This Page Is Optimized For...

I hate reading that. Especially if the page was optimized for Internet Explorer which I don't browse with (although I do use it to set up my web pages). It makes me think "I wonder if I'm seeing this page in a crappy light compared to how they want me to view it"...but I didn't always think that way.

I used to think : "ho-hum, some geeky person uses Netscape or whatever" when I was still using IE. Of course things have changed. Of course I am aware of the world of choice that I knew existed before but was a bit too cowardly to delve into. Some people are prepared to put up with a lousy browsing experience for a long time rather than be forced to try something different.

There was a time when I DID NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN a web browser and an internet service provider! I also didn't understand that all software is optional- what came 'bundled' on my first laptop was the result of a deal between Microsoft and Compaq Computers. (I DID know that the Macintosh computers were different from most other computers but that didn't really interest me- crazy Mac addicts! lol )

The point is, I , like many other people, used Internet Explorer to browse the web and learned basic html coding using it alongside Notepad to edit my pages. I started to pay attention when I noticed some sites looking strange and having the little 'optimized' messages on them, and began reading about how html coding was becoming standardized and even replaced with new styles of coding but that the browsers (Internet Explorer being only ONE of them) had propitiatory codes you could use which in effect would mess up all the good intentions of standardizing html. At least thats how I saw it.
(On a somewhat relevant note I learned what the terms propitiatory, default, bundled, and end user license agreement meant during that time and feel obligated to express my STRONG opinion that Microsoft should never have been allowed to include their browser with the operating system it supplies. I don't know why it still does but hopefully other browsers are now better able to compete from the onset)

My final words on this subject are this: "This page is optimized for..." is just another way of saying "I'm too lazy to see if my page looks good outside of the program I'm currently using". Yes, I said LAZY. I don't care which browser people want to use- there shouldn't be a disclaimer on your pages telling the world you would prefer them to be using your choice of software. (This is important as well for people who hire web designers to make their web pages.)
I downloaded Mozilla a couple of years ago, then Firefox, and finally this year Opera. I don't use Mozilla anymore because Firefox is quite similar and a lot faster, and I got Opera because it's more customizable for people with bad eyesight. (Minimum font size option applies to ALL pages and tabs). I look at all my new web content in at least 2 browsers to make sure that it all looks legible and so does my husband who has a fussier site that is more professionally oriented.


Snow In The Forecast...

Snow is being forecast for 5 days beginning on Friday...horrible news for us who generally don't get much snow to begin with so this will be a lot...I managed to get one shot of the most spectacular sunrise I have seen in months although of course it was a street shot.

My philosophy on taking pictures when time is your enemy: Get the shot first. Don't try to find a perfect location if you know your window of opportunity is only about 10 to 15 minutes and you have to drive to get a 'view'.
That sunrise this morning was the perfect example. I was not expecting anything at all when I first took the dog for a walk but once I approached the corner and saw the sky clearly it was decision making time: doggies walk got cut a bit short and I grabbed my stuff as quickly as I could. I really only had about 5 certain minutes of gorgeous lighting- I knew this when I approached the intersection and hauled the camera out to get the shot.
I'm glad I did because the drive afterwards never got me in a position to capture the sky again in that light so at least I have one record of that moment rather than none.

Bigger View

On the subject of taking care of one's teeth: I had my second and hopefully last bad tooth extracted this morning. What remains now is some new fillings but that will be next month. Fortunately the first extraction has healed enough that I can eat properly on one side...ha ha. What misery. :(
But, sooner out, sooner healed up. And- because I was up so early I did get to see that beautiful sky...and even found a huge blue heron on the side of the road trying hard to stay warm in the frosty grass who very ungraciously let himself be photographed. So thats how I'm ending this post...hope everyone is in good health or at least warm. :)

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Resolution And Wine

By resolution I'm talking about pixels not promises!
I've been meaning to send a print to a special person of one of my favorite photos which was taken with my old camera- the little Olympus digital as opposed to the 10 mega-pixel Sony/Minolta Alpha.

