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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Shhhhh! It’s cat hunting season!

*hushed voice, with a slight British accent*

Today on Cat Hunters, we are looking at capturing the elusive house cat. The house cat, Felis catus, can be hard to locate. They are adept at finding obscure hiding places, such as under (or in) couches, the highest shelf in the bathroom closet, or even in the ceiling. Sometimes, they hide so well they forget how they got there and have trouble finding their way out!

In an effort to capture a local specimen, we set out a humane cat trap. The trap was so appealing, the target cat was there within moments, investigating.

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1/100 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400, 28mm

And, 15 seconds later, success!

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1/30 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400, 28mm

“Why are you staring at me like that?”

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1/30 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400, 28mm

“Yea, you caught me. Now what?”
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1/40 sec at f/4.5, ISO 6400, 28mm

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Posted by on March 30, 2012 in Kitty, Photo Story, Sony DSLR A55, Toys

 

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Fotoless Friday – Oh, the things you’ll do!

Bath time was really short last night.  And not because, like in the past, she didn’t like water being poured over her head.

Nope.

Less than a minute in there were ‘presents’ in the tub.

Oh, the things you’ll do!

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Fotoless Friday, Parenting

 

Mum’s little cutie pie!

Wow, I haven’t posted any Munchkin pics in a while! Here she is, having fun with her dolly 🙂

(pictures were taken with my a100, before my a55 arrived)

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1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 400, 26mm, w/flash

“Hold my baby, Mommy?”

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1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 400, 18mm, w/flash

‘Well, if Mommy won’t hold baby, I’ll have to get a stool’

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1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 200, 18mm, w/flash

‘Stool needs to go over here’

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1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 200, 18mm, w/flash

‘Oh hai!’

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1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 200, 18mm, w/flash

“CHEESE!”
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1/60 sec at f/11, ISO 200, 18mm, w/flash

‘Oo look, cartoons!’

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1/25 sec at f/3.5, ISO 400, 18mm, no flash

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2012 in Munchkin, Photo Story, Sony DSLR A100, Toys

 

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Fotoless Friday – A rant related to Sandra Fluke’s testimony

I feel like I need to preface this by saying I live in Canada, not the US. 

For those of us plugged into social media day-in and day-out, I’m sure you’ve heard of U.S. Republican Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke some very bad names after her statement to Congress regarding a woman’s right to contraceptives, specifically, that they should be covered by health insurance regardless of the institutions moral stance.

But what I didn’t see in many articles, was what Sandra actually SAID to deserve being labelled in such a way.  Because I’m a firm believer in getting the facts before rushing to judgement, I went on a search.  Since none of the articles I read actually mentioned what was said in her testimony, I do what I always do when I’m looking for answers – hello search engine!

I found her testimony, and after reading it, I’m even more appalled at the whole thing.  She’s very articulate and clearly passionate about the issue, yet no where in her statement do I see anything about contraceptives being used as birth control, despite the rush to judgement from Rush.  She calmly lays out her argument why contraceptive (or birth control, which ever you prefer) should be covered under normal health insurance policies, and the burden non-coverage places on a significant portion of the population.  She discusses illnesses that are totally treatable, future pathology that is totally preventable, though the use of contraceptive, but that the coverage these woman so desperately need is being denied to them for the very reason she her character is now under attack – lack of education, lack of understanding.  Rush doesn’t understand, and I would wager he doesn’t CARE to understand, that human biology is very complicated.  And a woman’s reproductive biology is especially complicated, with a whole suite of problems that could arise in her reproductive organs.  Many of which can be treated, and future health problems prevented, by the use of contraceptives.

For those of you that don’t know, contraceptives essentially take two forms – physically preventing sperm and egg from meeting, or hormonal treatment to alter what goes on inside a woman’s ovaries and uterus.  The first is quite effective at preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, but does nothing to help women suffering from ovarian cysts, painful periods, or other health issues that can affect those mysterious, inner lady-bits.  That’s where the need for contraceptives, typically in the form of The Pill, comes in.

