Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.”
― Pablo Picasso

National Grid says “called and reached voicemail”…

This is a bit of a rant, only because I am still pissed off. I’ve written to my customer service rep and my customer service rep’s boss, called National Grid support several times to find out who else could be contacted, wrote a tweet, wrote a review at the Better Business Bureau.

Here’s the thing. I have a house with a brand new furnace. The process is first they remove the old furnace. This starts a period where the house no longer has heat. This happened Monday. Then there is an inspection. That’s Tuesday. Still no heat. Once the inspection is complete you can call for a meter set. This was all done. The meter set appointment was for today. Third day without heat. In New England. In November.

On calling National Grid the appointment is an “all day appointment”. But they do say that what will happen is that the installer will call 15 minutes before showing up. Ok then. That I can do.

I received no phone call. I was pulling my iPhone out and checking for any indication there was a call of any kind and no such call occurred. At 3PM I call the service line. The tech left a report that he called at 9:40 AM, reached voicemail, and then went by and no one was there.

Here’s the thing. An iPhone records every call. Missed, voicemail, whatever, it’s network traffic and there is in my experience ALWAYS a record of a call. It may show up after the fact, but if the call was made it shows. There was no call made. At all. There is no such thing as a call that disappears especially when it was specifically reported that the call reached voicemail.

So I am basically being blamed for not answering the phone, for not being a conscientious consumer, and yet I know for a fact no call was actually made to my phone. The installer may have misdialed, he may have not called at all, but what he said, that he called me and reached my voicemail, DID. NOT. HAPPEN.

If National Grid had said at the outset “we find that people are better off staying at the house the entire day until the tech shows up because our people are somewhat incompetent when it comes to using a telephone” I would have been at the house. And annoyed but not pissed. And I’d have the goddamned meter in place.

—spence

ADDED 10 Novemerber 2016

National Grid showed up today at 8:40 AM after calling 20 minutes before arrival, and installed the meter. The phone call came through without an issue.

National Grid also replied to my tweet about this, and my service rep responded as well.

There is something about being stuck without heat in late fall that is unnerving. My biggest concern was that tonight, when the temperature dips to 30 degrees, the house would still be without heat. That did not happen.

It’s a measure of how much the iPhone and similar designs have changed how things work. Before 2007, “I called and reached voicemail” would have been an untraceable event. You’d have to accept it, there would be no way to verify your cell phone had not dropped off the network. Now we have videos as civic responsibility, you can take a picture of that business card and have it on file, you can fax things with your phone, and the phone gives an accurate record of call activity, even on missed calls. It’s all network.

Zion, first pass

So many images, so many decisions.

I’m working through SLRLounge’s Lightroom Course – outstanding. And I’m learning quite a bit in depth about Lightroom’s potential to truly be a darkroom for digital. This is one of the images I practiced with – it’s not quite where I hope it will be, but it is so far beyond what I would have accomplished a brief time earlier…

01XP9927

—spence

Yosemite in Smoke

I’ve been deepening my work in Lightroom, by going through a tutorial on post processing. I had read Scott kelby’s Lightroom and Raw Processing books a long time ago – I used that workflow for many years – but there is a depth to the Lightroom software, in presets, snapshots, presets for brushes, tone curve, Hue/Saturation?Luminosoty and gradient filters, that I have not delved into. All the things that make Lightroom the software equivalent of a darkroom for processing RAW images.

Here are a couple of images I was paying with.

01XP0042

_XT21139

There was smoke from a nearby fire drifting by Half Dome, it made the light unique.

—spence

Fuji X-T1: Panorama

I took a trip with my brother and father to Zion and Yosemite Parks this past couple of weeks. The Fuji X-T1 has a panorama function – where you pan the camera through a sequence of shots and the internals of the camera collates and assembles those images into a single jpg image. I was discovering this function, and one of the things I would have done if I had more experience with it would be to change the film setting from B&W(Yellow Filter) to Vivid. Even if you are shooting RAW+FineJPG, with the panorama function, the output is strictly JPG. Thus these are B&W.

_XT21259

I decided at the last moment NOT to take a tripod, so these were shot hand-held – thus the curved horizon it this shot. But still, amazing tool and effect.

_XT21325

This one was closer to a straight horizon – I really love the reflections that came out once the water was completely still…

And a vertical pano…

_XT21310

—spence

Two Fuji X-Pro 1 Camera Bodies – Perfect Sensors, Great Camera

Both Fuji X-Pro 1 cameras had the sensors replaced. Both seem to be perfect copies of the camera now. I’ve owned one of these before, and I thought at $1700, it wasn’t enough camera, so I sold it.

Several months later I realized that some of the most interesting images I’ve ever taken came out of that X-Pro 1 body and the 35mm f1.4 Fuji lens – the combination is extraordinary.

Casual test shot, X-Pro 1 and 35mm f1.4 lens…

Fuji X-Pro 1 after repair 1986 (#2)

Unfortunately my X-T1 came back with misbehaving pixels. Back it goes for the third time tomorrow.

—spence

Canon 5D…

There’s something about a camera that fails to work, and then can’t be effectively fixed, that makes the other camera look so much less bad. Yes, a 5D Mk III with 24-70mm glass weighs about 4.5 lbs. But – it works. Always. Consistently. The focus is always acceptable. And 22.something megapixels of full-frame image is nothing to dismiss.

I’m working through getting consistent results with the Fotodiox Rhinocam captures – I’ve had acceptable images, but nothing yet as crisp as the Canon 5D with a Zeiss 50mm lens – just not quite as clear. I know I can print full size from the Canon images. I’m still testing the Rhinocam stitched captures. The last ten paintings I took photos of were coming out soft, losing detail – like the focus missed. Manual focus using peaking and zoom, and f8 so should have been better than that.

I’ll have to take a day and do some focus bracketing and assembly of the images, see what’s truly possible.

Meantime, keeping the Canon beast camera…

_E2S0381