plonq: (Please Sir May I have Some More)
[livejournal.com profile] atara wasn't hungry this evening, so she fixed herself a light salad and left me to my own devices for dinner. I had two goals in mind; make the pasta that she had been promising earlier this week, and use up some ingredients.

Her plan had been to make a spinach and feta spaghetti dish, but I decided to dig into some of our supplies of novelty pastas that we've had for some time. I settled on the last of the black fettuccine and ghost pepper penne as my two base ingredients. I cooked it to al dente, then splashed in a bit of extra virgin olive oil, added a teaspoon of minced garlic, wilted in the last of our spinach, and finished it with the last of our feta cheese.

I went over my calorie allowance for the day, especially when I washed it down with a white beer, but I have been badly under-reporting my exercise, so this shouldn't put me back too badly in my weight loss program.
Pasta
plonq: (Pinkie Pie wtf)
Not a lot of new or interesting to report in my life these days. I am trying to get back into a more regular schedule of taking daily pictures.

Almost as if to prove the nonexistence of a merciful god, this will be frozen solid again a couple of months. We were enjoying the walk while it is still flowing free though.


I have always regarded this as one of the harbingers of autumn; when the sunflowers are in bloom, summer's end is nigh.


I didn't even know that Gengis Kahn was in the running. Not sure that I will vote for him, but he is definitely a big step up from our current conservative candidate.

Miaux

May. 23rd, 2013 12:20 pm
plonq: (Emo Luna Mood)
I am trying to convince myself that I don't need a new camera. I don't mean a new mini camera like the one that I used for these shots, but a new SLR. The technology has come so far since I bought my venerable D80 that I am starting to feel a bit behind the curve.

It is not a problem with its features - though it is lacking a few slick ones from the newer cameras. I am not entirely unhappy with the image quality from my camera either. My D80 shoots 10mp versus 12mp for my newer S100, yet still manages to produce sharper detail in ideal conditions, even shooting in RAW on both cameras.

The big failing in the older D80 is its performance in lower light, or more specifically at higher ISO settings. It takes decent pictures at anything up to 400, and usable pictures up to 800. Anything beyond that yields pictures that produces images that one can only properly appreciate at a Zen-like level.

Newer cameras also offer nice features like GPS and WiFi; not must-haves, but certainly nice-to-haves.

On the other hand, even if I do not get a new camera before our trip this summer (not holding my breath, anyway), at least I will be starting the trip with a clean camera sensor. On our last Alaska trip, I spent a lot of time in post-processing, removing black specks from all of the pictures because the sensor was dusty.

You can tell that the cat is very relaxed when she is not either trying to press her nose to the lens, or doing her best to avoid eye contact with it. Belladonna was comfortable and warm under the lamp, so she spared only mild interest for the camera I was shoving in her face.
20130518

Things are finally starting to green up around this part of the world, though we are still at least two weeks behind where we were last year. After a long weekend that featured mostly cloud, wind and rain, we were not the only ones enjoying the break in the weather, Unfortunately, it is not expected to carry over to the weekend.
20130521 - Pavilion

Other parks have swans, but we have geese. They are loud, obnoxious, foul-tempered creatures. They honk and poop everywhere - pretty much like most of the denizens of this city. If you get the setting sun on them just right, though, they are almost photogenic.
20130522 - Goose
plonq: (Insane Mood)
The usual suspects have been posting their April Fools jokes today. Most are the fun, predictable ones you come to expect on this day, but one in particular has caused a glorious amount of butthurt.

FimFiction announced that they are changing hands, and the new administrator immediately passed an edict that they would no longer be accepting any stories with humans in them. Since the bulk of their submitters are angst-written teenagers writing mediocre self-insertion stories (both figuratively and literally), one might imagine that this caused a bit of a stir.

