Jan 22, 2015

Learning to see the light

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The good news is a lot of my old photos were recovered from the broken harddrive!


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The good news is a lot of my old photos were recovered! The bad news is I’ve been looking at them and scaring myself. I know I’m my own worst critic but c’mon, what is the focus of this photo? The one egg with no paprika on it? Nothing is really in focus except the bottom of the pan. Today I’d throw this out.

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This one I dislike for two reasons, 1, the flash was used and didn’t help. I could easily have moved it near the window and it would’ve looked 100thousand times better.

2, the cup cake dead center is in focus and that generally only looks good on portraits. Ah hah! it was a cupcake portrait!


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This one isn’t too terrible or I’m just trying to be nice to my former self and don’t want her to quit.


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Yeah, keep practicing and learning from it. eventually you’ll learn to see the light. Obviously I didn’t have that part down yet.


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High five for these cookies, there’s a nice feel about this photo.

If you have just started do not be afraid to take bad photos the more you shoot the more you learn. Someone said your first 10,000 photos are your worst. For me it may have been my first 40,000.

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Jan 21, 2015

The bridge report: January

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Bridge report. They are getting a little more done each day on this bridge across the Tennessee/Tellico River.

I drove by in the morning when they were working but didn’t have time to stop. At the end of the day I did make time. Well really it was to use the bathroom. There is this bathroom for emergency stopping only. The stalls have no doors but unlike some mechanic shop bathrooms I’ve been in the sink isn’t covered with black grease smudges.

Anyway once I was there I got a good look at the bridge. Those piles they were driving  last spring are now sticking out of the water with concrete looking ready for something.


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Jan 5, 2015

Lumix G1 mirrorless camera: first impressions



I got the opportunity to try out this micro 4/3 mirrorless camera. It’s an older model, so the newer equivalent will have video and other features.




I went straight to manual to see what it could do.




It has one dial on the front that is either the shutter or aperture. You just press it once to switch and press it again to switch back. That was pretty easy to pick up.  I didn’t do much manual reading to test this out, I wanted to see what I could quickly figure out.




There is an AF’AE lock button that I unsuccessfully tried to set to back button focus. I have become totally hooked on BBF and become extremely irritated when I can’t decouple the focus from the shutter.  Just last March I thought I could never learn how to use back button focus and now I’m hooked.

Changing the ISO is easily accessed by clicking the top button on the 4-way buttons on the back of the camera.

It only has one card slot. I prefer two just incase one card corrupts.


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I was not able to figure out how to have one focus point that I could toggle around. Very annoying, the camera was “thinking” and randomly choosing what it “thought “ was the right thing to focus on.

Then Molly said she’d model for me, and the camera thought I’d like some hairs under her chin to be the main focus of this photo. Grrr.

Molly didn’t like the way she looked even though I promised if she’d give me another chance or 20 I might get the camera figured out. She left.




Then I tried the girls in the pasture.

It seemed soft and mushy. Might be the kit lens, might’ve been me, I’m not sure but I was at f/16 so there’s no reason anything shouldn’t be in focus.

They took one look at me and left.




So then I decided I’d try out the sunflare. Shooting into the sun, I discovered I had a lot of finger prints on the lens!! Hmm, maybe I should’ve cleaned the lens first.




This little camera brackets 5 shots! That’s better than a lot of DSLRs, I’m impressed.




I also like how light it is for a camera with interchangeable lenses.

Would I buy it?

Not unless I could figure out how to select a single focus point. Which might be possible, I’m just not sure. And properly set up back button focus.

The battery life was not impressive, but this is a rather old camera in camera years. I think camera years are like dog years.

The next camera I want to review is the Sony a6000. I think there’s a lot to that little camera. Stay tuned.

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Dec 30, 2014

Happy New Year

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Hello, yes, it’s been a while. I got busy then I got sick and then some other bad news I’ll get to in a minute.

While sick and up at 2am drinking more of my favorite tea.  I got to see the Christmas lights when I’d rather be sleeping. But there I was, so I grabbed my camera…


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This Yogi Bedtime tea is really nice, I love the licorice in it.


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I’m going to make something fun as soon as I’m over this cold! I think I’ll add tofu and maybe cream cheese.


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Now for the bad news. I had a hard drive go bad with all of my old photos, photos that I like to know I have but don’t really look at or do much with but I like to know I CAN get them when ever I want.

