My projects, hobbies, interests, whatever.

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Vintage Car Rally

In a real blast from the past. I have had posted on Flickr a set of photos taken by my father in 1957. The quality of the Kodachrome slides is excellent after more than fifty years. These photos were taken at a rally sponsored by the Vintage Motor Car Club of America and the Vintage Sports Car Club of England. These photos are some of my most popular and get regular hits. I received help from many people including both clubs involved in identifying the cars in the photos so many thanks to them.

Hemming’s Classic Car magazine did a short article about the photos in their November (2010) issue which is quite nice. My father would have loved the fact that the photos have gotten the attention they have. I remember a wonderful outing with my father (I was 8 at the time) and always loved to go to car shows. Actually the shows we also went to around that time were the 1957 auto show in Boston and the “HiFi” show. I enjoyed both.

7 - VMCCA Rally, April 1957

Now my father also like fishing. Me, not so much.
The complete set of photos can be found here.


VanAmburg Design

My uncle’s website. VanAmburg Design
..and on FaceBook VanAmburg Design FaceBook Page

Thought I’d mention it here since he is touching on many issues about advertising vs. social media. Even at this point in the development of the web it seems that everyone is still struggling with how to best utilize it for business and promotion. Today when most people now buy music from a computer company and book stores are closing due to online sales (or e-reader downloads) everything seems just a little out of kilter.

I do miss the version of this photo that used to lead in the site. This one was taken by my father and the one he used taken by my grandfather (i.e. his father). Maybe the original is still there? I’ll have to keep looking.

Me & Jim

Me on the left and Jim on the right.

Under My Desk

OK, I know, this doesn’t sound very exciting but…

I was annoyed by all of the power supply transformers (wall warts) that sit there all night plugged in and using a considerable amount of power even when the devices being powered are off.  So, I decided to separate the power going to my desk into four categories.  There are lots of peripherals, lots of chargers and items that need to keep running.

Going from left to right.  The first power strip is a UPS power supply that operates the cable modem/telephone, a wireless router and supplies a power strip that powers my PC and monitors.  That one is the white one all the way on the right of the photo.  This allows me to shut off the computer and monitor completely when they are not in use.  And, yes, I know there is the idea that it is better to leave the computer on all the time but I think the power savings will make up for any reduce life expectancy of the computer.  I’ve shut of PCs for quite a while now and my computers seem to last a very long time anyway.   The UPS supply stays on all the time since who knows who will need to use the modem and  router and when and we need the modem alive for the telephone.

Now the next power strip powers all the peripherals (printer, scanner, film scanner, hard drive dock, etc.  These do not need to be on all the time so I can save some power here.

The next strip powers all the chargers, cellphone,  etc.  That can also be off when not in use which is most of the time.

I’m applying this to other areas of the house so as well so we will see how much this saves.  There is a Mac Mini on one of our TVs running Boxee so this doesn’t always need to be on.  Since there are four of us using PCs this could save a good deal more than just using it on my desk.

I’ve also saved power thanks to VirtualBox since I no longer need a PC for Windows and one for Linux.  I just run Windows in a VM under Linux.

Under My Desk

My Desk Today: A still life of sorts.

Just a geeky shot of my desk
I was testing a lighting setup for another project and the desk was the closest thing to try it out on
So for what its worth this is it
This shot was not arranged
Its just how it is

Still Life: My Desk

Pomona RV Show

I recently went to the Pomona RV Show. Not that I’m in the market for an RV but more out of curiosity and entertainment and my love of vehicles. RVs cater to my Jules Verne syndrome of wanting to travel and take my home with me. Kind of like “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” or “Steam House”. The design of RVs has always been intriguing to me. How to fit as much living space into a very small area. Home sizes have grown over the years and peoples expectations of what is needed to live in have grown dramatically. The RV technology also spills over to much of the work being done today in tiny house design and modular homes.

Of course some RVS are very over the top. Like the one in the photo below that was created by Dunkel Industries. This is intended to be an off road capable RV that you can live in and will carry a Jeep and a couple of ATVs. This is based on a Ford F650 chassis and, yes, I probably don’t want to know what the gas mileage is. What is interesting is the the interior, which has less room than many RVs, is very cleverly designed and makes efficient use of the space available.

I also wonder how this compares to “expedition vehicles” like Unicats or Earthroamers in its ability to handle very extreme situations.

Pomona RV Show 2009

Another vehicle that I have always like is the Sportsmobile. Again not the best gas mileage but shouldn’t be too bad with a diesel.

Pomona RV Show 2009

But what I really miss is the simplicity of the VW Westphalia or even my poor man’s version in 1972.

Me & Willie setting up camp -- May 1972

…and more photos here

The Getty Villa

I haven’t been to the Getty Villa since it was remodeled so that means not for many years. In many ways it hasn’t changed despite the new parking garage, ampitheater and restaurant. There is more display room for the Roman/Greek/ancient artifacts since the paintings and furniture that were on display are now at the main Getty Museum site.

So… some photos.

The ampitheater.

Getty Villa Museum

The trompe loeil paintings of the main building. Hopefully done with a responsible use of HDR techniques to bring out the detail.

Getty Villa Museum

…and, of course, I have to make use of the fisheye lens.

Getty Villa Museum

More of my Getty photos are here…

DIY Flash Gel Holder and Storage

I was getting annoyed with losing gels for my flash and juggling camera bags to find them so I looked for a holder that might store gels.  I did find a very nice one like what I envisioned from Lumiquest but since my need was immediate I tried coming up with something simple and quick to make. The total build time was about 5 minutes.

This is made from a sheet of a storage page for negatives that goes into a three ring binder.  If you have been shooting for a while (i.e. film) you may have sheets of these lying around.   I just cut one to size with three storage slots available.  One covers the flash head and the other two can be used for storage.  I can get about four gels into the storage slots without difficulty allowing me to store a total of eight gels.  The gels are just cut from sheet gel material, in this case from Rosco.

I have no idea if this will fit other flashes.  The flash that I made it for is a Nikon SB-600  and it also works on my Sunpak 383 flashes. Also not that the sample pack filters from Rosco and probably Lee also are a little too wide and would need to be trimmed slightly.

DIY Flash Gel Holder & Storage

DIY Flash Gel Holder & Storage