Thursday, May 28, 2015

IT HAS BEGUN!

MORTAL COMBAT!
I look at this picture and can't help but see the price tag from 1995, which was decent new car money back then. Now the total value of everything in the frame is hardly even a good weekend vacation for two, unless your car gets good highway mileage and  you're willing to book a twin at the Bedbug Suites.
The penultimate film bodies from Canon and Nikon. In Nikon's case, it's the last one marketed directly at the globetrotting pro photog. Canon had one more evolution with the EOS-1v. Fifteen or twenty years ago, the edges of every sports field or fashion runway would have been crowded with these things, blazing away.

For casual snapshooting around the neighborhood, these are like getting your groceries in an M1 Abrams, or taking a Group B rally car to to the post office. Only a fool would do that... and I am that fool.



Oops, fell into the internet...

Googling something up on the Nikon D1x, I stumbled across this blog and have fallen into the archives. Love his writing and his eye.

I'll have the free ice cream machine turned on soon, I swear.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Ugh, pollen.

Spent yesterday with the bones in my skull creaking and squeaking like the hull of the sub near the end of Das Boot, when it was sitting on the bottom.

Spent most of my life in Atlanta and Knoxville, two of the most pollen-y cities around, and not a problem at all, but there's something around here that's got my number. Looking back over older posts, it's sometime in April or May that my throat closes up and my head fills with mucus and I start coughing up lungs.

I need to go re-stock on Claritin. Whatever it is, it seems to have hit later this year, but it's worse than usual, as if to make up for its tardiness.
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I need to save this as a text-file...

...so I can copypasta it every time Indiana's weird deer regs get brought up in conversation:

Here's an interesting .pdf of a PowerPoint presentation on deer overpopulation and its impact, on page five of which is a map showing the estimated deer range in the US in 1947.

Note that in the crosshatched "scarce or extinct" area, you can see the borders in Michigan and Minnesota that are currently the demarcation lines of where rifle hunting is legal and where in those states it's shotgun-only to this day. Ask any Bubba in MN or MI why the south half of his state is shotgun-only, and $5 says he'll give you something about how its "flat and densely populated".
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"Stop Touching It!", Part the Whateverth.

Don’t take the gun out of the holster. Problem solved; problem staying solved.

Also… Stop Touching It!

(Seriously, the single most dangerous thing most people ever do with a loaded handgun is put it in a holster. Why would you not want to cut down on the times you have to do that?)
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Tab Clearing, Iraq Edition...

Some links I had open for a post that's just not gelling yet...

Automotif LXXXIX...

Does that look like the vehicle of a person with any f***s to give? No. No it does not.
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Monday, May 25, 2015

UnMemorable Day...

Go read...

Right here.
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Yum.


Drove up to Public Greens with Bobbi for lunch today. Despite the drizzle outside, the joint was jumpin'.

Across the table, Bobbi had the
Bahn Mi Lettuce Wraps
Pork Loin, Pork Pate, Pickled Carrot & Radish, Scallions & Cilantro, Chiles, Maggi Sauce
In front of me are (clockwise from top):
Pimento Toast
Olive Oil Drizzle, Roasted Peppers
...and... 
1st of the Season Basil 
Dank Pesto, Chick Peas, Carrots, Radish, Scallions, Quinoa
...and the pièce de résistance...
Pork Nuggets
Deep Fried Bacon, Pickled Scallions, Rhubarb Chipotle BBQ
On sampling one of the pork nuggets,which were cubes of some rich bacon deep-fried w/o batter (so it's gluten free, if that's your thing!) Bobbi declared "I've found a new religion..." as her eyes practically rolled back in her head. The rhubarb-chipotle BBQ sauce was delish. That was a big ol' bowl brim-lippin' full of umame right there.

Truthfully, either of the two bottom bowls would have made a dandy meal in its own right for me, especially given how rich the pork nuggets were. Needless to say, a takeout container was required.

Automotif LXXXVIII...

1969 Corvette Stingray spotted in the drive-through line at the local Steak 'n Shake. I was two cars behind him, sitting in the Zed Drei with the top down, but pulled out of line to grab a couple shots with the D1x. We exchanged smiles, waves, and thumbs-ups, and then I pulled around and got back in line. I'd lost a spot in line in the interim, but who cares?

Memorial Day 2015

Remember.
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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sizes...

L to R: Canon EOS Rebel XTi, Canon EOS 20D, Nikon D1x

SLRs from the big Japanese manufacturers have come in three distinct size/price classes for years and years now.

There are your basic consumer-grade cameras, with polymer bodies and pentamirrors instead of pentaprisms. The next step up are your "prosumer"-grade cameras, which are usually more ruggedly constructed, feature-rich, and offer some other benefits, such as powering up faster. On the downside, they're bigger and heavier, but not terribly much.

Then are the "pro-grade" cameras. These are big, heavy things, packed with batteries and usually with a built-in vertical grip. They've got pretty good sealing against rain and dust, although you wouldn't want to jump in the pool with one, and are built to take a beating.

