Thursday, February 28, 2008

The new Acoustic's almost ready!

About a week to go. Just the bridge to do. You can see the arm-rest in this shot, as well as the upper sound hole, a bit of the multiscale neck. Tony Karol's done a bang up job!

In the back pic, you see the rib rest cut-away. It's gonna be a beauty!

Now I just gotta name it! I think I'm gonna call it "Seven"

Oops! When Nikon 18-200mm's get dropped

And not even by me! My wife took it into the Nikon licensed facility and it got sent away to have the barrels re-calibrated. The cracked lens you see on the front is the safety lens, the actual optics are intact (hurray safety lens, I'm so glad I bought one!). This is like the best lens in the Nikon line. When I first got my hands on one two years ago (thanks to my friend Jim, who placed orders everywhere and ended up giving me his name when two stores called him saying they had a lens for him) I strapped it on the camera and never took it off. Except for low-light concert type settings where you need a fast lens, this is a great zoom and a wide angle with Anti-vibration all in the same package. Read all about it on Ken Rockwell's website. He gushes over them!

Along the same lines of my photo up there, he has a drop test report on the lenses. Apparently they fare quite well. The main competitor's lenses, Cannon are all made of plastic and the Nikon's are metal. The Nikon's hit the ground and leave a crater, the Cannon's hit the ground and bounce.
Take your pick(grin). It's best not to drop them at all!

Mine should be back from the shop soon!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Geocache! Zartimus snippet

Geocache! A documentary by David Liban. Came out last year. It's been on PBS a few times and it's a well done glimpse at the hobby itself. He went out to film Geowoodstock and a Canadian geocacher I know named Binrat was out there and mentioned what a weirdo I was, so David (great name) contacted me and asked if he could stick something about me on there, and use a few stills from my Flickr site. I had a great time talking film with him as I've done a few just for fun Internet flicks and he promised that he wouldn't make me out to be too weird (which was ok, I have his business card and I know where he lives now).

I like how he did it, the purple-blue sideways camera slant. Kirok slid it out of the main film and stuck it up somewhere so I copied it here.

Embedded copy

He's also got an interesting piece entitled CAR-HENGE on his site. Man there are some motivated people with heavy farm machinery out there!

Monday, February 04, 2008

The Blood incident

No, I haven't been attacked by a pooch again. My wife and I were catching the Season premiere of LOST (the best damned show on television!) as our kids were ransacking the upstairs. Lost started at 9:00, we put them down at 8:00 but they weren't getting with the program. We threatened and stomped upstairs and put them to bed a few times but it just wasn't taking.. Screw that Super Nanny crap! I'd like to see her come to my house and work her mojo, the darn kids just aren't sleepy. I guess we didn't run them long enough on the treadmill (ah well, next time!).

So I turned the sourround sound up louder and we decided to let them police themselves. After a little while, our eldest came downstairs to tell us the TV was too loud. I told her it was loud because we couldn't hear the show with all the running back and forth in the bedroom hallway and that we'd turn it down if they'd go to bed. My wife said something else (in her angry voice!) and our eldest scampered back upstairs, but not after wiping out on the tile floor. Add crying to the cacaphony of sound. Julie goes upstairs grumbling as our daughter is crying that she cut herself.
Well, that's Karma, I thought, you mess around and don't go to bed and whammo, something bad happens. Then Julie gave a yell of concern, "Holy Crap, there's blood all over the place!"

Uhh oh.. I quickly ran upstairs.

As it turns out, daughter number one didn't cut herself just then. She cut herself about 60 seconds earlier hiding in her closet trying to scare the crap out of her sister who was fooling around and running into her room in the dark. She came shooting out of the closet and clipped her toe on the metal door slider groove on the floor.

And bled all over the closet. Then she chased her sister over to her window...

And bled all over the carpet... Then she decided to come downstairs and tell us the tv was too loud...

And bled all over the stairs... Then she stood at the top of the stairs to the basement...

And bled all over the tile floor.. Then she turned to run up stairs...

And slipped in the droplets of blood everywhere...

We used 12 cans of soda water and an entire roll of paper towels(we ran out, it was the last one) to clean up the bloodfest. There were clumps and drops of it everywhere. My daughter didn't need a blood transfusion or anything, but she managed to bleed over a very wide area mostly on the WHITE carpeting. Man if the CSI team ever comes to my house with the spray can of luminol, you'd swear there'd been a murder!

Lost was pretty good though. Thank god for the ability to pause live TV, we got back to it after 30 minutes of clean up. The upside to all this is that the kids haven't been out of bed after lights out one night this week! Screw Super Nanny! All we needed was a bloodbath!


Lots and Lots of Snow!!!!

We've been getting a ton of snow in Ottawa this year. This is Frosty. He's about 5 feet tall and he's up to his neck in our back-yard. It's funny because he lights up at night and all you could see what his head. He's actually buried now, I'll have to send the kids out on a rescue mission.

The other day I drove into work and after an hour and a half I had gotten about 5 kilometers so I decided to call it quits and just turn around and go home. It took 45 minutes to get back to my house and I waited two hours, tried again and got into work around lunch. I snapped a photo of everyone else trying to go west as I was going east. There were cars in the ditch every 500 meters. It never fails. A few inches of snow and the city forgets how to drive. Traffic crawls and people end up in the ditch.

It cost the city 3.2 million to clear the snow that day. Amazing!

Tobogganing at Green's Creek

You can always tell when the toboggan hill at Green's Creek in Blackburn Hamlet is running good and fast by the number of emergency vehicles in the parking lot when you arrive. In this case, we got there before the ambulance and fire trucks, and just in time to see the 40-something guy go down the ice run with the insane dips and bumps on his flying saucer, take some air and land on his back. Ouch!

Maybe the guy had never been to the hill before, but man, I haven't gone down that pure ice run (it's there every year, kids must carve them out of the hill or something) since I was about 9, when the same thing happened to me, on my flying saucer (last time I ever used one of those too!).

I see a lot of people go down that hill who don't bother to try to steer too. What's up with that? You may as well get out on the road with your car and just cross your arms in front of your chest and hit the accelerator for 20 seconds and see where that gets you(grin). I find if you leave both arms at your sides you can use them like rudders/breaks and avoid killing yourself and others as you go from point A to point B.

I took the kids in our long sled and flew by this guy on either side of him for 15 minutes before the Fire truck got there. His buddies made him a little lean-too out of toboggans and crowded around him to protect him from the cold. And from the other sledders who couldn't steer. There were a few that ditched to keep from slamming into him.

A few times as we walked up to the top, people arrived, having seen the emergency vehicles in the parking lot, saw the rescue crew in action and turned around and left(grin). Tobogganing's fun as long as you're half-way careful about it.

Me and my Quinzhee!

I used to make these things as a kid. You pile a big mound of snow in the yard, about 5 feet high in a rough dome shape, then you jam it full of 6 inch sticks all over the outside, like a pin cusion except that you push them in all the way. Then you wait for a nice cold overnight freeze.

The next day, you pop a hole in the side and you excavate inside just up until you start hitting the ends of the 6 inch sticks you stuck all over the outside. This ensures a 6 to 8 inch snow wall. Then.. you move into it! Snow fort for adults! Woohoo!

Igloos are too hard to make, the snow's gotta be just so. A Quinzhee you can make pretty much anytime a few degrees below zero. The kids love 'em, although there's always the danger of collapse if they try and climb on the roof. We supervise closely just in case we gotta dig them out quick(hasn't happened so far), and we break them if a thaw melts the walls too thin. They sure don't last as long as an igloo!