Monday, October 29, 2007

Stick That Up Your Donkey!

Heck yeah!

What a great way for the Packers to finish that game, one play 80 some yards TD! Good game, the Packers make a game close again. They are a good team but not a great one.

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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Shutter Speed

How does shutter speed relate to photographic exposure?

Shutter speed is the easier of the two main factors to consider. Simply put shutter speed is how long the camera is open to light. The faster the shutter speed the less light let in and the slower the shutter speed the more light let in (of course, all else being the same).

Now when converting to stops of light it is much easier twice or half the shutter speed is a stop difference.

However, shutter speed plays an important roll. The faster your subject is moving the faster shutter speed you need to freeze the subject in the photograph, otherwise the subject will blur (which may be an effect you want). Another time you want faster shutter speeds is when you use longer focal length lenses (that is lenses that bring distant subject closer to you). Longer focal length lenses shorten the apparent distance between you and your subject, but they also magnify shakes and other movement. The rule of thumb to remember is for instance, if you are using a 200 mm lens you need to shoot at 1/200th of a second or faster to hand hold.

When you use slower shutter speeds you can use smaller apertures thereby increasing your depth of field.

Next installment putting it all together.

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Federalism as most of us know is the idea how situations are handled by the most local unit of government covering all the parties. That is, a case of a dispute between two parties in a given city is resolved by the local government. A problem with a lake spanning multiple counties in a state is handled by the state, and so on.

Our nation was founded with the idea of federalism. The 13 original states banded together to provide for functionality too big to be provided by any single state, but they set up the framework in such a way states could carry on their business the way they saw fit.

However, I am not certain if anyone much believes in federalism anymore, right or left.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

I Have a Louisianan Dream

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Source: Excerpt from the I Have a Dream speech by Martin Luther King Jr

Bobby Jindal whose ancestry is Inidan wins the governorship of Louisiana. I do not expect lefties and Democrats to be celebrating, but here is one very cheap comment on Bobby's victory:
The politics of color is changing in America. For people of color, the best path to success may be to become a “person of no color.”

I caution people in evaluating the apparent success of Bobby Jindal.

Jindal, the first Indian American in U.S. history to be elected governor last Saturday — in Louisiana of all places — is what I call a “man without color.”Normally, you’d describe a person “without color” as white, but even white is a color. Jindal’s a guy who seems to aspire to being totally colorless (that’s not to say bloodless, though we are talking about a professional politician here).

In the past, this sort of character might have been labeled a chameleon, but even that’s not quite Jindal.

He doesn’t change skin tone. His skin is still as dark and constant given his immigrant Hindu parents from Punjab.
Source: Asian Week – Uncle Bob Jindal: Man of No Color (Emil Guillermo)
Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for the pickup. Now, some may say they are not automatically going to praise Bobby Jindal because he won not just in the south but the deep south a land the majority of the left consider to be deeply racist and to a certain extent they have a point. Bobby Jindal does not get a pass because of the color of his skin. However, what disturbs me is far from taking the Jindal victory as a sign of defeat of serious and systemic racism lefties like Emil take it a sign of racism. Its the old trick of labeling as a racist anyone who claims they have friends from other races.

Emil rips on Bobby Jindal for cheering LSU as his first victory speech comments were about LSU beating Aubrun (boo! I have a cousin who is an Auburn Alumni). Isn't this what America is about? Find threads of unity great or trivial and focusing on them? Sure, Bobby could have talked about how he is emblematic of the success of Martin Luther King Jr. how some guy with dark skin and Asian ancestry could be elected governor to a redneck state. What good would that do? The later speech is the scissors to our communal fabric and the former is thread and needle.

Normally that would be an easy walk to a win for anybody. But Louisiana has the rule that if no one polls over 50%, there's a runoff election. It's rare that anyone running for statewide office skips the runoff and wins outright. And Jindal was up against an especially ugly, racist and anti-Catholic Democratic campaign. [emphasis added]
Source: TPM Cafe – The actual incredible significance of Jindal's win (Mgmax)
TPM Cafe is no friend of conservatives, but they are much more careful about Jindal's win and there is refreshing honesty with the quote about an especially ugly, racist and anti-Catholic Democratic campaign.

The only tool in the belt of Emil and his ilk is charging racism. When you have only one tool all situations call for that tool. Emil, time to buy some more tools.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

The Ever Expanding Suburbs

Owen at Boots and Sabers notices a controversy in Pewaukee. The story essentially comes down to subdivision dwellers outside of official city limits who are uncomfortable with the non-city activities carried out in their neighborhood. It is one activity in particular that is the focus here and that is hunting. However, in general I think it is quite fair to extend that discomfort other non-city types of activities. Farming is one of those activities.

Everyone idealizes farming country, but lets face it having a herd of 30+ cows near you means sounds and smells. Now, I grew up in farm country and am not at all bothered by the smells of the country, but I can imagine how many people are.

However, the issue of concern is not annoying smells but hunting. I hunt when I have the time for it, which of the last few years has been very fleeting. However, I hunt in the national forest up in northern Wisconsin not on the periphery of subdivisionsville.

I can not help but understand why people are concerned about hunting close to their homes. From my recollections it sounds like the nearest hunting land is well away from the subdivision. However, it seems these sub-divisions are more city than anything else and in any event eventually a city will expand its borders.

Sad because that expansion results in the loss of wildlife habitat as well as hunting grounds.

Is the Duck Mooing?

The speculation on the cause of the Glorietta II bombing is that it is an accident and not, repeat NOT malice. PhilCentral relays comments by Senator Panfilo Lacson that the explosion was due to fuel vapors coming from the backup generator. I am skeptical (as are other) of THAT particular explanation, but the focus of Filipino bloggers remains on dumb accident or negligence.
Inner Sanctum explores the accident theory, which he says “geek friends” proposed even when official statements started focusing on that possibility:Over the weekend, several geek friends of mine have put forward deflagration as the probable cause of the Glorietta blast, especially after The Inquirer published a composite image of the blast site inside the Glorietta 2 lobby.According to them, deflagration is just like a gigantic fart, wherein tremendous gas pressure is released similar to a gas-powered canon–meaning, in one direction–as opposed to the ripple effect of a bomb.Philippine Commentary goes to greater lengths and points to One news item shows how intense emotions have gotten: Kin of Glorietta victims ask Arroyo for justice, not cash.
Source: Manuel L. Quezon III – Evidence 22 October 2007

So, while many of us discussed the possible connections to Islamo-Terrorism it seems very possible this explosion is not what it seems. It seems that duck-like animal is not quacking but mooing instead. That does not mean there are no problems with Islamic terrorism in the Philippines it means Glorietta II does not appear to have been an instance of it.

I would not be extremely shocked to hear it was a natural gas explosion:
And because the political situation is tense, notes from the peanut gallery expresses a suspicion that can only gather steam unless the authorities make an effort to remain sober and calm. For now, ksolaris points out one reason a gas explosion is the main theory right now:They’re still investigating the cause, and I’m wondering if it’s a busted LPG tank, since I do remember that some time earlier this year, one of the restaurants inside the mall caught fire…. The restaurant was back in business after about a week.A spokesman from Ayala Land says it doesn’t appear the explosion emanated from any restaurants.
Source:Manuel L. Quezon III –Target of opportunity (updated) 19 October 2007
In addition, DJB at Philippine Commentary dusts of explosion aracana to learn blast mechanics to try to understand the forensic evidence.

One more piece, angeliz105 at relates her witnessing the events at Glorietta II. To be sure, much is lost but still it is possible to imagine and get an inkling.

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Exposure Control - The F/Stop

Ever notice on SLRs and higher end digital cameras labels or numbers like this: f/2.8, f/3.2, f/4.5, f/5.... Those are called f-stops and give an indication of how wide open the lens is. The smaller the number the larger the opening. a thorough discussion of the f-stops is here.

The smaller the f-stop the more light reaches the photographic plane (film, chip, etc) and vice-versa the larger the number the smaller the opening the less light that pass through the lens to form your photograph.

Wikipedia provides the following chart:
f/2.8f/4f/5.6f/8f/11f/16f/22 f/32
provided equal shutter speeds each step to the right is 2x the light (or +1 stop) and a step to the left is 1/2 the light (-1 stop).

So, given the same shutter speed we now have a way to increase or decrease the exposure.

Another interesting consequence of f/stops is called depth of field. Depth of field is the amount of +/- distance of error you have when focusing. The more depth of field the more room for error you have in focusing (very helpful for moving subjects). However, depth of field comes with a cost and in order to get more depth of field you must use larger f/stops which often means slower shutter speeds, still with auto-focusing cameras being so prevalent now depth of field is less important.

Next lesson shutter speed.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Makati is Very Far From Milwaukee

Makati the financial district of Manila in the Philippines is very far away from Milwaukee. In fact, it is 7,941 miles (or 12,778 kilometers away for the metric inclined) so why should we should we give a rip about the Glorietta II Bombing (a mall I HAVE been in)? It is a good question and I will address it.


