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We're back. ...and with stories to tell. For now I'll leave your with the three men folk's version of things:
Sometimes even getting out of town can have its moments... The photo on the blog for Wednesday? That is of Mischief, our 'senior cat'. ...or, as she was christened by Erikie, "The kitty with the eyeliner"... We put her down Saturday morning prior to leaving for Los Angeles.
'Chief had been with us since we moved into our house shortly after Shelley and I were married. She'd been living at Shelley's apartment complex, and Shelley basically 'catnapped' her as a kitten when she left. She ruled the roost here when both RunTunTun and Soda came along in (1991 and 1994) and maintained her status of Queen even after she became ill in 1999.
The Winter of '99 wasn't a good one for her: she started throwing up for no discernable reason. At one point I was giving her anti-emetic shots daily and we made some decisions regarding 'quality of life' versus longevity. Somewhere along the line she got better and then proceeded to spend the next eight years having episodes of emesis and then recovery.
Clinically her bloodwork was non-contributory; and the minor fact the vet could find not find her liver on X-Ray didn't seem to tie in to her symptoms. When she was weakened by a bout, I'd put her on tapioca as the kitty equivalent of D5W and she'd rally back. Our decision about putting her down came up several times over the years, but we never had to act on it. Shelley tried different types of cat food, but none really affected her differently: she'd be okay for a time; then she'd have a problem.
This last week she seemed to turn another corner. Her 'valleys' had become deeper and 'hills' shorter. Fortunately we have access to a saint of a vet who had told us to call her anytime. Friday evening our decision process started; by Saturday morning we made the call. Mischief went peacefully at home resting on one of her blankets.
In the midst of all this, Brad was calling giving us updates on his way south (I'd dropped him off at school at 0330 in the morning, and we were trying not to start his day off with news about the cat. That lasted until he arrived there safely, was having a good time with his friends, and when we were almost there.
That Monday shot was from Space Mountain. Yeah, it was okay. ...but this one from California Screamin'? That machine flat rocked!
I took the night off from the usual stuff, just geeking around with Ubuntu 7.04 (Live CD) on the older Linux box seeing if it would let me mount the FC5 lvm volume... Yeah, seriously demented. Oh, and Quanta here on the 64bit box. Sweet! It may replace Bluefish; I'll get back to you on that...
...and yes, I am going to bore you to tears with DisneyLand photos <g>! ...but I'll try to interleave enough of my normal stuff in there to keep you from having to run for the Insulin.
Oh, sure. Ok. The Electric Light Parade shot settings: most of them are at ISO 200 (about all the A-2 will handle before the noise gets out of hand), f/3.2 at 1/40th, focus manually set on infinity, using a cable release and a monopod. Yes, that's borderline work for this gear, but it worked out okay.
...and no, I didn't bring a tripod along; I rarely use one and I wouldn't have lugged it around anyway. ...but the monopod fits in a backpack and it let me pull off the shots. The settings? Guessing and some testing against the ambient light along the parade route before they dimmed the lights. I was hoping the sheer intensity of the bulbs in each float would work well enough to light up the characters.
Processing was through Lightroom-->LightZone-->Lightroom-->Elements (Noiseware filter). I'm reasonably comfortable with Lightroom, although I'm still learning all the widgets they've put into Version 1.0; LightZone is a paradigm shift. Noiseware is new to me; it looks to be the next piece of the puzzle. Yep, I'll write up a workflow piece just to give the pros apoplexy <g>...
The rain teased a bit today, but it looks like serous stuff is coming down the pike according to the local radar. ...and since one of today's projects was overseeding the lawn, that could work out okay.
Family note: things are returning to normal. Shelley is well enough to try working Monday; both Brad and Daniel will be back in school. No, I haven't got it yet, and with any luck will take a total pass.
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