Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Backyard During a Rainstorm

The Backyard During a Rainstorm
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

Today has been a dreary day. It took a lot of will power to just do laundry and mop the kitchen floor.

Friday, February 27, 2009

An Experiment

I installed a new piece of script here from Yahoo that supposedly will take MP3s I link to and pay them in a jukebox format. If you see an arrow to the left of your screen click on it and see what happens. Also you may be able to click on a play button next to MP3s I link to and listen to them while looking at the page. The future is today.

A song by the Dirtbombs

Beatles Revolution 1 take 20

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A New Bootleg Version of Revolution 1?

This story and the accompanying mp3 version of what they are talking about is fascinating. A Beatles song that almost no one has heard before! I'm stoked. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but I will later tonight. If you missed it the link to the mp3 is at the bottom of the story.

I finally got a chance to listen to it and it's a lost classic, in my opinion. I read one article that said it makes a tight connection between the Revolution 1 and Revolution 9 on the White Album and that is a spot on assessment.
Test, test, test

I've been putting a class about having a web presence. I am going to combine Blogger, Google applications, Youtube, Flickr and Facebook. I'll use those sites to show how people can promote their businesses or just share their personal lives and interact with others. Something like that. I'm still working on it.

Yesterday I created an account at Vimeo. I've been wanting to try that site and see how it compares to Youtube. I am going to embed the Vimeo version my video of Isaac that I made the other day below. I just want to see how it looks and works.

Isaac Guards the Neighborhood from ed mcdonald on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Burn Down the Malls

Maybe some day the world will learn to listen to Mojo Nixon. If we had done what he suggested twenty years ago we wouldn't be in the mess we are today. He is a prophet.

On Patrol at the Mall

On Patrol
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

Do not mess with this guy. His vehicle can get up to 12 1/2 MPH. If you get out of line he will run you down and then give you a wet willie.

Slime Balls

You gotta love an industry that attempts to gouge the very people that not only are their customers but are helping bail the faulty system out. At what point can we start burning down these banks, anyway?
Holy Crap

Wow, what a 180. In a mere month Fox News has gone from cheering on our government with Bush in charge to already scaring people by warning of societal collapse due to Obama's taxes. This is almost like yelling fire in a crowded movie house. People are edgy and they think it is a good idea to air this? Every time Beck says "government" he means "Obama." His fake astonishment at what his guests are saying is some of the worst acting I've ever seen. Yellow journalism at its finest.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Really, can't we just let 'em die or take 'em out and shoot 'em?

These banks. I'll tell you what, a few years ago I got in over my head with a credit card. It was a Citibank card and once it got over $1000 they jacked the interest rate up to where all I could afford to do was pay the interest each month and when I fell behind they hounded me mercilessly. These banks can all go to hell. They are going to eat up billions of tax payer dollars and they will continue these immoral lending practice because our federal government is completely unable to grow the cojones to control the banks. It's obvious that we are unable to deal with this rationally because there are people concerned about the bankers being unable to make more than $500,000 a year. I think the comments on this Metafilter post sum things up well.
Let's Try Again

The version of this on Youtube was muted due to the audio. Geez, the copyright laws in this country are ridiculous. An amateur can't make a silly video of a dog barking at walkers and use a popular song without getting the audio muted? There should be some kind of fair use law in place for amateur projects. It's OK to photocopy a page out an encyclopedia but it's not okay to use a minute and a half of a song? What was it Shakespeare said? Something about the first thing we gotta do is kill all the lawyers? Here's the video again. Let's see how long it stays up this time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Isaac Guards the Neighborhood

Today, this guy posted a video with a Led Zeppelin soundtrack. Kevin inspired me so I created the following video of Isaac doing his favorite thing, sitting on the back of the couch barking at people walking by the house. Left to his own devices he will do this for hours and hours. It's funny for about half an hour and then I start yelling at him.

