I’ll be honest: I’ve been in a writing slump.

Every time an idea sparks in my head, I realize my time is probably better spent outside enjoying the beautiful summer air. Every time I shoot a photograph, it remains on the SD card inside my camera and only occasionally is imported into my computer.

Pete Denison wrote a piece at the end of May which I need to refer to these days. I don’t need to feel guilty about a hiatus, but I do.

Here’s a short list of awesome links from the past week. Most of them have to do with traveling the world, so you can probably guess what’s been jotted down in my Field Notes notebook over the last week.

When To Hold Out For A Lower Airfare — Somewhere I read the magic day to buy an airplane ticket is approximately 51 days before your voyage. That was an average of European purchases, Asian purchases, and North American purchases. Looks like there’s other — and potentially better ways — of getting the lowest possible price.

Who’s Actually Buying iPods These Days? — After reading, the answer to this question seems obvious. But it’s hard not to argue the iPod is a dying breed these days.

A Taste of Austria — Getting a sense of my travel itch yet? This nifty timelapse shows the highlights of Austria.

My wife and I are planning a big hurrah trip to Europe for next summer sometime. The more we talk about the trip, the more we are convincing ourselves to go all out and see everything. If so, Austria will be guaranteed a spot in the itinerary.

Panasonic GX8: An Evolving Review — The GX8 marks a big stepping stone for the Micro 4/3 system. This is the first Micro 4/3 sensor to leapfrog the 16MP sensor found in every Olympus body these days. I just can’t get over the look of the GX8. Call me vain, but I want to be inspired to pick up my camera.

On the 20MP note though, this surely guarantees the E-M1 Mark II will come packed with the latest top end Micro 4/3 sensor from Sony. Between a 20MP sensor, improved in-body image stabilization, an even better viewfinder, and a wider range of video capabilities, the E-M1 Mark II will surely be a hit amongst enthusiasts looking to make the switch. I’d buy it if it had a removable grip — I want to be able to pare down my camera when necessary.

Numbered days: Freelance accounting with Apple’s spreadsheet — Dan Moren’s piece for Six Colors hits the nail on the head. As an accountant, I’d choose to house a company’s books in Excel (sorry Numbers fans; I just can’t jump aboard that bandwagon) before buying expensive software. We use Sage 50 (formerly Simply Accounting) full board at our office, but the power of Microsoft Excel is a very close second.

And hey, a pen and paper isn’t completely unheard of either. Ledger books work out surprisingly well too.

Lisbon — Sam Burton’s travel photography sits at the absolute top of my “To Emulate List”.

Field Notes Colors: Workshop Companion — Jinnie appears to be a bit ambivalent with her outlook of Field Notes Brand’s latest COLORS edition.

If you haven’t stumbled upon Jinnie’s Field Notes review archive yet, I’ll flat out say it’s the best on the internet. Each review has a burst of photos comparing colours, papers, themes, and so on. And her analysis of these notebooks goes deeper than anyone else online.

The more I use my Workshop Companion books, the more I enjoy them. The thicker paper is something to get used to though, as I find keeping the book closed is a bit of a chore. The paper is also a bit toothy, but I don’t mind the added grain every now and then.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 — My pursuit of the Panasonic Leica trifecta is now more than half complete. I found a fantastic deal on a like new Summilux 15mm f/1.7 lens this morning. Many people say this an odd focal length for a lens arsenal, but I want to try my hand at it before judging.