If Its Tuesday…

The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming.

Walt Whittaker: Look, can I give you some advice? You’ll never make it down to the harbor. Why don’t you all give yourselves up? Either you’ll kill somebody, or you’ll get killed. Either way – you could start a war!
Lieutenant Rozanov: What is your name?
Walt Whittaker: Whittaker. Walt …
Lieutenant Rozanov: Remark to this, Whittaker Walt. We must have boat. Even now may be too late. This is your island, I make your responsibility you help us get boat quickly, otherwise there is World War III, and everybody is blaming YOU!

Cute little Cold War parable from 1966. Very funny in spots and kind of lame (in 60’s sort of way), but we watched the whole darn thing on TCM tonight which is more than I can say or a lot of the newer movies I’ve been getting from Netflix lately.

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Musgrove Love

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

On our Sunday travels, besides an old Post Office, we also stumbled on another Revolutionary War site – Musgrove Mill State Historic Site. Being a gol’ durn Yankee my conception of South Carolina was that the only war fought here was the Civil, but turns out there was much more. Must not have been awake that day in class.

And I was definitely guilty of not paying attention to history back in my school days, so this stuff would have barely rated a mention and a drive by before, but now Donna and stop when we have time. Unfortunately we were early when we got to this site. The gates had opened at 9, but the visitor center didn’t open until 10, more than 45 minutes away, so we didn’t stay. A return visit is in the offing though. Maybe after the Post Office Peregrination we will do a tour of the state’s Revolutionary War sites.

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Wednesday Wasteland

HDR Sharon, SC Post Office

My first atempt at an HDR image. Because I only had two exposures, not necessarily shot with this process in mind, and one was really washed out (more of an accidental wrong exposure) there is no detail in the sky. I’m sure things will improve when I shoot 3 exposures 2 stops apart either way from normal with the camera on a tripod.

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Auto Focus?

FuzzyDid ya know that pointing your camera directly at the sun can make it go all out of focus? Neither did I, until yesterday. I kind of like the effect, even if it does look like I forgot to focus. That’s the Hardeeville Post Office if you are curious. Worked fine for the sunrise…

Never did walk on the beach this weekend. Jaded?

Got up this morning and drove right home. There are no more post offices that could be remotely considered on the way anymore.

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My Sentiments Exactly

Finished Spenser book number thirty-five tonight. There were no new Crime Buster Rules in this volume, but I did find out that his feelings for turnovers is exactly like my feelings for pizza:

I finished my turnover. It wasn’t a very good turnover. But the worst turnover I’d ever eaten was excellent. And this one was far from the worst.

The eight new Post Office photos are up on Flickr! and the old school gallery here, but there are no captions yet. This latest set of photos have a cameo appearance by the Emperor’s Mini-Me and the photographer and his navigator.

We are planning a a trip for more Post Office photos this weekend, either Turkey Day or Sunday, depending on which one has better weather. Right now it is a tossup as both days are calling for a 40% chance of rain. Right now we are at 327 out of 461 – 71% complete.

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Blogging Avoidance

There is nothing here because I was too busy doing other really important things instead of writing a post. Like:

  1. Reading other blogs
  2. Thinking about balancing the checkbook.
  3. Trying to find a picture to use for the Tuesday Challenge of History
  4. Squashing urban myths mailed to me by relatives.
  5. Celebrating the re-signing of Mike Lowell.
  6. Selecting several chick flicks for viewing over the 4-day weekend.
  7. Updating my list of movies rented from Netflix.
  8. Writing a list of things I’m doing instead of blogging.
  9. Miscellaneous things relating to national security that I can’t talk about.
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Fake It ‘Til You Make It or making an High Dynamic Range (HDR) image from just one exposure. I have been playing with three different programs for creating HDR images and one of them, Dynamic Photo has a way to FITYMI, so I gave it a try. I used a recent Post Office picture that really could have benifited from the process, but I didn’t take the three required exposure.

Original Exposure The original exposure with the camera set on auto.
Tweaked The photo after post-processing in Paint Shop Pro.
Faux HDR FITYMI using Dynamic Photo.

In my unscientific selection process I’m leaning towards getting the Dynamic Photo software for a couple of reasons, one of which is this ability to fake an HDR image from one picture, the other is the cost $39. I need to try a real test image first — the same scene shot with 3 exposures 2EV apart — before taking the plunge.

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About A Hugh

This morning the Emperor and I went out to buy a paper. We stopped getting home delivery of the Aiken Standard the other week because they weren’t getting here in time for our breakfast reading, so on the weekends I drive over to a local convenience store and buy a copy. Today was my lucky day and possibly someone else’s unlucky day. Sitting on top of the paper box was a copy of the Standard. No one was anywhere to be seen, so not wanting the wind to scatter all that newsprint around I picked up my complimentary copy. And seeing as my pocket was laden with quarters I lightened the load by buying a copy of The State. Other than standing on the threshold of the garage door, Donna hasn’t been outside at all.

What did I learn from all this newspaper reading? Hillary Clinton is coming to town. Do you want to know why? It’s the Aiken Factor – whoever visits town takes over as the Democrat front runner.

Her closet competitor, Sen. Barack Obama, who appeared in Aiken last month, just recently pulled ahead of Clinton by four points in the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll for Iowa.

Watched another Kissy-Poo Movie™ this afternoon, About A Boy, do I even have to tell you the kind of character Hugh Grant played? Didn’t think so. He, like Vince Vaughan, play only one character in every movie they are in. The only change is the character’s name. That’s it. If I was writing an entry for Wikipedia I would be hard pressed to choose which one’s picture should go next to the entry for “One Dimensional.” That said, Hugh is not as annoying to me as Vince is, so I slightly enjoyed the movie.

A movie I did enjoy this afternoon, even though I came in at about 1/4 in mark:

Elizabeth: Parlay. I invoke the right of parlay. According to the Code of the brethren, set down by the pirates Morgan and Bartholomew, you have to take me to your Captain.

That’s right, the Scifi Channel was showing TDPM.

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Happy Christmas

The jury is still out on the background…

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BellSouth DSL

Field (FauxHDR)Went over to a co-worker of Donna’s tonight to hook up her DSL. To start, I’m not too sure the DVD that they sent was 100%, as it would hang each time the Next button was clicked. The only way to get it to advance was to eject the CD and then reinsert it. Then when it did get to the next page the display was garbled in the install window — some blank spots and new text over some of the last page’s text.

At step 5 when you are to choose the modem to install I was greeted with 6 square buttons and only one had a picture in it, the rest were blank. By (the slow) process of elimination I found the button for a Netopia modem. Unfortunately it wasn’t the same model as the Netopia modem she had. I soldiered on installing that one as it was the only one remotely correct..

After hooking up all the cables the DSL Sync light was still blinking. Crap. I then swapped off the Cat5 cable and tried hooking up to the PC with the USB cable. Same results. Rebooted modem. Still blinking. Rebooted PC and modem. Blink – blink- blink.

Gave up and called tech support. I had to go through a troubleshooting song and dance with an automated help system. “Yes.” “No.” “Continue.” “Continue.” When the computer was satisfied I really had a problem I was handed to a person. Richard was probably his American name, but his English was better than quite a few people I deal with on a daily basis at ASCO. He ran line tests and told me there was a problem and that a technician need to come out, so Lisa scheduled one for this Saturday.

She only had one phone in a jack and I placed a filter on that one. I tested the long phone cord I brought with me with her phone to make sure it was OK. I plugged her phone in the jack the DSL line was plugged in to make sure the jack was OK. I figure it has to be a bad modem, because even if I didn’t have the exact correct driver from the CD I would still get a sync light if the line was good.

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