Forgotten Roll of Film

I thought my film camera was empty. I was going to put my last roll of black and white film into it and test drive it with Dad’s cheap zoom lens.

Turns out I was wrong. I put a roll of color film into my camera on our last day at Disney World and then never took a single shot. I put Dad’s lens on it, but I’ll have to wait for 36 shots before I load another black and white roll.

It’s supposed to snow all day tomorrow, though no accumulation thankfully, but it’s supposed to be sunny out on Sunday at dawn. I’m thinking of taking the new mirrorless camera and one, if not both, film camera out that morning. Possibly to the ocean for some sunrise pics. My film camera has 36 shots left. Dad’s has 20.

In other news, Harry is on the way. He’s somewhere in New Hampshire though he hasn’t reached route 93 yet. He’ll be here in a couple of hours, I think. Drive safe, Harry!

Mini-Split Success

We have a new, functioning mini-split HVAC unit in the primary bedroom. Say goodbye to overnight frostbite! I just went into the room to move the furniture back into place and there was actual warm air coming out of the wall unit. It’s been so long! Oh happy day!

When the AC staff left I was able to let the cats out of prison. We put them, and their food and water, and their litter boxes into Bellana’s bedroom and closed the door tight. We didn’t want them getting in the way or running out the door or anything like that so we locked them up. While I was upstairs just now they were sitting on the cat tree and I got to spend 10 seconds petting them and apologizing to them and researching whether or not they hated me now. They don’t. We’re still buds, all three of us.

I just checked the Find My app. Harry hasn’t left Burlington yet. I’m not sure what time we’re supposed to be expecting him, but given that it’s 3:00pm and he’s three hours away, I’d say sometime after 6:00pm. That’s called, “math,” kids. Respect it. It can do shit for you. Bellana is spending Spring Break with friends in the confederacy. She’s well on her way and currently somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania. I wish she was coming here too, but she’s going to have a good trip so I’m happy for her.

Okay, I got a super late start to my lunch break today but it’s over now so I need to get back to work. Until next time, my readers and only friends. Good day.

Good Stuff Coming Tomorrow

There are a couple of good things coming tomorrow. One good thing and one really good thing.

The good thing is a new mini-split AC system for the primary bedroom. We had one installed five years ago and were told it would last for a long time. It didn’t. It’s only a tiny bit better than useless right now. It’s freezing in there. We’ve had to add a space heater to keep from turning to ice some nights. The new AC is going to be installed tomorrow and here’s hoping it’s going to last as long as they tell us it should. At least this one has something like a 12 year warrantee.

That’s the good thing, what’s the really good thing? Harry. Harry’s Spring Break starts tomorrow and he’s coming to our house first. We’re going to have him here starting tomorrow evening and running through early next week. He’ll spend the second half of his break at his Dad’s but I’ll be sad about that when it happens. Until then though, I am stoked that he’s going to be at our house. He’ll be here when we ring in the start of daylight savings time on Sunday. I’m totally here for it.

Random Thoughts

How do you tell if your two cats are playing with each other, or actively tying to kill each other? One second they appear to be trying their hardest to tear each other’s throats out with their teeth, and the next second they are curled up together, grooming each other. I don’t get it. All I know for sure is that the kitten likes to stir up shit any chance she gets, and every now and then the bigger cat will turn the tables and ambush the kitten in ways that nearly make her shit herself. It’s scary and entertaining at the same time.

Harry’s coming home tonight. Just for one night. He’s having computer troubles and Jen is going to troubleshoot with him. That’s all. It’s going to be great to have him here though, even if it is a super short visit.

The weather sucks. It’s going to be super cold tomorrow, and we have another snow storm on the horizon. Hopefully I’ll be through with the car music by then. Hopefully the weather will start to improve once February ends, but we all know that Spring doesn’t come to New England anymore until mid-May at best. I want Summer. I want to move to San Diego where it’s summer all the time.

