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May 30, 2004

Long Weekend

Dunno what other people do on the long weekend, but I stay home. Jean and I relaxed yesterday evening, which was Jean's birthday. I got her a copy of Sims: Makin' Magic, and she got me a copy of Oklahoma (we celebrate our birthdays together).

Earlier today I went down to work with Kelly in tow, got a little work done, too.
Kelly is right now knitting. Jean has spent most of the day baking, making ciabatta bread with Kalamata olives (yum!) and brownies with Kelly.

Tomorrow, I'll go work out, maybe work a little more. But no wrestling the holiday trafffic. Nice way to relax if you ask me.

Posted by dpwakefield at 05:33 PM

May 26, 2004

New D70 Gallery

I've linked the banner flower to a new gallery of images I snapped with the D70 at the last NOVA meeting. I used a trial version of Adobe Photoshop CS with the new Camera RAW plugin, and I'm drooling, really. Not that the photos look any better after I fumbled taking them (garbage in, garbage out), but rather that it's so much faster than any of the Nikon supplied software, and so much easier to use. I know I'm gonna have to buy this upgrade after the trip to Disneyland, so I can convert those future pics with less pain...

By the way, 0071.jpg is more or less full frame, so don't click on that link if you have a slow connection. I wanted to have one I could show to a friend at work that had a bit more detail.

Posted by dpwakefield at 10:53 PM

May 16, 2004

Open Swim

I spent a couple hours today reading and listening to my iPod (Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture, which I just finished), while Kelly and her friend did the open swim thing at the YMCA. In the end, I think they had a little too much time together, as they were sorta sniping at each other by the time her friend went home.

Speaking of the YMCA, the overnighter went great, and Kelly is now signing up for the Camp Collins week away from home this summer. My little girl's growing up, <sniff>.

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:54 PM

I.E.D.

I was downstairs with Jean, she with her head in my lap, and we were just chatting. Chatting about how long we've been together, how good a match we are for each other, that sort of mushy stuff. All the while, I was running my fingers through her hair. Not just brushing, but tugging. Trying to get it to stand on end.

"Now I know where Kelly gets that hair-playing habit of hers," she said. "She does the same thing to me." Emphasizing 'me' as if there were someone else in the room.

I told her, "I think you meant to say: She does the same thing to me..."

So I immediately invented a new syndrome, Inappropriate Emphasis Disorder, and spent the next five minutes teasing her with it. In the end, I got her to change her emphasis on a single syllable, "No." ... "No!"

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:50 PM

I.E.D.

I was downstairs with Jean, she with her head in my lap, and we were just chatting. Chatting about how long we've been together, how good a match we are for each other, that sort of mushy stuff. All the while, I was running my fingers through her hair. Not just brushing, but tugging. Trying to get it to stand on end.

"Now I know where Kelly gets that hair-playing habit of hers," she said. "She does the same thing to me." Emphasizing 'me' as if there were someone else in the room.

So I immediately invented a new syndrome, Inappropriate Emphasis Disorder, and spent the next five minutes teasing her with it. In the end, I got her to change her emphasis on a single syllable, "No." ... "No!"

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:48 PM

May 14, 2004

Kelly's Night Out

Jean's having separation pangs. Kelly has gone to the YMCA for her first overnighter. Can you believe she's never done a sleepover before? Somehow we neglected to ever do that. So now she's gone, having the time of her life (I hope), and Jean is having a time of it in a different sense.

We pick her up tomorrow morning at 8:30am, then kill time with breakfast as she's got swim class at the very same YMCA at around 10:45am. I'll be sure to report any scoops here tomorrow if she shares.

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:12 PM

May 10, 2004

Getting My Dander Up

My other unique outing this weekend was to take Kelly to an orientation at the Cat Adoption Team. Get it? C.A.T.? They're a no-kill shelter and adoption group for cats, and Kelly is going to do some volunteer work there this summer. Jean will be her escort, since the shelter doesn't allow kids under 16 to work alone.

In just the brief hour we were there, my eyes were itching and my nose running. In fact it ran most of the day thereafter. Sunday I was finding cat hair in my car while driving the family to the theatre! Kelly was hinting that maybe we could be a foster family for a cat (act as a home for a mother cat and her kittens until they are old enough to be put up for adoption), but this little experience makes me wary of that path.

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:44 AM

Double Bill

I seem to be seeing movies in pairs lately. Saturday night after NOVA the gang went to see Van Helsing. It was entertaining, but not as much fun as Hellboy.

Sunday, Jean put Kelly in charge of a movie outing for Mother's Day. Kelly had to pick a movie that Mom would like, line up the time, buy the tickets and sweets (with money supplied courtesy of Mom & Dad, Inc.) and then watch without fussing. We went to see 13 Going On 30, which was a predictable little comedy. I had fun, and got to eat popcorn again.

So two movies next week? I doubt it seriously.

Posted by dpwakefield at 07:36 AM

May 08, 2004

Getting Better

I've begun to understand the D70 a little better, as today's banner photo illustrates. The banner image itself looks little better than my first effort. I'm still trying to understand the interaction of Photoshop and the digicam output files, so scaling the image down makes it look curdled. But click on the link (large file ahead!) and you'll see that the larger image looks crisp and noiseless. You can even see dead aphids on the leaves, though they are out of focus; they were not the topic of the photo after all!

I ran down to Oregon Photo today to try to buy a bag. I want one barely larger than the camera, with nice padding and an adjustable shoulder strap with sliding pad. They didn't have a match. So until I find the perfect bag, I won't be hauling this baby to NOVA meetings, anyway. Sorry Alan!

Posted by dpwakefield at 04:25 PM | Comments (2)

May 04, 2004

Free Culture

Lawrence Lessig, a professor of law at Stanford, is a strong advocate for preserving the public domain, in the sense of a Commons of culture. He recently published his third book, Free Culture, to discuss this topic. Putting his money where his mouth is, he has placed the book under the Creative Commons license, allowing others to put the book online, place their own creative spin on it, and otherwise surprise him.

So I was interested to hear in the cooperative project to create a "Free Culture" audiobook. Volunteers from all over have each recorded a chapter of the book read aloud, and they are now all collected together at the above link. The quality is very uneven, but certainly listenable. I am working through them now using my iPod. It's pretty damn neat!

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:18 PM

May 03, 2004

Baby Steps

Today's banner photo is a mercifully much-reduced sample of one of my first photos with my new Nikon D70. The original is grainy as hell. Everything was full auto, using the kit lens, and the sun was just below the horizon.

As the samples link above shows, in experienced hands, the D70 can produce very crisp clean images. I hope to get there someday. For now, I'm just trying to compare the controls to the N80...

Posted by dpwakefield at 10:16 PM

May 02, 2004

Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda

Today we drove nearly an hour one way to attend an open house at Camp Collins, a summer camp run by the YMCA. Kelly got to see the facilities and hear about the routine planned for the one-week camp she was interested in. Looks like she's going to go too.

So sometime this summer, I expect to hear the plaintive strains of Camp Grenada by Alan Sherman. How's that for a blast from the past?

Posted by dpwakefield at 06:00 PM

May 01, 2004

Winged Migration

Jean rented Winged Migration yesterday. It's a really cool sorta-documentary nature film following the migratory flights of many species of birds. The photography is spectacular. Most of the movie is just the images with music overlaid. It's slow, contemplative, almost hypnotic.

Tonight we watched the included 'making of' feature. This was like seeing a second entire cool movie. The lengths they went to to create their movie were fantastic. I kept wondering where the hell they found all the money it must have taken to do the stuff they did, for four years!

Verdict: rent it, watch the movie one night, then the 'making of' feature the following night. Even Kelly gave it two thumbs up ("awww, look at the cute little duckies!").

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:34 PM

Queens of Chess

Today I spent a good chunk of the day with Kelly at a chess tournament. It was divided into two classes, K-3 and 4-6. We left home around 7:30am, and returned around 4:15pm. The tournament itself was a sequence of five games for each player, lasting as long as they took. Turnaround was about an hour a game.

Kelly lost her first three games, but was upbeat about it. "It's just a game." I'm convinced that if she was serious about chess she'd have done much better, but I don't mind that she treats it casually. She won her fourth game against a younger player who really clearly didn't have much idea of what she was doing. Then she fought her fifth game to a stalemate. She could have won this one, but wasn't really being careful, and trapped her opponent's king without checking it.

There were 72 kids in the tournament, and when we left, the midday rankings were all that had been posted. Kelly was ranked 44th after her third game. They're supposed to post final results on their website, and I'll update this post when I know.

Kelly wanted to stay for the awards ceremony, so we stuck around, and I watched several of the other games. When it was down to one I watched the whole thing. One of the players really should have resigned. She was in no position to win, but kept playing. The other player could have mated her in another six or so moves, but decided she wanted to win without promoting one of her pawns, so took much longer. Hence our late arrival home.

Will Kelly want to play in any more tournaments? I don't know today, but she was really positive about the whole experience. I enjoyed myself despite walking around with a wrenched back I inflicted on myself mid-week. Needless to say, I'm sleeping in tomorrow.

Posted by dpwakefield at 09:21 PM