Living Wide On The West Side

There will be fewer links in today’s blog. I screwed something up this morning and am unable to get to them. I’ll throw in a few extra words today to make up for it. πŸ˜‰

I Can Almost See Clearer Now
After leaving work yesterday I made my way to midtown in order to finally pick up the eyeglasses that I purchased before Christmas. The delay was not all my fault, as the optometrist’s office was closed many days during the holidays.

The new frame style is fine, although I’m having some second thoughts about my decision. I seriously need a girlfriend with fashion sense to help me out in these situations! My eyeglass choices are limited since I have fairly wide-set eyes and the bridge of my nose is kind of large. When I left the doctor’s office I was pleased with the fit, but after wearing them and doing countless double-takes in the rear-view mirror I have decided to make a return visit for some adjustments. The fun never ends and the party’s never ending.

Pick Up One, Drop Off Another
Since I was already in midtown I went in search of E-6 Labs after the optometrist’s visit. As I mentioned yesterday I wanted to drop off a roll of 120 film for development. E-6 was fairly easy to find, and to my surprise so was Spitfire, one of my other options, as they are just at the end of the same block. Hell, I probably could have thrown my roll of film from E-6’s front door and hit Spitfire’s.

My film is due to be ready on Monday, mostly because E-6 is closed on the weekend. I also reminded the guy that Monday is MLK Day and he assured me that they’d be open. Wish me luck.

ITP FLickr Pic
Yet another photo of a statue.
I Wonder If I'll Make It To ITP's Flickr Photostream?
It is my goal to position statues to make them appear to have expressions never intended by their sculptor.

I Kea, You Kea, We All Kea, For IKEA
I lost my IKEA virginity last night. That’s right, even with all of the hullabaloo that accompanied its opening I had yet to step foot inside, or attempt to navigate to it for that matter.

The store both annoyed and confused me often. Wait, where is that? Let me consult this map. Great, now where am I on this map? Dangen!

I was there for two specific items — candles and frames (not of the eyeglass variety).
I left there with two specific items — candles and a wooden lazy susan (this after winding my way through the store for at least an hour). Well, actually I also paid $0.59 for a bag which might work well as a laundry carrier.

It’s not that I didn’t find the prints and frames section, it was that I was not pleased with the selection. Oh well.

And did I eat at the cafeteria? Not on your life.

No, Thank You Shitty Atlanta Traffic
It should come as little surprise to all of the Atlanta-residing ITP-readers that traffic in this town blows. Every once in a while this can be a good thing.

Coming out of IKEA I was greeted with a slowly-moving stream of Atlanta commuters. My original plan was to work my way over to former Top Chef cheftestant Richard Blais’ new restaurant venture Flip, but it was still rather early and I wasn’t hungry. As I crept along at a snail’s place I decided to seek an opportunity to get out of traffic for a while. My savior was the Junior League’s thrift store.

I have shopped in the Junior League’s thrift store before and have found such gems as a brand new Linda Ronstadt 8-track tape (for $1) that I presented to ITP-Reader Steve for his birthday a few weeks ago. Last night I scored something for the home team.

In one of the cases eye spied an old Nikon camera (turned out to be a Nikon FE) with a 50mm f/1.4 lens attached to it. Beside the camera sat another fixed-focal lens and a lens case for some sort of telephoto lens. I asked to see the lot and decided I was going to take the gamble.

The camera appears to be in working order, although the proof won’t be in the pudding until I load it with some film and shoot with it. The 50mm lens appeared very clean (and even had a starlight filter attached), whether or not it can be used with my fancy-pants Nikon D300 is in question (actually I tried and it worked, but I’m not certain I was supposed to try). The cost for the camera and lens? $15.

The fixed-focal lens turned out to be a manual-focus 28mm. At first I assumed it too was a Nikkor lens, but after looking again I realized that it is not. It’s a clean lens as well and was fitted with a UV filter. The cost for this lens was $6.

The telephoto lens case contained a manual-focus Quantaray 75-200mm (I think this is the correct range) f/4 macro lens. This lens was also clean and while Quantaray lenses are not going to knock anyone’s socks off, the $10 price tag seemed reasonable.

So, for $31 (plus sales tax) I was able to bring home some new toys. Hopefully I’ll be able to get at least $31’s worth of fun out of them.

Top Chef: What, What?
I joined a handful of Tweeters at Holy Taco for a few beers last night. I was pleased when I returned home to see that I hadn’t missed the beginning of Top Chef.

You may remember that last week Top Chef did a chop-chop and removed two of the slower wildebeest from the heard. What would happen last night?

