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Well, the vacation is over, and much happened while I was home for long enough to actually do things! ...and I need to concentrate on those things that got done, even those that got done out of order, and just re-prioritize things for the weekends and any homework-free evenings that may occur.
...and with Shelley back up on the net with minimal down time, that one counts big. ...and on the minor notes side of things, I took Daniel's old Compaq Celeron 633 box and tossed Fedora Core 3 at it and it stuck nicely (at least after I added in a video card X could handle. Yeah, a Fireball 1000 from, what, 1997? I can actually see 640x480 <g>! I'm thinking maybe the Voodoo III from Shelley's old box would work nicely there...). Whoa! Where was I? Oh, yeah, we still need to figure out what the deal is on Daniel's gaming machine. I'm wondering if it could be the video card. Maybe we're trying too new a card there and need to try something a bit older. Hmmm... I wonder what could be up in the clearance box in the attic...
...and the work machine is pretty much built. I'll give you a once-over on both Daniel's box and the work box when they're in service. Brad is standing pat; he's had 'the hot box' for the last year or so, and it's his turn to chill. ...although there's some software coming his way this next week.
Whew! The weather that had broken so nicely over the weekend came back in full force Sunday night and most of Monday. The drive to work was a bit of an adventure as the freeways weren't draining quite fast enough. ...and modern California freeways drain darned well! The forecasters can't seem to decide what will happen the rest of the week; the best guess seems to be more rain...
A couple of administrative notes are in order; both are for the photoblog: In the next week or so, I'll be modifying the CSS into a 'liquid' version; this will allow the layout to expand for monitors running resolutions higher than 800x600. My requests for desktop wallpapers are pulling the 1024x768 sizes much more than the 800x600 versions; when I tie that in with the fact that I've been really cutting the sizes down on the photos over there, I think it's time to open things up a bit. ...and there have been some camera changes around the household that will allow me to post larger images.
Over on the blog you'll see part of the Great Ripple Down Effect of the camera change at our place. My major Christmas present this year (pooled funds) was a Konica-Minolta A-2; and that is a major step up for me. I hadn't quite exhausted the potential of the Casio, but I was getting close and I wanted to bump up a step. I'd been looking at a Konica-Minolta Z-3, but some fortunate events allowed us to get me the A-2. Most of the shots since December 26 have been taken with the A-2 ("Double Flash" is the exception). I'm still learning the camera, and I expect to be learning it for most of the year; but man, so far it's been very nice to use.
...and out of that, Brad ended up with my Casio and associated equipment. He had pretty much 'used up' his Fuji FinePix A303 in the last few months and really needed something more advanced. So, he's pretty darned happy and will have to climb a bit of a learning curve. That's okay; challenges are good for developing character <g>!
The other happy camper here is Daniel. Yep, he got Brad's A303 and is ecstatic; he's been getting a lot of mileage from my old FujiFilm DX-10, but mostly with macro shots. He was more or less restricted since that camera doesn't have a zoom feature (and is only 0.8mpx), but it was a good learning camera for him. ...and his transition to the A303 will allow him to expand his skillset: he's already learned many of the rules of close up work; now he gets to zoom a bit and try some other things. Well, maybe; he still seems to like close up work!
...and Shelley? She ended up with a Z-3. ...and is fighting digital every step of the way <g>. ...but with her style of taking set shots and reviewing them as soon as she can get them developed (for things like Christmas pictures and the like)? Yeah, digital and Costco (or Target). She can find out in just a day (or less) if that beach picture is the perfect one for an album or frame. ...or schedule her retake.
Just a note on the somewhat crazy local weather as we move toward the weekend: the forecasters have more or less given up on any long range stuff and are saying, "It may or may not rain". ...and gems like "Periods of sunshine..." Thing is, it's hard to hammer them: At sundown Tuesday the sky was clearing, but by midnight it was raining, and by daybreak Wednesday we had frost. ...and snowfall down to 1500 feet or so!
Yeah, I actually haven't seen snow on that mountain from the valley floor in quite a while; it's maybe thirty miles or more back in there! ...and it while it does get snow, it took the freeze to see it that clearly! That photo also shows the light dusting the lower elevations received.
Well, they seem to have made up their minds a bit about the forecast! Yesterday was clear and cool and very nice for photography, and I figured maybe I'd try to get another evening blade in like I'd managed Wednesday. ...but events at work dictated a shopping run before the weekend and I checked the forecasts to see if Friday would be clear. ...but no, it wouldn't be. ...or did they know? Sheesh... I went out and loaded up with goods (and ended up working late).
...but when I got back from that shopping run, I took another look and the forecast had changed to more than just 'rain'; they started using terms like "up to an inch" for the daytime forecast and "over an inch" for the overnight forecast. I figured they were talking 'cumulative', but a phone call from Shelley threw that out the window: It seems she was watching the evening news and the talking head asked the weather person to clarify what he was saying. Yeah, it's supposed to be something like two and a half inches hitting here in twenty-four hours...
Well, the rains really never showed up on Friday, but the storm systems sure did... We had some light overnight rain, but daybreak brought us things like me watching rain fall in the pool while Daniel was seeing clear skies out the front windows. ...and that reversing about thirty minutes later.
...and that was pretty much it for the rains. The winds were another matter; they came up as the morning progressed and reached 45mph just before noon. The final tally was something like 150 trees blown over in the metro area. ...and power out all over. ...and palm fronds everywhere (they're a road hazard and a people hazard: thirty pounds of frond falling from 100 feet will flat hurt you it if hits).
Oh, yeah, we woke to the rain again. ...and it came down pretty good most of the morning. We caught a break in the afternoon and I was able to get out and get a walk in and get some shots of things. ...and man, talk about a mess everywhere; the winds had blown tree branches and leaves and general trash all over everything.
...and with more rain coming in today, efforts at cleanup were pretty much useless. Brad and I hit the pool and cleaned things up there. ...and I recovered the 'roof' from the woodshed that had ended up in the neighbor's back yard. ...but that was about it.
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