Thursday, August 28, 2008

The WB.

No, not the network. ;) WB = White Balance. I've talked about it before, and I play around with it a lot. I don't know why, but I find it really interesting. Here's a series of pics I took the other day for my knitblog. I took them in what I now know is called open shade (thanks Miz Boo!) in the morning, when it was good and bright outside. I used three different WB settings: Shade, Sun, and Auto. In that order, here they are:

WB Settings Investigation

WB Settings Investigation

WB Settings Investigation

The Shade is awful. Sun and Auto are much better, and pretty similar. Sun is actually probably closer to real life, on my monitor at least, but I prefer the slightly cooler colors of Auto. (This is probably because I have an affinity for cooler colors in general.) I ended up using a different pic, but still with the Auto WB setting. I've noticed before that Shade (and Cloud) generally give worse results than Auto, and even Sun. I kind of wrote that off to the fact that, on the scale of DSLRs, my camera (the D40) is the cheapest. But now I read Miz Boo's excellent post over at Ree's, and she says:
Personally, on my camera I do not care for the shade and cloudy options. I think their effects are too strong on my D80. So I almost always shoot on “A” for Automatic white balance. (Except when I’m inside, and then the incandescent and florescent options work wonders.)
Exactly! I would write the exact same thing! And she has a way fancier camera. I wonder if the same holds true for the super-duper fancy cameras like Ree's D200, or even the D300. Is it a Nikon thing? Canon users, what's your experience?

Sidenote: When I was at the airshow, I saw a woman using a D300 to take nothing but snapshots of her kids. My assumption is that she's a professional photographer, so she's got the nice equipment, and is most comfortable with it, so prefers it for snapshots, too. Because I cannot fathom spending $2000 on a camera for snapshots! That would be nice!

And on that note, I'm out. Work to do, dinner to eat, etc. (Hurricane already prepared for - check!) Ciao! =)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Two Things

One: The other night, I had a dream that a crazy stalker had trapped me and my kids (?!?) inside my house. (It was a really nice house, with tons of natural light. I hope to actually live there IRL someday!) Anyways, what makes it blog-worthy is that all the while I could see him through the windows (which were everywhere) and I had my camera, and I kept trying and trying to take pictures (you know, so after he killed us, the CSIs would come in, find the SD card, and be able to track down the killer, duh) and though my camera would focus, it wouldn't take a single picture. The little focus box would light up red, it would beep (even though I turned that setting off the day I got it, so annoying!), and I would continue pushing the button and nothing. I'm not sure if I was more freaked about the crazy stalker, or the fact that my camera wouldn't work. Please don't judge, lol.

Two: Today marks the end of the Daily Photo, though I'd like to continue taking random pictures of things that happen to me. In fact, I actually took a picture outside the grocery store today, but it's on my phone and I don't know how to get it on my computer. But with school and research/work, I don't have much spare time, and certainly not during the day when there is good light. The whole "having passed the qualifier" thing is supposed to equal more free time, so hopefully I can do some more "real" blogging. I actually have pics taken for another post on white balance (why am I so fascinated by that topic?), but I need to write up the post. Maybe soon! Here's the last daily photo, from yesterday, intended for the knitblog, but I'll share it here, too:

Charade Socks (22)

My Ravelympics socks, finished with 11 hours to spare. I waited 'til morning to take pictures, so I could have some sun, and then we up and got hit by Tropical Storm Fay, which dumped scads of rain on us. So I figured what the heck, the rain could be in the pic, too. =)

And on that note, it's bedtime. 'Night y'all! =)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Football season!

I love college football! And this is a great town for it. Almost everywhere you go, there are count-downs, as we wait to see if the Tigers can pull off another season like the last one. This is my favorite, because it's close to campus so I see it often:

Yay!!! (19)

They've been counting down for most of the summer, lol, and we're finally into single-digit days! Yay!!! =)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It Figures.

Went to the podiatrist for (just) a consultation today, or so I thought. Turns out, I ended up with minor surgery:

Ugh. (17)

Since I did not anticipate any cutting, I did not wear appropriate shoes. Normally I wouldn't mind hobbling barefoot out to my car, except that it was raining and the parking lot was full of puddles. Hence the ubersexy plastic bag over my foot. I'll spare you the bag-less photo, 'cause there's iodine and blood all over the neighboring toes, and plaster left from the molds they cast for my new footbeds.

I could possibly be cooler, but it would be hard. ;)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Girls' Night!

There aren't many ladies in our department, but there are a few of us, and we stick together. And sometimes we branch out and make friends with other scientists, and occasionally (gasp!) even humanities majors! ;) We had Girls' Night tonight at my place, and it involved some lounging in the pool, a walk around the corner for the yummiest sandwiches in town, pink beverages, the Olympics on TV (go Shawn and Nastia!), and Catchphrase. And of course we talked about boys. ;) Signs of success:

Successful Girls' Night

And everyone home to go to bed by midnight, because, after all, we are still nerds who have to work in the morning. ;) Buona notte!


Yesterday was the "Air It Up" airshow at the Baton Rouge airport, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the airport. We went out for the morning and early afternoon and had a great time, checking out vintage aircraft, goofing around, taking pictures, and waiting for the big flyover. Unfortunately, the big flyover didn't happen, but we still had a ton of fun. It was hard to pick one photo to count as my Daily Photo, but I ended up going with this one:

BTR 60th Anniversary Air Show (14)

As we walked in, they were handing out commemorative paper airplanes, and this is Shannon and Mark trying to put theirs together. Mark, being cool, put the extra paper on his head while he assembled the actual plane parts. Then he stuck out his tongue. Love it. =)

You can see the rest of the pics on Flickr, or in the slideshow:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Enjoy! =)

Friday, August 15, 2008


The closest I have ever come to a panic attack has been when I'm shopping for a planner. I'm talking shaky hands, nearly crying in the store, frantic phone calls to my parents, etc. It's happened more than once. I'm incredibly attached to my planners because they keep me on track - if I had to keep all that info in my head, I would explode. I thought I had everything ready for this upcoming semester (classes scheduled, books ordered, binders and paper procured, etc.), when I realized that I didn't yet have a new planner. Crap. I nearly had another panic attack when I got to my local big-box office supply store and saw this:

Waited Too Long (13)

Ugh. Nothing there even remotely close to what I wanted. I am very, very particular. So I'm thinking about making the investment and getting a Franklin Covey planner. Anyone have any experience with them? Advice? They have a store in BR, so I'll be going there in the next day or two, and hope to find something fab!

The Value of a Daily Photo Project

For the past few days, this guy has been working on the inside scoreboard of Tiger Stadium:

Giant Crane - Morning (12)

I finally snapped a pic today, and it's a good thing I did, because this was the scene when I was walking back to my car this evening:


The crane up and disappeared! =)

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I took my little point-and-shoot camera to school today to take a daily photo, and I did actually take a few, but they're not super exciting. (I was taking pics in a sculpture garden near my building, and I think I can do a lot better with my 'real' camera...I didn't like how the lighting was coming out...) What was super exciting was going to load them on my computer and finding a few leftover Germany pics on the memory card - yay! Here are my two favorites:

Addicted? (11a)

I forgot to charge my iPod in the hotel before I left, so I looked high and low for an outlet in the Frankfurt airport. The only one I found was in, you guessed it, the bathroom! It took some jury-rigging to get my (really really heavy) converter and the iPod charger to stay plugged in, but it totally worked. So I hung out in the bathroom knitting while it charged. And yes, it was worth it, because the sound on my entire side of the plane didn't work (boo American Airlines), so the iPod was the only way to block out the noise!

Pacific Sunrise Sock Heel (11b)

Before deciding that yes I really was going to hang out in the bathroom for awhile, I did some knitting out in the lounge area. This is my very first heel from memory, done in a mildly stressful (not letting my luggage out of my sight) situation - woo! I'm quite proud. Probably should go on the knitting blog, but it's late, and I'm tired. ;)

So hopefully, there will be nicer sculpture pictures to come later. =)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Office!

Since I passed my qualifying exam, I got to move into a "real" grad student office, which I did last week. I finally got around to hanging some pics today:

Photos in my Office (9)

Can you tell I'm a scientist and not an artist? It was very important that they be lined up straight and in some type of order, with colors balanced. But I like how it turned out. =)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I <3 the Farmers Market

Almost every Saturday morning, I visit the Red Stick Farmers Market in Downtown BR to stock up on fruit, veggies, milk, etc. One thing they have a lot of is plants and flowers. Herbs, ornamental plants, fresh-cut blooms, annuals, perennials, etc. I've never purchased any, but I've always wanted to. Here are some that I lusted after today:

Pretty-colored plants (7)

I love the colors. I just need to figure out how to get my patio in shape to grow plants like these, herbs, and flowers. One of these days! =)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Good Golly Miss Molly!

Molly belongs to my friends Shannon (of the flowers) & Mark, but they had to go out of town at the last minute and couldn't take her along, so she's staying with me for a few days - yay! Unfortunately, I've got a lot of work to do, so I'm spending most of my time working on the computer, and she misses Mommy & Daddy, which means she's sitting next to me looking bummed:

So Sad (6)

Aww, poor girl! Mommy & Daddy will be back, soon!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why not?

Why not try to do a 365-type picture-a-day? I already try to keep a one-sentence journal, so adding in one picture should be fun! I make no promises of being super-reliable, but it's good to try, yeah? We had an awesome sun-storm today:

Sun Storm (4)

It was raining pretty hard, so I didn't leave my (covered) front steps, but I did get some shots. It reminded me of the MCP post about seeing the light, the way it was so bright. I love when it's sunny and raining at the same time. =)

PS - This is 4. You can see 3 over here! =)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Dear Edouard,

TS Edouard

Please feel free to dissipate before you hit my parents. Or veer off and hit some place where no one lives. Ok Edouard?


(Could this be 2? How long can I go?)

My Exciting Life

Marathon Post Office Trip:


It took me more time than I'd like to admit to assemble and mail all these packages and letters, but I think it was worth it! I sure live an exciting life, don't I? (Please don't answer that, haha.) If I were Nin, I'd have figured out a clever way to get myself into this shot to make it a 365 pic. ;)

And now, to bed. My prof's been out of town for a few weeks, which meant that I could pretty much work whenever and wherever I wanted, so long as everything got done. But he's coming back in a few days, so I've got to get back on the typical "work in my office during the day" routine (as opposed to the "work in my sweats at home" routine), which means early-ish bedtime. Night night blogosphere! =)