1/19/37 12:00 am - friends only
1/19/37 12:00 am - friends only
4/22/07 04:19 pm - It's official.
I'm old today. 32 years old, in fact.
Without being all emo and acting half my age, how do I feel about this? Well, 32 is like the geek version of the big three-oh, a significant number, two to the fifth, another digit in binary, another milestone. It's the point at which I ask myself, why the hell am I working in a factory? What kind of life do I want to live? And what the hell am I doing in small-town Michigan of all places?
If I had pat answers to all of these I'd probably be a little older and wiser and not necessarily right, or a little younger and perhaps half right. There aren't really any answers to the future here. They're all there, in the future. Each moment is at best its own question and its own answer. And somehow this is reassuring to me.
(Those of you playing along at home with solar arc direction may wish to observe that Ur=MC becomes partile in about a month.)
So, happy birthday to me. What's for dinner? Well, that's a tender subject.
4/16/07 01:53 pm - Gmail looks out for me.
I saw this link in my web clips on Gmail, and Wired is only a little behind the curve:
Note to everyone: MySpace is not the Web. Get ready to move on
Now, that's not exactly what the article said, but it certainly plays to my personal beef about MySpace: it's a sandbox.
3/26/07 04:42 am - I promised myself I'd stay off my car unless absolutely necessary...
1/24/07 02:14 pm - A little camera upgrade
One of my coworkers brought in his new Digital Rebel XT yesterday. I fully expected that he would have some sad glass hanging off the front of it, but no, he's gotta have a Canon 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM on it. After the shoot with Nikki, I found a number of shots that just plain didn't turn out because of chromatic aberration, and it occurred to me that I should use something better than a $70 lens for such projects. So I found a pretty good deal on a used Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 EX DG and it should ship from North Carolina tomorrow. If all goes well it will arrive on Saturday.
What's more, I expect I might be doing a little bit of event photography soon, not enough to justify buying my own IS lens, but enough that maybe I could convince my buddy at work to hold on to mine while I borrow his. Rocky Rocky rah rah rah!
1/14/07 03:08 am - The new computer...
totally blew my mind. I am 450% amazed at the sheer speed of this thing, an AMD Sempron 2800+ on some random SiS-based motherboard. Wow.
Loading up a Canon raw image takes maybe 15 seconds from clicking OK to getting the image window, versus a couple of minutes on the old machine. Compiling? Hah, trivial. It rebuilt MPlayer in like three minutes. I can play my music collection again (and it's not even showing up in top). I can feel my sanity coming back already.
Productivity + sanity = ruling the world!
There's always a catch, though. There's a minor and sufferable bug in the video driver and I don't really want to rebuild a ton of dependent crap just to fix. So for now I suffer.
In other news, my roomie has a MAN! over, and he happens to be allergic to cats. So I'll entertain the kitten for a while.
1/2/07 12:33 am - Internet etiquette question...
They reply and point you to their MySpace. Ugly pink bling-blinky backgrounds, ONE blog entry, 98 "friends", each of whom commented "thx 4 the add!!!1", more bad grammar, ugly IE-only stylesheet,... in short, just one of the tens of millions of useless, bad MySpace pages out there.
What can you possibly say in response? "Wow. That's very... uh... MySpace"?
Website is kinda coming along. I'm asking the landlord's son if he has a computer he can spare (for an appropriate price, of course). I'm pretty sure he's got several lined up in the basement, just begging for some TLC and a buyer.
12/23/06 06:03 pm - And it gets even better...
After a little big of wriggling and wrangling I get a booting computer together, based on Sarah's motherboard and my storage. It's a bit slow, okay fine. I, like a silly twit, try to irebuild the X server. That was a day and a half of wasted compiling. Oops. So, taking the easy way out, I install Ubuntu over the seldom-used WinXP partition that was tied to the motherboard anyway. Now I'm typing along at some 50wpm, and the text rendering is happening at a brisk 3 characters per second. This is unusable. Needless to say I won't be editing any photos on this thing for a while.
When I get some more time I'll try plain old Debian and see if Ububtu's pervasive internationalization is what's sucking the life out of this thing. But for now I'm just glad to have some kind of graphics. I guess.
12/19/06 02:33 pm - A cramp in my style
A couple of days ago my computer decided to act weird. The screen would go blank and the system would stop responding, but the monitor wouldn't go into powersave. Easy -- either motherboard or power supply was getting ready to go. Power-cycling fixed it, a couple of times, and then it went permanent. Oh well, the power supply that was in there was getting a bit lame anyway. Replace power supply -- no change. Powerup gets me eight beeps -- video gone bad. So it's time for a new motherboard.
Maturally it breaks just at the peak of holiday shopping and holiday prices. Dude, this part's really f'ed up right here, as Stan Marsh says.
This means that I'm now stuck with Internet access through my even older-school laptop. 96MB of RAM and a 1024x600 screen with only thousands of colors means I won't be editing photos this week.
