I haven’t been blogging or even online much the past week or so and I think I owe those of you who follow me an explanation. In 2005 I took a bad fall at home which eventually led to surgery and a partially successful fusion of my lumbar spine. Post surgery I spent a year in a body brace 23 1/2 hours a day (I could take it off for showers), sleeping in a recliner while undergoing physical therapy three times a week.
The pay off was learning that the fusion healed improperly. My physical limitations and chronic pain meant I had to retire early. That was the worst part of the whole experience for me; going from working 60 to 70 hours a week to staying home and looking for something to do.
The financial hit my family took with my disability pension only amounting to about 33% of what I had been earning was bad enough but the mind numbing boredom was the worst part for me. Looking for something to occupy my time I decided to give photography a try. A web search for information about photography led me to Windows Live Spaces. I met a lot of great people including many photographers, both amateur and pro, who generously shared their expertise and took me under their wings. That’s when I started blogging and I’ve been at it pretty much non-stop ever since.Since Spaces bit the dust and I moved to Blogger and Word Press I’ve met even more wonderful people and that includes all of you..
There is another aspect of my injuries which I have to deal with from time to time. Occasionally bouts of depression set in. This is one of those times.
I lose interest in just about everything. In fact, my cameras haven’t been out of the bag in at least a week and I’ve spent more time staring at the idiot box than online.
My family have always been my rock especially during the periods of irritability and flashes of temper. How they put up with my temper and mood swings is beyond me but they do and I’m blessed to have their support. Most importantly they make sure I take my meds and mostly leave me alone until I snap out of it which is best for everyone concerned.
We’re going home for a visit thee end of next week and I know that will do wonders for me. One of the first things I do when we go home, after unloading the car, is head for the beach I grew up on. The sand between my toes, salt air and gentle hiss as the waves kiss the sand is more therapeutic than all the drugs I’ve been prescribed.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all of you who have sent messages asking if I was okay. I’m not but I am getting there. If nothing else, sitting on the beach next weekend watching sunsets like this will recharge my soul. As always, pictures to follow.
You’ve probably heard me refer to THE BOSS, SHE WHO SHALL BE OBEYED, my better half, the woman who has put up with me for the past 25 years. You may have even seen a photo or two of her winding up to whack me on the headbone with her trusty cast iron skillet. Sometimes I even deserve it but if she happens to read that last sentence I’ll deny any knowledge on the grounds that all that BANGY!, BANGY! on my delicate head has caused severe brain damage.
Today’s post is my attempt to prod her into processing her own shots and getting into blogging.
Last Christmas I gave her a point and shoot to carry around in her purse and she actually takes it out and uses it from time to time.
She’s also been known to take one of my DSLRs away from me on occasion and has captured some fine shots with it. I’m afraid that one of these days she’ll refuse to give it back, just as she did when she got over the fear of driving Godzilla, my beloved Ford Expedition. Now I’m lucky if she let’s me drive it a couple of times a month!
I have to be careful because that cast iron frying pan isn’t the only hardware she’s been known to have access to. I’m convinced that any day now the authorities are going to kick down the door and tear the house apart looking for that 16 inch shell she found when we toured the USS Wisconsin last summer. That’s no pea shooter shell…..THE BOSS is 5 feet tall and that’s just the projectile she’s posing with.
But I digress.
These are a few of the shots I found on the memory card in her point and shoot and I thought you might enjoy them. Oh yes, the watermark. Frankie was born and raised about 15 miles from here in a little mountain town in the New River Valley, or NRV to locals, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, hence the NRVGirl tag.
From the minute Molly laid eyes on Frankie she decided she belonged to Mama. She’s also my baby girl. Buddy, who adopted me from day one, has been replaced as my chair warmer.
At nearly 100 lbs. she’s a little large for a lap dog but you can’t convince her of that.
She sill allows Buddy to lay on the floor beside my chair and get his ears scratched.
When she’s not keeping my chair or my lap warm she likes to guard my side of the bed.
THE BOSS has also been known to take some outdoor shots. She especially likes sunsets.
THE BOSS says I’ve spent enough time fooling around online so it’s back to kitchen duty for me. Anyone know a good remedy for dishpan hands?
I know, I know…….I haven’t been around lately and many of you are wondering if Frankie has finally managed to have me committed.
Not yet but she is working on it.
Actually, I’m still dealing with medical issues and just haven’t been up to blogging or even spending much time online. So far the doctors have done a pretty good job of telling me what is not wrong but still haven’t come up with a firm diagnosis.
My primary clinician is a little upset that I refuse to take two of the medications he prescribed but the side effects are worse than the illness so he’s just going to have to get over it. The other meds keep me pretty much sedated and that;s why I haven’t been around. To give you an idea of just how out of it I’ve been, I’ve only shot about 2 dozen frames since my last post on the 8th and they’re still on the memory card in one of the cameras.