This was the first time I used more than one video to make a full video. Kinda fun. I purchased a 2 gig memory card from a few weeks back and it can hold a lot of video so I might have to do this again sometime. I wonder if I can make a spy movie with Wendell?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good Harbor in Leelanau County, MI

How about another sunset? This guy used to live on the coast of Good Harbor. I think it was Kevin that first showed me this magical place. I cannot go to Michigan without going here to walk around at least once. I got lucky on one of my trips up there in the 90's and captured this nice sunset. I just scanned it in today and I am very pleased that this particular negative is not scratched all to hell. I increased the contrast a little bit but otherwise this picture has not been messed with. I have always liked the swell you can see running down the coast line. I'd like to say I planned that but I just got lucky.
Good Harbor Sunset

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Alden Boat Landing

One of my favorite places in the world is the boat landing on Torch Lake located in the village of Alden in Antrim County, MI. There is a L shaped breakwater with moorings for small boats. It's always drawn me and my Dad. You can walk aways out into the lake, feel the breeze and watch the water change color as clouds move across the sky. There's never really any other people down there, it seems, and it's a good spot to enjoy the lake by yourself. I used to walk down there a lot on weekends when I stayed with Dad during my teens while he sat in the local restaurant and finished his coffee while reading the Sunday paper.

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

If you follow this link you can see the L shaped breakwater. That is where the pictures below were taken in August of 1997 on a cloudy day. What you always hear said about Torch Lake is how beautiful is the light green color in can produce. You can see that here in the top picture. I'm disappointed because the slide is damaged. There are scratches on it and a discoloration going horizontally across. I even had the scanner set to maximum retouching and that helped some..
Torch Lake at Alden Landing

Literally minutes late the clouds to the west started breaking up and the sun started shining under the clouds and one of the best sunsets I have ever seen developed. First it looked like this.

As the sun moved lower and the light got more red in it an amazing thing started happening.

Then the sky exploded.



The only places I have seen where the sunsets rival those on Torch Lake are in the Mojave Desert and Okinawa.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Someone get this man a fact checker!

Well, to be fair I'm sure George Will doesn't want a fact checker because accuracy was not the point of his column full of hooey. It was all about shoveling dirt over the truth. I still don't understand how people like him can deny something so serious.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Another Racing Picture

This is another picture from my fall trip to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 1991 Winston Cup Mello Yellow 500. This shot is from turn 4 looking toward the start finish line. You can see race winner, Geoff Bodine, just crossing the finish line while taking the checkered flag.
Geoff Bodine crossing the finish line in first

Well, I got home last night hoping to watch the last hour of the Daytona 500 and sat down just in time to watch them throw the last yellow flag for rain and then call the race and give Matt Kenseth the win. Bunch of hooey, that was. You got lights and TV cameras and I have a six pack of beer, let's get this sucker ran. Geez, NASCAR is a shell of what it used to be. A commentor on this story made a good point when he said that this is supposed to be the Great American Race, NASCAR's Super Duper Bowl and they don't even bother finishing it.

Now I get to start my annual mourning for Rockingham. Instead of racing in the chilly sand hills of North Carolina NASCAR is heading out to the half-empty California track where they'll pretend the race is a success because it will attract "B" actors and get a mention in the Monday edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Geoff Bodine, Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, Kyle Petty

Dale Earnhardt, Harry Gant, Geoff Bodine, Davey Allison, Alan Kulwicki, Kyle Petty
Originally uploaded by zzazazz

In the fall of 1991 I went to my first Winston Cup race. I had great seats in turn 4 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This was back when I was making $5 an hour in a convenience store and that $50 ticket wiped me out financially for that pay period.

At one point a car spun out in the middle of the turn and was t-boned by another. I thought a shot gun had gun off next to me. Amazing.

I have a few more shots from this race and will be putting them on Flickr throughout the week.

Do They Hate America?

It's refreshing to see the Obama administration not question the patriotism of their political opponents. If this was George Bush's stimulus package the Republicans would be casting doubt on the loyalty and the manliness of their political opponents. I think it's President Obama's class that won't allow him to stoop to such low measures that has allowed the Republican caucus to hang together so well. I guess that's the price this country has to pay in order to have decent human beings populate the executive branch of our government.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Vroom vroom

Tomorrow is the Great American Race, the Daytona 500. Of course, I work from 1 to 6 so I'll miss it. I might get to see the green/white/checker laps like a I did a few years ago when I had to work until 6 on the day of the 500. Generally the last few laps are going to devolve into bumper cars and I might get to see the end.

