Welcome to BlogDogIt Tuesday, November 21 2017 @ 12:20 PM EST

That's about the size of it...

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masodo's musings

It's A Small World - In Macro

Sometimes toys are for playing with... This simple little video is the result of my desiring to try out the new video camera I received as a gift from my loving family. Proving that I am now liable to video-record just about anything [smiley::D]

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Ground Control to Space Cadet

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masodo's musings

Today (2014 November 29) NASA's - Astronomy Picture of the Day features a stereo anaglyph of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko created from images taken on November 12th during the much-ballyhooed Rosetta mission. The image and its accompanying verbiage is reproduced below:

ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS NASA3D 67P


Image Credit:
ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS

Explanation:
Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to a comet! The Rosetta mission lander Philae's ROLIS camera snapped the two frames used to create
this stereo anaglyph for 3D viewing during its November 12 descent to the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet's curious double lobed nucleus is seen nearly end on from a distance of about 3 kilometers, about 1 hour before Philae arrived at the surface. Philae's initial landing site is near the center of the front facing lobe. Part of a landing gear foot cuts across the upper right corner, in the close foreground of the 3D-view. Philae bounced twice in the comet's weak gravity after its first contact with the surface. Using high resolution camera images from the Rosetta orbiter along with data from the lander's instruments, controllers have followed Philae's impromptu journey over the comet's surface and have identified a likely area for its final resting place.

I did round up my Red/Blue 3D Specs and found this to be a most awesome stereo view. For those who might not have ready access to their own 3D glasses I have created a serviceable stereo pair for freeviewing. (If you are not hip to freeviewing, take a look at this dandy tutorial designed to get you moving in the right dimensions.)

Comet-67P-3D
StereoView built by masodo

 

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I Finally Read: "Found, Near Water"

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Author: Katherine Hayton I have been following the Twitter Feed of Kathern Hayton for a few months now and thanks to that activity I was recently made aware of a special promotion she had in conjunction with StoryCartel whereby I could download her novel "Found, Near Water" in exchange for agreeing to give an honest review of the work. This post is me upholding my end of that most exceptional bargain.

After having read the synapses and excerpts for this book and actually getting to see and hear Katherine via her Canterbury Live interview, I was thrilled at the chance to finally read "Found, Near Water."

Katherine Hayton hails from Christchurch, New Zealand and - to be honest - my thoughts and opinions of New Zealand have their roots largely in the television sit-com Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby.* As great as that TV series was, one can only assume there is more to learn about this remote Pacific Island nation and titular home of the Kiwi. This story takes place in Christchurch and the prospect of glimpsing the life of the New Zealander was all the encouragement I needed to desire to read the story but by the time this offer to read for free came along I was eager to consume the writing of Katherine Hayton who, I was learning - by virtue of her blogging - has a way with words and an ability to engage the imagination.

*Thanks in no small part to the globe shrinking power of the late, great "TheBox.bz"

Found, Near Water

Found, Near Water

Rena Sutherland wakes from a coma into a mother’s nightmare. Her daughter is missing – lost for four days – but no one has noticed; no one has complained; no one has been searching.

As the victim support officer assigned to her case, Christine Emmett puts aside her own problems as she tries to guide Rena through the maelstrom of her daughter’s disappearance.

A task made harder by an ex-husband desperate for control; a paedophile on early-release in the community; and a psychic who knows more than seems possible.

And intertwined throughout, the stories of six women; six daughters lost.

  

I think it is fair to say that I have never been much of a fan of fiction per se and even less a reader of crime related writing. When I do set down to consume a novel it is more typically in the science fiction genre. More often than not when I read a book it is non-fiction - the dryer the better. I suppose my aversion to fiction has to do with what I find to be the tedium of proper character development and quite often my inability to relate or even care about an authors central characters. I often hear that for many people reading fiction is an escape but I reckon I have always preferred to keep a firm grip on reality.

"Found, Near Water" is a thrilling story of mystery and suspense that reads very much as a memoir and gives the reader the sense that they are privy to what would otherwise be sealed records regarding these six stories of loss.

It is strange how disparate losses can be the bond uniting several women in search of support. When answers are just as absent as their missing loved ones the options for moving forward are few and the urge to give up can be strong. But there is only so much that can be done when you are outside of the "system." A jaded social worker seems an unlikely hero for this support group but having a desk in the vicinity of a Detective Senior Sergeant may be just the break they have been waiting for.

I find it incredible to think that this is Katherine Haytons' first novel as I found it to be a most enjoyable read; a compelling "page turner" that had an unrelenting grip on my interest and had me relating and emoting with these characters as though I too required a seat in that circle of support. I was impressed by the details and imagery and found realism in the New Zealand vernacular and applaud Katherine for not sanitizing this tale of horror and hope.

I recommend this book to anyone with a fondness for compelling storytelling of mystery and suspense. If you have ever found yourself looking to read a great work of fiction by an obscure author on the fast track to success, pick up "Found, Near Water" and you too will be on the lookout for her next one. Bring it on Katherine Hayton... and thanks for sharing!

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18% Gray

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masodo's musings

18% Gray

 

Many moments spent gazing upon the ground glass. Framing the scene.
Creating the view. Waiting for the 'click'.

 

The click belonging not so much to the hardware shutter but rather
to the mind's eye-opener.

 

That splendid moment when all the elements within the box come together in perfect balance (or awesome chaos.)

 

It's a butterfly chase. It's a lightning witness. It's a eureka moment of grand discovery.

 

It's a warm kiss on the cheek.

The photographers spirit.

Michael S. DeBurger

Originally published July 7, 2010 in Rule of Thirds Tutorial - BlogDogIt.com

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Shoo-Crow Surprize

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masodo's musings

"Best Place to Live in Hendricks County"While visiting downtown Danville, Indiana for the 2014 Indiana Short Film Festival I was pleased to discover that the courthouse in Town Square was surrounded with scarecrows. It turns out that these characters were there in conjunction with The Scarecrow Festival held on the first Saturday of October by Downtown Danville in partnership with The Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce.

The following is reprinted from the Visit Downtown Danville website:

The Crows are Coming!

Our annual Scarecrow Display begins the first Saturday in October when the SCARECROWS return to the square. Families and businesses compete for pride and prizes as the courthouse lawn is lined with amazing examples of talent and creativity. Judges select winners from two categories, but the public gets to decide the winner of the coveted People’s Choice Award. The Scarecrow Contest entries remain on display the entire month of October. The contest entry fee is $5 and the first place winners in both the Family and Business categories take home $100 and a trophy…and bragging rights!

Sure glad I brought along the camera [smiley::D]

Enjoy!

Scarecrows on the Square

 Click On Image To Enlarge

 

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Twitter and Waste the Hours in an Off-Hand Way...*

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masodo's musings

Tons-O-TweetsOne of my cyber-pals has decided to take the leap and enter the "Twitterverse." It was not all that long ago that I threw caution to the wind and dove in myself. I was asked if there was any advice I could offer to help make some sense out of what - to the casual observer - might appear to be nothing but one more enormous "Time-Suck" coming at you from the interwebs.

Obviously Twitter is what you make of it. I am sure there are as many takes on how to best utilize the service as there are those involved with its usage. Here is my philosophy on why I am on Twitter and what I hope to possibly get out of it.

First of all I think it is important to ask yourself why are you there before you get too deep into your exploration of the Twitterverse; much like a trained undersea explorer, you are well advised to plan your dive and dive your plan, lest you find yourself without the air to safely return to the surface.

It is very obvious that - to many - Twitter is a numbers game. The more followers you have the better indication that you might be winning. I am sure this is true if your main goal in Tweeting is measurable statistics related to advertising views. There are likely countless theories as to how to get your numbers up but this aspect of Twitter holds very little interest for me since I really have nothing to sell.

Besides those out there because they obviously (or covertly) have something to sell, are those that have something to say. You can argue that many of those are there to "sell" an idea or philosophy - those I would categorize in the "Advertisers" ranks. A great many folks have interests within a narrowly defined subject or topic and gain followers by their apparent mastery or expertise in their chosen field.

A lot of Tweeters you come across are simply "hams" that have decided that the minutia of their existence may be of interest to both of their true followers and tend to use the service as an old-school bulletin board where anything or everything may be discussed.

Might I Suggest...



Click on image to
go to their feed page.

Now I bill myself as a "cyber explorer of the web less traveled" and as such I try to conscientiously avoid any user with astronomical numbers. I have many varied interests and if I chose to follow all the leading experts in all those varied fields I would certainly find myself on the cutting edge of societal evolution but that is not necessarily where I want to be. Let's face it, from where I stand the minutia of the space program can be every bit as boring as what Billy Joe Bob has in the smoke house. I have found it much more advantageous therefore to find an avid follower of @NASA (for example) and trust that if there was anything truly interesting going on, the NASA enthusiast will re-tweet NASA news thereby squelching much of the noise coming out of that sector of the Twitterverse.

