Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Kodocrome, Part 3: Another Camera

To fully understand this post here are the previous chapters of this blog.

Part 1.  http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2018/01/kodocrome.html

Part 2.  http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2018/01/kodocrome-part-2-broken.html

Since I really liked the Canon camera I had I decided to buy something close to it.  I noticed an auction on Ebay for a Canon SX-530-HS camera.  Long story short, I bid and won the auction.  So now I'm the proud owner of another Canon camera.

I took some test shots in the backyard, and I have to say they turned out great.  I only wish I had set the date and time correctly.  Or, I should have just turned it off to begin with.  Anyway, here they are.

The pictures of the staghorn fern and tree stump were taken at a fair distance.  The photos were pretty crisp.

I decided to take some wide shots, and they look great.  

I took a wide shot of a tree with a palmetto at the bottom.

Then I zoomed in on the palmetto.

That's one heck of a zoom.  Again, I have to say I am impressed.  So hopefully this camera lasts longer than the last three.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kodocrome, Part 2: Broken

Here's Part 1:  http://angjellockheart.blogspot.com/2018/01/kodocrome.html

I loved my Canon Camera.  Note, "loved."  It turns out it has a bit of a problem.  No matter how much I charged the battery, it would say the battery needed charged, and would then shut down.  My cousin helped me out a bit with this.  He found out it was an ongoing problem with that model.

I traveled to Batteries Plus and tried out a different battery.  I asked the clerk to check the voltage of both batteries.  They checked out fine, so it had to be the camera.  I then gave Canon a call.  The CSR said that any repair would cost a flat rate $80.  So I had no choice but to return the camera.  The seller has been really cool about the process, and has made everything pretty simple. 

Now I have to look for another camera.  For the time being I have been borrowing family member's cameras when I need to take a picture.  So I'm not really in a hurry to buy another one.  I suppose that's good so I can wait until a good deal comes around.  I guess all I can do is just keep checking until something comes up.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


My camera died a few weeks ago.  I know photographers like to crap on Fuji-Film cameras, but I really liked mine.  It was simple and had all the settings I needed.  But first the flash went.  Then the action button managed to get stuck.  After that, it just died.  So I went on a search for a new camera.

I wanted another Fuji-Film, but my last two cameras were Fuji-Film cameras, and they didn't last as long as I thought they should.  Especially considering the cost.  So I asked my cousin, who is a photographer, what kind of camera should I buy?  He told me for what I needed I should stick with a Canon or Nikon.

I looked at models of both, and the Canon reminded me closest of the Fuji-Film set-up.  So I sent a link of a model I was interested in to my cousin.  He looked over the specs, and said it was perfect.  So I bought it.  The model's official name is the: Canon Powershot SX510 HS 12.1 MP 30x Optical Zoom Digital Camera.

Here's the hi-lights:

    • 12.1 megapixel sensor
    • 30x optical zoom (24-720mm equivalent focal length)
    • HD video recording in 1080p24
    • f3.4-5.8 max aperture range
    • 3" screen
    • Uses SD memory cards

I received the camera today, and took a few test photos out in the backyard.  I have to say, they turned out great.

All of these shots were taken from a pretty good distance.  So I have to say I am impressed with the quality of the shots.  For them to be this clear really surprises me.  But again, I've never had a camera like this.  I know it's not a $2,000 camera, but it's perfect for me.  In fact, it's more camera than I'll ever need.  The only thing left to do is figure out how the movie camera controls work.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

After Almost 20 Years, It's New Hat Day

For those who have known me, you know I have my "Adrian" hat.  In fact, I am wearing it in this blog's author profile picture.  It's this photo.

Here is a true photograph (8mm) of me wearing my hat on August 1st, 2004 while climbing Mt. Baldy at Philmont.

And here I am wearing my hat back in 2008 while driving a semi.  

I have a number of photos from 2011 - 2014 of me wearing my hat while performing.

And this is one of my more recent photos of me wearing my favorite hat.

A lot of folks do ask me what type of hat it is.  It's actually an Australian Outback Hat by Minntonka.  Unlike most cowboy hats which are made of felt, straw, or in case of the real expensive hats, beaver, this hat is made of leather.  That makes it nice since it makes it shapeable.  Most hats aren't, so I knew this hat was the one for me.  

But after twenty years or so it was time to buy a new hat.  Now that I have the internet there are so many possibilities in being able to order whatever kind of hat I wanted.  But what kind of hat do I want.

After seeing a photo of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant, I knew I had to have his style of hat.  I learned that it was called a "Gambler" style hat.  However, there are many types on the market.  Some are crushable felt.  Some are straw.  Some are cheap, while others are pretty expensive.  

I checked out all the Western stores near me.  While they did have Gambler style hats I didn't like that they were crushable.  I wanted one in leather.  So I took to the internet.  I found a perfect one, ordered it, and when it arrived they sent me the wrong size.  So I sent it back, and found out they were out of the XL sizes.  So I waited.  I waited five months.  

