Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mt. Monadnock


2007 Reading List

2007 was a good year in regards to my reading list. Since starting to keep track of all the books I read in 2003 this has been one of the better years with only one other year(2004) were I read more books at 78. This was also a massive improvement over 2006, more than double. While some of these are indeed re-reads, most of those were ones I hadn't picked up in several years. Overall I'm pleased in my reading habits over the last year and am looking forward to continue my list in 2008.


The Fall of Reach - Eric Nylund (01/04/07)
The Flood - William C Dietz (01/06/07)
First Strike - Eric Nylund (01/07/07)
Ghosts of Onyx - Eric Nylund (01/09/07)
The Hedge Knight - George R.R. Martin (01/10/07)
Quicksilver - Neal Stephenson (01/29/07)
Eyes of Silver - Michael A Stackpole (02/05/07)
The Confusion - Neal Stephenson (02/20/07)
The System of the World - Neal Stephenson (03/11/07)
Outbound Flight - Timothy Zahn (03/14/07)
Survivor's Quest - Timothy Zahn (03/17/07)
Rogue Squadron - Michael A Stackpole (03/18/07)
Wedge's Gamble - Michael A Stackpole (03/20/07)
The Krytos Trap - Michael A Stackpole (03/22/07)
The Bacta War - Michael A Stackpole (03/23/07)
Wraith Squadron - Aaron Allston (03/25/07)
Iron Fist - Aaron Allston (03/26/07)
Solo Command - Aaron Allston (03/29/07)
Isard's Revenge - Michael A Stackpole (03/31/07)
Starfighters of Adumar - Aaron Allston (04/02/07)
Canticle - RA Salvatore (04/03/07)
Hard Contact - Karen Traviss (04/05/07)
Triple Zero - Karen Traviss (04/09/07)
Vector Prime - RA Salvatore (04/11/07)
Dark Tide: Onslaught - Michael A Stackpole (04/14/07)
Dark Tide: Ruin - Michael A Stackpole (04/15/07)
Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial - James Luceno (04/17/07)
Agents of Chaos: Jedi Eclipse - James Luceno (04/19/07)
Balance Point - Kathy Tyers (04/21/07)
Edge of Victory: Conquest - Greg Keyes (04/21/07)
Edge of Victory: Rebirth - Greg Keyes (04/23/07)
Star by Star - Troy Denning (04/26/07)
Dark Journey - Elaine Cunningham (04/29/07)
Enemy Lines: Rebel Dawn - Aaron Allston (04/29/07)
Enemy Lines: Rebel Stand - Aaron Allston (05/01/07)
Traitor - Matthew Stover (05/02/07)
Destiny's Way - Walter Jon Williams (05/04/07)
Force Heretic: Remnant - Sean Williams, Shane Dix (05/06/07)
Force Heretic: Refugee - Sean Williams, Shane Dix (05/09/07)
Force Heretic: Reunion - Sean Williams, Shane Dix (05/10/07)
The Final Prophesy - Greg Keyes (05/12/07)
The Unifying Force - James Luceno (05/17/07)
Ylesia - Walter Jon Williams (05/19/07)
The Joiner King - Troy Denning (05/24/07)
The Unseen Queen - Troy Denning (05/26/07)
The Swarm War - Troy Denning (05/27/07)
The Dark Glory War - Michael A Stackpole (05/31/07)
Fortress Draconis - Michael A Stackpole (06/04/07)
When Dragons Rage - Michael A Stackpole (06/08/07)
The Grand Crusade - Michael A Stackpole (06/16/07)
Windhaven - George R.R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle (06/30/07)
Dune - Frank Herbert (07/10/07)
Dune Messiah - Frank Herbert (07/14/07)
Children of Dune - Frank Herbert (07/23/07)
The Game - Neil Strauss (08/04/07)
Perchance to Dream - Michael A Stackpole (08/13/07)
A Secret Atlas - Michael A Stackpole (08/23/07)
Cartomancy - Michael A Stackpole (08/29/07)
The New World - Michael A Stackpole (09/06/07)
Betrayal - Aaron Allston (09/12/07)
Bloodline - Karen Traviss (09/17/07)
Tempest - Troy Denning (09/22/07)
Exile - Aaron Allston (09/24/07)
Sacrifice - Karen Traviss (09/29/07)
Inferno - Troy Denning (10/03/07)
Allegiance - Timothy Zahn (10/05/07)
Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind (10/16/07)
Stone of Tears - Terry Goodkind (10/30/07)
Stardust - Neil Gaiman (11/08/07)
Fifty Degrees Below - Kim Stanley Robinson (12/05/07)
Blood of the Fold - Terry Goodkind (12/13/07)
Temple of the Winds - Terry Goodkind (12/21/07)
Soul of the Fire - Terry Goodkind (12/29/07)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

