Triumph TR4 Photo

1964 Triumph TR4.

I was digging through thousands of old photos when I found this old B&W of a TR4 I put 100K+ miles on. –I told you I used to be skinny.–
red 1964 triumph tr4
If you look close you can see the front end of my old triumph 650 Bonnie.

The reason the photo’s so small is because I took it with an ancient Polaroid land camera.
Polaroid Land camera

Judging by the size of the photo, the camera was probably a pronto or some other cheap model.

Unfortunately, I’ve gone through so many freakin cameras, that there’s no way I can remember which one it was. –These days they’re too expensive to buy, try, and toss.

I’m not sentimental about cars or motorcycles, but that little Triumph was the car I drove to Jackson Hole, WY …for lunch. –That’s only a bit over 10hrs, and about 700mi.

Yup, I hated my job that much.

I miss that car, but I’ve put on a bit of weight since then, so, I’d have to buy two, strap one to each foot, and use them for roller skates.

Long lens photography

I’ve got a new long lens and I’m going back to birding. Not that I maintain a life book (a journal of birds seen over a lifetime) or anything, but it gets me out of the house.

I took this late this afternoon out my back door. It’s just a mockingbird shot with a Canon 80d and a Tamron 150-600mm at 450mm, f8, iso 400, exposure 1/640. It’s not too bad for handheld, with a camera/lens combination I’m none too familiar with. –It didn’t hurt that the light was near perfect for the shot.

mockingbird on a  wire

When I bought my 80d I also bought the cheapest long Tamron (about $900), then I wound up using my 18-135mm kit lens for almost everything.

Now I need to practice with this little beastie.

The 150-600mm (240-960mm on a crop sensor) lens is f5-f6.3 and weighs just over 4lb. It’s 10.5″ long at 150mm and you can add about 4″ for the hood. But fully extended, at 600mm including the hood it’s approximately 17″ long. This means that whenever you carry it, you should lock the lens at 150mm, or it will extend to full length anytime you point it downhill. –Maybe you’re more graceful than I am, but that extra 3″ means I’ll bump into all sorts of stuff.

Another thing about long lenses that bugs me is the bokeh. At a distance it’s great, but up close, especially with a busy background, it makes me crazy.

This Virginia Rail surprised me while I was out shooting cormorants at the wetlands. My Sigma 300-800mm was at 500mm f8, and I managed to get one decent shot of the critter at a distance of something like 10 yards.
Virginia Rail taken with Sigma 300-800mm
Notice the squiggly bushes and the gravel.

Still, it’s the best shot of a rail I’ve ever taken. Okay, so it’s the only shot of a Virginia Rail I’ve ever taken. At least I got one.

Future super hero in training at the park

Future super hero in training.

I know I’ve posted this before, but I still think it’s funny.

This is just some guy I saw at the park. But these photos clearly demonstrate why it’s probably a bad idea to go to a public park by yourself if you’re going to practice, whatever the heck he was practicing.

Future super hero posing right.
hero pose right

Future super hero posing left.
hero pose left

Future super hero forward stretch (probably best left to super models.)
hero pose

Future super hero realizing he’s been caught on camera.
hero pose 2

A final thought: in a public park you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. So think before you pose… Just saying.

Promote yourself on social media 101

This is a fast and dirty post on where to promote yourself online. Read it only if you want a larger audience. But, if you’re like me and really don’t give a shit, you need to know a bit about this stuff because people are obsessed with the “internet.” So read it anyway, because knowing this shit will make you sound smarter and more involved than you really are.

Here’s the list complete with descriptions by way of Wikipedia.

  • Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, “tweets”, restricted to 140 characters. –Ask Trump how well it works for self-promotion.
  • Facebook is the world’s largest online social media and social networking site. It’s so vast a network it’s easy to get lost in the crowd, but once you get established you can develop a huge following.
  • Instagram is a mobile, desktop, and Internet-based photo-sharing application and service that has 48649302 likes on Facebook.
  • Pinterest is a web and mobile application startup that operates a software system designed to discover information on the World Wide Web, mainly utilizing images.. CEO Ben Silbermann summarized the company as a “catalog of ideas.”
  • Linkedin is a business- and employment-oriented social networking service
  • YouTube is an American video-sharing website
  • Google+ (Google Plus) is Google’s attempt at social networking.
  • Medium is an example of social journalism, having a hybrid collection of amateur and professional people and publications.
  • Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking website.

If you’re going to use these for promoting your latest book, website, or wax eloquent about your latest epiphany, you need a profile picture, because people are more comfortable is they think they know the person they’re talking to.
(If you’re going to take a picture off the web, don’t use anyone famous. That means Fabio, Elvira, and that smokin’ hot chick you saw on Facebook, are right out.)

These are the basic sizes.

  • Twitter profile picture size: 400px x 400px
  • Facebook profile picture size: 170px X 170px
  • Instagram profile picture size: 110px x 110px
  • Pinterest profile picture size: 150px X 150px
  • LinkedIn profile picture size: 400px x 400px
  • YouTube profile picture size: 800px x 800px
  • Google+ profile picture size: 250px x 250px
  • Medium profile picture size: 400px x 400px
  • Tumblr profile picture size: 128px x 128px

Here are two sites that are excellent sources for learning the basics of promoting your site.
Google Garage
Godaddy Garage

None of this is hard. Hell, even I’ve got Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts. And I’m probably the least social individual on social media.
All you’ve got to do is do it. –Remembering not to post anything you wouldn’t want your mother to see; because the internet is forever.

One last note: If you’re going to have forms or logins on your site invest in an SSL or Google will ding you big time.

Bump stocks and the Las Vegas shooter

Bump stocks 101. Or how to shoot a shitload of people without breaking a sweat.

I’ve been talking to people who were wondering just how in the Hell that lunatic -here in Las Vegas- managed to shoot that many people, at one time.

  • So, first we have approximately 22 thousand people packed together at an open air concert. –Aka: shooting fish in a barrel.
  • Next we have a room with a view. –32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay.
  • Then we have a gun show in town, so nobody thought it was weird that some guy brought a shit load of firearms to his room
  • And lastly; “Apparently,” he looked and acted like any other hotel patron. He had no known history of mental illness. He had no connections to any known death-to-America groups. And he didn’t show any outward changes in speech or behavior.

As a general rule, Jihadist will usually follow a pattern. They post on message boards, they send final letters to friends and family, and they follow radical teachings. etc. But this guy is the thing of nightmares. He blended in perfectly. He was white, he had enough money to be able to gamble regularly, and he passed any background checks with flying colors.

Sure he had 2 out of 23 rifles fitted with bump stocks, but the truth is, when shooting into a crowd of that size, the number of people wounded or killed would have been lower, but not that much lower, if he had brought 23 fully loaded lever action rifles. There simply isn’t any way to evacuate that many warm bodies without leaving them exposed for way too long.

But on to what will be blamed for the entire awful mess.

The now infamous bump stock.

Here’s how they work:
Bump stock animation

You pull the trigger and hold your finger in the pull position, while the stock slides back and forth, resetting the trigger and allowing the rifle to continue firing. It takes a bit of practice, but then it’s kind of cool. (Providing you can afford to feed the beast, at two full 30 round magazines a minute.)

These are NOT illegal. ATF has decided that these stocks, in spite of firing 45 – 60 rounds per minute, do not convert a rifle to an automatic weapon, because there is no change to the firing mechanism.

The problem is simple: It’s not about bump fire stocks, semi-auto rifles, hi-cap mags, or even gun control.

It’s about mental illness, social pressures, and all the problems that come from an over crowded planet leaving too many people in too small an area.

Have you ever noticed how rude the folks in the really crowded cities are? Well guess what. If you crowd rats together like that they develop the same problems. Only humans tend to do it voluntarily.

Get used to it folks. It’s only going to get worse.