Tag Archives: macro

Photo Friday: Obsolete

I’d say I’ve been phoning it in recently, but it’s more like calling in sick. All my blog energy went into finalizing the redesign, and now I’m left with a backlog of five dozen post ideas and no idea where to start. How about more crap I found when cleaning my office?

Please don’t tell me you can’t recognize these, it will make me feel old:

This one reminds me of those “Eyeball Bender” puzzles from Games Magazine.

I can sort of forgive myself for keeping the couple dozen floppy disks with stuff from grad school on them. But 10 blank disks? Seriously? Why was I keeping these?

If you think I didn’t color code by course, you don’t know me very well.

I still haven’t thrown out the disks with stuff on them. The hoarder in me wanted to clarify what was on them first. But then I remembered I have no way to read them. So I put them on the trash pile, only to grab for them to check what was on them before throwing them in the trash can…only to remember I can’t read them. Repeat futile cycle of hoarding obsolete technology until exhausted.

I asked Dave how to dispose of them and he laughed at me. He says I should just toss them…no one can read them (duh, including me!). God bless anyone who still has the means to read a floppy disk and who would be willing to rummage through trash to dig these out. Your reward…the results of the survey I fielded about Niagara Mohawk’s energy saving light bulb program? My thesis? My resume circa 1996? Enjoy!

Maybe I’ll hang onto this green one, it’s so pretty.

I stumbled upon an out-of-the-way deserted little filing room at work a few weeks ago. I’d never been back in that suite of offices before and I was curious (and on the prowl for my favorite size post-it notes that our division never seems to order anymore–shh!). I wandered back there on my way out one evening and got thoroughly creeped out. There were 5 1/4 inch floppy disks back there! And a word processor. And an ashtray. I was afraid I’d accidentally entered the early 90s. Luckily I made my way safely back to 2012. That experience actually helped light the fire under my ass to clean my own hellhole of an office.

Do you have any unusable media lying around? Do you think it’s weird that I brought blank floppy disks home so I could take photos? Have you ever felt like you’d gone back in time?

Photo Friday: Miss (Lil’) Kim Lilac

A few years ago, I got a bee in my bonnet about beautifying our landscaping. I couldn’t just choose a few plants, oh no. I bought books, cross-referenced them, and drew plans to scale on graph paper. I did everything “right,” including planning the beds for the mature size of the plants I’d chosen, not the size at the time of planting. Somehow the bed on the side still ended up an overgrown jungle within three years and every single perennial in the front bed died, leaving it pretty sparse.

The best thing I did was select a Miss Kim Lilac for the corner of the front bed by the porch. Lilacs remind me of home, but aren’t very prevalent here in the…South (I live in the South–eek!). The Miss Kim was billed as a lilac for more southern zones. And it’s super fragrant, so when I sit on my porch while it’s in bloom (now!), the breeze brings the scent to me and makes me feel happy. This variety also stays relatively small, so I like to call it Miss Lil’ Kim, but it doesn’t look like this:

Pink buds open to very fragrant flowers...what?

No, this is the Miss (Lil’) Kim of which type:

This picture is a love letter to my porch.

Photo Friday: Cherry Blossoms

For one week out of every year, the two cherry trees in front of my house make me the happiest person on Earth.

That week is now.

Also, the instructor of my photography class earlier this year said cameras automatically focus on what is closest. My camera missed that memo. Could someone please explain why my camera likes to focus on something behind my damn subject? I swear to all that is holy I focused on the center cluster of blossoms in each shot of this series, yet some of the shots turned out like this, with blossoms further away in focus instead:

Seriously, if anyone can help me on this, I’ll be your friend forever.

Photo Friday: A Complex Food Colloid

From Ice Cream Sixth Edition by Robert T. Marshall, H. Douglas Goff, and Richard W. Hartel:

“Ice cream is a complex food colloid embodied in a product the consumer associates with pure enjoyment. It is paradoxical that what can seem so simple is indeed so complex.”

And that about sums up Ice Cream 101, y’all. In a word…overwhelming. Leave it to me to select a food to sell that is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations. I was trying to get away from working for the man.

If I wait any longer to write about Ice Cream 101, I won’t, so here are my thoughts: 

  • “Ice cream” has a standard of identity defined by the federal government (so recipe development is not as simple as you might think, unless you are willing to sell something you have to call “frozen dairy product.”).
  • The mix must be pasteurized (even if your dairy ingredients are pasteurized). Before the professor hammered this point home, he said, “now is when I shatter your dreams.” We were told 98% of ice cream shop owners purchase their mix and most of us sighed dejectedly.

Who knew ice cream could be such a pain in the ass?

This was hour one of a two-day course. Quite frankly, I tuned out a little the rest of that morning. I want to MAKE ice cream, not flavor and freeze somebody else’s mix.

  • During the tasting lab, I ended up being quite attracted to the version of vanilla made with artificial sweetener instead of sugar. Oops. My taste buds must have been exhausted by then…
  • A presentation on the business side of opening an ice cream shop likened the process to having a baby. Unfortunately, conception is the only part of pregnancy that sounds like any fun, and I worry the ice cream business might feel the same. The part of his talk that stuck with me most was the following off the cuff remark:  “if I could get rid of all my staff and I could get rid of all my customers I would have the best business in the world. Just go down and make ice cream.” Uh-oh.