Operation Bojinka is a plot hatched by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in the Philippines. A test phase of his Bojinka concept resulted in a bomb exploding on a PAL flight (the link indicates PAL but my recollection is PAL as I do distinctly recall that event) from Manila to Tokyo. IIRC it resulted in the death of one passenger. He was actively planning assassinations of various world leaders namely President Clinton and Pope John Paul II in addtion to more activities aimed against airlines. Fortunately, the evil engineering started their apartment on fire and their plots were discovered. Again, this is in Manila where this plotting was happening.

Abu Sayyaf & Jemmah Islamiya

As you all may know Abu Sayyaf is a smaller splinter terror group based in the southern Philippines and operating mostly in that area, but making occasional forays to the north and into the neighboring nations.

Abu Sayyaf splintered off of the MILF. These groups and others claim to be struggling for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines. However, Abu Sayyaf at times is more criminal than ideological. Their aims seem to be mostly local in nature, but a connection with another group is troubling. That group is Jemmah Islamiya.


There is little doubt Al Qaida has its fingers in the Jemmah Islamiya group and its subsidiaries. Jemmah Islamiya is the group that provided the local manpower to carry out the Bali Bombings. This is a hierarchy in an organization we are at war with. So while many may consider the Philippines a backwater in the WOT it served as the origination of some significant victories for the bad guys.

In addition, AQ affiliates should be be targeted for destruction wherever they exist.

Other Reasons

You probably know someone with family in the Philippines, I have family there and some of them visit Glorietta II regularly and as I state above so have I.

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Exposure Control Lesson 1 - The Basics

Every now and then I critique photographs usually on the technicalities, as that is where most photographs fall down on.

The #1 problem people have with photographs is exposure. What is exposure? Exposure the amount of light allowed to fall onto the development plane (whether it be old-fashioned film or a charge-couple-device ie. digital).

Cameras control exposure by a combination of two different mechanisms. The first is by shutter speed. The faster the shutter speed the less light there is and of course the opposite holds the more time the shutter is open the more light the greater the exposure. The second mechanism is by aperture that is how much the lens is opened up.

The combination of the aperture and shutter speed gives the total exposure. A common term associated with exposure is stop which is a relative measure of light. One stop is twice or half the light. To increase exposure by one stop you can double your shutter speed or increase the aperture in such a way to double the light admitted. Let us say the radius of your lens is opened to 1" (for instance) and you opened it up to 2" note your exposure increases by four (the old pi-r-squared formula from your geometry lessons).

Next lesson the f-stop.

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I Just Heard

The tail end of a WTMJ conversation with Jim Irwin, Max's partner in the broadcast booth. Brave man, as Jim was clearly and notably sad probably fighting back tears and similar.

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Max McGee former Packer and Packer broadcaster is dead. Apparently, he was cleaning his gutters & roof and fell off from his roof. I will miss him and have missed his and Jim's presence from Packer radio since they left.

Max McGee holds the distinction of scoring the first touchdown in the first Superbowl and the story as I recall was he did not expect to get any game time so snuck out of the hotel after curfew & bed check. He went out and partied it up. He was on the sidelines nursing a hangover when Vince Lombardi yelled MAX! and Max went out and played, and played well.

Of late Max's only presence in Packer Nation was as a spokesman for various products and services, still he will be missed.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Makati Bombing

Many of you may have heard of the bombing in Makati – Manila's financial district. The reports I have been reading indicate the bombing killed eight and injured many more people.

DJB (formerly a resident of Pewaukee) analyzes the claim by the Rajah Sulaiman Movement of responsibility. In addition, he provides analysis of the event and others affecting the Philippines. Be sure to read Manuel Quezon III's analysis of events too he looks at the leading theory the authorities had (or have) about the bombing actually being a freak LP tank explosion and does not dismiss it outright.

For up close and personal photographs of the bombing see Disney Cute Land's photographs. Disneycuteland claims to have been in the immediate vicinity of the explosion and publishes 43 photographs.

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Proper Exposure

Study the picture to the left. Look at the foambard insulation. Notice anything? Notice, the difference in the foamboard color on the front of the foundation vs. the color on left side. In reality, the material is the same color. Why the difference in the photograph?

Because of the amount of light striking each face. The foamboard facing the front (south) is getting full sunlight while the foamboard on the side is getting less. Now, I could have exposed the photograph so the frontal foamboard appeared its proper pink, what would have happened to the west foamboard? It would have been darker.

The amount of light captured by my camera renders the front foambard more whitish than reality but captures the correct color on the side. In fact, the less light the more vivid the colors tend to be (of course too little light yields black). Study how to vary the exposure on your digital camera and experiment, with digital cameras such experimentation is cheap.

