I need coffee to wake up. After quickly wearing out an inexpensive espresso machine in 2007 I decided to buy an Italian espresso machine with the hope that it would last awhile. I hate throwing stuff away, adding to the garbage pile. I chose the Rancilio Silvia based on reviews and, I admit, its good looks. A simple silver box. It has proven reliable, making me a latte or two, sometimes three, almost every day. I also bought its companion, the Rocky doserless grinder, which is heavy and solid but has been a bit less reliable as I've had to open it up rewire it to get around a broken on switch.
Shot with a 50mm 1.2 at f/2, 1/1000 sec and on a tripod.
Song of the day is Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan.
I'm contemplating seven, this month's photo club theme. I've examined the number and the word. I've arranged seven things in a row. Seven wonders of the world (or is it nine?). Seven, it was said on a recent Radiolab, is the most common favorite number. Why does one have a favorite number? Seven is a prime. Seven protons and a few neutrons makes nitrogen, an element that is none-too-interesting to look at under standard conditions. 6+1. 5+2. 4+3. 8-1.
I started by spelling the word on a Scrabble board and shooting it with a 50 at f/2. Next, I built a stack of 77 mm filters on a sheet of white photo paper and placed them so the clear grey sky is reflected on the top filter. I shot the stack with a 105 mm micro, f/25, 0.6 sec.
Blaise Pascal, whose birthday was yesterday in 1623, said "in faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." The same world provides support for both, so how is it that we choose, or do we choose? I can't remember a decision, but I can remember a point in time for recognition.
Song of the day is Excellent Birds by Laurie Anderson.
Today I'm making tomato sauce using five pounds of cherry, plum, and sandwich-size tomatoes, all harvested from my greenhouse.
I shot this handheld with the 50/1.2 at f/2, 1/160 sec, iso 2800. Using a manual focus lens makes me slow down and think about things like posture, hand position, and breathing, especially when I shoot at big apertures. Here is my shooting checklist, built on one discussed on stackexchange:
I keep telling myself slow down, hold steady, and wait to exhale. And sometimes I remember to do it.
I went to Costco yesterday to buy an iPhone 6. Sight unseen. Could ten million, or was it 100 million, be wrong?
Costco has them in stock so I think easy peasy but I forget about all the phone decisions that I've to make.
First decision is carrier. Contract over, I'm a free agent. Unfortunately the three Canadian carriers are indistinguishable by price or features so I decide based on vague comparisons of speed and tower batteries which is not unlike tossing a coin.
Memory? The middle, 64.
Finish can be one of grey, a different grey, or white. Of course it doesn't matter as the phone goes into a padded case which I have to shop for later. I decide on grey.
Finally, there is the extended warranty. When I listen to a salesperson recite reasons for an extended warranty my impulse is to turn and go home. I resist the urge. Jonathan, the patient salesman, presents my options and then makes the case for AppleCare by sharing an anecdote of someone who saved money by buying AppleCare. He also mentions the breaking news that the new iPhone is prone to bend. Is he trying to tell me to stick with Android? Undeterred, I decide to spend the $95.
My AppleCare choice is affirmed by the young woman at checkout who volunteers her wonderful AppleCare experience: she loves loves loves her iPhone 5 and she loves that Apple has replaced it four times! I resist the urge to ask her what she thinks about the quality of a device that seems to fail every 6-9 months.
I leave the store pleased with my warranty decision. Not so sure about the phone, though.
Shot with a 50 mm ais at f/16, 1/40 sec.
The news from President Carter while of course very sad is also an opportunity to contrast his character with those who have either followed him or who aspire for his old position. And quite a contrast indeed! Just try to fit both Jimmy Carter and, lets say, George W in ones head at the same time and youd wonder how could that happen, how could we elect these two very different men to the highest office in the land. One man is known for trying to do the right thing regardless of cost to himself and the other man only thinks of himself, rightness be damned. It was as if the country plunged down the rabbit hole into wonderland. Of course Carter is the rarity. The filtering that takes place as people rise to power selects for a certain un-Carter-like character. And we are poorer for it.
I hiked to Peden Lake a few days ago and took it as opportunity to use only a 50mm for the day. A 50 doesn't come to mind when you think landscape lens, but I thought I'd see what I could do with it. Aside from my forgetting to switch metering from matrix to center weight, the lens performed fine given the limitations of it's width. It's better as a people lens but it will certainly do landscapes in a pinch.
I wonder if someone from the EPA was stuck in traffic when the idea came to investigate Volkswagen's diesels. I say this because in my experience it's the only car I know by smell. Two cars ahead. Even the shiny new ones.
Not that I've any ill will towards VW. I've owned a couple of gas Golfs and liked them both. I especially remember my first VW. It was silver, before silver became the new white. I lived in fucking cold Madison. I was there for grad school so I was taking classes and doing research and teaching a section of freshman chem. My apartment had no parking so I parked on a snowy street and had to dig the car out a lot. The Golf was great in the snow. Sometimes, during storms, I'd go out for a nighttime drive, to see blowing snow in headlights. Madison felt very different from Austin.
Anyway, no, indeed, I've no ill will towards VW. I've even a bit of respect for their idea, the brilliance of designing an emission system whereby the observer affects the observed. Of course, we only know about it because VW got caught and in that light it doesn't look so brilliant. I just wonder if it will be worth it. In other words, what is the take home lesson here?