Sometime in 1996 I went to the Charlotte Motor Speedway with my friend, Jeff. He got us pit passes to a testing session during race week. and I have spent the last week scanning in the negatives of the photos I took that day. You can view the while set here and I included a few choice shots below. I have a few more to go and I'll post some of those when I get to them.

Ernie Irvan climbing out of his car. This was during his comeback after a horrible wreck in Michigan that almost took his life. I remember being surprised by how frail he was.
Ernie Irvan

Bobby Hamilton flies through the dogleg on the front stretch.
Bobby Hamilton Practices at CMS

The Chickenhawk, Mark Martin
Mark Martin at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Kyle Petty after climbing out of his car
Kyle Petty

Dale Jarrett
Dale Jarrett

Rusty Wallace in his old Miller Genuine Draft car heading into turn 1
Rusty Wallace MGD car

The Man Himself. He didn't climb out of his car in front of us. He took a hard left and went into the garage. That was a bummer, I was dying for a closeup of Dale.

Jeff Gordon is pretending to help push his car.
Jeff Gordon

Brett Bodine says, "Hello."
Brett Bodine

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Does anyone still watch this O'Reilly clown?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Have you ever seen a cuter dog?

Isaac loves to go for car rides. What dog doesn't? Taken with my camera phone.
Isaac in car with camera phone

Monday, February 09, 2009

Steroids and baseball

What I want to know is whether or not there is an elite Major League Baseball player that started his career in the 90s that didn't use steroids.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Goblin Cock at the Milestone

Yes, last night was the big Goblin Cock show at the Milestone Club here in Charlotte. I had to go see them. Any metal band that dresses in black robes and covers the Porpoise Song by the Monkees and the theme song for the movie Billy Jack will get my attention.

Mel and I sat and watched the NASCAR shootout last night before we headed out to the club. For a restrictor plate race it was pretty good. Of course the last ten laps turned into bumper cars. Those last ten laps at Daytona and Talladega always seem to end in an hour of chaos.

They were an excellent band, very tight and fond of smoke machines. The keyboard player flashed the secret devil sign constantly. I only wish there was a bigger crowd. I took a few pictures.

The secret devil sign comes out early.

More secret devil sign

Photographer, Daniel Coston, hard at work

Rockin' out in his druid robe

Worship my guitar, puny humans

A skull, an empty stage, an encore to come

The singer sings and that devil sign

This is not a crop of the previous photo, that devil sign just wouldn't stop

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Something you might want to hear

You know that band Booker T. and the MGs? Remember Neil Young? Are you familiar with the Drive by Truckers? Booker T. Jones has teamed up with Neil and DBT and recorded a solo album. It's coming out in April. I must have it. You can here a track from it here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Fun FD's Flickr Tools

My creation
The Lazy Blogger Returneth

Back in 1993 a snow storm hit Charlotte. I shot a couple rolls of film and this picture was on the end of the roll and was damaged when I developed the roll. I never did make a print of it and I scanned it a few months ago and I really like how it turned out. It's an accidental stressed negative.
Damaged Negative

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Where's O'Reilly on this one?

Remember a few years ago when Jimmy Carter was rightfully criticizing Bush's policies and Bill O'Reilly told him he needed to shut up? Mainly because in trying times like we were going through that it was improper for a former president to criticize a sitting president. Typical O'Reilly crap. If that's the case then former co-president Dick Cheney needs to shut the hell up. Somebody needs to tell this ass clown that he is no longer running this country and it's not his job to scare us anymore. The guy lives in constant opposite day. How can he not realize that these policies of imprisonment and torture have caused us more trouble than just about anything else they have done? Your time is over. You completely screwed up your fake war on terror, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Go to your mansion and shut up. Go play Call of Duty and get your kill on that way.

Check out this bullshit: "“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said.

Protecting the country’s security is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business,” he said. “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”"

Dude, honestly, Just quit talking. What kind of a world do you live in when respecting human rights is considered a weakness? This shitbag knows that torture only gives you false information but he can't bring himself to admit it because he signed off on the torturing of prisoners. Complete moral bankruptcy.

