Man-Sized Barbacoa & Big Red For Mañana

Ah, Halloween. The day when folks with facial tattoos can walk the streets with their heads held high; however, those goth kids can’t elicit the usual disdain from the public, not even if their lives depended upon it (the one day out of the year we all find them so adorable!).

Tonight, for Halloween, I’m laying low with the lights off. Just a few candles, the glow off this laptop, and the slow flash off a battery charger parked at my elbow. I wish my friend Kat had called me up as she has in past years, to sit on my porch with me giving out candy to the thousands of kids who surge through this neighborhood. This is hardcore, and if you can’t stock up with about fifty pounds of candy, don’t even bother. So I’m not. It just isn’t in my budget. But as I have the inside lights and porch light off there’s little reason anyone would come up to my door. Besides, where’s the appeal? There are five houses on this short block alone who have lights on and loud music and sound effects blaring. They’re shoving out the candy.

Tonight it’s the deadline for Luminria artist proposals. I got a call earlier in the day from a couple who said they might drop by before midnight to drop theirs off. This means either, a.) their social life is more pathetic than mine, or, b.) midnight’s just when things begin happening for them. By three-thirty this afternoon we were up to 22 film proposals. I know of four that will be put their stuff in the mail slot tonight at C4, and two that were mailed today. I’m expecting at least 30 in all, hopefully more. I’m not certain, but that sounds about how things were for 2009.

I’ll probably walk across the street in an hour or so to my neighbors’ porch and help pass out some candy. It’s an excellent opportunity for me to mooch off their party snacks. Usually, for their Halloween parties, there’s a pot of chili simmering in the kitchen. They’ve decorated their house in an Indian motif, complete with some K-Tel Best of Indian Tribal Chants on the sound system. Across the street, the other neighbors have a cowboy theme. Boot Hill and such. They’re blasting the best of Marty Robbins. I hope their country and western repertoire runs a bit deeper…though it certainly could be worse.

At midnight, when November begins, I’m aiming to get a jump on my novel for National Novel Writing Month. The plan is to write just over 1,600 words a day for the entire month.

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Well, I did it. I hung out some with my neighbors, mooched some tasty chili, and saw loads of kids in cute costumes soliciting goodies.

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It hard to see, but this is a bag of barbacoa and a can of Big Red (for those from out of town, this is the San Antonio breakfast of champions–especially for those suffering a champion hangover). I wish I could have gotten them in a better shot.

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Here we have a family of Shriners.

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Spooky old mansion across the street from me.

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The cowboy house next door.

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And the Indian camp across the street from them.

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And this scene which might have seemed somewhat politically incorrect had only Chip still been wearing his Indian costume.

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I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween.

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I’ve been toying some with shooting in the RAW setting on my camera. These are larger, uncompressed files. This is the first camera I’ve owned that allows me to shoot in this format. I’ve seen it compared to digital “negatives.” You have much more latitude for changes if you’re working with an image editor.

I’m way behind the technology here. My background is photography using film, and that was over twenty years ago. It’s digital video (not digital still photography) in which I have experience. I was quite taken aback when I discovered that my new Panasonic Lumix shoots in it’s own proprietary RAW format. It’s called RW2, and there’s no program that came loaded on my new laptop that can read this flavor or RAW. The work-around is a program which came with my camera. I loaded it up, and it’s working fine. But this is a pain in the work-flow department. I’ve gotten used to iPhoto to capture and file my photos. But iPhoto and RW2 don’t play nice. I expect this will be remedied in a few months, but, what a pain.

Here are a couple of images I shot today in RAW. I’ve massaged them more subtly than I usually do, using Silkypix (the program that came with my camera), and GIMP (an open source image editing program along similar lines as PhotoShop). (Who comes up with these names???)

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I don’t know if these images possessed enough dynamic range to really benefit from the incremental and nuanced tinkering I subjected them to. But I do like them, both for completely different reasons.

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