No Sooner Are We Home Then We’re Gone!

Here are a few of the early shots. These are reprocessed panoramas.

Central Park South pano from Central Park.jpg

times square stairs pano.jpg

“You realize we only left yesterday?” was Helaine’s question as we left New Haven’s Union Station headed for the ‘overflow’ garage across the way. Yeah–I get it. We packed a lot into 36 hours: two Broadway shows, David Letterman, a little city walking and a few meals.

Still, tomorrow we’re leaving before noon for another adventure. First stop is Colin McEnroe’s show on Connecticut Public Radio. Colin is one of those crazily smart people you only hope to keep up with. He’s doing the dinner and late show at the same time!

The show is heard at 1:00 PM on the multiple frequencies of WNPR plus Internet streaming on

My biggest post-trip chore will be to work on my photos–around 550.

I have been working with a new, faster ‘walkaround’ lens, a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8. It’s image stabilized which is causing trouble.

The problem isn’t the lens–it’s me! Right now it’s more than I can handle! This lens allows critical mistakes never possible before. It’s going to take some time to figure out how to handle them.

Here’s an example. Because I had slower lenses without any stabilization my nighttime shots were always underexposed. Now they can be properly exposed which should be good, right?

Unfortunately the incredible contrast between bare light points and background elements now becomes a problem. Points of light are heavily overexposed because the rest of the photo is properly exposed! Sometimes they’re too hot to be handled by Photoshop.

I also haven’t figured out how much of the stabilization I can get away with. Some shots are blurry because I tried to let the camera find a proper shutter speed–much too slow.

I’ll figure it out. Until then I’m wasting frames which is frustrating.

This entry has a few quick panoramas. As always, click the photo for a larger more detailed view.


The Things You Learn While Driving

General Lafayette wintered in a hut at Valley Forge “though he could have easily afforded to wait for spring in a mansion the size of Newark,” while “Alexander Hamilton wrote him letters that read like mash notes.”

Gilbert_du_Motier_Marquis_de_Lafayette.jpgNo idea why, but recently Connecticut Public Radio has started running This American Life in the 11 O’clock hour–perfect for my drive home. As I turned on the radio tonight Sarah Vowell was beginning to tell the story of Revolutionary War hero Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de la Fayette, aka General Lafayette.

Sarah (I don’t know her, but I’ll be socially informal and use her first name) has a quirky voice that sounds like it’s been plucked from an unsuspecting young girl. Her writing quirkily matches her voice.

General Lafayette wintered in a hut at Valley Forge “though he could have easily afforded to wait for spring in a mansion the size of Newark,” while “Alexander Hamilton wrote him letters that read like mash notes.”

You don’t hear a lot about Lafayette any more. Jackie Kennedy christened a submarine in his name but that was around 45 years ago&#185. There was an ill fated electronics stores with his name too.

Maybe we just don’t feel warm and fuzzy toward the French–even those French who helped free us from British tyranny. It could also have to do with my tragic 7th grade French class debacle. Merci Mademoiselle Gobstein. Who can tell?

Back to Sarah.

It was a great seven minutes with more info on Lafayette than I’d heard before. This was a character profile more than a straight bio. If you get a chance, punch it up. The Lafayette story is around 3/4 into this podcast. Just listen for the quirky voice of a little girl.

&#185 – In my life as a radio actor I appeared on a show where another actor, playing Mrs. Kennedy, said, “I christen the Lafayette. Je d’baptiste Lafayette.” I remember that line being spoken as if it were yesterday.

I Want To Say Bad Things… But I Can’t

Every day while in the shower I listen to National Public Radio. Sometimes I listen on Connecticut Public Radio. Other times it’s WSHU’s network of repeaters, running about the same power as a flashlight.

If I’m in early (for me), I get to hear Terry Gross and Fresh Air.

Actually, that’s wrong. I hardly ever hear Terry Gross. She’s never there. It’s always Dave Davies (really… what were his folks thinking) or David Bianculli of the Philadelphia Daily News.

