Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Early Edition

Well the printer ink is still holding out.
I decided to finally get a photo printer so that I well, could print some photos.
I mean looking at them on the computer is okay, but I wanted to see them on paper.
To be honest I got a bit jealous seeing all the kid's work being printed out and I felt a bit guilty about using the school printer and supplies so I figured I'd just get my own.
Now that I have a printer, I'm actually thinking of going to a larger format, like 13x19.
More on that later.
Anyways, this one should hold me over for now.
Besides, it's black and nasty:

I can print directly from the flash cards:

Do some editing on the LCD screen:


All in about three minutes!
Boy, I'll be churning out pictures like there's no tomorrow!
Well, as long as the ink and paper lasts.
I also went ahead and got me one of these:

I wanted an external drive so I could put all my old pictures somewhere.
When I changed computers I put all the old blog pictures on disc and I kinda miss them so now they're all nice and handy in case I want to like print them out.
I went to check on Googlio and there are like 4000 blog pictures there!
I hope they don't start charging me for storage.
If you know what I mean.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


No, not the TV show.
Though I understand it has quite the cult following, I never got into it and never watched it at all.
I'm talking about some lost files.
Like a 150 lost files photo files.
Lost somewhere on the ole hard drive, in digital limbo.
It's all Aperture's fault!

So I've been reading the Aperture 3 book, trying to figure out how it all works.
I'm also using iPhoto, but for the past few weeks Aperture has been the default thingy.
So far I've learned how to tag images and rename them and add keywords and such.
Lesson 2 or there abouts.
What I haven't learned is how the file system works.
In retrospect, I shouldn't have been fooling around with them files anyways.
I was and they are no more.
Apparently, the images got disconnected from the original file path and though I could see them in the Aperture browser, I couldn't do anything to them.
Like edit or print.
That's like 150 images, gone.
Not worry though.
I'll take more.
Images I mean.
Cause I'm a printing machine!

Okay, not really.
I mean I have a printing machine, I'm just take the pictures.
As you can see, I also got me an assortment of photo paper to fool around with and fool around I have been.
I gotta admit it took me awhile to figure out the print settings; again using both iPhoto and Aperture are sort of different.
I ended up with like six copies of one image trying to figure out how to adjust print quality.  Some of the advanced settings are a bit beyond me.
Seems it is tied to the type of paper you use.
Go figure.
Anyways, I've been sort of going print crazy:

It's interesting to note that the same colors run out first on the Epson printer at school too.
In looking at the images I've printed, I can see how I used the light cyan, but not so much the magenta.
I'm also surprised the black hasn't dipped much.
Anyways, I had to go and stock up:

I also go the full ink set on order.
More on this later.
Meanwhile, I got to make up for them lost files.
All 150 of em.

Friday, December 28, 2012

New Stuff!

I got me some new stuff!
For Christmas of course.
Well one stuff is not so new since it's already old:

That's right musical fans!
I got me a ticket to see Wicked!
Well I already went to see it last night and lemme tell you it was pretty good.
For a musical.
That's like where folks sing and dance on stage.
It's sort of a send up or behind the scenes look at the Wizard of Oz, telling the story that wasn't told.
You know, about the good witch and the eVil witch.
Great fun.
Now the hardware:

Lens cleaning essentials.
To carry all that stuff around, I also got me a honking big bag:

I picked the bag up on CL and to to be honest, it's like about two sizes too big but I was made an offer I couldn't refuse.
If you know what I mean.
It's so big I could load up like five cameras.
Well, you never know.
Then there's this:

Oh yeah baby!
I'm just a picture making machine!
Well, that Epson printer is a picture making machine, I just take the pictures.
It's a rocking and rolling and a making pictures in all it's wireless glory!
More on that later.
I mean it's something for me to do while yellow stuff keeps coming out of my nose.
You didn't need to know that.
On the other hand, maybe I'll take a picture.
Okay, not really.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Alien Jungle Growth(AJG)

Where do they come from?
Outre(for Trevor) space?
Innre space?
Another dimension?
The Fifth Dimension?

Marilyn McCoo got some pipes!
So anyways, I was deep in the jungle when I noticed some freaky looking things:

I swear, it's like some kind of invasion!
I think those thingys were the smaller version of this:

Innocent looking plain white clam shell like growth.
Not so plain white:

Some small ones:

Not sure I want to be around when they get bigger!
There were all sorts of interesting looking fungi and whatevers growing all over the place.
Sort of gave me the creeps.
These were kinda interesting:

I bet that you die if you touch them.
Not that I felt like touching any of them.
I was careful to tread around all them Aliens.
Don't want to make them angry.
If you know what I mean.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Final

I've been under the weather for the last week or so, perfect timing since vacation started at the same time.
I've been spending my days mostly recovering in between runs into the jungle to get the bamboo.
The show as they say, must go on.
Sort of.
This show hasn't been going anywhere.
The blog I mean.
Oh the neglect!
I feel so, so guilty!
So what's been happening?
Well to close out the year, I took the kids into our auditorium to make some light painting thingys:

This is done using a long exposure,  ten seconds, and some flashlights.
The last class got really ambitious and I'll post up what they got when I get back to school.
Then it was jungle time:

The weather wasn't cooperating and it rained off and on until a couple of days ago.
I mean it snowed.
Sort of.
I got some interesting images from deep in forest.
More on that later.
Anyways, the fruits of our labors:

We got one last load to do and then we're done.
So I've been spying CL fairly regularly now, like every hour or so, and I gotta say, if you are going to sell like camera stuff, take decent pictures:

I swear, this dude just didn't get it.
I mean way to go!
Way to show off them camera skilz!
The weather finally broke a few days ago:

That's dawn here at the Flat Tire Command Center.
The Quest for a new Command Center meanwhile still goes on.
More on that later too.
Okay, I got some cards to make and some stuff to wrap.
So off I go.
Sort of.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Early Edition

I think I'm on to something.
Photography wise anyways.
Length is good.
Sort of.
There are a lot of variables that go into shooting basketball, most of which I'm starting to believe is luck.
I mean you gotta get lucky:

I think having some length is good, focal length I mean since it brings the subjects closer and fills the field of view.
The auto focus thingy now has stuff to focus on instead of the far background, which after looking at my images was part of the problem.
The auto focus focusing on the background I mean.
I also set the camera to manual and well, set the aperture and shutter and ISO.
I figured I'd worry about the exposure value later, in post processing.
I did have to brighten a few pictures up, but not like how I thought.
My white balance problems I believe are related to the gym lights; I'm starting to notice that it changes when the players are directly under them.  It also happens mostly on one side of the gym.
Go figure.
Out of 300 images, I saved about 150.
Out of that I'll probably end up with about a hundred good shots, maybe 20 really good shots.
More on this later.
Today is the start of kadomatsu season and off I go into the jungles to harvest some bamboo.
More on that later too.
Tis the season to be jolly.
Or something.

Friday, December 14, 2012


More like scaling back.
No, it's more like shipping everything off shore.
No longer will I be able to make goofy things at my convenience.
I'll have to make an appointment thank you very much.
It seems the compromises I'm facing involve location and square footage.
Actually it comes down to usable square footage as not all the space is really usable.
Five hundred square feet is in the affordable range, but only if it doesn't include a really long hall way/walk in area that suffices for usable space.
If you know what I mean.
So today I went and looked at a possible new location for the Command Center:

Just the way I like it.
A nondescript building, folks will have no clue that World Domination(WD) is being planned right under their schnozzes.
Well once they see the high tech stuff like tanks and jets they might get suspicious.
Then again, I could always use camouflage.
On the other hand, I only get one parking space.
Lemme tell you right now, all them pictures of the places are lies!
No really!
Them pictures make all them places look like palaces when in reality they are little more than holes in the concrete.
Or hollow tile.
Or something.
Anyways, this supposed 431 square foot place looked more like 43 square feet, not including the lanai.
With the lanai it might have been like 45 square feet.
It was small.
So I figure I need about a GAGILLION square feet for the new Command Center but I don't have a GAGILLION dollars.
Well the average price per square foot in Honolulu is something like $450 so I would actually need 450 GAGILLION dollars.
I have about 1/GAGILLIONth of that or $450 dollars.
I am sad.
Actually I have less than 1/GAGILLIONth of that because I just got this:

I figured I needed a bit more length for my basketball pictures and I picked that up on the cheap.
Sort of.
I mean it was relatively cheap.
So I'll be testing it out tomorrow night at the girls basketball game while I defer thinking about where I'm going to put all my crap.
I figure I can hang my bicycles on the wall.
That's all I really need right?
My bicycles I mean.
Oh and the ole laptop.
You know, so I can continue planning the WD thing.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finding A Place to Hang Yer Hat

Ain't easy, lemme tell you.
I'm a looking high and low, low and high and all places in between.
Sort of.
I mean it's not like the New Flat Tire Command Center can relocate just anywhere!
It has to be strategically placed in order to take over the world.
Don't you know.
So anyways, it's coming down to how much I gotta drive.
I mean if I can find a place close to work then great, if not and I gotta drive back and forth then it's really gotta some other value.
One place I looked at is kinda nice, but sort of far and there isn't really anything close by.
Well actually when it's time to get a new kidney I could literally just walk across the street so it's like if I  pass out at home or anything the ambulance folks can just run over here.
It's just not within walking distance of anything else.
Besides when I went to check it out, there were like boxes in the driveway:

I don't know if I'd like to live someplace where I gotta dodge boxes in my driveway.
So I figure if I gotta go driving someplace I might as well live somewhere that's close to something like a market or some places to eat.
Except that place is on a fairly steep hill.
The good news is that it's downhill straight to where I work.
The bad news is that it's uphill after work.
Which actually isn't so bad since I have to drive anyways.
Or I could ride my bicycle to work and push it back up the hill after.
Which would be sort of bad.
Today I found a place across the street from work, but it's kinda small, a converted studio of sorts.
Which means it's one room with a partition to make another room.
So I guess it's still a studio, except it's got a bedroom.
Kinda sorta.
If you know what I mean.
I'll take a look see later.
The thing is, I sort of thought finding a new headquarters was going to be easy, but boy is it not!
There are all kinds of things to consider and compromises to be made.
Hopefully not too many compromises.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Final

So I got the new lens.
What's it all mean?
It means it's not the lens, it's the eyeball behind it.
If you know what I mean.
It also means having a decent lens does not make one a sports photographer.
For one thing, lighting in the gym is like shooting in a disco.
Apparently certain types of gym lights cycle constantly so getting the correct white balance is like shooting craps:

I had to look that up just to make sure there wasn't something wrong with my camera.
Actually I'm still not sure there isn't something wrong with my camera.
I'm gonna try and set a custom white balance next time but I've read that it may or may not help.
Then there's the speed of the game.
Which it appears that my autofocus cannot keep up with.
It seems that the autofocus will lock on the background before it locks on the player.
This is probably user error and I have to make sure I change the focus settings next time.
Combine that with the lighting thing and it creates a ghostly effect:

I do believe my camera is haunted!
Or something.
Okay, maybe I'm haunted.
Or maybe I just don't know what the hell I'm doing.
Actually that sounds a lot more plausible.
The part about me not knowing what the hell I'm doing I mean.
I have learned a bit about the settings I'm using and what works and what doesn't but my pictures are still very far from PRO.
I took about 250 images and maybe like 50 are worth taking another look at.
Okay, actually maybe less than that.
Hopefully my pictures will get better by the playoffs.

Sunday Early Edtion

The madness continues.
I just can't help myself.
Mildly OCD don't you know.
So anyways basketball season has started, sort of, and I'm all hot to take some pictures inside the gym since I got like some students who well, play basketball.
I knew from experience(taking pictures in the gym) that the lenses I got just wouldn't cut it in the low light of the gym.
Which brings me to wonder why the gym has low lighting.  I mean folks are like playing sports in there for real.
You know, it counts and all that.
So why would they make kids play in a facility with sub par lighting?
Well I needed me a fast lens, like a fast non zoom lens called a prime(fixed focus) thingy that could shoot real fast and freeze the action.
That way all pictures I take wouldn't look like I got some kind of nervous disorder.
Or something.
Born was: Quest for the Fast Prime Lens(QFPL!)!
You just gotta love the eVilness and CL!
More on that later.
This morning off I went on my Quest:

The Ko'olau mountains.
I'm taking random pictures aiming my camera out the window.
Illegal to do in most states.
Boy, the things I do for you, the reader.
Anyways, you gotta get up early and check CL for  the deals and there was a deal so I headed off to the leeward side of the island.
I had more pictures but my windshield must have been dirty cause my camera wouldn't lock focus.
If you know what I mean.
I went to where the last watercress patch on O'ahu resides:

Right next to a shopping mall!
If you squint yer eyeballs you can see Sears in the back ground.
I drove way over there just to get this:

I needed something fast with a wider field of view so this 35mm seemed like the ticket.
A wider field of view compared to what you ask.
Well, it seems I've been busy since I also picked up this last week:

I used the second lens to take the first picture and the first lens to take the second picture.
Now I'm all set for some basketball!
Sort of.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Going PRO!

