Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Socialised medicine

I follow the New York Times and Kiwiblog and often read the scribblings of right wing republican writers talking about the dreadful socialised medicine of the civilise world as opposed to the un civilised American and else where system where unless it is an emergency to suffer without treatment if you cannot afford it, or fortunate to have an employer paying for your heath insurance... assuming that the insurance companies don't weasle out of the deal.

Apparently I had a heart attack the other Saturday morning, it was the worse I have had and I was quite scared so I called the white taxi and was in a ward within a few hours with a cardiac specialist checking me.  Rest of saturday and sunday I survived by doing nothing but rest in bed and having a couple of morphine shots when I did something silly like walking across the ward to the toilet.  Come monday off to the Angio Theatre and had things poked up my arm to enlarge the solitary vein which has been keeping me alive for the past twenty five years or so.  Originally I had a quad bypass but three blocked up in a matter of a few years leaving a single vein.

Tuesday lunch I was home.  So really I think these folk who crit socialised medicine are foolish to put it mildly... long may we preserve our socialised medicine.  I am sure it has it problems but nothing on the scale of the American situation and similar set-ups.

New Zealand's Alcohol Problem

I read a pleading letter to the editor in the ODT today while I had a lovely mushroom soup and toast at the Gardens' Cafe next to New World.   Pleading for John Key to do something like raising the age to 20, ban supermarkets from selling alchohol and so forth, the usual stuff.

Really the only solution is for the so called adults in out society to stop abusing the stuff themselves and set an example to their children which would largely solve the problem.  The only hurt people would be the shareholders of the beer palaces and a few workers.

We I raised my son with the help of my wife, and pre-occupied with work it was largely her efforts, we rarely had any alcohol in the house.  We are not teetotal and away on ski-trips I usually put myself toe sleep in our camper van after a hard days ski-ing with a single can of beer.  I am sure our son had the occasional booze up when he left home  and treats the stuff with respect and moderation.   I, in retirement, started drinking regularly, one glass of red wine or a single stubbie each day, for medicinal reasons ... supposed or not supposed to be good for cardiac patients depending on what you read.

Raising the drink purchasing age to 20 will not affect me but banning supermarkets will make me very annoyed as I normally buy whatever beer is the loss leader and with a monopoly I'm sure the liquor stores will not follow this practice, probably the other measure will be some dam fool minimum price regime.

Wild Outdoors

My wild outdoors was a rather angry animal who was very annoyed at me even coming not that close to him, I was using the 280mm Angle of View end of my zoom.
Smails Beach about two miles long, it seemed very long and empty, with just myself and two of these animals on it.   As I edged closer he reared up and openned his mouth to reveal his not too clean teeth, probably covered with nasties to infect me if I survived the attack.

I have a one second review of the shot I have just taken and he must have started moving as I took the photo ... but it was not until one secopnd later that I saw him coming at me and beat a hastie retreat ... I guess I am here becuase he couldn't be bothered to follow through.  Anyway my shot .... "Say Arrrgh!"

I missed the meeting so I don't know what the judge thought of it or if his comments brought forth different results than the print competition mentioned earlier.  I hope so

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stripping banned in Iceland [2010]

Found this in my drafts from 2010 when I read a thread about the new Icelandic law which bans strip clubs ... no mention of prostitution apart from a suggesting that strip clubs are a front for it.

Seems to me that a woman should be able to use her talents in whatever way, that is legal, she wishes. We should be very careful of making things illegal. I'm proud to live in New Zealand where we have made prostitution legal for the basic point it gives women who work at it the protection of the law instead of being at the mercy of anybody likely to be 'shopping' her, and perhaps demanding her services for not doing so.

Production gimics

Way back when Television started it was felt that commercials should be separated by 'optical wipes' and somebody had organised hundreds of these things, little short wipes which were spliced in between commercials.   At the same time there was a French magazine programme called Image de France which used to insert proper optical where one picture wiped into the next ... but we ...TVNZ .. had to edit in these pure white and jet black strips of film ...I never heard from the technicians what effect it had on transmissions.  Cutting to a shot with a large amount of clear white sky would upset the electonics I'd been told when I used to shoot the odd newclip when our cameraman was already out on a job.   One time the Journo slung off at me for being 'artie' ...I orgaanised the branches of a tree across the sky above a building.
I did it to avoid bounce on transmission, he though I was trying to be clever :-).

So from all that you can guess I have an aversion to all the fancy wipes people insert in the videos and projected still programmes becuase it is what TV does so it must be good ... yuck!

So when I saw the British RPS show last year I was disgusted at the short 'shot length' which didn't give you a chance to appreciate the excellent photography ... I gave up after awhile and closed my eyes.   This year we had a programme from the same source and each shot was shown for more than enough time to appreciate it but also the duration of largely facile comments by some organiser guy ... trying to be humourous in many cases and falling flat IMO.