List

Quick list of things I want to get

Nikon 12-24mm f/4G ED IF Autofocus DC Nikkor Lens
Nikon SB-800 or SB-600 AF Speedlight
Adobe Lightroom
500 GB External HDD
DVD Burner

Problem is that I would like to get all of these items as they all are needed upgraded to my camera gear. The lens would be great, but is also the most expensive. Adobe Lightroom would be extremely useful...but also probably don't need it right away. I can probably go another 6 months or so before I need the HDD as I still have about 200GB free right now..but I don't want to push it too far. Same goes for the DVD Burner.

I think I'm leaning towards the flash as I've lately taken an interest in learning how to use one. Also I've been reading the Nikon D80 user groups on Flickr which has gotten me thinking about things that I would like to do. An email from Iz last week pointed me to trashthedress.com which she expressed some interest in doing something along those lines with her dress. That would be quite a lot of fun I think but first would needed to make sure I know what I'm doing. While I'm sure she has plenty of confidence on my ability not to screw up, I'd feel much more comfortable with some practice first.

Anyway...below this I've posted a few images I took today. I was experimenting with water, a pear, and a fast shutter speed. I know that lighting pretty much sucked but I was mainly trying to catch the water mid-splash. Also there are some Images of a clay urn that Katia brought back for me from Ukraine. These took just a minute to set up and I've never really done much in the way of still life photography, but I liked the urn and it inspired me to take these.
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Pear

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Shades of Ireland

Shades of Ireland
Familiarization Tour

8 Days

Departure: November 12, 2007




Highlights…
Limerick • Cliffs of Moher • Galway
Farm Visit • Killarney • Ring of Kerry
Blarney Castle • Dublin
Many Meals Included


Day 1: Overnight Flight
Begin your familiarization tour to the Emerald Isle with an overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrive Shannon, Ireland - Limerick
Arrive in Ireland today. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Limerick - Cliffs of Moher - Galway - LimerickHA trip to the spectacular Cliffs of Moher, nearly 700 feet high, will leave you gazing in awe at the mighty Atlantic and the stunning views of the Aran Islands!H You then travel to the limestone-rich region of the Burren, known for its natural beauty and unique geological features. Continue through the rugged and scenic countryside into Galway, “The City of Tribes,” and take a brief city tour before returning to your hotel.

Day 4: Limerick - Killarney
Enjoy a short tour of Limerick, taking in the Cathedral, King John’s Castle and the famous Treaty Stone. Experience the customs and daily life of a traditional Irish family with a memorable visit to the Molanna Dairy Farm. After arriving in Killarney, you will be treated to a tour of the beautiful Muckross House and Gardens.

Day 5: Killarney - Ring of Kerry - Killarney
Today you will travel along one of the most beautiful coastal routes in the world, the Ring of Kerry. See spectacular ocean scenery as you pass through picturesque villages. After passing through the town of Sneem, travel through rugged mountain passes into “Ladies View,” where you will see spectacular views of the Lakes of Killarney.

Day 6: Killarney - Blarney Stone - Dublin
Today is highlighted by a journey to the historic Blarney Castle. Pass through the mountains of West Cork and the scenic towns of Ballyvourney and Macroom before arriving at the castle, where you have the opportunity to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. It is said that those who kiss the stone are bestowed with the gift of eloquence. There will be time for shopping at the Blarney Woollen Mills before traveling to Dublin. Tonight you may wish to sample the famous Dublin pubs and experience renowned Irish hospitality.

