The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Category: stuff

Forgot To Press the Magic Button

I wrote a post a while back and it was sitting in draft mode. I may publish it with a previous date. I just might do that, don’t you try to stop me!

I have really ignored my site and that’s a shame because next year is the 20th anniversary of bigdumptruck.com and maybe I’ll have to fire things up and offer prizes to people who actually read my posts and can answer questions. Or people who send me money or diamonds. They could get a prize as well. Amazon has a whole thing now where you can offer items as prizes, which makes me laugh when I’m looking at something particularly expensive. I think I get seven visitors a day (probably because I update so infrequently, what with Twitter taking up the ten minutes a day I used to devote to writing here.

If I offer a prize, it will likely be something incredibly useless. I think those are the best prizes of all, don’t you?

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Hummingbirds

I was going to start by quoting the Seals and Crofts song “Hummingbird” which is the only song I can think of about hummingbirds. But really, that one is so pretty, how many do we need?

I spent way too much money on a plant that is supposed to attract hummingbirds yesterday. I think they are amazing, and my goal is to sit on my deck, like the guy on the Titanic who didn’t notice the icebergs, and take photos of the birds when they arrive. If they arrive.

Mandavilla Vine

Mandavilla

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hummingbird in my neighborhood. Maybe some of the neighbors have, as they may have feeders. But me, nothing. I’m not even convinced this plant will do any good. How will they know it’s here? How will they find it? They are probably all 10 miles away in someone’s wildflower garden. Why would they even think to swing by my house to see if I have FINALLY gotten some good flowers?

If any of you personally know a hummingbird, could you send it my way? On a day when I’m here and might see them would be even better.

Thanks!

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Typewriting

I downloaded a new app today called Hanx Writer. Oddly enough, the Hanx does refer to Tom Hanks, who worked to create an app that replicates his beloved typewriters.

Anyone who knows me at all knows there are three sounds in life that I adore beyond reason; tap dancing, crackling fires, and typewriters. The sound of typing literally lulls me to sleep, which is a dangerous thing when you work in a building surrounded by people typing all day.

But I digress. Go download this free app (Hanx in iTunes) and tell me it’s not fantastic. I actually paid for all three styles of typewriter AND the 99 cent add-on that will let me use these as my keyboard in any app.

Yes, I have a problem, but any time I can give myself a soul-soothing delight for less than $6, I’m all in.

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Show Your Love

I hear you all murmuring “How can I show Jody some love?” It’s a common question. I’ll help you out.

First, sure, donate money to worthy causes in my name. That seems like a good thing.

But, if that’s just not enough, we found a gallery in Kennebunkport with an original painting by one of my favorite artists, Edward Gordon. My parents and sister chipped in to buy me a framed print many years ago, and i still stand in front of it and just look at the detail periodically.

I had never seen an original painting of his, and I was giddy about it. For only $14,800 you could buy it for me. Wouldn’t that be super nice of you? I think it would be!

http://www.maine-art.com/ArtDetail.asp?Size=med&Inv=EG1113

If that’s too steep for you, the gallery also had the 9th signed and numbered print of this piece:

http://www.gordongallery.com/current/april-evening.html

It’s only $500 for the large signed and numbered print, or just under $1000 framed. I’ll let you choose.

(I own a small print of this piece http://www.gordongallery.com/current/morningtempest.html . The large on on my mantel is Dreamdancing http://www.gordongallery.com/archive/lithos/dreamdancing.html. The picture of the latter does not do it justice.)

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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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Ten Years Later

June 10th is my 10th anniversary with my employer. Ten years, three different roles in 4 buildings at 3 locations.

I still vividly remember standing in my sister’s from yard and getting the initial contract job offer. I’d been unemployed for 18 months after the tech bubble crash of 2002 killed my job writing hardware documentation for NEC laptops. I’d never not had a job before, from the time I was 16. 18 months is a long time to be unemployed. I was separated (1st time) from my husband and had to file bankruptcy. I remember crying with relief and happiness in her front yard after I got off the phone. I wasn’t useless. Someone wanted me.

I’m not going to get political here, but I will say that hearing politicians blanket all unemployed people as leeches on society is enraging when you’ve lived through it. Walk a mile in my shoes, asshole.

And I know another market crash could put me back out on the streets. I don’t take my emolument for granted.

That being said, I reserve the right to joke about hating my job (I don’t) wishing every day was a holiday (I do). That’s called humor. It’s exaggeration meant to amuse. That’s what writers do, be it about significant others, kids, parents, strangers, etc.

So happy anniversary to me. Let’s try for 10 more!

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Restaurant Review

Okay, I’m not a restaurant reviewer , but I had a good experience last night, so I’m giving it a shot.

Last night Tom and I were looking for a restaurant that didn’t have an hour wait. (Good luck, at 6:30 the Saturday night before Mother’s Day.) While turning around in a gas station we spotted a little place called Prelude behind a Dunkin Donuts. “They have a spoon and fork on the sign! Let’s go!” (I am a sucker for giant flatware.)

The lobster fettuccini was the best meal I’ve had in ages. Huge chunks of lobster and fresh fettuccine. the portion looked small but I couldn’t finish all the pasta. We shared a sweet potato bread pudding for dessert. I asked that dessert to marry me, but ate it up before it could give me an answer..

Prelude, in Methuen, is owned by Tommy Grella, a finalist on Food Network’s “Next Food Network Star” (http://m.yelp.com/biz/prelude-methuen/). He’s a charming guy, I can see how he made it to the finals.

When he asked how we’d heard of the place, he was probably expecting me to mention TV or a magazine article, not “we saw your sign from the gas station”. He laughed and complemented my honestly. More people should do that, damn it.

Make reservations if you’re going on a weekend, as the place is tiny. And consider bringing me with you. Please.

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Adventures in Near-Prison Photography

White Hat, the Marathon Bomber was moved to a prison hospital two towns (10 minute drive) away from my house.

Devens is a decommissioned Army base that’s being turned (very successfully) into a center of commerce. We’re even getting a movie studio! Parts of it are really gorgeous now, and are no longer gated off. I was on the property taking pictures in an old Army cemetery one time and noticed a group of guys staring at me like they were shocked I was there. I found out later it was related to the prison system. It certainly wasn’t high security. AT ALL. I would never have stopped to take photos if I had known.

Yup. Googled “Federal Medical Center Devens” and went to maps. Zoomed in, and the cemetery is on the left on the map.

So that’s nice.

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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.

20130423-113635.jpg

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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.

20130423-113635.jpg

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