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By stark (Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:08:07 AM EST) photography, new york, toilets, makin' poops (all tags)
  • New York trip report
  • Toilet observations
  • Lenses
Poll: photo diaries?


Apologies
Ages since I wrote a diary. I think I need to adopt a quick, lean diary format to try to ensure that one gets posted more than once every few months.

New York
Went to New York for two weeks with work, thus having a weekend to wander around. Went for a walk around Ground Zero, through to Battery Park (where I lived for a few weeks in 1999), along to Wall Street and down to the South Street Seaport. Had a quick trip up to Central Park, watched some guys bouldering, and then went to Trattoria Del'Arte for some astonishingly nice pizza and a glass of wine. Finally rolled off Saturday with a trip to see Chicago, on the basis that I couldn't get cheap tickets for anything good. I was entertained but (as ever) relieved that I'd not spent full ticket price.

Sunday involved a trip to MOMA, which I rather enjoyed, having some rather conservative modern art rather than all the flashy and rather hard to understand stuff you previously found in Tate Modern (although I've not been since the re-hang). Annoyingly discovered after paying that I could have got in for free, but that's just my tight northern approach to life reappearing. Wandered down to see the Rockerfeller Center (nice wall motifs), Grand Central Terminus (pretty impressive), past the NY Public Library and through Times Square to catch the E train up to Central Park again. Had some chinese on the upper west side, then back down to Times Square Loews to catch Inside Man (slightly disappointing; I enjoyed the general feel of the film, the characters and the dialogue but fundamentally the "clever solution" that is present in all good heist movies just wasn't clever enough, and the deep dark secret wasn't that interesting either).

This was my first trip to NY on my own; I found myself with a lot of evenings with some expenses to have a nice dinner and then nothing else to do, and no energy to do it with anyway. Missed the gf initially; was too tired and/or busy to miss her all the time. It's very isolating working with semi-strangers and then having nobody to go home to, or to go out with. I met up with a friend from uni who is working out there which was good, but still rather temporary. The culture differences don't help either; there is something comforting about the familiar and being in a strange place is rather stressful, even if it's one that you think you know from movies and television shows.

Toilets
Furthermore: US/UK toilets. In the UK, the toilet bowl has a small amount of water in the bottom, with a surface area of roughly the diameter of a loo roll. In the US, the water fills the entire pan, so that the water surface is not more than about five centimetres from your arse. This has two main results: there is very little splash, which is good, but it is possible to see in detail exactly what sort of crap you're producing. I find the latter a bit repellent; am I some sort of freak or is this a common US/UK issue? Also, the toilet cubicle doors at work had gaps of at least 2cm on each side, so it was quite easy for someone to walk past and watch you have a crap if they so wished. Dammit, is a little privacy too much to ask for?

Lens
A few days prior to the weekend I took advantage of the dollars to sterling exchange rate to buy a new lens - a Canon EF 70-200mm L IS. First thoughts were

  • it's really, really heavy
  • the zoom isn't as much as I was hoping for
  • I can't tell if the image stabilisation is making that much difference
  • but the image quality looks pretty sharp
Well, after getting used to it, I can confirm that it is worth the ludicrous price tag, giving astonishingly sharp images. The IS really does help to give a really stable image to the extent that it's possible to take sharp pictures at 1/25th of a second at the full zoom. I'm really looking forward to taking more photos with it and getting the most out of it. What I would really like to do is try it with a 1.4x and a 2x extender - specifically to see how it affects the sharpness of the end result.

It's still really, really heavy, though...

Poll
For a long time I've been considering just posting diaries with photos in. I have a large selection of images that I would consider worthy of punting out to the HuSi masses. Would anyone be interested in such a thing?

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You don't even know how good looking you are! | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Poll Comment: by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #1 Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:29:40 AM EST
plspstpixkthx.

No one to hang out with.. by Driusan (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:30:54 AM EST
..why didn't you hang out with CRwM?

And Re: Poll. Yes. Yes I would be.

