Monthly Archives: January 2010

A Month of Shooting

It’s getting close to a month.  So.  What have I learned?

Specifically, with my D70 I’ve learned a couple of things.

  1. My filter tends to create green ghosts of light on the frame directly opposite the location of the light source.  If I remove the filter for indoor shooting, the ghosts do not show up.
  2. At 1600 ISO all of my low light shots tend to look like I’ve shot them and then post processed them as sepia toned images.  (Too “warm.”)  Correcting the white balance in post can sometimes fix this.
  3. The battery I have can keep the camera on for an average of eight hours a day for about three weeks, shooting an average of six or seven shots a day.
  4. I’ve used the on camera flash to illuminate a subject a total of zero times.  On the other hand, I’ve used it as a flash commander for the self portrait juggling shots indoors.
  5. The remote timer setting only lasts five seconds, regardless of whether or not I’ve set it to twenty seconds in the menu.
  6. Walking creates the opportunities I need to take photographs.  Staying at home and working in my office do not.
  7. No pictures of people, surprisingly.

The Dishwasher

It sits there in my kitchen. Generally not full enough to run, but full enough that I should consider running it. I’ve used one consistently for the last six years and it’s the first time that I’ve really thought about it.  I never really used the dishwasher until I got this place.

I had used them before, but not as the primary method of getting my dishes clean.  In fact, other than the nonstick pots and pans I use, it’s the primary method.

I never used them at home, possibly because my parents had the dishwasher dilemma.  The dishwasher at home was a glorified dish rack.  I remember its one knob, broken from heartbreak or being ignored.  I remember washing dishes when I was younger and in high school and hating it.  I hated the feeling of the rubber gloves so my hands were always in poor shape by the time dishes were done.  When I got to college of course, I had to do my own dishes in the lounge, but it was one dish and pot at a time—not overwhelming at all.  Now I have my own place and I and I only do the bare minimum in terms of dishwashing.

I’m trying to decide how the dishwasher took some time to warm up to, while I embraced the roomba wholeheartedly.  It was a very easy habit to pick up.  Putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher and running it.  I usually start it when I leave, and when I get back home from work there are clean dishes.  My usage pattern is about two loads a week, and I only have place settings for four, so that makes sense with a seven day week.  More if I entertain, but that hasn’t happened in a while.

I look at the one in my kitchen right now, and I worry about it giving up the ghost at the most inconvenient time.  I’d hate to have to start washing dishes again.



Saying that Bayonetta is “kind of ridiculous” is an understatement.  It’s kind of like saying that I am kind of into video games or kind of not into racial profiling or kind of think that the TSA isn’t doing a good job.  Understatements aside, I am going to point out that it is a game wherein a gun toting witch performs a suplex on a ten story tall dragon shaped angelic host.

Multiple times.

So ridiculous in a good way.

But it’s Bayonetta’s ridiculous game situations, combined with its great fighting mechanics, its modern gothic aesthetic, and a title character that can out diva some of the ladies at Perry’s Sunday Brunch that all come together to make the game really stand out.  Also—lots and lots of delicious camp.* Continue reading


It builds, slowly.  It could be anything.  A stutter in framerate.  A texture tear.  Just the feeling that things could look better when I’m shooting Skaggs in the wilds of Pandora.  (Yep.  Still playing Borderlands.)  So I think about my current setup, and I have to wonder if there’s anything else I can do, other than reinstall Windows.

It’s mainly a gaming rig, so first it’s looking at  the video card hierarchy on Tom’s Hardware.  Then there is the requisite visit to the system guides on Ars Technica.  Then there’s window shopping for components on Newegg.  Maybe even a shopping list that gets created.

This process has repeated itself a couple of times over the last couple of months and it’s maddening.  Then comes the reading.  Dozens of articles to catch up with CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage advances that have come about since the last time I built a machine.

It’s approaching two years since I’ve built a new machine and I’m very much filled with the desire to build something new before I jump on the Windows 7 party bus.  There is a feeling of accomplishment after successfully putting together a working machine.  It’s something tangible.

Although ultimately, I may just scrap the whole project, pump two more gig of RAM into the rig, slap in a couple of larger, faster hard drives, configure RAID 0, install Windows 7 and then call it a day.

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Borderlands, the Short Story

I hear the telltale displacement of air, the sudden rush to fill a Lillith sized hole in the universe.  That noise only means one thing.  She’s phased, which means that she’s seen me first.

I’ve got about ten seconds.

I wonder what it’s going to be like when I see her.

Will the hairs all over my body start to tingle as she summons every latent charge around me into an electrical storm?   Will I feel the wind leaving my lungs as she compresses and then suddenly ignites the oxygen?  Will I suddenly find myself choking on the corrosive tang of an acid mist, a seething biting cloud?

Or will she simply set everything on fire?