Friday, December 27, 2013

Keeping On...

A few days before the rug got pulled, I was prepping our patio for the annual Christmas party. That meant cashing-in 8 bags of crushed aluminum cans. Probably 10% sodas, 90% beer, 67% of which was Miller High Life.
Learned just how bad cheap bags can be. Go Hefty.

Filled the bed of my truck, which is a Dodge Dakota that is much bigger than a Ford Ranger or Chevy S10 or Colorado, but skinnier than the F150/RAM/Silverado class of trucks.

When I got to Northwest Recycling on Grissom Road, there was a mom in an SUV that had the whole rear of her vehicle filled to the roof with cans.
Sadly, they were packed 10-12 uncrushed in little grocery store plastic bags.
The recycling can man had given her a 55 gal. drum, and she was un-knotting the bags and dumping cans at a snail's pace.

I pulled up and was out of there in 7.45 minutes with my cash.
2+ years of bevvies.
113 pounds of aluminum cans @ $0.45 per pound.
A $50 bill plus change.
Had the cans been gold at that day's spot price, $2.15 million.
A nice bit of cash but for the amount of time involved rinsing, crushing, and moving it's no way to make a living.

On that other subject, I took this photo within a minute of Ken's passing.

Was waiting for the word after pulling the plug, and like our mother and grandmother before him, I knew.

I finally found the backup disc with original files of this shoot, so I made a quick wallpaper to keep on a screen during our party:
My late brother, the mad scientist.

I had already taken a similar photo of myself and then Sylvia, followed by Holly's Kat, and getting him to cooperate was easy because he knew it would make a perfect header for Ken's blog.
Nobody else got smoke machine action, which was routed through his shop-vac's hose held between his knees.

Didn't take enough pictures of him, but he LOVED these so I don't feel guilty.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Kenneth Donald

I keep asking myself if this shitty nightmare is real.
My brother just died.
My heart is broken.
I'm the only surviving member of our immediate family.

Sylvia and her mom + sister were the kind of solid and experienced support you'll wish you had in a situation like this.
I Love all of you SO much.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Craving Christmas

Our annual tradition is to cruise around San Antonio looking for an amazing and iconic photo for our Christmas cards.
I had a good run for like 6 years, but as we get busier in our advancing years the number of nights available for photo expeditions has been cut severely and we've been lucky to have a bunch of good shots in the archives.

Too many parties.

And 2013 had a damned late Thanksgiving, which cut at least a week off the normal "Holiday Season" when we achieve some kind of focus on the many demands.

This year I decided to use a very nice photo from 2006-7 that has long been a top favorite, and the cards went to the Post Office a few hours ago.
Not what I wanted as far as advancing my skills and staying current and modern, but time was running out.

At least we got 1 shot at something new.

For example, local universities with amateur decorators:
St. Mary's:

Scenes around Our Lady Of The Lake:

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Home Stretch

The title fits several situations:
The Year 2013 of course, getting ready for Christmas, nailing down the details of an upcoming trip.

Also, as referenced in my previous post way back in October (longest time I've ever spent away from this blog) my computer issues are close to being sorted out.
The laptop has a new harddrive and suddenly can do many things it couldn't before, while the plan for my PC is merely awaiting execution ($$$ + spare time).

On the projects front, the restoration of my dad's Mauser rifle is nearly complete, and it's turned out better than I had hoped.
For a guy with mostly synthetic stocks, refinishing the wood and grinding a new rubber buttpad to fit went very smoothly. Beginners luck?
All I need now is a new scope with enough magnification to do it justice. 5X is a bit weak for a firearm that can hit varmints accurately at over 400 yards.
(I don't hunt--for me it's all about the science of the hardware and restoring a gun that was built by my father a few years before he was killed, and had been "Lost" in Tennessee for 50 years).

Now that I have a computer that can run Photoshop again, I can even post pictures!

Hopefully we'll find some time to capture something new and different for our 2013 Christmas card photo, but if not I have plenty of good material from many previous shoots.

