Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year everybody

Hi all,
2010 ended with me feeling a little sad because two days ago I at last had a calm morning and was flying my aeroplane. This is a high winged single engine thing, something like a Cessna and made out of polystyrene about a foot long and bit more wingspan. First time I've tried to fly a plane and eventually I got it off the ground after numerous taxi crashes. The secret is to have confidence and give it throttle .. flies well then. Was down on the open space which was a container storage area, long time ago when my son was learning to sail at the nearby sailing club it was Humes' Pipe works. So for probably five seconds, maybe ten it flew great except towards the main road. I panic'd and cut the throttle and it fell into the sycamore trees beside the road. Sadly there is a ditch at the bottom of the bank with soft MUD. I thought I had lost it and went home ... that's $160 down the drain. Though not as bad a the guy on a film I edited for TV who had spent two years building a jet plane and it flew for perhaps twenty seconds before crashing .... all 20" captured on film!

I wondered if the wind and rain we have had the past couple of days might shake the plane down, and sure enough I could see it this morning but there is the MUD. Went home and got my aluminium ladder which was just tall enough to bridge the ditch and amazing myself I clambered across and pulling myself up by roots and branches was able to shake the plane loose ... seemingly undamaged ...and I threw it across the ditch where it landed in the grass and then I gingerly crawled backwards across the ladder.

Then I went for my 'easterly' 3km walk along to Maia from the boatclub.

So 2011 has started with a sucess! and I hope you also have good things happen to you ....

Sunday, December 26, 2010


It is not that I am against Christmas and celebrating the birth of Christ 2010 years ago but rather the word 'merry' which to me means getting inhebriated. Spending a lot of money on a drug becuase one is so dissatisfied with ones life one wants to 'loose it' for awhile, often with a painful recovery.

My wife and I spent a happy christmas together sinking two bottles of grape juice with our christmas lunch, sad becuase our son was not with us but his presents had arrived in the nick of time .... thankyou NZ Post for delivering late on Christmas eve ....and we had numerous e-mails back and forth over the period.

Part of my drinking the grape unfermented was of course a wish to drink more than a glass in the warm weather and the danger of being picked up for DIC ...I had been tested four times in previous days.

'merry' is a established coupling with 'christmas' but I much prefer 'happy'

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Should you spend on an expensive P&S camera

It is silly in my opinion to compare and complaim about noise at 400ISO in small ompacts when after all one buys a camera for what it will do and not all cameras do everything. For me there are the other considerations about usefulness as a tool and cost of getting the capabilities. So I don't compare the compacts you choose but rather the long lensed flagships of each brand which are a better deal for the less affluent than a DSLR. To get a reasonable range of focal lengths with the DSLR costs big money and you loose the compactness of a long lens pro-sumer. I rarely shoot at anything other than 100ISO becuase I know I will not be happy with the results, prefering to get the 'emulsion' speed in editing on the rare occasions it is needed for what I do. That is the other consideration, what sort of photography you want the camera to do, probably I don't shoot what you do :-). In your case you are on the slippery slope of the DSLR owner wanting top IQ but not prepared to sacrifice it for compactness ... I carry my 0.5Mb cellphone for compactness but know it doesn't give me the IQ for larger sizes ... my son's phone results in much better IQ but isn't as compact as my phone. As suggested above perhaps you should look at 4/3 which will give you IQ but not the compactness of the P&S. A side issue which my cellphone taught me ... what comes out of the camera is rubbish until it is post processed when it is quite satisfactory. Probably applies to all small sensored cameras.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Child Proverty [ my contribution to a Standard thread]

The answer to poverty is of course more money .. the question is how do we organize it.
At the same time it seems obvious to me that we have to reduce demand on resources, usually these days imports, without undue affect to our exports. With that we have to find an answer to the downsizing of our retail sector that would bring and looking after in a meaningful way the shop workers made redundant

I remember back just two decades, which was after Rogernomics arrived by a decade, that if you earnt $50,000 pa you were in the top 5%.
But then we had Jennycide and Ruthanasia and our society went to custard. With the poor being pushed down and the rich got richer and continued in that direction despite nine years of Labour government. Can we trust either lot to get it right?. Could well be we need a further to the left party to ginger up Labour as ACT and Maori are doing to National today.

With the problems facing the country and on the horizon we simply must have a socialist government with gumption, absent it seems from today’s Labour, to get things right in a responsible manner. They had nine years to start getting it right and just sat on their hands apart from a few little measures, some of which appeared good but long-term are themselves problems such a WFF. Labour have to bite the bullet and appreciate it is not good for the country that a majority of people are beneficiaries.. There has to be a better way to get the money into the hands of those who need it without government hand-outs. It may get a few votes, the right think that is the case, but it is a strong inhibition of finding different and better ways.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Correction -- addition

"Over at The Standard there is a thread about a dam fool article by Deborah Coddington suggesting the DPB should be scraped becuase back before we had it, and just had child support being paid to mothers so they were not penniless when hubby spent his wages on booze ... it was still six o'clock closing then." I forgot to finish the sentance :-(

She suggested the DPB be scrapped because back then in the sixties women didn't have the DPB to support them when they had a child and no husband to support them. Marty G came up with a graph which shows the number of of under 20yo unmarried births declining from when the DPB was introduced. So much for the claim that DPB encourages young women to have children. He also points out that abortion became legal around that period to. Others say the there are many more pregnancies but they are terminated these days.

Do you remember the 60's? I do.

Over at The Standard' there is a thread about a dam fool article by Deborah Coddington suggesting the DPB should be scraped becuase back before we had it, and just had child support being paid to mothers so they were not penniless when hubby spent his wages on booze ... it was still six o'clock closing then.

