Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The world is lit by lightning

Big storm this evening and feeling a little bit on edge. It's hovering right over us, like that rather ominous storm in War of the Worlds which turned out to be a malevolent race of aliens just wanting to harvest our blood for some kind of sick agri-chemical affair with something that looked like red seaweed. Should the tripods ever invade, I'd be alright - being a synethetic organism, I don't really work on blood but I have plenty of friends who do...

Anyway, what better way of allaying those Tenessee Williams-rooted fears (of course you noted the above allusion) than a nice self-portrait with one of the finest digital cameras on the planet?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Wow! The Olympus Zuiko Digital 35-100mm f2 is in production and the first reviews have just started appearing. Perhaps I'm being a dog of little brain, but how on earth does it work? How on earth does it sustain such a wide aperture throughout the entire range of the zoom? Surely, with 15 odd elements, and varying distances between them, some of those little photons (not quite a wave, not quite particles) are going to bounce off and go astray? I don't understand: it's wizardry. Or alchemy at least. No picture of me today, but a rather nice pigeon and a kindly homeless Frenchman who feeds it on his daily walk, taken with the above lens's considerably cheaper and more portable cousin, the Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f3.5-4.5.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Heath Robinson, apparently...

Today, I tried so hard to fix this little rangefinder (a Yashica Electro 35 GS), one that's mentioned (rather disparagingly) in Susan Sontag's essay On Photography... The now-banned mercury battery had leaked and corroded away the negative contact and so off came the top (with the help of some tiny screwdrivers and a pair of compasses), and also the viewfinder/mirror segment. Everything looked like it was going so well; I found a 6v replacement battery, modified the battery chamber beautifully (even though I got glue all over my paws), cleaned all the contacts and all the optics... but the the lens stop focusing, and everything started going horribly, horribly wrong. In the end it had to go in the bin. Oh dear... I'm so sorry, little one!

Monday, August 22, 2005

And another tip...

If your editor wants your footnote reference numbers in a specific place and yours are all over the place, change the 'View' in Word to 'Normal', choose 'Footnote' from the same template, and all your footnotes will be collated in window at the bottom of your screen. When you click into any of the footnotes, the corresponding will automatically appear on the top of half of the screen (usually at the very top on the first line), thus saving you hundreds of hours of unreliable scanning to find them. Have a nice day! pup

Am so very, very tired but for all you Mac/Word users out there... In order to get an 'em' dash (as opposed to an 'en' dash or a hyphen), you have to press Shift+Alt+hyphen (the one next to the '0'['zero'] button.

When you come to write your own bibliographies you'll thank me. Profusely. Sweet dreams!


Sunday, August 21, 2005

What I'm doing today vs San Diego giraffes

Well, it's a lovely Sunday outside and, here at Chez Pup we're still in our pyjamas (that's jimjams, to all you trans-Atlantic readers)... I've spent the morning preparing camera ready copy for my book, which is due out sometime next year. More news on that riveting read later but, this morning, I'd like to say how random Microsoft Word can be when it comes to formatting. I'm an advanced Word user and I can promise you that I've never once willing turned something from 'Normal' into 'Body text, black, + 14pt'. So....why are random paragraphs the latter rather than the former? One day, I'll get the courage to move over to Nisus, or OpenOffice but, until then, I shall live, to use the words of one little-known nineteenth-century Cuban poet, as an 'Adorer of that Power'...

Today, I would much rather be... Admiring the beauty of the giraffes at San Diego Zoo rather than checking the pagination on each paragraph in a 213 page document.

Friday, August 19, 2005

It's a tough life, being a very small dog. Take this picture of me, here, for example. It's a medieval village in the south of France - and it took an absolute age to get up the hill we're on. Luckily, my friend, D* helps me out, and puts in me in his pocket, or his bag, and that means I don't have to walk. The south of France is wonderful, by the way. There are all manner of force-fed duck products on offer and they're all delicious... Mmm... force-fed duck products... :-)

Day 1: To pup or not to pup

Hello! My name's Dr Hiding Puppy, international jet-setter, published author, and puppy of much mystery. This is my blog. At least, I think it is as this is my very, very firstest time I've ever attempted such a thing and, who knows? my laptop my crash, or my brain might explode with confusion before I successfully post this. But, assuming all is well... In the coming days, weeks, months, years, even, you'll be welcome to pop in and out as you please, reading all my gems of doglet wisdom of all manner of subjects: nineteenth-century literature (a speciality of mine I might add), digital photography, the coolest music in the world, and my speculations about all the things I watch on tv, or at the cinema, or listen to on the radio...

Can I say that, contrary to popular opinion in the environs in which I live, I am not, repeat not - the anonymous Belle de Jour blogger. I don't even know what a courtesan is. I'm just a pup after all...
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