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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 31,215

Journal Archives

Stories about the murdered dog in Coeur d'Alene

Officer kills dog in parked vehicle


(Updated to admit it was a Lab, not a Pit Bull)

Dog details emerge


Java owners discuss incident


From all I gather, social media was alerting people to watch out for a white van that was targeting children. The guy who owns the Java on Sherman coffee house (if you want to Google Maps it, search for "Zips Drive Inn, East Sherman Avenue, Coeur d'Alene, ID" because asking for Java on Sherman shows you their old location at 4th and Sherman) saw such a white van in his parking lot when he arrived at work a few mornings ago. There are families with children living across the street from his lot, so he called the cops and reported it. The cops came over, blew away this guy's dog for reasons as of yet unknown, confiscated the body, put a note on the windshield, told the owner of Java he needed to call a towing company to have the van removed, and left.

And now people are attacking the business owner for doing what he thought was the right thing.

Y'know, it would be nice to live in a town that makes the national news when GOOD things happen...

The first try on my new scanner

On Tuesday my New Used Screen DT-S 1030AI Drum Scanner arrived. (Helpful household hint: hundred-pound scanners are no fun to haul up a flight of stairs.) I set it up, calibrated it, made a few "screwing around" scans just to see if it worked, and tried this...

This is a scan of the Salmon Bay Bridge in Seattle, produced on my Minolta F-2900 slide scanner. For this image I cleaned the negative in naphtha, very carefully placed it into the film holder, blew it off with canned air...then after scanning I went over it with a fine tooth comb to get rid of the flaws.

And this is the same picture scanned on my 1030. I just taped it on, scanned it and called it good; if I was going to do a "final" scan I'd oil mount it, but this is just a quickie. It's not even in all that great of focus.

For extra entertainment download both photos and look at the trees. They look like blobs on the top picture and they're really well defined on the bottom one.

Home Depot becomes exclusive distributor of Dinesh D'Souza's latest book

Why Holly Fisher pisses me off

You remember Holly. She's the cute but extremely right-wing asshole from West Virginia who posted the "conservative hat trick" picture of her wearing a "Pro Life" t-shirt and holding a Chick Fil A cup while standing in front of a closed Hobby Lobby store. And of course that wasn't good enough for her friends so she followed it up with the famous Suicide Bombing for Jesus pose.

These were supposed to make liberals' "heads explode." Whatever.

No, what's pissing me off about this little ditz is she self-identifies as the "wife of a combat veteran." The Troops call this "wearing your husband's rank" and we fucking HATE IT!

My new scanner arrives Tuesday!

I really like shooting on color film. Printing it is the problem in today's marketplace. Prints from negatives in sizes over 8x10 are almost a thing of the past and paper for printing slides no longer exists. Black and white shooters have it almost as bad; b&w paper is expensive as hell and all the brands that still exist are the same ones you could get at any communist camera store.

The New Modern Way to photograph on film is "hybrid" - shoot on film, scan it and print it on a big inkjet like an Epson 3880. This has a worse problem: every scanner made in the last five years sucks worse than the Republican Party. They figure everyone has gone to digital and just wants a scanner so they can look at their old pictures. That's fine if you did that, but when your "old pictures" were made in April 2014, you need something a little better. Something that was made when Film Was What We Had.

This is what I got.

The Dainippon Screen DT-S 1030AI scanner is a bit more involved than a flatbed. Kid yourself not: drum scanners are a grade-A pain in the ass to operate, but the images they generate make up for it. The metal device at the left end of the machine is the chuck. It connects to and rotates an acrylic "scanning cylinder" which has your original art taped to it, usually under a sheet of acetate with a mixture of naphtha and mineral spirits squirted in there to cover up the scratches in your film. (I'm not kidding. It's called oil mounting.) The tube-looking thing at the right end is the scan head. It moves back and forth. There's a halogen bulb in it to provide light - the Screen engineers either had a sense of humor or one of practicality; the "special $500 hand-selected bulb" I bought two of a year when I was running one of these at work is actually a 35-watt headlight bulb available for five bucks at any auto parts store, but with the Internet in its infancy then we didn't know it. The light travels through or reflects off your image, is picked up by a focusable lens (the knob on the scanning head is used to focus it, and through experience I can assure you it can be focused extremely well), and travels through fiber optic cable to the heart of the system: four photomultiplier tubes - one for red, one for green, one for blue and one for sharpening. Yes! You know how they tell you to always sharpen a scan? This thing does it for you. You can even choose the amount to apply, in five different levels - "soft" is more than plenty.

When you print inkjet, you set your images to 150 dpi. This machine will magnify 34 diameters at that resolution.

It is a machine that will make images that will cause grown men with $7000 digital SLRs to cry, and I only paid five hundred bucks for it. I already have my software downloaded and installed. Once the scanner arrives, it'll take a couple hours to calibrate it (you put a 21-step transparency wedge called a "Stouffer Scale" on the drum, scan it, read the color values at three specific points, and adjust the highlight, halftone and full tone levels until they match values the manufacturer gives you) and then I'll be in business.

Will Hobby Lobby be cutting its ties with the forced-abortion capital of the world?

It's not like the United States isn't covered up in empty big-box stores that could be turned into Cheap Christian Crap factories with all the money they're saving by no longer having to cover contraceptives for their employees.

Today's Safety Warning: Do not make hard candy when you're half asleep

I promised to make a batch of hard candy for one of my coworkers' boyfriends. I'm nice that way. On Friday, I finally got around to doing it.

The recipe I use is very simple: two cups sugar, 3/4 cup Karo (the house brands of corn syrup all contain HFCS; Karo does not.), bottle of candy-oil flavoring, little bit of gel food color. Put the Karo in a pot and heat it to boiling. Slowly add while stirring the sugar, stick in your thermometer, then stir until the sugar all dissolves. Then go the hell away until the temperature reaches 285 degrees. (The official recipe does two things different: it calls for 3/4 cup water, and it asks for a 310 degree final temperature. There are problems with that: if you use water the shit WILL boil ferociously when it hits 205 degrees, and will continue until 220 degrees. If you ignore it for even a second you will have sugar syrup all over the kitchen. Leave out the water and it won't do that. I go with the lower temp because at 300 degrees the sugar begins to caramelize. At 285 the final product is just as hard, but it's prettier because it hasn't started to turn brown yet.)

After you get it to temperature you pour it into molds, and here's the nastiness: I accidentally tipped the funnel I pour it with and got a stream of this shit on my hand. It will fuck you up. Make no mistake about that.

Moonie Times editorialist comes up with the "perfect" new name for the Redskins

You guessed it: He wants the team renamed the Reagans.


Isn't there something NON-political associated with Washington they could name the team after? I was thinking "cherry blossoms" once, but that sounds like something you'd name a Japanese baseball team.

Today's Public Service Announcement: How not to submit a photo to a newspaper

Let us say for the utility of saying that you have a photo on your digital camera that you need to submit to a newspaper.

The correct way to submit this photo: copy it to your computer, create an e-mail message, attach the photo to it and hit send. It takes about a minute, if your fingers don't go very fast.

The Incorrect way, that I have seen more times than I want to think about:

Step 1: Copy photo to computer.
Step 2: Open photo in Microsoft Paint or something else that will open digital camera files. For best results, crank the red WAY the fuck up.
Step 3: Print photo to your inkjet printer. It should be the cheapest-ass inkjet you can possibly come up with, and it comes out even better if half the nozzles aren't firing.
Step 4: Scan the inkjet print. (Right now imagine Sergeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes saying, "you vill stop laughink!" People DO this shit!)
Step 5: Attach the scan of the ugly inkjet photo to an e-mail message and send.

DU legal minds: Can the Rev. Terry Jones be charged with incitement?

Last Sunday, Army Delta Force operators captured one Ahmed Abu Khattala, who was wanted for his role in masterminding the Benghazi attack of 2012, and delivered him to interrogators.

Who extracted from him the revelation that he ran the attack as retaliation for an anti-Islam video.

The Rev. Terry Jones, operator of an extremist Christian church in Florida, was very heavily involved with pushing this video. What I would like to know: since the video was the catalyst for the attack, and Jones was involved with it, can he be charged with incitement, or another more serious offense?
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