Not Ready for Monday

I am just not ready for this… Monday. Crud.

I’m on track today. I started work before starting breakfast, which I don’t like, but otherwise all is well. My day’s exercise is done, the laundry is running and the bed is made and things are looking good. I just want another day for the weekend, that’s all.

I only got four hours of sleep Saturday night, thanks to the sunrise chasing. Last night I got seven hours but the numbers were as good as I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if that’s enough though because I am pretty seriously sleepy right now.

I stayed up later than I should have last night because I was being a camera nerd. Well… a camera researching nerd. Is that a thing? I was on youtube watching videos of common film photography mistakes, and tips and tricks for film photography beginners, and videos of people taking their Pentax K1000 on street photography photo walks around various places. I’ve done that a couple of times in Boston and New York. Well… usually I was doing something else and just took my camera with me and pretended I was on a photo walk.

I want to do it again with Dad’s camera now. Like… lets do it now! I need to get some fast film so I can do it at night too (assuming I don’t screw up loading the film again). I want to start at the old Tower Records location and just walk down Newbury Street to the Common, and then walk through the theater district, and then go back up to the building formerly known as the Hancock building and the church next door, and then go to the North End and go through the farmers market, and then, and then, and then. Man, I friggin’ love Boston. Screw Covid for keeping us away.

Oh, and then we need to go to New York, and then we need to go back up to the mountains and find waterfalls. All of it.

Also, if I don’t play my guitar soon I am going to die. Just saying. Thursday is the day I have pegged for trying to trade in my Strat. If they give me cash I will use that cash for the upgrades to the two 1970’s Gibsons.

Okay. Time to take on Monday. Mondays suck. I wanna go to Boston and wander around instead. Unless it starts raining… and it’s supposed to rain. Crud.

Projects

March kinda sucks.

I go through this every year.  I finish my February music projects and then feel this gaping hole in the universe during March.  From reading blogs and forum posts on rpmchallenge.com I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

So what to do?

A few months ago I was working on a way to add the rest of my old myspace blog to this site.  I started up on that again last night.  WordPress.com is able to back date posts but it’s a royal pain in the ass to go back to 2007 and 2008.  Instead, I created a Blogger account and I’ve been posting back dated entries there.  Once I have them all I’ll export them to an .xml file and import them here.  That should work fine.  The myspace blog covered pretty much all of 2006 through November 2008.  I had pulled all of 2006 into my previous wordpress.com site so those are all here already.  As of last night the Blogger page has almost all of 2007.  I think I have about 75 more posts to go.

I’m still going with my Flickr photo-a-day project.  It suddenly feels difficult though.  It was easy last month.  There was always music happening so I could take pics of that, and Disney made things even easier.  Now?  What the hell do I take pictures of now?  Where’s the cat when I need her?

Back in January Jen and I did a tutorial for a javascript extension (I think that’s the right way to describe it… a scripting language built on top of javascript).  It was fun and interesting but my javascript knowledge is ancient and more or less nil at this point.  I thought I might have gotten more out of it if I did a javascript tutorial first.  I would like to try something like that in the coming weeks.  I would like to be a better all around programmer than I am right now.  My company’s development tools and programming languages are proprietary, so even if I’m firing on all cylinders at work it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the world.

Years ago I found a set of wordpress.com tutorials called Blogging University.  There are various beginner and intermediate level courses to help you get the most out of your wordpress.com experience.  There were classes for customization, writing, photography, and interacting with other blogs.  I might give some of those a try again, just for schnitzengiggles.  If I remember correctly they were mostly prompts.  Things like, today you should write a better About page, or today you should take a picture of water.  Stuff like that.  The photo stuff would be fine to redo, as I just said I’m always looking for ideas for photo-a-day.  The basic blogging stuff is probably too simple for this page, but there is always the lizardfishmusic.com page.  I could make some changes there.  I don’t think I’ve made any changes to the layout there since I first created it.  Maybe a face lift would be fun?

Exercising should be an obvious target for new projects.  I had a really bad night Weight Watchers wise last night and I’m feeling a little crummy about myself today.  I got home from work and just started shoveling food into my face and I really didn’t stop until I fell asleep.  I need to be better than that.  The gym might help in that regard, or at least minimize the damage of any future bad days.  Right now I am having a problem with one of my feet (again).  My right foot feels a little swollen and it hurts to walk.  It’s not the same thing I had a month or so ago, and it’s not nearly as bad, but it is slowing me down right now.  Once that eases up I need to get back to the gym, and I need to get into a regular routine.