Day 7: Dublin
This morning you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of this “Fair City.” You will visit Trinity College and see the world-famous Book of Kells, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Bank of Ireland, O’Connell Street, Grafton Street, Phoenix Park and Dublin Castle. This evening join your fellow travelers for a memorable farewell dinner celebrating the end of a wonderful fam trip to Ireland.

Day 8: Dublin - Depart for Home
Today you bid farewell to Ireland and depart for home.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Trip to Albany with a Quick Stop in Purgatory

I went up to Albany for the 1st time ever on Friday night to meet up with Greg who was moving his stuff up from DC. Albany is a strange place . Your driving down the highway for hours with nothing at all around(literally nothing..its the Berkshires for half of it), and suddenly BAM!! Albany! What the hell! It's like who ever designed the city learned the art of architecture from totalitarian madmen. While probably not the worst thing I can think of, it surely leaves a feeling of strangeness when you are driving around the government plaza. It's almost unreal that people could design structures that are so stark and cold. The term that Greg used and I agree probably is the most descriptive would be "Orwellian". Pictures probably speak better than words...so here are a few.
Albany


Other than the crazy architecture the trip was fun. Greg and I tried to go out to a beer bar but wasn't allowed in due to "over-capacity". Personally I think the bouncer didn't like us, and Greg assures me that everyone who works there is a total bastard. So instead we walked down to a coffee shop that reminded me quite a bit of the Lyons Den(even smelled the same). We sat outside drinking tea and eating "blondies" which were pretty damn good.

The next morning we went to the place that Greg raved about for a "breakfast-wrap". Egg, meat, veggies, and cheese, grilled and put in wrap with a side of home fries. Awesome really. Such a great idea. After spent about an hour emptying Greg's U-haul at the storage place...only took 7 carts. Then a 3 hour drive back to Providence with a quick stop at "Purgatory Chasm" as it had such a kick-ass name.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Stonehenge

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Stonehenge

















When I heard I would be able so see Stonehenge it was a complete surprise. What we didn't realize was that it was also the Summer Solstice. This was as close as we could get...the highway unable to stop due to traffic and narrow roadways. I have to say that it was bigger than I had pictured in my mind. Pretty cool though.
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Grill



















The new grill.
Oh how it shines!
The scent of charred meat floats through the air. Our bellies will soon be full of the delicious bounty of the flame gods. Let us burn meat, and then feast!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Hell, It's About Time


4 Years

I had a realization recently that I've officially been out of college for as long as I was there. This is a sobering though as I struggle to sometimes to see what I've done with the last 4 years. Of course its sometimes hard to see what I accomplished the previous 4 years before that as well. This is also the first time since 2002 that I haven't attended Commencement at Wheaton. I know I'll be there next year though and I hope to have something to show for it.

It's been a depressing couple of days if you hadn't realized.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

27

I have officially read more books so far this year than I did for all of last year. I won't give you the list, as I'll save that for the end of the year, but I just hit number 27.
I don't know if I'm getting older or if Cadbury Creme Eggs are getting smaller

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It's raining again. It's been raining on and off for the last week or so and then yesterday was sunny and a bit warmer than it has been. So of course I wake up to see that the sky is weeping yet again. Stupid Rain.

I think I will go out and see if I can find season 3 of "24" on sale somewhere. I'm guessing not, but I really don't have anything better to do today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's only 6:40am and I can already tell that today is going to be a strange day.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fortune

I opened a fortune cookie tonight...

"Fear and desire - two sides of the same coin."

Not sure I completely agree with that, but it's only a cookie so I'll have to let it go for now.

Simon doesn't find it all that Friendly.

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Dice Catching

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Lions in Attleboro

Who would have guessed that Attleboro is also the home of a pair of lions. Strange things you see on a Sunday afternoon.
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Monday, April 02, 2007

Fortune

I opened a fortune cookie tonight...

"You could prosper in the field of medical research."