Here's another doozy: The choice, he alleged, reflects a na├»ve mindset among the new team in Washington: “The United States needs to be not so much loved as it needs to be respected. Sometimes, that requires us to take actions that generate controversy. I’m not at all sure that that’s what the Obama adminstration believes.”

When this guy says "respected" he means "feared." They are different concepts but in his bullying mindset they mean the same thing. Holy god, this guy was actually in charge for a few years? Frightening.

And this: "Cheney said “the ultimate threat to the country” is “a 9/11-type event where the terrorists are armed with something much more dangerous than an airline ticket and a box cutter – a nuclear weapon or a biological agent of some kind” that is deployed in the middle of an American city."

OK, if he is so worried about a nuclear device why was he killing people in Iraq while North Korea was building nukes? I think it might have something to do with him being completely full of shit. It's known they wanted to invade Iraq the day after 9/11. If he is so concerned about American lives he wouldn't have ignored intelligence that told you Al-Qaeda wanted to attack us and then during the week after 9/11 maneuvered to attack Iraq. This also the same rhetoric he and his gang used in the run up to the Iraq War. It was baloney then and it's still baloney now.

I found an nice article on Salon where it's stated that this is just an empty attempt by Cheney to set himself up to be right if our country is attacked by terrorists during the Obama administration. That sounds as good to me an any explanation of these insane remarks since it's all about politics with people like him. If anyone thinks Cheney is more concerned about the safety of Americans than his own posterity then they are as delusional as they imagine Obama supporters to be.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Isaac sits pretty

It's hard to get mad at a dog for begging for food when he does something this adorable.
Feed me

Monday, February 02, 2009

Religion Causes Problems?

Interesting story on a study here. My views on religion are no secret. I think you can use Iran and Saudi Arabia and the Taliban as well as the the extreme religiousness of much of our country as negative examples as well. One thing I would have liked to seen addressed is the problem of fundamentalism. Or not. Maybe as long as you have religion you are going to have fundamentalists. There's no way around that. Maybe the only way to get rid of the fundamentalists (Christian and Islamic and etc.) is to rid the world of religion? At the very least, the more secular our government becomes the better off we'll be.
Birthday Coming Up

I only have one item on my birthday wishlist. I don't know how I lived so long without this.
Super Duper Bowl

Not much you can say about last night's game other than, "Wow." Any game that features two comebacks in the 4th quarter is going to be fun. Santonio Holmes made a catch to win the game that will allow him to show up in Pittsburgh at least twice a year, after he retires, and sign autographs at card shows for the rest of his life. Big time play, it was.

I thought Springsteen's performance was cool. Only he can do a fifteen minute set and make it feel like an encore. I could have done without the song he wrote for Obama. But, if nothing else, it pissed off people on the far right so I guess it was OK.

Michael Phelps and Reefer
I am enjoying all the false outrage and shock over this. You gotta love a culture that requires a statement by your people when you get caught taking a bong hit. I'm more offended by his incessant need to pull his swimsuit down to right above his pubes. Is that really necessary?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

More Picture

I'm sure I have mentioned this before but during my last trip to Michigan my Aunt Carol gave me a bag full of old family slides. When I got back home I bought a scanner and scanned them. It was a great project and I wish I had bags and bags of old family slides to scan.

This picture is of my Dad's parents, Ed Zimmer and Mildred Zimmer. This is taken in the kitchen of their home on Clam Lake in Antrim County, MI.

Ed Zimmer was a retired fireman and my Dad insisted I be named after him because he greatly admired the man. My Dad's real father abandoned the family and Grandpa came in when they were all teens and gave them stability. My Dad and his brothers are all in their sixties now and they still get misty eyed when they speak of him. Here is a shot of Grandpa Ed holding me.
Ed and Eddie

This next picture was taken in the living room of the house on Clam Lake. If you look out the back window you can see snowmobile tracks all over the place. The beagle I am petting was named Penny. I have a distinct memory of that chair Grandpa is sitting it. I remember scratching my back on it when I had chicken pox.

Of course if you retire to northern Michigan you have to own one these.
Ed Zimmer and his fish house

You might even pull one of these babies out of the frigid water.