There is always more music to record, and more songs to learn for Lizardfish, and more practicing in general to do.  Just because February is over doesn’t mean I can stop playing.  I was doing pretty well with finding time to practice back in January.  I need to keep up with it.  I’m tired of feeling like the weak link in the band.  I’m also thinking of trying something new gear wise.  I want to try to run a two amp rig in the band, but most of the amps I have now are way too powerful and if I paired them up I’d be unable to not drown out the rest of the band during rehearsals.  I keep looking at my 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker as the solution.  If I could pair that with another lowish watt amp that could work.  I am thinking about going to Guitar Center to inquire about trading my Fender Stratocaster in for a Vox AC15.  I think that might be the key to making it all work.  A Fender Princeton reissue could do it, but it’s only a 10 inch speaker and I’d prefer to stick to 12 inch speakers if I can.  I just like them better.  We’ll see.

Should I start looking into using in-ear monitors?  One of the guys in the band uses them.  One of the hosts of the Gig Gab podcast swears by them.  So much so that he’s always inspiring the other host to try them, even though he has a hard time with them.  I don’t really want to spend money on it, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to be mic’ing the room during rehearsals and I always wear ear plugs anyway.  Is it time?  I’m trying to decide.  I’m definitely on the fence.  We’ll see.

I was hoping that by this point in 2020 I would be able to do something to help out with the Warren for President campaign.  I guess that isn’t going to happen.  At least it seems highly unlikely now.  I can get behind Bernie Sanders, but the idea of a candidate in his late 70’s who has already suffered a heart attack during this campaign is a little depressing.  Platform wise I can 100% get on board.  Human wise… ugh.  As for Joe Biden.  He’s a great guy and I love him to pieces, but he’s literally my last choice of all of the candidates we’ve had.  Dead last.  Yet another guy in his late 70’s but this time one who just feels like a frat boy who got lucky.  He just seems a little too dumb ass for the oval office, and we already have a total dumb ass in the office now.  If he ends up with the nomination he’ll get 100% of my support… I was just hoping the rest of the country would jump on the Warren bandwagon, that’s all.  Yet another reason to feel let down by my fellow Americans.

There are a crap ton of TV shows that I want to watch.  February has resulted in me falling way behind on all of the CW super hero shows that I like to watch.  I’m like two months behind on The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman.  I’ve been trying to get caught up on Star Trek Discovery.  Season two is really good, I just haven’t had time to power through.  The last season of Star Wars The Clone Wars is either about to come out or has just recently come out.  I wanted to binge the whole series before I watched the new season but… Jar Jar… he kinda killed my interest in that.  I want to finish season two of You even though it’s definitely meh.  I want to watch Lock and Key and The Expanse and I still want to get back into Breaking Bad and Preacher.  I’ve started both of them, but just haven’t been able to keep going.  I’m not sure why, the are both good.  I’m caught up on The Walking Dead, and the second spin off is just a month or so away.  One show that I did not fall behind on in February is Star Trek Picard.  It is so good.  Just, so very good.  I wish it was going to be a 25 episode season instead of 10 (I think it’s just going to be 10).  I don’t want it to end… ever.

I’m sure there are other projects I can come up with that are just there for fun and a sense of creative accomplishment.  If we get lucky and Spring actually gets here there are always day trips up to the mountains that I can drag my beloved Mrs to.  There are so many waterfalls, and so many scenic views up there.  They are all just sitting there, waiting for me and Jen and my camera to come and visit.

There’s also always Disney World.  Or Disneyland.  Or Euro-Disney, if that’s even still a thing.  I’d say Tokyo Disney too but I have a co-worker who was supposed to go there next week and he told me it’s closed due to some global pandemic* thing.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

On an unrelated note, I am trying a new browser again.  The same podcast that inspired me to try Brave has inspired me to try Vivaldi.  This post is the first thing I’ve done with it.  Isn’t that exciting?  I’m just glad that the Last Pass plug in for Chrome works in Vivaldi too.  That makes life a tiny bit easier.

 

*Go wash your hands.  Seriously.

