ljplicease: (strider1)

The other day I was in the supermarket trying to figure out a way to earn enough stamps to get a free pan. Or actually half of a free pan. (But that is another story). And I saw a bag of ginger snaps that advertised to be “Swedish Style”. They looked awfully like Australian Arnott's Ginger Nuts to me, so I decided to give them a shot. When I tried them, they were a little softer and smaller than the Australian version, but other wise fairly similar. Score! So I don't know if they are actually Swedish style or if it is a labeling error because when I was in Sweden last year I wasn't on the look out for Ginger Nuts.

New Years Weekend wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Very little discussion of politics.

Driving home yesterday from New Jersey, we were listening to The Big Listen which is what last week sent me into a tirade about American Exceptionalism. This week they interviewed a pair of sisters who live in Sydney and Germany. I felt like my faith in America had been restored just a tincy little bit. (Also if you are going to point out my hypocrisy, YES, if I am susceptible to exceptionalism it would be for the Australian sort, and the sisters were Australian).

What I wrote last week was intended as social commentary, rather than political, but I guess it has some political ramifications. I think a lot of people (Americans and non-Americans) look at the political system in the states and say “of of course if you just fix this one structural thing and do it more like this then everything would be solved”. If that one thing be guns or electoral college or whatever. Although I have strong opinions on those issues, my observations from living in Australia as an adult inform me in a different way. There are important differences in the systems of government used, and they have real consequences. The problem I see is the weird things that we obsess about and thus become controversial. For example, in America abortion is controversial, and in Australia building roads that connect from one city to another without horrendous traffic is controversial. It seems weird to most Australians that you would threaten to shutdown the government, or throw the supreme court into chaos over who should control a woman's body. Likewise Australians inability to build a proper freeway through Sydney would be laughable if I hadn't had to drive it a few times.

In Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, he describes the problem in the non-bookworld of Thursday Next, which is the Stupidity Surplus.

The dangerously high level of stupidity surplus was once again the lead story in The Owl that morning. The reason for the crisis was clear: Prime Minister Redmond van de Poste and his ruling Commonsense Party had been discharging their duties with a reckless degree of responsibility that bordered on inspired sagacity. Instead of drifting from one crisis to the next and appeasing the nation with a steady stream of knee-jerk legislation and headline-grabbing but arguably pointless initiatives, they had been resolutely building a raft of considered long-term plans that concentrated on unity, fairness and tolerance. It was a state of affairs deplored by Mr. Alfredo Traficcone, leader of the opposition Prevailing Wind Party, who wanted to lead the nation back to the safer ground of uniformed stupidity.

I don't think Australia or America (or Europe or Asia) are “better” or “worse”. They have different approaches, all of them falling well short of perfect, and it is much easier to see the stupidity surplus being expended in the weirdly specific ways and say “our system is much better”, but your system (for whomever you are) also has a lot of stupidity. Admit it, if you were the King of Whatever you'd do things differently, I sure would.

From an historical perspective, I think that if people in America had been paying more attention to the political winds in Europe, people here (myself specifically for example) would have taken President-Comrade-Elect Thin Skin more seriously. (There was some talk about Brexit, but “It Can't Happen Here”). On the other hand Europe dragged both America and Australia into two world wars last century, and I think if people had studied the enormous loss of life in the US Civil War they might have done things differently? Probably not. But back then America was a backwater and Europe was exceptional.

ljplicease: (street)

In January of 2015 I decided, as an exercise, to post one film photograph every day for the entire year. They go on my The Facebook and my blogity blog, but not the LJ version. The idea was to get used to working with film again on a regular basis. I called it ‘film 365’ for the number of days in the year obviously. (A sampling of the results can be seen here). (The entire collection is here). Originally it was only going to be a one year thing, but in January of 2016 I noticed that there were going to be 366 days in 2016 so I could do it again and call it ‘film 366’. Obviously.

