It’s good to know that Duncan’s pre-school isn’t too worried about being politically correct and had all of the kids go all out in honor of good old Squanto.
I didn’t see a single pilgrim hat…
It’s been, well, over 5 months since I last did a “Photo of the Week” and since I don’t really have anything on-topic to write about today, I figured I’d just go all Mommy-Blog…
Today while cleaning Duncan’s room we decided to put him in the toy box too. And then take a picture.
Exciting stuff, let me tell you, at the Smurf household…
So this morning we headed out on a daytrip to go and pick our pumpkin for 2009. We do this every year but this was the first time we’ve made the trip as a trio.
First we took a hay ride…
Then we roamed the fields…
And then we found the great pumpkin!
Weighing in at just over 16 pounds, he was less than $10… Such a deal.
Out of no where this morning I purchased three things that, if you’d asked me yesterday, I’d have said I don’t need.
The first purchase was a Canon NB-4L battery for my wife’s PowerShot SD200 camera. She’s had that little camera for a few years now and the battery just won’t hold a charge anymore.
While our household is overflowing with camera equipment, this is the only camera than can conveniently fit in a pocket so it probably gets the most use — you know, the day-to-day family stuff and the silly videos we’ve featured here on PIAC.
Problem is, we always seemed to run out of battery power just as Duncan starts reciting the entire script of the movie Space Balls. Okay, I exaggerate, but the dying battery routine has become very frustrating.
Total cost to remedy the battery issue? Just $14.95 (plus $7.74 for shipping) for a knock-off version.
Next, and still with cameras on the brain, I RSVP’d to a family reunion coming up in September.
Thinking that I’ve got all of this camera equipment collecting dust, I should probably volunteer to take a professional group photo with a wide angle lens, you know, like they did 100 years ago.
Problem is, I want to be in the photo too…
There is a simple solution — it’s called a remote trigger.
I have one of those.
I just can’t find it.
And I’ve looked for it, well, at least a dozen times.
I’ve turned entire closets upside down and inside out without any success.
My most recent attempt was just a few weeks ago for when I made that cool time-lapse tree cutting video.
For those that might have been wondering, no, I wasn’t behind the camera all day taking a photo every 20 seconds.
Ideally, if I could have found it, I would have been using a remote trigger programmed to take a photo every 20 seconds.
Instead, I used a bunch of extension cords and an old laptop to act as the trigger.
Took me forever to setup.
Took me just as long to break down.
And, don’t forget, I also spent a few hours hopelessly searching for that darn remote trigger. For the twelfth time.
I should have just bought a new remote the first day that I realized I’d lost the original. So much wasted time. So much frustration.
So, after a little online research, I purchased a knock-off version of what I needed from a company in China.
It cost me $23.99 (plus $8.00 for shipping).
(That’s a SUPER bargain considering the original trigger set me back a couple of hundred dollars. I just hope it works.)
The third purchase of the morning also relates to photography…
I’ve got studio lights and strobes and all that sort of thing in my arsenal. If you know a little about photography, you know that it’s all about lighting and controlling it.
While setting up to take some shots of Duncan, I ran into a problem that I’ve run into, well, dozens of times since I stopped working as a professional photographer.
All of those lights and strobes need power.
Somewhere along the way, I lost all of my power cords. I have no idea where they are.
The good news is that the strobes take the same kind of power cord that a standard computer monitor takes so I was able to work around the issue by “borrowing” from my computers and using a bunch of extension cords to make them long enough to reach an outlet.
I’ve done a few portraits using this method and it’s annoyed me each time.
Deep down, I know those 25-foot power cords are neatly coiled somewhere right next to my remote trigger. I just know it.
So $23.90 (plus $8.96 for shipping) later, I’ll have the proper cords again.
Putting it all together, I solved three issues that I’ve been dealing with for almost 2 years for $62.84 (plus $24.70 for shipping).
Had I known that I could have avoided all of the headaches and frantic attic searches over that time for under $100, well, I would never have put these purchases off at all.
Now the only thing left that I’ve been telling myself to do, but still haven’t, is upgrade my version of Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Flash to CS4…
At $199.99 each, well, I’m going to put my wallet back in my pocket…
They didn’t quite finish today — just some clean-up and stump-grinding left — but the trees are down.
And look — we’ve got sun!
I’m not sure that this side of the house has ever seen the sun! We’re pretty excited about that…
Best of all, for the first time ever, a contractor has done work at our house and NOT wrecked one of our cars or another part of the house that they weren’t hired to work on.
A job well done — I’ll have no problem making that $2750 check out to these guys.
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PIAC Post Extension:
The video doesn’t really portray the full effect of having this cluster of trees taken out so here’s a before and after rollover of the first frame and the last frame:
I’m not sure if it’s just a consequence of driving a small car or if it’s just that HUGE American truck owners don’t know how to drive…
My wife and I were still in the car when this dude pulled in to the spot in front of us. I couldn’t believe it.
While it may not be noticable in the photo, he’s about 3-inches from the hood of my car… and a good foot over the yellow line painted on the ground.
Granted, I drive small cars that don’t take up an entire parking spot but I like to think of the extra space on all sides as a space cushion of sorts.
Protection for my vehicle, you know?
But for whatever reason, there’s always a pick-up or SUV (and it’s ALWAYS a pick-up or SUV) that uses my car as a guide for where to park rather than the lines painted on the pavement.
I’ve had a front grill smashed this way so I’m usually very selective when it comes to parking. You know, against a curb, next to a minivan with sliding doors, or way off to the side and no where near the entrance…
On this day, though, I just parked among the masses as it wasn’t very busy.
And then this jerk pulled in. Way. Too. Far.
He didn’t hit me, thankfully, but his door did touch the car next to his when he got out.
What a jerk.
I know I already called him that but he deserves it.
In hindsight, I shoulda left a post-it on his window with the message, “Hey, I almost stole your clearly visable GPS unit but you parked so close to that GEO Prizm next to you that I couldn’t get your door open…”
We’re on the verge of a single digit countdown now…
The smurfling could decide to arrive at any time and, let me tell you, we’re ready…
Well, I think we are…
(No credit given to that birthing class we took, though…)
But I must admit, I’m finding it almost unsettling to have a “due” date that isn’t really set in stone. It’s a blurry due date.
“Yeah, maybe this day, maybe that day. It’ll be in a two-week window or so…”
That doesn’t really work well with me.
My cable bill is due on the 14th. My electric bill is due on the 27th. A project at work is due by 8:00 am on Monday.
The baby? Well…
For now, though, we’re in a holding pattern of uncertainty…