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Silicon Valley veteran doing Technical Community Management. Photographer with a strong interest in birds, wildlife and nature who is exploring the Western states and working to tell you the stories of the special places I've found.
Author and Blogger. They are not the same thing. Sports occasionally spoken here, especially hockey. Veteran of Sun, Apple, Palm, HP and now Infoblox, plus some you've never heard of. They didn't kill me, they made me better.
Person with opinions, and not afraid to share them. Debate team in high school and college; bet that's a surprise.
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Monthly Archives: November 2006
Imagine that you’ve filled your flash cards and brought them home, fired up Aperture and started the import. You come back a few minutes later to check the import — and you see the error message. Read errors on the card.
uh, oh. Now what?
I recently had that happen. To make life even more fun, I recently bought a couple of new cards (Kingston 55x 2Gig) to supplement the SanDisk Ultra II 2Gig cards I already had. One of the Sandisk cards was the one showing the error, and the first thing I did with one of the Kingston cards, of course, was leave it in my pocket so it got washed and dried with the laundry.
Do you assume the card’s bad? Or do you verify it? How?
Here’s what I did. your thoughts are more than welcome.
First thing I did was put the two cards, plus a third card (the new Kingston) in my card reader to see if they’d mount on the computer. They all did. I did this for a few reasons — but the main reason was that if there was something electrically funky about the card that got washed, I wanted it to short out the card reader, not one of the camera bodies. It’s a MUCH cheaper fix to replace a dead card reader, so any card you don’t trust, you should never put in your camera. Paranoia is a good thing sometimes.
Once all three cards passed the sniff test, I pulled them and put them in the camera and formatted them. I always format my cards in the camera I’m using them in, because I believe that minimizes possible compatibility issues. They all passed that test.
Now, one at a time, I put them back in the reader, and grabbed a hunk of files and copied them onto the card, so each would be ~90% or more full. The first card I tried, the sandisk, started failing.
The first reaction, I bet, is to think that the card is bad. But what if it’s the reader? This could be an expensive assumption.
So I took that third card, the one I HAD NOT done dumb things to yet, and put it in the reader, and started copying.
Yup. It failed. So now what?
As it so happens — because James had flogged the Lexar compactflash readers, as long as I was buying the new cards, I picked up readers for myself and Laurie. so I unplugged the old reader, unpacked the Lexar, and hooked it up, and retried the copy to the card.
Of course, all three handled the write fine, as well as erasing the files again. A stong indication that card reader is going bad. Good timing on buying that new one.
I wanted to go further to verify the cards, though.
I took each card and stuck them in the camera, and shot pictures of my office until the card was full. It then got stuffed in the reader, and I let Aperture import all of the images, and then erase and eject the card. I then made sure the images imported looked okay — no corruption or obvious problems. I then erased them all out of Aperture and deleted them from disk again.
About 40 minutes later, and 650 shots later, all three cards tested out, a full format-shoot-import-erase-format cycle. I formatted each card again, put the two Kingston cards in the Canon bodies, and put the SanDisk cards in the wallet.
I can now trust those cards in regular use. If you ask me, peace of mind is worth an hour or so of my time; I don’t want to be reaching for the wallet on a shoot to get a new card, and find myself thinking “is that the card that was throwing errors last week?” I’d rather retire the cards than carry them and not trust them. Any piece of equipment you’re not comfortable with is more of a hazard in the field than a help — so get to know your gear, learn how it works and how you want to use it, and don’t carry it unless you’re comfortable with it and trust it. that way, when shooting, you focus on the shooting, and not on issues like “will this work?”
the end result for me: one retired card reader (inexpensive), and three good cards (not so inexpensive). That’s good.
I think this backs up an important idea: for critical items, have a spare. Card readers are critical now. So are cards. you might not need to carry two readers in your bag in the field, but if you’re travelling? It probably makes sense (both don’t need to be expensive ones, they do need to be reliable).
Ditto cards. I use 2 gig cards these days. In my Canon bodies (D30 and Rebel XT), shooting raw, a 2 gig card holds roughly 200 shots. I feel it’s much better off to carry a pair of 2 gig cards instead of one four gig card. The risk of catastrophic failure of the card is much worse than the risk of losing a critical shot because you have to swap a card once or twice during a shoot. So to me, the only nice thing about the 4 and 8 gig cards is they drive down the price of the 2 gigs (always a good thing).