I'm tempted but not so tempted to wait until after the winter holiday to order a new system that's somewhat modern. Wouldn't it be nice to have DDRAM instead of SDRAM? For "only" $85 more I can do that.
12/18/06 01:04 am - Processing... please wait...
So AdoramaPix has a sweet sale on large prints, and this makes for a great (and cheap) time to test out my color management workflow. So far, it SUCKS. Now, normally I don't mind using the command line, if I have some idea what's going on. Problem is, I only kinda know what's going on, and I have fears that the grey, washed-out thing I'm told I should send to the printer will come back looking at all good. I'm braced for at least one shot to come back looking atrocious.
(After all my fretting, watch all these prints come back looking just fine. I'm sure more pixels won't hurt matters much.)
I took half an hour out to add an out-of-gamut warning to GIMP's color proofing module. It's a nice thing to have on those occasions when you need it.
11/12/06 08:57 pm - Braving the cold cold.
Yesterday I spent an hour and a half out in the cold and wet ghetto-rigging my tail lights. It was great, and full of excitement. The important thing is that they turn on, and that I could get a police officer to sign off that they were no longer defective. Hopefully I can slip in under the wire tomorrow and get it to the court in time for them not to assess a fine.
That umbrella I ordered last week has waited long enough. I may as well get a nice one that damnwell better ship Monday. Otherwise I'll just have to cry, and nobody wants that.
11/8/06 02:28 pm - The world made safer for... someone.
Interesting election. TradeSports called it, with the House picking up some 25 Democrats and the Senate staying under GOP control. Oh well, you can't win 'em all. I recall Don Wildmon or some other hypoChristian scum reminding the GOP who took them to victory. Methinks a similar reminder for the Democratic Party is appropriate.
But will this get us out of Iraq? Nope. Like W all but admitted, it really IS about oil.
KITTY! Roomie now has a kitty (or, rather, kitty now has my roomie). She's cute, gray, and called Tuesday. She's also very reclusive at the moment, not being used to her new digs.
In sadder news, lighting stuff I ordered for this weekend is on backorder and won't be here in time. I am disappointed.
And finally, I don't wanna go to work. Waaaa.
10/23/06 08:23 am - Equanimity.
Welllll, that didn't quite happen. Real Life was a little too busy for her. (I also had some equipment issues (like a six-inch sync cord and no umbrella is going to get me anything better than snapshots! pfeh.) I don't mind so much, though. I got a chance to work on my website (writing a photo album from scratch with no database to back it up, when you're just learning PHP, is an adventure indeed) and a few ladies at the show expressed interest in seeing my work.
RHPS last night was pretty damn good. It's a shame to see Jason leaving the troupe, though. My most fervent supporter and promoter is now leaving the land of the good, kind, sane, sexually deviant people. Ah well. We'll bring 'im back somehow.
It's been a good weekend, mostly.
10/15/06 11:16 pm - The too cool shoe
"Linux is only free if your time has no value."
Well, this weekend I think I can value my time at around USD 3.50/hr.
Sometimes you go and buy something that costs way more than it's objectively worth -- say, a $1 chunk of plastic for $10 -- but the shape the plastic is in makes it valuable to you. Then you think to yourself, "Wait! I have scrap in my junkpile that will do exactly what I need, after a bit of work." And so goes that slippery slope. Today's mudslide is the Too Cool Shoe, a hot-shoe cable made from bits of an old telephone.
( Marvel at my cheapness!Collapse )
10/14/06 10:15 pm - Nibbles grow teeth...
So one of the ladies I left my information with last Saturday wrote me back, expressing interest. I sent her off a pile of info, and if all goes well, she will be here next Sunday, and fun will be had by all. I also have a new light coming, once Succos is over and our good friends at B&H Photo start shipping again. Hopefully it too will arrive in time.
My bathroom is about half clean. I did some work on the shower, mostly because I have a shot I want to use it for, and I did some work on the sink, mostly because it needed it. To do: mirror, window ledge, toilet, walls. All these I can manage to do tomorrow, I think.
10/10/06 03:05 am - I'm a wild and untamed thing...
I actually got out of the house one Saturday night and headed to our dear Labyrinth to enjoy the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Except for the HIP-HOP ACT that preceded the show (WTF mate?) and the bad sound (had to all but break into the booth and bypass the noise gate -- an hour after the show had ended), it was a good, solid show, if sparsely attended. Frank N. Furter was played exceptionally well by a young lady moving to Wyoming to work in a Thai restaurant called Thai Me Up -- how cool is that? My good friend the propmaster had a lot to drink, with predictable ramifications. I left my eyes-only site address with three potential models; so far, I have only one nibble and a suggestion that I might fare better at Mephisto's. Since this is the third time Mephisto's has been recommended to me, by unrelated people for unrelated reasons, it may be worth the trouble.
(However rarely I may post, it's more frequent than sunny_skye's public posts.)
9/27/06 12:55 am - New toy!
I spent a little time playing around with the camera. Nothing noteworthy, just a few test shots to get used to the whole twisting of rings. Edward came up to visit but it didn't turn into much of a shoot -- bad timing, bad hair, bad lighting, bad intestinal disturbance (note: do not eat entire bags of sugar free chocolates).
Speaking of acclimation, RAW + TTL viewing has changed my process somewhat. I don't waste time bracketing like mad anymore, since the extra bits from RAW allow me to swing half a stop either way in the "darkroom". (I may well eat those words after I lose what might have been The Keeper and have to resort to something drastic like posterize or threshold to save it...) I also put a little more thought into each shot, partly because I can only fit 60 or so of those glorious RAW files on my one 512MB CF card, partly because I now have a reliable focus confirmation indicator, and partly because I'm still a n00b.
Observation #1: An APS-C sensor is much, much larger than a 7mm CCD sensor, which (due to surface area among other things) is much faster than the big guy. In outdoor photography I can just slow the shutter speed a lot. Shutter speed adjustment does essentially nothing to strobes, and with the sad lights I have I need a dangerously slow shutter as it is. So, I could use more light. And that's what I'll work on acquiring over the next few weeks.
Observation #2: Narrow depth of field is sexy. The trick is not to overdo it.
9/17/06 03:44 am - Necessary replacement or boondoggle?
A few months ago my old Powershot A70 encountered a large chunk of dust inside the "sealed" sensor/lens assembly. I partially disassembled it according to a step-by-step teardown on some Estonian web site, couldn't get to the bits I needed with the tools I had, and just reassembled. Not much later the sensor died and all I see now is black. Maybe the sensor cable came loose from the board -- but I didn't manage to get rid of the spot anyway, so it was time to upgrade.
The greater portion (?) of my latest money sink has arrived... a used Canon Digital Rebel XT in usable condition, found for $445 (shipped) in a for-sale section of a photography bulletin board. The transaction went faster and more efficiently than eBay ever went. Negotiate and pay on Wednesday night, receive camera on Saturday afternoon. No wasting time overbidding at the last second twelve times a week, no paying 10%+ eBay premiums, no hassle from scammers offering fake "second chance offers" (to be paid by Western Union).
The lens arrives later this week. Then I'll find out what loading RAW files on a prehistoric machine is like. I get the feeling I may soon spend money on computer upgrades and Compact Flash. When I start seriously looking at L glass, you are hereby authorized to stage an intervention.
I had someone at work ask me to photograph their child. Now why in hell would I want to do that? I can't rightly shoot subject matter I have less than zero fondness for (and that's pretty much how I feel about young children, so cope), and besides, if I find I'm good at that, every trailer-trash heifer at work's gonna want the same for their widdle pweshus. I also turned down a young lady who aspires (!?) to be a SkinnycideGirl. The current ripoffs I've been dodging these past two weeks are quite enough to hold me for the next several months without shooting a whole set that will probably wind up on SG without so much as an acknowledgement.
In other news I found another worthy experimental electronic musician (whom I chatted with on a semi-frequent basis when I was on the citadels), Brandon Reid Huey. His latest project is known as Crashed By Car. I vote you try it.
9/3/06 11:00 pm - Maturity, or just getting old?
Just now I was surfing eBay for a camera, and thought to myself, "This site needs a good dose of AJAX."
Who the hell am I? I am clearly a different person than I was five years ago. Then, I was absolutely adamant that The Man should know as little about me as possible. Today I click on some random link to tribe.net and am only mildly disturbed that it knows to direct me to the Detroit part of the site. Impatient, or efficient? Mature, or just older?
(The music currently playing was recorded at a club in Austin, TX when I was recently unemployed and relatively flush with cash, just after peak dotcom. A trip to Austin would have made a lovely birthday present to myself, especially in light of that he never did any more live shows and his website still dates from 2004. Should I instead be playing Hall & Oates "Missed Opportunities"? Lament. Kids, take this as your cue to take care of your stuff, maintain it well, but do not deprive yourself of any opportunity to take in art you love, no matter the cost. It may not be there on the next go-round.
<edit>Nope, I lied. As part of his new project Iris he did three live shows in the US and an extended tour of Europe. None were even close to nearby, and it's a shame that Fuse or whatever they're gonna call it next year isn't that kind of festival. As if I needed more sirens calling me to Seattle.</edit>
Also, be aware that at this very moment I am doing the lj equivalent of drunk-dialing. Drunkjournaling would be a fair name for it, even if three beers is a bit too pansy-assed for some of you to properly call "drunk".)
8/5/06 09:21 pm - Stolen internets clog your tubes
Photographer posts on plagiarist's blog about who actually took certain pictures on a trip to London. Plagiarist engages lawyer to send cease-and-desist sent to photographer to protect plagiarist's Google rank and business interests. Flickr users cooperatively find most of plagiarist's "work" was stolen, word spreads to plagiarist's potential customer base, and googling plagiarist's name returns photographer's page as top hit. With any luck, plagiarist may soon be asking Chicagoland residents if they want fries with that.
As a photographer, this gives me a little tear of joy.