Storypost | 2009.08.27

Pinhole photography park

So SFS got me a P-Sharan pinhole camera. It was a fun two hour construction, and it handles rolls of 135 gloriously.

Pinhole photography

It's a struggle to hold the camera still (braced) for the 3-20 second exposure times since it's light, cardboard, and held together by rubber bands.

Pinhole photography people

I took the sb800 around with me. I shot at 1/2 power, afraid of blowing out bright objects. Nope, looks like full flash is just fine, dragged shutter of course.

Pinhole photography face

I'm enjoying it, time to rummage for some more unexposed rolls.

Pinhole photography garage

Plaster City California dirt biking hill view

I had the rolls of film from dirt biking and Connie's ceremony developed.

thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography desolate thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography
thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography tailgating beers
thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography
thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography thumbnail Dirt bike plaster city San Diego film photography

Storypost | 2009.08.24

Axis and Allies Anniversary edition board

We had a full living room for the second Axis match. Sam spearheaded the evil effort with Germany, Curt took Japan, and Kristi helmed the Italian forces. Connie reprised her command of the UK, Rob played the Yanks, and I handled the Russian retreats.

The map above will link to a 1024-wide image (flickr max), or you can view the left, middle, and right portions for more detail. Why is there a bomber on Brazil, you might ask? Well Curt sent an otherwise-doomed transport into the south Atlantic but it was chased down by an American bomber.

Axis and Allies Anniversary Edition Europe

Germany opened with an amphibious assault on Karelia - Russia's northern factory. It fell without much trouble, but was retaken by Russia's counter. The German subs and Norwegian fighter sunk the British battleship, but the air support provided for the seaborne invasion meant the destroyer in the north sea and ships near Gibraltar could escape to Iceland. The significance here was that Germany was left with no naval assets and could not repeat with flanking assaults by boat.

The eastern front was attacked as usual and did not suffer from the diverted air support. The following turns, up to the midnight recess, saw the buffer territories exchanged again and again. Russia concentrated on infantry but built enough tanks to blitz and counterattack. There were a few highly desirable targets that consisted of tanks and planes with relatively few infantry, choosing these battles may have had an economic impact in the long run.

Russia did not clash with Japan but the latest board capture shows an impending battle. The Soviets did seize the opportunity to blitz into Trans-Jordan when the Italian fleet had moved to the Indian Ocean to support an amphibious invasion of Africa. The successful offensive closed the Suez Canal and allowed a very small fleet to secure the Mediterranean for an American landing.

Her majesty's navy started turn one with a retreat to the safe waters surrounding Iceland. This was to escape the Luftwaffe and support the predetermined turn two invasion of Norway. This amphibious strike was a point of contention among the allied commanders, as France was then defended by a single infantry unit. There was no hope of keeping France as Germany was then producing well over 40 ipc per turn, but it would serve to draw forces away from the ugly eastern front.

The British went ahead and took Norway to keep the eventual d-day force out of fighter range. This may have been unnecessary as the Germans could not land troops in Norway and a stack of fighters would make an easy target. Nonetheless, it succeeded in clearing Scandinavia combined with a Russian advance on Finland.

London provided a second valuable landing in Europe. The Brits took advantage of a lightly defended Poland to land a few units and thicken the Russian buffer. On their following turn, the UK navy sent troops to Northwestern Europe and thereby forced Germany to commit forces westward. This amounted to about ten units at the height of Germany's productivity and likely saved the eastern front.
The US had limited engagement in Europe, but after significant coaxing did move units into an undefended north Africa.

Axis and Allies Anniversary Edition Pacific

The initial Japanese move seized much of the GSACS (greater southeast Asia co-prosperity sphere) and secured most national objectives. The US fleets off north and south America were left intact and regrouped on the first Yank turn. The Japanese offensive included an early capture of Australia that went a long way to depriving the British of funds.

China slowly collapsed as the Japanese forces advanced for Moscow, though the front fell short on land units.
The lack of Japanese reinforcement in China and the GSACS can be attributed to a pair of epic sea battles with the Pacific-minded Americans. The first was an aircraft-heavy attack on US surface warships and transports at Iwo Jima that devastated the invasion force but left quite a few untouched submarines that could not be attacked without a destroyer present.

The subsequent American turn completed the mutual destruction by sending its sub fleet to down the carriers and support ships moved nearby to receive fighters. The remaining Yankee sub made a reckless assault on a destroyer and transport off the Japanese home island and won out on fine rolling. This allowed an undefended transport to make a suicide landing on the Philippines and recover some national objectives. But the Pacific is very quiet.

Axis and Allies Anniversary Edition production chart

Where does this leave us? Well Germany took the liberty of completing a turn at the end of the evening, passing the dice to...
Russia - A bit thin on units, the Soviets have to ensure Germany doesn't take and keep Karelia, on which only two units may be placed per turn. The Russians have 50 ipc, almost twenty more than any other turn, so keeping the victory cities secure shouldn't be much trouble. The difficulty lies in how many tanks Germany has on the board and two targets in the east. Japan's mammoth production means the Indian factory must be taken as soon as possible, however the tank in Chinghai cannot be allowed to blitz through the Motherland.

