Sunday, April 22, 2007

More changes, and bike race photos

I set up a new blog over the weekend.


Make a note. Bookmark, even. Pop in from time to time. I'll probably cross promote it here when I update it. Cuz I'm just the self-promoting kinda guy.

It's purpose is to complement this blog, and consolidate my mountain bike race photos in a single location. Since I've found myself shooting more and more races every year (Wednesdays@Wakefield, the Cranky Monkey series, 12 Hours of Lodi Farm, and whatever else comes up moderately close to the TooFatToRace basecamp).

As time permits, I'm going to copy my existing race posts from this blog to that one. A couple are already done.

I've also posted up my first new content there too. I shot the Leesburg Baker's Dozen endurance race on 4/22/07.

I call this one "some guy dropping in"

Unfortunately, I only had about two hours to shoot, out of the 13 hours of race time. See the complete bunch of photos here:

If you see something you like and want a full-rez copy, let me know and I'll do my best to get it to you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Something you don't see everyday

The local Ferrari shop at which I occasionally work took delivery of a shiny red Ferrari Enzo today. Luckily, a buddy who works there gave me the head's up.

After work, I ran by my house, grabbed all my camera gear, then headed a bit further west to the shop. I spent an hour or two shooting photos of the rare (1 of 398 left) $1,200,000 beast. It's a beauty. But shooting it's ultra shiny body, under showroom lights, with tons of clutter around (funny how a room full of $200,000 Ferraris can become "clutter", isn't it?) wasn't easy. It makes you appreciate the guys who shoot cars for car mags and make them look good. Anyway, here are four quick shots of it. These are straight out of the camera. No post processing at all. Once I have some time, I'll go through the photos and try to clean them up. Anyway, here's what I got:

Enzo. Fast, even sitting still.

Enzo. Mmmmm.

Enzo from above

Enzo carbon fiber door panel and manual window crank

(You'd think for $1.2M you'd get some power windows. You don't. The round thing in the above photo is the window crank.)

Sherlock Holmes-like detective skillz

This just in from the "Oh, no shit?" department:

"...on Wednesday, soldiers found Campbell's body buried in a shallow grave in a dry river bed in the area of the northern Philippines where she was hiking by herself. Police said they believed foul play was involved."

These cops are good. I'm glad they didn't fall for that old "she died of natural causes then buried herself in a shallow grave in a dry riverbed" routine. That one works *so* often.

Now what?

Still testing out comment stuff. Stay tuned. For those of you subscribed to this blog...sorry for the RSS flood.


So the Haloscan comments seemed to work on that last post about how the Haloscan comments weren't working. (Oh irony, you cruel mistress).

Now I guess the big problem is figuring out how to get all of the *old* comments left on this site to show up. I'd rather not lose them.

I just made a change to the Blogger settings. I want to see if it removes the comments again.


Ok, so at this point, I'm at a loss. I've gone through the Haloscan code insertion instructions at least a dozen times but still can't get the comments to work. I've dumped my existing blog template code, and re-tried the Haloscan installation to no avail. I've read the Haloscan forum and tried a couple of "unofficial" methods found there, but still no luck.

The strange thing is that even without the Haloscan comment-code, the default Blogger comments should work, but they don't.

If anybody has any bright ideas, email me at gmr 2048 at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Times (and templates), they are a-changing.

Still working on the new look and layout. Comments aren't yet cooperating. And I realized just how much the minimal/black look infringed on my buddy Spearman's blog, so I'm test-driving other templates.

Comments are still lacking

Got the links fixed. And the "Stuff I like" stuff fixed. Comments is the only thing giving me trouble at the moment. Neither Blogger's default comments, nor Haloscan's add-on comments seem to work currently. Hopefully I'll get it figured out shortly.

New template

So this blog is just over three years old at this point. (Happy birthday blog. Sorry I've forgotten to mention it the last two years). And frankly, I was pretty tired of the green-on-green look. So I changed the template to a black/minimalistic one. Of course, all of the customizations I had made are now gone. I saved my old blog code, so I *should* be able to put them back. But it'll prolly take a while. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Another definition

Main Entry: frus·tra·tion
Pronunciation: (")fr&s-'trA-sh&n
Function: noun

1. the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals

2. a feeling of annoyance at being hindered

3. The knowledge that you know more of cable internet troubleshooting then the clown sent by the cable company to set up your new service...who's currently sitting on your living room floor, 100% stumped.

Details: You are ignored when you offer suggestions that will *absolutely*, ***positively*** fix the problem he's having. And you sit by idly as the clown telephones his Level-2 Tech Support clown. And you quickly realize that you know more than *that* guy does, too. Yet neither will listen to you, and instead attribute the problem to your laptop, your *other* laptop *and* your router *all* being bad, instead of just accepting the fact that their cable box is bad.

4. The knowledge that, tho you are a total neophyte to the world of fancy TVs, HD, 1080i, 720p and all that other new-skool TV jazz, you *still* know more about cable TV configuration than the clown tech from #3 above.

Details: It seems that a cable box putting out a 1080i signal (high-def), will...strangely enough...not display properly on my 5 year old definitely low-def 480i TV. You would think that the cable tech would realize that was the problem by the "1080i" glowing green on the front panel of the cable box and would adjust that output to one of the other available formats that my TV might like. Say 480i. Instead, it would be easier for said cable guy to say "uhh...I guess your inputs are bad" and leave. A few hours of searching and downloading documentation later and I find that there's a s00per-secret, almost undocumented way to change the output from the cable box. You would think that these are the kinds of things cable installers should be trained in. You would think...but you would be wrong.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Breaking up is (not so) hard to do

So the wife and I made the conscious decision last night to break up with our formerly-one-and-only "must see" TV show, "Lost". She's been unimpressed with it this entire season. I've been trying to enjoy it, but it's just not holding my interest. I liked it better when it was sci-fi/wierd-ish. Now that it's morphed into a people-drama-with-a-thousand-lose-ends, I'm unimpressed.

