Archive for August, 2008


Incredible resources, now easier to find

   Posted by: Mark    in The Church

Challies reported today that redesigned their MP3 library. And what a job they have done! The volume of resources here is astounding, and now locating them is even easier than before.

Do yourself a favor: bookmark this site, and make a habit of listening to these messages.


Lindsey’s earrings

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

Tami and I finally decided to let Lindsey get her ears pierced. It was a surprise for her, and although she was quite nervous once she got into the chair, she was more than happy after the initial shock of the two earrings going in at the same time.

Of course, I brought the camera. And I clicked like a mad fool. And I’m glad Lindsey isn’t old enough to be embarrassed by her dad yet. I won’t reveal how many pictures I took, but I will say it was more than are posted here. For a few more, you can visit Flickr.







A matter of perspective

   Posted by: Mark    in Tech

Oh my. I just did a comparison of some recent pictures posted on flickr and this site. I viewed them from both my main computer at home (iMac 20″ Aluminum) and a second system (Lenovo T60p laptop). Eew. The pics look flat, dull, cool (temp), and unimpressive on the laptop. Granted, its screen isn’t all that great, but if this is a hint as to what most folks are seeing, I apologize.

I need to work on determining if the laptop really is that bad, or if the pictures are!

** UPDATE **

I had a couple of folks check their systems for me, and although the whole color/viewing thing is subjective, the result seems to be that my laptop is just not calibrated very well. I did manage to get it to look better, so my mind is at ease for a while.


50mm and a single AB400

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

I finally got the AlienBee out tonight after being inspired from a few videos and sites I saw today. I discovered that my PC sync cord was bad, and lost many shots when the strobe wouldn’t fire, but did manage to get a few that I liked. I now have another sync cord on order from FlashZebra, and expect it to come in the next few days (< $15!).

I learned a LOT in just the 10 minutes the kids gave me before bed. It’s a lot more fun giving the kids general directions as opposed to “stand here, tilt your head, look that way.” And with the Bee on AC and at about 1/8 power, recycle times were faster than I could focus and recompose, so it was *snap* *snap* *snap*! The more I shoot, the more I am reminded that reading is a great source of learning, but doing is critical. These are just manual shooting with a single strobe above camera right. No Photoshop on these, but there is a bit of Adobe Camera Raw correction on white balance, saturation, contrast, and exposure.

I underexposed many of the shots by at least a stop, and my skills at adjusting this and white balance are lacking. Next time I will be sure to keep things a bit more hot.






Room with a view

   Posted by: Mark    in General

Sometimes the view from my home office window is relaxing, with hummingbirds and pretty flowers. Other days, well…



Izzy’s third birthday

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

We asked Isaiah what he wanted for his birthday dinner tonight. Since it’s so hot here, we decided to go out, and gave him a few choices, based in no small part on the coupons we had: hotdogs or hamburgers from Weinerschnitzel, or a pizza from Little Caesar’s. I suppose we could have added the option of a tub of lard from Safeway, but fewer choices is generally better for a three year old. Expecially for one just newly three.

So he picked hotdogs, and we drove through Weinerschnitzel and then stopped at a park to eat. Below are some pictures of him opening presents before we left for dinner, and then some at the park.















Just have to post this

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

I’ve already posted too many close-up pictures of the kids, I’m sure, but I love expressions and faces. Who was it that said “the face of a child can say so much. Especially the mouth part of the face.”



Seattle for less than 24 hours

   Posted by: Mark    in Activities

Tami and I had a chance to get away for about 24 hours, and ran up to Seattle (thanks, Mom, for taking JD and T!). Most of our time was at the Pike Place Market, since we love the colors, food, variety, and people. Here are some pictures from the trip (click here for more):






Like father…

   Posted by: Mark    in Our children

When the kids empty the dishwasher, we have them stack items on the counter if they can’t reach the place they are supposed to go. Tami and I came into the kitchen the other day after Timothy had finished emptying the dishwasher and found this on the counter:


My son has been cursed with some of the obsessive-compulsive problems his father has. Alas, poor child!


For the love of popcorn

   Posted by: Mark    in General, Our children

We’ve used a WhirleyPop popcorn maker for a long time and have been overwhelmingly pleased with the results. But we thought we’d try a slightly more convenient method to make popcorn, and purchased an electric unit from West Bend.

The first batch of popcorn, using the 1/2 cup of kernels and about the same amount of oil as we used in the WhirleyPop, was really bad. It was soggy and the popped kernels were small. I called Dad, since he and Mom have one of these things, and he gave some suggestions. So tonight we tried a couple more batches. I used the same amount of popcorn, and about six times the oil (!!), and the results were definitely much better. But still not WhirleyPop quality: the popcorn was a bit too tough and rubbery. So the results are, after three batches, we’d rather risk the unproven side effects of cooking with aluminum and eat great popcorn than risk the proven effects of too much oil with not-quite-great popcorn.

But that’s not the point of the post. This is: