Recent Posts

Snowcapped Fall

This was just a gorgeous view of Minneapolis. There was a light dusting of snow in the morning while the trees were still turning colors for fall.

Arizona/Colorado Drive

Went down to Arizona for my birthday and made a drive up to Colorado with my mom and Sara to see my little brother. There are some really beautiful areas of northern Arizona and Colorado, and I was able to test out a new lens I picked up.

I used to have a 10-20mm lens on my crop Pentax DSLR from Sigma that I really liked, and mostly kept at the wide focal length. I decided I should pick up one for my new Sony A7RII, and went with the Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 15mm f/4.5 M Mount Aspherical III Lens. They sent me the E Mount, and I decided to just keep it, since that auto magnification when focusing feature is nice. Missing out on close focus, but I probably won’t need it.

Southern Colorado
Southern Colorado
Panorama of Southern Colorado
Panorama of Southern Colorado


Smokey Sunsets

Minneapolis (probably all of Minnesota) has been been experiencing very different sunsets as a result of the wildfires in Canada. It is incredible that wildfires as far away as Canada can affect the sunsets here. People have still been getting out and exercising, but to a lesser extent.

Sara and I walked down to Lake of the Isles to see this incredible orange ball fading into the smoke. The sun didn’t set on the horizon, but instead faded behind the smoke way before the horizon.

Kenosha to Minneapolis

Sara and I made it back to Minneapolis. Thankfully there are some good stops along the way. First we swung by Madison, WI for Cheeba Hut. This is a must to anyone making the drive from Minneapolis to Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, etc. They have the best sandwiches, and grabbing a goo-ball is a must.

Next up was Lacrosse. The Root Note in Lacrosse, WI is a really great coffee shop. It has a very distinct feel and delicious crepes.

The Root Note in Lacrosse, WI

Sadly we missed the crepes this time, so make sure to plan accordingly when making the trip. I had a nice iced chai (my usual) and sequestered some of the cold brew Sara ordered.

These stops really make the drive a lot more tolerable. Driving straight through is a lot of hours, but breaking it up into minor destinations is really helpful. Plus, good food.

The camera held up really well, but I still have a lot of learning to do. The shot above was taken in JPEG, not RAW. Whoops. Still usable, and highlights/shadows were still compressed nicely leaving room for editing.

New Camera (Sony A7RII)

Found a great deal on a used Sony A7RII and decided it was finally time. The camera is phenomenal, and much better than I expected in handling my Voigtlander lenses. The color shift on my Nex-7 was insane, especially on overcast days or in the snow. This doesn’t seem to have the issue, or or at least not to the extent of the Nex-7.

Taking it out for a spin this week, so hopefully I will have some more photos to post. This was just around the apartment while I was getting everything set up. There are a lot of options for custom shooting modes and navigation/buttons, so there will be a break in process until I find what workflow is best for me.

I also finally got the fenders on my Raleigh Competition (pictured below from my old Nex-7). It was a process. The frame wasn’t even meant for 700x25c tires, and the fenders weren’t meant for the 1.5″ wide tires so I stretched out the fenders a bit. Cut some bolts down as well because the clearance couldn’t take it.

Raleigh Competition RacingUSA with 555sl tubing.
  • VO Fenders
  • VO Constructeur Front Rack
  • Acorn Bag/Tool Roll
  • XS Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Insert inside Acorn Bag
  • VO 650B Wheels Build Locally (Bike didn’t have clearance for 700×25 tires, so stepped it down)
  • Paul Skewers
  • 2x King Cages
  • 1.5″ Gravel Kings

Loving it.

Illinois R12-2420

Nearly forgot to post this. Has anyone else had an encounter with the motorist driving Illinois plates R12 2420? They were in Minneapolis the other day and as I was heading onto the street they took a right turn and laid on their horn. I asked him if he was just trying to let me know he was there and there was a hilarious exchange.

Me: Were you just letting me know you were there?
Me: …and you were driving in the middle of the road, like an asshole.

Some other words were said and then he left with this line, “I am not MN nice”.

Turns out he wasn’t even Minnesotan. I got a picture of his plates that really seemed to concern him.

Michael Schmidt Interview with Trump

This is just a quick post, but this was too funny not to post.

Frankly there is absolutely no collusion…Virtually every Democrat has said there is no collusion. There is no collusion…I think it’s been proven that there is no collusion…I can only tell you that there is absolutely no collusion…There’s been no collusion…There was no collusion. None whatsoever…everybody knows that there was no collusion. I saw Dianne Feinstein the other day on television saying there is no collusion [note: not true]…The Republicans, in terms of the House committees, they come out, they’re so angry because there is no collusion…there was collusion on behalf of the Democrats. There was collusion with the Russians and the Democrats. A lot of collusion…There was tremendous collusion on behalf of the Russians and the Democrats. There was no collusion with respect to my campaign…But there is tremendous collusion with the Russians and with the Democratic Party…I watched Alan Dershowitz the other day, he said, No. 1, there is no collusion, No. 2, collusion is not a crime, but even if it was a crime, there was no collusion. And he said that very strongly. He said there was no collusion…There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime. But there’s no collusion…when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems [Democrats] had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion.

If you are wondering what I am getting at, the word “collusion” is used very often. How often you may ask?

If you want the code, I have posted it as a gist.

Chicago Murder Rate and Leaflet for R

Recently got hooked on Leaflet for R which is an amazing library that allows for interactive Javascript maps to be generated within R. Still have a bit to explore, but the way it handles layering on a map is really nice. I plan on writing a few UI extensions as well, since there is some interactivity I would love to add (sliders without server calls being the biggest).

Chicago Murder Rate by Year
Chicago Murder Rate by Year

Everyone was talking about the Chicago crime rates, so I figured I would give the dataset a go, and came up with the above animation. Each frame was a subset of the murder rates for that frame’s year. Years go from 2001 – 2016, and I will open up the code once I improve the UI.