Daniel Pietzsch


Short content, quickly posted.

Struck A Nerve – the Death Metal band I joined last year as a bass player – will be playing live for the first time in November. Here are the Infos:


  • Horseman
  • Fadead
  • Struck A Nerve

24. November 2023
Bundesallee 268 - 274
42103 Wuppertal

Start: 20h
Price: €12 VVK, €18 AK

Tickets and Infos

Now, I only need to get my arm fit again…

I have now integrated the photo journal feed directly into the main feed.

This saves me from manually creating a link post each time the photo journal has been updated.

And I updated both feeds. If you now have a whole bunch of unread articles in your feed reader, I’m sorry.

The music section for the most part now features the Bandcamp embed instead of the one from Spotify. I find this to be much better, because you can listen to a whole album, even without account. And I actually prefer Bandcamp and have been using it more and more lately.

Since my previous CMS forestry.io stopped working, and its successor TinaCMS doesn‘t work with my setup, I replaced it with Decap CMS (previously Netflify CMS). I needed to add some CSS overrides, though, so it actually works on a small phone-sized screen – which to my suprise it didn’t out of the box.

Anyhow, I’m pretty pleased with the replacement and this is the first post using my new CMS.

I finally made some prints again. Needing a present is always a good motivator.

I probably do not do this so often, because it’s time consuming getting everything ready, and I don’t always have the motivation for it, and/or the bathroom is not unoccupied early enough.

Producing a print by hand is so satisfying, though.

Both images are in the April photo journal entry.

Finally developed some rolls of film again. It’s been months since the last time.

Made 1.5 litres of fresh fixer, got the 5-reel tank out of the cupboard and developed some HP5 @1600. One of those rolls was from back in December.

A second batch – 5 rolls of APX 400 – is also already hanging to dry. Feels good to make progress on that front again. (But let’s not talk about the scanning backlog or posting to the journal, ok!?)

Last minute – on Sunday – I bought a ticket for the TOOL concert last Tuesday at Lanxess Arena in Köln. A great decision! What a fantastic (live) band!

Loved how they partly looked at each other to coordinate (or recoordinate) some parts, and how everyone operated their own pedal board and effects. And, of course, how they played their instruments. And I was pretty close at the side of the stage to see a lot of what was going on.

Easily one of the best gigs I’ve been to, and absolutely worth the money!

Went to the Ghost concert at Lanxess Arena in Köln on Tuesday. And this was absolutely fantastic. So many great songs, well performed. Plus a great show. I’m usually not too much of a fan of big show elements, but this was honestly good and not over the top, so the music and its performance was still the focus. And I was also sceptical of that big venue. But we were on the floor and it was not remotely sold out, so we could get really close.

The support acts Twin Temple and Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats were a great choice, too!

We and our friends – and the whole arena really – had a great time! Although it was admittedly a bit careless regarding Covid. But, I don’t know, I think we really just wanted to go. It felt good to visit a concert again, consequences be fucking damned!

Having seen “An Impossible Project” at the Metropol on Wednesday made me realise again how much I like going to the cinema. At least to those of the little, artsy kind. Like the “Filmkunstkinos” here in Düsseldorf.

The whole experience is just so much richer than at home: you get to see the film on a big screen in a dark room, with loud sound and without distractions. It’s much more immersive and I’m always much more into the story being told.

Plus, the locations here in town are all very cosy and inspiring. You get to smell the popcorn. They sell great beer. And you get new ideas for what to watch next. And usually those cinemas are frequented by interesting folks, too.

We all tested negative on Tuesday. And that means life for us is largely back to “normal” again. So far. It steel feels like things can change again at any minute. 🤷‍♂️

In other good news, my shoulder is constantly getting better and I can do most things without pain now.

We waited three days for the results. And since 1pm today it’s certain that Zoe and Nicole had – or still have – COVID. Very likely the Omicron variant. My own PCR test result was negative.

That explains Nicole’s somewhat heavy cold symptoms last week. But both are now feeling ok again. To be honest, Zoe only had some heavy coughing the night from Monday on Tuesday. Otherwise she seemed happy and healthy as ever. (Fingers crossed, no long-term symptoms will develop).

Maybe I’ll still get it (or have it already). We’ll see. (Nicole and I have spent our time mostly in separate rooms for the past few days.) We’ll all get another test (non-PCR) on Tuesday. When those are all negative, we’ll hope some normality will return.

We’re definitely happy we decided to already get boostered end of last year.

So my shoulder seems to get better slowly but steadily, thank you!

But the corona situation is frustrating. Now the PCR pool test today was negative while we know of one kid, that also was part of the pool, that had a positive self-test in the afternoon. And last week there was a positive PCR pool test with all the children’s individual tests afterwards being negative. And now I’m questioning all the tests!

So we’re thinking about leaving Zoe out of kindy this week altogether again, just to be safe and not risk an infection. I think at least half of the children in her group have it right now. And with seemingly unreliable tests, it seems like the more cautious action.

So, ok, next week is not off to a great start, either. Fell while skateboarding today, and now my right shoulder hurts and I don’t want to move it. Then, this time there have been Covid cases in kindy. Luckily Zoe and the two of us are fine (so far), but it sucks for all the parties that are directly affected. And now the kindergarten is understaffed; and we’ll first try to get another PCR test for Zoe before sending her again (and wait for others to test, too). That means work-juggling continues.

Sorry for the negativity. Maybe now 12 hours of shoulder pain is making me a little grumpy. 🤷‍♂️ (don’t feel sorry, I fell while skate-boar-ding🙄.)

It’s been a bit of an chaotic week here. Zoe being sick at the beginning of the week, and then two positive Covid PCR pool tests in kindy (at least one of which was false alarm) meant she was home four of five days. Works just fine with two working parents. Not. Hopefully next week will be better.

I recently bought Pixelmator Photo for iOS and now I can finally do all my image editing on the iPad.

Which is missing for me from Apple’s “Photos” app is a “Retouch” tool, which I use for dust-removal – and for which I had to use the Mac-variant for. Until now. Because Pixelmator Photo has it. I don’t know what took me so long.

I DIYed me some wind-noise reducers using a sock and a bit of velcro.

With my new bike, I started riding a bit faster and one thing that bothered me was all that wind noise. So I looked for possible solutions and came across these catears. But before ordering something pre-made so seemingly simple, I wanted to try making something like this myself.

So, I cut a sock, glued on a bit of velcro and wrapped the whole thing around my helmet strap. Et voilà.

And it indeed works and reduces the wind noise significantly. And it does not look too strange IMO.

Just got my booster shot. It’s only been a little over four months since my second Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination dose. But they say to not wait any longer. And I figured being protected for winter makes more sense than being ready in spring.

Ordered some 300+ prints the other day. It’s always something different holding physical photographs in your hand. Even when it’s relatively cheap ones, like these.

I usually use ALDI Fotos and I have been very satisfied with their service so far. The main argument for them is that they can print on matte paper with a white border. And it turned out they can even print my panoramic images with only little cropping.

I should really make more of a routine of ordering prints. The more photos I get out of my computer and into the physical world the better. Gotta feed the archive!

Here’s a current screenshot of my iPhone’s homescreen. It’s been looking like this for quite a while now and so I wanted to log this.

Oh man, I’m so behind on my photos. I’ve developed and scanned everything until and including June. But there are now 25 more rolls to scan and currently 13 rolls still to develop. And I haven’t edited much from this year, either. Makes me a bit nervous about being able to keep up with my photo journal in any timely fashion. But I need and want to! But I will probably end up posting a whole year again, as I did with 2020.

Today, I at least finally ordered myself a 5-reel development tank, which will make film-developing quite a bit quicker and more convenient, compared to using two 2-reel tanks.

Got our first COVID-19 vaccine shot (BioNTech/Pfizer) yesterday. Having a bit of a sore upper arm, but that’s it for side-effects so far.

We’ll get the seconds dose in four weeks, and so should be “fully vaccinated” by September.

During the recent vacation, Zoe took a photo of me with my Instax Wide. And this now is my avatar for the summer.

Normalerweise kein großer Sport-Gucker, aber die Fußball-EM verfolge ich dann doch mal wieder ganz gerne.

New pedals! The compressor is mainly planned for use with the bass. And the Eyemaster gives me the HM-2 Swedish chainsaw sound. Gonna learn some Entombed I guess!

Instagram seems to have definitively locked out people without an account. I couldn’t open a single page for weeks now.

A shame some people only post there. But I’m not going to get an account.

How come Rails’ String#blank? never made it into Ruby itself? So frustrating! And I thought, Ruby was about “programmer happiness”!? Well, guess what, Matz: I’M NOT HAPPY!!!1!!

I don’t know how parents regularly have their child(ren) sleep in their bed. Nine times out of ten we get beaten, kicked and headbutted. Best case, we get woken up multiple times per night. Worst case, we additionally get hurt. Plus, Zoe also wakes up way earlier than usual. The snuggles make up for the abuse a little, though.

Messing around with the website again. Now having pages grouping all blog posts (articles, notes and links) at /blog and all media posts (music, movies and books) at /media.

Makes it easier to scroll through all content at once.

Here is the signal path and pedalboard settings for how I recorded “Bridge of Sighs”:

  • Strat knock-off, pick-up switch in 4th position.
  • Distortion with low gain.
  • Tremolo in a subtle setting.
  • A bit of delay.
  • Some reverb.
  • A clean amp in Garageband.

The audio in the video is a combination of the Garageband recording and the sound recorded by the iPhone.

I still wish more people/bands/utilities/companies/restaurants had RSS feeds, so this wouldn’t even be necessary.

Gestern auf die “Heavy Metal”-Playlist von Amazon Music gestoßen. Als erstes kommt Iron Maiden, dann Metallica, und danach – natürlich – als drittes – ganz klar – gleiche Liga! – …



… Guano Apes! 🤷‍♂️

Das Kind hat woanders übernachtet. Endlich mal wieder in Ruhe Sonntagmorgens im Wohnzimmer Death Metal hören.

We got tested for Corona virus today. The results were negative.

In Germany you can currently get one free test every week. While we thought it’s pretty unlikely we’re infected, we thought it couldn’t hurt taking advantage of this (after all, we do occasionally meet a few people).

We used “Mein Corona Schnelltest”, and the whole process – registration, test, and test result retrieval – was quick and straightforward. Our test centre was set up in a mall where a shop used to be. I thought it’s worth sharing these two photos.

We’ve been making these veggie burgers with beetroot-based patties for a while now. They are delicious.

So I think the search for a great patty has ended.

I removed pagination from a few index pages. Because: who needs pagination when you have compact index pages and all images are lazy loaded? Right: no one! Kinda fixes static page search, too.

Oh FFS! Instagram now requires you to have an account to view anything on their website. You can no longer visit profiles of people or businesses let alone permalink pages.

I hope Instagram will revert this. Or everybody will just stop posting exclusively on that stupid platform (yeah, right!)!

Frustrating nonsense!

I bought my first bass guitar: an Epiphone Thunderbird. Should have done this earlier, because it’s so much fun!

Sitting on the balcony. It’s finally cooling down again at night. Listening to Purple Hill Witch. Drinking a cold beer. Culling photos for the September 2019 entry. It was the holiday month. Struggling a little going through that many images.

Purple Hill Witch - Purple Hill Witch (Full Album 2014)
YouTube video: Purple Hill Witch - Purple Hill Witch (Full Album 2014)

So, no German Corona Warn App for me: my iPhone 6 Plus is stuck on iOS 12. And you need to be able to run iOS 13 (which came out last year) and above to run it. A shame.

I’m probably in the minority of iPhone users on such an old device, though. Still, I wonder how many people have a similar problem (at least Android devices only require Android 6, which is five years old). And how many people won’t even bother installing it.

Furthermore, the seemingly extraordinary high development costs of €20 million - plus an additional €48 million running costs until the end of 2021 - makes me wonder whether the money could have been used more wisely. Time will tell I guess.

Soundtrack for the weekend:

Body Count - Cop Killer (Live at Hellfest 2018)

Body Count - Cop Killer (Live at Hellfest 2018)
YouTube video: Body Count - Cop Killer (Live at Hellfest 2018)

Sepultura - Anticop (Live)

Sepultura - Anticop (Live)
YouTube video: Sepultura - Anticop (Live)

Here’s a Twitter thread (scroll up and/or down from the linked tweet) of some 300-plus-and-counting videos of police brutality: https://twitter.com/greg_doucette/status/1268391718086422528.

This is only from this past week.

Not any of these assaults is even remotely justified. Absolutely unbelievable – in the worst possible way. And this is just a small subset of the incidents that have been published or have even been recorded. Any single one of these violations on its own is outrageous! And all this is happening during peaceful protests against police brutality.

2 songs. 1 issue. 25 years apart. 0 changed.

Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the name.

Rage Against The Machine - Killing In the Name (Official Music Video)
YouTube video: Rage Against The Machine - Killing In the Name (Official Music Video)

Body Count – No Lives Matter

Body Count - No Lives Matter (official video)
YouTube video: Body Count - No Lives Matter (official video)

Just started bulk-loading another 30.5m-spool of APX 400.

I think this film bulk-loaded is the best deal in black and white film photography. One spool is €48 at Nordfoto and gives you 18 roles of film with 36+ exposures each. That’s not even €2.70 per canister. It’s a steal. And it’s a great film.