However the programme had been produced by some guy with two lots of letters after his name on his credit, the acceptances were only given one lot in the commentary, but sadly this two lettered guy inserted opticals between every shot ... some were very apt but most simply a interuption between images, themselves very competantly done [ if you like that sort of thing].  See my other post on that :-)

When I saw his production company[?] credit my thoughts were well I won't reccomend him for sure, he may know how to win letters with his photos BUT....

A recent occasion when I also closed my eyes was with a programme with fabulous shots of trees in various settings and lighting treatments .... it should have been highly enjoyable BUT ... the main picture occupied the centre of the screen, which was too small to give jusstice to the shots, and a derivative of that photo was used as a drop-edge background.   It was great to start with but very quickly I simply didn't know where to look for movement in the background attraction my eyes ... it was a horrible presentation of really top quality imagery.   The double picture effect used sparingly would have been good, but throughout the whole programme ... URRGH !

Well that is my beef for today :-)

A Video Editing programme

I am rather pleased, hence this post, that at long last I have found a programme to handle my MOV file which I shot two years ago when on holiday in the States and the UK shot with my Panasonic FZ50.

I bought at great expense Corel's X4 video ediiting programme and found it didn't handle MOV, wasted more money on some conversion programme which resulted in just the audio being heard ... so I was rather frustrated and simply left it subject alone.  As a retired Film-Video editor I am not sure I really want to bother with film or video anymore ... prefering the simpler still photography.

But it would be, and now is, nice to be able to edit together those MOV files and trim them and I am at the moment in the middle of doing a compilation .... Yippee.

Oh the programme you wonder? weill search for AVS4YOU and you will find what I'm using.

Enjoy ... I hope  :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In search of dress shorts in the off season

Yesterday afternoon I spent a fruitless search for shorts... there was one pair of dark blue for $99 at Bob Shepard .... the first place I checked. But I wanted a lighter colour shade after the fashion of the ones I had had but donated to the Sallies thinking to reduce the 'junk' around the place.  Shorts in Dunedin? a very rare occassion :-)  For me anyway.

Next Arthur Barnetts who had not had dress shorts for a season or so. He suggested Bowker

Nothing at Bowkers though he did suggest shortening a pair of longs.

Ever hopeful I continued to Farmers ... nix

Saw CRT on Cumberland as I was on my way to Alex Campbell's ... nix

Alex Campbell admonished me for coming to him last, I said I usually do come to him first. He checked his store from which my purchases usually come when one of the ladies serve me but again ...nix

Could get it from Auckland but a bit charry of ordering sight unseen as I did with a shirt from them which I was not really happy with ....

So FINALLY I remembered your suggestion of thrift stores ... this was after going to new world for supplies so back down to the Sally's and after going through their rack I finally found a pair of long trousers in a nice pale blue. Back to Spotlight for some cotton and this afternoon I cut the long legs off and after some trials and tribulations and discovering that bunched cotton underneath comes from lack of tension :-) The machines not me :-) it came right and I have my shorts YIPPEE!!!

I also found a matching shirt ... just like the ones I donated to them when I had my cleanout :-)

So 3.50 for the trous', reduced from $5 becuase it was a 'blue lable'. 3.50 for the shirt, $3 for the cotton and about half an hour with the machine and I'm ready. I am very pleased with the cotton match which is better that the factory did in Fiji where the trous came from.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Changing Photographic Styles

Last night I wasted quite a bit of time sitting through the Royal Photographic Society's Digital Show which comprised largely of blurred and fuzzy images.  As a group they have decided that this is todays photography and reward each other with acceptances and honours for regurgitating this sort of, most would say, rubbish.   It reminds me of how back in 1953 I visited the RPS exhibition in London along with fellow photographic students from Guildford School of Art and the theme then was soft portraiture and soft landscapes .... quite unlike the sharp and crisp commercial images we were being trained and helped to produce in our studies .... we collectively thought the RPS was rubbish and I guess my aversion to the RPS transfered itself to the NZPS or whatever it is called .... they have their style too.

Preceeding that show was our our monthly competition 'Wild Outdoors" and guess what we got?  Yes you guessed, it was in the style of the NZ camera club .... landscapes ... urrgh!  The judge in his openning remarks said he had hopes for humans doing wild things out of doors ... but no ... just landscapes although the winning photograph was steps above the rest with its beautiful capture of frost and the only photograph I remember twelve hours later out of all I saw last night, UK and local NZ.  The print quality of all the local images was of a very high level  .... BUT!

Two weeks time we will have projected images, I think I know what I will be entering but that will remain confidential until after the night :-)