There were a few subtle clues in their announcements that should have triggered peoples suspicions that it was a hoax. The main administrator announced that he was handing it off for reasons that included being the victim of a hitman who broke all his fingers, he was disappointed about the lack of sequels being written for My Little Dashie (if you are not familiar with that story, don't waste your time looking it up), and he wanted to free up time to pursue his dream of singing opera.

The person he was handing it off to said (I am paraphrasing him a bit here), "Even though it is April 1st, and he wrote everything in a very silly manner, our administrator really IS quitting, and handing things off to me. My first act is going to be pissing off the majority of you by banning stories with humans in them."

People are getting violently worked up over it, though I think it is finally starting to sink in to some of them that it might actually be a hoax.

This sign is not a hoax - I took this one on Saturday when we were out shopping. I imagine it is probably a very tasty meatball, but it would be nice if they had more than one. As it is, it sounds rather unsanitary.
20130329 - Big Balls

We had big plans for an Easter dinner wth my brother and his wife. The envrionment tried to throw a wrench into it, and while it made things more interesting than they needed to be, dinner went well.

Our power went out at 00:30 on Sunday morning, and did not come back on until nearly 13:00. Our initial plan had been to have dinner at 3, but obviously that would been unlikely by then. If the blackout had dragged on for another twenty minutes our plan was to package up the ham and side dishes and drive to my brother's place to cook it.

[livejournal.com profile] atara had this morning off for Easter Monday, but I had to work (stupid federally-regulated company - grumble). I set my alarm, and we retired to bed at a reasonable hour. I was awakened at 00:30 by the loud "BLEEE" of the carbon monoxide detector in the hall losing power. I glanced at my clock, and it was black. In fact, it was dark both inside the house and through the window. Almost exactly 24-hours after the previous blackout, the power went out again. Just like yesterday's blackout, it was caused by a pole fire. Manitoba Hydro is blaming salt spray from the roads and wet snow on the lines.

I woke again when the power came back on at 2:30. Between setting up an alternate alarm clock, and the other interruptions (power, cats, etc), I got about three hours of sleep last night. Fortunately it was a quiet day at the office for a change.
plonq: (Flying cat)
Normally I do not end up with two cats curled up together under the desk lamp by my computer, but circumstances led to an unusual accumulation of felines.

Merry is lying in Belladonna's usual spot.

Bella was lying there, but she left to get a drink of water, and while she was away, Merry swooped in and stole the coveted spot right under the lamp. I put a soft pad on the desk when I discovered that the cats seemed to enjoy the warmth cast by the light.

Belladonna was not happy when she returned, and she stood for nearly 10 minutes, staring intently at the other cat who had taken her spot. I don't know if she was trying to intimidate Merry into moving (the latter was blithely ignoring her), or if her little brain was having trouble processing the change in her potential plan. Eventually she circled Merry a couple of times, assessing the situation further, before she finally wedged herself in between the phone and the lamp.

Naturally Merry was completely ignorant of the drama she had just caused, and when she noticed Bella there she responded with, 'OH HAI!"
20130327

"We're buddies, right?"
20130319
plonq: (Pinkie Ponderous Mood)
It was -14 with wind chills pushing -30, but I wanted ice cream. I put on my coat, left the door and walked a kilometre to the Dairy Queen. The cone was delicious, and as an added bonus, it was so cold out the ice cream did not melt on the walk back to work. That was possibly least drippy ice cream cone I have eaten in a long time.
20130320 - Why? Because I wanted one.

I had a meeting with one of the General Managers today, and it felt like a final exam for which I had forgotten to study. I had been stressing about this meeting all week because it was in regard to a new scorecard I am supposed to be producing, but which was just not coming together. I had lots of blanks, and tables marked "TBA". For the most part I was just wanting to show the layout, even though they are expecting me to publish this thing on Monday.

This was in spite of my assurance this past Monday that I could have a final draft in place today, and publish the numbers on Monday.

My meeting was at 14:00, and at 13:00 I discovered that my source for the Revenue Tonne Miles did not, in fact, contain any RTMs at all. I had been ignoring that section because I had assumed that it was a gimme. Unfortunately it also happened to be one of the key metrics on this scorecard, and I suddenly had no source, and no clue as to where I could track down a source. I have always heard about people having panic attacks, but I have never experienced one of my own. I think I came very very close to having one today.

I got up from my desk, grabbed my coffee cup and walked briskly out to the lunch room for a break. When I returned, I wrote a (what I hoped was) calm IM to my boss, explaining that the source we thought we had for this metrics did not contain the metric at all, nor did its folder of feeder files. I was sure our operations scorecard had contained this metric (I should know, since I used to audit it on the weekends), so I was caught flat-footed when I learned that we were no longer reporting this key measure. I also sent a "WTF Dude?!" to the manager who assembles the operations dashboard.

After some networking and head scratching, we finally tracked down a spreadsheet that contained what I needed, and as an added bonus, it is produced by somebody in my office.

In the end, the call went fairly well. I made modifications to the dashboard based on their recommendations (unlike the last time we met for this, they had a copy of the same document in front of them as I had in front of me, so we could communicate more effectively). They were very happy with the layout, liked the changes, appreciated the simplicity of my design, and left the meeting with the expectation that it will be populated with numbers by Monday.

Well, that's stress for another day.

It occurred to me today that I have well over a gigabyte of ponies on a memory stick here. Other men will have pictures of cars, guns, sports figures, or their kids. I have pony princesses.

majesty
by ~tsurime on deviantART
Others might regard me as a bit strange for that, but I think it is their loss.
plonq: (Contemplative mood)
I was craving this stuff the other day, so I bought the ingredients to make it for my work lunches. It has taken a few tries to get the mix right for the dressing, but I think I am getting close.
20130319 - Coleslaw

I have been hard at work configuring my new Windows 8 box. So far, so good. It is definitely quite a departure from the the "click Start to begin" design since '95, but it did not take me very long to begin navigating my way around. I am not finding myself missing the start button as much as I'd thought I might, and it begins to make me wonder if there is a bit of OCD involved in being a geek.

I have yet to encounter any difficulties with apps, programs or drivers. I don't know if that is because I bought the Pro version, or if (like I found in Vista) a lot of the problems were badly overstated.

Speaking of Vista, a couple of my older pieces of hardware have not had new drivers made for them since Vista, but the 64-bit Vista drivers loaded and worked without a whisper of complaint. That leads me to suspect that, like Windows 7, this one is also based on the same Vista core under all of the cosmetic changes.
plonq: (Oh Come On)
One more cat picture because I can.

20130318 - Cat Fort

Merry has built herself a fort, and given the weather we have been experiencing here lately, I don't think anybody out here would blame her. We are rounding out a week of unseasonably cold weather with another fair dump of snow (10cm overnight, with another 5cm expected over the course of the day). Though it started off promising, this has slowly morphed the winter that keeps on giving.

[livejournal.com profile] atara managed to find her noise-cancelling headphones while cleaning this weekend, and I made good use of them for the bus ride in. I caught the earlier bus because my usual one was showing as 10-minutes late on the schedule. We were making pretty decent time until a CN train blocked us for fifteen minutes. It was moving forward at a breakneck walking pace. I was half tempted to ask the driver to let me off the bus so that I could walk back, throw the angle cock and pull the pin a few cars back of the crossing. I suppose they would probably have noticed though when their rear end device suddenly stopped talking to them.

These noise-cancelling headphones helped a lot on the bus. While the ambient mechanical noises and conversation do not normally bother me, I was sitting in front of a couple 20-something girls whose idea of conversation was to natter inanely at the same time. Perhaps they have mastered the art of talking and listening at the same time, but it is just as likely that they were not actually talking to each other, and instead had phones pressed to their heads. I did not turn around to check.