Whether anyone missed me or not, I'm glad to be back.
Facebook and Twitter etc are fun and convenient and reach lots of people, but I've been blogging for almost 9 years and there's something special about having your own little corner of the interwebs that stands on it's own with archives and everything.
At Thanksgiving dinner one of Sylvia's sisters told me that her friend recently got into photography and actually read all 899 posts before this one.
I'm flattered and hope she found some helpful info and/or inspiration. No idea how long that took.

This is my 900th post to Views Of Texas.
I'm not a very prolific blogger compared to a few years ago, but an average of twice a week ain't so bad.

Friday, October 25, 2013

What Are The Odds?

I WAS having a good morning....

Plumbing repair the night before was a success.
Lawns were mowed and looked better than they had in years.
Weather couldn't have been better.
Gunstock refinishing was turning out better than expected.

Then it happened, and fast.

My PC slowed to a crawl, then went down. Some critical Windows files are corrupted, so the hard drive is failing.
Within the hour a spill in the kitchen took out my laptop.
It's hard drive is toast, but I'm hoping I can recover files from the PC.
My tech taught me a neat trick involving a big downloaded file on a CD that'll boot the PC into a Linux environment so I can copy folders to my external drive. Gonna tackle that tomorrow.

When I texted Buz, he said that out of the blue he was getting "slaughtered" by all the calls from his customers who've got stuff crashing. My original theory was the big solar flares, but they happened later in the day. Or something to do with ObamaCare. More likely is that my PC's drive was used when I got it a few years ago, and they ALL fail eventually. The laptop was my own damn fault.

In the meantime, I'm glad I keep my old PC tower next to my desk--it's saved my ass kept me connected more than a few times.

Oh, and here's that Mauser stock after 2 coats of TruOil®:
Can't decide if I want to end up glossy or matte.
Applied the third coat tonight.
TruOil® (by Birchwood Casey) is a fantastic product. It's made by a gun product company, but turns out it's popular for fine furniture and guitars, too.
Going to have to write a review for Matthew's website after I try it on something else.
My shotgun's stock looks kinda crappy...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sony, Stop Teasing Me

On Thursday I started my morning as usual by pouring a big glass full of caffienated soda and checking out The Online Photographer.
Scrolling down to a previous post about Sony's newest camera with the latest and greatest possible features: a flat compact body with 24 or 36 megapickles for full-frame lenses? WTF?
I started to recall the good old days when my very first digital camera WAS the state-of-the-art, and made by Sony.
Only 5 pickles but a sweet Zeiss lens, and I learned how to make crap and an occasional decent photo with it.
(Back-story is that nobody respected Sony at ALL back then, and for some reason they still don't...)

So, I'm reminded that I ought to check the battery level on cam #1 and see if it's still okay as spare power for another one in my stable despite the fact that the camera itself stopped working over 5 years ago.

Flicked the 'On' lever and got a good power-up, then spent two minutes setting the date/time. Got a reading in the high-90% range for the battery. Can someone tell me why I took the lens cap off at this point?

When a camera decides to suddenly work again after 5+ years, you hit the shutter button as fast as you can!

As I made my way through layers of home security to our backyard, I noted how quickly my fingers remembered all the buttons and settings to get a decent macro photo, since that is where the F717 truly excelled for me.
On auto-pilot I shoved that delightful lens up against one of my hanging plants and hit the shutter once more, and got a lucky 2nd picture before the camera gave up and stopped playing nice again:

That's the look and quality I remember!
My eyes rolled back 72 degrees for a few seconds, then I started gathering tools and organizational stuff to try and fix my old jacked camera.

Got about 30% of the way in and cleaned/reinserted the ribbon cables.
Also poked at stuff with my finger.
Didn't fix it, but also didn't make it any worse--all functions still work and no parts left over after reassembly.
A good practice run for going deeper in a few days.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Project Overload

Been pretty busy these last couple of weeks.

Finished building Sylvia's pine and 2x4 bench, then we picked the lightest possible stain.
Functional, looks good enough, cheap, replaceable.

Spent an evening drinking beer with my friend Rick while we put new speakers in his bass cabinet.
Sounds better!
We cleaned is up a bit, too. Vacuumed the carpeting, painted the grill.

