Archive for January, 2004

SotS of luck

January 26th, 2004 No comments

I shot the Governor the other day. Not in the sense you think right away, but in a photographic one. The Wisconsin State of the State was held at the Capitol, and I was there to cover it for the Cardinal.

All of the shots I took are here.
I showed up nice and early for it to figure out what the deal was. When I got there, there were tons of tv crews setting up tripods and running cabling out windows to satellite trucks. I noticed Mike Jacobs there, along with Charles Benson of WKOW-TV Madison “fame.”

I set my bags down and wandered around the large assembly room chamber looking for a good vantage point. Realizing shooting right down the center aisle would be a good idea, I staked my perch early. In my half hour or so of waiting there, I got to learn a lot about how government functions such as this operate.

The job of two assembly pages was to guard the doors leading to the center aisle. This is where the governor and supreme court got prepped for their grand entry. It seems that that room is usually where refreshments are stored for legislators because at variuos times, assembly-people would as the pages if they could enter. After the speech, one particularly parched legislator yelled out “somebody find me a page! I’m thirsty!” in an all too “I’m some peon in Wisconsin politics, but at least I’m not a page so get me something to drink” fashion.

The supervisor from the Sergeant at Arms office at the Capitol admonished me to stay behind the pillar once things began. Later in the speech he reminded me to stay behind the ropes. What a rebel.

As the speech began, I noticed there were two photographers with special access. It seems both houses of the legislature employ a photographer of their own to record history. Apparently turtlenecks covered by a pullover sweater and tweed jacket are all the rage in political photography. I don’t mean that in a mean way, just noting that they were seemingly dressed the same way as I flip through the pics I took.

I got to use the Cardinal’s photo editor’s lens, and I want one for myself now. If anyone wishes to donate a Canon 70-200 F2.8L to me, I’d gladly accept. They’re somewhere in the $1000 range, and maybe after I get myself a real job I’ll think about investing in one. Or when my tax return comes in…

As far as shooting at the event went, it wasn’t particularly exciting. I got the standard head-on shots, and then shots from both sides. I kept switching color settings because while Doyle has been good with race issues, my camera was having a hard time of its own with white balance. Wow, if you got that, you should let me know.

At one point in the speech, some lady burst out laughing. It seemed to be directly related to a remark Doyle had just made and everyone stared. She got embarrassed it seems, yet looked somehow proud for making her opinion on this particular issue known. She’s the bird-looking lady in image 6671.

At another point in the speech, I was off to the side, shooting some shots of the audience. Just before I was ready to shoot this one guy, the Democrats clapped, and the Republicans scowled. This particular guy decided he would make a flipping off the governor motion on his throat. I only wish I could have caught that on film. I still saw it tho, and you can see the guy in image 6627. If you find out his name, let me know.

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Paging through winter break

January 14th, 2004 No comments

I’ve been doing a lot of nothing over my break. I pretty much eat, sleep, work, rinse and repeat. Between some of that, I’ve managed to slip in reading three books. Breaks are about the only time. I’d feel guilty reading during the semester because I know there’s plenty of textbooks I should be reading that I never seem to do.

The first I read was Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. You might recognize him as the traveling chef on the Food Network who eats every oddity put in front of him. While he has written a book about those adventures, this book is focused on the adventures behind the door to the kitchen.

He describes growing up in a wealth family and graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, then becoming a chef at numerous restaurants in New York. In addition, he thows in numerous stories about his drug use and makes you question how he ever got to be as successful as he is.

It’s interesting to hear about life in New York and more specifically its restaurant industry. Reading it has made me want to go back, and try more places to eat this time.

The second book I read, in record time no less, was Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. I could not put this down. Usually I’ll get a new book and take a week or so to read it if it’s good. The only fiction book I can think of that I read nearly this quickly was Michael Crichton’s Timeline from a few years ago. I started it on a Saturday evening and had it finished by Monday.

It’s hard to catergorize this book, but it is generally a thriller. It has elements of mystery, adventure, and a healthy dose of art history thrown in. The basic plot is that someone was murdered and the murdered guy left a code behind for others to figure out. The two main characters have to race against time and history to solve the code.

After I finished that book and liked it so much, I decided I’d get the prequel to it, Dan Brown’s Angel’s and Demons. I’m not completely done with it, but the plot has a lot of the same elements as the other book. The same main hero, Robert Langdon, stars in both books, while a female leading lady appears in both also. Each is heavily involved in religion, specifically Catholic religion, and secret societies challenging the church.

I’ve taken a little longer to read it, but I’m sure I’ll finish it before the end of the week. I guess it’s a little sad that the highlight of my break thus far has been reading three books. Despite all this interest in reading, I’m pretty sure that when I get back to Madison my textbooks will be neglected as usual.

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Diffuse the Rockets?

January 6th, 2004 No comments

I think I would have rather defuse the Rockets than diffuse them. Sure, they might have been bright, but taking the fuse out would really set a Rocket back.

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