Suck: Camera edition

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving visiting my sister and her wife in the mountains. Great food, great company, even our menagerie of hounds behaved well (except for the torn off nail from “zoomies”) I even brought my “big” camera to take “good” pictures. Sigh.

My main digital SLR is a second hand Canon 5D. Bought from a good friend, who lovingly maintained it, it was in great shape in 2010 when I bought it. I also have a couple of the fabulous Canon L series lenses, so the combination takes great pictures.

However, since I bought a Canon G12, I haven’t used the 5D as much. This weekend was to be different.

eos_5dI pulled the 5D out of the bag, put the 24-70 F2.8 zoom on (a MONSTER chunk of glass) and the troubles started instantly. After a couple of frames, the reflex mirror “fell off” the frame. Fuck. Not broken, just flopping around loose.

Sigh, my father was there, with his canon Rebel Digital SLR, so I figured he could borrow the lens. Quickly he realized that it wasn’t autofocusing. Fuck.

So, now my best DSLR body, and the best glass I own are both knackered.

(I still have my older 20D body, so I tested the lens on that, yep, no autofocus).

Time for the shop. Hope it isn’t too expensive. At least I will get the sensor cleaned really good too.

Bad Bicycling Luck

Last weekend, my feet hurt (long story, but running down the stairs at 1:00AM because your dog is having a seizure can cause your plantar fasciitis to flare up. Who knew) so instead of a grueling mountain bike ride, I took a nice easy loop around Marshall-Cottle park.

Bad idea.

My tires were like pin-cushins. So many goat-head thorns were picked up that I was stuck with two flat tires. Poopies.

I counted at least 8 in my front tire, and 3 in my rear (I guess the front tire cleared the path so my rear didn’t get hammered.

Today I replaced both tubes, and put in Mr. Tuffy strips (something I should have done before the first ride), and I expect to not be bothered by this again.

I should be thankful that 6 weekends of riding without any protection were blissfully trouble free. But I was cursing the shrubs that drop those bastards the entire walk home…

Music Embarrassment – King Crimson

I have been on a nostalgic twist in music lately, reliving my early days of prog rock fandom, and reminiscing about all the vinyl I used to have and got rid of in my flurry of moves in the 1990's. Ah good times indeed.

There is one classic prog rock staple that I am embarrassed to admit that I have never owned any of their albums, but have followed many of the band members' later careers. I speak of King Crimson. Greg Lake, Robert Fripp, Pete Sinfield (who was credited with writing in the ELP realm), are among the many illustrious artists who were instrumental with the rise of Prog Rock.

So I am adding King Crimson to my collection, and kicking myself for not doing so earlier. Now listening: In the Court of the Crimson King. Very very tasty.

California Living

For those new to this channel, I relocated back to California after a 11 year detour through Arizona. Having been back now for almost 6 months, I have some observations as a new outsider.

California in general, and Silicon Valley in particular is like no where else in the world. Great climate, diversity of cultures, high tech and ghetto all blended together.

Some thoughts:

  • Apartment dwellers with nice cars – I have little choice but to park my car (a Honda S2000) in the parking lot at our temporary apartment. But walking through the lot, there are plenty of BMW 5 series and 7 series cars, as well as Mercedes. These are people living in crappy, 40 year old, 2 bedroom, and 3 bedroom apartments, that are decidedly budget for the area. I guess the adage car rich, house poor applies.

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Bicycling Magazine – what are they smoking?

Since I renewed my Performance club membership (hey, 10% back is totally worth it), I get a “free” subscription to Bicycling Magazine. As with the last time I got this for free, I am seriously questioning their priorities.

I understand that it is tough to publish a relevant print magazine these days. Attention spans are infinitesimal, and the value of advertising is low enough that you need to just cram your rag with ads to break even. Add to that crappy editing, and little spend for quality articles, and you get a schlocky publication.

The highlights for this issue, December 2014:

  • Safely signal turns – Really, in a magazine you have an article on hand signals? For f*ck’s sake, I learnt this by the first grade, and again in driver’s ed. But after riding in Arizona for almost 11 years, clearly it is no longer taught to kids.Turn Signals

Read moreBicycling Magazine – what are they smoking?