I set my alarm for 5:00am and didn’t get out of bed until about 6:40. Oh well, after a rough few days I think I needed it. I still do, I am feeling super tired still.

I was planning on getting my exercise in for the day, then getting ready for work, then (assuming Jen was awake and not in an early meeting) I was going to add the final guitar parts to the two songs I’ve been working on. Nope. It’s after 8:00 now and I just closed my exercise ring and had a protein supplement breakfast. My stomach is okay so far, though not really 100%. I’m still feeling a little beat up after the rough week, but yesterday was 99% fine and I am hoping for a trend. I’ll use the stop watch at lunch and dinner and see if it keeps me on track. It doesn’t always work, there are other ways to fuck up apart from just going too fast, but it worked for me all day yesterday. I still don’t know what went wrong with the late night pudding cup snack last night. I was really shocked at how that one turned out.

I am planning to go food shopping after dinner tonight. Once I get home I will try to add the last guitar parts to the two songs so that I can start mixing and get them in before the end of the month.

We did a lot of planning for Bellana’s college graduation weekend last night. Once we get through all of the logistics I am going to start obsessing over the photography options. I’m hyper focusing on lens options (yes, the pun was intended… focusing… get it?). I was thinking about trying to get a long zoom so that I could get close up shots of the stage from our cheap seats. Now I’m not so sure. Now I think I might want to go for something super wide so that I can get the whole scene when the family is all together. Like, what if we go to dinner to celebrate afterwards. If I have a 40mm lens on the digital camera and a 50mm lens on the film I’m not going to be able to get multiple people into a shot unless I stand up and walk away. Maybe I want to look into getting a 28mm, or even an 18mm lens so that I can grab nice wide group shots.

Oh to be able to actually know what I’m doing. Heh heh.

Okay, time to go get showered and dressed and get ready for work. Happy Monday, he said with biting, dripping sarcasm.

Saturday Morning

Just sitting at home having a quiet Saturday morning. Watching The X-Files (the space shuttle episode from season one is pretty terrible, isn’t it?) and trying to get the cats to come hang out with me.


We won’t be going to the Hockey East Finals game tonight. UMass Lowell lost in overtime. Double overtime, I think. My brother’s old school, Merrimack College beat us. I think I’ll be rooting for Merrimack tonight. If my team can’t win it, his team should. The word on the street is that Hockey East is probably only going to get one team into the national tournament this year. I don’t remember what the reasoning behind that was, but I think I read an article on USCHO that mentioned it.

Mulder was just taking photos of an army secret thingie and he got jumped by a soldier. The camera markings were blacked out so I can’t tell what model it was. The lens looked a little similar to my father’s cheap zoom lens. It was different, but similar. Not quite as ground breaking as seeing Dad’s camera on an episode of Stranger Things, but fun nonetheless.

Catching Up After a Couple of Off Days

The last couple of days have been weird, health-wise. First it was the headache issue on Tuesday, then it was stomach issues on Wednesday. Now here we are on Thursday and I am feeling a little like a wrung out face cloth. Here’s hoping today will be a quiet day.

We’re having some HVAC folks come and tell us what they need to do to replace the mini-split in the bedroom. We’ve had it serviced a couple of times this winter, but it’s just not working and we’re more or less unable to heat the bedroom without using a space heater as a supplement. They won’t actually replace it for another week or two, but they are coming for a fact finding mission.

So, television. Yesterday was the premier or season three of The Mandalorian and I could not be at a higher hype level. The first episode was excellent but… I think today’s third episode of season three of Picard might have been better. I did not see that coming, kids. I was just glued to the screen as I was getting this morning’s jogging (yogging) in. The captain vs admiral conflict seemed a little forced and out of character, but everything else? Fan-freakin-tastic. The bad guys behind the bad guy? Fan-freakin-tastic! I can’t wait for episode four. I also can’t wait for episode two of The Mandalorian, but that’s a given. In the Star Wars vs Star Trek debate, I come down on the Star Wars side, generally, but only by a little bit. Regardless of which franchise you prefer, it’s a pretty good time to be a space opera fan, am I right?

For the first time in a year, I am suffering from guitar gear acquisition syndrome. There are two overdrive pedals that I really want to buy, and I also really want to buy an amplifier simulator that I can use as a plug in through GarageBand. Last year I finished the RPM Challenge with a plan to do their Record Every Month challenge throughout the rest of the year. I had a goal of two songs each month that I could pretend were a single. I failed completely. I didn’t write a single song over the 11 months between the 2022 RPM and the 2023 RPM (with the exception of a few failed attempts in November). I am going to try again, but I am probably not going to record guitars through my amplifier on a regular basis. I am thinking I can do direct input more often and I want a good amp sim that I can use consistently. The one I am looking at is only $40, but I just don’t want to spend any money. We have a mini-split to buy after all.

