Saturday, November 17, 2007

Unsuspecting Puppy Parent

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Really? One must be on guard at all times.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Poop Watch

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Our evenings have turned more chaotic now that super-puppy has turned into a canine juvenile delinquent. What used to be the arsenic hours of 4-6 p.m. has now morphed into a (sometimes) 4 hour "Poop Watch."

Dogs are pretty regular in their toileting habits. Bear certainly is. I can count on a deposit being made first thing in the morning, again around noon, and then another at suppertime. He eats at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and never in-between, which helps with the regularity.

The morning deposit is pretty easy. Outside, go, walk, inside to eat. But it gets trickier as the sun comes up and the birds and squirrels warm up and start moving around. Neighbor Mary starts stirring around in her garden, her cats are out milling around. And those distractions are just a bit much sometimes. He forgets what he's out there for. And so sometimes at lunch I find myself wandering circles in the yard for 20-40 minutes watching his hind end for any sign of the tell-tale arching. Sometimes I just gut it out, stalking around on the end of the leash, thinking about lunch. Other times I bring him in and put him in his kennel for a while as I go about my own stuff. The other day I did this for something like 4 cycles. In the kennel, do something, out of the kennel for a "try," back in the kennel. Over and over.

But the evenings? The entire family is on high alert watching Bear's every move. Announcements of "I'm going upstairs, you're it!" or "Hey! He's at the door! Somebody!" Each time he goes out and comes back in, the poop watcher is asked by the other 3 family members "How did it go? Anything?" Because then we can all breathe a sigh of relief that, once he makes that evening drop, we will have several hours of relative safety.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Colors of Fall

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Today Tony asked me to come shoot photos of his tree. It's beautiful...this photo really doesn't do it justice, but I like the depth of field I managed to get with this little camera.

I went over to the site for our new library today and walked it with our library director. We've scheduled our groundbreaking for Dec. 2. It's going to be an exciting day for our community.

And now? Supper must be prepared.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm a Hopeless Case...

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
when it comes to shoes. Or dressing up. Sarah and I took a couple of her daughters and a friend to see "The Sound of Music" at Fort Mill High School on Monday night. I did warn her that I was not dressing up. But she didn't warn me that she was! I probably would have at least put something other than jeans.
Anyway, here are her [whatever the designer's name is] red shoes. She gets comments when she wears them. They are pretty, that's for sure. Not great for wandering around in the dark off sidewalks looking for the car, but great for everything else!
The production was pretty good, I think. I wasn't crazy about the girl that played Maria. The Reverend Mother and Liesl pretty much stole the show, vocally.
The production began with 20 minutes by Danny Truhitte, who is a native of Concord, NC. He played Rolfe in the 1965 movie. He sang a series of songs, some from the play, but about half about Carolina. It was a bit uncomfortable. Sort of like a bad lounge act with terrible canned music. But he's obviously a wonderful man. You just kept having this thought going through your head: "It's time to just let it go and retire."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wine Notes: Relax Riesling 2006

Relax Riesling 2006
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Mom and I have been talking wine lately. I thought maybe I'd start putting some of my finds on the blog.

From my favorite region of Germany, the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, This wine is imported by Schmitt Sohne. Just the right amount of sweetness, which I expect in wine from this region. That's why I always have a bottle from this area on hand.
This was my first attempt at adjusting color in Elements, too. I need to do this again with a photo that does not have so many blown-out areas.

Oil Painting Effect

34of365 oilpainting
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I'm trying to learn a bit about Photoshop Elements each day if I can. Yesterday I learned how to make a photo look like an oil painting. I'm not so sure this one does, though. It seems like there ought to be more texture. I'm sure it's a matter of adjustments sliders, but now I'm ready to move to something else. Anyway, these two roses, the dry one and the fresh petals, both came from Soya's rose garden. I've been enjoying cutting a couple every few days and having them on my desk.

It's gotten cloudy and dark here at 4 in the afternoon. I wish that meant rain, but it probably doesn't. By mid-December, if we don't get any substantial rain, we will probably have to go to stage 4 water restrictions. I'm not sure how they would pull that off, but it would require households to reduce their water consumption by 30%. We don't waste much, so I have no idea what we'd do. Until then I'm doing my best to keep the new garden moist. Hopefully the temps will be cool enough in December that we won't need water out there anymore.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

DeadEye Food Fanatic

DeadEye Food Fanatic
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Oh man this was fun!

...of course, I haven't written my food story, but THIS WAS FUN!!!

Last Night's Supper

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic

At Peace with this Camera

I've had several successful shots with this Canon PowerShot in the past week, and I think I'm starting to see how it will be a nice complement to my photography kit. There are some things that it does that the D40 does not:

You can shoot through the viewfinder and the LCD. The D40 LCD is strictly for viewing photos and working through menus. I use the LCD a lot with the PowerShot, and that's all fine but really it doesn't matter when I'm shooting other things so much. It's when I'm shooting myself that I find the PowerShot's LCD so swivels around and can be facing the front of the camera. So when I'm doing self-portraits, like the one yesterday, I can swivel it around to face the front and compose the shot that way.

The other thing I really like is the self-timer functions. There is a custom self-timer part where you can tell it the amount of delay you want before it starts shooting and you can even have it do multiple shots. So for instance, when I did the shot yesterday with Mensa Boy, I set it to delay 10 seconds and then shoot of 3 photos. I'm glad I did because the one I ultimately settled on was the middle shot.

I also like the fact that you can have it display the histogram all the time in the viewfinder of LCD. So instead of shooting a photo and then seeing the resulting histogram, I can watch the histogram as I adjust aperture and shutter to see how the photo is going to turn out BEFORE I push the button. That's kind of cool.

I am finding that I use the Manual setting almost exclusively, unless I am shooting action shots. Then I use the "action shot" scene mode. For some reason I am not able to (so far) to duplicate the setting the camera uses in "action" mode when I using it in Manual.

So I think I'd recommend this camera to just anyone, as long as they download a noise reduction software when they buy it. The camera produces noisy, grainy photos in just about any situation that is not outside in broad daylight. If it weren't for Imagenomic Noiseware, I'd probably still be buying and returning cameras, trying to find one that worked.


Here's a photo I took in Jazzercise yesterday morning. I had to use the sports mode to get her in focus. Instructor Kelly is performing a short cheer she made up to promote our holiday attendance game.