Monday, December 29, 2008

The Greatest Gift of All

...and a return to analog blournaling.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Am I Done Or Not?

Because I thought I was done.

Again with the climatic mood swings. 0°F one day, then 44°F just a few days later.

I hear some folks experience a climate that actually doesn't suffer from these random bipolar mood swings.

fig. 2: The weather forecast on Prozac.

Because I'm just trying to figure out whether or not I should unhook the battery on the scooter and call it done until, you know, "spring".

Monday, December 22, 2008


For those of you keeping score at home, more snow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How To Ruin Everything

A step-by-step guides with examples band.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lost In Transmission

...or "How UPS and USPS Do Not Mix."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Because a Typed Letter Can Be So Cold

And speaking of cold...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The So-Called "Northeast"

Guess I was a little wrong about yesterday's post. We're actually spanning 51°F in three days. From Monday's low of 1°F to this morning's high (fig. 1) of 52°F, I challenge you to find another so-called inhabitable place on Earth that has these kinds of mood swings during so-called daylight hours.

fig. 1: Wednesday AM temp of 52°F

Did you think of another place?

Okay. Great. Oh, and here's the view out my window by noon.

fig. 2: 31° and snow

There's an hysterical figure of speech in these parts that says if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. So funny the first time you hear it. Sooo funny. I prefer the less popular and non-CoC-approved "If you don't like the weather, you should probably move."

So when you visit on that picture-perfect day in June, get the proverbial sand in your toes, and decide that you will relocate to a better life (by the way, highest taxes per capita in the country. Yeah, that's right - suck it, Hawaii!) remember that Winter starts anywhere from October to December, Spring doesn't begin its slow start until May, and days tend to be somewhat cruel inbetween. Oh, and sometimes summer doesn't happen. Oh, and say goodbye to your kids when they graduate.

Find yourself a good indoor hobby and this all gets much easier to take.

fig 3. The hobby of photography often works as suitable therapy for cranky bastards.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

Spanning 45°F in three days. It just ain't fit.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

By Special Request

Like most people, I don't normally take requests, but the last post really could've used a photo. This one isn't nearly as good as the photo in this post, but this time, I went for safety. Anyway, here I am. Speeding a little bit, but that tends to happen on this damn thing.

Technical notes: I slung my camera around my neck and twisted the strap to shorten the length. Flipping through the menus (which I actually did first) I found an "interval" mode on my camera, which I had never used. I set it to take one shot every three seconds, and off I went. Hands-free shooting.

What did we learn?
The camera needs to be higher. I think the shot works best at eye-level. A slower shutter speed would've been good. It would blur the background and give a sense of motion. As it is now, you have to read the speedo to really even know whether or not this was a moving shot. The same mistake was made here, where the shutter again was set too fast.

Not only is the background not blurred - you can even see the spokes. As far as conveying a sense of motion, this one gets an F. I got a bit of the 3D effect I was looking for with this shot, but slower shutter speed still would've been the right way to go.

Beyond all this, a wider lens would've been nice for today's shot, but I used the widest one I have.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Count It!

Photo not available.

37°F. 6:30PM. It was a short ride but it was not without purpose, and it was quite enjoyable, thanks to the new windscreen. Now the scoot has been out in December.

When I decided to enter the world of the two-wheelers, I'd resigned to the idea that I'd only be able to use it six months out of the year. Always nice to be proven wrong about that.

Now please don't ruin this with any of those so-called "facts" about actual days spent riding. What are you, my wife already? Damn!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Thanksgiving III

This year, Thanksgiving took shape very much as it has in the past four years. Even though I hope to one day go to a restaurant for Thanksgiving, we're not quite there yet. In the meantime, I don't complain about the way this holiday goes. It's an event that I engineered. I don't mean that I invented Thanksgiving, I mean... well here's what I mean:

A few years ago, someone in the extended family (in an attempt to commandeer all the holiday events) announced that the Thanksgiving holiday would be held at their home. Step two was to delegate. Each invited party was to cook an assigned dish and bring it. The hosts cooked a bird and that was that. Reasonable? Well, sure (and nothing beats a good 'ol reasonable holiday) but I'm not a big fan of the, "Hey, why don't you cook yourself something and eat it over here" approach to holiday entertaining. If I invite - I treat. And, no, I didn't do the inviting or the hosting, but with a sensible, compartmentalized and frankly, cold and impersonal arrangement such as this, it seemed to make little difference exactly where it was hosted, and that bugged me.

So with a little concentrated brain power and some carefully chosen words, I managed to get the Thanksgiving feast relocated and redesigned and it's now a much less Socialist-driven affair. Na Zdorovie!

This year, while we snacked on various and sundry appetizers, an old man holding a beer with his one good arm, climbed up on the excercise bike and tried hard to pedal. It had been set to its most resistant setting as a deterrant to the very young.

fig. 1 "Disaster"

He didn't fall, but can you imagine if he did? At the very least, the beer's going flyin'. There ain't much to grab onto if you do start to fall, and you know he's going to land on that bad shoulder. I told him I was taking this picture so I could show them at the hospital exactly what happened. ...and he laughed and laughed.

Then we hit the Thanksgiving plate assembly line.

I'd like to note at this point that, being the pain in the ass that I am, I wear my shoes in the house.

I make sure they are clean and dry and that I'm not dragging dirt around or leaving little puddles for the sock-wearers to discover, but I do not mope around in my socks. It just ain't how I roll. I wear shoes.

None of this is what's important here. What's important here is that we ate this...

Closer look, maybe? Okay.

Oh my GOD! I'm telling you, I got nothin' against the whole food chain concept, and, well, aside from the fact that you shouldn't just be randomly cruel to an animal, can't say I'm really onboard with the animal rights movement. As I've plainly stated many times before, bacon is freakin' ridiculously good, but come ON! LOOK at that.

Here's my whole problem with meat; you gotta catch it in the right light. You gotta catch it on the right day. You have to smell it at the right time. And if all these things line up just right, you still have to be really careful how you handle it. On top of all that, it has a fairly limited window of opportunity concerning consumption.

So good luck with all that.

...and Happy Holidays.