Wednesday, December 31, 2008

251:365 Last post of 2008 is a mystery

Anna: Happy New Year to everyone. I wish you all the best in 2009, and a fun filled celebration ringing it in.

For the last photo posted in 2008, I was inspired to make it a mystery photo.

Can you guess what this is?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

250:365 - Frosty window

Philippe: So the window was frozen shut this morning.. Only one thing to do :)

Monday, December 29, 2008

249:365 Making up for lost time - a bit

Anna: I hope that everyone had a really great Christmas. :-)

We haven't been taking a lot of pictures lately, so I wanted to make up for lost time with a few extra photos while the girls and I were at the museum today. Except that my battery died part way through. The camera had been left on the last time someone handled it, but I can't remember the last time it had been handled that's less than4 days ago. *L* Ah, well.

Full size photos available for viewing here.

It's really dark, but I like this shot. This is part of an antelope sculpture near the admissions desk.

I'm still learning how to use the various settings on the D70. I do wish we were allowed to bring in at least a monopod. It does make the challenge more interesting. I think this is one of the better shots I managed to get of this Barite, Chalcopyrite (from Dreislar, Germany) that I've managed to get.

I adore fine craftsmanship, and the Aboriginal Culture area has some amazing samples, like this silk embroidery on a hide cap. I just can't imagine doing such intricate work on hides!

Beautiful work.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

248:365 Merry Christmas

click on photo for full size

Anna: I don't expect we'll be posting anything for the next few days. We start our celebrating tomorrow night with Wigilia (well, a modified version of it... the menu is quite different).

Until then, I wish you all a fantastic Christmas or Hanukkah, and a healthy, happy and prosperous year in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

247:365 So teenie...

Anna: So cute! So tiny! So... gone!

Not the greatest picture, but I just had to get a photo of the very last one of these. I'd picked up a little box of Mini Honey Manderin Oranges to try.

They went over very well. My elder daughter, thoughtful sweetheart that she is, saved the very last one for me. Plus, she saved the only one that had a leaf.

I took a photo of it next to the chestnut for size reference.

Then I ate it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

246:365 NOM-NOM-NOM

Anna: This weekend we made our Christmas tourtierre - a dozen of them. We cooked 12 pounds of meats for the filling last night, then did the pastry and assembled them today. It's a big job made easy, with lots of help from the girls. Even a friend of my daughter's helped out with the filling, yesterday.

Of course, once the first batch was cool enough, we had to try them out! It's the first time we've made them using boar meat in the blend.

They are a rousing success.

About these missed days...

Anna: Although we haven't been posting lately, I have been taking pictures - honest!

They're just being posted over here, instead.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

245:365 Gift basket and... it's a bit chilly out there.

Anna: I was about to put together a gift basket for some friends, busily taking off labels and price tags, when Harley decided to investigate.

No, Harley, it's not a new bed for you.

It's a bit chilly here right now. This is a screen capture from the Environment Canada Weather Office website.

For those of you in the US, the temperature is -13F with a wind chill of -33F.

It's actually warmed up a bit. It was -30C (-22F) with a windchill of up to -41C (-42F) this afternoon.

A good time to stay inside, working on my decorations. I'll be posting the newest stuff on Get Crafting when I'm done here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

244:365 - New additions

Philippe: We've got new toys.. I can't even call them Christmas presents since I got them strictly so I could photograph them :P

Monday, December 8, 2008

243:365 Double duty

Anna: We ended up at the museum again today - and left late enough that Philippe was even able to join us. A few of the photos today are here.

One of our favorite areas is The Bug Room. This is a Macleay's Spectre Stick.

We also had another pass through the temporary exhibit, Heights of Fashion; History of the Elevated Foot. This shoe with the filagree heel is one of my favorites.

Taking photos at the museum is a challenge. No tripods allowed. Most exhibits don't allow flash, which I wouldn't use at the museum anyhow. Even the areas that do allow flash don't allow external flash.

I had the macro lens on today, which is a notorious light hog to start with. I had the ISO at 500, but I don't like how grainy the photos get. I also played around with the various settings to try and compensate. A lot of the photos didn't turn out, and even the ones that did were quite dark. I played around with the curves to lighten all of them. I did a noise reduction on the stick bug, but not any of the others. I may not like the noise, but I like the faked out smoothness a noise reduction resulted in even less.

One of these days, I'll figure it out.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

242:365 Rally for Canada

Anna: My elder daughter and I joined over 500 people from all political stripes at our local Rally for Canada. Aside from 2 people with signs counter-protesting, this was a rally in support or our elected government and against a coalition attempting to unseat our PM. This past Thursday, there was a pro-coalition rally at this location that drew a reported 300 people, while a student lead pro-federal government rally of about 200 people was held in another part of the city.

(I've made my first attempt to upload video to flickr with the rest of today's photos. Actually, the second one is still uploading as I write this. They'll be here, when it's done.)

If nothing else, these political shenanigans are getting people involved who've never been political active before. Interestingly, current polls show that if an election were held right now, our current government would win with a record majority vote of 46%, while 61% say that they think our current government, with our current PM, is the best to lead our country right now. It seems to me the coalition attempt has alienated a LOT of people. I imagine, whenever our next election is held, we'll have a much greater than 59.1% voter turn out!

Note to visitors from outside Canada: We don't vote directly for our PM. We vote for representatives in our ridings, and currently there are 5 parties eligable at the federal level, though one is only in Quebec. The party that has the most elected representatives, out of a total of 308, wins the election. The leader of that party becomes PM. Our PM wears three hats - s/he is an MP, plus leader of their party (elected as party leader by registered members of that party), and finally, Prime Minister. The only people who get to vote directly for the PM - as their Member of Parliament - are those that live in his/her riding. Our PM has a riding in Calgary, where a reported 2000 - 3000 people showed up for their Rally for Canada.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

241:365 The gift of cuteness

Anna: Now that the tree is up, we've made the effort to train Harley not to attack the decorations (Tiger is already well trained).

Going under the tree and being all cute and stuff, on the other hand, is perfectly acceptable. :-D

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

240:365 This one's alive...

Anna: My elder daughter and I headed to the Royal Alberta Museum today. While going through some of the dioramas of local wildlife, I completely missed that this one was slightly different.

It was alive. It was so still, I thought at first that it was another display.

There was another snake nearby, but it was hidden in a little cubbyhole.

There was also a new temporary display that allowed photos called Height of Fashion, featuring shoes, particularly high heels, though they did have a couple of flats on display. I was able to get a few acceptable shots, which I put up here.

All of the photos I took today had to have a fair amount of adjusting. The museum doesn't allow tripods or monopods. I increased my ISO to 500, but I didn't want to go any higher, as I dislike the noise levels at higher ISO's. So they all needed to be brightened quite a bit, and I did a noise reduction on a few as well.

Monday, December 1, 2008

239:365 LED

Anna: We're about to head out for a potluck park day, but I wanted to post this before we left. After several days of an empty tree and a spray bottle to train the kitten to stay away, we finally put on the lights. I couldn't resist playing with the shutter priority.

I find it interesting that the camera picks up the flicker of LED lights.