Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Yeah, yeah, I know. This blog has been offline for months. Blame the summer doldrums, blame blogger laziness, blame the new baby, blame other recent time-wasting discoveries like Facebook and Twitter (of which interest in the latter is waning), blame lack of interesting content. Whatever.

Lucky for you, dear reader, there are some things that are just stupid enough to spur me to action (and rip me from my semi-retirement).

Courtesy of "The Fresh Market", a store proving that the road to hell is paved with good intentions[1][2][3]. I present an attempt at raising funds to fight diabetes by selling you foods most likely to give you diabetes. Well planned.

(Click the image for a slightly larger, more readable version.)

[2] Did I ever mention how much I liked superscript? Well, I do.
[3] A lot.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

High-wheel cycling...ur doing it rong.

One of my hardware vendors constantly sends me classic photo post cards. This one arrived today. I thought it was worth sharing.

The back of the post card reads "Perilous ride down Capitol Building steps, Washington DC c. 1910. Photographer unidentified". So I assume it's in the public domain.

(I originally posted this on Bikecentric, but I liked the image so much, I wanted to post it here as well.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Don't judge

While sitting around BSing with my buddy Steve after a mountain bike ride last evening, a guy on a mountain unicycle exits the trail at the end of his ride. We get to chit-chatting with the guy when Steve mentions that we tend to ride singlespeed mountain bikes (i.e. no gears). The guy with the mountain unicycle looks at us kinda quizzically and asks something to the effect of "Why would you ride *that*?"


B!tch! At least we got two wheelz!

Friday, May 01, 2009

No Hours of Lodi Farm

Sadly, due to a death in the wife's family, I'm not going to be able to shoot one of my favorite races of the year - 12 Hours of Lodi Farm - which happens noon to midnight, Saturday.

You racers have a good time. And try not to do anything interesting or particularly photo-worthy till next year, k? Thx.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Leesburg Baker's Dozen race photos posted

I've posted my shots from the Leesburg Baker's Dozen mountain bike race. The gallery can be found here.

The posted shots are free for the taking/use non-commercially (Facebook/blogs/whatever). A photo credit and a link back to the gallery is all I ask in return.

Full-res digital files are $15. 8x10ish" prints are $25 (assuming my source image is good enough to sell/print). Email me if you're interested. The posted shots are straight out of the camera (no post-processing). Any full-res file or print will be hand tweaked and should look better than the web version.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Cross-posted here and at my other blog, cuz, face it, content around here has been pretty sparse lately.

Processing pix from the Leesburg Baker's Dozen race on Saturday. Shot roughly 700 shots. There's gotta be one or two worth sharing...right? Right?

We can only hope. Stay tuned. Pix, write-up and lessons-learned coming in the next day or two.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sadly, I'm beginning to detect a pattern

Normally this wouldn't be fodder for a full blog post on its own, but I figure since it was so closely related to an earlier post, I'd mention it.

"Rare megamouth shark caught, eaten in Philippines"

Monday, April 06, 2009

Cue the tumbleweeds


As buddy Spearman was kind enough to point out, stuff around here has gotten somewhat stale of late. Reasons for the staleness range from "How many blog posts about poopy baby diapers can one man make?" to "Twitter <3s my ADD." Who really needs more than 140 characters at a time, anyway?

In general, I haven't really been up to too many long-form-blog-worthy exploits lately. Photography time has been limited by baby time. As has biking time. I did manage to sneak in a couple of MTB rides over the last week. And I performed as poorly as I expected I would. I also decided that I much prefer freewheelin' off-road to fixin', so I converted my SS back to freewheel. The current plan is to build up a fixed/free rear wheel using the spare flip-flop IRO hub I bought a while back and an old 26" rim I have lying around. Only thing missing are correctly sized spokes (the ones I had lying around were too long). Er, and possibly a frame to mount it that I think about it.

A while back I signed up for a Twitter account. And although it has the potential to be a completely annoying service, it's actually pretty entertaining. I can't explain exactly why. I enjoy tossing out 140-character missives every now and then. And I enjoy the one-on-one connection you feel you get with other Twiterererers, famous and non-famous alike. (Example: I thought it was cool that I knew about Lance Armstrong's broken collarbone before any of the news services had a chance to get the story out. Of course, so did Lance's ~350,000 other "followers", but still). In an attempt to breathe some life back to this blog, I used a plug-in to mirror my Twitter posts here (top right side of the screen, in case you missed it). I find I use Twitter as a place to post semi-interesting things I find online. Links and such. Cool enough to mention, yet not worthy of a full-on blog post here. If you partake of the Twitters, you can follow me here.

Lessee...what else?

