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Showing posts from May, 2008

Call Me Camera Crazy

These photos of a dreadful rat in our backyard convinced me I could catch things quickly with a DSLR (if you can stomach it, click on photo for a closer look!). Aside from not really thinking it would be useful, I was afraid that things would pass me by while I tried to set up the camera. Usually in the spring we are plagued with at least one rat in the backyard--fortunately they only come out around sundown. That's both good and bad, it can quickly spoil the mood while having a candlit dinner by the pool. Bruce is concerned about rat poison--he's always thinking of ways Baxter might get hurt.

I decided to go to Colonial Photo and Hobby after calling them and finding out they were competitive with their prices. They've been in Orlando for over 50 years, one of the few remaining businesses from my childhood. I was surprised at the number of people in the store as I went there around 2 in the afternoon; apparently their customer service must draw repeat customers. I had a nic…

Tastes and Preferences

While Leanne and Bill were here for a little Memorial Day cookout, Bill used the term tastes and preferences regarding the marketplace. According to him, that is what drives the market. We discussed at length the changing marketplace--we are clearly living through some tumultuous times for businesses. As well, Bruce and I were talking earlier about how iTunes shares the blame in changing the music business dramatically. Used to be people could make mix tapes, or cds, but it took effort on their part, more often than not, many would just listen to an album of songs by the same artist. Not so these days with party shuffle so easy to use. Albums will never recover I'm predicting--nothing too ground breaking, but just one of the things that have changed in the last decade. I told Bill I've benefited from the tastes and preferences model because although I'm not nearly as technically proficient as some photographers, I seem to be able to take pictures that people like. Enough e…

Good Times

We're back from our little trip to Siesta Key. Returning last evening around 5:30, Bruce went across the street to get Baxter from our neighbors' house. Apparently he had so much fun over there that he was in no particular hurry to come home. Her 11 year old son fell for Baxter in a big way.

We took the Tamiami Trail down to Sarasota; it continues across the Everglades and over to Miami as the name implies. Actually the name is a contraction of Tampa and Miami because that is where the north/south portion begins. Begun in 1915 it takes you through Ruskin on the way south which is a famous tomato growing region; lots of small motels which have seen better days line the highway. Although the interstate is faster we were in no particular hurry. Both of us like to take back roads whenever we can.

Speaking of taking back roads, an experience at the museum the other day made me realize anew how in conversation the way you convey something is as important as what you have to say. Of co…

A Day Without Sunshine

Today was the first day without sunshine since the art show I did way back in April. Unfortunately, although it was gray, we had very little rain which we sorely need. We leave tomorrow after lunch to go to Siesta Key to Bruce's friend, and colleague, Steve's condo on Siesta Key. He's having a big party on Saturday which I'm sure will be loads of fun. If all goes well we won't be returning until at least Sunday afternoon.

Now that we have Baxter these kind of trips prove challenging trying to find someone to care for him in our absence. This trip he'll stay across the street at Angela and Matt's house. They adore him, and having no dog of their own are delighted to take over Baxter duty for a few days. Bruce, of course, will worry about our little cutie.

Rewind to yesterday. I arrived at noon, which as I may have previously posted is the worst time to take beach shots; the sun is entirely too bright at that time but I did what I could. What surprised me, asi…

Does Wine Count?

Fruits and Vegetables
Here is my dinner from last night--do you think wine counts as a fruit? When I read articles like the posted one I'm astonished anew how much research is done about everything. Of course people don't eat vegetables because they don't like the taste--who needed a study to determine that? I suspect people don't eat as much fruit as recommended because it is so expensive. Bruce eats an apple every morning and sometimes they cost as much as $1 for an apple. I know that doesn't really sound like that much but when a poor person is faced with the decision about $1 for an apple or $1 for a breakfast sandwhich from McDonalds it doesn't take too much thought to figure out which one they'll choose. Apples may be good for you but they certainly don't fill you up and keep you going until lunch if you've got a physically demanding job which is the unfortunate situation many people find themselves in. Nonetheless, the dinner looks pretty does…

International Mail

The post yesterday brought mail from London; the charming card from Matt, along with a set of Moo cards from Jonathan. Those on flickr are familiar with Moo, the darling little calling cards with your own photos. Jonathan selected some of my favorites from his photo stream and here they are. As well, I'm going to be busy reading thanks to my faraway sons. Matt sent a book and a magazine subscription; Jonathan sent two photography books. One is on exposure, which I can't learn enough about, the other is HDR. That's a very popular technique in photography these days. I'll explain more once I understand it myself. Without Bruce home last night, I read the exposure book before falling asleep.

Speaking of Bruce, he is on his way home from Chicago as I type. Although I just read the newspaper while eating dinner, wherein they described Southwest as the most on time airline, his flight is going to be an hour late. We're trying to formulate some plans for both of us to fly …


Just a few miles from home this morning my mobile rang with the news that the little market was canceled due to weather--yipee for two reasons--one, we desperately need rain, and two, household chores beckoned.

Rewind to Friday night and the concert. Apparently the reviewer from our newspaper saw a different show then we did. Elvis Costello and the Imposters were terrific with loads of energy; the keyboard player is amazing. In contrast, we felt like The Police were going through the motions with very little in the way of chemistry either onstage or with the crowd. Our reviewer claimed it was a generous set with fresh interpretations of old favorites, on this point we disagree. After one hour they left the stage, entirely too short for the price of the tickets in our opinion. While true that they came back on but really just do the whole show and be done with it. Enough said.

What's really got me excited is a show Maureen and I attended on Saturday over at the Brevard Art Museum in …

Early Birthday Party

Grafitti Art 5/16/08 9:25 AM">
A good time was had by all last night at the renovated Peck home. While vacuuming yesterday morning, I decided to have a birthday dinner for Bruce to surprise him. I called Dave and Bill, got their confirmation, then called Maureen to see if she could come. I decided to go with spicy because that is Bruce's favorite. I ran to the store, got some London Broil and a few other ingredients. Pureeing red wine vinegar, several garlic cloves, a fat, wet, chipotle pepper, along with some salt, pepper, and olive oil in the blender, dividing it into two bags with the meat, and I was off to a good start. Always while using chipotle I have to be very careful as the heat really builds up if you get too much.

Because of the party I altered my original plan of taking the clothes mountain to Lisa's house for distribution. Instead, I took it to the Rescue Mission downtown; hopefully they will supply someone small in need. Upon leaving I discovered this ama…

Gail Gets A Bob

Today we are image heavy because I've been a busy girl!

Yes, that really is me with a brand new look. I went just up to the street to a new salon and let Ken do what he wanted. Normally I would never just walk in like that, and in fact, I got James' recommendation. James is one half of the design team that helped me around the house. I do love convenience. No telling what it will look like when I do it, but it's sure bound to be cooler. You know me well enough by now to know I'd let my hair get way too long! About the photo--I find it very hard to do a self portrait but here it is anyway.

Bruce got me some hanging files to organize my business expenses and of course I'd done nothing with them. Feeling guilty I did work on them a bit and carried it over to other parts of the house.

I finally cleaned out my closet of clothes that were either too old, or didn't fit. The later being the biggest problem. I'm trying to remedy that situation by buying some new smalle…

The Weekend

Craigslist Defense
During our dinner out with Bruce's mom and Judy and Cris I told them about Craigslist. Funny that this article should appear today. Essentially I mentioned that it works like a charm and it was putting a strain on the daily newspaper's advertising revenue. Craig has something to say about that. The dinner was nice--both company and food.

We didn't end up going out on Friday night because our Mr. Bruce was just plain too tired. He's been traveling four days a week; while on the road it is not unusual for him to put in a fourteen hour day if you can imagine.

Another Mother's Day is behind us. I kinda have this thing against what I call "card company" holidays. Funny thing is, I do like to get a card on Mother's Day although it's not mandatory. This was my first Mother's Day when I got a text message--guess who sent that. I tried to get David to come to the market, but he declined. In fairness he was all set to come over after di…

The Birthday Girl

I made it! I may have looked like a pro with Roger's camera but I did screw up the pictures of the cake. My fault totally because I had the camera on the wrong setting. They will have to think I got creative by only showing the candles burning! I was nervous driving there but told myself I used to do surgery cases so I could surely handle this. The only thing is I knew my "camera" inside and out back then. At any rate, it was really delightful and I believe a good time was had by all. Actually Rose will turn 100 on May 11. One of her grandsons came from Hawaii for the celebration as did other family members from Los Angeles.

I'm taking Bruce out tonight to celebrate my incredible week and I need to take our Baxter for a walk before he gets home. I'll catch up with you later.