Lena wrote the holiday letter as usual and I said I would pick out some photographs. Only when I started looking at my pickys, I noticed a lot of them were of old rusty tin cans and brick walls where the paint was coming off. And I realized most of them while interesting photographs for me weren't really of the “here we are standing in front of this tourist attriaction” sort that you expect in a year end summary holiday letter. We used a couple of mine, but mostly we shiped a letter with her photographs. I am okay with that. Instead of the holiday letter I write my year end summary here, with an overview of some of my favorite photographs. Some are my favorite because they are a pleasing composition. Some of them because they elicit an interesting observation. Some of them just because.

A lot of ink has been spilled on the subject of what a terrible year 2016 has been on account of various elections and how many celebrities have died. Actually for us 2016 has been a pretty good year. Lena has gotten a job where she is being paid, and jettisoned the one where he boss was not paying her. I got a raise. We've had several pretty nice vacations here in the states and off in Europe. I am sad to see a few celebrities go, but it does not feel espeically personal. A couple of elections didn't go the way I expected or wanted to, but the actual consequences don't start to really set in until 2017. Which is what this comes down to. Next year, 2017, is going to be the shitty one. I am optamistic that we will get through it.

With that all said. Once again. In no particular order, except for “random”:


(lime photographing flowers ≈ 110) This is my favorite portrait of my wife that I took this year. I was shooting redscale, which is where you expose film on the wrong side and you get this red shift. If you under expose redscale you get too much red, but if you overexpose, you get some other colors. Which is what I did here. It was also magic hour, which helped.

...the rest... picture heavy )

I am going to post a few more next week. For those interested, you can see the whole lot here:

ljplicease: (sold)

Definitely my least favorite thing about America is its exceptionalism. I was trying to explain to someone how much more amazing the original House of Cards was than the American remake. She told me that she wouldn't be able to figure out all the parliamentary stuff. In the 538 postmortem of the election somebody said “I still believe that America is better than Canada”. More on principal than actaully knowledge of anything Canadian. On listening to The Big Listen (podcast) tonight in the car, they interviewed an American who wanted desperately to dismiss a CBC podcast because it was Canadian. That is code, btw, for: not American. Tonight we went to see Doctor Who chrissy special in the theatre, and apparently the cast and crew of the show flew all the way to Bulgaria to pretend they were in New York. All so that American audiences could understand. Because it wouldn't be understandable if an Alien came to Earth and didn't visit New York or Los Angles now and then. They can't spend all of their time in London and Cardiff.

I like to think that Americans really are able to grasp the subtle nuance of parliamentary democracy, and that they don't hate Canada the same ways a Red Sox fan hates the Yankees. I like to think that Americans can enjoy something that wasn't pre-packaged specifically for them. After all, the rest of the world does it! I am reminded of a lion named Alex telling a giraffe that he wanted to know about things outside of New York City, and the giraffe pointing out that was only one subject.

ljplicease: (slc cap #3)

We had a lovely Sunday with mum and Don. We had all agreed just to do small presents, so after brekky that is what we did. For lunch we roasted the leg o' lamb that I had gotten from Costco on Friday. Mum showed me how to prepare it nicely. Don carved. In the evening we played Trivial Pursuit. The copy we have dates back to the days of the Soviet Union, so you have to calibrate your answers appropriately. We played the usual teams, Mum and I vs. Don and Lena. Don and Lena were victorious.

Monday was Boxing Day, which isn't usually a holiday here, but since Chrissy was on Sunday, it was the day we got off. We were in negotiations to see a movie, but since we couldn't decide on one mum suggested going up to Harpers Ferry instead. I have been meaning to go to Harpers Ferry since 2010, when I did my road trip[1] from Salt Lake City to DC. We were hungry by the time we got there, so we went to Bistro 1840, which was delicious. A tad heavy on the cheese though. Then we climbed some rocks for a view and crossed the bridge to the Maryland side for fun and then came back to the West Virginia side to visit the John Brown museum. There was a poignant moment when we were watching national park videos talking about the disunity[2] that was brought about by John Brown and his followers when we looked at each other and considered the political climate and uncertainty on the horizon.

