Conehead – Neoconocephalus triops

The Coneheads were a joke that ran much too long on Saturday Night Live and even spawned a movie

But, this post is not about them; it’s about this:

Don’t see it? How about now?

Still don’t see it? Let me get closer still . . . 

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Posted in Macro Photography, Photography, Photography Stuff, Spiders and Insects | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Gnat Graveyard

I’ve written before about one of the joys here in Hawaiʻi . . . bugs. 

By the way, THIS is a bit worrisome of an article. As much as I don’t like bugs (don’t hate them, either) I know they are of importance in a number of ways. 

As much as I worry about what that article implies, I’m actually a contributor to the decline of flying bugs, and specifically, gnats. The name “gnat” is not scientific and can refer to any number of small flying bugs. It also can be a qualifier preceding “brain” when speaking about politicians, although the joke is on us because one has to wonder what that makes us, the people who elect them. 

Anyway, I seem to attract gnats, probably because I’m fairly bright.

Whatever the reason, despite us being fairly conscientious about wrapping all manner of food scraps in plastic and making sure screens and doors are closed, there are certain times of the year — typically, from early January to late December — when gnats find their way into the condo. 

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Posted in Macro Photography, Photography, Photography Stuff, Spiders and Insects | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

October 2017 Flowers Topazified

I occasionally get bored . . . wait, check that. I occasionally have things on my mind and need to indulge in mindless and yet engaging activities. Some people might remember the October Flowers posts, one in color and one in B&W. Don’t worry, you don’t have to remember it or even look at it before engaging with this post. 

Well, I up and Topazified . . . or is the correct term Topazed? Maybe, Topazinefied? Whatever, the point is I ran some of the color photos and the corresponding B&W photos through various Topaz plugins and filters. 

For instance:

I didn’t bother writing all of the filters down but, mostly, Glow, Impression, Simplify, Restyle, and Textures. 

Here’s the B&W version of the same photo run through a different filter. 

You can click on each photo for a larger version or go to the gallery at the bottom of this post. There is no SmugMug gallery because there is no advantage to looking at these at the pixel level. 

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Posted in Flowers, Hawaii, Photography, Photography How To, Photography Stuff, The Big Island, Writing Stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Lake Hood Seaplane Base – Anchorage, AK

It’s been one month since we returned from our cruise to Alaska an in that time I’ve only done a couple of posts from our trip. One about using the P900 as the main travel camera and one giving a general impression of the trip

This post is the start of the proper reporting of what we saw. Mind you, I did a number of updates as we were traveling, but those were all with photos from my still capable Samsung Note II smartphone.  

THIS post has the photos and movies shot with my phone while walking around the Lake Hood Seaplane Base in Anchorage.  Them who read that post might find this one boring as the photos are nearly the same . . . but, you know, hopefully, better. 

Before we get to the planes and other sights, let me get a couple of other photos out of the way. These mushrooms were shown in the original post, but these are the P900 versions. 

There are two more versions in the gallery at the end of the post and in the SmugMug gallery HERE. Photos in SmugMug can be viewed full-size. You can click on these photos to see a larger version but less than full-size. 

One other trio of photos that did not make the original post . . . 

I am pretty sure this young eagle (that’s my guess as to what it is) is holding something in its talons. You can barely see it picking at something in the first photo. Unfortunately, it never got close enough for me to really zoom in, and the resolution of these cropped photos are not that great. 

I think I would have gotten a better shot with my 70-200mm lens, but it still would have been small. Anyway, proceeding with our walk . . . 

If you clicked on the link, you could have read a bit about Lake Hood and its history. It was interesting seeing all these float planes tied up along the shoreline. 

I could have snapped hundreds of photos but, instead, I shot only planes with colorings that I liked . . . 

The one I liked the best, as far as colors, is this next one . . . 

Interestingly, this plane did not have an N-number. Since 1960, all fixed-wing aircrafts are required to display their N-number on the vertical surface of the fuselage or tail. Perhaps this was in the process of transferring ownership.

With the N-number, you can check the FAA database for information about the plane. For instance, for the previous plane, you can look up N736RR and get information on the plane and the ownership. 

Anyway, we saw a number of planes take off, this being the first. 

NOTE: these suckers are loud. Lower the volume before playing.

That was across the lake . . . I was impressed with the level of noise, especially since I was near maximum zoom. Here’s a photo of that area from a bit closer.

There is a spot that is ideal for watching planes take off and land . . . 

. . . but I took a few more photos on the way there . . . 

Most of the berths for the planes have an associated cabin. Not all, but those that did put the effort into beautifying the cabins. You can search the Internet for photos of Lake Hood and you’ll see owners proudly standing by their planes and cabins. 

It was only after I snapped this next photo that I realized what was on the windshield of this plane . . . 

It’s frost in the process of being melted away. Odd that because it was in the late afternoon and I was comfortable with just a t-shirt and an open light jacket. 

There are a few movies in the original post, but those were taken with the phone. These were taken with the P900 . . . and here is where I’ll complain again about the position of the buttons of the P900 as well as the balance of the camera. Some of these are fairly jerky until I settled into a position where I could control the camera and work the zoom. I tried having YouTube remove the shakiness, but in the process, they shortened the movies and missed things like the actual take-off of the planes. Hence, you’re getting the original movies as they were shot.

NOTE: these suckers are loud. Lower the volume before playing. 

Planes taking off:

The shakiness is due to the balance of the camera with the lens extended and trying to work the zoom while holding it steady. 

In defense of the camera, I got better and I’m not much less erratic when I shoot movies and work the zoom.

I captured a few planes landing with the phone, but only one with the P900.

Notice the plane is not as loud as when they are taking off. Also, this pilot bounced the plane when landing. My landing experience during the previous Alaska cruise was smooth enough that I didn’t know we had landed (HERE).

Suprise! . . . this is a short post. Here’s the gallery and then we’re done:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
About “likes”:   Of “Likes”, Subscriptions, and Stuff

Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

Posted in Airplanes, Alaska, Alaska, float planes, Machines, My YouTube, Photography, Photography Stuff, Scenery, Travel Stuff, YouTube Stuff | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

We’re not having the right discussion

Depending on who you listen to, you have definite ideas as to what is wrong with health care in this country. Depending on who you listen to, you have definite ideas about who is to blame. Depending on who you listen to, you have definite ideas as to what should be done.

I’m tired of arguing with most people because most of these definite ideas — per everything I know — are myopic at best, could charitably be classified as misguided, and, if I’m brutally honest, I think are willfully dishonest and driven by partisanship.

Understand, I claim no special knowledge or insight. But I do claim we’re not having the right discussion.

In the words of one of our leaders, who knew health insurance was so complicated? Everybody. Everybody knows, but they still all want an easy answer, a silver bullet.

Before I tell you what I think, I’m going to give you some links. That’s right; you got a reading assignment.

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Posted in Musings Stuff, Personal, Politics | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

IRONMAN 2016 . . . a bit late, I know.

Last year around this time I wrote about the Ironman triathlon held here in Kona each year. Well, it’s that time again, and tomorrow some few thousand men and women will jump in the waters of Kona bay, swim 2.4 miles, then bike 112 miles, and then run 26 miles and change.   

When I wrote THAT POST, I mentioned in passing about all the fine human specimens that were running, swimming, and biking around here. As luck would have it, a few of my female readers asked if they could, by chance, see said specimens. 

Here’s the thing . . . I’ve had these photos for over a year now and I’ve been hesitant to show them because . . . well, frankly, they suck. They are not sharp and lack the quality I would like for people to associate with my work. 

And, you know what? I don’t know why all these photos turned out as lower quality. 

BUT . . . I have me some better post-processing skills now, and I did at least manage to make them passable. There is no associated SmugMug gallery because these photos don’t pass the pixel test. Still, you can click on them for a larger view, and I do — for what it’s worth —provide the full-size version of the panoramas (they are big; don’t click on the links unless you have a decent Internet connection). 

So, here we go . . .

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Posted in Other Stuff, Photography, Photography Stuff | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

October 2017 Flowers in Black and White

This will truly be a short post . . . a couple of photos and a gallery at the bottom of the post.

I’ve added the B&W shots to the original SmugMug gallery HERE where one can get down to the pixel level. The gallery at the bottom of this post or clicking on any photo will get you a version with the maximum side length of 1280 pixels. The galleries (either one) is probably the best way to look at the 101 photos I took. 

I’m only going to show a couple in the body of the post, and by a couple, I mean no more than ten or so, and probably less. 

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Posted in Black & White, Flowers, Hawaii, Photography, Photography Stuff, The Big Island | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments