Real Snow (TM)

 

Snow. Sticking. October. Believe it.

Snow. Sticking. October. Believe it.

Had I said I was going to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve by decorating the whole DC Metro area for Christmas, they would have laughed at me.

The snow is still here, hours later, and the temps are dropping through freezing, so it’ll be here for a short while tomorrow, too. Wow, just wow! And our overall precipitation is around an inch and a quarter for the last 18 hours. We’re 3/4 of an inch away from 20 inches of rain in our back yard since Irene made landfall here in late August.

Snow? SRSLY?

 

First snow of Winter 2011-2012

First snow of Winter 2011-2012

First snow of Winter 2011-2012 – it ain’t much, and it ain’t sticking to anything, but I’m still impressed with the can-do attitude expressed by this weather system. We started off with rain in the middle of the night, and were just shy of an inch of rain today when it flipped over to the snow delivery system about an hour ago. Right now the occasional flake is still falling, and it’s hovering around 35-36°F (~1.5°C)…

I guess it’s a good thing I winterized the watering systems yesterday. We might get our first frost tonight, eh?

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I made a big dent in the paper that’s due next Sunday – the organization and cited documents are all in place, and I’ve begun on the prose. I also want to get a head start on the Java project that’s due next week, but first it’s time to roast some coffee and bake some cookies! Ciao!

 

 

Long Week

It’s been a very long week. A lot of work and planning went into two big multi-system transitions at the office. One took most of the day on Friday with follow-up work Saturday morning and today. The second was a bigger job, and we had most hands on deck from 5PM to nearly midnight last night. So far, everything seems to have come off as well as can be expected. Everything that didn’t come off according to plan had contingency planning already completed – our checklists were really good. Yeah … meetings are good for that. Sigh, I really didn’t want to say that.

I also got the lawns mowed, and most of the leaves in the front are mulched down into the lawn. Many of the trees in the back yard are still holding their leaves. The oak in the back corner is just now turning color:

The backyard oak tree is coming into fall color.

The backyard oak tree is coming into fall color.

It also turns out that sometime Lexi doesn’t want her picture taken. Unlike our Lucy, who was a camera hog, Lexi seems to often make an effort to not be a good photo subject, and other times tries to beat a slinking retreat:

Lexi retreats from the camera

Lexi retreats from the camera

*     *     *

Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Staff Sgt. Houston M. Taylor, 25, of Hurst, Texas, died Oct. 13, in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Spc. Michael D. Elm, 25, of Phoenix, Arizona, died Oct. 14 in Khowst, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Staff Sgt. James R. Leep Jr., 44, of Richmond, Virginia, died Oct. 17 in Babil province, Iraq.
  • Staff Sgt. Jorge M. Oliveira, 33, of Newark, New Jersey, died Oct. 19 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Chief Petty Officer Raymond J. Border, 31, of West Lafayette, Ohio, died Oct. 19 while assessing a route in Paktika province, Afghanistan.
  • 1st. Lt. Ashley I. White, 24, of Alliance, Ohio, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Kristoffer B. Domeij, 29, of San Diego, California, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Pfc.Christopher A. Horns, 20, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died Oct.22, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Lexi Pictured Here

Lexi loves the camera

Lexi loves the camera

Lexi especially loves the new camera. I’ve been researching DSLRs for over a year. What I wanted and what is prudent are two very different things, too. I’ve held back from buying a D7000, since I’m not a “serious” photographer. But I want to take much better pictures than I can with any of our other cameras. So when a great deal came up at BJ’s, I plunked down for a Nikon D5100 kit with a couple of lenses and a bag. I’ve supplemented that with a spare battery, a 35mm prime lens, a filter, an SB400 flash, and a diffuser for that. More pictures as worthwhile ones appear.

*     *     *

I don’t think I mentioned this previously: I made the Dean’s List again this year. If I maintain this level of work, I’ll finish up with all A’s, and another year on the Dean’s List before I finish up next December. I just hope I manage it before the Mayan calendar runs dry!

 

Still choices

I first posted this as a comment over on Bob’s new Daynotes Journal, but I’m going for more feedback.

dSLR cameras … I’m teetering on the brink of moving up to dSLR, and frankly I don’t want to go in at the entry level. I figure I’ll outgrow a beginner dSLR long before its useful lifespan, and I’m a reasonably quick study.

Right now, I’m interested (I think) in one of these two configurations:

Nikon D7000 body with two lenses

    • Nikon 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX Lens
    • Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR

Pentax K-5 body with two lenses

    • Pentax 21987 DA 35mm f/2.4 AL Lens
    • Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED Lens

I’m leaning towards the Nikon, but I’m interested in contrary opinions and lense recommendations. I could always go for the kit lenses to start, and add a 35mm prime later. Note that I don’t have any legacy SLR gear, so there’s nothing to keep me from picking any particular brand.

I will probably get extra batteries, memory cards, etc. But the big stuff I can use advice on.

Bob said (in part):

I’d suggest you buy more on features than on brand, but even there these three are pretty competitive. Do consider features that are still not universal, such as live-view, XDR, and so on. Also, I’d start with the standard kit lens (18-to-55mm or whatever) and the 50-to-200mm telephoto zoom. Between those two, you should be well covered. And, although 35mm is pretty much what 50mm used to be on 35mm SLRs, most people who want a fast lens find that a fast short telephoto is more useful. For example, I had a 50mm f/1.4 “normal” lens for my 35mm Pentax SLRs, but I found the 85mm f/1.8 to be much more useful for low-light shooting. It also makes an excellent “portrait” lens.


I can buy the body-only D7000 and the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II together for only about $300 more than the D7000 with the kit lens, since there’s a $250 discount on the lens when purchased with the camera. That’s a good deal, and I might still go for the 35mm for indoor/low light work since it’s a lot faster.

I’m heading back to dpreview for more research, and look at comparable Canon’s too.