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February 14, 2007

The North Tower

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CameraHolgaroid 120GF
LensHolga Glass 60mm f/8
Shutter @ Aperture1/100s @ f/8
Film / ISOPolaroid Type 84 / 100 ISO

This is a photo I took last summer of the Washburn Water Tower. The tower was built in the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis in 1932. The tower is ringed by 16-foot-tall ominous and sword-wielding soldiers standing sentry under huge concrete eagles. The tall statues are "guardians of health" and are supposed to guard the water from pollutants which were blamed for the occasional outbreaks of typhoid fever at the time. There's more info about the tower and its curious history here and another great photo here.

I live about six blocks South of the tower. It's very difficult to see from my house, even in the winter time when all of the leaves are gone from the trees. The geography of the land and the homes that surround the tower in Tangletown hide it from everyday view. I've often heard my fellow Minneapolitans exclaim, "where is that?" when we are descending into Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. The path of descent often takes you close enough to this tower to see the downwardly cast faces of the statues. It's a fantastic welcome.

I think it properly introduces people to our eccentricity and our humorously sullen outlook on life and weather. Cold, stony, and odd. This tower explains in perfect detail how we could elect someone like Jesse Ventura. When I get visitors, this is always one of the first places I take them.

In other news, I'm off to Utah today. I'll be on business there for the remainder of the week but I'm hoping to get some picture time in on the weekend. See you all soon! Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!

 

Posted by jordanh at 12:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack |

Main > Photoblog

February 12, 2007

Smile!

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CameraHolgaroid 120GF
LensHolga Glass 60mm f/8
Shutter @ Aperture1/100s @ f/8
Film / ISOPolaroid Type 84 / 100 ISO

EDIT: Tanja corrected my memory: I removed the adapter lens, I didn't turn it backwards...although that would be something to try :)

I'm continuing with the summer theme for a bit. Smile!

I was armed with the Holgaroid and taking a walk through the woods by my office with a colleague when I smelled something foul being carried by the hot, persistent summer breeze. I followed the stench upwind to a marshy area when I came upon this grin. I remembered some advice that Tanja-Tiziana from DoubleCrossed.ca had given me when I had bought my Holgaroid: remove the adapter lens and use the stock Holga body lens as a macro. I got in closer than I thought I need to and came away with this shot, which still looked wide: but at least it was in focus!

I love the way this shot turned out. It works perfectly for me!

 

Posted by jordanh at 1:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack |

Main > Diary > Development

February 7, 2007

Photoblog Archive Changed

The photoblog archive used to be this paginated lump of goo.

Now, it's a semi-slick dynamic HTML wonderland of thumbnails! Go give your eyes an eyeful.

Posted by jordanh at 12:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack |

Main > Photoblog

February 6, 2007

The Boys (and Girls) of Summer

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CameraPolaroid 101
Lens3 Element Glass
Shutter @ ApertureUnknown @ Unknown
ISO100

When it's minus 10 Fahrenheit and snow drifts pile up outside your door, you find yourself reaching back to try and find any memories that might convince you that summer actually is coming. Each memory is scrutinized for authenticity, examined and cross examined. Surely there are warmer days to come.

This photograph is one such memory. I've had this photograph sitting on my desk. These are the kids next door.

Sure they ripped off the window screens and broke into the house (for the cookies). Sure they pick the garden flowers. Sure the other neighbors eye them suspiciously when the ride by on the broken down, rusty bicycles. It doesn't matter: they are our neighbor kids and we love them. It wouldn't be the neighborhood without them.

They are the reason that we learn how to hang window screens. They propel us to think leafy colorful coleus instead of flowering clematis. They make us want to set good examples for when the ground thaws, school is out, and once again the boys and girls of summer go roaming the neighborhood.

 

Posted by jordanh at 9:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack |

Main > Photoblog

February 5, 2007

Under the Tangletown Bridge

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CameraMinolta 9
LensSigma 15mm f/3.5
Shutter @ Aperture1/250 @ f/5
ISO100

When my Minolta 7d failed and had to be sent in for service for the second time, I used the digital down-time to shoot more Polaroids and 35mm transparencies.

