Friday, May 11, 2007

It's a short trip...

The Newfoundland puppy is driving me crazy. Her latest thing is the swimming pool. We fully intend letting her swim, because she clearly enjoys water...a lot. But our pool isn't open yet; we typically open it around Memorial Day. So right now it has the winter cover on it, replete with puddled water and leaf debris. We have a deck all the way around it, and several days ago Raven launched herself off the deck and into the icky water on the cover. The cover is not intended to support a cavorting dog weighing 50 pounds (at 17 weeks), and if she were to go through the cover she would surely drown before we could tear the cover off, and find her in the mucky water. So we stretched that orange "warning" plastic fencing across the deck to block the pool, but still allow her to go from the back porch out to the fenced yard. The orange fencing is also upheld by two sawhorses, besides being attached to the deck railing. So what did she do? She just launched herself at the fence and trampled it underfoot, then plunged once again into the pool. The barrier lasted about 2 hours. And then she is not only wet, but smells like The Swamp Thing. Again. So this weekend the plan is to add to the deck railing by building an extension all the way across the deck blocking the pool, with a gate. It will be made of wood to match the rest of the railing, and it will be a nuisance because it will cross the area where we hang the hammock, meaning it must be moved too.

The cats are really bent out of shape too, even though Raven just wants to play. If she catches one of them unaware, she polishes them with a big ole lick and lots of dog spit. It has been an ongoing challenge to put their dry food where they can go and she can't; worst of all are the water bowls, since Raven pretty much inhales all the water she can reach. One of the cats (I'm not certain which, although I have my suspicions) showed her extreme displeasure by peeing on the dining table!!!!! At the time, one of the cameras was on it, and it got christened too, which is how I found about it. And we wanted pets for what??

I have signed up for an on-line photography course starting June 6th. It is a composition class, and the students upload their photos for the instructor and the other enrolled students to critique. There are 4 lessons in all, and 11 days to complete each one. I now have a decent digital camera (a Sony Cybershot), and I'm looking forward to doing this. I'll share the assignments and maybe my photos here as i go. My daughter wants to take a beginning photo class, and checked with the local Vo-Tech and the journalism dept at WVU, but both of them have discarded their black-and-white darkroom work and changed to digital only. Most digital cameras cannot be used in a manual mode that allows you to control BOTH aperature and exposure, and even then focus is auto. This means basically, that if you want a very shallow depth-of-field, where your subject is in focus but everything behind is not, you pretty much can't do it unless the background is *very* distant indeed. And trying to take a panning shot of an object in motion is impossible, as it drives the autofocus nuts. It will all be blurry, instead of a sharp subject against a streaked background. And I don't know how you can gain an understanding of f-stop and depth-of-field when you can't control the aperature at all. Sigh. This is another instance where the old was better than the new, and where technology takes the place of actually knowing what you're doing.

Battery power low, must close! Photo soon.

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