nathanjw: (Default)

(from trying out this recipe.)

What did you have for breakfast?
nathanjw: (Default)
1. Stop talking about politics for a moment or two.
2. Post a reasonably-sized picture in your LJ, NOT under a cut tag, of something pleasant, such as an adorable kitten, or a fluffy white cloud, or a bottle of booze. Something that has NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICS.
3. Include these instructions, and share the love.

Adorable kitty it is!

(via [ profile] coraline)
nathanjw: (Default)
I was going to write up something about this weekend, but I think I'll just put up this picture instead.
Apple and smiles )
nathanjw: (Default)
Impromptu self-portrait meme

1. Take a picture of yourself right now.
2. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
3. Post that picture with NO editing.
4. Post these instructions with your picture.

cut )

Everyone is mentioning how or whether they "cheated" the rules somehow. I took a second picture with a different camera after realizing that holding a 50mm lens at arm's length wasn't going to work very well.
nathanjw: (Default)
We've just adopted a pair of cats that a friend had to give up.
Meet Herbie and Miles )
nathanjw: (photo)
I've continued to stew over getting a new camera, as I discussed a while ago. Today, the consumer-electronics world once again delivers the benefits of waiting, when the latest camera in Canon's Digital Rebel line was announced: the XSi (aka 450D) (see Gizmodo and DPreview). It looks very nice. Of course, if I actually wanted to buy it, I'll have to wait until April.

+ 12MP
+ Live view, 40D style (and then some)
+ 3" LCD
+ Bigger viewfinder
+ Kit lens is now an IS lens
+ Spot metering
+ Bigger battery
? SD/SDHC card instead of CF

Other than that last item, on which I'm agnostic-to-slightly-disappointed, what's not to like?
nathanjw: (Default)
I went to see Susie Bright tonight at Brookline Booksmith, on tour for the 2008 edition of Best American Erotica - she's been the editor for the entire 15 years of the series. It's part new stuff, part best-of reprise, and a couple of other additions, like some author statements about the best-of ones, which are pretty good in their own right. She read a bit from her introduction, one of the author statements, and parts of two stories.

However, this is the end of the road for BAE, due to some publishing-industry inside baseball. It may be revisited some day, by a different editor and maybe a different publisher, but the series as we've known is has ended. This is kind of sad, but it's had a good run. Susie is very excited about internet-related stuff, and wants to do more online projects with other authors, but concedes that how to get paid for these things is still kind of a problem.

As usual, I got my picture taken, and then when I got home I got a picture of the set that I have. I thought I had all of them, but it seems that 2007 slipped past me.

In which there is cleavage and books )
nathanjw: (photo)
I'm thinking about buying myself a new camera. My current camera is OK (Canon S230), but I think I'd like to move into SLR territory. I know that some of you have done this or researched it, so I'd appreciate some thoughts on the various issues of kitting up.

The biggest question is brand and body. As a SLR newbie, I'm not even in a good position to lust after the more "professional" cameras, or really to have a good sense of the advantages they confer, so I'm definitely thinking of the more amateur/consumer/entry-level models. The Canon Digital Rebel line seems to be the most common among people I know, and I'm certainly familiar with and reasonably happy with their pocket cameras. The obvious thing to do, then, would be to pick up the XTi and be done with it. However, I know that there's the whole rest of the world out there. Are there particular reasons to look - or thoroughly ignore - the lines from Nikon, Pentax, Panasonic, Sony, or others? Recommendations for specific models or lines there would help, since I don't know as much about them (the Nikon D40X seems like the immediate competitor). I don't currently have any lenses, and I'm not aware of a secret stash of great old lenses I'm about to inherit or something.

Next is the lens question. DSLRs all seem to have the option of coming with a stock zoom lens (18-50mm or so) or without it, and I've seen arguments (like this one) that the zoom lens isn't great and a prime lens is better, both in terms of the pictures that result and developing photographic skill. At least in the Canon universe, there's a 50mm f/1.8 that is about the same cost as the stock zoom lens (though reportedly quite fragile), so that's an interesting possibility. Any thoughts on which way is good to go, or if they're cheap enough that one should have both a vanilla zoom and a cheap prime lens? (Also, I'm a bit on how the third-party lens ecosystem works these days - notes about how that affects brand would be helpful). Are there any other "seriously consider this for starting out" lenses, or should I just wait and see?

Flash - I know the least about this area, except that having a "real flash" is supposed to be a serious advantage, but I don't know what the spectrum is like, or what I should be looking for. Any advice here would be helpful. I assume the world has changed enough that the old Focal DA-2000 flash that goes with my old film camera isn't relevant to anything.

Other kit - any other critical accessories I don't know about or don't know the importance of? A spare battery seems key. Lens filters? Hoods? Tripod widgets? (I'm sure the limitations of my current crappy tripod will become quickly apparent if I actually have a reason to use it)

And finally, the reality check. Should I bother? Should I not get into another set of expensive toys of limited utility? This is really a question for the other DSLR owners - has it been worth it, particularly if you haven't set out to Do Photography?
nathanjw: (Default)
I went to see William Gibson at the Coolidge Corner Theater tonight. He read from Spook Country, answered a few questions, and signed books. The general theme of the Q&A was about the future, and the way that he found himself writing about roughly the same point in time as he imagined when he started - the early 21st century - but how it was different to write about it as it occurred and as the truth out-weirded the fiction.

The book's pretty good; I'm about halfway through it (having picked it up a week ago, not tonight).

The long-neglected photo with the author )
nathanjw: (zoom)
From a picture taken by [ profile] alphacygni. I got the matching picture of her, of course.
nathanjw: (kiddie)
Several more pictures I picked up over Christmas and scanned in. These are from late high school, and chronicle some poofier stages in The Hair.
Three 800x600 or so images )

Go, Sam!

Jan. 12th, 2007 05:35 pm
nathanjw: (Default)
Photos of my brother and the Emergency Communities project he works at in Buras, Louisiana.

(photos courtesy of my dad, who just returned from visiting there)
nathanjw: (Default)
Last fall I took a blacksmithing class. After a period of some lameness, I took some pictures of what I made:

(full set on flickr)

Everyone in the class made about the same things - two S-hooks, a fork, and a spatula. We had some design freedom in the shape of the business ends of the fork and spatula, and the design and twists on the end of the handles.


Feb. 4th, 2006 09:20 pm
nathanjw: (Default)
When rolled up burrito-style, raw chicken does not stick to itself nearly as well as a steamed tortilla.

But it worked out OK in the end )
nathanjw: (beer)
I've finally finished making my kegerator system able to handle two (corny) kegs at once. The last bit of the job was drilling a hole in the back of the fridge to run the gas line, so that the CO2 tank can sit outside the fridge; it went quite well and with a couple of rubber grommets it almost looks like it's supposed to have a red rubber hose sticking out of it. The two-way gas valve was a little bit of a hack, but Home Depot and teflon tape served me well.

More pictures here

On the left is a robust porter; kind of like Anchor Porter but a bit sweeter.
On the right is an English bitter. It's nice, although it has a doughy aftertaste I'd rather not have. It's supposed to be a clone of Bluebird Bitter.


nathanjw: (Default)
Nathan Williams

May 2017

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