Sunday, October 22, 2006

Today's Venture

Most of you know that I've been dabbling in cutting my own mats for photo framing. This morning, still in my sleepwear, I embarked on something a little different. I had the strange idea to make my mat opening(s) match the general lines and "feel" of the photo that I would make a mat for. I looked through my archive and one photo jumped out at me. It had the "feel" of being diamond-shaped, so that's what I did. I used some black mat board I just bought, and started cutting. I made it for an 11 x 14 frame. This is the result, after putting it in a simple document frame.

While heading out to get the frame today, some unusual cloud patterns were in the sky. This one looked like one helluva tornado - but in an otherwise clear blue sky? Hmmmmm..... I hope the crows were flying under their own power. ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Steven Wright

For those who don't know him, he's a rather droll, monotone stand-up comic. I first saw him tonight on Comedy Central. He was pretty good. A google search turned up a lot of his one-liners, which is mostly what he does - one after another. Here is a sample:

All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my hand.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.

When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.

Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

Join the Army, meet interesting people, kill them.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.

When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.

Boycott shampoo! Demand the REAL poo!

Who is General Failure and why is he reading my hard disk?

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.
So I said, "Got any shoes you're not using?"

My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted.

Someone sent me a postcard picture of the earth.
On the back it said, "Wish you were here."

Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country.

I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

"Did you sleep well?" "No, I made a couple of mistakes."

My dental hygienist is cute. Every time I visit, I eat a whole package of Oreo cookies while waiting in the lobby. Sometimes she has to cancel the rest of the afternoon's appointments.

My socks DO match. They're the same thickness.

Officer, I know I was going faster than 55MPH, but I wasn't going to be on the road an hour.

I have two very rare photographs. One is a picture of Houdini locking his keys in his car. The other is a rare photograph of Norman Rockwell beating up a child.

I stayed up all night playing poker with tarot cards.
I got a full house and four people died.

I used to work in a fire hydrant factory.
You couldn't park anywhere near the place.

I went to the hardware store and bought some used paint. It was in the shape of a house. I also bought some batteries, but they weren't included.

I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums.

It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to have to paint it.

Right now I'm having amnesia and deja vu at the same time.

What's another word for Thesaurus?

When I get real bored, I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot, then sit in my car and count how many people ask me if I'm leaving.

When I was crossing the border into Canada, they asked if I had any firearms with me. I said, "Well, what do you need?"

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Picture Frame Mats

Over the last few weeks, I've been delving into a tangent to my photography. I am now cutting my own mats for my photos and frames. Basic hand tools allow me to make anything I see at the stores, and at the same time allow me to customize mats for odd sized photos that would normally have to be special ordered. I've only done rectangular mats to this point, but I can do anything but circles and ellipses. I'll be able to cut out letters and other block shapes without too much trouble.

This is the latest one I cut. It's a simple 8 x 10 photo for an 11 x 14 frame. I donated this matted photo to a silent auction that will benefit The Downtown Women's Shelter.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Warranty Truck Service

After work today, I had to get my truck worked on - warranty stuff. The tailgate cables were originally made with galvanized steel, and were prone to deteriation and rusting. The notice said they'd replace them with stainless steel ones. The manufacturer paid for it. Anyhow, today I got a reminder of why I do all the service on my vehicles that I can - and never take it to the shop if I don't have to. I have a big mistrust of auto shops, be they independent or dealership. Today's experience just supported that mistrust.

I had the multi-page notice that the mfr. send me sitting on the passenger seat when I turned it over to them. When the truck came back, it was gone. I asked the head dude where it was, and he went back into the shop area to get it for me. (I keep all such paperwork for my records.) He explained that it "must have fell out". I didn't buy it, but said nothing. There were fingerprints and greasy smudges on all the pages, as if someone nosed through it. As far as I'm concerned, they had no business even opening the passenger door so my papers could "fall out". They were to work on the tailgate, for Pete's sake!

As I was leaving, I noticed that my employer's parking placard was disfigured - it was very obviously bent. It has never had a bend in it - ever. They messed with it, too. Again, there is no excuse for it!

Add to all this, this is the first dealership/shop I've ever been to, that I've never been able to see the work area. There were no windows, no observation area for the customers at all, just an isolated lounge - albeit a nice, comfortable one. Anyhow, not being able to see the work area adds to my mistrust. Questions go through my mind. What are they really doing? Why is it taking over an hour to change two tailgate cables? (It should take no more than 1/2 hour - tops!) Are they doing something to it in an attempt to get me to come back for more service? Even Wal-Mart and Jiffy Lube let you watch them work on your vehicles!

