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Everything posted by Spike

  1. Chara walks over to one of the torture machines and begins looking it over. She is aware it's for torture, but not quite sure exactly how it works. It's not rusty so she guesses it is newer than the others..or maybe just better made. She looks at the skeleton remains..then the machine..and back at the skeletons. She scratches her fuzzy chin and wonders aloud. "Ya think we could torture a zombie...make it talk?" WIS check: 13
  2. Qwyk i know EXACTLY how you mean. Most of the trick-or-treaters in my neighborhood were local, but the few who come from other places tend to park at the ball fields or church and walk the route. BUT there are still too many who just ride along in their cars at 10mph while the kids walk house-to-house. But those aren't the worst. The WORST are the stragglers that come round after 9pm KNOWING that the "official" time for tricks or treats ending is 8 pm. It's not a hard-and-fast rule like a curfew, but more of a suggested courtesy...but some people still think it's perfectly cool to be out knocking on doors that late or even later even though most houses have run out of candy and long since turned off their porch lights. We had maybe 5 this year...and 2 were babies who were being carried and who would've probably preferred to be home sleeping in a warm bed and probably not give two hoots about candy they don't even have the teeth to chew. But those aren't even the worst I've seen. About 10 years ago or maybe more, at close to eleven o'clock, and in spite of having brought in all my decorations and having turned off my outdoor lights, there was a knock at the door. I opened it, and on my porch was this woman who, if she still is alive today, could be a stunt double on Here Comes Honey Booboo. She was in a tube top and barefooted and carrying six treat bags. She was also red as a beet and on the verge of hyperventilating. "These is fer my kids. Ya don't b'lieve me, do ya?" Well, she took the words right out of my mouth...but didn't get any candy.
  3. Feeling the impact in GA for sure. Even though it's only late October, Steve had to put on long pants to go outside. But seriously, I hope everybody fares alright through this.
  4. Thank goodness she will be home and recovering soon. It was just four years ago almost to the day that we lost Steve's mother to blood clots in her legs. More prayers sent for a speedy convalescence.
  5. If you're willing to tweak budget, you might consider taking the DSLR plunge anyway. You can get an older DSLR body such as the Canon XT or Nikon D70 used on Amazon for under $300. The beautiful thing about DSLRs is that you can grow your gear as you expand your hobby (i.e. as you find more money LOL). If you can find an older model body, that's perfectly okay. Save some money back for your first lens, and in your wife's case a fine first lens might be a 50-250mm zoom for those wildlife snaps. If that lens seems to be a bit too big for a "first", consider the 50mm prime lens. It's usually priced right around $100 new, and because it has so few elements and is capable of f/1.8, it can get you some incredibly fast shutter speeds. It's also an excellent all-around snapshot lens AND for portraits such as smaller wildlife or flowers delivers excellent bokeh. Not to disrespect the point-and-shoot cameras at all...because the technology has evolved with them also, but where a P&S will eventually wear out or become outdated tech, when your DSLR body becomes old-hat, you can upgrade to a newer make and still have your lens(es). The other thing the DSLR exceeds the P&S at is shutter reaction. For wildlife, that quarter-second delay on a P&S can be the difference between a beautiful shot of a perched robin and a photo of blurred tail feathers.
  6. Spike

    Camera advice

    I wonder...CAN you still get NiCad batteries and chargers? For that matter do they still make chargers for carbon zinc batteries? I had the latter years ago..and by years I mean decades.
  7. Spike

    Camera advice

    FWIW in spite of the fact that the Powershot series all use batteries, they don't go through them very quickly unless you're shooting in Movie mode.
  8. Spike

    Camera advice

    For some reason there aren't many point-and-shoot cameras these days that use rechargeable batteries. I'd totally recommend Canon's Powershot series for performance, but I've not yet found one that takes LI batteries and as far as I have found, none can be plugged in AC. My first P&S, an Olympus digital camera made in 2003, took rechargeable batteries and had an AC jack (though I had to buy my own cord). You'd think such a thing by now would be as standard as the tripod-mount hole has become. I'll keep looking though. For what it's worth, older model cameras are not only less expensive, but often you can find accessories such as spare batteries, connectors and other add-ons dirt-cheap on Amazon and eBay.
  9. Chara continues her work, seeming to appear amused by the zombie's refusal to resume deadness. To hit: 11(+2)=13 Damage: 6(+3)=9
  10. Spike


    Gangnam Style ---- unplugged?
  11. The white balance looks pretty good and the images seem to be well in focus, but somehow they still seem a little "flat", and that's not a critique of the paint. It could be that the macro light ring is casting too much light and almost defeating the purpose of the light tent. Macro rings are excellent in situations where you might otherwise have to use onboard flash, but you should try a series without it. You will have to increase the exposure time a little, but in the end I believe you will see a more dramatic contrast between your mini and the white background behind the mini. Also don't be afraid to noodle around with f-stop, and take notes of how deep your focal field is when shooting macro with different apertures. Try a bit of range-finding using a row of straight pins stuck into a piece of styrofoam, each about 1/2 centimeter behind the next. See how low you can set the f-stop and still keep 5 pins in sharp focus. Once you find that "sweet spot", you can have crisp focus all over the mini and still get good bokeh. I've had pretty good success at f/11.
  12. If there's any mop-up killing to be done, Chara is glad to get in one more swing. To hit: 9(+2)=11 Damage: 2(+3)=5 Body Guard just steps aside and lets her do her thing.
  13. What happens in Vegas ONLY stays in Vegas if penicillin can kill it before you catch your homeward flight. Have fun, be safe, and don't catch nothin' I wouldn't catch! :D
  14. Those are an excellent idea! For too long the trend tended toward this bright sky blue gradient backdrop that could either be printed and used or, worse yet, edited in with Photoshop. That colour's effect almost always was to make the miniature seem washed out and flat. Your backgrounds seem more natural and friendly to the eyes. I like how they are lighter in the center to give the overall image a studio-portrait look.
  15. Chara moves to help Elmo with his foe. She grips her bastard sword and swings at the zombie's midsection, To hit: 5(+2)=7 Damage: 4(+3)=7 Body Guard continues fighting the zombie with Shad, though he seems to be tiring. To hit: 16 Damage: 1(+1)=2
  16. you now made me hungry for poutine. Hey hey now this here's a family forum! It's a quaint name we gave the U.S. attic. But I thought Canada was the capital of Alaska. What happened? Y'all didn't like the governor so y'all seceded?
  17. I already posted a few days ago here.
  18. Spike


    Check online for a product called an intervalometer. If your camera has a place to plug in a remote shutter release, (I think it's standard now on DSLRs), you can plug an intervalometer there and set it to take your timelapse sequence. Here is a low-end one for Canon on Amazon. $30 seems to be the "midrange" price for them. If your camera doesn't have a remote shutter release jack, then check your software manual to see if you have the ability for "tethered shooting" or adjusting your camera's settings and taking photos while it is plugged into USB on your computer. It's possible you might be able to set up a timelapse using your computer to set intervals.
  19. "Get your own.", Chara snarls at Bod as she hacks again at the same stubborn zombie. To hit: 10(+2)=12 Damage: 4(+3)=7 Body Guard guesses that Chara can finish off that particular zombie and moves on to another. He decides to try to help Shad with his zombie instead. To hit: 14 Damage: 2(+1)=3
  20. OOC She's using her bastard sword two-handed style. I'll have a post up in a bit.
  21. Chara continues her attack, not seeming to let her wound slow her down. To hit: 13(+2)=15 Damage: 6(+3)=9 Body Guard attacks the same zombie in an effort to help Chara. To hit: 7 Damage: 5(+1)=3
  22. Here's a link to the one I downloaded. http://www.koyotesof...-converter.html Mind you there might be something better out there now, as I DL'd that two years ago, Just be careful and check product reviews using Google search. There are some not-very-nice folks out there who wouldn't think twice about luring you into downloading spyware or a virus.
  23. One thing also worth looking into when camera shopping is video file format. My PowerShot saved video files as MPEG, which is pretty much a universally recognized format, but Canon's more modern high-res cameras shoot in AVCHD format, which may not be readily recognized by your OS or video editing/playback software. For instance, I can play AVCHD files on my husband's Windows 7 computer, but not on my XP machine. I did, however, find a decent list of free AVCHD converter programs that are good and easy to use. It just means I have to take extra time to play and edit my videos. Canon generally includes an AVCHD editing program, but as much as I love their cameras, lenses, accessories and printers, their software frankly stinks. Most customer reviews share my complaint that their video program is very unintuitive and that it crashes A LOT. For what it's worth, even my older PowerShot makes good videos, and my newer Canon Vixia series HD video cam can shoot high-res macro closeups such as one might want for painting tutorials.
  24. Chara rushes the nearest zombie to her. To hit: 11+2)=13 Damage: 1(+3)=4 Body Guard attacks the zombie nearest the one that Chara is attacking. To hit: 9 Damage: 5(+1)=6
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