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So, it is Monday, and I have taken the day off. The van is at the garage to see if they can figure out what the heck is up with it. And I just remembered to turn the ringer back on on the phone -- though I'll probably spend at least the morning in my office working on eBay listings. Or maybe shopping; I have had a few thoughts about Christmas, and there's little point in waiting -- I won't have more money for shopping later than I do now, so....

Oh. My. God. Jack just farted. Wow.

I have the house opened up because after a week of fall, we're back to summer, with temps in the high 70s or low 80s, and it's a bit stuffy in here. It's supposed to be 80° again today, so I need to cool the house back down. It won't take long, and I won't have to shut things up again until midmorning when the fog burns off.

I should totally go do the dishes while it's still cool, and while it's still too early to listen for the phone.

There is apparently not a great deal to report here. I took BFT out to lunch on Saturday -- it was the first time she'd been out of the house since her surgery the previous Friday, and she was going a little stir-crazy. We stopped at Joann's on the way home and bought Halloween decorations. She's setting up a little Halloween display in her kitchen window, and I'm buying props for some still life photos I have in mind. Which reminds me that I have to go down to the basement and dig out my Rider-Waite deck. I used to have a teensy one with cards only about an inch or two big, but I don't think I'll be able to find those. Probably lost in some move or other. Or maybe I dreamed them, though I don't think so. I think I got rid of my Ouija board, too. Still, I probably have enough stuff around here to use as props.

Yesterday...I noodled around the house. Cleaned my desk off so that I'd have room to work on the eBay stuff, vacuumed the house (up and down), snipped the stems of the flowers I bought last week and re-vased them, and dropped the van off at the garage. (Walked home, of course.) Last evening, I had a fire in the firepit (after raking the downed leaves away from where I usually set it up). I burned four more envelopes full of cancelled checks and other financial paperwork, thus doing my part to save HTWIWM from identity theft. I do like watching those papers burn; whether it's the ink or the paper, the flames are green. It's so cool. (Well. Technically, it's quite hot, but you get the idea.) I think there are four envelopes left. When I found these papers, I had no experience with burning things to dispose of them, and I thought stuffing all of these checks and bank and credit card statements into business-size envelopes and burning them like logs would work out with no problem. Yeah, then I learned about burning papers. Individual papers will take off like...well, like a house afire, but compacted papers? Not so much. So I have to keep stirring them. Which is one of the reasons I don't have a fire if it's windy, because I don't want burning paper flying all over the place.

In any case, I think I'm nearly done with HIS papers, and can move on to my own, as I recently found a file box full of decade-old financial paperwork. Not much point in stressing the shredder, though I suppose I could gradually sneak them into the shredding bin at work and have done.

I found that little refund check on my desk yesterday afternoon. I still can't quite make up my mind what to do about it. It's for 79 cents. The utterly correct thing to do -- and also the utterly bitchy thing -- would be to stuff it into another envelope and mail it to some friends to have them pass it on to him. On the other hand, it's for 79 cents, so it might just as well go into the shredding.

Eh, I'll think on it some more. Probably it'll end up in the shredding.
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Deadpool was quite funny. There was quite a lot of laughter. I think it's no secret that there is a lot of fourth-wall breaking, which I kind of love. I do have to wonder, though, how many people under the age of 45 or so will get the reference in the stinger. Is it doubly-meta if the stinger references the stinger of another movie that breaks the fourth wall?

I rather suspect BFT and I will find ourselves at the cinema again next weekend.

In other staring-at-screens news, I finished the third season of Elementary yesterday before the movie. I was hoping to be able to catch up the rest of the season On Demand, but they only have the last half-dozen episodes or so. It seems that I will not be able to see the first half of the season unless I want to pay for CBS All Access, which I do not. There is a week's free trial, which would actually be plenty of time to get through the first several episodes, but I would probably forget to cancel it. Mind you, I really, really, really, really want to see those episodes, and I have today and tomorrow off, so I might do it anyway.... On the other hand, I could just watch the current episodes and catch up when the season ends, but my completist soul rebels at the thought.

I gave my parents a framed photograph for Christmas of a shot of two of the trilithons at Stonehenge. The other day, my mother asked me if it was a photograph that I had taken. Well, of course it was. Why would I give her a framed photograph that someone else had taken when I was there this past summer? I believe we are going to try to get back there next summer, as well. And Glastonbury. Fair warning, [personal profile] silme....

Today, I really have to do the laundry. I've been putting off, and for no good reason, really; I just didn't feel like messing about with it. But it's time.
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Poor Jack. He hasn't had a proper outing since Thursday. We've gone on a few aborted walks, but not far enough for him to poo. This worries me a little, and at this point, I'd be happy to clean up after him if he went in the house. But if he doesn't even like to use the yard, he's certainly not going to use the house.

The Weather Channel is claiming that it's -16°F out there with wind chills of -30°. Jack was outside briefly this morning -- he rolled in the snow, then headed toward the back of the yard where I figured he was going to do his thing, but he got derailed by Cold Paws. Even on the way back to the house, he stopped halfway to lie down and get his paws out of the snow. It's supposed to warm up to the mid-teens today, so I'll take him out in a few hours when it might at least have reached 0°, and hopefully at least get around the block.

It has been a quiet weekend. I looked through the DVDs that I had stored away in binders and came upon Neverwhere. I had started to watch it once, thinking it was just a movie, and after a couple of episodes, had put it away and never finished it. So I finished it this weekend. I love the idea of London Below. And twenty years ago, Peter Capaldi was Not sure what word I want to use that's not going to detract from his current state. Well, okay, his nose was a mite less patrician (craggy? hatchet-like? beaky?) then. Mind you, I think that he's got a face that is made more for frowning ("Who frowned me this face?") than smiling -- when the Doctor smiles, it's scary. On the other hand, that might just be that acting thing; I haven't seen any interviews where he actually smiles or laughs.

