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I was so dissapointed in the series finale of the television show “Medium” this past week. I was really pissed.

And here’s why (spoiler warning!):

It was just plain sadistic.

Instead of giving us a good, well-thought out closure to the story the writer(s) decided to toy with our emotions for no apparent reason.

The show opens and Joe dies in an airplane crash. The whole episode is dedicated to Allison finding more and more evidence Joe actually survived and is living with amnesia in Mexico.

Then we get all the way to the end, Allison finds Joe … yay! Oh wait, no that was all the dream. Joe really did die. We get to see Allison’s heart breaking while ghost-Joe stands in the shadows. Then it jumps 40 years into the future and we get to see Allison die of old age and reunite with Joe in the afterlife.

I suppose the jump to old-Allison was supposed to be some sort of pacifier but it didn’t work. It was a shoddy, crappy ending which took someone all of 10 minutes to write.

The show, actors, audience and story all deserved better.


Orange blob orgasms

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I mean come on! Look at its hips! It’s totally having an orgasm over this phone!


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I write a lot about how little money we live on. But it occurred to me the other day I have never really touched on the subject of welfare, and I began to wonder how many folks think we’re only able to live this way because we rely on it.

So I wanted to make this unequivocal statement:

Noel and I do not take any form of welfare whatsoever.

It’s not that we are too proud to ask for assistance, or that we think getting help when you need it is wrong. We’ve asked for and gotten help in the past (though never from the government).

The government programs are broken, there are too many abuses of the system. I’ve seen too many folks using their EBT cards to buy food, then immediately turning around to purchase expensive clothing, booze or cigarettes with cash.

It has long been our goal to learn to live well on very little income, but one of the primary requirements in that journey has been to do it on our own two feet. And — thank God — we are.

My love/hate relationship with color

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Sometimes I just really can’t stand my color work. Then other times I like it.

I’ve been working on some recent color films. Things like these shots just wouldn’t be the same in black and white I think.

MKT Mural

Civil War Mural

24 exposures

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Thirty-five millimeter film commonly comes in rolls of 12, 24 or 36 exposures.

The “professional” thing is to use rolls containing 36 frames. For me however they are really a pain in the butt. I’ve been shooting the 24 exposure rolls for a while now simply because they’re available locally. But I’ve really come to prefer them, and here’s why.

Negative pages for 36 exposure rolls which are made to fit in regular binders don’t hold the entire roll. You end up either throwing away a couple frames, or double sleeving (usually scratching them in the process). They do make pages which will hold the entire roll, but they are oversized and require specially-sized binders.

I recently found that PrintFile makes negative pages which hold seven strips of four frames each, which is an entire 24 frame roll of film. And they fit into a standard binder.

Secondly, since finding the pages holding strips of four frames I simply allow the labs to cut and sleeve the negatives in their normal manner. Many times I’ve asked a lab not to cut the negatives (so I could cut them in six frame strips later) only to pick up my film scratched all to hell because of poor handling.

I’ve had labs stuff the uncut film into one of their photo envelopes. I’ve found my film tightly rolled up inside a film can. I’ve found my film wound up with a rubber band around it. Fixing scratches on my negs rates very high on my “un-fun” list.

Letting the lab to cut it in their usual four-frames-per-strip minimizes confusion and the chance the film will be damaged.

Pentax ZX-M

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Pentax ZX-M sporting the M 135mm f/3.5 lens

I’ve long joked that the greatest thing about digital photography is that it has pushed the price of old film gear way low. And it’s true, the Pentax PZ-1p I paid $700 for 10 years ago, can now be had in excellent condition for around $100.

Another case in point is this camera. A fellow PDML member found a lens he wanted to buy which came with this camera. The price was low enough he bought the entire package then asked the list “who wants this camera?” He got the lens he wanted and I got a neat older camera in perfect working order for the price of shipping.

While the other camera companies were adding buttons and dials like there was no tomorrow, Pentax simplified this system giving it a very retro look. I think the idea was outstanding, but I don’t think it ever really caught on. Most folks seem to like their bells and whistles, even when those bells and whistles detract from the actual experience of photography. Oh well.

Anyway, the ZX-M was the lowest model of this line. No autofocus. Center-weighted meter only. Mostly plastic body. It was aimed at the beginner/student photographer. It does offer autoexposure modes.

I’ve been shooting with it a bit and it seems like a decent enough camera, especially when you consider how much I paid for it. The viewfinder strikes me as not being as nice as my Program Plus, but that may just be a matter of acclimation. I haven’t sent in any of the film yet so I’ll have to wait for a final verdict.

In regards to my joke about digital photography things appear to be changing though. Prices for old film gear (especially lenses) have been on the rise the last several months. I think this is for several reasons.

First of all, a lot of folks who jumped on the digital bandwagon right off are now switching back to film for some or all of their work. Second, lots of younger folks who grew up in the digital era are discovering the joys of working analog.

And thirdly (and maybe most importantly), some enterprising manufacturer saw all those old, classic, vintage lenses being sold for nothing and invented adapters allowing you to mount just about any lens you find on any interchangeable lens digital camera. Damn it anyway.

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