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Don’t Be Mocking Me

Okay, Junior and I were taking photos today. That was our activity. We did take a bunch of pictures up at Skyview Middle School, which can be seen in my personal Leominster set (they are also in the Leominster group I linked to below.)

That little trip went fairly well, considering it was about 500 below zero up on top of the hill so we decided to take most of the pictures from inside the car.

When it was closer to sunset (i.e. good light) we headed over to Evergreen Cemetery to get a few more shots. I went in the main entrance to see if I could get a good shot of the sign (I couldn’t) and then headed up the road to the right that goes into the “old” section. I got to the part that curves uphill…and it was snow-covered with big ruts. Uh oh, my van was not going to make it up the hill. But when I went to back down, the car didn’t turn, it just sort of slid straight down. I didn’t hit anything but snow, but that snow got good and jammed and my car got stuck. So I tried to rock it back and forth and started to get nervous that I was getting too close to the stones, given that I was trying to do this by myself.

I eventually called Mr. Dump to bring a shovel to save us. How embarrassing. But I don’t think this is my fault. If the city didn’t want to plow that whole road (it was plowed up to that curve) they should have blocked it with a barrel or something. And looking at that immediate area, it looks like I wasn’t the first person to get stuck there.

If the city is going to plow the roads in the cemetery, they should plow all the roads in the cemetery, or block them off so that people like me don’t get stuck and there isn’t a risk of anyone damaging the stones.

So Mr. Dump freed us, and we went home photo-less. I told Junior we’d go back…after the snow melts.

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I just created a Leominster MA group on Flickr. There was already a Fitchburg group. I’m going to make the description that it’s not just for photos of Leominster, but for photos from photographers from Leominster.

I’m going to try to go out and take a few photos today. I am really going to try to take advantage of flickr and the communities. I’ve already learned a couple of things from the Canon Rebel XTi group I joined.

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It’s Backup Day!

I’m working from home because Leominster called a snow day, so Junior is trying to figure out how to make snowballs out of sleet. Someone is bound to get hurt, I just want to call that one early. The conversation will sound a lot like

I got hurt!
Put some ice on it.
That’s how I got hurt!

I decided it was as good a day as any to burn some backup DVDs. Actually, I’m starting to think I should have burned backup CDs. Sure, I can store many gigs of content on a DVD, but it takes a good half an hour or more to burn one. Sheesh.

There’s nothing that feels better than doing a backup of my photos so that I won’t be as nervous about the laptop pooping out on me like the last one did. I also did a backup of some of the stuff I’ve purchased on iTunes recently. Heavens to Betsy, I don’t want to lose anything I actually paid for!

I was practicing taking snow photos with the new camera, but I’m still in the learning stages. I think I will be for a long time. I have started to “get it” about certain settings, but I can’t say that I know which ones to use to get the results I want.

I also practiced taking pictures of the dog, because it was a lot less cold and wet sitting on the floor in front of him. The thing I need to try to figure out (and I don’t know if there’s anything specific to this in the manual) is how to take a photo through a window without it auto focusing on the screen. I think I may have to use manual focus. Wish me luck!

[Link to Phantom Photos ]

Update 2:47pm: I also took some bird pictures but I don’t think they came out nearly as well. One of you is going to have to pony up for one of the Image Stabilization lenses I want for my camera. The zoom one they just released for a thousand dollars will be just fine.

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I Did NOT Make Shoo Fly Pie

I don’t even know what Shoo Fly Pie is. I think it’s molasses-based super sweet pie. Just the kind of thing that gives dentists the heebie-jeebies.

Our house is infested with what I call “banana bugs”. They got in the house via banana, and found an onion that was on the counter behind something else, so we didn’t see it right away. I guess it was pretty bad when Mr. Dump found it. By then the gnats were making themselves comfortable whenever and wherever they liked. So we’ve been doing extra scrubbing, doing dishes immediately, putting all fruit and veggies in the fridge or the microwave, throwing the rubbish out right away, rinsing out our empties so well you could eat off them. Still, the buggers are in the house, driving us crazy.

Mr. Dump went to Shaw’s last night to get the minimal groceries we need for the next few days, when he passed through the produce section and saw there were fruit flies EVERYWHERE. So the store is infested, which is how our house got infested. He ran to customer service and reamed them out and the woman casually mentioned he was the FOURTH person to complain. Oh, and all the fly strips and all those types of bug-catching devices? The shelves are BARE. So we aren’t the only people in Leominster breeding bugs. Thanks, Shaws! I hope you straighten things out before someone gets the board of health involved!

Oh, and here’s the method we’re going to use to get rid of the buggers. Apparently they are stupid, which is why this works.


  1. Get 1 empty 2-litre plastic bottle.
  2. Remove the cap
  3. Mark the bottle about an inch below where the curvy part stops and the straight side of the bottle starts.
  4. Cut the bottle where you marked, at the the straight part
  5. Put an inch or so of one (or more) of the following into the base of the bottle: Vinegar, Apple Cider, Wine, Orange Juice.
  6. Turn the other piece, the top piece, of the bottle upside down, so the spout is pointing into the base of the bottle and jam it in
  7. Use tape (duct, masking) to seal up where the two pieces meet.

Voila, jar of dead bugs! We hear it works pretty quickly to trap them, although they may not die immediately. You can replace the liquid if it gets too gross.