On the afternoon of day two, several batch freezer (basically a huge expensive ice cream maker) representatives hawked their wares. They demonstrated their machines and let us taste the ice cream. The moment I saw fresh ice cream extruding from the first machine, I was back on board. I wanted to remove the bucket from under the spout and replace it with my open mouth.

  • I’m a very risk-averse person. I learned there is a lot I didn’t know about making ice cream. And I know even less about starting and running a business.

In the short term, I plan to make a lot of ice cream. We’ll see if it’s as much fun as I thought and whether my friends and family think it’s any good. My lovely husband ordered me a snazzy new ice cream maker for Valentine’s Day. Last weekend, I made my first batch of my signature flavor idea, basically ice cream that is supposed to taste like chocolate chip cookie dough (I threw in actual cookie dough for good measure). I couldn’t decide if I should share the full view or close-up, so you get both.

Photo Friday: Glitter Moose!

It rained all day Wednesday. I had to walk home from the metro with only my useless umbrella to protect me. I shouldn’t be alive.

The first time I ever used my umbrella a light breeze blew it inside out and snapped one of the spokes. I’ve been walking around with a 1/8 limp umbrella ever since.

Wednesday night, the zippier-than-usual wind flipped my useless umbrella every few feet. I spent more time trying to fix it than standing under its protection. My pants were soaked up to my hip, the wind blew my hair into my eyes, and I didn’t have enough hands for the umbrella and hair wrangling. I noticed the broken spoke hanging down in front of my face, ominously waiting to take my eye out so I turned the umbrella to get the spoke away from my eyes. At the next gust of wind, I felt a sharp pain on my scalp. Mother fucker punctured my brain.

I held the umbrella over my head like an axe and started slamming it into the pavement as hard as I could. Repeatedly. Umbrella had it coming. I arrived home drenched, dragging a flattened umbrella behind me.

I thought about taking a picture of my sad, smashed, useless umbrella, and using it for Photo Friday, but in lieu of therapy and/or anger management class, I’d like to lighten the mood by sharing a picture of my favorite Christmas tree ornament, Glitter Moose! I found him during college in one of those specialty shops (Natural Surroundings? Nature’s Elements?) selling useful things like stuffed birds that make authentic chirping noises when squeezed, gold-coated pine cones, and adorable Glitter Moose Christmas ornaments.

Worship Glitter Moose before he destroys you. Glitter Moose is awesome. Glitter Moose is plump. Glitter Moose was made in China. Glitter Moose is dead serious about helping you celebrate Christmas, look at those imploring eyes. Glitter Moose is the last thing to go on the tree and I always place him near the top center so I can easily spot him. Glitter Moose gets doubly wrapped in tissue paper and then bubble wrap and put away separately from the other ornaments.

Glitter Moose was on our custom-made Christmas card once:

Glitter Moose ages well. Still glittery, after all these years.

Several years ago Dave made my life complete by finding this member of the Glitter Moose family. I may have squealed when I opened mega Glitter Moose. 

Do you have a favorite Christmas decoration? How about an umbrella recommendation? Anger management strategy?

I’m linking up with Mama Kat this week. The prompt I chose was to share a favorite Christmas ornament (the rage against my useless umbrella is a bonus!).
Mama’s Losin’ It

Photo Friday: Vaseline Glass

When we were in Ohio in June, the menfolk in Dave’s family spent a day golfing at their annual tournament (the winner receives a trophy depicting a golfer and a toilet and is expected to display it proudly). During the golf tournament, I tagged along with the ladies for a trip to the Tiffin Glass Museum.

The Museum displays vintage pieces in one room and items for sale in a small adjacent room. Luckily for my wallet, the pieces I liked most were all in the “not for sale” part of the Museum. Tiffin Glass was one of the producers of color-changing “Neodymium glass,” which they unfortunately called “twilight,” even though it has nothing to do with 100-year old vampires living as teenagers. Twilight glass changes color under different light. The museum docent demonstrated that twilight glass looks lavender under incandescent light and ice blue under fluorescent light. He told us people used to buy it thinking it was blue because most stores use fluorescent light and then be upset when they got their piece home and found it to be lavender. 

But there was another, even cooler, dual-colored glass there. Vaseline glass looks yellow normally, but turns neon green under black light because it contains uranium. Although my sister-in-law was disappointed to find out that the vaseline glass salt cellars she wanted to buy weren’t actually made by Tiffin Glass, she decided to get two anyway.

In the car on the way home she read the tag on the glass and said that the manufacturer (Mosser Glass) was located in Cambridge, Ohio.

“That’s where Chuck came from!” I exclaimed.

“Well, then you should definitely have one of these,” my sister-in-law generously offered.

So that was really nice of her. I really should have just bought a piece of this glass myself, since I was so impressed with it. I was just stymied by the black light part. But I got a cheap little handheld black light and here are the photographic results!

Just my Canon Speedlite flash:
Vaseline Glass

Under black light:

Vaseline Glass Black Light