Every time I leave the house now, I carry five cards: two Kingston 55x 2G cards, one in each body, Two SanDisk Ultra II 2 gig cards, and a SanDisk Ultra II 1 Gig card in the wallet. That gives me close to 1000 shots before I have to get to a reader and import to make space. that may seem like a huge # of shots — but I have taken more than 600 shots in a single day, and I’d rather carry an extra card or three than run out of “film” at a critical time. Cards are much cheaper than missing a lifetime shot.
It also means that card failure doesn’t shut me down. Since I tend to believe failure happens at the most inopportune moment, I try to plan for how to minimize those disasters; it’s my way, if you want to look at it that way, of convincing Murphy to go annoy an easier target.
No film photographer would go out with a single roll of film in their camera — even though cards are much higher capacity, I think the same idea applies, though. To be honest, card failures happen, and if having a spare doesn’t convince you to carry two two’s instead of one four, then consider that carrying two two’s gives you a much better chance at salvaging some of the shoot if you lose a card in the middle. And finally, if a card fails, losing a two is a lot cheaper than losing a four.
All things considered, think about how many shots your camera can fit in a gigabyte of card, and how often you want to change them as you shoot, and buy the right size, but not too large. Don’t go too small, either. I won’t bother carrying less than a 1 gig card these days — 512m would be maybe 50 shots, and that’s just too few for me. I don’t want to be changing cards every ten minutes any more than I want to lose all of my shots on my only card. Cards in the 100-200 shot range seems “right” to me. Figure out what feels right for you, and buy to that size.
For what it’s worth: the Kingston 55x cards are MUCH faster than the Sandisk, both in accepting shots from the camera and in the import/erase process on the Mac. Very nice so far. And I noticed a huge (5x or so) difference in speed between my old reader and the Lexar. Using the Lexar AND the Kingston was faster than using either part with the slower alternative — so all of the pieces in the puzzle matter here. Something to consider as you’re buying these things — spending more on a top-notch reader is worth it in time saved, and faster cards also speed up the import process, and also reduce the number of times you’ll be waiting for the card during burst shots.
All things to consider. Sometimes a small investment ($20 more in a reader, $15 in a card) can significantly improve your workflow and cut the time you sit waiting for things to finish….
One of the things I’ve been trying to get a handle on are the home backups. I’ve been using Retrospect since, well, basically forever, most recently using it to back up the home machines to a firewire drive on my mini. I started out using two 100 gig drives in rotation, and when they filled up, added a pair of 200 gig (god bless digital photography). It’s to the point, though, where a full backup of the house (two laptops, two minis) is now > 200 gigs, and if you rotate your backup sets when the second disk fills up, you’re rotating them fairly often — and think about how long it takes to restart a backup with a full set.
You end up with too many windows of opportunity for things to go wrong, which made me increasingly uncomfortable. Add to that having all of the files stored in a proprietary format by Retrospect, and Retrospect’s long history of breaking every time a new release of Mac OS X coming out, with a delay before they fix it, and then a few patches to get it really right — not my idea of fun for a backup tool. And then there are various features of modern Mac OS X that retrospect.
So retropect has increasingly been a tool I’ve been looking to retire.
At the same time, I’ve been working more and more with a tool called Superduper!, which is (to some degree) rsync with a GUI, although it’s not really quite that. It’s allowed me to set up backups of the laptops to portable (now power brick) firewire drives, so the laptops can be backed up even on the road, Just In Case). Superduper also will back up over a network, but does it to a spare disk image — which, of course, Retrospect won’t back up. Another reason to retire Retrospect.
None of this really handles the offsite backup problem to my satisfaction, either, not even close. At one point, I kept three sets of backups via retrospect, rotating one offsite, but as the size of the backup grew, I let that lapse. Shouldn’t have, but I did. Besides, is an offside backup that’s four months old REALLY useful?
So, what do I really want?
1) No more full backups.
2) full automation.
3) No special tools to access files.
4) bootable backups (or backups that can easily be turned into bootable disks again);
5) off-site storage.
6) off-site storage WITHOUT physically moving stuff off-site, or having to make special off-site disks.
7) failure resistance. A failed disk should at worst be inconvenient. Ditto failed backup media.
After spending time researching tools and what other people are doing, I came fairly close, and down the road, I’ll have it all (I think).
The first decision: stop creating new backup sets, and dump retrospect. Instead, use RAID 1 to create a redundant mirror of the data. That way, if any one drive fails, there’s a usable copy that can keep the backup going and you can clone it to rebuild the RAID. RAID 1 also allows you to, if you want, add and remove drives, which gives you the option to create copies to go offsite.
You can do this in a few ways:
1) dedicated network storage device, that hooks up to your network and acts like a file server. they’re called various things like “network hard drives”, and come from any number of companies including Lacie or .
2) add a RAID system to the mini, using swappable bays to allow you to replace drives as you want. This would make creating off-site copies easy, as well as failure recovery as simple as possible. Wiebetech is a company with a line of products that does this.
3) Software RAID on the mini, and firewire drives.
The third approach is the one I decided on. I did so for a few reasons. First, I didn’t want to add another computer to the house, dedicated or not, so that let out the network disks. I also moved away from the network disks because most of them don’t do RAID. Most of the RAID 1 options require SATA boards, not firewire, although a few connect w/ Firewire 800. Neither is an option on a mini. If you look carefully, you’ll see most of the Firewire 400 RAID units tend to be raid 0 (striping), not Raid 1 (mirror), so they don’t really solve my problem well. The ones that do, along with the RAID systems with removable bays, tend to be significantly more expensive, than the third option — ultimately, I decided that extra expense wasn’t worth it.
My choice: Other World Computing has their Mercury Elite line of firewire drives that support drive sizes up to 750G, and have either one or two drives in them. The two-drive units use Software raid (softraid) to implement the RAID 1, and are pre-configured for RAID 1, so it’s plug and play. They come bundled with Softraid, so you can do other things as you want to.
I ended up buying the OWC Mercury Elite 500×2 with RAID1, plus a 500X1 unit to use as my off-site storage. I installed Softraid onto the mini, set it up to share the drive, and I’m currently using SuperDuper to back up the laptop to a sparse disk image over the net. Once that’s done, I’ll automate updating it nightly, and do the same to the other machines here at home.
The cost of the 500X2 & %00X1 with bundled raid software: ~$900. To create an equivalent with Wiebetech’s RAID systems (with hot swap and etc) would have run closer to $1600. network appliances that would support a 500G network drive in RAID 1 with the ability to roll a third unit for offsite start about $1600 as well, and keep going up from there. That $700 would pay for more drives, if I wanted to keep rotating units offsite.
My long-term goal here, though, is to roll off-site backups over the net, to S3 or some other network storage service. The initial 400Gig upload might be painful (or very painful, or extremely painful), but after that, it wouldn’t necessarily be so bad; You’d want to mount it as a file partition and update the sparseimages via Superduper, not update the backed-up RAID drive. I’m just not sure the technology is quite ready for that, and I’m still investigating what the real costs are in terms of storage charges and network upload charges — but my chickenscratch numbers indicate hauling physical disks offsite wins as far as costs go, even though a bit less convenient.
But I expect that to change, and that’s another reason not to invest in hot-swap RAID bays and stuff; I’m not too far from where that dual drive firewire unit will be my backup drive, and only touched for restores, or to replace a failed drive.And with RAID 1, that’s merely annoying, not a serious problem.
And it’s a setup that’s very resistance to problems caused by, say, upgrading to Leopard. All I need do is hold off upgrading the mini until softraid is updated and stable — no worry about the retrospect client or server software compatibility.
Given the sheer amount of data in a house these days, the only practical backup is to another disk. The only practical way to back up a backup on disk is via RAID 1. And ultimately, the way to protect the entire house is to copy that backup somewhere else.
This new backup setup, once I have the machines configured to do nightly backups, does all of that but the offsite component. I expect to do that manually, but it’s firewire plugs and quick configurations via the softraid gui, so it’s simple and fast. So it’s more likely to actually BE DONE. and everything is stored in ways that can be accessed by Mac OS X without special programs or tools.
What’s lost by removing Retrospect from the mix? The only significant thing are snapshots over time: Laurie and I talked that over, and the answer to the question “when was the last time we actually had to go find a copy of that Word file from last tuesday?” was “I don’t remember”, so in reality, it’s a minor thing we can easily live without. So we will. That’s probably a job for Subversion, if you really care…
One other nice thing about this setup: it scales. If I fill up this 500g, I can add another. and another, and re-arrange what machines backup where without having to completely redo the backups. With the RAID bay units, network disks, you’re scaling options are more limited, and generally limited to “add another unit”, which given the costs, adds up over time.
