Showing posts from July, 2012

Mortality - Drawdy Rouse Cemetery

I stopped by Rouse Cemetery on the way home, a small modest cemetery that has residents born over 100 years ago (see Paul W. Rouse above, who was born in 1906). The cemetery is located at the north end of Rouse Road, right before it turns due east and becomes McCulloch Road. It's surrounded by heavy woods and has a simple chain-link gate at the front. When I arrived around 5:30 this afternoon it was still open. I assume it's locked up during the night and is reopened in the morning.

Based on what little I've been able to discover via Google, the Rouse Cemetery is also referred to as the Drawdy Rouse Cemetery. I'm assuming that this cemetery was started long ago when this section of Orange was heavily rural, far more than it is today. All that's left are bits and pieces of the old forest, such as the section that surrounds this cemetery from where Corporate Blvd dead-ends into Rouse and north up Rouse until Rouse ends at McCulloch Road. I've started an informal …

A Pair of Classics

You can rave all you want about the newest that 2012 has to offer, but I still find myself drawn to what Olympus delivered back in 2003. The Olympus E-1 had its genesis back in February 2001 when Olympus and Kodak announced a joint venture to develop new digital photographic technology. Olympus provided the lens expertise while Kodak provided the sensor. Under the right conditions, shooting at ISO 100, and with the Zuiko Digital 2/50mm macro, that "old" camera can produce some mighty sweet results. All of this with just five "puny" megapixels. I've shot with 10 and 12 and higher on other brands, but I still keep coming back to this combination of camera and lens. I will never truly appreciate all that this camera can do, and that extends to all the other cameras I have. Why do I keep constantly chasing the new when the current I have in hand co still do so much? What is it I'm supposedly not getting?

Long live the E-1.

Sixth Car Shopping Weekend - Chevy Volt and Spark

It's been a while since we went out to look at cars. The last trip was actually back when I took the Prius in for its regular maintenance at the new Toyota of Orlando location. While we were there waiting on the car my wife went out for a test drive in a 2012 regular Prius. Once my car was finished we went home.

Today in the middle of the heat we went over to Courtesy Chevrolet, across the street from Toyota of Orlando's former location on Colonial. We needed to at least look at the Chevy Volt, and at least check it off our list. It's a good thing we did, because it isn't worth $45,000, let along half that. Talk about sticker shock...
We never took one out for a test drive. In fact, we were pretty much left alone for a fairly long period of time before anyone came out to talk to us. The salesman was pleasant enough, but activity seemed pretty dead (or else the sraff was very, very busy and we just didn't see them).

We looked pretty closely at the interior and the ex…

Small Sign of Hope

Out on our weekend runs, I stopped into the Best Buy across from the Mall of Millenia (where the former Circuit City once stood) looking for a class 10 16GB µSD card. The parking lot was about half full, and I didn't expect to have a problem finding a spot to park. But then I came across five slots right at the front, in the same area you'd find handicap parking, and found these reserved for "Fuel Efficient Vehicle Parking Only."

This is the first time I've seen anything like this near a commercial business. I've seen it in a few spots in downtown Orlando, and I've seen it around UCF, especially near Partnership III in Research Park next to UCF (see the example below). The difference between the signs is somewhat stark. Whereas the Best Buy signs say "Only", the UCF signs say "Preferred". And the working effects how the slots are used. While I was standing there taking this photo two other hybrids showed up and parked in two other slot…

Environmental Colors

The worse time to walk from the office to the sub shop is mid-day in the height of summer. Either the rain is beating down on you, or the sun is out and the heat is beating down on you. Either way, you come back wet with rain or sweat, but you come back wet. I suppose if I had my druthers I'd prefer the days without rain, except if rain is absent long enough we wind up with dry conditions and wildfires. We need the rain. And lots of it.

When the rains do come the vegetation (trees, grass, shrubs, flowering plants) thrive and turn vibrant colors. Grass and other green leafy plants seem to glow green. New growth can come out almost any color, such as these little oak sprouts (suckers) coming out of the base of this small oaks trunk.
Even the works of man can show subtle shades of color, especially when it's been broken down and mixed about. Consider this small section of debris on the site of the former arena where they're constantly demolishing it. Shattered concrete, metal,…

It's Hot

I cooked supper tonight. Farm-raised salmon with spices rubbed on and lightly brushed with olive oil, cut up steak potatoes in a light coating of olive oil, a little salt, grated Parmesan cheese, baked on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes, simple salad with oil and vinegar. The salmon was cooked in aluminum foil for 20 minutes to keep in the juices. Then we were bad and drove up to the closest TCBY where it's parfait Friday and ordered a pair of frozen yogurt parfaits for desert.

When we went out for the frozen yogurt it was 8:45pm and the temperature was still 90°. My wife and I don't live an exorbitant life style. We try to eat reasonably healthy, which means simple ingredients and small portions, with as little to no industrial food as possible. I don't know where the frozen yogurt falls on the scale of Being Good vs Being Bad, but it's one of those little rewards we give ourselves. After all, parfaits on parfait Friday are just $3 each.

I mentioned how hot it was. Folk…

Looking at the Palm Parkway Construction, July 2012

I dropped by to check on the progress of the new bridge being built across I-4 between Palm Parkway on the west side and lower International Drive on the east side. The area is being filled in with soil transported from other areas. It doesn't appear to be sand, but a very dark soil that reminds me of potting soil I might buy at Home Depot. If I had a civil engineer with me, he or she might give me a better clue. I don't think it would surprise me if the dark fill soil is in fact a richer soil that could be used to grow food. The more good soil we waste and cover, the less we have to grow anything, and most importantly, grow food to feed ourselves. I've been reading how the drought in the mid-West is pushing up futures for grain, which will push up food prices next year in the U.S. as well as trigger a repeat of middle-East uprisings due to crippling price rises in basic foods. With all that's happening to our farmland due to drought and erosion we're nuts to go ar…

The Good Old Days

These are photos taken in November 2008 when Ruby was ten weeks and Max was eight. Their fourth and twelfth year birthdays, respectively, are coming up in August. For whatever reason I got all sentimental and started to look for these particular photos. Max has certainly grown older since then, with prominent dark areas around the eyes. Ruby has just grown up, although if you see them standing side by side there's no mistaking smaller Ruby from larger Max.

Max is still as energetic as ever, and takes to his walks with the same gusto he's shown since he was a five month old juvenile. Ruby has been "trained" by Max, and acts as his backup annoyer when I don't move fast enough to dress them out in their leads for their daily walks. The only difference is I'm now careful not to walk Max nearly as far as I once did. His age, my knees, and the heat and humidity make me more cautious about the time and distance on any single walk. Instead we spend time out in the bi…

a village for those who see the world as a playground

It's interesting what you can see if you're not too wrapped up in your own little world. Spotted this outside the sub shop at lunch. Something about the sunlight and shade and the lone translucent violet flower that seemed to float in the middle of it all. Taken with the Leica 25mm at f/1.6. I could have opened it up, but stopping down gives just that little extra depth of field and contrast.
Driving home, waiting at a light before hitting the 408, a UCF shuttle shows up and parks right next to me. Bright post colors on white, contrasting against the deep blue sky, flecked with clouds. And then I recognized the stylized iPhoneographer. I had to photograph the iPhoneographer.
I made another stop by the old arena. They've pretty much town everything down, and now they're digging into the lower sections where the basement and the basketball court used to be. I got a number of interesting compositions with these two, prowling and digging through the rubble.

The silly signs a…


After Monday's personal Twitpocalypse scornfest I unleashed against the official arrival of the Canon EOS-M, I decided to give it a rest and let the dust settle around the rest of the blogosphere (how's that for long-winded term dropping?)

I stumbled around the Internets to see just how far off base I might have been with regards to my opinion regarding Canon's mirrorless entry. It looks like not far, but I was a bit over-the-top, perhaps, with my uninformed opinion. Just a bit.

Of all the opinions I've read so far, I believe Thom Hogan's post "Welcome, Canon. Seriously" pretty much hit on all the right points. Or right on the few he covered, which were the important ones. His post got me to really thinking about not just Canon's entry, but why it entered the market with the EOS-M.
Why Now?Two reasons. First, Because Canon had no other choice. Canon is the largest camera manufacturer in the world, both in terms of gross sales and DSLRs. In 2010, the l…

Industrial Photography

Driving up and down 414 to Mt. Dora, I passed this locomotive and the industrial area. The problem is I'd drive past it in the morning when the lighting was good, then drive past it in the early afternoon when the sun was on the other side and casting it all in shadow. So today I got up early enough to do my chores around the house, then I drove my wife up to a service at RDV in Maitland. After dropping her off I continued across Maitland to the newly built 441 and on back up to this spot, where I stopped and spent about 30 minutes just walking about and photographing.
I carried all three Pens, and probably looked like something of a dork while doing it. But on a Sunday morning, with little traffic and nobody at work, it didn't matter. I came away with photos taken with the 17mm, the 45mm, and the 25mm. As silly as it might sound, carrying three Pens with lenses is a lot lighter than carrying the E-3 with the 12-60mm. Seriously.
The bridge construction sits next to the locomotiv…

Mt Dora

After our second trip to Renningers we drove across 441 to the historic section of Mt. Dora and the Palm Tree Grill and Bar for lunch. It was good and filling, and reasonably priced considering the quality of the interior. When we finished we walked across the intersection to Piglet's Pantry Dog Bakery to have a look. Piglet's, according to the sign at the door, has been in business since 1997. Piglet's was named after the owner's Greyhound. When we left we'd picked up some treats for the Labs and the cats. Based on what we saw and how the Labs and cats took to the treats, we'll be back.
Directly across the street from Palm Tree Grill is The Lost Parrot, another bar and grill. I remember this location fro 2003. That year I was trying to train for an M&S road ride, and one of the training rides was to Mt. Dora. We stopped at this location for lunch and to rest. It wasn't called The Lost Parrot back then. I went looking for this business on Google Maps, an…