And now for some good news…

Apple is replacing my iBook logic board for free!!! Apparently, the display problem I’m having is a known problem in one batch of 700MHz iBooks, and Apple has a free warranty replacement program in place for all the affected machines. So they’re replacing the guts of the machine and not charging me a red cent.

The cloud around this silver lining is that it might take as long as three weeks to get the computer back to me–it’s going out to California. But hey, it sure beats spending a bundle on a replacement…

So. About the weekend.

Shelly and I went to the beach, and ended up staying until very late at night. On the way there, we sat in traffic for over an hour, as there’s only one bridge out to Clearwater beach from the mainland, and it was closed. There was a detour, which was closed as well. So we amused ourselves by inventing stories about the people–three men and a woman–in the car in front of us. I shan’t disturb you with the details, as they would…disturb you.

We’d planned to take a kite to the beach and fly it with the digital camera attached, so we could get some aerial photos. This plan was thwarted by the twin facts that (a) my heavy-lift kite is still in Boston (sob!) and (b) there wasn’t a breath of wind.

Once at the beach, we met this guy:

He looks fearsome until you realize that he’s, like, a quarter of an inch stem to stern.

Later, we had dinner on the beach, and I had my first exposure to raw fish (ahi tuna), which was nothing like I expected.

Sunday, we went to a gun show with three-quarters of the Smooshlings. It was simultaneously interesting, creepy, and slightly horrifying.

Interesting: A dealer selling cannon. Real, working cannon–a six-pounder modeled after the bronze cannon Napolean used, a small bombard cannon that fired tennis balls filled with concrete, even a hand cannon that fired .45-caliber lead balls. Want want want the six-pounder and the bombard. Also a very nice H&K 9mm I’d love to take home with me, but not for $899 (ack!). A bookseller: the complete guide to manufacturing drugs right next to the complete guide to Ty’s Beanie Babies.

Creepy: Pro-Bush and pro-NRA propaganda plastered over every available surface. A booth selling bumper stickers reading “Loud Wives Lose Lives” and “Equal Rights for Southern Whites”. Posters and T-shirts proclaiming the right to “bare arms.”

Slightly horrifying: The booth selling Nazi memorabilia. An SS officer’s uniform, an autographed picture of Adolph Hitler, helmets and swords with swastikas on them.

We bailed for about an hour and went to the antique car show going on about a hundred yards down the road. Found a Ford Model T that had been retrofitted with a fully blown big-block V8 engine for sale for only $32,000. Just the thing for towing that Napoleanic six-pounder. Later, we went to dinner with the Smooshlings and other friends, and got to hear a tale of ketchup. (Ask datan0de about that one…)

And then, of course, the laptop failed, which was something of a down ending for the weekend. That’s what life is–a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets…but I digress.

The laptop is still backing up as I type this. Will be done soon. Sentence fragments. Good device. Will be used more later.

A quick and dirty proof of concept…

phyrra and some fast (and rather sloppy) Photoshop work.

This image is a “proof of concept” rather than a final product; it started out with a quick digital snapshot of phyrra while I was on my way out the door, and a quick sky shot, and about half an hour of very crude Photoshop work. ‘m thinking of doing a series of shoots with similar (but less sloppy!) effects, so this image is more valuable as an idea of where I want to go than it is on its own merits.

I almost lost this image in my laptop crash. Today i need to back the laptop up on my big hard drive in my office machine, and take it to the Apple Store for a quote on repair. God bless FireWire Target Disk Mode, or I’d have been well and truly screwed…