Saturday, January 28, 2012

Trailer Cover

A couple months after a storm shredded the last cover, the Caravel is now snug and dry under a new cover.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

A pack of eskimos!


Our friends took a little trip south to warmer climates this week, and left us with two extra eskimos – what could be more fun?!


Oh the insanity! Crazy eskimos, ravaging each other out in the yard!



Sake, Sitka, and Navi get into it and wrestle and chase a LOT. Barclay is a little stand-off-ish for some reason. He mostly watches. Maybe now that he’s 4 he’s too dignified for these shenanigans.





There, Barclay decided to join in a little.


Ooo, panning shot! Navi & Sitka race around the yard!


Then they take a water break.





Back inside for treats, Navi thought she’d get a leg up on the competition…


Oh Barclay, you’re so patient with your ‘pesky’ little sister!


Good dogs!



Saturday, January 14, 2012

Good news, and a new lens!


I got good news on Friday! My boss said they’re going to hire me on permanently before the month is out Smile This is awesome news, because I really like the place I’m working at, I like my co-workers, and I’ve been working my fanny off to absorb every bit of info they’ve thrown at me, hoping to prove myself worthy to step up from being a temp. I had a feeling I was a shoe-in all along, but it’s good to know it’s for sure now! I’m still getting used to having so much less time at home, but Dave is keeping after the household chores so I don’t have to, so that makes it all easier.

I do feel a bit like I’ve traded work for just about everything else I enjoy, so I decided to reward myself with a little treat. I felt there was a gap in my lens kit for my Nikon D50 DSLR. I have a nice Nikkor 28-80mm f3.3-3.5, which takes very sharp pictures in the ‘kit lens’ range. I have my Tamron 18-200mm 3.5-6.3 zoom which is a nice all around zoom. Not as sharp as the ‘kit’ lens, but very nice and it has a nice reach. But I wanted one more lens for portraits, one that would work well in low light, and one that would have a wide aperture to get that lovely blurry background that makes the subject pop out. After much research I chose the Nikkor 35mm f1.8 – and I have been watching them come and go on Craigslist for months. This morning I went and met a guy who had one for sale and handed over the cash.

I was not disappointed.




This was before I discovered I had a setting on my camera that had it stopped down two steps in Aperture Priority mode. Still, the sharpness is there.



I love the whispy hair and the detail around the eyes in this shot. It looks much better to get the nose at an angle in line with the eyes, compared to the next shot!



Because the focal depth is so shallow, I have to be careful to control where the camera focuses – or I’ll just get a sharp nose! (Which is kind of cute, in it’s own way…)



The eyes have it…

Not having a zoom takes a little getting used to – I had to get right in the animals’ faces to get the shot framed. Navi wasn’t willing to stand still for it – she hardly ever stands still anyway! Cats are good subjects for this though!









I’m pretty blown away by the quality of shots I’m getting from this lens. It just goes to show, even with an older DSLR, lenses make all the difference. I think I’m going to be happy with this setup for quite a while.

One other thing, the guy who sold me the lens was really nice and recommended a photography book he thought was really good, The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby. I checked out the reviews and saw it was only $9 for the electronic format, and bought it. It’s full of good tips and tricks for getting the most out of your DSLR! Hey, for $9 – if it helps me get a few photos here and there I might have otherwise missed, it’s totally worth it.


Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Toy - Kindle Fire

Now that I'm riding the bus for about an hour and a half each day - 45 minutes morning and evening - I have been getting a lot of reading done. I've already read Silas Marner, and am working my way through Age Of Innocence. I have a whole list of classics I've never had time to read I would like to get to. As much as I dislike being away from home so much, I kind of enjoy my downtime on the bus, and it's nice to have time to read without feeling guilty that there's something more important I should be doing. On the bus there's literally nothing else to do!

Watching the other passengers, I've seen how they spend their time. I've seen a lot of iPads and Kindles, lots of people hauling big heavy books along with them as well. Some people surf the web on their iPads or phones which are connected to the web via data packages. At first I was thinking it would be pretty nice to be able to do that - I could do all my email and blogging and stuff while on the bus. But looking into the price put an end to that - there's just no way I could spend that much money on entertainment! I've bought cars for what that would cost in a year! I'm pretty happy with my low-tech flip phone which doesn't do much other than make calls, and it's on a cheap by-the-minute plan, which is just how I like it.

So I bit the bullet and spent a bit of my hard earned money on a Kindle Fire. Super neat little device, works on wi-fi, can do a little surfing. Best of all, I immediately loaded up about ten classic books I want to read - like Age of Innocence, Robinson Caruso, Treasure Island, Little Women, and some I'd like to re-read - Sherlock Holmes, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights - all for free! FREE! There's plenty more too, I just didn't want to get greedy.

I'm looking forward to hitting the bus on Tuesday with my new toy. Hopefully that will make the commute just fly by as I get absorbed in another world. Sometimes I like to sneak in a little reading at lunchtime too. I think this little device is going to make life away from home a little more pleasant.