The headphones gave me a wonderful sense of isolation, and let me settled down into a Zen-like state where I could stare out the window and watch the antics of the pedestrians. They were picking and slipping their way through the fresh snow, and though I am not a lip-reader, I am sure I saw a few blasphemies uttered. Other than looking cold and uncomfortable, the pedestrians also shared a nigh-universal expression of annoyance. This winter may end any time now, thank you.
plonq: (Dashing  mood)
We don't exactly know how old Jaws is, but her appointed birthday is the Ides of March. By our estimate she is about 17, but doing very well for a cat of her advanced years. I saw her napping on the bed and looking cute, so I grabbed my camera and came back to get a quick shot of the birthday girl. When I returned, she was awake and wondering where I had gone. She was much more interested in pets and cuddles than she was in posing for the camera, but in spite of that I managed to get a pretty good shot.

If you look into her eyes, you can see me reflected in them, and the flash bouncing off the wall behind me.
20130317 - Happy Birthday Jaws

I put Belladonna up on the top shelf of our new Ikea storage unit to see what she would do, and she responded by being photogenic.
20130315 - Peek-A-Boo
In other news, we are in dire need of new curtains and drapes for this room. Once we finish with our shelving project and clear out the front, I think that may be the next item on our list.

I have become something of a monitor collector at work. I seem to pick up a new monitor with every second desk move I make. When I moved to my first desk in this new office, it came equipped with a new keyboard, and a slightly abused (but still serviceable) monitor. It had somebody else's name on it, but when I checked their desk, they had two new monitors, so I suspect this one was an orphan.
20130313 - need more monitor
I probably could have procured another monitor in the move from that desk to this one (yes, they moved me again after a couple of weeks), but I feared becoming one of those crazy monitor people.

The commute to the new office is a bit of a grind - though only compared to my commute to the old office. As commutes go, I doubt I would get much sympathy from those living in larger cities by complaining about my 130-minute (round-trip) daily commute. Besides, the bus trip gives me time to relax and mull over ways to kill my fellow passengers and make it look like an accident. Not all of them, just the ones who crank up their headphones really loud, eat noisily, fling their hair over the back of the seat in front of me into my lap... you know, the ones who deserve it.
plonq: (Challenging Mood)
All you need is...
20130311 - All you need is
I think I may have mentioned at the start of the year that I would not always be posting a picture on the day when it was taken - though in this case I am being a bit obvious about it by posting yesterday's picture with tomorrow's date.

We met my brother and his wife for dinner today, and he mentioned on the phone that I should bring my camera if I wanted to capture a picture of discarded love. We forgot about the picture until after dinner, and by the time we got back to the photo opportunity, the sun was long since a memory.

Even though we were a ways back, the 35mm lens did not quite give me enough field of view for a good shot, so I swapped to the slower zoom lens and shot this at 18mm, using the flash. In retrospect, I think I would have done a couple of things differently if I could go back and take this picture again. I would have selected a higher ISO setting, opened up the aperture a bit more, used the flash diffuser and pointed the flash slightly off-centre. Or taken the picture before it got dark.

My new keyboard is much glowier than my previous one, but at least it has mechanical keys with a satisfying "tick" when I type.
23130310 - Keys
There is a new computer attached to this keyboard (not pictured here) that I will be spending the next few days configuring. It is almost depressing when I think on how much I need to install and set up on the new machine to get it up to speed. On the other hand, new computer! (Squee!)

I was going to put Windows 7 on it, but I decided to bite the bullet and go with 8. I often end up as the go-to guy for help with these things, and I figured I may as well learn my way around it.

From what I have been reading, once you get past all "different is bad" noise, the consensus seems to be that it is all-around better and faster than 7. My original intention was to do whatever hack was necessary to bring back the start button/menu, but after about ten minutes of playing, I decided that I probably won't bother. I was not having much difficulty navigating my way around without it.

Füd

Mar. 6th, 2013 04:26 pm
plonq: (Twilight Sparkle Clapping Mood)
I guess our city has grown large enough for some of the secondary chain restaurants like Famous Dave's to take notice. They opened an outlet here some time back, and we finally got around to trying them out today at lunch. The beef brisket was good, but not amazing. I would apply the same description to [livejournal.com profile] atara's ribs. I would put them about on part with most other chain restaurants serving the same fare. The sides were quite good, and the portions were generous.

They featured an assortment of barbecue sauces at the table that ranged in scope from sweet, to hot, to almost savoury. I tried them all and found that I tentatively liked half of them, and was indifferent to the other half. I daresay I would have liked them more but they tasted like they were 50% HFCS by volume; they had the tell-tale biting sweet that I have come to recognize as its signature. They had the texture of corn syrup as well. I may look up their nutritional information later, but I would bet money that HFCS is somewhere in the top three ingredients in most of the sauces.

My two favourites were their mustard sauce, and this one called "Wilbur's Revenge". Both are probably laden with corn syrup, but they managed to mask it behind heat, or other flavours.The latter of these two packed some good heat that sneaked up on you just as you thought you were in the clear.
20130306

We had an avocado that was on the verge of spoiling, so I mentally bandied about ideas in my head yesterday morning as to how I could incorporate it into breakfast. [livejournal.com profile] atara made baked avocado and eggs the other day. It was a unique experience, but we both agreed that baked avocado was not our thing - at least, not in that format. I decided that I would go for a simpler approach. I mashed it up with a bit of lemon juice and kosher salt, and spread it on toast. As an afterthought I drizzled it with a bit of Sriracha sauce.
20130305 - Breakfast
Some might argue that this is considerably more than a drizzle, but I would argue that compared to the layer of sauce I usually use, this is a drizzle.
plonq: (Creepy Mood)
It was [livejournal.com profile] dronon who introduced me to these drinks, and I have been meaning to thank him for that. This wonderfully refreshing drink is a great accompaniment for Indian food, especially the spicier varieties. I normally order the plain, sweet version of the drink, but in the interests of variety, I decided to order a savoury one with this meal.

Pictured in the foreground here is my salt & pepper lassi, with [livejournal.com profile] atara's sweet one in the background. I admit to being dubious as I was ordering it, but I have developed a taste for that fermented milk drink at the Lebanese deli near our house, so I figured this would probably be similar.

It was similar, but this one was much better. I was sold after my first sip.

20120203 - A tale of two lassis

I am going to try my hand at making my own this summer as a refreshing drink when we are sitting out back by the barbecue. Manjoula has a recipe for a salted, mint lassi that looks intriguing - especially since I grow fresh mint in my little herb garden every year. I typically use very little of it over the course of the summer, but this could change that.

Staycation

Mar. 2nd, 2013 01:33 pm
plonq: (Derpy Mood)
[livejournal.com profile] atara and I are taking our first stay-at-home vacation together in some time. My brother and his wife are due to hit town this weekend, and we wanted to be around to help them get settled. We also have a number of things around the house that have been on our "to do" list for ages, and this seems like a good excuse to put a tick in those columns. One of the items is to complete the conversion of our change room into a guest room/office.

When I first snapped this picture, I assumed that I was looking at the results of vandalism or an an accident, but once I uploaded it and got a better looks, it seems way too organized to be a random act. Vandals typically do not reattach the bolts.
20120301

On a final amusing note, shortly after I posted that picture on Flickr, I received an invitation to add it to the "urinals" group. I guess I have been on-line long enough to stop begin surprised that such a group even exists. I approved the invitation and, er, tossed my picture into the pot.
plonq: (Dramatic Mood)
I am sure this knowledge will prove useful sometime down the road.

The move to the new office proved to be as annoying and filled with stupid as I had feared, but I am slowly falling into the routine of bussing to work 2-3 times a week. I am also beginning to become reacquainted with the bus people who I had managed to wipe from my memory after so many years of driving to work. There are the people invade your personal space, either because they are incapable of sitting in a bus seat without spreading their legs, or they lean on every corner, or toss their long hair over the back of their seat into your lap. There are the stinkers, loud talkers, blaring headphone kids, wackos, droolers, noisy eaters, serial coughers and a whole assortment of other unsavoury examples of humanity that seem to commute with me every day.

On the other hand, I catch the bus near the start of its route both coming and going, so I always manage to get a plum window seat before it fills up the rest of the way. It is not that I mind giving up my seat to an elderly person or invalid, but it is more pleasant to plug in my ear buds, tune out the world and idly watch the passing scenery so that I can pretend I am not packed in tight quarters like a herd animal on its way to the slaughter.

I could probably assure myself a seat of my own if I wore this thing in the mornings:
Relaxing with some wine after work

Sadly, I think there are some tedious laws on the books about not wearing a "mask" out in public. If not, there would be after my first couple of times wearing this to work.

By the way, is there anything they don't sell on Amazon?
plonq: (Somewhat Pleased Mood)
In case anybody accidentally thought that I possessed a modicum of talent, here is a sample of my handiwork (hint: it is white). A group of us were given balls of clay and invited to make it into whatever we wanted. I did not make the cube - which is unfortunate because unlike the other sad little sculpture, it is actually pretty well-formed.
Alicorn

for the sake of comparison, here is a sample of what others managed to produce with the same medium.
20130127 - A Rose is A Rose

Nature is a far better sculptor than I.
Winter Flowing
Two squirrels, one feeder. )
plonq: (Emo Jesus Mood)
Give it another week and the rising sun will set this frosted glass ablaze. For now, I like the soft, pre-sunrise bluish glow that fills the garage in the mornings as we are preparing to leave for work.
20130120

20120116

Jan. 16th, 2013 10:45 pm
plonq: (Challenging Mood)
I took this picture through the window of the car while I waited for [livejournal.com profile] atara to pick up some dinner ingredients in the store. Since she was only after 1-2 items, I opted to stay in the car and keep it warm.

This picture encapsulates Winnipeg in a single shot. Here you see a shopping car overturned and abandoned in the snow less than one metre from the shopping car return. You cannot see from this angle, but somebody probably gamed the mechanism on it to get their $.25 deposit back without having to return it. The chances are that they just gave it a shove in the general direction of where it belonged as they were leaving, and ignored it when it fell over.

This is the same kind of person who will thump their chests, and claim that this is the best city in the world because we have the Winnipeg Jets back, but don't have the civic pride to walk the extra three steps to throw their Slurpee cup into a rubbish bin, or push a shopping car the last metre into the corral. I have a love-hate relationship with this city. Mostly hate. It has the feel of a backward, small town that desperately wants to be a big city. We have spent millions subsidizing a potentially iconic Human Rights museum, which sits empty because they cannot agree what to put in it, other than about 90% holocaust rehash. We have a mayor who bent over backward trying to get a Super 8-style water park built practically outside its front door because he owned the adjacent land and had no qualms about blatant conflicts of interest. The people here don't care. They will vote in him again when he runs again because he brought back The Jets, eh?

We built a stunning pedestrian crossing over one of the most scenic parts of our downtown waterways, linking two of our most historically significant parts of town. Then we leased the middle of it out to a local, greasy burger chain. We kick over planters, smash the glass in heated bus shelters, and piss in public stairwells. We meander across busy streets ten metres from a light-protected crossing. We kill fellow citizens for the deposit on empty 12-packs they are carrying. We plough the snow in private parking lots before we clear the streets because we contracted everything out, and the malls outbid us. We cream our collective britches when Ikea opens one of their generic outlets of cheap, build-it-yourself furniture in our city.

We abandon shopping carts on their sides in dirty snow less than a metre from the car return.
20130116 - Shopping over
plonq: (Saddled With Questions)
20130115 by Plonq
20130115, a photo by Plonq on Flickr.

