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Comment Re:This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 1) 126

My client was an ex-special forces commando. He was working a modest-paying state job in the Department of Agriculture (he was an old time farm boy) for "vacation money" but after 9/11 he disappeared for a couple of years. Nobody knew where he was, but when he came back he had full-bird colonel's pension. Even though he now had plenty of "vacation money", he went back to his old Ag job, I think just to feel like he had something productive to do. His real passion, however, was painting wildlife. I wouldn't say his stuff was terribly original, but it was technically impressive. If I handed you one of his bird paintings and told you it was an original Audubon you'd probably believe me unless you were an art expert. This was a down-to-earth guy with a surprisingly sensitive side, and if he wanted to kill you with his bare hands you wouldn't have a prayer.

I know this sounds like BS, but there's really nothing like the Deep South for bizarre and colorful characters. And oddballs have a way of flocking together, which probably means I should worry about knowing so many of them.

Comment Rock names (Score 1) 185

The worst naming was a company that used rocks for their product names.

Granite, Amethyst, Quartz, Topaz. These were video encoders, transport stream processors, video servers, etc., but I was never able to remember which was which.

Comment This reminds me of my visit to the "Fish Man" (Score 3, Interesting) 126

I once bummed a ride from Tallahassee to Tampa with a client, and he asked me if I minded if he took a detour to see the "Fish Man". I thought he meant a fish-monger, but then he turned his car off the highway an drove it through a gap in the chainlink fence. We went up a dirt track through the scrub pines to a glade with couple of trailers -- one of which had no sides and was outfitted as a living room. There were chicken wire pens scattered around the compound full of empty beer and paint cans.

The "Fish Man" turned out to be fat, shambling, hairy mountain of a man. He was almost naked, and monochromatically red-brown: shoulder-length frizzy red-brown hair, sunburned skin with strawberry-blond fur, and red-brown denim cargo shorts. You almost couldn't tell where the shorts ended and his body began, except that there was no fur on the shorts and when he turned around he showed about ten inches of ass crack. It was about 10:30 in the morning and he was drinking his breakfast from a gallon screw-top bottle. From out in the forest came the sound of trees being cut down.

We were here because the Fish Man was an artist my friend collected. The people cutting down trees were his apprentices. They'd moved thousands of miles from their city homes to live in a squatter's camp and study under him. My friend handed the Fish Man $250 and got a fish sculpture in return, which he later explained to me was a terrrific deal because that sculpture would have fetched $1000 in a gallery, easily.

I'm not an art person, but even I could see the thing was a masterpiece; it was breathtaking. It wasn't exactly representational, you might even have called it a little cartoonish, but somehow he'd captured a sense of movement; it looked alive.

The Fish Man invited watch him turn a curved blank from a hollow cypress into another one, a process that took only about ten minutes because he did it with a goddamn chainsaw.

There's a lesson in this about powerful tools. They can't make you into anything you aren't already. If you're a genius, they allow you to express your genius faster. If you're undisciplined and lazy, they make you unproductive on a grander scale.

Comment I shoot events as a sideline and have done since (Score 1) 356

the late '90s in digital.

I have a library of about 180k photos. You retain originals in case someone goes back to a contact sheet and wants a reprint or an enlargement a decade later or something. At a typical event I will shoot between 100 and 1,000 images. Sometimes, depending on conditions, I will shoot RAW.

My current gear is 24mp SLR and generated files are on the order of 12-15MB each for JPG images. I can easily lay down 12GB a shoot or 50GB in a week.

I keep an online 12TB RAID-1 library and then have 3 backup sets on LTO, rotated, with one set always offsite.

I know a person that does video editing and production as a sideline for corporate clients, mostly working on online ad videos and 30-second spots. They keep archives as well, because it's not uncommon for a client to come back several times over a period of several years to want minor tweaks to something that's already run (for versioning or feature changes, slightly different voice track, color edits, text overlay edits, etc.). They have even larger data needs.

Point being: even many individuals and small businesses *do* have legitimate, productive needs, and your condescending view is just a tad narrow.

Comment Re:see what the Union free work place get's you! (Score 5, Interesting) 291

Where independent unions are banned.

Basically when China and Russia gave up on socialism, they created a version of capitalism in the image of what they imagined capitalism to be; not the kind of liberal society you find in advanced Western democracies with their regulated market economies and worker's rights guarantees.

Comment Re:indigenous? (Score 2) 49

Indigenous means "originating where it is found", or "naturally occurring in a particular place". It can be used referring to individuals, groups of people, flora, fauna, minerals -- pretty much anything. It shares many of the same dictionary definitions as "native".

The word usage problem is using "indigenous" for an artificial, mobile invention, which is a bit unusual. You wouldn't say "indigenous airplane" because it's not something naturally found in a place or confined to a place. That would be an unusual usage, but people would understand what you meant -- you'd mean "domestically produced".

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