Monday, April 03, 2006

Spider close-up

I think I got my first ever GOOD close-up out of my digital camera this weekend. I was loading my dishwasher Sunday morning, and turned to do something, went to put another dish in, and saw a little spider trapped in a water droplet on the inside door of the dishwasher. Poor little guy, I thought. So I picked him up with the corner of a paper towel, (which absorbed the water drop) and I thought he'd scurry off, but he just sat there. So I looked at him up close and saw how he had these cool stripes and thought, 'hmm, I wonder if I could get a picture of this guy?' So I got my camera out, got my mini-tripod out (I think this is where I've always gone wrong in the past, I always move the camera no matter how steady I thought I held it, which leads to a blurry photo). I even went and got my Mag Flashlight and put a tissue over it, to create a light diffuser, turned the macro zoom feature on, and the flash off, and proceeded to get a couple good photos. I think if you click on the photo you'll get to see it in a larger window. He was only about 3/8" big and that texture he's sitting on is a paper towel so you can see the scale. (needless to say, when I put all my camera stuff away, I came back, and the little guy was gone.)

On another note: Last night I went to a new group meeting. It was... shall we say unique. I have a link on the side here to one of my favorite magazine/website called Make Magazine. It's hard to describe, but in a nutshell it's about people who make things. Simple things like crafts (such as knitting - not that knitting is "simple" but you know what I mean), to a guy who built his own monorail train in his backyard, and everything in-between. Well, Last night was the second meeting of a local Make group. I am really glad that I went. It was corny, and stupid, geeky... but a lot of fun, so who cares about the corny and stupid parts. It's really hard to describe, but I'll try. It's very informal, as it's brand new and we're all not sure what we're doing. The beginning was open to anyone who was building a project could get up and talk/show their project... these consisted of: A guy who was developing his own software program to help him make paper origami spheres, a guy who made is own extension cords, an Architect who drove down from NYC (not sure what his project was), A woman who was torn about taking apart an old doll from the 1960's to figure out how the spring mechanism worked, A woman who worked making props and animatronics, and a few others that I can't recall right now. Then we were split into groups of 4-5 each, and given a tool box of typical tools, hammer, screwdriver, etc, and a bag of "parts", then we were told to build an object to travel from point A to point B. Whoever got their vehicle to travel furthest was the winner. The main pieces we had to work with were; a rat trap, a large balloon, 4 CD's (wheels), some washers, rubberbands, and of course duct tape. Ours looked cool, but when it came time to "go" it didn't. It just sat there. But that's not really the point. The winning team, after making some last minute adjustments had the best distance of about 10 feet. It was a strange night but I met some interesting people, and had fun.
On another note... We had our meeting in the basement club of an American Ukrainian group that had a bar in it, with a few of the locals there. There was a wedding there prior to our arrival, so maybe these guys were stragglers from the wedding? This one guy standing at the bar was about 65, white mussed up hair, wearing a white undershirt, with a white sweatshirt on top that was loose fitting and had the sleeves cut off (reminded me of an old 80's fashion). As I was standing at the bar waiting for a beer, one of the guys from our group tapped my shoulder and point to the waistline of this guy... he had a large belt clip with a hatchet hanging from his belt! Needless to say, I got my beer and made sure to keep this guy in my peripheral vision the rest of the night ;) - Like I said, a strange night. :)

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