All in all, I think I met most of my requirements pretty well — and more importantly, set things up to not need any significant work for a few years moving forward. I’m very satisfied with the design. Now we’ll see how it plays in real life….
It’s thanksgiving in the states, and this year, I especially feel there are many reasons to be thankful:
I am thankful that George Gund was willing to bring the NHL to San Jose, a choice that was a lot riskier in the eyes of many at the time than it turned out to be. And I’m thankful that Greg Jamison came on board, and steered this franchise forward towards both success on the ice and profitability.
I’m thankful that both the owners and the players finally sat down and got serious about fixing the financial problems in the league. And I’m even more thankful that, while not a perfect solution, it’s made things better and more stable.
I’m thankful that the league got serious about making this a league for talent and not violent pylons. And again, while it’s not perfect, it’s a damn bit better than it was.
I”m thankful that hockey in San Jose has given myself and Laurie something we could do together and enjoy together, something that more or less acts as glue to our relationship. I am VERY thankful to be able to enjoy sports without guilt, because I know my partner enjoys them at least as much as I do.
I”m thankful that hockey has allowed us to meet folks like Vickie, and Jeff and Alanah, who’ve made our lives more interesting and fun by being a part of it (and in the case of J&A, fed our addiction to things paper and inked)
This year I’m especially grateful for these things this year. You might have noticed that there’s been a relative shortage of postings from me recently, and an absolute lack of postings from Laurie despite this being a blog for both of us. We had to put Laurie on the Injured Reserve for a bit (to quote our favorite Darryl Sutter playoff-time injury report parody: he’s pregnant, and we’re listing him day to day). While she’s not quite ready for a regular shift yet, she has promised me she’ll start getting involved again and getting some of her hockey thoughts and photos posted (or I’ll hack into her Mac and post them for her). And the fact that we’ll have this thanksgiving together, and many more into the future, makes me most thankful of all.
When I left Apple, I started a series of articles as kind of a post-mortem and view on things that I really shouldn’t have gotten into when I was an employee. As those things go, I ran out of interest in writing it before I ran out of things to write.
Left unsaid are three more topics:
Part 6: Should Apple blog?
Part 7: The Marketshare “problem”, (aka, damn you, Mike spindler, or why Apple’s Marketshare only matters to analysts you shouldn’t listen to anyway)
Part 8: Where Apple fits into the big picture.
And at this point, I’m frankly more interested in looking forward instead of looking backward, so I felt it made sense to just close the loop and mark this series done (but not complete) and move on. If you disagree — well, let me know and convince me to carry on. Me, I’m looking into 2007 for the launch (finally) of the Outsider’s Guide, and spending more time on my hockey writing and my photography, and Apple is probably happier if I just stop digging up skeletons, no matter how minor and trivial.
And while we had a big mosh pit over my comments on Apple’s blogging policy (and lack of one), it just reinforced to me that so much of the blogosphere is a self-reinforcing echo chamber, with people not really interested in hearing or learning, but merely making sure everything that gets said gets interpreted to reinforce what they already feel like thinking, or gets ridiculed and ignored. In that way, Blogging has turned very much into USENET of old, only with CSS formatting and moving pictures; the technology changes, the human interactions don’t. Sometimes, it seems blogging isn’t so much the conversation pro-blogging advocates want to promote it as as it is a bunch of people lecturing, all in the same lecture room with microphones. Everyone talking, nobody listening.
Of course, that’s unfair. There’s also a strong group of folks who ARE actually interested in discussing and thinking — but sometimes, it’s hard to hear them through the noise of the “loudest blogger wins” group. If people care about those topics, I can be convinced.
The executive summary of part 6, though, is worth a couple of paragraphs:
Should Apple have a blogging policy? In my mind, definitely, even though I could never convince the folks who needed to agree of that. One reason is simple: a standardized blogging policy would put all employees on the same footing, and it’d be understood what was acceptable and what wasn’t. As it stands, this decision often is made by a direct manager, or perhaps one or two levels up, and different parts of the company create restrictions (some of them very strict) well beyond the intent of the existing policies, and in some areas, in ways that significantly poach into Apple employee’s personal lives and personal time, which I feel is inappropriate (many areas of Apple retail, the brick and mortar part, simply outlaw employee blogs in any way — not just talking company stuff, but talking about anything, including Aunt Jenny’s wedding. That, I think, is excessive, and the reason I felt a blogging policy was needed in the first place. At the same time, however, I think that blogging policy, while making personal blogs acceptable, should clearly put “shop talk” out of bounds, unless blogging about Apple is part of your formal job description. This would (more or less) keep Apple’s blogging reality to the status quo, while making it explicit that non-work blogging is okay — and that’s the balance I think is needed and appropriate at Apple. As it is, Apple employees that want to blog personally simply hide their affiliation, which I think is silly, but in the current environment, necessary.
And should Apple blog? Absolutely, but not in a way that Scoble would promote or consider acceptable. I certainly wouldn’t create blogs.apple.com and open it to all employees the way Sun has — the situations are different — but I’d want to have a blogging system that execs and product managers and people who ARE allowed to be company spokesbeasts in a formal way could use as a communication channel. this is the path I think Dave Hyatt was trying to blaze with his safari stuff, but I don’t think the Apple culture was really capable of embracing it, and Apple management just doesn’t seem to understand how this can be used to advantage — or if they do, didn’t make it any priority to get done.
ohwell. At this point, it’s probably opportunity lost for Apple. I’d still argue “better late than never”, but Apple is definitely missing out on some significant and substantial changes in how people communicate and how companies interact with their customers; here’s hoping they don’t guess wrong and open a market opportunity to a competitor by not doing this.
I will also, just to close this all out, talk about one time when I brought all this up — waiting for a meeting on some subject I don’t recall with some apple managers from various parts of the company, and a couple of Apple’s finest legal beagles, we were basically shooting the breeze waiting for a couple of others who live in the Apple “chronically late” time distortion field (the one in which, despite best of intentions and hard work, all meetings start at 10 after the hour, because everyone is so chronically over-scheduled that they simply can’t get from meeting to meeting in time, because every meeting ends up running the full hour and so many people are booked back to back to back) — and blogging came up as a discussion point.
And I suggested that we have Steve blog. Silence in the room, followed by a few muffled giggles.
But think about it. Is there one person in the universe, who, if they blogged, every person on the internet would read? Imagine the ability of Steve to create a buzz, push a product, set up a marketing program, create an agenda. He could, merely by saying “hello”, give half the internet the vapors, and the other half heartburn.
you’ve seen Steve with the keynote bully pulpit he uses a few times a year. Imagine Steve with the bully pulpit of “Steve’s blog”, available any time he felt like talking about something — Apple or no.
The folks I tossed it at agreed it was a powerful idea, but couldn’t decide if it was one of powerful genius or merely an insane one. The one thing everyone was unanimous about was that they’d die before suggesting it to him.
And they’re probably right — but man, I always felt that would have been such a fun hack. Steve unplugged. Or maybe Steve unfiltered. Is the world ready for it? (is Steve?)
but I guess we’ll never know. As the folks in that meeting who worked directly with Steve all agreed: “Never happen”. But they said so with that look on their faces that indicated they saw the possibilities too — and the risks.
I’m one week in at work, and starting to settle in. So far, nobody’s figured out I’m a fraud….
Seriously, what’s to talk about? I spent the week starting to figure out XP (not a huge issue), going over product documentation, meeting and talking to people, and scoping out what makes sense to start getting involved in. I’ve started my first project, which may be the basis of a white paper down the road.
I’m happy to note that the positives that made me choose this position: the challenge, the people, the situation and opportunity, and the people, have all turned out to be what I thought they’d be. I’m also (not so) happy to note that the negatives I expected from the position are about what I expected — and the one that matters is the commute, since I’m now driving from Santa Clara to Redwood City every day instead of up Homestead to Cupertino. 101 is acceptable non-commute, but anyone sneezes and it falls apart, so I’ve pretty much decided to use 280, cut over on the 92, and back down to the Oracle towers (my new place is in the shadow of Oracle in Redwood Shores….); more mileage than direct up 101, but not only consistently faster, but pretty consistent.
The other negative are bay area drivers in the commute. I’ve made the commute six times now, and I’ve had to deal with 12 tons of gravel closing all but one lane, I’ve been in the delay caused by one major accident (three fire trucks, two two trucks and an ambulance when I drove by) — all for an accident in the opposite direction, where everyone else simply slowed down to gawk. Except for the four cars that didn’t; they were in lane 2 waiting for tow trucks.
That was one of two sets of read enders that I’ve seen this last week, each one at least three cars. Let’s add in the person driving at least 85 while weaving through traffic going up the 280 north — and reading the newspaper spread out across his steering wheel WHILE TALKING TO A PHONE HELD TO HIS EAR. The car from North Carolina that magically decided it wanted my lane while I happened to be in it, And I won’t even get into the red light runners and the right turn has the right of way people, and the “no turn on red doesn’t apply to me” folks. And just for fun, today, we had someone who got a bit confused on Marine parkway, and was coming west in the left lane of the eastbound lanes because they evidently didn’t realize the road had a planted center divider. or the person who almost nailed them because they weren’t paying attention.
Defensive driving is one thing, but… it looks like paranoid driving is needed. Or something. Because commutes make people stupid around here — and the worst trick is a really stupid one: when you hit a traffic slowdown, as soon as it breaks free, floor it and try to make up all that lost time. Which is one of the ways those rear-enders I’m constantly seeing happens (the other is not noticing the slowdown of folks waiting in line to look at the accident in the lanes in the opposite direction, probably because they’re too busy talking on the phone, eating, reading the newspaper, shaving, or putting on their makeup. Or maybe playing the flute….)
And we’re just heading into the rainy season where the traffic REALLY gets squirrely. ohboy… I’d slow down and put more space between me and the person in front of me, but I’ve learned that’s merely an invitation for some OTHER idiot to change lanes in front of me and eat the space up….
So far, so good.
I celebrated the new job (and not needing to live off the savings as long as I’d planned for) by buying some new toys — a Canon D30 body for myself, and one for Laurie (since she just celebrated a birthday). That gives us both two-body Canon setups, so I can use one on the 100-400, and the Rebel (usually) on the 17-85 EF IS. I also upgraded my tripod, but I plan on talking about that later.
I’ve only had a chance to take the new body out for a quick spin. A few photos are available here:
As usual, I decided to be cautious and so I went out with the 100-400 and a 1.4x tele, so I was doing a lot of photography at F/8 or worse and having to manually focus — and a number of the shots show a focus that’s not quite right, a softness I need to work on. On the other hand, I’m trying to take photos of small moving things a football field away using a monopod…. But I know I can do better.
My initial reaction: I always felt the Rebel XT was a solid, well-built body. The 30D on the other hand, seems, well, armored. It’s about half a pound heavier and sits slightly larger in the hand, but at the same point, is quite comfortable. It feels like you can throw it off a building — or at a grizzly — and pick it up and use it. Unless the grizzly swallows it (carry a washcloth, just in case). Looking through the viewfinder seems significantly brighter, which makes focusing easier in low light or with long, slow lenses (not that the above photos are great examples…). Fastest shutter moves from 1/4000 to 1/8000, which I’m sure makes all you hummingbird shooters happy. It has two fast-shot speeds, 3FPS and 5FPS. The 5FPS rate is almost scary — time to buy bigger compactflash cards. It also will take more shots in a row before filing the buffer, from five on the Rebel XT to 7 or 9 depending. It also comes with flash sync.
My initial feel is that exposure on the D30 is more accurate than the Rebel XT; I came to feel that my idea of proper exposure and the Rebel’s were off by about 3/4 of a stop (overexposed). To me, the D30 seems less contrasty (in a good way), but it’s way early to make any definitive statement — I haven’t made definitive tests yet. I’m shooting raw, and it’s also hard to tell hwo much of this is the camera and how much Aperture’s RAW converter differences between the two bodies; I’ll have to do some testing in JPEG, too. Overall, I’d say that what I’m seeing indicates a wider dynamic range, and a somewhat warmer rendition — both in a good way.
Overall, I’m really impressed. Still reading the manual (gasp. Yes, I do that) and figuring out how I want to set it up. Maybe I’ll get out for a walk tomorrow and take it through its paces.
Why the 30D? I seriously considered the 5D — but that was simply more money than I wanted to spend, and since I own some EF lenses, moving to a full-sized sensor would imply updating those, also. And for where I am and what I’m doing today, the 30d seemed to be the best value; buying a second Rebel body (XT+ or XTi) would have given me a second body, but wasn’t really an upgrade, and the cost was only a few hundred dollars.
So we shall see how it works out as I have time to put it through its paces. But my initial response is very positive.
Club spokesman John Hahn said later that Williams was “fine.” Hahn said X rays and a CAT scan showed no problems. He also said Williams might have lost consciousness briefly and suffered a cut on his forehead.
Williams may have suffered a concussion, but his main injury stemmed from his helmet taking the brunt of his impact on the ice. The pressure wave from a severe impact can cause the skin to basically peel apart at the juncture of helmet and forehead.
If he lost consciousness, he has a concussion, at least grade 1 — by definition. Now, is it serious? Not necessarily. Hopefully not, but losing consciousness is a basic symptom.
Saw the hit on TV. Painful to watch — and legal. Just as it’s painful to watch stevens on lindros.
After the game, we were watching TSN, and there was discussion about how the league needs to do something about injury causing hits.
you know what? NO THEY DON’T. Not unless you want to turn it into ringette. Hockey is a sport that is attractive for it’s combination of strength, speed, and finesse. It has a strong fan base who are attracted to the power and emotion of the game and its players. Some of the talking heads on TSN last night calling for the league to fix this are the same talking heads whining about how teh rule changes have taken the battle out of the slot and hamstrung defensemen’s ability to defend around the crease.
You can’t have it both ways. That an injury occurred doesn’t imply the hit was illegal or wrong. If you keep trying to make the game “safe”, you’ll simply drain the game of what makes it attractive to people. The players know, and we should realize, that injuries are part of the game. How players and teams react to them and compensate for them is a big aspect of the difference between a contender in October and a champion in April.
So you can’t keep this a fast, physical game AND take the injuries and big hits out of it. The league has to do what it can to make the game safe — but it can’t make the game safe, any more than Nascar can remove car crashes without destroying nascar. You have to do what you can to minimize them and their impact, while recognizing that they ARE part of the game. It’s a grey area, but life is grey, not black and white. The trick is finding the balance between “safe” and “boring”. You can kill the sport by moving too much in either direction.
I don’t know what’s left to say about Mick McGeough’s blown call on Friday night that cost the Oilers at least a point that Jes Gőlbez hasn’t already compiled at Hockey Rants.
As it turns out, the online petition to relieve McGeough of his duties already has 800+ signatures.
McGeough is far from a perfect ref, but name one that is. Mistakes happen in hockey — goals score when players make mistakes, teams win when the other team makes more mistakes than your team does. Referees make mistakes; linesmen make mistakes.
Hockey is, ultimately, a game of mistakes, of limiting mistakes, of capitalizing on them.
Right now, McGeough is the donkey — and deservedly so. But it’s being blown out of proportion, as it always is, because now, every time he sneezes, it shows up on TSN twelve times in super-slo-mo and Bob McKenzie throws off some cute one liner about it. And that’ll continue until they get bored or some new donkey is annointed to make fun of, while more significant mistakes by refs that aren’t currently being declared “league clown” are ignored.
So it goes.
Five years ago, we’d have been having this same discussion — only we’d swap out Mick’s name for Kerry Fraser. Of course, Fraser is still in the league, and trust me, he’s still a LOT less popular in some arena’s than Mick McGeough is today. Ditto Rob Shick.
Heck, I was in the arena for Steve Walkom’s first visit to San Jose. It was maybe his second or third game in the NHL, and it was less than memorable. For the next couple of years, fans who found out he was coming to ref a came brought signs asking for donations for the Walkom eyeglass fund. You know what? Walkom not only turned into a pretty good ref over time, he’s running the joint now.
Here’s something folks asking for McGeough to be fired or suspended should keep in mind: if you take McGeough out of the reffing rotation, who do you replace him with? Yes, that’s right — one of the part-timer’s wandering the NHL waiting for their shot.
Do you really — be honest with me here — really think the league is better off with Eric Furlatt or Mike Hasenfratz or Tom Kowal reffing your team’s game instead of McGeough? Because if he’s not reffing, all of the more junior (and/or less capable) refs get bumped up the depth chart — just like what happens when your first line center goes down and gets replaced by a guy from your AHL team. Does that EVER make your team better?
UPDATE: Be sure to make your donations to the Craig MacTavish Relief Fund.
There are times when MacTavish needs to stop being such a freaking player. He’s in management now. Did he have the right to jump down McGeough’s throat for the blown call? sure. But he went over the top, and deserved that call. His reaction was very close to the infamous “have another donut” from a previous era — and so MacTavish deserved that fine. that fine wasn’t over complaining about the mistake — it was about a lack of professionalism in doing so.
News – Wilson Not Happy With Mental Mistakes – San Jose Sharks:
Thursday night’s contest with the Rangers did not go quite as planned for the home team. New York had played the night before and had backup netminder Kevin Weekes in the lineup, but virtually nothing went Team Teal’s way as New York used an empty netter to finish off a 3-1 victory.
The play of the game was one the Sharks would like to quickly forget. With San Jose pressing for a late first period tally, a puck bounced above the stick of a pinching blueliner and sent Matt Cullen in on a breakaway. When his shot hit the back of the twine, there was just seven-tenths of a second left in the period.
“We made a brain-dead play,” said Ron Wilson. “We played a great period and made a mental blunder. Hindsight is 20/20, but it was the critical play of the game. When you’re the last defenseman back, you can’t get caught in that situation. I’ll ask the people on the ice about it tomorrow.”
How to explain the game from the point of view of someone forced to watch it?
The Sharks looked tired and sluggish. They picked it up late in the first with some real physical play and looked better, but while they controlled the puck and played much of the period in the Ranger zone, they didn’t do a good job of putting quality shots on Weekes, and they were rarely, if ever, second shots. Play was on the perimeter. I called the first period by both teams “very european”, and not in a bad way; the sharks were the better team, until the last five seconds. Then they got a bit too aggressive a couple of seconds too early, a bad bounce and a 3-0 breakaway for a Ranger score at 19:59.
Ugh. but it happens.
But in the second, the sharks faded. The radio team said they got in very late (or very early, depending on how you view 6AM in the morning), so perhaps the dead legs were unavoidable. didn’t make it fun in the arena, though. Ron Wilson started pushing buttons, re-arranging lines (thornton-cheechoo-marleau; later, thornton-marleau-smith?????), looking for anything with a spark.
The sharks ground it through, but the Rangers were the better team for two periods and deserved to win. The sharks? Played well enough to keep it close and lose.
In an 80 game season, it happens. you just don’t like paying to see it.
There’s a bigger problem, though. This team just isn’t quite right. It’s playing consistently well enough for a 64% winning percentage, but you watch this team, and it’s clear it’s not right. Not WRONG, but not firing on all cylinders. Goaltending is fine — Nabokov is the best 3-4 goalie in the league (with 2 shutouts!) –= GAA of 2.14, save percentage of .914, and under .500? Toskala’s numbers are slightly better (2.14, .921) — and is 6-1. Go figure. The defense is fine, too.
But the forwards? Perimeter play, lack of intensity. Thornton and Cheechoo seem very human, it’s really been the “second” line that’s been supporting the team. The Sharks effectively have two first lines, and two third lines, and any of the lines can be dangerous when they’re playing well. There isn’t a player on the roster that the Sharks have to hide or protect. But for some reason, this team isn’t playing to potential. It’s merely (I almost hate to say this) MERELY pretty good.
Watching them, they’re searching for something, some missing bit of chemistry up front. Mark Bell’s fought a groin, and that may be part of it — he’s been pretty invisible most nights. cheechoo, too. I’m not seeing him penetrate into shooting positions, he’s staying in the perimeter and that line tends to get in a cycle and not try to break into an offensive position. Getting too fancy? Trying too hard? Hard to tell. Against the Rangers, Cheechoo finally got frustrated and tried to put an elbow through someone’s ear, and got whistled for it. At least it shows that whatever’s going wrong, he’s both aware of it and it’s pissing him off, but the line simply isn’t generating consistent results on 5-5.
I”ve been unimpressed with Niemenen, too. Ryan Clowe’s a real throwback, to the Tim Hunter look of a hockey player, but he and Doug Murray generate a physicality the team needs. I’d sit Ville and Josh Gorges and let these guys bang around a bit.
The good news is — there’s really nothing seriously wrong here, and the team is well into playoff position.
The bad news is — you look at the team in any depth, and you know that it’s misfiring, and it should be a lot stronger and a lot better offensively.
And yet — there’s no obvious problem or weakness. It’s just that the Joe line is MIA except on the power play. That takes this team from being elite to merely pretty good.
And when is “pretty good” not good enough? When it’s clear this team needs to be much better, and can be.
gah. Here’s hoping a day off makes the pens game more interesting.