Thursday, November 07, 2013

Throwback Thursday


Throwback -- Mom and me. :-)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Favorite Books


When Diahn and I get together, we very nearly always end up talking about favorite books.  It is always fun to realize what similar tastes we have, and when she recommends a book, I can feel pretty certain that I'm going to really enjoy it.

It seemed like a no-brainer that an easy blog post would be a list of favorite books.

WHAT in the world was I thinking?

There are just too many good books out there -- and every time I think my list is nearly complete, I have to hurry back and add another book that I just remembered.

Like The NeverEnding Story.  I forgot it until just now.  How in the world do you forget a book that is printed in two different colors of ink and is SO MUCH FUN?!?  Sigh.

The other thing I love, though, is to listen to books on audio.  Oh my -- When I read a book, I tend to get totally lost in the story while sitting for hours on the couch, during which time the house kind of falls down around my head.  Instead, when I LISTEN to a good book, I can get totally lost in the story while cleaning the house and keeping it from falling down.  See?  Problem solved.

Mischief managed.

Except, not EVERY book is as good on tape as it is to read.  On the other hand, some books are actually BETTER on tape, so it all balances out.  I've made notes about that in my list.

So, without further putting-it-off-just-in-case-I-remember-a-really-important-book, here goes my short list in no particular order…

1)  The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (and several other books) by J.R.R. Tolkein.  These are my favorite books of all time and they are as good to read as they are to listen to IF you are listening to the stories being read by Robert Ingles.  Dear me…what a wonderful reader he is.

2)  Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Teaching a Stone To Talk by Annie Dillard.  I've never even tried to listen to these -- these are books to be read.  The writing is so beautiful that I will sometimes just pick a book up and open it to any spot just to read for a few minutes.  They belong on every nightstand in the house.  Seriously.

3)  Dune is an all time favorite, but I don't care at all for the sequels.

4) The No. One Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith IN AUDIO.  I can't imagine reading them.  The audio version is read by Lisette Lecat, and her voice is amazing.  She hums the m's and rolls the r's and brings Africa to life.  Smith's 44 Scotland Street series is also on my favorite list -- either to read or listen to.

5) The Harry Potter series - fun to read and to listen to.

6) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the following books in the series by Douglas Adams.  Forget the movie.  Really.  I mean we should all forget that the movie was even ever made.   EVER.

7) The Stand and The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.  The opening lines for The Gunslinger (Dark Tower I) and the closing line for the The Dark Tower (DT VII) are, well, remarkable.  And it seems to have come to a point with Stephen King that all his books fit together into one story, after all...

8)  The Dragonriders of Pern and the other Pern book by Anne McCaffrey are long standing favorites.  I got my first taste of the series in the very early 70's when a portion of the first book was released as a short story or novella.  I remember reading it in the science fiction magazine, Amazing.   Really great classic science fiction.

9) The Magicians series by Lev Grossman is a relatively new favorite, and I'm waiting hopefully for another book to be released!

10) Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell then comes to mind, speaking of magicians.

11)  Flowers for Algernon, A Tale of Two Cities, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, As I Lay Dying, The Jungle Book,  anything by Robert Heinlein…

What might I have missed?  Any ideas?

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Sunday Spaces no 1

Colors above...
…colors below

And I'm happily spending my day in between.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Look Back

Visiting my parents this evening, and spotted some framed family photos.   It reminded me of what fun I had just a year ago taking pictures of my sister's family, focusing on the oldest neice's senior pictures.  This was just before the onset of the camera woes --


I need to get this bunch of crazies back down here soon.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Fuzzy Wuzzy Photo Woes

It's a weird thing that a tool that you LOVE
can quickly become a tool you HATE
when it quits working like it should.

Especially when said tool is a somewhat pricey camera.


Wouldn't this have been a cute photo, if…



Or this one…it would have made you say, "awwww…" except for the fact that you are too busy straining to see their little faces.

It has driven me NUTS trying to get good photos of the kids.  I thought it was me, the light, the lenses, and finally the camera.  It was clearly the camera.  I could NOT get a good shot.

Except, of course, when things would go crazy and I didn't really need things to be in focus, because it really wasn't anything like the shot I was going for...
…some unexpected clarity would JUST SEEM TO SHOW UP.  It would show up in the photo I couldn't really show around, or hang on the wall, or use for Christmas cards.


After reading the manual and searching forums on the internet and taking the camera to several different experts to help me determine what the focus problems were and how I could fix them, I finally decided that I was going to have to send the darn thing off to Canon and have it repaired.  Stories out there told how it could take weeks or even months for a camera to be returned, so I did one final search for a solution before sending it off.

And, then…

And, then I found ONE COMMENT buried deep in a thread of answers on a forum.  I don't know who the commenter was, what the forum was, or how long ago it was, but if I could ever find the person again I would hug his/her neck.

The answer, the commenter said, was to remember that your camera is a computer.  You need to hard boot it by taking out the battery.
Not THAT battery, silly.
There is a system battery.  Look in the manual and find out how to remove the system battery, leave it out for at least three minutes, and replace it.  It will hard boot the camera and restore the settings.

I'm not sure if at this moment I said, "Aha!" or "Duh!"
Either way, I couldn't believe I had never thought of this or HEARD it from anyone.

I did it -- left the battery out for a full thirty minutes -- replaced the battery, turned it on, held my breath, and took a photo.
Voila!  Presto!  Shazam!  It worked!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, whoever you are!

Now if I could only convince these people to hold still FOR JUST A SECOND, already.


And now you know the rest of the story. ;-)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heat Wave

keepin' it cool, man, keepin' it cool...

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


I love being a Nana.
(I'm just sayin'...)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Happy First Day of Spring, y'all!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Be Square, Man

Artichoke strip 1

I got the bright idea a while back to create a photo wall over the little table in the kitchen where we spend most of our time.  My thought was that I have TONS of photos, and I could change out the photos as the seasons changed, or whenever I felt like it for the fun of it.  Great idea, right?

SO -- I got a bunch of photo frames.  I got frames with mats that accommodate an 8" square format piece.  I recruited my dad (who is a perfectionist and so is THE PERSON I knew would be sure that the frames were hanging exactly right) and we hung six of them on my wall -- three across and two high.  Okay.  He hung them and I just handed him things.  Still.

That was in early December.

This is March.  SOON it will be mid-March.  And the pictures in my frames are still the same black and white photo that was in them at the store.  Yes.  You heard me right.

At first, it was just that Christmas got in the way.  Then it was trying to make the time to find a set of six photos that I could crop down to the right size -- plus I needed a new printer so I could print them out myself -- plus THAT was not working well so I needed some new photo editing software -- plus ...

You get the picture.  (pun)

So now I'm going through my photos and finding out that my favorite photos quit being my favorite photos as soon as they are cropped down into a square format.  Logical, but the logic switch in my brain must have toggled off at some point in, oh, November.  So I've been playing with photos that AREN'T my favorites to see if the square crop helps them.  In some cases it does.

Now, because these frames (with the black and white photos of identical sailboat rigging or something equally confusing) are INSISTING that I fill them PLEASE before 2013 rolls around, I'm trying my best to figure out what makes for good composition in a square format.  I'm thinking there are some different rules than with a rectangular format -- there must be.  It looks like we can break the rule that says not to put your subject in the very center, for one.  I suspect that we may find much higher or lower "horizon" lines work in square format, too.  Anyone out there have any ideas/rules/thoughts, etc on square format?

For now, I'm going to just play it cool and work at being square.