Negativity and More with my Takashi Special Effects Camera

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Holy Family Cathedral

When I was rummaging around Saturday looking for my generic Go Pro camera and I found my Takashi Special Effects Camera. It is kind of strange little camera with only 5 MP but it has various special effects built in such as negatives, black and white, sepia, and so forth. Check here for a list of my previous posts. Anyway I found it and fed it the AAA batteries it chews up like candy and took it for a walk at noon in downtown Tulsa.

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I love the negative effect. It makes me see old sights in a new way.

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It also gives scenes a spooky feel. I kind of like that.

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The camera also has no shutter. When you press “the button” the camera just scans the photocell. So if you are moving the camera while it is scanning it distorts the image in ways that are pleasing to me. It is called the Lartigue Effect after a Frenchman named Jacque Henri Lartigue who discovered the effect in the early 1900’s. It can make buildings look kind of wavy.

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I went down to the temporary replacement library for the Tulsa Central Library to pick up a book that I had on order and found out that that since they are closing it to move back to the regular library  they moved it to another library, miles away. Oh well.

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I love our library and the staff and have known a couple of them over the years but the present administrator I kind of worry about. The library gave him several months off to finish his PhD and then we come to find out that that he spends a huge amount of time and money flying to conferences here there and yonder. Much more so than libraries of similar sizes both regionally and nationally. He says that is where he found out about automated book checkout machines. Wow, I remember those from the last century. Oh well. I go to one conference a year and I think I’m pretty much up on what is going on in the natural gas industry. Oops, off topic.

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My favorite sidewalk in downtown Tulsa on Denver avenue.

So I walked back to the office taking pics along the way. Isn’t it wonderful that electrons and photons are still free?

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Downtown Tulsa in a negative mode.

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The entrance to a downtown apartment complex.

Anyway I always dragging my lowfi funky Takashi out, feeding it some batteries and taking it for a walk.

Bike Ride to Sand Springs and a Blowout

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I was on my own Saturday afternoon. Heather is in Dallas with other fitness instructors learning all sorts of stuff and son Logan at rehearsal as has a small part in musical based on Romeo Juliet (more to come later on that) so I thought what the heck I will ride my bike over the recently reopened bridge linking the Tulsa bike trails with those of Sand Springs. Also, I wanted to use my GoPro camera clone. An SJ4000 that I’ve had over a year and half and hadn’t used much. See it mounted on the handlebars of my bike.

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Here I am adjusting it.

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Us guys know that looking at something sideways always helps with whatever you are doing.

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I finally got it going. It can take video continuously or it can take photos when you hit the button or it can take pics at set intervals. I had it set to take pics every 20 seconds. Once you get it started it just keeps on going.

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So I got to the north end of the of the Riverparks trails and went under the freeway via the new underpass headed to the reopened pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks. The bridge has been closed for several years it seems.

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And here is the bridge, just as narrow as I remembered it. The approach from the south is a lot better with more room but the exit at the far end is still a blind turn and very sharp. Oh well. As a bonus a train was going under just as I passed over. Have I ever told you that I love trains. I do.

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And then across the bridge and then along Charles Page Boulevard to Sand Springs. 

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Past the Tulsa Police Department garage. Lots of wrecked police cars there. Makes me think of the guys who keep us safe. I am totally behind Black Lives Matter but am also totally behind Police Lives Matter also. Shoot, everybody’s life matters. You may notice the photo is tilted. The bicycle mounts that come with the the SJ4000 are not very robust. I might have to invest in something better. They lose position with the jostling and vibration of the ride.

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Oops, I used to ride this route a lot years ago when the bridge was last open. I forgot about the steep climb from the Arkansas River Bottom up the hill. I didn’t have to walk the bike.

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At the top though there were two other bikes and this walker all hit the intersection at the same time so we all turned into walkers. They guy walking said, “What a ***** traffic jam you guys have going on, in a good natured manner. I turned to the left. Going to the right heads you back to Tulsa and you go past back side of the jail and then by the Day Center for the Homeless. Years ago, I took that route and a couple drunk guys outside the Homeless Center were cheering me on: “Go Lance Go!!!” they yelled and pumping their arms.  That was kind of the highlight of my athletic career. I went by there a couple of other times and they weren’t there. You know, fans are fickle. Just ask Lance.

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Hanging a left, the trail is an old railroad bed. So it is flat and shaded in a few places. 

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You have a few roads to be concerned about.

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Oops, the camera shifted again.

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I met a few bikers coming back at me.

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I had a three hour window and so my plan was to turn around after an hour. Give me an hour leeway in case something went wrong. With Heather out of town and having to pick Logan up at a set time after rehearsal I was a little nervous. So here is the one hour point where I stopped the bike and took a little water break. Oh, and don’t worry I wore a helmet. I just took it off during my break.

