Sitelen Mute

Sitelen Mute is my fork of fgallery. It’s a static image gallery generator. It’s what I use to generate our galleries.

2020-03-24 North Seymour

When we landed in the Galápagos at Baltra airport, we were brought onto our ship and taken to the first island: North Seymour. It’s flat and dry and it has land iguanas, blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds, and sea lions. Here are some pictures:

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2020-03-21 Quito

A few weeks ago, before COVID-19 hit us over the head, Claudia and I flew to Quito, Ecuador, and stayed there for a few days before continuing on to the Galápagos. As we all have a bit of free time right now, I was able to create a little album. 🙂

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For my own reference: sitelen-mute -c txt -f --title "Quito 2020" --description "On our way to the Galápagos we stopped for a few days in Quito, Ecuador." --url https://alexschroeder.ch/gallery/2020-quito/ Quito 2020-quito && rsync --progress --recursive -e "ssh -p 882" 2020-quito alexschroeder.ch:alexschroeder.ch/gallery/

– Alex Schroeder 2020-03-21 15:57 UTC

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2019-06-23 Georgia

A while ago I wrote about the week I spent in Armenia. See 2019-06-01 Armenia. Once we had reached the northern frontier to Georgia, we left our Armenian tour guide behind, walked through the border control and started a one week trip through Georgia. What follows are my impressions, and a link to some pictures.

They have three different scripts. Wow!

Of the three scripts, Mkhedruli, once the civilian royal script of the Kingdom of Georgia and mostly used for the royal charters, is now the standard script for modern Georgian and its related Kartvelian languages, whereas Asomtavruli and Nuskhuri are used only by the Georgian Orthodox Church, in ceremonial religious texts and iconography. – Wikipedia

The sun is very bright and it’s hard to take decent pictures in Georgia. And it’s very hot, too. There are many tourists in Tbilisi.

The backstreets of the Tbilisi old town are dirt poor. This contrasts harshly with the glass-and-steel constructions of the Bridge of Peace, the president’s palace, and the residence of “the Boss”. No, this is not Bruce Springsteen. Up where the old fortress stands, next to the giant statue of “Mother Georgia” is another multi-storied, glass-and-steel construction that belongs to “the Boss”. The explanation given was this: Salome Zourabichvili might be the president, but the guy giving the orders is “the Boss,” some sort of rich Georgian who made a fortune in Russia or something. And that’s exactly how Georgia felt: the population is poor, the houses are falling apart, everything has seen better times, but there is also a class of very rich people who like to spend money – and maybe launder it, too? – on fancy projects: a new cathedral.

I’ve taken some pictures of Tbilisi, looking away from the bustling tourist areas, the water fountains, the green parks, the women singing in old churches, the coffee houses and luxury stores. I looked at the backyards within a few hundred meters of our hotel, in Metekhi, the old town. It looks as if there simply was no money to rebuild after a small earthquake. Buildings still stand, but there are sometimes huge gaps between the bricks. Half a house fell away but people still live in the remaining ruin. Half a church still stand. Right next to it, a fancy hotel has been built. A building is for sale and there are holes in the balconies.

Sadly, no pictures allowed inside the church while service is ongoing. I loved the singing. A priest reads a few monotonous lines and then a faint chorus of three or four women sing a few words. I don’t understand a thing. It sounds like a lovely affirmation of their faith. I watch them. The priest is facing forward, doesn’t look at anybody as he reads. The women are whispering amongst each other, looking at the gawking tourists, at the solemn faithful. As the priest comes to the end of his paragraph, they look at each other and sing their words again. So beautiful.

It breaks my heart to see grown people cry. I am not a religious person. The music touches me, but not the words. So I stand and gawk like the others. The people kissing the icons. The people cross themselves as they enter a church. I suspect that they also cross themselves as they see a church. They also cross themselves multiple times as they step out of church, always facing the church, walking backward, carefully, sometimes looking behind themselves to make sure they don’t stumble and fall out of the church, then crossing themselves again. I chuckle as I see this. The ground is often uneven, has been uneven in Armenian churches, too. That’s because so many people have been buried inside the churches. The floor is made of gravestones.

I look around again. The old churches have frescos. Pictures of Jesus and kings and animals and holy men and I don’t know what. They tell me that the Russians whitewashed most of these walls when Georgia was part of Tsarist Russia. Restoration is slow and expensive. Sometimes the uppermost part of a dome still has the original fresco. All this red! It’s strange. The churches I’ve seen are usually not painted. If at all, we have colourful church windows. Sometimes the people have their faces vandalised, or their eyes. They tell it was the huns who did terrible things in these churches and didn’t want the holy men to see what they were doing. It’s weird.

And then I step into a church where women are singing. One of them is crying. Another church. The priest is reading the scripture. On a bench along the wall is a woman, crying and holding her child. Another church. People are singing inside. Here, by the stairs, a woman is pressing her hand onto a slab of carved stone, tears streaming down her face. This breaks my heart, to see grown people cry. I don’t believe in God, but these people definitely need an invisible friend. They need more than that, of course. Hope, prospects, security, peace. I move on, but the memory keeps haunting me.

I see man old people begging in Tbilisi. I make sure to always have some change in my pockets and if I can, I hand out some coins.

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2019-06-01 Armenia

The cascades of Yerevan, the Geghard Monastery, the pagan temple of Garni – I like Armenia. I posted some pictures to my Mastodon account on Octodon Social. I’ll probably create a gallery after returning from my trip.

I love their script: Հայաստան, պաշտոնական անվանումը՝ Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն, պետություն Առաջավոր Ասիայի.

We saw many churches in remote places. Given that almost nobody I knew had been to Armenia I had expected very few tourists. But no. There are plenty. Happily enough also a lot of Armenian kids on a school trip, as far as I can tell.

These churches are often found at the end of beautiful valleys.

I’m surprised by how green things are in spring (end of May).

Seeing small bridges from the 12th century and an old caravanserai that used to be part of the Silk Road is exciting. And again, lush green grass covering the hills, and snow capped mountains at the horizon in all directions. I like the landscape and I wish the bus would stop more often for photos. I missed so many meandering streams, green meadows sprinkled with yellow and red flowers; black and red basalt columns; steep gorges.

We also saw a lot of beauty and decay in the far north of Armenia, where copper mines ruin the landscape and deindustrialisation has reduced the population by half.

Anyway, things are… complicated. Armenia is poor, plagued by memories of the genocide, in a frozen conflict with Turkey and Azerbaijan, thus the only contact to the rest of the world via air, Iran, or Georgia and Russia, and decades of cleptocracy. But a revolution last year seems to have improved the situation somewhat. But if the past has taught us one thing it’s that the people in power remain in power, the rich remain rich, and the corrupt stay corrupt. It doesn’t matter if you cut the hydra’s head. To stop it from regrowing takes decades. A first step is made.

But notice:

@OCCRP: “Current and former members of parliament, tax officials, honorary diplomats, and other Armenian officials have purchased expensive properties in Dubai, raising questions about how they could afford them.” – Wealthy Armenians Join the Dubai Land Rush

I brought back some pictures, too:

See 2019-06-23 Georgia for the rest of this trip.

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2018-06-28 Murten

We went to Murten for a three day trip and I finally got around to picking a few pictures.

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As always, some notes to myself. This time I created the album on the Mac. Sitelen Mute still seems to work!

perlbrew exec --with perl-5.22.0-thread-multi ~/src/sitelen-mute/sitelen-mute -f --title "Murten 2018" --description "Wir haben ein langes Wochenende in Murten verbracht." --url https://alexschroeder.ch/gallery/2018-murten/ /Volumes/Data/Pictures/Fotos\ 2018/Murten/Album/ 2018-murten

rsync --progress --recursive -e "ssh -p 882" /Volumes/Data/Pictures/Fotos\ 2018/2018-murten alexschroeder.ch:alexschroeder.ch/gallery/

– Alex 2018-06-28 11:45 UTC

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2018-06-28 Hamburg

We went to Hamburg for a four day trip and I finally got around to picking a few pictures.

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2018-06-13 Jurahöhenweg Rennen

I’ve been wanting to run the Jura-Höhenweg for a while now. I ran the first leg back in 2016, then two more sections in 2017, and now I’ve resumed my running. I’m also in a better shape and so I can run 20km (slowly) without a problem. This is great!

I should take even more pictures! 🙂

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Using Sitelen Mute:

~/src/sitelen-mute/sitelen-mute \
    --title "Jurahöhenweg 2016-2018" \
    --description "Den Jura Höhenweg Rennen." \
    --url https://alexschroeder.ch/gallery/2018-jurahoehenweg/ \
    Album 2018-jurahoehenweg

– Alex Schroeder 2018-06-13 10:22 UTC

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2018-05-15 Sitelen Mute

I occasionally work on Sitelen Mute, my fork of fgallery. It is a static photo gallery generator with no frills that has a stylish, minimalist look. It shows your photos, and nothing else. There is no server-side processing, only static generation. The resulting gallery can be uploaded anywhere without additional requirements. It even works without Javascript. :)

Example:

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