New York NYC Journal

Calzone

Gear Whore #1
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Joined
Nov 11, 2008
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Embedded in the NYC Meet-Up thread has been a lot of cross talk about bikes, guitars, vintage trucks, and of course cameras (sometimes). LOL.

I also rant about the economy…

So anyways in the spirit of promoting a “safe place” where we can further develop our friendships further, communicate off-topic, and very importantly stay engaged and socialize, it was suggested that I start a separate thread to keep the regional NYC Meet-Up thread uncluttered and streamlined.

Anyways, pretty much think of this as a support group. As photographers I have noticed certain OCD tendencies and crazy behaviors.

Feel free to check in and get us up to date.

I for one have recently retired, and the transition is kinda crazy because nothing I planned for actually happened; not one. I share these experiences in the spirit of “Public Service” so perhaps others might find utility.

Also know that with the purchase of a 1912 house that my photography is kinda in limbo, but eventually I will have a darkroom and eventually have my digital studio re-established. I’m looking forward to exploring large format, and doing something new that is crazy-good.

So here is the space to share and rant. Anyways frame it all in as “Photography as a lifestyle” or “Photographer as an identity” if you can. Anyways because we all are photographers the POV I think organically gets exposed and understood…

Cal
 
One of the reasons why I’m developing and building out my 4 retro bikes is to use them as photographic tools.

For one they are really great for scouting. I’m new to Westchester, the suburban county just north of the Bronx. Then I also see how I can merge biking and photography into a healthy pastime.

I wonder if an offshoot of this might be a bike a shoot kinda Meet-Up.

Anyways there are a few cyclists in our group. Pretty much could be a day trip, or a way to do events like tours or Centuries (100 mile organized rides).

Also a heads up: sometime in the years ahead I intend on doing a Jon Cone workshop in Vermont. Pretty much I want to do digital Negatives for contact printing, and also explore alternative processes. Pretty much this would be a me without “Maggie” because I want all-in to the experience, but it would be cool to do workshops with a photographer I know personally.

Cal
 
It's "journal" Cal....

I swear, I might just send you a dictionary for Christmas!

And Cal....I can't speak for others, but I looked forward to your posts when we were under COVID lockdown. You and Chris Crawford's posts about Sneaky the cat and photos of Fort Wayne were what kept my spirits up.
 
MFM,

One of my learning disabilities is I can’t spell. Kinda funny that I have a MFA (Creative Non Fiction).

Well anyway, I can pull out the race card and say as a person of color we create slang and do all this butchering of languages.

”Maggie” went to Catholic schools and even taught at a Jesuit College (Fordham). She can spell, and she use to correct me all the time. Pretty much misusing words, making up new meanings, and such.

But then I pulled out the race card, and told her not to oppress me. LOL. Pretty much it is my job and my responsibility to butcher language and put my spin on things.

Cal
 
I fight my own war of attrition with my war on Knotweed. Weeded the dead end and the lower landing.

Very encouraging is how the Marsh Grass has filled in and effectively is choking out Knotweed.

Pretty much I am staged to harvest the autumn leaves that my neighbors blow along a fence along Route 9. I use the leaves as mulch and clean fill for the slope I am backfilling.

The illegal chain link fence I moved down the slope this season will be concealed by leaves, so imagine how crazy is my compost pile. Anyways, if it is free it is for me.
On the other side of the fence is a bit of a landing/embankment that is a small terrace, then there is the marsh.

Around Thanksgiving the City of Peekskill vacuums up the leaves, so pretty much I have a deadline…

I’m kinda excited. Some of this is cultural, I’m Cantonese, (Southern Chinese), and this monumental extension is basically filling in a hillside so that it is more cliff like.

Also I am also restoring habitats and building out a sanctuary of sorts.

Cal
 
S&P traded today around lunchtime at 3626. The close was above the 3636 52 week low. Pretty much a new 52 week lower low could happen any day now with a close below 3636.

The downward staircase goes along with the glide path.

Cal
 
MFM,

One of my learning disabilities is I can’t spell. Kinda funny that I have a MFA (Creative Non Fiction).

Well anyway, I can pull out the race card and say as a person of color we create slang and do all this butchering of languages.

