Time For Chopping and Splitting Wood :: Friday Feet

That cold-ish time of year has come again, even down here in the south. On Wednesday it was almost 80*F, and now it looks like all that warm air is gone for now. One of the things we love about our house in the winter is our Lopi wood burning stove, but it takes a lot of wood too. Normally we cut and split wood all throughout the year, but the past year or two we haven’t really been able to catch up with the wood work so to speak. With all the trees down from the storm on Wednesday it’s too bad we couldn’t have just driven around Auburn and picked up all the wood, but instead I just cut my own up for today’s Friday Feet via my cell phone.

It was a little surreal driving around Auburn today in the sunshine seeing huge holes in people’s roofs, and massive trees down all over the place. I know there are still a lot of people in Auburn that are dealing with huge trees down on their property, and many with a lot of damage to their homes. Hopefully this will be the end of any more tornados for Alabama this year, this state has seen enough for 2011.

The Most Colorful Macro Flower Edition of Friday Feet

I thought I would make today’s Friday Feet the most colorful set of flowers shot in this series. I spent most of the day in blasting 100*F heat cutting acres of dry grass so this was a nice break. The flowers are from the Stephens family from after their service yesterday (see previous post). They were nice enough to let everyone take home some flowers from what turned out to be one of the most beautiful displays of flowers I have ever seen at any service, and now they can live on forever on the interwebs. In fact, there were so many flowers that everyone who wanted any got to take some home and the lobby of the church was still filled with flowers when everyone left.

The shots below were macro shots taken at a 1:1 magnification ratio or greater. The orange rose with the water drops was slightly greater than 1:1 by using what is called an extension tube (basically 27mm’s of air between the lens of the camera body). I love macro photography. It has a tendency to show all kinds of details that we just don’t see through casual observation like the oil and water colors from a few weeks ago. The first show below of the two pedals is the big flower on the very top by the basket handle above. No special lighting or anything, the flowers were just that colorful. Have a good weekend everyone.

Atlanta Airport Photos and a 50mm Lens :: ATL-AMS

I have this random series I have done on my blog for years called “airport in 50mm” that looks photographically at a particular airport with just a 50mm lens. I did this for this last trip except for the airport in Entebbe where I wasn’t sure if I would get shot by the guy holding the M-16 for taking a photo but I was pretty sure they would confiscate my camera and or SD card so I skipped that one, maybe when I go back. I always find it fascinating that you can take photos of the same place but capture a totally different perspective each time, but they always are because every day brings to live a new perspective (see the last Atlanta post). This was the first stop along an extremely long set of flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam to Entebbe. Each image was taken with a 50mm prime lens.

An Incredible and Indescribable Day in Uganda Today

This day was so packed full but it was such an incredible day I’m not even sure how to describe it yet. I had to post a photo of the traffic because it is the most unreal thing I have ever seen, not even the photo does the slight justice to the actual experience of traffic in Kampala. Our day tomorrow is even more packed full and I will I could post a thousand photos, but here are a few since I may not be able to post tomorrow. In total I took 4,209 photos TODAY so I haven’t even really gone through them at all, I just picked a few as I scrolled through them. Until next time, God bless.

Photos of the 4th of July Fireworks in Auburn

Yes, I know I’m a little late with the fireworks pics but oh well. The fireworks in Auburn were good as always, the only thing that just kills me every year is they don’t go high enough in the sky to get up over the power lines, and I have tried different locations every year. You can see from the grande finale shot above that Alabama Power just had to be front and center, otherwise, I love the shot. Each year they do this outdoor festival thing, which is more akin to thousands of people sitting around in the park waiting for the fireworks, but it is a great opportunity to shoot. It’s always a good show but hours of waiting and fighting the traffic afterwards for 10 minutes of fireworks has me thinking we might try a new show next year. Boston Pops would be cool.

Testing the Old Oil and Water Theory Close Up :: Photos

Something totally different for today. I thought I would try a little abstract photography last weekend. No special post-processing or photoshop on these images, just a simple mix of oil and water on a red and green flag. I always wanted to try some super closeup shots like this and I could have gotten in even closer but was limited to my one extension tube where normally you would stack them. All it takes is some water, a little cooking oil, put it in a bread pan and wait. The shot was done was with a 100mm macro lens and a 27.5mm extension tube (something that just puts space between your lens and the sensor for closer focus), sitting on a tripod of course. I love the colors but I could have shot with just about any color, I just tried to find two highly contrasting colors to make the oil moving through the water stand out. I have seen this done with a tidied shirt or something like that, and that works well too, I just didn’t have one. The exact shot metadata is over on Flickr if you are interested.

