Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No More Bookstore

There's an old saying, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

Road trip on Monday to Bozeman. Saw this. Thought the store was already closed, but stopped to take advantage of the sale.

Browsed a store with one third of the stock still shelved. Empty racks and fixtures-for-sale left room for a dance floor. If anyone be so inclined.

I know this is a major chain. I know political correctness dictates we support our small independent booksellers. I've shopped there, but Borders is not my favorite bookstore.* As I idled passed the last stacks, I started to cry.

Are eReaders to blame?

Did Kindle kill the bookstore?

A week before, I posted this on Twitter.

Feeling totally WIRED at the time, I used my iTouch to compare hardback prices of books I wanted to the Kindle price for same. A Kindle edition was routinely $5 to $10 cheaper.** I went home, bought and downloaded three books. Am I killing the bookstore to save $15?

Is it the end of the world as we know it?

I realized as I walked around the Bozeman Borders, we are in the middle of a paradigm shift.

According to experts, traditional publishing will survive. I hope they're right.

Will we like the new paradigm we're building?

There's one rugged individualist*** in my town who always walks around carrying bags of books.  I saw him at the coffee shop last week and thought, he could put all that on a Kindle and spare his back. Comes the Apocalypse, he'll be the only one with a library.

*Powell's in Portland, Oregon is my favorite bookstore.
**Kindle prices are creeping up though.
***That's what we call 'em in Montana.

Montana Gothic

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spy Cam

I'm back at it.

Last time didn't work out so well.

Getting sneakier in my old age.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fly in the Ointment

Ever thought the Universe was aiming messages at you?

With a close look at the sidebar, you'll see I work in emergency services.

Last week we had a community meeting with a report from the fire chief about the fire department status over the last year.

Now, I know, having been there for most of it, that our cadre of fire/EMS volunteers worked their collective asses off responding to stuff like this --

and rising car wreck numbers, more medical calls than ever, plus hours of training when not dragging ourselves from warm beds in the wee hours to venture out in the cold dark to rescue neighbors and strangers.

At the community meeting, from beginning to end, including during the Chief's speech, one fat, petty, mean-spirited, big-mouth, freakin' shit-head moron made snarky cracks about the firemen.

That one person would tear down the work of twenty made me sick to my stomach. I heard grumbling from firemen sitting behind me, but no one stepped up to say, shut your fat, petty, mean-spirited, big mouth.

My in-house anthropologist tells me this is situation normal for a humans. Some people do the work. Some people bitch about the people doing the work.

Day after the meeting, still feeling bummed, driving to town I saw this sign.

Since I didn't need chip repair, I thought the first part of the message was for me.

Especially, since it was almost what the Chief said after the meeting. The department has overwhelming support from the community, This was ONE fat, petty, mean-spirited, big-mouth, freakin' shit-head moron.

So I said, thanks Universe and felt better.

That the cost of doing business is dealing with these kind of people, not my favorite life lesson.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Tonight the moon is closer than it has been in 18 years, so we tramped through the ice mud for a photo opportunity.

Been a while since I've had an adventure in the dark.

Word to the wise: for dark adventures, bring a tripod.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Céad míle fáilte

After nearly a year, I think I'm probably over my our trip to Ireland psychosis.


Once we made it home, I reacted to the mention of anything Irish like I'd been through a course of aversion therapy.

Twitch and duck.

But I'm over that now. Yeah.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day.

Advice for the Unwary Traveler
Always take direct flights.
Never sit in Seat 13.
Don't travel on the anniversary of the Titanic disaster.
If you have to fly KLM, stay home.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Lens. Same Old Puppy

Still testing the Lensbaby.

What I learned today was how much I freakin' HATE this carpet, and I've been looking at it for twenty years.


Almost got something here -

Finally this -

Still nothing to write home about.

Where oh Where

... have I been?

Fire training. EMS training. Preparing EMS training.


In between, bought a Lensbaby which at first blush, I think sucks.

I will probably change my mind in a bit.

First attempt produced this -- which is unremarkable except for what a mess my work table is.

Then this. I think the "sweet spot" is behind me somewhere.

Finally this --which I kind of like, but it feels awfully hit and missy.

Especially since I've done this,


and this,

with a Nikon close-up lens that cost about a jillion dollars more, but I digress.

It's hell to be impatient.