Nov 28, 2007

Videos

Just so they're accessible, I decided to upload videos directly to where they are needed... and not attacked by YouTube trolls.

Bachelor Finale Fall 2007
video

Hells Kitchen Finale Summer 2007

Nov 26, 2007

Parenting 101


Nobody told me this stuff before, so I thought I'd shout it out to the "Cavern of Crickets and Tumbleweed", otherwise known as my blog.

Rule #1
When you have the kids to yourself for the weekend, they will independently get up at 6:15 (subtract 7 minutes for each beer you consumed the previous evening). On Monday they will sleep in. Isn’t that nice?

Rule #2
If you remember to bring diapers, soothers, parkas, snow-pants, a bottle of chilled milk, Kleenex, raisins, stuffed animals, a bib, chocolate cookies, hats, mitts, scarves, Thomas trains and Robeez on a vehicular excursion, you will - by virtue of Newton's 4th law - forget wipes. Then your daughter will poo; the viscosity being proportional to the income of the people you are visiting.

Rule #3
If you let them “burn off some steam” by themselves, children will run into something that leaves a bruise shaped like an adult fist. When asked about this by their mother, they mysteriously won’t remember the cause. However, when others ask, injured children will say something like, “Daddy has a penis.” The older one will corroborate.

Rule #4
When serving children their 3 most favorite foods in the universe – food that their mother would strike you for even entertaining - you will not have the ingredients for chocolate milk. This will negate all fun that you have had in the previous 48 hours. Chocolate milk administered in the next hour will only make it worse.

Rule #5
Children sleeping in a moving car are subjected to an Einsteinian phenomenon known as “REM acceleration”, which stipulates that as one approaches the speed of light, time is sped up while mass increases. Thus, a 2-hour nap is completed in 15 minutes with a measurable increase in diaper mass. Sucks to be you.

Rule #6
PVRs are programmed to cut off the last, crucial seconds of all Dora and Diego stories. Revealing how the story ends is of little avail. Chocolate milk should be administered.

Nov 22, 2007

Ones and zeros, and lots of 'em.


(Sound of Homer drooling)

I'm a pretty big fan of the PC game. That's why I don't generally buy them - family responsibilities and all. But have a gander at this.

Iridium flares.


Here's something I first heard about this summer. As you know, there are satellites up there - you can see them at night and have arguments with whomever you're camping with as to whether or not they're planes.

Some of them have big solar arrays. The most notable are the Iridium satellites that service Iridium satellite phones (so named because they are really valuable, rare, and brittle).

Every now and then - at predictable times - they reflect light from the Sun to us, often at a brightness more impressive than Venus (magnitude -4.4). This "flare" lasts just a couple of seconds. Heavens Above tells you when to see one in your area, and where to look. What they do not tell you is that it is always cloudy at that time.

Nov 20, 2007

Passport Update.


Michelle and I just completed a pretty user-fiendly friendly on-line passport application. We're on track for a quick turnaround, but I have this nagging feeling that I accidentally clicked Cape Verde instead of Canada.

Mission Accomplished.


Hey, I'm no fan of crap TV that is going to get canceled in 4 days, but this guy does the best Dubya I've ever seen. (Click on the audio button for "Frank TV" on the main Onion page). Not a bad Dr. Phil, either.

I've seen this guy before, and I have a strong sense that this guy is being SNL'd into way more than he can handle. I really hope I'm wrong.

Nov 16, 2007

Media whores (with hearts of gold).


Anyone interested in the commoditization of modern art might want to watch this interview with Harlan Ellison.

It's a great (and blessedly brief) alternate viewpoint to the uber-capitalist ethic of most mainstream art - strangely enough, by a man demanding more money for little work. It also makes a very timely point, considering the writers' strike in Hollywood.

In my dealings with the world of microstock photography, there are two huge camps of people: those who feel that amateurs are "racing to the bottom" in their drive to achieve micro-fame and pico-money... and those who feel that getting some money for their art is better than not getting any. I am pretty firmly in the latter camp, but I can certainly see their point.

See this thread for a glimpse into the world of micro-haters. My (hard-earned) 2 cents is on display near the end. Note, also, that there are far more involved discussions within Flickr on this subject.

Nov 15, 2007

Second "Life"


From the makers of bottled water...

There is a game out there where (700,000) people just walk around and interact with other agoraphobic avatars. You can get a job, buy sh*t, go to strip clubs.

Is it just me, or does this makes "phone sex" seem quaint?

Among other things that would make you think you were being had, there is a woman who has amassed a (real) fortune by speculating on (virtual) real estate! Beat that, Tripp!