Nikon vs Canon

Appalachian Porch Look?
I picked up the Canon around 11 this morning after taking our Baxter for a walk at Cypress Grove Park. Because he is so little the damp ground gets him pretty dirty. We roamed an area that was pretty mucky, exacerbating the problem. I had on my Out & About Photography t-shirt which came in very handy. The first printing was wrong; the company that makes them doesn't have a return policy so they just sent new ones. I had on the old one and wiped his paws on the front of the shirt so it wouldn't end up on the back seat of the baby car. Dirty girl. Returning to the car, I discovered Kelly had called and had the gear all ready. When I say gear, I mean gear--a whole roll about full! Fortunately she included the manual which I'm just getting familiar with. I made sure no one was in the car before I stopped in. I'm getting less vain as the years go by, but really, a filthy shirt looks unseemly on a 50 something.

A long chat with Matt last night cheer…

Couldn't Wait Around for Vanna

Laura asked for a view of the new dining room, and what Laura wants, Laura gets. In this picture it seems almost comical that a half wall separates two dining tables--I just wanted to include Mr. Baxter!

I took the Nikon over to Leu Gardens to get the feel of it. May I just tell you that it is already HOT at 9 AM? Pulling up to the near empty parking lot, I noticed a semi and little else. I thought possibly the gardens were closed--that was not the case. The semi and a crew of around 100 were filming promo spots for Wheel of Fortune with Miss Vanna White doing the copy. I encountered numerous folks sporting the WOF lanyard , toting huge pieces of equipment; Vanna, however, remained out of sight to your reporter. Apparently, if I'd hung around longer, the next shoot was right near the exit, but as I say, it was hot and air conditioning beckoned.

Being the President is a pretty thankless job; you'd never know it though by the slug fest going on. Make them stop!

I'm not sure w…

New Camera Trial Run

Curiosity to Wonder
I'm happy to report that the surgery went well--hurray!

I am showing you a few pictures with the borrowed camera, now you can see what the room looks like a bit better. The flower is from the garden at the Polasek. I tried to get there before my shift started but didn't work. By the time I was finished it was 1:00 and the sun was SO know how important lighting is. This came out pretty decent for the timing.

Early to bed, early to rise, is the watchword around here. I can't wait till the morning to practice.

I've Got an Agent!

First the photo--as you know I take pictures of the market every week documenting things for our manager . Remember the man with the bunny on a leash from a while back? The girl carrying the skunk did not even register with me as I was walking towards the them using my zoom to catch the crowd. After uploading the pictures, I discovered that people will make a pet out of any animal!

You've been on this photography journey with me long enough to realize that you never know what is going to happen next. My blog title is a bit misleading, but hey, I wanted to get your attention. Seriously, remember the condo staging about six weeks ago? Maria called last Monday and we decided she could keep the stuff there for a few more weeks as they were hoping the owner would lower the price bringing more potential buyers. On Friday she called with news that someone on the eighth floor was looking for some pieces for their home with Maria steering them towards my stuff. The upshot is she is mailing …

Photographer's Equipment, Apples, and Dog

Last year, early in my training, I photographed a bowl of apples--a traditional still life. When I look at it now I realize how much practice improves one's skills. I'm totally lucky to be able to devote the time--thank you Bruce!

I am so much more aware of the effect natural light has on a picture through much trial, and error. I now know how to adjust my exposure thanks to Matt. The sun is a wonderful tool, unless it is too bright, which in Florida during the summer is certainly the case. We're not called The Sunshine State for nothing folks! As well, as summer approaches, landscape pictures become more difficult. Humidity hangs in the air, soaking our bodies with sweat, and clouding images. Thus, I've taken more landscape shots than I normally would, knowing the time is drawing to a close when they'll come out crisp.

Why I told you that, I'm unsure, but there you have it. You've learned something about picture taking in Florida that I learned through lots…

May Day, May Day

Did I Over Pay?
Astonishing how cheap some clothes are--I must have overpaid at Ross earlier today when I spent $25 on a dress! The picture today is from the window at Neiman Marcus. I suspect the outfit comes in around the $1,000 range. Where's the sport in that?

Great historical significance on May Day around the world, including the day in 1707 that a treaty was signed merging England, and Scotland, to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. Not quite so lofty, but very important to the Peck clan, Jonathan was born on May 1, 1983. It's hard to believe he's reached the quarter century mark. We moved into this house when he was around 12--I can still see him doing a cannonball into the pool at his birthday celebration, never mind that the water was still pretty darn cold! I miss him; knowing he's happy and successful takes some of the sting away. Being the baby of the family, it took him just a bit longer to grow up, but my oh my, he's done a fine job.

Cleaning update: p…