Digital photography is a blessing as you can verify before you leave the scene your exposure is what you want. However, in practice most people just point and shoot and as a result their photos tend to be just as poorly exposed as they were with traditional film photography.


Monday, October 15, 2007

I Do Not Normally Do This

But I feel I must explain the lack of posts.

The Empress and I are building a house. I am the general on this job and of course providing sweat equity. So, at the times I am usually writing for this channel now I am working on building a house.

One interesting thing is it gives me plenty of blogger-fodder, but I hold off until the house is done and lawn is landscaped.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Jimmy Carter's Penance

Jimmy Carter did one great thing during his time in office.

He signed the bill into law making it legal to homebrew!

Friday, October 05, 2007

A Dilemma

Wisconsin Republicans are negotiating looking up – that is from a weak position:
Those close to the budget talks said there is no agreement yet on whether to carve transportation out of the budget. Supporters of the idea said doing so could speed up passing the rest of the budget to meet an Oct. 15 deadline to avoid a $79 million increase in property taxes for schools in December.
Source: JS Online – Medicaid package lives in Assembly (It's a significant part of deadlocked budget)
All the taxers have to do is to hold out and they win! Do you want the kick on your left or right butt-cheek?

The GOP Assembly has been doing as much as they can, but will fail in holding the line on taxes. So now the question comes to which is more destructive and hold that one off.

I suppose after October 15 the Senate Democrats will become more reasonable.

An interesting development – I just got an e-mail from Charlie Sykes talking about some political grandstanding being setup by the Governor and the UW: "If this is not the use of state resources -- and federally protected data -- for political purposes, I don't what would fit the definition.". Read Charlie's blog, quite obviously the woman who was instructed to send it out was not comfortable doing so.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Two New Blogs

Added to the Blogger Beer blogroll.

The first is Sheboygan Shenanigans and the second one is The Pine River World News. I did my first whitewater canoe trip on the Pine River, unfortunately we did not get too much fishing in.

Welcome & visit them!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

More Desperate Housewifes Commentary

Reading through Pinoy Blogero's A Call to Boycott Desperate Housewives? No Thanks. and this blog by Yugatech I notice at least one trend in the commentary. I ignore the Rage Pinoy commentary and focus on other lines of comment.

The other predominant line is to say our schools tolerate cheating, we deserve such comments. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't send me into a rage, please!

Most people (especially, ahem, bloggers) who comment are reading too much into the snippet from the show. Treat it as a thoughtless comment from a (fictional) callous woman who does not like what her doctor said and no more than that.

There is no deep social meaning in the statement either con America or con Philippines.


Rage Pinoy!

We have all heard of Rage Boy, right? The Pakistani Muslim who has a propensity (and the right face for it) to be in front of a raging crowd while also being in front of a camera. If anywhere there is an insult (real or perceived) to Islam you are sure to see Rage Boy's gibbering & contorted visage.

Well, now we have Rage Pinoy. You see, Michelle Malkin started getting e-mails out of the blue about an episode of Angry Desperate Housewives, apparently one of the characters, quite in character, delivers an insult to her doctor involving asking the doctor she wants to check his diplomas to be sure they do not come from the Philippines. The comment is quite thoughtless.

However, this has provoked Rage Pinoy. Various groups of Filipinos are now organizing protests over this. Michelle Malkin has a predictable, but interesting take:
Unfair? Yes. Rotten double standards? Yes.

But instead of assimilating into the victim culture, it might be more effective for Filipinos to take a pass on the Jesse Jackson playbook and respond in a novel way.
Three: I find some of the e-mail I’m getting to be laced with hypocritical ethnic entitlement. Some Filipinos have seen fit to dismiss my ethnic heritage entirely and consider me “white” because of my politics and past criticism of the Philippines’ reckless decision to pay ransom for hostages taken by jihadis.

Now, after a stupid TV show insults Filipinos, they expect me to jump on the protest bandwagon with them automatically in ethnic solidarity.

Question: Where were you when far worse Filipino insults were being leveled? Just wondering.
Source: “Desperate Housewives” insults Filipinos – Michelle Malkin

This is a whole lot of to do about nothing. The statement leveled is from a fictional character not real person and not a television network. Unless, we want all TV shows and movies to have only "Stepford Characters" (or perhaps ala Geico our characters on TV shows will consist of neanderthals and the like) we need to understand the characters portrayed all have an unseemly side. In this case the character Susan is upset by what her Doctor tells her and in character says something hurtful. TV shows typically are supposed to have some resemblance to life and people have a tendency at times to say hurtful and thoughtless things.

Get over it. BTW, Michelle thinks coming up with a visage for Rage Pinoy could be a fun project, I do to and will approach various friends to audition for it!