Sunday, March 27, 2011

Picture That!

Well, I just learned the very hard way that Blogger's auto save feature can work against one.  I'd spent the past hour typing a post here only to have accidentally deleted it all while trying to delete a single line and then watching as the "Draft Saved" notice appeared to inform me that everything I'd carelessly wiped out had been instantly overwritten.

Now, to be certain, it wasn't a stellar post that we lost because I was taking the Family Circus route* in trying to tell what should have been a simple story.  On the other hand, that's part of my charm here, isn't it?

Well, without crying over all the spilt words, it came down, essentially, to this...

Pennsylvania has a decent network of cameras** aimed at its highways, a good number of them watching the very roads I travel over to the western part of the commonwealth once a month or so.  Last year a new gas station opened right where one of the cameras I pass by regularly keeps its watchful eye on the road.  I've wanted for a long time to get a picture of myself through that camera and yesterday I managed to do it.

There's a McDonald's across the street from the gas station and I'd hoped to latch onto their free Wifi with the iPod Touch from the gas station's parking lot.  The Mickey D network was visible to the device, but was working like typical McWifi - just sitting there infinitely waiting for the log-in screen to appear.  After a while of becoming increasingly more impatient I decided to try hitting up various other wireless networks that were showing, and striking out on every one of them till I hit up the very last one available.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was coming from the gas station itself . (The very chain I'd written to when McD's started offering their free Wifi to suggest that the trendy gas station chain hop on the bandwagon too, but from which I'd gotten no response.  Maybe they listened after all?)

So, I parked the Neon and positioned myself in a few different areas around it, snapping pictures with the iPod through the highway camera high atop the pole across the huge intersection from where I was.

Here's the best one...

The lower inset is the actual picture from the camera.  The portion at the top and right is a blow-up of the same shot.  The bottom of the red line that joins the inset to the enlargement points to the Neon and me in the original photo.  That's me standing right above the top of the red line with the Neon to the left of me in the picture.  Okay, I'm hardly recognizable, but I got the picture I wanted to get!

Unfortunately, because of the accidental deletion you'll not be reading more about my formative years and how I wanted to be a photographer when I was a kid but couldn't because my family had to save our pennies in case there was another world war or depression.  Maybe some other time if you all behave and eat your peas.

*(To see what I meant by Family Circus route, click here.)
**(For the Pennsylvania highway cameras, click here and then check the "Cameras" tab on the left.)


Doug said...

Joe, the photo thing was silly and possibly the sign of someone slightly demented. I'm proud of you.

irondad said...

Pretty cool. I'll have to try that. By the way, is your license plate tag expired? Do these photos go to the police department? :)