Geddy’s

My tiny little brain is so easily confused.

I was going to write something about how the last time I officially swapped blogging services was just before a long weekend get away my beautiful wife and I took to Bar Harbor, ME. I was going to connect it to today by saying that we need to go back to Bar Harbor for two reasons. First, I changed blogging services. Second, the t-shirt I bought at Geddy’s has a hole in the armpit and needs to be replaced. That would be a funny post, right? Ha. Funny.

Then I realized that it wasn’t the Bar Harbor trip that coincided with leaving Blogger, it was a long weekend getaway to the White Mountains in New Hampshire where we stayed in a cabin set off from the rest of the hotel and there was an outdoor hot tub and we used it even though it was December and about zero degrees out, and also drove all the way out to Dixville Notch for absolutely no reason at all.

So my coincidental t-shirt/blog service post is null and void.

I still want to go back to Geddy’s though.

The view from Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor, ME.

Glen Ellis Falls

Here are the pics from the second waterfall we visited on our mountain get away. Why take my word for it when you can let the site itself give you the info…

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It says it’s a 600 foot walk. It was. They didn’t tell us it was vertical. It was almost all stairs. It was so worth it though. The river alone was worth it.

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This is not what we came to see.

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I want to go back with my tripod and take long exposures all day long.

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This is a bad shot, but you get the idea. This place is awesome.

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Again, this is not the main attraction.

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This is the waterfall itself as seen from the top. I totally need a wide angle lens for stuff like this. I also need to be able to hover so I can actually look down on the scene instead of just leaning over with the camera strap still around my neck.

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We were at the base of the falls here but I need a wide angle lens. I couldn’t get the whole thing into the shot. Not even close.

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This is a little more like it.

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And there you have it. The highlights from our stop at the Glen Ellis Falls. I would go back there in a heartbeat. Preferably with a wide angle lens and my tripod. This place was fantastic.

Jackson Falls

This is so cool. I have an actual backlog of pics to post here! Time to get caught up a little bit.

These are from our trip to the mountains a couple of weeks ago and will focus on the coolness that is Jackson Falls.

This was where we stayed. We got there a little too early to check in so we decided to just drive around the block. Little did we know that the waterfall we were hoping to check out while in town was on the same street!
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It wasn’t a sheer drop (we checked out one of those the next day) but more like a steep slope with lots of small drops. We parked in two places along the road.
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I love the mountains where the rivers look gold… apart from the spots that are white because they are violently getting hurled off of a small cliff.
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I thought about using the downed tree limb to make a raft to skirt the rapids, but then I remembered we had an SUV in the parking lot, so I could use that for my traveling needs instead.
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We drove a little further upstream and the view improved greatly.
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I had the polarizing filter on to cut out the reflections on the water.
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That bridge needed a sidewalk so you could view the river from above.
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The best views for us were upstream, but I have since read that if we’d gone further downstream they might have been even better.
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I never messed with the shutter speed. I didn’t go for long exposures because I didn’t want to bother using the tripod (next time though) and I didn’t go for shorter exposures to try and get the falling water sharper. I just stuck with the auto setting because it was more fun being a tourist than a wannabe photographer.
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Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH

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I was leaning my elbows on one of the big rocks. Can you see it on the bottom of the image?
Jackson Falls in Jackson, NH.

The polarizer cuts down on reflections, but it doesn’t help with shadows. Noted.
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So there you have it. The first of two waterfall posts from our get away weekend. I’m not sure when the second post will happen, but it should be soon.

Polarizing Filter

I got a polarizing filter for Christmas this year. I hadn’t even screwed it onto the lens before this week. Why? I don’t know, don’t pick on me. Sheesh.

Anyway I did a few tests while in the mountains. I’d turn it until the sky looked washed out, take a pic, then turn it until the sky was as dark as it could get, take a pic. And so on. Here are a few results.

This one…
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…compared to this one.
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And another test, this one…
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…compared to this one.
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I also did a test of how it handles reflections on water. I turned it so that I could see as much sunlight reflecting off the water as possible, took a pic, turned it so there was as little reflection as possible, took a pic.

This one…
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…compared to this one.
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Did I do it right? As with all things photography, I haven’t a clue. I’m just pushing buttons and turning dials and seeing what happens. Should I do anything different when using the polarizing filter?

Let me know.