Saturday, April 29, 2006

Road Biking

I think the first time in this lifetime I really went for a premium item was in the early eighties, a hand-built London Claud Butler bicycle. I was amazed and delighted at the difference from the classic bike I'd had: it felt like all distances had been halved.

In the past couple decades I have not had a really good bike, but I am slimming down now and I want to get in good shape again, and I missed the thrill of riding a really high-quality light-weight road bike. It is so much fun that it will be an incentive.

The great news is that the technology has raced forward (no pun) since then, and both the gear and the frames are tons better. I held a carbon-frame bike in the shop today, and it felt like not much more than half the weight of the bike I had back then, astonishingly.

So I splurged, and I have ordered the top of the line Claud Butler Torino road bike, carbon frame and top-notch gear. I am really looking forward so seeing a little of the English country roads, with my camera and a book on the back. (Surely finding a few good ins out there to stop over at for lunch.)

More comments on fathers

There has been more comments on the God/Father post. I especially find that Pascal has some interesting points to make.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A favorite

I have several photos from Copenhagen/Easter that I am very fond of. This one has been catching my eye today sitting on my desktop. It grows on me. It is sort of multi-layered.
If you haven't seen it before, maybe you failed to download the special zipped collection.

By the way, on Mike Johnston's excellent photo blog there has recently been discussions of formats. Mike pointed out how we think we have seen an image when we have seen a small reproduction of it: which is often not true at all. Sometimes an image is totally different in full resolution. Which is true in this case. If you click on it, you get a version which is very large for a web image. It is larger than most computer screens allow today... And yet, on my Apple Cinema Display 30 Inches, the full picture is a totally different story! The textures of the boat and the sand, the faces of the people, the details in the buildings in the background and the distant people... they make it a really different picture.
An interesting point is that when I bought this huge display, I felt that I was merely pampering myself. And have been a little ashamed of such a luxury. But the fact is that without this screen I would never have discovered the qualities of certain of my own images, like this one. I certainly don't print out every likely image in a big size just on the chance that it might be something special!
(If you'd like a high rez version of this picture, mail me.)

Life as a party

This one from Jocie, it has floated around the net for a while:
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ WOO HOO what a ride!"

Well, it has a point. Life should include pleasure. Those who expect life to be a dour struggle with death as the only reward, well they'll get what they expect. We all get what we expect, no more, no less.

But I like to think that a sour struggle or a hedonistic, pointless party are not the only two choices we have. They are not even very good ones.

How about not getting your joy mainly via your mouth and alcohol and candy, but also getting it from accomplishments? From achieving something only you can do? From putting something in the world that would not have been there if you had not existed? Like a child. Or a book you wrote. Or paintings. Or a company. Or an invention. Or just a record of doing excellent work and friends who think of you with a smile.

Monday, April 24, 2006


One of my neighbors (an occasional commentator here) came over to have me witness her postal vote (carefully hiding who she was voting for). In my eclectic and rapidly expanding book collection she spotted a title with Dracula in it, looked at my black tee-shirt, and asked if I was a Goth.
I said I have a streak, as I have of so many things. But the truth is that I was wearing black (sometimes) and loving monsters a couple of decades before Goths were invented.
Being a trailblazer is hard work, but somebody's gotta do it. :)

In any case, you can't really be a male goth. You can't wear make-up and not look gay. Just look at Kiss.
Female goths are cute though.
Blogger is acting up this week. "Posting" seems not to work, and then hours later suddenly there are five duplicates of the same post.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Nostalgia and Pentax ME Super

"Yes, daddy loves you both. But in very different ways!"

Pentax ME Super, from 1978. Nikon D200 (digital) from 2005. What a difference. Not the least in size. The Pentax goes in a coat pocket. Yes, the Nikon has a trillion features the Pentax had never heard of. Autofocus, programmed auto-exposure, built-in auto-winding (at five frames per second), Spot metering, matrix metering, etc etc. So they can't really be compared, size-wise. Yet, the Nikon has a smaller format than the Pentax had. The capture area of the chip is about half the size of the film format of the Pentax (35mm). So I had really expected that they could make the cameras at least as compact as the best they managed in the seventies! But noooo.

Also I really miss the solid industrial beauty of cameras from then. Admittedly, the plastic-moulded camera bodies of the last twenty years may hold a titanium frame inside (sometimes), and they certainly hold technological wonders undreamed of then... but they just don't have the style and beauty of those old cameras. How come you can't buy a chrome camera these days?

I used an ME Super back in the late seventies. I bought one used last week, for decoration. I was surprised at how much I still/again love this camera, its beauty, its functionality, its compactness, its simplicity, its style. If it was not because I really can't be bothered to have films developed and scanned, I could see myself using it, despite it being seriously outdated technically.

Blue Green White

This one I forget to post in March, despite it being one of my favorites.