The Red Sox are playing their first Spring Training game right now. The annual beat-the-hell-out-of-a-college-team kick off to the grapefruit league season. They have a 5-3 lead over Northeastern University in the middle of the sixth inning. I am looking forward to the Red Sox season, even though it is clear we have another last place finish in our future. The fun part about Spring Training is the clean slate. Sure, our roster is a nightmare, but until you start losing games that matter, the possibilities are still very much endless. Speaking of San Diego, now that Xander Bogarts is a Padre, maybe it’s time to become a fan for real. I mean it is one of only three non-Boston stadiums I’ve ever been to. There’s personal history there. Maybe.

So television. I am currently trying to keep up with the following shows: The Last of Us, Star Wars The Bad Batch, Star Trek Picard, Poker Face, The Flash, Extraordinary, and You (season three, I am a full season behind). I may also get back into Star Trek Discovery but I’m a full season behind there too. The Mandalorian is coming back next week so we’ll add that to the mix as well. Yellowjackets season two is on the horizon too. On top of those shows, I have a weird compulsion to start binge re-watching The X-Files and Star Trek Deep Space Nine as well. Why am I torturing myself like this?

I haven’t shot any film since Disney World. I blame the weather. I still have a bunch of rolls saved up. I had way more than I needed for Disney so there’s still a nice supply available. I want to get some more black and white film to play with too, and once the weather starts clearing I am going to go WAY off the deep end, with both film and digital. I just need to find a way to convince people to go with me. Like a photography club or something, but just with people I actually know rather than random folks in some online club.

I want to go wander around Boston. I want to go wander around New York. I want to go wander around the mountains in New Hampshire and Vermont. I want to go wandering around the coast of Maine. I want to go wander around the coast of Massachusetts. I want to go back to Washington. I want to go back to San Diego and Los Angeles. I want to go to San Francisco for the first time. I want to go to Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington for the first time too. I just want to go places. Covid screwed us out of three years of exploring. I want to make up for lost time.

Okay. Back to work, Robert. Only 2.5 hours to go until the weekend when you’ll see Harry and do a mountain of work on music and spend quality time with the love of your life. Get on with it!

Photo Fun

So the photo a day challenge thing was super easy to do during the Disney World vacation. Now that we’re home I’m finding it tough. I’m still up to date, but we’ve gone from wonderful Disney views to shit like this:


Oh well.

I saw both of my parents today. It was rough. My father has been sick with a cold since leaving the hospital so we haven’t been able to bring him to see my mother. During that time my mother also tested positive for Covid, so it’s been a consistent kick in the scrotum. Today I was able to bring my father to the nursing home to see my mother. It was heartbreaking. My father was desperate to see her, but when we got there she was completely unresponsive. I was able to feed her some of her lunch, and my father held her hand, but she wasn’t really there, if you know what I mean. Over all I think the trip did help my father’s state of mind, a little at least. It was worth it even if it was hard to bare.

To pile on, the kids are gone. Harry drove back to school today. Bellana goes back to school tomorrow, but she is staying at her Dad’s tonight. Sad faces all around. Sure we had them for two full weeks during vacation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want more time. Greed is good, as Gordon Gecko once said. Did I get that name right? Michael Douglas in Wall Street, right? Whatever.

Further bad news, my vacation is over tomorrow and I have to go back to work. Also, I have an ass load if work that has to be done with a deadline on Tuesday. Yippee! Way to plan that one out, fat boy.

On an unrelated positive note, The Last of Us series will premier on HBO tonight. A new zombie(adjacent?) show, just in time for the end of The Walking Dead. I’m looking forward to having the shit scared out of me.

New Years Eve Visit

The kids just left. They got here about 1:00 and stayed for four hours. That’s more than I expected. I’m very pleased. I got to visit my mother and my father today too. That was tough, but I’m glad I was able to do it.

A nice big chunk of the packing has already happened. Well… our packing. The kids… not so much. That’s okay. They are coming over around 1:00ish on Monday with their bags. I’ll load them into the car and then load all of our bags, including all of the stuff that’s only there for the car trips.

