Family, History and Love

Wanda and I have been discussing, of late, the need to set down in writing some portion of our family history so that in the future our children and grandchildren will have the stories and tales of our lives direct from the source. The technophile that I am, I choose to do this online so that the what we write will be accessible and available for comment to our wider family (though I reserve the right to moderate those comments).

To that end, I have repurposed this blog. In coming posts, we will endeavor to provide an abridged story of our life (hey, everyone has their secrets). We're writing this for our children and their children and those that come later so elements of these tales will be familiar only to our family,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Pumpkin Patch & Post Surgery

I had arthroscopic surgery on my right knee this morning. All in all, the pain isn't as bad as I thought it would be (knock on wood), but I'm sure that this is due to the strong medications and the "Game Ready" cooling device the physical therapy office provided me. I'm still quite sleepy from the anesthesia, but I feel lucid, if not exactly clear-headed. Getting up at 5 am this morning and going without coffee before the surgery has been the most unpleasant part of the experience so far, though I'm sure that's going to change as the residual anesthesia wears off and the pain meds are used up.

I have most of the rest of the week off from work since I will be on strong narcotics during that time and I will need to keep my leg elevated and continue to use the cooling unit during most of the day. The surgeon wanted me to take a full two weeks off from work, but I cleared it with my manager to simply work from home next week, as I should be off the major meds by then and can keep my leg elevated and cooled from my home office.

The "Game Ready" cooling unit is actually quite an interesting device. It's a portable cooling unit that provides pressure and cooling to my leg to help reduce the swelling and pain. The main unit has a reservoir for ice and water and connects via a snap on hose unit the the large cooling jacket which wraps around my leg. The unit has adjustments for temperature and pressure and I have a protocol sheet which tells what to use and when. It's quite easy to use and seems to be helping quite a lot.

Unfortunately, my son injured his left knee while playing Ultimate Frisbee with the guys at his fire station a couple of weeks ago and it looks likely he'll have to have similar surgery in the near future. He'll probably call me this evening to see what he has to to look forward to when he has his own procedure.

In other news. we had a great time taking Ryker and Makayla to the Pumpkin Patch at Sauvie Island this past Saturday. Their parents came along, as well and their Auntie TT. We had very nice weather for what is becoming an annual family event and the kids were able to pick out some nice pumpkins to carve for Halloween. We sure wish Jocelyn and her parents could have been there too. It would have been a real treat to have all the grandkids together for the event.

Ryker, his sister, and his mom and his auntie stayed here that night, and the girls and I had fun playing Rock Band for the first time in a long time. The girls were out of practice, but we tackled some tough songs anyway, including the new song pack of Queen that I downloaded on Friday

The next day, Wanda and I took Makayla to Disney on Ice to see some of her favorite Disney characters, and we all had a great time. Makayla enjoyed the show immensely, as well as the cotton candy and the other treats, and Wanda and I really enjoyed watching her delight. We hope to more activities like this with all of our grandchildren over the next few years.

Wanda's birthday is this weekend, so we'll be seeing Ryker and Makayla again this week when they come over for their grandmama's birthday dinner and we'll be seeing Jocelyn pretty soon too, since her mommy is brining her up for Thanksgiving.

There aren't any photos with the entry right now, but I'll add some later when I'm off the drugs. :)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Late Nights & Medical Fun

I have a long night ahead. I've reached that age where torture, disguised as medical procedures, is becoming more frequent. Don't misunderstand, I have a good doctor and he provides me with great care and sound medical advice, but I would just as soon stay young forever and not need preventative tests and intrusive procedures because I've reached a certain age.

In any case, I'm not likely to get much sleep this evening as I'm "studying" for my test scheduled for 6:30 am. Such study involves a clear liquid diet and large quantities of Miralax dissolved in Gatorade. Yum, yum. I get to drink another 32 ounces at 1:30 am. Fortunately, there are not photos to go with this post.

I am, however, wrapping up one photo project and collecting materials to begin another. My Fae in All of Us series will come to a close with three more shoots - Earth Fae, Wind Fae, and Winter Fae. I'm also hoping to reshoot Autumn Fae since that was the very first shoot of the series and I think I can do it much, much better now. I just spoke to a vineyard owner today about using their property for the Wind Fairy shoot, Winter Fairy as a model ready to go and I just need some snow and an open field, but Earth Fairy may be a bit of a problem.

I had a girl scheduled to shoot the Earth Fae, but she canceled on me and now it's getting too cool outside to use the concept I wanted to use, so I may need to change it up a bit. That's a shame, because the initial idea involved the creative use of mud. I'm' sure I'll figure out something, though.

I am continuing my Women in Chains series and starting a new one with a similar theme but focusing more on Sword and Sorcery. These two projects will give me something to work on in the studio over the winter months instead of me spending all of my time simply working on post processing my images from previous months. I enjoy the post processing, but sitting at a computer for both work and pleasure gets a bit old and I need to spend time actually behind the camera shooting new images and creating new scenarios.

But, the holidays are coming up too, and there's always opportunities to shoot photos of my family and especially the grandkids. We'll be going to the pumpkin patch soon, and that's always fun to shoot. Thanksgiving and Christmas always offer good photographic opportunities as well.
Makayla and TeeTee Decorating the Tree

Friday, October 02, 2009

Test of image uploading

Test of image upload options via MarsEdit.IMG_6575The image to the left was uploaded from Flickr.

And the image below was uploaded directly from my computer.

This is an editing test done a few days later to determine the impact on the original post. If this continues to work well, I'll be utilizing MarsEdit as my primary blogging software. MacJournal is good for "journaling" and by that I mean writing a diary or journal on a home computer or laptop, but it certainly doesn't work well for blogging, especially when the content of the blog includes a large number of images. MacJournal has never worked properly for me to upload images to my server and doesn't seem to offer a decent editing interface for aligning the images either to the left or right of the entry.

MarsEdit overcomes those limits and allows me to upload the images directly from my computer to Picasa where the images are automatically inserted into the blog, or allows me to use my Flickr account to specify what images to include in the post. It also includes a media catalog to track the images used in the blog so far - something that MacJournal doesn't even begin to do.

I also like that the program offers you a preview window that shows you how the blog entry will look on your site with regard to image alignment and image placement. It does slow the program down a tad, but not to a degree that's intolerable.

Finally, the html source code for the images can be directly edited in the text entry window so images sizes and targets can be adjusted to taste and intent.

The software comes with a free 30 day trial, so I'll continue to evaluate it for a few more weeks, but it's looking more and more likely that I'll purchase it and use it on a regular basis.