Daves Journal, October 2010

Libra (Sep24-Oct23)

  • You're most definitely a thinker - you like to use your mind to tackle problems.
  • Your outgoing nature and love of communicating brilliant ideas to people around you is one of your strengths.
  • You not only have the ability to share your ideas in a very natural way; you also have charm in the way you convey your feelings.

Poem . . . .

busy busy, this and that
take a picture, get a cat

marching band of Holy Cross
me the worker, Chris the boss
she say "do this" me say "yes"
will it work? can only guess

pick new cat up, eyes are oozing
looks like me when i been boozing
medicine for kitties eyes
stick it in and kitty cries

half of poem is laughs for you
other half is too too true


The Stock Market Crash of May 2010

If you recall, in May of this year the stock market plunged drastically and sent the financial world (and everyone with a stock-based retirement account) into a panic. Well . . . the SEC just determined that the crash was caused by one trader who had programmed his/her computer to automatically sell off massive amounts of stock if a certain trigger point (?) came about . . . and indeed it did, and indeed he/she sold the stock and shocked the world. Everything was perfectly legal. Scary though how one person can do that much damage around the world. . . . from the BBC :→→→

The so-called "flash crash" on 6 May saw the Dow Jones index fall 10% in just minutes. The report was prepared jointly by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission. It did not actually name the trader. It said a "large fundamental trader" used an algorithm to sell 75,000 stocks worth $4.1bn extremely rapidly. (Algorithms are a mathematical process used for calculation and data processing.) The large trader's firm is named in internal SEC documents as Waddell & Reed Financial, according to news wires. The report said the trader initiated the program to sell shares to offset the risks of an existing share holding.

Scanner Art

inspired by some stuff i saw on the internet, i grabbed a batch of garden leaves, scanned them and sweetened it in the GIMP . . . . and got so excited about it, I started a web page on the topic . . . Dave's Leaf Scans

Out on the Town & Packin' Heat

In general (there are exceptions), I think that every adult US citizen should own and know how to operate a gun and practice using it regularly. This is not a popular opinion around here, but it's my standpoint, and I think it's a good idea.

I also think that it is a mindlessly stupid idea to allow people to legally carry loaded weapons around town and into restaurants and bars. That is not a popular opinion in (at least) 22 states that allow people to do that, but again it's my standpoint.

I am not going to argue my case, as (like abortion, religion, politics, sports, computer operating systems and cameras) it's pointless to argue about it.

Customer: Waiter, please remind that man that smoking in a public restaurant is illegal, and we are eating dinner in a cloud of his smoke here.
Waiter: Yes, sir, it is. But he's carrying a loaded 9mm and he's drunk as a skunk, so let's let him smoke, okay?

A last dig (from today's NY Times . . . ) "Rick Perry of Texas, a Republican, called for guns to be made legal on campuses after a shooting last week at the University of Texas, Austin, arguing that armed bystanders might have stopped the gunman. "

. . . . . (and yet we laughed at Archie Bunker back in the 1970's who wanted to arm all airplane passengers as they boarded their planes. )

The Last Roll of Kodachrome

jpg By most photographers accounting (mine as well), Kodak Kodachrome slide film was the most perfect color-reproducing film ever . . . nothing came close. But the very last roll of Kodachrome has been shot (by legendary photographer Steve McCurry) and the world is waiting to see what it recorded. (Watch for something ? from National Geographic to find out.)

I won't pretend that my photo-creating skills are up at the kodachrome level, but I am going to miss seeing the work of the masters as recorded on the master of films.

Mike (aka, son of Dave) pretty much nailed it during a lunch (breakfast ?) we had.

Me (aka, dad of Mike): Photography degraded from large film to medium film to small film (35mm) and finally down to digital sensors (worse than 35mm) viewed on pathetic monitors at 96 ppi (compared to paper prints at least 300 dpi).
Mike: What drove that downward change was how most people look at pictures these days . . . on a shabby 96ppi monitor, and that's just fine for most everyone.

Yet another step downward for "progress".

Lexi, the cat

here is the new addition to the household . . . Lexi (short for "perplexing") . .

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she is an extremely sweet cat and has already been an enormous help with typing on the laptop.

Health Care Spending vs Life Expectancy

Mike sent me a link to some data on what countries spend on health care. This is a list of the total medical expenses per person, per year versus their average life expectancies, for a bunch of industrialized countries. I am not yet ready to pack up and leave the US based on this data, but I sure will excercise my right to say "someone should fix this . . . and it sure a sh#t won't be anyone from the health care industry".


It does make you step back and look at the data. Except for the U.S., there does seem to be a positive relation between spending $$$ on health care and life span for the rest of the world. I am guessing that the singular US data point is caused by profit-taking and over-prescribed tests and medicines.

If we were on the same track as with the rest of the world, for our current life span of 78, we should be spending only $2500 - $3000 per year (instead of the $7300 we are spending). . . . or live to be a healthy 95 (which is what the global trend extrapolates to for our $7300) !

jpg Renamed Cat

Zach weighed 14 pounds and ate more than i did . . . don't know what this new kitty weighs but she eats more than Zach on his best day, so she is now called (borrowing from Native American societies)

Arizona : Illegal Immigrants & Refugees

from the NYTimes . . .

Arizona accepts more refugees per capita than almost any other state and treats them well.

In Arizona, illegal immigrants get the boot. But refugees get the welcome mat. Even as officials rage at what they have called the "invasion" of illegal immigrants, mostly Mexicans, Arizona has welcomed thousands of legal immigrants from such grief-torn lands as Somalia, Myanmar and Iraq, and is known for treating them unusually well.

