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Sunday, 30 May 2010


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Some excellent news, and I echo your feeling about Jillian's comment.

A colleague of mine runs a website. He suggested the web site analytics probably use the age + gender information you provided in the your contract with the ISP (internet service provider).

Of course, if some else is using your internet account when reading TOP then the age + gender information may be incorrect.

Indeed, a very nice comment from Jillian.

Interestingly I dug out the tripod (second one I bought) for the first time in a while at the weekend, with a prime lens, and took this photo.

Just to let you know that I enjoy your comments, stories and off-topic items very much and don't take any notice of those who can't appreciate a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour; (they probably don't understand it). Keep up the good work. Regards, David.

Jillian's comment hit a very tender spot in my heart, especially being a father of a 2 year old boy. My prayers go out to Jillian, her toddler, and her late husband.


Presumably the 'feminist' theme to the sci-fi convention was intended by its organizers to dent the otherwise inevitable middle-aged, white, male demographic?

Dear James,

An entirely plausible hypothesis, but not correct. SF fans are predominantly middle-class (not middle-aged, as it happens), white males, but this convention was started, predominantly by women, 35 years ago to be just what it's billed as. It's probably the only SF convention where a majority of the attendees are women and there are substantial (though hugely in the minority) numbers of non-caucasians.

If any readers care, the convention URL is http://wiscon.info/

(come to think of it, that's the URL even if no reader cares).

pax / Ctein

Best wishes to Jillian (and her toddler).

And again, many thanks to Mike, not only for establishing such a nice site for us to share knowledge about photography, but for providing a good way to share our deep feeling. Thanks, Mike!

Do tell, what does a "vocal artist" do?

Mike, TOP is the first I check every morning. Your George story is the one I keep reminding my son (he just got into photography.

Brilliant post...

"I've been called some names by people"...

Mike, that's what you get for having a popular blog where you dare to write what you think, appreciate (or not), like (or not), share your perspective on life, photography and music related topics, give useful pointers, links and observations, spend thousands of hours a year doing that, and even invite guest writers, some of them going as far as offering more information from their own tests and research? How dare you offering all that for free and on your own blog?
(Ooops! I hope I don't also get some abuse for trying my poor sense of humor/humour on your blog...)

Mike, thanks for pointing to Jillian's comment on the George post, I would have missed that. It is really touching, and I would love to see some of her pictures. Maybe others too.

Reminds me that I often miss a feature on TOP like "recent comments" as known from wordpress. Even better would be a box linking to "Mike's selection" or so. Because as it is now, older posts and especially their late comments suffer from digital obsolescence.

One more thing: do you really use tripods? I thought you are a handheld-kind-of-shooter.

Did you go to Himal Chuli or Chautara? Himal Chuli is my favorite restraurant in Madison. Chautara's got similar food, but is fancier and more expensive.

Hi Chris,
Himal Chuli. It was very good, and if I lived in Madison I'd go again.

One oddity--they wouldn't take a credit card; checks or cash only! I left a check on the table and we walked out. Now THAT'S unusual.


Chautara is or at least was run by the son of the woman who ran Himal Chuli. Himal Chuli was the first place I thought of when I read this post, and it was one of the restaurants we ate at last year when I visited Madison for the first time since moving to Toronto.

Dear Chris and Mike,

The next evening we went to Chautara. Only one data point for each, so it's hardly fair, but all five of us at the table thought that the kitchen at Himal Chuli was better (readers should understand that both are very good).

Based on this inadequate sampling, I'd not choose Chautara over Himal Chuli unless I needed to accomodate a larger party. Both recommended, though.

Side note: where I come from, we'd just call this a "Nepalese" restaurant. I don't know if "Himalayan" is a real gastronomic variant, or if they just call it that in case there are people who think, "Nepal? Where the hell is THAT?!"

pax / Ctein

Mike, it's a bit of an oddity, but there are a few places in Madison like that. The largest grocery store, Woodman's, does not take credit cards, and neither does my favorite coffee joint. I'm guessing it's because the fees are higher, but does it cost more business than it's worth? Who knows. However, the food and atmosphere is wonderful, so I'll continue to eat there. Also, there's an ATM right across the street.

Ctein - I'm not really sure. Perhaps it has more influence from non-Nepal yet Himalayan areas? I'll need a map for this.

@ Mike

If I'm going to spend $28,999 on a lens I don't want any of that third-party junk ... only real Canon lenses for me!

(I'm kidding. I don't have $28,999, wouldn't spend it on a lens, and have nothing against Sigma or other third-party lenses.

I would prefer it to be some color other than that ugly green though....)

Oh, and for your demographic interest, I'm 22, male, and in the process of getting an undergraduate degree. I've been seriously interested in photography since I was 10.

@ Sven W.

//He suggested the web site analytics probably use the age + gender information you provided in the your contract with the ISP (internet service provider).//

Well, in that case, I'm 54, male, and do have a postgraduate degree, since the connection I'm using right now is "owned" by my dad....

(Maybe that makes advertisers think I'm a better prospect than I am, which would be OK. But while my dad has a lot more money to spend on camera equipment than I do, I'm more likely to spend money on it, so who is the better prospect, anyway?)

Man, I miss Madison, and I miss Himal Chuli.

Smokey's, Madison's best steak house, is a cash-only establishment as well.

Cash only doesn't surprise me as much as the fact that they take checks too. Most restaurants won't touch checks, for the simple reason that hunger will motivate even otherwise honest people to write bad checks.

Heck, credit cards were originally INVENTED for restaurants. The first modern credit card, the Diners Club card, was invented in 1950 by Frank X. McNamara after he forgot his wallet when he went out to dinner with friends.


If I've forgotten my wallet, I won't have my credit cards with me either, though; that origin story, despite being canonical, makes no sense.

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