Saturday, July 25, 2009

Art Center Car Classic 2009

Last Saturday (18 July 2009) I went up to Art Center in Pasadena for the annual Car Classic (2009). The theme this year was “Land, Sea, Air“ and the show included not only cars but also some boats and planes. The planes on the ground were a Rutan Vari-Eze and a hang glider with a rigid wing and a propane powered jet. Actually, it wasn’t quite a jet but it wasn’t quite a rocket either. I did not get a photo - just didn’t think of it. There was a flyover by some Ezes, and about 5 flyovers by some Yaks.

I don’t take nearly as many car photos these days as I once did, but there are about 50 pictures from the show. It’s surprising how much photographic situational awareness I have lost since I was a pro. I didn’t take many photos, and didn’t get many placards for identifying the cars that I did shoot.

That being said, I’m moving forward (albeit slowly) on my project to digitize many of my photos from when I was a pro photographer. I have recovered my light box so I’ll be able to review and choose transparencies to digitize, and more importantly I’ve committed some money to a digitizing service. A few weeks ago I signed up with Scan Cafe, and when I get a few hundred pictures chosen I’ll be sending this selection to the company for my first batch scan. This will be a test to see how good the service is and whether they return all my pictures in good condition. Timeliness is not a major factor as I evaluate the company and its service. However, I sure hope it is good. This could be the opportunity to digitize several thousand photos, including transparencies of all sizes from 35mm to 4x5, and eventually a smaller selection of B&W negatives.

All this won’t happen until I get a new computer though. The computer I am writing this on is only 4 years old, but it is so unable to handle the workload I subject it to that it really needs to be moved down to second tier service, as the laptop I occasionally use when I’m on the road. I’m planning on getting a new Mac Pro tower in September, when Apple releases the new OSX 10.6 operating system and possibly (hopefully!) some new Mac Pro models. But that is a topic for another post.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A Bad Week for Goldman Sachs

Just a few days after GS announces the biggest-ever bonuses to their staff, they get the following...

Matt Taibbi attacks in inimitable Taibbi style. (IMHO Taibbi is the new Hunter Thompson, because he is such a scourge to the corrupt powers that be.)

Then Frank Rich piles on in his smooth j'accuse way by equating Goldman with Bernie Madoff but worse, and explaining why John Dillinger the bank robber was such a hero to the American public during a major economic depression - then and now. (Hint: GS had a somewhat-invisible hand in both. And not a small invisible hand, but a big one.)

And then Goldman is forced to publicly admit through their attorney in the NY district attorney's office that their secret computer trading code was not only stolen and released to the open internet, but is used to "unfairly" "manipulate" the markets! Of course it’s unfair manipulation when somebody other than Goldman does it - but if they do it, well, that’s different.

I love this!

PS: Matt Taibbi is this generation's Hunter Thompson.