The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Category: photos

My Christmas Card

I know it’s after Christmas, but you know you very much want to hear the story of how a photo of me posing with a shark and an Ewok was my official Christmas Card this year. You have your cold beverage ready? Okay.

So a million years ago or two or so years ago (one of those) my sister and her family went to Disney during the flower and garden festival. They posed in front of a Miss Piggy topiary that a person that may or may not be my boyfriend confused for an Ewok.

So I used an iPhone app I owned (KnockOut) to “fix” it after my sister said “I was looking to see if there was an Ewok in the photo with us and Miss Piggy. This combination would have been fabulous and makes me laugh just thinking about it.” So of course I had to add one to that photo.

I added him to a lot of additional photos from their vacation. They started leaving space for me in the photos, so I added myself (and others) because they didn’t take me with them.

Apparently one of my sister’s co-workers (Cathy) was very amused by me adding myself to their vacation photos (something I continued to do on subsequent vacations). In fact, she started asking where I was when my sister or her husband posted new ones. Here I am on a rope swing in Hawaii, I believe.

This December, Cathy, a person you will remember I have never met, posted a photo on FB showing the first three people who had sent her a Christmas card. Because my sister was tagged in the photo, I saw it. Now is it my fault she left a giant hole right in the middle, inviting someone like me to fill it? So I ran to the Knockout app, found a background of something Christmassy, added myself and and ewok, then added it all to her photo.

My sister’s neighbor Beth saw it and demanded “I HAD BETTER GET ONE OF THOSE!” so I had to print them out and stick them in cards for people, my first Christmas cards in years. And that’s the real story of the Happy Holiday Shark. And Ewok.

 

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Camera [Not] Shopping

I shot with Canon cameras for years, and have owned at least four of their dSLRs until I finally sold some bodies and bought a big girl camera, the 60D.
Then, through magic and wizardry that I can barely understand, I got the opportunity to own a Sony A77 mirrorless (so not really a dSLR) for basically free. It moved me up to the next level camera (comparable to a Canon 7D). It was different. The digital viewfinder still startles me. The controls weren’t the same as my trusty 60D.

Change is hard. It took me almost a whole day to fall in love with this camera and the AMAZING photos it takes. The Canon is my backup now, but I never touch it.
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Photographers will understand this love when I say I was willing to walk away from thousands of dollars worth of Canon lenses (including L-glass and my first “white” zoom lens, just like the big boys at Sports illustrated) to shoot exclusively with my A77.

The most starting thing? The video it shoots is CRAZY good. The Canon can’t refocus when recording video. The Sony was flawless (although it doesn’t handle extreme low light as well as a dedicated video camera, but that could be my inexperience using it to shoot video.)

Why all the yammering? Sony announced an upgraded version. I wonder how much $$ is in the change jar…

Thing is, my A77 is so good that I won’t even feel bad about not being able to afford/justify getting the new one. That’s saying something.

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Dick’s Last Resort Hattage

So to honor and respect me, my child and the spare made me go to Dick’s Last Resort at Fanueil Hall in Boston. The waitstaff verbally abuses you so it’s a lot like eating at home.

Here are the official hats they made us wear. A little too close to home, Mickey the Waiter!

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I Miss Summer All Year Long

I have come to realize that I loath winter. I detest cost and snow and ice. I hate shoveling and scraping ice off my car. Why else would I take every opportunity to go to Florida, or even visit the local beaches. Even when it’s freezing cold and my ears ache after 3 minutes in the wind.

Last week we went to the beach to have lobster for lunch, fly kites and snack on fried dough. Best day in forever.

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I Miss Summer All Year Long

I have come to realize that I loath winter. I detest cost and snow and ice. I hate shoveling and scraping ice off my car. Why else would I take every opportunity to go to Florida, or even visit the local beaches. Even when it’s freezing cold and my ears ache after 3 minutes in the wind.

Last week we went to the beach to have lobster for lunch, fly kites and snack on fried dough. Best day in forever.

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Only an iPhone: Results

You know, it was okay just taking the iPhone to Disney. I was pretty happy to only have to carry the phone. Of course, iPhone batteries are not your friend when you’re away from a plug for 12-14 hours a day, so only having the iPhone for your camera and ALSO your phone AND your computer, means by dinner time you are in a panic over how long you can make 20% battery last.

