've made a few good friends here so far, and I truly cherish them.

A New Website

Hello, Internet!

Anyone who is used to the usual layout of this site might be surprised to find it has completely changed! Well, it's changed in appearance, at least. In terms of where you find things, general layout has remained pretty much the same.

A few months ago, I took it upon myself to update my old website from PHP to React. I created a big, complex, two-site system with a front-end in React and a back-end in Node. I made APIs to get my blog posts, did all that stuff. Then I realized, it's still expensive to run. In fact, it's more expensive now, because I'm running on a new server and my database is on my old server, and I really didn't feel like migrating it.

So I re-rebuilt my website. Now it's built in Next.js, it's all static pages other than lazy-loading on scroll. It's way lighter, it runs in a custom container with a fraction of the resources my React site needed. We also have the advantage of post stubs, so you can link directly to a specific post.

If you're ever unable to find something you're looking for, I've kept the old website up on https://old.emily-maxwell.com for now. This will remain until I have confirmed 100% parity, and then I will be tearing down the machine that hosts it and saving the money.

In other news, it's spring! I'll be getting out there and exploring a bit before the rainy season comes... I guess that's when I'll start a new project. Who knows?