record fall

Hey, it’s my blog. Nobody said I can’t post a photo of my own damn self. Dooce does it all the time. And she gets like a gazillion page views a day. Of course, she’s actually kind of hot.

I was feeling like posting tonight and I was digging around for a piece of art to launch something in my head and well, this is it.

I know it’s not pretty (unless you’re a Nikon man) but it gives me something to talk about. So if you have no interest in cameras or Nikons or photography in general, I suggest you go here.

The photo above was taken by my colleague and long-time bud Chris Chaffee in the newsroom of the old Press-Courier in Oxnard, CA sometime around 1985.

I’d wish I could say that it’s much earlier because nobody should be wearing a┬ámustache┬álike that past about 1970 unless you are a cop, a firefighter or a huge Freddy Mercury fan.

I’d also like to say that it’s much later than that because I can’t really have been without hair on the top of my head that long ago.

Now that I’ve dispensed with the predictable OMG, the hair! commentary, I can go on.

For those of you who may have just googled Nikon and got to this place on the interwebs I offer you this:

Hanging around my neck are a fair amount of good, old Nikons. And by the way, if I were in water that was over my head, I would surely drown.

There are no less than four Nikon F2s, I can’t recall which ones are which anymore but I believe there are two F2SBs and two F2ASs. Three of them have MD-2 motor drives on them with battery packs (again, can I say, HEAVY?) and that’s all Nikkor AIS glass mounted on those bodies from left to right: 180mm f2.8 ED (sweet), 55mm f2.8 Micro-Nikkor (seriously sweet), 24mm f2.8, 85mm f1.4 and that’s an old 300mm f4 mounted on an FM2 with an MD12.

There’s a Minolta Auto Meter IIIf (I still have that somwhere) at the top and there are two Domke bags thrown in for good measure.

Sink like a stone I would.

Of course, I never ran around with five cameras hanging from my neck but it was typical then, as it is now, to carry two.
And back then you didn’t really have quality zooms to work with so you carried four or five lenes in your bag and a couple of strobes and batteries and chargers, probably a police scanner and misc. other stuff.
By the way, the Nikon F2 system, although bulky and heavy as shit is probably the most durable, flexible, responsive, fast and well-made professional SLR camera ever built. These things were just a marvel of precision and mechanical engineering.

And when you weren’t shooting with it, you could use it as a weapon.

A couple of other observations, notice the fact that I am standing in the middle of the “slot,” this is the position of the last editor to read copy before it gets typeset and the guy who ultimately gets his ass chewed off by the editor when there are any typos or other errors in the paper, and that I am smoking and there is a full ashtray right in front of me.

Yes, you used to be able to smoke in the newsroom, actually I think you could drink whiskey too.

Also, check out those fab CompuGraphic One terminals. Nice. They did nothing but set type and were connected to a mainframe that took up an average bedroom-sized room. These were pretty much brand-new then.

I wish I could read the date on the paper in the foreground but all I can see is that it is a Tuesday and this is the “street” edition.

The headline could have been written yesterday.

This was shot on Kodak Tri-X pan and probably pushed to 1600ASA and processed in Diafine and printed on Kodak EkatmaticSC fiber-based paper developed in Dektol.

The good ole’ days.

My knees hurt.

auditory cortex

I know, my dear reader, it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. So, since I know that both of you have just been on the edge of your chair waiting to read what I’m going to say next, I’ll begin with an apology and a promise that there will be a wealth of brilliant pontification to come and shorter durations between each monologue.

Sometimes I wake up in the morning and for no reason that I can decipher, music is playing in my head.

I suppose it could be the last breath of a dream I was having that has run screaming from my memory leaving the radio playing as it fled. Just this morning I awoke with Alice Cooper’s ‘Is It My Body’ from the 1971 album ‘Love it to Death’ playing somewhere between my ears.

It’s not inconceivable that I might have been dreaming about the period of my life between 1971 and 1974 when I used to play that album from start to finish over and over until it became burned into the auditory cortex in my brain. But if I was dreaming anything at all, it was long gone be the time I was conscious enough to realize that I was awake, given another day to be on earth and that Alice Cooper was in bed with me. Continue reading