Speaking of gear acquisition syndrome, I also really want to buy a new lens for my new camera. I adore the 40mm lens we bought for Disney, but I’d like a little zoom option. Possibly because the cats are suffering from The Zoomies every night and it just sort of inspired me, you know? I also really really want to buy a 35mm film point and shoot and I don’t know why. I want to buy a 35mm film camera with autofocus functionality too, but that’s going to cost some dough, and I think I can get a point and shoot for pennies. I want to go Nikon, as usual, but decent Nikon point and shoots are stupidly expensive on ebay. I looked for Pentax options yesterday and saw some with the starting bid of $1.00… so yeah, that could be a better option. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll hit the thrift stores more often.

Okay, time to get breakfast and get my day started. I have a lot of meetings today and need to be ready for a long day at the home office. Wish me luck.

Chomping at the Bit

I’m having trouble focusing on anything. Tomorrow is such a big deal that it’s messing with my head. I asked Jen if she wanted to go for a drive after lunch. She said yes. She also said she might want to go to bed around 8pm tonight. Not because she’s tired, but because that means tomorrow will get here sooner.

I’m watching YouTube videos that tour the resort hotel we’ll be staying at. We have reservations at Topolino’s Terrace one night. Did you know that Topolino is what they call Mickey Mouse in France? Wait… was it France or Italy. I don’t know. Probably Italy. Whatever, we’re going to eat there.

I still have a lot of stuff to pack up tomorrow. Stuff like the very laptop I’m typing this post on. I will need it today, so I’ll pack it tomorrow. I have put a roll of film in the camera though. All that’s left photo-nerd-wise is to put the new mirrorless camera into the camera bag. Everything else is done. I also created a folder in Apple Photos to keep all of my Disney 2023 pics. I don’t know if I can turn it into a shared folder or not though. I’ll have to see once I have stuff to put into it.

Okay, we’re going to go for a drive up route 93. We’re not going to stop anywhere. We’re just going to get out of the house.

Until next time, my New Years Day friends.

New Lens Day? I Hope!

We ordered a new Nikon Z mount lens and a couple of memory cards from Best Buy this morning. The intention being a curbside pickup in Salem, NH.

An hour or so ago I got a notification that the memory cards are ready for pick up. Jen got a notification that the lens was being readied for pickup in Nashua, NH.


I don’t care where I have to go to pick the thing up, I just want it for the vacation. It’s a 40mm, f2 full frame prime lens and I am sitting here kinda drooling over the thought of it. Nikon doesn’t seem to have a 35mm or 50mm Z mount lens yet, so this puppy is pretty much the sweet spot in between them. It’s also tiny, which is super nice. I’m really hoping I can wander around Disney World with a 40mm prime on my digital camera, and a 50mm prime on my film camera. Double fisting like a boss, right?

Speaking of film, I am still waiting for the notification that my test roll of film scans is ready to download. It’s been a couple of days since the lab notified me that they had the film. Now I just need the scans so I can be sure using Dad’s Pentax lens on my Nikon camera will work. I know it will because the camera is an SLR and I can see through it without any problem. I just want to make sure the film shots look okay. I’m hoping the adapter doesn’t screw with the focus, or let any light leak into the camera, or anything like that. If I don’t see the scans today I will likely see them next week, but there will be a few days of picture taking opportunities in between. I’ll probably just use the lens that came with the Nikon when I bought it off of eBay. I’ve already packed up the film I’m bringing along. There’s more than I can see myself using, but I will be set no matter what. There’s also this groovy new mirrorless camera that will be drawing attention away from film, so I’ll likely shoot less film that I was planning. I can’t say for sure though.

I am a nerd. You knew that already though. I think we’re all good with it.

Three hours and 32 minutes until vacation.

Driving Means More Obnoxiousness

We were going to fly to Florida for our nearly two weeks at Disney World. Now we’re driving. This means a few things. Obviously it means we’re leaving earlier and getting home later and it also may mean cutting the last day at the parks a little short. It means we’ll have a car with us for the whole time which implies we can leave the resort if we need to (as in, we need to buy protein bars or something). It also means gas money. We are going to do our best to leave the car in the parking lot for the whole trip. Disney provides transportation between everything on the resort so we will be able to travel all over the place without using our car. That’s the goal, and it’s worked fine the two times we’ve stayed on the resort in the past.

There are other things that driving allows too, and for me it means I have the opportunity to be WAY more obnoxious. Heh Heh.

I was planning on taking two cameras, the new Z5 and the film FG-20. I was planning on taking one lens for each camera. I was also planning on leaving some of my film behind, just the two rolls of ISO 800 film that I picked up from Amazon not too long ago, out of fear of X-Ray/CT scans at the airport. I was also planning on bringing some envelops with me so that I could ship film off to the lab a couple of times, rather than fly home with them and risk a second X-Ray/CT scan.

Now that we’re driving? All of the lenses are coming. All of the film too. No more worries about luggage space on the plane. We’re taking the Mazda because it’s the bigger of our two cars, and with just me and Jen on the drive we can fill up the back seat as well as the trunk. That means we can take the kids’ suit cases so they don’t have to check their bags, and it also means nerd boy can take his big camera bag rather than just putting the two cameras into his carry on backpack. Oh yeah, babie. Robbie is going to be photographically insufferable. Insert maniacal laughter here.

Driving also means we will have to load up on protein meal replacements for the drives down and back. I was likely going to do that anyway, but this just adds an extra couple of days to consider. It also means Jen and I will need to do laundry more often, though possibly the same number of times but needing to do the first loads earlier in the week. Something like that.

What else does it mean? I’m thinking! We might end up listening to an audiobook during the drive. Something like that. Maybe I’ll put together a Rob’s driving while Jen is sleeping music playlist. I once made a playlist of favorite guitar moments from the Big UK Three, Clapton, Beck, and Page. I shuffle it and let it go. It runs for a few hours. I only get the urge to use that playlist on long drives. Maybe it will get some use.

That reminds me! Total change of subject.

On Monday Jen, Bellana, and I went car shopping. We were in our second dealership and we found The Car. As we sat down in the office to start the purchase process, the classic rock station playing in the background (it was a Boch dealership. Ernie Boch, Jr is a rocker. Jen and I saw his band play at the Brad Delp Memorial concert back in the stone age. Ernie and the Automatics. Two ex-members of Boston were in the band. Or was it three ex-members… I can’t remember if Fran Sheehan was in the band or not, but Barry Goudreau and Sib Hashian [aka Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s father in law] were) played the Golden Slumbers medley by The Beatles. Pretty much my favorite thing in the entire Beatles catalog. I took it as a sign from the music gods that we were buying the right car.

Not long after that the radio played Trampled Underfoot by Led Zeppelin. I haven’t heard that one in years. The next song they played was Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. I thought to myself, two songs by two of The Big Three in a row. If they play something by Jeff Beck next it will be more proof that universe approves of the car purchase. They did not play a Jeff Beck song next. Oh well.

But wait, there’s more!

Last night we went back to the dealership to pick up Bellana’s new car. The song that was playing as we walked in the door? I’m a Man by the Yardbirds… with Jeff Freakin’ Beck on guitar. Holy Shit Nuggets! They weren’t consecutive, but the universe gave me all of The Big Three. Woah!

Anyway, back to planning the trip and being obnoxious… I can’t think of anything else right now. I’m sure I will later, and I am sure I’ll write a 50 page essay describing it. Until then, go listen to some Jeff Beck and then maybe go buy a car.

The “U” Word Scares Me and My Wallet

Last night my camera scared me. I took out the memory card so I could upload the picture of my cat that I posted here last night. When I put the memory card back into the camera it errored. What was that? I took it out and put it back in… same error. I went all Nintendo on it’s skinny ass and blew on it as well as the card slot and it was fine again. I took a few pics this morning and I just uploaded them to Flickr and I put the card back in and it’s fine.

Sigh of relief.

It got me thinking though… I bought my DSLR in January 2010. That was 12 years ago. That seems like a long time for a tech gadget. A really, super long time. When should I start considering thinking about the “u” word? You know… upgrade. Realistically, I probably should have been asking myself this question five years ago (at least), but even though I know I can probably fix this problem by picking up a new memory card, I have to start thinking about what camera comes next.

I went on Nikon’s website to see what they have available these days. For DSLRs , the D5600 is marketed to advanced beginners and it costs $700 without a kit lens. The D7500 would probably be what I looked at if money wasn’t an issue, but it costs a grand for just the body.

What about mirrorless? That’s the future, right? Shouldn’t I get on the wagon before it leaves that homestead? The Z fc is clearly the coolest camera on the Earth at this time. Yes, it’s a retro inspired, hipster focused gimmick, but now that I am nutty over old manual film cameras a mirrorless camera based on an old design is right up my alley. I’ll take one to go, thank you. Except that it costs $959 without a lens, and the lens mount is different than my DSLR so I will need a new lens as well and the price with a kit lens is $1,099.95. There is also the Z50, which I think is the same guts as a Z fc, and that will be $999.95 with a lens.


I don’t want to leave Nikon-land and I don’t want to buy a used camera…


Maybe I should start looking at Fuji… those probably cost a mint too.

Anyway, here are some pictures I took around the living room just to make sure everything still works. I put a mono filter on the RAW files in honor of the gloomy camera atmosphere.

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Last night I started looking at lens mount adapters. Maybe I can put dad’s lenses on my eBay camera. Maybe I can put them on my DSLR?

I found two adapters on B&H‘s website. I’m thinking about it, but will do a little more digging first. I’d love to be able to use dad’s 50mm prime lens at Disney in January. I think that might be the best lens in the house. Still, I want something that will autofocus for the DSLR. Let’s just say my eyes ain’t what they used to be.

No Thanks, Hacker Bro

Someone just tried to change the password to my BestBuy account. Nope. Not today.

Unless they want to buy me cool camera gear. Like a 50mm prime lens for my D90, or even a 35mm prime lens for my D90. I don’t think The BestBuy sells a fully manual 50mm prime lens for my FG-20. If they do, then I’ll take one of those too.

I guess I have to change my password now that someone has tried to change my password. Oh, internet.