Friday, July 29, 2016

More DnD

Another session of DnD (well, a derivative thereof) with the gang last night, Crisp is growing in confidence as a DM :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Canon G16

I just got myself a new little toy in the recent Canon Refurbished website sale (got a really good deal on it and you'd never tell it's not brand new!)- a Canon G16 point and shoot camera. For a while I've been wanting something smaller and easier to stick in a pocket than my DSLR, but better and more controllable than my phone camera- and this seems to fit the bill nicely :) The very nice and fast (f/1.8) lens retracts fully, it has full manual control (along with a really good auto mode), and, best of all, it shoots RAW! It gets really good reviews as an "enthusiast's point and shoot".

I've just been playing around with it for a couple of days, but I'm very happy so far! This will be a great camera to keep in the car or in my desk, or to take on a hike on vacation if I don't want to carry the big DSLR. The image sensor is still tiny, so it won't replace the DSLR for serious stuff, but it'll still take pictures that I can print or use on web that I won't be ashamed of ;)

Here's a few shots from the first couple of days as I play around with it...

Surprisingly good in low light for such a tiny sensor... flash used :)

The detail is quite good.

And the dynamic range to get the dappled sunlight in the woods... quite impressive too.

This is using the special "bokeh" portrait mode.

Holly enjoying the coolth and putting up with the paparazzi.

The macro mode is a nice bonus.

Doofenshmirtz dog :)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Just a leash walk today

For multiple reasons- Holly is still a little lame, I've just spent 2 1/2 hours finishing the clean up of Jody's house for Vickie the realtor, and it's too damn hot! 91F but feels like 96F, I need a shower:)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Playing with the gang

Crisp is DMing a game (not actually D&D, but a similar idea set in present day NYC), and they asked me to play too :)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Back to leash walks...

...for a couple of days.

Holly took off after a rabbit in front of the church this morning as we were opening up, and i think it was too much for muscles that hadn't warmed up- as she can back limping :(

She already seems better, but to be on the safe side we'll take it easy with controlled, leash walks for a day or two.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Crisp in the rain

Crisp got out of work a little early today because of the crazy thunderstorm we had, so I got called for pickup... and this is what I found on the road to Coveleigh...

(shame I had to be reminded I have a dashcam- ignore the timestamp in the corner, it's never right)

Rock Crawler

Had a blast walking around the woods today with the Everest 10 1/10 scale rc rock crawler I got a couple of weeks ago. It's not quite top-of-the-line hobby grade, but it's pretty awesome for the price, $135 on Amazon, but I paid much less as I had a credit from a class-action settlement- something about e-book prices :)

It has awesome suspension travel and after applying a few of the mods I found on the interweb I think it's probably as good as some of the rosck crawlers going for 4 times as much. Not that it will mean much to most people, but I have: added weight to the wheels by taping metal washers around the inside of the rims (3oz in the front, 1 1./2oz in the back), star-cut the tire foams, cut every other ridge off the tire treads to give it more grip, upgraded the battery to a 2200mAh 3S lipo, and changed the motor for a 35T one (much faster and just as torque-y as the stock one).

Today was the first time I've really done more than drive around the parking lot, and so the aim was to see if I could do the entire middle loop (about 1 1/2 miles) without touching it, ie. it had to get around under it's own steam with me just controlling it- no moving it out of trouble allowed- and it did it! there was one touchy moment when I approached a big rock at too straight an angle and rolled it, but I managed to spin the wheels and get it back upright without having to touch it. Some of the terrain around the woods is pretty steep- so I'm really impressed with it, and it used less than half the available safe charge in the battery.

Holly was a little distrustful of it, but after a few minutes she just happily jogged along with it (I'm very glad I went with the faster motor- it means it can do more than a brisk walking pace on the flat so I don't have to slow my usual pace).

Perhaps tomorrow, if it's not as crazy hot as they predicted, we'll see if I can do the whole, long loop with it... and then I've got to look into where to mount the camera... ;)

Combining two hobbies

Taking a walk around the woods with Holly and my slightly modded Everest 10 rock crawler :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Like she never left

Violet and Sparrow have welcomed Holly back into their home very graciously ;)

It's a tough job...

No walk in the woods for Holly today. I figure with her slight limp the excitement of being here and back with Violet and Sparrow will be more than enough for one day :)

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The dam is holding!

Very pleased to come along after last night's rain to find a lovely pool for Holly to cool off in. The dam is holding beautifully and the water level is now a good 6" higher than it was :)

Sunday, July 03, 2016

A very patriotic picnic...

...after a very successful patriotic organ concert :)

Happy 2nd of July!

We had a slightly early BBQ at Jody's yesterday as Danielle and her new baby Timothy were up from Philly with Mary, along with Amber and her boyfriend Nick :)

Click here to see the full album of silliness ;)

Friday, July 01, 2016

Dam it!

Since my bout of poison ivy I've been on the look out for the stuff as I'm tramping through the woods with Holly- and I think I've found where I probably came into contact with it. Down by the bridge at the entrance to Saxon Woods, where I often park so Holly can cool off in the stream, I found this huge area of it-

And that's the bank I climb down to get to the stream with Holly- so I must have walked right through the middle of it :(

So I am obviously going to avoid that spot from now on, but I feel bad for Holly not being able to cool off at the end of some furious tennis-ball chasing. I have reversed my direction around the woods, now going counter-clockwise, so we get to the bottom of the other stream towards the end of the walk so Holly can cool off there-

However, as you can see, the water is hardly deep enough for her to get properly wet. A few years ago there used to be a dam making this pool bigger, but over the years it must have been washed away in the winter storms- so I decided to rebuild it for the benefit of Holly and the other dogs who come to the woods:)

Today I went in water shoes and with heavy gloves and put in about an hours work building a new dam from rocks in the stream bed. Here is the before-

And here is the after-

I tried to pack as much sand and gravel from the stream bed as I could between the big rocks as I set them in place, but a lot of water is still filtering through. I threw a whole bunch of old leaf matter into the pool in the hopes that as it sinks it'll get pulled in to plug it up a bit, but we'll have to wait and see how it looks tomorrow...