Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This Never Fails To Make Me Laugh........

There is so little left to make you smile on the internet these days but luckily simple little gems like this bit of inane fun appear every now and again.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

We Will All Embrace Smartphone Photography Sooner Or Later.....

After reflection. 

No we won't!

Golden Dawn London 27 October 2012 by iPod Touch and Instagram

I'm new to Instagram and smartphone photography and these images are my first attempt at using this new and extremely popular technology. As a photographer I was initially excited at the prospect of going out and seeing what I could come back with and it kind of renewed my interest in just wandering around taking pics. 

Well it did for two days (these images were taken within that time) and I have already lost interest. 

However I initially liked the idea of using the square format again (I used to shoot with Hasselblad and many of my favourite photos were taken with that wonderful camera and it's famous square format) because I think one has to really think about composition a lot more when trying to fill a square with an interesting image. I liked the idea that my iPod camera did not have a motor drive and I would consequently have to put some thought into placing a well composed interesting image within the frame rather than  banging off 6 images in a second and hope that at least one of them would work out. So you have to be more alert and wait for something or someone to appear within the frame and then wait for the right moment to touch the little camera icon. And lastly I kind of liked the Instagram filters that can hopefully uplift an awful image.

All this was great till I got the images back home and put them on the computer and then I saw how crappy they looked - grainy, noisy, many were blurred and the filters on Instagram weren't exactly exciting.

More after the jump.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

South African Image Mash Up

My plane from London to South Africa was chock full of Americans dressed up in well ironed and pressed brand new khaki safari gear with lots of pockets full of compasses, cameras, long lenses, iPads, flash lights, portable cooking appliances, tents, emergency rations and GPS thingies. Useful things for their stay in luxury resorts in the Kruger National Wild Animal Park. Also on the plane were many Canadians dressed in shorts with lots of empty pockets, T shirts and baseball caps with a Canadian flag on the back and backpacks also with a Canadian flag on the back. They were all over excited at the prospect of seeing buffaloes and lions and thorny flat topped trees with other smelly, fly-ridden wild animals sleeping in the shade underneath. I was also going in the same direction and was also over excited at the prospect of seeing Jersey cows, little raggedy guys running around who live in white round houses, lots of misty places, underground Australian refugees, Doily Trees and baboons hiding behind bushes.

Here are some pictures of my South African Tour................................................................................

A Jersey cow leaning over for the benefit of tourists who want to see leaning Jersey cows in an African setting from the view point of someone sitting on the floor of a fully functioning dairy. It it a little known fact in developed countries that Africa does operate modern dairies and does raise sophisticated animals such as cows as well as buffalo and lions and baboons.

The 'Synchronised Jersey Calf' troupe performing for the tourists.

Force feeding the head of a calf for the benefit of tourists.

More stuff after the cut

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MazReal in South Africa - Reporting

The goddamn lazy staff at MazReal went on strike over the cold and damp conditions they had to endure whilst huddling around a lump of hot coal in their shed down at the docks in Whitechapel or was it Limehouse London Yoo Kay. Anyway whilst they were high in the air cruising over the deserts of Mali flying south not long after setting a timer on high explosives that destroyed their shed and the surrounding east end of London in an explosion that sent the gross domestic product of that struggling country of Yoo Kay on a downward spiral and all the usual suspects - all immigrants from Irish and Arab speaking countries, to be rounded up and shot.

The aforementioned staff looked for a country without jet lag and terrain that easily matches that of their beloved homelands in Mazatlán Sinaloa State Mexico - thorns, scrub, dust, dirt, swamps, insects, mosquitoes, snakes, an infinite variety of smells, lots of poor people, corruption, scorpions and of course buffaloes, tortoises, lizards and other big predators - but without the debilitating humidity of that area. And they came up with South Africa.

South African Airways drop us in Kwazululimpopo, a speck on the map of Africa.

We went South African naturally. Flying South African Airways was always a delight and we couldn't fault the sloppy service as a dish of something grey with bones was thrown in our laps and the inflight entertainment of flapping wings, one engine falling off over Tanzania and freezing draughts through the dislodged fuselage panels was a one in a million wondrous experience. The landing in some totally random area of the country was also a wonderful way to experience the African bush at first hand and the loss of a number of passengers to hungry large cats was a great way to become accustomed to Darwin's great philosophical work of art The Survival Of The Fittest.

South Africa's lush vegetation and climate never fails to satisfy.
Back at the airport as luck would have it we found a shady tree under which we could gain a little respite from 45 degree C (about 300 degrees F) on the 10 mile walk from terminal 1 to terminal 2 at Johannesburg's fabulous Oliver Tambo International airport.Fortunately our baggage had been rifled of all contents so we had little to carry through the furnace of heat and we were able then to use the empty bags as rafts to cross the crocodile infested Zimbimzulu River only losing three babies to the hungry crocs. We will never forget the self-sacrifice of these plump pink babies that we tossed in the river upstream so the crocodiles diverting to eat them left us time to get to the other bank. However a  further seven of our passengers on the onward flight to Mzilikazikazi were lost to big cats or pythons before we managed to find safety in terminal 2.

 more news from the bottom of Africa after the jump.........

Monday, October 1, 2012

Annual MazReal Real Mozzie Alternative Awards Part 1 of 2

Expats living in Mazatlán are looking for alternatives to their regular haunts, alternatives to the same places that win the awards year after year. The MazReal Real Mozzie Alternative Awards have become an essential guide to all the places and activities where the hip expat wouldn't be seen dead not going into and wouldn't be seen dead not doing. 

Our staff have trawled the city suffering food poisoning, bed bugs, the plague, muggings, decapitations and scrofula to bring you this list of places where, if you are seen exiting from, will make your name light up amongst the discerning expatriates in our wonderful community. Places and activities that will really elevate your standing within that community. 

This list is compiled by the editors of MazReal and expats themselves who feel these are the new pursuits and activities that will make a retired person's life worth living and will further add a spark of frisson to your lives. 

The Best Thing To Do With Visitors

Shotgun fishing.

There was so much back and forthing going on in this category between Shotgun fishing (women voters) and Marlin torturing (men voters) that MazReal staffers got so pissed off with all the extra work that they voted in favour of the women as the best day out for visitors is to shoot fish rather than torture them with a large hook and then weirdly throw them back in for the fish to have to go through with the same thing again! 

Forget the hassle and expense of actually hiring a boat and crew so you and your visitors have to spend hours of inactivity and seasickness waiting for a tuna or marlin to bite and then the hours of pain and suffering as you play around with it on the end of your hook, try this easier method and just shoot them with a shotgun or toss a stick of dynamite in the sea or river. We all know that this country is awash with weapons and explosives so even the ladeez have the opportunity to do what manly men spend an inordinate amount of time and energy doing. So while the men are giving themselves hernias and strained testicles reeling in a marlin you women can pick up a gun and blast the fish out the water.

Wandering aimlessly around Plaza Machado as an activity that garnered some votes but this winner suggests that that relaxed ambience is becoming so out of touch with what the 'real' Mexico is all about. The 'real' Mexico, according to statistics and blogs from Mexicans is Pancho Villa, Narco Corrida Bands, street food, pre Columbian history, baked elotes, death, revolution, Day Of The Dead, surrealism, tortillas cooked on a hot stone, shotgun fishing and Electroshock therapy .

What to do, where to go? Our advice? Forget killing fish and make a trip up the Mazatlán garbage mountain and give sustenance to the 'recyclers'. 

Contact MazReal for gun and explosive hire and you will redirected to a corner of a street at midnight in Olas Altas from where a dark windowed SUV will pull up and hand you your 'fishing rod' and 'tackle'.

The Best Petsitting Service 

Zeke's Dog and Cat.

While you are out and about enjoying your time on the town with your pals, your pets needn't be clawing at the doors, howling and tearing up the upholstery anticipating your return, Zeke's Dog and Cat is the answer. We have had nothing but good reviews from fellow animal loving expats regarding entrepreneur and animal lover Zeke Crapston who has a pet training school somewhere in the backstreets of Olas Altas.

He has a novel way to take your pets out for a walk, a method that will make sure your pets will have run off their surplus energy and some of that excess puppy fat by the time you get home. Amongst other dog and cat activities, your beauties will have the opportunity 'drive' Zeke and his car to El Quelite where he will have a beer and a meal with his friends and then they can take him back again. This is the perfect way to give your pampered pooches a good workout and allow Zeke a day out and to save him the cost of gas at the same time.
No wonder Zeke's service got the most votes.
More awards after the break

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