Sunday, March 29, 2015

Saturday in Public Greens...

Yesterday I went with Bobbi up into Broad Ripple Village proper for lunch at Public Greens, which is the latest venture of the Patachou foodie empire...

Stepping through the door, we were greeted by a smiling hostess who explained the menu on the wall behind her and how to get yourself some of the tasty food on it. There are a few complete entrees, but the main feature of the menu is all those tasty things across the top, which are available at a rate of $6 one item, $9 for two or $12 for three. Bobbi and I both decided to go with the à la carte options.

You'd step up to the register and place your order...

...whereupon they'd cook the stuff that needed to be cooked and ladle out the stuff that was ready for ladling. Once your order was ready, they'd call your name and you'd carry your tray to your table.

I had fried artichoke hearts, seasoned with sea salt and cracked pepper; the pimento toast; and the best chicken tenders I have ever had in my life. They had a table full of grab-it-yourself condiments, including Local Folks hot sauce, and friendly staff would check up and make sure you were good on beverages.

It's right on the Monon Trail, and open seven days a week from 8:00AM. It looks like it's going to be a regular haunt of mine, since it's an easy fair-weather bicycle ride up the trail and has a magnificent deck.
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Automotif LXXIV...

1968 Dodge Dart 270 sedan. Looks to be someone's daily driver. Judging from the (relatively) moderate amount of rot in the sills and quarter panels, I'm betting it spent many years as a carefully garaged grannymobile.

There are few things harder to kill than an old Mopar Slant Six...


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Overheard in the Back Yard...

Getting ready to run some errands yesterday, I hadn't really been paying attention to the weather outside the windows at Roseholme Cottage. Bobbi preceded me out the back door as I gathered my stuff and checked light switches and whatnot. Following her out, I opened the door, stepped into the yard, and blurted...
Me: "Oh, you have got to be $#!++ing me!"
The air was full of snowflakes. Snow.

Seriously, Mother Nature, go home. You're drunk.
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Friday, March 27, 2015

The Perils of Obsolescence...

While out running errands with Bobbi today, I was finishing up a test roll in a Nikon N4004 body that was a gift from a friend. I was a little leery, because it felt like the back had a bit of "give" in the latch; you could feel it shift as the film would advance and so I had a cheap roll of Fujicolor 200 in it to see if there were any light leaks.

After I got home, I popped the back open and removed the film, and then let the back drop closed. As it shut, I heard something small click and clatter on the floor, and the door wouldn't latch. A quick look showed that tip of the little hook had sheared off the sprung latch on the body when the door had swung shut on it.

The N4004 was Nikon's entry-level SLR back in the late '80s and made extensive use of plastic parts; apparently the film door latch breaking was a not-unheard-of malady. Once upon a time, you could have sent the camera back to Nikon to be repaired. Now, in the era of digital photography and twenty years after the N4004 had been discontinued, and when excellent condition N4004 bodies are $19 from KEH, it'd hardly be worth the shipping to see if it could be fixed.

Bummer.

I'll set it aside on a shelf for a rainy day project and move the lens over to my backup N6006 body, I guess.

Tactical Poser

So, after two years of wear, my original Royal Robbins gun burkhas are starting to show some of the tell-tale signs of use. Specifically, while a plastic Smith M&P isn't rough on synthetic blends in quite the same way that 20lpi checkering on a Springfield Professional abrades cotton chambray shirts, there's still a certain amount of wear and tear involved over the right kidney.

With summer coming up, I headed to Amazon to order a couple fresh shirts to throw in the mix, only to discover that the Royal Robbins Expedition was no longer available in the darker green "canopy" color that I liked, but only the brighter "avocado" that I don't think looks good on me at all. There's a Royal Robbins Expedition Stretch, but it's available in a color called "artichoke" that looks pretty much the same as "avocado".

This means that I had to head over to the 5.11 section and order a couple 5.11 Taclite Pro shirts in the "TDU green" color. Never mind that the Royal Robbins Expedition shirt and the 5.11 Taclite Pro shirt are the exact same shirt, for some reason it makes me feel like a total poser mall ninja to order the 5.11 product, because I am neither a "Pro" nor am I particularly "Tactical". This is the only way I know how to operate:

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Don't tell anyone...

...but I kinda want a gun in that silly .22TCM cartridge. Not badly enough to buy an RIA, though, which leaves me in something of a bind.

Does anyone make a Commander-length .22TCM barrel with a Para ramp, I wonder?
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They were right and I was wrong.

When I started getting back into photography and bought DSLRs to replace the hodgepodge of miscellaneous cameras I'd used for picture-taking, I stuck with a small P&S digicam over the advice of friends and commenters.

"Tam," they'd say, "It's got such a tiny sensor and the lens is kinda 'meh' on those cheap pocket point-and-shoots."

