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Sunday, 14 February 2016


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It's been a chilly and wet month in Provence...ranging in at 17 degrees Celsius or about 58-59 here Mike.
The big reason I moved from Philly was the weather. So have at it...without me and mine.

Mi dos pesos

From my all-time preferred book (although in part due to the wonderful Italian translation)... "Many human beings say that they enjoy the winter, but what they really enjoy is feeling proof against it. For them there is no winter food problem. They have fires and warm clothes. The winter cannot hurt them and therefore increases their sense of cleverness and security. For birds and animals, as for poor men, winter is another matter." --- Watership Down, Richard Adams. (I enjoy winter too. Well, I enjoy variety, really),

I will not click on the link to your hat. Since your original post when I went to look at what kind of hats you were talking about, it has taken until just recently to get the hat adverts off my browser pages. There were some geeky looking hats and my lovely wife wondered what I was thinking...

[You can stop that, you know. Just disable cookies in your browser preferences. Google it if you need help. --Mike]

I've noted this once before, and I'll note it again: Billiards is about geometry, physics, developing spatial imaging skills, game theory, art, recreation, and psychology. The game sharpens hand-to-eye coordination, concentration, and heightens awareness of one's mind and body. It's engaging and fun. Why billiards isn't taught for high school credit or required to earn a bachelor's degree is a mystery?

[Yes, cue sports are the loveliest of games. Snooker is wonderful. The applied physics is fascinating.

Unfortunately there's no money in the game, anywhere, and the nosedive the game's reputation took during the Great Depression has been insuperable.

However the author of that book I linked, Mark Wilson, teaches a pool program at Lindenwood University, a large (17k students) liberal arts college in Missouri. I believe Lindenwood and the University of Akron in Ohio are the only two colleges in the U.S. to offer scholarships for cue sports. --Mike]

I can't believe I forgot to wish DDD a VERY happy birthday. Unlike many war photographers he was (and is) a complete gentleman and not at all the prima dona that many were (names not mentioned).
His work was (yes) sharp and filled with pathos and, if one can say this, beautiful imagery.
I spent hours looking at his work in Life Magazine, as a kid and am certain he had a lasting effect on my work.

Mi dos pesos!

Wow; I would have guessed pool tables to be one of the things where shipping cost to the final location was a major part of the price for most purchases, and hence that there'd be more local production. Shows what I know!

"Watch cap" style devices slide up my head and uncover my ears; very not good.

David Douglas Duncan's work with Picasso is also a fascinating bit of photo reportage...

You'd be better off with these socks: http://www.amazon.com/River-Extra-Heavyeight-Blend-Outdoorsox-Mid-Calf/dp/B0184LAKL0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455473772&sr=8-2&keywords=fox+river+socks+outdoorsox

And I am affiliated. But I know warm socks...

Wait, Mike, you were a CompuServe guy? I was sysop of the MacUser forum in the ZDNet area in the early and mid-90s! You must have hung out in the photography forums -- I was strictly a Mac guy back then.

It's 9 degrees in NYC right now, but no wind, so completely doable. I'd head out if I didn't have this damned head cold.

[Yeah I think I started in '93, representing "Camera & Darkroom" magazine with a flagged account. Mike ("Wilma") Wilmer was the den mother. Hardworking mod, I might add. His job was a challenge and he did it well. --Mike]

Wait study billiards in school! The game room at South Florida was almost the destruction of my academic career. billiard, snooker, and standard pool tables all there. Thankfully I recovered but seldom play anymore.

Since politics have edged out war as American's topic-of-the-moment right now, I nominate "Self Portrait: U.S.A." as DDD's finest work. Duncan's photos and comments on the 1968 conventions are still timely 50 years later. Duncan met Nixon in the Pacific during the war and that early friendship gained access to the often reserved candidate, resulting in some compelling photos on the eve of his nomination.

$155 beanie...

I got a great deal (AU $780 / US $560) on a new GX8 3-4 months ago, and got the 25/1.7 on promotion with it - I was quite surprised when it turned up about a week after claiming it on the panasonic site. It seems to be an OK lens - you get what you pay for - but I already had the Voigtlander 25mm, so I doubt the Panasonic will see much use. I feel for those who missed out.


Warm and windproof and a fashion statement that will make wildlife refuge takeover idiots jealous.
I have two of these and they work great. One from Cabelas(they no longer have badger fur) and one from fur hat world above. Link is just for the photo, I don't work for them

Would love a real Russian Sable hat from the old KGB years but price is way too high.

Was one of the "lucky" ones who actually did get the Panasonic 25mm deal before they ran out.
It turns out the lens is *large* for a m43 lens -- even bigger than the Sigma 19mm -- and not noticeably sharper than the kit lens.
So at 99$ this was indeed a cheap lens, but for 249$ I'd keep saving up and get one of the Olys.

Happy Birthday, David Douglas Duncan!

It's a thrill to know that someone who photographed (and fought) at Bougainville and Okinawa just celebrated a major birthday.

As a footnote, John Morris, the renowned LIFE magazine picture editor who, as a junior editor, helped DDD get a job at LIFE after WWII is also with us, aged 99.

I remembered something I should have mentioned on your hat search page about a week and half late, so I'll stick it here: have you ever looked at a merino wool Buff? I'm sure you've seen the bright CoolMax Buffs at some outdoor store, but they make them in wool (and sedate colors) and they certainly meet your stuff-in-a-pocket requirement. The long tube looks too basic to do any good, but it'll perform half the functions of a scarf, but it can also be stretched up over your ears, your chin, or even into a faux balaclava.


I flew from Ottawa to Sydney over the weekend. Minus 27 C as I drove to one airport, plus 27 C as I left the other.

Just endured 4 days over 40C and it will be 39C tomorrow.

Hats? I find a 6 metre turband of voile fabric best for both hot and cold. About $14.

I'm part way through another free MOMA course, on modern art. If the photography course is as interesting it is well worth investing the time. There are sample videos if you want to get a flavour.

"only an idiot would set kids on a golf course, hand them a few clubs, and turn them loose and let them have at it on their own."

So you're calling my dad an idiot, huh? This is the same man who once went out one weekend and came home the proud owner of an A.E Schmidt pool table (well, once they built it for us). I also once went to soccer camp at Lindenwood University. (I grew up in St. Louis). Now pool camp, that would be cool.

Pool was fun but I got much better after buying an Ewa Mataya book on playing better. You are right, the grip and stroke being good and consistent were the most important parts. Once you own a pool table, you don't have to pay to play like you do with golf. Ala Mark Twain, I call golf, "A free walk made expensive."

We like Stormy Kromer hats here in the UP of Michigan. It was -24 Sunday morning in Marquette MI, and even colder in other parts of the UP.


Why is it called a watch hat?

[Google is your friend..."watch cap" is a Navy term for a close-fitting knit cap worn by sailors on watch in cold weather. --Mike]

Thank you for the update on the Panasonic lens. I got the cancel notice the other day and was extremely frustrated. I had no way to understand WHY this had happened and your posting helps with that. Now if only I could afford the Olympus alternative. Foo...

I too had my order cancelled after a long wait. At first my fury was directed at B&H but after reading about the details of the "scam" ... I understand B&H's position. As long as my wallet lives - I shall never buy another Panasonic product. The end. Amen.

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