When we got home, we planned out our Tassie trip[3]. We are going to visit the island state for about a week as a subset of our Aussie trip in February.

  1. That trip was routed to add as many new states to my list of states visited as possible. I did one weird thing in each state by researching weird things on the internet. The John Brown Wax Museum in Harpers Ferry was supposed to be my West Virginia thing, but after Kentucky I was exhausted of driving and went as directly as possible to Springfield, Virginia where I stayed for about a month before moving into Maryland. I figured from the DC area it would be easy to visit Harpers Ferry at my leisure. Had no idea it would take six years. I still haven't been to the Wax Museum. Also, I still have eleven US states to visit.
  2. In fairness, John Brown was the spark that erupted into the Civil War, but but all the political munitions that had been stacked up for him to set alight have to take some responsibility too.
  3. Incidentally, once complete, this will leave just the big WA as the only Australian state I haven't been to. WA is the size of Texas, California and Alaska combined.
ljplicease: (slc cap #2)

Mum is in town for the holiday and we went to the Peruvian place in town on Friday for din dins. On the way back I could see these emergency vehicles in the distance flashing their lights and driving slowly. Is this a motorcade to protect the President? I thought. Not in this town for sure. I waited at the corner to see what was coming. Mum and Lena turned the corner, but when they saw me watching they came back. As the vehicles came closer I could identify them as coming from the fire department. The fire car in front further slowed and activated its alarm. In the middle of the motorcade was a red fire engine with ladders and a brightly lit sign saying “Happy Holidays” and a jolly santa claus waving and laughing. We waved back and laughed as we watched the motorcade turn down our street and disappear into the distance. Well that is something you don't see every day. This is a different fire engine of course. It is a FDNY engine from when we were in NYC with Lara right before Turkey Day.

ljplicease: (slc cap #1)

During the last LiveJournal upgrade, they must have updated something which broke my LJ client. Which is what I use to synchronize my blogity blog with my LiveJournal. The client is hand coded by yours truly, and not maintained really, except for random hacks when things break, so don't do that. Where was I? Oh yeah, I figured out by turning off deflate in the HTTP transaction everything started working again. Although obviously the messages are going to be larger now. So that isn't good. The LiveJournal documentation for writing clients is really terrible, from an age when the website was owned by a different sort of company that cared about interoperability. Now there are lots of broken links and no explanation when things change. It is pretty obvious that they hope you don't even notice that you CAN use those interfaces.

A pity.

ljplicease: (shrine)

The end of the year is coming. Are we closing the door on 2016 or opening new ones for 2017.

The holiday letters got shipped out last week (both editions), and we've already gotten some reports reception at domestic addresses. International destinations this year included: Australia, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.

Mum and Don arrive tomorrow. That is good. They are low stress visitors. I can't take any time off because of the Aussie trip in February, but we get Boxing Day off this year since Christmas is on a weekend day. In a more civilized country we'd get both off! Or neither. I don't really care.

Mum and Don are back to Sydney after Boxing Day to see the New Year fireworks off the bridge, and we are up to New Jersey to see in the new year Lena's family. That is also good, but a wee bit more stressful. There is no telling this stage exactly where we will be celebrating.

