Remainders: 11 November 2023

A bridge too far. The Girl and I have walked this bridge innumerable times. Shot with the Fuji X100V 23mm f/2 at f/8 with the Tri-X 400 film simulation.

I am pretty sure I will have a few links this week. Yes, I start this list on Sunday and finish it on Saturday.

  • By the time this posts, I likely have received a new ASUS ROG G14 laptop computer. This will replace my aging desktop and do the heavy computational lifting for numerical models and GIS work.
  • HEC-RAS is updated. I downloaded and installed it and will be looking at changes from the previous version.
  • I decided I want a small day pack. Haley Strategic has an interesting approach to assault packs. I am going to try one of theirs and see if I can make it work in conjunction with a small camera bag (for my camera).
  • By now, everyone knows that I am a Fujifilm Fanboi. They are solid cameras with excellent glass. One of the perquisites is the film simulations (built in). But Ritchie Roesch’s adaptations of this capability to favorite film stocks is lagniappe! This list is one that I am working on. I have a few already programmed into the custom settings slots of my X100V. I will continue working through the list.
  • I have a PA500 for my little TX500 rig. The amplifier sometimes runs a little hot when using digital modes. So, here is a solution to that problem.

From the Past

Wife, circa 2004, doing what she loved best… interacting with her family. Shot with my Nikon D100 and a Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8, probably wide open.

As I woke yesterday morning, the thought passed through my mind that “it was a bad week.” That made me pause for a moment and consider my inner dialogue.

“No,” I rethought, “it was a hard week.” I then nodded to myself, slipped on my moccasins, and rose to go make a coffee and run through my morning regimen.

Wife would have turned 71-years old this week. I always take a few moments on her birthday to remember her. In the evening, I lift a glass to the east (which I often do anyway) to salute her and remember our communal life. The day is always a mix of happy and sad (maybe the definition of “nostalgia”), but I am OK with that.

In addition, my maternal grandmother, “Nana,” would have been 108-years old this week. She lived to be 100-years old before she wore out and died. She was one of the sweetest people you could ever meet and complemented my grandfather well. They were good people, God-fearing, and unselfish.

It was my grandmother who took me to buy my first book. I was about five-years old. The book was a 7th grade science textbook.

Work has been challenging the last few months; Hell, the last couple of years. There were many deadlines (still a few out there), lots of pressure, and requirements to do things I have not done or not done in a long time.

Pressure and deadlines are the life of a consultant. I accept that. But there has been little room to eddy out between and it is wearing on me. In fact, I am pretty worn down at the moment — to the point of considering to chuck it all, sell everything that I cannot carry in my rig/camper, and drive off.

So, after my thought on a bad week passed and was corrected, I made my coffee and returned to find The Girl had been licking her wounded toe. I hate to leave the collar on her all the time, but she knows when I am distracted and cannot help herself but to lick the wound, stripping the scab from it and delaying the healing action that goes on under the cover of the scab.

So, the collar went back on. With the collar on, she exudes misery and is very careful to tell me just how f*($*#g miserable she really is. Yes, she works it.

So, she added a little fuel to my internal fire.

I sat at the computer and took care of those things that demanded my attention. I then dressed, removed her collar, but her tracking and control collars on, repaired the control module for her control collar (broken knob), made sure I had water and a snack, and we headed to Silver Saddle Ranch to walk.

We took an alternate route to keep her off of the access road. It is hard and rocky and hurts her foot. We took the trail to the powerline trail, walked up the hill through the mass of sand burrs, and back through the Ranch compound. It was almost a three-mile walk. The sun was good for my soul and the exercise good to wear her down.

As we approached the rig and the end of our walk, I thought “I’d like a chili dog… I’m hungry.” So, we loaded up and headed north to the Sonic where I satisfied my craving. I shared the list bite of chili dog and half of the tater tots and the last bit of my strawberry shake with her. Then we headed home — for her to rest and me to finish my work for the day.

I also had a short nap with The Girl and then loaded her back in to the rig for a grocery run. She might as well go with me as stay at home. It was an expensive run at about $300, but it had been awhile since I last went. So, it was no surprise.

I ended my day with a bowl of chicken chili (from the crockpot) and a gin and tonic. I also fed The Girl and she got a bit of meatball left over from my last Olive Garden run.

At the end of the day I was tired and having The Girl snuggling next to me was good. The day ended with me in a better headspace and grateful for the day, grateful for The Girl, and grateful that I had Wife in my life for so many years.

The capture was made almost 20-years ago with my Nikon D100 (my first dSLR), a Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 zoom, most likely at 200mm and f/2.8. She was doing what she loved best — taking care of her family.

She is most definitely missed. But, still, I am grateful. Life is good.

Happy Birthday Old Girl 2023

Family snapshot from the 1980s, probably 1987.

Wife would be 71-years old today. I would be planning to take her out to supper. Her family would call and wish her well. Her friends would call from all over the country to wish her a happy day. She would have been on the phone all day long.

She would be late to leave with me for supper. Even if I was a little frustrated, it would be OK. It was her way. We would have a good evening out and then return home to spend some time together.

I miss those days, this one in particular, but also the holidays that she so loved. This is my lot now that she is gone. It is not that I feel that awful tearing pain of grief anymore; I do not. That work is done.

But there lingers the missing of that communal life. This will never go away. Even if I could make the hole go away, I am not sure I would. It is a reflection of that part of my life and is valuable in and of itself.

I am reminded of a phrase from a song, I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all… This is a small pain and tolerable. It is a good reminder of Wife. I miss her.

I think I will open a new bottle of wine this evening and raise my glass to the east, where her ashes rest. I will say “Thank you!” and “Miss you!” as I do, then turn to sit on the sofa with The Girl, who will snuggle up against me or put her heavy head in my lap. I expect a tear will be shed before the end of the day.

Still, I remain grateful for that communal life. We had a good life together. Life is still good.

Daily Image — 07 November 2023

Captured on walkies using the Fujifilm X100V with its lovely 23mm f/2 lens at f/8. I used Reggie’s Portra 400 film simulation. Minor post processing in Iridient Developer (contrast, saturation, curves).

I am working on the hydrology for one of my projects. The weather is cooler and more windy, so I do not want to get out as early.

Once I made some progress on project work and the markets, The Girl and I headed out to walk Silver Saddle Ranch. The weather today was cooler than yesterday, but also less rainy. Still, I could see rain to the north in Washoe Valley and behind Mt. Scott. A curl of rain clouds pulled south to the east of Mt. Scott, but did not seem threatening.

The Girl continues to worsen the condition of her toe with the missing nail. If I am distracted for just a moment, I will catch her licking. So, she slept in the cone-of-shame last night, wore it all morning, walked without it (but limping), and is now wearing the cone. She will get to sleep in it again tonight, although I might remove it when we sit on the sofa to relax and snuggle.

I carried the Fuji X100V with me again today. Last night I read a bit on Ritchie Roesch’s website, Fuji X Weekly about those film simulations he recommends. He has a list of seven because most of the recent Fujifilm cameras have seven custom slots. I am already using several of his recommendations, but I have some empty slots to fill and will add his recommendations. Then I will use them.

Today I used Reggie’s Portra 400 simulation, which is intended to produce results similar to the Kodak Portra 400 film stock. One of the things Reggie did was to set Auto White Balance instead of using the Daylight balance of the regular Portra simulation. This adds a little to the flexibility of the simulation. There are other details as well, but I consider them relatively minor.

I came home with a couple of decent images. That is, images that I like. I make images for me — that is, I am the only one who needs to like them. If others like them, that is good. I appreciate the acknowledgement.

Alex (The Photographic Eye) recently did a video on the subtle impact of social media on the photographs we produce. This resonated because I left Instagram a couple of months ago (again) because I was tired of doomscrolling through things I did not want to see to find those that I do. On my IG account, I sometimes posted photographs I knew would gather more “likes” partly as an experiment. It is a nice dopamine hit to see that my work is appreciated.

What Alex made me think about is the who and why of my photography. It is good for me to do something creative and that is why I do it. The photographs are for me, because there was something about the subject that attracted my eye (and my mind).

So, what I share here and also on FB are images that somehow spoke to me and caused me to pause, find a composition, and make the capture (usually several). I do not always like the end result, but I usually learn something in the process.

OK, so I do indulge a little and share a lot of Doggo images. Those are for fun (and I do love the subject) and for my dog-loving friends.

So, I like this capture of Mt. Scott and the weather over Carson City. The fall colors are mostly gone, with just a few hangers-on. We’ll soon start to see snow and some gray days and certainly cooler temperatures. But I still love the high desert and I am good so long as the sun is shining.

Daily Image — 06 November 2023

Captured with my iPhone 13 Pro Max and the standard camera app.

We got a late start on walkies today. I had two meetings in the morning. Plus the wind was blowing hard and it was spitting rain from the clouds that could not quite make it over the hill.

Nonetheless, we got out before noon and walked a bit. The Girl is still suffering from her sore toe and I thought we might have to curtail the walk. But she gave no indication that she was ready to quit early. Plus, the rain had settled the sand so it was not as hard on her feet. It also seems to have softened the sand burrs that are plaguing her this year.

We had periods of clouds and sun, buffeting winds, and spitting rain on the walk. A runner came up behind us with a dog and Sera ran to interact. She can be such a bitch sometimes and she bullied a little. I walked over and grabbed her by the collar. There was no harm done and the other handler was nonplussed, to my relief.

As we turned back toward the parked rig, I noticed a rainbow form and dissipate several times in front of Mt. Scott. I found the indigo particularly striking when the sun illuminated the rain and wondered if I could make a capture.