Photography: Like I said, I haven't been shooting much. I did a bit of in-home studio stuff, and have a few other ideas. But to be honest, it's not the most exciting shooting. And I've totally gotten bored with my photo-a-day project with the baby. Luckily, the wife has her own camera and takes about 2.5 million photos of the baby daily (plus video!), so if I ever get off my ass, I should be able to cobble together enough photos to keep the project alive (although, I guess now I'll have to bill it as a collaborative project).

If you look in the sidebar (over there ------->) you'll see a link that I put up to the "This Week in Photography" podcast. It's a cool show where a number of guys sit around talking photography. It took a little while for the show to grow on me. But it really did, especially after I checked out a number of other photography podcasts which were were really god-awful. One even resorted to what I imagine 1950-era gonzo-radio styles with heavily affected voices and silly whistles, bells honky-honk clown-nose horns and other ridiculous noises. Anyway, check out TWiP if you feel the urge.

Music: I scored a pair of pre-sale tickets to the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction (original lineup!) show at Merrywhether this summer. At $86 each (after BS "fees" and all), it is by far the most I've ever paid for concert tickets. Few things apart from a reunited Jane's Addiction would spur me to do that. Now let's just hope that both acts don't plan any songs recorded after about '92.

Tech: Been drooling over the announced-yet-still-vaporware Palm Pre smartphone lately. As often as I find myself awake in the middle of the night with the baby (less than the wife finds herself in the same situation, I've gotta say), my current smartphone with internet access and lots of .txt articles has proven a lifesaver (and timekiller). I've been sorta considering the iPhone for a couple of years now, but have been locked into a Sprint contract the whole time (with a Palm Centro). Breaking contracts and changing providers just seemed like too much work (and expense). Thus, when the Pre was announced, it caught my attention. Exclusively Sprint (at first), means I won't have to change providers, and probably won't even have to try and wriggle out of a contract; I'll just tack on an extra two years. Bonus is that the device seems to offer some key features the iPhone doesn't (multitasking being one). I just wish it would hit the market already. I don't want to be the first kid on the block to drink the Kool-aid, so it needs to shake out for a while before I plunk down my hard earned loot. If it's not in the wild till June, I'll be stuck using what feels like a clunky Windows 3.1 device for another few months, all the while knowing pretty Vista is out there waiting (wait...that's a bad analogy).

Anyway, there ya have it. Yeah, yeah. I promise to try to update more often, blah blah blah. Everybody says it. Everybody has good intentions. But you know what they say about good intentions...

*[CC-licensed photo above by flickr user parudox]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Daily d'oh-se of environmentalism

Once again, sadly, the Onion predicts the future:


May 18, 2005
"New, Delicious Species Discovered"

Less funny:

February 19, 2009
"Extinct Bird Found, Photographed & Then Eaten"

(Image linked from Cryptomundo story, above).

Monday, February 09, 2009

Backing up is hard to do...

I feel safer already.

I've got a metric crap-ton of images on my home computer. And another metric crap-ton of music files. And far fewer (tho no less important) documents and other little files. All of this is backed up semi-regularly to an external USB hard drive. Thinking that wasn't enough (what about fire? Flood? Theft?), I decided to try one of the internet-based backup solutions.

I'd heard good things about BackBlaze and, after comparing them to a number of other similar companies, decided to try them out. They offered a 15 day free trial, which (for me) is basically a joke. My 250+GB of data would take far longer than that to upload (even via my crappy cable company's crappy cable modem). After the free trial, they cost $5/month for unlimited storage. So on December 10, 2008, I started my backup.

Flash forward to today, February 9, 2009, nearly two months later and the backup finally completed. And at that, the only reason it did so so "quickly" was that I lugged my home PC in to the office and connected it to our 3Mbps (upstream) business-class cable connection, which is more than 10x faster than my home (upstream) connection.

From here on out, the home connection should be able to handle the incremental updates. I figure after an infrequent heavy-shooting weekend, I'll have a couple of gigs to upload at most (after I dump all the junk shots...something at which I'm getting much better). And that should happen relatively quickly.

Surprisingly, my crappy cable company (is that redundant?) didn't scream too loudly when I pushed ~200GB up through their wires. I did get a couple of out-of-the-ordinary robo-calls from them, which I assume was them trying to yell at me. But if you want to yell at me, call me directly and yell at me. Don't call me and leave a message asking me to call you back so you can yell at me. Eff that.

Monday, February 02, 2009

"Zack and Miri (definitely *do not*) Make a Porno"

Widely available version.

I don't know what exactly the title characters in the latest movie by writer/director Kevin Smith *do*, but whatever it is, it definitely ain't makin' a porno.

At least according to WalMart, who've decided to keep us safe by protecting us from having to see the letters M A K E A P O R N O on the cover of the newly released DVD.

Walmart special.

I have to wonder what they think is going to happen when all those good "M A K E A P O R N O"-fearing folks get home, unwrap their new DVDs and pop them into the ol' DVD player, only to learn exactly what it is that Zack and Miri are up to. Perhaps rush right back to Wally-world (with that filthy, filthy, dirty DVD well hidden in a brown paper bag) and return that smut-titled movie? Ah, but isn't the standard policy that you can't return a movie (or CD or video game) once it's been opened?

Fear not, tho. If you'd like a copy of Predator (in which a space monster rips out the skull and spine of a guy), or Scarface (which, from what I remember has a rather nasty scene involving a chainsaw), or Reservoir Dogs (remember the ear scene?), or a whole host of other violent, bloody offerings, WalMart is ready to help you out.

Sunday, February 01, 2009



I posted a write-up of my half-assed attempt to shoot the Snotcycle mountain bike race over on my other, even less frequently updated blog.

Farewell, inside access

Enzo from above

For the last 9 years, I've worked at a publishing company for a guy who also owns the local Ferrari/Maserati/Lamborghini dealership. This inside connection has allowed me the opportunity to get up close and personal with super-cars the likes of which most people only see in Road and Track magazine. It's also allowed me the opportunity to ride around in a few vehicles I'll likely never (ever ever ever) own: a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Ferrari 512TR, a Ferrari 575M, a Ferrari 360 Spyder (around a racetrack, no less). I've also had the chance to oogle (and shoot) a Ferrari Enzo (pictured above) and Porsche Carrera GT up close and personal. Finally, it has given me the chance to be the "official" photographer for a number of dealership-related events.

Sadly, come Monday morning, this connection will be broken. The boss has decided to sell the dealership. From here on out, I'll just be another Joe at the track events, snapping photos from afar (assuming the new owner even keeps the track events going). Sadder still (much more-so for them than for me) is that many of the guys I'd consider friends who worked at the shop have had their positions cut. So they're out job hunting in this crappy economy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dude...switch to decaf.

Just experienced the most vile, hot-headed bit of road rage I've ever seen. Aimed directly in my passenger window by a ~60 year old white guy. Epithets below are verbatim. I don't mean to offend anyone.

I pulled up to a 4-way stop on my commute to work a bit ago. I stopped. The guy in the huge, tricked-out 4x4 opposite me was still rolling up to his stop sign (easily seen by the enormous tread on his off-road tires still moving). So I turned left. He didn't stop, at all, and proceeded to drive towards me getting about 3" away from hitting my car (at about 2mph). I kept on my way, he made some crazy-ass traffic-stopping U turn in the middle of the intersection and followed me. I took off my seat-belt.

At the next stop light 20 seconds later, he pulls up along my passenger side and stops; hanging halfway out of his driver's window, obviously having something terribly important to say. I roll down my passenger's side window eagerly anticipating whatever bits of driving wisdom he can bestow upon me. What follows is a tirade unlike anything I've ever heard. He starts out by telling me that the (public) road on which I was just driving was an "industrial road" (all the commercial shops not withstanding) and that I should "stay the fuck off it". To which I reply "Um, no". Then his head explodes. He proceeds to get out of his truck, stick his face in my passenger's side window and (screaming, at this point) call me a "nigger" (I'm white), a "faggot" (I'm straight), a "pussy" (I'm a guy), "Obama" (I'm not), "earring" (guilty on that one. I have an earring in each ear), and "democrat" (you got me again. Two outta six ain't bad, I guess). He then tells me "If you ain't a cop or ain't got a cop friend or ain't gonna call the cops, I'd beat your ass right here". At this point, I swear to god, my left eye is twitching like Clint Eastwood in some old western movie. It's taking every bit of my restraint to not reach into the glove box and pull out my 3 D-cell Mag light and brain this fucker. I'm thinking "No matter how much this asshat deserves it, if I cave his skull in, there are a lot of witnesses. I've got a wife, a teenager, and a new baby. Jail time would suck." So I just sit there soaking in his rage (maybe passive-aggressively goading him on...just a little, hoping he'll put forth that last little bit of effort necessary to give himself a coronary right there in my window; Sadly, he does not.) The light ahead of me turns green, and I start to drive off, his face still in my window. He ends his tirade with...and I swear this is true and a direct quote..."Be a Republican! Pay your bills!!!!"

I'm really pissed that I'm not faster on my feet (so to speak). I had my camera in the bag next to me. I *really* need to learn to pull it out and start shooting when jerkoffs like this are melting down in front of me. In addition to having some nice images for this blog post (which I started composing in my mind about halfway through his meltdown), I'm quite sure it would have been the final straw and driven him directly into that coronary I was so hoping to see. Which would have been beautiful poetic justice.

The up side to this is that he drives a *very* distinctive, *very* customized truck. And he mentioned (when talking about the "industrial" road) "We've been on this street for 45 years". Sure would be a shame if something happened to that truck. A damn shame. It sure is a pretty truck. Just sayin'