Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Mophoto Fleet

A couple weeks ago Rosanna organized a Mosquito Fleet Family Portrait. It had been a long time coming mostly because I was a very hesitant participant. My hesitation was due in part to the amount of work involved- lighting, procuring a backdrop of adequate size, organizing people, etc- but also due to some of my own insecurities. I just didn't want to be responsible for taking my friends photos and then if they sucked have only myself to blame. Like I said, insecurities.
So the day approached and Rosanna and I worked hard to gather all the necessary things; remote flashes, a giant white backdrop, an armature for hanging the backdrop, tripods, tether cable... the day before the big shoot I thought, "Hey the new Mac OS just came out, maybe that would help!"

It didn't.

It made my copy of Aperture stop working thus requiring me to spend another couple of hundred dollars regain the ability to edit photos. But I digress.

The day arrived and the so did the rain clouds. Ian and I sat in my house, playing wii, watching the weather channel and hoping for a break in the weather as my nervousness steadily grew. As people arrived the pressure to get shooting reached the tipping point so we began setting up and breaking down the equipment between rain showers, the expensive deposit I had put down on the rental equipment looming foremost on my mind.

Eventually we moved over to the school across the street where there was an awning of adequate size. We moved through everyone that showed up, getting some really great pictures, some not so great pictures and some happy accidents.

In the end despite my nervousness, people were really kind and complimentary and that means a lot to me. The members of the Mosquito Fleet can disagree with each other and have personality conflicts but when it comes down to it the positive experiences far outnumber the negative ones. Of course I know that there is room for improvement in the photos but that's life.

So that was fun. Speaking of fun, those Barrans sure are goofy. Here is a couple of gif's that I made from photos of the red-headed duo:

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fly safe Latebirds!

I had a fantastic weekend. FANTASTIC!
My favorite part you ask?
These two:

I spent some time with the Latebirds last winter and Charlie and Shirley are so generous, gracious, and all around cool. I'm so glad that they came and stayed with us this weekend.

We also had a fix-it day!
Natalie got a Moby!
Brendan kept putting flowers in his hair like a sissy.
Scooby gave us a clutch tuning clinic! More about that here.
This is my flash battery. Recognize.
Everyone was working hard.
Except Brendan.

Ian and Allison rock the Hillbilly.
Dishes is leaving us soon.
Natalie on her maiden voyage.
Arianna looked very nice.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to spend a day less than efficiently.

Recently Rosanna's engine has been making odd noises and running poorly.
So a couple of days ago, nice guy Phil helped me swap out motors on Rosanna's bike so that I could investigate the noises and fix this engine.

I packed up the engine, threw it on my back, and rode over to 'ol ADD Motorworks and Pinball Amusements. As it turns out, one of the clutch shims was just a little too thick. The circlip that holds the clutch bell tight popped loose and was causing the clutch to rub on the inside of the clutch bell. Here is a picture of the culprit:

Notice the scrape marks that go around the inside of the clutch bell.

Travis told me that he had a selection of clutch shims at his house on Capitol Hill but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to repacking the motor and carrying it another 5 miles on my rigid bike through the rough streets of Seattle. So instead I thought, "Why not just sand down this shim to fit. It's pretty close already, right? right? right? right?" I didn't actually repeat "right" but my memory of that statement echoes ominously.

I filed and sanded that thing for 3 hours. Every time I'd check it, the shim would be a little bit closer but not quite thin enough. Eventually, I decided it was good enough (by which I mean I had had enough) and slapped the clutch assembly back together.

In an attempt to maximize the usable space in our shop, I built shelves so that Rosanna and I can organize all of the things that were on the floor.

The shop last spring:

The shop today:

I realize that these two photos don't show exactly the same area of the shed but just absorb these images on the level that one is oppressive and dark and the other is light and soothing. At least that's how I feel when I look at them.

Anywho, the point of all this is that while organizing my newly built shelves I found a clutch shim that I must have squirreled away at some point in history. I popped the shim in and voila! It worked much better than the painstakingy sanded one.

The moral of this story?

Don't be lazy/stupid. Even if modifying the part you have seems like less work than finding the correct component, it'll get you in the end.

Now enjoy this amazing scene from The Shining: