Chuck Kimmerle: An excellent landscape/fine-art photographer:
When I look at Chuck’s photos – especially those of old farm machinery and agricultural structures – I almost get a sense of deja-vu in recalling photos that I’ve taken in the past. Growing up a photo-brat on the dividing line between sprawling suburbia and endless farmland, there were ample subjects to be found. Even though I went to school at a district that would later be the first school in the area to issue a laptop to every student, you could still count on getting stuck behind a combine or a hay wagon bulging with baled straw when autumn came around.
I remember shooting roll after roll of T-Max, exploring the collapsed barns and abandoned farm machines South of our home. The inner workings of these things and places weren’t as interesting to me as their appearance – they simultaneously symbolized livelihood and obsolescense, and juxtaposed the ever-advancing (and moving, and growing, and adapting) agriculture industry with the embodiment of the casualties of progress. I relive the experience every time I smell old grease mingling with galvanized steel, or feel the oddly smooth texture of oil-seasoned wrought iron that has finally yielded to rust.
More recently, a few of my photographs have evoked the same feelings – and seeing Chuck’s “Abstracts/Miscellaneous” section reminded me of one in particular, which I shot as the sun was setting on the first day of Kelly and my recent annversary trip:
Even though many of the windows of the Canandaigua Elks Lodge are boarded up, and the tarnish on the building’s exterior is evidence of the years it has seen, the neon sign presses on proclaiming the endurance of the place – just as the times embodied in images like this persist despite ingenuity and advancement, reminding us occasionally to slow down, and pay our respects to all that has come before us to bring us where we are.
* “hunting” being defined as browsing to a tasty-looking link on the first page of Google results when you search on the model number. For crying out loud people.
Heaven help you if you decide you want to shop online for a 2-way radio. As it happens, I’m in the market for a portable VHF land-mobile radio. I guess that’s the medic in me combined with the geek in me, but I like my radio programmed the way I want it programmed. That’s not the point of this stocatto, overly bitchy entry.
The point is that every … single … website of every … single … dealer …… sucks.
For some reason, the 2-way radio world just hasn’t caught up with the amazing advances in e-commerce technology that are currently being employed by, hmm… let’s see… everyone else. Of the 48 dealers listed on Icom America’s website, 21 of them have web sites linked from the dealer list. And herein is the first problem – I see at least 2 dealers that I know have web sites (albeit crappy ones) that aren’t even linked from the manufacturer’s dealer page! OK, moving on…
Of those 21 (err, sorry, 23) dealers that actually have web sites, exactly 100% of them completely and utterly suck. This suckiness falls into one of three categories:
(1) Sites that contain the company’s logo, their address, a few cheesy animated GIFs, and pretty much zero userful information.
(2) Sites that list a few radio models, maybe even inside an attempted online store, with prices that are so astronomical (compared to the only reference I have, eBay) that no one with two functioning brain cells would actually purchase them, and…
(3) Sites that are obviously built around a Motorola template that allows each and every authorized Motorola dealer’s web site look exactly like each and every other authorized Motorola dealer’s web site. And provides absolutely zero useful information, to say nothing of actual prices.
OK, OK, I know most of the consumers of this type of thing are government agencies and businesses. But don’t those customers buy all sorts of other things that are sold through good, useful, well-designed web sites that actually list price schedules and stock status? If the world’s purveyors of sex toys, team sportswear for pocketbook dogs, and amish furniture can put together half decent web sites that are useful to the people who invest their time to visit, can’t 2-way radio dealers (a group that is *theoretically* somewhat technically adept) do the same?!
Well, looking at this guy’s workbench, maybe not:
(original found here: http://www.icomrepair.com/ … OMG.)
As frusterating as projects can be sometimes, seeing one through to completion, declaring victory over the inanimate objects that instigate immeasurable frusteration, and saying booya with your most bad-ass Jamie Foxx impersonation brings immense satisfaction.
This particular project started about a year ago, when I noticed that our kitchen sink spray nozzle was dribbling a bit. Hoping it wouldn’t become anything more, I ignored it for a few weeks, until the dribble became a spray. Each time the sink was turned on, a tiny stream of water would jet out of the seam where the two plastic halves of the spray handle were joined (presumably by some not-terribly-strong glue or ultrasonic weld). I replaced the handle – a simple enough affair, with a few gaskets and a retaining snap-ring – but the problem reappeared about a month ago…
I have a lovely bride named Kelly. Kelly has a laptop, originally purchased circa 2004. Kelly’s laptop runs Windows XP Pro, which chugs along [somewhat] happily behind the little machine’s 1.8GHz celeron processor. Typically, Kelly can happily check her e-mail, sync her Palm Pilot, surf the web, manage her iPod and work on her Office documents without too much trouble. Maybe this particular Windows install was an especially stable one? Maybe her husband did a half decent job of setting up the machine before handing it over? Maybe Murphy has just chosen to smile upon her? Whatever the reason, Kelly’s laptop + XP Pro have seen her through grad school, two different jobs, all the planning for our wedding, and more.
I guess it was inevitable that things would get wonky eventually. Lately, Kelly has been clicking the “Don’t Send Error Report” button more and more frequently. Word has been crashing, and last night iTunes started acting up big time. While Kelly has been learning the virtures of frequently hitting ‘save’, I’ve been struggling to figure out what’s causing the crashing. The error messages are (as one might expect) completely unhelpful, so I’m left playing Sherlock Holmes, examining the machine’s context at the time of each crash. What else was running when the machine face-planted? Did the network have anything to do with it? Is it related only to specific files? Programs? Combinations of programs?
This is where the title of this post comes in…
I hope we put all the car windows up when we got home last night.
We played with the new iPhone at the Apple store yesterday:
Damn, Apple knows how to desgin a UI.
Too bad they tried to bully Verizon into their terms and got smacked down.
I’m gonna buy stock in companies that make neoprene rubber. Because without some protection, that screens-a-gonna-crack!
The new Lifehouse album is really good.
That is all.
It’s hard to believe a year has come and gone… But surreal as it may seem, this past weekend Kelly and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary. The weather was perfect, the plans panned out just right, and all things considered I think we set the bar at a good level for anniversaries-to-come…
Photos are posted… Wild Hearts Cruise
Note for future reference: As seasickness-proof as I thought I was, I was no match for the Wild Hearts catamaran… As evidenced by my two trips below deck! But gastric difficulties aside, the cruise really was an unforgettable time. The boat was amazing, the crew was awesome, the sunset was beautiful, and I had a lovely (and also mildly seasick) bride to share it with!
What could be better? I guess I’ve got 363 days to figure that out…