captpackrat: (Bugs)
All the nope )
captpackrat: (MLP Surprise)
Apparently the new POP MLP toy line from Hasbro is anatomically correct.

They even come with tailplugs.  I think I've discovered a new fetish.
captpackrat: (Fail)


Trying to post photos is an incredible ordeal, and now I apparently am unable to reply to anyone without either throwing an "unhandled error" or encountering a problem with encryption.  The site goes down more often than FurAffinity and the LJ Mobile app for Android is an absolute mess.
captpackrat: (Camera)
(Oh my God!  He's actually posting something!)

My grandfather was an amateur photographer from way back.  He had all kinds of interesting equipment and at one point even had his own darkroom.  He gave me most of my early equipment and encouraged my interest in photography.

I was given my very first camera when I was about 8 years old.  It was a Kodak Instamatic X-15, the last Instamatic model sold in the US.  It had a single element plastic 43mm f/11 fixed focus lens and a fixed 1/90 second shutter.  It could use Magicube flashcubes, which were a pain in the butt.  It used the 126 film cartridges which produced a distinctive square print.  The camera was prone to miswinding, leading to weird double-exposures if you weren't careful.  I took a number of photos with this camera, but they've all disappeared.

When I was 13 I received a Vivitar Tele 815.  It had a built-in flash (no more flashcubes!  Yay!) and two fixed focus lenses, 24mm and 48mm, both f/5.6, which you selected by sliding a switch.  It used the more common 110 cartridges, which produced a more typical rectangular print but had smaller negatives.  I've only been able to find one print from this camera, a photo I took of Yosemite.

My grandfather also gave me a Minox III "spy camera", but it used a bizarre 8mm film cartridge that was extremely difficult to find and even harder to have developed, so I was never able to do anything with it.

When I was in high school my grandfather gave me his old Canon AE-1 SLR.  It was a real 35mm SLR with a 50mm normal prime lens, but the exposure meter was broken, so he also gave me a hand-held light meter.  I could still use the camera with manual exposure by getting a reading with the hand meter and selecting the appropriate settings.  It was a pain in the butt to use, but it was a great camera otherwise.  It taught me a lot about gauging exposure by eye and the effects of shutter speed and aperture.  I think my grandfather gave me a defective camera on purpose, to teach me to not rely on fancy automatic features.

In college I got tired of having to screw around with the hand-held meter and bought a Ricoh KR-5 35mm SLR.  It was a clone of the venerable Pentax K-1000.  It was full manual with an LED light meter inside the viewfinder.  I bought 4 KA lenses for this camera, a Samyang 18-28mm f/4.0-4.5 wide angle zoom, a Ricoh 35mm-70mm f/3.5-4.5 mid-range macro-focusing zoom, a Vivitar 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto zoom, and a Ricoh 50mm f/1.7 standard prime.  I also had a Vivitar 2x macro-focusing teleconverter, which let me reach out to 420mm, though with the loss of several f-stops.  Although it had a light meter, the camera was still completely manual; you had to set the shutter speed and aperture for each shot using the meter as a guide.

The Ricoh remained my primary camera for almost 15 years until I bought my first digital camera, a Pentax Optio A30.  It was a 10MP 1/1.8" CCD compact with a 38-114mm equivalent f/2.8-5.4 zoom lens.  It had excellent macro capabilities, better than any of the cameras I had afterwards until my DSLM.  It also had a fairly large sensor for a compact.  I used to carry it around in my pocket all the time until the screen broke a couple years ago.

In 2008 I bought two cameras.  The first was a Panasonic TZ-5, a 9MP 1/2.33" CCD compact with a 28-280mm equivalent f/3.3-4.9 zoom lens.  Although it is considered a compact, it was more than double the thickness of the A30; I couldn't carry it in my pocket, so I attached a small case to the strap of my netbook messenger bag.  I still carry this camera with me whenever I take my bag.  It's still vastly superior to any phone camera and has decent zoom.

The second camera I bought in 2008 was a Panasonic FZ-18, an 8MP 1/2.5" CCD bridge camera with a massive 28-504mm equivalent f/2.8-4.2 super zoom lens.  This was my primary camera until just recently.  Despite being 6 years old, and comparatively low resolution, it has a zoom comparable to my current DSLM with its longest lens.  Like an SLR, it can shoot in RAW format and has full PASM capability.  This is the camera I used to shoot many of my rabbit photos.

As nice as the FZ-18 was, by 2013 it was beginning to show its age, and with a crop factor of 5.6, it was lacking a bit in the quality department.  Just before Christmas Costco started selling the Samsung NX2000.  It had better specs than the similar Canon EOS-M and was a lot cheaper, so I bought it.  It's a 20MP APS-C DSLM (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless, similar to a DSLR, but without the bulky reflex mirror & pentaprism).  The kit came with a compact 20-50mm f/3.5-5.6 mid-range zoom, a 50-200mm f/4-5.6 OIS telephoto zoom lens and an external pop-up flash.  I've since bought 6 other lenses, a 12-24mm f/4-5.6 wide-angle zoom, 10mm f/3.5 fisheye prime, 30mm f/1.2 standard prime, 45mm f/1.8[T6] 2D/3D telephoto prime, 60mm f/2.8 macro-focusing OIS telephoto prime, and an 85mm f/1.4 telephoto prime.  My favorite lens is the 85mm, which has a magnificent DOF.  However, I usually leave the 30mm lens on the camera when I put it away; it's the smallest and lightest lens I own, it's a standard lens (i.e. no magnification) so it's good for quick snapshots and it's simpler and faster to use than the mid-range zoom (precisely because it has no zoom) and has a 2-1/3 f-stop wider aperture (f/2.0 vs f/4.5).  The camera has the ability to connect to my Samsung phone so I can use it as a remote viewfinder or to upload pictures.

Now I'm looking at upgrading to the Samsung NX30 or NX1.  The latter will be Samsung's first professional-level camera, but I'm not sure if pushing an APS-C sensor to 28MP is a good idea.  It's also got a professional-level price tag, $1200.  The NX30 is Samsung's current high-end offering and is nearly half the expected price of the NX1.  It uses the same 20MP APS-C sensor as the NX2000 (entry level) and NX300 (mid-range) cameras, but has a proper viewfinder (the NX2000 has no viewfinder at all, just the screen), a higher-resolution rotating screen, integrated pop-up flash (freeing the hot shoe for accessories), faster shutter, faster drive and faster hybrid autofocus.  Which ever one I decide on will be able to use all my existing NX lenses.
captpackrat: (Packrat)

"Egg salad again?"

 

"Now Billy, you know that ever since the giant chickens came, there's been nothing else to eat but eggs."

captpackrat: (MLP Big Macintosh plush)
I figured out why we never seen Applejack's parents in the show.  They've actually been there the whole time.

You see, Granny Smith is really Big Macintosh's mother.  The two of them had a little redneck fun one night, and Applejack was born.

Since Applejack is Big Mac's daughter and Big Mac is Granny Smith's son, that would make Granny Smith Applejack's grandmother.  And because they share the same mother, Big Mac and Applejack are also brother and sister.

It's probably best that you don't ask about Apple Bloom's relationship.
captpackrat: (Cold Weather)
Good King Wenceslas looked out, on the Feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even;
Brightly shone the moon that night, tho' the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight, gath'ring winter fuel.

"Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know'st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence, underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence, by Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither:
Thou and I shall see him dine, when we bear them thither. "
Page and monarch, forth they went, forth they went together;
Through the rude wind's wild lament and the bitter weather.

"Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer. "
"Mark my footsteps, my good page. Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage freeze thy blood less coldly. "

In his master's steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the Saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.
captpackrat: (Homer Gun)
While helping my roommate clean up the basement, I came across several really old hard drives.  I tried using my primative data recovery equipment, but I couldn't even initialize the drives.  They were dead dead dead.  But they still could contain data accessable through more exhaustive means, so I decided to render them permenantly unreadable.  With a vengance!

The first drive was a Conner Peripherals 425 megabyte hard drive.  Yeah, that's an oldie.

The bullet I selected was a .45 Colt Winchester Super-X 255 grain lead-round nose in target/range loading.  The gun is a Taurus "Night Court" Judge with 2.5 inch cylinder and 3 inch barrel.  This was actually the first time I've fired this pistol.

My first shot was a bit wide.  I was firing single-action (that is, cocking the hammer, then aiming and pulling the trigger), and I was caught off-guard at just how light the trigger pull is.  My second shot hit the target perfectly from a distance of about 20 yards.  The bullet pierced the light upper cover, which was ripped clean off by the impact and thrown about 6 feet away.  The bullet severly distorted the drive platter, heavy back casing and circuit board, but failed to penetrate.  If I'd been using a jacketed bullet, it probably would have gone through.  The divot on the platter is nearly an inch across.









I want to try this again with my .30-06 sniper rifle, but I don't have any FMJ ammo, only jacketed soft-points which wouldn't penetrate as well.  Plus the rounds cost almost $1 each.