Stripped 50 years of yuck (plus the original finish) from my dad's rifle.
Used Krud Kutter's original cleaner degreaser concentrate based on the advice in some YouTube videos.
Unlike other advised products, this worked more gently and could be used indoors.

As I was finishing the first application I realized that "Before" pics are always a good idea, so I grabbed one that shows how dark the wood was before I started.
Seriously, you couldn't see woodgrain except in direct sunlight. Indoors it looked black.

Well well well, what do we have here?
Mmmmm, tasty walnut!

Decided to stop, meaning no steaming-out the dents, or sanding.
It's in great shape for it's age and came by it's scars through honest hard hunting by 3 members of my family.
Just have to decide what kind of finish it'll get.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Metal And Movies

The previous post featured a quick and dirty video for one of our songs made by our singer.
Pretty much just an excuse to get the final mix of that song some exposure on YouTube.
I thought it was pretty cool considering how it was made for nothing. Then there's the upcoming computer animated video she's having made by a recent film school grad we know for another song--the bits and pieces I've seen so far look great.

Just when you think you're own band is kinda cool, Metallica has to go and spend $30+ million and change the entire landscape of concert movies.
We've had our tickets for months. The movie opened last Thursday night but we chose Friday afternoon so as not to endure a packed-house of ultra-fans and douchebags. The plan was good.

Starting with the content, it's a Metallica concert that's got an added storyline based on some kid who isn't even a roadie--more of a gopher--who gets into some deep shit on the city streets near the venue. Dark stuff, but it really helped break up the sonic assault of their music, if only to replace it with visual and mental assault. Still, it added balance, overall.
No surprises on the setlist--casual fans will find plenty of familiar material.
Their playing is top-notch, with only a few overdubbed "fixes" noticed by my trained ears.

The main difference between this concert video and everyone else's is the 3D and IMAX photography.
We all know that before going to see 'TED' in 2012 I hadn't been to a movie theater since 'Purple Rain' in 1984, but my companions were normal people and they agreed that it was way beyond anything done before with live music.
You were onstage mere inches away.
Total immersion.
Best concert movie ever.

When we saw Metallica here is San Antonio a few years ago, the presentation was similar in that the stage was essentially a big oval just like the room. (Great sound/lights is a given).
The staging and show are bigger and more refined now, with a LOT of extra gags.

What I like best about what they are doing is the lack of video screens, both behind the band and floating around overhead--a stale look that is too busy and cluttered.
The stage floor has coarse video content now, but that's about it.
Clean, pure, nothing behind the band but fans and/or darkness, and everyone is a lot closer to the performers.

Whenever my new industry insider sound/lights magazines arrive with pictures from the latest tours by big names I'm always shocked my the narcissism and lack of respect for the audience. Sell more seats, put up a bunch of TVs with extreme close-ups, make political statements...

Metallica delivers, for their fans.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Visitor

And if you are interested, I have another review over at 'thew's: Halo charger

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mounting Apprehension

In my last post (long time ago) I described how overwhelmed I was learning enough new songs to play my first show with The HITMEN.
With only two rehearsals, the show went better than any of us expected.
This popular SA cover band quit playing seven years ago, and dates back something like 15 years, so it's now a nostalgia act appealing to our old fans who's kids are grown and finally have time to hit the clubs again.
Too bad our drummer is quitting.
Double too bad that he's also the drummer for Televators.

We have his last show coming next week, and the only replacement for the Hitmen tested so far was too young and loud and green. A Televator drummer is going to be MUCH harder to find.
This situation makes me very nervous.

Last week I finally started working on my dad's rifle which was returned to me in late 2011 after spending over 45 years in Tennesee, as a distraction.
Had good luck at Nagel's gun shop on San Pedro and scored a scope mount that's got me in a workable situation for only $5. This restoration project is working out well, and cheap so far.
I originally thought this was a post-WWII German Mauser 98 action based on the deeply blued finish and quality, but looking closer I found swastikas and a "42". Hmmmm.
At this point the rear scope mount needs a shim consisting of something 50% thicker than a beer can of the cheaper brands, so I'm on the hunt for stouter beer.

The nicely figured pine underneath is a bench I've been building this week for our porch.
After replacing busted legs on a picnic table bench for my inlaws, then leaving it near the front door, we got kinda used to having a nice elevated place to set stuff down while getting our keys out.
We missed the convenience right away.
Spent many hours every day this week on construction and sanding, and it'll probably take a few more days before I'm ready to seal the pieces individually and bolt it back together.

It's something to do between anxiety attacks.
On the other hand, two of my dearest friends are lucky to be alive after a drunkass wrong-way driver crash last night.
My problems aren't so bad after all.

Friday, August 23, 2013


From recent experience I have to agree that the bassline of this song makes a great demo if you want to show off your programming and robotic hardware project. An incredible tech achievement!
I've got my hands full trying to play it through one time without stumbling badly.

They say that "muscle memory" requires up to 2000 repetitions to get it right but I never bought into that before now, because I like to interact freely with the other musicians. This song screams out for "Charge Ahead" on the bass and hope for the best.
What is the "exit strategy" should you blow a note? Get out of synch and where do you go?

God forbid the drummer comes in a little faster than I can manage.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Hovering Birds

Pretty excited about this purchase:

Seeing all the hummingbirds at the inlaw's feeder last week had the idea fresh in our minds, then a few days later coming across low-low prices for a feeder and nectar concentrate powder...why not?

Put it up on Saturday, then added cord to lower it down on Sunday so it wasn't as hidden under the patio roof, saw our first hummer on Monday.
Not bad.

Each day the sightings increase, which is great.

What have I learned from Gurgle about these tiny wonders?

The nectar is not their main food--they use it like an energy drink to improve their hunting of insects.
They eat mosquitos and other little bugs, and even snatch them out of spider webs. Yoink!
Many species migrate all the way to Panama for the winter--some even taking the 20+ hour over-the-gulf route.
The only bird that can fly in reverse, and that can hover without help from the wind.
Average weight is around 3 grams.
Migrating hummers will visit the same feeders on the route, often on the same day of the year, so they have good memories.
They are very territorial with feeders, chasing away others of their kind as well as bees and anything else hanging around. For all I know, we only have the one visitor so far--I saw a quick battle today.
Tolerate humans rather well, as can be seen on YouTube videos of people with small feeders in their mouths.

My ultimate goal is to get some serious pictures of them.
Hang a backdrop, put some of my radio-triggered flash units on stands near the feeder, pre-focused DSLR on tripod also nearby, trigger shutter using IR remote from inside the house.
Piece of cake? Hope so.

Probably give it a shot in September when it isn't 10,000 degrees and we have more traffic at the feeder so I'm not peeking through the blinds for hours on end with my batteries draining away.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Random Purchases Of Note

At Academy Sports & Outdoors, these banners have been slashed to around 15%.
Banner only, so pin it to the wall or improvise a compatible flag pole like I did using parts from a microphone stand.
Need to bring it back inside and iron it.

At Home Depot Sylvia spotted this incredible deal:
Not often you can get 16 light bulbs for $5.88
Even if half of them pop as soon as the more expensive ones, you're still way ahead.
Hilarious that the retro commemorative packaging mentions itself repeatedly.

Blanca Suave!!!
Cool White for my crackers needing translation.
Extra laughs because these cheapo bulbs are made in Hungary of all places.

Also needed some brighter bulbs for the bathroom to facilitate makeup and girly stuff, so I grabbed a 4-pack of these much different GE bulbs:
Supposedly delivering the same output as 100w incandescent bulbs, these GE "Energy-Efficient" bulbs only consume 72 watts.
As you can see in the photo, there is a small halogen bulb inside the normal one.
$6.97 for a 4-pack, made in Mexico instead of Hungary.
Where are GE's LED bulbs made?

Supposed to last way longer.
Have installed a pair and they are bright enough to back some of their claims, although it's difficult to prove the one about using 28% less energy.