I did a lot of reading about the camera before I bought it a few years ago and from the information deduced that while I could get an excellent print at 5x7 inches it would be an iffy proposition to get 8x10 unless the person in the lab knew what they were doing. In fact, I actually did have 2 8x10s printed from other photos I had taken that turned out rather nice ( "Swamp" being one of them ) but I assumed that there had been some luck involved...this was stupid thinking- not delving into the reasons why those pictures turned out so well. It was stupid because I was under a false belief these past two years that the limit for the camera was a 'lucky' 8x10.

So, getting back to the gift photo, I took the file to the local lab and when I picked the photo up (two 5x7s ) I found they had partially cropped out the black frame I had added. The crop occurred only on two sides. I was told that they couldn't do it as I asked- leave the whole frame intact- yet I know damn well that they could have done it by bypassing the software that controls the printing process. This is the problem with regular labs. I paid for the prints, tried cropping them at home and they looked horrible because what they had left of the frame was so skinny and even tho I matched it up the unevenness of my hand showed. (I have a cutting machine but I slipped up with that- on both photos I was so angry)

In disgust I decided to get the photo redone. (My, this is quite the rant! ) I went to London Drugs this time which has a really comprehensive lab. (And in our neck of the woods is the best camera retailer outside of a camera store- also the only large retailer that still sells second hand cameras. )I brought the file in as a .tiff (not a .jpeg) and told the clerk what I wanted- please print it out on an 8x10 paper to get the frame intact. She told me it should be on 8x12 and to put it through the automated machine which I did and come back the next day.
The next day I came back and collected the photo from a different clerk and was kind of blown away- the photo had been printed as an 8x12 - not 5x7 on 8x12 paper. IT WAS STUNNING! I always thought that my camera wouldn't allow for that size of picture to be printed at quality level!
I was so excited that I almost left the store before realizing that the frame had been cropped out! lol
I explained to the girl and she said they would do a do-over. The next day I returned to pick it up from the clerk who had originally taken my order and she was surprised about why the mistake had happened. (it happened because she told the lab worker through the window about the specifies of my order rather than write it on a slip of paper to attach to the order - something to remember folks!) The new photo had been printed out a tad smaller on an 8x12 sheet and had the entire frame intact.
I wasn't charged for the second print since I had paid for the goofed one. I then went looking for a matte but the only ones that fit my format (that I could find) were round, not square- and of course only fit on the first photo- not the corrected one with the frame and signature built in...Oh well. :)

My photo of the day shot with my new camera- a very lucky capture:

Bigger view- this goes to my print shop at DA

I have had a tooth ache for the last 3 days which is leading to headaches. I will be seeing a dentist pretty soon about this if it continues...but I fear dentists. *cries pitifully*

I discovered on the third day of the tooth ache that wine takes the pain away...literally only one small glass! How pleasant- much better than a rinse of diluted topical peroxide! *laughs her head off*
I'm not a big drinker but I do like wine and we have a big bottle of it from Christmas so that gives me time to find a good dentist!


January Blahs...


Bigger View< - a bit blurry! lol

It rained tons all week and today the sun came out in a wimpy kind of way for a few hours this afternoon. I did yardwork- the leaf blower got a real workout, some stuff got pulled out of the shed to get rid of, and I ditched all the dahlia tubers that I had stored inside. Unfortunately the damp got to them- kind of my fault as I hadn't powdered them in fungicide like last year- but I learned a lot from the whole experience of plant propagation in this way. Dahlia Culture is the site that gave me the confidence to propagate dahlias in the first place- very successfully I might add. ) I also tore out the sweet pea vines from the front of house, dumped out some unsuccessful plants, and used the leaf blower at full blast to tidy up the place a bit. Then I rooted though the shed to find some things I wanted to get rid of at the thrift store.

By the way, if you right click the image of the birds you can save a seamless tile to your hard drive...something for the kids!

That big Rottweiler stuffy that I won a few years ago at the PNE (Pacific National Exhibition) shooting at the machine gun gallery finally found a new home. (I used to run that game for quite a few years on West Coast Amusements so I had a bit of practice under my belt- I was caught by Jim but he let me have it anyway :) ) I tried selling that dog on Ebay to learn a bit about how the site works but I just don't have the patience for it. I've got enough to learn with this blogger thing and all the other neato gizmo's you can hook it up with. (A thanks to my dear husband for that!)

