Friday, December 29, 2006

Why...

Why does the internet cost five dollars?

... I mean, it's free at the airports in Charlotte and Tallahassee.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

St. Marks Wildlife Refuge

Okay, bear with me for a few minutes here:

River otter

birds in a tree

tracks in the sand

palmetto grass

osprey

gator

egret reflection

spoonbills

Egret

Wood Stork

Gull

Gallery here. That's what a wildlife refuge is for me. You'll notice american coots (I think), great blue herons, great white egrets, some smaller heron, bald eagles (both adult and juvenile), whatever sort of cormorant that is, white ibises, northern harriers, an osprey, some sort of rail or other shorebird, white pelicans (that's the shot of a bunch of birds against the blue sky), roseate spoonbills, female boat-tailed grackles, some smaller shorebird, a wood stork, a brown pelican, some sort of seagull, and whatever this thing is; then two different kinds of butterfly, a couple of alligators, and a river otter (YES! FINALLY!). There are also a couple of local color shots.

It was a five eagle day. I was also really happy with the stork. We watched the otter swim around for about 15 minutes, and the first set of herons and egrets caught six fish between them while we were standing there. I also saw common moorhens, a few kingfishers of some sort, red winged blackbirds, and mergansers.

Tallahassee backyard

Chickadee

Brown thrasher

Gallery here. These were taken at my Mom's house. You'll find Chickadees, a brown thrasher, a carolina wren, what I think is a yellow-rumped warbler, and the obligatory male and female cardinals. Neat!

Pensacola (mostly)

Some sparrow

Gallery here. You can find a red-bellied woodpecker, some kind of sapsucker (I think yellow-bellied), my as-yet-unidentified sparrows, and a tufted titmouse. While there, I also saw a hairy woodpecker (I think), blue jays, cardinals, and a gold finch. There's also a cat.

Oh goodness...

74 + 29 + 263 (!) = a whole lot of pictures for me to sort through for you tonight.

Battery report number two: second set of CR-V3 batteries lasted me until frame 2,812; that's a total of 1,661 frames. I replaced the first set of batteries at 1,151 (as documented in this post from July). This was a set of Energizer Lithium Photo cells.

I'll get galleries up as soon as I can.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sparrows unknown

birds

Click for larger? I don't know what they are, maybe you do. I'll find out when I get back.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Finally!

I uhh... on my flight from Washington to Atlanta, I finally made the same journey as a screaming child! Ha ha! I bet you're all laughing at my earphones now!

I continue to wonder how so many people fail to understand that whole "You don't get on the plane until they call you to do so" thing, but whatever - without that, I wouldn't be able to sit here in a different state complaining at you so you have something to read.

Also there's a frequently inverted child to my left. Thought you should know.

Aside: sorry I haven't had anything for you to look at the last few posts. That should change this week, at least.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Here's something to look at

This is what squirrel photography is all about.

Sorry, I tried to post this earlier and blogger ate it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

query

I posed this question:

(11:59:37) nurrwick: in the movie Being John Malkovich, does John Malkovich ever get to be John Malkovich by walking through the John Malkovich portal into John Malkovich's mind, thus falling out to the Jersey turnpike 15 minutes later? If so, when he fell out of himself (i.e., when John Malkovich Malkoviched the John out of John Malkovich), did the universe end?

Two part question

At what point in the morning is it okay to start thinking?

--and--

Is it okay that I woke up at 4:30 (a full hour before I usually wake up) even though I only went to sleep half an hour earlier than normal?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh yeah

I've discovered that The Content Vortex actually renders quite nicely on the version of Internet Explorer included with Windows Mobile 2003 second edition.

Uh... just in case anyone cares, anyway.

Two days in a row...

... that I have to sit here at work waiting for people to come do stuff. Yesterday, we gave them a 10-4 range and they arrived at 3:45. Today, State Use is supposed to have showed up first at 8:55 (no!) and then at 12:00 (no no!). Waiting is so awesome.

I'm very bored and I wish I could go outside. I thought you needed to know that!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And here's a hawk

Hawk

I wonder how many people noticed that. I think it's a sharp-shinned hawk, if you care.

Earphones

Kit
Plug

Aside: on the 7th of December, my Shure E2C cabling failed. About 3/4" away from the right side earpiece, the cable cracked open. I dropped them off at the Union Mail Boxes Etc. on Monday the 11th. UPS received the billing information later that night, meaning they had the package on their radar or something. As of this past Thursday, it still hadn't gone anywhere. I resolved to go down there, and was told that "this happens sometimes" and it would eventually either start moving or result in the insurance process going into action. I am, as you might be aware, flying to Tallahassee on Sunday. I "need" earphones for that that don't suck, so I decided to go ahead and purchase a set of Etymotic Research's ER-6isolator earphones. These are the 16ohm phones, not the more professional ER-6 phones.

Given that, I'd like to compare them (just in case someone ever cares enough to search for it).