Not me, but the kids.
I'm already PRO.
Don't you know.
The other day I was thinking that the kids are taking a lot of pictures but they aren't getting really good results with the cameras they have to use:

Don't get me wrong, these point and shoots are nice and all, but some of these kids are starting to do some serious photography.
I wish I could show you some of their pictures and I'm going to try and get them up on the school blog, but some of them have not turned in their release forms.
Seeing as how they are minors and all that.
Anyways, we were working on a depth of field project and with them P&S cameras they just weren't getting the results.
I of course, showed them some examples I did with my PRO camera and it wasn't even close.
Some of them tried using our Canon:

The Canon though still has the kit lens, a 18-55 zoom.
So I went and got them a "real" lens:

Okay, it's not a real lens, like a PRO lens or anything, but it's good enough that they can now get some PRO results.
I hope.
The 50mm f/1.8 also lets them shoot in the gym with acceptable results; meaning the basketball players are not all blurry and they are able to freeze some action.
Here's what the zoom looks like:

Here's the new lens:

How awesome is that?
The depth of field is great and it does pretty well in low light.
Anyways, since we have to like fill out a purchase order for anything we buy, we can't exactly get the smoking deals that come up on CL or the eVilness so I just went ahead and picked this up.
I think if it as an investment for the future.
Now I just gotta see if I taught them anything.
If you know what I mean.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Fees

They are the deal breaker.
Not just any fees, but the maintenance fees you pay when you live in a condo or townhouse.
Okay, I can see that you gotta hire folks to cut the grass and maintain the place, but seriously, is it necessary to charge like $500 a month?
Which is pretty close to what maintenance fees here average.
I was thinking of moving to Honolulu, what is known as the metro section, but the average cost per square foot is like $400.
For one square piece of whatever kind of flooring the place has.
The cost around the present Flat Tire Central is pretty close to that but over near where my brother lives it's a much more affordable $300.
If you can call that affordable.
Let me get back to the fees.
So I'm looking around and really it's not the cost of the place that's holding me back.
I mean okay it's expensive and all but the mortgage payments are affordable since the rates are down and I can actually afford someplace a little nicer.
Except for them fees.
In most cases, the fees equal or exceed the actual mortgage payments!
Just to give you, the reader, an idea of what I'm talking about, the highest charge for maintenance fees I've see so far was about $600 dollars a month.
Okay, it included stuff like the water and sewer and cable, but still, that's on the far side of ridiculous!
So what it all amounts to is I'm scrambling to figure out my months expenses and seeing just how spartan I gotta live in order to afford one of these places.
Which I'll get to later.
How affordable these places are I mean.
I use the word affordable lightly as they aren't really affordable, not in real world terms.
I mean affordable in relation to the local market.
In the two weeks or so I've been looking, it seems like finding a good place is kinda like finding a job.
All the good ones are taken and all you got are ones that don't really fit you; someone has to die or retire before the spot opens up.
Except in the local housing market, someone has to die because the retired folks are staying put.
Then theres' the matter of the land that places are built on which can be either lease hold or fee simple.
More on this later.
It involves some of the history of the islands and how the land was split up, a time called the Great Mahele.
I gotta say, although this is like shopping, it's not fun like shopping for there are a lot of things to consider, things like the rest of my life.
If you know what I mean.
So anyways, finding a new Command Center is taking a while.
I mean you can't dominate the world from just any ole place.
Image is everything.
Don't you know.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

To the Market, USQ!

Craft fair!
This year was the same: make great plans to make lots o'stuff but ending up scrambling to fill the shelves.
Okay, not really.
Filling the shelves this year wasn't so hard:

Most of my work consisted of stuff from the art fair I did this summer and all my old work that was sitting around collecting dust.
Sort of a retrospect of sorts as I had pots I made like ten years ago!
Like back in another life!
The day started off pretty well as I sold some bowls and other things but after lunch it slowed to a trickle.
Less than a trickle even.
Okay, not even a trickle.
I sort like the sound of that word.
Still I did okay for sitting around on a Saturday.
The bad thing of not doing so well is that you gotta pack all that stuff back up and bring it back.
To where ever you are going back to.
Which right now is up in the air.
Yes that's right shopping fans!
I am embarking on the Ultimate Shopping Quest(USQ!)!
The Flat Tire Central Command Center(FTCCC) is moving!
Sort of like a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital(M*A*S*H) without the surgical hospital part.
Okay, and without the army part too.
So just the mobile part except the FTCCC will only be mobile once.
So anyways, I was tying to get rid of as much of my old stuff as possible cause you know what they say: you can't take it with you.
Or something like that.
The USQ has already started and you will not believe what I've found.
More on that later.
Lemme tell you the real estate market here is hot, hot, hot and I'm a shopping, shopping, shopping.
Or at least looking, looking, looking.
If you know what I mean.
Oh yeah baby.
The Ultimate Shopping Quest is on!