This Was Kid Weekend on the Farm with the Camera

We had so many different families out on the farm collectively this weekend it was hard to keep track of who was who and what everyone was doing. I know what I was doing, taking the photos. Pictured above is William Fillmer (my grandson), Martha and Abby Marchio (two of my nieces), and Maddie Metteer (my grandcousin?). It was great fun getting to take their photos all weekend since I don’t really ever get a chance to practice my photography on the little ones.

Finally, We Actually Got Some Rain Here in Auburn

We finally finally got some rain down in Auburn. It rained most of Friday and by Saturday morning everything already looked a little greener than it did the day before, and a whole lot cooler than 96*F. Amazing what a little water will do. No, we don’t bale hay out here, but the guy down the street does. We just mow it down, as you can see from the tractor above. Saturday’s are just too short sometimes.

4th of July Fireworks Video from Auburn Alabama

Each year we usually go see the fireworks put on by the city of Auburn, and this year they were worth the wait.  I wanted to post a very quick video of the finale, in part for a friend of mine who didn’t come out to see the fireworks saying he would prefer to watch them on the computer, so here they are.  I also wanted to test the video quality of my iPhone while shooting at night, not bad video for a phone.  Too see the full 720p HD version change the resolution below or click on the video.

Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend.

Bose Great Customer Service on Damaged In-Ear Headphones

Normally I would not just do a post to plug a specific company, unless they had done something really outstanding (or perhaps done something really poorly), which Bose has done now, at least twice.  Way back on November 26th 2008 I bought a pair of Bose TriPort In-Ear Headphones from Best Buy for around $100 including tax.  At the time, they were probably the most expensive ear-bud type headphones I had purchased but looking back, it was the best money ever spent for that type of thing.

Not only do these headphones have the best sound quality of any ear bud headphones (see my product review on CNET) but Bose backs them up with a total and complete one year warranty.  Big deal right, well, except for when you wear them every day in all different conditions and they don’t make it that one year.

In July 2009 the wires fried and my nice expensive headphones had lasted about 8 months.  I contacted Bose and they replaced the damaged pair, for free, and in about a week I had a brand new pair of headphones.  Those Bose sent me in 2009 lasted until last week with photo below, about another 8-9 months.  So I emailed Bose again, thinking this time I was out of luck, and once again they offered to replace them for free.  Not only that, but they even offered to upgrade the set to the mobile version with the inline mic for $29.

It seems that once you pay for something from Bose, if you use them like I do, you have a perpetual warranty.

Bose told me again that this new pair, being shipped around June 1 2010 will carry the same full one year warranty. Wow, just love when a company stands by their products. Our culture is fully immersed in the generic, low quality, disposable, product lines that flood our discount box stores, but there are still a few companies that make a high quality product, and usually the higher price is well worth paying. Of course, they also get my business beyond these headphones.

My wife has a pair of these headphones, and I also own a pair of their QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (probably the best pair of headphones on the market for the price, see my CNET review), and their Bose On-Ear Headphones (an in-between model).  Some audiophile will argue my point on sound quality, but for the price, and some are far far more expensive, Bose has found a great medium between price and quality

In this case, my high price of $100 for a pair of high quality in-ear headphones from Bose cost me about $0.08 per day if I include the new pair that are on their way.  There are a couple of caveats with this of course.  If your headphones last longer than a year, you are pretty much out of luck.  I am probably not the most typical user of these headphones.  I wear them, and have worn them, on a tractor cutting 40 acres of grass through the entire summer, in the woods, on a bike, a motorcycle, in the car, in the rain, snow, and every other imaginable condition.

Of course the negative you can take from this is that obviously, under heavy and daily use, these headphones lack a bit of durability, but as long as Bose continues to stand behind them, I’m ok with that at this point.  Products today, even high quality products, anything that is mass produced, are really made for the “averages”.  If you are an under-average user, you pay more and get less, and if you are an over-average user, you pay less and get more, simple as that.

Good customer service and high quality products are a hard combination to find today so I like to point it out when it comes across path.  I can think of only a handful, like Apple, maybe Honda? What are some of the companies and products you have found today that have similar customer service?

Update 2011

The above post was made after Bose had replaced my in-ear headphones. The ones above last just about one year, and once again, they replaced them, for free, in the summer of 2011. I’m still amazed at their customer service, and still love the in-ear headphones, even though I can’t get them to last more than a year.

Update 2012

Once again, as comical as it seems now, these headphones lasted me about a year. They fell apart just about at the 10-11 month date, and once again, Bose replaced them for me, for free. This is now about my 5th set of these headphones, which I paid for back in 2008-2009. I would like to point out that I am probably considered to be a very heavy user of these headphones. I wear them several hours a day, every single day, and often wear them outside on a tractor while mowing the pasture.