August 31, 2010

New Reading Material

I got a kindle!  It came today.  

When Amazon dropped the price and went to a wi-fi version I decided to finally buy one. 

So far it's looking good.  It charged quickly.  I've downloaded some free books (PG Wodehouse anyone...) and a few others I had to pay for.  A review shall be forthcoming once I get a chance to use it for a while. 

It's very exciting. 

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 10:25 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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August 30, 2010

When I Take Pictures...

I never end up with anything like these accidental shots.  For that matter I think I could make a 100% concerted effort and still not get anything like these! 

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 11:22 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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August 29, 2010

Speaking of Cats - Updated

Update of good news:  aka make up your friggin' minds already!  Looks like Bailey hit his head very hard.  His eyes are swollen and he had to have a tooth extracted, but after further review, it was determined his jaw was fine.  Quite a relief, but man it took long enough to find out!  She'll be able to take him home tomorrow after work.  Woot!

In case you are wondering, my daughter insists she has 2 klutz cats.  They are very large (not fat - just tall, long and 15 pounds each) and she says neither of them has any balance nor do they ever land on their feet.  Bailey probably fell after jumping onto one of the high cabinets in the kitchen.  That would make the most sense out if this.  Wonder if it will keep him from climbing... only time will tell.


My daughter's cat (Bailey) has managed to dislocate his jaw.  How?  She has no idea. 

She was away from home last night and when she returned this morning, she thought he had broken a tooth.  He was panting and drooling.  She called the emergency vet - their advice... well, he'll be okay.  If he isn't better tomorrow bring him in. 

She called them 2 more times, they kept telling her it would be okay... She finally told them that she obviously wasn't comfortable with the way the cat was holding his mouth and she was going to bring him in. 

She gets him to the office where the vet looks at the cat, orders x-rays, and says... "Well, it looks like his jaw is dislocated, why didn't you bring him in earlier?!!!" 

Good grief!

Since it was already after 9pm, her other cat won't leave this poor guy alone, and she would have to take him right back over there first thing in the morning, she decided to leave him at the vet's for the night.

The surgeon will see him in the morning.  She has a huge 12 hour day of presentations she is supposed to give at work all day tomorrow. 

Did I say Good Grief? 

Guess I'll find out what's up sometime tomorrow.  In the meantime send all good thoughts Bailey's way.  He's a sweet cat. I'll be worrying about him all night.

Posted by: Teresa in Medical at 10:17 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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August 27, 2010

How Do People Think of This Stuff?

OMG WWII on Facebook!

It's perfect even down to the timestamps.

And let me add... I know how someone thinks this up - they just watch my daughter's cat...

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 10:24 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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August 26, 2010

This Remodeling Stuff Takes Way Too Much Time!

I have been working on my Smugmug site.  Since I haven't really looked at it for a while and I wanted to do some different stuff, it's taking me forever to figure out exactly how to do what I want to do. 

In the meantime, if you'd like to know the depressing details of cheese that goes bad... head on over to my other site and read all about it.  Very sad indeed.

Now I'm off to read some more about what changes I'm going to try.  I'm sure I'll have to screw everything up before I finally figure it out.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 11:06 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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August 24, 2010

Still Raining

The rain started on Sunday and hasn't stopped yet.  The weather guessers are saying it will rain all day tomorrow too.  That straight mildly heavy steady rain that never quite happens in the Midwest.

Well, the plants are all ecstatic (the ones that didn't die in the dry spell that is).  I think my grass delighted.  It's already turning green where it was brown before.   It remains to be seen what the trees do.  Some have already lost nearly all their leaves.  (these Northeast plants just can't take stress at all - heh)

Just finished moving some data from one computer to another.  Tedious thing to do, but these things must be done periodically.  They must also be done when others don't need to use the machines in question.  All of which means it's been a long day and I'm done with computers for the remainder of the night.  Time to go veg out and not think.

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 10:20 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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August 23, 2010

I Know it Will Be a Severe Disappointment

But we didn't do any car/truck shopping this last weekend.  Decided to take a weekend and not think too much about it.  This week my husband will call the insurance company and run the current top 5 list past them.  We may eliminate some just based on insurance premiums.

Or  not.

In the meantime, I need to take some time to work on my smugmug site.  I've been very remiss about uploading pictures to it and it's a far better place to store pics than on my computer.  So that has gone onto the schedule.

Like I keep saying... the excitement... it never ends!

Posted by: Teresa in Life Stuff at 02:56 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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August 22, 2010

More Glow

Glow little balloon - Glow.

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 10:26 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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August 20, 2010

Shoot It Like a Gun

One of the tricky bits about taking pictures is holding the camera still.  It can be a difficult thing to do and depending on how dark it is and the camera you're using - nearly impossible.

Let's face it - 99.99% of people taking pictures for their own enjoyment are NOT going to carry a tripod or even a monopod along with them.  It ain't gonna happen. Camera geeks can bemoan this fact or even be smug about it - but that doesn't change things nor does it help. 

So, how does one make the best of it when hand holding a camera?

Choose the right ISO speed the for the light available - the bigger the number the faster the shutter will click.  Higher numbers (anything over 400) are handy for evening and indoor shots.  Lower numbers (400 or below) for outdoor and bright shots - experiment!  This is like - how much light is on your target and how do you aim at it and hit it in the light you have to work with?

Anyone who shoots guns and hits the target with consistency should be able to take a very nice clear picture under most circumstances.  Even if you don't like guns or have never had the opportunity to learn - you've probably seen television shows or movies where someone is being taught how to shoot.

1 - hold the camera still and frame your subject
2 - take a deep breath and let it half way out 
3 - gently depress the shutter button

Depending upon the camera you use - timing may need to be varied.  But the steps above will get you decently sharp pictures almost every time.

Let's look at the cameras because here is where you have the most variation:

Point and shoot where you must hold the camera away from your face because there is no viewfinder - these are the hardest to work with.  It's really really hard to hold the camera out away from you, depress the shutter and NOT move one side of the camera down with the shutter button!  It can be done if you work at it - but it's not easy!  Unlike using a pistol - you don't have one hand underneath the other for support - it's on the opposite side of the camera trying to keep the picture straight. So very gently depressing the shutter button is the key here.

If the shutter speed is fast (on a bright day) it's not too hard to do because the shutter speed being fast will stop the blur.  If it's darker and you are taking a pic, you may want to use the timer feature.  Set it for 2 or 3 seconds.  When you push the shutter release button the camera can stop moving before it actually takes the picture - great for night shots.

Regular DSLR with a viewfinder - far far easier because you have the camera against your face to help hold it still.  The same timer trick can be used if you still tend to push the shutter button too hard and jerk the camera.  Most DSLR's tend to take better pictures at higher ISO settings too - just the nature of the beast, like the difference between rifles and pistols.

Depending on your camera - take into account the time it takes to "lock the focus".  That's how long it takes the camera to automatically focus and lock on the subject.  Some cameras are fast at this, others are abysmally slow.

Almost every autofocus camera has the feature allowing you to depress the shutter half way to lock the focus - some cameras  beep (I like the beep others don't).  So you may want to include this in step 1.  Depress the shutter until you lock the focus THEN do the deep breath in step 2.  This way you don't strangle from lack of air while waiting for the camera to focus. 

To hold my camera steady in low light, I have been known to sit on the ground and prop my elbows on my knees, kneel on one knee and prop one elbow, lean against a wall, wrap my camera neck strap tightly around my arms in various ways to provide extra tension, prop my elbows on a half wall... I'm sure there are more - be creative.   

There you go.  Taking photos is fun.  It's even more fun when the end result isn't blurred out. 

So shoot it like a gun. 

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 01:40 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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August 19, 2010

Let It Glow

Balloons glow at night.

Very pretty.  (and not bad for hand held instead of tripod)

Posted by: Teresa in Photos at 10:29 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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