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So then I headed back and pretty soon the bike was like bonk, bonk, bonk, It is like what? Well the front tire had a little hernia. So I said well, I’ll just ride it until it quits. And then I thought that last time I had a blowout it was on the back tire and I almost lost control. Not good on the front tire. So I got off the bike and walked it and sure enough, POW!!! and it was all over. So, now what?? Hmm, my plan was to stash the bike and get an Uber or a taxi back to my car.

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I didn’t see a good place to stash the bike on the trail so I went under a freeway overpass. 

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So see that white fence leading to a concrete wall? I walked the bike and put it up against the wall. Hidden from traffic and no sidewalks or anything. Best I could do.

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Yep, that is the spot. I didn’t lay it down, I leaned it up so it was all shadowed. I was a little nervous. Then I went across the street  to the Taco Bueno, found out that there were no Ubers available so I called Yellow Taxi. About 15 minutes later, Enrico showed up in the Taxi  and took me back to my car. I drove my car back out to the Taco Bueno and my bike was still there. So I loaded it up and went to pick up the kid with 15 minutes to spare.

Pretty amazing I think. Just think how different things are now compared to when we didn’t have cell phones and apps and all that.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. My camera, with its 20 second timer, took 240 photos and I cut them down to about 30. Digital is a lot more convenient and cheaper than film. Maybe next time I’ll cu cut the interval down to five seconds. The camera is pretty noticeable and I had a couple of pretty female bicyclists smile and wave at it as they went by (surely they weren’t smiling and waving at me!). I passed a couple geocachers looking for a cache. And lots of other people. None of them showed up on the camera.

So, all in all, not a bad day it turned out. I got to visit an area of town I hadn’t seen in a long time, check out my camera, and was able to bail myself out of a situation.

Coldplay brings their “Head Full of Dream Tour” Concert to Tulsa

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Heather and I attended the Coldplay Concert at the BOK Center here in Tulsa Thursday night. 

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Heather is a big, big fan and I was a kind of well, you know, I like their song Clocks, and they are okay, you know, they don’t suck.

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I’m a fan now. We have been to some great concerts over the years and this one ranks up there with the best. Heather said it was “the best” she had ever been to, even better than Sting. Sorry Sting, you are now second best in Heather’s eyes I guess

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The lead singer, Chris Martin is a dynamo. Not only does he have a great voice and stage presence but he is very athletic. He was running and jumping while singing the whole show. And the special effects were timed perfectly with his leap and jumps. Confetti, flame, lasers, and big balloons. They spent a fortune on expendables that night.

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They had an “A” Stage at the front of the Arena, a “B” stage in the middle, and a small “C” stage in back. They were everywhere.

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Playing their heart out without a break for over two hours and 24 songs. Here is the set list.

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They played rock songs and ballads, their new songs and some of their old songs, and everything in between.

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The fans loved them!!

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We’ll be back and I will trying to find where Heather hid her disk.

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As an aside, they had four light people hanging from the ceiling. They looked all strapped in and belayed so probably OSHA is okay with it.

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We missed the first opening act but the second, Alessia Cara is a dynamo who can really sing.

Official, by gum video released by Coldplay for the tour.

Skywatch – Back at the Beach

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Back at the beach in Alabama from last month. That’s my wife Heather up there heading back to the condo after a family walk on the beach. She’s okay with me stopping to take photos, or stopping to look for geocaches, but she isn’t stopping. So for me its shoot and trot, shoot and trot. I don’t mind though.

We love the beach. We know we should be taking vacations that are good for us like going to New York City, or Washington D.C. but you know, there is nothing like the beach.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday.

“At the Shelters, When the Preachers Give You Jesus, They Give You Food Too”

I got to the office early one day this week and went to a little breakfast place close to the office  to eat and and get a cup of coffee. There was a woman there who looked to be in her mid to late 20’s and she had her some ear buds plugged into her cell phone and she was busy yakking away  in a much too loud voice which seems typical of people who use those kind of earphones. I was ignoring her even though I was irritated slightly that she was so loud.

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And then she started yapping away about she had much more valuable skill sets than what she was getting paid for. That kind of thing always amuses me so I started paying slightly more attention to her and noticed that she sounded like she was going through some sort of telephone interview or maybe a screening interview for a later real interview. So I felt kind of sorry for her for going through such a thing in such a public way. Of course she was the one being loud.

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Then she started answering questions. It was hard to tell since I was only getting one side of the conversation. I heard something to the effect of “Well, yeah, I’m living with somebody” and then “Well no, he is not my boyfriend but he thinks he is.” And then what me made almost spit my coffee all over the place was “Well, yeah I live with him but I try to downplay the sex but I need a somewhere to live until I can get a job where I can make enough money to get my own place so I put up with him.”

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About the same time another conversation picked up. There was a young guy who although dressed in clean neat clothes had a look about him that life was kind of hard for him at present. He was kind of hanging out at the back of the place where I was and another lady who seemed to be doing paper work. She asked him something to the effect of “I’ve seen you in here before I think.” And he said, “Yeah, I hang out in here quite a bit.” And she said “How come you are not eating anything?” And he said “Well, I don’t have any money but they let people have samples of coffee.” and she she said, how come you don’t have a job  and he said that he had problems with seizures.

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And then she said How long have you had seizures? And he “Well, I was okay but I went through a period of time when I was on a lot of drugs and that is when I started getting the seizures. And she said “What kind of drugs? and he said “Anything I could find, meth, the cigarettes they sell on the street,  alcohol. Whatever I could find, I tried. And she said are you still on drugs. and he said “No, I quit all that but I still have the seizures” and she asked if he was taking anything for them and he answered that he had some meds but he had no insurance so he kept his stash for when things got bad.

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So then she said that he had seizures because sin had entered his life. He said that he knew that. So she said that if he would pray with her for Jesus to enter his life then the seizures would go away and he said okay and she asked if he would pray with her. So she did the sinners prayer with him where he asked for Jesus to come into his life. Then she told him that he didn’t have to worry about the seizures any longer because Jesus would take the sin out of his life.

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And then he asked if he would buy her a bagel. And she said no! And he said that at the shelters when the preachers gave him Jesus they gave him food too. So she said, “Have you accepted Jesus before?” And he said, oh yeah lots of times. And so she said kind of angrily, “Why didn’t you tell me?” And he said “Because I’m hungry.” And she said “Well I’m not buying you anything” and he said, that’s okay, don’t worry about it. And she was like “I can’t believe you didn’t say anything.” And he said “Sorry!” and walked out.

I literally don’t know what to say about all this. Except I might have to quite listening in on other people’s conversations.

New Beginnings – Logan Starts College Today

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We were trying to figure out what to do Sunday when Logan announced that he would like to go hiking on Turkey Mountain.  It only took a few microseconds for the words to hit my ear and my response didn’t even go to my brain “Lets go!” I said.

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It was a change for Logan. He has a couple of other big changes coming up. For one he is starting college today at a local community college. He is starting part time. So we are not photographing decorated dorm rooms and new room mates and all that. We are starting kind of slow to see how it goes and get him used to it and he’ll live at home.

Not everybody of course goes “off” to college. I graduated from high school in Albuquerque and went to the University of New Mexico and stayed at home. Suited me!! I went off to the Permian Basin of west Texas to work as a roustabout in the oilfields during the summer. I loved the work but I loved getting home also. I think Logan is a home body also. Eventually he want to get a job and get a place of his own. Hopefully not too far away.

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We found someone camping illegally on the Mountain

The other change for Logan is that he is starting a work skills class at Goodwill Inc sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitative Services (“DRS”). Its going to be several hours a day and they are going to learn about all the various things a person has to know in order to have a job. We have been very impressed with both Goodwill and DRS. They are very nice people and we think this will be great for Logan. It will be in a small group type environment and they will all learn together. 

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Anyways say a small prayer if you would for our son as he starts this new things in his life. He is very nervous about it.

“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go…”

Joshua 1:9

Weekend Reflections – City Hall

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I like to get out at lunch and walk around downtown Tulsa. Generally I walk around two miles or so and I always take my little point and shoot Nikon AW110 and take lots of pics. Most of whom don’t see the light of day as my Flickr account has ballooned out to over 57,000 photographs. So this past week I walked by our City Hall which is covered in glass and I thought the reflections  of the big fat clouds against the blue sky we had that day looked pretty nice.  The above photo is the result. I did run the photo through my ipod app Snapseed just to give it a little oomph. (You are not going to bedgrudge me some oomph are you?)

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So I thought I would upload the photo on Instagram but I wanted even more oomph so I ran it through the various editing apps I have on my Ipod and I just went crazy. I used ToonCamera, Prisma, and DistressedFX and generated these in a matter of minutes. I like them all to one degree or another. And the winner is …..

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This generated with DistressedFX. I liked the gradient in colors that it produced from top to bottom.

So do you use Apps in editing your photos, or Photoshop, Corel, Picmonkey or something else?

Are you on Instagram? We should be Instagram buds!! My account is @yogiab. Recently I have been asked by the Tulsa River Parks Authority to post under their accounts @TurkeyMountain for the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Park and @riverparks. I’m just one of several people who post under those accounts but check them out anyway.

So everybody have a great weekend out there and I can’t wait to look at other reflections posts later this afternoon.

Linking with Weekend Reflections

Skywatch Friday – Early Day Photos of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival

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These are photos, taken by my Dad back in the 1970’s I think, of the Albuquerque Balloon Festival when it was just getting started and has now turned into a big international event. 

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We lived in Albuquerque back then and the Festival caused quite a stir. There were lots of fender benders all over town because people were looking at the balloons instead of the road ahead of them as they drove. We had balloons come down in the neighborhood. It was all very exciting.

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I thought there was nothing more beautiful than all the colorful balloons in the sky. Now I understand the sky is full of them.

Albuquerque Balloon Festival

Photo displayed under Creative Commons License on Flickr, by Peggy and Joe Ghiloni who retain all rights.

So maybe one day I will go back. Check out the Balloon Festival web site for more information. Let me know if you are going. Apply for media credentials. Tell me if you get them.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday