Archive for the 'Boston' Category


New Tripod

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago and in the weeks leading up to it, I spent some time trying to fill out my wish list on Amazon.  I would like to briefly plug their universal wish list button – you can add it to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar and then add anything you find on any website to your wish list.  That’s pretty handy.

Anyway, I have wanted a sturdy tripod for a while.  After a lot of looking, I decided that I wanted a ball head since I had grown tired of having to adjust two or three knobs in order to get my composition right.  I settled on the Manfrotto 322RC2. It seemed like it would allow incredibly fast composition changes and would be very comfortable to use.  So, that found its way onto my wish list.

By pooling together money I got for my birthday I was able to get the 322RC2 head with the Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod legs.  I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to use everything yet but so far I really like it.  The ball head is so nice.  It is super easy to change your composition, very quick, and it locks solidly into place.  The legs are big – if I extend the legs fully, the eyepiece of the camera is at eye level without raising the center column at all.  This is great because it maximizes stability and gives me some freedom to play around with shots that might require the camera to be above my eye level.

Continue reading ‘New Tripod’


Weird reflections in photographs

In April there was a great full moon and I went out to the Charles River to photograph the city with the moon overhead.  I had just realized how nice a lens I got with my K1000 when I bought it from eBay.  It’s a 135mm f/2.5 and if you look down the barrel it’s all glass – beautiful.

Anyway, apart from my 50mm f/2.0, this is my fastest lens.  The zoom lenses I got with my K10D start at f/3.5 or something.  Since it was dark and I wanted to keep the exposures as short as possible, I thought I’d use my 135mm.

Unfortunately, when I took some pictures with it, I got the image below and others like it:_igp3338.jpg

The moon shows up twice and the word “Prudential” is also visible twice.  From the word “Prudential” it’s clear that this secondary image is upside down and backwards with respect to the original.

Initially, I didn’t know what was going on.  At some point, however, I thought it might be related to the UV filter I had on my lens. I took the UV filter off the lens and the weird reflections disappeared.  This solved the problem but it still doesn’t explain to me why or how this happened.  I can’t think of a physical explanation for what I observed.

If anyone knows what set of reflections could be responsible for upside down and backwards “ghost” images appearing, please let me know.



Ok, so this post isn’t actually about potpourri. Rather, it’s just a mix of a bunch of stuff that I’ve collected over the last two weeks.

  1. The Pirates won again tonight (2nd in a row) after losing 6 straight, including being swept again by the Cubs. Matt Morris and Adam LaRoche are officially terrible. Nate McLouth, Xavier Nady, and Ryan Doumit are awesome.
  2. I had thought about starting a new segment on my blog where I post a line from a song to see if people can figure out what song it’s from. Then, I realized that, in the age of the internet, that task is trivially easy. I had planned on using the line “Who put the shield around the ‘k’?”, from “K for Karnival” by Nothing Painted Blue but just typing the line into Google gives you the answer. Curse you, internet.
  3. I also thought about introducing a repeating segment in which I would post a picture as a RAW file and have people submit their take on it. I may still do this if people are interested.
  4. On Patriot’s Day our family had an outing to see the Boston Marathon. On our way home, I saw this:



    That’s right, a “Wii Sports” jacket. Now, I like my Wii as much as the next guy, but I’m not about to wear something like this.  That said, the “Wii Sports” jacket is a step above the bowling pin costume I saw the same day:


    Alright.  I think that’s enough for now.  I’ll post more when the mood strikes.


Flight Cancelled…

I flew to Pittsburgh on Thursday for a meeting in Ohio on Friday.  I was supposed to fly back to Boston today, but my flight was cancelled more than 3.5 hours before it was supposed to take off due to the weather in Boston.  My flight got rescheduled for tomorrow morning at 8:35 AM.  That’ll make for an early rise.  Good thing I get an extra hour of sleep tonight because of the time change.


I’m back.

So, I haven’t posted in a while.  You can blame that on postseason baseball.  You might be surprised to find that my reaction to the Red Sox winning the World Series was “meh”.  I was rooting for the Indians to beat the Red Sox.  Then, when the Indians lost, I was rooting for the Rockies.  Here’s why:

  1. I like to root for the underdog.  The Red Sox have been favorites since the beginning, at least in the Boston media.  Hence, I wasn’t that interested in rooting for them.
  2. I hate the sense of entitlement that surrounds some teams.  This is one of the primary reasons I dislike the Yankees.  With all the success the Red Sox have had recently, I found more and more of this sense of entitlement creeping into coverage of the Red Sox.  This turned me off big time.
  3. I disliked the arrogance of the coverage here relating to the Red Sox.  People acted as though beating the Indians was a trivial formality.  Obviously, the Red Sox won, but not before finding themselves in the hole 3 games to 1.
  4. I guess my interest in the Pirates has made me resonate more with small market, low payroll teams.  So, I just find it harder to get excited about teams who have a huge payroll.

Allow me to recommend…


This is a picture I took of the Cambridge street from which the band Bishop Allen took its name.  Apparently, the two main guys lived on this street before they moved to New York.  Anyway, before our trip to Pittsburgh I downloaded their album, The Broken String, which I have listened to a lot recently.  Adrian recommended it and I agree with his recommendation.


The fate of the Pirates’ season

The Pirates have 46 games left in the season and their record is currently 49-67. The inquisitive reader may be wondering, “What has to happen for the Pirates to break their streak of consecutive losing seasons?” Well, since the season consists of 162 games, in order for the Pirates to have a winning season, they need to win 82 games. They currently have 49 wins and they need 82. Thus, they need to win 33 games out of their remaining 46. This means that their record during the remaining 46 games must be 33-13, for a win percentage of 0.717.

Given the Pirates’ performance during the 2nd half of the season, this seems pretty unlikely.  However, they have won 4 out of their last 5, so they’ve obviously turned things around a bit in comparison to a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, in order for the Pirates to have another 100-loss season, they would need to lose 33 or more games out of their remaining 46, which also seems pretty improbable.  Heather and I will be at their games on Thursday against the Mets and Sunday against the Phillies, so hopefully, these two games will net the Pirates another two wins.  It’ll be pretty depressing, though, if they lose both games.  In any case, these games will give me an opportunity to wear my Pirates jersey, which I don’t normally get much opportunity to wear since we live in Boston.


Always a good decision

Yesterday, I went with my brother-in-law, Rob, and his friend, Andrew, to an open house at the Sam Adams brewery in Jamaica Plain.  Rob was in town visiting and wanted to go on a tour, but none of the tour times fit our schedule.  However, Rob found that there was an open house in the evening that worked for us.  So, we took the T to the Stony Brook stop and walked a couple of blocks to the brewery.  There each of us got our hands stamped and were given 4 tickets, each of which was good for a free beer (~7 oz.) sample.  They had 5 beers available: Boston Lager, Summer Ale, Dunkelweiss, Old Fezziwig Ale, and Mayflower Ale.  I had both the Dunkelweiss and Fezziwig once and the Mayflower twice.  Not bad for a free event.  The one caveat is that you need reservations, which can be made on their website.  These events are held about once a month, so if you live in the area or you’ll be in town, you should definitely check this out.  It’s always a good decision.


Boston: America’s Walking City Team

Yesterday, I went to the Red Sox vs. White Sox game at Fenway Park.  In many ways, the game was unremarkable.  The White Sox scored first, with 1 run in the top of the 2nd inning.  The Red Sox answered by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning and two more runs in the bottom of the 6th.  The bottom of the 7th was when it got interesting.

A pitcher came in from the bullpen to replace the White Sox’ starter and gave up a lead-off single to Eric Hinske.  He struck out the following two batters while allowing Hinske to advance to 2nd.  This brought Manny Ramirez to the plate.  He was intentionally walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd.  Kevin Youkilis came up and managed to draw a walk to load the bases.  A new reliever was brought in and he promptly walked J.D. Drew, which scored Hinske.  A third reliever was then brought in and he walked the first 2 batters he faced, putting Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek on base while scoring Manny Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis.  He proceeded to give up a 2-run single to Coco Crisp (scoring Drew and Lowell) followed by a 2-run triple to Eric Hinske (scoring Varitek and Crisp).  Julio Lugo’s subsequent strikeout put an end to the White Sox’ misery.

When the dust had settled, White Sox relievers had walked 5 consecutive batters (including one intentional walk), walking in 3 consecutive runs.  Eric Hinske had both a single and a triple in the inning, while Julio Lugo was responsible for making 2 out of the 3 outs in the inning, both on strikeouts.  The Red Sox ended up scoring 7 runs, all when there were already 2 outs.  It seems like there must be some kind of record in there.

While the White Sox managed to draw only one walk in the whole game, the Red Sox walked a total of 9 times during the game.  On the other hand, the White Sox struck out only twice, while the Red Sox struck out 8 times.  Also, there were no home runs hit by either team.

As a side-note, at one point I heard a group of people nearby chanting something that I couldn’t make out initially.  After listening for a few seconds, I realized that they were chanting “Joe Buck sucks!”  I was pretty amused, since the game was supposed to be the Fox Game of the Week, at least in the Northeast, and it was likely that Joe Buck would be one of the announcers.  If anyone recorded the game, let me know if you can hear the chant.  I think it was in the 7th or 8th inning.


Adrian shows us how to get enthusiastic about the wave

At the July 5th Red Sox vs. Devil Rays game:


This picture could fit into Liz’s set of pictures of her and Adrian’s trip to Boston over the 4th of July.  Adrian has a summary of the game on his blog, though he doesn’t mention the wave…


May 2022

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