Friday, November 30, 2012

Camera Shake

It's like a short story in two scenes.

Scene 1 - after dark somewhere on the California freeway system.  A couple returns from a short vacation.  The man sits in the passenger seat while his wife drives.  He amuses himself by taking pictures of passing cars and trucks.  He is using the aging pont-n-shoot in his pocket.  He finds it difficult to hold the camera steady.

Scene 2 - the last day of the month.  The same man looks for some simple material to fulfill his quota of blog posts for the month.  Will he remember to remind readers that they can see enlargements of his pictures by clicking on them?

Shake Tags: . . . . . .

Monday, November 26, 2012

Going Coastal 2

Two posts ago I wrote about Leslie's and my twentieth wedding anniversary. A few days later we set off on a short vacation, driving up the California coast to the city of Monterey. That's where we had gone on our honeymoon in 1992.  This time we even stayed in the same hotel.

Naturally I took a lot of pictures. I used both the point-and-shoot in my pocket plus my new toy, an iPad Mini. I returned home with nearly 12 gigabytes of stills and video. Over the years I've learned that I must use new pictures in some project as soon as possible. Otherwise they'll never be seen again, ever.

I decided to edit a few seconds from each video clip into a short sequence using lots of quick cuts. I planned on a length of two minutes tops. Yeah, right. The final product, entitled Going Coastal 2, is nearly twelve minutes long.

Have you got the idea here?  This is a home video of our vacation. It consists entirely of photos of coastline, especially close-ups of the surf. You'll also see lots of animals that live in or around the ocean. Some of these critters were photographed in the wild, others were taken at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a place I highly recommend.

Going Coastal 2 begins with elephant seals hanging out near California Highway 1. There's a shot of Leslie feeding potato chips to fat little eager squirrels. Seagulls appear several times, including one which shamelessly takes a dump before flying off. A noisy herd of sea lions on a Monterey Bay jetty sing along with my music.  Storks fly overhead.

The animals from the aquarium are more interesting. There are lots of different fish plus a sea turtle. A couple anemones and a green coral introduce the jellys - maybe you'd call them "jellyfish".  These guys are strikingly beautiful and bizarre. A couple lobsters duke it out near an eel.  Next you'll see birds, featuring hyperactive puffins.  Pipefish, sea horses and sea dragons (both leafy and weedy) plus a few shrimp round out our bestiary.

The video ends with more surf. Leslie called the final shot 'apocalyptic' but in reality it's just the view out our hotel window. Very relaxing.  I was sad to leave so soon.  Maybe you can hear that in the music.

Going Coastal 2 © 2012 by David Ocker (700 seconds)

You could watch the original Going Coastal.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Post-Election Silly Season Wrap-Up

We in the U.S. had an election recently.  Roseanne Barr came in sixth.  The election went on forever and cost a fortune and won't make any change to our perennial governmental gridlock.  It did prove that the people who most appeared to be blowing smoke out of the their asses were actually doing just that.

Also there was a lot of lying.  Out and out prevarication.  Dissembling.  Other big words that mean not telling the truth.  So much lying that it was remarkable when someone actually did say something accurate and verifiable.

The Right wing lies came thick and fast.  They need to be put into categories, or maybe we should say, into binders:  "Romney's Victory", "Voter Fraud", "Religion" and "Female Reproductive Biology" got lied about often.  

Here are screen grabs of two Google search suggestions to complete the phrases "Obama is a ..." and "Romney is a ...".   Between them there are only three unassailable honest answers - "democrat" and "christian" for Obama, "mormon" for Romney.

One of the biggest sources of election falsehoods appeared right here at Mixed Meters in my post Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics and Politics.  As it turned out, my fanciful projections of how the contest would play out were just that - fanciful. 

From that point on I kept an informal list of election news stories I would have liked to predict.  There were plenty of crazy happenings that could have fit right into my list.  Most of them didn't get much media attention.  Today, with the horror of the election silly season still fresh in our minds and the next Presidential race barely begun, I think it's the perfect time to share the list.

Note: some of these are probably fraudulent.  I've not included anything I was sure was fake - but I offer no guarantees.  In time some of these links will disappear so enjoy them while you can.  I bet there are many more items I would have included had I known about them.

Hurricane Sandy

The Election

After the Election
The most embarrassing campaign moment:

And finally, as a personal note, I know they no longer matter, but I would still like to see Mitt Romney's tax returns.  I would like to know for sure whether Harry Reid was lying when he told us Romney didn't pay any taxes for ten years.

Prevarication Tags: . . . . . .

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Leslie and David's First Score

It's our first score.  Every American school child who ever studied the Gettysburg Address will understand.

Exactly twenty years ago today, on November 1, 1992, about 4 or 4:30 p.m., I married Leslie Harris. Best move I ever made. Love you honey.

We can always remember the year because it happened during the run-up to a Presidential election.  Ross Perot lost a few days later.  So did George Bush.

After the ceremony there was a party. We had spent months negotiating countless details with Leslie's mother Betty who financed the shindig.  She had been waiting a long time to have a wedding.  Everything came off really well.

Lots of pictures were taken that day - although not so many as might be taken now when everyone has digital cameras.   We have kept just one particular wedding picture on display for all twenty years.  It sits in a place of honor, on our chest of drawers in our bedroom in a cheap plastic holder.

Yep, it shows the two of us consummating our nuptials with cake, a chocolate cake covered in chocolate frosting.  It was delicious chocolate cake!

Sadly, neither of us got to taste much of it that night because each time we put our plate down, to fulfill some duty as Bride or Groom, the plate and portion of cake would be bussed away by the staff.  This happened repeatedly.

Also, we don't know who the third person in the picture is, the one behind the door.  Our best guess is she was one of the servers who plated the cake and then kept snatching it away from us.

The bakery which made the cake provided us with a fresh new top layer free of charge for our first anniversary.  We finally got to enjoy the cake then.

This anniversary marks the beginning of Leslie and David's Second Score - we should celebrate with some chocolate.  Twenty years from now, at the beginning of our third score, I promise to post more wedding pictures here on Mixed Meters.  I wonder who will be running for President then.  I wonder what kind of cameras we'll have.  I wonder if the bakery will give us a free chocolate cake.

Chocolate Tags: . . . . . . . . .