A few times, I’ve planned on ripping into the show because Terry Gross is hardly ever there. It’s a running joke between me and me.

She’s the name talent. She should make an effort to show up. It’s not like they can’t tape a bunch of ins and outs for shows, all at once or allow her to use a studio in her home or on the road. Radio is much easier that way.

I can’t be too mean. I love the show.

I have heard more great interviews on Fresh Air than anywhere else. Most of the fun ones for more are with show biz luminaries. Dion Dimucci, Neal Diamond and Daivd Duchovny stand out. These guys were candid and fascinating.

Who knew it was Dr. David Duchovny?

In these cases they’re are people I’ve heard interviewed before. Still, I’ve gone away with much more than I knew when I turned the shower water on.

It’s NPR. There are always going to be esoteric do-gooders on the show I just don’t want to know about. Sorry. However, by and large, the show is great.

Some day Terry will explain to me where she is on all those days off.

Global Warming And Me

It is increasingly difficult to be a skeptic when it comes to global warming. That’s not because I am doubting my scientific beliefs, but because it’s more socially acceptable to be fearful of Vanuatu being inundated or Greenland turning green.

I was listening to the Faith Middleton Show today on Connecticut Public Radio. Global Warming was the topic and Dean James Gustave Speth of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies was a guest.

Dean Speth is a heavy hitter on the subject. I could copy his CV here, but I am so overshadowed by his achievements, I’d rather not risk the comparison.

Still, after hearing Dean Speth, I felt I had to send him this note:

Dear Dean Speth,

I listened to your broadcast today with great interest. Though I am skeptical of the harshest global warming pronouncements, I enjoy listening to experts, such as yourself and learning when I can.

Trust me when I say, it would be much easier to be a believer. It is a much more socially acceptable viewpoint to have.

Nearly ten years ago, I was invited to the White House to listen to then Vice President Gore speak on the subject. In spite of all I’d been told, he was a masterful speaker, making scientific points to an audience of meteorologists without benefit of notes or a written script. And yet, I wasn’t won over.

Though it’s purely anecdotal, most of the other meteorologists I spoke with then and speak with now, feel as I do. As operational forecasters, we use computer modeling on a daily basis and understand how weak it can be. We know we can’t always forecast tomorrow’s temperature accurately, much less next month’s or a few decades from now. Heck, we can’t always accurately initialize the models! It’s not for lack of trying.

Long range global modeling makes too many assumptions and takes too many shortcuts to keep me comfortable.

Unfortunately, the rhetoric concerning global warming has gotten so out of hand that lay people are starting to say they notice it! Summers are warmer. Storms are stronger. Winters have less snow.

Last summer and fall, our wild tropical season was attributed by many (Trenberth and Shea as an example) to global warming. Has it abated this year?

If global warming is science and not politics, why is every consequence I hear a negative one? Are there no positives, even in the most dire global warming scenarios? Won’t I save on heating oil? How about road wear and plowing in North America, Europe and parts of Asia? Won’t Siberia and the Great Plains of the US and Canada have a longer growing season?

And if Kyoto is the answer, why are the exclusions that exist in that treaty, and other exclusions which some countries have unilaterally declared (Germany’s removal of coal restrictions) for themselves, never mentioned? You made no mention of these today when declaring all the industrial countries had ratified Kyoto. If I were India or China, I’d ratify a million Kyotos which weaken my competitors and don’t touch me.

Again, it would be so much easier to believe. I am not a political extremist. I believe a clean and pure environment is good in the abstract. I am just scared we’re being sold an expensive bill of goods based on shaky science and strong emotional appeal.

Thank you for taking the time to read my email.


Geoff Fox

Hamden, CT

I don’t expect Dean Speth to read my email and have a Eureka moment. I didn’t expect to be won over when I listened either.

Still, one of us has to be wrong. If it’s me, I’d rather know now than later. I hope he feels the same way.