Walking around the neighborhood, this has always been one of my favorite spots. It's a mysterious urn-like object underneath the Tangletown bridge that spans over Minnehaha Creek linking north and southbound Nicolette Avenue.

The shot was taken with Fuji Velvia, scanned on my poopy HP scanner, desaturated, colored, and augmented with a grain field.

I've got the Minolta 7d back from the shop, but I haven't been out shooting seriously with it for awhile. Hopefully, that's about to change.

 

Posted by jordanh at 9:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack |

Main > Diary

On the Merits of Bud Light

I'm a food snob. I buy fancy French sea salt. I keep the skin on, the fat in, and turn up the heat. I'll eat it raw, I'll eat it if it stinks, I'll eat it if it's an organ. If I can't buy it, I'll make it myself.

Yesterday I found myself enjoying a Bud Light. I found the exact combination to make this possible: hot and crispy buffalo chicken wings, cool dressing, and the Superbowl.

I made chicken wings yesterday. They were great. Here's what I did:

Ingredients

2 dozen chicken wings
1 head's worth of garlic cloves, smashed
1/3 cup kosher salt
1 and 1 Tb. distilled white vinegar
1 big bottle Frank's hot sauce
4 Tb. butter
3 or 4 thai chilies, sliced

Procedure

Fill a large bowl with cold water and dissolve the salt. Add chicken and all garlic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Prepare deep vessel or fryer and heat oil or shortening to 375 °F. When oil is ready drain wings, pat dry with a paper towel and fry in batches 12-15 minutes.

While chicken is frying, melt butter in sauce pan and combine hot sauce, remaining 1TB of vinegar, and chilies. Ensure heat is at low. When chicken is fried, drain on paper towels. Add chicken to sauce pan and, using tongs, coat each piece evenly. Remove finished pieces to serving bowl.

Serve with appropriate accoutrement: blue cheese dressing and celery.

During the summer, my friend John brought a case of Bud Light to a party we had at the house. I politely accepted (okay, I wasn't that polite: I may have said, "I hear this stuff is great for washing your hair!") and I stuck it in the fridge. There it sat until this Superbowl Sunday when I realized there wasn't any beer left in the house, the last of the home brew had disappeared just a few short weeks before. Reluctantly I reached for a few of the silver cans...

There must have been some sort of bizarre interaction between the hot sauce, chicken fat, and the light beer. The combination tasted great together. I was into the game. I felt pride in America. I wanted to buy a snow mobile.

Two Buds in and a dozen wings later the glory faded. I felt a little bloated and the Cubs started to get their soggy butts handed to them. I pretended the Bud was an imported Czech Pilsner, but it wasn't working. I felt fat and ashamed.

I perked up a bit when Prince played. I thought his performance was great! Prince may be the only Purple from Minnesota that ever gets to play at a Superbowl during my lifetime. It may also have been the only time anyone would ever catch me with a light beer in hand...

Posted by jordanh at 2:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack |

Main > Diary > Development

Enter AJAX

I AJAXified the comment system for the blog. It's about time to join the rest of 2007, I say.

Wrangling MT, my legacy templates, and all the spam prevention stuff I've got integrated proved me to completely mis-scope how long this would take. I figured I could have the whole thing done in an evening, but it turned into about three nights of work on and off the past couple of weeks. Bleh.

I pulled the basic ideas from BrettDeWoody's MT AJAX Comments, but modified the scripts and such to play nicely with the DOM structure I had already defined. A couple of AJAX spinners later and I was ready to roll. Even after the rough spots, working with prototype.js directly (outside the safety of Rails, per se) certainly does leave one with a sense of awe of the authors of http://script.aculo.us/.

Go ahead, comment away. I'll no doubt make some improvements to the system over the next little while but for now, my new primary drive will be to add some more content. It is time to pick up the camera again!

Posted by jordanh at 1:49 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack |