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Monday, May 31, 2004

Nikon D100, 105mm macro w/ 5T closeup

Sunday, May 30, 2004

Nikon D100, 105mm macro w/ 5T closeup

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The end times are upon us

David Hasselhoff to release rap album.

soda pop

The correct term is "soda", but this map illustrates just how many people get it wrong - by county. And, as a native upstate NY'er, I can assure you that that sharp divide running south from just west of Syracuse down through central PA is very real.

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Friday, May 28, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 50mm reversed on 105mm macro

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 28-80mm

Wednesday, May 26, 2004


Of course, I don't want to turn cleek into a poetry blog either, lest I inadvertantly injure anyone who innocently happens to stroll by.

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


Ok. i don't want to make cleek into a political blog, but i really like how this turned out. So, take this poem in the spirit of fun, not in the spirit of partisanship.

    To all ye merry BushLeaguers, all fattened in your heads,
    let it be known that to the networks the following was said:

    "broadcast this speech, if you please, or show it not. your choice.
    we will not command nor request that you transmit his earnest voice.

    not the platitudes nor hollow phrases which our boy, george, recites
    shall be incumbent on you to deliver. carry on, as any monday night.

    but be forewarned, ye quislings librul, we know your heart-held plans
    that he should fail so you might deliver us into bin Laden's hands.

    so we provide to you six chances all, to show your loyalty's lie:
    each week anew a new speech for you to accept or to decline.

    and if you fail to meet our demands, not explicit, but implied,
    our loyalest men will stand and shout and raise a furious cry.

    and all shall know your traitor mind, and see your wicked ways.
    and you will run and hide and cower and whimper in your shame.

    thus the crooked librul media, base tool of liars and of fools,
    will crumble into merest dust and conservatives shall rule."

    and the first speech was spoken and sent out to the public's ear.
    and some recoiled and some rejoiced but one thing was quite clear:

    though some saw it, and some did not, and some saw only clips,
    all knew nothing important will be said until speech number six.

Update... series cancelled after first show.

Fuck You And Your H2.

Simple enough.

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Monday, May 24, 2004


The wife and I saw Fleetwood Mac Saturday night. She's been a big fan forever, so not even the $75 ticket price (for uncovered reserved seats; covered seats were $100 and lawn seats were $35) could keep us away. Still, we did grumble a little about it - and the $8 beers.

The song selection was as good as you could hope for - a few newish ones; a lot from Rumors and their self-titled record; a couple from Tusk, including a tremendous Sara (where my sister got her name); and a surprisingly great version of a mid 80's song that I previously hated: Big Love, done solo-acoustic by Lindsey. They mostly kept away from Christine McVie songs, since she isn't with them on this tour (or on their last album).

Lindsey Buckingham is a madman. Besides being a great guitar player, he loves to do extended, loud, sloppy, primal Rawk! solos - getting so into them so much that he occasionally abandons the song entirely and just beats on his guitar with both hands. Since doesn't play with a pick, this is somewhat easier. Entertaining, but definitely not what I was expecting. His voice isn't as good as it was thirty years ago, but it can still pull off the songs.

Mick Fleetwood is also a madman. He did a too-long drum duet with a percussionist during which he walked around wearing a vest covered with pressure-sensitive triggers that played various drum samples when he slapped them - all the while shouting into a headset mic things that were nearly incomprehensible because of his accent and because they just didn't make much sense when you could understand the words. Looking like a blend of Marty Feldman and Hulk Hogan certainly helps the madman image.

Stevie Nicks. She can't get to those high notes these days, and she flubbed the words on Don't Stop (which isn't a song she sang originally anyway so I forgive her), but she's still entertaining.

There were 8 other people on stage, too. But they were content to let those three take the spotlight (and the jumbotron close-ups).

Worth the money? Yup.

Gukanjima is a tiny reef island off of Japan. In 1810, thet discovered coal on the island, and subsequent mining operations caused a small city to spring up to house the miners and their families. But, after the coal ran out in the mid-1970's, the people left, and now the island hosts a tiny ghost city.

Via BoingBoing

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Nikon D100, 75-240mm

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Nikon D100, 70-240mm

Friday, May 21, 2004

The TX-1

Behold The TX-1 Vacuum Tube AGONIZER

    There’s just no explaining it. It’s not a damn fuzzbox, it’s not a tube-amp simulator, and it’s not the slightest bit like anything else you’ve ever seen / heard. Think of the TX-1 Agonizer as a magical 1965-era industrial-music sonic reducer. It screws everything down to a nice, crunchy sonic pureè with aluminum shavings and broken glass mixed in. Yum. Please understand, it’s not a nice, sweet, well-behaved pussy-pussy “vintage tone” effect. You simply can’t get a simulation of a Fender Super Reverb out of this horrible yellow box. Trust us. If you're another one of those little obedient, cowardly, sniveling "tone lovers", the TX-1 is not for you to snivel over, so don't buy one. And if you worship METALLICA, perhaps you should buy some nice pink fairy wings instead of a TX-1.

After hearing the samples they've provided, I can honestly say the above description is accurate. Unfortunately, the $499 retail price is a bit steep for my wallet.

Nikon D100, 70-240mm

Thursday, May 20, 2004

In other (Weekly World) news

Saddam Can't Be Killed
    A monkey wrench has been thrown into Coalition plans to give Saddam Hussein a fair trial for crimes against humanity then speedily execute him. It turns out the former Iraqui leader sold his soul to Satan in exchange for eternal life - and he can't be killed!
    "As a test, we slipped enough cyanide into his breakfast to kill a bull elephant. He ate the whole thing and experienced no ill effects. In fact, he patted his belly and told his jailers 'My compliments to the chef. Your famous grits are truly delicious.' "

Oh, but that's not all. In a sidebar:

    President Bush's national security advisors are racking their brains for a solution to the dillemma. "One proposal is to fake Saddam's execution and then bury him alive," the insider reveals. "The concern there is that Baath Party loyalists might locate the hidden grave and dig him up."

-- Story and photo, Weekly World News. May 10, 2004

Nikon D100, 70-240mm

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Oh come on...

Annanova reports: Childless couple told to try sex

    A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless - they weren't having sex.


it was an August kind of September afternoon
smooth and sunny

making dinner time

the oak boards of
the living room floor
simmering in the sun
courted other smells
of fallen apples
overripe under a neighbor's tree
and chicken cooking over charcoal

i was hungry

her warm tangle of hair
yellowed-up the room
asleep on the floor, in sunshine
in her green dress
as an ear of sweet corn sleeping
unashamed on plywood
road-side, for sale

i considered her

and she rolled awake
onto an elbow
asked me what i was doing
watching her like some creep

three for a dollar?, i said
tossed a quarter and a dime
into the ashtray

i went to get butter

she stood up to stretch
"you're a creep, you know that?
what's for dinner?"

Nikon D100, 50mm

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Thank you for sharing

Lambert, over at corrente shares a great idea.

Nikon D100, 50mm

Monday, May 17, 2004


He broke off the T and gave the rest to Christopher.

Nikon N80, Fuji Superia 400, 28-80mm

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Nikon D100, 70-240mm

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Friday, May 14, 2004

Sony P7

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Sony P7

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

America voted, and America's stupid

Hey, America, WTF are you thinking? Why do you keep voting-off the people who can actually sing?

Because defective yeti brought it up, here's one of the easiest and tastiest things I cook:

2/3 to 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (ie. two pieces)
1/2 box of gemelli (or penne or farfalle) pasta
1/2 container of Digiorno's Basil Pesto sauce. It's in the refrigerated section. Other brands, like Buitoni's are OK, but not quite as good, for this dish.
1/2 bunch of asparagus
A big mixing bowl, for mixing.

1. Start cooking the pasta.

2. Sprinkle the chicken with some salt and pepper, and maybe a little olive oil. Grill it. I use a grill pan so I can do it on the stove, and sometimes I butterfly the breasts so they'll cook faster. When cooked, cut it into 1/4" strips, throw it in the bowl.

3. Cut the asparagus into 2" pieces (discarding the tough ends, of course). Steam it. As soon a it's tender, before it starts to turn yellow-green, take it off the heat and throw it in the bowl. Don't overcook the asparagus.

All three of these things should finish at roughly the same time. That means the cooking order should go something like this: start the water boiling, prep the chicken and start grilling it, add the pasta to the water, fuss with the chicken for a couple minutes, start the asparagus.

4. When the pasta is done, drain it and throw it in the bowl with the chicken and asparagus.

5. Add the 1/2 container of pesto (stir it up first, as the oil tends to rise to the top of the container). Stir the whole thing together.

