Sunday, January 31, 2010

01/31/2010 - Day 031 - One Month Down...

I am a person of reasonably modest means, but travel is something I try to do at a particular "level".  Sometimes though my travels take me to places that I don't book - and tonight I find myself in one of those places.  I have no view to speak of, nothing notable in the room to take a photo of, nothing around the location to shoot a photo of - at least not walking distance which was my option for today's photo - so I decided to capture the "positive" that the other ladies in the group with me also noted - at least there is a hair dryer.  Although, as I sit here looking around the room right now, I must say that it's no worse than the hotel I stayed in at Disneyland Paris.  Oh well - it's a short visit.

Hope you had a great weekend - and that you're looking forward to a great week!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

01/30/2010: Day 030 - My baby girl...

Learned an important lesson tonight.  When you're taking photos while outdoors at night, you must remember to take the photo off the night setting if you're ever going to get a decent shot indoors.  I didn't remember that in time to make this a good shot, but I had to post one of my Lindsay tonight since she's now off for a visit with Grandma and Grandpa for a little while.  Mom and Dad got back from their cruise today so she went to stay with them while I take a couple of trips.  It's gonna be like that for her this spring - I'm gone overnight a few times here and there and it's just easier to take her to mom and dad's than to leave her here at the house and have someone try to check in on her.  She has fun playing with Sammy - mom and dad's dog - even if she doesn't like to admit it.  

There was a gorgeous full moon tonight that I tried to capture but without the tripod it was a losing battle.  Next time hopefully. 
Not the best shot, but I'm gonna miss her so just had to be up here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

01/29/2010: Day 029: Can't believe I've made it nearly 30 days

Got up from the desk to head downstairs to put the dog out and go to bed and realized - you didn't take a photo today.  Even after my friend Diana and I "spotted" each other with our camera bags today.  Diana - it was great to see you!
I have been rearranging some things in my bag and the Kindle had gotten placed on the floor in front of this stack of books that doubles as a coffee table.  Sometime last year I remember myself saying if I hadn't read any of them in a year they were all going to the library book sale.  Haven't read any of them...they are still here.  The "pile" of books in my Kindle is even worse.  I'm planning to read John Shelby Spong's most recent book - Eternal Life - during some upcoming travel time.  The Kindle is so wonderful for travel - I read like crazy when I'm on the road and away from all the distractions of home and the Kindle lets me do that without having to lug around heavy books.

I've been trying to catch a good photo of Dippy over the last few days with the 50 mm.  (Don't want him to get jealous since Fluffy has turned into the little photo diva cat).  Just can't seem to get a good one I like.  He just wants to come up and kiss the lens every time I lie down on the floor with him.  

Hope everyone had a good week - enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

01/28/2010: Day 028 - Three shots in the arm and a clean bill of health (almost)...

Went to the doctor today for my (not so annual) physical exam.  All seemed well until she walked past me, stopped, looked back and said, "hmmmmmm".  A bit of poking and prodding later and I'm scheduled for a biopsy of a small mole on my hip in mid February.  Most likely nothing to worry about, but still not what I expected.  Since I have extremely fair skin I watch for changes in my skin and hadn't noticed this (actually I noticed it and didn't think nearly as much of it as the doctor did).  Hopefully it's nothing. She didn't insist on doing the biopsy today so I'm taking that as a sign it's okay.  Otherwise the visit was fine and I think I've found a doctor I like.  I do find it  interesting that you can walk into the office of a doctor you've never met and say, "I suffer from migraines and my friend takes this - can I get that?" and they give it to you.  I know I get to use Dr. in front of my name here in America - but I'm still not qualified to prescribe drugs.
Tonight's photo wasn't supposed to be this.  It was supposed to be of the absolutely beautiful sunny day we had today.  However, I didn't take any photos of that.  My new phobia of ever leaving my camera in my car unattended is causing me a few problems.  Oh well - Fluffy and I still had fun tonight.  I wanted to test out the remote control before an upcoming opportunity to use it and Fluffy happened to jump right into my shot of nothingness.  Just sat the camera on the gorilla pod that I carry in my camera bag and snapped off a few shots with the remote.  Anyone else notice how she loves to have her photo taken.  Who knew??  I had never noticed until I was looking at the shot on the camera's screen that her eyes match the pillows on the couch.  No wonder it's her favorite place in the room to hang out.