As for the rest of New Years Eve? I had a less than good nights sleep last night and I was crashing hard around 3:00 this afternoon. I made our late lunch/early dinner a little after that and it fueled me up a bit. I’d say that staying up until midnight is a 50/50 call right now, but I’d still like to do it. Over the last month or two I’ve been setting an alarm for 5:00am so that I can get my exercise for the day done before anyone else wakes up. I might push that to 6:00 tomorrow… or maybe 7:00… we’ll see.

On an unrelated note, Jen and I have started watching the new Quantum Leap. It’s not a reboot. It’s more like a sequel with a redesign. We’re only three episodes in (or is it four?) but so far we’re liking it. The time traveling dude has yet to say, “oh boy” though, so it doesn’t feel quite the same.

Five hours and 21 minutes until 2023.

Oh boy.

Everything is in Flux

We are booked to fly to Disney World on Wednesday January 4th and to fly home on Thursday January 12th.

Two of the four of us likely will keep those flight reservations. The other two? Probably not. It’s still all up in the air right now, but it looks like Jen and I will be driving to Florida, probably leaving on the evening of January 2nd in an attempt to both get South of New York City by the end of that night, and to get to the Orlando, FL airport in time to meet the kids when they land. The reason is medical and I am not going to mention it because it is minor overall, but it is just safer to not fly.

Coming home, the flight is in the late evening. Jen and I will probably leave in the morning, possibly after spending a little time at a park though equally possible we will just leave from the hotel, and take two days to drive home. The kids will get home on the 12th and we’ll get home on the 14th or maybe 15th if we dawdle.

It’s going to be insane, but we’ve done it before and it will be a fun addition to our already epic trip. Just think of all the extra film photos! Wow!

In less chaotic news, we are supposed to head to Norwood tonight to pick up the car we bought for Bellana two days ago. The hope is that we will leave as soon as I punch out of work. I am going to need to bring a protein bar or two with me and have them for dinner on the drive. I thought we were going to have to stop at Dad’s on the way back, but maybe now we have to stop at a grocery store instead? I don’t know yet. We probably won’t know until it happens. Once it’s done though, our brief experiment with being a one car household will end.

It’s been a crazy few days here in our house. It’s going to be a crazy next 2-3 weeks too. I am so freakin’ ready to go to Florida. I would leave right now if I could. After last night with the cat and all of the other shit that’s gone down I just want to get the hell out of here for a couple of weeks. I want to crawl into a hole and hide. Granted, I want to take the bathroom scale and a film camera and my new mirrorless camera into the hole with me, but the idea still stands.

Let’s Freakin’ Go.

Used Cars and Cropped Sensors: A Boxing Day Story

Happy Boxing Day, whatever the hell that is.

Today has been a day for used car shopping. I mentioned that we had become a one car household. Well, that didn’t last long. We gave our Mazda CX5 to my step daughter. After a week of driving it she was very displeased. I’m not sure exactly what her issue was but she wanted to trade in the car and get something smaller with better gas mileage. Okay, so maybe I did know what her issue was. We said no, just give us the car back and we’ll help you buy a new car. Today became that day.

We journeyed South to The Auto Mile. If you live in Massachusetts, you know of what I speak. We found something suitable at the second dealer we visited. A not-too-terribly old Hyundai Elantra. We then spent eons handling financing and paperwork and insurance calls and all of that. The car may be ready for pick up tomorrow, or failing that Wednesday. When we pick it up Bellana will take ownership and we’ll take the Mazda back and be a two car household again.

The car purchasing process went very smoothly, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the second most stressful shopping experience one can have in modern day America. The only thing worse is buying a house, and that is WAY worse. In the end though, all went well and Bellana will have a more suitable car going forward. I am pleased.

The other note worthy story on this day after christmas has to do with my awesome new camera. My seriously ass kicking new camera. My old camera is a Nikon D90. The sensor on that camera is cropped, meaning it is smaller than a full frame sensor. The term “full frame” is not a standard, as every camera manufacturer has it’s own spec, but basically it’s supposed to be about the same size as the film that is exposed when the shutter opens on a 35mm camera. For Nikon, cropped sensors are called DX and full frame sensors are called FX. They make lenses that are specifically designed for one or the other, though they can be used interchangeably. the catch when you mix DX and FX is that the focal lengths the lenses see are different and, I didn’t know this until late last night, the resolution on the images might be off.

A month or two ago when I was researching upgrading my D90 for the first time, I am pretty sure I wrote a post about it, I was looking at new DSLRs and mirrorless cameras that were DX format so that I could use my existing collection of (three) lenses. The camera that Santa brought me is an FX format. I knew that my lenses would work fine (with an adapter as the mirrorless cameras have a new lens mount) so I didn’t think twice. Then, after uploading a bunch of pictures to Flickr, I took a look at the resolution of the images that were uploaded and was really surprised to see that it was lower than images from my D90. The D90 is a 12 megapixel camera and the christmas Z5 is a 24 megapixel camera. How could Z5 pics have a lower resolution than D90 pics?

To the Google I go!

Oh, that’s why. When the Z5 sees a DX lens it automatically crops the images down to 10 megapixels because there is a percentage of the sensor that the lens does not cover. It makes sense when you think about it. I just didn’t think about it at first. The images it takes are still seriously awesome, it just means I will need to get an FX lens to take full advantage of what the new camera has to offer. Nikon makes a few budget friendly Z mount prime lenses, including a 40mm and a 28mm, both with apertures that open up to less than f3. I think the 40mm goes to f2 and the 28mm goes to f2.8, though I might have those backwards. I’ll start with one of those lenses, probably the 40mm, and will hopefully be able to swing it before Disney World next week, though we did just buy a car so who knows. The lenses I have are perfectly fine so if I can’t get it done in time I won’t be upset, I’d just like to have 24 megapixel shots of Mickey Mouse if possible, you know?

And there you have it, the two major stories from Boxing Day 2022. What’s up for the rest of the day? Well first I am going to wait for my stomach to stop hurting due to trying to eat my lunch (three meatballs totaling five ounces and about 30 grams or protein, assuming Google gave me accurate information), and then we’ll see. I think I am going to start taking down christmas decorations, specifically the tree as it’s dead dead dead. I might also go food shopping because christmas is over and it’s time to start cooking meals for reals again. For now though, wish my stomach luck.

They’ve Left for the Week

Well, the kids have gone back to their dad’s for the week. They’ll come back for our family christmas eve thing and stay over for christmas morning. I am sad that they’re gone, and even more sad that I was in a meeting when they left and couldn’t run upstairs to say goodbye. Blah to my bad timing.

The kids leaving is also the official start of Jen and I being a one car household. The Mazda has been transferred to Bellana. It’s her car now. That leaves us with our Kia hybrid and… that’s it. Tomorrow will be the first day that the single car thing gets weird. I have to go into the office for at least half of the work day. That means Jen will be at home and the only car will be 40 miles away. There will also be a day next month when we both have to go into the office. We’ve carpooled before, but never with us working in the buildings we currently work in. I expect I will drop her off at her office on the way to mine, mostly because mine is further away.

I expect we’ll replace the car sometime after the weather improves. Maybe in the early spring. I’d like to get another hybrid. Really, I’d like to get an electric car, but that’s out of our budget. We might be able to handle a second hybrid, but it will be okay if we go with something else. I’m down for another Nissan Altima. I really loved that car. Or maybe a Buick Le Sabre. I had one of those and really loved it too. Then again, the closest I’ve ever come to having a truly bad ass set of wheels was a 1982 Thunderbird. I could go for another T-Bird. Heh, yeah right.

I miss the kids. We’re going to order some Japanese take out for dinner to try and cheer ourselves up. Sign me up for some Sashimi.