There is a bright side to all of this. I’ll be well rested when it’s time to hitch up the dawgs to the truck and lend my northern cousin Kris a hand with his deliveries next month.
BUBBA CLAUS RIDES AGAIN!
Y’all may want to check your door and window locks and make sure the smoke alarm is in working condition. Ya never know what’s gonna happen when Bubba parks the truck on your roof and tumbles down your chimney.
Just a couple frames I shot while out with the dogs this morning.
I’m still adjusting to the change in medications so I stayed on the porch while Buddy and Molly were “on patrol”.
People often ask what equipment I use. Both of these shots are hand held at about 25 yards using a Sigma 150-500MM OS (optically stabilized) telephoto lens mounted on a Canon EOS Rebel T3 DSLR. I also use a Canon EOS Rebel XS, which was my first DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex).
In addition to the Sigma I have 2 Canon 18-55MM IS (image stabilized) lenses (this lens came with each camera), a Canon EF-S 55-250MM IS Telephoto Zoom Lens and a Canon EF-S 60MM f/2.8 Macro USM for close ups. Both cameras will accept all of these lenses, a very good thing now that my wife, Frankie (aka THE BOSS), has been bitten by the shutter bug as well.
NOTE TO THE READER:
I’m publishing this same post on my Virginia Through My Lens Blogger page. When I left Windows Live Spaces a few months back I couldn’t decide whether I preferred Blogger or Word Press so I tried both. After nearly a year I still can’t decide so I’ve decided to continue posting on both pages with this one focusing on photography and my Blogger page leaning more towards writing.
I hope you have a chance to visit each page and, as always, I welcome comments, tips, suggestions and criticism. That’s how I learn. I still can’t believe how much I’ve learned since I first started blogging and shooting photos in the spring of 2009. Y’all have taught me so much and I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. Thank you for your input, encouragement and most of all for your friendship.
Our plans to take a ride out to Crockett’s Cove this afternoon got side tracked by a chest cold trying to put Frankie out of action. She stopped on the way home from work and picked a box of Alka-Seltzer Plus®. That, along with my mom’s sure fire cure for what ails you, Lipton® Chicken Noodle Soup , will have her right as rain and back behind the viewfinder in no time.
One of the big attractions in the cove, especially this time of year, is the beautiful scenery. The other big attraction is the herd of whitetail deer that flocks to the open fields at sunset. My brother in law, the world famous Fish Hook, and I have watched scores and scores of deer wander out of the tree lines. One of the drawbacks to shooting in the gloaming is not enough light for decent shots unless you’re using a tripod. Setting one up and waiting for the deer to appear is usually out of the question because of the single narrow road and signs prohibiting stopping in the road. I guess the folks who live out there have had enough trouble getting home in the evenings.
The day was not a total loss. Just as she was getting settled down in bed with her book, TV remote, Mini-10 netbook and dual 4 legged self propelled foot warmers she happened to spot one of the “big dawgs” through the bedroom window.
I apologize for the grainy images. The light was fading fast so I didn’t bother with the tripod. I’ve missed catching images of this guy several times because by the time I did get the tripod set up he was either gone or I couldn’t pick him out of the background as the light failed.
The first frame was shot through the window using the window frame to brace my left arm and my left arm to brace the 150-500MM telephoto lens. The last two were shot using the clothesline pole for a brace after I managed to sneak out the back door without A) spooking the buck, B) falling on my face and C) having the dogs bolt past me and scare him off before I could frame a shot. All three were shot from about 75 yards.
Now, to get back to catching up on the backlog of blogs I have waiting for me. Man, I’m tellin’ ya; veg out for a couple of days and it takes forever to get back on track. At least the dreams from the pain meds were entertaining! Somewhere I read an article about dreams usually being in black and white. I don’t know where I read it but I do know for a fact that I dream in color, VIVID color, when deep in the grasp of a prescription narcotics buzz!
Reposted from my Blogger page. Still not 100% after my run in with the flu & pneumonia vaccines. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
First, I’d like to thank Buddy for filling in for me yesterday, even if he did change the focus settings on my viewfinder. All in all I have to say he’s a very good boy.
I’m back on my feet, no loner feeling like I’d have to die to feel better and out with the cameras again. That said, I didn’t get far from the house before discovering I’m not quite back to what passes for normal in my world. While Godzilla is a marvel of automotive engineering it lacks one important feature….indoor plumbing. Consequently, these were all shot within 5 miles of home.
Autumn is coming on fast and it won’t be long before we reach peak colors in the foliage. I often wonder if the number of traffic accidents increases this time of year as people pay more attention to the view than to the road.
If you look very closely at the image above you can just make out the roof of a very nice home on the side of that mountain.
Just in case you can’t find it, here’s a tighter shot with my long lens.
Okay, okay, I’ll zoom in as tight as I can. See it now? I guess it is a little tough to pick put in that first shot seeing as how it is about 3 or 4 miles away from where I was shooting.
Maybe that wasn’t fair of me. Tell you what I’ll do…How about a shot of the view from that house? This is shot from directly in front of the house, looking past the right side…….
….and this is from the left. I couldn’t get a decent shot of the house itself because there just wasn’t enough room between the house and the steep slope of the mountain for me to get it all in one frame, even with my shortest lens.
I shot this one along Ridge Rd. on my way home.
Okay, I have to get my tripod ready and set up both cameras for this evening. You see, the weather guesser done missed it again. The forecast called for solid overcast and rain from Tuesday evening through Friday morning. Well, here it is Wednesday afternoon, the sun is shining and the sky is only partly overcast. With any luck I just may capture decent images of the harvest moon!
We shall see…..
Did you ever have one of those days that just seems to blur on into the next day and the next and ……well you know. I’ve been dealing with a case of writer’s block recently and it just keeps going on and on.
The trip home was okay but sort of a bust. I cooked for Mom a couple of times and she enjoyed that. We gave her a couple of nice American History books and she enjoyed those as well, after giving us a minor chewing out for spending the money on her.
Then the old best laid plans deal kicked in.
I have given this sea gull instructions to keep a close eye on you.
It was overcast or raining for just about the entire week we were there. I didn’t mind the bad weather for the first day or so because my back gave me fits after the 6 hour drive and I was stoned out of my gourd on pain killers..
One afternoon the sun came out just long enough for me to load the dogs in the truck and drive to the beach. We made it about 100 yards from the parking lot when a near miss by a huge bolt of lightning sent us scrambling for cover. That was the extent of our time on the beach.
The air show we were looking forward to was rained out. This is about the best shot I managed to get when the Blue Angels were practicing the day before the start of the weekend long performance. That patch of blue sky, top right, was about the only clear spot we saw the entire week we were in Virginia Beach and it only lasted for a few minutes.
Just in case you think you can get away from that first sea gull’s steely gaze I know where I can find more……lots more……and they’ll work for stale french fries.
We decided to try a different route for the return trip. While it was nice to see different scenery this route was 40 miles longer. That said, we’ll most likely use this route from now on because it only involved about 20 miles of Interstate and I hate the Interstates with a passion.
The new route should also provide some great photo opportunities……as long as we don’t find ourselves stuck in a 30 minute traffic backup due to road construction.
Did I mention that we spent that 30 minutes INSIDE a rain cloud? The cloud deck was around 1,500 feet and, according to the roadside sign where we sat waiting just before Lovers Leap, our elevation was 3,000 feet. (The sign was the only thing I could see besides the brake lights on the tractor trailer in front of us.)
As a former manager in a major heavy truck repair facility I am all too aware of just how many trucks on our nation’s highways are literally falling apart. I spent the entire 30 minutes praying that truck didn’t suffer a brake failure because we were sitting on a pretty serious grade and I have no desire to have “Squished by a damned semi!” engraved on my headstone.
Gulls weren’t the only burds I found at home. This egret was hanging out in the top of a tree when I took a ride to First Landing State Park one afternoon.
I shot these from the driver’s seat of the truck using a 500MM zoom lens because I didn’t feel like dealing with wiping the drizzle that was falling off the lens every other frame.
It wasn’t until I got back home and started going through the photos that I spotted this guy sitting on a branch at the top of that dead tree.
I think it’s an osprey but I could be wrong. He must have landed there while I was concentrating on the egret because he wasn’t there when I shot the first frame.
Oh, yes…….the sun finally did come out on our way home…….when we were about 15 miles from home. At least we got to see some of the fall colors which are just beginning to burst across the mountainsides.
Frankie has this weekend off and we’ve already planned a day trip to capture as much of it as we can. I think she’s been nipped by the shutter bug because she’s already claimed one of my DSLRs as hers and decided that I’m going to teach her how to shoot it. This should be a lot of fun!
Oh, wait……..that means I’ll have even more photos to sort and edit…..along with the 1,500 or so I managed to shoot back home in spite of the weather. I may never finish!
At least the writer’s block seems to be easing up a little.
Preparations are under way for our trip home to celebrate Mom’s 88th birthday.This means the sorting, packing, re-sorting, re-packing, re-re-sorting…..well you get the idea….. is underway and I’ll be out in the backyard cursing at the trees any minute now.
This is good practice for the trip home because it’s a proven fact that the idiot per mile population on Virginia’s highways increases exponentially as you travel east until you get to the gridlock that is Hampton Roads, road rage capitol of the known world. Add to that the stress from having to keep a sharp eye out for speed traps and it’s little wonder my blood pressure spikes every time I have to make the trip.
If there is one thing the USAF taught me that stuck it’s how to pack. I can usually get my bags packed (duffle, camera bags and computer bag) in 10 minutes but Frankie, Queen of the Pack Rats, always has a terrible time cramming everything into and on top of the truck. If we had a tractor trailer she would find a way to overload it! I’m always amazed that a fidget (Female mIDGET) always needs a suitcase that’s at least twice the size of everything I carry, combined.
Once Frankie finishes overloading Godzilla I have to wait until she falls asleep before going out and unloading enough
junk crap trash “good stuff” to allow room for me to drive the truck and use the rear view mirrors. When she wakes up she always tries to stuff the excess back into the truck until I get that look in my eye and start searching for matches. Then she squirrels it away until her next attempt at setting a Guinness Book world record for most junk hauled across Virginia in a passenger vehicle.
Internet access at Mom’s involves a trip to McDonald’s to use their free Wi-Fi access because Mom views computers as one of the greatest evils ever visited upon mankind. My Internet Service Provider does not offer dial up access and the cost of a wireless plan would put a dent in my camera gear budget and that ain’t happening! I do have a 3G cell phone but I’m an old geezer and only use my cell for phone. I dropped the data plan after realizing that I only used it for about an hour total during the 3 month mandatory prescription period when I first got the phone. I figured the extra $49 a month would be better spent on that huge lens I wanted……and I did!
Anyhoo, I’ll be off line for most of the next week. When I get back I should have loads of pictures to share. On the other hand I may make the papers if I succumb to temptation and open fire on the idiots in a Virginia Beach traffic jam. At least tourist season is over so I’ll only have to deal with local idiots wandering around lost and not the summer time imported variety (mostly from Ohio, New Jersey and Quebec), as well.
See you when we get back….. unless I’m incarcerated or involuntarily committed!
P.S. If you happen to find yourself on a Virginia highway anywhere between Mount Rogers and the Atlantic Ocean during the next week you may want to re-consider your trip. That large green object with a dog head hanging out each side rapidly growing larger in your rear view mirrors will be Godzilla moving at a high rate of speed in and easterly direction tomorrow and westerly a week from tomorrow. I’m not braking for anything! You have been warned.
(Re-posted from today’s Blogger page. I know, I know…..I’m just lazy!)
I haven’t spent nearly enough time with the cameras or writing lately so when THE BOSS pointed out the harvest moon just rising at the end of the ridge I grabbed the camera with the big lens mounted and stepped out the front door. All of these were shot hand held with my Sigma 150 – 500MM optically stabilized lens.
I really need to practice using the big lens because it’s heavy at 4 lbs. and next Monday we’re going home for a week to help Mom celebrate her 88th birthday. I know I’ll be shooting a lot on the beach as well as around the city, both in the urban and rural areas. To top the week off we’re going to the Air Show at Naval Air Station Oceana next weekend before piling in Godzilla and returning to God’s Country. I’m gonna need to build up my forearms so I don’t pass out from exertion right in the middle of shooting a low level pass!
Suffice it to say, I may not have much to post now but by the end of the month I should have about a gazillion* frames to process. If my calculations are correct I should go blind just before Halloween.
*That’s gazillion, not to be confused with Brazilian, which frequently confused our last Dufus in Chief who should not be confused with Rick Perry, his successor as governor of Texas, who wants to be the next Dufus in Chief only without the pesky IQ thingamajig.
Say what you may about the current occupant of the Oval Office; even with a do nothing congress he has managed to accomplish one thing:
……and he has proof!
(Actual bin Laden funeral
By the way, while we’re on the topic of Al Qaeda …..and don’t ask me how we got there:
Okay, “Peggy”, the attendant says it’s time to get me in my fancy jammies with the buckles in the back and for one of those itty-bitty cups of the funny orange “Kool-Aid”.
Peggy is not to be trifled with
I’ll see y’all tomorrow unless I manage to chew through the straps again. Y’all might want to lock your doors…..and buy a helmet.
Sorry I haven’t been around to make y’all shake your heads and ask yourselves why I haven’t been institutionalized yet…….and NO, that’s not why I haven’t been online much recently.
THE BOSS has had some medical issues that have been occupying what little is left of my mind. I haven’t even picked up a camera in several days.
She is being treated by several very competent medical professionals is okay, at home and at the moment well sedated. Her preliminary prognoses are very favorable and she’ll get a better handle on her condition tomorrow when she sees one of the specialists she’s been referred to and gets the lab results.
Now, while she’s still unconscious I’ll go check the straps on her straight jacket and the padlocks on the chains. You’d think she’d behave herself, especially after I cut the handle off her broom, effectively grounding her but NO-O-O-O!
Did I mention that the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are just moving in to combine with a low pressure system that arrived in our area last night? The weather guess says heavy rain, 4 to 8 inches, through Thursday followed by scattered thunderstorms through the weekend. I’ll go absolutely stir crazy! If you already think I’m as screwy as a soup sammich you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
THE BOSS has been plotting with her sister again. Tomorrow we’re loading up Godzilla, stopping to pick up said sister and her long suffering husband, Fish Hook, and we’re all going to Saltville for the re-enactment of the Battle of Saltville.
I have mixed emotions. Any road trip is a great opportunity for photos. Since the girls will undoubtedly banish me, Fish Hook and the small red horse to the back seat I’ll sit on the left side where I can shoot from the window more easily. My injuries left me with limited range of motion when it comes to turning to the right but I can do left real good!
The article in the local paper said that in addition to the civil war encampment and battle re-enactment they’re going to have a few other events including a skillet toss. Frankie should have little trouble winning that judging by the velocity she employees when whacking me on the headbone with one.
I should have some great photos to post tomorrow……unless I’m in the ER getting a new crop of headbone lumps looked at.
No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth or broken all my cameras; I’m just in a slump. Usually I’ll wander around with my eye glues to the viewfinder, shoot a couple hundred frames, download them to my laptop and inspiration for a blog or three will come to me while I process what I’ve shot. Other times something I’ve read, heard or seen during my morning news fix will set me off on a rant and I’ll take it out on you poor folks.
Then there’s my unique (some say twisted) slant on the world around me. Blogs written on that basis usually cause a lot of you to post comments such as “You do know you ain’t right?”, “Do the guards know you’re out of your padded cell?”, “Do you lay awake nights thinking this stuff up?”, “What color is the sky in your world?” of the ever popular “God bless poor Frankie for putting up with you!”
As most of you know I have a few health issues and have to work around them at certain times of the year. During cold weather snow and ice require me to be extra cautious because of mobility issues related to my back and leg injuries . Hot humid weather, such as we’ve had the past couple of weeks, often aggravates my chronic bronchitis.
I’m the first to admit that I’m very hard headed but there are times when my refusal to let my physical problems from keeping me from doing what I want just isn’t enough and I end up where I am now, deep in the throes of cabin fever. To give you an idea of just how bad it is now, I have several pieces of new gear in my bag and I’m just dying to get out and play with it! Any time I don’t rush out to play with new toys something is definitely wrong!
Anyhoo……..the weather guessers are saying we should be in for something of a break as the daytime highs next week should be about 10 degrees cooler. Until then I have a few books I’ve been meaning to read and I’ll be able to catch up on your blogs…….and maybe, just maybe, I’ll find something interesting on the magic box across the room…….maybe even a Three Stooges Marathon!
Keep an eye on this space…….you never can tell when the voices in my head tell me to write something worth publishing.
Buddy says he has a few good ideas but I’m not about to admit, in writing at least, that I converse with my dawg. People might think I was losing what little is left of my mind!
Wythe County Police, Fire & Rescue. What is the nature of your emergency?
WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!
Buddy….is that you, boy? Did your daddy tell you to call for help again?
What’s the problem this time?
WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!WHOOF! WHOOF! WHOOF!
I’m sorry boy; I didn’t catch all of that. Is your mama home?
Well, put her on the phone.
Who is this and what do you want? Did that dog dial 911 again?
Frankie, it’s me, cousin John!
Oh hey, John! I’m a little busy right now. Can I call you back?
I thought you were gonna call last week. When are you coming over to get some vegetables? I’ve picked so many from the garden that I’m out of storage space.
Well you know, I’ve been working and…….
**unintelligible screaming in the background**
SHUT UP YOU BIG SISSY OR I’LL GRAB YOU BY THE EARS, DRAG YOU OUT FROM UNDER THAT BED AND WHACK YOU A FEW MORE TIMES!
I’m sorry, John what were you saying?
Have you been hitting Chip with the cast iron skillet again, Frankie?
You know how he is, John. I told him it was too hot to mow the lawn but would he listen? I had to go out and turn off the mower, splash him with cold water until he came to and help him stumble back indoors where it’s cool. The lawn does look good though.
Does he need another ride in the ambulance?
Hang on a second, John….. WHANG! …..he does now! Do me a favor; this time have the crew take him him to a different emergency room. I need to get a few things done around here and you know how he is.
Sure thing, cousin, where do you want us to take him….Roanoke…Charlottesville…..Richmond
No, I’ve been thinking more along the lines of Oklahoma City. It’ll take him a month to walk home from there after they release him…….unless he has amnesia again in which case I’ll have a laptop and a whole bunch of camera gear for sale, cheap.
Okay, Frankie, the ambulance is on the way. Pat Buddy on the head for me. Don’t forget to come get some vegetables.
Okay, John, I’ll be there. Thanks!
Reposted from my Blogger page. Give me a break folks I’m rapidly losing what’s left of my mind…….and here’s why:
Copyright note: Feel free to ignore the copyright notice in the right sidebar. I stole all of these images from the Internet. The same holds true for the video. The insane rambling is mine, all mine!
The “heat dome” covering a huge section of the land of the formerly free and home of the useless, do nothing but shovel manure and tell lies about their opponents politicians has had me trapped indoors for days where the A/C allows me to breathe. It’s comfortable but I’m going stir crazy!
Let this be a lesson: Smoking will kill you! A pack a day for 40 years left me with 40% lung capacity which will never improve. It also gave me the “gift” of COPD in the form of chronic bronchial asthma which at this time of year is triggered by even a little exertion (read waving my cane and cussing like a sailor on shore leave every time I see that idjit across the street out tryin’ to herd her cats) in high heat and humidity.
If you are a smoker put that damned thing out! This is a smoke free blog!
While I sit here wishing for a foot of snow to magically appear I’ve found myself being drawn into the clutches of online retailers who carry stuff I just gots to have! One of those items is a larger camera bag. Just as some of you who are of the female persuasion amass a huge collection of shoes, purses, whips and chains, oh my!, etc. the past two+ years spent amassing enough photo equipment to shoot pictures of everything in the known universe has caused me to purchase an assortment of camera bags, each larger than the previous one. At current count I have 6 …… 7 if you count the tripod case and none of them are large enough.
I don’t necessarily need to carry EVERTHING when I go out shooting. I just like to keep all my gear together where I can find it. Splitting my gear between several bags is a cast iron guarantee that while out shooting 40 miles back in the hollers I’ll say “%#@*&@!! I need such and such and it’s in the other bag at home!”
Well, today I ordered a new bag and it should be large enough to hold everything and still have room for the gear I already have and any items I accumulate over the next few months……. I hope. For some strange reason I have the feeling that I’ll be buying a steamer trunk in the not too distant future.
This is what I ordered. It even has detachable wheels! If I post a photo of a motorized version in the near future it will mean that A) It’s too heavy for me to carry, B) Ditto for Buddy, C) my riding mower is no longer operational D) My bag is now motorized and E) I’m living out in the storage shed because THE BOSS done found out how much I’ve spent on camera gear!
…… that I’m actually reading the user’s manual for the new camera that arrived on the Big Brown Truck today!
Note to the reader: This was originally posted on my Virginia Through My Lens Page on 20 July. Reposted and updated here for my Word Press audience.
That’s right, I Roket Man, king of computer crashes, undisputed master of falling down in a most spectacular fashion, poster child for crutches and bandages, am READING A MANUAL! And I don’t mean I’m just looking at the pictures, either.
You may want to mark your calendars because the odds of my doing this again in my lifetime are very slim.
The new camera, a Canon T3, is no leap forward in technology over the Canon XS/1000D DSLR I’ve been using. In fact it’s a little simpler but what it does do is shoot HD video. Since our old early 90s vintage Panasonic VHS behemoth camcorder bit the big one a few years ago I’ve been thinking about switching to digital video. Those thoughts always fell to the wayside when some new toy for my DSLR caught my eye……like a lens, tripod, camera bag, etc. I have at least 5 or 6 bags because my collection of goodies keeps growing and the bags don’t. At least the T3 accepts all of the lenses I already own which is a good thing because I have so much gear now that I find myself shopping for a pack frame and saddle bags for Buddy so he can help tote my gear.
Come to think of it, I don’t even know if we have a functioning VHS deck but we do have 2 DVD players and there’s a DVD-RW in this laptop which I know for a fact works.You see, most computers with Windows 7 pre-installed DO NOT come with recovery disks and one of the first things I did when I took delivery of this machine was to create one because there hasn’t been a computer built that I can’t crash!
If the weather forecast for the rest of the week holds true I’ll know this camera inside and out before I soot the first frame…….or you may see some extremely boring video of the moon because chances are the heat and humidity may drop enough after sunset that I’ll be able to breathe outdoors. COPD is a b***h!
Well, this isn’t getting that manual read so I had better get back to it. Once I finish the book I think I’ll also go through the tutorials on the DVD included with the camera. I may even run some of the free tutorials on the Canon web site.
No, I’m not being conscientious. I can’t use the new camera yet because the battery pack is taking FOREVER to charge!
Naturally this camera doesn’t use the same battery that my XS uses. That figures because I have 2 fully charged spare battery packs for it.
NOTE TO SELF: Order spare battery packs for the T3!
The man in the Big Brown Truck came to see me again today! I already call him Santa Claus and greet him with a hearty HO! HO! HO! when he pulls up in front of the house but if he keeps this up I just might forgive him for not bringing that pony I wanted when I was 6.
Today he brought my new remote shutter switch and a high capacity 32Gb, high speed read/write SDHC card!
Now if the weather would only return to the normal hot, hazy and humid but the weather guessers are saying we’ll be in hotter than blue blazes mode for weeks to come. If they’re right don’t be surprised to find nothing but videos of Buddy chasing his tennis ball collection for the rest of the summer.
What a terrible thought!
Let’s all pray for a freak blizzard or two or three. Right about now two feet of snow sounds like heaven!
No blog/photos for a few days. Dislocated right shoulder playing Buddy Ball. Buddy knows he hurt me but didn’t mean to. He’s “nursing me back to health” with sloppy dog kisses…….especially if I start to nod off!
Can barely type w/ both hands. Left handed is nearly impossible! Camera w/one hand IS impossible! Can’t use track ball either but I do have a touchpad.
If I don’t leave comments on your blogs you’ll know why.
Y’all play nice now. Don’t make me stop this clown car!
NOTE TO THE READER:
As some of you may know I have 2 blog pages (the other is my Virginia Through My Lens page on Blogger) and usually try to post something different on each one, each day. Sometimes I only have enough for one post so I alternate between pages. I feel that today’s blog is of such world shaking significance that I’m posting it on both sites in order to give all of my readers a chance to submit their input.
Please bear with me on this one. Anyone who has read a few of my blogs will tell you I’m not quite right. I mean no disrespect to our savior and creator. I’m only trying to shed a little light on what goes on inside my head.
I accept absolutely no responsibility for any bumps and/or bruises suffered from those prone to FOMCLMAOing or any other physical or emotional trauma resulting from reading this post. No animals were harmed in any way during the production of this nonsense.
Their are times when what’s left of my mind is a complete blank and I turn to my chief sources of inspiration, Chicken Invaders 3 or Three Stooges.com. Today I find that unnecessary. Brace yourself…….the inspiration for this post came to me in the shower.
As I was nearly finished mowing the front portion of our lawn God decided I needed a shower so he parked a HUGE black cloud over my yard and it commenced to rinsing me off. Then a tremendous bolt of lightning and incredible peal of thunder led me to realize that what He actually wanted was for me to stop mowing.
So I did……..before he sent another lightning bolt my way……I am capable of taking a hint………at least sometimes…….especially when lightning is involved.
Leaving my dedicated lawn mowing,
land mine fertilizer surprise from Buddy finding, grass coated, paint splattered shoes out on the porch for a good rinse I decided it would be a good idea to get in the shower and wash off the sweat and dirt God missed.
This is when the inspiration hit me.
As I reached for the shampoo I realized that their were 8 bottles of shampoo on the rack! This is especially strange as there are only three people living in our house…….well, Buddy isn’t technically a people but he doesn’t know that and I see no need to tell him otherwise.
One of these bottles of shampoo is mine; the same brand I’ve been using my entire life.
Another bottle is Buddy’s the same brand he’s used since we brought him home. His shampoo occupies the lowest of the four shelves on the rack. This is very important because it is out of my reach. While accidentally using it may leave me with a shiny coat I have no desire to have the following conversation:
ER doctor: So tell me, Mr. Allen, how exactly did you get flea shampoo in your eye?
Me: RATZENFRATZENFILTHANDFLARN!!! JUST STOP LAUGHING AND MAKE THE &#@*&% BURNING STOP!!!
The other six bottles, each half empty, a different brand and different scent must, therefor, belong to my bride, aka THE BOSS, aka SHE WHO SHALL BE OBEYED, aka BRINGER OF THE HEADBONE LUMPS, HEADACHES, TWEETY BIRDS AND FIREWORKS!
Does anyone know why a woman would need 6 different shampoos? Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? If so I would appreciate your input on this perplexing subject.
I haven’t the slightest intention of asking Frankie.
Apparently I must have tracked grass clippings across the carpet or something.
At the moment she’s down on her hands and knees…….screaming at me to “COME OUT FROM UNDER THAT BED AND FIGHT LIKE A MAN, YOU BIG SISSY!”
Fat chance of that happening!
I’ll just stay down here until she cools down a bit. Buddy says he’ll bring me a cookie or a little kibble when she’s not looki………
Oh, look at all the little birdies!
