Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've got a Nikon camera, I love to take photographs

Nikon D40I finally got a decent camera and have learned I have a lot to learn! I'm excited, though. This camera is for the person who has had enough of the point and shoot, but isn't ready for the expense of the professional camera. I got this camera with the kit lens and a zoom lens, extra battery, remote, and lens cleaner for under $700. Even still, that is a huge investment for me right now. I think it will be worth it. Right now, I am taking a lot of pictures with the camera on auto so that I can get a feel for how it works and focuses. I have taken macro pictures and I like how they turn out, but I need to work more on the Field of depth functions. It does a lot of stuff I really don't know anything about yet, but I am so excited about learning!

I took the following pictures with manual focus. I really liked being able to focus on exactly what I wanted and not what the camera thought it should be. The pear picture was cool, I thought, because a group of pears in the foreground is in bright focus against the whole of the pear tree. When I tried to take pictures of a plumb on my tree, the flash automatically came on, but I didn't want that (although, I actually do like that picture) so I turned the flash off and took the picture again. Now, I can't decide which picture I like better.

I like that I can take pictures of leaves that are backlit by the sun and not get a big black blob! These pictures should help me paint better pictures!

Gooseberry Leaves Turning for Fall


Sun peaking through plumb leaves

Plumb with flash

Plumb without flash

Of course I had to take the obligatory snapshot right out of the box of the cat. Cats are easy to photograph.

Precious Kitty

For those of you who may have wondered what happened to me, I have been taking care of Megan. She had reconstructive ACL surgery on the 20th. They also had to put a stitch in her torn meniscus disc. She will not be able to put weight on that knee for five weeks! I did get to take her out for lunch this weekend. We also took a walk up and back in the mall. Crutches are difficult to walk with, and after a little more than a week of laying in bed, the little walk turned out to be quite a work out.

Zach picked his first real ear of corn this weekend. He share it with me. I sure wish that there was a lot more of that to eat!

Poor sick Megan

Zach and his corn

Then, yesterday, I went out to take pictures of the storm clouds because I thought they would be colorful. I stopped at one spot and got distracted by some horses. I walked up to the fence and they all came running up to me. I asked if I could take their pictures, and they agreed. I say that because the young black horse and the red and white horse started doing what really looked like a dance. I have seen humans that weren't in step as well as these horses were! I would post all of the pictures, but there were 250 of them! (4GB memory card!) I picked a few of the ones I liked the best. They still work best as a slide show!

Frisky black horse

Frisky red horse

He's pretty, isn't he?

One last hop

I did finally get around to shooting the storm. Once again I had to choose just a few of a hundred kinda cool pictures. I am thinking about using one of the storm pictures as the background for my blog.

The storm didn't turn out to be as colorful as the one I saw a couple of years ago. It thing it was because this storm was not as close to the ground, and wasn't as wet. It was still pretty though. The sunflowers were in full bloom in the desert, too.

Smoke tinted clouds

Dark cloud looms overhead

Fluffy cloud sandwich

Sun peaks under the storm

Backlit wild sunflower

Hint of rainbow

School has started. I only have to drive to Poky once a week. I have one telecommunications class here, and two online classes. I am hoping to have my diploma by the end of this year! (I'd cross my fingers, but I know it will require more hard work than luck)

I am still working on a couple of soap box posts. Every time I try to write one of them, I get really stinking mad. People can be so egocentric! I'll get it done - eventually!

Please don't take my memory card away, oh no!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Scrutator: Olympic Sized?

I have come to the decision that I will not continue to work while going to school. Megan helped me with this decision by needing knee surgery (like Tiger Woods) and wants me to help take care of her while she is recovering. Zach helped when he received a letter from the low income housing folks who say his name has finally come up. That means he will finally get a chance to live out on his own like an adult! It also means I need to make sure I am available to help at a moments notice when necessary. I took the job to help me pay bills through the summer, and I have accomplished that. I didn't really expect to enjoy it as much as I have. They will put me on the sub list - that way I won't have to quit cold turkey!

Spoiler alert: if you haven't seen it yet and you plan to, skip ahead to the next section. Zach and I went to see the new X-Files movie. I was a little disappointed. It was very suspenseful, but it was really gross. There were no aliens. It was a psychic theme that included some really weird Russian Frankenstein scientist crap multiplied by the "come on people, let's move on with our lives already" pedophile priest. Anyway, the way the movie was hyped probably had a lot to do with the let down.

I have noticed that movies that are advertised with secrecy are doing so because the movie isn't as good as it could be. This should really say something to movie producers. The innuendos you plan to spread about your movie on talk shows should actually be in the movie! Imagine how much more fun the movie would have been if Amanda Peet was really an alien!

The Olympics start today. I like the gymnastics and running portions. I kind of like the fancy diving too. But, I will still be working through most of it, so I will most likely miss most of it.

Oh well.

Football may not be over for me after all! I guess that now I'll just have to be a Jets fan!

I do have reservations, however. It will be interesting to see how this season plays out. It is somewhat reminiscent of Joe Montana, except the 49ers allowed Joe to finish out his career with his self respect and favorite team. What was the point in putting up a huge fight just to prevent Brett from playing for another team. Come on folks, he's either washed up or he isn't.

I wonder what Brett will decide to move on to. He still has most of his life ahead of him, but he did chose a profession that requires a very early retirement. He will eventually have to find something else to do with his life.

And that's about it for this weeks not-so-olympic-sized scrutator.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Scrutator: The Earth Moves

I guess if I want to feel the earth move under my feet I should head to California! How cool is it that there were no serious injuries? Well, not physically anyway. Maybe professionally?Shouldn't she (an astrologer) have known the earthquake was coming? Listen to the horoscope she is reading! I guess she isn't as psychic as psychotic? psychic - psychotic, there's but an ot of difference.

Monday I told you about a mother who has had to deal with a kind of bigotry and prejudice that Zach and I have not fully experienced. That's not to say Zach doesn't experience more than his share of painful experiences because of people who think it's ok to take advantage of him. Tuesday night (2:00 a.m. to be exact) Zach decided to go to the store to get himself a pop. On his way back a couple of guys (who claimed to be 18) called Zach over to them and asked to bum a cigarette. Zach said he only had one but offered to share it. In the process of lighting the cigarette and handing it to one of the guys, the other slugged him in the side of the head while the the one taking the cigarette grabbed him and pulled him off his bike. They then hopped on his bike and took off. The police here are notoriously slow at night (could that be why so much crime takes place at night?), and once Zach managed to get someplace to call 911 (he left his cell phone at home!!!!) it took over an hour for the police to arrive. So, he is understandably upset. I'd like to get my hands on these scum! I guess I'm going to have to take a chance and get Zach some self defense classes. I haven't yet because I fear that he won't know a good time to use it from a bad time, but he needs to be able to protect himself. This is getting ridiculous.

Hmmmmm, who could have predicted that gas prices in Idaho would not decrease at the same pace as the rest of the nation? Idaho gas prices are not falling alongside the national trend according to the Times News Wednesday! They report that
usually, Idaho gas prices are pretty consistent with national trends, but over the past two weeks there's been a bit of a disconnect.
Apparently they didn't care to listen to what Dave Carlson of AAA or Troy Willie of Oasis Stop 'N Go Stores had to say about the problem in their own news article. Both mention several possible causes of the problem, all of which would and have been common occurrences for us. But who could have predicted this attitude from the press and public? Oh, wait! I did! Maybe I'm Psychotic.

I've reconsidered my desire to go to China to see the solar eclipse. Apparently, beheadings once took place in China due to eclipses. Granted, it was a long time ago and I am not an astrologer (like the one in the video clip above), but still, I do like my head attached at the shoulders.

I visited the new LDS Temple with Megan and Steve Saturday. It was very bright and light. There was a lot of art on the walls. One room has a mural of Shoshone Falls on all walls, it is pretty cool. There were some original works of Idaho framed and hung on the walls in hallways, but too many works of Jesus were prints. I had hoped to see original works. I guess there are too few artists painting good religious pieces these days. I got a brochure and I am posting it here for your enjoyment.

The chandeliers were quite beautiful, and I usually don't get impressed by chandeliers.

Wow! When I got home from work Tuesday night I thought about my poor scrutator post and wondered what in the world I would write about. Nothing at all seemed interesting. But here it is! I found something to write about so that I could publish this weeks totally unmoving scrutator.