Indeed, the scorched expanse of the Phoenix valley can seem like a giant resettlement lab. Bosnians trim the watered lawns of the Arizona Biltmore, and Karenni speakers have their own prenatal class at St. Joseph's hospital. A Sudanese goat farmer is thriving in a desert slaughterhouse built with a micro-enterprise loan. (He is glad to demonstrate his skill in turning goats to goat meat.)

Hai Doo, a laundry worker from Myanmar, got grants to buy his first home. Yasoda Bhattarai, a new mother from Bhutan, credits 10 weeks of free hospital care for saving her daughter, who was born with tuberculosis. "Whenever people ask me about Phoenix, I tell them it is the best place," she said.

Only three states accepted more refugees on a per capita basis over the past six years. Arizona took nearly twice as many refugees per capita as its liberal neighbor, California, and more than twice as many per capita as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Wedding on Cape Cod (Literally !)

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jpg i will not shoot another wedding . . . too much stress for a retired guy . . but i still think that (for the important photos out there in the future), i need to trade in my (wonderful but too large) Mamiya C330 for this Fuji645 . . . its film negative is 3× the size of 35mm format, and the camera is not very big.

this 60×45 (mm) negative is 18× larger than the sensor in my new Nikon digital camera . . . that is, it has 18× the resolution that the Nikon has! . . . sent and e-mail down to KEH to start negotiating . . . i'm am thinking minimal cash flow on this deal.

I watched a few of the wolfman classics last night . . . and scanned some cartoons from the New Yorker . . .

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Finished Tami and Joe's wedding photos and sent them the links:

Formal shots and Candid shots.

Why the world sucks, Chapter 345

jpg We just dropped $300 to replace the radio/CD player in Deb's car. Went to Best Buy and spent so much time asking questions, and got so much reassurance that the Kenwood#345U was what I needed, as it also has a USB port to plug Debbie's $350 i-pod into the radio.

She can't get it to work, and I spent half an hour and I can't get it to work. Went to the Kenwood website and they have a "compatability" matrix of their radios and i-pods. (No one at Best Buy ever suggested that there might be a compatability issue with various radios and various i-pod models.) As you guessed by now, the Kenwood #345U does not support her i-pod model. Radio = $300, i-pod = $350, downloaded tunes = $222 and she still can't play her songs in her car.

And people wonder why I am a grumpy old sonofabitch !

(shown over there on the right is a painting on slate that Sheri gave me for one of my previous . . . actually, what else would it be other than "previous" ? . . . birthdays)

jpgBonomo's Turkish Taffy

Some poor souls that I know (and love dearly) have never taken a ride in a 1956 Chevy or on a Schwinn Phanthom bicycle, have never watched a Marylin Monroe movie . . . and have never broken a few teeth on Bonomo' Turkish Taffy.

But happily, some enterprising mail order people up in Vermont are opening the door to that fine experience for those who missed out on the 1950's.

i am presently enthralled with scanning dead leaves

jpg speaking of dead things . . . . name the worst scary movie you have seen in the last, let's say, day or so . . . for me (and Lexi, the Cat) that's an easy question . . . . that would be Dracula's Daughter (1936).

I can't imagine what the production people were trying to accomplish here . . . this is so bad that I (who loves bad horror movies ) turned it off after 15 minutes.

This film definitely gives bad movies a bad reputation.

jpg Out with the old . . . in with the old . . .

Traded the Mamiya C330 for a Fuji645 rangefinder. Theoretically, this is a positive step in . . . evolution ? . . . progress ? . . . dogdoodoo ? . . . only time will tell.

Loved the Mamiya but it weighed more than me and so I never carried it with me. The Fuji promises a world of medium format portability . . . . now all I need is a film processing lab that I can learn to love.

Oct.22.2010, Lanscape along a trail . . .

(shallow depth of focus created in postprocessing)

jpg Laura

One of the very best detective dramas ever filmed. The plot: a detective falls in love with the victim of a murder he is trying to solve. Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price.

Hardboiled Detective: You said Harrington was rubbed out with a shotgun loaded with buckshot, the way Laura Hunt was murdered, the night before last.
Snobby Suspect: Did I?
Hardboiled Detective: Yeah. But Harrington was really killed with a sash weight.
Snobby Suspect: How ordinary. My version was obviously superior. I never bother with details, you know.
Hardboiled Detective: I do.

I have no intention of linking to all the exotic and fabulous photo sites that I know of, but (that aside), if you want to see how a master of the craft records scenics, this would be a website for you to look at: Andy Barton's photos

High School Volleyball

We watched Elise's team play volleyball nearby last night . . .

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from the New Yorker . . .


my favorite photo

jpg every now and then, this comes up in a discussion of "what's the finest image that you ever recorded?" . . . we put our cards on the table and study and scrutinize and criticise and analyze.

well . . . my favorite all-time photo goes back a ways before we were married and went to DisneyWorld and i was in the process of creating another classic, timeless masterpiece of photo excellence, when D step in front of the camera and waved to me before my reflexes could stop the shutter button.

turns out that if i had to save one image of the 40,000+ that i last counted, this would be the one, and the lesson that i learned from it has made me a better photographer over and over again.

leaves . . hundreds . . . thousands . . . . millions of them . . . and then the wind comes and you start all over again . . . gif



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if i wanted people to take me seriously
i'd keep my mouth shut.

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