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Today's Topics

  • In the News
  • Christmas Cards
  • Big Lots
  • Magnifiers
  • Apple Care +
Let's expand upon those, shall we?

During our last meeting I mentioned magnifiers. These are like filters that you screw onto the front of your lens, coming in various strengths. I was first introduced to them when I purchased an old film SLR, a Canon, from Elmer, a retired photography buff.  Professor Stout, who taught Art with a Camera at Valencia, required the use of one for class. The name is a bit misleading, or at least it was for me, mostly the class was technical. At the time I was not ready to make the expensive plunge into the world of digital single lens reflex cameras. I found the camera on Craig's List and made the trip to Sanford for the purchase. I'm sure his wife was just dying when I purchased not only the camera, but about twenty filters and four expensive lenses all for $100. Using it for the class, albeit with difficulty, I stored it in the closet until last year when I gave the whole kit and caboodle to a young woman who thought taking photographs with film was romantic. At any rate, once I finally bought the Nikon D60 I picked up a set of the magnifiers to give them a go. (around $30)

I mentioned the weather was rainy and gloomy yesterday, perfect for taking flower photographs. Getting the magnifiers out, I attached them to the Nikon and went out into the yard to practice. Just as I thought, I'm not good with them at all. In my hands, although I laid down in the wet grass and all, I cannot get a good crisp picture using them. In photography language they call that kind of picture "tack sharp." I'm actually not so great at that even without the magnifiers! Anyway, after taking more than fifty shots, I managed to salvage a couple, one of which I'll post here:
I do like purple these days. I also like turquoise. And Mr. Baxter
who is still sporting his grooming kerchief, printed with little snowmen. When Bill was by on Saturday evening he asked if Baxter had lost weight. No, I replied, only hair.

Speaking of that photography class, I still have my notebook filled with notes I barely understand about stepping up and down. The one thing I do understand is his remark that a successful photograph draws a reaction. I'm working on that one.

In the news today I'm delighted to report that Valencia Community College is now ranked the #1 CC in the nation. I could have told them that. Actually, for those new readers, this blog began during my student days and I had my ups and downs, but for the most part, it was a very good experience. The vast majority of my professors were top notch. One, not so much, but there's no good reason to drag that up again. Let's just say I'm not happy making a B.

Our paper also has a front page story about a renewed effort to ban texting and driving. Duh! The sooner the better is what I have to say about that.

It's true that I have a fair amount of money tied up in Apple products. What's also true is that my experiences dealing with Apple Care have not been great. In fact, they've pretty much all been extremely frustrating. And so it was with trepidation that I waded into this latest expenditure. Apple Care + is for mobile devices, providing replacements if damaged as well as tech support. So far, so good. I called the provided number and after about twenty minutes the young woman apologized, explaining that she could not sell insurance in Florida over the phone. Please make your way to the Apple Store, which I may have already told you about. 8:10 was my appointment time. I arrived, only to wait. But, not for long. Same fellow, Nic, who worked on my iMac for seven hours earlier this year. Sorry Gail, I can't sell it to you in person. Please call this number, using this reference number, and they'll take your money. Except they wouldn't. After an hour on the phone, speaking with various people, I finally have my product. Two said the same thing as girl #1; eventually one person said, sorry, they are all wrong. Credit card please...

The iPad is all the rage at the Apple Store. Ever seen one this empty?
The apps! Amazing how these terms enter and stick in the popular vernacular.
I wonder if Steve Jobs was involved in the window displays? Always clever those Apple folks.

Some might say I was foolish, but I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for Christmas cards made in America. Lots and lots of looking. Finally, I found some at Barnes and Noble yesterday and working like a little beaver last evening, my task is nearly complete. I purchased two books of Christmas stamps and still it wasn't enough. Several envelopes will not look very Christmassy, what with Gregory Peck on the front and all, but the recipients will know that we care for them enough to send a card. You can't have escaped knowing there is a huge movement to "buy local" and I'm all for it. Surely it can't hurt to pay attention and if possible buy American. Our folks need work, as if I needed to tell you that! One person at a time, and maybe, just maybe we can make a difference.

Look who is back:
He was hopping around under the Nuttery yesterday morning. I'm slightly concerned with the volume of seeds on the ground. Could Mr. Squirrel have found a way into the Nuttery? Perish the thought!

Heading up to Big Lots, I drove around Lake Como. I stopped. I pulled onto a side street. Something about the gray day, the orange cypress trees and the still lake forced a pull over.
That sphagnum moss is really something isn't it? How about that tree? Rumor has always been that Lake Como is bottomless. The truth, at least to me, is unknown.

Big Lots is, as you already know, is my latest place to treasure hunt. I also wanted to pick up some bread, discounted nearly $2.00 a loaf. And, whatever else I discovered and couldn't live without. I've no idea how these darling, Canadian sodas taste, but they sure are cute. Lime Rickey Soda anyone?
The above is my phone picture of the day. Still learning.

Speaking about drinking, Kathy was kind enough to bring another bucket full of tangerines from her yard so that I may make some juice. I do love tangerine juice.
Don't let their perfect appearance fool you. She scrubs each one before bringing them to me, letting their orange perfection shine!

Finally, the biggest local news is Dwight Howard. Will he go or will he stay? Today's paper states that he'll stay if the Magic get their act together. My biggest concern is for the folks who work at the brand spanking new arena. They need Dwight to stay and fill seats with people who need to park, enter the building, and consume food and products. So stay Dwight--please stay.

Ready to try my new Cinnamon Cheerios picked up at BL yesterday...

So long,

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