Monday, January 30, 2012

NYPL's moving 3D gifs

A blogger at his site called Cursive Buildings has been publishing animated gifs of old photographs from the New York Public Library's online collection. He even inspired me to make a few of my own.

I saw today that the NYPL was also inspired by him and created a webpage where you can make your own animated gifs from the stereographs in their collection. What a great way for a library to use the internet to play with and share their physical collection.

I made a few myself today.

Horse race in Poughkeepsie, NY in the 1890s
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Baseball game in 1880 in Rochester
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

The Perkins Institution and Mass. School for the Blind. 1862?-1885?

GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator - view more at
GIF made with the NYPL Labs Stereogranimator

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Flicker Wowzers

Some dude went to Iceland

Iceland 61

Some dude saw another dude mouth breathing

IMG_2478 Mouth Breather 011712

When I was a twenty-year-old dude I loved me some Okinawa Yakisoba

Okinawa Yakisoba

At 3am all the young drunk dudes loved their yakitori off the cart

Yakitori Street Vendor

This dude posted a panorama of an Okinawan sunset

Okinawa Sunset Panorama

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

HDR Camera

Yesterday I downloaded an app to my phone called HDR Camera. I got the free version just to give it a test drive. I don't know how familiar you are with HDR photography, essentially it's a process of combining three different exposures so you can have a photograph that is more balanced. Rather than having a bright sky and a dark foreground and vice versa, with HDR you can have a foreground and background with nominal exposures. I have seen some HDR on Flickr that are pretty impressive and some that are way overdone. I tried it out the front window here at lunch today and I am impressed by the result.

Camera reading off the sky

Camera reading off the foreground

Photo taken using HDR Camera

As you can see the HDR photograph has a much better balance. I wish I could have a setting for this on my Canon. That would be incredibly useful.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


In September of 2010 Jupiter was really close and bright so I pointed my 200mm lens at it to see what would show. I was surprised to find I could see not only Jupiter as a distinct globe but you can see the Galilean moons. This is heavily cropped but it is what it is.

Jupiter and the Galilean Moons

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Foul Ball

I saw this video of a woman snatching a baseball out of a little girl's hands for the first time today. All's fair in love, war and souvenir baseballs but..c'mon.

It reminded me of a time I went to a Charlotte Knights game with my little brother Cody in the early 90s. He was a timid kid and not too fast on his feet so when it came to a scrum for a foul ball he wasn't going to have a good chance. We had talked about getting a foul ball and he really wanted one. We were sitting almost behind home plate and we had a ball and pretty close to us. I went for it and got the ball, beating out a couple of kids. I survived the foul ball wars at the softball field in Bellaire, MI in the seventies. Back then you got a fee bag of popcorn for retrieving a foul ball. It was a blood sport. Those kids at Knights Stadium never had a chance.

After I secured the foul ball I hear an adult say, "Awww, give it to a kid!"

I replied, "I am," and I turned and handed the ball to my overjoyed brother.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Check out that Form!

Is this good form or bad? I can't tell. I think this is me hitting my 5i hybrid. If this is the shot I am thinking of it was a doozy.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Stuff I liked in 2011

It's funny, back in the early days of this blog I used to make a top ten album list every year and when everyone seemed to make a list I kinda stopped. This list is stuff I enjoyed over the year. no particular order.


Greg Proops Podcast

Or, as he calls it, Proopcast. Back in October of last year Greg Proops began podcasting. Rather than sit in a room and essentially do a radio show and talk or talk and play music Greg Proops sips vodka in front of a live audience in whatever town he is currently performing. I first noticed Greg Proops on the original English version of Whose Line is it Anyway? and something about his wit just really grabbed me. His podcast is fun because he's had a long career and has traveled the globe and seems to have spent a lot time reading history books and watching French films. His stream on consciousness musings can go all over the map and at some point, and I will paraphrase a paraphrase he did on his podcast of a review he read, "He is an aging hipster who will eventually shit on something you love." He did, in fact, insult one of my favorite movies, Little Miss Sunshine. Damn you, Proops! And he loves Satchel Paige and tries to work in a Paige reference in every podcast. For that alone he is worthy of note. This summer when we were closed on Tuesdays and Fridays I passed the time shelving books laughing with Greg Proops.


The novel I enjoyed the most this year was a science fiction novel published in 1987. It's called Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks. It's a big, beautiful galaxy spanning space opera with huge set pieces and fantastic characters. I can't wait to explore this particular series more and I can't believe this is the first time I have read any Iain Banks.

A nice long intelligent magazine article can be a joy to read and John Jeremiah Sullivan's collection called Pulphead is full of such articles. His opening story on attending a Christian rock festival is by itself worth picking up this book.

The novel Embassytown by China Mieville was amazing. It's a bit hard to get into because he thinks exposition is for pussies but once you get immersed in this amazing world you are in for a great ride.


Southern Culture on the Skids released their album Kudzu Ranch back in September of last year but I didn't buy it until this spring. Two songs really stood out immediately, My Neighbor Burns Trash and Busy Road. They are instant SCOTS classics, melodic, intelligent and funny. Like all their best songs.

The new Gillian Welch album called The Harrow & the Harvest is another spectacular collection of music. I can't get over how amazing the harmonies she and David Rawlings create. A fine example of is the version of A Dark Turn of Mind from UK television. It sounds just like the album version.

The album I listened to the most this year was Bad Ingredients by Scott H. Biram. I just loved it. It's one man band stuff with rock and blues. It's honest and alcohol fueled, angry and vulnerable. The official video of his song I Want my Mojo Back is a nice introduction. The song Broke Ass is my favorite. It's a song Mike Cooley from the Drive by Truckers would have been proud to call his own.

The new Beastie Boys called Hot Sauce Committee was also in my heavy rotation. They sound like they are having a fun and the Beastie Boys have fun is good fun for the rest of the world. The opening track Make Some Noise really sets the mood. Best opening song I heard all year.

The new Tom Waits called Bad as Me has been worth listening to. The song Last Leaf that has a harmony with Keith Richards is worth a listen.

I almost forgot to add the Rolling Stones concert release called A Brussels Afair. It's from the fall of 1973 and if you ever wondered why the Stones are called The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in World a listen of this show will answer that question. It really is unbelievable how good they sound. It's so good you'll even listen to Angie all the way through.


Melanie and I watched the movie RED at least three times this year. I love a good action movie and this is one of the best. It's funny with great dialog, it has a stellar cast and some nice action sequences. Bruce Willis is by far my favorite action hero, he limps when injured better than anybody else.

You know what movie I've watched most in the last year? Probably the Star Trek reboot. We bought it around Christmas last year and it is approaching Big Lebowski and Shaun of the Dead status as one of those movies you can throw in anytime and enjoy a fun movie.


The one TV show I really make time for consistently is Big Bang Theory. I really like how the characters are consistent and you can tell the cast is having a lot of fun. I love catching a show like that when it's clicking. Top Gear was also a good bet, as usual. Mike and Molly has been enjoyable although it has the tendency to float into Coach territory because Mike sometimes learns the same listens more than once.


The sportswriter Joe Posnanski's blog is a blog I check almost daily. He will grab an aspect of sports (often baseball) and write and write and write about it. If he is writing about something you are interested it can be a joy to read. If not, well then it's just long. But, hey, you don't have tot read it. I really recommend his book The Machine. It's about the 1975 Cincinnati Reds.

Science fiction writer John Scalzi's blog has been around for several years and is a good place to see what's what in the science fiction world or just see a picture of a sunset or a cat. He's smart and funny and he even lends space to other writers to promote their work. A good guy.


I bought Tiger Woods for the first time in a while this year. It's the only decent golf game on the market so I'm stuck buying that if I want to play golf on my television. This year's game had some pretty good reviews and it featured Augusta for the first time. I gave it a shot. It looks great and you can tweak the difficulty pretty liberally and make the game as challenging as you want. Some of the hole placements are utter bullshit and when you are playing a tournament in the career mode the wind and competition get tougher as the weekend progresses. That is bullshit also. Sometimes EA Sports just does dumb shit.

Rather than go the route of Call of Duty this year I went ahead and purchased Battlefield 3. I prefer the pacing of the Battlefield series, it's not all run and gun. You have to work with your teammates to do well, especially in modes like Conquest. The addition of Team Deathmatch was a nice touch. These are shorter, more intense matches that can satisfy that runnin' and gunnin' craving you get.

The game I looked forward to the most last year was L.A. Noire. I thought it would be hard to go wrong with a game set in L.A. in during the postwar years made by Rockstar. I was wrong. The story was good, with excellent dialog and characters but it wasn't a good game. It was really close but didn't quite pull it together. Plus, the open world of L.A. looks great but doesn't feel alive like Liberty City in the last Grand Theft Auto.

Forza 3 was a nice used purchase. It's a big improvement over Forza 2. This time the AI drivers actually race you and that makes for a different and more enjoyable game. I finally bought a used copy of Fallout: New Vegas and i am enjoying this one more than Fallout 3. The first few hours of Fallout 3 were amazing when you had no idea what the hell was going on but the whole story didn't quite hold together for me. New Vegas feels bigger and you have more freedom of choice in the story. I have paused in my playing of it but I am sure I'll go back to it.