The most photographed.

31 01 2012

I was given my first camera by Mum, it was a polaroid which shot eight photos, in black and white.

“Now don’t go clicking on everything” she said with that snapping tone in her voice, like she was about to give me a clip around the ear “save it for something special”.

So much for creativity.

I’ve been here before in other blog posts.

But this is about my dogs, I have had five dogs to my name over the years, Beginning with Tina, a fox terrier, Tina had the knack of photo-bombing down petty well and appeared in about five photos that she wasn’t really supposed to be included in.

There was a gap, and then when I was a teenager, asked Mum why we didn’t have a dog.

Well, Mums boss found some puppies and had been caring for them, She asked us to come over to her place one night, and that’s how we got Bobby… Who seemed to be partially German shepherd and Greyhound.

I think He stayed with us for about four years, but he was a randy bugger and tore off one night, He’d do this fairly regularly, but one night he never returned… We were’nt as careful with our animals in those days.

The strange thing is there are no photos of Bobby, none!

Then Laddie turned up, part German Shepherd and part Collie, He grew up to be very clever, very loyal and gave as much love as we gave him.

We have some instamatic pictures of him, a couple of very nice ones, but you can’t expect much from 110 film.

Then Benny came along, our first Malamute, and the only dog our family had ever bought.

Benny was wonderful.

Because I was starting to get into cameras at that stage, there’s quite a few shots of him in various formats, Instamatic, Realist 3D and very low res digital from an early Canon camera.

I got my first Camcorder at the time too, so he’s one of the rare dogs to be captured on video.

But I should have had a lot more digital photos of him, and I didn’t realise why until I realised that I had been stuck in a mind frame where we simply didn’t take many photos because film was costly… the film was gone (except for the 3D camera, and video for the camcorder) but the idea of reserving shots for a particular day remained.

I think what killed that line of thought was meeting @Wolfcat on Twitter, who took thousands of photos on a weekend trip.

I began to realise that I had heaps of storage, why shouldn’t I take more photos now?

People who know me, know that I love my pets, I adore them… so it comes as a bit of a shock to look through old photos and not find anything of some of them.

This had to change.

Along came Katie, and I was determined to take as many photos of her as possible.

I have photos and video of her from Pentax *ist DSLR, Sony HDV Camcorder, iPhone 3gs and Canon 550D… and although the plan was to get deeper into photography, and perhaps get work from it, I think if I’m honest with myself, I just wanted clearer photos of Katie.

So perhaps when I’m 90 (oh please no), I can look back and see photos of my beautiful girl.

I’ll end with a sad thought, in all honesty, Katie is the last… I hope my heart gives out when hers does, I really couldn’t take being without her… someone else can have the photos.

Photos of Katie, Here.


Wolfie Rankin

30 01 2012

The online Tip Jar.

30 01 2012

Let’s say that there’s a photographer who you like on Flickr, they take some wonderful photos and you visit them regularly to see what they’ve contributed.

It would be nice to support them, by donating a small about of money to them.

What if sites like Flickr, Photobucket or 500px had a tip jar?

So, You’re looking at a photo that you particularly like, and there’s a little tip jar icon there, which you could click, and pay the person about five cents.

The idea would be to use micro payments, much like people use in Second Life.

The problem with New Media, is that there’s a lot of good stuff which people produce for free, because they love to do so, and I’m the same.

But doing everything for free really isn’t helping.

In order to keep producing work, we need money for computers, cameras, software, our ISP, and other essentials.

I wouldn’t want to see a situation where people were forced to pay, such as a pay wall, because I feel that if people don’t want to pay, then they shouldn’t have to.

But an online tip jar, for people who would like to drop a few coins in, could be rather sweet.

It could be used on many sites, including Flicker, WordPress, Youtube. 

It was always nice to hear coins clinking into my own account on Second Life, Why can’t the idea be taken further?

And can someone who isn’t PayPal be involved with this?


Things that matter

28 01 2012

As concerned global citizens, we call on you to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it. The Internet is a crucial tool for people around the world to exchange ideas and promote democracy. We urge you to show true global leadership and protect our rights.

As concerned global citizens we urge you to stand with Africa and face down the USA and other countries looking to wreck climate talks and our planet. We call on you to save and strengthen the Kyoto Protocol and work together to agree on a more ambitious legally binding deal no later than 2015. Our climate is in crisis, our future depends on your leadership now.

Thinking about Food

19 01 2012

Each year I buy lots of food, and although I eat a lot of it, I find that I throw out a lot of it too. I think that’s probably true for a lot of us.

Food often gets pushed to the back of the cupboard, the deep freezer or the crisper and is simply forgotten, though I think it’s often to do with not realising that if I added this to that, and that, and that… That I would have a reasonable evening meal.

I’m a fairly good cook, but lack the nous to see separate ingredients could make something quick and tasty.

So I thought that perhaps there could be a sort of webpage where I type in all your items and then it comes up with recipes for me, or if I haven’t quite got enough it will advise me to buy a couple more items in order to make the meal.

Then I thought that would take too long, and nobody would want to do it.

Then I considered scanning the barcodes with my phone, and getting the list of my items into the database that way…but again it’d take quite a while to do.

So how is this?

You’re at Coles checkout,  where your items are scanned and you get a docket, the docket would have a number on it, which could be typed into a third party website, let’s call it “Pantry” for instance.

The Pantry site asks you to log in, then asks for your docket number and asks you to choose the shop that you went to… Coles, Franklins, Big W, Foodmaster etc.

This accesses the computer at that shop and finds the list of what you bought.

So now the Pantry site knows exactly what you’ve bought, and it only took about five minutes of your time.

Of course we sometimes run to the milk bar and buy some milk and bread, or our neighbour gives us some fruit or eggs.  There’s no docket for those, so you can just add those in manually.

Then you can access the Pantry recipe page and it will show you all the things that you can make tonight, because it only shows you recipes that use the ingredients which you already have.

The recipes could be sent in by yourself and other users, and given a score by people who have tried them, a bit like ratings points on youtube, with comments, good and bad.

Users could receive points, badges, discounts at certain shops for contributing.

I am sure there are pages like this… but to have one which knows every ingredient you have in the house could be particularly useful.

Comments please?


Horse Transformation

10 01 2012


8 01 2012

To those who have sadly lost it, who are straight, and to those of the opposite sex who have only known circumcised Men, The foreskin is this mysterious thing which people don’t tend to talk about much.

I discovered that I almost got the snip as a baby, but narrowly avoided it.

I was a terrible birth, and so was My Sister, Eighteen years earlier… Yes, Eighteen!

Late in the year, in the spring of 1965, Mum went into labour, and back in those days if you needed sedation, it was ether, a nasty chemical which made patients, and staff, sick.

So I was pulled out gently with forceps and Mum spent hours in recovery, feeling completely rotten, and when the room stopped spinning and she felt better, all She wanted was to get home to her own bed.

A story She told me on each and every birthday.

Apparently when She was about to leave for home, Dad piped up with “Has he been… done?” Mum lied and said yes, anything to get home, She didn’t want to be in the hospital a minute longer.

The funny thing was that apparently Dad was none the wiser, even when He bathed Me, which He took a certain pride in doing.

He’d scrub the devil out of us, it was no gentle rinse over with a sponge, but we were certainly clean.

Years later when I was about sixteen or so, either My Mum or Sister made a comment about circumcision, to the effect that I was still intact.

Dad turned to Me and asked quite seriously “Haven’t you been done?”

I was quite surprised.

I’d heard all the old arguments for getting it done, such as “Well it’s a hot country”. I sat and thought about this one and realised that it goes back to colonial days when it’s likely a lot of our ancestors may not have had a bath for weeks, but now once a day is quite normal.

It’s not hard to wash under the foreskin, I don’t see what the fuss is… We actually spend a lot more time, and money, brushing our teeth, but we don’t pull those out because “they might go bad”.

The mythology about the foreskin says “It’s just a bit of skin” so therefore, cutting it off isn’t going to hurt anything. But as an owner, I can tell your that it’s every bit the same, no really, the same as your eyelids… but without lashes.

If you run a finger over your eyelids, you’ll get almost an identical sensation to what you’d get on a foreskin, if you had one, it’s very sensitive.

And now a secret for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, I’m sure all us us with foreskin have done this at some time in our lives, just like all men have tucked their manhood between their legs and pretended they had a vagina.

If you grab your foreskin betwixt two or three fingers and seal it shut, then start to pee, the foreskin fills up, like a little balloon… well ok, no, it doesn’t stretch much, but it fills up… then we let it go and the pee goes WHOOSH down into the toilet.

Then we generally have a little smile to ourselves.

I don’t think you’ll read about this little joy anywhere online, so remember to thank me, won’t you?