Saturday, April 09, 2005

Superiority Through Airpower I

OK, I just got back From Macdill Airfest 2005. What a day! I will probably be posting pictures from this event all week, but I wanted to be sure and get something up tonight, just to let you know I made it up there. Getting in and out was much easier this year than last year, mostly because I knew what was going on. The shot above is a quicky from the over 800 pictures I snapped. (Don't worry though, I won't post all of them. There are quite a few that are nothing but blue sky. You'd be surprised how fast those jets fly sometimes!) Anyhow, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this shot, since I didn't think I'd captured the effect. If you look closely, you can see vapor streaming off the wing tips, and also off the wing itself. That's not a smoke effect, that's due to some sort of shockwave that I need to learn more about. I could see it happening from the ground occasionally, but I never dreamed I'd capture it on film, as it was pretty fleeting when it occurred.

Anyhow, lot's more pictures coming, so please stay tuned!

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Sky Is Falling

The universe nearly came to an end today as the sun was partially consumed. Either that, or the moon just happened to pass in front of the sun for a few minutes. Since I'm still here and writing this, we'll have to assume it was the latter. As you can see, it was only a partial eclipse for me. It didn't even get noticeably darker, and I doubt anyone would have noticed it if they weren't looking for it. I had to borrow a welder's lens from work to be able to block out enough light to shoot. It's pretty rare that there's too much light in any shooting situation. There's no discernable detail in either the sun, or the edge of the light/dark line. My camera is at full zoom (both optical and digital!) to capture this, and it still doesn't record very much data.

I'll have to post my pictures of the last lunar eclipse on here sometime. They are much more impressive, as you can actually pick out details on the lunar surface. They're fuzzy, but they're there.

The Real Wayback Machine

You might not find Sherman & Mr. Peabody there, but this is the closest you're going to find to their Wayback Machine. The Internet Archive Wayback Machine is a giant repository of snapshots taken of the entire world wide web any given moment in time. They can explain it better than I can, but if you spend a few minutes looking around their site, you'll be amazed. I'm sorry I don't have a cool picture to show you, but you can see an old picture of me on the old company website here. (Or maybe you can't. I don't seem to be able to get that particular picture to pop up. So I'll stick it in here. Darrin Otten took the picture, to give credit where credit is due.)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Keep On Truckin'

The truck you see above is one of the delivery vehicles we use here at work. The unique thing I wanted to point out was that I took the picture of the welder used in the graphic on the side. There are three of these trucks running around, one in Bradenton, FL, one in Lakeland, FL, and one in Twinsburg, OH. It's kinda neat to see some of your work blown up bigger than life and plastered on the side of a big moving billboard.

Set the Way Back Machine to 1983!

It seemed pretty cool at the time, but appearing in the paper can leave traces of you that might be better off lost to the sands of time. But it's still pretty cool, I guess. The picture above is from the Lakeland Ledger, sometime in either late 1982 or the first half of 1983. I was in the 7th grade at the time, that's my big head on the right. The guy in the center is Matt Hilliard, and the fellow to the left is Lex Little. Lex was the one who sent me a copy of this photo sometime last year. He found it while putting together a slide show for his parent's anniversary party. I've lost track of Matt, but I still see and talk to Lex every once in a while. That game you see us playing was a blatent ripoff of Stratego that we developed in a gifted class. I had that game under my bed for years and years and years.


A friend of mine (Hi Jess!) got a new laptop, and she asked me for a picture she could use as her desktop wallpaper. Normally that's not an odd request, but this is one of those fancy new laptops with a wider-than-normal screen. So I had to look for a picture that could be cropped to the proper dimensions, and still maintain some interest. The little butterfly above is what I found that I thought looked best. I think this was about the fifth or sixth picture I sent to her, but as soon as I saw it, I knew this would be the favorite. Now she wants a new picture every week...

I believe it's a viceroy butterfly, but I'm not sure. They are known for the way they resemble monarch butterflies. I shot the photo at my parent's house last Sunday. Well, I looked it up, and I don't think it's a viceroy. I'll keep looking...

Aha! If you go here, you'll see that it's a Gulf fritillary, or something like that. I've been calling these by the wrong name all my life. (Probably because I'd have a hard time saying fritillary.)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Oodles of Doodles X

I know what you're thinking. You've seen these bears before. They seem to be pretty popular. I think I first saw them somehow associated with The Grateful Dead. However, that's not where I got 'em. These guys hail from the back of Allan Sherman's Allan In Wonderland (Warner Brothers 1539, 1964). Whether this is the first place these bears show up or not, I can't say. It's hard to search Google for something as generic as "bears" and expect any meaningful results. More updates as events warrant.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

They Thought They Had It Bad

The little icon above is from some inner sleeve that I've long since misplaced, but I remember it came out of a UK LP from the 80's. At the time, the recording industry was sure that cassette tapes were going to destroy the record industry. It was thought that people would record their music off the radio, or from their friend's records, and they wouldn't be able to sell any new albums. I think the upshot of that fear was that a small piece of the purchase price of blank cassettes goes to the record industry to help cover their losses. I believe the same thing is true of music CDRs.

Obviously, they didn't realize how easy they had it back before Shawn Fanning (or Seth Green, perhaps) broke the whole industry wide open with Napster. Ernie recommends Soulseek to help kill the music industry.

Ernie Not On The Web

Well, this entry was supposed to point you to an online article about the Hillsborough Inlet Lighthouse for which I supplied the pictures, but as I search for it, I discover it's no longer available online. The photo above should give you an idea about it though. The lighthouse is on a Coast Guard base, and is rarely open to the public. Several times a year they arrange tours, and I was lucky enough to catch one of them. I had to drive over to the other coast the day before (it's a four hour drive), and stay in a hotel overnight. Next time I'll make reservations before I go... After joining the lighthouse association, I boarded a boat, and off we went. It was my first time seeing this lighthouse, and it's very interesting, but unfortunately, it's on a very developed stretch of coastline in Boca Raton. Getting a picture of just the lighthouse without a condo in the frame proved to be a little tough. After spending all morning there, I drove down to Key Biscayne and saw another lighthouse, then spent the evening shooting the Miami skyline until well after sunset. Then the long, long drive back home. It was a great trip, but the sky was overcast almost the whole time, so I didn't get the beautiful pictures I'd hoped for. The link I had hoped to share was for a Coast Guard publication with an article about the tour I took, written by the gentleman who was stationed at the top of the light for the tour. He had requested copies of my pictures after he saw how many photos I was taking, then asked to use them in his article. I've got a copy of the article somewhere, and maybe I'll share it here someday.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Oodles of Doodles IX

The innocent young tots above come from the flip side of The Sound Of Children by Hugo & Luigi With Their Children's Chorus (RCA Victor LPM-2159, 1960). The career of Hugo & Luigi seems to go way back, and then forward into the disco era. We won't hold that against them, though.

Flower Power

Another destination last weekend was the Exotic Plant Festival at Tropiflora Nursery. It's not a long trip, since it's about half a mile from the condo, but it's like stepping into another world, where pineapples bloom in purple, and aloe is red instead of green. The shot above is the blossom on one of the thousands of bromeliads they had on display. They had specimens in just about every color of the rainbow, save blue. Well, I suppose there's a little blue in this flower spike, so they had all the colors covered.

The flower above is a Faux Bombax. The closed flower does look a little like a real bombax, but the flowers are worlds apart. Just trust me on this. I'll show you a bombax flower some other time.

It's sort of like an aloe plant, but it's red. If real aloe heals burns, I'd be nervous about slicing this one open and spreading the goo inside on my skin...

I should have bought this little cactus, with it's delicate spirals of blosooms. But I was afraid that it was one of those plants that dies after it blossoms. Maybe next year... If you look close at the picture, you can see little bits of potting soil stuck in the spines. That may give you a sense of scale in this photo.

Air Fest! Air Fest! Air Fest!

Macdill Airfest 2005 is this weekend! You gotta go to this if you care at all about planes. I spent 8 hours last year looking straight up through the lens of my camera. Oh, and four hours looking straight out through the windshield of my car at the massive traffic jam at the exit. That was just about long enough for my neck to start feeling better, and more than long enough for my butt to go numb. And don't get me started about the sunburn...

April 2005-Week Two

This weeks' calendar page is a spectacular sunrise over St. Armands Key, with the city of Sarasota in the background. You have to get up mighty early to capture sunrise, but more often than not, it's worth the trouble.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Oodles of Doodles VIII (My Three Suns)

Our official doodle today is from The Three Suns-Having A Ball With The Three Suns (RCA Victor LSP-1734, 1958). This doodle is actually signed and it's readable. Lou Myers is the fellow to whom we owe the honor. I started flipping through my records by The Three Suns, and an awful lot of them have little doodles on the back, so I'm sure we'll revist the Nevins boys (et al) again and again.

The Mouse

One of the places I visited this past weekend was Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. One of the benefits to knowing an employee up there is that you occasionally get the opportunity to go into the parks for free. It's a lot more fun that spending $50 some odd dollars. You can go late in the day after the crowds have thinned out, and the lines are much shorter on the rides. We walked right onto The Haunted Mansion and Mickey's PhilharMagic. We also rode the new Stitch ride that replaced Alien Encounter (which itself replaced Mission To Mars years ago). But I've got to tell you, it stinks. Well, if you've been on it, you'll think that's a joke, but really, it's lousy. Little kids may like it because they get to see Stitch, but as a ride, it gets the big thumbs down. Strange they didn't ask me what I thought before they invested millions of dollars in the refurb...

I never go anywhere without the camera, and Disney was no exception. We didn't arrive until well after dark, so all I got were hand-held night shots. Thankfully, they illuminate the castle pretty well, and my camera has some built-in tricks for getting decent shots at longer exposures. I don't think the shot of Walt and friend above in front of the castle is too bad.

Tower Of Song

Well, it's sort of a doodle, but it's more like a line drawing, or even an architectural drawing, so we're throwing this one in on it's own. It's the Capitol Records Tower on the corner of Hollywood and Vine in SoCal. The LP is by various Capitol artists and is called Full Dimensional Sound From The Capitol Tower (Capitol W9031). One side is labelled Popular Selections, the flip side is Classical Selections. This tower shows up on all sorts of LPs from Capitol over the years. I've got one right here by Ray Anthony called Jam Session At The Tower (Capitol T749, 1956), which claims to be the first recordings made at the new facility. Even today, the website for Capital Records is called Hollywood And Vine.

Whenever I hear Leonard Cohen's Tower Of Song, I picture it as taking place in the Capitol Tower. Hank Williams is way up near the top, and poor Lennie is a thousand floors below him.

Tie Me Up

Another weekend, another tie. This one is a little older than the last, I think, and claims to be hand painted. Wish I could come up with one of these every weekend, but after fifty years, they tend to get a little bit hard to find.