Thursday, March 25, 2010

JMO - Mr Schulz

Mr Schulz, the CEO of Starbucks, apparently doesn't know the laws of the state in which he resides, Washington. At the annual shareholders meeting in Seattle yesterday, he addressed a number of issues, one of which was the recent decision by Starbucks to allow people to walk into any Starbucks in Washington with a loaded gun. Yes, loaded.

Orignally Starbucks was responding to the pressure from gun owners in what's called "open carry" states, states which allow people to openly carry weapons in public without a permit, but the law differs by state if the gun can be unloaded or loaded. And the laws allows businesses to prohibit carrying guns on their premises, which several national chain stores have done, such as Peet's Coffee and Tea.

During the meeting Mr. Schulz told the crowd he supported the law which allowed the open carry of unloaded firearms in Starbuck, which is the law in most states which allow them, but not all. Washington is one of the exceptions, which apparently his staff forget to advise him about before he opened his mouth.

So, now he supports the open carry of loaded weapons into Starbucks and prohibition of any individual store from prohibiting such act. In other words, he would rather endanger the vast majority of his customers by one person with a loaded weapon, and remember it could be anyone legally allowed to own one, than the far larger number of employees and customers.

This means the baristas and staff at Starbucks, along with the customers, will not know if someone carrying a loaded weapon into a Starbucks is simply carrying it for show, and why escapes me because you don't need one in public - remember no one including the police, actually wants you using it since the police and us don't know or trust you, or carrying it for a purpose.

Mr Schulz opened his mouth, rather stupidly, and I won't suggest someone actually stick a gun in it because that would be cruel and mean. Honest maybe, but I wouldn't want to promote violence. We have enough already with the many crazy legal gun owners who want to prove a senseless point. Senseless because you can't actually use a gun except in self-defense. Yup only to protect yourself or your family if attacked.

You can't withdraw and use the gun outside of that. You are not authorized to use it for the protection of anyone else's life, other than your family, or property other than your own. That's what the police are for. Not gun owners. And you can't transport any guns without a permit from the local and state government (depending on the roads or highways). Sadly that law is rarely enforced, and only when stopped for other purposes.

So, am I boycotting Starbucks as I promised? Yes and no. I use their store no more than once a week now. I will find and use any other coffee place, cafe or barista before I go to Starbucks. I go weekly because on some days because they are the only one open in the early morning within short distance of home.

I hope Mr Schulz changes his mind someday and allows Starbucks stores in each state to set rules for the carrying of guns in their stores. In doing so he will protect his employees, the customers and prevent any potential stupid or senseless act by someone with a gun. And Starbucks will likely gain more customers than they would lose from gun owners. That's common sense and good business.

But then no accused Mr. Schulz of having either common sense or good business sense. He's never demonstrated that he has either.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

35mm Film

I've been a film user since I started in 1969, but I've never used a lot of film, partly because there were years when I did very little photography due to graduate school, work or life. When I seriously resumed photography in the 1990's I went through a lot of film, for an amatuer anyway - professionals use 10-20 times what I can even try to use let alone actually use. This means 20-30 rolls on a weekend hike in Mt. Rainier NP or walking around Seattle or other weekend trips.

Anyway on a recent photography forum someone asked what I had on the one shelf in the refrigerator dedicated to film. Well, I took it all out, sorted it, and then put it back while writing a list of the different types of film. And so here's what in my refrigerator, and what in the camera bags. Note that many are in 10 roll blocks.

Agfa color films.

Color Portrait 160 - 1 roll

Agfa black&white films.

Agfapan 25 - 20 rolls
APX 100 - 20 rolls
APX 400 - 14 rolls
Scala 200 - 49 rolls

Fuji color films.

Astia 100 - 13 rolls
Provia 100F - 22 rolls
Provia 400 - 10 rolls
Neopan 1600 - 1 roll

Ilford black&white films.

Delta 400 - 1 roll
PanF 50 - 1 roll
HP4 Plus 125 - 4 rolls
HP5 Plus 400 - 4 rolls

Kodak color films.

