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I'm playing a bit more with the "small camera", the Konica-Minolta X1. It definitely takes a little bit more attention to the setup to get things like Tuesday's "leaf" to come our as I intended, but the quality is high enough for some of my more 'serious' shots if the A-2 isn't available...

The purpose of the X1 and its predecessors was to be able to take decent 'snapshots' while on the road or in a place where I cannot carry the A-2. Shots like Sunday's pair and today's shot of the birds waiting for the storm to hit are supposed to be its stock in trade. ...but I do get the occasional scene that catches my eye, and I'm taking the time to experiment a bit more with the X1 to find its limits...

Just some stuff for the photogs out there...


While I'm on the subject of photos, I'll add in the setup I used for that white rose that several people have commented on (the flower was part of an arrangement on our kitchen table). The rose was placed just below a rather large chrysanthemum which made getting a shot of it a bit problematic. ...and since I prefer the photos I use for the "Monday's rose" series to be less than a week old, and since I didn't have any outside shots I liked, I figured I'd try to capture this one!

The only problem: lighting! It was a dark and stormy night. Oops! Excuse me, a cloudy, rainy day, with the light from the left of the photo the north light from the dining room window. ...and the only other light the incandescent lamps below the fan above the kitchen table. ...and above that pesky chrysanthemum! Yeah, no way without flash. ...and I'm loath to use flash except to 'kiss' the subject in fill mode.

The answer was to use the little 'bean bag' mouse wrist rest I carry with my camera kit to provide a base for the A-2. ...and to use a tissue box as the height adjustment for the lens. It turned out that shoving the lower lip of the lens hood about one half inch below the top of the stack of tissues pretty much gave me the angle I needed. ...add in the remote release and I was set to take the series.

I do wish I'd have taken a shot of the setup though...


More photo notes (hey, it beats real content some days <g>)... I've had a few people write in about the flowers I used in the "Evening light" piece from Friday. Those are blossoms on a common landscape tree here known to us as a "false pear". The tree's blooms are actually a bright white; the color shown in the photos is strictly due to the setting sun...

The trees themselves are having an interesting blooming season this year. With the temperature swings we've had, the trees with Eastern exposures (like the one above in full bloom) were bloomed out by the end of February. The ones with Western exposures are only just now coming into full bloom after slowing down when the cold weather hit. I'll have a photo of a 'white blossom' up a little later this week...

Happy hump day!


Well, at this rate we'll have completely rebuilt the house within another year or two <g>! This morning I was awakened by the announcement that the garage door wouldn't open and there was a highschooler who was going to be late pretty soon. Oh, man...

A quick inspection revealed the door up about six inches and the opener not wanting to play. I pulled on the release mechanism and the door slammed down. "Slammed" and "down"? Not good; the springs counterbalance the door to allow it to move up and down the tracks with minimal force applied; "slammed" and "down" didn't seem like much counterbalancing was going on...

Sure enough, when I looked at the spring pair, the left one was broken. Wonderful. That is something I didn't feel like tackling early in the morning in bare feet and a robe. Heck, I wouldn't particularly want to tackle it full awake and fully dressed without some assistance; those springs store a lot of potential energy when they're under tension. ...and the right hand spring had really slammed a couple of hundred pounds of door down.

Plan B came into being: Shelley hauled Daniel to school, Brad to school and me to work. That way she could get to her meetings and other appointments and I'd hitch a ride home if need be. ...and my first phone call was to a door place to see what they're schedule was like. ...because, yeah, while I know how to detension that spring, I also know I don't want to do it if someone who does it for a living is available.

We're looking at freedom for the mommy van on Friday...


There's a reason people pay people to work on their taxes for them <g>! Let's start with crossed eyes and one real decent headache... Yeah, I decided to steal a march on the weekend and get going with the tax stuff by installing the program and setting up the initial information. Of course, once I did that, I just kept going to do 'a little bit more'. Umm hmmm... Sure...

Sleep is in order before Round II!


Yeah, it's raining both metaphorically and literally here. At least the rain thing is showing signs of going away later today; the weather radar shows a stalled pattern that has take up residence over the Central Valley and probably will hang around until Sunday. Hey, maybe the snow level will come down into the foothills again!

...and on the other, it's time to start gathering receipts and see what we can do to make that number come down a bit. I think I'll go find a photo first; that'll be a nice distraction...

....and what happened to Duke!?!?


Mostly done... Yep, the first figure came back darned scary, but once I ran though some things I'd left out it started looking better (hint: if you don't enter the kids' SSNs you won't get the child tax credit even if you think you've claimed it; the system flags it as 'incomplete' and disallows the credit until you fill in the blanks. Whew...). What's left to do today is crossing some "t's" and dotting some "i's" and checking out maybe one or two questions. Oh, and dealing with getting two segments of the network to talk to each other.

Yeah, when I put the bookshelves back in place in the garage I pulled my inkjet and gave it to Daniel. ...and set up a replacement and added another machine. ...and I didn't plan on needing printing just yet so I tossed them on another network segment and figured I'd tie everything it later. ...only with different brands of print servers and different default IP addresses. ...and my grand plan for adding the boys onto the old chunk. ...and not having the time to think things through.

Darn, another opportunity to learn <g>!

The Conjuror
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"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

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