Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

My favorite day of the year, holiday wise, has come. I use to enjoy the Macy's Day Parade but that has changed over the years. They need to call it something else. What, I don't know, they changed it, let them figure it out.

I marched in the parade four years in a row with a drum and bugle corps called The Miller's Blackhawks. We practiced for weeks before hand, took the train from Dayton, OH to NYC and then were up at 3 AM the morning of the parade. We had to be in uniform to do a one time run through in front of Macy's at 4 AM. Then we would go by bus to Central Park to stand in the cold and wait to get started. But, like televised footballs of old, no matter how hard you practice to look your best for mom and dad to see you, you get cut for someone giving you play by play of stuff you just watched in a football game or you get to see someone perform that is on a stage that was pre-recorded in all probability and definitely NOT in the parade. So, the parade isn't worth watching because like everything else, it's all about them and not the parade participants.

Today is the day my wife goes all out for and I don't believe it is her favorite day. I will admit, it is a lot of work. I try to help buy am usually in the way. I'm allowed to chop the onions and celery for the dressing. I can mix the dip and I get to carve the turkey which is fixed the night before and then re-heated for simplicity of cooking all the other stuff on Thursday.

On thing the wife does is put out a nicely decorated table. Once you see it, no matter what your mood may have been, it will change. Here are some samples, click on them to enlarge.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Alfa Romeo Giulia SS

Automobiles are always changing in some way. Be it the body design or just the horse power under the hood, they change and the average Joe has no idea. Some one, a gear head, would because his mission in life is to know all he can about the things that roll down the road. He may not be an expert but he knows. Some specialize in their knowledge while others try to master the world, which some do a pretty good job at it.

I posted the logo of the Alfa Romeo Milano and told a little about what the emblem means. It was a short lived version of the Alfa but it was interesting enough for me to go back and read more. I went to the Concours d`Elegance this year so I had the opportunity to see the car close up. I wish I had found the owner, but he was probably off looking at other cars.

This is a 1964 Guilia SS. The Guilia followed the Guiletta in 1962 with a little larger engine and a five speed on the column. I tell people that I drove a Peugot with a column five speed and they think I'm nuts. In '63 the car was fitted with disc brakes all around and a larger engine. This is a 1964 model with 129 HP and is properly referred to as the Alfa Romeo Guilia 1600 Sprint Speciale Bertone. The Bertone is the the coach builders name.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sports Cars Come and Go

Arnolt-Bristol cars. They were, as I said in my previous post about logos, cars that came and went. They weren't around for many years, 1953 to 1959 with the last new one being sold in 1968. Not sure if it was sold as a 68 or a 59. Here again was a car with basically two different CEO, COO, CFO and so on.

S.H. Arnolt was an industrialist from Chicago that imported foreign sports cars. The Bristol part was from Bristol Cars Ltd. from Bristol, England. They made luxury cars. Arnolt struck a deal to have 200 chassis' delivered but on their way to America they would be dropped off at other places to get bodies and other modifications. They were fitted with 130 HP 6 cyl. Bristol motors but had three two barrel Solex carbs installed.

As you can see, the interiors were not designed for comfort but more for racing.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What's In A Logo

The logo of the 1946 to 1972 Alfa Romeo. One might ask about the meaning of a logo and in some cases like this one, there are meanings and stories to be told. This isn't so true in the automobile world today, or so one would think. In the early times of the motor car brands came and went. This one tells the names of the originators and where it was built.

Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili (Lombard Automobile Factory, Public Company) or A.L.F.A. This came about after the original partnership failed and the company that was in France was moved to Italy. The red and white colors represent the farmers and citizens. The red cross is the Cross of Christ. The green serpent with the man in its jaws is symbolizing the protection of the House of Visconti from its enemies. The laurel wreath in some of the badges of the Alfa Romeo line was to represent the winning of the world title.

When Neapolitan businessman Nicola Romeo bought the company he converted its factories to produce munitions and machineries for World War I. After the war, the company went back to producing cars and took on its owner’s last name to become Alfa Romeo.