I'm not entirely sure how to take that...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Shopping

I woke up this morning with an unholy desire to consume a grapefruit! I was out the door before 8am and walked down to the market. After taking 10 minutes to pickup my week's worth of groceries plus one grapefruit I walk home and then enjoy that same grapefruit.

Today's purchaces...
4 cans of Campbell's Chicken Corn Chowder
1 Load of Pepperidge Farm German Dark Wheat
4 Royal Gala Apples
4 Bosc Pears
1lb of Organically Grown Carrots
1 Grapefruit
1 container of Hood rainbow sherbert. (yes, that actually spelled correctly)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Morning Adventures...

Woke up early this morning and decided that I was finally feeling a bit better. I guess sometime during the night the fog in my head lifted. I hate being sick. While I now have a slight cough, and am sneezing light a crazy person, I'm feeling 100% better than I have been over the last couple of days. So, the first thing I did this morning was go for a short stroll to CVS where I picked up a few necessities. Arriving back at the house I realized I had forgotten 2 of the things that really needed and were the whole reason I had gone to CVS int eh first place. So not so long after returning I again left the house, this time via my car and headed to Thayer to hit up the Store 24. Turns out that Store 24 doesn't have any greeting cards at all, so I ended up driving back to CVS to pick up a card. Then I drove back the Thayer as thats where the post office is located. Now, for some reason, I always end up standing in line at the post office for very long periods of time, so I was amazed at the fact there there was nobody in there at all. Going up the desk, I ask for assistance in shipping a package. Turns out that the lady behind the desk had probably won an award for BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE at some point in her life because not only was she very rude to me when I arrived, but she was no help at all in answering my questions on shipping things to the UK. So after several failed attempts to actually mail this package, I finally got everything I needed...and by that time I was in the back of a line of 5 people...5 people who each had about 5-10 packages they needed shipped. They evil bitch behind the counter seemed to delight in the fact that she was working as slowly as possible. Finally it was my turn...and luckly a 2nd Postal Employee arrived so I got go through him instead of Postal Troll Lady. Lucky for me too, as I was very temped to say something to her about her "amazing" customer service skills, which probably would have meant my package would have ended up in Mongolia instead of the UK. But finally I got to leave that wretched hive of scum and villainy. I headed back to the house where I immediately was asked to drive Katia & Simon to the ass end of Providence so that we could pick up their car, which had the unfortunately due to some bad luck been towed while they were at a party somewhere. Lets just say that I live in the nice part of the city...and where this towing company was located was NOT the nice part of the city. Suffice it to say, I wouldn't not have wanted to be walking around this part of town be it day or night. But luckily, the car was in once piece and we were soon back at the house. Thus the morning adventures...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bad Day?

I woke up this morning with a sore throat and discovered that there was no hot water to shower with. I'm wondering if this means that this is going to be one of those bad days...

Monday, March 12, 2007

RIP John Inman

I guess I'm a couple of days late with this, but Mr. Humphries is no more.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spartans & Spikes

Last night I met up with Simon & Dave(Simon's Brother), and say "300". As another of Frank Miller's graphic novels to movie, I have to say that this one was pretty enjoyable. Not as good as Sin City, as the actual plot left a bit to be wanting, but the imagery in this movie was just amazing. I've always found the Battle of Thermopylae to be fascinating and to see it on film, even if it was grossly inaccurate historically, was a sight to see. This is also a movie one must see in the theatre, as nothing beats a 50 ft screen.

After the movie we met up with Katia and Molly(Dave's friend from home, also visiting) and went to the GCB. While I was waiting for them to get there(I had left early as I didn't want to pay more than a $1 for parking and I was about to hit the 3 hour limit) I ran to Spikes for dinner. Now I've never had a Spikes hot dog before. In Boston I lived 2 blocks from a Spike for a year and a half...and here in Providence Spikes is just on Thayer, so also not hard to get to. I have to say that my first Spike's hot dog was a masterpiece. Never again will a store bought dog be up to my standards as this is truly something everyone should experience.

After my brief Spikes hot dog euphoria I ran back down to the GCB were I finally met up them the gang. Going in, had a beer, I failed miserably at darts before I got to the point where I had to leave everyone due to exhaustion. Went home..sleep.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Post # 50

Yes, you read that right. This is my 50th post to this weblog. Isn't that awesome? I think so. Anyway, i really wish I had more to update with. Something is happening tomorrow...but I still don't want to say anything until after. Nothing much going on other than that. Trying to finalize my plans for June and then lots of work stuff. I guess I'll have an update again soon.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Cthulhu Lives Next Door...


I discovered something rather interesting at work today. It turns out that H.P. Lovecraft lived just around the corner from from my house...on Angell Street. You can read the article Here. I guess that might explian some of the weird shit that goes on around here.

Monday, March 05, 2007

42

I bought some new stamps today, just to find out that they are going to raise the postage up from 39 cents to 42 cents. Just my luck eh? Good news is that 42 is the answer to the question...so perhaps it not all bad.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Short Myspace Rant...

I hate myspace. I can't even begin to comprehend why people like it so much. Every time I'm on someone's myspace page I feel as if i'm looking at the page of a 12 year old. Seriously I don't get the appeal, especially since there are so many other online communities out there that don't suck nearly as much.

24

I've made it to 4am...only 20 more hours to go...

It's Almost Mini-Golf Season Again!

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I've been lazy and not updating this thing...

It feels almost like Spring today. Went to CT yesterday to visit the Great Uncle. I didn't realize when I told me father that I'd go do that how far away he lived...but several hours after leaving Providence I found myself in Woodbury Ct, passing through familar places as I went along and experiencing a few flashbacks from times past along the way. After a visit consisting a several hours I left with a feeling of impoverishment as my Grat Uncle is the definition of rich person in CT...living on a hill overlooking the entire state it seems. Returned to Providence and went out for some Chinese before returning and watching Spaceballs and Boogie Nights with Simon, Katia, and Vlad. Thus was my Saturday.

This morning I headed to Attleboro and picked up a couple things at Target and Borders. I am now the owner of Season 1 of "24" as it was selling for less than $20. I have never really been into the show all that much but that was mainly as I've never really had the chance to watch it. There was that day 2 years ago or so that Simon and I attempted to watch all of season 1 straight through, but Greg's copy of Ep. 10 was corrupted so we didn't really get that much past that. Lets see if I can start to understand everybody's obsession with this show.

I'm looking forward to the end of the week already...and it hasn't even started yet. I have something going on this coming Friday that I'm excited and nervous about...but more on that later as I don't curse myself so early...

But Spring seems to be returning if slowly. I had my sunroof open in my car this morning for the first time in 4 months...that's something anyway.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sleepy

It's been about a week now since my last post and I realized that I should probably write something. Unfortunately I really don't have that much to say today. This week has been awfully weird though as I've been unbelievably tired all week. Perhaps I never fully recovered from last weekend, at least that's what I'm hoping but for some reason as the early afternoon hit and I was at work I just wanted to go take a nap or something. That alone shows there is something odd going on as I hate naps. Hate them with the fire of a thousand suns! I'd get home from work every night this week and buy 9pm I'd be about ready for bed. I can't wait for the spring to come as it means the sun will be around longer and I'm hoping that its just the darkness that I'm reacting too. The good news is that on the drive back home from work this week, I could see the sun as it was setting. Not to shabby if you ask me.

Tomorrow is another day of gaming in Norton. I can't wait.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Where did the day go?

Somehow Saturday has escaped from me. I think I managed to sleep through most of it actually which is so unlike me. Of course the staying up most of the night after Katia's Russia Themed party could have been part of that. I did manage to wake up early and then proceeded to start working on my taxes. I finally finished somewhere around noon, the decided that the bed looked remarkably comfortable after sitting at my computer for several hours going over old telephone bills(turns out I have almost every phone bill since May 2003 so I can really take advantage of that Telephone Tax Credit). The next thing I know is that its past 4pm and the sun is going down. Such a waste of a day. I finally did manage to eat breakfast around 7pm, watched an episode of Dead Like Me, then watched another episode of BSG with Simon & Katia. Only 1 more and they'll be caught up. I've totally corrupted them. Tomorrow is gaming day again with the crew. I've been looking forward to that for a couple of weeks so it'll be nice to throw some dice around. Now just have to finish up my taxes. I'm hoping to get enough back so that I can afford to go to England in June. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Morning Musings

