There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Experiments in color

My friend Sharon suggested to me that shooting on slide film and having it processed as if it were print film might be worth trying, that the color shifts that happen when you do that would be pretty interesting. I checked with the place where I get my film developed, and after weeks of hemming and hawing, they agreed that they could process the film that way. So I tried it. I used my new Lomographic Society Fisheye 2 camera, a recent Christmas present from my wife. I was looking for colorful items that might become more vibrantly and vividly colorful with the cross processing. I really like the photos, but I'm not as crazy about how my scanner treated them, so I may rescan these from the film when I get a scanner capable of doing that (hopefully in the near future).

Jukebox - 200 Selections

Private Property No Trespassing

Dead End

Larger (and more) images over on my photo site.

Posted at 10:17 PM
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Well, I thought it had gotten kinda quiet around here....

I made an update to my spam catching code on January 3, and apparently, it worked a bit too well; not only did no spam comments get through, no comments of any other kind were accepted either. I backed out the change this morning and lo! and behold, comments work again. Clearly, while I tested if it caught the kind of comments the change was meant to prevent, I forgot to test to see if it passed comments it was supposed to pass. Stupid mistake on my part.

I've dug one comment from my brother out of the logs, but if you've tried to comment here since January 3 and got a message about a field being wrong or something, please feel free to try again.

Posted at 5:13 PM
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Monday, January 22, 2007

My poor credit card

Oh, now this is cool. Other Music, the best record store I've been to in the past ten years and a place where I can easily drop $100 any time I walk in there, is going to start selling digitally downloadable music in MP3 format.

Posted at 4:03 PM
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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Nine times as good

In addition to the Lomographic Society Fisheye 2 that Laura gave me for Christmas, she also gave me one of their goofy Pop 9 cameras, a shiny golden 35mm pocket camera that has nine lenses in a 3x3 array. I was a bit skeptical as to the utility of the camera when I opened the package, but I have to say, I'm pleased with how my first shots a couple of days after Christmas turned out. If one photo of a goofy sign is good, nine photos must be nine times as good, right?

No Super Sale



The only problem is that these little thumbnails really don't do them justice. You'll just have to go over to my photos site and look at them a little larger to see what's really going on here.

Posted at 9:29 PM
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Thursday, January 11, 2007


I hemmed and hawed for a few months, partly because of uncertainty surrounding my job situation and partly because of another conference I long attended that's occuring the same week, but I finally made a decision a couple of days ago. I'm going to SXSW Interactive again this year. I found the whole experience pretty overwhelming last year (in both good and bad ways), but ultimately I think it was a positive experience. Now that I know what it's like, I think I'll be better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities it offers, as well.

If you're a visitor here and you're planning to go as well, let me know. I'd definitely be interested in meeting up with members of the vast (or half-vast, as the case may be) There Is No Cat community.

Posted at 2:52 AM
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Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Excuse me, but didn't the Japanese lose the war?

In the mid 1980s, while I was in school and for about a year after I graduated, I worked for Penn State's TV station, and one of my duties was to run camera every Sunday morning for Joe Paterno's TV program. Paterno wasn't very pleasant to deal with in the studio; if we weren't rolling tape within five minutes of his arrival, we would hear about it, with great vehemence and at great volume. But every week, a player or two would always guest on the program as well, and they were invariably polite, dressed in suit and tie at 9 am on Sunday morning when most college students were recovering from Saturday nights revelries.

Not like those nasty S.O.B.s at Miami.

1986 was an amazing year for Penn State football. Paterno had won his first national championship four years earlier when I was a sophomore at Penn State, and at the end of the football season, they were undefeated, ranked number 2 in the nation, and preparing for what was then an incredibly rare bowl game that matched the number 2 team in the nation with the number 1 team in the nation to decide definitively who would be national champions. Number 1 was the University of Miami. It was huge. And it changed college football forever. Next Monday's game between Ohio State and the University of Florida probably wouldn't have been possible without 1986's Fiesta Bowl matchup.

Miami's players reveled in playing the role of college football's bad boys. Arrogant jackasses, they walked out on a dinner with the Nittany Lions a few days before the game, strutted around in combat fatigues, and were just generally creeps. Game on. I hated Miami with a passion previously reserved solely for Ohio State in the Woody Hayes era. To this day, thinking of the Miami Hurricanes brings back that feeling (although I think Larry Coker was a decent guy who didn't deserve to be fired and was happy to see him win the MPC Computers Bowl; come to think of it, their firing of him was in keeping with their lack of class). I even find it kind of galling that then-Miami coach Jimmy Johnson is one of Fox's pre-game commentators for their bowl games.

20 years later, that game on January 2, 1987, is still the college football game with the highest television ratings ever. I could tell you more about the lead up to the game and what happened, but someone else has done a better job than I can. ESPN has a great story about that game 20 years ago tonight, almost an oral history.

Posted at 9:58 PM
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Bowl Day!

New Year's Day is one of my favorite days of the year, because I get to spend the whole day in front of the TV watching college football from 11 am until 1 am. I wouldn't want to do that every weekend (although I've been known to do it occasionally during the season), but this one day, it's great. Doubly so because the first game, starting at 11 am, was Penn State vs. Tennessee in the Outback Bowl, and Penn State won.

But as enjoyable as that game was, it didn't hold a candle to the just-finished Fiesta Bowl. Nobody believed that undefeated Boise State belonged in the BCS. But they led Oklahoma (Oklahoma!) for almost the entire game. Oklahoma tied the game on their third attempt at a two point conversion, then went ahead for the first time with just over a minute left when they intercepted a Boise State pass and returned it for a touchdown. Oops. Boise State didn't give up, though. Their last play with seven seconds left was amazing, pass with a perfectly executed hook and ladder lateral by the receiver that stunned Oklahoma and led to a tying touchdown. Off to overtime. Oklahoma set the bar by scoring a touchdown right away, so Boise State knew what they had to do. They wound up scoring on fourth down with another trick play, a pass from one receiver to another. Then, amazingly, they went for the win instead of tying again to go to another overtime by trying for a two-point conversion. I don't remember the last time I saw a Statue of Liberty play, and Ian Johnson, Boise State's star running back, practically walked in to the end zone for the two points to win. One amazing oddball play after another, and they beat one of the perennial college football powerhouses. Absolutely amazing game, one of the best I've ever seen.

It's a pity a day like this only comes once a year. At least there are still a few more bowl games between now and the national championship game next Monday. It's hard to imagine any of them living up to this Boise State win, though.

Posted at 1:18 AM
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This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi. (E-mail address removed due to virus proliferation.)

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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