I’m not really here right now. This post is set to publish all by itself……I hope. Frankie and I are busy trying to pack everything we’ll need for the next couple of weeks. We’re also getting an itinerary together because there are people to visit and places we want to go. This time there are several sections listed as “GO TO THE BEACH!” I intend to spend a lot of time just loafing.
By this time Tuesday I’ll be relaxing on Chic’s Beach wondering what the poor people are doing. Of course, considering the size of my monthly Social Security Disability check I am one of the poor people except when I’m on vacation. When I’m kicked back on the beach money just don’t mean a thing!
Before I go, here’s a shot of the first deer we’ve seen in the yard in some time and a buck at that! We’re used to seeing plenty of does but this yearling buck is a rare sight. The quality of the shot leaves a lot to be desired. It was hurried and shot through two panes of glass but it was the best I could do before he vanished into the brush. Hopefully, the does will be bringing the new fawns out to graze by the time we get back.
Y’all take care and I’ll be back blogging in a couple of weeks. Man, is my reader going to be packed full!
In February of 2009 I was looking for something to occupy my time after being forced into early retirement by a bad fall at home. Accustomed to 60+ hour work weeks the sudden inactivity was driving me out of what was left of my mind. I had dabbled with photography when I was younger and my daughter had a Kodak point & shoot she wasn’t using so I did a web search for amateur photography, found tons of information, tutorials and several people willing to take me under their wing. The rest is….well, you know.
A great many of those people were blogging on Windows Live Spaces and before I knew it I was, too. Then the shutter bug had me in its grasp and I was drooling over photo supply catalogs. Two years ago this week I had finally saved enough for a Canon DSLR and I was posting 2 or 3 blogs a day, not just photo blogs, either. I had found an online family, some of whom were just as deranged as me….some even more…and when I didn’t have my eye glued to a view finder I was running rampant on the web. I was also still drooling over those photo supply catalogs.
Now I have a never ending list of new gear I just have to have and a growing collection of camera bags that never seem to be large enough to hold the gear I already have for very long. At least I have finally learned to save up for what I want instead of just breaking out the credit cards. I wonder how much a good mule to haul my gear around is gonna cost.
As I said, it’s been 2 years since I started shooting with decent equipment. The recent heat wave we’ve been “enjoying” has kept me in the house for health reasons so today, as I was moving my May photos from the laptop to the portable hard drive, I thought it might be fun to post some of what I consider to be my better shots. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed shooting them. If you would prefer to view a larger image of any frame just click on the thumb below the slide show.
Before today’s oppressive heat and humidity drove me indoors I managed to catch this pair of House Finches perched on the shed roof, patiently waiting for a space at one of the feeders in Burd Town.
If the weather guessers have it right it looks like my outdoor photography will be restricted to early morning or late afternoon until the middle of next month as an unusually early heat wave bears down on us. Summer’s oppressive heat and humidity aggravate my COPD so I’ll most likely be stuck indoors for most of the upcoming days.
At least I’ll have plenty of time to read and catch up on blogs!
Man, I can’t wait to get back home and out on the beach I grew up on! Getting back to that stretch of sand is always therapeutic for body and soul. The tang of salt on the sea breeze, gentle hiss or thundering roar depending on the size of the waves coming in and the feel of sand between my toes mean so much more to me now that I have to drive 325 miles to experience them instead of just walking over the crest of a sand dune. Only two weeks to go!
Today’s post from my Blogger page. Some days I just don’t have enough to post different blogs but I thought my readers here might enjoy seeing what a slow “news” day is like around here.
The weather guessers are promising heavy rain this afternoon and tonight. I believe them. For those who don’t know that is the flag of the Commonwealth of Virginia flying below the National Colors.
One would think that with cell and radio towers way up there reception would be great.
One would be wrong. There are higher ridges and deeper valleys all around, making cell reception spotty unless you’re near one of the Interstates where the terrain is fairly level …… or on top of one of those higher peaks.
At a traffic light Buddy started whining and barking. Two lanes over I saw what he was on about.
“Buddy, tell them to let you drive, too. You’ve got a license. So what if it’s a dog license? You’re a dog!”
We like to fly the Stars and Stripes everywhere! You also see the Stars and Bars flying a lot in our neck of the woods, a reminder that West Virginia is only a couple of ridge lines away. They broke away from the Confederacy and joined up with the damned Yankees when Virginia seceded from the Union at the start of the War of Northern Aggression.
Frankie remembers her grand daddy telling her about seeing Union occupation troops patrolling the streets of Wytheville when he was a boy. That didn’t stop him from answering the nation’s call during the Spanish American War. As our nation celebrates Memorial Day on Monday Grandpa Hodge will be one of the many veterans we’ll be saluting in our family.