More Pics

Aug. 5th, 2012 09:20 pm
captpackrat: (Camera)


Decorative heater grate


Everything you need for a perfect date night... movie tickets and lube


PINKY!


Goat face


Horns are tasty!


Closeup of a katydid


Looks like Disney has gotten into the adult novelty business.


This picture of a metal roof makes my eyes go all woogey.


Just taking a break


And here I've been giving hugs away for free like an idiot.


Valve math fail


They showed me the Car Fox


Now there is a vehicle with ground clearance!


I love this license plate!

Pics

Aug. 5th, 2012 08:42 pm
captpackrat: (Camera)
LiveJournal really messed up the gallery.  It's a royal pain in the ass to upload and post images now.  Clicky on any of these to see the full image.


Macrophotograph of a screw.


Storms in the distance, and the water tower that was recently erected nearby.


I wish this bike helmet came in my size.


A couple toads I saw in a well head while looking at houses with a friend.


This show is boring!


Cool story, bro.


THIS IS OFFICEMAX!!!!


Something every Skyrim fan should have.


This tastes like ass.


Mmmmm...  Hooves....


I ordered a pork tenderloin sandwich from a local diner.  This is what I got.
captpackrat: (Weather - Dr. George)
I took this photo while crossing the NE-50 bridge over the Platte River near Louisville, NE.  Usually the water fills at least half the channel, but now it's barely more than a creek.  The Platte is not a very deep river, flood stage is only 9 feet, but it's currently at less than 15 inches.  There is actually grass growing out where the river should be.



The river usually looks like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Platte_River.jpg  (Taken from just a few miles upstream)
captpackrat: (Weather - Dr. George)
At Omaha Eppley Field in the month of July:

The average maximum temperature is normally 87.3°F.  This July the average high was 96.9°.  26 days were above 90°.  The coolest high temperature of the month was 86° on the 8th, this is the warmest coldest-max temperature ever in Omaha in July.  This month saw the 3rd longest streak of 95°+ days, 15, and the 3rd longest streak of 103°+ days, 4.  A record high of 104° was set on July 6, a record high of 105° was set on the 22nd and a tied record high of 105° set on the 23rd.  The warmest day of the month was the 25th, 106°.  July 6th tied for the record warmest low of 78°, and July 24th set the record for warmest low, 84°.

The Cooling Degree Days average for July is 365, and the average for the entire year through July is 677.  This July alone saw 624 Cooling Degree Days, for a total of 1200 since January 1.  This year has seen the highest number of consecutive 80+° days, 87 so far, and the second highest number of consecutive 90°+ degree days, 50 (the record is 54 set in 1934).

The normal average rainfall for the month is 3.83" and the previous record low was 0.39" set in 1983.  This July saw only 0.01" of rain.  This is the driest July on record and tied for the 6th driest month on record.

Climate records for this location go back to 1871.
captpackrat: (Riding a plane)


It looks like our neighborhood cropduster has upgraded from an Air Tractor AT-401 to a newer AT-602.  The 602 holds 50% more chemicals (630 gallons instead of 400), and has a much more powerful (and louder) 1050 hp Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine compared to the 401's 600 hp P&W Wasp radial engine.

According to the FAA, his old plane was sold to someone in Mexico and has been struck from the registry.  The new aircraft is N602AP.



The plane was spraying a soybean field on the other side of the trees and occasionally buzzing our house as he turned around to make another pass.

You can also hear the goats having a bit of a scuffle in the background.
captpackrat: (Gadget Laughing)
A recent Wii Everybody Votes Channel poll asked whether people eat bananas by peeling them a little at a time, or all at once.

Me:  Who peels a banana all at once?  If you do that, it loses its structural integrity!
My SO:  That was the geekiest thing I've ever heard.
captpackrat: (Goat)
Little Ruthven passed away today in his surrogate mama's arms.  He was just a few days short of nine months old.  His mother died shortly after giving birth to him, so my SO and I raised him.  He was very affectionate and curious about everything.  He was absolutely fearless, and would just walk into the house like he owned the place if given half a chance.

We noticed he wasn't feeling well a couple days ago when he didn't come running when I went outside.  We found him under a tree by himself.  He seemed to be eating and drinking normally.  The next day he wasn't doing any better so we moved him to the deck and set up an umbrella for shade.  This morning he was clearly in pain, so my SO started holding him like when he was a baby.  He passed away in his mama's arms before we could call the vet.

We buried him in the barnyard, not far from his mother.  He will be missed.


The Goatquarium
It's my chair now.
Happy goat
A young Gene Simmons?
Goat huffing

Profile

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Captain Packrat

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