Last night we went to see Rogue One in the Rockville theatre with the big seats. It was surprisingly well attended for a Monday night. We would have gone Sunday, except none of the shows before 9pm had any good seats remaining by the time I started looking. I liked the way they used the old school Star Wars tech. The ending of the film looks totally seamless with the start of A New Hope. It was also nice to see a live action Star Wars that wasn't drenched in pseudo philosophical Jedi mumbo jumbo. I think Star Wars has improved a lot since Lucas stopped being involved.

ljplicease: (shark)

Yesterday I cut our last release of our product for the year. The version is 1.16.17. The first number in the triplet is always 1. Not sure why. The second number in the triplet refers to the year, in this case 2016. The third indicates that it is the 17th release this year. Actually it will be only the 16th given that one release was canceled. We are supposed to do a release every two weeks. So we ought to have 26 releases every year. What happened to the other nine releases? Well sometimes we delay a release because of a holiday. 4th of July week is usually bad to release on because many people are on vacation. In December I don't ever try to schedule more than one release because of Christmas. Still. We delay a lot of releases because people can't get their shit together in time, and we have to delay a release in the testing phase.

ljplicease: (shadow3)

In the dollar store some times ago I got a cheap book titled Great Battles. It is a funny book for me to own being a pacifist. But I find that sort of thing interesting. It starts with the Battle of Marathon and finishes off with the 2003 invasion of Iraq (which they refer to as “Operation Iraqi Freedom”). Each night I read a chapter which covers a different battle, and then I read about the same said battle on Wikipedia. Lately I have been making the rounds through the Napoleonic Wars: Trafalgar, Waterloo etc. Then I read into other subjects like the Napoleon's Continental System, in which he tried to cut the British out of trading in Europe, but this ended up hurting France more than Britain in practice. Also led to invasions into Spain and Russia which resulted into the downfall of the French Empire. I wonder if their are any lessons for us in The Future for that.

Lena has been watching through Star Trek The Next Generation, and we've been watching key episodes together. In The Best of Both Worlds, Picard tours the Enterprise the night before a tough battle with the Borg. He makes his way to Ten Forward and has a conversation with Guinan which is supposed to remind us that, this being the season finale, Anyone Can Die. (Riker is also mulling over a promotion to another ship, and guest Shelby is vying for his job). (Oh noes any cast change could happen)!

Picard: It's something of a tradition, Guinan - Captain touring the ship before a battle.
Guinan: Hmm. Before a hopeless battle, if I remember the tradition correctly.
Picard: Not necessarily. Nelson toured the HMS Victory before Trafalgar.
Guinan: Yes, but Nelson never returned from Trafalgar, did he?
Picard: No, but the battle was won.

Absent a stale spoiler alert, lets just say at the end of part two, all the regulars are back where they started and Shelby is on to other things never to be seen again.

Anyway, reading about Trafalgar, the thing that strikes me about this interaction now is that it seems like Picard is on “our side”. “Our side” being the presumed Anglo-Saxon-American audience which relates more with Nelson than his opponent Pierre-Charles Villeneuve (who by the way, unlike Nelson, lost the battle, but survived). The only problem is that from Picard's perspective Trafalgar wasn't won, but lost. He is after all, nominally French. We even later find out in another story that he had a relative fighting at Trafalgar on the French side.

ljplicease: (shadow1)

I made some comments about Mr. Trash Wheel after seeing him patrol the Baltimore Inner Harbor when we stayed there for a weekend earlier this year. Well now they have a new female Trash Wheel, and kudos for them not naming her Mrs. Trash Wheel a la Ms. Pac-Man. Her name is Professor Trash Wheel! Nice! I've already friended her on The Facebook and The Twitscape, where I have learned that the two Trash Wheels are not actually related:

Now I am just waiting for them to add a third named Trashy McTrashface. Er.

edit: fixed link to the notice about Prof. Trash Wheel

ljplicease: (selfstrangecolor2)

We took my sister to the airport on Sunday. Turned out she was leaving Sunday and not Saturday. It was nice to have her for an extra day; we decorated the tree and put the electric farolitos out. It was sort of a shock to my system because my brain was trained to the idea of things settling down on Saturday. It was a wonderful, but intense couple of weeks in which I learned a lot about my sister, myself and my father. It felt more like four weeks.

As I look at the calendar, I realize that just leaves December. We are back to the normal grind now: work, rest, work, rest, weekend, etc. My godmother is paying us a visit in mid-December. Mum and Don are coming for Christmas. We are going to New Jersey for New Years.

We noted when we[1], started working on the holiday letter that we'd had lots of visitors from Australia this year, and one visitor from Russia. This years holiday letter will have a snarky director's cut, for those to whom it is not politically incorrect to send.

I am reminded of the faux Chinese curse which is to wish that your enemies to live in interesting times. I think 2017 will be interesting times. For all that entails. Also there is the Klingon proverb that revenge is a dish that is best served cold[2]. If I can be a little glass half full though, if we are going to create a future for ourselves, it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work, regardless of the challenges.

  1. by “we” I mean Lena
  2. It is very cold, in space
ljplicease: (selfieweirdcolor1)

The Australian Embassy in Washington website states quite clearly that they reject 90% of all passport photos. The reason is that Australia has different size requirements for their photos, which most passport photo vendors in the United States do not support. Having Australian citizenship and having to renew your passport every 10 years is definitely a Good Problem To Have on balance, but it is also nerve-racking due to unnecessary bureaucracy! For this reason, even though I am proficient photographer in the darkroom, and in photoshop, I chose this decade to use PassportPhotoNow.com since getting the exact right sized passport photo for any country is their expertise. In the process of gathering my documents and filling out my form, the photo was the only thing that I did not have to worry about. The nice gentleman at the Embassy who helped me said “It looks like you got the photos from the right place”, when he saw that my pictures had come from PassportPhotoNow.com, so there is even an unofficial endorsement there of sorts. If you are an expat living in the United States, and you have to renew your passport, don't get your photo rejected! Use PassportPhotoNow.com.

I rarely do product reviews, and even less frequently to my blogity blog but I was super impressed and grateful for this service. I am super excited to once again to have a current Aussie passport and I am going to use it in February to go home!

ljplicease: (rt9)

I had a restless dream last night when I was with the revolutionaries in a Pizza joint in New Haven and I ordered pork and onion pizza. Then I stopped to wonder if the other revolutionaries would like pork and onion pizza. I sheepishly gave the other revolutionaries an appetizer that they had given me when I placed the order. One of the revolutionaries told me “We know [about the appetizer], we've been here before”. I explained that I had been there before, in the early 80s.

Profound I know.

ljplicease: (rocks and ocean)

We didn't have any plans for Thanksgiving until a month or so ago when my sister Lara asked if it would be okay to visit. Usually when it is just the two of us we roast a chicken instead of a turkey, and make the other fixins. Since we were going to be three and Lara had never done Turkey Day before (it is not celebrated in Australia), we decided to go full on Turkey Day!


We got started a little late, and we quite disorganized, so it was an “all hands on deck” event until finally everything was on the table. In addition to the normal turkey, stuffing, potatoes, yams, gravy and cranberries we had fresh guacamole as it was a Lara favorite. I also had a Lena made margarita, because that is a Graham favorite. So we like to tweak things a little bit.


All the pickys

Some of the pickys developing

Another tweak was that before digging in, we each told everyone what we were thankful for, and took a selfie with the instant camera, and a picture of our plate. A nice surprise was to see that I had loaded the camera with the rainbow borders as seen above! I like to incorporate film into my life's adventures.

Lena's brother called to wish us a Happy Turkey Day and to thank us for the gift we had gotten for Lena's nephew. I was talking Transformers with him the other day and I noticed he kept asking about Chase, so we got him a Chase figure for his birthday which had already passed. When I asked Oleg about it, he didn't seem to know the difference, but his son sure did!


After dinner we went downstairs to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Lara fell asleep. Snoopy got into a fight with a lawn chair. This stuff totally makes sense. We watched a peanuts special that was about the Pilgrims that was on the same disk. It was totally ra ra America, but still fun to watch. Then we watched the Halloween special It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, because we forgot to watch it on actual Halloween again. Poor Linus was stuck out in the sincere pumpkin patch and was stood up by the Great Pumpkin once again this year. Next year also. What makes a pumpkin patch sincere anyway?