”Maggie” went to Catholic schools and even taught at a Jesuit College (Fordham). She can spell, and she use to correct me all the time. Pretty much misusing words, making up new meanings, and such.

But then I pulled out the race card, and told her not to oppress me. LOL. Pretty much it is my job and my responsibility to butcher language and put my spin on things.

Cal

Let me guess....your handwriting is also awful?

There is a reason why I keep a dictionary at my desk. I've never been able to spell worth a damn. I have very unpleasant memories of my dad screaming at me whenever I brought my report cards home. My grades for spelling were always D's or very rarely a low C.

Ditto my handwriting-after all these years, the only thing I write in cursive is my name when I sign a check or something. I can type faster than I ever could write.

MFM
 
Let me guess....your handwriting is also awful?

There is a reason why I keep a dictionary at my desk. I've never been able to spell worth a damn. I have very unpleasant memories of my dad screaming at me whenever I brought my report cards home. My grades for spelling were always D's or very rarely a low C.

Ditto my handwriting-after all these years, the only thing I write in cursive is my name when I sign a check or something. I can type faster than I ever could write.

MFM

MFM,

I have some form of dyslexia. My hearing is slurred and I have problems processing serial data like telephone numbers or spelling.

I can’t type. When I use a computer basically I only use my right middle finger, and the middle finger on my left hand is use for the shift key. Pretty much one finger typing.

Thing is I am rather gifted in abstract reasoning, math, and mechanical reasoning.

On intelligence tests in these areas I’m in the top 5%, but then my reading and spelling are way below average.

When I was 16 I took the PSAT’s and then before I was 17 was offered a full scholarship to The U.S. Coast Guard Academy because of my score. Pretty much at a very young age. Know that this is like West Point where you get invited to attend. I did not realize that I threw away an Ivy League education, all because I did not want to get my hair cut, but I also knew it would be hard for me to take orders. The Coast Guard Academy is a very elite school.

My handwriting is not so bad. Also know that I have great hand eye dexterity. Give me a vise, a block of aluminum and a file and you would think I used a milling machine. I have a fine eye for detail.

Cal
 
I’m about 20 days out from having contracted Covid, and not that I have Long-Covid, but whenever I exert myself I get the cough back even though I test negative.

Yesterday I killed Knotweed. I went at a measured pace, pretty much took my time, but 5 o’clock in the morning I had a coughing fit.

So I took notice that moving the lawn did the same thing, a small relapse of sorts.

In my case it seems I had milder symptoms than “Maggie” who had fog and headaches.

Also know that I sleep a lot, sometimes more than 8 hours, yet I tire easily.

There may be some truth that it takes a month to recover… otherwise I have long Covid.

So I played guitar shop and set up my first two Santa Cruz guitars. New strings and some tweaking. I changed the Mahogany Model “F” back to medium tension strings. The lighter gauge seemed not to drive the top enough, and the light gauge strings sounded muffled. Much better now.

So three Santa Cruz guitars fresh with new strings. I started to A-B-C them.

Well the “Hog” grunts (all mahogany Model “F”), and the OM is mighty open and loud, but I think the new Model “F” with the old wood cuts and fills a room with sound the best maybe because the guitar is more balanced. The OM features scalloped bracing and that tends to accentuate the bass and treble response, so the mids sound scooped.

I say the “Hog” will likely get louder as it breaks in more. Pretty much more brighter because the bass and mids are thick. Brightness would come across as clarity, right now the guitar kinda rumbles.

The OM is kinda played in. Perhaps more overtones and loudness, but pretty much it is already there.

The Burnt Toast old wood Model F surely will get louder, and the bass already is opening up. I think the articulation is better than the OM, especially played up the neck. Since the body is mahogany eventually the bass will boom, but the top has to learn to flex more, and that takes time and a lot of playing. It is amazing, but it is still a new guitar.

So in my evaluation I think both Model “F”s need to get played in more to attain their voicing. All three very different. The Hog is a decade old guitar that sat in a case unloved for that decade, so pretty much it is like a brand new guitar. The OM has about 3 decades of playing on it.

Cal
 
It has taken more than twenty years, but “Maggie” said yesterday that I tend to draw out the crazies. This agrees with what Snarky Joe and Devil Christian have been proclaiming for more than a decade.

