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Hanimex Rangefinder

Posted 2009.09.30 22.58 in Hobbies, Photography

So I ran a test-roll through the Hanimex today. I took it partially apart last night and figured out that without a battery, it was probably running the shutter at full speed. Full speed is probably 1/300 sec based on the Hanimex ZF35 which looks very similar. So knowing (or guessing) that the shutter speed was 1/300 I calculated the aperture based on the Sunny-16 rule, and went from there.

The results were not bad – the lens seems fairly sharp and I’m pleased with the results. I’ll have to get a battery for it and see how it reacts in its normal mode, aka aperture priority. It has a CdS “electric eye” and can allegedly adjust the shutter speed based on the available light and selected aperture. I’d have been happier if it was fully manual, i.e. if it had a shutter-speed selector rather than a film speed selector. Nonetheless, it’s a wonderfully small and lightweight 70s rangefinder and seems to have a fairly decent lens!

Boring Spam

Posted 2009.09.30 19.36 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Once or twice a day I check the blob’s spam queue. There’s always at least a couple, sometimes a dozen or more spam comments. They accumulate steadily. Most of them are aimed at the guestbook, I guess it’s like a spam magnet. Now and then there’ll be one turn up under a current post, but more often if they are going for a blob post it’ll be something a few months old.

I always gloss over them, just incase there’s a false positive. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I get angry with the spammers. Wasting so much bandwidth, polluting the internet with their slime. Even when I’m not angry, I still would like them to all rot in hell. If all the spammers came down with rectal brain cancer (only affects asshats), nobody would be too upset.

Anyhow, most of the time I’m not angry. Sometimes there’ll be an interesting spam or something new. Once there was one that was funny enough to make me laugh.

Mostly though it’s the same old boring stuff. I’m bored. Spam is boring. Why can’t they show some creativity? Some wit?

Since I put Akismet up, there’ve been over 3,500 spams. I think most of them get killed before I see them, but of the ones that I do see in the spam queue, I’d say they break down like this: 70% are selling viagara or similar drugs. 15% are offering free naked pictures of people whom I presume are celebrities although I don’t recognize the names. Lately about 5% have been for cheap cigarettes, then the remaining 5% are the ‘miscelleneous’ ones, that either I can’t decypher, couldn’t be bothered figuring out, or don’t fit in the above categories.

I don’t see cheap mortgage offers any more – interest rates are so low that the banks probably have better rates than the spammers. One of the more unusual spams I saw was for Russian-made airguns.

All-in-all though, spammers seem to be very lazy and have just one main focus. Though it makes me wonder – is the male half of the population really that desperate for an erection? Is there really that big a market for viagara and naked pictures? And I guess, they need a smoke afterwards?

What does that say about our society, our species?

Barefoot in the Forest

Posted 2009.09.30 16.55 in Pointless Blather

I was walking through a parking lot today and stepped on a really hard, really pointy, somewhat large rock. It was big and hard and pointy enough that it really hurt, even through the sole of my sandal. Granted, these aren’t exactly steel-toe industrial-grade sandals. They’re fairly cheap. What is the point of footwear though, if not to protect the feet? (Everyone who said ‘fashion’ gets detention.) Stepping on a rock in a parking lot shouldn’t hurt. Then it struck me – what if I was barefoot? How much would that have hurt?

The answer – probably not so much.

Why? When you walk barefoot, you tend to be a bit more careful. And when you walk barefoot over uncertain ground, you tend to walk a bit lighter too.

Have you ever walked barefoot in a forest? I mean in the wild, not a carefully manicured park with trees.

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I believe it is a special experience. Those first few steps are tentative and uncertain, right after you take the shoes off. There is strange crud underfoot, a layer of chunky organic matter between your feet and the dirt. For a while you take it slow, worried that you’ll step on something pointy or icky. Gradually though, you grow accustomed to it. And realize just how good it feels. To have the wild Earth against your naked sole.

Barefoot in the grass is ok, don’t get me wrong. A nicely manicured lawn where the grass is all evenly decapitated at just the perfect length can feel great. Barefoot in a forest is less ‘safe’ and in some ways, less… tender I suppose is the word I want. However, barefoot in the forest is more tactile, more ‘real’.

I bet being barefoot in other wild terrain is the same – not just forests. I haven’t had the luxury of being barefoot in a desert, or barefoot in the mountains, or on the plains, jungles, et cetera. But barefoot in a forest.. barefoot in a wild remote area of the Great White North, is very, very nice.

Take your shoes off and bare your soles to the Earth.

Rangefinders On Patrol

Posted 2009.09.30 12.37 in Hobbies

The old Rangefinder cameras have landed. They are crawling around. They are coming for you.

Rangefinder Trio

From left to right they are a Hanimex RF35 of unknown vintage, a Canonet GIII QL17 from the early 70s and a Fujica SE35 from 1959. The photo itself was taken with my Holga then cropped down to just the rangefinder trio.

More Holga Pics

Posted 2009.09.30 2.06 in Photography

Probably the last roll I shoot with the Holga, at least for now. The camera is starting to get a bit fall-aparty and I swear I’ve only disassembled it twice. The modifications I made were in no way structural, nor did they negatively affect the structural integrity. It’s not my fault!

Anyhow, once again it’s a roll of B&W Lomo 120 film. I’ve been carrying the camera everywhere (it’s a bit big, but it’s light) but I’m usually too wimpy to try taking pictures of strangers. So I just snap here and there, or at home, and often from my car when something catches my eye.

So here’s a few shots from the latest roll.

Alchemist On Call?

Posted 2009.09.29 21.33 in Pointless Blather

I had no idea Alchemists did housecalls – but this afternoon I happened to look out my window and saw a mobile Alchemy van parked on the road with his 4-way flashers on.

Mobile Alchemy Van

I presume that there was some kind of alchemical emergency and he was dispatched immediately to quell the situation.

Though I can’t help but be curious – which neighbor was suddenly in need of emergency alchemical assistance?

Project: 1, Drugs: 0

Posted 2009.09.28 13.10 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather, Work

It’s funny, how suddenly things can change course. The cryptospam wasn’t working, wine wasn’t helping, and in the last few days even things like my hobbies (photography, snails, etc) had very suddenly lost their interest. Then Pow! things are all different. What was the catalyst? What kicked in? I bought a notebook. No not the computer kind, an actual notebook / notepad. 250 pages, lined both sides. And some pens, don’t forget the pens.

A pad and some pens, in and of themselves, are of course quite meaningless and banal. It’s what they represent, that is key. A clean, fresh, brand-new notepad and some brand-new pens, are symbolic for the start of a brand-new project. A project big and important enough to merit its very own notebook.

Now, lately work has not got me excited whatsoever. And this is not surprising, as lately work has just been the same old drudgery and toil. Bang the rocks together. Make big rocks into little rocks. Metaphorically speaking, of course. There is little to be excited about, in administration, tech support, maintenance, same-old day-in day-out grind.

Projects though, projects are big-time. Well, big projects are, anyways. Projects big enough to get their own notebook are super-big-time!

As projects go, this one doesn’t even have any guarantee of pay – it’s all speculative. But money doesn’t matter – I mean, money is nice and all, but it’s not a goal, just a means. This project has actually been bouncing around for several months, but it was not fully concieved, it was not ready. Now it is. Now it has a real deadline and schedule and meetings and it’s important. So, I got my notebook, I got some pens, and I started writing. The first page, a checklist of what needs to be done. First page off the top of my head, the start. What do I need to do right now, and when does it need to be done by?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single trip to Staples to get a new notebook.

And some pens.

Don’t forget the pens.