Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

It’s Over… or at least partially…

December 27, 2006

Hopefully everyone enjoyed (or is still enjoying) their holiday time. Myself, I feel kinda relieved it’s over once again for another year. It’s such a mad rush at the end of the year. As you can see from the photo above, our dog Jessie was as beat as we were by the end of it all.

It’s not completely over since our little one has her birthday a couple of days from now and New Years is just next weekend. If holidays are supposed to be restful, then these don’t qualify as holidays.

Among the nice shirts, belts and ties, I snagged a nice gift certificate to a local camera store. Right now it’s a toss-up between a new lens and a new printer. I’ve been pining for the Epson R800 printer for over a year now, but the price never seems to drop ($449-499 CDN). I feel guilty for paying that much for an inkjet, although I have seen the output and it is quite nice.

So it may be that I’m leaning towards a Canon 85mm f1.8 lens. It’s a little more than the printer, but it’s fast and relatively cheap. On my 350D it will work like a 135mm lens and since I love available light photography (witness most of my nicer photographs) that nice wide aperture is very very appealing. So we’ll see in a few days if I change my mind.

For now, my absolute favourite shooting is done with the 50mm f1.8 cheapy that I bought a while back. While you still have to fight with moving subjects under typical indoor lighting, sleeping dogs turn out rather well. 🙂

Bubbling Up

December 21, 2006

Ahh the holidays. When you couple the Christmas, New Year (and in our case birthday) season hurtling towards you with a ridiculous amount of work as every Tom, Dick and Sally comes out of the woodwork wanting projects finished and permit applications submitted before the new year, you end up with time for little else.

It’s truly amazing how life can get so busy that you simply have little time to ponder anything at all (and that includes potential blogging topics). You forget how valuable those (these) spare moments are to your sanity.

A couple of things that *have* managed to bubble up:

The next version of Inkscape, 0.45, is upcoming. The Inkscapers group on Deviantart is soliciting entries for the “About Inkscape” dialog box. I managed to create a DeviantArt account (a long time fan of the site, but never a member, until now) and posted a couple of entries. Lots of very talented and creative people there, so I’m not sure I stand any chance although as of yet, there are not many entries. What the heck though, worth a shot.

My daughter has taken a real shine to TuxPaint as of late. While the resulting canvases (sp?) will likely only win rave reviews from Daddy and Mommy, it has done absolute wonders for her mousing and keyboard skills in a very short time. Don’t be fooled by its overly simplistic look (this is not a Disney creation). It struck just the right balance between providing fun painting tools with good sound feedback and appropriately sized buttons and controls. Although typically thought of as a Linux app, it is available for both Windows and OSX as well.

Finally a quick note or two just to piss off those people who always harp and complain about political correctness during the holidays.

1. Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings and [insert other generic holiday term wishing well to people of all faiths from the athiest to the agnostic to the devoutly spiritual]. Why should we be ashamed for wanting to include all people in our best wishes? Get over it.

2. My daughter is learning about a multitude of cultural and religious celebrations at school right now. She brought home a little craft that outlined the meaning of Kwanzaa. Ahh Kwanzaa, I used to laugh at that – in some way, the butt of jokes. The principles of Kwanzaa outlined on that little craft sounded more profound and reasoned to me than anything I’d gotten out of Christmas celebrations in the past.

See, even an almost-five year old can expand your horizons.

Shopping is done. Presents are bought. Two more days of the daily grind until we coast to Christmas. It couldn’t come at a better time.