I'm rambling. Anyway, I found some of the production values a bit dodgy, but enjoyed it nevertheless. I thought I had read the book, but apparently I never have.

Dinner has been postponed yet again, to tomorrow night, so I don't have to go out today at all -- except for walking Jack. There are chores I should be doing, papers that need to be sorted, a curtain to be hung in the back room, all sorts of cleaning that could be accomplished, but I have no ambition whatsoever. I expect I shall spend the day either playing dumb video games or watching DVDs. I don't even have the ambition necessary for reading. I had thought about making cookies for the combined Mardi Gras/Birthday Day at work tomorrow, but you know what? I don't feel like it. So they'll just have to do without.

I did try to get a bit of a feel for the new camera yesterday. I have had it for a week, but haven't really played with it yet. It's lighter than Marcello, and has an electronic viewfinder, rather than an optical one, which means that in order to use the viewfinder, I have to press a button to turn it on. That difference hadn't occurred to me when I bought it. All I saw was "viewfinder," which is a huge selling point for me. I don't like having just a screen. It has almost twice as much zoom on it as Marcello, so I might finally get some cardinal photos. (The cardinals run if you get too terribly close.) I did take some Teeny Tiny TARDIS photos with it yesterday....

I am debating whether or not to sign up for the Fic Exchange Formerly Known As Rarewomen. I didn't make any nominations this year, because I wasn't certain I wanted to sign up. There's time to think about it; sign-ups are open until the end of the month.

I am also debating whether or not I want to work OT next week. I am scheduled to work 9-5, I believe, and if I went in at 8:00, that'd probably work out nicely (except for Tuesday when I have to go to the doctor's office first thing). Wednesday is payroll, which means that I need to get all of my recerts and other regular monthly work off my desk and onto my senior's. I think I will not answer the phone tomorrow....
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It is Monday again. And the equinox, according to my calendar. Today's weather is certainly supposed to be autumnal: sunny, but only in the mid-50s. On the other hand, it's supposed to be back up into the high 70s by the weekend...when I will definitely have to patch the foundation and paint the ramp.

I have been thinking about home improvement projects this morning. I really, really, really (no, really!) want to pain the kitchen, and maybe change the hardware on the cabinets. And maybe paint the cabinets, though I'm not certain about that. My kitchen is ugly; there are no two ways about it. Panelling (and we know how I feel about that!) and brickface under the cabinets. Now, I like the brickface enough not to keep it. But I want to paint the panelling a cream color to match the "mortar" in the brickface, add a shelf (or two) over the stove and decorate with a sunflowery motif. Moving the stove and fridge has always been a sticking point, though. I suppose I could just shove a paint brush as far back beside the fridge as I could reach (it's in a recessed alcove) then maybe get my dad to help me move the stove out a bit so I can paint behind it and go from there.

I also considered painting my bookshelves this coming weekend and putting them back not in my office. My beloved bookshelves are basically just a bunch of inch-thick boards banged together (well, screwed together, actually, because someone is excessively fond of three-inch drywall screws). HTWIWM made them for me the first year we were together, when I lived in a tiny apartment in a duplex that had clearly been a single-family home until someone decided to wall off one of the upstairs bedrooms and put in a second kitchen and bathroom. Really. It was bathroom, kitchen, and living room downstairs, then the whole upstairs was a single room and when you went up the stairs, you could see where the door to the hallway (or possibly a closet) to the rest of the house used to be. Anyway. I love my bookshelves, because they hold hundreds of books. But they're still just boards. I never even stained them, let alone painted them. I dunno. That might be a too spur-of-the-moment project for me; I need time to plan.
In other news, the trip to Stony Brook was enjoyable, though the sun didn't come out until well after we got there. It's always interesting hiking in a place like that because you get stuck in with the same bunch of people. There was the guy with the tripod who, we later found out, was from Ohio and practicing waterfall photographs. (We got to talking at one of the waterfalls.) There was the family group where one of the young women was taking photos of the family at all of the prime photo locations (every bridge, each waterfall, etc.). There was the two women with the lab and three cane corsos (two pups). We talked a bit and I got a lovely shot of the lab (Luna), but couldn't get good shots of the puppies. There was the deaf group. As we were starting up the gorge, a group of Amish folk (probaby an extended family) was coming back down. There's nothing like an Amish family to make one acutely aware of one's bare legs when wearing shorts. I was setting up a TeenyTinyTARDIS shot as they were passing me, and their young girl-child was interested in the TARDIS, but her father (presumably) spoke rather sharply to her and pulled her on by. An older woman in the group did say hello to me when I politely greeted them. Eh, whatever.

Got lots of TeenyTinyTARDIS shots, enough to keep my Tumblr site busy for a couple of weeks, anyway. The rest of the photos are very disappointing, though. Most of them are blurry, and I should have realized at the time that they would be, since I could hear the slow shutter very well. I did get a couple of decent waterfall shots with the monopod, and most of my detail shots of plants and so on are okay, but otherwise? Bleah.

I am quite envious of BFT's new camera. It's a Fuji Finepix, and it has a 40X zoom, not all of which is digital. She was surprised to find that it weighs just as much as Marcello does, though it's slightly smaller. It has a lot of nice in-camera tricks, though, and it cost about the same price as my Tamron lens would have cost to replace. I am tempted.... After all, serious photographers have more than one camera, right? I can be serious. Look, here's my serious face. :-|
Yesterday, I had planned to make a quick run to McKinley, but when I went out for gas it was raining so hard that I changed my mind and came back home. The next time I looked out, the rain had let up. I waffled a bit, finally decided (fukkit!) to go...and the van wouldn't start. Completely dead. Didn't even hiccup. W, quoth I, TF?

Came back inside, dropped my purse off, sat down at my desk to think about whether to call my dad or AAA, decided, after about fifteen minutes, to gry it again...and it started right up. W, quoth I again, TF? At that point, though, I decided I didn't want to drive it out of town, so I went uptown to our pathetic excuse for a mall and just wandered around there.

My whole reason for going to McKinley, though, is that I have a $40 gift certificate for Pier 1 which cannot be used online and which expires in a couple of weeks. I am hoping to be able to run up this weekend. I may go on Saturday as things open earlier than on Sunday, and I just want to go up and back, not spend the day.

Though, as MyAuntie suggested, I should probably look and see if there was some disastrous occurrence yesterday between here and there that would account for the van's capricious-seeming behavior....
And, finally, I am worried about Sheila. Again. Some more. I have had to lift her three times this weekend to help her get her feet under her when it was time for her to get up. I have a band for that, but still. If she is unable to get up on her own.... *sigh*
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I woke up this morning over an hour later than normal and my first thought was that there was nothing that I had to do today. What a lovely thought. Of course, as soon as my brain engaged more fully, a neat list of all the things I do have to do today presented itself. In fact, I should be getting dressed so that I can go out and get groceries, but since it's Monday, it's less urgent than if it were Saturday. (If it were Saturday, I'd've wanted to leave the house an hour ago.)

So...groceries. Pack up the lens -- which is under warranty, and the warranty is now registered -- and get it shipped to Tamron. Pack up another box or two in the garage because my recycling and garbage bins still need to be put away. Try to figure out a menu for this week (after getting groceries), because this trying to figure out what I'm going to make for dinner after I get home from work leads to having either a bowl of cereal or a Quarter Pounder. Find the surface of my desk. I'm pretty sure it's under all those papers somewhere.

That ought to keep me busy for a bit.

(Oh, I took the day off.)

There was someplace close to home that I considered going for TeenyTinyTARDIS photos, and I cannot remember now where it was. All I remember is a line of landscaping boulders. That's aggravating. I would like to take some on campus, but not while there are students everywhere. Though there are plenty of places on campus where there wouldn't be students, as I well remember from my own days there.

BFT and I talked about going to Stony Brook this weekend. I hope I have the lens back by then. Their turnaround time is three days, but if I ship it priority, they still won't get it until Wednesday, so I wouldn't have it back until Monday. Ah, well. We might not go, anyway; it's supposed to be quite cool this weekend.

Next weekend is Harvest Raid over in Heronter. It's a camping event, but when I go, I just go for Saturday. I haven't been in a couple of years, so I'm considering going this year. But...the few times I have gone, I have spent all my time on the archery range. I'm not sure I want to do that, but I don't know that there's anyone for me to hang out with, either. Six years in the SCA, and I still know only a handful of people. Maybe I should just take the camera and wander around for a few hours, then come home, without even staying for court. The last time I got persuaded to stay for court, there was a knighting and I didn't get home until two hours later than I intended.

Speaking of handfuls, tomorrow night is our own shire's business meeting. We're supposed to be redrafting the bylaws. I keep reminding people that they really need to be there for this, but I know that I'll only get the Usual Suspects, and possibly not even all of them.

I don't understand the hate I'm seeing for "Robot of Sherwood." It wasn't meant to be anything more than a romp, and I thought it was fun. It's interesting that that nice coat of the Doctor's still has Pockets of Holding -- where else was he keeping that gauntlet?...and was that a package of Saltines? I do find, though, that I am missing a lot of the dialogue. I used to look up transcripts; I should start doing that again.
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It seems unfair that it's already September. Just...unfair.

Well. The garage is, in the main, sorted. I have to figure out what to do with a few things, but mostly what is left is moving stuff from the house to the breezeway for staging. The breezeway is once again full of empty boxes and because of the holiday, my garbage/recycling won't be picked up until Friday morning. Ah, well. Those boxes will probably end up full of crap again, anyway.

The house did not cool down again overnight, so Sheila is panting like a heavily panting thing. There was a bit of a storm around 1:30, so I turned the fan off and mostly closed the back door. It was too late by then, of course; the backroom floor was wet. Still, I turned the fan back on around 3:30, but I didn't open the door again until I got up at 5:30. I have two fans going right now. Since I will be working today, it doesn't really matter to me whether or not the house cools down, but it would be nice for Sheila if I could get a couple more degrees down since I won't leave a fan running when I'm not here.

My parents came down yesterday afternoon so that Dad could take a look at the hole in the foundation. Turns out it's not a hole. It's a cavity, for sure, but it doesn't go all the way through. He says a little bit of quick set (?) and it'll be fine. So I guess I need to stop at Home Depot. Not this week, though.

And I have Mom's all-important approval of my new chair. I'm so relieved.

The Tamron lens saga is not yet ended. Their website states that buying a lens via online auction automatically voids the warranty. I bought the lens via eBay, but I bought it from a brick-and-mortar shop that was running auctions. (That is, a reputable vendor, not just some dude off the street.) So I have an email in to them now to see if that really means there's no warranty on the lens. If there isn't, I will probably opt to replace it rather than have it repaired.

BFT is looking to get a new camera; she's looking at a little Canon Powershot that actually has a viewfinder. The only con I can see to it is that it runs on AAs. She can use rechargeables, of course, but I'm not a fan of AAs; my first digital camera ate them like Pac-Man eating pellets. On the other hand, that was well over a decade ago, and this one only takes two instead of four.

Right. I guess I had better get a move on, eh? I finally got a new print cartridge (this trying to live without using credit cards thing sucks) and I'd like to print some new photos for my gallery (aka my filing cabinet at work).

To Vacate

Jul. 13th, 2014 10:52 am
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I am vacating. It is lovely. The drive to get to my aunt and uncle's house seemed longer than it usually does, but I am not certain why. I got out of town at almost the precise minute I wanted to, partly because I didn't sleep, so I got up at 3:38 a.m. Because I left so early, I got to watch moonset as I drove west, and I saw bits of sunrise in my mirrors. Of course, I saw all kinds of lovely photo I zipped by them. I made it here just a few minutes after 1:00 p.m., my aunt spotted the van at the next intersection while they were giving the dogs their after-lunch walkies.

We went uptown to the art show which was the reason that I picked this weekend to visit. It was so muggy that I could feel my bangs curling. Today is supposed to be much the same, but then temperatures are supposed to start falling, until Wednesday when it's only supposed to be in the 60s. I packed everything from sandals to mukluks.

This morning, I am remembering how frustrating it is to edit photos with GIMP when one is used to Photoshop. (I wasn't able to install Photoshop on my laptop because the disk made an awful noise and killing my then-brand-new laptop seemed like a Bad Idea. I thought I could use DPP, but I couldn't find any cropping or sizing tools with that. Maybe I just missed them. Any ideas?

I am feeling kind of bad because this week's LJ Idol voting is community-only and we're supposed to send in our top 30 pics. I will not have time to read anything at all this week. So I guess I won't vote at all, rather than just pick 29 names at random (and myself, of course). (It's entirely possible that I am not properly entering into the spirit of the thing.)

I'm not certain what the plan is for today. That there is one, I do not doubt because my aunt and uncle save up all the things they want to do until I come out....

Also? This scrub top would make for excellent pajamas if it was a leeeeetle bit softer.

Also, also? I am wishing I had brought Sheila, but I can't decide if that's selfish of me or not.
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I have just finished breakfast (ham and cheese omelette with a multi-grain English muffin and half a tomato, sliced) and am debating whether or not to go dry my hair (currently still wrapped in a towel from my shower), put on shoes, and take my camera out to the county building to get photos of the pinwheels in morning light. I could also stop and get a couple of shots of the cute little red-and-yellow caboose that has been sitting at the rail yard for the last few days, and maybe drive around the bend and stop on the bridge and get some shots of the rail yard from above. I also need to take a few more TeenyTinyTARDIS photos for Tumblr. Or maybe some TeenyTinyDalek photos, though I'm not certain I'm going to post them with the TTT photos.

That I am even contemplating it shows that I am a lot more energetic this morning than I usually am on a Sunday. (If I were really energetic, I'd walk to do all of this, but then Gimpy Leg would have a fit. It's bad enough that GL was having fits last night after I spent all day at my desk where the chair is just slightly too high and having my feet up on a stool doesn't cut it anymore. I need a new desk.) Of course, I also have plans for later, and that helps. The first showing of Captain America is at noon, and I'm planning to be there, since they don't have a super-cheap-between-4:30-and-6:00 showing of the 2D version. (Can't stand 3D.)

Most of yesterday was spent in contemplation of this week's LJI topic -- even while I was doing my chores -- then in the writing of same. I have a draft which I will polish a bit then post later. It's better than last week's, I think. Has fewer photos, anyway.

Last night I rewatched The Wolverine (is there a "the" in the title?). Somehow, I had managed to miss the post-credits scene the first time I watched it. (It's not really a "post"-credits scene, though.) I should know better than that with a Marvel movie. This one sets up X-Men: Days of Future Past. I have to say that the special effects of Professor X moving his wheelchair around all the frozen people in the airport were...not good, and made me wonder if Patrick Stewart was even there for the scene or whether they pasted him in later.

I came quite close to applying to adopt a dog yesterday. The girl in question is a Komondor (currently clipped so that her eyes show, and I'd have to keep her that way), and the way she was described made her sound like a perfect dog for both me and Sheila. And probably the cats, too. And the fact that her name is the same as my aunt's was just an amusing bonus. But the adoption fee was nearly $500 -- for logical reasons (this is a pretty big rescue organization) -- and I just don't have that. Well, I do, but it would seriously set certain things back if I were to use it. There was a lot of interest in her in the FB post, so I'm guessing she won't stay unadopted for long.


Mar. 26th, 2014 07:35 am
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I have discovered that people at work think that the photos I hang up in my "gallery" (the side of my filing cabinet facing traffic) are just pictures I found somewhere that I like. They're always astonulized to find out that they're my photos. So I decided to print a bunch that I've taken around the office and/or building. Like of the steam tower that everyone sees as they walk in, or the tree out in the field, or the flowers that someone had the other day. Because it's not just mountains and lakes that are visually interesting. (I have a picture of the tower from the side that I took a month or so ago on a morning when it was barely above zero, and the trees nearby are covered in frost, while the sky is bright blue. Gorgeous, even if it is a steam tower.)

I suppose it's technically showing off. People keep telling me I should do it professionally, and I keep asking them if they're going to pay my mortgage while I'm out taking pictures.
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So...longing, longing, longing for time off...and I don't know what to do with myself. Oh, I could clean the house, do yard work (massive amounts of yard work), go shopping, go photo-hiking, go garage sale-ing, but.... Eh. I'll figure something out. Since this is the last weekend of summer (unless you have a calendar and know how to use it), maybe I should try to fit in all those things I was going to do this summer and didn't. Or maybe I should just go sit on the patio all weekend, since I didn't manage to do any of that, either, partly because Sheila no longer seems willing to just flop on the ground outside. She paces until I bring her back in the house.

I can't decide whether or not to start my laundry. The weather forecast is calling for scattered thunderstorms, which generally means that we won't get anything...unless we rely on not getting anything. Tomorrow's forecast is for isolated thunderstorms, so maybe I should wait. Besides, it's so humid right now that I'm not certain laundry would dry. It didn't cool down in the house much overnight; it was 78° when I went to bed and 75° when I got up. I have the house opened up wide and the fan still going because it's 72° outside, though that won't last. The air is just too heavy to move through the house, I guess.

I finished editing my vacation photos last night, so I'm ready to go again. I can't decide whether some of the blurry photos I took of the carousel in motion are good-blurry or bad-blurry. There's one that I rather like in which MyNuncle is riding the carousel and smiling as he goes by but he's blurry, too. (I was practicing panning with the little camera.) The other shots I have of him on the carousel, he's taking pictures of me right back. (We do Dueling Cameras reasonably often.)

Maybe I should just flop on the couch with that disk of Downton Abbey that arrived from Netflix the other day.... (No, I haven't seen it before.)
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One of the commandments from photography class was "Thou shalt shoot always in RAW. RAW RAW RAW!" (Unless, of course, your camera does not allow for it, or you have space constraints. Otherwise, RAW RAW RAW!) I finally remembered to change my settings the other day...only to discover that my version of Photoshop (which is quite old) will not open a RAW file, nor will Windows Explorer, nor will the version of GIMP that I have (which I would have sworn could work with RAW files). Fortunately, I was able to locate the disks that came with my camera and install DPP (which is what the teachers were using)...wherein I converted the RAW files to JPEG and went back to Photoshop so that I didn't have to learn new software.

I have to say, though, that I was pleased with the richness and definition of the resulting images, even if JPEG is a lossy format (as everyone is constantly saying), because when you start with huge files to begin with, you can afford to lose some.

Then I learned something new about my camera: Apparently, when switching to RAW, one is not applying a universal setting, but only setting it for that particular shooting mode. I had set it to RAW in aperture mode, so when I switched back to Auto...I ended up shooting JPEGs. I had wanted to see what Auto made of the RAW setting.... Oh, well. Live and learn, as they say.
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It seems that I will not be quitting soda cold after all. I've managed to have one soda per day for the last several. Actually, I think I had two yesterday, but I did go to the movies last evening. So I am swilling water this morning...and not happy about it. Ah, well. Also, I seem to be thirstier now that I am drinking more water. Doesn't it just figure?

After a quiet, house-bound day on Saturday, in which I tried to figure out how to Clean All The Things all at once, yesterday was relatively busy. I went out to my favorite cemetery in the morning, getting there at around 7:35. The sun was already bright, and I discovered that pictures I would have thought were acceptable a couple of months ago no longer please me. The sun was too bright even at that hour. The next time I go into the old section, I will have to do it in the late afternoon or early evening when the whole area will be shaded by the ginormous pines that separate the area from everything else. I spent about an hour and twenty minutes there. It was cool, but since I was moving, it was okay. BFT was there much later in the morning planting flowers, and the wind had come up, and she said she froze. But I wasn't on my knees in one place, as she was, and it wasn't windy when I was there. It was busy, though, even at that hour of the morning; I noticed quite a large number of cars. Memorial Day weekend and all. No one came into the old section, though a few of the graves did have new flags. None of the graves there are newer than about WWI-era, and most are Victorian-era.

The back yard got mown; that did happen in the wind, but, again, I was moving, so it wasn't bad. Other than it being a chore, of course. And I discovered that sometime between me mowing and the hour or two later that I let Sheila out, the rabbits had gone and dug a birthing pit near last years. I was vastly annoyed. I can't really think of any way of getting rid of the Fuzzy Vermin that wouldn't endanger Sheila. I mean, other than getting a sight-hound to run them down...and then I'd be out in the yard trying to get Fuzzy Vermin carcases away from a dog again. (Cruiser frequently had to be scruffed and shaken before he'd let a carcas go. He didn't really want to eat it, but he was damned proud of himself for catching hisself a bunny, Woman, look!)

I am only about a third of the way through trying to salvage yesterday's photos. Washing the color out in Photoshop is helping with some of them. I took a lot of pinhole-filter pics with Cellino, and those seem to have turned out mostly all right, but I haven't gotten to those yet; I'm still working on Marcello's.

My mother sent me an email detailing all the checks I am going to have to write on my grandmother's behalf in the next two weeks. I am considering an experiment in which I put a small amount of cash in an envelope from which people may draw without yapping at me every third day for a check. A receipt would have to go into the envelope, though, and the first time the receipts didn't match up to what was in the envelope, the envelope would go away.

Mom is also yapping (good word) about how she's definitely going to have to put an ad in the paper about the car because there's been no interest shown in the three days it has been on Craigslist. Seems to me that three days is not that long a time, besides which, it's a holiday weekend, fercryinoutloud. Did she seriously think it was going to sell right off the bat? Especially with what we're asking for it?

*sigh* And I have the dubious pleasure of waiting for them to show up out of the blue at my house again today, because whatever little bit or bob that they picked up for me at garage sale yesterday was not waiting for me when I got home from the movies last night. (And, yes, I am an ungrateful wretch about it because it's going to be something that I neither need nor want, but that my mother thinks is cute or something.)
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • The sky was pink when I got up this morning. It got even pinker while I was standing outside with the dog. I thought the sun had risen straight into clouds, as the pink went away and wasn't replaced by gold, but it appears to be sunny out now. Forecast does say "sunny" today. (Actually, the forecast has a picture of a sun, because apparently "sunny" is too hard a word to read.)

  • Last photography class last night. Our homework was to take a couple of photos in to discuss them. I didn't have time to take anything new this weekend (I really didn't!) so I grabbed a couple of my favorites from Italy, from Lake Michigan, and then had whatever else was on the flash drive. Teacher Number Two told me I "have a really good eye for composition" which gave me the warm fuzzies. Eye, yes. Technical skills? Not so much. But that's okay. He also told the class in general that we would shortly start looking at pictures and knowing what we could have done to make them better.

  • Honestly, my Italy photos? I was trying to take good photos as much as vacation snaps.

  • In my evaluation, I suggested that perhaps BOCES should teach some language classes. I'd like a formal opportunity to brush up on my relearn French before the Paris trip in two years. (We were told to suggest anything, not just additional photography classes. Naturally, my mind went blank, and all I could think of was Basket Weaving!)

  • Mother really is oblivious to social cues, at least those from me. She sings her hellos into my answering machine, and when I pick up and say, "What" as rudely as possible, she only says, "Ah, you are home." What she was calling about? To see if I found the paperwork that was shoved in my door and practically fell in my face the other night. You know, I have a client that does that, too. She has to submit paperwork on a monthly basis, and when she brings it in, she gets a freakin' receipt, and yet she still calls every single goddamned month to see if I got the paperwork. You got a receipt! If I didn't get the paperwork, it's my problem, not yours. As far as Mother and the papers she dropped off, I probably do not need to keep, in perpetuity, a receipt for heartworm testing and medications. Just email me the check number and amount and STOP COMING TO MY HOUSE EVERY OTHER DAY.

  • I am a bit disturbed by the other paperwork I found stuck in my door that purports to be from the town water department telling me that they need me to schedule an appointment so someone can come in and replace some parts in my water meter. Seems to me that an official document a) shouldn't be in all-caps, b) should be on letterhead, c) should have fewer spelling errors, and d) should include a telephone number for the actual department, not a cell number. Since there was a water department truck in the neighborhood the same day, I'll call the department (using the number from the phone book) and see if it's a legitimate thing, and then bitch about having to take a day off work for this. While replacing parts every twenty years whether they need it or not might be good maintenance, it's certainly a pain in the ass for residents. (Also, seriously? They expect people to be ready to have a town worker come into their houses at 7:00 a.m.?!?)

  • There was a shire meeting scheduled for last night. I can't tell from various FB posts whether or not any business was actually conducted (bylaws state that five card-holding members must actually be present for business to be conducted), but I couldn't have gone anyway due to class. I still haven't decided whether or not to continue with the shire.
malinaldarose: (Default)
This afternoon, Sheila had an appointment with a vet tech (less expensive than a vet appointment) to have blood drawn and her nails clipped. A while back, I bought some steps so she would be able to get into and out of the van...she wouldn't go anywhere near them. She managed to get her front half into the van, but couldn't get her rear legs up, so I had to half-lift her in. Could've been worse, I suppose. She did get too excited about getting out when we got there and frog-dogged in the parking lot. Actually, it was less frog dog and more Bambi on ice. Poor thing.

Somewhere along the line, she had also picked up a tick -- on her eyebrow of all places! -- so that came off (nasty things) and I came home with a box of Advantix (plus two free doses, since I bought an entire box). So it was not as inexpensive an appointment as I had hoped and we have to go back next month when she will be due for shots. (If I had known when I made the appointment, I'd've combined 'em.)

Tonight is the last night of photography class. We're supposed to take two photos with us and be prepared to discuss them. I have been entirely too busy this last week to even consider it. Maybe I'll take along a couple of the shots I submitted to the National Geographic contest last fall.

And speaking of photos, one of my coworkers stopped me yesterday to ask where it was that I went on my vacation last summer. When I confirmed it was Italy (as she thought she remembered), she told me about the project that her daughter is working on for school, all about Italy. Well, strictly speaking, she is working on it for her daughter. And, really, it does seem like rather a hefty amount of work for an eight year old. Not only does she have to prepare a spoken presentation accompanied by a visual presentation, she has to know about Italian food, government, money, language, and various other aspects. I never had a project like that until I was in high school (this child is in third grade). Anyway, long story short, I gave her some of my pictures of Pisa and the Colo Colli Flavian Amphitheater, and a handful of the coins I brought home. Alas, most of the coins I had weren't minted in Italy, but in Greece, I think. The teeny-tiny penny was Italian (it had a picture of the Colo Colli Flavian Amphitheater on the back). The report back this morning was that she was pleased to get the pictures, but when she found out that they were taken by someone who was actually in Italy, OMG!, she was utterly delighted.

And, lo, my photographs are a success.
malinaldarose: (Default)
I have hunted successfully this morning and returned to the cave with food for another week. And also a few photography bits and bobs. I bought a Gorillapod. It's a silly thing, and it didn't occur to me until after I got home that Marcello might be too heavy for it. Still, I suppose I can use it with Cellino when I set up still lifes (still lives?). I was also going to get a thumb drive for picture storage, but they were all on locked pegs and there was absolutely no one -- except me -- anywhere near the electronics department. And yet there were memory cards on plain pegs. Well, some of them, anyway, and there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to which were locked and which were not. I bought a couple of 8-giggers from an unlocked peg; one for Marcello and one for Cellino. Still to acquire: a remote and a proper flash, but the latter is not something I feel the need of immediately. Oh, and a UV filter.

Work yesterday was...relatively quiet, actually. I heard nothing from upstairs on my fair hearing case, so I am assuming that the adjournment was granted. I never got a chance to work on the case until late afternoon, anyway, because I needed a complete accounting from the nursing home and the accountant there was compiling the information for me. I did discuss it with my senior, and in the end, it turned out to be relatively easy, though fiddly, and required several budgets and three different letters. And then I have to close the case because the client has died. (The state "closed" the case, but, as usual, they did it incorrectly, and it's not actually closed. Closing, but not closed.)

My contact at Dept of Aging sent me some information on one of the local Stay Out Of The Nursing Home options; rather than trying to mail it to MyAuntie, I laid it all out on the dining room table, took pictures of the pages, and emailed them to her. It was just like taking spy pictures, except that Cellino is in no way miniature. Small, yes. Miniature, no. Auntie asked me to deliver them to Grama, and since I was planning to visit last evening, anyway, I did.

That was an unsettling visit. Grama sat in her chair, watching TV and fiddling with the remote control, and barely spoke to me. She looks so much now like her mother, my great grandmother. I ended up talking to my sister, who is staying there for the next week. Gram is going to be having a home health aide in for an hour or so on a daily basis starting today. Plus my brother is still spending three hours a day with her (all right. My brother is an asshole, and may have an angle, but he has certainly been devoted to Gram since Grampa died). Mom and Auntie check in all the I'm the Bad One, I guess, because I don't rearrange my life to dance attendance. As unsettled as I was by the whole evening, I got home to find email from Auntie saying that Grama seemed much improved over the morning when she talked to her on the phone. Oh, really?

My sister is returning to Alaska ahead of schedule because after a couple of months, their personal property has finally been delivered from Texas, just in time for Number Four to be discharged. Now that they've got their stuff, they're going to have to close up the house and get it all back here. They're moving back; Bird even suggested that I might get Number Four to do some of the work on the house. I flat-out told her that I didn't want some dude who was having problems with my sister fucking up my house. It's fucked up enough, thank you very much. Besides, I can't afford to pay him. Throw some food at him, she told me, and he'd be fine. Besides, he might fall off your roof and break his neck.

All righty then.

Long weekend commences. Chores, bill paying, photos, maybe some more shredding, dinner out with BFT this evening. I thought today was supposed to be reasonably sunny and warm, but so far, it's grey and cold. I think photos will be set up indoors today. Maybe I'll go back to the leaky faucet, as I still haven't gotten what I wanted from that.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • Sometimes, it seems like the week revolves around Thursdays....

  • Arrived home for lunch yesterday to a message from my mother: Gram was back in the ER with another TIA. Arrived home from photography class to a message from my dad that she was home. No idea what else he was saying, he hung up mid-word.

  • Teacher 1's mother died Monday, so he was not at class last night. Teacher 2 (not, strictly speaking, a teacher at all, just helping out) agreed to cover for a couple of weeks. We discussed portraiture (in which I am not at all interested) last night, and he gave us homework: go out and take pictures and be prepared to share a few and discuss technique.

  • I need to purchase a few things for the camera this weekend. Good thing tomorrow is pay day.

  • There's a case at work heating up, but fortunately, nothing that is my fault. This one is all on the client's family, and the county attorney is getting involved, so all ducks must be in a row (and, presumably, quacking).

  • It rained yesterday. A lot. No, more than that. My side yard and driveway were flooded, and I was beginning to wonder if the water would go high enough to start to creep into the garage. And yet, so far, the basement doesn't seem to be wet where water manages to get in. Probably later today, though. And I'll probably have new water stains on the ceilings in the two places (my bedroom and the backroom) where there a leaks in the roof.

  • Recent events have left me thinking about buying Grama's house again. (I would have to buy it.) Despite the fact that my grandmother's house is much nicer than mine, I really don't want to live there. Yes, she's right by the river, so I could walk on the dikes and have all sorts of nice picture opportunities, and yes, she has a Real Fence (unlike mine, which is really glorified chicken wire), but the house is slightly smaller than mine, and it's inside the city limits, and the neighbors are right on top of the house, and it's quite a lot farther from work -- I wouldn't be comfortable getting home for lunch because it would probably take ten extra minutes to negotiate noontime traffic., I don't think so.

  • Merlin is lurking, just waiting for me to get up from my desk chair so that he can have it.
malinaldarose: (Default)
Thursday evening. That means that tomorrow is Friday. Blessed, blessed Friday.

The office has calmed down a bit in the last day and a half. This did not stop me from buying large Cadbury bars and taking them in, one for each of my unit-mates and one for me to enjoy this evening. Tomorrow may include doughnuts....

The trouble I was in was not resolved and is still hanging over my head. Grandsupervisor wants to meet on Monday, so I have all weekend to look forward to her disappointed look and gentle lecture. All I can say is that if attorneys and outside agencies would stop trying to do my job and let me get on with it, things would go a lot more smoothly.

Photography class last night was all about motion. Freezing it, blurring it, and panning to capture an object in motion. They had duct-taped a bicycle wheel between two desks so that it could spin freely, and we took pictures of that. They also had a Thomas the Tank Engine toy train that people practiced panning on. The whole class was there last night, though, so it was difficult to find a spot to practice the panning. I am probably going to acquire some small moving toy myself this weekend and practice panning on the dining room table (because if I try it anywhere else, I'll have cats "helping" me).

There was also some discussion of macro photography, the state names on $5 bills, extension tubes, neutral density filters, and tripods with screws on the bottom of the middle column so that you can set cameras near ground level without breaking your knees (I have to get me one of those....).

After class, I arrived home to find a package in the breezeway. I was expecting packages (the eternal quest for comfy sneakers), but I was pretty sure I hadn't ordered anything from Amazon...nor had I. It was misdelivered. So I ended up meeting my neighbor's neighbor's Italian greyhound last evening. I had thought that Italian greyhounds were regular-sized, but they're not. They're quite short. She was very excited to have company, though, especially company that was willing to pet her.

Sign of a Dog Person: Her name is Lucy, but I have no idea what her Woman's name is....
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • It's Monday. I am having Monday Thoughts. (Your basic mix of "I don' wanna" and "I hate my job" and "Why can't I retire" and "When will this winter end.")

  • There is a picture of the St. Joe lighthouse (the outer light, not the inner one) covered in frozen spray making the rounds of Facebook. I pointed it out to MyNuncle and he posted his own photograph of the pier taken from Silver Beach. The lake was beyond choppy and right into storm-tossed, and spray was overtopping the outer light. "This is why I don't go out on the pier for close-ups," he said. Yeah, I can see that. To actually go out on the pier between the inner and outer lights, one has to walk a ledge at the side of the inner light that is...not wide. It's bad enough on a calm summer's evening (when I was there). During the winter? Hell, no. Though possibly the lake was frozen and the guy just walked out on the ice.

  • I am trying to decide when to go to Michigan this year. My usual week will be taken up with the trip to Montreal. Maybe June. Maybe August. I prefer to go when it's warm enough that I don't have to pack sweaters and sweats or a coat (and sometimes in June, it's still too cool for me), though I will probably take light sweats, as MyAuntie doesn't do heat, and they have air conditioning....

  • It occurred to me yesterday that since I now have an internet-enabled Blu-Ray player and Netflix, I could actually ditch most of the VHS tapes that I have been holding onto for decades. I bought my first VCR in 1987 (or thereabouts) and have been recording shows religiously ever since. Many of them, I have since purchased on DVD, but things like the various Star Treks were always too expensive, so I never bought them (well, I did buy classic Trek because I found a deal, but I think it's "enhanced" classic Trek, or whatever, so it's annoying, because I'm a purist. I taped the entire runs of Voyager and DS9 off late-night TV about a decade ago (and have never watched them, go figure)). But I've been watching a bit of Next Gen via Netflix (enough to realize that the HD makes some of the makeup effects rather obvious), and...yeah. I have boxes and boxes and shelves filled with stuff I taped...and I could ditch most of it. I wonder if VHS tapes are recyclable as is, or if you have to pull the tape out of them?

  • Right. Time to find something to wear....
malinaldarose: (hate_snow)
Spring had better arrive in the next two weeks; I have an appointment in Rochester coming up early next month, and I don't want to have to reschedule it (since it has been scheduled for a year, and I wouldn't get in for six months) due to snow. Today's highlight is also an appointment which necessitates me leaving work early. Yay for leaving work early. I'm debating working through the lunch hour and just leaving at 2:00, rather than going for lunch and coming back for an hour and leaving at 3:00. That just seems stupid, but it will depend on what my senior has to say about it.

Photography class was much better populated last night. The woman who only understood the difference between RAW and jpeg when I told her to consider how chicken (RAW) shrinks when you cook it (jpeg) was not there, though the other two people she had come with were, so maybe she'll be there next week. We had sort of a split class; while Teacher 1 caught up the folks who weren't there last week, Teacher 2 discussed depth of field with the rest of us. They had set up a series of soda bottles a foot apart from each other, and we were to focus on the middle bottle and take a series of photos in aperture priority with various f-stops. Then we pulled the card and T2 showed us the photos on the projection screen. I couldn't seem to get live view to work in my camera after the first shot, though; not sure what was up with that. Still, I probably wouldn't use it, anyway, so....

T2 also drew a circles-in-circle diagram to demonstrate how we could remember aperture size without trying to remember that it's the inverse of the setting (larger number, smaller aperture). That made more sense than trying to wrap our brains around numbers; I wasn't the only one who thought so. Then it occurred to me that if f2 produced a shallow depth of field and f32 was the opposite, then it was like a two-foot pond versus a 32-foot lake. That helped, too. In fact, both teachers said they were going to steal that analogy.

I did spend some time this past week trying to learn the controls on the camera, but when faced with them in class, I couldn't quite remember all of them. Still, I did better than I had done before. Apparently next week we're going to do the rolling tire photos. I need to transfer my class notes to my big notebook; writing them out a second time will help me remember them. Maybe this afternoon when I leave work early.

There is a lake effect snow warning in effect until tomorrow lunchtime. Not, mind you, that we tend to get lake effect snow this far from any lakes, but still. It's only supposed to be in the mid-20s today, with yet more snow. Do. Not. Want. Though I suppose it's better if it gets it out of its system now, rather than being 75° now, and then snowing on the just-blossoming fruit trees in another month or so, like last year. I had no grapes at all on my vines (which are generally pretty good producers) last year because of the late freeze.

Tonight's plan: The Hobbit. My pre-ordered copy arrived yesterday (only my second blu-ray disk; I continue to buy DVDs of most things), but I couldn't watch it last night because of class. There will be popcorn. There might even be Raisinets. There will almost certainly be cats, because Kethri likes to snuggle down right next to me (or on my lap, if Merlin doesn't claim it first) and Merlin likes my lap. I frequently have to restrain myself from dumping them both off, because that sort of packish behavior does still drive me up the tree most of the time.
malinaldarose: (Default)
  • I will probably not take a photograph of the first day of spring. I have enough photographs of snow....

  • Photography class tonight. I will have an hour to get home from work (since I'm getting out at 5:00 tonight, instead of 4:00), feed the critters, feed myself, out Sheila, then drive back across town to the school. Wheeee! I suspect I'm going to be a little late this week.

  • We're supposed to be working with shutter speed tonight. Teacher 1 promised to bring a tire up and roll it around the class.

  • It occurred to me to wonder the other night why the SGC didn't bring the DHD from the Antarctica stargate and hook it up to the original gate. Using a DHD is ever so much faster than their "MacGyvered" computer system for dialing. Of course, they never show the gates with DHDs spinning when they dial, either.

  • It also occurred to me to wonder when, exactly, they made up the title sequences for the first couple of seasons, because they have clips in them from very late in the season or even the beginning of season 2. I have observed that most shows have clips from the first six episodes or so, because that's how much they shoot before the show actually airs. I never saw Stargate until Sci Fi picked it up in the sixth season, so it could have been then, I suppose.

  • My grandmother had another "episode" the other morning. My mom thinks it was just low blood sugar, not a TIA, and Gram had a doctor appointment later in the morning, anyway, so no hospitals were involved. Doc said to move her bedroom downstairs, and for her to take all her meds like a good girl. Mom and Dad moved her bedroom downstairs to the music room (no, I do not want the organ; I don't even really want my piano). There can't be much other than the bed in there, though, because that room was a closet to begin with, before Grampa did some remodeling when I was a tiny kid (I remember getting into that room through the bathroom).

  • I am reading a fan novel about the young days of Captain Jack Harkness, before he was Jack, when he was still just a kid from the Boeshane Peninsula. Ianto Jones is heavily involved, and both the First Doctor (with Susan) and the Tenth Doctor (without Susan, and after Donna) make appearances. The story just crossed Children of Earth and changed two of the major events from that. It's very well-written and I find that I don't want to go to work this morning until I have finished it...which I might be able to manage, actually.

  • It also occurred to me to wonder, a while back, why we assume that William Hartnell's Doctor was actually the original, that is, the Doctor as he was born. It was never explicitly stated, I thought, then I remembered that it was, actually, in "The Five Doctors," though it was William Hartnell's replacement (Richard Hurndall? Was that his name?) who said it. Still. It might be interesting if the incarnation we think of as the first was actually the tenth. Or the twelfth. (Obviously not, though, as every time Eleven flashes ID, it has William Hartnell's face on it.)

  • I hear snowblowers.

  • Which is better than seeing dead people, I suppose.


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