I Pity The Poor Poodle

I am hoping and praying they do not let these poor animals look in the mirror! Whose idea was it to shave them to resemble topiary?

standard-poodle.jpg Credit: Mary BloomThe Fox Family loves dogs. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to come down and see Helaine watching the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual dog show on the DVR.

“Look at this,” she said. It was a standard poodle prancing through the ring.

I am hoping and praying they do not let these poor animals look in the mirror! Whose idea was it to shave them to resemble topiary? I apologize poodle lovers, but there is something inherently wrong with making a dog look like that.

I’d like to embed the video, but that’s not the way WKC rolls. I can link to it, however. Judge for yourself.

There are lots of good looking dogs in this show. I often wonder if they’re allowed to live the ‘real’ dog’s life when they’re not working? Do they ever get the chance to lay in someone’s lap and get their ears rubbed? Do they sleep in bed with their family? Is it OK to sneak them a little piece of people food?

While the show was on I realized I have a friend who resembles a bearded collie. No names.

Creativity Trumps Technology

I have watched this video a half dozen time tonight. It’s “Here It Goes Again” by “OK Go.”

Northing special here, except an original idea. Judge for yourself.

Being Stranded Is Different

Friday, while waiting in Las Vegas for our delayed flight to Hartford, I tracked the plane using my laptop computer. Las Vegas, like many airports has wireless Internet access&#185.

As our 737 made its way from Reno, I wondered how this access to up-to-date knowledge affects the airlines?

Years ago they could, and did, lie about flight status. That was especially true during the days when they were more worried about passengers retreating to another carrier for an earlier departure. With severe penalties for itinerary changes, we can’t do that anymore.

Not only can I find the actual airplane, I can also see the latest aviation weather (forecast and observed) and any air traffic control delays or ground stops.

Today, there’s no need to suffer in silence at the airport. With a PC or cameraphone you can get the word out to the world. I know this as a fact because I’ve just heard from my friend Bob.

Bob is flying to Talahassee, FL from Penn State. Well, he was flying. Awful weather has stranded him, and others, at the Atlanta Airport. He’s not sleeping yet, but his sneakers are off.

Are passsengers forced to sleep on the floor in the terminal? Judge for yourself. The image isn’t the best, but it makes the point.

In case you’re wondering, at 3:30 AM on a night like this with passengers all over the floor of the terminal, the PA announcements still get made, loudly apologizing every twenty minutes that the hotels are sold out!

Of course with wireless Internet access it’s possible to check and make sure they’re not lying about the hotel situation. Sleep tight.

&#185 – Access was free in Hartford and Las Vegas, but $9.95 for the day from “T-Mobile” at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank.

The Difference Between Snapshots and Photos

As a teen, my father gave me a Konica Autoreflex T camera. I loved that 35 mm camera and thought, because it was a 35 mm single lens reflex, I would be a good photographer. Of course, it wasn’t so.

I never improved my shooting with that camera because I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing, and feedback came (in the form of pictures) a long time after I had taken them. By then, I had forgotten exactly what I did to get what I got!

With digital, it’s different. the camera can make a difference, but the biggest edge is being able to see you photos instantly – first on the camera’s display and later on the PC screen.

By the way, though I love my Canon, I think the lcd screen on the back is awful and pictures always look like they’re in soft focus.

When you’ve taken 10,000 photos (and I think I am approaching that number), you begin to understand how what you do translates into what the camera puts out. Unfortunately, the Canon is very different from my Fuji and I am having to relearn many techniques.

What has surprised me the most is how much can be improved after the fact. In my case, I use Photoshop and a variety of plugins and tools. I think, more than anything, Photoshop (or other tools which work just as well) can take a snapshot and make it into a photograph.

I am not above altering reality to get a better shot. Lighting levels get changed. Focus can be sharpened. Often parts of the photo that don’t belong can be retouched and removed.

Here’s an example. The first is a shot as it came from the camera. The second has been sharpened a bit, had some noise removed and had the levels of the darkest object (and only the darkest objects) brightened a tiny bit to add a little detail.

These are tiny images. The originals contain a whole lot more pixels, producing a lot more detail. Still, I think what I did makes a world of difference – but you can judge for yourself.

One More Brief Adventure Update

Tonight, while minding my own business, a friend came on IM. Had I gotten the email he had sent me? No.

He had been reading along in my dispute with Adventure Balloons of Las Vegas. He is an attorney, and some of what he saw got him to thinking. He began to read the Nevada law.

As it turns out, the money for the certificates never reverts to Adventure. At some point, prescribed by law, it gets turned over to the state and they send it to me! Hello!

Not only that, this applies to anyone else in a similar situation.

God bless the Internet.

I’ve attached it to the link below

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