Instead, she and I spent an hour or so watching our new favorite TV-on-DVD show, "Entourage". I once heard it described as "Sex in the City for guys". And I would agree with that. It doesn't require a lot of thought to watch. But it does a good job of making you squirm with funny-uncomfortable interactions between characters (mostly thanks to the acting talents of Jeremy Piven).

We burned through Season 1 & 2 in rapid succession. Last night was the beginning of Season 3 and it's still holding up well. Cable is (finally!) being installed on Saturday, so we'll be able to pick up with Season 4 shortly (not to mention wrapping up the Sopranos. And catching the final three episodes of Rome, which I missed). I haven't written Lost off entirely. One day, I may rent the DVDs and see how this season/the series plays out. But for now, adios.

This post sponsored by HBO, apparently.*

(*not really)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I dig history. And I dig photography. So it goes to follow that I dig old photos of people doin' stuff. Therefore, obviously, I *really* dig Shorpy., along with sister-site, have quickly become two of my favorite web sites/RSS feeds. They get the "hometown boys make good" vibe for being based about a mile from where I live (er..."lived" a month ago). But more importantly, Shorpy features old photos of everyday life. If I've read it correctly, the owners/operators of Shorpy are combing the Prints and Photographs Reading Room at the Library of Congress website, and highlighting images they find interesting. Some of my personal favorites are:


Some are so fantastic that I may buy prints of them. Or just make prints myself. I think all the photos are public domain, so there should be no copyright concerns.

Recently, the good folks at Shorpy began allowing members (free registration) to upload interesting historical photos to the site (uploaders retain ownership/copyright...see my previous posts on shitty Terms of Service). When my grandmother died in 2000, I took a computer and scanner to her house and spent hours scanning in a ton of old photos she had (since they were destined to go to her son, my uncle). Of those photos, there are a few general-interest shots that I thought would be cool to share. I posted them up to Shorpy yesterday and they're now available for your viewing pleasure.

The first is a shot of women working in what appears to be a munitions factory. The photo has a penciled-in note pointing out "Mrs. Ruth Van Fleet". She was a woman who lived with my grandmother until 1943.

Check the full sized photo and comments (if any) here

The second photo I uploaded is a shot of a group of women military cadets marching in formation. The photo was sent to my grandmother as a postcard. The date on the postmark is "May 3, 1917 6pm".

The full sized shot, text of the postcard, and comments (if any) can be seen here.

And finally, great-grandpa and his PA coal mining coworkers. Date unknown, but I'd guess early 1900s. Great-grandpa is the miner at the lower left.

Full sized here

Anyway, to avoid this post sounding like a total commercial, I guess I should say that in no way do I benefit from Shorpy. I just wanted to share a new cool find.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Feel the love

I received an email from a buddy pointing out that Team Bike Works, organizers of the "12 Hours of Lodi Farm" race, have updated their web page for this year's event

...and have used one of my photos from the '06 race on the home page.

Pretty cool. I'm fairly sure I told them last year that they were free to use my shots on their page as long as they gave me a photo credit and a link back to the gallery. Both of which they did. I just kinda wished they'd have shot me an email mentioning the usage.

Anyway, this year's race is the same weekend as another event at which I'm volunteering my photography...err...skillz: The American Red Cross of the National Capital Area's Fire & Ice Ball (The National Capital Area Chapter's Annual Gala).

So a busy weekend is planned, but hopefully I'll come away with a bunch more MTB race photos, as well as a bunch of formal shots of Gala attendees. I've never shot an uber-formal event like this. Here's hoping it goes well. Oh, yeah. I'll be sporting a tux, too.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Crappy TOS, take 2

Ok, so I didn't find this one (unless you consider reading about it on somebody else's blog "finding" it), but I thought I'd add it to the Crappy Terms Of Service group I'm developing:

Basically, Smirnoff is screwing you in the fine print of their photo contest too.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

If I were king of the world...

And you were drinking and driving and you crashed into and killed somebody, you'd be charged with a bunch of crimes (vehicular homicide, negligent homicide, manslaughter, and whatever else we (the people) could drum up). And you would go to prison for a long, long-ass time. (If it was your first offense, we might be able to reduce it by one "long").

Now, if you were drinking and driving in your jumbo-sized GMC Yukon, Chevy Suburban, Ford Expeditotank (or any one of the other behemoth-sized monster truck out there), and you crashed into and killed somebody, in addition to all that other shit I'd charge you with (up there in paragraph 1), you'd also be charged with felony first-degree murder, and you'd go to prison for the rest of your fucking life. *Maybe* you'd be eligible for day. After no less than 10...maybe 20 years served. But probably not.

Now, the question that needs to be asked is: Can the behemoth-manufacturers be held responsible (aka "sued") the way gun manufacturers are (occasionally?) held responsible when the product they create is used to kill someone?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


(Here's another one of those posts I've saved in draft format too long. This one is over 13 months old).

Scored a new gadget the other day (err...year). I found, via craigslist, a guy selling an early '90s era Canon EOS RebelX 35mm film camera for a paltry sum ($20 if I remember correctly). It's pretty low-tech, but should make an excellent backup body, since it works with my existing EOS lenses and flashes (unlike my ancient Minolta 35mm). Another nice aspect is that my 24mm wide lens on this body will truly be 24mm. The same lens on my digital body is essentially 38mm.

I've got a roll of film halfway through it now (edit to add: the same roll is still at the same halfway point today, 13 months later. D'oh!). Just gotta find some interesting stuff to shoot and finish off the roll, then see how the prints look.