Runcible Blog

a trend

From my "self portrait" assignment for class:

my dirty wall

I'm a tree hugger

parallel parking

me + you + darkroom = good time

Thursday I went to teach a certain someone the B&W darkroom at NESOP, but it was really just a pretext... She is pretty cool -- a worldly (dare I say, "cultured") 18 year-old who sings, dances to techno, is a photo-nut and has a passion for mycology. What more could you ask for? If I'm not careful, I might become smitten, in a good way.

I hope I'm not careful


I went to the annual (actually I think there are two per year) Photographica photo show at Waltham High School today. They probably had more stuff yesterday, but what they did have was generally higher-priced than Ebay. I was looking for possibly three items:

  • Incident light/flash meter. nothing fancy; maybe even analog. But there weren't any that I could afford or justify ($160 for an old Minolta isn't bad, but I didn't want to spend that much).
  • Twin Lens Reflex medium format camera; ideally a Yashicamat 124G, but not necessarily. The 124G's were way too expensive (~$250-$290), and the "generic" TLR's were in pretty bad shape. maybe next time.
  • A usable 35mm rangefinder. Although I won this Russian FED-5 from Ebay, it seems to have gotten lost in the mail. I'm disappointed but still hopeful that it'll arrive eventually. If not, that seller will receive some mighty negative "feedback". Oh no!
  • Anyway, I ended up buying a legendary Canon Canonet QL17 G-III. It's a compact rangefinder with a 40mm f1.7 lens, shutter speeds from 1/4th to 1/500th sec. (w/flash sync at all speeds!), and autoexposure (which unfortunately requires a mercury battery). I'm pretty happy with this very quiet camera (compared with my noisy ZX-M) and hope to try it out soon. Although I'll need a lot more practice to guess accurately the exposure, so far I can guess within 1-1.5 stops in low-light situations (I don't hang out in bright light enough to guess accurately).

    $50 was a little more than I would have liked to pay for the camera considering another vendor had one for $40. Doh! But I'll convince myself that it was a good buy. It'll definitely be my "take anywhere" camera. Even though a Pentax ZX-M isn't that expensive, I like to carry a camera around almost at all times, and the Canonet should fill that role nicely. If the Ukrainian camera shows up, all the better!

    I was somewhat annoyed by the number of dealers at this show. It seemed like there were more dealers buying equipment from each other than there were actual photographers buying stuff. And there the ones who get in early and buy all the good stuff. Oh, and another thing: what good is a Leica that is so expensive that you can't touch it or use it without worrying that it'll break? I wanted to pick up a Leica, maybe even focus it, but a dealer scolded me. If Leicas are so fragile, why would anyone use them? Bah!

    Apparently, the sterotypical ar-teest who wears a beret, a black turtle-neck, a "soul-patch", and carries an old Leica (without a lens cap) does indeed exist in the wild! Wow, I thought they existed only on TV or movies, but I saw one with my own two eyes today! There also was a guy with just the beret -- obviously not yet sophisticated enough to complete the stereotypical image. Well, I learn something new every day.

    You get what you pay for is a domain hosted by, a free DNS provider. Unfortunately, they had some problems today:

    Due to a problem with our secondary database last night, the accounts which owned approximately 2200 Dynamic DNS hosts were inadvertently deleted, even though their hosts still existed. Those hosts have now also been deleted. If your host has disappeared, you will need to re-create both your account and your host. This did not affect any accounts with Static DNS hosts or using any of our paid services. We apologize for this inconvenience, and will work to prevent this type of problem in the future.

    That sucks because disappeared from the internet for a while. I don't know how long it was out or if any incoming email was lost during that time. I had to recreate my account and add the host. It would be nice to move to, a domain I actually paid for, but I haven't gotten around to developing it, and it's always a pain to switch email addresses and websites after using them for a while. Hopefully the site will be back up as soon as the DNS propagates.


    Lately I can't help thinking about how much pus is in the milk I drink nearly every day. According to that site, The great state of Massachusetts consumes 308,000,000 somatic cells (pus) in each liter of milk , which is a bit higher than the apparent 200,000,000 limit that the dairy industry claims should be the maximum amount of pus in milk. That's gross, but it doesn't really stop me from drinking milk. It just makes me feel a little more queasy...

    On another note, I still haven't figured out how to eat a burrito. Someday I hope I'll be able to eat one without spilling the contents everywhere and throwing half of it away. Taco Bell makes a good-sized bean burrito for eating without making a mess, but unfortunately it has the consistency of baby food and is kind of disgusting.