Eating oatmeal for breakfast. Apples and Cinnamon. I think that they went overboard on the Cinnamon in this batch as I'm having trouble actually eating it. I finished reading Quicksilver yesterday morning and last night I started Eyes of Silver(which Izzy gave me). I wasn't going to, but I figure that reading Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" is going to take up the next couple of weeks so I might as well take a short break from that. I was hesitant to tear myself away from that world for a short time though as the way I read I totally submerge myself into the book and only come out when I have to do things such as eat, sleep, go to work, etc. I'm determined to read quite a bit this year though, and I think that so far I'm doing rather well with that goal. If only I could put as much energy into other things I tell myself I'm going to do than I think I could then do quite abut more. I watched last night's Studio 60. I really like that show and I hope that they continue next year with Season 2. Anyway, its now 7am and I'm going to take the next hour or so to go read Eyes of Silver.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Email I Received at Work Today...From a Client!

"I hate our fax machine with the white heat of a thousand burning suns."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Photo Weekend

This weekend Greg came up to visit from DC. He and I made a plan to spend the weekend shooting with our digital cameras. Saturday was spent in Boston. It was a cold day. Damn cold. Lots of wind. Madness and such. Later, Simon, Katia, and Ben met us at South Station and the five of us headed to Allston to hit up the Sunset Grill. Dinner and drinks followed and then a long ride home where I must have fallen asleep as I seem to have only vague memories of it. Today Greg and I attempted to shoot Providence and met is some success. Now I'm just exhausted and thinking I'm about to succumb to the horrible illnesses that have been going around endlessly for months. Below are some of the photo's I took. These are all with my new Nikon D80. Mostly with my 18-135 lens, but a few(the ones with the off focal planes) with the 85 mm tilt/shift lens that Greg rented.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Day

Woke up rather early this morning and immediately ran out the door to run some errands. Things I can check off my list:
-Haircut
-Xmas gift for Katia
-Sent back wrong item via the UPS store
-Bank

As it's raining and I think I'm starting to catch the horrible sickness that is going around I decided not to go to CT to visit the family as was requested of me. My Great Aunt is rather old and I'm sure my passing the plague on to her would reflect rather poorly on myself by the rest of the family. There was talk of a BJ's run and perhaps the Mall as well later on today, but other than that I think it's going to be rather low key. This is fine with me as for some reason for the last week or so as soon as the sun goes down so does all my energy. Wanting to go to bed at 8pm ever night is not normal. The good thing is that supposedly the days are going to start to get longer now so hopefully there will be more awakeness in the near future.

Tomorrow is gaming day. It's been over a month now since the Dice have been rolled and even though a couple of people are ill at the moment I think it will be a good time, even if it is a shorter day than normal. Here's hoping that its not too short though. I was hoping to have some clear skys again this weekend so that I could play around more with the camera. Fingers crossed for next weekend...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Australian Sunset


Portrait

I want to learn how to shoot portraits. I've been thinking about this for a while now and realized that being able to successfully capture the essence in a moment of somebody's life is a huge deal for me. The problem I find is that if I think too much of what I'm framing in my lens that it comes out so terribly. If I just stop thinking and shoot by instinct I tend to capture really great images, like the one below. I'm hoping to be able to learn to do this within the next couple of months, and the addition of my new camera hopefully will assist me in this endeavor. I guess I'm just needed a subject or two now to learn on.

The Rain

Looking out the window this morning I was hoping to see the sun and a clear sky. Instead I get rain. As I check the weather I see nothing but rain as well for the rest of the day. Clear skys means I can play with my my new camera. Rain means otherwise. For some reason, every time I have I have time to go out with the camera its already too dark out or its raining. I think somebody is trying to tell me something.

So it looks as if its going to be another one of those 'indoor' days here. The good news is that I do have a book to read and some online tasks I can get done. Now only if it will stop raining.