[Taken 03.01.05 | Sea Grass | San Diego, CA ]
It is Friday and I am out of here. I am going home where I will throw clothes, books, DVDs, games, and camera equipment into a duffle bag, and then John and I are hitting the road. His folks from Kalamazoo are going to a resort near Oxford, and we are meeting them there for fun and frolicking. And this resort - the Hueston Woods Resort - looks majorly cool and there seems to be a ton of stuff to do around there, so I am sure that good times will certainly be had by all.
Plus, I think I just need to get out of town for the weekend. Ya know?
[Taken 20.01.05 | Spotlight | Centerville, OH]
So work has been pretty hectic lately... I have been working on a UI spec that continually threatens to run over 100 pages long, and this is complicated by the fact that not only is the prototype cranky about properly parsing the variables that cause the pages to display correctly (which means that when I go to pull a screen shot for the spec, there is about a 50% chance that something about the page will be flat out wrong), but the UR* and BR* people keep changing their minds about important stuff, like the format of the page navigation, and piddly stuff, like the precise wording on the pages. This means it is a constant race to keep current with the latest decision. My co-worker T~ sits in the cube next to mine and has the unfortunate task of coding the prototype. Every time we get an email about yet another 'little adjustment', I can hear him mutter "shit", and then (louder) "pardon my french", because he knows I hear him. In cubeland, you take your entertainment where you can get it.
* = annoying corporate acronyms... user requirements and business requirements,
~ = name disguised to protect the guilty
Update on the 620 film for the Kodak Brownie: I finally called the photo store that I got it from, as the rolls of film arrived wrapped in tinfoil, which concerned me a bit. I wanted to make sure that when I peeled the wrapping off, I wouldn't ruin the film. Turns out that I need to unwrap the film and load the camera in totally lightless conditions. Sunuvabitch. It has been ages since I went into a darkroom, turned off all of the lights, and fumbled around with film. That was just to rolll 35mm film onto spools for development. Very easy. And now I get to not only load film into a camera, but load it into a completely unfamiliar camera to boot? Well... we will see how it goes.
[Taken 12.12.05 | Tree Rings | Centerville, OH]
John and I have a lot of computers hanging around our apartment - five at the last count - and not all of them are networked together. Add to this a very nice networkable laser printer that also needs a network to be on... well, John's mission, should he choose to accept it, is to network the hell out of our apartment. He wants to low-level format and reinstall the operating systems on both of my computers, because last time we tried to network them (way back when I lived in Park Point in Ann Arbor) we couldn't get them to talk to each other. Diagnosis, system error. I needed to back up all vital information (image files, documents, financial info, Mozilla bookmarks, my Diablo II character) before I was willing to put my computers in John's hands. And since I wasn't about to burn the information onto a bazillion CDROMs, John got me a 160G external hard drive. It was designed by Porsche.
My other hard drive is a Porsche. Well, the case was designed by Porsche. The drive itself is a Maxtor. I am not even sure if the Porsche who designed the case is the same Porsche that designs cars. I like to think it is, because that would be cool.
[Taken 24.01.05 | Night in the Park | Centerville, OH]
I have been doing a lot of shirking this week. Not at work - oh no - the expected tidal wave of mockups, prototyping, and specs has hit there, but at home in the evenings. During work I jot down lists of things "to do" (I am a compulsive list-maker) when I get home, and inevitably when I do get home the list gets chucked and I park myself on the couch and proceed to devour book after book. Last night, for example, I estimate that I read about 700 pages ... 1 and 3/4 books. The only reason I didn't finish that second book is that I eventually noticed that it was after midnight, and reluctantly decided that I needed to get enough sleep so that I would be functional at work. Prediction for tonight? More of the same. I really ought to get my butt over to the gym in my complex so that I can at least burn calories on the exercise bike or stair climber while I read.
Monday? Valentine's Day? It was nice. I got home at 9:00 after work/errands/dance class. I brought home a bottle of wine and John made dinner. And I got chocolate. Then I won a couple of games of cribbage. How does it get better then that?
[Taken 22.12.04 | Shadowsl | Centerville, OH]
Saturday was a good day - the weather was warm and gorgeous, my folks came down for a visit and we went to dinner at Pacchia, and I found out that one of my photographs was accepted for exhibition in the 15th Annual Dayton Works on Paper show.
Life is good.
I submitted three of my photographs for consideration in the show: a black and white of the wharf at Monterey, a colored shot of trees reflected in flowing water, and a black and white shot down a historic street in Edinburgh. The Edinburgh shot is the one that got in. Which is pretty cool. According to the letter the gallery sent me, they got 252 submissions, and chose 51 of them for the exhibition. This is the first time that any of my photos will be publicly displayed. The opening reception is February 27. I doubt that I will win any of the awards - it is enough that I got in in the first place.
[Taken 20.01.05 | Blue Trees | Centerville, OH]
Long (about 100 seconds) exposure night shot in Yeck Park. The evening I took this it had been snowing all day. After I piled my equipment in the car and took off it started snowing even harder. You really haven't had any white-knuckled fun until you have gotten into your car during a very heavy snow, driven down unplowed, icy, and slippery roads, wishing that you had brought your cellphone because you were sure that you were about to go off the road ... all for the sake of standing out in the weather for an hour or so with your finger on a lens trigger while snow piles up on top of your camera and tripod. Next time I am bringing a freaking umbrella. I have no idea how waterproof the Digital Rebel is, but it seemed to survive the snow all right.
