Saturday, February 23, 2008



Clyde in action.

Here he is doing what Labradors were bred to do... Fetching tennis balls.

While taking this picture I was crouched down like a catcher. Clyde is homing in to try and knock the camera out of my hands, much like a runner rounding third. He has a knack for running directly into my knee at full speed. I have learned to make sure that I don't have it planted. 80lb hitting your knee at speed can do some damage!
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Guess Who?

More fun shots of Clyde the dog!

I was drinking my coffee Sunday morning (Caffe Ladro, thanks for getting me hooked MJ and Alex...) When Clyde came up to sit in a warm sunny spot in the dinning room. With the camera never too far away, I grabbed it, threw on my 50mm f/1.8 lens and fired away. I tried to keep his eyes in sharp focus as they are the story-tellers.

You may think by these pictures that Clyde is a sleepy dog, part Basset Hound. Not so! He is like a well trained athlete. He is just conserving so he is ready to go when needed. Bring out the Chuckit Flying Squirrel, or take him to dog park and he is all energy...

This is what happens when Clyde knows that food is not far away... Slime factory. This one is a record, almost touching the ground. It used to gross me out, but now I just grab a paper towel and clean him up. I'm not afraid to use my bare haand if necessary, out and about, I just wipe it on his belly.

He is always in the vertical blinds like this when he wants to go out. Some day I'll prepare for a nice picture by cleaning the window before hand. As you can imagine it doesn't stay clean long. Nose and paw prints.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

New Clyde Photo


Could you please put that camera down and throw the ball?

I found was browsing the GIMP tutorials and decided to give the the color to black and white a shot. Sure you can click one button on your camera or editor and convert your shot, but the results aren't always the best you can get. I settled on the RGB decompose method using just the green channel. I like how it highlights the dog and how the ball looks.

Hopefully we get some nice weather this weekend and I can get some pictures of something other than the dog. Have no fear, he isn't retired yet!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dog Show!

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The Westminster Dog Show is on the tube and I have never seen Clyde pay so much attention. When the dog circle, his ears perk and he doesn't move. Occasionally he go and stand right in front to get a good look. Pretty funny stuff, we found ourselves watching him more than the show...

I am surprised at how much thicker many of the Labs are than Clyde. He is much taller and more athletic looking than them. I like him like that. He is built like a thick greyhound.

About the picture... You may think I put a bunch of effort into it but you would be wrong. I just downloaded a new program called UFRaw that works with the GIMP to tune the RAW images that my camera takes. The GIMP is a pretty slick Photoshop alternative available for free. All I did was take a bland RAW of Clyde and start tweeking curves. It happened by accident, and I kinda liked it.

Not only do I have quite a bit to learn about actually snapping the photo, there is a ton that I need (want) to learn about digital processing of photos too. Yes, you can cut and paste people and thing in your shots, but that is just goofing around. Check out these HDR images created with multiple exposures. Beautifully surreal in my opinion, I would like to try my hand at them.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shaky Dog

Shaky Dog

Clyde, having retrieved his flying squirrel from a chilly Puget Sound, does his best to dry off.

Why bother, he was back in just a few short moments later.

Edmonds Dog Park, Edmonds, Washington

Posted from my new Flickr account. I am going to put my nicer photos up over there. No worries, I will still post them here as I did with this one.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Dog Park, February 7th, 2008

Took Clyde, Carrie and the camera to the dog park yesterday. I snapped 175 pictures and only kept about 15. Here are my favorites...

I have too keep practicing. It is a lot harder than it looks to take a good picture. Being in the right place at the right time is the easiest part.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Disappearing Middle Class

Interesting view...

My thoughts exactly. Last I checked, I am the middle class... ...And I'll tell you that I have it pretty good. No, I'm not made of money, I don't have a trust fund. I can't buy whatever I want, when I want. But I have nothing to complain about.

Carrie and I have worked hard to have a nice house, nice cars, nice things and the occasional nice vacation. We also have been working hard to save for a nice retirement.

As long as Clyde stops eating socks and draining our bank account in $700 chunks, we should be fine.

I like the idea of viewing money as time. How many hours do I have to work to buy my camera? How many of my hours a month go towards my house payment? I have been doing this for years, it gives me a greater appreciation for things. Time is a thousand times more precious than money. Why? Because it keeps moving at the same speed. (unless you are traveling close to the speed of light, but we won't discus that here) you can't get it back.

The bigger issue is how we are slaves to 'the media'. Too many let 'the media' tell them what to think without going out and observing for themselves. As you see in the video, 'the media' hammers you with catchphrases. Then the politicians come in and have to cater to these catchphrases, because dammit, that is what the polls say is on the majority of peoples minds. Sadly it is a spiral that I see no end to. Too many are hooked on the sweet, sweet, elixir that the boob-tube delivers.

Don't even get me started about local coverage of weather....

Letterman and Leno seem to have more of an influence on our political beliefs than anyone else. I enjoy a good roast (comedy and beef!) but all day every day is a bit much. Carrie and I listen to XM's stand-up comedy channel when driving around and I cringe when comedians talk politics. It has nothing to with the D or R after the targets name. I don't care if it is blue collar troupe ragging on Hillary, or the countless others telling us how 'stoopid' the president is. ...And the lemmings in the crowd.... Lord!

Yes, some do a good job of political humor, but sadly it is rare.

The good news is that no matter what, on January 20th, 2009 we will have new blood in the White House. That means that there will be fresh new jokes belittling the office at least until mid-February...

I apologize for the wide video...


Saturday, February 02, 2008

More Clyde


Get used to it...

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Nose of Clyde

Still having a blast with the new camera!


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