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".

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Pimp My Band

TELEVATORS have a lot of cool things happening soon that I'll be sure to let you know about in a timely manner.
Shows (including at least one here in SA) and our CD release top the list, and in conjunction with the release we're scheduled to do some internet radio station interviews. Following that will be actual physical product for sale on Amazon and other sites, so start saving your beer cans for the recycling $$$.

The photo shoot we participated in up near Austin a few weeks ago yielded a lot of fun pics of my bass for me to play with, but we recently got some of the content from the photographer they had hired.
Here's my favorite:

I was a little worried, but looks like us old farts still remember how to look like a band.
Don't get me started on the colors and exposure choices, though.
Kid photographers these days with their Instagrams and chlamydia and Photoshop dyslexia...

Saturday before last my phone went screwy and all my contacts disappeared.
WTF?!? is an understatement.

Turns out they had vanished from our carrier's online backup and everywhere else.
As I went to my texts to copy the most important ones down, the names of my peeps disappeared before my eyes, leaving only their numbers!

We both had the original Galaxy S Fascinate and Sylvia's had been powering-down or locking-up randomly for several months already so we said screw it and went to Best Buy on Sunday and bought a pair of Samsung Galaxy S IIIs for $50 each.
What a great device.

Among other things (meaning everything) the camera is a huge improvement, with a much smarter flash system, true macro capability, and many more megapickles.

I decided that my new phone needed a new custom wallpaper, and coincidentally remembering how my infrared camera "sees through" some guitar finishes I decided to do a quick and dirty IR of...what else? bass.

We were about to leave the house for the rest of the day so I didn't bother doing a proper session with lights and a dark background, etc, just shot it on the beige carpet and threw some ham-handed Photoshop at it much like the first photo above received.

I'm fascinated by the fact that the black stain around the edges of the bass is invisible to IR. I first discovered this with my Ibanez Artist guitar with a nearly identical "Antique Violin" finish, but when you consider that it was made in Japan in 1977 while the bass is 2004 Korean, plus the advances in finish materials, it's really quite remarkable.

More guitars need to be shot in infrared so I can get a handle on this phenomena.