There is also someone who is collecting major dollars by stocking up virtual stores with her virtual clothing line!

I have a feeling I'm 16 months off the curve here, but this is pretty psycho. (On the bright side, playing D&D in the 80's is starting to look like joining the Peace Corps.)

Wiki article.

Who Dirty?


Another classic. It must have been the sight of Lieutenants Matisko and Thibault that brought back my craving for this duo.

(Boy, this ripping people off thing is tiring work.)

Nov 14, 2007

Put your junk in that box.


By popular demand - which is to say, one person mentioned this in passing the other day - here is the number one gift request for Christmas. (Just when you wanted to dismiss Justin Timberlake for the rest of your life).

Nov 13, 2007

Please stand by...


When technical errors go perfectly right.

Fun stuff.

This video shows that not all stupid ideas end badly. Even when they should.

...

All this space hijinx is funny and all, but the question still remains: Has anyone done it.

...

An oldie, but a goodie... push button, receive bacon.

...

If you've ever wondered what the rules are at the Soup Nazi's.

Movie (ahem) physics.


This site is a nitpicker's paradise; made for anyone who has ever had a little chuckle over Hollywood's inability to adhere to reality. Movies are even rated for how preposterous they are.
(Extra-special consideration given to the thesis-worthy 'Revenge of the Shit Sith'.)

Nov 12, 2007

CSI: Etobicoke

This was shot around sundown this past Saturday. Robert Byron Pyke supplied the cool-ass 10-20mm lens and the second flash, behind Mike.

Gord and Mike supplied their jaded mugs for this gritty spin-off.

(No word yet on the whereabouts of the 'Locomotive Lopper', as the police are calling him.) The rest of the shots are here.

Nov 9, 2007

Area couple drinks Kool-Aid.


The digital duo on Glenlake have just added their gear to the Big Nikon List.
No word on anybody else (looking at you, Mike and Widge).

Ken Murray. Genius.


If you dig seeing your friends reap the rewards they deserve, have a peek at Ken's award-winning fiction.

If, on the other hand, you like seeing the worst photo possible of said friend.

Thanks for the invite to the only best reading I have ever attended.

(Ken, you and I have a date with a cool location and some strobes.)

Jet Blue for cheap-o flights.

These guys got us a return flight for 2 to NYC for $357 US return. The catch is, you have to go out of Buffalo. As you might imagine, Pearson and Air Gouge Canada was significantly more dear.

Something to consider for XYNYX.

Nov 8, 2007

New Nikon Pool Update


M. Pyke has added his 2 cents, which is to say, his 2 grand.
See below.

Coolest. Ring light. Ever.



You may or may not know that Strobist geeks enthusiasts are obsessed with the fabrication of a cheap ring light. This guy wins, in my book:

The "ring light look" is a hot button at flickr, mostly because the pros who have exploited ring-lights for 30 years now say the look is "over".

This new design reminds of something even geekier.

Nov 7, 2007

Please submit your Nikon catalog.


Thanks to smarter people than me, we now have a group Nikon pool.
I have the following gear, available for borrowing almost anytime.
(Please respond with your gear inventory)

Jack's:

D70s
Battery grip
IR remote
SB-600 flash (with Sto-Fen Omni-bounce and gels)
Stock wide zoom (18-60mm)
f2.8 Macro/portrait lens (60mm) (90mm equiv.)

Non-nikon (not that it matters):
2 Pocket Wizards
Tripod
Lightstand
Clamp
Lens hood

Pyke's:

Nikon
D200 w/kung fu grip
SB-800 flash and 1m cable
Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6
Sigma 18-50mm F2.8
Nikon 28-200mm F4-5.6
Sigma 170-500mm F5-6.3
circular polazizer and 81A (red) filters
Film stuff: F90X and SB-28
Misc. Stuff
Manfrotto awesome tri-pod + couple of crap tripods
disc reflector
large black canvas sheet for backdrop

Wenderson Additions:

D40x
AF-S DX 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED Lens with Nikon Neutral Colour Filter

Matisko

Nikon D70s camera
Vivitar 19mm f3.8
Tamron 28 - 300mm (both lenses predate digital so focal lengths are longer with digital body)
Cokin filter system - nice clearspot filter
small gorillapod (coolio tripod)
regular tripod
Vivitar 285 flash (so old it's groovy again)
off camera flash cable

Nov 6, 2007

27th Annual Juried Art Show

If you only do ONE thing this month that supports the arts in north-west Etobicoke...

this is it!

I have a photo in the show. Enjoy.

First (past the) Post

This is a blog. You don't care. I'm good with that.