I’ve always loved fad diets. Making fun of them that is, not actually following them. I love how two different diets can be completely opposite and still (supposedly) work. But after doing some extensive research on the subject, I decided that none of them were for me. So I set out to create my own fad diet. After running my fingers through my hair in deep thought, it came to me. So I ran to the local Cost Cutters and I lost 0.37 lbs almost instantly. It worked for me, and it can work for you too. So buy my book for only $47.89 and lose weight today!
…blup-blup-blup …that’s the lovely sound my car made last night when my tire decided to go flat. I was so excited that I was going to get to change a flat tire…until I opened up the spare tire compartment in my car and found that there was no car jack. One other small detail was that the spare tire itself was also flat with a big gouge in it. Well after getting a ride from a friend, I found out how helpful Wal-Mart is, seeing as they don’t carry any sort of spare tire replacement. Today’s lesson: replace your tires before they get completely bald.
Putting in my contact lenses this morning, I was forced to wonder why they make contact lenses clear. I was forced by the fact that I dropped one of them and couldn’t find it. How can they expect people to see a transparent contact lens after they take it out? I mean, seriously, people wear contacts for a reason. (They can’t see without them.) Why not make them blaze orange or something. And definitely not transparent. Those things are expensive, and it hurts to lose one. I even cried, but I’m not sure if it was because I couldn’t find it, or if it was from shoving my finger into my eye. I did find it, by the way. It was stuck to my face.
I was looking at my blog statistics the other day, glancing through the usual visitors from all over the place who found my blog by either typing an obscure phrase into a search engine, or clicked on a link someplace. I get visitors from all over the globe: Tokyo, Japan; Paris, France; Quebec, Canada; Monterrey, Mexico; Brussels, Belgium; you name it. Even places I’ve never heard of before, much less pronounce, like Tbilisi, UK and Gelsenkirchen, Germany. But one interesting visitor found my blog by doing an MSN search for “Murder planning.” You heard me right; my blog is the 89th result on MSN for Murder planning. How cool is that!
I spent last Friday taking pictures of the beautiful wildlife here in Wisconsin. And boy did I ever see lots of wildlife. I saw spiders and mosquitoes and flies and squirrels and dragonflies. And even a strange little worm. But it left me wondering, “Where’s all the deer and elk and bears and wolves and eagles that Wisconsin is supposed to be famous for?” Well in any case I got lots of pictures of different types of fungus and other inanimate junk. I braved the killer mosquitoes to get a picture of a dead mushroom.
Pay day isn’t usually that exciting for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love to earn money. But unlike some people I know, I’m not usually broke by the time pay day comes around. And besides that my check is direct deposited, so it doesn’t really make that much difference. But on Friday when I took a quick look at my pay stub I noticed an “Important Note” in the corner. It said, “Effective this pay period your name has been changed.” I squinted and stared at if for a second. Then I thought, “Well cool, it’s about time I changed my name. I’ve been stuck with ‘Josh’ my whole life.” But then there was the question burning through my skull… Huh? What did they change it to?
I went in to get my driver’s license renewed not long ago. As you can see, and no doubt have known from your own experience, the people who take the infamous license mug-shots need some serious help. To all the DMV photographers who read my blog, please take notes. First of all, I will say that my new picture isn’t quite as bad as my old one, but that’s mostly on my part. My old one was just pathetic, and it looked like a drunk squirrel. But no matter how good I can look on my own, their current lighting techniques, compositional elements, white balance metering, and just plain image quality, simply don’t meet my standards. If I use too many big, technical words in this post, I apologize.
I’ll start with the lighting techniques. One of my biggest complaints about the way they take the photos is that they use a single incandescent light source directly in front of the subject and a little bit higher than the camera lens. This greatly flattens the subject’s facial features and creates a very uneven light cast across the face with dark shadows and overexposed areas. It puts a very strong glare on glasses, and also creates an ugly shadow on the background behind the subject that is often mistaken for long hair. I would suggest using at least two soft lights of about 3400 degrees K. The main light should be a 600 watt lamp with a lightbox diffuser, placed at about a 45 degree angle. A secondary 250 watt light also with a diffuser should be placed at roughly the same angle on the opposite side. This will give the photo a much more natural look with a softer and more even light cast.
Now for the composition, I realize that you can’t really do anything too dramatic for a license photo, but they still could use some help. For a background they use a flat grey sheet, which is a large contributing factor to making the photos look so ugly. I would definitely use something with more contrast to help define the edges of the subject better. Another problem with the background is that it is placed too close behind the subject, which causes the shadows to be cast onto it.
Not to be too picky, but the color balance could use some adjusting. I would pull out some red and yellow, and add some blue and magenta. As far as the focus, the image is considerably blurry. I suggest using a wider aperture, and pay more attention to focus. It’s also underexposed, although washed out in places from the harsh lighting. I would like to see all these modifications implemented by no later than 2013 (when my license expires). Please, just get it over with and let me take my own picture so I don’t have to yell at you.
Finally, the time had come for the annual Speed The Light bike-a-thon fund raiser. Now since I actually ride bike once in a while, biking 52 miles in one day at 10 miles an hour wouldn’t usually be that hard for me, as compared to the typical modern day teenager who never rides bike. Speaking of which, how come people never ride bike anymore? Anyway, I loaded up my backpack with water in case people would get thirsty along the way (which they did). When we were about to leave, I had just finished pumping up my tires when I found out that one of the kids, a young girl, didn’t have a bike. Not to make that big of a deal about it, but WHAT KIND OF A PERSON DOESN’T HAVE A BIKE?!Sorry about that. Anywho….luckily the youth pastor had a couple of spare bikes, which saved the day…almost. We tried lowering the seat of one of them so the girl could ride it, but the bolt was nicely rusted solid and we had no tools. Another small problem was that the front wheel was perfectly…bent, wobbling, and about to fall off. Okay, so that one was out. The other bike was, to say the most, in a little better condition. At least the wheels would turn anyway. But the interesting thing about this bike was that, well, it was sort of the Geo Metro of bikes. It was a sub-compact fold-up bike with wheels the size of nickels. Now, me being the extremely sweet and thoughtful person that I am, (so they tell me) I let the girl use my bike. To make a long, boring, and extremely tiring story short, I rode the little beeter fifty-two (that’s 52) miles. Ironically, the hardest part of the trip wasn’t going the 52 miles; the hardest part of the trip was actually the easiest 8 miles of the trail, which was almost completely downhill. This was because I had the privilege of watching everyone else glide down the hill with their luxury 26 inch wheels while I pedaled a hundred miles an hour non-stop on my little tricycle…with a flat tire…and a major charlie horse…
Driving my car in to work this morning, I noticed that something was different. Something just wasn’t right. It didn’t seem like the same old, rusty car that I’ve grown used to. For some reason, it actually goes when I push the gas pedal, and it actually stops when I push the brake. All those rattling, squeaking, and grinding noises that I’m used to hearing are all gone. And strangely, when I got out of my car and pushed the door shut, there wasn’t a massive pile of rust settling to the ground. And for some reason, where it used to say 1991 Chevy Cavalier, it now reads 2003 Dodge Neon. All of these things lead me to an intense longing for my old car. But don’t worry, I think I’ll be able to manage.