Cameras, computers and other such stuff

April yard Rocky Point (2) It’s been a busy week for me, working  a bit more than 40 hours like real folks, although I still managed to do more than half of that time from home.  Working with the current project leader for a soil survey project I managed a few years ago is actually a lot of fun.  Chris is a great guy, a smart and savvy soil scientist with good ideas.  We spent two full days this week putting our heads together to refine the detailed descriptions of the geomorphology of the area.  April yard Rocky Point

Understanding the landscape and how it was formed is crucial to understanding the soils that form on those landscapes.  Part of the data associated with a published soil survey is detailed information about the landscape for each soil that occurs in the area. After our review, my job this week is to get all that information in NASIS, the big database in the sky.  It keeps my brain running at full speed and makes it a bit hard for me to sleep at night. 

But now it is the weekend, and I promised myself I would refrain from firing up NASIS and trying to keep looking at all that data.  Yeah, probably boring as heck to anyone but the few of us involved in the process, but it explains why I speed read blogs and sometimes don’t take the time to comment.  Sorry folks, really, I love your blogs. I am praying that I never need a knee replacement after reading Laurie’s detailed account of what she and Odel have been doing after his operation.  They are doing a great job, both of them, I just hope I never have to do it. I have been enjoying the migration of the Canadians back to their home territory and the folks still wandering across Texas trying to avoid the fires.  There are several women RV’rs who are departing on their big full-time journeys, and several buying new rigs.  I love reading about their adventures.  I can’t possibly link to all my favorites without missing someone, so I won’t even try. 

It is wonderful to have the MoHo safely at home again.April yard Rocky Point (7)

I love Rick’s detailed instructions and comments about the state of the current computer/internet world.  I searched his blog to find all his posts about Windows 7. One of the comments that he often makes has to do with all the new software that will only run with 7 and won’t run  on XP.  I had to pay big bucks to take my old computer from Vista back to XP so I could run the government software that will ONLY run on XP, so I have been missing out on some of the newer bells and whistles that Rick discussed, specifically the new Live Writer and Internet Explorer. 

While we were traveling last month my Dell Inspiron kept feeling really hot, and I worried that if that computer goes (it’s five years old) I would be in big trouble.  Ahhh.  Solution.  Buy a new laptop with Windows 7.  I have a great friend here in town who is an IT dude and he put me on to a business machine, a lightweight Dell Vostro, with all the bells and whistles and a shiny cherry red exterior to boot.  Also, when I got home from our trip I discovered that the government has updated NASIS to a new version that will run on the XP that is hidden inside the Professional Windows 7. 

Bingo!  I ordered the new machine and decided to keep the old one just for NASIS, but if it dies, I’ll have a backup.  Whew!  Of course, a new machine always means more computer time, and I have been moving programs and photos and documents and re-installing programs and trying to find old disks for programs that I forgot I had. I do love Picasa, and immediately downloaded the newest version to my new Windows 7 computer, only to discover that all the “people” tags did not migrate to the new Picasa with the 60 gig of photos that I have been tagging diligently.  Big sigh on that one.  I wonder if anyone knows anything about that?  Rick?

Lots of lawn to rakeApril yard Rocky Point (11)April yard Rocky Point (15)

I am working as much as I am allowed as a retiree, and saving up the bucks for our big trip to Alaska this summer.  It’s only two months away now, with a departure date of July 6th, after the Fourth of July holiday. 

Klamath Falls is having a huge celebration this year, with some changes to the parade and a big family bbq in Veteran’s Park before the fireworks.  I am so glad to be here for that to share with my kids and grandkids.  I love that holiday, and always insisted on family day picnics where I made the teenagers do three legged races.  They always rolled their eyes and thought I was nuts, but it was a holdover from the church picnics of my childhood.  Melody called me up all excited.  She is on the town committee planning the picnic and said, “Mom, we are having three legged races, you HAVE to come!”.  I’ll be there and will race with my daughter and probably laugh till my sides hurt.

 Lots of trees makes for very few sunny sites to locate the greenhouseApril yard Rocky Point (5)

Sitting here at my desk this morning, I see dirty patches of snow on the shady part of the road, but bright sunshine on the grass.  I raked a lot last weekend, and Mo finished up all the lawns during the week.  It’s beautiful except for the vole damage.  Those dang little critters just make a total mess of the grass when the snow load is heavy, deep, and long lasting. 

April yard Rocky Point (4) One area they tore up especially is the 10 by 12 space where the greenhouse will be.  We are going to stake that area off today, and my job will be to get what is left of the sod up and leveled.  The chickadees are here in force, and the squirrels are already raiding the feeders.  Big sigh again.  One more year of squirrel battles, rabbit battles, and deer battles are ahead of us.  Hopefully we can keep all those critters out of the greenhouse!

Like many of us out there, I read Al’s (The Bayfield Bunch) often, gleaning information about all sorts of things, not the least of which is photography. If you search his blog for the word “camera” you will get 8 pages of posts about this topic!  I once was a “photographer”, darkroom and all, but now I just “take pictures”.  My old fabulous film camera Canon A-1 lies buried in a case in a cabinet.  I haven’t had it out for years now. Al’s photos inspire me, though, along with lots of other great blog photographers, and I decided that I can no longer be satisfied with my little Nikon point and shoot.  It takes nice photos, but the fine detail and perfect focus isn’t there, the telephoto isn’t enough, and the lens bends ocean horizons on the edges.  No amount of Picasa fiddling will fix that.  My choice of camera was the same as Al, I decided on the Nikon D90, and have been searching for the best price, hoping to manage a purchase before we travel the wide open landscapes of Canada and Alaska, hopefully filled with wildlife that will require a telephoto and vistas that will need a wide angle lens. 

I fertilized the rhodies a lot last year, looks like we have flower budsApril yard Rocky Point (12)

Talking with my other daughter yesterday, the one now driving airplane engines all over the country with her husband, yielded a surprise.  In one of her other lives she was a professional portrait and wedding photographer and she offered her high end Nikon equipment to me for the Alaska trip.  Whew!  I can’t even remember what the models are, but it’s top notch, one with a metal body that will be heavier than the D90 but will give me the chance to see if I really want to lug a DSLR around while traveling. 

She also made very clear that her telephoto lens is an auto focus anti vibration thingy that is about $2,000 worth of fancy.  Whew again!  I just hope I don’t get mugged while traveling.  She laughed and said, “Now Mom, the only bad part is that you have to drop it off on your way back from Alaska.”  Well, Duh!  But at least I don’t have to come up with plus or minus $1,000 bucks for the D90 before we leave.  Yay!



Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

9 thoughts on “Cameras, computers and other such stuff”

  1. Wow, what a generous daughter to let you borrow her nice camera equipment. That will be so nice for your Alaska trip. I am excited for you…and anxious to hear how it goes. I really want to make that trek but just not sure we can handle it. We'll wait and see how you do!!

    Great post today. Loved reading about the picnic in K-Falls that will be coming up and the three-legged races. That's one thing I always remember about church picnics too. I miss those days.

    I sure enjoy reading your blog and hoep you continue to keep us all updated.


  2. A great way to relieve the stress of the responsibility for carrying that expensive lens is to insure it. We have all of our camera equipment covered with a separate (very inexpensive) rider on our home owners policy. Check with your RV insurance provider, or her home owners provider.

    It cam be handled just like an expensive piece of jewelry. Peace of mind is priceless.


  3. Nice break on being able to use your Daughter's camera equipment but I'm afraid if that was me I would be very nervous about using somebody else's stuff. Suggest you get that camera equipment well before you leave & allow yourself some time to work with it before heading out. Better to get comfortable with the equipment at home before leaving on your trip.


  4. I agree with Al, I'd be afraid to borrow something so expensive. It if gets lost or stolen…

    You are the busiest lady! How do you find time for everything? Your yard looks so nice!

    I am excited for you – geting a new laptop with Microsoft 7. My current computer is my first laptop and it has Windows 7. Even though I've had it for a long time now, it still seems new. I just love it, and I'll bet you will, too. I can't imagine an upgrade that would be much better than 7. One of the things I LOVE is the 'snipping tool.' With my work computer I have to do a cut/paste and crop, the snipping tool is really quick!


  5. Love all the information contained in your post. I took geology as part of my science minor when I attended OSU back in the olden days. Now that I'm older than dirt, I'm interested in archeology.

    Photography has been a hobby for more years than I care to think about. Love the digital era. It opens up so many areas.

    Computers have been a big part of my life since I first learned to use a TRS 80 Radio Shack computer. Didn't even have a hard drive, just twin floppies. I guess it was kind of a “dog”. Really loved moving up to an IBM PC at work, complete with LOTUS 123. Ah, those were the days!

    Enjoy the sunshine whenever and wherever you can find it. We certainly will. Stay safe.


  6. Great post today with lots of neat stuff to think about.

    Thanks for the mention too, by the way.

    As for the Picasa face tag problem, Picasa 'face tags' are not stored with the photos themselves but rather in the Picasa database.

    Perhaps you just copied your photos to your new computer using normal Windows copy? That will not copy the face tag data as it's stored in a file called 'picasa.ini'.

    You can use Picasa's built in back up to perform a Backup of your photos and restore them on your new computer. This process will preserve your face tags. (“Tools” > “Backup Pictures”).

    This might (will) be faster than redoing all your name tags.


  7. Even though I live in MIcrosoft country, I'm a Mac person and I'll never go back. I really enjoyed reading your post. I followed a woman's blog who went to Alaska and I'll look for her address so you can check her stuff out if you want. It will probably be tomorrow before I can let you know.


  8. Wow … you have been busy … not just with work, but all kinds of fun gadgets too. You're lucky to have a daughter who's going to lend you equipment for your AK trip …. looking forward to all the great photos 🙂


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