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WHO ME ?


Stealing a page from ALFRED E. NEWMAN, who said,  "What, me worry" I have rules for my small business with a big emphasis on putting customers first.  I do worry just like anyone else that things go right. I found being old school sometimes means better communication and attention to what my clients need.  Thus no weird phone setups, no press one or two, we just say, "Hello" and we together can go on with the conversation.

In this day and age to be very conservative means staying alive, saving money, better deals, but it only works if the end product is GOOD and does what it is supposed to.   My name is on the product I build and I use my own products", they have to be good, I am very picky… 

I support the Brave Warriors of our Military, the Cancer Foundation and the CASA HOUSE, which is a service provided for battered and abused women and children. 


A DEBT TO COUNTRY GIVING BACK
We as a nation cannot forget those who have given so much to us, and compassion for those who are fighting a battle for their lives and those who have been taken advantage of.

I am affiliated with, as the Board Secretary of the Corporation, The United States Central Command Memorial Foundation, INC.  It is a non-profit organization, legally 501(C)(3) registered in Florida.

It simply needs to have more of my time. The cause is just, I support the troops and I will be undertaking more project time to complete the mission at hand.  

Most memorials are completed decades after the war or incursion, or political action occurred. Best examples are the WWII Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial, forty plus years later. Our Memorial, recognizing by name those who have paid the ultimate price of freedom, has the unique position as being built during a time of conflict.

PHASE ONE COMPLETE 2009

We, (all three of us) have eleven years in the project, it is built and we are now into phase two furnishing it.  See www.centcommemorial.org for more information as why this took so long and surprisingly, it wasn't money.  The government moves very slowly.  We, the remaining three are whats left of the original group of eight.


OLD SCHOOL BUSINESSMAN

•  Since I manufacture battery packs for the WEPP shooters, (Wedding, Event, Paparazzi, and Photojournalism market), my clients are frugal, smart, climbing in their league, competitive and know photography, they are students and successful players since they can read past the branding and hype. 

•  I limit myself, the pack building is labor intensive and I have no real employees to draw upon. My goods are hand built,  quality control all the way and no frills,  just performance and look for ways to save the customers money and time.  I got into this almost 50 years ago because the swanky stuff was overkill, failed more than it worked, overpriced gimmicked to death over-stressed tools that made a job more complex not easier and needing expensive repairs about every two years sometimes as high as 50% of their initial cost.

•  Even little things are important. I only use Kobicon jacks and Marson high grade steel rivets. Both cost double the price of the Chinese stuff available, but the Chinese quality (vendors will sub you) failed miserably. 

POSTAL COST SAVINGS - I use the United States Postal Service (USPS)

•  USPS offers fixed lower rates on a 5-10 pound weighted products saves my customers money. This keeps costs down to customers and with PRIORITY fast shipping, as fast as two day UPS and FedEx depending on location.  

•  Our hot seal packaging prevents theft and "slit grabbing" and the USPS offers inexpensive insurance, and  packaging materials which they supply.  

•  Normally pre labeled CLICK & SHIP means no lost waiting on lines and being located close to a major airport and USPA hub (TIA-Tampa International) means faster times on both domestic and international shipments.

NO BRANDING, SHILL TALK, OR POLITICALLY CORRECT

•  You won't get "branded forum answers" from me. We do not accept payment for reviews, nor "door prizes" for good reviews. It's called the truth. Just go to www.aljacobsladder.com and read my reviews on politics, sex, religion, and www.aljacobskitchen.com for comments on food and cooking.  I am an equal opportunity insulter of bad food places on TripAdvisor and other blogs and magazines.  Bad food like bad products and bad politicians deserve all my attention.

•  I work with both Nikon and Canon, and have owned and sold in my store just about any brand you have.  I will slam bad stuff, really bad,  Most "reviewers" are shills for their magazines and simply don't report bad. When WAS the last time you saw a bad review?  Remember those free magazines you get are paid from advertising.  I do not push or shill for any brand. 

BRIEF BIOGRAPHY

Photography started for me when someone left a paper bag left sitting on a park bench in the Zoo area in NYC's Central Park. Today we would call the bomb squad. I was fourteen, a junior, and was naturally, playing hooky from school.  I grabbed the bag after eyeing it for an hour, artfully dodging the truant officers who carried my picture in their wallets with the big red number one on the front.  With no one claiming it, I stood on top of the park bench and yelled the sacred words "finders keepers". 

With the legalities out of the way, and instinctively running for my life, I had mischievously become the owner of an AIRES IIIL 35mm Rangefinder Camera, the first of the Japanese clones of a Leica.  It took nice pictures of the Dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History in NYC, the Statue of Liberty and other sites when I played hooky and got caught. Divine guidance.

That camera saved my ass, showing that I was doing something to help my education and it got me off easier. At 14, for penance I guess, I gave my first presentation to the Science classes in HS. It was about Dinosaurs and I proudly showed off my 2-1/4 x 3-1/4 prints. I was a success! 

The kids gave me a standing ovation and I got a reprieve since the "science teacher thought the dinos got whacked by the cavemen". She hated me. The Dean thought I did a good job and we worked a deal out.

AL.N..163

THE GADGET MEISTER

I picked up a few nicknames, like "the Gadget Meister" starting my working career in an obscure camera repair facility, the best in the camera district of New York City.  It was where I first found out man could fly if he simply touched a capacitor from a Honeywell 770 Strobe, and when I touched the Eveready 510 volt battery, it sent me to the moon. 

Only the Wright Brothers had a better first flight. But I learned early what works and what doesn't work and that you don't get from school or books. Maybe that shaped my attitude toward cheaply made products that fail.
 

DREAMS and NIGHTMARES

Maybe aviation was a better way to fly. I can thank the United States Air Force for that. When I got out I swapped Boeing for Cessna and Piper,  piling up thousands of hours over 28 years and the occasional heart over stimulation.  I owned five aircraft that taught me quality control in maintenance and repair. If you work on it, you fix it, you fly it first. 

Great confidence builder and test bed for Tide.  It does clean underwear better! Two fires on board taught me well and almost got me arrested once for chasing a crooked mechanic around the airport with a tow bar in my hand for causing those fires.  He put used fuel lines on my aircraft and charged me for new and they failed fortunately within three miles of an airport.  Best no engine landing I ever made. 

Adding to the excitement and cardiac exercise I worked for a Wedding mill in NYC as a run and gunner for several years to learn the business.  400 events later, over thirty years,I was alive though a few times I thought I was on "Survivor" and decided being a bachelor was a good thing. You learn a lot about people during a Wedding. That was till I met the love of my life.  Till she passed on, we had 31 wonderful years together.


MASTER MACHINIST

I remember the first tools I made at Wingate HS (600 Kingston Ave for you Brooklyn fans) in the metal shop. We had Zip before the post office.  Knives, Zip guns, those career decisions destined to make you acceptable at Alcatraz University.  

It was a totally unauthorized program and even today they still talk of the Jacobs Hubcap Remover, not sold in stores, available in Midnight Black Only. You too can have a career in hubcap "restoration" for only $39.95. Make it back on your first job even if you only got the front ones! Comes complete with instructions for both domestic and foreign jobs.  BUT WAIT! Order now and we'll send you my new book " Guide to the Great Bail Bondsmen of America".




I FAILED ENGLISH,  BECAME A WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER

Why not?  Early on I learned some really cheesy folks can and went on to become Teachers, Policemen, Congressmen, Senators, Judges and the President.   After all Glen Beck, Carl Rove, Sean Hannity, and a few other nationally prominent "negative crap throwers" can do it.  

All three never went to college! You don't need a degree to complain, bitch, moan and groan, as long as you call yourself a patriot and you will find an audience of waiting listeners because they not happy with themselves.  

Rush Limbaugh "the mouth" of the GOP was a draft dogger claiming a cyst on his butt and a football injury to save his arse. Neither his coach nor doctors interviewed  knew about either condition.  So ditto heads can be proud of the fact that, their leader coward used his ass to keep his fat ass out of that war. 

I figured I could write about anything I like if I put my mind to it.   Unfortunately I was kinda choosey and didn't care for the "writing" in my English class. I referred to Shakespeare's words as  "spake as a flake".

That got me out of the grace of the teacher. The killer was a book report on Julius Caesar where I had to read aloud one page from something Shakespeare wrote, I picked a scene where Brutus mentions a questionable and unmentionable act upon Caesar.  That got the class roaring and I got the Deans office. It taught me the power of words and how to get thrown out of English class.  I was never alone in detention, always had my gang buddies with me.  I lived in a Jewish Italian neighborhood and I am a paid member of the Kosher Nostra.


OTHER WEB SITES OF MINE



POLITICS, SEX, and RELIGION EXPOSED

"Things not spoken about except at the water cooler"

www.aljacobsladder.com


FOOD, FODDER and FOIE GRAS IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY

"How to get thrown out as a food critic, tell the truth"

www.aljacobskitchen.com


THE CENTRAL COMMAND MEMORIAL

"Country Served"

www.centcommemorial.com


ACCURATE PLATING and WEAPONRY

"Professional Factory Gunsmithing and Plating"

http://www.APWCOGAN.com


DIAL INDICATOR REPAIR

"Make your Indicator like New"

http://www.indicatorrepairsite.com




AUGUST 2008 I WENT TOTAL MAC

With 28 years doing IT as part of my job, working on computers, certified from DOS/WIN 2 to Vista, I finally gave up on PC's. Thus I am PC Retired, MAC Inspired.  I converted an entire business and a thirty year lifestyle to a loaded three computer MAC network in two days, I have become an Appleholic and proud of it.


 FRIENDS

THE GENERALS
Gen. Henry H. Shelton (USA Ret.)
CHAIRMAN JOINT CHIEFS

Is one of those special people you cross paths with in life that makes an impression. Called a Soldier's Soldier by his troops, I never met a Commander in any level of the military whose staff felt truly privileged to work with. They liked him and he was their leader.  
While on vacation in Colorado I heard of his appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs by then President Bill Clinton.  I was shopping with the little woman in an "artistic" and rustic restored section of Colorado springs.

I noticed a unique piece of artwork on the shelf directly under the TV that was on in the showroom.

The artist was Scott Stearman.  It said everything it had to say about the sense of honor and duty he has shown for his country and his men.  Again that divine guidance thing prompted me to get out the credit card and act.

I had the pleasure of being one of the presenters of this artwork to the General in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Leandri, a true friend of the the Military and especially the "Quiet Professionals",  our Special Forces. 

I requested that it be displayed in the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and any politician who would send our men into harm's way would  see it… who would know that before September 11th, 2001?  

In 2004, a duplicate statue rests in my home.  I ordered the piece from Scott Stearman, the artist who will be doing the life size statues for the United States Central Command Memorial Foundation.  I am a Board Member of the Foundation  and the coincidence or divine guidance has placed that piece of artwork twice in my life.    

If you wish to learn more about the Memorial Foundation, the actual monument to be built at MacDill AFB, Tampa, Florida, please feel free to contact me through my email. 

The link to the site is as follows: www.centcommemorial.org  I am also the webmeister and photographer for the organization.  We are a registered 501C non-profit organization.
 


Eddie Adams...1933-2004

The final shot, NEW YORK - September 19,2004  

Eddie Adams, a photojournalist and a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer is best remembered by a photo of a communist guerrilla being executed in a Saigon street during the Vietnam War. He died Sunday, the 19th of September. He was 71. Mr. Adams died at his Manhattan home from complications due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. 

PHOTO: Back to 2001:  So you sit next to this guy at a Nikon Bash in Vegas and your wife says "who is that gentleman with the hat on you are talking to".  

Oh, thats Eddie Adams, he's probably one of the most honored photographers of our time.  I want you to meet him.  So my wife leans over and I introduce him, as one of the most influential photojournalists of all time and whose work I deeply admired.  He just smiled, took it in stride and she commented later how quiet and reserved he was.  I explained even though he has photographed most of the influential people on the planet, in the industry many just ask, whose that guy standing next to Eddie…

He received a Pulitzer Prize for his work.  He's well known in journalism, corporate, editorial, fashion, entertainment and advertising". He's been featured in Time, Newsweek, Life, Paris Match, Parade, Penthouse, Vogue, The London Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times, Stern and Vanity Fair, in addition to his photographs of 13 wars. Then she says "Does he always wear a hat indoors".  I said, "He can wear a hat anywhere he wants".

He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for his startling photograph of the execution of a Viet Cong from a single photo taken Feb. 1, 1968, the second day of the communists' Tet Offensive, in the embattled streets of Cholon, Saigon's Chinese quarter.

