Friday, October 31, 2008
Do my photos look a little different to you than normal? I was also testing out my new wide angle lens that finally arrived yesterday. A 50mm lens on a regular camera is essentially the same field of vision that you have with the naked eye, but on most DSLR camera's there's a 1.6 crop factor - meaning my 50mm lens reads more like an 85mm lens, essentially making it a short telephoto. My new lens is a 20mm fixed lens which reads like a 32 on a normal camera (funny, why do I keep saying 'normal' - digital cameras are the NEW normal). So it's a wide angle for me, and would be ultra wide if I were using it on a full frame camera.
Photography lecture over.
I still can't get over how you can see my entire house in each shot, though. I'll have to be more vigilant about baskets full of dirty laundry and other incriminating background clutter in future pictures. Mallory wandered in and was intrigued by the Mr. Potato Head pieces that we are using for the second year running to speed up the pumpkin-decorating process. Then she found the candy corn, and was much more smitten with that. I am standing much closer to her than it would appear in this photo, making sure she did not fall off the counter. The wide angle can be deceiving. Liam quite enjoyed the pumpkin carving process until Chad told him to scoop out the seeds from inside. He was pretty grossed out by the prospect, and said mom could do it, but I deferred, and Chad did all the dirty work in the end. If I remember correctly, this is Liam instructing Chad on how big to make the mouth. I'm glad Mallory didn't wake up with nightmares last night because this is Chad giving her a big "BLARGHHH!" with the finished scary-faced pumpkin. If she'd woken up, I would have given Chad a kick to go in and settle her down again. Cause and effect.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
At least Liam got a kick out of it... and really, he did. He looks rather sad and grumpy in most of the photos I took last night, but I think that's because I drew such a terrible clown mouth on him. Really he was quite pleased with himself.After the skating lesson, Chad took the kids home and I headed out to a retirement party for a colleague. Go, go, go. Luckily, there is nothing on the agenda for tonight except for a quiet dinner at home and some pumpkin carving. (Oh, crap - I just remembered the groceries for tonight that I forgot to pick up at lunch. Arrrgh!!)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Or something like that. It's late in the day. I can't really think straight anymore.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Back to work...
Friday, October 24, 2008
Last weekend Chad helped me drag the kids out to get a shot for the Christmas card, and even though Liam complained of being cold the entire time, and the Smarties I used to try to bribe them into cooperating only meant that Mallory does indeed look like she is eating in almost every last shot, I did manage to get one cute picture. So I saved it to my external hard drive, and put together a prototype card from an idea I had in my head, and now I just have to upload it for printing before something goes wrong with the XHD and I lose it all (I was lucky to get the shot in the first place and I'd like to avoid putting the fam through that again!)
Also this week I've been making plans for a fun little Christmas-related something for the kids, but that's all I'll say about that until there is more of a story to tell.
This weekend, though, I am going to switch back from the future to the present, and enjoy this gorgeous view before the leaves drop and it's gone.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Standing in the breakfast nook now, looking across the family room and into the mudroom - you know, the Room With The Ugly Floor. (According to the flooring guy.)
The laundry room... complete with newly-hung door, which is lovely - do you know how noisy it is to dry a load of kids' clothes, with all the snaps and zippers they entail? The laundry room is right next door to our bedroom. Finally, we can sleep in peace.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Liam presents a little more of a challenge, because there is only one thing he points out when he flips through the Christmas Wish Book: one of those electric 4-wheelers. The kids who live next door to Cindy (she also cares for them) have multiple cars, and I see Liam turn green with envy when they go home and get the cars out of the garage and drive up and down the sidewalk in front of him.
I have never liked those cars, for a bunch of reasons. Number one, they're pricey. Some of the cars in the Wish Book are $800. And hello... we've just had the most expensive year of our lives. Number two, they strike me as a spoiled kid's toy. Well, never say never...
If Liam really wants one, then I would like to make it happen for him. So the other night I put an ad up on Kijiji requesting a gently used 4-wheeler, price to be negotiated. I didn't know how my request would be received but thought it was worth a shot.
Last night I logged on to see what happened, and I had three responses to my ad. The first one, from someone named Madman, said, and I quote, "Call Jerry I think he has some" and included a phone number. No mention of who Jerry is or how this guy knows him or any of that.
Number two was spam from a toy company trying to get me to buy new. And wanting me to buy the $800 model, no less! Thanks but no thanks.
The third message was from someone named Marci who said that Walmart has them on for $199 this week. Yet to be confirmed. (Does anyone have a Walmart flyer handy?)
I sent a message back to Madman to ask for more details and he wrote back saying that Jerry had 3 in his garage last time he was there, and was fixing one of them up for his grandson. It sounds pretty far fetched to think that this might actually work out, but I think I will give Jerry a call, just to see what happens. I will also run out to Walmart to see if there is something there. Even $200 is a lot of money, but... we'll see.
The kicker of it is that there was a new ad posted right above mine when I logged onto Kijiji last night, and it was someone selling a 4-wheeler for $20. The only problem is that it's a little-kid model (i.e. 12-36 months), and the only reason she was selling was because her son had outgrown it. Crap... if only Liam were a little smaller!!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
And now, because I am swamped, I'm going to leave my photos in backwards order rather than arranging them all for you. I'm sure you can follow along anyway.
(PS - if you are still looking for apple recipes to try - the Apple Dumplings over at Pioneer Woman are UNBELIEVEABLE. The ingredient list is about as white-trash as they come, but the things come out like manna from heaven. Don't say I didn't warn you!!)
Monday, October 20, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
And then, a few bathtime portraits to end the day. Lately I've been feeling like my camera is a third arm - it's been getting quite a workout. I checked my purse in my luggage and kept my camera bag to carry on the plane; that should tell you where my loyalties lie. (I kept my wallet on me, for goodness sake, I'm not that dumb...)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
New Orleans was a great trip, despite a heart-wrenching phone call home
- Three of the best meals I've ever eaten - the shrimp and grits at NOLA (frankly, I hadn't even expected to like the grits), the fresh Gulf flounder and coconut cream pie at Mr. B's, and the crab cakes at Landry's
- The French Quarter's narrow cobblestone streets jammed full of street cleaners and beer delivery trucks at 7 a.m.
- Beignets from Cafe du Monde for breakfast (why eat at a hotel buffet when you can go out for something authentic instead?)
- Steamboats paddling up and down the Mississippi
- The meant-to-be-racy-but-actually-kind-of-funny signage in the French Quarter (see attached)
- Driving through a cemetery full of mausoleums en route to the airport (they don't bury the dead in New Orleans because the dead don't stay underground)
- Hearing When the Saints Go Marching In more times than I could count
- Endless glasses of iced tea delivered with long iced tea spoons, since you need to sweeten it yourself
- Vendors selling pralines and caramels on every street corner... yummy!
One thing I wish I had seen more of was evidence of the hurricane. My travels were pretty much limited to the CBD (central business district - Superdome, etc.) and French Quarter. The French Quarter was the original part of the city, built on the highest ground, and therefore didn't flood much. The CBD did flood quite a bit, but that's the area that had the resources to clean up and open for business again fairly quickly. The poorer suburbs and east end of the city got it the worst, and I didn't make it out there. I saw lots of Garden District tours and French Quarter tours and riverfront tours advertised (on buses, streetcars, horse-pulled carts, etc.) I think at one point shortly after the hurricane, a few entrepreneurial sorts got into giving Aftermath tours, but it's 3 years later - there may not be so much to show anymore.