Oh yeah, and before you ask about the blue light... That is not a photoshop trick. I have a little blue l.e.d. on my keychain and I thought that it might look really cool if I turned it on and waved it around at the trees that I was shooting.
Work has been a bit slow the last couple of days. I know that I ought to appreciate the lull while I have it, especially since I know how much work is lurking just around the corner, but I will be honest. I am really not happy when I am not super busy. Stress is indeed the glue that holds me together.
[Taken 02.02.05 | Blurry Trees | Centerville, OH]
Another shot with the Lensbaby.
Happy Shrove Tuesday! (Alternatively, if you are of a Christian religious persuasion, happy Ash Wednesday.)
I had completely forgotten it until Sarah showed up at work this morning with paczki for everyone. Mmm... paczki. The custard-filled-sugar-glazed ones are my favorites. It was a pretty pleasant surprise that they could be found here in south-west Ohio. Other then eating paczki for breakfast, I have no celebratory plans. I am in Ohio, and it is raining heavily... there would be little opportunity to seek Mardi Gras merriment even if I was so inclined. However, in honor of the day, I have added "drink a martini while wearing Mardi Gras beads" to my list of things to do this evening. (along with "do laundry" and "take out the trash")
I'll let you know how that goes. I don't need to be in New Orleans to have a good time.
[Taken 02.02.05 | Meters | Centerville, OH]
I have gotten some new toys recently, and have been a bit distracted by then. Well, one of the toys is new. The other is just new to me.
The first was waiting for me when I got back from Ithaca - the Lensbaby, a new lens for my Canon, that I ordered in late January. It is a kind of a funny looking lens that functions and focuses a lot like an old bellows camera. You move the focusing ring in and out with your fingertips, and you can also "flex" the lens to move the focusing "sweet spot" around. I have been having a lot of fun playing around with it and getting used to it. The above photo of the electric meters on the back of my apartment building is one of the ones I took the other day. Hopefully this weekend will be nice so I can spend a couple of hours wandering around outside with it.
My second toy is a Kodak Brownie six-20 that I got off of eBay. A box camera that was manufactured by Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY between 1933 and 1941. It has a few scuffs and nicks, but otherwise it looks like it is in perfect working condition. I can't wait to load it up with film and take it out. And there lies a slight snag. It takes 620 film, which unfortunatly is not manufactured anymore. However. 120 film is essentially the same as 620 film. The only difference between the two is the size of the spindles. 120 film spindles are a lot wider then 620 spindles. So, theoretically, one could re-roll 120 film onto 620 spindles and be ready to go. Actually, not so theoretically. There are even specialty film stores that sell 120 film that has been re-rolled onto 620 spindles. But believe me, it isn't cheap. I may eventually try re-rolling my own film, but meanwhile I think I will order some of the specialty stuff for the first couple of rolls, to see how I like the camera. And if it turns out that I really like working with the vintage cameras, I will take care to make sure that the next one I get accepts straight 120 film. Maybe the Ansco Shur Shot, or the Ansco Agfa B-2 Cadet, or one of the older Kodak Brownie models...
[Taken 28.01.05 | The Commons | Ithaca, NY]
Visiting Ithaca and everyone in it this weekend was nice. (Actually, calling it "nice" isn't quite enough, but that is the best adjective that my non-English major self can come up with)
I stayed with Erica and Chris, and we all went out to dinner at The Chariot and went to Stella's for drinks and went to Clay and Mike's house for visiting and coffee and went to Manos Diner for Saturday breakfast and Gimme Coffee for Sunday brunch and drove around Ithaca and wanted DVDs and just hung out
After picking me up from the airport, Erica took me by her office at the Cornell ornithology lab. Damn, I wish that place had been there when I was a student at Cornell! I think that Erica has THE dream job in THE dream location. And there is a truly amazing little library in her building that almost makes me want to be a "traditional" librarian.
Erica and Chris have a really cute little cottage in the middle of a great snooty-professor neighborhood north of the Cornell Campus. Their cat Owl alsmost makes me want to get another cat... he is so big and fluffy and playful.
Mike and Clay have a great old arts and crafts house in one of the older sections of town. It was quite literally a dump when they bought it, and they are doing an amazing job of restoring it.
I even got to see Dan and Marie and meet their baby daughter Anna. They joined us for dinner at The Chariot and at Gimme for brunch.
They introduced me to the cartoon "Invader Zim", to which I became instantly addicted. Jhonen Vasquez wrote and drew it. My reaction - They let Jhonen Vasquez do a children's cartoon? Who's idea was that? No, really, who made that decision? Don't they know what he did before - hadn't any of them ever read his best known work, that quasi-underground cult comic "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac"? And they let him do a children's cartoon? And it lasted three seasons? God, what a brilliant cartoon
I wish that I hadn't waited so long to visit. I need to visit again soon. I didn't get my corn nuggetsthis trip... The fryer at The Chariot was on the fritz. Yet another reason to visit again. Perhaps this spring, when the weather is warm and the snow is gone and just in time for wine tasting season