The night started off with the traditional bringing back of past Top Chef winners, this time was Season 3’s winner Hung. Hung was best know for his frantic knife skills, and perhaps for not lacking self-confidence. Oh noes, they are going to make them work fast!!! The cheftestants thought that the Linens-n-Things Top Chef table cover hid fresh fish, but instead it hid all sorts of pre-packaged goods from companies who have no desire to grease the palms of Bravo in order to keep the company names on their cans from being taped over. Not only were the cheftestants going to have to learn how to use can openers, they would have only fifteen minutes to produce their masterpiece. Most of the concoctions looked disgusting (to me), and in the end another person not lacking in self-confidence, Stefan, was named the winner.

With the No-Longer-Named-Diet-Dr-Pepper-QuickFire-Challenge completed it was time to get to real business. The cheftestants drew knives which this time the read “pig,” “lamb,” and “chicken.” All I can think is “Holy shit, they are going to have to slaughter their protein tonight!” I was wrong. Instead they cheftestants were driven out to the country in some gas-guzzling beast known as a Sequoia. During the trip we see a scene where Ariane is holding the craptastic Danger Sidekick II from T-Mobile, which I mention here because it seems to be the indicator that the holder is going to be eliminated. Money well spent, T-Mobile / Danger; your products are now synonymous with disaster!

Unlike the NLNDDP QuickFire Challenge the cheftestants are to use local and in-season ingredients for the [This Space For Rent] Elimination Challenge and they are going to be provided with pre-slaughtered meat. The teams scurry about picking up ingredients in the farm as they whine that they are not pushing shopping carts through Whole Paycheck. Each team seems to have its high and low points in the meal

  • Team Chicken: Making chicken soup in the heat? Heat? Wait, why is it hot? Didn’t we just celebrate Christmas on the show? I thoughtta thees wassa Toppa Cheffa New York, anda notta Toppa Cheffa Australia. Good thing Carla’s pastry saved their bacon, or is that chicken wing in this case?
  • Team Lamb: Look at the butchering on that lamb? Holy Jeebus, is this farm located in Amityville, New York? Wait, what was the good thing they produced?
  • Team Pig: Porkka, Porkka, Porkka. Let it be known that you never let a boy from Miami butcher your pork. They are far too health conscious there and take off the tastiest part, the fat. Good thing Pretty Boy Jeff has a bit-o-Southern in him and can turn green tomatoes found on the ground into delicious fried green tomatoes.

In the end it is deemed that Team Chicken was the winner and that all three cheftestants should share the night’s prize — one big fucking bucket of pride. All is not well for Team Pig and Team Lamb as the are both led to the proverbial slaughter house. Because Pretty Boy Jeff wowed them with his fried green tomatoes, nothing says “seasonal” to me like tomatoes picked up off the ground, Team Piggy gets to go all the way home back to Manhattan unscathed. Team Lamb on the other hand…

I am reminded from a poem from my youth:

Ariane had a little lamb
She butchered with a butter knife
And because Hosea and Leah have a little shomance
The Top Chef producers refused to spare her life

Yeah, I think that’s how that went. Who knew that a little ditty from my youth would be even more accurate than the Phone Of Death Sidekick? You guessed it. Ariane was told to pack up her knives and get back onto the Jersey Turnpike. Her fifteen minutes of fame are up, but at least she can now return to the tanning bed.

Stats & Goals
Daily
Current Mood – dumb
Current Music – Sirius/XM satellite radio, channel 26, playing Archers of Loaf — “Web In Front” (whoa, take me back!)
Website Of The Day – For providing me with a little scavenger hunt fun and perhaps a good bargain, today I want to highlight the Junior League of Atlanta.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – none

Monthly
Foot Mileage – 3 miles
Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 15 (15)
Vegetarian Days – 3
Carnivorous Days – 11
Marta Rides – 0

January Goals
– Complete all necessary work on the dining room (not going to lie, I picked an easy room first)
– Lose no fewer than two pounds
– Run no fewer than 50 miles
– Completely read Softbox Lighting Techniques for Professional Photographers, Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas, and How to Be Happy, Dammit: A Cynic’s Guide to Spiritual Happiness

2009 Goals
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the JalapeΓ±o Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop

The Unmeasurable
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem

Cheers,
Paulie [eatl/ga]

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15 Responses to Living Wide On The West Side

  1. Gentri says:

    You need to view Ikea as an addition to your workout routine! Walking the whole thing probably gives you a few miles!!! Food isn’t great but they have amazing looking desserts!

    Post a pic with the new glasses!

    Victim 1 Perp 0 Shooting in front of Graveyard last night… scary sh*t, but luckily I was hiding at George’s!

  2. sal says:

    Good find on your new toys…hope you get $31.00 of fun.

    I thought you would have done a self protrait today of you wearing your new glasses so we could have commented on them.

    I saw where a would be robber was shot in East Altanta last night. For a second I thought Paulie took the law into his own hands….but then I read the victims were a man and WOMAN sitting in car after leaving Graveyard tavern and I said…that couldn’t have been Paulie! Sorry…I just had to say it.

  3. Gentri says:

    Thought all Nikkor lenses were backwards/forwards compatible with new digital bodies, but that a digital camera body just can’t use all of it’s bells and whistles it has with an older lens???

    Kick ass buy if they work though!

  4. Terri(SW) says:

    http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2009/01/15/east_atlanta_shooting.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

    I’m over this…although I’m glad the shooting was in self-defense. Fact remains, we shouldn’t have to worry about this at all. I feel safer walking around New York or London than I do here…my hometown :(.

    If anyone is interested, there is a demonstration sponsored by Atlantans Together Against Crime in Findley Park L5P Monday, January 26th. I plan on being there. Demonstration goes from 5-7.

    http://atlantanstogether.org/

    -T

  5. Debbie says:

    I would plug (WAY)OTP living, but we could get taken out by a ricochet from one of the local hunters.

    IKEA is great for candles and kitchen gadgets, but I agree that it’s annoying as hell to navigate through. I think we did one trip that followed the intended flow and every other time we’ve taken a bunch of shortcuts to get out of the madness quickly.

    Congrats on your camera finds!

  6. Barb says:

    It is really entertaining to be a salmon at IKEA and go against the arrows. I also found that if you ever wanted to steal a kid, go there on the weekend, they run wild. I will never go there again on the weekend. But – IKEA can be a necessary evil, the bookshelves for the library were a great buy, as was the office desk.

    I actually feel bad for you ITP dwellers with all this crazy crime. Allan & I considered buying in town, but decided we needed more space & land for the money. And the truly big plus now is I’ve really come to like my less than 2 mile commute.

  7. sal says:

    Hey Debbie: I hear one of your Senoia neighbors won the 2.5 million lottery!

    I have been to IKEA once and vowed never to go back.

  8. Martha says:

    I think a trip to IKEA will be on the schedule soon. If Piggy gets the living room work finished by the weekend, I’m going to repaint and put up new curtains. I think IKEA will be great for the little things.

    I never find cool things when I hit the thrift stores, yard sales, etc, I don’t think I have the sort of patience it takes.

    I’m finding some folks reaction to the shooting a little unsettling. I don’t think for a minute the streets are any safer with this guy out of the picture. It isn’t going to make any of these kids think twice, it may just up the ante. It really makes me feel like spending another weekend OTP.

    Sal, sometimes Paulie will give me a ride home, so don’t count him out πŸ˜‰

  9. steve says:

    Though I don’t know much about current camera hardware anymore, it would seem a bad idea to not make lenses forward compatable. I can’t imagine Nikon being so short sighted.

    And I hate to say it, but if the cops can’t do it anymore, maybe it’s time to start packing, a wepon, that is.

    Sal- no you didn’t!!

    -FP

  10. Ten minutes between meetings….

    I don’t feel badly for ITP residents, I feel badly for Society. These shitbags live everywhere. Perhaps they perpetrate their crime mostly in town, but once that gets too hard, guess where they’ll head?

    @sal : GRRRRRRR. Actually, that’s the funniest cut-down anyone has thrown at me in some time. πŸ™‚

    I can’t see myself returning to IKEA. Sure I got candles for $2 each, but seriously it’s a royal pain in the arse to get in and out of (the store as well as the parking). I’d rather spend more money and keep a bit more of my sanity.

    New glasses photo will be happening this weekend, once they are adjusted to my liking.

    *off to my next meeting*

  11. Debbie says:

    Sal – I saw that on ajc.com. We could really jazz up the Day Spa with that!

  12. Martha says:

    Paulie, Kudos to Apple … My shuffle died last week, I was just going to toss it and move up to a nano. I did one final troubling shooting check on the web and checked out the Apple site. I was able to find out it was still under warranty and submit a service request in minutes. This was Tuesday night, I just got my replacement Shuffle today!! That was so easy. It looks like Jobs being gone hasn’t affected service so far πŸ˜‰

  13. Beth says:

    If you get to IKEA right when they open and/or not on the weekend its a lot saner. I don’t understand why there are so many kids running wild in the store when they have FREE daycare there. We can’t wait to drop the kiddo off (they have to be a certain height) and sneak off to a hash …. don’t tell anyone πŸ™‚

  14. IKEA itself was rather empty as I was there around 4:30 on a weekday. Even still it was a confusing adventure.

  15. Oh, I keep forgetting this.

    My camera can mount the majority of Nikon F-mount lenses. I am not supposed to use non-AI lenses, however.

    As for always forward proofing, at one point in the not-too-distant past Canon changed their lens mount, thus rendering a whole slew of lenses obsolete.

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