Tuesday, June 27, 2006

AOL - Cancel The Account

This is very, long-winded. It is both aggravating and humorous, if you can bear to sit through it. I have experienced similar dealings in the past, with other businesses, so I feel this guys pain.

AOL - Cancel. The. Account.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Photo Friday - Health

Well, I was somewhat reluctant to put this up but, here it is. My first shot using the new flashmeter and only my second attempt with the new monolight. Man, do I have a lot to learn. Nonetheless, after grabbing these pills on a whim (needing some subject to test my equipment on), I then discovered Photo Friday's theme was Health. Boldly (or perhaps foolishly) I thought this was more than coincidence. So, it turns out, my first shot with a meter will, also, be my first submission to Photo Friday. Gotta get my fun somewhere.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Conservative or liberal - Republican or democrat?

After reviewing the excellent writing, "Are you Conservative or Liberal?" at the Anderson Nation site, I decided to post another version of democrat/republican testing. It seems to me that, generally speaking, democrat equals liberal and Republican equals Conservative. If you are unsure of which category you fall into please read the excellent article in the link above. If, after reading the great article at AndersonNation you are still confused, come back here and read below. Perhaps this post will clarify things a little more clearly, for some.

Are you a democrat, Republican or Southern Republican?
Here is a little test that will help you decide.

The answer can be found in the following scenario -
You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock .40 cal, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.
What do you do?

democrat's Answer:
Well, that's not enough information to answer the question!
Does the man look poor! Or oppressed?
Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack?
Could we run away?
What does my wife think?
What about the kids?
Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation?
Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?
Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me?
Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me?
If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me?
Should I call 9-1-1?
Why is this street so deserted?
We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.
Republican's Answer:

Southern Republican's Answer:
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click.....(sounds of reloading).
Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silver Tips or Hollow Points?"

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Twenty

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

After making twice-weekly visits to this local establishment for years, this off-duty Sandstone County Sheriff's Deputy (we will not list any names here) was caught by surprise. He had always come under the cloak of darkness in the past but, this daytime variation to his routine has created somewhat of a fuss. He shall be incognito nevermore! Truly, he was unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the right time. Can anyone say 'smile'?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Nineteen

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

Sandstone County Officer trying to process a drunk driver.

Sekonic L-308S Flashmate arrives

After receiving my Alien Bee monolights I discovered the lack of an external light meter was really going to be annoying. So, I put off using my 'Bees' any further and started researching light meters. After checking out several reviews and surveying my needs I decided on the Sekonic L-308s. It seemed to be exactly what I needed and the reviews for it were great.

I then purchased the meter online from OneCall (see sidebar). They had a fantastic price and their reputation was good. My meter arrived on my doorstep yesterday. OneCall promised my order would arrive in three (3) days. I was pleasantly surprised when it was at my door in two (2) days. Usually, I'm waiting for late packages. Kudos to OneCall for their excellent service.

I can't wait to put my monolight through it's paces in conjunction with this new meter. Sadly, work prohibits me from doing this right away but, come Sunday things are going to happen. Perhaps after the weekend I will post some shots with this new equipment. Don't expect them to be artistic in nature, as initially the work will be experimental. I'm sure I have to learn the nuances of these new pieces of equipment. I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Eighteen

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

Rumor has it that county resident Dirk Baggs has selected a new mural to go on the side of his barn. It should be completed by mid-summer.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Seventeen

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

Sandstone County residents, also, show great respect for one another.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Sixteen

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

This billboard can be found in rural Sandstone County. You know the residents of really care about their community.
In fact one deputy elected to give this juvenile a courteous ride home rather than bust him on a very, obvious shoplifting charge. No one can, ever again, claim these deputies are heartless and this should go a long way in instilling the much needed respect from the counties citizenry. These pleasant Sandstone officials can be very forgiving or - perhaps they just don't want to do the paperwork.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Sir Paul

It is rumored that 40 years ago Paul wrote the song "When I'm 64" as a tribute to his father. He wrote it as a teenager but, it wasn't recorded until 1967 and is found on the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. However, McCartney, who turns 64 today, has had quite a different life than the one he wrote about in the song. He is a billionaire and a knight of the British Empire.
Happy birthday Sir Paul.
And while we are celebrating - Happy Father's Day to all you fathers.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Fifteen

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by

Spotted in Sandstone yesterday.

Monday, June 12, 2006

First Shoot With The 'Bees'

I can't believe this! My Alien Bees arrived on the 26th of May and I still haven't been able to try them out. I've been itching to get at these babies for over two weeks now but, my life has been way too hectic lately. I purchased the 'Beginner Bee' package which consists of

1 - AlienBees B800 Monolight
1 - 10-foot General Purpose Stand
1 - AlienBees Carrying Bag and
1 - 48" Silver/White Umbrella

The monolights come in several colors. I chose Deep Space Black thinking there would be less problems with unwanted reflections.

Well, in spite of still having many other pressing things to do, I broke out the'Bees' for a much anticipated test run. I simply could wait no longer. In fact, I'm surprised I've held out this long no matter what my other obligations were.

Once I got my darn subject to sit still, I managed to take 93 snaps during this session. Below are some of the results of these efforts.

Taken at f/10 and 1/160 second with an ISO of 100.

f/11 and 1/160 second, also, ISO 100

I found out I've got a lot to learn here. So many variables to consider. Besides the usual camera controls there is the placement of the light, the direction of the light, umbrella or no umbrella, distance of umbrella from light, reflector usage, and on and on. This is with a simple one-light setup. Multiple lights would increase these variables tremendously. I've got so much to learn. Practicing, however, will be a joy.

I, also, found out that shooting with non-dedicated flash units almost demands the use of an external flashmeter. It's not impossible to work without one (I didn't have one for these shots here) but, it would simplify the process immensely. I think a meter would turn the whole process from being a nightmare to being a joy. I think I will investigate this further.

Now, I can't wait to retire my current model and get my grandchildren to pose. Oh no, talk about adding variables.

New Wiseguys Portal

I am currently working on a new portal for the Wiseguys Forum. Have patience as I work out the details of this new page. Unfortunately, you must log out and then log back in to see the changes. Hopefully, I will have this rectified soon. There are other areas I must address, also, such as the links setup. I will fix and improve these features as my schedule allows.

In the mean time, come and check us out. If you are a member who hasn't visited in a while come see the new changes. You should enjoy them. If you've never visited our forum why don't you stop in for a while. Who knows, if you have any interest at all in Organized Crime, you may want to become part of the Family.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blog Troubles

This Blog has been acting up the last couple of days. I don't even know if this post will work. Formatting has gone wild, too. Let's see what happens.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Fourteen

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by
Due to repeated public complaints and outcries from the local county residents, a new fitness training program will be instituted by next month, for the Sandstone County Sheriff's Department. It seems the citizens of the county have demanded an immediate solution to a long term problem.
Shown here working out in this photo, (photo taken earlier today) is Deputy Kent C. Underbelly. Deputy Underbelly was previously selected as an initial fitness program tester, when the secret trial program was instituted earlier this year. It's very obvious he has come a long, long way.
Resident Ima B. Itch is impressed. "Look at that", she said, "you can see plainly Officer Underbelly has already lost several, several pounds. He's got to be feeling better about himself."
"I do", said Kent, "I've lost 68 pounds already. It's tough but it's all worthwhile. I can look at myself in the mirror now and take pride in the fact that I'm the most fit member of the squad and my wife is elated, too. She loves that I'm now so fit and slender."
The usually inebriated and blowhard mayor of Sandstone, Richard N. Haand seems happy with the progress, also. "This will be good for the county and it will be good for the city of Sandstone," he said, "and I'm glad I could have some small part in the success of this, er, thing here. These are important times for the area. Tourism is an important part in today's, er, economy and this program should help our current tourism initiative. As we all know, our deputies have a terrible reputation for scaring off potential tourists. I feel that with this new fitness routine, with an, er, increased awareness of personal hygiene (new program probably forthcoming), with our previously mandated 401keg program and with a greater emphasis on proper attitudes to our guests and citizenry that ah, er, we should be well on our way to ah, er, establishing, ah, the new reputation we want to, ah . . , be known for. I want it known that I am very proud of some of our officers here and Deputy Underbelly is to be especially acknowledged for his efforts." He added, "We are so proud of his success that I am awarding him, not one but, two of my wife's famous apple pies. These are the very pies that have taken the blue ribbon for twenty-seven years running at the state fair. Eat them in good health Deputy Underbelly. And I know I speak for the sheriff ( the disgruntled sheriff previously locked himself in the Sandstone Bakery and was not available for comment) and all our city and county officials when I say we are pleased with the all the hard work and ah . . . dedication put forth by the many, ah, er, persons involved in this ah . . , thing here."
Not everyone is so upbeat, however. "I hate to say it," exclaimed Adam Ewe, "but we've all seen and heard this crap before. Things may seem fine today but, it won't last. Everyone knows the deputies in this county have rotten attitudes and no self-discipline." This angry sentiment seemed to be held by most of the counties irate citizens. Most claim it does not shed their county in good light when virtually all of the sheriff deputies are so overweight and unfit. One long time resident and leader of this sudden protest, Dirk Baggs stated, "something had to be done. It's just not fun anymore. Have you ever been chased by one of these officers? After a block or two you might as well sit down, finish your beer, and give them time to catch up."

