Debate Winner

Recovered from the Wayback Machine

From the hits I’m getting, I just found out that I own the Google phrase winner of the debate.

By the way, I lied and did watch the debate tonight. Well, the domestic part towards the end. I’m not going to address each issue because I don’t get paid to do this, and spent too much time jumping up and down going, “He’s an idiot! He’s an idiot”. Hard to effectively report in these circumstances.

(My roommate has sworn never to watch another debate with me. Ever. Again.)

My respect for John Kerry has increased with this debate, considerably; that for Bush lowered even further when the only mistake he would admit to is who he has appointed, but he can’t divulge the names, so as to not hurt feelings. And I’m sorry, but tort reform will not magically create health care insurance for 45+ million people currently without any coverage; nor will it significantly lower the cost of drugs. And Bush, your forest initiatives are going to kill the last virgin forests left in this country.

For those who see no difference between the two candidates, you’re not looking hard enough. George Bush sees the world in black and white, right or wrong, with us or against us. He appeals to people who want the world to live in black and white, right or wrong, or to be with us or against us. Kerry, on the other hand, can see the gray, and this isn’t necessarily reassuring to some folk.

But I want my President to see the gray, as well as the black and white. And I want a president who is willing to admit when he’s made a mistake, and learn from it. Bush never will.


Did I happen to mention

how much I like my new camera?

I was reading Randal Schwartz’s review of the Canon 20D DSLR, especially his exhultation about the effects one can manage with the 1/8000 shutter speed in combination with the high ISO (1600). I was tempted to go get my turkey baster and have my roommate squirt streams of water into the air so I could attempt his stop-water action shots; instead, I thought I would find a really bad light shot and just see how the ISO 1600 photos look.

The ISO 1600 on my 995 is quite similar to 1600 film in that it was grainy. Very grainy. And the color would usually be a bit off – having an orange cast that couldn’t be corrected. But there many conditions when you need this speed, and it would be nice to have relatively decent photos.

As luck would have it, today was cloudy and dark, and I just happened to find a magazine laying on my desk – the magazine containing my recent photo essay, as a matter of fact. Fancy that. I decided that a great test of the higher ISO would be to take photos of the essay pages without using any other light than ambient room light.

I plopped the magazine on my bed, opened the page, focused, and snapped pictures of all the pages. I used NEF (RAW) mode, and adjusted the exposure up slightly and sharpened slightly, but other than that – no changes. As you can see from the photos below, the ISO 1600 with the D70 provides beautiful pictures, with nary a grainy or color cast look in the bunch.

Even a larger photo 800 pixels wide doesn’t show significant degradation of image quality, and this without much tweaking of the photo in Photoshop.

Did I happen to mention how much I like this camera?


You might as well fire me

You might as well fire me, right now. Yup, just give me my marching orders and strip me of my feeds.

The candidates are in town tonight and I’m not going down to take pictures. Not only that, but I’m also not going to the DNC party, to see John Kerry make an appearance and take more pictures. I won’t be there to fact check that yes, Kerry is 6′ 4″, white, male, and speaks English.

In fact, I doubt I’ll even watch the debate tonight. I know, I know. There is no excuse. How can I provide my analysis, or point out any of the many gotchas that Bush, or Kerry, is sure to commit if I don’t watch?

I’m not sure what’s come over me. Flu? West Nile Virus? Too much interesting experimentation with drugs earlier in my life?

Personally, I think it was turning on the TV today to get a feel for the traffic problems and watching political ad after political ad, and not one was positive; every single one was a negative ad aimed at a candidate for one office or another, with largely unsubstantiated attacks that made each person seem like the Devil incarnate.

It was like watching snippets from political weblogs come alive on TV. I’m going to have nightmares for a week.