Here’s a video I shot and produced for my colleague Forbes outside the Capitol Building a few weeks ago. He talks about how climate change has directly affected he and his family. Everything was great except for the gust of wind on his mic at the very end.

Date posted: April 7, 2015 | Filed under WRI | Leave a Comment »

We had a quiet Easter weekend as a family. Saturday was the neighborhood egg hunt, which was windy and a little chilly but still enjoyable. I brought my camera but only wound up taking about four worthless shots; such are the difficulties of having a six-year-old for a subject.

DSC_7393

Sunday evening I brewed my thirtieth batch of beer, a hefewiezen, for the spring. I’m really enjoying the session IPAs I’ve been brewing, and so I think I’ll brew up another of those next. The Irish Stout has been sitting since November, which means it’s time to bottle (ugh). I’ve got about five cases of empties in the basement waiting, so it’s just a matter of timing an empty dishwasher correctly.

As it turns out, there was some reshuffling of classes at UMBC in the fall, so instead of teaching some kind of theoretical interactive course, they offered me a capstone design class in the evenings, which is right up my alley. I have yet to get the syllabus but I’ve seen some of the final work from past years and it looks like it’ll be fun.

Date posted: April 6, 2015 | Filed under brewing, photo | Leave a Comment »

Bill Caswell was internet famous a couple of years ago for buying and rallying an untested E30 in the Mexico leg of the World Rally Championship. He came in third. Apparently last year he quietly bought a race Scout from Facebook and parked it at a friend’s house, and just now got to telling the world about it. This promises to be very, very good.
Date posted: April 6, 2015 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on Caswell Buys a Scout

Operation Honda Hitch is complete. The instructions blithely state, “If necessary, enlarge forward access hole.” That six word sentence translated to about an hour of trimming small holes in the subframe in order to fish an 11/16″ carriage bolt and spacer block up inside. Luckily the Dremel tool I bought a month back made short, surgical work of the problem. The tough part was feeding the hitch up and around the muffler, threading each of the bolts through the holes, and getting everything lined up. I had to use the jacks from both cars to slowly move the hitch up into place, and then get each nut started on each bolt without pushing them up into the frame. Luckily, it worked.

IMG_0306

The wiring is still in the mail, so hopefully that’ll show up this week.

Date posted: April 4, 2015 | Filed under cars | Leave a Comment »

I’ve got a big box sitting on the porch downstairs, a present for the CR-V. It turns out, after reviewing train, bus, and plane schedules, that there is no inexpensive, direct way to get from here to Syracuse in under 12 hours for less than $400. After boring my sister on the phone for a half an hour while I priced out travel options, she suggested buying a hitch and renting a trailer. Which will cost less in total than any of the other alternatives. Such is the state of public transportation in America. So I have to borrow a pair of ramps from my neighbor and get the hitch installed this weekend (I’m told it’s a 20 minute job, but I don’t have ramps), get an oil change, and she’ll be good to go. This way will also allow me to strap a ladder on the roof of the ‘V, something I wasn’t sure I could do on a 10′ box truck.

I think I’ll also hit up the Harbor Freight for a cheap moving dolly and a 100-pack of bungee cords.

Date posted: April 4, 2015 | Filed under cars, travel | Leave a Comment »

Somehow this explains a lot about how enjoyable it is to fix a car or truck with friends. (via Road & Track)

Date posted: March 31, 2015 | Filed under cars, entertainment | Leave a Comment »

Building a scout with spare parts

I would’ve put the hood on top but it was too heavy and kept falling inside. The white fender is actually in worse shape than I’d remembered.

Date posted: March 29, 2015 | Filed under Scout | Comments Off on Building a Scout from Spare Parts

Amazon has been offering “unlimited” photo storage through their Prime account for a while, but for some reason I haven’t noticed it until today. I’m a little unclear as to what “unlimited” means–I think it tops out at 1TB, which is a lot of space, but, then, we have a lot of photos and video files. I’m doing a test upload of images from work today, and I’ll see what kind of options it has for organization–so far the interface looks pretty basic, and I like to organize by YYYY/MM so that I know where to start looking (when you shoot digital seriously, it’s easy to flip the counter on filenames, which means there are multiple instances of IMG_4453.jpg over the years). There is a Cloud Drive app available, which is nice, and apparently there is a way to automatically sync photos taken with iPhones to the service. More info on this as I get it.

Update: I’ve uploaded everything from 1999-2005 so far, about ~19GB of data. Amazon uploads work best through Chrome, which supports folder structures. Because a lot of the file and EXIF structures have been written and rewritten (or processed out), a lot of the early photos get categorized by their modification date, which means there’s stuff from 1999 showing up in 2014. But, it’s offsite, which is nice; now I have to do some testing with recovery and download.


I bought those lenses the other night; the price was too good to pass up. They’re not top-of-the-line metal bayonet mount lenses, but for the price they were a bargain. I did a little finagling here at work and took possession of a spare Nikon D80 body with a battery charger, so when I go north in April I’m going to bring my Dad an entry-level DSLR kit to replace his ancient Coolpix 4500. He was the one who got me into photography back in the day, and bought me my first SLR for college. I’m hoping he’ll enjoy an upgrade to something more flexible and powerful.

Date posted: March 27, 2015 | Filed under family, photography | Leave a Comment »

So I’m going to take a look at some Nikon glass tomorrow night. When I joined up with WRI, I made a deal with myself not to spend any major money on DX (cropped sensor) Nikon gear, figuring eventually I’d trade up to a full-frame kit of some kind. However, I’m always on the hunt for a bargain, and I saw a pair of VR lenses come up on Craigslist a few days ago for a very good price. If they check out they’ll make a decent addition to our gear.


It sounds like Jeremy Clarkson is going to get the axe from Top Gear tomorrow, after he flipped out on a PA and allegedly assaulted the guy. I’ve not been able to see the last 3 seasons of the show because it’s not streaming anywhere and our shit FIOS TV package doesn’t include BBC America (fuck you very much, Verizon), so I’m not current with the series, but it sounds serious. The rumors are that he verbally abused the guy for a half an hour before attacking him, which is just out of control. He’s just an asshole, but I wonder why none of the producers stepped in and cooled him off before things got out of hand.

Date posted: March 24, 2015 | Filed under entertainment, photography | Leave a Comment »

DSC_0048

STOP

Smiths

Keep oil above this level

Date posted: March 23, 2015 | Filed under art/design, cars, photo | Leave a Comment »