Monthly Archives: May 2010

Israel Gone Wild

Irony is everything. Who knew that Turkey would be providing humanitarian aid to victims of Israeli oppression? Israel, the state that was supposed to be a haven from ethnic attacks and Turkey, perpetrator of the first modern genocide (which it stridently denies) are caught up in a bizarre dance of moralism and outrage.

What we know is this: An aid flotilla, bound for Gaza, left Turkey and later came under attack by the Israeli Navy, which has been blockading Gaza for three years. We know the Turkish flotilla was in international waters. We know that Israel claims one of its own was stabbed and that there were higher casualties on the Turkish side. We know that the Israeli forces tried to shut down all communications once they boarded the Turkish boats, as evidenced in one broadcast from a Turkish reporter that ended with someone shouting “Shut up!” in Hebrew.

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Fun at the Lake

This would have been “Fun at Flagpole Hill and the Lake” had it not been for a MASSIVE Low Rider convention on top of Flagpole Hill.

The traffic there was rough, and I learned the hard way I didn’t want to use manual focus for snapshots… This one came out good, though.

So we went off to White Rock Lake and took some snaps… have fun and be sure to check out the larger size images!

Note on the above: There used to be a soda can floating around in the picture. I love my Paint Shop Pro, version 9. The Last Good Version.

This is a composite of two exposures, one to bring out the sky and one to bring out the reflection.

Malia didn’t know it, but her arm is in the perfect orientation for the shot.

This is the same bird as in the previous image.

Duck bubbles!

A test of landscape photography…

Another composite exposure.

I wanted to test the monochrome settings on the camera and I like them quite a lot. I’ll probably do more work with color separations and making composites with adjusted brightness and contrast, as I like those very much.

Although the afternoon was hot and we were wanting to get back to the car, Malia noticed her shadow and suggested we take a picture of it. She was right to suggest that. 🙂

A Little Photo Shoot

Malia and I went out to take some pictures in the dusk with our camera on a tripod. We held still, but the cars moved so fast, all we saw was their lights… Click on the images to view them at 1800×1200.

How “Lost” Should Have Ended…

I loved the finale for Lost, up to about the last five minutes. Then I felt a sense of deja vu as I watched a guy move through time and space to connect lives and make them better… but the guy was apparently dead all along? Oh yeah, that was Quantum Leap’s ending. It’s also the ending for Roseanne, come to think of it. Jimmy Kimmel did a spoof with Newhart ending, which I felt worked a lot better.

It’s not like the writers had themselves in a corner or anything. There were probably several good ways to end the series, and they were hot on a truly great ending, but then dropped the ball on it. In my version, we keep it right up to where Hugo and Ben are left in charge of the island, then we cut back to LA 2004. There, Jack sees his father in the coffin, remembers everything, and then goes into that chapel. Hugo thanks everyone for all they’ve done and, as we see a scene of Jack watching the plane take off, tells them they’ve all made their choices and to live their lives in peace and as much happiness as they can share… because one does not own happiness. Sawyer makes a wisecrack about what Hugo will do with his millions, and Hugo says, “They’re all yours.”

Stunned, the castaways watch on as Hugo explains they all get a little piece of his fortune, as he doesn’t need all of it. “I’ve made my choice. I don’t need a whole lot for where I’m going. And, speaking of going, I’ve got a flight to catch. But, frankly, there wasn’t any way I was going to be able to spend it all in my lifetime. Help me do that, willya?”

Everyone says goodbye to Hugo and has a good time with each other in the chapel, realizing their lives have been changed for the better from their suffering on the island. We watch as Hugo goes to LAX and boards a plane for Hawaii. He sits next to Ben. There’s some ominous turbulence, but the plane lands just fine. In Hawaii, Hugo buys a boat and Ben helps him sail it… to the island. Hugo looks at his new home and says, “This is a better way of getting here, don’t you think?” Hugo’s girlfriend steps out of the cabin, looks things over with Ben at her side. Hugo says, “Well, let’s start with fixing that statue.”

Cut to Jack going back to look at his father one more time. He opens the coffin, to see it empty. He looks up in wonder.

Back to the boat. Ben says, “That’s a big job. Who’s going to help us?”

Hugo points at the beach. “They are!”

Cut to a scene of everyone that died on the island standing to greet Hugo, with Jack’s father in the center. The End.

Credit where credit’s due: my son came up with the last part, where Jack goes to the empty coffin, as we were driving to school this morning.

Roman Holiday

Just saw this movie. It’s a true gem of a picture, and it’s a dirty shame Hollywood doesn’t make any more like this. Bollywood does, and maybe that’s why I love both classic American cinema and the masala films from India.

It’s a beautiful story without any sort of Hollywood ending. Feeling the pain at the end made it all the more special to me. That, and the beauty of Rome and its people. I need to head that way, one day, and it made me thankful that I live next to a major airport. During the mad whirl Peck and Hepburn enjoyed, I saw myself and my wife doing the same things, minus taking a dip in the Tiber. Or getting a haircut. But the gelato looked amazing, even in black and white. And at the end of it all, I’ll still have the one I love, so I’ll be one up on Gregory Peck, which is pretty cool, all things considered.

Stanislav Lem

I’ve read his Solaris and am reading his Memoirs Found in a Bathtub. He’s genius. I especially appreciate his ability to create bodies of commentary about his invented worlds. He’s a great author and well worth reading.

The Bankers Have It

Why is there a question of the US bailing out Europe? The answer is simple: Bankers.

If the US doesn’t help bail out Europe, the bankers lose their shirts. If the US does help bail out Europe, then they get paid.

Need more proof that the bankers have a hold on the US government? The Republicans are blocking the Merkley-Levin amendment in the Senate. That amendment is the “Volcker Plan,” which would keep banks from wrecking the economy the way they did in 2008. Banks don’t want that, and their chorus in the Republican ranks is singing their tune.