Yesterday, I spontaneously acquired a new (used) darkroom enlarger that was on offer locally:

It’s a Kaiser VP-6000. And it included everything I need to make prints from 6x6 medium format negatives. So now I can finally start printing the photos I have been making with my Rolleiflex!

The URL for subscribing to a YouTube channel via RSS:


You get the channel_id from the URL of the channel.

As much as I like Jekyll, Liquid is bloody nonsense.

It’s probably just me.

But I find its strange syntax and very limited functionality so frustrating. I always wish I could just use plain Ruby and not have to struggle every time I want to do anything in my view templates.

It turns out, lazy loading does work with responsive images in Firefox 75: for this to work, you currently have to put the loading attribute before srcset in the attribute list of an img tag. This is a bug, and will be fixed in a future release.

So, I changed my markup accordingly – both on this site and the photo journal.

As for Firefox’ implementation itself: I find it currently too lazy. A new image is only downloaded when it’s already inside the viewport. This is going to result in visitors (unnecessarily) having to wait for an image download, especially when the image is larger and/or their internet connection is not the fastest.

Chrome’s implementation on the other hand is more appropriate in my opinion: it starts downloading images marked with loading=lazy well in advance – a few full “screens” before they are actually reached via scrolling.

Anyhow: happy this got implemented in Firefox now, too, despite its implementation needing a bit more refinement in my opinion.

This site now uses lazy-loading for the Youtube video embeds. Meaning, a preview image is loaded, and only when you click that is the actual video embed requested.

After posting a few Youtube videos to this site recently, I noticed this was loading a whole lot of quite large third-party resources. And this was happening without even playing a video – very likely resulting in visitors having to download a non-trivial amount of megabytes of no use. The site was slow to load. My Lighthouse score went way down.

So I fixed it.

To lazy load the videos I wrote a Jekyll plugin for a custom Liquid tag, that will take a Youtube video URL as parameter and spit out an iframe tag that uses its srcdoc attribute to at first only load the video’s preview image and display a “Play” button.

Grmpf. I just noticed my “Fuck you, Instagram!” bookmarklet became useless. Instagram won’t let you click and open an image from a person’s index page. They now immediately prompt you to log in. And while the bookmarklet currently still removes the log in modal, any further attempts on clicking an image are ignored. So, this current version does not work any longer. 😠

At least, one can still right-click and hit “Open Link in New Tab” (in Safari that is). But that’s pretty tedious.

I wish more people simply had a website or blog without this sort of nonsense.

Spent the evening working on this site a little bit:

  • Added article teaser images to index pages.
  • Made the “Read More” links more prominent.
  • Added OpenGraph og:image and og:type meta tags.
  • Adding loading="lazy" to the Youtube iframes.
  • Making the Youtube embeds grayscale on index pages unless you hover over the article.

So, here’s a drumcam video of Danny Carey playing “Pneuma” off the latest Tool album:

Danny Carey – Pneuma by Tool (LIVE IN CONCERT)
YouTube video: Danny Carey – Pneuma by Tool (LIVE IN CONCERT)

Seeing a drummer play songs live always makes you appreciate the skill even more than simply hearing it. Even with someone like him, where by merely listening it’s already immediately obvious that most people – including me – probably wouldn’t even be able to count this song correctly let alone play drums to it and keep a band playing together.

I also think it’s a first, I’ve seen that type of high-quality video of Danny Carey.

And great song by the way. My current favourite from “Fear Inoculum”.

My first ever pedalboard is taking shape.

In addition to the looper, the phaser, and the Little Big Muff fuzz I mentioned before, I now also got an EHX Pitch Fork and an expression pedal.

It’s all attached to the pretty much smallest pre-build board I could find: a Fame Spaceboard 50S.

And I think I now want to buy a single dedicated power supply, which can power all those pedals. Because it’s currently a little annoying having to power the pedals all individually.

Anyhow: happy progress!

Last week I discovered Royal Blood and was blown away! Just check out this festival gig:

Royal Blood Live at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 2017
YouTube video: Royal Blood Live at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival 2017

They’re only a duo – a drummer and a bassist (!) – but produce an impressive (and innovative) sound. Have not seen anything quite like it. It’s like The White Stripes meet Muse and it’s brilliant!

I was actually thinking that I might have seen enough Opeth gigs by now. But no! Last night in Cologne was the best one I’ve been to (yet)! Great setlist, great light show, and – as always – great musicianship. Very happy we went.

It’s the time of year where I generally push my films to ISO 1600. And that means I now need to slightly readjust my brain again for guessing exposure.

And in April it’s all back to ISO 400 again.

More posts in my previous blog. Or you can browse the photo journal.