Thursday, June 17, 2010

Captain Hook - R.I.P.

Our aged and ill feline companion, Captain Hook, has left his suffering body. If there is any sort of afterlife for kitties, I hope it is filled with fat, slow mice and clueless songbirds. (One imagines that mouse and bird afterlife would be slightly different. No worries, it is just a many worlds exercise.)


He has been an interesting companion all these years. He was fiercely independent, only allowed human cuddling on his terms when he wanted it. He lived with us; we didn't own him. Sure, some of you are saying, "Cats are like that." True enough, but he took it beyond normal aloofness. During our early years as housemates, he would invent games, and entice us to play with him. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with diabetes. We actually expected him to pass on much sooner, but with strict diet and tender loving care, he surprised us and kept going. It became clear recently that he was used up, and so we helped him end the suffering. He is buried in the back yard, under a rock he enjoyed basking next to in the sun. We will miss the little fuzzball.

Here are more pics (plus a couple of Romeo) if you are interested.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Marquette Waterfront Festival Dancers

I made it to the Marquette Waterfront Festival last Saturday. It is the kickoff event of a series of outdoor music festivals in Madison over the summer - free to the public. There is generally a pretty good line-up of bands and folk turn out in droves. One of the early bands was Madison's own Yid Vicious playing klezmer tunes. They never fail to get the local ethnic folk dancers moving!


Following them were The Handphibians, Madison's Brasilian bateria. Different dancers to besure, but they do get people moving. They are real crowd-pleasers.


Alas, about the time the 'Phibs took the stage, my workhorse lens, the Sigma 18-200, quit functioning properly. Purchased in Nov. of 2008, it is just 7 months out of warranty. Figures. It's currently at B.D.C. with a repair estimate in excess of $100, and more likely $150 and three weeks. I repair the >$400 lens or use the $150 to pop for a different, better lens?

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rainy Day Garden

Rainy days make for some of the best flower pictures. The colors are all rich and saturated, the water adds interest, and the diffuse light makes everything look perfect

Better Viewed LARGE

As I was manually focusing I kept seeing this line appear. At first I thought I had a scratch on my lens, but no, it is just a strand of spider web in the foreground. I could barely see it with my unaided eye!


I don't know exactly what this bug is, though it is pretty clear that it is capable of devouring a lot of milkweed leaf! I noted two of them, so it doesn't seem like an infestation. Anybody know what it is?


Enjoy the rain!

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Steampunk Party - Part Two

I finished sorting through the various photographs of the dancers at the event Friday night. As performers, it was all variations of belly dance, either classical or tribal.

The Dancers

All were entertaining and worth watching. Unfortunately for them, the lighting was terrible and there were no spots of any sort, just overheads, and they were not bright. The available light images were all taken at high ISO, while the ones with an on-camera flash are the ones that create the hard shadows on the back wall.

The Dancers

The rest of the room was dimly lit, going for a mood. When Tashar came out to work with fire, the lights were dimmed even more. It made for fun watching and tough shooting.

The Dancers

These and another 15 or so have been added to the SLIDE SHOW. Check it out and see the images in larger goodness!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Steampunk Party - Part One

I went to my first Steampunk event. It was a local party sponsored by Ravenworks, a store that caters to costume wearing folk. I didn't really have ANY idea of what I was going to wear quite literally until I put it on and decided: That'll do. Reena's band, al Khemia, was playing and I was on duty as photo-meister. It was an ... interesting night. I cannot say that I was overwhelmed, but that is certainly due in part to my 1) being at work and, 2) not being a steampunk aficionado. My costume choice met with favorable comments so it must have been passable. This woman caught my eye several times over the course of the evening, and despite the truly terrible lighting in the room, I managed a lovely candid portrait:

Steampunk Party Miscellany
For those who care about such things: Exposure: 0.025 sec (1/40), Aperture: f/1.8, Focal Length: 50 mm, ISO Speed: 2000

There are a double-handful of images in a SLIDE SHOW at my Flickr site. More will be added in the next day or so. In the meantime, here is another sample of the steampunk goodness that was providing ambiance...

Steampunk Party Miscellany

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More from the Garden

The lush fecundity of this time of year is a constant delight to me. The rain-sodden soil teases my nose; the flowers entice my eyes; the soft slithers of earthworms at night evoke my ears; wet grass tickles my toes. Such a treat!


It seems that every day brings another diversion to my senses, leaving me senseless with abandon. I wander my tiny yard, coffee or camera in hand with my ancient cat following along as best he can.


Savor it with me for a moment, won't you?

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


No words really needed. Enjoy!



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