Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Merry Christmas. (Part II)

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013


Blogger, with occasional reindeer.

(Why, yes, that reindeer’s nose is red.)

(Why, yes, as a matter of fact, you might even say it glows.)

Nobody knows…

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

You don’t often see $300 items at the supermarket. Especially in the produce section, as opposed to behind a locked cabinet in the wine department. (I’m not sure, but I don’t think even the highest-end champagne HEB stocks hits the $300 mark.)


We have a feeling that Prince Kropotkin would not approve.

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013


(Wiki wandering led me to the article on the Big Boys:

Over the years the group played with five drummers in all; Steve Collier, Greg Murray, Fred Shultz, Rey Washam and Kevin Tubb who played only one show (the bands first) because Steve was sick.

Spinal Tap really was a documentary, and we just didn’t know it at the time.)

(Edited to add: Hurrah! The U2/Popmart/giant lemon story is immortalized online! What did I tell you? (Scroll down to “Rock and Roll Creation”.) By the way, I own and enthusiastically recommend This is Spinal Tap: Official Companion.)

…a lot like Christmas…

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

It seems to me that the Christmas season doesn’t really kick off here at WCD World Headquarters until we spot this year’s silly Pez dispensers. How can you follow Lord of the Rings or Millard Fillmore?

Would you believe…


From Satan’s personal representatives here on Earth (you young kids may not remember this, but there was a rumor when I was young and KISS was a going concern that “KISS” stood for “Kids In Satan’s Service” or “Knights In Satan’s Service”) to having your own set of Pez dispensers. Rock and roll. What a biz.

(Not really Christmas or Pez related, but in the same “what a biz” vein: if you have a spare $2 million, you can be the new owner of the old Johnny Rotten place in Malibu.)

Random notes: November 28, 2013.

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Some thoughtful posts on the FDA and 23andMe: Derek Lowe. Popehat. Overlawyered.

This is how I want Lawrence‘s tax dollars to be spent: safety tips on turkey frying from the Round Rock Fire Department.

All the Vermeers on the Eastern Seaboard.

(There was a period of time when I was going to see a lot of movies at the Dobie Theater here in Austin; this was before the Alamo Drafthouse, and Dobie was the “art” film theater. Anyway, it seemed like every movie I went to see had the trailer for “All the Vermeers in New York” in front of it. Drove me absolutely bugf–k nuts. The trailer was so annoying, it killed any desire I might have had to see the movie.)

Photographer Saul Leiter passed away on Tuesday. I had not heard of Saul Leiter until I started listening to the “On Taking Pictures” podcast (which is my new favorite podcast in the world): Saul Leiter is an obsession of theirs, to the point where he made it into the OTP drinking game.

To be serious, I wish I had found Leiter’s work much earlier. There’s some good stuff over at the NYT Lens blog about him as well.

Dig if you will the picture.

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Daring Fireball had two links yesterday to stories about the shutdown of Everpix.

I hadn’t heard of Everpix, either, but Gruber praises it pretty highly: “Everpix is how photo storage should work.” It might have been something I would have tried, if I had known about it. But I’d never seen even a mention of it anywhere until Gruber’s posts yesterday. This might explain why they are shutting down.

Everpix sponsored the DF RSS feed twice this year, which is how they first came to my attention.

I guess that demonstrates how effective sponsoring the RSS feed of a notorious Yankees fan is. Seriously, why were they not advertising on places like the On Taking Pictures podcast as well?

I don’t want to rub it in. It is sad that these people are losing their jobs and their money, especially if Everpix is all that and a bag of chips. But I do want to note one other thing from one of Gruber’s linked articles:

…Everpix became a finalist at the competition. (They lost the $50,000 first prize to Shaker, a bizarre kind of Second Life-meets-Facebook social network that raised $15 million and hasn’t been heard from in a year.)

Here’s the Shaker website.

Shaker creates online venues where you can host events of different kinds for just about any size of audience. From live-stream music events to networking events and conferences.

What differentiates this from, say, Second Life? A lack of giant dicks?

Here’s their blog. Enough said.

They got $15 million out of investors for this? I have got to work harder on schemes for separating fools from their money. Hmmmmmm…maybe a cross between Groupon and Second Life?

Edited to add: Ooooooh! Ooooooh! I know! Warcraft meets Google Offers! You kill monsters, and when they die, they drop special offers like “$15 for $30 worth of food at Mom’s“!

VC investors, the email address is on my contact page.

Texas flood.

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

It rained pretty hard last night. The Lower Colorado River Authority actually opened floodgates on Tom Miller Dam, which caused Lady Bird Lake to rise like excessively yeasted bread dough.

Reagan Hackleman, who used to work for KXAN and is a freelance photographer, went out and got some photos.