To which I'd invariably respond "But Megapixels! And 12x zoom! And bells'n'whistles! Look, built-in fish-eye effect!" And truly, by the numbers, that little Coolpix S6500 wasn't a bad camera, but... I'd get into pictures on the big screen and wind up disappointed all too often. Snapshots? Sure, it takes great snapshots.

There's a class of cameras, possibly not long for this world, exemplified by the Canon PowerShot G-series and the extremely similar Nikon Coolpix P-series, that Nikon described as "the perfect complement to an advanced photographer’s D-SLR" but was perhaps more realistically summed up in this group test at Digital Photography Review:
"It wasn't so long ago that DSLRs were out of financial reach for most enthusiast photographers. Back before DSLRs fell below the magic sub-$1000 mark, the only way for most people to 'go digital' was to invest in a high-quality compact, offering SLR-like control, but without the expensive extras - the large sensor and interchangeable lens mount.

These days, of course, DSLRs are far more attainable than they once were, making high-end compacts less of a 'next best thing' purchase than in the past, and more of a luxury. In fact, the high end compact sector is sometimes referred to as the 'luxury' compact market...
"
Now, half-a-grand high end compact cameras aren't really a thing that exists for me. Then again, neither are $1000 DSLRs. But thanks to the Bigger, Better, Faster, More! world of digital photography, the top-of-the-line 2010-model five-hundred buck "luxury compact camera" is available used for less than a quarter of that price today.

I picked up a used Nikon Coolpix P7000 from KEH for very reasonable money and, while it's not the cigarette-pack size of the little S6500, it's still only about the size of my cell phone in its rubber case. Not really shirt-pocket sized, more coat-pocket sized; it's still easy enough to dangle from a wrist strap or toss in the "document pocket" of my gun burkha.

And it's got the stuff I wanted in a camera: It'll shoot RAW, it has full manual control with neatly laid-out dials, there's an optical viewfinder for composing when it's too bright to use the screen (or for when I just want to use an optical viewfinder because it's what I'm used to) and it'll even shoot in monochrome with your choice of B&W filter effects...

And the pictures...



Speaking of Nikons... But this is a matter for another post.

Automotif LXXIII...


Jaguar XK convertible, seen parked up on 54th near College Avenue.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Automotif LXXII...

1987 or '88 BMW 535is spotted in Broad Ripple yesterday. Tasty...


See the guy in the third picture? See the camera in his hand? He's 'point shooting', playing street photographer like some hipster. (Not that I've ever tried such a thing...)

Contax TVS, Ilford XP2


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Spring!

After a gorgeous sunny Sunday at the range, I spent a shivering Monday doing some work: Chronographing three loads through a test gun and then five five-shot groups from each at 25 yards. The gun managed several groups in the 2.5"-3.25" range which, considering the kind of gun it is, kinda surprised me. The whole time, I was watching the skies darken to the northwest.
As I left, it was starting to sleet. By the time I got out to Premier Arms, it was steady rattle of tiny ice pellets mixed with snowflakes, like Mother Nature's middle finger on the first day of spring.
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Sign

Contax TVS, Ilford XP2

E + D

Last week we took advantage of Bobbi working the funky swing shift to go get lunch at Eat + Drink, the cocktail lounge adjacent to that SoBro brunch legend, Taste (and run by the same people), which is now open for lunch on weekdays.

Contax TVS, Ilford XP2
Looking north from the patio of Taste, E+D is next door, with the classic neon of the Red Key Tavern beyond.
I had fried pickles for an appetizer and a charcuterie plate for lunch. It came with pickles and pickled eggs. Bobbi had an appetizer of deviled eggs with wasabi tobiko roe on them ("Yo, dawg, I heard you like eggs, so I put eggs on your eggs") and for her meal...

...a delicious-looking calamari po boy. Everything I sampled was good, although the pickles were kinda "meh"; it takes a pretty tart and vinegary pickle to hold up to the whole battered-'n'-fried thing, and these just weren't. I wanna try that po boy, though; I filched some of the calamari and just looking at that picture reminds me of how good it was and makes me hungry.

Overheard in the Office...

RX: "It bothers me because the existence of a Gentoo penguin implies there was a Gen One penguin, and you never see them."

Me: "They were recalled for safety reasons."

RX: "They tended to explode?"

Me: "No, they were twelve feet tall with razor-edged beaks and cranky dispositions."

RX: "That explains why expeditions to the South Pole used to be so dangerous."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Didn't think about that, did ya?

Ah, the glamorous life of getting paid to shoot guns!

When it's 37 degrees outside and you're doing chrono work and trying to squeeze in enough time to shoot 25-yard benched groups, racing the looming clouds that are already starting to spit sleet, and the gun isn't a bad one, per se, but certainly not one you'd buy for yourself to shoot for fun...