When they took the hat off of their webpage I gave the company a call.  The woman there didn't seem to know what she was doing, and I finally had enough.  For months they kept telling me that it would be in stock soon, but then kept pushing back the date.  When I talked to this last woman, she didn't have any idea... well about any of my questions.  So I asked for my money back.

Back in November I was hunting out of Perry, Fl.  During one of my day's off I stopped into a place called "Michelle's Bullpen."  Her store was a half Southern/Western clothing and supplies and half outdoor building sales.  I checked out the men's section, and found a very nice stiff felt, Gambler hat.  I passed on buying it then because I had the other one on order.  

Now that I had canceled my order in January I gave Michelle a call.  I asked her to look through her inventory to see she still had a Gambler hat in an XL.  She did, so I bought it over the phone, and she shipped it to me.  

So now that I've told this long story, here's me wearing my new hat.

I have to say, it's perfect.  This is the new me.  Well maybe not 100% new.  I still need to add a hat band to my hat.  Of course, that will be it's own blog in the future.  But for now I am happy that I have such a perfect hat to replace my old hat of close to twenty years.  

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Adrian's Year In Review: The Best Blogs of 2017

It's that time of year again.  Every year my last blog post of the year is the, "Best of Blog Posts."  Today I will be counting down my best posts of 2017.

Including this post I will have written 56 posts for the year.  That makes my goal of at least one post per week.  

This is the way the "Best Of," works.  I make two "Top 5" lists and one "Top 10" list.  The first "Top 5" list is for the most viewed.  I'll admit that does bring up the problem that a post in January has had twelve months to be viewed while a post in December may only have had a couple of days to be seen.  Still, this is strictly by the numbers.

The second "Top 5" list is for my personal favorites.  It doesn't matter how many views these blogs have.  These go strictly by which ones I like the best.

The third section is the "Top 10" most viewed blog posts period.  That means I rank the "Top 10" most viewed posts out of my 622 posts on "Destruction for Fun and Profit."

Section One:  The most viewed posts of 2017.

5.  Angelfish: Gold Evolution.  35 views.

I was able to take some great photos of my angelfish.  My black and white angelfish suddenly sprouted gold.  It's quite amazing.

4.  There's a Fine Line Between Good Customer Service and Stalking.  50 views.

If you've ever dealt with Sweetwater.com you'll know exactly what I'm talking about in this post.

3.  Goddess.  54 views.

Creepy guys never get old.  They just get creepier.

2.  Go Truck Myself!  Part 1.  56 views.

After 22 years I finally bought another vehicle.  This is the story of how I bought that vehicle.

1.  Fuck You Dimmit Chevrolet.  124 views.

Before I bought that truck I had an experience that put me off Chevy trucks forever.  This is that story.

Section 2:  Adrian's favorite posts of 2017.

5.  The Glass.

I guess what drew me to this post was the fact that it is so different than what I normally write.  It also shows a bit of my own vulnerability.

4.  Train Your Dragon:  Doppelganger Edition.

You know I love, "How to train your dragon."  I thought this was a great post that unfortunately, didn't get the attention I thought it deserved.

3.  The Fault In This Movie.

I noticed the movie/book, "The Fault in Our Stars," is very divisive.  People either seem to love it or hate it.  I liked it except for one moment.  So I went out and tested to see if that moment actually worked in real life.

2.  A Dog and His Boy.

I think I saved one of my best blogs for the end of the year.

1.  Fuck You Dimmit Chevrolet.

Normally, the same blog wouldn't be number one on both lists, but this one is too great not to be.  I feel like I tapped into my best Hunter S. Thompson while writing this.  It also proves that, yes, Hell is other people, but Hell is also Chevrolet dealerships.

Section 3:  The best of all time.

10.  Tsunami Death Toll.  803 views.

Simply put, the best band name ever.

9.  Goth Night at the Coffee House.  823 views.

Like Hunter S. Thompson said, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

8.  My Yoyo Loach is About To Explode.  841 views.

My loach became a giant balloon.

7.  Farmer Adrian and the Sheepie Pigs.  1042 views.

I should really put in my copyright for, "Sheepie Pigs" since this little post became as popular as it did.

6.  Tough Choices, Evil Empires, and Black Gold.  1065 views.

I wrote this blogs when I was at a crossroads in my life.  I think this post has so many views because of the evil Dick Cheney photo.

5.  The Internet Picture Collection, Part 1.  1410 views.

I'll admit it.  I was looking for hits when I wrote this.  This was when I first discovered that folks may not be searching for a post, but for a picture.  So when a picture pops up in Yahoo images, and someone clicks it, my blog gets a hit.

4.  I'm Finally Putting My Orchestra Training To Use.  2875 views.

I'm pretty sure the only reason this one has so many views is due to the picture of an orchestra layout.

3.  Stacy Q Rocks?  3577 views.

I guess there are a lot of other truckers out there wondering the same thing?  Who the hell keeps writing, "Stacey Q Rocks!" on all the restroom doors?  Oh, and I spelled "Stacey" wrong on my original post.

2.  Dad's Retirement Speech.  6040 views.

I have to say, this one surprised me.  I didn't expect it to be seen like it has been.  It has no pictures, and no fancy tags.  I guess people just wanted to look up advice on writing a retirement speech for their father's.