The most striking difference between the ER-6i and E2C phones is their construction. Both sets are isolating in-ear monitors, so the nature of the fit in my ears is the same for both. I prefer the three-flange rubber tips (you see them above) to Shure's single rubber covering because it's smaller around and deeper, so I feel more secure wearing them. The end of the phone itself, though, is open to the atmosphere. The E2C phones are (apparently) completely sealed to the outside world - the stress relief is embedded into the housing, which is, itself, glued together quite securely. The ER-6i phones have a small flap covering the end of the opening. The overall feel is closer to earplugs than phones. The bigger problem, though, is that the ER-6i cabling is HORRID. It's about the same quality you'd expect to find on a pair of $7.99 Koss headphones you bought at a Giant. Yes, they include a shirt clip, but the cable has to be about half the diameter of the Shure cable, and it's of the type that, if it weren't for the little metal thing around them where they spread off to your ears, you could pull the two earphone cables separate all the way back to the plug. I bought the kind that came with a right-angle plug, though, which is helpful for the way I use my iPod.

When I plugged these in and sealed them (initially painful because the triple flanges seal better than the rubber sleeves on the Shures), I noticed almost immediately a much boomier bass stage. After getting them home and trying a couple of the other included sleeve options, I decided that these are much more consumer than the E2C phones are. The high and low range are both very prominent in the sound stage, and (while I'm willing to chalk this up to having not broken these in yet, I still feel obligated to mention it) the overall midrange sound is much, much harsher or colder than the Shures. I will have to keep an ear on it over the next two weeks to see if they improve as I use them, but I would definitely need to re-encode my music to at least 160kbps or 192kbps (AAC) to be pleased with these for everyday use. I think a part of that, though, is that these reveal the high-end failings of the AAC codec - I think it's not as warm as MP3 as it throws away information.

Anyway, as it turns out, UPS found my warranty repair envelope. Eventually, I'll be getting a new set of E2C phones, which will go back to being my primary headset (thanks to the better weather sealing and the fact that it's easier to replace the tips, now that I know B&H sells them). I will keep the ER-6i's around, but I just don't think they're as good as the E2C. For the 15 dollars difference, I'd be hard pressed to say the upgrade isn't worth it - and the Shures come with a 2-year warranty. Etymotic gives you 90 days, I think, but even then - these are not built to last in the outside world.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Thanks

I was thinking about this yesterday - I know I have 5 or 6 or 28 regular readers or whatever, and I also know I believe I don't update for you often enough.

Hence thanks - Josh and Anonymous, you've helped turn this into what I believe has to be the best source on the internet for Photography and Car Repair Discussion.

I polled a sample of one (me) and to certify the decision, I am hereby borrowing the approval logo from Futurama.

Voted Best

Wink!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Holiday Party

We're having an ugly ornament contest today for the potluck lunch.

This is my entry:

Ornament

Wink!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sunset

Sunset

Sunsets are pretty. The color is what I wanted to convey. I hope if you live around here, you got the opportunity to see it too. A couple extras, plus some other stuff.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Just to pass the time...

I took my car to the car magic place. No, I don't have a garage to work in, but also, I don't trust myself with brakes. I didn't trust myself with brakes on my VWs, I'm not about to start now (disc brakes being even more terrifying to me).

Sadly, the guy told me that it likely wouldn't be till Thursday that they got it up on a lift to tell me what the damage would be. They did tell me, however, that brakes were generally same-day, so I guess I can hope for that.

Whee!

I'm pretty sure I need both the rotors in the front and the pads on all four wheels replaced. Bets on cost?

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Labels

I went back through August/September '05 labeling my posts. It sucked, so I chose not to classify any of the millions of them before that. Whatever, now when you click on them, they should keep you entertained for more than 5 seconds.

For reference: "digital" and "Film" correspond to me talking about the merits of said; I don't think it matters what medium my pictures came from, plus you can probably figure it out for yourself anyway.

Friday, December 8, 2006

A Recreation

The Creation of Ness

We were messing around with the black hole glitch and accidentally happened upon Ness reaching out to the... well, electrified foot of Fox/Falco caught in the middle of the turnip/PK fire death.

Yeah, video game nerd and art humor rolled into one post!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

A Tale of Film

Sunday, as you may remember, I finished my first roll of film since the last color film I put in my ZX-L in May. It's black and white. I tried to take it to techlab for processing. Tried, because techlab has since closed. I can't say I'm sad to see it go; when I was still using their services regularly, they were mangling my pictures more than Ritz. They were, however, the only place I could physically go to and request on-site black and white processing that I know of up here.

So, since I promised you pictures, I'm going to put up one from Thanksgiving of last year that I took and used to be proud of because the only place I ever saw it was printed, where it seemed to be... well, a lot more contrasty than it really is.

Down the creek
It can be clicked!

Whatever, throw your monitor out of adjustment and enjoy the same view I used to.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Beta weirdness

I switched to blogger beta. I may have ended up introducing additional idiocy into the process of posting things, but hey - you have to spend money to make money.

And from Sunday...

Trailway

upper falls

more upper falls

Green thing

Consider that a preview, I guess. I finished off a roll of film finally, too, which I'll drop off for processing tomorrow. Yes, it's black and white. Yes it's Cascade falls.

There's more from this and the zoo (below) here if you're interested. A couple of others that I may have put up for contrast or something, arguments with people at work, I don't know.

Owl

owl

I didn't end up having much to take pictures of because I was enjoying my day too much, but the owl's expression was worth it. If only I had gotten a picture of the tawny frogmouth's yawn, or if we had seen the kiwis...