Finally, as we left the staging area in the rig, the conditions were right and I used my iPhone to make the capture. The image is just as I made it with no post processing.

I am grateful. Life is good.

Sunday Evening Rumination

Captured with the Fuji X100V 23mm f/2 at f/8. I used Reggie’s Portra 400 film simulation, but the scene required some heavy post processing to make it look reasonable.

We fell back last night, or rather, early this morning. I woke about 0200h and could not tell if I woke pre- or post-change. I patted The Girl’s ass, got a sleepy look, and went back to sleep. (It’s a nice ass…)

Yesterday was a rather dark day for me. I remembered that Wife died early on a Saturday morning and I still miss her. I spent some time reflecting on our joint life and how I never expected to be the one who lived longer. I was supposed to die first, or at least that is what I believed.

I also thought quite a bit about Ki. I was looking through my image archive, remembering. I found a small cache of Ki photographs and then stumbled on this entry from years ago. That entry was not so much about the Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 Series 1 macro lens as it was about The Ki Girl.

Then The Girl and I got out to walk. I figured the fair-weather-walkers would be all over Silver Saddle Ranch, so we drove up to Spooner Summit and hiked our favorite trail there. I thought that would be good because the snow could fly anytime and then that hike will be much harder. I talked to my ham buddy while walking and watching her and that raised my spirits considerably.

I have been putting too much pressure on myself to move my personal projects forward. I have a desire to move on from the duplex to something else. I think a first step will be to spend some time with Older Son and his wife, spend some time seeing my loved ones (which means travel), and working on what is next.

But I am also working near full time (for the moment) and just spend more than a month overseeing a construction project. The latter left me with little time for other projects, so they are behind. Plus it left me with little energy on the weekends so not much got done but for recovery and the chores that had to be done.

As a result, my blood pressure yesterday morning was high… much higher than normal (for me). This morning I told myself “You have to give yourself freedom to do things as you can. You are putting too much pressure on yourself and it’s not healthy. Figure out what is the next thing you can do that will improve your life… then do that.”

So, today I worked on research for a new Winder$ laptop — one that can do all of the modeling work I need to do, but portably. I also had a nice walk with The Girl, a chat with Younger Son (who helped me with the research), a nap with The Girl, and nice cup of tea (Chai Spice, Earl Grey, a bit of sweetener, and cream).

I have some supper cooking (a box meal, but still good to cook for myself) and will sit with The Girl, some supper, and a glass of wine shortly. I have a meal plan for the week and a grocery list for tomorrow. I also have a plan for what work to accomplish this week and how to go about doing it.

In other words, it was a Good Day.

The image was captured on walkies today. The weather is changing (the wave cloud says so, as did the southerly wind). The image required quite a bit of post processing. Supper will be ready soon and The Girl and I will spend time together.

Life is good. I mean it.

Remainders: 04 November 2023

I made this capture of the Mexican Dam with the Fuji X100V and the Tri-X 400 film simulation. The capture was at f/8.

Last week I had a lot of links because, in part, there was quite a bit of pent-up demand. We will see where I go this week.

  • The linear actuator that lifts the back half of the roof clam of my camper is out. It went out early this summer (in June). I have been too busy to think about replacing it. They are out of stock at the places I might order them. This post on the Forest River Owner’s Group forum provides instructions on how to replace the electromechanical machine with simple pressurized lifts. I will order them this week and make the exchange.
  • A favorite write, Dan Pink, sends me a short (very) newsletter each week. In this week’s issue, he mentioned California Sun, a daily curated newsletter of California things. Pink’s point is that what happens on the left coast often propagates to the remainder of the country. Good point. Dan’s weekly is also recommended.
  • This entry is something I wrote ten-years ago. It was just after (the former) Girl contracted leptospirosis and was in hospital. It has a photograph I made of the Comma Coffee sign as well. The photo is good. This story is good. I lost her three-years ago. She got cancer and died. I still miss her but am totally grateful for her replacement, Sera. Life is good.
  • I found this entry, A Mother’s Love in my on this day list. I remember that day.

CZJ 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar

This is a test shot of Lucas with a new-to-me CZJ 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar. It was shot wide open with a Sony A7Sii and the Sony in-camera black and white conversion.

A lovely Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm f/1.8 Pancolar in M42 mount arrived a couple of days ago. I have not yet had a chance to shoot it, certainly not to test it. But I did mount it on my Sony A7Sii a few minutes ago and shot one of my test subjects, my Lucas plushie.

The capture was made wide open and the background blur is evident in the shot. The lens is nicely sharp wide open and I think the background blur (bokeh) is very nice for this camera to subject distance. It will be fun to play with this East German lens and I will have to make a point of carrying the A7Sii and this lens (and maybe another) on walkies.

This is fun. Life is good.