Don't know about the rest of you - but I'm so thankful tomorrow is Friday!!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

01/27/2010: Day 027: I just realized...

I just realized that I put yesterday's date on all forty one pages of the mortgage refinance papers I got by email today. I find it so funny that I must hurry and return them to the loan officer when the date on them clearly shows they have been sitting on her desk for at least four days.  Oh well, the annoyance is worth the significant savings over the life of the loan.  This is the largest part of a number of different cost cutting/money saving efforts I'm undertaking this year.  The other that was to get crossed off the list today was to cancel my Vonage service as I finally got the Magic Jack all set up and working.  Apparently, even though everyone I know who switched to Vonage service around the same time (we all moved together in a group and got referral credits) remember distinctly asking if this was committing us to any length of service, I find out today that you are actually committed to a two year agreement.  Over the phone they can tell you there is no commitment, however as soon as you go on line to their account manager and accept the terms of service (which I normally read, but didn't this time because I thought I was dealing with a reputable company) you have just accepted a two year agreement.  The cancellation fee isn't that bad ($40 roughly) but I'm still within my first year of service which means I'd also have to pay back the rebate on the Vonage device ($100 roughly). I'm just a couple of months from my one year so I'll pay a lower plan for a couple of months and then pay the cancellation fee and finally be free of that cost.  So, at the moment I wouldn't recommend Vonage.  After I've been with Magic Jack a while I'll let you know my thoughts if you're interested.

I've babbled longer than most days and said nothing about the photo.  I've been considering doing a series of photos on things I love.  Not sure that this is the start of it, but Diet Orange Sunkist (over crushed ice) would certainly rank near the very, very top of things that make me smile.  I gave up caffeine entirely a little over two years ago, but I've slowly let it creep back in now.  I go to the doctor tomorrow for my first physical in a few years and - well - we'll see how that goes and what that means for my potential caffeine intake in the future.  

Here's to Thursday!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

01/26/2010: Day 026: Toy Basket Tuesday

I've had this picture in mind for a couple of weeks now and yesterday the light was just right during a very long, very boring teleconference.  So, I grabbed my camera from my bag, put my phone on mute and snapped several shots.  I'm pretty sure that people come into my office just to play with these as nearly everyone who knows they are there grab one or more of them as soon as they walk into the office.

Happy Tuesday and here's to hump day!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

01-25-2010: Day 025: Just another Manic Monday

I was discussing the Bangles song "Just Another Manic Monday" with a friend this weekend so it was fitting that this song fit both my mood/activity and the weather today.  Got to work from home most of the afternoon today which I always enjoy (and always results in huge increases in productivity) and captured the pic above of the snow whirling around in front of my house.  The picture was taken out my loft window and I kind of liked the framing through the panes of glass.  I made it larger in size so you could see the snow flakes caught in mid-air.  Not five minutes later it had stopped snowing and the sky had brightened up as if the sun was actually going to come out. It truly was Just Another Manic Monday.  Hope yours wasn't too crazy and your week is off to a great start.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

01-24-2010: Day 024 - Poor Dippy...

I take a lot of pictures of my cats - but they are awfully adorable. Tonight's photo was simply to get the task of taking a picture done for the day. Ordinarily I would have taken my camera with me when I went shopping and ran the rest of the errands I was supposed to do Friday night/yesterday morning, but I'm still playing catch up and I didn't want to leave the camera in the car.  It tried to be a sunny day today so would have been fun to have the camera.  I went through the car wash today and want to take a few photos in there sometime so will have to put that on my to do list.

Dippy had been sleeping soundly (photo on the top above) so I grabbed the camera to take a few shots. Fluffy has developed a love of having her photo taken (see below - even while I was typing this she wouldn't leave me alone until I took her picture) and went over and swatted him which produced the look of dismay (photo on the bottom above) when he was so rudely awoken. Happily - he's back asleep now.

I hope everyone has a great Monday and a good week. I'm excited our Colts are in the Super Bowl so that will make for good office talk most of the next two weeks and will help time fly!!!

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

01-23-2010: Day 023 - Kate's back to normal again...

While this is a small crime, and I certainly understand that - I'm angry on two fronts.  Number one is that someone didn't respect property rights and simply stole something and destroyed something that didn't belong to them.  Number two is that someone didn't respect another person enough to realize the hassle and inconvenience that their crime would cause.  Perhaps that is the thrill of the crime or the excitement of the thing.  I will never understand.

Obviously, even though Kate's window has been repaired as I look at her I will forever notice the difference in the old window vs. the new window.  And, their may be no real difference at all - but I'll see one forever.  I spent a good part of my morning with the shop vac cleaning up all this glass - and it went EVERYWHERE.  Then, when the window guy came he pulled out his shop vac and got more glass up from places I couldn't get at like inside the door frame.

Regardless, Kate is repaired and life is back to normal, at least in terms of being able to drive my car.

Went to the hockey game last night which was quite a fun experience.  And...for next time, I now know that you can take your camera to the hockey games - in fact, they encourage you to do so and then to upload your photos and share videos on YouTube.  Kind of cool...  If I go again, I'll definitely take some photos.

Happy Sunday to everyone and - Go COLTS!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

01-22-2010: Day 022...hopefully the worst day of the year...

This is Kate.  She's my car.  I love Kate.  As you can see, Kate was violated this evening.  I had dinner at the mall with a friend and came out to find the glass of my driver's window smashed to bits all over the seat and ground.  According to the nice mall security guy (who provided the duct tape and the plastic bag) it takes about 7 seconds to smash out the window and grab whatever they want (in this case my GPS unit - which I also loved) and be on their merry way.

So, to the JERK who broke my window - I hope very much that Karma finds you and has her way with you.

To the things I'm happy for:
  • Luckily two weeks ago I changed the location of my house in my GPS unit so it now takes the person to an intersection about a mile from my house.  I'm sure I got the idea from Lifehacker so - thanks Lifehacker
  • I have my Droid now so I can still navigate - won't be replacing the GPS anytime soon.  
  • It wasn't my house that was violated because that would have sent me over the edge.

I hope everyone else had a better Friday than I did.  Here's to a better weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

01-21-2010: Day 021 I'm a little teapot...

It's cold.  It's raining.  It was dark when I went to work.  It was dark when I came home.  I'm not sure that I can ever really say it got light.  So, I did what any smart person would do.  I curled up in flannel jammies and I brewed myself a nice pot of tea.  Took this with the new Nikon 50mm f/1.4.  I'm in love with both of my lenses - haven't decided which is my favorite.  However, I seem to be giving this one a nice workout when I'm trying to "make" a shot as opposed to just taking pictures.  Since the rain and weather have pretty much confined me to the house I'm not sure that I can define the difference yet - but I'm one happy camera and lens owner.  I don't know about everyone else, but I'm so glad that tomorrow is Friday.  I'm going to my first hockey game on Saturday.  Any tips??

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

01-20-2010: Day 020 - My new lenses

I got my new lenses today!!!  Sorry for the boring photos but I thought the day needed to be commemorated.  I took pictures of the box and the boxes with my old lens.  The photo of the Nikon 18-200 with the Nikon 50 f/1.4 and vice versa. So far, I'm very happy with them.  Must go take photos of everything else in the house :-)  Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

01-19-2010: Day 019 - They say a messy desk is the sign of...

I'm a bit frustrated - and not by my photo.  This is the third time I've typed this and now I'm using the web interface rather than the publishing from Picasa - I love it when computers don't cooperate. 

This photo isn't here for its artistic quality (well not exactly) nor to make anyone else feel better about their life because their desk is cleaner than mine (although if it helps you to realize that even really organized people sometimes have desks that look like this then I'm more than happy to help).  I picked this photo this evening because of the depth of field I got - not because it was an accident and I didn't know what I was doing but because I intended to blur the background (see the flashlight standing at the back of the photo) and I did!!  Thanks IndyPhotoCoach!

My new lenses are here - just have to pick them up from UPS tomorrow.  I've also found a box to use to create my own light box so I'm planning that for Saturday.  Very excited about all the photographic opportunities - now if the weather would just clear up so it's more enjoyable to be outside and shoot. 

Happy Tuesday to all and hope you have a great hump day tomorrow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

01-18-2010: Day 018: A date with IndyPhotoCoach

I had my private instruction with an IndyPhotoCoach today. Walt was great - I learned so much about my camera and I have even more to learn. I'm posting this shot because it's my favorite of the ones we took while we were wandering around downtown. The statue is in front of one of the bank buildings downtown. Ordinarily I wouldn't have cared about the statue but we needed to find some subject matter to shoot so we shot this guy and his partner for a while. The composition of this photo is so much better than the first two I took on my own. Walt pointed out a lot to me (like how not to make the building look like it's leaning in the background - which was nearly impossible from my vantage point - but I know how now) and how to deal with a background that wasn't going to go away (the building). Don't judge the teacher on the student's work - I learned far more than is evidenced in the photo and I can't wait to try it all out and keep learning. Hope everyone has a great week!
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

01-17-2010: Day 017 - I forgot I even had this

I have lived in my house for a little over two years now and I thought that I had all of the boxes emptied and cleaned out. Apparently I had forgotten one that was tucked away in the corner of my front hall closet. When I was tidying up that closet tonight I found the box so opened it to discover the forgotten treasures. Inside was this candle holder. Since it was already dark I decided to use the dark to capture its reflection in the table. I'm pretty happy with the result.

I'm very excited tomorrow as I'm going to meet my "photo coach" from Can't wait to learn!
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Saturday, January 16, 2010

01-16-2010: Day 016: Hanging out with Diana

I had a fun day today. Went on a blind date which went well and then met up with my friend Diana to talk cameras, lenses and life. Both were a lot of fun. This was one of the shots I took with one of Diana's lenses (I was trying it out as I'm thinking about buying one like it). We were at the school where we'd both worked so we had to take some still lifes of what we had available to us -and there are lots of computers. We had great fun visiting and taking photos. Happy Saturday!!
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Friday, January 15, 2010

01-15-2010: Day 015 - Meet my little brother

This is Sammy. I lovingly call him my little brother. Just after I adopted Lindsay, some friends gave my parents a Golden Retriever puppy. Sammy is a lovable teddy bear of a golden - very cute. He hasn't learned much about how to mind yet though. I'm having a nice visit with my folks tonight and Sammy was just jumping to have his picture taken. Have a great weekend.
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

01-14-2010: Day 014: If you are what you eat...

If you are what you eat, then tonight I'm chicken and broccoli with fried rice.  I chose to take this shot today for a few reasons.  First, taking a still life shot of food was a Shutter Sisters mini challenge this week in the Flickr group.  But, I chose the still life - an environment I could control - for a much bigger reason. 

I've been re-reading Ken Rockwell's guide to the Nikon D80.  I read the guide when I first bought my D80 three or four years ago.  However, at the time I was headed off to vacation and all I really cared about was that I finally had a quality digital camera that would take clear shots, assuming I pointed the camera in the right direction (which I managed some of the time).  Probably needless to say if you've been looking at my shots over the past two weeks, I don't come close to using all the features of the camera.

Yesterday's photos at the park really annoyed me because the color was all wrong.  I could tell it on the LCD right after I took each shot but trying to fix it just wasn't working - I had forgotten nearly everything I'd learned about using all the features of the D80.  So, when I came home last night I got Rockwell's book back out and started to rediscover my camera.  I'm already happier.  I took this shot of Lindsay early this morning when she was in the mood to pose with her bear (she only plays with it first thing in the morning or right before bed when she cuddles up with it). 

There was very, very little light in the room when I took the photo.  I had tried to catch this shot on other days, but the color was all wrong.  This morning, even though the shot is a little fuzzy, the color is nearly perfect for that time of morning in that room.  So, back to the plate.

I wanted something on which I could practice for a really long time.  Cats and dogs like to move so I decided the food still life would be a good challenge.  Plus, I hadn't seen my chinese food place in a couple of weeks and they miss me when I'm gone. So, tonight, you got to see my dinner.  I hope that the picture conveys - in actual color without any post-processing - how delicious it was.  And, hopefully I'm back on the "wagon" of using all the features of my camera to their fullest possible extent. 

I also wanted to do this because on Monday I'm going to have some private photography instruction with Walt Kuhn, a professional photographer.  Walt works with  I'm really excited about the opportunity and I'll hopefully have some great pictures to share with you after our lesson on Monday.  

Here's wishing you a happy Friday...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

01-13-2010: Day 013 - Snowy River

A really beautiful day today - the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful blue. I headed back to Fort Harrison park again at lunch and took some time to grab some photos. I had intended to stop and take photos off of this bridge a couple of days ago but it was grey and hazy that day so I didn't. The sun was gorgeous today so I grabbed a few shots. I also grabbed a few photos of some deer on the golf course as I was leaving the park. A squirrel was out enjoying the sun as well. I'll post all the photos on Flickr. Hope everyone had a wonderful day.
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

01-12-2010: Day 012 - Drip, Drip, Drip...

I was carrying the camera around the house tonight trying to figure out what I was going to take a picture of to post when I heard this annoying dripping sound. My kitchen sink has developed a drip and if you don't get the handle in just the right spot when you turn it off - drip, drip, drip... Apparently when I filled water bowls tonight I didn't get the handle back in just the right spot - so tonight you get to see a drippy sink. Maybe I should stop just carrying the camera around the house with me...

Tried to catch a photo of Fluffy who - as my friend G said - has finally evicted the alien that was in her stomach. $400 for the vet to tell me there wasn't a single thing wrong with her. I'm just very, very glad she's feeling better.

It was a long day with nothing but a very long meeting in the middle of it so no separate journal entry for the day - actually a slow, annoying drip pretty accurately depicts my day. Gotta love meetings. Until tomorrow...
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Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 011

The frst day of another academic term has come and gone.  No big horrible crisis today in my world - at least not so far.  The students in the class I'm teaching seem energetic and engaged - always nice to see this many of them logged in on the first day and already completing assignments. 

I was in the "war room" today at work.  At the beginning of every term we assemble a team of people responsible for different areas of the College's operations into a central location.  I enjoy working in the war room.  We have fun, generally get a lot of work done, and it's a very, very short commute.  Since it's near the house I also got to go to Fort Harrison at lunchtime today to snap some photos.

Fluffy is still not feeling well at all.  I think we'll be back at the vet tomorrow unless a miracle happens tonight.

01-11-2010: Day 011 - We played the waiting game and I lost

Since I was working at our "war room" today I was on the east side of town near Fort Harrison so I drove over to the park at lunch to try to grab a few photos. I pulled into the parking lot near one of the trail heads and saw about 10 robins and a couple of squirrels playing in the trees. I was always taught that a robin red breast was the first sign of spring so I decided on this cold day to grab a shot of a harbinger of warmer times. I took a LOT of photos, and sadly this was the best of them - and I only felt it was passable after I played around with some color isolation and blurring masks. It did certainly make lunch so much more enjoyable to watch these guys frolic as if it was as warm as could be outside. Hope you're staying warm too.
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

01-10-2010: Eye of the "tiger"

Dippy is about the sweetest cat you'll ever meet in your life. However, this came out looking a bit more serious than he really is. Still doesn't do a great job of capturing his eyes - but it's close.
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Day 010

Today wasn't a great day - Fluffy is sick and I'm afraid she's very sick.  We ended up making a trip to the emergency vet.  Her x-rays looked okay but it will be a day before we get the blood work back.  In the meantime she's still feeling really bad.  She's always been the more sickly of the two cats, but she's really scaring me this time. 

My class is all ready to go for the first day of school tomorrow.  I always like the beginning of a new semester.  There is just something reassuring about another school term starting. 

Since Fluffy wasn't feeling well today and I spent most of the day at the computer, today's photo is another of Dipstick.  He was in the mood to do a little posing tonight so took several close shots of him to try to capture his eyes a bit better.  Still aren't as pretty in pictures as they are in real life - but then again very few things are as good as the real thing.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 009

If my word for the year is discipline, I failed pretty miserably today.  I have a class that starts on Monday (that I'm teaching) and I should have spent the entire day getting everything lined up for it.  Instead I watched a little television, played with the dog and cats, read a little - in general relaxed - for a good part of the day.  I did work on it for a few hours this evening, but I would have been so much farther ahead and therefore felt better if I'd worked on it longer today.  Hopefully I won't repeat my error tomorrow.

I realized today that I hadn't introduced the other member of the family here yet.  This is Dipstick.  He is Fluffy's brother (they were litter mates). Dippy is so named because when he was little he was all white except for the tip of his tail which was black.  He has grown into his name with his quirky personality too which is kind of nice.  This picture doesn't show them off very well but he has the most beautiful blue eyes.

Hope everyone is enjoying a safe and warm weekend.

01-09-2010: Day 009: Temptation 2

I took another shot earlier this week that I placed on Flickr in the Shutter Sisters pool that a few folks liked. I called it Temptation. I wasn't really looking to go with a candy/chocolate theme this week but I seem to have a lot of it lying around. When the sun finally poked it's beautiful face through the clouds late this afternoon the chocolate wrapper I'd just eaten caught some of that glorious light which caught my eye. I grabbed a bunch more pieces of candy, lined them up in a few sun beams and grabbed some pictures. I'm pretty happy with the result, although I wish I'd had a bit more time to come up with a more creative display. Perhaps that will be "Temptation 3" in a later week.
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 008

Just a short journal entry tonight since it's pretty late. 

I've been thinking a lot today about how much "instant" technologies have changed our life.  For instance, tonight my cousin Lori and her husband Jason welcomed their new baby into the world.  Less than two hours after their bundle of joy we all knew about the baby, all the important facts, and had photos.  A few short years ago you waited on the birth announcement to arrive in the mail to announce the arrival of the little one and finally see a photo. 

I could say how much this blog has already made me look at things differently.  I'm excited to think about things during the day that I might share on the blog.  I'm looking for great photos to take - planning photo shoots and thinking about what I want to share - and what I want to remember about this year.

For today, I'll remember the end to the first week back to work; digging out from the now probably seven inches of snow we have on the ground, enjoying a nice dinner, bottle of wine and movie with CK, and welcoming our newest family member into the world.  Thanks for joining me in this year long journey.

01-08-2010: Day 008 - Happy Friday!

I'm not much of a consumer of spirits. However, about eight months ago I had a glass of Soft Red wine from Olivery Winery - a local winery here in Indiana. I fell in love with it! A friend from work came over tonight for dinner and a movie. We finished the bottle I'd opened at New Years.

Cheers to the end of the week and looking forward to a great weekend.
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