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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window

3may2021

cropRight now, as I type this I'm on hold, and this dude's effort's to write soul-less hold music failed abysmally as I rather liked his stuff. Or at least didn't think it was that bad. (As opposed to the 3–4 songs I'm currently be tortured with while being, as the employee called it, ‘on long hold’. (And this is a relatively high end firm.)

In between the sound-barf are bursts of static which to be honest are almost less annoying. Ah, the problems of a first world existence...

Of all the focaccia recipes I've found this refrigerator one looks like the best. There's a bonus pita bread one too.

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1may2021

cropHappy May Day, for those of you who celebrate it.

I made today's page because of an appeal I saw on youtube, and if you want the teal-deer, you can just go click on Medlife Crisis’ link, scroll down a bit & click on one the links to donate to one of three orgs he's recommending to help India with their truly dire COVID crisis. I picked Khalsa because I'm a luddite, do not understand any online payment fancier than a credit card (or USA bank) and they accept checks. (Sadly, I think they will still really need the money in the 1–3 weeks it will take to get there.)

But I have a particular reason for wanting to help them out.


Soooo, I'm still trying (& mostly failing) to add new software to my “photography workflow” (a fancy term for what you do with digital images after you click the shutter, which to be fair is where the bulk of the time and effort takes place) which is this week's excuse for no posting.

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23apr2021

cropWell, I guess yesterday was Earth Day, and I completely missed it. Happy Earth Day: at least it didn't snow...!

Since I featured squirrels last time, I could hardly avoid mentioning this guy & his charming photos of these furry tailed rodents and their antics; and the neighborhood squirrels and bunnies also have the advantage of being a) abundant and b) being habituated to people, which makes them pretty easy subjects, as these things go.

Which is not to say I can't spectacularly miss, as you'll see. But sometimes even abject failures can be rescued...

16apr2021

cropToday I tried setting up my cotton carrier ‘strapshot’, which, now that I have the various pieces and parts was fairly straightforward, though I had to switch back and forth between the product and the instructions for it to be absolutely clear on how it goes together.

Last time I tested this thing, on my lumix, I concluded that camera was simply too small for the system as designed, and gave it up. The sony alpha7c is small for a full-frame (in fact it's just slightly smaller than the olympus E620 it replaces) but with a two pound telephoto hooked on the front of it (also technically “small” and “lightweight”, according the to review, which just goes to show how spoiled I am by primes) I wasn't really keen on having hang off my neck.

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14apr2021

cropHere's some pix from the new camera, and to be frank, they look a lot like pix from the old cameras. Mostly. But hey, figured I might as well round up the various photography links I've been accessing lately—it'll be convenient (at least for me) to have them collected together.

  • DPReview, my go-to site for deciding what camera I'm gonna get.
  • this dude (whose site I've encountered before—appreciate the old-skool, barebones design) also has a very thorough review of my eventual choice
  • all-around long lens to go with
  • Strobist has totally new —and much cheaper! equipment recces since I last attempted their free course. (Which, despite not finishing it was still really helpful!) With, of course, a special exception for sony, which would have a nonstandard hot shoe...
  • I usually shop B&H, as I've had good luck with them, but Adorama is also generally considered a reliable vendor, and they have a list of free online photography courses—I note my fave, strobist, is listed, which inclines me to check out the others.
  • how to use your fancy new alpha7c, for rank beginners. (Surprisingly useful even for people who are not absolutely rank beginners, because the guy helpfully explains why you might want this or that focusing mode, say.) Now if only I could, ahem focus, instead of obsessively watching the battery life decrease throughout the video...
  • Now, which lensbaby am I gonna get...?
  • Hey, maybe that cotton carrier system for my backpack, which is designed for a camera this size, as opposed to the lumix, will work out this time around. Carrying 3 lbs of equipment is no doubt nothing to the serious wildlife photographers, but it's still a pest: I want a secure, hands-free (& hopefully not too dorky) way to cart this thing around.

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12apr2021

cropChocolate's a fermented food, who knew?

My watercolour palette is the white backside of a thin plastic coaster (with Picasso sketches printed on the obverse, how artistic) which originally I was gonna pitch because I just wanted the thin flat tin they were packaged in, nearly the perfect size and shape for my “big” set of watercolour pans (it's about 4x4x0.5"/100x100x12mm) but my sister-in-law recently gave me this awesome antique porcelain watercolour tray, and while I was tentatively able to identify the maker as Royal Talens, my research didn't turn up this particular model; however, I did find this review of porcelain palettes. I s'pose I ought to try mixing colours on a white plate to see if this is something I'd want—these things are kinda pricey, in addition to being heavy.

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