My first DSLR was a Canon Rebel XTi (400D overseas) and it was your pretty typical consumer DSLR. It takes nice pictures and is actually my newest DSLR, and has the most megapixels and autofocus zones and what-have-you. However, when I was visiting with Marko a couple years ago and got to coonfinger his Canon EOS 10D that was a hand-me-down from Oleg, I got sold on the idea of a prosumer camera and ordered a used 20D from KEH.

Although the 20D is two years older and has a sensor that gives up a couple megapixels to the one in the Rebel XTi, it powers on slightly quicker and has a confidence-inspiring heft in the hands. I know these are just machines, but they're also conduits for inspiration, and so seemingly woo-woo factors like being inspired by the camera can matter. There are cameras I don't mind leaving on a shelf to collect dust, and then there are cameras that I can't keep my hands off of, that I want to pick up and paw and play with, that make me want to get out there and make photos: Which one do you think will give better results?

That brings me to the really honkin' big pro cameras. A kind reader sent me a Nikon F5, gratis. Now, the F5 may be a completely superseded 35mm film camera, but I remember when it was the mack daddy of them all. I am so madly, passionately in love with this thing, so unable to keep my paws off it, that I ordered its digital stepchild, just because, even though it's a totally outclassed camera in this day and age.

All this is a roundabout way of saying that, when I needed to do some macro photography of the Glock the other day, I pulled out the Rebel XTi, because that's where I keep the 60mm macro lens parked these days. After more than a year with the EOS 20D and my recent dabbling with the big Nikons, that Rebel felt so tiny and light! I want to put a little 40mm pancake lens on it and go walkabout in Broad Ripple!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

QotD: Not A Fine Line At All Edition...

From Popehat:
"The line between free speech and X" is often the rhetorical equivalent to "the line between vegetables and rutabagas": the author doesn't have a coherent argument that rutabagas aren't vegetables, but doesn't like rutabagas and thinks you shouldn't either.

Gun Nerds

Somewhere in this house is an old Powerbook, I think a 190, that I used back in '01 or thereabouts to keep a spreadsheet into which I assiduously copied all reported chrono data from gun magazine reviews. I even had a column that would automatically calculate the Taylor Knockout Value. I almost certainly used this data to argue on the internet. It occurs to me that I may have sounded like this guy, and I just want to cry.

If I can find that laptop this weekend, I am going to power it up one last time, just to delete that file.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Speaking of magic bullets...

10mm Auto Glasers: There's so much different hype I'm believing there that it's not even funny. I'm practically crossing the hype streams.
Once upon a time, I used to think Glaser Safety Slugs were the heat. Glasers, for those who don't know, are basically a copper bullet jacket wrapped around, not a solid lead core, but rather a lightly-compressed bunch of small birdshot pellets. The idea being that, on penetrating, the bullet basically comes apart, sending tiny little birdshot pellets into the assailant like a shotgun blast inside them.

The "safety" name comes from the idea that the bullet won't overpenetrate the bad guy. Further, should you miss and hit some solid object, the bullet will just disintegrate, rather than ricocheting or going through the wall and hitting the school bus full of nuns and orphans on the other side.

This all sounds great in theory, but the bullets hardly ever work that way in practice, and there's a reason that no serious users recommend the things. Ever heard the one about how fishing lures are designed to attract fishermen, not fish? Bullets are like that, too. Anyhow, my favorite Glaser Safety Slug story...

It must have been back about '87 or so, and I'd read some folderol about how devastating these Glasers were compared to normal rounds in an issue of Combat Handguns, borrowed from the magazine rack at work.

So we went to the gun store and bought some .25ACP Glaser Safety Slugs, which the writer in the magazine had sworn did more damage to a shoulder of beef than his .44 Magnum. There were even some fuzzy black and white pictures of what purported to be said shoulder of beef, all blowed up. But we were dirt poor and had blown our dough on the Glasers and couldn't afford a shoulder of beef, so we bought a chicken at the grocery store instead because... well, we were, like 19, okay?

That night we drove up to the old quarry on the mountain just outside town, which we frequently used as our informal shooting range (at least until the cops showed up.) We loaded one of the precious Glasers into our only pistol, my FIE Targa .25, and put the chicken on a fence post and drilled it. It was pretty underwhelming. The chicken didn't explode or anything, or even get blown dramatically off the fencepost. It just kinda rolled off and plopped on the ground.

We hopped into my friend's car and drove off, leaving the chicken for the coyotes, poorer and sadder but no wiser...
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QotD: New Math Edition

Because it's my blog and I can have two quotes of the day if I want to...

McThag, in a post discussing the New Economics Math (which postulates that $8.50 x 35 is a smaller number than $15 x 0) dropped this verity:
"I keep repeating, jobs are the side effect of a successful business.  If the costs are such that it can't be successful, then there won't be a business and thus there won't be any jobs."

QotD: I Don't Drop My Gun Edition

From a Go RTWT post at Joel's Place:
"Nobody who’s got your best interest at heart would ever demand that you be helpless."