Sunday, December 22, 2019

Yesterday and Today

Walter Cronkite
Huntley & Brinkley
During the Nixon impeachment trials, we used to get the news from CBS with Walter Cronkite, NBC with  the Chet Huntley and David Brinkley duo, and ABC with Howard K. Smith. They were all reliable and trustworthy. Today we rely on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.  I have found CNN to be very unreliable and untrustworthy,  MSNBC is worse, and FOX a disaster.

Tulsi Gabbard, for example, has not been ignored by CNN and MSNBC, she has been completely blackedout. She is not the favorite of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) because Tulsi is not controllable by the powers to be that run our country; she is against regime-change wars of any kind.

Howard K. Smith
The above means reducing the Pentagon Budget and investing the trillions of dollars in our country and people, instead. That is unacceptable by the powers that control the DNC like Hillary Clinton who has called Tulsi a traitor and a Russian asset.  Tulsi is a Major in the US Army with two tour of duty to the Middle east.  How many years has Hillary served in any of the US Armed Forces? Not even a day.

Fox News has interviewed Tulsi many times because she is a rebel in the Democratic Party. If CNN and MSNBC can blackout Tulsi, how many other news or events around the world are they able to blackout because the powers do not allow them to report them? It is very scary to think about it and a far cry from the 1970's.

Tulsi's list of accomplishments are very impressive:
  1. She volunteered to the Army after the 9-11 terrorist attack.
  2. She is now a Major in the Army National Guard.
  3. She was elected to the Hawaii House of representatives at the age of 21.
  4. Served in Iraq (2004-2005)
  5. Served in Kuwait (2008-2009)
  6. Honolulu City Council (2011-2012)
  7. United States House of Representatives (2013-Present)
  8. Vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
The DNC has never announced the criteria used to select the public opinion polls that are selected to qualify for the Democratic Canditates for the debates. For example, Tulsi did not qualify for the December 2019 debates because she missed one poll. She would have qualified if the DNC had selected the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of New Hampshire as a qualifying poll. The DNC accepts the Suffolk University/USA Today poll, even though the Boston Globe is much more respected newspaper.   

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nikon Z50 Kit

Z50 with the 16-50 lens

I pre-ordered the Nikon Z50, Body-Only option, the same hour it was announced. However, I got fed up waiting for it, because it was never available.  Instead the two Z50 kits were always in stock, the Z50 with the !6-50 lens and the Z50 with the 16-50 + 50-250 lenses. Therefore, I canceled my order and ordered the kit with the 16-50 lens. I already got it. 

Nikkor Z DX 16-50 f/3.5-6.3 VR
I did not order the Z50 kit with the two lenses for two reasons. I already have the AF-S DX 18-200 VRII lens and the FTZ adapter. The 50-250 lens is too long, a DX equivalent of 75mm in the short end. The 18-200 is so much more useful.

I am very glad I ordered the kit with the 16-50 pancake lens, even though I have the AF-S DX 18-55 lens. The combination of the Z50 with the 16-50 is unbeatable. The camera with the lens are so light - the perfect travel camera. The Z50, so far, completely exceeded my expectations.

The only thing is that the battery takes a long time to charge and it is not that long lasting.  Therefore, I ordered two extra batteries and an additional battery charger.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Donald J. Trump

Some of my thoughts about President Donald Trump:

Is there anyone left in America that Donald Trump has not insulted, criticized, affronted, slighted, disrespected, offended, snubbed, belittled, disparaged, demeaned, rubbished, decried, derided, denigrated, ridiculed, dishonored, scorned, mocked, slated, slammed, denounced, chastised, degraded, reviled, spurned, rebuffed, despised, banned, or fired?  Yes: himself! 

In Trump’s newspeak language fake means truth and truth means fake.

Donald J. Trump tells his followers: “do not believe what you see and hear, believe me instead.” That is the mantra of not only dictators but also cult leaders.

Donald Trump is running our country like a conductor of a runaway train.

Donald Trump is as respectful of our democratic institutions as King Kong was of the Empire State Building. 

Trump is to the right of Ivan "The Terrible” and to the left of Attila "The Hun.”

Then They Came For Me

The following is a heart-breaking poem by Martin Niemöller. He was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian born in Lippstadt, Germany, in 1892. Niemöller was an Anti-Communist and supported Adolf Hitler's rise to power at first. But when Hitler insisted on the supremacy of the state over religion, Niemöller became disillusioned. He became the leader of a group of German clergymen opposed to Hitler. In 1937 he was arrested and eventually confined in Sachsenhausen and Dachau. He was released in 1945 by the Allies. He continued his career in Germany as a clergyman and as a leading voice of penance and reconciliation for the German people after World War II: 

“First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

It is a reminder to everyone that when our democracy is in danger, it is our patriotic duty to speak out.  If we don’t, then it would be our fault if we lose our valued and treasured democratic institutions and freedoms. This is what happens to people, in many parts of the world and in the annals of history, when they succumb under the clutches of despots and tyrants because they were afraid to speak out

Tulsi Gabbard

Since Last February, I have been working and contributing to the campaign of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard for President. She is the youngest (37 years old) of all the Democratic Candidates.  I told my late wife, in 2016, that if Tulsi ever run for President, I would work for her. Tulsi's list of accomplishments are very impressive:
  1. She volunteered to the Army after the 9-11 terrorist attack.
  2. She is now a Major in the Army National Guard.
  3. She was elected to the Hawaii House of representatives at the age of 21.
  4. Served in Iraq (2004-2005)
  5. Served in Kuwait (2008-2009)
  6. Honolulu City Council (2011-2012)
  7. United States House of Representatives (2013-Present)
  8. Vice-Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

Tulsi has decided to campaign for the Democratic presidential 2020 nominee. Therefore, she will not seek re-election to the United States House of Representatives in 2020 of Hawaii's 2nd district.

Tulsi's Announcement

Tulsi will not be running as a third-party candidate in 2020 as Hillary Clinton insinuated. Furthermore, to suggest that she is a Russian asset is preposterous. She is a Major in the Army and a decorated war veteran with two tours of duty in the Middle East. In fact, she had to interrupt her campaign to serve with her Army National Guard Unit, in Indonesia. How many years has Hillary served in the military? Not even a day! Yet, Hillary Clinton does not hesitate in sending someone else's sons and daughters into never-ending wars.

We must cease satiating our War Gods with the never-ending sacrificial offerings of our young.

The War Gods are insatiable; they want more wars of any kind. Tulsi says: “No more regime-change wars!"

Some people say why support Tulsi when she has no chance (0 % chance) of getting the Democratic nomination.  That is not the point. I have to support and campaign for the candidate I truly believe in, 0 % or 100 % chance in getting the nomination. 

My A-Class Mercedes Benz

About six months ago, I watched on TV an advertisement of the new 2019 A-Class Mercedes. I want to see it and fell in love with it. Therefore, I decided to purchase it. It was the only Mercedes I could afford to get. The C-Class or the E-Class were beyond my budget. Regardless, it is fully loaded. The S-Class or even the Maybach (~ $180,000) come with more electronics.

I found my A-Class (Metallic Silver) with all the things I wanted at the Beverly Hills Mercedes Benz dealer. It was the only one in the Southern California area. My Mercedes is not only a sedan but also a very sporting looking one. Fully loaded with the 7-year warranty, 7-year maintenance, tax, and license it came to $51,000. The Merceds was always my dream car. I'm seventy-one. If I do not get it now, when am I going to get it? Therefore, I closed my eyes and went fo it. BTW, my Mercedes is fully paid.

Friday, October 25, 2019

My Three Cameras

Nikon Z50

Leica Q
As I wrote in my previous post, I only need three cameras.  The Nikon APS-C Z50 is mainly for travel.  It is a very light camera, less than one pound. My Leica Q its for family photos especially for the holidays.  The Q has a sensor of 24 MP and a 28mm f/1.7 lens.  Therefore, it shoots 24MP at 28mm, 12MP at 35mm, and 7.5MP at 50mm. The Leica Q2 is exactly the same camera and lens with a 46MP sensor. The main difference is that it shoots 46MP at 28mm, 30MP at 35mm, 20MP at 50mm, and 7.5MP at 75mm. To upgrade it would cost met around $3,250, if I can sell my Leica Q first. It is a big decision, but I have time to make it, if I really need to upgrade.

The Nikon Z7 is Full Frame Camera with a 46MP sensor. I will use it as my main camera for shoots around Los Angeles. The complement of lenses for the Z7 are:

Zoom Lenses

AF-S Nikkor 8-15mm f/3.5-4.5E ED-Fish
Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S
Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S
Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

Prime Lenses

Sigma DG 15mm f/2.8 EX-Fisheye
Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S
Zeiss Batis 40mm f/2 CF Lens for Sony E
Nikon Z7

Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Zeiss Batis 135mm f/2.8 Lens for Sony E

It is also my main camera for Macro/Table-Top Photography.  For that purpose I have the following lenses:

Nikkor AF-S Micro 105mm f/2.8G ED VR
Sigma DG 50mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Sigma DG 70mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Sigma DG 150mm f/2.8 EX APO Macro

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Nikon Z50 Camera

Nikon DX Z50
I Pre-Ordered the new Nikon Z50 DX Camera the same hour it was announced. It is the perfect camera or form factor for traveling. It is a very light camera weighting less than one pound. I will not order any Nikkor Z DX lenses. I will use the Nikkor AF-S lenses that I already own with the exception of the Tokina AT-X 11-16mm f/2.8 that I ordered. Since I'm only using F-mount lenses for the Z50, I got my second FTZ adapter that I will dedicate to the Z50. The lenses that I will use with the Z50 are:

Zoom Lenses

Tokina AT-X 116 PRO DX-II 11-16mm f/2.8
Nikon FTZ Adapter

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VRII
Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G ED VRII

Prime Lenses

Nikkor AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED N

Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G ED
Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G
Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G SE

Tokina AT-X 11-16mm f/2.8

The three cameras I have, the Nikon Z7, Leica Q, and Nikon Z50 are the only cameras I will ever need. The exception being an upgrade from the Leica Q to the Leica Q2. However, that is in the future if I really need it and if I can sell the Q at an acceptable price.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Updated Roadmap for the Nikon Z Lenses

Nikon just published an updated roadmap for the Z Mirrorless Lenses. I do not know if it is good or bad news. The three lenses I wanted, from the old roadmap, are coming this year and not spread in two years, as before. They are the Z 14-30mm f/4 S, the Z 24mm f/1.8 S, and the Z 85mm f/1.8 S. The 14-30 was just announced. It will cost $1,297 and will be available on April 30, 2019.

Nikon will come out with 6 lenses in 2019, and 7 lenses in both 2020 and 2021, so far.  In other words, Nikon will have 23 Z lenses by the end of  2021. Eleven of the 23 lenses are "To be Announced." Not bad! 

IMHO, that is the main reason, not the only one, Nikon developed a Mirrorless camera with a flange of ~10mm and not ~16mm, which is the flange of their DSLR's. Therefore, it necessitates a new mount (Z-Mount) and a slew of new Z-Mount lenses and a ZTF (Z-Mount to F-Mount)  adapter. Very good for Business!

One last thought. The 14-30 has a filter thread of 82mm. Of  the ~ 12 UV filters that I have, the 82mm is the one I do not have! It costs $60. 😒