Announcing Blaisdell Press

Pamela and I have been working since at least last summer on bringing some of her older works back into print ourselves.

It’s finally happening.  We’re calling the operation Blaisdell Press, and our first products will come out March 1st—paperback and electronic editions of Pamela’s 1998 novel Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary.

We expect to go on to publish The Dubious Hills, and possibly a standalone electronic edition of “Owlswater” (a trade paperback of something that short would have to be kind of expensive per word, but we might try that too to see if people want to buy it).

And then—we plan to publish the first edition of Pamela’s new novel Going North.

 

These Have Gotten Cheaper

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I got mine (long gone) in 1973 for $250, with a 50mm Summicron collapsible lens.  It was quite old then (I seem to recall that I once looked up my serial number and determined my M3 was made in 1954; same vintage as me).

But inflation since then has been a lot; a random online calculator says my $250 is now worth $1391 (and looking deeper into the ebay search, that bottom guy is an optimist).

Stage Lighting

Struggling with the lighting from last night (Sister Tree at Icehouse).
Each of these renderings has something to be said for it. A completely natural rendering is impossible short of extreme amounts of work (crossed light sources of drastically different color temps). The actual appearance to my eye there wasn’t that good, so just reproducing that doesn’t get me far. So there are lots of arbitrary choices — what looks good on this shot?
 
Then, if you put multiple shots together, the fact that you made different choices for what looks good on each one becomes really obvious!
 
I shot more closeups and made fewer attempts than usual to capture big groupings — that limits the weirdness in any one shot some, at least.
So here are a few renderings (made in different programs, even) of the first shot I’m keeping from the night.
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Photo Ninja, boosted contrast
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Photo Ninja, color enhancement
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Camera rendering
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Lightroom, lighten and increase contrast in face

Lightroom. Bah.

It’s really bad at using system resources effectively.  I’m sure this is why it’s so slow at exporting developed photos, and it’s probably also why it’s slow to respond to controls.  Here we see Lightroom using barely half the CPU exporting 18 photos—something that is trivially parallelizable to 18 cores (since the photos are independent).  In contrast, the old Bibble Pro, which is now available as Corel Aftershot Pro, would always put the whole processor to work.

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You Might Learn Something

Recently added monitoring of CPU and disk temperatures to the servers I use.  Good timing!

CPU temps
CPU temps

I also replaced a medium-sized fan (maybe 80mm?) with a larger one as the main chassis fan. Since the CPU cooler fan is ducted to the side of the case that probably didn’t affect the CPU temps, but it definitely reduced the hard drive temps.

Hard Drive Temps
Hard Drive Temps