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Archive for May, 2010

Necropolis Creep Site Update

by on May.30, 2010, under gallery updates, News, Projects, Recent Projects

Cactus with mountains

Concordia Cemetery's mountains in the distance

In May of 2011, I was on a business trip to El Paso when an acquaintance asked if I had seen this cemetery on my way into town. I had not seen it, and he proceeded to tell me how John Wesley Hardin was interred there and how the entire Cemetery looked run-down and forgotten – like the desert was trying, successfully, to reclaim the land – except for the Jewish section, which was lush and green and beautifully maintained. I simply had to see this for myself.

After finishing up for the day, I took some time off to rest, waiting for the sun to be low in the sky to achieve the effect I knew I wanted and headed out in search of this jewel of the Southwst.  My first impression of Concordia Cemetery was of the sheer scale of the site.  It is immense – and segregated into denominations / cultural boundaries, which I had never seen before.  I immediately located the map for Concordia and made a beeline for John Wesley Hardin’s resting place.  From there, I explored the grounds at random, taking advantage of the light as long as possible.  I was looking for the Jewish Section I had been told about and simply had no idea where it was until I realized the trees and bushes peeking up behind an enormous wall had to be my destination.  I made my way across the Cemetery and finally came to the wall.  Most of this massive boundary is well above my head, so I made my way towards the entrance, where the wall is lower and was astounded at the stark contrast between this section any other section of this historic site.  By contrast, the Jewish Section looks like the Garden of Eden dropped into the heart of the desert.

Another striking feature of Concordia is the use of vibrant blues and pinks on headstones and monuments. It appears to be painted onto a conventional tombstone for effect and can be found in abundance here.

Some of the fascniating residents of Concordia Cemetery:

  • John Wesley Hardin
  • Buffalo Soldiers
  • Mexican Revolutionary Figures
  • Chinese Section
  • Jewish Section
  • Catholic Section
  • Mormon Section
  • Masonic Section
  • Masonic Veterans Monument
  • Jesuit Priests Section
  • Grand Army Republic Veterans
  • Oddvellows Section
  • Infant Nursery (victims of the Influenza epidemic (1917-18)

You can find the full gallery along with dozens of other at NecropolisCreep.net

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A Faster CF Card Reader Awaits…

by on May.20, 2010, under Recommendations

You’d thing most memory card readers would be created equal, wouldn’t you? A couple of days ago I was transferring images from a CF (Compact Flash) card to my main Mac Pro workstation and it took over 2 hours to transfer 200-ish images.

(These are some very large files coming out of either of my newest Canon cameras, but TWO HOURS?!?!?!)

That got me to doing some research.

And yesterday the nice UPS man delivered my new card readers.

My shiny new Firewire reader accomplished the same transfer in under a minute. This only works if you have a Mac. Windows throttles back the Firewire top speed to something pathetic.

But if you are one of the bright souls with an Apple computer and you, too have a “need for speed”…


Click on the link below if you find yourself in the same situation:

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New Web Design Complete

by on May.11, 2010, under gallery updates, News

Well, it’s been a few weeks of grief (I hate web design – and I’m not all that good at it) but it had to be done and, FINALLY, the site is up and complete.  Then I found out the blog had a lot of links that wend Kaflooey (that’s the technical term) when the old gallery pages were deleted…

Drat.

So I think most (hopefully all) are fixed and some blog entries updated with new links and tags.  So if you find something that doesn’t go where you think it should, please let me know so I can fix it.

I’ve gone for a much cleaner, streamlined website design.  No longer do I have hundreds of galleries with tens of thousands of images (I really built the old site as a storage location for my work).  Now it’s pared down to just 8 subjects with 12 images to choose from.  After you select a thumbnail in a gallery, you will be taken to a slideshow gallery.  The average gallery contains around 50 images and you can scroll through them by clicking the right or left arrows.  You can also click the Up arrow and see the entire gallery in a light table type display.

I hope you find the new site more friendly and enjoyable.

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Meet Our Newest Houseguest

by on May.09, 2010, under News

<05/19/2010: update to original post>

The little guy featured below, along with his mom, has taken up residence in our yard.  I hear him peeping and whistling regularly – and see him hopping around the yard with his mom supervising while foraging for food.  He’s about 4 times the size he was when I took this photo and seems healthy and happy.

<end of update>

It’s not every day you get to see a baby Mockingbird up close and personal, but Mother’s Day is not like every other day, apparently in more ways than I thought.

After everyone had left for the day, I notice something unusual right where my daughter’s Smart Car had just been only moments ago. It’s mostly the same color as the concrete driveway it’s sitting on, but so small I’m not sure what I’m seeing at first. As I move closer, I find we have a baby Mockingbird parked in the middle of our driveway and his (I’m assuming by the attitude it’s a HE) mother is fluttering around our roofline in a very agitated state and whistling up a storm at me. Our little guest isn’t moving a muscle. (“Go away! Nothing to see here. No baby birds on this driveway. Keep moving.”)

So I hustle inside for my camera and rush back out to capture the moment.  Amazingly, the little guy is right where I left him and doing his best to stare me down.  About 15 or 20 exposures later, he still isn’t moving, which leads me to believe he may be injured, as opposed to just separated from his nest and unable to return under his own power.

After putting my camera away and updating my wife on my discovery, I head back out to check on the little guy and he’s nowhere to be found.  I look everywhere in the general vicinity, assuming he can’t be too far away when I hear what sounds like a baby bird peeping and another bird responding.  Scanning the neighborhood I see our little refugee hopping along like mad on the other side of the street and darting across the intersection at the frantic urging of his mother, who’s trying successfully to lure him to the safety of the nearest tree.

So far, so good.  And here’s the little tyke in all his glory:

Baby Bird with Attitude

Baby Mockingbird

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Great Way to Keep Your Laptop (and your lap) Cool

by on May.06, 2010, under News, Recommendations

This is, very simply, an amazing product.
What is? You may ask.
Good point. The ThermaPAK Laptop Cooling Heatshift Pad is what I’m referring to.
This 1/2″ thick black cordura pad is made from a remarkable crystalline chemical compound that wicks heat away from any surface it comes in contact with. Set your laptop on it and it cools your laptop without draining your batteries, requiring cords or plugs, and makes no noise whatsoever, as it has no moving parts.

I bought it just to see how well it worked and I was immediately impressed when I took it out of the packaging and it was COOL TO THE TOUCH.

One of my computers is a 17″ MacBook Pro and it runs pretty hot. It’s uncomfortable to have on your lap for any length of time as a result. Well… In the immortal words of Jacques Couseau: “Not any more!” What a great product. These guys should make motorcycle seats. Seriously.

As we all (should) know, heat is the enemy of computers. You want your computer (especially laptops) to stay cool – not HOT. Heat buildup is frequently the cause of premature failures and loss of data. If you can keep your computer cooler, it will have a longer life – and so will your data.

I highly recommend this product. Check it out.

The 15 Inch Version:

The 16 Inch Version:

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