Stefanie Fox: Celebrity Encounter

hollywood-from-GowerCelebrity sightings are common in LA. You’re supposed to take it in stride. Stef’s very good at that having worked on the red carpet during last year’s awards season.

Tonight while walking her dachshund Roxie, she saw a man in the distance saying goodbye to a group of friends. He looked familiar, but she couldn’t make a connection.

As they approached, Roxie made a high pitched mumble. The man looked down, then up at Stef.

“Nice wiener,” he said.

It was Ron Jeremy.

This Was Handled Poorly

Last month I wrote about the hassle of proving I was the original and rightful owner of my refrigerator. In the end LG Electronics agreed refrigerators shouldn’t break at 13 months and sent a technician my way on their tab.

IMAG1385He was here last week. I showed him a photo of Stef holding a chunk of ice from under the freezer tray. I pulled out my phone to play the sound the fan sometimes made, but he stopped me.

“I know what it is,” he said.

We needed a totally new assembly for the rear of the freezer compartment. It would have to be ordered.

IMAG1437The photo on the left is what I’m about to throw out. It’s not physically broken. This wasn’t a part gone bad. This was a system poorly designed. This was a ‘soft recall.’

Why did LG make me jump through all those hoops? Were they looking for a way to avoid responsibility? They know problems on my model’s freezer are common.

Why didn’t LG or Lowe’s, where we bought it, reach out to their customers first? There are probably loads of owners who see their 12 month guarantee is up and hope for the best. They end up swallowing LG’s mistake.

Engineering is complex. There will always be design flaws. I understand that part.

The difference between a good company and a bad company is how they handle a situation like this. LG handled it poorly.

About This War

There’s been a lot of drum beating about Syria and ISIS lately. I have been to this rodeo before. I remember Vietnam and everything that’s followed.

I’ll fast forward for you. We do not win.

These wars are never as simple as the planners see them. Remember, ISIS is armed only because we gave arms to Iraq… which ISIS captured.

We have literally armed the enemy!

So now we’re going to try again?

The worry is attacks in America from ISIS and its followers. These would be concentrated attacks–just a few people inflicting huge damage. But what we’re doing now won’t stop that kind of attack!

It’s a tough situation. Many of the best paid workers in America manufacture military hardware. Our economy is dependent on a constant war footing. The tendency is to use what you’ve got.

Maybe my fear of war is best stated by General/President Eisenhower who saw the problem from both sides.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

I’m not a fan of war.

I Know You Didn’t Ask, But I’ve Got Some Photo Advice

People say I’m a pretty good photographer. There’s a lot of study and experience necessary to make a camera work for you. There are also a few very easy tips which will make a huge difference in your cell pics or any pics.

The three shots here were all taken on my phone, a first generation HTC One. Your camera’s as good, maybe better.

bowling

Hold the camera steady. I know. Sounds too easy. I see your shots flash by and stalk your pages while you’re not looking. This is your biggest problem.

When a camera is starved for light (like if you’re shooting at the bowling alley) its shutter stays open longer. Your photo is now susceptible to the slightest motion.

Relax. Take a breath. Bend your elbows and hold the camera/phone in front of your chest. Lean against something if you can.

Seriously, holding steady will fix most of the problems I see online.

roxie floor

Shooter closer. There’s an old photographer’s expression that says get as close as you can, then take another step in.

Family members complain getting close makes them look heavy. No. Usually showing a person from the chest up is a more flattering view.

star vinca

Hold your camera so the longest edge is horizontal. It’s referred to as landscape mode. That’s the way the human eye sees, more wide than tall.

Just as important, a photo shot landscape matches your screen’s shape. A landscape mode shot fills more screen than portrait mode.

There’s hardly ever a reason to shoot vertically.

These tips work for video too, especially the hold steady part.

Panning on a camera is disorienting, especially when it’s done as fast as a human head turns. Go slow. Be graceful. Fluid motions.

Here’s a bonus selfie tip. When you’re ready to take your shot look at the cameras lens in the mirror, not your screen.

There’s This App

pushbullet_logo

I found an app that solves a real 21st Century problem. It connects all my screens. It has simplified the task of passing stuff between them.

When my phone rings a notification pops up on all my computers. I was surprised how often my phone and I are apart.

It works the same way with text messages. You can even reply from your PC keyboard.

If I take a photo it can be sent directly to my PCs with two clicks.

Addresses or links found at my desk now slide to my phone for cut and paste into a nav program or browser.

I’m using it nearly every day.

It’s Pushbullet. It works on Android and iPhones, Windows and sorta on Macs.

Pushbullet connects your devices, making it easy and automatic to share almost anything between them.

It’s one of those tools you never knew you needed until you realize you can’t do without it. And, of course, it’s free.

Life Doesn’t Get Easier From Here

I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with my sister over the past few days. My mom slipped while moving between the sofa and her wheelchair. Any injuries associated with her fall seem minor, but nothing’s minor with my mom. Physical strength is a huge challenge for her. She and my dad live […]

-read more-

World’s Cutest Dog

They’re loud, so I leave the bedroom and head to the couch in the loft.

Doppler was there too, up on the sofa’s cushions.

-read more-

My Work Related Art Collection

I’ve got six pieces of art hung in a cluster in my office. They followed me from Connecticut.

-read more-

My Little Studioette

I do a little bit of voice work in my office including tracks for the packages I produce. Of course my office isn’t a studio. It’s a small box with lots of echoes.

-read more-

PS 163Q Lied To Me

Somewhere in grade school one my teachers lied to me!

Yours did too. They taught us things about the first day of spring and fall that weren’t true.

-read more-