Also, no zoom, no real image stabilization, no RAW data. But hey, rhinos!

Rhinos at rest

I loves me some elephant. (Another iPhone photo from the safari. I will add, this photo and the one of the rhinos were taken when the vehicle had stopped specifically to let us take photos. The animals were all out in force on Saturday.)

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IPhone Only

I am going to Disney for a quick getaway , and I made a huge decision: I’m only taking my iPhone camera. No DSLR. No high-end point-and-shoot. I’m traveling light, and hoping I’ll forgive myself when I can’t take any long distance photos.

Not this time. I’m testing out traveling light. I’ve been down often enough (3 trips in the last 3 years) to have lots of great photos of my favorite animals, etc.

My best and most popular photo on Flickr was taken as Disney. It was an astounding combination of right place at the right time (the Red Sox broke the curse while I was on vacation). I can’t say for certain it was the equipment (my iPhone camera is higher res.)

After reading my friend Jamie’s write-up on her AMAZING photos (seriously) taken only with her phone , I figure why not.

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Maybe I’ll Live Elsewhere

I was thinking it might be nice to have a house on a mountaintop, but then I would have to hire a guy to run the lift to get to my fancy palace.

Attitash Summit Skyride

Which wouldn’t be too bad except during the winter we’d have all these pesky people hanging around trying to ski down my front lawn.

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Peeing Like a REAL MAN

I love the people on my project team. I cannot express in words how much I love them all. Friday, 4 of us were stuck in a tiny conference room, and topics ranged from giant horrible spiders, how to properly poach an egg, farting, and whether ladies rooms are dirtier than men’s rooms. These are pretty typical topics, by the way. The men’s room topic morphed into a discussion about how great it would be if women could stand up to pee (it would be) and my project sponsor mentioned he’d heard a story on the radio about a product that helps women pee standing up. Of course, that became the most important thing ever.

I let one co-worker get so far as typing “Female Urination” into his work laptop’s Google search before we pointed out that pressing Enter would cause every security person in the building to come bursting through the door. I pulled up search on my iPhone – the single greatest reason to own a smartphone on the planet is to be able to do searches without invoking the “red corporate security screen of death”.

We found the product in question – the “Go Girl“. At the time, Amazon had it for $4. How could I NOT buy one for $4? Plus Amazon Prime’s $3.99 overnight shipping meant I’d have it today. Oh, yes. Yes indeed.

UPS dropped off the package before I was even out of bed this morning. My room is over the back door, and I heard my friendly UPS driver yell out “UPS!” and I knew it was my lucky day. Sent the boy to fetch the package and ripped into it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That looks vaguely, um.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the booty: a plastic storage bag (for after you use it), two squares of toilet paper (obviously, not enough) and taa-daa, the Go Girl.

 

I don’t have photos of me using it, but I did use it, right before I took a shower. It was weird. It worked fine; no, uh, spillage. It would be awkward to have to do something with it immediately after use (“excuse me while I put this urine-covered silicone funnel in my purse.”) The real test will be trying to use it while I’m dressed. I’m tempted to go out in the woods with it, to simulate a real-world scenario. It would probably be good to have friends giving me beer and encouraging me – you can’t get more real-world than that.

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Think Pink

I’m from Leominster MA. I’ve lived here almost all of my life – I was born one town away, but my permanent address for 94% of my life (I did the math, poorly, but you’ll have to trust me) has been here. And we are proud of two things around here; Johnny Appleseed and plastics. If we could combine the two, I think the town would implode. The plastic pink flamingo was invented here. Enough other people have written about Don Featherstone and his fabulous gift to the world, so you can check out the Wikipedia entries. I just want to share this photo of the one in my mom’s yard. Earlier today there was an Easter egg under it, which would have made for a better photo, but the kids grabbed it pretty quickly.

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I’ve seen real flamingos, and they seem like they’d be kind of a pain to keep in the yard, what with their need to constantly feed on shrimp and stuff. Sure, my back yard is a bit swampy every time it rains, but I’m pretty sure I’ve only got mosquitoes and ticks out there. No shrimp. So the flamingos would just be really ticked off at me. I think it would be much easier to own this kind. I might have to help them stand after a windstorm, but other than that, they’d be pretty self-sufficient. I like that in a lawn decoration.

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