To further help you out, here’s some basic information on The Pill (I could add a bunch of links, but a simple internet search will tell you the same thing – plus, I’m lazy):

-Unlike condoms, you don’t just take a pill every time you have sex to prevent pregnancy (well, you could, but that’s called Plan B, and is something totally different)

-The Pill must be taken once a day, at the same time, every day for 21 days, with 7 days of either placebo or no pills.  This is the routine if you have wild monkey sex three times a day for all 28 days, or if you are virgin high school girl who is taking it to prevent the excruciating pain associated with her menstrual cycle.  That means that a celibate individual with an ovarian issue would need to take just as many pills (at the same cost) as the ‘Jezebel’ that Sandra is being accused of emulating.

-Other hormonal contraceptives are available, such as The Patch (think stop smoking patch, but releases female hormones instead of nicotine), The Shot (Depo-Provera) or IUDs (Intra-Uterine Devices – basically they stick a slow-release do-dad into your uterus so the hormones are delivered right there – lower hormone levels for those that are affected by such things), but they are just as expensive, if not more so, than The Pill.

So back to Sandra’s testimony, and the back-lash.

What bothers me – or rather, one of the things that bothers me – is that Rush and his name-calling is getting way more press than Sandra’s statement and the broader issue: that health care is health care, no matter if you’re male or female.  To deny someone legitimate, proven treatment for their issue – especially in the so-called ‘developed world’ – simply because it can also be used for something the church* is against, denies them their basic human right.

Makes me wonder – is Viagra covered under health care plans without question, or does it matter what the institutions values are?  I guess I’ll have to Google… maybe you should too.

 

*I’m using ‘church’ here in the context  of ‘separation of church and state’

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Fotoless Friday, Rant

 

Winter arrived!

It’s been a weird winter all over the planet. Whatever the reason (natural variation, El Nina, climate change), I think most people have been enjoying a mild winter. Here in Alberta, we’ve hardly had any snow. Which means it just doesn’t feel like winter for me. But, Mother Nature did deliver, just later than expected. And all at once.

A week ago Friday, Kirra was pushing her bike around the backyard. By that Sunday, this was the sight:

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1/800 sec at f/4.2, ISO 80
Pentax Optio W90

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2012 in Nature, Pentax Optio, Winter

 

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Why I love photography

When I think back on why I got into photography in the first place, it’s a convoluted story with no real start point – but those are the best stories, don’t you think? Or, at least, the start of something wonderful.

My own photography journey started when I was a wee one. I remember one board game I would play with my family, and one of the categories (it was like Trivial Pursuit, but not TP) was a picture and you had to figure out what the item was based on a picture of just a small part. My initial fascination with minute detail began there, I think. It was my favourite category (and I was pretty good at it!) and I would spend a lot of time looking at the pictures and seeing what part of the whole was focused on, and how that related to the whole. I learned that ordinary items can be extraordinary, depending on how you look at it.

As a child, I had a variety of cameras I used – a Brownie camera with block flash, a similar camera with an even bigger film roll and disposable cameras. I can’t remember when I got my first ‘real’ camera, but I think it was some time in high school. I didn’t get very far in my photography at that point for two reasons: 1) I wasn’t thinking like a photographer, which meant that 2) I wasn’t paying attention to what worked and what didn’t. (aiming the camera at the sky to take a picture of the stars, for example, was a whim that resulted in no picture, but I didn’t follow it up and figure out WHY it did work for me).

My first digital camera was a birthday present in 2004, and I quickly discovered what I WANTED the camera to do was not what it COULD do. And that was macro photography. I still have a fascination with the minute detail of things, a fascination that reached new heights during my Masters, when some of my little critters were examined by SEM (scanning electron microscope) and I was blown away by the detail at the micro scale.

So what does this all have to do with here and now, and this post? Well, one of the reasons I chose to get serious about photography was a desire to explore macro photography. And last night, with my new camera ( 😀 ) I did just that.

I was cleaning the kitchen and had trimmed the flowers Daryn got me for Valentine’s Day. The pile of dead flower stems and leaves were accented with grape stems from my evening snack. The pile looked so interesting, I pulled out my new camera, put on my macro lens, and snapped away! Hope you enjoy!

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1/20 sec at f/2.8, ISO 400
Sony a55 50 mm lens

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1/15 sec at f/2.8, ISO 800
Sony a55 50 mm lens

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1/15 sec at f/2.8, ISO 800
Sony a55 50 mm lens

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1/15 sec at f/2.8, ISO 800
Sony a55 50 mm lens

 

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