While I generally want to steer clear of applying kitschy filters to my pictures for my YIP set, I rather liked the effect of this one that I applied on a whim. even though it warmed the colours, by blowing out the detail in the buildings in the background, it brought the focus more to the dessert in the foreground, and if possible, made it look even colder outside.

Via Flickr:
One could almost call this comfort food. It was good, but erring on the side of inoffensive, and tasted like it was toeing the line on almost being healthy. In short, it was the perfect dessert for a cold, blustery day like this.



Kudos to Flickr for still having LJ as one of their social media sites that you can automatically post an image to, but it would be nice if it allowed a few of the options (like even carrying over your Flickr tags to LJ).
plonq: (Pensive mood)
Today you get three pictures taken with three different cameras.

All three of them are also slightly esoteric.

The first was taken with my Nikon at 1/1600 of a second. I uploaded it to Flickr the other day, then re-uploaded it today with the proper Exif tags. For some reason PS randomly replaces the Exif tags with its own spam tags when I edit a picture. I recently downloaded an app that lets me import and export the tags so that I can restore them before I upload. I like to have those tags for my Flickr stats.
20130110

This falls under "random stuff behind our garage". When I post this to Facebook, I left it as an exercise to the viewer to try and guess what it was. There was only one taker, who got it wrong.

It is an insert from our old eaves troughs that prevented leaves and sticks from going down the drain pipe. Why it is sitting in a mason jar and covered in snow behind our garage is a question for another day. I took this one with my Canon.
20130112

This bit of art occupies the foyer outside of Boon Burger. They started off as a vegetarian restaurant, then went full vegan, and also a little strange. That aside, the food is quite good (if you stay clear of their "phish" burger). They are one of the places on my list to take somebody if they are visiting Winnipeg and want to eat somewhere different. (Though in truth, I think Unburger makes better burgers overall, Boon has amazing fries.) I shot this one with my phone as we were leaving.
20130113 - but is it art?
plonq: (Dubious Mood)
What better way to while away a blizzard than by hanging out in the house and taking pictures of our white cat?

Jaws is a far and away the most elusive of our cats when the camera comes out. Getting her to look at the camera is half the battle, and even when she does, her eyes are invariably shut when you snap the picture.

Belladonna was being cute earlier this evening, and I decided to try my hand at nabbing a picture of her. In shot after shot, she was either squinting, or had her eyes shut tight. Hm. She is usually not one to do that. I checked my camera's settings and noticed that I had the focus assist set, and I felt a bit silly as I was changing it back because I had forgotten that I had turned it on when taking a picture of the Christmas tree the a couple of weeks back. I tried a few more times to get a picture of Belladonna, but her patience was wearing thin, and I began to fear what she might do to me in the night if I kept pushing the issue.

I decided to tackled the Jaws challenge. She had been hunkering in the back part of the house for most of the evening, and I figured it would not take a lot of effort to coax her out with the promise of some human contact. She was very pleased to see me, and I had a cunning plan. My thinking was that if I shot at a fast enough speed (say, 1/640 of a second) I could catch her before she had a chance to squeeze her eyes shut. I took three pictures, and in each of them she somehow psychically anticipated the shutter and had her eyes shut tight. How does she know?!

She climbed onto my lap, and I decided to try shooting blind by holding the camera out at arm's length. The moment I did so, I realized that our cat was not some kind of magical, shutter-anticipating creature. At some point I had apparently turned on the focus assist on the flash. I sifted through the menus until I figured out how to disable that, cranked the flash around to give a nice, indirect light and held the camera out at arm's length again. I called her to get her attention and managed to capture this. Obviously it is not perfect, but I think it turned out pretty good given how it was shot. I did not even bother to crop it.
20130111 - Hello, Jaws
ISO 100, F 1.8,1/640sec, 35mm

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