The deputies themselves seem to have done a complete turnabout. Once initially furious at the new fitness campaign, they seem to have now embraced it. The common assumption of this newfound joyous, bliss seems to derive from the special announcement of their new program director. County officials, it seems, have made tremendous efforts to successfully negotiate a long-term contract with the infamous, exercise guru Richard Simmons. Simmons it is said, was ready for the next level and is looking forward "to working with these obnoxious, foul-smelling, obese deputies and stretching my abilities to the extreme in what may very well be my greatest challenge, EVER,"

Now that Simmons is onboard, it seems so are the personnel. It has, for example, been substantiated that Deputy Mark A. Hidrent immediately went to a big city mall and purchased a sequined, purple and yellow form-fitting bodysuit in anticipation of his personal workout with the fitness queen. Maybe this program will work out after all.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Thirteen

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

Deputy Hidrent waited outside a popular local bar, hoping for a bust. At closing time as everyone came out, he spotted his potential quarry. The deputy was elated because his upcoming victim was none other than Dirk Baggs. From the first day of his legal career Officer Hidrent swore he was going to "take down that worthless dirtbag." Looks like this will be the day.

Dirk was so obviously inebriated that he could barely walk. He stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, looking for his car. After trying his keys on five others, he finally found his own vehicle. He sat in the car a good ten minutes as the other patrons left. He turned his lights on, then off, wipers on then off. He started to pull forward into the grass, then stopped. Finally, when he was the last car, he pulled out onto the road and started to drive away.

Hidrent was waiting for this moment, with small quantities of spittle seeping from the corner of his mouth. Somewhat trembling, he turned on his siren, hit the lights and pulled the man over. He administered the Breathalyzer test, and to his great surprise the scum Baggs blew a 0.00! Hidrent was dumbfounded! "This equipment must be broken!" exclaimed Hidrent.

"I doubt it," said Baggs, "Tonight I'm the Designated Decoy!"

Yet another low-life, deadbeat Sandstone criminal, showing absolutely NO respect for the law!

Saturday, June 03, 2006


Yesterday, a fallen American hero was buried in Fargo, ND. Michael Hermanson was killed while proudly serving our country in Iraq. Mr. Hermanson's parents were presented with a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and other awards on behalf of their precious son. My gratitude and blessings go to Michael Hermanson and his family.

There was a problem at the funeral, however, that everyone should be aware of - MPR: A quiet standoff at Fargo soldier's funeral. It seems there is a hate group from Kansas who make it a point to visit funerals of these fallen patriots and protest them for their sins. This protest group from Kansas is The Westboro Baptist Church. The church claims the death of our American Soldiers is divine retribution from God for America's tolerance of homosexuality. I am not making this up, this group is really wacko! The banner on their web page states "God Hates Fags" - http://www.godhatesfags.com/main/index.html. Now, I will be blunt. No political correctness bullshit on this site. I am not a fan of these deviants, either. Not in any way whatsoever. This church, however, is carrying this much too far. Their web site is filled with material such as, "Here are your typical fag-ass American Soldiers". I hope you are getting mad. I am steaming. I do not like homosexuals but, to list our American Soldiers as typically 'fag-ass' bothers me to no end. Yes, they publish this garbage and a whole lot more vile stuff. To protest at a funeral is plainly disgusting, anyway. This is a pure example of low-life at it's finest.

All is not bad, though. Another group called The Patriot Guard Riders http://www.patriotguard.org/ showed up at the funeral, also. This honorable group of motorcycle riders make it a point to show up at these funerals (only when requested by the family) to be a buffer between the dirtbag protesters and those in mourning. I can not say enough good things about The Patriot Guard Riders. They make it clear that they themselves are not protesters. They are there simply to honor America's fallen heroes and, as stated earlier, to buffer the mourning family from improper intrusion. If ever you see this group or any member thereof you should shake their hands and thank them for the greatness that they do. I love these guys.

Below is what they have posted on their site. I do not post this to infringe on them in anyway and if any member of their group wants me to delete this from here I will do so immediately. I post this in honor of what they do and what they stand for. Thank You patriots.

Why Do We Ride?
PGR Member Laurel B. Dinsmore May 8, 2006
Why do we do this, you ask?
Why bother to stand out in wind and rain for someone unknown?
Why do we ride through torrents chilled to the bone?
The answer is simple: "Because, Never Again!"
Never again will they return home in shame,
Never again will wearing their uniform cause them pain.
Never again will we forget why they serve.
No, Never Again.
But still I hear you say "Why does it matter to you?"
"They aren't your friends,
your brothers, your sisters,
your father, your mother."
War is a sad time for many; it is sad but true.
So, why do you gather in the gap between their families and their foes?
The answer is simple: "Because, Never Again!"
Never again will grieving parents, families and friends alone bear mourning's toil.
Never again will hard-won freedom of speech be used to debase and destroy.
Never again will their sacrifice be dishonored upon their home soil.
No, Never Again.
Why do we gather, why do we ride?
Why travel this country far and wide?
We remember our grandfathers, fathers, brothers and others yet to come.
We stand proud through tears reflecting their courage and pride.
Because, Never Again.
That's why we ride.
Written in memory of:
Henry C. Barrows ~ Army, WWI (Great-Uncle)
Cecil A. Bray ~ Army paratrooper, WWII (Father)
In honor of:
Garrett C. Bray ~ Navy, Viet Nam (Brother)
Donald A. Dinsmore ~ Marines & Army (Husband)
All Patriot Guard Members
Laurel B. Dinsmore May 8, 2006

The effectiveness of this group is amazing. When the evil 'Westboro Baptist Church' found out that the heroic 'Patriot Guard Riders' were going to make an appearance at the funeral they quickly backed down. Only a handful of the 'evils' showed up. Over 150 Patriot Guard Riders made an appearance. You got to love it.

God bless Michael Hermanson and all his comrades. God bless all members of The Patriot Guard Riders. Don't forget - if ever given the honor of running into any of these individuals - thank them and let them know how much they are appreciated.

Today, the Kansas protesters plan to bring their signs to the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Robert Posivio in Welcome, Minnesota. I am sure the patriots will be their, also, to show their respects. Amen, brother. My gratitude and blessing to this family, also.

Sandstone County - Episode Twelve

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

The Sandstone County Sheriffs Department has officially released some details of their new investment plan. This plan was pre-viewed last week by the department employees and their reception to the plan was mild, at best. In order to relieve some of the apprehension shown by said employees we have been asked to publish the plan here and outline some of the advantages of this new investment strategy. If read carefully, everyone should now see the wisdom of scrapping the old investment stratagem and replacing it with this more modern (and probably more lucrative) approach to investing your monies.

New Investment Plan: If you bought $1000 of Nortel stock a year ago, it would now be worth $49. With Enron, you would have $16.50 left of the original $1,000. With WorldCom, you would have less than $5 left. Now, if you bought $1,000 worth of Coors Light (the beer, not the stock) over the past year, drank all the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling price, you would have $214. Based on these figures, the counties current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. Also, for the first week of the program the county will be matching all employee aluminum contributions one-for-one so get some heavy drinking in now, if you can. This is Sandstone Counties official new retirement program. Invest wisely.

If any county employees have further questions on the new 401Keg, they may call the HR Department during the normal business hours on Wednesday between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm (excluding the lunch hour). If we do not hear from you by this coming Monday we will assume active participation and immediately terminate your old retirement account.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Sandstone County - Episode Eleven

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

While traveling on Interstate 35 through Sandstone County I came up behind a semi pulling a flat bed trailer. The trailer was fully loaded with concrete cinder blocks wrapped in plastic. On the rearmost pallet someone had spray painted the message, "No baby on board, take your best shot." I thought it was pretty humorous so I'm sharing it here. I wish I could have gotten a picture.