Sunday, August 06, 2006

Aug 5 Meet-up and Hanging out with the Anthro Guy II

Had another great time at Swenson's, although turnout was low this time, with many people on vacation. Donald Rogers, a professor from Austin College, a small liberal arts college in Texas, spoke on his school's exchange programs. Dr. Rogers also talked a bit about North Korea, which he did his PhD thesis on.

David on Formosa
showed me his new Fuji S5500, the successor to my old Fuji S5000. The new version corrects the annoying error of limiting maximum exposure time to 2 seconds with an increase to 15 seconds, retains the wonderful 37-370mm zoom/macro, and the excellent and accessible design of the previous incarnation. Picture quality seems strong, though the CCD in the 5500 is not as good as the one in the 5000. All in all, if you are upgrading from a point-and-shoot generic 3X camera to a prosumer model for more photography capability, I highly recommend this camera. It is powerful, durable, easy to use, and takes great pictures.

I've decided to switch from blogger to Flickr. I've got images stored on both Blogger and Flickr here. Flickr first....

Dr. Rogers.

Dr. Rogers takes a question from blogger Spencer Pangborn.

After Swenson's the redoubtable Jeff Martin and I once again went out to Luchou to enjoy sashimi, conversation, and strolls around the temples and alleys of Taipei County. I took lots of pictures, like last time, but they didn't seem as good. The Olympus works fine if subject or photographer is sitting still, but the shutter lag presents grave problems when picture taking from a vehicle, and the camera often failed to focus at all.


Guerilla farming, as Jeff calls it, on an island in the river between Sanchung and Taipei city.

An alley on the way.

Jeff took us out of the terrible sun here.

There we were, riding down the street, when suddenly a car appeared in front of us and I saw....

...the tunnel of light!

When prayer fails.

I love the warrens and back alleys, filled with Stuff.

A parking lot, vertical instead of horizontal.

Jeff took me over to the major temple in Luchou, surrounded by a more or less permanent market, vendor, and small shop area. The temple is enormous and ornate, well worth a visit if you are in the area.

One of my favorite driving activities -- as drivers attempt to make left turns with the light, a lone fool with a back full of explosives runs the red light and threads his way between the suddenly stopped cars.

Jeff then took us out to Bali, along the Tamshui. Here there were stunning views, and a bit of wildlife. Lots of people were out photographing, walking, riding bikes, and fishing...

We passed this friendly fellow on the way.

Yangmingshan in the background, Jeff at the fore.

The government has put in a park and walkway.

The Grand Hotel, seen from across the river with the mighty 14X optical zoom.

Funeral vehicles parked in the empty spaces by the river.

Yangmingshan and Chinese Culture University, using the zoom.

Those were all hosted on Flickr....the Blogger images start here.

The signpost announcing all the area's attractions.

The walkway. There's been quite a bit of investment in new parks since the end of the 1990s.

It is always a pleasure and a wonder to see wildlife next to any large urban conurbation, especially Taipei.

Yangmingshan towers over the water.

The island's two national sports both involve baiting -- one, politicians, the other, fish.

I asked them what they had caught. Apparently some kind of perch, but in the bucket underneath it was a Tilipia. Tilapia are known as wu guo yu in Taiwan and are a farmed fish. The fisherman said the aquaculture people dump them in the river, and they are breeding there. "Delicious!" averred the fisherman with a grin. I shuddered to think of what kind of chemicals those fish are carrying, hoping he was only teasing.

The landmark red bridge on the way to Tamshui.

Fishing with great views to contemplate.

On the way back to Jeff's, we stopped by one of the many "corpse temples" built in the area where farming or construction had exposed a corpse, whose ghost had to be kept at bay by the construction of a temple.

Driving home, my son playing computer games on the laptop.


serco said...

Sorry,the fih is a Tilapia not a Tilipia.
What is an anthropology doing in Taipei County?

serco said...

An anthropology Doctor I mean.

David said...

Michael, I have actually had the camera for about one year. I think Fuji has put out another new model, the s5600 now. Still, like you I highly recommend this camera.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos. I will have to check out the camera you recommended. The temples were amazing, and I was very interested in the funeral vehicles. Do you see something like that every day?