1.  Chick's Dig High Profile Vehicles... Like Dragons.  9509 views.

This is one of my best works.  I have to say that.  It combines everything I love about, "How to train your dragon," with hot rods, crazy writing, and wild photos.  I'm sure my Creative Writing teacher from college would be proud.

So that's it for this year.  It's hard to believe that I've been blogging since April of 2008.  Yes, that means in another four months I will have been blogging for ten years.  The funny part is that, I was told I should have been blogging years earlier.  And the person who told me that was right.  But I feel good that I've kept up with it, and as long as I'm able I will keep on writing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Owl Box

I owed a favor to a friend of mine.  Due to work he doesn't have a lot of free time on his hands.  He asked me to build an owl box for him since that would free up time for him.  So you might be thinking, "Why would he want an owl box?"  Well, that's a good question, but I have a good answer.

He spied some owls in his backyard.  So he knows that they are around.  He wanted a home built for them so when Spring comes, they will have a place to raise their chicks.  My friend also said his son was really interested in the owls.  So I was building the owl box for his son as much as the owls.

I looked online and found some really simple barn owl plans.  It's basically a 2 X 2 X 2 box with a ten inch square cut out of it.  Here's the photos.

I used Titebond 3 wood glue to seal the corners.  Then I reinforced the corners with at least 100 screws.  I also made sure to put air holes on the sides, and drainage holes on the bottom.

I sealed the box with Kilz 2 primer.  I've always had good luck with it.

I changed the plans just a bit.  I put an edge over the top so it would cast some shade into the box.  It would also help keep rain out.  Let's be honest, this is Florida and there is plenty of rain.

My next step was to paint it with a thick brown enamel paint.  Again, the enamel paint will withstand the weather a bit better.  After the brown paint dried I used specialty camo paint to camouflage the box.

The trick I use is to hold the can back away from the wood so it sprays more of a mist than a straight line.

I try to paint them so they will blend into an oak tree.

I must have done a good job because, what would you know, an owl showed up.

It seems comfy on the inside.

Unfortunately, he'll have to vacate the premises.  This owl house will be for my friend's backyard owls.  I'm hoping in the spring he will be able to take some photos of the owls and their chicks in the owl box.  I'll be happy to post those photos if he's able to take them.  But the hard part is now on him.  He has to find a way to attach the box to the tree.  Good luck buddy!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Dog And His Boy

One of the reasons I started this blog so many years ago was not only to tell tales of destruction for fun and profit, but to write down all the stories I've collected.  After 600 blog posts I've told quite a number of my stories, so I thought it was time to write one about someone else.  Namely, my Father.

It was the summer of 1957.  My Dad was almost ready to turn eight years old.  He lived in the backwoods of West Virginia, so with the exception of automobiles and a black and white television, life still closely resembled 1857 in some ways.  I can hear his voice saying, "Come on, it wasn't that bad!"

There aren't many pictures of my Dad from that age, and the ones that exist are in rough shape.  But the first time I saw a photograph of my Father from that age I immediately said, "You look exactly like Timmy from Lassie!"

As was the norm back in those days my family had rabbit hunting dogs, namely beagles.  Now my Dad was not allowed to hunt until he was sixteen, but he did take care of the dogs as well as other duties on the farm.  So even though he hadn't quite turned eight years old, the duty to build a doghouse for his dog Penny fell to him.

You have to remember the times.  My Dad didn't have access to power tools.  If he wanted to cut a 2X4 he had to cut it with a handsaw.  If he wanted to hold the wood together he had to either drive a nail with a hammer, or use a screwdriver to run the screw through the wood.  He didn't have a power drill to do the hard work. 

My Grandfather had access to a lot of scrap wood from whatever carpentry project he was working on at the time (namely houses and bridges.)  That meant my Dad didn't have to chop down a tree or anything like that.  But when it came to the actual work, my Dad put it all together with old timey hand work.

Just for comparison, if you know a seven year old (going on eight,) ask what have they done lately?  Does it involve playing Pok√©mon?  Does it involve watching TV?  Or have they performed any old time carpentry lately?

So Dad finished building the doghouse for Penny.  He was proud of his hard work.  But dogs and especially beagles are finicky creatures.  Remember how Snoopy liked to sleep on top of his doghouse?

Well, Penny decided to dig a hole underneath the doghouse and sleep there.

That's right.  She completely avoided the nice living space that Dad had built, and dug right underneath the doghouse to create a little den.  Penny must have thought she had a little wolf in her.  Honestly though, if you've never encountered a hunting dog, they are a bit different than a house dog.  They have a bit more attitude and aggression than your cocker spaniel house dog.  

Most people, especially kids, would have been discouraged or mad.  But that's never really been my Dad's style.  He just had to laugh about it, and realized a beagle is going to do what a beagle wants to do.  If Penny wanted to sleep in her little den beneath the doghouse then he figured she had made up her mind to do so.  Nothing he could do would change that. 

Also, could you get mad at a face like this?

Nah, didn't think so.