I remember the sixties as when my live made a giant step forward and I exchanged my nice but rather hum drum job in a government department for that of joining the newish television. Everything was pretty privative and we made do with what we had to produce what we knew, in my case from around twelve years of being an amateur filmer, should be presented on the single channel. Interesting for myself, I was recently offered my personal file covering those days to save it being sent to the tip two decades after I was made redundant, I noted the comments when I was one of two staff to get a double increment in one year, almost unheard of in the public service. the other guy was senior management and I was down near the bottom.

They were happy days for a single person who could devote his entire time apart from sleep to film and TV. Having camera gear of my own I was able to shoot material as well as edit. When I joined, six weeks after President Kennedy was assasinated TVNZ only had one cameraman, Cyril Townsend, and relied upon a collection of 'stringers' around the country to shoot material. The 'stringer' in Wellington was of course the National Film Unit and I was pleased that my work was mistaken for theirs as they were the top outfit in the country in those days. Funny that becuase they rejected me when I applied for a job there some years earlier ... on reflection of my character and capabilities I'm glad I didn't get the job becuase they would have trained me up in their style rather than how I developed as an amateur paying for my own experience, and then what I quickly learnt editing the work of good, average and poor cameramen from around the world who worked for BCINA ... British Commonwealth I[?] Mews Agency.

Cyril Townsend had been out shooting a story about the Waikato river chain of dams ... The Silver Chain ... was to be the title and I was given the job of stringing it together. Not that much real editing involved becuase film was tight and expensive and not to be wasted the way cameramen did in later years when they start with a 400ft [10min 40 second, roll of film. We started with 100ft rolls :-)
But I do remember organising one rather nice cut ... a tree being felled and falling, CUT, to logs on truck going in the same direction [ Thank you Cyril for that :-) ]. After it ws show the Dominion TV critic praised the editing ... good for a youngster starting out in the business :-) I also had the fun of suggesting and shooting an animated sequence to show the chain of dams. Indeed they were great times for this little lad.

More reflections maybe later ... its my 79th birthday today and I must get ready for lunch with my better half.

My new brag-site

With the demise of Geocities went the free hosting of many webpages if you were happy to put up with [actually your visitors had to] the advertising down the right hand side ... not that intrusive really and I was organised so my photographs etc were clear of the adverts ....I lost my brag page and another extensive photo-tips site. Good things do end of course and it has taken me some time to decide that I am willing to PAY! for my pleasure ... and I hope yours too if you visit.

Anyway it is

Still in the development stage and only the front page with a small collection of linked photos for you to see. I hope you enjoy seeing them when you visit.

Shrubs and Mongeese.

As I contemplated the water draining out from my shrub this morning I thought that now I have a No.3 haircut 'all over' [ as the barber suggested ] there is less chance of hairs blocking the drainpipe. I have an old toothbrush to clean the chromed trap.
This got me thinking do we have the chrome fitting to stop things going down into the drain or coming out. It was interesting in the States to not see the fitting because the built in 'plug', not nearly as efficent in practice as our common and garden rubber/plastic plugs for holding waterr in the bowl or bath, covered the drain pipe and one couldn't see down it.

Sad to say when I knocked a tooth out of my dentures the american 'plug fitting' didn't stop it dissappearing down the drain ... whatever.

My mind then went on to the Rudyard Kipling story of the lonely european boy in India with no freinds to play with. Only child of the family and over protected by his mother who adopted, or was adopted by, a Mongoose. Definitely not to sort of thing any self respecting Mum would want for her only beloved. Anyway a cobra snake came up the drain as the boy showered, becuase in those days the drain was a simple trough exiting into the garden outside the house and was it 'Nicky'[?] the Mongoose who promptly dealt with it and the boy was saved. Mum discovered the dead snake and from then on Nicky the Mongoose was No.1 after the boy in her regard. Nice story if it has been around a long time.

Maybe some time I will elaborate again on the way water circles over the drain, clockwise and anti-clockwise ... it has had me puzzled for some years now ....WHY!

Friday, December 10, 2010

jcuknz'S WORLD TRIP and new photo website

It is a long time since I last blogged and have been living with family the the United States with a quick trip to the UK to see more family ... though I was provided with computers to work on it wasn't the same as being on my own old trustworthy machine :-)

Meanwhile I have bitten the bullet and decided to PAY for a website instead of bludging on Geocities as I had for previous years

It is in its starting period with just a small selection but in due course it will bloom with both illustration of my visual interests, dare I, yes I do, say talents in this direction and a help/guidance section for those entering the activity of photography. I get considerable pleasure in remembering my observations of the world I live in that were and maybe continue to be recorded by my cameras. I had a huge burst of enthusiasm when I adopted digital ... with the availability of editing programmes I can do things quite undreamed of in my old, now dismantled, wet darkroom.

Back here in New Zealand I am more regularly visiting the main blogs of both left and right. Last night I noted that one of the more rabid right wing bloggers has returned after a period of being banned ... and no doubt for him and his fellow jousters the fun has returned ... but for this reader that blog has returned to the futile squallour of the cat or dog fight with insults rather than sensible comment ... altogether a shame. On the left it is more subdued but still present to a degree with the non-sensical re iteration of past errors as if they are fact.

So life continues as every without much preparation for the problems global warming and the financial mess the world is in. The question is does one hide ones head in the sand ostrich like ... a very tempting solution for an older person ... or try to do something about it, though well aware that it is unusual though not unknown for a single person to have much effect unless they are brilliant, and I know I'm not that :-)