The Future is Now at USPS

Clearly the USPS has borrowed some technology from Hogwarts:

Shipping for Snow Leopard

I mean, a one second delivery from Laurel, Maryland to Greensboro, NC clearly indicates apparition. But either the delivery spell on the Snow Leopard box wasn’t quite complete – or they still have some bugs to work out, given that the package arrived twice in Laurel, and had to wait two days for Stan’s bus or something.

Seeing Ghosts

I’m currently in the process of revamping the smorgasbord of lenses that I own for use with my Nikon D300. Everything is here so far except for the Nikon 35mm 1.8.

I already own the 50mm1.8 – but one of the primary reasons I’m getting the 35mm 1.8 (besides it being a bit more “normal” on a DX form factor) is that my 50mm 1.8 + the way I seem to take pictures puts me in a position where I get a “ghost” or “hot spot” in the middle of the frame more often than I should.

According to Thom Hogan this ghosting is caused by a reflection off the Bayer filter in the camera at small apertures due to the lens design. I haven’t seen the technical details (which would probably be over my head) – but the effect is this:

Let’s look a little closer at that door:

And that’s not really something that can be edited out easily. I’ve had several shots turn out like this where I was using small apertures (in this case f/22) to give myself a sharper image and longer shutter time (not that I needed it for a door).

I’m thinking that the more modern and DX-optimized 35mm 1.8 will alleviate this ghosting effect and give me that bit more normal 50mm (on a DX sensor) field of view. It will likely end up being my most used lens in people-photography situations (I fall back to others for the pets).

It is all over once you name the thing


So, my wife and I had a follower this weekend. On sunday, we took our dogs for a walk together, the first in quite some time, and as we got halfway through a long wetlands/natural area in our community – we spied, well, our dogs spied a cat. Our dogs think cats must be part of the squirrel family and then proceed to usually have a conniption fit. We’re used to seeing cats in the neighborhood, there’s a few feral populations around and about, and they normally run, and we normally are very happy to let them do so. But this cat was different than all the others.

It followed us.

My wife is an animal loving saint, thankfully within reason. While we’ve saved at least one family of feral kittens, and surrendered a badly injured feral adult to an emergency after hours clinic – thankfully for the budget and sanity, we’ve only adopted two shelter creatures (and their much, much, larger sister)

We’re not cat people. Not that I’m really sure what a cat people is, but we aren’t them. We are both mildly allergic to them, and again, our dogs think cats and squirrels seem to be best howled and whined at.

But, we were followed. And independently we both came to the conclusion that were the cat to be named, along with Winston and Truman, she probably should be named Eleanor. That’s if she were to be named.

It should be noted I thought of the name after I bought the cat condo, and before the cat insisted every time I or my wife walks into the room on crawling into our lap and nuzzling our chin. I think my wife had me beat by several hours though.

I’m not sure that Elinor (my wife’s insistent spelling) will stay with us. But she handled a bath without too much drama, got a mainly clean bill of health and is probably six months old. The vet is a little worried about Feline Infectious Peritonitis – but it could be the intestinal parasites too. A week or so will tell for sure. She’s got an appointment to be spayed. She’s been microchip scanned, and neighborhood email posted, but our guess is she got dumped – probably not very long before we walked by.

The pups, well, we’ll see how they do in time too.

I’m not sure what the future brings for Eli or for us, but for now, she has a home, and maybe for this time, we’ll follow her too.