6. Open a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Serves 2 with leftovers.

Sony P7

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Remember: I can be guilty of something, and you can be guilty of something, and neither of us is any less guilty because of the other.

15 months ago I bought a laptop.
3 months ago its warranty expired.
2 days ago it died.
Yesterday, the service guy said it would likely cost $600 to fix.

Rat farts.

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Monday, May 10, 2004

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Sony P7 - Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Friday, May 07, 2004


The Gibson Digital Guitar

    The best part of the Gibson Digital Guitar system is its delivery of signal processing on a string-by-string basis, providing increased quality and flexibility. This provides unprecedented control with the ability to adjust volume, pan and equalization of each string individually. Imagine using six guitar amplifiers - one for every string. Or recording all six strings individually into a computer. Or sending the six-string digital signal to a compatible guitar processor. The guitarist can have a crunch (heavy metal) sound on the low strings, medium distortion on the middle strings and a clean sound on the high strings.

Hey, I think I need a little more attack on the high E, and a little more chorus on the D. Oh and maybe a little more depth on the flange on the B. The whole thing sounds a little thin, too - so let's put some more volume on the low three. What song am i playing again?
Pix and Quality

Pix! Pix! Pix!

When I was young, I'd watch channel WPIX from New York City on cable. At the time, it was an independent (non-network) station that showed a lot of lousy movies, syndicated sit-coms and cartoons: Gilligan's Island, The Ghost and Mrs Miur, I Love Lucy, I Dream Of Jeannie, Bewitched, etc. (now, these are all TV Land staples).

In the early 80's, when Atari 2600s ruled the world, they had a strange call-in video game ... the lucky contestant (I forget how he was chosen), would get to play a game (usually some variation of Space Invaders) where his only input or control was to fire his space ship's gun by shouting "Pix!" into his phone... the dastardly enemy fighters are descending on us all and all he can do to stop the invasion is to shout "Pix! Pix! Pix! Pix!" for 15 seconds. I don't know if the gun was actually voice activated or if there was a person on the other side, pressing Fire in response. But it didn't matter; the game was a mess. Most kids would just shout "Pixpixpixpixpixpixpix" as fast as they could and the gun would "reload" so slowly that it just kinda fired whenever it could, regardless of what was in front of it - scores were basically random.

And speaking of Pix...

Here on Cleek, I've been posting one picture a day, every day, since I started this blog - something like 85 pictures so far. Why?

When I started this, I wanted to do a kind of abstract photo diary: here's a picture of some junk that I saw today, attach your own story to it. The pictures themselves wouldn't necessarily be high-quality, but they might be interesting. I wouldn't tell you anything about them except the technical details (camera type, etc), unless you asked. You'd get to make up your own little backstory for each of the shots and, over time, of the person who took them (the mythical Cleek). Well, that high concept lasted one day. On the second day, I started digging into my collection of old shots. Then I quickly became concerned about the quality of the shots I put up here, and was reluctant to post many of the kind of snapshots that would turn this blog into what I initially wanted it to become - a collection of unaffected shots of random stuff I found here or there. Since I really don't consider myself much of a photographer, this focus on quality is stressful (boo hoo) - I know I can't produce good shots on demand. In all the time I've been taking pictures for the sake of taking pictures, I've only managed to come with a few dozen that I consider really good, and I've posted a good chunk of them already. And, to get to the point: I'm starting to run low on old "quality" stuff to post; I'm either going to have to stop posting every day (which I don't want to do) or start posting the lightweight shots I originally intended to post. So, this post is a warning - the quality of what I post here is about to take a turn for the worse, from it's already mediocre level. Always fighting tradition, I'm going to sacrifice quality for quantity. Just so ya know...
Rubbing and pulling

South Knox Bubba teaches us about pulled pork (and puts me in the mood for some BBQ):

    "...there is no 'recipe' for pulled pork. There are only principles and guidelines. Did da Vinci have a 'recipe' for the Mona Lisa? Pulled pork is performance art. And every performance is different. The only goal therefore is a great performance resulting in consistently good, if different, pork.

    Once you have your butt and your rub, the next step is to rub your butt. (I recommend you get some of those plastic food prep gloves or your hands will be stained red for a couple of days). Apply prodigious amounts of rub all over the butt and massage it in thoroughly, making sure to get it in all the cracks and crevices and deep into the fat."

He's funny, and instructive!

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 50mm

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Social Engineering

Wired News has a story called "Hack Your Way to Hollywood", about a woman who worked in AOL's call center and used the info she got there to start conversations with Hollywood celebrities:

    Hired by AOL in 1997, her $6-an-hour job involved answering subscriber questions, resetting lost passwords and solving billing problems. With access to screen names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers through AOL's customer database, she gathered information on politicians and movie industry power brokers to pursue her career dreams.

    During about a year and a half of employment at AOL, the woman, known by the AOL screen name "HooterR," contacted or struck up online relationships with Goldie Hawn, Carrie Fisher, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, producer Lauren Shuler Donner and the late comedian Chris Farley, according to Robinson and Ebner.

Seems she has quite a history of on-line shenanigans:

    In late 1994, Robinson teamed up with a high-school friend and concocted a scam to assume the identity of an imaginary Air Force colonel to romance Robinson's single mother, Janet Robinson.

    Heather obtained access to an Air Force base near her Tucson home and sent her mother photographs and love letters from a fictional Col. Cunningham, duping the recent divorcée into believing she was carrying on a virtual affair with an officer. Heather perpetrated the fake affair for three months. She went so far as to send her mom a marriage proposal consecrated with the delivery of a ring, which she bought with a stolen credit card and altered ID swiped from an employee at the Air Force base.

    The girls were arrested Feb. 10, 1995, and confessed to having used stolen credit cards to make more than $4,000 worth of attempted purchases. Because Robinson had no prior criminal record, charges were later reduced from felony to misdemeanor, resulting in a 120-hour community service sentence.

    "We were 16 years old, and I wanted to do something good for my mom," Robinson said. "After the court stuff was done, my mom put her arm around me and said, 'I understand why you did it and maybe some day they'll make a movie about it.'"

A movie? Well, duh, what do you think she was doing chatting with all those celebs?

    Perfect Man is slated for release in 2005.

I heard this story in my car this afternoon (when I ran out to get a pack of gum I left there). I thought it would be good blogging material. But I instantly forgot about it... until I saw the story on Boing Boing (of course). It's on Boing Boing because the person who did the radio story is a Boing Boing contributor. Small world.

Sony P7

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 105mm macro

Monday, May 03, 2004

Before, After

Take a look at the town of Ryongchon, North Korea: where the train exploded a couple of weeks ago.

Nikon D100, 50mm

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Nikon N80, Fuji Sensia 100, 70-240mm

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Poem In Your Pocket

According to Liliputian Lilith, yesterday was "Poem in your pocket day" (the last day of Poetry Month). So, to celebrate...

Here's Bob:

    Bob wants the wind to blow constantly
    because as a kite
    he'd be happy
    on a string in the sky
    pulling against the ground forever

    he'd be the only one happy
    "why does the wind blow so much?
    only good for kites and sailboats
    and damned if i got a sailboat."


    beef jerky is
       soaked in salty beef soup
       for a hundred years
    is what bob wishes
    he could have for dinner
    every night for a week
    ...and pepsi


    what if one day the sun didn't set
    but stayed out all night
    like a lost cat

    that found it's way home
    late the next day
    but scared everyone silly
    the whole night long

    we'd remember that night
    for a long time

    that's what bob wants
    for the day when he dies
    that the sun will stay out
    all night long

    so everyone will "remember
    when bob died?
    the sun didn't set
    but stayed out all night
    like a lost cat...


    when the sun went down
    the cat stayed
    out all night, bob found out
    by waiting on the steps till daylight

    but later after a bit
    the cat came back
    and meowed at bob
    scolding him
    for not letting her have her freedom
    she felt trapped
    and needed some time to herself

    now bob sulks on tiptoes
    to give the cat space
    while the cat looks at him
    and shakes her head


    bob's brother says "Bob,
    when i was a kid
    i had this girl
       and how
    and she dumped me
    and i thought about killing myself
       i thought she was something special, then
    but i never quite did

    and now that i'm older i'm glad
    i never quite did it
    cause since then
    i've got to dump plenty of chicks
    and i never talk to them again

    so i don't know but
    but, i kinda hope
    that they felt like killing themselves
    cause that's what it's all about
    you know?
    that's how it always ends up

    but you gotta be the one dumping
    cause feeling like you want to kill yourself
    over losing someone
    that's the worst
    worse than anything
    cause dead seems like the only place where she isn't
    but it's too scary to go there.
    so Bob,
    don't worry about the cat
    there are other cats. God."

    -- '93-ish, me


Sony D7

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.