Thursday, August 31, 2006

Calling all photographers..

Do any of you have any experience with this camera? I've been poring over reviews all day in expectation of my upcoming Great Camera Upgrade Extravaganza this coming week and am seriously considering this Canon Rebel XT.

From the reviews I've read, there are two downsides. One is that this is a really, really small camera. I have very small hands, so this wouldn't be an issue for me. But Larry's big paws might find such a dainty device awkward.

The other downside is that the display screen is hard to read in bright or even moderate light.

The upside: 3 frames per second shooting, fast start-up time, great picture quality...for under $1,000.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Kodak moments

The new digital I got Alex for her ninth birthday is just awesome. It's a Kodak Easy Share, the $150 one, and the on-screen prompts make it a great starter camera for the budding photographer. I had orgininally gotten her one for around $100, but we were so disappointed with the picture quality that I worried the frustration would ruin her love of photography. If you want a digital, don't bother getting one for less than $120. The Kodak was a good upgrade.

I'm scoping out the professional-grade digitals at the moment, as I'm planning an upgrade of my own. My current Sony cost $450, and I've been pleased with it, but am ready to move up. Today I could spend twice what I paid for my Sony and get three times the features, which is pretty amazing. Larry's long been into photography, and is pretty excited about my plans to get the new camera.

So Alex has come by her photography bug rightly and has taken some really good quality pictures with her new camera, which I keep borrowing it for the video function. It shoots eight-minute videos that are just amazing, and today I put some on disc to send to the in-laws.

I also took a few photos on the sepia setting. I love this one and can't get over how much Alex and Lucas favor. And how adeptly they inherited my underbite. Poor dears.

The camera got a really good workout when Alex decided to take a picture of me and Wesley, who is completely incapable of keeping a straight face during a picture.

I know he's just being silly. Or at least I hope so. Maybe he had Tourettes. After about twenty shots, this was one of the best ones.

Really, I'm kidding about the Tourettes. Wesley is capable of being serious, and today Lovely Courtney entertained the kids while Wesley and I went outside, sat under a tree and had a heart-to-heart about his future, and about stuff that's going on in his life.

He's such a bright kid, and more thoughtful than I give him credit for being. He's a guy, and just because a guy doesn't tell you something doesn't mean he's not thinking about it. Sometimes I forget that; sometimes I think that just because Wes doesn't share things with me it means they're not on his mind. But what it really means is that I didn't ask. I'm used to his older sister, Jessica, opening the door to her mind on her own. Wes requires that I knock first. But when I do, he answers. And I'm grateful to have that kind of son.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cat Vs. Geese

So this morning the geese showed up bright and early outside the playroom window, looking for some attention.

They got it from Piper the Cat, who proceeded to frantically "attack" them through the glass. They pecked back at her, and for a few moments there was a cacophany of spitting, honking, pecking and clawing. But there were no clear winners. Maybe tomorrow.

You know, if you have pets, you really don't need television.

UPDATE for The Cleaning Lady:

This is Jingles, the personification, er, catification of Evil. In this picture, she's menacing Frodo, our meterosexual miniature dachshund.

Just moments before, they had been sleeping peacefully and then I guess Frodo breathed in a way Jingles didn't like or something and she set to bitch-slapping him around. Note the dog's paw on the cat's chest in a vain attempt to hold her off before she administered the Ultimate Feline Smackdown. Can a dog also be a pussy? I guess so.

I really love that cat.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Remember those geese we got last spring? Well, they're all grown up now, and all five are roaming the property, snipping weeds from around the banana trees and terrorizing intruders.

But they've developed a rather odd habit of showing up every morning at the back playroom window, where they peck at the cats and children through the glass. They don't seem to pay us much mind when we're outdoors, unless someone is carrying a bucket they suspect might contain corn. But there is something about that see-through barrier that fascinates them.

One gander has taken to vibrating his bill against the glass. Alex swears he's trying to drill his way through.

We've owned -and still own - a lot of animals. But I've never seen anything quite like this. I'm not sure I care for it, because if you try to ignore their window-drumming, they start honking like mad.

The corgis, tired of having their ears pulled, won't even attempt to chase the geese away, not even when I demand it. So my mission to acquire poultry big enough to intimidate the dogs has worked a little too well. Not only are the dogs no longer killing chickens, they are orthophobic in general and won't go anywhere near anything with wings.


Here's a picture of Lucas with "Best Friend." (You'll want to click to enlarge.)

When he got the snake, he exclaimed, "This is my best friend!'" When we asked him what he was going to name it, he said, "Best Friend."

Of course, then he wanted to name the new parrot we got best friend, and proclaimed the cats best friends, too.

Who says homeschooled kids aren't well socialized. *wink*