All things being equal, this was one of the best Turkey Days ever. I think it helped because it was a younger crowd this year. So to speak. So it was a great way to distract us from some less than cool stuff that is going on right now.

ljplicease: (redmailtruck)

Since I was asked, here is the recipe that I used for the veggie tacos:

Although I had 2x the mushrooms and ended up making about 3x the amount of marinade. Otherwise pretty close. Although I didn't make my own tortillas. I did this once, and it was more trouble than it was worth, and they didn't really taste any better than the blue corn tortillas I can get at the store. I don't use a recipe for Posole anymore. But here is how I make it.

  • Pork; I use pork loin, but you can use a lesser cut
  • Chopped Onion
  • Chopped garlic
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin (lots)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Several 8oz cans of Hatch Green Chili
  • Several cans of Posole (or Hominy)
  • Several cans of chopped Tomatoes
  • Olive oil


  1. Boil the pork in a medium pot large enough to cover it in water
  2. Remove pork from water and chop it into smallish pieces. Keep the broth for later.
  3. In another, larger pot, heat up the olive oil and add the onions and garlic until the onions are just a tad translucent.
  4. Add the spices: Chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper. Let them heat up and ripen for a few minutes.
  5. Add everything else: pork, Green Chili, Posole, Tomatoes.
  6. Bring it up to a boil, turn down the heat and let simmer for 1/2 hour or longer.

Tastes even better the next day when you reheat it.


  1. Same as above, except skip the pork, and use vegetable broth instead of the pork broth.

Slow Cooker

  1. Steps 1-2 for standard, or Step 1 from Vegetarian, but put final combination in a slow cooker all at once and let it slowly cook all day.

Other Variations

  1. I also like to add cilantro sometimes to the final mix.
  2. The recipe that I adapted the my current version also called for cayenne and cloves, but I do not include them anymore.

You may have noticed that I don't really have any amounts. You may also notice that I get a lot of stuff out of a can. You can also go fresh.

ljplicease: (reagan and cobra commander)

In better news, my sister has come to visit from Australia. Originally my father was also going to come, but for reasons left unexplained it ended up being just my sister. I'm annoyed at my father, but on the other hand, I think this is an opportunity to engage more with my sister for two whole weeks.

She arrived yesterday and we picked her up from Dulles. She says interesting things like “American traffic is fun, because traffic in Canberra is just cars driving slowly, here they actually stop”. Also she surprised us by telling us that she was a vegetarian now, but didn't want to tell us before hand, because she didn't want us to go to any trouble because she will probably (though I am not sure why) have to eat meat in London, where she is headed after visiting us. I really wish she had told me! I am definitely not a vegetarian, but I can definitely do the vegetarian thing for guests! I have some ideas of how to approach this. We already bought the turkey for Thanksgiving though so there is that.

when voting

Nov. 8th, 2016 03:08 pm
ljplicease: (quintstarship)

I took my time in becoming an American citizen, because I didn't want to lose my Australian citizenship. So my first presidential election was 2004. Then I moved to Australia for four years, and I voted in one federal and one state election.

When I voted in the federal election, my rep was the guy who is now the US Ambasador not so far from us! Small world.

I moved back to the states in time to vote in 2012, 2014 and again today. Lena and I walked to our polling place. It is at a local elementary school. I am always thrilled when I can walk to my voting place. There was a short line. While we were waiting in line we had for entertainment a toddler running between his parents and grandma at different places in the line. Election workers were friendly and professional. Voters were patient and solemn.

Please, if you are eligible and haven't already, find the time to vote.

ljplicease: (qm2)

Last night Lena and I were talking to mum on what would be called a vid-phone if we lived in a scifi story. I said something and mum told me that I was such a scientist. This is not really true. I am an engineer. A software engineer. A scientist asks a question, and then tries to work out the answer from a controlled experiment. An engineer takes synthesized science and math and builds things. That is more what I do.