Finding the "right" folks to follow is a bit of a hit or miss proposition but you are advised to review the users posting habits before signing up as a follower. Many people will seemingly re-tweet nearly everything in their feed in an obvious effort to get their name "out there" so if you'd like a taste of what it must be like to follow 20K Tweeters follow a few of these full-time re-tweeters for awhile this might help you determine your preferred "pace" of involvement. Keep in mind that even the compulsive re-tweeter is performing a service to you by filtering a sea of information into a possibly manageable flow.

If I find myself following someone that is a bit too "active" I will see who among their followers might be more my speed and opt to follow them instead trusting that if "motor-mouth" has anything really interesting to say it will be re-tweeted by the replacement.

I guess for me it boils down to this: I am not looking to "know it all" I am much more interested in discovering the rare and precious human interactions that may be found when practicing a cautious, measured approach to internet explorations. I tend to think of my cyber-friends as friends indeed - not statistical rungs on a ladder to the next level. But that's just me.

Follow Me On Twitter

 

 

*apologies to 'Floyd

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About This "Rockin' 4 God" Video

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masodo's musings

Rockin' 4 God 2014Steadi(ish)CamIt is often said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. His ability to have me create a video documenting the "Rockin' 4 God 2014" event is ample evidence supporting that old maxim.

I am no documentary filmmaker (by any stretch of the imagination) but I have been looking for ways to exercise my video making muscles and this opportunity just struck me as just too good to pass up. It was an opportunity to photograph a rock concert with an all access pass. A day long event featuring four bands, a clown act and a sermon thrown in for good measure. Just the sort of volunteer work that would appeal to this old-school hippie photog.

Going into it, I was not exactly sure how I would go about completing the project. My video camera is little more than a toy - 640 X 480 pixel resolution with a fixed focal length lens - but I resolved to view this as an artistic endeavor and give it my best shot - as it were. The name "Rockin' 4 God" suggested to me that the video should be "high energy" (whatever that means) so a tripod in the corner was out of the question. I was going to have to go at this with a hand held camera to get in on the action.

I think it is safe to say that I am certainly no DevinSupertramp - but what I couldn't do with a rig like his? Since a GlideCam exists only in my covetous mind I decided to visit my freelance hardware store (a.k.a. garage) and see what I could come up with in the way of constructing my own Stedi(ish)Cam device. The internet is chocked full of ideas on this subject but seeing that my garage was gimbal free, I opted to go for a weighted pendulum style device that many claim to be a step above a purely hand-held camera - and I will give them that. 

If you can scrounge-up 46-1/2 minutes you should check out
"Rockin' 4 God"
The Video Project.

The actual job of recording the event presented many challenges but that is the name of the game and honestly what makes it so fun to do. I took along my Canon 5-MP rangefinder camera to - at least - get some quality stills and realized midway through the shoot that I would be combining stills and video clips for this video project. The little video camera uses SanDisk memory and I felt confident that the 4 Gigabyte chip would be ample for the day but took along two more 1 GB disks as a precaution - good thing too because for some odd reason the 4 GB disk refused to hold more than about 500 MB. It took every bit of those other 2 Gigs to get-r-done. When it became obvious that I should now use the video camera sparingly I started relying more and more on the still camera to document the event.

That was working fine until about two thirds of the way through the day when the Canon's battery went belly-up and I found myself regretting not tearing the house apart looking for the spare pack when I was gearing up for the day. Thankfully the video camera has the ability - as do most video cameras - to take still images. I finished the day bouncing back and forth between still and video modes adding one more layer of "what am I doing" to the task at hand.

[ Please Continue Reading ]

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Recesky - Test Roll #1

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masodo's musings

A Working ReceskyEver since the completion of the Recesky twin lens reflex camera kit I have been anxiously awaiting a bright sunny day to test it out but after waiting for 8 days I could not take the suspense a minute more. I decided to get the show on the road and loaded the new box with some 15 year old Plus-X "roll your own" and headed out into the mostly-cloudy afternoon world. I was hoping for plenty of sun mostly because of the severely out-dated film stock but I was also hoping to get some high contrast lighting for the sake of higher impact images. Perhaps the 'Stones said it best, "...you get what you need."

All in all - I must say - I am fairly pleased with the resulting pictures and can now hardly wait to try it out with some fresh film (and sunshine.) Using the Recesky feels a little debilitating with its single shutter speed and single f-stop* and peering onto a 35mm sized "ground glass" is a bit of a challenge with my reading glasses; next time out I am going to take along a loupe so as to focus a bit more critically. [*The Recesky does offer the ability to remove the aperture disk from behind the taking-lens for a larger f-stop (and reduced depth of field) but I would just as soon not mess with dismantling the taking-lens assembly.]

The best results from test roll number one are presented in the slide show above. Click on the image for a higher resolution example. There is a stray internal flare that shows consistently in the images. I need to determine if that is from a light leak or just shiny guts.

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Rockin' 4 God - Banner Installation

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masodo's musings

Rockin' 4 God 2014

Have you ever had to install a two-sided banner outside, suspended between two posts? I had installed plenty of banners between already existing posts but this time required that I bring my own. The location is a high-traffic, wide open area that is subjected to some rather strong winds on occasion, so I was hoping to come up with something that might stand the test of the elements. Through strategic placement of scalloped vent holes, my own unique take on  bungee cord shock absorbers and rope work worthy of a former Boy Scout, I do believe this one has a fighting chance - Good Lord willing.

The following video slide presentation represents my first utilization of the YouTube Slideshow Creator. I was very pleased with its ease of use, wide selection of freely available music and fancy effects applied automatically.

If a picture is worth a thousand words then here is a book on how I hung this banner. Insert disclaimer about "don't take my word for it" here. [smiley:;)]

Visit: http://MtZionIndy.org

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I build a RECESKY camera

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masodo's musings

The Set-Up Download HiRez Image Kit Download HiRez Image Kit

Table Top Setup

With a camera positioned overhead I put together a Recesky Twin Lens Reflex Camera from a kit. One hour and thirty-six minutes have been compressed into nine minutes. Ambient sounds have been replaced with Benefit_of_the_Boomerang-[null_void_manifesto] - "At The Words End."

The instructions were just about adequate and ultimately resulted in a perfectly usable piece of equipment. The proof of which will be forthcoming.

Made in China - Assembled in the U.S.A.

Thanks Bro' for the project!

 

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Steam Conversion

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masodo's musings

Steamation V1

Ralph Bakshi has nothing to fear.

Explanation: I have been sitting on several little video clips that I shot at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry a while back. I have converted this one into an animated GIF. As I reduced this video to its basic elements (frame-by-frame in Photoshop) I was reminded of some of the techniques used in the animation classic Wizards.

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No Cover, No Minimum.

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masodo's musings

The BouncerToday I built my first MEME candidate.

It is built upon one of my biggest internet related pet-peeves. Whenever I visit a website that immediately pops-up an invite for me to like them, share them, follow them, take a survey or any other maneuver that suggests that I am nothing more than a statistic to them I am out of there. I don't care if I can dismiss the prompt, I simply close the tab. You should always be careful what you click when surfing the net and if in doubt closing the tab is always the best option.

No Brainer.

Now Fly My MEME... Be Free!

 

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Speaking Like a Politician

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masodo's musings

Forked ToungeThe phrase "speak with a forked tongue" means to deliberately say one thing and mean another. To "speak like a politician" is a much higher form of deception. It is the difference between being "lied to" and being "misled."

Our good mate Creaky
over on Codgertation presents an article  that he calls "Nothing is as it seems." In that post he shares the following tale. Please take the time to read this little story and see if you can wrap your head around what I am calling "politicians logic." The next time a politician opens his/her mouth - even if you do not see the obvious forked tounge - beware: words mean things.


Nothing is as it seems.

Three lovely old ladies, good friends thrown together by circumstance and now sharing a house, decided they liked a vase they’d seen in a second hand shop window. It would brighten up their dining room. It was just £30 but their pensions weren’t huge. However, they decided they’d each chip-in with £10, so they saved up over a few weeks and eventually had enough in the kitty.

Money in their purses, off they set one Saturday morning and to their relief the vase was still there. Without any further ado, they paid the nice lad in the shop and set off home with it.

Just seconds after they’d left the shop manager came out from the office where he’d been doing a rough-and-ready stock check and said to the lad, “let’s mark that vase down to £25, it’s been hanging around for ages and it’s never going to sell.” The lad said he’d just that minute sold it to three old ladies. The manager, without a moment’s hesitation, told him to run after them and give them five pounds back – “it’s only fair”, he said.

So the lad grabbed five pounds out of the till and ran after the ladies. But while he was nice enough, he was also a crafty one, and when he caught up with them he gave them back just one pound each and kept two pounds for himself. “Well,” he reasoned, “they’re still going to be happy.”

So that meant the three old ladies paid £9 each. Three multiplied by nine is twenty-seven. The lad kept two pounds for himself. Twenty-seven plus two is twenty-nine. Where did the other pound go?

Nothing is as it seems.

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7 Year Old 'Smokes' High-Schoolers

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masodo's musings

The Team PicIt is Summer Running Camp and the young up-start Brodyn is invited to run in his first 100M dash with the big kids. The results were anything but expected...

Note: Starting pistol fires mid-video, then look out...

Cruddy cell-phone video shot by his Grandmother.
We are so glad she did!

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