manual labor

this year, i think that i am going to give my dad for father’s day the gift of manual labor. over the weekend, my mom called me to ask me to help him with some broken sprinklers. my dad made me think that we were going to have to dig out the entire sprinkler system and replace it with a new system. all of that trenching did not sound like fun.

it turned out that we didn’t have to trench to remove the existing pipes, though. this was a very good thing because the existing pipes were made out of steel. trying to cut through those pipes did not seem like fun. it’s crazy how much rust and other crap gets stuck to these pipes. we had to replace one sprinkler head that was attached the the steel pipes and there was so much rust and sediment stuck on the threads of the pipe that we could barely screw the sprinkler onto the pipe.

the other half of the sprinkler system used standard PVC so it was pretty easy to make the repairs there. the automatic valves failed and needed to be replaced. we couldn’t get the existing valve off, the plastic threads must have been screwed on crooked when it was put on so my dad and i were debating which way to take it off. my dad wanted to try to muscle the valve off with a wrench. i tried it, but couldn’t get it off. he wanted to try it himself, but he couldn’t do it either.

we sat there defeated for a little while and then i told him i’m just gonna break the valve off. he looked horified. i’m not going to break the water main, i tried to soothe him, but he was convinced that i was going to break off the entire section of pipe and not just the valve. i hadn’t even suggested the use of the sledgehammer yet! though it was on my mind.

so anyway, i gave the valve a couple of gentle kicks and asked him to watch the pipes to see if they budged. they are steel! nothing moved. so i gave the valve of couple of swift, forceful kicks and it splintered off. “see!” i exclaim, “easy!”

oh, i almost forgot. before we worked on the sprinklers, we had to turn off the water for the house. i went to the water main access and saw inside there a huge black widow. “dude, there’s a black widow in there! i’m not sticking my hand in there!”

my dad looks inside and says, “yeah, that is a black widow.” and then he proceeds to kill it with a screwdriver. “ok, all clear, now turn off the water,” he beckons to me. “why do *I* have to turn off the water, you’re closer!” i quiver in fear of any black widow baby spiders lurking in the chamber. still, i manned up and turned off the water…and lived to tell about it. i haven’t seen a black widow in years. i wish i had taken a picture of it before it met its demise. oh well.

lowepro rezo 15

i went to fry’s over the weekend to look at camera bags for the throwaway camera. i wasn’t sure at first what exactly i was looking for, but as i was looking through the wall of camera bags that they had available, i started to form some opinions. i didn’t find exactly what i was looking for, but i came pretty close. i ended up not getting a leather case, i wasn’t sure how it would scuff up, though i thought that that would be a good material to buy.

the criteria for a small camera pouch:
1) adequate protection
the main reason i wanted to get a case is so that the LCD won’t get scratched up. the case needs to protect the camera from scratches and it would be good if it could provide some protection from drops too.

2) small
the smaller, the better. it has to be a small case, ideally, it would be something that i can comfortably fit into a pocket. well, you know, a pocket in some really baggy jeans or something.

3) easy access
a LOT of small camera cases have zipper openers. i didn’t want to have to deal with a zipper. i think that it just takes too long, can get snagged on something, and just was not aesthetically pleasing. i think it makes it look cheap.

4) room for accessories
it’s got to be a small case, but it has to be big enough to carry an extra battery and memory. you’d be surprised how many small camera cases don’t have any storage for accessories. i don’t want to store a tripod in the camera, but an extra battery would definitely be helpful.

so what did i end up with? a lowepro rezo 15. it has a velcro opener, a small pouch for accessories, a nice padded inside. it’s a little fatter and thicker than i had wanted, but it will serve its purpose well. i have to admit that i was debating between two bags and the inner camera snob in me choose the lowepro over the generic brand bag. but now it looks like my big camera bag had a little camera bag baby. it’s cute.

paddle for life

this weekend i participated in the paddle for life dragon boat festival. it’s a charity race where we go and paddle dragon boats. it was my first time ever paddling in a dragon boat and it was a lot of fun. i went to two of the three practices for the race and though i did not feel like i had very good form, it was still a lot of fun to paddle.

the boat holds 20 paddlers, a steersperson, and a drummer. the drummer is responsible for keeping everyone on pace, the steersperson keeps us going straight. the rest of us are there to paddle and paddle hard. the race only lasts about 3 minutes, but it’s the hardest three minutes ever!

still, i had a lot of fun. paul, leeya, mike, and dardy came out to watch us, too. the photos are actually from paul and leeya. leeya was sporting her new canon rebel xsi. the camera has a HUGE LCD. enormous, really. the camera body is a little too small for my hands, i think, but i think it fits perfectly for her.

twitter load issues

i am not a twitter user, but i understand the appeal of the technology. it’s great that they are getting so popular and that they have the good problem of too much traffic. i think it’s ridiculous though that there problems are so bad that they have to rate limit your number of requests for updates to 10 per hour. personally, i would find that would make the service close to useless for me. the joy of twitter is getting all of those little twits when they were twat! not 6 minutes later…

i hope that they resolve their load issues soon because right now they have really opened up the space for a new player to come to town and take all of their users away.

mac workflow

since i’ve started using a mac, my entire workflow for processing images is a mess. i just feel completely inefficient when i’m processing the photos. i think that i just need to understand what programs i should use and when to use them. maybe i should hit adam up to see what his workflow looks like these days and see if it is something that i could learn from.

what i really wished i had were tools that were similar to what i had for windows. i’m not sure why i feel like things are so slow right now, but it’s a real struggle. it’s part of why i’ve been slow in posting new photos. oh well, i’m going to try and process paul and leeya’s photos from the weekend and see if i can work on the process.