Japan - Cash is no problem for the Japanese, but using it is. There is no bridge from the home island to Asia and the Pacific fleet is in a bad way. The greatest hope lies in maintaining India long enough to build a few units and make a difference on the continent. The Americans are far away from the GSACS, even farther from China, so there is time to turn enormous production into domination.

UK - The Brits have a reason to smile, the Atlantic is safe thanks to the Suez lockout and the number of German fighters sacrificed to offensive action. Also the raiding bomber that rolled a six, four turns in a row was finally downed by aa fire. There are American fighters set to reinforce any European beachhead before Germany's counter and there are five excellent targets for landing. All that's left is for the US to liberate some GSACS territories to recover some production.

Italy - Things were going great for Italy until the Suez closed and the attempted retake of Trans-Jordan failed. A battleship and a cruiser is a formidable force, but once-great production is now gimped back to twelve.

US - The US has maintained the initiative in the Pacific for several turns, it finally has numbers. The key to converting its fleet and infantry into captured territories rests in the organized deployment of invasion waves so convoys aren't picked off by Japanese fighters.

Storypost | 2009.08.23

Scuba diver kelp forest from below

Here's the rundown. Last weekend LT and J of And Four joined James and myself for a couple of dives at the cove.

Scuba dive fish grass underwater

Later on this week rfq scored us box seats to see the Friars beat up the Cubs. The nacho and hot dog bar was beyond words.

Dog weimaraner puppy toy rope play

The mouse is getting bigger and bigger. At the spca training class introduction, Jes said she most loves Kaf for his nigh-human expressiveness. I figured she was just being girly, but found a photo where he is showing pure indignation.

Nikon D700 viewfinder

I've only had a few opportunities to use it, but I'm loving the d700. I even took it to Connie's event.

Wedding reception winery

Preview | 2009.08.10

I had always coveted the F100, but until now I've languished in the N series (or, properly 10-99). With many miles on my D70, the time has come to move up to the D700 (image source), derived from the F100. I'm looking forward to the full frame, cmos, and five fps. Perhaps a Saturday morning at Palomar might be in order.

Mitsubishi 3000GT hood red

Barely related, I came upon a circular polarizer for my 105mm. It's amazing what eliminating reflections will do for color - I easily maxed out what jpgs can represent (check out the obvious stepping). Of course, the above image is straight off the camera.

This piece will be clutch when I get back out to autocross since it's always quite sunny and reflecty.

Replaced spigots corroded

The house has gotten plenty of attention too. I swapped out the crusty old exterior fixtures for shiny new ones.

The new valves throw much easier and, naturally, don't leak.

The irrigation is coming along. I ran a half inch line to the front yard with drip inserts in the necessary places. I'll be good to go should I decide to plant anything under the front windows.

I wanted to run a dripper to the fern next to the steps, but there was no easy way to go across or under the path. So I used overhanging branches to go above the path, where just a few inches of dripper can be seen. With the newfound supply of water, I don't imagine the trees will take too long to span the remaining gap.

The poly pipes were not handling the water pressure very well at the fixture, they leaked out the twist-couplings. To remedy this I epoxied some parts together and added a splitter to the faucet so the other branch could relieve some of the pressure. Tomorrow will be the first test.

The pile of trimmings, sauna pieces, and random junk leftover from the previous owner has been divided between the trash and a nicely stacked woodpile in a useless corner of the side yard. That was most of a Saturday, but I now have an empty area in the front yard and a decent stash of firewood.

And on a final programming note, I'm slowly updating all the tags from my previous posts. E.g. "renovation" will give you all of the home improvement material.

Storypost | 2009.08.02

Dog weimaraner puppy ears helicopter the most adorable

I rented a d2x this weekend. It handles quite well, all the extra frills don't diminish usability. A d3 is probably out of the question for the next camera purchase, but I'll be interested to see how the d700 compares. The most noticeable differences are the focus speed and frame rate, also the color management blows the d70 away.

This afternoon I had a jonesing for ditch digging, so I bought some materials for a drip system. I have a half inch line running along the fence on the upper terrace and several quarter inch drip lines branching off. The big [known] unknown is how close the drip lines have to be to irrigate a continuous area. I have a patch of Korean grass with a drip underneath serving as the guinea pig. Either way, the papyrus and birds will be better off.


Another new puppy owner Took a long walk, no pee. Back in the house one minute, pee on the bed. ... A sleepy puppy is a good puppy.

Lover of exclamation marks Hey you over there with the big white butt! ... You got a puppy? What a little flirt! I thought you've already got a girlfriend. ... I may be willfull but I'm still innocent! ... Ew ew ew. I have to scrub my eyes out!

Indulger of jokes I'm not one of your kind [not a cannibal] so I wouldn't call it that [cannibalism].

Introspecticus It's a good thing I don't believe in karma or I wouldn't have a chance in hell at happiness.

Locked out of a bathroom I'll just piss in the car on the way home.

Hobbyless Went to work instead [of surfing]. Bad life choice, I know.

Dog weimaraner puppy steps La Jolla