Ektachrome 100 - 10 rolls
Ektachrome 100S - 12 rolls
Ektachrome 100SW - 4 rolls
Ektachrome 100 EPN - 5 rolls
Elite II 100 - 4 rolls
Kodachrome 25 - 6 rolls
Kodachrome 200 - 8 rolls
Kodachrome 160T - 4 rolls
Infrared - 2 rolls
Professional Porta 160VC - 2 rolls
Professional Porta 160NC - 2 rolls

Kodak black&white films.

T-Max 100 - 20 rolls
Tri-X 400 - 1 roll

Not a lot when I add it up. And yes, I love Scala film and sadly it's out of production so I stocked up to use until the last two labs stop processing it. I also have three partial 100 foot rolls of film from the 1970's film, from my days working in a photo lab on base. They couldn't pay the people, so they paid us in film.

I have can of Kodak 2475 black and white film (a variable high speed panchromatic high grain recording film), a can of Ektachrome X film (ASA 64) which requires E-3 processing kits, and a can of unidentified film (meaning long forgotten what).

Sadly, shooting 4x5 and digital these days, I don't shoot much35mm film as I did, but I still carry and use a Canon EOS-1N 35mm film camera with my Canon 5D digital camera.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

JMO - June 10th

Yippee for this day this year. Why? On June 10th, when the Govenor of this state (Washington) signs into the law the bill that has now passed both houses of the legislature, the use of a cell phone for any purpose, meaning talking, dialing, reading, messaging, etc., will not just be illegal as it has been since July 1, 2008, but a primary offense with a $124 ticket.

This applies to anyone driving anywhere except when parked out of the flow of traffic, including parking lots, malls, private roads, etc. The law excludes any driver while parked and not in traffic. The exceptions are for people making emergency calls (911) or to police numbers to report crimes or violations (HOV, etc.).

The law was in effect, in addition to banning text messaging since January 1, 2008, as a secondary offense, meaning the police had to stop the driver for another offense. I've written how flagrantly this law has been violated when I've noted that there isn't one trip or day of driving I don't see at least one driver with a cell phone stuck to their ear while driving, some even while doing other tasks, like reading, eating, putting on makeup, etc.

This law goes futher ban the use of a cell phone, even with a hands-free device, for any purpose by a driver between the age of 16-18, meaning learner permits (accompanied by an adult) or intermediate permit (daylight). They can't use one period, not even with a hands-free device or speaker phone, even an intergral part of the vehicle as some now are.

The only downside of this law, which we can live with is that it will only be a ticket for any violation, and not noted in your driving record except as a ticket. I can live with that. And now maybe people can begin to actually practice safe driving? I'm not holding my breath as I expect this date to come and go and drivers will continue as they have done all along. Until maybe their first ticket.

We can all hope. The downside is that studies have shown, it's not just cell phones that are the distraction to drivers, but any activity other than driving, whether it's hands-free cell phones, eating, conversations, reading maps, checking instruments or navigation devices, etc. Anything that takes the driver's thinking and attention away is the culprit, cell phones were just the most obvious and dangerous.

But I'll take it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Changing directions

I've decided while continuing work on the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide, which still has some major sections to finish as well as a complete review and rewrite to produce a draft book version, I have been working on putting my music collection into iTunes. Besides being time consuming, it's not as easy as it sounds.

Like why? Well, for one I have 700 vinyl albums in storage going back to the early 1960's. I realize almost all of the albums are available on CD or through (legal) music download Websites, but I like the sound of the old analog sound. And I have 3 7-record Glenn Miller albums from his radio band days and his Army-Air Force band. They're the recordings of the radio broadcasts with all their sound faults, like listening to an old radio show.

I've seen some remastered versions of some of the shows, some on these albums, but they sound just like any CD today. I like the old fashioned sound of these. And transferring them to digital files will take some doing. Two of the 7-record albums was rarely played and one has significantly warped records. I have the turntable to track it but it's still takes time.

And I have 700 CD's. I currently have 200 of them in iTunes. Some of them, however, are different formats or older CD's and aren't recognized by iTunes. One example is the Kronos Quartet 10-CD 25 years collection. I'm currently using a Sony CD-R to import them into Audacity and then converted to mp3 for iTunes.

In addition to that I have 200+ Digital Audio Tapes (DAT's) which were used by studios after mastering and before CD's. I used these to convert vinyl albums to digital files and then to CD's before the computers could do this. My stereo system has two Sony DAT machines, one consumer deck for record/playback and one studio deck for better control and features (copy-prohibit override).

I also have two Sony CD players, one consumer CD-R and one studio CD-RW. All of these are run through a Rotel digital-to-analog converter into separate Hafler preamplifier and power amplifier into Acoustic Research AR-12 speakers. The last bit of the system is a 1969 AR-XA turntable, still working quite well thank you, with a Grado cartridge. In short, it's a stereo system built from the 1960's to the early 1990's.

And it's still great working and sounding. It will rival any audiophile system several times its price. But it won't work directly with my Mac computer, except through the analog or optical inputs from components, beside being in different rooms. The stereo is connected to the HD TV so it's part of the home audio/video system.

Anyway, a friend of mine is creating a complete archive of songs from the 1970's and 1980's, so in addition to getting mine into iTunes, I'm adding to her collection. Something else to do in life, and I can hear the results too.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

NPR - Guns

Just so people understand my view on guns. I'm not against them, only for the reasonable management of them for the protection, safety and security of the public. In the public interest as the saying goes. I don't believe our founding fathers intended the Second Amendment to mean the way it has recently been interpreted by gun rights activists and under judicial activism.

I believe the founding fathers intended the ownership of guns were for the private use by individuals, and if necessary, for the formation of militias by the government to fight our country's enemy. Remember this was before we had fully and officially established the various military arms of the government where militias were necessary in defense of this country.

That's why they have the prefix with this Amendment. They didn't intend for the free and unrestricted ownership and use of guns by citizens. But that said, I'm not against the ownership and use for specific needs and interests. And here are some thoughts.

I am for severe sentences for people committing crimes with guns, especially in cases of threats and intimidation against a group or crowd of people and domestic violence and case involving law enforcement and officers.

I am for the ownership and responsible use of weapons for hunting. My grandfather lived his entire life in Wyoming and hunted to feed his family. He never killed for sport. I learned to shoot in the southern Idaho desert hunting jack rabbits.

I am for ownerhips and use of a gun for the protection of you and your family or for visitors in your own home or on your property when circumstances or the situation warrants it.

Those are fair and reasonable expectations. But I don't believe in our world today any citizen needs to walk around with a loaded gun openly displayed on their person. Exceptions are reasonable, as defined by concealed weapons permits granted by each state. These are fair use due to the circumstances or situation in their life and work. I support that.

I can not find any reason a person needs to walk around in public places and spaces, commercial and private places, and other areas openly carrying a loaded weapon. There is no danger to them or anyone else. They are restricted in the use of the weapon, which is mostly for self-defense. It's inconsiderate to endanger others by carrying the weapon.

The truth is that other people don't know you and don't trust you. It doesn't matter how qualified and experienced you are or think you are (guns often exagerates the imagination about one's skills), you will almost certainly exacerbate any situation with your gun, especially if you decide to use it. And you can bet the police will not see you as a help and likely more a hindrance to any situation.

That said, here are some views I do believe in about guns.

I am for the registration of guns with the local law enforcement agencies so they have some understanding of the potential danager to officers in the event they need to access your home. This has repeatedly been shown to be needed when police find extensive weapons caches in homes of individuals after entering the home for legal reasons or purposes.

I am for the gun owners to ensure the weapons in their home are in a safe and secure location in the home and can not be accessed by children. Again, it's the news stories of children and young adults accessing weapons in the home and news stories of family members quickly accessing them during domestic disputes.