So what I didn’t say or do was “hold up the mirror” so Maggie might perhaps see that she might be one of those crazies that I have drawn out. LOL.

Sometimes it is best to laugh to myself, and it is true that I kinda love crazy women. I find them interesting.

Snarky Joe gave me the idea that the best way to exploit a 11-34T cassette is with a 46/26 set of chainrings. I thought I could X-fer the old retro mountain bike Grafton cranks that I removed off the Newsboy, but the inner chainring is some wonky size for the granny gear.

Snarky Joe, true to his namesake, was correct that it would not be easy to find a crankset that would work, but today I found a square tapered Middleburn triple with a 48/38/28 that are a mountain bike 175mm on EBAY. They are coming from England.

Pretty much Middleburn is the only crank manufacturer that I know of that will warrantee their cranks for Trials use. Interesting to note the Middleburn cranks that were used for Trials that pretty much have been re-machined by rock hopping and filed rough by boulder scrapes in some of the listings

My new/used cranks are not beat up, but are from way back in the day. They are of a old style, but no big deal because I can update and change out the spyder for my evil ways.

I do a lot of creative things that often annoys people. Pretty much Snarky Joe and Devil Christian find it entertaining the strange and odd things I do that are kinda clever and thoughtful.

So I gambled and placed an offer on a set of retro Phil Wood single speed wheels. Phil Wood hubs are HD and are favored for building tandems, the same is true for Middleburn cranks. So these wheels are kinda well used, look to be straight gauge spokes, and perhaps on just a Sun non aero rim. Kinda period correct for my retro junk.

So pretty much I’ll see if I get these old wheels so I can build a 3x1 road bike and use these 28mm wide Rene Herse clinchers.

If my offer does not work out, my plan “B” is to build out the bead blasted and painted Ti Basso road into either a 2x9 or 3x9 to use the new cranks that are coming from England.

I favor the 3x9 because that is pretty odd on a road bike, especially a titanium one. Extra gears is good when old.

Either way I’m sure that this bike might help draw out the crazies. It will be an interesting bike and pretty much a fun ride.

“Takes one to know one,” I say.

Also know that I’m buying up and building up my Middleburn chain ring collection of domestic/local NOS stock when available. Cost prohibitive to buy and ship from England.

So pretty much I am taking a fun risk and am embracing chance. Let’s see how my gamble pays off. Plan “C” could involve a convertible bike from 3x1 to 3x9. How cool would that be?

I can see Snarky Joe and Devil Christian laughing already. “Nobody does that,” they say.

Cal
 
Oh-well, the seller of the Phil Wood Wheelset came back with a counter offer. Not worth it to me.

Oh-well again. In this game of chance I had my excitement, my fun, and pretty much my plan “B” of building out the Ti Basso road as a 2x9 or 3x9 using the wheels I already own is cool with me.

So it is pretty remarkable how Snarky Joe has wisdom. I found the impossible crankset that offers me 2x9 or even 3x9 capabilities. How cool is that. I kinda saved money also by shopping around and buying pretty much something priced right for me.

Anyways the game with the seller of the single speed wheelset is not over yet. Time is my friend, and I’m cool if any deal goes south. To be vulgar, “No sweat off my balls.” Like I mentioned, the Phil Woods hubs are mighty durable, but the wheels look well used…

Cal
 
Then I also see how I can merge biking and photography into a healthy pastime.


I think the Norwegians merged photography with cross-country skiing.
 
Then I also see how I can merge biking and photography into a healthy pastime.


I think the Norwegians merged photography with cross-country skiing.

Chris,

They also combined cross country skiing with target shooting.

This is an Olympic event.

Cal
 
Looks like the selloff continues today after yesterday’s bounce. Will the S&P close below 3636 and make a new 52 week low today. The intraday trading earlier in the week breached 3636 on the S&P, but closed around 3650, right around where the S&P is trading at 10:00 AM this morning.

Revised numbers indicate the economy is slowing down. No news to me…

Get prepared for the ugly that is yet to come.

Pretty much our kitchen was money well spent. Kinda fancy for a small house. I’m enjoying cooking, kinda reminds me of developing film. I wonder how many of us photographers are also wonderful cooks.

