Friday, January 28, 2005

I obviously have a very sick sense of humour.

VW Polo ad, via Blognor Regis, whose site I was searching whilst trying to find a new address for that naughty, nasty Neil who has gone all incognito on us. Unfortunately he's probably intelligent enough to figure out that providing most of people asking for his new address with his new address is a sure-fire way to ensure that many of them will mention both new and old in the same sentence, which could reduce the newly acquired anonymity. (I know that's a long rambling sentence, but I've just spent the day writing in short, sharp sentences, and having to remember the difference between a colon and a semicolon, and I'm not going to do the colostomy bag joke now, and that's the second reference to one of those within the week, and should you wish to brush up on your punctuation, there's a good guide from Sussex Uni, and the guy who wrote that sides with me on logical quotation marks, and that perhaps ought to be whom, but on second thoughts it shouldn't, as it's not the object, but I'm not sure the object is quite what I mean, and anyway this annoying stream of consciousness is my way of recovering, oh and the Polo ad isn't, but it's still funny, yes I know it trades on stereotypes, but why do men with those scarves and bad sunglasses wear camouflage clothing, especially when it is often the only bit of greenery for miles around, and yes, that too is being superficial).

Anyway, Neil, or whatever you're now called, where have you gone, and can I have your new address please? I'll be as discreet as you want me to be.

It's quite annoying not having him there, as he was frequently my first port of call whenever I felt to urge to read blogs. And if this was a proper blog, then obviously that would have decimated my reciprocating readership, but as I don't have quite enough fessed-up blogging readers to be able decimate in the true sense of the word, I don't suppose it matters.

I'm also still annoyed that my oh-so-cunningly found address from the same stable as produces the blog (and I'm not referring to the genelogic one), is apparently a dud, having remained ridiculously blank.

Moving on:
They mocked me. I made the mistake of taking a labcoat to my photography course. Well, clothing designed to reduce damage from spilt chemicals (and tissues [not the discovered too late in washing machine type]), plus small, possibly darkened, rooms full of people who don't know what they are doing, with many chemicals. Seems logical enough. But judging by some people's reactions to making up solutions at the right temperature and concentration, I'm not sure logic applies to some of them.

For example: we have a small amount of developer which we need to dilute in a much larger volume of water, all of which needs to be at about 20oC. As I had been given a different job (playing with a stick), I tried not to get too involved. they were going to add hot water to the developer and then cold water to cool it. I managed to suggest that as there was so little concentrated developer, it wouldn't change the temperature much, so why don't you get the water at the right temperature, and go from there?

I then stood back, desperately trying not to say anything, as someone decants a couple of litres of near boiling water (but it's only 50oC. No, the thermometer only goes up to 50), and then tries adding water to cool it. Which given the jugs only hold two and half litres...

Much decanting, and adding cold water, and decanting, and adding more water, and we have umpteen containers filled with varying degrees of warm water. But we do have a jug at 20oC. I know it's gone badly, as I used the infamous nevermind. Which I only use when I'm sulking, as "Oh nevermind!" he snapped or when I've given up, as "Just d... Nevermind now" he sighed resignedly.

So the developing solution gets prepared, and 13 minutes of swishing X then Y every Z later, gets drained away. Meanwhile, the people given the task of sorting solutions have been struggling to get both the rinse and fixer to twenty degrees, in many unlabelled containers. I think is such a great sentence, especially when deployed after It's definitely X.

Tap, swish, twizzle. My this is fun. I want a longer stick. Then it's finished, except for the final rinse, but before then the instructor checks that they've all worked. Dump our films in the tank. Discover that the instructor got it wrong, and the fixer was supposed to be one to four, not one in four. Shouldn't make much difference, and not much we can do now. Go and have coffee, but being us lot, mostly don't, and bring our own bottles of water instead. Discuss the impossibility of transferring film from the canister onto the developing spool, without requiring the use of a stomach. Compare methods for opening the canister: using the specially designed tool, or using the shrapnel technique (pulling apart with one's fingers).

Go back, dip film in diet Fairy (well, very dilute detergent), clip to back of door, discovered the other end is a few centimetres from the floor, wipe of excess water, using fingers as mangle. Weight and hang up to dry. Get complemented on one the pictures, but I've no idea which of the 36 she was referring to.

Unfortunately, that's the end of the session, so I have negatives, hanging in a corner of a corridor, which I can't get to or see until next week. No fair, I want to see how I did, and I want to make prints.

Carrying on the pictures theme, I've just found some impressive satellite photography [source] showing the effects of the tsunami, including some of parts of Sri Lanka from Boxing Day, showing a very receded sea, and in one case, a diagonally sloping sea (but there is no indication of time). It seems callous (and it probably is) to look at this pictures solely in terms of physical or geographic activity, but in same way Chichester harbour from the air is fascinating, so are these pictures.


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