I found this tidbit on PNN's page. and I quote, "Eddie Adams is a man to whom Clint Eastwood said, "Good shot",  Fidel Castro said, "Let's go duck hunting",  The Pope said, "You've got three minutes". His portraits of presidents ranged from Richard Nixon to President Bush, and those of world figures included  Deng Xiao Ping, Anwar Sadat, and Mikhail Gorbachev. Mr. Adams won a 1969 Pulitzer Prize for the Saigon execution picture, among the more than 500 honors he received in his career, including a 1978 Robert Capa Award and three George Polk Memorial Awards for war coverage.

The picture I took of him is him.  We were at the Harley Davidson Club in Las Vegas. He was resplendent in black, with the fedora always worn squared to the head.  I sat next to him at a many of the Nikon bashes and had the chance to chat with him. He was not as short with people as many have said, he was just great at what he did and when working very focused.  The 2005 Nikon Calendar has many of Eddies imagery magic.




Marty Forscher

1921 - 2009

Martin Hubert Forscher was born in Manhattan on Nov. 25, 1921. His father, a furrier and gambler, ran off with his bookkeeper when Marty was about 6, leaving his mother to weather the Depression by selling lingerie door to door in financial district offices.

The Dean Emeritus of the Camera Repair and Innovation business is Marty Forscher. No doubt about that. He died on Sept. 30, 2009 in Pittsfield, Mass. He was 87 and lived in Pittsfield.

His contributions to the industry are too much to mention in this humble venue.  I met him many decades ago in NY and usually saw him once a year at the PMA. (see picture) 

Watching him work was a distinct honor and maybe with the addition of some input from my uncle caused me to become interested in taking things apart. The difference is he can put them back together. Hopefully in my next life I will tackle that. 

For more than 40 years, Mr. Forscher ran Professional Camera Repair Service in Midtown Manhattan. Founded in 1946, the shop was a Mecca for generations of camera owners, from the world’s most celebrated fashion, advertising and news photographers to wedding portraitists, threadbare students, bejeweled celebrities and anxious tourists.

Many fine Pentax and Minolta lenses work on Nikons now. If you had a Nikon and wanted a hot Minolta 250 mm ƒ5.6 mirror lens to work on your Nikon he could do it, with or without power steering. Albeit things were possible in the old days and he was the master machinist and problem solver. I borrowed one of those Minolta 250's from my friend Tom who had one and what a street shooter combo that made.   Little bigger than an 85 mm and a 250.  With today's propriety branding built in, nothing fits nothing!

In World War II, Mr. Forscher worked in Washington as a repairman for the Navy photographic unit run by the eminent photographer Edward Steichen. After the war, he opened Professional Camera Repair Service. Originally at 480 Lexington Avenue in Midtown, the shop was located for many years afterward at 37 West 47th Street.

When the shop went out of business in 2001 (Mr. Forscher had sold it to colleagues when he retired in 1987), the photographic community heaved a collective shudder of panic.

Whether one’s camera had plunged into the sea, fallen from a skyscraper, been smashed in a riot or been otherwise sorely treated, Mr. Forscher could almost always find a solution. 

The Polaroid's he adapted for 35mm and medium format opened the eyes and the doors for professional photographers.  It's rumored some still shoot with their eyes closed.  Look at their work!

Just making it work with the NPC line of backs is more than you might think. It took fiber optics when few even knew what they were.  In this copy cat world, his approaches and ideas were out of the box and they worked.

The shape of a 35mm SLRS film track and viewfinder eyepiece mean that the focal plane for Polaroid material lies at least 12mm behind the focal plane for conventional film. With the emulsion lying so far away you can never achieve proper focus. Various solutions were attempted. Few worked. In the early '80s, Marty Forschner had the brilliantly simple idea of bridging the gap with a spring-mounted block of fused fiber optic bundles.

It could be said he was a man before his time and after it too… Marty's first job was with the National Geographic. The Big Cheese (Gilbert Groxxxx) could never remember to extend the lens on his Leica before making a picture, and gave the camera to Marty to make something which would always remind him to extend it. Instead, Marty fitted a collar around the lens barrel so it couldn't be collapsed at all. They fired him on the spot.  So he opened his own shop.


 © copyright aljacobs Stardate 10-18-2012