Today I made pancakes.

Seems like the numbers suggest that the cranks with the 48/38/28 chain rings provide some very useful gearing. Basically mucho gears, but the low is only a 23.o6 gear inch. I could live with that.

By chance if the triple dopes not work on the road bike know that these silver cranks would do well on the Newsboy. I also have lots of this optical polishing felts that are loaded with abrasives. I have 12,000 grit, so I could polish the retro Middleburn cranks to blind people pretty easily.

Lots of flexibility here. I can’t loose.

So even if the seller of the Phil Wood wheelset reconsiders my offer, I think no deal for me. These Middleburn cranks get me to where I want to go.

Also a new idea, and one of chaos engages me. The Model “F” I call the “HOG” because it is made of all mahogany and grunts makes for a really great guitar to explore alternative tunings. Perhaps this might be a place where a misfit like me really excels. Music involves a lot of math and physics. I love it.

Cal
 
The S&P breached 3636 today, but will it close below 3636 to make a new 52-week low?

It did not take long, and likely the announced slow down in the first half of the year will create a new low.

”Look out below.” I say.

Cal
 
30 year mortgage rates are at 6.7% today up from 6.29%. The glide downward continues towards 10% to kill the housing market. These jumps in rates are speeding up…

Don’t forget that the FED also has to kill the stock market to eliminate the “wealth effect.”

Today looks like the day that the S&P will close below 3636 to establish a new 52 week lower low.

”Look out below,” I say, but also know that it is still early to brace yourself for impact. Some people like Ray Dalio and Stan Drunkenmueller are saying the recession will be next year.

What I find so unusual is how far out they say the real downturn will happen. It seems inflation has a lot of momentum and I would argue that the reason why the recession or crash will happen so far out is because contrary to Jay Powell’s thinking inflation is actually entrenched.

Here is a spin: if the dollar has appreciated 20% against the British Pound and 15% against the EURO, and pretty much both are floating about parity with the U.S. dollar, just think or conceive that in England inflation is 20% worse than it is here, and that in Europe things are 15% worse than here.

They say, “The U.S. has the least dirty shirt.”
 
I like this safe place.
I take opportunity to let you know t he last important event in my life is that at age 73 I decided I needed to learn something new, so came the decision to learn to play guitar and I bought one! Not really, my wife gifted me one, a Martin for our 20th wedding Anniversary!
It will take time to learn to play it but as with photography the joy is in the journey !
 
I like this safe place.
I take opportunity to let you know t he last important event in my life is that at age 73 I decided I needed to learn something new, so came the decision to learn to play guitar and I bought one! Not really, my wife gifted me one, a Martin for our 20th wedding Anniversary!
It will take time to learn to play it but as with photography the joy is in the journey !

Robert,

Wonderful. It is a great journey to start.

I have had a very disrupted life with many starts and stops. I suffered from anxiety greatly, and pretty much had to learn how to relax. For me learning to be in the moment and being able to create something spontaneously is the ultimate in creativity.

Also know that the best guitarists I know get the sound from their hands, not an amp, distortion or effects. An acoustic guitar, and especially solo playing has no curtain to hide behind. Something very pure about an acoustic guitar.

So know that even though guitars have been in my life for decades, that I still struggle, and my hope is one day be the player I want to be. Now that I’m retired I have the time, and it is happening.

Cal
 
The S&P 500 had the worst day in two weeks, in intra-day trading breached 3636 a few times, but still no 52-week lower low.

Tomorrow is another day…

Cal
 
Those Middleburn cranks have a LOT of corrosion marks, including bubbling from galvanic action around the inner drive-side part of the spider, and the aluminum is flaking around the pedal threads. What is up with the discoloration and corrosion on the non-drive-side crankarm? It looks like what happens to a forged crank when we have to torch it to remove it from a bottom bracket. Some ham-fisted idiot has been using a screwdriver on that spider lockring as well, instead of finding the right tool. Some of those marks on the inner drive-side right next to the BB spindle taper look like the same idiot removed the cranks with a screwdriver or a punch. That's not chain-suck. Good luck with those, I would have run away, personally.

Phil Forrest
 
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