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Vive le Montréal libre.

Well by stark (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:51:58 AM EST
I would have quite liked to, but I was sufficiently disorganised as to not mention the trip to NY until now, several weeks after I returned.

I was also feeling rather like a social leper; I was fearing social contact at the same time as regretting not having it. I believe there's some sort of psychological concept which outlines how you can have opposing ideas in your head at the same time, which may well describe it quite well. 

There's also the feeling of "not wanting to impose", which may be a bit of a British thing.

Maybe next time, as I'm bound to get shipped out there again at some point...
--
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

[ Parent ]
Feel Free to Impose by Christopher Robin was Murdered (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 06:54:05 AM EST
I'd enjoy the company.

As to the "psychological concept which outlines how you can have opposing ideas in your head at the same time;" F. Scott Fitzgerald called it "genius."

[ Parent ]
Thanks by stark (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 07:04:34 AM EST
Next time I hear that I'm getting shipped off to New York, I'll definately be in touch.

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U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
WIPO: especially if you live with 256 (nt) by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #3 Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:44:38 AM EST

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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Toilets by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:46:19 AM EST
New York != all of the US. In California, most are the same as in the UK. (For water saving issues.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
Interesting by stark (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed May 31, 2006 at 07:04:54 AM EST
I would imagine there is a website which would inform me of different toilet designs used across the world, from hole in ground to the latest Japanese models.

[pause]

I love the internet.
--
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

[ Parent ]
Interesting idea by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed May 31, 2006 at 11:22:25 PM EST
In Eastern Europe, many toilets follow the small amount of water model, but with what could only be described as an inspection shelf from which your leavings are flushed.

I have yet to encounter two French toilets that are the same.

[ Parent ]
L-Series lenses are great. by Ignore Amos (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed May 31, 2006 at 06:51:56 AM EST
I'm thinking about selling a kidney so I can afford one.

Go for it by stark (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed May 31, 2006 at 07:01:29 AM EST
I've only had the opportunity to use this one L-series lens, but based on that I'd say it's easily worth a kidney.

I'm considering persuading the gf to get pregnant so I can sell the baby and buy a wide-angle...
--
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

[ Parent ]
Philip Greenspun seems to think ... by Ignore Amos (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed May 31, 2006 at 11:05:05 AM EST
... that your lens works well with a 1.4x teleconverter.

The wide-angle gets a good review here too.

[ Parent ]
Photo diary limitations by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed May 31, 2006 at 09:24:15 AM EST
Hulver put a 50 meg limit on the # of files you can have on-site, which can crimp your photo-diary style.

Personally, I've taken to posting the pictures else where and just putting the links here. A much gooderer solution all around.

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Knock, Knock.

I believe by stark (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed May 31, 2006 at 10:42:04 AM EST
that I can get around the space issue, but as my photos tend to be only about 100k it shouldn't be a problem for the first couple of months.
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U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.
[ Parent ]
US toilets by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 02:35:38 AM EST
Wow, that is really wierd. What if you've got a saggy arse, are you just expected to sit in your own faeces? I'd imagine that a bulky floater could come uncomfortably close to your scrotum. And what a waste of water!

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Indeed by stark (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 03:58:31 AM EST
I don't believe the saggy arse/bulky floater issue could be a serious problem, otherwise many NY residents would have a permanent hygiene problem. I agree that it's a huge waste of water but they're one of the few places in the world that don't seem to be having any water supply problems at the moment. I should point out that this approach does also have the side benefit that pan-staining is reduced.

Despite all that, I still find it repellent to be able to see huge logs floating around when they should really be all mushed up together, hidden by loo roll...

--
U.S. Patent 5443036 concerns a device for encouraging a cat to exercise by chasing a light spot.

[ Parent ]
What a pleasant conversation, eh? by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Jun 01, 2006 at 04:00:12 AM EST
I'll get back to my peanut butter sandwich.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
You don't even know how good looking you are! | 17 comments (17 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback