The Dimwitted Child

Recently I was asked if it’s hard living in a city where I can’t read most of the signs or understand most of what’s being said. I said no — not at all — as long as you don’t mind being suddenly demoted in status from that of a normal adult to that of a retarded person or a dimwitted child.

Read More →

Copenhagen Prices

Copenhagen is one of the most expensive cities in the world. At first I didn’t really notice because I was distracted and confused by Danish currency (The “krone”, or crown in English). By the time I could gauge prices without doing a currency conversion in my head, I was used to these prices. Now, when I go to the states, I’m shocked at how low the prices are.

Read More →

Burnt Retinas

Technically, photography is about exposing either film or an electronic sensor array to just the right about of light. Too little light makes no impression on the medium and results in black, and too much makes such a strong impression that the result is all-out white. Having too much light is different from taking a picture of a white wall, because the wall will actually be a shade of grey, which the brain interprets as white. Too much light, or overexposure is pure white. It’s as white as the medium can possibly go.

DSC_3437.JPG DSC_0214.JPG DSC_0211.JPG

Read More →

The [SPAM] results are in…

In 2005 I started tracking the amount of spam I get at my personal e-mail address. I got 42,000 pieces of spam that year, and 56,519 this year. On average, that’s 4625 every month, 1067 every week, 152 every day, or 6.3 every hour. On average I got one piece of spam every 9.4 minutes.

Read More →

Two things I’ve learned — the hard way

On my first trip to Copenhagen, I learned that the trains have motion detectors that trigger the interior doors to open. These detectors don’t work very well, and so it helps to wave your hand in front of them. This is a common sight, but only on the regional train line (which I take to work). The “S” trains, however, don’t have motion detectors, but I didn’t know that.

Read More →

Embracing the Grey

Wierd catering/party boat Bikes outside the Kongens Nytorv metro station Escalator inside the metro station

Taking pictures in Copenhagen during winter is challenging. Everything is sort of grey, there isn’t much light, and the days are very short. But I saw some winter photographs of Denmark recently and realized that you can solve the first problem by shooting in black-n-white. I took these today in Christianshavn and Kongens Nytorv. There are more here.

Room With a View

I took these from my condo in Seattle last summer. The colors are, I admit, a bit exaggerated. I cheated, but in the same way that professional nature photographers cheat — by using Fujifilm Velvia slide film. At any rate, I’m pleased with them, although these scans really don’t do justice to the actual slides.

image711.jpg image72.jpg image74.jpg image76.jpg image78.jpg image85.jpg

The Pinnacle of Joy…

This is kind of strange. Apparently Denmark is the happiest country on earth. And apparently Microsoft is the best place to work in Denmark. I’d better be really careful about any complaining I do.

Danish Driver Distractions

This is a sort of public service commercial (topless women alert!) that the Danish government created to generate awareness of speeding. Pretty clever, as they just released it on the net and let people distribute it, so they spent no money on ad space.

Seattle and back

I just got back from a week in Seattle. The first time I went back I was sort of disappointed at how un-profound the experience was. I guess I hadn’t been away for long enough. This time I was less disappointed.

My neighborhood is the Pike/Pine corridor between downtown and Broadway. Downtown is stunning, and the corridor has a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops. Broadway is a hip freak-show. It wasn’t like any of this surprised me, but I’d forgotten the extent to which these things are true. This despite the fact that I’ve only been gone for nine months.

It struck me that it would be so easy to live there. I know the language, for one thing, but also prices are reasonable (for everything other than property, that is).

But it also felt cheap. The buildings are flimsy, and although the diversity is nice, there are so many people that are trying so desperately not to be normal that you have to wonder if they have anything else going for them. Seattle has no shortage of really androgynous people. I try to be open-minded, but this is something I find hard to take.

Traffic continues to be terrible, and, of course, no real progress on mass-transit has been made. The drivers were more aggressive than I remember them. Inevitably it seems that drivers of luxury vehicles are the worst offenders, but that’s true in Denmark as well.

I was also conscious of a little extra stress on my part due to the fact that Seattle — and any place on the West coast of the US for that matter — could at any minute suffer a devastating earthquake. There’s something really nice about living in a place where that’s not true — a place where you don’t have to think about securing book-cases to walls or having emergency supplies on hand.