Thanks for reading this weak's update.
It's my birthday, and with all of my work-type situations imploding right now it was fun to focus on dumb stuff from Home Depot. I won't discuss the toilet repair part we bought unless it doesn't work properly and I want to complain. My tip for home plumbing repairs is to never attempt them at night or on weekends, because if you screw anything up or another part nearby gets busted by an errant wrench you need professional backup.

So far I really like my new 2xAAA LED penlight used to illuminate the halogen bulb internals. I hope it stands up to hard use after my dissappointment with supposedly better units that cost 3x as much.

Does heavy music work with reality TV?
We'll be answering this question very soon.
When I floated the idea of Televators being on a reality show, Sylvia busted out laughing and couldn't stop for a very long time,
Then started up again.
And again the next time I mentioned it.
And again a few hours ago.
Can't say I disagree.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Weird coincidence today, given the media obsession with events in Florida.
For about an hour I was worried about becoming the next George Zimmerman.

While potting some plant clippings on the patio around 5pm (thanks Eddie!) I noticed movement in the alley. Normally this would be deer, but it was too close to our fence and didn't follow the usual patterns. I'm trying to make sense out of what's visible thru the little gaps between fenceboards. Eventually resolves into somebody sitting with their back against our fence and doing stuff that involves moving their arms on a regular basis--that's all I can discern--but based on past evidence of drug and inhalant abuse in the same spot over the last few years I'm getting angry that whoever's getting freaky in our alley is back. I enlisted a spotter to keep track of them while I prepare my tools and we discuss a gameplan.
Police? No evidence that this is needed...yet.
Eventually our mystery man stands up and starts walking back and forth and possibly practicing Tai Chi, Yoga, or just dancing while completely wasted on a hot afternoon. We agreed that it was very bizarre behavior that needed intervention.
Ended up going out in the backyard fully prepared in a conspicuous way that's in keeping with Texas traditions and laws and banged my buttstock against the fence while eyeballing him over the top. Nice simple conversation with a white/semi-ginger punkass (20-ish) in red shorts wearing a backpack:

Me: "Hit the road, and DON'T come back!"
Him: "uh...OK" (walks away)

Got in the car and tried to catch him exiting the alley for a mugshot, but he had completely evaporated, which reinforces my earliest guess that it's a close neighbor kid who can't get high at home. He probably hopped his own fence a few houses down and hopefully realized what an idiot he's been and how close he came to having a very bad day.

Twice I've had to send big wet piles of blankets and pillows and drug paraphernalia to the landfill from the same spot--it's good to finally have a face to match with the evidence, if it's the same fool.
VERY glad it didn't escalate in any way.
Next time, now that he's been warned, the cops will be directed to come from each end of the alley and a complaint will be signed.

I'm tired of this asshole and want to be done with the nonsense.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

4th of July

This young man from Nigeria not only graduated basic training to become an Airman yesterday, but also at the same moment became a US citizen:

Our nephew (already a citizen) also graduated BMT:

Have a happy and safe 4th.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Okay, I'm Over It

SO close!!
My spirit was crushed for over a week, and life had no meaning.
Time to move on and make the Spurs better enough to go all the way in 2014--won't take much!!

Televators News: We are playing at Leather & Lace in Austin this coming Wednesday July 3rd, and back here in SA at The Falls on Friday the 5th, and Boneshakers the 6th.

Our nephew Aaron is graduating from basic training at Lackland AFB (SO proud of him!) and related events are also scheduled for July 3,5, & 6. Going to be a busy week.
Good thing I can kick back on the 4th of July, right?
Nope--my first time running sound for the brand-new country band 5th Wheel is on the 4th. It's a rougher, harder-rocking country band than my last one so I look forward to finally hearing what I've gotten myself involved with.

My pepper crop this year is coming in nicely.
The jalapenos and serranos taste great and have good heat.
The chili piquins that wintered in the garage are plentiful, but both of my very old chiltepins aren't fruiting so it's a good thing I found an amazing wild specimen in the alley that's going to get dug up and potted when I get the time. This lush little round bush already has enough Scoville units to blister the mouths of everyone within a rifle shot.

I want this:
A little too white for my tastes, although it has the advantage of changing color depending on stage lights.
Perhaps some thin trim of fine wood veneers, or maybe airbrushing select areas of black.
Then there's steampunk details...

Monday, June 17, 2013

75% Of The Way!

For those of you who have never been in this situation, I'll try to explain it a bit.
When your home team is in the Finals and could possibly become THE CHAMPIONS it's like your whole world is turned upside-down and inside-out.
Every win is like the sweetest feeling ever, anticipation of the next game fills your stomach with vomiting butterflies, and each loss makes you withdraw from the world.

Band practices and shows have to be scheduled around the games as you get deeper into the playoffs

Being ONE WIN away from our fifth trophy is crazy!!
Been here before, but that was in 2007/5/3/1999, and with a deeper understanding of the game aquired over the years and the long gap since our last Championship, this is by far the most difficult Finals to get through.

The SPURS have two chances to win a single game, while the HEAT must win both.
Both games will be in Miami, but we've always been a good road team.
I like our chances, especially with Manu Ginobili finally getting his groove on and Danny Green setting records from 3-point range.
Tony Parker looks very good despite his grade-1 hamstring strain.
Our coaching is clearly superior.
LeBron James is also clearly scrambling to try and find a way to keep from being embarrassed by our defense yet again.

I hope we're the Champs on Tuesday night just to take the pressure off my heart, but a win on Thursday works almost as well. There are hundreds of NBA guys already on vacation right now and we're so close to the ultimate goal of any team's season that I can smell it, taste it, feel it, and am enjoying being able to live it.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Twenty-five Percent There

The good guys stole one in rainy Miami tonight and opened the series in a way that lets us sleep and eat for the next 3 days.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Like A Bad Penny

Here's a screenshot I grabbed from a website I never heard of:

Here's the link: Play It Or Slay It

Humor me and visit the page, then play the audio--the video game review starts and ends with something you might have heard before.

Stuff like this keeps happening.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ballin' In June!!!

Now we're talkin!
What an excellent way to wrap up Memorial Day.

San Antonio SPURS are going to the NBA FINALS!!!

10 days of rest will come in handy, because a fresh and healthy SPURS can beat any team in the world.
ANY team!!!

I ain't afraid of LeBron James--he's undeniably great, but when you look at what we did defensively this year, shutting down Lakers Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, those awesome shooters from Golden State, and Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol with Memphis makes it plain we can either limit James or completely cancel out the rest of his team.
We just beat the best in the West, and defending champs or not the best in the East isn't on the same level.
And the Indiana Pacers are still in that fight, so anything can happen.

An important reminder: In the NBA Finals the series is now split 2/3/2, meaning we would play in Miami twice, then three games in SA, etc. We have home court advantage on Indiana, which is all the more reason to pray for some miracle Pacer ball.

I just like the idea of watching games in June.
The Drive For Five continues...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013

What's That Sound?

Probably someone's heart breaking.

Last night around 1:30am or so I was in the kitchen and heard and felt a thump--enough to shake the doors and windows but not loud enough to wake anyone.

My first thought was that something the size of a deer, large dog, or human had crashed into our home at speed.

After a few minutes of window peeking I was starting to get angry at the lack of new information when I finally spotted the reflections of emergency vehicle lights between the houses on the street behind us.
Something was happening.

I opened a window just in time to hear as well as feel a repeat of the original sound followed by a fire truck's pumps cranking up, and had it all figured out.
Seconds later the sound of water spraying, loud hissing, and the sight of a huge cloud of steam rising over the houses confirmed it:

Vehicle fires don't make much noise compared to houses, but they burn really hot and exploding tires have a sound all their own.
They also don't usually warrant sirens in residential areas late at night IF no lives are in danger.

On her way to work Sylvia checked it out and called me to say that the car was still there and looked like a Mazda Miata to her, so I should get pictures.
A sad end to someone's cute and speedy little car.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Anole By Samsung SIII

You don't usually see anoles in any color but solid green or solid brown. Rarely you'll catch one in transition as they warm up to operating temp.
Seeing as how this one let me shove my phone 3 inches from his face I have to conclude he was feeling poorly.

