Wednesday, June 27, 2007

OK, so I'm in the mood ...

I've been out and about with my camera phone, and was coming to the conclusion that it didn't take such great pictures. Yeah, old news to techy types, but rather disappointing to me.

So, I thought I'd do an experiment. I'd stage a scene, something trivial. that I could shoot a few times, and f$%& with the camera between shots. One image, one Tullamore Dew. See how the series came out.

First picture, "The Scene" ... On the desk in my office at home, early afternoon sun just coming into the windows, illuminating one of my 2 Cateye bike computers, an empty box of test strips (prescription needed refilling), and of course, one of my favorite things, a book, about writing formula and functions in Excel 2007,.

That's for automating my own pension plan, but that's another story. None of us can wait for that to happen ...

Second image, "The Scene, take 2" ... Oddly enough, it's the same scene (about 2 minutes later), but this time, the camera phone lens has been subjected to an attack with a Q-tip. Plain, old, ordinary - the kind I buy in lots of 1000 because I've got 3 daughters and a wife who apparently consume these things like methadone thru an inner city clinic ... but, I digress.

A little more clarity, less haze, a bit sharper ... better, but not too great.

And, that's when I turn to alcohol.

As some of you may have noticed, I tend to play with computer hardware. Pretty strange, all things considered (like, I wrote a directory / file walker so I could send Erin a text file of all of my mp3 collection by artist / album / song). Software geek. I sent her the code too, C# for God's sake, just to show off (Visual Studio wouldn't fit in an email). Anyhow, I've removed and inserted my CPU into my socket more times than ... well, all of the analogies are obvious. The CPU needs cleaning during each operation (thermal paste, you know), and to do that, you need Q-tips (how fortunate), and Alcohol - isoPropyl type, stock drug store $1/qt stuff. Wetting a Q-tip from a quart bottle is a bad idea. After having done that, and lots of other variations on the theme, I FINALLY found a travel sized drop bottle - 5 ounces, in kind of a sport bottle cap configuration, in which I poured about 2 ounces of alcohol. Works better a drop at a time. It's been sitting on my desk forever, and now ...

I wet a fresh Q-tip, and cleaned the lens again, and got scene #3 ...

By the way, if you cannot tell the difference, well, thanks for playing. Have a nice day ...

So, I've got a bunch more images - some good, some less good - with stories to tell. Hopefully, the images will be better in the future.



Wet dog syndrome ...♦

Once upon a time, Farley was just a puppy, with REALLY long hair, that grew, and grows, at a phenomenal rate. Needing water, we gave him a bowl, and discovered that a significant amount of his facial hair wound up getting wet. If you think wet dog hair smells bad, I suggest you get over it by sniffing a wet Shitzu's snout after it's been soaked in water a few times. Ambrosia versus skunk poop, kind of compare.

Being the engineer / deck screw / pressure treated lumber kind of guy I am, I hit upon two ideas. One: Have the dog drink from a hanging bottle, the kind that rabbits / hamsters use. Two: Build a floor standing mount for the bottle, consisting of a wire grid (that stuff you build shelves out of), and some pressure treated lumber for a frame.

If you've been in our house, you've seen this thing. Free to build (well, except for the parts, tools, scrap, projects it was made from ...), and fun to do with a table saw.

Alex has a new dog, Franky, a very pure bred Boston Terrier. He needed a stand to drink from, for his Breeder Recommended water bottle. Parts is parts, tools and screws are much in abundance, and Maripat found the grid piece someplace.

Built it, Alex took it back to her place, and apparently, the dog loves it. She said, and I believe.

Life is good, sometimes. Most times, actually, but I don't have enough time to write about it ...



Sunday, June 3, 2007

The pile of rocks in the front ...

Once upon a time, we had a new house built, and we collected almost all the big rocks into a pile out front, under the big Maple tree. We figured that, someday soon, we'd use them in some clever landscaping kind of way.

Time passed, and other things happened. A lot of time passed. Like, 13 - 14 years or so passed. And, we still had a pile of rocks in front of our house.

We've got a lot of landscaping stuff around the house. The front was professionally landscaped. Our backyard has a pool, decks, stone path, large mulched area, large flower boxes (5 of them) and other stuff. It needed maintenance work. So, I asked the guy who plows my driveway, who happens to do landscape maintenance and construction, to come over and give me a quote on some work. Both the maintenance and the pile of rocks under the tree ...

I accepted his offered quote, and soon ... more rocks showed up under the tree.

Eventually, after a bit of work, and more (and fewer) rocks under the tree, it was done

From the front steps:

From the lawn towards the street:

A close up of one of the rocks we acquired - the picture doesn't do it justice. Yes, I need a new camera, but, you really need to see this thing up close. Great landscaping rock.

Anyhow, I've done my biking for the day (17+ miles, coffee in Brockport), installed Alex' air conditioner in her apartment, and now, need to attend to the bills / accounts of Ruscio Inc.