Maybe I'm paranoid, but some things didn't seem right at all. If it wasn't warranty work, I would have gotten the cables and done it myself. One thing's for sure: I won't go to that dealership again for anything.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Proud Of My Country

Today's small plane crash into the high-rise in NYC was tragic. I was pleasantly surprised that things were handled as quickly and efficiently as they were. Within minutes, our fighters were scrambled over many cities as a precaution. Even though it was likely it was an accident, they took no chances. Also, the NYPD and FDNY was on the scene almost immediately, tending to business - even in the shadows of 9/11/01. You know it had to be in their minds, yet they continued to carry out their mission.

Yep, I'm proud of my Country. It seems as if we've learned a valuable lesson.

Semper Paratus!


It's in the air. I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek of a local haunted house today. In the dark, with the black lights and strobes - it will be a good show. :) There are moving displays, compressed air jets, and all kinds of lighting to satisfy thrill seekers. Reminds me that I have to get some decorations for the house. I have the sick habit of scaring kids that come around trick-or-treating. I'll have to prepare myself. ;)

At the end of it, a maze rounds out the house - with nothing but black walls, black curtains, and many dead ends. In the dark, it will be tough to get through.

Promised Moon Shot

I promised to show you a moon shot if I got one to come out. I did - kinda. I need to work on my exposure, but it isn't bad. I've proven to myself that at least I can do it.

This was taken with ISO 200 film, at 1/60 second - I think. I'll try again as I can, to get the right exposure and clarity.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Recent Events

Over the weekend, I went to Santa Fe hoping to get some good fall color shots in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. From there, I had intended to see the mass ascention at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

Saturday was a great day in the mountains, albeit a bit hazy. Had a great time, with many beautiful sights of and from the mountains.
Hermit's Peak near Las Vegas, NM, is clouded in a haze that was typical of the weekend.

(The above shot was taken at 10,000 feet elevation.)

The Aspens were nearly barren above 8,000 feet, save for a few tops that still had some stubborn leaves hanging on.

The mass ascention Sunday morning was a bust. The weather wasn't good enough, with the low ceiling and rain/thunderstorms crossing the Albuquerque area. Unfortunately, it was called off Sunday. Maybe next year.

All in all, a very good weekend.

On Monday, I had to go for jury duty - 2nd elimination. I was there from 9:00am until 7:00pm. 50 or 60 of us were in the pool, and they finally picked the 14 "winners" at 7:00. What a long day! No, I wasn't one of the lucky winners. I got sent home.

Friday, October 06, 2006


I recently deleted my accounts with Delphi forums, and it seems that one of my "adversaries" from there isn't satisfied. A certain "Princess" of Dublin has shown no tolerance of my thoughts or opinions when I was at Delphi. Now it seems that she has to come poking around my blog - only lurking. If my thoughts and opinions are so unwelcome in her mind, why bother stalking me? I didn't think she cared. LOL!

Who Is it we see, The Princess of Dublin?
(Throughout the 'net, she goes a-troublin'.)
Sam Spade can see through her thin disguise

His vision is clear through the ISPs eyes.

(Buzz off, "Princess".)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cat Clock

Remember this one?

Moon Shots Coming?

Several months ago, I bought a telescope adapter for my Canon camera. I hoped to some day take some full-frame (or closer) shots of the moon through a telescope we have in the house. I kinda gave up when I couldn't get anything to work with it. Tonight, I tried the last thing I could think of, before I put the adapter up for sale at eBay - a 3x Barlow lens.

I inserted it into the adapter and tightened it down with the thumbscrew. I attached it to the body of my Rebel GII and slid it into the telescope tube in place of the diagonal. (The diagonal is the 90 degree adapter that the eyepiece goes into.) My camera was mounted and ready to go, looking straight down the telescope tube. After getting it lined up with the just-more-than-half moon, focused it in, and voila! One beautiful view of the moon! It filled the frame, but by its nature it had a little vignetting. That's the same effect you'd get by looking down a paper towel tube. The edges of the view are not rectangular, but a round black border. I took several shots, guessing at various shutter speeds. After I go through about 15 more shots, I'll see how I did. If any come out, I'll post 'em here.