So, what's in a logo?

Near The Goldfinch Feeder

Yesterday we had much needed rain. We’ve been in a drought situation since June or so. Might have seen moisture in July once and again in September. Three or four days in October but that is about it. We have had what many would describe as an almost perfect fall weather wise. In the upper 60’s to low 70’s. You think you need the sweat shirt and you find yourself hot by noon. You put the mower away and have to get it out again.

Well, now that we are officially half way through November we are finally getting fall weather and I will assure you that there are those that are complaining as to how cold and dreary it is. Dreary, yesterday, maybe. Cold, no, just cooler than it was. Highs are in the upper 40’s to low 50’s. Yes winter is coming on but that is what it is suppose to do and we should hope that it does. That is how our planet is set up to function.

These Finch’s were eating heavily yesterday. They have to keep their body temperatures up and eating is one way they do it. At first I thought Batman had arrived but figured out it was my setup so I kept it.

A Rainy Day

Lone Sentinel


Monday, November 15, 2010

Second Installment

This is the second posting of the same scene at the same time of day and everything else being as nearly the same as before. There is only one difference, well two. The first is the focal length which I will discuss in just a few more lines and the other is the time of day. It is the same but it isn't depending on how you interpret "time of day". I took the first shot before our time chance in this area. Had the time not backed up an hour we would be in the dark still but we let the farmers get out earlier and warm the houses up sooner in this neck of the woods by moving the time, or so they say.

This and the last photo have been taken with the Canon Rebel EOS XTi as will all the future pictures. I only have thus only use one lens. Got rid of the others since, for me, this is such a versatile lens. It is the Tamron 18-270-mm VC DiII.

Now the differences as they come up. I am for the simplicity and balance of I am shooting in this series of photos. I will shoot everything in Auto (P) mode. This is Auto but the (P) means the flash won't work unless I allow it to. With that in mind the camera picked these settings; ISO 100, f-stop 7.1, time 1/125 sec. The focal length is my mistake. I thought I was setup at 46mm but in fact it is 55mm. This is just a small change in the light allowed to the sensor but it is a difference. Good thing I'm not an engineer or I would have to start all over. This of course would be impossible because time has passed and this means all the variables that were then are gone now.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Snow or Rain

The weather people were calling for some snow possibly today. Seems like we can always tell what type of weather we are going to have by our clouds. High wispy ones are generally good weather and low broke pillowy dark clouds always say winter or a late fall storm in on the way.

Clouds that look like they almost never end, or very cottony looking ones, those say thunder clouds which means rain. Well, these are the pictures of the clouds yesterday afternoon. I even changed one to get that wintery feeling but they still say RAIN. It rained right after I took this and this morning they said, no proof, that there were snow flakes seen.


Monday, November 1, 2010

First Monthly Installment

As I said, I will be taking a photo of the same shot for the next 12 months. It will be out the same window with all the details being the same that are physically possible, i.e. position of camera, the setup of the camera in mode and focused on the same tower off in the distance. All the while, if the weather changes, so does the image because the camera position won’t change thus if the snow or rain is blowing against it, well you won’t see much. Also, as Dec. and Jan come into play the terrain may get hard to see. The interesting thing to watch it, as long as it can be seen with no clouds, will be the sun rise. In this first picture you can see the brightest spot in the sky is off to the right. It will slowly, way to slow for some of us, creep its way back to the right.
Periodically I may include the “all up to now” post. Maybe quarterly. Also, as I mentioned before, I may do a bi-monthly. I will take the picture but posting it will be whether there is a significant change to be seen. After all, not enough change makes for a dull conversation.
I will give the details here about the image. It will always be taken with my Canon Digital Rebel XTi. The lens will always be my Tamron 18-270mm Di II VCD and will probably have a Focal Length set for 46mm. The shooting mode, even though I really prefer Manual will more than likely stay at Auto or Aperture Priority AE. I can make it look better but I am trying to see what the eye sees.
In this first photo the weather is clear and about 36 degrees. Some frost but it doesn’t show here.
Nov 1 2010