Blackhawk Cars and Coffee 6/5/2016

Testing my new 100mm f2.8L macro lens out at the  6/5/2016 Blackhawk Cars and Coffee with my friends Lisa Dalisa and Austin Batista.

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Lisa brought her red formula hooded 71 "Sheila" out for the first time. Austin had his Macho TA out. I had the "bird" my 2001 WS-6. 

The 100mm lens is not a good walk-around lens, I knew that going in. I just wanted to see what it could do. I purchased this lens for close-up macro work, but I know it's got a good reputation for portraiture. 

I concentrated more than I normally do on people and small details.  I'm really pleased with the lens for the right kind of thing it will be fantastic. For a walk around lens at a car show I definitely prefer my 18-135 zoom, or my 28mm prime. 

With this 100mm fixed I find I need to be looking 40-60ft away for action to shoot which is kind of unnatural. Trying to shoot a car within standing distance and get it in frame is impossible and there are too many people milling about to get a clean shot of a car 40ft away.

I also got to use my new battery grip for the Rebel SL1, I haven't had a battery grip since my original Rebel.  The Rebel SL1 is an ever so slightly smaller camera body, and it takes different batteries than the old Rebel so the old battery grip wouldn't work with the new camera. I think this one is slightly more awkward especially considering it requires a small cable to hook from the base of the battery grip to the remote shooting port of the camera, unlike the original Rebel battery grip that used an internal connection. But it got the job done.

Slide Conversion Project 2016

I figured you all might be interested in my slide conversion project. 

We've started with Christina's family (since those are the ones we have). 

My photographer friend Mark Phelps turned me onto a method of using a projector without it's lens going right into my DSLR with a macro lens. I did some research found I had most of what I needed already. Just got some extra sundries and a good projector.

Christina and I did 1200-1500 slides over memorial day weekend.

I still have a stack loader so we don't have to load/unload the tray coming for the projector and I got an AC power adapter for the camera yesterday so I don't have to stop and swap batteries now.


The setup:


The results are of course highly dependent on the quality of slides but I can color correct some in post processing.





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7th Annual Muscle Cars in the Park Sunday, September 13 2015

My friends Lisa and John, below and I went to Muscle Cars in the park, and they let me drive their 79 Bandit (far left). John drove his Rockford clone with side pipes, and Lisa took Roxanne their third gen dealer converted sportster which ended up winning a first place trophy.



Shaker hood shenanigans at a stop light


p.s. yes, Lisa knows her brake light is out...She will just blame John for not fixing it so don't mention it to her. It makes her cranky.

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I was playing with my new 55-200 Zoom Lens for all the shots, it really was the wrong tool for most of the job but it took some good pictures, just a little too narrow field of view for walking down isles of parked cars.

ATHS CCC Annual Presidents Picnic 2015

I spent some time with friends from Central California Chapter of the ATHS met a new member Joe White and his family. 

This is a picture of his 4 million mile 1960 Kenworth



I found out he was at the same ATHS National Show that I took my Blazer to in Yakima 2013.



Also shown here in a video with some of the history

Some rare seat time for me in the Jimmy

Moving Jimmy out for some work


I'm still learning how to drive this beast, and making plenty of mistakes.


In the video you'll hear me bog and choke the engine, and grind some gears, and generally be confused about what gear I'm really in.

This manual transmission is known as a 5-over. With a two-speed electronically switched diff, for 10 forward and two reverse speeds. It has Air Brakes, and Manual Steering.

Shift pattern is as follows.

R 2 5
1 3 4

There is a diff gear selector on the stick. Out is High, In is Low. I think I got that wrong in the video.

1 is a granny, so generally starting in 2-lo. 

When unloaded the shift sequence to get to highway speed is 2-lo, 3-lo, 4-lo, 4-hi, 5-hi. In 5-hi at 2100 rpm it's topping out just under 65mph.

Fourth and Fifth are interleaved so when splitting gears the pattern once you reach 4-lo is: 4-lo, 5-lo, 4-hi, 5-hi.

In this video most of the problems I experienced are from not running the engine at high enough revs before shifting. These two strokes like to be at about 1800+, which makes them sound like they are doing 4000rpm, and it would like to be there at all times.

Another thing I've learned since is while launching from stopped to hover on the clutch a little bit longer before letting it fully engage while building revs and accelerate briskly to avoid the bucking.

ATHS CCC Truck Show and BBQ at Kirkland Ranch Saturday April 26 2014

2014 Howard Kirkland and all the members of the Central Valley ATHS Chapter Celebrated 28 glorious years in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. 

Great trucks, great food and great Friends what more could you ask for.

The Wrecker and GMC weren't ready to go yet, so I took my 30yr Old 220K mile Detroit Diesel Bazer.

Despite the threat of rain, the weather held out and it was a great show.  Smaller than last year but great show none-the-less.


Arial View (Taken by another member)

January 2014, Blackhawk Museum Cars and Coffee

I didn't get to take anything as I'm not driving yet after my spine surgery, but I met up with some firebird friends and went through the show. 

The highlights to me was an 80's BMW M1 that looked like it was a rip-off of a Ferrari 308, and they were sitting next to each other to compare.  The owner said they were made by BMW to compete in a racing series that ultimately never happened. There were 400 cars made none sold in the US. This car was one of 60 that he believe came to the US out of Italy.



A very cool modern Corvette modded to look very convincingly like a 65 Split Window.



 A 1947 La France Fire Engine replete with most of its tools and accessories.



My first look at a 2014 Stingray. The lambo doors are not standard. 32 MPG econobox.



A Blue Angels Anniversary Car complete with in show traffic chatter between pilots playing on the radio.



Telecommunications Closet

When we purchased our home in 2010 we decided to start with AT&T's U-verse for phone, video and data. That allowed us to go ethernet across the board and no longer rely on coax cable for cable tv signal delivery.

I built a communications cubby in our hallway, and I had our electrician that we were having do some renovation work to the house rough-in all of my Cat6 drops, run the cable, remove all of the jumbled coax and old telephone cables and add an electrical outlet on its own circuit to my telecommunications cubby.

I've had a friend ask for some advice and what I used so I detailed here on listmania which is part of Amazon.


We have a drop of 4 Cat6 cables in every room including a kitchen cabinet for an under-cabinet tv. The cubby is a little busy now, but it was worth every penny.  My only regret is I didn't have the foresight to have the electrician do a drop in the garage at my workbench.  But at least wireless reaches.