I saw a T-shirt somewhere which was sized for a little one which basically said “I am a Jedi like my father before me” and “I am a wizard like my mum who went to Hogwarts”. It is of course a joke T-shirt to appeal to split franchise families. To take it a step too seriously, I think if I were to have a child I would like them to say “I am scientist like my grandparents” or “I am an engineer like my father and my other grandfather” or “I am a healer like my mum and other grandma”[1]. Star Wars, at least under the reign of George Lucas, has always leaned too heavily on destiny for my taste. The second half of Return of the Jedi focuses on the whiny blonde farm boy with Jedi powers he inherited from his (as it turns out from the prequels, his even more whiny) father. Meanwhile thousands are fighting and dying in the trenches and in space just outside of the window. I haven't read Harry Potter, but the Wizard/Muggle dynamic strikes me as potentially problematic as well.

Nate Silver, for those who haven't been paying attention, is a rising star in the data journalism and political pundit arena because of his predictive election models. In 2012 he correctly predicted that the race wasn't close and Obama would easily win reelection. At the time his model proved controversial among some Republicans because it showed how hopeless the race was for them. This year his model says that the race is much closer than what the raw polls are saying. ie, his model is saying that Clinton is a favorite, but you shouldn't bet the house on it. So of course this year it is the rabid Democratic leaning press which is hysterical about his prediction. (Not exactly the take they had last time). HuffPo in particular, (who have an absurd competing model which shows Clinton with a 99% chance of winning), have complained that Silver is creating a panic amongst Democrats. My take is: dude. Chill out. It is just a model. It might be right. It might be wrong. The only way to find out is to wait until election day and run the experiment. If you are a Democrat, you probably SHOULD be nervous that Trump MIGHT win. And for that reason, you should go out and vote. Actaully I saw some Clinton GOTV copy which referenced Nate's forecast. So somebody has the right idea.

Anyway, that is why I got labeled as a scientist, by my actual scientist mum.

  1. Better even than that would be “I pursue my dreams with the support of my family”.
ljplicease: (prawn)

(Thanks to the slowness of film, this story happened several weeks ago in October)!


Last year Lena had this idea to do this Insane Inflatable 5k. It was more fun and silly than serious. The idea is that you run/walk a 5k with a few inflatable obstacles peppering the route. This year Lena sent me a link to it again, not really expecting much of it and I had the idea to do it in New York instead of DC so we went ahead and did it again. The reason I wanted to do it in New York, they do it on Floyd Bennett Field, an old airfield and you get to run on the old runways. Probably a silly thing, but we can stay at Lena's folks the night before in New Jersey, and afterwords we can eat at our favorite Italian place and hang out with grandma and the rest of the fam. Lena invited her friend to join us. At first I didn't think she would come because it was so far, but then when she agreed to it I sort of squinted and thought yeah actually it doesn't surprise me. As you know I like to haul a film camera where ever I go, but lugging they heavy artillery for this sort of operation is not advisable, so I brought a plastic camera instead (pictured here). Obviously, this isn't a camera that provides highly detailed reproductions! In fact I suspect the shutter may be a little slow. On the other hand it sometimes gives a sense of motion. The only bummer was as I was attempting to reload the camera toward the end of the “race” to capture the “finish line”, I broke the winder. I have two more copies of that camera. One is a real Vivitar (non-clone). The other is pink.

some more pictures and details )
ljplicease: (pixel6)

Developed 10 rolls of black and white film that had queued up over the past few weeks. Then washed all the tanks and plastic jugs and such so they won't stink (so much) of chemicals. My whole body is sore and I am ready to go to sleep. This picture was one of the frames on the first roll that I processed:


From the last time I was washing out the equipment. (this is a small load compared to what I washed up tonight)! This is the first time that I am using my new workflow, which is to scan the negs to make a digital contact sheet, and to print optically in the darkroom later.


ljplicease: (Default)

April 2017

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