Kinda looks like he has some teeth marks on him, too.

Here's a crop at 100%:

Pretty sharp!

The camera on our new Galaxy S3 phones is quite the upgrade.
Flash exposures are way better, there's a macro focusing option, 8 megapickles, you can pull your favorite four adjustments out of the menus and onto the screen as shortcuts--for stills I have the timer, flash control, white balance, and exposure compensation. The video shortcuts can be the same or different--nice feature!
Full HD video.

The panorama mode works well enough, and for catching action you can do a burst of frames that's faster than anything I've ever seen.
There's GPS tagging, an HDR mode, and anti-shake, too. A fairly rich set of features I have to say.

I'm actually considering getting one of those gimmicky telephoto lenses for it just to see if they're worth a crap.

Only negative I have so far is that you can't silence the fake shutter sound when taking a picture.
I blame the perverts.

In other news, my old country band (now called The Natalie Rose Band) won "Best Country Group" at the San Antonio Music Association's award show tonight.

Wonder if they remembered me in the acceptance speech, since I had more than a lot to do with their success.
Most local country bands sound like crap, but through the end of 2012 I had them sounding better than many of the big stars. And my photos of them were on an entirely different level if I do say so myself.
Should have gone to the awards show to take my final bow with them, along with the former bassist who started the group in the first place.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Golden State Of Mind

The SPURS finally put the GS Warriors away, and not a minute too soon.
Had this playoff round gone to a 7th game Memphis would've gotten way more rest than is good for us.

Sylvia and I went to Game 5 on Tuesday night because in the worst-case scenario of losing 2 in a row it could have been the last home game of the season and I didn't want to let it end without seeing at least one wild and loud playoff game. Great win for our boys, and we had more fun than a barrel of drunken monkeys.
The season ticket grannies in front of us didn't think we were capable of commiting fouls, and our turnovers prompted a reaction that sounded like you had spilled hot tea on their autographed picture of Barry Manilow AND 31 percent of their kitties.
We had a fantastic time, and I finally figured out what to eat at the ATT Center that isn't gross/cheap or a pain in the ass. An 8" long pizza roll from the food truck just inside the entrance to the courtyard, and a big hot pretzel bought at halftime = Tasty Treats!!

This series was rough, especially compared to our sweep of the LA Fakers in Round 1.
GSW is a team that has earned the respect of us all, and had Lee and Curry been healthy it's a sure bet we wouldn't have survived. Without our impossible and heroic comeback in game 1, the discussion would center on vacation destinations for the Spurs.

Sunday 2:30 local time we dare the Grizzlies to try and take a game in SA.
The same Memphisbastards that bounced us out of the playoffs in 2011.

The mighty Mississippi River as seen from Cybil Shepard's front yard in Memphis TN.

These are some pics I took on Beale Street in 2011 which include your typical Grizzly fans:

Unlike San Antonio, Memphis wisely located their new basketball arena in the heart of downtown.
(AND their baseball park!)
This is where we are going to have to win some games, and the sooner the better:

Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Cory Joseph have been annointed the Spur's "Medium 3" by the press and I couldn't agree more. Thanks for bringing it. Keep it up.
Splitter will have to get over his now ancient-history sprained ankle and bang hard to help us survive Randolph and Gasol, and the bench had better rise up to their potential, too.
Guys that saw spot minutes in the previous series due to matchups had better be hot and ready like Little Ceasar's.
Bonner, Blair, Neal, De Colo, Mills, Baynes, and of course Tracy MacGrady should come out hard or we're toast. I can see Aron Baynes muscling-up on Zach for some good minutes to rest Timmy.
I have full confidence in TD21, TP9, and Boris, and that's really not enough.

As always Ginobili is a big wild card.
The plays he makes are the stuff of legend but his bad passes and ill-advised chucking can break your heart.
When a locker room reporter asked former Spur Stephen Jackson about what it will be like in the future when Manu's twin sons are both in the NBA he replied "Man, that's a lot of turnovers".