I spend the last few days putting some galleries up on my website. It sounds so simple when I put it like that! lol I got some eye strain from dealing with all those massive tables. I've decided that 40 - 50 images per page is probably the maximum I should go...but of course I don't always abide by my own rules!
The 'Textures' gallery is a good example; 58 images.
The 'Rodeo' gallery has only 13 however, and the 'Zoo' gallery has 18. I wish I had more photos in these two galleries, particularly the animals at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. These last two are specific events but most of the other galleries have had the images selected out of the best of 2005. More or less. I've also decided to post a bit of commentary on the specifics of events even though it may not be particularly flattering to some people. *cough* Cloverdale Rodeo *cough*

Calories for the eyes...

Editing is the most difficult decision when going through huge archives of photos- and I've just decided that instead of breaking up the 'Flowers' folder into colours (the web site at the current time still indicates this) I will try to do a massive edit of ALL the flower pictures of 2005 in 2 separate galleries. I'm trying to showcase the best that I have to offer the stock world working chronologically forward from that year. (this does not obviously include the 'scans' galleries.)

But- on to another subject in my ramblings this evening: The Mission Gun Club. I got a membership (spouse) so I could come along if I wanted to. (Othmar encouraged me too of course- I know he's hoping I will take up shooting eventually if not hunting).

Notice the odd angle...

An amusing anecdote was related to me by one of the staff of the club. Evidently the-powers-that-be thought that the range's line of site came too close to taking out a chunk of Mission (this is an exaggeration of course) so told the club that they had to shift the range over by a certain amount of degrees- I'm afraid I can't recall the exact number but you can see that the benches are all on the edge of the wedge shaped concrete that was laid down (and roofed) to comply with the ruling. ( The area immediately to the right of the white posts is the new part.)
One has to wonder what the original recommendations were based on since the area hasn't changed in something like 30 years. I mean, theres a mountain for a backstop!! lol

Lefty. :)

Well thats about it for now. My trigger finger is itchy to shoot something. People who hunt animals are better off than people who hunt out a view to capture...they don't have to let the weather stop them. lol


Happy New Year

Hope every one is doing o.k. on this fine, first week of 2008. :)

We started the year off with a flat tire on the new car and the old one is refusing to run although it tries. *sigh*

Christmas was a nice time at my sister's place with a nice buffet dinner. I made a cauliflower dish which was so-so since dinner started kind of late and it got a bit- mushy you could say.
New Years were pretty quiet as we were both sick although hubby is worse off than me- he was close to getting pneumonia it turns out. He got antibiotics from the doctor today...
My sniffles are almost gone.

I am updating my web site's photo galleries and tutorials pages but this is kind of slow going as I am trying to be systematic about it- photos from 2005 first, then 2006, then 07. The tutorials for graphics are pieced together from existing ones but they have to be broken down to fit into the format I've chosen for my web page- can't just post those huge files that my art site allows!
Tomorrow I will go to the printer and get some photos done up to send as (kind of late) gifts...and hopefully the sun will be out so I can start taking pictures that actually look cheerful!

Bigger View

The above is an example of a panoramic image I made and just recently wrote a tutorial about at Deviant Art. The tutorial is here for anyone who is curious about this kind of picture. I happen to have specialized in panoramics because generally the expansiveness of a view can't be captured by standard lenses and I'm not a big fan of wide angle lenses. Actually, the truth is I happen to dislike switching lenses altogether but realize that most highly variable zoom lenses are going to lack in quality at one end of the extreme or other- so my best bet is keeping a moderate zoom lens as my standard and having 1 or 2 really good quality lenses along for photo jaunts.

On the last day of last year I headed out to Mission, B.C. rather late in the day and missed one of the most beautiful lighting spectacles I've seen in quite some time. The road leading up Stave Lake is a nasty one to begin with full of potholes, but now it is also covered in snow. This was the closest I got to 4 X 4ing in the new Jeep but I was actually a bit scared and barely had room to turn the car around on the slippery, lumpy logging road. I barely got any shots coming in and none going out- it took 23 minutes to drive the 6 km back to Dewdney Trunk Road. Horrid.