I am for gun owners to be registered, trained and licensed by local law enforcement.

I am for guns stores to fully comply with the local, state and federal law governing the sale of guns and the mandatory owner check.

I am for the FBI and ATF to be fully funded to accomplish the mandates and tasks Congress has established for them for guns, the sale of guns, the oversight of gun sellers and resellers (gun shows), and the illegal market of guns.

I am for better national standards to get all states on the same page for all laws and regulations for guns, guns owners, and gun sellers and reseller (gun shows).

I am for the regulation of gun shows to prevent the near-complete open, unrestricted market of guns.

I am for the strict regulation of some type of weapons to citizens, especially those designed and manufactured specifically killing people, such as automatic pistols, automactic rifles, assault rifles, large caliber rifles, etc.

In short, we need a balanced approach for and with guns to ensure the basic right of ownership of guns for the home or property, for hunting, and other reasonable purposes are allowed with certainty of the ability and quality of the owner to understand both the use and potential damage of guns.

Outside of that, I'm against the open display of carrying of them by individuals anywhere outside the home or property except for specific purposes, such as hunting, shooting ranges, etc. There has to be laws governing guns for the welfare, safety and security of everyone in this country.

I will update this page when I find errors, I think of more ideas, I get more or better information, I change my mind, or whatever else crosses my mind on the subject.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Response to Starbucks

Update.--I am wrong on my information, changes are noted in this color in the post.

I'll respond to Starbucks' e-mail. You can read their response to my initial e-mail via their customer contact Web page. My answer back to them was simple, they have lost a customer for good and I will boycott their store unless it is not logistically possible, meaning there are no other cafes or coffee shops in the area to serve my needs.

It appears Starbucks would rather take the political low road and put customers and employees at risk and allow customers to carry weapons into a Starbucks store. Here in Washington, in some ways, I won't argue there is merit to their view. The gun law here specifically states that while you can carry a gun openly, concealed with a permit, there are restrictions with that right.

These are as follows.

1. The gun can be carried loaded except where excplicity prohibited.

2. The gun can not be carried indoors where explicitly prohibited.

3. The gun can not used (fired) except in self-defense.

4. The gun can not used to threaten or intimidate another person.

5. A permit is necessary to transport any weapon in a vehicle.

This pretty much nullifies any real reason to carry a gun. You can't do much more than carry it. So, why carry it except to display your demand to carry it and show people you're insensitive and inconsiderate of the safety and security of others. It's just a display of impotency.

And contrary to what the gun rights advocates say, which is, "Criminals don't openly carry guns", now they can and there will be no way to discern them from you, the "law abiding citizen exercising his 2nd Amendment rights." How do you think the public will know and distinguish the difference between a law abiding citizen and a criminal? Or a citizen who suddenly gets angry and remembers he has a gun?

And Starbucks expect its customers and employees to do this? Any bets you can't walk into the Starbucks headquarters here in Seattle with a gun? The point is many businesses in Washington ban employees from carrying guns into work, some even on company property. Guns are banned in many public places where it's appropriate for public safety and security.

Several businesses have banned them, such as Peet's Coffee and Tea, to better serve customers. They would rather protect customers and employees than cater to the whims of a small minority of guns rights activists who demand attention and like to intimidate people.

In short, there is no reason to carry a gun in public unless it is part of your job, in which case you will have the requisite training and permits. Otherwise, it's just public intimidation. And Starbucks has decided money trumps people. Anything for profit, even at the expense of customers and employees.

So, I will boycott Starbucks as long as it's logistically possible, meaning I'll take my business elsewhere. If Starbucks can make decisions for money, so can I.

Starbucks Response

Word for word, this is what Starbucks wrote to me, which is more a recitation of their public statement in support of open carry laws for weapons. Here it is and I'll respond in the next entry. So to quote the e-mail verbatim.


Thanks for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.

We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions.

While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged. We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve. In this case, 43 of the 50 U.S. states have open carry weapon laws. Where these laws don't exist, we comply with laws that prohibit the open carrying of weapons. The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.

At the same time, we have a security protocol for any threatening situation that might occur in our stores. Partners are trained to call law enforcement as situations arise. We will continuously review our procedures to ensure the highest safety guidelines are in place and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement.

We have examined this issue through the lens of partner (employee) and customer safety. Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position.

As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue. As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society. Our Starbucks family knows all too well the dangers that exist when guns are used irresponsibly and illegally. Without minimizing this unfortunate reality, we believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers.

We appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective.

Warm Regards,

Malena H.
Customer Relations
Starbucks Coffee Company
800 23-LATTE (235-2883)
Monday through Friday, 5AM to 6PM (PST)

p.s. I would really like to know if this information was helpful; please click here if you'd be willing to share your thoughts in a brief survey.

Trust women

Dear Congress,

Don't gamble or play politics with women's rights, especially the right to the complete suite of information and services about their reproductive system. It's simple, just don't. Don't give in to the arrogant men in Congress who want to strip the existing rights and funding of abortion and other services for women. It's not about these arrogant Representatives or Senators. It's about women.

The groups in the House led by Representative Stupak and the group in the Senate who oppose funding for abortion are playing political games and gambling they can get the other side, the vast majority in the House and Senat,e to give in to their narrow-minded view of the women and their rights to make decisions about their body. It's not more than extreme sexism on their part.

The current laws prevent the funding of abortion with federal money except when the pregnancy involves, rape, incest or the health of the woman or fetus. That's a pretty tough, but reasonable and acceptable standard. Not one I like, but I'll accept. Anything less is worse and unacceptable to me.

Both the House and Senate healthcare reform bills have language in that doesn't just keep the status quo for abortion, but makes it worse for them. I won't argue, as some have, the numbers about who pays for abortion, and mostly women or families out of their own pocket, supports these versions. Except that ignores the fact that the current law works. It doesn't need to be worse.

But these arrogant Representatives and Senators are holding this issue hostage for their own personal gain. It doesn't help the 51+% of our population (women) who need the information and service throughout their life. The vast majority of men knows and support the status quo. this. The vast majority of the public knows and supports the status quo. So what don't they understand?

The point is they do. They're just being assholes of the biggest size you can imagine, and in public too. They only have their religious view (mostly Catholic) to say it's right. We know otherwise. And we know this isn't the way to pass healthcare reform.

Both bills should not include any new language about abortion.

Leave it as it current exists in the law. That's common sense. That's the right and fair answer. That's what the American people want. That's what almost all women will accept. What's not to understand?

Mr Stupak and the rest of them should have to face the reality their being mean and demeaning to women and to their families. We see it. It's that obvious. But apparently you want to be blind to reality and the truth.

You simply don't want to trust women.

There is no other way of understanding your arrogance. And the leadership in both houses should simply ignore them and exclude any new language governing access to information or service for reproduction and abortion. Just keep the status quo. Bad as it is, it's works. Don't make life worse for women.

I'll trust women, but apparently you folks don't. Or enough to believe in and support their rights.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dear Starbucks

I was reading the story in today (3/4) Tacoma News Tribune where Starbucks refused to ban handguns in stores. I am disappointed to say the least, especially that Starbucks doesn't care about the safety of employees and customers to ensure their businessess are gun-free. Several others businesses have banned guns in stores, such as Peet's Coffee and Tea. But apparently you care more about money.

Starbucks can ban handguns, the second Amendment and Washington law only allows guns to be openly carried in public places, except where prohibitied by city/county, state or federal laws. Private property owners and businesses can ban them, as several larger commercial operations and industries ban employees from bringing guns into the work place.

So, in the end, I will abide by my personal decision to boycott businesses that allow citizens to openly carry guns in their stores, the exception being law enforcement and security personnel. I routinely visit and buy at Starbucks several times a week, but now you will make me reevaluate my customer loyalty and find alternative businesses, which in your case isn't that hard.

I hope Starbucks changes it's mind and bans them in stores and cafe, openly displaying a sign to that effect. Otherwise, you've lost a customer until you decide otherwise. I'm sure the others coffee businesses, eg. Tully, SBC, Peets, etc. will enjoy my business.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thank you Mr. Olbermann

Dear Mr. Olbermann,

There's not much I can do except to say thank for your comment Monday February 28th,video available, on MSNBC, and to wish your father, you and your family well in these time. You don't deserve the words of the critics and you more than deserve the right to tell the truth of what the Republicans are saying about the healthcare reform. We are appreciative of your words and humbled by your situation.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Monday, March 1, 2010

JMO - Boycott guns

I've written about how much I don't think the publc display of guns by citizens are necessary today, especially in almost every common situation of our daily life. And I don't think they're necessary in national parks. And I don't think businesses should tolerate customers openly displaying a gun.

The case in point is reaching a point where gun advocates and activitsts are actively making their point by carrying guns in public, including stores where there are families. Children don't need to see adults with guns in those environments. That's common sense, but it seems the advocates think guns trump being human and having common sense.

I applaud businesses, such as Peet's Coffee and Teas and others, who ban guns in their business. That's their right as gun owners claim it's there's to carry a gun. Business are private property and they can legally ban guns, for the protection of their property, employees and customers. They don't know whether someone with a gun is a criminal or not.

I not only applaud that, I'll go farther to say, it's time the other side, us common sense gun ownership advocates, acted. So I will, and will advocate anyone else, boycott businesses who allow guns in their establishment. I don't care how essential you are to me, I will find another business for the same products or services.

That's my freedom. I will speak with my wallet. You want my business, then ban guns, so I and everyone else are safe. That's good customer relations. No one has the absolute right to walk into a business displaying a gun. That's common sense, and enforced, in many places, like banks, hospitals (security and law enforcement excepted), government buildings and facilities (same exception), and many public facilities and events.

It's also common sense almost everywhere else. You may be able to carry and display a gun, but you can't bring it out and especially use it, so why carry it except to show how insensitive and inconsiderate of others you are? Everyone else doesn't know you and doesn't trust you, so why be ridiculously stupid enough to prove your lack of humanity for others?

So, that's my proposition. If businesses allow people with guns, outside the obvious people where it's necessary, you won't have my money and you will have a spokensperson to let you and other customers know you don't care.

JMO - Congressional Oxymoron

That's it. Congress and ethics. I was reading where the Congressional Ethics Committee determined that Representatives who got campaign funds from entites in return for directly federal monies in grants, contracts, etc., commonly called Congressional earmarks, did not voilate any ethics rule because there was no obvious direct connection between the campaign and the earmarks.

Now that's a really big, "Huh?" Or worse, a "What the fuck?" What didn't the Ethics Committee not see that the public sees? Someone writes you a check and shortly later, they get federal money. Gee, is it that invisible? The argument the earmark was "criteria independent" of the campaign is empty. They cited two of them for clear and obvious connections, but found five others less so obvious.

Gee, only because they did a better job of hiding the money trail? You found it. You connected the dots. You saw the campaign contribution to the earmark. But you said they weren't related? To me, and most of the public, you're being intentionally blind, ignornant and dumb. That is obvious. But they apparently you don't see even that.

What, you don't know the story of the emperor with no clothes? Well, consider ethics your imaginary set of clothes and you just walked out to meet the public and talk to the press. Except to us, you, well let's say, are buck naked. Yup, naked of ethics as the worst of anyone in Congress. Either the House or the Senate. It doesn't matter.

Just naked of ethics. Except the lowest kind possible, take the corporations and lobbyists money, give them tax breaks and cuts, give them grants and contracts - don't forget it's our, the taxpayers', money, give them access to write bills, give them your time on trips and speeches, and whatever else they want. You're bought and sold.

And that's obvious too. No ethics and no standards. All you have is your political rhetoric for voters, lies we all know, and your power. It's really is the old adage about power and money. And you're the obvious example. Only naked in the face of reality and the truth.