31DEC2021 – OCF Update – New Year’s Eve Message

After my very depressing non-predictions post I thought it was a good idea to post something a little bit more positive.to balance out the end of the year.

Camera Girl went out and got chicken chop suey from our favorite local Chinese restaurant and we’ll watch some fun movies and celebrate the New Year on a good note.  We’ve managed to eat or give away most of the Christmas leftovers and even most of the Christmas cookies which is quite an accomplishment.  Everyone in the family is doing pretty well and even this state hasn’t resorted to masking in grocery stores or other establishments.  I heard a local health care authority admit on television that the omicron “plague” while causing tremendous numbers of infected is failing to cause many serious cases and even fewer deaths.  It looks like the COVID panic will be allowed to evaporate.  So things are looking up even here in the Evil Empire.

I’m still in the very early stages of learning how to use the new camera (Sony A7 IV).  But so far it checks all the boxes I needed.  Tomorrow, if weather permits, I’ll have Camera Girl unleash the hounds and do a tracking autofocus test on them.  So expect some info soon.  I want to see what the larger file size allows me in cropping my macro shots.

Like everyone else, I’ll be counting my pennies from now on.  Food and everything else is becoming horribly expensive so avoiding waste will have to become a priority.  Luckily Camera girl is very frugal.  I’ll unleash this super power of hers by not calling her cheap anymore.

And finally in the New Year I resolve to spend more of my day writing my fiction.  It will probably cut into my blogging time but I see now it’s unavoidable.  Those morning hours are the only time when creativity exists.

So Happy New Year everyone out there in the big, wide wonderful world that doesn’t believe what Dementia Joe says.  We’ll make progress in 2022 and we’ll figure out a way to prosper despite the awful people who make it their business to torture us.  In fact I predict they will be the ones suffering this year.

Happy New Year.

My 2022 Non-Predictions

I woke up to the ZMan’s “2022 Predictions.”  Nothing too shocking in there except he went out on a limb and said the powers that be will force Kamala Harris to resign and be replaced and then Dementia Joe will step aside for a new President.  Now, none of this is original, many have speculated on this scenario.  The replacement president has been either Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama depending on whom you listen to.  But it’s a bold prediction because if it doesn’t happen there’s not much in the way of excuses as to why you were so wrong.  So, bravo to the ZMan for taking a bold stand.

My crystal ball is broken.  I can see nothing in the future except for some obvious trends.  We’re all going to be a lot poorer in the new year.  And that’s just obvious.  The reins of power are in the hands of villains and idiots.  Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, AOC and the rest of the “Squad” are mouth-breathing morons and everything they plan to do spells disaster for this country.  Their energy policy will nationalize the problems that California currently suffers from.  We’ll see blackouts and rolling brownouts and the cost of gasoline, diesel, natural gas and heating oil will march steadily higher.  The cost of food will skyrocket.  Basically, they will eliminate the middle-class.

Will all that bad news lead to voters throwing the bums out?  Probably.  We’re bound to have the Republicans take back the House of Representatives in November.  But will that do any good?  The system is so broken it seems that nothing can stop this runaway train we’re all trapped on.  As usual everything is balanced on a knife’s edge.  The way I look at things there are two ways all this can go.

The first scenario is that the Red States begin to take matters into their own hands and restrain the federal government from destroying our way of life.  That is the preferable way things can go.  It would allow for a controlled braking action to the runaway train we currently are trapped on.

The second scenario is the strong man.  For this scenario let me switch metaphors.  Instead of the runaway train let’s go with the forest fire.  There is so much tinder lying around after the last few years of hurricanes that one lightning strike will burn the whole thing down.  When the strong man shows up, he will be the lightning strike.  And what comes afterwards is completely unknowable.  Out of the French Revolution came Napoleon and from him came the formation of a united Germany and that led to World War I which led to the Soviet Union and on and on and on.  What is certain is that our civilization has become unstable.  The basic beliefs have been undermined by the people who run our society.  This can be seen in the disillusionment of the present generation with marriage and raising families or even working for a living.  And it has reached the pinnacle of dysfunction with the present madness over the concept of transgenderism.  A society can’t thrive when there isn’t a foundation that provides a common basis of understanding.  If we can’t agree on what is good or evil then eventually, we will come to blows.

So, there are my not so Happy New Year’s non-predictions.  More incompetence, more dysfunction and more anger.  More tinder is building up and what is certain is that eventually the breaking point will come.  Plan accordingly.  Find a safe spot for you and yours.

31DEC2021 – Quote of the Day

So the baby was carried in a small deal box, under an ancient woman’s shawl, to the churchyard that night, and buried by lantern-light, at the cost of a shilling and a pint of beer to the sexton, in that shabby corner of God’s allotment where He lets the nettles grow, and where all unbaptized infants, notorious drunkards, suicides, and others of the conjecturally damned are laid.

Thomas Hardy

Guest Contributor – TomD – Sony A7 IV Camera First Impressions

Tom | Flickr

(Editor’s Note – I’ve decided to collect Tom’s observations into a separate post and I’ll update it as they come in.  I’m very interested in these observations as I wait for my A7 IV to wend it’s way through the delivery chain. – photog)


The A7IV showed up unexpectedly early last Friday the 24th. Your’s?

Cameras are so complicated these days at configuring one to my preferences is almost like moving to a new house.

Sample below, some of the wife’s yard decoration.




I haven’t had a chance to wring it out yet. Other than the impression that focus seems to be instant in all circumstances and that the form factor is more comfortable in my hand, I don’t have a lot to report.

To someone who has had a succession of now 8 Sony cameras, the much-ballyhooed new menu system just means that I have to relearn the menu system. The function button above the control wheel thankfully still gives immediate access to 95% of the functions that I use the most. And you also still have 7-8 buttons and controls to which you can assign functions.

I’m looking forward to playing with the face and eye tracking.

Still playing with the camera, it will take a while.

Just learned a couple of things, my camera, at least, does much better images with the exposure dial kept to -.7.

Tried several exposure stacking series and found that, in aperture priority, the camera mostly but not always creates the different exposures by varying the ISO. All the other Sonys have always varied only the shutter speed. One series inexplicably varied both ISO and shutter.

Big disappointment: My LA-EA 4 does not function at all with this camera.

On the other hand, the focus on my 90mm f2.8 macro has always been sluggish and hunting on my other cameras but it is instant and responsive on the A7IV. The eye autofocus is unbreakable on my animals around the house


30DEC2021 Update

Here is a a shot of mine wearing a 28-70 f2.8 lens.



Sony A7 IV – The Unboxinification

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!


The Eagle has landed.  After a day of doubt and hand-wringing over duplicitous freight and shipping dealings, the package arrived intact and seemingly unharmed.

Now comes the fun part.  I will start playing around with old lenses and new lenses and settings and adapters and just plain messing around with autofocus and hi ISO picture quality and all manner of to-doings.  I may neglect some of my duties to God and Country today but who could blame me.  This is my kid under the Christmas tree moment.  “You’ll shoot your eye out!”