It is my own fault, this hard drive used to go whop whop, when it ran and then sometime this fall it stopped going whop whop when it ran, I just thought it had cured it’s self and was running quietly.

I was wrong about the self curing over time.

Apparently that does not happen with hard drives. 

No, I did not have this drive backed up anywhere.

In the above photo is the test running on my good hard drive, I never used to read that white text, since I’ve started, I see it says “0 bad file…” That’s the good news.

When the test ran on the bad drive, the test said it took away numerous orphan files then it got to this stage and then said it encountered an error and could not complete.

So I called my computer healers and asked them to prepare healing poultices, ointments and a new patient room. They said Look lady, no promises and we’ll let you know if it has a pulse.




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I was able to salvage a couple of really low quality photo off of it before it stopped even making the “tick tick” noise.

This is a view from the hike up to Mount LeConte that I know for a fact that I could re-shoot and do 1000x better, but it’s not the quality, it’s the memory, this was the first time. Actually, I didn’t even take this photo.


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Then this, Pond hockey. My brother didn't really care for hockey but was a good sport and went out on the ice with me.

Now that I live in the south, being able to say you played on an outdoor pond is such a big deal to the kids from here. Back then it meant shoveling first, trying to remember not to shovel the snow into your boots at the edge. Trying to con someone else into shoveling.

And then trying to not lose the last puck into the snow.

Good times.


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Talk about photo quality! This is of my grand mother (on the left) and great grand mother.

This is scanned from a low quality 1 hr print 8x10”  that was scanned from a 5x7” print. 

This was 1940s –ish.  I bet they never went to Wal-Mart in their pajamas!


So if there is a lesson from today, I hope you will not wait for your hard drives to self heal.

Happy new year!

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Dec 8, 2014


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We met Mable, this gorgeous Collie at the Laurel Snow area. 

She just came running up to us like we were her long lost friends!

She was certainly not hungry and her coat was freshly groomed.

I asked her if she lived near by. She wouldn’t say but her tags confirmed that.


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I figured she sneaks out after her mom goes to work and she probably hurried back to be sitting on the porch when mom gets back.  Mable refused to agree or disagree with any of that.


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To the right of the trail is the old coal mine entrance


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The sign was right, the bridge was “out”.

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The bold souls skootched across the fallen tree.


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The timid souls (I was one of them) Skootched across this log.  Mable waded across. My camera was packed up just in case…


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We didn’t go all the way to either falls. But there were some little falls here and there.


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And rocks, lots of those.


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When we got back to the parking lot Mable’s mom came to pick her up.

Mable’s mom said she has made so many friends through Mable. She told us Mable does this about once a week she is now 10 years old and rather lame so for the next 3 or so days she just sits on the couch. She got Mable as a rescue dog and Mable she hoped Mable would slow down and not go these long hikes but old age hasn’t seemed to stop her.


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If Mable could talk she’d brag about her hard working, optimistic, positive, cancer surviving mom and the good life Mable and her mom have, the leather couch that is oh so comfortable after a crazy 5 mile hike just to walk down another glorious trail by some random hiker’s side, the good dog food that the neighbor dog loves too, and just being Mable’s favorite person in the whole world!


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If you are lucky, you too may get to meet Mable somewhere out in the Laurel Snow area on a trail. If you do, just call her mom, the phone number is on Mable’s tags.

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Dec 1, 2014

Quinoa salad with mango

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My new favorite version of quinoa salad!

Super easy too.


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All you need is cooked quinoa,


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chopped avocado,


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yeah and a bowl. Ok, where was I?


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Some diced tomatoes with green chilies,


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juice of a fresh lemon,


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chopped mangos,


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some of the Red Gold petite diced tomatoes in garlic and olive oil that Red Gold sent me. They are a nice size of can when you’re making a small batch. These are really tasty!


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Mix it all together and season with salt to taste.  Put in a bit of the tomatoes in garlic and olive oil juice taste it, see what you think then add a little more if it’s still seems a little dry.


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Serve and enjoy.



Quinoa Salad with mango



  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 avocado cubed
  • 1/4 cup Red Gold petite diced tomatoes with green chilies drained
  • 1/2 cup Red Gold petite diced tomatoes with garlic and olive oil and some of it’s juice to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped mangos.
  • pinch of salt


Mix together and serve.

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