His gallery is here. I won’t even hotlink; just go over and look at the photos, especially that first one.

S’il vous plaît ne pas déranger les canards.

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

I was a little off the grid for the past couple of days, but I’m back now and getting caught up.

In the meantime, this one goes out to great and good friend of the blog (and new dad!) Weerd Beard: ducks!






(I took these with the little Canon SD1000, which is still a really good camera many many years after I got it for Christmas. I didn’t bring the big Nikon because I didn’t feel like lugging it around (and I’m glad I didn’t, as it rained hard last night). I did bring the iPhone and took a handful of photos with that, but I forgot my Olloclip set. And this would have been a good chance to experiment with it, too.)

The bishop!

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis temporarily expelled a German bishop from his diocese on Wednesday because of a scandal over a 31-million-euro project to build a new residence complex, but refused popular calls to remove him.

I wanted to highlight this because of the illustration attached to the article:

What the FRACK is this? I don’t think it is a photograph: is it supposed to be an artist’s conception of the new residence? It looks like someone used a fisheye lens to take a photo of a Thomas Kinkade painting.

Stop! You’re doing it WRONG!

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

I had the day off yesterday, so I spent some time with my mother helping her run errands. (One of the disadvantages of those Dyson vacuum cleaners is that they’re a real rhymes-with-witch to get into and out of a Honda Civic. Another disadvantage is that important pieces are made out of plastic and seem to break easily.)

We decided to check out the new Trader Joe’s and the new Wheatsville co-op, because, you know, reasons. (New! Shiny!) I note that neither store had any sort of “No guns allowed” signage, much less a legally compliant 30.06 sign. But I digress. Again.

I found this at Wheatsville. Click to embiggen.


In case you can’t read it, that’s “Primal Strips” “meatless vegan jerky” in “Texas BBQ”, “Teriyaki”, and “Thai Peanut” flavors.

“meatless vegan jerky”. Couldn’t make this up if I tried. What is it with vegans/vegetarians and the emulation of meat products?

In a related vein:

They held signs featuring photos of animals in pairs: a kitten with a fluffy yellow chick, a puppy with a piglet.
“Why love one but eat the other? Choose Vegetarian,” the signs said.

“Why love one but eat the other?” Oh, I don’t know, Bob: maybe because chickens and pigs taste good, while dogs and cats don’t. (I can’t say for sure: I’ve never eaten dog.)

Or maybe it has something to do with charisma; dogs and cats have it. I’m dubious that pigs and chickens do, though there was the great pot-bellied pig boom of a few years back…

Answers to Tam (Gratuitous Gun Porn)

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Tam posted hers, so I figured I’d respond by posting mine. Though mine’s not quite as pretty, and she’s a better photographer.


My records show I bought this on my birthday in 2006. (I know I was working at The Other Place when I did buy it. I also know Tam was still working at Coal Creek Armory, because I emailed them looking for Safariland .41 Magnum speedloaders, and she responded.)

It was picked up used at McBrides for $417 (including tax). I figured it would make a nice home defense gun; if you can’t stop a rampaging home with six rounds of .41 Magnum, you should at least be able to fight your way to your elephant gun and put a couple of rounds of .460 Weatherby through the bay windows.

(Yes, I will be here all week. Try the veal, and remember to tip your waitress.)

Anyway, I got the gun home, picked up a box of remanufactured .41 Mag at the next gun show, and took it to the range. Can’t have a home defense gun you haven’t shot, can you?

I set up at the bay, took aim, and…

(click click click)
(click click click click click click)

Capstick mode.[1] Sigh. My friend Karl recommended a good gunsmith, and $125 later, I had a gun that would go “Bang!” instead of “Click!”. As I recall, the cylinder timing was a bit off, and my smith said the previous owner had apparently trimmed a spring to make the trigger pull lighter. It probably would have gone “Bang!” with factory .41 Mag ammo, but the remanufactured stuff had harder primers…

Even at $500+ all in, I’m still pretty fond of this gun. If I had to hike in bear country, this would be the sidearm I’d take. It doesn’t have a lot of collector value, thanks to the refinish (the barrel was also cut down from 6″). But, though I can’t prove it, it has the same feeling my pre-Model 10 does: that this was a gun carried and used daily by someone who relied on it, knew exactly what he wanted and why (like Earl Swagger), and made the changes he wanted without worrying about future collectors.

[1] “The most terrifying sound in the world is not the scream of a descending bomb nor the roar of a charging lion, but rather a click when you expected to hear a bang.” –Peter Hathaway Capstick

Photography is not a crime.

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

But official misconduct and filing false records are.

A New York City police officer who had arrested a photographer working for The New York Times has been indicted on three felony counts and five misdemeanors accusing him of fabricating the reasons for the arrest, the Bronx district attorney announced on Monday.