Tuesday, December 28, 2010

White Christmas

I've been out of town for a while. That will be the subject of future posts.

But I arrived back here in Asheboro for what was for me personally a significant event.

I'm 61 years old and I've never seen a white Christmas. Until this year.

We don't get a lot of snow here in central North Carolina. Half an inch is enough to panic the area into total gridlock and shut it down for over 12 hours (January 19, 2005).

Pentax *istD, Tokina  ATX-Pro 28-70f/2.8, ISO Aperture & Shutter Speed not recorded.


Bad weather makes good photography. This old farmstead is up the road from my Mother's home. I took it in 2005, the day after the storm paralyzed Raleigh with a half inch of snow.

This year we got two inches starting at about 6:30 pm Christmas Day. I saw it when I went out for my annual "Christmas Day Chinese Restaurant" dinner. The news says the last time the area had snow at Christmas was 1947, two years before I was born.

Pentax K20D, Tokina ATX-Pro 28-70f/2.8, ISO 400 1/250sec @ f/8.0

I took this one out the sliding door at my apartment here in Asheboro, NC the next morning, on Boxing Day. It's not much to look at really, just a back yard with a little bit of snow and the church next door, but for me it's a small Christmas miracle.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Kitchen Timer

One of the problems with being a bachelor is having to eat your own cooking. You can live strictly on soup out of cans, microwave meals and fast food take-out but it gets really old. Especially if you're doing it for years and years. Sooner or later you're going to go in the kitchen and actually cook something.

And eating pre-prepared food is expensive. The economy being what it is and my budget being what it is, I can't afford to dine out every meal. Good home cooking costs less and it's better for you. 

Eventually, you're going to get to a place where you need to cook something for a certain length of time, like boiling pasta for exactly 7:00 minutes to get it perfectly Al Dente. Which is where the kitchen timer comes in. Set it and you don't have to watch the clock like a hawk to ensure you get the right time. You can let your attention wander to other things, like getting the sauce to the right temperature and toasting the bread. A good timer is an essential tool for kitchen multi-tasking.

I'm living in an apartment down here at school. I've brought about half my kitchen utensils, pots & pans and dishes down here. The rest of my stuff is still at home. But I've only got one kitchen timer ... or so I thought.

Pentax K-20D, SMC PENTAX-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL II, ISO400, f/5.6 @ 1/8 sec
I don't do much "darkroom" processing right now, just the occasional roll of B&W film. I use a hybrid system where I scan the negatives and make digital prints.

I can load B&W film onto the reels and place the reels inside the processing tank using a dark bag. Once the top is closed, I can perform the rest of the process right there at the kitchen sink.

So the timer serves dual duty.

The pasta was delicious BTW.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Something to be Thankful for

I'm only about a week late. I had a little bit of a rough patch in my life recently.

But I'm getting through it with a little help from my friends. And I want to say thanks to all of you.

I'm also thankful for these folks:

Pentax K-20D, SMC-DA 18-55f/1:3.5-5.6 ISO 100 1/100@f/8
This is the VA Medical Center in Durham, NC. It's just a snapshot really, no great work of art. I've no pretention that it's an image of any significance in the greater scheme of things. But this is a photography blog, and that's a photograph.

The picture is not important, but the VA Medical Center means a lot to those it serves. I'm lucky enough to be among them. I recently spent almost a week there and they are some of the kindest, most caring people you will ever meet. They take their mission to serve the Veteran most seriously.

Because of their care, I got to have a quiet Thanksgiving at home.

It looks like I may get to stick around for a few more Thanksgivings to come ... and Christmas, family birthdays, anniversaries, school holidays ... all the reasons for family to get together.

And that is something to be thankful for.