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Random Thoughts…things I find odd or interesting…

Feb 11

In Rants, Thoughts at 2:07pm

Gary Fong  recently sent out an ad blast special for Valentine’s Day.

Now lemme get this straight. The Fongster evidently thinks a GPS attachment to your camera is somehow a romantic gift, the kind you would associate with Valentine’s Day? Does it come in a heart shaped box?

It might be useful. If in fact you have this, then you can exactly mark the spot where she fucking dumps you. You can take notes and re-visit it by your sorry ass self every Valentine’s Day. And if it comes to pass they build an Arby’s over it or something, you can go in and have a Super Roast Beef sandwich all by your lonesome. My advice guys? Lay low on the GPS and go the jewelry route.

Down in Vegas. Drew and Lynn sat next to each other in the emergency aisle. We’re casting today, and Drew has the wonderful duty of photographing about 150-200 beautiful women. He better be careful not to crack wise or say anything male or disgusting about it though, cause Lynn’ll reach over and slap that boy silly. Lynn is such an amazing producer. I know, come Friday when we shoot, I can walk to the camera and put my eye into it and not worry about anything else, cause I know everything’s been handled. And Drew’s been great. He came into the studio back in October and started traveling and running things without skipping a beat.

Lessee…more odd, ironical stuff. Walter Isasscson just wrote an interesting piece for TIME about the future of newspapers. Tough thing, though, is he writes about saving newspapers in an issue of TIME that’s about 4 pages thick. The supernova egos of the scribes and pundits at TIME must be really gasping for oxygen at this point, as the relevance of the magazine drifts. They still are doing a great job with a fraction of the resources they used to have, but man….TIME was always the photographic flagship as well, even though it was run by word merchants. The very good picture editors up there, like Mark Rykoff and Hillary Raskin, always got good shooters in the right places, even if they didn’t use the pictures all that well. As a magazine, it lives in the world of words. As one of their more peacock writers once proclaimed at a location dinner (I was actually invited), “Joe’s pictures are the whores that sell the chalice of my words.” Hmmm…

Good stuff…kudos to Syl Arena for outing the sumbitch who was just cloning people’s blogs and running it as his or her own proprietary site. Syl led the charge, and the site came down.

Great series of posts from David Hobby. As usual, helpful, informative, and funny. The Harrington link to cute kittens killed me.

I’m ranting of course, and that’s mostly cause I haven’t been able to have my daily morning rant with my buddy Bill of late about the state of things and I’m really missing it. He’s had this crazy bronchial pneumonia, bronchitis, throat thing for the last month or so. He’s been going in to work, but unable to talk at great lengths. I told him it was very clever to vector himself into the work force as a one man viral terror attack. Job security being what it is, if he can knock off a few co-workers, it might be just the thing.

Its jarring now when you get his phone message. I’ve gotten used to the new voice, which is somewhere between Tom Waitts and Darth Vader, but the old Bill is there on his recording, clear as a bell. Told him I thought he should change it up to some sort of Joe Cocker-esqe greeting, something where one protracted, guttural vowel sound would pass as a greeting. This would be punctuated by a resonant splat as he pulls the phone away, makes a long sucking sound like folks do in a Japanese noodle shop, thus accumulating the contents of his nasal passages in the back of his throat, which of late has been something of his own personal Baikonur Cosmodrome. The splat occurs when he then hocks an enormous loogie right up against the plate glass window he has by his phone. Give him a call. I can give you his number.  It’s an altogether bracing way to start the day.

Back on a plane yesterday. Cell phone envy. I guess I’ve got it. I have one of those really cheap, simple phones. It feels like it tumbled out of a Cracker Jack box. But everybody else on that plane had some Blackberry, Noodleberry, or IPhone with like 300 apps. It’s like a cult or club or something. Moose Peterson actually blogged about being over at Scott Kelby’s one Friday night, watching football, and everybody started comparing Iphone apps. I was teasing Moose, ya know, like whoo…baby, what a wild night! Were the police called?

I mean the guy next to me sat down and just started typing into this thing he pulled out of holster on his belt. Swear to God. It was like sitting next to the Dirty Harry of Blackberry users. This thing was enormous, and had like flashing lights and shit. He could type almost as fast as my youngest daughter, who types faster than those guys talk when they come on at the end of a commercial and need to qualify what was just advertised. “Rates vary in some states. What we just said was bullshit in every state. We really didn’t mean it, what you just saw was a come on cleverly disguised as an offer so we could entice old people to call our 800 number so we can get our mitts on their retirement accounts.” It doesn’t really register cause they talk so fast.

So then we take off and he switches up to his computer which is some sort of monster Dell that makes kind of a Tarzan yell when he opens it, and man he starts peckin’ away on that like he’s getting’ paid by the keystroke. This went on for a while, and I just about had enough so I start pseudo-Photoshopping some pictures I thought might knock him off his stride a bit.  I’ve got the new Macbook Pro, the 15 incher with the glossy screen so there’s no way he couldn’t notice. That thing is so bright and contrasty they could use ‘em in the searchlight towers of a maximum security penitentiary.

It worked.I could tell he was sneaking glances, cause he started to make typos…heh-heh.

Today when we left JFK we had to make a tight turn to the runway and right behind us was an Air France jet, and I could just about see into the cockpit. In the interest of international relations, I pressed my face to the window and started mouthing “Frog Pussy!” I think they saw me, cause I swear the co-pilot was mouthing back, “Mick Bastard!” Runway fun.

You know I never really mean offense by any of that stuff. I’ve been on the road for over 30 years, and I’m pretty addled at this point, plus enormously sleep deprived, and that probably contributes to the oddball train of thoughts that trundle through my brain at all hours of the day, especially the early hours. I mean, ya gotta laugh doing this, or you’ll just start weeping uncontrollably. Remember in the Perfect Storm? The boat capsized and it’s over, and the tough guy on the crew, played by William Fichtner (who always does a great job) is standing in an upside down cabin of the boat, his macho exterior cracked and splintered, crying as it fills with water? As photogs, we could all just stop right where we are and do that. But I refuse. Hard as this is, just still love it. Love it, love it, love it. That essential thing, coupled with a mildly bent sense of humor, keeps me going. Bleary eyed, but still going. I’ve come to embrace the shot below as something of a self portrait. That camera made the entire 1000 miles of the Baja race, clamped to one of the dune buggies, and this is how it came back. Battered, beat up, but still shooting pictures. (It was a loaner camera, by the way, Nikon was not pleased.)

I’m sure they’ll box me up and cart me away someday. I have dreams about this sanitarium type place I end up, sorta like the one Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday ended up in towards the end of Tombstone, one of my favorite really bad movies. He’s in a bed, white sheets, white pillows, white walls. Everything white, then he can’t feel his toes, and then…nothing. His reported last words were, “Damn…this is funny.”  It would serve me right to make the passage in monochrome after shootin’ all that damn Kodachrome….more tk.

91 Responses to “Random Thoughts…things I find odd or interesting…”

Jase says:

on February 12, 2009 at 10:50 am

This one had me laughing my ars off :)

rc says:

on February 12, 2009 at 11:05 am

THAT was funny as all get out!

Jim Hayes says:

on February 12, 2009 at 11:22 am

Your a great teacher, photographer, and definitely the Jimmy Breslin of podcasters.
Jim Hayes
Sante Fe class of 2006

Joan Ross says:

on February 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm

As I was reading your blog today reminded me of my recent trip to Tombstone’s Boothill Graveyard. Doc Holiday did not die there – but some poor fellow was “hanged by mistake” you can see image on http://joanross.com/p_arts3.html

Fotofolio says:

on February 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Tnxs Joe!

Mikael Fransson says:

on February 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Funny posting….

I saw iPhone mentioned in the comments by serveral….it has a GPS….snap a picture at every location. Copy the GPS data to your other images taken with any camera (HoudahGeo does it for you) at the same spot…done. No need for a separate GPS


Kelly A says:

on February 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm

please put more of the same up. I hope I get to sit next to you sometime on a plane. thx for the laughs!

Chuck Carver says:

on February 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Thanks Joe, I gotta admit I look forward to reading your blog just to see what kinda Sh*t you got going on or running through your head. The reflection of you in the macbook screen is what does the ad say, oh yeah “priceless”.
PS – when is your “Hotshoe diaries” going to press, I just got an email saying it would be awhile before it ships.

Brad says:

on February 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm

You’re a crazy man, McNally. After all, “It’s your blog!” :D

Richard says:

on February 12, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Screw the phone, get more camera gear. Nobody saves text messages, not even the important ones. Everybody saves photos, even the crappy ones. Says a lot about the value of the media each device makes.

Gailon Tucker says:

on February 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm

The way your mind works, I telling ya, there is something wrong with you… and I love it!

John Mahan says:

on February 12, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Joe —

One “Mick Bastard” to another: “That camera made the entire 1000 miles… Battered, beat up, but still shooting… (It was a loaner camera, by the way, Nikon was not pleased.)”

“…not pleased?” Your image presents Nikon with a *tremendous* marketing opportunity. The optimized weather-, dust-, and shock-proofing engineered into Nikon’s professional-grade cameras represents one of Nikon’s key sales features! Your image would not only enhance any pro-cam brochure, but it would *show* much better than any words can *tell.*

Keep up the excellent image-making, and keep up the delightful and poignant writing. *Irreverent* is a tool earned, not simply confiscated. You swing that saber well.

PS: I copied the image to my BlackBerry. It makes a great background. -[:o

john fowler says:

on February 12, 2009 at 9:33 pm

Joe, your vulgarity doesn’t become you. But id does produce a pretty goodimage of your readers.

J. says:

on February 12, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Great post Mr. Joe… from the comfy looking seats around your shiny Macbook Pro it looks a lot like first class… and what’s that crazy poof on the model’s head… while I love your ranting I gotta believe you do with with a wry smile. Keep it going!

Will Alan says:

on February 13, 2009 at 3:05 am

This blog post was shot from the hip and I enjoyed the well placed humorous expletives!

Behind the photo says:

on February 13, 2009 at 5:44 am

Very interesting post, Joe. Especially that airplane photo with a laptop. :) Made my coffee-break. ;)

Cathy says:

on February 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Joe – Love your posts. Thanks for the absolute side splitting morning read (I’m now wiping the Cintiq off – thanks).
As for the Valentine’s GPS – well – you’ve gotta consider the person getting it – it wouldn’t need a heart shaped box here. Just gotta tell my hubby he can trade in the roses (which are nice) for the GPS!
Been there, done that on planes. What a hoot. I have to admit though, I went into a Mac store for the first time in my life a couple weeks back. (Yeah – I’m a pc person) and oh those iphones with the apps — the phrase here is “Danger Will Robinson – DANGER”. Yeah – it’s been bothering me ever since. Probably will have to turn over to the dark side.
Thanks for the laugh (and soon to be very clean Cintiq screen)

Ben Cochran says:

on February 16, 2009 at 12:51 am

GPS for Valentines gifts: Humm…. Misery does love company- I am not lonely “yet” though.

I did love reading this posting. In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, “there you go again Joe”. I have always lived by the belief that the best way to maintain ones sanity is to voluntarily loose it, well done my friend :) .

As for the loaner camera, at least the strap was returned like new. As Bill Murray would say: “So, you got that going for you”. I don’t see why Nikon would be upset, they should be able to buff that tiny scratch, on the outer element, away easily. Just tell them that you used it for a fashion shoot: They gave it to you sparkling new and you returned it in that fashion :) .

Great posting Joe and thanks for the grins, kind have needed a good giggle lately and this lifted the spirits well :) .

Mike says:

on February 17, 2009 at 9:35 am

Nikon Pro bodies now available in differant colors, not just black anymore. Beginning in April Nikon is offering a new Desert Camo covering for an extra $100 on all custom orders. You can send in your old body and have the covering applied for $175. LOL

Bob DeChiara says:

on February 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Reading this blog is almost as good as reading a trashy novel.


Charlie Thiel Photo says:

on February 17, 2009 at 8:05 pm

Joe, you crack me up! All those who felt the expletives were unnecessary need to remove the stick from their…um… nether regions?…. posterior?…. that place south of their winkies? and go in search of a sense of humor. Loved the reflection on the Macbook Pro (also loved the image on the MacBook Pro – gorgeous!… I didn’t read all the posts, didn’t any tightarses have anything to say about the horrible pornography you were shooting?) I love it when you lay it out there unvarnished. Keep doing what you love and keep telling it like you feel it!

SAM says:

on February 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Great post, I would really like to see some of the images from the Baja 1000 camera.

Lindsey says:

on February 19, 2009 at 11:56 am

Best blog entry EVER!

Joe Leong says:

on February 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm

From one Joe to another … HELLO.

I tune into your blog without fail on a daily basis (hoping for new updates) and after checking the world news on CNN. Trust me, your blog is a ‘picker-upa’ for the day ahead compared to the depressing, often sensationalized news. Just glancing from all the comments here, seems like we all feel the same about the Joe McNally blog – funny and entertaining as hell. Thank you for sharing all your expertise and knowledge – it’s extremely humble of you – a rare trait in this rather selfish world of ours.

One question I would like to ask you. What are your personal views on the ‘glossy’ MacBook. I shall probably be ordering the anti-glare 17″ MBPro pending the announcement of the new Mac Pros end March. I found gloss screens hard to work with, on a professional POV. Colours and contrast are incurate and I depend a lot on my 2004 20″ Apple Display for regular photo/illustration work. From the many forums I have read, looks like I am not alone. Hopefully, Apple will consider pros like yourselves on their next display refresh. I am just curious here.

Thanks Mick, I mean mate.

Danie Nel Photo says:

on February 20, 2009 at 8:04 am

I have an i600. Apparently it reads pdf’s and stuff. It takes nasty pics at about 1mp resolution. I think we should reverse engineer. I’d much rather have my 5D start sending texts and emails! ……No, maybe not.

Loved your thoughts on Fongy’s ad. Bizarre, that ad.

Ta from Souht AFrica.

Danie Nel Photo says:

on February 20, 2009 at 8:05 am

Wow – even managed to misspell SouTH Africa.

JoeM says:

on February 21, 2009 at 11:28 am

Ya know, Gary is ROFL because you’ve kept his advert up on the first page of your blog for over a week. He don’t care about your scorn at all, I’m sure. He’s so thick skinned, he’s immune to criticism. You need a new post ASAP, man!

Mike Young says:

on April 20, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Tombstone…bad movie?!!!! nuh uhh….

Jack Thompson says:

on May 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm

THat camera is digusting, I am the most anal person when it comes to my gear, I put the moose peterson Cleaning Da Gear videos on my ipod! I cringed when I saw that photo. YIKES…….. I sent that photo to like all my freinds and shooting buds

Hayden Winters says:

on September 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I’m having a lot of trouble trying 2 load your site. I visited it many times before and never got anything like this, but now when I try 2 load the blog it just idles for a little while & then just stops. I have tried both with www & without. Does anyone know what is the reason? Please ask your host support… I hope to be able to come back soon.

Robert Collins says:

on September 29, 2010 at 1:29 am

i love Val Kilmer in the movie The Saint, probably one of his greatest performance,-;


on April 19, 2011 at 6:49 am

With sufticient thrust, pigs fly just tine.

wynajem lokali w lublinie says:

on December 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Interesting. I wonder when we will get a good answer?

Janus says:

on January 22, 2012 at 3:00 pm

thanks joe!
great post! :)

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